Tag Archives: basmati rice

Going Indian III

When is hot outside, try this. If you are not living in a hot climate as Indians are, try this in cold weather and it will make you hot. And my guess is you will ask for more. It is a delicious recipe. So delicious that I tried it just once. Hahaha. I should try it several times as I like lamb and this is indeed something special. I have a déjà vu writing this. I also like the way it is constructed with all those ingredients, some of them rare and precious and full of flavour. What an exquisite aroma it spreads ! It whispers: come and taste me! And of course you come… Sit down at the table and enjoy it with naan bread (I miss naan bread sooo much) or basmati rice (Tilda brand – the best). I must cook this again. So, let’s see what I need, apart from Love and Understanding and Tenderness. And a beautiful and large kitchen where I will be the queen 😉 . I need … to add that the recipe is taken from a wonderful book, “Golden India – Indian Recipes” and the recipes is

Champ Masala

Lamb Chops in Spicy Marinade

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

And the ingredients are:

  • 1 kg lamb chops 
  • 12 almonds, blanched
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 2/3 tbsp (40 ml) butter or oil
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 cloves, whole
  • 2 tsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger, chopped finely
  • 2 red or green chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • a few strands of saffron, dissolved in 1 tsp milk (optional)
  • 2 onions, medium size, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds (til)
  • 3/4 cup yoghurt (I always go with my fav, the greek full fat one)


  • Blend cumin seeds, ginger, garlic paste, cardamom seeds, cloves, almonds, sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, sugar and 2 tbsp yoghurt to a purée, adding more yoghurt if the mixture is dry. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. You have now a masala paste.
  • Melt butter/ oil in a large kadhai (wok) or pan. Add onions and fry till golden brown. Stir in the masala paste and fry for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add a spoonful water at a time if the mixture becomes too dry. Add the lamb chops and fry 10 minutes on medium heat, turning chops frequently.
  • Beat the remaining yoghurt and saffron together, pour it into the lamb and mix well. Bring to a boil the reduce heat to very low, simmer for 1/2 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 150˚C/ 300˚F.
  • Transfer chops into a casserole and put into the oven to cook for at least 25 minutes. After that you have a taste of India. 🙂

Bon appetite!


Chicken Badam Pasanda

Have you eaten this food? If not, you either don’t like Indian food, and you lose nothing or you do and lose one of the tastiest chicken recipes you have ever eaten in your life. I know you may not agree with me here, this is only my humble opinion. 🙂

I started writing about Indian recipes for the moment and I thought of some that are worth knowing about. Chicken Badam Pasanda is one of them. I have it from the cookbook “Golden India – Indian Recipes” 1996. I was told that this book has the recipes closer to the original in their native land. I guess that most of the time, the international recipes in cookbooks are adapted to reach more people. And probably, the tastes differ. Not much, but there is a difference.

But no food is worth anything unless you share it with someone. I saw yesterday “Woman on top” and I thought that she was right: “the last and most important ingredient is to share it with someone you love.” All this talk about food and recipes, tastes and flavours, they are just bed-times stories. 🙂 I let you try this wonderfully tasty dish and share it. Share it with all your heart. Sharing is the magic ingredient.

Chicken Badam Pasanda

Chicken Steaks In An Almond Flavoured Sauce

Serves 4-5

Preparation time: 2 1/2 hours

Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 10 pcs chicken breasts (medium size), cleaned, flattened
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) almonds, blanched and sliced
  • 340 ml (1 3/4 cups) chicken stock
  • 8 – 10 cloves
  • 4 tsp coriander, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp corn flour (or plain flour if you don’t have corn flour)
  • 3 tbsp garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp ginger paste
  • 5-6 green cardamoms
  • 210 ml (1 1/4 cup) oil
  • 2 onions (medium-sized), finely chopped
  • 1 g saffron, dissolved in 1 tsp milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 cup yoghurt


  • Keep aside 6-7 blanched almonds. Grind the rest into a paste and keep aside.
  • Rub ginger and garlic paste into the steaks. Whisk yoghurt and salt together in a bowl and coat the chicken pieces evenly with it. Keep aside for 2 hours. It smells so cover the bowl with plastic foil. I would try to do this in the evening and keep everything for the next day or early in the morning. That way, the chicken breasts marinade better. But you do as you like.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the steaks till almost done. Remove and keep aside. At this time they smell like heaven. Try not to eat them yet. The best is yet to come.
  • In the same oil, sauté onions, cardamoms and cloves. Stir in the almond paste, fry a while, then add white pepper powder, chicken stock and flour. Cook till the gravy is rich, smooth and thick.
  • Remove from fire, strain the sauce to remove whole spices and reheat.
  • Add the steaks to the gravy and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Add dissolved saffron.
  • To serve, garnish with sliced almonds and chopped coriander (optional). Serve hot, accompanied by Naan or Parantha bread. I have it eaten Naan bread, it is soo delicious, but if you don’t have it go with basmati rice. You can never be wrong with this one. Just mix it after boiling, with butter or not.

Bon appetite!

Chicken Curry

I know. You know. Curry is one of the tastier dishes I have ever eaten. I hadn’t heard about Indian food until I went to London. There I discovered the international cuisine. And the tastes behind it. I can’t believe how lucky I am.

I have many favorite recipes and one among them is curry. Any curry. I have cooked and eaten fish, chicken, lamb curry and other Indian recipes that are absolutely delicious. I am only sorry that in Romania I can’t cook them all. For some dishes there are absolutely no spices here and there is no way I can replace them. If I do that it will be no longer an Indian recipe. Too bad. My wish is to make accessible the recipes for those who love cooking in Romania. I know that sometimes is impossible or let’s say it is impossible for the moment. I hope for the best. 🙂

For today I have mixed two curry recipes I have, to try to make an easy one. The taste of India remains. 🙂 So

Chicken Curry


  • 350 g skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-5 cm (1 in) pieces (or you can try with 2 chicken breasts)
  • 30 g butter (or more for more chicken)
  • 2 packets of curry powder (this is how you find it here and I have to say I am not at all satisfied about its quality, or about 2 tbsp of really good curry powder)
  • 1 large (about 200 g) onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh lemon grass
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (for a spicier recipe, yummy ;)) )
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk (you can make it by putting 75-100 g coconut in a bowl, pour over the 300 boiling water and leave to stand for 30 minutes. I have done this and I don’t like it. There is nothing as good as the coconut in the can or if you are reaaaaaaly lucky, the milk from a fresh coconut)


  • Heat butter in a pan, add chicken, cook, stirring, until browned and tender; drain on absorbent paper. You can buy the chicken meat ready cooked but you will never beat the taste and smell of a freshly buttered cooked meat.
  • Reheat the pan, add onion, garlic, lemon grass, chili, coriander, juice, seeds, turmeric and sauce, curry powder, pepper, cook , stirring, until the onion is soft. Stir in chicken, sugar and flour, then the stock and milk, stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens.
  • Serve with the best Indian rice: basmati rice.

Bon appetite!

Fragrant Coriander Rice

It is Lent.  I usually keep it for 2 weeks and I always end up feeling light and good. Do you know how we Romanian keep Lent? If  you don’t , let me tell you: no meat, eggs, cheese, milk or any other animal products except fish on certain days. But this will not keep me from keeping it. ;))

I have to admit that the recipes that I picked are almost all with some animal product in them. This one is one of the few that is without. So it is perfect for Lent or any other day. I have taken it from the book “Coriander – A Book of Recipes” and is probably Indian or Arabic, let me know the origin, please. Anyway, it is a very perfumed recipe, fresh and light. I have to admit I am not quite taken about it but the persons who have tried it, shesaid it is very good. This is what happens: I make a recipe that I like and end up saying myself how delicious it is and everybody around is saying the same, but when I make a recipe and say I am not into it, I always have a surprise: people are telling me it is so good. Don’t take me too seriously. I am just a fussy eater. ;))

About the recipe, there are some ingredients you might not find in Romania always. But it is ok, you can replace some, you will find them in brackets, and the rice is delicious all the same.


Serves 4


  • 225 g/ 8 oz/ 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2,5 cm/ 1 in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 7,5 ml/ 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 7,5/ 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 piece of lemon grass, finely chopped
  • grated rind of 2 limes (or lemons)
  • 750 ml/ 1 1/4 pints/ 3 cups vegetable stock (or plain water)
  • 60 ml/ 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • lime (lemon) wedges, to serve


  • Put the rice into a large bowl of cold water. Swill the grains around with your hands, then tip out cloudy water (the rice will quickly sink to the bottom). Repeat this action about five times. If there is time , soak the rice for about 5 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, spices, lemon grass and grated lime rind. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the rice, turning it in the mixture to coat the grains. Cook for 1 minute more, then add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cover the pan. Cook gently for 30 minutes, then check the rice; if it still crunchy, cover the pan again and leave for a further 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the fresh coriander, fluff up the grains, cover the pan and leave for 10 minutes. Serve at once, with lime wedges.

Cook’s Tip

Other varieties of rice, such as white basmati or long grain can be used for this dish, but you will need to adjust the cooking times accordingly.

Bon appetite!