“Barbecue should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Albert Einstein

Grill In with herby Italian chicken Summer’s here and with it fun, healthier and lighter food. Did I forget the D word? Delicious too! There’s been quite a shift in the way I look at food, develop recipes, serve it up etc. The grains have gone whole, the sugars are less refined, usually natural or brown, and the oils are cold pressed or then clarified butter. Natural homemade white butter too. If you look at things, it’s actually a lifestyle change, teenie step by step, and it’s interesting to see how things can change bit by bit.

Eat healthyWith developing healthy and tasty recipes for Fit Foodie, to drinking more water, upping the protein and walking the extra mile with the GOQii campaign, this year couldn’t have begun on a better note. It isn’t about losing weight and the eternal calorie count. I’ve learnt as time goes by that holistic is better, that lifestyles are better when balanced, that changes don’t happen overnight.

Baby mustard greens stir fryAll this aligns with my food philosophy, being a locavore and eating seasonal. With the temperature rising, I thought I’d buy a sandwich grill. Online browsing is the best option for housebound me these days as I have work going on at home. landing up at the recently launched Home Store section of one of my favourite haunts, I was blown away by the choice.

Outdoor grill, FlipkartSO MUCH CHOICE! I almost forgot what I had landed up for…. my imagination took flight. Beginning from singular thoughts of a sandwich press, the boundaries expanded and how! I shifted gears and knew I now wanted a grilling something. Oh yes, good thought now that I was also cutting back carbs. I wanted a grill! So I set off and OH DEAR! Faced with more choice, online shopping has never been better. My search for grills threw up more temptation by way of the header ‘Barbeque & Grills’. Such fun. The prices are quite reasonable too from under Rs 1000 to about Rs 5000, I found enough choice for my kitchen and home. I have never seen so many colours too.

enamelware charcoal grill, flipkart So it was definitely this I zeroed in on an enamelware charcoal grill. Such a compact fun design, with the option of no legs {counter top}, half stand or stand on wheels, couldn’t have asked for more. Time to toss coins. Which colour? Red blue, green, white, yellow, black? Good heavens! Asked the lad at home because I oscillated between black and red. White he said with conviction, so white it was!Grill In with herby Italian chicken

An outdoor grill in summer is fun, fun, fun. This one is so convenient to use and compact too. The store {can mention Flipkart} is very prompt with updates and delivers expertly. Unpacking it, I loved the packaging and the thought behind the product. Such fun… I ave myself a pat on the back for such a great choice!

Grill In with herby Italian chicken
So here we go. A simple herby lime barbeque chicken to inaugurate my latest online indulgence. You must go and check out the range available. There are some great discounts available that you possibly won’t find in store. Oh, and don’t forget to tell me what you went looking for, and what you eventually bought. Were you strong willed, or weak willed distracted like me, hopping from one page to another, spoilt for choice?

Grill In with herby Italian chicken And I bought another something. You know my love for stoneware and black Manipur pottery. I was pleasantly surprised to see quite an extensive range of this online. To add to my collection, I bought this beautiful flat rectangular serving dish. Was a perfect fit to serve the skewers on. They’ve got an enviable range. For those who cannot make it to Dilli Haat, this is the place to go.

[print_this]Recipe: Herby Lime Grilled Chicken
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Summary: A simple herby Italian chicken which is bursting with tangy, fresh flavour. The smokiness from grilling adds special earthiness to the flavours. Use the same marinade for cottage cheese, or maybe button mushrooms. The cooking time will reduce the same.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 500g boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tbsp Ranch buttermilk dressing {optional}
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Bell peppers and onions


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients. Stir in chicken pieces and mix well. Leave to marinade for 2 hours, or better, overnight.
  2. Skewer chicken pieces alternatively with bell peppers and onions.
  3. Fire up the grill. Grill for 7-8 minutes approx each side, as per manufacturer instructions.
  4. Serve hot with a salad on the side.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.”
Mark Kurlansky

Thai Chicken Mince Salad | Larb Gai Thai Chicken Mince, Broccoli & Pepper Salad … bursting with fresh, summery flavour, it’s good warm and chilled too. People often ask me if I cook? Obvious question I guess when you see the blogs name with posts to match! However, I do cook. Everyday, and most meals are home made. Loads of chicken with loads of fresh herbs  … that’s our summer! Curries, salads, crispy filets, fajitas, quesadillas, fingers, sliders, wraps, burgers …Cooking chickenThe other day I saw a Thai Chicken Mince Salad drop into my inbox from Bee @ Rasa Malaysia. I didn’t get as far as seeing the recipe then, but the Lap Kai or Thai Chicken Mince Salad stayed in my head. One of those niggling things that you make you reach for pots and pans rather urgently.

herbs and peppersI had everything on hand and a basic recipe in my head. It’s a really simple recipe, inspired by a recipe from the Simple Thai Food Cookbook by talented Leela at She Simmers. The salad came together in a matter of minutes. It’s a great gluten free, low carb option for summer. I returned later to check the recipe on Rasa Malaysia aa knew mine would be radically different! It was.Thai Chicken Mince Salad Larb Gai This was my version of Larb Gai. It was different since Thai cooking uses a lot of galangal but my heart belongs to garlic. I also don’t like fish sauce so it doesn’t figure in my cooking. Larb Gai is often served with sticky rice, or roasted rice powder as in Leela’s recipe. I added some almond meal to soak up extra juices since that was what I had on hand!

Thai Chicken Mince Salad Larb GaiThe marriage of flavours and textures is nice. Sweet, spicy, fresh, exciting. Above all, easy to stir up. Don’t forget to add the roasted rice or almond meal… the nuttiness is addictive. Serve as soon as you stir it up  … in crisp lettuce leaves or with a crisp salad on the side. The ‘now almost off to college teen‘ loved it cold too!

[print_this]Recipe: Thai Chicken Mince Salad |Larb Gai your picture

Summary: The marriage of flavours and textures is nice. Sweet, spicy, fresh, exciting. Above all, easy to stir up, the Thai Chicken Mince, Broccoli & Pepper Salad is a great addition to the picnic basket, lunchbox or dinner table.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 500g chicken mince from thigh tenders
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1tsp roasted red chili flakes
  • 1-2 Thai red chilies, chopped, optional
  • 30g cashew nuts, chopped
  • 2 small bell peppers, red & yellow, chopped
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets and blanched for a minute.
  • 1 large bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon grass, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp almond meal
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil {or vegetable oil}


  1. Heat oil in a wok. Add the garlic, chili flakes, red chilies and cashew nuts and saute briefly until the garlic is light pink and releases flavour.
  2. Toss in the chicken and half the fresh coriander. Season with salt. Stir fry over high heat, breaking up the chicken as required, until it begins to get light brown around the edges.
  3. Now add the lemon grass, bell peppers and broccoli. Give it a good stir, and then add the almond meal, remaining fresh coriander and lime juice.
  4. Adjust seasoning if required.
  5. Serve immediately.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“People close to me called me ‘Curry in a Hurry.’
I was moving through life at 100 miles an hour trying to further my career and be a great mom and make everyone happy.”
Ann Curry

Smoked Indian Chicken Curry , Dhungaar-e-Dum ka MurghSmoked Indian Chicken Curry / Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh … a simple slow cooked baked Indian chicken curry that makes life on the table seem somewhat easier. I normally cook curries on the stove top. This time was different, and it worked out quite well. Smoking it added a delicious dimension!

Chicken KormacurryI haven’t posted a curry for ages even though I cook them often, including chicken and lamb korma. I’ve recently done a ‘butterless‘ butter chicken and the feedback was great. Mr PAB even commented saying it was better than buttery butter chicken!! At the time I took no pictures as it was still ‘work in progress‘…

Nirlep Anodized CookwareNirlep contacted me and asked if I would like to review any of their products. With a range as varied as Premium Steel Casseroles to a simple sandwich pan, I left it to them. All I asked for was something I could maybe pop into the oven, since I know they do a stove top range. Not that I don’t cook stove top {read I DO ALL THE TIME}, but the baking blog needed a connect!

Smoked Indian Chicken Curry , Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh They sent me a beautiful hard anodized handi, so I grabbed a chicken and set to work. The curry is simple as can be. It’s a simple overnight marination which tenderises the chicken. I cook it on the bone, but you can go boneless too if you like. This time I added green chutney to the marinade, some caramelised onions too. Experiment as you like because you never know what will hit the sweet spot!

Caramelised onionsAs all Indian cooking, this curry works on beautiful ‘andaaz‘, eye balling as it is better known. A bit of this, a dash of that, a few green chillies for flavour, maybe a couple of beautiful red ones too. Mix it all in and marinade straight in the pot, and then throw into a low oven the next day. An hour and a half later, you have CURRY, a nice thick wrapped one!!

Smoked Indian Chicken Curry , Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh OR … heat a little clarified butter in the handi / pan {OK you can use oil}, caramelise some finely sliced onions, pick out the chicken pieces from the marinade and cook over high heat to seal the juices and get the pieces beautifully browned. Add the rest of the marinade, give it a quick gentle stir, seal tightly … into the oven again! Of course you could also cook over a very gentle stove top.

Passionate About BakingI have a few idea for the handi. A Basque Lamb Stew, kaali dal, stir fried veggies, Thai green curry, kadhi … all in the pipeline. Maybe a little ambitious but pot bread too. It’s quite cold {read freezing} here these days, so as soon as the weather lets up, it’ll be time to bake bread. Have to keep the yeast monsters happy!

What I love about the Nirlep Ebony Handi / anodized pot…

  • Good quality, feel good pot with a snug lid
  • The handles don’t get hot
  • Heavy duty
  • Convenient ergonomic design which is ideal for sauteing, cooking, heat distribution
  • That it goes from the stove into the oven, and back with ease
  • That you can serve right out of it, fuss free!
  • Easy clean up

So tell me dear readers, what would you make if you had a pot / handi like this? Nirlep will be happy to giveaway a similar pot to a reader of my blog. Additionally, I will add a cookbook from one of my favourite Indian authors and chef Vikas Khanna. He’s a large-hearted, fun, talented guy who is passionate about what he does. I love ‘My Great India Cookbook‘ {one of his 3 cookbooks ranked #1 in India by Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2013}. I figured you might love it too, so I am including it in the giveaway. The giveaway is open to anyone who has an Indian postal address and loves to cook/bake of course!! {Entries close on the 15th Jan 2014}

[print_this]Recipe: Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh 
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Summary: Simple, smoked, delicious Indian chicken curry that can be baked {or cooked on the stove top}. A do ahead marination ensures very little work just before serving. Serve over steamed rice, naan, etc with a mixed greens salad.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

  • 800g chicken on the bone, without skin,{1 whole} cut into 12 pieces
  • 200g full fat yogurt, hung for 30 minutes
  • 3 onions, 1 quartered, 2 sliced fine
  • 2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 1″piece ginger
  • 2-3 green chilies {deseed if required}
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tsps green chutney {optional}
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander, chopped fine
  • 2-3 small red chilies, optional
  • Dhungaar / Smoke
  • 1 small piece wood coal
  • 3-4 drops melted ghee


  1. Fry the 2 sliced onions in the ghee until crisp and golden brown.
  2. Grind the quartered onion with ginger, garlic and lime juice to make a smooth paste.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt. Mix in the onion paste, caramelised onions, green chilies, red chilies if using, fresh coriander, stick of cinnamon, green chutney and garam masala. Add salt as required {you can taste it at this time to check}. Adjust seasoning if required.
  4. Now mix in the chicken pieces well, turn into handi / casserole/ baking dish, cover tightly and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours, preferably overnight.
  5. Place the handi/casserole in a bigger empty metal bowl. Place a tiny metal bowl half filled with water on the lid of the casserole.
  6. Place in oven set at low heat and bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Let it sit for a while.
  7. Open and stir gently to get the gravy uniform. Adjust salt if required. Add some more lime juice if you like, maybe some more fresh coriander. Smoke it if desired.
  8. Make a tiny bowl with a aluminium foil. Place a hot burning coal in it and quickly drizzle a few drops of melted ghee/clarified butter over it. The coal will begin smoking immediately. Tightly shut the lid and leave for about half an hour.
  9. Note: Left overs can be deboned and used in wraps {reduce the curry to almost dry}


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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