Baking | Smoked Indian Chicken Curry / Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh … giveaway to end 2013

“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}

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

Baking| A is for Apple – Bite Sized Apple Pies for SRC & Steve Jobs

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”
Steve Jobs

Bite Size Apple Pies It’s been a sad last week. Think apple and think Steve Jobs, a man whose vision and brilliance silently and beautifully changed the way we look at things. He brought beauty into our everyday lives, gave ‘A is for apple’ a new meaning, i-tuning our very existence.RIP Steve JobsWith his passing away, the world lost an icon, a genius who became an inspiration and a daily connect to millions across the world. I long to get a Mac one day to add to the rest of my i-stuff. RIP Steve Jobs … these simple Bite Sized Apple Pies are a tribute to your brilliance!RIP Steve JobsApple seems to be ruling my thoughts of late. A few days ago I received a fabulous new cookbook, a book intriguingly called ‘The Apple Lover’s Cookbook‘ by Amy Traverso. I was the lucky winner at a giveaway sponsored by Pam & Kristy @ Three Many Cooks,  and Kristy was sweet enough to mail it to me from the US. Gracias!! This is a book made of ‘apple dreams‘, quite the perfect book for Fall. Apple Lovers CookbookFor me, autumn means mainly apples and the book is bursting with apple ideas. Boomarked to make are Apple Chips with Spiced Yogurt Dip, Apple Clafoutis, Squash & Apple Gratin, Oatmeal Apple Pancakes,  Baked Apple Oatmeal Pudding, Buttermilk Apple Buckle, Williamsburg Wrapples,  Apple Brownies, Quick Bread-and-Butter Apple Pickles, Classic Applesauce. Who would have thought there could be a book deliciously dedicated to this wonderful fruit, a fruit Amy aptly refers to as the fruit of the future.

Bite Size Apple PiesIt’s the Secret Recipe Club time of the month again, another month that threatens to get over even before it begins. The kids are home for an autumn break, the pup on the threshold of doggie terrible teens and a wedding in the family are quite an explosive and happening combination. To add to it, our entire region has been hit by unprecedented power cuts that leave us ‘powerless‘ for almost 6-8 hours a day.

The Secret Recipe Club is the brainchild of Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin’.Secret Recipe Club'The idea behind the club – Each month you are “assigned” a participating food blogger to make a recipe from. It’s a secret, so don’t tell them you are making something from their blog! Click on the link if you want to join!!

Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up, and my post is a day late even though I managed to bake these pies in 2 batches 2 days ago when I scrabbled for my assigned secret site – Mrs Happy Home Maker. With a name like that, happiness for the home maker in me was guaranteed. Bite Sized Apple PiesSince I had apple on my mind, I narrowed my search to just that. To my delight the lovely lady Crystal loves apples too! I was short on time and done in by power-cuts, so these Bite Sized Apple Pies seemed perfect! Of them Crystal says, “These apple pies come in a tiny package, but they have a BIG flavor.  Only 5 ingredients & you can have them ready to gobble up in 30 minutes too, and that’s probably my favorite part.  It’s like apple pie on demand.”Bite Size Apple PiesCUTE is the word. You must look at the Happy Homemakers post as she guides you through wrapping these up as ‘mummies‘! I did a ‘roll’ up to save time as my pastry wasn’t so well behaved given the warmish weather.  The filling is adapted from Williamsburg Wrapples from the Apple Lover’s Cookbook. Bite Sized Apple PiesOnce baked, these pies were delicious and gone in a heartbeat; the best little bites I’ve made in a while. {I used the left over pastry trimmings to make Pinktober ribbons for a few pies}. Simpler if you have refrigerated pie crust on hand, but simple even if you decide {or have to, as in my case} make your own. An absolute joy to make, delightful as they came out of the oven, they filled the house with warm fall flavours. Bite Size Apple PiesThe pastry stayed crisp even after the bites cooled down, and were a huge hit. With a drizzle of unsweetened cream, or without, we enjoyed them loads. Must thank the very talented and fun Crystal, the face behind Mrs Happy Homemaker for these pies on demand. So glad I met you via the SRC!Bite Sized Apple PiesCrystal writes a real fun blog, full of exciting new ideas like ‘Making’ you crave Mondays’ and ‘Crazy Cooking Challenges’. She tempts you to delve deep into her blog with her energy and step by step pictures.

Bite Sized Apple Pies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Bake Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 12-14

Bite Sized Apple Pies

Simple yet addictive, a novel and fast track pie,bite sized and bursting with fall flavours. Must try for apple lovers! Recipe idea from Mrs Happy Homemaker. Filling adapted from The Apple Lover's Cookbook {pg 217}


3 medium sized apples {I used tart sweet green apples}

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup muscavado sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1-2 tbsp butter, melted, cooled

1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tsp water, for egg wash

1 sachet vanilla sugar

1 recipe pâte sucrée {recipe follows}


Pâte Sucrée

{Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible.}

200gm plain flour

100gm butter, chilled, cubed

1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

2 tbsp vanilla sugar

1 egg yolk


  1. Make the pâte sucrée first
  2. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and vanilla and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. {Thermomix: Speed 10/ 20 seconds}
  3. Add the egg yolk and 1 tsp water and process very briefly, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl {if needed, add chilled water, 1 tsp at a time, till this it begins to just come together}. {Thermomix: Speed 6 / 10 seconds}
  4. Turn onto work surface and pat together into 2 balls, handling the dough as little as possible. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes to help the dough relax. Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll.
  5. Bite Sized Apple Pies
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  7. Peel & core the apples, slice thinly, toss in lime juice, then with the muscavado sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Roll each into a 12 X 8" rectangle, brush with melted butter and cut into 7-8 12" long strips. {I did this on clingwrap which made it easier to roll}
  9. Place 6-7 thin seasoned apple slices an inch from the edge on each strip and roll up like a 'mummy' in the pâte sucrée strips.
  10. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake the mini apple pies for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry feels firm, and is a light golden brown.
  11. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer the pies with a spatula to a plate.

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

Baking| Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel Crumble … Fine Cooking In Season

” There’s nothing more exciting to cook than discovering a new ingredient or finding an interesting new way to use an old favourite.”
Fine Cooking In Season

Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel CrumbleMy love affair with fruit in baking and fruit based desserts continues unabated, often bordering obsession. Got back rejuvenated from the vacation, exhausted too, to find an absolutely delicious looking book waiting for me in the mailbox. This finger licking good Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel Crumble was just waiting to be baked!! Fine Cooking in Season: Your Guide to Choosing and Preparing the Season’s Best from the Fine Cooking Magazine. The cover had the most beautiful picture of juicy plums, blueberries etc. A quick peek within and outstanding photographs by Mathew Benson had me sold!Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel CrumbleThe cover drew me to the book and at 2am I was leafing through it oblivious to the tired aching muscles etc. An almost 24hour flight from Sydney via Hong Kong forgotten, the tired kids suddenly unimportant as they fell into bed in a dazed stupor, suitcases all over the place … the book had me mesmerised!

Fine Cooking in Season is like having an expert and friend guide you from the farmer’s market to your kitchen, helping you make the most of the delicious bounty available throughout the year. Focusing on produce at its peak is not only flavorful and inspiring, but also a natural way to get a variety of healthy food into your life.”–Ellie Krieger, host of Healthy Appetite on the Food Network and author of The Food You Crave.

Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel CrumblePeach, Plum & Apricot Streusel CrumbleIncluded in the package is a DVD with the Fine Cooking Magazine archive from 1994-2010;  for me a virtual treasure. Thank you Taunton Press {I think they sent it as I have no clue who mailed the book to me; it’s been signed by 3 good folk too…gracias} for a book I will always treasure, one thats found pride of place on my shelf. I love it!
Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel CrumbleThis was going to be a nice distraction indeed from the monotony of post vacation chores. Unpacking suitcases, putting stuff away, not wanting to touch jackets in this hot weather, cooking to keep the troops happy, dusting the cobwebs off {2 weeks away in the summer and the spiders seem to have a party!}. A quick trip to the local bazaar and yay … all senses awakened, stone fruit were practically tumbling off shelves.Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel CrumbleI made this stone fruit crumble using 2 recipes. For the filling I used the Peach or Nectarine Cobbler recipe, and since the diva was on a diet and I couldn’t ‘pie’ the fruit, I decided to use the topping from a Ginger Streusel Pie recipe {with a few healthy changes like using 1/2 oats 1/2 flour instead of only flour, slightly reduced butter etc} … this was a celebration of stone fruit!Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel CrumbleI do love this season. The colours, the flavours, the charm of stone fruit … always like a dream. The crumble was addictive and difficult to keep away from, “sweetly tart and full of soul” … if you know what I mean. Add to it a nutty walnut streusel topping, crisp and delicious and you know this was meant to be.  The trusted Thermomix delivered the streusel in one quick whiz.Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel CrumbleMr PAB was served his portion with a handsome drizzle of low fat unsweetened cream … and it was nirvana I hear. The lad got a small drizzle too. The teen & me looked at the cream longingly but voluntarily stayed away … there is a post vacation diet which holds ominous significance. 2 thin slivers were demolished by the teen and pre teen last night, with the lad hurriedly polishing off the last crumbs and asking if I could make some again, soon maybe? Peach, Plum & Apricot Streusel CrumbleThis is a book I certainly enjoyed for its pictures, its fresh ideas, and for its recipes contributed by some fine culinary gurus which include some of my favourites – Alice Medrich, Abby Dodge, Suvir Saran, Raghavan Iyer, Amanda Hesser among a host of other celebrated contributors.Cookbooks for reviewThe next book for review on my list is this one by award winning journalist Stephen Fried. The book is interestingly titledAppetite For America“; Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West – One Meal at a Time. It’s a first ever biography of this visionary entrepreneur considered to be the founding father of the American hospitality industry and gastronomic culture. {I’m halfway through this fascinating journey … which ends in some delicious recipes. More on that in a later post}

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

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