Category Archives: Chicken / Meat

Smorgastrata – Swedish Savory Sandwich Cake

Smorgastrata is of Swedish origin meaning “sandwich cake”, it is filled with assorted ingredients and garnished creatively, and is definitely an interesting dish to present for parties and picnics.IMAG0424_1_1IMAG0428_1_1

Just to keep it simple, I chose cooked sliced chicken, eggs, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Begin by spreading the counter top with cling film which will later be used to cover up the prepared sandwich cake to refrigerate it. imag0403_1.jpg

To begin with, I sliced off the borders of the breads and glued four pieces together with Philly cream cheese. imag0404_1.jpg

Smother more cream cheese over the slices.


Sprinkle chopped herbs like spring onions on top of the cream cheese spread.

imag0406_1.jpg Top it off with sliced cooked chicken.


Cover it with the remaining bread pieces.


For second layering, separately chopped the egg whites and yolk and mixed in the mayonnaise before spreading it over the bread.




You can choose to make your own sauce, I used Thai chili sauce and mayonnaise. Layer this sauce on new layer of breads and over lap it over the egg mayo layers.




Cover it up with the overlapping clingfilm and refrigerate it to set the layers. Once set for couple of hours, take it out and garnish the top by spreading the rest of cream cheese, I used sliced salami with sliced veges to decorate.


Smorgastrata – Swedish sandwich cake


12 pieces white breads, crusts removed

Cooked and sliced chicken tikka pcs – 250gms

Boiled eggs – 6nos

Philadelphia Cream cheese – 1 or 2 tubs (200 gms or more)

Mayonnaise – 200ml

Thai Chili sauce – 100ml

Sliced veges, salami and herbs, shredded mozzarella cheese- for garnish


Spread cling film over the counter and start by layering four breads over it. Spoon cream cheese on the borders and over the bread pieces. Sprinkle chopped spring onions and layer sliced chicken tikka over it. Place another four pieces of bread slices to create the next layer. In another bowl, mix chopped boiled eggs with mayonnaise and spread this mixture over the bread layer. Next, make a paste of mayonnaise and Thai chili sauce and spread it over another four slices of bread which will be placed over facing the egg mayo layer. Finally cover the sandwich layers with the overlapping cling film and refrigerate it for couple of hours. Take it out once set and spread cream cheese on all sides and top. Garnish it and leave it in the fridge for additional hour before serving.






Kayachar (kaichar) or Dalcha Recipe

Kayachar (kaichar) or Dalcha – Rawther recipe

Thanks to my sister in law (lubi) for sharing this wonderful recipe with me.
Kayachar is also known as Dalcha in Tamil Nadu and can be made into a thick or thin gravy, depending on how you want to enjoy it with the rawther biriyani. Popularly served in functions including marriages, it can be enjoyed with dosa and idlis too.
This recipe may mimic the humble sambhar, but it is a non-veg preparation and does not include the spice asafoetida.
Souring agents in this gravy are tomatoes and green mango. If green mango is not available, tamarind paste can be used instead.
Tuvar dal – 100 gms, soaked in water for one hour
Chana dal – 100 gms, soaked in water for one hour
Potato – 2 nos, cut into medium chunks
Brinjal – 2 nos medium, cut into medium chunks
Ash Gourd (Winter melon) – one half, cut into medium chunks
Drumsticks – 2 whole, cut into equal lengths
Ghee – 1tbls
Cooking Oil – 1 tblsp
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1tsp
Garlic – 4-5 nos
mustard seeds – 1tsp
fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds(Green large jeera)-1tsp
Cumin (Small Jeera) – 1tsp
Curry Leaves – 10 nos
Green chilly – 2 nos,slitted
Tomato – 2 small, sliced
Green Mango – 1/2 (or whole if small, may include seed for extra sourness)
Small Onion – 5-6 (optional), sliced or paste
Coriander Leaves – 1 bunch
mutton (‘kozhup’ pcs) – 3 or 4 medium pcs, preferred bones with a little fat and meat on it. You may increase the portions if needed
Turmeric Powder – 1tsp
Red chilli powder – 1.5 tblsp
Coriander Powder – 1tblsp
Water – 4 cups
In a small pressure cooker, add the drained dals, garlic and 2-3 stems of coriander leaves and a tsp of turmeric powder with two cups of water. Close and cook until one-two whistles are complete. Leave the pressure cooker to cool completely and open the lid after releasing any leftover steam. At this stage, you may decide to cook the potatoes, drumsticks and ashgourd separately in another pot of water (to evenly cook the veges and avoid overcooking it in the pressure cooker) or add the vegetables to cook with the dal in the pressure cooker for an additional one more whistle.
In another large bottomed pan, heat the oil and ghee and splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, large and small jeeras, curry leaves and ginger garlic paste and small onions(optional). Add the mutton pcs, sliced tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder.Add in the green chillies, brinjal chunks and season with salt. Add 2 cups of water and let the brinjals and mutton cook for sometime.Half way through, add sliced raw mango and rest of the cooked vegetables with dal. Finally add some chopped coriander and serve it hot with biriyani, dosa and idli.

Rawther Biriyani

rawther biriyani
Popularly known in my husband’s family as Coimbatore Biriyani and Palakkad Biriyani, my brother in law’s wife and cousin (lubi) got me hooked on to this recipe. You’d love it if you are already a fan of different varieties of pulav. The richness of South Indian spices and mint leaves and their aroma wafting through the house excites quite an appetite.

This spicy dum biriyani is naturally deep red colored (by using plenty of ripe tomatoes and kashmiri red chilli powder) and made from an aromatic variety of short rice grains called Jeerakasala rice. It is popular in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Particularly found in the Rawther Muslim Community in Coimbatore and Palakkad district in Kerala, it is getting popular outside the Rawther communities too.

Served even during celebrations and weddings, Rawther Biriyani is served alongside non-veg sambhar popularly known as ‘Kaichar‘ and melon halwa (rich,red and yummy halwa).I found this link to the halwa recipe:

Very recently, I tried this recipe (thank you Lubi) at home with my mother in law. We used pre-marinated and lightly fried chicken in this recipe. You may reduce the amount of green chillies, ginger paste and red chilli powder to reduce the biriyani’s spice. Alternatively you may grill two large red peppers, remove the skin, blend the red flesh and add the ground paste to the biriyani masala for rich red color.


Big Onions – 5 nos medium

Small Onions – 20 nos

Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp

Ripe Tomatoes – 5 large

Green Chillies – 3 or 4 nos

Cilantro Leaves – one handful

Mint Leaves – one handful

Red Capsicum (optional) – 1 no

Red Chilli powder – 3 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1.5 tsp

lime juice – (juice of one lime)

garam masala – a pinch

ghee – for taste

salt – as per taste

Jeerakasaala rice – 1.5 kilo

Chicken (biriyani cuts) – 2 kilo (optional – marinate it with turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and shallow fry it before adding to the biriyani masala)



Soak jeerakasaala rice in water for 15 minutes and then rinse it well. Saute finely sliced onions in a deep bottomed pan, followed by green chillies, ginger garlic paste, and then add tomatoes. Add chopped cilantro and mint leaves, followed by red chilli powder, turmeric powder and lime juice.

You may grill one red capsicum, remove the black skin and pulse the flesh to add to the masala at this stage if you want to naturally deepen the reddish color of the masala.Add the (fried)chicken pieces and mix well.

Add enough water to the masala, season with salt and then add the rinsed rice. The water level should be 1.5 inches above the rice level. Cover it and cook it in high heat for 15 minutes. Lower the heat.Season it with some ghee and garam masala at this stage, cover it again and leave it for additional 10 minutes. Take the biriyani off the heat, fluff it up and serve it with raita and pappadums.





Juicy Kebab Puffs




I prepared this during ramadan for iftar using ready frozen puff sheets and frozen kebabs. Simply stuffed the puff sheets with uncooked kebabs and rolled it up, brushed some beaten egg on top and baked on a pre heated oven at 200 degree celsius for 20 minutes. Easy and tasty too.

What’s for Lunch?


Chicken Spaghetti with white sauce


Beef Curry – Mildly spiced Beef Gravy

beef curry mild

Beef (bone in) cut in 1 inch pcs- 1/2 kg

Beef (boneless) cubed 1 inch e/pc – 1/2 kg

Sliced Onions – 3 medium nos

Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder (I prefer Eastern meat masala powder) – 1 tblsp

Pepper powder – 1 tsp

salt – for taste and water – 2 cups

Cilantro leaves – for garnish


Clean the meat and cook it in the pressure cooker along with turmeric, garam masala, salt and one cup of water in low fire for the first 20 minutes.

Take it off the flame and allow it to cool. Meanwhile, in another pan, sauté the slice onions in oil till translucent. Add the coriander powder, pepper powder and the cooked meat along with its gravy. Return this curry to the pressure cooker. Add another cup of water if necessary. Cook it covered for another 10 minutes or till done. Garnish and serve it with rice or rotis.

beef gravy

Make your own Meaty Burger!

“Meat! We are going to eat some meat…” Jules Verne’s ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’.

I recently watched a Pakistani cookery show where the chef prepared meat burgers by steaming and then frying. How interesting it is that fast food can be made slower and healthier without compromising on the taste. So I took the chance to prepare it right from scratch rather than relying on defrosting and frying my favorite frozen burgers that are neatly tucked in the freezer..

Fresh Minced meat – 250gms
Onion – ½ pc
A pinch of dried or finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
A pinch of pepper powder/ crushed pepper
salt to taste
Olive oil for frying
Blend all of the above ingredients except for olive oil in an electric blender. Make patties out of the blended ingredients and steam it for five minutes. Make sure to cover the steamer with a lid. Flip the burger on to the other side and steam it for another one minute. Sear the steamed patties on a frying pan with olive oil in high heat for couple of minutes till it turns brown and crispy on both sides.
Serve it with your favorite sesame topped burger buns or sandwich bread and top it up with pickled jalapeno, American cheese and freshly sliced tomatoes. And Voila!! A juicy meat burger to satisfy meat cravings. My mom usually likes to toast sliced buns in butter or oil before assembling the burgers as it makes it crunchier on the inside and softer on the outside which maximizes the taste.

Cumin Flavored Chicken Curry

Onion – 4 nos
Shallots – 5 pcs (optional)
Tomato – 1 no
Chicken – 1kg,cut into small pieces
Maggi chicken stock – 1 pkt
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Kasuri methi powder – 1 tsp
water – 1 cup
chopped cilantro leaves – to garnish

Saute onion in oil on medium heat for 5 min and then add the sliced tomato. To this,add the chicken pieces. Crumble and mix in the chicken stock cubes.Sprinkle all the masala powders.Saute till the masala coats the chicken pieces well and the stock dries up almost. Add water. Simmer in low heat till chicken is cooked.Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with hot paratas.

Note: I avoided some standard ingredients added into chicken curry like coriander powder,red chilli powder,ginger garlic paste,garam masala powder and perunjeera.

Mutton Biryani

Mutton – 3 kgs
Rice – 3 kgs
Turmeric powder
Cumin powder
Garam masala

I think its a good idea to marinate the mutton pieces in vinegar and spices before frying it with onions.I divided the mutton, rice and onions into two batches. Helps me with easy monitoring without overcooking the biryani and ending up with broken rice and mushy texture.

Marinating the mutton

Divide and marinate the mutton in some vinegar,turmeric powder,salt.Refrigerate it for 15 minutes.

Preparing the mutton masala

In two large deep bottomed heavy pans, pour oil and add 7 nos onions sliced finely for each pan.Once its cooked through,add the marinated mutton to both the pans and mix well.Add sliced tomatoes at this stage and continue stirring it at low heat.Adjust the turmeric,cumin,garam masala and salt as per your liking. The meat releases its own liquid, so let it to cook through till the pan liquid is dried up and the masala coats the mutton well.Take it off the heat.Meanwhile in another pan, fry well sliced onions (14 nos) for 20 minutes in medium heat. Add pepper powder and continue stirring till the color darkens. Take it off the heat.Now divide and mix into both the prepared mutton masala.

Ghee Rice

Prepare one pot of white ghee rice and another pot of yellow ghee rice.

Assembling the biriyani

Again I like to layer the biriyani in two pots. Start by melting some ghee, arrange the mutton masala, followed by the white ghee rice and topped off with the yellow ghee rice. garnish with fried nuts, fried onions,chopped mint/cilantro.Cover and cook dum style (over another tava pan) in low heat for 20 minutes or until steam is released on top.

Chicken Dal Curry – Cooked in Tomato gravy with carrots and spinach

Fresh Chicken – 1 kg, cut into bite size pieces
Ginger garlic paste – optional
Green Mung dal – 1 cup,soaked overnite
Spinach – 1 bunch, sliced fine
Carrots – 2 large,cut into wedges
Tomato – 5 nos
Onions – 5 nos
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 2 tsp + 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Tomato paste – 1 tblsp

Saute 2 nos sliced onions in olive oil.Add 2 nos sliced tomatoes followed by the soaked mung dal. Now pour 1 cup of water.Add wedged carrots and let the dal mixture cook in high heat for 10 – 15 minutes,adjusting water every 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another small saucepan,saute the remaining onions in olive oil.Add the sliced tomatoes.Cook it well and smash it with the back of a large spoon into fine paste.Add a tsp of turmeric and a tsp of chilli powder to it.Add a dollop of tomato sauce and set it aside once its cooked and the water is dried up from this gravy.

To the cooked mung dal and carrot gravy,add the chicken pieces and another cup of hot water. Season with the remaining turmeric and chilli powder,with some cumin powder and salt. At this stage,gradually add spoonfuls of cooked tomato chutney to the curry to thicken it. Taste and season further according to your desired gravy thickness.I like to add the whole chutney.Finally add chopped spinach and its ready inshaAllah.

Perfect with rice,idlis and rotis.