Chicken recipes

Hyderabadi Chicken in 15 minutes- Murgh Hyderabadi

There is no Hyderabadi recipe I know of that takes less than an hour to prepare especially if it includes meat or poultry. While being, in principle, against fast food I have no problem with cooking a meal as fast as possible.

One secret is to keep the masala mixes ready or the curry base fried and frozen.The main ingredient remains fresh and all that is required is to simmer it with any other fresh ingredients till done. Another trick is to use a ready made masala paste.


Parampara makes an excellent Hyderabadi Chicken Paste among other good pastes. Everyone who has tasted this dish, loves it. It works best with chicken drumsticks as the masala permeates the chicken flesh in a very short while.

Wash 300-500 gms of chicken and place in a shallow pressure cooker with a cup of water. Mix a pack of Parampara paste into the water. Cover, put on  pressure weight and cook for two to three whistles. Turn off fire and allow to cool enough to remove the weight and open the cooker. You can garnish this with fried onions and fresh green coriander. Serve immediately with hot chapathis, naan or rice. Yummy.

Khau Swe and the Duchess



Delhi was relatively cool. The rains had stopped and it was wonderful meeting old friends in new surroundings. Many have moved to kinder places,near golf courses and parks, with roads not potholes, and quiet streets, patrolled by friendly dogs that are fed daily by several animal lovers. People come in cars or on scooters or walking with milk, biscuits, rice and other fresh goodies for them. It showed that Delhiites have a soft corner for animals and a level of prosperity not common to other citizens of India. Though the frontier mentality remains, with aggressive men and buses that careen around with intent to kill, it is always refreshing to see the gardens of Lutyens' Delhi and the tall trees bordering the elegant wide roads.
Many new restaurants have opened since I went there last, some of them very good, serving authentic Italian, Thai or Mediterranean food.
The best food we had was home cooked, naturally. It was the vegetarian fare we ate at the place of a friend, a writer of books on Indian religion, history and spirituality, who teaches yoga in a beautiful space built for the purpose. The room is cool and generates calm.The air reverberates gently with the sound of our mantras.
She has taught her cook some wonderful dishes over the years and we stuffed ourselves quite shamelessly at lunch and dinner. Duchess, the cook, is so named because she has such aristocratic features and a very dignified bearing. I am just so grateful to be served tea by her, which is always perfect, with a pod of elaichi / cardamom, a teaspoon of sugar, topped up with half a cup of milk and half a cup of water, zapped in the microwave for 90 seconds and served in an impeccable porcelain cup.
While being a Malayalee, there is something a bit oriental about the Duchess. Her high cheekbones add to her sophisticated looks. And then at lunch I understood. She made us Khau Swe, or Kauk Soi as it is sometimes spelled. A recipe from Burma ( now Myanmar) where she was born. She made it vegetarian with carrots and potatoes and capsicum, but told me that chicken is the main ingredient and most Burmese eat it that way.
We all liked it so much that I took down the recipe to share has something so Indian yet South Asian about it. Like the Duchess herself.



1 200 gm packet of noodles, either rice or egg noodles.

1 kg chicken, skinned and cut into 6 pieces.
2 1/2 cups of milk made from 1 coconut.
2 onions
6 cloves of garlic
1 inch of fresh ginger
2 green chillies
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1/2 tsp of haldi/ turmeric
2 tablespoons of besan/ chickpea flour
Lime Juice

4 tbsp of green coriander chopped.
4 spring onions chopped
4 eggs boiled and cut into 8 pieces each
1 lemon cut into 8 pieces

Boil the noodles, drain and set aside.

Pressure cook the chicken for 5 minutes at high heat ( about 2 whistles). Let it cool and remove all the bones. Cut into cubes and reserve the stock. In a blender grind the coconut till it makes a paste, add a cup of hot water to the paste and blend it again. Strain the milk from the coconut and return the paste to the blender. Add another cup and a half of hot water and repeat the process. Strain through a fine wire strainer or through muslin.
Grind the onions, garlic, ginger,and chillies into a paste in a blender. Heat oil and fry the paste till the oil separates from the mixture. Add the turmeric and the chicken. Fry for a few minutes then add the stock and the coconut milk. Make a paste of the chickpea flour and add slowly to the curry, stirring continuously so it does not become lumpy. Cook for ten minutes .When the mixture thickens add a tablespoon of lime juice and salt to taste.

Chop the coriander, spring onions and eggs and serve in separate bowls along with the noodles and the curry. Each takes as much noodles , fresh herbs and eggs as they like and pours the chicken curry on top. Squeeze a bit of the lemon on top. Delicious!

Tips to plan your golf trip

Marinated Chicken with Mint



More and more people seem to be entertaining friends and guests outside the home.Olde Indian hospitality is fast disappearing.I recall those good days when nobody was allowed to leave the house without being given something to drink and a sweet or savoury snack.Ghar ka khana.It made people feel welcome and wanted and was so much a part of all that was wonderful about this country.
I remember once going to a small village, deep in the interior of Madhya Pradesh between Ratlam and Kachrod, some time ago. It was not a particularly green area and the villagers were obviously hard up. Yet the family we met insisted on giving us a cup of tea with precious milk and sat around talking to us with the greatest interest and generosity of spirit.I will never forget how the daughter of the house , insisted on me wearing her bridal outfit for a photograph , just to share her best with me.In the short time that we were there , they embraced us with their hospitality in a way that was so heartwarming. This was once common all over the country. The material world did not impinge on as many relationships as it does now.Quid pro quo was an obnoxious term and it had little space in social dealings in the subcontinent.You shared what you had when you had it ,with no view to a return in kind.
Now eating together seems to have left home and entered a public arena where part of the enjoyment seems to be generosity being on view. So while I love new restaurants and new tastes and all the pleasures and convenience of buying dinner I must say that hospitality to me will always mean either a simple or a sumptuous meal - at home.

Here is one of my collection of recipes for a dinner party .It can be made ahead of time and just popped in the oven for the last thirty minutes before serving.

24 chicken drumsticks.
3 tbs fresh ginger , grind into a paste
3 tbs garlic , grind into a paste

1 cup curd/ yogurt. Hang in a muslin cloth to drain extra water and thicken.

Mix the following into the yogurt to make the marinade:

  • 2 tsps shahzeera/ caraway seeds
  • 3 tbs almond paste
  • 1 tsp white pepper, powdered
  • 1 small bunch of mint leaves ground into a paste
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.

  • 4 green chillies, chop fine ( optional)
    2 medium sized onions, cut into rings
    2 large sized simla mirch / capsicum, deseed and cut into rings

Heat the vegetable oil and fry the green chillies for a minute and remove. Fry the onions till deep brown and crisp and set aside. Saute the capsicum in the remaining oil and remove when done.
Make slits about 1/2 " deep in the drumsticks . Rub ginger and garlic paste into the chicken legs and then marinate in the yogurt mixture for at least 4 hours or overnight.
An hour before serving, heat the oven to 350 degrees . When the oven is hot, place the marinated chicken legs in a baking dish along with all the marinade, season with pepper and salt and bake for 45 minutes turning once in between. Sprinkle capsicum and onion rings as well as the green chillies on top before serving hot, with rice.
Serves 8

With the addition of a big salad and a nice dessert your dinner is done. And all the time in the world to enjoy the company of friends.