Fermented radish pickle is hands down one of my favorite side dishes. It pairs so well with any nepalese main courses. I have tried fermenting many other vegetables but radishes ferments beautifully. There are many ways you can make this side dish but I love to make it in a dried form. When I say dried l leave the radish out in the sun for couple of days until all the moisture is sucked out of it (shown in the picture below) and its ready togo.Nothing beats the satisfaction of little chewy and crunchy radish pickle. Summer is the best time to make it unless you have a dehydrator machine in your kitchen 😀 ( I plan to own it in future ). I totally get it if some of you don’t like radish but try fermenting other veggies like cauliflower, tomatoes or cabbages 😀 . Please don’t be scared to experiment 😀 , never know you might come up with your holy grail recipes or dishes.
I craved for this flaky and buttery deliciousness second time this week. I am talking about chicken puff pastry or patties 😀 . This was definitely one of my favorite snacks back home but I never found it here in any bakery shop or restaurants. After being here for almost 6 years one day as I was wandering in the frozen section of Walmart, I came across Pepperidge farm pastry sheet. Just the thought of recreating my favorite snacks got me all excited 😀 . Someday I aim to make my own pastry dough from scratch but for now this dough is incredibly good. Everyone enjoys this snack and I will promise you, it’s almost impossible to stop just at one 😀 . Enjoy !!
Garlic powder, Ground pepper, Hot sauce, Chili paste, Salt, Tomato puree, Meat masala , Heavy whipping cream, Egg, Pastry dough
All the ingredients except the hot sauce in the mixing bowl
Round Pastry Dough
Add shredded chicken to the center of the pastry sheet
Pinch the dough together and apply egg wash on top of pastry sheet
Beautiful Chicken puff pastry
Enjoy!! and no that is not an edible flower just welcoming SPRING 😀
Thaw the pastry sheets for 45 min (Instruction is available in the package insert) before use.
In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients (chicken, garlic powder, salt, ground pepper, meat masala, chili paste, tomato puree, heavy whipping cream) except the hot sauce.
In a medium size pan, heat 1 table spoon of vegetable oil and add the chicken mixture to it (no marination required). Add 2 tablespoon of water.
Cook the chicken for approximately 20 min. Once its tender turn off the gas and transfer the cooked chicken into another bowl. (Don't throw the sauce from the cooked chicken, we will be using that later).
Shred the chicken into small pieces.
Now heat the same pan with the leftover sauce from chicken and add 2 teaspoon of sriracha sauce to it.
Pour the shredded chicken to the pan and cook until its dry. ( This will give an extra kick of flavor to our chicken).
By this time your pastry dough should be thawed and ready to go.
This pastry can be made in any shape and size you desire, I went for round and square.
Use a cookie cutter or a cup in my case to cut the dough into the shape you want. Just make sure to have an even number as we will need two pieces to make one pastry.
Now add shredded chicken ( around 1 tablespoon) to the center of the pastry sheet and cover it with another dough sheet.
Use fingers or fork to seal the pastry seam. It is really important to pinch the dough together else it will come apart while baking.
After all the pastry are ready apply egg wash on top of the pastry dough.
Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Grease a baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden and puffed.
Enjoy this scrumptious chicken puff pastry which will almost melt in your mouth.
Can I start with I have been slacking a lot lately? Past week I pretty much sat on my couch and watched movie after movie until I almost got migraine. I have a very weird schedule at work, it’s 7 on and 7 off. Yes that’s right I work 7 straight days 10 hours a day and I am off for 7 straight days. I get super exhausted by 7th day of my work almost in a zombie state you can say. Takes me almost two days to catch up on my sleep and regain all my energy back. Past week I needed more then 2 days I guess 😀 😀 . I woke up this morning and told myself, I gotta make something before I go back to work tomorrow, so I don’t feel super guilty of not doing anything productive. Last night my bhauju (sister-in- law) mentioned she was looking for butter chicken recipe in my blog obviously she couldn’t find it there 😀 . So decided to whip up this dish today, this is a very rich dish as we use cream and butter. Serve this dish with jeera rice or naan on side. This is not a regular weekday dish that gets cooked in my kitchen 😀 , but when I want to make something special I always love to make butter chicken coz its amazingly flavorful and delicious. And Mr. Boyfriend loves it 😀 . For me,the secret of making a great appetizing food is constantly tasting your food while cooking until you achieve the flavor you want. And everyone’s cooking style is different form one another thus tastes different, and I think thats the beauty of cooking 😀 . I hope you guys have a great week.
Last week was a busy week for me. You guys probably guessed it by my title valentine’s weekend yaasss 😀 !!! Even though some people might feel every day should be like a valentine’s day but having this day gives us another reason to celebrate life and appreciate the love that makes our life worth living . Valentine’s day is not expensive gifts or lavish dinner. It all about celebrating love and good times. Can I say Valentine’s day is one of my favorite holiday ? ( is valentine’s day even a holiday? 😀 😀 ) . Me and my boyfriend hosted a cute little party for our friends and it was great fun. Food off course was the important part of the party. Last week, as I was browsing few appetizer ideas I got all excited 😀 , so I cooked my heart out for our party. There was tons of delicious food and thanks to my friends for brining their best dishes as well. We had a little photo booth for pictures which was super fun. I wanted to share few pictures with you guys from our fun valentine’s night 😀 enjoy!!
Chocolate Candy Pop Cake
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone 😀
My DYI Love wall 😀
Picture Says it all 😀
Shrimp avocado wonton cup!!
Boyfriend fixed this awesome tasting Sangria 😀
Heart Shaped Chicken Puff Pastry!! This is one of my favorite snacks!!
As a kid I always remember getting excited for our trip to Palpa except for those uneven and curvy road which gave me motion sickness (yucky). There used to be a great deal of food vendors displaying their best tasting and looking food to draw customer like us. Nothing beats freshly made assortment of dishes by locals with the best panoramic views. I vividly remember eating aloo chop, sel roti, chukauni, chana, batuk and the list goes on. Out of all I mostly enjoyed eating chukauni and batuk. Batuk is deep fried patties made with varieties of lentils. I honestly don’t have the original recipe for Batuk, I asked my mom (my super chef) and she told me it’s made with 5-7 different types of lentils. And I thought of giving this dish a try 😀 how hard can it be right? I found four different kinds of lentil in my pantry and it turned out pretty good. It wasn’t as good as those batuk I had on my way to Palpa but good enough to remind me of those beautiful trip we would make every once in a while. I did make chukauni to go with batuk which is a very simple potato and yogurt salad. Enjoy :D.
Four different types of lentil.
Deep fry lentil patties until golden brown and crispy
Batuk is ready 😀
Salt, Oil, mustard powder, dried red chili, chili powder, fenugreek seed, turmeric powder, boiled cubed potatoes, onion, plain yogurt
Sautéed fenugreek seed and dried red chili on potato mixture .
In general I love mushroom but if I have to pick one kind of mushroom to eat rest of my life that would be oyster mushroom 😀 . I just love how meaty it is and also like it’s earthy flavor. I use mushroom in pretty much everything my noodles, eggs, rice, curries, you name it 😀 . I will be honest, I am a dedicated non vegetarian and I am not proud of it I need to get more vegetable in my system. I am not an expert in vegetarian dishes, so I somewhat panic when I have to cook for my vegetarian friends :D. This year I plan on tackling more vegetarian dishes (One of many New Year’s resolution). Ok enough of rambling let’s talk about choila, I have made pork or chicken choila many times however I decided to give oyster mushroom a try and it turned out amazingly delicious. I think the chewy consistency of oyster mushroom really works well for this dish. I used all the ingredients essential for chicken choila and substituted oyster mushroom for chicken. I hope you will enjoy this recipe. Here is a link to my chicken choila recipe ⇒ http://ismellfood.com/?p=4.
Tomato, Garlic, Ginger, Cilantro Leaves
Turmeric Powder, Timur (Sichuan Powder), Coriander/Cumin powder, Red Chili Paste, Mustard Oil, Fenugreek seed
All the ingredients in the bowl ready to be mixed!!
Sekuwa is a marinated skewered meat which is grilled over wood fire or regular broiler. This is a very popular appetizer in Nepal, paired with other side dishes, chilled beer and of course good company is a bliss 😀 . What makes sekuwa so unique from regular grilled meat?? The blend of different spices makes sekuwa very special. When the meat of your choice is infused in varieties of spices for hours the flavor is unbelievably scrumptious, I call it marinating magic 😀 . I think cooking some dishes requires patience, and you will have delicious results. Trust me patience works 😀 . I decided to use chicken for this recipe but any kind of meat (Pork, Goat, or Lamb) can be used. I hope you will enjoy this recipe.
All the ingredients
Fenugreek (methi) leaves
Marinating sauce ready to do its magic 😀
Chicken cube in the metal skewers ready to be grilled
For the marinating sauce, blend all the above mentioned ingredients (yogurt, salt, cumin/coriander powder, ginger/garlic paste, turmeric powder , chili paste, fenugreek leaves and Timur ) except for lime juice, black pepper and mustard oil.
Pour the marinating sauce over the meat and mix it well. Marinate it for at least 4 hours ( I let it sit for overnight if i have time and patience 😀 )
Add the black pepper, lime juice and mustard oil when the meat is ready to be grilled.
If you are using a wooden skewers , soak it in water for 20 min before using it. This will prevent the skewers from burning while put on grill. I prefer using metal skewers because its easy to use and don't have to worry about it getting burned.
Oil your metal skewer and pierce the chicken cubes into the skewers ( shown in above picture), do not tightly pack the chicken cubes. It needs to be cooked evenly.
Grill the skewers over medium heat for 5-8 min basting with oil while turning sides.
When ready garnish with some cilantro, lemon and onions.
Vyttal is a newari side dish. I haven’t heard much about it or tasted it anywhere else but my home. My friends often laughed when I mentioned the name of this dish (they find this name super funny). It is basically like a tomato achar but this is not pureed. Tomatoes are cooked with varieties of spices and ginger/garlic until it reaches the puree consistency. I liked this dish but was not in love with it until I decided to add dried anchovies to it and it worked perfectly and I love it now. It is amazing how you play with different ingredients and it changes the flavor profile and you end up loving it. Therefore, I call anchovies star of this dish 😀 . It is best when served with chiura (beaten rice)along with other side dishes. This is a very simple recipe. I hope you will try it and love it like I do. Thanks again for stopping by 😀
Tomatoes, Green chillies, anchovies, garlic, ginger
Cumin seed, Salt, Turmeric, Timur, Cumin/coriander powder, Red chili, Mustard Oil
In the midst of this busy life, it’s always not possible to cook from scratch. I am not a sweet tooth person, I usually gravitate towards savory food. But one desert that always gets me is Jilebi. Jilebi is a flour batter that is deep fried in a circular shape and soaked in a sugar syrup. It is yummiest when served warm. Usually, this requires at least 24 hours of preparation to make from scratch. The batter needs to be fermented in order to prepare a good Jilebi. When I come home form 10 hours work shift and too tired to prepare Jilebi from scratch or don’t have patience for my batter to be ready, that’s when I found the solution to satisfy my craving without compromising the taste. I got this Jilabi mix from the Nepalese grocery store and to make my life easier it comes with this cute Jilebi maker 😀 . My batter problem is solved but what about my sugar syrup?? Making sugar syrup is very time consuming as well, but I have a quick fix for this issue as well 😀 While I am at the store I grab a can of Gulab Jamun (this is another desert that is soaked in sugar syrup). Now I have both batter and sugar syrup ready-made. I have realized frying Jilebi batter in ghee takes your Jilebi to another level of deliciousness. Try it for yourself and you will know what I am talking about (I am drooling right now thinking about Jilebi 😀 ). I hope you will enjoy this recipe hack 😀 .
Jilebi mix from the store.
Gulab Jamun for the sugar syrup.
Pour sugar syrup (chasni) in a medium size bowl.
Heat ghee in medium size nonstick pan.
Transfer the batter in the Jilebi maker.
Once the ghee is hot, fry the batter in the circular motion.
Once Jilebi turns golden in color , its ready to be soaked in the sugar syrup.
Let the Jilebi soak in the syrup for minute or two.
Here is another recipe for a Newari dish, Bara. Bara is basically a lentil patties/pancake. Growing up as a kid, I don’t remember my mom cooking this dish. So I had never tried one when I was back home, however when I came here my friends requested me to make some Bara as I am a Newar too. Turns out, it’s a pretty simple recipe (thanks Google 😀 ) . Since then, Bara has been one of my favorite snacks to make for a traditional get-together. Bara can be a vegetarian or non-vegetarian dish. Today, I am making non-vegetarian version of Bara with chicken. This dish tastes best when served hot with a side of achar. Hope you guys enjoy this recipe. 😀
Soak black lentil and split mung beans(mung dal) overnight!!
Rub the lentils together in your hand in order to peel off the skin.