Friday, May 29, 2015

Kung Po Chicken | Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Kung Pao chicken or Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy stir-fry dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. The classic dish in Szechuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving. Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine. ref

In our version, Amma used cashew nuts, maybe the elaborate or costlier version of this classic dish. It was one of her cookbook inspired day, when she suddenly realized that she has too many paper cuttings, small booklets lying around her kitchen, not to mention the piled up ones locked away in the cupboards.

She said she was either going to make them in series or just throw away the papers, as it seem extremely impossible to cook all those clippings in one lifetime! However as judged she didn't have the heart to throw away those treasures and so she set out to make from those clippings.

Today's Chinese dish is from the Szechuan Cuisine, very spicy and sinful. Or atleast the way it was smelling, was so heavenly. I can't wait to make this with paneer. The kids went bonkers after the first bite and there was such absolute silence for a while and I checked out to see that all were so immersed in digging into this chicken. It was through and through a thumb sup for this dish.

The recipe is from a booklet distributed by an upscale restaurant that held a food festival some years ago. It was featuring Fiery Feast, showcasing the spicy Szechuan Cuisine. As I had already said, men at home have always been foodies, what with Amma cooking different cuisines with equal aplomb. Daddy and bro were typical connoisseurs and it was not restricted to Indian cuisine. They would be willing to try anything. On the other hand, even though Hubby dear can't eat anything non spicy, he is not very fond of saucy, slimy dishes. Which means Chinese are not his favorite cuisine, even though the Szechuan cuisine is very spicy.

Previous to marriage, we used to frequent Chinese restaurants, after knowing that hubby dear is not fond of that, we stopped and started cooking those at home, with an Indian touch to it. Of course we won't add our spices. Still it has an homely touch that's more liked than from restaurant ones.

So you know I started to make the Schezwan Sauce and I had made the Szechuan Fried Rice as well, that sadly didn't go live. It will have to wait for its turn. Meanwhile enjoy this spicy chicken bites.
Kung Pao Chicken

Ingredients Needed:

Chicken, boneless - 200 gms
Cornflour - 2 tsp
Dry Red Chilies - 5 - 6 nos
Cashew nuts - 10 nos
Chopped garlic - 1 tbsp
Soya Sauce - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Ajinomoto a pinch
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Spring Onion  - 1/2 cup

How to make Kung Po Chicken

Wash and cut Chicken into bite size pieces.

Marinate the chicken pieces in 1 tsp cornflour, 1/2 tsp Soya sauce, 1/4 tsp salt for 10 mins. Then deep fry the chicken along with the marinade. Keep it aside.

Fry the cashew nuts to golden brown colour. Keep it aside

Heat oil in a non stick pan, Fry the cut dry red chilies and garlic in it.

Add the fried chicken, salt, Ajinomoto, sugar, spring onion, soya sauce and chicken stock/ hot water.

Thicken it with diluted corn flour, sprinkle some spring onions and finally garnish with fried cashew nut.

This goes for the May Week 5, Cooking from Cookbook Challenge  Group.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Karah Prashad | How to make Gurudwara Karah Prashad

For the final day of making Temple Prasahads, I selected to make Gurdwara's Karah Prashad. Its a halwa made with equal measures of wheat flour, sugar and ghee. This almost resembles the Godumai Halwa of Tamil Nadu. However the process and the procedure followed differs. Plus the final texture is quite different.

I read on the prashad and though I am yet to read much on Sikhism and their spiritual learning, as yet, it was interesting to read on when and how this Prashad is made.  This recipe is inspired by this post. This post elaborates the process in cooking this Prashad and how one has to observe while making this Prasha. 

Prashad is prepared for gurdwara services in the langar facility by sevadar volunteers who follow a specific protocol outlined in the Sikhism code of conduct. The Langar guidelines are laid down for the followers to observe the rules even while making this Prashad.

While I have read about other religions and tried understanding their teaching, I seem to have somehow not gone through Sikhism and I felt I should read further on the spiritual teachings. On the whole, making this at home was enlightening in many ways.One I made it at 11 at night, with the whole world trying to sleep, while I was left with a boiling pan, with a halwa simmering and trying to teach you things you ought to learn, even at that late hours. I tried recollecting what they said I should recite, I couldn't remember all of it. However I hope His blessings are showered on this pudding and on all those who partook this.
I would to say that this recipe is adapted from what I have read online. It was so delicious that I wished I had the opportunity to taste the real Prashad.

Karah Prashad

Ingredients Needed:

Wheat Flour - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 cup + 2 tsp
Sugar - 1 cup + 3 tbsp
Water - 3 cups

How to make the Karah Prashad

In a saucepan, mix the sugar and water. Bring the water to boil. Continue boiling for 10 mins, till it becomes a thick syrup.

In a non stick pan, add the ghee and flour, saute well for about 10 mins till the flour is roasted well.

Then slowly add the water, making sure you add it slowly and in parts.

When the halwa almost gets cooked for over 20 mins, as you keep stirring, add the remaining sugar and ghee slowly to get the desired consistency and taste.

When the halwa slides down, the halwa is done.

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