Chicken Kabsa

Being raised in Saudi Arabia, I’ve literally grown up eating delish-Arabic food. Shawarma and Kabsa being my all time favorites.

Kabsa (Arabic: كبسة‎‎ kabsah) is a family of mixed rice dishes that originates from Saudi Arabia, where it is commonly regarded as a national dish. Though kabsa is believed to be indigenous to Saudi Arabia, it is often served in countries such as Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Iraq and Kuwait. The dish is also popularly known as makbūs (Arabic: مكبوس‎‎) in most Arab states of the Persian Gulf, but is served in the same way.


Serves: 4-6

Rice – 2 cups
Chicken – 750 gms
Oil – 6 tbsp
Cardamom – 3
Clove – 6
Pepper corns – 1 tbsp
Cinnamon sticks – 2
Bay leaves – 2
Chopped Onion – 2 cups
Chopped Tomatoes – 2 cups
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chili (slit) – 3
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Garam Masala – 2 tsp
Dried lemon – 1
Salt – to taste

Step 1: Wash 2 cups of rice and soak in water for about 30 mins to 1 hour.

Step 2: Add whole spices to hot oil in a pressure cooker and once aromatic, add in the chopped onions and saute until translucent.

Step 3: Toss in the tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste and green chili and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add salt as per taste.

Step 4: Now add the chicken along with turmeric, chilli and garam masala (which is an added variant) and keep covered for about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Drain the rice and add to the cooker along with 1.5 cups of water and a sliced  dry lemon. Close the cooker and cook on medium flame until first whistle. Keep covered till the pressure is released.

Enjoy with laban (buttermilk) and shattah (hot sauce) as they call it.



Lemon Chicken

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Flavorful chicken cooked in a fresh citrus-y Indian-style gravy. That’s what I was craving for this morning. 😀

I decided to try lemon chicken. I quickly looked up some recipes, and picked the top two (Punjabi Lemon Chicken by Sanjeev Kapoor & Easy Indian Lemon Chicken by Sonis Food) and tried to come up with an adaptation of both, in my dish, and hoped for the best. It turned out to be wayyy above my expectations 😀

Serves: 3-4

Chicken Marinade:
Chicken – 750 gm
Lime squeeze – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
//Marinate the chicken and set aside, at least until the onions are chopped and sauteed.
Oil – 4 tbsp
Cumin – 1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp (heaped)
Dry Red chillies – 4 (crushed)
Chopped Onion – 1 cup
Turmeric powder – 1.5 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Water – 1/4 cup
Yoghurt – 1 cup
Garam masala – 1-2 tbsp
Lime – 1 (Cut into halves and remove the seeds)
Mint leaves – a handful (finely chopped)
Vinegar – 0.5 tsp
Salt – according to taste


Step 1: In a non-stick pan, heat some oil. Add cumin seeds, ginger-garlic paste and dried red chillies.

Step 2: After a minute, add onions and saute until translucent. Mix in the turmeric, coriander, chilli and pepper powder.

Step 3: Toss in the chicken pieces, halves of a lemon, vinegar,chopped mint leaves and garam masala along with some water and about a cup of yoghurt.

Step 4: Add salt according to taste. Cook until done.



Malabar Fish Curry (Red & Spicy Kerala Fish Curry)



Rice and fish are like the staple foods of Kerala, or South-India, in general. Two of the most popular types of fish curry prepared by Keralites are … yellow curry and red curry 😛 (That’s what I call them 😀 )

My Mom’s side, they make fish curry this way, the red and spicy way. But on my Dad’s side, they make the yellow style, which is basically fish cooked in coconut milk and sour mangoes.

So my Mom (in-law) promised to teach me to prepare fish, both ways. This is her recipe for the red kind-of curry. 😀


Fish – 750 gm   (Wash well in lime and salt water)
Coconut Oil – 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 0.5 tsp
Chopped Onions – 1 handful
Shallots (small onions) – 6 (chopped)
Chopped Garlic – 2 tbsp
Chopped Ginger – 2 tbsp
Fenugreek (Uluva/Methi) – 0.5 tsp
Curry leaves – a handful
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 4 tbsp
Boiled water – as required
Malabar Tamarind (Kudampuli) – 1 handful
Salt – as per taste

Step 1: In a non-stick  pan, heat some oil. Add in mustard, fenugreek and curry leaves.

Step 2: After a minute or two, add in the onions, ginger and garlic. Saute until the onions turn light brown.

Step 3: Mix in the turmeric and chilli powder, and give it a good stir, until the powder seems/smells like toast. Now add in half a cup of boiled water and saute until the oil separates.

Step 4: Add in the fish and coat well with the prepared masala. Cook for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Tip in a big handful of washed kudampuli.


Kudampuli / Malabar Tamarind

Step 6: Pour boiled water up to the level of the fish, such that the fish pieces are well immersed. Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until done.



Pasta with Spicy-Baked Sea food & Thyme-Veggies

We complete 11 months of togetherness! 😀 So obviously, I had to come up with something special for the night. 😀

Last Night’s Dinner:
Spicy-baked fish, prawn, thyme-flavoured-veggies & some pasta, coated with olive oil and garlic powder. Simple and healthy. 🙂



Serves: 2

Fish fillet – 1
Prawns – 1 cup
Fish masala – as required
Tomato paste – 1 tbsp
Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Carrot – 1
Broccoli – 1 cup
Cooked Pasta – 1 cup
Olive oil – as required
Thyme – 1 tbsp
Garlic powder – 1 tsp (heaped)
Salt – as per taste

Step 1: Coat the fish and prawns in fish masala, tomato paste, chilli powder and salt as per taste.

Step 2: Coat the veggies with some oil and thyme.


Bake for 20 minutes or until done.

Step 3: In the mean time, cook the pasta. Once cooked, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some garlic powder. Mix well.

Pumpkin Rajma

Rajma is a popular Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in a thick gravy with many Indian spices. Although the kidney bean is not of Indian origin, it is a popular dish in Northern India, and is prepared on several occasions.

This recipe is the usual rajma with a pumpkin twist 😀 . No overnight soaking, made without oil, and without any stirring or sautéing.


Pumpkin – 500 gm
Red Kidney Beans – 3/4 cup
Water – 1 cup
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Cumin – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste

Step 1: Wash & chop the pumpkin. Wash the kidney beans. Toss them into a pressure cooker.


Step 2: Add in all the remaining ingredients. Cook on low flame for about 10-12 whistles.


Step 3: Mash the pumpkin using a spoon. Serve hot with rice or roti.

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Mutton Curry

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At our place, chicken or fish is always compulsory. But every once in a while, we like to switch it up a bit.

This weekend, it was a simple, yet, lip-smacking mutton curry.


Mutton – 1 kg
Oil – 5 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 0.5 tsp
Green chillies – 2 (chopped)
Curry leaves – 6-8
Onions (medium sized) – 3 (chopped)
Shallots (small onions)– 6-8 (chopped) //optional
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp (heaped)
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Water – as required
Meat Masala Powder(I used ‘Eastern’) – 1/4 cup

Step 1: Heat some oil in a pressure cooker, and splutter some mustard seeds.

Step 2: Add in cumin seeds, green chillies, curry leaves. Saute for a minute.

Step 3: Toss in the onions, shallots and ginger-garlic paste. Cook until translucent.

Step 4: Place the mutton pieces in the cooker, along with all the masala powders. Mix well. Pour water up to the level of mutton.

Step 5: Cover and cook on high flame, up to the first whistle. Switch to low flame and cook for another 4 whistles, or until done.

Beetroot & Mint Chicken Curry


The weather in Saudi now, is the best I’ve seen lately. Its breezy and rainy.
Last night, I went to bed with plans of waking up early and making something usual for lunch. Rice, moru, beetroot-potato stir fry, and a simple chicken curry. This morning I couldn’t pull myself up.  All I wanted to do was stay wrapped in the blanket for as long as I could. So I stayed in bed for an extra hour and then decided to cook a chicken curry with chopped beetroot in  laban/buttermilk.
Basically, a quick 3-in-1. I had my moru, beetroot, and chicken, all in one. 😀

It turned out pretty amazing, so I thought of sharing it with y’all. 🙂

Serves: 2-3

Chicken – 500 gm
Oil – 3 tbsp
Mustard – 0.5 tsp
Onion – 1 (chopped)
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Maggi Chicken Stock – 1 tablet
Beetroot – 1 (finely chopped/grated)
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 3 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp (heaped)
Laban/Buttermilk – 1 cup ( = 3/4 cup yoghurt + 1/4 cup water)
Mint leaves – 2 handfuls (chopped)
Salt – as per taste

Step 1: Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add mustard seeds and watch them splutter. Add in the chopped onions and saute until translucent.

Step 2: Tip in the finely chopped/grated beetroot along with some ginger-garlic paste and the chicken stock tablet. Stir until the tablet is well incorporated.

Step 3: Toss in the chicken, mint leaves, laban/buttermilk and masala powders. Mix well.

Step 4: Cover and cook until done. Add salt according to taste.




Kerala Style Easy Chicken Curry

In Kerala, chicken curry is cooked in coconut oil, and one of the major highlights of this curry is the strong flavor imparted by the curry leaves you add to it.

Every time we go to India for our summer vacations, Dad goes on and on, praising my aunt’s chicken curry. This one is her recipe, which I’ve tweaked a little, here and there, based on the ingredients I had in hand.

Serves: 2-3

Chicken – 500 gm
Coconut oil – 3 tbsp
Curry leaves – 5-6
Onion – 1 (chopped)
Green chillies – 2 (chopped)
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 (chopped)
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1.5 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp (heaped)
Water – 0.5 cup (boiled)
Salt – as per taste


Step 1: Heat coconut oil in a non-stick pan. Add in curry leaves. After a minute or two, add in the onions and saute until translucent.

Step 2: Tip in the green chillies and ginger garlic paste.

Step 3:  Stir in the chopped tomatoes along with turmeric, chilli, cumin and coriander powder. Mix well. Cook until the raw tomato flavor is lost.

Step 4:  Add in the chicken pieces, and coat well with this prepared masala. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Now add the boiled water to this along with the garam masala powder and  continue to cook until the chicken is done. Add salt according to taste.

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Chicken Dry Roast

Who wouldn’t love their regular chicken curry to taste a little different?

Presenting… Chicken Dry Roast with a dash of pepper.

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Chicken – 0.5 kg
Chopped onions – 0.5 cup
Oil – 3-4 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 0.5 tsp
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Tomato paste – 3 tbsp
Chicken masala – 4 tbsp
Water – 1/4 cup (optional)
Lemon squeeze – 1 tsp
Vinegar – a few drops
Pepper powder – 1.5 tbsp
Salt – to taste

Step 1: Heat some oil in a non-stick pan. Saute the onions until translucent.

Step 2: Add in the ginger-garlic paste, garlic paste, chilli powder and tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes.

Step 3: Stir in the chicken pieces along with the chicken masala, pepper and water. Mix well. After about 5 minutes, add in the lemon squeeze, vinegar, pepper and salt. Cook until done.

Prawn and Egg Curry

Some fried prawns and chopped boiled eggs tossed into a basic tomato-onion gravy? Is it that simple? Oh yes, it really is!
Oil – 3 tbsp
Prawns – 1 cup
Fish Masala – 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Boiled eggs – 3
Ginger-Garlic paste – 0.5 tsp
Tomatoes – 2
Chopped Onions – 1 cup
Pepper – 0.5 tsp
Coriander leaves – to garnish
Salt to taste 
Step 1: Coat the prawns with 1 tsp fish masala and some salt, and fry until cooked, in a pan with minimal oil. Remove the prawns and store.
Step 2: Blend the tomatoes, onions and ginger-garlic along with 1 tsp fish masala into a fine paste.
Step 3: In the same pan, pour this blended paste. Stir and cook until almost brown. 
Step 4: Chop the boiled eggs and add it into this mixture. Cook for another minute or two. Sprinkle some pepper if you like it spicy. Add salt to taste.
Step 5: Now mix in the prawns and serve. Garnish with coriander leaves.