Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs

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Harissa has long captivated me.I’d never heard of it until a few months ago when all of a sudden everywhere I looked people were making Harissa and cooking tons of recipes using Harissa.Just looking at those pics,I fell in love with the vibrant red color of the paste and the flavors seemed right up my alley since I love chilies in any form. As I walked past the aisles in our local Sur La Table the other day, I was overjoyed when I spotted a jar of Harissa sitting right there!I immediately picked it up and couldn’t wait to get home and try it!I was amazed at the flavor explosion in my mouth,right from the smoky,tangy to the heat from the chilies and the garlic not to mention the beautiful vibrant red color!Its my new favorite condiment these days and I couldn’t wait to create something amazing with it.

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs

For those of you who haven’t heard of Harissa before, its a Tunisian condiment made from serrano peppers,hot chili peppers,roasted red peppers,garlic,coriander or caraway seeds along with olive or vegetable oil for preservation and it is available in some speciality stores.It can be used to flavor a ton of recipes including couscous, a stew, as a rub over your favorite meat or fish, in a dip and so on..

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs 1

With eyes on the Superbowl, I thought that a great way to use this would be in some moist juicy Chicken kebabs that would also make an easy appetizer to feed a crowd.I started off by mixing the harissa with some yoghurt as I would in a Tandoori and added some fresh mint, some ginger-garlic paste and some cumin.The chicken tenders were then left to marinade for a good few hours and then placed onto skewers to be grilled on the stove top.The flavors from the Harissa just comes through and the mint complements it beautifully.They came out absolutely delicious and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice just completed the dish.Enjoy it for your game day or any other day!

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs

Harissa Mint Chicken Kebabs

Ingredients

  • Chicken Tenders-1 pck (about 1 1/4 lb)cubed
  • Marinade
  • Greek yoghurt-2 tbsp
  • Harissa paste-2-3 tbsp
  • Crushed Ginger-1 tsp
  • Crushed Garlic- 1 tsp
  • Ground Cumin-1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Oil-1 tbsp
  • Fresh mint-1 few sprigs chopped
  • Garnish
  • Freshly squeezed juice of a lemon all over

Instructions

  1. In a deep bowl assemble all the ingredients to marinade and mix the chicken tenders.
  2. Let it sit in the fridge for about 5-6 hours.Place the chicken pieces onto skewers.
  3. In a gridldle pan heat some oil.
  4. Once the griddle is really hot, place the skewers and let it cook and develop a lovely golden color on one side (apprx 5-6 mnutes) and then gently flip over using a spatula to loosen the pieces if stuck.
  5. Cook on the other side for apprx same time until fully cooked.
  6. Arrange on a tray and squeeze some lemon juice all over.
  7. Enjoy!

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Mushroom Corn Masala

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This cold weather is getting to me now.And its only January..The good thing about the winters according to my daughter is the fire place and I agree with her.The beauty of the fire light up your room is just breathtaking.The pleasure of wrapping yourself in warm blankets with your favorite book is pure bliss.The only other thing that I enjoy apart from that is of course to cook warm dishes with a thick sauce that’s simmered until everything’s coated in the mix and all ready to be devoured.Sounds pretty good don’t you think?

Mushroom Corn Masala

My recipe today is a mix of Mushrooms, some frozen corn and peppers.Its an Indian mix vegetable dish that has a thick sauce base consisting of onions,tomatoes,ginger,garlic and some spices.Its an easy side dish that you can make any night of the week and comes together pretty quickly.I like my dishes a tad spicy hence the red chili but you can opt for a milder chili or paprika if you wish.The earthy spices give this dish tons of flavor and the corn and peppers bring in a slightly sweet element.The result is a spicy yet slightly sweet dish with a hint of the garam masala in the background.Just the perfect side dish with any protein of your choice!Enjoy.

Mushroom Corn Masala

Mushroom Corn Masala

Ingredients

  • Baby Bella Mushrooms-2 packs washed and sliced
  • Frozen corn-1 cup
  • Yellow pepper-1 chopped
  • Large Onion-1 finely chopped
  • Crushed Ginger-1 tsp
  • Crushed Garlic-1 tsp
  • Tomatoes-3 pureed
  • Red chili-1 tsp
  • Green chilies-2 chopped (optional)
  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala- 1 tsp
  • juice of one lemon
  • Cilantro
  • Oil-4 tbsp
  • Salt-to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the corn in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 4 minutes until soft.Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and add the onions until slightly golden.
  3. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chilies and red chili powder.
  4. Add salt,turmeric,garam masala and continue to mix.
  5. Add tomatoes and cook until the mix comes together about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Add the mushroom,corn and peppers.
  7. Cook for about 6-8 minutes until all tender and cooked.
  8. Add lemon juice and some chopped cilantro.
  9. Enjoy.

 

 

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Fried Polenta

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Welcome to the new year!As promised I’m on my task for the new year and have some exciting recipes lined up for you.During the winter break we visited our family in the UK.We met some old friends in London and had a lovely time with my in-laws near Birmingham.The kids got to meet their cousins and I also got to meet my sister in Wales and spent some quality time with her sans hubby and kids.We chatted our hearts out, watched movies, went shopping, you know..all the good stuff that sisters do!

Fried Polenta

We went out for a drive around the country side one morning and was hungry after a while.We spotted this lovely restaurant and decided to have lunch there.The menu consisted of some pretty good options and after much deliberation we settled on Fried Polenta with Asparagus that sounded amazing.Believe it or not I’d never had fried polenta before!I was always intrigued looking at the pics on the web or when somebody mentioned it but never tried it until this point.When the dish arrived it just looked stunning!The polenta was topped with pan fried asparagus,a poached egg and shavings of parmesan cheese.It looked divine and I couldn’t wait to dig in.It tasted amazing.Slightly crispy on the outside along with the contrasting textures of the asparagus and the egg.We enjoyed our lunch and ever since I came back I’ve been wanting to try them at home.

Fried Polenta 3

Hence today, Fried Polenta is on the menu for you.I had some cornmeal sitting in the pantry waiting to be used and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!I loved how easy the process is and it also makes for a great party appetizer served along with some marinara sauce.I searched the web for a good recipe and found this one from Giada De Laurentiis.I was delighted that they turned out so good in the first try !My kids ate them for their after school snack with a thumbs-up!Will be making them again and again!Enjoy!

Fried Polenta

Ingredients

    For Polenta
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • For Fried Polenta
  • 3 cups Basic Polenta
  • 6tbsp olive oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt
  • 1 cup purchased marinara sauce

Instructions

    Polenta recipe
  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add the butter, and stir until melted.
  5. Fried Polenta
  6. Cut the polenta into thin long pieces.
  7. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
  8. Working in batches, fry the polenta pieces until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the polenta pieces to paper towels and drain.Serve warm along with some store bought marinara.

 

 

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Top 10 Recipes of 2014

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What a year it has been!2014 started off in a very difficult way with Mom in the hospital two days before New Year’s Eve but as the year progressed her condition improved and she is in a much better state. Losing Papa was hard enough but Mom’s illness was like a second blow and took me a few months to recover from the emotional toll it had taken on me and my family.But as they say ‘things, they only get better’, the second half of the year was much better with Mom’s health improving everyday and I could focus on my blog and share my recipes with you all.My kitchen is my sanctuary and it has helped me in the most difficult situations.I tend to forget all my miseries and just immerse myself in my cooking.And, I have to thank you my lovely readers for your unflinching support and keeping me motivated by visiting my blog,reading my posts,recipes,leaving comments each and every single time.

Top 10 Recipes of 2014

I would also like to share with you my Top 10 Recipes of 2014 in order of their popularity.This year the blog went global with recipes that I’d never attempted earlier like my Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Pita Bites that were also featured on Buzzfeed and my Chicken Meatball Chiptole Chili among others. And for the coming year I promise to give you some more amazing recipes,with a zillion ideas floating in my head right now.Watch out for a few surprises that’s in order too!!

I’m looking forward to a happy,peaceful and a successful 2015 in all aspects and wishing all my readers the same.May all your wishes come true and the new year gives you tons of reasons to smile!

“Happy New Year”

Please scroll down to see the 10 most popular recipes of 2014 on Soni’s Food!

  1. Brussels Sprouts Kofta

Brussles-Sprouts-Kofta-1

2.  Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Pita Bites

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Pita Bites3. Tofu and Peas Curry (Tofu Matar)

Tofu and Peas Curry

4. Indian Smashed Potatoes

Indian Smashed Potatoes 2

5. Easy Chicken Curry

Easy Chicken Curry

6. Potatoes and Green Beans (Indian Inspired)

Potatoes and Green Beans-Indian Inspired

7. Chicken Shami Kebab

Chicken Shami Kebab

8. Chorizo and Spicy Sweet Potato Tapas

Chorizo with Spicy Sweet Potato Tapas.jpg

9. Chocolate Orange Buttermilk Cake

Chocolate Orange Buttermilk Cake

10. Chicken Meatball Chipotle Chili

Chicken meatball chipotle chili

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Chocolate Chip Blondies

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Its the Holiday season and the web is brimming with all kinds of decadent desserts.I only just realised that I haven’t posted a dessert in sometime and decided that now’s the time to do it.My six year old loves Blondies and I’ve promised him a dozen times that I’m going to make them for him.Hence Blondies are on the blog today!

Chocolate Chip Blondies

This is the first time I’ve attempted Blondies and they came out pretty darn good.My kids love anything with chocolate chips in it so I naturally went for chocolate chip blondies.Made for a delicious after school treat for my kids and they loved it.

Chocolate Chip Blondies 1

Blondies also make for great holiday gifts at this time of the year and are super easy to make.I love recipes that use staple pantry items and this recipe is one where you do not have to rush to the stores to get the ingredients.The Blondies are slightly chewy yet firm, perfectly sweet from the brown sugar and the chocolate chips in every bite makes it just the treat to go with your warm cuppa.

Chocolate Chip Blondies

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla just until blended.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to brown sugar mixture.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
  5. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. Cut into bars.

Source:Taste of Home

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