Ankitha Gadag ‘s home-made spicy chili from scratch!

Ankitha Gadag shares an original recipe for a savory delicious chili…with an exotic twist!

I don’t know about you guys but I love a week-night meal that keeps on giving. Giving heartiness, nourishment, warmth, fulfillment… what I call healthy soul-food. A delectable meal that gets prepared in a batch-style quantity, yet you don’t get bored of it two meals later. That is precisely what this savory spicy chili is.

I used ground beef (85% lean) for this recipe, but feel free to use whatever protein floats your  boat. If you are health conscious and looking for a protein dense meal, use bison. If you want a more melt-in-your-mouth chili, use a less lean version of beef/pork/turkey.  If you’re trying to keep it vegetarian, try using Tofu crumbles, Tempeh crumbles, Seitan, or even just red beans. Make the recipe YOURS!!! 🙂

OK, let’s get started…


You will need:

  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 2 celery sticks (chopped)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1-3 green chillies (1 = mild; 3 = spicy)
  • 1 cup veggies of your choice (I used mushrooms & bell peppers)
  • 1 lb protein of your choice (ground beef, turkey, red beans, tempeh, tofu, other)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 3-4 cloves
  • salt & pepper
  • *optional: 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • *optional: 1 can garbanzo beansankitha_gadag_veggies

To prepare:

  1. Start by chopping all your veggies in bite size pieces
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in about 1 tbsp of oil of your choice. Pro-tip: Add salt here, it makes the onion lose it’s water content to cook it faster.
  3. Add in the rest of your veggies
  4. Add in your seasonings. Cover and let it cook for about 10 mins.ankithagadag
  5. Now add in your protein
  6. Add in some water or broth and let it simmah simmah.
  7. Enjoy in about a half hr to an hr!

Let me know how you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for reading! P.S- this tastes great with some crumbled tortilla chips or avocado and toast!

Ankitha Gadag

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Hyderabadi Achari Murgh Recipe – (Pickled Chicken Curry)

Spicy Hyderabadi Chicken Curry with tangy pickling spices

Okay guys, so this curry is truly a GEM and an Ankitha Gadag original recipe. I promise you, reactions will be nothing short of jaws-dropping if you decide to put in the work to give this a try!

For one, this recipe has taken a few weeks to perfect. I was first inspired to re-create this curry after tasting the most amazing Achari Chicken Curry at a local Hyderabadi restaurant. It was unlike anything I ever tried before – it was tangy, it was spicy, truly tantalizing your taste buds in every way. Of course I had to dig further and put my skills to the test.

Turns out Achari (Pickle) Murgh (Chicken) Curry actually originated in the Northern region of India (Punjab). Pickling of mangoes, limes and other vegetables would require a variety of spices all batched together for pickling. So, what do you do with the leftover spices? Make curry,  of course!

This curry has now been modified to fit South Indian taste buds (a.k.a – made spicier). Don’t fear, the heat is so well balanced with the unique flavors from the kalonji (onion seeds), fenugreek, and yogurt 🙂

ankitha-gadag-marinade-achari

On to the recipe!

You will need:

  • 1 cup curry leaves
  • 4 lbs chicken thighs
  • 10 thai chillies
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 onions chopped
  • Ginger-garlic paste (4 tbsp)
  • Kalonji (onion seeds)- 1 tbsp
  • Methi (fenugreek) seeds- 1 tbsp
  • Jeera (cumin seeds)- 1 tbsp
  • Saunf (fennel) seeds- 1/2 tbsp
  • Tomatoes- 2 (finely chopped)
  • Yogurt- 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice- 2tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seed oil – 1/4th cup
  • Pickling spices  – (you can get a pre-packaged packet of this) – 4 tbsp
  • Mango Pickles – (1 tbsp)

Phew, that’s a handful, yea?

Method:

  1. Start by marinating the chicken, you can marinate as long as 12 hrs or as short as 2. Add lemon juice, chillies, half of curry leaves, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, half of pickling spices, salt, yogurt, and mustard seed oil  to the chicken. Mix and set aside.achari-chicken-curry
  2. In some oil (about half cup), add the onions and fry until they are translucent. Add in curry leaves, dried red chilies, bay leaves, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, kalonji, and ginger garlic paste.ankitha-gadag-achari-chicken.jpg
  3. Add in the tomatoes and any remaining spices. Mix into the spices until soft.
  4. Add in the marinated chicken and cover on low-medium heat for about 30 mins
  5. The water from the chicken and yogurt should have formed a gravy. At this point add in the mango pickle.
  6. Stir and cover for an additional 30 mins
  7. Warm up some hot naan or some basmati rice and Serve!!ankitha-gadag-achari-chicken-curry-meal

Thanks for checking out my recipe. Let me know how you liked it!

-Ankitha Gadag

Thai Green Curry Chicken

Thai food is my second favorite cuisine (next to Indian, for obvious reasons). The dishes have complex layers of flavors that are packed with heat, saltiness, tanginess and subtle sweetness.

Luckily, not all of this complexity needs to be made from scratch. A lot of the ingredients used in a traditional green curry paste are rare and hard to find. This is why I will be sharing ready made, all natural sauces and pastes that you can “cheat” with.

Ingredients:

Method:
  1. Heat up some coconut cream (about 1/4 th cup). The coconut cream naturally floats to the top of the can if you don’t shake it
  2. Blend the chilies, garlic and ginger into a fine paste
  3. Once the milk starts to boil, add in the green curry paste and the chili paste from step #2
  4. Once it cooks in, the oil starts floating to the top. At this point, add in the chicken
  5. Cook until opaque. Then add in the rest of the coconut milk
  6. Boil for a bit, now add in the soy sauce and the sweet basil chili paste. The soy sauce makes a great substitute for the salt, so you don’t need to add any additionally
  7. Add in the quartered thai eggplants
  8. Cook for a few mins, and add in the fish sauce. This is up to your taste, but it gives the curry such a great flavor so I tend to go overboard with it. I use up to 4 or 5 tbsp, but you can use less if you prefer
  9. Serve with thai basil leaves as a finishing touch. This is rather hard to find, especially when it’s out of season. I used cilantro as a substitute and sprinkled some lime juice for additional flavor!
  10. Enjoy!
Pro Tip: When you cook the jasmine rice, throw in about 2 tbsp of butter and a sprinkle of salt. I promise it makes all the difference 🙂
Leave comments and share please…

Spicy, Garlicky Guacamole!

Chunky and flavorful guacamole made with all-natural and fresh ingredients

Guacamole is one of my favorite snacks in the world. It’s healthy – full of great fats and tons of health benefits. It’s versatile – snack on it with some chips or use it as a topping for nearly any dish (eggs, toast, sandwich, burger, etc), and it is DELICIOUS as a party appetizer. There has never been a time I served it and didn’t get asked for the recipe.
For the record, I never shared the recipe… until now…
That said, for this top-secret recipe, you will need :
  • 1  large avocado
  • 1/2 small, red onion
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tomato de-seeded
  • 4 Thai chilies or 1-2 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like it!)
  • cilantro (handful)
  • sea salt (key words: SEA salt)
  • 1 garlic clove
vegetables
Method:
  1. Chop the garlic and chilies in really fine pieces, The finer the better. Most recipes would tell you to de-seed your peppers, but not I. That’s where the kick comes in
  2. Chop your onion, in fine cubes. Wear your goggles if you need to
  3. Chop the tomato. Its important to remove the seeds so the guac isn’t too runny
  4. Add the avocado. Here’s a cool trick on how to cut it like a pro
  5. Add the sea salt. I normally add around 1 tbsp, but taste test it as always
  6. Add in the lime juice and chopped cilantro last
  7. Stir! If you have a mortar & pestle, that’s even better
  8. Enjoy!!
guacamole

 

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

I first became obsessed with Chicken Biryani when I first visited Hyderabad in the summer of 2014.

The spices, the aroma, the flavors… were incomparable to anything I expected or tasted in the US. I vividly remember my first thoughts being – if I were to be trapped on a deserted island for the rest of my life, I might be okay if I had an endless supply of this delicious biryani.

After that out of the world experience, I did everything in my power to recreate the taste at home. After visiting endless biryani restaurants including: Paradise BiryaniBiryani PotAsiana’s, etc, and after countless trial and errors with various recipes; I believe I have mastered the art of biryani.

Now, to the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 2 Onions
  • 10-20 Chillies (thai chillies work best)
  • Shan – Ginger Garlic Paste – 26 oz (use about 1/4th of bottle)
  • 1-2 Tomatoes
  • Basmati Rice (Long grain) (4 cups)
  • Chicken (I prefer dark meat, bone-in) (3 lbs)
  • Yogurt
  • Lemon/Limes
  • mint
Spices:
  • Shan, Mix Seasoning Biryani Masala, 1.75-Ounce (Pack of 4) (Use 1/2 of 1 box)
  • cloves (5)
  • cardomom (3-4)
  • bay leaf (1-2)
  • anise (1-2)
  • black cardomom (3)
  • mase (1 tbsp)
  • red chilli powder (4-5 tbsp)
  • garam masala (4-5 tbsp)
  • saffron (7-8 strands)
  • shah jeera (1 tbsp)
  • cumin seeds (1tbsp)
  • cinnamon sticks (3)
* You will also need a large tray for baking the biryani
Method:

  1. Marinate chicken overnight with yogurt, salt, lemon, and red chilli powder
  2. Slice onions thin and length-wise. Fry in oil until brown and crispy. Remove and set aside by soaking in paper towels
  3. Use the remainder oil to add the following spices: (cloves, cardomom, bay leaf, anise, black cardomom, mase, shah jeera, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks)
  4. Once fragrant, add in the tomatoes, chillies and girnger/garlic paste
  5. Now, add in the garam masala
  6. After stirring a few mins, add in the marinated chicken
  7. Now, add in the Shan Biryani Masala
  8. Stir and cover with a lid over medium-low heat. This will need to cook for an hr or so. The longer it cooks, the more tender the meat will be
  9. Soak the basmati rice in cool water after flushing about 3-4 times
  10. Boil around 6 cups of water for the 4 cups of rice, Add in the rice. Heat uncovered until the first boil appears within the first 10-15 mins.
  11. Use the tray and line the first layer with gravy and chicken from earlier. Now add a layer on top with the semi- cooked rice. Top with garnish of mint and the fried onion from earlier
  12. Continue with step 11 until the tray is full
  13. Soak the saffron layers in warm milk for a couple mins. Garnish this dilution over the top of the biryani
  14. Cover the tray with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins.
  15. Enjoy!
I know what you’re thinking. This is a lot of work. BUT trust me when I say it is WORTH IT!!!
Andddd, it will last you atleast a week (assuming you can stop inhaling this delicious goodness :P)