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Inspirational Thursdays

Jun 062012
chicken molagu masala

Growing up, chicken used to be my favorite meat to eat. It could be because in many kashmiri pandit families, chicken was not cooked regularly, it was like a special treat. Or it could be because my mom made an amazing Chicken roganjosh. Or it could be both. I have never been able to tell.

Meat is an integral part of Kashmiri food. We like our greens and a few vegetables here and there, but meat is the star and it is mostly cooked in traditional kashmiri style.

Then I grew up, moved away from home and traveled a few parts of the world and my food adventure began. At first it took some getting used to. It is always hard for people like me who have lived in non cosmopolitan places to like anything but Mom’s food.

Gradually I started to not only like different cuisines, but I had this strong desire to learn how to cook dishes from various cuisines at home. I learned to enjoy vegetables and lentils and beans as well. And chicken was no longer the favorite meat.

But that was to change soon for I was to meet a fabulous home gourmet , Reshma. Food is what connected us and her recipes make you want to get off the couch and just cook. And that is what I did with this recipe of Kozhi Molagu Masala and I never looked at chicken with boredom again!

Refreshingly unpretentious and brimming with creativity, Reshma is an awesome cook. She shares her family recipes with much enthusiasm and the best part is that she answers questions on cuisine, technique, methodology with the patience of a saint.

Reshma does not blog. I sincerely hope she writes a cookbook soon. I would buy that cook book and keep it as a keepsake for my daughter to learn and understand Indian cooking. Are you listening Resh?

Here is one of Reshma’s recipes that was published in the Daiji world.   And this is the recipe I am posting today for Inspirational thursday. Try making it. You will never look at chicken with boredom.   Promise! This is one recipe that you will make again and again.

Kozhi Molagu Masala – Inspirational Thursday

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Kozhi Molagu Masala – Inspirational Thursday


  • Chicken 2 pounds bone in
  • Onions 2 cups sliced
  • Tomatoes 1 C chopped
  • Curry leaves 15- 20
  • Oil 5 tbs
  • Cinnamon 1’’
  • Cloves 2
  • Cardamom 2
  • fennel seeds 1 ½ tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste1 tsp
  • Red chilli pwd 1 tsp [hot chilli - avoid if you don't like it too hot]
  • Kashmiri chilly pwd 1 tsp
  • turmeric pwd ½ tsp
  • Coriander pwd 2tsp
  • Pepper pwd 1 tbsp
  • cilantro - 1/4 C
  • Water ½ cup
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the oil and add 1" long cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms and 1 ½ tsp fennel seeds and cook on low heat until infused.( you will start smelling good aromas)
  2. Add onions and cook until lightly browned. At this stage add curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. From this onion curry leaf mixture, keep aside abt 2 tbsp for using as garnish.
  3. Now add in the ginger garlic paste into the rest of the onions and fry until completely cooked.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook until the oil floats on top.
  5. Now add in the chilli pwd (hot) , kashmiri chilli pwd, coriander pwd ,salt, turmeric and cook until everything mixes in.
  6. Now add the chicken pieces, cover and let it cook for about 15 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the black pepper in, top it with chopped cilantro and cover until oil separates and the sauce is reduced to your liking.
  8. Just before serving, top it with the set aside onion mix.
  9. enjoy!

 Posted by on June 6, 2012 at 11:17 PM  Tagged with:
May 032012
Basil seed Drink

Cooking is an art and patience a virtue… Careful shopping, fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing – love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table. With a combination of these things you can be an artist – not perhaps in the representational style of a Dutch master, but rather more like Gauguin, the naïve, or Van Gogh, the impressionist. Plates or pictures of sunshine taste of happiness and love. ~ Keith Floyd

The featured blogger for the month of May on Spiceroots is Shireen who writes the phenomenal blog “Ruchik Randhap”. Her blog oozes so much happiness and love – for people in her life, for the food she cooks and best of all for traditional Mangalorean cooking. She sources forgotten recipes, recreates recipes that she grew up with and blogs with pure joy.

Today’s recipe is from Shireen’s blog. I have not asked her if I could use the recipe. I wanted this blog post to be a surprise for Shireen, so taking a permission before hand would have made that impossible.

Shireen inspires you to get out of your comfort zone and try out something new. Even if it is a dish or an ingredient you had not heard of before. And she does it by simply showing you how. I can’t write enough about her delicious Mangalorean recipes, home made wines and traditional snacks. She writes about them weaving in stories and anecdotes, history and methodology and the warmth just touches you somehow.

While talking to her about a vegan biryani that I had to make for some friends, I came to know how big she was on all biryani and pulao dishes. It was an Aha moment for me. No wonder we connected. We are both Biryani buffs . Just take a look at her recipe section – an entire section devoted to Biryanis.

What really inspires me about Shireen’s work is her approach to traditional cooking. She keeps it pure, she calls the dishes by their original names and if that was not enough, she mesmerizes with great food photographs.

I could have chosen to try out any dish from her blog, so why did I choose bonda sherbet? Well, there is a story-

She used basil seeds in the recipe. And since the basil seeds soaked in water looked like something my Mom would give us in a cool drink on hot summer days, I had to set out to do some research. ( yes I know that you know I did not research, I just googled;))

There they were- basil seeds and we call them bubre byol ( BU (as in BUT ) – Re as in ritz ; be yole ) in my mother tongue Kashmiri. I was thrilled to finally realize that they had been in front of me all the time. I just had no idea that they were called basil seeds. Another Aha moment!

So I got myself a pack of these tiny little darlings and set out to make this refreshing drink that also has health benefits rooted in Ayurveda.

Need I say more?

Recipe: Basil Seed and Coconut Water Drink


  • 16 oz tender coconut water from about 2 tender coconuts
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4-5 mint leaves muddled
  • 1/2 tsp basil seeds (soaked for at least 20 min in some water)
  • Sugar if you need it
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Chill the coconut water before you make the drink.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop out the coconut cream from inside the coconuts.
  3. Give the coconut cream a rough chop and set aside
  4. Now mix all the ingredients and drink up.

Quick notes

Shireen’s notes say that you may need to add sugar based on the sweetness of the coconut water. Use it if you need to.


You can also use the prepacked coconut water like Zico or Koh. You will just not have the coconut cream for extra yumminess.

Diet type: Vegan

Diet tags: Gluten free, Raw

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: Indian (Southern)