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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Food on your plate in 15 minutes

Soumya Vajpayee, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 03, 2013
First Published: 13:42 IST(3/1/2013) | Last Updated: 13:56 IST(3/1/2013)

For working professionals who don’t have the luxury of spending hours in the kitchen, here are some interesting and quick recipes that you can try. We threw a challenge to some professional chefs and they offered us recipes of dishes that can be cooked in less than 15 minutes. Ranging from Indian and Chinese to Thai, we tested the recipes to see if the time assured qualifies for regular people with no professional cooking expertise. Here’s what we observed.

Stir-fried Chicken in Hot Basil
Cooking time assured: 13 minutes

Ingredients
200 gm minced chicken 
20 gm vegetable oil
50 gm bell pepper
50 gm sliced onions
6 gm chopped chilli 
10 gm chopped garlic
20 gm black soy
4 gm sugar 
3 gm pepper powder 
2 gm fish sauce
150 ml chicken stock 
15 ml oyster sauce
20 gm hot basil leaf

Method
Heat oil in a large frying pan.
Toss in the chopped chillies and garlic.
Add minced chicken to the preparation and cook for five minutes on a medium flame.
Then toss in onions and bell pepper.
Add chicken stock and cook for a minute.
To this preparation, add oyster sauce, sugar, pepper powder, fish sauce and allow the sauces to simmer for about a minute.
Add hot basil.
Serve hot.

Time taken during the trial: 15 minutes

Observation
The cooking process was smooth since the ingredients required are the ones used very commonly. As salt is normally used while preparing meat recipes to give it taste, the use of sugar gave it a totally different and interesting taste.

Thai dish by Wichian Kawilo, Thai chef, Pan Asian, ITC Maratha


Pan–fried French Beans with Fresh Chilli
Cooking time assured: Less than 10 minutes

Ingredients:
400 gm French beans (peeled) 
30 gm shredded fresh chilli (red)
100 ml cooking oil 
10 ml cooking wine 
10 gm chilli paste 
10 ml soy sauce
10 gm chopped garlic 
10 gm chopped spring onion 
5 ml sesame oil 
1 ml oyster sauce 
Salt

Method
Wash French beans and cut them into 5 cm long slices.
Heat oil in the wok (Chinese pan) till hot.
Deep fry the French beans for two minutes and strain them.
Add a little oil in the wok and then mix garlic, chillies and chilli paste together. Stir the ingredients till mixed well.
Add beans in the wok and mix them with soy sauce, salt, oyster sauce and cooking wine. Stir well.
Add the spring onions and sesame oil in the dish before removing from the wok.

Time taken during the trial: 9 minutes

Observation
The cooking was simple and the dish was delicious. It went well with vegetable fried rice.

Chinese dish by Liang Xiao Qing, executive Chinese chef, Pan Asian, ITC Maratha


Khushka and Shalgam Gosht
Cooking time assured: 15 minutes

Khushka

Ingredients
1 kg basmati rice
5 tej patta (bay leaves)
3 tbsp butter 
½ cup cream 
Salt to taste

Method
Clean, wash and rinse the rice nicely.
In the pressure cooker, heat butter and add bay leaves.
Add washed rice in the cooker and sauté. Then, add water and cream and let it cook for five to six minutes.
Keep it on a slow flame so that the rice does not break.

Shalgam Gosht
Ingredients

1 kg mutton
6-8 cloves
½ cup oil
1/2 kg turnip (peeled, cut into 1-2 inch pieces)
2-3 medium sized onion (chopped)
1 tsp garam masala powder 
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves 
2-3 green chillies (chopped)
3 tbsp coriander powder 
¼ tsp turmeric powder 
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp chilli powder 
Black pepper
Black cardamom
Salt

Method
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and fry the onions till brown.
Then, add ginger garlic  paste and mutton to it and sauté for some time.
Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and salt in the remaining oil. Fry the spices and add some water.
Using enough water to cover the contents, cook the meat in a pressure cooker for six to seven minutes till the meat becomes tender.
When the meat is almost cooked; add turnips and keep it on low heat till they are well-cooked.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and green chillies.
Serve with Khushka.

Time taken during the trial: 20 minutes

Observation
The recipe was good, but it wasn’t prepared in 15 minutes as mutton usually takes longer to cook. But once ready after about 20-25 minutes, it tasted great. Maybe if it’s tried once again, the 15-minute goal could be achieved.

Indian dish by Rajdeep Kapoor, executive chef, ITC Maratha

Pan-fried Noodles with Chicken and Prawns Sichuan Style
Cooking time assured: 15 Minutes

Ingredients
3 cup boiled noodles 
2 pieces of sliced chicken 
10 diced prawns
2 diced onions
2 diced capsicum
2-3 black mushrooms 
3 peices babycorn
1 sliced carrot
1 tsp chopped ginger 
1 tbsp chilli bean sauce 
1 tbsp cornflour 
1 tsp white pepper powder 
1 tsp oyster sauce 
1 tsp soy sauce 
Salt to taste

Method
Pan-fry the noodles and keep on a platter. Then, fry chicken and prawns.
Sauté ginger and chilli bean sauce for a few seconds and then add chicken and prawns to it.
 Add onion, capsicum, black mushroom, babycorn and sliced carrots to the preparation.
Sauté for a few seconds, then add salt, white pepper powder, oyster sauce and soy sauce.
Bring to a boil and thicken with cornflour.
Spread this mixture on top of the noodles. Serve hot.

Cooking time during the trial: About 30 minutes

Observation
It’s an easy recipe, but for the chicken to be cooked to perfection, a little more time is needed. Otherwise, it’s an instant solution for meat craving.

Chinese dish by Chef Liang Xiao Qing, executive Chinese chef, pan Asian, ITC Maratha


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