Sara Dhanani

Archive for the ‘Meat & Poultry’ Category

Pad See Ew

In Favorite Recipes, Meat & Poultry on July 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Eight years ago, when we were newly weds living in the gorgeous city of Seattle with abundant excellent Asian hideaway restaurants, I fell in love with Pad See Ew. Chewy rice noodles, crisp vegetables and salty sweet spicy sauce. We visited Seattle over the last 2 weeks and ate at one of favorite hole in the wall Thai restaurants – Thai Tom in the University district! I wish I had taken pictures to show the gastronomical delight this eatery continues to be. Back in Phoenix, I’ve yet to find a great Thai restaurant, but these noodles will easily satisfy any Thai food cravings you have.

Here’s a recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia. An excellent side would be stir fried string beans. The key with Thai recipes is a hot Wok, high heat and everything prepped earlier so you can work fast!

Pad See Ew


One pound of fresh wide Rice Noodles

Half a pound of thinly sliced chicken

Handful of sugar snap peas (or Chinese broccoli)

Thinly sliced carrots (optional)

One tablespoon garlic (finely chopped)

Three tablespoons of soy sauce

One tablespoon of thick dark soy sauce

One teaspoon rice vinegar

two – three teaspoons of sugar (dissolved in a few tablespoons of water to make a sugar solution)

Four tablespoons vegetable oil

One teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)

one egg

A few sprigs of Thai basil ( about 8-10 leaves)


Soak the rice noodles in water for 30 minutes till they are separable. You may have to help separate the noodles since they can be sticky.

Marinate the chicken with one tablespoon of soy sauce, one teaspoon of sugar and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

In a sauce pan, heat one teaspoon of canola oil. Crack in the egg and soft scramble it. Don’t over cook the egg!

In a hot wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and stir fry chicken till for 3-4 minutes, now add the  sugar snap peas and carrots on high heat, allowing them to remain crispy another minute or two. Add the noodles, remaining soy sauce (dark and regular), rice wine, sugar solution, red chili flakes and canola oil. Continue stir frying on high heat till the noodles are soft. Add the scrambled egg and basil to the stir fry. Saute and flip a few time, you may need a few tablespoons of water if the noodles are sticking to the wok. The noodles will sheen and have a slight glaze. Delicious!

Sticky Honey Garlic Wings

In Appetizers, Favorite Recipes, Meat & Poultry, Week night meals on January 1, 2012 at 9:06 am

Happy New Year!

After some partying and drunken stupor, we’ve been craving some comfort foods. Enter in chicken wings!

These are by far the best chicken wings ever! Seriously. If I ever entered a contest, it would be with this recipe. They are “oh, so really good”! Just the right amount of sweet with tender chicken. You will have devoured an entire pan before you know it!

The first time I made honey garlic chicken wings was when I was in the mid teens. My little sister has been asking me to make that recipe, but I couldn’t seem to reproduce it. You could also make this recipe on the stove top, by cooking the chicken wings in their marinade till sticky and cooked through.


1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 lbs chicken wings


Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, garlic, sesame oil and cayenne. Add chicken wings and toss to coat. Marinate for a few hours. Remove wings from marinade and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Reserve marinade. Bake wings for 15 minutes and turn over once during baking. Once done, remove from oven and set aside.

Boil remaining marinade over high heat until thick and syrupy.Toss with chicken wings. Dig in!!

Karhai Chicken

In Favorite Recipes, Meat & Poultry on November 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm

My younger brother is in town and after a full morning of bhatkofying around scottsdale, we needed a quick lunch. Gul has been trailing her mamoo and loving him endlessly. Its incredible to watch them together. My brother thankfully, also boycotted any Indian restaurants for the weekend! smart lad!

For our quick lunch , I made Karhai. I love making Karhai, its quick, nourishing and wholesome. You can use paneer to make it vegetarian. Recently, I’ve quit using red chilli powder in my cooking. Cumin has such wonderful flavor and can give any dish heat, without being as intense as red chilli powder.


One chicken breast (boneless cut into 3-4 inch cubes) as well as a few pieces of bony chicken

One 32 ounce can of crushed tomato

One or two green finely chopped green chillies

Three cloves of garlic minced

Two inches of ginger finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped coriander

1/2 teaspoon powdered garam masala

One teaspoon cumin powder

One teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 cup olive oil


Heat oil in a wok or karhai. Add the garlic and ginger and fry till fragrant, only a few moments. Be careful not to let the garlic and ginger brown. Add the cumin and garam masala to the oil and also fry till you can smell the pungent aroma. Next, quickly add chicken to the masala and saute on high heat till semi cooked and golden (don’t brown it). Mix in the green chillies and give another whirl, still cooking on high heat.

Now add the canned tomato’s and coat the chicken with tomato while sauteing on high heat for 5-7 minutes till some of the juice evaporates. Add the black pepper, stir and lower the heat. Cook till the oil separates from the gravy.

Garnish with fresh coriander.

Sindhi Pulao

In Favorite Recipes, Meat & Poultry, Week night meals on September 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm

The aroma of cumin, coriander and cinnamon tickles my nose as I write this post. This pulao transports me to my chachi’s house. She makes the best pulao ever. She learn’t it from my dadi and I learn’t it from her. This is the pulao made in our family and this recipe has been requested by my sister. The bold flavors of rice laced with whole cumin, peppercorns and coriander seeds and leaves are delightful, even more so, however, are the memories this aroma evokes.

This recipe was hard for me, so if your pulao doesn’t turn out quite right, please let me know. I cook by andaza and while I tried to keep track of the teaspoons/tablespoons and cup measures, it may still need some tweaking.


750 grams chicken – I prefer chicken thighs and breast with bone, cut into 5 – 8 inch peices

Two Potatoes – peeled and cubed into four pieces each

1/2 an onion – chopped finely

Two bunches fresh corriander

Three cloves peeled garlic

One inch of peeled ginger

Three small green chillies

Two tablespoons whole garam masala

One teaspoon ground cumin

Three cups long grain basmati rice

salt to taste

1/8 cup oil/ghee


Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Saute the chopped onion till its translucent. Add the garam masala and fry till fragrant. Add the ground cumin, potato and fry for another minute. Now add the chicken and incorporate together. Place the lid on the pan and turn the heat to low, and stir intermittently so that the masala doesn’t burn.

In the food processor pulse the corriander, ginger and garlic together till it forms a smooth paste. You may need 1/4 of a cup of water to help with that. Pour this in the saucepan with the masala, meat and potato’s. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Once it has come to a boil, add three cups of basmati rice and salt. Distribute the rice evenly by stirring once. Place the lid back on the saucepan and cook on a medium low heat for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.

Serve with kachumber and or achar.

Sindhi Biryani

In Favorite Recipes, Meat & Poultry on August 31, 2011 at 3:54 am

Eid mubarak!! Eid is not complete without Gosht Biryani and Sheer Khurma. My biryani is in the oven for the final round of preparation – dum. That means steaming the rice layered with curry so that the flavors mingle. I take the easy route and use the Shan Spice Mix for biryani. Its nothing like my Dadi’s Sindhi Biryani but I haven’t been able to track down that recipe yet.


Beef – One pound

Potatoes eight quarters

Fried onions – 1 1/2 cups (can get these at any indian store)

Diced Tomatoes – 1 32 ounce can

Whole milk yogurt – 1/2 cup

Garlic – 3 cloves finely chopped

Ginger 1 inch finely chopped

Coconut Oil – 1/4 cup

Long grain white basmati rice – 3 cups

Shan Sindhi Biryani Spice Mix


Heat 1/8 cup oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Using a heavy bottomed pan is essential, otherwise all the spices with stick to the bottom and burn. Once heated, fry the Shan Sindhi Biryani Spice mix till fragrant. Add the fried onions and continue stirring for 3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic. Bhuno the mixture on medium heat for 5 minutes with the remaining oil. Bhuno means to stir and cook on a medium – high heat. This step will intensify the color of the curry, giving it a rich reddish brown color. It will also incorporate the spices into the onions and garlic, melding the flavors together. Its important to keep stirring since you don’t want your spices to burn.

Once its a rich brown color add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes. Now add the yogurt and mix into the curry so there are no more specks of white left. Lower the heat to low medium and add the meat and potatoes. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. Every 10 minutes for an hour, give the curry a quick stir to avoid the masala sticking to the bottom. If your masala is sticking to the bottom, add 1.5 cups of water and continue cooking. Chicken cooks faster than Beef, so I don’t have to much water to that.

The curry should reduce down to a rich brown curry. The onions should have melted and the oil risen to the top. The curry is ready now. I usually take one cup of curry and some meat and potatoes aside in a small bowl for the family. They snack on this while the biryani cooks. The amount of curry is a bit much for the biryani, so save a bowl of curry for a later meal.

I cook my rice in the microwave. Add 3 cups of rice in a large microwavable bowl and wash the rice once to get rid of the starch. Fill once again with water till the water covers the rice one inch. To semi cook the rice, as for biryani, cook for 8 minutes. Drain the water and add the rice on top of your curry. Sprinkle some coriander and fried onions on the top of the rice. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes (This is the dum stage).