Chicken Tikka Masala on Spiced Basmati Rice – Delishar

 A friend of mine and I were talking about Indian Cuisine. Interestingly, it is one of those cuisine that I enjoy, but have never really attempt to understand. I always have the misconception that it labour intensive, and requires a lot of time for prepare a meal. The other thing that kept me away was the unfamiliar herbs and spices used in indian cooking.

So when she sent me a recipe from her mom, I took a glance at it and was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was! She gave me a recipe of Masala Prawns which I’ll share as soon as I get to making it when I feel better from my surgery. One dish that I have always liked was Chicken Tikka Masala. I’m so glad that it was so easy (in my opinion) to put this dish together. Thinking about it now is making my mouth water.

I’m also a big fan of spiced Basmati rice, I’d recommend you to stir in some raisins into the spiced rice when it’s done. The sweetness will come together nicely, and give the whole meal a nice oomph! And this is coming from someone who does not enjoy raisins. I did not add any to this recipe, simply because I ran out of raisin. I though I still had some for the girls, but I was wrong.

If you are a regular reader, you’ll know by now that the husband rewards me with a kiss when a meal I made was exceptionally nice. This is one such meal. 🙂

Spiced Basmati Rice


  • 2 cups basmati rice rinsed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil / butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cardamom pods*
  • 1 inch cinnamon*
  • 3 cloves*
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds*
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds*
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder*
  • 1 bay leaf*
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Chicken stock
  • Raisins optional
  • Heat pan on med high, add oil when pan is hot.

  • Saute onion until soft, then add spices marked *.

  • Saute for 30 seconds, then add garlic, and saute for another 30 secs.

  • Add rice and toss to coat, and remove from heat.

  • Transfer rice to rice cooker and add enough chicken stock on rice cooker pot indicator.

  • Add frozen peas, and cook as per normal.

  • When rice is cooked, fish out bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.

  • Add raisins and fluff rice.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Marinade

  • 500 g chicken thighs cut to 1 inch pieces
  • 3-4 tbsp plain / greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Salt to taste

Masala Sauce

  • 2 tbsp coconut or butter
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 can tomato puree 14.5oz or 411g
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 heaping tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro to garnish
  • Add all the ingredients for the chicken except oil into a bowl and toss to combined.

  • Leave to marinade for 30 minutes.

  • Heat wok on med high and add oil.

  • Brown chicken, then set aside.

  • In the same wok, heat on med high and add oil.

  • Saute onion until softened, then add cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, cloves, and garlic.

  • Saute for 30 secs, until fragrant.

  • Then add tomato puree, cumin, garam masala, coriander, cayenne pepper, and tomato paste.

  • Stir to combine.

  • Add sugar, and season with salt to taste.

  • Bring to boil, add browned chicken pieces, and add enough water to cover chicken.

  • Stir to combine, and lower heat to med low.

  • Allow to simmer, covered for 20-25 minutes until sauce thickens, and chicken is tender.

  • The sauce should be of thick pasta sauce consistency, so add water or turn up heat to adjust to that consistency.

  • Turn heat to low, then pour in cream.

  • Season with more sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, garam masala if needed.

  • Remove from heat, and fish out bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon stick.

  • Serve on spiced basmati rice, garnished with chopped cilantro.




Bon appetit!!

I am linking this post to the event “Little Thumbs Up (May 2015: YOGURT)” organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Cheryl of Baking Taitai

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Crispy Skin Salmon on Spiced Couscous – Delishar

Happy 2016!! I apologise for the late wishes as it has been a while since my last post. The family and I took a vacation to spend Xmas and New year with their family in the USA. It was such a fun and fruitful trip. Fruitful not because of the shopping we did, which wasn’t a lot. Just some winter gears in preparation for our first ski trip this year. But for the wonderful time spent with family. 

The girls got to hang out with their paternal grandparents, fun uncle, and lovely cousins. I can’t elaborate how sweet and well-mannered those 2 nieces of mine are. They are super helpful and awesome babysitters! The husband and I got to spend some quality time together while they babysat. The girls made their first snow angel, snowman, and snow-pup. We had so much fun just spending time with family, and it was liberating to be disconnected from cyber-world for a while.


Just before I left for the trip, I popped by The Alaska Guys for my supply of quality wild caught Alaskan seafood. While I was there, Kevin the owner of TAG generously suggested a giveaway for readers of my cooking blog. I’m ecstatic to share with you this giveaway. TAG is giving away 1KG of their wild caught halibut fillets valued at $82. Each fillet is fresh frozen, and individually packed for your convenience! 

When I got back home, I quickly whipped up this complete meal. It takes no time at all to cook this gorgeous dinner. Very little prep is needed, and only requires simple ingredients. I was able to complete and plate the whole meal in 30 minutes. During dinner time, the husband’s first question was, “This is fish from TAG?!” without even trying it first. He dug in without waiting for my answer, and replied himself saying, “Yup! I can so tell the difference! It’s son darn good!”. And he was right, all it needed was salt and pepper, no sauce too. Simple, and absolutely delish!

Do visit this post to read more about my write up on wild vs farmed fish. This giveaway will be just in time for you to prepare a delicious CNY meal! I hope you win this giveaway, and treat yourself and your love ones to some quality seafood this CNY! You’ll definitely be able to taste the difference in quality, and be a convert to wild caught fish like us. To take part in the giveaway, simply follow the directions of the rafflecopter widget at the end of this post. 


Wild Salmon on Spiced Couscous


Crispy Skin Salmon

  • 400 g salmon fillet protion into 2 fillets (preferably wild caught)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pan Roasted Vegetables

  • 6-8 spears of asparagus tough ends and skin removed
  • 8 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 zucchini quartered lengthwise
  • 1 radish thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spiced Couscous

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/4 yellow onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 cup 375ml chicken broth (add 1/4 cup more if you like your couscous more moist)
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion

Crispy Skin Salmon

  • Clean the salmon and make sure that salmon skin has no scales.

  • Pat dry salmon on both sides.

  • Season both sides of salmon generously with salt and pepper.

  • Turn and season the flesh side of the salmon.

  • Heat pan on med high heat with oil.

  • When oil is shimmering, reduce heat to medium.

  • Add salmon skin side down, and hold it down for 5 seconds.

  • Do not touch/move/flip fish, allow it to sear and cook until skin is crispy and released from pan (about 4 mins), before checking.

  • Flip salmon carefully and allow to cook for another 2-3 mins, or until preferred done-ness.

Sauteed Vegetables

  • Heat pan on med high then add oil.

  • Saute asparagus until slightly tender, about 3 minutes.

  • Add zucchini and saute for another 1-2 minutes or until tender.

  • Season with salt and pepper.

  • Add cherry tomatoes, and saute for 30 seconds.

  • Remove from heat, toss in radish, and plate.

Spiced Couscous

  • Heat saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat.

  • Saute onion and garlic until onion is translucent.

  • Add turmeric and cumin, then saute for 15 seconds.

  • Pour in chicken stock and bring to boil.

  • Add couscous, cover, and remove from heat.

  • Let stand for 10 minutes, then add spring onion and cilantro.

  • Fluff couscous with fork to distribute herbs.

Get the pre portioned cook kit for this amazing dish and
cook it in your own kitchen! Order Now

salmon with couscous 3

To take part in the giveaway, simply complete the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on Friday, January 22nd, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. Singapore time (GMT+8). The winner will be selected by and will contacted by email. If there is no response after 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Self-collection required for giveaway prize at my convenience. As such, this giveaway is open to Singapore entrants only.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pumpkin Spiced Gingerbread Loaf – Delishar

Before I get to talking about this recipe, I’d like to share some exciting news! I’ve mentioned that I have been busy working on something that’s really exciting but I could not reveal what it was. So today is the day that I can finally let the cat outta the bag! I have written a COOKBOOK!

Yes, Delishar has been asked to published a cookbook with many new and exclusive recipes that were developed specially for this cookbook. The book features more than 40 recipes, sections where I share with you my kitchen tips & tricks, and also how to plan your meals to minimize food wastage. I’ve also had the opportunity to do my own food styling, and photography. So yes, the content of the whole book has been done with love by yours truly, and dedicated to all of you who has been so supportive of my cooking blog! Thank you, without you this would not have been possible.


‘Daily cooking with Delishar’ is currently ready for pre-order from Kinokuniya webstore. They are currently offering a 20% off flash sale from until 30 Nov for all books on their webstore. That includes my title! So pre-order my cookbook today. 🙂


If you are ordering after 30 Nov, Kinokuniya is offering a 10% off pre-order deal for my book. Provide the discount code “DELISHAR” upon checkout on their webstore. This 10% off pre-order deal ends 15 January 2017.


Let’s move on to the cake. The moist gingerbread cake loaded with pumpkin puree and fragrant warm spices. The husband, and the girls loved it so much it was gone in 2 days. The cream cheese frosting goes so beautifully with the flavours of the cake. It is tough to put into words how this cake actually taste like, but I have to say it taste a lot like Christmas. 🙂

This recipe have been created with the intention of a one cake fit all kind of recipe. Keeping in mind Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. A mom got to be efficient right? lol. Serve it at room temperature if you like a softer cake with softer frosting. Serve it chilled to have a firmer overall texture. I like mine at room temperature. What about you?

You can have the ingredients for this recipe pre-portioned and delivered to your door-step, so you as to save you the time and effort from shopping and measuring ingredients. Head to Cookit SG to purchase your Cook Kits.  


Spiced Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf


Makes a 8×4 loaf tin

  • 125 g Plain flour
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • ¼ tsp Ground cloves
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • ¾ tsp Ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 75 g Brown sugar
  • 75 g White sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 85 g Unsalted butter softened
  • 212 g Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 Egg


  • 57 g Cream Cheese
  • 43 g Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 188 g 1.5 cups Icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Preheat oven to 165C.

  • In a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, bakig soda, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and salt together.

  • Grease loaf pan with baking spray with flour.

  • In your mixer, beat butter and sugars until combined.

  • Then add vanilla extract, and egg to beat until light and fluffy.

  • Add in pumpkin, and mix until just combined.

  • Add in flour mix in 3 parts and mix until just combined.

  • Pour batter into tray and smooth out top with the back of a spoon.

  • Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a skewer/knife inserted comes out clean.

  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn it out onto wire rack to cool completely.

  • To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in your mixer until combined.

  • Then add in vanilla and gradually add in icing sugar while mixer is running.

  • Drizzle in milk 1 tsp at a time until desired spreadable consistency.

  • When cake is completely cooled, frost the top of the cake with cream cheese frosting.

  • Enjoy immediately, or allow icing to set in the fridge for an hour.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Spiced Chicken Wrap with Pineapple Salsa – Delishar

Day 14! We are at the half way mark! Based on the Whole 30 timeline, we should be over the worst and should be feeling boundless energy (tiger blood) at some point. Neither the husband nor I am at that point yet. Then again, some people might never get to the point of tiger blood. We still crave for certain food. I was really craving a warm glass of milk last night. Just sometime soothing other than water or chamomile tea. So sick of that. 

The husband has yet to slay that sugar demon of his, and I’m not sure if he would ever. Whenever he craved something sweet, he would have a fruit or nibble on dates. Yesterday, he played an hour of baseball out in the sun and justified that he needed to quench his thirst by drinking fresh coconut juice.

He has been quite the grump too. Perhaps due to the lack of energy, sugar, and simple carbs. Withdrawal, I’m sure. I hope it’ll pass soon. However, the husband has lost quite a significant amount of weight. Not sure how much, but I can feel the difference when I hug him, hold his arm, or rub his belly when I sleep. I now call him ‘Stick-Man’.

Made this meal on Day 7. This is by far our favourite meal. The girls even gave their stamp of approval. The spice rub on the chicken was AMAZING! And that sweetness from the pineapple was just what the slighly tangy chicken needed. It was a match made in heaven.

I had some left-over chicken and salsa that night. The next day, I tore up some lettuce, heat up the chicken, threw the salsa over the lettuce, and shredded the chicken over it all. Made myself a spiced chicken salad. We are having a little get together with a couple of families over Easter. It’s a pot-luck party, and I’m going to bring this as our contribution. I am pretty confident that it is going to be a crowd pleaser. 🙂

Some readers have asked me to share my meal plan, so here is my week 1 meal plan. If you are planning your whole 30 journey, I hope this meal plan will come in handy for you. Let’s get to the recipe, shall we? 

Spiced Chicken Wrap with Pineapple Salsa


Spiced Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts half it to get 2 thinner pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp carob powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 pineapple diced
  • 2 shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or olive oil

To serve

  • 1 head romaine lettuce cored, rinse, and dried
  • In a bowl, mix in all the spices, lime zest, lime juice, and olive oil.

  • Place chicken into a zip lock bag or container, and pour spice mix over chicken.

  • Use your hands to rub the spice mix all over the chicken.

  • Marinate for 30 minutes or over night.

  • Bring to room temperature before pan frying.

  • Grease cooking pan placed over medium high heat.

  • Pan fry chicken for about 2 minutes each side or until nicely browned. Do it in batches.

  • Allow chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email