Thursday, July 28, 2011

#137 Desi Tandoori Chicken goes Japanese

What do you think about Broken Dolls Day? Children have a mind of their own and sometimes the sentiments that matter most to them maybe really trivial, but we learn simple facts from our children. I was reading about a Japanese Memorial day -June 3rd is a Memorial to Broken Dolls Day in Japan. On this day, it is believed that all broken dolls are taken by the children to Buddhist shrines for proper funeral rituals. Children may have their dolls enshrined and offer flowers at the alter and pay their respects. What a great way to teach children to respect something they cherished for some time or showered them with joy and returning the love they shared. It had always struck me as rude that a toy can be a beloved object one day and when it breaks it is destined for the trash heap the next.

It reminded me of a time when V(my younger daughter) was about 6 yrs old and she insisted on having an Aquarium with Goldfish in it.  We started her out with a couple of Goldfish from the Pet store. From time to time, we got a new one for her as a treat. Now, she was so anxious to clean the aquarium that at least one poor Goldfish floated to the top the very next day.  Even though we tried to talk her out of it, she insisted on cleaning the water out herself, and Goldie's demise always made her cry. She even requested that I hold a funeral in respect for Goldie in the backyard, and this seemed to help her overcome the deep sorrow she felt. I am sure it helped her accept reality and get inner peace because she always bounced right back to her chatty little self after we paid due respect to Goldie.

We learn so much from our children don't we? Now that she is an adult, it is fun to recollect these cute little stories of the past:) However, all the credit for this sushi idea was brought about by N -my older daughter who loves creative food!!

When we talk about Japan, sushi comes to mind. Sushi is one of the most popular dishes not only in Japan but has also spread worldwide.

There are many types of sushi depending on the ingredients that are used to make it. Be it maki rolls or nigiri they are typically dipped in a soy based sauce with accompaniments like wasabi paste and pickled ginger. Maki is the kind of sushi that adds a level of complexity by having to roll the mixture in a sheet of 'nori', maki sushi can contain more ingredients or less  and may be changed as you wish.  We all love sushi knowing that it's more fun to make and eat with a tiny cup of Sake!  Although our visits to Sushi Restaurants are pretty frequent, I created my twist on this Asian treat with leftover Tandoori style chicken and other veggies of my choice to come up with something colorful and unique.

You may call this bizarre and not Japanese. What? Indian style Sushi? But Bizarre foods are not always that bad...Many may scoff at what Andrew Zimmerman consumes on Bizarre Foods but food like pigs feet, tongue and stomach lining have been considered delicacies right here in the US for many years.  Let me make it clear to all my Foodie readers that I am always experimenting with recipes and this time N my first born came up with this idea about Indian style sushi so I had to try it out. In my kitchen dishes may start as authentic recipes and turn into unique creations with twists of my own so you please bear with me. The authenticity or roots of a recipe are not of significant importance as compared to the actual taste, flavors and love that goes into converting a recipe from paper into an edible presentable creation!!

I have friends who always use smoked ham hocks for cooking greens and refuse to eat greens cooked without them and then others who enjoy a fresh beef tongue sandwich. This is my creation, Sushi -indian style without raw fish in it and there is nothing bizarre about it. On the other hand, you will be stunned by the surpising burst of tandoori flavor when you pop the little roll in your mouth and that is truly worthwhile. What is bizarre to one may be a culinary treat for another so try this out and you will experience a fine culinary bundle of goodness !!

The tasty morsels you see below are all assembled with pride and were so much fun to work with, they are inside-out rolls with Spinach leaves instead of Nori, and when you pop them in your mouth they explode into a little surprise of spicy chicken, veggies and rice. Mint chutney to dip into makes a little mouthful of heaven!!

So if you feel this is up your is an absolutely wonderful little appetizer that anyone can try without the fear of raw fish.

1 Bunch of fresh Spinach leaves without the stems
microwaved on a plate just enough
to maintain their shape.
2 cups of sushi rice
water, Mirin- 2Tblpsns, sugar-1 tspn
Scallion- green part of one
Avocado- 1/2 sliced into long strips
Red Pepper-1/2 sliced into long strips
Leftover Tandoori chicken shredded- 1 cup
Cilantro or Mint leaves- a handful
Mint Chutney- 1/2 cup
Rice Paper Wraps- 2 dipped in hot water for a minute and removed dry

1. Cook the rice with enough water, mirin and sugar until well cooked and sticky.
2. Spread the softened rice paper wraps on a towel or bamboo mat. I found it easier to use a towel instead of my bamboo sushi mat since there was no nori and a rice paper lined towel helped to roll the rice tighter.
3. Scoop the cooked rice and spread over the entire rice paper wrap but in the shape of a rectangle as thin as you can.
4. The rice should hold together so that rolling is easy without breaking the rolls.
5. Now gently place the Spinach leaves one at a time and spread with cilantro or mint  leaves in between.
6. In the middle of this rectangle, spread a line of shredded Tandoori chicken, scallion, red pepper and avocado sticks.

7. When the arrangement looks something like the above, get ready to roll it all.
8. Very carefully hold the rice paper along with the towel and start rolling in a way that the mixture in the
center is not disturbed or moved. Be gentle but roll tightly enough over the mixture from one side.
9. Keep rolling one or two more times with the rice paper but make sure to let go of the towel as you roll.
10. Roll and press together to encase the mixture completely with the rice and rice paper tightly and cover with towel.
11. Refrigerate in the same manner for about 2-3 hours before slicing with a sharp knife dipped in hot water.
12. Serve with Mint chutney and soy sauce.


  1. WOW.. This sounds and looks very professional..

    Jabeen's Corner is hosting an event with a surprise giveaway.. U are Invited !! Do send your entries..

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    Ongoing Event-Iftar nights

  2. Thanks For linking it with Iftar Nights..

  3. Hey Malli...First time on your blog...Beautiful looking sushi..What a innovative idea...happy to join you...Do visit me at

  4. I love "new" types of sushi. I think I've eaten the more traditional types to death now - A number of "alternative" places are coming to France where they also serve sushi with loads of fresh herbs like mint and coriander, stuffed with fruit like mango (goes really well with salmon) and even things like cheese. Being France of course, I've even seen "foie gras sushi"!

  5. Malli, I love your maki sushi! I always make rolls with nori outside because I am afraid everything will fall into pieces. I must try this challenging version one day.
    The broken dolls day is a wonderful tradition.

  6. wow i love dat...and u know i am not a sushi fan at all...i mean the original one but i want to try out ur version........dat sure is yum

  7. Thanks for dropping by and for the lovely comments. Happy to follow u..

  8. HI Malli,

    Wonderful looking Sushi Roll with no fish. I am always away from sushi because of the raw fish, now you are making me try this dear. thanks for sharing at Iftar Nights. Following you not to miss any more sushi roll ups. :-)

    Yum! Yum! Yum!

  9. Love this dish. It looks fantastic! :)

  10. Hey dear first time here.....u hv a bful blog with stunning pics..wonder how I missed it...
    Anyways would love to hear a word from u too...
    this looks Delicious..any leftovers pls.?..Yummo
    Following u..

  11. These rolls look fabulous. Bravo!! Blessings, Catherine xo

  12. Wow! I love this fusion and the sushi looks so good, yummy!

  13. This looks fabulous!! I love sushi and your rolls look so professional. Nicely done!


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