Chicken Semi Dry Masala (Chicken Natti Masala)

Hi Friends, I've recreated a dish that I tasted years back at a military hotel. I'm really fond of local cuisine specially tamilnadu and Karnataka border cuisine. In Bangalore, Andhra and Coastal Tamilnadu, people refer Mess as Military hotels. 

What is a Mess? A family run cafeteria, largely operated by hindu community is a mess. Normally a mess, would be situated with in a residential community, we can find such a mess setup in tiny villages. 

Trend for mess food is slowly loosing its place, among younger generation, and few mess owners have their businesses,  relocated in the city naming as military hotels. Coming to the food in military hotels it's all nonveg, and on the spicy side. These dishes do not contain any refined oils or ghee, nor do they use any ready-made masalas. 

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At a Mess or military hotel, every single dish is prepared from scratch. Mess or military hotels, are also referred as natti hotel or natti maane by locals, which literally translates to village hotel in few parts of tamilnadu and karnataka.

Chicken semi dry masala, (chicken natti masala) is a forgotten mess recipe. One can only taste such dishes at southindian homes. Use of sesame oil, fresh ground masala, and tamarind extract, enhances the taste of this chicken curry. For authentic and better results try to experiment using stone ground masala, and free range chicken(country fowl/natti kozhi) for this recipe. 

Ingredients for chicken natti masala:
750 Grams Chicken Curry Cut 
1/2 Tbsp Chilly Powder, 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder, 
1/2 Tsp Coriander Powder
2 Tomatoes Puree
3 Sprigs Curry Leaves, 4 Dried Red Chilies
1 Tbsp Garam Masala or Chicken Masala
1 Tbsp Tamarind Pulp or Lime Juice 
4 Tbsp Sesame Oil
Salt as per taste

Prepare Red Chilly Masala Paste from Basics of Indian Cooking Series Please Click Here for Recipe.

Ingredients for Red Chilly Masala Paste:
20 Dried Red Chilies
1 Tbsp Pepper Corns
3 Inch Sticks Cinnamon
5 Cardamom Pods
5 Cloves
1/2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
2 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut
1 Tbsp Coriander Powder 
1/2 Tbsp Turmeric
1 Star Anise
2 Large Onion Sliced
2 Whole Bulbs Garlic Peeled
3 Inch Ginger Peeled
2 Tbsp Oil 

Method to prepare red chilly masala paste:
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium flame add oil. Once the oil smokes add spices, allow to splutter. Add coconut, coriander and turmeric fry a bit. 
  • Add ginger and garlic along with onions, fry on low flame until onions soften a bit. 
  • Once the onions have reduced and softened, allow to cool and transfer to a mixer jar and add a splash of water grind to form a smooth paste. 
  • Store in a airtight container refrigerated until use.

Method to prepare chicken natti masala:
  • Wash the chicken thoroughly. Place the chicken in a colander allowing excess moisture to drain.
  • Grind 2 medium tomatoes using a coffee grinder and reserve.
  • Prepare the above mentioned red chilly masala paste. I've used half the amount of masala to prepare this chicken curry.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pressure pan on medium flame add 4 tbsp of sesame oil bring to a smoking point. 
  • Add dried red chilies and curry leaves to the oil allow to splutter.
  • Once the chilies and curry leaves stop spluttering, add the masala paste, tomato puree and dry masalas(chilly powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and coriander powder) fry the masala till oil separates.
  • Add chicken and fry in the masala for a minute. Add salt stir and place on low flame cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Or cook for 3 whistles.
  • Once the chicken is well done add tamarind extract stir once and bring to a rapid boil and serve hot for roti or biryani...Enjoy:)

I have also compared my chicken semi dry masala pic with shivaji military hotel chicken dry. We thoroughly enjoyed this dish with roti and biryani.

People who are visiting Bangalore should pay a visit to Shivaji military hotel to taste some authentic dishes served here read more on my blog shivaji-military-hotel-bengaluru. 

Product Review - Yoga Bars (Bars That Love You Back)

Hi Friends, One must never skip on a meal specially breakfast. Unfortunately many of us find no time for breakfast and lunch our lifestyles are such these days and there are some days when one all of a sudden feels so guilty about weight and skips all 3 meals.

Avoiding and skipping meals are not going to help anyone to reduce weight over night. We need essential nutrients to generate energy to progress in life. 

There is nothing guilty to feel about food if one has to eat a heavy meal or snack go ahead but also exercise accordingly. I come across many articles about guilty pleasure foods, if food is so guilty why talk or read about it. 

These articles in a way are affecting many younger generation. People who read such piece of information are in age groups between 12 to 16. Yoga bars are not for kids in this age group however one can try these meal replacement bars.

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Founders of Yoga Bars are two young and creative sisters, Suhasini and Anindita. They used to work in Newyork for a multinational company. On their regular trips to a Whole Foods Store they saw a huge demand for food alternatives, which could be prepared and produced in India. 

After returning to India they chose to work with people in food industry like bakeries and continued their research and development. They wanted to create an all-natural product with no artificial flavours or additives in it also priced at a affordable price point and tasty as possible, using natural Indian ingredients. Thus created Yoga Bars targeting 25 to 36 year old audience who are leading a very hectic and active lifestyle.


Yoga Bars comes in 6 assorted varieties Cashew orange zest, Chocolate chunk nut, Vanilla almond, Nuts and seeds, Chocolate brownie and Peanut butter.

The meal replacement bars contain oats, dates, honey, nuts and seeds in case of specific diets or allergies one must always read the contents and proceed with purchase.

Yoga Bars does not contain any additives or preservatives, nor does it contain any refined sugars. This product is also free of dairy and soya. Which is a wonderful offering for vegan consumers. Yoga Bars are offered in 38 gram packs per serving.

Yoga Bars are available on Amazon priced at 300 to 400/- rupees. I received 4 different flavors from the company Cashew orange zest, Chocolate chunk nut, Vanilla almond, Nuts and seeds.

The Bars are a source of fiber containing 3-4 grams of protein and offering 150-170 calories per serving. The bars also have a good percentage of healthy fats like Omega 3 and 6 and antioxidants.

Vanilla almond: Oats, Dates, honey, almonds, rice bran oil, coco, chia, amaranth, cinnamon and natural flavors like rosemary extract and vanilla.

Chocolate Chunk Nut: Dates, oats, honey,cashew, coco, almonds, amaranth, chia and dark chocolate also contain rosemary extract for flavor.

Cashew Orange Zest: Oats, dates, honey, cashew,cranberry, coco, almond, amaranth, chia and rosemary extract and Orange oil...

Nuts & Seeds Crunch : Dates, oats, honey, almonds, cashew, chia,flax, pumpkinm sunflower, sesame and watermelon contains natural flavors like rosemary extract.

When I sat down to do this review I already had a full breakfast and as I was taste testing these bars it totally filled me up and I eventually ended up skipping 2 meals they are chewy. People who enjoy natural flavors will enjoy these bars. 

Shelf-life of this product is only for 3 month. Please make sure to check the expiry date before purchase.

Diabetic and people on special diet need to read to contents carefully before purchasing the product. Overall this is an amazing diet replacement product. Specially designed for people who enjoy snacking can start their diet journey with the yoga bars progressing to much altered and restricted diet chart.

Disclaimer: I'm not a certified nutritionist to promote diet bars or diet replacement product. Please read the contents and also consult your doctor or nutritionist before purchase.

Siddique Kabab Centre Grill Chicken Recipe

I had lot of requests for Siddique Kabab Center Grill Chicken Recipe. The grill chicken from the restaurant is my favorite too. After months of taste testing and experimenting I've nailed this recipe. All of us at home were really surprised with the outcome. 

I've also avoided adding food color and msg. A tip I can share please check the heat setting of your oven and adjust the temperature as per the heat. I've used usha halogen oven to grill my chicken the dry air baking in halogen is awesome to prepare grill meats. We can use any metal or glass dishes to bake in halogen oven.

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First Step: Strat to brine the chicken. This step is very important.
1 1/2 Kilo Chicken with Skin, 3 Liters of Warm Water, 1/2 Cup Vinegar + 1/4 Cup Salt...

We can use a whole chicken for this recipe since i was experimenting I got the chicken cut in half for easy handlening and cooking.

Rub the chicken with salt and vinegar add warm water allow the chicken to soak in brine water for 20 minutes. After 20 Minutes Remove Chicken from brine and wash thoroughly atleast thrice place the chicken in a colander allow all the excess water to drain chicken should be dry before adding to marination.

Second Step: Prepare Marination...
2 Tbsp Garam Masala, 2 Tbsp Chilly Powder, 1 Tbsp 
Jaljeera Powder, 1 Tbsp Pepper Powder, 2 Tbsp Ginger and Garlic Paste...

In a mixing bowl add all the above mentioned ingredients mix well and add the chicken to the marination spread the masala all over the chicken cover and place in refrigerator over night.

I've avoided adding salt to the marination since all the sauces already contain huge amount of salt. We can always adjust the salt content by adding seasoning salt before consuming.

Third Step: Prepare Seasoning Salt...
1 Tbsp Chilly Powder, 1 Tbsp Jaljeera Powder, 1/2 Tsp Pepper Powder and Salt as per taste.

Mix all the above mentioned ingredients in a bowl and reserve this has to be served with the grilled chicken.

Bake the chicken...
Once the chicken has marinated over night remove from fridge allow to thaw for 1/2 hour on kitchen counter.

Place the chicken in a glass or metal baking dish apply the marination all over the chicken before placing in halogen oven. Bake at 250 degrees for 25 minutes. Once the chicken has cooked on one side flip and baste the chicken with the gravy which has oozed from the chicken and bake for 15 minutes at 250 degrees. 

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Once the chicken has cooked remove from gravy and place the chicken back in the oven skin side up and brush with a tbsp of salted butter and bake for 15 minutes till the skin is crisp.

Serve grill chicken with seasoning salt and enjoy...:)

I've compared my grilled chicken pic with 3 other people who have posted their pics raving about the chicken on Facebook and Zomato. First pic is my creation bottom 3 pics are from Siddique Kabab Center Frazer town.

Vangibath Masala Powder Recipe and Mixed Vegetable Ricebath Recipe

Vangi Bath is a South Indian dish originated in Karnataka, popular among the Brahmin community. Literal translation could be thought of, as fried brinjal rice. 

There are few steps to prepare this rice which consists of home made masala powder, cooked rice and vegetables of choice. 

One can also use this home made vangi masala powder to prepare other recipes like vegetable stir fries and curries. This masala powder can be stored upto three months time in a air tight container.
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Recipe for Vangi Masala Powder 
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp Channa Dhal
2 Tbsp Coriander Powder
1 Tbsp Shredded Dry Coconut
1/2 Tbsp Fennel
2 Inch Sticks Cinnamon
1 Star Anise
3 Cloves
8 Dried Red Chilies
1 Tbsp Peppercorns
Heat a wok on medium flame. Start dry roasting chickpeas. The process of dry roasting all the ingredients should be done on low to medium flame. 

Once the chickpeas starts to turn light pink in color add the spices dry roast the spices a bit. Add the sesame seeds allow to splutter keep stirring and dry roasting all the ingredients. Add dry red chilies, coriander and shredded dry coconut once all the ingredients have dry roasted transfer to a plate and allow to cool.

Before grinding all the ingredients make sure there is no moisture in the mixer jar. Normally when preparing such bulk masala I make sure to air dry or place my mixer jar under the sun so that there is no moisture. If there is moisture in the mixer jar and the masala is ground it has to be used fast. The masala powder needs to be stored in the freezer.

Grind the roasted red chilies, cinnamon and star anise first. Once the chilies have ground well add rest of the dry roasted ingredients and grind to form a powder. Allow the masala powder to cool completely, Store in a air tight container until use.

Mixed Vegetablebath Recipe
1/2 Cup Frozen Mixed Vegetables (The frozen vegetable i purchsed contains cauliflower, french beans, carrots and peas) We can also use fresh vegetables. I always have a bag of frozen vegetables in my frezer to prepare quick masala upma and so on...
1 Potato Cubed
3 Medium Egg plants Cubed
1 Large Onion Roughly Chopped
3 Slit Chilies
Fist Full Mint and Coriander
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
2 Cloves
2 Pods Cardamom
2 Tbsp Vangi Powder
1 Tbsp Chilly Powder
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Cups Cooked Rice
1 Tbsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
2 Tbsp Ghee
1 Tbsp Oil
Salt as per taste
Lime Juice and coriander for garnish...

The frozen vegetable i purchsed contains cauliflower, french beans, carrots and peas. We can also use fresh vegetables. I always have a bag of frozen vegetables(Safal brand) in my freezer to prepare quick masala upma and so on...

Make sure to chop all the vegetables into bite size cubes.Which will cook easily without water...

Heat a wok on Medium flame add oil and ghee. Once the oil and ghee is hot add spices allow to splutter add onions. chilies, coriander, mint, chilly powder, turmeric powder, ginger and garlic paste fry all the ingredients until the raw flavor has gone..

Since all the vegetables are chopped into tiny bit size cubes it will cook fast, we need not add water. Once the onion starts to turn light pink in color add all the veggies and fry. Add salt cover and cook until the veggies are cooked till well done. 

Once the veggies have cooked add vangi powder and fry for a minute add the rice and mix well until the vegetable masala has incorporated in the rice. Add lime juice mix well garnish with coriander and serve hot...Enjoy...:) 

New Menu @Skylit, Citrus Hotel - Cunninghamroad, Bengaluru

Hi Friends, Skylit-Citrus welcomes you to  enjoy the exquisite and luxurious new menu. A mix of mughlai, mediterranean and asian cuisine consisting...16 starters, freshly baked breads, followed by a king size buffet and delectable desserts. 

The rooftop setting makes it all the more inviting and wonderful spot for an Indian culinary experience. Service was efficient, waiters were impressively knowledgeable about every aspect of the menu, and gave some very good recommendations for drinks.

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We started our tasting session with a cocktail called tequila sunrise followed by bread basket.  

Focaccia, Nachos herb butter and dips..

Grilled Vegetables

Bharwan Murgh Tikka: Stuffed pieces of chicken morsels spiked with tandoori masala and grilled.

Crispy Fried Prawns served with mint chutney..

Mewa Mawa Ki Sheekh: Indianised version spicy fried milk..

Bagha Crabs: Crabs shells stuffed with spicy crab meat and topped with cheese and grilled.

Amritsari Macchi : Boneless filet of fish spiked with spices and grilled on coals.

Grilled Halomi Cheese: Cubes of salty halomi cheese marinated in yogurt based masala and grilled on coals.

Borek: Pastry sheets filled with spinach caramelized onion and cheese and baked..

Herb Butter Grilled Fish..

BBQ Chicken Supreme..

Some Millet Breads...Makki ki roti

Subj Shammi: Soya Based Shammi Kababs..

Ice golas as palate cleansers..

Tawa Ghost: Meat grilled in iron skillet..

Achari Mushroom and Cheesy Broccoli: Mushroom grilled in pickle spice and broccoli grilled with cheddar cheese..

Jalapeno Frittata..

Buffet Spread...

Chicken Biryani, Mutton Rogan Josh, Paneer Butter Masala, Ghobi Mutter, Schezwan Noodles, Baked Corn Florentine, Veg Pulao, Dhal Palak, Veg Pulao, Curd Rice...

Salad Bar..

My Plate..

Dessert Spread consisting of 16 desserts including icecreams and Cut Fruits...
 Strawberry Mousse..

 Shahi Tukda..

 Black Forest Cake..


 Caramel Custard..

 Mango Cake..


 Plum Pudding..

 Apple Pedas...


My Dessert Plate..

Overall the new menu has amazing mix of 8 veg and 8 nonveg starters and drinks. Table booking is recommended if your planning a weekend visit...cost 750/- + taxes per person. I enjoyed the ambiance and company of my friends. Citrus-Skylit has always been our favorite place for meetups. 

Thanks to Citrus-Skylit and PR company for inviting me. For more info please click on zomato spoon backs.

Skylit - Citrus Hotels Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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