Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chicken Reshmi Kebabs

Chicken Reshmi Kebab is one of the most liked foods world over. The nicest thing about this dish is that it's really easy to make.
Prepare and store it. Eat it as such or add in any other dish.


  • 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chicken tikka masala (available in Indian Grocery Stores)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • Cut chicken in 1 ½” cubes.
  • Mix all ingredients with chicken in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  • Bring chicken to room temperature and skewer on bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes).
  • Arrange bamboo skewers on a baking tray which is filled with 4 cups of water.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or till the chicken is just tender.
  • 3 tbsp of butter can be drizzled over for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve with salads as starter.

To make Reshmi Kebabs soft and tender, marinate them for a longer time (I personally marinade them overnight) and don't overcook.
Keeps the pieces bite sized and cook them hot and fast.

If chicken kebabs are surrounded with moisture during baking by placing a small amount of liquid (such as water or broth) in the bottom of a baking tray or a closed pan, and letting it steam up around the food, a method commonly known as braising, the kebabs will be cooked really soft.

Do You Know?

Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation, normally in an oven.
Grilling and broiling are very similar methods of cooking chicken. They both use a dry heat that quickly cooks the surface and then slowly moves to the middle of the meat. The main difference between the two methods is that grilling applies the heat to the bottom surface of the chicken, and broiling applies the heat to the top surface. Also, grilling infuses the chicken with a smoky flavor from the meat juices that drip during the grilling process. When broiling, this infusion of flavor does not occur.

Mixed Vegetables

This dish can be simplified by using frozen vegetables in place of fresh vegetables.


  • ½ cup green peas
  • ½ cup chopped green beans
  • ½ cup carrot cubed
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, chopped in 1” square pieces
  • ½ cup cauliflower chopped small pieces
  • 1 small potato (small cubes)
  • 12 cup boiled corn kernels (or frozen)
  • 6-7 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 big onion, diced
  • 2 chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup tomato chunks
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp ginger juliennes
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil


  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in curry leaves, onion, cook until tender.
  • Add potatoes and cook covered for 3-4 minutes or till half done.
  • Add corn kernels, green peas, green beans, carrot and cauliflower and fry for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add tomato chunks, chopped green chilies, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add green bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.
  • Garnish with ginger juliennes and serve hot with paratha.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stuffed Dal Paratha

Moong dal and chana dal are used to prepare stuffing for the parathas.

Paratha Stuffing:
  • 1 cup chana dal( Bengal gram)
  • 1 cup moong dal(skinned split green gram)
  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp saunf (fennel seeds) coarsely ground
  • 1 tbsp whole dry coriander seeds (coarsely ground)
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

Paratha Dough:
  • 4 cups wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup vanaspati ghee or cooking oil for pan frying

  • Prepare Stuffing:
  • Soak both chana dal and moong dal in water for 2 hours. Grind both dals together with very little water to a smooth thick paste.
  • In a thick bottom pan heat 3 tbsp of cooking oil and add dal paste. Roast it till light pink. Add all spices. Mix well and remove from heat. Stuffing is ready.
  • Follow Making Paratha - Method VI
  • Put the flour, salt and oil in a bowl and mix. Gradually add water and bind the mixture into soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into 16-18 equal portions, shape each portion into a small ball.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the ball to circles about 4 inches in diameter. Place a little bit of dal mixture on the circle and spread it evenly.Then place another circle on it and press the edges together firmly. On a floured surface roll out the stuffed circles to about 6-7 inches in diameter.
  • Carefully place the paratha on a hot griddle or pan (tava). Allow cooking for a minute then turning it over with a flat spoon, smear a little Vanaspati ghee or oil on the top of paratha. After a minute turn it over again, and spread some move Vanaspati or oil on the other surface of the paratha also.
  • Remove from the griddle. Repeat the same with all the portions, keep on an absorbent paper.
  • Serve hot with Chutney, pickle and salad.

Stuffed Eggs

Make it as a Tea Time Snack or as a Starter for a Dinner. Eggs are stuffed with minced meat coated with batter and deep-fried in oil.

  • 6 eggs (hard boiled)
  • 3 tbsp minced mutton
  • 1 tbsp ghee / oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped onions
  • Salt To Taste
  • 1 green chili (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp corn flour / corn starch
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • 1 lemon juice
  • breadcrumbs for coating
  • Oil for deep-frying

  • Heat the oil / ghee in a frying pan and fry the onions till golden.
  • Add the minced meat, salt, green chili, ginger, tomato paste and lemon juice and fry for about 8-10 minutes or till meat is cooked. Add cilantro leaves and remove from the heat and allow it to cool. Remember meat mixture should be completely dried keep aside for later use.
  • Remove the shell of the hard boiled eggs and cut each egg half.
  • Take out the yolks, break them into small chunks and mix well with the fried meat mixture.
  • Stir the corn flour into the beaten egg, making a batter.
  • Place the breadcrumbs on a flat dish.
  • Fill the meat mixture into the yolk cavity (place from where yolk is separated) of each egg half, cover with another half to make a complete egg shape.
  • Insert a tooth pick in the stuffed egg in such a way that both the egg halves remain intact with each other.
  • Dip the stuffed eggs (with the tooth picks) into the egg, corn flour batter and roll over the breadcrumbs.
  • Heat oil in a wok / deep-frying pan over a moderate heat and fry the stuffed eggs until golden all over.
  • Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  • Serve with chutney or sauce.

Do You Know?
The word 'batter' comes from the old French word 'battre' which means 'to beat', as many batters require vigorous beating or whisking in their preparation.
Batter is a liquid mixture; usually flours are combined with liquids. Egg is also a common component. The viscosity of batter may range from very ‘stiff’, to very ‘thin’. Heat is applied to the batter, usually by frying, baking or steaming, in order to cook the ingredients and to ‘set’ the batter into a solid form.
Batters may be sweet or savory, often with either sugar or salt being added (sometimes both). Many other flavorings such as herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables may also be added to the mixture.

Ghiya Ki Sabji (Bottle Gourd Curry)

This simple dish tastes great with hot Parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread). Team it with a dish like Rajma and you've got a terrific vegetarian meal.

  • 1 pound ghiya (bottle gourd) - scraped and chopped in cubes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 2 dry whole red chilies
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 2-3 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil

  • Heat the oil in a pan and add asafetida, whole dry red chilies and cumin seeds.
  • When the seeds begin to splutter, add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry till brown.
  • Add ghiya and stir fry for a minute. Add coriander powder, salt, chili powder, turmeric, and the garam masala. Stir to mix well.
  • Add the green chilies and cook covered till ghiya is cooked.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Do You Know?
Ghiya has some amounts of Vitamins C and B complex and also a few proteins.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mooli Paratha (Pan-fried Flat Bread Stuffed with Grated Radish)

Here is a simple recipe of famous Mooli Ka Paratha

  • To prepare filling:
  • 1 cup fresh grated radish (squeeze the moisture out)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ tsp amchur powder
  • salt to taste

To prepare dough:
  • 2 cups Indian whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • warm water to knead the dough

Method :
  • Prepare Stuffing: Squeeze the moisture out of the grated radish. Mix the radish with all the ingredients required for filling. Divide into 4-5 portions and keep aside.
  • Follow Making Paratha- Method VI
  • Knead the whole wheat flour into a smooth dough using warm water and keep aside for ½ hour. Divide the dough into 8-10 equal sized small balls. Flour a clean surface and roll each ball out into a circle (like pancakes) about 2-3" in diameter .
  • Place generous amount of stuffing on one circle of dough and cover with the other. Press gently around the edges.
  • Carefully roll out the stuffed circles into paratha, sprinkling whole-wheat flour on the surface, to avoid sticking of paratha with rolling pin.
  • Heat a griddle (tawa) and place a paratha on the griddle. Flip the paratha when tiny bubbles rise on the surface. Drizzle a bit of ghee/oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip the paratha again after few seconds and drizzle ghee on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the griddle and repeat with the other parathas until all are cooked.
  • Serve with Chutney and/or pickle and /or curry.

Completely squeeze out water from the grated radish before filling in parathas.

Do You Know?
Radishes are reported to help in dissolving excess mucus or phlegm. They may help clear sore throats. Radishes are said to help in promoting the production of digestive juices when eaten with starches. Radishes feature high amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium and beta-carotene. They are rich in fibre and very low in calories

Tilapia Tomato Curry

Here's a spicy, tasty, truly delicious tilapia recipe. Serve it with naan or piping hot plain boiled rice.

  • 2 pounds Tilapia fillets cut into 2" thick slices
  • 6 tbsps cooking oil
  • 1 tsp paanch phoran
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 2 large onions ground to a paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp green chili paste
  • 4 large tomatoes ground to paste
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp fish curry powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dry fenugreek (methi)leaves
  • Chopped coriander to garnish

  • Rub 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder on fish. Marinate fish for 10-15 minutes. This will help the fish maintain its color and add to its flavor.
  • Heat the oil in a wide heavy-bottomed pan and add the paanch phoran and curry leaves. When they stop spluttering, add the onion paste and fry till light brown.
  • Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and green chili paste; fry for 3-4 minutes. Add red chili, turmeric, coriander and fish curry powders along with salt; fry till the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  • Add 2 cups of hot water and bring the gravy to a boil and then simmer. Mix in lemon juice.
  • Gently add the fish to this gravy. Add methi (fenugreek) leaves after crushing the leaves between your fingers.
  • Cook till fish is done. Remember Tilapia takes less time in cooking as compared to other fishes.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with naan or plain boiled rice

Before adding the herbs to the food, crush the leaves between your fingers. This helps in releasing volatile oils and increases the herb's flavor.
When cooking in the Crockpot, add dried herbs (and fresh herbs too) at the end of cooking time. Long, slow cooking times can diminish the herb's intensity.
Mix all five spices of panch phoran in equal amounts.

Do You Know:
Panch phoran (also known as Bengali five-spice) is an Indian spice blend typically consisting of five whole spices in equal measure:
Fenugreek (methi)
Nigella seed (kalonji)
Mustard seeds (rai)
Fennel seed (saunf )
Cumin seed (jira)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

‘Yolk Up’ Egg Curry

Boiled eggs are cut into half and served with tomato based gravy and green peas.

  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1” ginger chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • Cilantro leaves chopped for garnishing

  • Grind onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chili in a mixer to make paste.
  • Cut the eggs into half and sprinkle little salt, red chili powder and black pepper on each of them.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Reduce the heat and fry eggs with egg yolk facing the top. Then slowly make the eggs upside down and fry the other side till light golden brown in color
  • Remove the fried eggs from pan and keep aside
  • Add bay leaves, cloves and fry for 30 sec
  • Add onion tomato paste. Fry until oil starts separating
  • Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Fry for a 1-2 minutes and then add 3 cups of water to make gravy. Bring the gravy to boil and let it simmer for 5 minute on low heat.
  • When the gravy becomes thick, switch off the gas
  • Place the fried eggs (with egg yolk facing the top) in a dish and pour this gravy over the eggs
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

After adding the eggs, bring water to boil, reduce heat as soon as it starts boiling and simmer for 10 minutes approx. When done, dip the eggs in cold tap water. It will stop the cooking and will make it easier to peel the shell.

Do You Know?
Sometimes, a greenish ring appears around egg yolk in a boiled egg. This is a manifestation of the iron and sulfur compounds in the egg which is formed due to overcooking of egg.
Greenish ring can also be formed due to abundance of iron in the cooking water. Although the green ring does not affect the egg's taste; it harms the quality of the protein. Chilling the egg for a few minutes in cold water until the egg is completely cooled prevents the greenish ‘ring’ from forming on the surface of the yolk.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chukandar (Beet Root) Paratha

Made from beetroot, this colored…yummy…paratha (pan-fried bread) goes well with Raita/Plain Yogurt and Green Cilantro Chutney/Pickle. Try it out on any weekend for breakfast.

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup besan (chick pea flour)
  • 1 small boiled beetroot or 3-4 slices of canned beetroot
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • Pinch of asafetida (optional)
  • ½ tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • 2 tbsp oil to knead with wheat flour
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup ghee or cooking oil to pan fry
  • Peel the boiled beetroot and grate it fine.
  • Take whole-wheat flour in a large bowl. Add all the ingredients along with grated beetroot, (except ghee or cooking oil). Add water to knead the flour. Knead softly till you get a smooth, medium-soft dough.
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil now and continue to knead. Once the dough is done, put it in a closed container and keep it in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
  • In a small pan mix, 2 tbsp of oil with 1 tsp wheat flour and keep it aside.
  • Divide the dough into equal sized portions and roll each portion into a ball between your palms. Use dry flour or oil to make smooth dough balls.
  • Follow Making Paratha - Method III
  • Lightly flour a rolling board and roll out each ball into a 6-7” circle. Now grease the top surface of this flattened dough circle with oil flour mixture prepared in small pan and fold it in a half circle in such a way that oily surface remains inside. Apply some oil flour mixture again on the folded surface of the half circle and fold it again to make a triangular structure.
  • Flour the rolling surface lightly and roll out the triangle into a flat big triangular paratha.
  • Heat a griddle (tawa) and place a paratha on the griddle. Flip the paratha when tiny bubbles rise on the surface. Drizzle a bit of ghee/oil on the top of the paratha and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip the paratha again after few seconds and drizzle ghee on other surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the griddle and repeat with the other parathas until all are cooked.
  • Serve hot crispy beetroot parathas with raita/yogurt and cilantro chutney/pickle.

Do You Know:

The color of red/purple beetroot is due to a variety of betalain pigments known collectively as betacyanin pigments). Betacyanin in beetroot may cause red urine in some people who are unable to break it down. This is called beeturia.
The pigments are contained in cell vacuoles. Beetroot cells are quite unstable and will 'leak' when cut, heated, or when in contact with air or sunlight. This is why red beetroots leave a purple stain. Leaving the skin on when cooking, however, will maintain the integrity of the cells and therefore minimize leakage.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lime and Lemon

Lemons and Limes are the edible fruits of shrub like trees belong to the genus Citrus (family Rutaceae /orange family) that originated in tropical and subtropical Southeast Asia. The Lemons and Limes are modified form of berry fruit called hesperidium.

A hesperidium has a tough and leathery rind. The peel contains volatile oil glands in pits. The fleshy interior is composed of separate sections, called carpels, filled with fluid-filled vesicles that are actually specialized hair cells. The outer ovary wall becomes the thick spongy layer, while the inner ovary wall becomes very juicy with several seeds.

Unlike most other berries, the rind of hesperidium is generally not eaten with the fruit because it is tough and bitter. The outermost, pigmented layer of rind contains essential oils and is known as the flavedo. When scraped off and used as a culinary ingredient it is called zest. The inner rind (known as pith or albedo) of the lemon is candied in sugar and called succade.

The color of citrus fruits only develops in climates with a cool winter. In tropical regions with no winter, citrus fruits remain green until maturity. The lime plant, in particular, is extremely sensitive to cool conditions; thus, it is usually never exposed to cool enough conditions to develop a color. If they are left in a cool place over winter, the fruits actually will change to a yellow color.
For cooler winter areas, lemon and lime trees should not be grown, since they are more sensitive to winter cold than other citrus fruits.

The Lime fruit tends to be smaller and rounder (globular) than the Lemon. It has a thinner rind and a sweeter and more acidic pulp. Limes, actually contain less vitamin C than lemons.


Lime plants are characterized by a spiny or thorny stem; green and leathery leaves; small and aromatic white flowers; juicy, oval, small and typically green or yellowish green fruits even when mature.

Limes are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium, and high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium, iron and copper. Limes are low in calories. A tablespoon of lime juice contains about 25 calories. Limes have antioxidant properties: they contain flavonoids called flavanol glycosides. These flavonoids have been shown to stop cell division in many types of cancer cell lines, and also to have antibiotic effects. Lime extracts and essential oils are frequently used in perfumes, cleaning products, and aromatherapy.

Varieties of Lime:
There are essentially two species of limes in common use. One is smaller, yellower key lime and other is larger, greener Persian lime. Other limes include the Mandarin lime (Citrus limonia), Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix), the various Australian limes, sweet lime (Citrus limetta), and Palestine sweet lime (Citrus limettioides).

The name lime is also used for some species that are not part of the Citrus genus, such as Spanish lime (Melicoccus bijugatus), wild lime (Adelia ricinella), and musk lime ( X Citrofortunella mitis).

TahitianLime: Tahitian Lime (Citrus x latifolia), is the main variety found in American markets. The Tahitian type is known as the Bearss lime in California and the Persian lime in Florida. It is larger than the Key lime, has virtually no seeds (unlike the Key lime), but it is less aromatic and less flavorful than the Key lime. Persian lime is generally sold only when it is still a green color (technically it is fully ripe when the skin is pale yellow).

Key Lime:
Key Lime (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle), is also known as the Mexican Lime, West Indies Lime and Bartender’s Lime. "Key lime" is an American retronym, as the original fruit known in English as a "lime" was Citrus aurantifolia, derived from the Persian name limu (the fruit was introduced to Europe during the Crusaders).

It is smaller and rounder with a thinner, more leathery skin that ranges from light green to yellow and straw yellow flesh, full of small seeds. This highly-aromatic Key lime is grown in the Florida Keys, Mexico and the West Indies. It also has a distinct, tart, but less acid, juice than the Persian lime. Key limes are more sensitive to cold and need more heat to fully develop their flavor. When conditions are right, the fruit becomes highly aromatic and more intensely flavorful than Persian limes.

Culinary uses of lime:
  • The use of lime juice and lime zest (the outer, colorful skin of citrus fruit) to enhance the flavor of rice, potatoes, salads, and cooked vegetables. It is a very common ingredient in authentic Mexican and Southwestern American dishes.
  • Lime juice is excellent in marinades, beverages, salad dressings, seafood and barbecue sauces, sorbets, jams, and pie.
  • It is rich in Vitamin C.
  • Dried limes are used as a flavoring in typical Persian cuisines.
  • It is the ingredient of soft drink, Sprite etc.


The Lemon (Citrus × limon) is a hybrid in cultivated wild plants. Lemon juice is about 5% citric acid, with a pH of 2 to 3, which gives lemons a tart taste.

Lemon trees bloom and ripen fruit every month of the year. The most fruit is produced between January and May. Lemons are usually handpicked when they are about 2½ inches in diameter and still relatively green.

The best lemons have skin of an oily, fine texture and are heavy for their size. This type is more apt to be full of juice, with a minimum of seeds and waste fibers.

The top-five lemon producing countries are the United States, Mexico, Italy, Spain, and India. Lemons are more partial to the subtropical in part because they are quite susceptible to disease if grown in wet climates.

Lemons are high in potassium, vitamin B1, and vitamin C. Lemons aid in digestion and can strengthen resistance.

Culinary uses of lemon:

  • Lemon juice is used to marinate the meat before cooking. It partially hydrolyzes the tough collagen fibers in the meat, thus helps in tenderizing meat.
  • Fish are marinated in lemon juice. The acid present in lemon juice neutralizes the amines in fish by converting them into nonvolatile ammonium salts thus helps to neutralize the odor of fish.
  • When lemon juice is sprinkled on certain foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados. The acid acts as a short-term preservative by denaturing the enzymes that cause browning and degradation.
  • The grated rind of the lemon, called lemon zest, is used to add flavor to baked goods, puddings, rice and other dishes.
  • Lemons are used to make marmalade, lemonade, and as a garnish for drinks.
  • Pickled lemons are a Moroccan delicacy. A liqueur called limoncello is made from lemon rind.

Friday, November 14, 2008

‘Sunny Side Up’ Egg Curry

This is a simple egg curry, prepared in minutes.

  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp diced green pepper (capsicum)4 baby mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Chopped Coriander leaves
  • Salt To taste

  • Heat oil in a thick bottom pan or a non sticking pan and fry onion on medium flame until soft and light brown.
  • Add all of the ingredients except coriander leaves.
  • Cover and cook until tomato is pulpy.
  • Spread the tomato onion masala evenly on the bottom of the pan.
  • Break the egg and slowly drop on the masala one by one. Don't stir. Cook on slow flame for 4-5 minutes.
  • Once the egg white solidifies and egg yolks are settled at their places cover the pan and off the gas. Leave it covered on the burner for 2-3 minutes.Remove the lid and carefully slide the egg curry in a serving flat dish.
  • sprinkle pinch of salt and black pepper powder over the eggs.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with parathas.

Do You Know?

Yolk color is dependent on the diet of the hen; if the diet contains yellow/orange plant pigments known as xanthophylls, then they are deposited in the yolk, coloring it. A colorless diet can produce an almost colorless yolk. Farmers may enhance yolk color with artificial pigments, or with natural supplements rich in lutein (marigold petals are a popular choice), but in most locations, this activity is forbidden.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Is there any difference between Meat and Mutton?

For centuries goat meat has been enjoyed throughout the Middle East, Asia and in many European countries. In fact, it is one of the most commonly consumed meats in the world.

In India, along with many Eastern Countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Singapore, the term mutton refers to Goat's meat and usually not to sheep's meat. Often, the so-called mutton curries of the Indian cuisine use goat meat when cooked at home, although in Indian restaurants sheep meat is often used. In the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean, the word “mutton” is used to describe both goat and lamb meat.

Goat Meat:

In USA goat meat is known as goat meat. But in UK and parts of Europe, goat meat is known as Chevon,
Chevon may be goat from 48 to 60 pounds and 6 to 9 months of age.
Cabrito is meat from very young, milk fed goats between 4 and 8 weeks of age. The meat is tender, juicy and very lean and tasty at this age. The term Capretto comes from the Italian term “kidgoat”.

Sheep Meat:

Lamb, hogget, and mutton are the meat of domestic sheep. Because of dramatically differing economic values of each type of animal (lamb being the most expensive), classification systems have developed to ensure consumers receive the product they have purchased. The strict definitions for lamb, hogget and mutton vary considerably between countries. In New Zealand for example, they are defined as follows:

Lamb — it is a young sheep under 12 months of age which does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear. It has a carcass weight of between 5.5 and 30 kilograms (12 and 65 lbs). This meat generally is tenderer than that from older sheep and appears more often on tables in some Western countries. In certain cuts of meat the younger animal is felt to be more tender and delicate and is therefore more highly valued. Because of the confusion in the usage of the word "lamb" mentioned above, meat from the young animal is often referred to in Australia as "spring lamb" - i.e. meat from an animal born only last spring.

Hogget refers to meat from an animal between one and two years old and with two or four adult teeth. It can be a young male sheep or maiden ewe having no more than two permanent incisors in wear. A common name used in Australia is "two-tooth". It is regarded as being a little tougher than lamb but more flavorful.

Mutton refers to meat from an animal that has passed its second birthday. It can be a female (ewe) or castrated male (wether) sheep having more than two permanent incisors in wear. Traditionalists argue that mutton is always the meat from a wether (a wether is a castrated male sheep; it is thought that castration improves the taste of some meats). A more contemporary view is that mutton comes from a breeding ewe (female) that has reached the end of its productive life. It can sometimes be quite tough and generally has more flavor than lamb and hogget.

Hogget and mutton have a stronger flavor than lamb because they contain a higher concentration of species-characteristic fatty acids and are preferred by some. Mutton and hogget also tend to be tougher than lamb (because of connective tissue maturation) and are therefore better suited to casserole-style cooking.

Are Goat and Sheep, same nutritionally?

The taste of goat meat is similar to that of lamb meat.

Nutritionally, Goat meat is lower than mutton in fat and cholesterol. It also has more minerals than chicken, and is lower in total and saturated fats than many other meats. As it ranks right up with chicken and fish in the low fat department, it is being recommended for a heart-healthy diet comparable to chicken.

Chevon is therefore classified as a white meat. One reason for the leanness is that goats do not accumulate fat deposits or "marbling" in their muscles like cows or pigs. Goat leg has the lowest fat content compared to other parts of the goat. It supplies high quality protein along with healthy fat. There is no worry about pesticide or heavy chemical residue as there will be with fish, nor worry about hormones or antibiotics as would be with grocery store chicken.

Most of the fat which is present is external and that can be trimmed easily. Goat meat is one of the best sources of zinc and iron. It also has B group vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. Vitamin B actually helps to burn fat cells. It has choline and selenium which is known to prevent cancer.

Goat meat is approximately the equivalent in caloric value to chicken and has less than half the calories of beef per serving. This is desirable for persons with a need to reduce their caloric intake. Overall, goat meat is similar in most nutrients to other species, but the cholesterol content of goat meat is slightly higher than beef or chicken.

In the end we can say that Chevon (or goat meat) is rapidly gaining popularity as a low-fat, nutritionally dense meat.

Are you confused between a Prawn and a Shrimp?

Are you confused between a Prawn and a Shrimp?
Many consumers and restaurants use the terms “shrimp” and “prawns” interchangeably. Even in commercial farming and fisheries the terms shrimp and prawn are often used interchangeably.

Terminology also varies from nation to nation, which can make matters even more confusing. In European countries, particularly the United Kingdom, the word “prawns” is more commonly on menus than the term “shrimp”, which is used more often in North America.

The term 'prawn' is also loosely used to describe any large shrimp, especially those that come 15 (or fewer) to the pound (also called “king prawns”, but also “jumbo shrimp”).
Australia and other Commonwealth countries as well as South Africa follow this European/British terminology to a greater extent, using the word 'prawn' almost exclusively.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations, terminology is based on the habitat. According to this, shrimp is a seawater creature, while prawn's natural habitat is fresh water.

Some people say that the difference is just in the size. ‘Shrimp’ is used to describe the smaller variety, whilst ‘Prawn’ is used to name the larger members of both species.

In biological terms, Shrimps and Prawns are Decapod Crustaceans, which means that they have 10 legs and a hard shell covering their body, although the shell that covers prawns and shrimps is much thinner and not as hard as the shell of most other crustaceans. They have to shed their shells in order to grow bigger. There are some biological differences between Prawns and Shrimps, due to which they two are placed in different suborders. Prawns are in the suborder Dendobranchiata, while shrimp are classified as Pleocyemata.

They both can be found in salt and fresh water all over the world, typically swimming in search of food. Both shrimp and prawns tend to stay near the ocean floor. They also have similar flavors, and come in a wide range of sizes from minuscule to quite large.

Difference between a Shrimp and a Prawn:
So now we know that shrimp and prawns are closely related, but there are a few distinguishing features which divide the two.

The Prawn is transparent with long legs and is found amongst the weed in rock pools on the shore. There are several different species. In the South and West the species in the pools are called by the scientific name of Palaemon.

The Shrimp is the sandy colored crustacean that lives in the sandy shallows. It has short legs and buries itself in the sand. It is called by the scientific name of Crangon and is found all around the British coast.

Some of the biological differences between prawns and shrimps are mentioned below:

1. Gill structure: Prawns have a branching gill structure, whilst the shrimps have lamellar gill structure.

2. Size of legs: Prawn’s legs are longer than shrimp’s legs.

3. Pincers: The front pincers of shrimp are typically the largest, while prawns have bigger second pincers. These differences may seem subtle, but they indicate different steps along the evolutionary path of both creatures.

4. Second Abdominal Segment: The easiest practical way to separate true shrimps from true prawns is to examine their second abdominal segments. The second segment of a shrimp overlaps both the first and the third segment, while the second segment of a prawn overlaps only the third segment.

5. Body Size: Culinarily, many people distinguish between shrimp and prawns on the basis of size. Prawns are considered to be larger, while shrimp are smaller.

6. There is also a difference in the way that the two brood their eggs. A more fundamental difference but one impossible to appreciate in a single specimen is that female prawns do not brood eggs but shed them into the currents where they develop independently.

Interesting fact about Prawns and Shrimps:
Prawns and Shrimp are protandric hermaphrodites, that is, they undergo a change of sex in mid-life, starting out as males and then becoming females in their fourth and final year of life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Matar Paneer (Paneer Peas Curry)

Paneer cubes (cottage cheese) are cooked with green peas.

2 cups paneer cubes
1 cup green peas
2 large onions paste
2 medium tomatoes puree
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsps garlic paste
2 tsps coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsps garam masala
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 green chilies chopped
6 tbsps of oil
Salt to taste
Cilantro leaves chopped fine to garnish

  • Heat 2-3 tbsps of oil in a pan and gently stir-fry the cubes of paneer till golden. Remove onto a paper towel and keep aside.
  • In the same vessel heat remaining oil and add the onion paste. Fry till it turns light brown.
  • Add tomato paste, ginger and garlic paste and fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the coriander, cumin, red chili, turmeric and garam masala powders, green chilies and fry, stirring continuously till the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  • Add the peas to the masala and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Then add the paneer, 2 cups of water and salt, reduce flame to a simmer and cook till the gravy thickens.
  • When the gravy is as thick as you would like, turn off the flame.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with parathas or naans.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pizza Style Cheese Omelet

This gives the appearance of a pizza. The base is made of omelet topped with onion, green pepper, tomato, mushroom and cheese. The topping of the omelet can be modified according to taste.

  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ small onion chopped
  • ½ small tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp green pepper chopped
  • 2 small button mushrooms chopped
  • ¼ cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter

  • Break the eggs in a bowl and whisk them with salt, pepper until well blended.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, chopped bell pepper, tomato and chopped mushrooms. Toss for 2 minutes, remove and keep them aside.
  • Heat the remaining butter in same pan over medium heat and pour in egg mixture.
  • Spread evenly around the pan and sprinkle the onion mushrooms mixture on top of it.
  • Spread cheese over the vegetables and cook on slow heat until cheese starts melting. Do not flip or fold it.
  • Remove from the flame and serve hot.

Do You Know?

Fresh mozzarella is generally white, but may vary seasonally to slightly yellow depending on the animal's diet. It is a semi-soft cheese. Due to its high moisture content, it is traditionally served the day it is made, but can be kept in for up to a week, or longer when sold in vacuum-sealed packages.
Low-moisture mozzarella can keep refrigerated for up to a month, though some pre-shredded low-moisture mozzarella is sold with a shelf life of up to 6 months. Mozzarella of several kinds, are also used for most types of pizza and lasagna.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Egg Kofta (Scotch Eggs)

Hard-boiled egg is removed from its eggshell, wrapped in a minced meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep fried.

  • 1 pound minced meat
  • 2 tbsp roasted gram flour
  • 1 raw egg
  • 2 chopped green Chilies
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1” ginger piece chopped
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • Bread crumbs
  • Flour for dusting
  • Cooking oil to fry
  • 1 tsp brown cardamom powder

  • Cook the minced meat for about 20 minutes with the chopped onions, green chilies, chopped ginger, garlic cloves and salt.
  • Dry the liquid and add roasted gram flour and garam masala.
  • Knead or grind till slightly sticky, mix egg and knead it again.
  • Shell all the eggs and dust them with flour.
  • Divide the meat mixture into 5 equal portions. Flatten each portion in the palm, place an egg in the centre and wrap the meat mix around the egg until it is completely enclosed.
  • Roll them in bread crumbs and keep them in refrigerator for ½ hour.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, put in the koftas and fry them until they are brown on all sides.
  • Cut the koftas into halves, and serve with the eggs facing up.

Do You Know?

Scotch eggs, in London, were traditionally a picnic food, designed to be eaten fresh. In the United States, many "English-style" pubs and eateries serve fresh-made Scotch eggs. These are usually served hot, with dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, hot sauce or hot mustard sauce. At the Minnesota State Fair, scotch eggs are served on a stick.

Paneer Ki Kheer

Boil paneer with milk, add nuts and cardamom and get a taste of soft kalakand.

  • 1 cup freshly prepared paneer from full cream milk
  • 3 cups full cream milk
  • 1 cup khoya powder or milk powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • Few strands of saffron
  • 1 tbsp chironji
  • ¼ cup nuts (blanched and slivered almonds, cashew nuts and pistachio)
  • ½ cup sugar (adjust according to taste)
  • 1 tsp rose water


  • In a large saucepan, boil milk.
  • Add the paneer and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle khoya powder slowly over milk. Stir to avoid lump formation.
  • Add nuts, saffron and cardamom powder. Stir and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the fire. Allow the kheer to cool down.
  • Sprinkle rose water.
  • Chill in refrigerator and serve.

Note: Kheer always thickens when cooled. So adjust the consistency of kheer by adding milk if it is thick.