Friday, August 29, 2008

Kadhai Gosht ( Lamb Cooked in Wok)


This Mughlai dish is traditionally cooked and even served in a wok-like dish called a Kadhai.

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds kg lamb/ mutton cut into 1 ½ " pieces
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup finely diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsps garlic paste
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 4 green chillies slit lengthwise
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsps garam masala
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsps cooking oil
  • Ginger juliennes to garnish
  • Fresh chopped coriander to garnish

Method:
  • Mix the lamb with the yogurt, ginger, garlic paste, and lemon juice, salt to taste, cover and allow marinating for 2-3 hours. Can keep in refrigerator overnight.
  • Heat oil in a wok ( Kadhai) on a medium flame. Add bay leaves and cinnamon stick fry till they are light brown. Add the green chillies and fry till they stop spluttering.
  • Add only lamb pieces from the marinade, stir frequently for about 10 minutes.
  • Mix in marinade and tomatoes, Stir till tomatoes are pulpy.
  • Add garam masala, corainder and cumin powder. Stir well. Cover, simmer on the low flame and cook till the meat is done. Check occassionally to prevent sticking and burning. In this dish pieces are just covered with masala without any gravy.
  • Turn off fire, garnish with ginger juliennes and coriander leaves and serve with hot roti (Indian Flat Bread) or Nans.


Do you know?
Kadhai is a round bottomed pan. Usually the kadhai, in which the food is cooked, is placed directly on the table, where everyone eats out of it. Kadhai cooking is quick and no water is used in this style of cooking.
The main ingredients cook in the natural juices released by the tomatoes and meat in the dish, which is constantly stirred until cooked. The main aspect of this cooking is that the sides get seared and this wonderful flavor is scraped and added to the taste of the dish.

Cut Okra


This simple dish can be made in just 10 minutes and tastes great.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound frozen cut Okra
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp dry mango powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsps cooking oil

Method:
  • Heat oil in a wide heavy bottom pan on a medium flame.
  • Mix coriander, red chili, turmeric, dry mango powder, all purpose flour and salt with okra in a bowl. Mix well.
  • Stir in this spicy frozen okra to hot oil.
  • Fry for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, till it becomes tender. Do not cover the pan while frying okra.
  • Serve with hot Chapatis (Indian flatbread) or parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread).

Note: Okra is a sensitive vegetable and should not be cooked in pans made of iron, copper or brass since the chemical properties turns okra black.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kalia (Lamb Stew)


It is a dish in which lamb pieces are cooked with spices to form stew (kashmiri Lamb Stew).

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound mutton ( Lamb) cut in small pieces
  • 2 tbsp whisked yogurt
  • Pinch of asafetida dissolved in 1 tbsp of water
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1” cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tsp aniseed powder
  • ½ turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp ghee/oil

Method:
  • Heat ghee/oil in a pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, green cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon and saute till fragrant.
  • Add mutton pieces, red chili powder, turmeric powder, asafetida water and salt and 3 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and pressure-cook till 3-4 whistles or till the mutton is tender.
  • Open the lid of pressure cooker when it is cooled. Add dry ginger powder, aniseed powder, kashmiri garam masala and allow to simmer on low heat for two to three minutes.
  • Add whisked yogurt, bring to a boil, adjust seasoning and serve hot.

Note: Kashmiri red chili powder can be substituted with any red chili powder.

Do You Know?
Chili is nature's wonder. Its fruit appears in different sizes, shapes and colour. The fruit size of some varieties is more than hundred times that of others. The shape may be elongated or round and distal pointed, blunt or sucked in. Corrugated, leathery or smooth maybe the touch on outer skin. It may look like a bird's eye or a small orange fruit. Colour varies from blue, green, orange, red, yellow, violet, cream white to near black.
Kashmiri or "Degchi Mirchi" : These chilies are smaller and rounder and less pungent but give a very vibrant red color to a dish.


Palak Gosht (Lamb with Spinach)



Lamb cooked with spinach.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds lamb cut in small pieces

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen Spinach chopped

  • 2 big onions sliced

  • 1 cup Yogurt

  • 1 cup diced tomatoes

  • 2”ginger piece or 1 tsp dry ginger powder

  • 6-7 garlic cloves or 1 tsp dry garlic powder

  • 2 tsp Meat Curry powder

  • 1 tsp black pepper powder

  • 4 green chilies chopped

  • ¼ tsp asafetida

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1” cinnamon stick

  • 2 brown cardamoms

  • 4-5 tbsp ghee

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • Salt to taste


Method:
  • Heat 3 tbsp ghee in a saucepan on medium flame. Fry onions till golden brown. Add diced tomatoes, ginger, garlic, spinach, meat curry powder, green chilies and salt. Cook till spinach is soft. Remove it from flame, cool it and grind it in a smooth paste.
  • Heat remaining ghee in another saucepan. Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, cumin seeds and asafetida. Stir in lamb and fry till it is browned.
  • Add ground masala paste, mix well, add 2 cups of water and cook on low heat till the meat is well cooked. (Meat can be cooked in pressure cooker upto 2 or more pressure whistles depending upon size of the meat pieces).
  • Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a small skillet, fry 1 finely chopped garlic clove in it on medium heat till garlic is golden brown. Temper the meat spinach curry with this.
  • Serve with plain rice or roti.
Tips:
Leafy vegetables will remain fresh longer, if wrapped in news papers when you are storing.

Do You Know?

Spinach contains naturally-occurring substances called purines. Purines are broken down to form uric acid. Excessive intake of purine-containing foods can lead to excess accumulation of uric acid in the body causing health problems like ‘gout’ and formation of kidney stones.



Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nargisi Koftay (Egg Stuffed Meat Balls)


The eggs are encased in a layer of ground/minced meat to form a Nargisi Kofta

Ingredients:
For Koftey:
  • 1 pound minced meat
  • 2 tbsp gram flour or ¼ cup cooked chana dal
  • 1 tbsp green Chili paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • Flour for dusting
  • Cooking oil to fry
  • 1 tsp brown cardamom powder
  • For Gravy
  • 2 big onions paste
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp green chili paste
  • 2 tbsp kofta masala
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (Cilantro)
  • 1 tsp crispy fried onions for garnishing (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil

Method:
  • Mix minced meat, gram flour, corn flour, garam masala, green chili paste and salt. Grind all this in smooth paste without adding water, add the Kewra (if desired)
  • 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 paste around the egg until it’s completely enclosed.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, put in the meatballs and fry them until they are brown on all sides. Keep them aside.
  • Prepare gravy in a deep heavy bottom pan, by frying all the ingredients mentioned above for the gravy, except green cilantro. When oil separates from masala add 4 cups of water.
  • When gravy starts to boil adds kebabs and simmer 15 minutes in open pan. Remove from gas
  • Cut the meatballs into halves, and serve with the eggs facing up. Garnish with crispy fried onions and chopped cilantro.
  • Serve with Roti or Naan.

Tips:
Don't boil egg straight out of the fridge. Leave it out till it reaches room temperature. Boiling it straight from the fridge is too much of a temperature shock and can crack the shell. Use fresh eggs as much as possible


Do you know?
Nargisi Kofta is a South Asian cuisine. It resembles an Indian Scotch egg.
A Scotch egg consists of a cold hard-boiled egg removed from its eggshell, wrapped in a sausage meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. The dish was invented by the London food shop Fortnum & Mason, in 1738. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a Scottish dish. Scotch eggs are commonly eaten cold, typically with salad and pickles.

Magaz Murg (Chicken With Melon Seed)



Magaz Murg is rich with mild, thick and creamy gravy. Enjoy it with Nan or Paratha.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Pound Chicken cut into pieces
  • 1 tbsp Magaz (Melon Seed) paste
  • 1 tbsp Cashew nut paste
  • 1 small onion sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp Yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsp cream
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3-4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp green chili paste
  • 2 tsp White pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt To Taste

Method:
  • Heat the butter in a pan and fry the onions till they are translucent.
  • Add the bay leaf and ginger, garlic, green chili pastes, and fry for a minute. Add the chicken and fry till sealed (chicken turns opaque).
  • Now add yogurt and black pepper powder and fry till the ghee begins to separate. Add a little water and salt to taste, and cook till the chicken is almost done.
  • Add the melon seeds paste and cashew nut paste to the chicken and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Whisk the cream to ensure that there are no lumps in it. Add to the chicken and turn off the fire.
  • Garnish with fried onion, ginger juliennes, lime juice and boiled egg.
  • Serve after a few minutes with Nan (Indian flatbread made in a tandoor or oven) or paratha.

Do You Know?
Melon Seeds contain high amounts of antioxidants and are viewed as an excellent source of Folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc and protein.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kofta Curry (Meat Balls/Dumplings Curry)


Minced or Ground Meat ( Lamb) Balls cooked in gravy made of onion,spices and melon seeds paste.

Ingredients:
For Kofta:
  • 1 pound Boneless Mutton
  • 2 tbsp Dry Roasted Gram Flour (Besan)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil for frying
For Curry:
  • Paste of 2 big onions
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Meat Curry Masala (available in Indian Grocery Stores)
  • 2 tbsp melon seeds paste
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil

Method:
  • To make koftas, mix all the ingredients in ground meat and knead it with hands properly. Make equal sized smooth balls.
  • Deep fry these balls in oil on medium heat till golden brown.Keep them aside.
  • For the curry, heat oil in a deep skillet. Fry onion, ginger, garlic paste till light brown. Add tomato chunks and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add all other dry ingredients, fry till oil is separated from masala.
  • Add enough water to make gravy. Bring to boil, add koftas and simmer for 30 minutes or till koftas are done.Check Spelling
  • Add melon seeds paste ( for this first dry roast the melon seeds on a skillet and grind them then in grinder). Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped Cilantro and serve hot with Roti (Indian Flatbread) or Nan.

Note: Koftas can be grilled, fried, steamed, poached, baked or marinated, and may be served with or without a rich spicy sauce. Variations occur.

Tips: Meatballs freeze very well. Cool them completely so they stay separate, then freeze in a single layer. When frozen solid, place gently into a hard-sided freezer container, label, seal, and freeze up to 3 months. To thaw, let stand in the refrigerator overnight, thaw in the microwave oven at 30% power, or just use as directed in recipe.

Do you know?
According to a 2005 study done by a private food company, there were 291 different kinds of kofta in Turkey, where it is very popular. In Arab countries, kofta is usually shaped into cigar-shaped cylinders

Shahi Tukra ( Indian Bread Pudding)


Truly a royal dessert, as its name suggests, Shahi Tukra is a rich bread pudding with dry fruits, flavored with cardamom. Here is a simple recipe, in which ingredients are little modified to suit the requirement of time.

Ingredients:
  • 1 can (400gm) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp rose water or ½ tsp kewara essence
  • 5-6 Brown Bread Slices
  • ½ cup roasted cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp Ghee to shallow fry bread
  • Sugar syrup
  • few saffron strings

Method:
  • Cut the slices of bread with the help of cookie cutter.
  • Shallow fry the toasts in a heavy bottom skillet using little ghee on medium fire till they are crisp and golden.
  • In a pan take ¾ cup of sugar and 1 ½ cup of water. Boil for 4-5 minutes till 1 cup of syrup is left.(You can use leftover Gulab Jamun syrup also).Add cardamom powder and rose water in it.
  • Put bread pieces in a flat serving dish. Pour 1 tbsp of sugar syrup on each slice, top with the condensed milk.
  • Garnish the slices with the cashew pieces, chill for an hour and serve.

Do You Know?
Cashew nuts are said to be effective for improving vitality and are believed to be good for promoting healthy teeth and gums.
They are enriched in calcium, believed to help in promoting strong and healthy bones. They have magnesium, which is known to promote the absorption of calcium.
Cashew Nuts also contain iron, magnesium, zinc and folic acid, reported to be vital for pregnant women.

Chicken Korma



Korma is a characteristically creamy and silky Persian-Indian dish which can be traced back to the 16th century.

Its flavour is based on a mixture of spices, including ground coriander and cumin, combined with yogurt or coconut milk kept below curdling temperature and incorporated slowly and carefully. Nuts can be used but not in great quantities; usually almonds or cashews.

Ingredients:

Method:

  • In an deep heavy bottom pan heat oil and add sliced onions. Fry on high heat for 5 minutes or until the onions turn transparent. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low and continue frying until the onions are light golden. Stir constantly. Remove onions from ghee and spread over a paper so that extra ghee is absorbed by the paper. Fried onions become crispy once they are cooled.
  • In the same pan add bay leaves, caraway seeds,cinnamon,green cardamom and aniseeds . Add ginger garlic paste and fry for few seconds.
  • Stir in chicken, fry for at least 5 minutes.
  • Mix in yogurt and all other dry spices. Cover and cook on low heat till chicken is tender.
  • Crush the crispy fried onions coarsely with a rolling pin and add to chicken along with almond paste.
  • Stir frequently and simmer on low heat for 5 more minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander.
  • Serve with roti ( Indian flat bread) or Nan.

Do you know:

Indian bay-leaves are the leaves of a tree closely related to cinnamon. The tough, three-veined leaves are very popular in Northern India and used almost exclusively in the kitchens of Northern India, especially in the famous Moghul cuisine that was developed at the Imperial courts in Delhi and Agra.

Indian bay leaves are found not only in biryanis, but also in Moghul kormas and curries for which today the northern Indian city of Lucknow is famous.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Palak Paneer (Spinach with Cottage Cheese)



This is a mildly flavored healthy dish. Tofu can substitute Paneer.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound Paneer cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 cups chopped frozen or fresh spinach
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsps ginger garlic paste
  • 4 green chilies
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala ( optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1’’ cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsps cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter to garnish or fresh cream
  • 1 tsp ginger juliennes

Method:
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan; fry the onions till light brown.
  • Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for a minute.
  • Mix in chopped spinach, diced tomato, green chilies, curry powder and salt to taste. Cook it for 5 minutes or till the spinach is soft.
  • Blend this spinach mix in the food processor to get a smooth paste.( You can mash spinach with potato masher to get pulp while it is getting cooked in the pan itself ).
  • Take 2 tbsp oil in a separate heavy bottomed deep pan. Add bay leaf and cinnamon stick to it.
  • Add paneer cubes and spinach paste/pulp to this. Mix well, cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with butter or fresh cream and ginger juliennes.
  • Serve hot with roti (Indian flatbread) or parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread)
Do You Know?
Spinach contains a relatively high level of non-heme iron, compared to other vegetable and meat sources. The bioavailability of iron is dependent on its absorption. The absorption is dependent on the presence of binders such as fiber or enhancers, such as vitamin C. Therefore, the body's absorption of non-heme iron can be improved by consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ginger Chicken

Chicken cooked in spicy gravy with lots of ginger.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken pieces of your choice (with or without bones and skin)
  • 2 tbsp fresh yogurt
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • 1 medium tomatoes chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1"stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 4"piece of ginger cut into juliennes
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • Chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Put the yogurt in a large mixing bowl and add the powdered spice mix. Blend all ingredients to a smooth paste with a whisker. Add the chicken to this marinade and mix to coat on all sides. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan on a medium flame. Add cinnamon, caraway seeds, bay leaf and fry till they change their color. Now add the onions and fry till they are light golden. Add the tomatoes and fry till they are pulpy.
  • Add the chicken pieces and stir fry for 10 minutes till the chicken is sealed and browned on all sides.
  • Mix in marinade and ½ cup of water, stir and cover the pan.Reduce the flame to simmer till the chicken is almost done.
  • Add the sour cream, ginger (keep a little aside for garnishing), stir and increase the flame to medium. Cook till most of the gravy has dried up.
  • Turn off fire, garnish with remaining ginger and chopped coriander and serve with hot roti (Indian flatbread) or parathas.


Do you know?

Ginger was well-known to the ancient Romans. It nearly disappeared in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. After the Marco Polo's trip to the Far East, ginger came back into flavor in Europe and became a very expensive spice.

Ginger is quite popular in the Caribbean Islands, where it grows wild in lush tropical settings. Jamaican ginger is prized for its strong, perky flavor, and this island currently provides most of the world's supply, followed by India, Africa and China.

Ginger is believed to help the common cold, flu-like symptoms, headaches. Ginger has a sialagogue action, stimulating the production of saliva.


Chicken 65


It is a deep fried chicken preparation which makes a good appetizer.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound boneless chicken
  • 2 tbsp. corn flour
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp Deep Orange Food Color
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • oil for frying
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 green chilies slit elongated
  • 4-5 curry leaves

Method:
  • Wash and pat dry the chicken. Cut the chicken into 1 ½ inch cubes.
  • Place chicken pieces in a bowl and mix with ginger garlic paste, soy sauce, chili sauce, chili powder, salt, lemon juice, orange color, beaten egg, corn flour and 1 tbsp oil. Coat the chicken pieces liberally with the marinade. Cover and leave to marinate for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator (Marinating chicken overnight makes softer chicken 65).
  • Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
  • Heat Oil in a deep fry pan and fry the chicken pieces for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken turns reddish brown in color. Fry a few at a time.
  • Take out fried chicken in a bowl and mix well with beaten yogurt so that every piece of chicken is coated with yogurt. Keep it aside.
  • From the same frying pan take out extra oil fleaving behind only 2 tbsp oil. Fry chopped curry leaves and green chilies till they are light brown.
  • Stir in chicken and fry well till all the yogurt is absorbed by the chicken pieces. and chicken is tender.
  • Garnish with green chillies and curry leaves.
  • Serve hot.
Tips: Chicken shouldn't be marinated longer than called for in the recipe. The chicken can become mushy if marinated too long, as the acid breaks down the flesh.


Hariyali Murg (Chicken with Green Curry)


Fresh Spring Onion (Scallions), Green Chilies and Spinach make chicken curry green with different flavor.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound chicken pieces of your choice
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallion (Spring onions)
  • 3-4 green chillies finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped spinach ( you can use frozen spinach)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice ( can modify according to taste)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 tbsp butter to cook
  • Salt to taste

Method:
  • Marinate chicken in ginger garlic paste, black pepper powder, red chili powder, vinegar, 2 tbsp oil and salt for 15 minutes.
  • Heat butter in a skillet on medium flame. Add cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf. Stir in marinated chicken pieces (leave behind marinade for later use), fry till the chicken is brown and sealed from all the sides.
  • Add chopped green onions, green chillies and spinach, fry for about 5 minutes.
  • Mix in marinade and fry for another 5 minutes.
  • Add a cup of water and cook covered till the chicken is tender.
  • Remove from the fire, mix in lemon juice.
  • Serve with hot Roti (Indian flatbread) or Parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread).

Do you know?
Scallions, also commonly known as spring onion, green onion or salad onion, is associated with various members of the genus Allium.
It is a variety of young onions which has long thin white base (bulb is not fully-developed). They tend to be milder tasting than other onions.
Scallions have various common names throughout the world. In India it is called spring onion. In United States it is called as scallion or green onion. In England and some Commonwealth countries the most common name is spring onion. In Australia the common name is shallot.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rava Upma ( Semolina Pudding )


It is a hot, breakfast snack in which, Cream of Wheat and lots of vegetables are used to form a soft mushy salty pudding like snack.
The word Upma, for the dish is derived from "Salt-and-flour" in all the South Indian languages.
In Tamil the word "Uppu" means "Salt" and "Maavu" means "flour" (of any kind); uppu+maav = Upma;

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups semolina ( Cream of Wheat)
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 small capsicum
  • 1 small potato boiled
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 4 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp cooking oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp black gram split (urad dal)
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 dry whole red chilies
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter

Method:
  • Roast the rava in a dry thick bottom pan without the color changing, remove and cool.
  • Wash, peel and dice the vegetables( potato, capsicum, carrot) of equal size about 1 cm square.
  • Heat oil, temper with asafetida, mustard seeds, red chillies, urad dal and curry leaves.
  • Add the onion, ginger and green chillies. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Mix in potato cubes and green peas and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Now add capsicum and fry for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle salt to taste.
  • Pour 4 cups water and bring to boil. When the water starts boiling, add the rava in a flow, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Cook for a few more minutes stirring all the while. Remove from fire. Add butter and keep covered for 5-7 minutes.
  • Drizzle lemon juice and serve hot with coconut chutney.


Do You Know?

Curry leaves are highly aromatic and are used as a herb. Their form is small and narrow and they somewhat resemble the leaves of the Neem tree; therefore they are also referred to as Kari Patta in Hindi.

They are commonly used as seasoning in Indian and Sri Lankan cooking, much like bay leaves.In their fresh form, they have a short shelf life though they may be stored in a freezer for quite some time.They are also available dried, though the aroma is inferior.They are also available dried but the aroma is inferior.


Seviyan Kheer (Vermicelli pudding)


This creamy seviyan (vermicelli) pudding is flavored with cardamom, rose water and nuts. It's a great dessert for anytime of the year.
In south and east India, versions of it are made for certain festivals, like my mom used to make it on 'Raksha Bandhan' day.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fine roasted seviyan (vermicelli) broken into 2-3 cm pieces
  • 2 pint full cream hot milk
  • 1 pint sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted roasted almonds chopped coarsely
  • ¼ cup pistachios chopped coarsely
  • 1 tsp chironji
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • Sugar according to taste if required

Method:
  • Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed non-stick pan over medium heat and add seviyan; fry till golden brown.
  • Pour the full cream milk, condensed milk, almonds, pistachio and stirring constantly bring to boil. Cook for about 3-4 minutes; stir constantly to avoid lump formation.
  • Cool to room temperature, add rose water and cardamom powder.
  • Garnish with nuts and serve chilled or hot as you like.

Do You Know:

Rose water is the leftover liquid or hydrosol remaining when rose petals and water are distilled together for the purpose of making rose oil.

Rose water is popular due to its distinct flavor. This is the reason why rose water is used in cuisines of West Asia, South Asia and Middle Eastern areas. Recipes from the 8th century have also included the rose water as an important ingredient.

Many sweets are often flavored with rose water. In India, this is used as an ingredient in Gulab Jamun, which is a very popular sweet. Areas of Malaysia and Singapore use rose water as an ingredient in a sweet drink, which is known as Bandung.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gosht Hari Mirch Ka ( Lamb with Green Chillies)


Lamb is cooked with green chilies and yogurt

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb Lamb mutton with bone cut into small pieces
  • 1 lb yogurt
  • 10 green chilies ground in fine paste ( modify according to taste)
  • 2 medium sized onions finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic paste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely ground coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds ( Shahjeera)
  • 4 cups lamb stock ( optional)
  • ½ cup cooking oil

Method:
  • Mix salt, black pepper, yogurt, turmeric powder, ginger and garlic pastes together.
  • Marinate the lamb in this mixture for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan, add bay leaf and caraway seeds, fry onions till golden brown.
  • Add only marinated lamb pieces( without marinade), fry till they are light brown.
  • Mix in marinade ( yogurt mixture), cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala along with green chili paste. Fry till the oil separates from the mixture.
  • Pour in the lamb stock ( or water ) and cook till the meat is tender.
  • Adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and mint serve with roti.

Do You Know?
Green chilies are available fresh, dried, powdered, flaked, in oil, in sauce, bottled and pickled. It spices up a bland meal and an overdose of these fiery heroes can also send you into a fit of hiccups.

Kheema Matar ( Minced Mutton with Peas)


It is a typical minced-lamb curry cooked with green peas and spices.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb Minced Mutton ( Minced Lamb)
  • 1 Cup Green Peas
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp Garlic grated
  • 2 medium Onions finely chopped
  • 4 Green Chillies finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp Caraway Seeds
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin Powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves

Method:
  • Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan and add bay leaf and Caraway Seeds.Fry till they turn slightly darker. Add onion and fry till lightly browned.
  • Add garlic and stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add minced mutton, ginger, green chillies, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chili powder.
  • Stir-fry for five minutes breaking up any lumps if formed. Add a cup of water.
  • Cover, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Add peas, salt and garam masala powder. Simmer covered till minced mutton and peas are cooked well.
  • Add lemon juice, mix, transfer it in a serving Dish.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve with Roti ( Indian flatbread)


Do You Know?

‘Minced meat’ is the meat finely chopped by a meat grinder. In South Asia both lamb (mutton) and goat meat are minced to produce keema, though the process of mincing is manual.
It is called 'Ground meat' in North America.

Keema can be made from almost any meat, A common type is ground beef, but many other meats are prepared ground in a similar fashion, including pork, lamb, chicken, and turkey.
Ground meat can be cooked by stewing or frying, and can be formed into kebabs. It is also sometimes used as a filling for samosas or vegetables or Naan.

Aloo Gosht ( Lamb with potato)



Potato, cooked with lamb curry, becomes tastier.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound tender lamb (on the bone)
  • 2 big finely sliced onions
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic paste
  • 1 ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri red chili powder( Deggi Mirch)
  • ½ tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ pound potatoes peeled and quatered
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • ½ cup cooking oil/ ghee
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste.

Method:
  • Wash the meat and dry it thoroughly. Add to meat in a bowl, ginger garlic paste, yogurt,chilli, turmeric and coriander powders. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and leave to marinate for half an hour.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil/ ghee in a heavy based pan. Add the potatoes and fry for 10 to 12 minutes to a crisp golden colour,stirring occasionally. Drain and keep aside.
  • Add remaining oil/ghee in the same pan and fry sliced onion till they are golden coloured.
  • Add the meat and the marinade, stirring frequently. Fry for 5 minutes,then add 3 cups of water and salt.Mix once again and cover with the tight fitting lid.
  • Reduce the heat and cook gently for about an hour untill the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender. Adjust the consistency of sauce by adding water.
  • Add the fried potatoes and cook for a few minutes so that they absorb some of the sauce and the flavour. Now sprinkle garam masala and stir carefully for a minute.
  • Take out in a serving dish and garnish with coriander.
  • Serve with roti (Indian flatbread).

Tips: To prevent potatoes from turning brown after peeling, put them in room
temperature water and pour half teaspoonful of salt.

Do You Know?
The notion that “all of the potato’s nutrients” are found in the skin is an urban legend. While the skin does contain approximately half of the total dietary fiber, more than 50% of the nutrients are found within the potato itself. The cooking method used can significantly impact the nutrient availability of the potato.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chicken Saagwala (Chicken with Spinach)


This dish combines chicken with spinach and the end result is a tasty, nutritious and healthy dish.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound skinless chicken pieces
  • ½ pound chopped spinach ( you can use frozen spinach)
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 small tomatoes chopped
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala powder
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter

Method:
  • Marinate chicken in 1 tsp ginger paste,1 tsp garlic paste, 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and salt for 15 minutes.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan on medium flame. Fry onion till pale golden colored. Add chopped spinach, remaining ginger garlic paste, tomatoes and fry till they turn little darker. Remove and cool it. Grind this spinach masala into a paste in a food processor. Keep aside.
  • In another heavy bottom pan heat the remaining oil on medium flame and fry bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves till they just change their color. Add chicken pieces and fry till well browned. Add all dry powders and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add a cup of water and cook till the chicken is tender. Mix in spinach masala paste and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the fire and garnish with fresh butter.
  • Serve with hot Chapatis (Indian flatbread) or Parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread).
Tips: Add a pinch of sugar while cooking spinach, it will retain its green colour.

Do you know?
Spinach is a rich source of Vitamin A (and lutein),Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Magnesium, iron, potassium and several other antioxidants.
When eaten raw, the nutrients are retained, however when cooked, spinach releases some of the nutrients into the liquid produced.
By boiling the spinach, the nutrients are released into the water. However, when sauteed or steamed, the nutrients can be retained in the cooked spinach.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Shahi Paneer Korma


Shahi Paneer Korma is a mild, pale, creamy curry dish made with yogurt, cream and nut paste. It is popular in Punjab and is different from Mughlai Korma in which Khoya is used in place of cream.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound Paneer cubes
  • ½ cup crispy fried onions
  • ¼ cup cashew nut paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp green chilies paste
  • ¼ tomato chopped
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped
Method:
  • In a bowl take smooth yogurt and mix in cashew paste, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt. Keep it aside for later use.
  • Heat oil in a pan and sauté paneer cubes till they are golden. Drain them on an absorbent paper and keep aside.
  • Add ginger garlic green chili paste to the same pan and fry until light brown. Add chopped tomato and cook till tomato becomes mushy.
  • Add yogurt mix and stir continuously.
  • Crumble crispy fried onion slices with hands and mix in the paneer gravy.
  • Dissolve saffron in warm milk and add to the gravy.
  • Simmer for 3-4 minutes on low heat and transfer to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with cream and chopped coriander
  • Serve hot with Tandoori Roti or Paratha.

Do You Know?

From Akbarnama (Book of Akbar – an official biographical account of the third Mughal Emperor), it appears that Korma was created in the royal kitchen of Akbar during mid 1500s. It is surmised that Korma was a fusion of Persian and Indian Cuisine by Rajputs employed in the service of Jodhabai.

Rajputs created Korma and named it after 'Kurma', a well known Rajput tribe. Most likely ingredients were: Mutton (boneless meat, and bone-in meat), Curd (Yogurt), Cardamom, Black Peppercorn, Ginger, and lots of Saffron. Turmeric was rarely used in the royal kitchen to cook meat dishes. The dish was cooked slow and long, till the meat is tender.


Bhaghare Baingan (Eggplant)


Sauteed Eggplant with bhagarey sauce…can be made quickly by preparing sauce in advance.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound medium sized small baingan ( baby eggplants)
  • 2 large onions sliced and roasted
  • 1” ginger piece
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs cumin seeds,
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut dessicated
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • ¼ cup tamarind pulp
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped

Method:
  • Dry roast cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds for few minutes in a small heavy based frying pan until they give off their aroma. Grind these in food processor with peanut, coconut, sesame seeds, coriander seeds to a powder.
  • Grind onion, ginger, garlic and mix with all the powders including red chili and turmeric powder.
  • Slit the eggplants lengthwise carefully into four, leaving them still held together at the stalk. Dip in salt water for about 10-15 minutes. Take out and pat dry.
  • Heat ½ cup oil in a heavy based pan and fry eggplants. Take them out in a dish after frying.
  • In the same pan heat remaining oil, add curry leaves and almost at once add the masala paste along with tomato chunks and salt, stir continuously, pour little water at regular intervals while frying the paste.
  • Add eggplants to this mixture.Cook over low heat for about 10- 12 minutes or until the egg plant are almost tender or when oil begins to separate.
  • Stir in tamarind pulp and chopped green chillies. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with hot plain rice or roti ( Indian flat bread) or Naan.

Note: The eggplant is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, allowing for very rich dishes, but the salting process will reduce the amount of oil absorbed.

Mirch Ka Saalan (Green Pepper Curry)


Green chili is an all important star in Indian cooking and here is a quick recipe which goes well with Bagara Khana or hot Puri or Paratha. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • ½ pound Green Chilies
  • 2 large onions
  • 1” ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp Peanuts
  • 1 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ cup tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 10 Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • 1 cup cooking oil

Method:
  • Wash Green Chilies, make slits along the length ensuring that the end is intact. Remove seeds.
  • Roast the onions on a griddle till they soften and turn light golden brown.
  • Dry roast together on medium heat the sesame seeds, peanuts, desiccated coconut, and coriander seeds till they darken slightly and start emitting an aroma.
  • Grind together the onions, roasted spices, ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder to a fine paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan, deep fry green chilies, remove and keep aside.
  • Fry the ground paste in the same oil by stirring continuously. Pour little water at regular intervals while frying the paste. Stir well by adding tamarind pulp and salt, until the gravy is of sauce consistency.
  • Add fried chilies. Bring to a boil and remove from fire. Add lemon juice according to your taste.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve with Biryani.

Do You Know?
Green chilies are very high in vitamin A and C and have more Vitamin C per gram than many oranges.