Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chicken Korma Curry


This is a wonderfully simple but spectacular dish in which the chicken is cooked with spiced yogurt and crushed crispy fried onions.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Chicken
  • 4 medium onions
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • ½ tbsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp paprika or red chili powder
  • ½ packet Korma Curry Mix (available in Indian Grocery Store)
  • ¾ cup cooking oil
  • 4-5 drops Kewra Essence

Method:

  • Cut the chicken into serving pieces.
  • Marinate chicken in yogurt, red chili powder (or paprika) and salt (1/2 tsp) mixture and keep aside for at least one hour.
  • Heat the oil in a large, wide pan or a large, deep frying pan (preferably non-stick) over a medium flame. When hot, put in the sliced onions. Stir and fry the onions until they are golden brown color. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon, squeezing out and leaving behind as much of the oil as possible. Spread the fried onions on an absorbent paper in a plate and set aside. When fried onions are cool, crush them coarsely with a rolling pin. Do not grind to fine powder or paste.
  • In the same oil first add paprika or red chili powder, and then immediately add ginger garlic paste, before chili powder gets burnt (this gives aroma and deep red color to curry). Fry for about 30 seconds on medium heat.
  • Now stir in marinated chicken without its marinade and sear it for 3-4 minutes. Add marinade and Korma curry mix to it and fry again for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of water. Cover and cook on low heat until the chicken is fork tender.
  • Add crushed fried onions and again cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the ghee separates from the gravy. Mix in Kewra essence and take out in a serving dish. Taste and adjust the salt in gravy.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with Tandoori Roti.


Do You Know?

The flavor of a korma is based on a mixture of spices, including ground coriander and cumin, combined with yoghurt kept below curdling temperature and incorporated slowly and carefully with the meat juices.

Traditionally, this would have been carried out in a pot set over a very low fire, with charcoal on the lid to provide all-round heat.

A korma can be mildly spiced or fiery and may use lamb, chicken, beef, game or more rarely pork; some kormas combine meat and vegetables such as spinach and turnip. The Dopiaza, featuring a large quantity of onions, is a form of korma, as is the Kashmiri dish Rogan Josh or Rogan Gosht.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rasmalai


Paneer (cottage cheese) Patties are soaked in sweetened, thickened milk and flavored with cardamom and rose water.

Serve it chilled and garnished with slivers of dried fruit.


Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon full cream milk / whole milk
  • ¼ cup sugar (modify according to your choice)
  • 1 tbsp cardamom powder
  • Few strands of Saffron
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 2 tbsp chopped nuts
  • 1 can (2.2 lb) of Rasmalai Patties (available in Indian Grocery Stores)


Method:

  • Bring the milk to a boil in High heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer. Keep stirring it every 5-10 minutes to prevent it from sticking to the sides and burning.
  • After half an hour, add the sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well.
  • Now add the Rasmalai tikia. Before dropping the Rasmalai tikia in the milk, squeeze it to remove the sugar syrup that comes in the can.
  • Let it simmer for some more time till the milk becomes thick. Its consistency should be more or less like evaporated milk.
  • Remove from heat. Add saffron strands and rose water and refrigerate it.
  • Garnish with chopped nuts, few strands of Saffron and pinch of cardamom powder.
  • Serve cold as dessert.


Do You Know?

Sweets have an important place in Indian traditions. Every state and region in India has its very own sweet specialties. In North India, Gajar Halwa, Kulfi and Gulab Jamun are common; in East, Rasagulla and Sandesh are traditionally made; in West, Puranpoli and Bebinca are commonly made while Mysore Pak and Payasam are traditionally served in the South.


Potato Rolls


This tea time snack is a tasty alternative for those who love kebabs but are vegetarian.

Ingredients:

  • 2 big potato (boiled and mashed)
  • 1 cup grated cottage cheese (paneer)
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 green chili chopped fine
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped fine
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cashew nuts
  • 1 cup bread crumbs for coating
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Method:

  • Mix paneer and boiled mashed potato well. Add breadcrumbs, corn flour, chopped green chili, ginger grated, chopped coriander leaves, black pepper powder, salt and lemon juice and mix well.
  • Knead the potato mix (dough) well until it is smooth and soft.
  • Now apply some oil on your palms and put some of the potato mix in the cupped palm of your hand, and form it into a hollowed cup about size of half a lemon. Put some of the chopped cashews in the potato cup, and cover with the potato mix around it to make a ball. Roll the ball between the palms to make a smooth small cylinder (potato rolls). Roll each cylinder in breadcrumb and refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan or kadhai on medium heat and fry the potato rolls until light brown.
  • Serve with chutney or ketchup of your choice.

Do You Know?

Deep frying is a cooking method in which food is submerged in hot oil or fat. Overheating or over-using the frying oil leads to formation of toxic compounds such as acrylamide (from starchy foods).

There is evidence that exposure to large doses can cause damage to the male reproductive glands. Direct exposure to pure acrylamide by inhalation, skin absorption, or eye contact irritates the exposed mucous membrane. It can also cause sweating, urinary incontinence, nausea, speech disorders, numbness and weakened legs and hands.

In addition, the acrylamide monomer is a potent neurotoxin, causing the disassembly or rearrangement of intermediate filaments.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kheersagar


Paneer (cottage cheese) dumplings are soaked in sweetened, thickened milk and flavored with cardamom and rose water.

It is a popular Oriya sweet dish that literally translates to Oceans of Milk in the Oriya language. This dish is very similar to Rasmalai, however, the milk base in kheersagar is thicker, acquiring the consistency of Rabri.

Serve it chilled, garnished with chopped nuts.


Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon full cream milk / whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar (modify according to your choice)
  • 1 tbsp cardamom powder
  • Few strands of Saffron
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 2 tbsp chopped nuts
  • 1 can (2.2 lb) of Bikaji Rossogolla (any other brand will do)


Method:

  • Bring the milk to a boil in High heat. Reduce the heat to Medium-Low heat and let it simmer. Keep stirring it every 5-10 minutes to prevent it from sticking to the sides and burning.
  • After an hour, add the sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well.
  • Now add the Rossogollas. Before dropping the rossogolla in the milk, squeeze it to remove the sugar syrup that comes in the can.
  • Let it simmer for some more time till the milk becomes thick. Its consistency should be thick like Rabri (more than evaporated milk but less than condensed milk).
  • Remove from heat. Add saffron strands and rose water and refrigerate it.
  • After refrigeration milk thickens more so before serving Kheer Sagar, check the consistency of milk (rabri). Add little more boiled and cooled milk if you find it thicker than required.
  • Garnish with chopped nuts, few strands of Saffron and pinch of cardamom powder.
  • Serve cold as dessert.


Do You Know?

Chhena (Oriya) or Chhana ( Bengali) is fresh, crumbly, unripened curd cheese eaten in India and neighboring Bangladesh. It is used to make desserts such as rasgulla.

It is created in a similar process to paneer except it is not pressed for as long. It is most popular in Orissa and Bengal and is made from water buffalo milk.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spiced Meatballs



Meatballs made of minced goat/lamb are coated with delicious spice paste.

Ingredients:

For meat balls

For gravy

Method:

  • Put the minced meat in a large bowl and add the garlic, garam masala, green chili paste, 1 tsp salt, egg, roasted chana powder and the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly and knead the minced meat until it is smooth.
  • Divide the mixture into small balls. Make the koftas by rolling the balls between the palms in a circular motion until they are smooth and round. Keep aside.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat, preferably in a non-stick pan and fry onion slices until light brown. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
  • Now add the powdered spices - red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and little salt. Reduce heat slightly (just below medium heat). Fry, stirring often, till the oil begins to separate from the masala paste. You may need to sprinkle water occasionally to keep the masala from burning and sticking to the pan.
  • Add the yogurt and chopped tomato to the masala and keep stirring till you see all the spices separating from the oil.
  • Add 5 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Now put the koftas carefully one by one into the gravy and boil for 3-4 minutes. Remember koftas are not fried.
  • Reduce heat to low; cover the pan and simmer for 8-10 minutes till koftas are done (break one kofta and check from inside).
  • Add garam masala and crushed kasuri methi; and continue to cook, uncovered, till all the water is evaporated and kofta masala is dry ‘bhuna’ (fried).
  • Remove from heat, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with roti.


Do You Know?

The generic term ‘Vegetable Oil’ when used to label a cooking oil product, refers to a blend of a variety of oils, often based on palm, corn, soybean or sunflower oils.

Oil can be flavored by immersing aromatic food stuffs such as fresh herbs, peppers, garlic and so forth in the oil for a period of time. However, care must be taken when storing flavored oils to prevent the growth of bacteria that causes food poisoning.


Rabri (Thick Sweet Milk Cream)


Rabri is a sweet dish made by boiling the milk on low heat for a long time until it becomes dense and changes its color to pinkish. Sugar, Kewra essence and nuts are added to flavor it. Chill it before serving it as dessert.


Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon full cream milk / whole milk
  • ¼ cup sugar (modify according to your choice)
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • Few strands of Saffron
  • 3-4 drops of Kewra essence
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp pistachio chopped fine to garnish


Method:

  • Bring the milk to boil in a wok or kadhai on high heat.
  • After a boil reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about an hour. Keep stirring it every 4-5 minutes to prevent it from burning. As the milk simmers a layer of malai (cream) will form on the surface. Push this malai or cream to the side till more than half of the milk is converted into cream.
  • Scrape the sides of the wok or kadhai and mix the scraping in the thickened milk.
  • After an hour, add the sugar and saffron. Mix well. Simmer it again, stirring it continuously on low heat, until the milk is reduced to one quarter.
  • Remove from the heat and add chopped cashew nut, cardamom powder and the kewra essence.
  • Garnish with the cardamom and chopped pistachio and serve cold with hot Gulab Jamun or hot Jalebi.


Do You Know?

A karahi or Kadhai is a type of thick, circular, and deep vessel (similar in shape to a wok) used in Indian and Pakistani cooking. It is useful for shallow or deep frying of meat, potatoes, sweets, and snacks and for simmering of stews.

Karahi are traditionally made out of cast iron, although other materials like stainless steel , copper and non-stick varieties do exist.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spiced Tomato Chutney


This spicy tangy chutney is made with sautéed red tomatoes, green chilies, garlic and curry leaves. Ajwain (carom seeds) gives it a different flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 4 red Tomatoes
  • 5-6 pods of Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ajwain (carom seeds)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • Pinch of Asafetida
  • 10-12 green chilies chopped
  • 10-12 curry leaves (available in Indian Grocery Store)
  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to taste


Method:

  • Give four incisions to each tomato. Boil 6-8 cups of water (enough water to dip all tomatoes). When water starts boiling dip tomatoes in boiled water and leave them for 10 seconds. Take them out from hot water and dip them in cool water. Peel off and chop them into small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan; fry asafetida, and ajwain for few seconds.
  • Add garlic, curry leaves and green chilies; fry again for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, chili powder and salt. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Cool the chutney and make puree in a liquidizer.
  • Garnish with whole red chili and serve it with Daal, Sabji and Roti or Rice.


Do You Know?

Since most of the aroma compounds present in the spices are lipophilic, they dissolve much better in fat than in water. Thus, frying in oil/ghee/butter not only enhances the fragrance of the spices because of the high temperature, but also extracts the flavor to the fat, by which it can be dispersed throughout the food more efficiently.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Rasedar Gosht (Goat Meat Gravy)


This is a simple and quick recipe. Fresh goat meat is cooked with spices on slow heat.


Ingredients:


Method:

  • Heat ghee/ cooking oil in a heavy bottom pan, add bay leaves and cinnamon, saute until they turn light brown in color.
  • Add lamb, onion, ginger, garlic, green chilies, and all dry ingredients along with salt.
  • Fry for 8-10 minutes. Add yogurt and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Cover the pan and simmer on slow heat stirring occasionally. Cook until mutton is tender. Add very little water if required.
  • When meat is done add 2-3 cups of water. Mix in 1 tsp of garam masala and boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and crispy fried onions.
  • Serve hot with Salad, Vegetable curry and tandoori roti.

Note
: Usually goat meat takes less time in cooking but it depends on size of the meat pieces. Thawed meat takes longer time for cooking.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tinda Fry (Sautéed Round Gourd)


In Hyderabad, India, Tinda is called as ‘Dil pasand’. It is really very popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking. You can cook it in a number of ways. It tastes great with hot parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread). Team it with a dal of your choice and you've got a terrific vegetarian meal.

Ingredients:

Method:

  • If using Fresh Tinda then scrape it with a peeler and cut into wedges. If using canned Tinda then wash it properly, and cut into wedges.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add asafetida, chili flakes and cumin seeds.
  • When the seeds begin to splutter add Tinda wedges and fry for a minute. Add salt, chili powder, turmeric powder, and stir to mix well.
  • Add chopped green chilies and cook covered on low heat till vegetable is cooked. Mix in amchur powder and garam masala; and fry it for one minute. Fresh Tinda usually is cooked in its own juice, it does not require additional water to get cooked but if you feel that vegetable is sticking to the pan, you may sprinkle little water.
  • Remove and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with paratha and dal of your choice.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fish Curry


This tasty fish dish is simple to make. Serve it with hot rice or roti (Indian Flat Bread).

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (any fish with firm, white flesh) cut into medium thick slices
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1+1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 8 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 1+1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Mix 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tbsp lemon juice in a bowl. Rub this mixture over fish pieces. Spread the fish pieces out in a single layer in a large plate. Set the plate at a tilt and leave it tilted for 2-3 hours. As water accumulates at one end, discard it.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the fish pieces gently for 3-4 minutes. Drain the fish on absorbent kitchen paper and set aside.
  • Chop one onion finely and grind the other one.
  • Add the chopped onion to the remaining oil in the pan and fry until golden.
  • Add all spices (red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder) and cook stirring for 10-15 seconds.
  • Now add the ground onion, garlic, ginger and tomato puree and 2 tbsp of water. Fry the mixture until the ghee starts to separate.
  • Add 1 cup of water and salt to taste. Bring the mixture to the boil. Add fried fish pieces. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve the fish curry hot with rice or roti (Indian Flat Bread).

Do You Know?

Fish is a fantastic, healthy and versatile source of zinc and the omega-3 fatty acids, both of which will give your health a boost this winter.

Many people are more susceptible to depression in the colder months. But a growing number of studies show that omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in preventing and lifting depression.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bitter Melon with Onion (Karela Pyaz)

Indian Bitter Melon Sabji


Chinese Bitter Melon Sabji

Karela is one of my favorite vegetables. I prefer to cook karela with its skin on. The fruit is most often eaten green as it becomes more bitter when ripens.

You can cook Chinese Bitter Melon also with same recipe.

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Heat 4 tbsp mustard oil in a wok or kadhai over a medium flame.
  • Fry onion slices. When the onions have turned a little pink in color, add the bitter gourd to them and fry both for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder, saunf and amchur.
  • A little water can be sprinkled while frying with the spices to prevent burning.
  • Now cover the wok and reduce the heat to minimum. Stir occasionally and cook till karela is tender. Add little water if needed to prevent burning.
  • Serve with Dal and hot Roti (flat breads) and Yogurt Raita.

Do you know?

Raw onions have the most health benefits, but the cooked ones are also beneficial. Onions help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

Onions are not high in calories, so can be eaten freely.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pearl Sago Pudding (Sabudana Kheer)


Creamy Sabudane ki kheer is usually made during fasts. Makhana (Lotus seeds) give it creamy consistency; rose water and cardamoms give it flavor; and nuts provide richness.


Ingredients:


Method:

  • Soak sago in water 15 minutes. Sago pearls will absorb moisture and swell.
  • Heat ghee in frying pan and fry makhana over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring continuously, until they are light pink in color. Remove from heat and keep aside to cool. Grind them to coarse powder in a dry grinder when cool.
  • Boil milk in another vessel.Add soaked sabudana after draining out the water. Boil until the sabudana becomes swollen and translucent.
  • Now add crushed makhana and sugar to milk; simmer for 5-6 minutes. During this period, stir continuously so that milk does not stick to the bottom of pan.
  • Stir in chopped nuts (keep aside some for garnishing), saffron, rose water and crushed cardamoms.
  • Check the consistency of kheer. It should have creamy consistency. Add some warm milk at this stage if kheer is too thick (remember that kheer becomes more thick when it is cooled).Remove from fire.
  • Garnish with nuts and crushed cardamom.
  • Serve the kheer cold.


Do You Know?

As a perfume, saffron was strewn in Greek and Roman halls, courts, theaters and balls; it became especially associated with the hetaerae, a professional class of Greek courtesans. The streets of Rome were sprinkled with saffron when Nero made his entry into the city.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Khatti Dal (Sour Lentil Curry)



Khatti dal (sour lentil curry), is the typical Hyderabadi preparation soured with tamarind. There are many ways to prepare it.

I have given you here the recipe, which I follow to prepare Khatti dal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Toor or Arhar Dal (Pigeon pea)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves to garnish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For Fried Dal Masala:

For seasoning to garnish:

Method:

  • Thoroughly wash the Toor dal or Arhar dal and put into a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water to it. Add chopped garlic, 1 tbsp of cooking oil and turmeric powder to it. Stir well.
  • Cover the pressure cooker and set on high flame. After the first pressure release, reduce the flame to simmer and cook for one more pressure release. Turn off the flame and open the pressure cooker when it is cool.
  • Stir the boiled lentils well to blend into a smooth consistency. If it is too thick, add some warm water and stir until the consistency is right.
  • In a small pan heat 3 tbsp ghee; add bay leaf, urad dal and mustard seeds; fry till spluttering stops. Add the curry leaves, green chilies and chopped onion; fry until onion turns golden.
  • Now add chopped tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, tamarind extract and salt. Fry it till ghee starts to separate from masala.
  • Mix this masala to cooked toor dal and stir well.
  • Add lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves to it.
  • Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and seasoning.
  • Prepare seasoning to garnish dal: Heat one tbsp ghee on a medium flame, in a small pan till hot. Now turn off the fire and add the asafetida powder and a pinch of red chili powder. Pour immediately over dal mix.
  • Serve with plain boiled rice.


Do You Know?

The pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan, syn. Cajanus indicus) is a perennial member of the family Fabaceae. Other common names are arhar (Hindi/Bengali), red gram, toovar/toor (Gujarati/Marathi/Punjabi), toovaram paruppu ( Tamil),togari (Kannada), Kandi (Telugu), gandul, guandul, Congo pea, Gungo pea, Gunga pea, and no-eye pea.

The cultivation of the pigeon pea goes back at least 3000 years. The centre of origin is most likely Asia, from where it travelled to East Africa and by means of the slave trade to the American continent. Today pigeon peas are widely cultivated in all tropical and semi-tropical regions of both the Old and the New World.

Panch Phoran


Five-spice mix is an Indian spice blend typically consisting of five whole spices in equal measure.

Panch means ‘five’ and phoron is ‘flavor’ or ‘spice’, hence the common translation Bengali ‘Five-Spice’. Panch phoran is a colorful blend of flavorful seeds: the green of fennel seed, black mustard and nigella seeds, golden fenugreek and buff-colored cumin seeds.

Ingredients:

Method:

Mix all the above ingredients and store in an airtight container.

How to use:

Panch phoran is usually fried in hot oil or ghee before adding anything else to the pot in which cooking is to be done. These seeds pop up in the hot oil releasing the aroma of the seeds in the oil. Other ingredients are added when seeds stop spluttering. The panch phoran mixture adds sweetness and brings forward the flavors of vegetables, fish or lentils.

Variations:

Some variations include wild onion seeds instead of cumin, while others include radhuni seeds in place of mustard seeds.

Radhuni is also known as wild celery in English or ajmod in Urdu and Hindi. It is a very strong spice, with a characteristic smell similar to parsley with the taste of celery.

In the tradition of Oriya and Bengali cuisine, seeds are used whole and quickly fried in very hot oil until they crackle. Vegetables (especially potatoes), lentils, or fish are added to the cooking vessel after this to coat with the spice mixture.


Recipes :

Tilapia Tomato Curry

Baingan Ki Sabji