Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Potato & Green Tomato Curry

Absolutely delicious , green tomatoes give a delicious tangy taste to this curry.
300 Grams Green Tomatoes.
300 Grams Potatoes.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Chopped Garlic ( Or more )
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
Dried Red Chilies.
Heat about 60 Ml white oil , add garlic and brown slightly , browning will not only leave a beautiful flavor but also a nice color.
Next add all ingredients , cook covered giving the dish the odd stir. When half done add as much water as you would like gravy and cover cooked till done.Tastes spectacular .

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Monday, 30 December 2013

Beetroot Salad

There is no recipe as such , just went with what came to my mind when I saw 2 sad looking beets sitting next to a couple of Bok Choy which was on the verge of wilting. Grill/boil beetroot ( pref grill ) , cool , peel and slice. Blanche bok choy for 10 seconds , set aside .Take some oranges , peel and remove the membrane , you can use any fruit .
Crispy fry finely sliced onions till they are a deep golden brown , do the same with chopped garlic- set aside to cool .
Take4-5 tablespoons orange juice + 1 teaspoon lemon juice, season with salt and pepper - this is your dressing .
On a bed of bok choy ( use any greens ) place the beet and some orange segments .Sprinkle the dressing , let the salad sit 3-5 minutes . When ready to serve , sprinkle the crispy fried onions and garlic.
You get this delicious sweet and sour salad with bites of crispy onion and burnt garlic. Superb .

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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Fried Arbi

Each home must have a few recipes for this vegetable , I am sharing one of the ways we prepare fried arbi .

Pressure cook arabi but don't over cook it. Cool and peel.
Take atta , season it with salt , red chili powder , roasted and powdered ajwain , roasted and crushed kasoori methi and amchoor.
Dip arbi in water , then dip into the atta mix nicely coating the arbi . Press gently with your hands . When all are coated shallow fry arbi on medium heat .Don't disturb the arbi while frying ,touch just to turn.
Comes out nice and crunchy and in season replaces potato chips as a snack at home.


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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Cauliflower Soup

Thank you Ruchi Airen for the inspiration behind this soup . A few twists and turns and out came a delicious healthy no fuss soup.
There are no quantities - will try regardless !
1 Kg Cauliflower .
20 Cloves Garlic.
10 -12 Spring Onions.
Olive Oil.
Salt / Pepper .
Soup Cubes
Clean cauliflower , discard the danthl , roughly separate florets as shown in the pic.
Chop spring onions in large chunks , use the greens too.
Keep garlic whole.
Take about 60 Ml Olive Oil and coat the vegetables with it .
Set oven at 180C , bake 20-25 minutes till cauliflower softens.
Some spring onions / garlic will burn , that's wonderful as that adds the flavor too, in fact scrape the burnt bits off the baking dish to use in the soup.
Cool the vegitables , take 1/3 and zap once in the blender to coarsely grind , leaving some chunks.Blend the rest into a semi paste.
Add water / soup cubes / stock - bring to a boil with the vegitables , season to taste ..drizzle some extra virgin olive oil just before serving.
Absolutely delicious .

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Friday, 27 December 2013

Tomato Soup

This soup was made for Shruti on her visit to Delhi .

In boiling water plunge 8 red tomatoes , take out in a minute , cool , peel ,de seed and chop into 4 pieces . Preserve any juices that you may loose while de-seeding .

Make a basic stock using salt , 1 bay leaf , 1" Galanga chopped , 2 celery stalks chopped and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary .Simmer covered in 2 liters of water for about 30 minutes till reduced to half , strain and set aside. By now your house will be filled with the warm and delicious aroma of rosemary !

Chop one carrot , 1 medium sized onion , 2-3 cloves of garlic and simmer along with the tomatoes in the stock for about 20 minutes , cool and blend the soup .

Simmer another 10 minutes after adding 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil to emulsify the soup . Add some cream - about 50 ml , adjust flavors and eat this aromatic and delicious soup with some nice crusty bread !

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Thursday, 26 December 2013

White Chicken Korma

This is a lovely recipe from Camellia Panjabi's 50 Great Curries of India - I tweaked it to suit my mood and am reproducing the recipe as I made it .
1 Kg Chicken - Cut to desired size .
2+2 Tablespoons Ghee
100 Grams Almonds - Soak in hot water and an hour later remove skin.
200 Grams Onions Chopped.
1 Bay leaf.
4 Green Chilies Chopped Fine.
8 Green Cardamon - Seeds only.
1 Teaspoon Poppy seeds ( Soak in 100 Ml water , discard water after an hour and make a paste ).
200 Grams Full Fat Yogurt - Hand in a muslin for 1 hour.
4-5 Cloves.
1 Black Cardamon - Bruised.
2" Cinnamon Stick.
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic.
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger.
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Mace Powder.

Heat 2 tablespoons ghee , add almonds , cinnamon and bay leaf and gently cook 3-4 minutes , then add onions and cook covered over low heat 8-10 minutes till onions go limp allowing them to just about change color.Add chopped chilies and cardamon seeds , cook another 2-3 minutes and then add 200 Ml water and cook 10 minutes covered - all cooking so far over low heat.
Take pan off fire , when the gravy cools , discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick ( important ! ) and blend the rest to a fine gravy . Set aside.

Heat the balance 2 tablespoons ghee , tip in cloves ginger and garlic , a minute later add chicken and cook till chicken slowly releases water and changes color from pink to white.Cooke covered 3-5 minutes not allowing the chicken to brown.

Blend the gravy , curd and mace + Nutmeg powder , add to the chicken allowing the chicken to cook covered over medium heat till done. Add hot water to get the desired thick gravy .

This is a delicately flavored chicken - delicious as it is pretty to look at !


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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Borscht - A soup from Ukraine

I adapted this from The Soup Bible.

This delicious soup is from Ukraine where the main ingredient is beetroot as it grows in plenty . In other areas the main ingredient beetroot is replaced with tomatoes - different tasting naturally , but quite tasty . This version is superb . Allow the soup to rest 12 hours and eat it the next day - tastes even better as flavors mature .

Serves 8

1 Onion Chopped.
4 Medium Sized Beets - Washed , peeled and chopped. ( Don't was beets after peeling ).
1 Packet ( 200 Grams ) Mushrooms - Clean and Chop.
1 Red Bell Pepper - Remove seeds and chop.
2 Stalks Celery - Chop.
1 Cooking Apple - Chop unpeeled.
50 Grams Butter.
60 Ml White Oil.
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds.
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
Juice of 1 Lemon . Tweak later to taste.
1 Bay Leaf.
8 Cups Stock / Water.

Take all ingredients ( not water/stock ) and place in a pot , add 4-5 tablespoons stock/water and cooked covered over low heat for about 20 minutes till beets are soft.
Add remaining stock and cook covered another 20 minutes on low heat.
Strain Vegetables , save the liquid !
Remove bay leaf and blend vegetables to a smooth paste.
Add pureed vegetables to the saved liquid , cook covered 5-7 minutes to blend flavors with the liquid.Adjust taste.
Garnish each portion with sour cream ( I used cream ) .
You can make this soup vegetarian as I did or use chicken stock.
It's yumm !


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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Maas Ki Tari

Maas Ki Tari
A gently flavored dish , this is a recipe from a friends home in Jaipur , don't know of the origins of it , all I do lnow is that once you put it to cook , you can take an hour long nap and wake up to a delicious mutton dish that can be made dryish or with a slight gravy
500 Grams Mutton
1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper Corn.
1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds.
Loosely tie the above in muslin .
Mix together :
500 Grams Mutton.
60 Ml White Oil.
15 Whole Garlic Cloves ( Not thick ones ).
3-5 Dried Red Chilies.
200 Grams Thick Curd.
1 Tablespoon Grated Coconut.
1 Teaspoon Poppy Seeds.
10 Shallots ( Peel and leave whole ).
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger.
1 Large Red Tomato Chopped / Pureed.
2" Cinnamon Stick
1 Black Cardamon.
2-3 Green Cardamon.
A Few Cloves.
To the above mixture , add the potli of seeds tied in muslin.Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottom pan with a tight lid .OR secure & seal the lid with atta and cook in dum for an hour on low heat.You dish Must be sealed well.
When cooked , remove the seal , discard the potli and adjust flavors , gravy , cooking the dish another few minutes till the meat nearly falls off the bone. Delicious .

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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Swiss Chard Saag

Swiss Chard or any perpetual spinach - this leafy green has a delicious flavor and comes with a bite unlike most leafy greens . I retained the stems and the rib ( that's the ' bite ' ) and chopped it all not too finely . For about 250 Grams greens I crackled jeera in white oil - don't use mustard oil as it will overpower the flavors of the greens , once jeera is dancing around add minced ginger and garlic , a teaspoon each and some dried red chilies.Mix in the greens , cover and cook for 3-4 minutes over high heat .Don't add any water , and leave a bit undercooked .I cook most greens in the same manner . Came out delicious .

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Paneer Lazzatdar

This is an interesting Paneer dish we learnt in the sikandalous cuisine master class at the Hyatt Gurgaon where dishes from Avadh were taught to us by Chef Sunil Gangwal. Chef informed us that as such no tomatoes or dhania leaves are used in Avadhi Cuisine and this recipe was created to give vegetarian options and is the exception as far as tomatoes go . List of ingredients are long , the recipe is easy and the makhani gravy here is special.

Makhani Gravy

2 Kg Tomato.
100 Grams Ginger Garlic Paste.
150 Grams Khoya.
10 Grams Kashmiri Red Chili Powder.
200 Grams Butter.
5 Grams Kasoori Methi.
5 Grams Garam Masala.
100 Grams Cream.
50 Grams Cashew Nuts.
2 Grams Cinnamon Stick ( use 2 large ones ).
4 Grams Green Cardamom.
2 Grams Cloves.
100 Ml Ghee
50 Grams Sugar.

This is for bulk cooking - adapt as I did too.
Boil tomatoes in just enough water along with whole spice , cool and grind to a paste .
Saute Cashew Nuts with ghee and make a paste with khoya.
Heat ghee , saute ginger garlic paste along with khoya and cashew paste , add all the ingredients along with the tomato puree , cook covered over low heat till oil separates and puree thickens , I let the gravy simmer for 30 minutes covered on very low heat , adding a little water - Strain the gravy ( I didn't ) and add cream sugar and butter .

200 Grams Paneer.
50 Grams Capsicum.
12 Grams Shahi Jeera.
250 Grams Makhani Gravy ( Recipe above ).
50 Grams Cream ( I avoided ).
50 Grams Ghee

Cut paneer in thick fingers.
Cut Capsicum slightly thinner.
Heat ghee add jeera , then capsicum , saute just till it softens , don't overcook , Add paneer , cook another minute or two , add makhani gravy , cook 5 minutes and garnish with cream

You will love this !

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Friday, 13 December 2013

Chicken in Banana Wraps

150-200 Grams Chicken Thigh Meat
Make a paste :
6 Garlic Cloves
3-4 Green Chilies ( I used birds eye red one )
1.5 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard Seeds.
2 Tablespoons Curd.
1 Tablespoon Mustard Oil.

Cube chicken and apply the paste. I left it to marinate 4 hours .
Cut banana leaves into large squares . Heat the leaf and the rib over a flame to warm and soften. With the back of a knife press the rib to make it more pliable.Add 3-4 tablespoons of chicken in the center of each square , fold to seal and steam for 20 minute . Comes out delicious .


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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Sauteed Pork Curry

This recipe has been adapted from G Padma Vijaya's recipe in her lovely book titled Kerala Delicacies .

500 Grams Pork - Cut to size.
5-7 Green Chilies - Chopped.
1 .5 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
2 Onions Chopped.
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder.
1 Teaspoon Freshly Pounded Black Pepper Powder.
1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder.
Coconut Oil
Mix all ingredients but green chilies and onions ,and leave the pork to marinate in them for 1 hour.
Take 1/2 Cup water , and pressure cook the marinated pork for 1 whistle.Take off heat and allow the pork to cool under pressure - 20-30 minutes.
Heat coconut oil , fry onions till golden brown , add chopped chilies and the pressure cooked pork , stir fry 20 minutes slowly adding any liquid that remains in the pressure cooker . Saute the pork under medium heat till done .Adjust flavors . You may tweak with a bit of lemon juice if need be .

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Friday, 6 December 2013

Methi Alu

A winter favorite , no fixed quantities here . Normally I like a bit more methi than what's here in the pic.Also like using those small round potatoes which I then leave unpeeled and cut into halves or quarters depending upon the size. Keep same volume of chopped methi as of potatoes .

Dice methi , salt for 15-20 minutes , wash well.Heat some mustard oil , splutter a bit of ajwain or jeera , then add a few chilies and a dot of hing . Now add methi along with haldi powder and saute till methi darkens and emits that lovely aroma. Next the potatoes and salt , saute well , and cook uncovered till done .You can cook covered too , I prefer uncovered as the pototos tend to remain nice and firm . At times we add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice just before taking the wok off the fire - gives a lovely hint of sourness to balance out the slight bitterness of methi.

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Maharaja Khichri

Maharaja Kichadi.

Prepare a watery khichri  using 200 grams each Rice and Toover Daal, with some Salt and Turmeric Powder and the juice of 5 lemons or more. This is a tangy khichri
For Tadka:
Heat Ghee in a Pan, and add Jeera, lots of cloves of un crushed Garlic, long slit green Chillies and Curry Patta. Then add chopped 2 Onion. Sauté till light golden. Add 4 chopped Tomatoes, Chillie Powder and saute till it releases the Ghee. Just before serving mix in the Rice thoroughly, check seasonings, garnish with fresh chopped Coriander, and dribble melted ghee. This Khichadi should have a tangy Lemony taste and a soggy consistency

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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Kerala Mutton Curry With Coconut Milk

This perhaps is the easiest mutton dish I have made . Once you put everything together on the fire you can almost forget about the dish for an hour while it gently cooks , rather stews in it's own juices .
500 Grams Mutton- cut to size.
2 Cups Coconut Milk
Make a paste of all ingredients listed below :
200 Grams Sambar Onions.
4 Green Chilies.
4 Dried Red Chilies.
12-15 cloves of Garlic.
1 " Ginger .
1/4 Teaspoon Haldi.
1.5 Teaspoon Garam Masala
2 Teaspoons Vinegar ( I used Kachampali Vinegar and it gave a great color )
2 + 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil ( use only 2 tablespoons in marination )
Marinate mutton in the paste for 4 hours . I cling wrapped and marinated over night in the fridge .
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil , add curry leaves and dry red chilies ( optional ) , add the mutton with minimum marination . Fry on high to seal for about 5 minutes . Add balance marination and 1 cup coconut milk - cook covered until done - 60 minutes or so ( OR pressure cook 3 whistles ) . When mutton is done , add the balance coconut milk to get the desired curry . Cool and adjust flavors.Although this is a ' curry ', there is a minimum amount of thick gravy . Super easy and delicious .
This recipe is the same as the Kerala curry but with coconut milk added . I have increased the chili factor to balance out the coconut milk.

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