Friday, 28 November 2014

Paneer Lachedar

This is a simple and rustic paneer , high on flavors and low on fuss .
500 Grams Paneer - Cut To Shape.
300 Grams Onions - Cut Long.
2 Tomatoes - Puree.
300 Grams Tomatoes - Cut Long.
1" Ginger - Julienne / Mince.
2 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
1 Tablespoon Freshly Roasted & Coarsely Pounded Dhania Powder
Whole Dried Red Chilies
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
Red Chili Powder.
Pinch of Hing
Freshly Green Coriander
Heat oil , add whole chilies , onions and ginger . Cook till onions get soft . Now add tomatoes - sliced and paste and all spice but for dhania powder.When tomatoes begin to soften ( not cook fully ) add the paneer and garlic paste, and cook for 10 minutes .Take off heat , add dhania powder and some dahnia leaves , stir in and leave covered .Sprinkle more freshly cut dhania leaves when ready to serve.
Freshly lightly roasted & coarsely pounded dhania powder added at the end and not burnt up in the cooking gives an amazing flavor.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Onion Posto

This delicious recipe I goofed up the first time I made it yesterday and I couldn't figure out why it didn't taste as good as it read.I checked out recipes online , some YouTubes and still couldn't understand why what I had made tasted so odd having followed the recipe to the last word.I came to the conclusion that I am not Bong and this isn't meant to be and unhappily went to sleep.
THEN somewhere in the middle of the night like a flash it struck me - I had used sesame seeds and not poppy seeds !Needless to add that was the ed of my sleep too .
Today the first thing I did was to make this again WITH poppy seeds and it came out divine , and I am still not Bong !
Thesis ends !
150 Grams Poppy Seeds / Khas khas
3 Large Onions - 175 Grams.
6-8 Green Chilies.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
Salt to Taste.
60-75 Ml Mustard Oil.

Take poppy seeds , some recipes soak them some dry grind . ( I didn't soak them ), then add chopped green chilies and grind to a coarse powder like consistency.Add about 100 Ml water and zap once more.
Cut onions medium thick , length wise.
Heat mustard oil , add onions , whole chilies and cook till onions begin to color , now add haldi and salt and the poppy seed chili paste.
Cook another 5-7 minutes on low till you can see the oil , add a bit of water if need be.
Sikandalous Cuisine

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Gobi / Cauliflower in Mustard Curry

Influenced by all the delicious regional cuisine posts I read here on sikandalous - here is my fusion contribution !

500 Grams Cauliflower - Cut to size.
100 Grams / Turnips - Clean and cut into thick discs , retain and chop tender greens.
1 Large Onion - Chopped.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Teaspoon Kilonji Seeds .
Juice of one lemon.
75 Ml Mustard Oil
Green Chilies To Taste
Red Chili Powder To taste.
Make Paste:
1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds.
3-4 Green Chilies.
Make the paste , add 4 tablespoons hot water ans 2 tablespoons oil , and marinate cauliflower , shalgam for 10 minutes while you get cooking .
Heat mustard oil , splutter kilonji , add whole chilies and onions. When Onions begin to sweat add ginger paste and all the spice, and cook another minute , then add the marinated vegetables and cook till half done. Now add the chopped greens and about 150 Ml water and bring to a boil , simmer covered till done . Take off heat , add lemon juice and 1 teaspoon raw mustard oil - adjust flavors and allow the dish to sit 10 minutes covered to develop all flavors.
This comes out superb and if you love mustard , this is the dish for you !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sweet Amla Preserve

This recipe has been adapted from Rasachandrika - A Saraswat Cookery Book which has Saraswat recipes from their kitchens of the 40's. It's a gem of a book and I love browsing through it for ideas and recipes .I am reproducing the original recipe , and then adding my twist to it.
1 Kg Amla.
2-2.5 Kg Sugar.
Saffron For Coloring ( I didn't use )
Wash and prick Amlas with a fork.
Put Amlas in boiling water and boil for 5 minutes , drain , discarding the water.
Make a syrup with sugar ,when thick add the amlas and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Your pickle is ready to be bottled when cool.Allow the pickle to settle and marinate for a few days , then dig in .
My Twist:
I added star anise , peppercorns , red chili flakes , hing and salt to the syrup while it was being made. This flavored the syrup well and cut the sweetness with hints of spice.It tastes delicious !
Sikandalous Cuisine

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Kadhi With Vegetables

The good old Kadhi gets a makeover with a few vegetables to some delicious ends .Here we keep kadhi on the thinner side , hence less besan.This comes out nice and wholesome - a meal in a bowl types which at home we eat with rice.
The Kadhi:
400 Grams Curd.
2 Tablespoons Besan.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
Pinch of Hing.
1/3d Teaspoon Methe Seeds.
Whole Dried Red Chilies.
2 Tablespoons Mustard Oil.
Blend curd , besan with 1.5 liters water adding salt , hing , haldi and garlic paste. Make sure there are no lumps.

Heat oil , add methe seeds and chilies , 30 seconds later add 1 mug room temperature water. This helps as when you add the kadhi mixture it doesn't heat up and curdle .Now add curry mixture and simmer , stir often till it comes to a gentle boil.This point onwards your kadhi wont curdle and can cook gently on its own while you prepare the vegetables.

The Vegetables:
Use what you like , I went with even sized cubed potatoes , ghia , carrots and some beans .I also added minced spinach which you cant see in the photograph.
1 Teaspoon Rai Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Jeera Powder
1 Teaspoon Fennel Powder ( add later )
Chilies to taste.
Curry Putta.
Heat oil , splutter rai along with curry putta , then add ginger garlic and the onions . Cook for 2 minutes till onions begin to get limp , then add all the other ingredients ( not fennel ) and cook till vegetables are done.Bring kadhi to a gentle boil , add the vegetables , allow them to simmer for 4-5 minutes till flavors blend . Add fennel powder , and adjust flavors.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Kerala Lamb

Adapted from the cookbook ' Curry ' , this Malabar Mutton Curry is fragrant and delicious .
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil.
200 Grams Shallots Chopped.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder.
500 Grams Mutton.

Spice Paste :
100 Grams Freshly Ground Coconut.
1" Ginger Sliced.
3 Garlic Cloves.
1" Cinnamon Stick.
2 Bay Leaves.
10 Curry Leaves.
15 Black Peppercorns.
10 Cloves / Laung.
5 Green Cardamon.
1 Tablespoon Coriander seeds.
Tempering :
2 Tablespoons Oil.
1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
10 Curry Leaves.
2 Green Chilies Slit.
Roast all the spice paste ingredients till coconut is browned - I roasted coconut and ginger separately . Cool and grind to a paste using water.
Heat 3 Tablespoons oil, fry shallots till soft and lightly colored.Add spice paste and all other spice cook covered 3-4 minutes , now add 400 ml water , bring to a boil and then add the mutton, bring to boil , reduce heat and cook 30 minutes till done.
Now prepare the tempering by heating oil add mustard seeds , when the stop popping add curry leaves and green chilies. 30 seconds later pour over the mutton and and cook another 10 minutes or until curry is dry and thick.
Sikandalous Cuisine

Food For Thought - Authenticity origins and food,

 Food For Thought - Authenticity , origins and food.
There has been so much talk on ' authenticity ' of recipes , of origins of dishes - often a bit heated.I was reading this fantastic Cookbook titled Jerusalem and was struck by a few lines I read , which I share to open a discussion.
The beauty of food and of eating it is that they are rooted in the now.Food is a basic hedonistic pleasure , a sensual instinct we all share and it's a shame to spoil it.You can always research further back in time , but nobody " owns " a dish because it's likely that somebody else cooked it before them and another before that.
Food cultures are mashed and fused together and are impossible to unravel .They interact all the time and influence one another- so nothing is pure any more , in fact nothing ever was !

Monday, 10 November 2014

Ganth Gobi ( Kolhrabi /Knol Kohl )

Try and buy small sized ganth gobis with tender leaves. Peel the bulb and slice or chop into large chunks., Discard any tough stems of the leaf keeping all of the leaves .Tear large leaves into two.More the leaves the better - but that is my personal preference.

Ganth Gobi
500 Grams Ganth Gobi.
1/2 Teaspoon Methi Seeds.
1/5th Teaspoon Hing Powder.
1 1/2 Teaspoons Sauf Powder ( Fennel seed powder ).
1 Teaspoon sonth Powder ( Dry ginger powder ).
8-10 Dried Red Chilies ( or less )
100 Ml Mustard Oil.

Smoke the mustard oil , splutter the methi seeds , when they begin to turn brown add the red chiles . When chilies start to darken add hing then all the other ingredients.Stir fry to coat well , if the gobi is tender add a mug of water and cook covered till done , or else add the water and give it one whistle under pressure. Adjust flavors to taste. You can add more sonth , sauf , salt to taste after the dish is cooked.
This dish normally has a thin gravy , I like a bit extra gravy so add more water and adjust the balance of flavors accordingly

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Private Catering - A dinner catered by Arjun Puri

Private Catering - A dinner catered by Arjun Puri

The other day I was at a nieces dinner and had the pleasure to once again treat my taste buds to some wonderful appetizers and mains catered by Arjun Puri . Chicken kababs , crispy fish pizzas  some excellent Lavash with zatar and garlic hummus , asparagus fingers were real special in the snacks.
Dinner was again excellent with superb lamb chops , fish with lime dill , rotessorie grilled chicken with sour cream , pesto stuffed cottage cheese steaks amongst a good selection Mediterranean Italian dishes . The service was superb and all in all it was a perfectly balanced menu with great food . I have eaten at parties catered by Arjun over the years and am impressed by the consistency of his product . As it was a private party I had to hold back and didnt put my Iphone camera to good use ! This was a nice way to kick start the party season !

Monday, 3 November 2014

Nepali Pomelo Salad-1

This is the basic version of Nepali Pomelo Salad , I will be posting a few more. You can go with Grape Fruit , Pomelo , or even oranges - or a mix of all . These is no fixed recipe as such and quantities are approximates which you adapt to your taste .
1 Large Pomelo - Peeled , seeded - About 2 soup bowls loosely filled to give you an idea.
1 Large Onion - Slice long and medium thin.
Dhania Leave.
Dressing :
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1/4 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
2-3 Dried Red Chilies - Smoke over a fire 10 seconds and break into pieces.
A Pinch of Timur Powder ( Optional )
2 Tablespoons Mustard Oil ( Raw )
Take 2-3 tablespoons of pomelo segments and mix with the dressing ingredients - pound a few times and allow the flavors to mix - say 15-20 minutes.
Now gently mix pomelo , onion and dhania leaves. Spoon on the dressing , mix well . Tangy mustardy and delicious.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Lehsuni Gosht

Lehsuni Ghosht
This is a simple no fuss recipe - you can make it with Mustard oil or Ghee , I used ghee.
400-500 Grams Mutton.
1/2 Teaspoon Ajwain.
1 Tablespoon Onion Paste + 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder Mixed   ( 1 large onion )
1Heaped Tablespoon Garlic Paste.
Crushed Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Jeera Powder - Freshly ground.
3 Tablespoon Ghee.
Heat ghee , splutter ajwain , add whole dry chilies if you are using - 30 Seconds.
Add Mutton and bhuno on high heat for 5-7 minutes to seal , then reduce the heat , add a splash of water , cover and cook another 15 minutes , bhunoing occasionally.
Add onion paste , salt and pepper , mix well and cook covered another 10 minutes .
By now mutton will be done , add garlic paste , mix well and bhuno on medium heat for 10 minutes , adding a splash of water , remember this is a dry dish.
Now add jeera powder , mix well , cover and turn off the flame.mutton comes out deliciously flavored .

Sikandalous Cuisine