Friday, 25 April 2014

Palak Chicken

Palak Chicken


1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
½ kg spinach leaves
3 onions, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
½ cup curd
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ cup milk

Wash the spinach leaves well and chop them fine.


Heat some oil. Add onions and sauté them till they are translucent. Add the ginger and garlic paste. Add the tomatoes and curd. 


Cook till the oil separates. Add the finely chopped spinach leaves, salt, chili powder and garam masala. Cook on high flame till all the water evaporates.


Now add the chicken pieces and continue cooking on high heat. Keep stirring constantly or the chicken will get burnt. Once the chicken starts changing color, add the milk and some water. Cover and cook till the chicken is tender.



 If you want dry gravy you can turn up the flame and keep stirring till the gravy coats the chicken. 

Butter Chicken

Butter chicken




I just cant have enough of this dish. Be it in a dhaba 

on the Punjab roadside or in any swanky restaurant 

this is an infallible dish..something you can always fall 

back on if you are unable to make up your mind.

Having lived in Punjab for sometime I have grown to 

love the cuisine. It is a very common sight to see 

skewered chicken and paneer hanging over hot coals 

ready to be prepared at your order. The ethnic rustic 

cooking is something that no 5 star can beat. I have 

even eaten butter chicken from a roadside vendor on 

a redhi bearing just a tandoor and a big tava. Cook 

the chicken in the tandoor, whip up the gravy on the

 tava, add a big chunk of butter and Hey Presto!!!

Whenever I make butter chicken at home I grill the 

chicken in the oven. Although it doesn’t have the 

charred texture of a tandoor yet it comes close 

enough.


Ingredients

1 chicken, cut into pieces

Marinade

½ cup yogurt

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp kasuri methi

1 tsp garam masala

Salt to taste

Few drops orange red food colour


For the gravy

6 big tomatoes, blanched, skinned and pureed

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp garlic paste

½ cup ready made tomato purée

10 cashews, ground into paste

1 tbsp kashmiri red chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1 tsp chicken masala/meat masala

1 cup milk

2 tbsp cream

Salt to taste

A pinch of sugar



Marinate the chicken for at least two hours. 



Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius. Grill the chicken for 

about 20-25 minutes.

In case you don’t have an oven you can cook the 

chicken on gas. Heat some butter or ghee. Add the

 chicken and sauté on high for 3 minutes. Cover and 

cook till the chicken is done. You don’t have to add

 any water because there will be enough water from 

the chicken and the marinade.



For the gravy

Blanch the tomatoes in hot water, take off the skin 

and puree them well so that no lumps remain.



Heat some butter and add the bay leaf. Add the 

tomato puree and sauté. 



Add the ginger and garlic pastes and cook till oil starts leaving the sides.

Add the ready made tomato puree, red chili powder,

 garam masala, chicken masala, kasuri methi, salt and

 sugar. Cook for 3-4 minutes.



Add the cashew paste. Stir for a few minutes and then

 add the chicken pieces. Cook on high for about 2-3 

minutes. Now slowly add the milk stirring all the while. 



If the milk is added at one go it might curdle. Simmer for sometime .

Add cream and then remove from heat. Serve 

garnished with a dollop of cream and chopped green chillies.



Thursday, 24 April 2014

Eggless date and fig loaf

Eggless date and fig loaf



½ tin mailkmaid (approx 200 gm)
100 gm flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
150 gm fig, chopped
250 gms dates, chopped
½ cup oil
1 tsp vanilla essence


Preheat the oven at 150 degree Celsius.
One method is to first soften the dates and figs by boiling then in ½ cup water to which you add the baking soda.

However when I started chopping the dates and figs I found them to be too hard. So I soaked them in water for half an hour. They became quite soft and easy to chop. So I didn’t boil them at all. You can do either as per your convenience.

Sieve together flour, baking powder, baking soda (in case you have not boiled the dates). Mix dates and figs with the flour. This ensures that while baking they won’t sink to the bottom.


Beat together milkmaid and oil. 


Slowly add the flour in batches. After first two additions I found the batter too stiff. So I added a few drops of milk to help move the spatula.



Pour the batter in a loaf tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. 



Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Gatta Kofta Curry

Rajasthani Gatta Kofta Curry


Why gatta kofta? I used the gatta dough and made koftas out of it. Didn’t feel like doing the gatta shape because you can get dry gatta easily in the market..so what’s so different about making it at home!! However the dough is very different from the normal kofta mix. The dish turned out niceee!!!

For the Gatta/kofta
2 cups besan
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of baking soda
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp kasuri methi
2 tsp yogurt (can add 1 tsp more to make the dough)

 For the curry
2 large onions, puréed
2 large tomato, puréed
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp crushed whole coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
 A pinch of asafetida
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
3 tbsp yogurt


 The difference between this kofta dough and the gatta dough is that this dough is softer. So you might have to add some extra yogurt.

Mix together besan, baking soda, salt, chilli , turmeric, oil, kasuri methi, coriander powder, garam masala and sugar. 

Make a soft sticky dough using the yogurt.

Make small koftas and stuff them with a piece of cashew or kishmish. Put the koftas in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. 


Drain and reserve the stock.

Deep fry the koftas.


Now in the same oil add cumin seeds, coriander seeds and asafetida. 
Add the tomato and onion purée. Fry till the oil starts separating. 
Add the ginger and garlic paste. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt, turmeric and red chilli. 
Fry for 2 minutes and then add beaten yoghurt.
 Once the oil separates add a cup of reserved stock, boil and simmer. 
Add the koftas and simmer for 4 minutes.
Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves and cream.






Chapri Ghonto/Summer Vegetables Medley

Chapri ghonto/Summer Vegetables Medley



Chapri ghonto is a dish I strongly associate with my childhood. This dish has no onions, no garlic and no spices and it is soothing on the tummy, especially in the hot summer months.

Since most summer veggies have a high water content this dish requires no outside help. The veggies cook in their own juice without any kind of spices or masalas overpowering their freshness.

The only thing to keep in mind while preparing for the dish is that all the vegetables should be of roughly the same amount and they are to be chopped in equivalent sizes.


Ingredients

2 karela
3 parwal
1 cucumber
1 brinjal
4 jhinga
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar
½ tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp ginger paste

For the chapri
1 cup chana dal, soaked overnight
For tempering
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 bay leaf
2 dry red chillies

Chop the vegetables in equal sizes.


Grind the chana dal with a little water and salt. Heat some oil and then tip the entire chana dal batter in one go.


It will look like a pancake. Fry both sides well and then break the pancake into big chunks. Your chapri is ready.


Heat some oil. Add the mustard seeds, bay leaf and dry red chilies.

 Fry the karela first because it takes the longest to cook. Then add all the vegetables. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. 
Add some sugar, salt and turmeric. 


Cover and cook till done. There is no need to add water as the vegetables will release their own liquid. They stew in their own juices. Before taking it off the flame add some ghee and ginger paste.





Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh


A very popular mutton dish which uses very simple ingredients and is not loaded with spices. The mutton is stewed in a yogurt based curry with the main aromatic spices being fennel and dry ginger powder.


Ingredients

1.2 kg mutton, cut into pieces
5 tbsp curd

For tempering
A pinch of hing powder/asafetida
3-4 black pepper
2 small pieces cinnamon

Make a powder of
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves
3 dry red chillies
1 tsp saunth/dry ginger powder
Seeds of 3 black cardamom
1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
Salt to taste



Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
Add the asafetida powder, cinnamon and black pepper.
Add the mutton pieces and fry on high flame to brown the mutton.
Mix the curd and the dry spices powder.


Once the mutton pieces look nicely fried add the curd mixture and fry for 5 minutes.
Now add 1 ½ cup of water and close the pressure cooker. Reduce flame after one whistle and cook for 5 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.




Monday, 21 April 2014

Dal Makhni

Dal Makhni



1 cup sabut urad dal/whole black beans

½ cup rajmah/kidney beans

4 cups water

2 tbsp ginger paste

2 tbsp garlic paste

1 tsp salt

5 large tomatoes, blanched, skinned and pureed

2 bsp tomato ketchup

1 tsp garam masala powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp kasuri methi

1 tsp red chilli powder

2 tbsp butter

½ cup milk

4 tbsp cream

Salt to taste

A pinch of sugar


Soak the dal and rajmah overnight.



Pressure cook the dal and rajmah in 4 cups of water along with 1

 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste and ½ tsp salt. After two 

whistles put the flame on low and cook for about 20 minutes. Once 

the pressure drops mash the dal and rajmah a bit.

Heat some butter.

 Add the tomato puree and cook till the water 

evaporates. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, tomato ketchup,

 garam masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder and kasuri 

methi. Sauté till the oil separates.



Add the dal and butter. Cook for sometime. Now slowly add the 

milk. Traditionally this dal is left to simmer overnight on large 

degchi. This is what imparts it its unique flavor. The dal will be

 ready after simmering for about 20 minutes. However what I do is 

leave it on low flame to simmer for as long as possible.

Once the dal is done switch off the gas and add the cream. Garnish 

with some fried makhanas.






Khajur murg

Khajur Murg



Being a Bengali adding a pinch of sugar t my food while cooking is normal. However when I saw this recipe for chicken with khajur/dates I was sceptical. Won’t it be too sweet? Non veg with so much sweetness? Hmmm!! But I guess the concept of sugar in non sweet food items is based on a concept of yin and yang…all about balance. In this dish also the sweetness of khajur is balanced by the red chillies and the masalas. An interesting taste and a must try.


Ingredients

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
3 large onions, chopped fine
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
10 pieces of khajur/dates, chopped
5 red chillies
5 cloves
1 piece of cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
5 peppercorns
5 green cardamom
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter


Heat the ghee/clarified butter. Fry the dates and red chillies.


 Make a paste using a little water.

Fry the onions till they turn translucent. Add ginger and garlic pastes.

Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala. Add the dates paste and sauté.

Add the chicken and salt and fry on high flame for a few minutes. 


Add a cup of water and simmer till the chicken is cooked. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.





Sunday, 20 April 2014

Bengali style mutton biryani

Bengali style mutton biryani



There are so many many ways and methods of making biryani all over our country. Every region has its own specialty. 

What is different about this Bengali style mutton biryani, you might ask!! Well it is the use of big chunks of potatoes with the meat.However this is just one variety of biryani that comes from the Bengali kitchen!

Whenever I go to Kolkata I make it a point to got to New Market for..you guessed it..shopping. There is this small shop which sells amazing biryani. Apart from the meat what caught my eye was these big chunks of potatoes.The potatoes are the mutton’s trusty side kick, accompanying it through the whole process. As a result it is infused with the aromatic spices and the mutton flavor. And believe it or not at times you will feel like putting the mutton pieces aside and eating the biryani with the potatoes.


Ingredients

500 gm mutton pieces
3 onions, sliced fine
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 big potatoes, cubed
2 cups basmati rice
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 green chillies
4 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
Few cinnamon pieces
½ cup hung curd
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp biryani masala

Parboil the rice with salt, water or mutton stock if you have any. I usually don’t throw away my chicken or mutton bones after deboning. I make stock and store it in the freezer. Spread out the rice on a big plate to dry.


Marinate the mutton with the whole spices and curd for about an hour.


Heat some clarified butter and add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorn and cinnamon.



 As the seeds begin to crackle add chopped garlic and ginger. Then add the sliced onions. 


Fry till the onions become translucent. Then add the mutton, garam masala and the biryani masala. Saute on high till the mutton browns. 


Cook on high flame for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sauté for a few minutes and then cover and cook for half an hour. 


The mutton will be almost cooked.


Now layer the rice and mutton in a big pan or even an automatic rice cooker. This saves time and hassle and turns out pretty well. 


Cook for about 10 minutes . Garnish with chopped fresh green coriander and mint leaves. 

Banana Walnut Choco Chip Cake

Though I bake everyday, it has been ages since I posted anything new on my blog. Last year saw lots of changes ...