Sunday, 27 July 2014

Crisp Fried Colocasia coated with garlic and spices

Crisp Fried Colocasia coated with garlic and spices
Crisp Fried Colocasia coated with garlic and spices

Ingredients:

        1. Arbi/Colocasia/Taro-500 gm
       2. Garlic, about 12-15 cloves grated
       3. Onion-1 medium, finely sliced (optional)
       4. Oil-2 tbsp plus for deep frying
       5. Turmeric-½ tsp
       6. Red chili powder-½ - ¾ tsp
       7. Coriander powder- 2 tsp
       8. Garam masala powder-½ tsp
       9. Aamchur/Dried Mango Powder-½ tsp
     10. Salt-taste
     11. Fresh green coriander leaves-a handful
Method:
    1. Wash and boil the arbi – make sure they don't go
        mushy. (In my pressure
   2. cooker, one whistle works well)
   3. Peel and halve them vertically.
   4. Deep fry these pieces in oil till golden brown and crisp.
       Drain well and keep aside.
   5. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a kadhai/wok. Add in
       the sliced onions and fry on low heat till they turn golden
       brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
  6. Into the same kadhai, add the remaining tablespoon of oil.
      Heat on lowest, add in the grated garlic. Fry for about 10
      seconds or so and add in the salt, turmeric, red chili powder
      and coriander powder. Mix well and let the spices cook out
      for about 10-15 seconds. Don’t let them burn!! Don’t!!
  7. Add back the fried onions and fried arbi and mix well so that
      the arbi gets coated with the masala.
 8. Add a tablespoons of water, cover and cook for a a minute or
     two. No longer as you don’t want it to get too soft or mushy.
9.  Sprinkle the garam masala and aamchur. Mix well, garnish
     with coriander leaves and done!

     Goes best with phulkas right off the tawa.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Dahi Parwal

Dahi Parwal

Dahi Parwal

Ingredients:

           1. Potol/Parwal/Pointed gourd-8- 10 pieces
          2. Cinnamon-1” long
          3. Green Cardamoms-2
          4. Cloves-3
          5. Bayleaf- 1                               
          6. Curd-½ cup
          7. Onion-1 medium size
          8. Yogurt-½ cup
           9. Ginger paste-1 tbsp
         10. Kashmiri red chili powder-1 tbsp
         11. Turmeric powder-¼ tsp
         12. Coriander powder-1 tsp (optional)
         13. Cumin powder-1 tsp (optional)
         14. Sugar-to taste
         15. Salt-to taste
         16. Water, about 1 cup
         17. Green chilies-3-4
         18. Bengali Garam Masala Powder-¼ tsp (refer to notes)
         19. Oil-2 tbsp
         20. Ghee/Oil-1 tbsp

Method:

      1. Wash and pat dry the potols. Cut off the ends and peel
          off the skin in alternate strips. Make an inch long slit
          on both ends.
     2. Chop and grind the onion into a fine paste.
     3. Whisk the yogurt well with ginger paste, Kashmiri red
         chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander
         powder, salt and sugar. Keep aside.
    4. Heat the oil in a pan and on high heat, fry the potols until
        lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon
        and keep aside.
    5. In the same pan, add some ghee or oil. When the oil is hot,
        add cinnamon, green cardamoms, cloves and bayleaf and
        fry for about 5-10 seconds.
   6. Add in the onion paste and let it fry on low heat till all the
       water has evaporated. Ensure this is done on low heat so
       that the onion paste gets cooked without turning red/brown.
   7. Add in the yogurt mixture and again on low heat fry till all the
       water has evaporated once again from the mix. Remember –
       low heat and constantly stirring.
  8. Add about a cup of water now and bring to a boil. Add the
      fried potols. Reduce the heat and let it cook till the veggies
      are done and the gravy is reduced to desired consistency.
 9. Check for seasoning and adjust salt and sugar. Add some
      green chilies, garam masala powder and switch off the heat.
10. Serve hot with plain rice.

Notes:

        1. The final taste can be as sweet or as sour you want it be. I
            typically use about ½ tsp sugar. The amount of sugar you use
            will also depend on how sour the yogurt is.
       2. Do feel free to adjust the amount of onion paste to suit how
           much and how thick you want the gravy to be.
       3. I normally skip adding the coriander and cumin powder.
       4. Want a yellow looking curry? Increase turmeric powder to ¾ tsp
           and switch Kashmiri Red chili powder with a bit of your regular
           chili powder
      5. You can add potatoes to this dish, if you want – cut into thick
          wedges, fry separately till light brown and add back to the gravy
          along with the potols. 
      Bengali Garam Masala recipe: equally quantities cloves, cinnamon
      and cardamom – either sun them for a few hours or dry
roast them lightly and then grind into a fine powder.

Bhutte Ke Kees

Bhutte Ke Kees 

Bhutte Ke Kees 

Ingredients:

      1. Corn cobs, coarsely grated, 2 cups 
2. Mustard seeds, ½  tsp
3. Cumin seeds, ¼ tsp
4. Hing/Asafoetida, a big fat pinch
5. Green chilies, finely chopped, 2-3
6. Ginger, finely grated/minced, 1 tsp
7. Milk, ¾ cup
8. Water, ¼ cup
9. Lime juice, 1- 2 tbsp, to taste
10. Turmeric powder, ½ tsp
11. Salt, to taste
12. Ghee/Oil, 2 tbsp
13. Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Instructions:

       1. Heat the ghee in pan over low heat. Add in the mustard seeds
           and cumin seeds. When they start spluttering add in the hing,
           green chilies, ginger and fry for about 10 seconds.
      2. Now add in the grated corn, turmeric and salt. Mix well and
          stirring constantly, let it cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes.
     3.  Add in the milk and water. Mix well, cover and let it cook till
          corn is completely cooked and almost dry.
     4. Mix in the lemon juice.
     5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Crisp Spiced Baby Potatoes

Crisp Spiced Baby Potatoes
Crisp Spiced Baby Potatoes

Ingredients:

1. Baby potatoes with peel on-500 gms
2. Hing/Asafoetida-¼ tsp
3. Mustard seeds-1 tsp
4. Dried red chilie-2-3 broken into pieces
5. Curry leaves-15-20
6. Garlic cloves roughly crushed with the back of the knife or
     using a mortar pestle-10-12
7. Coriander powder-2 tsp
8. Red chili powder-1 tsp
9. Turmeric-½ tsp
10. Garam Masala powder-½ tsp
11. Salt-to taste
12. Mustard oil-3 tbsp

Instructions:

       1. Clean and pat dry the potatoes. Keep aside.
       2. Smoke mustard oil on high in a wok, lower the flame and let it
            cool down a bit.
       3. Add in the mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the
           asafoetida, curry leaves and red chilies and stir for about 10 seconds
          on low flame.
      4. Add in the garlic and fry till it changes colour. Add in all the dry spices
          and mix quickly with the garlic.
      5. Immediately add in the potatoes, stir well and cook uncovered for 4-5  
          minutes.
     6. Cover with a lid and cook till done- remember to stir intermittently.
         Sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of water if necessary.
    7. When the potatoes are cooked, remove the lid and increase the heat to high.
    8. Toss around on high heat for another 4-5 minutes to crisp up the potato
        skins.

    9. Perfect with meals or to snack on – hot, cold or at room temperature.

Chow Chow Curry

Chow Chow Curry
Chow Chow Curry
Ingredients:
1. Tender chow chows – 4
2. Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
3. Salt – 1 tsp
4. Asafoetida – 1 pinch
5. Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
6. Split black gram dal (urad dal) – 1 tsp
7. Dru red chillies – 2
8. Curry leaves – a few
9. Cooking oil – 2 tsp
10. Grated Coconut – 1 tbsp
Method:
1.
Wash and scrape the peel off the chow chows,
    and cut them into cubes. Save the peels, and
    set aside for use in the secind dish.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When it splutters, add asafoetida and the
     split black gram dal.
4. When the dal turns golden in colour, add
     broken red chillies.
5. When the chillies turn crisp, add curry leaves
     and turmeric powder.
6. Add the cut Chow Chow and salt. Stir well.
7. Cover with a lid and cook in slow flame stirring
    now and then.
8. Chow Chow cooks in its own water.
9. When it is cooked, remove the lid and increase
       the heat.
10. Keep stirring till the remaining water (if any) evaporates.
11. When the curry is dry, turn off heat and garnish with fresh
      coconut gratings.

Drumsticks cooked with mustard and poppy seed paste

Drumsticks cooked with mustard and poppy seed paste

Drumsticks cooked

Ingredients:

1. Sojne Data/Senjan ki Phalli/Drumsticks, lightly scraped
    and cut into 3”  long pieces-6
2. Potatoes, peeled and cut into thick wedges, 2 large
3. Shorshe/Sarson/Mustard seed paste, 2 tbsp (refer to notes)
4. Posto/Khus Khus/Poppy seed paste, 3 tbsp
5. Kalo Jeera/ Kalonji/Nigella seeds, ¼ tsp
6. Turmeric powder, ½ tsp
7. Red chili powder, ½ tsp
8. Salt, to taste
9. Green chilies, slit, 1-2 (remove seeds if you want)
10. Mustard Oil, 3-4 tbsp (I made this with 2 tbsp oil but ideally
      dishes with mustard paste are supposed to have a little more oil)
 Method:
         1. Heat oil in a kadhai/wok. Add the drumstick pieces and lightly
             fry for a couple of minutes. Remove and keep aside.
        2. Now add in the potato wedges in the same kadhai and fry till they
             change colour. Remove and keep aside.
        3. Add in nigella seeds and slit green chilies. Sauté for a 10-15 seconds
            and add in the fried vegetables, the pastes, turmeric, chili powder
            and salt. Mix well and let it cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes.
       4. Add in half to one cup water, cover and let it cook on medium low
            heat till the vegetables are done. Remove the cover and dry up the
            leftover water if any on high heat. Done!

Notes:

1. Instead of the typical 4-5 vegetables as expected in a “Chorchori”,
    you are only seeing potatoes and drumsticks here since I don’t  
    like yellow pumpkin and horseradish and I hate frying eggplants – I
    always end  up using too much oil. 
       2. How to make mustard and poppy seed paste: Soak seeds in warm
            water for about an hour, drain and grind with some water, big fat
            pinch of salt and one green chili into a coarse paste. 
       3. I use Black Mustard seeds, just like my mother in law and the
           mustard is not too pungent here since poppy seed paste is also
           added in.  
4. You can use yellow mustard seeds or a mix of black and yellow (2:1) to
       reduce the pungency. 
5. If you want a smoother looking paste, grind the black mustard and then
    strain it through the fine sieve. 
6. You can make this with only mustard paste or only poppy seed paste as 
     well if you want.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Thai Fried Rice

Thai Fried Rice

Thai Fried Rice

Ingredients :
Basmati Rice - 2 lb
Prawn - 1 lb
Egg - 3
Fish Sauce - 4 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Bell Pepper - 1 sliced
Chicken - 1/2 lb (boneless and cut into small pieces)
Chopped Onion - 3 small
Garlic- 1 chopped
Red Curry Paste - 2 tbsp
French Bean - 2 oz (sliced)
Shallots - 1 cup (chopped)
Chopped Cilantro - 1/2 cup
Cooking Oil-1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Method:
  1. Soak rice in water for 30 minutes and cook till nearly done.
  2. Heat oil. Fry onion and garlic.
  3. Add red curry paste, prawn and Cicken pieces. Cook till oil
      starts separating out.
  4. Add fish sauce, sugar, capsicum, beans and shallot.
  5. Add rice after about 4 to 5 minutes. Mix well and remove
      from fire.
  6. In a pan scramble the eggs and fry lightly.
  7. Spread rice on a large plate and top up with egg and sliced
      coriander leaves.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Savory Bread Pudding

Savory Bread Pudding

Savory Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

1. Eggs-3
2. Bread Cubed-6-7 slices
3. Milk about-1/2 cup
4. Onion chopped-1
5. Tomato chopped-1
6. Mushrooms chopped- 3-4
7. Peppers, green, yellow & red chopped-about 1 cup 
8. Salt-to taste
9. Pepper-to taste
10. Red chili flakes-to taste (optional)
11. Butter melted-about 2 tbsp
12. Cheese grated-about a tbsp (more, if you want)
13.Oil/Butter, to grease the baking dish
Method:
       1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
       2. Grease a baking dish with oil/butter. Spread half of the bread at the base
            and sprinkle with salt+ pepper. Followed by a layer of all the veggies
            sprinkled again with salt+ pepper (leave about 2 tbsp to spread on top).
       3. Final layer of bread and the veggies you had kept aside + salt & pepper. 
       4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with milk, salt, pepper & red chili flakes. Pour
           beaten eggs over the top and then melted butter. Leave aside for 10-15
           minutes so that bread soaks up the egg mix.
      5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 200°C. After 30 minutes or
           so, remove the foil, spread the grated cheese on top and bake uncovered for
           10-15 minutes more.
Notes:
       1. If you want to increase the quantity of the mushrooms, saute them first in a
           pan so that they don’t release excessive water in the dish while baking.
      2. If you want to add garlic, saute onion and garlic first before adding to the
          dish.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Chole

Chole
Chole
Ingredients:
1. Cholas/Kabuli Chana/ Chick peas , washed & soaked in water overnight
2. Black cardamom-1
3. Cinnamon stick, 1 x 1"
4. Cloves-4
5. Black Peppercorns-4
6. Bayleaf -1
7. Cumin seeds, ½ tsp
8. Salt, to taste
For the gravy:
1. Oil, 2 tbsp
2. Onions, finely chopped, 2 large
3. Tomatoes, finely chopped, 3 large
4. Ginger, grated/minced, 1 x 1"
5. Heeng / Asafoetida , 3-5 grains
6. Channa Masala, 2 tsp I use MDH
7. Coriander powder, 1 tsp qty of rest of the spice powders
    will depend on which brand of chana masala you use
8. Roasted Cumin Powder-½ tsp
9. Red chilli powder-1 tsp
10. Garama Masala-½ tsp
11. Salt to taste

Method:

       1. Drain and wash the chanas. Add just enough water to cover them, the
           khada masala  and pressure cook.(normally one whistle on high flame and
           about 20-25 mins on low). Once it cools down, drain the chanas and retain
           the water. Fish out whatever spices you can out of the chanas. 
       2. In a kadhai, heat the oil and add the heeng. After abt 15 secs add the onions
           and saute until they soften and turn a pale brown . 
      3. Now add the tomato along with the ginger . Stir, mashing the tomato until
           the oil separates from the masala. Add all the balance spice powders and
           cook for 5-7 minutes.
      4. Add the boiled channas to the masala and mix well. Add the water of the
          boiled chanas (& more if needed)  and cook on low heat for about 10-12
          minutes so that the gravy gets thickish.
      5. You can garnish with onion rings, green chilies, ginger julienne or if
           running late/dying of hunger, serve as is.

Ginger Fried Rice

Ginger Fried Rice

Ginger Fried Rice

Ingredients:

1. Cooked Rice, preferably a day old or at refrigerated for a
    couple of hours, 3 cups
2. Fresh Ginger, peeled and minced, 1 ½ tbsp
3. Onion, finely chopped, 1 medium
4. Vegetables, finely chopped, ¾ to 1 cup, I used green, yellow,
     red pepper and carrots – you can add French beans, mushrooms or peas
5. Spring/Green Onions/Scallions, finely chopped, only the green portion, 2-3
6. Light Soy sauce, to taste or about ½ - ¾ tsp for every cup of rice (you can
    add oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce or even fish sauce. Just go easy on the
    sauces or else your rice will turn mushy)
7. Salt, to taste
8. White Pepper powder, to taste
9. Oil, 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp for eggs
10. Eggs, 3 (optional)
11. Sesame oil, a few drops (optional)

Method: 

       1. Break up large clumps of rice and separate the grains with wet fingers or a
            fork.
       2. Lightly whisk the eggs with a tablespoon of water and a little salt.
       3. Heat a large wok or nonstick pan until hot. Add 1 tbsp oil and swirl around
            the wok.
       4.  Add the eggs and stir to scramble until they are almost cooked but still a
            little soggy – about a minute or two. Take out the eggs and keep aside.
       5. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the same wok. When the oil is hot and
           starts to shimmer, add the ginger and onions. Stir fry for about 30 seconds
           or so till the ginger gets fragrant. Add the rest of the veggies and stir fry
           until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
      6.  Add the sauce of your choice, salt and pepper.
      7.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the rice.. Stir and toss to mix until the
           rice is well coated and heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings if
           necessary.
      8. Remove from heat and add spring onions greens, eggs and sesame oil, if
          using.

      9. Serve immediately.

Egg Korma Biryani

Egg Korma Biryani
Egg Korma Biryani

Ingredients:

For the rice:
1. Basmati Rice, 2 cups 
2. Green Cardamom, 2
3. Black peppercorns, 4-5
4. Cloves, 4
5. Cinnamon, 1” stick
6. Star Anise, 1
7. Salt, to taste
8. Ghee/Oil, 1 tbsp
9. Juice of half a lemon
For the Egg masala:
1. Eggs, 6
2. Onions, thinly sliced, 4 large
3. Bay leaf, 1-2
4. Ginger, paste, 1 tsp
5. Garlic, paste, 2 tsp
6. Curd, a little more than ½ cup
7. Red Chili powder, 1 tsp
8. Kashmiri Red chili powder, 1 tsp
9. Coriander powder, 1 tbsp
10. Poppy seeds/Khus-Khus/ Posto, 1 tbsp
11. Green Cardamom, powdered, ½ tsp
12. Garam masala powder, 1 tsp
13. Green Chilies slit whole, 4-5
14. Salt, to taste
15. Fresh Coriander leaves, 3-4 tbsp
16. Fresh Mint leaves, 3-4 tbsp
17. Oil, 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp
Assembling:
1. Ghee, 2-3 tbsp
2. Milk, ½ cup
3. Saffron strands, ½ tsp (optional) 
4. Green chilies, slit and seeds removed, a couple
5. Fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
6. Fresh Mint leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
7. Juice of one lemon

Method:

      1. Wash and soak the rice for about half an hour. Boil with all whole
          spices and salt till about 80% done. Add ghee and lemon juice at
          the end of boiling time. Strain and keep aside to cool.
     2. Take 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom pan and on low flame fry onions
          till golden brown. Drain and keep aside.
     3. Hard boil the eggs, peel and keep aside.
     4. Soak saffron in warm milk and keep aside.
     5. Dry roast poppy seeds on low flame till light golden and then with a
         little water grind into a paste.
     6. Whisk yogurt well with red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder
         and coriander powder.
Egg Masala:
    1. In the same pan that you fried the onions in, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil
        and add bayleaf. 
    2. Add in ginger garlic paste and fry for about 30 seconds on low heat. Pour in
        the whisked yogurt and cook for about 10 minutes on low heat.
    3. When the oil starts to separate, add half of the fried onions and poppy seed
         paste. Stir well and let it cook for a further 5-6 minutes. Keep on stirring to
         ensure that the paste doesn’t stick to the bottom of pan. If needed, sprinkle
         with a little water. 
    4.  Add in the slit green chilies, salt, garam masala powder, green cardamom
         powder, eggs and gently stir to ensure eggs don’t break. Another 2-3
         minutes and switch off the gas. 
     5. Mix in the coriander and mint leaves.
Now to assemble:  
    1. Take a heavy bottom pan and smear the base with ghee .
    2. Spread half of the rice at the bottom of the pot, followed by the egg masala,
         a tablespoon of ghee and then top this with the rest of the rice. 
    3.  Sprinkle saffron infused milk, green chilies, some fried onions, some
         chopped coriander and mint leaves. 
    4. Pour in the lemon juice and rest of the ghee on top. 
    5. Cover with foil and tight fitting lid. Cook over slow indirect heat (pan placed
        over tawa/griddle) or in an oven for about 20-25 minutes or so.
    6. To ensure that no steam escapes while cooking – you can cover the edges of
         the lid with a thick kitchen towel.
    7. Remove the lid once done, fluff up the rice and remove the eggs from the
        middle. Mix well but lightly to break the layers.
    8. Arrange the rice on a serving platter and top it up with the eggs. 
    9. Garnish with the remaining coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions.
      Serve hot with some raita, salad and/or gravy of your choice.

Lentils with Fenugreek leaves

Lentils with Fenugreek leaves
Lentils with Fenugreek leaves

Ingredients:

1. Arhar dal/Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Pea, washed & drained, 60 gm
2. Methi/ Fenugreek leaves, washed & chopped, 120 gms
3. Onions, finely chopped, 1 large
4. Tomato, finely chopped, 1 large
5. Tomato Puree, 1-2 tbsp (depending on the colour of the
    tomato already put in)
6. Turmeric, ¼ tsp + ¼ tsp
7. Heeng/Asafoetida, a big pinch
8. Ghee/Oil,1 tbsp
9. Cumin seeds, ¼ tsp
10. Mustard seeds, ¼ tsp
12. Curry leaves, 8-10
13. Whole Dried red chili, 1
14. Green , Chilies, finely chopped, 2
15. Coriander powder, ½ tsp
16. Garlic, crushed, 4-5 cloves
17. Ginger, paste, ½ tsp
18. Kokum Extract*, 1 – 2 tbsp
19. Salt, to taste
20. Water, about double the quantity of dal
     and more if needed

Method:

   1. Pressure cook(or boil in a pan) the dal till one whistle on high (till half  
      done) with a pinch of salt, ¼  tsp turmeric, tomato and half of the chopped
      onion.
   2. In another pan, heat the oil . Add asafoetida, cumin seeds and mustard
      seeds. When they start spluttering, one by one, add the  dried chili, curry
      leaves, garlic, ginger, green chilies and the rest of the onions. 
   3. Sauté till onions soften and turn translucent. Add methi leaves, a little salt,
      ¼ tsp turmeric and continue to cook until the leaves completely wilt. 
   4. Add the tomato puree and cook for another 4-5 minutes. 
   5. Add the methi leaves mixture to the dal  and let it cook covered on low
      simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add more water if required, to get the  
      consistency you like. Add the kokum extract and cook for another few
      minutes. 
   6. Have started added Kokum extract to my dals lately to finish off a packet
      my sis in law had got for me. You can use tamarind extract, some store
      bought tamarind paste ,a squeeze of lemon or completely skip this as well. 
   7. I at times skip the mustard seeds,curry leaves and kokum/tamarind/lemon
      and do a regular Dal Tadka with the rest of the stuff.
   8. If using, just wash and soak some kokum/tamarind in hot water for about
      half an hour in a non reactive bowl. Mash it well with your hands or back of
      a spoon to separate the pulp.Pour the mashed mixture and its liquid into a
      strainer placed over an empty bowl. Firmly press down on the pulp to
      extract maximum juice. Discard what is left in the strainer and use the
      strained liquid.
   9. And here is a picture of the Arhar dal taken from the net, in case (like me not
      to long back) you can't identify dals by their names...remember that it is the
       thin flat one, the fatter one is Chana dal.