Showing posts with label Curry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Curry. Show all posts

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chicken Rezala ....

I have come across various Rezala recipes several times. Mutton/Chicken/ Potato and even Cauliflower Rezala. And one thing that is strikingly similar and interesting to note is that most of my bengali food bloggers have it on their blogs. Rezala as the name suggests is a Mughlai dish which the chefs of Mughal Emperors from Awadh introduced in East of India. 

The dish is highly rich, full of flavors, enticing to the taste buds and the secret of a successful Rezala is the use of homemade sweet yogurt that nicely compliments the dish giving a nice sweet taste. Though Rezala is synonymous with mutton, the one I have prepared is with chicken. A perfect chicken rezala would have flavorsome gravy with juicy tender chicken pieces which would make your taste buds lingering with a burst of tang.

While I was scouting for a perfect Rezala recipe (actually there are many versions), I settled with one from my friend Sayantani's blog, A Homemaker's Diary. Though I followed most of the steps she posted, I tweaked it a bit per my taste buds. I would say her's is a more authentic version of Rezala as she has used a generous amount of ghee/ clarified butter and kewra essence. I have cut down a bit on the ghee/ clarified butter (wanted to make a low fat version) and used saffron instead of kewra. And I must say, J and I loved it. But you may add a generous amount of ghee for enhanced flavor and richness. 

My Verdict - This is one simple dish bursting with flavors.

Preparation Time - 1 hour


Skinless Chicken, Bone in Medium size pieces -500 gms
Medium Size onion - 2
Garlic Pods - 3-4 large
Ginger - 1 inch
Fresh Curd - 1 cup
Ground Black/ White Pepper - 1 tsp
Nutmeg Powder - 1 tsp 

Whole Garam Masala

Green Cardamom - 3
Black Cardamom - 1
Cloves - 4/5
Black Pepper - 8/10
Red Chili - 2
Bayleaf - 1

Clarified Butter - 2 tsp
Refine Oil - 3 tsp
Cashew Nuts (Whole)  - 4/5
Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 pinch
Saffron - few strands

Method of Preparation

First wash the chicken and drain all water from it. Keep aside. Remove the skin of onions and pressure cook it using little water till one whistle. When cool open and remove from cooker. Let it sit for some time till it cools thoroughly. Crush garlic and ginger using a mortar and pestle. 
When the onion is cooled down chop it roughly. Grind onion, ginger n garlic together in a blender to make a smooth paste. The paste has to be absolutely smooth. 
Using a whisk, beat the curd to make it smooth.
Grind cashew n poppy seeds to a paste and keep aside.

In a bowl mix onion/ginger garlic paste and curd. Add nutmeg and pepper powder. Add salt to taste. Add the chicken pieces to the mixture and marinate. Keep it aside for minimum 30 minute. est if you can marinate it for 4-5 hours.

Once you are ready to cook Heat the oil and ghee. Lightly pound (just one or two stroke for the pods to open and release more aroma) the whole spices and add to the oil. Let it sizzle and  fill up your kitchen with lovely aroma.Shake off the marinate from the chicken and arrange them on the pan, preferably in single layer. on medium heat seal the chicken and cook till all sides turn white. Now pour in all the marinade and mix. 
Cook for 8-10 minutes and the add the poppy/ cashew seeds paste. cook for a minute and pour 3/4 cup warm water. Check the seasoning and cover. Let it simmer on low heat till oil starts to float on top and the chicken is cooked through.

Uncover and add the sugar and strands of saffron . Keep covered till you are ready to serve.
Serve with Indian flat breads Naan/ Paratha/ Kulcha etc.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Chicken Keema .....

These days when I blog I think about my little sister who is dealing with sleepless nights and tied up mornings for past few months. Her five month old monster is a handful. So I am trying to think of easy below thirty minutes recipes for her which can be done in no time with simple ingredients from the pantry. Chicken Keema is one such dish. It can be prepared in less that thirty minutes and can be paired with rice and breads.
My Marathi friend likes it a little spicy and pairs it with the famous Mumbai Pav. You can also make a wrap using your regular roti or make a grilled sandwich with it. You can also make a stuffed indian bread "Keema Paratha" with it. The options are many. Or just relish it with naan or roti.

Keema is packed with flavors and you can never go wrong with it.


Minced Chicken ( You can ask your local butcher to do it if it is not readily available) - 500 gms
Finely chopped onion - 2 medium size
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Tomato Pureed - 3 medium size
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Corriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp ( You can add more if you want more spicy)
Chopped green chilies - 3
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking

For Garnishing (Optional)
Coriander leaves
Chopped onions

Method of Preparation

First wash the chicken keema pieces. Let it sit in a colander to remove excess water from it. Finely chop onions and green chilies, puree the tomato and prepare ginger garlic paste by taking equal quantity of ginger and garlic. You can also use store bought one.

Take a heavy bottom skillet. Add about 4 tbsp of oil. When hot add the finely chopped green chilies and then chopped onions. Saute the onions till they look translucent to golden brown. Then add the ginger garlic paste. Saute by stirring it regularly. Else it may burn. Then add the pureed tomatoes to it. Add turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Cook the masala till there is no raw smell and it starts leaving oil from the sides.
Add the minced chicken meat to it.

Mix well with the masala. Now add garam masala to it.
Add about 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer the meat on medium heat till most of the water evaporates and the meat it cooked.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Suggestion for Serving

Team it up with any Indian flat bread (Roti/ Naan etc)
You can also make a grilled sandwich with it.
Or even a wrap/ roll.
You can also use this keema for pizza topping

Monday, March 16, 2015

Curried Chickpeas aka Chole/ Choley

Yah I am back blogging after an era literally. Hopefully this time for good ..... If you have been a regular on my blog you should be familiar with my style. There is a little story/ narration and a recipe. Since I am back after a very long time, I decided to twist my style and make it more versatile depending on the mood.
Because it is summer time and we all are in the mood to flaunt our beach bodies ...... or you might be in the other category as me, struggling to loose some weight, particularly those love handles:)

While I can vouch that there is no magic that helps shed those extra kilos, healthy eating habits and a little bit of working out won't hurt. Intact if one is consistent, you can see the results in a few months. Yah you heard it right, "months". The goals need to be realistic.
So this series is all about healthy eating ...... You don't have to starve to loose those extra kilos.

Choley or curried chickpeas is a very versatile dish and can be done in several ways. The style of preparation also varies from region to region.
This recipe is a milimalistic one with very little oil and spices and can be prepared under 30 minutes.

Food Fact 

Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein, and they have a low glycemic index. This powerful combination can help control your weight and lower the bad cholesterol levels. They are also rich in protein and packed with vitamins that are easily absorbed by our body

Chickpeas/ Kabuli chana/ Choley - 1.5 cups 

Boiled Potato - 1 small

Garlic pods - 12 (medium size ones)
Onion - 1 medium
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Tomato - 1
Green chili  - 1 (You can use more if you like spicy)
Choley Masala - 2 tsp (You can use any store bought one but I used MDH as I like it better)
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking - 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp

Method of Preparation
1. You can soak the chickpeas for 8-9 hours (overnight). Then pressure cook it adding salt, 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and the garlic pods. The chickpeas should be soft when cooked. You can add a small potato to the chickpeas and boil if along with it to save time.
2. Finely chop onion, garlic, tomatoes and green chili and keep aside. Mash the boiled potato. 
3. Now put a kadhai/ wok on the stove and switch on the flame. Add 2 tsp of vegetable/ olive oil. When the oil is hot, add green chilies and ginger first. Sauté for a minute and then add the finely chopped onions to it. Saute till the onions turn translucent. Add tomatoes and cook till the masala has no raw smell and starts leaving oil from the sides. 
4. Now add 2 tsp of MDH Chola Masala (or any other masala brand you like) and immediately add the boiled chickpeas/ choley to it. Add mashed potatoes and stir the mixture lightly to blend in. Simmer on low flame for 10 - 15 minutes. You can taste the salt and add more  to the gravy if needed.(Mashed potato helps make the gravy thicker)
5. Switch of the flame and add chopped fresh coriander leaves to it.

Serving Suggestion

Goes well with any flat bread (poori, paratha, phulka / roti etc)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Macha Tarkari aka Fish Curry

Shanti would sit just outside the porch and call out for Aai  in her shrill voice that can be heard from a mile after keeping aside her big basket of fish. Her timing is always perfect..... 9 am sharp, Sunday mornings. The old bamboo basket is now falling apart and permanently stinks fish. Shanti has been selling fish for many years now. She is a dark busty woman with paan stained teeth. Padma, Aai's domestic help would also follow Aai to the porch. Buying fish every Sunday was more of a ritual. Shanti would carefully remove the leaves from top of the basket and pull out the best one for Aai. But it is Padma who would give the final approval after checking the gills. Then they all nod in agreement before the fish is weighed and cut. 

Aai's house had a big aangan,a courtyard in the middle of the house. The fish is cleaned there, even now. While Padma cleans it, there are more than one onlookers. One of them being Meeoon - Aai's cat, my sister M and few crows perched on the roof. The cleaning regime is completed admist constant chatter, purring of Meeoon and cawing of the crows. After through cleaning the pieces are marinated with a generous amount of haldi and salt and kept away securely from the prying eyes, especially Meeoon. 

Aai eye balls the amount of garlic, ginger and onion and hands it to Padma. And its perfect every time. The masala for the fish curry is prepared the old school way using a seelbata (a mortal and pestle made of stone). Padma's bangles make a nice jingle as she grinds the masala. 

The smoky and nutty smell of hot mustard oil fills the kitchen as Aai carefully drops the fish into the hot oil. And you don't need a sensitive nose to know that the maach is already in the oil. Even before the first batch is out of the kadhai, little M is already there waiting for her share with a small shiny steel plate. Aai smiles and carefully places a crisp hot piece on M's plate with a warning "hot". And as for Meeoon, she is curled comfortably on the kitchen doormat hoping that she gets a little more than the left over bones. 

Preparation Time - 60 minutes
Serves - 4
Rohu Fish - 750 gms ( You can also prepare this with Catla or Tilapia)  
Potato - 2 small
For the masala
Onion - 1 medium 
Tomato - 1 small
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4-5 pods
Cinnamon - 1 inch 
Cardamom - 2 
Bayleaf - 1
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Corriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/3 tsp
Turmeric - 1/3 tsp
Cayenne Pepper/ Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt -  to taste 
Oil for cooking 

Method of Preparation
1. Wash the fish pieces and pat dry. Add 1 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt to the fish. Marinate and keep aside.
2. Chop the onion, ginger and garlic roughly and make a smooth paste using a food processer/ blender.
3. Cut tomato into small pieces and keep aside.
4. Cut the potatoes skin on into medium side wedges.
5. Pour some mustard oil (you can use any vegetable oil instead) and heat it to smoking point. Slowly add the fish pieces one by one and shallow fry them in batches. 
6. When the fish is done add the potatoes and shallow fry them in the same oil and keep aside.
7. If enough oil is still left in the kadhai (else add some more oil)  add whole garam masala to it, ie cinnamon, cardamom and bayleaf.
8. Next add the onion ginger garlic paste to the oil. Stir and fry the masala till the masala is cooked and there is no raw smell. Add chopped tomato, turmeric, cumin powder,corriander powder, chili powder and salt. Cook for few more minutes till the masala starts leaving oil at the sides. Cover and let the curry simmer on medium heat till potatoes get soft.
9. Remove from heat and add chopped coriander leaves on top to garnish.

Serve with rice. 
9. Add 2 cups water to the masala to make a gravy. Cover and bring it to a boil.
10. Add potato wedges and fish to it. Now add the garam masala powder. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The guy next door and Baby Potatoes Masala

The first time we met was in the elevator of our apartment. I smiled at him and he too did shyly as our eyes met. And even before we could steal glances the elevator stopped and we departed. And I secretly wished to meet this guy again. We had shifted to our new home ..... a newly built apartment overlooking the swanky IT hub of ITPL. And I got on with my work, running around the interior guys, fixing things and settling down that I almost forgot about this guy. 
It was a lazy sunday morning and I was sipping my morning tea when I heard some voices in the corridor. Eager as I was to make new friends and socialize I rushed to open the door. It was the same guy ..... Good Lord we are neighbors, I said to myself. As I picked up the newspaper and the milk packets from the front door I greeted him with a "Hi" and so did he with some reservations. 
It's been over a month now .... and we meet often. He is no longer shy but demanding ....... We have opened up. And we love to spend time together especially in the evenings. And on days when we don't we both get anxious. 
And yes ....... I do share my special meals with him as good neighbors should. So last time I made potato finger chips, I sent a plateful of it. It was late eve and J was back from work and I was in the kitchen prepping for dinner. The door bell rang. My husband answered it .... and there he was standing at the door. He conveniently ignored J and peeped inside to see if he could find me around. I knew it was him. I wiped my wet hands and rushed to the door. I kneeled down so that I could see his face clearly in the dim ambience lights. He kissed me lightly on my cheeks and said "Thank you Aunty, the finger chips were yummy and then paused to say "just like you" ! Meet him he is lil D ( a six year old) my next door neighbor and my secret admirer. 

So here I am back after almost a year of blog break. And nothing fancy but a comfort meal as one can never get wrong with potatoes. 

Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves - 2 
Baby Potatoes - 250 gms
Onion - 1 small
Tomato - 1 small
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4-5 pods
Cinnamon - 1 inch 
Cardamom - 2 
Bayleaf - 1
Cumin Powder - 1 pinch
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1 small pinch
Cayenne Pepper/ Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt -  to taste 
Oil for cooking 

Method of Preparation

1.  Prik the potatoes with a fork and boil them in a pressure cooker adding some salt to it. When done      peel and keep aside. 
2.  Make a paste of Onion, ginger and garlic. Puree the tomato separately.
3. In a wok add about 2 tsp of oil and a pinch of turmeric to it. When the oil gets smoking add the potatoes and toss it for few minutes till lightly browned. Remove and keep aside.
4. Take another 2 tbsp of oil in a wok. When warm add cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaf. Now add the onion ginger garlic paste to it. Stir and fry the masala till the masala is cooked and there is no raw smell. Add tomato puree, turmeric, cumin powder,chili powder and salt. Cook for few more minutes till the masala starts leaving oil at the sides. Finally add a pinch of garam masala to it.
5. Add the potatoes to the masala and mix well so that the potatoes get coated with the masala.
6. Garnish with chopped corriander leaves. (Optional).

Serve warm with your choice of roti/ paratha/ naan. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cheena Tarkari aka Cottage cheese dumpling curry .....

I WAS a fussy eater ...... well not any more. The list of things that would not make it to the plate far more out numbered the ones that did. Milk and it's bi-products were a BIG NO for me. The milk had to be religiously strained before adding a liberal amount of Bourvita to it. There should be NO malai in the milk and it should taste anything but not milky. Paneer was also in the DISLIKE list. I had my own criteria ...... Paneer (Cheena) as rasogolla was fine, even Cheena Poda (another traditional sweet from Odisha) was fine but not Cheena Payesh or even for that matter steamed paneer cake. Forget about Paneer Curry and all that ...... 
And I am sure you would not want to go through the long list of vegetables ..... Except for Potatoes, Cauliflower, Peas, and a select few everything else !
Not just that I would sit with food on my plate for hours. My tantrums were unlimited.

Either my parents had given up on me as a hopeless case or had loads of patience. I have to go with the later ..... not because I am biased but because it was their patience and perseverance of not giving up on me that I am a foodie now !! Yeah Rome was not built in a year. 
My parents would constantly worry about my eating habits especially when I would have to leave their nest and go out to make a life of my own. No matter how stern mom looked she wept like a baby when she left me at my hostel. And the real world beckoned upon me ...... Bitter gourd curry was served for dinner the first night at my hostel along with some other greens, curd, rice, sambar and chappati. Tears welled up and was chocked. Either I had to eat or starve. I served a small spoon of rice and sambar and tried to swallow it. And I have to say that my stay in the hostel taught me many lessons of life .... including food !! And I changed my habits for the better. 

The next time I visited home after my first semester break ..... my family was quite surprised to meet the no more fussy eater. I ate all and with delight. And today my list of food that I don't eat has shrunk and if ever I am made to do a thank you speech on who changed my food habits, it has to be the horrible cook of my hostel ...... lol

About the recipe ........

Cottage cheese is called Cheena in the eastern part of India. This curry is very typical to Odisha/ West Bengal. Goes well with Indian Flat Bread ( Roti/ Phulka/ Chappati/ Poori/ Paratha etc ). Best when consumed fresh.
Preparation Time - 30 minutes

Serves - 2 
Cottage Cheese - 250 gms
Baking Soda -  1 pinch
Onion - 1 small
Tomato - 1 small
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4-5 pods
Cinnamon - 1 inch 
Cardamom - 2 
Fennel - 1/2 tsp
Cumin - 1 pinch
Cashew nuts - A handful
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1 small pinch
Cayenne Pepper/ Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt -  to taste 
Oil for cooking 
Method of Preparation
1. Knead the Cheena/ cottage cheese after adding baking soda to it to make a soft pliable dough. Pinch out small balls of the cottage cheese and roll between your palms to make smooth balls.  Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok to medium heat and fry them till they are golden brown. Remove and drain on a kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil. Keep aside.
2. Make a paste of Onion, ginger and garlic and cumin seeds . Puree the tomato separately. Make a paste of cashew nuts. Keep aside
3. Take 2 tbsp of oil in a wok. When warm add cinnamon, cardamom and fennel seeds. Now add the onion ginger garlic cumin paste to it. Stir and fry the masala till the masala is cooked and there is no raw smell. Add tomato puree, turmeric, chili powder and salt. Cook for few more minutes till the masala starts leaving oil at the sides. 
4. Add the cashew nut paste to it and simmer. Add garam masala. If needed add water to adjust the consistency.
5. If you are making this dish in advance, heat the gravy and add the Cheena balls to it just before serving. Else they tend to soak the gravy and make it dry.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Palak Paneer Laasuni ....... memories of Diwali

That morning was unusually calm. The marigolds that decked the front door had wilted away. I could still sniff the gun powder in the early morning breeze. The oil from the diyas had left a mark on my expensive floor tiles. The color of the rangoli had bled into each other. The municipality workers were back on the streets sweeping tattered papers and remnants of the crackers. Moti the neighborhood street dog was so much at peace with himself after yesterdays bombastic night. The garlands of electric lights on the opposite balcony swayed gently in the morning breeze.

Although I am not a very traditional person I still love to light up diyas instead of those electric light garlands. Yes I like those earthy rustic ones. Each Diwali when I light those oil lamps, there is a storm of emotions that stir up within me. 

Some how Diwali is not quite the same ...... things have changed for the better or for the worse. I just buy enough diyas to deck up the tiny winy balconies of my apartment in this distant city that I call home...... not like hundreds of them that my grandma used to buy every Diwali to light up our ancestral home. I miss washing those diyas in buckets of water and that earthy smell. 

The giggles of cousins in the courtyard has faded away with passing years. So have the clanking of the cauldrons that were usually taken out during festive season from the attic for making huge batches of 'boondi ladoos' and namkeens. Now there is no hurry to pack and distribute these goodies to the neighbors.

I simply make a trip to the neighborhood shop to pick up some dry fruit packets. Things are much more convenient than they used to be ...... but still I am not enjoying this easy life. I am missing those cumbersome afternoons when the women of the house would make batches of boondi soaked in sugar syrup and we little girls trying to shape the warm boondies into ladoos with our tiny hands. 

I miss making those trips to the neighborhood darzi for getting that simple dress stitched ........ I feel I  had rejoiced wearing that simple dress more than the designer ones I own today. 

Somehow I felt more of a spectator than a participant in the festival this year.
Yes I did wear festive clothes and I was happy to meet with people but somewhere inside I don't quite get it. May be I am just a little weird !!

Preparation Time - 30 Minutes
Serves - 4

Paneer/ Cottage Cheese cubed - 2 cups
Spinach Leaves shredded - 3 cups
Garlic Minced -  4 tsp
Finely chopped onion - 1/2 cup
Finely Chopped Green Chillies - 2
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric -  1 big pinch
Clarified butter - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste 
Method of Preparation 
1. Heat about 1tbsp of clarified butter/ ghee in a kadhai. When the oil gets warm add minced garlic to it. Reduce the flame   and stir constantly to make sure that the garlic doesn't get burnt. 
2. Now add the chopped onions and green chillies. Add salt and turmeric. Cook till the onions get mushy and have no raw smell. 
3. Add in the shredded spinach leaves and mix well. Now add the cubed paneer cubes. Sir intermittently for about 5 minutes.
4. Lastly add garam masala.

Serving Tips

Serve with any bread/ flat indian bread. You could also make a sandwich with this filling. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mushroom Curry Puffs & The Devil didn't wear Prada

Errr ............ and you thought that the Devil wears Prada ........ well yes she does in the movie, otherwise who knows !! 
I folded my jeans quickly and hurriedly closed the car door and ran towards the steps of this store. It was raining cats and dog that Sunday evening. I had waited the entire day for the rains to stop ....... but no ! And it was the final day of sale at one of  the clothing outlets. Not sure if a sale means anything to you but for me it does ........ a lot !!. Especially if it is clothes n shoes. Yah I am like every other girl next door who has never enough clothes or shoes.
This one I met was nothing close to Meryl Streep, not even her age. May be in her early thirties. Jeans and a short kurta, kohl laden eyes, bold shade of lip color and silver toe rings is what I could capture in a glance. We women have to agree that we are equally good at scanning the same sex if not better. And I am no exception. She pushed me aside and barged into one of the rooms caring little of the ones waiting outside for their turn, including me. I wished to give her a piece of my mind but sometimes it's better to let go.
So here I was waiting with a pile of clothes at the trial room along with few others. The wait seems exceptionally long when you are on the other side of the trail room.

I was getting impatient with an equally impatient husband. And there were many more tortured faces (read husbands'/ boyfriends') a little far from the women's trial room. It seemed the perfect occasion for the ladies to take revenge. A tired looking sales girl with a fake smile stood outside counting and folding garments. My eyes were glued on the doors of these rooms ........ the bolts would turn from "Occupied" to "Vacant". And at the door would be an anxious lady waiting for a positive remark. Every remark appeared the same irrespective of the person ......... an affirmation. There were only  few brave men who would still had the guts to go back n scan women clothing's and again get into the loop of an indefinite wait outside the trail room.

Suddenly the clothes picked by the women next to me started  looking prettier than mine ....... happens with me many times. And I would start cursing myself for not having picked that. But would not go pick that even if it is hanging in the hanger next to me. That's called typical "women syndrome". 

"Thud" ........ opened one of the doors after a long wait. The sales girl outside counted the garments and handed  those over to me. I took my own sweet time checking myself out in every angle possible in all the mirrors  ......... I  was in no hurry. I was finally inside the trial room !

Preparation Time - 45 mnts


Frozen puff pastry, thawed - 2 sheets
1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tsp milk for egg wash

Mushroom - 1/2 Pound
Onions - 1 (Medium Size)
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1/2 tsp
Soy Sauce - 1 tsp
Chilli Sauce - 1/2 tsp
Vinegar- 1/2 tsp
Tomato Sauce - 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 pinch
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking

Method of Preparation

1.  Clean mushrooms and pat dry. Chop finely. Finely chop onions.
2.  Cut pastry sheets into desired shapes after thawing.
3. In a wok add some oil. When hot add finely chopped onions and saute till they get caramalized. Now add the ginger garlic paste till there is now raw smell.
4. Add mushrooms and  saute till all the moisture evaporates and mushrooms get cooked.
5. Add salt and garam masala.
6. Add all the sauces and vinegar one by one starting with soy sauce. Stir in. Remove from flame and let it cool.
7.Roll out the pastry to one inch wider on each side. Cut 3 inch circles of the puff pastry. Place a bit of filling in the center. Brush the edges with egg wash and cover with another circle of pastry. Crimp the edges with a fork.

Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Cool for a few minutes but serve warm. Store in an airtight container. They are yummy cold too :D

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chicken Kohlapuri

What were my last year's resolution ....... Oh you must be kidding me !! Didn't I mention earlier that I suffer from ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). So this year I decided not to waste time penning my resolution ... It's so cool to kick your heels and relax. No obligations what so ever ! For once it feels great not having any ambitious new year plans. Totally relaxing .....  I must confess.

The husband is also so much at ease ....... well once in a while he too deserves a life. I am sure many of you would be nodding your head in affirmation. For a change he didn't have to go through my mood swings and pangs about not arranging a "happening" new year eve. 
This year strangely there were no emotions brewing. I didn't wish to be amongst those thousand crazy souls who hooted, hugged and kissed as the historic crystal ball dropped at Times Square in New York or even at Brigade Road in Bangalore.I am probably still having the hangover of last years new year eve and thus decided to have a more sober one .How sober I leave it completely to your imagination. 
So unlike the past there were no tables booked and no lavish spread in those fancy restaurants. And I suck when it comes to handling crowded places ....... and of course the pressure of looking good and dressing up for the occasion simply adds a lot of pressure. Yes you have a hundred eyes staring at you to death as you struggle with the silver cutlery.
So I decided to stretch my legs and curl up on the sofa, be my own DJ ,sip my drink ..... courtesy my very own bartender J, lick my fingers and smack my plates clean. Simply being my self, not allowing anyone to be judgmental of me ! And can it get any better for a new beginning.

Hope you all had a wonderful and rocking year ...... So here's a recipe that's sure to spice it up :)

Preparation Time - 90 mnts
Serves - 6 
2 lbs chicken, skin removed and cut into medium pieces
1/4 cup oil
For marinating: 
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 tablespoon red chili powder (more or less) 
2-3  tablespoons Spice Mix 
For the main Sauce: 
3 large onions finely sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced or minced
2″ fresh ginger, grated or thinly sliced
1/3 can coconut milk
3/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh or dried coconut
3/4 cup tomato paste 
Spice Mix 
Light fry in oil: 
1/2 tablespoon white poppy seeds
1 teaspoon cumin/jeera
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek/methi seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorn
4 dry red chilli pepper (more or less as per taste)
4 cloves
4 small  green cardamom
2″ cinnamon stick
A pinch of hing/asafoetida
Dry Roast: 
2 tablespoons dried coconut
1 teaspoon sesame seed

Spice Mix
1. Heat very little oil in a pan and very lightly fry the ingredients mentioned in the “Light Fry”at low heat for a couple of minutes. Switch off the heat when they get fragrant.
2. Dry roast the coconut and sesame seeds for a couple of minutes, till the coconut is very light brown.
Blend all the ingredients of the “light fry” and “dry roast” in a powder.
Marinating Chicken
Marinate chicken with yogurt, turmeric, salt, chili powder and spice mix for at least an hour (I left mine overnight).
For the curry
Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and brown them in the heated oil on both sides. they should be light brown; does not need to be evenly brown. Save the marinade.
Remove the chicken pieces and save the leftover oil.
For Gravy
1.Heat 3/4 cup oil  and fry the onions, ginger, garlic, sugar and salt till the onions are brown and starts to caramelize. Switch off the heat and transfer half of the onion mix from the pan to a blender or food processor along with the fresh cilantro, coconut, tomato paste, water and the left over marinade and blend till smooth.
2. In the remaining half of the fried onions in the pan, add the chicken and toss them and cook them for about 10 minutes at medium to high heat. If the spices stick at the bottom of the pan just sprinkle some water and scrape it off .
3. Add half of the mix from the blender to the chicken and the leftover oil from frying the chicken if you have any) in the pan and stir everything gently. Cook/simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes at medium to high heat. When you see the sauce reducing pour out the rest of the blended ingredients in to the pan. Gently stir everything together for them to combine. Cover and cook at low to medium heat till the chicken pieces are tender.
Remove cover and increase the heat. Add the coconut milk. Cook till the oil separates  for about 10 - 15  minutes. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nigella's Mughlai Chicken

Sumitra had just finished her morning chores. Her kids were off to school. The morning sun shined gently on her veranda. She switched on the dusty transistor that sat in one corner of the living room from time eternal ..... it was time for her daily dose of Vividh Bharati. She pulled up the cane chair and sat in the winter sun sipping away her tea and listening to her favorite old Hindi numbers from the eighties.
Her rusted iron gate made a sharp screeching noise, the brown paint on it was already peeling off .... she turned back to see who it was. Her neighbor, Mrs Kumar came hurrying towards her with a packet of sondesh (sweets). The silver foil on the sondesh glittered in the sun and so did Mrs Kumar. She was beaming with joy and pride. Mrs Kumar had smudged some extra talcum powder on her face and her big kohl laden eyes sparkled.
Sumitra and Mrs Kumar had been neighbors from a long time. They had got married around the same time and had moved into the neighborhood just about the same time . Also their husbands worked in the same Sarkari office.
"Meethai kish khusi mein" (What's the good news ), Sumitra asked, picking up a piece of Sondesh from the box. That was exactly what Mrs Kumar was waiting to hear so that she could spill her beans.
"Humare ghar mein aaj subah telephone connection laag gaya, isshi khusi mein" (Got a new telephone connection this morning), said Mrs Kumar in a very dramatic voice."Badhai Ho" (Congratulations),Sumitra said in a feeble voice, her mouth still stuffed with Sondesh.
"Do come home sometime to have a look at our new phone. And don't forget to get Cheeku and his Papa. I will give you my number so that your relatives can call you. Incoming if free she emphasized. This was exactly what Sumitra didn't want to hear. She always wanted to be the first one to get a telephone connection in her colony.

She could hardly wait for Rakesh, her husband to come back from work. Something seemed to bother her the entire day and she was restless. In spite of all this she was making Rakesh's favorite tea time snack. That was something that she would only do on special occasions to bring back the lost charm to her decade old married life.
She waited impatiently walking up and down the verandah ..... her eyes glued on the rusted iron gate and the dusty road. Time stood still for her. As soon as she heard the sound of Rakesh's scooter, she ran towards the gate.
"Mrs Kumar k ghar pe telephone connection laag gaya ji", were the first words she uttered. And to her agony Mrs Kumar's phone rang at that very moment .... the sound loud enough for all her neighbors to hear.
Soon she served the samosa that she had painfully prepared during the afternoon with some tea. They spoke very less between the tea .... Rakesh was busy eating the samosa and nooded his head in affirmation to whatever Sumitra said. He knew no matter what he says, the last word would be of Sumitra's.
Well six months have passed since then. Rakesh had taken a half day off the very next day to put the application for the telephone connection. There are no updates from the telecom department since then. Mrs Kumar drops in once in a while to narrate her 'telephone tales'. And Sumitra still sits on her cane chair waiting for the guy from the telecom office to come with the 'black' equipment and a roll of black wires.

This recipe has been adapted from Nigella's website. I was a bit intimidated by the long list of ingredients. But it turned out to be an easy breezy recipe .... and absolutely finger licking good.

Preparation Time - 60 minutes
Serves - 6
Fresh Ginger Peeled - 2.5cm
Garlic cloves peeled - 4 big
Ground Cumin - 2 tsp
Ground Coriander - 1 tsp
Dried Chilli - 1/2 tsp
Ground Almonds - 4 tbsp
Water - 125 ml
Cardamon Pods - 5 Bruised
Cinnamon Stick - 2 inches
Bay Leaves - 2
Cloves - 4
Vegetable Oil - 4 tablespoon
Chicken Thigh bone in/ boneless - 1.5 kg
Onion - 2 large
Greek Yogurt - 250 ml
Double Cream - 125 ml
Raisins - A handful
Garam Masala - 1tsp
Castor sugar - 1 tsp
Almonds for garnishing

Method of Preparation

1. Put the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and chilli into a food processor, and blend to a paste. Add the ground almonds and water, then blend again, and set aside. Traditionally, this would be done with a pestle and mortar, and there's nothing to stop you using those, or a little spice grinder.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chicken pieces - in batches so they fry rather than stew - and cook them just long enough to seal on both sides, then remove to a dish.
3. Tip in the bowlful of spices and turn them in the oil. Peel and finely chop the onions, add to the pan of spices, and cook until softened and lightly browned, but keep the heat gentle and stir frequently, to avoid them catching. Pour in the blended paste, and cook everything until it begins to color. Add the yogurt, 125ml at a time, stirring it in to make a sauce; then stir in the cream and sultanas. Add a little water if required.
4. Put the browned chicken back into the pan, along with any juices that have collected under them, and sprinkle over the garam masala, sugar and salt. Cover and cook on a gentle heat for 20 minutes, testing to make sure the chicken meat is cooked through.
5. Garnish with flaked almonds
Serving Tips
Serve warm with any Indian Flat Bread or Rice/ Pilaf