Saturday, 25 February 2012

Coconut Chicken Masala (South Indian Spice System) - made on 25th Feb, 2012

What did I use:
1 kg chicken, washed and cut into medium sized pieces
1 large onion finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tbsp coriander powder
2-3 green chillis slit length wise
1 1/2 tsp garam masala powder (2″ dalchini, 2 green cardamom, 6 cloves finely ground)
fresh coriander leaves for garnish
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsp-2 tbsp oil
For paste:
1 large onion
3-4 green chillis
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
1 small bunch fresh coriander leaves
10-12 mint leaves
10-12 cashewnuts, soaked in 2-3 tbsps milk for 15 minutes

How did I cook:
Marinate the chicken in coriander powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, 2 slit green chillis and few mint leaves for 10-15 minutes. Soak the cashew nuts in 2-3 tbsps milk for 10-15 minutes.
Make a paste of onion, green chillies, grated coconut, coriander leaves, mint leaves and cashew nuts. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a cooking vessel, add the green chillis and chopped onions and saute till transparent.
Add the marinated chicken and cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes, combining the ingredients once in a while.
Reduce to medium heat, add the ground paste and salt and combine well. Let the chicken cook in this paste for 8-10 minutes, uncovered. Cook till oil separates. There is no need to add water as the chicken cooks in its own water.
Finally add the garam masala powder, combine well and remove the contents to a pressure cooker. Cook the chicken in pressure cooker for 3-4 minutes or upto one whistle. Turn off heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Serve hot with white steamed rice, biryani or chapattis.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Spring Onion Pakodas - made on 22nd Feb, 2012

What did I use:

1 teaspoon Ghee
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 bunch Spring Onions (scallions), finely chopped (measures about 2 cups)
3/4 cup Chickpea Flour/Besan
2 tablespoons cups Rice Flour
1-2 teaspoons Red Chili Powder (or as per taste)
1/2 teaspoon Salt (or as required)
A pinch Asafoetida Powder/Hing
Water to sprinkle
Oil for frying

How did I cook:

For dough:
Take a large bowl; add ghee and baking soda and rub it nicely with the tip of your fingers until it's nice and foamy.
To this add the chopped spring onions and salt; mix everything together with your fingers and set aside for at least 5 minutes (and maximum 10 minutes) so that the salt will enable some water secretion.
After 5 minutes add the chickpea flour, rice flour, chili powder, hing and a teaspoon of hot oil and mix it thoroughly. The dough will be sticky. Have a small bowl filled with water nearby, so that you can dip your fingers in the water and mix the dough easily. Do not pour down the water in the dough. The water from the salt and a little sprinkle while mixing the dough is all it needs if you want very crispy (like store bought) pakodas.
For deep frying:
Heat oil for frying in a deep and heavy bottomed pan (Kadai) even before preparing the dough.
Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small piece of the dough in the oil and it should float atop almost immediately. If the oil is in high heat, reduce it to medium. When frying at high heat the snack will become red very quickly but the inside will be raw. If the heat is very low, the pakodas will not be crispy and will also absorb a lot of oil. So the temperature of the oil is very important for deep frying snacks.
Pinch about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of dough and drop it in the hot oil. Depending on the size of the pan, you can fry a couple of pakodas in one batch.
Fry it until it's golden brown and the sizzling sound of the oils stops.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Kokur Yakhni (Kashmiri Spice System) - made on 18th Feb, 2012

What did I use:
8 medium pieces (about 800  grams) of chicken
1  cups water
2  cup(s) yoghurt beaten
1  teaspoon(s) each of cumin seeds and hot spice mix (garam masala) powder
1  teaspoon(s) each of dry ginger powder and cinnamon powder
2  teaspoon(s) fennel seed (saunf) powder
2  green cardamoms powdered
2  each of red chillies and cloves
2  tablespoons oil
salt to taste 

How did I Cook:
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan.
Add the cumin seeds and let them crackle.
Now add the chicken pieces and saute on a medium level for about 4 minutes or till it leaves the fat.
Add the salt, red chillies, fennel seed and the dry ginger powders. Fry for a few seconds.
Now add the cloves, cardamom powder and fry for a few more seconds. Reduce the heat and add the beaten yoghurt. Stir well and add the water. Keep stirring till it starts boiling.
Cover and cook on low level for another 20 minutes or till the chicken pieces are well cooked.
Sprinkle the hot spice mix, the cinnamon powder and keep tightly covered for a while to trap the aroma within.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Carrot Halwa - made on 11th Feb, 2012

What did I use:
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 6 chopped roasted cashew nuts (To garnish)
How did I cook:
  1. Roast the cashew nuts and set aside for the garnish.
  2. Boil the milk on medium-high heat in a non-stick pan until it is reduced to about to 1 cup. Stir often to ensure the milk does not burn in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium heat.
  4. Add the shredded carrots and stir-fry for about seven to eight minutes.
  5. Carrots should be tender and slightly changed in color.
  6. Add the milk and cook until the milk dries. This will take about eight to ten minutes.
  7. Next add the sugar, and cardamom powder and stir-fry for another three to four minutes until the halwa starts to leave the side of frying pan.
  8. Garnish with cashew nuts.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Mutton Rogan Josh - made on 4th Feb, 2012

What did I use:

Goat meet: 750gm
Asafoetida:1.5 tbsp
Dry spice powders - Dried ginger powder, fennel seed powder, coriander seed powder: 1 tbsp each
Kashmiri red chilli powder: 2 tsps
Grated ginger: 1 tsp
Ratanjot 3pcs soaked in hot water
Whole garam masala:
Cinnamon: a 2" piece
Cloves 8pcs
Black Cardamom 4pcs & green cardamom 3pcs
Black peppercorn 6 pcs
Yogurt ¾ cup (kept it in room temperature)
Oil 4 tbsp
Salt to taste

How did I cook:

Before starting the cooking, heat fresh water and pour ¾ Ratanjot into that water for soaking.
Heat oil and add the whole garam masala, sauté for 30 seconds. Add 3/4 tsp of asafoetida and sauté another 30 seconds.
Add 1 tsp of red chilli powder and immediately add the meat, stirring till the pieces are evenly browned on all sides. The meat will leave water, keep stirring till all the water has dried up. This will take about 12-15 minutes. Then add that hot water where Ratanjot were soaked.
Meanwhile, whisk all the dry spice powders into the yogurt and add this to the lamb after the water has dried up. Stir till the yogurt has dried up and the masala coats the meat.
Add 2 cups of warm water, the grated ginger, the remaining asafoetida and the salt. Cover and cook on a very low flame till the meat is tender.
Once the meat is cooked, add in the remaining red chili powder, increase the heat and bring to a rapid boil.
Your gravy will now look a fiery red with a thin film of oil on top.
Cover and let the curry rest for a couple of hours so that all the flavors get infused into the meat.
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