Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Aloo, Cholar Torkari

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This is a common curry served at road side shacks in and around Kolkata along with Puri and Kachuri. Most of us grew up gobbling this down along with the famous Luchi. I made some of this recently to go with Dahl Puri.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 medium size potatoes, halved and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup chick peas soaked overnight and boiled
  • 1 tbsp. paanchphoron (five whole spices mixed together in equal quantities – celery seeds, fennel seeds, cumin, Nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds)
  • 5-6 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp. hing (Asafetida)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of water
     

Procedure

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Temper it with whole dry red chilies, hing and five spice mixture. Let them splutter for a while.

Add the quartered potatoes and the boiled chick peas. Fry on low heat for a minute. 

Add turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder to it and cook on medium heat for another minute.

Add water, salt and sugar. Give a nice mix and pressure cook it till one whistle comes.

It goes excellent with puri, kachori. I served it with Dahl parantha.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dahl Puri

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One of our friends kept raving about some Dahl Puri which he had at a small restaurant in Seattle. He was so impressed that I had to also try it out. After a few attempts we finally got to Pam’s Kitchen at the University District one evening. I was surprised to know how a large percentage of Caribbean population is of Indian origin and our food has taken a different twist in their kitchen. I loved the Dahl Puri which they served along with a medley of Goat curry and Potato-bean curry. Even though they call it Puri it is more closer to Indian Parantha than the traditional Puri.

This is my recreation of the same, but obviously with a bong twist.

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 2 cups yellow split peas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. ground roasted cumin
  • 2 green chilies
  • Salt to taste

For the dough

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. instant yeast 
  • 1 cup water

Procedure

Wash split peas and boil them in a sauce pan with about six cups of water and a pinch of turmeric powder. Once it comes to a rolling boil reduce the heat and cook for about thirty minutes.

Drain them on a strainer and let it cool down.

Take all the ingredients of the filling in a food processor. Grind them into a smooth mixture. There should not be any whole piece of grain left in the mixture.

In a mixing bowl take flour, yeast, salt and baking powder. Add water little at a time and start kneading. You might need to add little more water than a cup. keep kneading until you make a firm dough.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest for thirty minutes.

Divide the dough into six portion and make smaller balls out of them.flatten out each dough ball in your hand to form a six inch circle and dust one side of it with dry flour. Fill this up with 3 tbsp. of filling and then using your finger close the open end and seal.

On a flour dusted surface roll out each stuffed dough ball into a disc of 12 inch diameter.

Heat a skillet (Tawa) on medium high heat. Brush the surface with oil. Place the rolled out disc on hot tawa and let this side cook for thirty seconds. Flip it over. Once the puri is done it well swell up like a ball. Remove from tawa.

Serve hot.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Adraaki Chicken - Ginger Chicken Indian Style

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My daughters only first cousin Sumo loves spicy chicken. He told me to post a recipe which his mom (my sis in law) could make for him. Since today is Bhai-Phonta, this goes out to Sumo from his sister Pori.

Aadraki chicken is the Indian Ginger Chicken (not the more popular indo-chinese dish of the same same). As the name suggests copious quantities of ginger is used to make this spicy yet delicious dry curry.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs. boneless chicken cut into small pieces
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies slit lengthwise
  • 3 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder (If your spice level is low use paprika powder or Kashmiri Red chili powder)
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • One slice of ginger cut into sticks
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp. oil

Procedure

In a bowl take chicken pieces and add ginger paste, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, lime juice and salt.

Heat oil  in a wide pan and temper it with whole cumin seeds. Once they stop sputtering add chopped onions and fry them on medium heat till the edges start becoming brown. Add green chilies and marinated chicken to it.

Add all the dry spices like coriander, cumin and chili powder. Fry the chicken on medium heat along with all the spices for five to seven minutes.

Now add sugar along with chopped tomato and ginger sticks. Keep frying till tomato melts and the chicken is cooked. In this dish we won’t use any water and the chicken will be cooked uncovered so controlling the heat is important.

Garnish with fresh cilantro, green chilies and ginger sticks. Serve with hot chapatis or paranthas.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mango Peda

 

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This was the longest time I have not blogged since I started. My one and a half month long trip to India was the initial reason. After I returned Durga Puja kicked in, and with that started the season of house parties. Finally now that I have a little breather, I thought I’d post about the sweets I made for this Diwali. I love peda which is a sweet-dish made of condensed milk. I have been making them for some time. This is a little variation from the traditional milk peda in that I added mango pulps. Hope you like it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mango pulp (I used readymade one, you can use fresh pulp as well)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (If you are using fresh mango pulp)
  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 can sweetened condensed milk (Approx. 100gms)
  • 2 tbsp. saffron
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsp. ghee (Clarified butter)
For Garnishing
  • Slivered almonds
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Saffron
  • Seeds of black cardamom
  • Warq (Silver paper)

Procedure

In a bowl mix milk powder along with milk. Whisk well so that the mixture is smooth and lump free.
If you are using fresh mango pulp follow this step. In a pan take mango pulp along with sugar and cook it on medium heat till the mixture turns thick. If you are using canned mango pulp skip this step.
In a heavy bottom pan take mango pulp (canned or the one you just cooked). Add the milk mixture to it along with the saffron strands. Mix well. Start cooking on medium heat while stirring continuously.
Once the mixture is reduced to its half add condensed milk along with a tbsp. ghee. Cook till the mixture turns into a dough and leaves the sides of the pan.Turn off the heat and sprinkle cardamom powder. Mix well and let it cool down completely.
Grease your palms with ghee. Take small portions of the dough and make small balls out of it. Flatten each of them by pressing slightly in between your palms.
Arrange them on a greased tray. Stick one black cardamom seed at the centre of each peda. Top with silver paper and garnish with almonds, pistachio and saffron.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ginger Cookies

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When we were kids we used to get these ginger biscuits with the word BIL imprinted on it from most probably Britannia. I loved those biscuits and since we are a little away from inventing the time machine to go back and get those, I make my own. Try them out, they make wonderful accompaniment to some great Darjeeling tea to warm up your cool evenings.

Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 150 gm. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey                 
  • 100 gm. dark brown cane sugar
  • 100 gm. cane sugar (White)
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed ginger juice ( I grate around 2 inch fresh ginger root and squeeze out the juice)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar for garnishing

NOTE: If you don’t want to add fresh ginger juice you can use 1 tbsp. ginger powder

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl melt butter and allow it to cool down a little. To it add honey, egg, lemon zest and ginger juice. Stir it well to mix them well.

In another bowl sift flour with baking soda. Add two types of sugar to it and give a nice mix.

Now slowly add this flour mixture little at a time to the liquid mixture to form a dough. Cover the dough with a cling wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for an hour.

In a medium sized bowl take half a cup of white granulated sugar and keep handy. Now make small lemon sized balls from the dough and roll it over the sugar coating them thoroughly.

Place them on a baking sheet keeping spacing about 1.5 inches apart. Flatten each of them with your palm and bake them for about 10 – 12 minutes. The cookies will be firm with a little soft centers. Take them out of the oven and cool them on a wire rack.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chole Gosth

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Generally I make Chole Gosth when I have little left over meat. Not enough for everyone at home but at the same time the folks want to eat something non-vegetarian. It’s like cheating a little bit, but not really because it tastes awesome (if I may say so myself Smile).

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. mutton cut into medium pieces on bone
  • 1/2 lb. chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 2 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 5-6 green chilies
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. chole masala
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • Handful of freshly chopped cilantro for garnishing

Procedure

In a pressure cooker take soaked chole and add 2 cups of water along with a pinch of salt. Cook till two whistles come. Let the pressure settle down on its own. Open the lid and transfer the chole in some other container. Keep an eye not to overcook them. They should retain their shape.

Add 4 tbsp. oil in the pressure cooker and add chopped onions. Fry on low heat till you can see the edges turn brown. Add mutton pieces to it and fry them along with onions on medium heat till the meat takes a light brown hue. Add tomatoes, green chilies, ginger garlic paste. Sprinkle cumin powder, chili powder,chole masala, salt and sugar. Sauté on medium flame till the oil starts getting separated from the edges.

Pour half a cup of water and give a nice mix. Close the pressure cooker and cook the mutton on medium heat for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release on it own. Open the lid add add the boiled chick peas to it.

Mix once again and allow them to simmer together on low heat till you have a thick gravy.Turn off the heat.

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and green chilies.

Serve with Naan, chapathi or Paranthas.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sahi Mutton Chanp

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Southern Amenia, a famous restaurant in Golpark, Kolkata served a different kind of Chaap. It differed from the traditional Kolkata Chaap in being a bit mellow. When we were in college we used to love frequenting Southen Amenia just for this Sahi Chaap. Unfortunately worker dispute lead to it’s closure. Some of the workers even started making it on their own and selling it from a shack right outside the Amenia building. Now that all remnants of it has disappeared I have to make it for myself. Hope you enjoy it as well.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb. mutton chops
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 7-8 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2-3 dry red chili
  • 4 tbsp. thick plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder 
  • 8-10 almonds blanched and peeled
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground Bengali garam masala
  • 1 tsp. rose water 
  • 2 tbsp. ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 2 tbsp. oil 
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Make a smooth paste of almond with milk and reserve it for later use.

You need to get mutton (goat meat) chop pieces to make chaap. In Kolkata you can just let the butcher know and he will make the chops ready for you. Outside your homeland, you need to specifically instruct the butcher to break the chops with the broad side of their flat knife. Otherwise use your metal meat tenderizer to flatten the chops.

Heat 1 tbsp. ghee in a pan till it melts. Now add chopped onion, sliced ginger and crushed garlic to it. Fry on medium heat till the onions start getting a golden brown hue. Turn off the heat and let them cool down to room temperature.

Now add the fried spices to a grinder and make a smooth paste of them with a spoon of yogurt.

Wash the chops and pat them dry.In a mixing bowl mix yogurt with the onion, ginger, garlic paste and red chili powder. Season the mixture with salt.

Rub this spice mixture well on both sides of the chops. Allow it to rest for half an hour.

Heat oil in a wide frying pan till it melts. Now reduce the heat and temper it whole dry red chilies. Arrange the mutton chops in a single layer. Cook it covered on very low heat for about 45 minutes.  Frequently remove the cover and mix the spices. Fry the chops till you can see that the oil gets separated from the rest of the spices.

Now add almond paste to it and cook for another five minutes on low heat.

Sprinkle rose water and garam masala powder over it. Drizzle one spoon of ghee and keep it covered till you serve. Enjoy with Biryani or laccha paratha.

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