Monday, January 26, 2015

Bhutwa aka Nepali Mutton

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I got this recipe from Mr. Atul Sikand over a food network on Facebook. The day I decided to make it I called my husband to know whether he would be in early for dinner. He told me that he was at a Asian grocery store close to his office. So I asked him to look for Szechuan pepper (also known as timur) and fortunately store keeper exactly knew what I was looking for. This chili made the recipe extra special. If you cannot get it, you can always try with dry red chili, but be forewarned it will never be the same.

Ingredients

  • 750 gms. mutton cut on bone in 2” pieces
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 10 dry red chili
  • 1/2 tsp. methi (fenugreek) seeds
  • 1 tsp. ajwain (carom) seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. timur (Szechuan pepper)
  • 2-3 black cardamom
  • 1’'”cinnamon stick
  • 8-10 black pepper corn
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150 ml. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Heat mustard oil in a pan till it smokes. Now reduce the heat and add bay leaf, cinnamon, black cardamom and pepper corn to it. Fry them on low heat for a minute till the oil becomes fragrant.

Add methi seeds and wait till the seeds turn black. Immediately add ajwain seeds and dry red chili.

Next to go in is chopped onion. Fry them on medium heat till they turn dark brown.

Add meat pieces to it and fry them on medium heat along with the fried onions. Fry for about ten to fifteen minutes till the meat changes its raw color and turn brown.

Sprinkle salt and sugar. Add a cup of water to it and mix well. Cook covered on low heat till the meat is 90% done.

By the mean time heat 2 tsp. oil in a small pan and add ginger garlic paste along with the coriander powder. Cook on low heat till the raw smell subsides.

Once the meat is almost done add this spice mixture to the meat. This is the time for the red chili powder to go in. Mix everything together and cook  for another ten to fifteen minutes.

When the meat is tender and the oil is separated add timur paste to it and let it simmer for another minute.

Your Bhutwa or Nepali style mutton is ready to serve.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Chicken Hariyali Kebab

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We had a steady stream of guests over the holidays. Especially to cater to the palate of our local friends I chose this mild kebab, which goes really well with wine and beer. I serve this as a starter as Hariyali kebab turns out to be an excellent conversation starter.

Hariyali means green which is the color of the kebab, in this regard this is very different from the other kebabs. The green comes from the paste of cilantro, mint and fenugreek leaves that is used as marinade.

Ingredients

For 4 people. serving size 4 pieces

  • 1lb. boneless chicken breast cut into 2” pieces
  • 4 tbsp. thick curd
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup cilantro ( Coriander Leaves )
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fenugreek leaves ( Methi )
  • 1” ginger
  • 5-6 fat cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 2 tsp. chicken tandoori masala
  • 3-4 tbsp. ghee ( Clarified Butter)
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Take chicken pieces and apply salt, lemon juice and red chili powder to it. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

In the mean time make a smooth paste of cilantro, mint, fenugreek leaves along with ginger, garlic and green chilies.

In a mixing bowl add curd and all other ground spices and mix them with the green paste. Add chicken pieces to it and mix them well with the marinade so that the chicken pieces are well coated with it. Keep it covered for at least two to three hours.

Soak the skewers in plain water for half an hour to avoid burning. Now arrange chicken pieces on the skewer and apply some clarified butter over it.

Pre heat the oven at 400F and grill them for 12-15 minutes. Turn the skewers once when they are half way through for even cooking.

Remove the kebabs from the skewers and arrange them on a serving plate. Serve with some green chutney and lemon wedge.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Crab Malaikari

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In all our trips to Costco my daughter insists that I pick up the huge king crabs they have on sale. I mostly land up making Konkani Crab or Red Curry. This time I decided to adapt the traditional Bengali Prawn Malaikari to Crabs. It turned out to be really yummy. Hope you would enjoy it as well.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs. crab cleaned and cut
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 2” ginger 
  • 2 tsp.red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 tbsp. ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • Whole garam masala (1’ cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 2 green cardamom, 1 bay leaf)
  • 1 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • Small piece of cinnamon and few cloves

Procedure

Make a paste of onion, ginger with two green chilies.

In a wide vessel heat ghee till it melts. Now temper it with whole garam masala and bay leaf.

Add the ground onion paste to it and sauté on low heat till the raw smell goes away.

Now one by one add turmeric and chili powder to it. Sauté on low heat till you see oil gets separated from the spice mixture.

Add crab pieces to it and fry them on medium heat for about two to three minutes. Make sure that all crab pieces are well coated with the spices. season them with salt.

Pour half a cup of water and let it simmer on low heat for about ten minutes. Add coconut milk to it and give a nice stir. Cook for another three to four minutes.

Finish it off by adding a spoon full of ghee, green chilies and a spoon  Bengali garam masala powder. Serve hot with plain rice.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Keema Parantha or Porota

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It’s been a long time since I last blogged. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I have not been cooking anything interesting, rather it is the contrary. I have been hosting a lot of friends and family through the holidays and my pipeline of blogs is almost full.

Today I bring to you Keema Parantha. Most Indian restaurants around our area serve variants of this. However, they mostly use Beef or Lamb. I have used chicken instead because a lot more Indians eat that. You can easily replace chicken with your choice of meat without any other modification.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 500 gm. minced meat
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

In a mixing bowl take flour with salt and oil. Rub flour with your finger to give it a crumb like texture. Add water and work on it to make a smooth dough. Keep it covered.

In a wide frying pan heat 1 tsp. oil. Fry chopped onion in it till they turn soft. Add turmeric powder, red chili , cumin powder and ginger garlic paste to it. Fry them together till the raw smell goes away.

Add chopped tomato to it and fry till they turn mushy. Now add minced meat to it.

Season with salt and sugar. Mix well and keep frying on medium heat till the entire moisture is evaporated.

Add chopped green chilies and cilantro to it. Sprinkle garam masala powder and mix well. Turn off the heat and spread the meat mixture in a plate to cool down.

Divide the dough into eight equal portions and make roundels with each of them.

Roll out each roundel  into a disc of four inch diameter. Make sure to thin out the edges of the circle with a rolling pin. Fill this up with 2 tbsp. of filling and then using your finger close the open end and seal.

Flatten it by pressing gently within your palm. Now on a flour dusted surface roll out each stuffed dough ball into a circle of six 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 and cook the other side. 

Your parantha is ready to serve.

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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.

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