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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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pish pash

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Living in the Pacific Northwest I am used to rain. Unlike others I never grow tired of it. After a spell of hectic summer schedule I loved when rain decided to return to our evergreen state. The parched trees and my mind welcomed it. I decided to just soak it in and be a bit lazy. But I also wanted to provide something warm for everyone’s plate. Pish pash works wonders in these scenarios. It’s an Anglo-Indian one pot meal, where rice is cooked with Indian whole spices, meat, veggies and potatoes. It is primarily flavored with Ginger.

As the name suggests it’s a medley and you can play with what you decide to put in it, chicken works equally well as mutton or goat meat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain rice washed and drained
  • 500 gm. medium sized mutton pieces on bone
  • 1 onion cut into medium sized chunks
  • 2 medium sized potato cut into quarters
  • 2 cm. square of ginger cut into thin square slices
  • 1/2 cup green peas (I used frozen)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. refined oil
  • For tempering
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1” cinnamon stick
    • 2 green cardamom pods
    • 2 cloves
  • For garnishing
    • 1 medium sized onion thinly sliced
    • 8-10 cloves garlic cut into round slices
    • 5-6 dry red chilies

Procedure

Heat oil and add onion chunks and potato pieces to it. Sauté on medium heat for two to three minutes and then remove them and keep aside.

To the same oil add ingredients listed under tempering. When the spices starts sizzling add mutton pieces to it and sear the for a minute or two. Add salt and 4 cups of water. Pressure cook till the meat is tender. When the pressure releases on its own remove the lid.

Add washed and drain rice to it along with the sautéed onion and potato. Season with salt. Add enough water so that there is 5 fingers of water left above the rice mixture level. Mix well and cook it covered on medium heat till the rice is cooked and mushy.

By this time heat butter in a pan and fry the red chilies and garlic slices till they turn crispy. Remove them on a paper towel. Use the remaining butter to crisp fry the onion slices.

Take a ladle full of pish pash and top it up with the crispy fried red chilies, onion and garlic. Best enjoyed on a lazy rainy night. 

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Peas or Koraishutir Kochuri

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Peas Puri or Koraishutir Kochuri as bongs call it is brings on fond memory of Kolkata. It reminds me of the freezing 60°F (15°C) winters in Kolkata. It’s during that time fresh green peas hit the local market. The kids in the house were given the chore of taking the peas out of their pods. The yield rates were around 50%, the other 50% were stuffed in the mouths with small little hands.

These days in the world of frozen goodies, the famed Koraishutir Kochuri can be made any time of the year, all that is needed is a short trip to the local store. 

Ingredients

  1. Frozen peas-1 cup (preferably the fresh ones, or else frozen peas will do)
  2. Ginger-1 inch
  3. Green Chili –2
  4. Asfoetida / Asafetida / hing – 1pinch
  5. Dry roasted cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  6. Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  7. All purpose flour (maida) – 2 cup
  8. salt- 1 teaspoon
  9. White oil or ghee(clarified butter) -2 tb spoon
  10. Warm water - 1/2 cup
  11. Dry flour for rolling the paratha – as required

Procedure

In a grinder add a little water, peas, ginger and green chili. Make a fine paste out of IMG_7367them.

Take oil in a frying pan. Add one pinch of asfoetida. Now add the paste you just made. Keep on stirring till the water completely evaporates and the pea mixture becomes dry and thick enough to make small balls out of it. Now add salt to your taste and if the peas are not sweet enough you can add little sugar to it. Let it cool and then sprinkle some dry roasted cumin powder.

IMG_7370Now we need to make the dough. In a wide vessel take the flour, salt and the oil or ghee for shortening. Rub the ghee into the flour with your finger tips. Now slowly add the warm water and knead it until the dough becomes soft and smooth. Cover it with a damp cloth or kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Once again knead it and make small ping pong sized ball out of it.

Take a ball you made out from the flour and keep it on your palm. Using the other IMG_7371palm press it and make a small disc. You can also use your rolling pin to make this disc. Make a small ball out of your pea stuffing and put it in the center of the disc.  Bring the sides together and cover the opening. Now flatten it with your palm.

Roll out by applying little oil on both the sides.

IMG_7373Take oil in a wok or kadai and heat it. Deep fry the kochuri till both sides puff up.

Traditionally koraishutir kochuri is had with chana dal or potato curry (aloor dum). However, this time when I made it we had some home made mango chutney from my Tamil friends, it made a killer combo.

Healthy option

If you are like me and need to take care of someone who is prone to over-eat you can take the healthier option of making Peas Paratha.

The stuffing is made exactly the same way. For the dough replace with whole wheat flour. While rolling out the dough use more dough to create larger parathas. Also the dip-fry step is omitted in the Paratha. Heat a tawa or a skillet. Place the paratha on the heated tawa and cook for half a minute. Now flip the other side and pour oil with a spoon around the edge. Cook this side and flip again. You will notice brown spots on the surfaces  when the paratha is cooked.

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