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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Italian Style Chicken Stew

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Sometimes I need to make lunch for my daughter and her friends of European origin. It’s hard to get something to plate which both would equally enjoy. This chicken stew seems to fit the bill. It has both Indian spices as well as Italian herbs.
 
Ingredients
  • 1lb. chicken on bone
  • 1/4th cup onion juice
  • 2 medium sized onion sliced thinly
  • 1 large tomato sliced lengthwise
  • 5-6 baby potatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped leek (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. whole pepper corn
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp. saffron
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (you can use any vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
Procedure
 
Wash and pat dry chicken pieces and marinate them with onion juice, black pepper powder and salt..
Keep it aside for an hour or two.
 
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces on medium low heat till all sides take a light brown hue. This way you can seal the juice of the chicken.
 
In another pan take butter and allow it to melt on very low heat. You need to be careful not to burn the butter. Add whole peppercorns to it followed by minced garlic. Sauté till you start getting a nice aroma.
 
Add sliced onions and leek and fry on medium heat till the onions turn a little brown.. Next to go in are the tomato slices.. Fry on medium heat till the tomato starts to melt.. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down and come to the room temperature..
 
Put the fried mixture in a blender and blend it for half a minute.. Now strain the blended mixture through a strainer and reserve the pulp.
 
In a separate pan melt another spoon of  butter on very low flame and add flour to it.. Fry for a little while. Add the reserved pulp to it and pour about 4 cups of water to it. Mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil before you add the fried chicken pieces to it. Add the baby potatoes. Season with salt and sugar. Cover it. Allow it to simmer on low heat to infuse all the flavors together. When the chicken and the potato is just done sprinkle saffron strands and mix it well. Let it simmer for another minute before you add 2 tbsp. of  fresh cream to it. Turn off the heat and garnish with parsley. 
 
You can serve with garlic bread or plain bread.. 

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gondhoraj Bhetki

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Gondhoraj Bhetki is one of the most popular dishes served in the famous Oh Calcutta! restaurant in Kolkata. If you landed on this page searching for that, then this is not it. Oh Calcutta created it’s own version to appeal to a more cosmopolitan clientele. Gondhoraj Bhetki or fragnant bhetki presented here is the authentic traditional summer food prepared in Bengali households, something my grand mom or mom would’ve made.
 
Ingredients
  • 4 medium sized steak pieces of bhetki (substitute with Cod or Tai Snapper steak based on local availability)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. green chili paste
  • 2 large gondhoraj lime (substitute with any fragrant large lime)
  • 1 tsp. gondhoraj lime rind
  • 4 kafir lime leaf
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • White vegetable oil
Procedure

Clean and wash the fish. Pat it dry with a paper towel.

Grate one lime. Now cut and squeeze the juice of both the limes and reserve it.

In a bowl take half of the ginger, garlic, chili paste along with lime juice and salt. Mix it well and apply on both sides of the fish steaks. Let it rest for about thirty minutes.

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and one by one shallow fry the fish steaks after shaking off the extra marinade. Remove from oil and keep aside.

In a pan take 3-4 tsp. of refined oil and add ginger, garlic and chili paste to it. sauté on very low heat till the raw smell subsides. Turn off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Now add beaten  yogurt to it. Mix well. Add salt and sugar to your taste and add half a cup of water. Mix well and let it come to a boil. Throw the kafir lime leaves and gently slide the fish steaks in. Cook till the fish is cooked and the sauce is thick. Sprinkle the lime juice along with its rind.

Serve hot with plain rice..
 

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Macher Kason Pora Jhol

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This is a very old traditional Bangladeshi fish curry, I learnt it from my grandmom and unfortunately have no clue to the origin of the name “kason”. The main ingredient is deeply fried and almost burnt fenugreek seeds. The taste is very rustic and this is very easy and fast to make as well. You cannot go wrong with this. If you have never made fish curries this is a fantastic first yet innovative one to try.
 
Ingredients
  • 4 steak pieces of  fish ( Preferably Rohu / Catla)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped green chilies
  • 2 tbsp. finely chpped cilantro
  • 2 tsp. methi seed (Fenugreek)
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
Procedure
Wash and pat dry fish pieces. Smear them with half tablespoon of turmeric powder and salt. Keep them aside for fifteen minutes.
 
In a small bowl make a paste of half turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder with water and keep it handy.
 
Heat mustard oil in a wok till it smokes. Reduce the heat and fry the fish pieces till both sides turn golden brown. Remove the fish pieces on a paper towel and keep aside. Discard the oil.
 
Heat another two tablespoon of oil on medium heat and temper it with methi seeds. Fry on low heat till you start getting the aroma. Now remove the methi seeds from the oil and discard.  Add chopped garlic to the oil and fry till you get a nice aroma. Remove and reserve it for garnishing. Add garlic paste to the oil along with half of  the chopped green chilies. Fry on low heat till the garlic paste loosed its raw smell.
 
add the spice powder mixture to it and fry on low heat till you can see the oil oozing out of the spice mixture. Add one cup of water and bring it to a boil before you add fried fish pieces to it. season with salt and let it boil for another five minutes.
 
Turn off the heat and garnish the gravy with fried chopped garlic, chopped green chilies and cilantro.
 
Serve with hot rice..
 
 
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Friday, July 1, 2016

Texas Tijuana Taco Pasta

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Updated-

Each Thursday my husband refuses to take lunch to office and my daughter finds every excuse to go to dad’s office. All for “Texas Tijuana Taco Penne” which is served by the restaurant “Pasta Ya Gotcha” at their café. That is generally followed by him vigorously running at the gym to get rid of the 750 calls accumulated in one meal.

So one Thursday I relented to his repeated requests and drove down to his office to try it out. It helped that the chefs made it live and I could observe how they cooked. The taste was out of the world and I finally understood the lure of Thursday café lunch which so much enticed the rest of my family. So after careful analysis and couple of attempts I think I got it albeit in a more healthier form :)

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup store bought dry pasta of your choice
  2. 1 cup ground chicken (coarse keema)
  3. 1tsp. minced garlic
  4. 2 cups whole milk
  5. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  6. 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  7. 1tsp. all purpose flour
  8. 2tsp. butter
  9. 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  10. 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  11. 3tbsp. readymade taco seasonings (amazon link)
  12. Salt to taste

procedure

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the water and keep it ready.

In frying pan melt butter and add ground chicken to it. Fry on medium heat for about 5 minutes and remove them.

Heat rest of the butter and add minced garlic to it. Don’t forget to reduce the heat to low else it will turn brown.

Add one teaspoon flour to it and fry on medium heat for few seconds. Now pour milk and cream to it.Mix well so that it doesn’t have any lump inside. Bring them to a boil while stirring continuously.

While the sauce is boiling add half of the cheese and cooked ground chicken to it and allow it to simmer till it thickens. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and taco spices. You can make the sauce in advance and keep it refrigerated. In that case you have to warm up the sauce just before.

Take the cooked pasta on a pasta bowl and pour ladleful of sauce over it. Top it up with grated cheese and green onions.

You can dump the drained pasta in the sauce  and mix it well. Garnish with cheese and green onions.

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Malabar Egg Curry

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One of my friends is from coastal Karanataka and this is her signature dish. First time she made it for a large gathering, everyone loved this over mutton keema which goes to say how awesome the malabar curry tasted. This is a slightly modified version of the same malabar curry, the change being that I didn’t use turmeric and red chilli powder, you can always try with those as well.
 
Ingredients
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 2 tbsp. onion paste
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 dry red chili
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp. ghee
  • 2 tbsp. refined oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
Procedure

In a pan heat oil and lower the temperature to medium. Fry the boiled eggs so that the they take a light brown hue. Don't over fry them. Remove them and keep aside.

Now temper the same oil with star anise and dry red chilies. When you start getting a nice aroma, add the onion paste to it. Fry on low heat for about three to four minutes. Now add ginger garlic paste and keep sautéing them on very low heat till the raw smell goes away.

Now add fried eggs to it and season it with salt and sugar. Add one fourth cup of water and mix them well. Bring it to a boil before you pour the coconut milk to it.

Now let it simmer on low heat for about five minutes. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ghee and curry leaves to it. Give a stir and keep it covered till you serve..

Serve it with laccha parota, jeera rice or peas pulao.. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dhakai Murgh Roast

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This is a famous Bangladeshi food served in wedding and other party banquets. In our part of US it is frequently ordered from caterers in Bangla parties. Unfortunately I do not appreciate they way it is made to become too sweet. That is not how I remember my grandmom making it.

Dhakai Murgh roast is a open flame roasted chicken that has a good balance of sweet and sour taste. It is never overtly sweet. This goes best with Zarda Pulao.

Ingredients
  • 6 pieces chicken leg quarters
  • 1/2 cup golden fried onion
  • 3 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 3 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 5-6 aloo Bukhara soaked in half a cup of water and de seeded ( in case you don't find it replace with few dried plums. Remember the color will be more on the darker side.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • 1/4 cup khoya
  • 1 tbsp. saffron soaked in warm milk
  • 2 tbsp. rose water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1/2 cup refined white oil
  • 2 tsp. shahi garam masala powder ( just grind all the spices below together and keep in an airtight bottle)   
    • 2.5 tbsp. green cardamom
    • 2.5 tbsp. broken cinnamon stick
    • 1.5 tbsp. shah jeera or caraway seeds
    • 1 tsp. mace
    • 1 tsp. white pepper corn
    • 1 nutmeg
Procedure

In a grinder make a paste of fried onions, raisins and pre soaked aloo Bukhara and keep aside. If needed you can add a spoon full of plain yogurt to make the paste.

In a wide pan heat up oil and sear the chicken pieces on medium heat. After about three minutes when the raw pink color goes away add salt and sugar to it.

Add saffron soaked milk and mix well. Now one by one add ginger paste, garlic paste, chili powder and half of the shahi garam masala powder to it. Keep sautéing on low heat.

Now add the onion, raisin paste you made earlier to it and mix well. Add about half a cup of water and cook it covered on medium low heat for about twenty minutes.

When the chicken is cooked remove the cover and add cream and khoya to it and mix well. This will make the gravy a bit sticky. Add ghee to it and mix well.  Sprinkle rose water along with the rest of the shahi garam masala powder. Turn off the heat and serve with paratha, pulao or zarda rice..

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Prawn Cutlet

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Yesterday I met with a bunch of friends for our monthly adda session. One of our friends had posted on Facebook, delicious photos of prawn cutlet she had made. We were after her about our missing share of the booty.

That reminded me that my post of chingrir cutlet was languishing in drafts. Time to post it.

With summer around the corner this makes for a fantastic eat on your patio paired with some nice white wine or Riesling.

Ingredients
  • 2 large king prawns (each about 150gm)
  • 2 tsp. chopped green chilies
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 large egg
  • 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 cups bread crumb
  • Mustard oil enough for deep frying

Procedure

Devein the prawns. Remove the shell other than the tail part. Slit and open it flat. Score lengthwise on each side of the central cut. This will help to keep the prawn flat while giving them the shape of a cutlet.

In a bowl mix everything other than the last four ingredients. Apply on both sides of the prawn and marinate them in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Take out the marinated prawns.

In a bowl mix the flour with the egg and 1 tbsp. mustard oil. Season it with salt and sugar and mix well to make a lump free batter.

**Take each marinated prawn at a time and first roll it over the bed of bread crumb. Take the blunt side of a knife and press it against the side of the prawn to give them the shape of a cutlet. Repeat the same process for the other marinated prawn.

In a deep wok heat mustard oil enough for deep frying. Now take each prawn and dip into the egg batter. Shake off the extra batter from it and gently slide it into the medium hot oil. Fry on medium heat till both sides are crispy and golden brown..

Serve with your favorite ketchup and salad..

**NOTE: Normally you first dip in batter and then roll in bread-crump, in this recipe it is intentional that it is done the other way around so as to stop the prawn from curling up.

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