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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lucknowi Galouti kebab

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In Lucknow during the rule of the Nawabs, Galouti kebab used to be made with close to 100 secret ingredients and ground as many times to give it a paste like consistency. The idea was that even a person without teeth could eat it. However, for us mere mortals I have used a more humble list of spices.

Ingredients

For 12 Kebabs.

  • 1lb. minced mutton
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2” ginger
  • 6-8 fat cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 green chilies ( You can add more depending on how spicy you want)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. raw papaya paste
  • 2” cinnamon stick
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 2-3 black cardamom
  • 1 tsp. shah jeera ( Caraway seeds)
  • 1 tsp. white pepper corn
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed nutmeg
  • 1 small leaf of mace
  • 2 tbsp. roasted chick pea flour
  • Salt
  • Ghee (Clarified Butter for shallow frying)

For stuffing (Optional)

  • 2-3 tbsp. chopped cashew and raisins
  • 2 tbsp. thick yogurt

Procedure

In a frying pan take oil and fry onion slices till they turn golden brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

In a grinder grind mutton along with fried onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies. The paste would be fine and sticky.

Transfer the paste into a mixing bowl.

Dry roast cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, shah jeera, pepper corn, nutmeg and mace till you get a nice aroma. Be careful not to char them.Now make a fine powder of all these dry roasted spices.

Add these ground spice powder to the meat mixture. Add papaya paste to it and mix them well. Let this mixture rest for 5-6 hours, preferably overnight.

Take out the mixture at least an hour before you make the kebabs. Sprinkle salt and chopped cilantro and mix once again. If the mixture is too sticky to handle sprinkle roasted chick pea flour little at a time.

In a small bowl mix chopped dry fruits with 2 tbsp. of thick yogurt. Take a hand full of meat mixture and make a bowl out of it. Carefully put half a tea spoon of dry fruit mixture and cover it up. Give it a round shape and flatten it slightly by using your palm.

Take a skillet and add 1 tbsp. of ghee. Heat till the ghee starts melting. Reduce the heat to its lowest and gently place the kebabs on the skillet.

Fry one side on low heat till lightly charred. Now flip it over carefully and let the other side cook. Some times I fry them covered for 2-3 minutes to ensure that the meat is fully cooked.

Serve them with mint chutney, the kebab will melt in your mouth….

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lemon Flavored Yogurt

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My daughter was down with fever and whenever she is unwell she becomes a yogurtarian. So I decided to make something yoghurt based but still yummy and health for her. This lemon flavored yoghurt has no color, no chemical additive, 100% healthy and yet a very tasty dessert.

My husband decided to work from home that day and was so happy with the yoghurt that he right-away posted the pictures on Facebook. Generally when I write post it lands at the end of a queue and takes few weeks to appear on my blog. This is an exception as I bumped up the priority based on demand :)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups yogurt OR 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar ( Increase or decrease the amount depending on your taste)
  • Zest of 2 lime
  • A pinch of saffron
  • Few mint leaves for decoration

Procedure

  1. To make the thick yogurt place a strainer on a deep bowl and keep yogurt on the strainer. Keep this in an refrigerator overnight to get thick yogurt or chakka. By morning all excess water will be drained out. Make sure to keep in the refrigerator or else the yogurt will become too sour. Transfer the yogurt into a mixing bowl. If you are in hurry you can use Greek yogurt instead of plain one and you can start preparing right away.
  2. In a pan take the lemon juice, sugar, saffron strands and heat it on low flame. Soon the mixture will start getting thick. Once it reaches to a jelly consistency add lemon zest to it and turn off the heat.
  3. Pour half of the lemon mixture you just made in step 2 to the yogurt and mix well. This mixture should be lump free.
  4. To the other half of the lemon mixture add few spoons of water and keep it on stove on the lowest heat. This will keep this mixture in pouring consistency by the time you are ready to garnish.
  5. Take each serving bowl and fill half with lemon flavored yogurt. Pour few spoon of lemon juice mixture (from step 4) over it. Fill the rest with yogurt again and then top it off with another spoon of lemon juice mixture. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
  6. For those who love mint flavor here is another option. Finely chop few mint leaves and mix it with yogurt along with the lemon juice mixture.
  7. Chill them in refrigerator before you serve,

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mughlai Paratha with Spicy Potato Curry

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Moglai Porota as we actually pronounce it brings back memories of durga pujo, college-street, secret rendezvous with boyfriend and so many other things. It’s not just a food, but rather a ritual. You cannot possibly complete pujo shopping or finish your pandal visits without stopping for one.

Each time we go for a movie, here in US, we have a common crib that we should be getting some roll or moglai porota after that. So this time I made them and then headed for the theatre. The fun of the movie was quadrupled by the thought that we had them waiting for us.

for Spicy Potato CurRy

  1. 2 large potatoes cut into cubes
  2. 1 small onion finely chopped
  3. 1 tsp. grated ginger
  4. 1 tsp. minced garlic
  5. 2,3 green chilies slit lengthwise
  6. 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  7. 1 tsp. coriander powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  9. 1 tsp. red chili powder
  10. 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  11. 1tbsp. oil

Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onion and green chilies to it. Fry on medium heat till the edges of the onions turn brown. Add chopped ginger, garlic to it and fry them together till the raw smell goes away. You may need to sprinkle water if the spice tend to burn.

Add potato cubes to it followed by all dry spice powder.Add salt and sugar to season. Mix everything well so that the potato cubes are coated with all spices. Sear them on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.Now add about half cup of water and cook it covered till the potato cubes are tender. By this time the water should be dried up.If not crank up the heat and make it dry.

Keep it aside for later use.

Ingredients for Paratha

For the dough

  1. 4 cups all purpose flour ( Maida )
  2. 4tbsp. any vegetable oil
  3. 1tsp. salt
  4. 1 cup warm milk

In a mixing bowl mix flour with salt and oil and rub with your finger tips till it takes the texture of bread crumbs. Add milk little at a time and knead well. If the milk is all used up and you need more you can now add warm water to it. Knead well to make a medium soft dough. Apply oil to the surface of the dough and cover it with a damp cloth. Keep it aside for half an hour. Knead once more before you use it.

For stuffing

  1. 4 eggs
  2. 4tbsp. minced onion, ginger, green chili
  3. Salt
  4. Oil for deep frying

In a bowl take egg one at a time and whisk it with a spoon of minced onion, ginger and chili.

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and make smooth balls. Now roll them out into a square of 8 by 8 inch. For easy rolling you can grease the rolling pin as well.

Pour the egg mixture in the center of the rolled out paratha and spread a little with a spoon. Now gently fold the sides by overlapping each other so that the egg stuffing in the center gets covered. It will look like a rectangular parcel.

Heat enough oil in a deep wok or kadai and carefully slide the envelope in. Fry on medium heat till you see tiny bubbles appearing on the surface. Flip it over and allow the other side to get cooked. Occasionally press it lightly so that the egg is cooked from inside. Remove with a slotted spoon when both sides take a light brown hue.

Drain it on a paper towel.

Serve it all together as shown below.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Malabar Prawn Biryani

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UPDATED: With updated photo and content

Though I used to live in Kolkata, I grew up among Keralian neighbors. Even though the states of Kerala and West Bengal are on the opposite ends of India, they share a common cooking style, thanks to the common local coastal ingredients. They use prawn commonly in their food and since it was my favorite, I made it a point to never miss out on any parties at their home.

On the day after the party I’d drop by to snack on the left overs and figured out that the food tastes better the next day. Since the Biryani involves a lot of spices it tastes better on the next day after the spices settle down.

Ingredients

  1. For Marinade
    1. 1lb. medium size prawns de-shelled and deveined
    2. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
    3. 1 tsp. ginger garlic pate
    4. Salt to taste
  2. For Prawn Masala
    1. 1 tsp. shah jeera (caraway seeds)
    2. 5,6 cloves
    3. 1" cinnamon stick
    4. 1 tsp. black pepper corn
    5. 2,3 green cardamom pods
    6. 2 bay leaves
    7. 1 medium onion thinly sliced
    8. 1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
    9. 2 green chilies finely chopped ( you can increase or decrease depending on your heat tollerance level )
    10. 2 tbsp. of coconut paste ( I used frozen grated coconut, but fresh is always the best )
    11. 2 tbsp of plain yogurt ( curd )
    12. 2 tbsp. of biriyani masala of any brand you like (I used Banne Nawab's biriyani masala )
    13. 1 tsp. sugar
    14. Salt to taste
  3. For Rice
    1. 2 cups of basmati rice washed and soaked in water for 30 mins.
    2. 6 cups of water
    3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. For layering
    1. 2 tsp. of oil or ghee
    2. 1/2 tsp. biryani masala
    3. Handful of chopped fresh cilantro (Coriander leaves )

Procedure

Wash prawns and marinate for half an hour with all the spices listed under it.

Heat oil in a pan and add pounded whole garam masala and bay leaves to it (item 2.1-2.6). Fry the marinated prawns on medium high heat till the color changes. Remove and reserve it.

Add chopped onions and green chilies to the same oil and fry till it turns light brown. Next to go in is the coconut paste. Fry on low heat. Add rest of the ginger garlic paste and fry. Once the raw smell goes away turn off the heat and add yogurt to it. Mix it well. Turn on the heat and add the fried prawn along with biriyani masala. Give a taste test and adjust the seasoning. Let everything cook together for a while ( 5 mins ).

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In a heavy bottom pan take enough water and salt. Bring it to a boil. Now add pre soaked rice. Cook till its just done. Drain the water and spread rice on a flat plate.

Now its time to arrange in layers, the procedure of which differs slightly based on whether you want to use a conventional oven or a microwave.

In Conventional oven

Take a oven safe bowl and rub it’s inside with oil or ghee. Layer the bottom of the vessel with rice. Now pour prawn masala along with its oil all over it. Add chopped cilantro and sprinkle biriyani masala powder over it. Cover it up with another layer of rice. Wrap it up with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 30 mins at 375F.

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In Microwave

Take a microwave safe bowl and arrange rice and prawn masala as mentioned above. Cover it with a cling wrap or Microwave safe cover.

Cook it on high power for 5 mins. Allow it to stand for another 15 mins before you serve.

Enjoy with fresh salad or raita (beaten thick yogurt with chopped onions, coriander, salt).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chingri or Prawn Paturi (Steamed Prawn in Plantain leaf)

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I love Baitong Restaurant in Redmond (Overlake area).  My daughter loves their Gai Hor Bai Toey which is chicken wrapped in leaves and fried. While having it last time I was reminded of our East Indian steamed Prawn which are made in a similar fashion. However, it’s steamed and not fried. I came home and made some the next day. You can find the recipe I posted couple of years back at http://www.bongcook.com/2012/06/chingri-or-prawn-paturi.html

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Kolkata Kati Roll

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Few Indians know that the Kati Roll which is sold across India started in Kolkata. A small restaurant in Kolkata was famous for their Paratha and Kebab. The British clerks (this is pre-Independence) didn’t like to eat with their hands and get it dirty. Hence the restaurant invented the roll where the kebab was placed inside the paratha and wrapped in paper.

You can make some great Kati roll by using the following

  1. Make Laccha or Flakey Paratha http://www.bongcook.com/2013/02/laccha-paratha-multilayered-indian.html
  2. Make Chicken Tikka http://www.bongcook.com/2012/10/chicken-tikka.html

Wrap up the tikka kebab in the paratha along with red-onions, chutney/sauce of your choice.

If you are a little lazy you can just make them from pre-packaged kebabs and paratha. For some ideas visit http://www.bongcook.com/2011/10/chicken-roll.html.

If you are even more lazy and visiting Portland head on to Bollywood Theatre. It’s an all American run restaurant and serves kati roll. Even though the roll is not 100% authentic, it’s good nonetheless. Apparently the owner visited India and fell in love with everything Indian. As you can see from the picture below he even plays old Bollywood movies. I found posters of Bengal Lamp and advertisement of quacks who could cure your all “personal” issues adorning the wall. Also I am sure Bengali Movie Phooleshwai is not a Bollywood movie :)

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Labanga Latika (Stuffed East-Indian Sweet with Clove)

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My daughter serves me a huge list when I ask her what she wants to eat on her birthday. I land up making those all through her birthday month. One of the common requests which has stuck for the last couple of years is this Labanga Latika. I thought of posting some new pictures of the batch I made this time. Find it’s recipe in my older post  http://www.bongcook.com/2011/12/labanga-latika-lavang-latika.html

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Laal Maas – Rajasthani Red Meat Curry

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Rajasthan is not a place people associate with Meat. My husband is always eager to narrate the horror story of how he had to stay without non-vegetarian food for a whole long week in Rajasthan. But Laal Maas or Red Meat is a famous Rajasthani dish. The story I have heard is that the Rajputs feasted on this after their hunting expeditions. They carried the simple spices required for this and cooked laal maas in the jungle. Even though I do not really hunt, I love my share of laal maas. This is one of the dishes where you’d need to get rid of your inhibitions and go full throttle on red-chilies and oil.

Ingredients

  • 500 gm. mutton (lamb or goat meat) on bone
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. finely chopped ginger
  • 10 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Kashmiri Red chili powder
  • 1 cup yogurt whisked
  • 3 whole green cardamom
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 1/2 leaf mace
  • 4-5 black peppercorn
  • dry roast and grind the following to a fine powder
    • 10-12 whole dry red chili
    • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
    • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 8 tbsp. mustard oil (mustard oil helps get a better color)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro (Coriander leaves) for garnishing
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Heat mustard oil in a pan and add cinnamon, cardamoms, mace and black peppercorn. Allow them to crackle. Add chopped garlic, ginger and green chilies to it. Fry on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Now add chopped onion to it and fry everything together till the edges of onions start changing color.

Add mutton pieces and fry them on high heat for about 3-4 minutes. It will help in sealing the juices inside the meat pieces.

Now add ground dry spice, Kashmiri red chili powder to it and fry along with the spices.

Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down completely. Add whisked yogurt and mix well. Turn on the heat and season it with salt. Mix once again and cook it covered on low heat for 45 minutes. Keep a cup of warm water ready and so that you can add it to the gravy whenever needed.

Remove from heat when meat is well done. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Note:

Traditionally in Rajasthan KACHRI powder is added to tenderize the meat and also to add a tanginess. I didn’t have the same so I added yogurt instead. If you have Kachri powder add 1/4 cup while frying the spices. 

 

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Fish Amritsari

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Fish Amritsari is a signature Punjabi dish and made from the copious supply of fresh water fish from the great rivers of Punjab. It can be made with Tilapia, Cod, Betki or Rock-fish fillets. I prefer using Rock-fish. I generally pick up Rock-fish fillets from Costco and make fish fries with the square pieces and Amritsari with the rest.

Ingredients For Marinade

  • 1lb. boneless fish cut into 2 by 2 pieces (I used rock fish fillets, you can use any of your favorite fish)
  • 2 lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 4 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. green chili paste
  • Salt

Ingredients For Batter

  • 1 cup besan or chick pea flour
  • 2 tbsp. rice flour
  • 1 tsp. ajwain (Carom seeds)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. thick yogurt
  • Oil For Frying

Note:  I love to add chat masala before serving which is optional.

Procedure

Take all the ingredients for marinade in a bowl and mix well so that all fish get a nice coating of the spices. marinate the fish for 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl take all ingredients for batter other than oil. Whisk it well so that all ingredients are mixed properly. Now add this dry ingredient to the marinated fish and toss well so that the fish pieces are coated with a thick batter. Let it sit for another 15 minutes.

Heat enough oil for deep frying. Now gently slide each pieces of fish into the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the oil. Fry till the outer coating is crispy and golden brown. Remove from hot oil with a slotted spoon and drain them on an absorbent paper.

Place the fried fished on a serving plate and sprinkle chat masala over them before you serve. 

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