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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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