Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Moong Dal Halwa


1 cup yellow moong dal
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 cup khoya - I used milk powder instead
a pinch of saffron
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
slivered almonds for garnish


Soak the moong dal in water for 6 t 7 hours. Once they are soft, coarse grind them - add very little water if required to do so.
In a karahi add the ghee and to this add the ground moong dal. Mix it well on medium heat and stir at all times. When the mixture has no more water and it turns to a nice golden brown, add the suagr and the khoya and mix well. The mixture should be incorporated well. Now add the saffron, cardamom powder and the slivered almonds and mix well.
Serve as a nice and warm dessert after yummy dinner.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Coriander Chicken

A friend of mine makes this dish. I never tasted the dish made by her, but loved the recipe. Cilantro/Coriander is my favourite herb and to make it the focal point of a dish was very exciting.


2 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken breasts - cut into one inch pieces
2 medium onions - pureed
4 cups cilantro/coriander - roughly about 4 bunches
9 to 10 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger piece
4 green chillis - you can use more if you like it spicy
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter
4 cloves
4 cardamoms
4 pieces of cinnamom
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
1 black cardamom
salt to taste
pepper powder


Marinate the chicken pieces in some salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon oil. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Make a paste of the corinader/cilantro, garlic, ginger and chillis and keep aside.
In a karahi, add the 2 tablespoons oil and saute the chicken pieces till you get a nice and golden brown crust on the outside. Drain it in a plater over a paper towel. In the same kadhai add the balance oil and fry the pureed onions till they turn golden brown. Add teh tamarind paste and mix well. Then add the corinader mixture and the turmeric powder and fry the mixture well till it leaves the sides of the vessel. To this add the garam masala and the chicken pieces and mix well. Add salt if required. Cover and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on medium/low flame.
Just before serving - take a small karahi add the ghee. When it gets hot, take it off the flame and add the cloves, cardamom, star anise, black cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon. Add this on top of the gravy as shown int eh picture and serve with naan or chappati

Aamshe Teekshe (Mackerel Curry)

Roughly translated Amshe stands for sour and Teekshe stands for spicy. This is a typical Goan/Manglorean fish curry generally made with mackerel. We had prepared this dish when Mom was here. We found some very good mackerel and just could not resist having rice and this curry.


2 medium size mackerels - cut into about 1/2 inch slices - Mackerel is called bangda in India
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
12 byadgi mirchi - a dried chilli found in Karnataka, India - you can get it in an Indian store here
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
2 teaspoons tamarind paste - I used the bottled tamarind paste
1/2 onion - finely chopped
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons coconut oil - you can use any other oil, but coconut oil gives that coastal taste
salt to taste
2 to 3 kokums - "kokum"


Clean the mackerel and apply the 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric to all the pieces evenly and let it sit aside.
In a blender grind to a very fine paste the dried chillis, garlic, coriander seeds, coconut and the tamarind paste. Add enough water to get a thick paste. Remember, do not add a lot of water while grinding - you will not get a smooth paste with lots of water.The paste should be very smooth - no granules.
In a karahi add the coconut oil. To this add the chopped onions and fry them till they get transparent. To this add the ground paste and bring it to a boil. Add water to get a nice gravy consistency. When the gravy starts to boil, add the mackerel pieces to it. Cover and let it simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Then check if the fish is cooked. Be very careful with the spoon because the fish is very delicate and we do not want the fish to powder in the gravy. Add salt if required and then add the kokum.
Serve hot with rice.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gobi Manchurian


1 full cauliflower - broken into florets
2 onions - cut inot big pieces
1 capsicum - cut into big pieces
4 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chilli garlic sauce (Sriracha) - you can add more if you want it spicy
1 egg
1/2 cup all purpose flower
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup oil


Clean the cauliflower and cover the florets in some salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of sriracha. Let it stand for about 15 minutes. Then add these to the egg and then dust it in all purpose flour and fry them till golden brown. Drain them on a paper towel.
Use a wok and add 2 tablespoons of the oil to it. When it gets hot add the garlic and immediately add the onions. When they get transparent add the capsicum. Add the tomato ketchup and the balance sriracha and the soy sauce. Let it cook covered for about 5 minutes. Add the fried cauliflowers to this mixture and mix well. Add salt only if necessary as the ketchup and the sriracha already have salt in it.
Serve hot with noodles or fried rice. Can be served as an appitizer too.

Chicken Pattice

There is this amazing chicken pattice that we get in Mumbai at Venus Cakes. Yum stuff. Last year when my parents had come that had actually bought some of the the pattice for us. We just heated it in the oven and savoured it. Then later my mom made these at my sisters place and we all loved it. Ofcorse it was not like the Venus Cakes pattice - but, it tasted nice. I tried it too and here is the recipe.


2 pounds ground chicken
2 medium onions - finely chopped
1 tomato - finely chopped
1 inch ginger - into paste
9 to 10 cloves garlic - into paste
4 green chillis - into paste
2 tablespoons yogurt
you could grind the the garlic, ginger and chillis together
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon dhania jeera powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 packet puff pastry - I used pepperidge farm and it had 2 sheets in it.


Marinate the ground chicken in yogurt and half of the cilli, garlic and ginger paste. Let it marinate for atleast an hour.
In a karahi add the oil. When it gets hot add the chopped onions and fry till its golden brown. Then add the balance of the ground mixture and the tomatoes and let the mixture fry till it leaves the sides of the pan. Now add the turmeric, dhania jeera powder and the garam masala. Mix well. Now add the marinated chicken and mix the masala well with the chicken. It should be a well incorporated mixture. Cover and let the chicken cook. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. If there is any water formed int eh mixture, then uncover and cook till all the water evaporates. Let this cool.
Take the puff pastry - it should be at room temperature. 1 sheet can be cut into 8 equal rectangles. Add enough of the chicken mixture on one side of the triangle and fold in the middle. Seal the remaining 3 sides by pressing it down. Do the same with all the triangles. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 to 20 minutes of till the puff pastries become golden in color.
Serve with tomato ketchup.

Moong Dal Kheer


1 cup split moong dal (yellow ones)
1 cup jaggery - shredded
1 tin coconut milk (unsweetened)
10 to 11 stands of saffron
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 teaspoons ghee/clarified butter
some cashews
some raisins
slivered almonds


In a saucepan add the ghee and roast the dal till it turns pink and golden. Then add about 2 cups of water and let it cook. Moong dal cooks fast so this should be done in 20 minutes. mash the cooked dal well. To this add the jaggery and the coconut milk and bring it t a boil. Be careful to keep stirring the mixture to avoid curdling. Once it comes to a boil, get it on medium heat and let it simmer till the jaggery is melted and the mixture is all incorporated well. To this add the saffron and cardamom powder.
Fry the cashews, almonds and raisins in some ghee and add it to the kheer as garnish.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cream of Tomato Soup


4 plump and big tomatoes
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 celery stick
1 small carrot
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder 9you can add more if you want it spicy)
salt to taste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
croûtons for garnish
heavy cream (optional)


Cube the tomatoes, onions, celery and carrots. Roughly chop the garlic and ginger. Put all these ingredients in a pressure cooker along with 3 cups of water and let it cook for about 2 whistles. When the pressure is released - Using a hand blender blend the mixture well. Strain the mixture and let it stand.
In a saucepan/soup pot add the butter. When the butter melts, add the flour and mix well. Do not let the flour burn - just let it cook for about 5 minutes. Then add milk and keep stirring continuously. When the roux comes to a boil add the strained tomato mixture and stir continuously while doing so - else clumps will form. Bring the soup to a boil. Add salt to taste and sugar and chilli powder. Once it boils - cover the mixture and let it simmer on medium low heat for about 15 minutes. Add some heavy cream if desired. Serve hot in soup bowls and garnish with croûtons.



For 1 glass of falooda
4 tablespoons Rose syrup
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons basil seeds (tukmariya/subza) - soaked in water
2 tablespoons vermicelli - cooked as per instructions on packet
4 scoops vanilla ice-cream (you could add more or less as per your liking)
2 tablespoons of jelly - tutti fruti flavour (optional)


In a tall glass - first add the rose syrup, to this add the basil seeds then the vermicelli and milk. Top it with ice-cream and if you like some nice tutti fruti jelly.
Give a long spoon while serving.
Just before eating - mix everything well and savor the falooda.

Dum Mutton Biryani

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Wow! 4 years of married bliss. Since we had no plans to go out (hubby was working the entire day) - I wanted to make it special. Well, we decided to make this biryani - something that I had cooked for him the very first time ever...... when we were the bestest of friends. We had store bought pastries for dessert.


For Marinade and cooking the meat
2 pounds mutton (goat meat/lamb meat)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
9 flakes garlic
7 to 8 green chilis - you can add more to make it spicy
1 inch ginger piece
1 onion - thinly sliced
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt

For Curry
5 medium onions - thinly sliced
2 tomatoes - pureed
2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
2 tablespoons dhania jeera powder
1 tablespoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon tandoori masala
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 cup oil
salt to taste

For Rice
2 cups basmati rice
a pinch of saffron strands (roughly around 10 to 11 strands)
2 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter
8 to 9 cloves
6 green cardamoms
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 bay laves
1 star anise
2 black cardamoms (badi elaichi)
salt to taste

For garnish (optional - but, looks good)
thinly sliced onion - fried till brown
mint leaves - fried
cashews - fried
raisins - fried


Cooking the meat
Clean the mutton pieces well. Grind to a paste the cilantro, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Add the ground masala to the yogurt and with salt and mix well. Add the mutton pieces to this mixture and let it sit for about 2 hours. The more you leave to marinate the better. I left it in the refrigerator overnight.
In a pressure cooker add the oil. When it gets hot, add the 1 sliced onion and fry till golden brown. To this add the marinated meat and mix well. Do not add any water. Cook it on pressure till about 4 whistles. Let the meat sit in there.

Cooking the curry
In a Karahi add the half cup oil. Then add the sliced onions and fry till they are golden brown. To this add the pureed tomato and the ginger garlic paste. fry this mixture well, till it leaves the sides of the pan. Add the dhania jeera powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and tandoori masala and mix well. Do not add water - we need this gravy to be thick. To this add the mutton pieces from the cooker. Add all the juices too - you may see some water here as cooked meat oozes some water. Mix everything well, add salt to taste and bring this mixture to a boil. Then cover it and let it simmer on medium low heat for about 15 minutes.

Cooking the rice
Wash the basmati rice well and then soak it in water for about an hour. For 2 cups of rice - add about 5 cups of water. Add salt to taste and let it cook. Keep checking as this should be about 3/4th cooked and not cooked through. When its 3/4th cooked - drain out the extra water. Take about 4 tablesppons of rice in a plate and add the saffron strands to it. Mix the rice around so that it gets the color from the saffron. Be careful to do this gently as we do not want the rice to break. Add this saffron rice back to the entire rice bowl and mix it around gently.
In a small karahi add the ghee. When it gets hot, get it off the heat and add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black cardamom, bay leaf, star anise and let it simmer in the ghee.

Making layers & cooking on dum (in its own steam)
In a flat bottom utensil star making layers. First add some curry and make a think layer on the bottom - then add the rice on top of it - to this add some of the ghee and the whole spice mix - add the curry with some pieces on top- make sure to cover all the rice - then add a layer of rice, followed by the ghee and spice mix and followed by the meat curry. Make about 2 to 3 such layers and remember the last/top layer should be rice. Cover it with a lid and seal the lid with some wheat flour dough - this is done so that no steam escapes and the whole biryani is cooked in its own steam. Keep a tava/flat griddle on the stove and on top of it this utensil with the layers and let it cook on a medium/low flame for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Serving & Garnishing
When you are ready to serve, open the lid and mix the layers very gently. Top it with the fired onions, mint leaves, cashews and raisins and serve with raita. You can make some extra curry and serve it on the side with the biryani too.
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