Black pepper chicken curry


The first time I ever had this chicken curry was at my brother’s house and he’d tweaked several version over the years to find a perfect format to cook this delicacy because one bite and I was hooked, so lush and delectable was this particular chicken curry that I had to ask him for the recipe which he most graciously provided and so here I am, trying to do justice by cooking it exactly as he’d asked me, because the point of this whole recipe is the different stages and the precise ways of cooking.

The gravy is a rich velvety emulsion of tomatoes, onions and spices and the consistency can vary according to what one likes to eat it with. Thicker gravy for when you eat it with bread and a bit thinner if eaten with rice, though I must say that it’s rice which brings out, almost helps to bloom each flavour of this curry. Rice provides, in my opinion, a better base than bread for this chicken curry and so I’ve cooked this accordingly.


Spices for chicken marinade. Turmeric, Black pepper and some lemon.

add spices to the chicken

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squeeze in the lemon and throw in the rind while marinating and add some oil.

Rub the spices into the chicken and cover to let marinate for an hour.

Ingredients for onion gravy

To make onion gravy, which is really the base of this curry we need a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick, some cardamom seeds sans green shell, a few cloves, some garlic and onions which will go into a blender to get a smooth spice enriched onion paste.

So we have an onion paste made with all the spices and some crushed tomatoes which I made by blending one large tomato.

To make the curry, add some oil to a wok or pan of choice and let it come to near smoking, after which add the now marinated chicken and let sear boldly on one side until deliciously bronzed before turning.

make sure both sides are nicely golden.

Let it sear on the second size and bear with me while I do this because it might come as something odd, but we will make the curry in the wok with the chicken still in it instead of fishing it out.


Add the onion paste and cook continuously taking care that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

the onion paste should begin thickening after a few minutes

Once thickened add garam masala, salt and plenty of black pepper and stir well to combine

Once all the spices are mixed in add the crushed tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until you reach a thickened gravy consistency

Once the tomatoes have cooked in with the onions add some chicken stock or water.

Little by little while continuously stirring

Add some more black pepper and stock/water until you reach the desired consistency and let cook.

Add a half teaspoon of sugar to balance out the tastes. This won’t sweeten the curry. Cook and check for seasonings. Add salt if needed and let bubble away covered for at least 5 minutes.

Serve Hot!


Ingredients

For the marinate

Chicken: 300g
Black pepper: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1tsp
Oil: 1/2tsp
Lemon: 2 tsp

Marinate the chicken with the spices, lemon and oil and let rest for an hour or overnight in the fridge.

Ingredients for curry

Chicken: 300g bone in
Cicken stock or water: 250-400mls
Onion: 1 large or 2 small
Garlic cloves: 3-4
Bay leaf: 1
Cloves:2-3
Cinnamon stick: 1
Caradmom seeds: from 2-3 pods
Black pepper: 2-3 tsps
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Tomatoes: 1 large or 2 small

Blend together the onions, cinnamon stick, garlic cloves, bay leaf and cardamom pods to a paste and crush tomatoes separately.

Note:  use only the seeds and not the green shells of the cardamom pods.


Recipe instructions

In a large wok heat oil and add the marinated chicken to sear on both sides. Once each side is evenly brown add the onion paste and cook until golden and fragrant.

Sprinkle in garam masala, salt and a teaspoon of black pepper and cook for a minute before adding in the crushed tomatoes and cook until gravy is thickened and the tomatoes aren’t raw anymore.

Add in the stock or water in small batches stirring it in continuously to homogenize with the mixture until the desired consistency has reached and add in the remaining black pepper and sugar and let the curry bubble away another 5 minutes covered.

Finally check for seasonings and add salt if needed.

Serve over a bed of hot rice or with flatbreads.

Instant chilli pickle


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For when you want to add a little something-something to a dish that doesn’t taste just there yet or feels flat or maybe you just want a tiny spice kick and spicy texture to enhance and complement the food then this is the pickle of instant dreams because it adds that fresh zing and unique flavour that you could have been looking for but didn’t know where to find.

It’s quick in that it’s instant and depending on the chillies you put it can vary from anything naughtily mild to demonic hot.

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Doesn’t hurt that it’s full of ingredients really good for you and how they come to marry in perfect harmony to form this delicious pickle.

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Chop and dice the green chillies into smaller than bite-sized pieces and remove any seeds if you want. These chillies though large in size are rather tame in taste, in fact, they’re almost sweet and so I didn’t much bother with deseeding them.

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Crush the yellow and black mustard seeds till some are fine dust and some still intact.

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Find a suitable bowl for mixing the pickle.

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Add crushed mustard seeds to the chopped chillies

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followed by salt and turmeric

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In with apple cider vinegar

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mustard oil

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and lemon

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give everything a thorough mix

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until spicily combined

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This is ready to be eaten immediately. Alternatively, you can cover and keep for a day for the flavours to mingle and mellow before transferring to a clean jar. This will keep well for several weeks or you can transfer to a fridge after a few days.

(Note: the flavours will intensify with each day and the mustard seeds lend a pungent spiciness of its own which is most desirable in such pickles.)

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You can add this to rice, slices of bread and anything you feel could do with a boost. I have tried mixing it with boiled pasta during days of lazy inactivity and loved every morsel of it.


Ingredients

Chillies: 250g

Lemon: 1

salt: 2tsp

Turmeric powder: 1tsp

Mustard seeds (crushed): 30g (you can use either all black or all yellow or a mixture of both)

Mustard oil: 70mls (or use olive oil if mustard oil is unavailable)

Apple cider vinegar: 60mls



Recipe instructions

Crush the mustard seeds until some are pulverized and some whole. Chop chillies into small pieces and add to a bowl.

Mix in the mustard seeds, turmeric, salt, oil, vinegar and lemon juice.

Cover and keep for a day or decant into a clean jar to be eaten immediately.

Note: The addition of vinegar increases its shelf life and this pickle can be stored for several weeks, however, you can store this in the refrigerator after a week as well.

 

Garam masala


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I know, I know, a garam masala recipe when you can just buy one in a pinch so why bother etc, but here’s the thing, this isn’t just any other garam masala. No sir! this is garam masala with its party hat on. It’s the kind of all-inclusive, multi-purpose, dangerously fragrant aromatic that should replace any scented candle inside your home. This deep earth coloured spice melange has a disco-like quality to it which makes each dish that it’s added to get up and sing in full swing and make your taste buds dance.

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The ingredients list though long isn’t out of the ordinary to make something so extraordinary. Black and green cardamom pods, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried bay leaves, star anise, black peppercorns and cloves.

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Ordinarily, you’d only need put these spices in a processor and whizz to a powder but to amplify the flavours and have them announce themselves on a megaphone we need to roast these a bit, only until the oils of all the spices wake up and lose their subtlety. A few minutes on medium-low heat on a hot pan until the combined fragrance hits you. Steadily stir to keep them from catching.

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Once they’ve cooled down we can grind them to a fine powder. It’s best to do it in short burst of pulses.

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There shouldn’t be any lumps.

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Transfer to an airtight container.

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and add it to curries, gravies, roasts, cakes.


Ingredients

Cinnamon sticks: 8gms

Black cardamom pods: 5g

Star anise: 1 in nos

Dried bay leaves: 4-5 in nos

Nutmeg: 1/2 Tsp

Black peppercorns: 15gms

Green cardamom pods: 10gms

Cloves: 10gms



Recipe instructions

Roast the whole spices on a medium-low flame for a minute or two until fragrant. Keep stirring to avoid burning and let them cool.

Process to a fine powder and store in an airtight container.

This multipurpose spice blend can be used in many sweet and savoury dishes for a spicy kick.

 

Love letters.


DSC_0923How could you ever go wrong eating something so melodiously lyrical and so dramatically picturesque? These bountiful babies are rather romantically called love letters, and why not! Gracefully golden and poetically charged as they are, these fattened cigars are also tastefully sublime.

These happen to be a very popular Keralan tea time snack, of which rather embarrassingly though, I got to know of very recently through a dear friend I met on twitter called Febin Mathew, who also happens to be a fantastic writer and runs a wonderfully whimsical blog called (epicfaildotcom.wordpress.com) or you can check out his writings here

Love letters, as gorgeous as they sound are really just thin crepes that are filled in with coconuts and sugar.

DSC_0879m copythe ingredients are simple enough. Sugar, desiccated coconut. flour, egg and cardamom pods.

DSC_0881this recipe requires cardamom powder and its a good practice to make some from scratch rather than buying the dried up bottled stuff. All you really need is a mortar and pestle.

DSC_0882to make a somewhat fine powder.

DSC_0883into a bowl, dump in your flour

DSC_0884crack in the egg and get mixing.

DSC_0885somewhere here I realized I should have used a bigger bowl, but a bit of mess never hurt anyone. we need a thin batter and an egg alone won’t thin it.

DSC_0886add in water, a little at a time to make a thin consistency. I ended up adding about 100mls of water, that is about 6-7 tablespoons

DSC_0889this is the consistency we are looking for. It should be thin and pourable, with no visible lumps.

DSC_0894add in about 3/4ths of the cardamom powder. Mix well and keep aside.

DSC_0895now this step is entirely optional and not a part of the authentic recipe, but I like to do it. Take a good heaping tablepsoon of vanilla sugar.

DSC_0896and half the sugar of this recipe and put it in a pot over slow flame.

DSC_0899until it very lightly caramelizes and just starts turning golden.

DSC_0900at which point we add in the remaining cardamom powder.

DSC_0901and all the desiccated coconut

DSC_0902turn off the flame and stir it all in. Put this mixture in a grinder and grind it for a couple of seconds.

DSC_0905and you’ll get this. It’ll have faint whiffs of caramel, vanilla and cardamom.

DSC_0906mix in the remaining sugar and reserve for stuffing.

DSC_0907put your pan on a low medium flame and add a dollop of butter/ghee. I’ve added ghee as per the recipe.

DSC_0908tilt it well to coat evenly.

DSC_0909take a ladle full of your batter.

DSC_0910gently on to the pan

DSC_0911spread as thinly as possible.

DSC_0912it will start cooking the moment it touches the surface

DSC_0913flip to cook the other side.

DSC_0916filling these crepes is fairly simple.

DSC_0917put a good heaping mound in the middle

DSC_0918fold over from the top and from the sides, like so

DSC_0919and like so.

DSC_0920and finally fold over to make neat little packages.

DSC_0922arrange on platter of choice.

DSC_0924sprinkle on some castor sugar and sigh a little, because this might be your only chance at receiving any love letters, and devour them with milk, coffee, tea or just plain.

DSC_0929this is what the insides look like.

Ingredients

all purpose flour : 100g or 3/4 cup

cardamom powder: 2 teaspoons

sugar: 80g or 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

desiccated coconut: 100g

water: 100mls about 1/2 cup

butter/ghee: 1 tablespoon

Preparation instructions:  make a thin batter from flour, egg and milk. Add in 3/4ths the cardamom powder and reserve.

In a saucepan, lightly caramelize the vanilla sugar and half of the sugar from the recipe. Just as it starts melting and turns light golden, turn off the flame and in remaining cardamom powder, and the desiccated coconut and mix. Grind this mixture and reserve.

In a non stick pan, melt the butter/ghee over a low medium flame and pour a ladle full of the prepared batter. Spread evenly to form a thin crepe and flip to cook the other side.

For filling, lay out the crepe and put a heaping mound in the middle. Fold over 1/4 of the top, then fold from both sides to pack and finally fold over from the top again to make a roll.

Sprinkle with castor sugar and serve warm.

DSC_0923enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Spicy masala cookies


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For some reason these harsh winters have put me in a cookie mode. I’ve been buying, eating and baking cookies. But aha.. these are not sweet cookies but salty spicy ones.. well not spiky salty like chips or crisps but very mildly saltish to the taste with a twang of spice. The spices being rather mellow, subtly biting and very addictive.

I had no recipe to start these cookies with so I was just trying and testing in the kitchen but accidentally or rather Fortunately these cookies turned out excellent. They tasted exactly how I wanted them to and I penned down the recipe and I’m sticking to it. I am !!!

Since these were just testing I didn’t bother with making a huge batch. You can easily double or triple the amount. These cookies are not thick and big, but dainty and petite which makes them all too easy to eat.

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see !! not fat at all..

Ingredients 

70 gms butter (you can also use salted butter for these cookies)

1 egg

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp salt

125 gms flour

SPICES

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

4-5 curry leaves

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp chilly flakes

RECIPE

In a dry pan fry the spices (except pepper and chili flakes) for a couple of minutes until browned. The mustard seeds will starts spluttering and you will get the most heavenly spiced aroma. Make sure the pan is dry. You don’t need to add any oil.

Once the spices are browned and giving off their aromatics take the pan off the heat and crush the spices. You can do these win a mortar & pestle. I used my rolling-pin. Keep these aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter with the sugar and salt for a minute or so. add in the egg and beat again.

Now add the crushed spices along with the pepper and chili flakes and beat until the spices have turned your beautiful yellow butter to tarnished brackish spiced goodness.  Add in the flour, and at this moment its best to use your spatula or wooden spoon to incorporate everything together.

Once it has formed a sort of dough and you can see the flecks of spices dotting your mixture, believe me it only gets better now.

Roll this cookie dough on a lightly floured surface. You can make these cookies fat or thin, depends how you like them. I roll them out quite thin perhaps 1 cm or less (you can see in the picture above)

Once they’re rolled out you can use any shaped cookie cutter and stamp out shapes. You can make them round or just basic square.

Place them on a sheet. These cookies don’t spread, so you can space them close.

bake in a pre heated oven at 180℃ for about 12-15 minutes, or until the edges have browned slightly. It also helps me to rotate the cookie sheet after 8 minutes or so.

Let them cool slightly and they are ready to eat.

You can either eat them on their on as they are or even use some dip or salsa or even this hummus

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Another picture to inspire you to make these immediately..

Enjoy !!!

South Indian Sambhar


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Sambhar is a very popular South Indian vegetable stew/broth/curry.. whatever you might want to call it..  Subtly sour, full of vegetables, low calorie, and the greatest accompaniment to rice

This dish has so many different ways of making depending upon where it’s made. This recipe right here is how my mother makes it, without using those boxed sambhar masala’s. I don’t really like that flavour, and this is how I have eaten this dish forever. No, I’m not some sambhar purist and It’s entirely up to you to use a packaged masala.. But this is the way I roll, or rather my mom did, and trust me you have to taste this to know how fantabulous this actually is.

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Vegetables!! The main ingredient. I have used beans, green peppers, brinjals. You can easily use any vegetables you like, drumsticks, cauliflowers etc etc.. whatever you want- the onions and tomatoes are a must.

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these are 200 gms of pigeon peas (split toor dal). These form the base of our sambhar.

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Into a deep pot, put in all the ingredients. The chopped vegetables, the lentils and add the water. This will be 600mls of water.

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Now the spices. 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder. (hing)

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1 tsp turmeric powder. It does bring out the yellow, and oh boy, yellow it is.

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salt- a little short of 1 tbsp. It’s a lot of sambhar, and under salted food is vile.

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Mix them all together now and put it on a boil. We need the vegetables to be well cooked, in fact softened and almost not blended. Also the lentils do take some time to cook. I boiled them for about 40 minutes.

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Now for part 2. and this is what makes this dish truly South Indian. These spices, sort of form the soul of this food. I have here 4 cloves of garlic. 1 tbsp of coriander seeds, 2 tsps fenugreek seeds, 1/2 cup shredded coconut.- If miraculously you happen to have fresh coconut, then nothing like it.

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Into a very hot tablespoon of oil, add in the garlic cloves

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Going next are the coriander seeds and the fenugreek.

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in goes the shredded coconut

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keep frying them all together until the mixture turns brown, like so. Now this is when your house house will smart smelling like a spice incense. It’s heaven I tell you.

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Into a blender they go. Mix in about 1 tbsp of water so that everything comes together beautifully.

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This is what the blend looks like.

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Now if you wish to make your dish more spicy, add in some ground red chillies (completely optional). usually one adds dried red chillies before blending, but since my husband is not a friend of the spicy stuff, I like to do this to control the chilli.

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The final blend.

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The last in line of taste and aromatics. I have some curry leaves. It’s a handful really. But in case you have the fresh stuff 8-10 leaves will do. Also 1 tbsp of tamarind paste. This tamarind gives the sambhar its distinct subtly sour taste.

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The unveiling of the vegetables and lentils. I cooked them for about 40 minutes and this is how they turned out. The vegetables were soft and mushy in golden yellow curry and the salt was just fine.

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Remember the blend from the coconut etc. .. well, it’s time for it to meet its destiny. In it goes in the lentil and vegetables mixture.

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the curry leaves go in.

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Finally the last ingredient- the sour tamarind paste. This all needs to cook again for another 10 minutes, before you serve it piping hot with rice.

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Here we go- the moment of TRIUMPH. Doesn’t this look gorgeous? It tastes even better. The best part about this recipe is that it’s not heavy, its not very oily and it can be eaten just like that- as a sort of soup. I love it, and so will you..Enjoy !!!!!

Ingredients

200 gms of pigeon peas (split toor dal)

chopped vegetables of your choice.

1 thinly chopped medium sized onion

1 thinly chopped medium sized tomato.

600 mls water

1/2 tsp asofoetida (hing)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp coriander seeds

4-5 cloves of garlic

2 tsps fenugreek seeds

1/2 tsp crushed red chillies (optional)

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 tbsp oil.

8-10 curry leaves

1 tbsp tamarind paste.

In a deep pan mix the chopped vegetables, onion, tomato, water, asofoetida, salt and turmeric. Cook them on medium flame for about 35-40 minutes (covered) or until the lentils are cooked and the vegetables mushy.

In a separate pan, heat the oil, tip in the garlic, fenugreek and coriander seeds, coconut. Fry until it’s all golden brown. Once these spices are golden and fragrant, blend them with a tbsp of water. Add crushed chillies as per taste- they’re completely optional.

Into the pot of cooked lentils and vegetables, add the blend of spices, the curry leaves and the tamarind paste.

Cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve warm.

 

Spicy green Coriander Chutney


This Technicolour green, diabolically spicy chutney is one of my mom’s recipe’s, and I have adopted this with absolutely no changes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and if it’s magnificent then just blindly follow it.

So this post, is in fact a tribute to my mother’s food, and the colours she brings out in it and the fact that all I know is all from her.

To this day, this chutney hasn’t tasted as glorious as my mother’s,but still to the naked eye it’s pretty darn good.

Now before I start its recipe, I just need to tell you that this is great with anything. Eat it with mashed potatoes, grilled chicken, omelette, parantha, as a salad dressing (make it mild in which case), as a dip for chips, fritters etc etc.. but my absolute favourite way to eating this is, slathered over a buttered toast. Oh how it brings out the flavours..

Anyways.. I haven’t any step by step pictures because I forgot.. but anyway…

Ingredients

coriander a whole bunch- washed and De stalked with just the leaves. (hard to tell the weight cuz its just leaves and really how many were they. I think mine was around 1/2 cup about 20 gms. a bunch is a better specification)

3 fat cloves of garlic

2 tsps cumin seeds

2 green chillies- the smaller more evil ones.

2 dried red chillies (also incidentally the name of my blog)

1 tsp salt (to your taste actually- but not under salted please)

1.5 tsp dried mango powder

1 tbsp water

Yes, you’re wondering why so many chillies..it’s spicy coriander chutney isn’t it?  but seriously if you’re a bit worried about so much evil deliciousness, by all means reduce the chillies.

The rest is easy.. just put all the ingredients in your mixer jar and whizz for a couple of minutes on high till all’s combined and green. Make sure the garlic cloves are all minced in and not a speck of anything identifiable remains.

That’s all folks.. this can be refrigerated for a few days and tastes best when fresh out of a jar, though once you’ve tasted it it;s hard to stop eating.  Eat it with whatever you wish, but seriously try it on a butter toast.. magnifique..

 

 

Vegetable Kofta Curry- one word.. DELICIOUS!!!


Kofta’s are one of the most mouth water inducing recipes from Indian kitchen’s. Loved by all, and cooked to celebrate special occasions, or a sometime treat or just celebrating the onset of a weekend, which is why I had cooked it. It’s rich, it’s spicy and unbelievably flavourful. The process though elaborate is hardly difficult. If I can make it anyone in this galaxy can..

It’s got a couple of steps, since it involves two stages-1) curry & 2) Kofta’s (spicy fried vegetable balls)

So we start with step 2. i.e. the making of the kofta’s.

Assemble your ingredients- for the kofta making you will need.

-1. Oil for deep frying

-2. Boiled potatoes mashed 1/2 cup

-3. Steam and water drained bottle gourd1/4 cup

-4. Paneer 2 tbsp

Before proceeding, lets figure out how we can completely drain the gourd of it’s water.

take the gourd and grate it well. If you’re like me- keep a band aid handy.

this is what the green mass of the gourd will look like.

throw it in a deep pan- mine looks like a well, but yours doesn’t need to. Throw it in without adding any water- keeping the heat on very low cover and cook for not more then 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes you’ll see all this water accumulated in your pan or well in my case. We need to separate that- take a cheesecloth or any fine cloth and drain, squeeze it using your hands, but please let this stuff cool down first or wear gloves. squeeze out all the water- any moisture ad it will refuse to bind completely, and we don’t want to fry a mess of green mass.

This is what it will look like after draining out the water. You will realize the mass has reduced. fret not.. it’s A-OK..

This is our line up of ingredients for the Kofta’s. Boiled & mashed potatoes. I used some leftovers from the Aloo Parantha but you can always just use your boiled potato mashing it well, and the white wodge of beauty is Paneer of course. (you can refer to my Paneer making 101 post).. well that’s it, mash them all together, using 1tsp salt, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder.

This is what it’s all going to look like once we have mixed it well.

Scoop out small bits of this mixture and using your hands roll them into balls or these cylindrical little babies. I always make them this way cuz my mom always made them so, and they taste amazing and I miss my mom now…

That’s it, heat your oil, and deep fry these little green monsters until they’re golden and crispy.

Drain them on a paper towel resist the urge to eat them. they’re perfectly edible this way with some ketchup. great snack or beer companions.. I had 4 .. No I didn’t eat any.. yes I did.

This is it.. the Kofta part is done. Going to the curry. easy as a breeze. get your blender ready.

This is the line up of the curry ingredients. 1 big fat onion, 1 not so fat tomato red as blood, 2 green chillies the spicier the better, 3-4 garlic cloves, 1 inch ginger.. Blend it all together.

fresh out of the blender and a mess on my kitchen counter. this is what it will look like.

There isn’t more to it now. take 2 tbsp oil from the leftover oil used for frying. take a pan/wok heat the oil and add in 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper & the paste .

This is what it’ll look like while it’s cooking. Give it around 10 minutes to completely cook. You’ll know it’s cooked when you feel like dipping your face into the curry. resist the urge- no good outcomes.. trust me.

Here it is, now completely cooked. Blistering red and flavorful. Add in 1/2 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp ground coriander, 2-3 tsp salt (depending on your love for salt), 1/2 tsp cinnamon, stir and let cook for another few minutes.

Finally add in water arund 250 mls, give it a good stir to combine with all the paste, check to taste, and add in salt according to your taste. add in 1/4 tsp of sugar to balance out the salt and spices and when almost done, add in the kofta’s and cover for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with rice or bread and dive in.. It’s so pretty and sooo tasty.

Ingredients

For the Kofta’s

1/2 cup boiled mashed potatoes

1/4 cup bottle gourd grated and well squeezed

t tbsp paneer

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

Oil for deep frying

mash together all these ingredients. Using your hands scoop them and make into small balls. Fry them till deep golden and drain on a paper towel.

Curry:-

1 large onion

1 ripe red tomamto

1 green chillies

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 inch ginger.

2-3 tsp salt

2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper.

1/2 tsp turmeric

200 mls water

2 tbsp oil for cooking.

Blend together the onion, tomato, garlic, ginger and chillies to a smooth paste. Heat oil in a pan, once hot add in the cumin seeds and the pepper. Once they start sputtering tip in the blended paste and let cook till the oil starts separating or the mixture turns deep red and brown. Add in the turmeric, coriander powder, cinnamon powder, salt and stir to combine and let it cook for another few minutes. add in the water and mix well into the paste. let it bubble a bit and add in the sugar. Cover and cook for a few minutes and finally add in the Kofta’s draining on the paper towel. Cover for some time before serving with rice or breads..

Enjoy !!!

 

 

Aloo parantha


The traditional Indian Aloo Parantha or potato stuffed bread if you please..it makes up for the most popular and loved breakfast in India. It’s hearty, tasty and a complete meal in itself without the addition of a lot many things. Easy to make, and honestly- extremely tasty !! The only catch is to make it right and evenly so that there are no thick chunks of flour in between while you eat. The potato stuffing needs to be even and spread well out between the soft flour folds.

Fix your dough. It’s made of whole wheat flour and water and shouldn’t be very hard. The dough has to be soft but not sticky. Keep it aside to work on the stuffing.

BOILED POTATO !!! I haven’t said it enough. Always, always keep a couple of boiled potatoes handy. They’re by far one of the most useful vegetables in the market. Once boiled they turn into instant food.. you’d never go hungry..

Anyways 2 boiled potatoes and mash them.. mash them with all you got.. use a potato masher or your hands, but please dont use a food processor..

Now we are going to doll it up..

here I have 1 green chilly (not red) chopped- I used scissors remembering the burns I got while channeling my inner Joan of Arc and dismembering crazy jalapenos last time. My fingers burnt for almost 2 days. 1/4 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp ground coriander and 1 1/2 tsp salt.. the worst thing on this earth is to have bland aloo parantha.

Right.. now cautiously mix it up. Don’t let your fingers burn with the chillies because you might end up rubbing your eyes with it, like I did..I’m kidding.. no I’m not !!

This right here can be eaten as it is..It’s tasty I tell you.. it is..well this is the stuffing made.. now for the stuffing to be stuffed

Here is the elusive dough.. nice & soft. Scoop out and roll into a thickish ball.. we have to stuff it remember.. so roll it well.. admire it’s roundness and pray it ends up pretty..

I don’t know how to explain it all in writing.. but here it is. This is how we do it. Flattening the round ball (sigh…) putting a scoop of potato stuffing between it (please make it a lot smaller than the dough ball)

Envelope the dough around the potato mixture.. voila !! it’s disappeared make it like a pouch around it and flatten the tepee like top.

using extra wheat dough and dabbing it all too generously, flatten it gently, making sure the stuffing stays inside.. Now whip out your rolling pin and gently roll it out.

Rolling out the disc and ensuring tings don’t start peeking out from everywhere.. This ain’t a perfect round, in my defense my rolling pin is all wrong..

This is it.. In a pan heat some oil.. this isn’t low calorie, so make sure both the sides get coated. It takes nothing more than 3-4 minutes to cook on a very hot pan (sorry no pictures, I was trying to feed my hungry man and cooking in a kitchen which was almost furnace like in the heat and humidity… my camera was nowhere in sight..

It’ll turn a burnished brown and smell like fries..Eat it with pickles, cheese, or my favourite ketchup..

Enjoy !!!

Paneer making 101


Paneer: the immaculate white cubes of milk, while largely known as Indian cheese is in fact not much like cheese at all.. It’s milk that has been curdled, separated from the whey and compacted. The whole process doesn’t last anything more than 15 minutes. Beautifully adapted into any dish of choice and eaten just as it is with salad- Paneer is unanimously loved by each and every Indian in every form, shape and dish. vegetarians thrive on it because it can be prettied up and made into the  richest of dishes, and in fact be made into a bajillion dishes if you ever were to count.

It’s easy quick and mouth watering.. here’s how:

You need only 2 ingredients to actually make this.

Milk & vinegar. Now the amount of paneer you want depends upon the milk. If you need a lot of paneer you will need a whole lot of milk. From 500 mls of milk you’d yield around 100gms of paneer or lesser.. but fret not.

I didnt need a lot so I used around 300 mls of milk, but you can increase the amount of milk to as much or as little as you need. As long as you understand how it’s made, it’s a breeze…

Pour milk into a saucepan (try and use full fat milk) and let it come to a boil.. don’t grow impatient and dont keep playing with the gas knobs like me.

Once it’s come to a boil and make sure it has, add in the white vinegar 1 tsp.. increase the amounts only slightly whence you increase the milk.. we don’t want out paneer vinegary.

Please don’t stare at my kitchen walls.. take a moment and watch paneer making in process. This is the curd separating from the whey which btw is extremely rich in proteins.

Well, this is what it should all look like.. we have yet to separate the whey.

take a really fine cloth, cheesecloth or in my case a stolen kerchief from a stack of my husband’s white and soft kerchief piles.

Placing it in a bowl tumble over all the curd, thus separating the whey.. be careful this is extremely hot and let it be for some time before you finally lift it up.

You can see the whey is separated. Discard it and put the cloth back in try squeezing it out once it has cooled down a bit, this is very very hot right now. You can even hang it and let all the whey slowly drip out, if you have the time. I’m impatient and I always burn my palms.. but such is life.

This is after burning my palms and squeezing out all the whey.. let it rest awhile.. if you want: put something heavy on top of it and let it be for some time, until it has finally cooled down and is ready for the unraveling..

Behold !!! the conversion of milk into this beautiful, springy, soft and almost crumbly paneer. You can cut it into cubes or mash it or just eat it with a salad, or sprinkle some salt n pepper or your favourite dressing and have it with your drinks..

Enjoy !!!