Showing posts with label Traditional Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Traditional Recipes. Show all posts

Friday, August 11, 2017

Chicken Neza Kebab

























So far I have made these kebabs 3 or 4 times and each time I made, they turned out delicious and were enjoyed by everyone in the family including the guests who happened to visit us. I found this recipe in the "Ashok's book of favourite indian recipes". I had been eyeing on these for a long time but the thought of trimming the drumsticks made me feel lazy and I kept putting it off. At last when I finally decided to make them it actually did not take me that long. 

I did not modify the recipe much except for the fact that I rubbed lemon juice and salt prior to marinating with the gram flour masala. Also to add more flavour to it I fried the gram flour in ghee instead of just dry roasting it as given in the book. And of course I had to use a different roasting technique coz I do not have a tandoor (clay oven) at home.

"Neza" in urdu means spear or lance and the nawabs of lucknow relished these kebabs which were shaped like a spear.  These kebabs just melt in the mouth and so flavourful that no wonder these were one of the yummiest delicacies of the Nawabs' kitchens. I would like to include this recipe in the lost recipes of indian cuisine as I have not seen this delicacy prepared in any households or even in any of the restaurants' menus in India or elsewhere as far as I know. If anybody does, then please do share with me.






Here's the recipe and picture from the book: 






Ingredients:
10 Chicken Drumsticks (medium size)
5 Tbs Besan (gram flour)
2 Tbs Ghee 
1 Tbs Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Tsp Red Kashmiri Chilli Powder 
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
4 Green Chillies deseeded 
1/4 Cup Cilantro 
1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder 
1 Tsp Green Cardamom Powder 
1/2 Cup Greek or hung yoghurt 
2 tbs Lemon juice



For Basting:

2 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tbs Cream Cheese
1 Tbs Whipping Cream
1 Tbs Gouda Cheese



Method:










1. Peel the skin up to the ankle and slit the drumstick flesh from the top end to the ankle and cut around neatly with a pair of scissors to remove the tendon and ligaments as shown in the pics above.










2. Now scrape the drumstick with a knife to clean and with the scissors remove the tendon with the skin sticking to it. It snips and comes off easily with the scissors.












3.Trim the top end a bit and flatten the flesh with the back of a knife and pound with a kitchen hammer. Handle them gently as the flesh breaks and comes off.














4. Wash, drain, towel dry, then rub salt and lemon juice to the flattened/pounded drumsticks and set aside. Meanwhile prepare the marinade. Heat ghee in a small kadai or sauce pan. Add the gram flour and fry it in the melted ghee till the raw smell disappears and a nutty aroma emanates into the air.

























5. At this stage switch off the stove and add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric and kashmiri chilli, stir quickly to mix smoothly, let it cool a bit then add the hung yoghurt, whisk well then finally add the green cardamom and garam masala powders. Adjust the salt, mix well, then rub it on the flattened chicken drumsticks one by one so that they are all smeared well with the marinade. Leave aside for up to 4 hours or over night.

6. Add the deseeded and chopped green chillies and cilantro to the marinated chicken drumsticks just an hour before roasting them so as to retain their flavour.























7. Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees on convection roast, place them on a grill in a cookie sheet in the centre of the oven, baste them with olive oil and roast for 35 minutes. For larger drumsticks it might take a little longer. You need to turn them over to roast well on both the sides 10 mins before the cooking time. And finally when they are almost done baste them with the cheese mixture, leave for 2 more minutes and remove when the cheese gets absorbed and they turn golden brown. Do not over cook.

























8. Enjoy with onion, tomato, lemon or pineapple kachumbar salad. So yummy and delicious!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Gongkura Lamb Curry































Gongkura greens are edible Sorrel leaves most popularly used in South Indian Cuisine especially in the states of Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in India. It has a distinctive tangy taste and is one of the main ingredients of Andhra Cuisine. It is also a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are beneficial to your overall health. 

I grew up eating a variety of dishes made with gongkura and I still cherish those memories. Here in Canada finding gongkura is like finding a lost treasure. When you find it you consider yourself lucky so you grab it at once with out thinking. I love all the dishes made with gongkura and I intend to post all the recipes here as and when I keep making them from time to time. I want to grow them in my backyard so I can cook them whenever I want to atleast during the summer months. 

The Gongkura lamb curry is made with lamb meat and bones. Using lamb meat from the rib area (sar seena) makes the best tasting Gongkura curry indeed! I was lucky to find the gonkura leaves in a store in Toronto and got to make it and enjoy it after so many years - with steamed rice it was insanely delicious!!

I made this in my instant pot and it was so convenient and quick. 

Here's the Recipe:

l lb Lamb bones with meat (from the rib cage and neck)
2 bunches  Sorrel leaves 
1 tbs  Channa dal 
1 tbs Ginger garlic paste 
3 - 4 Garlic cloves 
2 large onions
1 medium ripe tomato
2 tsp Turmeric 
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli pepper 
1 tsp Coriander powder 
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder 
4 - 6 Green chillies 
1small dried red chilli deseeded
2 tbs Oil 
Ghee - 1 tbs
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds 
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds 
 Fresh Curry leaves -  a few 

Method: 

1. Clean and wash the lamb rib & neck pieces with the bones and keep aside. 

2. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Wash the channa dal. Pluck the gongkura leaves only (no stems), wash, drain, chop them and set aside. 

3. Add 2 tbs of oil to the instant pot in the sauté mode on high followed by half of the sliced onions and fry them till soft and translucent. 

4. Add 1 heaped tbs ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder and 1 tsp coriander powder, give it a stir then add the lamb pieces and roast them well in the onion masala. Add 3 whole green chillies, 1 tbs channa dal and 1/2 cup water then close the lid. Cancel the sauté mode and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes till tender. The valve should be turned to sealing position after closing the lid. When done let the steam vent out on its own. 

5. When all the steam is released on its own, switch off the instant pot, open the lid and empty the contents of the instant pot in a dish. Lightly rinse the pot inside with a little water which you can add to the lamb curry. Set aside.

6. Switch the instant pot on high in the sauté mode again.  Heat one tbs of oil and ghee, sprinkle the mustard seeds and let them crackle, add the deseeded dried red chilli, cumin seeds, then crushed garlic cloves with their peel and curry leaves followed immediately by the chopped gongkura leaves. Fry them well then add 1/2 cup water and simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Blend the gongkura with the other ingredients using an electric hand blender. Now throw in the remaining 3 whole green chillies and simmer on low sauté mode for 5 minutes. If we added them before the curry would be really spicy when blended.























8. Finally add the cooked lamb curry to the instant pot with the gongkura curry, sprinkle some garam masala powder, chopped cilantro, a little water and simmer on low for 5 minutes. The gongkura lamb curry is now ready to enjoy with steamed jasmine rice and ghee. So yummy and delicious!





Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dum Ka Rote Halwa (Baked Semolina Pudding)

































This is a very popular halwa in Chennai, India well known for its name "Dum Ka Rote". To make this halwa the mixture is first cooked on flame then baked in the oven on low. In olden days they baked on charcoal ovens with burning charcoals on the top and bottom of the baking dish. But they controlled the heat, by keeping it on low. It was baked on low heat for a long time till it became crusty at the top and bottom. The crust is a delicacy and we as kids used to fight for it as it was the best part of the halwa. This halwa is what you would die for as it is so insanely delicious!!

Basha's Halwa in Chennai is world famous (as he says in this video) and whosoever has tasted it once keeps craving for more. I am dedicating this recipe to one of my readers who was badly craving for it and requested me for its recipe. The recipe for Dum ka rote has been rotating in our family for many years and it is the closest to Basha's halwa I can say. Basha uses only melon seeds as garnish. I could not get melon seeds in the stores here, so had to use some which I managed to save after eating a melon,  therefore, I have used them sparingly. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Semolina (coarse)
1 Cup / 225gm Unsweetened Khoya
1 1/2 Cups / 325gm Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Ghee + 1 tbs
1 Cup / 115gm Almonds (for paste)
 Almonds and Cashews (chopped for garnish)
2 Tbs melon seeds for garnish
1/8th Tsp Saffron
1 Cup half and half / Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Whole Milk (for grinding almonds to a paste and for soaking saffron threads)













Method:
1. Soak semolina in 1 cup half and half or whole milk till it gets soaked well for 10 minutes.

2 Cut the Unsweetened Khoya (Nanak Khoya or Bapu ka Khoya) into small pieces and blend them in a food processor till reduced to powder.

3. Grind the almonds separately in a grinder first to a fine powder then add a little milk and grind to a fine paste with no lumps.

4. Mix together the sugar, ghee and the ground almonds with the khoya powder in the food processor and pulse till everything gets blended well. Transfer to a bowl.

5. Now add the soaked semolina and whisk everything with a hand whisk to a smooth thick batter.

6. Crush the saffron threads in a mortar and pestle, add some warm milk to it then add this saffron milk to the halwa mixture and mix well.

7. Transfer this mixture to a heavy bottomed sauce pan and on medium heat keep stirring till it comes to a boil and then starts slowly thickening. Do not stop stirring at this stage as it could get burnt at the bottom quickly. Finally when it starts leaving the sides, remove from the stove.














































8. Grease a baking dish with ghee and pour the thickened halwa into it. Sprinkle the slivered almonds and melon seeds then drizzle the remaining ghee on top and place it in the centre of the oven preheated at 325 degrees fahrenheit.
















9. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the top and the bottom layers start browning and the sweet scented aroma of saffron is filling the air. Remove from the oven and let it cool down to room temperature.







10. The above picture was taken when I made the halwa again for a picnic. This time luckily I found the melon seeds at the Sri Lankan store. 



















11. As you see in the above picture all the nuts ( I used chopped cashews and almonds) and melon seeds are gathered in the centre This is because this time I changed the baking technique a bit. I used the convection bake (temp: 350 degrees fahrenheit) instead of the regular bake and as it baked all the nuts and seeds came from the sides to the centre. Also it got crispier on the sides and center more compared to the previous halwa which got evenly crisp all over. I prefer the convection method of baking for this halwa as it had a beautiful crust and a crispy centre just like the basha halwa. And it tasted delicious!

12. You can decorate the halwa with silver paper and serve it to your guests for dessert. 








Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Broiled Golden Pomfret with Chaat Masala

The golden pomfret (pompano)  is a soft mild flavoured fleshy fish with a buttery flavour and no fishy or gamy smell. When fresh it tastes very delicious. You can use any kind of spicy or herb flavoured marinade on it and it works very well. This time I used chaat masala along with the other spices and it was just so delicious! My husband who is always quite reluctant when it comes to eating fish, actually enjoyed eating it.


Ingredients:
1 Golden Pomfret fish (around 1.25lbs)
 Juice of half a lemon
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Kashmiri red chilly Powder  
1 Tsp MDH Chaat Masala 
1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper 
1 Tsp ginger garlic paste
1 Tbs Olive oil 
Salt to taste

Method: 
1 Clean the fish by scraping the skin and cut into two filets with out removing the skin. You could ask the fish vendor to clean and make filets for you. 

2. Sprinkle salt and lemon juice on the fish filets and rub them well. 


3. Mix together the black pepper, turmeric, red chilly powder and chaat masala with the ginger garlic paste and smear this marinade on the fish filets well. Leave to rest for half an hour. 

4. Heat a cast iron frying pan, brush it with 1 or 2 tsp of olive oil and place the fish on the pan skin side down. Let the fish get fried on the bottom  well. 


5.  Switch off the stove, drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of the fish and then place the frying pan with the fish on the top rack of the pre heated oven.

6.  Broil the fish on high for 5 - 6 minutes till the fish is browned all over. Switch off the oven. Tranfer to a serving plate and enjoy the crispy delicious mouth watering fish. 


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Zafrani Halwa Pies


I grew up eating these baked pies filled with almond, channa dal paste flavoured with saffron. It was always accompanied with rice kheer (porridge) which went so well with these pies. I have been craving for these for a long time and wanted to bake them like my mom but smaller in size. At last I tried them out to satisfy my craving. They turned out better than I had imagined. My mom used to make the pie crust with ghee (clarified butter) but I wanted something light and healthy so I followed a different recipe for the pie crust which was light, flaky and good.  For the halwa I followed my mom's recipe

For the pie dough I followed this recipe from Simple Bites.  I cut down the recipe by half and the halwa I made following the recipe below was just enough to use up all the dough. 

For the Halwa:

Ingredients: 
1/4 cup Channa dal
1/4 cup Almonds (peeled)
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tbs Ghee
Saffron a pinch

























Method: 

1. Soak the channa dal for 30 minutes after rinsing in water 3 or 4 times till the water is clear. Soak the almonds in warm water or microwave them with a little water for 30 seconds. The peels will easily come off.

2. Boil the channa dal till it gets cooked, let it cool, then grind it to a smooth paste. Grind the almonds separately to a fine paste.

3. Take a sauce pan and on medium heat add one or two cloves and 2 green cardamoms then add the ground dal and almond paste.

4. Add the sugar and keep stirring till it thickens then dd the saffron dissolved in warm milk. Stir till the milk gets absorbed and the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan. Remove and set aside to cool.
























5. Take the refrigerated pie dough and start rolling it into a fairly thick circle on a pastry board dusted with flour. Cut round shapes with a cookie cutter or a steel tumbler with a sharp rim.

























6. Place some halwa in each of them, brush the edge lightly with water or egg white and close it in the shape of a half moon or turnover.

























7. Press the edges with a fork to seal them then brush them with saffron water (soak a few threads of saffron in a tsp of water) to give them a coloured decorative edge.

8. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 25 - 30 minutes. When they turn lightly golden at the bottom they are done. Remove and cool on a wire wrack and enjoy with Rice Kheer.



Rice Kheer (Porridge)



























Ingredients:

1 1/2 Litres Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Basumathi Rice
3/4 - 1 Cup White Sugar
15 Almonds for garnish
4 - 5 Drops Rose Essence
1 Tsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
2 Green Cardamoms


Method: 

1. Boil milk and leave on simmer to thicken for 10 minutes till it reduces a bit.  Wash the basumathi rice 3 or 4 times till the water runs out clear and leave it to soak in water for 15 minutes.

2. In another pot on medium heat add ghee. Crack the cardamoms a bit to release the flavour then add to the pot followed by the soaked basumathi rice.

3. Sauté the basumathi rice in the ghee till it dries up a bit, then add 3 - 4 cups of water and let it cook till it becomes mushy on low medium heat. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn after all the water gets absorbed.

4. Add sugar and the reduced whole milk, cook for some more time on simmer while stirring continuously. When it is of porridge consistency remove and leave it to cool.

5. Meanwhile microwave almonds soaked in water for 40 seconds on high. When cool peel, cut into thin slivers and set aside for garnish.

6. Add 4 to 5 drops of rose essence to the kheer, mix well, transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with almonds, chill in the fridge and serve. Chilled Kheer tastes better. Enjoy as it is for dessert or with Halwa pies.



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Saffron Rice




Ingredients: 

1 Cup Basumathi Rice
A pinch of Saffron
Salt to taste
4 tbs milk


Method: 

1. Wash the rice 3 or 4 times or till the water is no longer murky. Then soak the rice for half an hour.

2. Boil at least 2 litres of water in a pot. When the water is boiling put the rice in it. Add 1 tsp of salt or a little more. The water should taste like sea water not too salty. Give it a stir and let it cook.

3. Check the grains to see if they are done. Take one grain of rice and press it between your thumb and index finger. It should be just a little gritty inside but soft outside. So it is time to stop cooking.

4. Drain the rice immediately in a colander.

5. Soak the saffron in 1 tbs hot milk in a mortar and pestle and crush the saffron threads till they soften and dissolve. Add the remaining milk and pour it in the rice pot. Throw in some mint leaves and close the lid, leave it to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Then switch off the stove.

6. Serve hot with any curry of your choice. You could serve the Saffron Rice  with the following Curries:

Green Masala Chicken Khorma
White Chicken Khorma
Butter Chicken 
White Methi Chicken


There's one more way of making saffron rice. Dissolve the saffron in hot water instead of milk. To this add a blob of unsalted butter. Let it rest for sometime till the saffron softens and leaves out color. Take a bowl of rice and add the saffron solution to it. Mix well. The rice gets saffron colored. You could sprinkle this rice on top of the white rice as garnish with some toasted nuts or mix this with the white rice and serve.

Green Masala Chicken Khorma

I was kind of inspired by Farruqh Aziz's "Hariyali chicken khorma" on her interesting blog "CubesandJuliennes". She had made it in mughlai style with a rich and creamy sauce. But I wanted to keep it simple and make it in my south indian style which I love too. The concept was good enough to get me going. Here's the recipe:








Ingredients:
 Chicken 2 legs and 2 wings
1 Onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup Yoghurt
1/2 cup Coconut milk 
2 tbs Olive oil
4 - 6 Green chillies
1 sprig of Cilantro
A few fresh Mint leaves
2 black Cardamoms
1 inch Cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp crushed Black pepper
2 tsp fresh Ginger Garlic paste

For the ground masala
2 green Chillies
1 sprig of Cilantro
1/2 tsp whole Black pepper
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
2 Cloves 
3 green Cardamoms

Method: 

1. Clean wash and drain the  chicken,  Cut the onion into thin slices.

2.Put all the dry masala ingredients in a grinder and pulse them first before adding the chillies and cilantro with a pinch of salt.

3. To a sauce pan on medium heat add the whole spices - black cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf followed by the sliced onions and fry till golden brown.

4. Add the ginger garlic paste and the ground  masala to the fried onions and saute then add the chicken pieces. 

5. Turn over and roast the chicken in the masala till it changes colour.  Add the yoghurt, whole green chillies, coconut milk and let it cook on medium heat till done. 

6. For the last finishing touch which gives the extra flavour toss in the crushed black pepper, cilantro and mint. Cover with the lid and switch off the stove. Let it rest for 2 minutes then serve hot with saffron rice and pineapple kachumbar salad. 



Notes:

 For the coconut milk,  I always choose "A taste of Thai" if not available then I go for Aroy D.   Unlike the other brands. "A taste of Thai" has 85% coconut milk and 15% water while Aroy D has 60% coconut milk and 40%  water with no preservatives or guar gum. There is another brand "Thai Kitchen" looks similar to "A taste of Thai" but not as good. It has guar gum in it which gives the milk a gooey texture. In cooking if the quality of the ingredients is not good then all the taste and flavour is lost.