Sunday, July 17, 2016

Shandaar Murgh Rasa

This is an experimental dish inspired by Malvani cuisine. Malvan is the southernmost coastal district of Maharashtra State in India. It has its own standard cuisine which is also most popular along the Konkan region (coastal districts of Maharashtra, Goa and north west Karnataka states). This region follow a distinct way of cooking food and mostly use coconut in various forms such as dry grated, coconut milk, fried paste etc.

Being in the Konkan region, this cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian and spicy as they use many masalas like red chillies, pepper corns and garam masala. Fish dishes dominate this cuisine and those fiery sea food curries may be too hot to handle for outsiders but definitely worth its taste. The spice level can be altered as per one's preference.

Now let's go to the recipe.....

Cooking Time: 30-40 mins                      Servings: 4 
Preparation Time: 20 mins                      Category:  Main course, Non-Veg

Chicken - 500 gms
Red Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste (including for masala)
Lime Juice (optional) - 1/2 tsps (Hung curd/yogurt can also be used to reduce the hot spicy flavor)
Cooking oil (groundnut oil for fish/mutton) - 2/3 tbsps
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 1 stick 

For Masala
Shandaar Murgh Rasa
Onions - 2, chopped
Tomatoes - 2, chopped
Red chillies - 4
Cinnamon (Dalchini) - 1 medium stick
Cardamom (Elaichi) - 4
Cloves (Laung) - 8-10
Peppercorns (Kali mirch)  - 5
Black cumin seeds (Shahi Jeera) - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) - 1 tsp
Star Anise (chakra phool) - 2
Grated dry coconut - 1 medium size 
Sesame seeds (thill) - 2 tsp
Cashew Nuts (Kaju) - 50 gms
Cooking oil - 2 tsp
Bay leaf - 1/2

Masala preparation:-
  • Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, red chillies, black cumin seeds, fennel seeds, start anise and roast them for 2 mins.
  • Then add the grated dry coconut, sesame seeds and roast them for another couple of mins.
  • Now add chopped onions and saute until it turns light brown, then add the chopped tomotoes and saute for a minute.
  • Turn off the stove and let it cool. When done, blend this into a thick masala paste. Little water can be added to make it into paste.

Preparation Method (curry):-
  • Wash chicken well and take it in a bowl. Add chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric & coriander powders, salt and lime juice. Mix them well and let this marinade at least for an hour.
  • Heat the oil in a cooking vessel and add the marinated chicken, mix well and cook for 15 mins.
  • Now add the masala paste and 2 small cups of water, mix well and let it simmer for another 20 mins or until it starts oozing out the oil (which means the chicken & masala is properly cooked).
  • Keep stirring at regular intervals to avoid masala sticking to the bottom of the vessel.
  • Add another cup of water or cook for some more time as per your required consistency of the gravy.
  • Turn off the stove and take it into a serving bowl. Garnish with finely chopped coriander, couple of red chillies and serve hot.
  • This dish goes very well with any of the Indian breads (roti, naan, kulcha), chapathi, paratha, jeera rice, bagara rice or steamed rice.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Palamooru Kodi Kura

Palamoor/Palamuru is the old name of the present Mahabubnagar in Telangana state. Many cherished memories of mine are associated with this place as I did my graduation from one of the colleges in Mahabubnagar town. Having spent majority of my college days there with many local friends, I have had the privilege to visit some interior villages nearby. Being a food enthusiast, I had the opportunity of trying few local dishes like Palamuru pottelu kura, nalli mamsam kura, kalchina kura etc. The one dish that stood out most was Kodi Kura that I still remember its taste. So, tried to recreate that dish with a little experiment of my own. It turned out well and my family/cousins have relished this dish. 

Telangana cuisine was unexplored until recently. But now it is slowly gaining its popularity in and around Hyderabad (thanks to few restaurants in the city which have included some local recipes in their menu) and will eventually move to other states. If observed, Telangana cuisine will have equal amounts of chilli and masala in most of the recipes as compared to Andhra cuisine which is more of chilli based.

Here is the recipe 

Cooking Time: 30-40 mins                  Servings:  4 
Preparation Time: 15 mins                 Category:  Main course, Non-Veg. 

Chicken (bone/boneless) - 500 gms
Onion sliced - 1
Green Chillies - 5
Palamooru Kodi Kura
Red chillies - 5
Mint leaves - 1 stick
Coriander - 1 stick
Garlic - 5 cloves
Ginger - about an 1/2 inch cube nicely diced
Star anise seeds - 5 or 6
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1 small stick
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Cooking oil - 4 tbsp
Cloves - 4/5
Bay leaf - 1

Preparation Method:

  • Heat a pan and dry roast cumin, fennel, coriander, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, green & red chillies, star anise, cinnamon etc. When they start to pop, add sliced onions, chopped mint & coriander leaves and dry roast for about another 10 mins on low heat.
  • Take these out and when cold blend all these into a thick paste and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, take the chicken pieces and add half of this paste, turmeric powder, 1 tsp lemon juice. Mix well and let it marinade for 1 hr. (Adding chilli powder is optional. In case you wish to, add no more than 1 tsp as we already have green & red chillies and garam masala)
  • Heat the oil in a kadai/cooking vessel. Add cloves, bay leaf and after few seconds add the marinated chicken to it. Mix well and close the vessel with a lid. Cook for 20 mins on high heat (stirring at regular intervals to avoid the paste sticking at the bottom of the vessel).
  • Add the remaining paste and lemon juice, salt, 1 cup of water and mix well. Cook until the dish starts to ooze out the oil and the gravy thickens.
  • Now add garam masala, stir it well and turn off the stove/heat.
  • Take the dish into a serving bowl. Garnish with sliced onion rings & fried green chillies and serve hot. This dish goes well with jawar roti, tandoori roti, naan, chapathi, steam rice and Bagara Rice too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pindi Chana Masala - Dhaba Style

Pindi Chana or Chana masala is a very popular Punjabi dish in India. Pind in punjabi native language is often referred to as native village or own land. This dish originated from Rawalpindi and hence the name. One can find this dish in almost all punjabi dhabas across India. Whole dark Bengal gram is used in preparing the authentic chana masala dish. It is often confused with chickpeas used in preparing punjabi chole masala. This is one of the fastest prepared dishes at home or dhaba as there is no chopping of onions or any other vegetables (provided you already have the bengal gram soaked over night and ready). You can always use canned chana to save time on soaking and boiling it. This dish is usually dry with chana coated with all spices. I've just tried to give it my own little twist though.

Cooking Time: 20 mins                      Servings: 5 
Preparation Time: 10 mins                 Category:  Main course, Veg. 

Pindi Chana Masala
Whole Bengal gram (small) - 250 gm
Anardana/dry pomegranate seed powder - 1 tsps
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsps
Ajwain/Carom seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Punjabi chana masala powder - 2 tbsp (I usually use ready made Everest or MDH masala) 
Jeera/Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seed powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 2-3 tsps
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
Crushed dry Kasuri methi - 2 tsps
Amchur/dry mango powder - 1 tsp (you can use thick tamarind essence or paste as an alternative)
Powdered sugar - 1/2 tsp

Preparation Method:

  • Soak the gram in water over night and drain them out in to a vessel the next morning.
  • In a pressure cooker, add this soaked gram, tea bag, 1-2 bay leaves and boil it for about 2-3 whistles. Tea bag(I used green tea) give it the authentic darker color and bay leaves add to the flavor. 
  • Once done, drain the gram out from the stock and keep aside. Keep the stock as well.
  • In a small vessel, take all the spices/masala powders (in generous quantity), ginger garlic paste, powdered sugar and add 1 cup of fresh milk, 1 cup of stock. Stir it well so that this forms into a thick masala paste with no lumps.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add ajwain/carom seeds. As they start to  spatter, add the masala paste.
  • Cook the masala paste till it releases all the oil. (This shouldn't take more than 5-7 mins on medium heat). Add boiled chana, kasuri methi and 2 small cups of the stock.
  • Mix well and close the vessel with a dish. Let it simmer for 15 mins. The chana will absorb all the spices and stock and is properly cooked.
  • Take the dish into a serving bowl and garnish it with sliced onion rings, lemon wedges, green chilli and chopped coriander.

Pindi chana masala goes well with roti, chapati, pulka and best with poori or bathure. Since this dish is dry, it serves as one of the best evening snacks too.

Raw Banana Kofta Curry

Raw Banana belongs to the plantain family and is often referred as Kacche Kela in India. It is most popular in South Indian states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu. They are a staple food in tropical regions of the world and are used in varied ways like steamed, fried etc. They are referred to as "potatoes of the Caribbean" since they resemble in flavor. These cannot be eaten raw unlike the regular yellow bananas and hence need some cooking (usually boiled).

Lot of wonderful curries can be prepared with raw bananas and one such is 'Kofta Curry'. Now, let us see the recipe

Cooking Time: 30 mins                      Servings: 5 
Preparation Time: 20 mins                Category:  Main course, Veg. 

Raw Banana Kofta Curry
Raw Bananas - 2
Finely chopped onions - 1
Finely chopped green chillies - 2
Potato - 1
Besan/chick pea flour - 1 cup
Finely chopped garlic cloves - 4
Kaju/Cashew nuts - 1 cup
Tomato - 1
Onions - 2
Cooking oil - 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cardamom stick - 1
Cloves - 4
Bay leaves - 1
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 2 tsps
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Fennel seed powder - 1 tsp
Crushed Kasuri Methi - 2 tsps
Salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander strings - 2

Preparation Method:

  • Boil raw bananas along with potato in a pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles.
  • When done, peel off the skin and mash bananas along with potato.
  • To this add finely chopped onions, green chillies, garlic, salt to taste, half cup of gram flour, 1 tsp of chilly powder, 1/2 cup crushed cashew nuts, coriander powder.
  • Mix all together to a thick dough. Take small quantities from this dough and make it into small/medium balls.
  • Roll these balls over the remaining flour and deep fry in oil until they are properly cooked.
  • When done, keep these kofta balls aside.

Gravy curry

  • Cut onions and tomato into cubes. Put them into a blender along with the remaining cashew nut and blend them into a paste.
  • Heat oil in a vessel and add cardamom stick, cloves, cumin seeds and bay leave. After about 20-30 secs add the blended paste in the oil. 
  • Mix well and cook for about 10 mins on medium heat. Then add chilly powder, turmeric, salt to taste, fennel seed powder, cup of water and mix well. 
  • Let is simmer for another 5 mins and then add the crushed kasuri methi. Mix well and add the kofta balls to this gravy. Cook for another 10 mins on low heat.
  • Turn of the stove and take the dish into a serving bowl. Garnish with finely chopped coriander or fried curry leaves and green chillies. 
  • Serve hot with any of Indian breads, pulka or roti, jeera rice etc.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Egg Roast

Egg roast or Mutta roast is a spicy dish native to Kerala, India, consisting of boiled eggs roasted in a masala gravy. It is commonly consumed as an accompaniment mainly with appam or idiyappam and puttu or less often with phulkas (Indian flat bread) mostly for breakfast. The same recipe without the gravy can be consumed as side dish or as starters. 

Cooking Time: 10 mins                      Servings: 5 
Preparation Time: 10 mins                Category:  Main course, Egg.

Egg Roast
Boiled eggs - 10
Onions - 2 (finely diced)
Tomatoes - 2 (finely diced. This is optional for me. I like this dish without tomatoes)
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Green Chillies - 4 (sliced)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Cooking oil or butter - 2 tbsp

Preparation Method:

  • Heat oil/butter in a pan, shallow fry or roast boiled eggs in it and keep them aside.
  • Add onions and saute them until they turn golden brown. 
  • Add mustard and cumin seeds, curry leaves and saute them for another couple of mins.
  • Now add tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and all spices. Mix well and cook until it gets caramelized into a thick sauce. 
  • Add roasted eggs to it and stir gently so that the sauce/masala get coated well to it.
  • Simmer for couple of minutes and turn of the stove.
  • Sprinkle garam masala and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with appam/idiyappam or puttu or phulkas or as a side dish with steam rice.