Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Salmon grilled with an oriental marinade

The simplicity of grilling fish is that it's not time consuming and tastes good.Hope you will try and enjoy this delicious recipe.The previous two weeks brought in a bout of ill health and that is the reason for not having blogged some recipes.All is well now and I am off on an annual family vacation till mid december.Keep visiting this site while I come back with a bang and more delicious recipes.Cheers!

4 salmon(fish) steaks/500 gms fillet cut into 2-3 pieces
juice of 1 lemon
2 spring onions
2 green chillies
2 inch piece of ginger
60ml/1/4 cup oliveoil
salt and freshly ground pepper
Process ginger,green chillies,lemon juice and spring onions together and then apply this onto the fish, season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for about 2 hrs.Brush with the olive oil and arrange in a single layer ona grill pan.Grill for about 3-4 minutes keepinbg it 10 cms away from the heat source.Turn the fish and baste it with the remaining marinade and oil and grill for another 3-4 minutes.Serve hot with a salad and rings of onions and lemon wedges.If you do not have a grill provision then you could use a non stick pan and cook on a medium heat, turning the fish pieces/steaks from time to time and keep adding the oil.You can cook with a lid on to keep the fish moist.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chinese style stir fried chicken


450 gms chicken breasts skinned and boneless
2 tbs finely chopped garlic
2 tbs ginger juliennes
2 tbs spring onions chopped diagonally
2 dried(preferably chipotle) chillies broken into bits
1 tbs cornflour
2tsp sesame oil
2 tbs soya sauce
salt as required
1 tbs white vinegar
5 spice powder(optional)

Clean, wash and dice the chicken into bite size pieces.Dissolve corn flour in 4 tbs water to form a thick paste.Heat the oil and stir fry the ginger,garlic,spring onions and dried chillies.Add the corn flour paste,and keep stirring for a few seconds.Add the chicken and half cup water and cook for a few minutes stirring from time to time.Add soy sauce,vinegar,five spice powder and season with salt.Cover and cook for a few minutes till chicken is tender and the sauce is thickened.Garnish with spring onions.Serve with noodles or chinese fried rice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shammi Kabab(Lamb Kababs)

These kababs make fine starters or you could serve them as a snack or simply to fill a tortilla or pita bread along with some mayo and shredded veggies.They are also perfect to add some spark to your chilly winter meals.Enjoy!
For grinding/blending:
500gms boneless lamb (mutton)or minced lamb
125 gms(2 fists full) chana dal/ split chick peas
1 tbs zeera/cumin seeds
3 red dry chillies
3 cloves
3 cardamom pods
1 inch Cinnamon stick
10 cloves of garlic
1 inch fresh ginger root
salt as required
1 onion chopped
4 pepper corns
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbs coriander seed powder/dhanya
Ingredients to roll the Kebabs:
1 egg
finely chopped onions and green chillies(optional)

Pressure cook all the ingredients listed under blending with enough water to cover the mutton about 250 ml for about 4 whistles.Let it cool and if there is any water left in the pan return to stove(do not pressure cook) and cook till all the water is absorbed and the meat is tender.Blend the ingredients to a smooth and fine paste without adding water.Now, add the egg,chopped onions and green chillies and mix well.Roll the kababs into oval shape and slightly flatten in the center or you could simply roll into balls.Heat a non stick pan with some oil and shallow fry on a low flame till golden brown.
Suggestion:Serve hot with lemon twists, onion slices and a mint chutney on the side.
Variation:You could even some lemon juice to the kabab dough to get a slight tangy flavor.
Handy Hint:As mentioned above you could use either boneless lamb or lamb mince, however I find it easier to prepare a firm dough with boneless mutton.Also keeping the rolled kababs in the refrigerator for about an hour helps to firm the dough.You could make these kebabs with chicken meat.Also you could vary the spice content to suit your taste,the quantity I specify are for a moderate heat.

Happy Diwali to fellow Indians all over the globe.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Leftover Makeover- Noodle Patties

Presenting to you an interesting recipe mailed to me by my good friend Priya Mathews.

This is what she had to say about it - "This was a saver when I had left over vegetable noodles and made a quick fix for my kids evening snack when they came back home from school ravenous and had nothing much else to give them on that day."

Noodle Patties


1 cup cooked vgetable noodles dish

1 egg

1/4 cup corn flour

1/4 tsp grated ginger

1/4 tsp crushed garlic

2 tbs spring onions chopped

1 bell pepper/capsicum chopped

1 tbs oyester sauce

1 tsp soy sauce

salt and pepper as required

bread crumbs 3/4 cup

a dash of tomato sauce/ chilli sauce


Toss all ingredients and 1/4 bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl and combine well.Shape into patties ,coat with the remaining bread crumbs and deep fry.Serve hot with ketchup or chinese dips of your choice.

Photo credit:Priya

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Zeera Rice & Kadi Pakoda

A simple yet refreshing dish to indulge your family without shelling out an extra buck right with ingredients found in your store cupboard.This is a rice dish with a mild flavor of cumin seeds accompanied with a tempered yoghurt savory dish to which chickpea flour fritters have been added.
Zeera Rice:

1 cup high quality basmati rice
1 tbs cumin seeds
1 tbs finely chopped ginger and garlic
2-3 black pepper corns
1 bay/laurel leaf
2 pods of cardamom
1inch piece of cinammon
2-3 cloves
1-2 tbs oil
salt as required
1 and 1/2 cups of water
Warm oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add the whole spices and when they begin to release their aroma add the finely sliced onions and saute for a minute.Now add the chopped ginger garlic.Remove the whole spices and add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a minute.Now add the rice and stir for half a minute and then add the water and salt.Then, let it cook on a medium flame till rice is well done.Garnish with finely chopped green chillies and coriander leaves.

Kadi Pakoda

3/4 cup besan/chickpeaflour
1/3 tsp carrom seeds/ajwain
1 tsp red chilli powder
1tsp ginger/garlic paste
1/4 tsp baking powder
salt as required
oil to deep fry

Mix all the ingredients listed above into a smooth batter with enough water to a thick consistency.Heat oil and drop spoonfuls of batter into it in batches and fry till golden brown.Remove onto kitchen tissue/towel.

Kadi (Savoury Yoghurt)
1 onion sliced
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
2 tbs chickpea flour/besan
1 cup yoghurt
2 red chillies
a pinch of fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt as required
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbs oil
Whisk the yoghurt and blend with an additional one cup water.Heat the oil add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chillies broken into bits,till they sizzle and splutter, now, add the turmeric and chickpeaflour while stirring all the while and taking care to reduce the flame.Add the yoghurt and make sure the chickpea flour mixes well with it and then add salt and simmer on a low flame for fifteen minutes.Turn off the flame and add the pakoras.

Serve zeera rice with kadi pakoda.Also serve a pickle and papad on the side.You could even add a kidney bean dish like rajma masala on the menu to make a great combo.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrating Eid

The whole of K.S.A is decorated like a bride and is glittering with lighted inanimate motifs of the crescent moon,dallah(Arabic coffeepot),Khanjar(dagger),Egyptian lamps(Fanoos),Kites,Palm trees and other geometrical patterns..

Holidays: People are in 'relax' mode with a week of holidays.Most people,who like to spend the last days of ramadan in Makkah and Madinah are ready with their travel plans.

Spirituality:'umrah' tarawih prayers at 1 a.m and charity(zakat-2.5 %of one's total wealth each year given to the poor&Fitrah-a fixed amount for each family member also given to the poor)

Rush hour:Traffic winds like a giant python of scintillating lights,while people rush to shop till they drop for all household items, clothes and gifts .The malls and restaurants are open from 9p.m to 2 a.m.The transformation of people from sky larks to night owls is dramatic.
Shopping: Special Eid collections of clothing, accessories, cosmetics, perfumes are available from all top brands around the world.Gifts of jewelry,accessories and toys (for kids) are bought for the family members for Eid.Women from India and Pakistan also shop for glass bangles in a myriad colors and also spend the night decorating their hands with henna apart from the visits to the beauty salons or spas.

Popular Demand:On the eve of Eid, gourmet chocolates, petite pastry delicacies,cakes,flowers,and scented candles are bought by people for their homes, families and friends.
Eid prayers: begin early morning around 6 a.m. which are attended by men, women and children.
Celebration:The prayers are followed by families rushing back home for a celebration or for Eid brunches in five star hotels.Everything closes down and silence descends on the cities and if one venture outside in the evening it probably looks dull and boring after one whole month of hustle bustle.There is a beautiful display of fireworks put up for the following three days.The remaining part of the Eid vacation is spent visiting friends, hosting barbecue parties and other fun filled outdoor activities.
Sheer Korma:Vermicelli Pudding
1 ltr milk
100 ml of condensed milk
sugar as required
100 gms fine vermicelli
dry fruits:
dried dated soaked overnight and slivered
10 almonds soaked and slivered
1 tbs sunflower seeds(chironji)
2 tbs california raisins
2 tbs cashew nuts
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
3 tbs ghee/clarified butter
Method: Boil milk with the condensed milk on a low flame till the milk is reduced to almost 2/3 of its original quantity.This is what lends it a distinct khoya like taste if you are not intending to add adultrerated khoya bought from the market.This is also what makes it superior in taste to the 'semiya paysam' made in Andhra along with the quality of fine hair strand like vermicelli used for its preparation.The vermicelli used for 'paysam' is coarse and thick.Add sugar and cardamom powder to the milk and let it boil further.In the meantime toast all the dry fruits in a tbs of ghee, on a low flame taking care all the while not to burn them.Also fry the vermicelli in 2tbs of ghee to a golden brown color.Now add the fine vermicelli to the milk and let cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the dry fruits and serve in special sheer korma cups/fruit salad bowls.Yields:3 -4 servings.
Note: On the day of Eid, sheer korma is not prepared and kept before hand.The milk is left to boil and the reduced milk is kept ready along with the toasted dry fruits and vermicelli in separate dishes.As guests begin to come in the sheer korma is assembled together.The prepared milk is reheated and the other ingredients are added to it and served immediately.This way one can offer sheer korma for the next few days within minutes without wasting any.
Have a great Eid, and if you are among the fortunate few to enjoy the luxuries that life has to offer do send silent prayers for the people around the world who are deprived due to war, violence,poverty, terrorism,drought and recession.Also reflect on how this ramadan has changed you for the better..and help others with humility and a sense of renewed purpose.
(Eid greetings in Arabic calligraphy The photographs by me are a humble effort to capture the theme and mood of Eid.Also find the picture of 'Sheer Korma' and the fine vermicelli I've used in the centre of the photo pile).
Gift Ideas:
For him: Perfumes,cuff links, watches and gadgets.
For Her:Jewelry,luxury watches, perfumes, accessories and please men don't give kitchen gadgets as gifts..they are useful but not gifts.Also visit for further gift ideas.
For the book worm: In keeping with the Eid theme...'Standing Alone in Mecca:An American woman's struggle for the soul of Islam by Asra.Q.Nomani, The search of beauty in Islam: A conference of the books By Khaled Abou Al fadl are great reads.
In the end I would like to say -"Thank You, W, for your support, (for using up our precious family time for blogging)and for always thinking I am your equal and not just your better half.
Eid Mubarak to all!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shorba Mumtaz(Barley and 5 Lentil Soup )

I created this soup when I was simply craving Haleem.It's a great soup with fewer calories and it did satisfy my cravings for Haleem without the extra pounds.A garden salad and some brown bread ...what else could one ask for?Perfect for suhoor too!


3 cups Lamb stock

1 tbs of moong beans

1 tbs red lentils(masoor dal)

1 tbs yellow split peas(chana dal)

1 tbs pigeon/yellow lentils (tur dal)

1 tbs black gram(urad/mash ki dal)

1 tbs Barley

1 tbs haleem spices(masala)

2" ginger piece/4 garlic cloves

a fistful of mint leaves

2 onion sliced finely

lemon wedges

3tbs oil

salt as required

Method:To prepare the lamb stock,first saute the bones from a leg portion of lamb with the bone marrow intact and all fat trimmed in a tbs of oil till the color changes and raw smell disappears.Then,add six cups of water along with a few pepper corns,a stalk of celery,a thumb size piece of ginger crushed, a few garlic pods, and two bay/laurel leaves and simmer on a very low flame for an hour or so.Keep removing the froth that forms on top and boil till stock reduces to half( 3-4 cups).Strain and just use the liquid.You could use chicken stock instead and the rest of the process would be same as above

Now, pressure cook all the lentils and barley after having soaked them for fifteen minutes.Mash the lentils and barley with the back of a spoon or alternatively, blend into a smooth paste.Mix the mashed lentils and barley with the lamb stock and return to the stove in a thick saucepan, cook on a low flame, adding salt and haleem spices.In case, you do not have haleem spices use 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1/4 tsp cumin powder, and 3/4 tsp garam masala .You can increase or decrease spice content as per your taste.Simmer for fifteen minutes after reducing the flame.

Now, brown the onion slices in the remaining oil and sprinkle on top of the the soup and serve it with mint leaves, and a twist of lemon on the side to add a tangy flavor to the soup.Fine sliced green chillies and juliennes of ginger are optional for the garnish.Yields three servings.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Aloo Methi Gobi

Wishing all the people of Kerela - A Happy Onam(A State Festival, commemorating the generosity of King Mahabali).

Aloo Methi Gobi is a dry dish from the kitchens of Punjab both( India and Pakistan).This is a dish you could prepare in a jiffy,(especially when you are back home tired from work )if you have the boiled vegetables handy. Tastes really good with roti/pita/khubs/any flat bread.


1 cup boiled cauliflower florets
2 large potatoes boiled and cubed
1 bunch fenugreek(methi)leaves
2-3 (kashmiri) red chillies
1 tsp each of finely chopped ginger-garlic
2 tbs tomato puree
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt as required
2 tsp coriander powder(dhanya)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder(haldi)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbs oil

Clean and wash the fenugreek leaves add some salt and leave them for sometime (around half an hour).Then squeeze out the water thoroughly and reserve for later use.
Heat oil in a wok or kadai add the cumin seeds,kashmiri chillies, ginger- garlic,asafoetida, and let them sizzle, fenugreek leaves and cook till they wilt and lose their shape.Now, add the tomato puree and let it cook for a minute or two on a low flame.Then,add the boiled vegetables and coriander seed powder and toss till they are coated with the spice mixture.Add salt and sprinkle some water and simmer on a low flame for about 8 minutes.At the end, add finely chopped green chillies.You could use kasuri methi if you don't have fresh fenugreek leaves at hand.

variation:Aloo(potato) methi/gobi cauliflower)methi

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ramadan-Iftar Snacks

Featured above are foods that are served at Iftar during Ramadan in India.Featured clockwise:Fruit Chaat(Indian Fruit Salad) Dates,Luqmi(curried lamb mince stuffed pastry parcels) Haleem (lentils, wheat and meat cooked in spices) Besan ke pakodey( Chickpea flour vegetable Fritters) Dahi Badey(black gram fritters soaked in tempered yoghurt).In addition to which fresh fruit juices and are also served.

I will delve upon the preparation of some of the dishes like Haleem and Dahi Badey in later posts.Haleem is a dish that has its origins in the Arabic 'Thareed' and 'Harees'.It requires a lot of patience and skill(not everyone can make it to perfection) to prepare this elaborate dish and its prepared specifically for Ramadan.
Luqmi(curried lamb pastry parcels)Just follow the qeema/kheema curry procedure from my archives - february posts.Ensure to make it dry and then use as stuffing in pastry wraps and fold them like a parcel.Then deep fry and remove on to plate lined with kitchen tissue.
Fruit salad:Just cut a variety of fruit of your choice.I've used apples, mandarins,apricots plums,peaches,guava(seedy pulp removed).You can even use grapes, melons, and summer berries.Chop them up, mix with fruit chat masala either commercially available packs or make your own-Add a generous pinch of black pepper, black salt,cumin powder,lime/lemon juice mix well and sprinkle on the assortment of fruit.You could even add a spoon of honey to it
Besan ke pakodey(chickpea flour fritters with vegetables) Mix one cup chickpea flour with a pinch of red chilli powder, salt as required,a pinch of carrom(ajwain) seeds/dried thyme,a teaspoon of hot oil , a pinch of sodium bicarbonate,and a tsp of ginger garlic paste.Add sufficient water a little at a time to make a thick batter(it should not be runny).Now you can use an assortment of vegetables - cauliflower florets boiled (al dente), potato slices, aubergine slices cut lengthwise,bellpepper or any long variety of peppers,green plantain cut lengthwise.Even hard boiled egg slices can be used for a change.Dip them in the batter and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown.Serve with tahini sauce/ barbecue sauce/tomato ketchup.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Perfect Date is Sweet and Delicious(Food and Festivals)

This month kicks off a riot of festivals in India and around the world.I will showcase some of them as the year progresses.First of all 'Ramadan Mubarak' to all.A billion hearts in devotion, thirty glorious nights and 30 days of food and festivities. Although fasting is about abstaining from food and drinks (sunrise to sunset) yet food does become a focal point with so many parties, Iftar buffets and Ramadan food festivals(five star hotels) and not to forget the parties hosted at homes.I will try to portray Ramadan celebrations in the Indian Muslim community in India and Saudi Arabia with a prime focus on food.

No Ramadan is complete without dates.The fasting on any day is ended at sunset with a date...(apart from other reasons)probably because dates are high in simple sugars which the body can absorb to give instant energy.
In Saudi Arabia one of the most beautiful places to be during Ramadan is home to many good quality dates.You can choose from a variety of them the best being - Anbar, Khidri, Sukry, Barhi Naboot Seif, Kholas, Sekki, Agwa etc.they come Fresh, Semi ripe(rhutab) or pressed.You can also find designer dates stuffed with dry fruits, date truffles, chocolate pralines in addition to date drinks, date jams etc.Featured above are khidri dates (like chocolate they melt in the mouth)
In the morning before starting the fast(pre dawn meal -'suhoor')dates are taken with laban(thick butter milk) and in the evening at the end of the fast, dates are eaten with fresh breakfast cream.If you haven't tried dates with fresh breakfast cream then you have missed this Ramadan try the dates with cream.Of course its laden with calories..Enjoy!Also dates are served with qahwah(Arabic coffee) as the coffee which is flavoured with cardamom and brewed in a dallah(coffeee pot)is not sweetened.At every sip biting into a date thats held in the hand with a tooth pick is the custom in Arabian countries.You must try it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dum Ki Gavar Ki phalli(Cluster Beans cooked in Sesame seed paste)

This is a lesser known Hyderabadi dish which is a family favorite. When cluster beans( scientific name is Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba- phew! quite a mouthful isn't it?) are in season I am flooded with little boxes.Although stringing the beans and chopping them is a laborious task, the end result is perfect and delectable.Try choosing tender and green cluster beans that are free from blemishes on the exterior,the mature beans have a slight bitter taste.This is traditionally cooked in the dum technique, about which I had written in a previous post ( veg dum biryani) over a low flame, tightly sealed.However, I achieve the same result with the use of a pressure pan.These beans are considered to be of help in controlling diabetes.

Dum Ki Gavar ki phalli(Cluster beans/Guar beans)

400 gms cluster beans(gavar ki phalli)
4 onions finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp chilli powder
3 tbs oil
2 tsp /coriander(dhanya)powder
salt as required

For the paste:
2 tbs roasted sesame seeds
1 green chilly (optional)
1 inch piece of ginger
3 cloves of garlic

Wash the beans and string them.Top and tail and finally chop them into half inch strips.Now, prepare a thick paste of the ingredients listed under the same caption.(The sesame seeds should be first powdered dry and then the remaining ingredients added with a little water)Now, mix the sesame seed paste, spices, salt onions and oil with the beans, saute for a minute and then pressure cook them in a pressure pan, with 3/4 cup water for about two whistles till the beans are tender.If water remains on opening the pan then, return it to the stove and cook till the oil appears over the edges.The water should completely evaporate, however, the curry should be moist and not too dry.

Variation:You could even try this dish with french beans.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chicken Do Pyaza & Vegetable Do Pyaza

This dish is a popular part of the Mughlai and Punjabi cuisine(Indo-Pak) and I am rounding up the dual delights theme with this one.Do Pyaza refers to the the onions used in two different forms 'do' means two in urdu/hindi and 'pyaz' means onions.Another theory suggests this dish was named in honor of Mullah Do Piaza a scholar and royal advisor who was part of the 'Nine jewels' of the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and the Mughal Period was an era of opulence and brilliance in all fields especially Arts and Architecture (Yes! the Taj Mahal was built by his grandson Emperor shahjahan) I hope you will try this dish in your kitchens and please your friends, family and loved ones.So far I have given you four restaurant like dishes to prepare either with vegetables or chicken.However you can make this dish with lamb too.

Chicken Do Pyaza(chicken cooked in onion gravy)
400-500 gms chicken preferably boneless
3 onions diced into large chunks
A paste of three onions and 1 tbs ginger-garlic blended together
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander seed powder
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 tsp garam masala
3 tbs oil
salt as required


Heat the oil and fry the onion chunks till they turn glossy and remove.In the same oil add the onion paste and fry till it turns golden brown.Add all the spices except the garam masala and keep sprinkling a little water to prevent the paste from catching at the bottom of the pan.Add the tomato puree and the chicken pieces toss fora minute then add 1 cup water and let cook till chicken is tender.Now, add the diced onions and mix well and it's ok if the onions separate into layers.Add the garam masala and serve hot garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves.If you wish you can add 1 tbs yoghurt or cream to thicken the onion gravy.

Vegetable Do Pyaza

Like always substitute the chicken with a packet of mixed frozen vegetables.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prawn Tawa Masala & Paneer Tawa Masala

This is a wonderful dish that transforms the everyday shrimps/prawns into sizzling well not literally but sizzle they will in spices and scents.If you are having a romantic dinner then this is a dish you would want to impress your partner with your culinery skills and if you live in a house that has a great view of the sea side then you can bet you have the best opportunity for memorable moments.. while you feast on the prawns your senses are soaking in the exhilarating scents of the sea. Coming back to our recipe let the name 'tawa' not baffle you as its simply an Indian term for a griddle.The prawns are well marinated in some exotic spices and cooked on a griddle while taking care not to overcook the shrimps/prawns.Well, if my vegetarian friends are wondering I have ignored them then do not lose heart as you can still impress your partner with a veggie version using paneer, a soft cottage cheese that's extensively used in Indian cooking.You can make it in advance or use a frozen ready- to -eat version available in Indian sections of supermarkets like, Al Kabeer for instance.You can use a non stick one in place of the iron or aluminium tawa.
Spicy Prawns Cooked On a Griddle
Ingredients :
400 gms fresh medium sized shrimps/prawns(peeled and deveined)
1 tbs vinegar(white)
1 tbs dried fenugreek leaves/ kasuri methi
1 tsp red chilly powder
3 onions chopped finely
1 tbs ginger - garlic paste
1 tbs chopped green chillies(deseeded)
1 tbs coriander powder/dhanya powder
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 tsp carrom seeds/ajwain
1 tsp cumin seeds/zeera
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp caraway seeds/ shah zeera amusingly& also literally translated as imperial cumin
2 tbs fresh cream
1 tsp garam masala
salt as required
3 tbs oil
chopped coriander leaves/ dill leaves

Method: Marinate the prawns/ shrimps with vinegar,spice powders, fenugreek leaves and salt for half an hour.Heat the oil on the tawa/ griddle/ non stick flat pan and add the cumin, caraway and carrom seeds.Now add the finely chopped onions and saute them till they turn golden brown now add the ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, tomato puree and keep stirring from time to time and cook till oil appears at the edges and now add the marinated prawns/shrimps and cook till the shrimps curl up and turn pink.Then,add the fresh cream and chopped coriander leaves or dill and mix well. Serve hot with bread, salad and drinks.

Paneer Tawa Masala
Cut the paneer into small cubes and shallow fry them in a little oil till golden brown after marinating them with the same ingredients used for marinating the shrimps,the rest of the procedure is same except add a few crushed peppercorns and its entirely optional if you want to keep it a little mellow.Also you could make this dish with tofu as it is almost similar in appearance to paneer but tastes a bit bland in comparison.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chicken Jalfraizie & Vegetable Jalfraizie


500 gms chicken breast fillet cut into strips

3 onions sliced

2 tomatoes diced

1/2 cup tomato puree

1 tbs vinegar

2 tbs tomato ketchup

1 bellpepper diced

1 onion diced

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tbs oil
salt as required

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp chillipowder

2 tbs green coriander leaves chopped
Method:Heat the oil in a pan, add the sliced onion and saute for 3 min.Add the chicken strips, spices,diced tomatoes,bell pepper,ketchup,tomato pureediced onions and keep stirring on a low flame till the chicken strips are cooked.Add the vinegar and coriander and keep tossing to avoid burning.You can sprinkle some water to avoid drying up of the gravy.

Vegetable Jalfraizie
Just use 400 gms mixed fresh or frozen vegetables(carrot,beans,peas,cauliflower,corn)in place of chicken.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Murgh Methi Malai(Herbed Chicken n Cream)

Dual delights:Taking forward the dual delights theme I present to you two dishes cooked in the same style with the same ingredients; one that tickles the palate of vegetarians and the other to woo the meat lovers.Murgh Methi Malai & Subz Methi Malai


500 gms chicken breast fillet cut into bite size pieces

4 onions finely sliced

1/3 cup tomato puree

1/3 cup fenugreek(greens) herb either fresh or dried(kasuri methi)

1/3 cup (lowfat or regular) fresh cream

3 green chillies

1 inch ginger

5 garlic flakes

2 tbs cashew nuts

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

3 tbs oil
Salt as required

spice powder:

2 small sticks of cinnamon(dalchini)

4 cloves(laung)

2 cardamoms

4 peppercorns

1 tsp cumin seeds


Wash the fenugreek leaves and add 1/2 tsp salt and leave for twenty minutes and squeeze out the water as this process helps remove the mild bitterness in the leaves.If you are using the dry herb version of fenugreek then omit the above process.Wash the chicken pieces and drain water thoroughly.

Heat 2 tbs of oil and stir fry the onions till reddish brown and remove. Blend the onions,ginger, garlic, green chillies, cashew nuts, cumin seeds and the spice powder into a fine paste. In the pan add the remaining oil, the 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and when they begin to sizzle add the fenugreek leaves/dried herb and toss about for a few minutes.Now add the blended onion and spice paste saute for a minute now add the chicken mix well, add the tomato puree, 1/3 cup water and let it cook till chicken is tender and the oil separates.Lower the flame add the cream and mix well for a minute and then turn off the flame.Do not over cook the chicken or add too much water.

Sabz Methi Malai:(Herbed Peas n Cream)

This version for vegetarians contains one cup boiled green peas and 1 large capsicum(bell- pepper)in place of the chicken.Add the peas after the blended paste is well cooked and add the capsicum toward the end to retain the crunchiness.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dalcha Goshth(Lamb and Lentil Stew)

Dalcha gosth is an accompaniment to pulao or biryani in Coastal Andhra.It can be served with steamed rice on days when you make something like shikampuri kababs or mutton fry.It tastes delicious and I have even found a version of it served in Malaysia with biryani, of course this contains a lot of other vegetables too, and far too spicy but it tastes the same.The mutton with the bone adds a lot of juices that help in improving the taste of this stew.It is also made in Hyderabad and here the souring agents are varied- lemon and green mango is used as a variation depending upon the season.

1/2 kilo lamb shank with bone
4 tomatoes
4 onions
1/2 (boiled) green gourd/white pumpkin/lauki /doodhi
3 green chillies
2 tbs ginger garlic paste
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbs coriander powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 bay/laurel leaves/tejpatta
100 gms chana dal/split yellow lentils
2 tbs coriander leaves
salt as required
1/2 tsp cumin/zeera
a few curry leaves
2 tbs oil
1 cup tamarind extract

Clean mutton and trim fat, leave bone in.Marinate it with the turmeric, chilli powder, salt, ginger garlic paste, garam masala, green chillies and coriander powder.Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan add the cumin seeds, curry leaves stir, for a minute. Add onions that have been chopped finely and when they turn translucent add the tomatoes and cook for sometime till they turn soft and mushy, now add the mutton and cook till tender.Pressure cook dal/lentils till soft and mash them with the back of a ladle or spoon.Add this to the mutton and then add the boiled green gourd/lauki let it cook.Now, add the tamarind extract and simmer on a low flame till oil separates and appears on the edges of the pan.Add the coriander leaves and turn off the flame.

Under the theme of dual delights I would like to inform my vegetarian readers they can make this without the mutton.You can either use chicken stock cubes or if you are too strict about it you can replace this with vegetable stock.The stock improves the flavor of the stew like the lamb used above.


This month I plan to introduce recipes that would please both vegetarians and non vegetarians alike.Inspired by the concept of Yin and Yang in Feng Shui,Gemini twins ofthe zodiac and the dual function gadgets and gizmos I have named them Dual Delights.I know I haven't been posting lately and the reason has been that I was busy shifting to a new home.Hoping to be regular from now on.I also hope you will like my humble offerings(the way they say it in India).Enjoy !

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sumptous South Indian Breakfast- Idly

Today I am featuring a guest blogger Priya Mathews who has sent me this recipe of Idly which is a steamed rice and black lentil cake made for breakfast in Southern India and is eaten with coconut chutney and sambar( a lentil and vegetable stew).When Priya is not experimenting in the kitchen she works in the travel and tourism industry and has worked for Gulf Air and Air Mauritius.She currently resides in Chennai with her husband and two kids.Visitors wishing to guest blog are welcome, please mail me your recipe and pictures and I will post them with your details.

2 cups rice
3/4 th cup urad dal (black gram)
1 tbsp tur dal(yellow/pigeon lentils)
3/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tbsp rice flakes(helps in softening idly)
salt as required
water enough to grind to a cake batter like consistency
Preparation:Clean and soak the dals, rice along with fenugreek seeds and rice flakes separately for 6-8 hrs.Grind the dal to a smooth paste and then grind rice along with the rice flakes into a smooth paste.Now mix both the dal and rice batters together along with salt and leave it to ferment for 10-12 hrs in a warm place.Pour into Idly steamer and steam till done which is about 7 minutes and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.The picture also by her features the mini version of the regular idly which is about the size of a medium donut.Serve hot with coconut or peanut chutney and sambar.Kids love the mini versions

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tamatar ki Chutney(Indian style tomato Dip)

Tamatar ki chutney is a Hyderabadi alternative to sambar,khatti dal and rasam, typical accompaniments to rice along with curries.Although it is paired with khichdi which I had posted previously it tastes good with steamed rice too.It is simple to make and you could make it on days when you are lazy to reach for that pressure cooker to make sambar,or dal based accompaniments, or simply when it is raining tomatoes in your garden.

8-10 large tomatoes
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 inch piece of ginger
salt as required
1 tsp oil

For the Seasoning/Tadka/Baghar
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
5-6 curry leaves
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 dried red chilles
a pinch of black gram seeds(urad dal)
1 tbs oil

Procedure: Cut tomatoes into four pieces and put it a pan with the turmeric, chilli powder, salt and ginger and some oil and let it cook with a little water on a slow flame till tomatoes get mushy
and you can mash them up with the back of a stirring spoon and remove the ginger piece.If you are still feeling lazy, then you could blend it after cooling, into a smooth pulp.Take a non stick pan and heat the oil and add all the ingredients listed under seasoning and when they crackle and sizzle with a nice aroma just add the tomato pulp and stir to combine all ingredients and you have it ready to serve in a bowl.

Variation: You could add two green chillies to the cooking tomatoes if you wanna spice things up.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pepper Kofta in Tomato Sauce

Now and again I have had messages from visitors to showcase vegetarian recipes and here is one fabulous dish that can be a show stopper at any party or meal.Bell peppers get a wonderful makeover, of course retaining their nutritional goodness of vitamin c.Try picking the organic ones as I've found them to be more flavourful (U.K ), and the tiny little ones are even better for making the koftas.

8 Tiny bell peppers
3 boiled potatoes
1 tbs raisins
2 tbs cashew nuts
3 tomatoes pureed
2 tbs chickpea flour /corn flour
cottage cheese/paneer(optional)
1 tsp dry mango powder/amchur/lemon juice
2 tbs yoghurt
1 large onion finely sliced
1 tbs chopped spring onions/green coriander
salt as required

1 tsp ginger- garlic paste
2 cloves
1/3 inch cinnamon
oil for shallow frying
1/3 tsp fennel seeds/saunf & cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder/paprika

Cut the peppers into halves deseed them and remove the white papery layer inside.In a pan heat oil add the fennel seeds,cumin seeds, when they begin releasing their aroma add the mashed potatoes,turmeric powder,chilli powder,salt,raisins ,1tbs of the cashew nuts coarsely broken,and paneer keep stirring till the whole mixture is evenly coated with the ingredients.Let it cool, fill the peppers with this stuffing and then dip in the chickpea or corn flour mixed into a thick batter with a little salt and water and shallow fry in a little oil, in batches and keep aside.In a wok heat a liitle oil add the onion slices,and saute till they turn reddish brown now add the cloves, cinnamon, ginger-garlic paste and salt, then add the tomato puree and the remaining 1 tbs cashew nuts blended with a little water.Let it cook till the sauce thickens now add 2 tbs of yoghurt and let it simmer till the oil appears on the edges.Add the pepper koftas and garnish with chopped spring onions/green coriander.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


It has been recently brought to my notice that a foodblog of Indian origin is plagiarising material from my website word to word.I request this site to refrain from plagiarism as it tantamounts to an offence.It cannot be called inspiration as it reduces the originality and credibility of a site that indulges in such acts.Also, one has to remember that writing content that engages the hearts and minds of a visitor/reader is sheer hard work and talent that cannot be lifted off.I am working towards resolving this issue with the original host itself

Monday, May 18, 2009

Suji Ka Halwa -Semolina Dessert

Semolina/suji/smeed/farina/rawa whatever you are used to know it as is versatile and can be made into numerous savoury and sweet dishes.This dessert known as halwa is very easy to make and you will have people asking for more.The addition of almonds takes this dessert to sublime heights.Try it !

1 cup semolina
1 cup almonds(toasted & powdered)
3/4 cup sugar(adjust to suit your taste)
1 cup milk
a few saffron strands
a dash of cardamom powder
some cashew nuts and raisins
3 tbs of ghee/clarified butter

Procedure: Heat a little ghee and toast the cashews,and raisins and reserve for later use.Now add the remaining ghee to the pan and roast the semolina till it turns a golden color, now add the almond powder and keep stirring.Add the milk, sugar, cardamom powder, saffron, and cook till the semolina turns soft.Keep stirring to prevent it from burning at the base.Add the raisins and cashews.It can be served warm or cold.You could also use slivers of pistachio with the nuts and raisins.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mango Sorbet

It's summer and mangoes are in abundance.The Badami variety is one you must absolutely not miss.In India eating mangoes everyday in summer is almost a ritual and then you have the unripe ones being cooked with dal(lentils) and yes even lamb.Coming back to desserts, mango sorbet is undoubtedly heavenly and if you are craving ice cream I can assure you a sorbet is a good low calorie option.This sorbet can also be made with melons,peaches and pineapple.Mango sorbet is great after a good spicy meal.On a lighter note, if this one puts you to sleep after a heavy meal you can be assured of a midsummernight's dream(pun unintended).


500 gms mango pulp

1/2 tsp lime juice

1/2 orange zest

2 egg whites whisked until peaks form

1/3 cup powdered sugar(adjust according to sweetness of the fruit)

Mint leaves for garnish

Chill a glass bowl and add the mango pulp,lemon juice and orange zest,mix well.Add the egg whites and sugar.Cover with a clear film and freeze for an hour.Remove from freezer and beat once again well to mix the contents.Refreeze until fully set.While serving remove the sorbet a good five minutes earlier and whisk to remove any crystals until you get a smooth texture.You can serve this with mint garnish and honey or double cream as topping.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's For Tea?

Cream Cheese Cookies:

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
100 gms cream cheese
1/2tsp black seeds (nigella/kalonji/hub al barake)
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp baking powder
4-5 tbs water
1 egg yolk and 1 tsp milk mixed together for brushing cookies

Put the flour in a bowl.Make a well in the centre add the butter, oil, egg, powdered sugar, cream cheese, baking powder and water.Knead to a soft dough adding water as you need.Shape the dough into round cookie shapes or you could work out more shapes and arrange on a slightly greased baking tray.Brush with the egg yolk and milk mixture and sprinkle sesame seeds and black seeds liberally.Bake in a a preheated oven of 350 degrees F until golden in color,to obtain crunchy cookies.


3/4 cup sultanas
2 cups corn flakes
3/4 cup roasted flaked or crushed almonds/peanuts
1/2 cup finely chopped glace cherries/tutti fruity pieces
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

Combine sultanas,corn flakes,peanuts/almonds,cherries and condensed milk in a bowl.Mix Well.Place the mixture on a baking paper lined tray.Make diagonal lines.Bake in moderate oven about 10 minutes or until slighlty browned and cool on trays to obtain diamond shapes.Store in an air tight box.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Summer Quenchers

Here are a few summer drinks,two of them traditional Indian drinks to keep cool throughout the hot weather.In the picture, left to right Saffron Sherbet,Pinacolada,Tropical Sunshine and Lassi

Saffron Sherbet:
500 ml milk
1 tsp saffron
100 ml sweetened,condensed milk
4-5 peppercorns
15 almonds soaked and skinned
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 cardamom pods
a few unsprayed organic rose petals
crushed ice

Boil milk and add the saffron while its hot to infuse the color and let it cool.In the meantime blend the almonds, fennel and cardamom pods to a smooth paste.Now add the rest of the ingredients except the rose petals and blend well.Sieve the liquid.Now fill up individual glasses with crushed ice upto 1/4 th level and add the sherbet sprinkle with rose petals and serve.You could use silver or stainless steel glasses to give that traditional Indian touch.

1 cup yoghurt
2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup crushed ice

Blend all ingredients in a mixer till frothy.Serve in chilled glasses.As an option, you can add 2 tbs mango pulp to make a mango flavored lassi.

Tropical sunshine
1/2 carrot chopped
2 cups pineapple juice
1/4 cup apple chopped
1/2 banana
1/4 lemon wedge
4 orange segments
1 tsp raisins
1 tsp salted cashew and pistachio nuts
1 slice of cucumber
1 slice of green pepper
6 ice cubes

Blend carrot into smooth paste add the pinepple juice and other ingredients and blend further while adding the ice cubes one at a time till a smooth liquid is obtained.If the liquid is too thick add pineapple juice or ice to thin it.

Pina Colada
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 cup pineapple juice
few pineapple chunks
ice cubes

Mix the coconut cream with pineapple juice and crushed ice cubes in a mixer.Fill tall and chilled glasses with the juice, add some finely chopped pieces of pineapple.Decorate the glasses with pineapple slices.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vegetable Dum Biryani

Ÿ As the name suggests this is a biryani made for people who love eating vegetarian food.The term dum defines a particular style of cooking a covered dish on low heat for a long duration.It is said that during the early eighteenth century, continuous onslaught of famines and draughts left the people starving for food and then the royals of Avadh threw open their royal kitchens for the starving common man.A variety of grains, meats and vegetables were cooked together in huge earthen cauldrons or pots along with a number of spices, after being sealed with flour dough over a slow fire.This gained so much popularity that it went on to evolve into a complete new style of cuisine known as the Avadhi cuisine.In fact this cuisine’s secrets and techniques were inherited by chefs from their ancestors and you are lucky if your local restaurant boasts of a chef who acquired the trade secrets from his great great grandfather who served the Avadhi Royals.After trying this biryani if you do like this dum style of cooking then locate a restaurant serving Avadhi cuisine near you.This blog will feature lot of dum style dishes in the future.

Ÿ Ingredients:
200 gms frozen mixed vegetables or 2 cups mixed veg like carrots,beans peas
400 gms basmati rice
2 Boiled potatoes (quartered)
2 tomatoes quartered
5 tbs ginger garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbs coriander powder
200 gms yoghurt
½ cup oil
A few strands of saffron soaked in warm milk
A Handful of mint and coriander leaves
3 onions finely sliced
Salt as required
Whole spices:
3-4 pods of green & black cardamom,
3 cloves
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 tsp caraway seeds(shahi zeera)
2 green chillies slit lengthwise

Method: Heat half of the oil from the above mentioned quantity and then add the finely sliced onions and green chillies when they turn golden brown add the ginger garlic paste, saute for a minute, add the vegetables and keep stirring till the vegetables are well coated with the rest of the ingredients.Now add the yoghurt,coriander powder and garam masala.Add 1 cup water lower the flame and let it cook for sometime and turn off the flame.Now take another sauce pan add enough water to cover the rice in 1:4 ratio(you guessed it right- the water is of higher ratio)add the whole spices and keep it for boiling, when it is bubbling, add the rice that has been washed and soaked for 15 minutes. Now add salt and when the rice is three -fourth done drain in a collander.Take the pan in which you have cooked the vegetables add some of the mint and coriander leaves, the boiled potatoes, and tomatoes now place the rice over the vegetables,add the remaining mint and coriander leaves,drizzle with lemon juice and saffron-milk.Add the remaining oil on top, cover with foil or you can knead some flour dough into a pizza like disc to cover the pan and seal the edges then cover with a lid and let it cook for 15 minutes on a low flame till done.Serve with yoghurt raita.

To make raita:1 cup yoghurt; one finely sliced red onion;one tomato finely chopped;1 green chilly deseeded and finely sliced;3-4 mint leaves chopped finely; a pinch of crushed black pepper,and salt as required.Beat yoghurt with a spoon or fork add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.Add a few drops of lemon juice and some chopped cucumber for that extra zing.To make it visually appealing you can serve the raita in a halved tomato which has been kept in a freezer for a few minutes to firm it up after scooping out the pulp.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hyderabadi,Kachchi Goshth(lamb)Biryani

Biryanis have originated in Persia but they got perfected in India,with the addition of an array of spices locally available.There are a variety of biryanis but the Hyderabadi kachchi biryani beats them all.However, if you happen to be in this city of pearls don't ever leave without sampling some in Persis or restaurants in the old city full of the old world charm.If you like making one remember that making biryani is like peeling the different layers of an onion each layer revealing a new facet.All you have to do is listen, feel and smell and in doing so understand what the ingredients are trying to tell you.You will never get it right with the first attempt, you have to keep on learning from each of your attempts, till you reach to your idea of that perfect one you tasted, unless, you are a genius or simply lucky.


1 kg shoulder or leg portion of lamb cut into 3''-4 ''inch pieces
750 gms of high quality basmati rice( IndiaGate)
5-6 onions finely sliced
5-6 tbs of ginger - garlic paste
1 tbs garam masala
3 green chillies slit
2 cups yoghurt
3 -4 cloves
1 inch cinnamon
3-4 pods of green cardamom
3-4 pods of black cardamom
1 tbs of shah zeera/ caraway seeds
a bunch of mint and coriander leaves
a tsp each of rose water and kewra(screw pine)water(optional)
a slice of green papaya(unripe)/tenderizer(only if using lamb)
2 tbs dhanya powder
juice of 1-2 large lemons
1/2 cup milk
a pinch of saffron
salt as required
1 -2 cups Oil for deep frying
3 tbs oil or ghee for assembling biryani

Make sure you buy the best quality tender lamb. On a lighter note you need to invest sometime with your butcher.Marinate the lamb overnight after cleaning and trimming the fat(most people prefer to leave it in as it adds to the taste)with the blended paste of half the mint,coriander leaves, two chillies and papaya slice, then add the ginger-garlic paste,coriander powder, garam masala and yoghurt and mix well to infuse the flavors, don't forget to add the salt and taste the marinade, it should be slightly salty.Keep the marinated lamb in the refrigerator and take it out only an hour before assembling the biryani.Heat oil and deep fry the onion slices till golden brown remove onto a plate lined with absorbent tissue.

Wash and soak basmati rice for half an hour and drain the water.In the meantime boil water in a pan with the whole spices(cinnamon cloves, cardamoms), caraway seeds,one green chilli deseeded,some basil and rose mary if you don't have the rose water or kewra water,some mint and coriander leaves and some salt.While its boiling hot add the rice and remember the water should be double or triple the portion of rice.Now comes the real test draining the rice at that perfect time, don't worry it will come with experience.The rice should be two thirds cooked, now drain the rice in a collander and reserve one and half cups of the drained water to add to the mutton.

Take a thick bottomed pan in which to assemble the biryani.Arrange the marinated lamb pieces along with the marinade in the pan.Now crush the fried onions(birishtha) with your hand( reserving a tbs) and add to the lamb, mix well, add half the oil left over from frying the onions it should be no more than a cup.Add a cup of the drained water,arrange the rice in one layer over the meat.Now sprinkle some mint and coriander leaves, (some kewra and rose water which is optional)lemon juice, and saffron soaked in warm milk in a circular motion above the rice.Dot the rice with the 3 tbs of ghee or oil,the remaining half cup of water(obtained from draining the rice) and finally sprinkle the reserved deep fried crushed onions.Cover with aluminium foil and then place a tight lid or alternatively you can make a dough with wheat flour and seal the lid edge with the dough.Place the pan on high heat for five minutes and then cook on a very low flame for 45 minutes.The biryani is ready now and you can serve with a raita of your choice.

The second picture is that of the biryani cooking in the pan.You can make the same with chicken but reduce the cooking time to 20 mins.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hara Murgh (chicken cooked in a green gravy)

As the name suggests succulent pieces of chicken are cooked in a gravy of bell pepper,green coriander and mint with a hint of yoghurt and cream.The outcome is amazing and nutritious.To make this dish low calorie add skimmed yoghurt and omit the cream if you wish.Also, as all the dishes on this blog are sufficient to serve four people,the three or four tbs of oil as the usual count does not add too many calories, while making it for one person you can reduce the oil further to lessen the calories.Make sure your portions of carbs like rice or bread are in control.

500gms chickenbreasts cut into pieces
1 cup yoghurt
a cup of green coriander leaves
a cup of mint leaves
2 green bell peppers
4 onions chopped finely
3 -4 tbs oil
2-3 tbs fresh cream
2 green chillies
2 tbs tomato paste or puree
2 inch piece fresh ginger
5 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbs coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt as required
1/2 cup water

Procedure: Clean and wash chicken pieces.Blend ginger, garlic,green chillies, coriander, mint, yoghurt, bell pepper,into a smooth paste.Marinate the chicken pieces with this paste and refrigerate for an hour.Heat oil in a pan, saute the onions till they turn golden brown,add the turmeric, chilli powder,coriander, salt and tomato paste, saute for a few minutes.Now add the marinated chicken pieces with the marinade.Lower the flame,add the garam masala and let it cook for sometime with a lid.You can add the half cup water now and simmer further till the chicken is cooked and the oil separates, and the gravy thickens.Add the cream, simmer for an extra minute and turn off the flame.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Hurrah for April, no I'm not talking about April fools day.I am simply welcoming April.The summer is round the corner in India and boy, I miss India especially since its still windy and chilly in my part of the world.What do I remember ...crisp cotton sarees, beads of sweat on the brows,the koel(cuckoo)lilting into sweet melodies atop the mango trees as if singing a lullaby for the fruit to ripen and grow sweeter, the crows clamouring for attention, screeching parrots.The heat and the sugarcane juice,lassi,buttermilk,the beach in my city and of course the heady scent of jasmine strung on threads.Powercuts and chitchats on terraces and not to forget the election sensibly fellow citizens.I miss you my darling India and above all my city..Vizag .I hope to blog some lovely recipes featuring mangoes, summer drinks and not to mention some sweet indulgences.Bon appetit! and keep visiting my blog, also, send me your emails and keep up your comments.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Easy Egg Curry

Jyotsana had asked me for an easy egg curry and here I'm posting one.This egg dish is known as Derwaishi andey(eggs) in my in-laws home.As a new bride when I had been over to their place, shortage of a dish at dinner time had them discussing about making this recipe.As the name had a great feel to it, I had imagined it would be some special and lavish dish coming up, only to realize that it was a humble egg curry nevertheless it was so delicious.Later on, my husband told me about the reason behind its name.In his childhood, they had a neighbour in whose kitchen this dish was frequently made and sent over to their home,so from that time on, my mother-in-law had called this by his name -Derwaishi.When I am tired and don't feel like cooking, my husband sometimes makes this dish for me and it's very yummy.

2 eggs
4 onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
3 green chillies slit lengthwise
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
salt as required
2 tbs oil
1 cup water
spring onions and green coriander chopped

Method: Take a wok or a flat pan, add the oil and when its warm, add the onions, chillies and tomatoes, keep sauteing on a low flame till the onions turn translucent. Add the turmeric, chilli powder and salt along with half to one cup of water and simmer on low flame till the onions are well cooked and soft.Now break the eggs and add it to the pan don't stir the eggs as they have to cook in the natural shape they take in the pan.All the while, take care to keep the flame low add the spring onions and coriander.When the eggs are cooked and sit firm on the onion gravy,you can turn off the flame and serve hot.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chicken Korma

If you like plenty of gravy to go with your rice or bread dishes this is an excellent choice.Kormas have a creamy yoghurt base while some also include rich paste of nuts like almonds and cashews to increase the consistency of the dishes.You can make this korma with either lamb or chicken.This one does not require almonds or cashews.You can use a variety of breads, naans paranthas, or even Arabic Khubs to mop up the gravy.I have used boneless chicken breasts to lower the calories and chicken breasts are known to be rich in thiamine, niacine and iron minus the fat.

500 gms chicken
4 onions sliced
1 cup yoghurt
3 green chillies slit lengthwise
3 tbs ginger-garlic paste
1 tbs coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 tbs oil
a few mint and coriander leaves
salt as per your taste

Method: You can use either boneless or meat with the bone,trim fat and wash the meat clean. Now marinate it with turmeric, chilli, salt, coriander powder, green chillies and ginger-garlic paste.Mix well with your hand to infuse the flavours into the chicken.Now add the sliced onions to the oil in a thick bottomed pan and saute till golden brown add the marinated chicken pieces.Lower the flame and carefully add the beaten yoghurt stirring continously with the other hand to avoid the yoghurt from curdling.It should blend well into the chicken.Add the garam masala and let it cook till the chicken is soft and succulent.The yoghurt should form a thick gravy and colour should turn a rich golden yellow.Add the mint leaves and coriander leaves and turn off the flame.If you are using the mutton the procedure is same except that you add the yoghurt after the lamb pieces have been cooked to tenderness with the marinated spices and a cup of water.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fish In coconut gravy

This is inspired by Goanese and Kerela style of cooking fish.As you know the coast is synonymous with abundance of coconuts the locals all over the coast of India use coconut to add a zing to their fish dishes.For all you fish lovers there are a few essentials you can't do without while cooking fish ...carrom seeds(ajwain,vamu)which when added to fried fish makes it absolutely delicious, and there is coconut,mustard paste(sarson,rai,avalu) and cumin powder(zeera).Sea food is absolutely healthy,so go ahead and indulge in your seafood cravings.

1 kg-Thick slices of fish(surmai,vanjaram,kingfish)
2 cups freshly grated coconut
2 tbs vinegar
1/2 lemon
1/2 tbs turmeric powder
2 tsp chilli powder
2 green chillies
3 tbs oil
1 tbs dhanya powder
1 tsp cumin powder
a pinch of fenugreek seeds
3 tomatoes finely chopped
4 onions finely chopped
a few curry leaves
coriander leaves for garnish
salt to suit your taste
2 tbs ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala

Method: Clean fish and marinate in vinegar,lemon juice ,turmeric and chilli powder with some salt in a non metallic bowl.Grind coconut with green chillies and also blend tomatoes into a paste.Heat oil and fry onions till golden brown add the curry leaves,ginger-garlic paste and the coconut paste along with tomatoes, coriander powder, garam masala and let it cook for a few minutes.Add the fish gently, don't stir as fish may break. Now, add cumin and pounded fenugreek powder.As water seeps out of the fish you may not need any more but if the curry appears dry you can add half a cup of water.Let it simmer gently till the fish is cooked and oil separates and the curry reddens and thickens, add any more salt if required.Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or roti.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Khatti Dal

Khatti Dal

½ cup tur dal(Pigeon Lentils)
2 tomatoes chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 green chillies
1 cup tamarind extract
Some coriander leaves chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 2 red chillies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds a few curry leaves
1/2 onion sliced 2 cloves garlic crushed
A pinch of asofoetida 2 tsp oil for seasoning

Pressure cook tur dal along with tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves turmeric and chillipowder for three whistles.After it cools off remove lid and mash the dal well.Then add tamarind extract and salt and return to stove.Let it boil well, add a few curry leaves reserving few for the seasoning.Add a little extra water to the dal as it should have a thick soup like consistency.Heat a little oil in a kadai or pan add the ingredients listed under seasoning let them turn a little reddish in colour releasing their aroma.Now add this to the dal and serve.

Goshth (Mutton) Fry

Goshth Fry (Mutton Fry)

This is a popular dish cooked in most muslim households in Andhra Pradesh and it’s a dry and well flavoured spicy fry and goes well with Khatti Dal (Pappu Charu) which is a kind of no fancy Sambar made with Tur Dal(arhar/kandi pappu) well blended in a tangy tamarind paste and tomatoes and tempered with mustard cumin and curry leaves. Khatti Dal and Goshth fry is a great combination with rice and you can never go wrong with this one

Ingredients: ½ kg tender lamb cut into cubes
5 tbs ginger garlic paste
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbs coriander powder
1tsp garam masala
½ cup oil
Salt 1tbs or to suit your taste

Method: Trim the fat and wash the lamb cubes in a glass bowl mix the cubes with ginger garlic,chilli and turmeric powder,2 tbs oil, and salt .Mix well transfer it into a wok or kadai add one cup water and cook till meat is tender keep adding water if it dries up till the meat is cooked. Alternatively you can cook it in a pressure pan for four to five whistles, and let it cool, remove lid and return the pan to the stove. Add the remaining oil and garam masala and keep tossing from time to time, till the masala sticks to the meat pieces and there is no water left. Sprinkle a pinch of chilli powder, give it another minute and put off the flame.Garnish with coriander and serve.It is excellent with roti or steamed rice.

Shikampur Kabab

Shikampur Kabab

These kababs are believed to have originated in Lucknow but they have been made popular in the kitchens of Hyderabad.Literally translated Shikampur means stuffed belly
and these delicious kebabs have a stuffing of yoghurt, onion and chopped coriander.

Ingredients: For the kebabs
½ kg lean boneless mutton
A fistful of chanadal(Bengal gram)
2 inch piece of ginger
10 garlic cloves
1 tbs coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp chilli powder
Half tsp turmeric powder
Salt to suit your taste
Oil for shallow frying

For the stuffing:
2 tbs thick/hung curds
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tbs green coriander finely chopped
Salt to taste

Method: In a pressure pan add all the ingredients listed for kebabs with a tbs oil and 1 cup water and pressure cook for four whistles till meat is tender and completely dry. Now blend all the ingredients in a mixer without any water, or you can add a few tsps a little at a time if its too dry and grinding the paste is difficult. Now add salt and mix well. It should have a soft, dough like consistency. In the meantime mix all the ingredients listed under stuffing and keep aside. Make a flat ball like shape with the kebab dough and now add a little stuffing and cover it with another flattened round ball and pat till it forms a full rounded ball and flatten it on the top. Shallow fry in oil.Serve as a starter or accompaniment to a meal. You can also add two kebabs in pita bread or rumali roti and roll it along with onions lettuce and tomato to form an excellent meal.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Khichdi Kheema and Khatta(Rice and lentil dish accompanied with minced lamb curry and a sesame seed gravy)

This is an absolute nutritious and complete meal and every Hyderabadi will swear by it.Born out of a desire for a perfect brunch on those lazy weekend mornings when one gets up late,it is easy to prepare and must be accompanied with pickles and papad.Try it out for a weekend lunch and be prepared for extra kisses and hugs from the family.It can also be paired with an egg bhurji(scramble) done up in onions tomatoes and chillies in place of the kheema (lamb mince)and you have a dazzler in recession times.
Ingredients: 1 cup basmati or long grained rice, 1/3 cup of moong and or masoor dal,1&1/2cups water,3 tbs oil, 3 tbs ginger -garlic paste,2 onions sliced, 2 green chillies slit,1/3 tsp turmeric ,some mint and coriander leaves(pudina-koth meer/hara dhanya) salt to taste.

Method:Warm oil in a deep pan add onions and chillies saute till they turn translucent,add the ginger-garlic paste,pudina leaves,now add the dals and rice saute for some more time and add water along with turmeric and salt.Cover and cook but take care to remove lid while its boiling and then reduce flame to sim till the water begins to dry and the rice is cooked.Now garnish with the coriander leaves.It should take about 15 minutes.

Kheema: 1/2 kg lamb kheema, 4 onions chopped finely,3 green chillies chopped,one tomato chopped, 3tbs ginger -garlic paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric,1 tsp red chilli powder, 4 tbs oil, 1/2 tsp garam masala powder,1tbs coriander powder, green coriander leaves for garnishing.

Method: Clean the mince, trim fat wash and keep in a glass bowl now add to this all the above ingredients except oil, garam masala and reserve a few coriander leaves for garnish.Mix well and then warm the oil in a thick vessel add this keema mixture and saute for 5 minutes and let the water dry up now add 2 cups of water and let it cook till the keema is tender.You can add more water if the minced meat is a little tough.Garnish with coriander.Alternatively you can cook in a pressure pan for three whistles and once the steams out you can leave it on to simmer to dry up the water.Adding potatoes and green peas is optional while cooking the keema.
Khatta is an interesting take on the Andhra dish called pachchi pulusu except that it is modified with the addition of sesame seed (til/nuvvulu/)paste.I have further modified it by adding a few peanuts to the sesame seeds and then making a smooth paste.You can omit it if you wish.

Ingredients:A medium tomato sized ball of tamarind ,1 cup water, 1 tbs each of sesame and
peanuts roasted and blended into a smooth paste,1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 onion and 2 green chillies chopped finely.Salt to taste,2 tsp oil and a pinch of turmeric and red chilli powder.

Method: Extract tamarind juice by soaking it in the cup of water.Toast the cumin seeds in the oil and add to the tamarind extract add the salt, turmeric and chilli powder.Mix well.Now add the blended paste add the chopped onion and green chillies.Mix well and serve.