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Monday, October 16, 2017

The Classic Samosa

Happy Diwali to everyone that celebrates this festival full of food, firecrackers, gifts and parties! But you never need an excuse to stuff your face with samosas!

This recipe will yield about a dozen samosas.

For the stuffing, boil two medium potatoes and roughly crumble them; set aside. In a pan, heat a spoon of ghee and add cumin seeds, two chopped chillies and a teaspoon of ginger paste. Add the crushed potatoes and a half cup of peas, and a spoon of turmeric, a pinch of red chilli powder, a half spoon of garam masala, a half teaspoon each of cumin and coriander powder, a pinch of asafetida, salt to taste, and a half spoon of amchur powder. Stir together until mushy, add a half cup of chopped coriander leaves, and turn off the heat. Let cool.

For the dough, mix together two cups of maida (refined flour) with a quarter of a cup of melted ghee, a third of a cup of water, a spoon of ajwain seeds and a pinch of salt. Knead together into a smooth ball of dough.

To make the samosas, tear off a bit of dough and roll into an oval shape. Use a knife to cut the oval widthwise. Fold one half into a cone using water to bind the edges. Fill with stuffing and pinch the opening shut.

Deep fry or bake the samosas at 180 for 40-45 minutes. I baked for 25 minutes and flash-fried for a few seconds to get the texture right. Serve piping hot!

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Laukey Halwa

Desi boys and girls, 'tis the season to get fat! With festival after festival in the fall, it's so easy to fall off your low-sugar wagon, and this recipe's sole purpose is to help you back up on it. Laukey, better known as bottle gourd, or calabash, or long melon, has never tasted better!

Laukey ka halwa

(Almost exactly like gajar ka halwa

You need equal parts grated laukey (long melon) and milk; I used half a kilo of laukey and half a liter of milk. Start boiling milk in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the grated laukey to it. Boil until the milk has almost completely dried up and thickened; add about a cup of sugar or less (not more). Keep stirring until completely dried up! Optionally, add a spoon of ghee to the edges, but didn't really seem necessary. Garnish with slivered almonds, and you're done! Super easy.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Bhog

Pujo season might be over, but you don't need to wait another year for the delicious khichudi served as bhog, as my husband recently discovered! Here's his "bhog-er khichudi" recipe.

Melt 2 spoons of ghee in a pressure cooker on medium heat. Add to it 2 cardamoms, 1 broken stick of cinnamon, a dried red chilli, 2 chopped green chillies and a spoon of crushed ginger. Stir. Then add a spoon of garam masala, a spoon of cumin powder and a spoon of coriander powder and stir some more. Add a chopped tomato and stir until softened. Then add half a cup of rice and half a cup of moong dal (both uncooked) with a spoon of red chilli powder, a large spoon of turmeric, a dash of asafetida and finally a handful of fried peas. Add salt to taste and a spoon of sugar. Add water until the mixture is immersed an inch, and close the pressure cooker. Cook until done, and serve with thinly sliced round potato slices fried in mustard oil!

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Gobi Prawn

It's pujo season! If you miss home but aren't in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen, here's a quick dish that goes well with rotis!

In a very lightly oiled pan, cook two cups of prawns until no longer translucent. Take out and set aside. Add to the pan a teaspoon of mustard seeds, a couple of broken green chillies and a spoon of ginger paste, and 3 cups of cauliflower florets. Add a teaspoon of cumin powder and coriander powder each, and a spoon of turmeric, with salt to taste. Cook on low until cauliflower is cooked through. Add the cooked prawns into the pan and a half cup of desiccated coconut. Add a pinch of sugar and cook for a minute or two more before adding two spoons of chopped coriander leaves and taking the dish off the heat.

Serve hot with rotis!

Monday, September 18, 2017

The No-Carb Burger

Well, there are breadcrumbs in the frittata and it's not a burger if I don't use two frittatas, but you get it.

Grilled chicken on carrot frittatas with avocados and sriracha mayo

Grill four chicken breasts with cajun seasoning on a grill pan - 6-7 minutes on one side and 4 on the other. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix 200g of shredded carrots with two eggs, a half-cup of breadcrumbs, a large spoon or two of flour, a red chilli, thinly sliced, salt and pepper to taste, a dash of smoked paprika, a spoon of oregano, and a spoon of fresh chopped thyme. In a lightly oiled pan, spoon a dollop of this mixture on and squish to flatten into a frittata. Once the frittata starts slipping around easily in the pan, flip and cook the other side until browned. (Should make about 4 frittatas with these portions)

Combine, in a small bowl, three tablespoons of mayonnaise, a spoon of sriracha sauce, a half teaspoon of chopped garlic and a spoon of olive oil. This is your sauce.

Put the ensemble together by placing the grilled chicken on a frittata, pouring some of the sauce on the chicken, and topping with freshly sliced avocado and cayenne chilli slices. Serve!

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Kolkata Biryani

One of the first recipes I put up on this blog was of my simple chicken biryani. However, over the last two years, my husband has become so good (and faster every time he makes it) at his traditional Kolkata-style biryani (with mutton and potatoes) that his recipe deserves a biryani do-over on this blog! Arselan ain't got nothing on this biryani.

Because he likes to cook in very large quantities, this recipe is roughly for eight people. But yay for amazing work lunches from leftovers!

Soak 3 cups of basmati rice in water for 30 minutes, and then boil with about 15 cloves, a half broken cinnamon stick, 4-5 green cardamom, a spoon of ghee, with excess water. Drain the water once the rice is cooked, and remove the spices. Set aside.

Dry-roast 2 pieces of mace, a broken nutmeg, 5 cloves, less than half a cinnamon stick, 2 cardamoms, and 1 large spoon of carom seeds on low heat for 3-4 minutes and then grind into a powder. Add 3/4 of this powder to 1.5 kg of washed mutton pieces along with a tablespoon of garlic paste, 1 spoon of turmeric, and 2 spoons of red chilli powder, and set aside for 30 minutes to overnight.

Heat a little oil in a pressure cooker. Add to it 2 quartered potatoes, and salt to taste and a spoon of turmeric, and fry for a bit (don't cook through). Remove from oil and set aside. Add to the oil 3-4 chopped green chillies and a spoon of garlic and saute. Add the mutton and stir well until the mutton sheds water. Add 2 spoons of yogurt, salt to taste, and a spoon of sugar, and mix well before closing the pressure cooker for about 5 whistles. At this point, add the potatoes to the mutton and close for another 2 whistles (or until the mutton is cooked). 

While this happens, thinly slice and caramelize an onion and set aside.

In a large wok greased with ghee, add a layer of the rice, then a layer half of the mutton, then rice, then the rest of the mutton with potatoes with a sprinkle of kewra and rose water, and then the rest of the rice. On the top, add the caramelized onions. In a bowl, add a few strands of saffron to 4 spoons of milk, heat for a few seconds in the microwave, and pour it over the top of the rice. Put the lid on the wok and let the whole thing cook on very low heat for 10-15 minutes. 

Serve with raita!

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Kung Pao

... or Gong Bao? I guess it doesn't matter, as long as it's a bowl of spicy peanut-y chicken goodness that I should've tried a long time ago.

Dissolve two spoons of cornstarch in four-five tablespoons of soy sauce and a spoon or two of Chinese rice wine (or Mirin, but skip the sugar later if you use this). Toss a kg of diced chicken thighs in this mixture and set aside.

Mix together a tablespoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of hoisin sauce, a spoon of Sichuan chilli paste, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a spoon of sugar (skip if you've used Mirin), 2-3 teaspoons of sesame oil, and a spoon and a half of cornstarch. This is your sauce. Set aside.

In a wok, shallow-fry the chicken in two tablespoons of vegetable oil on high heat. Once the chicken is cooked, add three red chillies, five thinly sliced spring onions, half of a green capsicum, a spoon of ginger paste and a spoon of garlic paste, and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add the sauce and a cup of roasted unsalted peanuts, stir for another minute, and take off the heat. Garnish with spring onion greens, and serve hot with stir-fried veggies!