Monday, March 31, 2008

Taiji's RAAN

Meet Krishna Jaitly. She's actually my friend Aditi's Taiji, not mine, but I grew up knowing her as TAIJI. Sitting next to her on the right is TAUJI! I grew up eating many wonderful meals with Taiji and Tauji and the rest of Aditi's extended family in Delhi.

Taiji makes the best mutton RAAN! SO if you're craving to eat Raan, it really is very easy to make at home and especially if you have a recipe as easy as this one.

All measures are level
1Kg leg of lamb with fat removed & well gashed-- fairly deep gashes

1 teaspoon each ginger & garlic paste
3 teaspoons Salt
1 tsp Jeera & dhaniya powder
1 tsp Chili powder

2 medium onions grated
2 cups beaten curd

Mix all above ingredients well & rub well into meat & then marinate it in the balance
for at least 6 hours & up to 24 hours

Next fry till a deep brown (not burnt) 4 thinly sliced onions. Remove the
onions & in the same oil sauté 3 black elichi, 4 cloves, 1 stick cinnamon 5
corns of pepper& 2 bay leaves.

Remove the meat from the marinade scraping off as much of the marinade as possible & brown it along with the cloves etc. In the mean while crush the browned onions and add it to the marinade & mix well. Add the marinade to the browning meat covering it well along
with 3 to 4 green cardamoms.

Now put the meat in an oven at the lowest
temperature covered with a lid or foil. Keep turning the meat & covering it
with the cooking marinade till the meat is tender. If at this stage there is
a lot of liquid is left take the meat out & dry the liquid on an open flame,
when dry enough add the meat again warm it & serve.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I once made this egg curry along with lots of other fairly elaborate food, but its the egg curry that got the most attention and what everyone liked best ! It takes only 15 minutes to make and it is best eaten with green beans and plain rice.

Boil 6 eggs, and slice down the middle, keep aside
Heat a tablespoon of any vegetable oil, throw in a pinch of fenugreek/methi seeds
Add a pinch of cumin/ zeera seeds
Lightly fry one sliced onion ,3 slit green chillies, a few juliennes of fresh ginger
Stir till onions cook, but not brown
Add a few curry leaves
Pinch of turmeric

Blend one tablespoon of flour into 1 cup of room temperature milk and add it to the masala. Keep stirring. Add the boiled eggs.
Once it bubbles on the corners and the gravy thickens, turn it off
Add half a capful of vinegar and chopped fresh coriander as a garnish

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bengali Fish Curry

Bengali Fish Rahu curryI can't remember who gave me this recipe but amongst the many bengali fish curries I've eaten I must have really liked this one to have made a note of it ! Many more bengali recipes will follow !


1 kg. fish- Rahu is best
Grind together:
2” piece ginger
4-5 garlic pods
2 medium onions
Grind together:
2 cardamoms
2 cloves
1 piece cinnamon

2 large potatoes cut in circular halves (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons mustard oil
2 teaspoon Ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 teaspoon sugar


Clean the fish and rub with a little salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Smoke some mustard oil and fry the fish pieces lightly and keep aside.

For the Curry: Heat the mustard oil till it smokes and then lower heat.
Add turmeric and chili powder moistened with water. When it starts leaving the oil, put in the ginger, garlic and onion paste.
Keep stirring this on a low fire till the paste cooks. This should take 10 minutes. You can sprinkle water if it catches on the bottom of the pan.
Then add the cumin, coriander powders.
When the oil separates form this masala, add the bay leaves. Then add 1-½ cups of warm water and stir till the gravy becomes smooth.
If you choose to add the potatoes then add them now and cover dish. After 10 minutes, gently place pieces of fish in the gravy. Add salt and sugar.

Lastly, add the ground whole spices and 2 teaspoons of ghee.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mrs Kalgutkar's Chicken Curry

Here's another hot favourite of mine from Jennifer Mirza's Never Fail Recipe collection.

"This is the recipe of Mrs. Kalgutkar, who was from the Katkar family of Ponda in Goa. Since one of the Katkars owned the Grand Hotel in Ballard Estate, they had it on their regular menu. When Jean's daughter Anjali got married, she hosted a family dinner at the Grand Hotel -- and so naturally, the Chicken with Cashew Nuts was served that night."


1 large chicken, skinned and cut into large pieces
3 onions, chopped fine
2 tablespoons oil.

Grind to a paste the following marinade:
10 green chillies
1-inch ginger
8 flakes of garlic
Half a bunch of coriander leaves
salt to taste

Broil and grind the following garam masala:
10 cloves
4 cardamoms
15 peppers corns
2 in-inch pieces of cinnamon
½ teaspoon shah jeera
1 ½ teaspoon khus khus
1/5 of a nutmeg, grated

To prepare the coconut milk:
Grate 1 coconut. Add 1 cup of warm water and squeeze out the thick milk
To this thick milk add the ground garam masala.
Then add 2 cups of warm water to the grated and strained coconut, and squeeze out the thin milk

Wash the chicken and apply marinade and keep for I hour.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil, fry the onions till golden brown.
Then put in the chicken pieces a few at a time, and brown them well.
Then add the 2 cups of thin milk, cover the pot and let the chicken cook.
Lastly add the thick milk and put off the gas just before the curry comes to the boil.
Garnish with green coriander leaves, cashew nuts.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Aunty Lola's Jam recipes

These are from Aunty Lola, an aunt from Delhi and a great cook !

Hi Ria. I got these recipes from `The Joy of Cooking' . My copy is a really old edition - bought when Keli was a baby, and it's surprising how these measurements work so well even though our fruit must vary in size and juiciness with what you get in the States
. Anyway, best of luck.

Grapefruit, Orange and Lemon Marmalade

Take one grapefruit, three oranges (maltas here) and three lemons (nimbus here). Slice the fruit (rinds and pulp) finely removing the seeds. Measure. Add three times the quantity of water and leave it to soak for 12 hours. Bring to the boil and boil for 20 minutes. Then leave it for another 12 hours. Then add sugar in the proportion of 3:4, that is three cups of sugar to four cups of fruit. Bring to the boil again and cook until it reaches the jelly stage. (Test it by holding up the spoon, preferably a wooden one and allowing the syrup to drip off. When the drops merge , i.e. sheet off, then it is ready; or drop a little onto a plate, let it cool a minute and if it wrinkles and doesn't run, it is ready). Bottle it when it is cool. It will keep for ages and doesn't need a preservative, but if you can buy preserving sugar, you might as well use it.

Orange Marmalade Take three oranges and three lemons. Remove the seeds and cut into quarters. Add 11 cups of water and let it stand for 24 hours. Then take out the fruit and slice it up. Return it to the water in which it soaked. Then bring to the boil and cook for one hour before adding 8 cups of sugar and continuing to cook until it is ready.

Pork Masala - Coorg

Whenever I eat pork masala made like this, I am convinced that this must be the only way and the best way to cook it! I don't know of any substitute for the coorg black sauce but would love to hear from anyone who knows of any. There are a number of ways to cook pork masala in Coorg, but here's a tried and tested one from Shonali Madapa & Shabari Karumbaya

Dry Masala For Pork (prepare beforehand)
Spices part 1.
¼ kg jeera
¼ kg pepper
100 gms mustard
100 gms methi
Few cloves
cinnamon 1 inch piece
dried curry leaves

Roast all separately to dark brown and powder together

Spices part 2.
1 kg coriander seeds

Roast very dark, powder and keep separately from other masala. Keep airtight. It keeps well in the fridge.

Add 1.5 Tbsp heaped of Spices Part 1 and 2 Tbl sp of Spices Part 2 for 1 kg pork after meat is cooked.

I kg pork: Marinate with salt, chilly powder and haldi powder. Keep aside.
Wet masala: 3 big onions, 5-8 green chillies, 2” ginger, 1 tab sp jeera, 15 cloves of garlic: grind coarsely

Keep 1 cup water in the pressure cooker. When it boils add coarsely ground wet masala above. Add pork. Cook till meat is tender. Add dry masala powder, lime juice and a little bit of kacham pulli (you can try kokum as a substitute.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3 Easter Recipes

I recently contributed these easter recipes to The Bengaluru Pages for their Easter issue.
Happy Easter !

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 3 hours
Serves: 10-12

1½ kg pork, boneless
½ kg liver
2 tbsp oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp Feni, cashewnut or coconut (optional)
2 tbsp vinegar
Salt to taste Finely grind together:
4 tsp turmeric
4” piece cinnamon
1½ tsp cumin seeds
12 peppercorns
12 cloves
1 whole pod garlic cloves
2 tsp ginger paste
Seeds of 5 green cardamoms
15 Kashmiri dry red chillies
Note: Some Goan Sorpotel recipes also include pork heart and tongue, but this is completely optional and works perfectly just the same with only pork meat and liver.

1. Boil the meats for half an hour in enough water to cover it.
2. Strain and reserve the liquid.
3. Chop the meats into small cubes.
4. Heat oil, fry onions till brown. Add the finely ground masala and fry it till cooked.
Note: The masala is fully cooked when it loses the ‘raw’ aroma and the oil separates from the masala, floating on top.
5. Add this cooked masala to the reserved stock from the meat.
6. Add meats to the same pan and fry well for 15 minutes. till the fat leaves the meat. Add this also to the stock.
7. Simmer the meat for 2 hours on a low heat. Add salt, vinegar and feni.
8. Let it cool and refrigerate.
9. Heat it again the next day and add more red chilli powder if needed.
10.Serve with rice, sanas or bread.
Note: This dish is best prepared a day earlier. When the Sorpotel is kept overnight, it allows the masala to be fully absorbed by the meat, creating an unparalled Easter dish that can be kept even for a week.

Preparation time: ½ hour
Marination time: 3 hours
Cooking time: 40 mins Serves: 4-6

1 whole chicken (without the liver and kidney)
Grind together:
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder 8
cloves 2” piece
cinnamon 2 tbsp
vinegar 2 tbsp
oil 1½ cup hot water
Salt to taste

1.Wash and dry the chicken inside out. Pat dry.
2. Add vinegar and salt to the ground ingredients and rub well over chicken.
3. Marinate in a covered bowl for three hours.
4. Heat oil in a deep pan and brown the chicken on all sides over a low heat, till it’s browned on the outside.
5. Pour hot water and cook covered till chicken is tender.
6. Remove the chicken and cook the gravy till it thickens and the oil separates.
7. Put the chicken back and coat it with the gravy.

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour Serves: 6-8 people

1 kg mutton (weigh a whole leg and get it cut for a curry)
2 medium onions, finely sliced
4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled & cubed
2 tbsp oil
Grind together:
4 green chillies
2” piece cinnamon
4 cloves
2” piece fresh ginger
1 medium onion
10 peppercorns
1 tbsp tamarind, soaked and pulped
1 tsp turmeric powder

1. Cook the washed and dried mutton in 4 cups of water and salt to taste for about 40 minutes or till tender.
2. Add previously boiled, peeled and cubed potatoes.
3. Heat oil and fry the finely sliced onions till brown.
4. Add the ground masala and cook till the oil leaves the masala. Keep stirring.
5. Add the mutton pieces and the stock and simmer till the gravy is slightly thick.
6. Serve with hot Sannas

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chicken Pepper Fry - Coorg

Coorgi food is one of my favourite cuisines ! It's a distinct and unusual cuisine because their dishes are sort of tangy and spicy at the same time ! My friend Shonali and her mother Taj have shared some of their family recipes with me and I have always loved everything they cook. For those who haven't yet been to Coorg, its a fabulous and beautiful place!


1 medium sized chicken cut into pieces

1 teaspooon turmeric
1 tablespoon rice flour
Pepper 1 tbsp (ground with water)

1 large onion (sliced fine)

1 big pod garlic (peeled and crushed)

1 ½ tbsp Oil for seasoning

Grind together

¼ tsp jeera (cumin seeds)

4 – 5 cloves

8 – 9 garlic cloves

½" piece fresh ginger

a few whole small madras onions

3 – 4 slit green chillies

2 Tbsp Coriander (chopped)


Heat oil, fry garlic and onions till translucent

Add marinated chicken, fry and cover. Cook on slow fire, adding water if necessary

When chicken is cooked, add ground masala, whole onions and green chillies. Continue to cook on slow fire.

Add the chopped coriander when done

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Femina's Biryani

Some years ago I visited my friends Asif and Femina in Dubai, and Femina made this biryani. Femina is from Kasargod in Kerala and learned how to make this from her mother. She's a fantastic cook and I'll ask her to send me some more recipes which I'll soon post. This is the first biryani I had eaten with meat and vegetables in it and I loved the combination.

For Rice
3 cups Basmati rice soaked for 3-4 hours and drained
2 tablespoons ghee, or oil
1/2 cup onion:
8 cloves
6 cardamoms:
1 stick 3" cinnamon:
1/4 cup green Peas
¾ cup french beans & carrots cut lengthwise into 2 cm pieces
6 cups water
Salt to taste

For Curry
1 kg Chicken or mutton:
4 medium onions sliced
3 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
2 large tomatoes sliced
6 Green chillies ground
1 cup chopped coriandar leaves:
4 tablespoons Oil
1 teaspoon turmeric powder:
1 tablespoon Coriander powder:
2 teaspoons Pepper powder:
2 tablespoons garam masala powder or (cloves 8, cardamom 6, 2 cinnamon stick, Bay leaves 5, pepper corn 1 tsp)
1/2 cup Yogurt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon cashew nut paste or 2 tbs freshly ground coconut paste
saffron strands soaked in lemon juice or a pinch of Yellow food colour mixed in 2 teaspoons of vinegar
Salt to taste

First, you have to make the rice. Heat the oil/ghee and mildly fry the sliced onion pieces. Add rice at this point. (Make sure that the rice is completely dry.) After couple of minutes, add all other ingredients, including water. When the water boils, reduce the flame. It might take some 20 minutes. Cover and keep warm.

For the curry, heat the oil. Add onion, green chilly, ginger and garlic. Stir thoroughly till the masala browns. Add tomato, turmeric powder, coriander and pepper. Stir on a high heat for 5 minutes. Add the chicken/mutton. Reduce the flame. Cook for 15 minutes. Add yoghurt, cashew nut paste, lime juice and garam masala powder. Cook for 15 minutes (Make sure that the meat is cooked.) Add coriander leaves. Make sure that the curry is in a pasty and thick consistency.

Take a bigger pot and put some oil at the bottom. Add a third of the cooked rice. Sprinkle saffron water (or yellow food colour mixed in vinegar) and some coriander leaves on the rice layer. Add a third of the curry, and add half of the remaining rice. More saffron water and coriander. Add the remaining portion of curry. The remaining rice must be the top layer. Cover the pot with aluminum foil. Put the whole thing in the oven (350 F) and wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Biryani is done! While serving, you can sprinkle fried cashew nut and raisins on top.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Aunty Manty's Breakfast

Here's an e-mail I got from Jennifer Mirza about Aunt Mary, called Aunty Manty by her kids.

Aunty Manty's Breakfast - best enjoyed on a rainy day!

It's raining cats and dogs, there's no way one can even go for a morning walk, and so I decided make the most of it by treating myself to what my children used to call

The Aunty Manty Breakfast!
What, you may ask, is that? Well, when Aunt Mary made her annual visits to Mumbai in the mid-80s, she used to love to come up from the empty flat on the 1st floor of the Nair Road mansion, and and see what was cooking on my floor upstairs! Our kids used to wait for her visits, as she had a magical way of making the ordinary taste extra-ordinary. This was the break fast she could quickly whip up for them before they rushed off to school.
2 eggs, fried sunny side up, in a teflon pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and wait for the "side dish" to get readied.
Side Dish
2 teaspoons oil
4 flakes of garlic, each slit in half
1 large onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced thick
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 green chilles slit down the centre
A walnut size ball of Gur (molasses), grated or crushed
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
While the eggs are frying on low heat in a covered teflon pan, take another pan, heat oil, then add the garlic flakes and fry for a minute. Next put in the onions and saute till soft and light brown, Next add the tomatoes and fry for another minute. Lastly add the salt, red chilli powder, slit green chillies and gur and cook for 2 minutes till the gur melts to form a nice light red sauce. Take off the stove and sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with buttered toast and a large cup of coffee.
What a simple breakfast -- yet so delicious!
I bet our parents' never thought we would remember them so fondly long after they had passed away. I'm glad I prove them wrong, over and over again!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ripe Mango Curry- Mangalorean Style

This recipe is from Jennifer Mirza, a friend who has terrific recipes but hates to cook herself. She put together a collection of recipes called NEVER FAIL RECIPES to make the task of putting together a meal simple and hassle free. The result is that there's always great food on the table because of all these never fail recipes Jennifer has collected from friends and family.

12 small fibrous mangoes

6 red kashmiri chillies
4 pepper pods
2 tsp of garlic paste (6 cloves garlic)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 onion chopped fine
200 gms gur (molasses)

1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Peel the mangoes and put them in a casserole with 5 cups of water. Grind the masala and add it to the mangoes along with the gur chopped up into small blocks. Bring to a boil, cover the dish and lower the flame, and let it cook for haf an hour or till the mangoes are soft and the gravy is thick.
In a separate small pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, let them splutter, add garlic and cook for a few seconds and add this to the mango curry.

Serve with steamed white rice and papad !