Friday, October 31, 2008

Doi Maach, Fish in Curd, A recipe from Bengal

Doi Maach, Fish with Curd, Recipe from BengalMy mother often makes this curry at her home in Delhi. The CR Park fish market is a 10 minute walk away and the fish used for this curry called "rahu" is always available.

There are so many ways to make doi maach but this is Chitra Ghose's recipe and my favourite one so far.

1/2 kg pieces of Rahu
1/2 Tablespoon mustard oil for frying the fish
1/2 teaspoon each of red chilli powder, turmeric and salt to rub on fish pieces.

2 tablespoons ghee
1 bay leaf
2 cloves, 2 green cardamom, 1 small piece cinnamon coarsely ground in a mortar pestle
1 medium onion chopped fine
2 medium onions blended into a paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 cup curd blended with 1 cup water at room temperature
pinch of sugar
6-8 slit green chillies


Rub the fish pieces with a little red chilli, turmeric and salt. Set aside 10-15 minutes.
Fry them in hot mustard oil till slightly brown.
Drain and keep aside.

Heat ghee, add bay leaves and the coarsely ground whole spices- cloves, cinnamon and cardamom
Immediately, add the sliced onions and fry till soft and a bit brown.
Add the onion paste, ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle water if the masala catches.
Pour the blended curd into the pan and stir. Add salt and a pinch of sugar.
Add slit green chillies.
Layer the fish gently into pan and simmer for 10-12 minutes or till fish is done and oil comes to the top.

Best eaten with hot rice and baingan and/or kaddu bhaja ( grilled brinjal and pumpkin)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mutton Curry with Coconut Milk, A recipe from Tamil Nadu

mutton curry with coconut milk, recipe from Tamil NaduThis recipe is from one of my favourite recipe books called Aharam, Traditional Cuisine of Tamil Nadu, by Sabita Radhakrishna. I have featured another recipe from this book here.
While freshly made coconut milk will always work best, I have used Dabur coconut milk tetrapacks the thin milk, I use half the required quantity diluted with warm water. You can also make this recipe with chicken.

1 Kg mutton
1 cup curd
2 large coconuts/ 2 packets Dabur coconut milk

2 Tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter
5 cloves
5 green cardamoms
2 (1" piece cinnamon)
3 large onions chopped fine
2 teaspoons chilli powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
salt to taste

Clean and wash mutton. Marinate with cup beaten curd.
Grate the coconuts and extract 2 cups thick milk and 1 1/2 cups thin milk
Heat the ghee and oil together in a pressure cooker. Add the whole spices coarsely crushed in a mortar and pestle.
Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli -coriander-turmeric powders and fry together on a low heat for 5-8 minutes.
Add the marinated meat and fry till the oil rises to the top.
Add the thin coconut milk or diluted dabur coconut milk to the meat and the salt and pressure for 15 minutes.
After the pressure cools add the thick milk and simmer till the curry becomes thick and golden coloured.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Horse Gram Lentil Soup

Horse Gram Lentil Soup, Vegetarian This recipe is my version of a simple horse gram lentil soup and not the traditional Andhra recipe known as Ulava Chaaru. Horse Gram is rated as one of the most nutritious lentils known for its low glycemic index and positive effects on people with high blood pressure. I first ate a version of this soup made by Aji Joseph, a chef who works in Chennai.

1 cup horse gram lentils
3 cups water
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped beans
salt to taste
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped

1. Wash and boil lentils with salt in a pressure cooker on a medium to high flame. I have a small pressure cooker and gave the lentils 5 whistles and this took 20 minutes
2. In a separate pan, heat oil, add garlic and onions and stir.
3. Add carrots, beans and then the tomatoes. Add the lentils and all the water to the pan.
4. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or till desired consistency.

Some other vegetables that will be nice for this soup are pumpkin, cabbage, and turnips.

A Simple Mutton Curry

mutton curry from Delhi, North Indian goat meat curryI made this dish the other day for my brother Rishad who loves mutton curry. He calls this kind of a curry - "dark brown mutton curry from Delhi". Its a very North Indian way of cooking mutton and best with hot chapatis (which are a whole wheat unleavened bread from India).

750 grams-1Kg meat
4 Tablespoons beaten curd/ yoghurt/dahi
1 Tablespoon kashmiri red chilli *
1 teaspoon cumin/jeera seeds
4 Bay leaves/ Tej patta
4 black cardamoms
2 inch piece of cinnamon
5 cloves
salt to taste
3 tomatoes grated or blanched and chopped with the skin removed
2 tablespoons oil
Fresh coriander leaves

Grind together:
4 medium onions
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon garlic

Whisk curd and mix in the kashmiri dry red chilli. Marinate the meat in this curd mixture for 3-4 hours.
Coarsely grind the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and cumin seeds in a mortar pestle.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker pan, add the coarsely ground whole spices mentioned above. Add the onion-ginger-garlic mixture.Fry till brown.
Add the marinated meat and salt to taste, and fry till the meat changes colour and the marinade liquid dries up.
Add tomatoes and cook. Once the tomatoes have fried well, add 3 cups of hot water if you want a gravy for rice and 2 cups if you want slightly thick gravy to eat with chapatis/rotis .
Once the hot water is added, put the pressure on and cook for 15 minutes.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

* Kashmiri red chilli is easily available in stores. It adds a deep red colour and is proportionately less chilli hot than other red chilli powders available.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Shami Kababs

Shami Kababs, mince meat pattiesThe past week has been a shami kabab bonanza, with birthdays and parties where this is a favourite appetizer. I try and keep a bunch in the fridge to eat with rice and dal sometimes too.
Some shami kabab recipes will have a filling in the centre of chopped onions, green mint and coriander and other condiments but this is an easier version with everything thrown in to the minced meat mixture- just as delicious !

1/2 kg mince meat
1 cup chana dal/split bengal gram lentils
4 cloves
3 cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
4 dry red chillies
4-6 peppercorns
1 onion sliced
1 heaped teaspoon garlic
1 heaped teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric / haldi
1/2 teaspoon coriander/dhania powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin/jeera powder
salt to taste
2 tablespoons approximately of chopped coriander/dhania leaves
2 Tablespoons of chopped mint/pudina leaves
3 chopped green chillies
juice of half a lime
1 egg

1. Wash and soak the chana dal for 15 minutes. Wash and strain mince. Put it in a heavy bottomed vessel and add the chana dal and 2 cups of water.
2. Add the sliced onions, garlic, ginger, cloves, red chillies, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste.
3. Cook covered on a medium flame for 30 minutes, keep stirring every now and then.
4. Cook further till the water dries up and the meat leaves a little of its natural oil. Lower flame and keep stirring so that the meat mixture doesn't stick.
5. Turn off and leave to cool. Grind the mixture in batches. Add finely chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, and green chillies. Add lemon juice and one egg and mix it all up.
6. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
7. Shape into small patties, and shallow fry in hot oil leaving them at least a minute on one side in frying pan on medium heat.