Thursday, March 19, 2009

Black-eyed pea soup/ Lobia Dal Soup

Black-eyed Pea Soup, Lobia Dal SoupI love lentil and bean soups. I got the idea to make this one from my friend who ate this black -eyed pea/Lobia dal soup quite often while she was on the famous Delhi based dietitian, Shikha Sharma's diet plan. She mentioned how delicious one can make it apart from it being filling and nutritious. However, this recipe is my own variation. In addition to a high protein content, black-eyed peas serve as an excellent source of calcium and are also high in vitamin A and folic acid.


1 cup black-eyed peas/ Lobia
pinch of turmeric
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 teaspoon red chilli powder/paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped spinach leaves
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup spring onions
1 cup stock or 1 soup cube dissolved in 1 cup warm water

1. Soak one cup black-eyed peas/lobia dal overnight
2. Boil in 3 cups water with salt and a pinch of turmeric/ haldi. If in a pressure cooker, 2 whistles on a high flame and 12-14 minutes on a simmered flame are enough.
3. Heat 1/2 a tablespoon of oil in a pan, add chopped onion and garlic and stir. Add 1 teaspoon red chilli powder / paprika (optional)
4. Add tomatoes and stir till they break down and cook completely.
Add the chopped carrots, spring onions, peas, spinach leaves, and stir for 5 minutes.
6. Add one cup of chicken or vegetable stock. One soup cube will do too. If using a soup cube, dissolve it in a cup of warm water and add to the pot.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Add the black-eyed peas/Lobia Dal and the water it boiled in. Boil together till desired thickness and consistency.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mutton Rogan Josh

Mutton Rogan Josh, Kashmiri Mutton DishThis recipe is an adaptation of Camellia Panjabi's recipe from the book 50 Great Curries of India. Its a combination of both the Hindu and the Muslim way to cook it. Serve with plain rice, saffron pulao or serve with hot with rotis !

1 kg mutton ( some bones)
8 cloves garlic chopped or crushed
3 teaspoons kashmiri red chilli powder
1/2 cup thick yoghurt
250 gm small onions chopped, normal onions will do too
1/4 cup ghee/ oil
4 cloves
2 large black cardamom
4 green cardamom
2 cinnamon leaves, tej patta
1 blade of mace/javitri
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon fennel / saunf powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder/ sonth
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste


1. Boil the mutton with the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 6 cups water for 30 minutes. Remove and strain. Keep stock aside.
2. Make a paste of the red chilli powder by adding a little bit of water.
3 Whisk the yoghurt, set aside.
4. Heat ghee/oil. Add onions and fry till golden brown. Add cloves, green and black cardamoms, mace coarsely ground together. Add the 2 bay leaves. Fry for a minute.
5. Add the coriander, fennel, ginger and turmeric powder and fry. Add chilli paste and a little warm water and stir.
6. Add the meat, saute till nicely coated by masala. If the masala sticks to bottom of pan keep adding a little of the stock kept aside.
7. Add whisked yoghurt and stir well.
8. Add 3-4 cups of the stock kept aside and lower heat. Cover and cook till meat is tender.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Seafood Pasta by Julia Mily

Seafood PastaPlease welcome another one of my favourite dishes! I've ordered it in so many restaurants and tasted so many variations, but this one cooked by Julia at our home was the best. I want to post many recipes of dishes made by Julia who's recently arrived from Munich for 3 months, and seems to be spending a lot of time cooking wonderful meals for us. It really should be the other way around, but we're soon going to make up for it and cook her favourite dish in India so far -Butter Chicken!

The trick to cooking this dish is that the pasta has to be done or at least almost done when you start making the seafood sauce, as once the seafood sauce is ready the pasta must go in immediately.

500 gms of mixed seafood (we had frozen shrimps, mussels, baby octopus and squid)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh garlic paste
1 stock/soup cube
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 dry red chilli or 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
3 large tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoon white wine
1 packet spaghetti

1. Cook Spaghetti in water with salt and few drops of olive oil and drain.
2. Heat the olive oil and stir in garlic. Add one dry red chilli or half teaspoon of red chilli flakes and stir for 2 minutes or so till the garlic cooks but not browns.
3. Add the seafood and stir on a high flame 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste
4. Lower the flame and add the white wine and stir.
5. Dissolve the stock/soup cube in some water and add to the dish.
6. Add tomatoes and stir. Keep tossing for 5 minutes. The tomatoes don't need to cook too much
7. Add parsley and stir.
8. Add cooked spaghetti toss thoroughly. Add more Olive oil and stir if the spaghetti is too dry.

* This dish tastes much better If you have the option of using fresh octopus, mussels with the shells on, gambas and fresh bits of sea fish.

Tuna Fish Salad

Tuna Fish SaladHere's a simple and wholesome summer salad. Potatoes added to this salad make a nice change from the regular recipes available. Serve chilled.

1 small can tuna, drained
2 medium potatoes boiled
3 fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic, chopped fine or ground
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
paprika to taste
Salt to taste


Boil the potatoes, skin and crumble into large pieces. Chop the tomatoes into large pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the tuna, onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, garlic , salt and pepper. Add the boiled potatoes and tomatoes. Mix well and refrigerate until chilled. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.

Green Masala Mutton Chops

Green Masala Mutton Chops, Mutton ChopsI bought some mutton chops from Metro Cash and Carry at a great price the other day and decided to try this recipe. Turned out fantastic and much appreciated by all at a happy Sunday lunch at the Tulls. Here's how to make this dish.

8 medium mutton chops, washed and drained
3 finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Salt to taste

Blend the following and Marinate chops in:
1 cup yoghurt/ Dahi
4 green chillies
1 teaspoon fresh garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
a pinch of turmeric/haldi
1 teaspoon roasted cumin/jeera powder
pinch of red chilli powder
1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves
1 tablespoon of mint/pudina leaves
Juice of half a lime


1. Marinate mutton chops for at least half an hour.
2. In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and fry the chopped onions till golden brown.
3. Remove 3/4 of the fried onions and keep aside for the garnish
4. Add marinated meat into pressure cooker with the remaining onions and stir for 5-6 minutes. Add the salt.
5. Close the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles on a high flame and 10 minutes on a low flame.
6. Turn the gas off and let the pressure subside.
7. Pour into a dish and garnish with the fried onions.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Clay Pot for setting Yoghurt/ Dahi

Clay Pot for setting Yoghurt, Dahi, CurdI just bought this clay pot from the Dastkari Haat Samiti bazaar that came to Bangalore for a 10 day fair held at Chitra Kala Parishad. Its from the Rajasthani terracotta pottery stall. I was told by the potters that if I thought I was setting good yoghurt/dahi at home, I didn't know how much better it could be if I set it in pot like this ! Sure enough, this mud pot for Rupees 80/- has given me the BEST yoghurt I have ever been able to set at home and it tastes delicious. My friends have since also praised the pretty clay pot and the taste of the yoghurt/dahi set in it.

The clay pot is not glazed or coloured with anything. It helps to wash it gently in water several times before using it to remove any debris.
I also find it useful to fill any clay cooking vessels with left over water in which you have cooked rice, and leave it overnight. It primes the dish and prepares it for cooking, or in this case setting yoghurt/Dahi.