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Monday, January 30, 2017

The Firebird

I'm still recovering from a junk-heavy holiday season, and need to shed those few extra pounds ASAP. Part of that involves going light on the carbs and heavy on the protein. Serve up a few of these spicy thighs with your favorite salad and you've got yourself a meal!

Spicy chicken thighs

Marinate five chicken thighs with a cup of yogurt, salt, a spoon of turmeric, a spoon each of ginger paste and garlic paste, a tablespoon of chilli flakes, a tablespoon of mustard oil, a spoon of chilli paste, a spoon of fennel seeds, a spoon of black cumin (kalonji) seeds, a small spoon of dry mango powder (amchur), a spoon of ground cinnamon, a spoon of ground cardamom, and a tiny splash of lime. Set aside for at least an hour (all day would be nice). Bake in the oven with its marinade (drain excess liquid occasionally) until the chicken is cooked through; I'd say 45 minutes on 190C. Serve with lime, and chopped parsley!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Masala Balls

Why, yes, I do certainly actively look for the most ridiculous names for my dishes.

Kofta Masala

Mix the following in a large bowl: half a kg of minced chicken, a teaspoon each of ginger paste and garlic paste, one egg, a cup of chopped coriander leaves, a small, finely chopped onion, two chopped green chillies, salt, a teaspoon of turmeric, a spoon each of coriander and cumin powders, red chilli powder to preference, and a pinch of garam masala. Mix and let sit for a bit.

Meanwhile, heat up oil in a wide pan for shallow frying. Make balls out of the minced meat mix and place them in the hot oil. Cover and cook with the heat on low, turning the meatballs as required. Remove when 90% cooked and set aside.

In a wok, in a tablespoon of melted butter, add just a little ginger-garlic paste, another small chopped onion and a chopped tomato. Cook together till the onion is tender. Now add a little salt, a pinch of turmeric, and a little meat masala or just garam masala. Keep adding drizzles of water to keep the mix mushy. Add a tablespoon of milk and another tablespoon of almond meal, a pinch of sugar and a little more water, to create a mushy thick paste. Add the meatballs, coat them well in the paste and cook for two minutes. Take off the heat and garnish with green chillies and coriander leaves!

Leftover tip: Use up any leftover meatball mix by coating little patties in panko breadcrumbs and deep-frying to serve as chicken cutlets later!

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Legit Mushroom

Mushroom is a legit sabzi, and here is proof!

Mushroom kadhai.

Purée two tomatoes and set aside. Heat a little oil and add to it about 250 grams of sliced mushrooms. Mushrooms release a lot of water; once it evaporates, take the mushroom out. Heat a little more oil in the same pan and add a spoon of ginger paste and a spoon of garlic paste, along with small spoon of cumin seeds and one or two broken dried red chillies. Once the seeds begin to crackle, add and sauté a finely chopped onion and half of a julienne green capsicum. Once the onion is cooked, add salt, half a spoon of turmeric, a small spoon each of cumin powder and coriander powder, and a little paprika (preferably smoked). Stir together, then add the puréed tomatoes. Mix well till the mixture starts to really come together. If I'm having people over for dinner, I'd add a spoon of cream or full-fat milk at this point to introduce some creaminess in the gravy (completely optional). Add the mushrooms and sprinkle a generous spoonful of kasuri methi onto it. Cook for two more minutes and take off the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves and optionally some julienne ginger and a dried red chilli.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Haleem

Here's a dish I've been meaning to try for a while! Mutton haleem in all its glory.

Before you start, soak a cup of bulgur (wheat) in some water for at least an hour, and boil till soft. Similarly, soak a cup of chana dal for an hour and boil and mash. Set both aside.

Heat two spoons of ghee in a thick-bottomed pan, and add to it a sliced onion, a chopped green chilli, and a spoon of garlic paste. Once the onions are cooked, add salt, turmeric, a spoon of coriander powder and a spoon of cumin powder, along with a spoon of red chilli powder. Add half a kg of boneless mutton cut into small pieces. Cook for a while. Add a spoon of garam masala. Add your boiled wheat and chana dal mash and mix well. Add water as required, and cook together till the mutton is done. I'd recommend using a hand blender to break the mutton pieces down a little because mutton will take forever to cook, and your haleem will turn darker the longer you have to cook it, which is why my haleem is so dark!

On the side, fry thinly sliced onions in ghee for garnishing. Julienne some ginger and chop a handful of coriander. Once the haleem is done, use these to garnish. Serve with naan/rice and a slice of lime! Fiery.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Pão de Quiejo

Happy 2017! Last year I had planned to make these for breakfast on New Year's Day, but my local supermarket's response to "Where is the cassava flour" is "what's that?" A year later, I managed to find tapioca starch in the Thai aisle, and here we are.

Pão de quiejo is a small Brazilian snack roll with cheese in it. This is my husband's uncle's recipe, and is meticulous and specific, and yet I barely did justice to it. Nevertheless:

Heat a cup of milk with a cup of water and 2/3 cup of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Take off the heat as soon as it starts boiling. On the side, mix two spoons of salt with two cups of cassava flour/tapioca starch. Add this to the hot liquid gradually while stirring all the time with a spatula. Once it starts to cool a little, use your hands to knead.

Once the mixture has cooled down, add two cups of grated Parmesan cheese and knead well. Now begin to add eggs. It may take up to 4-6 eggs for the dough to finally stop sticking. I added six eggs and my dough became a custard - smart - so I had to add a cup or two of dry cassava flour till the dough started looking like dough.

Preheat oven to 190C. Line a cookie tray with baking paper. Roll 1" diameter balls out of the dough and place them far apart (like cookies). Bake for 20-30 minutes (my first batch was done in 20 so do keep a watch). Enjoy them hot! Freeze the rest of the balls for spontaneous pão de quiejo whenever you like!