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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Chicken Chataang

At least that's what my mother calls her buzzy, tangy, spicy masala chicken. She sent me a photo yesterday and I had to have the recipe!

In her words:
Marinate small pieces (say half a kg) of bone-in chicken in a drizzle of mustard oil, a spoon of salt, half a spoon of turmeric and a little yogurt. Sauté a spoon of paanch phoran (mix of 5 seeds), two dried red chillies, a spoon each of ginger and garlic paste, a chopped green chilli, a small tomato and a chopped red onion in mustard oil. Add the marinated chicken pieces. Add a small spoon of jeera powder, 2/3 spoon of dhania powder and a little garam masala powder. Keep stirring to avoid burning. Add one tablespoon of ground poppy seed (paste),  a spoon of kasundi and a pinch of sugar. Keep it on flame till all masalas are dried and chicken is tender. In the end, add a little raw mustard oil. Serve hot with ginger and chilli garnish!

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Chicken Bharta

It has been just weeks and weeks of festivities! Here's an easy curry recipe to fill in the gaps with simpler meals.

Boil or pressure-cook a kg of boneless chicken thighs with a spoon of garlic, a cinnamon stick, salt, 4-5 peppercorns, and a pinch of garam masala. Drain and shred roughly using two forks to pull the meat apart. Set aside.

Heat a spoon of oil in a wok, and add two bay leaves and a cinnamon stick. Then add two finely chopped onions, a spoon each of ginger paste and garlic paste, and three chopped green chillies. Cook until the onions are translucent, then add two chopped tomatoes. Do this on low to medium heat to make sure you don't burn anything. Add a spoon each of the following: turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and tandoori masala. Add half a spoon of chilli powder. Cook this sauce until everything starts to melt together; add very small amounts of water to prevent burning and aid the coming together. Add salt to taste, and a spoon of sugar. Then add two dollops of Greek yogurt (or fresh cream if it's your cheat day) and 3 tablespoons of ground cashews. Finally add the chicken, another half spoon of tandoori masala, and a spoon of kasuri methi. Mix together (and add water if you need to) for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and boiled eggs for a Mughlai feel! Serve hot.

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!