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Saturday, 8 August 2020

Chicken Rezala


          This is a traditional and a very popular Bengali / Bangladeshi style fragrant chicken curry. It is cooked in a creamy and velvety yoghurt-cashew-milk based gravy. So with a mild aroma coming from the rose water and the nutty flavour from the cashew paste, this makes it a sure shahi dish and a connoisseurs delight.

           It is mildly spiced, mostly coming from the ground pepper powder and the taste is simply divine. You can also add few whole red chilies to the tempering for a bit of a heat. So check an easy step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it. 










  • 500 gms. Chicken, curry cut
  • 2 onion. blended into a paste
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cup yogurt, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1" stick cinnamon
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 8-10 cashew nuts
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tbsp. rose water
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped








           Marinate chicken with onion paste, ginger-garlic paste, yoghurt, salt to taste, cumin powder, garam masala powder and pepper powder overnight or for a minimum of 3-4 hours. Blend the cashew and milk. Keep aside. 

          Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Temper with bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Saute for a few seconds. 

           Add the chicken pieces from the marinade. Fry on a high flame for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining marinade and continue to fry for 4-5 minutes.

          Now add the milk-cashew nut paste and green chilies. Give it a stir and simmer, covered till the chicken turns soft and the gravy thickens. 

          When done, switch off the flame and add the rose water and coriander leaves. Give it a stir and serve with pulao, plain biryani, naan, tandoori roti, paratha or kulcha.




                   Marinate chicken with onion paste, ginger-garlic paste, yoghurt & all dry 
                   spices overnight or min. 3-4 hours. Blend the cashew & milk. Keep aside.



                   Heat oil & ghee. Temper with bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom & cloves. 
                   Saute for a few seconds. 



                  Add chicken pieces from the marinade. Fry on a high flame for 2-3 minutes.
                 


                               Add remaining marinade & continue to fry for 4-5 minutes.



                   Add milk-cashew paste & green chilies. Simmer, covered till chicken turns 
                   soft & the gravy thickens. 



                         When done, switch off flame & add rose water & coriander leaves. 






                      Serve with pulao, plain biryani, naan, tandoori roti, paratha or kulcha.












Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding)


          This is a very popular dessert in the Northern regions of India, especially Punjab. It is basically grated carrots, cooked with sugar, milk, khoya and cardamom powder. Due to unavailability of khoya, I used store bought milk pedas. They were a perfect substitute and gave this dessert a nice creamy texture and flavour.






           There are many ways of making this yummy dessert. Most households have their own version of this recipe. I have used a quick method by pressure cooking it first, thus reducing the cooking time. However, the real taste lies in cooking it the traditional way by simmering on a low flame.






            It can also be cooked in a microwave. To make it more healthy, opt for brown sugar and less of ghee. So enjoy this great winter delicacy on any special occasions or just as an after meal dessert.





  • 3 med carrots, grated
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 milk pedas, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • sugar to taste 
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 tbsp. chopped pistachios
  • few dry rose petals
  • 1 tbsp. rose water (opt)












           Heat ghee in a cooker and saute the carrots for 1-2 minutes on a low flame. Add milk and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.

          When cool, transfer it to a non-stick pan and keep stirring on a low flame till the moisture is reduced.

          Add the crumbled pedas, cardamom powder and sugar to taste. Continue to stir till it slightly thickens. 

          Add rose water and saffron. Garnish with chopped pistachios and dry rose petals. Serve chilled or at room temperature.







                       Garnish with chopped pistachios and dry rose petals. Serve chilled 
                       or at room temperature.
















Sunday, 2 August 2020

Pan Grilled Chicken with Sauteed Veggies


            Chicken, fried or grilled, is an all time favourite with one and all. It is perfect as an appetizer or as a light and healthy meal, accompanied with some salad. So let me share a simple and an easy pan grilled chicken recipe. 

          It is a complete and a wholesome comfort meal. Brush with some melted butter, which is purely optional and enjoy. I served with some sauteed veggies. You can add more varieties of veggies, other than what I have used. 

          A little bit of any dressing over it will tickle your taste buds. I added my own choice of yoghurt-kasundi dressing along with some labneh balls to the chicken and that went absolutely well for a light dinner. So check the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.








  • 2-3 Chicken breast
  • 2 bowl of mixed veggies. julienne
  • butter to shallow fry
  • 1/4 cup labneh 
  • 1/4  cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp. kasundi (bottled mustard sauce)


1st marination - 

  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

2nd marination - 

  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 2-3 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp/ garam masala powder








          Pound the chicken breast to make them flat and marinate with the first marination for 2 hours. Then marinate with the second marination, preferably overnight. 

          Steam the veggies till soft. Keep aside. For the sauce, mix yoghurt with mustard sauce. For the labneh balls, take a tsp. of labneh and mould them into small round shape.

          Heat some butter in a grill pan and saute the steamed veggies along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper powder, for a few seconds or till you get a nice glaze. Keep them aside. 

          Heat some more butter and pan grill the marinated chicken breast on both sides till done. 

          Serve the chicken with the sauteed veggies, labneh balls and a drizzle of the yoghurt-kasundi sauce. 




                                Pound the chicken breast to make them flat.




                                Marinate with the first marination for 2 hours. 




                           Then marinate with the second marination, preferably overnight. 









                    Heat some butter in a grill pan & saute the steamed veggies with a sprinkle
                    of salt & pepper powder, for a few seconds or till you get a nice glaze. 







                   Heat some more butter & pan grill the marinated chicken breast on both 
                   sides till done. 







                    Serve the chicken with the sauteed veggies, labneh balls and a drizzle of
                    the yoghurt-mustard sauce. 














Gutti Vankaya Fry (Stuffed Eggplant Fry - Andhra Style)


          This is a classic Andhra delicacy and a very popular dish, where baby eggplants are stuffed with a medley of aromatic spices and shallow fried. It can also be made into a curry. So both ways, it tastes just as tasty and yummy. Spicy and tangy, this appetizing side dish can be enjoyed with ghee rice, curd rice, rasam rice or any Indian bread. So check the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this flavorful dish.







           The unique blend of spices and lentils along with some garlic, fresh grated coconut and peanuts are first dry roasted (you can also saute them in a bit of oil) and then ground along with some tamarind. 

          The eggplants are then stuffed with this chatpata masala and cooked, covered, on a low flame till done. The dish turns out just lip smacking. The original recipe calls for a bit of jaggery to balance the taste. So all eggplant lovers, this is a must try recipe. 








  • 12-15 baby eggplants
  • 3-4 tbsp. oil 
  • 1 sprig curry leaves 
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste 
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida

Stuffing - 

  • 6-7 dry red chilies
  • 2-3 tbsp. coriander seeds 
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. tuvar dal 
  • 2 tbsp. urad dal
  • 3 tbsp. peanuts
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds 
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig curry leaves








          Slit each of the eggplants, keeping the stem intact. Dip them in salted water to avoid discoloration. 


           Dry roast all the ingredients for the stuffing. Switch off the flame and add turmeric powder and asafoetida. Give it a stir and keep aside to cool down. Add salt, tamarind paste and some water and grind to a paste. 

          Stuff a little of the paste in each eggplant. Heat oil in a pan and arrange the stuffed eggplants. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and cook, covered on a low flame till one side is done. 

           Gently flip them over and add the curry leaves. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and cook, covered till done. Switch off the flame and add coriander leaves. 

          Serve with ghee rice, curd rice, rasam rice or any Indian bread. 




                      Dry roast all ingredients for the stuffing.



                     Switch off flame & add turmeric powder & asafoetida. Give it a stir &
                     keep aside to cool down. 




                     Add salt, tamarind paste and some water and grind to a paste. 




                       Slit each of the eggplants, keeping the stem intact. Dip them in salted 
                       water to avoid discoloration. 



                      Stuff a little of the paste in each eggplant. 




                     Heat oil & arrange the stuffed eggplants. Sprinkle a pinch of salt & cook, 
                     covered on a low flame till one side is done. 



                      Flip them & add curry leaves. Sprinkle a pinch of salt & cook, covered
                      till done. 




                              Switch off the flame and add coriander leaves. 






                  Serve with ghee rice, curd rice, rasam rice or any Indian bread. 















Monday, 27 July 2020

Baingan Ka Dalcha


       
          This is a traditional Hyderabadi cuisine where eggplants are cooked along with tuvar dal (split pigeon pea lentil) called "Baingan Ka Dalcha." Baingan means Eggplant / Brinjal in the local lingo. There are many versions to it. It can also be cooked with Chana Dal (Bengal Gram Lentil).

          So today I have cooked with Tuvar Dal. which is a perfect side dish to pulao, biryani, plain steamed rice or Jeera Rice. It is cooked in the same way as Mutton Dalcha and kaddu (Bottle Gourd) dalcha. the two other popular Hyderabadi dishes. 

          A tempering of mustard seeds, dry red chilly and curry leaves in ghee is poured over the cooked Dalcha and served, garnished with coriander leaves. So check the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.











  • 1/2 cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentil), soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 long eggplant, chopped 
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • salt to taste 
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste mixed with 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 green chilies2
  • 2 tbsp. mint leaves, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped








           Pressure cook the dal in 2 cups water for 4-5 whistles. Whisk and keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves. After it stops crackling, add the onion and saute till light brown in colour.

          Now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute. Then add all the dry spices (except salt). Saute for a minute.

          Add the chopped tomato and fry for a minute more. Add the chopped eggplants and fry till half done. 

          Add the boiled dal. salt to taste, tamarind water, mint leaves and green chilies. Bring it to a boil and simmer till the eggplants are well cooked. 

          Check the consistency. Add extra water if more gravy is desired. When done, switch off the flame and keep aside. 
      
          Heat ghee and temper with mustard seeds and red chilies. After it stops spluttering, add the curry leaves and switch off the flame. 

          Pour this tempering on the prepared Dalcha. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with jeera rice, Plain biryani or hot steamed rice.




                    Heat oil & temper with cardamoms, cinnamon & cloves. After it stops 
                    crackling, add the onion and saute till light brown in colour.



                                Now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute. 



                                Add all dry spices (except salt). Saute for a minute.




                                 Add chopped tomato & fry for a minute more. 




                                Add the chopped eggplants and fry till half done. 



                               Add boiled dal. salt to taste,



                                tamarind water,




                   mint leaves & green chilies. Simmer till the eggplants are well cooked. 



                Heat ghee & temper with mustard seeds & red chilies. After it stops spluttering, 
                add the curry leaves and switch off the flame. 



                      Pour this tempering on the prepared Dalcha. 



                 Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with jeera rice, plain biryani or hot 
                  steamed rice.















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