Tag Archives: Indian

Nepalese Fiddlehead Ferns

Standard
I love going to the farmers market no matter where I go. So when I walked to the ferry building in San Francisco yesterday, I decided to swing by the market and pick up something for dinner. I picked up some kumquats and Lisbon lemons. I went inside the building. That building is one of my favorite places to visit, yummy baked goods, flavorful olive oils, natural soap, ice-cream, so many fun things to try. 

IMG_7694.JPG
There is a shop that is  my favorite shop, they carry different kinds of mushroom among other interesting things. I visit them every time I go there.  Today I saw some morels, ramps and fiddlehead ferns. I was so excited because I have never cooked ramps or fiddlehead before. I bought them and planned my dinner around it.
IMG_9547
Today I saw some morels, ramps and fiddlehead ferns. I was so excited because I have never cooked ramps or fiddlehead before. I bought them and planned my dinner around it.
When I started reading about it I found out that even though Fiddlehead ferns are not common across India, the northern states of India use it when in season. In Kashmir region, these are pickled as well. You cook it with some dry spices with potatoes.
In Nepal it is used as well.  I remembered that when I visited Nepal in Feb 2015, I had eaten ‘ Neuro ko Tarkari’ and I had loved it . So today I decided to make a Nepalese recipe with these fiddleheads.
Like all other Nepalese recipe, it is very easy to make and quite simple.
IMG_9540

Ingredients

  •  3-4 cups Fiddlehead ferns
  • 2-3 tbsp Clarified butter/ Ghee
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder ( optional)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder (optional)

Method

  • With a soft brush remove the brown fuzzy part from the ferns
  • Cut off the fat, tough stems ( just like asparagus)
  • Boil a pot of salted water and blanch the ferns
  • Chop roughly or leave it whole. I left mine whole since they were baby size
  • Heat ghee, when hot add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds chili and turmeric
  • Add chopped garlic and saute lightly. Dont let the garlic burn
  • Add the blanched ferns
  • Saute for a couple of mins, add the ground spices
  • Serve as a side dish

IMG_7697

Advertisements

Pineapple sasave- sasam

Standard

Summer vacations are even more focused on food in my household. We love making new dishes using abundant produce. We all look forward to elaborate meals on the patio accompanied with some jazz in the back ground. I have been meaning to blog this for a long time, but when I was planning the menu today, this just fit right in, so here it is

Last time when we visited India, we visited family in Goa. For those who dont know where Goa is, it is a western coastal state of India. Known for its beautiful vibrant beaches and amazing sea food, this state offers a great cuisine. Since Portuguese settled here, the goan cuisine is influenced by the Portuguese cuisine. There are  some recipes that are typical of the christian household and some that are more  Hindu cuisine. No matter which one you pick, it is great food for sure .

The family we visited, Didi who is the lady of the house, is amazing cook. She had made a spread that we enjoyed so much. Her home is also very beautiful, courtyard, brick walls, it is so inviting and warm. One of the recipes she made is Ananas Sasave- pineapple curry.

PIneapple

Pineapple

In summer, I love cooking with fruits and Pineapple goes so well with so many things. Tangy, sweet I love it in many dishes.

This dish has everything, a bit of sweet, a bit of sour, a bit of spice and everything nice. It is very easy to make and tastes good hot or room temperature. I love to eat it with piping hot rice and a dash of ghee. It is very easy to make, comes together in 15 mins.

_MG_3768

I made this as a part of the meal, prawn curry, raw banana Kaape, rice and papad.

Ingredients:

sasam ingredients

sasam ingredients

 

Paste

1 cup of fresh grated coconut

1 tsp of mustard seeds

1 small piece of tamarind

1-2 green chilies

For tempering

1 tbsp oil ( I used coconut oil)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 pinch of asafetida

1 spring of curry leaves

1 dry red chili

Other 

3 cups of cubed pineapple

1 tbsp jaggery

salt to taste

Method

Make a fine paste of all the ingredients listed under paste. The finer the better, but use as little water as possible.

You can add water later, but try to grind with a little amount.

_MG_3742

Heat the pan and heat coconut oil, make sure you cook on medium heat otherwise the oil can smoke.

Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chilies. saute for a few secs, and add pineapple pieces. Add salt, stir and cook for a few minutes covered.

Add the ground paste and cook on low heat. Add jaggery and taste for salt.

Your sasave is ready.

This dish awakens all the senses, it is  a riot of flavors  in your mouth.

 

Goan Thali

Goan Thali

 

 

Soya Pyaaz Ki Seekh kabob

Standard

I love summers. Abundant produce, long days and backyard barbecues. I love anything and everything that comes off the grill. The smoky aroma it imparts to the food is so appetizing. We have grilled all the way till October, even when it is raining with an umbrella in the hand, umbrella not for us but for the grill 😉

Today it was a gorgeous evening, the first moon was in the sky. It marks the beginning of Ramdan.  It was not too hot, prefect temperature to have a meal on the patio.


I love summer produce and can almost go vegetarian in summer but then the kabobs call my name, and I melt.

This recipe today sort of helps me be vegetarian on Monday. It is perfect for the #meatlessmondays and the grill.

I love watching all food shows but there are some favorites and master chef is one of them. I loved the indian version more because there was Vikas Khanna and there was Ranveer Brar ;). Recently I got a chance to meet with Vikas Khanna( thanks to a dear friend)


A local organization Women’s now is hosting a cooking competition  and Ranveer will be the judge, so now I can not wait to meet Ranveer.

Today’s recipe is based on his recipe. I made a few tweaks, it is a keeper


Ingredients

1.5 cup soya chunks or 1 cup granules

1 large potato

1/2 onion finely chopped

1-2 green chilies chopped

1 tsp Shahi Jeera

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp crushed coriander seeds

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 pinch cardamom powder

1-2 drops of liquid smoke

A few mint leaves chopped

Cilantro chopped

Salt to taste

Method

  • Boil the potato, peel and mash well.
  • Soak the soya chunks in hot water for 15-20 mins. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  • Pulse in the food processor to get a minced meat like consistency.
  • In a pan heat the oil, add jeera when the oil is hot. Sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and chilies and sauté on medium heat till brown.
  • Add these onions to the soya mixture along with potatoes and rest of the ingredients.
  • Make patties and shallow fry in a pan or make long rolls and shape lo a kabob on a skewer. Cook till crispy outside.
  • Remember everything else is cooked so make sure you don’t let the kabob dry out.

I served it with a Rose-strawberry coconut smoothie with chia seeds, it seemed to somehow compliment the colors of the sky.

Lighter butter chicken or pulled chicken in curry sauce

Standard

We as a family love chicken. It provides a great source of protein and can be cooked in many ways. Any who knows anything about the indian food knows one dish for sure, ‘Butter chicken or Chicken tikka masala’. My kids love CTM  as well. However the standard recipe for the sauce for CTM or BC is loaded with cream.  I saw this recipe Sharmishta posted and took inspiration to make a lighter version of CTM.

Often times when you make chicken breast it tends to dry out and then it is no fun to eat. The steps in this recipe ensure that you have a moist chicken.

For CTM, the chicken is grilled and made into Tikka and then added to the sauce, here we will try to bring in some of those flavors using another shortcut.

I am learning Spanish and I am obsessed with it. So to practice while I am cooking, just for fun, I have listed some ingredients in Spanish.

snapseed-2

Ingredients

For the chicken stock:
1 lb Boneless Chicken breast piece flattened with a kitchen pallet
1 onion cubed
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2″ pc of ginger
Few cilantro stems
Whole garam masala (cloves , cinnamon, cardamom and star anise)

spices for the stock.JPG
For the sauce:
2-3 Onions chopped finely
1/2 Tomato puree
1 tspn ginger garlic paste
Salt acc to taste
1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
1 tsp Coriander seeds powder
1 tsp Kasoori Methi
Garam masala pwd
2-3 tbspn cream
2 bay leaves
1-2 tspn Tandoori Masala
Ghee
Oil

spices for the sauce.JPG

1 few drops of liquid smoke ( optional)

For the tempering
1 tbspn ghee
1 tspn finely chopped garlic
1 Whole red chilli

Method

First boil water in a large pan and add the ingredients listed under stock. Once the water becomes flavorful add the chicken pieces and bring it to a boil. Turn the gas off and let the chicken sit in it for 5 mins. Then remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and shred it.

IMG_5497.JPG

Also strain the stock and keep aside.
Mix some tandoori masala to the shredded chicken and sauté in little ghee for a minute or two and keep aside. Sauteing in the ghee with the masala imparts a flavor close to grilling it in a tandoor

IMG_5499.JPG

Now heat oil in a pan and add the bay leaf and onions. Fry till it starts turning golden brown and add the ginger garlic paste and tomato puree. Add the dry spices  along with 1 tsp tandoor masala and sauté till you see oil leaving the masala.

_MG_3032.JPG

If you feel the masala becoming too dry you can add the stock little at a time.

img_5395

Now add the shredded chicken to the masala and sauté well. Once the masala coats the chicken well add the remaining stock and let it cook.

 

Once the stock reduces add the cream garam masala and Kasoori methi. Adjust the seasonings. Add the liquid smoke if using.

Now in a separate pan heat ghee and sauté dry red chilli and chopped garlic and pour over the chicken masala. Cover and let it stand for a minute or two so that all the flavors are absorbed.
You can serve this with naan , roti , Paratha or roomali roti.

_MG_3016-001.JPG

I made chicken salad sandwiches and wraps with the left overs and it was fun. My co workers loved it too. In fact, we are now going to make this together at my house in summer.

Stuffed Paneer with Khubani Chutney

Standard

Apricot -Paneer Tikka

I love it when a recipe looks like a million bucks, tastes like a trillion bucks and yet it is so easy to put together. I also like the fact that you can prepare parts of the recipe and simply assemble it when you are ready to serve.

Today’s dish fits that description very well. I just love how nicely the delicate flavors of the apricot marries with rich home made paneer. Paneer is a form of a cheese, very similar to ricotta cheese but firmer. It is made by curdling the boiled milk with some acid like lemon juice, white vinegar. It is an integral part of the North Indian Cuisine. You see this a lot in the Nawabi or Moghlai cuisine. These cuisines represent the dishes made for the kings and queens of India.

I love cooking with dried apricots. I love dessert made with dried apricot, another Nawabi dish from the southern state of Hyderabad in India, Khubani ka meetha. I will share that recipe some time soon. I also love making stuffed apricots and Apricot Alomond cake.

Back to our recipe today, I got this recipe from a dear friend Harjeet, a very talented chef. I l love how he put together simple ingredients to make delectable food.

I have also been playing with food photography. I recently bought these pewter plates from a flea market, I have used them in the photo today, I love how they contrast the bright yellow tikka.

Waiting...

 

Stuffed  paneer with khubani chutney

Ingredients:
1 lb Paneer
1 tbsp thick yogurt ( I make mine by hanging plain yogurt in a cheese cloth)
Salt to taste
1 tsp Turmeric

For the paste
2 tsp Mustard oil
1 tsp Yellow chili powder
1 tsp Deegi mirchi power
2 tsp Ginger garlic paste 

For the chutney
Khumani (Dry apricot)chopped 3 tbsp

1 tsp Cilantro chopped
1/2 tsp green chili chopped
1 tsp chopped mint
1 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Black salt
1/2 tsp Roasted cumin seed 



Methods


Apricot chutney

Boil some water and add chopped apricot and cook them for a while till it becomes soft.
 
Now add sugar, roasted cumin seeds, chopped ginger, chopped green chillies, chopped mint,black salt, salt,Deggi Mirch.
Cook it on slow fire till chutney thickens and can be easily mashed with the back of a spoon. 

For paneer 
Make paneer cubes about 3/4 -1 inch thick. Make a slit in the center, make sure you don’t cut it two pieces.
Mix salt and turmeric and coat the paneer with that mixture.

IMG_3726-3

In a separate bowl mix mustard oil, turmeric, ginger garlic paste.

IMG_3727-0
Stuff the paneer pieces with the apricot chutney. Make sure that the chutney is pushed in all the way through so each bite will get a bit of chutney with it.

IMG_3728-0

Cover this stuffed paneer with the yogurt mixture.

IMG_3729
Now heat a little fat in a pan and pan seared this stuffed paneer till it gets a nice golden brown color.

Close up Apricot Paneer Tikka

Close up Apricot Paneer Tikka

 

Achari Chicken Tikka cones

Standard

Chicken pickled with Indian spices is used as a prime ingredient in making an Open Canape.

You read in my previous post that there was a challenge/ healthy competition on a facebook group, where a very famous chef  Saransh Goila has shared some of his amazing recipes, and the members of the group are trying to recreate those. The second recipe was Achari Chicken Tikka Canape.

I thought it was genius..I love the pickle flavor and to combine that with a crispy buttery toast, and topped with crunchy sprouts. I could totally see myself making this quite often as an appetizer in summer.

Back to the competition, we were supposed to follow the recipe but it was ok to put a twist on it. So I decided to make it three ways. The chicken was the same, but I varied the bread used and also presented it in three different ways.

Variation 1- Bread Cones

Achari Chicken in garlic bread cone 1

Achari Chicken in garlic bread cone

Ingredients


300 grams Chicken
2 ½ tablespoons Achari Masala ( I used a ready made masala)
100 grams Hung Curd
20 grams Bean Sprouts
1/4 cup shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon refined flour
2 tablespoons Mustard Oil

1 can of crescent roll dough

1 tsp soft butter mixed with some crushed garlic

few thick papers

Few aluminium foil

Method:

Chicken:

Heat Mustard Oil to a smoking point & then add Achari Masala to it. Cook the spice mix nicely. Take it off heat, let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Add this spice mix into hung curd. Mix nicely.

Cut cubes of chicken & marinade it with the pickled curd marinade for minimum 60 mins.


Now cook the chicken on medium flame, add refined flour and cook for 8-10 mins. Once cooked evenly, keep it aside.

Mix with shredded cabbage and set aside.

Bread cone

While the chicken is marinating, you can start the preparation for the bread cones.

Preheat the oven at 350 F.

Make a cone with a thick paper and cover it entirely with an aluminum foil.


Spray with a cooking spray.

Take the crescent roll dough out and cut in 1 inch strip. Wrap around the aluminum cone. Bake for 9-10 mins.


The cones won’t be completely baked, take them out of the oven and take out the foil cone.

Now brush them inside and out with garlic butter and sprinkle with panch phoran.

Bake for a few more minutes.


Fill up with the chicken mixture and top with some sprouts.

Achari Chicken in garlic bread cone-close up

Achari Chicken in garlic bread cone

Ingredients:
300 grams Chicken
2 ½ tablespoons Achari Masala
100 grams Hung Curd
20 grams Bean Sprouts
1 pcs. Iceberg Lettuce
50 grams Butter
30 grams Peeled Garlic
6 pcs. Bread buns
1 tablespoon refined flour
2 tablespoons Mustard Oil

Method:
Heat Mustard Oil to a smoking point & then add Achari Masala to it. Cook the spice mix nicely. Take it off heat, let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Add this spice mix into hung curd. Mix nicely.

Cut cubes of chicken & marinade it with the pickled curd marinade for minimum 60 mins.

Shred the lettuce & store it in chilled water.

Now cook the chicken on medium flame, add refined flour and cook for 8-10 mins. Once cooked evenly, keep it aside.

Add chopped garlic to softened butter. Now spread this butter on half sliced buns.

Toast these buns on a non stick pan or in the oven.

Assemble the canapé – Take the toasted bread. Place lettuce leaves on it. Add the pickled Chicken on the top.

Garnish with sprouts & serve.

Lychee Phirni with a touch of orange blossom

Standard

I am born and brought up in India so me liking dairy based dessert is very natural. Most of the indian dessert have dairy in them in some or the other form. The famous rosogulla has paneer, which is like fresh cottage cheese. Gulab jamun have ‘khoya’, which is milk boiled till it is a semi solid clay like texture. The famous mango lassi has yogurt. So you see my love for dairy based desserts is but natural. 

When the weather starts warming up, I like to make dessert that are cool. So today’s dessert is perfect in the summer months. 

It is an indian equivalent of ‘arroz con leche’. The recipe is simple and the ingredient list is small. 🙂

I love playing with flavors, so decided to put a twist of this traditional Phirni. I love the intoxicating perfume of ‘ orange blossom water’. It is typically used in Mediterranean dessert. I love adding it even to my bath water. I buy it from a local middle eastern store and use it very regularly. Also, I love adding surprises to my dishes. When you think of Phirni, you don’t anticipate anything crunchy. I feel that this addition goes really well with the rest of the components and adds a clear element of surprise and variety of texture. I add chopped Litchi to my Phirni. 

  

It does take time and patience but it is not complicated at all. It uses the ingredients that are typically available in homes. 

Ingredients

1/2 gallon of whole milk 

1/2 cup of rice, soaked for 30 mins( I have used basmati)

1/2-3/4 cups of sugar

1 tsp orange blossom water

1 can of lychee chopped

Method

Take milk in a heavy bottomed pot and heat on a medium flame until the milk comes to a boil. Make sure you’re stirring constantly so that you do not get a skin formed on the top surface and the milk does not stick to the bottom of the pan. 

This is where your patience comes into picture, you must store patiently on low flame unto the milk is reduced to pretty much half of its original volume. 

While the milk is boiling, grind this soaked rice with very little water. Make sure you do not make a paste. You do want a mixture that is granular.

Now add the rice mixture to the milk in a steady stream. Make sure you’re starting the milk as you add the rice make sure so that no clumps are formed. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, take the mixture on a spoon and check if the rice is cooked.

Now add sugar and keep starting and cooking until you get the desired consistency. Remember the mixture will thicken as it cools down so make sure you do not cook it too much. If you end up with a very thick mixture  after it is cool down,   You can add a little bit of milk to thin it  down.

Once the mixture has come to the room temperature, add the chopped the lychee pieces and the Orange Blossom water.

Serve chilled. 

  

Lehsun-mirch ki chutney

Standard

If you observe food from any particular region,  you can start learning a lot about the people, the weather, the produce available etc. It is very evident in the various cuisines from across India.

One such cuisine is the cuisine of Rajasthan.

I am in love with everything about this place . This land is known for its sand dunes, colorful dresses, camels and palaces. It is the western state of India, the dessert state, water is very scarce here and fresh fruits and vegetables are not readily available all the time, so a lot of the dishes from this region use ingredients that are available easily. Things like lentils, grain flours, dried chilies, dried vegetables and milk products.

2015/03/img_1035.jpg

I have been to Rajasthan a few times and fell in love again with its people and food. I have learnt a few recipes on my visits and would be sharing them here.

Today’s recipe- Chili Garlic Chutney

I love spicy food. Today’s recipe is easy and can be made very easily, most of the ingredients should be available in your pantry. It is one of those dishes that can perk up any dull meal or add a bit of spice to it.2015/03/img_2445.jpg

Ingredients:

10-15 Red Chilies

6-8 fresh garlic cloves

2 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

2 tbsp Oil

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp tamarind pulp( optional)

Method:

Some people also add onions, I feel that they make the chutney sweet so I don’t add it.
Soak dry red chilies in warm water for 1 hour.

In a blender grind the garlic & soaked chilies with little water.

Heat oil in pan, add mustard seeds. When they splatter, add the cumin seeds. Add fenugreek seeds and fry for 10 secs. Add the red chili powder. Add the chili garlic paste. cook till you see oil separating,mix salt & sugar and mix well. Add tamarind pulp to taste.

Chutney is ready, serve it with any Indian meal.

Note:

I mix it with greek yogurt and use it as a dip for fresh vegetables.

I also mix it with a little bit of butter and use it as a spread for sandwiches.

 

 

 

Kolhapuri chicken- A fiery treat

Standard

Kolhapuri chicken rassa- a fiery treat that you can not stop eating.

2015/03/img_2435.jpg

I like to eat it with Jowar Bhakri, raw onion and raw methi & white butter ( makhhan).
Recipe:
2 chicken breast- chopped
1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp lime juice
4 tbsp Kolhapuri masala
2 tbsp Bedgi chili powder.
Oil
1 medium onion chopped


Method
Mix ginger garlic paste, salt and lime juice with chicken and keep aside for at least an hour.

Take oil in the pan. Saute finely chopped onions till they are brown.

Add the red chili powder. Add the marinated chicken and cook for 30 sec. Add the masala paste and saute more. Add salt to taste.
Add hot water to get the consistency you desire. Cover and cook for a few mins.
This actually works better with the mutton but since my husband prefers chicken, I make it more often

 

2015/03/img_2432.jpg

Lauki majedar

Standard

I try to eat and cook only what is in season, so I only shop at the farmers market for my fruits and vegetables. You will always find some kind of squash in season. Most of the summer and almost through the fall season, you will get opo squash in the market. It is  easy to clean and very nutritious, so I try to include that in our diet as  I can, be it in the form of a salad, curry, Soup, Parantha( Indian flat bread) or even dessert. Although it is very good for you, it can be very bland testing and needs some dressing up.

Typically you will find Lauki made with some sort of lentil, or in a form of a kofta. This recipe is none of that, it is very simple and easy to make.  I also like the fact that it does not have onion or garlic and hence can be a nice addition to a dinner plate with  other curries with onion, garlic.

For last night’s dinner I made egg curry which had onion and garlic, so I made the lauki majedar to compliment it.

IMG_1556

 

Ingredients

1 lauki ( squash)

1 tbsp Panch Phoran

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 inch ginger

1 green chili

1 roma tomato

Cilantro for garnish

Oil

1/2 tsp ghee ( optional)

 

Method

Peel and chop the squash in fine dice. Chop tomatoes in small pieces. Chop ginger in fine pieces. Chop green chilies in fine pieces as well.

Heat oil. Add panch phoran, turmeric saute for 10 secs. Make sure that the panch phoran does not burn otherwise the methi might start tasting bitter.

Add ginger and green chilies, saute for 10 secs.

Add the chopped tomatoes and saute for 20 secs.

Add chopped squash and mix well. Add salt to taste and cover. Cook on low flame until cooked.

Add the ghee if using.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.