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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Back with Alu Bhukara Korma (Mutton in plum sauce)


"Its been a while, Son grew up and lost interest in the blog, work and other stuff kept me away, was always cooking but not blogging.But now, post a Food Trail in Kashmir with 12 other foodies, it has reaffirmed my passion for sharing food... So here goes a recipe for Mutton Alu Bukhara, which was made for us in a Wazas house as a  light lunch, a pre-curser to a 10 course Kashmiri wazwan diner. This for me was as close to perfection as possible, the rich velvety korma, sweetened with alu bukharas (dried plums), with pieces of chicken sponging up all the flavours, leading to an explosion in my mouth, yummm..., an unforgettable taste. Trying to recreate it here, with help from the Waza's recipe as verbally told and remembered by us and a Kashmiri cook book by Krishna prasad dar. Sudhir dar who was part of the trail, presented us with his father's book and generously shared with us his food memories. It cannot match up to the original, but its a great dish in itself, a gem for all those looking for Kashmiri food off the beaten track, enjoy..."

Ingredients: 

  • 1 kg goats meat (shoulder/ front leg)
  • 3 tbsp ghee 
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 100 grams dried plums
  • 4 tsp fennel seeds (powdered)
  • 2 tsp sonth (ground dried ginger)
  • 4" piece cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 small cardamom
  • 6 cloves
  • 2-4 whole red kashmiri red chilies (soaked in 1/2 cup hot water & pureed)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red colour
  • 4 tsp almond slivers (optional)

Method:

  1. Soak the dried plums in hot water for 20 min (till soft), remove flesh and chop into small pieces, discard the stone and keep the soaking water
  2. Take a thick bottomed utensil, add the ghee heat through, add the curd and cook on medium heat stirring all the time, till curd becomes golden brown
  3. Add the plums and ginger-garlic stir fry for 10 minutes till well mixed and softened in the ghee-curd mixture on medium heat
  4. Increasing heat, sear the mutton for 10 minutes till brown
  5.  Adding all the dry spices, stir fry for another 5 minutes
  6. Now pour in all the liquid ingredients (the plum soaking liquid, colour &the red chili paste), the liquid should cover the meat, add water if needed
  7. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles on high and 15 minutes on low or slow cook covered till meat is tender
  8. Decorate with almond and serve with steaming hot rice, for a decadent meal 

Notes:

  • Use ghee if possible for this recipe, as that delivers the best results, else oil is an alternate
  • Number of dried kashmiri red chilies, depends on the spice level of the chilies and your own preference. This dish is not a spicy dish, just a perfect balance between sweet & spicy 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Mango & Rocket Salad


" This salad always surprises, people due to amazing flavour combination of a sweet & tangy mango with peppery rocket.From hesitatingly trying it, to devouring every bit is the normal reaction. I also, tend to mix this one up and sometimes add pomegranate seeds for added colour and crunch. Use whatever nuts, you favour, I love the umami flavour of pine nuts. Do give this one a try, its really summery, fresh and fabulous  ..."


Ingredients :

  • 1 bunch of mixed greens( rocket, lettuce etc.)
  • 1 ripe mango cubed
  • 3 tbsp of roasted pine nuts

Dressing :

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepeper to taste


Method :

  1. Tear the leaves and layer the bowl
  2. Top with mango and cover with cling film and chill till ready to eat 
  3. Make dressing by putting all ingredients in an empty bottle and shaking it well
  4. Just before eating, dress the salad, mix well, top with pine nuts and devour 

Notes:

  • I normally take 1/4th rocket + 3/4th  red leaf lettuce, but you can choose the greens dearest to you, do take some amount of rocket, else you loose the peppery/ sweet/ tangy combination
  • Add a handful of pomegranate seeds, for extra pizaaz 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Roasted Goats Leg with garam masala

"A very old family recipe, handed down from the British-Raj days, which takes a leg of goat meat,  marinated with garam masala and finished off with a mustard - Worcestershire sauce gravy. I remember, salivating as kids over this and even now, its sooo yum that my kids, family and friends, love it too. This is one of the recipes, that is the 'Raison d'etre' of this blog. Even now, its only made in my house in my generation, so do want to save it for posterity for all family and friends for now and future..."

Servings : 5-6

Ingredients:

Marination

  • 1 goat leg (or lamb)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt

Cooking 

2 tbsp oil
2 dried bay leaves 
3-4 cloves
5-6 black pepper corns
1 black cardamom
2 inches cinnamon stick
1 tsp mustard 
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 tsp tobasco (or any other chilly sauce)
1 tbsp tomato paste/purée 
2 tbsp cornflour

Method:

  1. Wash and dry the mutton leg
  2. Pierce it with a folk and rub the marination mixture, well all over the leg
  3. Cover and marinate in a refrigerator over night at least or longer
  4. In a pressure pan (or a thick bottom casserole pan), heat 2 tbsp of oil and all the other cooking spices and let them brown and release their flavour and fragrance 
  5. Sear the leg, browning it on all sides, by alternating high and low heat for almost half an hour till golden all over, if needed u could add a little water at a time
  6. Add water, just covering the leg and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles on high and 15 minutes on low 
  7. Let it cool completely, open and take out the roast leg, slicing it thinly ( electric knife works best)
  8. Heat the remaining liquid, adding mustard,Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and tobasco to taste
  9. Thicken the mixture, with 2 tbsp cornflour paste (2 tbsp cornflour + 4 tbsp water) and serve the roast hot, with a little gravy poured over and the rest on the side.

Notes:

  • We normally use goats leg for this, but you could try lamb, if goat is unavailable 
  • While this is a pressure cooker recipe it can be adapted to the oven by baking the leg in the oven, post searing
  • Interestingly, its called a roast but cooked in a pressure cooker, as its a recipe from the pre-oven days :) 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Veal saltimbocca

" My secret pleasure is bacon, and any dish with bacon always tastes great. Here is a melt in the mouth bacon wrapped veal parcels, flavoured with garlic and sage. Saltimbocca has always intrigued me, as it literally means "jump in your mouth", and once you eat it, you will realise why ..." 

Serves 5 

Ingredients:

  • 600 grams veal steaks
  • 200 grams (around 12 rashers) bacon (or pancetta or prosciutto)
  • 20 sage leaves (small)
  • Flour for coating (approximately 4 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 3 handfuls spinach (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp capers (optional)
  • 1 tsp lime/lemon juice 
  • Paprika, salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Make either 5 big steaks or 10 small veal steaks from 600 grams of veal
  2. Beat the veal steaks with a mallet, till they are very thin ( as thin as you can manage without tearing them)
  3. Season the steaks with salt, pepper and paprika to taste 
  4. Press 2 sage leaves on each small steak, or 4 in each big steak 
  5. Use 10 rashers of bacon, by wrapping 1 rasher of bacon, around each of the veal steak and beat a couple of times with the mallet
  6. Season the flour with salt, pepper and paprika 
  7. Cover the veal steaks lightly in the flour, removing any excess flour
  8. In a frying pan add the olive oil and butter 
  9. When the butter is foaming, add the veal, on high and then lower gas to medium, to get a nice golden crust
  10. Add the garlic and the remaining sage leaves, all around the steak,s in the frying pan
  11. Turn the veal steaks after 2-3 minutes 
  12. Remove the veal steaks after another 2 minutes, and put them in a pre-heated oven till the rest of the dish is ready, leaving pan juices, garlic, sage in the frying pan
  13. Chop the remaining, 2 rashers of bacon and add to the frying pan, cooking off excess liquid
  14. De-glaze the frying pan, with the wine, cooking off the alcohol ( Basically on high heat add the wine and let it cook till reduced by half)
  15. Add lemon juice, spinach, capers (optional) and season to taste
  16. Serve the dish, with the spinach as a base and top with the veal saltimbocca 

Notes:

  • I prefer smaller size steaks, as then the flavours are more concentrated, planning for 2 pieces per person
  • Be careful while seasoning the veal, flour, spinach with salt as the dish is salty due to the bacon additions
  • Cooking time depends on quality, thickness of veal and required doneness, so adjust accordingly
  • All preparations till step 7, can be done ahead of time, refrigerate veal covered with cling film till ready to cook
  • Instead of veal, chicken could also be used for a chicken saltimbocca recipe

Friday, 26 April 2013

Pesto Fish

"This recipe is part of a collection for my father, who is a heart patient and loves interesting food. So,not only is it really healthy, but as its marinated and grilled with pesto sauce, its a treat which ticks all the right boxes..."

Ingredients:

  • 6 white fish fillets (around 300 grams)
  • 3 tbsp pesto 
  • 6 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 3 tbsp olives (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp chilly flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 - 2 tbsp brine from the olives
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients excepting the fish and the brine
  2. Add as much brine as is required to make a sticky coating
  3. Coat the fish on all sides with pesto mixture, cover the fish with cling film and leave it in the fridge for between 1 - 3 hours.
  4. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees C
  5.  Lightly oil a baking tray and layer the fish
  6. Bake the fish for 10 - 12 minutes till they are brown and crispy ( in the middle shelf)
  7. Eat hot sprinkled with some lime juice

Notes:

  • Do leave the fish with the pesto coating for at least 1 hour, as then it absorbs all the flavours.
  • I use whole wheat bread crumbs, fresh or dried, either will work well.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Chicken coq au vin

" This favorite, french classic, pronounced as 'chicken cok-a-vaen' , is often asked for, by my family and friends, over the last 20 years. My  spikier version, is an ideal party dish, as it's made 3-4 hours before and the flavours mature and mingle and form the most velvety , bacon-chicken-wine combination ever..."


Ingredients:

  •  1 chicken cut into 16 pieces
  • 100 grams bacon chunks
  • 2 tbsp ( 30 grams) flour
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 250 grams small onions
  • 200 grams mushrooms
  • 11/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup cognac (optional, else use wine only)
  • 6 cloves garlic ( crushed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick cardamom (2 inch)
  • 6-8 peppercorns
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ( or 1 tbsp fresh thyme)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tbsp oil ( olive or vegetable)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Wash, dry and season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, keep on the side. 
  2. In a thick wide bottomed pan or flat wok, stir fry the mushroom in 1/2 tbsp butter. Take out, when all liquid has evaporated,  in a big side dish
  3. In the same pan, add 1/2 tbsp oil, add the onions and stir fry on high till lightly brown. Again take out in the side dish (same as the mushrooms)
  4. In the same pan, add the bacon bits and cook till brown and crispy and has left all its fat.Again take out in the side dish( pile on top of the mushrooms & onions)
  5. If the bacon fat is enough, brown the chicken pieces till golden on both sides, in a single layer, in the same fat (if not add 1 tbsp oil). 
  6. Add the cognac, let it cook through. Then take out and pile the chicken in the side dish, on all the other ingredients ( scrape out as much from the pan as possible of the bottom bits and keep with the chicken) 
  7. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil,  and the spices ( bay leaf, cardamom, cloves & peppercorns) and stir fry for 2-3 min, till brown and fragrant.
  8. Add the garlic cloves and stir fry till transparent and the raw smell has disappeared.
  9. Mix the 2 tbsp flour and 2 tbsp butter
  10. Now add the flour and butter mixture to the hot pan and cook till brown, till raw smell has disappeared
  11. Blend 1/2 cup of water (little at a time),mixing all the time, till a thick paste is formed ( the roux).
  12. Add the wine, thyme and season to taste, bringing the mixture to a boil.
  13. Add all the ingredients from the side dish ( mushroom, onion, chicken & bacon), making sure all the juices are added back.
  14. Cook through either on stove top for 30 minutes or in a pre-heated oven (150 degrees C) for 30 minutes, till yummy and done.

Note:


  • To get the perfect roux ( flour and butter and water paste), mix equal quantities of butter and four. Cook it, till raw smell is removed and mixture is lightly toasted. Add in cool water, little by little, mixing it in at each stage for the perfect paste. In case the roux, is lumpy, just beat with a whisk till smooth or strain it, if beating also does not work.
  • The gravy should be smooth and thick enough to coat back of spoon, if not add some cornflour and water to thicken the dish.
  • Do cook it 3-4 hrs before serving, to really get the best flavours.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Triple chocolate cookies

" Choco-chip cookies are a favorite in our household, and I guess it's the same in any household with kids. These ones are so simple and so yum, dense and chocolaty and not overwhelmingly sweet, that its difficulty to keep ones hands off them ..."

Makes 24 small cookies or 12 large cookies

Ingredients:

  • 9 tbsp butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar ( or 75 grams)
  • 2/3 cup firm-packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 2/3 cups flour ( take half regular flour and half whole wheat flour) 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened coco
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch  of salt 
  • 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 - 3 nonstick baking sheets

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C ( 350 deg F) 
  2. Mix in bowl butter and both the sugars with a wooden spoon or beater until the mixture looks soft and fluffy ( about 10 minutes). 
  3. Add the eggs to the mixing bowl and beat the mixture well
  4. Shift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl. Mix on low speed
  5. Then add all the chocolate chips to the bowl and mix in with a wooden spoon until everything is thoroughly combined
  6. Divide the mixture into 4 quarters, and then each quarter into 3 parts.
  7. Dip your hand in cold water, take one part mixture and roll into ball, similarly roll all the others.
  8. Put the balls on the baking sheet, making sure there is enough distance between each ( 1 1/2 inches approx) 
  9. Bake in the middle shelf for 12-15 minutes, keep an eye and remove once the bottom seems just done, else you will overcook. ( the top will be soft and will harden once cool) 
  10. Cool for 5 min, remove from baking sheet and eat hot for the best hot chocolaty cookies ever

Note :

  • If you want to make individual cookies, then make 18 or 24.