Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Baingan Ka Bharta

Baingan Ka Bharta
" Baingan Ka Bharta" is a very simple and easy to make classic North Indian dish prepared with roasted Brinjal or Eggplant.Traditionally the "Baingan" or Eggplant / Brinjal is roasted over charcoal or direct fire but I usually roast it over the gas burner which gives this dish its smoky flavor.

 "Bharta" in Hindi means mashed, and "Baingan" is the Hindi name for Brinjal or Eggplant. A very spicy and tangy dish prepared with Roasted and mashed Brinjal cooked with Indian spices. Its served as a side dish along with Roti and Dal. I suggest you should also try it as a dip with Nachos, it tastes yum.


Ingredients

Baingan / Eggplant - 1 large
Onion, chopped - 3 medium
Tomato, chopped - 2 medium
Ginger , chopped - 1 tablespoon
Garlic, chopped - 1 tablespoon
Green chillies, chopped - 2-3
Fresh green coriander, chopped - 3-4 tablespoons.
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 3/4th teaspoon
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 2 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Method

Grease the Baingan or eggplant with some oil, make lengthwise slits and roast over open flame on medium heat. Keep turning the baingan to ensure that it is cooked well on all sides. Once soft and well done remove from flame and let it cool. Peal the skin, mash the pulp.(I place the roasted baingan in a covered container as it helps the outer charred skin to peal off easily)




Heat oil in a kadhai, add chopped onions (keep aside 2 tablespoon of chopped onions) and fry for 3-4 minutes, add the dry masala other than the garam masala, sprinkle some water and fry till the oil starts leaving the sides.




Add chopped tomatoes and fry until the tomatoes turn tender but not mushy.



Add the mashed baingan, salt and mix well, fry for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped ginger, garlic onion and wix well, fry for 2-3 minutes add garam masala, chopped coriander and green chillies, fry for another minute or so and turn off the heat.





Serve hot Dal Roti or Paratha.


Monday, November 25, 2013

" Bhuna Chicken"

"Bhuna Chicken"

 "Bhuna" is a slow cooking style in which the spices are gently fried before the meat is added, Usually a rich and delicious dish made in Ghee but keeping in mind the health factor I  have used Vegetable oil.
 "Bhuna Chicken" is a spicy semi gravy chicken dish. Its made with marinated chicken cooked in aromatic Indian spices, with flavouring of fennel or saunf along with yogurt which gives the dish a smooth texture.



Ingredients

Chicken, de-skinned and cut into 12 pcs - 800 gms
Onion, sliced - 3 medium
Onion, paste - 1 medium
Garlic paste - 1/2 teaspoon
Yogurt - 2 tablespoon
Cumin powder - 2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Fennel powder (Saunf) - 1 1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper Powder - 1/4 th teaspoon
Garam Masala powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Bay leaf - 1
Green cardamom - 4
Clove - 5-6
Black Pepper corns - 10 -12
Cinnamon - 1 1/2 inch stick
Oil - 4 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Ghee - 1 tablespoon

For the Marinade

Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
Ginger, paste - 1 teaspoon
Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Kashmiri Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon

Method

Clean and wash the chicken. In a mixing bowl add the Lemon juice, ginger paste, garlic paste, turmeric powder and salt to the chicken, mix well and keep it in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours.


Heat oil in a kadhai, add the kashmiri red chilli powder to the marinated chicken and fry until slightly brown. Drain and keep aside.


Add the dry whole masala to the oil, once the aroma starts releasing, add the sliced onion and fry till golden brown.



Add cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder and garlic paste to the onion paste add 2- 3 tablespoon of water and make a paste. Add this masala paste to the fried onion and mix well, also add the leftover marinade liquid and fry until the raw smell is gone and the oil starts leaving the sides.


Add the fried chicken,salt and mix well, ensure that each and every piece is well coated wit the masala, fry for 3- 4 minutes.( when adding salt please keep in mind that we had added salt in the marinade)
Add yogurt and mix well.




Once the yogurt is well blended with the chicken cook for 3-4 minutes and add a cup of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, add ghee cover with lid and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, turn off the heat and add the garam masala and  mix well. (The original recipe is made in Ghee, but I have used ghee towards the end as a garnish as it enhanses the floavor of the dish)

Serve Hot with Roti, Naan or Rice.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Shalgam Aur Palak Wali Dal

"Shalgam Aur Palak Wali Dal"
"Shalgam Aur Palak Wali  Dal" is a popular North Indian dish which is very nutritious and quite easy to cook."Shalgam" is the Hindi name for Turnip, for this recipe I have used turnip greens (leaves) along with spinach and split green gram or hare moong ke dal and simple spices.
Traditionally these used to be slow cooked in earthern pots, and served along with roti and a dollop of home churned butter.

Ingredients

Palak / Spinach, chopped - 2 cups
Shalgam / Turnip leaves - 2 cups
Split green gram dal / green gram dal - 1/3 cup
Onion, chopped - 1 medium
Green chillies, chopped - 2
Ginger, chopped - 1 inch
Garlic, cloves - 2-3 fat ones (If using the regular thin ones then take around 7-8)
Coriander powder - 1 table spoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida - A pinch
Oil - 2 tablespoon
Salt to taste.

For the Tempering

Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Whole red chillies - 2
Oil -1 tablespoon

Method

Clean wash and soak the dal for an hour or two.

Clean and wash the leaves thoroughly under running water, ensuring that there are no soil particles left, chop the leaves along with the tender stalk. ( I like to all the tender stalk along with the leaves as its rich in flavor and fiber too.)


Add the chopped leaves along with coriander powder, red chilli powder and turmeric in a pressure cooker and place it on the gas. Within minutes the leaves will start to loose water.



Add the soaked Moong dal along with 2/3rd cup of water, bring it to a boil and a few drops of cooking oil along with the asafoetida and salt. Close the lid, put the whistle and cook until 3 whistles. Turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker cool down and before you open the cooker please ensure that there is no steam left.



By now, dal and shalgam palak are well cooked though, Heat oil in a kadhai and add the onions, fry till golden brown, add the cooked dal and shalgam palak, fry until the oil starts leaving the sides.



Add the chopped garlic, ginger along with the green chillies and fry for 2-3 minutes.


For the Tempering

Heat oil in a kadhai, add the dry red chillies and cumin seeds and fry for 2 minutes or until the spices start releasing there aroma. Turn off the heat and pour the tempering over the ready Shalgam Palak Dal.


Serve hot along with chapati or roti with a dollop of fresh cream or home churned butter.

Notes

The Shalgam ka sag usually comes with the roots, a light pinkish purple buld which is the shalgam or turnip, don't discard it, instead clean it properly and peal and chop them finely and add to the sag, It tastes really good.
I have used mustard oil for cooking this dish as Shalgam or Turnip tastes a little bitter and Mustard oil helps in enhancing the taste. However you could make this dish with any vegetable oil which is used in your household.
While cooking the dal I prefer to add a few drops of oil, not sure but my grandmon says that this helps the dal cook faster and it doesn't get mushy too.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lauke Ke Kofte( Bottlegourd dumplings in spicy gravy)

"Lauki Ke Kofte"
"Lauke Ke Kofte" or bottlegourd dumpling curry is a delicious Indian gravy dish. Grated Lauki or Bottlegourd is used to prepare the deep fried dumplings which is then simmered in a spicy tomato and onion based gravy.
"Lauki" is one of those vegetables which I never relished as a child but I always loved having these koftas which my mom used to prepare. However I love lauki today in any form and would soon share more recipies of the same.

Ingredients

For the Kofta

Lauki or Bottlegourd, grated - 2 cups
Sattu / Besan - 3 tablespoon
Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil for deepfrying

For the Gravy

Onion - 1 large
Garlic- 3-4 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch
Tomato, chopped - 1 medium
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 1 tablespoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Black pepper powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Garam masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Green Coriander chopped - 3-4 tablespoon

Method

Wash peal and grate the lauki, add apinch of salt, mix well and keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze the grated lauki to get rid of the juice. In a mixing bowl add all the kofta ingredients other than the oil, mix well to make a dough.




Divide the kofta dough equally and make small balls approximately 1.25 inches in diameter. Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry the koftas until golden brown. Drain and keep aside on absorbant paper.




Grind the ginger, garlic and onion to make a smooth paste, add red chilli powder, cumin powder,coriander powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder and make a paste alsong with the ground ginger, garlic and onion paste.
Remove excess oil from the kadhai leaving around 2 tablespoon of oil and add the above masala paste and fry for 3-4 minutes or until the raw smell goes. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry un til the oil starts leaving the sides.




Once the masala is ready add around 1.5 to 2 cups of water and salt, mix well, let the gravy come to a boil, cook for 2-3 minutes, turn the heat to low and add the fried koftas along with the garam masala powder. Cook for another minute or two, add the chopped coriender leaves and turn off the heat. Let the koftas soak in the gravy for 8-10 minutes before serving.




Serve hot along with roti, naan or rice.

Notes:

While making any kofta is usually try to use sattu insted of besan as it tastes really good and not like regular pakodas.
Sattu is basically a rosted powder of pulses, the one which I have used for this recipe is one made with bengal gram or chana dal. These days it is readily available across the counter at Indian grocery stores.
To make the koftas please ensure that you squeeze out the juice from the lauki or else it will become difficult to make the dough and will result in adding more binding agent (besan / sattu) which will make the koftas hard.
Add the koftas to the gravy just before serving as leaving the koftas for long in the gravy might make the koftas very soggy and at times it might loose its shape.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Aloo Shimla Mirch

"Aloo Shimla Mirch"
















"Aloo Shimla Mirch" is a simple dish and easy dish prepared with Potatoes and Capsicum simmered in Indian Spices. Its a mildly spicy dish which can be prepared quickly and goes well with rotis and phulkas.
Since its fast to cook and not much of a pre planning required so I find it an ideal dinner option for the busy weekdays as well as for a packed lunch for office. If leftover just use it as a filling for sandwiches.

Ingredients

Potato, pealed and cubed - 2 medium
Shimla Mirch / Green Capsicum, deseeded and cubed  - 2 medium
Onion, sliced - 1 medium
Ginger, chopped  - 1 inch
Garlic, chopped - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tablespoon.

Method

Heat oil in a kadhai and add the sliced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, add the chopped finger and garlic and fry for 2-3 min.



Add the cubed potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the red chilli powder, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder, mix well.



Cover and cook the potatoes dor 5-7 minutes, if required sprinkle some water. Add the Capsicum, and salt, mix well.



Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Keep checking so that the capsicum is not over cooked or it will turn mushy. Add the garam masala powder, mix well and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with roti or any Indian bread.