Monday, October 26, 2009

Malai Kofta to Die For

Malai Kofta is by far my most favorite Mughlai dish. This one is almost similar to the recipe I've been making for years from Bawarchi.com (Saroj Kering). I usually don't need to refer to it anymore, but writing it down in case I lose it. I've also made a few minor changes.

For the kofta: Boil potatoes, peel and mash. Add Grated Paneer, salt, chopped green chillies, chopped cilantro (optional). Mix well. Fill with chopped cashews and raising. Make oblong shaped koftas. Make a paste of Maida, salt and water. Dip the koftas in the paste and deep fry till light golden brown.

For the sauce: Dry roast a few cloves, a stick of cinnamon and a few cardamoms. Grind into a coarse powder. Grind cashews. Boil onions till soft. Make a paste along with the cashews. Heat Ghee. Add the spice mix, let fry for just a couple of seconds and add the cashew and onion paste. Add ginger garlic paste (not too much). Add salt, white pepper powder, sugar, milk, grated Khoya, and fresh cream. Mix everything and let boil for several minutes. Adjust the consistency as required. Pour when hot over the koftas.

The koftas take up some time, obviously, and the logistics of having paneer, khoya and cream (oh and white pepper powder) all at the same time in the house is tricky. Other than these constraints, these are the most divine koftas on earth...

My Signature Aloo Ghobi

This has become one of my signature dishes. Goes perfectly well with a sweet or saucy vegetable on a regular "indian" menu. This is one recipe that does not use tomatoes, for a change. People almost always fall in love with this one. It's also very quick and easy, so I love it.

Make big florets of cauliflower. Dice potatoes into big chunks. Slice onions. In a big pan, heat up oil. Add cumin seeds, add the onion, and the ginger-garlic paste. Fry till onions are a bit soft. Add turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder, generous amount of amchur, a pinch of garam masala, a generous pinch of chole masala (this is the secret ingredient in this aloo ghobi), a small handful of kasuri methi, some dried mint (another secret ingredient that does wonders). Stir fry all the spices for a few seconds. Add the potatoes, and then the ghobi (Sometimes, I have trouble getting the potatoes to cook). Add salt, and mix everything and keep sauteing. Try not to use any water. If you must, sprinkle a tiny bit of water later on as the veggies cook. Keep stirring every few minutes. and let it cook. When almost done, add fresh cilantro. Serve. Try not to skip on the herbs here, methi, mint and cilantro do some serious fragrance enhancing job. And the chole masala and amchur will have ppl lick their fingers.

Perfect Antipasto Pasta Salad

I made this over the weekend, and I couldn't think of anything to make it better. So, here's the recipe. (I used some fancy artisan tricolor Farfelle for this, but regular pasta should work just fine).

Pasta: Boil the pasta in plenty of water and salt till just done and drain.
Dressing: one big clove of garlic, finely chopped, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, a pinch of dried oregano, dried thyme, finely chopped fresh parsley, salt, pepper, red chilli flakes. Mix everything and whisk in extra virgin olive oil.
Add: finely chopped roasted bell pepper, pieces of artichoke hearts, green olives stuffed with pimentoes, capers, chopped sun dried tomatoes (in oil), cubes of fresh mozzarella.

Toss everything together, chill and serve (make sure you add the cheese after the salad has cooled down, since you don't want to melt it).
Goes well with a nice piece of bread. It's very rare that L. compliments my cooking, but this one, he just kept saying how much he loved it. That really means something.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Diwali Feast continued

Khajoor Mithai (like Prashant corner's):

Grind (preferably) Majdool dates in the food processor to a coarse paste. Chop Almonds, pistachios and cashew nuts into fairly big pieces (one almond into 2-3 pieces only). Roast them slightly on a low flame or in the oven. Head some ghee in the kadai and fry the date paste in it, for a short while. Add the nuts, and set in a greased plate.

Chakli (Bombay mummy's recipe):
Take rice flour, add a small amount of Besan, some sesame seeds, salt, red chilli powder and roasted cumin powder to it. Mix well. Now add softened butter (almost muthi padtu mon). Add yoghurt and water and knead a soft dough. Make chakli's with the mold on plastic sheets and fry in hot oil on a low flame.

All this treat making business is taking a toll. I'm going to finish up with a few kaju katli tonight and then call it a day. There's so much more to be done...!! Rangoli, Mehendi, Diyas..

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Diwali Feast

The first Diwali after the wedding is a very significant event in an Indian woman's life. It's when she learns the traditions of her in-laws family, and starts a few of her own. It's when she sets the tone for the celebrations of all the future Diwali's in her family. Even though I am slightly busy these days, I'm really excited! Of course, so much of it is about food..Here are some recipes for my future reference.

Thor (Bombay Mummy's Recipe):

Take coarse whole wheat flour (laadu no lot). Add some sesame seeds and white poppy seeds. Add enough ghee to make "muthi padtu mon". knead a semi soft dough with whole milk. Let it rest, so that some of the milk is absorbed. Now, knead the dough, divide it into small balls and roll out small and thick puris. Prick them with a fork and fry them in pure ghee on a low flame. In another pot, prepare very thick sugar syrup (soft ball consistency). Add cardamom powder, nutmeg and saffron. Dip the fried puris in the syrup for a few minutes and take out on a plate lined with parchment paper. Let it set, till you see a white layer of sugar on each thor.

Mamra chikki (Jaipur mummy's recipe):

Melt sugar in a pan. Add a few drops of lime juice (to avoid crystallization). Before it starts getting brown, add some cardamom powder and the kurmura, stir and set in a greased thali. Cut pieces and let it set.

Chivda (recipe courtesy: showmethecurry.com):

Ingredients:

Thin Poha – 3 cups
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves – few
Green Chili – to taste (finely chopped)
Roasted Chana Daal (Daliya) – 3 tbsp
Whole Raw Peanuts – 3 tbsp
Golden Raisins – 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Citric Acid – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
Sugar – 1 tsp

Method:

1. Heat the Poha in the microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute.
2. Grind the Salt and the Citric Acid to a fine powder.
3. Grind the sugar to a fine powder seperately.
4. In a non-stick pan, heat the Oil at medium temperature.
5. Once the Oil is hot, add in the Mustard Seeds. Allow them to pop.
6. Add in the Green Chilis and the Curry Leaves and cook for a few minutes.
7. Add in Whole Raw Peanuts and cook for 1 minute.
8. Add in the Roasted Chana Daal and cook for another minute.
9. Add in the Golden Raisins and cook for 30 seconds.
10. Add in the Turmeric Powder and the Salt & Citric Acid Powder. Mix well.
11. Add the Poha and mix very well till all the Poha is yellow and no white is visible.
12. Once it is mixed well, turn off the stove and allow it to cool for just 1-2 minutes.
13. Sprinkle the Sugar Powder and mix well.
14. Allow the Chivda to cool down to room temperature before you store it.

Tips:

1. It is best to grind the Sugar yourself.
2. Adjust any or all of the ingredients to your need to suit your requirements.
3. Store it in air tight container or a ziploc for weeks. It does not need to be refrigerated.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Revival Post - Gobi Paratha

So like most other blogs, I almost abandoned this one, and now attempting to revive it. It is really more out of necessity. I'm married now, and cooking has now taken on a whole new meaning in my life. It's not just fun..it's also about getting two square meals on the table every single day. It's going good so far, but there are days when I really run out of ideas and recipes. I hope this blog comes to my rescue on those days.

So, I made gobhi paratha the other day, and I was feeling good..so I came up with a few spices to add which made it really yummy. Here's the recipe (sorry, no time to write separate ingredient lists and detailed instructions. I think I'll have to make do with this new format)

Chop Ghobi really fine (almost mince). Heat oil. Add cumin seeds, hing, ginger garlic paste and finely diced onions. Saute till onions become soft. add Coriander-cumin powder, finely diced green chillies, a pinch of garam masala and amchur. Add the Gobhi and saute. In a spice grinder, grind fennel seeds, ajwain and anardana seeds. Add this secret spice mix and salt. Sprinkle some water and let the ghobi cook. Add chopped fresh coriander. Make sure the mixture is as dry as possible. Knead atta with a pinch of salt and a but of oil. Stuff the mixture and make parathas.