My father-in-laws secret recipe revealed!
This is a recipe that my father-in-law Yusuf Husain has perfected. It is his secret recipe – one which he rarely shares with others! Even if he does share it you can be sure that he will leave out some important detail. I have ‘cracked’ the recipe after many unsuccessful attempts and after much cajoling. It was cooked last night and everybody loved it. Yusuf saab approved of the preparation and finally welcomed me to the family secret!
1 kg Mutton / Lamb, big pieces
10-12 Medium Onions, thick slices
12 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 tbsp Ginger, chopped
2 Bay Leaves (tej patta)
5 Black Cardamoms (badi elaichi)
2 Cinnamon Sticks (dalchini)
15 Whole Black Pepper Corns (kali mirch)
12 Whole Dried Red Chillies
Salt, to taste
75 gms Yoghurt, beaten
4-5 tbsp Ghee or Oil
- Heat ghee/oil in a saucepan. Take approximately half the quantity of onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Add mutton, bay leaves, black cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, pepper corns, red chillies and 1.5 tsp salt.
Sauté on high flame until the meat changes color.
- Add garlic and ginger. Sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining onions. Mix well and sauté for about 1 minute.
- Seal the vessel. Cook for approximately 45-50 minutes on low flame. In case you are using a pressure cooker, wait for 3 whistles and then let the meat rest while pressure is totally released from the cooker.
- Open the lid and you will see that onions are totally liquefied and the meat has been simmering in the liquefied onions.
- On medium heat sauté the meat until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Reduce heat and add yoghurt. Mix well. Cover the vessel once again (not under pressure) and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the meat is totally done.
- Let the meat rest for at least 15-20 minute before serving.
This is perhaps one of the most delicate, delicious and wholesome meat recipes I have come across. The cooking of meat in the onion gravy is the key to a successful result.
You can also follow the same recipe for Kate Masale Ka Chicken. With chicken you have to be careful that you do not overcook and that onions, ginger and garlic are chopped into smaller pieces to allow the onion gravy to form faster.
The red chillies and browning of the onions lend this dish its distinct reddish color. Excessive browning will make the dish very dark and some people prefer it that way. You can add approximately 1 tbsp roasted and roughly pounded coriander seeds after adding the yoghurt. This adds a little extra bite but many people do not enjoy the distinct coriander flavor. Try it or give it a miss, but this is one recipe that you must try!
Enjoy this with rotis, naan or steamed rice. I prefer devouring this recipe without any of these!
10 ‘Bhavnagri’ Green Chillies / Large Green Chillies, sliced or slit lengthwise
1/2 cup Peanuts
1 tsp Sesame seeds (Til)
1 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tsp Coriander seeds (Dhania)
1/2 cup Grated coconut
2 Medium Onions, roughly sliced
3 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
2 tsp Tamarind paste
1 cup Yoghurt
5 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
- Roast the sesame seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and peanuts. Keep aside to cool.
- Take 1 tbs oil in a pan. Fry the sliced onions until they turn transparent. (Do not let them turn brown). Keep aside to cool.
- Blend the fried onions, grated coconut, roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds to a paste. Add some water (approx 1/4 cup) to make the blending easier.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry the chillies for approx 4-5 minutes on a medium flame. Keep the chillies aside.
- In the same pan heat the remaining oil. Fry the blended masala paste with ginger-garlic paste and tamarind paste for approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Add the yoghurt to this and mix. Make sure the yoghurt is completely incorporated into the paste.
- Add the fried chillies to this. Mix and add 1 cup of water.
- Boil for 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the pan covered for 5 minutes.
- Serve with paratha or rice.
I love the Bhavnagari chillies for their correct amount of ‘hotness’. You can use any other variety of green chillies. You can also de-seed them to make the chillies milder. The real fun though is in the salan. It is tangy, hot and delicious. Replace the chillies with eggplant and you have Baingan ka salan!
I am not sure about the authenticity of this recipe but I know that it is truly delicious. Try it!
1 Medium Cabbage, chopped
3 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tsp Urad Dal
8-10 Curry Leaves
2 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi)
Salt, to taste
1/2 Grated coconut
- Heat the oil. Add the urad dal to this.
- When urad dal turns brownish add mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds begin to sputter add curry leaves and turmeric powder. Fry for 2-3 mins.
- Add the cabbage. Mix well.
- Add salt and approx 1/2 cup water. Cook without covering until cabbage is fully cooked.
- Add grated coconut. Fry for 1 minute. Serve hot.
So simple. That is what I love about this dish. Quick, attractive, delicious, light and great with hot phoolkas. You can sprinkle lemon juice on this before serving.
Since my mother is unable to tolerate spicy food my recipe does not include red chilli powder and coriander powder. You can add these along with turmeric powder. I still prefer the masale-free version.
1 Large Eggplant, diced
2 large Green peppers, de-seeded & diced
2 large Zucchini, diced
2 Onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves Garlic, grated
5 Tomatoes, diced
1 tsp each, dried herbs (Oregano, Parsley, Basil)
3 tbs Olive oil
Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a deep, heavy bottom sauce-pan.
- Fry onions and garlic for 7-8 minutes until they turn soft and transparent.
- Add the eggplant and fry until it gets coated. (Approx 5 mins)
- Add the green peppers. Cover and simmer for around 10 minutes. Let the eggplant ‘sweat’ and stir to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tomatoes, zucchini and salt. Cover and simmer for 30-40 mins.
- Add herbs. Simmer for another 10-15 mins.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese. Serve hot.
This is my variation of this French classic. Simple, delicious and wholesome. Best with garlic bread, pasta or wild rice. The dish is also very healthy and great for a diet. Serve with your favorite wine. Bon appétit!
For the Bhuna Gosht
1 kg Mutton/Lamb (with bone)
4 Medium Onion, peeled, finely chopped
4 tsp Garlic paste
3 tsp Red Chilli powder
3 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Cumin powder
½ tsp Turrmeric powder (haldi)
5 Medium Tomatoes, pureed or finely chopped
4 tsp Ginger paste
1-½ cups Water
¼ cup Oil / Ghee
For the Chana Dal Gosht
1 cup Chana Dal (split chick peas)
2 tsp Red Chilli powder
2 tsp Garam Masala powder
4-5 tbs Fresh Cream
1 Onion, sliced, fried until brown and kept aside
2 Green chillies, lightly fried
A handful of mint leaves
- Put mutton, onions, garlic, salt, chili powder, ground coriander, turmeric and water in a heavy based saucepan or pressure cooker. Cook for 20 minutes on high flame, stirring continuously (bhunaoing) or until all the water including the water from the chopped onions has dried up.
- Add tomatoes and ginger paste. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
- Add oil and cook for 10 minutes, again stirring all the time. Add one or two tablespoons of water to prevent gravy from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Shut the flame when oil separates from the gravy.
- Add the chana dal and red chilli powder to the bhuna gosht prepared above.
- Add water to this. Make sure that the water covers around 1 inch above the level of the dal and meat.
- Simmer under pressure for 3 whistles. Alternatively cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the dal and meat are fully cooked.
- Open the lid. Sprinkle garam masala powder, adjust the salt and mix thoroughly. Cook on medium flame for around 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Turn off the flame.
- Add fresh cream and mix into the Dal Gosht. Cover and let it rest for around 10 minutes.
- Serve with lemon juice, fresh mint and brown onions.
This is a wonderful recipe that I have got from the great singer/composer and my brother from Pakistan, Shafqat Ali. The dish is attractive, delicious and a massive hit with everybody. The trick is to ensure that Bhuna Gosht is made correctly with a lot of stirring to ensure that gravy does not get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
You can make a lot of variations to this dish. Change the dal – try red lentils, kidney beans or soaked Bengal gram or a mixture of all the dals. Instead of dal you can also add vegetables like okra, cauliflower, potatoes, yam or turnips to the Bhuna Gosht to get delightful dishes! Cooking times of course will vary. You can also replace the tomatoes with yoghurt. Keep trying and serving. That is what passion is all about. Happy cooking!
1 kg Mutton, medium sized pieces
3 large Potatoes, cut into large pieces
1 ½ tsp Turmeric powder
2 tbs Ginger-Garlic paste
5 large Tomatoes, chopped
3 large Onions, chopped
½ Coconut, grated
10 pcs Cloves (Laung)
8-10 pcs Whole Red chillies
2 tsp Poppy seeds
2 tsp Fennel seeds (saunf)
2 tsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp Peppercorns
½ cup Oil
Salt, to taste
- Thoroughly mix salt, turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste into the meat. Keep aside for at least 45 mins.
- Heat 3-4 tbs of oil in a pan. Add the poppy seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and red chillies. Fry until the poppy seeds just begin to turn brown.
- Add the chopped onions. Fry until light brown.
- Add the grated coconut and fry for about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and fry (bhunno continuously) until the oil begins to separate from the masala.
- Cool the masala. Blend to a fine paste. Kolhapuri Masala is now ready.
- Heat the remaining oil in a pressure cooker. Add the marinated mutton pieces and potatoes. Fry until they turn brownish.
- Add the Kolhapuri Masala prepared above. Mix well. Add approximately 2-3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover.
- Cook the mutton under pressure on low heat for around 4-5 whistles (depending on the tenderness of the meat).
- Wait for all the pressure to be released, then open the lid.
- Add chopped fresh coriander and mix.
While I enjoy subtle flavors and aromatic cuisines, this Mutton Kolhapuri was a welcome change. There is nothing subtle or gentle about it but it is simply delicious. You can use the Kolhapuri masala for chicken, vegetables or paneer but I think the robust flavors come out best with red meat. Eat this with the traditional Maharashtrian bread bhakri or the sinful, deep fried wada. As usual I prefer it with my staid, slightly crisp phoolka.
Cooked this mutton kolhapuri for my wife last night. I was showered with a lot of rekindled love, affection and a much needed foot massage. Maybe it was the poppy seeds! Or the excellent new wine from the Dindori region of Nashik. This region produces some excellent grapes and the wines from here are excellent. Sula Dindori Reserve and Chateau d’Ori are two brands that use grapes from this region. While the Sula Reserve is truly the pick of Indian wines, this new one is also quite good. Cheers!
2-3 Chicken Breasts
2-3 Baby Potatoes
4 tbs Olive Oil
1 tbs Ginger Paste
1 tsp Fennel seeds, hand pounded (saunf)
2 cloves Garlic
2 tbs Dried Oregano
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to approx. 220°C.
- Make a bag placing 2 pieces of tin foil (large enough) on top of each other. Fold three sides and keep one side open.
- Flatten the chicken breasts with a mallet.
- Pierce the baby potatoes with a fork.
- Squeeze the lemon juice and reserve the lemon. Put these in a bowl.
- Add olive oil, crushed dried oregano, ginger paste, pounded fennel seeds, garlic, and black pepper to this.
- Put the chicken breasts and potatoes. Mix.
- Keep this mixture aside for around 45 minutes. (Longer the better!)
- Place this mixture in your foil bag. Seal the bag and place carefully on a roasting tray.
- Heat in the pre-heated oven for approximately 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Break open the foil on the table.
Enjoy this simple recipe with pao, garlic bread or lemon rice. Experiment with different herbs like thyme, rosemary and vegetables like spinach, beans, mushrooms. You can also add fresh cream or white wine to the marinade to get delightful variations. Serve with a glass of good white wine.
For the Kadhai Paste
INGREDIENTS7 tbs Coriander seeds
10 Dried Red chillies
3 tbs Garlic Paste
¼ cup Ginger, chopped
5 Tomatoes, chopped
4 tbs Ghee
1 tbs Dried fenugreek (Kasoori Methi)
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- Dry- grind the coriander seeds and red chillies
- Heat the ghee in a kadhai (wok). Fry the garlic pasteon medium flame till it turns golden brown.
- Fry the chopped ginger and coriander seeds- red chillies powder in this for around 45 seconds.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Mix and fry this on medium flame while stirring continuously.
- Fry till the ghee separates from the masala.
- Add the dried fenugreek (kasoori methi) and garam masala powder. Mix.
- Keep aside.
For the Kadhai Paneer
500gms Fresh Cottage Cheese (Paneer), cut into medium size cubes
3 tbs Ghee
1 large Capsicum, deseeded and julienned
3 tsp Coriander seeds
5 Dried Red Chillies
Kadhai Paste (above)
A pinch of dried fenugreek (Kasoori Methi)
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
¼ cup Fresh coriander, chopped
- Dry grind the coriander seeds and dried red chillies to a fine powder.
- Heat the ghee in a kadhai (wok). Stir fry the capsicum on high flame for 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped ginger and coriander-red chillies powder to this and fry on medium flame for around 1 minute.
- Add the Kadhai Paste prepared above. Fry till the oil separates from the masala. This should take around 4-5 minutes at the most.
- Add the paneer to this and mix gently. Cook while stirring gently for 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle the dried fenugreek (kasoori methi) and garam masala powder. Adjust the seasoning if required. Mix.
- Serve hot garnished with fresh chopped coriander.
This is quite a hit with my gujju guests! Tastes just like the kadhai paneer you get in restaurants (better if I can be immodest!) and despite the gujju preference for this dish I must admit that it is truly delectable. Experiment with other vegetables for kadhai vegetable and also with chicken to get kadhai chicken. Just try it! It goes brilliantly with any hot, fresh bread.
Yummy Palak Paneer!
2 large bunches Spinach (Palak), stems removed
250g Fresh Cottage Cheese (Paneer), chopped into medium cubes
4 tbs Oil
4 tsp Garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhania Powder)
2 Green Chillies, deseeded and chopped
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
2 tsp Fresh Cream
- Boil 3-4 cups of water. In the boiling water put the spinach for exactly 1 minute.
- Strain the hot water and immediately cool the spinach in running cold water.
- Make a puree of the blanched spinach using a blender.
- Heat 2 tbs oil in pan. Add garlic and fry until golden.
- Add the spinach puree and salt. Sauté on medium flame until spinach is nearly cooked.
- Heat the remaining oil in another pan. Fry the onions until golden brown.
- Add the chopped ginger and fry for about 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies and coriander powder. Sauté over medium heat until the oil separates from the masala.
- Add the cooked spinach and garlic puree to this. Mix. Add approximately 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
- Mix and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame.
- Add the paneer cubes and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle the garam masala and mix. Cook for 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from heat and mix the fresh cream.
- Serve hot.
This is a mildly spiced recipe that is entirely my own. The blanching process is necessary to maintain the fresh green color of the spinach(palak) without adding stupid color. I try to avoid cream and also try to reduce the quantity of oil (if I am dieting!). Although I prefer using fresh and soft cottage cheese (paneer), my father-in-law prefers the cottage cheese (paneer) deep fried. Take your pick!