Mutton Kolhapuri – nothing subtle about this one!

mutton kolhapuri -3INGREDIENTS

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

PROCEDURE

  1. Thoroughly mix salt, turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste into the meat. Keep aside for at least  45 mins.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the chopped onions. Fry until light brown.
  4. Add the grated coconut and fry for about 1 minute.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry (bhunno continuously) until the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  6. Cool the masala. Blend to a fine paste. Kolhapuri Masala is now ready.
  7. Heat the remaining oil in a pressure cooker. Add the marinated mutton pieces and potatoes. Fry until they turn brownish.
  8. Add the Kolhapuri Masala prepared above. Mix well. Add approximately 2-3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover.
  9. Cook the mutton under pressure on low heat for around 4-5 whistles (depending on the tenderness of the meat).
  10. Wait for all the pressure to be released, then open the lid.
  11. 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.

Jowar Bhakri
Jowar Bhakri

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!

Roghni Roti – A royal treat!

roghninaanINGREDIENTS

1 cup Milk
1 cup Wholewheat flour (Atta)
¼ cup Ghee
¼ tsp Saffron (Kesar)
1 tsp Green Cardamom powder (Chhoti Elaichi powder)
Salt, to taste

PROCEDURE

  1. Boil the milk. Reduce to half.
  2. Sieve the flour with salt. Add ghee, saffron, green cardamom powder and milk. Knead thoroughly to make a soft, elastic dough.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion out into a disc.
  4. Heat an iron griddle (tawa). Cook the discs on low heat. Pierce with a knife in the centre. Press with a cloth all round while cooking.
  5. Remove when both sides of the roti have brown spots.

Great roti that my father-in-law makes very well. You can add a little bit of powdered sugar, cinnamon powder and ajwain to make this roti even more aromatic and flavorful. Great with potatoes sauteed in oil with cumin seeds, sliced onions, whole red chillies, green peas and salt. Maybe a recipe for simple potato subzi will follow soon! Have a brilliant day.

Sinful Chocolate Mousse

chocolate-mousse

INGREDIENTS

250g Milk Chocolate/ Semi-bitter Chocolate (Take your pick!), broken into pieces
75g Butter, cut into pieces
1-1/2 cup Fresh Cream
2 Large Eggs
2 tbs Irish Cream (any liqueur you prefer!)
1 tbs Honey

PROCEDURE

  1. Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl. Place the bowl over some boiled water that is kept on a gentle simmer.
  2. Let the chocolate and butter melt. Remove from the heat.
  3. In another bowl whip the cream until it gets soft and frothy
  4. Whisk the eggs and honey in a bowl until light.
  5. Gently fold in the irish cream, melted chocolate mixture and cream. Mix all this very gently.
  6. Pour the mixture into small wine glasses or serving dishes.
  7. Leave to chill for a few hours (At least 1-1/2 hour before serving).
  8. Sprinkle grated chocolate over the mousse before serving.

Chocolate Mousse is so simple to make and so delightfully sinful! Try different varieties of chocolate and liqueur. I also like to add a dash of whisky to make this even more sinful. Delicious.

Chicken Breast in a Bag!

chicken in a bag

INGREDIENTS

2-3 Chicken Breasts
2-3 Baby Potatoes
2 Lemons
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
Salt

PROCEDURE

  1. Pre-heat the oven to approx. 220°C.
  2. Make a bag placing 2 pieces of tin foil (large enough) on top of each other. Fold three sides and keep one side open.
  3. Flatten the chicken breasts with a mallet.
  4. Pierce the baby potatoes with a fork.
  5. Squeeze the lemon juice and reserve the lemon. Put these in a bowl.
  6. Add olive oil, crushed dried oregano, ginger paste, pounded fennel seeds, garlic, and black pepper to this.
  7. Put the chicken breasts and potatoes. Mix.
  8. Keep this mixture aside for around 45 minutes. (Longer the better!)
  9. Place this mixture in your foil bag. Seal the bag and place carefully on a roasting tray.
  10. Heat in the pre-heated oven for approximately 30-35 minutes.
  11. 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.

Kadhai Paneer – A gujju favorite!

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
Salt

PROCEDURE

  1. Dry- grind the coriander seeds and red chillies
  2. Heat the ghee in a kadhai (wok). Fry the garlic pasteon medium flame  till it turns golden brown.
  3. Fry the chopped ginger and coriander seeds- red chillies powder in this for around 45 seconds.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Mix and fry this on medium flame while stirring continuously.
  5. Fry till the ghee separates from the masala.
  6. Add the dried fenugreek (kasoori methi) and garam masala powder. Mix.
  7. Keep aside.

For the Kadhai Paneer

INGREDIENTS

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

PROCEDURE

  1. Dry grind the coriander seeds and dried red chillies to a fine powder.
  2. Heat the ghee in a kadhai (wok). Stir fry the capsicum on high flame for 30 seconds.
  3.  Add the chopped ginger and coriander-red chillies powder to this and fry on medium flame for around 1 minute.
  4. Add the Kadhai Paste prepared above. Fry till the oil separates from the masala. This should take around 4-5 minutes at the most.
  5. Add the paneer to this and mix gently. Cook while stirring gently for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle the dried fenugreek (kasoori methi) and garam masala powder. Adjust the seasoning if required. Mix.
  7. 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.kadhai paneer

Dal Chicken (Chicken in a Red Lentil Sauce)

 dal chickenINGREDIENTS

1 kg Chicken, medium pieces, cleaned and washed
¼ cup Yoghurt
1 tbs Oil
2 tbs lemon juice
1-1/2 cup Water
Salt
1 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi powder)
2 tsp Coriander powder (Dhania powder)
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
½ tsp Cumin seed powder (jeera powder)
½ tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
2 Medium Onions, chopped
2 Medium Potatoes, diced
½ cup Red Lentil (Masoor dal)
2 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
1 tbs Ginger, julienned

  1. Mix the chicken thoroughly with yoghurt, 1 tbs lemon juice, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Marinate for approximately 45 minutes.
  2. In a pressure cooker heat the oil
  3. Fry the cumin seeds for a minute. Add the onions and sauté until golden brown.
  4. Add the marinated chicken and diced potatoes. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Now add the red lentils and chopped tomatoes. Cook on medium flame for a 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add water, bring to a boil. Cover the pressure cooker and lower the flame to low.
  8. Simmer under pressure for 2 whistles. Turn off the burner and let the steam release slowly on its own from the cooker.
  9. After all the steam has been released, open the lid and cook until the chicken is tender and the sauce is completely done. Adjust the salt. Stir continuously while cooking.
  10. Add the remaining lemon juice and mix. Sprinkle julienned ginger before serving.

This is again a light and unique recipe and tastes delightful.  I enjoy this with steamed kolam rice or any unpolished rice.  I am not very fond of the excessively refined basmati rice available in stores.  I also enjoy this mildly spiced dish with a good crisp paratha. Great recipe for those who are on diet and particularly for all those on high protein diets! You could also try this with lamb. Of course cooking times will vary. A tempering (tadka) of ghee, garlic, whole red chillies and a pinch of asafoetida (heeng) can be an interesting addition.

Hansal’s Palak Paneer

Yummy!
Yummy Palak Paneer!

INGREDIENTS

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
Salt

PROCEDURE

  1. Boil 3-4 cups of water. In the boiling water put the spinach for exactly 1 minute.
  2. Strain the hot water and immediately cool the spinach in running cold water.
  3. Make a puree of the blanched spinach using a blender.
  4. Heat 2 tbs oil in pan. Add garlic and fry until golden.
  5. Add the spinach puree and salt. Sauté on medium flame until spinach is nearly cooked.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in another pan. Fry the onions until golden brown.
  7. Add the chopped ginger and fry for about 1 – 2  minutes.
  8. Add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies and coriander powder.  Sauté over medium heat until the oil separates from the masala.
  9. Add the cooked spinach and garlic puree to this. Mix. Add approximately 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
  10. Mix and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame.
  11. Add the paneer cubes and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle the garam masala and mix. Cook for 1 minute.
  13. Remove the pan from heat and mix the fresh cream.
  14. 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!