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.

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!

Eggplant Raita

easy-eggplant-raitaINGREDIENTS

2 medium eggplants
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt (plain yoghurt will do)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
1 green chilly, de-seeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin (jeera powder)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves (hara dhania), finely chopped

PROCEDURE

1. Prick the eggplants all over with a fork, place on the foil lined pan and brush the outsides with the vegetable oil.
2. Roast the eggplants on a gridle placed on a gas burner (you can use an oven pre-heated at 200 C). Roast until they are very tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.
3. Remove the eggplants and allow them to cool enough to handle.
4. Once the eggplants have cooled, slice them in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh out into a medium sized bowl and set aside to cool completely.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, onion, green chilly and cumin powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in the cooled eggplant and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Mix in the mint and chopped coriander , transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is a recipe learned from my wife. Nobody makes this raita better than her! Greek style yogurt is a bit thicker than regular yogurt and has a little more bite. It’s really a better choice for this recipe, but if you’re not able to find it you can substitute regular (stay away from reduced fat and fat free) plain yogurt by draining off the excess liquid. Just empty the container into a strainer lined with a couple of thicknesses of cloth, and allow it to drain over a bowl for about an hour.

Lentil Cooked with Yoghurt

lentil in yoghurtINGREDIENTS
500gms Split Lentil (Arhar Dal)
1/4 cup  Hung yoghurt
2 tsp Ginger Juice
4 Cloves (Laung)
5-6 Green Cardamoms (Chhoti Elaichi)
1 stick Cinnamon (Dalchini)
4 tbs Ghee
2 Onions, sliced
1 tbs Lemon juice
1/4 tsp Saffron (kesar), dissolved in milk

PROCEDURE

1. Mix hung yoghurt and ginger juice. Set aside for 15 mins.
2. Grind the cloves, green cardamom and cinnamon to a fine powder. Sieve and keep aside
3. Boil the lentil with salt until almost cooked. Drain
4. Heat ghee in a pan; fry onions till golden brown
5. Remove 1/3rd onions to use later.
6. Add the powdered spices (cloves, green cardamom and cinnamon) and fry for 1 minute
6. Add lentil, yoghurt and ginger juice mixture, 1 cup of water. Cook on low heat
7. When lentil is soft and cooked, add lemon juice, saffron and the reserved onions. Cover
8. Cook on extremely slow heat for approximately 15-20 mins.

Tip : Try the same with red lentil (masoor dal).
Serve hot with pulao or phoolka or any bread. The dish is unique, simple and quite a royal treat!