Wednesday, 24 June 2015

NARGISI KOFTA BIRIYANI

Exotic  meal in which eggs stuffed in meatballs (Nargisi Koftas) are served in savory rice in mughlai style. It’s worth the effort in spite of lengthy process.





INGREDIENTS:

For RICE:
3 cups Basmati Rice
4 no.s Cloves
6 no.s Peppercorns
8 no.s Cardamom
For Kofta:
6 no.s Eggs boiled
750g Chicken/Meat mince
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
¼ tsp Cumin powder
2 Green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Red chilly powder
1 tsp Garam masala
5 tbsp onion ,finely chopped

For MASALA:
4 tbsp Ghee
1 Bay leaf
3 Cardamoms
8 Peppercorns
¼ tsp Cumin seeds/Jeera
4 cups Onions, sliced
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
3 Green chillies
2 Tomatoes
2 tsp Red chilly powder
1 tbsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder
½ cup Curd
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 cups Mint leaves, chopped
A generous pinch of Saffron
A pinch of Yellow color
4 tbsp of Milk
1 tsp Shah Jeera/ Caraway seeds







METHOD:

Boil rice along with the whole masalas and salt until it is 3/4th cooked. Drain and keep aside.

For Koftas, add all ingredients along with salt to a food processor or blender and process for a few seconds until well-blended. Refrigerate this for about 15 minutes.

Make 6 balls out of this minced meat mix.

Take one ball and flatten on a piece of baking sheet into 4” diameter and ½” thick.


Place one whole boiled egg in between and shape them into koftas covering the egg nicely. Make sure that no crack seen.

Keep it aside and repeat the procedure with all other eggs and mince balls.


Deep-fry these koftas in high flame for about 30 seconds or so until it turns brown on all sides.


Drain on a tissue paper.


Deep-fry onions until it turns golden brown and crisp.

Once cooled, crush these onions in a blender. 

For masala, heat ghee on a deep-bottomed pan.

Throw in whole spices and sauté for a few seconds, carefully. If burnt, the whole masala would turn bitter.

Add the crushed onions into it and sauté for a while. Pour a little hot water in that as the onion lost its moisture when fried before and so there is a chance of burning.

Add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies to it and sauté for a minute more.

Cook tomatoes in it along with yogurt, red chilly, coriander powder and turmeric powder until the gravy is cooked nicely.

Cook tomatoes in it along with yogurt, red chilly, coriander powder and turmeric powder until the gravy is cooked nicely.

Add water to this if needed.

Pop in garam masala and mint leaves; mix well.

Carefully add the nargisi koftas and cook for about 8-10 minutes until masala gets infused into koftas and is done perfectly.

Soak saffron in warm milk for about 10-15 minutes. Then add a pinch of yellow color to it.

Now, for the dum process, place ¼ of the rice at the bottom of a deep dish; then layer the masala.

Now, layer the half of the remaining rice and sprinkle saffron-milk and a tbsp. of oil here and there. Layer remaining rice on top of that.

Sprinkle a tsp of garam masala and 2 tbsp of oil on top and close the lid.  Let the pot remain so for about ½ an hour until the rice is done perfectly.

Serve with mint or any raita of your choice.











TIPS/VARIATION

Strain chicken mince and make sure no water is left behind; otherwise the koftas may break while shaping them.

You can use either wax paper or cling film to shape koftas so that you get smooth shape.


Saturday, 20 June 2015

NAWI GHOSHT


A rich mutton gravy subtly flavored with Indian spices.




INGREDIENTS


To Marinate:

500g Mutton
1 tsp Red Chilly powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1/3 cups Yoghurt

Other Ingredients:
2 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Butter
3 Cardamoms
3 Cloves
1” Cinnamon
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp Caraway Seeds/Shah Jeera
1 cup Onions
2 clovea Garlic
1 tsp Ginger, chopped
¾ cup Tomatoes, Crushed
1 tsp Red Chilly flakes
25 Almonds, pureed and more to garnish
½ cup Cream
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Rose water
A pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp milk
Coriander leaves to garnish


METHOD
Marinate mutton along with marinade ingredients for about ½ an hour in refrigerator.
Meanwhile, crush onions with ginger and garlic.
Heat ghee in a pan. Throw in whole spices and sauté for a few seconds till its aroma come out.
Sauté onions in it in high flame until it turns brown.  (color similar to how we fry for biriyanis)
Add crushed tomatoes to it and cook till the masala leaves the sides of the pan.
Add mutton along with the marinade and allow it to boil.
Season with salt and red chilli flakes. Cook till mutton is done.
Now add almond puree, saffron, and rosewater and garam masala.
Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add cream to it. Allow it to boil and switch off the flame.
Garnish with almond silvers and coriander leaves.
Serve with rotis or parathas.

Friday, 19 June 2015

MUTTER PANEER CUTLETS



 Delicious and melt-in-mouth vegetarian cutlets, which could be served as evening snack or as a filling for sandwiches for your kids’ tiffin.


INGREDIENTS

1 cup Onions, chopped
2 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
3 no.s Green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Pepper, crushed
1 and half cups Paneer/Cottage Cheese, grated
1 and half cups Potatoes, boiled & grated
1 cup Green peas, boiled
1 tsp Garam masala
3 tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
Bread crumbs enough to coat
Oil for frying







Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and sauté onions till they turn slightly brown in color.


Add ginger-garlic paste and green chilies and sauté till the raw smell disappears.


      Throw in all the spices and sauté for a few seconds.

        Mix well the paneer and vegetables.

          Season with salt and garam masala.

            Add coriander leaves to it and mix nicely. Masala is ready. Now, let it cool.

              Make balls out of this stuffing and shape it into cutlets; round, oval or heart shape as you wish.

                Mix flour in a cup (approximately) of water until no lumps formed.

                  Dip each cutlet into the flour mixture and then coat well with the breadcrumbs.

                    Fry these cutlets in oil until it turns dark brown and crisp outside.

                      Drain on tissue paper and serve hot with mint chutney or ketchup.





                      TIPS
                      The potatoes should be boiled perfectly; otherwise the cutlets may absorb too much oil.
                      You can add 2-3 tbsp of breadcrumbs to the mixture for binding incase if you feel the cutlets are not holding shapes.

                      Thursday, 18 June 2015

                      ALMOND PEANUT SMOOTHIE

                      This Rich, creamy and velvety smooth drink is an excellent source of energy with which you could start your day off.




                      INGREDIENTS:
                      (yields: 4 servings)

                      20 Almonds
                      4 cups Milk
                      3tbsp Sugar
                      1 heaped tbsp Peanut Butter





                      METHOD

                      Soak almonds for about 2-3 hours. Peel off the skin.
                      Alternatively you can pour boiling hot water to the almonds and peel it off right there.

                      Make a paste of almond with little milk.

                      Now blend with the remaining ingredients all together.

                      Check the sweetness and adjust it according to your taste.


                      TIPS/VARIATION
                      You can add vanilla essence or cardamom instead of peanut butter.
                      A few thin slices of almonds or apples can be added for the bite.

                      Thursday, 11 June 2015

                      Coconut & Chana Dal Filling for snacks

                      Ramadan countdown has begun. The blessed and most beautiful month is near and what better time to prepare for it than right now. It's not necessary to wait until Ramadan to change yourselves. Set your goals and start right now. Planning is essential beforeheand for the maximum utilisation of the month. Here is a beautiful article on time-management tips for Ramadan.

                      When I do posts on ramadan preparations, many say that ramadan is not about food varieties or stuffing yourselves with food etc. This is true. Me too agree on this. But at the same time we can't ignore the fact that we have to eat something and all. Infact, we have to ensure that we eat right to stay active whole day, to keep our body hydrated during hot days, to pray more and more and not to forget -to run behind our toddlers ;) .. Kids do fast and it's important to take care of their diet too. I can't avoid making tea time snacks, whether oily, wraps, bakes ... anything; but a little. A plate of snacks- just one variety would do. Stuffing is what is against our Sunnah and also spending a lot of time in kitchen, which we can avoid with proper preparations.

                      Right from sorting the house chores, kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, to freezing some snacks, fillings, etc. the muslim ladies are busy during second half of Sha'ban. It's going to be quite hot and long fasting days this year for us Middle-easternites. So spending in hot kitchen during fasting days can be quite hectic. It's easier when you have some fillings or prepared snacks in the freezer. One such filling which could be frozen is coconut & kadalapparippu(chana dal) sweet filling. This could be used as a filling for Kaayada/Unnakaaya ,Bread fritters , Pazham nirachathu(stuffed plaintain) etc. 





                      Ingredients:

                      3 cups coconut
                      6 tbsp of boiled chana dal
                       1 1/4 cups sugar
                      2 generous pinch of cardamom
                      2 Eggs (optional)




                      Method:

                      Heat coconut and sugar in a pan in low flame. Keep on stirring till the sugar melts and the coconut is well cooked; yet little moisture remains. It may take about 15 minutes. Reducing sugar may result in dried and uncooked filling. Add boiled chana dal/bengal gram to it. Mix well. If you are using egg, add now and saute nicely. Sprinkle cardamom powder on top and immediately transfer to a plate. Let it cool and use as a stuffing to your favorite snacks. You can otherwise freeze it in ziplock bags for later use.





                      Posts onRAMADAN PREPARATIONS in this blog 





                      Tuesday, 2 June 2015

                      Chakkara choru / Whole wheat Dessert

                      Chakkarachoru or sharkkara choru is one of the famous desserts found in Malabar Muslim households occassionally made during traditional festives. Sakkara is jaggery and choru is rice; though both these are not used in the recipe these days. My dad loves this with jaggery ,but we like it with sugar; so mom has to make both the versions everytime. I could see many varieties of this dish online from different regions of South India. Ours is slightly different. Let's move on to the recipe. 

                      Whole wheat is cooked in coconut milk, sweetened with sugar and flavoured with cardamom to bring out the best of the sweet dishes prepared in Malabar.

                      INGREDIENTS

                      Wholewheat  1 cup
                      Onion  4 tbsp
                      Coconut  4 cups
                      Chana dal 1/4 cup
                      Salt 1/2 tsp
                      Sugar 1 1/4 cups
                      Cardamom powder a generous pinch




                       Method:

                      1. Blend coconut by adding4 cups of water to it. Strain milk using a strainer. Squeeze out the coconut pulp to extract maximum milk as possible.This is first milk. Keep it aside. Use the coconut solids after extracting milk to extract the second milk.

                      2. Pour 6 cups of water to the coconut solids and blend again. Squeeze out the milk using a strainer. This is called thin milk or second milk.

                      3. Add second milk, wholewheat,onion and salt in a pressure cooker . Lower the flame after first whistle and simmer in cooker for about 25-30 minutes or until the wheat cooks well.

                      4. Boil chana dal in another pan till it cooks well but crunch remains.

                      5. Add sugar and first milk to the cooked wheat. Stir well until it boils nicely and thickens.

                      6. Add cooked bengal gram to it and stir well. Sprinkle cardamom powder to it. Check the taste and add more salt or sugar if needed.





                      Wednesday, 24 June 2015

                      NARGISI KOFTA BIRIYANI

                      Exotic  meal in which eggs stuffed in meatballs (Nargisi Koftas) are served in savory rice in mughlai style. It’s worth the effort in spite of lengthy process.





                      INGREDIENTS:

                      For RICE:
                      3 cups Basmati Rice
                      4 no.s Cloves
                      6 no.s Peppercorns
                      8 no.s Cardamom
                      For Kofta:
                      6 no.s Eggs boiled
                      750g Chicken/Meat mince
                      1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
                      ¼ tsp Cumin powder
                      2 Green chillies, finely chopped
                      1 tsp Coriander powder
                      1 tsp Red chilly powder
                      1 tsp Garam masala
                      5 tbsp onion ,finely chopped

                      For MASALA:
                      4 tbsp Ghee
                      1 Bay leaf
                      3 Cardamoms
                      8 Peppercorns
                      ¼ tsp Cumin seeds/Jeera
                      4 cups Onions, sliced
                      1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
                      3 Green chillies
                      2 Tomatoes
                      2 tsp Red chilly powder
                      1 tbsp Coriander powder
                      ½ tsp Turmeric powder
                      ½ cup Curd
                      1 tsp Garam Masala
                      2 cups Mint leaves, chopped
                      A generous pinch of Saffron
                      A pinch of Yellow color
                      4 tbsp of Milk
                      1 tsp Shah Jeera/ Caraway seeds







                      METHOD:

                      Boil rice along with the whole masalas and salt until it is 3/4th cooked. Drain and keep aside.

                      For Koftas, add all ingredients along with salt to a food processor or blender and process for a few seconds until well-blended. Refrigerate this for about 15 minutes.

                      Make 6 balls out of this minced meat mix.

                      Take one ball and flatten on a piece of baking sheet into 4” diameter and ½” thick.


                      Place one whole boiled egg in between and shape them into koftas covering the egg nicely. Make sure that no crack seen.

                      Keep it aside and repeat the procedure with all other eggs and mince balls.


                      Deep-fry these koftas in high flame for about 30 seconds or so until it turns brown on all sides.


                      Drain on a tissue paper.


                      Deep-fry onions until it turns golden brown and crisp.

                      Once cooled, crush these onions in a blender. 

                      For masala, heat ghee on a deep-bottomed pan.

                      Throw in whole spices and sauté for a few seconds, carefully. If burnt, the whole masala would turn bitter.

                      Add the crushed onions into it and sauté for a while. Pour a little hot water in that as the onion lost its moisture when fried before and so there is a chance of burning.

                      Add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies to it and sauté for a minute more.

                      Cook tomatoes in it along with yogurt, red chilly, coriander powder and turmeric powder until the gravy is cooked nicely.

                      Cook tomatoes in it along with yogurt, red chilly, coriander powder and turmeric powder until the gravy is cooked nicely.

                      Add water to this if needed.

                      Pop in garam masala and mint leaves; mix well.

                      Carefully add the nargisi koftas and cook for about 8-10 minutes until masala gets infused into koftas and is done perfectly.

                      Soak saffron in warm milk for about 10-15 minutes. Then add a pinch of yellow color to it.

                      Now, for the dum process, place ¼ of the rice at the bottom of a deep dish; then layer the masala.

                      Now, layer the half of the remaining rice and sprinkle saffron-milk and a tbsp. of oil here and there. Layer remaining rice on top of that.

                      Sprinkle a tsp of garam masala and 2 tbsp of oil on top and close the lid.  Let the pot remain so for about ½ an hour until the rice is done perfectly.

                      Serve with mint or any raita of your choice.











                      TIPS/VARIATION

                      Strain chicken mince and make sure no water is left behind; otherwise the koftas may break while shaping them.

                      You can use either wax paper or cling film to shape koftas so that you get smooth shape.


                      Saturday, 20 June 2015

                      NAWI GHOSHT


                      A rich mutton gravy subtly flavored with Indian spices.




                      INGREDIENTS


                      To Marinate:

                      500g Mutton
                      1 tsp Red Chilly powder
                      1 tsp Coriander powder
                      ½ tsp Turmeric powder
                      1/3 cups Yoghurt

                      Other Ingredients:
                      2 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Butter
                      3 Cardamoms
                      3 Cloves
                      1” Cinnamon
                      1 Bay leaf
                      1 tsp Caraway Seeds/Shah Jeera
                      1 cup Onions
                      2 clovea Garlic
                      1 tsp Ginger, chopped
                      ¾ cup Tomatoes, Crushed
                      1 tsp Red Chilly flakes
                      25 Almonds, pureed and more to garnish
                      ½ cup Cream
                      1 tsp Garam Masala
                      1 tsp Rose water
                      A pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp milk
                      Coriander leaves to garnish


                      METHOD
                      Marinate mutton along with marinade ingredients for about ½ an hour in refrigerator.
                      Meanwhile, crush onions with ginger and garlic.
                      Heat ghee in a pan. Throw in whole spices and sauté for a few seconds till its aroma come out.
                      Sauté onions in it in high flame until it turns brown.  (color similar to how we fry for biriyanis)
                      Add crushed tomatoes to it and cook till the masala leaves the sides of the pan.
                      Add mutton along with the marinade and allow it to boil.
                      Season with salt and red chilli flakes. Cook till mutton is done.
                      Now add almond puree, saffron, and rosewater and garam masala.
                      Simmer for about 5 minutes.
                      Add cream to it. Allow it to boil and switch off the flame.
                      Garnish with almond silvers and coriander leaves.
                      Serve with rotis or parathas.

                      Friday, 19 June 2015

                      MUTTER PANEER CUTLETS



                       Delicious and melt-in-mouth vegetarian cutlets, which could be served as evening snack or as a filling for sandwiches for your kids’ tiffin.


                      INGREDIENTS

                      1 cup Onions, chopped
                      2 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
                      3 no.s Green chillies, finely chopped
                      1 tsp Red chilly powder
                      1/2 tsp Cumin powder
                      1 tsp Pepper, crushed
                      1 and half cups Paneer/Cottage Cheese, grated
                      1 and half cups Potatoes, boiled & grated
                      1 cup Green peas, boiled
                      1 tsp Garam masala
                      3 tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped
                      1/2 cup flour
                      Bread crumbs enough to coat
                      Oil for frying







                      Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and sauté onions till they turn slightly brown in color.


                      Add ginger-garlic paste and green chilies and sauté till the raw smell disappears.


                          Throw in all the spices and sauté for a few seconds.

                            Mix well the paneer and vegetables.

                              Season with salt and garam masala.

                                Add coriander leaves to it and mix nicely. Masala is ready. Now, let it cool.

                                  Make balls out of this stuffing and shape it into cutlets; round, oval or heart shape as you wish.

                                    Mix flour in a cup (approximately) of water until no lumps formed.

                                      Dip each cutlet into the flour mixture and then coat well with the breadcrumbs.

                                        Fry these cutlets in oil until it turns dark brown and crisp outside.

                                          Drain on tissue paper and serve hot with mint chutney or ketchup.





                                          TIPS
                                          The potatoes should be boiled perfectly; otherwise the cutlets may absorb too much oil.
                                          You can add 2-3 tbsp of breadcrumbs to the mixture for binding incase if you feel the cutlets are not holding shapes.

                                          Thursday, 18 June 2015

                                          ALMOND PEANUT SMOOTHIE

                                          This Rich, creamy and velvety smooth drink is an excellent source of energy with which you could start your day off.




                                          INGREDIENTS:
                                          (yields: 4 servings)

                                          20 Almonds
                                          4 cups Milk
                                          3tbsp Sugar
                                          1 heaped tbsp Peanut Butter





                                          METHOD

                                          Soak almonds for about 2-3 hours. Peel off the skin.
                                          Alternatively you can pour boiling hot water to the almonds and peel it off right there.

                                          Make a paste of almond with little milk.

                                          Now blend with the remaining ingredients all together.

                                          Check the sweetness and adjust it according to your taste.


                                          TIPS/VARIATION
                                          You can add vanilla essence or cardamom instead of peanut butter.
                                          A few thin slices of almonds or apples can be added for the bite.

                                          Thursday, 11 June 2015

                                          Coconut & Chana Dal Filling for snacks

                                          Ramadan countdown has begun. The blessed and most beautiful month is near and what better time to prepare for it than right now. It's not necessary to wait until Ramadan to change yourselves. Set your goals and start right now. Planning is essential beforeheand for the maximum utilisation of the month. Here is a beautiful article on time-management tips for Ramadan.

                                          When I do posts on ramadan preparations, many say that ramadan is not about food varieties or stuffing yourselves with food etc. This is true. Me too agree on this. But at the same time we can't ignore the fact that we have to eat something and all. Infact, we have to ensure that we eat right to stay active whole day, to keep our body hydrated during hot days, to pray more and more and not to forget -to run behind our toddlers ;) .. Kids do fast and it's important to take care of their diet too. I can't avoid making tea time snacks, whether oily, wraps, bakes ... anything; but a little. A plate of snacks- just one variety would do. Stuffing is what is against our Sunnah and also spending a lot of time in kitchen, which we can avoid with proper preparations.

                                          Right from sorting the house chores, kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, to freezing some snacks, fillings, etc. the muslim ladies are busy during second half of Sha'ban. It's going to be quite hot and long fasting days this year for us Middle-easternites. So spending in hot kitchen during fasting days can be quite hectic. It's easier when you have some fillings or prepared snacks in the freezer. One such filling which could be frozen is coconut & kadalapparippu(chana dal) sweet filling. This could be used as a filling for Kaayada/Unnakaaya ,Bread fritters , Pazham nirachathu(stuffed plaintain) etc. 





                                          Ingredients:

                                          3 cups coconut
                                          6 tbsp of boiled chana dal
                                           1 1/4 cups sugar
                                          2 generous pinch of cardamom
                                          2 Eggs (optional)




                                          Method:

                                          Heat coconut and sugar in a pan in low flame. Keep on stirring till the sugar melts and the coconut is well cooked; yet little moisture remains. It may take about 15 minutes. Reducing sugar may result in dried and uncooked filling. Add boiled chana dal/bengal gram to it. Mix well. If you are using egg, add now and saute nicely. Sprinkle cardamom powder on top and immediately transfer to a plate. Let it cool and use as a stuffing to your favorite snacks. You can otherwise freeze it in ziplock bags for later use.





                                          Posts onRAMADAN PREPARATIONS in this blog 





                                          Tuesday, 2 June 2015

                                          Chakkara choru / Whole wheat Dessert

                                          Chakkarachoru or sharkkara choru is one of the famous desserts found in Malabar Muslim households occassionally made during traditional festives. Sakkara is jaggery and choru is rice; though both these are not used in the recipe these days. My dad loves this with jaggery ,but we like it with sugar; so mom has to make both the versions everytime. I could see many varieties of this dish online from different regions of South India. Ours is slightly different. Let's move on to the recipe. 

                                          Whole wheat is cooked in coconut milk, sweetened with sugar and flavoured with cardamom to bring out the best of the sweet dishes prepared in Malabar.

                                          INGREDIENTS

                                          Wholewheat  1 cup
                                          Onion  4 tbsp
                                          Coconut  4 cups
                                          Chana dal 1/4 cup
                                          Salt 1/2 tsp
                                          Sugar 1 1/4 cups
                                          Cardamom powder a generous pinch




                                           Method:

                                          1. Blend coconut by adding4 cups of water to it. Strain milk using a strainer. Squeeze out the coconut pulp to extract maximum milk as possible.This is first milk. Keep it aside. Use the coconut solids after extracting milk to extract the second milk.

                                          2. Pour 6 cups of water to the coconut solids and blend again. Squeeze out the milk using a strainer. This is called thin milk or second milk.

                                          3. Add second milk, wholewheat,onion and salt in a pressure cooker . Lower the flame after first whistle and simmer in cooker for about 25-30 minutes or until the wheat cooks well.

                                          4. Boil chana dal in another pan till it cooks well but crunch remains.

                                          5. Add sugar and first milk to the cooked wheat. Stir well until it boils nicely and thickens.

                                          6. Add cooked bengal gram to it and stir well. Sprinkle cardamom powder to it. Check the taste and add more salt or sugar if needed.