Lazeez Murgh Qorma

Murgh Qorma is one dish I and my family cannot live without, because we are pakka Hyderabadis at heart. Its Irf‘s most loved dish. He will rate it ten out of ten all the time.

The masala which forms the base of the gravy consisting of yogurt, ginger-garlic, groundnut, coconut and fried onions and cashew nuts, chironji nuts and almonds, for this classic Hyderabadi dish is first braised/’bhun-na’ until oil floats on top, a technique essential for Qorma preparation, and then in the end, water is added to give it a gravy consistency and the chicken is simmered on low in the creamy fragrant yogurt sauce. Qorma is usually had along with Naan or Rumali Roti. The bread is dipped into the warm sauce, and had with a few bits of Chicken in each morsel.

A typical Hyderabadi menu for an occasion such as marriage will be: Non-Vegatarian or Vegetarian Kababs, or Spring rolls, or Marag as Appetizer; Any Sookha Salan (dry curry) of Chicken or Mutton; or a Chicken or Lamb Qorma (this will be the Patla Salan – gravy curry) with Rumali Roti (Rumali in Urdu language means kerchief, its called so because the roti/flat bread is unbelievably as thin as a kerchief!, it is light and very yummy); a Lamb Biryani or Chicken Biryani along with Mirchi Ka salan; and then a Meetha in the end. Ah! I am missing India and my hometown’s wonderful and mouth watering dishes. I am proud of my native home, Hyderabad for its most illustrious and scrumptious cuisine. Inshallah will post the recipes of each and every recipe here to share with you all, the way I prepare it in my house.

I plan to inshallah someday publish a cookbook of my own where I can write all my recipes, my version of Hyderabadi Cuisine. I have not done much about it at all. This thought and wish always lingers on my mind and I will inshallah definitely be doing something about it. I will need resources for this project though.

Lazeez Murgh Qorma with Parathas in the Milton hot-pot

You can also add heavy cream, cashew nuts, chironji nuts or almonds, shallow fried quartered potatoes, or shallow fried large cauliflower florets to the gravy. But it is optional. You can even omit chicken or lamb/sheep meat only add potatoes and cauliflower instead, to make it ‘Aloo/Potato, or PhoolGobi/Cauliflower Ka Qorma’, a vegetarian version. Or simply make it ‘Malai/Creamy Qorma’, excluding both the meat and vegetables.

Lazeez Murgh Qorma – Chicken Simmered in Fragrant Spiced Coconut-Groundnut-Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients:

Chicken with bone/Boneless Chicken Breast – washed and cubed into bite size pieces, 600 gms
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 1/2 tsp
Onions – 4, large, sliced thick into semi circles
Cashewnuts, Chironji nuts and Almonds – 1 tbsp each, soaked in 1 tbsp milk for 30 mins (optional)
Yogurt – 400 ml, lightly beaten
Coconut cream powder – 1 tbsp
Roasted Groundnut paste -1 tbsp
Mint leaves/Pudina – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Cilantro – 1/2 cup, loosely packed and finely chopped
Green chillies – 3, small sized, finely chopped
Canola oil

Method:

1. Marinate the chicken in ginger-garlic paste and lemon juice mixture for an hour.
2. Take a heavy bottomed non stick saucepan or a cast iron pan on medium heat and once it is warm enough, throw in the thickly sliced onion semi circles with no oil. Keep stirring and cooking the onion until the onions are lightly browned in color. Once done, transfer them into a blender container. Add the soaking cashew nuts, almonds and chironji nuts along with the milk to the blender container. Also pour in the yogurt and coconut cream and process/blend till it is a smooth puree.
3. In heavy bottomed non stick saucepan, heat 3 tbsp canola oil and add the marinated chicken, quickly fry them lightly on all sides in batches, stirring gently and occasionally till just lightly browned. Remove them with a slotted spoon in a bowl and keep aside.
4. In the same pan with the leftover oil in which the chicken were just shallow fried, add 3 more tbsp canola oil at medium heat . As it warms up add the pureed onion-yogurt mixture and let it cook for five minutes on medium flame. Reduce the flame to medium low, add red chilli powder, salt, turmeric and mix well. Cover it for a minute. Keep a close eye on it and keep giving it a stir every now and then. Add the roasted groundnut paste to it. Mix well and cover the lid again. The oil should start to separate by now. Let it cook a bit more, if the mixture has become too dry add a few splashes of water and cook it till all the oil has very nicely separated out.
5. Gently drop in the shallow fried chicken pieces in the cooking gravy and mix well. Cover the lid for a minute. Pour in two glasses of water. Add the mint, cilantro and green chillies. Mix well and increase the flame to medium high, let it it come to a boil once. Lower the heat, cover the lid and let it cook for 10 minutes. Once the chicken is done, serve it immediately.

I am sending this Qorma to Meeta as the theme for her Monthy Mingle this time is ‘Comfort Foods’. I’m waiting for its round up, now who doesnt like Comfort Foods?!; and I am also sending this as an entry to ‘Think Spice, Think Turmeric‘ event being hosted by Sudeshna.

Luv,
Mona

Sabut Masoor masala

Dal with a dollop of butter in it, with warm Parathas sounds so good for a delicious breakfast. I first had this Dal when I was a kid, and always loved it when mom would serve me this for breakfast. It is so delectable and yummy, you will enjoy your breakfast to no end.

Sabut Masoor Masala – Whole Red lentils Masala

I usually prepare this Dal with Whole/Sabut Masoor Dal and savour them along with Parathas as brunch for a weekend, a good and healthy start for the day. You can also have this as a side-dish with Khushka (Plain White Rice), or Parathas at lunch or dinner too.

I let the Dal boil just until done, a little bit softer, but not too mushy, or pasty. This dish gets ready in less than 45 minutes, or even less if you have pre-soaked the Dal.

Sabut Masoor Masala – Whole Red lentils Masala

Ingredients:

Brown lentils/Sabut Masoor Dal – 1 cup
Ripe Red Tomato – 1, chopped
Yellow Onion – 1, medium sized, thinly sliced
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Canola Oil – 2 tbsp (You can substitute oil with Butter here if you like to make it more rich)
Dried Red chillies – 2
Salt – 1 3/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 2, small, finely chopped

Method:

1. Wash and drain the lentils. Add salt to two cups water in a saucepan and let them boil, or you can pressure cook it to save time, till they are just soft and not mushy. Keep aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a pan, pour oil and throw in the cumin seeds. Once they start to splutter, add the dried red chillies, and the sliced onion and stir fry them till they are light brown in colour.
3. Add the sliced green chillies, chopped tomato, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala and mix well. Close the lid and let it cook for 4 minutes.
4. Mash the mixture till it is all pulpous. Taste and check if you need to add more salt, or spice to it.
5. Now add the cooked dal, mix it and let it cook uncovered for 10 minutes. If the curry becomes too dry, you can sprinkle some water.
6. Serve it hot in a bowl, and just before you serve add a dollop of butter on it and Enjoy the Very Yummy Dal.

Luv,
Mona

Dahi Ki Kadi

I miss my uncle a lot whenever I prepare this curry at my house. He loves this curry to no extent and would always pour some tablespoons of the silky bright sunny colored yogurt gravy into his plate after he finished his meal to savour upon it in the end. I always enjoyed seeing him doing so. It feels so nice to see someone enjoy food to the last morsel.

Dahi Ki Kadi – Gram Flour Dumplings in a silky yogurt gravy

Dahi ki Kadi is an another dish prepared in most Hyderabadi houses very commonly. It is a simple curry with a thick yogurt gravy with a bright gold tint due the added spice especially for the color, turmeric. Gram flour is also added to give it a little volume. Be careful while you add turmeric to it, as too much turmeric will give a bitter taste to the curry. So be very careful while using this spice for color in this dish.

The dumplings are made of gram flour, chopped onions, spices and herbs. This is the customary method of preparing the bhajiyas for the dahi ki kadi. I sometimes substitute onion with cauliflower florets, and add the cauliflower fritters to the kadi for a new and different taste. You can try it, with different vegetables too.

This curry is usually is not reheated later. The left over is generally had cold from the refrigerator, with plain boiled rice or Khushka. I prepare this curry along with an another dry curry as a side dish.

Serves : 6-8

Dahi Ki Kadi – Gram Flour Dumplings in a silky yogurt gravy

Ingredients:

For the Kadi (Kadi is the thick yellow coloured yoghurt gravy in which the Bhajiya are added later)
Yogurt – 750 ml
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Water – 3 cups
Besan/Gram Flour – 1/4 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Onion – 1, small, finely chopped
For the Baghaar (Baghaar is the Tempering. It is the flavored oil added to curries in the end for garnishing and flavoring the dish)
Canola Oil – 4 tbsp
Cumin seeds/Zeera – 1 tsp
Dried Red Chillies – 2, each cut into half, seeds shaken away
Garlic – 1
Curry leaves – 6
Canola/Sunflower Oil – 3 tbsp
For the Bhajiya (Bhajiyas here are the fritters/dumplings added to the yogurt gravy)
Gram Flour – 1/2 cup
Water – to make paste
Red chilli flakes or Finely chopped small green chillies – 3/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Cilantro and Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Canola/Sunflower Oil – for deep frying

Dahi Ki Kadi – Gram Flour Dumplings in silky yogurt gravy

Method:

1. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt till smooth and creamy and keep aside. Mix in the gram flour,water, turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder, and pass the mixture throw a strainer into a deep and heavy bottomed non stick saucepan. Mix well using a spoon and let cook at medium low heat and keep stirring constantly and gently until it comes to a boil once. Once it is boiling, let it simmer uncovered for about 30-45 minutes or until the raw smell of the gram flour goes away. Keep stirring it occasionally to avoid it getting burnt at the bottom.
2. In the meantime, put a kadai or wok on medium high heat with oil enough to prepare the gram flour bhajiyas/fritters. Now, in a small bowl, mix together the gram flour, the ginger garlic paste, red chilli flakes/green chillies, cilantro, salt and water just enough to make a thick paste. Drop teaspoons of this paste at a time into the hot oil,leaving space between them, and deep fry the bhajiyas/frittes till they swell up and are golden in colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside on a paper towel.
3. Now in a small non stick pan, pour oil and throw in the cumin seeds, crushed garlic pod, curry leaves once the oil is hot. Stir fry the seeds till they splutter and change colour for abour a minute. Add the dried red chillies, and remove from heat. This is the Baghaar.
4. Finally, check the deep pan in which the kadi has been cooking. If it has attained a consistency of a loose gravy, it is done (make sure it not very thin, and also not too thick in consistency or else later on when it gets cooled, it will become like a cake. If it has become thick, add a little water, and if it is thin, cook it for a little more time). Now add the chopped onion and the fried bhajiyas to the kadi and give a stir to dip them in the curry. Pour the prepared baghaar over the curry and serve it warm.

Note: While preparing Kadi, one has to take a few precautions in order to avoid getting the yogurt curdled:
1. Once you mix the yogurt with all the ingredients and strain it, make sure that the yogurt is well blended.
2. When you begin cooking the kadi, make sure you cook it at a medium low heat and keep it stirring it until it comes to a boil.

Suggested Accompaniments: Talahuwa Gosht and Chawal

I am sending this as an entry to ‘Think Spice, Think Turmeric‘ event being hosted by Sudeshna.

Luv,
Mona

Happy New Year 2008 !!

Hi Everyone! Here’s wishing you all a very very Happy New Year 2008!

I had started my blog as just a journal of my recipes the last year, and somehow i just got so hooked on to blogging, and i was getting appreciated and encouraged by so many. Now its almost 7 months since I started this blog, and i’m loving my new interest in blogging a lot. I will continue to be regular in posting my daily as well as special dishes and their recipes on my blog, and i will do this to the best as i can..

I am humbled, proud, and immensely thankful for the appreciation and lovely comments. It was all very encouraging indeed. Love you all my readers!

Luv,
Mona