Qimah Aloo Matar

The weather has not been good at all. Been playing games with us since the temperatures actually started to be in the two digits. Its has suddenly become so very hot, this being just the Spring in Canada and not Summer yet. Weather has been too topsy-turvy for the past two to three weeks, resulting in me catching Flu. It was terrible. Now I feel alright and thank my God for the good health again. It sure is a precious bounty-Good health.

I have not even been cooking since the past few days, but yesterday as I began to feel alright, I prepared Qimah Matar Aloo and had it with some warm Phulkas. It was so good. Good home cooked food is always very comforting and gives solace.

Qimah Aloo Matar – Ground meat with Peas and Potatoes Curry

For this recipe, you can use the ground meat of Veal, Lamb or Goat, whatever is available. It turns out equally delicious and I have tried this recipe with all the above mentioned meats.

Qimah Aloo Matar – Ground meat with Peas and Potatoes Curry

Ingredients:

For Gravy:
Canola/Sunflower Oil – 2 tbsp
Yellow Onion/Pyaz – 3 medium, finely chopped
Tomato – 1, large, chopped
Red Chilli Powder/Lalmirch Powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Potato – 2, medium, peeled and quartered
Tomato Ketchup – 2-3 tbsp (I use Heinz) OR Tomato Chilli Sauce – 2-3 tbsp
To Cook Qimah/Ground Meat:
Canola Oil/Sunflower Oil – 2 tbsp
Qimah/Ground Lamb/Veal/Goat meat – 700 gms, washed and drained in a very fine wire mesh strainer
Turmeric Powder/Haldi – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 2 tsp
Soya Sauce – 1 tbsp
Lemon Juice – 4 tbsp
Matar/Frozen green peas – 1/2 to 1/4 cup (if you are using dried green peas, soak them in surplus water a day before, drain and cook until just tender in fresh water)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese – 4 tbsp (optional)

Method:
1. Pour 2 tbsp oil into a non-stick heavy bottomed sauce pan at medium high heat and throw in the finely chopped onions as soon as the oil warms up. Keep stirring them until they are lightly browned.
2. Add the chopped tomato, tomato ketchup, red chilli powder and salt and mix well. Let it cook until it is mushy. Add the quarted potatoes and a little water and close lid for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
3. In an another saucepan, pour the rest of the oil, and add the washed and drained ground meat and let stand for a minute. Stir to break lumps and add turmeric powder, garam masala, soya sauce, lemon juice amd keep stirring until the water starts evaporating and the raw smell of the meat wards off.
4. Pour in the reserved gravy of tomato+onion+potato and mix the whole thing together. Let cook on low heat and when the water has almost evaporated, add frozen peas and give it a stir.
5. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, and serve hot.

Suggested Accompaniments:Serve it hot with Basmati Chawal / Naan/ Afghani Roti, along with a dollop of butter.

Tip: Leftovers? Use up this left over curry as the filling for Samosa for some very delicious Snacks.

Luv,
Mona

Idli anyone?

Idli, also spelled as Idly or Iddly is a food native to Southern India. It is the most favorite South Indian breakfast next to Dosa, Wada and Samabar. Idlis have been compared to the moon and jasmine flowers in literature. They are steamed cakes of dehulled black gram dal and cream of rice or wheat. These soft and fluffy cakes are easy to digest and rich in proteins and carbohydrates. They are prepared in many hotels, homes and restaurants almost every day for the morning breakfasts especially in South India and elsewhere too. It is a healthy and nutritious probiotic pure South Indian breakfast.

Idlis served along with Sambar generously poured over them

The ‘Idli Rawa‘, which is the cream of rice or wheat is available in any Indian stores. The Idli mould is also easily available in most of the Indian stores, and are sold in almost every stainless steel utensils shop in India. The Idli plates in a Idli mould have depressions  to pour the batter in those. These depressions vary in sizes in different stores. I have a medium size Idli mould which is perfect for my family.

To prepare Idli, I start its preperation from a day ahead. Like for example if I plan to prepare it on Sunday for breakfast or brunch, I start its preparation from Saturday morning. On the Saturday morning, I wash and soak the urad dal in plenty of water, and before I go to sleep in the night I drain away the water and grind the dal well, then mix it with the washed idli rawa in a bowl and keep the bowl in a warm and dark place to ferment night long. Then on Sunday morning the fermented batter is ready to prepare yummy Idlis. I use equal amounts of idli Rawa and dal for Idli preparation.

Idli – Steamed Rice-Lentil Cakes
Makes : approx 40 Idlis

Ingredients:

Urad Dal (or) Mask ki dal/Split husked Black gram – 1 1/2 cups
Cream of Rice (Idli Rawa) – 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt –  1 tablespoon
Canola Oil – to grease the Idli Plates

Idli batter in the Idli Mould & Cooked Served Idlis

Method:
(Note: Read the entire post before you proceed to prepare the Idli)

1. Wash the Urad dal in several changes of water and soak it in surplus water for about 6-8 hours. Later, drain the dal. In a wet grinder, or a food processor, blend the Urad dal adding just a little of water to aid in the blending to a very smooth and fluffy paste. Do not add to much water, it should be added just so that the mixer/grinder motor runs smoothly. The fluffier the batter, the better it is, so grind well for 10-15 minutes. Transfer the batter to a very large stainless steel mixing bowl (as the batter will ferment and rise and overflow if the container is small).
2. While the urad dal is grinding, wash the idli rava with water about 2-3 times and drain it completely. There is no need to soak the idli rava in water. Make sure no excess water remains after draining the water. Add this to the urad dal batter. Also add baking powder and mix it all completely using a spoon without any lumps. The batter should be as thick as possible. Cover and leave the batter undisturbed overnight so that it ferments and doubles in size. If you are not living in India or live in cold temperature places, you could use the oven to ferment the batter: Set the oven on to minimum (lowest setting/warm) for about 5-10 minutes, then turn it off. Cover and keep the mixing bowl with the batter in the warmed oven so that it ferments for about 8-15 hours or overnight.
3. The next morning the batter should have fermented well and the volume almost doubled. Once the batter has risen it can be used immediately to prepare idlis. If you are not going to make idlis immediately, store the batter in the refrigerator or else the idlis will be very sour. Add salt to the batter and mix it well. The consistency of the batter should be like condensed milk, not too thick nor too thin. You can add more water if needed to achieve that consistency.
4. Grease all the Idli plates with a few drops of oil and pour about 2-3 tablespoon of batter in each depression in the Idli plates.
5. Before filling the idli plates, add some water in a large pressure cooker and switch on the stove. So by the time you are done with the batter the water will start boiling and you can place the idli stand in the cooker and close the lid. Make sure the water does not touch the lowest idli plate in the stand. The water level in the pressure cooker should be well below it. Close the lid of the cooker and do not put the weight on it. In about 10 minutes you will see steam escaping from the vent of the cooker. Using an oven mitt remove the idli stand from the cooker and place it on the countertop. Scoop the Idlies out of the plates using a spoon in a big serving bowl. Cover the serving bowl with lid to keep the idlis warm. Repeat this process with the next batch adding water to the cooker as necessary until the batter is all used up.

Suggested Accompaniments: Serve them hot along with Sambar, Coconut chutney, Hara Dhaniya aur Pudina Ki Chutney at breakfast or as a brunch or a snack.

Tips:

  1. If you live in warmer places, you need not add baking soda to the batter.
  2. If you live in a cold place,  it happens that the batter has not fermented at all. If the batter has not fermented and doubled in size by next day, do not use it for Idli. Instead make Dosa out of it.
  3. If you do not find Cream of Rice, you can even use Cream of Wheat as the Idli Rawa.
  4. This is the basic recipe for the prepartion of Idli. You can alter it by adding a few chopped french beans, carrots, cilantro to the batter.
  5. Adding a dollop of butter to the steamed idlis while having them hot along with sambar makes it even more delectable.
  6. These Idli moulds are the traditional methods to prepare Idli at home. If you are somehow not able to find the Idli Mould, you can use little metal bowls which can be kept in a steamer or an egg poacher or tiny aluminium molds for cakes and muffins. I have however never used these. I only use the Idli Mould each time I prepare Idli.
  7. You don’t need a pressure cooker for steaming idlis. Simply use any vessel with a vent on the lid which is big enough to fit the idli plates stand you are using. Add some water to the vessel and heat it while you fill the batter. Place the stand inside the vessel and close it with a lid. If the lid does not have vent for the steam to escape, leave a small portion of the vessel open. Steam it for 10-15 minutes. Insert a toothpick or a knife in the center of the idli and if it comes out clean the idlis are ready. Switch off the stove and serve it after a couple of minutes.
  8. You can even freeze the leftover idlis to be used some other day. Simply place cooled idlis on a tray seperately and let them freeze for 3 hours. Once frozen, transfer them all to a zip lock freezer bag and store until needed. When you want to have them, simply place the frozen idlis in a plate and microwave for 2 minutes approx.

Luv,
Mona

Fettuccine in Creamy Coconut Milk

Pasta is loved by everyone, and i believe it is one of those simplest one dish meals one can think of which is also everyone’s favorite for times when you have to serve the meal in less than 35 minutes. This is one such dish that i prepare using the usual ingredients and turns out to be a great hit with my loved ones.

This is my lovely Sisters recipe. She taught me this recipe and i prepare this along with any noodles that I have in my house. I also serve it along with Chicken Tikka, Salmon Tikka or Lamb Tikka. Children will especially devour upon it, and the elders too.  

 

Fettucine in Creamy Coconut Milk 

Coconut Milk here makes a creamy sauce giving it a rich golden colour. Its healthy and nutritious.

Fettucine in Creamy Coconut Milk  

Ingredients:

To Prepare Sauce

  • Canola Oil – 4 tbsp 
  • Yellow Onions – 2, thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes – 1, large, finely diced
  • Red Chilli Powder – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – 2 tbsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tbsp
  • Cornmeal – 2 tbsp
  • Coconut Milk – 3 tbsp
  • Light Cream – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 2 cups approx
  • Green Capsicum – 1, chopped
  • Red Capsicum – 1, chopped
  • Cremini Mushrooms – 100 gms, sliced

To Prepare Pasta 

  • Fettuccine Noodles – 500 gms
  • Water – 5.5 litres
  • Salt – 1 tbsp

Method:

  • In a heavy non-stick saucepan at medium high heat, pour in oil and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onions and sauté them till they are light brown in colour. Add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, salt and garam masala. Mix and let it cook on medium heat till the tomatoes are mushy.
  • Transfer the mixture to a blender container and add cornmeal to it. Blend till pasty.
  • Pour this paste back in the same pan and let it cook till oil seperates.
  • Add Coconut milk, cream and water to it. Let it cook for 3 minutes.Throw in the chopped red and green capsicums and mushrooms. Bring to a boil at medium high heat.
  • Meanwhile in a large saucepan , pour water and add the remaining salt to it. Bring it to a boil and add the pasta and stir until water again returns to a boil. Cook uncovered for 9 minutes stirring occassionally or until al dente. Drain.
  • Mix the drained pasta with the prepared Coconut milk sauce in the saupan and cook on low heat for 3 minutes.

Suggested Accompaniments: Serve it hot along with Boiled halved Eggs, and sliced Black Olives, Chicken Tikka or Lamb Tikka or Salmon Tikka, Chicken Croquettes, Pan Grilled Chicken Mustard, Grilled Sweet Chilli Chicken.

Luv,
Mona

Gobi Gosht

Gobi Gosht is one of those very regular dishes that are prepared and had at many Hyderabadi households. It is simple to prepare, and is healthy enough. There are many other ways to prepare this very simple vegetable that is mostly disliked by so many people because of the strong aversion to cabbage some people keep.

Green Cabbage, halved

In this recipe, you can use, either Vegetable Stock, or Lamb Meat stock instead of water while cooking for more flavor.

Gobi Gosht – Cabbage with Lamb Meat

Ingredients:

Cabbage/Band Gobi – 1, medium-sized, finely shredded (I prefer green cabbage than white cabbage)
Lamb meat, with bone – 600 gms, washed and cubed into bite size pieces
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 tbsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Canola Oil – 1 tbsp
Yellow Onion – 2, small, finely sliced
Chopped Cilantro – 2 tbsp
Chopped green chillies – 2 tbsp

Gobi Gosht – Cabbage with Lamb Meat

Method:

1. In a pressure cooker, pour oil, and as it gets warm, add the cubed meat, sliced onion, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. Add water to cover the meat and pressure cook until the meat is tender.
2. Add the shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro and green chillies and half cover the lid. Let it cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes approx, until the cabbage is done. Keep a check, and add a few drops of water if needed while cooking the cabbage.

Luv,
Mona

Rishte Ka Achaar

Home-Made Mango Pickles are my favorite. And among all the kinds, I realy love this pickle a lot. It is so simple to prepare, hot as a pickle should be and absolutely delicious.

The first time I had this pickle was at my Aunt’s-Khala’s house I fell in love with it the moment I had tasted it at her place. And used to have it like a curry along with Chawal or Parathas.

Unripe green mangoes ~ Kairi

I love blog hopping, and a few days back, on Priya’s blog, I had seen this pickle, which reminded me so much of Rishte Ka Achaar that my mouth was watering, and I was so much craving for it, just like a pregnant lady would! Somedays ago, I had been to an Indian store where I saw some very young and large sized Raw Sour and Green Pickle Mangoes, and I quickly bought three of them, came home and prepared this pickle. I was so happy.

Rishte Ka Achaar – Mango Pickle

I do not have any idea why this pickle is named as ‘Rishte Ka Achaar’. I have no clue. But it is called so by everyone in my contacts, and even they do not have any idea about this. If anyone of you know why it is called so, please let me know. I will be very happy to come to know about it from my dearest Readers.

Try and get some very sour raw green mangoes for this pickle. And do not use the green mangoes for this pickle if they are not very sour.

Rishte Ka Achaar – Mango Pickle

Ingredients:

Unripe and Sour Green Pickle Mangoes – 3, large
Dry Roasted Black Cumin Seed Powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 1/2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 2 tsp
Dry Red Chillies – 4
Turmeric – 1/3 tsp
Curry leaves (fresh) – 6
Green Chillies – as per your taste, chopped or slit (optional)
Canola oil – 3 tbsp

Rishte ka achar

Method:

1. With a damp towel, wipe the raw green mangoes clean and dry them with a paper towel throughly. Throughly dry your hands and knife. Carefully, peel the skin, deseed them and cut into very small pieces.
2. In a flat glass container with a tight lid, put the cut raw mango pieces and add salt and turmeric and mix well. Cover the lid tightly and put the container aside for 24 hours in a cool dark place.
3. The next day, you will see that the mango pieces have released a lot of juice. In a pan on medium high heat, pour oil and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies. As soon as they begin to pop, remove from heat. Let it cool completely. This is the tempering/baghaar.
4. After the baghaar has cooled off completely, pour it into the container with mango pieces, and also add red chilli powder, black cumin seeds powder and green chillies, if using, and mix well. Adjust the salt and red chilli powder according to your tastes. The Achaar is ready. You can now relish upon it.

Store it in a glass jar with an air tight lid. It keeps very weel if kept away from water. Always use a dry spoon when you have it and keep it covered and refrigerated.

Tip: After you have cut the mango into small pieces and deseeded it, do not throw away the seed, use it in Khatti Dal instead of using the tamaring or lemon as the souring agent. It makes your Dal khatti/sour and gives a very good flavor to it.

Luv,
Mona