Hara Masala Wali Murgh

The first I remember I ever witnessed chicken in a green colored gravy was at one of my aunts house, when she had invited us all for dinner. I was little and the green color of the gravy slightly put me off. I was hesitant and scared to try it. But when I did upon my mothers insistence, it was just like any other chicken curry, delicious and safe.

My version has fresh cilantro and mint herbs in the gravy, giving the gravy a light green hint. It is one of my favourites and a lovely change that my family enjoys.

Hara Dhaniya Wali Murgh – Cilantro Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

Chicken – 1 whole cute into pieces
Canola Oil – 4 tbsp
Cloves – 4
Green Cardamom – 5
Cinnamon stick – 2 inch stick
Onion – diced, 2 cups
Nigella Seeds/Kalonji – 1/4 tsp
Green chillies – 5, sliced lengthwise
Ginger garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
Tomato – diced, 3/4 cup
Cilantro/Coriander leaves/Hara dhaniya – 2 cups, tightly packed, chopped
Mint/Pudina – 1/2 cup, tightly packed, chopped
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Method:

In a heavy bottomed kadai at medium high heat, pour in oil and as soon as it gets warm, add cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon diced onion and nigella seeds. Let the onions cook until they are brown in color. Keep giving them a stir every now and then. Add the green chillies, ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute or two. Meanwhile puree the chopped cilantro and mint and diced tomato into a smooth paste. Add the puree into the kadai and cook for a minute. Add the chicken and mix well. Let it cook for 2 minutes on high and then give it a stir. Again after cooking it for 2 minutes give a stir, and now lower the heat to simmer. Cover with a lid and let cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. I like to cook my chicken until the meat literally falls off the bone. Give it a stir occasionally. Serve warm along with Naan or Pulao.

Luv,
Mona

Puran ki Roti – Parathas stuffed with Lentil Halwa

It isn’t until you lose something that you realize how important something was. A few days back I was on the verge of losing my blog. My blog of years, which is very dear to me. I was asking for help around, but no one could, and those who could, were way out of my budget. But I did not give up, how could I? I prayed and alhamdulillah, out of nowhere a very hunble gentleman came to my rescue like an angel. This brother was so willing to help me out for nothing in return. I will never forget your selfless help and you will always be in my prayers.

And I realized how much I missed blogging about my family recipes, and documenting the stories that live in my heart and memories. With a little boutique business and along with a toddler, I was unable to give the attention to my blog that I used to before. But inshallah, I am back. You will all see me blog regularly and I will never take my blog for granted ever again.

Today I bring you a recipe that is very close to my heart, that screams my childhood, those beautiful afternoons, when after a small siesta, my mother would make a few of these absolutely wonderful rotis for us all to fill our stomachs with. We all enjoyed the rotis with so much joy and always looked forward to the the next time when mother would make them again.

Puran ki Roti – Parathas stuffed with Lentil Halwa
Makes – around 10 Rotis

Durum Flour – 1 1/2 cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp
pinch of salt
enough water to make dough
For Puran:
Chana Dal – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 1/4 cup
Green cardamom powder – 1/3 tsp
Oil – as required for toasting

Method:

1. Wash and soak chana dal in surplus water overnight.
2. The next day, drain the water and transfer to a pressure cooker. Add water to cover the dal and pressure cook until the dal is soft. Using a whisk or an immersion blender, blend until the dal is smooth. You can also grind it if you want. Transfer to a pan at medium high heat and add sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well and cook while stirring frequently until the dal resembles a thick paste and begins to sererate from the pan. Keep a close eye. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. You can also make this ahead of time and store in refrigerator for upto a week.
3. To make dough, add flour, ghee and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix well then add water little by little. Form a soft pliable dough just like chapathi dough. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for an hour.
4. Make 10 lemon sized balls of both the dough as well as the prepared lentil mixture. Roll the dough flat just slightly using your hands, then place the lentil mixture ball in the center and wrap the dough around it completely to cover it well, just like you make stuffed parathas. Then flatten it slightly. Now using your rolling pin, roll it to a thick or thin poli. Dust flour if needed. Heat tawa pan and carefully place the rolled out roti on the tawa, drizzle oil and cook the roti on both sides until brown spots appear. Continue until all are done. Serve hot.

Luv,
Mona

Pyaaz ki Pakodi – Crispy Onion Fritters

Every time I visit Hyderabad, I ask my father to get some crispy pyaaz ki pakodi from sweet shops in the city. I just love them. Small sweet shop at almost every corner in Hyderabad sell an array of sweets and also savory snacks.

But when I am in Toronto, missing them, I make these myself in my kitchen trying to replicate them as close as possible to the ones that I get in Hyderabad. I love these pakodi along with tamarind chutney on a rainy day. They also make a yummy Iftaar snack. Sometimes I also enjoy them along with my meal on the side.

Pyaaz ki Pakodi – Crispy Onion Fritters

Ingredients:

Besan – 1 1/2 cups
Rice Flour – 1/4 cup
Green chillies, finely chopped – 8
Ginger – grated, 1/2 tsp
Onions – 2, large, thinly sliced
Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1 or 2 sprigs, roughly chopped
Salt – 3/4 tsp
Pinch of baking soda
Canola Oil for deep frying

Method:

1. In a mixing bowl, add sliced onions, besan, chopped green chillies, curry leaves, salt, olive oil and baking soda. Mix well. Add just 1/4 cup of water and mix well to form a thick-hard batter. Go easy on water as onion and salt release water too.
2. In a kadai or wok, pour oil to deep fry and as soon as it is piping hot, drop small and flattish balls of the batter using your hands into the hot oil. Reduce heat to medium and deep fry till they turn golden brown. Remove using a slotted soon into a large strainer for excess oil to drip away. Continue until all the batter is used up.
Serve hot with chutney/sauce of your choice, along with chai/coffee or juice. I served them with tamarind chutney along with other sides at Iftaar yesterday.

Note:
1. If you want do not want them crisp, omit rice flour and add a little bit more water, to make onion bhajiyas.
2. If you do not want to fry them, you can even shallow fry them in about 2 tbsp per batch in a non-stick frying pan. Make sure you flatten the batter so that they shallow fry evenly. You can even bake them for a healthier version. I have tried baking them a few times and will still continue to do for a few more trials until insha’Allah I come up with a perfect recipe for you all soon.

Luv,
Mona

Chicken Jalfrezi – Chicken with Bell Peppers in Fragrant Sauce

Ramadan has started, and already we have completed the first five fasts Alhamdulillah. My very mischievous babyjaan will be two years old insha’Allah by the end of this Ramadan Masha’Allah. How time flies. This special month is even more dear to me as my little babyjaan was born in the month of Ramadan Alhamdulillah.

Stay healthy everybody. Be thankful that we are alive to witness this Ramadan Alhamdulillah. Pray Allah your heart out and ask of him whatever you need insha’Allah. And please remember me, my hubby and my baby in your duas. Enjoy this yummy and very easy to prepare chicken curry that insha’Allah your entire family will love.

Chicken Jalfrezi – Chicken with Bell Peppers in Fragrant Sauce

Ingredients:

Chicken – 1 whole, cut into pieces
Juice of a large lemon
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – large, chopped
Bell Peppers/Capsicum – yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper and green bell pepper, all chopped up into small pieces – about 3/4 cup
Tomato – 2 large, chopped
Yogurt – 1 cup, lightly stirred
Roasted Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Roasted Cumin Seed powder – 1/2 tsp

Method:

1. In a wide saucepan with high sides at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it warms up, add the chopped onion. While the onion is frying up, marinate the chicken with lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Keep aside. Srir fry the onions until they are slightly browned.
2. Add chopped peppers and fry them for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and cover the lid. Cook for 3-5 minutes until they are mushy while stirring it an occasional stir.
3. Add the marinated chicken and the yogurt and mix well. Cover with a lid and let cook for 20 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Give it a stir every few minutes. Sprinkle the coriander powder and cumin seed powder. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with rice/pulao/naan.

HEALTHY RAMADAN RECIPES:
Before I sign off, This ‎Ramadan I am on a hunt for healthy meal ideas for Suhoor‬ and ‎Iftaar‬. Please message me your recipes or send them to zaiqa.mona@gmail.com I will be posting them all on my blog with your name and details before this Ramadan ends insha’Allah. Please join in! I look forward to going through your recipes insha’Allah!

Luv,
Mona

Nargisi Koftay ka Qorma – Scotch Eggs in Gravy

If you want to impress your guests, then this is the dish that you should be making and serving them. With just a little pre-preparation, you can make this exotic looking dish in a jiffy.

Nargisi Kofta are so named because when the koftas are sliced open, they look like the almond shaped flower of the narcissus. I usually make shaami meat in large amounts and store it in the freezer for later use. Doing this really simplifies my meals. When I have just Khatti dal and rice, and my hubby is craving something meaty, I quickly defrost a pack of shaami meat, and either make Shaami kawab, or Nargisi Kofta.

Nargisi Koftay ka Qorma – Scotch Eggs in Gravy
Serves: 4

For the Nargisi Kofte:

Ingredients:

Shaami Meat – 1 zip-lock bag, defrosted or frsh made
Hard boiled eggs – 2, peeled

Method:
1. Divide the shammi meat mixture into two portions. Roll each portion into a ball, then flatten out to form a thin patty. Wrap each patty around the peeled boiled eggs, smoothing out the join and making sure there is no egg left exposed. (if you feel that the shammi meat is not holding well to the egg, you can add a binding agent to the meat mixture, like egg white, or besan and mix well. Then, cover the boiled egg with the fixed meat, and it wont fall off)
2. Add 1-2 tbsp of canola oil and heat until hot. Shallow fry the nargisi koftay, turning it gently using a spoon, until it is browned on all sides. Some people also deep fry the kofta in oil, but I prefer to shallow fry them in little oil. Remove and drain on paper towel.

These are ready to serve as is. You can serve them as an appetizer. Or if you want to serve them in a gravy, follow the steps below.

For Qorma (the masala gravy):

Ingredients:

Canola oil – 5 tbsp
Onions – 4, finely sliced
Yogurt – 400 ml, lightly whipped
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 1/2 tsp
Roasted Groundnut paste – 2 tbsp
Roasted Coconut paste/Coconut cream – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Chopped cilantro – 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp (optional)

Method:
1. Take a heavy bottomed non stick frying pan on medium heat and throw in the thickly sliced onion rings with no oil. Give them a stir and cover with a lid. Open the lid, and stir them again, add a few splaches of water and cover the lid again. Continue doing this until the onions are are caramelized and cooked. Transfer them into a blender container. Add the yogurt, roasted groundnut paste and roasted coconut paste/coconut cream and blend till it is a smooth puree.
2. Pour oil into the same pan, and add ginger garlic paste. Fry for a minute and add the pureed paste. Throw in red chilli powder, salt and turmeric and mix well. Cover and let cook for around 15-30 minutes on low heat until oil separates and floats on top while stirring occasionally in between. Add garam masala, chopped cilantro and pour in a about 1 1/2 glass of water and mix well (you can add more water if you prefer a thin consistency.) Half-Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Pour lemon juice and remove from heat. Serve immediately along with Naan or parathas or along with a Pulao or plain rice.

For the final curry preparation:

1. Just when you want to serve the curry, gently drop the Nargisi Kofte, each cut into half , into warm Qorma.
2. Serve warm with Roti or Naan or Pulao.

Luv,
Mona