Chironji nuts

December 16th, 2009 Mona Posted in Chironji/Charoli 8 Comments » 12,980 views

Lentil sized, pale, slightly falttened and almond flavored ‘Chironji nuts’ (چرونجي) (botanical name: Buchnan lanzan) (also known as chirolo or charooli or charoli or cudapah almond), are the kernels of a tree native to Southern Asia. These nuts are rich in sweet-oils and very expensive.

They are are usually pureed and added to kababs and qormas to impart a nutty flavor, volume and creaminess to the gravy. They are also sometimes dry-roasted and used as a garnish for some desserts and a few savory dishes. For appeal they are also used peeled. To peel the coverings of chironji, soak them in cool fresh water overnight at room temperature and the next day, rub away the skins in a kitchen towel. The peeled chironji nuts are lightly stir fried in oil and used as a garnish in desserts like Sheer Qurma. Look for Chironji nuts at Indian grocery stores. Store them in the freezer to preserve their flavor and for a long life.

Luv,
Mona

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Aloo-Gosht ka Qorma

December 4th, 2009 Mona Posted in Almonds/Badaam, Blog Events/Entries/Polls, Canola Oil, Cardamom/Elaichi, Cashewnuts/Kaaju, Chironji/Charoli, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Clove/Laung, Coconut milk, Coriander seeds, Dry Desiccated Coconut, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Ginger-Garlic paste, Green Chillies, Groundnut/Moomphalli, Hyderabadi special, Lamb/Beef/Mutton/Veal/Sheep, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Turmeric/Haldi, White Potato/Aloo, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz, Yogurt/Dahi 17 Comments » 17,798 views

The mere mention of Aloo Gosht ka Qorma conjures up my mind with fragrant memories of the daawats/gatherings at my Nani’s house during my childhood, when my aunts would all very lovingly dish out delectable meals for us all. The dastarkhan at her house during daawats usually consisted of this delicious Qorma served along with Naan, followed by Kachchey gosht ki Biryani served along with Mirchi ka Salan and Dahi ki Chutney, and a pleasant dessert to finish off our feast. I always looked forward to visiting my Nani to enjoy all the delicious meals she prepared.

Aloo Gosht ka Qorma

Qorma is an Urdu word, meaning a yogurt based creamy gravy flavored with spices such as coconut, groundnut, coriander etc. The spices along with meat are first braised/bhuno until oil floats on top, and only then is water added in the end to the braised masala for a good gravy consistency. This technique is crucial and imparts flavors to the gravy and the basis for a good Qorma.

Today I am sharing with you all my mother’s version of Hyderabadi style Aloo Gosht ka Qorma, which I have always enjoyed tremendously. Serve this Qorma along with Naan or a similar thick flat bread to mop up the flavorful gravy, and impress your guests and loved ones.

Aloo Gosht ka Qorma – Lamb Qorma (Lamb in a fragrant spiced gravy along with potatoes)

Ingredients:

Lamb meat, with bone, preferably leg – 1/2 kg
Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/ tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Canola oil – 60 ml/1/4 cup/4 tbsp
Finely sliced yellow onion – 300 gms
White Potatoes – 4, medium sized, peeled and quartered
Canned Coconut milk – 5 tbsp/75 ml (or) Roasted desiccated coconut paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
Roasted Groundnut paste – 2 tsp
Almonds, Chironji nuts, Cashew nuts – 1 tbsp each, soaked in 3/4 cup warm milk for 30 mins (optional)
Cardamom – 4
Cloves – 2
Roasted Coriander powder – 1/4 tsp
Yogurt – 1 cup/250 ml
Mint leaves – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Green chillies – 2 or 3, each slit into two
Lemon juice – 2 tsp

clockwise from top: onion, lamb meat-cubed, yogurt, desiccated coconut, groundnuts, white potatoes

1. In a pressure cooker, add the meat, ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder, turmeric powder and 1tsp salt and pour in 1 cup water. Pressure cook until the meat is about 3/4th done.
2. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick heavy bottomed saucepan, pour in oil and as soon as it warms up add the slice onions. Sprinkle just a pinch of salt and stir fry them keeping a close eye until they are all evenly golden brown in color. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a platter. Spread them out so that they cool down and crisp up.
3. In the same oil, add the quarted potatoes and fry them stirring them often until they are just golden brown on edges. Using a slotted spoon transfer them to a platter.
4. In a blender container, add all but 1/4 cup of the fried onions, coconut milk, soaking almonds, chironji nuts and cashew nuts with milk, and groundnut paste. Blend until smooth. Keep aside.
5. In the same oil, add the cardamom and cloves. Stir fry for a minute. Add the contents of the pressure cooker and mix in the above blended paste. Simmer and add rest of the red chilli powder and salt, coriander powder. Partially cover with a lid and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently until oil floats on top. Add the yogurt and mix well. Again partially cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes until oil floats on top. Add mint leaves, cilantro, and green chillies and mix well. Pour in 3-4 cups of water and stir well. Cover with a lid let it come to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to medium and cook partially covered until oil floats on top. Add the shallow fried quartered potatoes and mix well. Partially cover the lid and let cook until the potatoes are tender. Pour lemon juice before you serve. Serve warm along with Tandoori Naan, or Parathas or Kulcha.

For those of you who prefer chicken over Lamb, try out Murgh Qorma.

This ambrosial Qorma is my contribution to the “The Hyderabadi Bakr-Eid Food Festival-’09” that I am hosting on my blog. The event is on and you can all send me your Bakr-Eid special recipes until December 31, 2009. Click on the link for more details.

Luv,
Mona

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Lazeez Murgh Qorma

January 29th, 2008 Mona Posted in Almonds/Badaam, Canola Oil, Cashewnuts/Kaaju, Chironji/Charoli, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Coconut milk, Coriander seeds, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Ginger-Garlic paste, Heavy Cream, Hyderabadi special, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Poultry/Murgh, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Turmeric/Haldi, White Potato/Aloo, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz, Yogurt/Dahi 23 Comments » 28,924 views

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

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sheer Qurma

October 16th, 2007 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Cardamom/Elaichi, Cereal Grains, Chironji/Charoli, Confectionary, Dates/Khajoor, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Ghee, Hyderabadi special, Milk and Milk Products, Nutmeg, Raisins/Kishmish, Saffron/Zafraan, Sugar/Shakkar, Vermicelli/Sewaiyya 20 Comments » 18,484 views

We celebrated Eid-Ul-Fitr, our festival after the month of fasting 3 days ago. On Eid I had prepared Chicken Biryani, Sheer Qurma and Cholay.

Sheer Qurma is a meetha/dessert prepared using roasted fine Vermicelli Noodles, or Seviyan cooked in milk with some fried dried nuts and sprinkled with saffron and nutmeg, cardamom powders to enhance the savory flavour of the dessert.

Sheerqurma

It is traditionally served after the Eid prayers to the entire household and also to all the guests who arrive to greet you on Eid, and is served hot along with other snacks, I usually serve spicy Cholay along. Some people like this dessert rich and slightly thick in consistency and some people like it a bit thin in consistency with less seviyan and more of milk. To make it rich, you can add khoa to it, or add a bit of condensed milk. I and my family prefer the latter kind. If you like it thick, you can cook the Sheer Qurma a bit more on medium heat till you get your desired consistency.

Sheer Qurma – Vemilcelli Cooked in Fragrant Milk

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

*Fine* Vermicelli noodles/Seviyan – 3/4 cup
Ghee/Oil - 2 tbsp
Almonds – 1 tbsp, deskined and thinly sliced
Pistachio – 1 tbsp, halved
Chironji nuts – 1 tbsp, soaked in water for 15-30 minutes and skinned
Melon seeds – 1 tbsp, shelled
Dates – 5 dates, halved and stoned
Saffron strands/Zafraan – 1/2 tsp
Raisins/Kishmish -1 tbsp
Milk – 5 1/2 cups
Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp
Green cardamom/Elaichi powder - 1/4 tsp
Green Cardamom/Elaichi – 1, whole
Sugar – 4 to 5 tbsp

Method:

1. Soak the saffron and the halved and deseeded dates in 1/2 cup warm milk. Cover and keep aside.
2. Pour milk into a large pan. Throw the skin of the whole cardamom and add the seeds to the milk. Boil milk in the pan at high heat with sugar and green cardamom powder, nutmeg powder until it is reduced by one-fourth.
3. In a heavy bottomed pan at medium low heat add ghee/oil and stir-fry the raisins, almonds, chironji, pistachio and melon seeds separately for just a few seconds until golden and remove using a slotted spoon into a small cup and keep aside. In the same oil/ghee roast the vermicelli noodles stirring them until they are a just few shades dark. Pour the reduced milk into it and let it come to a boil once. Add the dates and the saffron with the milk in which they have been soaking. Cover and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. By now the noodles must have become very soft. Remove from heat. It can be served hot or cold.

Note-Make Ahead:You can roast the vermicelli and store in the refrigerator for more than a week, a make ahead for this dish. If you prepare the whole thing and store it in the refrigrerator it will become a thick paste in consistency as the days pass. You can also fry the nuts and store in the refrigerator a day before to prepare this sweet savory instantly when your guests arrive, as you will just have to cook it all in milk and serve.

Luv,
Mona

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Gosht Pasinde~I

September 4th, 2007 Mona Posted in Black pepper powder, Canola Oil, Chironji/Charoli, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Coriander seeds, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Garam masala powder, Ginger-Garlic paste, Green Beans/Binees ki phalli, Hyderabadi special, Lamb/Beef/Mutton/Veal/Sheep, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Poppy seeds/Khus-Khus, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Turmeric/Haldi, White Potato/Aloo, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz, Yogurt/Dahi 16 Comments » 13,925 views

Ah! The long weekend has gone by and I still wanted more of it. Weekends just fly away, dont you all also think so?

Today I am sharing with you all the recipe for ‘Pasinde’, my naniammi – grandmother’s version. This is a dry meat curry with a thick and aromatic gravy consisting of a range of spices, shallow fried french beans and potatoes.

Pasinde ka Salan

Pasinde is one of the most classic Hyderabadi dishes loved by the muslims mostly. My family loves it. We enjoy it with Paratha or Rice and Khatti Dal.

Pasinde ka Salan - Meat Cooked with Spices, French Beans and Potatoes

Ingredients:

Boneless Veal Meat – 600 gms, cut into thin long strips, 5 × 7.5 cm and 1.2 cm in thickness)
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 1/2 tsp
Yogurt – 1 cup
Salt – 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp
Canola Oil
Green Beans – 10, each cut diagonally into 3 pieces
Potatoes – 2, large, peeled and sliced thick from the longer side
Yellow Onion – 2
Khus Khus – 1 tbsp
Chironji nuts, Almonds, Cashew nuts – 2 tsp each, soaked in 3/4 cup warm milk for 15 mins (optional)
Desiccated coconut – 1/4 cup
Groundnuts – 1/4 cup, deskinned
Black Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
Dry roasted Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Cilantro – 1 tbsp, chopped finely
Mint leaves – 1 tbsp

Method:

1. Place the strips of meat between sheets of cling film and flatten and tenderize the strips of veal by pounding them flat with a kitchen mallet or a rolling pin. Marinate the meat with turmeric, ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, salt and red chilli powder for atleast 3-4 hours in the refrigerator. After the marination time of the meat, bring it to room temperature and, now, lets start preparing the curry.
2. Add the marinated mutton to the pressure cooker and let it cook covered for 5 minutes. Keep stirring it occasionally so that it doesnt get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Close the lid and pressure cook until the meat is done.
3. Meanwhile, in pan with little oil, shallow fry the french beans, and the sliced potatoes seperately and keep aside in individual platters. Keep aside.

Shallow fried french beans

Shallow fried thick potato slices

4. From the same pan, pour off all but 2 tbsp oil and shallow fry the sliced onions in that oil, until just lightly browned. Remove using a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined platter. Keep aside to cool.
5. In the same pan (no need to add any oil), roast the khus-khus, desiccated coconut, and groundnut on an iron rawa or in a thick bottomed pan individually for just a few minutes and remove onto a platter. Keep aside to cool.
6. In a grinder, add the fried onions, and roasted khus-khus, soaking chironji nuts, almonds, and cashew nuts with milk, desiccated coconut and groundnut and grind them all together to a smooth paste. Add just a few drops of water if required.
7. Open the lid of the pressure cooker. Using tongs, remove the meat strips from the masala into a bowl, cover the bowl and keep aside. Add the above blended smooth paste of spices to the pressure cooker and stir well to mix. Cover with a splatter screen and let cook on simmer until its starts leaving oil. Keep stirring occassionally. Add the black pepper powder, garam maslaa powder, cardamom powder, coriander powder and cilantro and mint.
8. Add the meat, stir fried potatoes and french beans to the mixture and gently combine well without breaking the potatoes.
9. Cook the mixture at medium heat till the potatoes are soft and the whole mixture is fairly dry about 4-6 minutes. Sprinkle a few drops of water if it sticks to the bottom of the pan. Serve immediately.

Suggested Accompaniments: We usually have this curry along with Parathas or Basmati Chawal and Khatti dal for a meal.

Luv,
Mona

AddThis Social Bookmark Button