Aloo-Gosht ka Qorma

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

Kofte ka Qorma

This is one my family’s most loved dishes. Kofte ka Qorma is a tasteful dish in which the melt in mouth shallow-fried kofte/meatballs prepared from Shaami meat mixture are simmered in qorma, a spicy and fragrant yogurt masala gravy.

Kofte ka Qorma – Melt-in-mouth meatballs in a spicy fragrant sauce

There are usually two kinds of kofte/meatballs prepared. One type is that which is prepare from raw meat called as Kacche gosht ke kofte, in which raw meat marinated in spices and herbs are shaped into meatballs and later cooked to perfection in gravy; the other is the one which I am writing about today, when precooked delicate meatballs are simmered in gravy just before serving.

I prepare and store Shaami meat mixture in large amounts in zip lock sandwich bags and it lasts easily for around 3 months, but you store it for about an year frozen. I had earlier posted the method to prepare the shaami meat mixture here.

Round and small walnut size balls are prepared out of the cooked shaami meat mixture and shallow fried on all sides in a little oil. These are then left to simmer in the gravy. Be sure to add the meatballs just before you plan to serve them. If kept in the gravy to cook for a longer time before you serve, they may turn very soft and mushy as they already are delicate and velvety when shallow fried.

Kofte ka Qorma – Melt-in-mouth meatballs in a spicy fragrant sauce

For the Kofte:

Ingredients:

Makes 22 Kofte

Shaami meat mixture – 280 gms (the procedure to prepare Shaami meat mixture is given here)
Canola oil – to shallow fry

Right-Shallow fried Meat balls Left-Meatballs made from shaami meat
Behind – shaami meat in a zip lock sandwich bag

Method:
1. Take a small amount of the shaami meat and roll small walnut size balls out of it, gently between your palms. Continue until the entire mixture is finished. Arrange them all on a tray.
2. Shallow fry them in small batches in a small frying pan using a little amount of Canola oil until browned on all sides.

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 preperation:

1. Just when you want to serve the curry, gently drop the shallow fried Kofte into the Qorma and bring to a boil. Simmer and let cook for 3 minutes.
2. Serve warm with Roti.

***

I would like to ask the readers of my blog before I sign off for today ..
a) Are there any magazines, published in Hyderabad, showcasing local Hyderabadi food and recipes in English, Hindi or Urdu languages? If yes, please let me know which ones are your favorite?
b) Or in a larger picture, any good food and recipe magazines about authentic Indian food published in India?

My current favorite food magazine is ‘Everyday Food’ by Martha. Just loving it! It is not about Indian food though.

Luv,
Mona

Mirch Bhajiye

Mirchiyon ke bhajiye, or stuffed deep fried chillies in a thick chickpea flour batter is a very common sight as a snack item loved my almost all Indians. Its one among the top rated street foods dear to every Bharatiya.

Mirch Bhajiye – Stuffed Deep fried Green Chillies

In this cold and chilly weather, I had prepared these as a snack. Actually I was missing Hyderabad so much and felt very nostalgic. It was necessary for me to have Mirch Bhajiye atleast once weekly, or even better more than that when I used to live in Hyderabad. My Ammi used to prepare them for us all, or we used to get them from the Chaat-Walas while shopping at Abids along with the delicious array of chutneys they offer.

Slit Serrano chillies

I use serrano chillies for preparing these bhajiye, you can however use any kind of long fat and straight green chillies that you like.

Mirch Bhajiye – Stuffed Deep fried Green Chillies

Ingredients:

Serrano chillies – 12, straight
Oil for deep frying

For the stuffing-

Roasted coconut paste – 1/2 tsp
Roasted groundnut paste – 1/2 tsp
Roasted Sesame seed paste – 1/2 tsp
Roasted Coriander seed powder – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind concentrate – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste

For the batter:

Besan Batter

Chickpea flour/Besan – 300 gms
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Ajwain – 1/2 tsp
Water

Method:

  • Wash and pat dry the chillies. Slit them with the tip of a knife and carefully remove the seeds from inside. (Be careful with your hands while you do this. Do not rub you eyes with your hands while doing this or else they will burn. When all the chillies are done, wash your hands well in warm soapy water)
Stuffed Chilli
  • In a mortar and pestle, add all the ingredients for the stuffing and make a paste. Stuff the chillies with the prepared stuffing and keep aside.
  • In a seperate bowl, add the flour and spices and mix well with a fork. Add water, just a little at a time, to make a thick and smooth batter. (Make sure the batter is not thin)
  • Heat a Kadai or Wok at medium heat. Gently dip the stuffed chillies in the batter to cover them completely and slowly drp them into the hot oil. Deep dry until golden brown in color. Serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: Enjoy this snack along with any chutney of your wish.

Wishing every Indian a very Happy Republic Day. Mera Bharat Mahaan!

Luv,
Mona

Baghare Baingan

‘Baghare Baingan’ (in Urdu) when translated into english language means ‘Tempered Eggplants’. Baghaar or tempering is an Indian process of flavoring the oil with spices which is used in the preperation of a curry to impart added taste and aroma.

Aubergines, Peanuts and a large sized Onion (One of the Aubergines has an ‘X’ shaped incision at its base)

This is a lovely and delicious brinjal side dish, a hallmark and peculiar to the state of Hyderabad, usually seen being served at Daawat – weddings, parties and large gatherings. It is generally had as a side dish along with Biryanis or some people even enjoy it along with a Roti/Paratha.

Baghare Baingan – Tempered Aubergines in a rich Sauce

The eggplants are cooked twice, once they are shallow fried and then later simmered in a fragrant sweet and spicy sauce of sauteed onions and roasted spices. The tamarind imparts a tangy kick to the sauce consisting of roasted nutty and buttery peanuts, poppy seeds and coconut, a range of aromatic spices and caramelized onions.

Only Indian eggplants that are small, shiny deep purple and fresh are used for this curry. These are easily available at many Indian stores. Brinjal/Eggplant/Aubergines or Baingan are not a favorite of many people, but I suggest you all try this dish once and you will definitely love it. It is one of the best aubergine dishes I have ever had.

The procedure to prepare Mirchi Ka Salan or Tamatar ka Salan is also almost the same as this curry. Also, you can also add any firm fish fillets (Red snapper, Haddock, Cod, etc) to the gravy instead of brinjal to make it a fish curry/Machli ka Salan; or halved tomatoes to the gravy to make it Tamatar ka Salan. There is no difference, except for the fact that in Mirchi ka Salan, green chillies are used; in tomato curry, tomatoes are used; in fish curry, fish fillets are used; and in this curry, the brinjals are used.

Baghare Baingan – Tempered Aubergines in a Spicy Nutty Tangy Sauce
Cooking time: around 45 minutes; Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Eggplants/Baingan – 6-8, indian variety~small sized, fresh, and deep purple in colour
For dry masala paste:
Khus Khus/White Poppy seeds – 1 tbsp
Till/Sesame Seeds – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Peanuts/Groundnuts/MoomPhalli – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Dry Desiccated Coconut – 3/4 cup/50 gms
Coriander seeds/Dhania – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds/ Zeera – 1 1/2 tsp
For baghaar/tempering:
Cumin seeds/ Zeera – 1 tsp
Curry leaves/ Kariyapaak – 2 sprigs
Mustard seeds/ Rai – 1/2 tsp
Nigella seeds/ Kalaunji – 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/ Methi dana – 1/8 tsp
For gravy:
Canola oil
Yellow Onions – 4, large, sliced slightly thick into semi circular rings
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric/ Haldi – 1/4 tsp
Cilantro/ Kothmir – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Thick tamarind pulp – 4 tbsp

Method:

1. Wash the eggplants and make four incisions, perpendicular cuts (an X) from the base of each eggplant, taking care the stem end is intact. Soak them in a bowl of cold water with 1tbsp salt to prevent discoloration. Keep aside. In a kadai pour oil to deep fry. When the oil is hot, drain the brinjals. Deep fry the brinjals for about 10-15 minutes until they are tender and well cooked. Gently remove them in a platter and keep aside.
2. Heat a small non-stick frying pan or a cast iron skillet at medium high heat and once it is hot, dry roast the desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, khus khus, peanuts, coriander seeds and cumin seeds, all one by one separately for just 2-3 minutes until they are a few shades darker and remove them into separate bowls. Do not burn the spices. Once cool, rub off the skins of the peanuts. Grind them all separately in a spice grinder to a fine powder or a smooth paste without adding any water and keep aside.
3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan or a cast iron skillet at medium high heat, and as soon as it warms up add the sliced onions. Let the onions sweat and keep stirring them until they are just starting to brown up. Once the onions are soft and lightly browned in color, remove them to a platter and keep aside. Once the dry roasted onions are cool, puree them in a grinder until smooth. Keep aside.
4. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy non-stick pan at medium heat and as soon as it is warm, add the ingredients under the heading ‘for baghaar’ – cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds. Let the spices splutter for a minute. Then add the pureed roasted onion paste and immediately cover the pan with a lid for a minute. Lower the heat to medium low and shake the pan to thoroughly mix. This is done for the mixture to absorb all the flavour from the baghaar(tempering). Uncover, lower the heat and add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the desiccated coconut paste, sesame seed paste, khus-khus paste and peanut paste and stir fry it for 2-5 minutes or until you see that the mixture comes together and starts leaving oil. Add the red chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix well and keep stir frying it for a further 2 minutes on medium low heat. Once the raw odor of the peanuts, ginger-garlic paste and coconut is no longer coming, add the dry roasted coriander and cumin seed powder and chopped cilantro and mix well. Pour in 3 1/2 cups warm water and the tamarind pulp. Mix well. Add the fried brinjals and stir. Cover the lid and let cook on simmer for 20-25 minutes while stirring frequently, until the oil has all separated and the brinjals are soft and completely done in the masala gravy. Remove from heat and serve the curry along with Pulao or Biryani or Naan.

Suggested Accompaniments: Biryani, Roti, Paratha

Varieties of Eggplant

This goes to the Monthy Mingle event currently being hosted by Ruth. The theme this time is Sensational Sides, and Baghare Baingan fits perfectly for the title of the event.

Inshallah my next post is going to be the round up for RCI:Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine which I will publish in just a few days from now. So keep checking on it. Take care of yourselves everyone and Have a good weekend!

Luv,
Mona

Khatti Moongphalli wali Murgh

The weather has been too hot and humid during the past few weeks and the weather forecast says its still going to stay so for the next few days as well. And during this type of weather, its quite unbearable to spend time in the kitchen in front of the stove preparing long and laborious meals. Speedy and quick recipes like this one come for my rescue here.

Khatti Moongphalli wali Murgh – Hot and Sour Chicken with powdered Groundnut 

The nutty taste of groundnut, a little hotness from the small green chillies and a slight acidic flavor of the amchur go very well along with the mild chicken here. This delicious dish gets prepared in less than 30 minutes.

Khatti Moongphalli wali Murgh – Hot and Sour Chicken with powdered Groundnut

Serves – 4 

Ingredients:

  • Canola Oil – 2 tsp 
  • Chicken Breast – 250 gms, cut into bite size piece
  • Ginger-Garlic paste –  2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Amchur powder/Dry Mango powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Dry Roasted Groundnut powder – 1 tbsp
  • Green chilli – 4, chopped

Method:

  • Pour oil into a large non-stick frying pan at medium heat and as soon as it warms up pour oil into it and add the chicken pieces. Stir fry them lightly till they turn from pink from white.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour in about half cup water and close the lid. Let it cook for about 20 minutes till the mixture is dry. Serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: Roti or Paratha, or along with Basmati Chawal and a vegetable side dish or Mitthi Dal.

Luv,
Mona