Lagan Ka Murgh

October 15th, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Cardamom/Elaichi, Cashewnuts/Kaaju, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Clove/Laung, Dry Bay Leaf/Tej Patta, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Garam masala powder, Ginger-Garlic paste, Hyderabadi special, Indian Cooking Utensil, Onion/Pyaaz, Poppy seeds/Khus-Khus, Poultry/Murgh, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Turmeric/Haldi, Yogurt/Dahi 26 Comments » 21,741 views

During my recent trip to Hyderabad, I got to do a lot of things that I had been wanting to do since long. I attended many weddings and enjoyed the traditional food serving there, brought along Lamsa tea mix which is something solely available in Hyderabad city, spices, and a few of the Indian utensils that were missing in my kitchen here depending on the weight limitations. I wish there was a little more allowance so that I could have got more.

Lagan – Indian utensil

Lagan is an Indian utensil that is wide, thick walled with a slightly curved thick bottom. I do not know if this is available and used in other parts of India as well. I brought along a medium sized lagan to use in my daily cooking. Mostly, this utensil is used to prepare dough in it, but it is also used to cook other dishes as well.

Since I had landed here in Toronto, I wanted to treat hubby dear with some special dishes, so I thought to prepare this simple yet exotic chicken curry. I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this recipe, but it turned out superb. My hubby was a happy man, he enjoyed several servings of this curry along with rice and licked the plate clean.

Marinating the chicken and then slow cooking it in the masala does the trick. If you do not have a lagan to cook this dish in, you can simply use any heavy bottomed pan instead.

Lagan Ka Murgh ~ Slow-cooked Creamy Chicken curry in Aromatic Spices

White Poppy Seeds/Khus Khus – 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts – 1/8 cup
Warm milk – 3/4 cup
Chicken – 8 chicken leg pieces (or 650 gms with bone or boneless chicken cut into bite size pieces)
Thick Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Canola oil – 4 tbsp
Onions – 3, medium sized, finely sliced
Cloves – 4
Green cardamoms – 4
Dried Bay leaf/Tej patta – 1
Tomato – 1, large, pureed
Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp
Cilantro/Kothmir – 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Lagan Ka Murgh ~ Slow-cooked Creamy Chicken curry in Aromatic Spices

Method:

1. In a small cup, add khus khus and cashewnuts. Pour in warm milk and let soak for 20-25 minutes. Later puree it into a smooth paste.
2. Marinate the chicken with yogurt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder. Mix well and keep aside for 30-40 minutes.
3. In a lagan or any thick bottomed vessel at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it is hot, add the sliced onions, two pinches of salt and fry while stirring constantly until they are golden brown in color. Add cloves, cardamoms and bay leaf. Add the marinated chicken along with the marinade and mix well. Add the prepared cashewnuts+khus khus+milk puree, and the tomato puree and mix well. Simmer, cover and let it cook slowly for 30-40 minutes. Keep stirring it every once in a while. You will see the oil will start to leave and the gravy will get thicker. Once done, sprinkle garam masala powder and chopped cilantro. Mix well and serve immediately.

Serve this creamy chicken curry warm along with hot Tandoori Naan, or Parathas or Khushka.

Luv,
Mona

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Lajawaab Hyderabadi Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani

December 1st, 2009 Mona Posted in All-Purpose Flour/Maida, Basmati Rice/Chawal, Blog Events/Entries/Polls, Canola Oil, Caraway seeds/Shahzeera, Cardamom/Elaichi, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Cinnamon/Dalchini, Clove/Laung, Dry Bay Leaf/Tej Patta, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Garam masala powder, Ghee, Green Chillies, Hyderabadi special, Indian Cooking Utensil, Kiwi, Lamb/Beef/Mutton/Veal/Sheep, Lemon/Nimbu, Milk and Milk Products, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Simple Kitchen Tips, Turmeric/Haldi, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz, Yogurt/Dahi 43 Comments » 57,278 views

I had prepared Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani on the second day of Eid-ul-Adha for our dinner. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the meal to the last morsel الحمد لله.

Basically, there are two kinds of Biryani: Pakki Biryani, and Kachchi Biryani.

Pakki Biryani: where are half cooked Basmati rice is layered along with completely cooked chicken or lamb meat and then cooked till done on slow heat on dum.
1. Pakki Gosht ki Biryani
2. Pakki Murgh Biryani

Kachchi Biryaniwhich is the true Hyderabadi Biryani – where are half cooked Basmati rice is layered along with raw marinated meat and then finished on slow heat till done on dum.
1. Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani (which I am writing about today)
2. Kachche Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani

Raw tender and lean meat in this extraordinary kind of Biryani is allowed to first marinate in a mixture of raw papaya paste(optional)+yogurt+lemon juice+ginger+garlic, etc., all of which are natural meat tenderizers, along with several other aromatic spices for 3-4 hours. The marinating meat with all infused flavors is then layered with less than half cooked rice and allowed to slow cook, essentially in a degchi, which an Indian utensil with sloping sides and a narrow neck. The video here and here demonstrates the method and will be useful for beginners. Go through the videos once to have a good idea on the procedure before you try my recipe.

Hyderabadi Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani

The essential requirement for a good Biryani is to use good quality fragrant long grained basmati rice. The secong most important thing is to use lean meat and marinating it in a tenderizing mix before you cook. You cannot even think of preparing this Biryani without marinating it. Raw Papaya skin paste is used as the meat tenderizer back home. My Ammi however says that if the meat is tender enough, there is no need for a meat tenderizer at all. Following her advise, I have prepared Kacchi Gosht ki Biryani many times without using papaya paste and the meat is always bone tender. However, if first timers are apprehensive to try out the Biryani without the use of any meat tenderizers, please go ahead and use it. Apart from the puree of skinned unripe green papaya, peeled kiwifruit puree and pineapple puree are also powerful meat tenderizers.

My dadi(grandmother) always advised us to use rice and meat in 1:1 ratio for Kachchi Biryani. However if you like a meaty biryani, go ahead and follow meat and rice in 1.5:1 ratio, or if you prefer more rice and less meat, follow meat and rice in 1:1.5 ratio. To give time for the raw marinated meat to finish cooking along with rice, the rice is pre-soaked, and then just cooked for a minute or two, then drained and layered with the raw marinated meat and they are both cooked together. As the Biryani cooks, the steam from the meat and its marinade rises above to the rice and aids in its cooking as well. The rice also acquires flavors from the steam and the end result is piquant.

freshly chopped cilantro and mint in water

Hyderabadis prefer Kachchi Biryani over Pakki Biryani for many reasons~because this Biryani is the true Hyderabadi Biryani, for its uniqueness in the method of preparation and ambrosial taste, and also because this biryani is very simple to prepare unlike considered. All you have to do is marinate the meat for about 3 hrs, and then allow to slow cook along with half cooked basmati rice for about an hour, thats it. You do not need to stand in front of the stove stirring it the whole time. Just leave on stove to slow cook and you are free to attend to your other chores.

Make sure that you have everything ready to hand before you begin cooking rice, as you will need to assemble the layers quickly, while the rice is still warm.

Hyderabadi Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani – Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani
Serves: 6-8
Total Marinating time: 3 1/2 hrs
Total ‘Dum/slow cooking’ time: Around 1 hr and 10 mins

Canola oil – 6 tbsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Lean spring Lamb meat, with bone, preferably leg, cut into 5 cm cubes – 800 grams (my Ammi even adds mixed pieces like ribs, chops etc) excess fat trimmed, washed, drained and pat dried
for the tenderizing mix:
Raw Unripe Green Papaya skin –  grated or made into a paste , about 2 or 3 tbsp (or) Kiwi fruit – 1, about 50 gms, peel discarded and the pulp mashed into a smooth paste (optional)
Ginger garlic paste – 3 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
for the marinade:
Thick Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Yellow onions – 3, medium sized, finely sliced
Fresh Mint leaves – 1 cup, loosely packed, roughly chopped
Fresh Cilantro – 1 cup, loosely packed, roughly chopped
Small green chillies – 4-6, slit lengthwise
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder -1 tsp
Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
for the rice:
Long Grained Fragrant Basmati Rice – 800 grams (old biryani rice)
Shah Zeera – 1/2 tbsp
Cardamom – 4
Cloves – 4
Cinnamon stick – one 2″ stick
Dagad Phool – 1 tbsp
Dried bay leaf –  2
Salt – 3-4 tsp
for the Biryani:(assembing layers)
Saffron threads – 2 big pinch
Warmed milk – 1/2 cup
Cilantro – 1/2 cup, loosely packed and roughly chopped
Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, loosely packed and roughly chopped
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
additional ingredients:
Dough made with maida/all-purpose flour (flour+water) to seal the vessel(optional)

1. In a large thick walled oven-proof vessel/saucepan (if you have a thick walled degchi, please use it) (also please choose a vessel that is large enough so that there is about 1/4 amount of free headspace left after the whole biryani is assembled for the steam to collect and aid in cooking), add the tenderizing mix and the marinade and mix well. Wear gloves, add the meat and thoroughly mix the meat well. Using a knife, gash/poke the meat in the marinade. Mix once and again gash/poke it with a knife and then mix. Cover and keep aside.
2. In a thick bottomed frying pan, pour in oil and ghee. Once the oil is hot add the sliced onions. Deep fry them until evenly golden brown in color, keep a close eye and make sure you do not burn them. Once done, remove the pan from heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove half of the fried onions into a platter and spread them out. In a while, they will crisp up as they cool. The crisped fried onions will be later used for garnish. Reserve the remaining fried onions and oil in the same pan and let cool. These will be added to the marinade.
3. In a small bowl, add the warmed milk and soak the saffron threads in it.
4. Add the cooled fried onions and about 4 tbsp of the oil from the pan to the marinating meat and thoroughly mix using a spoon. Cover and keep it back in the refrigerator for 3-4 hrs.

marinating meat

5. Wash the rice in 3 changes of water and soak it in surplus fresh cool water for 30 minutes.
6. In a large saucepan, pour in surplus cool water and add the shahzera, cardamom, cloves, dried bay leaf, dagad phool and salt (do not forget adding salt). Cover and bring it to a boil on high. Once the water is boiling, drain the soaking rice and add it to the boiling water and stir. Cook for just 2 minutes and drain the rice immediately.
7. Spread the drained half cooked rice over the marinating meat. Spread evenly the chopped cilantro, mint, saffron soaking in milk, remaining crisped fried onions and lemon juice. Cover the vessel properly with aluminium foil or a tight lid (with vents closed with dough if any) so that no steam can escape. You can also apply dough to seal the lid which is the traditional method.

top layer of garnish just before putting it on dum

8. Cook the Biryani on high for 5 minutes. You will notice that a good amount of steam has built up, which is called as the pehli bhaap, meaning first steam.. Then take a flat dosa tawa and keep it below the vessel (so that the bottom does not burn and it slow cooks evenly) and lower the heat to simmer and let it slow cook for 30 minutes, until done. Remove from heat, and have a quick look to see if the rice has cooked and stick a fork through to test the meat (be careful as there will a lot of steam, do not burn yourselves). If it needs to cook a little longer, cover again tightly with the lid/foil again and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. when it is done and wait for 10 mins before mixing the rice with meat, and serve on a large serving platter. For a special touch, garnish with more fried onions, cilantro and mint leaves, toasted/fried almonds or cashewnuts or pinenuts or raisins and quartered hard boiled eggs.
Oven Method:
1. Follow the above steps until step 7.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
3. Cook the assembled biryani in the vessel on stove-top on high heat for 5 minutes, until nice steam has built up, which is called as the pehli bhaap, meaning first steam. Immediately transfer this vessel in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. After that, turn the oven setting to 300°F and bake it for further 15 minutes, after which have a quick look to see if the rice has cooked and stick a fork through to test the meat (be careful as there will a lot of steam, do not burn yourselves). If it needs to cook a little longer, cover again tightly with the lid/foil again and cook for a furthur 15 minutes. Remove from oven when it is done and wait for 10 mins before mixing the rice with meat, and serve on a large serving platter. For a special touch, garnish with more fried onions, cilantro and mint leaves, toasted/fried almonds or cashewnuts or pinenuts or raisins and quartered hard boiled eggs.

Serve this Biryani along with Mirchi Ka Salan or Baghare baingan or Kaddu ka Dalcha or Tamatar ka Kut or plain and simple Dahi ki Chutney for a sumptuous Hyderabadi meal.

This lajawaab biryani 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.

Here are other versions of Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani from some of my fellow food blogger buddies:
1. Yasmeen’s version of Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani
2. Anjum’s version of Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani
3. Foodgoddess’s version of Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani

Luv,
Mona

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Cheddar Cauliflower Bisque

November 18th, 2009 Mona Posted in Cheddar Cheese, Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds/Zeera, Dry Bay Leaf/Tej Patta, Garlic/Lahsun, Milk and Milk Products, Orange Cauliflower, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 11 Comments » 7,336 views

Cheddar Cauliflower (a variety of the Orange Cauliflower) is a very flavorful Canadian Cauliflower, with a sweet and mild taste, a bright yellowish orange color, and rich in beta-carotenes (about 25 times more than white cauliflower).

Gorgeous Cheddar Cauliflower

I had seen this eye-catching variety of cauliflower for the first time the last year. And since then been enjoying them in various ways. This week, I again bought a few and prepared a delicious bisque which I thoroughly relished as my breakfast along with a crusty bread.

Cheddar Cauliflower florets

Cheddar Cauliflower Bisque

Ingredients:

Organic Cheddar Cauliflower – 1 large head, approx 650 gms, cut into florets, keep the tender cauliflower greens aside in a bowl
Yellow Onion – 1, medium sized, sliced into thick rings
Garlic cloves – 4
Dry roasted Cumin seed powder – 1/2 tsp
Dry roasted Coriander seed powder – 1/2 tsp
Dried Bay leaf/Tej patta – 1, large, dried
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Kraft Light Singles, Cheddar cheese – 1 slice (halal)
2% Milk – 1 cup

Bright and nourishing ~ Cheddar Cauliflower Bisque

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400°C.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil and place the cauliflower florets, onion rings, and garlic cloves on it. Drizzle with 2 tsp canola oil and bake/roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Shake the baking sheet once in between during the time.

roasted florets and onion + greens + chicken stock

3. Transfer the baking sheet onto racks and let cool until warmish. Add the contents of the baking sheet into a saucepan and add 700 ml of chicken stock. Throw in the cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, red chilli powder, bayleaf and cover the lid. Let cook on medium heat until the cauliflower is tender.
4. Remove and discard the bayleaf from the saucepan. Transfer the contents to a blender container and puree until smooth. You can also a liquidizer. (At this stage, you can strain it if you prefer a smooth consistency, I didn’t because I did not want to waste anything). Pour it back into the saucepan.
5. Add cheddar cheese and the milk and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm with a crusty bread.

Did you know there exists a beautiful Purple Cauliflower too?

This warming bisque goes to Health Nut Challenge 3, which Yasmeen of Healthnut is hosting on her wonderful blog. Do mail her your entries before January 2010.

***

Note: Earlier this year, I had made a humble contribution of my recipe for ‘Qimah Dum‘ for ‘The BloggerAid – Changing the Face of Famine Cookbook‘.

Dum ka Qimah

This cookbook includes recipes by over 140 bloggers over 60 countries from worldwide. 100% of the proceeds for the cookbook target children and education through the World Food Programme called School Meals. Do get your copy soon to go through the recipes and support the great cause

Luv,
Mona

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Simple Pleasures

October 2nd, 2009 Mona Posted in Basmati Rice/Chawal, Canola Oil, Caraway seeds/Shahzeera, Cardamom/Elaichi, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Cinnamon/Dalchini, Cumin seeds/Zeera, Curry leaves (fresh), Dried Red Chillies, Dry Bay Leaf/Tej Patta, Ghee, Ginger-Garlic paste, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Peas/Matar, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Tomato, Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Turmeric/Haldi, White Cauliflower/Phool Gobi, White Potato/Aloo, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 15 Comments » 16,462 views

Baghara Khana (or Baghara Chawal), is an another simple and nourishing dish that reminds me of that happier era, when I was a kid. Food that reminds me of my childhood and my hometown definitely makes me immensely nostalgic every time.

Baghara Khana along with Aloo Gobi Matar ~ was my yesterday’s lunch

Fragrant long grained basmati rice is cooked along with caramelized onion and exotic whole spices that give a delicate flavor and a wonderful aroma that will fill your house, and welcome your loved ones with open arms and a sense of home where warmth and comfort abounds. Always serve Baghara khana warm, along with the accompaniments of your choice.

To prepare Baghara Khana, use rice and water in the ratio of 1:2, i.e., for 1 cup rice, use two cups of water. Save a little amount of the water to add later on after the rice is about 3/4th cooked as described below.

Baghara Chawal/Khana
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Long grained White Basmati Rice – 1 cup (I prefer the brands ‘Daawat’ or ‘India Gate’ or ‘Lal Qila’)
Canola Oil – 1 tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp
Onion – 1, small, finely sliced
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Fresh Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Fresh Mint/Pudina – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Green cardamom/Elaichi – 2
Cinnamon/Dalchini – 2 inch stick
Dry bay leaf – 1, medium sized
Caraway seeds/Shahzeera – 1/2 tsp
Water – 2 cups
Salt – 1 tsp

Method:

1. Wash the rice in two changes of water and soak it in surplus cool water for 30 minutes.
2. In a saucepan at medium high heat, pour oil and ghee and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion and stir fry until the onion is nicely browned up. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry it along for a minute. Add the chopped herbs, green cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and caraway seeds. Fry them for a minute more. Add 1 2/3 cup of water and salt. Cover with a lid and increase the heat to high. Let it come to a boil.
3. Meanwhile drain the soaked rice and keep ready.
4. Add the drained rice to the boiling water in saucepan and mix well. Let it come to a boil once. Lower the heat to simmer and cover with a lid. After 3 minutes using a spoon, mix the rice well, lower the heat to minimum and and cover it back again and let cook for a furthur 3 minutes. Open the lid, pour in the remaining 1/3 cup water and gently mix well. Cover and let cook until the rice is tender. Close the heat and leave the saucepan on the hot stove for about 15 more minutes to finish cooking on Dum. Serve warm.

My house smells like a potpourri every time after I prepare Baghare Chawal due to all those aromatic spices.

Note: You can also add chopped green chillies and a few whole cloves along with the other spices while frying the onions. I do not prefer to add them. Also for a special touch, garnish the cooked rice while serving with a few toasted whole cashew nuts.

Suggested Accompaniments: Baghara khana is enjoyed along with Dalcha or Baghare baingan or Mirchi ka Salan or Sem ki phalli gosht or Qimah or Qorma for a delicious Hyderabadi meal.

***

This Summer, I had planted a few tomato seeds (first time with tomatoes) and voila, I had plenty of fresh tomatoes from my lil tomato garden in the backyard. Here are a few snaps:

Tomato Variety: Moneymaker

tomato budss under the warm early spring sunshine

tiny tomatoes and blooms in early summer

after a shower
I love the fuzzy stems and the unique strong scent of tomato foliage

on a warm sunny evening

ripening on the vine

For the curry below I had used the garden ripe tomatoes from my plants. With the commenced autumn chill in the air, I do not think the plants will live much longer. To freeze tomatoes, just cut out the tough part of the core, put the whole tomatoes on a baking sheet and into the freezer. After they’ve frozen, transfer them to a plastic zipper bag and put them back into the freezer. When you want to use them, you can easily peel them if you allow them to thaw until they’re just barely soft on the outside. Then just rub off the skins. Or you can run warm tap water over them and peel them immediately. Use them in recipes for any cooked dish. Inshallah the next season, I plan/wish to grow the heirloom ribbed or beefsteak tomatoes and even more veggies. Have a look at the beautiful heirloom tomatoes here, I am sure even you all will be smitten by their beauty. Need to stock up the seeds soon for the gardening season.
For those of you interested, this book has loads of information on heirloom tomatoes and how to plant them.

Aloo Gobi Matar – Potato Cauliflower and Peas in one pot

Ingredients:

Canola Oil – 1 1/2 tbsp
Onion – 1, large, finely sliced
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Fresh Curry leaves – 6
Dry red chillies – 3, each broken into two
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Cauliflower – 1 medium head, cut into florets, washed and drained
White Potatoes – 3, peeled and cut into quarters
Tomatoes – 2, medium sized, chopped
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Frozen organic peas/Matar – 3/4 cup
Fresh Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Aloo Gobi Matar along with toasted Afghani Roti, and home-made Lemon pickle ~ todays lunch

Method:

Heat oil in a wide saucepan at medium high heat and as soon as it is warm, pour in oil. Add the sliced onion and stir fry until the onion are just lightly browned. Add the baghaar ingredients~cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Also add salt and turmeric powder. Mix well. Add the cauliflower florets and potato quarters and mix well. Spread the vegetables so that they are in a single layer in the pan. Sear the vegetables for about two minutes. Keep stirring them occasionally. Add the chopped tomatoes, half cup of warm water and red chilli powder. Mix well and cover the lid. Let cook until the vegetables are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid. Keep stirring occasionally. Add the frozen peas and cover the lid for 2 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm.

‘Aloo Gobi Matar – Potato, Cauliflower and Peas’ in one pot goes to Andera’s Grow Your Own event.

Luv,
Mona

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Dinner Today

September 3rd, 2009 Mona Posted in Almonds/Badaam, Black Peppercorns, Canola Oil, Cardamom/Elaichi, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Cinnamon/Dalchini, Clove/Laung, Dry Bay Leaf/Tej Patta, Garam masala powder, Ghee, Ginger-Garlic paste, Ivy Gourd/Tindora/Kandori, Lemon/Nimbu, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Poultry/Murgh, Red Chilli powder, Saffron/Zafraan, Salt/Namak, Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Yellow Onion/Pyaaz, Yogurt/Dahi 23 Comments » 19,261 views

The first Ashra of Ramadan has passed away الحمد لله. May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) accept all our dua’s inshallah. Todays dinner after our 14th roza features Ivy Gourd curry, Khatti dal and Dum ka Murgh along with Afghani Roti and Khushka.

Ivy Gourd~(Coccinia indica, C. grandis) (other names in various languages-Scarlet fruited gourd, Little gourd, Donda, Kandori, Tindora, Gherkin, Kova, etc) is an Indian vegetable, grown on aggresively climbing vines, and a very good source of Calcium, Fibre and Iron.

Fortunately this vegetable is available here at my place at most of the Indian stores, priced a bit higher though, but nonetheless and I am very happy for that reason. This humble vegetabe is one of my favorites and it makes its presence on my dinner table whenever its cravings defeat me.

Ivy Gourd – chopped and whole

Ivy Gourds in dry tomato-onion gravy

Ingredients:

Ivy Gourd – 2 pounds, topped, tailed, and chopped as shown
Onion – 1, large, finely sliced
Tomato – 2. medium sized, finely chopped
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Canola oil – 1 tbsp

Ivy gourd curry served along with Flat bread~Paratha

Method:

Heat oil in a pressure cooker at medium high heat. As soon as it warms up, add onion and stir fry until soft. Add chopped tomato, red chilli powder and salt. Also add in the chopped Ivy gourd and 1 cup water, and pressure cook for 10 minutes, until the Ivy Gourd is soft. Let cook uncovered until most of the moisture has been evaporated. Keep stirring occassionally and gently. Serve along with Parathas .

***

Dum ka Murgh – Slow cooked Chicken in Aromatic sauce

Ingredients:

Chicken, with bone – 1.3 kg, cut into pieces
Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Almonds, ground – 1/4 cup
Garam masala powder – 2 tsp
Saffron strands, lightly crushed – 1/4 tsp
Onion – 4, large, finely chopped
Tomato puree – 2 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Red chili powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 4 tbsp
Cilantro – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Mint leaves -1 tbsp, finely chopped
Ghee – 1/3 cup
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch stick
Cloves – 2
Green Cardamom – 2
Black Peppercorns – 4
Bay leaf – 1, dried

Dum ka Murgh

Method:

1. In a frying pan at medium high heat, pour ghee and as soon as it warms up add the sliced onions. Fry them stirring it frequently until golden brown in color. Remove the fried onions using a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined platter. Reserve the leftover ghee.
2. In a mixing bowl, add yogurt, almond paste, garam masala, saffron, salt, fried onions, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, lemon juice, tomato puree and cilantro and mint leaves to the chicken. Mix it all well. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate in the aromatic paste for about 2 hours in the refrigerator.
3. Take the mixing bowl out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. In a large saucepan at medium high heat, pour the leftover ghee and as soon as it warms up add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves. Saute for a few seconds and add the chicken mixture into it. Spread the chicken in a single layer and mix well. Cover the lid and cook on simmer for 20 minutes. Later, gently give a good stir and again cover and let cook for a further 15 minutes until oil leaves. Garnish with fried onions and serve with sliced onion rings and lemon wedges.

Suggested Accompaniments: Afghani Roti/Naan/Parathas or Plain Rice and Khatti Dal.

Luv,
Mona

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