Masalewali Bhunihuwi Arvi

A few days back I was chatting with one of my very close friends. When she said she had sautéed taro root for lunch, that was enough for me to search for Arvi/Arbi/Taro Toot/Colocasia, in the market the coming weekend to buy some of those fresh tubers.

Colocasia/Taro root – Arvi

Taro root is a startchy vegetable just like potato but has a delicious nutty flavor. Roasted taro root is one of my favorite side dishes. I could eat it as a snack, as a side-dish. I also find this method of preparing this root vegetable easier as the skin peels out quite effortlessly after boiling and a quick roasting lessens its sliminess considerably. Simply boil them until tender then stir fry them to perfection. Lovely! Enjoy the stir-fried wholesome starchy tuber.

Masalewali Bhunihuwi Arvi – Spice Crusted Roasted Taro root

Ingredients:

Taro root/Caolocasia/Arvi – 8, medium sized
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds/Rai – 1 tbsp
Turmeric – a pinch
Nigella seeds/Kalonji – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Roasted Coriander/Dhaniya powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Dry Raw Mango powder/Amchur powder – 1 tsp (optional)

Masaledaar Bhunihuwi Arvi – Spice Crusted Sautéed Taro root

Method:

1. Wash the taro root and add them to a pressure cooker. Pour in water to cover them. Close the lid and pressure cook until they are soft but not over cooked. You can also steam them until they are fork tender. Once soft, peel and cut into small pieces.
2. Pour oil into a large flat heavy bottomed frying pan at medium high heat and as soon as it warms up, throw in the mustard seeds, nigella seeds, turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Add a splash of water and let it cook for 30 seconds.
3. Working quickly, spread the taro root pieces in a single layer in the pan above the masala, and let them sear. After a minute, when they are nicely browned, lower the heat and gently flip them all so that they sear well on all sides and the masala gets coated evenly on all the taro root pieces. Sprinkle Amchur powder all over stir fried taro root.
4. During the last 2-3 minutes, cover the lid of the pan. Remove from heat and enjoy the sautéed Taro root.

Luv,
Mona

Burhani Gosht

This week’s weather forecasts are perhaps among one of the most monstrous weather conditions I had ever experienced here, with terrible snowstroms and piles and piles of snow everywhere. How much I dislike winter.

Frozen Moment #4

Thankfully I and my family are at home for the holidays, but my I feel sorry for all those people who have to go through the harsh snow strom. Keep safe and warm everyone! I also feel miserable to watch my hubby shovel the snow and fight with the car to get it started everytime after a snowfall.

After all this back breaking endeavor of scooping out the bulky mounds of snow, I decided to treat my hubby with one of my most loved recipes that I had learnt from my dear mother. It is one of the simplest dishes to prepare, and even so, one of the most delectable red meat dish that you will remember always.

Burhani Gosht – Lamb in an Aromatic Sauce

This recipe uses the lamb breast riblets, also called as Seenay ka gosht in Urdu. It contains ribs and fat sheets arranged in layers and is one of the most delicious tasting flesh. However it is also high in fat content. You can also replace it using lamb thigh meat which again has a delicate flavor.

Burhani Gosht – Lamb Breast in an Aromatic Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Boneless or with bone Lamb, cut into pieces (or) Lamb Breast Riblets/Seenay ka Gosht– 600 gms
  • Canola oil – 3 tbsp
  • Onion – 2, medium sized, finely sliced
  • Green cardamom – 3, whole
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Garam masala powder – 2 tsp
  • Cilantro – to garnish

Method:

  • Wash and clean the meat, and keep in a colander for the water to drain away.
  • In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, pour in oil and add the sliced onion and stir fry until it golden brown in color. Add green cardamom and stir. Add meat and ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Mix well. Pour in a cup of water and close the lid. Let it pressure cook on medium heat until it is tender.
  • Later, open the lid, and let it cook on medium heat, until the meat is quite dry. Sprinkle garam masala powder. Remove from heat and serve. (Just to give it a special touch, I added a few saffron threads to the curry to make my guests happy)

Suggested Accompaniments: Serve this curry warm along with warm parathas.

Cheers,
Mona

Amchur-Harimirch wale Kacche Gosht ke Kofte

Happy Indepedence Day all my dear Indians!

Kofta (in Urdu language, Singular-Kofta; Plural-Kofte) means meatballs. Among all the meatball curries that I prepare, two of them, the Methi-Gosht ke Kofte and this one that I am writing about today are the most favorite in my house and we devour them along with warm Naan, or Afghani Roti which I get from the market usually.

It is called as ‘Kacche Gosht ke Kofte’ as the meatballs/Kofte in this method are added raw into the hot gravy and are allowed to cook in it. The meatballs cook perfectly in the hot bubbling gravy within a few minutes. I love this technique because, as the raw meatballs cook in the hot gravy, they impert their juices and flavor and give a deep taste.

Amchur-Harimirch wale Kacche Gosht ke Kofte – Meatballs in a hot and sour gravy

The two main ingredients here are Amchur in the Kofta and Green chilli paste in the gravy. You can feel the light tartness in the meatballs when you have them and the slight hotness due to the green chilli paste in the gravy make you leave wanting for more. It is a very simple recipe.

As Ramadhan is fast appraching, you can prepare this curry in large amounts, portion it and store it in freezable plastic food storage boxes that are microwave safe. When you sit to have your meal after iftaar, just microwave the box for a few minutes, and you are done. It will save you a lot of time.

You can use ground meat to prepare this curry, or if ground meat is not available, then you can even use meat chunks to prepare it. Wash and cut the meat chunks into bite size pieces, and put the chunks along with the spices for meaballs in a food processor, and pulse till the meat is well ground and mixed with the spices. Food processor is one of the most important kitchen gadgets in my kitchen. It makes my work very easier.

Amchur-Harimirch wale Kacche Gosht ke Kofte – Meatballs in a hot and sour gravy

For the Meatballs/Kofte

Ingredients:

Ground Veal/Lamb/Goat meat (or) Veal/Lamb/Goat meat chunks cut into bite size pieces or mince – 300 grams (read the notes above)
Dry Raw Mango/Amchur – 2 tsp
Red chilli flakes – 2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Salt/Namak – 1 tsp
Turmeric/Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Ginger-Garlic/Adrak-Lahsun paste – 2 tsp

Kacche Gosht ke Kofte – Raw meatballs

Method:

1. In a food processor or a blender, add all the ingredients and pulse till the mixture is all well mixed. Remove it into a bowl. Take a small amount into your hand and shape into little balls (approx 1 inch in diameter) rubbing the mixture between your palms. Continue making balls untill all the mixture is completed. Keep aside.
2. Wash your hands well with soap.

TIP: To freeze meatballs ahead of time: You can prepare the meatballs and freeze them for future use.
Form meatballs, and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in the freezer. Once the meatballs are hard and well frozen, transfer them to a resealable plastic bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw and cook them in the curry.

For the Curry/Gravy:

Ingredients:

Canola oil – 4 tbsp
Yellow onion – 3 , large, thinly sliced
Salt – 1 tsp
Seseme seeds/Til – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds/Zeera – 1 tsp
Carom seeds/Ajwain – 1 tsp
Clove/Laung – 2
Green cardamom/Elaichi – 4
Cinnamon sticks/Dalchini – 1 inch stick
Ginger-Garlic paste – 2 tsp
Green chilli – finely chopped, 2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Yogurt – 2 cup, lightly whipped
Beef Stock – 1 litre
Curry leaves – 6
Dried red chilli – 4, broken into two, seeds shaken out

Method:

1. Pour 3 tbsp oil into a large non-stick frying pan at medium heat and as soon as it warms up, add the onion and salt. Saute it for 3 minutes, then cover the lid. After 3 minutes, stir the onions, add a tablespoon of water and cover the lid again. Continue doing this until the onions are well browned and soft.
2. Add seseme seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds, clove, green cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger-garlic paste and green chillies. Saute them for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle red chilli powder.
3. Add the yogurt and keep strirring it continously for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat off. Once cool, pour this gravy into a blender container and blend till finely pureed.
4. In the same pan pour 1 tbsp of oil and as soon as it warms up add the dried red chilli powder and curry leaves. As they begin to crackle in a minute or two, pour the pureed sauce back into the pan. Add the meat stock and increase the heat to medium high. Let it come to a boil.
5. Lower the heat to medium low, and gently add the meatballs one by one to the gravy in a single layer, and close the lid. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Keep gently giving it a stir every 3 minutes or so taking care not to break the meatballs. Serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: This curry goes very well along with Naan or Afghani Roti, or even along with steamed Basmati.

This curry goes all the way to Srivalli of ‘Cooking 4 All Seasons’ who is hosting the event- Curry Mela.

Also, congratulations to Jyothi of Shadruchulu for winning the title of ‘The Best Hyderabadi Blog 2008′.

Have a pleasant weekend eveyone!

Luv,
Mona

Hari Pyaaz aur Malai wale Jhinge

This is one of the dishes that I prepare when I do not have much time to spend in my kitchen. These creamy prawns with scallions get prepared quite quickly and contain all the goodness.

Hari Pyaz aur Malai wale Jhinge – Shrimp with Scallions and Cream

Prawns are my favorite among the Seafood. These little crustaceans are devouring. In this dish I have used hari-pyaz/scallions and light cream along with some other ingredients as well, each one of them imparting their own special flavor to the dish, but keeping the flavor of the prawns the dominant.

I have also used the Salan Masala which I came across from the cookbook Regional Indian Cooking by Ajay Joshi and Alison Roberts. This masala has now become a very important ingredient in many of my daily recipes and I find it very flavorful. I’m sharing the recipe of the masala with you all which I found in the cookbook.

Salan Masala

Makes about 2/3 cup

Ingredients:

  • Dry Dessicated Coconut – 1/3 cup
  • Sesame seeds – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 insh piece
  • Whole cloves – 4
  • Green Cardamom pods – 6 green
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp

Method:

  • Dry roast the coconut and sesame seeds at medium heat until golden forn 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool, then in a spice grinder, grind it to a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cumin to the same pan. Dry roast at medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Set aside, cool and gring to a fine powder. Add to the coconut mixture along with chilli powder and turmeric. Stir well to combine.
  • Transfer to an airtight container. Store in refrigerator forupto 6 months. Use a clean dry spoon each time to us ethe masala to prevent mold from forming.

I usually get frozen prawns as they are easy to keep and are available for me to prepare and have them whenever I want. You can even use fresh prawns if available. I miss all the freshly available food in abumdance in India so much. Here, I do not get most of my Indian ingredients, and miss many of the Indian delicacies.

Hari Pyaz aur Malai wale Jhinge – Shrimp with Scallions and Cream

Ingredients:

  • Fresh or Frozen Prawns – 400 gms, deshelled; tails, legs and veins removed
  • Canola Oil – 2 tsp
  • Scallions – 3 cups, chopped with both the green and white parts
  • Tomato Paste – 2 tsp
  • Red Chilli Flakes – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Light Cream – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp
  • Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  • Salan Masala – 2 tsp

Method:

  • Pour oil into a large frying pan with lid at medium heat and as soon as it warms up, add the scallions and saute them for 3-5 minutes. Add tomato paste, red chilli flakes, turmeric, salt and shrimp. Mix, cover with lid and let it cook for 3 minutes.
  • Later, add light cream, lemon juice, grated ginger and salan masala. Gently mix well and cover and let it cook for 5 more minutes. Serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: It tastes wonderful along with warm Rotis, or Basmati Chawal and any Vegetable side dish.

Luv,
Mona

Dahi Ki Kadi

I miss my uncle a lot whenever I prepare this curry at my house. He loves this curry to no extent and would always pour some tablespoons of the silky bright sunny colored yogurt gravy into his plate after he finished his meal to savour upon it in the end. I always enjoyed seeing him doing so. It feels so nice to see someone enjoy food to the last morsel.

Dahi Ki Kadi – Gram Flour Dumplings in a silky yogurt gravy

Dahi ki Kadi is an another dish prepared in most Hyderabadi houses very commonly. It is a simple curry with a thick yogurt gravy with a bright gold tint due the added spice especially for the color, turmeric. Gram flour is also added to give it a little volume. Be careful while you add turmeric to it, as too much turmeric will give a bitter taste to the curry. So be very careful while using this spice for color in this dish.

The dumplings are made of gram flour, chopped onions, spices and herbs. This is the customary method of preparing the bhajiyas for the dahi ki kadi. I sometimes substitute onion with cauliflower florets, and add the cauliflower fritters to the kadi for a new and different taste. You can try it, with different vegetables too.

This curry is usually is not reheated later. The left over is generally had cold from the refrigerator, with plain boiled rice or Khushka. I prepare this curry along with an another dry curry as a side dish.

Serves : 6-8

Dahi Ki Kadi – Gram Flour Dumplings in a silky yogurt gravy

Ingredients:

For the Kadi (Kadi is the thick yellow coloured yoghurt gravy in which the Bhajiya are added later)
Yogurt – 750 ml
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Water – 3 cups
Besan/Gram Flour – 1/4 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Onion – 1, small, finely chopped
For the Baghaar (Baghaar is the Tempering. It is the flavored oil added to curries in the end for garnishing and flavoring the dish)
Canola Oil – 4 tbsp
Cumin seeds/Zeera – 1 tsp
Dried Red Chillies – 2, each cut into half, seeds shaken away
Garlic – 1
Curry leaves – 6
Canola/Sunflower Oil – 3 tbsp
For the Bhajiya (Bhajiyas here are the fritters/dumplings added to the yogurt gravy)
Gram Flour – 1/2 cup
Water – to make paste
Red chilli flakes or Finely chopped small green chillies – 3/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Cilantro and Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Canola/Sunflower Oil – for deep frying

Dahi Ki Kadi – Gram Flour Dumplings in silky yogurt gravy

Method:

1. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt till smooth and creamy and keep aside. Mix in the gram flour,water, turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder, and pass the mixture throw a strainer into a deep and heavy bottomed non stick saucepan. Mix well using a spoon and let cook at medium low heat and keep stirring constantly and gently until it comes to a boil once. Once it is boiling, let it simmer uncovered for about 30-45 minutes or until the raw smell of the gram flour goes away. Keep stirring it occasionally to avoid it getting burnt at the bottom.
2. In the meantime, put a kadai or wok on medium high heat with oil enough to prepare the gram flour bhajiyas/fritters. Now, in a small bowl, mix together the gram flour, the ginger garlic paste, red chilli flakes/green chillies, cilantro, salt and water just enough to make a thick paste. Drop teaspoons of this paste at a time into the hot oil,leaving space between them, and deep fry the bhajiyas/frittes till they swell up and are golden in colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside on a paper towel.
3. Now in a small non stick pan, pour oil and throw in the cumin seeds, crushed garlic pod, curry leaves once the oil is hot. Stir fry the seeds till they splutter and change colour for abour a minute. Add the dried red chillies, and remove from heat. This is the Baghaar.
4. Finally, check the deep pan in which the kadi has been cooking. If it has attained a consistency of a loose gravy, it is done (make sure it not very thin, and also not too thick in consistency or else later on when it gets cooled, it will become like a cake. If it has become thick, add a little water, and if it is thin, cook it for a little more time). Now add the chopped onion and the fried bhajiyas to the kadi and give a stir to dip them in the curry. Pour the prepared baghaar over the curry and serve it warm.

Note: While preparing Kadi, one has to take a few precautions in order to avoid getting the yogurt curdled:
1. Once you mix the yogurt with all the ingredients and strain it, make sure that the yogurt is well blended.
2. When you begin cooking the kadi, make sure you cook it at a medium low heat and keep it stirring it until it comes to a boil.

Suggested Accompaniments: Talahuwa Gosht and Chawal

I am sending this as an entry to ‘Think Spice, Think Turmeric‘ event being hosted by Sudeshna.

Luv,
Mona