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

Sutriyaan – Spicy Indian Pasta

I often recollect the lazy weekend brunches at my mothers house during my childhood. My mother prepared some of the most simplest yet delicious dishes, and we so looked forward to them every time. These brunches also sometimes appeared as tea time snack or even as dinners. One of these dishes that often made its appearance at our table used to be ‘Sutriyaan’.

Parathas were a daily morning affair at my mothers house. My father still only eats parathas for breakfast. We used to have atleast 1 leftover paratha everyday. My mother stored them all and when they were enough to feed us all, she would whip us this absolutely scrumptious and quick meal for us all.

Serves: 4-6 adults

Sutriyaan – Spicy Indian Pasta

Left over Parathas – 12 – 15 (keep storing left over parathas in an air tight container in the refrigerator until you have the required number you need)
Canola oil – 2 tsp
Onion – 1, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Tomato – 2, chopped
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Lamb meat with or without bones – 1 pound
Roasted cumin seed powder – 3/4 tsp
Mixed Vegetables: Green Bell Pepper, Brocolli –  3/4 cup, chopped
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Fresh Lemon juice

Method:

1. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it warms up add the chopped onion and stir fry until it is golden brown in color. Add ginger garlic paste, mix well, and in a minute or two, add the lamb meat, chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix and let it cook until the meat is no longer red. Add about two cups of water and pressure cook until the meat is tender.
2. Once the meat is done, add the cumin seed powder and chopped green bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside. You can even prepare until this stage and store this in the refrigerator in an air tight container for a day or two.
3. Using your kitchen shears, cut the left over parathas into 3/4 inch strips. Now cut the strips into small pieces. Spread them all out on a tray and leave to air dry for an hour or two.
4. Just before you are serving, pour in about 3-4 cups of water in a saucepan at medium high heat and add the meat mixture prepared above. Mix well. Once boiling, add the left over parathas strips and mix. Cook for 4-5 minutes, and serve warm immediately. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice and enjoy!

Luv,
Mona

Karela aur Gosht ka Khatta Salan – BitterGourd and Meat in a Spicy Tangy Gravy

Every meal in my house is supposed to consist of a meat or vegetable dry or light gravy curry, and a patla salan, meaning Khatti dal (most usually) or Khatta Salan or Qorma type curry of pourable consistency to wet rice with, or to dunk in Naan or Chapati. This khatta salan falls into the patla salan category. My hubby is a die-hard fan of Khatti Dal, he wants it at every meal every day.  I love to prepare Khatta Salan for a change than the usual Khatti Dal.

Bittergourd ~ Karela

Karela Gosht ka Khatta Salan – BitterGourd and Meat in a Spicy Tangy Gravy

Ingredients:

Bittergourd/Karela – 3
Canola Oil
Onion – 2, large, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Lamb meat with bones – 1 lb
Tomatoes – 4, large, chopped
Tamarind paste – 3-4 tbsp
Cilantro – 2 tbsp, chopped

Method:

1. Wash the bittergourd well in several changes of water. Pat dry with paper towel. Scrape the skin and wash under running water once again. Cut them into thick slices. Remove the entire inner pith as well as seeds using a knife.
2. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, add 5 tbsp oil and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced bittergourd and shallow fry until lightly charred on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, remove them into a bowl. Keep aside.
3. In the same pressure cooker, add about 1/4 cup oil and as soon as it warms up add the chopped onion. Fry them until they are brown. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. Mix. Add the meat and cook for 10 minutes. Pour in water to cover the meat and pressure cook until the meat is just tender.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook half covered until the tomatoes are very mushy and soft. Uncover and add tamarind paste and fried bittergourd slices. Cook until it leaves oil. Add a little bit of water if needed. The curry should be a pourable gravy consistency. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot along with Naan or Pulao or plain rice for a meal

On a side note, I have opened a seperate blog for my online boutique – Omee’s Boutique. If you want to be kept updated at whats happening at my shop, and for new items, coupons and specials, please visit my new blog – http://omeesboutique.wordpress.com/ and facebook fan page for updates

Luv,
Mona