Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Chilli meat with curry leaves

Its amazing ... there are a gazillion chicken recipes out there ..or for that matter a gazillion recipes for everything.What do I say of world cuisine when I have not even scratched the surface of the Indian recipe-Pandora's box .The treasure hunt is on though .

Every region in India has a different take on spices,herbs , oils, veg, non -veg dishes .When I think I have made quite a few,more and yet more keep turning up. Slowly, yet steadily I plan to try them all..After all ,its a long life and I have plenty of time;). Hopefully ,I'll be an expert of them and some of them might not augur well with me but heck , its worth a try.What do you say?:)

I have tried plenty of non vegetarian(read chicken,mutton, lamb) recipes from North India , plenty more from East of India (umpteen varities of fish,chicken,mutton,lamb,prawns) and the other day I decided to strike on some south indian recipes -specifically ,from Andhra Pradesh .

The Andhra cuisine has a great Mughal impact. Their food is known for its spiciness and hotness
Curry leaves and chillies are two of the hallmark ingredients used here or for that matter in other southern states of India. The recipe I chose was chilli meat with curry leaves ,where the hottest chillies known as Gunter(named after the region they are grown in) are abundantly available.

You need :(tb=tablespoon, ts=teaspoon)
2 tb vegetable oil
1 large finely sliced onion
2 in piece fresh root ginger
grated 4 garlic cloves
crushed 12 curry leaves
3 tb extra hot curry paste or 4 tbsp hot curry powder(madras style)
1 tb chilli powder
1 ts five-spice powder 5 ml
1 ts ground turmeric
2lb chicken cubes(you can substitute them with pork,lamb or beef)
3/4 cup thick coconut milk
Salt to taste
Red onion, finely sliced, to garnish

Heres how to make madras style curry powder
Grind 2 and 1/2 tb corriander seeds, (sieve if any large husks remain). Additionally grind 2ts Garlic Powder, 1 tb Ground Cumin,2 ts Ground Tumeric, 1 ts Ground Ginger,1 ts Chili flakes/powder, 1/2 ts Ground Allspice, 1 tb Salt,1 tb Ground Black Pepper,1/2 tb Dry Mustard,1/4 ts Saffron.Blend all of the ingredient together and store in an airtight jar. This recipe makes 3 ounces of curry powder.

How to cook it
1) Heat the oil in a wok, karahi or large pan and fry the onion, ginger, garlic and curry leaves until onion becomes soft.
2) Add the curry paste or powder, chilli and five-spice powder, turmeric and salt.
3) Add the meat and stir well over a medium heat to seal and evenly brown the meat pieces. Keep stirring until the oil separates.
4) Cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer, cover until the meat is cooked.
5)Towards the end of the cooking, uncover the pan to reduce the excess liquid.

Serve with yogurt and rice/indian bread.Garnish with a sprig of corrainder leaves and a slice of lemon .

If you decide to cook this , let me know how it went :-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Butter Chicken - recipe on special demand

I usually put stuff on my blog that I tried, like to cook , or made for a party/get together..Over time some of the folks who have read my blog have asked for my recipes

Heres the butter chicken recipe that I tried for a the xmas party at work .Meena , this is what you asked for

You need:
2 lbs chicken(I took chicken breast tenders, easy to dice and cook really fast)
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup tomotoes (chopped finely)
1 large onion (chopped finely)
1/2 cup cashews (grounded smoothly)
chilli flakes/powder -according to taste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 cinnamon stick
turmeric powder
salt-according to taste

This is how you cook it :
1 Heat half a stick of butter in medium heat and fry onions and cinnamon sticks till onion turns transparent.
2 Add turmeric, chilly, ginger and garlic paste, salt and a little water. Heat few more seconds with continuous stirring.
3 Add tomatoes and heat few more seconds with continuous stirring
4 Add grounded cashew paste and some more water to make it into a thick gravy. (Add more or less water while cooking to get according to your preference for consistency of gravy.)
5 When the mixture starts to boil, add the chicken and cook until it is fully cooked
6 Before you take chicken off the heat, add rest of the butter over it.

and Voila !!! Serve with rice /roti /naan and garnish as you please :-)

Seekh Kebab

I haven't tried making seekh kabab at home before , and yesterday I wondered why ..

There was no satisfactory answer other than the fact that I don't have a nice big grill .."So what, don't you have an oven , you silly girl?" My inner voice chided me ...and I started laughing .It was time to make some kebabs .

The compliments at my friend's place were all I needed ,to tell me that my experiment turned out very well .And ofcourse hubby dear has always been an ardent admirer of my cooking (Now that's love for you)

Here's how I made it
Took some lean turkey meat to which I added some vegetable oil and spices(salt, red chilly flakes, worchestor sauce , garam masala , dhania powder)

Made long sausage shaped rolls and inserted a skewer stick in each kebab. and put them on a baking tray which had been lightly sprayed with oil . (dip the skewer sticks for about 20 minutes in cold water to prevent burning in the oven)

The I put the tray in the oven which had been preheated at 350 degree F .Turned them skewers over periodically till the meat turned deep brown (While baking ,test the level of cooking by stickg a fork inside the meat and see if the prongs have any wet, sticky residue on them .If not then the meat is cooked and ready to serve )

Served it with a cooling yogurt sauce to which I added mint chutney .

Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas with an indian flavor


Iam back again to my food blog after a month and it feels good :-) to be writing about food once again .No long breaks this time.

Last friday , we had a christmas party at work (actually at someone's home after work) and we were all asked to get what we thought we would like to share from our culture .Me, I chose kesar pulao, butter chicken , vegetable cutlets (for appetisers) and saag paneer .

Butter chicken is a north indian chicken dish made with chicken cubes cooked in a spicy onion-tomato sauce to which almond-cashewnut paste is added for consistency and thickness .Usually food color is added but I did not add any and jsut stuck with turmeric .

Kesar pulao is an aromatic basmati rice cooked with clarified butter and salt to which raisins, cashewnuts and kesar (saffron) is added .YUM-O

Saag Paneer is a very popular North Indian dish as well .To prepare this I usually fry paneer( cottage cheese , this is not the cottage cheese in America .At the party I was telling what paneer is and how to make it .Here goes, squeeze a lemon in hot milk and let it seperate .Take the white residue and tie it up in a muslin cloth and let all the water drip .What remains is, paneer.You can crumble this or cut it up in cubes....I buy mine from the Indian store)

Vegetable cutlets are well, cutlets . Boil and mash potatoes and add peas, breadcrumbs, salt , black pepper and amchoor .Make little balls , flatten them and shallow fry them .Have them with corriander and/or turmeric chutney .

For dessert I took pumpkin pie .(and everyone knows what pumpkin pie is ).

All of the above were popular and here are some pictures .Enjoy

The Indian Twist

Kesar Pulao

Butter Chicken

Saag Paneer

Vegetable Cutlets

Pumpkin Pie

Merry Christmas every one :-)
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