Friday, September 11, 2009

mushroom manchurian ...indo chinese style

i had promised Anju to post a recipe of mushroom manchurian took me so long to post the recipe though i made it a couple of weeks back.........better late that never and here i am with the yummy recipe.

this time i made the fried version , just for Anju , as she said she loved the dish in her college days so i guess it was served in the restaurants .......i usually skip the frying step and since i love mushrooms in any form i like the low fat version too.........but frying it in hot oil after dipping it in batter makes it really delicious and can be enjoyed once in a is definitely healthier than the restaurants as you use fresh n healthy ingredients............i just hope Anju likes it n finds it similar to the one she enjoyed during her stay in India....

fresh mushrooms make all the difference here but mine were waiting in the fridge for a week.......

they were still in good form so i went ahead....

step 1.

mushrooms are cleaned and halved, and they were tossed with some salt , pepper and red chilly powder ( i normally do not use red chilly powder but the resto's use it so i added just to copy that.....though it's better to avoid red chilly i's better without them) and some minced ginger and garlic ( i used a tsp of each for 150 gm of mushrooms) ......also when i do not use red chilly powder i add some minced green chillies too ...that gives a nice aroma to it.........

step 2.

in the meanwhile, make a batter by mixing 3-4 tbsp of all purpose flour with salt and pepper , an egg and 1-2 tbsp of water....dip the mushroom pieces into the batter and deep fry in hot oil quickly.........take care that the oil is very hot , drop the mushroom pieces in small batches so that the oil temperature does not drop , and drain the mushroom pieces quickly on kitchen tissue..........this helps in minimizing oil content and it prevents the mushroom pieces from becoming soggy while can wrap the fried mushroom in the tissue for a while so that most of the oil is absorbed into the tissue....

step 3.

chop some green chillies finely or in you like ........if you like it hot , the chillies should be finely chopped or you can have a lot of green you like....

and you need minced ginger and much s you want.....i used a tbsp of each...
and a big onion sliced finely....

heat a tsp of oil in a pan and throw in the ginger garlic and green chilies and just after a minute throw in the onion slices too......stir and fry on high flame till the onion is translucent....( i use spring onions normally but that is not in season right now.......if using that , the sliced bulbs are added with the ginger garlic and the chopped leaves are added for finishing the dish)...

add 1-2 tbsp of soya sauce and 1-2 tbsp of tomato ketchup ( i use 2 tbsp each) , stir and add a cup of water let it boil and then add 2 tsp of corn flour dissolved in 1/4 cup of water......wait till the sauce becomes thick n boils....throw in all the fried mushrooms ...mix well to coat them with the sauce....

( if you want a little more sauce you can add some more water).....add chopped greens of spring onions and serve immediately.........

it's good with plain boiled rice or noodles or even with roti......
i'll post my healthier low fat version very soon as that is what i make all the time when mushrooms are in season here...........

Thursday, September 10, 2009

khoye ka paratha | sweet khoya and nuts stuffed paratha for the sweet tooth

khoye ka paratha

This khoye ka paratha is certainly a unique Banaras ka khana as I had never heard of it till we shifted to Banaras in the mis 80s. The people of Banaras are so obsessed with mithai and khoya (evaporated, dehydrated milk) that they can have it all the time.

There is a khoya gali in Banaras where only khoya is sold and it smells like khoya all over when you walk through that gali. I do not like khoya much and feel nauseating whenever I go there, but there are people who will come back with a kilo of khoya whenever they will pass through that area.

No one can resist some khoya as it promises gujhias and khoye ka paratha apart from khoya matar ki subzi. Now that we don't get good khoya in Delhi I have started making it at home. The home made khoya has become my savior. 

The khoye ka paratha paratha recipe has nothing special except that it has a sweet filling and becomes a 'more than special breakfast' on a lazy morning. The khoya is roasted in a deep kadhai till light brownso it keeps well for some time in the fridge. Some prepared khoya helps making such treats instantly.

Some sugar is added to taste if you like but we prefer it without the sugar. Some nuts and raisins are added and the mixture is used to stuff regular whole wheat dough to make parathas. Just stuff, roll and fry the paratha in ghee (nothing else will do).

And be ready for some smiles.

khoye ka paratha

The raisins and the natural sweetness of the khoya is enough to sweeten this khoye ka paratha but you can add some crystal sugar if you like it really sweet.

Enjoy a khoye ka paratha on a weekend morning and see how happy everyone around is. These parathas can become a dessert if the size of the paratha is smaller or the regular paratha is quartered and served like a wedge of khoya stuffed paratha. This is actually one of the few rare sweet things that I like myself.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

ishtoo... the way we had at Al Jawahar

Purani dilli is the treasure trove of authentic Mughlai food and I had my first experience of EOiD with a few fellow bloggers. Pamella Timms of eat and dust and Hemanshu of Eating out in Delhi........I was inside the Jama masjid for the first time in my life ( for any masjid for that matter), it felt good. I never believe much in ritualistic prayers but witnessing a sea of people praying simultaneously fills you up with a different kind of energy, the jama masjid was truly majestic under the evening twilight.........

The food we had at Al Jawahar was another high , especially for me , as I actually don't remember when was the last time I went out eating ( take-aways not counting...:))....

Apart from other things we had, I was very curious about the mutton stew as one of our blogger friends was almost selling the stew....recommending everybody to try the stew as she had loved it on an earlier visit........awesome it was ...with the fluffy tandoori roti to sponge off the gravy.....I got it packed for Arvind and he loved it ..

I had to try this and Arvind was quick to bring some mutton today expecting the ishtoo........:):)
before going to the recipe, I must tell you that the stew at Al Jawahar was laden with dalda and almost half a cup was floating on top of the gravy (got a stomach upset as I am not used to oily and heavy stuff).........the thing to note here is , that it is easier to bring out the aroma of the spices in a fatty medium , so when you use a lot of fat to cook something like this , the aromatic essential oils of the spices get extracted in the fat very well, also , slow cooking improves the flavor as more aromatic oils are extracted in the cooking medium on low heat and in a longer time...........

This stew is a delicately flavored dish and the spices are dominant with their top notes....( the base notes of the spices make the gravy more hot)..

Stewing is done with cooking the spices and the meat simultaneously in onion paste , some water and fat....releasing the top notes of the spices only.........(when we crackle the spices in hot oil, the base notes also come to the cooking medium) here , if you need the gravy hot, you need a bit more spices than mentioned.......mine was hotter than the restaurant though..........


(serves two)

mutton 250 gm
whole red chillies 4 nos.
cumin seeds 1 tsp
whole coriander seeds 1.5 tsp
fennel seeds 1.5 tsp
whole peppercorns 20-25 nos.
green cardamom seeds and skin separated 2 nos.
black cardamom a few seeds only ( about 1/4 of a whole pod)
a small cinnamon stick
half a star anise ( optional, i am just obsessed by it)
cloves 4 nos.
a small sliver of mace
salt to taste
ghee 1 tbsp
fresh cream 1 tbsp ( i used home made malai)

to be minced in a processor or chopper

2 big onions
an inch piece of ginger chopped
7-8 small cloves of Indian garlic

to be made into a fine paste
1.5 tbsp of melon seeds ( magaz in urdu and kharbuze ka beej in hindi)
100 gm of thick curds


first of all cut the chillies with a scissor and remove the seeds..

now, place everything except cream and the magaz-curd paste into a pressure cooker with a cup of water and cook covered with a plate( not the cooker lid) for about 20 minutes on very low flame till the mutton pieces change color and a light aroma of spices starts wafting through...

cover with the cooker lid and allow pressure cook till done ( takes about 20 more minutes).

take off fire and let the pressure the lid and add the magaz-curd paste and simmer on very low flame for another 20 minutes ..

finish with cream...mix well and serve with any fluffy flat bread you can get hold of..

I felt like cheating when I added a tbsp of tomato ketchup as the stew at AJ was a bit sweet....I had seen in TV shows that they add tomato ketchup for a more rounded was good as it was so similar to what I wanted to achieve...:):)

I made a khameeri ulte tawe ki roti which was perfect , made with whole wheat fermented with yeast...I'll post a detail procedure when I make it again as the picture is not very clear this time.....

If you want the stew to be a bit mild you can reduce the quantity of spices , or increase the amount of ghee and cream used or interestingly, it becomes milder and tastier the next you like it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

imli wala kaddu | pumpkin stir fry with tamarind extract

pumpkin stir fry with tamarind

Pumpkin is full of good fiber and antioxidants, good for health vitamins, minerals, especially beta-carotinoids and Vit.C, magnesium. The pumpkin seeds have zinc, as good as almonds in fact..

In India it is used in curries and desserts, both raw and ripe fruits are used to make curries but you'l get the raw pumpkin easily in markets, with creamy white flesh as well as yellow to orange flesh. Yellow and orange ones should be preferred to cook as they have more carotene content.

Some fat should always be used to cook pumpkin as the pigments are fat soluble and can be absorbed easily by the digestive system.

Pumpkin is good for wt. loss too as it has less calorie for more food and is reported to lessen fat absorbtion by the body from other food sources too (so it's good to have lots of kaddu ki sabzi with puri as the fat from puri will not be absorbed completely. You get my point.

Here I have used raw pumpkin which has fresh green skin and a deep yellow flesh, so no need to remove the skin and you get the carotenes too.

Recipe is simple and can be made with a southern touch if you add curry patta in it (which is good for wt. loss too) addition of tamarind extract adds to the antioxidant content. Deliciuous food that is superbly healthy too.

pumpkin stir fry with tamarind

recipe is simple and needs a few ingredients..

cubed pumpkin with skin 400 gm.
mustard oil 1 tsp
asafoetida a pinch
rai (small mustard seeds) and methi (fenugreek) 1/2 tsp each
ginger and garlic crushed or made into a coarse paste 1/2 tbsp each (optional)
red chilly powder 1 tsp or a little more ( or 2 whole red chillies for tempering)
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
2 tbsp thick water extract from a marble sized ball of tamarind
salt to taste
5-6 springs of curry patta (if using)

to proceed ..

Heat oil in a kadhai and tip in the asafoetida and the rai and methi seeds.

Throw in the whole red chillies if using and curry patta (I did not use here) and ginger garlic paste, as soon as the rai crackles. After a few seconds add the pumpkin cubes too. Toss and mix.

pumpkin stir fry with tamarind

Throw in the salt and turmeric powder and red chilly powder (if not using whole red chillies) and keep tossing and mixing.

Lower the flame and cover, cook covered till the pumpkin is soft but not mashed.

Pour in the tamarind water and cook covered for another couple of minutes.

Serve hot with puris or chapatis. This imli wala kaddu will become a favourite I assure you. I have served it to people who hated pumpkin and they started loving this gorgeous vegetable after that.

You can sprinkle some mint leaves or chaat masala over the subzi if you wish. Some bhuna jeera powder also makes it wonderfully flavourful if you want a chaat like concoction.

Tamarind does wonders to pumpkin trust me.