Thursday, July 28, 2011

one step mutton stew...ishtoo made in a jiffy...

Another meat recipe on a largely vegetarian blog . But the good thing is , this recipe can be adapted with just potatoes , paneer or even cauliflowers or bottle guard. Try this quick one step cooking procedure to make any vegetable look like a queen just after a whistle ...the whistle of a pressure cooker that is :-)

The blog has become dormant as a lot of my time and attention is diverted to an exiting event i am preparing for. I am going on a cycling tour from Kullu to Khardung la and back to Leh  , it will be 19 days of grueling routine but great fun to remember for a long time to come. I hope you all would excuse me for irregular postings and lack of my trade mark detailed recipes with step wise instructions....i am posting only quick recipes which are quick to post too :-)

Ingredients are many , the procedure is quick ...just whiz some wet ingredients into a mixie jar to make a paste and dunk into the pressure cooker pan with some whole spices and meat or vegetable , and start laying the table ....your meal will be ready within minutes (cooking time for mutton is 25-30 minutes in pressure cooker but vegetables cook in just 3 minutes after the first whistle) ... chapatis or naan you need to bake or order if you don't want to work in the heat....a crusty bread can solve your dilemma in such times ...

(2-4 servings)
mutton, curry cut, on bone 300 gm
cinnamon stick 2 inches long
black cardamom 2 nos.
green cardamom 4 nos.
cloves 6-7 nos.
shahi jeera 1 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
black pepper corns 2 tsp
bay leaves 2 nos.
whole dry red chillies 3 nos. or more if you like
salt to taste

to be made into a paste ..
fresh curds 1 cup
onion chopped roughly 1.5 cups
ginger chopped roughly 2 tbsp
garlic cloves 5-10 depending on how much garlic you like
melon seeds ( magaz) 1 tbsp.

fresh cream 2 tbsp to finish...

procedure ...

Make a coarse paste of the ingredients listed for it. You can make a very smooth paste if you like your gravy more creamy and smooth.

Dunk in everything except fresh cream into the pressure cooker pan , no need to add water , add salt to taste.

Cover , fit the lid and pressure cook for 25-30 minutes after the first whistle.

Wait till the pressure releases and the pan can be opened on it's own . Add the fresh cream, mix well and serve hot . Your kitchen is aromatic when you do this and the family members will follow you wherever you go ... Or everybody will be on the dining table pronto...

Remove the bay leaves and red chillies before serving and watch the dish being polished off fast , in silence.

There is not added fat into the stew , the fats from the meat and fresh cream make it rich enough and you get a mellow and hot spicy merging of flavors . The meat stays very succulent in this stew.

I normally marinate the meat in ginger garlic paste and 2-3 tbsp of curds and salt n pepper and freeze till it is used , this makes the meat even more flavorful and succulent . Adjust the ingredients accordingly when you marinade the meat like i did...  

You can follow the recipe with unprocessed meat too....this is the one for the time when you want spicy hot but light curry a hurry !!! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

nenua chana daal ...sponge guard and split chickpea , another traditional fair...

Another desi subzi for the summers. Sponge guard is a watery summer vegetable with a sweetish taste that combines very well with chickpeas and mild spicing. The guards have so much water that you don't need to add any additional water to get a gravy if you use fresh guards .

( 2-4 servings depending on serving size)
sponge guards 400 gm
onion 200 gm
split chickpeas (chana daal) 100-150 gm
green chillies 3-4 or as much you like
finely chopped ginger 2 tsp(optional)
cumin seeds 2 tsp
turmeric powder 2 tsp
salt to taste
mustard oil 1 tbsp


Soak the chana daal for 15 minutes or till you clean and chop the vegetables.

Slice the onions and the green chillies ...

Peel and slice the sponge guard too.

Heat oil in a kadai and throw in the cumin seeds. Wait till the cumin splutters and then add the chopped ginger (if using) , the green chillies and as soon as the green chilly wriggles, tip in the sliced onions too....

In the meanwhile microwave the soaked chana daal for 5 minutes or boil in a pan on the other burner.

Fry the onions till they turn lightly pink and a bit shiny...adding salt makes it quicker.

Now add the partly cooked chana daal...

Mix well and add the turmeric powder and salt to taste ...

Add the sliced sponge guards too and mix well .

Cover and cook on low flame till the sponge guards release water and the slices becomes limp and mushy. The chana daal will be done by this time too.

Some people like the sponge guard completely mushed up and the soupy gravy dried up too , but i like the sponge guard greenish and holding their shape . They retain their unique flavor better this way .

This curry is very mildly hot as the green chillies and ginger just give a hint of heat to the otherwise sweetish curry. Sponge guards and onions both lend a nice sweet taste to this curry. The chana daal complements the sweetness well and makes the curry suitable plain boiled rice....recipe for a simple frugal meal.

The curry will be liked with chapatis or parathas too and i usually make a kadai full of this curry so that i can enjoy it with rice and roti both.

How many of you have grown up eating this tori chana daal ki subzi or nenua chana daal  ki subzi as it is called in the eastern parts of Uttar pradesh.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

mirchi gosht | mutton cooked with a chilly garlic seasoning

This mirchi gosht recipe is a keeper. Just because it is a very simple dish of goat meat cooked with 3 ingredients and takes about 40 minutes to cook, but I recommend slow cooking this stew if possible. Even the pressure cooked quick version is so delicious we end up having it quite frequently.

mirchi gosht recipe

Mirchi gosht is a fiery mutton dish which is almost like a roast. A mutton recipe when you have to make do with frugality. When you need minimal ingredients and minimal cooking. And when you are not dying of heart attack to hear about ghee and some more ghee. I like this recipe for it's minimalist, almost frugal ingredient list, preparation and cooking time.

It doesn't mean this mutton recipe is any lesser. It suits you when your idea of mutton deliciousness is not garam masala and onion and everything else that a rich gravy involves.

At the same time it is a very hot mutton curry, to be served with a cooling raita and a nice and light spiced pulao with some cubes of potatoes... potatoes sound quirky in a pulao but you would know what they actually taste like when you eat.

alu pulao

So the only ingredients in this mutton curry is lots of green chillies and lots of garlic and well , lots of ghee .

chillies and garlic

I cooked 250 gm of mutton and used this much garlic and green chillies . These are hot chillies and the garlic id the pungent Indian variety.

Both these are liquidized to make a smooth paste first of all.

mirchi gosht recipe

3 tbsp ghee and the paste of garlic green chilies is mixed with the mutton pieces along with salt to taste . Using a pressure cooker pan for cooking the mixture is stir fried for 5 minutes.

Then a cup of water is added and the contents are pressure cooked for 25 minutes.

mirchi gosht recipe

It looks like this when you open the pressure cooker lid. Bubbling ghee and a hot sniff from the chilies  Garlic gives a pungency to the sniff too but the real garlic flavor is prominent when you taste the curry.

Empty the contents of the pressure cooker pan into the serving dish, taking care to scrape every little bit of burnt or stuck material. You can't afford to waste tasty bits of the curry made with such frugal ingredients...

mirchi gosht recipe

The mutton pieces are melt in your mouth soft and the hot gravy sticking to the meat is something you can't resist, even if you are drinking water to quench your irritated palate again and again...

mirchi gosht recipe

As I said the rice served with it serves as a nice aromatic balancing dish, the alu pulao or alu tehri.

Soaked basmati rice is cooked with some whole spices and potatoes fried in minimal ghee and cooked with enough water till done.

To make this mildly spiced pulao with potatoes you need to dunk in lots of cumin seeds in some ghee in a kadhai. Add crushed peppercorns, lightly crushed black cardamom, a green cardamom, a cinnamon stick and a few cloves. 

Then add some cubed potatoes and fry everything together for 3-4 minutes. Add the soaked rice, mix well and add enough water to cook and salt to taste. Cook till done and serve hot with this mirchi gosht.

alu pulao

I used 3 tbsp of rice and one medium sized potato for 2 servings. A large bowl of cucumber and raw onion raita feels like heaven with this hot mirchi gosht.

You would love it if you like hot curries and love garlic. And if you do not intend to die of a psychological heart attack.

Ghee is not the one to blame. Ghee is actually a healing type fat you can read here.

Garlic is healing and so is the green chilly. Did you know that?

mirchi gosht recipe

All the ghee in this curry gets separated when cooked. The leftover ghee can be used in a very innovative manner along with some of the leftover pieces. I made a nice mutton dalcha with the ghee and the leftover mutton pieces. You would love that too.


Friday, July 1, 2011

liver masala fry with curry patta ...

A dry spicy curry with goat liver. North Indian masala and curry patta make a nice combination , this is what this goat liver fry taught me.

Goat liver is a regular on my table for supplementing my otherwise low fat and fiber rich food . At least once a week . And i need variety in my food so it is inevitable to keep trying different seasonings and spice top it all my cooking needs to be time saving most of the times.

ingredients ...
(4 servings)
goat liver 300 gm
finely chopped onion 1 cup
finely chopped tomatoes 1 cup
finely chopped curry patta 1 cup tightly packed
ginger garlic and green chillies paste 2 tbsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
cloves 3-4 nos.
black cardamom 1 no. crushed lightly
cinnamon stick 1 inch piece
everyday curry powder 1 tbsp
(or a powder made with coriander, cumin n peppercorns in 2:1:1 ratio with some bay leaves thrown in)
turmeric powder 2 tsp
salt to taste
mustard oil 1 tbsp


Since everything needs to be chopped really fine , it is better to use a food processor or a chopper gadget , or trust your knife with your fingers...

Heat oil in a kadai and throw in the cumin seeds and whole spices in that order. Immediately add the chopped onion , chopped curry patta and salt and stir fry on high heat for a while . The onion paste should get translucent but not pink or brown.

Add the powder spices , mix well to get them cooked and aromatic.

Now add the tomato paste , mix well and cook for a while . Add the goat liver pieces and keep frying for a couple of minutes. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes . There is enough moisture in onion and tomatoes to cook the liver , but you can sprinkle some water in between to prevent burning the cooking mixture...

Stir fry some more after uncovering the pan , till the liver pieces are done and the spice mix sticks to the pieces well .

Serve hot with chapatis or as a side dish for a full course meal. It makes a nice starter too as many people like the liver pieces all by themselves. My favorite way to have them is with chapatis.