Welcome to my Blog

Hmm you'll say...yet another food blog! And I'll beg to differ, although I must say my recipes are not hi-funda, and sometimes the pictures do not do justice to them (I'm working on that) but you'll find them extremely easy to cook, hassle free and down right delicious.
So if you are a newbie in the kitchen department or has not ventured into the kitchen for some strange reason (like me)...then you have come to the right place.

Happy Cooking!

On My Table Runner

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bagare Baingan

{Eggplant in Saucy Tamarind Gravy}

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This is another recipe which goes great with Biryani, Bagara khana or even plain rice! There has been many versions of this gravy but I always trust Mommy dearest for the ultimate taste.

11-12 eggplants/baingan
10 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
4 tbs dessicated coconut
4 tbs til
1 handful peanuts
1 tsp khash khash
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbs oil
1 cup tamarind puree
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 green chilli, slit
Cilantro to garnish

Heat oil and fry the onion till crisp and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon remove and freeze for a while.

Dry roast, coconut, peanuts, khash khash and til and once they are cool enough, grind them seperately.

Boil the tamarind in water and let it soak completely, remove and strain the pulp in a bowl. Mix the ground mixture and make sure it has blended well in the puree.

Wash the eggplants and trim the head a little, make a + cut at the bottom, soak them in salty water.

Heat oil in a big saucepan and fry mustard and cumin seeds, as they begin to splutter add the curry leaves. Slide a slit green chilli and stir for a while and add the eggplants.

As the eggplants start to glaze, pour the tamarind puree and ground mixture. Finally add the fried onions and cilantro, shut the lid and cook till oil seperates.

Note: Too much onions can make the gravy too sweet and ruin the tangy flavor, make sure you balance the tamarind and onions to your taste.

Coconut Cilantro Chicken

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Now here is one recipe which will undoubtedly make your family drool...an exquisite combination of flavors which will leave you wanting for more.

Well I got a little carried away with all that Cilantro :p

2 lb boneless chicken
1 onion
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
13.5 oz can coconut milk
3 green chilli
6 cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp black cumin seeds
1 cup water
almost 2 bunches of cilantro or more

Clean the chicken of excess fat and cut into bite size pieces. Chop the onion finely.

Heat oil and add the cardamoms, cinnamon and black cumin seeds. Add green chilli and the chopped onion and as it starts to turn slightly brown put ginger garlic paste and stir in briskly.

Sprinkle salt and red chilli powder and immediately add the chicken cubes. Stir it well and make sure the chicken is coated well in the mixture.

Now add coconut milk and water along with half the cilantro, mix it well and shut the lid. Keep checking to see if the chicken is cooked through.

Add more water if you want it a little extra gravy. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve hot with either rice or naan.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lamb in Fragrant Spinach Sauce

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I recently bought a cookbook judging merely by its cover, which looked absolutely delish and mouth watering. Now as I was browsing the recipes on my kitchen island, my hubby glanced and said "Another cookbook?" when he actually meant "Oh God another round of experiments". But I quickly put his doubts to rest with this recipe ;p and boy was he happy!

The cookbooks a good buy...the collection of recipes is however brief but very precise, delectable and surprisingly easy to make. Here's the cookbook by Mridula Baljekar, from the Food Lovers' Collection.

I decided to make the recipe on the cover, although it didn't turn out to be in the exact rich color, it tasted heavenly...next time I should probably put a little less spinach. Here's the list of ingredients, some of which have been altered according to my taste.

1 lb boneless lamb
1/3 cup yogurt
2 tbs vinegar
2 tbs gram flour or chana besan
1 tsp turmeric
4 tbs oil
2 inch cinnamon stick
5 cloves
5 cardamoms, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 onion
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp black cumin seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder
5-6 tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup warm water, plus another 4 tbs
1 tsp salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
9 oz fresh/frozen chopped spinach
2 tsp ghee or butter
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup light cream

Take yogurt in a glass mixing bowl, add vinegar, gram flour, turmeric and beat till well blended. Remove excess fat from the lamb and add it in and let marinate for 4-5 hours.

Heat oil, fry cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves and stir gently for a few sec's. Add the onion and fry till its tranlucent, put ginger garlic and cook for an additional 5-6 min's, until the onion is gloden brown.

Add black cumin seeds and red chilli..cook a further 5-6 min's, stirring frequently, add warm water and cook till oil seperates from the paste.

Add the marinated meat and increase the heat, until meat changes color. Sprinkle salt and sugar and the 3/4 tsp water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for almost 1 hour.

Meanwhile blanch spinach in a large saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 2 min's. Drain and plunge into cold water.

Heat ghee or butter in another saucepan and add ginger garlic paster and garam masala, stir until slightly brown. Drop the spinach into this spiced butter and stir to mix in thoroughly.

Add the spinach mixture to the curry, stir in the cream. Mix well and let it simmer uncovered for 2-3 min's. Once nicely mixed, remove from heat and serve.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Karahi Lamb

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The recipe combines cardamoms and cinnamon with apricots giving a sweet and succelent flavor to the tempering which adds an irresistable touch to the recipe. The list of ingredients can however sound a bit overwhelming but that's the beauty of this gravy.

1 lb boneless lamb
3/4 cup yogurt
1 tbs tomato puree (I used a 5.5 fl oz can of V8 vegetable juice instead)
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp black cumin seeds
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tbs ghee or butter
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamoms
5 dried apricots, quartered
Cilantro to garnish

In a bowl blend V8, yogurt, garam masala, black cumin seeds, salt, ginger garlic paste and chilli powder.

Trim excess fat from the lamb and cut into bite sized pieces and add it in the above mixture and let it marinate for an hour.

Heat oil in a wok and fry onions till crisp and golden brown. Remove and freeze it for a while, crush it and return to the pan.

Add the marinated lamb and stir fry for 2 min's. Cover the pan and cook the meat stirring occasionally. This would be a good time to add water, cook till the lamb is tender.

Heat ghee or butter and add cardamom and cinnamon , stir in the apricots and fry over low flame for 2 min's.

Pour this sauce over the lamb, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with rice.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Baked Tomato Yogurt Chicken

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This recipe is taken from Mona's Zaiqa, a link to the original recipe can be found here
I must say its super quick, easy and not to forget delicious. The only exception I made was to add the chopped green chilli...it made the chicken very zesty. For people looking for the ingredients, here they are.

Chicken: 2 lbs, cut into bite size pieces
Tomato Paste: 3 tbsp
Oil: 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Yoghurt: 2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Garam Masala: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/3 tsp
Green chilli: 1, chopped
Cilantro: as needed, finely chopped

In a flat baking dish mix all the above ingredients, except the cilantro. Let it marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Cover the dish tightly with an aluminium foil and slid it into the middle rack of the oven.

Remove from oven after 25 minutes, and mix it well. Cover it again with the aluminium foil and put it back and let it cook completely.

Remove the dish after 45 minutes. Stir it well and garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve hot.