Sunday, 24 May 2020

Dishoom's gunpowder potatoes

Recipe adapted from Dishoom: From Bombay with Love (serves 4 as side to main meal)
Potato- 2 large (around 500 gms)
Oil- to roast the potatoes

To roast and grind
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds- 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp

Kebab masala
Kasoori methi- 1 tbsp
Chaat masala- 1 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste

Butter- 2 to 3 tbsp, melted
Spring onions- 3, finely chopped
Coriander leaves- 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Green chillies- 2, finely chopped
Lime juice- 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Kebab masala-around 2 tsp (i added the entire lot i ground)
Peel and slice the potatoes into medium pieces (they shouldnt be too small) and parboil them.
Drain well.

While the potatoes are getting done, dry roast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds till fragrant (a couple of minutes) and crush in a pestle and mortar to a coarse powder. 

Make the kebab masala by dry roasting the kasoori methi in a pan for about 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat.
Into a spice grinder add the roasted kasoori methi and all other kabab masala ingredients and grind to a powder. Keep aside.
Turn on the grill in your oven to high and line a baking tray with aluminium foil.
Place the drained potatoes in one layer and generously brush with oil.
Grill for about 5 minutes till the potatoes turn crisp and brown.
Turn them over, brush with oil and repeat for a few more minutes.
Make sure you dont burn them.

Transfer the crushed spices into a large mixing bowl and add the melted butter, spring onions, coriander leaves and green chillies. Mix well.
Add the roasted potatoes into this mix and toss well, making sure you slightly smash some of the potatoes while at it and coating with the masala mix.
Add the lime juice, kebab masala and salt to taste and give one final mix.
Serve as a side to any meats or rice.

Notes: This is a really delicious potato preparation and goes well as a side to bbq meals.
The kabab masala is salty, so adjust the salt in the final dish only after you add it.
You can also use baby potatoes, in fact they would be best

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Marie Helene's apple cake

Recipe adapted from Tiffin Tales on Instagram
Plain flour- 3/4th cup (95gms)
Baking powder- 3/4th tsp
Salt- 1/8th tsp
Cinnamon powder- 1/4 tsp
Eggs- 2 large
Caster sugar- 2/3rd cup
Dark rum- 2 tbsp (optional)
Vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter- 115gms, melted and cooled
Apples- 2 cups, peeled, cored and cubed (around 1 1/2 to 2 apples)

Preheat oven to 175c (fan assisted 160c and line an 8inch pan with baking paper
Whisk together plain flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon till well combined.
Break the eggs into a larger bowl and add the sugar to it.
Beat/ whisk well till thick and pale. The batter will leave trails when lifted.
Into it add the rum and vanilla extract and mix well.
Tip in half of the flour and fold slowly followed by half the melted butter.
Repeat with the remaining flour and butter by folding them carefully.
You should have a smooth batter that will fall in ribbons.
Finally, fold in the apple and pour the batter into the cake pan.
Gently press the apple pieces down so none of them are poking put.
Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the batter comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, and then dust with icing sugar and serve warm.

Notes: The first time, my eggs were large and the batter was nice pourable consistency. The second time the eggs were really small and i thought the batter was a bit stiff, so i added around 1 1/2 tbsp of milk to loosen it a bit.
Original recipe called for 3 apples, which i thought was a bit too much, but feel free to use 3.
The cake doesnt rise too much so dont get alarmed.
Mine was done in exactly 45 minutes both times.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Bihari lamb chops

Recipe adapted from here (Serves 3 as part of main meal)
Lamb chops/cutlets- 500 gms

Thick yoghurt- 3/4th cup
Chilli powder- 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Poppy seeds- 3/4th tbsp, powdered
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder- 3/4th tsp
Garam masala- 3/4th tsp
Coriander powder- 3/4th tsp
Nutmeg- a generous pinch, powdered
Mace- a generous pinch, powdered
Fried onions- 3 tbsp
Papaya paste- 1 1/2 tbsp
Ginger paste- 3/4th tbsp 
Vegetable oil- 2tbsp (mustard oil is ideal)
Salt- to taste
Flatten the meaty side of the lamb chops using a mallet, as much as you can. This will help tenderise the meat.
Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
Apply it to the lamb chops properly and cover and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour. Overnight is best.

When ready to cook, line a baking tray with heavy duty baking foil and arrange the lamb chops on it.
Place the oven rack as close to the grill as possible and turn on the broil/grill mode and set temp to the maximum. It was 240c for my oven.
Wait for it to preheat. It could take close to 10 minutes depending on your oven.

Once preheated, place the tray carefully on the rack and grill/broil for 10 minutes on one side.
Remove tray, turn over the chops (brush with the juices on the tray if you feel its drying out) and grill/broil for another 6 to 8 minutes. 
Take the tray out and put a fork through a thick part of the meat. If it goes through easily, then the meat is cooked. Or you can slice a small bit and do the taste test.
The cooking time mostly depends on the thickness of the meat, but start checking for doneness at about 5 minutes after you flip it. Mine took a total of 10 minutes on each side.
Once out of the oven, leave to rest for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a serving plate and enjoy.
You can squeeze some lime juice on top for that extra zing.
We had it with coconut milk pulao, dal fry and gunpowder potatoes (recipe coming soon).
Notes: The original recipe calls for boneless lamb pieces and is served as a kabab. I thought lamb chops were a better idea and i was right. It was the most juiciest marinade and the meat was just falling off the bone once it was cooked.
Dont ditch the papaya paste, it does wonders.
Make sure you cook the masala well, or else it will taste raw, irrespective of the meat being cooked.
I will put it under the grill for a few more minutes next time just to get a bit more of the charred effect.
Would be great fit on a bbq grill
If you are using boneless lamb pieces, you can skewer them and pan fry with some oil, flipping sides till done.
If you would like to try tandoori lamb chops, here is the recipe

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Lemon-blueberry croissant puff

Recipe adapted from here (Makes 9 generous slices or 12 medium squares)
Butter croissants- 4 small, or 3 large
Blueberries- 3/4 cups (1 cup if you want them in every bite)
Cream cheese- 200gms
Caster sugar- 2/3rd cup
Eggs- 2 medium
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Lemon juice- 1 1/2 tbsp (2tbsp if you want it to be sharp)
Lemon zest- from 1 lemon
Milk- 3/4 cups

Tear the croissants into medium size pieces and place on a 9 inch square baking tray
Scatter the blueberries on top, pushing some into the bottom and edges as you go.
Keep aside.
In a bowl whisk together the cream cheese and caster sugar till there are no lumps.
Add the eggs and whisk to combine.
Pour in the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix it well into the batter.
Whisk in the milk, and slowly pour over the croissant and blueberry mix.
Keep aside for about 30 minutes for the croissants to soak in a bit of the liquid.
At this stage you can cling wrap the tray and refrigerate to use the next day.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 170c.
Place in the middle rack and bake for about 30 minutes or till the middle is set (do the skewer test).
Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes and then slice and serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar.
Notes: I've realised that basic packages croissants work best for this recipe, than the flaky high end ones from the bakery (aisle).
You can use any berry of choice. I've tried it with blackberry and raspberry. Even chopped up strawberries should be good.
Works great as a breakfast item than a dessert, especially because you can do the prep the previous night and just chuck it into the oven next morning.
Its a nice gooey french-toastish pudding which we absolutely love.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Mum's Kerala chicken stew

Serves 4 as part of a main meal

Chicken- 1 baby chicken (around 800gms), cut into medium size pieces, and without skin
Coconut oil- 2 tbsp
Cinnamon- 2 inch stick
Cloves- 3
Cardamom- 3
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Onions- 2 scant cups, thinly sliced
Garlic- 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Ginger- 1 1/2 tsp, finely chopped
Green chillies- 2, slit (add more if you want it spicy)
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder- 2 tsp
Fennel powder- scant 1 1/2 tsp (freshly ground)
Pepper powder- 1 1/2 tsp (freshly ground)
Tomato- 1 large, thinly sliced (or 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
Potato- 1 medium, peeled and cut into medium size cubes
Thin coconut milk- 2 cups
Thick coconut milk- 1/2 cup
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Salt- to taste

For tempering
Ghee- 1 tsp
Shallots- 2, roughly chopped
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Meat masala- 1/2 tsp (optional, but def makes a difference)

Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the whole spices.
Once they start to sizzle add the curry leaves, onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies and some salt.
Cook on medium heat till the onions turn a light golden colour and the raw smell of the ginger and garlic disappears.
Make sure you cook the onions properly, but not to the golden crispy stage.
Add the turmeric powder and saute for a minute after which you add the coriander, fennel and 1 tsp pepper powder.
Cook till the raw smell disappears and then throw in the tomato.
Cover and cook till done, and the tomatoes are mushy and oil lightly appears around the edges.
Add the chicken and potato and mix well making sure you coat with the masala as much possible.
Pour in the 2 cups of thin coconut milk, enough salt and cover and cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Keep stirring in between.
Once the stew starts boiling and the chicken is almost cooked, stir in the thick coconut milk, remaining pepper powder and garam masala, and salt if needed.
Continue to cook  on medium high for another 10 minutes or so without the lid, till the curry becomes thick and oil surfaces on the top. 
Take it off the heat and keep aside.
Do a tempering with the ghee, shallots, curry leaves and meat masala (without burning the masala) and pour on to the stew. 
Cover with lid and keep aside for about 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: If using coconut milk from a can or coconut cream, remove 1/2 cup of thick milk/cream and to the rest add enough water to make it 2 cups. Stir well and then add to the curry. This is the thin coconut milk. The 1/2 cup kept aside is to be used at the end.
The stew tastes much nicer the next day
Make sure the curry gets to the 'vatticha' state and not watery. It should be thick.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Mushroom-butter rice

Serves 2 as part of main meal

Butter- 1 heaped tbsp
Garlic- 1/2 tbsp, finely chopped
Onions- 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Mushrooms- 1 cup, roughly chopped
Chicken soup cube- 1/2 tsp, crumbled
Cooked basmati rice- 2 1/2 to 3 cups (preferably a day old, and straight from the refrigerator)
Salt- to taste
Pepper- to taste
Spring onion greens- 2 tbsp (optional)

Melt the butter in a wok and add garlic and onions.
Saute till the onions turn translucent. You dont need to get it to turn golden brown.
Add the mushroom and fry on medium heat till they are cooked. If there is water, wait for it to dry up.
Mix the crumbled soup cube into the mushroom and wait for it to melt in the heat.
Tip in the cooked rice and mix well, carefully, without breaking the rice.
Season with enough pepper and salt (after a taste test, as the soup cube is salty), and half of the spring onion greens and mix gently. 
Let it sit for about 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, just to warm up the rice.
Transfer into serving dish and garnish with the remaining spring greens

Monday, 27 April 2020

Easy peacy spinach rice

Serves 3 as main meal

Cooked basmati rice- around 4 cups
Ghee- 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
Onions- 1/4 cup
Ginger- 1/2 tbsp
Garlic 1/2 tbsp
Green chilli- 2, slit (increase or decrease as per choice)
Spinach- 3 cups, packed, roughly chopped
Meat masala- 1 tsp
Lemon juice- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp (optional)

Cook the basmati rice with whole spices. 
Drain and keep aside. Ideally the rice should be a day old and refrigerated. 

Heat ghee in a wok and once hot, add the cumin seeds.
Wait for it to sizzle, and then throw in the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
Cook till the onions turn translucent, they dont need to brown.
Add the spinach and give a good mix.
Wait for the water from the spinach to evaporate, and once it becomes semi-dry, add the meat masala, lemon juice and salt to taste.
Tip in the rice and carefully mix with the spinach. Try not to break the rice, or else it will turn mushy.
Top with coriander leaves, give one final mix and serve warm.

Notes: If you are using rice just prepared, rinse with cold water and leave to drain completely. I sometimes chuck it into the fridge for a while.
Add some grated coconut at the very end to amp the taste a bit.
A spoon of ghee mixed at the very end after you add the coriander leaves works wonders.