Sunday, 24 August 2014

MALAI KOFTA CURRY



Malai kofta is a very famous curry in Indian cuisine, it is a rich curry because of the ingredients used in it. Koftas (balls) are made with paneer (home made fresh cheese) and curry is made with malai (cream), some people call it paneer kofta. In almost all Indian restaurants, this dish is sure to be found. Whenever I am anticipating a vegetarian guest at home, I make this dish.


Paneer is a fresh cheese, which is used from ages and is common in South Asian cuisine and used a lot in north India cuisine. Paneer dishes are many and paneer is used in different types of recipes. One form of paneer is called chhena, which is a slightly different version, when water is drained out and milk solid is used. In this version paneer is not pressed to make it harder to get cubed sized shape.



These days paneer is so popular, and so many new paneer preparations are just mushrooming in north Indian markets. In Delhi, I have seen Idly shaped Dhokla stuffed with paneer, paneer wraps and paneer toppings on pizza, just to name a few.


In my family a majority of people like paneer and all its preparations. My eldest grandson loves paneer dishes, once he sees that a paneer dish is made, he will first clap and do a dance at the dining table and then will sit down to enjoy the food.


Chhena is normally used for making sweet dishes, a lot is used in Bengali sweets, in this recipe I have used chhena. Normally the gravy of these curry is very rich in which full cream is used, but I have used half and half which is easily available in North America. Half and half is a light version of cream in which half is milk and half cream is used.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

For chhena:-
- 1 and ½ l milk
- 3 tablespoon vinegar

For kofta balls:-

-300 paneer or chenna (home made)
-100 grams semolina
-50 grams rice powder
-salt to taste
- chilli powder to taste
-Oil for frying

For Gravy:-

-200 gram onion ( one big)
-200 grams tomatoes ( one Big)
-2 cups half and half (We get in North America, which is     half cream, half milk)
-3 tablespoon oil
-1 tsp cumin seeds
-1 tsp garam masala
-2 tsp coriander powder
-½ tsp red chilli powder
-salt to taste
-finally chopped fresh coriander for garnishing

METHOD

For Chhena :-
  1. Boil the milk in thick bottomed sauce pan.
  2. When it starts boiling add vinegar and mix.
  3. The water will separate from the milk solids.
  4. Sieve the whole thing to remove water from it, Leave the milk solid in the sieve for 30 minutes.
  5. Chhena is ready.

For Kofta balls:-
   1.In a bowl mix chenna with semolina and rice flour,        add salt and pepper, make small kofta balls and keep      it aside.
   2.Heat the oil on a medium flame, when the oil is hot,        fry these balls till light brown.
   3.Leave it to cool for some time.
FOR CURRY
  1. heat oil in a wok, when hot, add cumin seeds and fry till they change the colour.
  2. Add finally chopped onion and fry till golden brown.
  3. Add finally chopped tomatoes and fry for few minutes, add all dry masals and leave it to cool.
  4. Once cold, transfer this mixture in a blander, add half cup of water and pulse for few minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture back into wok, add half and half and boil for few minutes.
  6. Add the koftas, boil for a minute and switch off the gas.
  7. Serve in a flat try, garnish with fresh coriander.
This can be served with nan, roti, parantha or plain rice, can be served to 4-5 people.





Monday, 11 August 2014

MANGO PICKLE



India is the largest producer of mangoes. Many varieties of mangoes are produced in India, in almost every state a different variety of mango is available. I think every body likes mango in India, you will hardly find a person who will say that this is not my favourite fruit.



If I do a survey amongst Indians and ask these simple questions like
  1. “What is your favourite sport?” The answer will be “cricket”.
  2. “Which ones are your favourite movies? The answer will be Bollywood movies.
  3. “What is your favourite fruit? The answer will be,”Mango”!
    That is what I think.
Mango is used a lot in different cuisines from different parts of the world as well as a lot in Indian cuisine. Ripe mango is particularly used in desserts and drinks. With raw and unripe green mango a lot of varieties of pickles and chutneys are made in Indian cuisine.


In tradition Indian cuisine when food is served in a thali there are several items that need to be in it. Namely roti/chapati, rice, one or two curries, one or two dry subzi, some from of yoghurt, papad, and a sweet item. In that thali, a pickle is a must. In many restaurants, Indian thalis are still served in India as well as abroad.

This mango pickle recipe was given to me by my sister-in-law a long time ago. This is actually a traditional recipe which is cooked in the sun. I chop the mangoes in very small pieces without the stone, then it takes only 4-5 days to cook in sun rays, even few hours of sun rays in the window is sufficient for this recipe. My children start consuming as soon as I fill pickle in the jar, because they like when mangoes are crunchy and not very soft.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg green, hard, unripe mangoes
  • ¼ l oil
  • 60 grams salt
  • 50 grams black mustard seeds (rai)
  • 50 grams fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 50 grams fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • 15 grams turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 30 grams chilli powder
Method

  1. Wash and chop the mangoes in very small pieces and remove the stone.
  2. Mix salt and turmeric powder and leave it in a covered stainless steel pot for 24 hours, mangoes will release some water.
  3. Remove the water and spread the mangoes on a clean dry cloth for 2-3 hours.
  4. Grind the funnel seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and chilli powder coarsely in a dry grinder.
  5. Heat the oil on a high flame, switch off the gas and leave the oil to cool.
  6. When mangoes are dry, mix all dry ingredients, pour the oil and fill it in a sterilized glass jar.
  7. Oil should be on top of the mangoes, put it in in sun rays to cook for 4-5 days.
    One big jar of mango pickle is ready to use. It can last on the shelf for months.

Monday, 28 July 2014

BEET ROOT PURI

( suitable for vegans)

Feeding vegetables to children is always a problem. I have experienced with my grand children that they are not interested in any vegetables, though nutrients and the vitamins in all vegetables are important for the overall growth of children. I have tried many times to chop the vegetables in very small pieces but even then, as soon as they see some green or red colour in their food, they will say I don't like it.


Beetroot is considered to be a good source of Iron, potassium, magnesium and many vitamins like A and B. According to Ayurveda, beetroots are very good for children because it increases energy in kids, reduces lethargy and is a blood purifier.


I feel this recipe is a good idea to introduce the taste, flavor and colour of beetroot to kids. The colour of these puris can attract kids and they can easily show interest to try some of them.




RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

-1kg brown wheat flour/atta
-600 grams beetroot (3 big size)
-Salt to taste
-1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
-2 teaspoon cumin seeds
-oil for frying

METHOD

    1. After cutting the stems and leaves,wash the beetroot thoroughly.
  1. Boil the beetroot in pressure cooker for 5 minutes after the whistle.
  2. Remove the water and leave it to cool, keep the water aside (in case we need more water in the dough).
  3. When cold, chop in few pieces and make a paste in food processor adding very little water which was left when boiling.( If needed)
  4. Now prepare the dough, take brown flour in a bowl, add salt, chilli powder, cumin seeds and mix well.
  5. Add beetroot paste/puree and prepare a hard dough. If you need some extra water sprinkle the left over red water (from step 3). The dough should be on the harder side. Take some oil in your palms and glaze the dough.
  6. Heat the oil on a medium flame in a wok or fry pan.
  7. Pinch a small amount of dough, make small balls and flatten them. Repeat this for all the dough.
  8. Roll them with the rolling pin in small sizes, bit larger than a cookie, should not be very thin or thick. Some oil can be used for rolling to avoid sticking.
  9. Fry on a medium flame till crispy.
Can make around 25-30 puries depending on the size.

This can be served hot or warm, either with some yoghurt, pickle, chutney etc. This is great for kids to carry in their lunch boxes.