Dal Tadka – The Famous Indian Lentil Curry

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Hello my dear wonderful readers,

How are you all doing today? My little boy is down with a fever again and now I am here taking care of him and spending all my time by his side. Over the weekend we took him to a fun play pen and the next day he came down with the cold. This is the second time this is happening after taking him to the same place and the only logical reason would be that he got it from some other kid at the play pen. How do I feel about the fact that parents bring their sick kids to a public area? Well personally I make sure my son is not around other kids when is unwell and if I know he is about to fall sick or is just recovering from one, I inform the family or friends I am about to meet. Well but that’s just me right? So now he is down with terrible cold, running nose, lots of sneezes and needs constant attention. All the while I find comfort in reassuring myself that this is the way his immune system does its job and grows stronger. So lets see.

The weekend was also a surprise cause after many many years, I made a new friend. A wonderful woman, who I can relate to in so many ways and its not often that you come across someone who you can just pour your heart out, the first time you meet them right? So all in all, the weekend was AWESOME!! It was also nice to leave the boys and have a little girl time after a looooooonnnggg time! Just to have a coffee and talk girl to girl and also hear out loud many things I have said to myself but never put to practice, was such a relief!! LOL..

Since the little one is unwell, I wasn’t able to get much cooking done. So, this recipe is my life saver. If you are Indian, then you know that there is noting simpler, comforting and wholesome like a big bowl of Dal and Rice / Chappati. This recipe can be used for a wide array of lentils. The simplest and most common combination is the one I have used in my recipe (below). The use of a pressure cooker just makes it faster and easier. But if you do not have a pressure cooker, you just need a pot with a lid and cover and cook till the lentils are mushy and soft to touch. Traditionally, Ghee / Clarified Butter is used instead of oil, but you could use any oil that you are comfortable using.

Ingredients :-

  1. Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea – 2 cup
  2. Masoor Dal / Red Lentils – 1 cup
  3. Oil / Ghee – 1 tbsp + 3 tsp
  4. Cinnamon Stick – 1  one inch stick
  5. Cloves – 4
  6. Green Cardamom – 4  ( bruise with the back of a spoon)
  7. Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  8. Asafoetida – 2 pinches
  9. Garlic Cloves – 5 Large
  10. Dry Red Chillies – 4
  11. Onions –     (finely chopped)
  12. Tomatoes –   (finely chopped)
  13. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  14. Turmeric Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
  15. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  16. Salt – as required
  17. Water – 4 cups
  18. Coriander Leaves – 3 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1.  In a large bowl, combine both the lentils and wash thoroughly in running water. Then soak in water for 15 mins
  2. Now in a pressure cooker or large bowl, add 1 tbsp of oil. One the oil is hot, add the jeera / cumin seeds (1 tsp)
  3. As soon as the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, red chillies (3) and asafoetida
  4. Once the chillies plump up, add the onions. Fry till the onions are pink and almost translucent
  5. Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
  6. Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and chili  powder
  7. Now cook till the tomatoes are cooked through (do not wait for it to fry )
  8. Once the onion tomato paste is ready, add the soaked lentils. ( Discard the water it was soaked in)
  9. Add the water and 1 tbsp of salt
  10. Cover and cook for 3 whistles or till the lentils have cooked through
  11. Once the lentils have cooked through, in a small pan, add rest of the oil. Once the oil is hot add the rest of the cumin seeds, red chili and garlic cloves. Fry till the garlic is golden brown
  12. Pour over the cooked lentils and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves
  13. Serve right away along with hot rice or chappatis

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Khao Soi with sweet sticky Pork and Egg noodles – (soup)

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!!

How are you all doing today? I cannot believe its already November and the year is coming to an end. The air is a little chilly and I pulled out my baby’s jackets and I realized I have to buy him new ones 🙂 . How time flies.

Anyways, so this time I am back with a lovely creamy, bold soup. Now traditionally it is made without the pumpkin and usually it goes with chicken. But this time I decided to make the soup creamy and thick and give it a new dimension.  Hence the pumpkin.Trust me this soup is a meal in itself. You can make it completely vegan my omitting the pork but I wanted that little extra protein and so the addition of pork.

We absolutely love noodles at home. May it be rice, buckwheat, whole wheat, egg any sort, is always welcome. So the recipe calls of egg noddles but if you cannot get a hold of them then go ahead and use any noodle that you like. Just make sure that you add them just before you serve them in a bowl, or else they tend to absorb all the moisture from the soup and then just turn mushy. No one wants a mushy bowl of noodle soup right? This is not your typical noodle in a broth.

 

Preparing the Pork :-
Ingredients

  1. Pork – 400 gms ( lean fillet)
  2. Oil – 1 tsp
  3. Garlic – 1 tbsp ( choppped)
  4. Oyster Sauce – 1 tbsp
  5. Soya Sauce – 1 tsp 
  6. Brown Sugar / Palm Sugar – 3 tsp 
  7. Salt – to taste ( 1.2 tsp)
  8.  Pepper – 1.2 tsp 

Instructions :-

  1.  In a non stick pan, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook till soft
  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook on high for 2 min
  3. Then cover and cook for 5 min on medium heat
  4. Finally open the lid and cook till all the moisture is out 
  5. Remove the cooked pork from the pan and toss out any excess fat on the pan

To Prepare the Pumpkin

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Pumpkin – 4 cups (skin peeled, innards removed and chopped)
  2. Potato – 1 cup ( chopped)
  3. Ginger – 1 tbsp ( choppped)
  4. Salt – 1 tsp
  5. Water – 4 cups

Instructions :-

 

  1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients and place on medium heat
  2. Cook till the pumpkin and potatoes are soft
  3. Once they are soft, spoon them out, into a blender
  4. Make a fine paste and set aside


To make the Khao Soi Paste :-

  1.  Dried Red chilies – 25
  2. Water – 1/2 cup
  3.  Garlic – 20
  4. Ginger – 2 tbp ( chopped fine)
  5. Cilantro leaves and steam – 1 cup ( packed)
  6. Shallots – 13 
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  8.  Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  9. Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp 

Instructions :-

  1.  Heat water till boiling point
  2.  Place all the dried chillies into the boiling hot water and let them soak for 30 mins
  3. Later in the bowl of a blender add all the ingredients along with the soaked red chillies and the water and blend to make a fine thick paste
  4. Set aside ( you can use as much as you want for this recipe and freeze the rest for later use)

Making and Assembling the soup 

Ingredients for the soup :-

  1.  Egg noodles – 250 gms 
  2. Oil – 2 tbsp
  3. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  4. Red Bell Pepper – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  5. Chicken Broth – 2 cups
  6. Basil Leaves – hand full 
  7. Lime Juice – 3 tbs
  8. Coconut Milk – 1 can 
  9. Coriander and lime for the final garnish 


 Instructions :-

  1.  In a large pot, heat oil 
  2.  Then add Khao Soi Paste and cook till the oil separates from the mixture
  3. Then add the pumpkin and potato mixture
  4.  Cook and combine for 2 mins .Then Bell Pepper and chicken broth
  5. As the mixture begin to simmer add the coconut milk. Again mix well 
  6. Mix well and bring to a boil again ( on medium heat)
  7. Once the mixture boils, add the basil leaves, lime juice and salt according to taste
  8. Cover and cook for another 5 mins and you are ready!
  9. While serving, first add the soup into a bowl, then add the noodles, the pork and finally garnish with some fresh corinader , lime and basil leaves! Yummm!!   

Murgh Kofta – Rich chicken meat balls in a creamy tangy gravy

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Hello my Dear wonderful readers!!

Its the weekend and this time I have made some thing rich and indulgent for you. This dish is inspired from the famous Malai Kofta, which is a croquette made with paneer / cottage cheese and potatoes. It all started with the fact that I had a little white basmati rice left and I wasn’t sure what kind of gravy to prepare along with it. Now it might come as a surprise to you, but we usually serve red rice at home. I mean the fat grainy kind. So white basmati is like having refined sugar in our coffee ( we usually add palm sugar).

After last week festivities I also had some khoya left in the fridge. So I decided to go all out and make a rich, creamy indulgent curry to pair well with rice and a salad. The recipe is divided into two steps. First making the Kofta and then the curry. Just to give it an “imperial” feel, I wrapped the koftas in silver warq. That is totally optional.

Ingredients for the Kofta :-

  1. Chicken mince – 500 gms
  2. Onions – 1 cup ( chopped fine)
  3. Khoya – 200 gms
  4. Green Chillies – 3 medium (sliced)
  5. Ginger garlic Paste – 1 + 1/2 tbsp
  6. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  8. Besan / Gram Flour – 2 tbsp ( only if required)
  9. Oil – to deep fry + 2 tbsp
  10. Silver warq (optional)

 

Instructions :-

  1. In a heavy bottom pan, add the oil
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry till golden brown
  3. Then add the green chilies, chilli powder, garam masala powder and fry 1 min
  4. Add the chicken mince to the onion mixture and cook till all the water has dried out completely. Make sure you have all the water evaporated. Add salt according to taste
  5. Set aside to cook down
  6. In another bowl, slowly kneed the khoya till its nice and smooth
  7. Add to cooled chicken mixture into a blender jar and add the khoya
  8. Blend together for a nice thick paste
  9. Now grease your hand and make small lime size balls with the mixture. Add gram flour if you find that the mixture is not holding shape. But do not add too much as it will not taste that great
  10. Finally heat oil in a deep pan on medium. When the oil is hot, add the prepared chicken balls and fry till golden brown or slightly dark brown (that’s how we like it)
  11. Reserve on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Cover the balls with silver leaf at this stage ( optional)

 

Ingredients for the curry :-

  1. Onions – 2 cups
  2. Tomato – 1 cup
  3. Cardamom – 5
  4. Cinnamon – 1
  5. Bay Leaf – 1
  6. Oil – 2 tbsp
  7. Fresh Cream – 1/2 cup
  8. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  9. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. When the oil is hot, add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf
  2. Once the spices release their aroma, add the onions and fry till translucent
  3. Then add the tomato, turmeric and chilli powder. Season with salt according to taste
  4. Fry till the tomatoes are cooked well
  5. In a blender, puree the above mixture
  6. Now again reheat the same pan with the blended mixture. Add fresh cream and mix well to combine.
  7. When it begins to boil, add the chicken kofta and give it a mix without breaking the kofta
  8. Your Chicken Koftas are ready.
  9. This dish pairs well will simple hot rice , pappads and a salad or even chappati / naans

 

Chettinad Milagu / Pepper Chicken

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers ,

So the festivities are just around the corner and I have tons of festive food recipes to share with you. But before that I would like to share this recipe. If you are the kind of person who loves rotti and chicken or plain rice and chicken, then this is the dish for you. Pepper chicken has been adapted to suit every taste bud around India. Infact every region has its own version of a pepper chicken. This recipe is from the chettinad region of India. Now the chettiyars are a class of people that loved money and had a fine eye for architecture. But personally I think their greatest contribution is their cuisine!  Every single dish has a distinct taste and unique flavour that keeps you coming back to it ever so often. This is one such dish. Traditionally, you would require a “arakal” to make this spice mixture but a mortar and pestle or even a blender would do the job. Another important aspect of this style of cooking is the fact that whole spices are used in the recipe and not the powder, this helps to enhance the pungency of the spices. Ok I have said enough about the dish. Here is the recipe. Do try it out and I promise that you will not be dissapointed!

 

 Ingredients :-
1. Pepper Corns – 2 tbsp
2.Cumin Seeds -2 tsp
3. Fennel Seeds – 2 tsp
4. Dry Red Chillies – 6
5. Ginger – 1
6. Garlic – 1+ 1/2
7. Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
8. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

Instructions :
 1. In a khadai, dry roast the above ingredients (except the turmeric powder, ginger and garlic). Take care not to burn the spices
2.Then in a mortar add the spice and the other ingredients and grind to a fine paste. Use 1 tbsp of water if required

Set Aside

 Ingredients :-
1. Chicken – 1 kg
2. Vegetable Oil – 1/2 cup
3. Cardamom – 5
4. Onions – 1 + 1/2 cup finelly chopped
5. Tomato Puree – 1 cup
6. Salt – to taste
7. Water – 2/3 cup

Instructions :-
1. In the same Kadai, heat oil. Once the oil is hot, add cinnamon, cardamom and onions. Mix well and let the onions fry till golden brown
2. Then add the tomato puree. Mix well to combine. Then add the ground up spices (above) and mix well. Cook on medium flame till the oil seperates from the mixture
3.  Then add the chicken into the masala mixture. Let it come to a boil. Then lower the heat, add 2/3 cup of water and cover and cook for 20 mins on low
4. After 20 mins, open the cover and crank up the heat and cook till all the water has evporated and the masala coats the chicken.
5. Your Chettinad pepper chicken is ready! Serve with hot rice or flaky malabar parathas!

Adapted from The Bangala Table

Quick Egg Curry – Week night Dinner Idea

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers,

How have the holidays been? I haven’t had time to make a decent meal for the past few days. Cleaning up the house, in turn falling sick and managing the little one has been the only thing I can find time for. So this recipe is my easy egg curry recipe and yes I cheated, I bought the Wheat Malabar Paratha from the store cause I couldn’t find time to make that as well too. So here is my recipe for the simple and easy boiled egg curry for weeknight dinners!

Ingredients –

  1. Eggs – 5
  2. Onions – 3 medium size – julienned
  3. Tomatoes – 3 small – chopped fine
  4. Curry Leaves – 8 – 10
  5. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  6. Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  8. Green Chilli – 3 slit into half
  9. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  10. Cumin Seeds – 1/tsp
  11. Oil – 1 tsp
  12. Water – to boil the eggs + 1/2 cup

Instructions :-

  1. Boil water in a pot and add one tsp of salt. When the water begins to boil, slowly immerse the eggs with the help of a spoon. Boil for 10 mins till nice and hard boiled
  2. Then drain the water out and set aside to cool. Once cooled, de shell the eggs. The eggs are ready
  3. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds
  4. When the seeds begins to splutter add cumins seeds
  5. Then add onions and fry till translucent. Add ginger garlic paste to the onions and fry for 3 mins
  6. Then add chilli powder, turmeric powder, curry leaves and tomatoes
  7. Once you see that the tomatoes are nice and soft, add the chillies and fry for 10 mins on medium heat
  8. Add half a cup of water at this stage
  9. When you see the mixture start to turn light brown, add the boiled eggs. Stir well to coat the eggs with the masala and cover and cook for another 5 mins
  10. After 5 mins season with salt and pepper ( optional) and serve right away

 

 

 

 

 

Home Style Butter Chicken

Hello My wonderful readers!

How are you all this weekend? Hope you had a wonderful week filled with delicious thanks-giving feasts!

It was a normal week here, no frills no thrills. But I did have a lot of fun in my kitchen. Tried  a bunch of new recipes that I will share with you all in my next few posts and I would love to know what you think of it. But this post is about how we make Butter Chicken at home. This particular recipe is my mum’s recipe and it does not use as much cream and butter as other recipes. So, if you want the original rich creamy butter chicken then just add a few table spoons of butter and 200ml of cream to the recipe. But trust me when I say that this recipe is as tasty and yummy as the other recipes. As much as we love having butter chicken at home, we try eating baked or roasted chicken with less oil or butter. So this is like a once in a blue moon event.

When I began blogging I was excited to share so many recipes and tips and tricks with everyone. But I truly wonder how bloggers make rich food everyday and still stay healthy. Some of my blogger friends hit the gym daily and some day I will have the liberty to do that as well.  Before you get me wrong, no one is holding me back, it’s just that I would have to leave my little peach at home which honestly I haven’t done yet.

You know it is real! That little guilt that gets to you when you leave your child with some one else. I could imagine what other mums go through when they get back to work leaving a three-month old baby at home. The struggle is real! Its  like a dark joke isn’t it? We work to provide happiness and a good living and then we realise how we have very little time enjoy just that. Ok, so while we think about the “heavy things in life” let’s have a “slightly-lighter butter chicken”

Ingredients :-

For Marination :- 

  1. Chicken – 500gms ( breast, boneless and cleaned)
  2. Lime Juice – 1 tbsp
  3. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Turmeric Powder –  1/2 tsp
  5. Kasuri Methi – 1 tsp
  6. Pepper – 1/2
  7. Salt – 1 tsp
  8. Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  9. Thick Yogurt – 3 – 4 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl combine all the ingredients apart from the chicken
  2. Mix well to make a nice paste
  3. Now cut the chicken piece into large curry pieces and make small slits on the meat
  4. Rub the marinade into the chicken pieces making sure to coat the meat well with the masala
  5. Transfer the coated chicken into a clean bowl, cling wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 mins to over night
  6. After the marination time, arrange the chicken pieces on a baking tray lined with silver foil
  7. Bake at 180 – 200 C for 15 mins or till you see the chicken start to get a little golden. The chicken might leave some water, do not throw it out, it can be used in the curry

Ingredients for the gravy

  1. Butter – 1 tsp
  2. Oil – 1tsp
  3. Cinnamon – 1 stick ( 6 – 7 cms)
  4. Cloves – 4
  5. Cardamom – 4
  6. Bay Leaves – 1 small
  7. Tomato – 5 large ( chopped and pureed in a blender)
  8. Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
  9. Cashew Nuts – 3/4th cup
  10. Milk – 3 tbsp
  11. Kasuri Methi – 2 – 3 tbsp
  12. Green Chilli – 2
  13. Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 3 tsp ( we like it spicy but you can reduce it)
  14. Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp (chopped)

Instructions:-

  1. Heat oil and butter in a Kadai/ Wok
  2. Once the butter melts, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves
  3. Give it a minute and then add ginger garlic paste. Stir and fry for another minute
  4. Then add the pureed tomato paste
  5. Cook till the raw smell disappears and the mixture starts to come together to form a semi liquid consistency. This should take 6 – 8 mins on medium flame
  6. While the tomato paste is cooking, grind cashew nuts with 1 tbsp of water to form a nice paste
  7. One the tomato is cooked and the oil starts to separate from the mixture, add the cashew paste
  8. Then add the green chillies, kasuri methi and chilli powder
  9. Finally when the mixture comes to a boil add the chicken (with its juices)
  10. After a minute add milk / cream ( traditionally cream is used but whole milk is good too)
  11. Let the chicken simmer on low for 5 – 6 mins while covered
  12. Your Butter Chicken is ready!!
  13. Serve Hot with Naan or hot rice!