Sunday, September 30, 2012
7 out of 10 times, I pressure cook Mutton. But it is not about the times I do; it is about the times I don’t. They are out of the ordinary sacred days for me. I have grown up hearing stories from my Mother, how Didu (My Maternal Grand Mother) always made Mutton for Dinner as there were no Gas cylinders then neither was there a Pressure Cooker; hence, Didu started cooking her Mutton once the family had had their lunch & she was done with her morning chores; on slow flame on the Mud stove in a simple Indian wok which would cook through the afternoon into the evening. I have only dreamt of the heavenly & earthy delectable taste this method would produce, but have never been fortunate to try it as both Gas cylinder & Pressure Cooker were invented before I was born. Not that Didu failed to wave her magical wand with her Mutton Curry with the advent of contemporary resources but my wild desire to taste the Mud Stove Mutton has never come true till date.
This is the only thought which crosses my mind on days like this, when I do not pressure cook my Mutton. I am sure this, in no way, comes even a wee bit close in taste to Didu’s ‘slow-cooked-mud-stove-Mutton-Curry’, still this preparation is totally dedicated to my Maternal Grand Parents & the immense love & blessings they have showered on me, always.
The plan of cooking this Mutton happened a little later in the day; hence I did not get enough time to marinate my Mutton. Many marinate this Mutton for a few hours, some overnight; I could give only 30 minutes to the marinade today; therefore, I certify this will taste incredible even otherwise. Try it!
Here is what we will need:
Mutton (Goat Meat) – 750 gms – cut into medium pieces
Onions – 2 – medium – thinly sliced
Garlic – 1 pod, mine gave 25 cloves – small & medium
Ginger – 2” piece
Green Chillies – 6-7 (use to your taste)
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tbsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – like in the picture, I used 3 small sticks
Green Cardamoms – 4
Black Cardamoms – 2
Cloves – 4-5
Bay Leaves – 2-3
Coriander leaves – 2-3 sprigs –to garnish
Mustard Oil – 2 tbsp + 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
A pinch of Sugar to caramelize the Onions
· Wash Mutton clean. Marinate with Ginger-Garlic-Green Chilli Paste, Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder, Turmeric Powder & top it with 2 tbsps of Mustard Oil and set aside for 30 minutes.
· Heat 3 tbsps of Mustard Oil in a Pan, add Bay Leaves, Cardamoms, Cinnamon & Cloves & let them sizzle.
· Add a pinch of Sugar to the hot Oil for Onions to caramelize which go in next.
· Add the sliced Onions, fry till the Onions get a nice golden texture like in the picture.
· Add the Mutton pieces & fry for about 5 minutes.
· Add Salt, give it a mix & cover.
· Check back after about 45 minutes, when the moisture released from the Mutton will all dry up. Do check once in a every 10 minutes & give it a good mix.
· Once all the moisture has dried up, add desired quantity of warm water (do not use normal water).
· Cover and cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, stir in between as mentioned earlier to avoid any surprises :P
· Cut through a piece of Mutton with a fork & check, it should be
soft & succulent by now. Once you have desired amount of gravy turn off the stove. Add warm water at any stage if you need.
· Garnish with some sprigs of Coriander.
· Serve with Plain White Rice on a Sunday afternoon ;) Happy Cooking!
Friday, September 28, 2012
A quick fix is always welcome in my Kitchen. With a working couple, lunch boxes can be a challenge sometimes. I have my ‘Sheila Mausi’ who helps us with making ‘Chapatis’ & cutting up the veggies. I totally forgot about today’s lunch when Mausi came yesterday. Hence, I sat last night and sliced up Cabbage, Green Beans, Carrots & a large Green Bell Pepper & stored it. In the morning, I tossed them around in Chilli Oil, added Red & Green Chilli & Dark Soy Sauce & Vinegar, scrambled some Eggs, washed and shredded some leftover Chicken pieces from a Curry, sprinkled some Salt & Pepper & mixed it with the Rice I had made yesterday and our Lunch boxes were ready! It made me feel contended! I had a full-fledged Lunch ready with loads of veggies without much hanky-panky & that is the recipe I will be sharing today. The Eggs & Chicken can be omitted completely and this will still taste as good but I give in to Carnivore in me every time :D
Here is what you will need to make it:
Cabbage - ½ of a Medium one – shredded
Carrots – 2 – sliced
Green Bell Pepper – 1 – large – sliced
Green Beans – about 15 – cut into ½” pieces
Cooked Rice – 3.5 cups
Eggs – 4 – scrambled (optional)
Boiled Chicken Pieces – 4 medium – shredded (optional) (I used the leftover breast pieces from a curry, washed them and shredded)
Dark Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Sauce – 2 tbsp
Green Chilli Sauce – 1 tbsp
Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Chilli Oil – 2 tbsp (use any other oil of your choice if you do not have Chilli Oil)
Cooking Oil – 2 tsp
· Scramble 4 Eggs in some Oil, sprinkle with Salt, Pepper & Red Chilli Powder & keep. (Optional)
· I washed the Chicken pieces I had from a leftover curry, shredded & kept handy. (Optional)
· Heat the Chilli Oil & the Cooking Oil in a Pan.
· Add the Veggies, keep the heat on high and keep tossing them around.
· After about 7-8 minutes of tossing on high heat they should be done.
· Add Salt & Pepper and mix.
· Add the Dark Soy Sauce, Red & Green Chilli Sauce and Vinegar and mix.
· Add the scrambled Eggs and the shredded Chicken & mix (optional).
· Add the Rice and mix thoroughly, so that the white Rice gets coated with the sauces. Once mixed properly it is ready.
No condiments needed. This is a whole meal in itself.
Yesterday’s day was a very significant day of my life. I accomplished something I never thought I would. He HATES Okra. All thanks to the Bengali homes who love making any sort of ‘Bhaat-e’ (Bhaat means Rice in Bengali and Bhaat-e means some vegetable which is boiled with Rice, mashed with salt and eaten as a condiment with Rice) with different vegetables, be it Radish, Raw Banana, Bitter Gourd or Okra. Now Okra when boiled, looks heavenly (pun intended), the juices of Okra leach out and it becomes a slimy gluey substance which many people eat sprinkling some salt on it with the first part of their meals (they say it is finger licking good too!). The very thought gets me so much off-colour; I have to say, I detest it too!! However, I have always been fond of Okra fry and a simple curry which both my Parents often make at home for dinner with Potatoes.
I had some Okra in my stock and wanted to make the curry as I did not feel like eating the fry; however, as I said earlier, he hates them. Hence I was in two minds, and then I thought, I will make him an Omelette if he really does not like it and gave it a go. He came back from work and said wow, what is that whiff, ‘Aloo Chorchori’ (A Bengali Potato curry)..ahhh! I said no, but it sure has Aloo (Potatoes) in it. I took off the cover and showed him, he was doubtful but inhaled the smoke gushing out of the still hot Okra Curry & said the aroma is heavenly (this time literally) ... I was in heaven too! Now that he likes the aroma, he will try it I knew. We had it with Rotis for Dinner & he loved it, he finished half the bowl & burped :D Make it often, he said!
Here is what you need to make the simplest of Okra Curry with Potatoes – the Bong way
Okra / Bhindi / Dharosh / Lady’s Finger – 250 gms
Potatoes – 2 – medium – sliced like in the picture
Onion – 1 – medium – chopped
Green Chillies – 2-3 – slit
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp – I used Mustard
Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar to balance
· Wash the Okra under running water, pat them dry on paper towels. Make sure they are completely dry before you cut them as we do not want that sticky texture
· Cut Okra into 1” size pieces
· Slice up the Potatoes
· Heat Oil in an Kadhai (Indian Wok)
· Add the Cumin Seeds and let them splutter
· Add the chopped Onions and fry for 3-4 minutes till they become translucent
· Add the Potatoes, fry for 2 minutes
· Add the Okra, fry for 5-7 minutes
· Add Turmeric Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Salt and Sugar and fry for another 2-3 minutes
· Add little water so that the Potatoes get cooked.
· Once Potatoes are cooked, put the gas on high and make sure all the water evaporates, this is a dry preparation.
· Garnish with slit Green Chillies and serve with Rice or Roti.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Have been sick for a while. Hubby kept everything ready and left for work. There was ‘Kancha Lonka Murgi’ (he made) sitting in the Refrigerator which I had for Lunch. But the Cook-Freak in me started nipping as soon as it was evening. I had to make something. Checked my stockpile and found that I only had Eggs, no Meat, no Fish. I was bored of Egg-Curry and did not want to make it. My Father makes this nice curry with Omelettes in it, but I am not very fond of it. So I decided to make the same Curry with Poached Eggs.
Here is what you will need:
This will serve 2 people.
1. Eggs – 4
2. Onions – 2 medium – chopped
3. Ginger Paste – 1tsp
4. Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
5. Green Chilli Paste – 1 tsp
6. Tomato – 1 medium – chopped – (I used Tomato Puree)
7. Baby Potatoes – 7-8 peeled (Regular Potatoes can also be cubed and used)
8. Bay Leaves -2
9. Green Cardamom – 2
10. Cloves - 2
11. Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
12. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
13. Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
14. Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp + 4 times ½ tsp for 4 Poached Eggs
15. Black Pepper Powder – 4 times ½ tsp for 4 Poached Eggs
16. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
17. Salt to taste
18. Sugar to balance
19. Mustard Oil – 3 tbsp (Any other Oil of your choice can also be used)
20. Cooking Oil – 4 tsp - to make the Poached Eggs
· Heat 1 tsp of Oil in a Pan and break the Eggs into it one at a time and make the Poached Eggs – sprinkle some Salt, ½ tsp Red Chilli Powder & ½ tsp Black Pepper Powder on it. Once one side is done, flip it and fry the side (with the yolk) lightly as well. Keep.
· Smear a little Turmeric Powder and Salt on the baby Potatoes and fry in hot oil for sometime till they turn golden.
· In a Pan, heat 3 tbsp of Mustard Oil, add the Bay Leaves, Green Cardamoms and Cloves – let them sizzle.
· Add a pinch of Turmeric Powder and 1 tsp of Sugar.
· Add the chopped Onions and let them caramelize.
· Once a little towards translucent, add the Ginger-Garlic-Green Chilli Paste – stir for a few minutes.
· Add the chopped Tomatoes or Tomato Puree – cook till the Tomatoes are almost done.
· Add Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala Powder, Red Chilli Powder and Turmeric Powder and cook till the dry spices are cooked.
· Add the fried baby Potatoes.
· Add desired amount of Water for the gravy, cover and cook till the Potatoes are done.
· Once done and the gravy is as per desired, drop the Poached Eggs into the gravy.
· Garnish with broken Green Chillies and server with Plain White Rice.