Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Mutton or chicken cooked with aloo bukharas (Indian plums) is a Royal dish which originates from Nizam province. It is quite popular in Awadhi Cuisine too. Usually dry and fresh plums both are used in this preparation but I have used only fresh plums which have given the curry a lovely golden colour and a mild sweet and tangy flavour. I skipped adding the dried plums as they make the gravy more sweeter.

Chicken .... 1/2 kg
Aloo bukhara .... 2  (sliced)
Aloo bukhara puree .. 2 tbsps
Curd / yogurt .. 1/4 cup
Ginger paste ... 1 tbsp
Garlic paste ... 1 tbsp
Green chilli paste .. 1 tsp
Onion paste ....... 1/2 cup
Coriander powder ... 1 tbsp
Cumin powder ........ 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Salt ............ to taste
Ghee or oil .... 1/4 cup

Whole spices:
Black cardamom ... 1
Green cardamoms .. 2-3
Bay leaf ........ 1
Cinnamon ..... 1" piece
Cloves ..... 2-3
Black pepper corns ... few


1. Wash the chicken pieces. Marinate them with half the quantity of curd, ginger garlic paste, aloo bukhara paste and spices. Set aside for few hours.

2. In a pan heat the ghee or oil and tip in the whole spices.

3. When they give out a nice aroma, add the remaining ginger garlic paste and onion paste.

4. Saute until the smell from the onion goes away and it turns into golden colour.

5. Now add the marinated chicken pieces.

6. Stir fry for few minutes and add the spice powders and salt. Cover the pan and simmer the chicken after adding half cup water until the oil separates.

 7. When it is almost done, add the aloo bukhara slices and simmer for few minutes. Adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your liking.

Garnish and serve with rotis, naans or plain rice.

Recipe Credits - Spoon Fork and Food

Monday, October 24, 2016


Crumpets are griddle/ skillet cooked leavened and spongy round breads which are an English tea-time favourite. These are very different from English muffins. "Classic crumpets have a smooth round bottom, and a top riddled with small holes. They are served fresh from the griddle or toasted, and can be topped in jam or clotted cream, although butter is the traditional crumpet topping.
 Crumpets are never split, unlike English muffins, and they have a slightly bland flavor and spongy texture which absorbs butter remarkably well. The concept of toasting crumpets over a fire is often associated with companionable rainy days in British fiction.
 For people who are still confused about the differences between crumpets and English muffins, remember that crumpets have a holey top, they are not split, and they are far less "bready" than English muffins tend to be. It is believed that the English muffin may have been invented by someone who was trying to replicate the crumpet, which explains the commonalities between the two. The recipes for English muffins and crumpets are also very different, with crumpets being made from batter and English muffins being made from a dough."

 (Information Source: Wisegeek)
 Recipe adapted from -  Not Quite Nigella and A Life (Time) of Cooking.

 Milk ......  1 and 1/2 cups
Sugar .....1 and 1/2 tbsps
Active dry yeast.... 1 and 1/2 tsps
All purpose flour .....1 and 3/4 cups
Softened butter .....1 and 1/2 tbsps
 Salt ....1/2 tsp
Baking powder .....3/4 tsp
Water (if necessary) 1/4 cup
Butter or oil to make the crumpets 1 tsp


Warm 1/4th cup of milk and dissolve the yeast and sugar. Set aside until it bubbles.

Now add the flour, butter, salt and the remaining milk.

Whisk to make a smooth batter of pancake consistency.

Cover and let it rise again for about 45 minutes.

Check the thickness of the batter and add a little milk if needed. It should be of pouring consistency. Add the baking powder and mix well.

Grease the edges of a ring mould (cutter). Spoon a tsp of oil on the griddle and place the mould on it. Spoon the batter into it until 3/4th high as it will rise while cooking.

Cover the skillet and allow to cook on medium flame. It takes about 5 minutes.When done the crumpets should have holes on them and look dry while the bottom is golden brown.

Now carefully remove them from the rings using a sharp knife and cook the other side lightly for about a minute or so. Repeat this process to make all the crumpets.

Serve with butter at tea time.

You may serve them with any other topping also if you like. I have served them with berry compote and cream.

This recipe makes about 12 crumpets of 3' size

Recipe by Aparna Balasubramanian - We Knead To Bake # 43

Friday, October 21, 2016


This is a variation of Baba Ganoush, a traditional Middle Eastern dip which is made by grilling the egg plant on direct flame, charcoal or grill, while this method is quicker using the pressure cooker. Here we have browned the sliced eggplant in the base of the cooker. When you make this version you will see how simple it is and the taste is very much the same.

Eggplant .... 1 large
Olive oil ... 4 tbsps
Garlic ...... 6-8 cloves
Salt ........ to taste
Parsley .. 2 small sprigs
Tahini ... 2 tbsps
Lemon juice .. 2-3 tbsps
Black olives ... 8-10
Water .......... about 6-7 tbsps

For garnishing:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig of parsley
Black olives (sliced)


1. Wash the eggplant and peel in alternative strips, keeping some for colour. Slice them lengthwise into two.

2. In a pressure cooker pour olive oil and place the eggplant face downwards and allow it to roast on low flame for few minutes.

3. Now flip over the eggplant.

 4. Throw in the garlic cloves, add a little salt and water to cook it. Close the lid of the cooker. After one whistle when the pressure builds up, reduce the flame and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Let out the steam and open the cooker Add the tahini, parsley, lemon juice and olives. Mix and check the salt.

6. Grind it coarsely using a hand grinder.

8. Remove the dip in a serving bowl and garnish with olive oil, sliced olives and a sprig of parsley.
Serve with pita bread.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Indian meals are incomplete without a raita. It is a simple preparation of curd / yogurt mixed with some vegetables or fruits. For flavoring we can have a simple one with salt and pepper or add chaat masala, bhuna jeera. Honey or a little sugar can be added to balance the flavours. This season the pomegranates are so lovely, juicy and bright red in colour. I have made some raita with this fruit.

Pomegranate ... 1 
Curd/ yogurt ... 1 cup
Salt .............. as needed
Roasted cumin powder / bhuna jeera ... 1 tsp
Chilli powder ...... 1 pinch
Chaat masala ....... 1/4 tsp (optional)
Coriander leaves.. 1 tbsp (finely chopped)

1. Separate the seeds / kernels and set aside.
2. Use half the kernels to make juice by simply crushing them if they are very juicy or you may grind them.
3. Whisk the curd using this juice to the required consistency.
4. Add the remaining pomegranate seeds and the flavouring ingredients mentioned in the list or any of your choice.
5. Garnish with some seeds and a sprig of coriander leaves.

Monday, October 17, 2016


A flavour-packed Desi version of Chicken Roulade...
I have used crumbled Methi Paneer for the stuffing and served it on a bed of Lahsuni Palak.

Chicken breast ... 1
Paneer ............. 1/2 cup (crumbled)
Fresh methi leaves .. 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves ...... 1/2 cup
Green chillies .......... 2-3 (crushed or chopped finely)
Garlic paste ............ 2 tsps
Sliced garlic ......... 1 tbsp (for Lehsuni Palak)
Spinach / palak .. 1 small bunch (1 cup pureed)
Salt ............. to taste
Cumin powder .... 1 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Black pepper.... 1/4 tsp
Oil .............. 4 tbsps


1. Place the cleaned chicken breast between plastic sheets and flatten it with a meat hammer.Season it with salt and black pepper. Set aside to marinate.

2. In a pan heat 2 tbsps of oil and saute the garlic paste. Add the fresh methi and coriander leaves, green chillies, spice powders, salt and stir-fry. Now add the crumbled paneer and mix well until the flavours are incorporated. Spoon this paneer mixture on the flattened chicken breast.

3. Roll it very carefully and tightly.

4. Place the chicken roll in a cling film and roll it like a chocolate securing the two ends.

5. Roll it again in a foil wrap and seal the edges by twisting them.

6. Now immerse it in the boiling water. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.

7. Meanwhile to prepare the lehsuni palak, take the blanched palak leaves and puree them coarsely. In a pan heat a tbsp of oil and fry the chopped garlic pieces until light brown. Add the salt, spice powders and palak puree. Stir fry it for a couple of minutes. Set aside

8.Now carefully unwrap the steamed chicken roulade.

9.Heat a little oil and shallow fry it turning the sides until it is light brown. This is just to give it a nice colour. You may skip this step if you want to serve it as it is after steaming.

10. Slice it carefully. Spoon the lahsuni palak in a serving platter and place the chicken roulade slices on it.