Monday, June 29, 2015

KASURI METHI CHICKEN / CHICKEN CURRY WITH DRIED FENUGREEK LEAVES


A simple chicken preparation with dried fenugreek leaves / kasuri methi which gives a wonderful aroma to this dish. For tanginess I have added sour yogurt and finally a little bit of thick coconut milk for the creamy texture. I personally prefer coconut milk to cream but if you wish to add it you may do so.


Ingredients:
Chicken ....  500 gms
Onion ..... 1 cup (sliced finely)
Yogurt ..... 1/2 cup
Kasoori methi .. 2 tbsps
Coriander leaves .. 1/2 cup
Mint leaves ....... handful
Green chillies .... 2-3
Thick coconut milk ... 2-3 tbsps
Garlic paste ...... 1 tbsp
Ginger paste ...... 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder ... 1 tsp
Cumin powder ........ 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Salt ....... to taste
Oil ........ 3-4 tbsps

Method:
1. Clean the chicken and marinate with yogurt, salt and a little turmeric powder.
2. In a pan heat oil and fry the onion until translucent.
3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute for a minute.
4. Now tip in the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until the water dries up and the oil starts to separate.
5. At this stage tip in the coriander leaves, mint leaves, slit green chillies and kasuri methi along with the spice powders mentioned in the list.
6. Mix well and simmer adding a little water for the chicken to cook. Check the salt and add if needed.
7. Cover the pan and cook until almost done.
8. Finally stir in the thick coconut milk and cook for 1 minute.

Note: Add as much water as the consistency you require .. Dry version goes well with rotis and naans. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

PATHIRI / KERALA PATHIRI / THIN RICE FLOUR ROTIS FROM MALABAR CUISINE



Pathiri is a thin roti made with rice flour. This is a speciality from Malabar. The procedure is a bit different than the normal rotis. The rice flour is added to the boiling water and mixed thouroghly with a wooden spoon until it thickens.It is then cooled and rolled out into thin rotis. The rice flour is a bit difficult to roll as it breaks on the edges. You can use a round cutter or a plate to cut out the uneven edges to make the pathiri nice and presentable. These go very well with non vegetarian dishes.


Ingredients:
Rice flour ... 1 and 1/2 cups (plus extra for dusting)
Water .......... 3/4 cup
Oil .............. 1 tbsp
Salt ........... to taste


Serve them with any veg or non veg dish.


Method:

1. Boil water in a pan adding a little salt to taste.Tip in the rice flour and oil mixing thoroughly with a wooden spoon avoiding the lumps untiil it thickens. (takes about half a minute)





2. Remove it in a plate or bowl and allow it to cool a bit.







3. Knead well to make it nice and smooth. If it is dry you can sprinkle a little water while kneading.






4.Take a small portion and roll out into a thin roti using rice flour for dusting on the board. You can cut away the uneven edges with the help of a round plate or a cutter.. Roll out a few rotis to make it easier. Dust flour to avoid them from sticking.




5. Roast them one by one on a hot griddle flipping the sides fast. The colour should be white and not overdone.
 Make sure to clean the griddle / tawa each time with a kitchen towel before putting the second roti.





6.To puff them up use a spatula or a kitchen napkin pressing the edges of the roti while roasting.









Wednesday, June 24, 2015

MARITOZZI CON LA PANNA ( Roman Cream Buns )


Maritozzi (singular Maritozzo) are orange flavoured soft sweet buns, which are split and filled with smooth whipped cream. Apparently, these buns are popular during the breakfast hours in coffee bars in and around Rome and in the afternoon with a coffee or liqueur. However, you will find them being sold and eaten throughout the day. A pastry typical of the Lazio region of Italy, the pine nut and raisin dotted Maritozzi are supposedly a Lenten bread from the Middle Ages. It seems this was the only sweet thing they allowed themselves during the period of religious fasting. Some regions of Italy still make these buns during Lent as slightly larger loaves without the cream and these are called Maritozzi Quaresimali (Roman Lent Buns).
The story goes that Maritozzi got their name from the Italian word for marriage which is “marito”. One version says that according to local custom, Maritozzi were prepared by young women in Lazio who would bring them to the village piazza with hopes of attracting the attention of future husbands. Another version contends that it was the men of Lazio who gifted these pastries to their fiancĂ©es, baked in the shape of a heart, as a proof of love. The Maritozzi dough is essentially slightly enriched brioche dough, and traditionally is flavoured with pine nuts, raisins and candied orange peel. Once they’re baked, the buns are brushed with a sweet water and sugar syrup or else dusted with powdered sugar. After they have cooled, the Maritozzi are cut in half (almost through but not all the way) and filled with loads of smooth sweetened whipped cream
If you prefer you can leave out the sweet glaze and just lightly dust the Maritozzi with powdered sugar, which is what I did. Then serve them with or without cream, as you prefer. You might find Maritozzi with very prettily piped cream but the real thing is a rustic treat and not really meant to be pretty so just go ahead and use a small spatula to fill in the cream.


Watch this video to have an idea how Maritozzi are made
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7v3uz-pn18

Ingredients:
All purpose flour / maida  ... 2 cups
Instant yeast .... 1 and 1/2 tsps
Warm milk ..... 1/4 cup
Eggs ........... 1
Sugar ........ 1/4 cup
Butter ...... 50 gms (room tempereature)
Salt ......... 1/8 tsp
Raisins ..... 1/4 cup
Pine nuts ... 1 tbsp (lightly roasted)
Lemon zest ... grated from one lemon (you can also use orange zest )
Candied lemon peel .... 1 tbsp finely chopped ( you can also use candied orange peel)

For the Filling:
500ml fresh cream, whipped to stiff peaks with a few teaspoons of icing sugar
 (you will need about 2 to 3 tablespoons of cream per bun)
However it is optional.

Method:

Take warm water about quarter cup and add 1 tsp sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave it in a warm place to become frothy.






Roast the pine nuts lightly.







Cut the candied lemon peel into small pieces








Take the flour in a large bowl. and add the lemon zest and sugar.








Make a well in the center and break the egg.








Add the pine nuts, raisins and candied peel.









Mix everything and start kneading with yeast and warm milk. Use as much milk as needed. Incorporate the butter little by little while kneading.







Knead the dough until it is soft and elastic.








Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a foil paper.






 Leave it in a warm place for 2-3 hours or until it rises to double. (it may take longer in winter)







Now remove the dough  and knead lightly to remove the air pockets.






Roll it into a thick cylindical shape.








Divide the dough into 6 or 8 portions depending on the size you want.






Flatten each portion and roll it up gathering the edges on the lower side. Pinch to seal them.






Place the pinched side on the bottom in a greased baking tray. You can brush them with egg white or milk. Leave enough space between the buns for them to expand when they rise.
Loosely cover the tray and let the buns rise to double the size.






Bake them in a pre-heated oven for 350 degrees F for about 18 to 20 minutes. Do not over bake them.







Let them cool. Sift the icing sugar on top while they are still warm.


Note :If you’re going to brush the buns with the sugar syrup, make it while they’re baking, Boil the sugar and water together in a small pan, until the sugar dissolves. Brush this syrup on the tops of the hot buns once you’ve taken them out of the oven.
Let the buns cool completely. Then slit them, using a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut all the way through and keep one side intact. Open them up slightly (don’t let the two parts of the bun separate) and fill with whipped cream, making the edge smooth the flat side of a palette knife or spoon. Moisten your fingers with a little water and hold each Maritozzo carefully at its base, to avoid the sugar glaze sticking to your fingers and pulling pieces of the brioche away.

Recipe and information - courtesy Aparna Balasubramanian - We knead to Bake # 28


Monday, June 22, 2015

GONGURA CHICKEN / CHICKEN WITH SORREL LEAVES


This is a traditional Andhra style tangy chicken cooked with gongura / sorrel leaves. Gongura leaves have a sour taste and they are added to flavour various curries, both veg and non veg. These leaves are a rich source of iron, folic acids and are very nutritious.

Ingredients:
Chicken .... 500 gms
Onion ...... 1 cup (sliced)
Gongura ... 2 cups
Green chillies .. 2-3 (add more if you like it spicy)
Tomato puree ... 1 tbsp
Ginger paste ... 1 tsp
Garlic paste .... 2 tsps
Corinader leaves .. handful
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Cumin powder ..... 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder ... optional
Salt ........... to taste
Oil .... 4 tbsps


Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until translucent.
2. Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic paste.
3. Tip in the tomato paste, chicken pieces and stir fry for about 5 minutes.
4. Now add the salt and spice powders except garam masala which will be added towards the end.
5. Add enough water to cook the chicken according to the consistency required.
6. When the chicken is three-fourths done add the sorrel leaves and mix. Sprinkle the garam masala powder and add the coriander leaves. Cover and again simmer it until done.


Friday, June 19, 2015

SWEET AND SOUR LIME PICKLE / NIMBU KA KHATTA MEETHA ACHAAR


Here is one more pickle recipe.. sweet and sour lime pickle. I matured the lemons for 2 weeks in the sunlight and then tossed them in the spices. This way it is ready to eat and you can refrigerate it after cooling. The lemons I used were tiny and tender. If they are bigger you may have to keep them a little longer in the sunlight for maturing. Just check it out yourself.

Ingredients:
Lemons ..... 6 (or as needed)
Saunf / fennel seeds ... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds .............. 1 tsp
Mustard seeds ........... 1 tsp
Kalonji / onion seeds ... 1/2 tsp
Methi / fenugreek seeds .. 1/2 tsp
Black pepper corns ...... 1/2 tsp (8-10)
Dry red chillies ........... 2-3
Lemon juice ............. 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder ..... 1/4 tsp
Crushed jaggery ....... 1 tbsp (or sugar)
Vinegar .................. 1-2 tbsps
Salt ........... to taste
Oil ....... 2 - 3 tbsps 

Method:
1. Wash the lemons well and wipe them with a kitchen cloth.
2. Cut them into quarters or  desired size pieces. 
3. Add salt and put them in a jar. Mix the lemon juice.
4. Tie a muslin cloth and place the jar in the sunlight for 2-3 weeks until the lemons are matured.
5. Now dry roast lightly all the spices mentioned in the list and grind them coarsely.
6. Heat oil in a pan. Reduce the heat and add the jaggery and vinegar.
7. Stir until jaggery melts. Tip in the spice powder. 
8. Now remove the lemons with a wooden spoon and toss them in the pan lightly.
9. If needed add a little water left in the jar to get the required consistency.
10. Cool the pickle and store it in a clean sterilized jar.

Note:You can refrigerate it. I do that because the weather keeps changing and the pickle can get spoilt  easily. You can adjust the chilli level as per your preference. Jaggery can be substituted with sugar but I personally like jaggery better. The pickle spice mix can be made in large quantity and stored too. You can use it to make achari recipes like achari bhindi, paneer, gosht etc etc...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

ACHARI GOSHT / MUTTON CURRY WITH PICKLE SPICE MIX



Achari gosht is a spicy and tangy meat dish cooked with pickled spices. It is a treat for those who love spicy food.Traditionally mustard oil is used for the preparation of this dish which gives it a distinct pickle flavour. You get the best results when the meat is slow cooked after marination with yogurt and pickle spice mix. This can be done if the meat is very tender. Unfortunately the meat we get here in Brazil is very hard and takes a long time to cook. So I have used the pressure cooker to cook until the mutton is three-fourths done and then added to the rest of the ingredients and allowed it to simmer until done.

Ingredients for Achari Masala / pickle spice mix :
 Saunf / fennel seeds ... 1 tbsp
 Jeera / cumin seeds ....  1 tbsp
Kalonji / onion seeds .... 1/2 tbsp
Methi dana / fenugreek seeds .. 1/2 tbsp
Mustard seeds ..................... 1/2 tbsp
Dry red chillies ................. 3-4

(lightly dry roast the above ingredients and grind them coarsely)

Other ingredients:
Mutton .... 500 gms
Onion ..... 1 slices
Tomato puree .. 2-3 tbsps
Yogurt ......... 1 cup
Ginger paste .. 1/2 tbsp
Garlic paste .... 1/2 tbsp
Green chillies .... 3-4 (select big ones as we need to stuff them)
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp (for rich colour)
Garam Masala ... 1 tsp
Salt ..................... to taste
Lemon juice .. 1 tbsp
Mustard oil .... 2-3 tbsps ( you may use normal cooking oil if you don't have)



Method:

1.Clean the mutton and boil until three fourths done in a pressure cooker. Add some whole spices like black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon,bay leaves and a little salt. Discard the whole spices after done.




2.Slit the green chillies and remove the seeds.  Take one tbsp of the achari masala and add a little salt and a spoonful of lemon juice.







3.Stuff the green chillies with it and set aside.







4.Mix the remaining achari masala with the yogurt.







5.Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions until translucent.







6.Tip in the ginger garlic pastes.







7.Now add the tomato paste along with turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and a little salt.






8.Stir in the yogurt with the achari masala.




9. Continue stirring to avoid it from curdling.







10.Now add the meat pieces and mix well. If any stock is left you can add a little if needed.Check the salt and add if required. Simmer it until almost done.






11.Finally at the finishing stage place the stuffed green chillies on top and cover with a lid. Do not stir.






12. The chillies will be done in 3-4 minutes. They should remain firm and crunchy. Do not over cook them.






13.  Garnish them on the meat while serving.

Monday, June 15, 2015

SINDHI MIX PICKLE / NO SPICE NO OIL PICKLE / LEEMO MIRCHA EIN ADRAK JI KHATAIRN / PAANI WARI KHATAIRN



This is a traditional Sindhi lemon pickle with ginger and green chillies. No oil or spices are used in this preparation. It is just preserved with salt and lemon juice. In Sindhi we call it. In Sindhi we call it "pani wari khatairn" , meaning "water pickle" as there is no oil or any spice added to it. You may use few spoons of vinegar too. Select the lemons with thin skin which take less time to mature. Pickles are usually made in Summer when we have good sunlight and the pickle jars are kept out for maturing.


Ingredients:
Lemons ... 8 -10 
Green chillies .. few 
Ginger .......... 100 gms 
Lemon juice .... as needed to cover the pickle (I used juice of 6 lemons and few tbsps of vinegar)
Salt ..... as needed.

Method:
1. Wash the lemons well and wipe them dry with a kitchen towel.
2. Make slits in them and fill with salt. 
3. Peel the ginger and cut into thin wedges. Cut the chillies into pieces or you can use them whole with a slit.
4. Take a sterilized jar and tip in the lemons, ginger and chillies.
5. Pour the lemon juice and vinegar (if adding any) to the level where they are well immersed in the liquid.
6. Place the jar in the sunlight until the pickle matures. It could take a few weeks. Give it a shake everyday before placing in the sunlight.



Note: The pickle stays good for a long time but you can refrigerate it to avoid the fungus forming in it.