Tuesday, March 31, 2015


This is one of the signature dish from the state of Kashmir and very popular too. Though it has been adapted by many people all over the country making some variations to it, the original one is made without any addition of onions, garlic and tomatoes.  The rich red colour is given to the dish with Kashmiri chilli powder and a special spice from Kashmir called Ratanjot, which I have skipped because it is not easily available everywhere. The spices used in this are powdered fennel seeds, ginger powder,cloves, cardamoms along with a generous portion of asafoetida which is one of the key ingredient and whole spices like bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamoms etc etc. Traditionally this is cooked with mustard oil. Since it is not available in Brazil I have used normal cooking oil and a spoonful of desi ghee.

Mutton ... 350 - 400 gms
Yogurt ... 1/2 cup
Hung curd ... 1 tbsp
Lemon juice .. 1 tbsp
Asafoetida .. 1/4 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder .. 2-3 tbsps
Garam masala ... 1 tsp
Saunf powder ... 1/2 tbsp
Clove powder ... 1/4 tsp
Ginger powder ... 1/2 tbsp
Bay leaves ... 2-3
Cloves .. few
Cinnamon stick .. 1 inch piece
Black cardamom .. 1
Green cardamoms .. 3-4
Black pepper corns .. few (crushed )
Mustard oil .. 5 tbsps (you may use normal cooking oil too)
Desi ghee / clarified butter .. 1 tbsp (optional)
Salt .. to taste


1. Clean the mutton and marinate with hung curd, lemon juice, salt and set aside for few hours and over night.

2. Mix the Kashmiri chilli powder in a cup of warm water.

3. Heat oil in a pan and if you are using mustard oil bring it to a smoking point and reduce the heat. Add the asafoetida and the whole spices mentioned in the list.(black cardamom, green cardamoms, cinnamon stick, cloves and crushed black pepper corns..Tip in the marinated mutton pieces.

4. Stir fry turning the sides for 15 - 20 mins until the pieces become brown in colour.

5. Now add the dry spice powders (saunf powder, cloves powder, ginger powder and garam masala powder) Saute until mixed.

6. Switch off the gas. Sprinkle a little water and stir scraping the bottom with the spoon to blend the spices.

7. Now add about 1 cup water along with the chilli water that we prepared and salt. I have used a pressure cooker to cook the meat as the mutton here is very hard. If the meat is tender you can cook in a pan on low flame adding sufficient water. When the meat is almost done remove the pan from the gas and add the whisked curd / yogurt stirring well to avoid curdling. Put the pan back on the gas and simmer it for about 4-5 minutes.Finally stir in a spoonful of desi ghee which is optional.

You can serve it with rice or rotis/ naans and the gravy should be made accordingly.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015


This month in the baking group "We Knead To Bake " we’re baking something savoury and simple. What makes these simple rolls rather special and different is the sprinkling of sea salt and caraway seeds on the top. These rolls are great for sandwiches and even burgers. So what exactly is a Kimmelweck Roll? It's a hard roll, much like a crusty Kaiser roll, but sprinkled with caraway and coarse salt instead of poppy seeds. They are German in origin and I understand that “Kummel” means caraway seeds while “Weck” means roll. In Buffalo in New York, these rolls are used to make a speciality sandwich called the "Beef on Weck", with thinly sliced rare roast beef and horseradish and it is typically served with fries and a dill pickle. This recipe makes 8 burger bun sized large rolls. You can half the recipe if you prefer.

2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
2 bsp oil
1 tbsp honey
1 egg white (optional)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 to 3 1/4 cups bread flour*
Egg wash (optional)
Coarse sea salt and caraway seeds for sprinkling.


1. Mix together the warm water and the warm milk and stir in the yeast. Let it sit aside for about 5 minutes.

2. Combine the yeast mixture, oil, honey, the egg white and stir with a whisk.

3. Now in a large bowl add the salt and about 2 1/2 cups of flour and knead, adding as much more flour as required till you have a smooth and elastic dough that is tacky but not sticky.

4. Shape the dough into a ball, and place it in an oiled bowl.

5. Cover loosely with cling film and let rise for about an hour, until it is almost double in volume.

6. Deflate the dough well (not kneading), shape into a round and and allow it to rise, covered, for 30 minutes more until double (2nd time )

7. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape each into a smooth ball, then slightly flatten it. Place them on lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheets.Spray or lightly brush with oil, loosely cover and let the dough rise for 30 more minutes. Brush with egg wash (or something else that will make sure the topping sticks when baking), then cut slits ( like a +) on the top using a sharp blade or scissors

8. Sprinkle the top of the rolls with sea salt and caraway seeds, and then mist with water. Bake the rolls at 220C (425F) for 5 minutes and then quickly mist with water again making sure you don’t keep the oven door open for too long.

9. Bake for another 20 minutes or so until they’re brown and done. Cool on a wire rack. This recipe makes 8 large burger bun sized rolls.

Adapted from - http://www.jewishfood-list.com/recipes/bread/rollskimelweck01.html

Here’s a video on making these rolls for those of you who would like it -


We Knead to Bake # 26 - My Diverse Kitchen

Friday, March 20, 2015


When the raw tamarind is in season try out this pachadi. Select the small ones without seeds. You can just cut them into tiny pieces or crush lightly using  a pestle and mortar, add sufficient salt and store it for later use after drying this in the sun. This thokku can also be used in some dals / curries etc etc The consistency of the pickle can be coarse or very fine as you like it. If you want it well blended then grind it along with the masala powder before sauteeing in the oil. The chilli level also can be adjusted according to your taste.

Raw tamarind ... 500 gms (about one cup crushed)
Mustard seeds .... 1 tsp
Fenugreek / Methi seeds .. 1 tsp
Dry red chillies .. 8-10
Turmeric powder .. 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida ...... 1/4 tsp
Salt .. as needed
Oil ..... 1/2 cup

1. Wash the tamarind well and dry them with kitchen towel.
2. Crush them coarsely in a pestle and mortar or in a food processor.
3. You can add salt while crushing so that it blends well.
4. Dry roast and grind the mustard seeds , methi seeds and the red chillies.
5. In a pan heat oil and add asafoetida. Now tip in the ground masala powder and the crushed tamarind. Saute for a minute or two until done.
6. Let it cool. Store it in a sterilized jar. 

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Thursday, March 19, 2015


Most of us love egg and toast for breakfast. Here is a lovely variation for a change. How about baking an egg in buns / bread bowls. Isn't it a superb idea. Just scoop out the middle portion of the bun, drizzle some oil or spread some butter. Line it with ham or tomato slice and break an egg over it  For the tempering use salt, chilli flakes and herbs. You may also sprinkle a little grated cheese if you like. Bake it in the oven and your yummylicious breakfast is ready.

Buns ... as required
Eggs ... as required
Ham slices ... (optional )
Tomato slices
Salt ... to taste
Chilli flakes
Dried or fresh herbs ( I used rosemary and mint )
Oil .... for drizzling or butter


1. Cut out a thin slice from the top of the bun and scoop out the center.

2. Drizzle a little oil or spread butter,

3. Place a tomato slice or ham if you are using that.

4. Break an egg over it and sprinkle the salt, chili flakes and the desired herbs. You can use grated cheese also if you like.

5. Place it in a baking tray and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes at 350 degrees until the eggs are done.
If you like a crunchy bread place it under the grill for few minutes.
Serve immediately.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015


How about some fruit and vegetable salad for a change .. Believe me .. It makes a delicious combination. You could have any kind of dressing for it. Add chaat masala if you like Indian flavours.

Apple -- 1/2
Strawberries ... 3-4
Plum ........... 1
Tangerine ... 1
Arugula ... handful
Celery .... 1 stick
Red and Yellow capsicums / Bell Peppers .. small piece of each

For the dressing:
Mayonnaise .. 1 tbsp
Honey ...... 1 - 2 tsps
Balsamic vinegar .. 1 tbsp
Olive oil .... 1 tbsp
Salt ...... as needed
Paprika or black pepper .. 2-3 pinches

1. Wash and cur the fruits and vegetables into thin slices.
2. Peel the tangerines and remove the pulp carefully.
3. Put the dressing ingredients in a bottle and shake them well or whisk them in a bowl.
4. Spread the fruits and vegetables in a serving platter.
5. Pour the dressing just before serving.

Note: Keep the diced vegetables in ice cold water until use. This keeps them crunchy.

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Monday, March 2, 2015


Black forest buns is the recipe chosen for this month in our baking group " We Knead to Bake ". These buns have a filling of cherry compote and crumbled chocolate cake. If you like you can flavour the compote with a little kirsch. In case you cannot find cherries you may substitute it with strawberry compote or cherry / strawberry jam. Vegetarians may skip the egg.
The method of kneading, rolling out the dough, covering it with the filling, and then rolling it back is just like making cinnamon rolls, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. You can also finely chopped nuts (toasting them first improves flavour) or mini chocolate chips if you like.
You can always halve the recipe to make 5 or 6 buns and if so, then roll your dough rectangle out to approximately 11” by 4” instead of 11” by 8”.

For the Dough:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
50 gm butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg (at room temperature, optional)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:
3/4 cup cherry/ strawberry jam or compote
2 1/2 to 3 cups crumbled chocolate sponge cake

For drizzling:
1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
You may garnish with Chantilly cream and cherries

To make Strawberry Compote

Strawberries .. 200 gms
Sugar .... 2-3 tbsps (depending on the sourness of strawberries)
Kirsch ... 1 tbsp (optional)


Wash and cut the strawberries. Blend them in a mixie.
Cook them in a thick bottomed pan adding sugar.

Stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved and the texture is thicker. Let it cool. Add the kirsch at after cooling if you like it.

Take half a  cup of lukewarm water and add a little sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and leave it for 4-5 minutes until it becomes frothy.

Pour the water and milk in a saucepan, and heat on the stove till quite hot but not boiling. Pour this liquid into a large bowl and add the butter. Stir till the butter is melted. Let this mixture cool down till it is lukewarm,

You may knead the dough by hand or in the processor which is my usual preference. Pour the lukewarm mixture into the processor bowl (if using) and add the yeast and the egg. Pulse a couple of times to mix well.hen add about 1 cup of the flour and mix well. Add the salt and more flour, as much as is necessary

 Once the mixture becomes difficult to mix, turn it out onto your work surface. Add more flour and continue to knead for about 10 minutes till the dough is not sticky and elastic.

Place the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl, turning the dough till lightly coated with oil. Cover it loosely.

 Keep in a warm place and  allow to double in volume, for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Crumble the chocolate cake like bread crumbs

Now place the dough on a flat surface and roll it out into an approximately 18” by 12” rectangle (or 9" by 12" if using half the recipe).

Spread the cherry or strawberry compote/ strawberry jam over the leaving a 1/2 inch all around.

Sprinkle the chocolate cake crumbs on top of this.

 Roll the dough away from you, as snugly as possible, starting with the 18” edge like a jam/ jelly roll (as for cinnamon buns). Try to pinch the dough closed as best as possible, or dampen the edge with a little water to seal well.

Cut the roll into 1 1/2" wide pieces with a very sharp knife/ dough scraper. You should have 12 pieces for the full recipe and 6 for half of it.  (I have made half quantity )

Make collars using foil or parchment paper to fit well around each piece to give a good height to the buns  and avoid them from sticking together and flattening

 Place each piece in a prepared collar and then on a greased baking tray..  Cover loosely, and allow to rise, for about 1 hour or till almost double. Brush them with egg white or milk to give a glaze.

Bake at 180C for 25 - 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Remove each bun carefully from the foil collar.

 Drizzle with melted chocolate and serve. Or you can decorate them with chantilly cream and a cherry on top like I have done.

Note: This recipe makes 12 Black Forest Buns. Just make sure you roll the dough, with the filling, as tightly as you can and well because these buns swell up quite a bit.

Linking to:
We Knead to Bake - Bread # 25 @ My Diverse Kitchen

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