Sunday, May 31, 2015


Nalli Nihari is a very famous meat stew made from the shank (shin) which is the lower portion of the leg. Traditionally Nihari was slow cooked overnight which made the meat very tender and it was served as a breakfast dish. These days we use pressure cookers to save time and make things easier. Nalli Nihari masala is also available in the stores but nothing like fresh home made one. Nihari tastes better with naans / kulchas and is usually served with side garnishes  like deep fried onion, lemon wedges, ginger juliennes and chopped coriander leaves.

Mutton ... 500 gms (leg pieces with bone / shank )
Wheat flour ... 2 tbsps
Desi ghee / clarified butter .. 2-3 tbsps
Onion ......... 1 large (sliced and deep fried until brown and  crispy)
Ginger ...... julienned
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Salt ......... to taste
Coriander leaves .. handful
Lemon wedges ... for garnishing
Nalli Nihari Masala ... 2 tbsps.

Nalli Nihari Masala :
Dry red chillies .... 5-6
Cumin seeds ....... 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds ... 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds / saunf .. 1 tbsp
Cloves .......  8 - 10
Green Cardamoms ... 6
Black cardamoms ... 1-2
Black pepper corns .. 1 tbsp
Bay leaves ............. 2-3
Mace ..................... 1 piece
Cinnamon ........... 2 sticks of 1 inch 
Ginger powder ... 1 tbsp
Garlic powder or dried flakes .. 1 tbsp
Nutmeg powder .... 1/2 tsp
Roasted chana gram ... 2 tbsps

 Lightly roast all the whole spices skipping the other ingredients.Grind them to a fine powder. Store in a sterilized dry jar until use.You can make more quantity and store it for later use too.


1. Clean the mutton and marinate with a little salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice.

2. Melt desi ghee in a pressure cooker and tip in the marinated meat.

3. Stir fry until the water dries up and the meat gets a light brown colour.

4. Add the nalli nihari masala powder and saute a little.

5. Now add 5-6 cups water and close the pressure cooker. Cook until the meat is tender. The cooking time varies according to the meat used. If it is tender it takes 5-6 whistles. You can check and continue cooking again adding little water if needed. Check for salt too and add if needed.

6. Next dissolve the wheat flour with water. Mix well to avoid lumps.

7. Stir it into the cooked meat and mix it well. Add the deep fried onion at this stage and simmer for about 5 minutes.

9. When nihari is ready serve it with the garnishings on the side. ( lemon wedges, deep fried onion slices, chopped coriander and ginger juliennes )

Saturday, May 30, 2015


There are many ways of cooking ridge gourd. This is a simple Sindhi preparation as we call it seyala tooryun.cooked with onion tomato and basic spices. It is very light on your stomach and is usually served with rotis or puris.

Turai / ridge gourd ... 1 kg.
Onion ................... 1 cup sliced
Tomato ................ 1 
Green chillies ..... 1-2
Garlic ................. 1 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder ..... 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/8 tsp
Salt ................ to taste
Oil ............ 3-4 tbsps
Coriander leaves .. handful


1. Peel the ridge gourd and cut into pieces. Heat oil in a pan and saute the onion until translucent.

2. Add garlic, green chillies and tomato. Stir fry until tomato gets cooked.

3. Tip in the chopped ridge gourd. Add the salt and spice powders. Mix well and cover it.

4. Cook on medium flame until the water gets dried up stirring a couple of times. Turai leaves a lot of water. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rotis or puris.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Baby brinjals stuffed with gram flour and spices make a perfect side dish to go with dal chawal or any other curry with rotis. You can have a variation if stuffings too like grated onion with spices or a tangy stuffing with tamarind pulp and spices, roasted and ground sesame seeds or poppy also give an additional flavour to this dish.

Baby brinjals .... 8-10
Besan / gram flour .. 2 tbsps
Cumin powder .... 1/2tsp
Coriander powder . 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder .... 1/4 tsp
Dry mango powder .. 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder .... 1/4 tsp
Salt .......... to taste
Oil ........ 3-4 tbsps
Coriander leaves .. to garnish

1. Wash and slit the baby brinjals leaving the stems intact.
2. Mix the spices and salt with the gram flour.
3. Stuff the brinjals with this mix.
4. Heat oil in a pan and tip in the brinjals.
5. Simmer the gas and cover with a lid.
6. Keep turning the sides few times to fry them evenly.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

Note: These tiny brinjals don't require any water for cooking if done on very low flame. If they are slightly bigger you can sprinkle a little water while simmering.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


We can easily buy all these spice powders from the stores but nothing better than freshly ground home made masalas. They give extra flavour to the curries unlike the packed and preserved ones. Here is a spice mix for making Nalli Nihari Gosht / Murgh . You can even try out some veggies with it.. This quantity is sufficient for one kilo of meat to make a spicy curry. If you like it less spicy you can reduce the quantity as per your preference.

Dry red chillies .... 5-6
Cumin seeds ....... 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds ... 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds / saunf .. 1 tbsp
Cloves .......  8 - 10
Green Cardamoms ... 6
Black cardamoms ... 1-2
Black pepper corns .. 1 tbsp
Bay leaves ............. 2-3
Mace ..................... 1 piece
Cinnamon ........... 2 sticks of 1 inch 
Ginger powder ... 1 tbsp
Garlic powder or dried flakes .. 1 tbsp
Nutmeg powder .... 1/2 tsp
Roasted chana gram ... 2 tbsps

1. Lightly roast all the whole spices skipping the other ingredients.
2. Grind them to a fine powder.
3. Store in a sterilized dry jar until use.
You can make more quantity and store it for later use too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


This is an American style sweet breakfast bread. Though it is a very simple one, there is something really nice about the combination of orange, cinnamon and apricot preserve. It was so soft and flavourful. We just couldn't stop with one slice and I am going to bake it again very soon. The recipe below makes two medium sized loaves. I halved the recipe and just made one. If you like it to be less sweeter you can reduce the quantity of sugar as per your preference

This bread is adapted from 500 Breads (Breakfast Breads, Pizza Crusts, Rolls, Scones, Bagels & more) by Carol Beckerman-
Carol Beckerman’s description of the bread “This is a pretty looking bread with a delicious swirl of cinnamon, brown sugar and apricot preserves when you slice it”,  and who says that breakfast breads must be eaten only for breakfast?

All purpose flour ... 3 and 1/2 cups + 1/4 cup for dusting.
Sugar .... 1 tsp
Warm water .. 2/3 cup
Active dry yeast .. 2 tsps
Eggs ......... 2
Sugar ...... 3 tbsps
Salt ........ 2 tsps
Orange ... 1 ( juice and finely grated zest )
Apricot preserve ...4-5 tbsps
Cinnamon ...... 1 tbsp
Brown sugar .... 1/2 cup
Oil ...... for greasing  ( I used clarified butter)


Take warm water and add 1 tsp of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top without stirring and leave it in a warm place for 8-10 mins or until it becomes frothy.

Extract juice of one orange and grate the zest.

In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and sugar. The recipe calls for 3 tbsps but you can reduce if you don't want it very sweet.
Make a well and add the eggs, liquid yeast and orange juice as required and knead into a firm dough.

Remove it on a floured  surface and knead it well for about 8 - 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

This is very important step as the bread becomes nice and fluffy.

Place the dough in a greased bowl.

Cover it with a cling film or foil. Leave it in a warm place to rise until it becomes double.

 It takes about 2 hours. (in winters it takes longer)

Now remove the risen dough on a floured surface and knead it lightly.

 Divide it into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 6 by 13 inch rectangle.

Spread the apricot preserve and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll each rectangle like a swiss roll sealing the edges by pinching lightly.

 Grease two 8" by 4" loaf tins and sprinkle a little flout on the greased surface. Place the rolled bread in them.

Let them rise again until double for 30 -40 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and bake the loaves for 30 - 35 minutes or until it is done. The time may vary a little according to the size and type of the oven.

Cool them on a wire rack or a wooden board  before slicing. I made a mistake by slicing them immediately as I couldn't wait to taste it and the filling oozed out.

(Reproduced with permission from 500 Breads by Carol Beckerman)
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 Linking to:
Our monthly baking group hosted by Aparna Balasubramanian
We Knead To Bake # 27 @ My Diverse Kitchen

Saturday, May 23, 2015


We usually eat radish only and the leaves are thrown away. Hence radish greens are not sold separately in the market.  During winter we find tender radishes with bunches of fresh leaves. The saag made with these leaves tastes awesome. Radish greens add nutrition to your diet and also are a rich source of calcium. Apart from  cooking you can also add a few leaves to your smoothies and salads. Wash the leaves thoroughly before using them.

Radish leaves ....5-6 cups
Spinach ............ 1 cup
Green chillies ..  1 or 2
Ginger .......... 1 tsp grated
Garlic .......... 1 tsp crushed
Onion ....... 1 small (1/4 cup sliced)
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Cumin powder ...... 1/2 tsp
Salt ........... to taste
Oil .... 2-3 tbsps

For Tadka / Tempering:
Garlic .... few cloves finely chopped
Kashmiri chilli powder ..... 2 - 3  pinches
Desi ghee / clarified butter - 1 tbsp


1. Wash the radish leaves and spinach thoroughly and chop them.

2. In a pan heat oil and add the sliced onion. Saute until translucent. Tip in the ginger garlic and green chillies.

3. Now add the mentioned spice powders and salt.

4. Add the greens into the pan, mix everything and cover with a lid.

5. The greens leave out water and there is no need to add any more. Just simmer to cook until the water dries up. It takes about 30 - 35 mins.

6. Let it cool. Lighly grind the saag with a hand grinder.

7. Now heat the ghee in a small pan and add the finely chopped garlic. When it becomes golden brown switch off the gas and add the Kashmiri chilli powder. Immediately pour this over the cooked saag and mix.

Friday, May 22, 2015


Dry and spicy stir fried boneless mutton recipe for all the meat lovers. You can serve it as a snack or a side dish with naans / rotis / phulkas. I am sure you will love this preparation. I have pressure cooked the mutton first and then sauteed with onion and spices as the meat here doesn't cook so easily. In India you get tender meat and you can make this directly on a slow fire sprinkling a little water in between the sauteeing. You may also use meat with bones if you like.

Boneless mutton ... 250 gms
Onion .................. 1 medium sized chopped finely.
Garlic ............. 1 tbsp crushed
Ginger ........... 1 inch piece grated.
Tomato puree ... 2 tbsps
Yogurt .............. 2 tbsps
Mint leaves ..... few 
Coriander leaves .. handful
Green chillies ... 1-2 slit or chopped finely.
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp (add more if you like it spicy)
Cumin powder ..... 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder . 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Salt .............. to taste
Oil or  Desi ghee .. 2-3 tbsps or as needed
* Whole spices like cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cardamoms ... add in the pressure cooker while boiling the meat.

1. In a pressure cooker take 2-3 cups water and tip in  the whole spices*. Add the cleaned meat pieces, a little salt and turmeric. Boil the meat until 3/4 ths done. Remove the pieces and store the stock for future use. You can even freeze it after cooling. 
2. In a pan or a wok add oil or desi ghee and fry the onion until light pink. 
3 .Add the slit green chillies, ginger and garlic. saute for half a minute.
4. Put the mutton pieces and one fry again for a minute. Add the tomato puree and slit green chillies. 
5. One by one add all the spices except garam masala which we shall add towards the end.
6. You may sprinkle a little water while sauteeing if the meat is not cooked.
7. Whisk the yogurt and add it to the meat stirring immediately to blend into the masalas.
8. Tear the mint leaves with fingers and add it.  Simmer it until done.
9. Garnish with coriander leaves. 

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