Stuffed Small Brinjals

Ingredients

  • 15-20 small thin brinjals
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder (mango powder)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Remove the stem of the brinjal, slit the brinjals on one side taking care not to slice them fully
  2. Lightly sprinkle salt on the brinjals
  3. Mix all the spice powders and remaining salt in a bowl
  4. Insert this mix into the slits
  5. Heat oil in a skillet
  6. Place all the brinjals in the skillet without covering and cook till brown on both sides

Guti Alu Bhaji (Tiny Potatoes Stir Fry)

Ingredients

  • Guti Alu – 250 gm
  • Onion – 1 medium, sliced thinly
  • Green chillies – 2 slit
  • Mustard Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped spring onion greens

Method –

  1. Wash the potatoes and keep them whole if they are very small. If they are bigger, cut into 2 halves
  2. Heat mustard oil in a Kadhai
  3. Add onions.
  4. When onions turn golden, add chillies
  5. Sauté for 30 seconds
  6. Add the potatoes
  7. Fry the potatoes for 2-3 minutes
  8. Add turmeric powder
  9. Add salt and pepper
  10. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes
  11. Open the cover and if the potatoes are cooked, cook on high heat for 1 minute
  12. Add the spring onion greens, cook for 1 minute.
  13. Switch off the flame

Tandoori Masala Powder

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2” cinnamon stick
  • 14-15 green cardamoms
  • 3 black cardamom
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 florets of mace
  • 2 pieces of 2” dried ginger
  • 6 Kashmiri dry red chillies
  • 7-8 dry red chillies
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • Salt

Method –

  1. Heat a skillet
  2. Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds on low flame for 1-2 minutes
  3. Transfer the roasted spices on a plate to cook down
  4. Dry roast cinnamon stick, green and black cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns, star anise and mace for about 3-4 minutes on low flame
  5. Add dry ginger. Roast for another minute on low flame
  6. Transfer to a plate to cool
  7. Add the chillies to the skillet. Roast on low flame
  8. Put all the roasted ingredients in a grinder.
  9. Add 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  10. Grind to a fine powder
  11. Add salt and store in an airtight container

Red Sauce Pasta (Desi Style)

Ingredients

For Boiling Pasta –

  • 3 cups penne
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil

For Pink Sauce –

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, coarsely grounded
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 6 large tomatoes, puréed
  • 1 large capsicum, cut into cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn, boiled
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh cream
  • 1/3 cup grated processed cheese

Method –

  1. In a pan, heat water, add salt and oil, bring to a boil, add pasta and cook 90% done
  2. Strain the pasta, add some more oil to avoid sticking. Reserve boiled pasta water
  3. Heat oil in another pan
  4. Add garlic and cook till fragrant
  5. Add onions and cook till translucent
  6. Add red chilli powder
  7. Mix well
  8. Add tomato purée and salt, mix well and cook for 5-7 minutes
  9. Add pasta and mix well
  10. Add ketchup, sweet corn, capsicum, oregano and chilli flakes. Mix well
  11. Add butter and fresh cream, mix well and turn off the gas
  12. Garnish with cheese

Chak-Hao Amubi (Manipuri Black Rice Pudding)

Ingredients

  • 100 gm black rice
  • 1 litre full cream milk
  • 6 tbsp milkmaid
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sugar to taste
  • Dry nuts to garnish (optional)

Method –

  1. Wash and soak the rice in water overnight. Discard the water and rinse the rice again
  2. In a deep bottomed pan, pour the milk and bring to a boil
  3. Add the bay leaf
  4. Stir the milk continue till it reduces to 75%
  5. Add the rice and let it cook, stirring continuously till it thickens
  6. Add the sugar, milkmaid and cardamom powder and mix well
  7. Cook till the rice is cooked and the kheer is creamy
  8. Discard the bay leaf
  9. Garnish with chopped nuts, if desired

Chicken Biryani – Kerala Style

Ingredients

For the Rice –

  • Basmati rice – 2 cups
  • Water – 4 cups
  • Cloves – 4
  • Green cardamoms – 4
  • Cinnamon stick – 1”
  • Bay leaves – 1
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp freshly squeezed
  • Salt to taste

For Marinating Chicken

  • Chicken – 500 gm
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Yogurt – 1/2 cup
  • Biryani masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

For Chicken Masala –

  • Onion – 4 medium, thinly sliced
  • Tomato – 2 medium, chopped
  • Green chillies – 7-8, chopped
  • Ginger – 1” piece
  • Garlic – 8-10 cloves
  • Biryani masala
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Oil/ghee – 2 tbsp

For Nutty Paste –

  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
  • Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – 10

For Garnishing –

  • Cashew nuts – A handful
  • Raisins – A handful
  • Ghee – 3-5 tbsp
  • Onion – 1 cup, thinly sliced
  • Coriander and mint leaves – A handful
  • Saffron – A few strands
  • Warm milk – 2 tbsp

Method –

Preparing the Nutty Paste-

  • Soak the poppy seeds, fennel seeds, cashew nuts in water for 30 minutes and grind it to a smooth paste along with the grated coconut and set aside

Cooking the Chicken Masala –

  1. Cut the chicken into medium sized pieces and drain the water well
  2. Grind ginger, garlic, green chillies to a coarse paste and set aside
  3. Marinate the chicken with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, yogurt, biryani masala and salt for 1 hour at room temperature and shallow fry the chicken
  4. Heat oil/ghee in a pan, add thinly sliced onions, sauté until it is translucent.
  5. Add ginger, garlic, green chilli paste, sauté till it becomes brown, add chopped tomatoes and sauté till soft
  6. Add the biryani masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, sauté well till the raw smell goes
  7. Add the chopped coriander and mint leaves and mix well
  8. Add the shallow fried chicken. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add water if needed and adjust salt
  9. Add the nutty paste. Cook for a couple of minutes, when the chicken is done, keep aside

Cooking the Rice

  1. Soak the rice for 30 minutes and drain the water completely
  2. Boil the required water, with half of the whole masala (cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon) and add little oil and salt
  3. Heat ghee in a pan, add the remaining whole masala
  4. Add the drained rice, when the rice starts cracking, add it to the boiled water and cook uncovered till the rice is 90% done
  5. Drain the excess water immediately from the rice, spread it on a tray, sprinkle lemon juice and set aside

Preparing for Garnish

  1. Heat ghee, fry thinly sliced onion till golden colour and crispy. Drain on a paper towel
  2. Fry cashews and then raisins, remove on a paper towel
  3. Mix saffron threads in warm milk and keep aside

Final Cooking and Layering –

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C
  2. Grease an oven proof dish
  3. Spread half of the chicken masala
  4. Spread half of the cooked rice over it
  5. Sprinkle biryani masala, fried cashews, raisins, fried onions, chopped coriander and mint leaves, sprinkle left over ghee and a few drops of saffron milk over the rice
  6. Repeat this process for another layer
  7. Cover with aluminium foil and bake it for 20 minutes

Ginger Snaps

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Whisk together –

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

Beat in a large bowl until very fluffy –

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Add and beat until well combined –

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses* (I used substitute since I didn’t have molasses)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon or orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Method –

  1. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended
  2. Form the dough into 3/4” balls and arrange them 1” apart on a baking sheet
  3. Bake about 16 minutes

Molasses substitute

  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method –

  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add all the ingredients
  2. Once the sugar dissolves, turn down the heat and let the syrup simmer steadily until it becomes a slightly thick syrup that drips off your spatula slowly. This will takes just 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t worry if you think it is a bit runny at this stage because as it cools it will get thicker.
  3. Use this molasses substitute in any recipe in place of molasses. It will last 3-4 months in an airtight container at room temperature. After a while, if you notice it hardens, heat it back up again to dissolve the granules. It makes 1 1/2 cups of molasses substitute.

Chicken Kathi Roll

Ingredients

For the Filling –

  • 250 gm boneless chicken, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup thick yogurt
  • 2 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 big onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 capsicum, thinly sliced
  • For the topping –
  • 100 gm onion, sliced
  • Chaat masala as per taste
  • Green chutney

For the paratha –

  • 300 gm all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Warm water to knead
  • Eggs – 1 egg for every roll
  • Pepper
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Marinate the chicken with yogurt, tandoori masala, lemon juice, turmeric powder and salt. Let it rest for 1 hour.
  2. Heat a Kadhai on medium flame.
  3. Add oil, once it is hot, add ginger and garlic
  4. Sauté for 1 minute
  5. Add in the onion and capsicum
  6. Sauté for 3-4 minutes
  7. Add the marinated chicken along with the marinade
  8. Cover and cook till the chicken is tender
  9. The chicken pieces should be absolutely dry
  10. Transfer to a bowl and set aside
  11. In another bowl, add the all purpose flour and oil
  12. Add salt and sugar and knead with warm water till it turns into a soft and stretchy dough
  13. Drizzle a little oil on the dough’s surface and keep it covered for 30 minutes
  14. Divide the dough into equal balls and rest again for 10 mins
  15. Roll the dough out and shape into a coil. Then roll out again. This makes the paratha flaky
  16. Heat a tawa and apply some oil
  17. Break an egg and season with salt and pepper
  18. Place the paratha on the tawa
  19. Flip it after some time
  20. Pour the egg mixture over the flipped side
  21. Drizzle oil on all sides of the paratha
  22. When the egg is cooked, flip the other side and cook till brown
  23. Set aside

For Assembling

  1. Put the chicken, onion, chaat masala on the egg side of the paratha
  2. Top it up with green chutney if desired
  3. Roll the paratha and wrap it in parchment paper
  4. Serve with ketchup on the side

Phulkobi Diya Masor Jhul (Light Fish Curry with Cauliflower and Potatoes)

Ingredients

  • Fish – 4 pieces
  • Potato – 1 medium
  • Cauliflower -5-6 big florets
  • Tomato – 1 big or 2 medium
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Coriander leaves – a handful
  • Onion paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Ginger paste – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar – 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard oil – 4 tbsp

Method

  1. Peel the potato and cut in thick wedges
  2. Wash the cauliflower and soak in salted water for 10 minutes
  3. Wash the fish pieces and rub salt and turmeric powder. Set aside for 10 minutes
  4. Mix the ginger paste, cumin, coriander and chilli powder in 1/3 cup of water. Set aside
  5. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a Kadhai
  6. Fry the fishes and set aside
  7. Fry the cauliflower and potatoes after rubbing with salt and turmeric powder. Set aside
  8. Add the rest of the oil in the same Kadhai.
  9. Add the onion paste. Fry on low heat till raw smell is gone
  10. Add the ginger and powdered spice mix, pinch of salt, sugar and turmeric powder
  11. Fry on low heat till oil starts to separate
  12. Add the chopped tomato to the spice mix
  13. Fry till it becomes soft and mushy
  14. Now add 2 cups of warm water
  15. Add the vegetables, slit green chillies and cover
  16. Let it come to a boil
  17. Lower the heat
  18. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the fish pieces
  19. Cover again.
  20. Once the gravy thickens a little, switch off the flame
  21. Sprinkle the chopped coriander

Alu Dum

Ingredients

  • Boiled baby potatoes – 500 gm
  • Mustard oil – 6 tbsp
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Dry red chillies – 2
  • Onion paste – 1/3 cup
  • Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chopped tomatoes – 3 medium sized
  • Curd – 2 thsp
  • Hot water – 400 ml
  • Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Heat mustard oil in a wok
  2. Lightly fry the baby potatoes and keep aside
  3. In the same oil, add dry red chillies and bay leaves
  4. Add onion paste and fry till it becomes light brown
  5. Add ginger garlic paste, fry for 30 seconds
  6. Add tomatoes and fry till it becomes soft and pulpy
  7. Add the whisked curd and stir till oil separates
  8. Now add the potatoes and cook till it is well coated with the mixture
  9. Add salt to taste
  10. Add warm water and let it boil
  11. Cover and cook on low heat till the gravy reduces
  12. Add garam masala powder and ghee at the end