Sunday, July 22, 2007

Kache Pyaaz ka Khatta ( Red Onions in tamarind water)

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Alright this one doesn't have any photos to go with it. Simply, because I haven't got myself to trying this one out. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard this one was of absolute disgust...this couldn't be a dish I cried out aloud. But since then I have asked many people about it and they swear by it. So I'm publishing it, if you try it out, let me know how it turns out. Over the next few days, I might just make it.
Red Onions - 2 No.s
Tamarind - 100 gm ( soaked in 1 ltr water for 4 hours)
Cumin Seeds - 10 gms
Mustard Seeds - 10 gms
Salt - To Taste

1. Slice Onions. Put them in a large bowl.
2. Strain the tamarind juice.
3. Pour the tamarind juice inot the bowl containing the onion slices.
4. Mix in the salt.
5. Roast the mustard seeds and cumin seeds slightly. Pour in the onion tamarind mix.
6. Mix well. Serve.

This one it's said is a good accompaniment for Khichadi.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mirch Ka Salan ( Chilli's in Creamy Sesame-Peanut Gravy)

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Of the many dishes that were born in kitchens of the Nizams of Hyderabad, the Dum Biryani, Mirch ka Salan and Haleem are the most famous.
A click for Mirch ka Salan's recipe on the web will generate numerous web pages offering a How- To for this dish.
A sucker for food usually finds another very easily. Its by this rule that I have found Inkey at my workplace. He and to a large extent his family has a big collection of authentic hyderabadi recipes with interesting stories around them. These are dishes they make on their relgious ocassions like Id etc.
I got my recipe for the Salan from him. What was amazing about this recipe is that it uses less ingredients (No onion, no ginger-garlic, no turmeric, no asafoetida) than the ones found in cookbooks and recipe portals, and the taste is out of the world.
Needless to say, armed with the recipe and an urge to try it out, I donned my apron. The only change I made was the addition of yoghurt. The end result, everyone who tasted it liked it, including my biggest wife ( we have a thing going, a to who cooks better :-D )

Chilli (Big, long panvel chilli, or Annaheim Chillies)– 1 Kg
Peanuts – 200gm
Cumin Seeds (Zeera )– 50 gm
Mustard Seeds – 50 gm
Cinnamon (Chakla) -50 gm
Sesame Seeds (Til ) – 50 gm
Poppy Seeds – 50 gms
Cloves – 2-3 (Minced)
Coconut (Roasted & Ground) – 200 gm
Yoghurt - 400 gm
Curry Leaves – Few
Black pepper – 10 gm
Tamarind - 20 gm

Pre-Preparation :
1. Wash, slit and de-seed chillies. If you do not want big chilies, cut into half. (Note - if you are de-seeding large amount of chillies by hand, rub oil in both hands, to save the hands from having a burning sensation later on)
2. Shallow-Fry Chillies and keep aside. Keep oil for making Salan.
3. Roast Peanuts slightly. Also, roast grated coconut and Poppy seeds and sesame seeds slightly.
4. Make a paste of peanuts, coconut, black peppercorns, Sesame seeds and poppy seeds with little water. This is the Salan Paste.
5. Soak Tamarind in lukewarm water to make tamarind water.

1. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil (same oil used for frying chilli's).
2 Add Clove, Cinnamon and mustard seeds.
3. When they begin to crackle, add in the salan paste.
4. Cook this mixture till the oil leaves the paste. This will take some time. Peanuts typically tend to stick and you will need to keep stirrung to avoid that. If it sticks too much, add a few drops of water. This may take a long time(20-25 minutes) and you will see that the paste turns a brown color.
5. Once the oil leaves the paste, add whisked yoghurt. Keep stirring again till oil separates again.
6. Add tamarind water and salt. Cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add chillies. Cook for 5 more minutes.
8. Serve Hot.

Serves - 10 people

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tamatar Ka Saar

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Another Maharashtrian classic. This one is a favorite of every marathi and can be found at almost every wedding. Saar, traditionally are soups or broths.Though a lot of soups exist in the maharashtrian cuisine, like Aamti, Varan, Sol-Kadhi, the saar is by far the only one that can be termed as a soup, the rest still falling under the drink or lentil category.
The saar is a real roller coaster for the taste buds, with each spoonful providing different sensations and tastes ranging from the hot (Chilli) to Cold (Coconut), and, from sweet (Jaggery) to sour (Tomato).
300 gm Tomato
80 gm Coconut, grated
1.5 Tblsp Jaggery (substitute for sugar, if jaggery is unavailable)
200 ml Water
2 Red Chillies, dried
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
Hing (asafoetida), Pinch
8 Curry Leaves
1 Tsp Ghee
Salt to taste
Corriander Leaves for Garnishing

1. Roughly chop tomatoes and cook them with half cup water for 10 mins.Personally prefer removing their shells before I move onto chopping them.
2. Cool tomatoes and add the coconut and puree.
3. Strain Puree.
4. Heat ghee. Add cumin seeds and when they crackle add red chillies, curry leaves, hing and pureed tomatoes. Stir for a minute and add in water. Alternately, you can first put in the tomato and coconut puree and after a minute of stirring it add in water (150 ml). Then in a separate pan prepare the tempering (or the phodni as they call it in marathi). The phodni consists of cumin seeds, red chillies, curry leaves and hing. Add the phodni to the tomato mixture on the flame.
5. Keep stirring continously.
6. When it starts boiling add jaggery and salt. Simmer for 5 mins.
7. Remove from fire. Add chopped corriander.
8. Serve Hot.

Footnote: The saar is a good remedy for treating cold.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sabudana Khichadi

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This is a typical Maharashtrian dish that my wife has mastered over the years. It tastes great and is very easy to make. This usually makes for a good snack time treat, especially on a rainy day.
Ingredients :
Sabudana (Sago) (Tapioca) - 1 Cup
Green Chillies - Slit/Finely chopped or roughly chopped - 2 No.s
Groundnuts (Peanuts) - Roasted and powdered coarsely - 1/2 cup
Potato - Boiled, peeled and diced - 1 No.
Onion - Chopped - 1 No.
Lemon juice - 2 Tblsp. (10ml.)
Corriander(Cilantro) - finely chopped - 10 gm
Red Chilli Powder - 10 gm
Salt - To Taste
Oil - 20 Ml.
1. Wash & soak Sabudana in water for minimum 2 hrs.
2. Drain water after soaking for required time.
3. Heat Oil. Add in Onions and Chillies.
4. Fry till onions turn translucent.
5. Add in diced potatoes and stir well.
6. Add in drained Sabudana and mix gently.
7. Add in powdered groundnuts and red chilli powder alongwith salt.Mix well.
8. Garnish with Corriander leaves and sprinkle Lemon juice on top.
9. Serve hot.

Optional - Several households also add in Hing (Asafoetida) , Mustard seeds and Cumin seeds at the beginning once oil is hot.
Most also add in grated coconut while finishing the cooking.

Twist - Something I tried out a long time back. You might want to experiment. Get a few barquettes (boat shaped short pastry). Layer a little chilli sauce or Catsup and put in a spoonful of the khichadi in the barquette. Put in some grated cheese on top. Microwave till cheese melts a little and serve as an appetiser.

Murgh Kairi (Raw Mango Chicken)

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Had this one last week and went gaga over it. In fact, I'm planning to try a vegan version of it to see how it tastes too. Cooking is simple and barring the raw mango which can be impossible to get in a few weeks time, this one's a great way to wow everyone with little work.
Boneless Chicken - 500 gm
Raw Mangoes - 100 gms
Ginger garlic paste - 4 tsp
Olive Oil - 100 ml
Hung Curd - 3 tblsp
Red Onions - one
Clove - 3-4
Cinnamon Stick - 1
Red Chilli Powder - 2 tsp.
Garam Masala Powder - 2 tsp
Cream - 3 tsp
Kasuri Methi - 1 tsp
Poppy Seeds - 20 gms
Corriander Powder - 1 tsp
Green Chillies - 2
Fresh Corriander (Cilantro)- chopped, 40 gm
Salt to taste
Green Peppercorn crushed - 2 tsp

Cut chicken into 1-inch dices, wash and marinate with green peppercorn and oil. Keep aside.
Wash raw mangoes, deseed and dice them. ( I prefer using a little ripe mangoes than absolutely raw ones).
Wash and chop corriander.
Fry onions till golden brown. Make a paste out of them.
Roast the poppy seeds slightly and make a paste.
Wash and slit green chillies.
1. Heat oil. Add cinnamon, cloves. After they crackle add ginger-garlic paste.
2. Once ginger-garlic paste is done, add corriander powder and red chilli powder.
3. Add chicken and sear it for a short time.
4. Add in the hung curd and cook.
5. After chicken is almost done, add in raw mangoes, fried onion paste and garam masala powder.
6. In the end add in the slit chillies, kasuri methi, cream, fresh corriander, salt. Mix well and cook till done.
Serves- 2 people
Prep Time - 35 mins

Monday, July 9, 2007

Burning Peaches

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I begin my first post in this blog site with a personal favorite of mine. I tried out this cocktail some 13 years back, and, I still haven't been able to get over it. Its a little tedious but, is a real wowie!

I have tried giving it different names over the period, ranging from some hindi names to naming it after my wife to giving it an exotic thai name, but I guess, Burning Peaches stuck. Anybody got a better name please drop in a comment.

Here's how to go about it:

Burning Peaches

60 ml Dark Rum

15 ml Peach Schnapps

15 ml Peach syrup concentrate

Sprite / 7Up - Absolutely Chilled

Glass - Champagne Tulip

Additional Equipment

Soup Spoon


Cloth to wipe


1. Pour the Peach concentrate in the tulip followed by the Peach Schnapps.

2. Pour in the 7up/Sprite leaving enough room for the rum on the top.

3. Take the soup spoon and using it float the rum on the top ( 45 ml).To Float -use a spoon bottom-side up and touching the inside of the glass preferably the surface of the drink. Gently pour liquor over spoon so it flows from the spoon down the side of the glass into a layer on the already poured drink.

4. Now take the soup spoon and heat it with the lighter. Keep wiping it with the cloth incase black soot is forming. After the spoon is hot ( not red hot, but considerably warm), put the remaining rum (15ml) in it and heat it again, bringing the flame in contact with the liquor. The liquor will flame up giving a blue flame. Pour the burning rum into the drink and Voila your cocktail is ready.

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