Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bharwaan Kheere Ka Saalan ( Stuffed Cucumber Curry)

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Last weekend, while browsing through some cookbooks in a bookstore I came across a book with some good concepts but fairly mediocre recipes. One of those consisted of stuffing cucumbers with meat. It was a good concept but one look at the photo (consisting of whole cucumbers) and a quick read through of the gravy, it was a clear no-go. Sadly, it was touted as being one from the kitchens of the Indian royalties. I mulled upon the concept of having stuffed cucumbers for the whole week and then yesterday decided on how I will end of doing it and the gravy to go with it. 

Bharwaan Kheere Ka Saalan
 ( 6 Portions)

Cucumbers - 4-5
Lamb/ Mutton, minced - 500 gms

For the Filling:
Ghee - 4 Tblsp
Onions, sliced - 2
Ginger, chopped - 50 gm
Red Chili Powder - 3 Tblsp
Coriander Powder - 3 Tblsp
Cloves - 6
Green Cardamoms - 6
Cinnamon Powder - 1 Tsp
Salt - To Taste
Water - 1/2 Cup

For the Gravy:
Ghee - 2 Tblsp
Onion Paste - 100 gm
Ginger Garlic Paste - 6 Tblsp
Yogurt - 2 Cups
Red Chili Powder - 2 Tblsp
Coriander Powder - 1 Tblsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tsp
Almond Paste - 1/2 Cup
Lamb/Mutton Stock - 3 Cups
Salt - To Taste
Kewra - 2 drops

Masala Powder (Make a powder of these whole spices):
Black Peppercorns - 6
Cinnamon Stick - 1" stick
Cloves - 3-4
Green Cardamoms - 4
Black Cardamom - 1
Mace - 0.2 gm

For the Bharwaan Kheera (Stuffed Cucumbers):
1. Peel the cucumbers. Hollow out the centers (keeping the cucumbers whole) and boil them in salted water for 15 minutes.

2. Drain and cool.
3. Heat ghee in a large pan/wok.
4. Add the sliced onions and fry till they are brown.

5. Add in the minced meat. Mix well.
6. Add in the ginger and other ingredients for the filling. Saute until mince in browned.
7.  Add in the water and cook till mince in cooked. Cook till all water evaporates.

8. Fill the hollowed cucumbers with the cooked mince.

For the Gravy:
1. Whisk the yogurt with red chili powder, coriander powder & turmeric powder.
2. Heat ghee in a large pan that is wide enough to hold the stuffed cucumbers.
3. Add in the powdered masala and after 10 seconds add in the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute and add in the onion paste.

4. Cook till the flecks of fat start to appear on the surface.
5. Take the pan off the flame and stir-in the whisked yogurt mixture. Return to the flame and cook till fat starts to appear on the surface.
6. Add in the almond paste and cook till fat leaves the sides.
7. Add in the stock and cook on low heat for another 10-15 minutes.

Bringing it together:
1. Add in the stuffed cucumbers to the gravy and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. (add in more water if required)
2. Sprinkle kewra,stir, remove and adjust the seasoning.
3. Remove the cucumbers and slice them into roundels.
4. Place each roundel on a plate on a bed of the gravy. You can even choose to pour the gravy on top.
5. Serve hot with rice or roti.

NOTE: Vegetarians can experiment with adding in an assortment of fillings ranging from paneer to corn and mushrooms.


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