Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Okra with Panchphoron & Brinjal with spring onions

I was really eager to attend the wedding of a friend's sister today. I had been planning on this for quite some time. The saree, the jewellery, A's clothes (phenomenal for me...since I always start planning with 5 secs left to spare)! And then last night, I got fever with chills and shakes and how. And this is really ominous since chills and shakes usually is a sign of Malaria. Today, thankgod, didnt have another attack but my temperature hovered around 100 deg C. At 7pm, I sadly gave up the idea of attending and called up my friend to sounded really lame over the phone. But what to do? That done, I had to prepare dinner. Thankgod I had bhindi, spring onions and brinjals. Could whip up two dishes in about half an hour. Another 15 minutes, 5 rotis were ready and we had our simple home cooked dinner (in place of the no-doubt lavish spread at the Sheraton...).

The bhindi recipe is one I learnt from m-i-l. Before this, I had never heard of bhindi being cooked this way and was a bit iffy about it at first. But really, its quite tasty and a regular fare for us.

Bhindi with Panchphoron

You will need
Bhindi / Okra 250 gms
Onion 1 medium sized
Panchphoron 1 tsp (equal parts of black mustard, anise, methi, cumin and kalonji)
Salt to taste
Sugar 1/4 tsp
Oil for frying

How to

  1. Wash and drain the bhindi. Cut them into 1" pieces.
  2. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a kadai.
  3. Add the panchphoron.
  4. When they start spluttering, add the onions and saute till they turn translucent.
  5. Add the bhindi, the salt and stir well.
  6. Cook over high flame for 5 minutes.
  7. Cover, lower flame and leave for another 5-7 minutes or till the bhindis are done.

Brinjals with spring onions

Strangely, I never liked this dish although this is a popular bengali one, till I got married. A likes all things with brinjals in it. He likes them in pizza too (yes...). But once I made it (and it turned out good and really easy to make) I started liking it too!!

You will need:

Brinjal / Aubergine 1 medium
Spring Onions: 3 - 4
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

How to

  1. Wash the brinjal and dice into small cubes, smear with salt and keep aside.
  2. Cut the spring onions into small pieces about the same size of the brinjals.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai to smoking and add the brinjal.
  4. Stir well and fry till softened.
  5. Add the spring onion and stir well.
  6. Fry for another 3-4 minutes and remove from fire.

Both are very subtle flavored, with minimal or no spices, easy to make and tasty too!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Akbaree pasand

Recently, I have been having a long distance reunion over email with a few old pals. We have been busy getting an update on our lives. I happened to mention I had a food blog. To which, my old pal S now living in Australia, had his own recipe to share. But be warned. This is for the really adventurous!

1. Drive to supermarket , pick up a kg of lamb/beef and Shan ' s kashmiri mutton masala
2. Put on a kadai, throw in the mutton with the masala and cook for 10-15 minutes while you down 3 scotch on the rocks.
3. Garnish as per suggestion on the box . And there was a time when I couldn't fry an egg ... brings tears to my eyes when I see what I have accomplished.

For those not into dare devilry, here is another recipe from R: Akbaree Pasand. She got it from somewhere. The USP of this recipe is that it works for both mutton and chicken! And it makes a change from usual mutton or chicken curry! She swears its easy. It reads easy. (Apparently it's an Aghan recipe).

You will need:

Mutton or chicken 1 kilo
Onions: 4 medium or 3 large ones
Shahjeera: 1& 1/2 tsp
Shahmarich: 1& 1/2 tsp
Jaiphal (nutmeg): 1& 1/2 tsp
Oil for cooking

For the marinade
Fresh curd 350 -400 gm
Red chilli powder 2 tsp
Salt 2tsp or to taste
Garlic paste 3heaped tbsp

Marinade according to the meat: Mutton should be marinated for 3 hours and chciken for 40 minutes or so.

How to

  1. Heat about a cup of white oil in a wok / kadai.
  2. Add 4 medium chopped onions or 3 very large ones as you see fit. Fry for a few minutes.
  3. Now add the marinated meat and fry till the oil separates (12-15 minutes for chicken and about half an hour for mutton).
  4. Then add shaajeraa powder, shaamarich powder and jaipahal powder and toss and turn,(they should be 1 1/2 tsp to 2 but nutmeg 1 1/2 will do).
  5. Lower flame and cover and cook till done.
  6. When serving sprinkle fresh coriander leaves, onion rings or fried onions (beresta ) and whole green chillies.

Note: The dish is cooked without water. If the dish is made using chicken, the bones can be used but for mutton, minimal bones are preferred.