Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chicken Karahi

This is one famous chicken preparation in most of the Indian and Pakistani restaurants and take-outs here in Toronto. Never got a chance to taste it in India though. With its exotic fragrance of fresh ginger,whole black pepper and bountiful of tomatoes this is one dish all curry lovers must taste.

"Karahi" is a gravy with the main base as tomatoes mixed with onions to which either chicken or mutton/lamb/veal can be added. Vegies can try this panneer(cottage cheese)/tofu/gobi(cauliflower).

Unlike adding the raw tomatoes to the cooking meat/poultry, in "Karahi" , we cook the onions and tomatoes seperately into gravy and then add to almost cooked chicken. Again the julienned ginger and the fresh whole black pepper give it a distinct flavour that you can't resist but try with freshly baked tandoori naan - a perfect combo for this.

The love for the taste of karahi preparation made me to adventure to try it at home..cause many of the restraurant versions are too oily.

I'm sending this as one of my entries for the event
Potluck - "Chicken" created and hosted by Vikki's Kitchen

DSC03953 Ingredients :
2 lb Chicken (skinless, bone in, trimmed of all fat)
2 lb Whole Tomatoes chopped
2 large Onions chopped
2 tsp whole black pepper balls
2 tsp whole Spices (fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom) - optional
2 x 2 Tbsp Olive/Canola Oil
2 Tbsp Ginger garlic paste
2 tsp Vinegar - optional

Spice powders:
1 Tbsp red chilly powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp karahi masala (if available)

Salt to taste

2 Tbsp Ginger julienne
Coriander leaves finely chopped

Marinate the chicken with a little each of ginger garlic paste, chilly powder, garam masala, turmeric & vinegar for 2-3 hours or overnight.
In a hot pot add 2 tbsp of oil, then add chopped onions and fry them till onions are translucent.
Add cut tomatoes to this and cook till the tomatoes are cooked thoroughly into a smooth paste.
To this again add little each of chilly powder, garam masala, cumin power and coriander powder.
Mean while on the other burner heat up a wok or wide kadai and add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil.
After the oil is hot, add the whole spices except black pepper and saute' till color changes.
Add the remaining ginger-garlic paste saute'
Now add the marinated chicken and saute', add a few black pepper balls and cook till the chicken is 3/4th cooked.
On the other side check if the tomatoes are done ...if the oil starts to leave the surface of the pot then the tomato onion masala gravy is ready.
Now pour this gravy onto the cooking chicken.
Add the karahi masala if desired and more of other spice powders if you want a spicy version.
Add the remaining whole black pepper balls and cook till the pepper leaves the aroma.
Add some julienned ginger and chopped coriander leaves and cook for a minute and remove from heat.
Serve and garnish with more julienned ginger and chopped coriander leaves.
Goes well with Tandoori naan or Lamb/Veal Biriyani.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baked Cubed potatoes packets

DSC03098 I've adapted this recipe from one of my canadian friend and Indianized it...You guessed it right...I've added the chilly spice for which India is famous for to this western style baked cubed potato.

Recipe is quiet simple. Preparation is only to peel and cut potatoes and onions.

Gather all the other ingredients and mix everything in a bowl and pack them in foil and bake for 25 mins.

These can be accompanied with tandoori/barbarque chicken, any dry chicken curry, a steak or lamb or pork chops.

For my vegie friend's try it with spicy chick peas stir fry or Sundal as it is called in tamil.

Ingredients :
1 lb - Potatoes ( Any kind) - peeled and cubed (In western style they are skin on)
1 Carrot (optional) - cut into thick small strips (I didn't use)
1 medium onion cut length and breath wise
4 long Green Chillies - slit into half and then cut again in half
1 tbsp - Olive oil

Finely chopped :
Curry leaves
Coriander/Cilantro leaves
Optional: If you don't mind the flavour
Pudina/Mint leaves
Basil (I didn't use)


Black pepper powder
a pinch of Amchur(dry mango powder) -if desired

Sheets of aluminium foil depending upon how many packets you want to make.

Procedure :

Preheat the oven to 350c.
1. In a mixing bowl, add peeled cubed potatoes, cut onions, green chillies, oil, herbs, and seasonings.
2. Mix thoroughly to coat the potatoes with the oil, herbs and seasoning.
DSC03076 3. Place two laddleful of this potatoe mixture on the pre cut aluminium foil sheets and wrap them into packets like this.
DSC03079 4. Place the prepared foil packet inside the oven on the heated racs and bake for 20- 25 mins at 350c.
5. After the set time take one packet out of the oven and unwrap gently, taking care that the hot steam doesn't hurt your fingers.
6. Poke a knife or fork thru the potato cubes to see if they are done.
7. If the fork doesn't pass thru smoothly then bake for some more time till done.
8. Once done remove from the oven and open the wraps to void further cooking if the potatoes are already well done.

These wraps are quiet good for barbaque pinics, as they can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge.

The juices from the potatoes and onions keep them moist to enjoy with any dry dish.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Qiuck Chicken Roast

DSC03096 My husband is the one who created this simple yet adorably tasty chicken roast. Perfect for those weekday dinners when you can't spend much time in the kitchen. The ingredients that go into it are pretty much the same as the regular chicken curry. Only the style(method 2) in which it is cooked is rather too simple to be delicious.

Its a kind of one step chicken roast(method 2).
DSC03087 Ingredients:
Chicken - 2 lb (skinless, bone in and trimmed of all fat, cut into medium size pieces)
Onions - 1 Medium
Green chillies - 4 slit length wise
Ginger garlic paste( or Chopped finely) - 2 tbsp
Canola or Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Spice powders:
Home made Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Tumeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a handful
Coriander leaves - a few finely chopped
Salt -to taste
DSC03090Method 1:
Heat oil in a pot or a wide saucepan, add green chillies curry leaves.
After the splutter sounds stops add onions and fry a little .
Add the ginger garlic crushed or paste and saute for a minute
Add the turmeric powder and fry for a minute
Add the chicken pieces, chilly powder and salt and mix well to give a nice coat of the masala for each piece.
Do not cover at all.
Keep stirring for 3-5 min, and add the garam masala powder and mix nicely.
Simmer till the the chicken is fully cooked( say 15- 20min), mixing regularly so that the curry doesn't stick the edges of the pot.
When almost cooked add the coriander leaves.
After a minute, remove from heat.
DSC03093 Method 2:
Alternatively to make this preparation dame easy and simple just put all the ingredients along with the chicken in a pot and cook stirring frequently till the curry is done.

Though this chicken curry looks so simple to make, it is absolutely tasty. In fact since we didn't fry the ingredients separately like the traditional preparation, it gives a distinct unique flavour to the dish. The turmeric, onions and curry leaves contribute to the taste and flavour here.

I recommend consuming this chicken preparation the same day..Left over curry does not taste the same.

This can be served with hot Rice with sambar or for western style I found it goes extremely well with baked cubed potatoes.

DSC03101 I will publish the baked cubed potatoes soon.

I'm sending this chicken dish to the event Potluck - "Chicken" created and hosted by Vikki's Kitchen

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gulab Jamun

GJ3 As yet another Mother's day is just here...I thank the Lord for giving me mothers in my mom & grandmothers and blessing me to be wholesome women by making me mother to two sweet little sons. Incidently mother's day is more special in our family as my fisrt son Josh's b'day also falls during this time.

Nothing like celebrating this time with some traditional Indian sweets and savouries.
Think about Indian snacks and desserts ...who won't long for those chatpat Pakoras(Hindi), Pakodi(Telugu), Pakoda(Tamil) and those mouth watering Gulab Jamuns.

These two have been my favourite savoury and sweet from childhood. To light up your evening there is this Pakora with the desi chai, and to round up a meal there is this Jamun
One is a Starter and the other a Dessert.

So wishing all the mothers a happy motherhood, here is a the most famous Indian sweet - Gulab Jamun.

You can check out my recipe for pakoras here

Recipe for Gulab Jamun:
Ingredients :
1 cup Whole Milk Powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
(Alternately you can use 2 packets of store bought ready made gulab jamun mix)
1/2 tsp baking soda
75 gms thickened cream
2 Tbsp Ghee
approx 1/3 Cup Whole warm milk to make the dough
Oil for deep frying
A pinch of salt

For the Sugar Syrup
2 cups Sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp Rose essence/extract
1 tsp cardamom powder
A few Saffron strands(Kesar) - optional

First prepare the sugar syrup :
Dissolve 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water and bring to boil on meduim heat.
Add the rose essence, cardamom powder and saffron strands to the syrup.
Keep warm on stove to add the fried gulab jamun.

Making Jamuns:

Combine the milk powder, flour, baking powder, ghee and a pinch of salt
Add thickened cream to this.
Add enough milk to make a medium-hard dough.
Grease to your hands and make even size balls and place them on separate plate, taking care that the balls have smooth finish.
If the balls appear to be dry and crackled, see that your hands are greasy enough and add a bit more milk to the dough to moist and smooth.
Heat the oil on high and then lower the heat to medium.
Now slip one ball into the hot oil, it should rise to the surface slowly and not at once.
If the ball rises at once that means the temperature of the oil is too high which will burnthe balls and not cook them from inside.
If the first ball rises slowly, then add the remaining balls and fry till they turn brown.
The balls must be fried very slowly under medium temperature to ensure completely cooked inside and even browning outside.
The balls swell and become bigger in size and surface up as they fry and cook.
Once the jamuns are cooked drop them in the prepared warm sugar syrup.
Soak the gulab jamun in the sugar syrup for atleast 2 to 3 hours. You can soak overnight too for best results.
Serve them warm or at room temperature.

This is one sweet I use to make a number of times from my teenage.

My two little brats and hubby always enjoy the gulab jamuns.

A good combo with gulab jamun is ice cream, topped with dried crated pistachio or almonds. In Indian buffet restaurants this is a staple both here and back home.