Saturday, 5 October 2013

Something simple for a change.. Potato Cutlets

.. aka alu ke kababs :) 

I had made a polau.. of the left-over shorba of my chicken salan  and so I thought to add to its goodness with these kababs..

Nothing special - 

7 medium alus, boiled
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 green chilies, chopped fine
1 bunch of fresh mint, chopped fine
1 tsp of salt, or to taste
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1 heaped tsp pomegranate powder
1/2 tsp dhania powder
1 heaped tsp curry powder

Mix all well... coat in egg and shallow fry. Thats it

Jelly and Jalapenos

Ok so this is Peach Jelly and Jam and Jalapenos....I followed the following link for help with the Jelly ..(thank you, Sehrish!) and will note down what I actually did.

I washed and cut 8 apricots with skin and covered them with water.. and set to boil. Cooked for about half an hour.. . Then I dumped them in a sieve and let the juice drain. Pressed a bit with a flat spoon but not too much.

The remaining peach puree is what made the peach jam. That was about 3 mugs. I put it in a pot and added 1 mug homemade imli ki chutney and 2 cups sugar. Cooked for 10 minutes until it passed the test* and filled my previously boiled and dried bottles. Twist on the cap and turn the bottle upside down for 15 mins. The heat will make a vacuum and seal your jam. Store in fridge once cooled.

The Jelly
So measure out the juice. Add one cup of sugar for each cup of juice, plus one. So if you have 4 cups of juice, add 5 cups of sugar.

In 1/2 cup of freshly pressed lemon juice, add 1 tsp black pepper very finely ground. This is entirely optional - I feel the black pepper adds a touch of spice to the very sweet jelly..

So set it to boil.. Let it boil up once, then remove it from heat. Set it on the slab and give it a few minutes. THEN add the lemon juice.. stir and mix in and then put it back on the stove.

This is because I made the mistake of adding it while it was cooking and it boiled up and went all over the place  So after the marathon of cleaning sticky sweet jelly from a burning hot stove .. I have understood that it must not be done like this  So be careful not to... unless you like cleaning hot and dirty stove-tops. In that case, carry on 

So then lower heat a bit and let it keep bubbling for 20 minutes. Do the test* and proceed to store like you did with the jam.. Bas 

They taste really really good - both things. If you like the combination of sweet and sour..

*The test is an easy one: Place a plate in the freezer while your jam/jelly are boiling. When they look done, remove plate and place a small tsp of jam on it and put it back in the fridge for a few seconds.. Remove and run your finger through it. If it leaves a trail - matlab a line inbetween that doesnt join up, then its done 

The Jalapenos
Wash and slice 1 kilo thick green chilies
Mix together 1 and half cup of water and 1/2 cup good quality vinegar.
Add 1/4 salt and 1/4 cup dark soya sauce
Set to boil
Once on boiling point, add the sliced green chilies and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let it cool slightly before filling in a jar. Store in the fridge.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Black-Eyed Beans and Bhaturas

Join us for a lunch of Black Eyed Beans nd Bhaturas :)

Its an easy recipe and one that is very filling ..  not lavish in the traditional sense yet good enough for any dinner table.. 

The bhaturas this time are a bit different than my usual ones... 

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp or to taste salt
2 cups - approx, buttermilk
(make your own: 1 cup full fat thick milk plus 1 tblsp lemon juice. Stand for 10 mins at room temp. Mix and use)
1 tblsp oil

Knead a soft non-sticky dough with the buttermilk. Use oil to make a smooth dough. Cover and let it rest for an hour.. 

Roll out medium sized discs, not too thick nor too thin. Make sure the oil is really hot.. As soon as you put the disc in, press down lightly with a spoon and hold it down very lightly in the oil for a few seconds. It will puff up .. let it get some colour and then turn it carefully. When done, lift up and keep covered .. 

The Beans
Soak 2 cups of the beans in warm water for 2 hours. Boil them till soft, drain and set aside. Save some of the boiling water. 

Dry roast and grind together the following:
1 tbsp cumin seeds - safaid zeera
1 tbsp coriander seeds - dhania
1 tsp fennel seeds - saunf
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds - methi
1cm/½in stick cinnamon - darcheeni

Grind and rest aside.

Heat some oil or butter in a pan. 
Add to it
10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp kalongi
1/2 tsp black zeera

Saute it

Add one large chopped onion

Saute to golden 
Add 1 tsp each fresh chopped ginger and garlic
Add the spice mix plus
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp or to taste crushed red chilies

Saute and add the boiled beans to it. Mix and toss and then add around 2 cups of water - use the boiling water.. but normal will do. 

Mix and cover and let it simmer on low heat. You want the water to evaporate and the curry to be a tad dry. Sprinkle with fresh chopped dhania and a tblsp of butter.

Serve with plain yoghurt and the bhaturas. 

You must try it once.. its really a very different taste..

Pista Khoya Burfi

I had that pista bag na.. almost 300 grms.. So I made this burfi..

Here's how:

300 grms pistas, coarsely ground
khoya from 1 litre milk
10 tblsp dry milk powder
Sheera made from 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water
4 to 5 green elaichies
1 and half cup ghee
3 to 4 tblsp almond paste (the one I made for my almond sherbat. Optional but very tasty )

Heat the ghee in a pot and add the elaichies - let them splutter
Add the khoya on medium low heat and bhunofy
You want the remaining water to evaporate and the khoya to look a bit bhuned
Add the pistas and keep some aside for deco
Bhunofy more keeping a low heat
Add the milk powder and continue..
Once the lot is fragrant remove from heat and slowly carefully add sheera. Around 2 cups should be enough but I just went as with how it looked..
Once the while khoya/powder are well mixed return to heat and continue bhooning it
Now would be the time to add the almond if using
You must bhun it until the whole lot comes together in a ball and leaves the base and sides of the pot clean
Spread out in a greased tray, decorate with pistas and let it cool. Keep refrigerated if the weather is hot.
Cut in squares once cooled enough..

Better than *** Chicken Shamis :D

Usually we dont like buying ready-made stuff - especially things like kababs and such.. because I can never trust whats in it.. so I prefer to make everything myself.

However, after having Maryam, I wasn't much in form for a while and to deal with unannounced guests, HD bought Chicken Shamis, of KNN..

I must honestly say, without wanting to create an ad :) - that they are very yumm.. at least as per my and my family's taste buds..  Though I didnt get round to taking a better pic, unfortunately..

Now that I'm back on my feet, I thought I'd try and recreate the taste..

So this is my attempt. There is a difference, of course.. but they are very very close to the store-bought thing. I will do some adjustments to the remaining mix - primarily just to satisfy myself :) But even without them, these shamis are really good..

Here's how:

1 kilo boneless chicken
2 boiled medium sized potatoes
1 mug - around 250 grms Daal Channa
2 slices of white bread
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup milk

Whole spices:
2 inch piece whole cinnamon
1 tsp white zeera
1 tsp black pepper corns
1 tblsp whole dhania

2 tsp salt, divided
2 tsp red chili powder
3 green chilies - less or more as per your taste
1 level tsp haldi
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground zeera
1 heaped tsp dhania powder

Marinate the chicken with the milk and 2 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 tsp of salt. Leave it overnight.

Next day, boil the daal channa with the onion, rest 2 cloves and all the whole spices

Once the daal is soft, add the chicken, without its marination liquid

Let it all cook.. until its soft enough to be mashed with just a spoon. While drying, add all the rest spices and the potato

Process the bread slices to powder in the machine and add the chicken mix bit by bit to process it

Once its all a nice smooth paste, taste for spices and if you must adjust and add, use a little oil. Mix the spices to be added in the oil and then pour that over the mix and then knead well.

Form kababs and fry in very less oil..

They're great cold or in sandwiches too... a good thing to make for the children and their lunch boxes. If making for children, do adjust the spices..

Masaledar Chicken Kaleji

Actually, Im not such a fan of meat.. and then too 'extra' meats :) But HD likes it.. and so I buck up courage and make things that I dont eat but can still Alhamdolillah make :) This is one of them..

When the chicken is washed, I store the livers in a separate bag and freeze it. And once I have 2 or 3, I make a salan out of it... This is how:

Wash and drain the kaleji and cut in chunks. Not too small otherwise it will be lost in the cooking process.

In a bowl, around 200 grms, of yoghurt, mix the following:
1 level tsp salt, or to taste
1 heaped tsp red chili FLAKES
1/2 tsp haldi
1 heaped tsp dhania powder
1 level tsp garam masala
1 tsp zeera powder
1/2 tsp khatai powder or aamchoor
1/2 tsp papaya powder

Grate 2 cloves of garlic very fine
Chop 1 medium onion
Ginger julienne and green chilies chopped

In a pan, heat some ghee and add the kaleji
Add the chopped garlic and saute
The smell will go once its been bhooned well enough in the ghee and garlic, eitherway chicken liver doesnt have such a strong smell..
If you still feel uneasy, add a 1/4 tsp haldi to it. That should work inshaAllah.

So, once u've stirred and sauteed for 5 to 7 minutes, keeping flame on the higher side, add the yoghurt mix and bhoonofy. After 5 to 7 minutes, lower heat and cover. Cook covered for 10 mins. Add a little water if you want a little gravy and let it cook up twice. The ghee should separate.. once it does, its ready..

Check how done it is... It should be soft and breakable at the touch. Garnish with ginger julienne and green chilies.. Serve hot with pooris, parathas... or even plain roti...

Banana Apple Delight

Base of sweet biscuits.. covered with bananas n apple.. covered in chocolate sauce n cream.. the best part? No added sugar :)

Had a couple of bananas.. quite ripe and in danger :) But didnt want to make something heavy like Banoffee.. So did this:

Crushed plain biscuits (I used Tiger Max, you can use any you like..) and made a dough out of it to cover the base by adding 1 tblsp olive oil and milk as needed until the dough was nice and spreadable.. not too wet and not crumbly.

Spread that in the base of the pan. Sprinkle over it chopped apples and sliced bananas. . as much as you want..

Cover that with plain, sugar-less cream. Drizzled with chocolate sauce and spread all over.. so that the cream gets sweetened and also gets some colour. But be careful not to go deep.. mix only the surface so that when u eat, u can see a layer of white cream beneath the choclaty..

Then refrigerate.. and before serving just drizzle with chocolate sauce before serving.

Its really very tasty and unbelievable though it sounds, its also very light. There is no butter and no sugar.. extra added I mean.. of course, there is the fat content of the cream and the biscuits itself.. but thats it...