Thursday, March 6, 2014

Omlette Curry

My family loves eggs. Each morning the 3 year old son eats two eggs, the father eats two eggs and even my father eats two eggs. Once in a blue moon when I have verified that nobody's had any eggs in the morning, I don't spare them. My motherly instinct wants to feed them eggs and I end up making my delicious Omelette curry.
When I was younger, I always thought that my mom introduced this recipe, who eats Omelette's in curry?! Over time I realized that it is pretty much a common recipe. You may not get it in restaurants but figures in quite a few cuisines. It is cooked in bengali houselholds (Omeletter jhol) and even keralites cook it. Well, I know the bengali way and that's what I am going to share with you.

For an Omlette curry, you need:-

OMLETTES!! Yes - main ingredient!
Make omlettes with 3-4 eggs, cut the omlettes into halves and keep them aside

Onion paste using 1 onion
Ginger and garlic paste - 1 tsp
Sliced Onion - 1 small
Large Potato - 1, cut into small chunks
Tomato - 1, cut into small pieces
Vegetable Oil - 2 tsps
Green chillies - 1 or 2
Coriander - chopped for garnishing

Coriander powder - 1tbsp
cumin powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Red chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Whole garam masala - Cinnamon, cardamom and cloves - 2 pieces each
Bay Leaf - 1

Here is how you cook:-

  • In a kadhai, heat the oil and the add the whole garam masala, bay leaf and let the spices crackle
  • Add the chopped onion and add the potato chunks
  • Saute for 3-5mins
  • Now, add the onion, ginger and garlic paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes
  • Add the masala and tomato and saute for good 5minutes till the masala looks red and the oil starts to separate
  • Now, add 1.5 cups of water and salt
  • Let the curry simmer and the potatoes should get cooked
  • When the gravy starts thickening and the potatoes are soft, add the omlettes and stir the curry well
  • Let them cook in the gravy for 5 mins and switch of the gas
  • Add the coriander for garnishing and cover the curry with the lid for another 5 minutes
  • Serve hot with boiled rice or roti

Sweet and Sour Paneer with Capsicum

After a busy work day, stirring up a sweet and sour Paneer recipe seems ideal. It doesn't require too much cooking, ingredients are easy to get and can be made in a jiffy. Like any recipe, proportions are very important and too many pieces of capsicum can really spoil the taste. So, make sure to balance your ingredients while making this! So, here you go, below are the required ingredients:-

200gms paneer or cottage cheese
1 medium capsicum (cut in small chunks)
1 onion (cut in small chunks, alike the capsicum)
1/2 tsp of grated ginger
2 small tomatoes or 1 big size tomato (cut finely)
Masala includes: Salt, sugar(1tsp)

I like to fry my paneer (hate the raw taste of paneer!). Toss the paneer lightly in oil and put them aside. In the wok, add some oil and toss the onion, capsicum and stir fry for about 3-4mins. Add the tomatoes and ginger. Let the tomato melt. Add the sugar and salt.
If you wish, you can also add some red chilly powder.
Let the mixture simmer a bit. When the oil starts to separate, add 1/2 a cup of water and let the gravy simmer. Once the gravy starts boiling, add the paneer chunks and let it simmer for some more time. If you wish to thicken the gravy, you can add a tsp of cornflour mixture (cornflour with 2-3 tsp of water).

The sweet and sour paneer curry is ready! Serve it wish pulao or nice hot rotis!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Simple Chicken Curry

Cooking involves a lot of mathematics. Add a spice, subtract another, the equation completely changes. So, does the recipe and the taste. That's exacrly what I do, everytime I cook a Chicken Curry. I don't think my Chicken curry has ever been the same each time I have cooked one. May sound a bit scary but then, as my blog title says - I experiment with food! So, here is one simple Chicken Curry which can be cooked in no time. I will shortly share some more variations - including one without Oil! Here is what you need:

1 chicken - cut into medium sized pieces
1 Onion (sliced  - whichever way you like)
1 tbsp crushed Garlic
1 Tbsp crushed Ginger
1 cup Yogurt

1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
Salt as per taste
2 Tbsp Oil
2 cloves, 1 cinnamon, 2 cardamom
1 Bay Leaf (optional)

Chicken needs marination. But, if you don't have time, then here is what you should do. Take the chicken a bowl and add the ginger, garlic, yogurt, all the 4 masalas (turmeric, Chilli, Coriander, Cumin) and Sugar. Add I tbsp of Oil and mix well. Keep the bowl in the fridge for 15-20mins. You can also put it in the freezer for 7-10mins. This makes the marinade stick to the chicken nicely.

Now in a Karahi or a pressure cooker ( I prefer pressure cooker for saving gas and quick cooking!), add 1 Tbsp of Oil. When the Oil is hot, add the Bay leaf and the whole spices. Now, add the sliced Onion and fry till the Onion turns a bit brown. Now add the chicken and stir well. Let the chicken cook for the next 5-7mins in its own water. Once the masala tends to dry up a bit or the oil segregates, Put 2-3 cups of water and cover the pressure cooker. If you are cooking in a Karahi, make sure the masala doesn't stick and add water as necessary and let it cook for atleast 30-40mins. If cooked in a Pressure cooker, about 15-18 whistles should be enough.

Once you put of the gas, let the cooker cool down and then serve with some coriander on the top and rotis/rice.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Paneer Kofta Curry

I have this strange theory that all Koftas are made of left over food. Left over food with mashed potatoes, made into round round balls, that's the Indian Kofta for you:) Well, contradicting my theory, I have my special paneer kofta curry recipe to share and yes! - It is without any potatoes. Paneer has a natural binding element to it and requires no additions like bread or potatoes to hold it. Here is Paneer Kofta Curry the way I make it :) -

250gms Paneer
1/2 tsp of Red Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp of Jeera Powder
1/2 tsp of Coriander Powder
1 tsp of Sugar
1 tsp of Salt
10 pieces of Cashewnuts and Raisins

For curry:
1 Onion - sliced thin
1 tsp Shahi Jeera
1/2 tsp of Turmeric or Haldi
1 tomato - finely chopped
1/2 cup green peas
1 tsp of Salt
1/2 tsp of Chilli Powder
1 tsp of Sugar
2 cups of Water

Mash the Paneer (Cottage Cheese) and add listed ingredients. Hand mashing is important as it helps in retaining the water content unlike when you crush the Paneer in a  Grinder/Mixer. Create flat balls of it with a 1 inch diameter. Now, heat oil in a non-stick frying pan and shallow fry the paneer balls ensuring them do not break. Keep the fried balls aside.

Now take another pan and heat Oil. Add the Jeera, Onion and fry for 3-5mins till the Onion changes to brown. Add Salt, Sugar, Chilli Powder and Turmeric . Add the tomatoes and stir fry the masala. Add the green peas. Stir for another 2-3mins. Add water and bring the curry to a boil. Add the paneer balls and let it simmer for another 4-5mins. Take it off the heat and serve with Roti or Rice.

Pumpkin and Potato Stirfry

Pumpkin isn't a favorite with several. But, it is a vegetable that is relished in several states like U.P., Bihar and West Bengal. The sweetness in Pumpkin tends to go very well with the subtle taste of Potatoes and that's why Pumpkin is widely made with Potatoes. In Bengal, a dish called 'Kumro Chenchki' is very popular and is basically a Stir fry with Red Chillies and Potatoes. Here is what you need to make this simple dish:

About 3 cups pumpkin ( cleaned of seeds and fibers, skin on, cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
2-3 pieces of Dry red chillies
About 2 cups Potatoes (Skin removed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
1/2 tsp Panch phoron (5 Spices)
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder and Turmeric
1 cup of water
1 Tbsp Mustard / Vegetable Oil - It tastes better with Mustard Oil
1 pinch of Asfoetida (hing) - Optional

Heat the Mustard oil in a frying pan until smoking. Now add the Panch Phoron, Asfoetida and Red Chillies (broken into small pieces) into the oil and let them crackle. Add the pumpkin, potatoes, salt, sugar, red chilli powder adn the Turmeric. Stir Fry for 4-5 mins. Add the salt and pour the water. Cook for another 5-6mins or till the vegetables get a bit soft. Serve hot with Luchis or Rice.

My mom used to add Black peas or Black Chana in the mustard oil. That also tastes really nice! You can try that too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chicken Sandwich

Home-made chicken sanwiches are my favorite. Easy to make and a good Lunch option for all School-going kids. Some like it in a bun with Grilled chicken patty or with Chicken ham but what I like is a traditional Chicken Sandwich - shredded chicken in buttered, soft, white/brown bread. On a winter night, this tastes wonderful with a hot bowl of Chicken soup. A must try for all chicken sandwich lovers!
Here is what you need:
Slices of Bread  - if you don't like the sides, cut them
Pre-boiled shredded chicken
Cut the pieces of bread diagonally to get triangles. Now take a triangle and spread butter. Take a bowl and add the shredded chicken, add salt and pepper and toss the shredded chicken. Alternatively, you don't need to spread butter on the slices, but add butter in the shredded chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the slice and cover it with the other triangle to complete the sandwich. Now, munch away to happiness. Simple no? You can also add shredded lettuce to the chicken to make it crunchier!

Bread Crumbs Fried Fish

This one's definitely a party stealer. Bread Crumbs are supposedly an easy-to-get ingredient, though I am yet to get a taste of good luck in that department. I have substitutes for Bread Crumbs that work equally well, if not better. So, without prolonging any further, here is what you need to make this delicious, crispy, all-time-favorite Fried Fish!

10-15 pieces of Fish Fillet (One without bones!!), thin slices please!

For the marinade:
2 Tbsp of Ginger and Garlic Paste
1 Tsp of Lemon Juice
1 tsp of Turmeric, Red Chilli Powder,
Salt to taste

Other Ingredients:
Bread Crumbs (Ofcourse!!)
2 eggs beaten in a bowl

If you can't find Bread Crumbs, try Milk/Suji Rusk, grind them in a mixer till they look like Bread Crumbs! It works perfectly well and has a sweet flavor - so even better!

Here we begin:

Add all the marinade items together in a bowl. Add the fish and nicely wrap all the fish fillets with the marinade in the bowl. Refrigerate the bowl with the fish fillets for 2hrs. Add salt to the beaten egg and bread crumbs. Keep in separate bowls respectively.

Now take out the fish from the refrigerator and dip each fillet one at a time in the egg mix and them wrap it in bread crumbs. Set each fillet aside on a plate. Refrigerate for another 15-25mins.

Heat Oil in a deep frying pan and add the fish fillets one at a time. Fry till golden brown. Serve hot with Mustard Sauce or Mayonnaise.