Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Murg Mughlai


Murg Mughlai, popularly known as Chicken Korma, is very much an Indian curry; though quite surprisingly, it stands out from the other blazing, fiery curries from India. Its roots can be traced back to the cooking techniques from Persia which became an integral part of Indian cuisine during the reign of the Mughal Empire. The meat is first braised (seared using high heat) and then slow cooked for long hours in a gravy to create an exotic curry.

As the name sounds, this dish befits to be served on a King's plate. It is royal with its rich, creamy, nutty flavours yet subtly spicy which is certainly deceived by its pale looks.

Personally, this dish is reminds me of my best friend Sanee. During our early days of cooking experiments before marriage, we learned to cook this, with help from her Mom over the telephone, who herself was an excellent cook. Though we have to admit that our first trial was an utter failure, we learned from our mistakes and have been improving on the dish ever since.



Ingredients

To marinate and braise
  • 1/2 kg boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 tsp ginger paste
  • 3 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter
For the Sauce/Gravy:
  • 2 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter 
  • 3 cups brown onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 3/4 tbsp garlic paste
  • 8 green chilly, whole
  • 1 aniseed
  • 8-10 small green cardamom pods
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • a generous pinch of saffron
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup - 1 cup of hot water
  • sliced almonds to garnish
  • salt to taste
Extra
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp raisins 
  • Slivered almond, to garnish
  • Coriander leaves, to garnish


Method

Extra
1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add a pinch of sugar and add the sliced onions. Fry the onions till they brown and caramelize. Remove onions and set aside.
2. Fry raisins in the same oil and set aside.

Marinate
1. Sprinkle salt on the chicken pieces and rub in along with lemon juice. Combine the rest of the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the chicken and leave in refrigerator overnight or for at least 2 hours.
2. Grill chicken pieces on high for a few minutes until chicken is just done and brown on all sides. Baste chicken with ghee in between grilling and turn over the chicken pieces. Use 3 tbsp ghee for this.  

The Gravy
1. Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan, add aniseed, cinnamon, cloves, green cardamoms and bay leaves and sauté. Add onions, green chili pepper and salt and sauté at medium heat till the onions starts to get light brown.
2. Add ginger paste, garlic paste  and sauté the onions at low to medium heat till oil separates. Add ½ cup of hot water and salt and bring it to a boil. Cook/simmer till the paste thickens a bit and there is no extra water floating on the top.
3. Add grilled chicken to the gravy and toss well to combine. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Lower the heat and let the temperature of the pan come down a bit. Whisk the yogurt together with sugar and almond powder till smooth and creamy. Add this mixture to the gravy and let it simmer at low heat for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and simmer it down to your desired consistency of the sauce, if required.
5. Add half of the caramelized onions (set aside some for garnish), heavy cream, saffron, white pepper powder and garam masala. Stir everything in, partially cover it and allow it to gently simmer at low – medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until you see a thin film of ghee appear as the top most layer above the sauce.

Garnish with slivered almonds, caramelized onions, raisins and coriander leaves. Serve hot with pulao or roti. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fish Curry with Canned Sardines

I am sure that you all would agree to life being a race now. We are all, either running after something or running for something. Even when cooking is your passion there are times when you look around for some easy to prepare meals that leave you satisfied at the dining table.


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Chicken, Bean and Vegetable Soup in Pressure Cooker

Soup is synonymous with cold to me. Soup is quick. Soup is easy. Soup is nutritious. Soup is comforting. So is warmth. Soup is whole. Soup is hearty. Soup is complete. Soup is contentment.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Orange and Almond Cake

You look high and low for recipes when you fall in love with a food. And sometimes it is hard to satisfy your palate with what you make because your hand creations cannot match the great taste that you enjoyed for that food the first time. The Orange and Almond Cake is one such recipe for me. It was a sweet yet refreshing and light dessert. I've been working to perfect this recipe for a long time and I stroke it rich when I landed on the Food Safari show in SBS one day where they presented this exhilarating dessert as a classic Passover confection from the Mediterranean, Morocco and the Middle East.


Friday, 20 September 2013

Heuvos Rancheros Con Frijoles Al Horno

This Mexican-style Baked Beans and Eggs makes a scrumptious and flavourful breakfast for those who love to break into their day like a king. Yet, the benefits are more than sees the eye. It is low-GI, which means you have sustained energy for a longer time during the day. It is packed with proteins which helps in muscle development. The tomatoes have lycopene which is a powerful anti-oxidant.
 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Vada Kootu Curry

Busy cooking. But yet couldn't let this day pass without the Trivandrum-style Vada Kootu Curry...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Goan-Style Prawn Curry

It is a cool Sunday morning. There is nothing better on a day like this than to wake up early, when the rest of the house is still in deep slumber from which, it seems, they may not wake up. This is the time I enjoy the most because I can be for myself without any "Where?"s, "Whats?" and "Hows?".

The day looks perfect for a bake. But I am lazy. Should I cook? May be not. Sundays are meant to be lazy, right?

The sun's rays stream through the windows right into my eyes and though I cannot see the ocean, it reminds of home. It is a perfect day to take a stroll down the beach, watching the ladies waiting for their men to return from the sea. Hoots and hows from the fishermen from their boats in the sea fill the air. I think they have a great catch today. They are passing signals to the men on shore to be ready for them. There are children playing in the waves oblivious to what is going around them.

And then I suddenly remember that my home is still miles away from me. Can I catch a glimpse of "my ocean" in all its glory ever? I hope the innocence of those people still lingers in their hearts.

Back to where I am now - I have a recipe that is not from home but from a place that is very similar to home: Goa - the land of beaches. It is a Goan-style Prawn Curry (credits to Sonia D'souza from Goa for her recipe) which stands out from the Kerala-style inspite of the similar spices used.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: around 20 minutes
(The recipe follows rough estimations. Please make changes to suit your taste)

Ingredients
  • 500g prawn meat
  • 3/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 3 green chilly
  • 1 tsp garam masala, adjust to taste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1" ginger, crushed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 - 2 tsp kashmiri chilly powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 - 2 tsp white vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
To temper
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 - 4 dry red chilly
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
Method
1. Place a pan over medium heat and add oil. Stir in onion, ginger, garlic and salt and continue to cook until onion becomes light brown in colour. Add ground cumin, fenugreek, pepper, turmeric and kashmiri chilly powders and mix well. Remove from flame and let it cool. Grind this very little water to make a thick and creamy paste.
2. Dry roast dessicated coconut until it starts to change colour to a light brown. Set it aside to cool. Then add green chilly, garam masala and just enough water to make a thick creamy paste.
3. Add prawns in a deep pan over medium heat with salt and no water. Cook until half done. At this stage the prawns will shrink in size and there will be liquid in the pan. Mix ground onion paste and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Then add ground coconut paste and continue to cook until done. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Pour in vinegar just as you remove the dish from heat and mix well.

Set aside for at least 8 hours.

4. Heat remaining oil to temper in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chilly. Pour it onto reheated prawn curry and serve hot with rice.