Mattar Paneer

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients (serves 5)

  • 750gms mattar (green peas)
  • 250gms paneer cubed, shallow fry in 1tspn little butter)
  • 4tspn butter
  • 1.5inch ginger, grated
  • 2tspn fresh ginger garlic paste (1:4 ginger to garlic)
  • 1/2tspn cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tspn red chilli power
  • 1.5 tspn coriander powder
  • .5tspn cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup pre-fried onions, blended
  • 2 medium tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3tspn Kitchen King masala
  • 4tbpsn sunflower oil
  • 1tspn kasuri methi (or dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 small piece coal, 1 tspn oil
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves

Method

  1. Heat 1 tspn butter. Shallow fry paneer cubes till they turn golden. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil and remaining butter in a wok. Add cumin seeds.
  3. When seeds start spluttering, add grated ginger and fry for 1 minute.
  4. Add onion and fry till pinkish.
  5. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for further 2mins.
  6. Turn heat to low. Add all dry masalas and cook for 5mins or till raw smell of masala is gone.
  7. Add pre-fried onion paste and fry for 2mins.
  8. Add blended tomatoes and fry for another 2mins
  9. Add peas and cook till almost soft. Now add the paneer. Add hot water if needed to adjust thickness of the sauce.
  10. Below steps are optional but they give this curry a delicious smoked flavor.
    1. Heat coal directly on a flame till it turns red (Do this right at the start as the coal will take a while to heat up)
    2. Place a small bowl in the center of the wok (make sure the sauce doesn’t enter this bowl).
    3. Put the hot coal into this bowl, add 1tspn oil on the coal (it will start smoking). Immediately cover the wok and leave for 3mins.
    4. Uncover the wok, remove the bowl and discard the coal.
  11. Add kasuri methi and stir through.
  12. Adjust salt and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  13. Serve with fresh roti or rice!

Saag Chicken

Delicious chicken cooked in a mild spinach based sauce. I fell in love with this the first time my mom cooked it for me.

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1.25kgs chicken on bone (drumsticks or thighs)
  • 1/2kg spinach, rinsed
  • 125gms coriander
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup pre-fried onions, blended to a paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1/4th star anise
  • 3tspn Kitchen King masala (or any other chicken masala)
  • 4tspn fresh ginger garlic paste (ratio 1:4 ginger to garlic)
  • 1.5tspn coriander powder
  • .5tspn cumin powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 8tbspns sunflower oil

Method

  1. Marinate chicken with 1tspn ginger garlic paste and 1/2tspn salt for 1hr.
  2. Boil chicken on low flame till half cooked, around 30mins.
  3. In another pot, boil spinach. Blend this with fresh coriander and green chillies.
  4. Heat oil in a wok. Add the bay leaf, cardamoms and star anise.
  5. After 30secs, add onion and fry on high heat till it turns pinkish.
  6. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3mins.
  7. Turn heat to low. Add kitchen king masala. Fry for 2mins.
  8. Add tomatoes, coriander powder, cumin powder, pre-friend onion paste. Fry for 5miins or till raw taste of masalas is gone.
  9. Add spinach puree, fry for 5mins.
  10. Add chicken, cover and cook till chicken is cooked through.
  11. Serve with fresh rotis!

Mutton Pulao

One of my all-time-favourite dishes! Basmati rice cooked in a delicate but delicious lamb stock is an absolute treat! Thanks mum for this recipe ūüôā

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

  • 1kg shoulder or neck cut lamb (with bone), cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 500gms basmati rice
  • 250gms yoghurt, whisked
  • 1tbspn red chilli powder
  • 6tbspn fresh ginger garlic paste (1:4 ginger to garlic)
  • 1/2cup pre-fried onions
  • 2tspns Salt
  • 3 medium potatoes, quartered and soaked in salted water for 30mins
  • 12tbspn sunflower oil + extra to fry potatoes

For Tadka

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 black cardamom
  • 10 black peppercorns

Spice bag (secured in muslin cloth)

  • 4 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 5 black cardamom
  • 1tbspn coriander seeds
  • 1tspn cumin seeds
  • 1tspn khus khus (poppy seeds)
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 inch long cinnamon stick
  • 1tbspn fennel seeds

Method

  1. In a pot, boil lamb with 2.5cups water, 1tspn salt, all of ginger garlic paste and spice bag till lamb is cooked, around 1.5 – 2hrs. Retain the water/stock.
  2. In another pot, heat some oil and fry the soaked potatoes till they turn crispy on the outside (the potatoes won’t be cooked through at this stage). Set aside.
  3. When meat is cooked through, heat 12tbspns oil in another pot and add Tadka ingredients. Remove spice bag from the meat and squeeze the juice from the bag in the pot with tadka.
  4. Mix red chilli powder with whisked yoghurt and add to tadka. Cook for 5mins and add cooked lamb to this mix (without water)
  5. Add potatoes and rice to lamb. Cook till you can see oil coming out.
  6. Add remaining salt. Add 4 cups of lamb stock (add additional hot water if needed) and bring to a boil.
  7. Simmer rice for 10-15mins till stock has almost evaporated. Scatter pre-fried onions and mix very gently.
  8. Cover pot with foil and then put the lid on. Cook for another 10-15mins or till the rice is cooked.
  9. Turn off heat, remove foil, keep the pot partly covered with the lid and let stand for 10mins.
  10. Serve with a mixed salad or raita.

Dill and Lentil curry

This is one of my favourite bhajis (greens). Although in most parts of the world, dill is used as a garnish, in India it is prepared as a dry curry. (Any greens prepared as curry is called bhaji). This is my mum’s recipe; It’s very simple and healthy and tastes splendid with sorghum rotis smeared with ghee.

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2kg dill (called shepu in marathi), chopped
  • 1/4cup yellow split moong dal, rinsed and soaked for atleast 30mins
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 big cloves garlic and 3 green chillies, ground to paste
  • 1 onion medium, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3tbspn sunflower oil

Method

  1. Heat oil in a wok, saute garlic till golden.
  2. Add onions and fry till they turn reddish. Add garlic and chilly paste and fry for couple of mins.
  3. Add dal and fry for another 2-3mins.
  4. Add dill, 1/2 cup water and stir. Cover and cook on low flame until lentils and cooked and most of the water is absorbed.
  5. Adjust salt and serve with fresh rotis!

Lamb Curry

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

  • 2pounds bone-in lamb, chopped into 1 inch pieces, use meat from the shoulder or neck)
  • 3¬†large onions, finely chopped
  • 2¬†very large tomato – blanched in hot water, de-skinned, chopped
  • 5¬†green chillies, chopped (adjust as per hotness preference)
  • 2.5tbspn freshly ground ginger paste
  • 2.5tbspn freshly ground garlic paste
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1tspn salt
  • Handful chopped coriander
  • Whole Spices
    • 3 cardamom pods
    • 8 cloves
    • 3 inch stick cinnamon
    • 10 black pepper corns
    • 3 bay leaves
  • Ground Spices
    • 2 tbspn ground coriander
    • 2 tbspn ground cumin
    • 3 tbspn paprika
    • 1/2 tspn turmeric

Directions

  1. Heat oil (on medium heat) in a large pot and add whole spices.
  2. Once fragrance of the spices is released, add the chopped onions and cook on medium heat (for 30-60minutes)¬†till onions are very soft and almost mush, stir regularly to ensure onions don’t burn. (Cooking onions to the right consistency helps in creating a nice thick sauce)
  3. Add lamb, salt, ginger paste, garlic paste and turmeric. Cook till lamb is browned, around 15mins.
  4. Add the remaining ground spices and cook for further 10mins.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and chillies. Mix everything and cook for 15mins. Stir occasionally to ensure that the sauce doesn’t stick to the pan.
  6. Add 1/4th cup hot water, turn the heat absolutely low so the sauce simmers very gently.
  7. Cover pot and cook for 2 hours till meat is very tender and almost falling off the bones. During this stage, stir every 30mins. If sauce is sticking to the pot then add 1/4cup hot water. Stir, cover and let the curry continue to cook.
  8. When meat is cooked, remove from heat, adjust salt, add chopped coriander and let stand for 15mins.
  9. Serve with warm buttered naan or rice!

Punjabi Dal

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

  • 1/2cup black urad dal
  • 2tbspn chana dal, dry
  • 1.5tbspn fresh garlic paste
  • 1.5tbspn fresh ginger paste
  • 1/4tspn turmeric
  • 2tbspn Ghee
  • 1tbspn cumin seeds
  • 1tbspn kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 15-20 curry leaves
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 slit green chillies (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine both dried lentils, rinse and soak for 8hrs or overnight. (This becomes 1.25cups if soaked overnight)
  2. Add soaked lentils to a pressure cooker, add enough hot water so that lentils are inch deep in water.
  3. Add half the ginger and garlic paste, turmeric and bring to boil.
  4. Close the lid of the cooker, crank the heat up to build the pressure (say 2-3mins), turn the heat down and simmer lentils for 50mins. Turn the heat off and let the pressure release on its own.
  5. While the lentils are cooling down, heat ghee on low to medium heat in another pot. When hot, add cumin seeds, after 30secs add the curry leaves, after another 30secs add the remaining ginger garlic paste.
  6. After few seconds, add onions, turn the heat to medium/high and fry till golden, around 10mins.
  7. Add tomatoes, chillies and salt to taste. Cook for 5-10minutes till tomatoes become soft.
  8. Add cooked dal to this pot (without the water it was cooked in but don’t throw the water away).
  9. Heat through, add remaining water if needed and simmer for 20-30minutes till the dal has thickened a bit.
  10. Serve with fresh rotis!

Moong Dal

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1cup dry moong dal, rinsed (you can also use masoor dal or red split peas)
  • 2¬†medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1tbspn fresh garlic paste
  • 1tbspn fresh ginger paste
  • 3tspn ground coriander
  • 1tspn ground cumin
  • 2tspn paprika
  • salt, to taste
  • 4tbspn sunflower oil
  • 2.5cups hot water
  • handful of chopped coriander

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a pot on medium-high heat, add onion and fry for 10mins until soft.
  2. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and all powdered spices, fry for 2-3mins.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes and fry for 5-10minutes or until the spices don’t taste¬†raw.
  4. Add dal, salt and hot water. Bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat, cover pot and let cook for 25mins until dal is soft.
  6. Add chopped coriander and adjust salt.
  7.  Serve with fresh rotis or rice with a side of yoghurt and pickles!