Monthly Archives: August 2020

Methi Murgh Fenugreek Chicken


Methi Murgh Fenugreek Chicken

Methi Murgh

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg. Chicken
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp.ghee/oil
  • Whole garam masala
  • 5 Green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 5 cloves
  • 1″ cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A pinch mace (optional)
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2″ ginger
  • 1/2″ ginger juliennes
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. fenugreek (kasoori methi)
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves

Method

  1. Clean, remove the skin and cut chicken into medium pieces or 8 large pieces if you wish.
  2. Whisk yogurt in a large bowl, add salt and leave the chicken in this marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Peel, wash and chop onions.
  4. Peel and chop garlic and ginger.
  5. Remove stems and chop green chillies.
  6. Wash and chop tomatoes.
  7. Clean, wash and chop coriander.
  8. Heat ghee in a pan, add whole garam masala and saute over medium heat until it begins to crackle.
  9. Add onions and saute until golden brown.
  10. Then add chopped ginger, garlic and green chilles, stir for 2 minutes
  11. Dissolve turmeric, coriander powder and red chillies in 1/4 cup water and add.  Stir for 30 seconds.
  12. Now add tomatoes and fry until fat leaves the masala
  13. Add the marinated chicken alongwith the marinade and 3/4 cup water
  14. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until chicken is almost cooked and fat leaves the masala once again.
  15. Adjust the seasoning.
  16. Sprinkle fenugreek, ginger juliennes and coriander.  Cover with a lid.
  17. Seal the pan if desired and keep on low heat for 15 mintues.
  18. Serve with an Indian bread of your choice.

P.S.: Kasoori methi may be replaced with fresh fenugreek.  If using fresh, clean, wash and immerse in salted water for 10 minutes to remove the bitterness.  Drain and add to the marinade.

Mince Jeere Meerem


Mince Jeere Meerem

Mince Jeere Meerem

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Kg mince (Beef or Lamb)
  • 3 to 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp. Jeere Meerem masala powder
  • 1 cup green peas (or Potatoes, cubed)
  • 1 small cup coriander leaves
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1½ tsp. Salt or to taste

Method

  1. Heat oil/ghee in a vessel
  2. Fry the chopped onions and green chillies till onions turn slightly brown. 
  3. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for few minutes.
  4. Drain the mince completely and add to the pan with a tsp of salt.
  5. Saute till the mince turns brown and the water completely dries up.  Continue to brown the mince till fat begins to separate.  Do not hasten this step.  The browning of the mince brings out the flavor in the meat.  Should take 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Once nicely browned, add the jeere merem powder, mix, add two cups of hot water and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower flame and cook on medium for 30 minutes.
  8. Open after 10 to 15 minutes and give it a good stir. 
  9. If water dries up, add some more hot water as per the consistency you desire. 
  10. Add the peas and cook further 10 minutes. 
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  12. Serve with Pao or Parathas or Pooris or steamed rice or pulao.

A Typical Konkan Coastal Fish Curry Rice Meal for Four persons cooked in less than 30 minutes


A Typical Konkan Coastal Fish Curry Rice Meal for Four persons cooked in less than 30 minutes (excluding preparation)

To keep it real have used my daily regular utensils 😉 😉

A meal for four persons

  1. Raouns (Rawas, Indian Salmon) Fish Curry
  2. Cabbage Vegetable
  3. Lepo (Sole Tounge Fish) fry
  4. Steamed rice
  5. Mango pickle (homemade)
  1. Rawas/Raouns (Indian Salmon) Fish curry

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Raouns fish
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1” pc ginger
  • 1 raw mango
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste

To grind to a paste

  • 4 Kashmiri chillies
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 6 peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp. coconut powder
  • 2 flakes garlic
  • ½ medium onion

Method

  1. Clean and wash & cut fish.  Apply a little salt and set aside. 
  2. Grind the masala to a smooth paste. 
  3. Slice the onion, green chillies and ginger. 
  4. Wash and peel the raw mango and cut into wedges.
  5. Heat 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil and add the sliced onion, green chillies and ginger.  Saute till lightly brown. 
  6. Keep the flame low so the flavors of the onion, chillies and ginger release and give off a nice aroma. 
  7. Add the masala paste, the masala water, raw mango pieces and salt. 
  8. Stir and increase the flame and bring to a boil, simmer till oil appears on the edges. 
  9. Add the fish, stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce flame to medium low and cook for ten minutes. 
  10. When curry is done it will leave fat and appear glossy.
  11. Remove from flame.

P.S.: Same recipe may be used for Pomfret, Gole fish (Hammour), Mandeli (Golden Anchovies), Surmai (Kind Fish).  This curry is called sweet fish curry where chillies are less and coriander seeds are more. Other curries are the amotik (Spicy hot) usually made with Tarle (Sardines), Bangde (Mackerels), Bhing (Herring) Tato (Shark) etc., Green curry with fresh green masala for Pomfret, Fresh Bombay duck, etc. and the Kane  (Lady Fish) where curry to similar to above but Ajwain is added to the masala and onion and garlic are increased. 

2. Cabbage vegetable

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 small tomato (Optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 4 flaked garlic
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Method

  1. Shred the cabbage and soak in salted water for few minutes. 
  2. Slice the onion and green chillies, chop the tomato.
  3. Crush the garlic cloves and wash the curry leaves.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. 
  5. Add the garlic and curry leaves, followed by the chillies and onion and saute for a minute. 
  6. Add the cabbage and salt, mix.
  7. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes till done.  Do not add any water.
  8. Garnish with fresh coconut.

3. Lepo fry (Sole Tongue fish fry)

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 Lepo
  • 3 tsp. red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ to 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • Rice flour or Rava to coat the fish

Method

  1. To clean the fish, cut the head and pull out the skin from both sides and the intestines.  Wash and leave aside to drain.
  2. Mix the red chilli powder, salt and vinegar to a paste and apply to the fish and marinate for half hour.
  3. Heat some oil to shallow fry the fish. 
  4. Take some rice flour or rava in a plate. 
  5. Roll the fish to coat evenly and fry on medium flame for 5 minutes on each side till crisp.

4. Steamed Rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice or boiled rice if you wish
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Wash the rice and soak in water for atleast 15 minutes.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a vessel. 
  3. Add the pre-soaked rice, salt and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce flame and simmer till rice is tender.  Strain the water. 

Tip: Cook the rice on low flame so the grains remain whole and separate and do not break.

Chicken Cafreal


Chicken Cafreal

Inspired by Late Wendell Rodricks

Chicken Cafreal

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg. Chicken
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves (about 100 gms)
  • 12 to 15 flakes garlic
  • 2” piece ginger
  • 6 green chillies (or to taste)
  • 10 cashewnuts
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 Tomatoes (deseeded)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee or as required

Method

  1. Clean and cut the chicken into large pieces. Wash and set aside to drain.
  2. Grind to a paste ingredients from garam masala to lemon juice. 
  3. Marinate the chicken with this masala, add salt and mix well.  Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry the chicken, reserving the marinade, in batches to light brown to seal the juices.  Set the chicken aside.
  5. Heat a vessel and add the coconut oil to the ghee left over from frying the chicken.  If not add a tbsp of ghee. and fry the masala paste for 5 minutes till the raw smell disappears and fat leaves the masala. 
  6. Add the chicken, salt if required, 1 cup hot water and cook till chicken is tender and gravy is thick about 15 minutes.  Simmer till fat separates.
  7. Serve hot garnished with onion rings and lemon wedges.
  8. Repeatedly reheating this dish just makes it better, by improving the texture and taste of the gravy and gives it a deeper color.

Chicken Cafreal

Chicken Cafreal


Chicken Cafreal

Inspired by Late Wendell Rodricks

Chicken Cafreal

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg. Chicken
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves (about 100 gms)
  • 12 to 15 flakes garlic
  • 2” piece ginger
  • 6 green chillies (or to taste)
  • 10 cashewnuts
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 Tomatoes (deseeded)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee or as required

Method

  1. Clean and cut the chicken into large pieces. Wash and set aside to drain.
  2. Grind to a paste ingredients from garam masala to lemon juice. 
  3. Marinate the chicken with this masala, add salt and mix well.  Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry the chicken, reserving the marinade, in batches to light brown to seal the juices.  Set the chicken aside.
  5. Heat a vessel and add the coconut oil to the ghee left over from frying the chicken.  If not add a tbsp of ghee. and fry the masala paste for 5 minutes till the raw smell disappears and fat leaves the masala. 
  6. Add the chicken, salt if required, 1 cup hot water and cook till chicken is tender and gravy is thick about 15 minutes.  Simmer till fat separates.
  7. Serve hot garnished with onion rings and lemon wedges.
  8. Repeatedly reheating this dish just makes it better, by improving the texture and taste of the gravy and gives it a deeper color.

Chicken Cafreal

Cooking with Taro


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Taro (Colacasia) Plants

Taro croms (root) is also known as Arbi, Ghuiya, Colacasia root. The leaves are called colacasia leaves, Alun leaves, Pathra leaves. The root, stems and leaves are edible but should not be consumed raw as it containes toxic substances which are neutralised by cooking.

Taro is a tropical plant and consumption of both its root and leaves have many benefits namely, reduces infammation, controls cholestrol, boosts immunity amongst other benefits.

Available in abundance during the monsoons in India. It is also grown in African, Oceanic, Pacific and South Asian countries throughout the year. It is easily available in Indian, East Asian and Latin American Markets around the world and comes in various sizes from small to medium to large. When choosing Taro croms, pick those that seem heavy for their size, are firm and the hairy skin looks somewhat moist.

Taro Roots or Arbi can be prepared into various tasty snacks and vegetables, a few of which are mentioned below. Apply some oil on your hands when handling Arbi or wear gloves as it leaves a sticky liquid.

  1. Arbi Kofta with mint yogurt dip
  2. Arbi Makhani
  3. Arbi fry
  4. Arbi Tuk

Taro or Colacasia leaves – also known as Colacasia leaves, Alun leaves, Pathra leaves, have an abundance of benefits and are most commonly used in the traditional mangalorean Pathrode and the famous gujarati snack Pathra (Alu Vadi). The stems of the leaves are also used in cooking and we usually make a curry by adding some legumes, etc.

  1. Alu Vadi
  2. Pathrode
  3. Alun stem with Alsande Curry
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Alu Vadi
107 Pathrade
Pathrode
Alun Stem with Alasande (Red Kidney beans) and Ambade curry

It is beneficial to eat local and seasonal produce. Not only is it cheaper but also fresh as it is grown in local farms and the supply does not require transportation over days and weeks to long distances therefore the produce reaches markets quicker thereby preserving its nutritional value. Besides the nutrients lost due to contamination from pesticides etc. is eliminated as most local produce is grown organically. Any seasonal produce is naturally good as it supports the body’s nutritional requirements. Buying local produce also supports the local farmer.

Read my post on Cooking with Spinach for recipes using spinach.

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Weddings in COVID-19 times


Winnie Couture Is Now Making There Are Now Making Haute Wedding Masks

Marriages in  COVID times

Lockdown Weddings

Are weddings happening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?  Absolutely!

The COVID-19 Pandemic has jeopardised, among other things, wedding plans of many young couples i.e. those who were to get married in 2020, had all arrangements in place and were waiting for ‘D’ day to dawn.  While one or two years may have been spent in planning and preparing for the auspicious occasion, the onslaught of the Coronavirus in early 2020 have brought all plans to an abrupt halt.  Moreover, the virus continues to spread without showing any signs of retreating soon.

The answers to go ahead with a wedding or not in the present circumstances are not easy due to uncertainity surrounding the issue.  But many young couples are now considering taking the plunge and starting to look ahead.  Most countries are gradually opening up to the “new-normal”, of which we are still unsure of how long this “new-normal” period is going to last.  Could be a year or even more. Churches also are begining to open.

Basically most non-essential travel for medical reasons, study and other personal plans have been put on hold albeit temporarily, with everyone adopting the ‘wait and see’ approach.  Weddings however cannot be put on hold indefinitely.  It is a day every young couple looks forward to with much anticipation, a journey they were both so looking forward to starting before the turn of events early this year. 

Therefore, assuming the Church is willing to bless the nuptials, people should go ahead with weddings even in COVID times, with precautions so as to cause the least amount of risk to yourself and those attending.  Every government has announced guidelines for weddings in COVID times which must be adhered to.

As such, the following points reportedly must be borne in mind while planning the wedding :-

  1. Weddings should ideally be planned in the “outdoors” in the presence of a minimum number of people say no more than ten to thirty people, being family and very close friends.  Rest of the guests can attend virtually.
  2. Weddings can take place with just the two immediate families attending. 
  3. An indoor reception with no more than 30 people with proper PPE and social distancing factors.
  4. A small ceremony with the Big party to coincide with the Anniversary, whenever life returns to normal.

Having written several posts on Traditional Marriage ceremonies where the weddings are celebrated for no less than three days with a large number of guests mingling with each other, elaborate ceremonies and great merriment, in contrast a lockdown wedding would basically be restricted to, provided all necessary precautions are followed and taken into consideration  –

  1. A one day event, with a symbolic Roce ceremony with immediate family.
  2. Other pre-wedding parties like the Hen-party or Bachelors party would be celebrated on Zoom or such virtual platforms or dropped.
  3. Bridesmaids & Groomsmen to be restricted to one or max two.
  4. Photography would be restricted to one professional photographer, no videographer, no hashtags.
  5. No party favors.
  6. No immediate Honeymoon.
  7. No hugs and kisses, no handshakes.
  8. Proper social distancing, hand sanistisers and masks provided to those attending.
  9. Definitely celebrate with a cake and wine, with only the bridal couple partaking.
  10. Food may be served if it is just the immediate family and all are known to each other to be safe, if not ‘boxed’ meals would be safest.  Buffets are to be avoided.  If it is a small gathering at home, then home-cooked meals are preferable.

Many would feel it is safer for a 2021 wedding, but given that most people whose plans for a 2020 wedding have crashed, would most likely be planning a 2021 wedding.  As a result, venues would be limited as most bookings may have already been made.  So the quicker these are booked the better.

Another important aspect to consider is the size of venue.  For a usual venue of say 250 guests in normal times, the venue in COVID times for 2021 would require to be bigger maybe double the size if social distancing norms are to be implemented.

The Pandemic has made people realize the importance of life and surviving with the most basic needs. Hence priorities have shifted and extravagance is certainly not one of them.  So atleast till the curse of the virus has abated, one has to find ways to live a more meaningful and frugal life.

Marriage customs & traditions

Marriage customs and traditions (Roce)

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