Indian

Fried Fish Curry


I always loved this curry when my mother made it. Searing the fish or lightly frying it with just a little salt and turmeric powder and then including it in a curry that is not too spicy, just made the fish and the curry absolutely delicious. The same curry can be made with Rawas (Indian Salmon) or Surmai (King Fish) and is sometimes made into a Roce curry with coconut milk added to the curry at the end of cooking and then garnished with some golden fried onions. Absolutely lip smacking!

Fried Fish Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 medium pomfrets (750 gms. Total approx.)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric

For tempering

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1” pc. Ginger
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Masala to grind to a paste

  • 4 Kashmiri chillies
  • 4 heaped tbsp. coconut powder
  • ½ tbsp. coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 6 to 8 peppercorns
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 flakes garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • Small marble sized ball tamarind
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Method

  1. Clean the fish and cut into desired pieces. 
  2. Wash well and drain.  
  3. Apply salt & turmeric powder and toss the fish lightly.  Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.  Meanwhile prepare the spices for the masala and grind to a smooth paste adding a cup or two of water.
  4. Heat a frying pan and add 2 tbsp. of oil to the pan and fry the fish pieces lightly on both sides.  Remove and set aside.
  5. For tempering, slice the onion, shred the ginger and slit the green chillies. 
  6. Heat the oil in a pan and add the chillies, ginger and onion and fry till light brown. 
  7. Add the masala paste with the masala water, 1 tsp. salt, bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. 
  8. Add the fried fish, bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes till oil surfaces.
  9. Serve hot with boiled rice, vegetable and some pickle for a light but delicious meal.

Mutton Green Curry with Turnips & Veggies


This is my mother-in-laws signature mutton curry which she served with much love Sunday after Sunday. Sadly she passed away too early for me to enjoy her delicious cooking. Apart from our holiday trips, after marriage, I was fortunate to stay three months with her before joining my husband in Kuwait.

My husband has just not had enough of this mutton curry and the turnips that go with it! He relishes the curry especially the turnips. Whenever turnips are in season, he invariably picks them up and when they enter our home they must end up in this curry. No, they absolutely cannot be cooked in any other way! But the truth of the matter is that they are amazingly delicious in this mutton curry. For those who are not very fond of turnips, potatoes are included and make sure to cut them in a shape different from the turnips, either in wedges or halves if the turnips are in cubes, because once cooked it is difficult to differentiate between the potatoes and the turnips in the curry. My children rarely eat turnips so the usual question when serving will be “Mama are the long pieces potatoes”?

So do cook and enjoy this tasty lip smacking curry, the only dish I learnt from my mother-in-law!!

Ingredients

To cook meat

  • 1 Kg.  Mutton/Lamb
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2” pcs. Cinnamon
  • 4 to 5 cloves
  • 3 to 4 cardamoms
  • ¼ tsp. peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Vegetables

  • 1 or 2 turnips
  • 1 or 2 potatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups French beans
  • 1 cup green peas

Grind to a paste

  • One bunch coriander leaves
  • 6 green chillies
  • 1.5”pc. ginger
  • 6 flakes garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp. pepper corns
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1” pc cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 4 to 5 flakes tamarind
  • 4 tbsp. heaped coconut powder
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee

Method

  1. Clean, cut and wash mutton.  Drain and set aside. 
  2. Chop the onions and tomatoes. 
  3. Heat oil in a wide vessel. 
  4. Add the onion and saute.
  5. Add the whole spices. 
  6. When onions are light brown, add the tomatoes and fry till soft.
  7. Add the meat and saute, cook till meat changes color.
  8. Then add sufficient hot water to cook the meat and bring to a boil. 
  9. Lower heat and cook for one hour, stirring once or twice in between. 
  10. After one hour add 1 tsp. salt, and check if meat is cooked. 
  11. If still to cook, add hot water if required and cook further 15 to 20 minutes till tender.
  12. As the meat is cooking, clean and prepare the vegetables. 
  13. Cube the turnip into 8 pieces each, the potato into four wedges each, the French beans break into 2 to 3 pieces.  Shell the green peas clean if using fresh. Set the vegetables aside.
  14. Meanwhile grind the masala to a paste. 
  15. When the meat is tender add to the meat with the masala water and check required consistency. 
  16. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
  17. Add the  turnips and French beans and cook 10 minutes. 
  18. When turnips and French beans are almost done, add the potatoes and green peas and cook further 10 minutes till potatoes are cooked. 
  19. Check seasoning and take off heat when oil surfaces. 
  20. Serve with steamed rice, pulao, sannas, panpole, appam, bread, etc.

Yakhni Pulao


Yakhni Pulao

A one pot meal certainly satisfying and comforting!

Any party at Farah Khan’s home is incomplete without this dish.

Ingredients
1/2 kg mutton
1/2 kg Basmati rice
3 onions sliced
3 large potates cut into large cubes
250 gms yoghurt whipped
3 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
5-6 whole Kashmiri red chillies
4-5 cardamoms
2 inch cinnamon sticks
6-7 cloves
6-7 black pepper
1 teaspoon chilli powder
Oil or ghee for frying
Salt to taste


 Method
Marinate the meat in yoghurt and keep aside. Then fry the onions till golden brown in a cooker or thick bottom pan. Add ginger-garlic paste, whole spices. Fry for a few minutes and then add the potato pieces. Add the marinated meat and let it cook till five whistles in a cooker or 1 hr in a vessel. Let it cool till the cooler lid can be opened. Add the rice and cook for another three whistles. In normal vessel, check meat after one hour, if yet to cook, add some water if required and cook furthre 20 to 30 mintes. Then add rice, and 3 cups hot water, check seasoning and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce flame and cook till rice is cooked and water is absorbed. Serve with raita.

You may wish to also check out the Traditional Yakhni Pulao here

Kesari Baath


Kesari Baath

It has taken me a lot of courage to make Kesari Baath due to the amount of ghee and sugar used (equal to quantity of rava), but trust me it was truly satisfying and didn’t feel weighed down after consuming this delicious dish!  It is a must try!!

My other rava or sooji halwa recipes have half the quantity of ghee/sugar, but this recipe turns out truly melt in your mouth.  This is usually served as prasad at temples and at pooja ceremonies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Rava (Sooji, Semolina, Farina)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup ghee
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. cashewnuts, broken
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  • ½ tsp. Saffron (Kesar)
  • ½ tsp. cardamom powder (optional)

Method

  1. Heat 2 tbsp. ghee (from the one cup) in a kadai, fry the cashewnuts and raisins to golden brown. 
  2. Remove and set aside. 
  3. In the same ghee, roast the rava on low heat till aromatic, 10 to 15 minutes on low flame.  Remove. 
  4. Add three cups water to the kadai, 1 tbsp. oil and half the remaining ghee, and the sugar and bring to a boil. 
  5. Add the kesar and cook till sugar dissolves. 
  6. Reduce flame to low and add rava and stir making sure no lumps are formed. 
  7. Stir cook for 2 minutes. 
  8. Cover and cook till all the water is absorbed, mix well till rava is well cooked. 
  9. Add the remaining ghee and stir cooking till the ghee is incorporated and the rava begins leaving the sides of the kadai and ghee begins to separate.
  10. Add the cardamon powder and mix well.
  11. Add the nuts and mix.  
  12. Serve hot.

Lemon Masoor Dal


Lemon Masoor Dal

This light satisfying meal will certainly be relished after the festive season after spending days feasting on sorpatel, vindaloo, roasts and heavy festive food. Dal rice is invariably our go to meal when we just need to slow down on our cooking to give our digestive system a bit of rest. Having said that, dal rice is one meal that is welcome anytime.

This Lemon Masoor Dal is cooked without tomatoes and includes lemon to add a bit of tang. Make it thick to eat with rotis or pooris or a bit runny to pour over your rice and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups masoor dal
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1” pc. Ginger shredded
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 2” pc cinnamon
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • Tempering
  • 2 tbsp. oil or ghee
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  1. Clean and rinse the dal, add 4 cups water, alongwith the onion, ginger, cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil. 
  2. Reduce flame and cook 10 minutes.  Add the red chilli powder, juice of the lemon (discard the seeds) and add the peels to the dal. 
  3. Bring to a boil and cook 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally till soft. 
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onion, garlic, green chilli and bay leaves and fry till onions are brown. 
  5. Add to the dal. 
  6. Remove the bay leaves and the lemon skins and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. 
  7. Serve hot.

Mixed Vegetable Pulao


Mixed Vegetable Pulao

Using frozen mixed vegetables

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 stock cubes (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2to 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 5 cardamoms
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. salt or to taste

Method

  1. Wash rice and soak in water for atleast 15 mns. 
  2. Heat a pot, add ghee and fry the onion, on medium flame. 
  3. Add the whole cinnamom, cardamom & cloves and saute till onion turns light brown. 
  4. Add the stock cubes and stir until it dissolves, add the frozen vegetable and saute for 2 minutes. 
  5. Add the drained rice and gently mix till the rice grains are coated with ghee and fluff up a bit. 
  6. Add the hot water, turmeric powder, optional if you want to leave the pulao white.
  7. Add salt to taste, it will already have some salt due to the stock cubes. Stir, bring to a boil. 
  8. Cover and reduce flame and cook. 
  9. Stir once in between to mix.
  10. Cook till water is completely absorbed. 
  11. Serve hot with raita, yogurt, pickle, dahi curry or at any festive meal.

Mooli Rotis


Mooli Ki roti

These are not the usual Mooli Parathas but more like theplas, usually served at mealtimes but can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a teatime snack with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated raddish
  • 4 cups wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. ajwain
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Ghee for smearing the rotis

Method

  1. Peel, clean and wash the mooli (raddish).
  2. Mix all the above and and knead to a soft dough. 
  3. Divide into equal portions (about 15 to 18) and roll into a circle as thin as possible dusting some flour to prevent it sticking.
  4. Cook the roti to a golden brown on a hot griddle (tava) on both sides applying some ghee on both sides. 
  5. Serve hot with lunch or dinner or for breakfast with yogurt, pickle.

Cooking with drumstick leaves


Enjoy healthy and nutritious drumstick leaves, popularly known as ‘Moringa leaves’ which are a powerhouse of nutrition. There are several ways to cook drumstick leaves some of which are herebelow. We used to have plenty of the drumstick trees around our houses and don’t think our mothers ever had to purchase drumsticks or the leaves for cooking.

As they are currently available in the market decided to make a few dishes and post recipes.

  1. Drumstick Leaves Adai
Drumstick Leaves Adai

2. Drumstick Leaves & Potato Bhaji

Drumstick Leaves & Potato Bhaji

3. Drumstick Leaves Tel Piyav

Drumstick Leaves Tel Piyav

Ponsa Muddo


These cakes are usually steamed in teak leaves, which impart a unique fragrance and reddish color to the cake. In the absence of teak leaves here, I have used banana leaves but would surely use teak leaves whenever I can get some and re-post the pictures. Canned jackfruit has been used in this recipe.

Ponsache Patoleo – Jackfruit cakes steamed in banana leaves (Pelakai da ghatti in Tulu)

Ponsa Muddo

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print

  • 2 cups Jackfruit, chopped
  • 2 cups  white rice (or rice rava)
  • ¼ cup coconut
  • Jaggery 1/4 cup, or as required (may be omitted if jackfruit is extra sweet)
  • Salt to taste.
  • 8 Teak leaves (or 5 to 6 banana leaves cut into  medium sized pieces)
  1. Wash and soak rice for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Grind along with jackfruit, coconut and jaggery to a very thick paste using very little water. Add salt.
  3. If using rice rava, soak for 15 minutes. Grind the jackfruit, coconut, jaggery to a paste and mix  with the rava.
  4. Place 2 ladles (or more depending on the size of the leaf) and fold into  a packet and place in steamer, seam side down and steam for 30 minutes.  Cooking time would vary according to size and thickness of the jackfruit cake.
  5. Remove and cut into pieces, if cakes are large.
  6. Serve for breakfast or as tea-time snack.  Also goes well with curries on festival menus.

Sheera


Sheera – Sooji Halwa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Rawa
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Ghee
  • 4 cups hot water
  • Few drops yellow color
  • 1/4 cup Almonds and pistas (for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp. cashewnuts
  • 2 tbsp. Raisins
  • 1/4 tsp.Cardamom powder (optional)
  1. Slice the almonds and pistas. Clean the raisins, removing stems if any.
  2. Heat ghee in a kadai and fry the raisins till they swell.  Remove and set aside. Fry the cashewnuts lightly and remove.
  3. Add the rawa to the kadai and fry on medium low flame till it turns light brown and you get a nice aroma. Takes about 15 to 20 minutes. You can fry it longer if you prefer it nice and brown. Do not fry on high flame or the rawa will get burnt ruining the sheera.
  4. Add the hot water and stir quickly to avoid lumps being formed.
  5. Add the saffron and stir and mix well. When the rawa thickens add the sugar and mix till dissolved.
  6. Then add the nuts and raisins. Keep stirring till it begins to leave the sides of the kadai and forms a ball.
  7. Put into bowls and press lightly and turn out onto a serving plate. Garnish with nuts and serve hot.
  8. Avoided saffron (kesar), but intend to make kesari baath soon, going all out with the ghee and sugar in equal quantities to the rava!!

And the Kesari Baath is now published do check it out!

Tandoori Chicken


Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is synonymous with Indian cooking, a universally loved and enjoyed roasted chicken! Tandoori chicken also forms the basis of many Indian gravy dishes like, Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka masala, Chicken boti kababs. Try this 5 star quality tandoori recipe, which may seem overwhelming but is really quite simple. Roast in an oven or charcoal grill or BBQ on an electric grill. You may also roast on a pan on the stove top, but with this method the chicken tends to leave water while roasting, resulting in loosing some of the flavors of the marinade. But still possible to make tandoori chicken without an oven! Substitute the saffron with turmeric if not available and avoid the orange color if you must! I have not used butter to baste the chicken but does add more flavor and taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium chicken

First Marinade

  • Salt
  • 1 tsp red chillie powder or to taste
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • Butter for basting

Second Marinade

  • 3 tsp. yogurt
  • 3 1/2 tsp. cream
  • 3 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 2-3 drops orange color
  1. Remove skin, clean and wash chicken.  Make two to three deep incsions each on the breasts, legs and thighs and marinate with salt, chilli powder and lemon juice. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk yoghurt in a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Rub the chicken with this mixture.  Keep aside for four hours or overnight if desired.
  3. Preheat oven to 350deg F. Skewer the chicken and keep a tray underneath to collect the drippings or roast in a hot tandoor or pre-heated oven till the moisture evaporates and it starts leaving oil. Baste with butter, if required.
  4. .Cut the tandoori chicken into desired sized pieces and serve with sliced onion, lemon, green salad and naan or any bread of your choice.

Baingan Bhartha


Baingan Bhartha

This Aubergine delicacy is a famous punjabi recipe. Brinjals are available throughout the year and a very common vegetable. A simple vegetable turns into a delectable dish. Even though brinjals are considered as a night shade it is widely consumed. Enjoy this delicious bhartha sa a meal by itself with rotis or phulkas and serve as an accompaniment.

Ingredients

  • 500 gms. Brinjals (Aubergine, Eggplant)
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger. chopped
  • 1 tsp. paprika (or Kashmiri chilli powder) or to taste
  • Salt
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, chopped

Method

  1. Wash brinjals and wipe dry.
  2. Apply a little oil to the brinjals and roast on direct flame till charred and skin starts peeling off.  This can be done in a charcoal grill to get the charcoal flavor or oven. 
  3. Remove and immerse in water to cool.  Remove he skin and stem and chop.
  4. Heat ghee, add cumin and when it crackles, add onions and cook till translucent, add ginger and saute few seconds. 
  5. Add the chilli powder, salt, mix, add tomatoes and saute till fat appears at the sides. 
  6. Add the chopped brinjals and saute for 5 minutes, add green chillies and mix.  Check seasoning. 
  7. Remove and garnish with coriander leaves. 
  8. Serve with rotis or phulkas.

Panchmel Dal


Panchrattan Pakwan

Punj Rattani Dal –

Dal made with a combination of five lentils and tempering with combination of five spices and condiments. Also referred to as “Panch Rattan Pakwan”.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. Moong (whole)
  • 2 tbsp. Masoor (Whole)
  • 2 tbsp. Urad dal (preferably whole)
  • 2 tbsp. Chana dal
  • 2 tbsp. Tur dal
  • 2” sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp. cream (optional)

Tempering #1

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1″ pc ginger, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt
  • ½ tsp garam masala

Tempering #2

  • 1 tsp oil or ghee
  • 1/2 tsp. each black cumin, kalonji (onion seeds), methi (fenugreek), saunf (fennel), mustard seeds
  • 2 red chillies

Method

  1. Wash lentils and soak in water for one hour. 
  2. Chop onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves.
  3. Cook the lentils with 8 cups water & 2 sticks cinnamon.   
  4. Bring to a boil, remove scum if any, reduce flame. 
  5. Add coriander, cumin, red chilli and turmeric powders and salt. 
  6. Cover and simmer till cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Mash the dals lightly again the sides of the vessel with a wooden spoon. 
  8. Tempering  #1 : Heat a pan and add butter, onions, ginger, tomatoes, yogurt and garam masala, stir over medium heat till fat leaves the mixture.  Pour over the dal and mix well. Cook 5 mns.
  9. Tempering #2 : Heat ghee, add all the five seeds, break the red chillies and saute till they crackle and add to the dal.
  10. Stir in malai. 
  11. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves with rotis, phulkas or steamed rice.

Prawn Biryani


Prawn Biryani

Prawn Biryani

Ingredients

  • 500 gms. Prawns
  • 500 gms. Basmati Rice
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 6 green chillies
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp. chilli powder (Kashmiri) or to taste
  • Salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. saffron
  • ½ cup milk
  • Few drops yellow color
  1. Clean, devien and wash prawns and drain well. Put prawns in a bowl and add the salt, ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder and 1 tbsp. garam masala powder, juice of lemon (reserve the squeezed lemon) and mix well.  Leave aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Then add the yogurt and mix well.  Leave to marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  4. Take ghee in a deep vessel and fry 1/4 of the mint leaves for five minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  5. Fry the sliced onions till golden brown, remove and set aside.
  6. Soak the saffron in half cup warm milk, add few drops of yellow color.
  7. Bring water to a boil in a separate vessel, add the reserved lemon, salt and the ½ tbsp. of the garam masala powder, 1/4 of the mint leaves to the water.
  8. Then add rice and cook, 3 minutes (after it comes to a boil).
  9. Drain and reserve ½ cup of the rice water. Discard the lemon.
  10. In the same vessel used to fry onions, place the prawns with the marinade, spread the fried onions (reserve 2 tbsp. for garnish), chopped coriander leaves and remaining half of the mint leaves, chopped. Dot with some of the saffron milk.
  11. Then add the rice and press lightly. Sprinkle the reserved rice water. Put the remaining onions, fried mint leaves and the saffron milk over the rice.
  12. Cover tightly with foil, put on the lid and cook on high flame for 5 minutes.
  13. Reduce flame and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes.
  14. Switch off the flame and leave to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  15. Serve hot with tomato onion raita.https://cooklikececilia.com/onion-tomato-raita/
Prawn Biryani

Brinjal Pakoras


Brinjal Pakoras

Brinjals or aubergines or eggplants as they are called are a very versatile vegetable and a universal favorite, available roundthe year. They are delicious fried as pakoras, bhajias, stuffed with mince or green chutney masala (these recipes are in the book Mai’s recipes). The brinjal bharta and brinjal pickle are famous and so is the turkish recipe Imam Bayildi

Ingredients

  • 6 medium brinjals (or two large)
  • 1 ½ cups besan (gram flour)
  • ¼ tsp. soda bircarb (optional)
  • 1 tsp. carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp. amchur (dry mango powder) or pomegranate seeds powder
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Oil for shallow frying

Method

  1. Slice the medium brinjals horizontally.  If large cut into round slices.
  2. Mix the gram flour, soda bicarb, ajwain, chilli powder, amchur, salt to taste and make a batter with 1 cup water.
  3. Add some more water if batter is too thick. 
  4. Batter should coat the brinjals without dripping. 
  5. At the same time the coating should not be too thick. 
  6. Shallow fry to golden brown on both sides in hot oil. 
  7. Serve hot with ketchup, mint sauce, chilli garlic sauce or any sauce of your choice. 
  8. Make into sandwiches with bread or pita bread or rolled into a chapati for breakfast, packed lunch or a snack.
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