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lamb seekh kebab

this kebab, originated somehwere in the ottoman empire, where it would be called lamb kofte or adana kabab . the muslim invaders who came to india from the 15th century onwards brought their cuisine and obviously over the years it got modified, chnaged a bit here and there, became a bit more spicy than what was originally made.

this is a version which i make for home and work and comes out beautifully everytime. this will make enough as a starter for about 4-6 people

  • minced lamb- 250 gm
  • onion chopped finely- about 1/2 – maybe 75 gm
  • chopped coriander- 2 sprigs
  • fresh mint- 2 sprigs
  • green chillies- 2 or more if you are extra adventurous
  • salt
  • turmeric powder
  • garam masala powder- pinch
  • cumin whole
  • oil- 20 ml
  1. combine all the ingredients
  2. cook a small bit in the microwave to check for seasoning
  3. soak wooden skewers for about 10 minutes in water.
  4. press about 25-30 gms of the meat in a sausage shape onto the skewers.takes a bit of practise, after a few hundred times will be easier.
  5. cook on a hot plate, fry pan bbq anything really to the degree that you like.
  6. serve as an appetizer or larger qtys as a main course.

Basav mukherjees un-adulterated lamb rezala

One leg of mutton or lamb de-boned

A : Marinade :

 

1. One cup Fried onions. The packaged stuff works too. Otherwise you can fry the onions.

 

2. 4 Green cardamom, 02 black cardamom, 5 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, one javitri, crushed pepper corns 7 or 8, one tea spoon of saunf (aniseed). Dry roast these spices on a tava. When roasted and fragrant, grind to a powder.(  i do this differently is to use the microwave  to toast them for about 30-45 seconds)

 

3. Plain yogurt. Try the packaged greek yogurt, but otherwise get the thick yogurt.

 

4. One bunch of fresh coriander leaves

 

5. About 20 mint leaves. Optional

 

6. One one inch piece of fresh ginger & 6-7 cloves of fresh garlic.

 

7. 15 cashew nuts. boil the cashewnuts in the water and grind to a smooth paste

 

8. Salt to taste.

 

Add some oil or ghee to the mutton and coat it well. This helps in the next process. Now add the ground spices and salt to the mutton and rub in with fingers. It will coat the mutton well. Your kitchen will get fragrant . Now in the food processor,  add the fried onions, fresh coriander, the ginger, garlic, the mint leaves and some water and create a fine paste. Add this to the mutton and massage with your hands. This will now coat the mutton in the masala. At this stage, you will have no choice but to stick in a finger and taste the marinade….it will smell so good

 

Now whisk 2 cups of the yogurt with a fork. Add some salt to it. The yogurt will be smooth and aerated and add it to the marinade. Using your hands mix well to coat the mutton.

 

Finally add the cashew nut paste. Check seasoning in the marinade.

 

Leave to rest for an hour if you have the time.

 

B. Cooking :

 

Ingredients :

 

1. 2 onions & 3 or 4 green chillies put in the blender and get a smooth paste. You can add more chillies if you like it hotter.

 

2. 6 cloves of garlic, crushed & an inch of ginger, cut in fine juliennes

 

3. Whole Masala : 1 black cardamom, 4 green cardamom, 2 bay leaves, 5 cloves, 1 inch stick of cinnamon, 1 tsp shahi jeera (optional)

 

4. Masala paste : In a bowl, add 2 tea spoons of Coriander powder, 1 tsp of cumin powder, 2 tsp of kashmiri chilli powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder. Add a little water and make a paste.

 

Cooking Process :

 

Take a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker (your choice…Pressure cooker is quicker).

 

Add enough ghee or oil so that the entire base of pan gets covered and immediately add all the whole masalas. Let the masala get broiled as the oil heats up. Then, once the oil is fragrant and hot, add the onion & green chilli paste. Fry till the onion loses its raw smell. Add the garlic and ginger juliennes & some salt. Fry till the fat leaves the masala.

 

At this time, remove all mutton pieces from the marinade and add to the pan. Keep the left over marinade. it will be used later.

 

Fry the mutton. it will sear first and then it will lose some of its water. fry till all the water has evaporated. by now your kitchen would be full of the aroma of the rezala. Reduce the flame and bhunno gently for a while, till you get the nutty aroma of the cashewnut caramelising.

 

At this stage, add the masala paste to the mutton. Fry some more on low flame till the fat leaves the masala and till you feel that the mutton has been fried just enough. Dont burn the masala.

 

At this stage, add the rest of the marinade to the pan. Add some warm water as well to cover the meat and the right consistency of your sauce, as you would like it. Bring to boil.

 

Now, you can pressure cook it or let simmer in the lowest flame for 50 minutes. If you must pressure cook, please pressure cook at the lowest flame. There will be no whistles, but you can switch off the flame after 18 to 20 minutes and let the cooker lose steam by itself. The meat continues to cook at this time, even without the flame. This will take 15 minutes. I assure you that this is the best way to cook the meat.

 

After you have removed the lid, taste for seasoning. By now your neighbours have rung the bell, asking you if they can join you for dinner

 

Let the mutton rest for 15 minutes then serve  with fragrant basmati or crisp parathas

 

Tip : If you forget to add the javitri, the magic is not going to happen

 

One leg of mutton or lamb de-boned
A : Marinade :
1. One cup Fried onions. The packaged stuff works too. Otherwise you can fry the onions.2. 4 Green cardamom, 02 black cardamom, 5 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, one javitri, crushed pepper corns 7 or 8, one tea spoon of saunf (aniseed). Dry roast these spices on a tava. When roasted and fragrant, grind to a powder.(  i do this differently is to use the microwave  to toast them for about 30-45 seconds)3. Plain yogurt. Try the packaged greek yogurt, but otherwise get the thick yogurt. 4. One bunch of fresh coriander leaves5. About 20 mint leaves. Optional6. One one inch piece of fresh ginger & 6-7 cloves of fresh garlic.7. 15 cashew nuts. boil the cashewnuts in the water and grind to a smooth paste8. Salt to taste.
Add some oil or ghee to the mutton and coat it well. This helps in the next process. Now add the ground spices and salt to the mutton and rub in with fingers. It will coat the mutton well. Your kitchen will get fragrant . Now in the food processor,  add the fried onions, fresh coriander, the ginger, garlic, the mint leaves and some water and create a fine paste. Add this to the mutton and massage with your hands. This will now coat the mutton in the masala. At this stage, you will have no choice but to stick in a finger and taste the marinade….it will smell so good
Now whisk 2 cups of the yogurt with a fork. Add some salt to it. The yogurt will be smooth and aerated and add it to the marinade. Using your hands mix well to coat the mutton. Finally add the cashew nut paste. Check seasoning in the marinade.
Leave to rest for an hour if you have the time.
B. Cooking :
Ingredients :
1. 2 onions & 3 or 4 green chillies put in the blender and get a smooth paste. You can add more chillies if you like it hotter.2. 6 cloves of garlic, crushed & an inch of ginger, cut in fine juliennes3. Whole Masala : 1 black cardamom, 4 green cardamom, 2 bay leaves, 5 cloves, 1 inch stick of cinnamon, 1 tsp shahi jeera (optional)4. Masala paste : In a bowl, add 2 tea spoons of Coriander powder, 1 tsp of cumin powder, 2 tsp of kashmiri chilli powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder. Add a little water and make a paste.
Cooking Process :
Take a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker (your choice…Pressure cooker is quicker).
Add enough ghee or oil so that the entire base of pan gets covered and immediately add all the whole masalas. Let the masala get broiled as the oil heats up. Then, once the oil is fragrant and hot, add the onion & green chilli paste. Fry till the onion loses its raw smell. Add the garlic and ginger juliennes & some salt. Fry till the fat leaves the masala.
At this time, remove all mutton pieces from the marinade and add to the pan. Keep the left over marinade. it will be used later.
Fry the mutton. it will sear first and then it will lose some of its water. fry till all the water has evaporated. by now your kitchen would be full of the aroma of the rezala. Reduce the flame and bhunno gently for a while, till you get the nutty aroma of the cashewnut caramelising.
At this stage, add the masala paste to the mutton. Fry some more on low flame till the fat leaves the masala and till you feel that the mutton has been fried just enough. Dont burn the masala.
At this stage, add the rest of the marinade to the pan. Add some warm water as well to cover the meat and the right consistency of your sauce, as you would like it. Bring to boil.
Now, you can pressure cook it or let simmer in the lowest flame for 50 minutes. If you must pressure cook, please pressure cook at the lowest flame. There will be no whistles, but you can switch off the flame after 18 to 20 minutes and let the cooker lose steam by itself. The meat continues to cook at this time, even without the flame. This will take 15 minutes. I assure you that this is the best way to cook the meat.
After you have removed the lid, taste for seasoning. By now your neighbours have rung the bell, asking you if they can join you for dinner
Let the mutton rest for 15 minutes then serve  with fragrant basmati or crisp parathas
Tip : If you forget to add the javitri, the magic is not going to happen

saffron and pistachio ice cream

 

this recipe has been influenced quite a bit by the quintessential indian frozen ice cream kulfi and uses the worlds most expensive spice saffron for flavoring and coloring.

 

Saffron if you dint know comes form the crocusplant, and is the stigma  of the purple flower which grows on the plant. because its so tiny and delicate it has to be handpicked and since you only get 3 per flower, so pushed the prices ridiculously high. but nothing compares to the aroma and color that you can get from using really good saffron. you get some very good saffrom from iran, the worlds largest producer and the best quality saffron to look for is called sargol, which is the all red part of the stigma, with maximum color and aroma.

 

anyway after all that info, lets get down to business.

 

creme anglaise/ english custard

 

250 ml milk or half milk and half cream like we did

 

4 egg yolks

 

120 gm sugar

 

7-8 strands of saffron / more is not good, can get bitter and too much toxic(really).

 

100 gms of crushed pistachio nuts lightly toasted

 

combine the egg yolks with the sugar. warm the milk and add it to the egg and sugar mix. mix in well, but dont whisk it too much, otherwise it gets to foamy and then its difficult to see whether it has been cooked to the right degree.strain to get rid of any shell fragments and get a smoother texture.

put on a very very very low heat. if in doubt, then use a double boiler. cook till the mixture starts to thicken .at this stage you could add in the saffron just as it is or lightly toasted(10seconds in the microwave). take it off the fire, when it has thickened enough to coat the back of spoon with. cool down and either churn in the ice cream machine or put in the freezer and take out every half hour or so and give it a good whisking then . when its half set add int he pistachio and freeze.

use with abandon !!

Dosa -pour Gerard Mouille

for the uninitiated this is the south Indian version of a crepe which is bloody delicious.its made from a fermented batter comprising rice and split and de husked black lentils, which have an off white centre which is called urad dal in Hindi.it was a long standing thing, for me to have made some for my friend Gerard Mouille who was owner /operator of La bastille, one of my favourite french restaurants in Trinidad.

now the method.

1 part by volume of urad dal
3 to 4 parts by volume of cheapest rice. since you are going to be grinding it to a paste, you dont need specifically some extra special one.
1-2 gms of fenugreek seeds-called methi in Hindi.
15-20 gms of split peas/chana dal
Salt and sugar to taste

Soak every thing together , execpt the seasoning ingredients for about half an hour. grind to a coarse paste, add salt and sugar and leave overnight to ferment and rise naturally.

How to cook them is another thing altogether and needs much practice. the idea is to spread the batter thin over a cast iron/ cast aluminium griddle plate called a tawa and cook it on one side only really. there are many important factors, the batter should be the right consistency , the griddle plate the right temperature.and should start to separate from the griddle really before you sprinkle a few drops of oil or butter or ghee and can be eaten with coconut chutney or tomato chutney or sambar , which are a few different lessons altogether.

For practical lessons pls contact me !!

maa bahen sauce- name inspired by Chris francis

Adapted from the Trini hot pepper sauce, which was more important than the salt and pepper for every dinner function that we did , when in trinidad, this sauce has the potential to blow the top of your mouth off. learned how to make tonnes of it by watching Wendy forde, Heston morreira and Sophia ghany, each one  had a slightly different version to it.

the english name for this sauce has been inspired because of the fiery heat of this sauce, which im sure when you taste for the first time , is like one step closer to suicide.

For the hindi name , i must owe homage to my good friend Christopher Francis, De bloody bugger from Bandra..that and the fact that there was a silly sounding sona chandi chywanprash at some point in the indian market. we transmogrified the name to maa bahen chywanprash and from there onwards, a few years later, when i was struck by a bizzarre idea to call it by this name.

there is no fixed recipe really, because every time in the name of creative spirit, or inspired genius.. i make new version. so far i have not decide to market the product for commercial gain,but instead give away free samples to friends.

 

the purpose of this is to add heat,  zest..life to all things which are duller..

Please wash hands after making and before  visiting the toilet or rubbing your eyes.

Too much will cause acidity/ heartburn/ reflux..and the need to call the fire service the next morning.

Update on this, i did sell quite a bit of this on neighbourly.co.nz…

coming back

back after almost closing down for a few months due to huge ammt of rubbish and spam, and will be rocking again with new and old recipes and random reflections  on life as i see it

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