Tarka Daal

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound chana dal (dried yellow split peas), rinsed until the water runs clear
2 pints water
4 tablespoons clarified butter
2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 whole green chilies, pricked with a knife
1 small (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
3 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Kosher salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
Handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions

Put the lentils and water into a pan, stir well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the water with a spoon. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until the lentils are just tender, adding more water as necessary.

When the lentils have cooked through, remove the pan from the heat, and use a whisk to break down the lentils. Set the mixture aside to thicken and cool.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, and fry for 20 to 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the onion, chiles, and ginger, and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Blend the garlic and tomatoes to a puree in a food processor. Add the puree to the pan, and stir well to combine. Add the turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and 3 1/2 ounces of water to the pan, and stir well to combine. Season the mixture with salt, to taste, and simmer over a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the oil from the sauce has risen to the surface of the sauce.

Add the cooked lentils to the sauce, and stir well, adding more water as necessary, to loosen the mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, and season, to taste, with salt before serving. Stir in the chopped cilantro just before serving. If this dish is not sour enough for you, add a squeeze of lemon juice. If you are a garlic lover, you can add another 2 cloves of garlic.

*Recipe Property of Palak Patel

Mattar Paneer

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 package of paneer (cubed)
2 tablespoons ghee
3-4 cardamom pods, whole
1 small stick of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon ginger, grated
3 green chilies, finely chopped
3-4 large tomatoes, pureed
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
3 tablespoons of kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves, found at specialty Indian shops)
1/4 cup water (or as needed)
1 ½ cups of frozen peas
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

Directions

Heat oil and fry paneer cubes till they turn golden brown. Set aside. In a separate pot, heat ghee, cumin seeds, until they are aromatic, turn a slight brown color and sputter. Add chopped onions, ginger, chilies and garlic and cook until onions soften.Add tomato puree, salt, sugar, and cook till the tomatoes soften till fat separates. Then add garam masala, chili powder, turmeric powder coriander powder, cumin powder, and kasoori methi. Cook for another few minutes to release spice flavors. Add the water and stir it in, using your discretion depending on how dry the dish is. If you added too much water, just let it simmer away until much of it evaporates – you want your tomatoes soft anyway. Add the peas. Cook just until the peas are tender. Pour in the cream, mix, and add the paneer and let simmer on medium heat for the paneer to absorb the flavors.

*Recipes Property of Palak Patel

Smoked Spiced Eggplant

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons canola oil
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, ground to a paste in a mortar and pestle
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
½ fresh hot green chile, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon

DIRECTIONS

Roast the eggplant directly on the burner of a gas stove over medium heat, turning often, until the skin is completely blackened and the flesh is soft, about 10 minutes. Or, roast the eggplant on a cookie sheet in a 500°F oven until the skin is blackened, about 20 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then pull off the skin with your fingers, rinsing your hands under running water as you work. (Don’t worry if you can’t get all the charred skin off.) Cut off and discard the stem. Then put the eggplant in a bowl and mash it to a puree with a potato masher.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, wok, or kadai over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the onion and salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until the raw smell disappears, about 30 seconds. Add the coconut, if using, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, garam masala, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Now add about 1 tablespoon of water, and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to stick, about 1 more minute.

Add the tomatoes, and give the mixture a stir. Add the mashed eggplant, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh chile and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Stir in the lemon juice, and taste for salt. Spoon into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of cilantro, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Chicken Biriyani with Cream and Garam Masala

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

10 cups water
2 cups basmati rice
1 recipe Braised Chicken in White Sauce with Garam Masala

DIRECTIONS

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the rice, and stir gently so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Return to a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer vigorously, partially covered, 6 minutes. Drain, return rice to the pan, and set aside until ready to use. Make the chicken, and simmer stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes after adding the cream.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Layer a third of the cooked rice over the bottom of a large ovenproof casserole dish, preferably with a lid. Layer half of the chicken on top, and smooth with a spoon. Add another third of the rice and then the rest of the chicken. Top with the remaining rice. Cover tightly with a foil and then a lid, if there is one. Bake 30 minutes. Remove casserole from the oven, and let stand 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Curried Black-Eyed Peas

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup canola oil
4 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
6 green cardamom pods
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 whole dried red chiles
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 garlic cloves, mashed in a mortar and pestle with 18 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 medium tomatoes, quartered and pureed in a food processor or blender
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ teaspoon garam masala
3 (15½-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup water

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil with the cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, chiles, cumin seeds, and bay leaves in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the ginger, and cook 1 minute. Add the onion and salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion turns a uniform golden brown color, about 15 minutes. Keep a measuring cup of water by the stove. As the onion begins to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn, add water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to pull up the browned bits, keeping the onion and spices from burning. Do this as often as necessary (5 or 6 times) until the onion is well browned.

When the onion is cooked, add the garlic, and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the coriander, ground cumin, and turmeric, and cook until the raw smell of the spices disappears, about 30 seconds. Add the cayenne, and then immediately the pureed tomato. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until a film of oil pools on the surface of the sauce, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a measuring cup or bowl, whisk or stir the yogurt until smooth. Stir about 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce in the yogurt to temper it. When the tomato sauce has cooked 5 minutes, stir in the tempered yogurt, the garam masala, black-eyed peas, and water. Turn the heat to medium, and heat until a bubble or two just breaks the surface, 5 to 7 minutes. (Do not allow yogurt in sauce to boil, or it will curdle.) Taste for salt, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

“Kwalitys” Chickpeas

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
3 whole dried red chiles
1½-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
4 fresh or 6 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
2 red onions, finely chopped
3 fresh hot green chiles, slit the length of the chile
1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons dried mango powder (amchur), or the juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons pomegranate seed powder (anaardaana), or the juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons ground toasted cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ cups water
3 (19-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, and red chiles in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cumin begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the ginger and curry leaves, if using, and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. (Stand back if using curry leaves; they spit when they hit the oil.) Add the onions, green chiles, and salt while cooking, stirring often, until the onions turn a uniformly dark brown color, about 20 minutes. Keep a cup of water beside the stove as the onions cook. As the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, and stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, add water, about 1 teaspoon at a time, and stir and scrape the bottom of the pan with the spoon to pull up the browned bits, keeping the onions and spices from burning. Do this as often as necessary (5 or 6 times) until the onions are well browned.

When the onions are cooked, add the mango and pomegranate powders, if using, as well as the ground/toasted cumin, turmeric, and ½ teaspoon of garam masala; cook, stirring, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the cayenne and black peppers. Immediately add the water and all but about ½ cup of chickpeas. Mash the rest of the chickpeas to a puree with the back of a form, and add them to the pan along with the remaining ½ teaspoon garam masala. Bring to a simmer, stirring, and cook gently, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, if using. Taste for salt, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Tamarind Chutney

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 1¼ cups

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon asafetida (optional)
½ teaspoon Garam Masala
2 cups water
1¼ cups sugar
3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil and spices in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until the spices are fragrant and lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Whisk in the water, sugar, and tamarind concentrate until completely dissolved, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, and simmer until the sauce turns the color of chocolate and is thick enough to leave a trail on the back of a spoon, 20 to 30 minutes. (While still warm it will look like chocolate sauce, and it will thicken a bit as it cools.) Taste for seasoning, transfer to a covered plastic container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or ladle into dry and sterilized jars and can according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Parathas Stuffed with Potato, Chiles, and Cilantro

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 12 Parathas

INGREDIENTS

1 cup whole wheat flour plus 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, or 2 cups chapati flour
Salt
1 to 1¼ cups water
1½ pounds boiling potaotes, boiled in their skins until tender (25 to 30 minutes) and cooked
½ cup very finely chopped red onion
1 fresh hot green chile, very finely chopped
1½ tablespoons very finely chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds or ½ teaspoon carom seeds
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
All purpose-flour, for rolling
Canola oil, for cooking
Butter, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Mix the flour(s) and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add ½ cup of the water to the flour mixture, and mix with your hand to combine. Add another ½ cup water, and mix again. Continue adding water, a little at a time, until the dough forms a ball. The dough should take about 1 cup of water.

Now knead the dough vigorously on a clean, unfloured work surface until the dough is moist, soft, and slightly sticky, but doesn’t cling to clean hands or the work surface, about 5 minutes. If the dough is try, dip your fingers into some water and knead the water into the dough. Put the dough into a clean bowl, cover with a clean damp kitchen towel pressed directly onto the surface, and let rest at 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and mash them roughly in your hands in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt, the onion, chile, cilantro, spices, and lemon or lime juice, and mix well to form a fairly smooth mixture (there will be small lumps present).

When the dough has rested, set out a bowl of all-purpose flour and a small bowl of canola oil, with a spoon, on your work surface. Lightly flour your work surface as well.

Break off a piece of dough about the size of a gold ball. Toss it first in the bowl of flour, and then roll it between the palms of your hands to make a ball. Set the ball on your work surface, and flatten to a 2-inch disk. Now roll the disk, flouring the work surface and dough as needed, into a thin round 4½ to 5-inches in diameter. Mound about ¼ cup of the potato mixture into the center of the dough rough. Bring the edges of the up over the top of the filling, and press them together to make a pouch. Press down on the neck of the pouch with the palm of one hand to make a slightly rounded disk. Turn the disk in the bowl of flour, and roll it out again into a round about 6-inches in diameter. Continue to roll all of the remaining dough into parathas, and stack them on the plate with sheets of plastic wrap between them.

Heat a griddle or frying pan (preference goes to cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Place the dough round on the heated, ungreased griddle or in the pan, and cook until the dough darkens slightly and you see bubbles begin to form underneath the surface of the dough, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Now you flip the paratha with a spatula, and cook until the bubbles form again.

With the back of the spoon, coat the top of the paratha with oil. Flip, and coat the other side with oil. Now continue cooking, pressing gently on the bread the the back of the spoon and moving the spoon around in a circular motion to press the bread onto the pan for even browning. When the bottom of the bread has browned, flip and repeat. Do this a few times until both sides of the paratha are golden brown and very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes in total.

Remove the paratha from the pan and spread with butter. Serve immediately. Then continue on this way until all of the parathas have been cooked.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Curried Yellow Lentils and Sweet Potato Soup (Yellow Lentils)

January 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1½ teaspoons garam masala
1½ teaspoons curry powder
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup yellow lentils
1 fresh bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of ½ lime

DIRECTIONS

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, and curry powder. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes and cook with spices, 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for until lentils are tender about 30 to 45 minutes.

Just before serving, add cilantro and lime juice. Serve immediately.

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