Basa Chili Basil

Basa Chili Basil

This is an amazing go-to recipe. Just pluck off some basil from the garden, handful of spices from your drawers and chop slash an onion and light up the flame to get this dead fish into a treat for all around. Though basa is not the most nutritious of fish around, it would certainly be one of the friendliest to serve. Less bones, more meat, sweet and friendly which the kids would love in so many different styles and so many different spices ! Enjoy while you make this fragrant delicacy and feel good when you serve this greedy eyes 😀

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 3 to 4 in 500 grams of cut fish. You are having rice or bread alongwith it right !
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes

….and we need (ingredients)

  • River Basa, 500 grams, cut pieces :Also called pangasius this is a very common river fish which is extremely easy to fillet. It is not very nutritious but the great thing about it is that bass is safe for all ages and does not have high mercury levels as in some other popular fishes. 
  • Basil leaves, 20, lime would be best : Basil is the king of the herbs. It’s a good king as well since it is very easily grown. Be it opal (purple basil), lime, cinnamon or holy (tulsi) basil, it grows super easy with cuttings or seeds. Check out my blog regarding propagation of basil by punching in basil in the search box. Sweet basil is an amazing seasoning besides having a host of health benefits like healing qualities, anti stress, anti inflammation, analgesic (pain-killer), antipyretic (anti fever), cancer fighter etc.
  • Oil, 3 tablespoon : Use any light odorless and tasteless oil only required for greasing the pan.
  • Onion, chopped, 1 : Strong, acidic and bitter. That’s what a good red onion is supposed to be. They are also good sources of Vitamin C and Iron and are good for hair, skin and help in weight-loss.
  • Red Chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Dried red chillies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Ginger Garlic paste. 1/2 teaspoon : An amazing herb mix to cure all sickness, pains etc. and providing the pungency and earthiness to the dish.
  • Black pepper powder, 1/4th teaspoon : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Oyster Sauce, 1 teaspoon : This has high sodium content and is sweet, salty and has a deep savory flavor.
  • Salt to taste : Regular treated table salt would do here.Since it is a river fish that we make here, sea salt which I otherwise use would feel out of place.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Marinate the cut fish with salt, ginger garlic paste and the red chili powder and set your bowl aside in the refrigerator for 30 mins. Cover it.
  • Take a non stick pan and grease it with the oil. Heat it till smoke starts coming off it.
  • Add onions to it and saute’ till they turn golden brown.
  • Now add fish to it and move around in the pan for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  • Sprinkle the pepper powder on this and mix well. Cook further for 5 minutes now.
  • Spread out the oyster sauce on pan and mix well.
  • Add the torn basil leaves and adjust the salt now to your taste. You may add 2 tablespoons of water now.
  • Cook uncovered for 10 minutes moving the fish in the pan well. Do not toss else you may breaks the fish pieces.
  • Serve the fish hot and steaming with bread or rice.

Storage : Storing the fish firms the texture and the initial softness and oils are practically lost. But you can still store this dish for 2 days in the refrigerator provided that you do not reheat more than once.

Missing Something ? : You may want to garnish with dry parsley. That would be quite fine as well.

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Gajar Shalgam Gobhi Ka Achaar

Gajar Shalgam Gobhi Ka Achaar / Carrots Turnips and Cauliflower Pickle

I have always taken pride in my pickles. My belief is that anything that is edible is also ‘pickle-able’ ! I’ve had the pleasure to pickle most of the things that can be accommodated in the refrigerators. Vegetables, meats everything ! The bases of most pickles would be oils, brine and vinegar but there are some vegetables that can be pickled standalone, merely by salting, take for example lemon. This pickle here is what many households would call as grandma’s favorite. I have been a big fan of this since my childhood. Large ceramic jars filled with Gajar Shalgam Gobhi pickle have more or less of a permanent fixture at my place. It is a kid’s favorite too since it carries an amazing yummy sweet sour flavor and doesn’t pinch the throat a bit. In fact, preparing this pickle is more of a family day in the kitchen due to it’s heavy engagement and preparation time. Read on and enjoy for months to come if you decide to prepare this one !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 jar to last 6 months or as fast as your appetite can spare it 🙂
  • Preparation time : 60 minutes preparation + 45 minutes cooking
  • Serving size : I can eat 1/4th of a small bowl with a meal 🙂

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Cauliflower florets, 1 kg : I would introduce cauliflower as an undergraduate cousin of the post graduated broccoli. Cauliflower is a very nutritious vegetable which helps fight cancer, heart diseases, inflammation & excessive weight. 
  • Carrots, 1 kg : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor.
  • Turnips, 1 kg : Turnips are amazingly sweet roots. In fact I use their leaves in my kitchen too. But if you allow them to grow larger, they become hard and bitter. A good size would be that of a cricket ball. Turnips are also one of the healthiest foods on earth. It has good amount of fiber, minerals like iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium , potassium omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, K, A C, E and B complex. That’s a big load of wonders 🙂
  • White Vinegar, 750 ml : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar. It is an amazing preservative.
  • Nigella, 1 teaspoon : It’s called kalonji in Indian kitchens and is packed with antibacterials, antioxidants, anti inflammatory. It has a slight bitter, onion like flavor.
  • Fenugreek seeds, 60 grams : Mildly sweet and nutty and very earthy, fenugreek controls cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and hunger control. In India we generally use the leaves as a veggie but lesser kitchens in India would not have the dried seeds as well.
  • Peppercorns, 60 grams : Pepper aids respiration and digestion. It is also an antibacterial, anti oxidant and improves skin texture. They have the obvious mild fiery flavor.
  • Cumin seeds, 60 grams : Cumin has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Black Cardamom seeds, 12 grams : This is a bigger cousin of green cardamom. The pods have a fragrance which is more earthy and taste which is less sweet that the green variety. It is great in fighting cold and improves respiration hence aiding in asthma. It is good for hair, skin too. 
  • Mustard seeds, 120 grams :Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Fennel seeds, 2 tablespoon : Fennel is amazingly sweet perfumed and tastes so much like licorice that it is a widely used breath freshener in India. Fennel has amazing benefits like maintaining bone & skin health and aiding digestion.
  • Red Chili powder, 2 tablespoon : Dried red chilies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Cinnamon, 2 inch stick : Again an amazing sweet taste and flavor enhancer, cinnamon is also an anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and sugar controlling ingredient. I replace my sugar with cinnamon often.
  • Cloves, 18 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, pain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Turmeric powder, 2 tablespoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Salt, 300 grams : I used regular table salt here. It is treated in labs and hence helps as a good preservative to the pickle.
  • Jaggery, 1.5 kg : Jaggery is an amazing anti oxidant and helps the body fight against infections. It is like a buttery liquid sugar and is good to mix in food in powder or liquid forms.
  • Mustard oil, 800 grams : This extremely pungent oil is a great source of Omega 3 and Vitamin E hence great for your skin and hair. Besides in kitchen, mustard oil is the most popular oil across the globe for body and hair massages. 

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash and chop all the vegetables. The cauliflowers need to be chopped into 1 inch thick florets, the carrots into 1 & 1/2 inch sticks with 5 mm thickness and turnips into 1 inch cubes.
  • Blanch all these veggies and set under a fan to dry. Traditionally, we spread it over a muslin cloth or a newspaper either under the sun or under a fan and leave  to dry for a full sunny day.
  • While the vegetables are drying, there is sufficient work at hand. Read on
  • Grind and blend the ginger and garlic into a crude paste.
  • Now heat the oil in a skillet and saute the ginger garlic paste for 5 minutes on medium flame.
  • Meanwhile grind the dry spices (Nigella, Fenugreek, Turmeric, Peppercorns, Cumin, Cardamom, Mustard, Fennel, Cinnamon and Cloves). It wouldn’t be a bad idea to mildly roast the mixture before grinding. Crispier spice mix would grind easily. Grinding well is important else the spices might give an unpleasant chewing experience later.
  • Now add this spice mix in the skillet where the mustard oil and the ginger garlic awaits. Saute’ this for 5 minutes.
  • Add the red chili powder and salt and saute’ for 3 minutes further. Then set the skillet aside to cool.
  • While this cools, take another skillet and pour the vinegar into it. Heat and set the flame on medium. Gradually add pieces of jaggery (or the powder if you have chosen such) in this hot vinegar and stir constantly till the jaggery completely dissolves in the solution.
  • By now the veggies should have dried properly. So mix the veggies, the spiced oil and the jaggery vinegar solution well.
  • Bottle this up in large jars and close the lid tightly.
  • Show this pickle jar a lot of sunshine for a week to 10 days and be ready to see happy faces for months to come 😀

Storage : 12 months shelf life provided that you avoid moisture !

Missing Something ? : Did I actually miss any spice in your Indian kitchen, let me know and we can discuss whether you can add that too 😀 . You can add thin cuts of raw turmeric or ginger as additional ingredients.

Lamb Shanks Grilled with Coriander

Lamb Shanks Grilled in Coriander

When the season is your reason you give in to your inner person. That’s true for all natural instincts, cooking and eating included 😀

Monsoon in the air, crazy gluttony was seeking my attention. I’ve always preferred red mutton over the white chicken (no competition to my love for seafood though) . Now draw a vision of moist air in the town and amazing fragrance of coriander and mutton slowly percolating in the nooks of your house, teasing and tingling your sense. Yes ! that’s what I am sharing with you all today. Enjoy and for once, give in to your slurpy sin !! 

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 shanks per guest would be great
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes to ready + 60 minutes slow grilling

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Lamb shanks, 4 to 6 : I consider lamb shanks to be a prime cut of mutton. It’s amazingly tender to the bone after you cook it patiently for an hour or so. 
  • Coriander, chopped, pasted, 1 bunchfull, around 250 grams : Again, this comes straight from my garden. Gives a orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.
  • Butter 200 grams : Butter is the best grease for a grill. While some oils also do the trick but nothing separates the meat from the bones like butter. Hey ! did you know, India is the largest producer of butter in the world.
  • Lettuce, torn 6 to 8 : Lettuce is amazing in summers (though hard to find in this season). It’s so hot in Delhi in summers that all my lettuce dries up (if any is left) by early march itself. It has over 90% water and very low fiber. It gives us Vitamin C, potassium, calcium to us adding the mild peppery and crunchy flavor to the salad.
  • Garlic cloves, 8 to 10, 2 per shank would be a better proportion : Garlic is my King Pungent, I add it here for the flavor. garlic is great to combat common cold and sickness.
  • Veggies chopped, 1 cup, I use carrots, turnip greens, broccoli, beans and peas : All these vegetables come directly from my garden. A good mix of them are low in fat and high in fiber. They are also a great natural mix of essential minerals and bring amazing essence of earthiness to this dish.
  • Salt & Pepper to taste : Use coarse salt for authenticity. Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Melt the butter and whip it for 10 seconds. Add 2 pinches of salt and 1 pinch of black pepper powder and whip for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the coriander paste in it and mix well till it blends into a green butter paste.
  • Now take the lamb shanks and make deep cuts in the soft meat.
  • Pour the butter paste made earlier and coat the shanks well enough to let the butter fill the shanks well. Remember, the better the butter seeps in, the better and sooner would your shanks cook.
  • Now chop the veggies into 1/2 inch cubes (all except the broccoli) and the broccoli in average size florets and sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper each over them.
  • Now take an aluminium foil roll and cut out 10 inch by 10 inch squares of them and lay them across your kitchen slab.
  • Put a portion of veggies in each square and place a lamb shank each in the midst.
  • Grate the garlic and drop equal portions among each shank vegetable mix.
  • Now pour the remaining butter (if any) equally to coat the shanks well and make wraps of each portion.
  • Pre-heat your microwave now at 180 degrees for 3 minutes.
  • Place all your shank wraps (aluminium foils) in a grilling tray and place in your oven. It will be better if you place a stand beneath the tray to bring your shanks nearer the grills which would generally be at the top of a microwave.
  • Put the microwave in grilling mode and set your timer for 60 minutes.
  • Wait patiently and enjoy the fragrance floating in your kitchen while the shanks go cooking slowly and for long.
  • Make sure that they are cooked well before you decide to serve. If the butter has flowed in well, then the cooked meat would separate from the bones without any effort. If required, bring to this level by increasing your cooking time by 10 minutes or so.

Storage : I don’t think you’ll leave much leftover after your appetite has been sufficiently teased for around an hour by the fragrance of the slow cooking shanks 🙂 .

Missing Something ? : Please don’t change much here else you’ll miss the simplicity and authenticity. And moreover, what am I asking you to use 🙂

Oysters Fried in Tamarind Sauce

Oysters Fried in Tamarind Sauce

Sometime back I cooked some oyster meat as a masala recipe. That had a sunshine essence while this one has a midnight appeal 🙂 . I was very enthralled by the little dish which was amazingly textured and turned from a dirt filled slimy meat pieces to absolutely divine morsels. Was very eager to making something similar using the tanginess of tamarind and the bite of some fresh chilies. I had this dish with a bowl of clear boiled white rice and wow, it turned out great. It pays to be adventurous in the kitchen 😀 . Do try at your end, and yes, feel free to iterate your own way !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 to 3 tablespoon of the dish

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Oysters meat, cleaned, 250 grams :Fluidic and tender, oyster meat is a good antioxidant and as written earlier, since it has very little fat and calories, it is great in weight management and increasing the energy levels in a person. Notwithstanding, oyster meat is a good aphrodisiac too. I get them at local seafood delivery even in off season, so not too difficult to lay hands upon even in Delhi.
  • Green Chilies, 2 to 3 : Great for eyes and skin, green chilies are the healthiest ones to bring in the bitter zing in any dish. I used them here, freshly plucked from my garden to bring in their essence. I deseeded them well to ensure it being kids friendly. I pick the less bitter ones from my garden.
  • Turmeric powder, 1/3rd teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the dish. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. Though I’ve started growing turmeric in my garden, it’s not been used as a dried spice yet.
  • Degi Mirch, 1/2 teaspoon : Widely native in the heavenly valleys of Kashmir state, degi mirch has an amazing ruby red color and a mild bitter flavor. It has pretty much similar benefits of skin, hair and inflammation as most regular chili peppers.
  • Tamarind, 1 teaspoon : Tamarind manages body heat well and helps in weight loss and heart regulation. It boosts digestion and immunity. Tamarind brings tanginess in the dish.
  • Pepper powder, 1/4th teaspoon : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Garam Masala, 1/3rd teaspoon : The ever popular Indian concoction of spices helps in weight loss, pain fight, immunity boost etc. True to its name, it’s hot and powerful. Imagine being the blend of around 10 powerful spice essence. Indian kitchen = Garam masala. 
  • Sea salt, to taste : Sea salt is slightly healthier and mineral rich salt. However, I add it here instead of table salt to bring in more authentic essence in my seafood 🙂
  • Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Curry leaves, 6 to 8 : There isn’t a household in India which does not have a curry leaves plant. They have high amount of calcium, carbohydrates, fibre, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin E, B, C and A hence helping heart, hair, skin and fighting infections. Here I add them for their extreme spicy aroma. One old friend from Bangalore once told me, if the South Indians would have their way, they would even add curry patta in Chinese food 🙂 
  • Fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon : Fennel is amazingly sweet perfumed and tastes so much like licorice that it is a widely used breath freshener in India. Fennel has amazing benefits like maintaining bone & skin health and aiding digestion.
  • Oil, 14th cup : I used coconut oil due to it being odorless and tasteless and just providing the grease and with a low heating point.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Heat half the oil in a pan on medium heat and wait till it starts fuming.
  • To this add turmeric powder, and degi mirch and cook for 30 seconds. Do not overdo else your pan will start fuming sneezy fumes 🙂
  • To this add 2 pinches of salt, the tamarind paste, the garam masala and pepper powder and stir for a minute maximum. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir further for 2 minutes to form a thick sauce. Now take off the flame, off the pan and set aside.
  • Heat the rest of the oil in the same pan. When it fumes, add fennel and move till it crackles.
  • Now add curry leaves and the green chilies and make them move around in the pan to cook for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Remember, all the dish cooks in medium flame only. That way the light oil retains greasiness and the oyster also do not firm to a rubbery texture.
  • While the pan is cooking chilies and curry leaves, add the oysters meat to it. Cook for 10 minutes in the pan stirring well. This would be the right time to adjust the salt levels. Mix well and switch off the gas.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice over the oysters and leave the oyster cooked such (covered  with a lid) for next 2 minutes.
  • Now open the lid and pour the tamarind sauce earlier prepared.
  • Serve steaming to hungry poking forks 😀

Storage : Not suggested. The texture will be lost forever. Anyways, you are making a yummy dish, don’t even think about storing it.

Missing Something ? : I suggest don’t tinker too much with the ingredients here.

Tricolor Tiffins

Tricolor Tifins

The Tuesday was busy with business squabbles. Works were stuck, moods were clogged and then came a time one realized that tomorrow was Independence Day. Must be some little treat to match the moods. Then I came across some wonderful Independence Day treats that my fellow bloggers had created that I was extremely impressed. and just couldn’t sit back.SO I dug into the kitchen cabinets to check out all that I could lay my hands upon and lo behold ! I have in platter some great treat for all within a jiffy. Do try and enjoy 😀

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 3 to 4
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 to three rolls each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Wheat bread slices, 4 :  No specific reason why I chose wheat bread. It’s just the one that we use at our place and that was what I had with me then. BTW, wheat bead is said to have all the great nourishment of  whole wheat like fiber, protein, antioxidants and iron.
  • Crude pesto : You would say, NOW ! thats not an ingredient. But look ! I’m not really selling a recipe here, it’s a treat snack for the JIT (Just In Time) moment. I prepared this by just blending 2 cups lime basil from my garden with crushed mixed nuts, 5 cloves of garlic with 2 cubes of cheese in 2 teaspoon of olive oil.
  • Flax seed chutney : It’s a more or less of a fixed condiment in my refrigerator now. Recall my recipe for this yummy and healthy chutney. Click here

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Cut off the edges of the bread slices. I never liked them anyways 🙂
  • Roll them hard with a rolling pin into 2 mm thick slices. If they are crispy, I suggest you move them in the microwave for 15 seconds. If they are crisp, they will crack either while rolling or while serving.
  • On one slice spread the flax seed chutney well.
  • On the other slice, spread the pesto dip.
  • Place one atop the other such that there is a layer of bread between both spreads.
  • Now roll them into tight rolls.
  • Now you a long roll with you. Chop it into 1 inch or 2 inch smaller rolls and serve with tea. Be appreciated 😀

Storage : You can store for 1 heating (if they manage to escape the treat 🙂 )

Missing Something ? : Try putting some dried oregano as a outer seasoning. Will seem good. Also, you may add red chili powder to the flax seeds chutney.

Paya Shorba in Coriander & Lemongrass

Paya Shorba in Coriander & Lemongrass / Lamb Trotters Stock in Coriander & Lemongrass

It’s a pleasant weather during monsoons in North India. There’s hyper activity due to friendly weather and that results in some excellent rewards to the kids like dollops of ice cream 😀 . When these dollops go out of control, then we hear mild coughs and worried parents. That’s when the following recipes work wonders. They’ll make the kids go lip smacking and calmly takes away the parental worry of mild coughs and shivers and injects in a booster of metabolism in all. Simple and nice, this stock of lamb trotters or paya as called in India, is so tasty that it is a literal delicacy in local shacks.

Try this and I promise that you’ll want to go wild enjoying this with your own indigenous variations 🙂 

 

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 bowl, 1 for the treat
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes
  • Serving size : 1/2 to 1 bowl each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Lamb trotters, 3 to 4 : We
  • Onion, chopped, red, 1 :
  • Garlic cloves, 4 – 5 :
  • Turmeric, 1/4th teaspoon :
  • Cloves, 2 – 3 :
  • Green Cardamom, 1 :
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 inch :
  • Salt, to taste :
  • Ghee, 2 tablespoon :
  • Red Chili Powder, 1/4th teaspoon :
  • Pepper, black powder, 1/4th teaspoon :
  • Coriander, 3 tablespoon :
  • Garam Masala, 1/2 teaspoon :
  • Lemongrass, handfull :
  • Lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon :

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash and clean the trotters several times. Remember where they are located in the body and what use are they for and you’ll do sufficient cleaning am sure 🙂 . Boil the trotters now in 5 cups of water and keep aside.
  • Chop and grind the onions and garlic cloves. Chopping just makes the grindig easy, right ?
  • Take out the trotters (paya) from the stock. Heat the ghee in a pan till it completely  melts. Add the trotters, chili, coriander and garam masala to it and cook well. Should take around 10 – 12  minutes of high to medium flame.
  • Heat a pressure cooker on medium flame. To this add the paste prepared earlier (onion, garlic) and cook for 1 minute.
  • To this add turmeric, cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon and salt and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the lamb trotters alongwith the masala in which it was cooked and stir further for a minute.
  • Now add the crudely chopped lemongrass to this and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Finally add the stock prepared in the first step of the recipe and shut the lid of the cooker.
  • Pressure cook for 4 – 5 minutes on high flame and then switch off the flame. Open the lid after the pressure is released sufficiently.
  • Serve hot after squeezing lemon juice over it. Enjoy serving, the flavor would envelop the room, I guarantee 🙂

Storage : Please don’t. The ghee will saturate and the purpose of the shorba will be lost.

Missing Something ? : Try your iterations, open to creativity 🙂

Yam Traditional / Ratalu ki Sabzi

Yam Traditional / Ratalu ki Sabzi

Yam is one of the prettiest plants that can grow in any garden. It has such distinct heart shaped leaves or big elephant ear leaves which stand out very pretty among the rest of the foliage. You should see the dew drops collect over them after sunrise in monsoons, they sparkle like little diamonds. Yams are tubers like many other of my favorite ones like sweet potatoes, beets and carrots.

I am not too charmed by this ugly looking vegetable which is harvested from an amazingly beautiful plant, but I do know some wonderful ways to cook them into delicacies. You would’ve gone through a well appreciated recipe Ratalu Nawabi Style where I made a version of Yam (Jimikand) in a quite different attire. When you get tired of looking at the ugly looking, out of shape Ratalu in your kitchen/refrigerator, you can use this recipe to dish out a lip smacking feast which goes well any type of bread. Read on !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4, with sufficient bread stock
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • Serving size : 1/2 a bowl each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Yam, 1 medium sized, would be around 400 grams : Yam is a tuber and is harvested as a root. It has a distinct starchy taste and a very earthy fragrance. Yam is very high in Vitamin C & B and hence makes the bones strong, fights cold, is anti aging and enhances our immunity as well.
  • Mustard oil, 2 teaspoon : This extremely pungent oil is a great source of Omega 3 and Vitamin E hence great for your skin and hair. Besides in kitchen, mustard oil is the most popular oil across the globe for body and hair massages. 
  • Mustard (yellow or black), 2 teaspoons : Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/4th teaspoon : Cumin has an amazing earthy, musk flavor essence. It is said to be the second most popular spice on the planet. It improves digestion, sugar control, weight loss etc.
  • Fenugreek seeds, 1/4th teaspoon : Mildly sweet and nutty and very earthy, fenugreek controls cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and hunger control. In India we generally use the leaves as a veggie but lesser kitchens in India would not have the dried seeds as well.
  • Bay leaf, 1 : Bay leaf is great for joints and skin and are packed with Vitamin A & C and many other minerals like iron, potassium and manganese. They are pungent and bitter in taste. I grow bay leaves in my garden so I can tell you that the fresh ones and dried ones are quite different. Use the dried ones only please. Bay leaves can grow into small trees giving lifetime supply 🙂
  • Lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Garlic cloves, 3 : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the dish. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. Though I’ve started growing turmeric in my garden, it’s not been used as a dried spice yet.
  • Coriander, chopped, 1 tablespoon : Again, this comes straight from my garden. Gives an orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.
  • Red Chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Red chilies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Lemon grass, 1 teaspoon : I learnt that lemongrass is a mild astringent and helps controlling fever, cough, digestion, blood pressure etc. besides adding a wonderful citrus zest to the dish.
  • Green chili, 1 deseeded : Great for eyes and skin, green chilies are the healthiest ones to bring in the bitter zing in any dish. I used them here, freshly plucked from my garden to bring in their essence. I deseeded them well to ensure it being kids friendly. I pick the less bitter ones from my garden.
  • Ginger, 1 teaspoon, chopped : This south asian spice king is a great compliment to garlic. It helps us in getting rid of morning sickness, nausea and muscle pain as well. It’s tea is a widely used generic organic medicine.
  • Table salt : I used 1/2 teaspoon here

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Peel off the yam and shave well so as not to have any skin sticking. They grow inside the soil so may never be clean enough. Slice them into rounds not increasing 1 centimeter in thickness and 1 & 1/2 inch in width.. Now put it in a pressure cooker and boil for 1 whistle. Then take it off and allow it to cool.
  • While the yam cools, add the garlic cloves, the ginger, the green chili, turmeric, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, some salt and the lemon grass in a blender and grind well into a masala paste.
  • Now shallow fry the yam slices using mustard oil till they have lost all their sap. Recall, how I explained (Jimikand ki Sabzi) , that this was a critical step to prevent the sap biting in your throat at ready stage. Fry till it turns golden brown and then set aside.
  • Now heat the mustard oil in a pan (enough to shallow fry). To this add the cumin, mustard (remaining), fenugreek and bay leaf and stir on medium flame till sputtering starts.
  • Now add the earlier ground masala paste and saute’ for 3 minutes on medium flame till well cooked.
  • Add your Yam slices to it now and 1/2 a cup of water. Mix well and cook covered for 7 – 9 minutes till well done. Stir a few times during the cooking to prevent sticking.
  • Platter your dish, garnish with freshly harvested and chopped coriander, squeeze the lemon juice over it and serve steaming. You are ready to miss the count of the breads that disappear fast now.

Storage : This can be refrigerated for 4 days.

Missing Something ? : Skip the chilies or vary it’s quantity if you have have kids being served.

Pan Fried Octopus

Octopus Pan Fried

There are always a few things that one comes across and take upon as a challenge to do. Cooking octopus was one such challenge. Every step of cooking an octopus was a learning for me. Right from the type of octopus that cook best to the safety steps involved in it. Octopus cooking is no sweet deal if you do not know how. Every part of an octopus is unique hence you tend to learn a lot about the creature as well. Just to startle you with its introduction, an octopus has 3 hearts, 9 brains and blood which is blue in color ! 9 brains, should make it the most intelligent creature on earth right ? Wrong. Only one of its brains is primary and rest eight are attached to each of its tentacles and have limited functions. Not that we are bothered about with that much, we get right to our skillet to take up this challenge !

Read on and pardon me for any errors in the dish 😦 since it’s literally my first attempt at Dr. Octo  😀  !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Octopus 2 to 3 medium small, would be around 500 grams : I ordered some and lo behold, I got delivered fresh full-bodied octopus. Octopus have a mild rubbery, chewy texture. I felt there wasn’t much taste of its own in an octopus, so it was quite open to cooking styles and use of spices. It is extremely low in fats and has good amounts of minerals, Vitamin B12 and protein.
  • Red Chilies, ground, 1/3rd teaspoon : Red chilies are good for skin and eyes and are great anti oxidants. Here I use them for their extreme flavor and earthiness over a bland octopus meat.
  • Oil, light, unflavored : I would prefer light oils like coconut or olive here to grease my pan.
  • Coarse sea salt granules : Coarse sea salt granules are more authentic and full of minerals which the regular table salt is lacking. Use it to your taste.
  • Onions, chopped, 1 tablespoon : I generally use the red, mild onions with white layers inside. They have a fair taste and are great in controlling blood sugar.
  • Tomatoes, 2 tablespoon, chopped : Filled with potassium, magnesium and Vitamin A, C & K, tomatoes form the cooking flavor essence in this dish.
  • Lemon, 1/2, cut : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Cherry tomatoes, 2 – 4, cut in halves : Has high sugar concentration so is very sweet and cute to look at too. I grow them in pots and in my garden, but they are easily available at stores as well. Packed with powerful nutrients like Vitamin A, C and K and potassium. I grow them in abundance in my garden.
  • Garlic cloves, roasted, 5 – 6 : My King Pungent ! Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon : Parsley is the best mouth freshener and tomato is the right natural condiment with seafood. I grow at least 4 varieties in my garden hence am pretty keen to use anytime.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash the octopus well several times.
  • Take off (chop) the head part, refer snaps. This is very critical since the head contains the beak part. The beak is the part from where the octopus not only eats, he also defends himself by releasing the toxic blue blood from its beak. So stay from trouble and chop its head off the tentacles.
  • Take these tentacles and wash well again. Now pat dry them and soak them in cold milk for 30 minutes. Soaking in milk enables the white soft texture to retain its tenderness and not turn rubbery and unchewable when cooked.
  • Now heat the oil in a non stick skillet/pan. Add salt and red chilies (ground) and mix well.
  • Now add onions to it and stir till golden brown.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes (not the cherry tomatoes) to the pan and saute’ for two minutes.
  • Now carefully add the chopped octopus tentacles. Stir cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cook covered for 7 – 8 minutes. Now switch off the flame and keep it covered for another 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Now take off the lid and serve in a platter. Garnish this with chopped parsley.
  • Mild roast the garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes and keep as sides on the platter to give the correct essence.
  • Mildly squeeze some lemon juice and serve immediately.

Storage : Like most of my dishes, do not store. Coook only as per requirement.

Missing Something ? : Feel free to iterate.

Gurda Kaleji Taka Tak

Gurda Kaleji Taka Tak

There are mughlai dishes in India that make the premium breads here, called Naan, disappear one after the other. This is true surrender to your sin of the palate as I would call it. Loaded and sumptuous and full of rich spices, the aroma of this dish converts any regular dining table to a feast of richness. Needless to say, I was tempted to make this one in monsoons, though winters would be a better time to relish steaming Gurda Kaleji Taka Tak. One plate of this sufficed to full stomachs for me and my kid. Have fun while you go through the recipe and hoping that you are mesmerized enough to cook a round of this street delicacy with it’s roots in mughlai cuisine. N’joy 😀

 

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3 spice starved, eager, famished guests
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes
  • Serving size : Half a bowl and any stretch to this would be a WoW !

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Gurda Kaleji (Liver & Kidneys) of mutton, 250 grams : We all know that liver is the most nutrient rich organ and is filled with Vitamin A hence great for eyes. Kidney is extremely high in several minerals and Vitamins but is a cholesterol loaded food. So not recommended for the weight watchers 🙂 .  They taste like regular mutton but with less fiber hence disintegrating sooner than rest.
  • Onion, red, chopped, 1 : Strong, acidic and bitter. That’s what a good red onion is supposed to be. They are also good sources of Vitamin C and Iron and are good for hair, skin and help in weight-loss.
  • Tomatoes, chopped, 2 : Tomato not only acts as a great anti oxidant and giving us Vitamin K – C etc., it also gets the sweet & fresh essence on a high in this dish. I use the regular round ones from my garden generally.
  • Green Chilies, 3, deseeded : Great for eyes and skin, green chilies are the healthiest ones to bring in the bitter zing in any dish. I used them here, freshly plucked from my garden to bring in their essence. I deseeded them well to ensure it being kids friendly.
  • Ghee, 1 tablespoon : Unlike popular belief, ghee actually helps in weight loss. It is also a great soluble of most vegetables and strengthens bones doing so. We use ghee here for cooking for its great buttery essence.
  • Garlic cloves, 5 : Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Ginger, 1/2 inch : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon : Quite unlike me, still used regular table salt here.
  • Red chili powder, 1/3rd teaspoon : Dried red chillies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Cumin has an amazing earthy, musk flavor essence. It is said to be the second most popular spice on the planet. It improves digestion, sugar control, weight loss etc. Roasting it makes it easy to mix in the salads and chaats. A non roasted seed would need irritable grinding by teeth while eating.
  • Garam Masala, 1 teaspoon : The ever popular Indian concoction of spices helps in weight loss, pain fight, immunity boost etc. True to its name, it’s hot and powerful. Imagine being the blend of around 10 powerful spice essence.
  • Coriander, chopped, enough to garnish : Coriander provides the garnish to the dish and takes off any unwanted smell. Coriander is also a great digestive and also aids in the digestive and blood system of our body. The sweet coriander is one of the most popular garnish across fat cooked dishes. I pluck the whole plant from my garden since roots give the best flavor in the coriander plant.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Heat the ghee in a pan, keep it on low flame. Take it a bit beyond melting point ( till you see vapors ).
  • Chop the ginger and garlic cloves in tiny pieces and add to the pan. Add them to the pan and saute for 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Ad the chopped onions to it and saute’ till they turn golden brown in color.
  • To this add half the chopped tomatoes (1 in number) and stir saute’ for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • To this add the cumin powder and red chili powder and mix well.
  • Now add the remaining tomatoes, gurda and kaleji and salt and mix well.
  • Put in the green chilies now and add 1/2 cup of water to the dish. Stir mix well.
  • Sprinkle the garam masala over it and cook covered for around 10 minutes or till your desired texture is reached. Keep stirring after every couple of minutes.
  • Now take off the flame, garnish with chopped coriander and serve steaming. I bet, you’ll get the platter back while it’s hot as well. The dish will relocate within greedy tummies in a moment or two 🙂

Storage : Yes, this can be stored for 2 to 4 days in your refrigerator.

Missing Something ? : Please do not iterate here. This is just too good and authentic !!

Featured Blogger Recognition Award

BLOGGERs RECOGNITION AWARD

While I have been extremely interested in reading about the great things that my fellow bloggers have been putting online, it came as a wonderful shake up, when I received the message from fellow blogger @azratarannum that I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award. Please stop at https://noshable.in/author/azratarannum/ to have some amazing reading experience.

Blogger Recognition Award
Blogger Recognition Award

The passion of putting my kitchen and gardening experiences online in words and snaps started in early April ’18 and in a matter of couple of months I seem to have found myself a parallel space of solace. I can easily call it my Food-Aasana (read aasnas in yoga).

Here are my 2 bits of suggestions to all friends :

  • Let your words always speak the truth. While putting your experiences or thoughts as posts or connecting and appreciating with fellow bloggers, let it be all original.
  • Thoughts and experiences should not be edited. Share what you want and the like minded will connect with it.

Hope they help !!

Continuing with the tradition, allow me to nominate the below given fellow bloggers :

  1. rosemarieskitchensite.wordpress.com
  2. lowcarbnikki.com
  3. bakingintheburbs.net
  4. abritinhelsinki.com
  5. swathisamayal.com
  6. larenascorner.com
  7. guyanesegirlhaitiansoul.com
  8. rozinaspersiankitchen.com
  9. goatsandgreens.wordpress.com
  10. hopscotchmom.wordpress.com
  11. vinayasculinarydelights.com
  12. buttoni.wordpress.com
  13. mayuris-jikoni.com
  14. frugalhausfrau.com
  15. indianeskitchen.com
  16. beatcancer2010.wordpress.com
  17. sunshinysasite.wordpress.com
  18. jyotiskitchenblog.wordpress.com
  19. abhajhablog.wordpress.com
  20. ajeanneinthekitchen.com
  21. julienne.red
  22. surbhikirasoi.wordpress.com
  23. blondieaka.wordpress.com
  24. aplateofhappiness.net
  25. snehdeepskitchensite.wordpress.com

Oh ! did I cross my appreciation list. Look at it from my eyes, I just couldn’t stop !!

Carry on the great job friends !! Namaste