Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Lemon Tea Loaf


We love pound cake way more than ice cakes in this household and if it is citrus of any sort, I am in heaven. This is melt in your mouth velvety cake, I am sure it will make you fall in love with lemon. You can use lime or orange if you desire.


Ingredients 

Flour 3 cups
Oil 1 cup
Butter 2/3 cup
Sugar 2 cups
Salt 2/3 tsp
Eggs 3
Milk 1.5 cup
Lemon juice 1/4 cup
Vanilla 1 tsp
Lemon zest 2 tbsp
Baking powder 1.5 tsp

Method

Preheat the oven at 350 Fahrenheit or 180 Celsius.
Beat oil,  butter and sugar till nice and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time. And beat well
 Everything should look like whipped frosting.
Add vanilla.
Mix lemon juice, milk and lemon zest. Let sit for 5 mins. It will look like split milk but that's how you want it. Whisk it and it's ready to use.
Sift baking powder, salt and flour.
Now add half flour mixture and use a spatula to mix followed by half of the liquid mix. Repeat till everything is well incorporated. 
Butter and line two loaf pans. 
Divide mixture between the two. Transfer to the middle rack and bake for 50-55 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Jhat Pat Chicken Biryani

Biryani is queen of any rice and meat dish.  It's a favorite at my dinner table and must on our weekend menu. This is a quick Biryani which will be ready in a jiffy as compared to long , complicated version but equally delicious  and full of flavors. I will write recipe in two steps i.e. meat preparation, rice preparation. 

Meat Ingredients 

Chicken 1 cut into 14-16 pcs 2-3 lbs
Salt 1-1.5 tsp
Red Chili powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder  1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cloves 6
Bay leaf 1
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Green cardamom 5
Cinnamon stick 2 inch pc
Star anise 1 flower
Mace blade 1
Pepper corn 12 pcs
Yogurt 1/4 cup
Onion 2 thinly sliced 
Garlic paste 1 heaped tbsp
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Tomato 1 sliced 
Tomato paste 1 tsp
Oil 1/2 -1/3 cup
Green chilli 2-3 
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Dry plums 6 pcs
Coriander leaves a handful
Mint leaves a handful
Egg yellow food color 1/8 tsp optional 

Method

Put oil and onion in a pan and turn the heat on medium. Stir every two mins till onions are golden. Take out on a paper towel and spread in a single layer to get them crispy. 
Add ginger and garlic paste to the oil and fry till its golden and aromatic.  Put the tomato paste and a little water and fry with ginger garlic paste. 
Put all the dry spices in at this stage and mix well before adding the chicken.  
Stir in the yogurt and fry chicken on high flame till all the moisture is evaporated and oil separates from the curry.
Pour 1.5 cups of water and dry plums.
Bring it to a rolling boil. Cover the pan with lid and lower the heat. Cook for 10 mins or till chicken is cooked completely.  Crush 2/3 of crispy onions and put in the chicken.
Turn the heat off and mix in lemon juice. Stir it well. Now layer the meat in following sequence. 
Sprinkle yellow food color if using followed by green chillies, tomato slices, chopped  mint and Coriander. Keep aside till your rice are ready to be added. 
Add the rice to the pot and cover with a tight fitting lid. Keep the flame on medium for first 5 mins. Reduce it to minimum stove setting u have and let it steam for good 30 mins. 
Turn the heat off but do not open the lid for another 5 mins. 
Using a slotted spoon,  fluff the rice and serve immediately. 

Rice Ingredients 

Rice 2 lbs (2 heaped coffee mugs)
Salt 2 tbsp
Water 12 cups
Vinegar 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp

Method

Wash rice well till the water runs clear. Add in the remaining ingredients and let the rice soak for at least 45 mins. I use same pot to soak the rice in which they are going to be cooked.
Bring the rice pot to a boil and cook fir 4 mins. Drain it immediately. 

Tips:
You can use store bought brown onions to shorten your cooking time. 
You can replace a good quality garlic paste from store but fresh makes a huge difference. 
You can use saffron soaked milk instead of food color but pour it on top of the rice not on curry.
You can add potato cubes in chicken if desired. 
Washing and soaking rice is crucial for good biryani.







Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Beef and Macaroni

Meat Sauce

Beef mince 1 kg
Macaroni 1 lbs
Strained Tomato 3 cups
Onion 1 chopped
Garlic 6 cloves chopped
Celery 3 tbsp chopped
Carrot 1 medium grated
Olive oil 1/4 cup
Salt 1.5 tsp
Chili flakes 1tsp or to taste
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Thyme 1/4 tsp
Oregano 1/4 tsp

Method

Fry onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil till a bit soft.
Add in mince and fry till it changes color.
Pour strained tomatoes and all spices. Stir well and cover. Let it simmer for 35-45 mins till the sauce is nice and thick. 


White Sauce

Butter 3 tbsp
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Flour 1/2 cup
Milk 3-4 cups
Salt 1/2 tsp
Black pepper 1/4 tsp
Garlic powder 1 tsp
Cream cheese 1/4 cup

Method 

Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat.
Add oil and butter followed by flour.
Cook the flour for a couple of mins stirring continuously. 
Remove from heat and add milk slowly while continuously stirring using a whisk. Put it back on stove and cook till sauce thickens.
Stir the remaining ingredients and taste for spices. Adjust if needed.

Assembly 

Boil pasta according to the package direction.
Mix pasta and white sauce and keep it aside for 10 mins.
Save quarter of meat sauce aside to layer on top later.
Stir pasta in meat sauce and pour in the baking dish.
Layer the reserved meat sauce on top followed by mozzarella cheese. 
Put the dish under the broiler till top is a browned. Serve immediately with garden salad.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Fish Curry

Fish Curry


Fish 1 kg
Onion 1.5 cup or 2 medium
Garlic 2 heads
Green chili 2 or to taste
Salt 1+.5 tsp

Ajwain/caramelize seeds a healthy pinch

Turmeric 1/4 +1/4 tsp
Cumin powder 1.5 tsp
Coriander powder 1.5 tsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp

Red chili powder 1 tsp
Kokum 3 pcs
Curry leaves 12-15
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Mustard oil 1/4 cup
Olive oil 1/4 cup

Sprinkle .5 tsp of salt, ajwain and lemon juice on fish. Rub it well and let sit for 30 mins or so. Then rinse with cold water and dry well. Heat mustard oil in a frying pan and shallow fry fish.  Don't need to cook it fully just sear the edges. Reserve the oil as we will be adding it to te curry later on.
Grind one onion, garlic and green chilli.
Heat olive oil plus remaining mustard oil and add one sliced/chopped onion. Fry till nice and golden. Add curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds.  Put in the garlic paste and dry spices except kokum and garam masala. 
Bhunofy the masala till oil separates. It takes time and patience,  don't hurry this as it is the most important part of fish curry.
Once masala is grainy(danedar) pour in 2-3 cups of water and kokum. Slide in the fish gently into the pan. Bring it to a boil. DON'T stir the pot. Swirl it around or fish will break.
Cover and cook for 10 mins.
Turn the heat off and add Coriander leaves, garam masala and slit green chili. Cover and let sit for 10 mins before serving.

Serve it with roti or rice.

Note:

Use a wide , shallow pan to make fish curry so all pieces are in single layer.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Malai Masala Kabab


As the name suggests, these kabab just melts in your mouth. The gravy complements the texture of kababs equally well. If you like kababs and curry both, this dish is for you. Serve it with fresh Naan and you have a feast fit for a king on your plate. 

Kabab Ingredients 

Mince  (beef/mutton) 1 kg
Onion grated 1 cup
Green chili minced 2 tbsp or to taste
Ginger paste 1/2 tsp
Garlic paste 1 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped 3 tbdp
Salt 1.5 tdp or to taste
Chili flakes 1.5 tsp
Cumin powder  1 tbsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Cold Water 1/2 cup 
Green Papaya paste 1/2 tsp

Curry Ingredients 

Onion cut in cubes 1 cup
Tomatoes 3 large grated or blended
Green peppers cubes 1 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Chili powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Oil 1/4 cup
Yogurt 1/2 cup
Cream 1/2 cup
Coriander for garnish 
Garam masala 1/4 tsp for garnish 

Method 
Put all kabab Ingredients except water in a bowl and knead like a dough till it feels sticky. It takes around 5-8 mins. Add water a tbsp at a time and incorporate it well before adding the next spoonful till you have used it all. You can also use a chopper or stand mixer.
Using a table spoon or ice cream scoop to keep them of same size, form them into kabab. I used around 1.5 tbsp portions.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and put kababs in single layer. Cover n let cook on medium for 4-5 mins.
Remove the lid and flip kababs. Add tomato puree and spices. Increase the heat and bhunofy/caramelize till oil starts oozing out of masala/curry.  
Add in the beaten yogurt and mix. Cook till oil separate. 
Add cream, cubed onion and pepper and cook on high for another couple of mins. Take it off the heat and sprinkle Coriander leaves, garam masala and lemon juice. Serve hot.


Thursday, 23 July 2020

Lemon Cake


I love to simplify the recipes specially when it comes to baking. It's a turn off for me when it involves multiple dishes/bowls to be used for one. Not that anything is wrong with those but I am probably too lazy.
Citrus is a favorite flavor at home, be it an ice cream or a cake. Smell of fresh lemons inspired me to whip up this simple yet flavorful,  light and fluffy cake. No creaming of ingredients and complicated recipe, here is how I made it.

Ingredients 

Flour 1.5 cup
Butter 1 cup (at room temperature)
Sugar 1.5 cup
Baking Soda 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Lemon juice 1/4 cup
Sour cream 1/4 cup
Milk 1/4 cup
Lemon zest 1.5-2 tbsp
Eggs 2
Vanilla a tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp

Method

Turn the oven on at 350 while you prep the cake batter.
Mix all wet ingredients in one bowl , add sugar and mix using a whisk. 
Sift all dry ingredients and fold in the wet. Grease a 8 inch square pan or 9 inch round. Line it with parchment paper/baking paper.
Pour in the batter and bake on the middle rack for 45-50 mins. Insert a tooth pick in and if it comes out clean your cake is done. 
Transfer to a cooling rack. Wait for at least 30 mins before you slice it.

Notes
You can replace cream with coconut milk for an extra flavor note.
You can add icing if u like. Two tbsp of lemon juice plus a cup of icing sugar. Add more juice if needed and drizzle over the cake once its cooled.
You can use vegetable oil to replace butter.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Fried Mutton Chops




Ingredients 

Marination 

Chops 15 pcs
Salt 1.5 tsp
Chili flakes  1 tsp heaped
Turmeric  1/2 tsp
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Garlic powder 1 tsp
Black pepper  1/2 tsp
Hung yogurt/greek yougurt/sour cream 1/4 cup
Vinegar 2 tbsp 

Flour Blend

All purpose flour 1 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Chili powder 1 tsp
Garlic powder  1 tsp
Oil for frying

Method 

Flatten the meat part of chops using a meat hammer or a heavy sauce pan. You are thinking them out and increasing the surface area. 
Mix all the marination ingredients and apply on the chops. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 to 24 hrs. The longer it sits, yummier it gets. 

Add the flour coating ingredients in a wide plate/bowl.
Coat the chops in the flour mix gently. We dont want thick coating, just a light dusting. 
Shake the excess flour off. Purpose is to keep the marinade sticking to the chops while frying not to have a fried chicken crunch.

Heat and heavy bottom frying pan/tawa medium high. Coat with oil around 1/2cm. 
Put the chops in. Dont overcrowd the pan. 
Cook on medium high for 3-4 mins, flip and cook for another 2-3 mins. Remove and put on paper towel to absorb any access oil. Serve hot.


Note
Skip the flour coating and bbq these yummy chops. 
Dont cook them for longer or they will dry out.
Cast iron is best to use for this recipe as it retains the heat well and gives a nice sear to the meat.