Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vegetable Biriyani (Kachchi)

Ingredients:

For Browned Onions:

Onions - 5 large sized
Cooking Oil - 1 tablespoon
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon

For Marinating:

Carrots - 2
French Beans - 10
Cauliflower Florets - 2 cups
Potato - 1
Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Mint Leaves, chopped - 1/4 cup
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 3 tablespoons
Yogurt/Curd - 1 cup
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 teaspoons
Raw Papaya Paste - 1/4 cup (peel and blend raw papaya pieces)
Poppy Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder  - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste


For Cooking Rice:

Basmati Rice - 3 cups
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Star Anise - 3
Bay Leaves - 2
Cinnamon - 1" long piece
Cloves - 6
Mace - 1
Cardamom Pods - 5
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon

For Masala:

Ginger - 1" long piece
Garlic Cloves - 4
Green Chillis - 5
Tomato - 1 large / 2 medium
Cooking Oil - 3 tablespoons
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Peppercorns - 5
Cinnamon Stick - 1/2" long piece
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For Layering:

Saffron Strands - 8, soaked in 2 tablespoons of hot milk for 15-20mins
Mint Leaves, chopped - 3 tablespoons
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 3 tablespoons
Rose Essence - 1 1/2 teaspoons or 2 tablespoons of Rose water

For Garnishing:

Coriander Leaves, chopped
Fresh Lemon slices

Other:

A large deep pan(vessel/stock pot)
Aluminium foil to seal the mouth of the pan (you can use chapati/all purpose-flour dough instead)


Method:

Browning Onions:

  1. Peel and slice the onions vertically.
  2. Heat oil in a pan.
  3. Add sliced onions and saute them.
  4. Set the flame to medium, add sugar, mix well. Adding sugar helps onion brown faster.
  5. Saute until the onions are browned.
Marinating:
  1. Soak cauliflower florets in warm salt water for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Peel potato and carrots.
  3. Cut carrots, french beans and potatoes into small pieces. Do not chop them.
  4. Beat yogurt thoroughly.
  5. Add ginger-garlic paste, raw papaya paste, poppy seeds, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  6. Add chopped vegetables, cauliflower florets, green peas, chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves. Mix well.
  7. Add half the portion of browned onions. Mix well.
  8. Set it aside for 1 hour.
Cooking Rice:
  1. Bring 6-7 cups of water to boil in a large pot/vessel.
  2. Add butter, star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon piece, cloves, mace, cardamom pods, salt and lemon juice to boiling water.
  3. Add rice.
  4. Cook until it is 3/4rth done. This is a very critical step. The rice at this stage will be slightly hard.
  5. Transfer the cooked rice into a colander to drain out all the water.
  6. Using a fork, fluff up the rice grains gently.
  7. Set it aside, allow it to cool down.
Preparing Masala:
  1. Blend ginger, garlic and green chillis into a paste without adding water.
  2. Heat oil in a large deep pan (vessel/stock pot). This is the utensil you will use to layer rice and vegetables to prepare Biryani.
  3. Add butter.
  4. Now add peppercorns and cinnamon stick. Saute for half a minute.
  5. Add ginger+garlic+green chilli paste. Saute until the raw smell disappears.
  6. Meanwhile, blend tomato into a smooth pulp without adding water.
  7. Add tomato pulp, red chilli powder and salt. Cook until the oil starts separating. Turn off the heat.
Assembling/Layering to make Biryani:
  1. To the cooked masala, add marinated vegetables. Mix well to combine.
  2. Spread half the quantity of cooked rice. 
  3. Pour saffron milk on top of rice layer.
  4. Using a fork fluff up the rice to incorporate saffron milk into rice grains. 
  5. Level the rice layer using a spatula.
  6. Spread the remaining browned onions on top of rice.
  7. Top it with remaining cooked rice and level the layer using a spatula.
  8. Pour rose essence on top.
  9. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves.
  10. Tightly seal the pan with an aluminium foil and place a large lid/plate on top of the foil.
  11. Set the flame to low. Let it cook for 25-30 minutes. If the flame is not set to low, the vegetable layer might get burnt. If you are not confident that the vegetables are cooked or there is still some water content, carefully open the foil from one side, insert a long knife to check if there is any water content. If there is water, cook for a few more minutes. If not, turn off the flame.
  12. Remove the foil just before serving.
  13. Serve hot with raita and/or sherva, garnished with coriander leaves and lemon slices.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rotini in Ragu Traditional Sauce

Ingredients:

Rotini - 1/2 lb (226 gms)
Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
Garlic Cloves, minced - 1 teaspoons
Onion, sliced - 1/2 cup
Capsicum, chopped - 1/2 cup
Cauliflower Florets, bite sized - 1 1/2 cup
Aubergine, sliced - 1/2 cup
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1/2 teaspoon.
Red Chilli Flakes - 1 teaspoon
Ragu Traditional Pasta Sauce - 2 1/2 cups
Salt to taste

For Garnishing:

Coriander Leaves, chopped - 1/8 cup
Parmesan Cheese, grated - 3 tablespoon

Method:

  1. Bring 12 cups of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add salt.
  3. Add rotini and stir gently.
  4. Continue to cook uncovered until the pasta is soft but firm, al dente. Keep stirring occasionally. It takes about 7- 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer into a colander to drain all the water. Keep it aside.
  6. Heat oil in a pan.
  7. Add minced garlic. Saute for half a minute.
  8. Add onion slices. Saute until they turn translucent in color.
  9. Add chopped capsicum, cauliflower florets and aubergine slices. Saute until they are soft but firm and crunchy. Do not add water.
  10. Sprinkle freshly ground peppercorns, salt red chilli flakes. Mix well.
  11. Now add Ragu sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
  12. Add drained rotini, mix gently until well combined. Cook on low flame for 5 minutes, mixing gently.
  13. Turn off the flame, garnish with grated parmesan and coriander leaves.
  14. Serve hot.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Harabhara Kabab with Green Chutney



Ingredients:

Dried Green Peas - 1/2 cup (soak in water overnight)
Cooking Oil - 1 tablespoon + deep frying
Green Chillis - 4
Onion - 1 large
Ginger, minced - 1 teaspoon
Capsicum, chopped - 1/2 cup
Spinach, washed and chopped - 8 cups
Mint Leaves, washed and chopped - 1/2 cup
Coriander Leaves, washed and chopped - 1/2 cup
Spice Powder - 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Boiled Potato - 2 medium sized
Bread Crumbs - 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup for dusting
Split Cashew Nuts - 30
Chaat Masala - 2 tablespoons



For Green Chutney: (or use this recipe if you do not have cream cheese/sour cream)

Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped - 1 cup
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 1 cup
Green Chillis - 2
Cream Cheese - 1/4 cup
Sour Cream - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice - 2 teaspoons

Method:
Preparing Green Chutney:

  1. Blend chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves and green chilli along with salt into smooth paste. Do not add water.
  2. Add cream cheese and sour cream. Blend to combine well.
  3. Transfer into a serving bowl, add lemon juice, mix well.
  4. Refrigerate covered, until kebabs are ready.


Preparing Kababs:
  1. Pressure cook green peas.
  2. Shred green chillis.
  3. Chop onion.
  4. Peel and finely mash the potato.
  5. Cook chopped spinach with little water for 3-4 minutes. Strain out the water and keep the cooked leaves aside.
  6. Heat one tablespoon oil in a pan.
  7. Add shredded green chillis and minced ginger. Saute for a minute.
  8. Add chopped onion and saute until it turns translucent in color.
  9. Now add chopped capsicum and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves and cooked spinach.
  11. Add spice powder and salt. the water content dries up completely from the greens. Make sure there is no trace of water at the bottom of the pan. This is very important as any water content left over will make the mixture very sticky.
  12. Turn off the heat, allow the greens to coll down completely.
  13. Blend the greens into a coarse paste. Do not add water.
  14. Transfer the blended mixture into a mixing bowl.
  15. Add mashed potato and 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Mix until well combined. Check the salt, add a little if required and mix well. The mixture look like that of a dough and you should be able to make one large smooth lump.
  16. Make small balls of this mixture, flatten each ball by pressing gently between your palms to form a thick disc.
  17. Place a split cashew nut in the centre of each disc.
  18. Deep fry the discs in oil. This gives uniform roasting on all sides. You could shallow fry instead or grill on charcoal for its best. 
  19. Place the deep fried kababs on a tissue paper.
  20. Sprinkle little chaat masala on each kabab as soon as you remove them from oil.
  21. Serve hot with green chutney.
Note:
  1. You can shallow fry the kababs instead of deep frying.
  2. The best way to cook is to grill the kababs, preferably on charcoal.
  3. Since I deep fried, the outer color turns brown and little crunchy.
  4. Deep frying leaves a scum like layer of burnt breadcrumbs at the bottom of the pan which dissipates when kababs are immersed in oil. I filtered the oil a couple of times to avoid them sticking to the kababs.