Monday, June 29, 2015

Rice Ganji (Porridge)






















Rice Ganji or kanji is an all time favourite for Ifthaar during Ramadan in Chennai. It is served to fasting muslims at most of the mosques there and is also prepared in almost every muslim house in Ramadan. It is a satisfying and fulfilling meal and is enjoyed with all sorts of snacks especially different kinds of vadas, samosas, pakoras etc. Sometimes to make it rich, some ground lamb or beef is added and it is called Aash. As a variation, small fried meat balls are also added.
 On the left is the picture of the rice ganji with grated coconut, chopped ciilantro and mint and below is the picture without the coconut which is also flavourful but has a lighter taste.

 Most important of all is the tadka or tempering which (done right at the end with ghee) takes it to the next level by making it rich and aromatic. Grated coconut and a hint of mint and chopped cilantro added just before tempering enhances its flavour and taste.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients: 

Rice - 1 cup
Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Onions - 1 small sliced
Green chillies - 2 small
Black pepper corns - 1/2  tsp + 5-6 for tempering
Fresh mint leaves - 5-6
Cilantro chopped - 1 tbs
Ghee - 2 tbs for tempering
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 2
Fresh grated coconut - 1 tbs
Ground beef/lamb - 1 tbs (optional)

Method: 

1. Dry roast the moong dal till lightly golden.
2. Wash the rice and the roasted moong dal till the water is clear.
3. Put it in a pressure cooker and add 2 cups of water, salt, pepper corns, green chillies and a little cilantro.
4. Close the lid and pressure cook for 5 mins after the first whizz or whistle. If you are not using a pressure cooker you can cook in the normal way by adding enough water and cooking on medium heat till the rice and dal are mushy.
5. Remove the lid of the pressure cooker after all the steam is out and add some more water to get a flowing consistency. It should neither be too thick nor too runny.
6. Now add the fresh grated coconut, mint and cilantro and let it simmer for 2 mins. Please note that the coconut has to be really fresh otherwise all your effort will be lost. Do not use the coconut if you get a stale or rancid smell. Transfer it to a serving bowl.
7. Now for the tempering, take a sauce pan, set it on medium heat.  Melt the ghee then add the 2 cloves, a few more (5-6) pepper corns and the sliced onions and stir continuously till they turn evenly golden brown. Now quickly add the ginger garlic paste, give it a stir and as soon as you get a whiff of the aroma pour it on top of  the prepared ganji.
8. Gently mix the tadka in the ganji and enjoy with fritters of your choice.
























Tips:

Care should be taken not to burn the rice porridge at the bottom of the pressure cooker or pot. So cook on medium heat, add enough water and stir from time to time.

Do not burn the onions in the tempering, nor let the ginger garlic paste burn too as all the flavour is lost if it is burnt.

Those who want a meaty flavour can add 1 tbs of ground beef/lamb to the pot initially along with the rice, dal and other ingredients and follow the same method for the rest of the cooking.

Alternatively you may roast the ground meat in a just a little oil or butter, add ginger garlic paste, and then add the rest of the ingredients and pressure cook. Follow the rest from step 5. And when you do the tempering just brown the onions with the pepper corns and cloves only and add to the ganji.

Or add small fried meat balls and simmer for a while just before tempering.




Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kadai chicken


The flavour of the melted butter along with the pounded spices added a new dimension to the dish and it tasted intensely delicious!

Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:
Chicken - 2 legs and 2 wings
Butter - 1/4 cup
Olive oil- 2 tbs
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Whole Coriander- 1 tbs
Whole Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Green cardamom- 8
Green chillies - 2 
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Tomato - 1 medium size
Dried Kashmiri red chillies  - 2 
Garlic cloves - 5 medium size
Chopped ginger - 1 tsp for garnish
Chopped cilantro - 2 tbs for garnish


Method:

1. De skin, clean, wash and drain the chicken. Rub with salt and keep aside.

2. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a sauce pan on low heat.

3. Pound the coriander, black pepper, green cardamom and cumin separately. Break the dried kashmiri red chillies. 

4. Add the pounded spices to the pan followed by the crushed garlic cloves.  Stir on medium hear to release a whiff of aroma. 

5. Add the chicken to the sizzling spices in the pan.

6. Turn over and cook the chicken till it changes colour. 

7. Add the whole green chillies and chopped tomato and give it another stir. 

8. Add 1/2 a cup of water, cover with a lid and leave to cook on simmer for 15 - 20 mins or more till the chicken is soft, tender and juicy.

9.  Do not forget to stir from time to time. If the water dries up, sprinkle a little more water. 

10. At the final stage add chopped ginger and cilantro, simmer for 2 more minutes and serve hot with rice.