Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Creamy Leek and Potato Soup

Nothing is more comforting to eat on a cold wintry rainy day than a bowl of creamy leek and potato soup with soft buns and mustard chicken to go with. The smooth texture of the soup with the flavour of leeks is so soothing to the senses and highly delectable. It is such a hearty, healthy and nutritious soup and so easy to make in no time. 



Ingredients: 
1 large Leek
2 Yukon gold potatoes
2 tbs Butter
2 Garlic cloves
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1 cup Chicken  stock
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
Chives or spring onions finely chopped(optional)
Salt to taste
Method: 
1. Clean and wash the white and light green parts of the leeks and cut them into small pieces. Peel, wash and cut the pototoes into small pieces as well. Finely chop the garlic. 

2. In a soup pot melt the butter on medium heat, toss in the garlic, give it a stir and add the leeks and potatoes. 

3. Turn over and saute in the melted butter till they sweat and soften a bit. 

4. Add 2 cups hot water and the 1 hot cup chicken stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Let it cook on medium heat till the potatoes and leeks and very soft. Switch off the stove and remove the bay leaf. 

5. Using a hand held immersion blender, puree the cooked leeks and potatoes until smooth, adding a little water if too thick. I also added the shredded chicken pieces from the chicken soup stock and blended everything together. 

6. Add half and half or heavy cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper if necessary. And if the soup appears to be thick add a little water and if it is too runny, leave it on simmer for sometime till it thickens.  

7. Garnish with chopped chives or spring onions and serve hot in soup bowls.  Enjoy with bread, buns or dinner rolls.





Monday, November 28, 2016

Lamb Shank Curry (Delhi Style)

It's been a long time since I made this curry in Delhi style. We used to relish it so much when we lived there. Luckily I happened to stumble upon it recently in one of those little trips into my past and therefore managed to bring this inanimate thing back to life. I had to make it the very next day otherwise it would have been a long lost forgotten thing again.

What makes it so unique in "Delhi style" is just one different spice and one finishing touch which changes its entire chemistry. It is the magic of the fried onions and the hint of the smoky flavour from the black cardamom that gives it the distinct flavour and taste which is so different from the traditional curries.

Here's the recipe!


Ingredients: 
2 Lamb shanks
2 medium onions
4 green chillies
1-2 Black cardamoms
1 Bay leaf
4 Cloves
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbs yoghurt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste.


Method: 
1. Cut each one of the lamb shanks into 2 pieces. This makes it easier to eat the bone marrow which is very delicious rather than keeping them whole. Then clean them by trimming away the fat and removing the skin carefully without chopping off the tender meat. Rinse well, drain and keep aside.

2. Slice the two onions. Heat 1 tbs oil in a pressure cooker, add the black cardamom, cloves and the bay leaf and fry half the onion slices to a light golden brown. Reserve the other half.

4. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, kashmiri chilli powder and coriander powder, give it a stir then add the lamb shanks and salt. Sauté well with the spices. 

5. Add the whisked yoghurt to the pot followed by green chillies, cilantro and 1-2  cups of water. The water should be 2 inches above the shanks. After the first whistle in the pressure cooker turn down the heat, close the lid air tight and pressure cook for 10 - 15 minutes.  (But if you are not using a pressure cooker you will have to cook on low to medium heat for at least 45minutes to an hour. They should be so tender as to come off the bone. You can also cook in the instant pot following the directions for cooking meat accordingly.)

6. Meanwhile fry the reserved onion in the remaining 1tbs of vegetable oil till nicely browned but not burnt. So extra care should be taken while frying the onions to have them rightly done. Set aside.

7. Once the shanks are done turn down the heat to low and add these fried onions to the pressure cooker, cover lightly not air tight and let it simmer slowly for some more time (5-10 mins).  The browned onions not only give colour to the curry but also a sweet nutty flavour which when combined with the smoky flavour from the black cardamom and other spices further enhances the taste and makes the curry insanely delicious! 

8. Do not let the curry thicken too much. If it tends to thicken then sprinkle a little water on all sides and let it simmer till the oil comes on top until you don't see those fried onions anymore. Add chopped fresh cilantro to garnish and enjoy with rotis (flat bread), naan or rice. 

Notes:

Kashmiri Chilli powder - Kashmiri chilli is a mild form of chilli which gives colour and flavour to the dish and not much heat. You can get the MDH brand of Kashmiri chilli powder from any indian grocery store.  I haven't found any other brands here. Or the other best alternative would be to soak the kashmiri chillies in water and grind them into a paste. Though this is a lengthy process, it is fresh and more flavourful. 

Black Cardamoms - Another variety of cardamoms. They are big and black and have a smoky flavour. All asian grocery stores carry it. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chicken Calzones



















Chicken Calzones

Ingredients:
3 cups All Purpose Flour 
2 cups Mozzarella cheese(grated)
1tbs Yeast  
1/2tbs Sugar            
1 tsp Salt                    
1 tbs Olive oil              
1cup Water
1 tbs Olive oil
Pizza sauce
Mushrooms
Green/Red Peppers
Tomatoes
Olives
         
Method:
1. Add the yeast and sugar to 1 cup of luke warm water in a bowl and leave to rise for 5 mins.

2. In a food processor, add 3 cups of  flour and salt. Pulse to mix well.  Add the bubbly yeast water to the flour and pulse on and off till everything comes together and forms a dough. If you find it too dry then just sprinkle a little more water taking care not to make it soggy. Keep pulsing and pausing till the dough becomes springy and starts to spin.  Add 1 tbs of olive oil and pulse once more, then remove.

3. Make the dough into a ball  and place it in a greased bowl. Cover with a moist tea towel or cling wrap and leave it on the counter in a cozy corner to rise for 1- 2 hours.

4.  While the dough is rising prepare the chicken filling as given in the recipe here. After 2 hours the dough is double in size. It is now smooth, spongy and ready for making calzones, pizza, foccaccia or panza roti etc.

The Calzones:

1.Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and shape each like a round ball.  Cover and leave for 10-15 mins. Take each ball and roll it into a fairly thin circle. I prefer pressing it with my fingers lightly to make a small flat round. Drop 1 tbs of pizza sauce on it. Give it a quick swirl so that it stays in the inner circle leaving the circumference clean and dry.

2. Mix together the chicken filling and some grated mozarella cheese (as much as you want). Place a portion of the filling mixture on the flattened round of dough. Do not over or under load. The filling should be just enough for you to be able to seal the calzone neatly.

3. You can also add olives, green/red peppers, tomatoes and sliced mushrooms to the filling if you like. Drizzle some more pizza sauce, some blobs here and there if you want and sprinkle some more mozarella cheese.

4. With wet fingers moisten the edge of the calzone, then dust a little flour on it so that it becomes sticky enough to seal the edges.

5. Close the calzone in the shape of a crescent, press the edges with a fork and tightly seal them. Care should be taken not to let the filling bulge out and touch the edges, If the edges are not sealed well then there is a chance of the filling leaking out while the calzone is baking. Repeat the same process for each one of the calzones.

6. Take a baking sheet, line it with parchment paper and place the calzones on it. Glaze them with an egg wash (egg whites whisked with a little water) prick them with a fork and bake in the center of the oven preheated at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 15 - 20 mins or until done.

7. Remove from the oven, let them cool a bit before serving them.


8. Drizzle some warm pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese on top and enjoy!

Chicken Filling























Here's the Recipe :

Ingredients: 
1 Whole Chicken breast
1 Large Onion
2 tsp Garlic chopped
1/2 tsp Black pepper ground
1/2 tsp Oregano dried 
1/2 tsp Basil dried


Method: 
1. Clean and place the chicken breast in a pot with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 a cup of boiling water, cover with a lid  and let it simmer till the water gets absorbed completely and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Remove and set aside to cool.

2. In another sauce pan, add olive oil and on medium heat, fry the sliced onions till they are soft and golden. Add the chopped garlic, basil, oregano and pepper. (You can substitute basil and oregano for cilantro and spring onions as per taste)

3. Shred the cooled cooked chicken with two forks and add it to the onion mixture in the sauce pan, Adjust the salt, turn over, stir fry it with the onion mixture till it gets mixed well. Remove and set aside. The filling is now ready for samosas, calzones, pastries, focaccia etc.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Coconut Shrimp Poppers
























Everybody loves my coconut shrimp poppers and I have made these many times for get togethers at home, friends' parties, pot lucks etc and each time I made them they disappeared in no time. They have an extra crunch that awakens your senses when you take your first bite. Then the subtle heat from the dijon mustard infused with the Sriracha hot sauce kicks in resulting in a tongue tingling sensation. And the dipping soy sauce fired up with ginger and green chillies has enough zing to ignite your soul and take you to another level of flavour. Hmm, what an experience of flavours to enjoy!


 Ingredients:
Raw Jumbo Tiger shrimps -  1/2 Kg
Kellog's Corn flakes - 1 cup
Panko Crumbs           - 1 cup
White flour                -  1 cup
Black Pepper - 1tsp
Dijon Mustard - 1 tsp
Sriracha chilly sauce - 1 tsp
Garlic Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Egg - 1 -2
Flour - 1 cup
White sesame seeds - 1tbs
Unsweetened coconut flakes - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
           
1.Peel the shrimp but leave the tail, then devein, rinse, drain and dry on paper towels. Season them with salt and pepper and set them aside. 

2.Mix together dijon mustard, sriracha sauce, garlic and cumin powders and marinate the shrimps with this paste. Leave for half an hour. 

3.Put the corn flakes in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Do not make a fine powder. they should be coarsely crushed. Mix together the crushed corn flakes with the panko crumbs. Add some salt, pepper, coconut flakes and sesame seeds.  

 4.Place the beaten egg, flour and Panko Corn flakes mixture separately in 3 different bowls.

5.Take each shrimp, first coat with flour, next dip in the beaten egg and then roll in the panko corn flakes mixture. Repeat for all the shrimps with patience taking care to coat them evenly. 

6.Heat oil in a frying pan and fry them till golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with soy dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Dipping Sauce: 

Ingredients: 
Soy sauce                      -  1/2 cup  
Chopped ginger             - 1 tsp
Chopped green chillies - 1 tsp
White Vinegar               - 2 tsp
Franks Red hot sauce    - 1 tsp

Method:
1.Mix together all the above ingredients and leave aside for at least 15 mins. The soy dipping sauce infused with the flavours of ginger, green chillies and red hot sauce is now ready for use. Enjoy the Shrimp Poppers with the dipping sauce.
               



Friday, November 11, 2016

Ande ki kadi (Egg Curry)



Ingredients:
Eggs - 4
Onion - 1 medium size
Tomato - 1 large
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Dried seedless tamarind pulp - 1 tsp 
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Fenugreek powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few 
Green chillies - 4 small

Method:

1. Hard boil the eggs and keep aside. Please make sure that the eggs and the water are at room temperature before you put them to boil. Switch off the stove when the water begins to boil. Leave for 15 minutes then drain the water and allow them to cool in cold water before you start peeling their shell. Overcooked eggs have a crumbly yolk with a grey green tint, a sulphur like odour which is distasteful and a rubbery white. 

2. Cut the onion into thin slices and tomatoes into small quarters. Remove stems from the green chillies. 

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pot. Fry the sliced onion to golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, curry leaves, whole green chillies and salt, followed by turmeric, red chilly, coriander, cumin and fenugreek powders. You can enhance the flavour by adding roasted ground cumin and fenugreek (roast the cumin and fenugreek seeds first then grind them to a powder). 

4. Stir fry till the tomatoes are soft and tender. 

5. Soak the tamarind pulp in a little water after rinsing it. Squeeze the tamarind in the water to extract the juice and add it to the curry. I don't like to use tamarind paste as the taste and flavour is different, plus it has preservatives. 

6. Adjust the salt and simmer for sometime. Now remove the shells from the boiled eggs, make long slits and add them to the curry. Leave them on simmer to absorb the curry juices till they get discoloured. 

7. Garnish with chopped cilantro. The egg curry is now ready to serve. Enjoy with boiled jasmine rice. It goes so well with this curry. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Steamed Coconut Radish



This is a light side dish which is enjoyed with rice and curry or dal. It is just steamed for a few minutes till tender and then tempered with mustard, dried red chillies and curry leaves. I love to eat this with boiled rice and sambar. 

I prefer to use small or medium size white radishes for this dish as they have strong flavour unlike the chinese lobok which are usually very huge and lacking in flavour.   

Ingredients: 

White radish - 1 medium size 
Fresh coconut finely grated - 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 4 or 5
Dried red chilly - 1 small
Canola oil - 1 tsp
Green chilly - 1 small
Salt to taste

Method: 

1. Peel, wash and cut the radish into small pieces. Add a little salt, slit green chilly,  then cover and steam it with just a teaspoon of water in a sauce pan till it is tender. 

2. Grate finely or coarsely grind the fresh coconut and add it to the steamed radish and on low heat turn it over a bit just to coat all the pieces with the fresh coconut. Do not cook anymore. 

3. For tempering heat the canola oil in a small sauce pan. Break the dried red chilly into two pieces and add it to the oil followed by mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter add the fresh curry leaves. Switch off the stove and pour the tempering over the steamed radish. 

4. Turn over, adjust the salt and enjoy with rice and curry.