Sep 30, 2016

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Gorgeous afternoon Himalayan sky.
It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood...

5 pm traffic jam on main road through our neighborhood- 4 buffaloes, 1 cow, & a motorcycle.
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

Meet our newest neighbor little Rasab!
One week old!
 It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

Our second newest neighbor baby. Nine days old.
I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

Meet our third newest neighbor,  little Sita and her nan. Sorry for the blurry pic but Sita's a bit wiggly.
So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

Meeting all sorts of new neighbors on my walk to donate table scraps to the neighbors' buffalo.
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please?
Please won't you be my neighbor?

Nasty neighbor lady's brand new house. Fanciest house on the block.
I wish she wasn't my neighbor, pfttth!

Sep 26, 2016

Chikar Chole (Curried Chickpeas)

Chikar Chole Curried Chickpeas chana, chickpeas, gabanzo, beans, lahore, punjabi, easy, recipe, dal, legumes, spicy, curry,

From the city of Lahore comes this classic dish. Chikar means mud and chole means chickpeas. The unique name of this recipe describes the chickpeas submerged in the rich golden gravy like pebbles in mud. Traditionally, this dish is served for breakfast with fried breads like bhatura and puri. But this dish is so hearty it's perfect for an Autumn lunch or simple supper served with rice, any type of roti, or just a loaf of crusty French bread. 

Interestingly, this dish does not get it's yellow color from turmeric as many Desi dishes do. The chickpeas are simmered with aromatic spices until so tender they crumble giving the gravy it's distinctive golden color. This dish packs a lot of spicy flavor but not much heat. A little yogurt, dry ginger, and an optional squeeze of lime/nimbu do give it a bit of a zesty tang though!

1&1/2 C dried chickpeas/chole (or two 15 ounce cans of chickpeas)
3 TBS cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
1 tsp ajwain seeds/carom
7 black peppercorns/kali mirch, coarsely ground
1 tsp fenugreek/methi seeds
3 cloves/laung
3 green cardamoms/elaichi, bruised with mortar and pestle
2 cassia leaves/tej patta
2 inch piece of cassia bark/dalchini (or cinnamon stick)
Lime/Nimbu wedges and cilantro for garnish
Grind until smooth paste or chop finely for base:
3 onions, chopped roughly
2 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
Grind until smooth paste for masala:
1/2 C tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C yogurt/dahi
1 TBS cumin/jeera, ground
2 tsp coriander/dhania, ground
1 tsp fennel/saunf, ground
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1 tsp paprika plus 1 tsp cayenne powder)
1/2 tsp dry ginger/soonth

Here's what to do:
1) Soak chickpeas for at least 2 hours up to overnight in 6 cups water with 1 teaspoonful of salt. If using canned chickpeas skip to step 2. If using pressure cooker add enough water to cover the chickpeas by 2 inches plus 1 tsp salt. Seal pressure cooker and allow to steam for 30 minutes or until chickpeas are tender. If using stockpot on stove add enough water to cover chickpeas by 3 inches and 1 tsp salt, boil until tender adding water as needed.

2) Grind onions, garlic, and ginger to smooth paste or chop finely and mix together. Set aside. Grind all ingredients listed for masala to smooth paste and set aside. In a deep, heavy bottom skillet or kadhai heat oil. Fry onion mixture with 1 tsp salt until just beginning to brown. Stir frequently. This should take about 7-8 minutes. Add cumin seeds, ajwain seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek seeds, cloves, green cardamoms, cassia bark, and cassia leaves and fry for 2 minutes.

3) Add ground masala mixture to fried onion mixture in pan. Stir well and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. If mixture begins to stick or scorch add 1/4 cup water, stir well, and reduce heat.

4) Add fried spice mixture to the cooked chickpeas and stir well. If using canned chickpeas you may need to add 2 to 3 cups of water. Canned chickpeas are a bit underdone for this dish so you may have to simmer them for 5 to 10 minutes longer to get them to the proper tenderness.

5) Allow mixture to simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes. Mash a few of the chickpeas against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon or you can use an immersion blender for a few seconds in the mixture. The chickpeas need to be cooked until so tender they start to crumble making the sauce thick and "muddy." Salt to taste and serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro and garnished with lime wedges.

Sep 21, 2016

Bisbas Khudra (Yemeni Bell Pepper Chutney)

Bisbas Khudra  Yemeni Bell Pepper Chutney capsicum chili bell pepper cumin yemen easy recipe simple coriander

This zingy hot sauce recipe hails from Yemen. Khudra means green and bisbas means something spicy. Vibrant with the piquant flavors of peppers, cumin, coriander and garlic this chutney-like recipe packs a punch! Whip this delicious vegan dip up in minutes to accompany everything from tandoori to falafels.

A Yemeni friend I've known for years gave me this recipe a while back. Traditionally, it is made with a mortar and pestle but you know Bibi's going to run it through the mixie. I served it on Eid with the mutton and chicken kebabs we made on the barbecue and it was a hit! It works just as well as a vegan chutney with rice, rotis, and dal too. It's a great way to use up all those capsicum (bell peppers) that are in abundance this time of year in every market or garden.

2 large bell peppers/capsicum, cleaned of seeds and pith and chopped roughly
2 to 3 hot green chilis/hari mirch
2 to 3 cloves of garlic/lahsun
1 to 2 dried red chilis, stems removed (or 1/2 tsp Kashmiri mirch or cayenne powder)
1/2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
1 tsp ground coriander/dhania seeds
2 TBS olive oil or oil of choice
1 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Blend or grind all ingredients to a smooth emulsion in mixie, blender, food processor, or mortar and pestle. Salt to taste and keep in refrigerator in airtight container until ready to serve.

Bisbas Khudra  Yemeni Bell Pepper Chutney capsicum chili bell pepper cumin yemen easy recipe simple coriander

Bisbas Khudra  Yemeni Bell Pepper Chutney capsicum chili bell pepper cumin yemen easy recipe simple coriander

Helpful Hints:
If you find you've made this recipe too hot for your liking just stir in a few tablespoonfuls of yogurt to bring the heat down.

Sep 19, 2016

Ingredient of the Week- The Mysteries of Mutton

Ingredient of the Week The Mysteries of Mutton life, love, nepal, mutton. lamb, sheep, goat, chyangra, shangri-la, Dashain,
Mutton? Naaaaah!

Mutton specifically means the meat of an adult sheep in Western countries. However, in South Asia mutton refers to meat from a goat or sheep of any age. Although sheep and goat meat are similar in taste they can vastly differ in texture, fat content, and intensity of flavor. The breed, the age, and the way the animal was raised can result in variances of flavor and texture also.

What's the difference between sheep and goats? 
While both hail from the subfamily Caprinae each is a distinct genus and species. Sheep (Ovis aries) have 54 chromosomes, while goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) have 60. The easiest way to tell the difference between a sheep and goat is to look at their tails. Goat's tails are usually up unless sick or distressed. Sheep tails hang down whether docked (shortened) or not. Sheep have a split upper lip, goats do not. Goats have beards, sheep do not. Sheep are grazers preferring short, tender grasses and clovers. Goat are foragers and will eat darned near anything high or low. Most often sheep have wool, whereas goats have hair. However, there are "hair sheep" without wool and goats with long hair that looks like wool. Goats are far more common than sheep in South Asia and are the preferred red meat here in Nepal. There are many different types of goats and sheep across South Asia depending upon elevation and climate. 

A bakra strolling down Bibi's driveway and soon to be our guest of honor for Eid.
The photo you see above is a typical young Nepali goat weighing about 18kgs/40lbs. This type of male goat is called a bakra in Hindi and a bokaa in Nepali. In general bakra meat is the toughest in texture and the most gamey or goaty in flavor of all the meats called mutton in South Asia. The flavor and texture of the meat from this type of goat can vary a bit by season. In the warmer months the local goats are slaughtered and the meat can be rather fatty, rubbery, and gelatinous. In the cooler months goats are brought down from higher elevations, their flesh tends to be leaner, tougher, and quite fibrous. (You definitely need a pressure cooker or 3-4 hours to cook this type of mutton to a tender state.) Most Nepalis will tell you black or brown colored goats are considered to be the tastiest.

Khasi = castrated goat
The first time I saw this at a Nepali wedding I was a bit confused. Khasi is pronounced "khah- she." Khasi is the name of an ethnic group in the eastern Himalayas. Khashi also means pious or devoted in Arabic and Urdu. What khasi or khashi meant in this context is a castrated male goat. The meat from castrated goats is considered a delicacy and purported to be milder in flavor as well as richer in fat content. If you see a goat on a spit like this you know there's a grand event taking place, this is like the Nepali equivalent of a wedding cake. If you look closely you can see the skin of the goat is still intact except for a few knife punctures. Some Nepalis like to eat the crispy skin of the goat with the fatty layer attached. After the goat has been slaughtered Nepalis will pour boiling water on it or use a propane blowtorch to remove the hair from the skin. I'm not certain if other South Asian peoples eat the skin like this. I did not partake of the khasi ko masu as it was not halal so I can't comment on it's flavor. Kashmiris do not eat the skin of a goat or sheep, the pelt is saved intact for use in making leather or fur items.

Chyangra is domesticated mountain goat in Nepal.
This domesticated mountain goat is called a chyangra which is pronounced "tsang-rah." These long haired goats live in the higher elevations of the Himalayas and are raised for fiber as well as meat. If you buy a pashmina from Nepal most likely the fiber was plucked from the underside of a chyangra. Chyangras are only brought down from the mountains in the Fall around the time of festival of Dashain for sacrifice. They are quite delicious! Their meat is dark, lean, rich, and surprisingly tender with a flavor much like good quality venison. I have a theory about the name of the fictional utopia called Shangri-La in James Hilton's famed book Lost Horizon. Others have guessed Shangri-La was a corruption of Shambhala, the name of the mythical Buddhist kingdom mentioned in Kalachakra teachings. Some have linked it to a region in Tibet called Tsang. I think Mr Hilton derived the name from "chyangra-la" which roughly translates to "mountain goat pass." 

Another guest of honor for Eid. Sheep always look so depressed. 
Sheep are called bheda in Nepali and khhut in Kashmiri. Their meat is also called mutton in South Asia or bheda ko masu in Nepal. No matter what their age or size sheep meat is definitely less gamey in flavor and far more tender than goats. This little guy would qualify as lamb in western terms as he's only a year old. I'd never seen sheep at the market before here in Nepal. Kashmiris prefer sheep and think goat's too strong in flavor and a bit second rate. We usually buy a couple of chyangras but they didn't have any at the market yet so we bought this bheda. I think it's due to lack of grazing pasture that the sheep are so small in Nepal.

Kaju sheep being sold for Eid in Kashmir.
These festively decorated rams are called cashew sheep or kaju khhut in Kashmir. In addition to grazing in the lush alpine valleys of Kashmir they have been feasting upon cashews and all sorts of goodies to fatten them up. This is what we usually have for Eid in Kashmir. They are huge (like up to 150kg/330lbs) and quite yummy! Kaju sheep are the most tender, succulent, rich, delicately flavored lamb you've ever eaten. No pressure cooker required for these beauties!

And then comes the messy part. After the animal has been slaughtered or sacrificed the mutton is usually chopped into whatever sized bits you wish with a cleaver on a wooden block. All of the animal is used. Every mutton eating culture in South Asia usually has specific recipes for nearly every part of the sheep or goat. In Nepal even the fried solidified blood is made into a special dish served during the festival of Dashain called rakahti.

Goin' to a party?

On October 8th of this year the Hindu festival of Dashain will start in Nepal. It is the longest, most popular, and most auspicious holiday on the Nepalese calendar. It is called Dussehra in India. Animal sacrifices are required during Dashain as the festival commemorates the bloody battles between divine and demonic powers. Goats are the most common animal chosen for the sacrifice in Nepal. The Nepalese government estimates the Kathmandu valley alone will demand around 60,000 goats during this celebration. Goat farmers in Nepal will only be able to supply about 20,000 goats so the remaining 40,000 goats will be have to be imported from India.

They're doing WHAT in Kathmandu?

That concludes today's discussion of mutton. Our internet provider has informed us that they will be upgrading their system for the next three weeks. This will cause internet service to be intermittently slow or nonexistent during this time. (Personally, I think they're just going on holiday for Dashain.) So, I'll be trying to post at least once or twice a week if possible. Bear with me!

Calmly currying on,

Sep 16, 2016


Marilyn Monroe goes Arabian, eye, eyes, Life, love, makeup,

In keeping with this week's Eid theme here's a Levantine look my niece Mehnaz in Kashmir came up with for me. We decided to do a "Marilyn Monroe goes Arabian" theme since my idea of glamour is stuck somewhere in the 1950's. Or maybe "Little Edie goes Bollywood." Whatevs...

Marilyn Monroe goes Arabian, eye, eyes, Life, love, makeup,

Mehnaz did ALL the makeup on me herself and I only did the photography. She has lots of experience as she has her own little business doing bridal makeup, hairstyling, and henna for brides in Srinagar. Although this classic Arabian eye makeup seems simple it's really one of the most difficult looks to do correctly. There's a lot of elaborate blending, contouring, and layering of color on the upper lid, brow bone, and inner eye to get that almost "foiled" metallic look without being flat or going muddy. Use a seriously good shadow primer for this. (We're talking heavy duty!)

Marilyn Monroe goes Arabian, eye, eyes, Life, love, makeup,

Then there's three different types of eyeliner - powder, pencil, and liquid- to get that bold, dramatic wing out there and so perfectly symmetrical. Don't forget those all important, perfectly arched, and slightly overdrawn eyebrows- that's what really makes those wings "pop." We might be veering off into Liz Taylor as Cleopatra here!

Brows & flicks lookin' on fleek there Liz!
In this last shot she hadn't quite finished but I wanted to show you the subtle contouring on that top lid. For the eyeshadow contour you work from dark to light. You can see where my niece started by using a very dark (actually black matte) triangle of shadow for contour right above that extended wing to below my brow bone. She extended that black shadow slightly along the crease to enhance the "cat eye" look.

Then layer by layer of increasingly lighter shadows are gradually added and carefully blended to get that smooth almost "gilded" gorgeous silvery champagne taupe shade you see in the final result. MAC eyeshadow in the shade Nylon was the final layer. Nylon is a pale gold with a fine pearl finish so bright you could probably see it from Jupiter. After all that the black liner and wings have to be redrawn emphatically with liquid and pencil kohl kajal. To complete the look you would usually use a set of false eyelashes. We didn't have any so we just used a lash primer with a double coat of good old Liz Arden's Maximum Volume mascara. We didn't have a dark brown pencil to make a realistic looking beauty mark so we left that off too.

That's definitely the best costume for the day, Ms Beale! (Little Edie has always been my fashion muse.)
I think my niece Mehnaz nailed the brief and made her Aunty Bibi look like a movie star! (Or Little Edie?)Same difference. She's really got talent AND she recently graduated from the prestigious University of Kashmir as a topper in IT!

Products used:
L'Oreal Infallible Super Slim Liner, Black
Beth Bender Powder Liner/Shadow, Matte Black
Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Smoky Eyes Pencil, Black
MAC eye shadow, Nylon
L'Oreal Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow, Amber Rush
L'Oreal Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow, Iced Latte
L'Oreal Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow, Bronzed Taupe
Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Maximum Volume Mascara, Black
Nyx The Skinny Mascara, Black
Anastasia Brow Gel, Clear
IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil
Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick, Rubellite
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Pencil, Pink
Cle de Peau Silky Cream Foundation, shade O1
D'Nature Primer
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Concealer, Light
IT Cosmetics Live Love Laugh Vitality Face Disc, Highlight, Blush, & Bronzer
IT Cosmetics

These photos were all taken with my Samsung Galaxy phone. I did not use any beauty filters, apps, or retouch any of these photos except to crop them. The lighting was simply an upstairs window in the late afternoon during the riots/protests/unrest after Eid ul-Fitr in Srinagar. The makeup was all scrounged from Aunty Bibi's voluminous makeup bag.

Sep 12, 2016

Labaniah (Saudi Milk and Pistachio Candy)

Labaniah Saudi Milk and Pistachio Candy recipe easy simple no bake

From Saudi Arabia comes this sweet treat. Indian Muslims on Hajj brought milky mithai with them on their pilgrimage to Mecca. The Saudis liked the traditional Indian sweets so much they made their own version! Humble milk powder is transformed into delicious bite sized candies with the rich flavors of saffron, cardamom, and pistachios in this easy recipe.

The best milk powder ever!
(No, Nestle did not pay me to say this nor provide any products in this recipe.)
When I first tasted labaniah as a gift from a friend who had visited Saudi Arabia I thought they tasted a lot like doodh peda or kalakand (the traditional Indian fudge like milk sweets.)  A little research proved I was right! Labaniah was most certainly inspired by milk sweets brought Indian Hajj pilgrims to Mecca. I found the original recipe for this candy on Nestle's Saudi Arabian website. I thought it was a bit too sweet so I halved the sugar. I also wanted to make it a bit luxe and a tad more Indian so I added some Kashmiri saffron. The result was delicious! So simple to make but elegant enough to serve with afternoon tea, as dessert at a posh dinner party, or for Eid al-Adha tommorrow.

1 C sugar
1/2 C water
1 tsp lemon/nimbu juice
Seeds of 5 green cardamoms/elaichi, ground finely
8 to 10 strands of saffron (optional)
1/4 C pistachio nuts, chopped finely
4 C  full cream milk powder
Extra whole pistachios for garnishing

Here's what to do:
1) Place sugar, water, lemon juice, cardamom, and saffron in a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat low heat for 4 minutes or until it turns into a thick syrup. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2) Add 2 C of milk powder and chopped pistachios to cooled syrup and stir until well combined.

3) Gradually add the rest of the milk powder and stir until a stiff dough forms. Add more milk powder if necessary.

4) Form the dough into small smooth balls. (I used a tablespoon sized scoop as you can see in the photo to get uniform amounts of dough.) Garnish by pressing one whole shelled pistachio into each ball. Keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for up to one week.

Helpful Hints:
Labaniah tastes like doodh peda but has a slight chewy texture, not fudgy like kalakand or malai burfi. 

To make the labaniah taste even more Indian try wetting your hands with a few drops of kewra or rose water when rolling the dough.

Sep 9, 2016

Baed Eid

Next week starts the most holy celebration of the Islamic year called Eid ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) in Arabic or Baed Eid (Big Eid) in Kashmiri. The festival begins at the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca called the Hajj.  During the Hajj, Muslims remember and honor the trials and triumphs of great patriarch and Prophet Abraham. This holiday honors the willingness of the Prophet Abraham to follow Allah's (God's) command to sacrifice his son. Just when the Prophet Abraham was prepared to perform the sacrifice, the angel Jibra'il (Gabriel) intervened telling him that his sacrifice had already been fulfilled.

The Sacrifice of Isaac  by Caravaggio 
With this act of obedience the Prophet Abraham had shown that his love for Allah was above all others, and that he would willingly lay down the lives of those dearest to him in submission to Allah. Muslims commemorate this trial of the Prophet Abraham by the halal slaughtering of an animal such as a sheep, camel, cow, or goat. Allah has given us dominance over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. 

Kashmiri women at Eid prayers
On the first morning of Eid ul-Adha, Muslims worldwide attend morning prayers. Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayers. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, the exchange of greetings (Eid Mubarak), and give gifts called Eidi.

Kashmiri men at Eid prayers
At some point during the festival Muslims who can afford it sacrifice a halal domestic animal such as a goat, sheep, camel, yak, or cow in commemoration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. The sacrificed animals are called qurbani and must be of a certain age and standards of perfection or the animal is considered unacceptable. (In Kashmir a sheep fattened up on cashews and other goodies is preferred. Every once in a while some affluent Kashmiri buys a camel or yak to show off I suppose. Camel and yak really don't taste that great.)

Sheep being sold for Baed Eid in Kashmir
The animal (qurbani) is slaughtered in the halal manner and the meat is traditionally divided into three portions. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends and neighbors, and one-third is donated to the poor. This act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us in order to follow Allah's commands, to strengthen ties within the community, and to help those who are in need. 

Traditional Kashmiri mutton-a-palooza!
(Every part of the sheep is used in a specific dish)
In addition to distributing qurbani to the poor the meat is prepared and often served at mosques so that those less fortunate do not miss this sacrificial meal. Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslim friends, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates to their Eid festivities to better acquaint them with Islam and Muslim culture. (This means Bibi's going to be cooking a lot- not just meat but treats too!)

Eidi or the gifts given over Eid traditionally take the form of money, presents such as smartphones and perfume, or even flowers. Usually it is children who receive eidi from uncles and their parents.

From our family to yours:
May the blessings of Allah bring you hope, faith, and joy!  Happy Eid ul-Adha 2016!

Sep 7, 2016

Punjabi Dhaba Style Egg Curry

Punjabi Dhaba Style Egg Curry eggs, anda, tomato, curry, boiled, non veg, easy, recipe, indian, curry, spicy, simple,

Punjab is a region in northern India and a dhaba is a typical inexpensive roadside restaurant you'll see all over South Asia. This egg curry is a great example of the simple and delicious food you'll find served at any traditional dhaba. A boldly spiced tomato and onion sauce tops crispy fried eggs in this traditional dish. So easy to make and pairs perfectly with rice, rotis, or parathas for a fantastic Fall lunch or dinner!

Punjabi Dhaba Style Egg Curry anda, tomato, curry, boiled, non veg, easy, recipe, indian, curry, spicy, simple

As I've said before, Nepali eggs are just incredible. Look at those beauties in the photo above! Those would be like grade AAA super jumbo premium eggs in the US. I don't normally even care for eggs that much but these buttery, saffron yolked Nepali eggs are something else. We get them so fresh they're still warm here in Nepal but older eggs work better for this dish. Yes, fresh eggs stick to their shell and don't make for smooth hard boiled eggs when peeled. Frying the hard boiled eggs gives them more texture and extra flavor. If you don't have time to fry the hard boiled eggs or don't wish to, just score them shallowly with a knife so they'll soak up some of that spicy sauce.

5-6 hard boiled eggs, shelled
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
3/4 C onions, sliced thinly into half moons
1 cassia leaf/tej patta
1&1/2 inch piece cassia bark/dalchini (or cinnamon stick)
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
2 tsp ginger/adrak/paste
1 tsp salt
2 tsp kasoori methi/dried fenugreek leaves
Grind until smooth for masala:
4 tomatoes/tamatar, chopped roughly
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin/jeera
2 tsp coriander/dhania, ground
2 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1 tsp paprika plus 1 tsp cayenne powder)
3 green cardamoms, elaichi
3 cloves/laung
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
Here's what to do:
1) Grind all ingredients listed under masala to smooth paste in mixie, blender or food processor and set aside. Heat oil in deep, heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai for 7 minutes. Sprinkle one teaspoonful of salt in hot oil. Fry shelled hard boiled eggs for about three minutes on each side in hot oil until golden brown. Remove eggs from  hot oil and set aside on plate.

2) In the same oil and pan fry onions until golden brown, this should take about 7 to 9 minutes.

3) Add cassia leaf/tej patta, cassia bark/dalchini, garlic paste, and ginger paste. Fry for 2 minutes or until raw smell has left garlic paste. Add ground masala paste from step 1 to fried onion mixture, stir well. Crumble dried fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi into mixture, stir well and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. If mixture begins to stick or scorch reduce heat, add 1/4 cup of water, stir well, and continue simmering.

4) When oil separates and floats to the top of the simmering masala mixture your sauce is ready. Add fried hard boiled eggs to sauce, stir well, and allow to heat through for 3-4 more minutes. Salt to taste and serve with rice or rotis.

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