Showing posts with label kitchen king. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitchen king. Show all posts

Apr 18, 2016

Aloo Mattar (Curried Potatoes & Peas)

Sumptuously spicy and hearty enough to be served as a main dish this is my version of the classic North Indian menu item aloo mattar. Aloo means potatoes and mattar means green peas, both are combined with traditional warm aromatic spices and slow simmered to tenderness in a rich yogurt and tomato gravy. This popular vegetarian dish pairs well with rotis, rice, or naan. 


We had a bumper crop of potatoes this year, those you see in the photos are Yukon Golds from my garden. If you can't find Yukon Golds where you are Russets or any baking type potato will do. In this dish we first make the gravy and then add the peas and precooked potatoes. The peas we get here aren't the tender kind we get in western countries, they're a bit tougher and require some cooking so I use a pressure cooker for this dish. If you're using the tender green peas found in western countries you could simply use a heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai to make the gravy then simply stir the peas in at the same time as the precooked potatoes and allow the dish to simmer for an extra five minutes or so.

Ingredients:
3 potatoes, boiled until tender, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
1 cup green peas/mattar, fresh or frozen
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
2 onions, sliced finely into half moons
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
1 cassia leaf/tej patta
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi
1 tsp salt
Grind until smooth for masala-
3 tomatoes, chopped roughly
1/2 C yogurt/dahi
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger'adrak paste
2 tsp Kitchen King* masala (or garam masala)
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania seeds
2 tsp cumin/jeera, ground
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1/2 tsp cayenne plus 1/2 tsp paprika powder)
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
1-2 green chilis/hari mirch (optional, omit for less heat)
1 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Boil potatoes until tender, then peel and slice into one inch cubes and set aside. Grind all ingredients listed under masala to a smooth paste and set aside. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, heavy bottomed skillet, or kadhai with one teaspoon salt and fry onions until beginning to brown.


2) Add cumin seeds, cassia leaf, and ground masala paste to fried onions, stir well and bring to simmer. Allow to simmer for about 7-9 minutes or until oil separates from sauce. If mixture begins to scorch or stick add 1/4 cup water, stir and reduce heat.


3) Add peas to fried mixture. If using pressure cooker add 1cup water seal and cook for 2 whistles. If using heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai add 1/2 cup water and simmer until peas are just tender. (The peas in South Asia are a bit tough and require a lot of cooking unlike the tender peas found in Western countries. If you are using the tender peas found in Western countries you might want to stir them in with the potatoes in step 4 to prevent them being overcooked. )


4) If using pressure cooker allow to cool and open, stir in boiled potato cubes and simmer until gravy is to desired consistency. If using skillet or kadhai stir potatoes in and simmer until gravy is of desired consistency. Salt to taste and serve.


Helpful hints:
Kitchen King is a popular North Indian premade spice mixture. My favorite brand is Catch but MDH is good also. If you can't get Kitchen King masala a good substitute is: 1/2tsp cayenne + 1/2tsp paprika + 1tsp cumin + 1tsp coriander + + 1/2 tsp fennel + 1/4tsp ground fenugreek +1/4tsp mace + 1/8tsp nutmeg 

Jan 7, 2016

Mattar Paneer (Peas & Cheese)

"Mattar" means green peas and "paneer" is a deliciously soft and mild cheese. In this popular Punjabi vegetarian dish peas and delicate paneer are simmered in a richly spiced yogurt and tomato gravy. Protein rich and sumptuously savory this entree pairs well with naan, rice, rotis or parathas.


This classic combination is always a family favorite. With very little preparation this dish comes together in about twenty five minutes. The peas we have here in Nepal aren't like the tender peas found in Western countries, they require pressure cooking to soften them up. If you are using the tender green peas found in Western countries just stir them in at the same time as the paneer so as not to overcook them.

Ingredients:
1 C onions, sliced finely into half moons
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1&1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
3 TBS oil or ghee
1 C green peas/mattar, fresh or frozen
1 C water
1 C paneer, cubed & fried
Grind to smooth paste for masala:
1 C full fat yogurt/dahi
1/2 C onion, chopped roughly
2 tsp Kitchen King masala (If you don't have Kitchen King masala see the "Helpful Hints" at the end of this recipe for a good substitute.)
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania
2 tsp ground cumin/jeera
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1/2 tsp paprika + 1/2 tsp cayenne)
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
1 C tomatoes, chopped roughly
2 tsp salt
Here's what to do:
1) Grind all ingredients listed under masala in mixie, food processor, or blender to a smooth paste. Set aside.

2) Heat oil in pressure cooker,  kadhai, or heavy bottomed skillet and fry the thinly sliced onion until translucent & beginning to brown.  Add ginger, garlic, and cumin seeds, fry for 2 minutes.


3) Add masala paste from step 1 to mixture in pan and fry for 5 minutes or until oil separates from sauce. Stir in peas. Seal pressure cooker up and allow to cook for 3-4 whistles or until peas are tender. If using a heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai add 1C water or stock, bring to simmer and cook until peas are to desired tenderness. (The peas here in South Asia aren't tender like the peas you get in Western countries, they are a bit tough and require a lot of cooking. If you are using the tender green peas you might just want to stir them towards the end with the paneer and just simmer them a bit.)


4) Remove pressure cooker from heat and allow to cool. When pressure cooker has cooled open it. If the sauce is too thin for your liking continue simmering uncovered until it is of desired thickness. If the sauce is too thick for your liking continue add water until it is of preferred consistency.


5) Stir the cubed, fried paneer into sauce. (If using tender green peas stir them in now) Bring dish to a simmer again uncovered over medium heat for at least 3 minutes to make sure the paneer is heated through. Salt to taste & serve.

Helpful Hints:
If you don't have Kitchen King masala use this combination of spices- 
 1/2tsp cayenne + 1/2tsp paprika + 1tsp cumin + 1tsp coriander + + 1/2 tsp fennel + 1/4tsp ground fenugreek +1/4tsp mace + 1/8tsp nutmeg 

Don't have any yoghurt? Use full fat milk or coconut milk.

Jan 3, 2016

Ingredient of the Week: Kitchen King

Darned good stuff!
Oh, stop.
Don't judge until you've tried these readymade spice mixes.
Don't start with the *"Chi, chi, Bibi's not being authentic, or Desi, or home style," or whatever disdainful & derogatory notions you may have about using prepared spice mixes. Readymade masalas are one of the newer convenience products available for the burgeoning Desi middle class. As more & more women enter the work force in Desi-dom or simply wish to spend less time in the kitchen for whatever reason, products like this are becoming increasingly popular. I've even seen kilo sized boxes of these mixes in the kitchens of 5 star hotels and popular restaurants in India so I know that even the "pros" use these. They are great time and money savers when you think of all the different spices you'd have to purchase, store, measure, & grind for use in each dish. Kitchen King is a blend of cumin, turmeric, Kashmiri mirch,  garlic, red chili, coriander, green cardamom, brown cardamom, dry ginger, black pepper, cloves, fenugreek, poppy seeds, mace, nutmeg, star anise, fennel, long pepper, and cassia.

Foil wrapped for freshness!
Guaranteed to delight your palate with taste & aroma.
(It says so on the box!)
I have to say, they are generally excellent quality too. The box boasts that the fresh spices are hand picked and ground using "Low Temperature Grinding technology." The mixes are foil wrapped inside for freshness, although I'd recommend decanting them into an airtight glass container once opened for storage. You could use a plastic container, but be forewarned that plastic container will reek of Kitchen King forever after.

I'd recommend storing in an airtight glass container.
This old pickle jar works well.
 I'd also recommend buying them in boxes no larger than 100g to 200g depending on usage as they'll usually remain fresh for only about a month after opening.





Kitchen King is one of my favorites. I always have a box around. My favorite brand is "Catch," although "MDH" and "Everest" are quite good also. I'm guessing it's called Kitchen King due to its versatility in dishes. It's a quick and easy way to make tasty vegetarian dishes such as mattar paneer (peas & cheese) or curried peas and mushrooms. 

Helpful Hints:

A good substitute for Kitchen King spice mix is-  1/2tsp cayenne + 1/2tsp paprika + 1tsp cumin + 1tsp coriander + + 1/2 tsp fennel + 1/4tsp ground fenugreek +1/4tsp mace + 1/8tsp nutmeg 

*"Chi, chi," is roughly translated as "For shame," in Desi-Land. It is often accompanied by an imperiously & emphatically extended index finger being jabbed perilously in proximity of whomever is being blamed or shamed's face. 
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