Showing posts with label north indian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label north indian. Show all posts

Feb 15, 2017

Kohinoor Chicken Curry

kohinoor chicken curry, chicken, murgh, kohinoor, curry, easy, mughal, moghul, north indian, indian, easy, recipe, non veg, spicy, authentic, traditional,

From the royal courts of the ancient Mughals comes this recipe for a rich chicken curry. First, the chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices which will render it moist and flavorsome. The marinated chicken pieces are then slowly simmered until tender in a creamy gravy lavishly laced with traditional spices. Truly a regal dish that requires far less effort than you might think to prepare!

kohinoor chicken curry, chicken, murgh, kohinoor, curry, easy, mughal, moghul, north indian, indian, easy, recipe, non veg, spicy, authentic, traditional,

This is one of those creamy, rich, ultra-posh Mughal dish with all the "bells and whistles" so popular around Delhi. The long list of ingredients does look quite daunting, but I've broken it down and simplified the steps so it's really not that difficult! It is also a great recipe for any special occasion as most of the preparation can be done a day in advance. A word of warning though, this chicken curry is VERY spicy. This isn't one of those bland, timid Mughlai recipes relying mostly on butterfat and cream for it's flavor. There's definitely a lot of spice and heat going on here, but it is masterfully blended to perfection. So if you're looking for a chicken curry recipe with bold, vibrant, IN YOUR FACE flavor - this is it!

Ingredients:
1kg/2lbs chicken, skinless and cut into 8 pieces, bone in preferred
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
1 C onions, thinly sliced into half moons
3 tomatoes, diced finely or pureed
2 C water or stock/shorba
1 TBS dried mint (optional for garnish)
Grind to smooth paste for masala:
1 TBS coriander/dhania
2 tsp cumin/jeera
9 cloves/laung
12 black peppercorns/kali mirch
7 green cardamoms/elaichi
1 inch piece cassia bark/dalchini, broken into small pieces
1 TBS water
Grind until smooth for marinade:
1 C full fat yogurt
1/2 tsp flour/maida (this will keep the yogurt from splitting)
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
3-4 green chilis/hari mirch
1/4 C almonds/badaami, ground finely (or coconut cream)*
2 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1 tsp paprika plus 1 tsp cayenne powder)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
2 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Grind almonds to fine powder in mixie, food processor, or blender. Grind powdered almonds and all ingredients listed for marinade to smooth paste in a mixie, foods or blender. Coat each piece of chicken in marinade. Place chicken and marinade in airtight, sealable container and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

kohinoor chicken curry, chicken, murgh, kohinoor, curry, easy, mughal, moghul, north indian, indian, easy, recipe, non veg, spicy, authentic, traditional,

2) When ready to cook, heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai for 5 minutes. While oil is heating grind spices with water as listed for masala in mixie, food processor, or blender and set aside. Add thinly sliced onions to hot oil and fry for 5 to 7 minutes or until just beginning to brown. 

kohinoor chicken curry, chicken, murgh, kohinoor, curry, easy, mughal, moghul, north indian, indian, easy, recipe, non veg, spicy, authentic, traditional,

3) Add diced or pureed tomatoes and ground spices for masala to the fried onions, stir well, and fry for 5 minutes or until oil separates from the mixture.


4) Add marinated chicken pieces to fried onion mixture in pan. Reserve marinade. Cook chicken pieces for 2 minutes on each side. Add reserved marinade and 2C water or stock/shorba. Stir well.

kohinoor chicken curry, chicken, murgh, kohinoor, curry, easy, mughal, moghul, north indian, indian, easy, recipe, non veg, spicy, authentic, traditional,

5) Bring the dish to a simmer covered over medium heat. Stir well every 5 minutes turning the chicken pieces to be sure they cook evenly. The dish is ready when the chicken is cooked through, about half the liquid has evaporated, and the oil separates from the gravy. This usually takes 20 to 25 minutes.  Salt to taste, garnish with dried mint if desired and serve!

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Helpful hints:
For persons suffering peanut or nut allergies a good substitute for ground almonds is canned coconut cream. (Persons suffering peanut and tree nut sensitivity can usually safely eat coconut.)

Lithograph dated 1844 from the online gallery of the British Library depicting the Maharaja Ranjit Singh's jewels including the famed Kohinoor diamond (top center). Maharaja Ranjit Singh extorted the Kohinoor diamond from the Emir of Afghanistan in 1813. The lithograph also portrays one of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's favorite horses shown with the head officer of his stables.

Jan 25, 2017

Mughlai Garam Masala

garam masala, mughal, mughlai, recipe, easy, garam, masala, traditional, authentic, simple, hot, spice, blend, mixture, indian, north indian, sahni, julie,

In Hindi, masala refers to a mixture of spices and garam means hot or warming in the Ayurvedic sense. Mughlai garam masala is a traditional mixture of cardamom, cassia bark, cloves, black pepper, and nutmeg added. It adds a subtle aromatic flavor to dishes and is considered a hallmark of classical north Indian cooking.


Garam masala is used as a finishing touch in many Subcontinental cuisines just as ground black pepper is used in Western cooking. Recipes for garam masala vary from region to region and even household to household! This classic recipe for garam masala in royal Mughal style is adapted from the famed chef Julie Sahni's brilliant cookbook, Classic Indian Cooking. Differing in the lavish use of expensive spices this particular blend is not often commercially available. If you were to purchase the ingredients for this garam masala at a western supermarket or specialty spice store the cost would be exorbitant. However, if you buy the whole spices at your local Indian grocer and grind them yourself, this blend will cost mere pennies!

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The flavor of this garam masala is sweeter and more delicate compared to most ready made blends too. I like to use this recipe when cooking the rich cream, milk, or meat-based dishes of north Indian cuisines. According to Chef Sahni, the spices in this blend are so naturally fragrant and easily digested that dry roasting them isn't necessary. I chose green cardamoms for this batch but using black or brown cardamoms results in a deeper, smoky flavor. I also used cassia bark rather than cinnamon sticks because it's traditional and I prefer it's peppery bite over the sweeter cinnamon. Anyway you choose to customize this blend it's sure to add a little Mughal splendor to everything you make!

Ingredients:
1/3 cup (about 200) green cardamom/elaichi pods or 1/2 C (about 60) black cardamoms/badi elaichi
2 three inch pieces of cassia bark/dalchini or cinnamon sticks
1 TBS whole cloves/laung
1 TBS black peppercorns/kali mirch
1&1/2 tsp grated nutmeg/jaiphal (optional)

Here's what to do:
1) Crush cassia bark or cinnamon sticks with a kitchen mallet, rolling pin, or belan to break it into small pieces. (If you have little bits and bobs of cassia bark or cinnamon stick about this is a good place to use them.)

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2) Combine all the spices except nutmeg and grind to a fine powder in a coffee grinder, a spice mill, or a mixie.
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3) Mix in the grated nutmeg, if desired. Store in an airtight container away from heat and light. Use within three months. Makes about 3/4C

Helpful Hints:
Chef Sahni advises removing the seeds from the cardamom pods and discarding the skins. I disagree, the skin of green cardamoms and black cardamoms have flavor. I can't bear to throw the skins away! Anyway, I use the whole pod when I grind my masalas but peel away if you must. (But don't throw away those skins, put them in your masala chai mix!)

If you are interested in trying other regional variations of this classic spice blend try Punjabi Garam Masala, Nepali Garam Masala, or Kashmiri Garam Masala.

Portrait of Mughal Emperor Zahir ud-Din Mohammad (Babur), founder of the Mughal empire
date 1630AD, artist unknown

Nov 4, 2016

Kashmiri Style Chicken Curry

Kashmiri Style Chicken Curry recipe curry indian authentic kashmir

From the beautiful vale of Kashmir comes this recipe for a brilliant red chicken curry. The warmth of traditional aromatic spices and crimson Kashmiri chilis are melded in a velvety yogurt based sauce. Crisply seared chicken is then simmered until meltingly tender in this richly aromatic sauce. The Kashmiris enjoy this dish garnished with dried mint or perhaps sultanas and cashews stirred in on special occasions.

Kashmiri Style Chicken Curry recipe curry indian authentic kashmir

This is our everyday chicken curry recipe. No, it not sweet, nor does it have any sugar in it, or coconut, or pineapple, or dried apricots like most of the abominations called Kashmiri chicken you'll find in restaurants. As is the traditional Kashmiri manner the chicken is first browned in salted oil and set aside. Browning the chicken in salted oil gives it a bit of a crispy salt crust as well as leaving delicious drippings for making the sauce. The sauce is quite soupy as it is served with rice like most Kashmiri dishes. The flavor is more aromatic than spicy hot with a bit of a tang from the yogurt. If you want to make it really fancy you can toss a handful of cashews or sultanas in about ten minutes before serving.

Ingredients:
1kg/2lbs chicken, skinless and cut into 8 pieces with bone in
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
2 onions, sliced thinly into half moons
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
7 green cardamoms/elaichi, bruised with mortar and pestle
5 cloves/laung
2 inch piece of cassia bark/dalchini (or cinnamon stick)
10 black peppercorns/kali mirch, coarsely ground
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
2 tomatoes, diced finely or pureed
2 C water or stock
2 TBS sultanas (optional)
2 TBS cashews (optional)
1 TBS dried mint/pudina (optional for garnish)
Mix until smooth for sauce-
1 C yogurt/dahi
1/2 tsp flour/maida (this will keep the yogurt from splitting)
1 TBS Kashmiri mirch (or 1&1/2 tsp paprika plus 1&1/2 tsp cayenne powder)
2 tsp ground fennel/saunf
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania
1 tsp dry ginger/soonth
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi

Here's what to do:
1) Heat cooking oil or ghee with 1 teaspoonful salt in kadhai or deep heavy bottomed skillet for 7 minutes. While oil is heating mix yogurt together with spices and flour as listed for gravy until smooth and set aside. Fry chicken pieces in hot oil or ghee for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Set fried chicken pieces aside on a plate.


2) In same pan fry sliced onions until beginning to brown. Add garlic paste, ginger paste, green cardamoms, cloves, cassia bark, black peppercorns, and cumin seeds. Fry for about 2 minutes or until raw smell is gone from garlic.


3) Add finely diced tomatoes and fry for about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add yogurt mixed with flour and spices to fried tomato and onion mixture. Stir well and return pan to heat. Bring mixture to a simmer. Allow mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. If mixture begins to scorch or stick reduce heat, add 1/4 cup water and stir well.


4) After 5 minutes return the fried chicken pieces to the pan with the onion and spice mixture. Stir well. Add 2 cups water or stock to the spice and chicken mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover pan and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through and oil separates from the sauce. (If using sultanas or cashews stir them in after the chicken has simmered for about ten minutes.) Salt to taste and garnish with dried mint if desired.


Helpful Hints:
I do find that sometimes chicken can get a bit dry when cooked this way. To prevent that I usually soak the skinless chicken in a brine solution of 3 tablespoons salt to one liter/four cups water for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Before frying rinse the chicken pieces well  and dispose of the brine solution. This really makes for tender, juicy chicken!

An illustration of market boats on Nallah Mar canal in Srinagar from Francis Younghusband's 1917 book Kashmir.

Jun 29, 2016

Vikas Khanna's Classic Lamb Curry

Vikas Khanna classic lamb curry recipe beef goat indian punjabi mutton easy simple authentic

From the award winning Michelin starred Indian chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer Vikas Khanna comes this recipe for an authentic North Indian style lamb curry. Lamb is simmered until tender in a rich gravy infused with traditional aromatic spices. So easy to make, everyone will think you're an award winning chef when you make this too!

Mr Khanna on one of his cookbooks looking Sexy & Alive!
I found this recipe on one of Vikas Khanna's numerous and rather derelict websites here. I'm not sure why Mr. Khanna has so many ill written and poorly maintained websites as his cookbooks are very well written and organized. Anyway, Mr. Vikas is originally from the Punjabi metropolis of Amritsar and has now been catapulted to culinary super stardom and Michelin starred fame for his amazing restaurant Junoon. He also made People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" list in 2011, has cooked for President Obama at the White House, been a guest judge on Australian Masterchef, and still does appearances frequently on talk and cooking shows.

On perusal of this recipe on Mr Khanna's website I noticed it had no garlic or ginger. I can't imagine a traditional North Indian meat curry without garlic or ginger so I added a bit. Other than that I've just rewritten the recipe in simpler form. The liberal use of spices and manner of preparation are typically Punjabi and the resulting dish is truly authentic. I usually start the marination for this dish the morning of or the day before the evening meal or dinner party I wish to serve it at. Then with less than an hour's cooking time your curry is ready to go. This super easy recipe also works well with beef, mutton/goat, venison, or water buffalo. If you are new to making curries or are an "old pro" this is a great recipe to try!

Ingredients:
1kg/2lbs lamb or mutton, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
5 green cardamoms/elaichi, bruised with mortar and pestle
3 cassia leaves/tej patta
2 inch piece of cassia bark/dalchini (or cinnamon stick)
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
3-4 green chilis/hari mirch, chopped finely (optional, omit for less heat)
1 large tomato/tamatar, diced finely
2 C water or stock/shorba
Grind to smooth paste for marinade:
1&1/2 C yogurt/dahi
3 onions, chopped roughly
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
1 TBS Kashmiri mirch (or 1&1/2tsp paprika plus 1&1/2tsp cayenne powder)
1 TBS coriander/dhania
1 TBS cumin/jeera
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
2 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Grind all ingredients listed under marinade to paste in mixie, food processor, or blender. Coat all meat pieces with marinade. Allow meat to marinate for 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator sealed in an airtight container.
 2) When ready to cook  heat oil with for 5 minutes in a deep heavy bottomed skillet, stock pot, or pressure cooker. Add green cardamom/elaichi, cassia leaves/tej patta, and cassia bark/dalchini to hot oil and fry for 2 minutes.

3) Add meat and marinade to frying spices. Stir well and cook for 4 minutes. Add diced tomato and chopped green chilis/hari mirch and allow to simmer for 4 more minutes.

4) If you are cooking young Kashmiri lamb add 2 cups water or stock and allow to simmer over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes or until meat is tender.  If you are cooking a tough Nepali goat like I am you'll want to use a pressure cooker and add enough water or stock so that meat is just covered. Seal pressure cooker and allow to steam for 5 to 6 whistles or until meat is tender.
5) When meat is cooked to desired tenderness salt to taste and serve with rice, naan, or rotis.

Helpful hints:
This recipe also works well with beef, mutton/goat, venison, or water buffalo. Simply adjust cooking time accordingly to the meat used


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