Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Chicken Kurma

Since I stay in the south these days, and I am fond of cooking, I picked up a vegetarian South Indian cookbook. This recipe is so great with vegetables, that I decided to make it with chicken hoping it is just as good. And I was happily proved correct. Any vegetables can be used. When this is procedure is followed with vegetables, it is mentioned, to pressure cook it. However, since I don't pressure cook chicken, I cooked it normally in a pan.


Chicken: 1 (900 gms to 1kg)

Whole Cinnamon: 2

Cloves: 2

Cardamom: 2

Curry leaves: 2 sprigs

Onions: 2 (sliced)

Green chilli: 2 (slit)

Turmeric powder: a pinch


Paste A: Fry in a bit of ghee and grind to a fine paste

Cloves: 1

Cinnamon: 1 inch

Anise: 1/2 tsp

Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp

Onion: 3

Green Chilli: 4

Ginger: 1 piece

Garlic: 2-3 flakes

Add 1/4 cup of coriander leaves in the end
Paste B: Grind to a smooth paste

Coconut: 1/2 cup

Poppy seeds: 2tsp

Tomatoes: 2

1. In hot oil, add the whole spices, curry leaves, onion and green chilli, in this order. Saute for 2 minutes.

2. Add Paste A and fry on a low flame, till the oil oozes out.

3. Add the chicken and fry for 2 minutes.

4. Add and mix Paste B and salt. Fry for 2 more minutes.

5. Add the required amount of water for the gravy and cover and cook till done.

6. Serve hot with rice.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Aloo Jhinga Posto/Potato & Ridge Gourd with Khus Khus

Posto or khus khus or poppy seeds is found sometimes in Bengali cooking. Since childhood, we have been eating "Aloo jhinga posto", but I never attempted to make it. I thought it was too difficult. Turns out, it is very simple. This is another recipe I got from my mom. She always uses Panch Phoron in this dish. Panch Phoron is a blend of five spices in equal quantities, that is very commonly used in Bengali cooking. The five spices included are:
Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
Nigella seeds (kalonji/kalo jeera)
Mustard seeds (rai/shorshe) or Wild Celery Seeds (radhuni)
Fennel seeds (sauf/mouri)
Cumin seeds (jeera)
Adding onions in this dish is optional because many people feel that adding onions makes the dish a bit sweet.
Ridge Gourd/Jhinga: 2
Potato: 1 (diced)
Onion 1 medium (chopped) optional
Posto/khus khus: 3tbsp
Green Chilli: 2
Panch Phoron: 2tsp
Turmeric Powder: a pinch
1. Grind the posto in the mixer for a bit, till the seeds break a little. Then add a little bit of water and the green chillies and grind to a smooth paste.
2. In hot oil, saute the potatoes and then keep aside.
3. In the same oil (add more if needed), add the panch phoron. When it starts popping and crackling, add the onion. Add salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.
4. Saute this till the onion looses its colour. Add the potatoes and cook for a while.
5. When the potatoes are half done, add the jhinga. The jhinga cooks faster than the potatoes, which is why it is added after the potatoes are half cooked. Cover and cook. Add water if required.
6. When the vegetable is cooked, add a little water and bring to a boil. I prefer this dish dry, but it can have some gravy if needed.
7. Add the posto paste and cook for around 3-5 mins. The posto paste should not be cooked for a long time as it can turn bitter ruining the whole dish.
8. Serve hot with rice.