Archive for August, 2007

Mutton Sukha / Goat Fry


Religion I was raised in calls for me to be a vegetarian. My parents never forced religious boundaries on us and thus I could eat what I wanted outside of my home 😉I have celebrated few Eids at my friend’s house and remember eating delicious mutton sukha.  Later when I had mutton sukha craving’s I couldn’t find a restaurant that served it or a recipe I could trust ;). I had tried my hand at cooking mutton when I came to USA but earlier attempts were short of disasters. It took me couple of years to figure out that I should use goat and not lamb. So much for my ignorance 😉

            A few days ago my dear friend Guru who is on land these days mentioned about this delicious dish and I had him send me the recipe and picture. I wanted so much to try the recipe out over the weekend, but other things kept me occupied. My next few week ends are planned so before I loose Guru’s email in the sea called my Inbox I save it on my blog.          

 My many thanks to Guru’s aunt who shared her traditional recipe with me and with great efforts wrote the same for me.    

What you need

2.25 Pound mutton (goat)
4.5 tablespoon ghee
Salt to taste
6 medium sized Onions
For the Gravy
50 gm dry red chilli(about 20)
2 Tablespoon coriander seeds / dhania
1Tablespoon cumin seeds/ Jeera
1/4 Teaspoon fenugreek/ methi
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pod Garlic (About 6-8medium cloves)
1/2 Inch Ginger
1/4 Tablespoon Turmeric powder
1 Onion cut into thin long slices
4 cloves
1-2 cardamom
4-5 cashew nuts
A small piece of cinnamon (About 1/2 inch long)
Fry Onion, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cashew nuts 1/2 Tablespoon Ghee
Grind all the ingredients for the gravy with this fired mixture to a fine paste with as little water as possible
1 coconut (About 2 cups grated) – ground to coarse paste (with pulse setting of the blender)

How to make
Add 2 tablespoon ghee to pressure cooker
Add 4 onions (cut into thin long slices) and fry slightly to light brown color
Add mutton
Add 1 lemon juice, 2 tomatoes, and salt to taste
Add the ground gravy and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or till mutton is cooked if cooking in a pan
After mutton is cooked, remove all the pieces from the gravy and keep aside.
Add the ground coconut to the gravy and boil in a different pan
Allow gravy to boil properly till all the water dries up
Now add back mutton pieces.

Take 2 tablespoon ghee
Add 1 onion and 5 garlic cloves and fry till onion turns dark pink
Add tadka to the cooked mutton

Serves great with steam rice, paratha, dosa, or bread.


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My flat mate’s mom in Bangalore had once made Biryani for us.  Ever since then I was hooked to Biryani. Then came along my dear hubby, another biryani fan. As much as we would love to eat it, my schedule doesn’t permit me to take hours and make perfect biryani often. So I had to come up with an alternative which would be tasty enough and yet a quick whip up.I use the same ingredients that I would use in a traditional biryani and combine few steps and techniques from my Pulao.  

I have always struggled to understand what qualifies as a biryani and what as a pulao.  So in my limited knowledge if I don’t layer meat and rice then it isn’t biryani 😉

What you need
1.5 Cups basmati rice
1 Lb chicken pieces (Washed and cut into bite size – I find it easy to use skinless thighs)
2 large red Onions (Yellow ones don’t give the same taste and stand out especially in this dish)
8-10 small green chilies (Or use to taste)
2 cloves of garlic
2 inch long ginger root
10 to 12 strands of Coriander leaves ( Use the entire strand and not just leaves)
15 – 18 Mint leaves
3-4 Cardamom
2 Cloves
6 tablespoon yogurt
Salt to taste
1.5 tablespoon Biryani masala powder or Everest garam masala powder
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon ghee
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon Kevda water / Rose water (Optional)

How to make
Grind chilies, garlic, ginger, mint and coriander leaves to a fine paste with as little water as you can manage.
Mix this paste, yogurt and chicken pieces together.
Marinate the chicken for 30 -45 minutes.
Slice onions into thin long pieces. Heat oil in a wide pan on medium heat
Fry half the onions till they are caramelized and brown.
Then take out the onions and drain them on a paper towel.

Cook rice till its about 3/4 done.
You can see how I do it in my how I cook rice post.

In a wide mouth non stick sauce pan heat ghee on medium heat.
Sauté the other half of onions till they turn translucent and pink.
Now add cardamom and cloves and fry for another minute.
Add the marinated chicken and salt and continue to cook on medium heat.
Yogurt will release some water, hence don’t add water.
If you feel the mixture is sticking add as little water as you can.
Keep stirring the chicken mixture in between.
Cover and cook till chicken is almost cooked and very little moisture is left.
Now add Kevda/ Rose water, garam masala / biryani masala and mix well.
Add the cooked rice, mix well and continue cooking on medium high without covering the pan.
In about couple of minutes the moisture will evaporate.
Turn off the heat, transfer Pulao to a serving bowl and sprinkle with caramelized onions.

My nutritionist says that if you refrigerate carbohydrates and eat them later, the glycemic index increases and
hence its not as good for your body. Sorry dear doctor, I can’t listen to you as far as this Pulao goes, I love to reheat it in a pan and eat it the next day 🙂

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How I cook Rice

I am going back to basics here. I am about to post a recipe for Chicken Biryani and I realized I will need to use rice now and later again.
I talked about rice in my Vegetable Pulao with Mint and Yogurt post before. This is an extension to that 🙂

There was a time I used to cook rice in microwave as I would get fluffy and non sticky rice.
Then I read somewhere that when you cook any carbohydrate in microwave for longer periods, its composition changes and it essentially becomes hard for the body to process. So no more microwave rice.

Wash rice for about 2-3 times in cold water. Never wash rice in warm or hot water as that starts the cooking process even before you want to.
Put few drops of ghee / oil in a pan and when it’s heated add washed rice and fry for about a minute.
Add about 1.75 times of water for 1 cup of rice to the pan and continue to cook on medium high flame.
Bring it to a boil.
When water starts bubbling, reduce heat to low-medium and cover with a lid.
Don’t peek, don’t stir and let it cook for 12-13 minutes. By then all water would have been soaked up.
Turn the heat off. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
There you have it most fluffy, separated and non broken grains – to the restaurant standard!
If you have nothing against cloves, try adding a few cloves to oil / ghee before adding the rice. It gives a wonderful aroma to rice.

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I am back from a short hiatus. I was away on vacation and then busy catching up at work.
Life got so busy that I was fixing something simple for dinner and most of the time forgot to note down what went in as usual.

This dish /drink seemed to be a good comeback recipe for its simplicity and distinctiveness. Also as its summer I can find good raw mangoes in Indian stores. When I was going through my wedding pictures last weekend, I remembered how popular AppehuLi had become amongst my husband’s friends and family. AppehuLi is indigenous to havyakas and surprisingly much unknown outside our small community.

What you need

1 small raw green mango
2-3 green chilies – cut into small pieces
1-2 dry red chilies – roughly chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic – cut into slices
2 curry leaves – roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
1/2 teaspoon oil
Salt to taste

How to make Cook the mango in a pressure cooker or with little water in a closed container.
Once the mango is cooled peel it and make a thick pulp out it. It should yield about 1/2 cup pulp for above measure of ingredients.
In a sauce pan on medium flame, heat the oil.
Add mustard seeds and urad dal.
When urad dal starts turning light brown add green and red chilies, curry leaves and garlic.
Add the pulp and salt.
Add water to bring to desired consistency.*
Bring to boil.

* AppehuLi is made in two consistencies.
Sometimes it’s made to a dal or dosa batter consistency and is served with rice. This version is called hatta appehuLi. Hatta meaning thick in our dialect.
Sometimes it’s made to a very thin rasam consistency. Some drink this version and some mix it with rice just the way one would mix rasam.
I personally prefer the thicker version with rice and thinner version to drink as a broth.

I apologize for the bad quality of the picture. I somehow couldn’t get a better one.

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