Thursday 21 February 2013

Karhi with Rice/Fish kababs/Chilli Pickle/Poppadom

An introduction of Karhi for my German Friends : )
This is sort of a national hearty dish, cooked very often in nearly all households, and eaten with great love and pleasure!

A spicy thick curry is made with the chickpea powder and yoghurt. After adding spices in it we cook it quite long to get the nice creamy consistency.
Later fried fritters are added to it and poured with the tempering of fresh garlic, whole red chilli and cumin seeds.


I usually make it with yoghurt, but this time I used Butter milk and I tell you it is the best ever, I bought the 3,8% fat, it’s just perfect!
You can make your own butter milk if you don’t get any easily the ratio is: 1 cup of milk
1tbs vinegar
*pour milk in a small bowl, add the vinegar and let it rest 2-3 minutes
*you’ll see the milk changing, it’s ready
*just whisk a bit and proceed with the recipe below
500 gram butter milk( makes 2 cups)
4-5 tbs gram flour (besan)
4-6 garlic pods (crushed)
1tsp dry fenugreek powder (methi)
1 tsp red chili (or to taste)
½ tsp cumin powder (zeera)
1tsp dry coriander powder (Dhaina)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
5-6 curry leaves (curry patta)
3-4 glasses water (more or less accordingly)
-pour the butter milk in a pot
-add in all spices
-fold in the gram flour slowly and keep whisking
-add in the water, keep whisking
-add the curry leaves too (these give a very delicious sour taste to the karhi)
-place it on the stove on a medium heat
-it will become thick so take care not to cover the whole lid as it will spill all out!!!!
-let it boil twice thrice and then
lower the heat and let it cook
-It is done in about 11/2 – 2 hours,
 it should look like a thick yellow creamy mixture
-no water should be visible!!
-you will also see a fine line of grease (oil) on the sides, means it is ready

Pakoray (Fritters)
 200 gr gram flour (nearly 2 cups)
One large onion (cut in thin cubes)
1 small potato (cut in fine cubes)
4-5 green chilies
1tsp dry coriander seed (crushed)
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp all spice powder (gram masala)
½ tsp methi powder
2 Pinches of soda
-Make a creamy batter of gram flour and fold in all the ingredients
-Now make small round pakorays  and as ready, take them out in a plate
- As u fry the second batch of pakoras, put the fried ones in the karhi
-mix the karhi so they drown in it and absorb it.
The tip of not putting them directly in the karhi is that they won’t over soak, but will stay soft and good in shape
I also put it directly in the karhi and let is simmer on a very low heat, so the fritters absorb all the karhi very well.

-Now make the Baghaar (Tempering) for it:
¼ cup oil
1tbs cumin seed
 6-7 red whole chilies
3 garlic pods sliced
2-4 curry leaves
 -heat the oil, add in the red chillis; fry them light brown
-add in the garlic and don’t let them burn, fry light brown
-Sprinkle the cumin seeds and let splutter
-pour all into the pot of Karhi and close lid immediately
-the tasty aroma will enlighten your karhi : )
The heavenly Karhi is ready to serve with the side dishes, I always fry the Poppadam with it, the Fish Kabab gives it s very rich taste and above that all the pickle is simply divine : )
 Make it and enjoy it!!


Wednesday 20 February 2013

Minced Meat Stuffed Chilli Peppers

I think i am one of the greatest chilli lovers in this continent lol….. I keep looking for hot hotter hottest chillis as I eat them raw with my daily meals WOW what a taste!!

I had bought these Mexican hot chillis because the different colors attracted a lot. I thought what a shame if I cut them and add them in my curry, so why not do something more creative them which lasts long ( burning in the mouth of the eaters hehehe)
We all have eaten the normal fried chilis so often so this is nothing new the only difference is that i stuffed them with the minced meat I had made for my Bitter gourd (karelay)


I use a lot of onion in minced meat as this gives it a very delicious taste, and I cut my onion in fine rings not sliced!
Take care if you try these chillis as they are really really hot! The pure red one are a bit mild but the rest are FIERY!!!


A sister asked if we can fry them simply without any batter, of course you can if you CAN eat them : )
I eat it in all forms but I dipped these here in a batter so all others could also have a chance to taste them : )

You can fill in, cheese with spinach, chicken chunks, simple mixed salad or even the pickle masala, everything increases its taste : )

Sadly I have no pic of the ready to eat ones, as they were being eaten as I was frying them :)

So well here is what I did:

10-12 fresh firm Mexican chillis
*first of all grease your hands well so your skin will not absorb the hotness of them
*I used disposable gloves
*wash, dry, and make a slit in each of it
*scrape out the seeds with a small spoon or scrapers if you have it at hand
*Don’t throw them we need them too!

150 gram minced meat
2 onions (cut find rings)( Lacchay)
1tbs of fresh ginger chopped
2-3 tsp oil
All the seeds of the chillies!

The following spices all to your taste:
red chilli flakes
garam masala,
cumin powder


*heat the oil on a low flame; don’t take more as the minced meat also leaves some oil while cooking

 *fry half of the onion rings in it and keep turning and twisting so it does not burn as we have less oil na!
*fry it till the water dries and the onion looks glassy

 *now add the mince in it and stir so it opens up evenly
* sprinkle the chilli seeds and mix all
*the mince will start cooking and becoming crumbly
*sprinkle the spices to your taste, be careful adding the red chilli flaks as the seeds are hot too!
*mix all well, remember we are cooking on a low heat, as we have a less amount of mince and we don’t want to dry its juices all up : )

 *it should be soft and juicy
*now sprinkle the rest half of the onions and mix all and cover with a lid, they will become softer in the steam
*I love it this way as I need to feel the onion on each bite : )

Let the mixture cool down and then fill in the chillis with a small spoon
You may see some wrinkles on the chillis in my pic, no they are not oldies hehehe this is because I filled in the still warm mixture so they didn’t like it and have made a face : )

Okay so now we have to coat them and fry, I don’t do the usual chickpea powder thick coating as one has to feel the taste of the chilli not the batter,I make the light tempura batter with the cold water and flour, that’s crispier and easier.
Tempura Batter :
1 cup plain flour
1 cup chilled cold water
¼ cup corn flour
1 egg
Salt to taste
(be careful as we have added salt while marinating too!)
-mix the flour and corn flour
(adding the corn flour gives it stability, as only flour gets sticky and soggy soon)
-beat the egg in a glass bowl and add in the cold water and keep whisking
-now add the mixed flour slowly and keep whisking to avoid any lumps
-add in the salt and if you like more black pepper to it
-whisk the batter generously till thick but creamy and gooey not stiff, but DO NOT over beat it , as then the gluten can be active and make is very sticky like a glue and then it’s of no use…
*now dip the chillis in this batter and deep fry
* fry till light gold color not brown.

So hope you’ll try it and enjoy the hot taste, that is if you are a chilli lover like me : )

Friday 15 February 2013

**Date/ Nuts Truffles**

These sweet cute balls are actually quite similar to the date balls i make in Ramadan. It is always a great hit served to my guests not only in winter :)
This time I bought the extra soft Iranian dates, and I did not have to give them a steam, I just pitted them and pressed them flat with a wooden spoon :)
I added honey and brown sugar in them, and took all the nuts except pistachios.

So this is what I did:
1 kilo soft dates (pitted)
100gram almonds (crushed)
50 gram walnuts (crushed)
50gram dry coconut (fine chopped)
20 gram sweet cashews (fine chopped)
3-5 tbs honey
2-3 tbs brown sugar
2-tbs dry nido powder
*pit all the dates and shred them either with your fingers or press with a wooden spoon to make it flatter (as I did)
*crush the almonds and walnuts in a chopper till they still stay coarse; don’t make a powder of them as they won’t taste nice later
*chop the coconut and cashews with a big knife so that they seem like tiny chunks
*now spread the dates in a broad tray, sprinkle all the nuts on it
*sprinkle the sugar on it, add the honey on the top

*now mix all with a wooden spoon, and then try to mix all with your greased palms till all mixes well and turns into a smooth even dough
*now make small sized balls of your choice, I made a bit bigger to fit them in the tiny cuppies :)
*turn and twist them in the desiccated coconut and place in the truffle paper cups or you can place in any plate too :)

~Keep them in a tin box and keep it tight closed, they stay very well till they are all finished. If you keep them open they will dry up due to so many nuts in it!
Enjoy making and eating!!


Sunday 10 February 2013

*Duchess Potatoes Cake*

As the name shows this is supposed to be a delicate dish, as some say it was first made for a duchess so it is named after that, but it is also well known as a popular side dish from the French cuisine. I named it a cake because as it was ready it really looked like a lovely cake : )
Duchess Potatoes are an additional side dish with all grilled or fried meat or fish meals.
I make it with fried fish and fried vegetable, this time I thought to make 3 in 1 : )
They are very easy and very delicious and are much loved from all kiddies : )
I make casseroles very often as I love them and so does my Family, so this time it was the Potato/Veg casserole and instead that i made the duchess potato separately I made them together.
You just need some time and peace to make them, otherwise it is really simple.
So let’s start off, here’s what you need to do, I’ll write each  step according to ingredients,
it is easy for you to follow each one after the other and prepare all so ti is easy to just assemble the casserole :
**6-7 potatoes
-wash, peel, cut and boil in salt water)
-30ml milk
-1tbs butter
-Salt and black pepper to taste
- ¼ tsp red chili flakes
-¼ tsp cumin powder
1 egg
**200gram Mixed vegetable
-carrots, peas, maize, broccoli, cauliflower
(cut in cubes)
-1-2 tsp butter to fry the veg
**200ml Cream fraich/Quark
-add some salt and black pepper in it along with some curry powder to taste
You can also take simple thick cream and season according to your taste
**50 gram grated cheese             
I made it s bit Calorie conscious as I was adding enough butter in it
(yes yes I know conscious? with butter and cream lol )
*so, I always peel the potatoes before boiling as they get cooked really fast
*always add some salt in the water so the potatoes have a good taste
*take a casserole; spread some cream on the bottom
*take out 2 potatoes when boiled, cut in thick slices and fry them till gold brown
*lay these in the casserole on the bottom layer
*fry the Veg slightly in the butter
*mash the rest of the potatoes while still warm
*add the egg, butter, milk and salt /pepper
*the puree should be smooth, add more spices according to your taste
*take out at least ½ cup puree in a separate bowl!
*now spread the puree on the sides of the casserole making a hollow space in the middle
*just pat the puree so it is evenly spread on the sides
*now fill the hollow in-between with the fried Veg
*take a piping bag and fill in the rest puree and fix the star nozzle on it
*you can now either make stars or rosettes on the sides of the casserole
*just make them thick enough that they take a shape and make a peak of each
*now pour the rest cream over the middle part on the Veg and sprinkle the cheese over it too
* bake it in the pre heated oven on 190C for around 15 minutes
* you’ll see the cheese turning gold and the duchess potato taking a lovely brown gold color
 *Your Grand Lunch or Dinner is ready : )
**Many brush an egg yolk extra on the duchess potato, but I don’t like it, it is enough to add in the puree, they are nice crunchy when they are done and also have that lovely yellowish color : )

Friday 8 February 2013

~Goulash with Paprika in Cream Sauce~

Goulash is a tender beef part, it is nearly fat free It cooks very fast and usually we always cut it in small pieces, that is the beauty of it, it will not give you any attraction if the pieces are too big! We also call it gool boti ka gosht in Urdu : )
Goulash is described in so many ways; each has its own way of making it. It is made in nearly all over the world with different names and styles, with different Vegetables in it and mostly as a stew and a thick soup. It is supposed to be the origin of Hungary
Here in Germany my friend makes it with potatoes in a thick soup with lots of tomato sauce, and we eat it with a nice garlic baguette : )
My Mom used to make this without any combinations, just simple with thick gravy made of yoghurt and hot spices.
I have experienced many new ways of molding many of her dishes adding other ingredients : )
I actually planned to make something else today (will make it in a day or two) but then saw the lovely Red Paprika in the fridge so changed to plan B lol…
I set my rice to cook on the fast track as no rice no fun : )
So here’s what I did:
400 gram chunks of beef
2-3 garlic pods (grated)
1large Paprika (cut in strips)
3 spring onion stem ( cut fine circles)
4-5 green chilies (optional)
150 ml cream ( I took double cream)
3 tbs butter( for meat)
2 tbs butter ( for Veg)
½ - ¾ tsp salt
½ tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp black pepper
*You need two pans for this
-*heat the butter in a broad pan and fry the meat in it,
-*grate the garlic directly on the meat and mix well
-*the meat leaves water so we don’t need to add much water in it
-*I just added like a half cup to it just covers the lid, so the meat is done in the steam
-*try NOT to pirck any spoon or fork in the meat, so they will stay soft and spongy
-*on the other side, heat another pan, melt in the next butter on medium heat
-*fry the spring onion light pinkish, all the paprika and just stir slightly
-*slit the green chilies and add them too
-*now just keep stirring don’t cover it as the Vegetable must be crunchy!
-*in the mean time the meat must be ready and nearly dry fry
-*now take a larger pan and combine both Vegetable and meat and mix them
-*sprinkle all the spices mixing them gently so the Vegetable doesn’t break
-*in the end pour the cream and cook and keep stirring slightly, the cream will start getting thicker, so don’t leave it unattended
-*cook till the consistency you like, I wanted it nearly dried up yet it had a very soft and juicy texture, you can make the creamy gravy according to your taste.
**The delish meal is ready  : ) Make and enjoy it with warm fresh rice like I did : )**