Tuesday 29 October 2013

Potato/Zucchini Casserole (Cheesy Over Bake)

Every dish over baked with lots of cheese is very dear to our heart : )
I keep making casseroles with chicken and mince so this time it was a Vegetable  Casserole.
I was gifted a sack full of lovely organic potatoes from my friend’s garden, so pure so fresh, I had Zucchinis at home so I planned to make this immediately.
Zucchini is very good for baking stuff, as in frying t absorbs a lot of oil/butter, it’s outstandingly tasty. It is low in calories and rich in Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. We can also grate it directly in our salad bowl as well, it s crunchy and similar to cucumber.
This is how I made my Casserole
4-5 medium potatoes (boiled and 2-3mm sliced)
3-4 large Zucchinis (thin sliced)
250ml double cream (1 pack)
50ml milk
50 g grated cheese
A blend of thym, oregano, rosemary to taste
2 tsp butter
Black pepper from the mill
¾ tsp Salt or to taste
1 tsp honey
2 tsp flour
¼ cup cold water
1 tbs butter
250 g grated cheese
-mix the flour in the cold water and let aside
-heat butter in a saucepan
-pour the double cream in it and stir, then mix all the rest ingredients except the grated cheese, honey and flour
-as the milk comes to a boil, pour in the flour mixture and whisk fast to avoid lumps.
-Now sprinkle the 50g grated cheese and honey it, the sauce will form a thick shape so be careful and keep stirring, the cheese will melt and give a thick structure, so lower the heat.
-the consistency should not become too thick as the Vegetable has to cook in it
-now set the casserole, first grease it with butter then lay out with Potatoes and zucchinis the way you like, you can make layers  but the sliced form seems attractive :)
-as all the casserole is covered, then pour the sauce on the top so it reaches each corner
-spread the grated cheese all over from one side to the other sprinkle some mixed dry herbs on the top and then bake it in a preheated oven on 180°C around 40-50 minutes till the Vegetable is cooked and the cheese melts and turns light goldish!
Take it out and let it set at least 15 minutes so you can cut out evenly and easily :)
It’s cheesy, its yumm and its Delicious!
Bon Appétit!!

Saturday 26 October 2013

Chicken Polau spicy and fluffy : )

For me the name Palou is just the ‘Sandali Polau’, the original rich tasty one : ) But as it is many like the chicken meat in it. We at home prefer to make the Sandali one as my Hubby is no great fan of the Chicken Polau, he is a Solid Lahori Puttar fond of Meaty dishes :D

The Chicken has to be made very well so the stock has no smell in it, here again all made with love and care turns out super, it is not the recipe which makes our dishes yummy it is mainly the attention we put in it while cooking which brings out the taste!

No doubt it is made far faster and is lighter to make so I do make it off and on for a change : )
Here you have to note some tips, I will try to explain it in an easier way so hope you have the best results when you make it : )
*Different spices, used at different stages built up the main taste, if you put all together and stir they will lose their flavor.
*I cut my chicken in really small pieces, the larger the pieces the less the taste! Small pieces absorb more spices and are pleasant to eat and are really tasty!
*I don’t use too much onion so the stock is not too thick
*I use fresh grated garlic and no ginger in it
*I use the small green cardamom in the baghaar to bring out the aroma
*I use some kevra essence for that typical rich aroma in the pot
*I use yoghurt so the meat stays soft and nice in color
*I use NO tomatoes as that bring stickiness in the stock and apart from this tomatoes have nothing to do in any Polau : )
So this is how I make it :)
3 cups Basmati rice soaked just 15-20 minutes!
1 whole chicken
(cut in at least 20 pieces)
2 medium onion fine sliced
¼ cup cooking oil
1 tbs mixed grated garlic
( I grate fresh for it)
5-6 small green cardamom
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp black pepper corn
150 g yoghurt (whisk smooth)
¼ tsp red chili : )
½ tsp coriander powder
3 tsp salt and more to taste
¼ - ½ tsp garam masala
1 tbs yellow color
2 tsp kevra essence
3 glass or 6 cups water, more if needed!
-wash the chicken and let the access water drain out
-heat the oil and add the cloves to fry, they will give a nice hot aroma in some seconds
-add the green cardamom and fry till they fluff up and then add the sliced onion in it
-fry the onion till golden brown, not dark brown or the stock will turn too dark and blackish later
-now sprinkle some grated garlic and fry fast, and add the chicken immediately into it
-while it is being fried, sprinkle the black pepper corn and the rest garlic and keep stirring
-you have to stir constant so the meat does not stick to the pot and break
-you’ll see the meat turn nice golden and the oil will show up from all sides
- I never cover the lid as the chicken meat cooks quite fast and takes a nice shape and color when stirred constantly
-now mix the red chili and coriander in the creamy whisked yoghurt
-pour this mixture on the fried chicken and mix all well
-now stir this mixture till the yoghurt leaves water and that dries up
-you will just see the gravy forming into a thick paste
-now pour the 3 glass water and bring it to the boil just 1-2 times
-we don’t need to cook the meat as it s already done and ready
-this process takes around 15-20 minutes so take care and soak the rice before time
-now add the soaked and drained rice to the stock, sprinkle the garam masala now
-when the water starts to cook keep a high flame, the water will start drying in around 5 minutes
-as you see bubbles forming this is the right time to set it on dumm
-add the kevra essence, just stir slightly and set the pot on dum
-I cover my pot with an Alum foil and that works wonders, the rice comes out GREAT!
-before you cover the lid, sprinkle the yellow color on the top at 3 different places, mixed in few drops of water
- the rice will be ready in around 10-13 minutes, don’t lift the lid to keep checking, as you will release the whole steam in it
-Just open it once after 10-15 minutes, Insha’Allah it is ready
-take away the foil immediately or the rice may get mushy in too much steam
-just loosen the sides with help of a skimmer
-sprinkle some garam masala as you dish out the polau…Ummm it’s divine in aroma and taste!
~I made garlic dip with it, added 2 pods ofgrated garlic, 2-3 crushed green chilis and 5-7 crushed black peppers in around 2 cups of yoghurt. Let it stay for an hour so the garlic leaves the intensive aroma in the yoghurt.
Enjoy making it and do share your experience how it turned out : )



Wednesday 23 October 2013

Chicken Soup

This soup is made in more of a desi style because if the poor patient is already suffering  not having the yummy dishes so at least some yummy soup : )
It is said to be a Power Bomb in many stages, like if you have caught a cold, Asthma due to cold weather, after delivery and many more.

I made it for my HD to cure his cold and cough and it helps a lot always.
You don’t need to make it as a hot soup but it should be delicious so the tasteless tongue can enjoy some yummy stuff : )
You need:
½ chicken (makes around 500 g)
(Make small pieces of the meat)
1 medium onion
1 tbs soft butter
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp black pepper corn
½ tsp ginger/garlic paste
 ¼ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp coriander powder
50 ml of vegetable stock
2 ½ glasses of water (you can add more if you feel less)
½ tsp salt and add more to taste as soup ready

-heat the butter slightly in a pot and add the cloves, as soon as they release the aroma add the black pepper corns and fry a but
-now fry the sliced onion carefully and don’t let it burn to dark brown, or else the color of the soup will get too darkish
-as the onion takes a bit golden color, add the chicken and let the water release then start stirring
-sprinkle the gg paste and stir till the meat turn into a nice gold color and the smell of raw meat is finished
-add the cumin, coriander and salt and the Vegetable stock and stir all well
-the meat will give a very nice aroma and will seem like curry meet, now add the water
-let this cook on a medium heat, the slower it simmers the more the bones give a nice juice
-it takes around 1 ½ -2 hours to make a really good soup, a bit thin yet super in taste
-you can sprinkle just a dash of garam masla to enlighten the taste
-if you like you can add the soup noodles in it at the last point and cook another 10 minutes
-I add vegetables in it too, like fine sliced carrots and peas and add some cooked rice in it
-this soup is really filling and is a total healthy meal for any one
-It is best to finish it the same day and make fresh again.
 Stay well and Healthy!


Tuesday 22 October 2013

*Creamiest Gajrela* (Carrot Kheer or carrot Pudding)


Gajrela or many call it Carrot Kheer or as many name it the Carrot Pudding here (:O)
Normally I make the delicious Gajr ka Halwa every winter, such a delight in cold winter days full with rich nuts and butter :) Gajrela is more of a summer sweet dish, cold and chilled and thick and yummz
I had already made Gulab Jamuns for Eid and wanted to make another side dish and had these beautiful carrots so then i thought, Gajrela would be the ultimate cold  sweet dish: )
My friend calls it the Carrot pudding how unromantic lol but the process is similar to the famous German “Milchreis” with lots of cinnamon in it, it’s a spinoff of our Delish Kheer : )
I have come to these measurements after making it specially for my Brazilian friend who wanted to know the exact ones, it is difficult as I am used to my way of cooking by adding and subtracting ingredients according to my feeling, I pour in more milk if it Is getting thicker or cook on a higher flame if it is too runny : )
Anyway this here is quite correct but IF you feel the milk is less you can surely add in more and then see how thick you need it, best is to take it off the stove when the mixture drops easily from your spoon as it gets firm when it is chilled.
Mines was really soft creamy just perfect (Oh not showing off lol, just telling you, see this is how it looks )
Don’t get scared to read my long description as I love to write in details so the reader understands the steps clearly : )
So this is what you need for 2 normal serving  bowls and serves around 6-8 people.
1 ½  litre Milk
250 ml double cream
50 ml condensed milk
6 medium grated carrots
½ cup soaked and grinded rice
½ tsp cardamom powder
5-7 cardamom seeds
2 tbs ghee/clarified butter
100gr sugar and more to taste
8-10 alomond slices (boiled/peeled/sliced)
Hand full Coconut stripes
Pistachio and Almonds for the top
2-3 tbs Kevra essence
So now easy and quick
-soak the rice an hour before
-drain, put in mixer jug,pour 2 cups milk(from the given amount)
-blend this till rice breaks into coarse form
-Grate the carrots
-boil and slice the nuts
-take out the cardamom seeds
-measure the milk and keep aside
-Take a broad vessel/Pot
-heat the Ghee and put in the cardamom seeds to splutter
-add the carrots and stir so all turn glazy
-pour all the mixture or rice and the rest milk and double cream+condensed milk
-add the nuts, coconut and almonds and whatever more you like
-sprinkle the cardamom powder, add sugar and let cook, first till one boil then lower the heat
-this is start getting thick as soon as the rice and carrot absorb milk so be careful
-stir off and on and keep on low heat
-the rice and carrots must cook till soft
-This takes around an hour, you will see the mixture getting thick
-at this stage I use the hand mixture to puree all just a bit
-this makes the whole so silky creamy yet you feel the coarse carrots and rice,I love it that way : )
-now it Is nearly done, now add the Kevra essence and just stir twice thrice and take it off
-pour out on bowls, decorate with nuts and keep it uncovered in the room temperature first
-many cover is immediately and the top gets “wrinkles” on it …not good for the eyes  : )
-after nearly half an hour you can keep it in the fridge with a cling
Viola there you have your tasty Gajrela!!
I add no color in it the slight orange color is from the pure carrots :)