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Friday, May 14, 2010

Chaat Sandwich

Chaats are very popular fast food in Northwest India. They are typically sold on roadsides and also available at restaurants. Count me amongst those who devour chaats with relish!
Afrah’s friends pleaded for a potato-snack party for her bday and it didn’t take me a minute to decide on Batata-wada. So what would be next …Punjabi samosa! But then nothing unique about it. My toing and froing stopped when I recollected this Hyderabi chaat sandwhich which my sis had prepared for her school snack festival. I remember Anusha preparing around 50-60 of this with her friend Nikitha and turning mom’s kitchen into a mess! Albeit it sold like hotcakes..or should I say hotsandwiches! Still remember seeing a huge crowd at their stall! So here I am to share this chaat with you, which I doubt you’ll find at Bombay Chowpatty or any chaat stalls!

Bread – 6 slices cut into triangles.
Potato- 3 large
Onion- 2 large chopped into tiny pieces
Tomato- 1 large chopped into tiny pieces
Raw mango (optional)- 1 cut into tiny pieces
Red chilly powder- 1 tsp
Lime juice- 1 tsp
Garam masala powder- ¼ tsp
Coriander leaves- ½ cup
Fine Sev – 1 Cup
Tomato sauce

Sweet Red chutney(meetha chutney): Soak 1 small lemon size tamarind in 1 cup water for 1hour or you may microwave it for 30secs to make it soft. Cut 5-6 seedless dates into small pieces. Squish the tamarind with your fingers to extract all the pulp. Discard the fibre and seeds. Add the thick tamarind liquid to the dates. Add ¼ tsp chilli pdr, ¼ tsp cumin pdr, salt and grind to a smooth watery paste. Keep it aside for garnish.(you may need to adjust the quantity of tamarind and dates depending on the size).

Green chutney- ingredients: 1 cup mint leaves, ½ cup coriander leaves, ½ onion , 1 tsp lime juice, ½ tsp sugar, 1 green chili. Grind into smooth paste using very little water. Keep aside for garnish.

Boil and mash the potatoes. Add red chilli pdr, lime juice, garam masal pdr, salt. Mix well into a smooth paste.
Preparing the bread-base: there are 2 ways to do this. 1- Toast the bread slices (hard brown toast)using a little bit of ghee and then coat one side with the potato mix. 2- First coat the potato mix on one side of the slice, spread evenly, press well, then dust cornflour on it and deep fry in oil. Although I’ve used the 2nd method, I would recommend the 1st option as for the 2nd method, it consumes a lot of oil.
Garnish- place the bread slices on the serving dish. Spread 1 tsp tomato sauce. Sprinkle onion pieces, next tomato pieces, mango pieces(very few), drizzle 2-3 tsp red chutney, now add a lot of Sev(as shown in pic), add green chutney and lastly coriander leaves. Serve immediately!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mango Chicken (Chef's special :-) )

The mere thought of having green mangoes would excite the salivary glands of almost anyone.
The perfect mangoes for mango-chicken are the ones that are just in the ripening stage. Pick the mango which is green yet soft. These, when cut, would appear yellowish within.
You’ll find a varied list of mango chicken recipes on the web-site, but this one’s my very own creation and a hit product of my culinary experiments.


Chicken – 1 kg, cut into small pieces
Onion-3 large, sliced lengthwise
Grind to paste- ½ inch ginger + 6 pieces garlic+1green chilly
Raw mangoes (green on the outside, soft & yellowish inside) - 2 small
Whole Spices: Cardamom- 3, Cloves- 4, Bay leaf- 1, Cinnamon – 1 small stick (2inch long)
Red Chilly powder- 2 tsp
Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
Curd- 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Cashew nut paste- grind 8 pieces of cashew nut using a little bit of water to form thick paste.
A bunch of Coriander leaves & mango slices for garnish.


Peel the mangoes. Make puree of 1 mango and keep aside. Cut the other mango into thin slices for garnish.
Heat 2 tsp oil and sauté onion till soft and translucent. Add ginger & garlic paste, sauté. Add all the spices and sauté for 2 mins. Now add the chilly powder and turmeric powder. Sauté well. Next add the chicken pieces and mango paste. Stir well and add the curd & salt. Add ½ glass of water and cook until chicken is done. (Don’t add too much of water as the gravy may turn out too loose). Now stir in the cashew nut paste; add a bunch of finely chopped coriander leaves and cook for a minute(discard the bay leaf). The gravy should now have a thick consistency. Transfer into a serving dish and garnish with few coriander leaves and mango slices.

Serving suggestion- to be served with Paratha or Puri.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Ladies Delight ( an Oriental dessert )

Wonder why this Oriental dish is so-called… perhaps its ease and simplicity delights the women folk??
I would say it should be renamed - ‘Men’s delight’, as my better-half was extremely ‘delighted’ whilst relishing it. I leave the whys and wherefores of this to you…after all ‘what’s in a name’.
I had once seen this recipe stuck on a Nestle’ cream tin but hadn’t tried it, until one of my colleagues brought it to office. Just follow the simple steps and the end result is a scrumptious, mouth-watering dessert and it’s over even before you go for the second piece!
So let’s get our ingredients ready and start off!

All you need:

Sandwich bread-8 slices
Nestle’ cream- 1 small tin
Rosewater- 1 tsp
For Sugar syrup: Boil 1 cup of water with ½ cup sugar for 10mins.(Syrup shouldn’t be thick)
Oil for frying
Pistachio or cashew nut flakes for garnish.


Remove the crust of the bread slices and flatten each of them using a rolling pin. Mix cream and rosewater in a bowl. (you can prepare this without rosewater also). Spread ½ tbsp of cream over the slice and roll it. Use a paste of refined flour ( 3 tsp flour+1 tbsp water) to stick the sides. Press the sides so that the cream does not come out while frying. Deep fry this in hot oil until golden brown. The bread will absorb a lot of oil, but don’t panic. Remove from pan and place on kitchen paper to drain out excess oil. Dip this in the sugar syrup and place on serving dish. If you don’t want it to be too sweet then you may place the fried pieces on the serving dish and drizzle the syrup on it with a spoon. Garnish with crushed pistachio or cashew nut (I’ve used cashew nut).
Serve hot.

My Mummy’s……..LAMB-LEG MASALA (Malabar Channah)

There are 3 ingredients to the good life;learning, earning and yearning. I’d always been yearning to prepare this yummy dish-my mom’s speciality. In Malabar, leg of lamb is the sine qua non for wedding parties. At few places the whole lamb is prepared, wherein the lamb is stuffed with chicken which in turn is stuffed with egg! I’ve tasted a lot of lamb-leg dishes but my mom’s is the best! Had eluded from cooking it, as I assumed it involved a lot of hard work. Stopped my procrastination and decided to go the whole nine yards and bought the lamb shoulder piece. For best results buy a young shoulder piece weighing around 700gms.

Grind to a paste-
garlic-3 cloves
Green chillies-3
Cilantro(coriander leaves)- small bunch
Juice of 1 lemon
Turmeric powder- 1/2 Tsp

Apply this paste to the leg of lamb and leave for 2 hours( if short of time,30 mins will do)

Sliced onions -4
Tomatoes- 5
Green chillies-4
Cardamom- 5
Garlic- 15 cloves
Ginger- 1inch
Red chilly powder- 2 spoon
Turmeric- 1 tsp
Cilantro- 1 small bunch
Juice of 1.5 or 2 lemons

Fry the lamb in some oil and fry on both sides for a little while. Keep aside.
In the same oil add cardamom, cloves,onion and salt. After frying well, add ginger & garlic. Once the raw smell is gone, add red chilly and turmeric powder. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1.5 cups water, juice of 1.5 lemons & cilantro. When this boils, add lamb-leg and pressure cook for 2- 3 whistles on medium flame. Then reduce to low heat for 15 minutes. When cooking in pressure cooker, switch off after 2 whistles and turn over lamb-leg to ensure even cooking, and continue rest of cooking in cooker. When done switch off flame.
Take out the lamb piece and place on serving dish. Reduce the gravy by stirring frequently for 15mins to prevent burning. Once the sauce has thickened, pour over leg. Garnish with cilantro.
This one’s a must try and proud to say that it turned out exactly the same as my mom’s.