Thursday, April 19, 2012

Malvani/Konkani Shrimp Masala Rice

2 lbs shrimp
1.5 cups basmati rice
Little less than 3 cups of water
1/2 a giant red onion - julienned
A third or half a can of tomato puree
1 chicken bouillon cube
Oil + ghee for cooking
Salt to taste

Garam Masala: Black elaichi (cardamom), Bay leaf, dalchini (cinnamon), star anise, mace, laung (cloves), whole pepper corns.

Green paste ingredients:
Grind together ginger, garlic, jeera seeds, green chillies, dried red chillies, few pudina (mint) leaves and lots of dhania (cilantro) leaves, 1/2 cup grated coconut  

1. Shell the shrimp and clean by deveining it. Toss the shrimp in some salt and keep aside.
2. Soak the basmati rice in some water for about 20-30 mins. Discard the water.
3. Heat the water for the rice separately.
4. Grind together the ingredients for the green paste. You might have to use little water in the grinding process.
5. Heat some oil + ghee in a pan which has a lid.
6. Add all the garam masala to it.
7. Add the julienned onions and cook till the onions are golden brown.
8. Add the green paste and cook till the ginger-garlic's raw smell is gone. 
9. Now add the tomato puree and cook till the oil comes off from the side.
10. Now add the shrimp and saute for 2 mins.
11. Add the chicken bouillon cube, hot water and rice. Taste the water to see if you still need salt. Cover and cook till rice is cooked. 
12. Switch off the heat and sqeeze some lemon into the rice. Serve with julienned onions tossed in salt and lemon juice. 

1. Do not use the frozen shelled or cooked shrimp for this recipe. I usually buy my shrimp from Pacific Ocean Marketplace...even Sunflower Market or Whole foods will do.
2. Try not to go overboard with the mint, the predominant flavor of this dish is of cilantro.
3. Do not overcook the shrimp or else it will turn rubbery
4. I use 1 tablespoon of Knorr Chicken Flavor Bouillon instead of cube.
5. The rice cooks pretty fast in about 12-15 mins

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mooli ka Paratha

Wheat flour
Red chili powder
Chole powder
Salt to taste

1. Peel and wash radish
2. Grate the radish on your thickest grate
3. Toss the grated radish with salt and leave in a colander for atleast 15 minutes (or more if you can spare the time). Then squeeze the excess water out of the grated radish.
5. Collect this squeezed out radish water and use this water to make your dough. Make a stiff dough with wheat flour.
6. Add a little more salt, chilli powder and chole powder to the radish to prepare your paratha filling.
7. Prepare the parathas.

How not to get soggy torn parathas while rolling out the stuffed dough :-)
Sorry for the picture quality. Flash was turning everything white and the natural lighting on my kitchen counter is poor.

1. Roll out a small disc, but try to keep the center of the disc thick and roll the edges thinner. Sprinkle some dry wheat flour on the disc before placing the filling in it

2. After placing the filling, again sprinkle some wheat flour on top of it.

3. Now fold the edges of the disc over and around the filling to seal into a packet. Dip the packet on some dry flour, and then roll out into a paratha.

1. If you grate the radish really thin and squeeze out all its water, then the radish has no flavor left in it. So grate the radish really thick, that way even after you squeeze out all the excess moisture, every bite will yield juicy radish :-)
2. Radish has a very mild flavor, so if you add too many spices to the filling, it will overpower the flavor of radish. 
3. What is a paratha without ghee ;-) ;-) But you can use very little olive oil instead. 

Murgh Methi (Chicken with fresh Fenugreek leaves)

1.5 - 2 lbs Chicken thigh
1 cup whole milk yogurt
2 bunches of fresh Methi
1/2 a giant red onion
1.5" ginger and about the same volume of garlic 
green chillies
Whole Garam Masala: Black & Green Cardamoms, Cinnamon, Bay leaf, Javitri (mace), Cumin, Cloves and Peppercorns
Spices: Haldi (turmeric powder), red chili powder, dhania (coriander powder), garam masala powder
Little less than 1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons of almond powder
A dollop of whipping cream
1/2 bunch fresh dhania (cilantro) 
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste

Prep work:
1. Grind onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies together
2. Wash the methi leaves properly, toss them with salt and keep aside for 10-15 mins. Squeeze the water out of the leaves and chop them.
3. Cut the chicken thigh pieces into small chunks and marinate it with salt and yogurt for 15 mins

1. Heat some oil in a pressure cooker and add whole garam masala.
2. Add the onion-ginger-garlic-chilli paste and saute it till it turns golden brown.
3. Add the chopped methi leaves and saute it for about 7-10 mins till the leaves start browning/crisping and you can smell the aroma of methi
4. Now add haldi + mirchi + dhania....followed by tomato paste. Cook for a few minutes till you see the oil leaving the sides of the pan.
5. Finally add the marinated chicken, some hot water , some ground almond powder and close the pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 10 mins. Start off on high, and once the whistle blows reduce the heat to medium-low for the remainder of the time.
6. Turn off the cooker, wait for the pressure to release, and then add garam masala powder, whipping cream and fresh chopped dhania. 

1. I prefer using chicken thigh pieces over breast pieces for this dish. Breast pieces are too fibrous. 
2. You can always add some kasoori methi towards the end, if you feel that you want a stronger methi flavor. Keep in mind that dried dehydrated herbs are way stronger than their fresh counterparts.
3. I cook in the pressure cooker so that the meat becomes really soft really fast. You can cook in an open pan, slowcooker, whatever works for you :-)