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Garam Masala Recipe

Garam Masala Recipe

Garam masala, that quintessential ingredient that is the secret behind delicious curries and vegetable dishes. I think every North Indian family has a family recipe. Most of such recipes are passed down in the family and work with andaaz (roughly translated means approximation). My mother used to make garam masala at home after painstakingly roasting each spice and then pounding it. The house would smell heavenly on that day. And the garam masala tasted more potent and smelled better than any store-bought stuff that I bought. Of course, the convenience angle makes me buy those too.

A few friends asked me for my garam masala recipe. So here it goes. This will make about 150 gms. garam masala. That usually lasts me 3-4 weeks. You will need lesser quantity of this compared to the store-bought stuff. Like I said, this stuff is more potent.

So here it goes:

Ingredients:

5 tbsp. coriander seeds

3 tbsp. cumin seeds

2.5 tbsp. black peppercorns

15 cloves

2 tbsp. green cardamom

3-4 black cardamom

4-5 inch sticks cinnamon

4-5 mace

10 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Recipe:

garam masala recipe

Lightly roast each of them on a low flame till aromatic. This helps their essential oils to come out and brings out the flavour and fragrance. I did not have nutmeg this time so skipped it.

After roasting, cool the ingredients down and pound them in a mortar or pestle or if you are feeling lazy like me, just use your blender.

Garam masala recipe 2

Keep this powder in an airtight container. It will last you for 2-3 months if you don’t use it before that. You can store it in the fridge if you wish to use it longer. Though, fresh masala powders do lose their freshness and aroma if kept around for so long.

Make a lesser quantity if you do not use it regularly. Use about 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. for a spicy hit to your curries.

Let me know if you try my recipe and like it.

Methi Chicken Recipe | Chicken Curry with Fenugreek Leaves

Methi Chicken Recipe | Chicken Curry with Fenugreek Leaves

I had methi chicken for the first time at Tandoor in Bangalore and totally loved it. Methi (which is normally slightly bitter) went so well with chicken and the spices complemented the gravy perfectly. So, well I had to try it out at home. This recipe is adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe and it did turn out quite good even at first attempt.

Here is the recipe:

methi chicken

Ingredients:

750 gm. chicken cut in pieces with bone

1 cup fresh methi leaves (you can use 3 tbsp. kasoori methi as a substitute)

2 tbsp. ginger paste

2 tbsp. garlic paste

2 medium onions finely chopped

3-4 green chillies slit

2 tbsp. oil

2 tsp. red chilly powder

2 tbsp. coriander powder

2 tsp. garam masala powder

1 tsp. turmeric powder

1 cup yoghurt/curd whisked

Salt to taste

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2-3 cloves

4 green cardamom

2 bay leaves

1 small piece cinnamon

2 black cardamom

1/2 tsp. kasoori methi for garnish

Recipe:

Clean and wash the chicken. Dry and keep aside.

Heat oil in a large pan/kadhai. Add in the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom both green and black, cinnamom and bay leaves. Saute for about a minute till the spices get cooked. Now add in the onions. Cook it till they are translucent. Add in the ginger-garlic paste and saute for about 3-4 minutes till they seem cooked. Now add in the slit green chillies, turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilly powder and saute for a minute.

Now add chicken pieces to this masala along with yoghurt. Mix well and cook on high for about 7-8 minutes.

Finely chop the methi leaves and saute in a tsp. of oil till cooked. Add this to the chicken and add a little water if it is too dry. Add salt. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. The chicken should be tender by now and the gravy becomes thick. Add in the garam masala now.You can add more water if you want thinner gravy. Do taste and adjust salt and spices if you do so.

You can add more water if you want thinner gravy. Do taste and adjust salt and spices if you do so.

Serve hot garnished with some kasuri methi (dried methi leaves). This goes equally well with both chapatis and rice. It does taste better if kept for some hours.

Tip: If you don’t have fresh methi leaves, use 3 tbsp. kasuri methi instead. You don’t need to saute it. Just add it to the chicken with some water.

 

 

Dum Aloo UP Style Recipe

Dum Aloo UP Style Recipe

Dum Aloo made UP style was a favourite at my home. There was a special Dum aloo spice mix that dad used to bring from Allahabad which was really delicious. But in its absence mum made do with garam masala. This recipe is simple comfort, home food and a bit different from the famous Kashmiri Dum Aloo.

dum aloo UP style

Ingredients

½ Kg. Baby Potatoes

1 cup thick curd or yoghurt

1 large tomato finely chopped or grated

1-inch piece ginger grated

2-3 green chillies slit in half

1 tsp. chilly powder (You can use 1 tsp. Degi or Kashmiri Mirch powder for its beautiful red colour and 1 tsp. regular chilly powder for taste)

1 tsp. garam masala powder

½ tsp. turmeric powder

1 tsp. coriander powder

1 tsp. roasted and powdered saunf (fennel) powder

1-2 cups water

3 tbsp. ghee/oil

salt to taste

Coriander leaves for garnish

Whole garam masala

1 bay leaf

4 cloves

1 small piece cinnamon

3-4 green cardamom

½ tsp. cumin seeds

Recipe:

Parboil the baby potatoes either in a pan or a pressure cooker. Make sure it is slightly underdone. Now let them cool and peel them. This is the most time-consuming process and takes about 15-20 minutes. Pierce them with fork and keep aside.

Now heat ghee/oil in the pan. Lightly saute the potatoes till they are golden brown and keep aside. Some people deep fry the potatoes but I avoid doing that.

Now use the ghee/oil left in the pan. Add in all the whole garam masala (cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves). Fry for a minute. Now add in the grated tomato and ginger. Cook it for 5 minutes till the tomato looks cooked. Now add the slit green chillies and baby potatoes. Fry for about 2 minutes.

Take the curd and beat it well. Add it gently to the mix in the pan after lowering the heat. Add in the turmeric powder, chilly powder, garam masala powder, saunf powder and coriander powder and mix well. Add salt to taste.

Simmer it for 8-10 minutes keeping a lid on. If the curd curdles, do not worry. Just mix everything well. Add more water if you want a thinner gravy. If not you will get a thicker gravy.

Serve it hot after garnishing with coriander leaves with rotis or boiled rice.

It is simple and delicious home-cooked food. Let me know if you try the recipe.

Panchmel Dal / Pachmel Dal Recipe

Panchmel Dal / Pachmel Dal Recipe

Panchmel Dal / Pachmel Dal Recipe

Panchmel Dal or Pachmel Dal as my mum used to call it is a delectable lentil recipe that is bursting with nutrition and flavour. Dal or lentils are an essential part of an Indian vegetarian diet. It is a fantastic source of protein and is made all over the country albeit in different variations.

So panchmel dal is made with a combination of 5 lentils. It is made in Rajasthan and UP (at least in my home).

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1/4 cup split pigeon peas (Tuar/Arhar Dal)
1/4 cup whole green gram (Moong)
1/4 cup split bengal gram (Chana Dal)
1/4 cup split black gram with skin (Split Urad Dal)
1/4 cup whole red lentils (Saboot Masoor Dal)
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tbsp. red chilly powder
1 tbsp. coriander powder

1 tbsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. garam masala powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. ginger paste
1 tbsp. garlic paste
2-3 split green chillies
2 large tomatoes

For Tadka (Tempering)

2 tbsp. Ghee (clarified butter)/oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 pinch asafoetida
2-3 dry red chillies
1 inch piece ginger juliennes
5-6 cloves garlic minced
Coriander leaves for garnish

Method:

Wash and soak the lentils for 2 hours. Pressure cook them in enough water with ginger garlic paste, split green chillies, tomatoes and turmeric till they are mushy. Keep aside.
Heat the lentil mix in a large pan/kadhai. If very thick add some water. Now add in the coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder along with salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Prepare the tempering in another pan. Heat ghee. Add in cumin, asafoetida and red chillies. Let the cumin splutter.

Now add the julienned ginger and minced garlic. Heat for a couple of minutes. Don’t let them burn.

Now tip them in hot Panchmel Dal that is simmering away. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with boiled rice or rotis.

Tip

  1. This dal is served slightly thick and not runny. As you store it, it gets even thicker and tastier as the flavours of the spices get enhanced. So add a little water and adjust seasoning.
  2. If you like your dal mild, you can reduce the quantity of chilly powder or do away with it. Trust me, this dal is not very spicy or hot.
Step-by-step Recipe of Nimbu Ka Achaar I Lemon Pickle I Lime Pickle

Step-by-step Recipe of Nimbu Ka Achaar I Lemon Pickle I Lime Pickle

nimbu ka achaar

A few days ago, I got a bounty of freshly picked juicy lemons from my mother-in-law’s tree. With a good over 2 Kg. quantity that I received, I decided to pickle the limes two ways — a savoury-tart pickle and a sweet sour pickle. In this post, I will share the savoury recipe. It is so simple that even a child can make it. Really! It has no oil, is versatile and has very few ingredients and steps. It is delicious with food.

So let’s go for the recipe:

Ingredients:

14 lemons/lime (About 800 gms.) I used the yellow ripe lemons

1/4th cup salt

3 tbsp. black salt

3 tbsp. red chilly powder

1 tbsp. turmeric powder

1 tbsp.  ajwain (carrom seeds)

About 10 green chillies (100 gm.) cut into large pieces

2 inch of ginger julienned (cut into strips)

Recipe:

Wash and dry the lemons.

nimbu ka achaar

Cut them into halves, quarters or eight parts as I did. Remove the seeds.

nimbu ka achaar

Now take a large pan. Add in the salts, chilly powder, carrom seeds and turmeric and mix well.

nimbu ka achaar

Now add in the chopped chillies and ginger. You can skip these if you want a plain lime pickle or nimbu ka achaar.

nimbu ka achaar

Mix all the ingredients together and add to a clean and dry pickle jar. Use glass or ceramic barnis (jars). Sterilize with some hot water and dry in the sun if possible.

Now comes the maturing part. You will need to keep this glass jar out in the sun from morning to evening during sunlight hours. Shake it well everyday and remember to take it inside during the night.

I needed about 7 days in the sun for the lemon pickle to mature and for the peel to soften. The pickle will reduce in quantity as the water comes out of lemons.

Mix well and it is ready to eat.

nimbu ka achaar

Tip: The pickle will keep maturing over the days. You can keep this pickle for a year if it lasts that long. Since this pickle has no oil and no preservatives, ensure that you only put in a dry spoon and do not allow any moisture to get in.

It will make a great side dish to your food. Did you know that nimbu ka achar is great for your digestion and if you are recuperating after a sickness, it helps to restore the taste back to your palate.

Simple, wasn’t it? Try it and let me know how it went. In the next post, I will share the recipe of the khatta meetha nimbu ka achaar.

Soya – Aloo Ka Saag/Dill with Potatoes

Soya – Aloo Ka Saag/Dill with Potatoes

dill and potatoes

Yes, this humble dill which is a great herb to use to perk up your food is also cooked as a vegetable. I have grown up eating this saag (green). It is actually great for digestion and its water is given to infants for colic. It is used regularly in Indian cooking.

Here I share a simple recipe of dill greens cooked with potatoes with a simple tempering.

Yesterday, I got some crackling fresh, organic dill leaves and hence made this immediately.

dill and potatoes

Ingredients

1 bunch fresh dill leaves (300 gms.)

3-4 medium sized potatoes

4-5 cloves garlic chopped

2-3 dry chillies

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 tsp. vegetable oil (I used mustard oil)

1 tsp. chilly powder

salt to taste

Recipe:

Carefully clean and wash the dill leaves. When relatively dry, chop finely and set aside. Wash, peel and chop potatoes into cubes.

Now take oil in a pan/kadhai. Add in cumin and let it sputter. Now tip in broken dry red chillies and chopped garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the chopped potatoes. Add salt and chilly powder.

Cook covered on low flame till potatoes are half done. Now add in the chopped dill leaves. Mix well and cook covered till the dill leaves have cooked along with the potatoes.

Serve hot with chapatis. Your tasty, nutritious dish is ready to eat.

Do you like eating dill cooked as a vegetable? Do share.

Tari wale aloo tamatar UP style

Tari wale aloo tamatar UP style

tari wale aloo tamatar

Potatoes are cooked in umpteen ways in India, each one more delicious than the other. They go so well with rotis, pooris or parathas. They are a staple side dish as well. Cooked dry, with light gravy or in a curry, they are versatile and can be made in so many different ways. Today, I share a recipe which is really simple to make and can be whipped up in under 5 minutes if you have boiled potatoes at hand. Tari wale aloo tamatar was the favorite aloo (potato) preparation in my home and hence I have a soft corner for it. It is delicious and almost like soul food for me. When I went to Agra last year, I ended up having it in a lot of places instantly making me nostalgic. After all, I do originally belong to UP and a lot of what I make at home has influences of that state’s cuisine. Here’s the simple recipe:

,h2>Ingredients

:

3 medium-sized boiled potatoes

2 large, ripe tomatoes finely chopped

For the tadka/tempering

2 tsp. vegetable oil/mustard oil

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 pinches of asafoetida

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

1/2 tsp. garam masala powder

1 tsp. chilly powder (or as per taste)

salt to taste

chopped coriander for garnish

Recipe:

Chop the potatoes and tomatoes and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan/kadhai. Add in cumin seeds. Wait for them to sputter. Now add in the asafoetida. Fry for a minute. Add in the tomatoes and some salt. Let the tomatoes soften, release their water and cook. Add a little water if needed. Now add the turmeric, garam masala, chilly powder and salt and tip in the potatoes. Mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add some water for a slight gravy along with salt. Cover and cook for a few minutes more. Now taste and adjust the seasoning. Your tari wale aloo tamatar is ready. Serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves. Simple, home cooked food that is yummy. You can also have this with rava idlis or with boiled rice.

Instant Mango Pickle/Jhatpat Kachche Aam ka Heengwala Achaar

Instant Mango Pickle/Jhatpat Kachche Aam ka Heengwala Achaar

instant raw mango pickle

Come summer and this quick fix pickle was a favourite in my home. Mum used to make it on the go so simple and quick it is to conjure. And it tastes yummy if you like the taste of sour, raw mango and the sharp bite of asafoetida. So here is the really simple recipe. You can keep it for a few days in the fridge but it generally does not last that long.

Ingredients:

1 big raw mango chopped in pieces

2 tsp. vegetable oil (mustard oil is preferred)

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

1/2 tsp. heeng (asafoetida)

1 tsp. chilly powder

1 tsp. cumin seeds

salt to taste

Recipe:

Take oil in a kadhai/pan. Heat it. Now add in the cumin and let it sputter. Tip in the asafoetida and fry it for 10 seconds. Now add the peeled and chopped raw mango to this and mix well. Add turmeric powder, salt and chilly powder and mix well. Lower the heat; add half a cup of water. Now let it simmer on low heat for about 5-10 minutes till the raw mango is soft but not mushy. Take it off the fire. Taste and adjust seasoning. Your quick, easy and tasty raw mango pickle is ready to eat. Eat it as a side or have it with roti or paratha.

A really simple Kanji recipe

A really simple Kanji recipe

kanji2

Here in Bangalore, we are fortunate to have winters that are pleasantly cold during the mornings and evenings and also get decent sunshine during the day time. Winter is also a time for produce like mustard greens, averekai and red carrots. Hence it is the best time to indulge in gajar ka halwa and carrot kanji.

Carrot kanji is a fermented drink that is made in the North of India during the winter months. It is tangy and spicy and warms you. Also since fermented drinks are good for you, another reason to indulge. Now this is such a simple recipe that even my kids can make except the chopping part considering that my younger son recently almost hacked off his finger. So, anyhow, here is the simple versatile recipe:

Ingredients:

4 red carrots peeled and chopped into pieces

2 turnips peeled and chopped into thick pieces

1 large beetroot peeled and chopped into thick pieces (Beetroot gives it the rich ruby red colour)

2.5 tsp. mustard seeds powdered

1 tsp chilly powder

2 tsp salt

3 tbsp. black salt

2 litres water

Recipe:

You will need a clean glass or ceramic jar to ferment the kanji in. Add in the chopped vegetables along with the mustard powder, chilly powder and both the salts. Now cover with water. You will find that the vegetable pieces float on top. Cover it well and keep it out in the sun for a few hours. In 2 – 3 days, your kanji will have fermented enough and will be ready for consumption. The best thing about this recipe is that it is extremely versatile. If you can get black carrots, make it with black and red carrots. Or use beetroots like I’ve mentioned. You could also use radish in place of turnips or just eliminate them. The taste is the same.

kanji1

Also taste when it is getting ready. If it has less salt, add more, same with chilly powder. If salt is more or if it is too sour for your taste just add more water. It is preferable to consume it within a week or it gets way too sour. The pickled vegetables are tasty as is or can be had as a side with your meals.

Like any fermented drinks, this one is an acquired taste. I know people who swear by it and others who swear at it. 🙂 Either way, try it. It is different and at least quite liked in my home. And seriously how easy it is to make this.

 

 

 

Green chana chaat/ Hara chana chaat

Green chana chaat/ Hara chana chaat

hara chana chaat

I absolutely love the fresh green chana (green gram) that you get for a very short period during winters. During my childhood, I remember my mom making this simple yet delcious chaat with it regularly when it was in season. The sweet taste and crunch of chana complemented perfectly by the sharp taste of green chillies, tomatoes and onions and the piquant tanginess of chat masala. Yum! Even as I type this, I feel my mouth water.

Here is the simple recipe much like the other chaats that we make with sprouts or other fresh produce:

4 generous servings

Ingredients:

½ Kg. green chana fresh

1 onion finely chopped

2 tomatoes finely chopped

2 spicy green chillies finely chopped (vary as per your taste)

some freshly chopped coriander for garnish

1 tbsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. black salt

1 tsp. chaat masala

salt to taste

Recipe:

Toss all the ingredients together with the masalas and mix well. Have it immediately and savour its delightful flavours. It is a healthy, nutritious and yummy snack for any time and occasion. Enjoy!

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