Monday, May 18, 2009


In this post I will share whole menus for 4 people. For now I will share an Indian Dinner spread restricting the menu to recipes that will take less time. Will add chinese and continental options soon along wiht more Indian. As of now how does this sound:
Butter Chicken
Panchmel Dal
Mili Juli Saziyan (with coconut and sesame seeds)
Mughlai Pulao
Dahi Bhalle and Raita

1 kg boneless chicken pieces marinaded 3-4 hrs with 1.5 tbsp ginger paste, 1 tbsp garlic paste, 2 tsp red chilli powder, 2 tsp garam masala, 1 tbsp coriander-cumin powder, salt, 1 drop of red food coloring and 1 tbsp of ghee/butter/oil.
Puree of 10 plump tomatoes, 1tsp each chopped ginger abd garlic, 1 tsp jeera, salt, 2 tsp sugar, 3-4 slit green chillies, 1 tbsp kasuri methi
1/2 cup fresh cream, a knob of butter
Roast the chicken for 10 minutes at 200 dergrees or shallow fry them in batches till 3/4rths done. Heat sme oil in a pan and throw in the jeera. Add and fry ginger garlic for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar and salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Add green chllies and chicken. Cook covered till chicken is done and fat separates. Add kasuri methi and Cream and switch off the gas. Add Butter. Serve.

1/4rth cup each of chane ki dal, masoor ki dal, moong ki dal, urad ki dal
1/2 cup of Arhar ki dal
1 tb sp each chopped ginger and garlic, chopped coriander leaves, 3-4 slit green chillies, 2 tomatoes chopped, 1 onion chopped
1tsp red chilliy, 1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds), 2 tsp jeera, 3-4 cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon, 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves, 1tbsp coriander powder, salt, dried red chilly

Boil the dals with a bay leaf, salt and turmeric. Heat Oil/ ghee in pan and throw in jeera, ajwain, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves. After 1 minute throw in the ginger, garlic, green chillies, onions. Fry on medium flame till onions go golden brown. Add the coriander powder, red chilly. Add tomatoes and salt. Cook till fat seperates and add the Dal.
For tadka: heat ghee, add jeera and dried red chilli. Pour the hot ghee with jeera into the dal. Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

1.5 cups fragrant basmati Rice
4-5 cardamom pods, 2 inches cinnamon stick, 2-3 bay leaves, 1 shahi elaichi (its a black, large version of cardamom), 4 cloves
1 onion chopped, 1/2 tsp garlic chopped, 2 tsp ginger chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp jeera, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp red chilly, handful of nuts and raisins,salt
1 tbsp of Rose water
Wash basmati gently till water runs clear and all starch is removed. Starch makes rice sticky.
Heat Ghee. Add jeera, cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves, shahi elaichi. Add ginger, garlic, onions and fry till onions are transparent. Add nuts, raisins, turmeric, salt, sugar, red chilly. Fry for 2 minutes. Add rice and cook till grains are well coated and a little transparent. Add Hot water and cook till rice is almost done. Add rose water and cover and keep for 10 minutes till rice completely cooks in its own steam. Add 1 tbsp hot ghee and mix well. Add a drop of kewra essence for an 'extra something' while boiling rice.

MILI JULI SABZIYAN sesame seeds and coconut
This may sound like work but if you have a food processor or any damn blender your job is half done.
Roast together: 4 tbsp fresh coconut, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 3 tbsp peanuts. Grind into a paste with 2 green chillies, 1 tbsp jaggery
Chop potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, beans, brinjal, ladies finger(Bhindi)..any vegetables that you want.
If using brinjals and bhindi then fry them a little first. Blanch rest of the veggies except Bhindi in boiling water for a few minutes.
Heat Oil. Add 1 tsp jeera, black mustard seeds (sarson), a few curry leaves. Add 1 tsp each chopped ginger and garlic. Add the ground paste and fry for a few minutes. Add turmeric and red chilly. Add 2tbsp of tamarind pulp. Cook for a 5 minutes till fat separates. Add vegetables and salt and cook covered till done.

You can substitute fresh coconut with dry coconut powder. You can store it for months. Substitute tamarind with tomatoes for a different take.

My bhallas are melt in the mouth and I make them so quickly people think they are store brought. Well the big secret is this: I soak the Urad Dal for 2 hours and then I throw it in the food processor with a little water for a smooth, air-light paste. No beating with hands till arms hurt. the Urad dal batter is rather sticky so spread a plastic sheet, wet it and using wet hands put some batter on top and dab it to flatten. Gently put the vada in the hot oil. Fry over medium to low flame till light brown outside. Put the fried vada in lukewarm water. This softens them and a good vada will float on top. Cover the vadas with ypgurt, little salt and dunk in the fridge till its time to serve.

You can add salt, pepper, chopped onions, ginger- garlic, corainder into this batter and make delicious savoury vadas.

The Dahi for the Bhallas: Whisk yogurt with a pinch of salt, roasted cumin powder, red chilly, chopped coriander. Add a little sugar to it for the ultimate taste. Add Chat masala. Refrigerate and pour over bhallas before serving.

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