Surkh Tandoori Aloo


Aloo or potato is a perfect addition to most meals. The perfect potato in this case is a baby yellow gold ,they are so creamy and melt in your mouth,which is great considering the spice used here is a blend available in most Indian stores called Kashmiri red chili paste ,it is hot,spicy and delicious. Once again this dish is prepared in a tandoor or placed in an oven to roast.

20 baby Yukon gold potatoes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus for deep-frying

1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt

2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili paste

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin

4 tablespoons gram flour

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Heat plenty of oil in a pan and deep fry the potatoes till they are half-cooked. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.

Place the yogurt in a bowl. Add ginger and garlic paste ,chili paste,dry spices,salt lemon juice, oil and gram flour.Mix well.

Add the fried potatoes to the marinade and stir gently. Set aside, refrigerated for about 1 hour.

Thread the potatoes a little apart onto skewers  and roast in a preheated 400*F for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot

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Hara Bhara Paneer Tikka


On a very recent visit to India I was enticed by all the tandoor cooking. Tandoor is a special oven mostly found in Indian restaurants,it gives a moist baked flavor to foods prepared in it including several Indian specialty breads. Paneer is an Indian cheese much like ricotta ,but compressed to remove all moisture and form into a cake. In this very flavorful recipe it is combined with yoghurt ,spices and herbs ….delicious!

1/2 lb Paneer,cut into 1  1/2 inch squares

1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and roughly chopped

1 bunch fresh mint, washed and roughly chopped

2 to 4 green Serrano chilis, washed and roughly chopped

5 to 10 garlic cloves,peeled

1 cup Greek yoghurt

3 tbsp Gram flour

salt to taste

1 tsp Chaat masala

1/2 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Grind cilantro, mint, green chilis and garlic to a paste. Scoop into a bowl and stir in yoghurt, spices, salt and lemon juice.

Stir in the oil and cubed paneer so that the paneer is well coated. Refrigerate and marinate for about half an hour.

Heat a pan. Cook the paneer pieces on a moderate flame turning frequently  until evenly cooked on all sides , about 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve hot with onion rings and lemon wedges

Kashmiri Dum aloo


There are very few Indian dishes,specifically North Indian dishes,my son Ashish loves. He used to call it indian stuffed potato in gravy and promptly remove the filling. i prepare these at home in the simplest way,no filling,and serve them with store-bought Garlic Naan,a treat my whole family enjoys!!!

1 lb baby potatoes,boiled till just done and peeled.

1 onion,finely chopped

2 tomatoes,peeled

2 green chilis,minced

1 inch piece fresh ginger,grated

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander ground

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

1 tsp garam masala

1/4 cup heavy cream

10 cashews ground with 4 cardamom pods

chopped fresh cilantro,for garnish

Mix the tomatoes,green chilis and ginger together,set aside.

Heat a saute pan and add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to heat. Prick the peeled potatoes all over with a fork (this helps the sauce to cook into the potato better). Place the potatoes in the hot pan and season with salt.Allow the potatoes to get a golden brown color and crisp up a little. Remove the potatoes to a plate and keep aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan and stir in the cumin seeds,allow them to sputter,stir in the onion. Cook for 4 to 7 minutes over medium heat until onions are wilted and cooked. Add the tomato mixture and cook for a further 5 minutes on a medium heat. Stir in the ground coriander and turmeric,season with salt.

Stir in the ground cashew/cardamom into the cooked sauce. Stir for a further 2 minutes.Stir in the heavy cream and 1 cup of water to achieve a thick gravy.

Stir in the reserved cooked potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garam masala and top with chopped cilantro.

Serve

Bukhara Grill Tandoori Mushrooms


Grilling is such a great method of cooking that frankly involves the whole family. As a vegetarian I am always looking for fun, tasty ways to prepare food for the grill and ” tandoori” is both flavorful and nutritious, in addition it is very appealing to look at ,so great for entertaining. I love these mushrooms from Bukhara Grill in NYC. They are so quick to prepare as they only require half an hour of marinating and about 8 minutes of grilling.

Adapted from Bukhara Grill , Manhattan

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

1  2 inch piece peeled ginger,roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tsp salt,more to taste

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp red chili powder or hot paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3/4 cup sour cream ( I just used Greek yogurt )

3 tbsp plain yogurt

12 oz cremini ,Portobello or other mushrooms trimmed

Place ginger,garlic,salt,cumin,chili powder,turmeric and white pepper in a food processor . Finely chop, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula . Add the lemon juice and 1 tbsp vegetable oil,and puree. Add the sour cream and yogurt, and pulse processor in short bursts,just to mix. Transfer marinade to a glass,ceramic or stainless steel mixing bowl.

Wipe mushrooms clean with damp paper towels. Stir mushrooms into the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

If using a tandoor,heat it to 500*F. If  using a grill or broiler,heat to high.

Thread mushrooms on bamboo or metal skewers. In tandoor, cook mushrooms until lightly browned on outside, 2 to 3 minutes . baste with 1 tbsp oil and continue cooking until golden brown and tender, 1 to 2 minutes more . if grilling or broiling, cook mushrooms until golden and tender, 3 to 4 minutes a side , 6 to 8 minutes total , basting with oil.

Tandoori Aloo (potato)


Tandoori is traditionally cooked in a Tandoor oven,not readily available to most householders,but a grill or oven can mimic the results well . Tandoori is usually a marinade of spices blended with yogurt,a natural tenderizer, and is used often with chicken. Tandoori is usually associated with a bright red color,which really has nothing to do with the spice mix but with a powdered red color in combination with an acid,in this case lemon juice that brings out the bright red color.

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

2 lbs russet potatoes,peeled , washed, dried and sliced into rounds

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tablespoon tandoori powdered masala ( from Indian grocery stores)

1 tablespoon kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek ) crushed

1 tsp each ginger and garlic paste

salt to taste

fresh lemon juice to garnish

fresh chopped coriander leaves,to garnish

Lightly grease a baking dish. Set aside

Preheat oven to 400*F

Melt butter and add ginger,garlic,salt,tandoori masala and kasuri methi, stir together well.

Add the potatoes,stir to coat each potato.

Layer potatoes in greased baking dish and place in oven to bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or till done.

Remove from oven,squeeze on fresh lemon juice and fresh chopped coriander and serve.

Shakkar Parray


These little square-shaped pieces of dough are fried then coated in sugar .As a child,my mom used to make loads for all my siblings and cousins,unfortunately that secret recipe was lost . Then ,with sheer luck,I stumbled upon this recipe from Raina Zohab,and I simply cannot thank her enough. They are perfect. Crisp on the outside with the crunchy sugar-coating and tender on the inside. I have tried store-bought ones,but, trust me nothing comes close to these.

Raina Zohab

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup semolina

5 tabs melted unsalted butter

1/4 cup super fine sugar ( a few quick pulses in the food processor )

1 level tsp ground cardamom

3/4 to 1 cup water,to form dough

COATING

1  1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup castor sugar

Mix flour,semolina, sugar and ground cardamom together in a bowl.

Pour on the melted butter and using your finger tips , rub into the dry ingredients.

Form a dough with the water .Carefully add the water,you may need more or less depending on the flour and atmosphere . The dough should not be sticky . Cover and set aside for at least 1 hour .

Heat oil for deep-frying to 350*F

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll each portion out to about 1/4 thick . Cut each rolled out dough into squares and deep fry until golden . Drain and keep aside until you prepare the coating.

COATING

In a heavy bottomed pan boil the sugar and water together until the syrup starts to thicken but does not change color . Off the heat and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Grease a cookie pan and set aside.

Stir all the fried square pieces of dough into the sugar syrup being careful to coat all the dough . Immediately pour the dough onto the greased cookie sheet ,spreading the dough into a single layer . Set aside to cool completely.

Store in an air tight metal or glass container .

Spicy Kheema puffs


 in Hindi Kheema can be any type of minced or ground meat, so I have used minced lamb, but have prepared the same puffs using chicken or even turkey . Once the filling is prepared and cooled it is filled into store-bought puff pastry. this is delicious served for high tea or even a light sunday dinner.The great this is the puffs can be assembled and refrigerated until ready to bake.

12 puffs

Photograph by rahul Mahtani

1 lb ground lamb or any ground meat of your choice

2 tsp vegetable or canola oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ” fresh ginger root , minced

4 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp each ground coriander and cumin seed

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp red chili powder

a small bunch fresh mint , finely chopped

salt to taste

Heat oil and saute onion with salt on medium heat till soft and lightly brown.Add ginger and garlic, fry for 1 more minute.

Stir in the tomato paste and fry for 1 minute.

Stir in all the spices and fry for 30 seconds.

Add in the minced meat and fry, breaking up the lumps . Keep frying till the meat is well browned and the oil separates to the sides. Stir in the mint. Tilt the pan so that any excess fat is easy to pour off into a separate bowl,discard this. Allow the meat to cool.

Preheat oven to 425*F

Roll out puff pastry sheet and cut desired shape . Place meat filling in the center of the pastry and brush edges with egg wash. Fold over and press to seal. With the tines of a fork make a design on the border,this will ensure the pastry is well sealed.

Make slight slits in the top to allow excess air to escape.Brush tops with egg wash and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.Serve immediately.