A very basic daal recipe that builds flavors in two stages. Take boiled lentils, cook them in an onions base and finally temper with desi ghee.
Soak in water for 30mins, one cup of mixed lentils. I use 50% Toor, 25% Masoor and 25% Mung daal. Drain and discard the water. Put the lentils in a pressure cooker, sprinkle a little turmeric and add enough water to fully submerge them. Do not add salt. Pressure cook for one whistle. Switch off the heat and let it cool down on its own.
Saute finely chopped onions and green chillies. Once the onions turn translucent add in some chilly powder and one chopped tomato. Season with salt. Cook till the oil separates. Add chopped coriander and then add the cooked lentils along with all the water that was with them. Bring to one boil and reduce the heat.
In a small kadai, heat a large tablespoon of ghee. Crackle some cumin and fry some garlic. Add in a dry red chilly. When its super hot, pour this lava of flavors into the simmering lentils.
This is the most basic of daals that is very tasty and easy to cook. You can incorporate more ingredients into stage two and three. Some people like to add fresh greens like spinach in stage 2, a lot of people like a pinch of hing in stage 3.
I was not planning on cooking but then again this is such a simple recipe…
Use only boneless chicken thighs or legs. Do not use chicken breast for this recipe.
This is a two stage recipe.
Put boneless chicken in a pressure cooker. No need to cut it. A teaspoon of ginger garlic paste, red chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt. Pour in some water. Its ok to add more water. Pressure cook for one whistle.
While the pressure cooker is cooling down, saute chopped onions in oil. When they are starting to brown up, add the cooked chicken and all the water in the cooker. Shift to high heat. As the chicken starts to dry up, use two forks to start shredding it.
Soon the water will fully dry up and you will have a layer of fond develop on the pan. Add in lots of chopped fresh coriander. Use it to deglaze the pan. A drizzle of fresh lemon juice will be nice.
Use this as a filling in sandwich or roti or tortilla or a salad. The reason there are very few spices added is because this chicken is going to be used with other condiments. Add too many things and the result will be too confusing for everyone.
I want to thank all the people who buy boneless mutton, so people like me can get bones for such a cheap price
Mutton Bones : 500 grams.
2 Green chillies
Ginger Garlic paste.
Red Chilly Powder.
Garam Masala Powder.
Fresh Greens like coriander, mint, basil.
Juice of a lemon.
Use a 5l pressure cooker.
Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil. Saute the bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. When fragrant add the sliced onions and green chillies. Cook onions till they are just about to get a little brown on them.
Toss in the bones and roast them on high heat. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook till its well distributed and the raw smell is gone.
Add turmeric and chilly powder. After a minute or two add the tomatoes and salt. Cook till the oil starts to separate.
Add in chopped fresh greens. Mix well and completely deglaze the pan.
Add as much water as your pressure cooker can accept . Get it to a boil. Then close the lid and pressure cook. I gave it 2 whistles and then simmered for 10 minutes.
Open when the pressure has dissipated.
Adjust seasoning. The broth might be a little rich. To cut the fatty nature, add the lemon juice.
Do it at medium flame. Keep stirring. The onions have to start getting brown but not very brown. Think back to the best biryani you have eaten. The color of the onions. Try and get close to that color but not all the way thru. This understanding the level to which you cook the onions is a crucial skill. Avoid doing anything else, while you are stirring these onions. The volume of the onions will have reduced to less than a quarter from the time they were added in the pan.
Now add the chicken pieces in to the pan. Do not add the marinade. Mix the chicken pieces and the onions and cook at high heat. Its important for the chicken to get a little sear and the oils to start separating. Add water to the left over marinade. Mix it well. When the chicken pieces start leaving oil, add in the diluted marinade. Let everything come to a boil. Reduce heat. Add in crushed kasuri methi or coriander. Cook on low heat, covered, for about 10 minutes.
The chicken is cooked by now. Increase the heat and reduce to the consistency of your choice.
A great weeknight dinner. Light and yummy with a good load of protein in it.
Chicken breast, marinated in vinegar, paprika, turmeric and salt. Preferably use a cast iron pan. Heat a little oil and place the chicken on it. Let it cook for about 4 minutes on one side and then flip it over. Use a strong spatula to push it down on the pan. This will ensure a nice char on the sides. When the chicken oozes out clear liquids, its cooked. But to be safe use a thermometer. Remove chicken when the temperature crosses 65C. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting it up.
Roughly chop spinach leaves and give them a good wash. Saute chopped garlic in butter. Put in the leaves. Push them around the pan for a minute or two. They will quickly start wilting. Every pan has a side that is a little lower than the others. The water being released by the spinach will accumulate there. Push the spinach into the opposite direction. When the water stops accumulating and dries up, the spinach is ready. It will also be a bright green color at this point of time.
Make a bed of spinach, place the chicken on top. A fresh tomato, olives etc are a great add on.
A simple chaat that bursts with flavor and colors. I have used fresh cowpeas but you can also use dry cowpeas. This is another assembly kind of recipe.
Cowpeas: If fresh, put in hot salted water and cook on medium heat till they are done. If dry, then soak overnight and pressure cook for a whistle.
Once the chickpeas are cooked, put them in a colander. Do this when they are still hot. Let the water drain away and the steam dissipate.
Mix this with chopped onion, cucumber, tomato, green chilly, coriander, mint…
Season with salt, pepper, chat masala, dry mango powder i.e. whatever you find and like.
A hit of lemon juice will brighten it a lot more.
If you are wondering why I used fresh cowpeas….I had a bunch sitting in the fridge and forgot all about them. The outer skin had gone quite stale but the beans inside were still fresh. So rather than discard, I salvaged the usable part and made this yummy salad / chaat.
To get it right, just taste it while prepping and balance accordingly.
Grated Paneer. Preferably firm paneer that is cold from the fridge. This will help in grating it. Add chopped onion, green chilly, finely chopped ginger and salt. Knead it. Ensure it is mixed well. This will be a little soggy. So add a tablespoon of rice flour, a tablespoon of maida and a fistfull of dry bread crumbs.
Knead into a smooth soft ball. If needed add a little more dry stuff. But be very judicious in its use.
Shape into balls and keep in the fridge. This will firm them up.
Make a little flour slurry. This is a dilute solution of flour and water. It works like an adhesive. Dip the paneer balls into this and let them get coated with this “glue”.
Dip them in bread crumbs. They will stick to the balls. Deep fry in hot oil.