Methi with Chow Chow

A simple and healthy vegan dish.

You Need:

  • Methi or Fenugreek leaves, washed multiple times.
  • Chow Chow about 250 grams, chopped into small pieces.
  • Yellow Moong Dhal. Four tablespoons, soaked in water for about thirty minutes.
  • A small onion, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, chilly. As much as you like.

Heat oil and saute the onion, ginger, garlic, cumin and chillies. Add the lentils. In two or three minutes they will start sticking to pan. When it’s difficult to dislodge them add the Chow Chow. Use the water they release to free the lentils. Add in a little fenugreek to get more moisture in. Fenugreek needs to be added in small batches. This way the volume in the pan is manageable.

Cook uncovered on low heat. Season with salt. Taste a Chow Chow piece and if you bite it easily then it’s done.

Enjoy.

One Pot Barley Meal

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One of my favorite activities is reading. I just finished a brilliant book called, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. I knew Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the world. But had no idea that it was also used as a currency in the ancient world. It certainly makes sense. Its a very hardy crop and the grain has a really long shelf life. Its also very healthy and can be used in many different ways. This is a simple recipe that is full of goodness and bursts with earthy flavors.

You Need:

  • One cup of Barley, washed and soaked in water for about 30 mins.
  • 250 grams of Mutton.
  • 3 Large onions sliced really thin.
  • Butter and Oil.
  • Spinach or Basella, chopped up.
  • A large Egg Plant, cut into small pieces.
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
  • A little cardamom, star anise and cloves.
  • 3 whole green chilies.
  • A teaspoon of turmeric.

Heat butter and oil in a pressure cooker. Saute the cardamom, star anise and cloves. Fry onions in this till they are reduced in volume by more than half and are almost golden. Season with salt. Add the green chilies, turmeric and ginger garlic paste. When the raw edge is gone add the meat. Saute till its all white and then add enough water to cover everything. Pressure cook on high for a whistle and then simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

Open cooker and add the barley, greens and egg plant. You may need to add some more water. Everything must be almost covered in water. Pressure cook for one whistle. Let the pressure fully subside before you open the cooker. You may need to stir and cook on high heat to get the right consistency. Leave it a little wet. As it cools the barley will absorb a lot of the water.

Enjoy a scrumptious one pot meal.

 

 

Dill…Dil; Kill…Bill

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You Need:

  • One goat or lamb heart, chopped into really small pieces.
  • A bunch of Dill Leaves.
  • One Onion.
  • One Tomato.
  • A little cumin.
  • 5-6 cloves of Garlic.
  • One teaspoon of butter.

Puree all the ingredients except the heart and butter into a smooth paste. Fry in oil till oil separates. Add the heart pieces and cook on low heat, covered for about 13-14 mins.When you start getting the faint smell of it getting a little burnt, open. Stir well. Add butter and use it to deglaze the pan.

It will be very pliable. Shape it into a burger patty. It will go great as a burger or keep it keto and just eat it as it is.

Bonus points if you serve this on Valentines Day.

Super Uncomplicated Chicken

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This is an ideal recipe for someone who is just starting to cook or is running low on time.

You need:

  • 300 grams of chicken with bones.
  • Three Capsicums, cut lengthwise.
  • Three Carrots, cut lengthwise.
  • Some Dill leaves, finely chopped.
  • 1 teaspoon of corn flour.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Four whole green chillies.
  • A couple of garlic cloves.

Heat oil. Fry the chilly and garlic in it. Reduce heat. Place chicken. Without disturbing the chicken arrange the capsicum and carrots on the sides of the pan. The chicken must be at the bottom and in contact with the base of the pan. Sprinkle dill leaves, salt and pepper. Do not mix.

Cook covered on low heat for 15-20 mins. Open the pan and remove about 3 tablespoons of the liquid. Into this dissolve the teaspoon of corn flour. Make sure there are no lumps. Add this slurry to the pan and mix well. Increase the heat and dry it up.

Serve hot or cold.

Fried Mackerel

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The key to good fish fry, is buying fresh fish. The flesh must be firm, the skin shiny and the eyes look clear. Also when cut, they must bleed. Fresh fish does not have any bad smell.

The second and often ignored part is how the fish is cut. For fishes like Mackerel, I highly recommend filleting them. But don’t remove the middle bone from one portion. This allows a clean fry and no wet masala left inside the stomach cavity.

A simple rub with:

  • Ginger Garlic Paste : One teaspoon per fish.
  • Turmeric : A pinch per fish.
  • Red Chilly Powder : Half a teaspoon per fish.
  • Salt : as per taste
  • Lemon Juice to dilute the paste into an easy to rub consistency.

Marinate the fish in this for about 20 minutes. Fry in hot oil. Skin side down till more than 80% color changes. Flip and finish it off. Never force the fish when detaching from the pan. When its ready, the skin will let go on its own.

Enjoy.

Chicken with Creamy Shallot Sauce

Chicken with Creamy Shallots

You Need:

  • Chicken, patted dry and rubbed with a little salt and pepper.
  • A dozen diced Shallots.
  • Thinly sliced garlic, about 4-5 cloves.
  • 100 ml Fresh Cream.
  • A tablespoon of Butter.

Heat oil. Sear the chicken and then cook it till its done. Avoid overcooking by using a digital thermometer. When juices run clear, chicken is done. Remove and let it rest.

In the same pan add the butter. Keep heat at low. When butter starts foaming add the garlic, followed by the shallots. Cook on low heat for about ten minutes. When they have fully softened and are slowly melting in, add the cream. The cream MUST be at room temperature and not straight out of the fridge.

Stir it in and let it cook on low heat till desired consistency is reached. Ideally 5 mins of low heat should be adequate. Season with salt. An extra pinch is highly recommended.

Enjoy a super simple dish.

Chickpeas with This & That

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Soak 200 to 250 grams of dried chickpeas in water for a night. Wash them well. Put them in a pressure cooker. Add just enough water to barely cover them.

Take the cooker to your spice and herb rack. Add this and that. In my case those were:

  • A fistful of garlic cloves.
  • A  teaspoon of pepper corns.
  • Some star anise.
  • A little cumin.
  • A dry red chilly.
  • A little Ajwain (Ccaraway) seeds.

Pressure cook on high for one whistle. Simmer for 8 mins. When pressure has dissipated, drain the water. Let the chickpeas cool. Mash in the soft garlic into the chickpeas.

Mix together with some fresh red chilly and onions. Drizzle olive oil. Test for seasoning.

Enjoy this with that.