Paan Paraag


Always ask, Why Not!

So I was shopping for some groceries and spied a packet of Betel leaves. I don’t go searching for paan. But once in a while do indulge in the plain simple variety with just some lime and betel nuts. Betel leaves have a sharp and slightly spicy taste. They worked beautifully in this kheema pulao.

You need:

  • 1/2 cup or approximately 80 grams of Kheema (Minced Mutton).
  • 1 cup of fresh shelled peas.
  • 2.5 cups of rice, washed and soaked in water for at least 20 minutes.
  • 2 Onions, diced.
  • 3 Green Chilies, chopped.
  • 3 Betel leaves, rolled and chiffonade cut (long thin strips).
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder.
  • 1 dried lemon (optional). Poke holes using a fork.
  • Finely chopped coriander.

Use a pressure cooker. Saute onions and green chilies in 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and when the raw smell is gone, add the minced meat. Cook on high heat, while stirring occasionally. Once it starts to brown up, add the betel leaves. Mix well and try to de-glaze the pan. After 2-3 mins of mixing, add the peas. Let it cook on low-medium heat for about 5 mins. During this time add turmeric and coriander powder. Drain the rice and stir it in.

Use the moisture from the rice to completely de-glaze the pan. When there is no more moisture left in the pan, add 4 and half cups of warm water. Mix in the chopped coriander and the dried lemon. Pressure cook on high, for one whistle. Simmer for 5 mins.

Enjoy a superb burst of flavor that will leave your family guessing about the magic ingredient.


Mutton Korma : Healthy with Mooli


You need:

  • 300 Grams of mutton with bones.
  • Two radishes with leaves. Cut into long thick sticks.
  • 2-3 Carrots, cut into long thick sticks.
  • 3 Onions chopped up.
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste.
  • 2 Green chilies.
  • 1 cup yogurt, beaten.
  • A teaspoon of turmeric.

Use a pressure cooker. Start with cooking the onions and green chilies on a medium-high heat. Let them take their time, while you prepare the other vegetables. In about 13-14 minutes the onions would have softened really well and getting brownish. Add the ginger garlic paste. Mix it well and once the raw edge is gone add the mutton. Saute for a couple of minutes. It helps if you cut the mutton into small pieces.

When the meat starts brown up, add the radishes and carrots. Mix well. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Use the radish leaves to deglaze the cooker. Sprinkle some water and pressure cook. On high till first whistle then simmer for about 10 mins.

Let the pressure dissipate. Open the cooker and move everything to one side. Let the liquid sauce collect to one side. Into this add a teaspoon of beaten yogurt. Dissolve it. Then add another teaspoon. Keep doing this till all the yogurt has been added.

Mix and warm it up. You can reduce the consistency if you desire. But its best to keep the gravy. It will soak into roti’s or rice and be delicious.

No masala’s were added. This is a simple korma with the flavors coming in from the basic ingredients.

One Pot Barley Meal


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


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.

Tangy-Spicy Meat Fry


I am always on the lookout for something different in produce section. Found some fresh Mango-Ginger and of course I needed to use it. This root looks like Ginger, belongs to the Turmeric family and smells like raw mango. It has a faint sourness that is mild but lingers with a delightful freshness.

You Need:

  • 300 grams of any red meat, cut into thin rings, pounded with a mallet and then cut into really small pieces.
  • 2 Inch pieces of mango-ginger, cut into small pieces.
  • 2 Large chilies, sliced into rings.
  • Juice of 2 lemons.
  • Butter.

Wet your hands. Use them to shape the meat into a patty. Heat a pressure cooker or (preferably) a pan. When its HOT, carefully place the meat patty in the middle. Make a small depression in the center. Place a tablespoon of cold butter in the depression. Do NOT add any water. Close the cooker. After 3-4 mins, reduce heat to simmer. Cook for about 15 mins.

Carefully remove the whistle / weight without switching off the stove. Be careful. When all the steam has escaped, remove the lid. The meat will have a lot of caramelisation on the bottom and pale white on the top. Break the patty and saute on high heat. Let it brown. When its nice and browned remove the meat. In the pan add the chili, mango-ginger and lemon juice. Start de-glazing the pan. If it needs more liquid, add some butter. When the pan has fully deglazed, add the meat back and mix well.

Serve with a few Orange segments.

Cucumber Wrap with Meat Fry

You need:

  • Any meat about 300 grams. Preferably boneless.
  • A teaspoon of Ginger and Garlic paste.
  • A bunch of spring onions.
  • An inch of Ginger, cut into thin sticks.
  • Three Green chillies.

First we need to soften the meat. So pressure cook it with ginger garlic paste, a little salt and about one cup of water. Keep on high for one whistle and then simmer for at least 20-30 minutes. When over remove the meat but retain the water.

Cut the spring onions into two. The part with the bulbs will be used first and chop it up. The other half, divide it as well. Chop one part really fine, this is for garnish. The other half a little course.

Heat oil. Lightly saute the green chilies. Add the chopped spring onions that have the bulb part. Keep the heat high and when the raw smell is gone add the meat. Keep cooking at high heat. When the pan starts looking very dry add about a tablespoon of the water from the pressure cooker. Keep doing this till all the water has been used up. Add the remaining coarsely chopped spring onions and ginger. Fully de-glaze the pan with this new source of moisture.

Use a sharp knife and slice the cucumber from outside. Such that you are able to make a wrap out of it. If this is difficult, simply cut into long wide strips and make it into a sandwich.

Enjoy your keto compliant, low carb meal.

Mutton with Vegetables

A simple recipe to explain how to cook meat with vegetables.

Select vegetables that are sturdy and have an inherent sweetness in them. So carrots and capsicum are a natural choice. You can also use turnips, radishes or just onions.

You Need:

  • Mutton about 300 gms.
  • Carrots 3 or 4, chopped up.
  • Capsicum 3 or 4, chopped up.
  • Sorrel Leaves, a couple of bunches.
  • Onions 2, sliced thin.
  • Red chilly powder.
  • Turmeric.
  • Coriander powder.

Heat oil. When its shimmering hot add the onions and then sprinkle some salt on them. When the onions are just about beginning to cross the barrier between pink and brown, add the meat and ginger garlic paste. Let them both sizzle and fry in the hot oil. After some 5 mins add the red chilly powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Continue cooking by alternating between high and medium heat. When it high, there will be a lot of sticky fond forming in the base of the pan. When you switch to medium, you can easily scrape it off as the meat will give continue giving out its juices.

Add the carrots and capsicum. Mix them well and check for salt. If needed adjust. Be conservative in the amount of salt you add. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of water.

When the carrots get a glaze all over them, close the cooker and pressure cook at high for one whistle. Then simmer for at least 20-30 mins. Open. There may be a little water. Start drying it up on high heat. Switch off the stove when the consistency is what you prefer. Add the sorrel leaves and use the latent heat in the pan to cook them while mixing thoroughly.


Enjoy with rotis or as I did, with cooked millet.