© Paroma Ray
Picture taken at Tawang, Nov’11
Post is a part of wordless wednesday
Days such as these call for comfort food. Food that warms your heart, makes you feel at home even when you are miles away from your loved ones. Food that reminds you of the weeknight dinners as a child, when you would be busy buttering the crisp toast while your mother brought out the heavenly mutton stew.
Mutton stew from mum’s kitchen
You will need:
Mutton 500 gms (or more but then please adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly)
Potatoes 2 medium cubed
Sunflower / canola oil 4 tbsps
Cinnamon 1 stick
Green cardamom 4
Bay leaves 1 medium sized
Curry leaves (few)
Onion 1 medim sliced
Green chillies 2
Salt to taste
What to do?
Marinade the mutton with a little salt and pepper for about 20 – 30 minutes. After that put the mutton in a pressure cooker with about a cup and half of water and pressure cook it for about 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a deep cooking pot and once it is hot temper it with bay leaves, curry leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Sometimes I throw in some whole black peppers as well at this time to get the fragrance. After the fragrant smell of the whole spices comes out, add the sliced onions and saute it till it turns translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and the green chillies and some salt. Saute till the raw smell of ginger and garlic disappears. Put in the potatoes at this point and cook till the spices coat the potatoes and they get a nice goldenish hue. Add the mutton pieces and saute till the oil comes out of the sides. Add the mutton stock and water, if required, cover and cook till the potatoes are done. Check for salt and adjust consistency of the stew by adding more water and boiling if required.
Note: I cook the whole thing in a reduced low to medium flame. Always.
Serve with white rice or appams or have it with a nicely buttered toast.
© Paroma Ray
Chicken kathi rolls (or how to salvage a chicken curry gone wrong)
The chicken curry did not go that wrong. Really. The curry tasted quite nice. Except the chicken. Yeah. I could not figure out why the chicken came out tasting the way it did. I timed it as usual not expecting to overcook it. But it came out very dry and tasteless.
Anyway. Hence the need for the salvage. Here comes the kathi roll!
Chicken (boneless and mine was already cooked so the process became very easy!)
Tomatoes (1 for 2 servings)
Milk (1/3rd cup – I use fat free)
Garlic (1 clove thinly sliced)
Onions (1 whole – sliced)
Green chillies (2 or more according to your taste – finely chopped)
Note on the chicken: This can be done in different ways. What I usually do is make boiled chicken and store the chicken and the stock for later use. To make the boiled chicken, put the chicken pieces (I usually use the ones with bone) with a few drops of vinegar, a pinch of salt and one onion cut into cubes. Add very little water and pressure cook it for about ten minutes. You will have your boiled chicken ready with your home made chicken stock.
Note on the chapatis: Mine came frozen in a box from the super market. I can’t make chapatis. Haven’t tried so far and don’t think will have the patience. You, however, can learn to make them here.
For the chicken:
Heat 3 tbsps of white / mustard oil in a pan. Once the oil is smoky, reduce the flame, add 1/3 of the chopped onions and the thinly sliced garlic and sautee till they turn translucent and garlic loses its rawness. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add some turmeric and red chilli powder and sautee till the masala is cooked well. Sprinkle water if the masala sticks to the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken pieces and continue to sautee untill the chicken is nicely browned and covered with the masala. You will have to make sure the masala is cooked through and through. Check for salt. (Sometimes, I temper the oil with whole mustard seeds, dry chillies and curry leaves before adding the rest). Let it cool and shred the chicken pieces for stuffing in the chapatis.
After you are done with the chicken beat two eggs with milk and make an omelette. Usual practice is to fry the chapatis with the eggs but I never do that.
Once you are ready with your chapatis, put the omlette in first. Layer the chicken nice and thick. Add raw onions and tomatoes and some ketchup. I was out of all other vegetables, otherwise you can add lettuce / freshly chopped coriander / chopped mint leaves or smear the chapati with some coriander and mint chutney which is terribly easy to make!
Vegetarians – replace chicken with paneer and / or aloo. It will taste just as nice! Marinade the paneer in a little bit of salt and chilli powder before hand and fry them for a while before stuffing them in the chapati.
© Paroma Ray
The picture frankly looks gross. With all the tomato sauce spilling out and the chapati really not holding the stuffing together. But it tasted good. Honestly. Real good!
Because we got hungry for meat!!!
Lamb Chops with sauteed eggplant
Lamb chops (I used 4)
Eggplant (1 big or 2 small cut into cubes)
Green capsicum and red bell pepper (1/2 of each and sliced)
Onion (1 small)
Garlic cloves (3- 1 should be thinly sliced and the other 2 coarsely chopped)
Salt to taste
White oil / Olive oil
For the lamb
1) Smear the lamp chops with the 1 tbsp of white / olive oil coarsely chopped garlic, lime juice, salt and a little paprika. I was out of paprika so I used a pinch of red chilli powder. Cover and put it in the fridge. You can marinate the lamb for 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. But I really prefer to just let it be for 3o minutes. If you are letting it sit for longer make sure you put it in the fridge to prevent any bacteria growth.
2) After the lamb is marinated well enough for your taste, heat a non stick pan with a few drops of white / olive oil. Once the pan is heated well throw in the green and red bell peppers. Immediately after, place the lamb chops on the pan. Remember to keep the flame reduced. Cook the chops on each side till they are nicely browned. Serve the chops immediately after this.
For the eggplant
Heat a pan with 2 -3 tbsps of mustard / white oil. Once the oil is heated put in the thinly sliced garlic. Wait till the nice smell of garlic comes out (be careful not to burn it!) and put in the sliced onions. After the onions are translucent put in the tomatoes and fry for a minute or two till the raw smell of the tomatoes disappears. Put in the eggplants and salt and sautee till the eggplants are soft and cooked.
Note: I always cook eggplants with the skin on. But you can peel the skin if you prefer them that way.
Oh! And that’s it. Plate up. And eat. You can mash some potatoes for the carb or just have this with plain white rice. It tastes nice!!
© Paroma Ray
P.S.- yes yes I know it is Wednesday today! But we were out holidaying last weekend and came back terribly late last night. This is still a part of Tuesdays with Tomato & Co
started cooking a new found love for cooking. And yes, I have been successfully cooking up many things just like that. I don’t know why. I have never been that fond of cooking ever. But now, for whatever reason, I look forward to that time I spend in the kitchen. I like the smell of spices, the sound of the knife chopping the vegetables, the smoky mustard oil, the spluttering of cumin seeds and how onions change color in oil. Yes. You can see I am a newbie. And I have decided to enjoy it while it lasts.
Cajun crusted salmon with wilted greens and brown rice.
Cajun spice mix (I used the bottled one available in supermarkets but you can see how you can make yours here)
Spinach (I used long leafed ones, you can use any including frozen, and other greens)
Garlic pods 2 large and thinly sliced
Brown rice 1 cup
For the rice:
Wash the rice twice or till water runs clear. Put the rice in a pressure cooker and add water to it. The amount of water would depend on how you want your rice. More water means more sticky rice. I don’t like my rice to be too sticky so I added less water. (My mom taught me how to measure the water in the rice. She always asks me to put my finger on the surface of the rice with water and the water should come upto about 1/3rd of my forefinger). Once it reaches full steam reduce the flame and let it cook for about 20 minutes (mine was cooked in 16). If it is not cooked by then you can add some water and pressure cook it for a few more minutes.
Note: I added some of the cajun spice mix in the rice for some taste. You can add herbs and other spices.
For the wilted greens:
Put tbsp of mustard oil in a sauce pan. Once it is smoky reduce the flame and add the garlic. Be careful that the garlic doesn’t burn. Once you get the nice garlic-y smell add the spinach in the sauce with a pinch of salt. Cover the pan, keep the flame reduced and let the spinach cook in steam. It should take less than ten minutes for the spinach to be nicely wilted but still crunchly.
Note: Don’t add water while cooking the spinach. Spinach lets out a lot of moisture while cooking.
For the salmon:
Sprinkle some of the cajun spice mix and white oil (or olive oil if you prefer) on both sides of the fish and let it sit for about 10 – 15 minutes. Heat up a frying pan and cook the salmon for 3 minutes on each side. If you do not like having the skin on the fish, take it off with a knife after the salmon is cooked.
And there you go! Plate up and give yourself and fancy schmancy dinner Here’s how mine looked!
© Paroma Ray
I have decided to put up food posts on Tuesdays. I am pretty proud of myself you know. I did not even know how to cook Maggi a few years back. So here I am. Tuesdays with Tomato & Co (thank you very very much Pooja) will bring you my culinary experiments with hopefully more successes than disasters. And it will be all on this blog. No new blog for the time being. Wish me luck! Please?
© Paroma Ray
Picture taken at Cape Town, South Africa, 2011
There is a little bit of heartache today. A little bit of heartache, a lump in my throat and that feeling of being lost.
Just one song has been playing on my playlist today. Do you know why?
This post is a part of wordless wednesday.