mughlai paratha

It is that time of the year in India where Durga puja and Navratri festivals have begun, where the celebration of good over evil is celebrated and the goddess is welcomed home. During these festivals food is a very important part of the celebrations, be it street food, home made delicacies or even restaurants. This year due to Covid no festival or holiday will be celebrated in the usual way, and many will not be able to gather with friends and family, or be a part of the grand parades, gatherings and enjoy the street food stalls. Still, we can surely recreate these memories and enjoy them with loved ones in our homes. I am going to share one such fun food recipe with you – Mughlai paratha.

I will be sharing a vegetarian and non vegetarian version, and also substitutes for vegan options. Be sure to watch my videos for both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions, as this recipe has a few parts that are a bit more involved.

Tips

Soft Tofu can be used instead of paneer in the filling

Heavy cream can be replaced by coconut cream

Nuts are optional.

All three versions will require the same dough with different fillings .

Ingredients for dough .

2 cups- Plain flour

1/2 tsp- Salt

21/2 tsp- oil

Warm water as needed to make a soft dough .

In a mixing bowl add the flour, salt, oil and mix well. Gradually add warm water to make a soft dough. Cover and set aside to rest.

Ingredients for Vegetarian filling.

1 cup – grated paneer (tofu for vegans)

1 cup-grated cauliflower

1/2cup- crushed frozen peas

1/4 cup- grated carrots

1 medium potato- boiled and mashed

1/4 cup -onion finely chopped

1/2 inch-ginger grated

2 cloves -garlic grated

1-2 green chillies chopped

1 tsp- chilli powder

1 tsp- coriander powder

1 tsp- cumin powder

1/4- tsp turmeric powder

3 tbs – toasted crushed peanuts (optional)

3 tbs- raisins chopped

1-2 tbs- have cream (coconut cream for vegans)

1 tsp-Mango powder/ Amchur or lime juice

1 tsp- garam masala

2 tbs flour + water to make paste

2 tsp – oil

Salt to taste

Heat a pan on a medium flame and add oil. Next add the onions and saute until golden on the edges. Add the ginger, garlic , green chilli and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the carrots, cauliflower, peas and saute this for a minute, then add the turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt to taste. At this point add the nuts and raisins and stir well. Now add the paneer and mashed potato and mix everything again. Taste and adjust the salt at this point.

Remove the filling in a plate and mix in the garam masala and cream and mix everything well, letting it cool down to room temperature.

NON VEGETARIAN

NonVeg filling

1 pound -ground lamb/chicken

1/2 cup- chopped onions

1 inch – ginger grated

3 cloves- garlic grated

1-2- green chillies chopped

1 tsp- chilli powder

1 tsp- coriander powder

1 tsp- cumin powder

1 tsp- garam masala

1/4 tsp – turmeric powder

1 tsp- lime juice

1 small- red onion sliced

2 beaten- eggs

Heat a pan on a medium flame, add onions and saute until golden. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and saute for 30 seconds. Add the meat, all the dry spices , chilli powder, coriander, cumin , turmeric , peanuts , salt to taste and cook until all the moisture is dried up. Now add the garam masala and turn off the flame. Let the filling cool down completely before rolling the paratha.

Rolling and cooking the paratha ( watch the video for a better view of this part )

Meat paratha– Take a little larger than golf ball size dough and roll it into a fairly thin flat oval. Add 4 tbs of meat filling in the center and spread it out a little vertically also spread 2 tbs of the beaten egg onto the meat and a few chopped red onion and now cover the filling by folding all four sides one by one, sealing all the meat and edges .

Vegetarian paratha -Take a little larger than golf ball size dough and roll it into a fairly thin flat oval. Add 4 tbs of veg filling in the center and spread it out a little vertically and now cover the filling by folding all four sides one by one, sealing all the edges with paste made with flour and water.

Heat a pan on medium high flame with 4 tbs of oil and put the paratha in the pan and fry on both sides until nice and golden brown. Cut into pieces and serve with ketchup!

Shahi Chicken Korma

Shahi Chicken Korma… what is Shahi? A term for royal in reference to the imperial court of Mughal Empire. What is korma? a mildly spiced meat or vegetable dish often made with yogurt, cream or nuts or all three for special occasions. All this can sound intimidating but with little prep and patience you can make this dish and give yourself and friends a tour of the royal tastes. This chicken korma is perfect for a special occasion or a weekend treat as it is very rich in texture.

Making the korma will require a few easy preps that you can do ahead of time, lets walk through them.

Brown onions

To make the the crispy brown onions, thinly slice one large onion ( i use a mandolin ). In a deep pan or small wok heat 2 inches oil on medium low flame for deep frying . Once the oil is hot add the onions and fry them on a low medium flame. Carefully watch them as they should turn golden brown and crispy not dark brown, or your korma will taste bitter. Drain on paper towel and let it cool completely. Store them in an air tight container until ready to use.

Cashew Paste

Take 6 to 7 unsalted raw cashews and boil them for about 4 to 5 minutes Once slightly cool make a smooth paste of it in a blender with the help of just a few table spoons of water ( I used just 3 tbs). Store in a container in the fridge until ready to use.

Garam Masala

2 inch- cinnamon stick
5 -6 -green cardamoms
5-6- cloves
3 -4 -peppercorns

Grind all these whole spices in a coffee grinder to make your garam masala spice mix powder. I usually make this fresh but you may store in an airtight bottle to use for any recipe that requires garam masala. This is the garam masala i use for when i want a good fragrant one.There are store bought ones but they have a lot more ingredients that i think over power this dish.

The above steps were the only major pre prep that is required to make this dish.

Ingredients

2 Pounds of Chicken cut in to 2 inch pieces . I used bone in chicken as i find it helps keep the chicken moist, more flavorful and tender. If you prefer boneless thats fine too, just adjust your cooking times (boneless tends to cook a lot faster).

1 cup – crispy brown onions

1 tbs- ginger paste or grated

1tbs- garlic paste or grated

2 tbs- cashew paste

3 tbs- plain greek yogurt

1/3- cup of heavy cream

1/4- cup cooking oil

11/2 tsp- chilli powder

1 tbs- corriander powder

1 tsp-cumin powder

1 tsp- of garam masala

2 pinches of saffron

1 -bay leaves

5-peppercorns

2-3tbs -rasins

1tbs- sliced almonds

1tsp- sliced pistachios

1/2 cup- water if needed to adjust the consistency

salt to taste

Method

Heat a Dutch oven or any heavy bottom pot on a medium flame with the 1/4 cup of oil. Once the oil is heated, add the bay leaf and pepper corns and saute for a few seconds before adding the chicken along with the ginger garlic paste. Sear on medium high for a couple minutes.

Once the meat is seared add the chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and stir well . Cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on a medium low flame. While that is cooking, in a blender add the brown onions with the greek yogurt and blend to make a thick paste.

After 7 to 8 minutes of cooking add the brown onion and yogurt paste to the chicken along with salt to taste and stir well. Cover and cook for another 7 minutes on low medium heat. Uncover and add the cashew paste, cream, raisins, almonds, pistachios and saffron. Cover and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Once done sprinkle a tsp of the garam masala that you made and and the optional 1 tsp of rose water if you have. Serve hot with naan or rice . Enjoy the royal experience!

Vegetable cutlet

Vegetable cutlets are one of my favorite weekend snacks. Having them with a cup of tea it is just perfect! I remember as a child In my family these were favorite appetizer to serve up for birthday parties, or weekend get-togethers. They also make make a fun meal for the family and a perfect way to get your fill of choice vegetables served up as a burger or appetizer. These crisp, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside patties are vegan which be used for vegan burgers as well, just switch it with vegan cheese and mayo.

Tip – I have used raw vegetables to make these patties because I like the crunch but you may steam the vegetables if you like.

I have pulsed the vegetables in my food pro for the fine chop but you may finally chop them or grate them if you like .

I have used boiled yukon gold potatoes but you may used boiled russet potatoes as well.

Ingredients

4 potatoes – boiled and mashed

2 carrots – pulsed in food pro or finely chop

1 small beetroot – pulsed or finely chopped

1/4 cup frozen peas – pulsed or finely chopped

1/4 cup green beans – pulsed or finely chopped

1 inch of ginger – grated

2 green chili – finely chopped

3 tbs rice flour

3tbs bread crumbs ( I used panko bread crumbs )

1 tsp -pepper powder

1 tsp- cumin powder

1 tsp-all spice powder (optional)

1 tsp – coriander powder(optional)

1tsp- chaat masala or lemon juice

3 tbs- cornstrach

3tbs – all purpose flour

breadcrumbs to coat

salt to taste

oil to shallow fry

In a large mixing bowl add the boiled potatoes and mash them well. Now add the all the finely chopped vegetables , ginger , chillies, spices, lemon juice and salt to taste. Combine everything well with your hands , taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Add the three tablespoons of rice flour, three tablespoons of bread crumbs for binding and incorporate it all well and form patties of the desired size and shape.

Set up the breading line by making a pouring consistency slurry with cornstarch and flour, lay out the remaining bread crumbs in a plate.

In a nonstick pan add oil for shallow frying and heat it up on a medium flame. Now dip the patties in the slurry, coat them with breadcrumb on all sides and fry them on both side until golden brown. serve hot with sauce of choice or as burgers .

Basic Cilantro Mint chutney .

1 cup – Fresh cilantro

1/2 cup – Fresh mint leaves

1 to 2 – hot green chili

1/2 tsp- cumin seeds

1/2tsp – Sugar

Juice of one lemon

salt to taste

Blend all the chutney ingredients into a smooth paste add a few tablespoons of water if required. Serve with any appetizer or sandwich/burger spread .

chili chicken

Chili chicken is one of my family’s favorites to order in Indian restaurants . This very flavorful dish is inspired by Asian spices and many such dishes have crossed borders and are relished.

Some of the most delicious and satisfying meals are simple, and this is a great example! With just a few ingredients you can make it at home and dazzle everyone with this amazing, flavorful chili chicken.

Spicy, sweet and tangy, chili chicken can be served as an appetizer, or a main course rounded out with fried rice or noodles. While historically this dish is deep fried, I am going to show you how to do it with an air fryer for extra simplicity and super taste.

Ingredients

2 pounds – Chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces

Marinade for the Chicken:

3 tbs corn starch

3 tbs all porpuse flour

1 egg beaten

3 tbs soya sauce

1/2 tsp of white pepper powder

2 to 3 tsp of oil

The Sauce:

5 tbs of soya sauce plus 3 tsp to season the chicken

1 tbs of chili sauce ( add more if needed)

2 tsp of vinegar

1/3 cup water

1 medium onion cut in to squares or triangles

1 large bell pepper cut in to squares or triangles .

2 serrano chillies cut in strips length wise

2 scallions green part cut length wise

1/2 tbs of ginger finely chopped

2 tbs of garlic finely chopped

In a large mixing bowl add the chicken pieces and season with 3 tsp of soya sauce and pepper powder. Mix well , adding one beaten egg, cornstarch, flour and 2 to 3 tsp of oil. Mix until well coated.

Line your air fryer basket with liner or grease with oil and arrange the chicken pieces in one layer. Cook on 400 degrees for 15 mins checking in between to get a nice golden crispy fried chicken. See my video to see how awesome it looks!

Sauce

To prepare the sauce, mix soya sauce, vinegar, chili sauce and 1/3 cup of water. Set this aside for now.

Heat a wok on a medium high flame and add 3 tbs of oil. As the oil heats add the ginger and cook for about 15 to 20 seconds, then add the garlic and green chilis and saute for another 15 seconds. As that is done add the onions and peppers and saute on a high flame for about 30 seconds. Careful, do not over cook here since we need to maintain slight crunch to the onions and peppers. Now add the air fried chicken to the wok and pour the soya sauce mixture over it all. Sprinkle white pepper powder, then stir fry to mix well and quickly add the cornstarch slurry and mix well again. Turn off the flame and add the green onions to garnish. Serve hot with noodles, fried rice or steam rice .

Tomato chutney jam

I started my small kitchen gardening about 3 years ago, and the first thing I experimented with was tomatoes. Just that took one year of no results, but last year was a success with tons of delicious tomatoes, and this year as well we had a bumper crop of them.

Tomatoes are something we use pretty much every other day, be it in salads, soups, curries, sandwiches or even with just a sprinkle of some salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil — yum yum!

This time with all excess of tomatoes I wanted to try something new, so I experimented with making a tomato jam/chutney, and it turned out amazing. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

5 large green unripe tomatoes ( roughly chopped )

1 medium -onion finely chopped

1 inch -ginger finely chopped

3 cloves – garlic finely chopped

1/2 tsp of lightly crushed fennel seeds

1/2 tsp – pumpkin pie spice powder

1/2 tsp- cayenne powder

1 cup – sugar

3 to tbs- oil

salt to taste

Heat one tbs of oil in a pot over medium low flame , add the chopped tomatoes and cook until all the tomato is soft like a thick pulp. Set aside.

Heat another pot on a medium low flame and add the remaining 2 tbs of oil, and add the crushed fennel seeds, onions and saute until light golden brown.

Now add ginge and garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes back in, along with the onions, cayenne, pumpkin spice powder, salt to taste and 1 cup of sugar. Cook this for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until it reaches a jam like consistency. Cool it and store in air tight container in the fridge.

Enjoy with aged cheddar or as a sandwich spread.

Kheema hara Masala

When it comes to street food there is not much better than Mumbai! (or Bombay as we used to call it when growing up).

There is always something rustic and fulfilling about street style meals. I always enjoyed it most during the monsoons or cool summer nights, the wooden carts filled with each street hawkers delicacy, his or her secret recipe and tastes.

One such dish is the kheema hara masala. This is ground lamb, beef, or chicken cooked in aromatic spices and some greens to give it the taste and look of Hara which literally means green. As complicated as the name might sound its quite easy to make and even easier to relish, so lets get cooking!

Ingredients

2 pounds – ground lamb

1- potato medium diced (optional)

1tbs- garlic paste

1tbs- ginger paste

1 large -onion finely chopped

1/4 cup -spinach blanched

2 tbs-fresh/dry fenugreek leaves or dill leaves

1/2 cup- cilantro

2 -green or red tomato finely chopped

2 -green chillies slit length wise

1/2cup- frozen peas (or fresh cooking times might vary )

1 tsp- garam masala

1tsp -chilli powder

1tsp-turmeric powder

3tbs-corriander powder

1tsp- garam masala

1tsp-whole cumin seeds

1- bayleaf

1-whole inch stick cinnamon

5- whole peppercorns

4 – whole cloves

3- whole green cardamoms

3-4 tbs of cooking oil

Salt to taste

In a blender, add the blanched or frozen spinach, fenugreek or dill leaves, cilantro and blend it into a smooth paste and set aside.

In a heavy bottom wok or pan heat oil on a medium flame. As that heats up add all the whole spices and in about 15 seconds add the onions and saute until golden brown on the edges. Add the the ginger garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Now add the ground meat and keep stirring so that it won’t clump up, searing it well fora few minutes.

Add the corriander powder, chilli powder, and turmeric powder, mixing well. Next add the tomatoes, add salt to taste, stir well cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

After five minutes add the potatoes cover and cook for 7 minutes. Now add the green paste, green chillies and cook until most of the moisture is gone (about 5 minutes) after which you add the frozen green peas (if using fresh peas cook longer until peas are cooked) and garam masala.

Cover and cook for a couple more minutes, then turn off the flame and serve with your choice of bread or rice.

Coconut and tomato soup

Some recipes can take you to so many nostalgic moments and make you feel ahhh i wish i could have relived that feeling again just as it was , but most times we can just try to relive them by recreating them in our own way. I have many such nostalgic moments about food made by both my grandmas’ who were exceptional cooks, my dad, my mom and my sister are great cooks too. It sort of is an inheritance and each one added their own style to it. I feel blessed that I have so many memories to share with all of their recipes. Today I want to share one such recipe — Coconut and Tomato soup. There is not much to this recipe, very simple to make with simple ingredients but packed with so much flavor. For me this soup brings up memories of sitting with my Dadima (maternal grandma) on the table and enjoying this kadhi/soup with a plate of steamed rice and seasonal veggies for a hot summer afternoon lunch. Before we get cooking let me just thank my Dadima in heaven for showing me how to add such extraordinary flavors in for such simple recipes.

Ingredients

2 Cups -Fresh coconut milk extracted from frozen or fresh coconut /Or Canned .

2 medium sized- ripe tomato finely chopped (my preference Roma tomato)

1 tsp – cumin seeds

1 – green chilli slit lengthwise (add more if u like it hot )

5-6 – curry leaves fresh or dry

1 to 2 tbs- rice flour

1- tbs cooking oil

salt to taste .

In a mixing bowl add your coconut milk and rice flour and whisk it well blended and no lumps are seen , set this aside .

Heat oil in a pot on medium flame once the oil is hot add cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds , add curry leaves , green chillies and the tomatoes , cook it for about 30 seconds and add the coconut milk bring it to a slow simmer for 7 to 8 minutes once it is slightly thickened but yet soupy turn of the flame and season with salt as per your taste , serve just soup or the way my Dadima did with some rice , enjoy !.

tres leches

Tres Leches is a very popular cake in Latin America and Mexico. Its name literally means “three milks” — an apt description of this delicious treat! Traditionally this cake does not use butter , this cake is drenched in three different types of milk.

Today I am going to share with you my Tres leches recipe with an Indian twist. I am also going to use butter in this recipe because I want a dense cake (you will see why!), and some additional Indian flavors to give this cake the twist. So let’s get baking!

Ingredients

2 cups – all purpose flour

2 tsp- baking powder

1/4 tsp -salt

1 cup- sugar

3 -eggs

3/4th cup- milk

1 tsp – vanilla extract

1 stick – melted butter

2 tbs – ground pistacios and almonds

1/4 tsp- ground cardamom

for the Tres leches milk mixture

1/2 cup whole milk

14 ounce- can sweetened condensed milk

12 ounce -evaporated milk

2 to 3 pinches -of saffron

1/2 tsp- ground cardamom

for the frosting

1 1/2 cup -heavy whipping cream

1 tsp – powdered sugar

1 tsp – Rose water

for garnish

chopped almonds and pistacios

dried rose petals (optional).

In a bowl or measuring cup – add whole milk , evaporated milk, condensend milk , saffron and cardamom. Stir well and set aside.

Heat oven to 350 F. Line a 13*9 – inch pan with parchment paper and lightly brush with melted butter. In a medium bowl sift flour, salt and baking powder.

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. After another 30 seconds gradually add the flour and ground pistachio and almonds. Combine well into a batter. Spread this batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 -30 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake for 30 mins. Once cooled poke the cake with a toothpick all over the top, and pour all the milk mixture to soak the entire cake. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or best overnight.

In a stand mixer bowl add the heavy whipping cream and beat with the whisking attachment on low speed for a minute. As the cream starts to thicken add the powdered sugar and rose water, beat until stiff peaks form. Top the cake with the frosting and evenly spread , garnish with chopped pistachios, almonds and dried rose petals. Serve and enjoy!

corn fritters

Summer is the time where corn is in abundance, and there are many fun ways to enjoy these fresh kernels. One of my favorites is making crispy corn fritters — perfect appetizers to serve up for a party, evening snack or even great to pack in a lunch box .This is an easy to make and full of flavor recipe, so lets get going!

Ingredients

2 cups of corn

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup red bell pepper finely chopped

1 jalapeno finely chopped

2 to 3 table spoon of scallions chopped

1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (can use 1/2 cup )

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp of smoked paprika

1/2 tsp baking powder

salt to taste

crispy bacon to garnish (optional )

oil for shallow frying

In a mixing bowl add the corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, scallions, paprika baking powder, flour, salt (to taste), egg , milk and cheese. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients. Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium flame, and with the help of a small scoop add the batter to the pan to make small fritters cook on each side until nice and golden brown and crispy, garnish with crispy bacon and Serve hot with your favorite sauce and enjoy!

Here is my first video check it out! Please be patient as I figure out how to film and edit 🙂

Meatballs 2 in 1

This week was a challenge to decide what is the next fun meal to make that would engage the kids and the rest of the family, and still be delicious for everyone (including me!).

There was a great demand for fun Mexican flavors since it was Taco Tuesday, but naturally I was out of taco shells, and to add insult to injury discovered that I had just a cup of shredded cheese which would not cut it to feed my very hungry boys!

Continuing my search through available ingredients, I pulled out the ground chicken from my fridge and quickly whipped up some cheesy Mexican flavored meatballs. To accompany this, I served it up with rice, spicy home made pico de gallo and some fresh guacamole.

In all the excitement I made a double batch of the meatballs to keep in the freezer for some quick snacks next time. First, here is the meatball recipe. Keep reading to the end to see what I did with the frozen ones.

Ingredients

Ground chicken 2 pounds (thigh meat )

1 cup shredded cheese ( mild cheddar)

1 table spoon of cumin powder

3 cloves of garlic grated

1 table spoon of chilli powder

1 jalapeno finnely chopped (optional )

3 table spoons of cilantro chopped

1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions

2 tablespoons of fresh bread crumbs

salt to taste

3 table spoons of any neutral tasting oil to pan fry them

In a mixing bowl add the ground chicken and all the spices, along with the chopped cilantro, scallions, jalapeno, cheese, breadcrumbs and salt to taste. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients — just but be careful to not over mix or the meatballs will be tough in texture.

Let this mixture rest for 30 minutes. Now form small meat balls. I used a small ice cream scoop and got about 40 small meatballs. Heat a pan on medium flame and add the oil. Once the oil is a bit heated gently add the meat balls, pan frying them on medium flame until done and nicely browned. Serve hot with salsa and guacamole just as appetizer or over rice.

Wouldn’t it be nice to turn the other batch of meatballs into something completely different and surprise not only the family but yourself too? If you are anything like me the answer is an immediate “Heck yeah!”

Yesterday I was in a busy mode to get some of the other things done around the house and lost time on planning for dinner. Luckily I remembered the meatballs in the freezer and started to think about what I could do with them. How could I camouflage these into something that tastes different and tasty? Then it hit me: chicken kofta curry. Yes, I decided to see if I could transform the Mexican flavors into this classic Indian dish.

As many of you know a lot of Mexican spices like cumin, cilantro, chili powder are used in Indian cuisine as well, so it would not be that hard to convert these and the cheese in the meat balls make this dish extra special So without further ado, I present to you transformed chicken kofta curry!

Ingredients

1 batch of of the frozen meat balls

for the curry gravy

1 large onion finely grated

1 can of tomato puree

1 inch og grated ginger

3 cloves of grated garlic

1 inch cinnamon stick

1 bay leave

2 green cardamoms

2 cloves

1 tsp of cilli powder

1 tablespoon of corriander powder

1 tsp of cumin powder

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder .

4 to 5 cashews and make a paste of it

1/2 tsp sugar

3 tables spoons of whipping cream .

3 tablespoons any neutral tasting oil

1 cup of warm water

salt to taste

In a dutch oven (or any heavy bottom pot) heat oil on a medium flame. Once a little hot add the whole spices: bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Let this toast for a couple seconds, then add the grated onion and cook to brown (or caramelize the onions separately to speed up the process).

Add 1/2 tsp sugar, and once onion paste is golden brown add the ginger and garlic, saute for 30 seconds. Once that is done add all the powder spices: cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric and salt to taste. Cook for 15 seconds, then stir in the tomato puree and cashew paste, continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Stir again, adding in one cup of water. Bring the gravy to a simmer, add the meat balls and 2 table spoons of fresh cream. Cook until the meat balls are cooked through, which should take about 7 minutes. Drizzle with more fresh cream, serve hot with any flat bread or rice. Enjoy!