Sunday, 26 April 2015

Green Chutney

Every family has its own way of making green chutney. They are usually served with bar-be-qued and fried kebabs and cutlets. Green chutney or suace is made commercially and sold in the market and quite commonly available. Chutney is also served with rice and dal, or various kind of rice dishes and even rotis and parathas. During summer before the advent of ripe mangoes, raw mangoes are there and I make it with them. This particular recipe will have raw mangoes. If raw mangoes are not available, tamarind sauce or lemon juice maybe used. Stays well if refrigerated for 5-6 days.

Serves 8-10 


Mint leaves 1 bunch cleaned and washed
Raw mango 1-1 1/2 Peeled and sliced or lemon juice of 1 lemon or tamrind paste 2 tbspn.
White cumin 1 tspn
Garlic pods 4-5 peeled
Green chilies 6-7
salt to taste
Cilantro 1/2 cup
Coconut 1 slice [if using fresh or desiccated 2 tbspn]


Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Grind to fine paste. Check seasoning, if desired green chilly may be reduced to 3-4 or half teaspoon sugar maybe added.

Beef & Green Chilies

Chinese dishes eaten in sub continent have their unique spicy blend, & are cooked on high flame and deep fried as required. This particular dish I was shown by a Chinese family who were settled in Calcutta for a few generation. The spices that are used is similar to that eaten in sub-continent. These recipes I am putting in are requested by my niece Samah. I often make them for family get togethers or when entertaining. Scintillating to the palette & sizzlingly fun to make.  A soup, rice and another dish will make a full menu. 


Capsicum 2-3 cut into 1 inch square piece.
Red onion 3 peeled and cut into 1 inch square
Red chillies whole 5-6[button red chilly can also be used]
Beef 300-400 grams cut into thin slice [veal or undercut preferably]
Corn flour 4-5 tbspn
Garlic paste 1 tsp
Ginger paste 1/2 tsp
Vinegar 2 tbspn
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce 3-4 tbspn
Green chillies 4-5 [thinly sliced long]
Oil for deep fry
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Sesame oil 1 tbspn


Marinate the beef slices with 1tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp ginger, salt 1/4 tsp pepper and 1 tbspn soya sauce. If not using
veal or under cut then boil after marinating for 30 mins or till meat is tender.
Sprinkle 2 tbspn corn flour and deep fry the beef in a skillet. Drain the oil and remove the fried beef in a platter.
In the same skillet add 1-1 1/2 tbspn oil and add the button red chillies along with onion, capsicum, and green chillies.
Stir fry for 5-10 minutes season with the remaining 1/4 tsp pepper,remaining 3 tbspn soya sauce, 2 tbspn vinegar, and
sugar 1/2 tsp and 1/4 cup water. Stir in remaining 2 tbspn cornflour dissolved in 3-4 tbspn water. Stir,cook on medium
high flame till sauce thickens. Put in the fried beef, lower the heat, cook further for 5 minutes.
Add the 1 tbspn sesame oil and close flame. Served with fried or steamed rice.
Recipe for fried rice will be added shortly.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Paneer Karhai_Cottage Cheese in a Wok

Karhai (wok) is not necessary for this recipe but so much fun to use; dry form of curry cooked fast on fairly high heat is called karhai and the gravy has loads of tomatoes. Karhai made with chicken and lamb are a much sought after delight & are made with a slight variation.
I came across this dish while leafing through my diary which contains all my treasured recipes. Sometimes, instead of vegetables or dal I like to make this as a side dish. Fun and easy to cook. 

Serves: 3-4 


Oil 2 tbspn
Garlic paste 2 tbspn
Tomatoes 8 medium size peeled and sliced
Nigella seeds 0.5tspn
Coriander seeds 2 tspn [coarsely dry crush 1 tspn]
Chilly flake 0.5 tspn
Button red chilly 5-6
Capsicum 2 chopped into small pieces
Cottage cheese 250 grams cut in 1 inch square cubes
Flour 2 tbspn
Cilantro chopped fine 2 tbspn
Salt to taste


1. Heat 1.5tbspn oil in a pan, add the garlic paste stir and fry on medium low heat. Stir in the peeled and sliced tomatoes. Cover and cook till tomatoes are soft and mushy.
2. Add in the nigella seeds, coarsely crushed 1 tspn of coriander seeds, the remaining 1 tspn of whole coriander seeds, chilly flakes, whole button red chilly and all the chopped capsicums. Cover the pan and lower the heat and continue to cook.
3. In a platter set out the flour and coat the cubed cottage cheese.  In a frying pan, fry these dredged cheese in the half a tbspn oil.
4. Turning each side as the turn golden brown. Can be fried in batches on a medium flame. Take them out in a platter covered with a paper towel. When all the cheese is fried add it to the tomatoes, season with salt cover and continue to cook for further 5-8 minutes so that the spices are infused into the cheese cubes. Add in chopped cilantro and serve.
5. Can be eaten with rice or chappattis or simply on its own.


Carrot & Cheese Bread Rolls

These bread rolls i used to make as snacks during the holy month of Ramadhaan; wholesome and nourishing and not very heavy as they are not fried but baked in an oven toaster or electric sandwich maker. They're great even as tea time treat & are much loved by my children (especially one greedy daughter). For a light meal, they can be taken with soup. Quick to make & do not require you to be  in the kitchen for too long.
Here Rabab, this is for you; enjoy making, serving and eating them. You made me walk down my memory lane to recall this recipe.

Serves: 3 


Carrots: 2-3; washed, cleaned and grated
Bread slices: 6-7; white or brown (remove crust of bread)
Cheese [mozzarella or cheddar]: 0.25cup; grated
Salt: to taste
Black pepper powder: 0.25tspn
Mustard powder: 0.25tspn


1. Moisten a clean tea towel or kitchen napkin lay it on your kitchen counter. Put the bread slice one by one. Take a rolling pin and and flatten out the bread slices by rolling them. When all the bread are done cover them with moistened napkin.
2. In a bowl put in the grated carrot, cheese, season with salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Stir to combine.The filling is now ready
3. Put a 1-2 tbspn of filling on one side of the flattened bread. Roll them out gently so as the bread does not break.
4. Lay them out on a greased and lined baking dish, brush lightly with oil and bake for 8-10 minutes in a preheated oven. The temperature should be low ie 200-225 degrees. Can be toasted in an preheated electric sandwich maker for 3-5 minutes each side, serve with tomato ketchup or home made green chutney.  

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Khala's Kababs

Kababs were commonly eaten in subcontinent Asia but have garnered global momentum with every region and family having its unique recipe and ingredients. Kababs are the most versatile of all culinary treats. For these kebab beef, lamb or chicken mince can be used; keep in mind the mince should not have too much fat. I was introduced to this particular recipe by my aunt Husseini & were often part of her menu. My maternal grandmother had culinary expertise which she passed on to my aunt. These kebabs maybe fried grilled or BBQ-ed

Serves: 3-4 

Mince 1/2 kilo beef, lamb or mutton
White cumin seeds powder 1 tspn
coriander powder 1 tspn
Gram flour dry roasted 1 1/2 tbspn
Almonds 6-8 [ground very fine]
Red chilly powder 1/2 tspn
Ginger paste 1 1/2 tspn
Garlic paste 1 tspn
Onion 2 medium sliced.
Meat tenderizer papaya paste 1 tbspn
Yoghurt 3 tbspn
Cilantro chopped 2 tbspn
Green chillies 2 finely chopped
Garam masala powder 1/2 tspn
Oil 3-4 tbspn
salt to taste


1. Marinate mince with ginger paste and papaya paste, and keep aside.
2. In a pan put 1 1/2 tbspn oil and fry the sliced onion to golden brown color. Remove the onion from the oil and spread in platter covered with paper towel.
3. Mix the rest of the ingredients to the yoghurt and add it to the marinated mince and leave it covered for an hour.
4. Crush the fried onion and add it to marinated mince.
5. Make kebab and shallow fry or grill them or bar be cue them.
6. Serve with Yoghurt raita; onion, cucumber and tomato salad; nan paratha or puri.

Mince Cutlets / Mince Kababs

Cutlets, another form of kababs, are another popular delight in my family. They are quick to make & can be a main dish along with lentil curry; or served as a side dish within an elaborate entertainment menu; or as a snack served with chutney & salad; or a quick meal for kids by putting between buns to make a home made burger. My children often like to eat these during hot summer days topped with sliced cucumbers & onions, pickles, ketchup or chili sauce. They can be made with lamb, beef or chicken mince. You can get as creative as you want with kababs. 

Serves: 6-8


Mince: 0.5kg
Egg: 1
Garam Masala powder: 0.5tspn
Green chillies: 2-3
Oil: 1tspn
Bread: 2-3 slices
Garlic paste: 1 tspn
Ginger paste: 1 tspn
Onion: 1; small
Salt: to taste
Breadcrumbs: 0.5cup
Oil to deep fry


1. In a food processor add the onion cut in four, green chilies and bread slices broken into 2-3. Process these ingredients till crushed.
2. Add garlic paste, ginger paste and egg to the ingredients in food processor & process for a couple of seconds.
3. Mix mince along with garam masala, oil and salt as well as the crushed ingredients from food processor.
4. Make small balls or flat patties. In a platter pour out the bread crumbs. Coat the cutlets in the crumbs.
5. Break an egg in a bowl beat lightly, dip the cutlets and deep fry on medium low heat for 10 - 15 minutes or till they are done. They should be brown from outside { not very dark} cut in half mince should be cooked.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Beetroot Curry

When I was living in Bahrain, newly married, I had an Iranian neighbor who she showed me how beetroot could be cooked in curry form. At my parent's home, boiled and sliced beetroot were eaten with vinaigrette dressing as salad. With the help of my beautiful Iranian neighbor, I mastered this curry with subcontinent spices. Recently, I revisited this recipe & started making it again on my husband's request; my children also enjoyed it. So here it is: my version. To simplify, beetroot
can be boiled or tinned beetroot can be used (this will shorten the cooking time).

Serves: 4-5


Beetroot: 0.5kg; peeled and thinly sliced
Onion: 1; finely chopped
Oil: 1.5Tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Curry leaves: 5-6
Garlic paste: 1tsp
Cumin powder: 0.5tsp
Turmeric powder: 0.5tsp
Chili flakes: 0.5tsp
Coriander powder: 0.5tsp
Salt: to taste
Sugar: 2tsp
Tamarind paste: 1Tbsp (or juice of 1 lemon)
Green chilies: 2, finely chopped
Cilantro 2-3 Tbsp  


1. Heat oil in a pan & add in the chopped onion, along with cumin seeds and curry leaves. The flame should be medium to slow.
2. Fry onion till the color changes to pink.
3. Add in the garlic paste, turmeric powder, cumin powder, chilly flakes, and coriander powder. Stir to combine and fry; if spices begin to stick to pan, sprinkle 4-5Tbsp of water. Add the salt.
4. Continue frying and sprinkle water when needed for about 10- 15 minutes.
5. Once the spices give out roasted fragrance (a sign indicating spices are cooked), add in the chopped beetroot along with the sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook on low flame for about 30 minutes. Do check & if needed add another 5-6Tbsp of water.
6. Once beetroot are tender, add in the tamarind paste or lemon juice. Check seasoning & add salt or sugar if needed. The taste is sweet and sour.
7. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and sliced green chillies. Can be served with parathas, nan and
chappatti. Also tastes good with boiled rice.