Friday, November 21, 2008

Eggs in Saffron Cream Sauce

A long day at work followed by a trip to school to meet my advisor does not leave any energy to cook anything for dinner. But don't want to eat out nor eat any left-overs in the fridge - now what to do? Try to make the cooking interesting and try something new and simple yet special - and thus, I tried this saffron cream sauce. Made eggs with this sauce, however, I am sure this will taste equally good with chicken, lamb and shrimp and of course, Paneer. A little heavy, but I am sure a Epicurus delight!!

Ingredients - Makes 3 servings

{Onion(1 large)-Ginger(1 inch)-Garlic(6 cloves)-Green chilli(3-4)-Tomato(1 large)} paste - 12 tbsp

Warm Milk - 1/2 cup
Saffron - 1/4 tsp

Eggs - 8
Canola oil - 1-2 tbsp
Cumin seeds or Jeera - 1/4 tsp
Green chillis - 3-4, chopped
Tomatoes - 1.5, chopped
Chicken stock - 1 can
Heavy cream - 3-4 tbsp

Boil the eggs (Rachel Ray's tip - Take the eggs in cold water. Bring it to a boil. Stop the heat, put a lid and keep it aside for 10-15 mins). Poke them with the fork. Heat a little bit of oil and stir the eggs in the hot oil for the egg to brown a bit. Keep it aside.

Heat a tbsp of Canola oil. Add cumin seeds and chopped green chillis. As the cumin seeds brown, add the onion-ginger-garlic-green chilli-tomato paste. Keep cooking it till all the liquid has evaporated and the raw smell is gone. It becomes a little lumpy and oil starts separating.

Add the chopped tomatoes and let it cook. As the tomatoes are half-cooked, add salt. Continue cooking. When the tomatoes look 3/4th done, add a can of chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 5 mins.

Add the milk-saffron mixture and let it continue cooking for another 5 mins. Add about 3-4 tbsp of heavy cream. Let the mixture simmer for another 5 mins. Add the cooked eggs and let it simmer for about 5-10 mins.

Serve warm with some piping hot rice - Enjoy the earthy flavors of saffron balanced by the heavy cream!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Karismatic Kadhi (not inspired by Ekta Kapoor or Karan Johar in anyway)

Colors of Fall are fast going away with the fast intruding winter. Here is a picture of the fall colors from my office window. Isn't it great?

Meanwhile, with a busy work schedule, I am looking for one-dish wonders that can serve as dinner and lunch for next day tiffin. Seems like gone are the days when I can conveniently plan and cook multiple things..alas! Atleast for the next month or two. One such recipe that I have tried recently is KADHI!

I first had Kadhi at my undergraduate hostel. And I hated it! Little did I realize that this was not how Kadhi was meant to be. I believe in the northern part of India, Kadhi Chawal (rice served with Kadhi) is a prime comfort-food. Now I understand why...I had some onion-spinach fritters lying around in the fridge. A few days back, my dear friend Ekta had bought Kadhi-Chawal for lunch made from the similar fritters..why not take a stab at it using the Kadhi recipe from fellow bloggers and see if I can make it? This was my first take and need I say that this has been added to my comfort-food list as well :)

These are all the recipes that I referred for the Kadhi gravy base:

  • Soma from eCurry
  • Tarla Dalal-ji's Rajasthani Kadhi Pakodi Link
  • Gujarati Kadhi Link
  • Punjabi Kadhi Link
I did not find any particular difference between the different versions. If anyone knows the exact difference between Punjabi, Gujarati and Rajasthani Kadhi, please let me know.

For the Spinach-Onion Pakora aka Fritter

Ingredients - Makes 30 to 35 Pakoras

Spinach - 1 bag
Onion - 1 large
Besan - 2 cup
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Ajwain - 1/2 tsp (Tip - Adding this to fritters makes it easy to digest.)
Coriander leaves - a few sprigs, as per taste
Chilli powder as per taste or 3-4 finely chopped green chillies
Water - a few drops, if required
Oil - For frying, enough to make the pakoras be fully immersed in the oil

Put everything together and mix them. Only if you still need water, add a few drops. Don't make it too runny. You should be able to make rounds of the mixture with your hand and drop into the oil. Have water in a bowl beside you when you make the balls. Quickly dip your hand into the bowl of water. While you hand is wet (not runny wet), take a portion of the above mixture and try to make it into a ball. Drop it into a pot with hot oil. Have it hot enough such that the pakora does not burn on being dropped into the oil but is warm enough to keep it together and lets it cook.

For the Kadhi:

Ingredients for gravy

1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup of besan ( Chick pea flour)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon of garlic paste

Ingredients for Seasoning the gravy
1 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
2 Red Dry Chilis
2 Clove
1″ stick of cinnamon
1 Small green cardamom
A pinch of Asafoetida
1 tablespoon of chopped curry leaves
1 tablespoon Oil ( You can use the left over oil after frying the pakoras)
1/2 inch piece of ginger very finely chopped


In a large bowl, mix yogurt, besan, garlic paste, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix it well with an egg beater, so there are no lumps of the besan. Add about 4-5 cups of water and beat for some more time till it becomes a smooth mixture with no lumps. Don't worry about the amount of water - it will reduce in the cooking process.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and the cinnamom, cloves and cardamoms. After a minute, add the dry chilis, asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter add the ginger and fry till the onions start to brown.

Add the yogurt-besan mix to this and boil at high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to Medium and let it continue cooking till the raw smell of besan has vanished. When the mixture is cooked, add the curry leaves, salt and the pakoras. Boil for another few minutes and now its done. Total cooking time for the gravy is near about 30 to 45 minutes.

Ingredients for Tarka

1 teaspoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

Heat the ghee, and add the Cumin and the mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter - pour this immediately over the prepared Kadhi.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mmmm Malai Kofta

Kofta is something I had never made before. Really strange..somehow this has always evaded my cooking list till date. This recipe is from my dear friend Prajakta. We were sidies (a slang term meaning people staying in next door dorm rooms :) ) during our undergraduate days and were good acquaintances at that time. Now we work in the same company and have become good friends. We had to come all the way across the world to get to know each other better! :) It has been over a year since she gave me this recipe. It was a big hit when she made it for her son's birthday. I recently got a chance to make it when R's Bua-ji and Phuffa-ji were visiting us. It turned out good. Posting this here to share with everyone and for future reference.

Just this weekend, when we visited my SIL, she had made a similar kofta with potato and cauliflower. That was yummy and a good variation from the paneer koftas. I think even well-cooked peas can be added to these koftas.

Ingredients (Makes eight to ten servings)

Potatoes - 2 cup
Paneer/Cottage Cheese - 2 cup

Corn flour: 6 tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Ginger - 1/2 inch, about 1 tbsp
Garglic - 6 cloves, about 2 tbsp
Fresh ground pepper - 1/4 tsp
Green chillis - 4-5 chopped

Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Onion: 1 medium
Yogurt - 1 cup
Ground Poppy seeds: 1 tbsp
Tumeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 tsp
Tomato: 2 medium
Heavy cream - 4 tbsp
Coriander leaves - a few sprigs

Canola oil - 2 tbsp + extra for frying the koftas


Soak the ground poppy seed in yogurt and keep it aside.

Boil potatoes and peel them.Mash them and mix it with grated paneer. Add corn flour, salt, ginger, garlic, pepper and chillies. Make small balls or squares of this dough and fry at medium heat. Koftas are ready.

In separate container heat 2 tbsp canola oil, add cumin seeds, onion(finely chopped or grated). Once onion turns pink, add the poppy seeds and yogurt mixture to it. Mix well. You can even grind this. Add turmeric powder, curry powder and garam masala to this. When the paste is well cooked, add tomatoes and 3 cups of water. Add salt. When this is well done, add fresh cream and cook for a few minutes.

Just before serving add the koftas to the curry. If you add koftas to the curry and cook, they will break since the koftas are very soft. Add finely chopped coriander before serving as garnish.

Enjoy with warm rotis or rice pulav with raita/papad.