Monday, 15 December 2014

Shab Deg/Daig

Lamb/goat meat cooked with turnips, meat balls (koftas) and spices

Shab deg is a popular mutton/meat dish from Kashmir. Traditionally, this has to be cooked in a deg (wide-mouthed heavy bottom cooking vessel) overnight (shab in the urdu language) on a charcoal flame. The speciality of  this dish is that it is cooked with turnips, meatballs and boneless mutton cubes.  Cream, yoghurt, ghee, almond along with special spices gives the dish a facelift making it flavorful and rich. As nowadays, we cannot gather the patience or energy to burn overnight, we have to cut short the preparation time to a reasonable one. Yet, to do proper justice to the dish, I would suggest we cook this for atleast 3 to 4 hours to reach the closest to the enhanced and right flavors of the original dish.  So here is how we can do it…

500 gms, turnips
1 tbsp, poppy seeds
2 tbsp , almonds, blanched and peeled
Wheat flour dough to seal the deg (vessel)

For Koftas:-
500 gms, mutton mince
1 tsp,  Kashmiri red chili powder
1 tsp, garlic paste
1 tsp, ginger paste
2 tbsp, roasted gram flour(chickpea flour)
½ tbsp,  poppy-almond paste
1 tbsp, coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt as per taste

For Mutton gravy:-
500 gms, goat meat( mutton)
1½ tsp, fennel powder
1 cup, yoghurt, whisked well
½ cup, cream ( I have used amul)
1 tsp, garlic paste
 1 tsp, ginger paste
½ cup, golden fried onions ( birista)
1 ½  tsp, Kashmiri red chili powder
1 tsp, coriander powder
¾  tsp, garam masala powder
1 tsp, caraway seeds ( shajeera)
5 nos, cloves
5 nos, green cardamom
A generous pinch of saffron
 ¼ cup, warm milk
5 tbsp,  ghee
Salt as per taste
 Warm water as required


Soak saffron in warm milk and keep it aside

Grind together poppy seeds and almonds to a fine paste and keep it aside

Wash and peel the turnips. If they are big in size then cut in half or quarters depending on size. If they are small then keep it as it is. Prick the turnips all over. Keep it aside

For Koftas:
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients mentioned above for koftas. Mix well

Divide it in equal lemon sized koftas. Cover and keep it aside

For gravy:
In a deg/heavy bottom handi, heat ghee. Once ghee is hot, add turnips and fry till they are golden brown

Take them put and keep it aside

In same handi/deg, add caraways seeds, cardamom and cloves. Allow them to crackle. Do not burn

Add mutton/meat and sauté on high heat for 5-6 minutes

Add ginger paste, garlic paste and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

Add chili powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, salt and mix well

Lower the heat and add yogurt. Whisk till yogurt blends well with spices. Add garam masala powder and mix. Add a cup of warm water

Cover and simmer for an hour

Now, add warm water and fried onions, mix well. 

Add koftas (meat balls) and shalgam (turnips)

Cover the handi and seal it with the dough.

Cook it in very low flame for another 2 hours.

Lastly add saffron milk and mix. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Dish out, garnish with cream, coriander leaves and serve hot with sheermal, nan, parathas, rice/pulao.

Instead of ghee, you can also use oil.

Adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your preference. I preferred it to be thick so I added little less water.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Grilled Rosemary Chicken Lasagna

Lasagna has been in my ToDo list for a long time and finally the wait ends here. One more tick to my list goes with this dish which I prepared for the awesome weather of Bangalore. There were many combinations in my thoughts when I started to prepare it but chose Rosemary combined with chicken. If you have Tomato Pasta sauce and Bechamel Sauce are handy with you, assembling this treat would just take an hour or so. The delicious chicken chunks scented with refreshing rosemary and lemon zest, the crunch of delightful veggies stuffed between the soft layers of lasagna sheets and coated with rich creamy sauces hiding below the loads of sinful cheese is all ready to take your breath away.  Here is how you get to it.....

½ cup zucchini, cut in small cubes
1 cup, bell peppers cut in cubes
½ cup, baby corn, sliced
1 tsp, Italian herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
9-10 lasagna sheets
 A cup of béchamel sauce
 A cup of tomato pasta sauce
 ½ cup, parmesan cheese
3 cups, mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tbsp + for greasing, olive oil
Dried/fresh rosemary for sprinkle.

400gms, boneless chicken breast, cut in small bite size pieces
Zest of one lemon
2 tsp, fresh or dried rosemary herb
Juice of one lemon
1½  tsp, crushed garlic
1 tsp, chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp, olive oil

Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients mentioned under marination. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven at 190 degrees centigrade

Boil the lasagna sheets as per the packet instructions

Heat the grill pan. Add marinated chicken and grill till done

In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, add zucchini, bell peppers, corn, season with salt, pepper and Italian herbs. Toss well. Do not over-cook, leave it a bit crunchy.  Combine grilled chicken and veggies together in a bowl. Keep it aside.


Grease 9*13 inch baking dish. Spread 1/3 of béchamel sauce at the bottom.

Layer 1/3 of the sheets overlapping them. Spread 1/3 cup of tomato pasta sauce, ½ of the grated parmesan, ½ of chicken-vegetable mixture, 1/3 of béchamel sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layer.

Arrange remaining sheets over cheese and spread remaining tomato pasta sauce evenly and spread remaining mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle some rosemary on the top

Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Take it out and let it stand for 15-20 minutes before cutting.

Cut and serve

Friday, 5 December 2014

Bhuna Gosht

 Bhuna Gosht means goat meat/lamb slow pan cooked with spices by simmering it for long hours and reducing the gravy till it reach deep red/brown thick luscious gravy. Meat is cooked in its own juices and  blended thoroughly with the spices, gives out and an elegant, aromatic dish.  Relish this velvety, rich “Bhuna Gosht” with your favourite hot nan, paratha or pulao to get you the warmth this winter.  

1 kg, mutton on bones, cut in pieces
6 nos, large onions, finely sliced
3 nos, large tomatoes, finely chopped
250 gms, yoghurt, whisked well
1 tbsp, garlic paste
1 tbsp, ginger paste
1 tbsp, ginger juliennes
2 tsp, red chili powder
¾ tsp, turmeric powder
2 tsp, coriander powder
4 tbsp, golden fried onions, crushed
Salt as per taste
3 tbsp, oil
3 tbsp, ghee
Whole spices:
8-10 nos, green cardamom
8-10 nos, cloves
½ tsp, black peppercorns
3-4 nos, dried Kashmiri red chilies, each broken into 2
1 cinnamon stick of 2 inch
3 nos, black cardamom
1 tsp, shazeera ( black cumin)
¾ blade mace, crushed
2 nos, bay leaves
For garnish:
Ginger juliennes, coriander leaves and crushed fried onions.

In a heavy bottom pan or handi, heat oil and ghee.

Add all the whole spices and allow them to crackle for few seconds.  Do not burn.

Add onions and fry till it turns pink.

Add mutton pieces, ginger paste and garlic paste, sauté it on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes, red chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder and salt.  Mix well.

Add little water, cover and simmer for an hour. Give it a stir at intervals. Do not add too much 
water as meat has to be cooked in its own juices. 

After an hour, add whisked yoghurt, crushed fried onions and ginger juliennes.  Cover and cook till the mutton gets tender.  At this point, you should get nice red thick gravy clinging to mutton pieces and oil should float on top.  The mutton pieces should be tender and remain intact.  Do not overcook it.

Dish out, garnish with ginger juliennes, coriander leaves and fried onions.  Serve hot with nan, phulka or pulao.

NOTE:- Traditionally, this is cooked in handi on a low flame(slow cooking).  When time permits, I prefer to make this in the traditionaly way but when in hurry you can go ahead with the pressure cook method.