Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Enjoy Chicken Korma on Eid-ul-Fitr

Hey pals! What's up? Hope you enjoyed my sugar feast, Baklava for Id-ul-Fitr. Here I come with a special dinner recipe called Chicken Korma. Korma is a Muglai specialty. DYK it is AKA (also known as) qorma, kormaa, khorma or kurma. Meat braised in extra spicy sauce and mixed with yogurt, cream and nuts, makes the family dinner table really tempting with this exotic treat. The recipe can be best paired with Naan or Kashmiri Rice. There are many more recipes related to this special occasion like Mutton Biryani, which is definitely an ace and the one I have already shared with you. Other delights include:-
-Sevai Kheer (Dessert)
-Chicken Tikka
-Roasted Chicken with Cranberries Rice
-Lamb Bhuna (Roasted Lamb Curry)
So I guess you have a bundle of meaty and sweet treat which you can definitely try on this long weekend.
Chicken Korma

2 Onions,
3 Tomatoes,
2 Green Chilies,
2 teaspoons Salt,
1 kg diced Chicken,
5 Black Peppercorns,
2 tablespoons Yogurt,
2 tablespoons Cream,
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice,
2 teaspoons Garlic Paste,
2 Black Cardamom Pods,
2 teaspoons Ginger Paste,
1 teaspoon Garam Masala,
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder,
1 tablespoons Mustard Oil,
2 teaspoons Almond Paste.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. The heat must be medium high. Saute the sliced onions till they turn out to be golden brown.
  2. Add ginger, garlic, chili, mixed spices, salt, cardamom, and peppercorns and mix well. Chop the tomatoes and add them to the mixture. Also add almond paste. You can add tomato paste as well.
  3. Stir this mixture well for three minutes. Add the chicken and fry on high heat and coat the chicken mixture with the spices.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let the chicken cook for 25 minutes. Add yogurt, lemon juice and chilies. Let cook on low heat for another 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with Kashmiri Pulao or Naan!

Happy Eid-ul-Fitr!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with Baklava

A much awaited Muslim festival is here. DYK that Eid is known by different names in different countries? It is known as Ramazan Bayram which means Ramadan Feast or Seker Bayram meaning Sugar Feast in Turkey. People chiefly enjoy the dessert called "Baklava", which is also our recipe for this auspicious occasion. Elder people are kissed on their right hand denoting special regards and respect for them. In  Philippines, which is basically a Christian country, Eid is considered as a national holiday and is known as Wakas ng Ramadan.

In Indonesia, Eid-ul-Fitr is called Idul Fitri or Lebaran. Muslims pay visit to the resting place of their dear ones and pray so that their souls can rest in peace. Muslims in Africa also celebrate Eid with great pomp and show, feasting throughout Ramazan with their family, friends and ofcourse delectable food such as Mutton Biryani. Now I'm hungry :P . Baklava is a popular dessert of  Middle East. It is basically a sweet and rich pastry made up of layers of filo. It is stuffed with chopped nuts. It is assembled or held together by honey or sugar syrup. So without any waste of time, let's start the sugar feast with a sugar dessert. Here we go!
¾ cup Water,
½ cup Honey,
2 sticks Butter,
1 cup granulated Sugar,
4 cups chopped Walnuts,
16 oz thawed Phyllo Dough,
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice,
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
For Garnishing:-
2 tablespoons chopped Walnuts for garnishing,
2 tablespoons chopped Pistachios for garnishing.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Thaw baklava as per package instructions. This must be done overnight in the fridge. Place it on the kitchen slab for 1 hour before you start preparing the recipe.
  2. Trim phyllo dough for fitting the baking dish. You can trim one stack at a time. Then cover it with a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Moist the bottom and sides with melted butter.
  3. Prepare honey sauce now. In a saucepan, add ½ cup honey, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and ¾ cup water. Bring it to boil over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Let it cool.
  4. For preparing Baklava:- Preheat oven to 325 D. F. Grind walnuts in a food processor till finely chopped. Take a bowl and add 4 cups walnuts and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  5. Place 10 phyllo sheets in baking pan one by one. Brush each sheet with butter. Keep phyllo covered with damp towel. Spread ⅕ of walnut mixture over phyllo dough.
  6. Add 5 buttered sheets of phyllo, then layer of nuts. Then add rest 5 sheets. Brush the top with melted butter. Cut pastry into 1½ inches wide strips in rectangular shape. Bake at 325 D. F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven. Immediately add the cooled syrup uniformly over the hot baklava. Let baklava cool completely. Keep overnight as such so that syrup is fully absorbed.
  8. Garnish with walnuts and pistachios. Serve!
Happy Eid-ul-Fitr!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Cantonese Roast Duck from the Land of China

Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence, but because of its affordability and convenience. They preferred the quick and simple dishes of China while shunning its haute cuisine.” I was reading this book Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America and these lines sum up the Chinese food history and its success. Not only here in America, but Chinese Food has been sprinkling its flavors over many countries with its variety and scope for something more. Their food is like a painting, which, though complete and beautiful, gives space to add something more. This is what people around the world have been doing for many years. Every country gives its own touch to the already delicious Chinese food. There are a few factors which give Chinese Food its uniqueness. The Chinese philosophy of utilizing each and every part of the plant or the animal for cooking gives a diverse and new list of recipes. 
Divided into many geographical areas, people in China use wheat for noodles and southern China has more seafood in its menu. No wonder, dishes like Cantonese Roast Duck which shining reddish brown treat, is a an authentic recipe portraying the real county’s taste. This dish is one of the most popular Chinese dishes. Sesame chicken is another sweet, deep fried chicken dish dressed with vinegar and cornstarch. Ironically native Chinese will not prefer this dish for it’s sweetness I guess. If you are into mellow spices then Sweet and Sour Pork is your Chinese thing. Pan fried chicken with sauce a mix of fruits and spices gives it a sweet and sour taste. Even the health conscious stars in Hollywood devour this. Orange Chicken is again an American Chinese dish which found its way to other countries via tongue. Coated with orange flavored sauce is an ecstasy. Today let’s start with the shining reddish brown Cantonese Roast Duck.
2 teaspoons Salt,
4 tablespoons Honey,
2 kg Oven-ready Duck,
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar,
1/2 teaspoon Red Food Color (Optional).
For the Stuffing:-
1 tablespoon Oil,
1 tablespoon Caster Sugar,
1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce,
2 teaspoons Five-spice Powder,
1 tablespoon Yellow Bean Sauce,
2 tablespoons Chinese Rice Wine,
1 teaspoon chopped Ginger Root,
1 tablespoon chopped Spring Onion.
Preparation Method:-
1. Clean the duck. Remove wings and fat inside the vent. Blanch it in boiling water pot for 10 minutes. Dry and rub duck with salt. Tie the neck with string.
2. Now make the stuffing. Heat oil in a pan. Add all the ingredients. Bring to boil. Pour this mixture into cavity of the duck. Sew it properly.
3. take a small bowl and mix in warm water, honey, vinegar and red food coloring. Brush it all over the duck, giving several coatings. Hang the duck up with the head down using an S-shaped hook. Keep as such for 5 hours.
4. For cooking, heat the oven to 400 D.F. Hang the duck head down, on top rack. Keep a tray of boiling water at the bottom of oven. Reduce the heat to 350 D.F after 30 minutes. Take the duck out of oven. Cool for 5 minutes.
5. Serve hot with additional honey coating!
Enjoy the treat!