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Simple & Scrumptious

Nov 19, 2013

The upcoming season is full of South Asian celebrations. Try these delicious recipes to make your holiday meals really special.

Chingri Malai Curry for Durga Puja

By Sujan Mukherjee, executive chef at Sonargaon Restaurant in Taj Bengal, Kolkata
Serves 4

Ingredients
• Medium-sized prawns, 800 g
• Boiled onion paste, 250 g
• Water, 250 ml
• Coconut milk, 120 ml
• Mustard oil, 80 ml
• Cashew nut paste, 50 g
• Ginger garlic paste, 40 g
• Green cardamom, 6 pods
• Chili powder, 2 tsp
• Turmeric powder, 1 tsp
• Cardamom-mace powder, ½ tsp
• Salt, to taste

Directions
Shell prawns, keeping tail intact, and retain shell for stock. De-vein and wash. Prepare stock by first browning shells in 60 ml of mustard oil and then simmering in water. Remove shells. In another pan, heat remaining oil. Crackle cardamom seeds and add ginger garlic paste, red chili powder and turmeric powder. Follow with boiled onion paste and cashew nut paste. Sauté. Add prawn stock for thickness and cook until oil separates. Follow by adding the prawns and simmering until fully cooked. Finish by tipping in coconut milk and cardamom-mace powder and salt. Serve with rice.


Jaggery and Fennel Phirnee for Diwali

By Vikas Mudgal, executive chef at Dum Affairs in New Delhi
Serves 1

Ingredients
• Milk, 500 ml
• Jaggery, 200 g
• Rice, 50 g
• Fennel powder, 25 g
• Silver leaf (vark), to garnish
• Pistachio slivers, to garnish

Directions
Soak rice for two hours and combine with a splash of water in a food processor to make a fine paste. Set aside. Boil and reduce milk to about one-third of original quantity. Add rice paste and cook for 10 minutes while stirring. Add jaggery and fennel powder. Let cool, then refrigerate. Serve garnished with silver leaf and pistachio slivers.


Kacchi Gosht Ki Dum Biryani for Eid

By Nitin Mathur, executive chef at Firdaus Restaurant in Taj Krishna, Hyderabad
Serves 4

Ingredients

Marinade for mutton
• Mutton pieces, 1 kg
• Milk curd, beaten, 250 g
• Raw papaya paste, 20 g
• Refined oil, 100 ml
• Ghee, 30 ml
• Coriander, chopped, one small bunch
• Mint, chopped, ½ a bunch
• Red chili powder, 2 tbsp
• Ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp
• Cumin powder, 1 tbsp
• Coriander powder, 1 tbsp
• Turmeric, 1 tsp
• Garam masala powder (see below), 1 tsp
• Salt, to taste

Garam Masala
• Cinnamon, 10 g
• Green cardamom, 5 g
• Black cardamom, 5 g
• Cloves, 5 g
• Black pepper, 5 g
• Black cumin seeds (Shah jeera), 5 g
• Bay leaves, 2 leaves
• Star anise, 2 flowers
• Mace, 2 flowers

Rice
• Water, 1,875 ml
• Basmati rice, washed, 500 g
• Saffron milk (prepared by dissolving 1 g saffron in 150 ml milk)
• Brown onion, fried until crisp, 20 g
• Ghee, 5 tbsp
• Coriander, chopped, 2 tbsp
• Mint, chopped, 2 tbsp
• Atta dough, for sealing

Whole masala for rice
• Black cardamom, 1 pod
• Cinnamon, 2 sticks
• Green cardamom, 3 pods
• Cloves, 3 pods

Directions for Mutton
Finely grind ingredients for garam masala. Take a teaspoon of garam masala and add ingredients for marinade, including mutton. Put aside for one hour in heavy-bottomed pot (degchi).

Directions for Rice and Assembly
Boil water in another pot and add soaked rice, whole masala, chopped coriander and mint leaves to water. Cook until rice is about 40 per cent done and remove one-third of rice and layer on marinated mutton. Cook the rest of the rice until about 60 per cent done. Remove another one-third of rice and add over first layer of rice, forming a second layer. Cook remaining rice until 70 per cent done. Cover second layer of rice. Add ghee, coriander, mint, brown onion and saffron milk over third layer. Seal by covering the degchi from edge to edge with dough. Heat an iron tawa and place degchi on it. Keep on high flame until the dough seal breaks and steam comes out top. Reduce flame to low and heat for half an hour. Remove from flame and leave on tawa for 15 minutes. Open rice layers to mix them and serve hot with raita and salan.


Steamed Fish with Tropical Salsa, Coconut Rice and Wilted Spinach for Christmas

Indian-meets-Spanish, by Raymond Sim, executive chef at Radisson Blu MBD in Noida
Serves 4

Ingredients

Steamed Fish
• Stock
• Basa fillets, 800 g
• Onions, 100 g
• Lemons, juiced, 4
• Olive oil, 75 ml
• Coriander leaves, 60 g
• Garlic, 10 g
• Paprika, 5 g
• Black pepper, 5 g
• Salt, to taste

Coconut Rice
• Water, 250 ml
• Coconut milk, 200 ml
• Rice, 200 g
• Sugar, 2 g
• Bay leaf, 1 leaf
• Coriander, finely chopped, to taste

Wilted Spinach
• Spinach, 250 g

Tropical Salsa
• Pineapple, 100 g
• Papaya, 50 g
• Avocado, 50 g
• Shallots, 50 g
• Sweet red pepper, 50 g
• Jalapeños, 30 g
• Coriander, finely chopped, to taste

Directions for Coconut Rice
Boil water, coconut milk, sugar, salt and bay leaf together. Add rice and cook on medium flame until soft. Mix freshly chopped coriander leaves with rice before serving.

Directions for Tropical Salsa
Finely dice pineapple, papaya, avocado, shallots, jalapeños and sweet peppers. Add lemon juice, paprika, and coriander and season. Let rest for one hour to allow flavours to mix.

Directions for Wilted Spinach
In a pan, add a few drops of olive oil and sauté the washed spinach leaves. Toss a little until wilted and season to taste.

Directions for Steamed Fish
Marinate fish with mixture of oil, lemon juice, coriander, salt, pepper powder, paprika and crushed garlic. Refrigerate for two hours. Steam for five minutes before serving

Directions for Putting the Dish Together
Place wilted spinach in the centre of the plate and top with coconut rice. Place one fillet over rice and top with salsa. Garnish with sprig of coriander and toasted coconut slice.


Paneer Hara Korma for Navratri

By Ravi Kumar, executive sous chef at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel in New Delhi
Serves 2

Ingredients
• Paneer cubes, 100 g
• Milk curd, beaten, 100 g
• Mint and coriander leaves, roughly chopped, 20 g each
• Fresh coconut, grated, 15 g
• Black cumin seeds (shah jeera), 1 g
• Roasted cumin powder, 1 g
• Green cardamom powder, 1 g
• Salt or rock salt (sendha namak), to taste
• Chili paste (¼ tsp or less), to taste
• Ghee, for frying

Directions
Beat milk curd and add grated coconut, mint, coriander and chili paste. Blend until smooth. Heat ghee in a pan and crackle the cumin in it. Add blended mixture and cook over low flame. Once moisture absorbs and a bit of ghee floats on gravy, add diced paneer and simmer well. Finish by adding roasted cumin powder, green cardamom powder, and salt. Serve with rice.


Lauki Aur Gulkand Barfi for Diwali

By Ashis Rout, executive chef at Courtyard by Marriott in Gurgaon
Serves 2

Ingredients
• Milk, 700 ml
• Bottle gourd, grated, 250 g
• Sugar, 80 g
• Dried whole milk (khoya), 80 g
• Gulkand, 30 g
• Sunflower seeds, 20 g
• Melon seeds, 10 g
• Rose syrup, 5 ml

Directions
Boil grated bottle gourd with milk on low flame and cook until milk reduces to about 10 per cent of its original volume. Add sugar, khoya, and gulkand and stir mixture on low flame for about 15 minutes or until it dries. Pour mixture on a tray and flatten with palette knife. Garnish with sunflower seeds and melon seeds. Once mixture sets, cut into small pieces, drizzle with rose syrup and serve

BY PRITI SALIAN

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