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Ramzan recipes: Scrumptious dishes by India's first MasterChef

Last updated on: August 08, 2013 08:28 IST

Ramzan recipes: Scrumptious dishes by India's first MasterChef

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What are you feasting on this Ramzan? Pankaj Bhadouria shares with us some lip smacking recipes.

We are in the final few days of the holy month of Ramzan. And even as we are counting down to witness the eid ka chaand, there are meals to be made and feasts to be devoured. What better person to turn to than India's first MasterChef Pankaj Bhadouria who brings with her the rich culinary heritage of Lucknow, the city of nawabs.

In the pages to follow, Bhadouria shares with us some of her special Ramzan recipes. Read on and resist drooling:

Awadhi Biryani Khaas

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg mutton
  • ½ kg Basmati Rice
  • 50 g Onions
  • 25 g Ginger
  • 25 g Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Chilli powder
  • 125 g Curd
  • 50 g Balai
  • 5 green Cardamom's
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 Blades Mac
  • 50 g Almonds
  • 10 g Cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. saffron
  • 2-3 drops Mitha ittr (sweet lttr)
  • 200 g Ghee
  • 1 tsp. Kewra Water

Method:

  • The appropriate cuts of mutton for the biryani are those from the legs, neck chops.
  • Wash and clean the mutton.
  • Finely slice the onions.
  • Extract juice of ginger and garlic and keep aside.
  • Grind the cardamom's, cloves, mace and cinnamon and keep aside.
  • Pick, wash and soak the rice for an hour.
  • In a deep vessel fry the onions in ghee to golden brown colour in ghee. Remove and keep.
  • Remove half the ghee and keep aside. In the remaining ghee add the almonds, mutton pieces, garlic-ginger extract, chilli powder, salt, ground masala, curd and sauté till the mutton turns to golden brown colour.
  • Add 4 cups of water and cook on a slow flame till tender. Remove from fire and strain the mutton stock through a sieve .Now on a greased griddle place the mutton pieces.
  • Cook on a slow flame and brown till dry, and slightly crisp, on both sides by turning once. Remove and keep aside.
  • To the mutton stock adds balai strained through a muslin cloth. Keep aside.
  • Heat the remaining ghee; add the drained rice and sauté on a medium flame for 7-8 minutes till the rice grains are no longer lumpy.
  • Now line a degchi with half the rice and then place layer mutton on it and top with the remaining rice.
  • Now dissolve the saffron in a tea spoon of kewra water and sprinkle on the rice also adding meetha ittr.
  • Pour the mutton stock on it seal the lid with add dough and put on dam for 30 minutes.
  • Open and serve hot with fried onions.
  • Goes well with the riata or even korma gravy.

Image: Biryani
Photographs: Faiz Haider/ Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Navratan Korma

Nine 'jewels' in a creamy gravy served with paper thin flat breads

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Fox nuts (makhana), fried 1 cup
  • 50 g tablespoons cashew nuts, split
  • Refined oil 1 cup
  • 1tablespoon raisins (kishmish)
  • 4-5 French beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1medium potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup small cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup shelled green peas
  • 50g cottage cheese (paneer), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 50g button mushrooms, halved

for Korma

  • 3tbsp desi ghee- clarified butter
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1/2 cup boiled onion paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 2 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 3tbsp thick cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Few drops of Kewra water
  • (Note: for the boiled onion paste, roughly chop 2 medium onions and add 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Cool and grind into a paste.)

Method

  • Fry the fox nuts and then half the cashew nuts.
  • Soak the remaining cashew nuts in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain and grind to a smooth paste along with the raisins.
  • In a pan, bring 2 cups of water with half a teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the beans, carrot potatoes, cauliflower and peas and cook for 5-6 minutes, or till the vegetables are tender. Drain and refresh the vegetables in cold water.
  • For the korma, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add the cloves, cinnamon and split cardamoms and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add the onion paste and saute over a low heat till the raw flavour disappears. The onion paste should remain a translucent pink and not turn brown.
  • Add the ginger and garlic pastes, white pepper powder, and yoghurt and stir well. Cook on a low heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add the green chillies and cashew paste and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cottage cheese and vegetables, half a teaspoon of salt and 150ml water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the fox nuts and cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the kewra water and remove from heat.

Image: Navratan Korma
Photographs: Jenni Konrad/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Mirch Ka Salan

Hyderabadi saalan with jumbo green chillies.

Ingredients:

  • Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut powder 1tbsp
  • Cooking Oil 30 ml
  • Coriander powder 1 tbsp
  • Cumin 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves 8 leafs
  • Fenu Greek Seeds 1 pinch
  • Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
  • Hing 1 pinch
  • Long Green Chillies ( Hari Mirch) 100 grams
  • Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
  • 1 Onion
  • Peanut 30 tbsp
  • Plain Yogurt (beaten) 100 grams
  • Red Chillies 3 Number
  • Salt to Taste
  • Sesame Seeds 15 grams
  • Tamarind Pulp 30 grams
  • Turmeric (haldi) 1/4 tsp.

Method:

  • Take a little oil in a slillet and add the peanuts to it.
  • Fry it in the oil on slow flame to let it cook properly.
  • When the peanuts are ready adding the sesame seeds and let them roast (you can add roasted seeds also if you have to save time).
  • When the sesame seeds get golden brown add the coconut powder and roast it for few seconds till it is slightly brown. Add this mixture to the blender and blend it with some water to fine paste.
  • Now add the remaining oil in the pan and when the oil is slightly hot add the whole garam masala along with the whole red chillies.
  • Then add the mustard seeds and let it crackle.
  • When the mustard seeds crackle add cumin seeds and then fenugreek seeds.
  • Now add the onions and little salt in order to cook then fast.
  • We have to cook the onions till they are golden brown so that they get dissolve in the salan. Add the Pinch of hing and the turmeric, mix it and add the ginger – garlic paste.
  • Then add the curry leaves and mix everything and let it cook to remove the raw smell.
  • Add little water to it and add dry masalas red chillies powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and let it cook till the oil oozes out.
  • Now add little more water add the yoghurt mix it and add the grinded paste of peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut powder to it and cover the pan with lid and let it cook (stirring in between) till the oil oozes out.
  • When it comes to boil add the tamarind pulp and jiggery or sugar.
  • Let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes till everything is well cooked and well incorporated.
  • When the gravy comes to good boil add the green chillies (spitted in between) to the gravy and let cook for another 5 to 10 minutes so the juices of the gravy get absorbed by the chillies.
  • Adjust the seasonings by adding Salt according to your taste.

Image: Mirch Ka Salan
Photographs: Randhir Reddy/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Lagan Ka Chicken

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (800g)
  • 100gms ghee
  • 125gms Curd
  • 50gms Onion
  • 10gms Ginger
  • 10gms Garlic
  • 4 Cloves

Masala A

  • 5gms Poppy seeds
  • 10gms Desiccated coconut
  • 15gms Chironji
  • 10gms Almonds
  • 10gms Pistachios
  • 10gms Saffron

Masala B

  • 1tsp Black pepper
  • 1 Brown Cardamom
  • 4 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 Stick cinnamon
  • 1 Blade Mace
  • 1/4 Nutmegs
  • 1tbsp Kewra Jal
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 litre Water

Method

  • Wash and clean the chicken with running water.
  • Then grind to a paste the garlic, cloves and mix in 1 litre Luke warm water.
  • Wash the chicken with Luke warm water and keep aside. Grind ginger to a paste.
  • Finely slice the onions and fry to a golden brown colour, remove and grind to a paste.
  • Lightly roast the poppy seeds, chironji and coconut on a griddle.Blanch the peal and almonds.
  • Grind ingredients to prepare masala A and masala B and keep aside.
  • Cut fine silvers of pistachio nuts and keep aside for garnish.
  • Now dissolve the saffron in kewra water and apply on the chicken.
  • Beat the curd and add the remaining dissolved saffron and masala A to it.
  • Also add salt and mix.
  • Marinate the chicken in this.
  • Blend for 30 minutes.
  • Then add masala B and mix well.
  • Light a charcoal fire and place a lagan on it.
  • Add the ghee and place the chicken along with the marinade in it.
  • Cover with a lid and place some live charcoal on it.
  • Cook till tender.
  • Serve hot garnished with pistachio nuts.

Image: Lagan Ka Chicken
Photographs: Courtesy Veena's Kitchen

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Boti kebab korma

Marinated mutton cubes cooked with spice pastes in thick smooth gravy

Preparation time: 30 minutes marinating time
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kg lean meat from saddle and leg of a goat
  • 25g raw papaya paste
  • 1tsp red chili powder
  • 25g ginger paste
  • 25g garlic paste
  • 2 medium onions finely sliced
  • 2" cinnamon sticks
  • 10g Cumin seeds
  • 3tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 3tbsp Aniseed
  • 1tsp Red chili powder
  • 2tsp poppy seeds
  • 1tsp Black pepper powder
  • 30g roasted gram flour
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 405 green cardamoms
  • 1/2 Nutmegs
  • 1 Mace
  • 250g ghee (clarified butter)
  • 100g yoghurt
  • 1tsp kewra water
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Remove all membrane from the meat. Cut the meat into one-inch pieces.
  • Make a marinade with the raw papaya paste, ginger paste, garlic paste and the salt. Rub the mixture well on the mutton cubes and set aside and set aside for 5-6 hours in a refrigerator.
  • Dry roast the poppy seeds lightly and make a fine paste. Dry roast the aniseed and the cumin seeds separately till lightly colored and fragrant and grind into a fine paste with the whole spices.
  • Finely slice the onions. Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the onions to a golden brown. Remove and grind into a smooth paste.
  • In the same ghee, fry the marinated pieces of mutton till half done.
  • Add the spice paste and saute for another minute.
  • Add the onion paste, the left over marinade and whisked yoghurt and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring all the while to prevent the yoghurt from curdling.
  • Add one cup water and cover and simmer till the meats are tender and some of the liquids dry up.
  • Dissolve the gram flour in 1/2 cup water and add it to the cooking curry.
  • Cook for another 4-5 minutes on low flame till the korma thickens.
  • Add the screw pine extract and remove from fire.

Image: Boti kebab korma
Photographs: Cyclone Bill/ Wikimedia Creative Commons

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Benarsi Kemami Seviyan

'Kemam'- means Sugar Syrup. These are vermicelli cooked in sugar syrup -- a must in every household on Eid.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • Sugar 1kg
  • Khoya 1/2 kg
  • Milk 2 1/2 cups
  • Water 2 1/2 cups
  • Very Fine Vermicelli (Benarsi seviyan) 1/2 kg
  • Pure Ghee 250 g
  • Fox Nuts ( makhana),Chopped 25 g
  • Cashew nuts 50 g
  • Almonds 50g
  • Raisins (Kishmish) 50 g
  • Chopped dried Coconut (gari) 1/2 cup
  • Screw pine (kewra) essence 3 drops
  • Green Cardamoms 10
  • Nutmeg, grated 1/2
  • Edible silver foil (chandi ka varq) 5 pieces

Method

  • In a pan, mix together the sugar, khoya, milk and water. Place the pan on heat and cook till the mixture thickens and attains a 3-4 string consistency (3-4 tar ki chasni), or till the mixture bubble.
  • In another pan, roast the seviyan till dark brown. Remove the set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the ghee and fry the chopped makhana and remove. Fry the chopped coconut and other dried fruit in the ghee one by one, separately.
  • Add the roasted seviyan to the chashni and mix well. Add all the fried ingredients and stir. Cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Cover the pan and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes. Add the Kewra essence and sprinkle the nutmeg and green cardamom powder.
  • To serve: Ladle the seviyan into a serving bowl and decorate with silver varq.

Image: Benarsi Kemami Seviyan
Photographs: Sriram Bala/ Wikimedia Creative Commons

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