Tandoori Machchli (Tandoori Fish)

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Tandoori fish is best made with any fish that does not have too many bones, like Pomfret, Kingfish, Seer, Surmai, Salmon etc..

To make : 6 portions

Ingredients : 1 whole fish (about 1.5 kg), 1 tbsp coarse salt, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp melted pure ghee, 2 tbsp butter.

Marinade : 3/4th cup thick curd, whisked till smooth. 1.5 piece ginger, ground. 8 cloves garlic, ground, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon powder, 2 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp garam masala powder, 2 tsp cumin powder, A pinch of powdered orange-red food colour (optional)

Garnish : 1 Onion, sliced in rings

Method : Clean fish, remove scales, head, fins and gills. Trim tail, clean cavity well, wash thoroughly and make light incisions on each side, cutting almost to the bone. Rub fish with coarse salt, turmeric powder and lime juice and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Combine ingredients for marinade, rub over fish and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for one hour. Skewer the whole fish and roast in a hot tandoor, turning fish around to cook on all sides, for 8 to 10 minutes. Mix together ghee and butter and baste. Continue roasting for approximately 3 to 4 minutes more. You may also grill in an electric grill or over a charcoal fire or cook in oven preheated to 200 deg. C (400 deg F) in the same way for 3 to 4 minutes.

Place fish on the serving dish and garnish with onion rings. ENJOY!

Biryani

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These are the biryani facts one has to ponder. There are more than 200 verities of biryani. To name a few Awadhi mutton biryani, the lightly spiced Kerala fish biryani, the classic Hyderabadi biryani, Karnatakas bhatkali, the fragrant Kashmiri Biryani, spicy chettinad. The succulent Haryaly and the rare East India mutton stew biryani. Biryani was invented in the time of the Mughal  Emperor Humayun (AD 1552),although other experts claim that it can be traced Timur’s invention of India in 1398.In any case it is accepted that biryani is a mixture of the Indian tradition of Khichadi, and Persian saga of the aromatic pulao.

Here we get into a sort of controversy. What is the difference between biryani and pulao as both of them have rise as their main ingredient. According to cuisine expert Dr Katy Dalal, “How a pulao subtly differs from a biryani, is that its base is formed with meat stock, in which rise and spices are stirred in and cooked, where as with biryani, the paraboiled rice is layered between the spices and the meat. Before the final cooking, pulao tends to have quite a bit of gravy in it, whereas biryani tends to be dry.”

Over the years biryani has been modified and refind, even starting the era of the lesser known biryani - the vegetable biryani. Some chefs claim that this biryani was started for vegetarian in the court of Mughals. But it was only in the 1900’s that the vegetarian version of the biryani stared its upward swing. One particular factor for this biryani is that, vegetable is prepared in a separate kitchen. You should not use the same kitchen.lest the aroma of the ‘veg and non-veg’ foods mingle.thus spoiling the ‘nuance’ for the connoisseur.

The crux of biryani lies in marination and the ‘Dum’ (Steaming with live coals).This method of cooking ensures that the aroma is retained as this plays a very important role in enhancing the flavor of the dish. Whole garam masala and onion are the essential requisites; they form the base of a biryani. To enhance the flavor, you can add the saffron for colour and the curds for a touch of tanginess. The two major variations in the biriyani are kachchi and pakki. The difference lies in the preparation and the pre cooking respectively.The kachchi biryani is made with uncooked meat and the marination time for the meat for this preparation varies from 90 min-360 min. The marinate includes raw papaya peel, curd, spices and condiments. Some chefs use black and white pepper instead of red chilly powder. 

The par boiled rice and the marinated meat are then arranged in layers with mint leaves, fried onion and saffron as garnish between the layers ; the handi (pot) is then sealed and then handi is allowed to steam between layer of live embers. The seal of the handi is broken only during the meals time and the delicious smell of the biryani is allowed to waft in dining hall whetting the appetite of the dunners.

The pakki biryani is made similarly except for the fact that meat is pre-cooked before before being arranged in layers for the dum. Of course, the marination process and the marinade considerably differ for the both biryani.

For the vegetarians the kathal biryani made with jackfruit is a wonderful substitute for meat. Tahiri biryani has an unusual combination of  vegetable and kabuli chana and guchchi biryanis have vegetarians coming back for more. Ananas ka Mussafar is a sweet biryani, which can actually be served as a dessert. Its preparation mode is the same as the regular biryani. It is served with pineapple slices.

There is basically no low calorie biryani.100 grams of standard biryani has 250 calories as compared to 100 calories for plain rice. At the most you can replace the usual dalda and ghee the is used with light olive oil. That as much as one can do to reduce the fat content of the biryani without compromising on the flavor and taste of the dish.

Biryani can be eaten for lunch as well as dinner. However, it is a dish to be eaten for lunch as well as dinner. However, it is a dish to be eaten in a very relaxed mood as you must savour the dish to truly enjoy in the traditional way. Normally biryani is served with raita and salad.The ideal dessert after a biryani would be shahni tukda (which is called the Indian bread pudding.)

Then comes the great question…… which is the king among biryani,the Hyderabadi one or its first cousin the Lucknowi one, because the cuisine of Hyderabad and Lucknow have a strong influence on the biryani. Further, you must differentiate between these two.

The word Nawabi biryani is as synonymous with the Hyderabadi cuisine as shahi is with Lucknowi. These terms conjure delicacies that are rich in taste and texture with mouth–watering aromas.Among these top rival varieties, Gosht dum biryani and kachche gosht ki biryani. Lucknowi dum biryani and Hyderabadi gosht biryani are among the most famous.

In these two rivals , all ingredients are cooked together and it takes almost double the preparation time as for others, like kashmiri, mughlai or bohri biryani in which all ingredients are cooked separately and then mixed in different layers with traces of saffron on top and bits of silver foil. Biryani is truly a preparation.

Tandoori Jheenga - (Prawns Roasted in Clay Oven)

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Ingredients : 12 Jumbo (big sized) prawns
For First Marinade : 4 tbsp lemon Juice, 5 tsp garlic paste, 2.5 tsp ginger paste, 3/4 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp salt.
For Second Marinade : 100 gms yoghurt cheese (chakka dahi), 1/4 cup fresh cream, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 4 tsp garlic paste, 2 & 1/2 tsp ginger paste, a pinch of carom seeds (ajwain), 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp green cardamom (hari ilaichi) powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon (dalchini) powder, A pinch of clove (laung) powder, A pinch of mace (javitri) powder, A pinch of star anise (chakriphool) powder, skewers for grilling, 2 tsp butter for basting
Preparations : Shell and de-vain the prawns, however retain the tail. Mix all the ingredients of first marinade thoroughly. Marinate the prawns evenly and set aside for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes drain the excess moisture by holding the prawns afloat.
Mix all the ingredients of the second marinade thoroughly. Marinate the prawns evenly. Refrigerate the marinated prawns for 1 hour. Skewer the prawns, touching each other but not overlapping.
Roasting or Grilling : Roast in a moderately hot tandoor or grill on a live charcoal or grill in a pre-heated oven at 400 deg. F, for few minutes. Remove, baste with butter and roast or grill again for 1 minute. Serve hot with green salad.

Tuvar Dal Amti (Pigeon Pea Appetiser)

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One of the jewells of the coastal Maharashtra cuisine, which can be taken as a soup along with main meal or can be a part of main meal replacing varan (lentils) mixed with rice.

To Make : 6 servings.

Ingredients : For Amti : 125 gms (1/2 cup) tuvar dal (pigeon pea), picked and washed, 5 cups water, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1.5 tsp salft, 2 tbsp tamarind pulp, 2 tbsp desiccated coconut, 1 tbsp jaggery, 

For Tempering : 1 tbsp ghee, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 4 garlic cloves, minced 6 green chillies, minced, 8-10 curry leaves, 1/2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves.

Method : Place tuvar dal with water, turmeric powder and salt in pressure cooker and cook under pressure for 8-10 minitues. Allow the pressure to fall on its own before opening the lid. Add tamarind pulp, desiccatec coconut and jaggery and cook stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Set aside. 
Heat oil in heavy-bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds and when splutter add garlic, green chillies and curry leaves and stir for few seconds. Pour the dal mixture over the tempering and simmer on low heat for about 5-6 minutes.
Sprinkle coriander leaves and stir. Remove and serve hot. If desired, amti can be served with boiled rice in main meal.

Desi Cuisines Ruling the World

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Ever since he came to India, Italian chef David Rocco has piled on 15 pounds (6.8 kg) thanks to spicy daals, delectable chicken tikkas and toungue-tingling biryanis. So impressed is he with the desi cuisine that he is planning a new TV series on Indian Food.
"I am working on a series on Indian food. My show 'Dolce Vita' has become of interest for people across the world and I received e-mails from INdian fans asking me to come. So I had talks with FOX Traveller and here I am. I find a lot of similarity between Indian and Italian food and culture." said Rocco. Rocco will begin shooting the series from February. 
"The surprising thing in both places is that within a 10 km radius, one can find the same dish being made in 25 different ways. The nature of my current trip is to explore Indian food, the ingredients and find out what makes Indian food tick," he said.
So far, he has been loving the experience and says "it's been life-changing".
"I came to India to explore fixed. And it is evident that I have loved it. I have put on 15 pounds;  I have had no discipline on eating and everyone has just been feeding me - chai, food, snacks, and they keep giving second helpings here! I love it, " he said.
The 42-year old chef, known for his shows "Davind Rocco's Dolce Vita" and "David Rocco's Amalfi Getaway", says his understanding of Indian food has improved since he came here.
"I have tried some Indian stuff in Italy and North America, and my understanding of it is not very naunced. It was not very authentic food, but here I have experienced the real food -- I tried Rajasthani cuisine in Jaipur and in Chennai, I tried various 'dosas' and chutneys. They use some amazing spices. In Delhi, I went to the Bukhara restaurant and the 'dal' was amazing". he added.
As of now, he is scounting the locations for his new series and wants to get into the heart of India for interesting recipes and concoctions.
He has expecially loved 'tandoori' chicken dishes, tomato chutney and Rajasthan's favous 'laal maas'. He also loves the simplicity of the chapati.
With Indian television currently experiencing a boom as far as cookery content is concerned, what is the best recipe for a good cookery show?
"Ithink a good cooking show inpires you to cook, and a bad cookery show is the one which only teaches anyone to cook, "he said, adding that people must cook with immense love and care because food binds people.
Source : The Hitvada

Cashew Coconut Barfi

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Cashew Coconut Barfi (To make : 20 pieces)
Ingredients : 125 gm Cashewnuts, 150 gm coconut, Half cup sugar, 50 gms khoya, well crumbled (khoya is nearly dry lump of milk obtained after thickening and dehydrating by boiling), 4 tsp ghee (clarified butter), half tsp ilaichi (cardamom) powder, 8 nos. badam (almond) finely shredded, 2 warq (silver leaves) optional, mound tray or thali greased.
Preparation : Soad cashewnuts in water for about 1 hour. Drain and set aside. Peel brown skin of coconut, grate and set aside. 
Method : Combine cashewnuts, coconut and sugar. Grind coarsely. Place a heavy-bottomed pan on fire. Add ground mixture, stir for about 6 to 8 minutes on medium, add khoya and stir on slow fire for few more minutes. Add ghee, gradually while stirring. Add cardamoms. Stir. When the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms into a lump, remove on the greased tray and spread evenly. Sprinkle almonds on the top. Roll with rolling pin, very lightly. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Decorate with silver leaves if using, cut into the pieces in the tray itself and leave aside for half an hour for maturing. Remove in an air-tight box and serve as and when required.

Kaju Kathli

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To make : 20 pieces, approximately.

Ingredients : 250 gms powdered cashewnuts (Kaju), 1 Cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 100 gms khoya (dried milk), 2 drop rose essence, Silver Foil (warq) optional

1) Place a heavy-bottomed pan on fire and heat sugar and water mixture, stirring consistently after sugar dissolves, to make 2-thread consistency syrup.
2) Reduce flame and add khoya and stir vigorously.
3) When mixed thoroughly, switch off the flame and add kaju powder and the rose essence. Stir and mix well.
4) Remove the pan from fire, allow to cool.
5) Scrap the mixture and form into a smooth ball.
6) Roll the ball, in between the two plastic sheets, to a thickness of 3 mm.
7) Decorate the rolled sheet with silver foil, if using, and allow to set for 3 hours.
8) Cut the rolled sheet into diamond shaped pieces.
9) Store in air-tight jar and serve when required.

 
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