Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nihari (Mutton / Lamb Shanks Gravy)

As our daughter had returned back from India for holiday, we made one her favorite dishes. Mutton Nihari! Usually it is easier to buy Nihari from a restaurant as the cooking process is long, however it is very difficult nowadays to get this dish as very few restaurants make it and those who do, have not been able to master this dish and provide it regularly with the same consistency.

In the old days the meat was usually cooked with all its ingredients on slow fire for hours till the fat melts and the meat literally falls off. But nowadays due to our busy lives and to save time, a pressure cooker is ideal to quicken the cooking process. The meat should be pressure cooked just enough as you will need another hour of cooking the meat with the gravy so that the masala blends well with the meat.  We used full lamb shanks but meat with bones can be used, preferably from the leg. Bone marrow gives it that additional kick and makes it a superbly flavoursome gelatinous gravy.

You can use a ready-made/ packaged Nihari masala from the store, which actually makes sense due to the no. of ingredients involved or use the recipe as given below.

For the Nihari masala – Grind the below spices to a fine powder

2 Bay leaves
1 ½ tbsp Fennel seeds
¼ Nutmeg
1 blade of Mace
10 to 12 Black peppercorn
6 to 8 Green cardamom
5 to 6 Cloves
1 ½ tsp Cumin seeds
2 sticks Cinnamon sticks
1 Black cardamom
1 Star anise
7 to 8 Kashmirir red chilies
1 tbsp Roasted chana dal
½ tbsp Poppy seeds

Other Ingredients

1 kg Mutton with bones / Lamb Shanks
6 to 8 tbs Oil / ghee may be substituted
4 medium sized onions – finely chopped
3 tbsp ginger/ garlic paste
1 tbsp red chilli powder
Water as required
Salt as per taste

2 tbs Wheat flour mixed with little water to thicken the gravy
1 tbsp Lemon juice


Pressure cook the mutton with enough water and salt (a few full spices can be added for flavour) till the meat gets soft enough and tender. Separate the stock and keep aside.

In another vessel heat the oil and add the onions till nicely brown, add the ginger paste along with the chilli powder and ground Nihari masala. Fry well. Add the mutton stock with some water and let it simmer on slow fire for an hour. Check the taste once done and add salt if required.

Make a mixture of wheat flour with some water and add this to the gravy. Stir well to avoid lumps from forming. Add lemon juice and simmer on slow fire till the gravy is thick and the fat floats on the top.

Garnish with ginger, coriander leaves and green chillies.

Serve hot with your favourite naan or roti. We also had it with rice and it was awesome

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rosemary chicken roast with caramelised onions garlic and chillies

Here is the recipe for succulent rosemary chicken roast with caramelized onions, garlic and chilies.  It's moist and juicy, you will love it.


Chicken 1.2 kg
4 tsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp soya sauce
1/ 2 lemon juice
2 flakes garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
3 finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp dry rosemary herb

Wash the chicken and drain the water for 10 to 15 minutes. Marinate the chicken with all the above ingredients  and  leave it in the fridge overnight. 

Next day remove from the fridge and leave it out for 30 minutes.

Take a deep pan with 2 to 3 tbsp oil. Once the oil is extremely hot add the chicken slowly. The skin will be browned  turn it over and brown the other side on high flame. Now reduce the flame. Add all the leftover  marinade along with another  5/6 tbsp water . sprinkle  1/4th  tsp salt. Add 3 thickly sliced onions, 4 slit green chillies and 1 whole pod of garlic.  separate the garlic flakes but  leave the garlic skin on.

Cover the pan. On very slow flame cook the chicken for 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked and all the water  is absorbed by the onion garlic and its gets golden caramelized colour. 

Serve the chicken with fried potato wedges or creamy mashed potatoes and salad of your choice. A light yummy meal. 
I sliced 2 big potatoes sprinkled it with little salt and shallow

pan fried it in little oil. Turned it over once browned.  Sprinkled some cracked black pepper and browned the other side. Voila the succulent chicken roast is ready to be served with fried potato slices. Yummmmm...

Friday, February 28, 2014

Spicy Lamb or Beef Mince Cutlets

½ kg mince (Mutton/Beef) washed & strained.
1 small onion
3-4 flakes garlic
1 inch ginger
2-3 green chilies (as per taste)
Salt (as per taste)
1 Tbsp  White Vinegar
¼ tsp turmeric powder

Put all the above ingredients in a pot and boil for 10 minutes till all the water gets absorbed.
Cool the mixture and now blend it to a smooth paste along with 2 slices of bread.
Make small patties, Brush them with egg wash then coat it with fine semolina or bread crumbs.
Shallow fry the cutlets and enjoy with mint chutney.
You can make a big quantity and freeze. Directly remove from the freezer and deep fry them in hot oil then reduce the flame  & cook on slow flame…..

Lamb Chops braised in a puree of green Indian herbs .. aka Mutton champ Hariyali

During the weekend we visited our local butcher who showed  us a lovely rack of lamb chops.. It was pink and juicy and we did not hesitate picking it up. Ended up making a great dish of juicy lamb chops...

1 Kg Mutton Chops (nicely washed & strained)
3 big onions thinly sliced
2 med. Tomatoes  finely chopped
4- 5 Tbsp Oil

Masala for grinding:
Grind the be low to a smooth fine paste with enough water.
1 big bunch of coriander leaves (picked  & washed)
1 inch pc of ginger
5 green chilies (add more if you like it spicy or reduce if you want it less spicy)
6-7 flakes of garlic
½ tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
4-5 black peppercorn
Small ball of tamarind
1 Inch pc of cinnamon
4-5 cloves
1 star anise

Take a pot heat oil add sliced onion and fry till it is golden brown. Now add the tomatoes & fry well.
Add the ground paste and fry well till it starts leaving the oil & sides of the pot.

Add the chops, salt as per taste. Add   1 & 1/2  cups of water  and let the chops cook on slow flame for 30-45 minutes until the meat is tender  & the gravy is thick. (if you want thin gravy add another cup of water) enjoi with green peas pulao or plain rice or Naan.

Would suggest making this dish at least 8 hours in advance to allow the meat to soak up the flavours, however it is equally good if you cant resist the temptation to wait..Enjoy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Quick & Easy Fiery Mutton Curry

The process may be a bit long..but its very simple and quick if you can do both processes together

Pressure cook the meat with the below mentioned ingredients:

1 kg lamb / mutton (meat with bones)
1 large onion chopped
3 chillies slit
4 to 5 garlic cloves chopped roughly
3 bay leaves
5 to 6 pepper corns
3 to 4 cloves
3 cardamom pods split open
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp haldi

Pressure cook the meat in a pressure cooker with the above ingredients until tender. You can discard the bay leaves and full spices. Keep aside to mix in your gravy mixture.

For the gravy

2 tbsp oil
4 large onions chopped finely
1 pod garlic chopped finely
2 green chillies slit
2 tbsp ground Kashmiri chilli paste
1 large tomato chopped
1 tbsp vinegar

Brown the onions well in oil. Add garlic and fry till garlic has cooked through or till it has turned lightly brown. Add chopped chillies and chilli paste and fry well for 5 to 10 minutes till the chilli paste is cooked and oil starts leaving the pan/dish. Add tomatoes and let it simmer till cooked. Add a little water if required to break down the tomatoes and to avoid burning. Once tomatoes are cooked add the vinegar.

Finally mix all the contents of your pressure cooker to this mixture and let it simmer on slow fire for 20 to 30 minutes to absorb the flavours. The gravy is usually a thick gravy and water may be added if required to make the gravy thin.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Prawns in Schezuan Sauce

15 large prawns shelled with tails on, and butterflied (split open from the back)
Marinate Prawns in 1 tbsp soya sauce, pinch of salt, pepper powder & sugar, mixture of red and yellow colour preferably foster clarks for 15 min
Add 1 egg yolk, 1 tbs of flour, 1 to 2 tbsp of rice flour to the prawn marinade. Mix well and deep fry for a few minutes till cooked.

For the Sauce
2 pods of garlic finely chopped
5 green chillies finely chopped
2 tbsp red chilli paste ( I use a paste made of Kashimiri chillies as it is mild and gives a deep red colour)
2 tbsp Soya Sauce
5 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp vinegar
½ tsp pepper powder

In a wok fry garlic till lightly browned. Add chillies and red chilli paste and fry well till the chilli paste has cooked through or else the raw smell of chilli paste will linger in your sauce.

Add soya sauce, ketchup, vinegar and pepper. Fry for a few minutes till well combined.  Toss Prawns in it and stir well till the sauce has coated the prawns.

If you need extra gravy, add some water to your sauce mixture and then thicken with a mixture of 1 tbsp cornflour and 3 tbsp water before adding prawns.

Serve with fried rice or noodles