Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Chinese Style Potatoes

It is challenge these days to cook for the hubby as the doctor has imposed multiple restrictions for some time and some things are off limits due to his own quirky preferences. So today for lunch I decided to make Chinese style potatoes for a change. I served this with red and yellow bell pepper fried rice.


4 large potatoes,
1 tsp chopped garlic,
½ tsp chopped ginger,
1 tsp chopped green chillies,
½ cup tomato ketchup,
2 tbsps soya sauce,
½ tsp spicy red chilli sauce,
2 tsp cornflour,
4 tbsp oil,
1 cup of water,
Salt to taste,
2 tbsps chopped spring onion greens


Boil the potatoes till they are about 80 % done. Peel and cut into longitudinal wedges. Heat oil in a wok or karahi on a high flame, add the potato wedges in batches and fry till light brown and completely cooked. Drain and keep aside.

In the same oil add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Fry for half a minute and add the tomato ketchup, soya sauce, chilli sauce, salt and fried wedges. Stir fry for a minute. Mix the corn flour in water. Add this to the potatoes and cook for about 2 minutes. Serve hot topped with the spring onion greens.

Madhur Vada

Made this for tea the other day. This is a common item in the small Udupi hotels that dot Bangalore, I have not seen this in Mumbai though...


½ cup wheat flour,
½ cup maida,
1 cup besan,
1 cup rice flour,
1 tsp ginger paste or grated ginger,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
A pinch of asafoetida,
Salt to taste,
1 small chopped onion,
2 green chillies (chopped),
A few crushed curry leaves,
2 tsps chopped coriander leaves,
Oil for deep frying


Mix all ingredients except the oil with some water to get a dough like consistency. It should be like the dough you knead for chapattis.

Take a small portion in your palm and pat it till it is a 3 inch round.

Deep fry on a low heat till it is golden brown in colour.

Kaju Katli or Kaju Barfi

When I was small I knew this as just barfi and it was my favourite sweet from the mithai shop, I wasn’t introduced to Bengali sweets then. I used to be very fascinated with the chandi warq on top and would try to pry it out and taste it on its own. It was after many years I learned how it was actually made in an episode of Surabhi.

From my hubby I hear that in Lucknow there is a place called Chowk where you can almost always hear the thak-thak sound as people beat small pellets of silver between leather sheets till they become thin sheets of silver. These sheets are of merely a fraction of a millimetre in thickness. I picked up some from a shop in Lucknow about a year back. But a few days back I also saw it on the shelves of one super market in Bangalore. It is truly a nice time for people who love cooking what with all kinds of ingredients being so freely available.

Now back to my kaju katli recipe, since this was the first time I tried it is far from perfect and this recipe I am recording here is for how I would go about it the next time round. This post has been sitting in my drafts for sometime now...and in the meanwhile I have found another totally different version of this recipe which doesn’t use khoya at all...will try that too soon and update this post....


200 grams khoya,
1 ½ cup cashew nuts,
160 grams sugar,
½ powdered green cardamom seeds,
Few sheets of silver warq


Dry grind the cashews to a fine powder. Grate the khoya or just crumble them with your fingers. Mix the khoya and the sugar in a non stick pan. Cook it on a low heat stirring continuously till the sugar melts. Do not over bhuno it.

Now fold in the powdered cashews and heat it thoroughly till the mixture comes together. Add in the powdered green cardamom seeds and make a lump of the entire mixture. Cool this a bit.

Place the lump on a clean plastic sheet and place another plastic sheet on top and roll to get a uniform layer of about half a centimetre. Decorate it with chandi warq and cut into diamond shapes.

Smoky Chicken

This magical recipe is my sister-in-laws I have yet to perfect it. I have made some minor changes to her recipe to suit my taste buds but by and large it is her recipe. I hope one day she gets internet savvy and sees her recipe on the web :-)


600 grams of chicken pieces (better to use big pieces),
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1 tbsp curds,
2 medium onions,
3 medium tomatoes,
2 green chillies,
½ cup of melon seeds,
½ cup of cashew nuts,
4 tbsp olive oil,
3 cloves,
2 bay leaves,
2 tbsp ginger paste,
2 tbsp garlic paste,
Salt to taste,
1 – 2 tbsp cream,
1 medium sized piece of coal,
½ tsp saunf or fennel seeds,
1 tsp ghee


Marinate the chicken pieces in salt, crushed black pepper, red chilli powder and curds. Marinate it for at least half an hour, the longer you marinate it the better. I marinated it overnight in the refrigerator.

Cook the onions, tomatoes and green chillies in some water. Cool and grind to a smooth paste.

Soak the melon seeds and cashew nuts for some time in water and grind to a smooth paste.

Heat oil and add the chicken pieces after shaking off the marinade. Fry till the colour of the chicken changes. Keep aside.

In the same oil, add the cloves, bay leaves and ginger garlic paste. Fry till oil separates. Now add the onion-tomato-green chilli paste and left over marinade. Fry this well.

Next add the melon-cashew paste and salt. Add about 1 ½ cup of water and let it boil, add the chicken. Check seasoning and let it cook till chicken is cooked and gravy is thick. Fold in the cream.

Heat the coal on direct flame till it is red hot and place it in a small steel bowl. Place this bowl on top of the chicken gravy. Sprinkle the saunf or fennel seeds over the red hot coal and immediately drizzle the ghee on top and immediately place a tight-fitting lid over the vessel and let it stand for about 10-15 minutes for the smoke to infuse into the dish. Serve hot with rotis or naan.

Vegetable Koftas in Tomato Gravy

I generally wait for some occasion to try out such calorie laden dishes. So when I had some friends over for lunch I thought it was perfect to give this a shot. Here is the recipe I followed...


For the Koftas

1 cup of green peas,
3 medium sized potatoes,
4 big florets of cauliflower,
2 slices of white bread,
3 tbsp flour or fine bread crumbs,
1 tsp garam masala powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
Juice of half a lemon,
1 tsp garlic paste,
1 tsp ginger paste,
1 tsp green chilli paste,
Salt to taste,
 Oil for deep frying

For the Tomato Gravy

6 medium sized red tomatoes,
3 small onions,
4 tbsp butter,
1 tbsp olive oil,
4 cloves,
2 small pieces cinnamon,
Paste of 15 cloves of garlic, 1 inch piece of ginger and 5 green chillies,
1 tsp sugar,
1 tsp garam masala powder,
Red chilli powder to taste,
Salt to taste,
1 tsp crushed black pepper,
1 tbsp cream,
1 tbsp grated cheese


Peel and dice the potatoes. Steam the peas, potatoes and cauliflower florets till completely cooked. Let cool and mash well.

Mix in the garam masala powder, red chilli powder, lemon juice, salt, ginger, garlic and green chilli paste and the bread slices. Make it into a dough like consistency.

Make small balls and flatten to get an elongated shape. Roll this in bread crumbs or plain flour.

Deep fry on high heat. Ensure the oil is very hot or else the koftas will disintegrate in the oil while frying. Keep the fried koftas aside.

Heat some water in a vessel and add in the whole tomatoes. Once cool, puree the tomatoes. Grind the onions separately into a fine paste.

Heat the butter and olive oil, add the ground onions and fry till pink in colour. Now add the cloves, cinnamon and fry till the onions turn light brown in colour. Add the tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes. Add about a cup of water, sugar, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, salt to taste and crushed peppercorns.

Let it boil for about 5 minutes.

Just before serving arrange the koftas in the serving dish and spoon the gravy over the koftas. Drizzle the cream over the gravy and sprinkle the cheese. Heat in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 200oC.