Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Shorshe dim (egg curry in a mustard sauce)

About the food:

 A Long time ago, I was adventurous to try a new recipe of chicken curry with mustard sauce. The result was devastating. But not without a cause. During that time,I was a new bride, trying to impress my in-laws with my passion and expertise in cooking. Passionate I was about cooking, but that could not overcome my naivete. The measurement of the white and black mustard seeds went horribly wrong ( during that time there was no access to internet to seek advice), and the effect of heat from the dish found my guests either in tears or hiccuping or panting or rushing to the washroom. Since that shock, I stayed far away from the mustard sauce. But the other day, when I was absolutely bored with the mundane daily cooking, I thought of trying this recipe, but was extremely cautious about the proportions of mustard seeds. And to my delight, it turned out to be absolutely delicious, and definitely it would be in the table for my next round of guests.

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves 4

4-6 medium or large eggs.
1 small bowl onion paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 tablespoon garlic paste
3-4 green chillies, slitted in half from the middle (if you like it hot)
1 pinch of turmeric powder
vegetable oil
5 tablespoon white mustard seed
3 tablespoon of black mustard seed ( you can vary the proportions of black and white mustard seeds, depending on how much heat you want. Remember, the black mustard seeds are much hotter that the white ones)
1/2 cup double cream
salt to taste


1. Hard boil the eggs and take the shells off. Heat 2-3 tablespoon of oil in a pan, and fry the eggs, until lightly golden. It would take about 2-3 minutes. Put them aside.

2. Mix the mustard seeds, mix a little water to it and grind them to a thick paste. You can also dry grind them to a powder, and mix water, little at a time, to make the paste. put a pinch of salt, and set it aside for about 10minutes. 

3. In the same pan, add 2 more tablespoon of oils, and once the oil is hot, add the green chillies, and the onion paste, and keep on cooking on a medium flame. Stir often, as the onion might stick to the pan. This part takes long, about 12 minutes or more, until the onions are brown and the oil separates out. You might add some more oil if the the onion become very dry. Add the ginger and garlic pastes after 5 minutes of adding the onion paste. Add turmeric powder and salt.

4. Once the paste separates out, add the mustard paste. Add 1 cup of water, mix and  gently bring it to simmer. The sauce should be a little thick. Add the double cream and mix well. Add the eggs to the pan, simmer for 1 minute, and pour in serving bowl.

4. Best served with hot plain rice.

Stuffed mushroom

About the food:

This food is a  part of continental cuisine, and is a versatile and excellent starter for a variety of occasions: be it a tea party, coctail party, light snacks for an evening or a sumptuous food for the vegetarians. I made this first time under the instructions of a foodie friend, as part of our christmas dinner. This dish is very easy to make, and with the crispiness of mushroom, flavour of parsley, aroma of garlic and smoothness of cheese, it is truly divine in taste. I simply loved this dish.

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves 4

1 big bowl of medium size cup mushrooms ( about 14-16 pieces)
2 tablespoon of black pepper powder
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 of bread crumbs
1 cup of medium cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup of chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
 salt, according to taste

1. Wash the mushrooms carefully in a bowl of hot water.

2. Cut out the mushroom sticks to give them a shape of small bowls. Reserve the sticks. In a bowl mix the olive oil, salt and black pepper, and rub them in the mushrooms.

3. Mix the breadcrumbs,cheese, the mushroom sticks, 2 tablespoon of olive oil, black pepper, salt and parsley leaves together. Blend then in a food processor or a mixer to form a fine mixture. Mix the chopped garlic with the mixture by hand.

4. Make small balls of the mixture and fill in the mushroom bowls, making them as smooth as possible by using  fingers.

5.Preheat an oven for 15 mins at 190 F. Arrange the mushrooms in a oven proof plate and bake it for about 20 minutes at 190F. Lots of water would come out the mushroom and they will shrink in size, and the crust would brown and become crispy.

6. Serve hot with tea or cocktails and enjoy!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Dal Tarka with egg

About the food:

This is a traditional North Indian dish, and is extremely popular. In any North Indian dhaba, you would be sure to find varieties of tarka served with roti or paratha (varieties of Indian style flat breads). A typical tarka is very hot and spicy, sprinkled with generous amount of chopped chillies and chopped coriander leaves. The marvel of this dish is that you can regulate the spices and make it milder or stronger according to your taste. You can also prepare it without eggs if you like.

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 35 mins
Serves 6

2 medium cups of green moong dal
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 tablespoon garlic paste
3-4 tablespoon vegetable oil
5/6 green chillies,chopped
3 medium eggs, beaten
1/2 tablespoon whole jeera (cumin) seeds
1 tablespoon jeera (cumin) powder
1 tablespoon dhania (coriander) powder
1 tablespoon garam masala powder ( a blend of cloves, cinnamon and cardamon)
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/2 bowl fresh coriander leaves chopped
1 tablespoon dried and crushed methi leaves
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons butter (optional)

salt, according to taste


1. Wash the moong dal 2-3 times with plain water and soak it in  hot water for about 2 hours. If you can plan ahead, soak it overnight.

2. Put double the amount of water to the dal, salt to taste and turmeric powder, and pressure cook for about 20 minutes. A pressure cooker is highly recommended, however, if you are not using a pressure cooker, then let the dal simmer in a pot over a low flame for about 45 minutes. Take care the dal does not stick to the base of the pot or burn. Add water if necessary. The dal when cooked would be very soft and could be mashed easily.

3. Heat a pan. Add the oil, and once it is heated, add the whole cumin. Let it crackle. Then add the onion and continue cooking until it is translucent. Add the ginger paste, and garlic paste and saute a little.Then add the chopped tomato, cook until a soft paste is formed. Add the cumin and coriander powder, red chilli powder,if using.

4. when the oil separates out from the pan, slowly add the boiled dal to the pan. Mix well. Season with salt. Pour the beaten eggs to the dal mix over a low flame, and mix well. It will thicken the dal. Add the methi leaves and garam masasla powder to the dal and mix well. 

5. Sprinkle chopped green chillies and mix well. Pour the dal in the serving bowl, put 2 tablespoon of butter and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve it hot with roti or paratha.