Baghara Baigan (Hyderabadi Eggplant Curry)

Baghara Baigan (Hyderabadi Eggplant Curry)

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Serves: 4

This dish is usually served with Biryani.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Indian eggplant (8 to 10)
  • ½ lb. green chilies, spicy or mild or mix of both (8 to 10)
  • ½ cup raw peanuts
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup fresh shredded coconut
  • 15 to 20 Curry leaves
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 cup flavorless oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish
Directions
  1. Wash eggplants and pat dry. Make an X cut on ⅓ of eggplant on stemless side, keeping the stem. Repeat the same with rest of eggplants. Wash chilies and pat dry. Keep them whole with steams, cut them in half if long.
  2. Heat a skillet or a cast iron pan. Add peanuts and roast then until very light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add sesame seeds and roast then for 30 seconds or until they start to pop. Immediately add coconut and roast until light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. Once it’s cooled, combined roasted peanut mixture, shallot, jalapeno or serrano, ginger and garlic in food processor bowl and make thick paste. Add couple of tablespoons or more water to move the contents in food processor. Set it aside.
  3. Dissolve tamarind paste into ¼ cup of water in a small bowl and set it aside.
  4. In a frying pan, heat oil on a medium high heat. Add eggplants and sauté them for 3 to 4 minutes until skin is light brown. Remove from oil and let excess oil drain on a wire rack or paper towels. Lower the heat and remove extra oil from pan, leaving about ¼ cup of oil. Reserve extra oil. Sauté green chilies in oil until they start to blister, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove chilies from oil and let excess oil drain on a wire rack or paper towels.
  5. Add more oil to frying pan to make about ¼ cup from reserved oil. Increase heat to medium high again. Once oil simmers add cumin and mustard seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Add curry leaves, let them crisp for 40 to 50 seconds. Be careful as they will splatter oil. Add peanut mixture paste, turmeric, garam masala and chili powder. Sauté the paste with spices for 3 to 4 minutes or until you see oil separating. Add tamarind water and stir. If gravy is too thick add some water. Season the gravy with salt. Add eggplants and submerge them in gravy. Cover the pan and let eggplants cook until soft but not mushy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and add blistered chilies. Stir the contents and let everything cook in gravy for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Before serving garnish with cilantro. Serve with Nan and/or Biryani.

 

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Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

This dish comes from city of Hyderabad.
Ingredients
For fried shallots and marinade:
  • 1 lb. shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or melted butter or canola oil
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 lb. paneer, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 10 to 12 cauliflower florets
  • ½ of green pepper cut into 1 inch dice
  • ½ of red pepper cut into 1 inch dice
  • 2 carrots cut into 1 inch dice
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
Dough lid (optional):
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup or more water
Rice:
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Biryani:
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • ½ cup warm cooking water of rice
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon rose water (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Directions
  1. Fried shallots: Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or butter or oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add shallots and let it cook on medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. That takes about 9 to 10 minutes. Let shallots cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. While shallots are cooling, mix yogurt, salt, lemon juice, remaining oil or ghee or butter, ginger, garlic and dry spices into medium mixing bowl. Add vegetables and paneer except peas. Stir with yogurt and spices to coat them with marinade.
  3. Once shallots are cooled, reserve one third in a small bowl. Add remaining shallots to vegetables and paneer. Stir the mixture and let it stand for 30 minutes or so.
  4. While vegetables are marinating, make dough lid. Mix flour and water in a medium mixing bowl until soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth. Make a ball and roll into ¼ inch thick rope which can be wrapped around the lid of large size Dutch oven. Cover the dough lid with kitchen towel.
  5. Make rice: Rinse rice in cold water until water runs clear and drain excess water. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large sauce pan. Wrap whole spices into a piece of cheese cloth and tie with a kitchen twain. Add to sauce pan along with oil or butter or ghee, salt, nutmeg and caraway seeds. Stir in rice. Bring rice to simmer and cook only half way, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the spice bundle and reserve ½ cup cooking liquid.
  6. Assemble biryani: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine saffron and pinch of sugar or salt into a mortar, and with a pestle make it into fine powder. Transfer to a measuring cup. Pour warm cooking water from rice over it and mix until saffron is almost dissolved. Spray large Dutch oven with non-stick spray to avoid paneer sticking to bottom. Drizzle 1 tablespoon ghee or butter in a large Dutch oven. Spoon half of vegetable mixture over it and spread it in even layer. With slotted spoon, spread half of rice over vegetables. Top with half of remaining ghee or butter, shallots, garam masala, saffron water, rose water and cilantro. Repeat the same layering once more. Cover with lid and wrap the dough lid on top of it. Press the dough to tightly seal it. Bake the biryani for 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough lid is golden brown. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Remove dough lid, uncover lid, top with green peas and cilantro. Serve immediately with cucumber raita.

 

 

Quick Vegetable Biryani

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

This recipe can be made with leftover rice.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup assorted vegetables
  • ¼ cup frozen green peas
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole gloves
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cardamom pods
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or chili powder
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  1. Heat ghee or butter with oil on a medium high in a frying pan or a wok until simmering. Add cumin and mustard seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Lower the heat to medium. Sprinkle saffron threads in over oil while crushing them with your fingertips. Sauté saffron in fat until fat picks up color, about 30 seconds. Next add whole spices with bay leaf and sauté for 30 seconds.
  2. Add onions and sauté those until edges are brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and green chili, and sauté those for 1 minute. Next add garam masala and paprika or chili powder and sauté those for 30 seconds.
  3. Increase heat to high. Add vegetables and stir fry those for 2 to 3 minutes until vegetables soft but still crunchy. Add cooked rice and season with salt. Stir fry rice with vegetables until coated with spices, about 1 to 2 minutes. Next add peas and stir to combine with rice. Lower the heat to low. Cover the pan or wok with a lid and let everything cook together to blend all the flavors for 2 to 3 minutes. Before serving garnish with cilantro. Serve warm with cucumber raita.

 

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Sweet Potato and Chickpea Taco

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Taco

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 large poblano pepper, cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida
  • 10 to 12 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ cup grated fresh coconut
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 18 to 20 small tortillas
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
Directions
  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Transfer diced sweet potatoes to baking pan. Drizzle potatoes with canola oil. Season with salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and 1 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder. Toss potatoes to coat with spices and make even layer of potatoes. Bake potatoes until edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are roasting, heat coconut oil in a large wok or frying pan until simmering. Add mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Add asafetida, curry leaves, dry red chilies and let curry leaves fry for 30 seconds. Add turmeric and chili powder. Add poblano pepper and sauté it for a minute. Add chickpeas, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, and coriander powder. Season with salt and stir everything to combine with spices. Let chickpeas cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Once sweet potatoes are roasted combine them with chickpeas. Add coconut, cilantro and stir. Let potatoes and chickpeas cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  3. Combine yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, and ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder into a small mixing bowl. Whisk yogurt with spices to make it smooth. Season with salt.
  4. Heat tortilla on stove top or in a microwave. To serve taco, put about ¼ cup chickpeas and sweet potatoes on tortilla. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon chili-lime yogurt. Sprinkle with cheese. Other toppings can be added to taste.

 

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Samosa

Samosa

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Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • For dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • Water as needed
For filling:
  • 2 russet potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons aam-chur (dried mango powder) or juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves
Directions
  1. Make the dough: Put flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt, ajwain seeds, oil and shortening, mix it with hands. Gradually add water while mixing and kneading until it makes soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour.
  2. Make the filling: In a wok or a frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium high heat until simmering. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Next add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add shallot, green chili, ginger and garlic. Sauté the mixture until shallot is translucent, about 1 minute. Add all dry spices and sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add mashed potatoes, season with salt, sugar and mango powder or lemon juice. Stir everything to combine spices with mashed potatoes. Let the mixture cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
  4. Add peas, cilantro and mint. Stir to combine and let the filling cook for 1 more minute. Adjust the seasoning. Let the filling cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Make samosas: Divide the dough into 20 or so equal parts. Roll into balls and cover with a plate or a towel. Take one ball of dough and roll out into about 6 inch circle. Cut the circle in half. Put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of half circle, leaving about ¼ inch space on the round side. Pick corner of flat side and cover the filling. Pick another corner of flat side and cover the dough with filling. Press gently to seal dough over the filling. It should make a triangle. Pinch together round side of dough and the corner. Cover the prepared samosa with a towel. Repeat the process with remaining dough balls and filling.
  6. Heat oil in frying pan until ready for frying. Drop 4 to 5 samosa in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oil and drain excess oil on a paper towel lined plate.
  7. Fry remaining samosa same way. Serve warm with cilantro chutney and tamarind and date chutney.

 

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Tea Masala Cookies with Candied Ginger

Tea Masala Cookies with Candied Ginger

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 24

Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups AP flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tea masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted soften butter
  • 1 large egg or ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup candied ginger, roughly chopped in bite size pieces
Directions
  1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, tea masala and cardamom in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of stand mixture, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add an egg or heavy cream and beat for 30 seconds or until combined. Scrap sides of bowl to combine everything.
  4. Add flour and beat to combine on low speed for 30 seconds or until flour is just combined. Remove the bowl.
  5. Add candied ginger and stir to combine with dough.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches of space in between.
  7. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until edges are turning light golden brown.

 

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