Monday, October 20, 2014

Spicy Curried Tofu

Spicy Curried Tofu

There was a time when we used to include tofu in our meal quite regularly; almost once or twice a week. In those days my blog was full of tofu recipes; so one day I suddenly felt that I am overdoing tofu a way too bit! So we decided not to post anything ‘tofu’ for a while. Since our regular meals are dominated by our blog, we had to give this ingredient a break. [What we can’t post in the blog, we can’t eat too!] It was only a last week that we brought back home this good old friend of ours.

Tofu Curry

My husband loves tofu much more than the non-vegan equivalent of it which is of course ‘paneer’ or cottage cheese. I like both but I feel tofu is much more versatile than paneer; so I prefer to cook tofu over paneer. My today’s tofu recipe is a curry with traditional Indian spices. The thing that I love about tofu is that it can absorb any kind of flavor so extremely well! This spicy tofu in a curry base is a luxurious comfort food on a chilly winter night. Each and every spice strikes the right balance of flavors and gives an ultimate satisfaction. We loved it on a bed of plain hot rice; you can invent your own winning combination!

Tofu Curry

Spicy Curried Tofu

 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Firm tofu – 200 gms
  • Green cardamom – 5 to 6
  • Cloves – 5 to 6
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch piece
  • Black peppercorn – 5 to 6
  • Dry red chili – 2
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Onion – 2, medium
  • Ginger – 2 inch piece
  • Garlic – 6 to 8 cloves
  • Red bell pepper – 1, small
  • Yellow bell pepper – 1, small
  • Tomato – 2, medium, finely chopped
  • Plain yogurt – 3 to 4 tbsp, well beaten
  • Green chili – 1 or 2 depending on how hot you prefer
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder – ½ tsp
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water – 1 cup

Instructions

  • Cut the tofu into squares and put them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • Dry roast the spices – cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, fennel seeds and dry red chilies – until they start releasing their aroma. Remove from heat and let it cool. Then grind them to make a fine powder. Set aside.
  • Make a smooth paste of onions, ginger, garlic and green chili. You can deseed the chilies as it would reduce some heat but will keep the flavor of the chilies intact.
  • Heat a skillet and add the vegetable oil into it. When the oil is hot, add the onion paste to it and fry till golden brown. 
  • While onion is getting cooked, cut the red and yellow bell peppers into juliennes. When onions have turned brown, tip in the bell peppers and fry them till soft.
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the raw smell is gone. 
  • Now add the ground spice powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder and stir well on high heat. Make sure the masala doesn't burn. 
  • When the oil starts to separate from the spice, lower the heat to the bare minimum and gradually add the beaten yogurt stirring continuously, otherwise the yogurt will curdle and you won’t get a smooth consistency of the gravy.
  • Mix everything well so that the curd blends in smoothly. Add salt sugar and a cup of water and bring to boil.
  • Drop in the tofu cubes and mix carefully so that the tofu doesn’t break. Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes so that all the flavors marry with each other well. 
  • Boil off some water if the sauce is too thin and remove from heat when it reaches your desired consistency. 
  • Serve hot with plain rice.
Tofu Curry

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fish Kalia

Fish Kalia

I am a fish lover since my childhood and no meals of mine would have been complete without fish. Fish was a fixed item in our daily meal during my school days and nothing else could make me happier. If you ask me one particular food I grew up on, that would be definitely fish!

You might know that India is a country of diverse cultures and along with that it has ‘n’ number of cuisines [where ‘n’ tends to infinity!]. My life began in the fish-eating region of India and there people seems to eat fish even in their dreams! At least I did! My love for fish hasn't reduced a bit even after growing up. Though my husband is bit too freaky about chicken, I make sure to include fish in our menu almost every day – I mean, that’s what Bengalis are known for, right? There unconditional love for fish! So today I present to you one immensely popular fish recipe from my part of the world – it is called ‘Fish Kalia’!

Fish Kalia

Fish kalia’ is a rich curry based preparation made with deeply fried fish steaks. Ideally I prefer fresh water carp fish for this recipe, but any firm white fish will also do; but better try to avoid buttery fishes like cat fish or basa. This is quite a simple recipe with a few prep works. You can made the curry sauce ahead of time and just heat it up before serving, adding the cooked fish steaks. This way, it can be an ideal dinner on a weeknight. This goes best with plain Basmati rice as you can relish every flavor of the Fish and its aromatic sauce with it. So go ahead and pull up your apron and don't be afraid of the fishy smell in your hand!

Fish kalia

Fish Kalia

 Serves 6

Ingredients

  • Firm white fish – 6 steaks [I used the fresh water fish Rohu]
  • Onion – 2, medium
  • Ginger paste – 2 tbsp
  • Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 & ½ tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Yogurt – ½ cup
  • Mixed melon seeds a.k.a. Chaarmagaz – 2 tbsp 
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Tomato puree – ½ cup
  • Vegetable or mustard oil 
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Add half a teaspoon each of salt and turmeric powder to the fish steaks and coat all over well. 
  • Heat a non-stick skillet and add enough oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot, add the fish steaks carefully into it. Fry them till they run deep brown. Take out and set aside on a kitchen towel to absorb excess water.
  • While the fish is being sautéed, prepare other ingredients – make a smooth paste of the onions and set aside. 
  • Mix the chaarmagaz with little water and grind to a smooth paste. Mix this melon seeds paste with the yogurt and combine well adding a little water if necessary. The yogurt mixture should be smooth; else it may curdle while adding to the sauce. Set side. 
  • Once the fish steaks are all fried, remove the extra oil from the skillet leaving only about 2 tablespoons in it. 
  • Add the onion paste and garlic paste to the hot oil and saute till lightly brown. Then add the ginger paste and continue cooking on medium flame.
  • Now in a small bowl, mix the turmeric powder and red chili powder with very little amount of water and mix well. 
  • When the onion-ginger-garlic has turned golden brown, add this spice powder mix. Add sugar and salt to taste. Keep stirring on medium high heat.
  • Next add the tomato puree and saute till the oil surfaces to the top.
  • Add a cup of water and also the mixture of yogurt & melon seeds paste. Keep stirring so that the yogurt doesn't curdle. Add more water if the sauce looks too thick. Bring to boil on high heat. When the oil surfaces again, the gravy is done. 
  • Finally add the fried fish steaks to the sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes so that all the flavors of the spices infuse the fish well.
  • After 5 minutes, uncover the pan and check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary. If you feel the sauce is too thin, you can reduce the gravy by boiling it uncovered on high heat for couple of minutes. 
  • Once done, turn off the flame and sprinkle the garam masala over it. Mix well and serve hot with steamed Basmati rice.
Fish kalia

Monday, October 13, 2014

Country Chicken Curry... Coorgi Style

Country Chicken Curry

This is a very special chicken curry coming from a beautiful place of India which is known as Coorg. Coorg is a small hill-station in the southern India and a popular destination for weekend gateways. It is one of our favorite places to flee to when we want to disconnect ourselves from our regular mechanical life. The serenity of this place touches my heart every time I visit there. The greenery of the valleys is so pure that you will want to be lost in it. We have been there at least 4 times already, but every time I discover something new in this place. I should also mention about the special cuisine of Coorg and my today’s recipe is one of its very popular delicacies. It is Coorgi style country chicken curry.

Country Chicken Curry

While talking about Coorg, it would be incomplete if I do not tell you about their rich produce of various spices. You will get all varieties of spices which are used in all authentic Indian food, but it is primarily famous for their large production black pepper, vanilla and cardamom. At the same time, Coorg has a large production of coffee. The lush valleys with coffee plantation are pure beauty to our eyes.

My today’s recipe is a very traditional chicken curry from Coorg and this one is made with country chicken. The use of grated coconut lends a very special taste to the curry sauce. I loved this dish from the very first time I had it in Coorg and was waiting to share it with you all. This is paired best with plain steamed rice as the complex rustic taste of this curry is best complemented with the plain rice. Do give this a try and let me know how you and your family liked it!

Country Chicken Curry

Country Chicken Curry - Coorgi Style

 Serves 6

Ingredients

  • Country chicken – 1.2 kg, cut into medium sized pieces suitable for curries
  • Salt – ½ tsp
Marinade
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Vegetable oil – 2 tsp
Coorgi spice paste
  • Fresh coconut - ½, grated
  • Garlic – 8 to 10 cloves
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  • Whole black peppercorn – 1 tsp
  • Cloves – 6
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch 
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
Curry sauce
  • Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Dried red chillies – 2 to 3
  • Curry leaves – 8 to 10
  • Onion – 2, medium, finely chopped
  • Tomato – 2, medium, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Tamarind paste – 4 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
Tempering
  • Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Dried red chillies – 2
  • Curry leaves – 6 to 8

Instructions

  • First we will marinade the chicken pieces. Combine all the ingredients listed under Marinade in a small bowl and mix well. Rub this marinade into the chicken coating the pieces thoroughly. Cover with a cling film and refrigerate for an hour. 
  • Now let’s make the Coorgi spice paste. Heat a small frying pan and add all the items specified under ‘Coorgi spice paste’ and saute them till they release their aroma and start to turn rich brown. 
  • Once the coconut and other spices are lightly charred, remove them from heat and transfer it to a grinder. Add a little water to it and churn to make a smooth brown paste. Set aside.
  • Next make the curry base. Heat a large deep pot and add vegetable oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add mustard and fenugreek seeds and saute them till they start to crackle. 
  • Now add red chilies and curry leaves. After a minute, tip in the chopped onions and fry till the onions turn golden brown. 
  • Add the Coorgi spice paste and saute it on high heat till the spice becomes dry and starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Deglaze the pan by adding water gradually and scraping up the spices from the base of the pan by stirring continuously on high heat. 
  • When the spices become dark brown in color and oil starts to separate, add the chopped tomatoes, salt and sugar. Fry till the tomatoes are fully mixed and blended with the spice mixture. 
  • Add the tamarind paste and saute for a minute to mix it well.
  • Take the chicken out from the refrigerator and season well with salt. Now add the chicken to the spice mixture and stir thoroughly on high heat. The spices should coat the chicken well. Fry the chicken on medium heat for 10 minutes till they are deep brown and lightly charred all over. This sautéing is important as the spices impart their flavor to the chicken during this process. 
  • Now add enough water to the pan to cover the chicken and give a good stir. Bring the curry to a boil and then cover and cook on low heat till the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Keep checking in between so that the chicken is not over cooked – it should be perfectly tender and the gravy should be medium thick. 
  • Once the chicken is done, uncover the pan and boil off some liquid from the gravy if it is too thin. Give a few good stir to mix everything well. 
  • Now take another small frying pan and heat oil in it for tempering. Add the tempering ingredients and fry them for a minute till they turn dark and become aromatic. 
  • Pour the tempering over the simmering curry. Stir it in and turn off the heat. Do a final test taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. You are done!
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.
Country Chicken Curry

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Coconut Sandesh

Coconut Sandesh

I mentioned about our yearly festival ‘Dussera’ or ‘Durga Puja’ in one of my recent posts. As we get over with the ‘Dussera’ celebration, ‘Diwali’ starts knocking on our door. ‘Diwali’ is the Indian festival of lights and joy. Also ‘Diwali’ is particularly popular for sweets – yes, of course, Indian sweets! There are uncountable varieties of Indian sweets and I made this one especially for ‘Dussera’. The primary ingredient of my sweet is obviously coconut as you can guess from the name. Coconut is available in abundance in the southern part of India and used in South Indian cuisine more than ever from sweet to savory dishes. I liked the idea of coconut ‘Sandesh’ when I heard it from my mom-in-law. Sandesh is the name of the typical dry sweets which are majorly popular in the state of Bengal at the Eastern part of India and that is where I was born and brought up.

Coconut Sandesh

When I talk about ‘Bengal’, I must mention the universal love of Bengalis towards anything sweet. Rasogolla is the most popular Bengali sweet and you can lure any typical Bengali with it. Although I am a Bengali, I do not have such strong sweet tooth; but my better half is no exception. His love for sweets is pure and unconditional which gives me motivation to prepare these at home. Making Indian sweets involves some efforts and patience. In this recipe, you need to stir the coconut mixture continuously to avoid any burning and your hands will definitely start to ache; but when I see someone relishing my food, my heart feels content and my effort well paid-off!

Coconut Sandesh

Coconut Sandesh

 Makes Approximately 20 pieces

Ingredients

  • Full fat milk – 1 liter
  • Lemon – 2, medium
  • Coconut – 1
  • Milk – 500 ml [full fat is not necessary here]
  • Granulated sugar – 200 gms
  • Milk solids/khova – 200 gms
  • Rose essence – ½ tsp
  • Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
  • Almonds to garnish – halved cross-sectional 

Instructions

  • First we would prepare the cottage cheese from the milk. Bring the milk to a full boil. Add the juice of 2 lemons and lightly stir it. The cheese will start separating immediately leaving the greenish whey. Let it cool.
  • Now put a large cheesecloth over a colander and pour the cheese along with the liquid. The liquid will drain out leaving only the cheese on the cheesecloth. 
  • Tie the opposite ends of the cloth and squeeze out as much water as possible. Then hang it for 2 hours so that any remaining water is drained out and you get only the solid cheese. Set aside. 
  • Grate the coconut and then grind it to a smooth paste adding half liter of milk gradually. Add granulated sugar to the coconut paste and give a final whiz to mix thoroughly. 
  • Transfer the coconut-sugar paste into a big bowl. Add the prepared cottage cheese breaking it into pieces. 
  • Add milk solids/khova to the coconut mixture and now blend everything well together. The mixture would be quite thin in consistency. 
  • Add cardamom powder and rose essence and mix thoroughly.
  • Transfer the entire mixture into a large non-stick pan and keep stirring on low flame till the liquid evaporates and the mixtures looks like a sticky dough. 
  • Transfer the mixture into a greased baking dish and let it cool completely. Once cooled, refrigerate it for 8 hours so that it sets well. 
  • After it firms up, cut into your desired shape and garnish with almond halves.
Coconut Sandesh

Chilli Chicken

Chilli Chicken

If I am not wrong, chilli chicken will be voted unanimously as most popular chicken dish in India! Chilli chicken is sold at all kinds of Chinese food joints in every nook and corner of any Indian city – big or small and it was my best bet while eating out during my childhood. My mum never used to make it at home as she used to think it is kind of complicated and she would never achieve that particularly delicious taste of restaurant no matter how hard she try. But trust me, this chilli chicken tastes absolutely like your favorite Chinese take-out and it does not take all the time plus effort of the world to make it at home! I am sure that chilli chicken has as many versions as one could ever imagine and every restaurant adds their own twist to it. Even you may have your own customized version and I would love to know that. What I have done here to make sure that the chicken remains tender and juicy after cooking is to brining it in a solution of cold water and vinegar. Do you have any special trick on how to keep chicken moist and tender after cooking?

Chilli Chicken

Do you see the chicken above which looks so absolutely delicious? I made this a week ago and now while writing this article, I am again craving for them! I wish I could savor some of them right now! I like it best as an appetizer and prefer the sauce to be just coating the chicken cubes and not too runny. But this also goes really well with Chinese fried rice as well. So if you decide to serve it with rice, you can increase the amount of water a bit to keep a little more sauce at the end. Do give this a try and keep visiting my space for more exciting recipes! Seeya soon!

Chilli Chicken

Chilli Chicken

 Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • Skinless Chicken breast – 500 gms
  • Oil for deep frying and for sauce
For brining
  • Cold water – 1 cup
  • White wine vinegar – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 1 & 1/2 tbsp
  • Black pepper powder – ½ tsp
For batter
  • All purpose flour (Maida) – 1 cup
  • Cornflour – ½ cup
  • Refined vegetable oil – 4 tbsp
  • Baking powder – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Water as required
For sauce
  • Green onions – 5 to 6 [I didn't have it handy, so I skipped it!]
  • Yellow bell pepper – 1, small, cut into triangles
  • Green bell pepper – 1, small, cut into triangles
  • Onion – 1, medium, cut into squares and each scales separated
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece, chopped very finely or grated
  • Garlic – 10 to 12 cloves, minced
  • Dry red chilli – 2
  • Dark soy sauce – 5 tbsp
  • Tomato ketchup – 3 tbsp
  • Red or green chilli sauce – 3 tbsp or more if you like more heat
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Cornflour – 2 tsp
  • Water as required

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken breast lengthwise into long strips. Then cut each strips into bite-sized pieces keeping your knife at 45 degree angle.
  • Mix the brining ingredients together – salt, sugar, ginger-garlic paste, black pepper powder, white wine vinegar and water. Add cut chicken into it and keep refrigerated for 1.5 to 2 hours. This brining process makes the chicken extremely tender and juicy after cooking.
  • After 2 hours, prepare the batter for the chicken. Mix all-purpose flour, cornflour, baking powder, salt and oil. Mix well and then add enough water to make a thick batter. Don’t make it too runny; the batter should coat the chicken very well. 
  • Take the chicken out from the brining solution and add to the batter. 
  • Heat enough oil in a deep frying skillet and let the oil smoke. [High smoking point oils like canola or sunflower oil work best for this recipe.]
  • Take each chicken piece out from the batter and tip into the hot oil. Do not crowd the skillet too much as that would bring down the temperature of the oil making the chicken soggy. 
  • Fry the chicken pieces in batches until very lightly browned. Take them out on a kitchen towel. We will fry these chicken pieces again till done. Double frying makes the chicken very moist and juicy. 
  • Rest the chicken for 15 minutes after first frying. After 15 minutes, deep fry the chicken pieces again until golden brown and chicken is cooked through. To check if the chicken is properly cooked, cut a piece of chicken and check if any traces of pink are left. If not, chicken is done. 
  • To prepare the sauce, heat another wok and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. 
  • Add the dry red chilies, minced ginger, chopped garlic and the chopped white part of the green onions, if using. Sauté on high flame. 
  • Tip in the chopped bell peppers and onions. Cook them until soft. 
  • In the meantime, prepare a slurry by mixing the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water and set aside. 
  • Once the bell peppers and onions are nice and soft, add the cornflour slurry. Stir to mix well. 
  • Next add the dark soy sauce, chilli sauce, tomato ketch up and keep stirring. Add a cup of water and keep sautéing on high heat. 
  • Add sugar, salt and black pepper powder. Mix well. The sauce would have thickened by now. 
  • When the sauce reaches your desired consistency, turn the flame off. Let it sit for 5 minutes so that the steam escapes.
  • Now add the fried chicken and toss the wok to coat all the chicken pieces well with the sauce. 
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the green portion of the green onions. I garnished with sesame seeds since green onions were missing in my pantry.
  • Serve hot as a delicious appetizer or with Chinese fried rice!
Chilli Chicken

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tawa Pulao

Tawa Pulao

Does the name of this recipe sound a little odd to you? It did to me when I heard it for the first time! For those who do not know about Tawa Pulao, let me decode the name for you – ‘Tawa’ means griddle and ‘Pulao’ means ‘flavored rice’. So basically tawa pulao is a rice preparation particularly made on a flat griddle on high heat. It uses a variety of vegies and full of immense flavor which comes from a special spice mix. I will come to that in a bit! I like tawa pulao because it is a meal in itself. It can be an ideal lunch on the go or a perfect dinner for a busy weeknight. My personal preference is to relish this dish on its own without any side or accompaniment; but you can jazz it up with some tangy pickle too!

Tawa Pulao

Now let me come to that special spice mix which I mentioned above. This special spice used in tawa pulao is nothing but ‘Pav Bhaji’ masala! If you are not an Indian, chances are that you have already started to curse me for making things more complicated for you! Have you? Ok, let me decode this too which is a pretty simply combination of different whole spices and then grind to a powder. ‘Pav Bhaji’ is a popular snack which is basically a bread bun (pav) served with curried mixed vegetables (bhaji) in which this ‘Pav Bhaji’ masala is used. This spice mix is generally available in the grocery stores but I always prefer to make mine at home and I have shared my special home-made version with you below. The shelf-life of this spice powder is quite long; which is good for me as I generally make this in larger quantity to keep it handy.

So without any further delay, let’s get cooking!

Tawa Pulao

 Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Onions – 2, medium, sliced
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 1 & ½ tbsp
  • Green bell pepper – 1, big, diced into squares
  • Tomatoes – 4, medium to large, finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves – 1 cup, chopped
  • Pav bhaji masala – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Green chillies – 2, finely chopped (optional)
  • Water – 1 to 2 tbsp
  • Boiled green peas – 1 cup
  • Boiled potatoes – 2, diced
  • Boiled rice – 4 cups

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a hot griddle and add the sliced onions. Let the onions fry till it’s translucent but not too brown.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté on medium heat. Add diced green bell pepper to it and fry them a bit till little soft. 
  • Now tip in the chopped tomatoes, half of the fresh coriander leaves, green chilies, pav bhaji masala and salt. Mix everything well and cook it till the tomatoes are absolutely soft. 
  • Splash a little amount of water and again mix everything well. Add green peas, potatoes and keep stirring. 
  • Now add rice and remaining coriander leaves to the mixture and mix everything well. Check and adjust the seasoning if required. 
  • Serve tawa pulao hot. 

Pav Bhaji Masala

Ingredients
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Dry red chillies - 4
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tbsp
  • Dry raw mango powder – 1 tbsp
  • Green cardamom – 2, seeds removed
  • Cloves – 6 
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch piece
  • Star anise – 2 
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dry ginger – 2 inch piece
  • Asafetida – ¼ tsp
Instructions
  • Heat a flat pan or griddle on medium heat.
  • Gently roast the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, dry red chilies, cloves and cinnamon till they turn slightly darker and begin to release their aroma. Remove from fire immediately and cool.
  • Grind all the ingredients together in a dry spice/coffee grinder, till a fine powder is formed. 
  • Store the spice powder in an air-tight container for upto 4 to 6 weeks.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Spicy Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops

Did anyone miss me here? I would be happy if you did! :) Yeah I was away for a while and for good reason which I will share with you a moment later. First let me tell you what I have in store for you today. I would like to share a fantastic recipe of lamb chops which you will love for sure. These meaty lamb chops use a typical Indian marinade with a lot of tomatoes, onions and fresh coriander leaves. Lamb chops are great to serve as an appetizer or a side and mostly loved by everyone. These spices work wonderfully with the meat and lends maximum flavor. But before going to the lamb chops recipe, let me tell you what I was busy with!

Lamb Chops

This time of the year, that is, during mid-October to mid-November, we celebrate one of the biggest Indian festivals of the year which is ‘Durga Puja’. During this occasion, we devote 5 days to worship goddess ‘Durga’ who epitomizes power. According to Hindu mythology, the goddess of power ‘Devi Durga’ defeated the demon named ‘Mahishasura’ which symbolizes the victory of Good over Evil. This festival is celebrated at a very large scale in my childhood city of ‘Kolkata’. Though in Bangalore, the celebration is much milder, still I enjoyed my time and prepared some exciting dishes during the holidays. All in all a time well spent with family and friends which helped me rejuvenate my senses before the restarting the regular schedule.

So here is my recipe of lamb chops which everyone loved in my family. Do give it a try and let me know how it turned out!

Spicy Lamb Chops

 Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • Lamb chops – 500 gm
  • Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp
Marinade
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Garlic – 10 cloves
  • Green chilies – 2
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cassia stick – 1 inch
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Hot red chili powder – ½ tsp
  • Malt vinegar – 2 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
Other ingredients
  • Cumin seeds – 1/ tsp
  • Onion – 2, medium, julienned
  • Tomato – 2, sliced into long strips
  • Green chilies – 2, slit
  • Fresh coriander leaves – 1 cup, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  • To prepare the marinade for the lamb chops, dry roast the ginger, garlic cloves, green chilies and whole spices like cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cassia stick in a hot pan until they release their aroma. 
  • Transfer them to a grinder and add the turmeric powder, chili powder, salt and vinegar. Grind them to a fine paste.
  • Transfer the chops and the marinade paste into a bowl. Rub the paste well into the chops with your hands. Cover and leave the marinade in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.
  • Ideally you should bring the chops to room temperature before cooking them but sometimes I could not afford this time! If you can, then please do take them out from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature. 
  • Heat a large skillet/frying pan. Add oil and coat the pan well by swirling. When hot, add the chops in batches without crowding the pan too much and sear them on both sides on medium to high heat. Sauté until richly browned on both sides.
  • Return all the seared chops to the pan and fry on medium heat for a few minutes. Add a little water and deglaze the pan, which means you basically need to pull out all the deposits at the bottom of the pan which has immense flavor in it.
  • Cook until all the water evaporates and the oil begins to separate. 
  • Now add the cumin seeds and julienned onions and sauté on medium heat till they are lightly browned.
  • Add the sliced tomatoes and green chilies. Turn up the heat and fry everything together for a couple of minutes, stirring vigorously to combine well. 
  • Once the tomatoes have softened a little, add a cup of water and deglaze the pan again. Bring to a gentle boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or till the tomatoes turn mushy, the gravy is thick and the chops are tender, succulent and thoroughly cooked.
  • Squeeze in the lime juice and sprinkle the fresh coriander leaves. Serve warm with roti or paranthas and a side of onion salad.
Lamb Chops