Sunday 20 October 2019

Saoji Chicken Curry

Halba Kosti Tribes from Madhaya Pradesh, who are weavers by professions came to Vidharba region of Maharastra Nagpur and  settled there. They settled in large numbers and took up job at Empress Mill. They introduced Saoji Cuisine, their cuisine is fiery hot and spicy that needs an acquired taste.  It’s the unique spice blend that makes the difference, it’s is slow cooked and linseed oil is used in the authentic recipe. Each house adds their twist to the spices.  The recipes are closed guarded secret to each family. In 70s the first Saoji joint was opened in Nagpur, there after now many restaurants have opened selling Saoji Cuisine. They are mainly non vegetarian having mutton, chicken, fish. The cuisine is now known to the world by word of mouth. 

For Saoji Masala 
2 tbsp Coriander seeds 
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Shahi Jeera 
8 Dry Red Patna Chillies  
8 to 10 Black pepper corns
1 inch Cinnamon stick 
1 Black Cardamom 
4 Green Cardamom 
4 Cloves 
1/2 Nutmeg 
1 Star Anise 
1 tsp Dagad Phool / Stone Flower 
1/4 piece Nutmeg 2 Bay leaves 
1 tsp Poppy Seeds or White Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Rice
2 tbsp Dry Grated Coconut / Dessicated coconut 
1/2 tbsp Chana Dal   / Split Chickpeas 
3 Bay leaves 
Take a pan,  on a low heat stir and roast Coriander seeds, Split Chickpeas, Rice, Cumin seeds,  poppyseeds or sesame seeds, cinnamon, cloves, black and green cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, pepper, bay leaves, stone flower, whole red chillies and dry grated coconut . Roast until you get an aroma out of the spices. Cool the spices down and then grind the spices into a powder. 

To make the Saoji Chicken 
1 kg County Chicken / Gavti Murgi / Komdi cut into pieces 
2 Onions sliced 
1 tsp Garlic paste
1 tsp Ginger paste
Few Coriander leaves chopped 
2 Bay leaves 
1 tsp Turmeric powder 
1 tsp Spicy Chilli powder 
3 tbsp of the Saoji Masala 
Salt to taste 
1/2 cup Oil 
Take a pan, add a tbsp oil, fry the onion until brown, cool it down and make a paste with little water. Take the saoji masala, add little water and make a paste.. 
Take a pot, add oil, add bay leaves, add ginger and garlic paste, sauté for few seconds. Add the fried onion paste, sauté for a minute, add few chopped coriander leaves, turmeric powder, chilli powder, Saoji masala paste,  chicken and salt. Stir and cook the ingredients on a low flame. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Open the lid, now add a cup of water. Stir, cover  and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Open the lid, add 2 cups  of  water, close the lid and cook until the chicken has cooked. Garnish with chopped coriander.  Serve the chicken with Roti, bhakri or rice. 

Sunday 13 October 2019

Chicken Chaap

The Nawabs moved to Murshidabad from Dhaka in 18th century, they introduced Awadhi cuisine to Bengal. This cuisine became a part of Bengali Muslim Culture. They introduced many dish, the Biriyani and Chicken Chaap became a combination which is sold in many of the old Muslim restaurants in Kolkata. 
Chicken Chaap
My memories take me back to my childhood where every summer my visit to Kolkata and visiting Nizam or Shiraj or Royal Indian Hotel for the chicken Chaap, Rezala and Biriyani with my cousin was a must.
The chicken full leg marinated and fried in ghee is a rich affair. There are lots of ingredients that goes into the marination.
I followed the recipe from you tube channel Uttar Bangla shared by Royal Indian Hotel which I found relatively easy to make with less ingredients.

2 Chicken Full Leg pieces, make few slits on the chicken. 
1 1/2 tsp Ginger paste
1 tsp Garlic paste 
Salt to taste
1 tsp Garam Masala powder 
1 tsp Red Chilli powder 
2 tbsp Sattu 
4 tbsp Curd
1 tsp Kewra water
2 drops Meeta Athar 
2 pinches of Saffron soaked in 3 tbsp of water
1/2 cup Ghee

Take a bowl, add curd, saffron water, ginger, garlic, salt, chilli powder, garam masala powder, sattu, kewra water and meetha athar. Mix all the ingredients very well. Add the chicken legs, apply the marination to the chicken. Keep the chicken for 2 hours. Take a heavy bottom pan, add the ghee. Once the ghee melts, add the marinated  chicken. Fry the chicken pieces on both the side on a low flame until almost tender turning the chicken pieces occasionally. Add in the marination and 1/4 cup of water. Cook the chicken in the marination, turning the sides occasionally until the chicken is tender and the masalas have cooked well. Serve the chicken chaap with Biriyani, Pulao or Porotha. 

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Beetroot er Sandesh

May this Bijoya Dashami light up for you, the hopes of happiness, peace and prosperity !
Bijoya Dashami marks the end of Durga Puja. It is  celebrated differently across India. It’s the celebration of good over evil. In Bengal it is celebrated after the MA Durga idol is immersed. Young seeks blessings from the elders and share sweets. Men embrace (Kola - Kuli) each otherto wish Subho Bijoya. 

Beetrooter Sandesh 
This is a healthy sweet dish to be shared during Bijoya with your loved ones. 
1 small Beetroot boiled and puréed 
1 cup Chana / Cottage cheese mashed 
2 to 3 tbsp Date Jaggery 
Ghee to apply on the sandesh mould

Take a pan, add the beetroot puree, on a low flame stir and cook the purée for a minute. Add the chana and continue to cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture has dried up a bit. Add the jaggery and continue to cook until it forms into a lump, and yet it is soft. Switch off the flame. Take the sandesh out on a plate. Let it cool down. Mix the sandesh dough well. Take the mould, apply ghee.  Take a small portion of the sandesh and shape up the sandesh with help of the mould. Remove the sandesh from the mould and serve.