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Sunday, January 11, 2009

East Indian Bottle Masala

A friend of mine gave me this masala recipe. I had been on the look out for this recipe for quite some time. Earlier I saw the recipe for this bottle masala in a book but it had only about 10 ingredients, but I had it on good authority that the original recipe has more than 20 ingredients. So I was very happy to finally lay my hands on this recipe. Hope all other gourmets on the look out enjoy this as well.

Ingredients :

Dried Red Chillies : 2 Kg.

Coriander Seeds : 500 gm.

Whole Turmeric : 50 gm.

Cumin Seeds : 125 gm.

Mustard Seeds : 50 gm.

White Poppy Seeds : 125 gm.

White Sesame Seeds : 125 gm.

Fennel Seeds : 25 gm.

Black Peppercorns : 125 gm.

Green Cardamoms : 75 gm.

Taj (Ceylon Cinnamon) : 125 gm.

Cloves : 50 gm.

Black Cardamoms : 25 gm.

Nagkesar ( Casia Buds) : 25 gm.

Mace : 25 gm.

Nutmeg : 2 no.

Maipatri (Mugwort) : 25 gm.

Badian / Badalphool (Star Anise) : 25 gm.

Trifal (Sichuan Pepper) : 25 gm.

Tamalpatra (Tejpatta / Indian Bay Leaf ) : 25 gm

Dagadphool ( Lichen) : 25 gm.

Kababchini (Allspice) : 25 gm.

Shahi Jeera (Black Cumin) : 25 gm.

Whole Asafoetida (hing) : 25 gm.

P.S. Dagadphool. This is a dried lichen used in Indian cooking. (Latin: parmelia perlata.)

Method : Saute the masala ingredients individually in little oil to let them release their flavours and then mix them together and grind to a fine powder. Alternately you can also dry roast the ingredients. Take care to crush the asafoetida, turmeric and nutmeg into smaller pieces before sauteing or roasting them.

Yam what a Yam!

I looked it up and it seems a sweet potato is called a Yam in US. But the yam I am talking about is called Suran in India. It is a tuber and has a rough, dark brown skin, which is very tough. The yam needs to be cooked in a alkaline medium as it can otherwise irritate the throat. So Indians generally use tamarind, kokum or lime juice while making a dish using yam. Also according a friend who is very knowledgeable about Ayurveda, yam is supposed to be very good for people suffering from Piles. He says they should eat at least 100 gm of yam everyday.
I love cooking suran in different forms and today I will put up a couple of my favourite recipes.

(1) Yam Salad ( सुरणाची कोशिंबीर)

Ingredients :

Yam : 1/2 kg

Green Chillies : 6 - 8 no.

Onions : 2 no.

Grated Fresh Coconut : 100 gm.

Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp.

Oil : For Frying

Salt : to taste

Method :

Remove skin and finely chop the yam. Rub with salt and keep aside. Then squeeze out the water and fry till it is brown. Remove and keep aside.
In a bowl, add finely chopped onion, chopped green chillies and mix well with the yam. To this add grated coconut and lime juice. Adjust the seasoning and Serve.

(2) Yam Chops ( सुरणाचे काप )

Ingredients :

Yam : 1/2 kg.

Tamarind Pulp : 2 Tbsp.

Whole Wheat Flour : 4-6 Tbsp.

Salt : to taste

Red Chilli Powder : 1 Tbsp.

Oil : For shallow frying

Method :

Slice the yam into 2" long, 2" wide and 1/4" thick slices. Coat them evenly with the tamarind pulp and keep aside for 5 minutes. Mix the red chilli powder and flour and add salt as required. Then roll the slices in this mixture to coat them with it and then shallow fry on a griddle.

P.S. : Some people prefer to use rice flour instead of wheat flour.
Another variation of this recipe is to make a paste of dried red chillies, ginger, garlic, tamarind and salt to taste. Coat the yam slices with this paste and keep aside for a few minutes. Then roll in rice flour and shallow fry.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Sindhi Kadhi

I saw this recipe on a TV show and loved it. So I made a few changes to the recipe according to my taste and here is the "improved" version.

Ingredients :

Oil : 4 Tbsp.

Gram Flour (बेसन) : 1/2 cup

Fenugreek Seeds : 1/2 tsp.

Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp.

Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp.

White Gourd (लौकी) : 250 gms.

Cauliflower Florettes : 250 gms.

Carrots : 200 gms.

Cluster (गवार) Beans : 150 gms.

Drumsticks : 8 nos.

Potatoes : 3 small

Brinjals : 200 gms.

Okra ( Ladies Fingers) : 200 gms.

Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp.

Red Chilli Powder : 2 Tbsp.

Tomato Puree : 3 Tbsp.

Tamarind Pulp : 1 Tbsp.

Jaggery : 1 Tbsp.

Curry Leaves : 8 nos.

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2 Tbsp.

Method :

Cut the gourd, carrots, potatoes, brinjals into cubes. The cubes should be of the same size( 1 1/2" pieces). Snip off the ends of beans and cut into 2" pieces. Cut off the ends of the okra and give it a lengthwise slit. Then fry the okra till brown. Cut drumsticks into 2" pieces.
In a pot, heat 3 tbsp. of oil and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and saute till the mustard seeds crackle. Then add the gram flour and saute till it is nicely browned. Then add about 3 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Now add the gourd cubes, florettes, carrot cubes, beans, drumsticks and potato cubes. Add salt to taste and cover and cook till almost done( about 75%).
Now add the brinjals and cover and cook again for 5 minutes.
Now add the fried okra, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, tomato puree, tamarind pulp, jaggery and curry leaves . Add salt to taste and let this cook for a few minutes. garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve with white rice or a bread of your choice.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


This is another pork delicacy from Goa. This recipe uses both pork and pork liver. The main difference between this and the vindaloo recipe is that this one uses butter as a cooking fat instead of oil. There are two recipes that I have come across and I will provide both. The first one used East Indian bottle masala , whose recipe I will put up soon.
An Eat Indian wedding is incomplete without Sorpotel or Vindaloo on the menu.
The picture of Sarpotel is courtesy abcdz2000. You can check out his pictures on Flickr by clicking on this link here - abcdz2000

First Recipe :

Ingredients :

Pork : 1 Kg.

Pork Liver : 250 gm.

Dried Pork Blood : 1 Tbsp.

Garlic Pods : 2 no.

Ginger : 2" piece

Green chillies : 2-3 no.

Bottle Masala : 2 Tbsp.

Salt : to taste

Vinegar : 1-2 Tbsp.

Butter : 250 gm.

Oil : To fry the pork and liver

Method :

Cut the liver and pork into 1" pieces. Apply salt and fry in oil till brown. Then cool and cut into fine pieces. Chop ginger, garlic and green chillies.

In a handi/degchi, add butter and fry the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Then add the bottle masala and fry well. Now add the meat and vinegar and adjust the seasoning. Then cook on slow fire ( simmer) till done.

Second Recipe :

Ingredients :

Pork : 1 Kg.

Pork Liver : 250 gm.

Turmeric Powder (Haldi) : 1/2 Tsp.

Salt : To taste

Oil : to fry the pork and pork liver.

Butter : 250 gm.

Sliced Onions : 2 large no.

Chopped Tomatoes : 1 large no.

Dried Pork blood : 1 Tbsp.

Vinegar : 2 Tbsp.

For Masala Paste :

Dried Red Chillies : 6-8 no.

Black Peppercorns : 1 Tsp.

Cumin Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Cloves : 2-3 no.

Green Cardamom : 2 no.

Garlic Cloves : 5-6 no.

Ginger : 2" piece.

Method :

Cut the Pork and Pork Liver into fine cubes and fry in oil till brown. You have to fry them separately. Make a fine paste of the masala paste ingredients using water.
In a hand/degchi, add butter and saute slices onions till golden brown. Then add the tomatoes and saute and then add the masala paste. Fry the masala paste till the fat leaves the masala. Then add the pork, water and salt to taste and cover and simmer till pork is almost cooked. Then add the fried liver and the dried blood and cook for further 10 minutes.