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Showing posts with label gravy dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gravy dishes. Show all posts

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bhee Gobi Masala ( Lotus Stem Curry )

Though lotus stem is one of those vegetables that I had never tasted in Odisha, it has become one of my favorites these days. Though it is somewhat bland with a slight hint of nuttiness, it reminds me strongly of the banana stem that we use in authentic Odia cuisine. Both of them tend to be quite fibrous and need to be cooked with the right combination of spices to make a tasty curry. But even more than the taste ( and it's good looks ), I was sold on the health benefits of this vegetable. It is power-packed with minerals like potassium, phosphorous, copper, zinc, iron and manganese while also being a source of vitamins B6, C, thiamine and pantothenic acid. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and protein. Lotus root is recommended to people suffering from blood pressure, slow bowel movements and also for aiding weight loss.

Being a very popular vegetable with the Sindhi folks, I first started looking up Sindhi preparations with lotus root. And I stumbled upon manyrecipes that belonged to Veitnam or Thailand. Turns out that it's a quite popular vegetable in those parts of the world. But anyways, I finally checked this wonder recipe 'Bhee Alu Vadi Masala' by Nisha Madhulika. Did some adaptations to suit my taste and made the curry. Turned out to be nice and easy.

The only time consuming procedure was cleaning the lotus root. The outer layer needs to be peeled and it should be sliced into thin slanting slices . If the holes inside have some mud sticking to them, soak in hot water for sometime and then clean with a soft brush.

Here's the recipe -

Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

  • 300 gm lotus root ( cut into thin slanting slices )
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 small onion
  • 5-6 garlic flakes
  • 1 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1 green chili (optional)
  • 2 large tomatoes 
  • 50 gm paneer ( I think you can leave this out for a lighter gravy )
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder ( or to taste )
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2-3 pinch garam masala 
  • 3 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Grind the onion, ginger and garlic into a fine paste. Keep aside.

Then make another paste out of the tomato, paneer and green chili.

Cooking - Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the onion-ginger-garlic paste and cook for few mins till raw smell goes off.

Add the tomato-paneer paste and let it cook for a while ( 8-9 mins ) till oil starts to float on the surface. Sprinkle the turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Cook for 3-4 mins.

Finally add the lotus stem slices, cauliflower florets and green peas. Add 1/cup warm water. Close lid and cook covered on medium flame for 1 whistle.

Keep aside till steam escapes. Open lid and garnish with cilantro.

Serve hot with rotis/white rice and yellow dal.

Note - The original recipe by Nisha Madhulika had used potatoes and Amritsari Masala Urad dal Vadi. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Butter Paneer Masala

Another restaurant favorite decoded. This time it is the sumptuous Butter Panner Masala or Panner cubes simmered in a rich gravy of onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and cream. Though it is hard to believe, the simple preparation method belies the end results.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 200 gm Malai paneer 
  • 1 large onion 
  • 1 tsp GG paste
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder ( or as per taste )
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1" inch cubes of butter ( 2-3 nos )
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri methi / cilanatro leaves
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Chop the onion roughly. Cut each tomato into 4 halves.

Cooking - Take one butter cube and the oil in a wok. Add the whole spices (cardamom, cinnamom and cloves ) and fry till fragrant.

Add the onions. Fry till onion becomes translucent.

Add the GG paste. Fry for 1 minute.

Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 2 mins before removing from the flame. Keep aside till it cools down .

Transfer to a mixer/grinder jar. Buzz into a smooth puree.

Place the same wok on the flame ( there would be some oil/butter remaining in it ). Add the butter cube. Pour the paste into the wok and cook for 2 mins.

Add the cumin powder, chili powder and the Kasuri methi (remember to rub it between your fingers before adding) to the onion tomato gravy along with 1/2 cup hot water. Add salt.

Bring everything to a gentle boil. Simmer for 3-4 mins.

Finally add the Paneer cubes and simmer for a minute. Finally add the honey and the cream just before removing from the flame.

Serve hot with rotis/phulka/naan or even jeera rice/pulao .

Note - One can also use cashew paste instead of cream. But unlike the cream which is added just before removing the gravy from the flame, the cashew paste needs to be cooked for a few minutes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fish Moilee ( Kerala Style Recipe )

Fish Moilee is one of those lightly spiced South Indian fish curries that does not make me reach for that second bottle of Bisleri or Aquafina . With minimal spices and coconut milk going into the gravy, it allows the natural flavour of the fish to shine through. The native population uses mostly King fish, seer fish or even pomfret for this recipe but I choose to go with a Rohu or a Bhakura (Catla) given my eastern preferences. This dish tastes best when served with appam but with a little tweaking ( more green chilis and tomatoes ), it works fine even with white rice.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20 mins (plus standby)

Ingredients -

The Marination -

  • 6 slices of Catla 
  • 1/5 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp GG paste
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste

The gravy -

  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1-2 cloves
  • 1 large onion (finely sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2-3 green chilis (slit lengthwise)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 large tomato ( country one is better )
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder ( adjust the heat as preferred )
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/5 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp oil ( or as required )

Preparation - Take all the ingredients for marination in a large plate/dish. Rub it evenly over the fish for about 2-3 mins. Allow to rest for 30-45 mins.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add the fish slices and fry very lightly on both sides for about 5-6 mins. Remove and keep aside.

Add the fennel, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Fry till fragrant.

Add chopped onions and fry till translucent.

Add the slit chilis, chopped garlic, chopped ginger and curry leaves. Fry for 1-2 mins.

Add the finely chopped tomato along with the turmeric, chili powder and pepper powder. Cook till mushy.

Add 1 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Let in the fried fish pieces. Simmer for 5 mins with lid closed.

Remove the lid. Finally add the thick coconut milk and simmer for 10 mins.

Remove from flame and serve hot.

Tastes best with appams.

Note - Since this fish is lightly fried before adding to the gravy, it has a strong fishy odour as compared to the Odia/Bengali fish curries. If you are sensitive about it, do fry the fish to a light brown before adding it to the gravy.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Baby Corn Masala

With baby corn becoming popular in India sometime during the early twentieth century, another popular vegetarian dish captured the imagination of restaurant owners and their patrons alike. The Baby corn masala or Baby corn butter masala became part of the menu and has remained a popular choice ever since. The natural sweetness of the baby corn is accentuated and complimemted by a lightly sweet and rich gravy which has just the right amount of tang in it !!

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 40-45 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 1/2 cup baby corn ( chopped into centimeter long pieces )
  • 1/2 cup capsicum (cut into strips)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder ( I used the regular one so made it 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/5 tsp turmeric
  • 1/5 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri methi
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey 
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt to taste

For the gravy

  • 1 medium onion ( chopped into chunks)
  • 1 large tomato ( chopped into chunks )
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 1 1/2 tsp oil
  • a pinch of salt

Preparation - Heat a frying pan . Add the oil and thrown in the onions first and fry for 2 mins. Then add tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Fry for 4-5 mins and remove from the flame.

Allow to cool down a bit before making into a smooth paste.

Cooking - Heat the butter in a wok. Add the finely chopped onion and fry till translucent.

Add the chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala. Roast for 10 seconds and then add the above paste. Fry for 2-3 mins before adding the baby corn. Sprinkle a little salt and cover with a lid. When the baby corn is half done, add the milk and bring it to a boil. Simmer till the baby corn is almost done.

Add the capsicum strips, kasuri methi and honey at this stage and allow to cook for 3-4 mins. Remove from the flame.

Garnish with a dollop of butter and chopped cilantro and serve hot. Goes best with Indian flat breads or a simple rice dish.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chenna tarkari ( cottage cheese balls in a savoury gravy )

Travelling on a long stretch of road between Oltapur and Pahala on a late Sunday afternoon, our car is overtaken by an auto crammed with passengers inside and at least a dozen bundles of white cloth hanging outside. The watery fluid leaking from those bundles catches my attention and I throw a curious look at the husband. 'Freshly made chenna being transported to Pahala and Bhubaneshwar' comes the reply.

I had been in a dreamy state till now, capturing the sights of a setting Sun playing peekaboo among the trees, and lush fields swaying in the winds. Occasionally jolted out of my reverie by stray cattle blocking our way or scores of urchins asking for money ('chanda' as we call it in Odia) to build a temple/celebrate Durga Puja, the ride had been uneventful till that point.

In no time at all, we came across several autos, bicycles, rickety old mopeds (Luna/TVS), and even a swanky bike or two carrying these leaky bundles with the fluid leaving a trail on the dusty roads. In a few hours' time, the contents of these bundles would be processed and displayed as a mouth-watering array of sweets (chenna poda, chenna gaja, rasagulla, chenna jilapi, rasmalai, raj-bhog, etc ) on the shelves of a Ganguram/Atmaram/Capital sweets. Or maybe they will find their way into one of the many quaint-looking shops that dot Pahala and will be turned into the most melt-in-the-mouth type of Rasagola ever invented. One needs to visit these places in Orissa to experience the magic of making 'chenna' sweets.

More on the sweet stuff another time. Today I am sharing a savoury recipe made out of fresh home-made chenna. Chenna tarkari is the Odia cousin of the Paneer curry but with a unique texture and flavour of its own.

Update - The deep fried chenna balls are easily available in the sweet shops of Bhubaneswar these days.

Preparation time - 40-50 mins

Ingredients - 

  • 1 litre whole milk 
  • 1/2 cup sour curd  
  • 2 heaped tsp maida
  • 1 large tomato pureed
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil for shallow/deep frying.

  • 1 medium-sized onion(finely chopped) 
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly made ginger garlic paste
  • 2 green cardamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 inch long cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 bay leaf 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder

Preparation -

To prepare chenna - Bring milk to a boil. Add the sour curd and wait for a few minutes till the milk solids separate from whey. The whey should have a clear appearance at this point. If not add more curd and boil for another 5 mins.

Once all the solids separate, strain the chenna using a fine cloth or even a strainer with very fine mesh. Allow to stand for sometime till excess water is drained.

Take the chenna in a vessel/mixing bowl and add the maida. Crumble and knead the chenna to remove lumps and it just comes togather into a soft dough ( takes abt 5-6 mins, do not overdo the kneading ). Pinch small lumps out of the dough and shape into balls. These balls can either be shallow fried or deep fried.

Cooking: Heat sufficient oil in a wok. Put one ball into the wok and test if it holds together. If yes, add the remaining balls into the wok and fry them to a brown color on medium heat. (If it starts to crumble/break, add a little more maida to the chenna dough and knead for another 2-3 mins.)

Once the balls are fried, keep them aside and drain the excess oil from the wok.

Put the whole spices into the remaining oil in the wok and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the chopped onion and saute on low flame till light brown ( abt 6-7 mins to allow the sugar in the onion to start caramelizing ). At this stage add the sugar and allow it to melt. Once the sugar melts, it gives a deep brown color to the onion. Sprinkle the soy sauce at this point.

Add ginger garlic paste and stir fry for 2-3 minutes till its raw smell goes away. Pour in the tomato puree and cook for another 2 minutes.

Now add turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt. Roast the masalas for 1-2 mins.

Add about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Allow water to reduce to 2/3rd.

Put in the fried chenna balls and simmer on medium flame for 2 minutes. Cover with lid and switch off the flame. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.


1. One can also use lemon juice/citric acid to prepare the chenna but using sour curd gives it a better flavour. Also the chenna turns out softer.

2. One can also make a paste out of all the ingredients mentioned under spices and add it at once instead of doing it in steps.

3. There is a no onion - no garlic version of this recipe which uses a different masala paste and some amount of milk for added creaminess. 

4. For making the 'no onion no garlic' masala paste - 

1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp fennel 
1 tbsp melon seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds 
2 green cardamom
1 inch long cinnamon stick
1 inch long ginger
1 dry red chili 

Soak everything in warm water for 2 hours. Grind into a medium fine paste. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chicken Meatballs Gravy ( tandoori meatballs in butter chicken gravy )

Preparation time - 30-40 mins

For meatballs - minced chicken ( 1 cup ), chopped onion ( 1/3 cup ), garlic flakes ( 5-6 nos ), chopped coriander leaves ( 1 tbs ), fresh bread crumbs ( 1/3 cup ), egg ( 1 no ), tandoori chicken masala ( 2 pinch ), green chilli ( 1 no. ), salt to taste, oil for deep frying.

For butter chicken gravy - chopped onion ( 1 large ), ginger ( 1 inch ), garlic flakes ( 6-7 nos ), tomato ( 1 no ), cinnamon stick ( 1 inch long ), cloves ( 2-3 nos ), cardamon ( 1-2 nos ), red chilli powder ( 1/2 tsp ), turmeric ( 1/4 tsp), coriander powder (1/4 tsp), cumin powder ( 1/4 tsp), garam masala ( 1/5 tsp ), butter ( 2 tbs ), almonds ( 6-7 nos), fresh cream ( 1 tbs), tomato ketchup ( 1-2 tsp), salt to taste.

Preparation - Take all the ingredients( except for oil) for the meatballs in a food processor and blend into a smooth paste ( no need to add water ). Rub some oil onto the palms of your hands and shape the paste into lemon sized balls.

Soak the almonds for 4-5 hours. Remove the skin.

Cooking: Heat sufficient oil in a wok for deep frying. Add the meatballs a few at a time. Fry uniformly on all sides till brown. Remove from wok and put on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Repeat for the remaining meatballs.Keep aside.

Heat 1 tbs of butter in another wok. Add the chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Fry till onion turns translucent. Add the whole garam masalas and tomatoes. Stir fry till tomatoes soften a bit. Remove from wok and allow to cool down.

Transfer into a food processor along with the almonds and grind into a smooth paste.

Heat the remaining butter in the wok. Add the above paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add all the powdered masalas along with salt and cook for 2 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Put the meatballs into the wok and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes.

Add the fresh cream and ketchup, mix well and switch off the flame. ( Add an extra dollop of butter if desired )

Garnish with onion rings and lemon. Serve hot.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dahi chicken ( Chicken in yogurt )

Cooking Time Required: 30-35 min
Cost of Preparation: 100-110 rupees

Ingredients: Chicken ( 300 gm), onion ( 2 nos, medium), tomato ( 1 medium), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tsp), coriander powder ( 2/3 tsp), cumin powder (1/3 tsp), chilli powder (1 tsp), khada garam masala ( cardamon, cinnamon, bay leaf, cloves ), oil ( 5-6 tsp ), finely chopped mint leaves (1 tbs), turmeric, whole red chilli ( 1 no. ), fresh yogurt ( 1 cup or 50 gms ), cashew/almond paste ( 2 tsp ), vinegar ( 1 tsp ), coriander leaves ( 2-3 tbs), salt to taste.

Preparation: Wash the chicken pieces thouroughly. Drain excess water . Add salt and vinegar. Rub and keep aside to marinate for 10 mins.

Finely chop the onion and tomato.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the red chilli and khada garam masala followed by the chopped onion. Fry for 3-4 mins. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes away.

Add chopped tomato and fry for 2-3 mins. Add 2 cups of water. Add the turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt. Bring to a boil.

Add the yogurt and stir for a while. Add the marinated chicken pieces. Cook on a low flame for 10 mins.

Finally add the cashew paste and mint leaves. Cook for 5 mins or till all water evaporates. Remove from stove.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot with white rice.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Potolo Rasa

Potolo Rasa or pointed gourd cooked in a thick coconut based gravy is considered to be a treat by most Odia people. More popular in the coastal belt that includes a lot of coconut in their cuisine, it is rich, mildly spiced and has a hint of sweetness. On days when non-veg is banished from the Odia homes and yet guests turn up, this dish turns out to be a life savior.

Cooking Time Required: 30-35 mins


  • 8-10 nos Potolo (Parwal/pointed gourd)
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds 
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2-3 dry red chillis
  • 2 green cardamon
  • 2 nos bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 tsp kasuri methi
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 pinch garam masala
  • 6-7 tsp oil
  • 1/5 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste

Prepartion: Peel and cut all the parwal into two halves. Chop the potato into large

Grind the onion, tomato, grated coconut, poppy seeds, cumin, coriander, whole red chillis and all the whole spices into a smooth paste.

Soak the kasuri methi in 1/3 cup warm water.

Cooking: Heat 3-4 tsp oil in a wok. Sprinkle turmeric powder and then add the parwal & potatoes and fry for 10-12 mins.

Remove from wok and keep aside.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and add the red chilli powder and fennel seeds. Add the masala paste along with ginger garlic paste and cook for 5-6 mins.

Add the fried vegetables along with salt and mix well. Sprinkle the kasuri methi. Stir fry for 2-3 mins. Pour 2 cups of boiling water and allow to simmer on low flame for 5-6mins.

Sprinkle garam masala and remove from fire.

Allow to stand for 5 mins. Serve hot with rice/rotis.

Note: The original recipe does not use Kasuri Methi.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mansa Kasa (Mutton kasa)

Cooking Time Required: 1 hour (will vary with the quality of mutton)

Ingredients: Mutton ( 500 gm), onion ( 2 nos, medium), potato ( 1 large ), tomato ( 1
medium), green chilli ( 2 nos ), ginger garlic paste ( 2 tsp), cumin-mustard seeds ( 1/3 tsp), coriander powder ( 2/3 tsp), cumin powder (1/3 tsp), chilli powder (1/3 tsp), garam masala ( 1/4 tsp), mustard oil ( 2 tsp ), oil (5-6 tsp), turmeric, salt to taste.

Preparation: Wash the mutton thouroughly. Drain excess water . Add salt, turmeric and one tsp mustard oil. Keep aside to marinate for one hour.

Cut the potato along its length into four pieces. Heat a pan. Add one tsp oil and the potato pieces. Fry till the potato turns light brown.

Grate half an onion and cut the rest into small pieces.

Cooking: Heat 4 tsp oil in a kadai (wok). When it starts smoking, add the green chilli, cumin and mustard seeds. When the seeds start spluttering, add the grated onion. Stir fry for two minutes, and add the onion pieces. When the onion turns pinkish red, add the ginger garlic paste. Stir till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away. Then add the mutton fat (charbi) and cook for 5 minutes.

Cut the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the wok along with coriander and cumin powder. Stir for 2-3 minutes and then add the mutton. Cook for another 20 minutes while stirring at regular intervals. The mutton should start to darken in color. Transfer the contents of the wok into a pressure cooker along with the fried potatoes and add garam masala. Add about 1/4 cup water. Cook for 10-15 minutes on low flame.

Remove from fire and allow steam to escape. The mutton should be tender. In case it is still not done, cook for another 5 minutes with the lid closed.

Enjoy hot with rice or rotis.

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