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Food for feasts

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When we think of Eid, one of the first things that come to mind is all the amazing food we get to feast on. Whether it’s mom’s special chicken korma or a special dessert in the form of a sublime doodh shemai or gurer payesh – its these traditional favourites that make Eid such a treat.

In keeping with the idea of feasting on traditional comfort foods, this week, we have a special recipe spread from Le Meridien, by chefs Mufid Alam and Monoranjan Sarker.

Kacchi Biriyani – Recipe by chef Mufid Alam

Ingredients:

1.3kg mutton chunks
1.4kg basmati rice
2 tsp raw papaya paste
4 large onions, diced
2 cups, yoghurt
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
3 tsp ginger and garlic paste
2 cups mint and coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp garam masala powder
30gm whole garam masala spices
1 tsp shahi jeera
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp kewra water
1gm saffron strands
2 tsp milk powder
2 tsp oil
2 tsp ghee

Directions:

Place the mutton pieces in a bowl, add the papaya paste and mix well so that all the mutton pieces are well combined. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in refrigerator for eight hours to allow the meat to tenderise.

Heat oil in a pan, add the onions and fry till golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper and leave aside.

Take the mutton out of the refrigerator, add yoghurt, green chillies, salt, all the powdered spices, the ginger garlic paste, kewra water, half the chopped herbs and fried onions. Mix well, cover the bowl with cling film and leave it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least thirty minutes.

Boil the rice in plenty of water with salt till half cooked. Drain well and sprinkle a few green and black cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns and a couple of cinnamon sticks, ghee and half of the rose water.

Dissolve the saffron strands in warm milk.

Make a loose dough out of water and flour.

Take a nonstick deep pan and spread the marinated mutton in a layer at the bottom. Top with the rice, then sprinkle over rose water, ghee, saffron milk and the rest of the chopped herbs and fried onions. Cover the pan with a lid and seal with the wheat flour dough. Place a tawa under the pan and cook on low heat for forty five to sixty minutes or till both the mutton and rice are completely cooked. Let it stand for fifteen minutes before removing the seal. Serve hot with a raita of your choice.

Sheekh Kabab – Recipe by chef Mufid Alam

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Ingredients:

500gm mutton mince
1 large onion, finely chopped
50gm mutton fat (this is for added flavour; you can use oil instead)
6 green chillies
2 tsp coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (Kashmiri chilli powder is preferred because of its colour, but you can use regular, good quality chilli powder)
2 tsp chaat masala
Salt to taste
Butter for basting
2 slices of lemon, for garnishing

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9.

Mix together the minced mutton, mutton fat/oil, onion, green chillies and fresh coriander. Grind to a fine consistency.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the oil and mix well. Divide the mixture into twelve equal portions. Pat the mince mixture with moist hands onto skewers and shape into kebabs.

Cook the kebabs in the oven till almost done. Baste with butter and continue to cook till completely done.

Sprinkle with chaat masala and serve with lemon wedges and mint chutney.

Roshgolla – Recipe by chef Monoranjan Sarker

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Ingredients:

1 kg chhaana
150gm flour
1.5gm sugar
10gm semolina
5gm cardamom pods
1gm baking soda
Water, as required

Directions:

Squeeze the excess water from chhaanna and hang in a cloth above the sink for 30 minutes.

Knead the chhaanna to a smooth consistency, then add flour, semolina, cardamom and baking soda. Knead the mixture for about 10 minutes, as this will add to the consistency of the finished roshgollas.

Divide the channa dough into equal portions and shape each portion into a
smooth round ball.

In a wide vessel, add the sugar and water and allow the sugar to melt to create a thin syrup. Now reduce the heat to medium flame and add the roshgolla carefully. Cover with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes. Open the lid occasionally. Once cooked, turn the flame off and let them cool completely in the syrup.

Refrigerate and serve chilled.

-SAM

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