Friday, September 25, 2015

Eid Mubarak with Friday Food for the soul: Bakre ka Saalan (Mutton Gravy)

Today's Bakra-Eid is not a very joyous one... lost an excellent young officer in the station a day back..
Everyone is still coming to terms with that, esp with his wife expecting thier first child...
May God rest his soul and give strength to the family to bear this irreparable loss.

......and while we were still reeling with shock, we heard about the terrible, terrible tragedy during the Haj stampede.
May Allah grant those poor souls maghfirat....
And so we are not really throwing a party this Eid, no barbeque or anything...
just simple sewai and a bowl of home-made mutton saalan...
On this sombre note I am giving the recipe for an extremely simple to make, but absolutely delicious Mutton dish..
A lot of my friends have requested this recipe since last year, and as I hadn't managed to take a decent picture of it...I couldn't put it up earlier....
So this time I thought why not post this easy to make, aromatic Mutton Saalan or gravy.
mind you, its not qorma which is a more rich dish with kaaju and coconut paste and curd etc...
This dish has got simple ingredients and gets ready in a jiffy!
And this mutton saalan is a staple in our Muslim homes, to be had with simple rotis and tastes delicious with rice!

500gms mutton 
refined oil-3 tbsp
1 medium size onion chopped thinly
an inch stick of cinnamon, 
3-4 tez pattas or bay leaves
5-6 whole black pepper  
2 badi elaichi or black cardamom
3 tomatoes-chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
3-4 green chillies (slit lengthwise and quartered)
a bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste

to be made a paste of:
3 medium onions
ginger-garlic paste 2 tbsp
3 tbsp coriander powder
2 tsp turmeric or haldi
2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (for the color, not the heat)
You can take the chilli powder up or down a notch, depending on how spicy you want

1- Wash the mutton well.
2- Grind to paste, the above ingredients- onions, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, coriander powder, chilli powder. Keep aside.
3- Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper- saute lightly till fragrant.
4- Add the sliced onions and saute till golden.
5- Now its the time for the mutton to be added along with the salt, and cooked for 5 minutes while stirring.
6- Put the paste of the onions and ginger-galic, condiments, etc, into the mutton mixture.
7- Stir well, cooking on medium heat till the water released by the mutton and the paste all dries up.
8- Add 1/2 cup water and then roast the meat again.... Keep roasting,stirring for about 20 minutes on low heat, make sure it doesnt burn, adding water again if it dries up and oil separates. 
9- Add the tomatoes and roast on medium heat again, till the tomatoes all dry up.
10- Pour half a cup of water into the pressure cooker, and mix well.
11- Close the lid of the cooker, give a whistle and then cook on low for another 5 minutes.
12- Once the pressure drops in the cooker, open and check if the meat is nearly done.
13- The meat should be nearly done (not too soft) then you add the potatoes, about a cup of water, half the chopped coriander leaves, slit green chillies and cover and cook on low heat for another 10 minutes.
Or till the potatoes and meat are done... check for the salt and add more if necessary.
14- The saalan or the gravy should be of thin soup consistancy.

Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves with tandoori rotis, fresh salad and rice!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday update: Tryst with Thar...

here is a peek into another one thats completed...
wanted to make the Rajasthani man  and the camel a little muted and blending into each other...
while the bright colorful turban stands out...
dunno how much I succeeded, but I kinda like it...
How about you?

the colorful turban and the piercing eyes.... that say a lot without speaking!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Art School: How to draw Garfield

Here's my new entry for the popular series of children's tutorials that I had done a while back, but stopped coz I wasn't getting the time.
This time its my favorite lazy cat: Garfield....
I drew a lot of Garfield as a child so I am sure your children will love making him too!
Just follow the easy steps given along with the steps... and you'll not go wrong.

and its done... just color and enjoy!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Food for the Soul: Honey Chilli Chicken

I absolutely love Chinese.... I mean who doesn't?
And I don't mean the authentic Chinese... that you get in the Asian restaurants (tried a lot of them while in NYC)
I mean the Indo-Chinese variety...
probably because our tastebuds are so used to the explosion of flavours that the milder, truer version doesn't suit our palette.
And I absolutely love this version... almost as much as I loved the yummy General Tso' Chicken (recipe is here) that I make so often!
Its sticky and sweet with a good heat.... and will get you licking your fingers!

TIP: one usually uses boneless chicken for this, but when I make for the family... I just avoid all the frills and fancies and use the whole chicken... bone and all.
Tastes better with bones- and more succulent (doesn't go all dry and chewy on me!)

Ingredients of the Chicken:
1 full chicken (about 1 and 1/2  kgs)
1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
1 tbsp vinegar

1/4 cup plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp rice flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
refined oil for deep frying

Ingredients for the sauce
1 medium onion chopped into squares
1 green chilli (slit length wise and chopped in half inch pieces)
4 dried whole chilli
3 tbsp chopped garlic
3 tbsp chopped spring onion greens 
1 cup capsicum (cubed into 1 inch pieces)
2 tbsp chilli sauce
3 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp honey

1- Marinate the chicken in ginger garlic paste, vinegar and salt and pepper for an hour
2- Mix the cornflour, rice flour and plain flour and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg and mix well.
3- Dunk the marinated chicken (without the marinade)into the flour+egg mixtureso that its well coated.
4- Deep fry the chicken on medium heat till cooked through and golden crispy. Keep aside.
5- Now take 3 tbsp oil from the deep fryer and heat it in a pan, then add the red chillies till they sputter.
6- Add garlic, saute on low heat till fragrant but not brown, then add onions add cook till translucent.
7- Now stir fry the capsicum with the onions (do not overcook to make them soggy)
8- Add all the remaining sauces, honey and vinegar... cook through till bubbly.
9- Add the crispy fried chicken to the sauce... mix on high heat so that its coated through but not soggy.
10- Garnish with the chopped spring onions and serve immediately, accompanied with Hakka Noodles or Fried Rice or just have them as snacks...
They are sweet and spicy, deliciously sticky and finger lickin' good!

for a real easy recipe of another popular Indo-Chinese dish...
Vegetarian Manchurian (click here)

Or a healthy version of General Tso's Chicken (click here)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Desktop Calendar for September 2015

Today is Thursday- my favourite day for adding an inspirational quote to my illustration...
and also the 3rd of September 2015...
yet to put up my desktop calendar for all of you...
So I thought why not combine the two :-)
These days I am stuck in a groove of making black and white-bold stroke illustrations, remember my graphic saree illustration that I did a few days back (click here)? or the Independence Day illustration that I did in support of OROP (click here)?
so in continuation with that style is this "happy" illustration calendar for your desktop.
Just right click, save, then set as desktop picture.

and here is the tablet version on popular demand!

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