FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE RUM ESPRESSO CAKE

CHOCOLATE DARK RUM MOUSSE CAKE

CHOCOLATE DARK RUM MOUSSE CAKE

Ingredients

This is a favorite. It produces a dark mousse like cake that is rich and decadent.

For a 10 inch round cake serves 12

450 grams semi sweetened chocolate, chopped

100 grams unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped

350 grams unsalted butter softened

3/4 cup freshly brewed decaffeinated coffee American style or 1 tablespoon instant decaf espresso powder dissolved in 3/4 cup water

• 1/4 cup dark rum

1.5 cups (tightly packed cups) light brown sugar

8 large eggs, beaten

For the ganache

250 grams dark chocolate, sweetened (70% chocolate)

1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

• Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9 inch cake tin with parchment.

• Melt the chocolate over a medium flame in a double boiler and let cool 15 minutes.

•Whisk the brown sugar and butter in a stand mixer until fluffy and well incorporated.

• Add the coffee and rum and whisk again.

Gradually add the melted and cooled chocolate and beat until well mixed.

Add the eggs one by one and beat again until incorporated. The mixture will be thick and gooey.

• Pour into cake pan. Bake 60-70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with some crumbs attached to it.

• Using a knife run it gently around the cake. This prevents it from cracking as it cools

• Let cake cool in the pan about 2 hours•

Cover pan with foil and refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.

Remove and unwrap and unmold.

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For the ganache melt the chocolate and cream to a smooth consistency in a double boiler or in a bowl over a water bath. Cool 5 minutes and then slowly pour over the cooled cake. Smoothen with a spatula until all sides are covered and let sit until chocolate stops dripping.

Cover the cake with a loose lid that won't damage the ganache. Chill again until the ganache has set.

To serve remove and unwrap and unmold.

Let cake sit, covered about 20 minutes.

Serve as is or with whipped cream.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/flourless-chocolate-rum-espresso-cake/

SKILLET POACHED EGG CURRY

SKILLET POACHED EGG CURRY

SKILLET POACHED EGG CURRY

Ingredients

This egg curry saves you the time and effort it takes to peel eggs. Its a lovely dish to serve to a hungry crowd straight from the cooking pot. Salted or pickled onions make a good condiment for this dish.

Serves 4

8 fresh eggs

3 small cooking potatoes boiled, peeled and cut into 6 pieces

Puree to a smooth paste-

4 red plum tomatoes

2 Indian green chillies or or one bird chilli or a large jalapeno

6 large cloves garlic

1 inch ginger root peeled

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon powdered cumin seeds

For the curry

1/2 cup white onion finely sliced

2 green chillies stalks removed, kept whole

6 fresh green curry leaves, torn

1 inch cinnamon stick

2 cloves

1 dried bay leaf

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 cups coconut milk

Salt to taste

Instructions

Heat oil in a large flat skillet, saucepan or casserole no more than 2 inches deep on medium heat.

Add bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon stick and saute one minute then add curry leaves and saute 1 minute.

Add onions and whole green chillies and saute until soft and fragrant.

Add pureed masala paste. Lower flame and cook until reduce to half its volume. Cover skillet and leave a little ajar while this cooks.

Stir in coconut milk, 1.25 cups water and potatoes and let simmer 3-4 minutes until volume reduces.

Stir in salt to taste.

Add the eggs only when you are ready to serve the cuury. This gravy can be refrigerated and reheated later.

Crack an egg into a small ramekin and slide into the curry one at a time.

Allow eggs to cook slowly until whites are set and yolks are soft.

Serve in the skillet immediately with bread such as ladi pao, brun pav or a French loaf.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/skillet-poached-egg-curry/

RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH NATURAL BEET COLOUR AND CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH BEETROOT

RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH BEETROOT

Ingredients

I like my red velvet cake to taste like it actually has chocolate in it and I prefer natural coloring where possible. If you don't have beet powder use a food safe red color. The use of beet powder or juice is not new- in World War 2 it was used because it helped keep the cake moist in the absence of butter and eggs. I use butter in my recipe because you get a more moist crumb.

I add a little lime zest to my frosting because I feel it really brings the cocoa flavor our in the cupcake. You can omit it if you prefer.

While many permutations exist the red color in the cake is integral to this cake being called Red Velvet. A white cake with red frosting is not a red velvet cake and neither is a cake made with beetroot. The red color holds a special place in the south of America where it came to represent the blood of slaves who lost their lives during the civil war.

The original frosting for this cake is the Boiled Frosting and not the frothy cream cheese variations you see in bakeries. I have included a recipe for it. I use it when I do a cake but the cream cheese frosting is easier to pipe on small cupcakes.

The Red Velvet cake has become so in demand it is now available as cupcakes, cookies, cheesecake and more but it is not a new cake and dates back to the 1800's when cocoa cakes became popular.

First came the term velvet when cocoa was added to cake flour- a finely ground bleached flour that produces a very airy, smooth cake. Mahogany cake and Devils' Food are also Velvet Cakes

Velvet cakes had been made since the 1800s. The term red refers to the use of the color red. During the World Wars on account of rationing beetroot was added to to cakes to make them moist in the absence of eggs and butter. In Red Velvet the cake batter must contain a red colouring agent to qualify as a red velvet cake.

One of the most prominent mentions of Red Velvet cake came in 1943 in Irma S. Rombauer’s “The Joy of Cooking”. Looking at the recipe I can tell why Ms. Rombauer did not like Red Velvet cake. There is hardly enough chocolate in it.

The Adams Extract company attributes itself to making the “original” Red Velvet cake in the 1920s. Currently you can buy the mix from the company in its vintage packaging. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City also claims it is the birthplace of the Red Velvet cake, while some say that the Red Velvet cake started in the south.

MAKES 24 1/2 CUP SIZE CUPCAKES

Sift together

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour or Maida

3/4 cup good quality non-Dutch unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

225 grams or 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

300 grams castor or fine granulated sugar

4 eggs at room temperature

1.5 cups plain unflavoured buttermilk

3 tablespoons beetroot powder or any natural red food colouring

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons yogurt or sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

450-500 grams confectioners' sugar (sift if lumpy)

Red sprinkles or edible dust

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare middle rack. Place cupcake cases or liners inside your cupcake pan.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in buttermilk, beet color and vanilla. The batter should be red. If not add more beet color.

Gradually beat in the sifted flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not over beat or you will have a dense cake.

Spoon batter using an ice cream scoop if you have one, or a large tablespoon into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven. Place pan on a cool surface and cool cupcakes in their cases completely before you frost them. You can frost them using a teaspoon or a frosting bag of your choice.

For Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat cream cheese, softened, butter, yogurt or sour cream and lime zest vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/red-velvet-cupcakes-with-natural-beet-colour-and-cream-cheese-frosting/

RIPE CHERRY, WALNUT AND MIXED GREEN SALAD

RIPE CHERRY, WALNUT AND MIXED GREEN SALAD

RIPE CHERRY, WALNUT AND MIXED GREEN SALAD

Ingredients

Cherries are grown in colder climates all over the north and north east of India. In Nagaland they have a unique history. In 1944, the Japanese 15th army occupied Garrison Hill in Kohima, Nagaland. They used a cherry tree near by for sniper practice. What followed was one of the greatest wars ever fought. A small band of British and India troops besieged and outnumbered, halted the Japanese invasion of India. A branch grafted from this cherry tree now lies over the memorial commemorating the sacrifice of 917 brave Indians. Yet many Indians have never heard of ‘The Battle Under The Cherry Tree’.

In the USA some cherry varieties hold meaningful stories. Seth Lewelling, a Quaker and Abolitionist introduced the The Black Republican cherry in 1860. He was largely responsible for founding Oregon’s cherry industry. He named this fruit in honor of the Black Republicans, members of the Republican Party who opposed slavery.

India grows many varieties of cherries but only a few ever get to the markets in the big cities and that too for a very brief period. Cherries are great in salads, make superb jams, can be added to roasted meats and pureed to make gelato and sorbet.

Here is a simple green salad with seasonal cherries that pair wonderfully with toasted walnuts.

Ingredients (serves 5)

1 cup pitted or unpitted red cherries

½ cup skinned and lightly toasted walnuts

½ cup flat leaf parsley

3 cups rocket or arugula, washed, stalks removed or a green of your choice

For the dressing

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses or syrup (Monin or a brand of your choice)

½ cup olive oil

Juice of one lime

1 tsp honey (omit if molasses are very sweet)

1 tsp mustard paste (such as Dijon)

¼ cup finely sliced onions

1 tsp salt

Instructions

1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

For the salad

1. Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the contents of the bowl. Toss, taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/ripe-cherry-walnut-and-mixed-green-salad/

CHERRY CLAFOUTIS

CHERRY CLAFOUTIS

CHERRY CLAFOUTIS

Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients

Clafoutis (pronunciation: ​klafuti; is a baked French dessert originating in the Limousin region in south west France, of fruit, traditionally black cherries arranged in a buttered dish immersed in a thick egg and milk batter. The clafoutis is dusted with icing sugar and served lukewarm, sometimes with cream I also like it with creme fraiche. There are several variations using other fruits, including red cherries, plums, apples, pears or blackberries. When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is called a flaugnarde. In some versions the cherries are not pitted.

I like to cook the cherries a bit before I use them which is not traditional but I find cherries do not cook and distribute flavours as fast as pears or blackberries and cooking them adds more jammy flavour to a tart thats otherwise mostly batter.

USA and Turkey are major producers of sweet and sour cherries. India’s crop is mostly sweet and comes from Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir (more expensive). The flavours and colour vary dramatically even by the box. White Heart, Black Republican, Early Rivers from Himachal and Black Heart and Early Purple are names that are not familiar to most of us because even though India grows nearly 100 varieties, we almost have never seen more than a couple in Mumbai’s markets.

FOR TART PAN

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

FOR BATTER

1/4 cup granulated (fine) white sugar

4 eggs, at room temperature

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1.5 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tbsp cherry or orange liqueur of your choice

FOR CHERRIES

1/2 cup sugar

18 red ripe cherries, washed, dried and stalks removed

TO GARNISH (OPTIONAL)

Confectioners' sugar

Whipped cream or creme fraiche

1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp sugar to dust the sides of the baking pan

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and prepare lower rack.

Combine cherries and 1/2 cup sugar in a cooking pot and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat until thick and bubbly but cherries still hold shape. Do not macerate. Stir in the liqueur and let cool completely.

Butter a 10 x 3 x 1 1/2-inch round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.

Beat the eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour, cream, vanilla, orange zest, salt, and cherry or orange liquor if you are using it.

Spoon cooled cherries and any liquid all over the base of the baking pan. Spread cherries evenly.

Spoon the batter over the cherries and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is soft but set about 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool 35 minutes in the pan. This is a tart that is served in the pan it is baked in.

Slice and serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, and a side of whipped cream or creme fraiche.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/cherry-clafoutis/

TRES LECHES CAKE-MEXICAN THREE MILK CAKE

TRES LECHES CAKE-MEXICAN 3 MILK CAKE

TRES LECHES CAKE-MEXICAN 3 MILK CAKE

Ingredients

A Tres Leches cake also known in Spanish as pastel de tres leches, torta de tres leches or bizcocho de tres leches and pan tres leches ("three milk bread"), is a Mexican specialty. It has 3 components. An airy sponge cake with a fluffy topping soaked in 3 types of milk traditionally condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream. Personally I don't like the fluffy buttercream type frosting. This is a rich cake and I think the sponge with the thick milky syrup is ideal.

Butter is also used to bake this cake but I prefer the butter free version which gives you a lighter sponge that absorbs the cream mixture better. Sometimes liqueur is added to the soaking syrup and powdered cinnamon is sprinkled over the top.

Serves 8-10 9 inch round

FOR THE CAKE

6 large egg whites

1/2 cup fine granulated sugar, divided

6 large egg yolks

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1/5 teaspoon cream of tartar

FOR THE SOAKING AND POURING SYRUP

1 tin (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 tin (7.6 fl. oz.) heavy cream

1 cup evaporated Milk or use whole-milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FOR FROSTING (OPTIONAL)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 can drained tinned cherries (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease and flour 9-inch springform pan.

Whisk egg yolks and 3/4 cup of the sugar in mixing bowl until golden and thick- 3-4 minutes. You can do this manually or with an electric whisk. A line should form at the back of a spoon when you run your finger through the batter.

Fold the flour and beat until well incorporated. Do not over beat.

Whip egg whites, cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup fine granulated sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Fold in whipped egg whites into flour mixture manually. Do not over beat as the egg whites will lose their airiness. Pour into greased pan.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or just until golden and wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Remove from oven to wire rack and let rest in the pan until completely cool.

FOR CREAM:

Mix sweetened condensed milk, cream, evaporated milk or whole milk, liqueur and vanilla extract and stir well. Remove the cake and place on your serving platter which should have sides to prevent the milk from spilling out. Prick top of cake thoroughly with wooden pick in 8-10 places. Pour 2 cups mixed cream over cake. Spoon excess cream from side of pan over top of cake. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for 40 minutes or until cake absorbs cream. Remove side of pan. The extra soaking liquid can be served on the side.

FOR OPTIONAL FROSTING OR TOPPING:

Whip cream, sugar and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until fluffy peaks form. Spread over the top and sides of cake and sprinkle with cinnamon and dot with tinned cherries if you like. Serve immediately with remaining cream.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/tres-leches-cake-mexican-three-milk-cake/

KASHMIRI PANDIT STYLE ROGAN JOSH-KASHMIRI MUTTON CURRY

KASHMIRI PANDIT STYLE ROGAN JOSH-KASHMIRI MUTTON CURRY

KASHMIRI PANDIT STYLE ROGAN JOSH-KASHMIRI MUTTON CURRY

Ingredients

There are many versions of this epic dish. This is the Kashmiri Pandit version and came to me via Dr Rana, who I met on my trip to Kashmir.

For more on the history, unusual ingredients, where to buy groceries and the Wazwaan version read my article here http://www.taradeshpande.in/rogan-josh-ghula…iri-mutton-curry/

For more pictures on the ingredients like ratan jot (pictured top of page here) mawal, pran and saffron please visit my instagram page @deshpandetara

TRADITIONAL HINDU PANDIT VERSION

SERVES 5-6

1 kg mutton or lamb shoulder cut in pieces

FOR TEMPERING

3 tbsp mustard oil

3 tbspns ghee

1 black cardamom

3 green cardamom whole

2 inch cinnamon stick or dalchini

1 large dried bay leaf or tejpata

1/4 tsp asafetida or hing

FOR ROGAN JOSH MASALA

1 teaspoon aniseed powder (powdered saunf)

2 cups full fat plain yogurt or curd (not sour)

1-2 teaspoon freshly roasted and ground Kashmiri red chilli

1/4 cup of rattan jot or use 50 grams Mawal (dried cockscombe flowers) or a 1/2 tsp of dark red beet powder

Instructions

Rinse the lamb shoulder in stock pot of hot water. Drain completely. Boil the ratan jot or mawaal in 2 cups of water until reduce to 1/2 cup. Drain and reserve colored liquid.

Heat oil and ghee on a medium flame.

Add all the whole spices and cook until fragrant about 1 minutes. Then add asafetida.

Add the lamb or mutton pieces and cook on high heat to sear the meat. Using tongs remove the meat and set aside on a plate.

Add yogurt, aniseed powder, red chilli and yogurt. Stir well and cook on a medium flame until the yogurt splits, then comes together and releases its oil on the sides.

Return the meat to the yogurt mixture. Add the color and a teaspoon of salt. If the color is not red enough add more.

Toss well and cook on a slow flame until meat is tender.

Add more water a little at a time during the cooking process. This is eaten with rice so you must have gravy.

Add more red chilli and salt as per your taste.

Serve warm with rice

http://www.taradeshpande.in/kashmiri-pandit-style-rogan-josh-kashmiri-mutton-curry/

ROGAN JOSH: GHULAM WAZA’S KASHMIRI MUTTON CURRY

ROGAN JOSH: KASHMIRI MUTTON CURRY

ROGAN JOSH: KASHMIRI MUTTON CURRY

Ingredients

“bi-khūbī tā shavad Kashmīr mazkūr | bi-‘ālam nām-i nīkash bād mashhūr kunad daryūza kūh-i Pīr Panjāl | zi chatr-i daulatash rif‘at hama sāl “

As long as Kashmir is mentioned with good words, may it be renowned in the world. The Pir Panjal mountain seeks elevation from the parasol of his fortune, all year

-Kalim Kashani, 17th Century Persian Poet

On a trip to Srinagar last year I finally learned what goes into a Kashmiri Rogan Josh. And was I surprised.

No dish has bewildered me as much. It is one of India's most famous curries, but also offered in so many hodgepodge and wildly disparate versions in restaurants and online that it’s hard to know what an authentic Rogan Josh is. Maybe that shouldn't be surprising - with the violence in Kashmir (In the few days I was there a man with a grenade was arrested at the airport and, there was a shooting at a hotel and a gunfight between militants and the armed forces), there is a lot less 'sharing' of Kashmiri culture in the mainstream than there should be.

Kashmiri cooking traces its history to the 15th century, when Timur the Lame invaded India and accomplished woodcarvers, painters, weavers, architects and calligraphers and cooks migrated from Samarkand in today’s Uzbekistan, to the Kashmir valley. So too did expert cooks, known as Wazas.

The descendants of these cooks are now the master chefs of Kashmir and the elaborate feasts they prepare on special occasions came to be called Wazwaan. I had the good fortune to talk with Ghulam Mohammed Bhandari Waza, a renowned chef in Srinagar, with the assistance of his friend Arif Shah. Ghulam Mohammed's father and grandfather were also Wazas, but unhappily his son doesn't want to be one. Arif translated our conversations from Koshur to English and added that the younger generation don’t think the profession is given the respect it’s due. So many Kashmiri traditions, like the weavers of epic jamawar shawls, the wood workers of Khatamband, Ferozi and Pinjra kari and the makers of Wagu mats, have given up their trades as the years of violence in the valley have chased away tourists and with them demand for artisanal crafts.

It is crucial these authentic recipes are preserved and as I was lucky enough to get many of them including Dum Aloo and Gucchi Pulao I hope you will consider cooking them up.

Kashmir is a syncretic culture with myriad influences beginning with the trickle effects of the Persian Achaemenid invasions, followed by Alexander the Great's invasion of Punjab, the arrival of Turkish scholars, the Central Asians, those who ruled after Babur came to be called the Mughals, Kashmiri food is complex and beautiful and like its culture and crafts, an alloy welded by some of the world’s greatest warriors and civilizations.

While the name Rogan Josh is Persian, the techniques and ingredients involved are diverse. Roughan means "oil" in Persian, while josh means to boil. Interestingly the Muslim version of this dish involves boiling, while the Kashmiri Pandit (the Hindu Shaivites of Kashmir) recipe involves searing and braising. There is undoubtedly an Indian influence in the use of ghee and a large number of spices. Some of the ingredients such as Alkanet are of Mediterranean origin, Mawal or Cockscombe flower, it is argued is of African origin.

Facts I learnt about Rogan Josh (please send me an email or tweet if you disagree)

• There are 2 versions of Rogan Josh The Hindu Kashmiri Pandit version, which is more easily found on the internet and the Muslim version, which I obtained from Ghulam Waza. You will be surprised how different the two are and even more how awful the fake versions served in restaurants are.

• Rogan Josh is also made with chicken. You will find a good recipe for it in a book called Wazwaan by Khan Mohammed Sharief Waza and his brothers.

• The Pandit version does not use garlic and onions while the Muslim version uses Kashmir pearl garlic and shallots called pran (see grocery list below).

• The Pandit version uses dried ginger powder called sunth.

• The Pandit version uses yogurt the Muslim version doesn't.

• The ideal meat is mutton and if unavailable lamb. The best and traditional cut is the shoulder for the Kashmiri Pandit version. The Muslim version often uses meaty goat ribs also called champh.

• Several natural colouring agents unique to Kashmir are employed. Mawal or red cockscomb flower in the Wazwaan version, and rattan jot, a kind of wooden peel known as alkanet root or Alkanna tinctoria in the Pandit preparation. Saffron is used in the Muslim version and alters the taste because saffron unlike Mawal and Rattanjot has a strong flavour.

• Tomato is incorrectly used as a substitute when Mawal and Rattanjot are not available. No authentic version of Rogan Josh I ate or saw being cooked in Kashmir has tomatoes. Kashmiri chilli is also added in excess sometimes to produce a red color. This is incorrect because Rogan Josh is not a burn your tongue off dish. If neither are available to you I would suggest you use beet color as you might for a red velvet cake.

• In a Wazwaan the traditional Muslim meal, it is always the Muslim version of Rogan Josh with onions and garlic that is served.

• The Hindu version uses aniseed and asafetida or hing to replace garlic.

• The Muslim version uses ghee, the Hindu version also uses ghee and sometimes mustard oil.

• Both use dried Kashmiri chillies.

• Rogan Josh is served with rice.

• Rogan Josh has both a distinct color and aroma that you know instantly when the dish is placed before you. Kashmiri food places great importance on the sense of smell whether it is Haak or Gucchi Pulao the aroma is as distinct as the color and flavor. My piece on Kashmiri Haak-http://www.taradeshpande.in/kashmiri-haak/

Much of Kashmiri cooking relies on a fragrant mutton stock. I was surprised to note that Dum Aloo and Gucchi Pulao are prepared with mutton stock. The Dum Aloo served by restaurants is a far cry from the version made by Waza Ghulam and the technique for Gucchi Pulao is completely different from anything I’ve eaten before. Unlike the Kashmiri Pandits, the Waza's donot employ the technique of 'tadka' or tempering (throwing whole spices into hot oil) as much. A critical difference.

Ghulam Waza was quick to point out that in the old days Gucchi pulao was never a part of a Wazwaan. But many people insist on it now because Gucchi, a variety of Kashmiri morels are exorbitantly expensive and including them on a menu is a status symbol. A full Wazwaan can have as many as 25 courses but in 2017 the J&K government limited the numbers of courses to 7, banned the use of fire crackers and loudspeakers on account of air and sound pollution at weddings and the purchase of dry fruits sweets to be distributed with wedding cards to curtail the huge quantities food at weddings that wound up in dustbins.

Enjoy the Rogan Josh recipe. Dum Aloo, Gucchi Pulao and the Kashmiri Pandit version of Rogan Josh to follow soon.

GROCERY LIST

• Ratanjot- If you buy Alkanet check on the expiry date. In humid weather it goes bad quickly and loses color.

https://www.amazon.in/Neeraj-Traders-Ratanjot-Root-100/dp/B0731YWB4K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529141012&sr=8-1&keywords=ratan+jot

Mawal of dried cockscombe flower comes in large quantities. You maybe better off buying the concentrated powder. If unavailable use beet powder.

• https://www.kashmirbox.com/dried-cockscomb-flower-powder-mawal-200gmhtml

• A Kashmiri saffron I have enjoyed using for various reasons including that it is Mogra (taken from the stamen) and of single origin- many Kashmiri saffron are blended with Iranian saffron.

• https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B01DQHWL32/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

• There are several kinds of Kashmiri garlic. The version in this recipe is single clove mountain garlic which is much more potent then regular garlic. If you don't have access use twice the quantity of regular garlic cloves.

• https://www.amazon.in/Naturally-Yours-Himalayan-Single-Garlic/dp/B00VJRDWK8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1529142519&sr=8-2&keywords=kashmir+garlic

• Kashmiri shallots can also be used in French cuisine quite satisfactorily. Keep them dry and refrigerated. In my experience a humid climate has a detrimental effect on them.

• http://kashmirkit.com/pure-natural-kashmiri-shallot-pran-289.html

Kashmir Morels can be substituted with morels from the USA or France

https://www.amazon.in/Keynote-Morel-Mushrooms-Morels-without/dp/B071GPXMHL/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1529219223&sr=8-4&keywords=kashmir+mushroom

OR

https://www.amazon.com/Dried-Morels-Mushrooms-Life-Gourmet/dp/B0071GX2R4/ref=sr_1_5_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1529219290&sr=1-5&keywords=dried%2Bmorels%2Bmushrooms&th=1

For more pictures from my Kashmir trip and the ingredients that go into Rogan Josh like Pran paste and Mawal

please visit my instagram page @deshpandetara

TRADITIONAL MUSLIM VERSION OF ROGAN JOSH BY GHULAM MOHAMMED BHANDARI WAZA

SERVES 6

FOR THE STOCK

1 KG MUTTON RIBS OR CHAMPH

3 PEARL KASHMIR PEARL GARLIC CLOVES PEELED, LIGHTLY BASHED OR 6-8 REGULAR PEELED CLOVES

2 PIECES OF BLACK CARDAMOM

3 PIECES OF GREEN CARDAMOM WHOLE

3 PIECES OF CLOVES

3 PIECES OF CINNAMON ABOUT 2 INCHES

FOR THE KASHMIRI CHILLI PASTE

8 DRIED KASHMIRI CHILLIES, STALKS AND SEEDS REMOVED

FOR THE ROGAN JOSH PASTE

6 PRAN OR KASHMIRI SHALLOTS PEELED AND CHOPPED

2 TBSPNS GHEE

1/2 CUP VEGETABLE OIL

FOR THE COLOR

50 GMS DRIED MAWAL FLOWERS

8 STRANDS SAFFRON CRUSHED WITH A MORTAR AND PESTLE

1/2 TEASPOON GROUND TURMERIC POWDER

FOR THE GARNISH

1 PEELED GREEN CARDAMOM POD SEEDS FINELY GROUND

SALT TO TASTE

Instructions

Heat 1 liter water on the fire and boil the mawal flowers until you have a bright red color and the water is down to 1/2 cup of liquid. Drain and reserve this liquid.

Put 1 Kg mutton or ribs (champh) in 2 liters of room temperature water and boil it on a low flame for 5 minutes. Strain the mutton out and discard the remaining water. This helps to soften and clean the mutton.

Put 2 litres of water and the strained mutton into the same stock pot with the garlic, black and green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt.

Boil this for 30 mins on a high flame. Do not steam the mutton or use a pressure cooker, it has to be boiled on high heat with a loose lid over the vessel.

Strain out the mutton pieces from the stock and filter entire stock through a piece of muslin cloth known as peera cloth in Kashmiri or use a fine steel strainer.

Reserve the ribs or meat pieces on a plate and discard all the spices.

Heat oil in a skillet on medium flame and saute the pran or shallots in ghee until deep golden and soft.

Use a little mutton stock and grind these onions to a smooth paste.

Boil the red chillies in 1 cup of water until water is mostly evaporated. Drain and grind chillies to a smooth paste.

Add the chilli and pran paste to the stock. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and the mawal liquid concentrate. Return ribs to stock and cook on a medium flame without a lid until stock begins to thicken.

Stir in the saffron.

Cook this enriched stock until mutton is tender and gravy thick. Adjust salt to taste

Just before serving sprinkle with a little ground cardamom.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/rogan-josh-ghulam-wazas-kashmiri-mutton-curry/

BANGDA UDID METHI-INDIAN MACKEREL CURRY WITH BLACK GRAM AND FENUGREEK

BANGDA UDID METHI-INDIAN MACKEREL CURRY WITH FENUGREEK, BLACK GRAM

BANGDA UDID METHI-INDIAN MACKEREL CURRY WITH FENUGREEK, BLACK GRAM

Ingredients

This is a unique curry prepared by the Saraswats of Goa and Karwar. Its unique flavor comes from a combination of black gram and dried fenugreek seeds that pair beautifully with the dark meaty, mildly bitter Indian mackerel.The vegan version is the Sour Mango Udid Methi which is also delicious and made for occasions when non vegetarian food is not permitted like a high holiday. You will find the recipe here http://www.taradeshpande.in/udid-methi-sour-…nd-coconut-curry/

This recipes call for whole fish but if you are not comfortable with deboning a fish on your plate use thick filets of a meaty fish like halibut or swordfish. Mackerel however, has a unique flavour. Bandga traditionally in Indian cooking is cooked whole except when it is sometimes flaked to make a dish like Kismore.

Serves 4

4 whole mackerel, cleaned

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tbsp lime or Lemon Juice

1 tsp Red Chili Powder or cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon kitchen salt

8 Dried Red Chilies such as Bedgi or Kashmiri, stalks and seeds removed

¾ Cup shredded fresh or defrosted, unsweetened coconut

180 gms white onions finely sliced

1 tsp Urad Dal or split black gram

½ tsp dried fenugreek seeds (Methi)

1 tsp medium grain white rice, rinsed

2 tsp whole Coriander Seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp Black Peppercorns

1-2 tsp tamarind concentrate

1/2 tsp jaggery if required

vegetable oil

chopped cilantro or fresh coriander to garnish

Instructions

To marinate the fish

Rub turmeric, red Chili powder, salt and lime juice over the 4 pieces of fish. Cover and refrigerate.

For the spice paste

Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a pan on medium heat. Add dried red chilies, black gram, cumin, coriander, black peppercorns, rice and fenugreek seeds and toast 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the pan and reserve.

In the same skillet add 1 tbsp oil and toast the coconut and onions 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Cook until the coconut begins to dry and turn a light golden brown.

Cool all the roasted ingredients and grind to a smooth paste thats free of any fibre or lumps.

Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in the skillet. Add remaining Onions and green chilli and saute until just softened. Do not brown.

Add the ground paste, turmeric and stir well. Add 2 cups of water and tamarind concentrate and cook for 5 minutes on a slow flame. Add the fish and continue to cook until fish is cooked through. This is a whole fish so it takes longer to cook than filets. If the fish is not immersed in gravy you may have to turn it over to ensure its cooked through.

Adjust salt, jaggery, red chilli powder and more tamarind concentrate to suit your taste. This curry is mildly spicy, sour and bitter with a hint of sweetness that should come from the coconut but if it isnt enough add a little jaggery.

Serve hot with boiled white rice and wedges of lime. Garnish with fresh coriander. The vegan version with sour mango is not garnished with coriander leaves and is always served with Basmati you can use any medium grain white rice for the seafood version.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/bangda-udid-methi-indian-mackerel-curry-with-black-gram-and-fenugreek/

QUICK FIX EGG VINDALOO WITH PICKLED ONIONS AND SOFT BUNS

QUICK FIX EGG VINDALOO STYLE CURRY WITH PICKLED ONIONS AND SOFT BUNS

QUICK FIX EGG VINDALOO STYLE CURRY WITH PICKLED ONIONS AND SOFT BUNS

Ingredients

This is a quick fix adaptation of a vindaloo for a meal on the run. Vindaloo masalas can vary in spice levels. If the masala is very spicy, use less or add more coconut milk. You can also serve with with boiled, white rice. The pickled onions will keep refrigerated for weeks and you can use them as a condiment with all kinds of dishes.

Serves 4

1 package readymade vindaloo paste of your choice (200 grams)

400 ml coconut milk

100 ml tomato puree

1 onion finely chopped

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Salt and sugar to taste

8 hardboiled eggs peeled and sliced in half

4 cooking potatoes peeled and halved

Pickled Onions

2 cups white onions sliced in fine rings

1/4 cup white vinegar

4 tbsp fresh coriander/cilantro chopped (optional)

TO SERVE

8 ladi or soft Portuguese type buns (not sweet) OR boiled white rice

Instructions

Combine the onions and vinegar in a glass jar. Shake well and refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight.

Heat oil in a small dutch oven or large skillet on medium heat and sauce onions till soft. Add potatoes and toss well. Add tomato puree and vindaloo masala and stir well. Add 2 cups of water, stir well and cook 8 minutes, stirring from time to time.

When potatoes are soft but not fully cooked stir in coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes until the curry bubbles and potatoes are ready to eat. Switch off flame and taste for sweet, spicy and salt. Adjust. Garnish curry with the halved eggs.

Garnish the picked onions with chopped coriander if you wish.

Serve hot with pao and pickled onions on the side.

Photos courtesy D Netto

http://www.taradeshpande.in/quick-fix-egg-vindaloo-with-pickled-onions-and-soft-buns/