HACHIS PARMENTIER- FRENCH STYLE SHEPHERD’S PIE

PERI-PERI HACHIS PARMENTIER- FRENCH STYLE SHEPARDS PIE

PERI-PERI HACHIS PARMENTIER- FRENCH STYLE SHEPARDS PIE

Ingredients

I LIKE TO MAKE THIS DISH DURING thANKSGIVING WITH LEFTOVER TURKEY AND USE SWEET POTATOES AND PEAS INSTEAD OF JUST PLAIN POTATOES. BUT YOU CAN MAKE THIS ANYTIME OF THE YEAR AND USE LEFTOVER CHICKEN OR LAMB OR BEEF.

A HACHIS PARMENTIER OFTEN HAS A LAYER OF MASHED POTATO AT THE BOTTOM ALSO. IF YOU WANT TO DO THIS DOUBLE THE QUANTITY OF POTATOES YOU USE.

Serves 8 with a side salad and bread

1 kg turkey or chicken mince or shredded leftover roast chicken or turkey (coarse mince)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

150 grams red or white onion finely chopped

4 tbsp garlic finely minced

4-5 tbspns peri-peri sauce (or to taste)

1 tbsp red wine vinegar (if required)

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 kg sweet potatoes steamed and peeled

1/4 kg carrots cleaned steamed

1/2 kg shelled peas steamed and blanched

1/2 cup cheese such as Gruyere or emmentaler (optional)

2 eggs plus one white whisked together

1 egg yolk whisked for top egg wash

3/4 cup heavy cream

To Garnish

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (optional)

Instructions

Heat the pan on medium flame. Add the olive oil and onions and sauce until soft and opaque. Add the garlic and sauce 1-2 minutes. Add the mince or shredded meat and toss well. If you are using raw meat cook it longer so some of the liquid evaporates. Stir in the parsley and peri-peri sauce.

Add salt and pepper to taste and add red wine vinegar if required to balance the flavors. Allow the mixture to cool then stir in whisked eggs and cheese.

Mash the potatoes with a potato ricer until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup cream, add salt and pepper. Reserve

Mash the sweet potato to a smooth mix and stir in 1/4 cup cream and add salt and pepper. Reserve

Mash the peas to a smooth mixture, add remaining cream and season with salt and pepper. Taste for Peri-Peri and adjust as desired. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare bottom and middle racks.

Pour the cooled meat mixture into a 9 by 13 baking dish. Smooth the top with a spatula.

Using a large round icing nozzle pipe the potato over the meat in long strips starting with the left side closest to the side of the baking dish and pipe 3 more equidistant. Repeat with the peas and the sweet potatoes until the entire bake dish is covered.

Brush with yolk and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and some parmesan.

Cover with foil. Prick with a fork a couple of times to release steam and bake in the bottom of the oven for 25 minutes and them move to the middle and cook until top is golden. Serve hot.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/hachis-parmentier-french-style-shepherds-pie/

KOREAN STYLE VEGAN SPARE RIBS

Korean Style Vegan Spare Ribs

Korean Style Vegan Spare Ribs

Ingredients

Serves 4 with an accompaniment such as fried rice or noodles

A well oiled 9 by 9 inch oven proof pan

250 grams vital wheat gluten

300 grams white mushrooms, wiped clean

200 grams white onions finely chopped1/2

3 cloves garlic finely chopped

4 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

3 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons fresh espresso or use 1 teaspoon instant coffee

2 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp kitchen salt

FOR BBQ SAUCE-

Combine and cook for 15 minutes on a low flame.

1 cup good quality smoky bbq sauce

2 tbsp Gochujang (or use a hot sauce of your choice)

3 tbsp sesame oil (or to taste)

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp beet powder

1/2 cup Coca Cola

Instructions

Remove the mushroom stems. Place the mushrooms stems, salt, tomato paste, brown sugar and coffee or espresso and soy sauce in 2 liters of water and cook on high heat until reduced to 1 cup. Strain and discard mushrooms stems. Cool stock.

Slice the mushrooms caps into 3-4 pieces vertically.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and stir until soft and begin to caramelise to a golden brown. The caramelised onions will bring rich flavour to the ribs.

Add garlic and remaining mushrooms.

Saute until water evaporates and mushrooms start to brown. Switch off flame. Cool mixture.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Blitz to cooled mushroom mixture to a paste in the blender. Add ketchup, peanut butter and blitz again.

In a mixing bowl combine the wheat gluten and mushroom paste. Slowly add the mushroom stock as required to form a thick loose dough.

Spread the dough in the oiled pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes in the middle rack until set but not hard. Remove and using a sharp knife cut into sizes desired. Cool in the pan. Remove only once the dough is at room temperature.

Slather with bbq sauce.

Heat more vegetable oil in a grill pan and grill each piece until grill marks for on either side.

Slather with more bbq sauce and serve with fried rice or noodles.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/korean-style-vegan-spare-ribs/

MINESTRONE WITH PESTO BRUSCHETTA

MINESTRONE WITH PASTA AND PESTO BUTTER BRUSCHETTA

MINESTRONE WITH PASTA AND PESTO BUTTER BRUSCHETTA

Ingredients

Minestrone is Italy's most famous soup and it has become popular because its easy to make, adaptable and delicious. Over the centuries Minestrone in Italy has changed a great deal. Tomatoes for instance as a newer addition to the soup.

Traditionally minestrone is made with Borlotti beans also known as cranberry beans but they are not always available, Here is my version, which uses ingredients that you can find anywhere. This recipe can be made with bacon or you can use dried mushrooms (as indicated below) for a vegetarian version that is scrumptious. I serve it with a pesto bruschetta reminiscent of the Ligurian version of this soup known as Minestrone all Genovese. But garlic bread is great too. I used Fregola- a toasted semolina pasta in this soup. You can use barley instead if you want a gluten-free version.

SERVES 10

1/2 CUP FINELY CHOPPED BACON OR USE 2 TBSP DRIED PORCINI/SHITTAKE MUSHROOMS FOR VEGETARIANS

3 TBSPN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OR REGULAR VEGETABLE OIL

1 CUP FINELY CHOPPED WHITE ONION

1/4 CUP FINELY CHOPPED CELERY STALK

1/4 CUP FINELY CHOPPED FRESH GARLIC

5 COOKING POTATOES PEELED AND QUARTERED

2 CUPS CARROTS, SLICED LENGTHWISE AND THEN HALVED INTO 1/4 INCH THICK PIECES

1 CUP YELLOW ZUCCHINI DICED MEDIUM

1 CUP GREEN ZUCCHINI DICED MEDIUM

1 CAN (400G) TINNED BAKED BEANS

1 TEASPOON GROUND WHITE PEPPER OR MORE

1 CUP FREGOLA OR USE SMALL TUBE PASTA OF YOUR CHOICE SUCH AS ELBOW MACARONI,DITALINI OR CONCHIGLIE

SALT TO TASTE

GARNISH

SHREDDED PARMESAN

PESTO BUTTER BRUSCHETTA

80 GRAM FRESH BASIL

6 CLOVES GARLIC

3 TBSPN BUTTER

3 TBSPNS SHREDDED PARMESAN

1/4 CUP PINE NUTS, CHILGOZA OR SKINNED ALMONDS

Instructions

IF MAKING VEGETARIAN MINESTRONE SOAK THE DRIED MUSHROOMS IN 1/2 CUP HOT WATER.

HEAT OIL ON MEDIUM HEAT IN A LARGE SOUP POT. ADD BACON AND COOK UNTIL GOLDEN AND RENDERED. IF VEGETARIAN SKIP THIS STEP.

ADD ONIONS AND CELERY AND SAUTE UNTIL ONIONS ARE SOFT AND TRANSLUCENT-3-4 MINUTES.

ADD POTATOES AND STIR WELL. ADD 1.5 LITERS OF WATER, GROUND PEPPER AND COOK 5-7 MINUTES UNTIL POTATOES SOFTEN.

ADD CARROTS AND COOK ANOTHER 4 MINUTES UNTIL CARROTS SOFTEN.

ADD BEANS, AND COURGETTES AND THE MUSHROOMS WITH THEIR LIQUID (IF USING) AND COOK 2 MINUTES ON HIGH HEAT UNTIL THE SOUP BEGINS TO BOIL.

ADD PASTA AND SWITCH OFF THE FLAME.

ALLOW THE PASTA TO COOK IN THE HEAT OF THE SOUP.

ADD SALT AND MORE PEPPER TO TASTE. LADLE INTO BOWLS.

FOR THE PESTO

PROCESS THE INGREDIENTS TO A CHUNKY CONSISTENCY IN A FOOD PROCESSOR.

FOR THE BREAD

FLAME THE SOURDOUGH OR BAGUETTE OVER AN OPEN FLAME ON BOTH SIDES. IMMEDIATELY BRUSH WITH PESTO BUTTER AND SERVE WITH HOT MINESTRONE AND MORE PARMESAN ON THE SIDE.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/minestrone-with-pesto-bruschetta/

CRACKED BLACK PEPPER, RED WINE VINEGAR AND GARLIC ROAST CHICKEN

CRACKED BLACK PEPPER,GARLIC AND RED WINE VINEGAR ROAST CHICKEN

CRACKED BLACK PEPPER,GARLIC AND RED WINE VINEGAR ROAST CHICKEN

Ingredients

There is nothing most classic and comforting than a roast chicken dinner.

To cook a roast chicken that has a golden crispy skin and a fully cooked but moist inside make sure the oven is preheated when the chicken goes in. I like to cook mine at a low temperature for the first 35 minutes and then increase the temperature towards the end.

I recommend serving this chicken with Pommes Dauphinoise Gratin and a simple green salad.

Serves 4-5

1.25-1.5 kg chicken for roasting

1/4 cup black peppercorns, coarsely smashed

6 cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoon coarse salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Large roasting pan

Instructions

In a small saucepan melt the vinegar, butter and oil over a slow flame. Whisk to emulsify. Do not boil this. Remove from flame and cool.

If you have washed the chicken wipe it dry with paper towels.

Tuck the wings under the sides.and truss (Tie together) the chicken legs with some kitchen string.

Using a pastry brush or a spoon coat the chicken with the vinegar mixture. Use your fingers to apply this to the inside of the skin. Push 3 smashed garlic cloves into the chicken cavity. Rub the remaining over the chicken and tuck inside the skin. Coat the top of the chicken with the crushed black pepper.

Cover chicken and refrigerate 30 minutes

Remove the chicken from the fridge and let sit 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325F nd prepare bottom rung.

Roast chicken for 45 minutes for a 1.5 kg chicken and ten minutes less for a 1.25 kg in the lower rung.

Move chicken to the middle rung. Using a tablespoon or a basting brush brush the juices at the bottom of the pan all over the chicken. and increase the temperature to 400F.

Cook until the chicken skin in golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving. This is important to allow the meat to rest and the juices to settle before you carve it.

Remove the chicken from the pan onto your carving plate and strain any remaining liquid into a gravy dish.Discard bits unless there are pieces of garlic. Keep those -they are yummy.

Serve the jus on the side.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/cracked-black-pepper-red-wine-vinegar-and-garlic-roast-chicken/

Pasta with Gorgonzola, Pears and Chives

Pasta with Gorgonzola, Pears and Chives

Pasta with Gorgonzola, Pears and Chives

Ingredients

This velvety pasta is a knockout and so easy to make. Serve it with a crispy salad and an easy bottle of red wine.

Serves 5

1 pound pappardelle or a flat long pasta such as fettuccine

350 grams soft blue cheese such as Gorgonzola, crumbled

3 ripe Bosc pears, cored and sliced into 8-10 pieces each

100 grams of butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp heavy cream

1/4 cup finely chopped chives

Instructions

Set a stock pot of water with a pinch of salt to boil.

Heat butter an olive oil in a large and deep skillet. Add the pears and cook on a medium flame until pears begin to caramelise. Add 2 cups of the pasta stock water to the pan.

Stir in the blue cheese and when it is melted and you have a smooth sauce drain the pasta and toss the noodles in the sauce.

Add a teaspoon of salt and season with fresh pepper.

Stir in the cream and garnish with chives, Serve hot.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/pasta-with-gorgonzola-pears-and-chives/

CHICKEN MARSALA

CHICKEN MARSALA WITH MUSHROOMS

CHICKEN MARSALA WITH MUSHROOMS

Ingredients

Chicken Marsala is an Italian American classic made with a dry, fragrant Marsala wine, chicken and mushrooms. It is served with flat wide noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.

Marsala wine is a fortified Sicilian wine made with a range of grapes and can be purchased sweet or dry. You can also by fine Marsala wines for sipping. This recipe] call for a dry inexpensive Marsala.

You can use dry sherry and red wine as well but Marsala has a unique flavour.

To give my Marsala sauce body I used dried porcini mushrooms and added some garlic to the pan. Instead of chicken stock I use starchy water from the cooking pasta, which works very well, But if you are serving this with rice or mashed potatoes you could use chicken stock instead.

Serves 4-5 as a main course

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup finely chopped pancetta or bacon

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves pounded evenly to 1/4-inch thickness (about 500 grams or 1.1-1.25 pounds)

18 grams dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 1cup of hot water

⅔ cup all purpose flour or maida

300 grams cleaned and thinly sliced button, crimini,white (Bella) or shiitake mushrooms (or a combination)

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup shallots, minced

4 cloves garlic finely minced

1/4-1/2 cup Marsala wine, as needed

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped chives, chervil or parsley for garnish)

1 pound flat wide noodle such as fettuccine paparadelle, mashed potatoes or boiled white rice

Instructions

Pat the chicken cutlets with flour on both sides. Reserve. In a large and deep skillet (atleast 2 inches deep and 10-12 inches wide) on medium heat fry the Pancetta with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil until golden and crispy. Remove the pancetta using a slotted spoon into a plate.

To the same skillet add the remaining oil and fry the chicken cutlets on both sides until just golden brown. Remove the chicken and place in the same plate as the pancetta.

Add the butter to the skillet and saute the shallots about 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute on high heat until mushrooms begin to brown.

Add 1/4 cup Marsala wine to deglaze the pan and stir well to get all the caramelised bits in the pan into the sauce. Allow this wine to reach a slow bubble.

Add the chicken breasts and the pancetta. Pour in the liquid from the rehydrated mushrooms and the mushrooms into the pan. Stir and let it cook 2 minutes.

To this add 1 to 1.5 cups of pasta water. Lower flame and simmer. Allow sauce to the thicken. You want enough sauce to around for 4-5 people. The sauce should cling to the pasta so you want a consistency that is a bit like a creme anglaise.

Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust. Add more Marsala and seasoning if you wish.

Garnish with fresh herbs.

Spoon over pasta cooked al dente or bowls of rice or mashed potatoes.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/chicken-marsala/

Bucatini con Cavolfiore, Aglio e Pangrattato Tostato: Pasta with Cauliflower, Garlic and Toasted Breadcrumbs

 

Bucatini con cavolfiore, aglio e pangrattato tostato: Pasta with Cauliflower, Garlic and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Bucatini con cavolfiore, aglio e pangrattato tostato: Pasta with Cauliflower, Garlic and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Ingredients

Serves 4 as a main course

350 grams small cauliflower florets

1 pound bucatini/spaghetti/fettuccine

2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic

2 tbsp butter or olive oil

1 tbsp olive oil

1.5 cups whole-milk

1/2 tbsp freshly ground white pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley - flat leaf is ideal but you can use curly as well

3/4 cup freshly toasted breadcrumbs made from garlic bread

1/2 cup parmesan shredded

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts or use chilgoza (optional)

Instructions

Set a stock pot of water with 1/2 tsp salt to boil.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan on medium heat. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the florets, and toss well. Saute 1-2 minutes.

Add the milk, nutmeg and white pepper and lower flame and let the cauliflower cook until tender to eat but still has some bite.

Add pasta to the boiling water and cook 7 minutes. The pasta should be undercooked.

Strain and add the undercooked pasta to the saucepan with the cauliflower. Add 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water to the saucepan and toss the pasta until well coated. Let it cook in the sauce another 1 minute or so until al dente.

Switch off flame. Stir in the parmesan and toss well. Taste and adjust for salt.

Add the parsley and toss again.

Garnish with garlic breadcrumbs and pine nuts.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/bucatini-con-cavolfiore-aglio-e-pangrattato-tostato-pasta-with-cauliflower-garlic-and-toasted-breadcrumbs/

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/

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/