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I had tried this once as a kid and it didn’t turn out so well without some help. So some few years later I made it and realised, it’s actually a cake walk to make Mutton Biryani…for anyone and actually!

Reason why I messed up back then: Went totally by the book and hardly could reach up to the gas stove!

Ingredients:

For the Marinade:

1 kg Mutton/Lamb

4 tbps Ginger Garlic Paste

1 1/2 tbps Pepper

2 tbps Salt

2 tbps Yoghurt

Mix all together and keep for atleast 4-5 hours.

For the Main-Prep:

1 kg Basmati Rice

30-50 ml Oil

10 ml Ghee

5 gm Cumin

1 1/2 tbps Turmeric Powder

2 1/2 tbps Chilli Powder

3 1/2 tbps Coriander Powder

1 tbps Garam Masala Powder or Whole Garam Masala

1 1/2 kg par boiled potatoes

5-6 medium sized onions

500 gm Curd

5 gm Kasuri Methi (optional)

10 gm Saffron mixed in 10 ml Milk

Method:

1. Half boil the rice (ideally 20-25 mins or till you know when), strain and toss it up in ghee and cumin. Keep aside.

2. In a heavy bottom vessel, Heat up the oil and start up by frying up those par boiled potatoes. Let ’em get a light coat of the oil and harden up a bit, then add in the onions

3. Once the onions are light brown add in those masalas a.k.a. spices, i.e., Turmeric powder, Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder and the Garam Masala (powder blends well while whole garam masala gives more flavour but doesn’t blend well) and fry them for a few minutes

WARNING: The Spices tend to stick to the bottom of the vessel so you gotta be at it and the Red Chili and Garam Masala are heavy on the palette…use accordingly!

4. Add in the succulent mutton pieces sans the liquid!…Fry them for 15-20 minutes on a heavy flame

5. Add in the yoghurt and allow it to blend in the whole mixture while you take in the aroma! Use some of that marinade liquid too!

6. Now the main part, With a ladle place the rice gently over the mutton pieces, dabbing it lovingly from the top, time to time!

7. Once all the rice is gone in, Mix saffron with some milk and pour over the rice. Cover it with a lid and put a heavy object like a mortar, knife sharpener or something on it so that it cooks in its own steam or what we call Dum cooking! (Traditionally, it calls for sealing the edges of the vessel with dough)

8. 15 mins on high flame followed by 30-45 mins on a slow flame. To check insert a a flat spoon all the way till the bottom to check whether the liquid has been thickened or dried.

To serve

With the flat spoon, take out a portion from the bottom with the rice coming along with it and serve it with masala papad and a mixture of yoghurt, diced onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, chat masala powder and salt called Raita (a lot of  variations available!)

Big Hit and an Inevitability in our Indian Occasions and God knows why, we love it each time!

Note: Try making your own adjustments…It’s definitely worth a shot!

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This one has always been a favourite in most of our parties, compliments to Dad of course! Instead of using the conventional method of Roasting in an Oven, this method involves a simple process of pot roasting. A sure shot show stopper in parties or a get together with family and friends and yet easy to make! What you need is:

1 Whole Chicken (Skinned)

750 gm Potatoes

750 gm Onions

100 ml Olive Oil or Melted Butter

For the Marination:

5 gm Rosemary

5 gm Thyme

10 ml Worchestershire Sauce

15 gm Sugar

15 gm Ginger Garlic Paste (preferably fresh)

1/2      Lemon

1 tsp    Salt

1 tsp    Pepper

Pre-Prep:

  • Mix all the marination ingredients with the chicken and allow it to rest for 1-2 hrs
  • Cut the Onions and Potatoes in quarters or large chunks

Method:

  • In a vessel, heat the olive oil or butter taking care it does not overheat and lay out the onions over it creating a bed
  • Cook the onions for a few minutes, then place the chicken on the bed of onions (breast side facing up) followed by the potatoes in the gaps
  • Allow the chicken to cook in the vessel before covering it with a lid and leaving it on a low flame
  • In intervals of 15-20 minutes keep turning the chicken on its side for even cooking.
  • To avoid drying of the chicken, gently baste or pour over butter over the chicken or alternatively, pour over a mixture of worchestershire sauce and sugar over it
  • Typically it should take 45-60 mins for cooking time, but it is always advisable to check the doneness (preferably at the leg).

Serve with garnish of coriander leaves, roast potatoes and roast gravy that is made in the process.

Roast cuts can be carved out and served as starters with Roast Gravy as the dipping. Easy & Innovative and light on the wallet, should be a sure-shot item on your next party planner!

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The Chicken Chinese Chopsuey

Having heard and read a lot of good reviews in burrp.com (always read for recommendations and reviews of new restaurants), we (me and my wife) landed one evening to eat at this place.

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The Triple Szechuan Veg Fried Rice

Being early evening around 8 pm, it was quite empty, except for the odd couple around. Good, lively, bright and appealing decor immediately set the mood. A friendly waiter took our orders of cheese garlic bread as starters as we contemplated main course. Contrary to all reviews suggesting Italian or Indian, we ordered Chinese cuisine and as was my wife choice. My wife being purely vegetarian, we ordered, on the friendly Sardarji owners recommendation, a Spicy Paneer dry dish probably chilly with Triple Szechuan Veg Fried Rice, along with a Chicken Chinese Chopsuey for me (totally carnivorous).

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The Veg Manchurian (Complimentary)

Now the review, the garlic bread didn’t score any points for us, as it was unusually dry and had no taste, except for the bread after taste. Probably the topping was too dry and didn’t penetrate the bread it was put on. On to main course, the Paneer dry dish scored full points as it was moist, succulent Paneer along with a great sauce which left a wonderful spicy tangy flavor in the mouth. The rice was equally good but probably the chili paste used could be toned down. But what was more pleasing, was the generosity of the Sardarji in giving a huge bowl of veg Manchurian with the fried rice (Please see the accompanying photographs) absolutely complementary to enjoy with the rice. This was a new one for us, which probably makes it a homely and friendly place to eat for people on a budget. Unfortunately in my dish, the chef forgot to control the salt levels, which made my Chinese Chopsuey quite salty. Otherwise, I liked the sauce of the Chopsuey, which was a perfect blend and flavor of the chicken stock used in making it. The noodles were quite crispy and the chicken used (large chunks), were absolutely soft and succulent. I find breast pieces of chicken generally dry and chewy, but this one was obviously from a better stock. The portions were humongous, so we had to doggie bag it for later.

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The Spicy Paneer Chilly

A typical “mom n pop” kind of restaurant, run by the owner chef and his wife, they seem content in feeding others. On talking to him, after I took permission to photograph the foods served to us, he showed me the great reviews he has received from the media as trophies for his hard work. He has recommended that I have the Afghani Chicken kebab, the stuffed parathas and the Italian, when I come next. Return I will, as for me this a place to go back too for another meal. Damages for the two of us, along with soft drinks – Rs 450. This is one place highly affordable.

186 Bhagat Singh Colony, New Andheri Link Road, Chakala, Andheri (E), Mumbai Landmark: Near Large Gurudwara on Link Road Phone: 28367141, 28327141, 9004344623

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Sana’s Chicken Wings

My first recipe

I am starting my blog today with the recipe which my daughter Sana calls one of her most favorite, and keeps on asking me……”pappy, when are you making them chicken wings…..

It is a fairly simple recipe for a starter and can be had at any time. Buy the wings at any chicken wholesalers shop and ask him to cut into 3 pieces. Discard the tip part of the wing and use the other two. Well here goes…..

Chicken Wings – 1 kg
Ginger & Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
Tomato Puree – 1/4 cup
Tomato Ketchup – 1/4 cup
Red Chili Flakes – 1 tsp
Worcestershire Sauce – 2 tbsp
Maggi Chicken Cubes – 2 cubes
Vinegar – 2 tbsp
Sugar – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Peppercorns – 2 tsp crushed
Oil – 2 tbsp
Spring Onions – 2 stalks, cut into rounds till the green part
Wash and clean the wings thoroughly and leave them to dry on a strainer . Completely dry them with paper towels and keep them aside for marination. Now prepare the marinade. In a bowl mix all the other ingredients except spring onions, and make into a smooth paste. Mix the oil into the marinade and allow it to settle. Pour this over the wings and let it marinade for 2 – 4 hours in the refrigerator. Remove it 30 mins from the fridge before cooking to allow to come to room temperature. Remove the wings from the marinade and keep aside. Retain the marinade for cooking.
Take a non-stick flat bottomed saucepan or dish and put it on high flame. Heat it well till it is very hot (without any oil in it), and then put all the wings till all they are covering the entire bottom of the pan. Keep on stirring them till all the wings have left their moisture and are nicely browned. Pour the remaining marinade over it, mix and cover the pan to let the wings cook. When they are done, remove the lid and simmer it on a low flame till the the wings are completely dry and the oil floats to the top.
Remove on a serving platter, garnish it with the spring onions and serve hot.
Yum..mm with hot chapatis, pao (local mumbai bread), or with your favorite tipple…..ask my friends…

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