How about treating yourself to a sumptuous array of Mughlai dishes that have done away with meat?
The menu here is perfect for a rainy Sunday brunch followed by a deep slumber in the name of an afternoon nap!
Kathal ki biryani
kg raw jackfruit (kathal, cubed)
1 cups rice (soaked)
Salt to taste
4 green cardamoms
3 black cardamoms
2 one inch sticks of cinnamon
Oil to deep fry
4 medium sized onions (sliced thinly)
3 tbsp pure ghee
tsp caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
3 medium-sized tomatoes (chopped)
1 cups yogurt (whisked)
1 small bunch fresh coriander leaves (finely chopped)
5-6 strands of saffron
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 small bunch fresh mint leaves (torn with hand)
1 tbsp kewra water
Parboil rice in six cups of water adding a little salt and two green cardamoms, two black cardamoms, cloves and one stick of cinnamon. Drain parboiled rice, refresh in cold water and drain again. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep-fry jackfruit cubes. Drain and keep aside. In the same oil, deep-fry half the onions till golden brown and crisp. Drain and keep aside. In another pan, heat three tablespoons of ghee, add shahi jeera and remaining green cardamoms, black cardamoms, crushed cinnamon. Add remaining onions and saut for a while. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and continue to saut. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, tomatoes and continue to saut for two to three minutes. Add fried jackfruit cubes and stir. Add yogurt, salt and coriander leaves.
Dissolve saffron in lukewarm milk and keep aside. Preheat the oven to 200C. Take a large bowl, arrange half of the jackfruit mixture. Over this, spread a layer of rice. Sprinkle saffron milk, garam masala powder, a few mint leaves and a few drops of kewra water. Arrange the rest of the jackfruit mixture. Cover with rice. Garnish with fried onions, a few mint leaves and remaining kewra water. Cover with aluminium foil and cook in the preheated oven at 200C for about twenty minutes. Serve hot with a raita of your choice.
4 cups refined flour (maida)
Salt to taste
1 cup milk
2 tsps sugar
cup pure ghee + to shallow fry
Sieve flour with salt. Warm milk slightly and dissolve sugar in it. Make a well in the sieved flour, pour the milk and around half cup of water and mix in gradually. When fully mixed, knead into a soft dough. Cover with a moist cloth and keep aside for ten minutes. Melt ghee and add two-thirds of it to the dough, incorporate it gradually and knead it again. Cover and keep aside for ten minutes. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten with a rolling pin into a rectangular shape. Apply one-fourth of the remaining ghee evenly over the rolled dough, dust with flour, fold one end to two-thirds of the rectangle and then fold the other end over it to make three folds. Cover and refrigerate for ten minutes. Repeat this entire process thrice.
Remove from the refrigerator and flatten into a rectangle around one-eighth inch thick and make round discs of four inch diameter with a round cutter. Then make three crisscross incisions evenly spaced on the surface of each disc. Place the discs on butter paper sheets and refrigerate until ready to serve. Melt ghee on a tawa and shallow fry the paranthas over low heat until golden brown on both sides. Serve hot.
Chefs tip: The longer you refrigerate the dough, the flakier the paranthas. But do not refrigerate it for more than eight hours.
1 cups pigeon pea split (arhar dal) (washed)
Salt to taste
1 cups of milk
cup fresh cream
1 cup yogurt
1 betel leaf (khaane ka paan) (washed)
A piece of charcoal for dhungar
8 green cardamoms
2 tbsps pure ghee
2 tsps caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
6 cloves garlic (chopped)
6-7 peppercorns (crushed)
2 green chillies (chopped)
A few sprigs of fresh mint leaves (roughly chopped)
Soak dal in three cups of water for fifteen minutes. Boil the dal in four cups of water with salt till done. Drain cooking liquour and reserve it. Mash the dal till smooth. Mix together milk, cream and yogurt. Keep in the refrigerator. Place the betel leaf over the dal and put a small piece of live charcoal on it. Put four cloves and four cardamoms over the coal. Heat one teaspoon of pure ghee and pour over it and immediately cover and keep for ten minutes for dhungar. Remove the charcoal and betel leaf.
Heat remaining ghee in a pan, add the remaining cloves and cardamoms. Saut for a minute. Add shahi jeera and garlic. Saut for two minutes. Add the smoked dal and the milk-cream-yogurt mixture. Blend well. Stir in crushed peppercorns, salt and green chillies. Cover and simmer on low heat till you get the desired consistency. If required use the reserved cooking liquour. Garnish with mint leaves and serve hot.
Ananas ka muzaffar
1 cups basmati rice
A few strands of saffron
1 cup khoya/mawa
4 green cardamoms
4 slices of pineapple (chopped)
2 cups sugar
2 sheets silver varq
8 raisins (kishmish) (washed and pat dry)
8 cashewnuts (chopped)
8 pistachios (chopped)
8 almonds (chopped)
Wash and soak rice in three cups of water for half an hour. Drain. Boil in four cups of boiling water with saffron till three-fourths done. Drain and keep aside. Heat two tablespoons of ghee in a pan and fry khoya lightly.
Heat remaining ghee in a thick-bottomed pan. Add cloves and green cardamoms and place a layer of rice. Top with some of the chopped pineapple and some of the sugar. Repeat these layers till all the ingredients are used up, the topmost layer being of rice. Cover the pan and put it on low heat on dum on a griddle for about forty-five minutes to one hour. When cooked, garnish with silver varq, khoya, raisins and chopped nuts.
firstname.lastname@example.orgGet the right Mughlai flavour
There are a few simple cooking techniques that provide the perfect Mughlai touch
Ghee Durust Karna This is a vital step in cooking almost any Mughlai food. It is essentially the tempering or seasoning of the cooking medium and flavouring it with kewra water and cardamoms. The method is as follows: Heat half a kilogram of ghee or oil to a smoking point, then reduce the heat and sprinkle one tablespoon of kewra water. Add six green cardamoms, stir till the water evaporates and the ghee gives off a pleasant aroma. Remove from heat, strain through a muslin cloth and keep for future use. Tempered ghee is used for all the recipes except for baghar, dhungar and deep-frying.
Dhungar This is quick smoke procedure used to flavour a meat dish, dals or even raita. The smoke very effectively permeates every grain of the ingredients and imparts a subtle aroma, which enhances the quality of the dish. The procedure may be carried out either at the intermediate or the final stage of cooking. This is a common technique employed while making kababs. The method is as follows: In a shallow utensil or a lagan in which the meat or mince has been marinated, a small bay is made in the centre and a katori or onionskin or even a betel leaf (depending on the dish) is placed. On it a piece of live coal is placed and hot ghee, sometimes mixed with aromatic herbs or spices, is poured over it and covered immediately with a lid to prevent the smoke from escaping. The coal is then removed from the utensil and the meat put through further cooking processes.
Dum dena This is a method used frequently in Mughlai cooking. Dum literally means breath and the process involves placing the semi-cooked ingredients in a pot or deg, sealing the utensil with flour dough and applying very slow charcoal fire from the top, by placing some live charcoal on the lid, and some below. The Persian influence is most evident in this method though in India it has acquired its own distinct character. The magic of dum is the excellent aroma, flavour and texture which results from slow cooking. This method is followed for a number of delicacies such as the shabdeg, pilau and biryani. Any dish cooked by this method is Dum Pukht or Dum Bakht.