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Old 20th April 2011, 12:52   #526
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Default re: Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs

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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
The other factor is how much loose starch is present on the grains. That is also the cause for the foaming on the surface when cooking rice directly in a pot (not pressure cooker). Try covering the pot, and one invariably gets a mess because of foam leaking out of the pot. The more one washes away the loose starch the less the stickiness and foaming.

Thumb-rule: wash till the water runs clear, drain, add the correct quantity of water, allow a 15 min. soak, get it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and allow it to simmer till done (usually 10-12 min.).

Basmati, BTW, needs less water - usually 1.5 times - to come out perfect.
We have honed on to this method

1. Soak rice for 10 min, and then wash it till the water runs clear.
2. Put the rice in the pot and add water till it is approximately twice as high as the rice.
3. Start at full heat till the rice starts boiling
4. Shift the pot to the burner which has lowest heat (my one has it real low). Cover the pot with lid. The heat should be real low, else the water will boil over.
5. Wait for the rice to cook - once the water is fully absorbed and none discernible and the grains have swollen, switch the heat off and with the lid on let the rice cook in its own steam for about ten minutes. You will get perfect rice. If you add a bit of salt to the water your rice will not be sticky.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 11:02   #527
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Last week, inspired by this thread, I tried to cook chicken masala curry, for the first time in my life. Results were ok not great.
I had bought 4 leg pieces from the cold storage shop near by. My biggest worry was to avoid under cooking.
It was basically the usual onion, ginger-garlic-curd-tomato masala and steamed the chicken in it just like what we do for making any veg gravy.
Now, my question to experts is
1. How do i make sure that I am cooking the chicken just right?
2. In my final product, the chicken near the bones was pinkish in color. Was it undercooked?
3. How long do I need to marinate the chicken. I have seen recopies suggesting 30 mins to all the way upto 10 hrs. How do I decide the right time?

Regards,
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Old 22nd April 2011, 12:03   #528
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Don't worry about undercooking - it is overcooking that spoils the dish. If it is undercooked, you can always put it back on the hob and get it right (just like adding salt). Just make sure the chicken is thawed properly to room temperature if you start with frozen chicken.

1. When it is just flaking off the bone near the joint (if with bones) or if you insert a tooth-pick, the tooth pick goes in easily. You can also try cutting with the cooking spoon - just done = cuts easily. If the resistance to cutting / inserting is springy, it is underdone. If the resistance is hard, it is overdone. Do account for the fact that the remnant heat in the pot will cook it further even if you switch off the heat

2. Yes, pinkish is underdone. At the same time, if you look carefully the tendons would be white - they are translucent when done

3. Marination time depends on marinade - acid (sour, like lemon) marinades marinate faster. Poking the flesh with knife tip or fork before marinating speeds up marination. A couple of hours is just about right for broiler chicken. Country/farm chicken takes longer, like for traditional Tandoori chicken - that takes 10 hours

Last edited by DerAlte : 22nd April 2011 at 12:09.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 13:00   #529
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amohit View Post
Last week, inspired by this thread, I tried to cook chicken masala curry, for the first time in my life. Results were ok not great.
I had bought 4 leg pieces from the cold storage shop near by. My biggest worry was to avoid under cooking.
It was basically the usual onion, ginger-garlic-curd-tomato masala and steamed the chicken in it just like what we do for making any veg gravy.
Now, my question to experts is
1. How do i make sure that I am cooking the chicken just right?
2. In my final product, the chicken near the bones was pinkish in color. Was it undercooked?
3. How long do I need to marinate the chicken. I have seen recopies suggesting 30 mins to all the way upto 10 hrs. How do I decide the right time?

Regards,
1. Thaw the chicken fully. Best method is to leave it in the fridge overnight, else if you have a microwave use the defrost function.

2. Marinade will make the meat tender. The longer you you marinate the better it gets. A hint, if you are defrosting in the fridge, coat the frozen chicken with marinade, put it in a zip-lock bag (just like Nigela) and leave it in the fridge over night.

3. Depending on the heat used the broilers cook between 15 minutes and one and a half hour. If you are cooking it in a Kadahi, 15-20 minutes is enough. If cooking on low heat an hour or more is required.

4. Pink meat near bone indicates undercooked. This normally happens if you use high heat, the outer cooks and in interior remains under cooked. Use a pot with a lid and cook at low heat, then the whole chicken will cook uniformly.

When you marinate the chicken, always either make a lot of shallow slits spaced about 1 inch (25mm) apart, or pierce the pieces with fork. This will let the marinade into the meat faster and push all the spices deep into the meat.

Another trick used in West to make Chicken moist is to rub the meat with salt (or immerse it in salt water) for a day or two. This does two things - one it infuses salt into the meat so that it is not bland and two it ensures that the chicken retains moisture while cooking and does not become dry and hard.

The thicker the meat pieces the longer they take to cook. So if you have large pieces you cook them longer and if you have small pieces (like Chinese stir fry) you cook them faster. As long cooking time will burn the outer parts, you lower the heat in proportion to cooking time - stir fry : 2-5 min,full heat, large pieces : 1/2 to 2 hours, low heat, roasts (and pot roasts) : 2 - 5 hours +. very low heat
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Old 22nd April 2011, 14:49   #530
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Default re: Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs

Don't we guys discuss desserts here? I tried caramel custard yesterday in the traditional way. That is, without using microwave oven. I did it this way: I boiled half litre milk with 3 tablespoons of sugar and cooled it. Then beat 3 eggs and added to the cooled milk (adding to hot milk causes rapid hardening, which is not desired) and mixed well. Then I prepared caramel in a shallow thin aluminium vessel by melting 5 tablespoons of sugar. Once all the sugar melted and turned light brown (if you wait, it turns dark brown and becomes bitter), I took it off the flame and moved the setting liquid all around so that the caramel sticks to the walls of the vessel. Once the caramel hardened, I added the milk and egg mix. Then I kept water to boil in a much bigger shallow vessel and put my caramel custard vessel in it and let it harden in steam for ten minutes. Then I cooled it, refrigerated it for a couple of hours and then inverted the custard in a plate and we all ate it. Then i remembered that i had forgotten to take any photo.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 18:28   #531
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Default re: Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs

Thanks Aroy.

This will help me next time. I think, I did everything wrong. I did not marinate it long enough and I cooked it on high flame.

Regards,
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Old 22nd April 2011, 19:35   #532
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Originally Posted by amohit View Post
Thanks Aroy.

This will help me next time. I think, I did everything wrong. I did not marinate it long enough and I cooked it on high flame.

Regards,
Well now you can go ahead full blast, it is the first step that is difficult. For first attempt you are lucky that you did not get burnt stuff like I did.

Just remember that the longer you cook the meat better the taste. Once you become confident, try my Biryani recipe given here some time back. If followed to the T, you get fabulous stuff the first time.
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Old 27th April 2011, 23:20   #533
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Default Fish Cutlet (Mackeral in this case)

Cutlets are snacks that are not difficult to make and tastes really nice. Great as starters or as a quick snack in the evening.

I had bought mackerals and marinated them to be fried. My wife fried a few but my son ate very little on that day. So back it went to the refrigerator. Before leaving from office, I asked my wife to boil a large potato and keep it ready for me. And after I reached home, got into the kitchen to make the cutlets. And then I realized I had no bread crumbs. Not to worry any way. I had brown bread at home. Sigh of relief.

Ingredients for fish preparation
  • 3 large mackerals (bangada in Marathi, Aiyla in Malayalam) - approximately 500 gm.
Fish marinade
  • 1 tbsp of red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice (juice of half a lemon)
  • Salt as per taste
Method: Preparing the fish
  • Clean the fish and make gashes on both the sides
  • Mix the fish marinade in a non-metallic vessel and apply this to the fish.
  • Keep the fish marinated for about 30 minutes.
  • Shallow fry the fish in a pan for approximately 5 minutes per side.
  • Once the fish has reached the room temperature, carefully debone the fish.
Ingredients for the cutlet
  • 1 medium sized onion finely chopped
  • ½ a cup of coriander leaves finely chopped
  • ½ a tsp of finely chopped ginger
  • 1 green chilly finely chopped (optional)
  • ½ a tsp of Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp of cooking oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 cups of deboned cooked fish (200 - 250 gm). Chop the fish finely. (mackeral in this case)
  • 1 large potato boiled and skin removed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of fine bread crumbs
  • Sufficient oil for deep frying the cutlets
Method
  • Heat a saucepan and add 1 tbsp of oil and once the oil is hot add the onion. Sauté the onion for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped ginger and green chilly. Sauté till the onions turn slightly brown.
  • Add the chilly powder and sauté further for a couple of minutes
  • Add the deboned fish and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the coriander leaves.
  • Add salt as required.
  • Take out the mixture and let it cool.
  • Drain water off the potato and mash it thoroughly.
  • Mix the potato and the fish mixture. Knead it for a few minutes to make sure that everything is mixed properly. Add salt if required.
  • Make lemon sized balls of the mixture and then flatten it to form a shape of your liking (round, diamond etc.). The thickness should be around 1cm.
  • Break the egg into a bowl and beat it well and add a little salt.
  • Dip each of the cutlet into the egg mixture
  • Take the bread crumbs in a flat plate and coat the cutlet with the bread crumbs.
  • Deep fry the cutlets till it is golden brown.
Serve with sweet and spicy tomato sauce.

Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs-fish_cutlet1.jpg

Unfortunately I could not make proper bread crumbs. So I just chopped up brown bread slices and the crumbs were really large pieces. This is why the appearance is not as good as it would have been, had I used proper bread crumbs. But they tasted yummy.

Tips
  • If you do not have bread crumbs you can prepare it easily at home. Trim the edges of a few slices of white bread and keep them in the sun so that they become hard and brittle. Powder them finely using the chopper jar of a mixer grinder.
  • Instead of shallow frying the fish, they can be cooked with a little water. In that case, make sure that water is completely drained off before deboning them.
  • You can also use any other fish for this. Fish like kingfish etc. would make the job easier since you can debone them very easily. The taste of course would be slightly different depending on the kind of fish used.
Enjoy your cooking.

Last edited by pjbiju : 27th April 2011 at 23:31.
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Old 28th April 2011, 14:21   #534
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Default re: Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs

Marinade:
Lemon
Garlic
Salt
Venigar
Pepper
Pinch of Garam Masala Powder
Coriander

Cut the Pomfret so that the head area is removed. This makes it easier to eat. The head part can be used for making gravy later.

Stuff the garlic into the slits made into the fish.
Coat with marinade and let it sit for around 30 minutes to an hour.

Coat fish with some oil just before you bake it.

Bake in an oven.
Place the fish on the grill tray.
Under it the regular tray wrapped in foil. Makes cleaning easier.

Both sides. Temp at 180 for 15 - 25 minutes.
Only bottom for 5 minutes.

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Old 28th April 2011, 14:36   #535
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At long last, on my son's pestering I have started taking photos of our cooking experiments. This happened when I make perfect Ham and was a bit vague of the ingredients.

I now have photos of
1. Home Made Ham - in progress. Will post next week.
2. Pickled cucumbers.

I have been Pickling Cucumbers for a number of years. They are ideal as a stand alone snack, in home made burgers and as an accompaniment for cutlets and kebabs in a party. This recipe is different from the Gherkins we get in the market, which is mostly pickled in Vinegar. This is adaptation of the traditional East European recipe to Indian Conditions.

Ingredients
Cucumbers - about 2 kg
Salt - 100g
Malt Vinegar - 3-4 tea spoons
Basil Leaves - 6 large
Mint Leaves - 12
Mint Stems - 9
Coriander Stems - 9
Ajwain - two table spoons
Bottles - 3 (I used the 1 kg Dabur Honey jars)

Stems and Basil Leaves
Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs-1.jpg

Basil Shrub for your reference
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Cut cucumbers into thick slices.
To know how much cucumbers to cut, fill up the jars with cut slices
Fill the jars to within a cm from the top with water
Empty the contents of the jars into a large vessel
Add the Ajwain and salt to the water
Boil for 5 minutes
Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs-3.jpg

Ready for filling
Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs-4.jpg

Distribute the Stems and Basil leaves amongst the jars
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Fill the jars with the cucumbers
Then distribute the Water equally into the jars. Make sure that the Ajwain is also distributed equally.

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Leave the jars with lid open to cool.
Now add the mint leaves.
Next add 1-1.5 teaspoons of Vinegar.
Close the jars and let the cucumbers pickle for a day if it is Winter and two to three hours if it is Summer.
Refrigerate. The pickle should be ready in a day or two.
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NOTE
1. If the water is bland add more salt to it
2. The pickle will stay in fridge for at least two weeks. It will slowly cook and become soft, depending on the temparature it is stored in.
3. In case the water does not cover the cucumbers fully, add water to fully submerge them
4. All quantities are approximate as I tend to add-taste-add, so in case you want it slightly different feel free to improvise.
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Old 28th April 2011, 18:26   #536
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Hmmm... Quite an unusual cucumber pickle I must say. I should try it out some time. So far I have been doing only the traditional ones, especially the Delhi-style cauliflower + turnips + carrot pickles.
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Old 9th May 2011, 09:49   #537
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Default Dal Makhani

First a veg recipe for today. This has been prepared by my wife. This is a very popular Punjabi dish.

Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs-dal_makhani.jpg

Ingredients
  • Whole black lentil (Sabut urad dal) - 250 gm
  • Ghee/Oil - 4 tbsp
  • Asafoetida (Hing) - one pinch
  • Onion chopped - 1 large
  • Tomato chopped - 2 medium
  • Chilly powder - ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder - a small pinch
  • Coriander powder - ¼ tsp
  • Everest garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
Make a coarsely ground/crushed paste of the following
  • Green chilly - 1
  • Jeera - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic crushed - 10 cloves
  • Ginger crushed - 1" piece
Method
  • Soak the black lentils for 30 minutes in water. (3 cups of water for 1 cup of dal). Drain the water.
  • Pressure cook the lentils with 3 cups of water for about 12 minutes (or until it is done). Bring the pressure cooker to full pressure and then lower the flame and let it cook. After about 12 minutes switch off the flame and then let it cool naturally. Once the pressure is completely released, check if the dal is cooked. If it is not, cook for a few minutes again. Open and mash the contents in the cooker slightly.
  • Heat a pan and add the ghee/oil
  • Add the asafoetida
  • Add the crushed ingredients and sauté for about 2 minutes
  • Add the onion and saute till they turn translucent
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala (Everest garam masala is good)
  • Add the chopped onions
  • Sauté till the masala is cooked
  • Add the ingredients of the cooker
  • Add more water if required (the gravy should be of pouring consistency)
  • Cook for about 10 minutes
  • Add salt and chopped coriander leaves
  • Add a dollop of butter before serving (in that case add a little less salt in the beginning)
This becomes very flavourful if you let it sit for a couple of hours at least after making it. Serve with hot naans.

Usually people also add one/two tablespoons of kidney beans (rajma) along with the black lentils. You can also add 3-4 tbsp of fresh cream after cooking.

Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs-dal_makhani1.jpg

Last edited by pjbiju : 9th May 2011 at 09:52.
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Old 9th May 2011, 14:50   #538
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Default Chicken Cutlets

Here is the second recipe for the day for the non-vegetarians. I prepared it on Sat for our guests.

Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs-chicken_cutlet.jpg

Ingredients for chicken preparation
  • 300 gm of boneless chicken breast
  • ½ tsp of Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • Salt as per taste
Cut the chicken into small pieces. Wash and clean them and then pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Marinate the chicken pieces with the given ingredients for 2 hours. After 2 hours squeeze the chicken dry (remove as much water as possible).

Other ingredients
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of ginger finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely choped
  • ½ cup of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp of chopped mint leaves
  • ½ tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of meat masala (optional)
  • 1 tsp of cooking oil
  • Salt as per need
  • 1 large potate boiled and drained and mashed (add salt to this as needed)
  • 1 egg broken into a bowl and beat lightly (add a bit of salt too)
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying the cutlets
Method
  • Take a pan and heat 1 tbsp of oil.
  • Add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic and green chilly. Sauté the onions till they turn translucent.
  • Add the coriander powder and the meat masala and sauté the ingredients for a couple of more minutes. After that take the mixture off the pan and cool it.
  • Take the chopping attachment of a mixer grinder and add the chicken pieces, cooked onion mixture, mint leaves, coriander leaves and mince everything finely.
  • Take the mixture into a bowl and add the mashed potato.
  • Knead the whole mixture after adding a little more of spices (chilly powder, coriander powder & meat masala) if needed.
  • Make lemon sized balls and flatten the balls.
  • Dip them in the egg mixture and coat them with the bread crumbs.
  • Deep fry the cutlets till golden brown.
  • Serve hot with onion salad (will post the recipe of the onion salad later). It can also be served with any other slightly tart and spicy sauce like tartar sauce.
Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs-chicken_cutlet1.jpg

One can try different variations to the spices/ingredients added to make cutlets that taste different.
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Old 9th May 2011, 16:07   #539
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@pjbiju: Thanks for the cutlet recipes - I made a slight alteration to the fish cutlet recipe and made egg cutlets, and it came out really well.
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Old 9th May 2011, 16:55   #540
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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
@pjbiju: Thanks for the cutlet recipes - I made a slight alteration to the fish cutlet recipe and made egg cutlets, and it came out really well.
I have never made egg cutlets. It would be good if you can share the recipe - one chef learning from another.

Another great alternative to breadcrumbs is cornflakes, especially when making cutlets of already cooked ingredients (like in my fish cutlet recipe). Take the regular cornflakes and slightly crush them to make smaller pieces. Coat the cutlets with the cornflakes instead of bread crumbs and deep fry them. The cornflakes will make the cutlets very crunchy when you bite into them.
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