Monday, July 30, 2012

The Kashmiri in Me – Part 3

By now you all must be well aware of the fact that I am a lot into cooking at this stage of my life than I was, well any other time before. Anyways so after my usual cooking escapades which by the way can be found here and here I have now officially ventured into the Kashmiri style of cooking.

I was always somehow very apprehensive about venturing into this department, I felt intimidated by the pressure. Being a kashmiri, my kashmiri cooking should be impeccable right? Anyhow my very small dip into this huge sea has managed to raise my confidence level and culinary skill to a very decent level. The best thing about authentic Kashmiri cooking is that it requires no onion no tomatoes no garlic or ginger, just the stuff, a dash of Kashmiri spices and you are good to go!

So my tryst with kashmiri cooking has been for the following three dishes:

1. Roganjosh (Red Mutton) : This dish was brought to Kashmir by Mughals. The dish is very easy to make and heavenly in taste. I will share the simple recipe of preparing. Please note that this is not the authentic recipe of the dish. The authentic dish involves the use of a lot many spices and secret ingredients!

Heat some oil in a pressure cooker. Once the oil is sufficiently hot add some cumin seeds and let them flutter. Then add the mutton pieces and fry them until light brownish in color. Now add some Kashmiri red chilli powder, souf powder and ginger (sonth) powder. Mix it properly and let is cook on medium flame for about 3,4 minutes. Now add about half a cup of water so that all pieces of mutton are sufficiently covered. Now cover the lid and let it cook until two whistles (depends on the meat in question and how you like to eat it: soft or hard!) . The end product should look something like the picture shows below:

This is nothing compared to what it looks like when my mother makes it!

2. Masch (Minced Mutton Keema) : These are delicious koftas prepared from the minced mutton. The layman recipe can be found below:

To the minced mutton, add some  Kashmiri red chilli powder, souf powder and ginger (sonth) powder, roasted cumin and some oil. Mix all the ingredients well and form small round balls which should look somewhat like the picture below:

Once the balls are made keep them aside and in a vessel heat some oil and add little of all the masalas. Do not overheat the oil or the masalas will burn out (like they did for me the first time I tried making it!). Add water to this mixture and slowly add the mutton balls into it taking care not to break them. Cook until the oil starts to separate out and the gravy appears to be thicker.

Both are dishes (Roganjosh & Masch) are savored best with plain white rice:

3. Gogji (Turnips) : Turnips are one of the majorly used vegetables in kashmiri cuisine. They are made as it is, with meat, with lotus stems, with kidney beans and the list is endless. I made my turnips as it. Eaten with curd and curd, this is the simplest and best-est meal ever!

Peel and cut the turnips into thin slices. Heat some oil in a pressure cooker and add some cumin. Now add the sliced turnips and fry until a little brown. Add salt and ginger (sonth) powder. Now add some water so that it covers up the the turnips. Give 2-3 whistles and you are good to go.

Would love to hear about our experiments/experiences with the Kashmiri Cuisine. 

p.s The part 1 & part 2 of this post can be seen here and here

Monday, July 16, 2012

Single & Footloose

There is something so liberating about being on your own. Just imagine no unwanted questions no tiresome explanation. You act and face the repercussions. Fair and square. Right?

There are many other benefits of being on your own. Well, you can cook whatever you want to and most importantly eat it the way you want and not care about what others think. You can wear whatever you want to : shorts, skirts, toothpaste stained clothes, the options are endless. The best thing according to me is taking decision at the spur of the moment. No one to stop while you indulge yourself in extravagant shoes or want to take a mindless trip somewhere far off.

I recently was in a situation which allowed me to be a little crazy, a little careless and a little foolish. This Saturday I was feeling more lazy than usual. After a lazy brunch, surfing internet and just about the enter the sleep mode I suddenly had an idea. What not watch Cocktail?

The movie was planned with my roomies and ex roomies for next week. But WTH I was bored and not-so-sleepy. So I started checked show timings at 2:45PM. The next closest show was at 3:20PM, I challenged myself to make it on time, so I ran and grabbed my black jeans and some random top, plastered my unruly hair with a hair band and off I went. Fought for an autorickshaw and reached the star cinema in the vicinity of my place at 3:05PM *WOW*. Only to find a long, well queue. I would still have made but damn houseful at 3:20PM show.

In my excitement to catch the movie, I totally forgot to stop and think that if I do not make it to the 3:20Pm show, I will go mad because the next show was only at 4:30PM. Well as they say whatever happens, happens for good! Never mind 3:20Pm, I took the tickets for 4:30PM. So what if I have to kill 1 hour alone...huh Big deal! One can always indulge in some window shopping and to my good luck the multiplex is right there in a mall.

This window shopping actually cost me close to 1500 bucks, but then who's complaining? I had fun (and additions to my wardrobe) and that is what matters the most. So after shopping with one medium popcorn and one small coke I entered the theatre premises. In case I forgot to mention it before, it was my first time of watching a movie alone. So I was a little uncomfortable sitting between a family and a couple. A little awkward: Yes but boring: No. I had a lot of fun all by myself. The movie was meh, if you must know. But the trip was awesome and I plan to do it more frequently! Why do you need company when you have YOU!

It’s fun being single and footloose in the city :-)