So, after (not) sitting pretty for some time, I decided to do little Indian feast from scratch. There was not the option of buying ready made sauces or vacuum packed bread. Million pots, pans and bowls were (ab)used, but the end was worthwile. The result: empty plates and very little leftovers.
Here we go with the ingredients and the methods:
Ingredients for 4 pieces:
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup of lukewarm water
pinch of salt
pinch of baking powder
4-5 spoons melted clarified butter (ghee)
Mix the dry ingredients and add the water. Make the dough and if it's sticky add some more flour. Put few drops of oil on your hands and knead the dough until smooth. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 balls. Heat up a skillet or heavy bottomed non stick pan. Dust the work surface with flour and with rolling pin make circle about 6-7 inches in diameter and put it on the hot skillet. When brown spots appear on the bottom, flip the chapati on the other side and it should start puffing up. As soon as brown spots appear on the other side, flip again for few seconds and remove it. Place on a dish lined with paper 2-3 napkins. Pour some clarified butter on top of each chapati and stack them like pancakes until you have used up all dough.
Ingredients (for 2 servings):
1 cup basmati rice
1 small chopped onion
7-8 quartered mushrooms
2 medium tomatoes finely diced
green chilli finely diced (optional)
1 inch piece ginger finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
2-3 cardamom pods
1 small cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup garden peas (optional)
salt to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed cooking pot and add the cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds and cinnamon. Stir for few seconds and then add the onion. Stir well until the onion gets glassy and then add the garlic, ginger, ground coriander, chili flakes (and fresh chili if you're using). Stir well for some minutes and then add the mushrooms and tomatoes (and peas if using). Cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add the rice and stir until the rice looks like glass. Add 2 1/2 or 3 cups of water (the same cup used for measuring rice), reduce the flame, partially cover the pot and cook until the rice is done.
Ingredients for 2 portions:
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 medium onion, grated
small stick of cinnamon
2 cardamom pods
1/2 inch of ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
2 tablespoons of butter
1 heaped tablespoon of sugar
about 100 ml water
1 tablespoons flaked almonds
Fresh coriander, chopped
250 grams of chicken breast trimmed and cubed into 3 centimetre squares
1 tablespoons sultanas
1 tablespoons of coconut flakes
100ml fresh cream
Salt – to add to taste as you go along
First heat some oil in a frying pan and add the chicken. Cook until has become white, but do not let it brown. Set aside.
Heat the oil to start making the sauce. Add the onion and fry on a medium heat until the consistency is on the dry side. Add the cinnamon and the cardamom seeds. Cook on a low heat for ten minutes.
Add the ginger and garlic and cook them for another ten minutes on the same low heat. Add the salt.
Then add the chilli, turmeric and coriander seeds. Cook for one minute.
Add some freshly boiled water [this is really important as it stops the onions from separating and floating] until you have an amalgamated sauce.
Add a tablespoon of butter and when this dries out, add the next one. Continue to mix in butter until the consistency is dried. Add the sugar.
Add the tomato puree and some salt.
You should now have a very thick sauce to which you add the water. Amalgamate well.
Add the cubed chicken. Cook on extremely low heat.
In a separate pan, toast, on a low heat, the flaked almonds and coconut flakes until they are brown. Cool them and crush them in your hands into smaller pieces. Add some fresh coriander.
To bring it all together:
Add the almonds and chopped coriander, the sultanas and coconut flakes. Add fresh cream until you have a thick, pale sauce.
This recipe for chicken pasanda has been modified from its original version to suit my personal taste.