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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Murgh Musallam Stuffing & Gravy: Fusion Food


I recently learned the technical difference between a cook and a chef.
A cook just cooks food.
A chef creates recipes.
That felt encouraging.

Haha for years, for experimentation I created/altered recipes, as following lakeer ke faqeer culinary rules was not my thing. Secondly I make the amends to make unnecessary cooking simpler for my own convenience, and to improve upon its presentation at the table. And to just to evade judgement or criticism from the hardcore traditionalists, I often dupe people with, “This is an Iraqi dish,” or a “Swedish sandwich” or an “Guatemalan delicacy”. 😃

Once my friend Maimoona Afzal, who is the wife of Fasih’s best friend, Dr. Afzal Memon, caught me redhanded and said, “Mujhe tum jo stuffed tomatoes Arabian dish keh ker khila rahi ho, aisi koi Arabian dish nahin hoti.”I later came to know Fasih had spilled the beans, who told this secret to Afzal bhai, and he passed on the info to Maimoona obviously.

What happened between Fasih and I after that breach of secrecy now safely remains a secret itself buried in my chest. 😃

So coming to the point, I had often thought to make a fusion of stuffed chicken breast and murgh musallam. The huge chicken breasts were stuffed tight with a mixture of raisins, dried figs, ginger paste, crushed brown onions and soaked almonds.
The whole breasts were then dabbed in egg and coated with bread crumbs and baked in the oven.
This was complimented with a separate gravy/ sauce similar to the gravy made for Murgh Musallam, consisting of garlic-ginger paste, brown onions, raisins, yogurt and curry spices.
The curry is not in the picture, as always I forgot to take the pics and depended on Fatima’s mandatory clicks.
Worse still, I forgot to keep the gravy bowl on the table next to stuffed chicken dish until the very end. Will add a picture of how it looks, when I make it next. The two together did taste like Musallam but a lot more manageable without the cumbersome whole chicken with bones in the traditional recipe, which needs a skill to be carved. It ends up being ruthlessly pulled apart into shreds, making a delicacy look like a disaster on a dinner table.
#FusionFood #EastWestFusion
#MurghMusallam
#StuffedChickenBreast

Old Fashioned Sweet and Sour Pickle


Eons ago as a teenager I had a delicious pickle at an aunts place.
For almost 4 decades I hunted for it in the aisles for pickles in desi grocery stores, searched for it on family or friends tables. I even asked if anyone knew or made it.
Some friends knew about the pickle but I never had the luck to find it ready anywhere.

So one day I hunted for its recipe on the net. And there it was,  at several places.

To my utter surprise the method of preparation was very simple. So there was no excuse left to not make it myself.  So here it is:

Sweet and Sour Pickle of Carrots, Turnips and Cauliflower with Jaggery.

Ingredients:
Carrots: half pound
Turnip: half pound
Cauliflower: 1 pound
Anise seeds(saunf): 1tsp
Black seed(Kalonji): 1tsp
Fenugreek seeds(methi): 1tsp
Mustard seeds(Rye ): 1tsp
Jaggery (Gurr): 1 pound
Mustard Oil: 2 tbsp
Salt, chillipowder, garam masala powder:  to taste

Cooking method is described with the pictures:

Step 1: Chop washed carrots, turnips into medium thickness sticks and break cauliflower into medium sized florets.pic1

Step 2: Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar and half pound of jaggery in a pan and leave on slow flame till all the jaggery melts.
pic2

Step 3: Boil water in a large deep pan till it bubbles. Once boiling, add the chopped vegetables and cook for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are blanched. Drain off water and spread the vegetables on a kitchen towel till dry. (I did for about an hour).
pic3

 

Step 4: Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds, anise, fenugreek and black seeds and let them splatter for half a minute. Then add salt, ground garam masala and red chilli powder. Finally added the vegetables. Stir fry them.
pic4

Step 5: Stir fry the vegetables with seeds and spices.

Step 6: Add vegetables mixed with spices  & seeds into vinegar and melted jaggery mixture. Cook till most liquid evaporates.
pic5

Step 7: Once cooked and cooled, store it in a sterilized air tight cannister and leave in the sun for 2 days to pickle well. 

Step 8: Once ready(in my case in 2 days) enjoy it with parathas and hot steaming chai. 🙂
pic6

This pickle is a delicacy prepared in winter in Northern India specially because that is the time carrots are available.

Its easy and very delicious. I wonder why did I just keep looking for it everywhere and did  not try it myself all these years? Do try it out in a smaller amount as a trial. You will not regret it.

Happy Pickling !

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