The Holy month of Ramadan is a time for generosity, prayer, fasting, restraint, and peace. However, after the fast, it’s time for iftar, which brings amazingly delicious food. This time of the year is great if you’re the kind to drool over haleem, biryani, kebabs, succulent chicken, and crispy meat chased down with delectable desserts. With Ramadan here, city chefs share easy and lip-smacking dishes that you can relish for iftar during the Holy month.
Murg Ki Shami
Ingredients: 150gm chicken cubes, 5gm salt, 10gm bay leaves, 5gm ginger, 5gm green chillies, 5gm jeera powder, 5gm garam masala, 10ml ghee, 3gm chana dal, 10gm red chilli powder, 5gm turmeric powder, 5gm vinegar onion, 10gm hung curd
Instructions: Sauté the chicken cubes with cumin seeds and the green chillies. Bind with salt, ginger, garam masala, red chilli powder, chana dal, and stuff with the vinegar onion and hung yoghurt. Layer with ghee and grill on a griddle.
Ingredients: 1kg mutton (curry cut), 100gm ginger garlic paste, 250gm brown onion paste, salt, 2 black cardamom pods, 3-4 green cardamom pods, a pinch of mace powder, 5-6 cloves, 3-5 cups refined oil, 2 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder, 350gm tomato puree, 1 tbsp garam masala powder, fresh coriander, 100gm curd, 3 tbsp coriander powder, 2 tbsp cumin powder, 1 tsp black peppercorn, 1gm cinnamon stick, 3gm ginger, 3-4 green chillies
Instructions: Heat the oil and add the black cardamom, green cardamom, mace, cloves, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorn and ginger garlic paste. Chop the ginger and add it to the oil along with the green chillies, mutton, brown onion paste, chilli powder, salt and mutton stock, and let it simmer. When the mutton is 80% cooked, add the tomato puree and powdered spices. Cook until the oil separates.
Ingredients: 900gm boneless cubes of chicken, salt, 1/3tsp fenugreek leaves, 2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste, 2 tbsp chopped green chillies, 1 tsp lemon juice, 4.5 tbsp mustard oil, 5 tsp gram flour, 2.5 tbsp bread crumbs, 6 egg yolks
Instructions: Clean and dry the cubes of chicken, add the salt, dry fenugreek leaves, ginger and garlic paste, green chillies, coriander and lemon juice. Mix well and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Then, heat the oil in a pan, add the gram flour and stir until you get a pleasant aroma. Add the chicken cubes and sauté on low heat for three to five minutes until they are half-cooked. Add the bread crumbs and mix well. Now, spread the chicken onto a plate and let it cool. Skewer the cubes and grill them in a tandoor until they’re done. Now, bring the pieces close together and cover them with the egg yolk. Grill in the tandoor again until the eggs turn golden brown. Serve hot with raw onions and mint chutney.
Ingredients: 1kg lamb shank, 4 tbsp ghee (clarified butter), 2 finely sliced medium onions, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste, salt, 2 tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 3 tbsp wheat flour, 3 tbsp Nihari masala
Spices for the Nihari masala: 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp soonth (dry ginger), 5-6 green cardamoms, 2 black cardamoms, 4-5 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 8-10 black peppercorns, 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg, 1-inch ginger clove cut into strips, fresh coriander leaves, 1 lemon
Instructions for Nihari masala: To make your own Nihari masala, dry roast all the whole spices for the masala and grind them to a fine powder.
Instructions: Heat the ghee in a deep bottomed stock pot. Once the ghee is hot, add the sliced onions and fry till they begin turning brown. Add the mutton pieces, ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt, and mix well so the mutton is coated in ghee and spices. Sauté for five minutes and add the nihari masala as well as 8 cups of water. Mix well, cover and cook on very low heat for about four hours until the meat is tender. Check regularly. You can tell if the meat is cooked when it breaks easily with a wooden spoon. Now, dissolve the wheat flour in half-a-cup of water but make sure that it doesn’t form lumps. Slowly add it to the gravy, stir to mix it well and let it simmer for 10-15 mins until the gravy thickens. Sprinkle some lime juice and garnish with ginger strips and fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot.
Ingredients: 1kg boneless mutton pieces, 200g broken/cracked wheat, 1 heaped tbsp. ginger garlic paste, 1 cup urad daal (de-husked black lentils), 1 cup chana daal (split bengal gram), 300ml curd (yogurt), 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp coriander seeds powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala powder, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds powder, 4 finely sliced medium onions, 3 whole cardamoms, 3-inch cinnamon stick, 4 whole cloves, 8 black peppercorns, 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, 4 green chillies, 1 chopped tomato, 1 tbsp ghee, 1/2 tsp red chilli powde, salt, fried cashew nuts, 1/2 cup vegetable oil.
Instructions: Rinse and soak the broken wheat and lentils (urad and chana) in 10 cups of water for four to five hours. In a heavy bottomed vessel, pour 1/2 cup oil and fry the onions until they turn crisp and golden brown. Add the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves to the fried onions and fry them for a minute. Next, add the mutton pieces to the vessel as well as the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and sauté until the oil separates. Add two glasses of water, and cover to let it cook until the mutton is tender. Alternatively, you can cook it in a pressure cooker if you’re strapped for time. When the meat is tender, shred it with the back of a spoon or a fork, and season with salt, coriander powder, garam masala and cumin powder. Add the green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves, chopped tomato, yogurt and a cup of water. Mix well and put the vessel back on heat. Cover the lid and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the oil separates. In another vessel, add the soaked broken wheat, urad and chana dal mixture along with the water, 1/2 tsp of salt, peppercorns and a pinch of turmeric powder. Cook covered on a medium flame for 15-20 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom. Add water if needed. When the mixture becomes soft and pasty, turn off the heat. Add the shredded mutton along with the yogurt and spice mixture. Mix and mash well with a wooden spoon. Turn on the stove and cook the mixture on a low flame for one hour while stirring every two minutes. In a small pan, pour in the ghee and turn on low heat. Add 1/2 tsp red chilli powder and turn off the heat. Keep separately for garnish.
Ingredients: 250gm lamb trotters, 3 green chillies, 1tbsp ghee, 3 cloves, 1/2 tsp chopped garlic, 1/2 piece ginger, 2 bay leaves, a few pieces of saffron, 1-1/2 spoon roux, salt to taste, fresh coriander leaves
Instructions: Put the lamb trotters in a vessel with cold water and boil for five to ten minutes to make the impurities move out. Now, strain the water out and pour in some more. Add the green chilli, garlic, ginger and bay leaf and boil for another five to ten minutes. Now cook at below 90 degrees Celsius for two hours, then strain it and set it aside. Heat ghee in pan, add the chopped garlic and sauté until it’s light brown. Add the stock and roux and boil, and then add the salt and saffron. Put two to three trotters in a soup bowl and pour the soup over it. Garnish with spring coriander and serve hot with soft bread.
Hyderabadi Kofta Korma
Ingredients: Minced Meat, Egg, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala Powder, Ginger Garlic Paste, Black Pepper Powder, Turmeric Powder, Lime Juice, Kasoori Methi, Cilantro Sprigs, Salt, Chili Powder, Tomatoes, Onions, Mint Sprig, Cilantro Sprigs, Coriander Powder, Yogurt, Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds
Method: To make the Kofta/Meat Balls: Add coriander powder, garam masala powder, ginger garlic paste, egg, black pepper powder, juice of a lime, turmeric powder, chopped kasoori methi, cilantro, salt and chili powder to the minced meat and mix well. Mix the meat in all ingredients thoroughly and divide the mixture into small balls. Each Kofta should be of 75 to 80 gm. Deep fry the Kofta in oil until they turn brownish. Place on absorbing sheet/paper towel to remove excess oil. Arrange the Kofta’s in a dish.
For making the Korma/Gravy: Heat a skillet. Add little oil and fry onions. Add ginger-garlic paste and turmeric powder. Stir and remove once onions turn brownish. Grind tomatoes, yogurt, mint and cilantro along with fried onions in a blender to make a puree. Heat 3tbsp oil in a skillet. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add cumin seeds. Add the pureed tomato mixture, coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt and chili powder, mix well. Cover and cook for three minutes. Remove lid and continue cooking until the gravy thickens or reaches desired consistency.