My memories of Rogan Josh takes me back to my Dubai days with my boss and friend Sunanda Pushkar Menon. She was a proud Kashmiri and would present her Rogan Josh at every potluck gathering. We used to joke that she didn’t know how to make anything else, but now I realize that it was with great pride as a Kashmiri that she wanted to share her precious culture with us. Sadly Sue passed away very tragically a few years ago. I didn’t learn how to make this till many years later, but I still always associate Rogan Josh with the memory of Sue. RIP
According to my research, this was brought to India from Persia but the Moghuls. They used to come to Kashmir during the hot months to stay cool. The original recipe was made with Onions, Garlic & Tomatoes. Over time and with all the religious turmoil in the region, the Hindu Pandits made their own version and omitted the Onion, Garlic and Tomatoes. This version is most popular today although the Muslims still make a version using Onions, Garlic & Tomatoes.
Rogan means fat and Josh means to stew or slow cook so the literal translation means slow cooked meat in fat. Josh also mean enthusiastic or power and Gosht means meat so it could be derived from that word too.
Lamb is preferred for this recipe although Mutton is widely available and used in many recipes as well. The key ingredients are fennel, ground ginger and asafetida or Hing. The meat is slow cooked in spices and yogurt till tender. The famous red coloring of a Rogan Josh comes from the Alkanet Root called Ratan Jot. This when infused in hot oil leeches this amazing natural red color.
When it comes to popular Indian kebabs, Chicken Tikka is right up there. Typically these kebabs are boneless and cooked in a clay oven or a tandoor. The marinade and method of cooking is very similar to Tandoori Chicken that is usually served bone in. I’d like to believe that this original recipe comes from India but it could have also originated from it’s surrounding countries. The popular Chicken Tikka Masala, a gravy version of this dish was invented by a Pakistani Chef in Glasgow. Although Chicken Tikka is usually prepared boneless, they are also made with bone in chicken similar to Tandoori Chicken. It’s distinct taste comes from the use of mustard oil in the marinade paired with the smokiness of the Tandoor. Since most people don’t have Tandoors in their homes, I will be cooking this on my BBQ. You can also prepare this in the oven if you don’t have access to a bbq.
I’m using 1 lb chunks of boneless Chicken in this recipe and will marinate this meat twice. The first marinade consists of 1 tbsp each Ginger and Garlic paste, followed by juice of 1/2 Lemon, salt to taste and 1/2 tsp of Chilli powder. I like to leave this overnight in the fridge or at least for 30 mins.
Next heat some oil and add 2 tbsps of Gram flour. We call this Besan or Chana ka atta. Mix this in with the oil and leave it to cool. To the Chicken I’m now going to add the second marinade. Yogurt, 1/2 tsp each Chilli, Haldi, Garam Masala, Kasuri methi. Add the gram flour paste and mustard oil. Add a little more black salt. I also wanted to mention that I used Kashmiri Chilli powder in this recipe – Kashmiri Chillies are famous for their colour and are not too spicy. Notice the difference between Kashmiri Chilli powder and standard Chilli powder. If you’re using just regular Chilli powder use a little less as it’s much much spicier!
Add the gram flour and 2 tbsps of Mustard oil
I like to marinate this as long as possible to ensure the best flavour anywhere from 1 hr to overnight. Chicken Tikka Masala s often made with bbq’s onions and green peppers so I like to add this to my Chicken Tikka as well.
A note about wooden skewers. I usually do soak them in water to prevent them from burning, but I find that they burn anyway! All it does is extend the time that it takes to finally burn. If I’m going to pull the chicken off the skewers anyway before I serve it, I don’t even bother to soak it, but if I’m going to present them on skewers, I will just cover them with foil. You could also, just slide in a new skewer once cooked, and pop out the old one OR just use metal skewers.
The first time I had this dessert was a few years ago when my cousin, affectionately referred to as “Cuzzy poo” invited us over for dinner. She served a delectable concoction that she claimed came all ready to go in a box. I was determined to make my own version and thank her deeply for the inspiration. Kesar Falooda can be made and served many many different ways. Some are elaborate structures served to you in tall glasses with layers of vermicelli, ice cream, syrups and bloomed Basil seeds that we call Tukamaria or Sabja. If you can’t find Basil seeds, Chia seeds would work just as well.
This version I’m going to prepare is a very simple and pared down version. I’m literally going to have two elements, the ice cream and the topping. This topping is full of magic and bursting with flavour and what I love about it is it can be prepared ahead and just served over ice cream when your guests arrive.
Roasted vermicelli – Roasted is much thicker that regular that is too thin and tends to clumps together.
As long as I can remember, Prawn and Shrimp have been the center of our family’s menu. My father’s side of the family comes from Goa surrounded by beaches so seafood is always the protein of choice. My mom’s side are based in Mumbai, also on the coast and famous for it’s seafood dishes in the coastal areas. No aromatics are spared in this recipe and they are paired beautifully with fresh prawn or shrimp. This dish is not overly spicy and is great sopped up with some rice, roti or naan.
This recipe has become in favorite in my own household, it’s not overly spicy and extremely flavorful. I like the laziness of just roughly chopping everything, throwing it into a pan and grinding it together later.
What fascinates me about Fenugreek (Methi in Hindi), is that the seeds are considered a spice, the leaves are considered a vegetable and when the leaves are dried, they are considered a spice! Inspired by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe, Chicken is simmered in a delicious blend of three states of Fenugreek – the seeds, the leaves and the dried spice together with yogurt and sour cream, turmeric and red chilli powder till tender. This is a deliciously mild curry perfect for those that love a curry but cannot handle spice.
I’m using a whole and delicious Ontario chicken for this recipe. As mich as possible, I like to buy my birds whole. I find that breaking them down at home is more hygenic and also I can use all the bony parts of the chicken to make a delicious stock. Watch my mom break down a chicken – https://youtu.be/Y102Okdqe0s
When I was researching and developing this recipe, a friend of mine told me that eating Fenugreek leaves an unusual body odor. I didn’t believe her at first, but when I ate this a few times in preparation for this recipe, I know know this to be true. Yes, it does leave a faintly distinct smell however, this will only happen if you consume a lot of it. Fenugreek or Methi is not only tasty, it’s so good for your health, it reduces blood sugars and cholesterol and also helps fight cancers – the benefits totally outweigh the odor it could leave behind, and there’s always deodorant!