Friday, 28 March 2014

Kaala Masala Chicken/Egg Curry

I don't know if i have mentioned this earlier, but since me a vegetarian( Egg-etarian and Dessert-arian actually ), and hubby being a non-vegetarian, we always have to cook two dishes when making Chicken/Meat. So i found an easier way out of separating the gravy before adding chicken and then adding either eggs or paneer to it. Sometimes even adding boiled aloo ( potatoes) tastes great! 

So this way hubby gets to eat his favourite chicken, and i don't have to stress on making two curries :)
I have already posted the Kaala Masala Recipe earlier. ( )

While making the curry with the masala, what's important is to cook the masala and let it blend very well with the onions/tomatoes paste to form a nice brown gravy. It would take a while, but guess the real taste comes from slow-cooking! 
One of the main ingredients i learnt from my mother-in-law while making this curry is Garlic. My MIL loves garlic... she would add it in raw form, or in a paste form or just crush and add to any and every thing from daal to dry sabzis to curries. Another important thing to keep in mind is the law of minimalism. Since the Kaala Masala itself has a strong and intense flavour, adding a lot of other masalas would dominate the taste. So, just a spoonful of corriander powder and little red chilli powder is enough.

Make this one, and you will end up licking your fingers and craving for more...:)

Ingredients :

( The gravy proportion is for 250 gm chicken and 2 eggs for the egg gravy as mentioned above, so you adjust accordingly )

Onions - 3
Chicken - 250 gms (The best part about making this one is you don't have to marinate the chicken for long. Just clean the cut chicken pieces and add a pinch of salt and keep aside while your masala is cooking )
Tomatoes - 2
Garlic - 12-15
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Khas khas ( optional ) - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Oil - 3 tbsp
Dry coconut ( roasted till brown ) - 2 tbsp ( I had mentioned about this one in one of my earlier posts... I normally grate dry coconut and roast it and keep in air tight container and then add to different curries/ sabzis as required, gives a very different taste and colour to any dish ) Looks somewhat like this :

Kaala Masala - 2 tbsp
Corriander powder - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp
Hing ( Asafoetida) - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Corriander leaves - to garnish

Recipe :

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. (This pan should be the one you are going to cook the chicken in ). Add roughly chopped onions and fry well till they are golden brown. Let them cool down.

Make a paste of the fried onions in a grinder along with roasted coconut, khas khas, ginger and garlic.

Now Heat 2 tbsp oil in the same pan. Add the fennel seeds and then add the paste and fry for around 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile chop tomatoes roughly and make a paste in the grinder.
Add the tomato paste to the pan and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, corriander powder and the kaala masala. Add salt and mix it all well. Keep frying the masala stirring occasionally, as once the water evaporates, it might stick to the pan. Keep adding water ( maybe a spoon or two) in between , so the masala blends well and doesn't burn out. Fry till the masala starts leaving oil.

Now separate the gravy, if you want to make a paneer or egg curry along with, else add the chicken pieces to this.

Let the pieces get coated with the masala and fry it for 5 minutes or so.
Now add about 2 cups of water, depending on the gravy consistency that you desire.
Remember, the chicken will also leave it's juices.

Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
Now add half of the chopped corriander leaves to this and let it cook in open till the chicken is done.

Once done, keep it covered on the gas stove and let it rest for about 5 minutes.

Garnish with corriander leaves and serve with roti, paratha or rice :)

Isn't it mouth-watering?? 

Happy Cooking :)


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Kaala Masala

The Maratha Touch : Indian recipes are incomplete without spices. I remember, when my friend from San Francisco visited me, she was impressed to see how we stack all out spices and especially the "Masala box" which consists of the basic everyday essentials of Rai ( Mustard seeds), Jeera ( cumin seeds ), Corriander powder, red chilli powder, Garam masala, Turmeric and hing (Asafoetida ). For everyday curries, the Garam Masala suffices, but if you are making something special or regional, then adding that "Secret ingredient" is a must! Whenever i visit Mumbai, or my mother visits me, a bag full of local spices is always packed along! The same way, my husband being a Maratha, my Mother-in-law always gets me the Kaala Masala or the Khandeshi Masala which is traditional masala made in Vidarba ( Their home-town).

Kaala Masala has a distinct flavour and aroma, and is best used for non-vegetarian cooking or dishes-to-be-made spicy! The spicy-affair is not as you feel when you taste red chilli powder, but this one actually lingers on your tongue/throat-like an after-taste effect!
Kaala Masala, as the name suggests is dark brown in colour. It gets it's colour with the roast of dry coconut and the spices such as cinnamon, cardamon, black peppers etc. I tasted this the first time after marraige when hubby's aunt had prepared Baingan Masala, and it tasted so heavenly that i got some masala home from her :)
Since then, it is a must-have in my kitchen !!! You can make this in bulk and store in air-tight container... it lasts for more than a year!!!

Ingredients :

Dry coconut - 100 gms
Turmeric powder - 7 tbsp ( I find it difficult to grind whole turmeric in mixer, grinding them in a flour mill is the best option. But if you want to try , you can use about 50 gms of whole turmeric )
Cinnamon - 25 gms
Cloves - 25 gms
Green cardamom - 10 gms
Badi Elaichi ( Brown Cardamom) - 25 gms
Corriander seeds - 250 gms ( This is the most essential ingredient )
Dry red Chillies - 100 gms
Black Pepper - 25 gms
Shahi Jeera ( Caraway seeds ) - 25 gms 
Jeera ( Normal ) - 25 gms
Asafoetida - Around 4 tsp ( Again i find grinding asafoetida in mixer difficult, so i best use the powder form )
Dagad phool - 50 gms
Nutmeg - 1 tbsp ( powdered )
Bay leaf - 50 gms
Javitri ( Mace ) - 25 gms
Sunth ( Dry Ginger ) - 25 gms ( powdered )
Oil - a little 

Recipe :

1. Dry roast the red chillies ( without stems ) for about 7-8 mins and grind it to a powder. Keep aside.
2. Grate the dry coconut and roast it in a pan till it starts leaving aroma and becomes brown in colour. Let it cool. Set aside
3. Put a little oil ( Shouldn't be sticky and oily, just enough to roast the spices ) in pan each time and dry roast all the dry spices separately and set them aside to cool ( except the powder forms, just the whole spices )
4. When cool, grind all the ingredients together to make a smooth powder. Now add the turmeric powder and asafoetida. Grind again.
5. Now add the red chilli powder grinded before. Give a spin again.
6. Now slowly add the roasted dry coconut little by little, grinding in between, to make a smooth powder. Make sure to mix it well occassinally, so the down portion doesn't become a sticky paste. It should be a smooth fine powder.
7. Let it stand for a minute. Remove from the grinder and let it cool.

Ahhh... The Aroma is Divine !!! isn't it? Now make some yummyliscious curries with this Masala and let us know how it tasted :))

Happy Cooking :)