Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – Easy Home Bake Recipe

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It is surprising the way cooking dawns on you. Slowly at first, even reluctantly, you make your first dish. You like it, its tasty, people praise it, and then before you know it, you cook because you enjoy it.

Baking has always held a special place in my heart. As young girl I was enticed with baking cakes and I remember spending at least a couple of midnights in the kitchen peicing together a birthday cake for Mom.

Today I have my own kitchen and an oven. After the first chocolate cake, I moved on to making pizza’s in it (sorry, no pictures yet!), a pie (again, no pics!), and cookies!
Now, cookies are a great way to use an oven, I feel. Not only do they represent delicious baked goodness, they last.
They are pre-prepared in serving sizes and they can be stored without fear of rot, in air tight containers.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Cooling on a rack

So without further ado, I will move on to the awesome double chocolate chip cookies that I made.

1. Sift together 1tsp baking powder, 2 cups flour, 4 tbsp cocoa powder till the mixture is an even brown in colour.
2. Chop up some cooking chocolate into tiny bits and keep aside.
3. Whisk together 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup butter till frothy
4. Add the flour to the eggs mixture, add in some raisins and knead together well.
5. Refrigerate for 30mins plus so that it becomes pliable.
6. Pre heat oven at 200Deg C for 30 mins.
7. Line cookie baking sheet with oil, or use wax paper
8. Roll the dough into small balls, and then flatten on the baking sheet. Press on some chocolate chips to each cookie.
Bake in oven on the top rack for 10mins.

The cookies when removed from the oven will be slightly chewy, but should be fully cooked. To check this, poke one with a fork. If the fork comes out clean, cookies are done!
Cool on a wire rack. Once cool, the cookies will be just crispy enough.

Cookies in a Jar

My cookie batter gave me around 3 batches of cookies, which lasted me around one week. I tend to keep the cookie size about the size of the palm of my hand. This makes it a snack, and enough for one serve.
They are so delicious, you will find it difficult to keep the lid on the cookie jar. SO go ahead, bake some chocolatey deliciousness!

Chocolate Cake: A guest post at My Experiments and Food

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An old, good friend of mine, M, who was brought to me by fate and has stayed with me by choice runs a blog ‘My Experiments and Food’. The blog focuses on delicious recipes – some that I have tasted in her house, and some that I have tried myself in my kitchen.

Once she discovered my blog on food, she requested for a post on my chocolate cake. I was more than happy to share. Between her newborn, captivating baby daughter and her tight work schedule I am delighted that she not only found the time to read my blog, but also to post my write up!

I am so excited – you can now read about how to make delicious chocolate cake on here on blog at myexperimentsandfood.blogspot.in

It is a quick and simple recipe – the basic for which got handed down to me by my mother, with additions from my side to ensure its more chocolatey than her version.

This is the direct link to the specific post, but I encourage you to read the rest of her blog.

The Chocolate Cake!

Alu-potoler Dalna (Potato-parwal vegetable)

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If I were to mention it, you will not believe the number of recipes that I have to share with you. I have been cooking for a long time now, and have my favorites and my standards. I havent even touched the surface of that.

The main hurdle, always, is time! Time! Time! To write a blog may be a moment of inspiration. But that inspiration takes time to come. Then, the photographs. A food blog is incomplete without photographs. And I want to take good photographs. But when you are cooking, where is the time to whip out the camera? When you are a full time 9-6 worker, where is the time to photoshop? When you are married, with an amazing husband, where is the inclination to sit in front of a laptop and write about a dish that you would rather be feeding him?

Ah well!

So then I compromise. I bring to you as many recipes that I can, with as many un-fixed photographs as I can. And I hope to lighten my burden :)

Now, the last time I mentioned the awesomeness of posto, and soon, I saw this update on potol posto. On the same lines as the jhinge posto I made this Sunday, this dish uses parwal / point gourd. The delight of the memory!
I remembered the parwal I had bought. And I decided last night, to make the potol posto. Unfortunately, there was no more posto at home! Oh sad me!

Parwal or Potol

Parwal or Potol

However, I love alu-potol. And this, then was the perfect opportunity to make the Alu-Potol that I have loved as a staple since I was a  kid. Called Alu-potol-er dalna.

(For the uninitiated, Potol, is the Bengali word for Parwal, also known as point gourd. Potol is pronounced like potole)

This is a preparation which is dry-ish, rather has a thick gravy that should coat the vegetables. You can, of course make it thinner, but I have always preferred it “makha-makha” – dry.

The Recipe

200gms Parwal – peeled and cut.
1 large potato (alu)
2 large tomato, chopped. You can also use tomato puree.
Chopped ginger
Whole Jeera (cumin seeds)
Bay leaf (Tej patta) -2 small
Jeera powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Chili powder
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
Salt
Mustard oil

How to cut the Potol: To preserve the nutirents from the parwal, do not remove all the skin. Part of the skin needs to be peeled, since it is rather tough. However, leave little slivers of greenery on the gourd after you are done – it looks rather lovely, like stripes. Cut the ends, and then cut each parwal into a half legthwise, then each half into two or three equal parts.

Peeled Parwal (Potol)

How to cut the Potato: Dice into 1/2 inch cubes, matching the size of the parwal peices

To Make:

Heat some mustard oil in the wok. Put in the potol pieces when hot, till they are seared and take them out. The parwal gives off a sweet smell when its seared. Its a delicious smell. Look out for it.

Similarly, sear the potatoes and take them out. (no smell when you sear potatoes, unless oil & potatoes remind you of french fries…yum!)

Heat the remaining oil (you can add more oil if none is left. I tend to finish the whole process within 2 tbsp of oil)

Add the jeera seeds and bay leaf. Add in the chopped ginger and saute.

To this, add cumin powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder.

Quickly add in the potato before anything burns. And saute it well, so that the potato is covered with the masala.

And then add in the chopped tomato. Mix it well together, and add salt. Let it cook for some time, maybe a minute or two.

Add the seared potol pieces, and mix it in well.

Add a little water, and then cover and cook till the potatoes are done.

You can cook it to the desired thickness.

I like it thick, and not too watery, irrespective of whether I am eating it with rice or roti. It tastes good with both. Bon Apetit!

Alu Potol – almost ready!

Short Method:

oil+parwal -> remove

oil + potato – > remove

Oil + cumin seed + bay leaf -> splutter + chopped ginger -> saute + cumin powder+chili powder + turmeric powder + potato ->coat +tomato ->cook

+ Seared parwal +water ->cover & cook till potatoes are done

Ready to be devoured!

Jhinge Alu Posto (Ridge gourd with potatoes in Poppy Seed paste)

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The other day at the vegetable vendor, there was a very interesting discussion. My husband wanted bhindi, my mom in law stated that she wanted some ‘interesting vegetables’. On being asked what ‘interesting’ entailed, well, it was a list of ‘no turi, no lauki, no parval‘…and so on. (turi is rigde gourd, lauki is bottle gourd and parval is point gourd). And my husband wholeheartedly agreed.
Now, I dont really see the harm in any of them. Does that make me a gourdy person? Ha. Ha. OK, bad joke.

Well, I like parval (the big, fat ones) which can be cooked to a “makha” ie a dry curry with potatoes or filled with delicious “pur” and deep fried, or lauki when cooked with “bodi” or prawns or coconut or anything, or turi with “posto” i.e. poppy seeds. Yum!

So this time, I defied both and I bought all three of them – turi (jhinge in bengali), lauki (lau in bengali) and parval ( potol in bengali) and kept them aside for the day I would cook them, and change their minds. And make the amazingly delicious jhinge posto or lau bodi or potoler dolma. I had asked my mom to get some bodi in her last trip, and she had happily obliged. I am itching to use those dried daal bits (bodi or as in Hindi, vadi).

Potol

Potol (Beng), also known as Parval (Hind) or Point Gourd (Eng)

Jhingey

Jhingey (Beng), also known as Turi (Hin) and Ridge gourd (Eng)

Lau

 

Sunday presented a unique opportunity. Our cook was on leave for a couple of days, and she arrived late on Sunday. We had readied ourselves for a rice & daal meal. Perfect setting for the turi! Jhinge Posto, here I come!

Now, we Bengalis love our white poppy seeds (khus khus in hindi and posto in Bengali). Poppy is had as a paste with rice, or as an addendum to vegetables, or as coating to deep fries, or basically anywhere. Give us out Posto and Shorshe, and we are happy. (Shorshe is sarson, or mustard. And I dont mean just the oil)

Posto

Posto (Bengali) also known as Khus-khus (Hind) or White Poppy Seeds

Shorshe

Shorshe (beng), also known as mustard seeds

 

 

 

I asked her to peel and cut the turi into small cubes, along with one potato (I am lazy that way). And of course, the most difficult task, grind the white poppy seeds. At home in Calcutta, our cook uses the sheel bata to make a thick paste out of it, but here we dint have one.

Using Sheel Bata – the traditional grinder in Bengal

The next best option to grind was the mortar and pestle. The poor girl, me and my husband tried away for a while, but to no success. The perfectly round seeds would slip away towards the sides, and remain adamantly whole! Our mixer is too big for these small slippery seeds.

I was left with the choice of either using the half mashed concoction, or make another type of turi and not the awesomness of jhinge alu posto. Ah! The name itself brings back the flavours and the smell. I salivate.

And so I resolved – I WILL introduce my family to jhinge posto. They could not possibly go through life without having tasted the supreme delight of this light and flavourful dish.

I then got a brainwave. I dry-ground posto (gasp! convention!) and i made jhinge posto.

Dry-ground posto

Dry-ground posto – almost a sacrilege

Needless to say, everyone loved it. After second serves and an empty bowl, I was a proud cook that day! Turi will be welcomed home. Mission Accomplished.

Recipe:

Making Posto Bata (Using 10gms poppy seeds)

Conventional: Soak the poppy seeds in water for 10 mins or so. Add a green chilli and grind till a thick paste is formed.

My way: Use a dry grinder to grind the poppy seeds till its a fine powder. Mash in a green chili into it and let soak in water.

Adding water to the dry posto powder and grinding in a green chili

The water is a key element. It expands the seeds and gives the paste its light, fluffy feel.

Bata Posto & Shorshe-r tel

Bata Posto & Shorshe-r tel – Crushed poppy seeds and mustard oil

Other ingredients:
Ridge gourd – 2. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Diced Jhinge

Diced Jhinge or Turi

Potato – 1 large, diced
Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Oil (preferably virgin)
Salt to taste

In a kadai, heat mustard oil till it steams. Add in the potatoes and stir fry till they are slightly seared.

Sear potatoes

Add in the cut gourd pieces, and mix around till all the vegetables are coated with a bit of oil. Add in turmeric and salt.

Sear turi and add turmeric and salt

Cover, and let cook. the gourd releases its own water, and so the vegetable should not stick to the pan. After around 5 minutes, the gourd and potato should be completely cooked. Open the lid and let some of the water evaporate.

To this, add the posto. We traditionally dont let even a drop of the posto go waste, as it expands a lot, and its preferable to have as much of it as possible coating the veggies. So add the paste and then swish the container with water, and add that in.

cooked posto
Add a whole green chili to this. The chili is just for the flavour, and not the spice. So do not slit it, or cut it. Drizzle a little virgin mustard oil. This gives a very interesting tang to the dish.

Cooked and ready jhinge alu posto!

Now fold in the posto to the cooked jhinge-alu, and let it cook till the vegetable is almost dry. This should not take too long, but it requires continuous stirring to avoid it from sticking to the pan.

Jhinge posto – Ready & Served!

Your jhinge-alu-posto is ready! Welcome to the world of Posto. Try it out with some freshly made rice, dry.
Yes, thank you for the compliments.

Served hot with Rice

And now that I have cracked the code for grinding posto, I will try the same with shorshe.

Short Method:
Grind posto (poppy seeds) with 1 green chili
Oil+Potato ->sear + jhinge (ridge gourd) + salt+ turmeric -> cover & Cook
-> + Posto + 1 green chili + Virgin mustard oil -> stir till dry

Thor Chenchki (banana stem stir fry)

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The things we Bengalis eat!

Now, in this half Punju family, I bring in my bits of Bengali culture once in a while through sudden deep rooted bengali thinking. Like not letting any part of a plant go waste. If it is from a plant, it must be edible!

So, we have had Chorchori (mixed vegetable of greens) which contains the stem from cauliflowers, daal with seeds from ripe jackfruit, bottle gourd in all possible forms including skin, and of course, spring onion leaves subzi… things in heard of in Punjabis!

Today, post lunch as I sit typing this, I feel sated. Because my sudden indescribable urge to have thor or thod (the pronunciation is like “Thoda” without the “A” at the end) has been satisfied!

To the uninitiated, Thor is the stem of a banana plant. After banana plant bears fruit, the plant above the soil perishes, though roots remain. As per Bengali nature, we then proceed to use every bit of the plant, eating the stem (rich in nutrients) and using the leaves as plates.

It is readily available in markets, and I was delighted to see it in Mumbai markets. I immediately bought some of it.Thor - banana stem

The difficult part of making thor is the cutting and cleaning of it. If you know basic Botany, a stem of the plant carries sap to all parts of the plant. To do so, it has many fibres. So, the primary part of making this stem edible is making it fibre free. In Bengali, in rather basic terminology these fibres are called ‘chool’ (meaning hair – yuck!). The rest is easy peasy!

Thor Chenchki

Thor Chenchki

So, the first thing you do with Thor is get rid of the outer bark. Just slit the stem and peel it off to reveal the white, softer, moist inner cylinder.

Then, cut this cylinder into disks. The disks may not be thin – in fact dont make them thin. Around half an inch of thickness will suffice. While cutting the disks, the fibres will reveal themselves, holding the stem together. Just wrap the fibers around your fingers like thread spooling, and pull out as much as you can. You can also remove fibers after cutting the whole thor.

For me, I might leave out some fibers in the stem, and I dont want that fibrous feeling in the final subzi. So, I pressure cook the stem pieces, till they are well boiled, but still crispy.

Cut the disks into small cubes now.

The Thor is ready to be made into a delicious vegetable now!

In a kadai (wok), pour a little bit of mustard oil and let it get hot.

Add mustard seeds and dried red chili into this. Wait till the seeds start spluttering. Add the cut thor into this, and mix well.

Let it cook for some time.

Meanwhile, get ready some mustard paste. This can be done by soaking mustad seeds and then grinding them to a thick paste, or by purchasing ready-made mustard paste powder and mixing it in water to a thick paste. The latter tastes a little bitter, while the former is delicious!

In my case where “shorshe bata” (ground mustard) is a distant dream, I used the ready-made variety.

Add turmeric (haldi), red chili powder (mirchi) and the mustard paste to the thor and mix it well.

Now cover, and let it cook. The thor should release some water. If it does not do so, add some water and let it cook on medium flame.

After about 5-6 minutes, the thor will be ready for next steps.

Add around a tablespoon of sugar, and mix it in well till it dissolves into the vegetable.

Add salt to taste, and mix it in well.

The Thor Chhenchki is ready!

Eat it will hot rice and daal! It is a dry vegetable, and so its termed a chhenchki. And trust me, it does not taste good with roti.

The texture of the finished product is crispy and as my husband put it, ‘snacky’. The mustard is a crucial ingredient, and lends a lot of flavour in the dish.This is the ideal counter to the softness of rice mixed with daal. Yum!

The pressure cooking step is optional, but I like it because it dissolves the left over fibers in the veggie, I hate the fibers in my mouth while eating the crispy vegetable.

Up Close - Thor Chenchki

Thor Chenchki or Banana Stem Stir Fry

I really enjoyed this intrinsic bengali dish. I am sure many other fervent banana growing parts of the country make something similar, but adding the mustard makes all the difference. There is another variant which uses coconut instead of mustard, but thats for my next experience!

Ingredients:

One foot long stem of Thor

2 tablespoon virgin mustard oil (shorshe’r tel)

1 teaspoon mustard seeds (whole)

1 dry red chili (shukno lonka)

2 teaspoon mustard paste (shorshe bata)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric (halud)

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (lonka guro)

1 tablesppn sugar

Salt to taste

The short story:

Cut thor into disks ->remove the fibers ->pressure cook -> cut into small cubes

Kadai+Oil->heat + mustard seeds + red chili -> splutters -> +Cut thor bits ->stir fry

+ Haldi+Mirchi+Sarson paste ->cover & cook

+Sugar ->mix well +salt -> serve & Enjoy!

Gajar Matar ki Subzi – Carrots and Peas Vegetable Curry

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Its winter. The world of vegetables has considerably expanded and suddenly there are colourful vegetables at the stores. Red carrots, green peas, purple Beets, white cauliflowers…all blooming with vivacity and bursting with colour and energy. They seem to clamour to enter my shopping bag. And Im a sucker when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Then, they usually get stored in my refrigerator waiting for the day I will take them out and cook them. Ah, well.

However, this time, it was not so. My husband getting wiser to the ways to a certain female (i.e. me), allowed only a few select vegetables to be bought, amongst which were luscious red carrots and perfect pods of green peas. My mother in law loves shelling peas. Bless her soul. She loves shelling them more than she loves them in a vegetable, which is to say a lot of love for shelling of peas. To cut a long explanation short,  lets just say the peas that were bought, were shelled within a day and stocked in the freezer. How awesome is that?!

So, last night, while preparing for another day at work and lunch, I raided the refrigerator and was faced with a packet of fresh, green stalks of beans and bright red carrots. Beans lost the chance, Im sorry to say, because of the labour intensive cleaning and cutting needed. And what ensued was a delightfully winter vegetable dry curry of carrots and peas. I love the colours that the subzi has, red and green, and the lightness of it. It is almost like a salad, yet it tastes good with Roti or Rice, due to the Indian spices. And it is well cooked, unlike green salads.

This is a popular Punjabi food, but this is with my own twist, as I have seen my very Bengali mother make it!

 

Here is a lowdown of it:English: A bunch of carrots (Daucus carota), w...        Peas in pods.

 

Cut Carrots – 4-5 medium sized ones, peeled and cut into semi circles. It is best to keep them around one cm thick, but not too thick or thin. Too thin – and they will cook v fast, losing flavor. Too thick and you will keep cooking and cooking and cooking…you get it. Thin carrots can be used in circular cuts. Basically ensure that the carrot is medium-thickness diced to ensure even cooking to the center.

Peas – Shelled peas, 1 cupful

Spices:

Oil – 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 tsp

Coriander Powder (dhania) – 1 tsp

Turmeric (haldi) – 1/2 tsp

Red Chilli Powder (lal mirch) – 1/2 – 1 tsp (depending on taste)

Garam Masala powder – 1.5 tsp

Salt – to taste

Sugar – a pinch

Short Version

Wok+Oil+Jeera seeds -> stir + Carrots -> cook for 2-3 mins + dry masalas (keeping aside 1/2 tsp garam masala) -> cook for 5 mins + peas -> cover and cook till done. Sprinkel remaining garam masala

Long Version

1. Heat oil in the Kadai (wok) till hot

2. Add the cumin seeds and watch them pop and sizzle. It is rather fun to watch them do this. Just before they start turning too brown, go to #3

3. Add the carrots. Stir it in well with the oil and the cumin seeds, and watch them change colour ever so slightly to orange-y. Then leave them be for a while.

(take a circle around the house in this time)

4. Add the dry cpices – turmeric, coriander, mirchi, salt and sugar and most of the garam masala. And stir it well with the carrots so they are evenly coated. The haldi should be just enough for a slight tinge. The vegetable does not look yellow or red. It looks like carrots and peas. Cover and reduce the flame.

(take another house tour if you wish here, I usually do)

5. Add the peas, mix well, cover and let cook.

6. After around 5-7 minutes, take off the lid, and let the curry cook in open air to let the excess moisture escape. Add the remaining garam masala and stir it well.

Serve hot with Roti and Daal. Not only is it sumptuous, it is extremely nutrituous and healthy. The vegetables retains all their original flavors and look lovely red and green, not at all overpowered by the spices.

This is a favorite in the family, and a must-make when it comes to fresh gajar and matar in the market! Hope you enjoy it as well :)

Bon Apetit!

Your local Bengali Foodie

Keema/ Kheema Mutter (Minced Meat with Peas & Potato)

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Oooh. Keema. Cue melting mouth and delightful visions. I like my keema mutter, rather than plain keema and prefer that it be made of mutton or lamb keema. Chicken keema though, always remains close second in choice. I will outline how I make keema in this post.

For Vegetarians – Follow the same steps as for non veg keema, just use Soyabean granules instead. In India the most popular (and tried and tested by me) is Nutrela Granules

While I love keema, I would rather not spend my lifetime in the kitchen making it. So here is a fast(er) way to cook some delicious, sinful Keema Mutter!

What you Need:

Mains

1. Meat – 500gm for 4 adults who eat well. Else 400gm should be enough (Nutrela granules – 250-300 gms is fine)

2. Onions – Lots! Take at least 2 large red onions, chopped or sliced

3. Tomatoes – Lots n Lots! Take at least 3large tomatoes, diced (Some people prefer it pureed, but I like the bits of red you can see in the finished product if its chopped. Plus, its easier and faster to dice than puree) I prefer to dice so that each tomato half yields 6 pcs

4. Peas/ Mutter – A fistful (fresh or frozen makes no difference)

5. Potato – One should be enough. Peeled and Diced. I like the variety in flavor a bit of potato provides. If you want to, skip it. I love it, so would always suggest its addition. If you dont want many solid pieces, chop it into smaller sized cubes.

Spices

1. Garam Masala – in all forms.

a) Khada / Sabut/ Whole Garam Masala – whole spices put together – some cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf (tez patta), whole black pepper, green cardamom

(take around 3 of each, and a 0.5 inch stick of cardamomm)

b) Powder Garam Masala – all the above in a mixed powder form. Perhaps curry powder will yield the same result

2. Haldi / Turmeric – the hallmark of any non-veg Indian cooking

3. Red Chili powder (as much hot as you can take. This dish is best served Spicy!) – 2tsp

4. Dhania powder (coriander powder) – 1.5 tsp

5. Jeera powder (cumin powder) – 1.5 tsp

6. Ginger-garlic paste (I use the readymade variety available off the shelf in any mall) – 2 tbsp

7. Salt (swad-anusar, as my father in law points out each time he is in the kitchen!)

If you are an Indian cook, all of these will be available in your kitchen at any given time so should not be an issue. Else, maybe you should stock up on these spices, as they are kind of regular in all Indian cooking.

Oils

1. Any ‘white’ oil like peanut or sunflower oil (will need just 2 table spoons, max). Don’t use anything with a strong smell.

2. Ghee / clarified butter – 1 teaspoon (you an skip it if you want, but it does impart awesome flavor. And its just 1 tsp anyway!)

Garnish

Coriander leaves, also popularly known as Dhania Patta, de-stemmed, not chopped.

The Process in Short:

Keema -> Wash and drain water + haldi+Mirchi+Dhania powder+Jeera powder+Ginger Garlic Paste (one large pinch) ->mix & keep aside

In a Wok/ Kadai – Heat Oil+ Sabut garam masala+ Onion -> Stir till translucent or light brown + Potato -> Stir till coated in oil -> Add Keema mixture -> Stir till keema starts turning brown -> Cover, let cook till all keema is brown

After some time: Open Cover – Keema should have water released from it and brown in color + Tomatoes + ginger garlic paste +salt -> cover, cook + peas (5 mins before finished cooking)-> cook till meat is tender and done, and water has evaporated. If water is still there, let cook without cover for some time

Serving: Sprinkle cooked keema with garam masala powder and ghee, stir over low heat, garnish with dhania patta, serve

How to Cook (elaborate process):

1. The keema should be thawed and washed properly. Strain it through a thin meshed sieve multiple times to ensure its absolutely clean. Squeeze it as much as possible to get rid of the vestiges of water. This is because it will release water slowly throughout the process anyway

For Nutrela, prepare the granules as instructed and leave them moist

2. Mix in turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chili powders and a large pinch (around an inch) of ginger garlic paste. Coat the keema properly in this mixture, till it looks yellow-red thanks to the turmeric and chili. Keep this aside for marination – around 15- 20 mins should be enough!

(Nutrela does not need to marinate)

3. In a pan heat some (1.5 to 2tablespoons) sunflower or peanut oil. To the hot oil add the bay leaves (two medium sized ones) and the rest of the whole garam masalas. Make sure to remove the top from the cloves and split open the cardamoms . Else they will pop in the hot oil and cause blisters on your skin

4. Add in the onions to the oil now, and stir over medium to low heat. You can stir them once in a while, just to ensure they dont burn or caramelize. Constant stirring is best, but it wastes precious time! I just keep them on low heat till they turn translucent. Just stir them once every minute to ensure they don’t stick to the pan bottom

4. Add in potatoes. Stir till they are coated in the oil/onion mixture properly. Not seared.

5. Add in the keema mix. Sear it – that is, stir it around till most of it has turned dark brown in color due to the hot oil

(Note: If you started the process with making the keema mix, and then looking for the spices, 10 mins should have passed by now. This should save you the time of sitting around twiddling thumbs while the keema marinates.)

6. Add in some more ginger garlic paste and red chili (if you want), cover and let cook on medium heat (skip this step for Nutrela unless you want more chili). Add the salt here.

7. After around 3-4 minutes, open the lid, stir around the mixture, there should be juices released from the meat (for Nutrela add water) and the keema should have turned brown overall. In this, add the tomatoes and stir them in well, cover and let cook. Do other important stuff like painting your nails.

8. After around 8-10 minutes (lesser for Chiken) open the lid and add in the frozen or fresh peas. Cover and let cook! The reason the peas are added later is becuase they take so little time to cook. If you are impatient, you can add them in with the tomatoes – the only risk then is that they may mash into the keema. Adding in peas later is a little more attention and effort than an ideal scenario, but its worth it! For Nutrela, add in peas with the tomato.

Just keep checking once in a while. It should be done soon enough – when the meat is tender. Meanwhile you can start calling everyone to the table, or set it, or catch up on your TV serials. The keema can be checked on during the ads.

My Punjabi family side takes ages to assemble. While they love food, to get them to reach the food on time is an art which needs perseverance and patience. Even in a family of four, all four can never b e found together. I make it a point to start assembling them when the dish is 80% done. This ensures they are more or less around when I am ready to serve. Saves me the effort of re-heating a cold dish!

Before serving – turn on low heat, sprinkle some garam masala powder and ghee and stir. Add some coriander leaves and serve!

Its delicious with Parathas, or paav (buns) or kulchas.

My mother in law prefers to cook the onions till oil separates, then to keep this keema on heat till it is completely brown, then put it in a pressure cooker, then simmer it to then reduce it to apt dryness. This method is slower, takes around 2 hours, and believe me, tastes just the same! I prefer this 30-40 minute process.

Note: The more the meat, the longer it takes to cook. Nutrela takes very little time, so keep an eye on it! Chicken keema cooks much faster than mutton or lamb keema.

Happy Cooking!