Vegetarian Borscht

While beet soup (Eastern European Borscht) is sometimes made with beef broth/stock, this one is made with a veggie broth.  And, since I didn’t have the regular purple beets in my fridge, the color on this one will not be the intense purple you might be used to, but it will be the red of the tomato sauce.  Never the matter — use the beets you desire!

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

Borscht, served with sour cream. Add fresh shredded parsley for even more interest.

This week, I’m co-hosting Angie’s Fiesta Friday 119 with  Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine.  If you are not sure what a link party is, it’s a way to network with people of common interest — in this case, tasty home-made food and recipes — and if you blog yourself, it’s a way to increase interested visitors dropping by,  who are curious about new foods — just as you’ll likely be curious about their creations!  I’ve found some great chefs and cooks to Follow this way.

At any rate, check out Fiesta Friday!

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

A bunch of veggies — note golden beets and what I call “target” beets!

Anyhow, what I like about this recipe is you can prep up everything except the cabbage fairly quickly, toss it in the slow cooker, head to work, and come home, finish up the cabbage slicing, toss that in, and a half hour later, you are ready to eat.

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

To the veggies, add the tomato sauce and broth (and spices), and just stir around a bit before leaving the slow cooker to do its thing.

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

Green/white cabbage, or red/purple cabbage — again, what was to hand! (But I did finally get the purple in!!!)

Prep time:  30 minutes total
Cook time: 7-8.5 hours in a crock pot
Rest time: Naw.
Serves:   4 bowls, probably 7-8 cups. 

Borscht

  • 4-5 medium beets, any type.  Skin and chop coarsely
  • 4 ounces sliced carrot
  • 4 ounces celery stalk, chopped coarsely
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, preferably large, peeled and halved
  • 12 ounce can or jar of tomato sauce
  • 2  cups veggie broth, low sodium
  • 1 teaspoon smoked ground paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t add any salt)
  • 2-3 cups cabbage, sliced thin and then diced.  Red or white.
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • for optional garnish:  a dollop of sour cream, and/or several sprigs of fresh parsley, to be plated into the individual bowls.

Combine all the ingredients up through the “salt and pepper to taste” in a crock pot.  Set the timer for 6 to 8 hours on LOW — I used 8 hours, and then go away or whatever.  Ten hours later I came back from work,and my crock pot was in “warm” mode.

Using an immersion blender (or you can use your food processor, but I find that messier if I have to do that), blend the cooked ingredients as far as you prefer.  I didn’t want a full puree, so I stopped before that.

Add the cabbage and vinegar, and stir a bit.

Allow to cook in the crock pot another 30 minutes, on HIGH this time.

Remove and serve, adding a dollop of sour cream if you do dairy, and perhaps some fresh parsley (which I didn’t have to hand).  Eat, enjoy!

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

Here, the borscht has been pureed to semi-chunky, then the cabbage and vinegar were added. The slow cooker ran another 30 minutes after this.

This dish stores well in the fridge, and re-heats fine in the microwave.  Or heated back up on the range, if you’d prefer.

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Soups & Stews, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Korean Beef Bulgogi BBQ

I figured doing this as a stand-alone recipe will put me in good stead when I post the challenge recipe, coming later this week.  More on that, later.  This week, however.

For now, though, I will be making Beef Bulgogi, mostly following a recipe of Jin Joo’s (Korean Beef Bulgogi BBQ).   I didn’t change much, other than lessening the amount of sugar (which is something I always do when I tackle a recipe), and accidentally misreading the amount of roasted sesame seeds as tablespoons instead of teaspoons… ACK!  Actually, not a big deal in this case.  (I can think of worse ingredients to mis-fire over…)

grilled, Korean, bulgogi, beef

I did cut the recipe in half — I’d bought 0.58 pounds of rib eye sliced thin for bulgogi at the Korean grocery, H-Mart (smallest package I could find, as I normally don’t buy non-grass-finished beef, lamb or goat), Sunday morning on my way back from my rather awesome 45th High School Reunion which happened to be held about ten minutes from the store.  I also nabbed the pre-roasted sesame seeds at the same time — life’s been busy, and if I can save time without sacrificing quality, so be it.

That meat is indeed sliced thin!  I’m guessing anywhere from 1/8th to 1/16th inch thick, something I’m not really up to speed on doing.  If you do decide to cut the meat yourself (ie, no nearby Korean grocery), put it in the freezer long enough to partially freeze it.  And use a GOOD knife, and just aim for good enough…

recipe, beef, bulgogi, korean, grill

Super thin slices at H-Mart!!

recipe, beef, bulgogi, korean, grill

Marinating the beef bulgogi

Since the name includes the word “BBQ”, and since it has stopped raining out there — this is indeed going on my grill!

Prep Time:  15 minutes to prep the marinate.  Say an average 2 hours for marinating.  Get your grill going in there as appropriate, as well as cut up any other veggies desired.
Cook Time: Maybe ten minutes?  Charcoal grills need to be monitored. 
Rest Time:  5 minutes.  maybe.
Serves: 1, with that half pound of meat.  Add hearty sides and perhaps some rice and kimchi.  
NOTE:  I am cooking this to reserve a portion for a challenge recipe to be posted later this week.

Korean Beef Bulgogi BBQ

  • 0.5 pounds thin-sliced beef — something tender with marbling.  Sirloin or ribeye should work.
  • Bulgogi Marinate
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce — I used low sodium gluten-free tamari.
    • 1 tablespoon organic palm sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cheap sake (or use rice cooking wine, or to make this alcohol-free, use rice vinegar]
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon garlic paste, or minced garlic
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon  ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.  Yes, I ended up with a tablespoon…
    • 2-3 teaspoons chopped green onion
    • 1/3-1/2 pear (I used Anjou, but I suspect if you can find Asian pears, they’d be more authentic) finely chopped pear.  Or, you can get out your immersion blender or food processor and puree it, which I was loathe to clean up after.  I did beat it up a bit with a pestle… Apparently, the acidity of the pear helps tenderize tougher meat.  (Hmm, I’m betting that in season, plums would work great!)
  • Extra veggies:  I opted to slice up some onion, bell pepper, and oyster mushrooms.  By tradition, these veggies don’t need to be added, according to Jin Joo — but I do like my veggies, so in a few went!   In my case:  1 small onion, 1/2 a medium bell pepper, and perhaps 3 ounces of mushroom.

You can use a skillet, a grill, or oven.

But first:

Make the marinate, combining all the marinate ingredients together (the second-tier items in the ingredient list).

Add the meat, using your hands to make sure marinate goes between all layers.  With really thin meat, yes, the slices will break apart.

Marinate at least 30 minutes, or overnight.  This will bring the flavors in through the meat, and if there is any toughness, acidic components will help to tenderize.  With particularly-tough meats, Jin Joo even suggests adding a splash of diet Coke — although I’ll note that regular soda hasn’t entered these portals for over a decade, much less “diet” variants.  I’d suggest a longer marination, or perhaps the addition of some more acidic fruit — she, for instance, has had success with kiwi.  Jin Joo suggests taste-testing your meat to see how it works, and that’s a great idea.

I marinated for two hours, refrigerated.  I had every confidence in my well-marbled rib eye.

While marinating, slice up your additional veggies — the ones I used are only suggestions.

I’ll test drive this the skillet route in the future, but for now on the barbie:

Get your grill going (I have a charcoal grill and I use a charcoal chimney.  It typically takes about 20-25 minutes for my chimney to catch and fire up nicely — a lot depends on ambient air flow patterns (aka “wind” or “breeze”).  If you use some other method, time yourself accordingly.)

When you are ready to start cooking, transfer your meat and any extra veggies over to foil, and build a pouch.  Or make a couple pouches if you are cooking for several people, and want to sprawl all over your grilling surface…  You can put it on/in foil already built in with holes, or just use aluminum wrap you can punch a few holes with the tines of a fork.  Provide a wide bottom “basin” so the meat and any veggies can cook through to done.

recipe, beef, bulgogi, korean, grill, oyster mushroom

The veggie component of this dish…

 

This post is linked to at the absolutely wonderful Fiesta Friday Link Party — and yours truly will be co-hosting next week’s link party…. DO check them out… and if you are also a food blogger, they’re a great way to get exposure.  Anyhow, this week’s co-hosts are:  Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

 

 

 

Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Meats, Mushrooms | 10 Comments

Shad Roe, Watercress, and a Chicken Egg

I’ve done shad roe before on this blog here, but if you can find it fresh somewhere, buying a couple of lobes (two lobes per each female shad fish) during the season, which is ending about now, is worthwhile.  And I don’t mind serving it up again!

shad roe, recipe, breakfast, watercress, chicken egg

The watercress and the shad roe really, really complement each other!  And both are quintessentially SPRING!

This is a really simple and quick recipe, which I consider a breakfast recipe.  The lobes are typically sold as a pair — so this serves two, which for me, meant two consecutive breakfasts.

4_25-shad roe breakfast-2

A shad roe lobe, raw. 

I do prefer to eat them for breakfast, but don’t let my preferences limit you.  They’d make a great item for dinner, perhaps with a side salad or a dish of oven (or grill) roasted veggies.  Or, f you find shad fillets, you could serve those on the side (note, they’ll be a bit on the bony side, but they still taste good).

recipe, shad roe, watercress, fried egg

They’re best not over cooked — perhaps served “medium rare” —  notice the inner creaminess of the roe in the photo.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time:  6 minutes
Rest time:   not needed
Serves:  1 lobe and one chicken egg per person.

 Shad Roe with Watercress and Chicken Egg

  • 1 lobe of shad roe per person
  • 1 chicken egg per person
  • a handful of watercress per person, broken up into bite sized bits.
  • a little cooking oil or butter (I used butter)
  • salt and cracked pepper to taste

Separate lobes from each other gently.   You want to avoid rupturing the lobes before they are cooked.

Get the oil or butter hot in your skillet, about medium heat.

Add the shad roe.  It is helpful to use a splatter guard — some of the eggs will rupture and pop… and splatter a little.

At three minutes or when the lower side is turning brownish, flip.

Cook another three minutes also with the splatter guard.  Do not overcook — a nice creamy texture over a dried, less-tasteful texture, is desired.  Refer to the photo above.

For a sunny side up egg, or an over-easy egg, add the whole egg when you flip the roe.

Remove roe from skillet and slice as shown above.  Either also remove the egg, or flip the egg to cook while you plate the watercress and roe.

For a hard-cooked fried egg, add it while the roe cooks on the first side, and flip when you flip the roe in the skillet.

You can add salt and pepper to the egg and roe when you plate, or when you are cooking.  (I didn’t add salt, my personal preference.)  I plated the cress to the side, added some slices of roe, then the egg, and then the rest of the shad roe.

PS:  Yesterday I saw shad roe at my local health food store — those lobes were teensy, at least HALF the size of what I’ve photographed above!   If that’s  all you can find, you may want to have two per person.

This recipe is linked to at the awesome Fiesta Friday Link Party.  Co-hosts this week are Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

 

Posted in Breakfast, Cooking, Seafood | Tagged | 8 Comments

Black Japonica Rice with Cabbage, Endive and (Optional) Farmer’s Cheese

Black Japonica rice – I discovered it recently.  I bought a cup to investigate.  It is mostly purple-black.  It’s a short-grained rice.  You will find a photo of it, raw, at the end of this post.

black japonica rice, cabbage, endive, onion, recipe, farmers cheese

Purple cabbage, purple rice… now if I only had some purple beets!!

Prep Time:  20 minutes, much of which can be done while the rice cooks.
Cook Time:  The rice, about 40 minutes; additionally, maybe five more.
Rest Time:  Not needed.
Serves:  4 hearty main dishes; perhaps 8 as a side.

Japonica Rice with Cabbage, Endive and (Optional) Farmer’s Cheese

  • 1 cup japonica rice, rinsed around three times
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup low sodium boxed or home-made veggie broth.  (I didn’t have, so I used another cup of water with 2 teaspoons of miso paste)
  • 1/3rd  of a medium sized red cabbage, shredded.
  • 1 endive, ends chopped off, shredded.
  • 1 medium onion, minced.
  • Oil for sauteeing the onion, and optionally to add to rice as it cooks.  I used olive.  Butter or ghee would be good.
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic paste (or at least three cloves of crushed garlic).  Um, more as desired!
  • 1 tablespoon kasmiri curry paste This is optional, but I love the punch it gives, plus I have a bunch left over from an earlier creation!
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste — I’m happy with Trader Joe’s Rainbow Peppercorns, which arrive in their own personalized grinder.
  • Optional farmer’s cheese, about 1/4 a pound  (Cream cheese or goat cheese will also work. Omit if you don’t do dairy).
  • Decorate the top of the dish with fresh cilantro, or fresh watercress.

Cook the rice according to the package — mine said 1 part rice to two parts water (or liquid), plus an optional tablespoon of oil. I used 2 teaspoons of olive oil.   I used my rice maker, on the setting for brown rice.

Do the rest of the prep work while the rice cooks.

Blanch the cabbage and endive in boiling water for no longer than a minute.

Drain, rinse promptly with cold water until it’s all cold.

Saute the onion in oil until translucent.

When the rice is ready — mix all the ingredients listed above together in a large stovetop pot, reserving the watercress or the cilantro to add to the dish at the table.  Serve, or save for later.  Makes a great main, and also would work as a side dish.

black japonica rice, cabbage, endive, onion, recipe, farmers cheese

Blanched

Don’t have (or like) cabbage or endive???  Investigate your refrigerator, and adapt!

black japonica rice, cabbage, endive, onion, recipe, farmers cheese

Here the rice is, rinsed and raw

This recipe is partying down at the Fiesta Friday Link Party, along with co-hosts Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.   Come on over!

Posted in Cooking, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Kashmiri Masala/Curry Paste

Here’s the Kashmiri Curry Paste recipe I used for the Khatta Meat I posted the other day.  The recipe is adapted from The Curry Guy’s recipe.   My main adaptation was to change “vegetable oil” to “grapeseed oil”, because it is at least reasonably healthier.   I kept the volumes metric, as my measuring cup goes both ways.

kashmiri curry, kashmiri masala, kashmiri paste, Indian

Getting Jarred!  Should last a good while.

I’m going to be a bit slow for the short term.  My work schedule has been 11 hour days for a few too many days in a row, and this will also include tomorrow (a Saturday)

Prep Time:  About ten minutes.
Cook Time:  Less than 10 minutes.
Rest Time:  Not needed, but stores well in the fridge.
Serves:  A condiment. However many, but apparently a lot!

Kashmiri Masala / Curry Paste

  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 4 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder  (I get heavy-handed with this one.)
  • 10 dried Kashmiri red chillies (more or less to taste).  I found these dried at my Indian market.
  • 2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds (I had fenugreek – methi – powder, not the seeds.  So I went with one heaping tablespoon fenugreek powder.)
  • 1 x 3cm cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 100 ml water
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar.
  • 150 ml cooking oil (plus more if required) – I used grapeseed oil.
Heat a fry pan over medium high heat, until a drop of water sizzles nicely.
Add the whole spices from the list above, and roast until warm; just a few minutes will be fine. Move around with a spatula.  You don’t want them to burn, just to release their flavors.
Remove from heat, and allow to cool.  Grind in a coffee grinder (one you’ve dedicated to spices, not to coffee!), or get hard core and grind in a mortar and pestle.  The finer, the better.
Mix the freshly-ground spices  with all the pre-powdered spices.
Mix this resulting powder with the water, in a frying pan, and stir into a paste.  (No heat yet.)
Add the oil, and turn heat to medium high.
Continuously stir, and let the spices sizzle a little.  The oil should rise to the top.  This may take 30-60 seconds.
Remove from heat, and add the vinegar.  Stir.
kashmiri paste, kashmiri curry, kashmiri chili, Indian, condiment
Put the paste into a jar — I used a canning Mason jar — The Curry Guy notes that this mix should last up to 3 months in the fridge.   I hope so!
Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Condiments, Cooking, Vegetarian | 7 Comments

Khatta Meat

Made for the March Northern Curry Recipe Challenge, over at Lina’s.  I do love these challenges, for the new tastes I get to try.  The non-veggie arm of the judging is being performed by Sandhya, of Indfused.  The veggie dishes are being judged by Parul of Gharkepakwan.  Work has been incredibly hectic, and I spent much of my Sunday off-time this past weekend – well, sleeping. I had finally gotten the rest of the ingredients, so I seriously wanted to make this dish.  (The kashmiri masala,which I will post tomorrow night, I made last night.  I made this dish before work this morning, and it will see me for a couple more meals.)  I know I’m late, so I know this likely won’t be in the challenge proper, but that’s besides the point!

khatta meat-

Khatta Meat — ready for yummers!

But — I learned a lot while pursuing the ingredients for this dish.

Mutton and Goat in India?

Traditionally, the meat used is mutton, which I believe (in Western cultures) means meat from sheep that are no longer yearling lambs.  I know goat and mutton are pretty interchangeable in those regions of India that eat meat — and goat is pretty much more common than meat from sheep.  But it turns out that in Northern India, the words for mutton and goat are pretty much interchangeable, too….

I stopped on a lark (for the sake of this recipe) at a place advertising “Halal Meats” this past Friday after work.  Might have a really good chance at getting (sheep) mutton, I thought.

No, for this establishment, mutton meant coarsely chopped up goat meat, bones included.  It was apparent that the ownership hailed either from Pakistan or northern India, so I nodded and bought the “mutton”/goat meat for this recipe.  (And as this blog is named “Of Goats and Greens”, and I love goat meat… hey!!!  I’m going forward!!!)

The clerk, who I suspect is also the owner, or related to the owner, tried to sell me a whole goat — and yes, I’m interested, but right now I NEED to eat down my stand alone freezer so I can defrost it, so I declined, but told him I’d love one, organ meats and all.  In the future.  Hopefully a near-to-come future.

Kashmiri Masala?

I know of Garam Masala, which is a specific mixture of Indian spices.  Until I got to my regular Indian market, I didn’t know of the full extent of Indian spice mixtures that become labeled masalas.  They had at least 12 different masala mixtures ready to buy.   BUT… Kashmiri Masala was out of stock.  Bleah.  So I asked.  Kashmiri masala was an ingredient needed for this dish.

I was presented with a bag of dried Kashmiri chillies, and told to grind them, as much as I needed, and THIS would be all I needed for Kashmiri masala.  No other ingredients.  And yes, I specified I needed MASALA.

I’d been under the impression that the word “masala” meant you’d have a mix of ingredients, but, hey, she’s the expert, right?  I bought them.

Rather dubious, I did some surfing after getting home.  Nope, kashmiri masala is rather more complicated than I’d thought, although buying the chillies was not a detriment.  And masala does mean “mixture”.  I now do have a recipe for the masala/curry paste if you can’t find it on your own, but it will appear later this week  (tomorrow night, actually).

Anyhow.. Khatta Meat!!!

khatta meat, recipe, mutton

Onions, and the first batch of seasonings…

I basically followed this recipe, but looked around at others, too:  Khatta Meat

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  1 and a quarter hours
Rest:  Cool enough to eat
Serves:  3 people, with a veggie side and a starch

Khatta Meat

  • 2 Tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons zeera/jeera  – cumin seed
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 black cardamom seeds (I went for about ten white ones.  I’m wondering if my source meant teaspoons…)
  • 3-4 onions, chopped.
  • 3 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced – I used ginger paste.
  • 2 teaspoons kasoori methi — these are dried fenugreek leaves.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri masala — Just ONE teaspoon?  I just went through major cookery events to make this myself from scratch, and I’m dang well using 2 or 3 teaspoons for this dish!!!  (The recipe for kashmiri masala will follow later this week!)
  • 1 dried red chilli – I used a dried kashmiri chili.
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 pound mutton, more or less, chopped into medium sized pieces
  • 2 1/2 heaping teaspoons dry mango powder (Amchoor)
  • Add up to 3 green chillies de-seeded.  Serrano, I think. (I stayed with one)
  • Cilantro, as a garnish

In a deep pan add mustard oil. Let it heat.

Add cinnamon, cumin, cloves, black cardamom and onions. Saute until translucent.

Add garlic and ginger paste. Saute till brown.

Add kasoori methi, turmeric, salt, kashmiri masala, dried red chilli and 1 cup of the water. Cook until things meld together.

Add the mutton and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring to coat with the seasonings.

Now add 2 cups water. Let it come to a boil. Cover the pan and cook on medium flame till the meat is tender. (Takes about an hour.)

Once the meat is cooked, mix in dry mango powder, and any green chillies.  Add more salt if desired.

Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Verdict:  Very tasty, and just the right amount of heat (for me)!   I’m glad to have tried this, and will make it again!

 

Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Meats | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Sali Murgh – A Parsi Curry from North India

This recipe is created for the Northern Indian Curry Link Party March Challenge, via Lin’s Recipes.

Sali murgh, sali murghi, chicken, Indian, Parsi, recipe

Sali Murgh! Northern Indian (Parsi) chicken dish with tomato and lots of tasty spices, and topped with sali (crispy thin potato sticks).

Hey, I found a recipe which specifically calls for dark meat chicken (and it isn’t just wings)!

This dish is a Parsi dish — the Parsi are a people in northern India who follow, or who are closely associated with, the Zoroastrian religion.  They fled from Persia (Iran) in the 8th to 10th century to enclaves in northern India, in order to practice their religion safely.

This recipe was awesome!  My taste buds are still exploding with happiness!  I’m using as my main inspiration recipe, this one:  Recipe Sali Murghi.  I did add some black pepper (to bring out the synergistic health benefits of turmeric).

Murgh (or murghi) is the word for chicken.    Sali refers to potato sticks (or straws) that are added over the top when the dish is ready to serve.

 

recipe sali murgh, chicken, Indian, Parsi

Prep Station. Clockwise from lower left, and spiraling in: chili pepper, onion, chicken, sea salt, turmeric, tomato puree, kala jeera seeds, garum masala, ginger paste, cooking pot with oil in it, garlic paste, potatoes.

2016-03-26 1st stage

First up, simmer onion, jeera/cumin seed, garlic and ginger paste, to release flavors.

Sali Murgh, chicken, recipe, Indian, Parsi, curry

The tomato homes on in! Trick — thicker than tomato sauce, much thinner than paste. You can also do this from fresh tomatoes, but this is NOT the time of year around here to find edible fresh tomatoes!  

Sali Murgh, Sali Murghi, chicken, Indian, Parsi,

Garum marsala, turmeric, a little ground black pepper, and the chili pepper appeared in here before the chicken.  BUT NOW:  Add the de-skinned chicken bits. Make certain everything is coated with the sauce. Note the yellow turmeric effect.

Sali Murgh, recipe, Indian, Parsi, chicken

Frying up some sali from scratch. Whatever you use, use an oil that can stand high heat. When some browning occurs, flip these sticks over.

Sali Murgh, chicken, recipe, Indian, Parsi

Captured crispy potato sticks (sali, er, potato lachchas) for our upcoming meal. Drain them on paper towels. Sprinkle with a little salt.

Prep Time:  20 minutes, not counting sali prep time which you can do during cook time (10 more minutes)
Cook Time:  10 minutes for onions etc, 5 minutes for tomato etc, 40-45 minutes for chicken.  (say, an hour).
Rest Time:  Not really
Serves 3-4.

Sali Murgh

  • 3 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1.5 tablespoons jeera / zeera seeds, whole. Cumin seed is essentially the same thing, so substitute if you need.  (My jeera seeds are a lot smaller than my cumin seeds — from the same packager — but the taste is similar.)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste – I kinda went a little heavy…
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 1.5 cups of tomato puree (thicker than tomato sauce, thinner than paste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) of ground black pepper.
  • 1 green chili, chopped.  Seeded or unseeded at your preference.
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 6-8 pieces of chicken:  Either three-four full legs, broken into drumstick and thigh, skin and excess fat removed.  Or, skinless, boneless chicken thighs.  (I went with the former)
  • Salt, to taste.
  • Water to nearly cover
  • Toppings:  Sali (which are deep fried potato lachchas, or thin julienned “sticks).  
  • Frying oil for the sali.
  • 2 potatoes, skinned and julienned thinly. 
  • A little more salt as needed (for the sali)
  • Optional topping:  fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)

Prep everything up – you can wait to prep the potatoes until when the chicken is actually cooking, as it won’t take long.

In a large pot, add the oil.  Heat to medium high, and when ripples form, add the onion and jeera/cumin seeds.  Add the garlic and ginger pastes.  Allow the onion to turn at least translucent, and the cumin seeds to roast, about 10 minutes or so.

Add the tomato puree, and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally (reduce heat!)

Then, add the turmeric, garam masala, and the green chili.  Cook another few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now add the chicken, making sure all pieces are coated in the sauce, and add salt.

Add water to nearly cover the chicken.

Cover, and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes.  (30 if the pieces of chicken are boneless,  up to 45 if the bone-in pieces are large)   This is done when the meat begins to fall off the bone.

While this is cooking, make the sali:

Julienne strips of peeled potato (I used Yukon golds yet again) to thin.  I used my mandoline, but you can use a dedicated julienner, or patient knife skills.

Add high heat tolerant oil to a pot — I used grapeseed oil.  Wait until it gets fully hot — flick a drop of water in, and watch the reaction.

Then, add the potato sticks, and unless you have a wide pot for cooking them in, divide up the amounts added — you may have to do this two or three times.

Every minute or half minute, flip the potato sticks in the cooking oil, over and around.  Allow them to brown but not blacken or burn. Remove and drain on a paper towel, scattering a little salt above them.  Make as many batches as you need.

Since I was not going to eat all my Sali Murgh in one sitting, I reserved the other potato for frying up when next I need the sali/fried lachchas!   I’d want them to be crisp, which I suspect won’t happen if stored after frying, in the fridge.  (PS, in Indian markets you can also buy the potato lachchas / sali pre-made in bags, kind of like buying potato chips.  I opted not to go that route, once I found out that they were easy to make.)

When the chicken is finished: 

Reserve one thigh and one drumstick per serving, and when you plate up your dish or bowl for these individual servings, top with the crispy sali, and with the optional cilantro.

Verdict:

EXCELLENT!  I’ve never encountered this dish in an Indian restaurant to date, to my regret.  I think I may leave all the seeds in the green chili the next time I make it — the dish still had some heat without having all of them, but I can tolerate and enjoy a bit more.   (Your mileage may vary.)

I plan to put this dish on rotation here at home.  I simply love this Northern Indian Curry Link Party March Challenge, and the ideas for new dishes these people inspire me to try!

 

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