Koftas – A Delicious Treat

Posted on 22. Jul, 2014 by in Uncategorized

Kofta Curry (pic by Sneh Roy on Flickr.com)

Kofta Curry (pic by Sneh Roy on Flickr.com)

Kofta (Urdu:کوفتہ – Plural would be Kofte: کوفتے in Urdu or Koftas in English)  is a Middle Eastern and South Asian meatball or meatloaf dish. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onions. In Pakistan koftas are usually made of beef and chicken. They are often shaped into meatballs which are prepared with a mixture of ground meat, rice, leeks and some other ingredients. Kofta curry is a very popular dish in Pakistan and is a part of anyone’s home menu. Here’s how to make this famous and delicious dish:

Ingredients

  • Mince meat
  • Yogurt/Curd
  • Onions 2
  • Green chillies 6
  • Eggs 1 beaten
  • Gram flour 2 tbsp
  • Onion (fried) 1 cup
  • Ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves 1 tbsp
  • All spices powder 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander powder 2 tsp
  • Red chili 2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seed (roasted) 2 tsp
  • Cumin seed 2 tsp
  • Oil 1 cup

Cooking Directions

  1.  For Koftas: In mince meat put 1 tbsp chopped onion, 2tbsp fried onion, gram flour, red chili, all spices powder, salt, ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp curd, egg and coriander leaves mix well.
  2. Marinate for 20 minutes then make small balls.
  3. For Curry: In a pan heat oil put fenugreek seed and fried onions add little water and cook.
  4. In blender put curd, 2 green chilies, 2 tbsp fried onion and chopped onion.
  5. Put this blended curd mixture in oil and fry.
  6. Add ginger garlic paste, salt, coriander powder, red chili powder, all spices powder and cumin seed and fry well.
  7. Add water as desired for a thick gravy, cook for 5 minutes.
  8. When the dish comes to a boil comes add koftas cook it without covering the lid.
  9. Sprinkle coriander leaves when done and serve with chapatti (a.k.a roti, naan or bread)

 

Biryani – A Famous Pakistani Cuisine

Posted on 18. Jul, 2014 by in Uncategorized

 

Pakistani Biryani (picture from flickr.com)

Pakistani Biryani (picture from flickr.com)

Biryani is one the most famous Pakistani cuisines ever. It is one of my favorites and is enjoyed by millions of people not only from the Indo-Pak sub continent but also from people from the globe. The style of cooking that I’ll write about today is called the ‘Pakistani-Biryani’, where the chicken and the rice are cooked separately and then combined in the final step. There are a lot of different ways of making Biryani and here is one simple, easy and yet incredibly delicious recipe that is just ‘too good’ and I had to pass it on. Do not get intimidated by the number of ingredients or the steps…just follow along step-by-step and WOW your family and friends! Biryani can most certainly be enjoyed with Raita (mint-cilantro yogurt)

Ingredients:
Chicken with bones – 2 lbs, cut
Basmati Rice – 2 cups
Water – 8 cups
Yogurt (Curd) – 1.5 cups
Potatoes – 1, large (cubed) – optional
Oil – 3 table spoons
Clarified Butter (Ghee) – 2 table spoons
Garlic – 2 table spoons (minced)
Ginger – 2 table spoons (minced)
Green Chili – to taste
Cinnamon Stick – 2″pc
Bay Leaves – 2
Black Cardamom – 1
Mace – 3 pcs
Green Cardamoms – 4
Cloves – 4
Whole Peppercorns – to taste
Golden Raisins – 1 table spoons
Cashews – 1 table spoons (heaped)
Salt – to taste
Black Cumin – 1 table spoons
Cumin Powder – 1 table spoons
Coriander Powder – 1 table spoons
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 table spoons
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Saffron (Kesar) – 1/4 table spoons
Mint Leaves – 2 handfuls (chopped)
Cilantro – 1/4 cup (chopped)
Fried Onions – 1 cup (divided)

Method:

1. Wash and soak the Rice for a minimum 1/2 hour.
2. In a pan, bring 8 cups of water to boil.
3. Once boiling, add Green Cardamoms (2), Bay Leaves (1), Salt and Oil (1table spoons).
4. Add in the washed Rice to boiling water.
5. Once the Water starts boiling again, time and cook for 5 minutes (the Rice needs to be 3/4 way done).
6. Drain the water from the Rice and keep aside.
7. In a separate bowl, mix Saffron and Water (1table spoons), keep aside and allow it to soak.
8. Heat a pan on medium heat; add in the Oil and the Clarified Butter.
9. Once hot, add in the Cashews and Golden Raisins, fry for a couple of minutes till the cashews get a light golden color.
10. Remove from the Pan. Make sure you drain all the Oil. Keep aside.
11. Add in the balance of whole spices – Cinnamon Stick, Mace, Bay Leaf, Black & Green Cardamom, Peppercorns & Cloves.
12. Fry for under a minute.
13. Add in Black Cumin (use regular Cumin if Black is not available).
14. Allow them to sizzle.
15. Add in Ginger & Garlic, fry for another minute. Keep stirring.
16. Add in the washed, cleaned pieces of Chicken. Mix well.
17. Once the Chicken looks sealed, add in the following while stirring constantly – Yogurt, Fried Onion (1/2 cup), Cilantro (save some for garnish), Mint, Green Chili, Potatoes and the dry spices – Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, Red Chili & Salt.
18. Mix very well. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes (the chicken should be 3/4 of the way done).
19. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (approx 121 degrees C).
20. Coat an oven-proof dish with a little oil.
21. Start by layering the Chicken at the bottom of the dish along with a few pieces of Potatoes (saving the gravy for top layer).
22. Fluff up the Rice and add a layer of it on top of the Chicken with half of the Rice.
23. Layer the balance of the potatoes and all the gravy on the rice layer.
24. Next spread the balance of the Rice.
25. Layer the Cashews, Raisins, Fried Onions, Cilantro and Saffron.
26. Drizzle a little bit of Oil.
27. Cover with an air-tight lid or a foil and bake for 1 hour or till the potatoes are cooked.
28. Once out of the oven, take a ladle and mix it gently but well.
29. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes and serve with ‘Cilantro & Mint Raita’
30. This recipe and proportions serves around 8 people.

Tips:
1. Chicken with bones works best for this recipe, but if you prefer boneless, then you will need to cook the chicken a little less.
2. Fresh Mint is sometimes not easily available. Substitute for dried, crushed Mint, available at any Pakistani-Indian grocery stores.
3. You can also add in full boiled eggs along with the gravy…looks good and tastes very good.
4. For a stronger orange color to the biryani, add the Saffron before the Cashews and Raisins.
5. If you feel that the Biryani is overcooked, use the handle-end of the ladle to mix in without mashing up any more.

 

 

Religious Urdu Vocabulary

Posted on 17. Jul, 2014 by in Uncategorized

This blog will address Urdu vocabulary related to religious Islamic terms. I think nowadays it being the holy month of Ramadan you can use these words and sentences to impress your friends from Pakistan and India on your knowledge of these terms. Here are some typical Ramadan and other religious related words with their Urdu transliteration and use in sentences:

English Fast
Urdu Roza
Sentence Kiya aap ka roza hai?
Translation Are you fasting?
English Ramadan
Urdu Ramzan
Sentence Kiya ye Ramzan ka maheena hai?
Translation Is this the month of Ramadan?
English Sehr
Urdu Sehri
Sentence Aap ne sehri main kiya khaya?
Translation What did you eat at Sehr?
English Iftaar
Urdu Iftaari
Sentence Kiya aap mere saath iftaari karain ge?
Translation Will you have Iftaar with me?
English Prayer
Urdu Namaz
Sentence Kiya aap ne namaz parh lee?
Translation Did you offer your prayers?
English Charity
Urdu Zakaat
Sentence Kiya aap ne Ramzan main zakaat de dee?
Translation Did you give charity in Ramadaan?
English Hajj
Urdu Hajj
Sentence Kiya aap is saal hajj par jaa ain ge?
Translation Will you go for Hajj this year?
English Adhan (call for prayer)
Urdu Azaan
Sentence Maulvi ne azaan dee.
Translation The maulvi gave the adhan.
English Mosque
Urdu Masjid
Sentence Ye masjid buhat baree hai.
Translation This mosque is very big.
English God
Urdu Allah or Khuda
Sentence Allah ne sub ko aik jaisa banaya hai
Translation God created everyone equal.
English Umrah
Urdu Umrah
Sentence Kiya aap is saal umrah ke liye jaa ain ge?
Translation Will you go for Umrah this year?
English Pulpit
Urdu Minbur
Sentence Imam ne minbur se azan dee.
Translation Imam gave the adhan from the pulpit.
English Sermon
Urdu Khutba
Sentence Imam ne buhat achaa khutba diya.
Translation The Imam gave a very good sermon.