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Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

Chicken drumsticks or thighs 10
Cumin Powder 3 teaspoons
Red Chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon or to taste
Tumeric powder
3/4 teaspoon
Cardamom 3-4 whole pieces
Cinnamon 2-3 small pieces
Onions 2 cooking onions
Garlic 3-4 cloves
Ginger 50g whole ginger (a fingers length)
Tomato 1
Salt 1-2 teaspoons to taste

Preparing the Chicken

Remove the skin from the chicken then wash it thoroughly four to five times. Peel the skin off the onions and finely chop them. Shred the garlic into very fine pieces and mash or cut the ginger. Grind the whole cinnamon and cadamom (with shells) together to a coarse powder.

Cooking

Pour enough oil to just cover the base of a dry medium to large saucepan and heat until the oil is very hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and the onions to the oil . Fry until the onions brown. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to stand.

Place all the spices (tumeric, cumin powder and chilli powder) into a small cereal bowel. Add about half a cup of water and mix. Pour the spice mixture into the onions. Fry on a medium heat until most of the water evaporates but ensure that the spice mixture does not burn. Add the chicken and stir until all the chicken is coated. Reduce to low heat. Add the salt, tomato and ginger and cook for 10 - 15 minutes. Then add enough water to just cover the chicken. Place a lid on the saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Add the cadamom / cinnamon powder 10 minutes before the chicken is served. Mrs Pal's chicken curry is ready to be served straight away but tastes even better the next day!
Fast Track Curry (for people in a hurry!)

Start the recipe as above but add the chicken first into the onions, then the spices directly onto the chicken, followed by tomato, ginger and salt . Stir vigorously for 5 minutes on a high heat and add enough water to cover the chicken. The curry is ready in 30 minutes.
Tips

It is easier to remove the skin from chicken thighs than drumsticks. You could try using a clean tea towel or cloth to help hold the skin when pulling.

The most important step is frying the onions thoroughly as this determines the quality of the curry sauce.

We recommend you serve the curry with Basmati rice.


Chana Daal

Ingredients:

Chana Daal 2 mugs
Tumeric1/2 teaspoon
Geera (Cumin) powder 1+1/2 teaspoon
Salt 1+1/2 teaspoon to taste
Sugar 2 teaspoon to taste
Green Chilli 2 - 3
Coconut (Optional) 1
Indian Bayleaves 3 or 4
Whole Geera (Cumin) 1 teaspoon
Ginger 1 inch peeled and chopped
Moori (aniseed seeds) 1/2 teaspoon
Kalwanji (onion seeds) 1 teaspoon
Dried red chilli 1 - 2
Whole Cardamom 8 - 10
Cinnamon sticks 6 - 8

Preparation

Wash and drain the daal using hot water. Add plenty of cold water and leave to soak for one to two hours. Drain.

Cooking the Daal

Put the soaked daal in a large saucepan and half fill it with cold water. Bring to the boil and boil for 3/4 hour (if it starts drying out whilst boiling you can add more hot water). Add salt and mix.

Add the Tumeric and Cumin powder and a little sugar to taste. Take two or three small fresh green chillis and open them to expose the seeds by slicing them down their length; add these to the daal.

Fresh coconut flesh is sometimes now added - try it if you can get a whole nut. Halve the coconut and carefully remove the white pulp. Cut it into small squares and fry it separately until it is just going brown. It can now be added to the daal.

Frying the spices

In a second saucepan you now prepare the remaining spices for the shombar.

Heat a little oil to a high heat but not quite smoking. Add the red chillis and Indian bay leaves and lightly fry. Then add the whole geera, mouri, kalwanji and chopped ginger. The seeds should fry instantly. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately pour the liquid daal into the hot oil. Be careful as the combination is explosive! I usually do this over the sink. The better the "shombar" the better the taste of the daal.
Finishing off

Having had the fun off the shombar you are nearly there. Put the saucepan which now contains everything back on the stove and gently heat. You now add the whole Cardamom and Cinnamon sticks. These can be added whole to the daal, but if you are able to crush them into a powder first with a little mortar and pestle this gives even more flavour. You can also add a little butter at this point.

Boil the whole mixture together for a further 10 minutes and check if you need to add more salt or sugar.

You are now ready to serve the daal, though it will still taste wonderful if it is re-heated the next day.


Prawn with onions

Ingredients:-

Whole prawns (shell on) 1/2 lb
Large cooking onions 2
Kalwanji (onion seeds) 1 pinch
Tumeric 1/2 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste)
Green chilli 1
Oil 3 tablespoons

Preparation

Remove the shells from the prawns and discard. Coat them lightly with the tumeric and salt. Chop the onions. Open the chilli to expose the seeds by slicing it down its length.

Frying

Put the oil into a large frying pan and heat untill hot but not quite smoking. Add the kalwanji which should fry instantly. Take the pan off the heat and add the prawns. Fry the prawns until lightly browned. Next add the onions and the green chilli. Cook on low heat with the lid on pan until the onions become soft and brown; the art is to be patient and let it all cook very slowly.

Serve.


Bengali Pilau Rice

Ingredients:-

Sultanas 3 tablespoons
Rice (Basmati) 2 mugs
Whole (unprepared) Peanuts 25
Indian Bayleafs 4-5
Ginger 1+1/2 inch length
Whole Cardomon seeds 20
Cinnamen sticks 6 small
Sugar 1 tablespoon - to taste
Salt 1+1/2 teaspoon - to taste
Tumeric 1/2 teaspoon
Butter (Danish) 1/4 lb+

Preparation

Prepare the whole shelled peanuts by soaking them in hot water for 1/2 hour and then removing the skins.

The Cardomon seeds and Cinnamen sticks can be used whole in this recipe, but if you are able to powder them using a small mortar and pestle then you will get even more flavour.
Skin the ginger and chop it into small strips.
Wash the rice twice in cold water.

Cooking

Add plenty of water to the rice; at least twice the depth of the rice in a large saucepan. Sart cooking it over a medium heat and add a little Tumeric to the water. After about 20 minutes the outer part of the rice grains should be soft, but the inner core still hard; when the grains have reached this stage take the pan off the stove and drain off the water using a collinder.

Melt the butter in another saucepan. Add the peanuts and heat until they turn a little brown. Next add the Sultanas and heat until they puff up (about 1 minute), then the bayleaves. Next the ginger is added and fried until it browns; followed by the crushed or whole cinnamen and cardomin .Fry the mixture together whilst mixing it for about 1 minute.

Take the saucepan off the heat and now add the rice. Put a lid on the saucepan and shake the pan in circular tossing movement to mix it all together; as an alternative you can simply and gently stir it all together useing a woodern spoon. Lastly add salt and sugar to taste and mix the dish with more tossing.

You now have a delicious Pilau rice ready to serve.