It’s the last week of Ramadan, which though a month of fasting and devotion to the Almighty is also a month of choice cooking, favourite recipes and eating together with your near and dear. If you’re in the mood to make some of the specialties in your own kitchens and have your friends over for an Iftaar party just before the month comes to an end, or just invite them over for a meal, here are some recipes from that are favourites with not just my family but with our friends too. The NIhari, Haleem, Shikampur or Shami kababs and bhajias or savoury fries.
Nihari- Flavourful and richly seasoned meat and bone soup
Nihari an old tradition in Muslim home and to call it a soup would not be doing this dish justice. It is said to have been invented in the kitchens of the Mughals to unblock the royal noses when they suffered from colds. To this day most old families are unwilling to part with their Nihari recipes; this flavorful and delicious preparation has been handed down by ancestors. However, at MyBangalore we believe in sharing our family recipes with yours. Authentic Nihari will never be re-created it restaurants, and the best bet is to make it yourself or get invited to your someone's home, where Nihari is a specialty..
½ kg mutton ideally shin bone with meat
2 onion half grated, half sliced
1 tsp ginger garlic
1 ist ginger slivers
1 tsp garlic slivers
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp zeera cumin seeds
1 tsp dhaniya seeds
5 each of whole cloves and pepper corns
1 slice stale bread
2 tbsp oil
2 tbso ghee
3 tbsp channa or gram flour
3 dry red chillies
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp saunf fennel seeds
2 sticks cinnamon
½ tsp turmeric
Preparation:Cut meat in big pieces – wash and add salt, ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, and turmeric. Fry grated onions, 1 stick cinnamon and sliveres of ginger garlic in oil When the onionsa re lovely golden brown add marinated meat to ot. Braise for a few minutes and then add tomato and allow to puree before adding 2 litres of water. Keep the pot simmering.
Braise silved onions in the ghee and when they turn a light golden brown, remove from oil and keep aside. Let ghee cool down and add the chana flour to it and braise slowly till it begins to change pinkish in colour. Add a little water and make it a nice smooth paste and then add it to the big Nihari pot, and stir well and mix in the paste evenly.
For making the garma masala: Roast Zeera seeds, coriander seeds, whole clove and pepper corns, saunf, red chillis, cinnamon and elaichi on a hot tava . Remove the red chillis as soon as they turn brown. Add half of this to the simmering Nihari potand contiunue cooking till the meat starts looseing from the bone.
Add the bread crumbs cut in cubes and place inside pot. Just before serving add the rest of the garam masala. Serve this piping hot with sheermal naan or parathas in either flat or small soup bowls containing chopped spring onions, finely chopped green chillies in vinegar, wedges of lemon and friend onion that you will keep aside on a try of garnish. If this becomes very spicy you, can add a dash of cream to your bowl.
This is a slow cooking recipe, and the longer it cooks the more the flavours will be enriched. So be patient for best results. The cooking time is easily about two hours - on the easier side.
Haleem- Rich meat Broth
Haleem is a wholesome meal by itself, made from pounded wheat, seasoned with garam masalas and cooked with meat. This is an ideal meal to break your fast with, as it provides, the necessary fibre, carbohydrates and protein to one. This is also a meal that has been a long tradition in Ramadan cooking and is quite simple to make and extremely delicious and nourishing.
750 gms chicken or 500 gms mutton
1/1/2 cups pounded wheat (dalia)
2tbps ginger garlic
I large onion
Half tsp haldi- turmeric
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 Tsp garam masala
¼ cup dhaniya leaves
Dhaniya zeera [oweder I tsp
Whole green chillies 2
2 tbsp ghee
Quarter cup oil
Preparation: Boil the dalia or pounded wheat in one and a half cup water with 1 green chilli and little haldi and salt. Brown the sliced onion in oil, put in chilli powder, haldi powder, dhaniya powder braise or sauté then add the meat. Braise the meat well and make sure the masala is well coated on the meat. Add a little water and cook till tender, if you are cooking the haleem with mutton. Add the pounded wheat and cook further. Add the garam masala as a final touch. To serve slivers of giner in vinegar, or lime, with some green chillies and mint leaves and to make it a little more rich a swirld of golden fried onion in ghee.
Shami Kababs or Sikampur (stuffed shammis) – Mince pies
Shami Kababs are a great snack and perfec to serve as a starter for a dinner or something to serve when your friends come over. Made with mince and chana dal, this is deliciously flavoured particularly with pepper corns. The stuffed Shami kababs or shimkampurs, which is a Hyderabadi cooking specialty.
500 gms mutton mince
1 medium grated onion ¼ chana dal –gram lentil
6 green chillies
1 dox black pepper corns
½ bunch chopped dhaniya
Preparation:Wash and drain mince. Put in pan and cook dry, breaking all lumps while cooking. When mince has cooked dry and fine like breadcrumbs add channa dal that has been previously boiled along with all the other ingredients except except eggs.
Add all this through the mixer and. Mix in the eggs and form into ping pong ball sized balls. Pat each ball into a flat into a cutlet shape it. This deep fry in pre heated oil on medium heat.
Variation Slice 1 onion fine, squeeze out the water. To this add 1 finely chopped green chilli and a table spoon of chopped mint. Into each chana mince kabaab add a small teaspoon on the onion salad. Then roll and flatten into a cutlet. Fry as above.
Bhajias- Potato/Onion/ Spinach/ Tomatoes etc
Bhajias are a nice snack for those rainy monsoon evening with a hot cup of tea and perfect to relish as a starter to break fast with and a cool glass of sherbet.
1 cup pea or chana flour besan
1 tbsp Maida
1 Medium sized onion grated or finely sliced
I medium potato grated
1 tsp coarsely crushed jeera
1 coarsely chopped dhaniya
3 green chillies
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp naking powder
1 small bunch chopped dhania
2 tsp chopped shallots
Preparation:Make a batter wil the maida and besan with suffient water, until its zthiock batter. Add all the incredients, and mix it. Take a teasponn and deep fry in a heavy bottom skillet. Pre heat the oil well, if the skillet is large enough you can fry three to four teaspoon fulls at the same time.
For variations, you can add finely sliced tomatoes, or spinach or even brinjals. TO make adifferent kind fo bahjias