Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kheema Pattice (Turkey Patty)

These melt in the mouth pattice are everybody's favorite. Originally these pattice are made with minced goat meat at our home. As goat meat is not readily available around where I live, I have replaced it with minced turkey meat. Turkey being a healthier option than goat meat, is an added bonus.

These kheema pattice are my mother in law's specialty.  I still remember the first time she made them for me. I was in meat heaven! So moist and juicy and flavorful..I just could not have enough. Even today, inspite of learning how to make these, my MIL always makes these for me when either of us visit each other.

Just wanted to let you know a few tricks involved in making the perfect pattice, before we head to the recipe. The thumb rule to moist and juicy pattice is minimum handling. When we are mixing everything together you cannot knead the mixture like you do with your bread dough. The mixture needs to be handled with total baby love! Over handling the mixture leads to tough pattice.
Secondly, you can replace the turkey meat with any other minced meat except chicken. Using chicken compromises too much on the taste. This of course, is my personal opinion. I know people who enjoy chicken pattice made this way. I just fail to get along with these people. Don't be one of those. :)

I usually prefer rolling the pattice in bread crumbs before shallow frying them in oil. But traditionally fine semolina was used. So you can try both the options and decide what you enjoy more.

Now let us get to the recipe.

Level: Medium
Serves: 15 - 18 medium sized pattice
Source: MIL (Nita Pradhan)

1 lb minced meat (I use turkey meat)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilly powder
1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala (any kind)
Salt to taste

Pattice ingredients:
4 tsp oil
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
2 pinches asafoetida
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
3 slices sandwich bread (white or wheat)
Salt to taste

For rolling:
1 egg, lightly beaten
Breadcrumbs/semolina for coating

Step 1 - Place the minced meat in a large bowl. Add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder, ginger garlic paste, garam masala and salt from the marination list. Lightly mix all the ingredients till the minced meat is coated well. Refrigerate for minimum 30 mins to an hour. Do not over knead here. Over kneading makes though pattice.

Step 2 - In a pressure pan, heat 2 tsp oil. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and asafoetida. Immediately add the onions and stir fry till they turn light brown.

Step 3 - Add the marinated minced meat from Step 1. Saute till the minced meat loses it's pink raw color and turns whitish. Add water till the meat is just under water and pressure cook for 2 whistles or till your meat is thoroughly cooked.

Step 4 - Once the pressure pan opens on it's own without any resistance, you might find the mixture a little watery. Cook the meat mixture again on high flame till it is absolutely dry. Adjust salt once the mixture dries up. Leave aside to cool down.

Step 5 - While the meat mixture cools down, take 3/4 cup of water. Add in 1/4 tsp of salt and mix well till it completely dissolves in the water. Soak each bread slice in this water for just a couple of seconds, take them out and squeeze out the excess water. Place the wet squeezed bread into a large bowl. This along with the potatoes will help in binding our pattice together.

Step 6 - In the same large bowl, place the mashed potatoes, 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste and cooled meat mixture from Step 4. Mix very lightly till the mixture is well combined. Taste the mixture and adjust the salt to your liking. Again, do not over handle the batter.

Step 7 - Take a tablespoon of batter in between your palms and roll the mixture lightly into any shape that you desire.

Step 8 - Let us get to the frying now. Beat the egg lightly in a bowl. Keep aside. Take a flat plate and spread out some breadcrumbs for coating.

Step 9 - Place a frying pan on heat and pour enough oil to shallow fry these beauties. The pattice should not drown in the oil, just the bases should be in contact with oil. We are not deep frying here. How do you know the oil is ready? Just drop in a few breadcrumbs in the hot oil. If they sizzle, you are ready.

Step 10 - Take each piece of pattice, first dip them in the beaten egg from both sides. Pick them up and place them in the bread crumbs. Roll these pattice well in the crumbs and place them lightly in the hot oil. Fry for just a couple of  minutes on each side as we have to just brown the breadcrumbs. We do not need to cook the pattice again. And we are done.

Serve hot with some ketchup or chilly sauce. Sit back with a glass of wine in one hand, a pattice in another and welcome yourself into my MEAT HEAVEN!

You can roll these pattice and keep them in the refrigerator for a day or two. On  the day you plan to indulge, just fry and serve.

You can also freeze the rolled pattice and store them in the freezer for almost 2 to 3 weeks. Just thaw and fry when you need them.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Brahmani Ambat Varan (Tangy Dal)

Time flies! The little sister in law who was always excitedly helping me with my cooking experiments is living on her own away from home. Now she has requested me to put up some simple recipes for her on my blog so she and her friends can have some fun cooking them! So the next few posts are a few of her favorite things that I will be sharing with all of you.

One of the simplest things I know she likes is this daal I make very regularly at home. Whenever she comes down to spend time with us or when we visit my in-laws back in India, it is imperative that I make this daal in large quantities. She will then devour it like she was not fed for weeks! 

Every Maharashtrian family has their version of 'Ambat Varan'. This is my mom's version.
To give you a background of this daal, 'Ambat Varan' is a very simple daal to make. I have grown up with this recipe as it was a regular at my home when we were kids. The tamarind, green chillies and the fenugreek seeds gives this daal it's unique flavor. 
The goda masala/kala masala used is a very typical Maharashtrian addition in this dish. Very few Indian stores carry this spice mix with them. If you don't find it anywhere, it is time to make some Maharashtrian friends!

Now let us get to the recipe..

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 people
Source: Aai

3/4 cup toor dal
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp tamarind pulp 
1 tblsp jaggery
3/4 tblsp goda masala/kala masala
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
4 curry leaves
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Water as required
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Coriander to decorate
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter (optional)

Step 1 - Soak toor dal for 15-30 mins in 1.5 cups of water. Add salt and turmeric powder to the soaked dal. Stir will a spoon and pressure cook this daal for 3 whistles or till it is completed cooked.

Step 2 - Once the pressure is released take out the daal from the pressure pan and while the daal is still warm, add the tamarind pulp, jaggery and goda masala. Mix well. Taste this daal. At this point the daal should taste of the goda masala and the tamarind. Do not worry if it tastes of raw spices. We are going to boil this daal till all the raw flavors disappear. Keep aside.

Step 3 - Heat oil in a large pot. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the asafoetida and cumin seeds. Stir for a few seconds till the cumin changes it's color to dark brown. Add the curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. Immediately add in the green chillies and saute till they wilt down.

Step 4 - Add in the daal from Step 2 into the oil. Be careful as it will splatter all over. Add water till the daal reaches the consistency you desire. Cover the pot and let the daal boil for 10 - 12 mins. Keep stirring occasionally. Adjust the salt content and also check for the flavors. You might need to adjust the tang (tamarind) or the sweetness (jaggery) as per your liking.

Decorate it with coriander and spoon in a little ghee if you like. Serve piping hot with some steamed rice.
My mom and I have a weird way of enjoying Ambat Varan. We take the daal in a large bowl. Tear off some hot chapatis and start adding it to the daal till it thickens up and then eat it with a spoon like porridge. That is our little randomness which we enjoy when both of us are alone at home and need to spend most of our time catching up on gossips!

Hope you enjoy making this simple Ambat Varan.

Tamarind can be exchanged for kokum in this preparation too. If you cannot find both you could squeeze some lime into the daal just before serving to take care of the tangy flavor.

Substituting sugar instead of jaggery really spoils the flavor of this daal. So I do not recommend it.

Leftover Varan makes for a great Ambat Varan recipe.