Saturday, September 17, 2011

Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup

A thick tomato soup with a mild Italian taste!

Great for cold nights. Quite filling! So makes a meal by itself.
According to me the BEST SOUP to dunk your tough bread in.

Roasting the ingredients gives this soup a heavenly smoky flavor which I am sure you will love.
Adding coriander and garlic and roasting these along with the tomatoes just gives it a punch!
The process is so simple that you wont mind making this soup every time you decide to be good to your body!

Basically, this recipe is for keeps!

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 to 5 people
Adapted from: Sanjeev Kapoor's Khana Khazana

7-8 medium tomatoes, cut in large cubes
2 bay leaves
10-12 black peppercorns
10-12 stalks of coriander leaves
12 garlic pods
3/4 tsp mixed dried herbs (optional)
2 -3 tblsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 350 Deg. F.

Step 2 - In a large baking pan, place the cubed tomatoes, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander leaves, garlic pods, sprinkle mixed herbs and pour in the olive oil. Try and cover a larger area while pouring in the olive oil. Sprinkle salt over the ingredients.

Step 3 - Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins, or till the coriander stocks wilt and the garlic starts to slightly brown.

Step 4 - Cool the ingredients when they are done baking and blend them all together. Boil and strain the mixture and adjust water and salt as per your personal preference.

Serve hot with some chunky bread!


This soup is supposed to be on the thicker side. Diluting it a lot could compromise on the taste.

You could add or reduce the ingredients as per your liking.

If you do not want an Italian twist to this soup, do not add in the mixed herbs. The soup by itself also tastes great.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

CKP Mutton/Chicken

Back with a bang!

Being married into a CKP (Chandraseneya Kayasta Prabhu) family, it was inevitable that people started visiting us with expectations of  CKP style non-veg dishes!
CKP families are very well know for their mutton and fish preparations. Though I must say most of the dishes they prepare are time consuming. But trust me, it will be worth every bit of your efforts.

It goes without saying that this recipe is strictly for people who have the patience in cooking or some good help in the kitchen!
Even though I have put the level of this recipe as difficult, it is completely based on the time consumption and not the skill requirement.

With a lot of people who visit us here, being into 'no red meat' diets, this time I have prepared CKP Chicken. But personally I think CKP mutton tastes way better than its chicken counterpart. Those who dont mind eating mutton once in a while, are requested to make a mutton preparation with the same recipe. The only change would be substantial increase in the cooking time in Step 7. There are some tips on reducing the cooking time for mutton preparations right below the recipe.

So lets get started with my family's CKP mutton/chicken recipe.
I have tried to keep it as easy to understand and as step by step as possible. Hope you like it!
Also, just a heads up, the first step has to be done 6 - 8 hrs before you start making this dish. So plan accordingly.

Level: Difficult (Time consuming)
Serves: 6 - 8 people

1 kg (2.2 pounds) chicken/mutton (bone-in medium sized pieces)

(List 1)
2.5 tblsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup yogurt, slightly beaten

(List 2)
7-8 black peppercorns
5 cloves
2 inch cinnamon stick
1.5 tblsp coriander seeds
2 black cardamoms

(List 3)
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 cup fresh grated coconut/5 to 6 tblsp dry grated coconut (I have used dry in this recipe)

(List 4)
2 cloves
3 black peppercorns
1 green cardamom
1 inch cinnamon
1 large onion, finely chopped

3/4 tsp garam masala
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 small bunch of finely chopped coriander leaves

Step 1 - Wash chicken/mutton thoroughly. Pat dry with a kitchen napkin. Take it in a large bowl with a lid. Apply all ingredients from List 1 (ginger garlic paste, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, yogurt) and salt. Massage all the ingredients well, till the meat is well coated. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge overnight (6 to 8) hours. The yogurt will help tenderize the meat and all the ingredients will flavor the meat well.

Step 2 - In a large pan, take 2 tblsp of oil. Roast all List 2 ingredients. (black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, black cardamom). Drain them out and keep aside in a plate to cool down.

Step 3 - In the same pan, on medium heat add the List 3 ingredients one at a time. Let us start with the onion. Roast the onions till they turn reddish-brown in color. Keep aside. In the same pan, add the coconut and roast it till it becomes a deep brown color. (See picture above). Keep aside. Let all the ingredients cool down.

Step 4 - Grind together all roasted ingredients from step 2 and 3 together with a little warm water, till they form a thick brown paste.

Step 5 - In a heavy bottomed pan heat 1.5 tblsp oil. When the oil is hot, add the List 4 ingredients. Let us start with cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick and green cardamom. Saute for a minute. Add the finely chopped onions and saute for 4 to 5 mins, till they brown.

Step 6 - Add the marinated chicken/mutton (without the excess marination) and saute for a good 8 to 10 mins on a medium to high flame till most of the water evaporates and you have dry meat in the pan.

Step 7 - Add the ground paste of roasted ingredients from step 4 and mix well for 5 to 6 mins. Add some water with the leftover marinade from the meat into the pot and let it all boil together. Adjust water to your desired preference. Also adjust the spice level here by adding some red chillly powder and garam masala. Adjust salt.

Step 8 - When the meat is almost done (chicken takes around 20 mins and mutton about 45 mins to an hour), squeeze in some lemon juice and sprinkle some coriander leaves. Let the meat cook for 5 more minutes till done.

Serve hot. Decorate with some more coriander just before serving.

If you are making a chicken preparation, skimping on the marination time is alright. 3 to 4 hrs is good enough. But if you are making a mutton preparation 8 hrs is minimum. You need the meat to tenderize well.

Do not roast the onions and coconut on a high flame. It might burn some of it and that would give the dish a burnt taste.

Make sure the coconut is roasted to a nice brown color. That is what gives the chicken its red - brown color.

For a quicker version of mutton preparation, you can pressure cook the marinated mutton till it is almost cooked through and then use it in the recipe.