Category Archives: Meat

Mutton Dhansak with Brown Rice & Kachumbar

Mutton Dhansak with Brown Rice & Kachumbar

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mutton Dhansak with Brown Rice & Kachumbar







I am so very excited to share today’s recipe with my fellow kooky cooks.

Dhansak is one dish that I have been meaning to make for the longest time but was a bit nervous thinking it was way too time consuming and elaborate with an over-stretched ingredients list. Glad to say I was proved wrong.

A few weeks back, I had this famous Parsi mutton and rice dinner at my friend Meher’s place. Having got the recipe from her, I mustered the courage to try it in my own kitchen.

Dhansak is a stew of mutton, dals and vegetables served over brown rice alongside some kachumbar.

Vegetables to be used include pumpkin, aubergine and small fenugreek leaves. If you can’t get hold of the latter, skip the leaves but don’t substitute with regular or dry variants.

Mutton dhahsak is the most authentic version although you do get chicken and vegetable dhansak as well.

The brown rice is actually white rice which is cooked in caramalised water.  It should become very brown, something I didn’t achieve in my first attempt (mine turned out a pale brown).

Kachumbar is a mixture of finely chopped onions and tomatoes with some chilli and coriander. You can also add a chopped cucumber if you wish.

I used ready prepared dhansak masala; it is available in most Indian grocery stores. Meher’s family use the Mangal brand which they say comes closest to the homemade version so I managed to get a packet from them.

There is one more component to dhansak which I skipped – kebabs.

one of the most satisfying dinner experience you will have

Enjoy with some chilled beer.


Ingredients for Dhansak

500 Grams mutton (preferably on the bone)

1/2 Cup tuvar dal

1/2 Cup masoor dal

125 Grams Pumpkin

4 Baby aubergine

4 Ripe tomato

2 Onions

2 Tablespoons ginger-garlic paste

2 1″ cinnamon sticks

4-5 Cloves

4-5 Whole peppercorns

3 Green cardamom

3 Black cardamom

2 Bayleaf

1-2 Tablespoons dhansak masala

2 Teaspoons turmeric powder

1 Tablespoon chilli powder

1-2 Teaspons jaggery powder (or a small lump of jaggery)

1-2 Tablespoons oil

Salt to taste


  1. Soak the tuvar dal for 5-6 hours.
  2. Clean the mutton and apply a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste.
  3. Cook the mutton in about 2 cups of water till tender.
  4. Drain the stock and set aside.
  5. Wash and cube the pumpkin (I didn’t peel it).
  6. Wash and cube the aubergine.
  7. Wash the masoor dal.
  8. Place the two dals, chopped vegetables, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and a pinch of salt into a pot. Cook till meltingly soft. (You can do this in a pressure cooker if you wish).
  9. Once the dal and vegetables are cooked, mash them with the back of a spoon and set aside.
  10. Wash and puree the tomato.
  11. Peel, wash and chop the onion.
  12. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  13. Once it is hot, add the cinnamon stick, clove, peppercorn, cardamom and bayleaf.
  14. Lower the heat and add the onion along with salt to taste.
  15. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  16. Uncover and add 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  17. Add the tomato puree.
  18. Stir well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  19. Uncover and add the mutton, dal and vegetable mixture, dhansak masala, jaggery and chilli powder.
  20. At this stage, check for consistency. If you feel that it needs some water, add the mutton stock. But keep in mind that the dhansak should be fairly thick, not watery.
  21. Mix well and check for salt.
  22. Cover and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  23. Take off the heat and keep aside till ready to serve.


Ingredients for Brown Rice

1 Cup white rice

2 Onions

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon ghee


  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Peel, wash and slice the onion.
  3. Take a pot to cook the rice in.
  4. Heat the ghee in it and when it has melted, add the sugar.
  5. Lower the heat and keep stirring till the sugar melts. It will become brown as it starts caramelising.
  6. Once the sugar has caramalised, add the sliced onions.
  7. Mix well, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. By the end, the onions should be nicely brown.
  8. Drain the rice and add to the browned onions, along with some salt.
  9. Gently mix.
  10. Add 2 cups of water, increase the heat and bring to boil.
  11. Once it reaches rolling boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for about 25 minutes till the rice is full cooked.
  12. Once cooked, take off the heat and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Ingredients for Kachumbar

2 Onion

2 Ripe tomato

1 Cucumber (optional)

2 Green chilli

Small bunch fresh coriander

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

Salt to taste


  1. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  2. Wash and finely dice the tomato.
  3. Wash and finely chop the cucumber, if using.
  4. Wash, dry and finely chop the coriander.
  5. Wash and finely slice the chilli.
  6. Mix all the ingredients and chill for half hour before serving.

Serving Dhansak

  1. Serve some brown rice on a plate.
  2. Ladle dhansak on top of the rice.
  3. Serve kachumbar on the side.


Keema Matar/Minced Meat with Peas, The Indian Way

Keema Matar/Minced Meat with Peas, The Indian Way









Keema (minced meat) and matar (green peas) cooked in tomatoes and spices is one of my favourite Indian meat dishes.

Today’s recipe features minced mutton but you can adapt it to any kind of minced meat including lamb, beef, pork and chicken.

scooped with some roti or bread, keema matar is totally scrumptious

One of the good things about keema matar is how adaptable it is. Any leftover can be used as a sandwich filling, along with some fresh salad.

Or, break a couple of eggs over the minced meat while you are heating it. Wait till the eggs become firm and have this on toast.

Or, boil and mash some potatoes and mix these with the leftover keema matar to make fritters.

The possibilities are endless…

The following servers 4 people.


500 Grams minced meat of your choice

250 Grams shelled peas

3 Large onions

3 Large, ripe tomatoes

4 Tablespoons tomato puree

3 Tablespoons paste of ginger and garlic

3 Tablespoons soured yoghurt

4 Whole black cardamom

6 Whole green cardamom

2 Sticks cinnamon

6 Whole black peppercorns

6 Whole cloves

2 Bay leaves

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Teaspoon chilli powder

2 Teaspoons powdered garam masala

2 Tablespoons kasoori methi/dried fenugreek leaves (optional)

1 Tablespoon oil

Salt to taste


  1. Peel, wash and chop the onions.
  2. Wash and dice the tomatoes.
  3. Heat the oil in a wide based frying pan.
  4. Once it is hot, lower the heat and add the whole spices (whole black and green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and black peppercorns along with the bay leaves).
  5. Stir around a bit. At this stage, you can remove the spices with a slotted spoon if you don’t like them whole in your dish. Personally, I like their taste and enjoy chewing on them along with the meat so I leave them in.
  6. Next, add the diced onions. Add a pinch of salt, cover and let the onions cook for about 10 minutes.
  7. Once the onions are cooked, add the paste of ginger garlic. Leave uncovered, stir and let this cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Add the tomatoes, turmeric and chilli powder.
  9. Mix well, cover and let the mixture cook for about 5 to 7 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and squishy.
  10. Add the minced meat, breaking it down with the back of your spoon or spatula.
  11. Combine well and cook the meat, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  12. Add the yoghurt, garam masala, tomato puree and salt to taste. Also add 2 cups of water. Mix, cover and let the meat cook for about 45 minutes on low heat.
  13. Check in between to make sure it is not sticking to the base of the pan.
  14. After 45 minutes, remove the lid. At this stage, the water should have evaporated.
  15. Throw in the peas and kasoori methi (if using), cover and cook for 10 minutes till the peas are cooked through.
  16. Take the frying pan off the heat but don’t open the lid.
  17. Let the keema mater sit for 10 minutes before serving.


  1. You can add more chilli powder if you like your food spicy.
  2. Although kasoori methi is optional, if you have some do add it. It enhances the taste.

the end result is a dry meat dish

Goes very well with any type of bread including naan, roti, tortilla and crusty roll.

Joojeh Kebabs on Saffron Rice with Grilled Vegetables and Beetroot Yoghurt

Joojeh Kebabs with Grilled Vegetables and Beetroot Yoghurt









Joojeh kebab are Iranian chicken kebabs cooked in saffron and yoghurt. They are served on a bed of rice along with some grilled vegetables, yoghurt and pickles.

our first dinner of 2014

The menu may seem elaborate but if you plan properly and do some things ahead of time, it is pretty straightforward.

You can serve these kebabs with some Persian saffron rice. To save on time, I created my own version of the fragrant rice recipe.

We had a friend over and so much was going on that I didn’t get the opportunity to take proper photographs.

A really delicious yet light on the stomach kind of dinner which I would definitely like to repeat.

The following serves four people.

Ingredients for Joojeh Kebabs

1 Kilo boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into medium size pieces

1 Cup thick, creamy yoghurt (Greek or hung yoghurt would work well here)

2 Onions

1 Teaspoon saffron strands

2 Lemons or limes

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method for Joojeh Kebabs

  1. Peel, wash and grate the onions.
  2. Juice the lemons or limes.
  3. Mix together the yoghurt, grated onions, saffron, juice of lime or lemon, olive oil, black pepper and salt.
  4. Check to see whether the salt is okay and add more if needed.
  5. Now, add the chicken pieces to the yoghurt marinade.
  6. Combine well, cover and refrigerate for as long as you can (I had left it to marinade for 8 hours).
  7. When you are ready to cook, skewer the chicken pieces and grill them for 15 to 20 minutes till the chicken is cooked.
  8. Turn them frequently and baste as necessary with the marinade.
  9. When cooked, keep aside on a serving platter.

Ingredients for Grilled Vegetables

4 Green peppers

4 Large tomatoes (or 8 small ones)

4 Large onions (or 8 small ones)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of one lime or lemon

Salt tot taste

Method for Grilled Vegetables

  1. Wash and quarter the green pepper. Remove seeds and core.
  2. Wash and halve the tomatoes.
  3. Peel, wash and halve the onions.
  4. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon/lime juice and salt.
  5. Pour this mixture over the vegetables and let them sit for about 30 minutes. You can do this while the kebabs are cooking.
  6. Grill the vegetables till they are a bit charred, basting frequently as and when needed.
  7. Keep aside on a serving platter or in a dish.

Ingredients for Beetroot Yoghurt

2 Beetroots

1 Cup yoghurt

Salt to taste

Method for Beetroot Yoghurt

  1. Wash and steam the beetroot till tender but still firm.
  2. Peel and cube the vegetable.
  3. Whisk the yoghurt and add the cubed beetroot and salt.
  4. Mix well, cover and refrigerate. You can do this several hours beforehand. Take out the beetroot yoghurt from the refrigerator half hour before serving to bring it down to room temperature.

Ingredients for Saffron Rice

1 Cup long grain rice (I used Basmati)

2 Cups water

1 Tablespoon butter

1 Teaspoon saffron strands

Salt to taste

Method for Saffron Rice

  1. Wash the rice till the water runs clear.
  2. Place the washed and drained rice in a pot and add 2 cups of water.
  3. Next, add the saffron, butter and salt.
  4. Cover the pot with a large piece of foil followed by a tight fitting lid. You can do this beforehand and let the rice sit till ready to cook.
  5. Half hour before sitting down for dinner, place the rice pot on the burner on minimum heat. The rice should be cooked by the end of the 30 minutes.
  6. Open the lid and a bit of the foil to check for doneness. The end result should be long, separate, fluffy grains of yellow coloured rice.

To plate

  1. Place one serving of rice on a plate.
  2. Put the chicken kebab on the rice.
  3. Add the grilled vegetables on one side.
  4. Serve beetroot yoghurt on another side.

The grilled vegetables are good enough to eat on their own.

Grilled Vegetables









Joojeh kebabs on saffron rice.

Joojeh Kebabs

Flavourful Broth of Chicken, Vegetables & Noodles

Flavourful Broth of Chicken, Noodles and Vegetables









As temperatures continue to dip, a comforting bowl of hot soup is enough to warm the cockles of your heart.

I am sure everybody has their own version of the classic chicken noodle soup. Many require you to cook dry noodles in the chicken stock.

My version is a tad different. While making Green Noodles, I had cooked extra noodles specially to create this recipe. While serving, I placed the cooked noodles in a soup bowl over which I ladled the hot broth of chicken and vegetables. The end result is a reassuring and satisfying soup full of flavour and fragrance.

who knew that a ménage à trois could be so congenial

Of course, there is no right or wrong way of doing this. You can cook dry noodles in the broth along with the vegetables if you prefer. In fact, this will probably give them extra flavour.

So let’s warm up with today’s flavourful broth of chicken and vegetables over some cooked noodles.


One cup cooked noodles*

300 Grams chicken parts on the bone

3 Cups water

4-5 Stalks celery (including leaves, if available)

2 Carrots

150 Grams mushrooms

1/2 Packed cup fresh parsley

1-2 Stalks lemongrass (Optional)

2 Onions

2 Bayleaves

One tablespoon oil

A generous pinch of freshly pounded peppercorns

Salt to Taste


  1. First, we need to cook the chicken and make the stock.
  2. Peel and wash one onion. Halve it
  3. Peel and wash 2 stalks of celery.
  4. Wash the lemongrass.
  5. In a pan, place the chicken and the water along with the onion, celery, lemongrass, bay leaves and salt.
  6. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for one hour.
  7. Place a strainer over a large pot. At the end of the hour, pour the contents of the pan into the strainer. The large pot under it will collect the chicken stock.
  8. When cool to handle, discard the vegetables and bay leaves.
  9. Take the chicken pieces and separate the flesh from the bones.
  10. Throw away the bones.
  11. Now, peel, wash and chop the second onion.
  12. Dice the remaining celery.
  13. Wash and chop the parsley.
  14. Wash and chop the carrots.
  15. Wash (or wipe) and halve the mushrooms.
  16. Heat oil in a soup pot (or equivalent).
  17. Add the chopped onion and celery. Add some salt to taste.
  18. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  19. Add the chicken stock. At this stage, check the quantity of the liquid. It should be enough. If not, you can add some water.
  20. Bring to boil and add the carrots and mushroom along with chopped parsley and pounded black pepper.
  21. Lower the heat and cook for 8 minutes.
  22. After this time, add the cooked chicken pieces, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.
  23. Place noodles in a bowl and pour the hot broth over them.
  24. Serve hot.


  1. If you don’t have boiled noodles ready, you can add dry noodles along with the chicken and cook according to the time on the packet.
  2. Lemongrass is optional. We have some growing in our kitchen window so I decided to throw it in for the stock.

This is what my chicken stock looked like once it was cooked and strained.

Making Chicken Stock for Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth  Home Made Chicken Stock for Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth









Pictorial of the simple steps involved in cooking this broth.

Ingredients for Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth     Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 1 Cook Onions and Celery  Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 2 Add the Chicken StockChicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 3 Add the VegetablesChicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 4 Add the Cooked Chicken

Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 5 Pour in a Soup Bowl Over Cooked Noodles

Port Wine Pork with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Port Wine Pork









At the potluck Thanksgiving dinner, our friend Asha had brought along what I like to call “drunken chicken”. She had marinated chicken breasts in red wine and then slow-cooked them with some stock. The chicken tasted like gamey meat. Very simple yet absolutely divine.

Asha told me that other meats like pork and beef would work equally well.

I have a bottle of port wine courtesy Judith so thought I would try Asha’s recipe (with a couple of my own tweaks, as always!)

The experiment was a total success. Port wine and pork are compatible together. Will definitely be making this again.

Pork is highly nutritious although it is debatable whether it can be classified as white meat. Use a lean cut without any fat.

ideally serve with some freshly cooked vegetables for a balanced meal

Ingredients for Pork

250 Grams Boneless pork sirloin

1 Cup port wine (or red wine)

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (I used Colemans)

1 Large onion, finely sliced

1 Head of garlic, cloves peeled and left whole

Salt to taste (I used truffle salt, you can use plain or flavoured salt)

Ingredients for Vegetables

250 Grams broccoli

200 Grams mushrooms

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of one lemon or lime

A generous pinch of seasoning of your preference (I used garlic pepper)

Salt to taste


  1. First, we need to marinate the meat. Mix together the port wine along with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onions, garlic and salt. Put the pork in this making sure it is fully coated with the wine mixture.
  2. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. According to Asha, the longer the better. I reckon it will stay good in a refrigerator for upto 24 hours.
  3.  A couple of hours before you are ready to cook the meat, marinate the vegetables.
  4. For this, wash and cut the broccoli in large pieces.
  5. Wash or wipe the mushrooms. I left mine whole, you can cut them in half if you like.
  6. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning and salt.
  7. Add the vegetables to this marinade and leave them outside for 2-3 hours.
  8. When you are ready to cook, take a wide based frying pan and heat it on a high flame.
  9. Once it is hot, bung in the vegetables along with the marinade.
  10. Turn down the heat, cover and let the vegetables cook for 8-10 minutes. Make sure that they are not overcooked so time according to your personal preference.
  11. Once the vegetables are cooked, scoop them onto a plate and leave any liquid in the pan.
  12. Turn the heat to high and add the pork, onions and garlic (along with the marinade they were sitting in) to the pan.
  13. Flip over the pork a couple of , lower the heat, cover and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  14. After 20 minutes, uncover the pan and turn the pork so that it cooks on the other side.
  15. Cover and let it cook for about 15 minutes more.
  16. Check for doneness, take it off the heat, cover the pan and let the meat sit for about 10-15 minutes before dishing it out on the plate with vegetables.
  17. Don’t forget to scrape off any onions sticking to the pan. They may have turned dark (as you can see from my photo) but taste delicious.


  1. For this dish, I used boneless pork sirloin but you can use any cut of you like.
  2. You can also substitute pork with beef,  chicken or any other meat.

Luscious Green Chicken Curry

Green Chicken Curry









A meat recipe at last, yay!!! Am really pleased to introduce you to one of my favourite chicken curry recipes. I learnt this from a friend who, in turn, got it from his mum.

There are a couple of unusual things about this chicken curry.

Firstly, it doesn’t require any marination.

And secondly, unlike most Indian non-vegetarian dishes, you don’t add any souring agent like yoghurt, tomato, tamarind, lemon or mango powder. And yet, this doesn’t take away from the taste. In fact, it tastes better sans any tartness.

if you do not eat meat, you can make this curry with paneer

I had cooked this last night for our friend Judith who is sadly moving to another city. So, it was a farewell meal.

We had it with rice but you can have it with roti, naan or even bread.

For some reason, this curry tastes even better the next day so make a little extra.

The following serves 4 people.


1.5 Kilo chicken, skinless but with bone, cut into large pieces

500 Grams onion

4 Packed cups fresh coriander (leaves and stalk)

Fresh ginger, the size of your thumb

2 Heads of garlic

One tablespoon freshly pounded black peppercorns

One tablespoon chilli powder

One tablespoon turmeric powder

One tablespoon garam masala powder

One tablespoon cumin powder

One tablespoon coriander powder

Two tablespoons oil

3-4 Bay leaves

3-4 Black and/or green cardamoms

2 Cinnamon sticks

Salt to taste


  1. Finely slice the onions.
  2. Make  a paste of fresh coriander, ginger and garlic.
  3. In a bowl, mix all the powdered masala: turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder.
  4. Heat oil in a wide based pan.
  5. Once the oil becomes hot, add the bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon stick.
  6. Add the sliced onions, salt and all the powdered masala (from step 3).
  7. Mix well, reduce heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in between to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  8. After 10 minutes, the onions should be cooked. Add the chicken and mix everything together. You don’t want to brown the chicken but you want to make sure that it is coated well with the onion mixture.
  9. Add the paste of fresh coriander, ginger and garlic.
  10. Add 3 cups of water, stir well, cover and let the chicken curry cook for one hour on low heat.
  11. After an hour, check for doneness and if the chicken is cooked, cover the pan, switch off the gas and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Here’s Judith and her rum patiently waiting while the rice is being cooked.










Judith had very kindly baked us a very yummy Linzer cake, specialty of her native Austria. The cake was to die for!

Judith's Linzer Cake







The salad in the above photo is carrots, cucumber and horseradish; the latter is currently in season.










ust look at the horseradish with its fresh green leaves. I thought it would be a shame to waste them so I finely chopped them and added to the curry (during the onion cooking stage). They gave it a nice peppery lift.