Easy Lamb or Mutton Korma Recipe

June 17, 2008

Korma is a type of mild, creamy sauce thickened with ground nuts and seasoned with raisins.  This braised korma lamb stew is wonderful served over a bed of steamed rice.

2 lbs lamb shanks or cubed or mutton, external fat trimmed
1 black cardamom
Salt, to taste, plus 1 Tbs. salt
4 Tbs. ghee, plus more if needed
1.5 lb. yellow onions, diced
1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh ginger
6 Tbs. Ajika Korma Spices
2-3 tbs. tomato puree or 6 sun-dried tomato or 6 ripe tomatoes chopped
Zest and juice of 1 orange (optional)
1 lb. carrots, peeled and coarsely diced
1 potato cubed
1 cup yogurt 

In a deep sauté pan, heat 2 Tbs. of ghee to nearly smoking. Working in batches, brown the shanks and black cardamom, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.

Add the remaining 2 Tbs. ghee, heat ghee and then add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté, stirring, until the onions are tender and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, 1 Tbs. salt, korma spices. Sauté, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes,  orange zest and orange juice and stir to mix well. Submerge the shanks in the liquid and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on medium low until the meat nearly falls off the bone, about 2 hours. Towards the end of cooking add the carrots and potato and yogurt into the stew, cover and cook till vegetables are tender and the meat falls off the bone. .

© Kavita Mehta
photo credit Kavita and Vinay Mehta



Lamb Yogurt Curry from Kashmir

June 17, 2008


1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. ginger
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small green chili  minced
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
2 lb. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into large cubes
1 black cardamom
2 tsp. salt or to taste
3 Tbs. ghee or oil
2 cups water
1 cup plain yogurt
Steamed rice or Flat bread for serving

Heat large, deep fry pan over high heat until very hot and add 2 Tbs. of the oil. Sear the lamb and black cardamom. Brown one side and then turn the cubes of lamb to brown the other side.. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate.

Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and sauté just until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spice mixture and sauté for 10 seconds more. Add the lamb, water and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Gradually whisk in the yogurt until combined with the sauce.

Cover and simmer gently until the lamb is tender, about an hour. Serve with steamed rice.


Shammi Kebab Recipe

June 17, 2008

Shami kebabs or pattie may be the best kebabs in the world. These kebabs are made exceptionally silky due to the addition of the channa dal and the fine mincing in an electric mincer/blender. The result is a smooth, soft, melt-in-the-mouth pattie.
They can be made in advance, frozen and fried when needed. This pan-fried kabab can be made with goat meat/mutton or lamb or beef but tastes best when made with mutton or lamb. Serve it with Mint-Coriander Chutney.

1 lb. lamb mince boiled – with no water left after the meat is boiled
4 oz. chana daal – with no water left after the lentil is boiled
2 tbsp. Ajika garam masala
minced fresh green chilies to taste
1 tbsp. garlic minced
1 tbsp. ginger minced
2 tbsp. very finely minced cilantro
2 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
Salt and fresh lime juice to taste
ghee or oil to shallow fry
Grind all ingredients except the cilantro into a thick dough in your food processor.  Now add the cilantro. Shape into patties.
Heat the cooking oil/ghee on a heavy-bottomed skillet and shallow fry the kababs till golden on both sides. 

Hint: if the patty is faliing apart at the time of pan frying – add one egg to the mixture by folding the egg into the meat dough.


Garnish Seasoning for Grilled Meats, Pizza & Corn

June 17, 2008

Try this wonderful piquant, minty, tangy garnish spice. Its unique spices include black salt, mango powder (sour taste), mint (cool fresh taste) and cumin.

This will be a great hit at your next party or next picnic.

This blend is a great seasoning garnish for boiled or grilled corn with this unique spice blend.  for grilled meats,  pizza and sweet fruits like pinapple, bananas, sweet oranges and sweet apples.


Chicken Biryani -Most popular rice dish from India

June 17, 2008

The Indian rice dish called Biryani is truly a jewel in the rice dishes of the world. The art of cooking with spices, herbs and other seasonings come together in a wonderful show of color, aroma and flavor. This is an outstanding work of Indian culinary art. This recipe originated in the kitchens of the Nizam of Hydrabad. This is a rice hot dish that makes a one dish meal along with plain yogurt or with yogurt raita.

Serves 6-8

Cooking the Rice
1 package Ajika Basmati Rice washed and drained
1/2 tsp. salt 
10 cups water  

Cooking the Biryani
2 lbs. chicken, lamb or mutton leg/shoulder cut into bite size pieces, washed and drained 
5 tbs. oil or ghee 
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced 
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 inch piece ginger minced
1-3 green chillies minced
6-7 tbsp. Ajika Biryani Spices
2- 2 1/2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste) 
1/2 cup thick yoghurt 
2 large tomatoes, chopped 
1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves, minced
1 lime or 1/2 lemon, cut into small pieces 
A few strands of saffron soaked in a tablespoon of warm water 
1 tbs. Ghee 

Cooking the Meat
Heat oil/ghee in a large pan and fry onions, until quite dark brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside. 
In the same oil (add more if needed), add spices ginger and garlic. Fry for a minute or two. 
Add meat pieces, salt, chilli. Stir fry until meat is nicely browned on all sides. 
Add yoghurt, tomatoes, cilantro, lime. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat is soft and only a little gravy is left.

Cooking the Rice
While meat is cooking, boil the water for rice with salt. 
Add rice and bring to a rolling boil, until 2/3rd done about 5 minutes after the boil. 
Drain/Seive the water off like you do when cooking pasta. You can run a little cold water over it, to stop the rice from cooking further while resting. Leave in the colander for a few minute, for the water to drain out completely. 
Add ghee to grease a large oven proof dish or a pan.

Layering the Biryani
Spread 1/3rd of the rice in a layer at the base of the pan. Now layer with 1/2 of the meat. 
Repeat the layering till the last layer is the rice.
Sprinkle the saffron on the top of the rice. 
Add fried onions on top.
Dot with a little ghee. 
Cover the pan with a tight lid. 
Put it in a medium hot oven and bake for 30 minuites at 350 F the rice is fully done.

You should have the perfect Biryani.


Chicken Tandoori Recipe

June 17, 2008

2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
4 large cloves garlic crushed
1 tbsp. Ajika Tandoori Spice Blend
3/4 cup plain low-fat or whole milk yogurt
1/2. fresh green lime juice
Mix all above ingredients in a bowl

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts. Make slits in the chicken and add the chicken in the above mix and marinate covered for 4 hours at a minumum or overnight

1/4 cup ghee
A brush to coat the chicken while it grills

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1/2 cup minced cilantro leaves
1 or 2 fresh green chiles, thinly sliced
lime wedges
Ready a charcoal grill with an even layer of coals. While the grill is heating up, take the chicken out of the refrigerator. When the charcoal is red-hot, lay the chicken pieces on the grill about 2 inches apart. Baste with any remaining marinade and ghee and turn the chicken. Grill the chicken till it is cooked, a bit charred but not dry. The ghee should help in keeping the chicken moist.

Transfer the chicken to a large platter and sprinkle some fresh lime juice over it. Garnish with onion, cilantro, green chilies, and lime wedges. Seal the platter with foil. This will help to have the aroma of the garnish seep into the chicken.

Enjoy delicious Tandoori chicken.

Serve with flat breads and chutney.

© Kavita Mehta
photo credit Kavita and Vinay Mehta

Spicy Sweet and Sour Tamarind Coconut Shrimp

June 17, 2008

4 servings.

12 uncooked large shrimp (Using scissors, cut shell of each shrimp all the way to tail end, exposing vein. Remove vein. Loosen shrimp shells but do not remove.)

1 tbsp. oil

1/3 cup chopped shallots
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small onion, cut into thin wedges
2 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 green chile, cut into thin rings

1 tsp. tamarind paste
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons fish spices
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro

In another pan heat 1 tbsp oil and add shallots, onion, garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add shrimp and sauté 1 minute. Add rest of the ingredients and sauté until shrimp are opaque in center and sauce coats shrimp thickly, about 3 minutes longer. Mix in green onions and green chile. Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.


Shrimp Seasoned with Coconut Spice Blend

June 17, 2008

Coconut Spice Blend with its special blend of spices and coconut is a natural blend for shrimp. The Malabar spices in this blend are traditional and are common all along India’s western coastline. If you like Thai food you will enjoy this spice blend. Lime juice and a bit of sugar may be added for a sweet and sour taste.

Serves 4

1 lb shrimp
1 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. of Coconut Spice Blend
lime juice and salt to taste as this blend has only a small hint of salt

In a fry pan add oil and heat it. Add seasonings and then veggies. Saute while trning the shrimp so the spices coat the shrimp. Add 1 tsp. water, salt to taste and cover the pan. Steam till shrimp are done.

Serve with steamed rice and plan yogurt.


Madras Chicken Curry

June 17, 2008

2 lb chicken cubed
2 finely minced onions
3 cloves garlic minced
1 inch ginger minced
4 chopped ripe tomatoes
3 oz vegetable oil
3 gently crushed cardamom pods
6 cloves
2 inch cinnamon stick
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. cumin
½ ground red chillies
½ ground fenugreek
1 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. lemon


– In a deep saucepan heat the oil to a high temperature. Add the
onions, fry until the onions take on a rich golden brown.

– Add ginger and garlic.  Stir and cook for a minute. Now add all the spices. Fry for a minute or two.

–  Turn heat to medium-low and add salt, chillies and tomatoes.  Fry till tomatoes cook into a paste.

– Add chicken and coat the chicken with the spices.  Saute the chicken and then add a cup of water. Bring the dish to boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or more.
Turn heat on low and cook on low  until the meat falls easily off the bone and the curry thickens about 30 minutes.

Add a cup of water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.


Just before serving, add lemon juice. Serve with rice.

Madras Coconut Chicken Curry

June 17, 2008

Serves 6

8 chicken thighs, skinless
1/2 lb. potato or squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion diced
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. mustard seed, whole
2 one-inch sticks of cinnamon 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt 
Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add mustard seed and let them pop. Add cinnamon sticks. Cook briefly to release their aromas. Add the onion and cook until golden brown. Add garlic and ginger, continue cooking 2-3 minutes more.

Add chicken pieces, peppercorns and the Curry Masala and cook until brown, adding small quantities of water as necessary to keep the spices froom scorching.

Add the vegetables, the coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes until the meat falls easily off the bone and the juices not too thick.

Serve with rice