Friday, 29 April 2016

Pulled Pork Burgers #sikandalouscuisine


I nearly didn't share this post as it was almost an assembly job - but then I figured I would also be sharing about two great products- so here goes. Another gem from Veeba Sauces and pre cooked pulled pork from Le Carne Cuts , or Lion Fresh as their online brand is known . Pulled pork came cooked Sous Vide **, and all I did was finish it in a sauce. Efforts zero , taste 10/10 .


125 Grams Pulled Pork.
1/2 Onion Sliced.
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Chopped.
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
4 Tablespoons Veeba BBQ Sauce.
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil.
Chopped Basil.
Start warming up burger buns in the oven , and meanwhile get cooking. On very high heat add pepper and garlic , 30 seconds later tip in onions , saute till light brown .Tip in Veeba BBQ Sauce , mix around , add pulled pork.As pulled pork is already cooked you really need to do nothing -just toss about for one minute.Taste , adjust salt and heat , add in basil leaves as you take the wok off heat.
Butter buns , assemble pulled pork , I used a ring to make perfect patty shapes which were place on the bun , topped with sliced olives and more basil.The end result was a delicious succulent pulled pork burger ready in under 5 minutes !
**Note:
Pork came precooked Sous Vide . Sous-vide is a method of cooking in which food is sealed in airtight plastic bags then placed in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment. If using uncooked meat , proceed in the normal way by sauting shredded pork/chicken/keema till done then add in the sauces towards the end.

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

​My BigFatSandwich #sikandalouscuisine



​​
​Two boiled eggs stared me in the face - I had forgotten to add them to my biryani the night before . I guess that decided breakfast for me - and taking it a step further I put together my delicious Bigfatsandwich ​
​. Use your imagination and go with the flow.


2 Boiled Eggs - Grated.
1 Small Onion - Sliced.
2 Green Chilies Chopped.
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic.
3 Tablespoons Chopped Tomatoes​
​.
​3 Tablespoons Grated Cucumber.
Torn Basil Leaves.
1 Tablespoon Chopped Celery.
Salt and Seasoning .
Generous Dollop of Veeba Chipotle Southwest Dressing .

A chipotle, comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli, is a smoke-dried jalapeƱo used in Mexican food . Here Veeba in their extensive range of sauces and dressings have this delicious Chipotle dressing / sauce with an amazing flavor and a hint of smokey heat.
Back to the sandwich . Generously butter your bread and leave it covered in the fridge while you get making your sandwich.
In olive oil lightly saute onion , garlic and chilies till a hint if color.Cool and mix up all the ingredients with a gentle hand unless you like a pasty mashed egg sandwich which I dont as the photograph tells you .

Taste the filling - adjust , slap on a THICK layer of the filling onto the buttered bread and there you have this big fat delicious egg sandwich with superb flavors, brought together beautifully by Veeba's Chipotle Dressing.

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Monday, 25 April 2016

Ubla Bhuna Alu Meat #sikandalouscuisine


This is my standard cheat recipe - There are always a few packets of mutton marinating in my deep freeze*  in curd , ginger and garlic and frozen in convenient batches of 500 grams for ready use. Here I used one such packet .
500 Grams Mutton - Cubed and marinated in 2 tablespoons curds and 1 teaspoon each ginger and garlic paste*.
2-3 Potatoes- Peel , cube and deep fry - set aside.
2 Large Onions Grated .
2 large Tomatoes Pureed.
1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder.
3 -4 Tablespoons Ghee + 1 teaspoon
3-4 Tablespoons Chopped Dhania Greens.
Salt
Haldi
Make Coarse Powder:
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
1 Tablespoon Dhania Seeds.
1" Cinnamon Stick.
5 Cloves / Laung
5-7 Green Cardamon.
1/2 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns.
2-3 Dried Red Chilies - Lightly Roasted.

Without adding any water pressure cook marinated mutton for one whistle.Take off heat and let the pressure drop naturally - this will take 7-10 minutes and mutton will be half done by then.Strain , and reserve the stock. Meanwhile start the masala.
Heat ghee , tip in onions , when they brown add tomato and garlic , cook on low , when oil separates add salt and haldi and then the mutton.
​ ​
Bhuno well for 5-7 minutes , keep adding the reserved stock.When mutton is
​nearly ​
done , add in masala , and chili powder, cook another 4-5 minutes , then add
most of the chopped dhania greens** and fried potatoes ,bhuno 2 more minutes.

Add water to get the desired gravy
​ if you want any in which case adjust flavors​
.
​ Take off with a teaspoon of ghee .
Note** - adding dhania greens and bhunoing them with potatoes infuses their flavors beautifully .

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Saturday, 23 April 2016

​Aloo Tomato Chorchori #sikandalouscuisine ​




Thank you Debashish for yet another gem - This has me hooked and I managed to pick out the remaining few Green Tomatoes left in my patch on the farm to make this yum dish .

his recipe comes out a winner in looks, taste and of course in aroma, especially for those who love a punch of mustard paste. And topping all it is so very simple to cook.
Ingredients:
 250 Grams. Potatoes.
250 Grams Green Tomatoes.
1/2" Ginger – Coarsely grated.
4 Green chilies.
4 Tablespoons Yellow mustard seeds.
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder

​ - I used 1 teaspoon.​

Salt – to taste
4 Tablespoon Kachchi ghani Mustard oil.
Preparation:
1. Skin and cut Potatoes.
2. Cut potato into 1inch dice. Wash and drain off water.
3. Deseed and dice tomato in the same way.
4. Soak mustard seeds for an hour and then wet grind with a pinch of salt and 2 green chillies.
5. Slit remaining green chilies.
6. In a mixing bowl mix all the vegetables with turmeric powder, mustard paste, grated ginger, salt and 3 tbsp. kachchi ghani mustard oil.
7. Mix well and transfer in a deep cooking bowl (Bati).
8. Add slit green chilies.
9. Pour 1 tbsp. oil over the mix.
10. Place the bowl with a lid and place it in a pressure cooker.
11. Put the pressure cooker on heat and cook for up to 3 to 4 whistles.
12. Take off heat. Open lid when pressure is completely released.
13. Transfer the curry on a serving bowl.
14. Aloo Tomato Chochchori is ready to serve.

​This was delicious , ate it with rice and now I hope I can source more green tomatoes soon !

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Israeli Couscous Tabouli #sikandalouscuisin


Tabouli/ Tabbouleh -  Famous Mediterranean/Middle Eastern salad is a simple composition of finely chopped vegetables , Bulgur Wheat , loads of Parsley , Lemon Juice and Olive Oil . The “star ” ingredient in Tabouli  is not bulgur wheat but is Parsley - very finely chopped parsley–lots of it .Parsley holds together the dressing and vegetables , and this dish tastes best a day later.

Modern times have ushered in some changes - often bulgur wheat is replaced with quinoa or even couscous which is what I have used here. This post is inspired by a recipe from a blog called The Mediterranean Dish .


½  Cup Couscous.
1 Cucumber-  Very finely chopped.
4 Firm Tomatoes - Remove seeds and very finely chopped.
1 Cup Parsley -Very Firmly Chopped.
3-4 Green Onions - Very Firmly Chopped.
2 Tablespoons Mint Leaves - Very Finely Chopped.
Salt
3-4 Tablespoon Lemon Juice -  To taste adjust.
3 Tablespoons  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Soak Couscous in double the mount of boiling water to which salt and oil have been added - 1 teaspoon each . Mix , cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Never boil it . When ready , fluff it with a fork.

Place chopped vegetables/herbs in a bowl and add couscous.Mix gently after adding salt and lemon juice . Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour or till ready to serve.


​ Couscous shouldn't be more that 25-30 % in quantity to all the vegetables .Parsley should dominate this dish . Serv chilled - it's delicious !​


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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Zahav’s ( Israeli Version ) Hummus #sikandalouscuisine



A very different hummus recipe - here water , not olive oil is blended in. The end results are delicious I assure you as you make a wonderful tahini sauce to create this beautiful .

This recipe comes from Zahav, renowned Israeli Chef Michael Solomonov’s Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia, which is known for its silky and wonderfully rich hummus. Garlic and lemon play small roles here; the indisputable co-stars are the freshly cooked chickpeas and the nutty tahini.
1 Cup Chickpeas - Soak overnight , wash and boil til done.The recipe uses baking soda which I didn't. While chickpea are cooking get working on the rest - you want to use warm chickpea as per recipe.

Lemon Juice - About 1/3 cup or more to taste.
4 Cloves Garlic - I used 6.
Salt to taste
1 Cup Tahini - I used 2/3d Cup.
½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin - I used 1 teaspoon.
Paprika, for serving
Olive oil, for serving
Chopped Fresh Parsley, for serving
.
Make the tahini sauce- In a blender, combine the lemon juice, garlic and  salt. Let mixture sit 10 minutes. Add tahini, and cumin, and blend until a thick paste forms. Add 1/3 to 2/3 cup ice water while blender is running, a little at a time, until sauce is smooth. You’re looking for a perfectly smooth, creamy sauce.

Add the warm, drained chickpeas to blender with tahini mixture. Blend until perfectly smooth and not at all grainy ( I left it with a hint of grainy ), stopping to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. This blending may take upward of about 2 minutes; just keep going until the mixture is ultra creamy and fluffy, adding a little water if you need it to make the contents of the blender move. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt, lemon juice and/or cumin as needed.

To serve, spread the hummus on a plate, dust with paprika, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley. 


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A review - sana-di-ge #sikandalouscuisine



sana-di-ge - Named after the ceremonial lamp used in Mangalorean celebrations , was a delectable discovery . The restaurant showcases Mangalore’s Udupi region's rich culinary history along with a few gems from Adhra , Tamil Nadu and Kerala .
Opened just three weeks ago sana-di-ge comes with a lot of promise and could easily position itself as Delhi's finest standalone Coastal cuisine restaurant. Fortunately they haven't forgotten the vegetarians - much to the relief of my lunch partner who feasted on all things green while we waded through the fruits of the sea.
A delicious Sol Kadhi whetted our appetites , which was followed by the most amazing Crab Meat Soup , while Rakhee opted for a Pepper Rasam which she couldn't get enough of . Excellent Prawn Butter Pepper Garlic was followed by an average Mushroom Ghee Roast. Chicken Sukha was brilliant as was Baby corn Pepper Fry - super stuff .
Next came Fish Thali and a Vegetarian one and though we were bursting on the seams we greedily went on . Fish Thali came with a delectable Fish Curry , a Fried Fillet and some tender Rava Fried Squid , yum Sambar and a few vegetables - all absolutely brilliant as was the veggie thali I am told. We ended this delectable feast with their signature Elaneer Payasam - that was sheer brilliance.
Sana-Di-Ge is a celebration of India's fine Coastal Cuisine . Understated elegance , excellent informed and discreet service all made ours a fabulous meal . Do head there - as I am too going to again very soon - there is lots to explore on that scrumptious menu , they get my vote hands down .

Monday, 18 April 2016

Kafula / Kafuli Saag #sikandalouscuisine


A hidden gem from Garhwal , Kafuli is saag made with seasonal leafy green,  mainly spinach and methi , though there are no hard and fast rules as any available leafy green can and are used . Some make this thin , others thick .This is pure rustic food , poor mans food , and water that was used to boil rice in is added here to form the gravy.We make it like a thick soup .
2 Bunches Spinach.
1/2 Bunch Methi Greens - Optional on availability.
5-7 Green Chilies.
1 Teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds - or Jeera is also used depending on the area .
Salt.
Mustard Oil.
Finely chop greens , boil in a bit of  water with green chilies till greens are limp. Then on a Sil Butta grind coarsely( in a modern kitchen ! )  or in the pot itself pound it down randomly.Add rice water and salt ,cook covered on low for about 20 minutes , give a tarka in mustard oil.Keep it simple - this tastes fantastic !
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Saturday, 16 April 2016

Egg Baked in Avocado #sikandalouscuisine


I have been seeing photographs of eggs baked in avocado for the longest and planned on making it , but never got around to it  - Finally took the plunge after one lonely Avo in my fridge looked like on the verge of death ! Here is what I did - it's basically assembly.
Slit avocado into two , remove seed , gently scoop out some of the flesh.Season this scooped chopped avocado flesh with salt , garlic paste , olive oil , chopped chilies and herbs , and loosely fill back into the shell. Now break an egg into a katori , spoon in the egg keeping yoke intact , the whites will spread through and engulf scooped chopped avocado . I poured the balance of the garlic oil on top of the egg and  baked at 180 for 10 minutes , then add in cheese - I put some feta and grilled for another 3-4 minutes.
This was a treat to the senses - Pure joy !

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Friday, 15 April 2016

Vadapappu panakam #sikandalouscuisine




Shri
1/2 cup Split Moong Dal
1 1/2 tbsp Chopped Raw Mango
1 tbsp Grated Fresh Coconut
1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves

Soak the moong dal in water for 30 - 40 minutes and drain water.
Add the chopped raw mango, chilli, coconut, coriander leaves and salt to it and mix everything. Enjoy !


- Recipe credits Sailu's Food
4 Cups Water.
1 Cup Grated Jaggery
5-7 Roasted and Crushed Black Peppercorns.
1/2 Teaspoon Dry Ginger Powder.
2 Crushed Green Cardamom.
Add grated jaggery to 4 cups of room temperature water and allow it to dissolve. Strain the liquid to a serving bowl.
Add cardamom powder, crushed black pepper and dry ginger powder and mix. Pour into glasses and serve. I adjusted sweet and increased ginger to a teaspoon. It was delicious and refreshing .

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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Farfalle Puttanesca - Whore's Pasta #sikandalouscuisine


The name says it all ! This is a famous dish from Naples and not a figment of my imagination . Very spicy and just that perfect ' Indian fix ' one needs while traveling and missing home food and flavors . I also came across this in Ritu Dalmia's book and this is my take on what I have eaten with Spaghetti , but here went with Farfalle as I feel it holds sauce better. Base recipe is from Ritu's book.
1 Cup Pasta - Boiled Al dente .
4 Tablespoons Minced Herbs - I used finely chopped Fresh Parsley , Basil and Rosemary.
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic.
Chili Flakes - Lots of them - I used 2 tablespoons.
Grated Parmesan - To taste.
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce - Freshly made **
50-60 Ml Cream .
Olive Oil.

**Tomato Sauce / Paste:
500 Grams Tomatoes.
10 Cloves Garlic.
50 Grams Olive Oil.
Lots of Basil Leaves.

Chop tomatoes roughly into quarters , discard most seeds , mix all ingredients and cook covered till everything is pulpy , you aren't making a curry so dont overcook , just cook till it's all thickish.Cool , zap in a blender only two short spurts you are looking for a chunky sauce , season  and use as needed.
Heat oil , saute garlic over low heat for about one minute , garlic should just about begins to get soft and remain white .Add all spice and herbs , stir 10-20 seconds and then add tomato sauce , season with salt .Toss in pasta , stir to coat , then add cheese and cream , mix lightly and serve yourself from the pan to your plate . A delicious pasta eaten very spicy .

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Neem Begun #sikandalouscuisine


​ Feedback for Debasish Bhattacharya who shared this gem of a dish with us a few days ago . I was intrigued as to how bitter neem and salted begun would work together with no other ingredient other than mustard oil . Was I in for a delicious surprise ​
​, and in true Bengali style I started my meal with Neem Begun and boiled rice - Delicious !​


Ingredients:

​Handful Tender Neem Leaves.
3 Small Bengun / Brinjal
Salt To Taste.
3 Tablespoon Mustard Oil​

Process:
1. Wash and pat dry neem leaves.
2. Wash and cut brinjals in small dices.
3. Heat oil in a small wok and fry the neem leaves till crispy. Remove and keep aside.
4. Add the brinjal dices in oil. Fry them sprinkling salt to taste.
5. Adjust heat and cover with a lid for some time.
6. Remove lid and fry the brinjals till properly done.
7. Add the fried crispy neem leaves. Mix well.
8. Remove from heat and shift on a serving dish.
9. Neem Begun is ready.

Start your lunch with Neem Begun and hot rice.

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Kokum Saar #sikandalouscuisine


With every Goan Thaali you get a small katori of Kokum Saar which is meant to be a digestive and drunk at the end of the meal. I have seen many local Goans pour this over their rice and eat it that way too . Either ways this is delicious.There are many different versions of this drink . In Maharashtra ghee , cumin and jaggery are used . The Goan Thali comes with this rustic version.
8-10 Petals of Kokum
1-2 Green Chilies Minced.
Minced Garlic - Just a hint , 1/4 teaspoon.
Dot of Hing.
Salt.
Touch of Sugar - 1 Teaspoon
1 Liter Water.
Chopped Dhania Greens
Soak everything but coriander greens for 1-2 hours , adjust flavors and serve with a garnish of coriander greens. You will ask for another cup full I promise you !

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Saturday, 9 April 2016

Avocado Sunshine Salad Bites #sikandalouscuisine


Happiness is a bowlful of delicious colors and flavors ! This was part of dinner last night and truly a ' happy ' meal eaten two ways. First as a salad and then some salad was piled onto toast over a thick layer a Feta Cheese , giving me that carb fix and that very satisfying crunch !
1 Avocado - Peel , slice and chop some.
1 Mango - Cut like avocado.
1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper* - Cut as above.
Dressing:
1 Teaspoon Chopped Garlic.
2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar.
Salt & Pepper.
Chopped Parsley.


Mix salad dressing ingredients , allow flavors to develop for an hour if you have the time and then spoon over plated salad.

Or pile up toasted bread with Cream Cheese / Feta - spoon on some salad and enjoy the ultimate salad bites !


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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Vegetables in ​Roasted​ Pepper Soup​ #sikandalouscuisine​



Broiled
​ / Roasted​
peppers have this distinct smokey sweet flavor which makes this soup so special . When broiling peppers do not make the mistake of plunging them into chilled water as is often suggested .Cool the blackened peppers for about 10 minutes and you will then be able to peel off the charred skins without loosing their juices . If a tiny bit of charred skin remain , it's good as it adds to the flavor , but only a small bit.
Step 1
Ingredients For Soup Base:

2 Red Bell Peppers.
1 Yellow Bell Pepper.
1 Tomato .
2 Cloves Garlic.
1 Green Chili ( remove seeds )
1 Medium Onion Chopped.
1 Liter Vegetable Stock or 3-4 Maggie Cubes .
Salt & Freshly Pounded Black Pepper.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil.
Step 2
You Also Need For Later :
Assorted Evenly Chopped Vegetables of Choice - Stir fry them in very little olive oil and retain a bite - set aside to use in soup later.
50 Ml Cream.
Heat the oven and oil the vegetables under step 1 . Next place them in a baking dish broil them covered under medium heat for 25 minutes . When done , remove from the dish , cool  - discard seeds from peppers , puree all vegetable .Add 1 cup stock  , some herbs if you have and simmer covered for 15 minutes .Adjust flavors . This is your base soup and can be eaten like this too.

Now add the vegetables listed under step 2 to the soup , simmer 4-5 minutes till done , adjust flavors , add cream and sit down to a fabulous hearty soup which is actually a meal in itself.

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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Kokum Squash #sikandalouscuisine



The ultimate cooler from Goa , this is normally made with fleshy kokum fruit , freshly picked and pickled . I am taking the liberty of a shortcut using kokum peels - which are semi sun-dried , though still soft and so
ld in the food markets/mandis of Goa . This recipe is from The Konkani Saraswat Cookbook by Asha S Philar. This book itself is a must have.

1 Cup Dried Kokum Petals.
2 Cups Water.
2 Cups Sugar.
1 Teaspoon Cardamon Powder.
1 Teaspoon Roasted Cumin , Powdered.
Salt

Wash kokum , soak in water for 2 hours , I keep overnight. Strain , preserve water ,and grind the peels to a smooth paste.
Boil 2 Cups water- use kokum water add water to get 2 cups in volume.Add sugar and boil till fairly thick. Cool , add kokum paste and the powders , mix well and bottle. Typically you will need 1 tablespoon to a glass of water - but that is true only when using the freshest of fruit - I needed 4-5 tablespoons per glass . In restaurants they often add coconut milk and a touch of chili , which is how I have made and shared here . Chilling alcohol free !

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Desi Spanish Omelette #sikandalouscuisine


Debasish Bhattacharya had posted a delicious Omelet with  a Potato Filler early this morning and had my taste glands do a tango demanding some too  ! I set out with the idea of replicating his omelet but halfway through the prep my palate headed to Spain and thus this Desi Spanish Omelette was born.
3 Eggs , season and lightly whip.
3 Potatoes - Boil , peel and crumble in chunks with fingers.
1 Onion Sliced Long.
1 Tomato Chopped Small.
1/2 Teaspoon Minced Ginger.
1 Teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds.
 Chopped Greens - Dhania & Parsley ( use what you wish ).
Chopped Chilies.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
1/2 Tespoon Baking Powder.
Salt
Mustard Oil.

Heat oil in a wok , splutter mustard seeds , add onions an
​d ​
lightly brown , then add tomatoes and ginger , cook just for 1 minute , taste , season and cool.Mix whipped eggs into cooked potatoes , add baking powder and bake at 170C till done - 20-22 minutes by my oven . When cool , cut into wedges and serve .Wholesome , fulfilling and yum !


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Saturday, 2 April 2016

Malwani Chicken #sikandalouscuisine



Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor's Malvani Mutton , I make the same recipe with chicken and with fish , comes out delicious - next time I am going to adapt using potatoes - can visualize that beautifully !
500 Grams Mutton or 750 Grams Chicken.
4-5 Tablespoons Oil / Ghee
4 Medium Onions ( Puree 3 chop 1 )
2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste .
Haldi.
Salt.
Make Powder :
2 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds.
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds.
3/4 Teaspoon Shahi Jeera.
10-15 Black Peppercorns.
6-8 Cloves.
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds.
10-12 Dried Red Chilies.
1/2 Cup Grated Dried Coconut.

Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, green cardamoms and black cardamoms on low heat till fragrant.Add poppy seeds and dried coconut to the other roasting spices and continue to roast. Add dried red chilies and roast till lightly browned.Cool and grind to a fine powder.

​​
Heat oil
​ ​
, add onions and saute ​ till brown​ .Add chicken and saute on high heat to sear.Add salt , turmeric powder, garlic paste and ginger paste , mix well and continue to saute.Cook covered on very low heat , splashing water if needed . When chicken is 75% done add roasted spice and cook till done , adding water depending upon the gravy you want . Enjoy !

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