Category Archives: Rajasthan

Phooling with the FunghI …….Kaju Khumb Makhane


  SAM_2985Some months back I posted a recipe for Phool Makhani a fantastic little recipe that featured blown Lotus seeds that are first fried and then introduced to the curry sauce to produce a fantastic and different vegetarian ingredient that you don’t find everywhere. Since that time I have been researching this very unusual little addition to a curry that adds a very interesting crunchy yet at the same time creamy texture. It is also one of the recipes that is being constantly viewed, and if you believe the stats is very popular indeed. I have to say that there aren’t that many recipes out there that feature this unusual little ingredient that brings so much to the table, but I have just stumbled across this one that also adds cashew nuts and mushrooms into this taste sensation. Yes mushrooms and nuts a fantastic combination and both in the same dish how delicious is that going to get!…….So another recipe to feed my Funghi obsession wonderful the more the merrierThis image shows a few dried mushrooms.

The What’s In It

1.5 tsp Red Chilli Powder

1 tsp Ground Turmeric

1 tsp ground Coriander

125 g Ghee

1 Large Onion GratedSAM_2978

1tsp Kalonji(Nigella) Seeds

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

2.5 tbsp Ginger Paste

2.5 tbsp. Garlic Paste

1 Large Tomato Chopped

175 ml Natural Yoghurt

500 gm Mushrooms chopped

75 gm Cashew Nut Paste

75 gm Lotus Puffs

250 ml Vegetable stock!

Salt to taste

1 Sprig Fresh Coriander……

The How to

First things first put all the ground spices into a bowl and add a little water and mix to a smooth paste…..

Prepare the Cashew nut paste by placing the nuts in a bowl and adding a little Vegetable stock and grinding with a pestle and Mortar or food processor to a smooth paste….set both aside until later


Add a little ghee to a frying pan and fry off the Phool Makhani until they are golden Brown and set aside on some kitchen roll to cool and drain for later…..Add the remaining ghee in the same pan and add the onions and fry until golden brown. Add the Kalonjii and cumin seeds and fry for a further couple of minutes or until they start to splutter, add the garlic, ginger, and finally the Cashew pastes and stir fry for another couple of minutes, then add the ground spice paste and again cook this out for another minute or two.

Throw in the tomato and continue to cook until the oil seperates out this shouldn’t take more that a minute or two…….doesn’t everything… take a minute or two that is:)SAM_2981Then remove the pan from the heat and begin to add the yoghurt slowly stirring all the time. season with a little salt and add the vegetable stock, and bring up the heat until it is almost boiling then reduce the heat again and simmer for about five to ten minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken, then you can add the mushrooms remembering that mushrooms only take a few minutes to cook through so aboutSAM_2983  five minutes or so should do it, or until the mushrooms are done to your liking and lose than uncooked look….. Finally add the Lotus seeds and cook until the sauce and everything looks and tastes  about right this is an intuitive judgement judgement as you are the one who knows how you like things to taste, so go on taste away and trust your judgement.

Serve with a garnish of Coriander……


Lamb Dopiaza

      It is never my intention to do Indian Restaurant dishes and this is certainly one that you will find on the average menu that said that is where the similarity ends. It will taste nothing like or come to that look anything like the “Daag” based dish you get at the local take away or Restaurant.
       This dish is not a dish for the faint hearted with Dopiaza meaning “Double Onions” in that the onions, and there are five of them( that’s what I said five ) are added in two different ways , ground raw onion paste, and fried so if you’re an onion lover this is definitely the dish for you..

Lover is the right word too as onions have long been considered an Aphrodisiac and the Arabic book  The Perfumed Garden of Sensual Delight   and the author one  Abu-el Heiloukh ate lots of onions and suggests he remained rampant for 30 days. 🙂

Throw away the Viagra then, onions is all a man needs!

That said this dish is powerful on both flavours and textures and is second to none in the best of indian it is exacty as it says on the label !


2 Onions Roughly chopped

3 Onions Finely sliced

4 Garlic cloves

2 inches(5cm) Ginger Roughly chopped

3 Green Chillies

6 tbsp Ghee or Vegetable oil.

6 Cloves

Green Cardomons Crushed

2 tsp cumin Seeds

1 tsp Crushed Peppercorns

2 Sprigs of Fresh Curry leaves, or 12 dried leaves

800g  Lamb in 5 Cm Cubes

.25 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp ground Cumin

1 tsp ground Coriander

200g Yoghurt lightly whisked

2 tsp Garam Masala

pinch Asafoetida

1or 2 Tsp red chilli powder

salt to taste

2 tbsp chopped Boriander


The first thing to do here is create the onion paste by blending the rough chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and chillies together in a food processor, or pestle and mortar, whatever is your choice adding a little water to bring it together as a smooth paste.

creating the onion paste

In a heavy based pan heat the Ghee or oil over a medium heat , and then fry off the sliced Onions, until they are golden brown; at that point remove them from the pan using a slotted spoon and put them aside to drain on some kitchen paper. return the ghee to the heat, add the Cloves, Asafoetida, Cardamon, Curry leaves, Peppercorns and Cumin seeds, fry until they begin to splutter and then add the onion paste.

Reduce the heat slightly and fry stirring constantly for five to seven minutes making sure that the mixture does not brown

Fry the paste keeping the colour

Increase the heat and then add the meat, browning it all over, then add the Turmeric , ground Cumin, and Coriander. Continue to stir fry for a few minutes , taking care to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick , if it does just add a little water and continue to stir fry.

Now is the time to add those fried onions reserving a few for garnish .

Continue to stir fry for a few minutes more then fold in the yoghurt with 1 Tsp of Garam Masala.

Mix it all thoroughly and continue to cook stirring all the time, add in 250 ml of water bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the meat is tender…..

Cook for 45 minutes

Check your chilli heat through this time, and feel free to add a spoonfull or two of red chilli powder as is your want, and dont take your eye off of it for too long as it has a thick sauce that can and will stick if you give it a chance that said if you wish to add a little more water to the gravy then do so.

And Finally

Add the renaining Garam Masala and adjust the seasoning, scatter with some chopped coriander and reserved fried onions ..job done enjoy!

Chicken In Cashew Nut Sauce


Chicken In Cashew Nut Sauce

This is a fantastic Clasical recipe beware it takes a lot of time to prepare but is worth every second, producing a true fantastic nutty smooth rich sauce, adored by the Maharajas and worth every second it takes to prepare…..


250g Cashew Nuts

100g Veg Oil

2 Onions Chopped + 0.5 of an Onion Finely sliced

12 Garlic Cloves Whole

2.5cm Root Ginger Chopped

2.5 tsp Coriander Seeds

1.5 tsp  Cumin Seeds

4 Dried red Chillies

6 cloves

8cm Cinnamon stick

100g Coconut


2 Green Chillies finely chopped

1kg Chicken highs

3 tbsp Yogurt

The first thing you need to do here is put  100g of the cashew nuts into a bowl and cover with just enough water for them to soak up. Leave em alone for two hours, Drain and chuck em in a blender or food processor, add a little warm water and blitz em til they are smooth paste….Set Aside

Place a further 25g of the Cashews in a small pan and dry roast them til they are golden brown…. Set aside

With a small amount of oil in a frying Pan take the .5 of the onion and fry until it is crispy and golden brown, set aside and use as a garnish just before you serve!

In a large Frying pan/ or cooking pot, dry roast the Garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried chillies, cloves, and cinnamon over a low heat for five minutes stirring all the time, Add the coconut, 75g more of the nuts and the chopped onion and roast for a further 10 minutes stirring continuously taking care not to allow the mixture to burn, but allowing the coconut to gently brown….remove from the heat and allow to cool

Grind the mixture in a food processor  adding 125 to 250ml of water to a very smooth consistency this takes time , and is vital so be aware that if it is not done well the sauce will taste gritty so blend for at least ten minutes maybe longer!

Heat The remaining oil in a large pot add the blended spice mixture and fry for 10 minutes over a low heat.

Add the ground Cashew Paste and fry for a further two minutes, add some salt to taste, and the green Chillies

Increase the heat to medium high and add the chicken pieces Fry for a further Five minutes until the chicken is sealed and looking white rather than pink, then add the remaining untoasted cashews, and stir fry for a minute or two longer, then add about 600ml of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Top it off with a dollop of yogurt and the crispy onion you prepared earlier serve and enjoy …..

This recipe should serve 4 easily with a generous portion each……