Thursday, 27 February 2014

Keema Matar

The last few days have been maddening for me. I was out on a trip with my girlfriends and our destination was Benares. I have never been to a city, and I do travel quite a bit, that demands, in fact claims, your every sense in a way that Benares does. I am exhausted in more ways than one. I am going to share all about my trip here but this post is not it.

Just before leaving for Benares last Saturday, I had made this version of the classic Keema Matar (minced meat with peas) for my mother. I have just given it my own little twist and Ma loved it. It is a big deal when Ma loves something I cook. Usually she has a "Ummmmm...." ready and I roam around the house with a long face all day. Anyway, I had wanted to share the recipe here before I leave, but then for someone like me who keeps everything for the last moment, guess what it must have been lik to have a train to catch.

So here you go!


Mutton keema -1kg

Potatoes (cut in cubes) - 3-4 large 
Chopped onions - 1 cup packed
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Ginger paste - 11/2 tbsp
Chopped tomatoes - 3-4 medium tomatoes
Green peas (peeled) - 250g
Dried red chillies - 4-5 chopped
Coriander leaves paste (with a couple of green chillies) - 1 cup
 Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp
Kashmiri red chili powder - 1/2 tsp 
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Cloves - 4-5
Cardamom - 4-5
Black cardamom - 1
Bay leaves - 2
Mustard oil
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste


Heat oil in a pan and toss in the potatoes. Sprinkle some salt and fry until potatoes are a light golden and almost done. Take them out of the oil and keep aside.

In another pan heat 5-6 tbsp of mustard oil. Add cinnamon, cardamom (green and black), bay leaves, cloves, chopped red chillies and once they exude that awesome aroma, toss in the chopped onion.

Fry the onions until thy are soft and translucent, and add the ginger and garlic paste. Once oil separates, add tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chili powder and fry the masala until oil separate. Now add the keema, salt and sugar and fry on high heat for a few minutes. Lower the heat, add the peas, cover and cook.

The idea is to let the meat cook in its own juices. When the meat is half done, toss in the potatoes.

Finally add the coriander leaves paste and cook until meat is don and oil separates.

Serve with a drizzle of lemon juice with roti, paranthas or steamed rice.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Spiced grilled goat chops

Growing up in a joint family is a blessing, though you might not be as sure about the blessing bit all through. I know I am not. There have been so many instances when I have felt like leaving it all — the strict uncle, the garrulous aunt, the interfering aunt, the elder cousins who are forever pulling your leg, grand mum who refuses to see reason, the younger cousin who argues just a little too much, and of course your parents who are as crazy as the rest of them — and running away for good. But then come those moments of togetherness, those evenings of unbridled banter, the midnight laughter that keeps the neighbourhood awake, the impromptu jams with Dada on the guitar while the rest of us sing in unison and not always in tune, just to see my dad and uncle walk down memory lane together and I am convinced that what I have had is priceless.This is where I belong and this is where I am all that I can be.

In a joint family everything is massive — the fights are massive, the fun is massive and the meals are massive too.And we do not need guests to host a party. We are 13 of us and we are enough to get a party going. So my eldest brother (we do not use the term cousin and take serious offense if any one of us introduces the others as cousins) after evading marriage for the longest time finally got caught in the net and tied the knot last week. The social do is yet to happen but he is legally hitched. Phew. And last evening we wanted to treat the brand new couple to a home-cooked feast Yeah there had been a party for close friends and extended family last weekend but we were craving an intimate do. My other sister-in-law and I were in charge of the cooking and boy did we send the taste quotient through the roof. We weren't exactly at our most confident because cooking for Dada isn't easy. He is extremely finicky and has specifications which can drive the most seasoned cook up the wall.

We were nervous yes, but such is the kick of cooking for your loved ones that we couldn't but be our best. I was in charge of the starters and for starters we had Grilled coriander fish and Grilled goat chops done with Desi spices. And the ribs were such a delight that my brother wanted it for breakfast this morning, alas there were no leftovers. So I wanted to share the dish with you guys. I apologize for the pictures though, I had to fight to take the pictures. No one was ready to wait and I just managed to point and click. But this dish is a definite winner.


Mutton ribs - 1kg
Minced papaya - 4tbsp
Vinegar- 2tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 5-6 tbsp
Kashmiri red chili powder - 1 tbsp
Garlic paste- 2 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Green chili paste - 2 tbsp
Cinnamon powder - 1tsp

Spices to roast and grind together 

Cardamom- 6-8
Cloves - 6-8
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Peppercorns - 5-6
Dry red chilies - 5-6
Whole Coriander - 4tbsp
Whole cumin - 1 tbsp
Whole fenugreek - 1tsp
Fennel seeds - 1tbsp


Marinate the meat with all the ingredients and the roasted spice mix,  and refrigerate for  at least 24 hours.

Bring out from the fridge at least a hour in advance before cooking it. Grill the ribs on a charcoal grill (or  in the oven) until the meat is tender.

Serve with a typical coriander mint chutney.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Roasted chicken, egg and potato salad with Maple chutney dressing

A few years ago, the serious business of acquiring a foreign degree landed me, of all places, in Brighton, a quirk of fate I would ponder upon some other time. Brighton is a quaint beach resort on the southeastern shores of England, flanked by the picturesque Sussex downs

 Quite often especially on sunny spring afternoons, we would head for our favourite walk through the hoary warren of narrow, cobblestone streets and twisting alleyways, The Lanes. Lined with cozy bars and inviting pubs and little restaurants selling delicious local bites, quaint antique shops, and jewellery booths, the lanes are Brighton’s most happening shopping district. It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon, sauntering down the cobbled pathways, making your way through the throng of enthused tourists and locals, past startling human statues and street dancers, postcard stands, blackboards bearing striking bargains in colourful letters and revolving hangers displaying hand bags in all conceivable colours. We would occasionally stop to admire the exotic African anklets or the lovely pearls sitting pretty behind glass walls. We would turn the corner and there would be a band of street musicians with their violins, guitars and saxophone, and their music will remain in my ears long after I would retire to bed. Torn between its beguiling antiquity and delightful present, I craved to return to the Lanes again, just one more time. 

However, besides the sheer gratification of quality window shopping that the Lanes afforded us, mere students with our spartan resources, I craved to return to the lanes for yet another reason. A tiny cafe with grey stone walls that served some of the best English pancakes I have ever tasted. It's a pity I discovered it only a month or so before I left England for good. But during that one month I did find myself catching Bus 25 right into town and heading straight for my fill of pancakes. And I love my pancakes with a generous drizzle of maple syrup or honey. Mostly maple syrup. 

But now that I am here I hardly get around to eating pancakes, at least not as frequently as I'd like to. Pancakes aren't a big favourite at home. At least not the sweet kind. And though I often think of making them, the idea of making them just for myself simply puts me off. So a big bottle of maple syrup has been lying in the fridge forever. I had brought it to make some maple frosting for my banana bread and then I haven't used it. This afternoon I drizzled some on my vanilla ice cream and then I decided I must use it. And then after hours of brainstorming I came up with something and I am rather happy with myself. A salad. A rather decadent salad at that, with no trace of green except a sprig of cilantro I garnished it with (I felt guilty of calling it a salad otherwise). So, it has beautifully poached eggs, oven baked potatoes, roasted chicken and a lovely maple dressing, more like a chutney used as a dressing actually. And it is delicious. Naturally I had to share it with you.

Roasted chicken, egg and potato salad with Maple dressing


For the dressing 
Olive oil - 1/4 cup
Maple syrup - 4-5 tbsp
Juice of half a lime
Salt to taste (if needed)
Rock salt - 1/2 tsp 
Chili flakes - 1 tbsp (or to taste)
Garlic - 1 clove crushed

For the salad 

Eggs - 2
Boneless chicken - 250g
Garlic - 2-3 large cloves 
Butter - 2tbsp
Potato- 1 large
Olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning


Dressing: Whisk the olive oil and maple syrup together until they blend well. Then add all the other ingredients and whisk it well to release the flavours.

Chicken: Heat butter in a pan and add the garlic cloves. Sear the chicken pieces in the butter, remove from heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of the maple dressing into the pan, butter, juices et al. You might have to add a pinch of salt if need be.

Now pour the chicken into a baking dish and slip it into a preheated oven and bake at 180 degree centigrade for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is tender and the marinade/dressing has caramelized beautifully. What you'll have is succulent pieces of chicken laced in a sticky chutney of sorts.

Shred the chicken and with the spoon lightly stir in the juices and sauce. 

Potato: Slice the potatoes into thin disks. In a zip bag pour in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and the potatoes. Zip and toss well so that the potato discs are laced in oil.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree centigrade for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and slightly golden.

Eggs: Poach the eggs in the oven in little muffin tins say for about 6-8 minutes at 180 degree centigrade.We want the yolk to be firm but not quite. Spray the muffin tins with oil and add a tablespoon of water in each before cracking one egg in each tin.

Salad: In a  salad bowl, place the eggs in the centre Add the potatoes around the eggs and drizzle a little dressing. Add the chicken and finally drizzle more dressing on top.

 Garnish with a herb of your choice.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Shorshe Murgi : Mustard chicken

First of all, my apologies. I had promised to bring you 7 special dishes everyday as a run up to V-Day, I got around to posting only two. The thing is while I was making promises here, the Gods were laughing up there. Lovers know all about broken promises, don't they? Anyway so I was quite unwell, fever, an upset stomach and all that jazz and was in no way up to cooking anything. So, I am guilty of breaking a promise. But I am going to try and make up for it.

Now come one, while everyone celebrates Valentine's Day, we could totally celebrate Valentine's Weekend. What fun is a Day. We'll do it big. And entire weekend of celebrating mushy love with some great dishes. Here's another dish that will add a bit of zing to your romantic meal. I was rather surprised to find that mustard is actually an aphrodisiac. And I love mustard and cooking with it. So here's my version of Shorshe Murgi for a zesty Valentine's meal. With piping hot steamed rice, this one will keep you asking for more.

I am also sending this dish for Kolkata Food Bloggers' Valentine special event LOVE ON PLATE : Dinner for two


Boneless chicken:  750g
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Vinegar - 1tbsp
Green chili paste - 11/2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chopped tomatoes - 3-4 small tomatoes
Mustard paste - 1 tbsp
Kasundi - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard oil - 3-4 tbsp
Coriander leaves  - 3-4 tbsp 


Marinate the chicken with garlic paste, ginger paste, vinegar, green chili paste, turmeric powder and salt for an hour.

Heat mustard oil and fry the chicken on high heat for 5-8 minutes, reduce flame, add chopped tomatoes,  cover and cook until the chicken releases its juices.

Remove cover and cook on medium -low heat until chicken is tender, and the oil separates.

Stir in the mustard paste and the kasundi,. Add chopped coriander leaves, stir through and remove from heat.   

Serve with piping hot steamed rice.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Salmorejo de Remolacha

One of my cousins had brought back a mammoth box of chocolates for his brand new girl fried from his trip to the US last fall, they broke up two weeks later. And from what I have heard the box of chocolates were to be blamed. Well, supposedly, this girl was on a diet and my brother's gift ruined everything, they fought over the issue for a fortnight and then decided to part ways. She had told my cousin that she hadn't touched the chocolates but then she never returned the box.

And then there is a couple I know who never go to eat out because they are "care about their lives." I have nothing against eating healthy though, and I do not believe that eating healthy should boil down to compromising on taste. So I though I must have something among  my Valentine's special picks that is both fancy and healthy. The answer is Salmorejo de Remolacha — Cold Beetroot soup with Avocado cream. It is healthy, yes and it is has two of the most potent aphrodisiacs known to mankind — Beetroot and Avocado. Besides, this dish is a looker and screams mush all the way.

I owe this recipe to my friend Angona who brought it back from the cooking classes she took in Seville last year when she had gone on a Spanish vacation. It is extremely simple to make and light on the palate. Don't expect a flavour fest, enjoy the subtlety.


Boiled Beetroot - 2
Garlic -1/2 a large clove
Olive oil - 300ml
Vinegar (preferably sherry vinegar) - 1tbsp
Salt to taste
Fresh cracked pepper (optional)
Avocado - 1
Olive oil - 150 ml


In a blender toss in the boiled beetroot (cut in cubes), garlic, olive oil,vinegar and salt and make a smooth puree.

Scoop out the avocado flesh, put in a blender with olive oil and make a smooth creamy puree.

Pour the beetroot puree into a bowl, spoon in a scoop of Avocado right at the centre and keep in the fridge to chill.

I say, serve it with a dollop of sour cream.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

HORCHATA: Mexican rice milk flavoured with vanilla and cinnamon

A little something I created especially for the Valentines week!

The year was 1997. I was a chubby and gawky 11-year-old. And  there I was sitting wide-eyed, an awkward smirk lurking on my lips, right in between my uncle and his girlfriend (who is now his wife) watching Shah Rukh Khan bobbing his head to Chand ne Kuchh Kaha. I do not remember anymore what propelled my uncle to take me on what I think was a date with his girlfriend, but yes I accompanied them to Priya to watch  Dil To Pagal Hai and yes that's when I heard of this day called Valentine's Day for the very first time in my life .

That year it was all the rage at school. We waited for February 14 with animated excitement. Ours was a girls' school, a convent at that, and so it was going to be nothing like an American high school drama but we were excited nonetheless. The few of us who already had boyfriends by now or at least claimed to,  had promised to share their Valentines Day stories with us and those of us who were still single were convinced that we would find our love on Valentine's Day. Stupid as we were, we had greeted every teacher a Happy Valentine's Day in unison in the typical singsong manner in which we wished them a good morning, afternoon, evening and while some of them were big sports and others wished in return our wish with slight awkwardness, one Mrs C told us in her immaculate English and voice like steel, that we had no clue what V-Day was and that she wouldn't tolerate such nonsense in class.  

Anyway, I do not know about others, but I didn't find my love on that Valentine's day or for many more to come and when I did find him it was not on Valentine's Day, but that's another story. Anyway, I am not a huge V-Day buff, I mean for me life itself is a celebration of love but I have no problem at all if we have a mandatory, designated day when your spouse/ girlfriend/boyfriend feel totally obligated to shower you with gifts and flowers and chocolates. In fact I quite like it. As I write this post my guy, in his office cubicle,  is probably racking his brains and biting his finger nails off planning a surprise for me, panicking as the day nears. Sales reports and targets do not get you killed.

And I love the thought.

So, talking of love I thing it is very very important to express your love. And you can express your love the best in the language you know the best. And I think for me it's food. Cooking for my loved ones is my way of showing my love for them and I thought this week, as a run up to V-Day I'll bring you 7 dishes that will set to romance quotient to the sexiest high. How? Well these seven dishes have as their ingredients some of the best APHRODISIACS (Nature's love pills) known to man.

I did a little research and came up with a list of aphrodisiacs which will be the main ingredients in our dishes this week. Yes of course there's chocolate but there are several others and some quite surprising
1. Honey
2 Cinnamon
3. Almonds
4. Walnut
5. Vanilla
6. Banana
7 Avocado
8. Beetroot
9. Mustard
10. Garlic 

 So here's to LOVE, SEX AND MAGIC

 HORCHATA: Drink to love


And when we're toasting love, we need a killer drink. So the first recipe for the Valentine's Special Series is Horchata OR Orxata, or simply Mexican rice milk. In fact, Orxata is quite popular across Latin America and there are a myriad versions. This one is loaded with the goodness of almond, the sensuous comfort of vanilla and the heady aroma of cinnamon — together they make for  an aphrodisiac-overload.

Now the recipe


Long  grain rice - 1 cup
Almonds (blanched and skin removed) - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 cup or to  taste
Water - 4 +4 cups
Cinnamon stick - 2 inch (broken into smaller bits)
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder -  to dust as garnish


Wash and rinse the rice well. Then, in a bowl add rice, cinnamon sticks and blanched almond and add 4 cups of water.

In a blender grind well  the mix of rice, almonds, cinnamon stick and water.

Pour the mix back in a bowl and add another 4 cups of water. Keep it for at least 6 years, best over night.

Now, blend the mixture in batches in a food processor until it is as smooth as it can be. Then carefully strain it through a cheese cloth or a very fine sieve.

Stir in the Vanilla extract and sugar and chill.

Serve on the rocks with a dusting of cinnamon powder. In fact, I used cinnamon flavoured ice cubes.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Avgolemono: Greek Lemon and Rice Soup

It's February and winter is packing her bags already and soon it shall be "until next time" and as I cling on to the last few days of my favourite season, I have been craving some hearty soup. I am not a huge fan of cold soups, I like my soup warm and sumptuous. I wanted to try something new and was on the lookout, naturally. I came across the Avgolemono a couple of days ago and I have had it almost five times already. Today, I had it for lunch, sneaked out some in the evening and again had a huge bowl-full for dinner. It's quite a hit at home too.

This is one hearty soup, lemony and creamy, and loaded with rice and chicken. Some versions also use Orzo pasta, rice shaped pasta quite common in Greek cuisine. It is a meal in itself and I almost imagined myself sitting in a sidewalk cafe nestled in the culinary backstreets of Athens, on a cold winter night preferably in the company of a gorgeous Greek man and a mammoth bowl of Avgolemono — so much for wishful thinking. 

Now there are various versions of this soup and I tried three recipe I liked the most, yes I have cooked it thrice in two days and I am sharing the recipe I liked best. It is crazy how simple this soup is though there are finer things you need to be careful about. Now as the name suggests it has rice in it yes and lemon. And eggs. But to me the most important factor that can bring that edge to this soup is the chicken stock used in it. Now you can always buy stock cubes, I have nothing against them, they are especially useful when you need a quick fix but nothing like a home made chicken stock. I make mine with chicken carcass of course, and some garlic, celery, spring onions, carrots, parsley,salt and pepper. For dishes like the Avgolemono, which have a few ingredients and are deadly simple, it is the little details that matter.

I can assure you this is a soup that warms the cockles of your heart. 

Now the recipe. I have made slight alterations to the original recipe but it is more or less the same.

Recipe courtesy 




  • 2 Tbsp olive oil  + a dollop of butter (my addition)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 long grain rice
  • 400g boneless chicken, diced
  • Salt to taste 
  • Coarsely ground peppercorns - 1 tbsp (my addition)
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


Heat the olive oil and butter in a pot and saute the onions  until they are soft and translucent

Add the rice and stir for a minute. Now add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Toss in the diced chicken and cook until rice is done and chicken is tender. It should take the same time, more or less.

Adjust seasoning. Stir in the coarsely ground pepper too.

Now in a separate bowl whisk the eggs and add the lemon juice to the egg while whisking continuously (I had made this step rather dramatic)

Now comes the tricky part. If you add eggs to the hot soup the chances are it will curdle. So the trick is to temper  the eggs before you add the egg-lemon mixture to the soup. So what you have to do is add ladle in, slowly of course, some of the hot chicken broth into the the egg-lemon mixture and all the while keep whisking it vigorously.Do it twice at least and then you can pour in as much broth as you want.

Finally, take the soup off the heat and pour in the hot egg-lemon mixture while whisking the soup continuously.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately

PS : NOW, STARTING TOMORROW FEBRUARY 6, 2014 and till FEBRUARY 11, 2014 we'll celebrate love on with dishes that'll send the love quotient soaring in a very very SEXY way. So, stay tuned. Cheers.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Murg Dahi Kofta

I was perhaps 5 or 6 when Iqbal Mama first came to our house on a winter morning with his huge trunk crammed full with exquisite pashminas, shawls embellished with intricate gold thread-work, ponchos and pherans in lovely shades of lavender and pink and lemon yellow with elaborate, embroidered flowers I knew not the names of. I remember my mother and aunts sitting in the living room browsing through his treasure trove and my mother's strict instruction that I shouldn't touch a thing. Iqbal Mama had laughed and told my Mum that it was okay. Before leaving he had gifted me a black poncho with white and pink flowers on it. Initially I called him shawl-wallah uncle, later Mum said it was rude and I should call him just uncle. Iqbal Mama said I should call him Mama.

For years after and until recently Iqbal Mama came to Calcutta from Kashmir every autumn with hundreds of other Shawl wallahs and for me meeting him was a winter ritual I eagerly awaited. Soon, he had turned into a friend of the family, we were invited to his wedding and he would attend our family functions. We couldn't attend his wedding though because of the condition in Kashmir back then but we had in our hearts the very best wishes for him.

While in Calcutta he stayed with some of his fellows from back home in a house with blue walls in a narrow lane off Ripon street, 10 or 15 of them. Once Iqbal Mama had invited us over for dinner, we went. Mum couldn't for she was unwell but I accompanied my dad, uncle and aunt to his place. And that evening we were served a meal I still remember.

We were seated in a room and some of the guys were introduced to us while the others I only heard voices of. I have hardly ever seen such hospitality, they all seemed to be ready to go out on a limb to make us comfortable. And after the initial cheek-pulling and name-asking I was given two tins of chocolate cream biscuits which I could finish all by myself, they said. There were more for the elders they assured and that I could have as much as I wanted, but my aunt was already giving me THE LOOK. The elders chatted for hours, as far as I can remember the discussion revolved around Kashmir and what the people were facing there. One of these men had lost a family member to militants. I somehow still remember a few strands from the conversation. I was only ten, or nine perhaps, and so I can never be sure but I clearly remember him mentioning a severed hand.

Everyone was so engrossed in the discussion and for good reason that they didn't quite pay heed to the fact that discussions about bullets through the head and severed hands could freak out a ten year old just a little. Thank God my mind was elsewhere, elsewhere implying the kitchen,  that I am not scarred for life. The aroma wafting in from the kitchen was too much to handle.

A white sheet was spread on the ground and the plates were laid and the then food started coming. And it's one of the tastiest meals I have ever had. There were enormous pieces of paneer in a thick tomato gravy, there was meat cooked with saag, there was another dish of tender, melt-in-your pieces of meat in a creamy white gravy and there were enormous koftas in a soupy white gravy. I didn't know the names of any of these dishes back then, I think I do know most of them now. But what I still crave and often are the Aab Gosht and the Gushtaba. Many a time Iqbal Mama had promised to teach me how to make them but somehow we didn't get around to doing it. He has not been coming for a couple of years now...

Anyway, I am finally planning a trip to Kashmir in May and I am super kicked. The last week or so has gone into planning and making bookings and for innumerable times during this time I have thought about that sumptuous dinner many winters ago. Yesterday I had brought some minced chicken home and trumped up this dish which is definitely not Gushtaba, (come on it's chicken!)but definitely inspired by it. So, I am calling it Murg Dahi Kofta. Hope you'll enjoy it!


For the chicken kofta 
Finely minced chicken
Finely chopped onions - 1/2 cup packed
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Chopped raisins - 2-3 tbsp
Chopped mint leaves - 3 tbsp
Chopped coriander leaves  - 6 tbsp
Salt to taste
Finely chopped green chilies - 5-6
OR Red chili powder - 1 tbsp 
Breadcrumbs - 5-6 tbsp

For the gravy

Ghee - 100g

Bay leaves - 2-3
Green cardamom - 6-8
Cinnamon stick - 2 inch
Cloves 5-6
Black peppercorns - 6-8
Nutmeg powder  - a pinch
Javitri - 2-3
Black Cardamom - 1 (big)

Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Warm water 7-8 cups
Yoghurt - 200g
Fresh coarsely ground pepper - 1 tbsp
Fresh cream - 50 ml
Salt to taste


For the kofta mix all the ingredients together and roll them into balls the size of ping pong balls!Keep aside.

 In a bowl whisk the yoghurt with half a cup water so that it is smooth, creamy and slightly runny.

Now heat ghee in a large pan, once it reaches smoking point reduce heat and add all the whole spices and let them release their mind-blowing aroma.

Add the garlic paste, ginger paste and the cumin and coriander which you must dilute in a little water before adding. Fry the spices for a minute or two, make sure you don't burn them.

Now add the warm water and bring it to a boil. Lower heat and add the yoghurt stir continuously and vigorously so that the curd doesn't curdle. Let is all simmer for a few minutes.

Now strain out the whole spices, turn up heat and once the broth comes to a boil add the koftas one by one, carefully.

Let is cook for about 20 minutes or until the koftas are done. Keep an eye.

Finally, lower heat, add the black pepper and cream and take it off heat. Serve with rotis or steamed rice. It is delicious.