Social distancing is now the new normal. At a time when celebrations are shared via screens, people are getting together virtually to break their daily Ramzan fast. You may be away from home missing iftar and scrumptious meal platters, but we did the work for you. We got in touch with a few chefs for recipes you can cook for your next meal. So you miss the festive cheer a little less.
In this first of a three-part series, we spoke to Sima Ahmed. Ahmed runs the popular Sima's Kitchen pop-up and delivery service in Kolkata. For her recipes, she delves into a legacy of cooking secrets from her ancestral Nawabi roots. She is known for her mouth-watering biryanis. We asked her what recipes she would choose for an iftar meal, and she suggested the much sought-after haleem, mutton keema, and egg pakodas.
Ingredients: Red lentils, green moong dal, Bengal gram, moong dal and urad dal (50 gms each), rice (100 gms), dalia (100 gms), mutton (1/2 kg), ginger-garlic paste (5 tbsp), red chilli powder (2 tbsp), turmeric (2 tbsp), cumin (2 tbsp), coriander (2 tbsp), black pepper (1 tbsp), onions (2 pieces), black cardamom (2 pieces), bay leaf (1 leaf), vegetable oil (1/2 cup), salt (to taste), green chillies and coriander leaves for garnishing.
Method: Bring the lentils (dals) to a boil in a pressure cooker with water, turmeric and salt. Mash them once they are done. In a separate pot add dalia and rice with turmeric and salt and bring to a boil. To cook the mutton, pour oil in a vessel with black cardamom, bay leaf and onions. Fry till the onions are brown and separate some for garnishing later. Add the mutton, ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt to taste. Cook until mutton is tender and then add the mashed dal to it and keep stirring on a low flame. Cook for 20-25 minutes and serve with a garnishing of green chillies and lemon juice.
Mutton Keema Samosas
Ingredients: Minced chicken or mutton (250 gms), coriander powder (1 tbsp), cumin powder (1 tbsp), red chilli powder (1 tbsp), turmeric powder (1 tbsp), ginger-garlic paste (1 tbsp), one onion (finely chopped), finely chopped coriander leaves and green chillies, chaat masala, salt to taste and vegetable oil. For the wrap: All-purpose flour (1 cup), oil (1 tbsp), salt (1 tsp)
Method: Heat oil in a pan and add ginger-garlic paste and sauté. Add the minced meat, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt to taste and stir well. Add a little water and cook on medium flame until the water dries up. Place the cooked keema in a separate vessel and add finely chopped onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and chaat masala. Knead the all-purpose flour with some oil and salt. Make small, round rotis and fill them with the cooked keema in the centre and seal the sides by twisting it or just pressing with your thumb and index finger. Pro tip: Make sure the rotis are thin enough to look translucent. Heat some oil and fry till golden brown. Serve with ketchup or chutney.
Ingredients: Boiled eggs and potatoes (4 each), gram flour (1 cup), turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder (2 tsp each), ginger-garlic paste (1 tsp), vegetable oil (1 cup) and salt to taste.
Method: For the potato filling, mash the potatoes and add ginger-garlic paste, cumin, coriander, red chilli powder and turmeric. Add salt and mix together and keep aside. Take gram flour and add turmeric (for colour), red chilli powder and salt to taste. Add some water and create a mixture thick enough to coat. Take the egg and slice it in half. Take the mashed potatoes and coat the egg on all sides, making it into an oval shape. Dip the egg chops in hot oil and fry until golden brown. Serve with a chilli chutney.