Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kidiyo/ kul kul

The  most mischievious kid on the block is wishing the hardest for a ben-10 omnitrix.
Christmas is almost here, all my baking for the season is almost done. The wish list for Santa is getting erased and re-written several times this month. The cookies are being a staple in our diet these days too. 
How festive is that!
 Past few weeks I've had more of sheet pans, dough hooks, beaters & mixing bowls to clean than the actual dishes that gets involved in the desi kitchen.   I'm not complaining, at least till January, that is. Sweet smelling kitchen day in & day out. What's not to like?
 Letting myself ready for a  surprise venture, I head enthusiastically to make a Xmas delicacy: Kidiyo.

Kidyo, kul-kul was one kuswar( Christmas platter) goody that I always wanted more of as it was always over-excitedly welcome to our house which showed up only during Christmas.
Kuswar included rich plum cake, chakkuli, shev's, kulkul/kidiyo (litterally meaning worm shaped), guliyo ( a very hard ball of dough resembling marbles, rose cookies (a very delicate lacy flower made of fried batter) & nevreos (empanada shaped sweet filled fried goody).  As much as I loved all of those, I was biased to the infamous glazed kulkul/ Kidyo which were the first one to be relished by me. This was only eaten once a year, so you see the desperation?! I needed the recipe bad!
A few phone calls to my homeland, a few request to fellow foodie friends & few of my old friends who 'might' have made this in the past later & I was in no luck. I decided to go with the sweet thukudi recipe & gave it a shot with the hope that I just might replicate the delicacy that I once had more than a decade ago. Although there is no authenticity to this recipe it sure tasted pretty close. A close friend who made these recently had all the ingredients that I used but with more or less proportion. I was close to the actual recipe, after all.  I'm not  such a bad cook, I say!

1 cup All purpose flour
1 cup Rawa
2 tbs Butter, chilled
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Pulse dry in a food processor, add coconut milk a couple tablespoon at a time till the dough forms together into a soft ball. Keep covered for half an hour.

Heat oil for frying. In the meantime, make gnocchi shaped rolls by taking a marble sized ball of dough, flatten it on the backside of fork, pressing it from the bottom of fork tines to the tip. Roll it from one side (preferably bottom to top) as you are making ridges along the way till you get to the end into a tight curl (or they unfurl while frying). The kulkul should curl into a roll with ridges on their backs captured by the impression of the tines as tiny ridges will catch glaze later making these irresistible.

Cook the kul kul in batches by dropping them into the medium hot oil & frying it to a golden brown. They will let you know when they are cooked because they will float up to the top & stop sizzling. Fish them out of the oil with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Set aside to glaze..

For the glaze:
1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water. Mix & boil the syrup for about 5 mins. This reduces the liq and leaves a one string consistency syrup. Dip a few kul kuls at a time, remove & let drain on a cooling rack. Make sure to separate any kul kuls that are stuck together(while they are still warm & fresh out of syrup). Cool, share & enjoy.

Concluding, the Christmas baking with kul-kul was a sweet ending & a successful at that.

Making kuswars were a breeze, making dinners were W-A-Y easier because I'd make a quick healthy 'make-do dinners', picture my table with pasta, garlic bread, pizza's, roasted vegetables, macaroni& cheese in a mix and match combo...what's hard about that! My carb-lover family loved the house always filled with smell of fresh breads
(sourdough, Italian & focaccia's), fried doughs (tukudi, kidiyo & mulikh) & cookies made everyday. It was good while it lasted. I now have to get back my cooking rhythm.

Chicken Bhuna/ chicken roast

Khawan (store brought) is a perfect roti for this chicken roast

  •  A very 'fine food critic, hard to please taste bud' of the family really approves that the justice has been done to this borrowed recipe. That says it all!

A quick chicken roast saves the gloomy sunday eve at the Rao household. I for one needed something 'desi', cooking at my stove top this evening. There is only so much take outs, food courts and frozen dinners one can eat all in one weekend.

 Picturing a rich spicy dish, loved by all (yeah, I want the kind I know for sure is a winner) that shouts 'eat me', on this cold cold winter eve, I set out to go to my staple bhuna/roast chicken.

 You know how Sunday eve sneaks up on us faster than we want it to arrive. I want it all to slow down, bring the family to the table for a favourite meal & conclude the leisure event-free weekend, happily.

Chicken bhuna is the name that is screaming loud, much louder than I can hear my thoughts. I shuffle through the papers of hand written recipes to find the one from years ago. I wish I remembered who I wrote it down from (ah, I miss my apartment friends), so I could giving her the right credit. I can't keep a good recipe down, so here I am sharing our family favourite.

Chicken 2 lbs, cut into big pieces
Onions 1, diced
Tomatoes 4-5, finely chopped
Ginger -Garlic paste- 2tbs
Green chillies 4, slit
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoons
Blackpepper - 8
Garam Masala - 2 tablespoons
Kasuri methi - 1 teaspoon.
Oil -3tbs
Salt - to taste.
Fresh cilantro to garnish

Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin and black peppercorns and grind to a coarse powder.

Heat oil in a kadai over medium-high heat until very hot, add onion and saute till lightly browned. Add the ground spice powder,red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and saute for a couple minutes.

Add tomatoes and salt and continue to saute till the tomatoes softens, add in chicken, lower the heat to simmer and continue to cook until the chicken are cooked through and the sauce has thickened coating the chicken (about 5 to 6 minutes).

Once the chicken is tender, add half a cup of water and cover the pan and simmer for 5 more minutes. At this point, chicken is cooked through and the gravy is thick and rich. Add in garam masala and kasuri methi (crush in your palms to wake up the aroma) and cook for 2 minutes .

Garnish with cilantro (I ran out justifying that kasuri methi was flavorful enough). Serve immediately with rice and roti.