Maa’s Tikka Boti

As the name suggests, this recipe comes from my Mother.

Maa’s Tikka Boti is called Tikka Boti at my mom’s place. This recipe is very close to my heart and one of my most favorite. My mother, once when she went for a vacation to Mumbai, then Bombay tried something from an Iranian cafe. Now Iranian cafes in Mumbai have food to die for, especially the non-vegetarians. Iranian kheema paav is one of my most favorite dishes as well.

So, getting back to my mom’s trip. She tried a chicken roll from the cafe and though she couldn’t have asked for the recipe, but with what she tasted, she calculated roughly and started making this dish and this was one dish I always loved having. For the years, I always felt there should be more occasions when this should be made. I feel there was so much effort that went into making this dish that my mom always found it tough to make it on a random day and probably somewhere felt more acknowledged when there were more people around to appreciate the effort. Therefore, this was strictly only made on get-togethers. I feel that was just a way of thinking and also a shortage of resources. Like, when I was a kid back in India, the kitchens weren’t airconditioned plus the region I belonged to was hot, and cooking in those extreme temperatures was more than tough.

Now things are so much more convenient and easier for those who want to cook at home. So, here I am with a recipe most loved by me and everyone who has tasted it, from my mother’s kitchen. The recipe is pretty simple and if you find it hard to make Rotis at home, you can always get store-bought rotis and spread some whisked egg over it and fry from both sides.

Is this dish different from Kathi Roll?

Not really. It’s different since I have not seen eggs being spread on Kath rolls and the parantha that they make is also a little different. I like both, they are made differently and have their own special flavor.

I just happen to love this more since this dish brings me beautiful memories and the flavors are just reminders of pure mother love.

This dish is great for school/office lunches, an easy road trip lunch/dinner.

Hare Chane aur Kheema

Goat Kheema is a popular dish in Muslim families, often served for breakfast. When talking of Kheema, did you know that Kheema is not only made differently in India from Pakistan or Bangladesh but its made differently in different regions of India.

The north part of India makes Kheema with Cauliflower and serve it with Naan, East side makes theirs with Potato and serves them with Parantha, Delhi loves making it plain and also serves it with Tandoori Roti, West loves it Peas, Mumbai has it completely distinct and serves it with paav and down south they add methi [fenugreek leaves] and dill leaves to Kheema and serve it with Kerala Parantha. All the varieties are different and awesomely delicious and its hard to pick one over another.

The word ‘Kheema’ is inspired from the Persian language, in which minced meat is referred as, “Kiyma”. Kheema was a popular breakfast staple in the Mughal cuisine and the history says that it was introduced in the Indian cuisine by Mughal Emperor Akbar, who was so fond of new recipes and would love the merge of Persian and Indian recipes. It was an age when the royal families took their culinary affairs almost as seriously as their administration.

Being from the Rajasthan, I have always loved the Kheema curry in Mumbai and Delhi. Nahari and Kheema in Delhi used to be my favorite breakfast. My mom always made Goat Kheema with peas, and it used be one of the dishes that she would always make for picnics or day trips and the best part was that we enjoyed and relished them with Bread as well. My Mother in law also adds Lima Beans to Kheema and I loved that addition to kheema.

Then one day on my visit to our local Indian store I found fresh Green chana. They looked so fresh and I bought them thinking I would like to make something out of it. I asked Mr. Parveez and he then asked me to try adding them to Kheema and I did and the result was fabulous. I like making my Kheema with Boneless meat, but you can always get the minced meat from a meat store. Similarly, if you can’t find Fresh Hare Chane, you can always use frozen ones. Kheema curry in any which way, made with this recipe will always come out delicious.

The recipe is great and you can serve it with Naan, Parantha and even buns.

Bhuna Gosht Masala

As a kid, I never liked mutton curries. I grew up believing that Goat/Lamb is something I just never enjoy until, I started my cooking experiments and realized that the problem is not with mutton, its the way it was cooked in my house. There were just 2 kinds of curries and I just happened to not like any. Though, I did prefer one and found it a little easier to gulp down somehow. I think the reason that I didn’t have too many options as a kid when it came to food choices is the reason I make so many varieties…LOLzzz.

So, when I started cooking lamb/goat, I preferred cooking them as kebabs. Different kebabs, with bones, boneless, minced meat, but never a curry. I could just never gather courage to make a curry, because I was convinced that it wouldn’t be good.

All that changed after I got married. Mr. Parveez has some fabulous goat curry recipes, passed down from his family and that’s when I started following the recipes and got more confident about it. Experimenting with different flavors added a lot of variety to my lamb and goat dishes. This recipe happens to be one of them.

This dish is a little thick in gravy, so its great to be eaten with phulkas or Rotis or a side dish with Daal-Chawal.

Kofte Ki Biryani

Mr. Parveez, my better half is from Bangalore and only after I got marrried, I realized how many varieties of Non vegetarian food Muslims cook. I understand most of you find my stories a little funny to understand and its kind of hard to relate to. Its tough

I hail from Jodhpur, Rajasthan, where muslims probably make only 10% of the total population and most of them do not cook a lot of variety. While growing up, my mom was kind of the only woman I knew who made Biryani and we would see tons of people every Eid to have the special dish. Not just Biryani, but my mom’s Roast Chicken, Keeme ke samose, Tikka Boti and Kebabs were very exclusive and super delicious. I grew up believing that her food was a huge variety and at least it was not the same mutton curry, chicken curry and pulao, something standard at all our relatives.

Our visits to Delhi and Mumbai had us trying different cuisines at restaurants, but in my mind I always thought that it wasn’t something so commonly made at homes. When I got married, my outlook towards Muslim home food changed. This is when I realized that kebabs and curries could be made in so many different varieties and it was kind of important for every Muslim family to make a better variety than others for their gathering. It would amaze you if you were to go for parties to Muslim families, because its a competition to be better than the other.

This was my introduction to my Mughal Family and Mughlai cuisine. They say marriages are made in heaven and the Almighty know the right soul mate for you. In my case, he knew I need to be married in a family that loved food and wanted someone who shared the same passion as them, and I feel blessed.

So, Bangalore is where I discovered this Biryani. Its one of the Mughlai recipes that is pretty popular in Muslim families. But, as much as its popularity is all around Bangalore, not everyone can make it properly. This is my version of Kofta Biryani. I steam the the koftas before i cook them with the gravy and the water that is left behind after steaming koftas can be used to cook rice.

This Biryani is great, but won’t recommend it for beginners.