Jamai khatir | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 04, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 04, 2018

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Jamai khatir

It has been socially the role of a new mother-in-law to appease her new son-in-law, and as they say — the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, much of which is attempted through lavish dinners, special dishes, and everything associated.

'Jamai khatir' as we know it has regional variations. That is to say, it would be a faux pas to cook beef in mejbani style if the groom is from Sylhet, and the bride's ancestral home lies somewhere between Cumilla and Brahmanbaria.

Or is it?

We no longer restrict food with regional ancestry. So, the new menu for 'jamai khatir' can range everything from the humble fish khatta, to the mejbani beef, to the vegetable dishes of the north — 'region no bar' never felt truer than for the new mothers-in-law.

And it certainly is not solely for the mothers; the new family, now bonded by marriage, goes through a barrage of 'dawats', and each involves satisfying the 'jamai', and yes, of course the new 'bou' — simply because, everyone loves good food. 

 

PANEER PULAO

Ingredients

2 cup long grain basmati rice

200g paneer (cottage cheese), cut into 1-inch cubes

Oil for frying

4 tbsp ghee

3 bay leaves

4 green cardamoms

4 cloves

1 black cardamom

10 black peppercorns

1 tsp ginger paste

¾ cup whisked yoghurt

2 tbsp assorted nuts

1 tbsp fried onion

Salt to taste

Method

Soak basmati rice in water for half an hour. Heat sufficient oil in a pan and deep-fry paneer to a golden colour. Drain onto an absorbent kitchen towel. Heat ghee in a thick-bottomed pan. Add bay leaves, green cardamoms, cloves, black cardamoms and peppercorns. As they begin to crackle, add ginger paste.

Mix well and stir in yoghurt and cook for two minutes.

Add four cups of water and bring to a boil. Add salt and rice. Bring to a boil. Add half of the mixed nuts and mix lightly. Cover pan and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or till rice is completely cooked. Mix in fried paneer pieces and serve hot, garnished with the remaining nuts and fried onion.

 

MUTTON GHEE ROAST

Roasts are staples in any dinners with a new bride and groom. In this recipe, I am suggesting a special masala by roasting various spices, which add a different flavour to the dish. The method used keeps the mutton tender and soft.

Ingredients

For the mutton —

1 kg mutton (lamb, if you prefer)

3 tbsp + ¼ cup ghee

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp yoghurt

Salt to taste

Curry leaves, for garnish

To make masala —

10 dry red chillies

1 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp pepper corns

1 cinnamon stick

4 cloves

1 star anise

Grind —

1-inch ginger

2 cloves of garlic

1 lemon juice

4 tbsp water

Method

In a pan, melt ghee; add ginger garlic paste, and turmeric powder. Mix well and add mutton pieces, some salt, and sauté. Add some water, just enough to cover the meat pieces. Cook until the water evaporates and meat is soft and tender.

Keep aside.

Now to prepare the masala for mutton ghee roast —

Dry roast red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin, peppercorns,  fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Roast until you pick the aroma of the roasted spices. Transfer all to a blender; add a piece of ginger, garlic and lemon juice. Grind it to a smooth paste by adding some water.

Back to the mutton—

In another pan, melt some ghee and add ground masala and yoghurt to it, and mix well. Add water and salt. Cook for a few minutes. The ghee gives a creamy texture to the gravy. Now add the cooked mutton pieces and mix well with the gravy. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium low heat. Finally, add some curry leaves and turn off the heat, and the delicious mutton ghee roast is ready to serve.

 

CHICKEN SHAHJAHANI

Ingredients

1kg chicken

3 tbsp ghee

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3-4 clove

2 green cardamoms

1 cup chopped onions

2 tsp ginger-garlic paste

2 tsp musk melon seeds

2 tbsp poppy seeds

10-12 cashew nuts

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder

½ tsp garam masala powder

4 tbsp yoghurt

Salt to taste

2 tbsp fresh cream

4-5 drops kewra essence

Fresh coriander, for garnish

3-4 boiled eggs, cut into halves

Method

Soak poppy seeds, musk melon seeds, and cashew nuts in warm water for 30 minutes. Grind to make a paste.

Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add cloves, green cardamoms and fry for a few seconds. Add onions and fry till translucent. Remove the pan from heat and let the onion mixture cool.

Now, mix in a grinder along with little water to make a smooth paste. Transfer the paste in the pan along with the seeds and the nut paste. Add little water, if required.

Cook for a minute. Add turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, garam masala powder and salt, cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and cook on high heat for 2 minutes. Add yoghurt, half cup of water. Cover and cook the chicken for 15 minutes. Keep stirring in between.

Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes. Add kewra essence and mix well. Garnish with fresh coriander and eggs. Serve hot with rice, naan, or paratha.

MUGHLAI BEEF FILLET DUM CURRY

This is an authentic Mughal dish with all the signature flavours. The beef yoghurt marinade ends up making rich wonderful gravy and almonds give the Mughal touch. It is especially meant for beef lovers, and perfect for post wedding feasts.

Ingredients

1kg beef, fillet

20g fresh coriander

2 tsp ground red chilli

1 tbsp hot spices 

¼ cup green masala (blend coriander, mint, and green chillies)

¼ cup almonds and sesame paste

2 large onions, chopped, ½ cup yoghurt

2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

4 tbsp ghee, 2 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

Method

In a bowl, put green masala, almonds, sesame and salt, and mix well with spoon. Then, put the beef fillet in the mixture and marinate it for 2 hours. Heat oil and ghee in a pan, add onion and ground red chillies, fry for few minutes. Now add the marinated beef fillet in it, mix well and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on. Add yoghurt, ginger-garlic paste, hot spices and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook on low heat till beef is tender. Once done, garnish with the coriander leaves and serve hot with rice, naan or paratha.

 

HYDERABADI SHIKAMPURI KEBAB

Ingredients

500g mutton (boneless; cut into small cubes)

½ cup chickpeas, soaked for 30 minutes

2 green cardamoms, 2 cinnamon sticks

2 tsp red chilli powder, Salt to taste

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp chopped ginger

1 tbsp chopped garlic, 1 egg

Oil for frying

For the filling —

2 onions, finely minced

5 green chillies, finely minced

3 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 cup hung curd

Method

Take a pan and add mutton, chickpeas, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger, garlic and 2 cups of water. Cook till the mutton is done and the daal is soft. Allow to cool and grind it to make a fine paste. Add egg and mix well. Set aside.

For the filling

Mix the hung curd with finely minced onions, salt, green chillies and coriander leaves. Now take a ball of the kebab paste. Flatten it between your palms like a disc, place a small filling of the hung curd. Take the edges of the disc and cover up the filling. Fry in oil till golden brown on medium heat.

Serve hot.

 

TANDOORI POMFRET

Ingredients

2 pomfrets

2 tbsp butter

¾ cup yoghurt, 1 egg

1 tbsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste

½ tsp carom seeds

2 tbsp roasted chickpea flour

2 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste

¼ tsp garam masala powder

2 tbsp mustard oil

Method

For preparing this easy recipe, trim tails, fins and discard them and wash thoroughly. Make incisions on a clean fish. Keep aside. In a bowl, add all ingredients. Adjust the amount of chickpeas flour and yoghurt to get a nice thick paste. Apply this marinade well to the fish on both sides, and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Grease the pan or rack. Place the fish on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve hot, garnished with onion rings and lemon.

KASHMIRI BADAMI KHEER

Ingredients

2 litre milk, 30 almonds

¼ tsp powdered green cardamom

4 tbsp sugar, 1 pinch saffron

20 sliced and slit almonds

Method

Wash the almonds and soak them in water for 3-4 hour or overnight. Soaking is important as it not only increases the nutritional value of the nuts, but also makes it easier to cook them.

(You can also soak the almonds in milk. In this case you must keep the soaked almonds in the fridge.)

Peel to remove the outer cover, wash and grind them to a paste. Use a little milk if you feel the mixture is too tight. Now bring the milk to a boil. Allow it to simmer on low flame for 10 minutes. Add the almond and cook on low flame till milk is reduced to less than half. You must continually stir it or the milk will stick to the bottom.

Now add the powdered cardamom, sugar and reduce further by simmering on low flame for another 10 minutes. When the mixture starts to thicken, add saffron strands mixture and sliced almonds. Stir well. Remove from flame. Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios. Serve chilled.

 

Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed

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