Secret Family Recipes
Every family has them; usually passed down the ancestral lineage as do the name and the jewels. We are glad that one of our valued readers' disclosed few of his well-guarded family recipes that came down from his grandmother's era -- only for our indulgence.
KASHMIRI CHAI (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
4½ cups water
4½ tbsp Green tea leaves, ¼ tspbaking soda
12 tsp sugar or to taste
1 cup malai, divided into 4
Boil water with tea leaves for 10 minutes until the colour of the water is brown and the water emits a good fragrance. Add baking soda and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain tea. Using a hand blender, blend the tea until the colour of bubbles become pink and the liquid turns dark pink. Once again boil tea, and add sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium flame, and add malai gently. Do not stir at this point, and leave on the flame for 1-2 minutes more. Remove from flame, pour into cups and serve hot.
3 cups Basmati rice
1 cup split peas (cheemi ka dana)
1 chicken (cut into 4 pieces)
1 cup ghee, 6 cardamoms
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp garlic, 2 tsp ginger
2 medium onions (chopped)
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup cream of milk (malai)
¼ cup rose water
Water as needed, Salt to taste
A pinch of saffron
For the korma, heat ¾ cup ghee in a pot and heat over medium heat, and add chopped onions and sauté until light brown. Add half teaspoon garlic, one teaspoon ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. Now add chicken and fry for 1 minute. Add 3 cups of water. On medium to high heat, cook for approximately 30 minutes or until chicken is tender (do not cover the pot). Once chicken is done, separate the meat from the gravy and set aside.
For the pulao, soak saffron in rose water and set aside. In a pan, pour ghee, garlic, ginger and stir. When ghee is hot, add rice, and fry it for a minute or until it starts to pop. Add water (the ratio of water to rice is 1½ cup water to every 1 cup of rice) and add the gravy from the korma. Cook covered, on high heat, until rice begins to bubble, then turn the flame down to lowest, and cook for further 15 minutes. Add chicken and saffron. When rice is ¾ cooked, add heavy cream, soaked saffron and cream of milk consecutively while folding the rice. Cook for 10 minutes longer and take off of the stove.
Note: When adding the measured water, also include the gravy in your measurement.
Serve with Sutli or Shami Kabab and Borhani.
Recipes: Courtesy of Syed Raiyan Abu Zafar's family traditions.