Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking

The spices of India are some of the most fragrant in the world.


Added to one of Madjur Jaffrey’s dishes and you have perfection.  As in…


shrimp in a dark sauce aka Rasedar jhinga

I served it with some saffron rice and it was…eh…good…but not as good as so many of her wonderful dishes.  I think it may be my fault.  I don’t think I let the garlic/onion/ginger paste brown long enough.  Or I may not have let it cook long enough period.  But I’ve got leftovers and I bet they will be tasty after the flavors have had a chance to blend more.

The recipe is from Madjur’s Indian Cooking page 119.  I also found it HERE!!

This is potluck week in I Heart Cooking Clubs so there will be lots of varied and wonderful dishes to visit.


I was really REALLY wanting something spicy. And Indian.  Something from Madjur Jaffrey. (Fortuitous since it was Potluck week at IHCC!} Especially after having lunch with a friend the other day who just happens to be from India.  It was a wonderful meal: chapati, Aloo  Palak {Curried Potato and Spinach}, Aloo Mattar {Curried Potato and Peas}, Masaledar Cholay {Chickpas in spicy tomato gravy}Cashew Rice, and Gulab Jamun for dessert.  They sent me home with some Cashew Rice which was perfect with the  chicken with tomatoes and garam masala for this month’s Potluck.


      5 tablespoons vegetable oil


      3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds


      1 cinnamon stick


      6 cardamom pods


      2 bay leaves


      1/4 teaspoon peppercorns


      2 medium onions, finely chopped


      6-7 cloves garlic, finely chopped


      1 inch cube of fresh ginger, finely chopped


      28 oz canned diced tomatoes, or about 6 medium tomatoes, chopped


      About 3 pounds (1.3 kg) chicken pieces, skinned


      1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste


      1/8 – 1/2 cayenne pepper, or to taste


    1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Warm a wide, heavy pot over medium-high heat for about a minute; add the oil and warm for another minute.  Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom pods, bay leaves and pepper corns.  Stir once.

Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the pot.  Stir occasionally until a deep golden brown (about 5 minutes).

Add the tomatoes and chicken pieces, salt and cayenne pepper.  Give the pot a good stir and bring the liquid to the boil.

Cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is done through and tender.  (Stir the pot a few times during the cooking period, if you can.)

5.  Remove the cover and turn the heat up to medium.  Stir in the garam masala and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is somewhat thickened.  Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.

Lucky me! I had some fresh tomatoes from the garden to use.  This was tasty.  I would have liked it to be a little thicker but it was good.  I think next time I will add a little extra Garam Masala.

This is from Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking (page 99).

Check out what else is on July’s Potluck Table at  I Heart Cooking Club.

I love the fragrance of tumeric, cumin, coriander, and ginger wafting through the kitchen.  It means there is something exotic on the menu.  And this week it is a wonderfully spicy dish from Madjur Jaffrey our March Chef for I Heart Cooking Clubs.


shrimp with zucchinis

3/4 lb shrimp, thawed and peeled

2 medium zucchini, Julienned

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely chopped

3 small canned tomatoes, finely chopped plus 1/2 cup of the tomato liquid

1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

1 fresh hot green chile, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon very finely grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 Put the zucchini strips in a bowl and sprinkle them with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix and set aside for 30 to 40 minutes. Then drain and pat dry.

Put the shrimp on paper towels and dry.

Heat the oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the garlic and fry until medium brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the shrimp and cook until just mixed.  Add the shrimp, cover,  and cook until the shrimp are opaque. About 3 – 4 minutes.

Uncover and let the liquid cook, if there is any, until you have a nice thick sauce.

You can serve over rice.

This was delicious.  Full of flavor even though I left out the hot chili.  As usual, I cut the recipe in half except for the spices.  You can never have enough spice!

The recipe is from Madjur’s Indian Cooking page 118.

There’s more of Madjur on the IHCC page.

Cool weather means soup.  Unfortunately we haven’t had much cool weather this winter. We have had a non-winter winter.  UGH!!  But I do love soup and when I saw this lovely one from Madjur Jaffrey I knew I had to make it.  It was delicious, NOT photogenic, but delicious.

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup


This is one of those dishes inspired by Anglo-Indian communities 300 years ago.  A soup with all the Indian spices and ingredients but served at the beginning of the meal rather than as a meal.  The name, mulligatawny, means pepper water. 

The base is pureed red lentils and contains potatoes and chicken along with several wonderful spices.

      I cup red split lentils 5 cups chicken stock
      1/2 tsp ground tumeric
      1 medium  potato
      5 cloves garlic, peeled
      1 1/2″ cibe ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
      1 1/4 cups water
      1 large boneless chicken breast or thigh (2)
      1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
      Freshly ground black pepper
      3 TBS vegetable oil
      1 tsp ground cumin
      1 tsp ground coriander
      1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne
      About 1 TBS lemon juice

Combine lentils, chicken stock and tumeric in stock pot or large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, turn heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.
While soup is simmering, peel potatoes (I leave skins on) and cut into 1/2 in dice. After 30 minutes of cooking, add potatoes and continue simmering another 30 minutes with lid slightly ajar.
Put garlic and ginger in electric blender or food processor with 9 TBS water and blend into a smooth paste.
Remove all fat from chicken and cut into 1/2 in dice. Put chicken in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of the salt and some pepper over it and toss t omix.
After the soup has cooked for 60 minutes total, puree. Add remaining 2 tsp salt and mix.
Pour oil into empty skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the garlic/ginger spice paste, the cumin, coriander and cayenne. Fry, stirring continuously until psice mixture is slightly browned and separates from the oil. Put in the chicken pieces. Stir and fry another 2-3 minutes, until the chicken pieces become opaque. Add 16 oz of water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add to the puree’d soup and add lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. Simmer soup very gently for another 2 minutes.  IF too thick thin with stock.

I served mine with some Basmati rice on the side and it added enough to make it a very filling meal all by itself.

Delicious.  It was plenty for me for 3 meals for lunch.  Definitely a repeat – often!

The recipe is from Jaffrey’s  Indian Cooking page 39.

What else is on the PotLuck table this week?  Check it out at I Heart Cooking Club.

So here we are. Potluck for I Heart Cooking Club. One more time to experiment with Jaffrey’s recipes. Something simple this week.


I usually steam my cauliflower and serve it wit a simple cheese sauce. Or eat it raw. So this time I have a nice spiced side dish. Easy to make. Tasty.

    Large head cauliflower
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    Generous pinch of ground asafetida
    1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    1/2 medium onion, peeled and cut into very fine rings
    1/2-1 fresh, hot green chili, finely chopped .
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    I/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
    3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    1 1/2 cup water
    2 teaspoons lemon juice

Break the cauliflower into florets
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. When oil is hot put in the asafetida. followed quickly by the cumin seeds. Quickly add the onion and fry for about 2 minutes while stirring until the onion slices brown. Add in the cauliflower and green chili. Reduce heat to medium and toss. Add the remaining spices and salt. Toss for another minute. Add the water and lemon juice, toss. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the cauliflower is just tender.

This recipe is from Madjur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking and on page 1465

I am anxious to see what the other members of IHCC made this week. Click on over there and find out with me.


It’s time for Potluck again with I Heart Cooking Clubs. I love Potluck week because we get to use any recipe from any covered chef that has been part of IHCC! WE are enjoying the recipes of Donna Hay for this 6 months, but I missed a few weeks with Madjur so I am using her recipes for the Potlucks! And I do love Indian Cuisine. Like these


    Deep Fried Samosas

Every culture, so it seems, have a fried pastry filled with veggies and/or meat. These are the Indian version. They can be made with minced meat – lamb – or with just the potatoes and peas. Either way it is the spices that make all the different – coriander, cumin, garam masala.

    225 g (2 cups) plain flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons vegetable oil plus a bit more
    4 tablespoons water
    4-5 medium potatoes, boiled in
    their jackets and allowed to cool
    4 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 medium-sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
    175 g (1 cup) shelled peas. fresh or frozen (if frozen. defrost them first)
    1 tablespoon peeled. finely grated fresh ginger
    1 fresh. hot green chili. finely chopped
    3 tablespoons very finely chopped cilantro
    About 3 tablespoons water
    11/2 teaspoons salt. or to taste
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon garam masala (page 21)
    1 teaspoon ground. roasted cumin seeds
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and rub it in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs Slowly add about 4 tablespoons water – or a tiny bit more – and form the dough into a stiff ball. Empty the ball out onto a clean work surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it is smooth. Make a ball. Rub the ball with about 1/4 teaspoon oil and slip it into a plastic bag. Set it aside for 30 minutes or longer.
Make the stuffing:
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 5 mm (114 inch) dice.
Put 4 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan and place over medium heat. When hot, put in the onions. Stir and fry them until they begin to turn brown at the edges. Add the peas, ginger, green chili, cilantro, and 3 tablespoons water. Cover, lower heat, and simmer until the peas are cooked. Stir every now and then and add a little more water if the frying pan seems to dry out. Add the diced potatoes, salt, ground coriander, garam masala, ground, roasted cumin seeds, cayenne, and lemon juice. Stir to mix. Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring gently as you do so. Check balance of salt and lemon juice. You may want more of both. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
Knead the pastry dough again and divide it into 8 balls. Keep 7 covered while you work with the eighth. Roll this bailout into a 18 cm (7 inch) round. Cut it into half with a sharp, pointed knife. Pick up one half and form a cone, making a 5 mm (114 inch) wide overlapping seam. Glue this seam together with a little water. Fill the cone with about 2112 tablespoons of the potato mixture. Close the top of the cone by sticking the open edges together with a little water. Again. your seam should be about 5 mm (V4 inch) wide Press the top seam down with the prongs of a fork or flute it with your fingers. Make 15 more samosas. Put about 4-5 cm (1 1/2 inches) oil in a small. deep frying pan or Indian karhai and set over medium-low heat. When the oil is medium-hot. put in as many
samosas as the pan will hold in single layer. Fry slowly, turning the samosas frequently until they are golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve hot. warm, or at room temperature.


The spices made these so good. I do love the combo of flavors. These would make a great appetizer. Or with the minced lamb, a great meal.

These are from Madjur’s Indian Cooking on page 54.

Check out the other cooks of IHCC and their Potluck Choices.

Until the end of March, I heart Cooking Clubs is cooking along with Donna Hay. And each month there is a POTLUCK theme where we can make anything we want from DOnna’s gazillion recipes or from any other Chef who has been in the lineup.

When we were cooking with Madjur Jaffrey I didn’t get the chance to make all the dishes of hers I wanted so I am doing my POTLUCKS with her recipes.


    Aloo gosht

aka: delhi-style lamb cooked with potatoes.

Two things you need to know. I am the only one in the household who likes Indian cuisine and the only one who likes Lamb. So the only time I get to make either is when Hubs is gone. Like he was over the weekend. And as much as I miss him being here – I do love Indian food!!!!

    7 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
    1/2-1 fresh, hot green chili, finely chopped
    5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
    1 kg (2 1/4 Ib) boned lamb from the shoulder, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes {I used a

      lamb steak}

    3 medium fresh tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (canned tomatoes may be


    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1/4 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 teaspoons salt
    450 g (l lb) medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut in half
    845 ml (3 2/3 cups) water

Put the oil in a large, heavy pot and set over high heat. When hot, put in the onions, green chili, and garlic. Stir and fry until the onions have browned slightly. Put in the meat and stir it vigorously for about 5 minutes. Now put in the tomatoes, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and salt. Continue to stir and cook on high heat for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the oil seems to separate from it. Add the potatoes and the water. Cover, leaving the lid just very slightly ajar, and cook on medium-low heat for about 1 hour 10 minutes or until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Recipe from Indian Cooking page 73

This was super simple and simply delicious. I used only 1/2 of the needed lamb and potatoes but I made the full recipe of sauce. Over some Basmati rice – sooo good. The next time I would cut the potatoes into smaller pieces only because they were a little big and took longer to cook.


What did the others do for POTLUCK? Check them out at IHCC POTLUCK!

And if you want to join in – each week’s themes are posted on the right hand side of the blog. No pressure. Any Donna Hay recipe from her many books or her website and leave a link. That’s it.

If you are cooking an good spicy Indian Curry or other spicy dish what you usually don’t want is a side that competes with the flavors. A nice mild or slightly spiced rice is nice. Or maybe some potatoes. Or maybe some potatoes and mushrooms. All three of these tend to soak up the flavor of whatever they are served with and simply enhance your main dish. This is why this dish of Jaffrey’s is so good with something spicy. It just soaks up the flavor….


    mushrooms and potatoes cooked with garlic and ginger
    2 medium potatoes
    350 g (12 oz) mushrooms
    2.5 cm (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
    6 large cloves garlic, peeled
    3 tablespoons plus 250 ml (11/4 cups) water
    About 1 teaspoon salt
    About 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
    4 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    3 cardamom pods
    3 small tomatoes, peeled (page 30)
    and finely chopped
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon gro.und coriander
    About 1J4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon yaram masala (page 21)
    Optional garnish: 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Boil the potatoes in their jackets. Drain and peel them. Cut them into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes. {I baked mine let them cool a tad and then peeled and cubed them.}
Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth. Cut off the lower, woody part of the stems. Now, depending upon their size, halve or quarter the mushrooms, or, if they are small. leave them whole. They should be about the size of the diced potatoes.
Put the ginger and qarlic into the container of a food processor or electric blender along with 3 tablespoons water. Blend until you have a fine puree.
Put the diced potatoes in a bowl. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and about l/8 teaspoon of the turmeric over them. Toss to mix and set aside.
Put the oil in a heavy, wide, preferably nonstick, pot and set over medium heat. When hot, put in the potatoes. Stir and fry them until they are lightly browned on all sides. Remove the potato pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
Put the cumin seeds and cardamom pods into the same pot Stir them for 3-4 seconds. Now put in the tomatoes, the ginger-garlic paste, the ground cumin, and the ground coriander. Stir and fry until the paste becomes thick and the oil separates from it. Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and the cayenne. Stir once or twice.
Put in 250 ml (1 cup) water, the potatoes, mushrooms, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the cover and turn heat up slightly. Cook, stirring gently, until you have a thick sauce. Sprinkle in the garam masala and stir to mix. Taste for salt.
Serve garnished with cilantro, if you wish.
{Note: the cardamom pods are not meant to be eaten.}

Jaffrey says,

    “This is one of those “home-style” dishes that you rarely find in Indian restaurants. It is a thick, earthy stew…”

And she is completely right. It is a nice ‘homey’ dish that is easy and tasty. The recipe is from Jaffrey’s Indina Cooking on page 149.

The theme this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Potluck. I hope you will visit with the other members and see what they made this week. And if you want to join us we are cooking from Madjur Jaffrey’s recipes til th end of March.

Did you know there are 40,000 varieties of rice? Neither did I! I have 5 in my pantry: Basmati, Jasmine, Long Grain White, Brown, and Black. I don’t think I have room for the other 39,995. I use four of those all the time, the Black – not tried that one yet but it looks interesting.

The reason I mention this is because this week’s IHCC theme is RICE!

Rice is nice. Rice is adaptable. Rice is easy. Rice is a foil for lots of deliciousness. Including this…


    Spiced Basmati Rice

Note that the title says SPICED rice, not SPICY rice. “This is one of the finest – and most delicate – basmati rice dishes.” says Madjur. This goes with anything.

    Basmati rice measured to the 450 ml (2 cups) level in a glass measuring cup
    1.2 liters (5 cups) water
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
    1/2 fresh, hot green chili, finely chopped {I used crushed red pepper}
    1/2 teaspoon peeled, very finely chopped garlic
    1/2 teaspoon garam masaia
    1 teaspoon salt (a bit more if the stock is unsalted)
    600 ml (2 2/3 cups) chicken stock

Pick over the rice if necessary and put in a bowl. Wash in several changes of
water. Drain. Pour 12 liters (5 cups) water over the rice and let it soak for 30
minutes. Leave to drain in a strainer for 20 minutes.
Put the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and set over medium heat. When hot, put in
the onion. Stir and fry until the onion bits have browned lightly Add the rice,
green chili, garlic, garam masala, and salt. Stir gently for 3-4 minutes until all
the grains are coated with oil. If the rice begins to stick to the bottom of the pot,
turn the heat down slightly. Now pour in the chicken stock and bring the rice to a
boil. Cover with a very tight-fitting lid, turn heat to very, very low, and cook for
25 minutes.
If you prefer, you could put the pot in a preheated 170’C/325’F oven for 25

This rice is perfect to serve with a spicy dish. We ate it with Chicken with Cream and it just right.

The recipe is from Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking on page 194.

Please visit with the other ‘members’ of IHCC and see which of the 40,000 types of rice they used in their RICE dish this week. Better yet – join us for the next few months cooking with Madjur Jaffrey’s recipes.

My mother used to make curry. She would make a chicken or been stew and then add about 3/4 Tbl of yellow Curry Powder. We LOVED it! Now I know it wasn’t really curry, but at that time it was what we had. In the last few years I have been introduced to what curry really is.

    …a generic term primarily employed in Western culture to denote a wide variety of dishes originating in Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southern and Southeastern Asian cuisines,…

And Curry Powder: Curry powder, a commercially prepared mixture of spices, is largely a Western notion, dating to the 18th century. Such mixtures are commonly thought to have first been prepared by Indian merchants for sale to members of the British Colonial government and army returning to Britain.Wikipedia

Now that I know about other spice mixtures not all of my curries are the same. {They also are NOT very photogenic!}
Like this one:

    Chicken with Cream
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 kg 350 g (3 Ib) chicken pieces, skinned {I used boneless thighs}
    6-7 cloves garlic. peeled
    2.5 cm (1 inch) cube fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
    320 ml (1 1/2 cups) water
    6 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
    2 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
    4 tablespoons plain yogurt
    1 teaspoon garam masala
    6 tablespoons heavy cream

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of the coriander, 1/4 teaspoon of the turmeric, V4 teaspoon of the cayenne, and some
black pepper on the chicken pieces. Mix well and set aside for at least 1 hour.
Put the garlic and ginger into the container of an electric blender or food
processor. Add 120 ml (1/2 cup) of the water and blend until fairly smooth.
Put the oil in a wide, preferably nonstick, pot and set over medium-high heat.
When hot, put in as many chicken pieces as the pot will hold easily in a single
layer and brown lightly on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set
aside in a bowl. Brown all the chicken pieces the same way.
Put the chopped onion into the remaining oil. Stir and fry until the pieces turn
a medium-brown color. Add the garlic-ginger paste. Stir and fry until all the
water from the paste evaporates and you see the oil again. Put in the remaining
1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, V4 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon
cayenne. Stir and fry for about 20 seconds. Now put in the chopped tomatoes.
Turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir and cook the spice paste for
3-4 minutes, mashing the tomato pieces with the back of a slotted spoon as you
do so. Add the yogurt. a tablespoon at a time, incorporating it into the sauce
each time before you add any more. Put in the chicken pieces and any
accumulated juices, the remaining 200 ml (1 cup) water, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Take off the
cover. Add the garam masala and cream. Mix gently.
Turn the heat up to medium high and cook, stirring gently every now and then,
until the sauce has reduced somewhat and has turned fairly thick.

I have made this dish from Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking {page 98} many times and it is always delicious. And warm. And spicy. And very comforting.

IHCC is cooking with Madjur Jaffrey for 6 months (October – March). Come join us.

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