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Cooking with Shyama Sarda: Chilli Secret in Malai Kofta

  • JWB Post
  •  January 16, 2015

 

Let us learn another recipe from yet another amazing Jaipur woman. Say hello to octogenarian Shyama Sarda. Since we know Shyama aunty personally, we went to her place uninformed and headed towards the kitchen.

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Shyama Aunty: “But I haven’t cooked since long. The help in the kitchen does it all. He is a better cook than me; ask him to make a special delicacy.”

After a little emotional buttering, the beautiful lady agreed to cook something for us.

Shyama Aunty: “I will cook Malai-Kofta for lunch. Though I am sure, every woman must be knowing how to make it.”

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JWB – All we know is, you will do a better job. Come on, aunty, we are hungry!

Shyama Aunty:

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 Ingredients:

200 gm paneer, 3 boiled potatoes, 6 boiled tomatoes, 50 gm cashew, 20 gm raisins, 3 cups corn flour, black pepper, salt to taste, 6 green cardamom (hari elaichi), 5 cloves (laung), cinnamon (dalchini), 1 teaspoon red chilli powder and half bowl of milk cream.

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Shyama Aunty: First, mash the paneer and potatoes together and add corn flour to make a dough. Once done, make small balls with a raisin and cashew inside each one. I like ovals. Fry them golden.

JWB – We don’t mind!

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Shyama Aunty: Next, get ready with the tomato puree by just making a paste of 6-7 boiled tomatoes. By this time, heat some oil in the kadhai.

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Shyama Aunty: Use very less oil, since we will fry the balls too. Add cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and cardamoms. Add this puree into the kadhai and fry well. Once done, add 1 tbsp red chilli powder.

DSC_0028 DSC_0030 DSC_0038Suddenly, a masculine voice overtook and said: ‘Tell them, what kind of chili.” This was Shyama aunty’s elder son who just entered the kitchen.

DSC_0021Shyama Aunty – He is my elder of the 2 sons and is a doctor. He is fond of cooking, especially non-vegetarian food. And yes, to be specific, I put Kashmiri degi mirch in malai kofta.

JWB – Because of details like this one, we have come to you. Now you understand it, aunty?

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Shyama Aunty – This chilli gives the best color plus, it is really spicy. This will add a zing to otherwise sweet malai kofta. Now I am adding the tomato puree in the kadhai and stirring it well so that it doesn’t stick to the base of utensil. After some time, add 1 small bowl of malai to it.

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‘Arey, aapne kaju paste banaya?’ (Have you prepared the cashew paste yet?) – said another manly voice addressing Shyama aunty. This was the home-cook.

DSC_0026Shyama Aunty – Oh no, see this is why I didn’t want to cook. I enter the kitchen once in a while and know almost nothing about it.

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The cook quickly prepared the kaju-paste and handed over to aunty.

Shyama Aunty – Till then, you chop the dhaniya (coriander) to garnish the dish. At least, let the beautiful colors save me the embarrassment.

DSC_0039Everyone laughed at this. Meantime, aunty added 3 cups of water to the fried puree and waited for it to get a little thick.

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Shyama Aunty – Once the extra water evaporates, add the kaju paste in it along with 1 1/5 tbsp of sugar and salt to taste.

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Shyama Aunty: Stir for some more time, and then add the balls to it. Garnish with coriander at the end.

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JWB – Do we get to taste it now?

DSC_0094‘Even I would love to taste it! Maa has cooked after a long time’ – said aunty’s elder daughter-in-law.

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Shyama – I am not sure, how it is. But now there is no option, you all have to eat this for lunch today.

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The malai-kofta tasted brilliant, much better than in any restaurant we have had it before. All of us enjoyed the curry with makke ki roti . What a scrumptious meal in a winter afternoon!

Yummy story is written by Lavanya Bahuguna

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