Handi Cooking – Kacchi Mirch ka Gosht (Goat cooked in Green Peppercorn curry)

Welcome to the concluding post of our handi cooking series. We did 10 classic handi recipes and learned a new cooking technique from each one. Today’s final handi recipe is a delectable goat meat dish, done in a creamy, but hot Green Peppercorn curry, flavored with saffron and the rarely used fennel in North Indian cooking.

This is for the first time we have used Green Peppercorn in our cooking and we actually even did not know about something called Green Peppercorn till we came across this recipe. Green peppercorns are the product of the same plant that gives us Black Peppercorn but harvested when the berry is immature. Peppercorns are, by monetary value, the most widely traded spice in the world, India being the largest producer of all kinds of peppercorns and ironically we never saw Green Peppercorn in grocery stores in India. We will be extremely grateful if someone can let us know if green peppercorn is easily available in India at the grocery stores.

The recipe is one of the easiest goat curry to cook. Watch us cook this extremely mouth-watering goat curry. We think this recipe will be sure a hit if any restaurant puts it up on their menu.

Ingredients Summary:

Serves – 4; Total time – 2 hours;

Goat (leg) – 1 Kg or 2 1/4 lb; Yogurt – 1 cup; Coriander Seeds – 4 tsp; Cumin Seeds – 1 Tbs; Black Cumin Seeds (Shahi Jeera) – 1 3/4 tsp; Black Peppercorn – 1 1/2 tsp; Salt – to taste; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom – 5; Black Cardamom – 1; Cloves – 5; Cinnamon – 1 inch; Bay Leaf – 1; Mace – 1 pinch]; Onions – 250 gm or 8 1/2 oz; Ginger – 20 gm or 3/4 oz; Green Chilies – 4; Green Peppercorn – 1 Tbs; Saffron – 1 tsp; Cream – 3/4 cup; Fennel Powder – 1 tsp;

We hope all who read and liked the handi cooking series will try at least one recipe at home. The next series we are going to do will be Tawa (griddle) series. So keep a watch on our blog for our first tawa recipe The Jhinga Tawa Masala.

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Handi Cooking – Kumbh Hara Dhania ( Coriander Mushroom )

This is our penultimate post in handi cooking series. A rich vegetarian curry that highlights the importance of fresh coriander in Indian cooking. Use of boiled onion paste in the recipe helped improve the texture and taste. The cashew paste added towards the end made it rich and creamy.

The recipe is simple and easy to cook. Except for making the boiled onion paste and cashew paste, the preparation involves just getting the ingredients together, blanching and cutting the mushrooms. The gravy or curry for this recipe is the basic gravy that can be used for kofta and paneer delicacies as well. Add 3 Tbs of fried onion paste and 1 tsp of garam masala in the end along with the cashew paste if using the gravy for kofta or paneer delicacies.

Watch our video to see us cook this yummy vegetarian curry simmered with button mushrooms and fresh coriander.

Ingredients Summary:

Mushrooms (fresh) –  600 gm or 1 1/3 lb; Ghee – 3/4 cup; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom – 5; Black Cardamom – 1; Cloves – 5; Cinnamon – 1 inch; Bay Leaf – 1; Mace – 1 pinch]; Onion – 150 gm or 1/3 lb; Black cardamom – 1; Bay leaf – 1; Ginger Garlic paste – 8 tsp; Green Chilies – 4 (chopped); Ginger – 30 gm or 1 oz; Red Chili Powder  – 1 tsp; Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp; Yogurt 1 1/2 cup; Cashews – 45 gm or 1 1/2 oz; Fresh Coriander – 1 cup (chopped); Salt – to taste;

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Handi Cooking – Murgh Navratan

Murgh Navratan is by far the most exotic chicken curry we have made. The delicacy is rich yet mild and it is royal. Navratan in hindi means Nine Gems. The Mughal emperor Akbar, despite his illiteracy, was a great lover of the artists and intellectuals. His passion for knowledge and interest in learning from great minds led him to attract men of genius to his court, known as the nine courtiers of King Akbar or Navratnas. However, in our recipe of Murgh Navratan, the Nine Gems are nine exotic dry fruits like almonds, pine nuts, raisins, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds etc.

The original recipe from Chef Arvind Saraswat specifies to use melon seeds but we substituted melon seeds with pumpkin seeds as we could not find melon seeds at the local grocery (I am sure we could have found it if we had made the effort). We love to cook the recipes that do not use the regular Indian curry base of tomato, ginger, garlic, cumin powder and coriander powder. This is one such unique recipe. The preparation takes a while but cooking is really simple.

When living in India we never bought dry fruits like sunflower seeds, melon seeds, pine nuts, macadamia nuts etc. Readers in India, please leave comments with your views on if these ingredients are easily and readily available at grocery stores in your area.

We hope you will enjoy watching us cook this exotic chicken curry as much as we enjoyed cooking it.

Ingredients Summary:

Chicken (cut into pieces) – 1.2 Kgs or 2 2/3 lbs; Yogurt – 1 1/2 cups; Salt – to taste; Ghee – 3/4 cup; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom – 5; Black Cardamom – 1; Cloves – 5; Cinnamon – 1 inch; Bay Leaf – 1; Mace – 1 pinch]; Onions – 200gm or 7 oz; Ginger – 15 gm or 1/2 oz; Green Chilies – 4; Turmeric – 1/2 tsp; Red Chili Powder – 2 tsp; Heavy Cream – 1/2 cup; Mace Powder – 1/4 tsp; Cardamom Powder 1/4 tsp;

For the Shahi (royal) Paste:

Poppy Seeds – 2 Tbs; Almonds – 40 gm or 1/4 cup; Cashews – 40 gm or 1/4 cup; Pumpkin or Melon seeds – 2 Tbs;

For the Garnish (The Navratans or the Nine Gems):

Pistachio – 15; Almonds – 10; Cashews – 10; Walnuts (broken) – 1 Tbs; Macadamia Nuts – 1 Tbs; Sunflower Seeds – 1 Tbs; Pine Nuts – 1 Tbs; Pecans – 10; Raisins – 1 Tbs;

Feel free to substitute the dry fruits with your choice of dry fruits depending on availability.

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Handi Cooking – Gosht aur Vadi Biryani (Goat and Lentil Dumpling Rice Pilaf)

The delicacy that got me interested in cooking years ago was biryani as I was always intrigued by the exotic nature of the recipe. There are too many varieties of biryani that is cooked in India and some recipes in family owned restaurants are a well-kept family secret that has been passing on from generations. We started our handi series with a vegetarian biryani recipe and today we are posting our first non-vegetarian, red meat biryani recipe.

Goat meat and Urad Dal dumplings (vadi – picture below), simmered in an exotic gravy and cooked on dum with rice makes eating  this delectable biryani a celebration. Biryani can be cooked in two ways: Kacchi (raw) Biryani and Pakki (cooked) Biryani. The difference is that in Kacchi method the raw meat is cooked with rice which allows all meat flavors to get well absorbed in rice. In Pakki method the meat is cooked before-hand and mixed with rice. Our recipe today is a pakki biryani and it turned out to be equally flavorful as kacchi biryani. We will make kacchi biryani when we will do hyderabadi biryani as part of our South India series in near future. Watch our video for this delectable recipe which made us lost control and we just kept on eating till we were filled up to the throat.
Ingredients Summary:
Serves: 8; Total Time: 2 hours
For the Rice:
Basmati Rice: 500 gm or 1.1 lb; Milk: 1 litre or 4 cups; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom – 10; Black Cardamom – 2; Cloves – 10; Cinnamon – 2 inch; Bay Leaf – 2; Mace – 2 pinch]; Salt – to taste;
For the Goat:
Leg of Goat (cut into cubes) – 1 kg or 2.2 lbs; Yogurt – 400 gm or 1 and 1/2 cup; Red Chili Powder 2 tsp; Coriander Powder – 1 tsp; Salt – 1 tsp; Ginger – 15 gm or 1/2 oz; Garlic – 5 to 6 cloves; Ghee – 1 cup; Onion – 250 gm or 8 and 1/2 oz; Green Chili – 8 ; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom – 10; Black Cardamom – 2; Cloves – 10; Cinnamon – 2 inch; Bay Leaf – 2; Mace – 2 pinch];
For the Garnish:
Vadi – 100 gm or 4 oz; Dried Mint – 1/4 cup; Coriander leaves – 30 gm or 1 oz; Tomato – 200 gm or 7 oz; Ginger – 30 gm or 1 oz; Onions (thinly sliced) – 120 gm or 4 oz; Asafoetida – a pinch; Saffron – 1 tsp; Milk – 60 ml or 1/4 cup;

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Handi Cooking – Achaar Korma

Handi cooking is prevalent in most of India but it has carved a niche in the Northern states and one such state is Rajasthan. Today’s handi recipe is a creative endeavour that owes much to the Rajasthani cuisine which is semi-dry goat or lamb done in a combination of mustard oil, mustard seeds, kalonji (Nigella Seeds) and jaggery – mostly the ingredients that go into making the Indian pickles (achaar).

A whiff of Achaar Korma is enough to tickle the palate and get one salivating. Due to the extreme hot and dry summer in North India, the palate for eating red meat goes down during the season even among the dedicated meat lovers but this one is just a perfect recipe for hot summer sunday lunch. Just serve it with hot steaming white rice and some sliced onions and cucumbers on the side. Personally, we felt this recipe was fairly easy to do and did not involve too many ingredients and processes. Watch our video for this simple and awesome goat recipe for this summer.

Ingredients Summary

Serves: 4; Total Time: 1.40 hours

Goat/Lamb (leg) – 1 kg or 2 and 1/4 lb; Turmeric – 1/2 tsp; Salt – to taste; Mustard Oil – 4 tsp; Ghee – 1/2 cup; Onions – 125 gm or 4.4 oz; Whole Red Chili – 8; Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp; Cloves – 5; Asafoetida – a pinch; Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp; Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp; Kalonji – 1 tsp; Jaggery – 25 gm or 1 oz; Ginger – 15 gm or 3/4 oz; Garlic – 10 cloves; Lemon Juice – 2 Tbs; Yogurt – 1 cup;

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Handi Cooking – Methi Murgh

We are continuing our handi cooking series with this hit north Indian and Pakistani recipe called Methi Murgh or Fenugreek Chicken. Methi or fenugreek tastes best with fresh fenugreek and the world’s best fenugreek comes from Qasur in Pakistan. The dried fenugreek is now referred to as Kasoori Methi probably as a tribute to the fenugreek from Qasur. Kasoori Methi that is sold in market is not from Qasur though. The dried fenugreek, however, is an adequate replacement for the fresh leaves. Since, we had both fresh and dried fenugreek at our disposal, we happily used both the varieties in our recipe.

The taste of this delicacy was mild yet rich and filled with flavors for which the credit goes to the slow dum cooking. The methi flavor was not overpowering. We were afraid that it might be a little bitter because of fresh methi but soaking it in salted water before using it washed away the bitterness. There are so many recipes of this delicacy in the web but none matches to the way we cooked this. Please watch our video for the recipe of this ultimate chicken preparation.

Ingredients Summary:

Serves – 8; Total Time: 2 hours

Chicken – 2 Kg or 2 and 1/2 lb; Yogurt – 2 cup; Salt – to taste; Ghee – 1 cup; Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom – 10; Black Cardamom – 2; Cloves – 10; Cinnamon – 2 inch; Bay Leaf – 2; Mace – 2 pinch]; Onion (chopped) – 600 gm or 1.3 lbs; Garlic (grated) – 60 gm or 2 oz; Ginger (grated) – 60 gm or 2 oz; Green Chili (chopped)- 11 to 12; Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp; Coriander Powder – 2 tsp; Red Chili Powder – 2 tsp; Tomato (chopped) – 300 gm or 11 oz; Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek) – 2 Tbs; Fresh Methi (fenugreek) – 1 cup; Fresh Coriander – 1/2 cup; Ginger (juliennes) – 40 gm or 1.4 oz;

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Handi Cooking – Aloo Chutneywale (Stuffed Potatoes in Tangy Chutney Sauce)

Our next recipe in handi series is an outstanding vegetarian curry called Aloo Chutneywale. This is an original recipe from famous chef Arvind Saraswat where potatoes stuffed with paneer are simmered in a tangy chutney. This dish is certain to leave the palate tingling.

What we liked most about this dish was that it was a refreshing change for a curry flavor. The sourness and tangyness of the chutney in the gravy made it very addictive. The tough part that needed a little patience was scooping out the potatoes and filling them. By the time we finished cooking this recipe we were completely exhausted but the experience was very rewarding nevertheless. An important aspect of cooking this recipe was 100% open pot cooking. At no point, while cooking, should the pot be covered with a lid. Watch our video for the recipe along with enjoying the latest number from Himesh.

Ingredients Summary

Serves – 8; Total Time – 2 hours and 30 minutes

Potatoes – 1.2 Kg or 2.7 lb; Oil for frying; Coriander leaves – 240 gm or 8 oz; Mint leaves – 100 gm or 3.5 oz; Raw Green Mango – 50 gm or 2 oz; Paneer – 200 gm or 7 oz; Green Chili – 15; Ginger – 8 gm or 1/3 oz; Cashewnuts – 16; Ghee – 1 cup; Onion – 250 gm or 8 oz; Black Cardamom – 1; Bay Leaf – 1; Ginger Garlic Paste – 10 tsp; Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp; Red Chili – 1.5 tsp; Yogurt – 300 gm or 10.5 oz; Tomato – 150 gm or 5 oz; Cashewnuts (for paste) – 50 gm or 2 oz; Garam Masala – 4 tsp; Salt – to taste;

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Handi Cooking – “Raspberry” Matar

Our second recipe in Haandi cooking is “Raspberry” Matar (peas). This delicacy is on the menu of very few select restaurants in India. A vegetarian delight of paneer balls – “raspberries” – and green peas, cooked in a mild and rich gravy, which penetrates the “raspberries” or paneer balls to make them juicy like a fruit.

We extremely enjoyed cooking this recipe. The mild saffron flavor with richness of cashew, yogurt and cream made the gravy taste very addictive. Went down very well with naan. The three-time bhunao (sautéing) process in the cooking was a little time-consuming but worth it. If anyone has to try just one recipe from all our posts until now, please try this one. It’s worth the time and effort. Please watch our video for the recipe and hope you will leave us your feedback.

Ingredients Summary

Serves 4; Total time: 2 hours        

For “Raspberries”:

Paneer – 3/4 lb or 350; Green Chilies – 4; Ginger (chopped) – 1 tbs; Saffron – 1 tsp; Milk – 1/4 cup or 60 ml; Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp; Salt – 1 tsp; Corn starch (flour) – 1/2 cup; Oil – for deep-frying;

For Gravy:

Green Peas – 3/4 lb or 350 gm; Ghee (clarified butter) – 2/3 cup; Onions – 4 (medium); Black Cardamom – 1; Bay Leaf – 1; Green Chili (chopped) – 4; Ginger (chopped) – 1 tbs; Ginger-Garlic paste – 5 tsp; Fresh Tomato Puree – 1 cup;  Yogurt – 1 cup; Cashew – 50 gm or 2 oz; Red chili powder – 1 tsp; Coriander Powder – 1 tsp; Cream – 60 ml or 1/4 cup; Garam Masala – 1 tsp; Salt – 1 tsp; Fresh Coriander (chopped) – 1/3 cup;

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Indroduction to Handi Cooking with Kale Moti Biryani

 Handi or Haandi (pot), Kadhai (Indian wok) and Tawa (griddle) are three most commonly used utensils in Indian cooking and most of the Indian delicacies can be cooked in one of these vessels. Many recipes just got their name from these utensils like Kadhai Paneer etc. We thought that doing a series of recipes in each of the utensils will be fun and innovative for our blog.        

 So readers, welcome to our Haandi cooking series where we will try to cook and post one to two haandi recipes every week for next few weeks.        


 A Haandi is a deep heavy bottomed and narrow mouthed pot traditionally made with brass or copper. After lots of searching online stores and numerous trips to various Indian stores in New Jersey and New York, we could not find a proper Haandi to our liking for cooking.

Dutch Oven

 So eventually, we decided to buy a deep 6 quart (approx 6 litre) dutch oven because it gave us the feel of a haandi when we picked it up in the store. The dutch oven is so much similar to the Indian haandi. It has thick walls, heavy bottom, it is deep and has a lid that is perfectly safe to put in oven.         

 Two important aspects of haandi cooking are Bhunao and Dum. Bhunao is a combination of stir frying and sauteeing on medium to high heat with slowly adding small quantity of water or yogurt to avoid the ingredients and spices from sticking to the pan till the oil or fat separates indicating that the spices and ingredients (onion, ginger, garlic etc) are cooked and its time to proceed to the next phase of cooking (which is mostly adding the main ingredient). Dum which literally means steam is a method of slow cooking where the haandi is sealed with dough to prevent any steam to escape. In olden days, the whole sealed haandi will be put in smouldering coal covering it from top to bottom for even heating. Today, the electric oven is used for providing the function of even heating. In Dum cooking, the main ingredient is cooked partially and then at the time of sealing the lid with dough some additional accompaniments are added for flavor and aroma and then slow cooked in oven. The food continues to cook in its own steam which condenses back into the food retaining the aroma and flavors of all ingredients in the delicacy.

 Our first Haandi recipe is “Kale Moti Biryani” for which the direct translation that comes to mind would be “Black Pearl Rice Pilaf“. In this recipe black chickpeas (kala chana or bengal gram) simmered in gravy and basmati rice, layer upon layer, make for a royal treat.         

This was the best tasting biryani we cooked till now. This vegetarian biryani beat all the mutton (goat meat) and chicken biryani we have cooked in our lifetime. The aroma of saffron and the spices were intrinsically blended with the biryani and the chickpeas were soft. We did not even realize that we finished our biryani as is without even touching the raita on the side.        

 On the other hand, preparing this delicacy was a little time-consuming though. The list of ingredients is long but then that’s the secret of getting all the exotic flavors and aroma. We were so busy keeping track of things in order that we forgot to switch on the main powerful light in the kitchen that we installed for the purpose of video recording. As a result, the video has poor lighting. If it would have been any other recipe, we would have done it again for the sake of video quality but doing this recipe once again was too overwhelming. So please watch the video for the recipe and pardon the dark video quality.        

Ingredients Summary         

Serves 4; Preparation time: 45 minutes; Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes        

For the rice: Basmati Rice – 2 and 1/4 cup (250 gm); Milk – 3 and 1/3 cup (800 ml); Whole Garam Masala [Green Cardamom – 5; Black Cardamom – 1; Cloves – 5; Cinnamon – 1 inch; Bay Leaf – 1; Mace; 1 Pinch]; Salt – 1 tsp;        

For the chickpeas (black pearls): Black Chickpeas (Kala Chana) – 1 and 1/4 cup (250 gm); Salt – 1 tsp; Ghee (clarified butter) – 1/2 cup (100 gm); Ginger – 1 tbsp (15 gm); Garlic – 5 cloves; Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp; Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp; Yogurt – 3/4 cup (200 gm); Tomato – 1 and 1/2; Potato – 3; Green Chili – 3;        

For the garnish: Cilantro or Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup; Fresh Mint Leaves – 1/4 cup; Ginger – 2 thin slices; Green Chili – 7; Tomato – 1 big; Onion – 3 (small); Yogurt – 1/2 cup; Garam Masala – 1 tsp; Green Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp; Saffron – 2 tsp (1 gm); Milk – 1/4 cup (60 ml)        

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