Home Companies Industry Politics Money Opinion LoungeMultimedia Science Education Sports TechnologyConsumerSpecialsMint on Sunday

Cooking with Lounge | Tomato chicken, Hyderabadi style

Cooking with Lounge | Tomato chicken, Hyderabadi style
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Sun, Mar 15 2009. 05 26 AM IST
Updated: Mon, Mar 16 2009. 03 49 PM IST
A misconception that Kunwar Rani Kulsum Begum dispelled very quickly during this Cooking with Lounge session was that Hyderbadi cuisine takes a lot of time to put together. “Some things will take time, but there are dishes that can be put together fast because nowadays we have blenders etc. that help with preparing ingredients,” says Kulsum Begum. Born in the royal household of Salar Jung III, the erstwhile Nawab of Hyderabad, Kulsum Begum draws on her lineage to present the delicate flavours of the Deccan. “We were never taught how to cook as young girls because our families believed that girls should learn the ‘way of life’ at their in-laws house. My interest in food really started after I was married into a family that was from Lucknow. The food was different from what was made at home in Hyderbad and I missed that tangy flavour.”
Phone calls and letters to “Nanah” (maternal grandmother) culminated in Kulsum Begum acquiring about 2,000 recipes in over two decades. “Once I would get a recipe from Nanah, I would try the dish at home a couple of times. Then I would serve it at a small gathering at home as ‘Nanhiyal ka Khanna’, and soon, I had friends asking me to send ‘that’ dish over for a party at their place. I had no intention of pursuing cooking as a career really.” About a decade ago, Kulsum Begum (with some help from the then tourism minister Renuka Chowdhury) organized a Hyderbadi food festival at an ITC property. Thus began her association with the group as a consulting chef. Apart from organizing Hyderbadi cuisine festivals at various ITC restaurants, at present Kulsum Begum is compiling the recipes left to her by her beloved grandmother to be published in a book. “Cooking is not just about having the right recipe. It’s about regular practice and knowing the art of preparing a particular dish in a particular manner. There are so many recipes in Nanah’s diary that I can not make easily because the procedures she mentions are no longer followed.”
Click here to watch video
1kg boneless chicken
1kg tomato (pureed in a blender)
2tbsp fresh garlic paste
1tbsp fresh ginger paste
1tsp coriander powder
1tsp cumin powder
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
1tsp nigella sativa seeds (kalonji)
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp mustard seeds
½ cup curry leaves
6 red chillies
Salt to taste
Cut tomatoes into four and blend to a puree in a blender. Heat oil in a kadhai (wok). Add the cumin, nigella sativa, fenugreek, mustard seeds and a few whole red chillies. Add the garlic and ginger pastes, and when they turns brown, add the curry leaves. Add the coriander, cumin and chilli powder. Mix the tomato puree and cook on high heat. Add the chicken pieces and sprinkle salt. Keep stirring till the oil floats on top. Do not add any water to the dish. The gravy should be thick.
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Sun, Mar 15 2009. 05 26 AM IST