Basically these blends I am going to talk about are, very ancient but yes now a days when cooking is quite popular on food blogs I feel that there is no harm in sharing what we learned in our own kitchen after spending so many years.I was walking in the morning on road and felt that there are few blends which makes my cooking more magical.So thought of sharing here too.
1- Bihar blend – It consists whole dry coriander,whole dry red chilies and garlic.You need to soak 1 cup of each together for 2-3 hours in lukewarm water and than grind it well with half cup normal water.Now mix in some salt and turmeric powder too and use it as marination for chicken, fish or potatoes and frill/fry/deep fry/roast them or use it in gravies by frying in little oil to make them heavenly.I use it some times in making kadhis even. Lot many times I have fried this blend into mustard oil with salt to fry boiled potatoes chunks to get great snack too.Or you can rub this blend in blanched cauliflower or shredded cabbage pcs to grill for a great snack too. Just experiment with it a lot.You will be happy to find the amazing results with garlic flavor. Once I made pizza base with this and got too many praises of desi pizza taste.
2- Hariyali blend – This is one of the most loved blend for me as it works very well with tikkas, biryanis and raitas(flavored curds). This contains fresh green mint, fresh green coriander and green chillies. Trust me it works great if you experiment with it little by little. It creates last minute magic in fried boiled potatoes, salads or curds. You can try it mixing in briyanis too.But if people around like spicy food than only try it. But yes if you blend it with cream, salt and garlic you can get amazing fish tikka, chicken tikka or paneer tikkas. Yes we are talking about those real spicy green chilies not capsicum or tasteless green chilies. Please don’t add those.
3- Shahi blend – I love the aroma of this blend so much that I never make any paneer dish without it. Paneer lababdar becomes so good with it and if it is added to simple dals or curries or biryanis they become royal with its flavor. It consists cloves, green cardamom and mace. While making suji(semolina) halwa sometimes I add a pinch of this in desi ghee prior to suji(semolina) frying and it becomes so fragrant that very moment. Recently I made some spiced almonds and I tried this blend in those too.Results were so amazing and satsfying.But yes basically I use it for pulaos, paneers and baking a lot.A pinch of this blend makes cookies or cakes much fragrant. Lot many times for a flavour change I add them in rice pudding (chawal ki kheer) too while boiling the milk. But keep a strong control over using them as these spices are very warm to use together.
4- Dil pasand blend – It is a quick mix on the spot of rose water, saffron and cinnamon powder which makes your pulaos, puddings, sweets and various mutton dishes so dreamy that I can bet if a great cook know how to use them perfectly in proportions he can do wonders in kitchen. They all work great together. Mix them and sprinkle over biryani while closing the lid or add them in dash while giving last stir to rice puddings or cake batter. Th is work wonders in carrot cake too.Just try it some time in tarts or cheesecakes or white rasgullas batter.You will love it.I have tried this blend in making jalebis and gulabjamuns too.Works very well by giving them great aroma.
5- Dhaba blend – This is a mix of black cardamom, star anise and nutmeg. Can make your palak paneer amazing, jaw dropping kind of choley or chicken curry like true dhaba style. If you really need a great chicken curry than marinate chicken pieces with Bihar blend (mentioned above, fry them and add this one while making gravy and check the taste. It rocks. It is actually one of the great blend if you are not using onions in a dish.Makes them amazingly tasty and aromatic.
* Green cardamom and black cardamom I grind with covers on in good grinder into finest powder. I dont throw their covers(chilka)
Keep experimenting.Happy cooking!