Sunday, 20 May 2018

COASTAL STYLE MUTTON





What did I mean by this "Coastal Style?"..... You see I have very little knowledge on Food History! Hence in most cases I avoid talking about it.... Earlier I had blogged on some meat / egg dishes of Malvani / Konkani origin ..... what I see mostly is that they fry a couple of spices along with onion, grated coconut in oil and then blend them to a paste before proceeding with the recipe. Now this may vary from one region to another depending on the most available ingredients there. Isn't it so that the Southern India or this island or the Barishal district of Bangladesh use coconut extensively in their cooking because of its availability? I remember this COASTAL STYLE MUTTON was done on a Saturday.... so neither  stepwise pictures were possible nor an authenticity of any particular region or place could be maintained. You all know that most of the time I prefer taking rough ideas from around and go ahead with a recipe unless it is a heirloom, Bengali family recipe. Look at this home.... if someone is at home, the television is on 24/7! That someone who does not take interest in anything except politics, games, good movies or music of his choice is watching the Royal Wedding now! Ahh me too was jotting down certain points.... what makes the Queen accept such a decision of her grandson? Old age or she is trying to keep up with time?.... "shomoyer sangey cholun noyto pichiye porben?".... Her Highness did not allow her daughter to be with the man she wished to and now one from another nation, a cross breed, an actor, a divorcee ...... a commoner steps into her castle.... majority of her people may not be happy.... We are commoners, of another nation which has its own turmoils, so we will hardly have any interest in the royal wedding.... but I am happy for Prince Harry and support him .... I am his mother's fan till date and if he could take such a decision and stay firm on it, he off course is his mother's son..... who despite been a royal bride had a very compassionate heart towards the needy. As of the old queen, what she is doing or speaking does not represent her.... she is acting under pressure... trying to be with time! Of the similar kinds I see around, I only smile and whisper "I do not believe in what you say, so you need not be so good to me.... just be normal!" My whispers do not take shape.... I try to be good to the elderlies or a sense of responsibility works inside unless and until they rob me of my self-respect! So, whether the British Queen accepted it willingly or unwillingly, it is a welcome move. Right now its showing the wedding vows... that line that will make any Indian / South Asian mother go wild.... "will you forsake all others to remain faithful to your wife / husband?".... hahaha... do not take me seriously but its a truth.... both the mothers of a son or a daughter do not wish to leave control over their kids even after marriage ..... but they cook yum curries as this COASTAL STYLE MUTTON for their own! Now, I will not be surprised if today and tomorrow in one particular social forum there are shares on how cruel kids are these days to their parents... hihi.... good... at least "some" people do read my rubbish! You know S possesses an idle brain, so I was thinking what if Meghan's bridal makeup was in the hands of my teen hood friend from college.... Arundhati Chaudhury? She would have given some fillers to her cheeks... some red touch ups.... Till date I could not understand why do we have to be so skinny with boney cheek lines! My excuse to have more of "luchi, porota, bhaat" 😆! Meghan must have that quality in her to rule the television industry there with a freckled face.... so it is not about the face everywhere.... she could not have made it in Bollywood unless she had been too lucky! Anyway, my above mentioned beautiful friend suffers from a condition of extreme obesity who stays alone... her well off parents expired.... she has proved that one can be single and yet happy! .... She is the teacher of a government run beauty institute.... She promised a makeover of my greys on my next visit.... no I will not spend 500 sing dollars on a Jean Yip package! Look at the lady down.... I did not see when the television switched to Colours from CNN.... I like the lady... below.... In the show biz world, she is not eager to show off her physical assets... she writes, speaks and acts on social issues! ... We do not expect a VS Naipaul style from a Mrs. Funny Bones... everyone  have their distinctive style.... I love her wit... the way she resurrected her husband's life... haha I meant his choice of films! Guess the song... my favourite!... No, I will not show the hero's face... his fists are not in his control how much of a charitable person he is .... Oh! I adore Bollywood, the day I shared the fish fry and dhoka bhaja recipe, it was one of my heartthrob Madhuri Dixit's birthday.... I did not know and it felt good! A reminder once again... the below lady in black does not pay for my Jean Yip packages... I am that free willed person who decides on her own likes and dislikes ...



This COASTAL STYLE MUTTON may not be an authentic one.... I used the available spices in my kitchen and went ahead! I do slow cooking most of the time..... I am a stay-at-home and have enough time.... more so if you store enough energy having "aam / kola doi / dudh chirey / muri"..... puffed rice / flattened rice with milk / yogurt , mango or banana.... we call it "pholar" probably..... the daddy's girl this way.... this kinds were his "evening food".... I have got very irregular with my walks and exercise regime.... all toning gone.... I look like a football but do not forget to click or express my delight at the sight of such a small, fruit bearing "jamrul gach".... more so when it seems I cannot grow any fruit or vegetables on my balcony.... a kind of insect or may be caterpillars eat them.... only the "orchids, togor, patabahars" love me! Nothing comes for free in this world.... even the plants seek the love I show towards mutton and hilsa! There had been some kulfi making session too! I loved doing the super quick, no cook coolers..... this island gives you the freshest of fruits and yes, peace...... it is not ruled by a liar dictator.... a lady who does not know how useless she is! No, I am not abusing the woman kind.... for one I am here today! She cooks in less oil, loves fruits ... any kind, roshogolla and oh so patient and cool in any dreadful situation. The daughter loves everything unhealthy.... "chop, shingara, pantua, tel rogrogey patha o ilish".... and is impatient. Yesterday, the husband went for an invitation after I gave a nod.... he loves his wife come on.... he knows I will not go anywhere leaving the son alone at home at this moment.... I missed watching Raazi too... oh! its a Meghna Gulzar film and has to be different.... This girl Alia Bhatt will go far.... young, confident, natural actor who does not dump the face with makeup... like her too! The parents of the boy or the girl who would stand 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the son's class might have seen Raazi by now or partied hard this weekend or may not be.... but I am this way! If I have given birth to him, I should behave responsibly.... I am selfish enough to admit that he is the prime in my life.... the rest of the world comes next.... though I am not eager to prove it in the social media every other day.... So, the son got Mac meals for him and Cristine didi at night.... I told him to but our mother would not have allowed outside food during any examination. What did this primitive eat? "Ruti, peyaz, lanka" and what you call hash browns... I keep a frozen packet for the men.... I have once in six months.... I liked it.... "ruti-aloobhaja".... what else is required?






I am yet to settle on an Oshi Palav recipe ..... I do not have any friend in Uzbekistan.... I have to depend on big brother Google though  it ignores its little sister....  it does matter but I do not bother. The way I name my recipes these days.... they are not to be chosen by the search engines it seems! Lets eat... drink.... merry instead! This COASTAL STYLE MUTTON can be done either with lamb or mutton. I used mutton though the senior prefers lamb and the later will take little less time to cook! I lightly fried all the spices used, grated coconut, onion, ginger and garlic in oil and then prepared a paste with all adding little water! The mutton off course had to be marinated for hours. What else is left but cooking it over slow fire?

By the way, if anyone from Kolkata is reading my blog post, do check with our childhood friend Nabendu Saha's food joint "FOODPATH".... the Laketown unit is relocating, the Sinthimore unit is active... just beside the PNB... our friend Swati Bhattacharya's daughter has already visited and gives a thumbs up both to the food and the ambience!

I have just updated the pictures of a previous blog post of PRAWN CURRY WITH RIDGE GOURD AND POTATO.... for us there is nothing like light curries in summer... be it fish, meat or mixed vegetables! Click the heading below for the recipe!

PRAWN CURRY WITH RIDGE GOURD AND POTATO






INGREDIENTS :
Mutton : 1kg [can be lamb too]
Garlic Cloves : 8-10 [peeled and washed]
Onion Slices : 1medium cup [peel, wash, slice the onion]
Ginger Slices : 1tbsp [peel, slice, wash the ginger pieces]
Grated Coconut : 1small cup
Cumin Seed : 1tsp
Coriander Seed : 11/2tsp
Fennel Seed : 1tsp
Black Peppercorn : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 5-6
Cinnamon Stick : 3-4 two inch size
Green Cardamom : 3-4
Cloves : 3-4
Bay Leaf : 1big
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp +1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Garlic Paste : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 3tbsp +4tbsp

PROCEDURE :

If I cook mutton for lunch, I usually marinate it the previous night.... you can do it for at least 5 hours.

Wash the mutton pieces thoroughly under running water. Drain all the water.

Apply 1tsp turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder, ginger paste and garlic paste to the mutton pieces. Rub very well. Refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 5-8 hours and take out an hour before starting to cook it.

Heat 3tbsp oil in a wok and add the ginger and onion slices, garlic cloves.... fry till they turn golden brown. 

Add the black peppercorns, dry red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and the grated coconut! Fry at low heat for 2-3 minutes. Switch off gas and let cool.

Transfer the fried spices along with the remaining oil to the blender! Add little water and blend to a paste with regular intervals. Add more water if required.

Heat 4tbsp oil in a wok and temper with cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms, cloves and a bayleaf.

As they splutter, add the spice paste and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and little salt. Stir for a minute.

Add the mutton pieces without the marinade. Stir for 5 minutes at high heat. Reduce heat to minimum and add the marinade. Cover with a lid.

It will release a good amount of water and then to dry up it may take 35-40 minutes.... always to keep the heat at minimum. We will open cover and stir every 3-4 minutes to avoid the bottom to burn.

Once all the water dries up, add 11/2 coffee mug of warm water and fold in well. Cover cook for 8-10 minutes at minimal heat. We should be done. 

Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with rice, roti, paratha. You can see a Bengali style climbing perch fish curry with cauliflower and potato "fulkopi aloo diye koi maach" and daal in the platter.







Thursday, 17 May 2018

GUR LEBUR SHORBOT



Oh! only an ignorant like me will know the pain of scrolling and scrolling your Google photo album and find out a photo you desire to blog on! Then you edit them and create three photos from two with a brain that always works in slow motion! I prefer to keep three main photos per post these days.... when we will not be there, people will know that there had been a family of three who ate, drank, merry and took life as it came! As you know, I suffered, still suffer from a condition or disease that drags me towards negative situations & thoughts.... so besides all the beautiful posts by the parents on their kids' achievements.... my eyes get drawn towards something else.... three IIT students take off their lives before their semester.... the son of a small time worker consumes rat poison not satisfied with his +12 results, the daughter of a mason committed suicide after been raped.... I have learnt to handle stress all by myself.... I remember all those sedatives did not help me... All the anger inside is channelised to the mother "chele-meye dutokey ki tairi korecho acholer tolai rekhe.... ektu chartey hoy.... shokto korey tairi kortey hoy".... Yes, I blame our mother for not making us  strong enough to face life! I remember a college going daughter refusing to have muri / puffed rice or bread for a single day and the mother preparing ruti / porota / luchi almost every day.... I feel guilty very much.... a gift of a tusser sari or a gold ear stud is not enough to get rid of it.... but I got wiser.... I have to scold her when she feeds meat to her son 3-4 days a week or luchi as a breakfast each and everyday.... his cholesterol level is high, percentage of uric acid crossed the danger level.... Who listens to me? A majority of the Bengalis will do some exercise only after leaving West Bengal! You may call me anything, but Bengali stomachs are not made to digest meat every other day.... we do not have meat stews..... a lot of oil and spices goes in ..... I do not think I can go for a ketogenic diet ever.... an egg once a week makes my "pet joydhak" for that day! The very calm S speaks this rough at times these days..... courtesy..... the husband.... Yet, I thanked him yesterday for gifting a stress free life to our son.... he never sets targets for the son ..... always says let him be.... Yesterday, when I saw the picture of that boy in the hospital bed... who may not survive.... I broke down once the husband was back from office.... He said S, such incidents happened back then too.... there were no social media to highlight such news.... He says teens should learn to handle stress, parents should not push them to the edge either! Yesterday, my neighbour and friend in Kolkata.... an Eye Surgeon too.... Dr. Monalisa Pramanik shared a picture of her son's achievement in the ICSE examinations.... she has every right to.... Rochishnu scored 97.2% and I know he got it absolutely stress free.... in his own will and ability..... I know when me and Kana were talking.... we were lying to each other.... Mimo did score good but both me and Kana wished for a 92 % to 94%.... from him.... Neither me or Kana is a Rupa Roy.... we are just learning to be wise and so we will not put our kids in stress.... About our son, he will not allow any stress... and his father will show me the door if I put him in stress ..... I have the feel that our son will score something between 80-85% in most of the subjects .... in fact IG board confers grades.... well our son may not get an A+ in the nine subjects out of ten.... I may cry behind the closed doors but I will not compare him with others.... I do not want a divorce, I do not earn!.... I feel happy for my friend Debopam's daughter who scored a 94% in ICSE, I feel happier when his wife Sarnali says S..... I will always support her wish... whatever stream she pursues I will be happy! I am learning to be like them..... at some point neither me or Kana have to lie to each other.... we will become two wise owls.... At the moment, the face of that boy who consumed rat poison is haunting me.... the parents are not telling the truth .... they might have told him something derogatory.... not all kids are like mine..... "P.... do not play those shark games ok?".... he laughs out loud.... "if I have to die I will jump off the window ..... I will not waste time playing a game and then do it"... I thank the husband again... No, this GUR LEBUR SHORBOT is not for the husband.... packets of cigars have robbed him of his old likes, appetite I believe.... it is for those less fortunate struggling in the hospital bed with a damaged liver... I am a fighter's wife, wish I could preach his philosophy of life to such weak hearts!


Our mother never made this GUR LEBUR SHORBOT.... I remotely remember that I had seen my grandmother doing it when I was this little.... Did the "chatur shorbot" sellers sell this desi cooler in the Kolkata streets? I do not remember really.... I did not call the 90 year old lady either for the recipe of this summer cooler! I make it on my own, not often though because I am a diabetic.... Olong and Ayataka tea work best for me and wow! for the son too.... so much so that I stopped getting Iced Lemon Tea cans for him! He has become one of this island.... though prefers beef than a clam, squid or crab! He was 7-8 years old when his father took him to a Mac joint in Houston and bought him a big Mac.... he was 5-6 years old when the husband noticed that the boy goes and sits beside mumma in the prayer room.... he dogmatised him saying God is a myth! The son goes to the school, says it and gets badly beaten by a senior boy.... I got wild at the husband... why so early you had to? The answer was .... "you too had been calling him at times of prayer"..... Thereafter, I did not fill socks with gifts and chocolates.... once I did and the son said I know you did it... all my pleasure was gone! I am just trying to say.... kids should behave like kids when they are kids.... my son was never so. That is when one Dibyendu Banerjee says your boring husband never was a kid, hence.... and that bald headed... yesteryear Sunny Deol for us... calls him a "jethu".... only a romantic like me was left to marry him! That bald headed person had been always there for me.... err... for my husband's wife... at midnight in the airport, when our car met with an accident, for my father at the funeral ground... my husband only had to say... "S ke dekhish".... I am leaving for months... look after S! No, you will not see them on my social media friend list... social media photographs do not really prove anything! The husband is very protective of his "core group"..... says we had been there for each other without any personal interest! Anyway, whenever I am down... I am frequently so given my mental condition or disease, something is there to divert my attention! See, a beauty with wings graced our window pane.... may be early morning! No, I am not calling names, what if some PETA members read my post? I am keeping my cool thinking he or she might had loose motion.... the heat is such ..... it could not control! I clicked to complain at the office but then realised it is not a human job as does my neighbour above my floor back in Kolkata... That beautiful lady is so insensible that she considers my flat as her dustbin.... even when I stayed there.... Repeated complains to the management office had no solutions.... though the old paa-in-law goes and pays our maintenance bill regularly.... People use our parking lot for free.... and that her highness made a good dustbin of my balcony and AC machines.... Decency could never fight insensibility. Here, the management takes every complain seriously and takes immediate action.... work culture matters! Do not tell me that all women are victims.... that insensible lady's husband and parents are so gentle!.... I am another worse case.... with a flat but choosy nose I ignore people who I cannot get along with.... I accept that I am not accommodating! Till date I could not complete a can of 100 plus.... after a race, they do give one... I get it for the son... they will not give me a doi er ghol or GUR LEBUR SHORBOT! 100 plus is good, there is no harm in trying heirloom, desi Indian drinks either.... they can be better for Indian stomachs. I am that desi who prepares "Maan Kochu bata" in her kitchen.... a heirloom, no cook Bengali recipe with maan kochu / malanga coco, chilli-mustard paste, grated coconut and mustard oil.... May be I will blog on it after the big event of some of my readers is over.... at the moment they need coolers... lot of hydrating summer drinks.... that need not be expensive "badam shorbot" at all times.... this GUR LEBUR SHORBOT helps too.... not all of them live in big homes.... our Rizia Mashi does not take a single day leave, neither did my Chotu during these months! Anyway, I have to go for a simple share today because I have to clean my window panes.... Sir said Cristine will not do because those are open windows... I am not a Divya Bharati that media will go gaga on me.... if you do not see me around tomorrow .... do pray for my own.... Oh yes, you need not wait till tomorrow .... you can see me doing "ghonta pooja" in different groups... all for the blog.... For you who work out in the Sun.... say for a walk or run or play field games, or working indoor... this homemade desi drink works wonder to hydrate your system! Do try!




No, these sky scrappers do not say anything, only that we are a part of those cages of different sizes, in one you get "kochu bata to loti shutki" everything simple .... If you are sensible enough not to cause damage to my property in my absence.... you are most welcome!




INGREDIENTS :

Jaggery : 100gm [We get chemical free jaggery powder here, do you? then use]
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Black Salt : 1/4tsp
Black Pepper Powder : 2-3 pinch
Water : 2 standard sized glasses

PROCEDURE :

Take the jaggery in a mortar and pestle and break into smaller pieces, you can do it with a rolling pin too! If you are using  jaggery powder... this step is not required.

Take the smaller jaggery pieces in a container and add the water. Add the lemon juice too! Stir and keep covered. The jaggery has to dissolve completely.

Strain the jaggery water and pour in to another container. Add the black salt and black pepper powder. Stir well and pour into tall glasses.

Top with some ice cubes and enjoy sipping! If you are not a diabetic, have it everyday... no harm!




Tuesday, 15 May 2018

BENGALI FISH FRY O MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA



Well, yesterday  I was at home.... we are not grounded at the school canteen if the kids are having examinations for the entire day! .... The daddy drops and the mumma goes to collect her weirdo.... chats for half an hour with her beautiful friend and other parents if any! I asked my friend Piyali.... "it cannot be so that all the mothers except you and me are working.... "porikkhar shomoy to ektu ashtey parey.... during exam they can come at least!".... My flat nose is really getting bigger poking in every other matter.... The senior hates it.... says it is absolutely unnecessary... more so in this island that is so safe.... All the kids are calling the cabs by themselves and going home..... Then, I cannot manage with memories you all know.... a lady with 4'9" height stands in front.... who did not watch television during our examinations .... sat under a tree for four long hours during her married daughter's examinations too.... Her son did not agree to go to the examination hall without her where she waited in a tea stall outside dominated by males! Thinking of the wrinkled face, I cannot sit at home! We could not fulfil her wish ..... I can at least follow her footsteps.... She is too tensed just as my paa-in-law is with their grandson's education.... given he is different from others since childhood! Take a look at the picture below.... while all the kids are assembled together and discussing the question paper, the tailed creature of ours was walking alone talking to himself.... I mean he talks to some selective friends ..... if the mother talks to his friends, he gets upset  and says... "stop talking to strangers!".... Mumma tells the weird.... "my baby's friends are my babies too!".... that gets smile on his face.... Once he went to the 10th standard, mumma asked him to call his friends at home.... mumma wishes to treat them .... with her cunning wish to take forward her blog... "would you ask your parents to take a look at my blog"..... haha... come on I am not that selfish either.... my friends had free entry at our home... I would love to! I am preparing all these fries and fritters as a practice.... I want him to behave normal and call his friends home... as I did.... Not all of them did come though.... may be because we did not live in a "posh" neighbourhood or I was not worth to be in touch with.... For the most of the rest, our two roomed rental home was open! I do not usually cross roads with people who avoid me! When some people cash on that and enjoy taking a dig at my weaknesses or pain, I wonder why should I spare them?.... Most of the time I try to ignore thinking they must be unhappy souls in their own lives, so it gives them pleasure to prick others.... No, I am not targetting the food blogging world or the people I know personally or  any celebrity .... There are people who pens silly melodrama every other day, as irrelevant as mine... not every writer writes readable stuffs! Anyway, some of my friends frequented so much so that our entire neighbourhood knew me and T are going to marry at a time when we did not have in our wild dreams that T & S can ever marry! Our society till then did not accept that a boy and a girl can be very good friends sharing many a thoughts and feelings under the Sun! Oh yes, see our school uniform colour and the son's matches.... This is wow...... round and round I see you at each turn.... the earth whispers!




I have become an expert clicking my men from the back.... they hate been clicked and seen in social media.... Only when we go for a trip, I manage some and share to their utmost disgust.... Anyway, do you think I am sharing a BANGALI FISH FRY O MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA just to show off my love for my men?.... Nope, yesterday the ICSE board results were out, messages are pouring in from Kolkata... my friends' kids faired well.... percentage ranging from 86% to 97%.... feeling happy for them... boys and the girls both.... I have a problem only with those who have a problem with mine.... I have located those.... No, I do not expect from strangers.... It is a crime to discriminate kids who you know.... and also to those you do not know... be it a boy or a girl.... I definitely cannot keep considerable amount of space in my heart for such people! Anyway, early morning I discovered that my friend Kana Dasgupta did not message me... I called her, woke her up and enquired... My Mimo is a very obedient son.... very much naive unlike mine.... well S aunty was expecting a better percentage from him.... though he has done pretty well! For all these boys and girls who I know will do good in life .... a share from this snacks platter of BANGALI FISH FRY O MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA!

Today, the son does not have any examination.... mumma has time to jot down the recipes of the vegetarian and non-vegetarian snacks she prepared yesterday.... Getting ahead with a Bengali style fish fry recipe is a five to six hours of prep time for me.... I am myself very much worried about any kind of smell from the fish.... We usually use Bhetki fillet for fish fries! What if I only have some frozen Tilapia fillets at home? I will go ahead for sure.... Fresh Tilapia, specially the smaller, black variety is good to have. Problem is neither me or the husband fancy it. Tilapia first entered our home when the brother was diagnosed with jaundice in the 9th standard! The doctor prescribed tilapia curry for him cooked without oil....  I could not love it... so the mother did not get.... However, the daddy  started loving it and had it in his last years... I had big tilapia fillet first at sister like Ujjaini Bhaduri's home in Houston back in 2009... I was a Kolkatan then..... a "tyangra, aar, pabda, kajoli, boyal, bhola, batashi, koi khaoa Bangali"..... I was skeptical giving a nod! The "chuno mach" loving Ujjaini said try S didi.... you will not feel anything, trust me! They were then only three months into that land... she was like me scared of that "gol chakti" and had to wait for the weekend when her husband will drive her to the Indian market! I enjoyed a "Hemanta / Manna" at Amit's car.... got excited to see senior Reagan's palace in their neighbourhood... yet was sad.... "hyarey Robider mudi dokan nei to rey ektao".... "kancha lanka kintey jetey gari bar korish?"..... Thank God they lived in a duplex which were not located 200 mts away from each other! One palace... then another at "shei konai.... majkhaney ekta paan-birir dokan nei".... call me a jealous or what, I am too scared of ghosts.... haha! This little sister is happy there with her family now.... shares pictures of produce from her garden! No, S didi is not jealous, she lives in a land who loves rice, aam, kathal as she does and it has a "mudi dokan" every 200mt. Only that the rent of a duplex there and that of a 1400 sqft. flat here is same ..... and if you are a foreigner you have to pay an extra stamp duty to buy a flat in a condominium! Foreigners are not allowed to buy Government owned properties ever... Sigh! Anyway, a BANGALI FISH FRY O MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA today has other reasons too.... done with tilapia got it the Kolkata fish fry feel to me... you can go ahead! If the Principal of the son's school who hails from that "bahargaon" can have a meal with "rice, dal, sabzi, bhaji" from the school canteen, why cannot I have a tilapia?.... He is a wonderful person, seems to me so.... he too caught me last week ..... I was running after my son. He stopped me... "Tell me how can I help you?" "No, nothing as such... the son did not look back at me... I want to see his face before he gets in"... He said "I am a parent too, I can feel you.... but your son is trying to convey you a message... to trust him... he can take care of himself! We are there to take care of them.... Go and sit in the canteen!" What do I see in the canteen? Piali's daughter sitting beside her mother [it could be a father too!] and doing the last minute revision .... she would go only when the final bell rings! I got the message from the Principal Sir... he does not speak with a "shupuri" inside his mouth! The illiterate me is like"itaner ingraji ami bujhina..."..... Coming to the trust factor, I had a fight with the husband day before yesterday.... My request was / is please message me once the son gets into the room on days I am not accompanying. He did not do that and till the afternoon he did not take my phone calls ... a fight was inevitable.... Why I cannot trust anyone with regards the son? I have my own defences.... I did not freak around dumping the son at home, did not go for work while he was away at the sea ... I could have managed at a school.... I had a very happy life though.... so do not ask me why?.... Then I prefer a stress free zone at my home... so some snack-tack for the man too.... most of the time he speaks right... he respects the wife's wishes and does not get beef inside this home, the wife does not get pork too.... the son got a big Mac at home last to last week.... mumma was angry.... if she does not stop you from having, please listen to her request! I thought if I am serving snacks at dinner, there should be some rice, so you see cumin rice in the picture! Ahh, that was a wrong idea.... two big fish fries and two to three cooked dal fritters did not make any room for rice... it will be eaten today! I tend to fry the coated fish for more time.... they may seem to you over fried.... it does not affect the taste trust me! Let us do it! Your family will be happy as mine. The senior was so happy that he opened a new wine bottle at 10pm.... the wife could not shoulder or share financial responsibilities with him.... this is her way of saying.... "Thank You Boss.... for giving me a home which I can call mine!"




INGREDIENTS : [for the steamed lentil fry]

Split Moong Dal : 11/2 medium cup
Grated Coconut : 1 small cup
Cumin Seed : 1/2tsp
Chopped Green Chilli : 11/2tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Asafoetida : 2pinch
Sugar : 2tsp
Salt : As Required
Turmeric : 1tsp
Water : As Required
Oil : 2tbsp + 150ml

INGREDIENTS : [for the Bengali Style Fish Fry]

Fish Fillet : 6-8 [I used Tilapia]
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Ginger Extract : 2tbsp
Garlic Extract : 3tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Garlic Paste : 2tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp + 11/2tsp
Chaat Masala : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Chopped Green Chilli : 2tbsp
Bread Crumbs : To coat each fish fillet we need 1/4 small cup of it
Refined Flour : 1medium cup
Water : As Required
Salt : As Required
Oil : As Required to deep fry

PROCEDURE :

Let us do the BANGALI FISH FRY.... the name Bangalir Fish Fry would have suited the most, then I am not big brother Google's much loved sister... step sister perhaps. A small time food blogger like me has to struggle for a place in the search engine thingi.... it hardly helps though and I do not care.... I love to pen down my thoughts however poor my language is and to cook... so I have a blog... thats it!






I used frozen tilapia, so we need to defrost it!





We have to cut the fish fillets into squares or rectangles... The spares can be used for macher chop later.





Wash and marinate the fish fillets with lemon juice, ginger and garlic extract, 1tsp black pepper powder and little salt for 1 hour. I just strain the ginger-garlic paste to extract the juice. My garlic changes to green once made to a paste .....







After an hour, discard the marinade! Marinate the fillets again with black pepper powder, ginger and garlic paste, chopped green chillies and salt.





Fold in well, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Prepare a paste with refined flour, salt. Mix the bread crumb, red chilli powder and chaat masala together.

Take the marinated fish fillets, one at a time. Dip into the paste and then coat well with the crumb mixture. Repeat.





Once done, they look like this.





Cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour before frying. You can refrigerate till the next day!

Take out before frying. Remove the cling wrap. Heat oil and fry in batches. Mine is a smaller wok, so I fried one at a times.





Once both sides are fried well, place on to tissue papers before serving to get rid of the excess oil. The frying process requires adjusting the heat as and when required!





Let us prepare the pure vegetarian MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA now. Usually, at Bengali homes, Dhoka... that is cooked and fried lentil is done with chana dal and made into a curry. Trust me and try it as a snack.... you will love!





At first, we will soak the dal in water for 2 hours.





We will take it in a blender and blend it to a smooth paste. Out mothers always do a coarse paste in "shilnora"..... I am not my mother, Cristine is not "Shiprer Maa"....






Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan and temper with asafoetida, cumin seeds, chopped green chillies! 





Add the grated coconut and fry for 3-4 minutes.







Once done, add the split, yellow moong dal paste, ginger paste, salt, turmeric and sugar. Fold in well and we need to continuously stir it. Add little water if required. We will cook until the sides come out clean.




Transfer to a box and level. Rest for an hour to set in.





Take out and turn onto a plate or board. Cut into desired shapes.... I am poor with diamond cuts, so I go with squares!




Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the lentil cakes in batches.





Transfer on to tissue papers before serving!





Serve both hot and fresh with salad and "Kasundi".... a Bengali mustard and raw mango sauce. I arranged for some cumin rice because it was night time!






Sunday, 13 May 2018

ALOOR BHANGA CHORA JHOL



Well, an "ucche-chingrir chocchori" or "lauer khoshar jhuri" or "mulo-begun diye shutki"  would have been a perfect share today had I been celebrating Mother's Day! She or the daddy, both loved the above kinds of humble dishes.... as was cooked in very very middle class families like ours. Not that they did not / do not like a pizza or similar kinds once in a while... if only their kids get it for them.... else our mother is that kind who would prepare "kochuri-aloor dom"... "kasha mangsho".... cut some ripe mangoes... may be the daddy would get some "roshogolla-sandesh" from the store but would never order a pizza or its kinds ..... It was when the daughter started earning.... and much later the son that readymade outside food besides "mishti doi-roshogolla, chop-shingara" got an entry to our home.... Even a chop or a shingara or a roll or phuchka were restricted .... not that we could have them whenever we wished to! The mother's perennial complain continued "tor baba to Park Street er restaurant e khaoalo na konodin, DumDum e ekta bari kiney dilona amai".... the daughter had a prompt answer ready .... Mani, he did not ever bother or question how many sarees you bought in a year.... which ranged from 25-40 in number or what you do in the kitchen or from which pick-pocketer you got so good training.... hahaha.... The brother or his mother will not spare me for spilling the bean though I do not see any wrong in it... seemed very cute to me ... both the deed and the complaint.... the complainant was too! To our mother... the area ranging between Nagerbazaar & Chiriamore is the best place to live in at the Kolkata suburbs.... she still laments for DumDum, neither is willing to sale her home at Barrackpore......... This island will neither forgive me for cooking Bok Choy with "shorshe lanka narkol bata"..... They may throw me out .... but trust me it went well with this "Bangali Jibba".....




This happens when I do not wish to travel five metro stations to get fresh, Indian "methi shaak or palong".... I do not know why people get so cruel showing me pictures of "katoar data"...... I crave so much so that I asked the mother.... "katoar data radhley?".... She makes an awesome curry with "kochi data-aloo diye chingri".... a curry which has fair amount of red chilli paste... that has been flavoured with wild celery seeds paste added towards the end! However, we get the normal "data" here and S will cook "data aloo diye rui-katlar jhol"..... only when she gets a decently fresh "rui-katla" in the market.... till then let her cook something like this ALOOR BHANGA CHORA JHOL and serve it with some dalpoori and yes, there definitely are some meat sides for my men most of the time... but today my men has to accept a platter that "Apu-Durga or Kangali's Maa" could provide.... Abhagi could not even provide this much for her son... only "fyana bhaat".... no, our society does not allow a dalit anything better than that.... I am no exception, I will do a post on "aloor jhol" and serve my child a mutton curry for lunch.... I accept what I am.... not a justifiable being, not willing to focus on anything or get focussed, not a sane person by any means... I just go by my instincts!

I called the Mother yesterday! No, I did not wish her neither will she know that today is her day unless we tell her... but she knows which plant needs what fertiliser! She, at 70 takes an up Sealdah local at 4:30 am in the morning from Barrackpore station and travels 100km to see her 90 year old mother carrying along "chanachur to petticoat" for her..... takes the return train to Barrackpore at 11am and travels another 100km to reach home by 1:30pm.... Why?.... no her brothers are not morons that they do not give our mother any entry or do not buy their mother anything! Our grandmother is a well off woman who always loved to get her stuffs from Kolkata that has to be got by her eldest child! Why our mother has such a hurry to return back?.... aww "Shiprer maa " will come by 2pm.... then who will water her plants in the evening or may be she has the responsibility of a make ahead preparation of biryani for her son's lunch box the next day.... not that the son or his wife wants her to! I am watching two extremes in our family for long.... extremes are not good! See, I am not forcing our son to take a "doi er phota" on his examination days.... he will not accept and I do not have the patience of our mother to persuade! This mother of ours do not like potatoes, more so after she was diagnosed with diabetes.... but Bengali snacks of "luchi / porota with aloo" was / is very common in her kitchen.... because we love it. It is common in my kitchen too.... I am a diabetic, so I always make slits on the skinned potatoes or prick with a fork and microwave them at high for 3-4 minutes depending on their number.... doctors say so! Since yesterday, I do not know why this "Apu-Durga" of Pather Panchali or "Kangali" of Abhagir Swargo are shrouding my mind.... the senior often utters that quote where Durga? tells her mother that she finds the "patishapta?" of rich homes smelly.... ask me why? they were made of kheer stuffing.... I cannot summarise for you now... I have to read it again..... this space will not allow... nor you all are interested.... neither I am our Bengali teacher Iva Dutta Miss who had the ability to bring tears to her students' eyes while teaching Abhagir Swargo... it was in our syllabi.... Now, not all students in her class broke into tears.... come on they had to save their eyes for the exotic evenings.... I so often wonder why I had to be so integrated, so dedicated, so honest towards souls that did not ever matched mine... souls that did not ever care to take a look at the depth of the ocean within me.... I can see I had to pay a heavy price for my stupidity.... Integrity may not have any value ... one should be proud and selfish enough to settle their own lives so much so that they can be their own support!.... Iva Miss had high hopes on me.... I could not give her anything in return.... became a distracted mind forever.... Youngsters.... you should not be so stupid and must exercise control over your minds and life.... else you will see everyone have walked past you.... and you are standing alone with a lost soul.... There is no viable justification in losing your mind for anyone or anything.... no one cares! Do not put your entire being to a pair of feet which may throw it like a damaged football! If you see a Kangali around do not forget to help.... he only wished for few pieces of wood to fulfil his mother's last wish to reach heaven .... As of me I could not be a good mother as I wished to be.... I could not make my son read classics till date... introduce him to the world of Bengali literature.... the guilt is on! Coming to the dish today, ALOOR BHANGA CHORA JHOL,  'Apu, Durga or Kangali's" parents could not even afford green peas for them.... I just roughly thought, I will go very simple today.... I actually tried to recreate the roadside kind of potato curry.... I ended up with a taste nearly so.... I used roughly chopped boiled potatoes, tomatoes, chillies, spices... everything thrown in.... water added... boiled and done... Some may get upset with me serving the potato & green pea curry on a red and white bowl.... Well, to my defence I would say this picture was taken a couple of months back, not that I have grown any wise now... except for few more white streaks and deeper lines on the forehead! What is more important is that this island is not only about tall buildings.... else an 85 year old would not have cleaned your table or the tables of the food courts would not have been filled all day through... "shadharon manush"... commoners are a majority here too..... problem is we see around through our coloured glasses which may not give us the correct picture at all times! For a platter like ALOOR BHANGA CHORA JHOL served with dalpoori.... a tea or coffee is a must! I could not name the dish correctly.... how does it matter if the taste is too yum.... I can guarantee that!

Would you wish to check one more heirloom, Bengali Potato Recipe from my blog?... Here it is.... click the heading....

NOTUN ALOOR DOM




INGREDIENTS : 

Potato :4-5 medium sized
Tomato : 1big [washed, roughly chopped]
Green Chilli : 2 [chopped] + 1[slitted]
Green Pea : 1/4small cup
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Dry Mango Powder : 1tsp [aam choor]
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Salt : As Required
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Oil : 2tbsp

PROCEDURE :

Wash the potatoes and make slits all over or prick with a fork. Take on a plate and microwave at high for 3-4 minutes. Once cool, take off the skin and roughly chop.... no precision is required in this dish!

Add little salt to the chopped potatoes and mix well.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with cumin seeds. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir for a minute or 2. Add the turmeric, chopped green chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder. Fold in well and keep stirring till the tomato pieces melt.

Add the roughly chopped potatoes and fold in well. Add one big cup of water. Fold in well and cover cook at low heat for 3-4 minutes.

Open cover, mash few potato pieces with the back of your ladle. Adjust salt, add the dry mango powder, green peas and the slitted green chilli. Fold in well and let cook at low heat for 1-2 minutes.

We prefer curry in the potatoes.... so do not let it dry... add little water if it tends to dry.

I however have the feel that freshly ground coarse cumin-coriander-red chillies would have given it the perfect roadside feel. A Bengali household do not use dry mango powder often.... I however feel the roadside stalls use it!

I served the dish with dalpoori.... you can have with roti, paratha, poori and yes it goes well with toasted bread!




Thursday, 10 May 2018

BEET ER SANDESH



Yes, I will go Bengali today... its Tagore's birthday.... though Tagore is not an one day affair for us... just that the aura on and around his birthday is little more stronger.... If you say so there had been a number of poets, writers, lyricists, painters who followed him and deserve acclaim in their respective fields .... who had / has the versatility as him?.... who had / has a clear understanding of each of the human emotions?... who else did care so much for what is going on in our hearts.... and take the bigger responsibility of soothing it too!.... As they say, Tagore is a part of our life.... he exists so long as we do .... He is relevant at all times.... As of me and like many.... his words are kind of music to my ears.... "onar protita shobdoi jeno shurer murchona hoye kaney bajey"...That I am referring him as Tagore is giving me a feel of guilt.... he is "gurumoshai, gurudeb, thakurmoshai" to us!.... Since, English is the means of communication with my readers .... I compromise a bit but for the recipe... it has to be Bengali.... ok a sweet.... easy and with few ingredients.... BEET ER SANDESH.... I am a diabetic does not mean I will not prepare sweets and desserts for the family.... going further... it does not mean either that I will not taste one or two! So weight watchers & diabetics.... pick one or a maximum of two and enjoy.... old doctor Chang allows me to! Below are my home grown "togor phool".... they have a mild  scent though they do not bloom everyday.... I just clicked out of joy few days back.... let me pay him a tribute with it!




Our maternal grandmother had a "thoka togorer gach" just beside her "tulsi mancho".... that special variety of "togor" with a maddening mild fragrance was not seen anywhere in Kolkata... In this island, I perhaps spotted at one landed property on my walk... I dare not ask for a "dal".... branch... out of fear.... they may unleash their pets after me.... the sweating me looks terrible while at walk.... Anyway, coming to Tagore we have a long association.... the father got all his volumes once I was in the middle school... My brother used to read only "feluda"... and "Sayyid Mujtaba Ali".... what made him a fan of the later I do not remember .... Then, you see we went to a "Benglish" medium school.... so celebration on this particular day was mandatory! Many a memory is rewinding.... no, I do not wait for anyone's permission on what to write and what not to!.... Our classroom had 30-35 students and all memories are intertwined ... Did I mention the name Nabendu Saha on my previous post?... It was for the students like him or a Saubhik Sengupta that such dates are still relished... be it a recital or a play... they grabbed the lead roles in their own right... Saubhik left our school in class 7 .... let me spend few more words on Nabendu! He had been an actor per excellence... some of us thought he would follow that line... may be in the theatre world if not in films as such... such expressive he was... He perhaps was taking voice modulation lessons from Srabanti Majumder or Jaganaath Basu & Urmimala Basu.... This guy told me repeatedly... S stop singing with your high pitched voice.... it sounds horrible, it is not for songs... your voice suits for "Sruti Natok".... that my voice is not suitable for songs but for audio drama.... He so much insisted to take me to Srabanti Majumder for voice training classes and I refused.... wish I could go back in time and grab such offers! "Kolkata Ko er Bangla Natok".... "Kolkata Kho te khobor hoto na?".... They were a craze... now I do not go public with such tales.... some people are saying all these from years back.... if I repeat in public... I will be called a copy cat.... Let me compile here! Not all of my readers know that any "true heart Bong" have grown up on these.... There were no social media picture posting and all then.... listening to Jagannath Basu or a Soumitra Basu was soul stirring... I told mani... "I wish to meet the owner of these romantic voices." Anyway, we did not have an idea that Nabendu was learning magic tricks secretly until he owned a magic company... I did not even know till last year that his family owns the restaurant Kasturi at Free School Street... its his uncle's... that I was a part of a Bengali food group owned by his cousin who owns the Aami Bangali restaurant chain and now Nabendu himself has a fast food joint at Lake Town... forgot the name... You see, I lack the energy or desire to WhatsApp the brother... why did you like Sayyid Mujtaba Ali bhai?.... or ask Nabendu... what is the name of your food joint?... He gave us an open invitation and we are yet to visit... My Kolkata trips are too very busy!.... Just few years back, my friends Rupa and Kana would set out in the morning on this particular day to attend the special programmes on Tagore.... they would ask me to join... I was ready with my silly excuses... no my help will come after one hour.... I have to finish cooking before the son comes back from the school... etc. etc...... They would scold me hard... but I lived the life of a single mother then... I am yet to finish all of Tagore's volumes.... The mother keeps on saying.... take all the books the daddy got for you.... I read so less these days... got so slow.... why? Is there a lack of concentration? There was no dearth of love and attention in doing this less sugar sweet BEET ER SANDESH though!

Besides all these.... I am on with my silly clicks! I did a 10k on Sunday evening at a moderate speed... After that I have not done any exercise till today.... I am sitting at the son's school and forcing my friend Piali Maitra.... to have fries and fritters.... Yesterday, I got some health food for her... we are having a good time at the school canteen.... we do not talk any excess.... if anyone talks too much to my ears, I go totally blank after five minutes .... I do not even get what the other person is saying... However, I do not get tired talking to the senior.... Once he is back home.... I have to relay everything and his reaction is like... "cut short S"! Do you think my men had "aloo chola?".... no they are not so "lokkhiti".... Cristine prepared their lunch today.... an Oriental kind of fried rice that they love! This girl Piali is doing a Ketogenic diet in this heat and at this time of tension... I am discouraging that.... so will take "luchi & aloor dom" for her today ..... I am kind of jealous towards beautiful women! I will buy some idly for myself from the canteen.... I hope you get the reason for my immeasurable midsection! Its pretty hot and I am craving for more and more fruits with high water content.... I am craving so much so that I clicked some unripe Chikku / Shobeda and Jamrul / Water or Java Apple.... and is in the thought of stealing some once they are ripe... haha... Oh my God... people here eat all that I grew up eating.... "jamrul, kamranga, shobeda, batabi lebu".... You say Goat Milk, Feta Cheese is healthier.... I drank goat milk in the mid 70's... There was a home in the neighbourhood of the maternal grandfather.... who had a big Java Apple tree and they domesticated goats... I drank the freshest milk of it.... In those days... the entire neighbourhood was like a big family... I remember who I called what... "tungtung dadu"... who played a guitar.... "chyangra dadu" who looked young.... "jamrul didu"..... would this generation value all these?








Have you seen so small fruit bearing trees?... both Chikku and Java Apple trees are big in general. I was surprised and they come to my notice only! Anyway, a BEET ER SANDESH does not require so many things... only some homemade chena / paneer .... beetroot juice, little of sugar and green cardamom powder. I added very little ghee too. You can garnish it with anything.... I used sliced almond! That sweet shop in Kolkata, The Hindustan Sweets makes offbeat sandesh / sweetmeat with beetroot, carrot or even brahmi shaak [hear say].... Its in South Kolkata.... so not possible to go and have.... I heard they do it in collaboration with the Jadavpur University! So, I really do not know how others prepare a BEET ER SANDESH.... I did not go through any recipe on it! You remember I prepared baked beetroot yogurt, I went ahead with these sweets with the excess of beetroot juice and absolutely followed my own idea on it! Below is how simply I did this vegetarian sweet. The senior and junior both love their lady's handmade sweets.... I remember, last month the husband was on his way to the neighbouring country when I packed these sweets for him .... He said he loved and his accompanying Australian colleague loved it too.... So, S is not that bad cook either!

Fine, when you can take out two hours from your valuable time.... try my recipe of BEET ER SANDESH.... If all of a sudden you have a crave for dessert?.... This Hangla Hneshel .... a Bengali food magazine  shared a quick dessert recipe from the "Thakurbarir Rannaghar".... The kitchen of Tagore household was / is well known... here goes the recipe... Mix together some sweetened yogurt and "Rabri".... break some "gulabjamun".... "roshogolla" and "sandesh" and add to the yogurt cup.... cook in the oven at grill option for ten minutes.... I mean I gave you a rough description as I forgot to save it ... I may do it and have only two spoons of it... it seems too sweet to me! Now, you decide which one to do when... No, sharing with you another recipe which adds no credit to me does not prove my innocence... I am not anymore... I felt it may help some though instead of keeping a variety of sweets in the refrigerator, I will prepare a fresh batch with few ingredients and less sweet.





INGREDIENTS : [for the chena / homemade paneer]

Fresh Milk : 2litre [ I use Meiji]
Lemon Juice :4-5tbsp
Ice Cube : 3-4

INGREDIENTS : [Final Assortment]

The freshly made chena / paneer
Beetroot Juice : 1small cup
Sugar : 1/4small cup
Ghee : 1/2tbsp + 1/2tbsp
Green Cardamom : 1/2tsp
Almond Slices to garnish or as you wish


PROCEDURE :

Pour 2 litres of milk in a heavy bottomed vessel.... Switch on gas oven and bring the milk to boil.

Add the lemon juice, give a stir and switch off gas. The milk will curdle. Add the ice cubes immediately and cover till it cools down.

Take a thin, white cloth and place it on a bowl. Pass  the curdled milk through it! 

Tie the cloth on your kitchen tap. Let the excess whey pass through . We are not preparing roshogolla so we need not worry much. Look at me when I prepare roshogolla, the face seems same as it happened on my mathematics examination day... 

Anyway, after 45 minutes or so take down the chena / paneer / cottage cheese and mash for 5 minutes.

"Warm" 1/2tbsp ghee on a pan and add the paneer to it. Stir for 3-4 minutes and switch off gas.

In a clean wok add the sugar and beetroot juice ..... bring to boil. Boil till the amount reduces to 1/4th.

Add the cooked chena / paneer / cottage cheese and the green cardamom powder. 

Fold in well and stir cook for 7-8 minutes. Add the remaining ghee and fold in well.

Transfer to a plate sna let cool a bit. Knead well for 6-8 minutes.

Take out small portions and shape as you desire. I garnished with almonds.

It tastes best when had warm and fresh.... however we can refrigerate the BEET ER SANDESH up to 2 days!