Wednesday, 17 June 2015

DIM SHORSHE POSTO



With an egg lover at home I always look for different ways of preparing it. This helps both ways, I am relieved of the monotony of cooking the same curry and the person eating gets some variety in the food served. I had never been a fan of egg but my man is. There are a number of funny n interesting stories regarding his love for eggs that came down to me from the family.... all of which cannot be shared publicly. But, I have seen the full grown adult to eat all of the rice and curry and then taking small bites on the egg so that it does not finish in a jiffy. Looking at it, I only give a smile of indulgence and feel the urge of looking for more variety of egg curries.

This egg curry with poppyseed and mustard seed paste is a Bengali recipe but not so common. People of WestBengal more likely prepare this curry rather than their counter part from EastBengal. Not so regular in our family, I still prepare it as it is extremely easy to prepare and tastes very good with steamed rice, our staple. It is done with very few ingredients and can be a saviour on a busy week day night. Let us see how easily it is done and in so less time.

INGREDIENTS :
Egg[duck...if possible] : 4
Mustard Paste : 1tbsp
Poppyseed Paste : 1tsp
Green Chilli Paste : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : 1tsp
Nigella Seeds[kalonji] : 1/4 tsp
Oil[mustard...if possible] : 3tbsp

METHOD :
Boil the eggs in enough water. Once cold, discard the shells.

Make small slits on both sides and rub with little salt and turmeric.

In a small bowl, take together the mustard, poppyseed and chilli pastes. Add turmeric and salt. Mix very well.

Heat oil in a wok. Lightly fry the eggs and keep aside.

Temper the same oil with nigella seeds. Add the spice paste and fry at low heat for 1 minute.

Add half cup water. As it comes to boil, add the fried eggs.

Let boil for 7-8 minutes. Switch off as the gravy thickens.

Enjoy with piping hot steamed rice.


Sunday, 14 June 2015

EGGLESS MANGO CAKE


Very recently a Mango feast was going on with very very inviting posts by my fellow bloggers. A wish inside grew since then to post a recipe of mango. I thoroughly enjoyed all the innovations they brought in their dishes using mangoes, and loved the traditional recipes of Mango chutney or pickles too. Back home Mango is the king of all fruits and all of us do treat and eat it royally.

The other day mom was saying the mango tree at my parent's place have boar lot of mangoes this season. She was sad naturally because we are not visiting India this summer. This post may be is to show her and off course console her saying Maa we get it here and eat it too. Though we do not get that variety or taste as we used to back home, I never tell it to her. It all depends upon how we adapt to a place, and appreciate its advantages. We get best quality watermelons here which is not so back home.

I prepared this Eggless Mango Cake for my visiting childhood friends, perhaps to make our memory sweeter. They liked it, hope others too will. Let us proceed with the recipe which has a good amount of pureed mango in it. The original recipe I found in Google and modified a bit according to the ingredients available in my pantry.

INGREDIENTS :
All Purpose Flour : 11/2 cup
Cornflour : 1 tbsp
Fresh Pureed Mango : 1/3 cup
Cubed Fresh Mango : 1/2 cup
Whipping Cream : 100 ml
Baking Powder : 1 tbsp
Baking Soda : 1 tsp
Vinegar : 1 tbsp
Yogurt : 1/2 cup
Sugar : 1/2 cup
Oil : 1/2 cup
Mango Essence : 1 tsp[optional]

[The measuring cup should be the same]

METHOD :
Preheat the oven to 180*C.

Sieve together the all purpose flour, cornflour and baking powder.

In another bowl beat together sugar and oil very well till all the sugar dissolves.

Add beaten yogurt to it and whisk well.

Add the flour mix little by little and fold in well.

Now add the pureed mango and the mango essence and mix together everything very well.

In a small cup add together the vinegar and baking soda and add to the batter.

Pour the batter in a greased cake tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 180*C.

Once cold, I topped it with whipped cream adding little sugar to it and cubed mangoes.


Thursday, 11 June 2015

CHICKEN IN COCONUT MILK



This is a multi 'inspired' dish I can say. When I cooked it I did not follow the authenticity of the original recipe, partly because I did not have all the ingredients to give it an authentic tag. Most of the time I do not go that extra mile and prepare a dish with whatever ingredients available in my pantry. Perhaps, a kind of lethargy is taking over me. I used curry leaves in the tempering, lemon grass. dried shrimps in the spice paste too. My family is a huge fan of Thai and Indonesian curries. I was exploring through various such recipes, then according to my convenience and the ingredients available, I landed into this recipe which tasted pretty well.

If in a kitchen, Chicken takes the predominance suiting the taste buds, the lady of the house has to find out new ways of cooking the lean meat. Still a learner in the arena of world cuisine, I take up only simple ones which are within my limits and I have no qualms in admitting  that. In the recent years I have started using coconut milk in cooking, like it. Along with it I like the aroma of curry leaves. So here goes the recipe of CHICKEN IN COCONUT MILK.

INGREDIENTS :[main]
Chicken : 500 gm
Coconut Milk : 100 ml
Curry Leaves : 7-8
Salt : As required
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Lemon Juice : 3-4 tbsp
Oil : 3tbsp

INGREDIENTS :[the spice paste]
Shallot : 4-5
Lemon Grass : 3-4 two inch pieces of the young portion
Dry Red Chillies : 4
Roasted Coriander Seeds : 1/2 tsp
Garlic : 6-7 cloves
Ginger : 2 two inch pieces
Dried Shrimp : 1tsp

METHOD :
Wash the chicken pieces and marinate with salt, turmeric, lemon juice for about an hour.

Soak the lemon grass and dry red chillies in hot water for about 30 minutes.

Prepare a paste using the blender with peeled shallots, lemon grass, dry red chillies, dried shrimps, roasted coriander seeds, garlic and ginger adding water as required.

Heat oil in a wok. Add the curry leaves As they splutter, add the spice paste.

Stir for 2-3 minutes adding little salt and turmeric powder.

Add the chicken now and stir at high heat for 4-5 minutes.

Lower the heat and cover cook for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally.

Uncover and add the coconut milk and cover cook for another 7-8 minutes at low heat.

Serve fresh with piping hot steamed rice.




Sunday, 7 June 2015

METHI PHORON CHINGRI


This is a simple Prawn Curry my mother used to make on week days. Back then all special dishes were made either on weekends or when guests visited. This curry is same as other Bengali curries made with the simplest spices, just that here the oil is tempered with fenugreek(methi) to make it flavourful. Mom used to cut the potatoes in roundels for this curry, me too follow the same recipe and my family loves it this way on a weekday with steamed hot rice.

During our childhood, in an average middle-class Bengali home, it was always typical Bengali Cuisine that was made... from fritters to desserts. I have no qualms in admitting most of the ladies did not know beyond it, they did not have any regrets either. They had so much responsibilities in life which we cannot even think of. They hardly had any time to look after themselves and I respect that. Yet they lived a less complicated life. I always love spending time with this elderly generation and the kiddos. I can talk to them for hours and find myself at peace and very much secured.

I find myself in the same position as them and with the same mentality. I would have happily cooked only Bengali Cuisine if not my men's taste buds were different. I have no qualms in admitting either that I cannot cook much beyond Indian Cuisines.What I can, I do, rest my full family are restaurant hoppers. I love being me, and I have no regrets about it. This stubborn, quiet lady thinks she can pull up when it comes to curries. This Prawn curry has nothing special in it, everyone can do it. All magic is just in the tempering, the oil should not be too heated up or cooled at the time of tempering. Let us see how it is to be done.

INGREDIENTS : 
Medium sized Prawns : 500 gm
Medium sized Potatoes : 2
Ginger Paste : 2 tbsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 2tsp
Salt : As required
Fenugreek(methi seeds) : 1/2 tsp
Oil(preferably mustard) : 4tbsp

METHOD :
Clean and wash the prawns very well. Rub some turmeric and salt.

Peel and wash the potatoes and cut into thick roundels. Apply salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the potato pieces lightly. Keep aside.

Fry the prawn pieces lightly. Keep aside

Temper the same oil with fenugreek seeds. As we get the aroma, we will add the ginger paste to the oil. ( Remember the fenugreek seeds should not burn).

We will fry the ginger paste for 2 minutes and then add the salt, turmeric, cumin powder, red chilli powder to it and stir well for half a minute till it separates from the oil.

Add the lightly fried potato pieces to the spice mix and fold in well. Add 1 cup water.

Cover the wok with lid and let boil for about 4 minutes.

Uncover and add the fried prawns.

Cover cook for another 3-4 minutes. Its done.

Goes very well with steamed hot rice.





Thursday, 4 June 2015

BANANA WALNUT KULFI MALAI


In my previous post on Kulfi Malai I mentioned how in our childhood street hawkers visited our neighbourhoods to sell them. They used aluminium moulds kept on a heap of ice cubes covered with a red cloth... They carried the big baskets on their heads and entered our neighbourhood around 7 pm. What ingredients they used only they knew, we only pampered us with unlimited indulgence and pleasure, convincing mom was a tedious job though. She always said they use drain water to prepare them, though we kids never believed . Somehow, years later I have started echoing the same words and happily prepare them at home.

My experiments with ice creams never prove good, hence I keep on preparing Kulfi Malai quite often, a sweet summer treat for my family which is easy to make. We need only only 3-4 ingredients to prepare this creamy rich BANANA WALNUT KULFI MALAI.   It is definitely a summer soother. Lets see how we do it!

INGREDIENTS :
Full Cream milk : 1litre
Evaporated milk : 150 ml
Condensed milk : 50 ml
Banana : 1medium
Walnut : 7-8

METHOD :
Pour the full cream milk in a deep bottomed vessel. Boil it till it is reduced to about 500 ml.

Add the evaporated milk and boil further for about 7-8 minutes. Stir continuously.

Add the condensed milk and keep boiling for another 5 minutes.

Switch off and let cool completely.

In a blender, blend together, the banana and the milk mixture for 3-4 minutes.

Pour it into moulds, top with broken pieces of walnuts and close with the caps tightly.

Refrigerate for atlas 4-5 hours before serving!!





Tuesday, 2 June 2015

CABBAGE PULAO




A very humble platter from the vegetarian kitchen of Bengal. It is neither a delicacy nor will you find it in the menu list of the prestigious restaurants of my city. These recipes are bound within the four walls of the humble kitchens just as many a hidden stories of sorrows, happiness, ignored talents, love, rejection of the 'Antorpurbashinis'..... the indoor dwellers. Till the early 20th century, our women were denied access to the outer world, denied of their basic rights. Perhaps so they poured in all their talents, sincerity in cooking. The kitchen was their den where the men never interfered. We may be a fish loving community but we equally love to cook and eat vegetables.....from shukto to chocchori[vegetable medleys]. The yesteryear women gifted us a lot of vegetarian recipes.... the humblest ones with the simplest ingredients. They had magic in their hands but no one to bring forth and highlight their talents.... culinary and otherwise.

This recipe of Cabbage Pulao was told by a dear friend of mine. She said one of her aunt who was widowed at teen, prepares this. I modified it according to my own convenience as she could not give me the detailed recipe but an abrupt description. We need few simple ingredients for this recipe. Very less spices are required in it, only that a very good quality ghee is a must to prepare it. It sure will be a delight in an all vegetarian day with a serving of curry and salads. I served it with cauliflower fritters. Lets see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :
A Young Cabbage : 1/2[cut into little big cubes]
Rice : 1 cup[fragrant long grained preferred]
Chana Dal[Bengal Gram] : 1tbsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3[halved]
Cumin Seeds : 1/4tsp
Bayleaf : 2
Green Chilli : 2[slitted]
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp
Ghee[clarified butter] : 1/4 cup + 1tbsp

METHOD :
Wash the cabbage pieces very well. Keep aside in a colander for the water to drain.

Wash the rice thoroughly and soak for 1/2 an hour.

Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel.

Temper with the cumin seeds, dry red chillies, chana dal and bay leaf.

As the dal turn little brown, add the cabbage pieces, little salt and turmeric and stir at high heat for 2-3 minutes.

Strain the water from the rice and add to the vessel. Stir at high heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add 2 cups water.[the measuring cup for water and rice should be same]

Cover and lower the heat.

Let boil. Check every 4 minutes.

Add the sugar and slitted green chillies when 70% of rice is cooked.

When 90% water is soaked, garnish with the remaining ghee and switch off.

Lightly jerk and keep covered for another 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy with your favourite curries. We had it with cauliflower fritters and salad.




Monday, 1 June 2015

APPLE CINNAMON CAKE



Apple is a favourite fruit at my home. So whenever I wish to prepare something with it besides being eating it as a fruit, I get it handy. My family loves home baked cakes to be served warm and fresh. Since I lack confidence when it comes to baking cakes and not all ingredients are readily available at my home, I select easy ones which requires less number of ingredients. I found this APPLE CINNAMON CAKE quite acceptable given my baking knowledge and with all the ingredients available at home.

Though this forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden symbolises sin, it has actually a number of health benefits. This deciduous tree in the rose family first originated in Central Asia and then spread to the rest of the world. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures. Besides it has very high nutritional value with good amount of dietary fibre and vitamin C, low caloric too. I really do not know how much nutrition is retained when we use it for baking a cake. I did it to lighten up an weekend evening tea table. The original recipe called for using brown sugar too, I did not have it, hence used only white sugar.

INGREDIENTS :
All Purpose Flour : 11/2 cup
Sugar : 2/3 cup + 1tbsp
Ground Cinnamon : 1tsp
Baking Powder : 11/3tsp
Butter : 1/2 cup[softened]
Eggs : 2[beaten]
Milk : 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract : 11/2tsp
Apple : 1 big[peeled and chopped]

METHOD :
Preheat oven to 180*C.

Sieve the flour and baking powder together.

Beat together the sugar and butter until softened and creamy.

Add the beaten eggs and beat until well incorporated.

Add milk, vanila extract and ground cinnamon. Mix well.

Add the flour mix little at a time and mix all well until a smooth batter is formed.

Mix together the chopped apple and 1 tbsp of sugar.

Pour batter till half of the the cake tin. Add half of the chopped apple.

Pour rest of the batter and add rest of the chopped apple on the top.



Bake at 180*C for 40-45 minutes.

Please note the batter should not be up to the top of the cake tin as it will raise.

Enjoy with your favourite cup of tea.