Monday, 31 August 2015

PRAWN CUTLETS

SOMA SAHA RAY

I have a kind of addiction for fried stuffs, right from childhood. On an all vegetarian day, mom had to prepare few kinds of fries for me and bro, accompanied by dal, rice, a piece of lemon and a green chilli, it was me at heaven. At that time, it felt what else do we need in life, except mom's lap and food cooked by her. Later, demands kept on soaring, worries too. In those days going out with mom to Shyambazaar/Newmarket for shopping and waiting for what she buys for me was the greatest pleasure. Coming back home and see bro done with all kind of mischiefs was not so much of a pleasure. If mom was in a good mood, she would buy me cutlets, chips, otherwise it was either sweets or ice-creams. She prepared lot of this kinds at home too, because her daughter loved to eat. Keeping in tune with that tradition, I too try my hands on them quite often, for my men.

These are Prawn Cutlets, very easy to prepare at home. For this we need small prawns, potatoes, some freshly ground masalas. I will not guarantee they tasted as that of Mitra Cafe / Basanta Cabin but I do it my own way and with all my heart. There is so much satisfaction in cooking for our loved ones. Let us see how we do them.

INGREDIENTS :
Prawns : 250gm
Potato : 2
Onion : 1[sliced]
Garlic[minced] : 1/2tsp
Ginger[minced] : 1/2tsp
Cumin Seeds : 1/4tsp
Coriander Seeds : 1/4tsp
Cinnamon : 1inch stick one
Cardamom : 2-3
All Purpose Flour : 1tbsp
Bread Crumb : 100gm
Salt : As required
Oil : 2tbsp + 6tbsp to shallow fry

METHOD :
De shell the prawns completely and wash thoroughly. Rub a little salt.

Boil and mash the potatoes. Dry roast the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and dry grind them.

Heat 2tbsp oil in a wok. Add the minced garlic and ginger, fry till light brown.

Add the sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add the prawns discarding the marination water.

Keep stirring for 3-4 minutes, now add the mashed potato, ground spices and salt as required.

Stir well and mix together. Add the flour to tighten the mix. Stir for another 2 minutes and transfer to a plate. let cool.

In another plate, take the bread crumb. Shape the mix into cutlets and coat generously with the bread crumb.

Heat 6tbsp oil in a pan. Shallow fry the cutlets.

Put on tissue papers to drain the excess oil.

Serve hot with salad of your choice.


Saturday, 29 August 2015

CHAMCHAM


Rakshabandhan.... a bond of love between a brother and sister.... of care.... a promise to protect each other in every situation. On such occasions, childhood haunts me inevitably.... with how much enthusiasm we used to go to the market with mom to buy Rakhi, a night before, how eagerly bhai waited next day to wear it before going to school. He used to come back with more enthusiasm with two hands full of Rakhis, tied by his classmates. Yes, in our times we used to tie Rakhi on our friend's hands. Tagore introduced this concept of tying Rakhi to promote brotherhood and friendship.... was it during partition of Bengal??

Among us Indians, any festival is a means to eat to our heart's content... specially sweets. I remember how mom used to cook so many things on such occasions.... Luchi and payesh/kheer was the common connection, Kolkata is a hub for sweets, so Roshogolla and Sandesh were always store bought. Here I try to prepare sweets at home, those within my limits. These are CHAMCHAM in MALAI very famous in Kolkata. I have given stepwise pictures so that it becomes easier to do. Let us do it.

INGREDIENTS :[for the chamcham]
Milk : 2litres
Lemon Juice : 3tbsp
Ice Cubes : 1/2 cup
Semolina : 1tbsp
Baking Soda : 1tsp

INGREDIENTS :[for the sugar syrup]
Water : 5cups
Sugar : 2cups

INGREDIENTS :[for the malai]
Milk : 1big cup
Sugar : 1tbsp
Saffron : 5-6 strands[optional]
Pistachios to garnish[optional] METHOD :
Let us prepare the cottage cheese first. Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed vessel and bring to boil at medium heat. Keep stirring continuously.

Pour the lemon juice. As soon as the milk curdles, switch off gas, immediately pour in the ice cubes to avoid the cheese from hardening.

Take a thin white cloth and strain the cheese. Tie it, squeeze more water, hold under the tap to get rid of the smell of lemon.

Hang for about 40 minutes, now it looks as this.


Add the semolina and baking powder to the cheese and rub very well for about 20 minutes. This mashing part is very important.

Now shape into small round balls and then roll between your palms to shape into chamcham. They look as this.



While we are shaping the cham cham, we can prepare the syrup on the gas. Take the water and sugar in a vessel and boil.

As the syrup boil, add the cham cham slowly. Cover and let them boil for 20 minutes.They look like this.



Meanwhile let us prepare the malai. Boil the milk, sugar and saffron strands till the milk reduces to half cup, gets thicker.

The cham chams are ready after 20 minutes. Take them out from the syrup and transfer them to a bowl. Pour the malai over them. Garnish with pishtachios.


You can skip the malai part and have it just like that.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

MUROGHONTO..... BENGALI FISH HEAD CURRY


MUROGHONTO..... Fish Head Curry... the Bengali way. It is usually done with heads of Rohu or Catla.... which belong to Indian Carp family. Back in Kolkata, it was a regular affair at home because there big heads of these fish are sold separately. This particular recipe calls for heads of fish above 5-6 kg weight, and we need not buy such a big whole fish to prepare the dish. God, I miss home in so many ways. Here in Singapore I do it less but I do, the Bangaliana of my kitchen has to be maintained. Here we need to buy a whole fish, that too frozen from selective shops. It is perhaps a mental block for me to do it with sea-fish heads. When it comes to cooking a signature dish, I am very particular about maintaining the authenticity.

Within all these limitations in a foreign land, let us keep cooking our favourite recipes and remember home this way. In both my families, we prefer doing it with Katla heads as they are more oily than that of Rohu. The oil need to incorporate well in the curry. We need a good quality fragrant rice gobindo bhog/basmati for this dish. I have used onion as I had to do it with frozen heads. It is not required if we are doing with fresh ones. Let us see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Catla fish head : 1[of bigger fish]
Gobindo Bhog/Basmati rice : 2tbsp
Ginger Paste : 2tbsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1tsp[optional]
Onion[sliced] : 2medium
Bengali Garam Masala : 1/2tsp[an equal amount of cinnamon,cardamon,cloves dry roasted and ground]
Bayleaf : 1
Cumin Seed : 2pinches
Dry Red Chilli : 2
Mustard Oil : 1/2small cup

METHOD :
Ask your fish seller to cut the fish head into four pieces, later after frying we will break it further. Wash them thoroughly. Rub with half the turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside.

Soak the rice for 1/2 an hour.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the fish heads nicely, break into smaller pieces and keep aside.

Temper oil with bay leaf, cumin seeds and halved dry red chillies.

Add the sliced onions and fry till brown.

Add the rice draining the water. Fry for 2 minutes.

Add the ginger paste, remaining turmeric and salt. Stir well for 2-3 minutes. Add the cumin,coriander and red chilli powder and stir for 1minute. Add water and cover to boil.

When the rice is 70% cooked, add the fried pieces of fish head. Cook covered for 5-8 minutes.

Uncover and add sugar and garam masala. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.

We use potatoes in this dish at times.

Enjoy with steamed hot rice!!




Sunday, 23 August 2015

INSTANT COCONUT BARFI




With Rakshabandhan, Janmashtami, Durgapuja, Diwali, all approaching, we all are gearing up for preparing home made sweets. Our festive season starts with Rakshabandhan and ends with Holi, I think. In fact, the festive season never ends for us Indians, There are so many throughout the year.... regional, cultural, social, religious. Almost, in all regions of India, homemade sweets are made with so much love and care for these occasions, of so many varieties.

Coconut.... I would say, is an integral ingredient in our home made sweets. We consider coconut as very auspicious. These round, brown fruits belong to the palm family. We, perhaps use every part of it, from its water to shell. This is also true with any island city or country. Wherever it grows in abundance, there is maximum use of it.

Remembering the bygone days, we have grown up eating a number of sweets made of coconut. They were quite time consuming and off course mouthwatering. The other day I had some shredded coconut and was thinking can we prepare some sweets with it without the cooking part. That is when the idea of preparing INSTANT RAW COCONUT BARFI popped up. It was so fun, easy and relaxing to prepare them. Only that we have to refrigerate them and always serve chilled. Let us see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Shredded Coconut : 2cups
Sugar : 1/2cup
Powdered Milk : 2tbsp
Refined Flour : 1tbsp
Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp

METHOD :
Blend together the shredded coconut and sugar for 2-3 minutes with intervals.

Transfer to a wide-mouthed bowl. Add the refined flour, powdered milk and cardamom powder.

Rub them well for about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a plate, flatten and refrigerate.

Take out after 1 hour, cut into desired shapes.

Transfer into a clean container and refrigerate again.

Serve chilled always, otherwise they tend to get soft and break as we are not cooking it.... hence they will not get sticky and tighten. There is no compromise with taste though.




Friday, 21 August 2015

GOALONDO STEAMER CHICKEN..... BOATMEN STYLE



Goalondo.... a small station at the confluence of the Padma and Brahmaputra, of undivided Bengal in the pre-Independent India from where the Eastern Bengal Express from Sealdah terminated. The Goalondo steamer then travelled upto Narayangunj in Dacca, thereafter to different destinations. The story and recipe is about the boatmen of the steamer who cooked the country chicken curry in the most rustic way, yet it tasted so well that it became a legend sort of, made alive by writers of both sides of Bengal, various journals and articles. It became as famous as other historical dishes like the Dak Bungalow Chicken Curry or the Railway Mutton Curry.

It was a simple, rustic curry prepared with few basic spices by the boatmen of Goalondo steamer. Those who have travelled the route had spoken so highly about it that it came down to us through generations and inspired us to recreate it in our kitchen. With no souring agent used to marinate or use of garam masala, it tasted heavenly, they say. Why? no one knows.
Information Source: A Times of India Article by Pritha Sen
Recipe Source : Quite a few blog recipes/journals
Let us see how they did it as the sources say.

INGREDIENTS :
Chicken : 1kg
Onion : 2
Garlic : 10-15cloves
Ginger : 2inch
Dry Red Chilli : 6-8
Mustard Oil : 5tbsp + 1tbsp
Salt : As required
Turmeric : 1tsp

METHOD :
Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly.

Soak the dry red chillies in hot water for 1hour and grind into a paste.

Peel and wash the onion, garlic and ginger.

Roughly chop the onion, garlic and ginger.

Marinate the chicken with 1tbsp of oil and all other ingredients.

Heat the rest of the oil in a wok.

Put in the marinated chicken.

Cover cook at low heat stirring occasionally till the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Water will release from the chicken itself, no need to add water.




Wednesday, 19 August 2015

STEAMED PRAWNS IN MUSTARD SAUCE



In an average Bengali home, use of mustard seeds in cooking is a regular thing. We use mustard seeds for tempering and also use the paste in various fish curries and vegetable medleys. We simply love the heat of the mustard paste. I think its use is  also common in few other states of India. I remotely remember on our visit to Chennai, we had a chicken curry made with coconut and mustard paste. It appealed to my taste bud so much that I tried to prepare it in my kitchen, though may not be that authentic. We do not use mustard in chicken, but I believe bringing in fusion in food is actually getting to know different cultures. 

My today's post is steamed prawn marinated is a mustard seed-green chilli paste. It can be done very quickly and its hassle free. We usually enjoy it with piping hot steamed rice. We can prepare it in microwave but I have done it traditionally. Let us see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Prawns : 500gm[medium sized]
Mustard Seeds[black] : 2tsp
Green Chilli : 4-5
Garlic Clove : 1big
Salt : As Required
Turmeric : 1tsp
Oil[mustard] : 2tbsp

METHOD :
We need a steel or aluminium container for this recipe.

De shell and wash the prawns carefully. Rub with salt and turmeric.

Wash the mustard seeds through a strainer. 

Put the mustard seeds, green chilli, garlic clove, little salt and 1/4 small cup water in a blender.

Blend at high speed at regular intervals for 2-3 minutes or till it turns into a fine paste.

Take the marinated prawns in the container. Pour in mustard oil and the paste. Mix well.

Tighten the lid.

Heat 1cup water in a wok. Let boil.

Place  the container on the wok, 1/4th of it will be immersed.



We need to steam it for about 45 minutes to 1hour at medium to low temperature.

If water dries up in between we need to pour in more water.

Transfer into serving bowls and serve hot with steamed rice.






Monday, 17 August 2015

KOLHAPURI DRY EGG CURRY



Kolhapur..... a city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Hindu Mythology says Kolhapur was founded by Kolhasur, a demon who was killed by goddess Lakshmi. Kolhapur was named after him as his dying wish was so. True or not, mythology always attracts me. There is also a very interesting account of the rise of it in the Medieval era. The state of Kolhapur was established by Tarabai in 1707, annexed by the British in the 19th century. After Indian independence in 1947, it merged with Bombay State in 1949.

A lot of festivals are celebrated in Kolhapur. When it comes to festivals, how can we stay far from its cuisine. Festivals call for food and more food. Kolhapur cuisine is noted for special mutton curries. Besides, they prepare a lot of vegetarian curries, egg curries and snacks. They call their dry curries Rassa,  which are quite spicy, and there in lies my interest.... a hot, spicy dry or regular curry. I picked up one of their dry egg curry last week to recreate in my kitchen. I explored through a number of recipes but liked this one from a noted site. Let us see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Eggs : 6
Onion : 1large
Tomato : 1big
Minced Ginger : 1tsp
Minced Garlic : 1 tsp
Grated Coconut : 1small cup
Black Peppercorns : 10
Dry Red Chilli : 3
Cloves : 4
Poppy Seed : 1tsp
Fennel Seeds : 1tsp
Oil : 4tbsp

METHOD :
Hard boil the eggs, remove the shell and rub with salt and turmeric. Wash, peel and slice the onion. Wash, cut and deseed the tomato.

Heat 1tbsp oil and roast the cloves, peppercorns, chillies, poppyseed, fennel seed.

As they give a nice aroma, add the minced ginger-garlic, onion, grated coconut and stir till they turn brown.

Add the tomato pieces and stir for 2-3 minutes.

Remove and let cool.

Pour into a blender and blend into a paste.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok. Lightly fry the eggs.[We Bengalis do it, can be skipped]

Pour the paste into the oil. Add salt and turmeric. Stir well for 3-4 minutes.

Add half cup water. When it comes to boil, add the fried eggs. Let simmer till it reaches to a dry consistency.

Can be had with rice/chapati.



Saturday, 15 August 2015

GAJAR HALWA




Today is a very auspicious day for us. The much sought after thing for a nation..... FREEDOM....was achieved.... years back. However / Where ever we are today, we must remember and respect there were a lot of bloodshed and sacrifice to achieve it. Hence this particular day calls for a lot of celebration, remembering that life was too miserable in those days and we are in a far better position today. Being positive only helps to proceed further.

It is indeed very soothing to see the foodie world celebrating Independence Day in their own way, presenting tri-colour recipes. I was planning for some tri-colour rice pilaf and discovered my much loved Master Chef already came up with it. So I thought if I am posting something today, it has to have at least one of the tri-colour in it. So decided on this GAJAR HALWA....which has both saffron and green in it. And the White?.... it definitely should be in our minds.... for our own good.

Earlier, Gajar Halwa was not a Bengali thing. Somehow, my mother learnt it from somewhere and prepared it, I picked it up that way. In the process I learnt to prepare instant Khoya kheer at home. Using khoya adds richness to the dish I feel. We require very less ingredients to prepare Gajar Halwa. Let us see how we do it.



INGREDIENTS :[for halwa]
Carrot : 500gm[pick up the red ones]
Milk : 1coffee mug
Sugar : 1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
Ghee : 2tbsp
Pistachios : 1tbsp chopped [ To garnish ]

INGREDIENTS :[for the khoya]
Milk Powder: 1cup
Ghee : 3tbsp
Milk : 1/2 cup

METHOD :
Wash, peel and shred the carrots.

Let us prepare the instant khoya. Mix together the milk powder, ghee and milk. Microwave at high for 3 minutes stirring every 30 seconds. It is done.

Heat ghee in a pan. Add the shredded carrots. Stir till the raw smell goes away.

Add the milk, stir and cover cook at medium to low heat till the milk almost dries up. Stir occasionally.

Now add the sugar and cover cook until all the sugar melts and are incorporated well.

Add the cardamom powder and khoya. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer into serving bowls.

Serve warm garnished with pistachios.

A much loved and popular Indian / South Asian Dessert.







Thursday, 13 August 2015

MATCHA TEA CUP CAKE



As my wiki knowledge goes, Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. The green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about 3 weeks before harvest, and the stems and veins are removed in while being processed. These days, besides being drinking as a tea, matcha is also used to flavour and dye foods like noodles, ice-creams, cakes, smoothies.

Matcha is that form of whole green tea leaves which has extra theanine and chlorophyll as shaded growth produces more theanine and chlorophyll. They say it is an energy booster. Many a health conscious people consume green tea leaves or matcha  for its antioxidant catechins. Now how much of that antioxidants are present in the tea cakes made with it, I have no idea. I prepared them as I liked the colour and the aroma of matcha cakes when I first saw them in a cake shop.


I became a connoisseur of tea after I landed in this island, specially of green tea. God, so many variety of tea, I am yet to taste them all. My first attempt to prepare a matcha cake went haywire, it came out so hard. My second attempt was this and I am proud to say they came out well, soft. Since I am not a professional baker I am less innovative about baking, hence I followed one of Teaglad's recipe for these all green, soft MATCHA TEA CAKES. This is how I did them.

All the above informations had been sourced from Google Wiki.

INGREDIENTS :[for the cake]
All Purpose Flour : 2cups
Baking Powder : 1/2tbsp
Salt : 1/2tsp
Sugar : 1cup
Butter[unsalted] : 100gm[at room temperature]
Oil : 50ml
Eggs : 3large
Milk : 2/3cup
Matcha green tea : 2tbsp

INGREDIENTS :[for the frosting]
Unsalted Butter : 50gm
Powdered Sugar : 11/2cup
Milk : 2tbsp
Matcha Green tea : 1tbsp

METHOD :
Preheat the oven to 180* C.

Mix together all the dry ingredients.

In another bowl cream together butter and sugar.

Add the oil and incorporate with the butter well.

Beat one egg at a time to the batter.

Add the milk.

Beat till it becomes lighter.

Add the flour mix little by little.

Once done beat the whole thing till it is light and fluffy.

Place paper cups on the muffin moulds.

Pour the batter till half.They look as below.



Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180*C. Once done let them cool. They look as below.


Now let us prepare the frosting.

Beat together the butter and powdered sugar, add the milk and keep beating.

At a point the three will be incorporated well.

Once the cup cakes cool down , we can decorate them with the frosting. They look as below.



Wednesday, 12 August 2015

CHICKEN IN CHILLI-GARLIC SAUCE



This is perhaps the simplest chicken recipe I prepared till date. I had few guests at home last weekend, was thinking of some new kind of appetisers.... veg and non-veg. Chicken being extremely popular with my son, I have to explore through various chicken recipes to avoid monotony.... both in cooking and eating. On that particular day, while going through few off beat chicken recipes, I got utterly confused, I mean I liked some of them so much, could not decide on one for the day. Hence planned my own, a simplistic one with a slightly different taste than the regular Indian curries.

Almost no spices are used in this preparation. Just minced ginger-garlic, sliced onion, lemon juice, black pepper powder and a generous amount of chilli-garlic sauce are what I used to prepare this CHICKEN IN CHILLI GARLIC SAUCE. The predominant taste of the dish is of the sauce used, hence the name. It was juicy, a bit sweet n sour with a hint of heat, and was a hit off course. You too can try if you believe in me. Let us see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Chicken Legs[or otherwise] : 10 pieces
Chilli-Garlic Sauce : 4tbsp
Minced Ginger : 1tsp
Minced Garlic : 1tbsp
Onion : 1big[sliced]
Lemon Juice : 1tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Oil : 2tbsp
Chopped Parsley : 2tbsp[to garnish]

METHOD :
Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly and marinate with lemon juice, black pepper powder and salt for 2 hours.

Heat oil in a wok. Add the minced ginger and garlic.

As you get a nice aroma, Add the sliced onion.

As the onion turns golden brown, add the chicken with all the marinade.

Stir well and cover cook at low heat till all the water dries up. Uncover and stir at regular interval.

As the water dries up, add the chilli garlic sauce, stir and let boil for 2-3 minutes.

Switch off and transfer into a serving plate. Garnish with parsley.

I served it alongside a healthy vegetarian bowl of pineapple-corn salsa with cherry tomatoes.



Monday, 10 August 2015

TANDOORI ALOO




Tired of non-veg appetisers?? Looking for some vegetarian options to serve besides non-veg items?? You have something handy just beside you..... perhaps always available at our homes...... POTATOES... the starchy tuberous crop which is an integral part of world's food supply. Being the world's fourth-largest food crop it has over a thousand of variety. This versatile/universal vegetable can be cooked in so many ways. In whichever way we cook it, it tastes amazing. Just bake it, boil it, sprinkle some black pepper, salt, squeeze some lemon juice on top, and ohhhh, its yum. An ardent potato lover like me had to give it up once diagnosed with diabetes. The unhappy soul literally craved for it. When the doctor said once we boil it and throw away the water, it is harmless, deep inside there were some salsa steps that happened.

This spice laden TANDOORI ALOO was prepared for my visiting vegetarian friends. I prefer using the small variety of granola potatoes for this dish and usually do the marination the night before. The otherwise quiet, stubborn girl loves spices in her "food". She calls herself "Mistress of Spices." I served this with sweet corn salsa. Let us see how we do it. An extremely easy and hassle free method I can assure.

INGREDIENTS :
Small Potato : 500gm
Hung Plain Yogurt : 1/2small cup
Cumin Powder : 1tbsp
Coriander Powder : 1tbsp
Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1tbsp
Black Pepper Powder
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Lemon Juice : 3tbsp
Oil : 2tbsp

METHOD :
Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into halves. Half boil them and let cool.

Discard the water. With toothpicks make few holes in each piece.

Marinate with hung yogurt, salt and all the powdered masalas. Refrigerate overnight.

Take out 1 hour before cooking. Bring to room temperature.

Rub oil in the potato pieces. Place inside the grill tray.

Grill one side for 10 minutes, turn over and grill for another 8 minutes.

Pour lemon juice on top before serving.


Saturday, 8 August 2015

CHINGRI DIYE POTOLER DORMA / PRAWN STUFFED POINTED GOURDS



Its pretty long time I have not posted an authentic Bengali recipe. I am very much in the kitchen cooking them from dried fish to tetor dal[lentils with fried bitter gourd]. Its a pleasure to say I often travel all the way to the Indian/Bangladeshi shops and fill my trolley with everything Indian/Bengali. Sitting inside a Bangladeshi shop and experiencing that typical feel of my region is so satisfying, perhaps I do not have enough vocabulary to express. I would suggest my expat friends, if you are suddenly feeling homesick, go to an Indian market, the very sight of your own kind of veggies and other stuffs will make you happier.... it will give you a feeling that you are among your own. At least I feel that way. The typical Indian/Bengali in me never will die. I will not reserve or preserve it, it is a natural process. The very sight of gondhoraj lebu[a very flavourful lemon] in a Bangladeshi shop turns me onto a chirpy little bird.

The other day I got some fresh parwal/potol/pointed gourds. It was an instant decision to prepare POTOLER DORMA[PRAWN STUFFTED POINTED GOURDS]. The satisfied shopper then went inside a South Indian outlet and had a hearty meal with rawa dosa and chutney. The wanderer in me loves wandering alone, these days loving it more. Enjoying blogging, reading, music, family time and cooking. From my angle I see mistrust, lack of benevolence, sympathy, empathy, honesty around so much that its a personal choice to keep a safe distance from all the nonsense that goes around. Am I trying to prove myself innocent?? NO, NEVER. But then I follow some principal in life.... I do not back stab people and follow some ethics in maintaining relationships. People may think why do I need to get philosophical while writing recipes. To that I would say I wish to establish and jot down my point of view on life n people as much as I wish to compile my recipes. Happy to be engaged with some fellow blogger/virtual world of friends with the common aim of compiling recipes for the rest, at least the virtual world do not kiss you and back stab at the same time. Its all about professional attitude here.

Coming back to Potoler Dorma, I have described the whole process with stepwise picture so that this lovely recipe is tried in many more kitchens outside Bengal. You can try with your own combination of spices. Like few others, I have used up the seeds of the pointed gourds, believing nothing should go waste in a middle class family. Let us take a look at the recipe.

INGREDIENTS :[FOR THE STUFFING]
Small Prawns : 300gm
Pointed Gourd : 8
Pointed Gourd Seeds : Of as many you are using
White Sesame seed : 1tsp[khas khas if you are not living in Singapore or Dubai]
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As required
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Cumin Seeds : 2pinches
Oil : 2tbsp

INGREDIENTS :[FOR THE CURRY]
Yogurt : 1/2cup
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Onion : 1
Nigella Seeds : 2pinches
Cardamom Powder : 2pinches
Cinnamon Powder : 1pinch
Bay leaf : 1
Ghee : 1tsp
Oil : 2tbsp

METHOD :
Clean and wash the prawns. Peel, take out the seeds and flesh of the pointed gourds, wash them thoroughly. Take a look at the picture below.



Now add salt and turmeric to both the pointed gourds and prawns. Fry the pointed gourds after few minutes. Keep aside, allow to cool.

Fry the prawns lightly. Make a paste with the seeds, flesh of potol, sesame seeds.

Temper the oil with cumin seeds. Add the paste. Saute for 2 minutes, add all the powdered spices , salt to it and stir well for 1 minute.

Add the prawns and stir well. Cover cook for 10 minutes stirring in between.

Once dry, the stuffing is done. Take a look at the picture below.




Honestly, I used my fingers to do the stuffing, easier. Please note, if you fry the gourds and then do the stuffing, they do not come out while boiled in the gravy. They look as below after being stuffed.



Now heat oil in a wok. the onion needs to be peeled, washed and sliced.

Temper oil with nigella seeds n a bay leaf. Add the sliced onion and fry till brown.

Add the ginger paste. Stir well for 2 minutes, add the beaten yogurt and stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add the chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt, stir well .

Add one cup water, let boil and add the stuffed pointed gourds.

Cover cook for ten minutes, turning them carefully in between. Add the cinnamon, cardamom powders and ghee, sugar 2-3 minutes before switching off.

Serve with steamed hot rice.



Wednesday, 5 August 2015

ROSHOMALAI


ROSHOMALAI.... that is what we call it in Bengal..... rest of India calls it Rasmalai. Rasgullas dipped in creamy milk, garnished with saffron and pistachios, served chilled. A very popular  dessert among the Bengalis, you have to have a sweet tooth to love it. My men have that, very sweet tooth. Hence, as in a typical Bengali home, the sweets I prepare are really very sweet. The Roshomalai you see here had been prepared yesterday for my visiting friends. They are North Indians and found it little more sweet. Paying due respect to their wishes, I will make some changes in the measurement of sugar. We grow better..... learning from others..... thats what I believe.

I made them in a jiffy, hence I used store bought rasgullas to prepare it. I do prepare rasgullas at home ,though rare. You will find rose flavoured rasgullas prepared by me in one of my earliest posts. I do everything according to the need of the hour. There is no hard and fast rules in my life. I take things as it comes. Preparing Rasgullas from scratch is on my mind for a long time.... once done, shall be hurriedly posted. Now let us see how we do Roshomalai.

INGREDIENTS :
Rasgullas : 15
Full Cream Milk : 500ml
Sugar : 1/4 small cup
Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Pistachios : 4-5 crushed
Saffron strands : 6-8

METHOD :
Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Put on gas and bring the milk to boil.

Squeeze the juice from the rasgullas and put in a separate bowl.

Soak the saffron strands in 1/4 small cup of warm water.

After the milk reduces to say 300 ml, add the sugar, cardamom powder and boil for another 5-8 minutes.

Now add the rasgullas one by one. Pour the saffron water.

Boil for another 2-3 minutes.

Switch off and let cool.

Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Serve chilled garnished with pistachios.


Monday, 3 August 2015

PINEAPPLE-CORN SALSA


Salsa.... any kind of.... just suits the tropical climate. It leaves such a cooling effect on our body and mind. Salsa is the Spanish term for sauce. They are often tomato based, can be fruit based otherwise. Typically piquant, they range from mild to extremely hot. Used mainly as a dip, they can be extremely soothing on a hot summer day. Have it with your favourite chips, you are sure to love it.

Just the other day saw some fresh pineapples in the supermarket. We get very good pineapples here, imported from Malaysia, they are called Sweet16 Pineapples. I do not know what attracts me towards them.... their freshness or the name. Jokes apart, I thought of preparing a big bowl PINEAPPLE-CORN SALSA for our visiting friends yesterday besides the meaty appetisers. It is so easy to prepare a bowl of salsa with your choice of base, to be served chilled. If they are so easy and quick to make, why should one go for store bought ones. Let us see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Pineapple : 1small
Sweetcorn : 1/2 cup
Cherry Tomato : 1cup
Onion : 1medium
Green Chilli : 3
Coriander Leaves : 2sprigs
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Salt : As required

METHOD :

  • Skin, wash and cut the pineapple into cubes.
  • Peel, wash and cube the onions.
  • Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes into halves.
  • Chop and wash the green chillies and coriander leaves.
  • Take all the above ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add lemon juice and salt.
  • Mix well with all the ingredients.
  • Your PINEAPPLE-CORN SALSA is ready.
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.