Friday, 29 July 2016

MURIR MOYA / PUFFED RICE N JAGGERY BALLS



In our childhood, evening snacks or say breakfast at times meant this kind of food, all homemade with lots of love and care. When I was at school, I used to visit my maternal grand parents place during vacations, paternal place been far off, in Assam. It was an altogether different concept of life, where summer meant picking mangoes from the garden and having them with puffed rice as breakfast or visiting the nearby lychee garden with aunt. I remember, my typical middle-class father hailing from the eastern part of undivided Bengal refused to have Indian breads during summers, he loved having puffed rice or pre washed flattened rice with mango or jackfruit puree. Daddy, who I lovingly call Papu, had a transferable job. He stayed alone in remote townships of Bengal and visited us fortnightly. On his way back, mom would pack such things like murir moya, chirer moya, chirey bhaja for him, so that he could have them as evening snacks back from office. Isn't that love?.... though not dove kind of....

Me too prepare such things like Murir Moya / Puffed Rice n Jaggery Balls at home, mainly during special prayers at home, as an offering to God. We need very less ingredients to prepare this Murir Moya / Puffed Rice n Jaggery Ball, the trick is in the stickiness of the jaggery in right consistency. The puffed rice has to be crisp. Its common in every Bengali home. Let us do the murir moya together, a sweet snacker.

INGREDIENTS :
Puffed Rice : 250gm
Jaggery [ankher gur] : 100-150gm
Ginger Extract : 1tsp
Shredded Coconut : 3-4tbsp [to garnish]

METHOD :
Place a wok on the gas and heat moderately. Break the jaggery cubes into smaller pieces and put on the wok. Add about half cup of water. Let it melt.

Keep stirring the molten jaggery mix continuously, add the ginger extract. After 12-15 minutes, it will reach a sticky consistency. Add the puffed rice now and fold in very well for 3-4 minutes.

Transfer to a plate. Let cool a bit. We need to shape into balls while it is still warm.

Garnish with shredded coconut before serving.

We can store Murir Moya for a week without refrigerating but no garnishing should be there. Coconut spoils very fast.

Enjoy Murir Moya / Puffed Rice n Jaggery Balls as a sweet snacker.



Monday, 11 July 2016

MINT LASSI N SWEET LASSI..... YOGURT DRINK...


In this part of the world it is hot throughout the year. So, any kind of cold beverages are welcome always. When I stepped into this land few years back, I was awestruck to see so many kinds of juices with interesting blends they have in offer. My afternoon ventures are to try and test each one of them. I have tried few of them at home too. Nothing beats a humble, health loaded yummy yogurt drink we grew up having. Among us sweet lassi / sweet yogurt drink was more common. My mom infused in us the habit of having salted lassi also which happens to be healthier, appetising and digestive.

A family holiday beckons, after that a series of interesting events, new ventures. Before I get very busy with them, I thought of sharing two very healthy and yummy yogurt drinks with you.... one with  fresh mint leaves and plain yogurt.... Mint Lassi..... and the other is sweetened yogurt... Sweet Lassi. Let us do the very easy and quick Mint Lassi and Sweet Lassi together.


                                                                   




INGREDIENTS :
Yogurt : 1big cup
Sugar : 2- 3tsp
Black Salt : 1/4tsp
Lemon Juice : 2tsp
Ginger juice : 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder[dry roasted] : 2-3 pinches.

METHOD :
Take the yogurt, sugar and salt in a glass and beat for 2-3 minutes.

Top it with cold water and stir. Add cumin powder, ginger juice and lemon juice. Stir gently.

Serve chilled.



 


                                                              




INGREDIENTS :
Plain Yogurt : 1 1/2 big cup
Roasted Cumin Seed Powder : 1/4tsp
Roasted Carom Seed Powder : 3-4 pinches
Chaat Masala : 1/4tsp
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1tsp
Mint Leaves : A handful
Water : 1 big cup
Lemon Juice : 1tbsp

METHOD :
Take the mint leaves, yogurt, roasted cumin powder n carom seed powder, salt, sugar, mint leaves, water in a blender and blend for 3-4 minutes at interval.

Pour the lassi in 2  glasses. Add the lemon juice and mix well.

Sprinkle chaat masala and garnish with mint leaves.

Enjoy the refreshening, digestive drink, which is healthy too !!




Saturday, 9 July 2016

BADHAKOPIR GHONTO / CABBAGE MISHMASH






These are very simple veggies that are/were cooked at Bengali homes. I get drenched with many a memories when it comes to such dishes. How beautifully the ladies of the house cooked them, who never knew or bothered about showcasing their talents. I remember my senior's grandma, a super active lady in her 80's some 18-20 years back cooked up wonderful vegetarian dishes with minimal ingredients and in a small stove. I am just trying to keep them alive. Hopefully the future generation will try them besides there '2 minute dinner menus'.

This particular vegetarian preparation with cabbage, tomato, green peas and potato requires a minimum amount of spices. Yet it is extremely flavourful with a garnish of cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves powder and ghee. We call it Badhakopir Ghonto, which if translated can be called Cabbage Stir Fry. Let us prepare this easy and simple dish of Badhakopir Ghonto / Cabbage Stir Fry together.
                                                     
 INGREDIENTS :
Cabbage : 1small
Potato : 1big
Tomato : 1medium
Green Pea : 1/2small cup
Green Chilli : 2[slitted]
Dry Red Chilli : 1[halved]
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Cinnamon Powder : 2pinches
Cardamom Powder : 1pinch
Cloves Powder : 1pinch
Cumin Seeds : 2pinches
Bayleaf : 1
Sugar : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Ghee[clarified butter] : 1tsp
Oil : 3tbsp

METHOD :
Shred the cabbage, add enough water and little salt. Microwave at high for 5-6 minutes. Strain the water.

Wash and chop the tomato. Peel, wash and cut the potato into 8 pieces. Rub with salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok. Lightly fry the potato pieces. Keep aside.

Temper with cumin seeds, bayleaf and the halved dry red chilli. Add the ginger paste, salt and turmeric. Stir for 1 minute. Add the cabbage, stir and cover. Uncover and stir every 3-4 minutes.

You will see a lot of water been released. When about 75% of water has dried up, add the tomato pieces, fried potato pieces, cumin powder, slitted green chillies. Stir and cover cook for 3-4 minutes.

Open cover, add sugar, green peas, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves powder. Stir and cover cook for 2 minutes. Open cover, garnish with ghee. Switch off....

Goes well with both rice/roti.




Friday, 8 July 2016

MIXED VEGETABLE KOFTA CURRY

 


Life got busier with so many things cropping up together. The cook at home is cooking so less these days. Cooking is an awesome art that requires a good amount of concentration which is lacking at the moment. Life's other priorities have taken over which needs to be taken care of. As they say we need to be calmer and think wisely when it comes to taking major decisions. The mind and body is craving for a break or may be to start with something constructive.... oh how I wished to have a small eatery which will be entirely mine. That very long standing wish has again taken over me in truest sense.

Its a weekend again, before we get busier, I thought of sharing a very easy recipe of Mixed Vegetable Kofta Curry with everyone. Vegetarian dishes are not so welcome at our home except for me. If I bring little difference in them, assort them into a yummy kofta curry, the family will have it, and yes, lovingly. I had some veggies like french beans, carrot, beet root in the pantry. I thought assorting them together will make a good vegetarian side. I used potatoes and refined flour to bind the koftas. Let us do the Mixed Vegetable Kofta Curry together.

INGREDIENTS :[for the kofta]
Potato : 2medium
Carrot : 2medium
French Bean : 100-150gm
Beetroot : 1small
Green Pea : 2tbsp
Cumin Seed : 1tsp + 2pinches
Coriander Seed : 1/2tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1/2tsp[optional]
Refined Flour : 1tbsp
Oil : 1tbsp

INGREDIENTS :[for the curry]
Onion : 1medium[sliced]
Tomato : 1small[grind into paste]
Yogurt : 3tbsp[beaten]
Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Garlic Paste : 1/2tsp
Sugar : 1/2tsp[optional]
Salt : As Required
Cinnamon Stick : 1inch
Green Cardamom : 2
Cloves : 2
Bayleaf : 1
Oil : 4-5tbsp



METHOD :
Peel, wash and cut the potato, french bean, carrot and beet root into smaller pieces, apply salt and boil them in enough water.

Once cool, discard the water and mash the vegetable with hand.

Dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chillies and grind to a little coarse powder.

Heat oil in a pan. Temper with cumin seeds. Add the vegetable mixture.

Add salt, turmeric, sugar, roasted ground powder. Fold in well. Keep stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

Add the refined flour and fold in well. Cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Shape into kofta of your choice. Refrigerate for an hour.

Take out. Heat oil in a wok. Fry the koftas lightly in batches.

Take out and place on tissue papers.

Temper oil with cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamom and bay leaf.

Add onion slices. Fry till translucent.

Add ginger and garlic paste. Fry for 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and fry for another 2 minutes. Add the beaten yogurt,chilli powder, salt, sugar and turmeric powder. Fold in well and stir for a minute.

Add a cup of water and bring to boil. Let cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the garam masala powder. Stir and let cook for a minute.

Arrange the koftas in a serving plate. Pour the gravy over the koftas. Keep standing for at least half an hour before serving.








Monday, 4 July 2016

INSTANT BREAD JALEBI / JILIPI



Sweets are an integral part of the Bengalis, just as fish. One cannot imagine what revolution and innovation went in the sweet industry back home in the past few years. From the neighbourhood sweet shops to the famous ones..... each one has something unique to offer, be it in flavour, texture or taste. One has to really visit our city to get an authentic taste of our sweets, freshly served. One definitely cannot get the actual taste from the air flown tinned ones. Taste of hot Rasgullas straight from the oven is heavenly and incomparable. The tinned ones are rubbery. Perhaps, a lifetime is not enough to taste and be satisfied having all varieties of our sweets. Though I belong to Kolkata, I am yet to taste some unique sweet recipes of my place. There is an interesting sweet shop in Kolkata, Hindustan Sweets, which in collaboration with Jadavpur University introduced us to interesting sweets like Spinach Sandesh or Beet Sandesh. I do not remember the other varieties they offer but I really wish to visit their shop on my next visit.

Ever since a friend said there is a possibility of presence of bacteria in the tinned sweet syrups, I avoid buying them. We do have a sweet shop here who sell fresh sweets. I get them for my family. When I cannot go, I try to prepare some easy sweets at home. This Instant Bread Jalebi or Jilipi is somewhat similar to the bread gulab jamun I prepared few months back taking idea from a number of recipes in the internet. Back home, authentically a similar looking sweet is done with home made paneer, but I tried an easier and instant one with bread and milk powder. This sweet requires few ingredients, yet is yum to eat. Let us prepare this soft and juicy Instant Bread Jalebi / Jilipi together.

INGREDIENTS : [for the syrup]
Sugar : 1 1/2 medium cup
Water : 3 medium cup
Green Cardamom : 4

INGREDIENTS : [ for the dough to prepare the sweet]
Bread : 6-8 slices
Milk : 1/2cup
Milk Powder : 3-4tbsp
Sugar : 1tbsp
Semolina : 1tbsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
Oil : 100gm

METHOD :
Cut the sides of the breads. Take the milk in a bowl. Dip the bread slices in the milk, take out and gently squeeze.

Keep the bread pieces in a wide mouthed bowl and mash with hand. Add milk powder, sugar, semolina and green cardamom powder. Knead well for 10-12 minutes until it turns to a soft, smooth dough as in the picture below.



Take out small portion from the dough, roll lightly between two palms and then make a ring like shape as in the picture below.



Heat oil in a wok and fry each side of the jalebi / jilipi till it turns brown. Fry the whole batch the same way. They look as below.



In a heavy bottomed vessel, take the sugar and water as mentioned for the syrup and put to boil. As it comes to boil, add the green cardamoms. We will fry the sweets and prepare the syrup simultaneously. As the syrup gets stickier and thicker, drop the jalebi / jilipi in the hot syrup, one by one. Switch off gas and let the jilipi stand in the syrup for 20-25 minutes. They look as below.



Serve fresh and hot drizzling some syrup over the bread jalebi / jilipi.


Friday, 1 July 2016

EGGLESS DATE CUP CAKE




Over the weekends I try my hands on simple bakes which are quick and hassle free. My junior loves simply baked, plain cakes. He is having summer holidays, so I need to stock more of "tukitaki", meaning titbits for him. If its cake, then it goes well as our week end tea time snack too. The past few days had been very busy for different reasons, and the coming week too will be. Hence, I am really in lack of time and concentration to sit and write a recipe nicely. It is start of a weekend, so I thought of sharing an easy and quick cup cake recipe that I made with dates which usually I store for making chutney mainly.

These Eggless Date Cup Cakes were made a couple of weeks back. I was browsing through cup cake recipes of All Recipes.com and came across a very simple date cup cake recipe. The basic idea is drawn from there but I have done it my own way, simplifying the process. The original recipe calls for soaking the dates in warm milk for 2-3 hours and then grinding the mix to paste. I did not do that but chopped the dates and added to the final mix. Let us do the very simple Eggless Date Cup Cake together.

INGREDIENTS :
Refined Flour : 1big cup[alternatively wholewheat]
Baking Soda : 1tsp
Dates : 10-12[deseeded and chopped]
Milk : 1/2 cup
Plain Yogurt : 1/2cup
Oil : 1/2cup
Butter : 2tbsp[optional]
Sugar : 1/2small cup
Vanilla Essence : 1tsp
Cinnamon Powder : 1tsp

METHOD :
Preheat oven to 180*C.

Wash, deseed and chop the dates roughly. In a bowl, take refined flour and baking powder and mix well.

In another bowl, take the sugar, butter and oil, whisk well either with a hand beater or spoon. Add the yogurt and beat for 2-3 minutes. Add the milk and beat for another 2 minutes.

Add the flour mix slowly to the batter and continue to whisk slowly. Once done, add the cinnamon powder, vanilla essence and chopped dates. Mix well.

Our batter is ready as you see in the picture below.




 Now we will pour the batter into paper or foil cups or in the cup cake tin directly greasing lightly with oil. I have done as in the picture below.




I baked the cup cakes in the convection mode of microwave, so I placed the cake tin atop the low tool.




We will bake at 180*C for 20 - 25 minutes depending on the machine. I would suggest to check inserting a fork after 15- 16 minutes. It should be done in 20 minutes.




Enjoy your tea time with it!! Can be stored for 2 days.....