Sunday, 30 July 2017

TANDOORI MOSHOLAI POMFRET ER GAMAKHA JHOL






Weekend arrives, we will do some elaborate cooking and how beautiful it looks when we place all the spread on the table. That is the scene at our home on Saturdays at around 4 pm. For the next two days till Monday I will not cook. I usually have my lunch at 5 pm on Saturdays yet quite energetic to attend a party or get together if any.  As I always say do not follow me, I do not follow any routine in life, a very bad example of discipline. I was not this till I was at my parent's home, the mother was very strict with maintaining time. The marriage got me here where people had tea at 10 pm , dinner at 11 pm, everything opposite of the environment I grew up in. Crowded all day through, I found myself amidst a zoo and got peace taking refuge at my sis-in-law's room. She is one who I found nearer to my nature. Girls do have to go through that ordeal of adjusting in strange homes in their mid-twenties.... to feel and say that I do not need to be a feminist, I came across some excellent males in my life. Coming to the point, after so much of cooking-shooking, the mother thinks I am not doing enough, I feed stale food to my men..... I refuse to be like her, never could reach that energy level.

By the way, how does the pomfret curry look? I am not so fond of it but it is a regular at home because my men love it. My dislike for pomfret started during my pregnancy, after that I never could like it, though I have it a bit when done with lots of spices, onion, garlic, ginger, tomato. We were at middle school when this poor man's fish flooded the Kolkata market. Hence, it was welcome at month  end at middle class homes as ours. Maa used to cook it with lot of spices, different from our usual 'ada-jirey batar jhol'.... ginger - cumin paste fish curry. She even batter fried it with a spicy marination. Within few years its price went up. These days I try to have pomfret, I see I can if I cook it with lot of spices. I prefer the batter fried version, marinating it with a lot of spices and lemon juice. I like my curries red, there is too much use of Kashmiri Mirch in my kitchen, my favourite is the Everest brand.... alternatively Selvi's. When we are talking red today, I felt the urge to talk about another 'red'. Are you aware of the "Binti Movement" or following their Facebook page? Please do, they have a very strong message for all of us. It is time we stop accepting all that taboo associated with 'menstruation'...... and believe there is no 'hush hush' matter in it. Till date, I cannot touch anything related to God during those five days of the month because the mother taught so. If I do otherwise.... my mother or grand mother may attempt suicide, I accuse myself too for been so prejudiced. As I said, I am not a good example to follow, do your bit for a cause .... support mission Menstrupedia.. I got to know about this mission from another blogger friend in Twitter .... writer_foodie. Any talk about Binti / Menstrupedia remains incomplete, if I do not tell you about a real life incident ... one of some that makes me believe there are more good men then bad. It was 1990-91 may be. I was chatting with four of my boy-friends at 11A Bus Stand near our college.... Angsuman Hazra, Anjan Das, Aveek Dutta and Kunal.... the naughty products of Don Bosco, Liluah. The girls were not there on that day, perhaps they were attending class like good girls. Without my knowledge, I started bleeding and spoilt my skirt. We got up and were walking towards the college, just then they noticed it. It was winter, as usual Kolkata winter never drives me to an urge to wear sweaters. What they did? Angshu lent me his sweater, tied it around my waist and all four escorted me till I rode the bus leading towards home. Friends are friends.... boy or girl.... Angshu, if you are reading this... you will only agree and your beautiful wife would not mind I am sure. My love for some men around stops me from been a so called Feminist, neither does it stop me from standing strong beside 'Nirbhaya'... that is a humanist call. We should stand up for a cause.

I will be wrong if I say my girl friends do not mean anything to me. I have come across a couple of loving ones. Today, I wish to talk about two of them.... my left and right hand. I will talk about the rest in different posts. The two are... are.... are... well... one is our very own Asha Parekh aka Tanushree Choudhuri and the other.... no gifts for guessing ... the vibrant Chandrayee Dasgupta.... from school till date and forever. Who is the binding force of the three... me off course. Both visited us in the summer of 2015 and the four of us went back to the 80's.... the day they went back, I could not enter home till the evening, got in when the husband came back... so empty look it had. The stupid Tanushree is averse to social media and threatens me echoing my husband ... do not drag me into all these. She has an excellent hand in stitching, aspired to get trained at NIFD, got married instead after meeting her handsome. She is again into her passion after the son grew up... he is a budding cricketer perhaps playing for the Andhra Pradesh team? They stay in Vizag hailing from Sodpur, Kolkata suburbs. About Chandrayee, well she is a teacher teaching at higher secondary level back in Kolkata.... haha what do I write about our equation?... we fight with all might and then patch up with kisses... because my stomach aches if I do not share my heart with her. She accuses me of not loving her that much as she does and I accept.... I am that wave ... touching the shore and slipping away... at once... or the lonely bird you see above each evening.... a free spirited bird not to be caged... that is my whats app status.... you can see it if you have not blocked me as yet like some .... it feels so funny to view myself as a dangerous, harmful material ... hahaha .... its all fun.... no pain babes... a series of mutton and chicken curries in line.... only botheration is of some dear veggie friends and off course blog visits. By the way, what is the colour of insults, pain, etc., etc...... it paints your face red, right?..... Anyway, red is my family's favourite colour and of my second home too.

 I cannot differentiate between who are good or better than the other.... a man or a woman... we should never generalise it, thats how I feel. Then, I am not literate enough to think otherwise and prefer to cook something instead.... Two Ks keep me happy... kids and kitchen. I am on way to a musical night this evening, on an invitation from a beautiful rose, before that I wish to share this pomfret curry recipe cooked with tandoori spice mix. I lightly grilled the spicy marinated fish before adding them to the curry. This way I could save some oil. You can also deep fry the fish. They say spices are good for us but not oil.... I have not done any research on it, hence cannot say anything for or against it... I only know I cannot listen to cooking in one table spoon oil each day with minimal spices... Karina... Twinkle... Priyanka will remain a dream.... no matter what... I loved the fat, pimpled face, oil drenched plated braid girl of sixteen then too ..... boy or a girl... love yourself enough not to give into any insults. Come let us do some cooking and sing together with Ranvir.... Aai Dil Hai Yeh Mushkil....



INGREDIENTS :
Pomfret [silver] : 6
Tandoori Masala : 11/2tbsp[I use Everest]
Onion [sliced] : 2tbsp
Tomato Paste : 1/2medium cup
Garlic Paste : 1tsp
Ginger Paste : 2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 11/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp + 1/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Cumin Seed : 2-3 pinches
Cinnamon Stick : 2 one inch size
Cloves : 2-3
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Salt : As Required
Oil : 3-4 tbsp

METHOD :
Clean the stomach of each pomfret and wash thoroughly.... they have small, white, soft scales. Apply 2-3 tbsp lemon juice and little salt. Rub well and keep covered for 1/2 an hour to 1 hour. Wash thoroughly again.

Marinate each of the fish with the remaining lemon juice, little salt, 1/2tsp turmeric powder and tandoori masala. Keep aside for 45 minutes to 1 hour.



Grease a grill plate with little oil. Apply 1tbsp oil to all the fish and rub well.


Grill for 5-6 minutes, take out and turn over. Do not forget to wear your gloves.



Grill for about 4 minutes, rest of the cooking will be done in the curry atop gas stove.



Heat oil in a wok, temper with cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves and green cardamoms. Add the sliced onions and stir.




Fry the onion till golden brown.


Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and fry till the oil separates from the mix.



Add the red chilli, cumin, coriander and turmeric powder, salt to the mix and stir for a minute.



Add water and bring to boil.



Once the gravy boils, gently add the fish. Use a bigger wok, we will not let the pomfrets break. However bad I look, I am very particular about the look of my home, my food.


Let boil at medium to low heat for 3-4 minutes. We wish for a thick gravy. Once done, we will transfer the pomfret curry to a serving bowl and serve with piping hot steamed rice.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

NARKEL ER BORA



We had watched Ranvir Kapoor starrer Jagga Jasoos last night and oh! I am wondering what genre I can tag it as .... extreme state of fantasy? then I could not handle it. Throughout the entire movie I could not keep track of what was happening and preferred to sleep. My man says it was experimental, an attempt at a musical one, I strongly felt whatever it is, it failed. We both are Ranvir Kapoor fans at home, yet he could not keep me up on my toes. I thought it would be a thriller, but there was total absence of a strong script in the movie. However, my craze for Bollywood continues and we enjoy our night outs with a dear couple friend. We are so much of movie buffs that we do not mind venturing out on weekday nights. What varies is my level of satisfaction, back from watching a really good movie I usually feel very happy and content which was missing yesterday. The senior jokingly said its good to watch such movies often where we do not have to think much ... fill it, shut it, forget it. I am a sit at home, good for nothing not so good 'wo-man', I have nothing much to do all day other than watching movies, cooking a bit or reading or listening to music, yet I reserve this 'watching movie' part to be had together with him, I enjoy his company though it has never been a running around the tree kind of relationship. I keep on telling my friends it is not so that my man will get angry if I go out with you all, but I still do not because he feels and understands me way too much.... which you may not. His mother was a champion in freaking out with her girlfriends, chatting, eating out, it is quite obvious she would not be happy with this quiet, dull, unsocial daughter-in-law. He learnt to respect women from his father who never stopped his wife from doing what she likes. I have complained about him to people but till date he has never talked negative about me to anyone.... he could have. He always says be happy in what you do. So I happily prepare all kinds of pakoras or fries over the weekend to enjoy with our joint 'drinking session'. The son loves fritters so much so that whatever combination it is, he will have a couple of them. The husband loves the non-vegetarian ones over the vegetarian ones.

Narkel er bora or Coconut Fritters was / is made frequently at my side of the family. My mother hated wastage of food. Whenever coconut milk was used to prepare any dish, mani would use the remaining shredded coconut to prepare bora or pakora. That perhaps was the scenario in every middle class home then. I take pride in saying that a major part of my life was spent in a two-roomed rented house, and a happy home indeed where the mother used to say 'dekhli tor baba amar ekta kothao shoney na'.... see your father does not listen to me at any time and the next moment I saw she was all set to prepare murir moya, chirer moya, naru for him and us.... they were worst examples of feminism and so am I. I have not even inherited 1/4 of the quality of my mother or grandmother, whatever little I have I use it doing it for the dear ones. You people may well call it as a weapon to hide my deficiencies, what to do I am such a shameless creature, there is no place to hide my parasitical being in my present 1100 sq ft flat either. So, I keep on bragging about my-self to the world ..... these are all attributes of an illiterate you know. Anyway, preparing narkel er bora was not so much of a quick and easy thing in those days.... moms had to buy a coconut, break it, shred it and then proceed with the process of preparing heavenly pakora with it. We do not have to go through such hassles, we get readymade shredded coconut at shops here, so I prepare it often. Let me tell you what kind of an extreme case my mother is ..... she never gets small fish or chicken cut by the seller, she gets whole and cuts them by herself, she just asks the seller to get the skin off from the chicken. She is miser enough to keep a gardening help, and does it all by herself, even at unearthly hours of the afternoon wearing a cap. I am no where near her.... so when I see my blogger friends sharing posts of hand pounded spices and elaborate recipes, I see my mother and grandmother in them or yesteryear ladies at large. Some of them have blogged on narkel er bora or coconut fritters too beautifully, I am adding mine following my mother's recipe of it. I either serve it with a Bengali style coriander chutney or we enjoy it with some rice and dal. Come let us prepare it together.



INGREDIENTS :
Shredded Coconut : 2big cups
Green Chilli : 2-3chopped
Rice Flour : 1/2small cup
Gram Flour : 1/2small cup
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1tsp [optional]
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Oil : 1medium cup to deep fry

METHOD :
Take the shredded coconut in a bowl. Add the chopped green chillies, rice flour, gram flour, salt, sugar and turmeric in it. Mix well. We will try not to add water because coconut itself releases water.



Prepare balls from the mix taking small portions and flatten little with help of your palms. They are ready to be fried.



Heat oil in a wok. Fry the narkel er bora at low to moderate heat in batches. We need to adjust heat from time to time. Too less heat breaks the fritters and too much of it burns them outside while the inside remains uncooked. Patience is required in cooking.



Take out the fritters already done and place on a tissue paper.



Transfer to a serving plate. At our home, mom used to prepare a coriander chutney / dhonepata bata with say a big cup of washed and chopped coriander leaves, 1/4tsp nigella seeds, 1green chilli, 1or 2 cloves of garlic. Blend to a paste, add little salt and mix well. We had it with piping hot steamed rice adding a little mustard oil to it.... a humble recipe from a humble household. It you are having it as an accompaniment to fries and fritters, skip using the mustard oil. Enjoy narkel er bora, crisp and hot with your loved ones.


Sunday, 23 July 2017

AJWAINI FISH TIKKA



Its weekend, and we will gorge on some mouthwatering food .... be it an appetiser or main. These days I am giving in gradually to my men's wishes and cook what they love in most cases. As I always say, they are less demanding, hence there is no reason why I will not do that extra bit for them. You will always tend to serve the best way for your dear / loved ones unless they are real demons. Rising above self is so very required to build strong relationships. The two weird men are my pillars of strength and I take a lot of pride in saying so. I still have a major part of the world left to travel, you see I have to say this, haha. Jokes apart, I remember last year while touring Europe, we were at the Barcelona Football Ground, my men were engrossed at taking a look at everything minutely. Their girl was eager to get clicked with her men at every point, the senior hates to pose for clicks and the junior has to echo his father. Then came the severe blow..... S when will you grow up? S uses her last weapon.... she starts weeping, sobbing and declared she does not want any food for the day. The dad asks the son to get ready for some quick clicks. The son hugs mumma and says stop crying, see the pizzeria is calling us. The senior says, see you always say the son does not care for you as before, it is not so, we are just different. Oh, they are so much that, yet I never get on to them because the same person attends me with so much care when I throw out given my extreme condition of vertigo, motion sickness, whatever.

The sole intention of saying the above is that however self centric we are we must give genuinely to relationships that mean. I do not usually have any problem with the world unless anyone is taking an unnecessary dig at me. If someone does that.... well.... well... well I still cannot say I will see you.... even if I say so, I cannot do it really, I am not built that way. These days I am not entertaining such behaviours neither I am interested in cat fights. I have no time for all these, I have to cook and share, read more and more and get lost amidst nature. However you accuse me of been a cell phone addict , I would still defend myself.... so what if so.... I am not interested in unnecessary gossips or causing harm to others or whatever. With my zero observatory power, I may not be doing justice to you all, I mean to the world, and to me too.... be sure that is unintentional. My too intelligent boys stay with such a nut... and happily without a complaint..... shouldn't I prepare some hot curries and kebabs and tikka for them? I must. My junior was this small when he had gluten allergy and mamma fed him bland porridge and what not while watching Thomas The Tank Engine or Finding Nemo, Dora... the Explorer together. Its high time I prepare what he loves more often. In few years, he perhaps will leave mumma and step into a bigger world. I still do not know how to live then, but never mind lah, I am a champion in handling departures, severe blow and wow! insults too!... I call that GRACE! Gone are the days when the senior happened to be my best friend..... I used to run to his home whenever I felt heavy on heart, T ..... anything to say that makes me happy? I do not remember when I stopped asking him such silly questions, once we got engaged, he ceased to be my 'best friend'.... we are 'very good friends' because I am not at the liberty to pour in all of my heart to him. I lost my best friend for ever, so long he funds my sarees, I am happy. So, this week I say cheers to that bond with these easy and quick to make fish tikkas which has a predominant flavour of ajwain / carom seeds in it. Nonetheless, to mention we had some vodka martini to go with it, tea / coffee if you are a non-alcoholic. Live life to the fullest, in any given situation, life is precious, each one has to value our own because no one else will. Too much of 'fundas' need some tasty fillers as cover, let us come to that. These spice laden easy Fish Tikka I do prepare on a regular basis. Can we rock the weekend preparing it together?



INGREDIENTS :
Fish Fillet : 750gm [any white, firm, fish]
Carom Seed : 1tbsp
Red Chilli Powder : 11/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1tsp
Lemon Juice : 3-4tbsp
Refined Flour : 1tbsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2-4tbsp [ I use mustard oil for colour, once I heard chef Harpal Singh Sokhi saying so]

METHOD :

Wash the fish fillets thoroughly and cut into smaller pieces. Marinate with lemon juice and little salt for sometime. Meanwhile, dry roast the carom seeds / ajwain and grind with a hand pounder or in a grinder.

Marinate the fish fillets with oil, carom seed powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and keep aside for an hour. Add the refined flour to the marinated fish and arrange them in a grill plate. We need to grease the plate. We can always do the fish tikka in a pan on stove top. Time taken will be little more.



Place the high tool in the microwave and the grill plate atop. Grill it for 8-10 minutes.


Take out, we need to turn over and grill for another 5-6 minutes. Brush little oil if required, at this stage.




Once done, transfer to a serving plate alongside some salad. Have it hot, an appetiser too hard to resist.



Friday, 21 July 2017

BAKED AAM DOI





I am just back from Kolkata and finding this tropical island cooler than what it is back there. Me and our friend Joy were sitting at the Indian Coffee House and was having a detailed discussion on the changing weather pattern and the demography of the city. I was feeling very uncomfortable in the environment that happened to be our favourite hotspot once. It has not changed a bit, I have changed perhaps. I strongly felt it needs a thorough renovation keeping the infrastructure same. It is managed by the coffee worker's union? perhaps and according to my friend they have enough fund to go ahead with the renovation ..... we got a sit after twenty minutes, that too we had to share the table with someone else, they came for the order after fifteen minutes and finally I could gorge on that heavenly Afghani Mutton Cutlet after half an hour since we have made the order ... I was still sweating profusely. As we were chatting together, I had a thorough brush up of the surrounding... the table wares needs to be changed, the fans to be cleaned and serviced, the floors need cleaning. Given that I am very particular about cleanliness, I felt that the old Kolkata needs a thorough brush up keeping its heritage intact. Though this is not the scenario all over the city, it is developing indeed but only the extended part. Has the main Kolkata really seen much development except for sudden growth of some malls and condominiums? Before you call me an anti-national, think what actually development means. For people like my part of the family living in the suburbs, we had to wait for the whole day for the specialised ambulance to reach and take our daddy to a decent hospital. So those of my close ones who get wild whenever I blog on a western dish or share similar something should know Kolkata is perfect if you have money going for fine dining in your AC cars or in Ola or Uber cabs. The commoners still commute in over crowded buses and eat fly inflicted aloo poori or mach bhaat if not the wife pack their lunch. Besides, we as food bloggers have to cater to different kind of readers and my own men are not essentially Bongs .... their taste buds are totally different. I usually cook and share what they love. We do not need to go out of the country to see development always. Back in 1999, I stayed in Mumbai for over a month and seen the difference. It is high time, we stop accusing the centre for a step motherly attitude and stop quoting Tagore every five minutes. I know there will be an array of protest posts till tomorrow in the social forums and I do not mind it. I will still say that an average Kolkatan and the major part of the city is still far from having a quality life. How nice it would have been if the suburbs / outskirts of Kolkata or Bengal at large had some decent health facilities instead of another quest mall. Call me an anti-national, I will stick to what I say. I get a decent meal at three dollars here, me and even the labour class ride AC buses. No, I am not trying to impress anyone, we are not aspiring for a citizenship here. We will go back some day, live in a condo, ride my own car, buy stuffs from Spencer and wow I will have three to four helpers and have an electrician, plumber just a phone call away.... be sure readers I still do not represent the average Kolkatan or represent Bengal at large. So, I will not mind if my son does not wish to go back, we never force him with his decisions. Doing so the son thingi will only be echoing someone so far my memory recalls. Howmuch I try to delete the memory button .... kambaqt jata nehi yaaron ..... it does not go. Idiots like me does have such attributes to their characters.

I sound very bitter this morning, I have to give a sweet treat to my readers. Moreover, the very happening singer from Kolkata Rupankar Bagchi is arriving tonight or tomorrow. We are going for his concert off course. I remember attending his concert back in 2013, he just stole our heart. He is going to rock this time too and I thank the Bengali Association of the island for keeping us grounded to our roots. Back to the track, Kolkata sweet shops are always a class apart when it comes to innovations .... the baked sandesh, roshogolla, ice-cream sandesh or sandesh with varied flavours. No wonder old Dr. Chang will be unhappy with me. However, this Baked Aam Doi is learnt from three ladies and I must mention their names before taking any credit. One is Ujjaini Mazumder..... she hails from Kolkata, now stays in Pennsylvania, an excellent cook and an academician by profession. We met in a group which claims to be the largest food group of India. She is one of the leading ladies there, yet stopped by my posts who was almost a non-entity there. You know I am too lethargic to communicate with people, more so in food groups, unless required. She calls me big sister and I like her, and wow..... we were in the same school once. About a decade younger than me, she is a calm, diligent woman. My friends Ipsita Bhattacharya and Nibedita Chottopadhay prepares this quick dessert wonderfully. You will get all 'quick meal' recipes from our Ipsita. Nibedita, the Kathak danseuse is presently touring USA and performed at the NABC held at Sanfrancisco. These people are kind of family and we prefer quiet meetings over good food.... with all our differences of opinion we are good friends. Come let us do some relaxed cooking while reading the newspaper or watching television. I am losing out on energy these days.






INGREDIENTS :
Ripe Mango : 2
Plain Yogurt : 200-250gm [I use homemade]
Sugar : 1/4small cup [alternatively artificial sweetener of same amount]
Yellow Food Colour : A pinch
Mango Essence : 1/2tsp [optional]
We can garnish with few saffron strands or not at all.

METHOD :
Wash and peel the mangoes and get the pulp. Add it to the blender and blend it to a smooth paste. Add the yogurt, sugar and the food colour if using and pulse for 1-2 minutes.



Take a bake proof tray and fill half with water. Pour the mango-yogurt mixture into ramekins or oven proof small bowls. Place the bowls on the water filled tray.



Place the tray gently atop the low tool and bake for 15-20 minutes at 170*C.



Once done, let rest for 3-4 minutes inside the oven and then take out.



We are done. Take out the bowl, let cool completely. Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving.




Tuesday, 18 July 2017

PEPPERY MANGO JAM



I was this small since when I had been watching mom preparing jam and jelly at home ...... mainly of guava and mango. I remember my favourite pastime was to apply a thick layer of those homemade jam atop cream cracker biscuit .... sit with my favourite author and take small pleasure bites. Now when I ask the mother the recipe.... she says she forgot where she learnt from, how she made. Once I got married she stopped cooking variety because my brother never took interest in varied dishes .... he sticks to his love for biryani and meat curries with pulao and South Asian Breads and Hilsa off course. For the son, my mother learnt to prepare biryani at home with her secret spice mix, a plate of Biryani with a single piece of meat, potato and egg costs around two hundred rupees in Kolkata. I call it 'secret' spice because she never shares the actual recipe with the daughter or anyone.... hahaha .... this is her habit since ages. So long my brother and son are happy with her recipe of biryani, I am at peace too. Ain't siblings very special ? They so much are, they are always ready to go that extra mile for you. It is so nightmarish to think my son will be alone when we are not there in this world, what if our 'Olive Oyl' is not so much friendly with her 'him.' I do not know why my senior's sister and my brother are stick to their decision of not having kids, multiplying my worries.

Did I say I love kids?..... yes I mean it.... these angels on earth do not know how to pretend or to dramatise an event or situation. They just bring in fresh air wherever they go. How much I love kids... I perhaps do not have the patience of handling them.... these bunch of fresh flowers are more fond of my man. He says you must treat the kids as another human being S and not as your play doll.... stop cuddling and kissing them every now and then.... it irritates them .... give them your time, attention and be playful. He is so good at handling kids even when he was in his twenties. In the Indian or the Subcontinental context, we really do not think of the kids much ..... how many movies are done just for the kids? or books written of quality is not that much as is required. Kids should not grow up reading Harry Potter alone. This old lady still gets goosebumps when she thinks of the Adventures of the Sailor Sindbad, Shamaresh Basu's 'Gogol' series or Sunil Gangopadhay's 'Kakababu O Shantu.' I am thankful to my father in so many ways .... Did I wish to go for a kid friendly recipe today? Yes I indeed felt so..... why I do not know. Do not try to find logic in my actions, mad people do not think logically, they are just instant with their actions .... good .... bad or whatever.

Since my mother forgot how she made her jams and jellies which she stopped making some 20 years back, I had to scrawl through Google for some ideas. I loved the spiced mango jam recipe from the blog Scratching Canvas and wished to go ahead with my own version of a mango jam with a dash of coarsely ground black pepper powder done fresh. It was done about two months back in bulk, my son  loves it with his bread, your kids will love it too. The recipe is really simple with few ingredients, homemade from scratch. Come let us do it together or you may engage your kids to do it.

Recipe Idea - Scratching Canvas Blog!



INGREDIENTS :
Ripe Mango - 4-6
Sugar : 1 small-medium cup
Coarsely Ground Black Pepper : 11/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 1/2 medium cup
Water : 1/3 Coffee Mug

METHOD :
Wash and peel the mangoes. Chop the pulp roughly into smaller pieces and discard the seeds.

Take the mango pieces in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add the water and put on gas.

Let it boil at medium to low heat for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir every 1-2 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and simmer furthermore for few minutes till the jam gets little stickier.

Add the freshly ground coarse black pepper powder and give a quick stir. Switch of gas.

Once cool transfer to a clean, sterilised  glass container. It stays for month if refrigerated.




Sunday, 16 July 2017

DIM POROTA / ANDA PARATHA



My men's favourite Indian food.... any kind of South Asian Bread but again not only with Raita and Achar / Pickle.... there has to have a chicken or lamb curry. You bet there always is because the fat old lady is very much concerned about her chopsticks. The senior would have raita as a second sides with his favourites as this anda paratha or keema paratha but the junior will not even touch yogurt. It is not his fault, the mother fed him so much of yogurt as a child that he got averse to yogurt now. Same with the senior, he got apple and banana everyday to school and now the sight of them irritates him. The one who sat beside him then can say better.... hahaha. However, I realised sitting beside or say sitting together within a classroom does not make one each other's friend, friendship is an altogether different equation. I conclude that in a classroom of say thirty people, all cannot be your friend... some are friends..... rest are just classmates. I may be wrong.... given my lack of wisdom. My known circle can blame the idiotic me as reason for my husband getting distant with some people, or is it like what is to happen will happen? As of me I am so averse to certain attributes of some that I do not want any kind of renewed relationship with them, they did no good to me however innocent they pretend to be to the world. However, by God's grace nothing bad has happened to me till date..... I do not know about future. Heartbreaks are ok for me, rejections too because each person is different... hence their choices too ..... what I cannot stand is exploitation because the present me hates to be that user friendly that I had been earlier. So whoever is trying to get me play match-match game I do not want to be part of .... is only irritating me.... I am late to understand but when I realise all these I simply get pissed off. Since I cannot plead innocent like some who were actually not at all so ..... I have to vent it out and I prefer to compile everything on my blog which is also my 'Life Tales.' I sincerely hope people do not force me to bare open my heart totally and publicly.... let us stay away from each other maintaining a respectable distance. If your sole intention is to irritate me then go ahead, I will set my own track. Rest... the colour of a saree, dress, lipstick does not matter, most of the time I forget who wore what the last evening.... the forgetful me is so occupied in her own world.

See how I lose track. Actually there were couple of birthdays yesterday and day before of dear people of whom all are not Bengali. This Dim Porota / Anda Paratha is not a birthday like post but wished to say Hi! I care! to all those who mean, for the rest do not get on my nerves, I am a scorpio..... though I know some take advantage knowing I cannot do wrong to people who mean. Anyways, as I say all kinds of Breads are favourite with my men.... Western, South Asian or Middle Eastern. At home, I preferably do some of the South Asian ones, rest I am scared to try thinking I cannot perfect them. I think I have to try soon. This egg parathas are really a joyful venture.... beat the egg.... roast and powder the spices, chop the onion, chillies and coriander leaves.... mix all and go ahead. I served it with a bowl of cucumber and onion raita and a store bought garlic pickle which is a favourite of mine. Come, let us do it together with help of few pictures.



INGREDIENTS :

Refined Flour : 1coffee mug
Wheat Flour : 1coffee mug
Egg : 3-4
Chopped Coriander : 2tbsp
Chopped Onion : 1/2small cup
Chopped Green Chilli : 1tbsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3
Coriander Seed : 1tsp
Cumin Seed : 1tsp
Fenugreek Seed : 1/2tsp
Salt : 1/4 tsp
Oil : 1tbsp + 2tsp for each paratha

METHOD :

Take the flours, salt together and mix well. Add the oil and fold in well again. Beat the eggs and get the chopped vegetables ready.




Dry roast the spices like cumin, carom, coriander seeds and dry red chilli and coarsely ground them.





Add the beaten egg mix, chopped coriander, onion, green chilli and freshly ground spices to the flour mix.



We will not use water to prepare the dough, the beaten eggs do a wonderful job to prepare a soft dough in 10 minutes.



Tear out tennis ball sized portions and make roundels with help of both palms.



Dust each roundel with flour and roll out round sized parathas with help of rolling pin.




Heat pan on gas top and place one paratha at a time. Cook both sides till they turn little brown. Add oil each tsp for each side.



Once done transfer to a plate. For the Raita beat plain yogurt with little black salt, yogurt and ginger juice. Add chopped cucumber, onion and green chillies. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and little red chilli powder. You can also serve the dim porota / anda paratha with some pickle of your choice.


ILISH SHORSHE POSTO




"O Hasina zulfon Wali, Janey Jahan...
Dhoondti Hai Kafir Aankhey Kiska Nishan...
Mehfil Mehfil, Yeh Shamaa, Firti Hon Kahan...
Wow Anjana Dhoondti Hoon...
Wow Diwaana Dhoonti Hoon..."

Whenever I get to see this silvery beauty Ilish / Hilsa, I get as mad as Shammi Kapoor on screen and echo Rafi Saab on her praise. As I always say I can have ilish every day at each meal only if its sky rocketing price could be managed. We can still afford it but there are many back in India who loves it but are unable to have it given the prices going really high .... a kilogram selling at 1200-1500 rupees. It is a pinch in the pocket for a middle class Bengali. Ilish weighing less than a kilogram will not give you the right taste. What to do? In my side of the family, my parents compromised and look at the price while buying ilish for the past few years which is a normal thing to do. My mom will never buy an Ilish for 1500-2000 rupees unless it is a special day like the son's birthday or Jamai Shashti [a special day for the son-in-law] or any other occassion. Rest of the days she will buy those 750-800-900 gm weight at a little lower price but the fresh ones. Let me tell you we do not get fresh supplies anymore .... most of them frozen for 3-6 months coming from Bangladesh. In our childhood, a Bengali would take pride in saying 'Ganga-Padma r Ilish chara khabona'.... we will buy or eat an Ilish caught from the Ganges or Padma. Now they do comprise and buy the supplies from Kolaghat... what else to do? We have to have Ilish during monsoon.... it is our religion you can say. On the contrary, my husband's side of the family would go out of their way while buying Ilish or any fish or in general, food. It was not so that they did it when the son of the house got good luck for the family. My paa-in-law did it all within his limited financial sources. They ate like kings. I do not know what is right or wrong, each family has its own way of dealing with it. I personally believe we should save 60% of our earning and spend 40% of it.

We get Ilish in the island almost throughout the year that comes from Burma, caught from the Mandai river. Though they do not always satisfy my taste buds, they are just ok. They lack that oil that adds taste to an Hilsa Curry. Our very own kalojireey phoron diye Ilish Beguner Jhol... Raw pieces of Hilsa cooked with egg plants with a simple tempering of nigella seeds and slitted green chillies. It does not taste as heavenly here as it tasted back in Kolkata with Ilish from Ganga or Padma. I am still in a dilemma, should I blog on it... will it be an invasion on someone's identity.... with my limited grey matter I do not understand many of the things in the world .... unless my friends advice me what is wrong or right. I was not made to think, hahaha..... though everyone knows there are certain recipes that comes down on us for generations. Ilish Shorshe Posto or Hilsa cooked with mustard and poppyseed paste is not an unique recipe, its a common dish but its taste is out of the world. In my side of the family my mom does not mix posto with shorshe, this is my maa-in-law's recipe and I do it often while in Kolkata. The island is quite strict about Poppyseed and we cannot use it here. If you stay anywhere outside Singapore and Dubai, go ahead with this yum recipe of hilsa cooked with poppyseed-mustard seed-green chilli paste, else use only chilli-mustard paste or can we try some roasted sesame seed paste? This was also a part of a combined post done earlier that I wished to compile again as a separate post.






INGREDIENTS :
Ilish : 6 pieces
Black Mustard Seed : 2tsp
Poppy Seed : 1tsp[skip if you stay in Dubai or Singapore]
Green Chilli : 4-5[using generously enhances taste]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Kalojeera[nigella seeds] : 2pinches
Mustard Oil : 1tbsp

METHOD :
Wash the poppy seeds , drain the water through a strainer and soak in hot water for 1 hour.

Wash the mustard seeds too. Blend together mustard seeds, poppy seeds, green chilli with little salt and 1/4small cup water.[the salt helps the paste not to turn bitter].

Apply salt and turmeric to the fish pieces and keep aside for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with kalojeera. Add the paste and saute at low heat for 1/2 a minute.

Add little salt and turmeric. Add 1 small cup water. Let boil for 2 minutes.

Add the fish pieces. Let boil for 2-3 minutes. Flip over, let boil for another 2 minutes. Add slitted green chillies.

Serve hot with piping hot steamed rice.