Thursday, 31 August 2017

CURRY CHICKEN


Basking in the joy of a long weekend!..... some good cooking and eating together with my men. I have nothing much to do all day through, neither I am comfortable with frequent get-togethers, given my inherent nature of "staying confined and content to and with I, me, myself"..... a nature that was very much disliked in my newly wed husband's household...... I overheard a couple of times .... " bouta ekta ekla chora hoyeche, sharadin gharey dhukey boshey ache"..... meaning the daughter- in -law is very self centric and remains confined to her room all day through. They indeed had reason to complain because every household aspires for a bubbly daughter- in -law full of warmth..... but I am one person who is too lethargic to change her 'self'.... do we really can change our nature? My dearest friend T did support me saying leave her at herself..... the one who stayed only 3-4 months a year at home.... rest of the time he was sailing at the sea.... the wife and father running to the neighbourhood uncle's home to receive his call till we had our own. Do not ask me the reason why I took so much interest in cooking after stepping into this island.... I was still in utter disbelief.... are the three of us really going to live together? Finally after 13 long years of marriage.... we tasted how a true home is like. Off course I missed my family there as much as they did. My daddy had a mild heart attack just after few days I left Kolkata and within few years phew... vanished ..... I love it when kids take to cooking..... do it often.... you may not get a chance to serve your parents later in life. I hear a similar story from an old lady.... S you know my man left early because he could not take the pain of staying far from his kids.... such statements are laced with emotions and we should stay quiet and listen... someone is trying to share the pain and ease heart saying so.

I can see mourning after departures and what is called missing the partner. I can also see how some people take advantage of situation and storm in into your own household. They take mean ways to earn your confidence and go to the extent of poking their nose and talk ill of your partner.... adding more to an already tensed relationship. There are a couple of friends who share their deepest secrets with me.... a sincere note to them.... make your family your priority.... spend some 'us' time together and do not allow anyone to speak against your partner and create a rift between 'you'.... they cannot be your true friends...... neither should you speak too much about your home to others. If I tell all these to them directly, they will not listen to me.... I do not have that aura, or a persona to take hold of people.... I can never be a people pleaser... a raw deal as I always call myself. I learnt cooking way after marriage, I did it for the new household I became a part of.... come on the women did not fight always there... more for my visiting guest-in-honour husband. The two things I learnt first were chicken curry and matar paneer.... is that for this reason the son loves these two the most?... haha... The only praise my not so much of a friend mother-in-law makes of me is my cooking.... wish there was an express train service between the island and  the cities of India... I may not want to live under one roof with her but very much wish to pack food boxes for them...their cook takes advantage of their age and serves non-sense.... that is where I get angry... if you can watch television all day through with poor eyesight, why cannot you cook a macher jhol bhaat, torkari, daal? Am I too wrong saying so?... My father-in-law has done immense hardships throughout his life, he deserves this little bit of care.

However patriarch Indian society is, there is a parallel trend among many of sidelining the husband's parents and embracing one's own and dragging the husband too in the process.... it definitely digs a hole in the relationship and unacceptable too. In this context, I must mention my friend Dr. Nishi Pulugurtha.... an Andhraite who married a Bengali and living with both mother and maa-in-law under one roof. She attends college all day, freaks out with friends often, comes back home and cooks non-vegetarian food for her husband.... herself been a vegetarian. She speaks for feminism. There is my friend Saubhik's wife Mousumi.... who left her job in USA to attend his ailing mother in Kolkata leaving Saubhik back there.... she is a feminist. My friend from school Sandip Mukherjee who married a vibrant Punjabi kudi Varshini Kapoor Mukherjee told me she left Delhi and a lucrative job for few months to take care of her maa-in-law living in Kolkata. I like that girl.... she eats "tyangra macher jhol with rice".... with love... courtesy the husband.... she is a feminist who always puts a like on the happening pictures of her bald husband who replicated Kishore Kumar perfectly at school ..... There is my brother's wife who is a teacher... visits her parents after school everyday and spent alone in a hospital cabin for a couple of days to attend her paa-in-law.... made an effort to discover my parent's birth certificates just to celebrate their birthday.... who are not so rich people ..... she is a feminist too..... and I define feminism as this.... either way.... if a chauvinist requires a woman to look after his home, to give birth to his children.... why cannot he respect the women around? Hey, we need each other to build a better world. .... "bahut gyan diye felley je gyanoda debi".... "shei jonyo kokhon je cha er sangey ekta porota aar aloo-peyaj-roshuner chochori kheye fellam kheyali nei"..... I am preaching too much... in the process I had a paratha with aloo-onion-garlic fry... that I cooked for my men's lunch box. Now I am free for the entire day. This is high time I should enjoy sharing with you this island's favourite or perhaps of South East Asia's favourite? Curry Chicken done with lots of coconut milk and a specially made spice mix. I did it for the first time at home and used a store bought spice-mix which has salt, sugar? vegetable oil, candle-nuts, shallots, garlic, chillies, lemon-grass, young ginger, turmeric in it so far I can remember. You can mix and match accordingly. I love to have the one we get at Toast Box who usually serve it with French? buns .... You see I do not qualify to be a food blogger in the first place ...... At home we have chicken / mutton curries with either rice or South Asian breads.... my food posts always reflect what we eat at home. The perfect blend of spices had been complimented by the use of thick coconut milk. To it I added some fried sliced onion and lemon juice, little of cumin-coriander powder in the marination of the chicken. The recipe is an adaption from a similar one from rasamalaysia.com. There is some celebration this weekend for many throughout the world.... I wish them all happy celebration with this island's favourite "Curry Chicken.".... which has to have potato in it.

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INGREDIENTS :
Chicken : 1kg [medium cut]
Potato : 2[medium]
Spice Mix : I used a readymade one [you can mix and blend some salt, red chillies, candle nuts or peanuts, small onions or shallots, galangal or ginger, lemon grass, garlic, turmeric, vegetable oil]
Coconut milk : 100ml
Lemon Juice : 2-3 tbsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Onion : 1[medium] sliced
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Curry Leaves : 7-8 [I was short of it that day... had to skip]
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2tbsp

METHOD :
The lazy me used this spice-mix to prepare this delectable curry chicken with potatoes.



Usually it is done with skin on the chicken but I prefer to discard the skin.... it is habitual in fact.

We will marinate the washed chicken pieces with salt, turmeric, lemon juice, cumin, coriander and red chilli powders for an hour or so.

Peel the potatoes, cut each one into 4 pieces and wash thoroughly. Rub with little salt and turmeric. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok. Add the curry leaves if you are using. Stir and then add the sliced onions. Once they turn golden brown, add the spice mix.

We will keep stirring the spice mix for 1 minute at low heat. We will add the chicken pieces along with the marinade. Fold in well and cover.

We will open cover and stir every 3 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the marinated potato pieces. Fold in well and cover cook for 3-4 minutes stirring in between.

Open cover and add the coconut milk and a medium cup water. We will cook not more than 2-3 minutes without cover, else the curry may curdle.

Serve hot with your choice of mains, we at home love it with steamed rice or South Asian breads.


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE - YOGURT CUPS & CARDAMOM FLAVOURED COFFEE




Celebrating Life ! .... We all do and we must... Any celebration calls for some sweet treats. While Gonshu Baba is enjoying his stay on earth with the royal treats of modak, ladoo, fruits.... I felt let us concentrate elsewhere .... the humans living on earth deserves some love too. At the home front, I always have to prepare this or that titbit kind of things ..... you know if there are growing or grown up kids at home they look for food everywhere .... on the table, kitchen cabinet, refrigerator. At my home the scenario is such, I do it with lot of love, interest and energy.... because I have nothing else to do. I pretty well remember the teen me.... parents not at home..... the two siblings had a severe fight and then a muah muah kind of make up .... and after that an empty biscuit tin. My personal record is having about 15-16 biscuits at one go, the little brother followed but he was not a foodie as a child. Thick layers of mom made jams on marie or cream cracker biscuits are perhaps the reason for all the assimilated body fat that this old lady is finding hard to shed. That does not stop her from preparing sweets each week. I am just done with these super quick and yum MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE YOGURT CUPS and another desi sweet which I will definitely share.... but later. There has to be fair distribution of love, Gonshu baba alone should not steal away the show. There is a celebration this weekend too and we have a long weekend. I am gathering more energy to gear up for arranging a fairly good dinner spread for a pair of visiting uncle and aunty from India .... their kids took good care of my visiting in-laws while I was attending my bereaved family back in India. Their dessert will definitely not be these chocolate-yogurt cup cakes.... you know I got some betel leaf for the purpose .... let us see what I can make out of them.

Then for whom I am baking these super simple, easy, quick, homemade goodies? .... for my loves at home, for anyone who stopped by me at some point in life and smiled ..... to leave a message for those who I call the only agents of God on earth .... take up baking at this tender age so that you are not scared of it when you reach my age. The recent development somewhere in the world makes my belief stronger and firmer that there should not be any agent between me and God.... I will deal with Him directly.  How much of a diabetic I am, an addiction for dessert is better than been blind for all the wrong kind of things. A couple of our friends, acquaintances stay in Houston as my senior's company has an office there ..... sending a sweet message to them ..... stay strong, you are in our prayers. I was thinking if such is the scenario in a developed country... how can we blame the government of a developing nation?.... taking the example of the recent flood in Assam. Coming to food.... when I bake I do taste a piece of it and I must have tea or coffee with it. We are tea connoisseurs at home, we stock different flavours of it.... Recently, I have developed love for coffee.... take it from me it eases your bowel movement..... aww that sounds so unromantic coming from a romantic like me ... hahaha... I must admit I am nearing half century.... back in 1988, it never came to my mind while watching Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.... Aamir eloped with Juhi and took refuge in the secluded hill .... where will they pee? It is more of a genuine problem back there than supporting a criminal who should be hanged right now. To sooth my nerves I prepared this extremely flavourful Cinnamon Coffee to go with the eggless Chocolate-Yogurt Cups done within five minutes in a microwave. Shall we dance?.... err I meant shall we cook them together .... it is such a stress free procedure that we can sing and dance while doing them. Inspiration for all my microwave baking is drawn from all the Youtube videos on them or just typing Google.



INGREDIENTS : [for the chocolate-yogurt cake]
Cake Flour : 1coffee mug
Baking Powder : 1/4tsp [1/3tsp if we use plain flour, 1/4of baking soda too]
Cocoa Powder : 1/2small cup
Plain Yogurt : 1/2coffee mug
Milk : 1small cup
Condensed Milk : 100ml
Sugar : 1/2small cup
Vinegar : 1tbsp
Oil : 1small cup
Melted Butter : 1/2small cup
Vanilla Essence : 1tsp
Some powdered sugar to garnish the cup cakes....

INGREDIENTS : [for the Cinnamon Flavoured Coffee]
Coffee Granules : 11/2tbsp for two medium sized cups [my pick is Nescafe always]
Milk : 11/2big cups
Water : 1small cup
Sugar : 2tsp[ I skip]
Green Cardamom : 3-4 

METHOD :
Take the cake flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a wide mouthed bowl and mix well.



In a blender, take the melted butter, oil, sugar and blend for a minute or two. Add the condensed milk, milk, vinegar, plain yogurt and vanilla essence..... blend for another 1-2 minutes.



Add the flour mix little by little and blend for a while, finally blend it for about 2-3 minutes.



Arrange few bowls and pour the cake batter till half in each one of them.



Arrange them inside the microwave properly.




I cooked them for 3 minutes at 160*C. You can adjust yours according to your oven.


We will prepare the cardamom flavoured coffee now. Take the sugar, milk , green cardamom and water in a saucepan. Switch on oven.

 Let it boil for about 6-8 minutes . As the milk thickens, we will switch off gas and add the coffee powder. Mix thoroughly with a spoon. Pour onto cups through a strainer.


We will dust some powdered sugar atop each cup cake and enjoy both the MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE-YOGURT CUP CAKES and CARDAMOM FLAVOURED COFFEE hot and fresh...


Sunday, 27 August 2017

SOYA SAUCE CABBAGE RICE WITH PANEER TOSSED IN GINGER-GARLIC CHILLI SAUCE



The fat, old lady is getting old by all means..... another day .... evening... another run and one more 'shomoy niye dhyarano'..... messing with time..... but someone deep inside said .... 'lyad priyo Bangali je ektukhan dourechey moshai, onek korey feleche .... shonibar dupurey amra murgir / pathar jhol ba shorshe ilish diye bhaat kheye bhaat ghum ditey bhalobashi'..... how do I translate 'lyad'.... ok let us call it 'leisure'..... that a leisure loving Bengali goes for a run on a Saturday instead of having chicken / mutton or hilsa curry and taking their much loved afternoon nap .... is a pretty good job done... walking, hiking, running, exercise are not usually our cuppa, if someone is doing it.... they deserve applaud. I remember how my football player father was too worried about his lazy daughter with excess fat.... what he did not do to get me rid of that excess fat? He got me a yoga teacher.... went out with me early mornings with my brother's cycle. Every effort of him went haywire because his daughter loved to eat. He sweated, got tired.... the daughter did not learn cycling. On our sports day, all the friends participated in one event or the other, I used to sit and watch after doing the mandatory march past thingy. My thin framed little brother had been very good in sports... I do not know why he his so keen on putting on unnecessary weight these days .... He was so good in sprints, learnt to ride cycle all by himself..... I vividly remember the bike maniac went out in the road with our maternal uncle's scooter at age thirteen.... it was a small township... perhaps so there was no police case.... he played so good cricket and now see .... I cannot scold that hard also because he is someone's husband now. The sports loving football player father told me he walked each day early morning from his hostel at College Street to Maidan, played there and then came back in a tram to attend class. He used to say... see mamoni look at your mother... she always will stay slim as she works hard..... yet the mother had to say your father does not care about me... how do you know?... that uncle does so much of household work, praises wife to others .... Now that he is no more there.... she says I do not feel like cooking for lunch... I better do it in the evening when your brother and his wife come back home. What is love? I never try to define it.... beyond my capacity....  just as confusing as a row full of different sauces in the super markets of the island.

Then there is the senior at home.... Bossy I wish to go for a run with you.... S you know I do not utter a single word without been paid... you go mad woman... see you later.... Ok fine.... you will get an all vegetarian meal today. Then there is my very sincere, sister like running partner of yesterday Noopur Somani who hails from Rajasthan, staying in this island for over a decade now..... she said straight on my face... I will not wait for you after the race... let us take some pictures at the start point. It was perhaps an Arthur Lee or David Tan who clicked us, a Radha Ramakrishnan or Noorani Huda who finished with me.... I cannot invite strangers to get clicked with me.... hence my picture post may not reflect exactly why I go for the races .... last year I saw a pregnant European woman running with us.... I simply love the harmony we get to see there. This island has taught me a couple of things I will treasure for life. There is a son too who says... tui last hoyechish motu mumma.... you finished last fat momci? He loves paneer.... the lazy, old mumma tries such combo dishes on weekday nights. She has a mother too who says .... bas eei radhli?.... only this much you cooked today? How much the daughter says mani..... my men love food this way, more if it is vegetarian .... she will not be convinced.... But my readers know me well by now.... I do not speak for other families.... neither do I listen to anyone how to run my own.... I do it my style. When there is too much of meat or fish eating at home, I take a break and prepare a vegetarian meal as this.... a fried rice kind of thing .... some sweet and sour cauliflower or potato or some crispy fried paneer tossed in a tangy, yummy, flavourful ginger-garlic chilli sauce. The fried rice is too simplistic with the crunch of cabbage .... flavoured with celery stalks.... we use wild celery seeds that is radhuni in our cooking... so I love its smell. Do not expect me to prepare an Oriental sauce at home and then use it in a recipe.... I like this Sinsin Brand products for this purpose, love even more the strong flavour of garlic. Come let us prepare this Soya Sauce Cabbage Rice and Paneer Tossed In Ginger-Garlic Chilli Sauce and serve with some salad alongside.



INGREDIENTS :[for the Soya Sauce Cabbage Rice]
Rice : 1coffee mug
Celery Stalk : 1-2 chopped
Cabbage : 1coffee mug shredded
Garlic : 1tsp minced
Soya Sauce : 4tbsp
Sesame Oil : 1tbsp
Salt : As Required
Black Sesame seed : 3-4 pinches
Oil : 2tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the Paneer Tossed in Ginger-Garlic Chilli Sauce]
Paneer : 200gm
Onion : 1big cubed
Green Chilli : 4slitted
Garlic : 1tsp minced
Ginger : 1/2tsp minced
Ginger-Garlic Chilli Sauce : 2-3tbsp [I use the Sinsin Brand]
Soya Sauce : 1tbsp
Salt : As Required
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Corn Flour : 2-3tbsp
Refined Flour : 1tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1/2tsp
Oil : 50ml to fry, rest can be used later

METHOD :
Let us do the rice first, before that we will marinate the paneer with lemon juice for half an hour and then dip it into the cornflour batter for sometime.



We will wash the rice and prepare it in enough water till 60% done. Discard the water totally.

We will chop the cabbage and celery stalks, wash thoroughly.





Heat oil in a pan and temper with black sesame seeds and minced garlic.

As we get the nice aroma of the garlic and they look little burnt, we will add the chopped cabbage and celery stalk, add the soya sauce and little salt, increase the heat and stir fry at low heat for a minute.

Add the rice and fold in well gently. Add the sesame oil and little salt if only required. Stir fry at high heat for a minute or so. We are done with the Soya Sauce Cabbage Fried Rice.



Coming to the crispy fried paneer tossed in ginger-garlic chilli sauce, I like this Sinsin Brand products.


We will heat oil in a wok and crisp fry the coated paneer pieces in batches.



Transfer them on to a plate.




Take a clean pan and heat 2tbsp oil. Add the minced garlic and ginger and saute till we get a nice aroma and they turn golden brown.

Add the cubed onion and saute at high heat till they turn translucent and pink. Add the slitted green chilli and the soya sauce, stir and add the crispy fried battered paneer.

Now we will add the ginger-garlic chilli sauce and fold in well. Stir carefully at high heat 3-5 times. We are done.



We will serve the yummy, combo meal of Soya Sauce Cabbage Rice and Paneer tossed in Ginger-Garlic Chilli Sauce with an Oriental touch with some salad alongside.











Thursday, 24 August 2017

ANARASI MALPUA



Anaras .... Ananas ...... Pineapple .... was not that much of a favourite of mine as of mango or litchi or even watermelon .... but if you have a mother like mine you have to have all seasonal fruits. Up to a certain stage not much of a fruit variety except for mango, banana or jackfruit were seen at our home unless there were special prayer meets. Once the father got transferred from one place to another given his nature of job, the mother got used to live with her two kids doing all kinds of jobs alone .... odd and even both. Going to the wet market all alone was something she learnt then and she did / does it pretty well .... courtesy .... my maternal grandfather. It is then she learnt how to judge and buy a fresh fish or meat or vegetables. She gradually started buying fruits on a regular basis for her kids, which we had to have in the afternoon .... peeled, cut, dressed by the mom. How I regret now for never asking her ..... mani, do you need some help? No wonder that she will surprisingly ask me .... when did you learn so much mamoni? .... her lazy little girl was always seen lying on the bed with a book .... undoubtedly a fiction .... either with that little detective boy Gogol or in the romantic world of Buddhadev Guha .... till then I did not have to hear from the senior of the chopsticks .... you know S, he writes keeping in mind silly romantics like you .... I had never been within the justifiable limits of reasoning and I am absolutely fine with it .... I have some similar minded people as my confidant.... One of my dearest friend from college .... Swati Bhattacharya been one ... a voracious reader and an excellent cook who runs a small home catering unit. You can swear by her kaju bata pabdar jhol.... Where do we bond? ... over music, poem, cooking and our indomitable love for fictions ... she named her only daughter who is doing final year of dentistry after a very famous character of Buddhadev Guha .... Kurchi.... Ahh I have perhaps dated almost all the male characters of these writers .... I am not that good as I seem to be .... kind of woo - man .... The senior at home knows it well, hence the wifey has to lock herself in the kitchen often ... prepare goodies like this enthralling dessert .... Pineapple Malpua or Anarasi / Ananas Malpua.

Taking control of home came naturally to me perhaps ... I am my mother's daughter and grandma's pet too .... besides ... a mariner's wife has to know all kinds of work, there cannot be any other way out .... we stay all alone for months, we ought to know everything from visiting the wet market, to men's saloon to near their toilet door ... that is when you have a rebel son grown up as much as not wanting to visit a women's parlour or toilet and a littler enough not to understand the embarrassment of the mother in such situations. I had been very lucky to get compassionate males and females around me, perhaps so I fail to take sides... I had always been an worst example of women's lib, I always believe we compliment each other. That son goes to the saloon alone these days.... mamma gets ample time to spend time in the kitchen, the island is too clean to have enough cockroaches to get the son run un to mamma's lap .... the one who did not know any other lap except of his mother.... hence the mumma cooks and cooks more ... her joy, comfort zone, stress reliever. This momma has few other kids .... laddu Gopal.... Ganesh .... I am pious but not crazy about been so as some .... spending hours in the prayer room .... I am everything in moderation except for been rational ... most of my readers have known it by now .... To stop them from leaving my blog, I have to arrange for some sweet treats on a regular basis. Moreover, Ganesh ji arrives shortly, I am not the kind who will cook and treat him with sweets each day of his stay but I definitely will do it my way .... I try to respect other's wishes, sentiments, emotions though my shortsightedness, apathy to think and observe much does not support my feelings always .... here I am truly my daddy's girl .... carefree.... oblivion of whats happening around.

This Pineapple Malpua's idea happened for quite sometime .... then I thought let us do it sooner and share the joy with all of my readers, let Gonshu baba eat few of them besides modak. There is nothing too great about it but the syrup made with freshly made pineapple juice and sugar is something you will love. I have added some pineapple juice to the malpua batter too that has been made with the basic ingredients we usually use to prepare the malpua batter .... semolina, refined flour, rice flour, shredded coconut, mashed banana, sugar, condensed milk, milk. We have grown up eating malpua, so it is not a big deal for us to go ahead with it. Simultaneously, I did some basic bread baking too .... the men at home like both, hence they are regular at home, I am trying to be better than poor. Off course, malpua is more in the comfort zone, the only satisfaction of taking up the harder job of baking a bread is that its bleach free. The malpuas will go to the senior's office tomorrow. Besides the Indians there .... his colleagues from this island and the neighbouring country do say .... we love your Indian sweets ..... isn't that a reward enough to prepare often and pack them for the people who appreciate your effort? The happy cook would love doing these Indian style deep fried pancakes dunked in pineapple syrup together with you all.



INGREDIENTS : [for the pineapple syrup]
Pineapple : 1medium
Sugar : 1/3small cup
Water : 1small cup
Green Cardamom : 3-4

INGREDIENTS : [for the Malpua]
Semolina : 11/2big cup
Refined Flour : 1big cup
Rice Flour : 1/2big cup
Milk : 300-350ml
Condensed Milk : 1medium cup
Sugar : 1small cup
Banana : 2medium
Shredded Coconut : 1small cup
Fennel Seed : 1tbsp
Baking Powder : 2pinches
Oil : 150 -200ml + 1tsp

METHOD :

At first, we will soak the semolina in some milk and keep it like that for about 1/2 an hour.



Now wash the pineapple and cut half. Scoop out the flesh and get the juice using a juicer, strain it.


Add the refined flour, rice floor, rest of the milk, condensed milk, sugar, shredded coconut, banana to the semolina and milk mixture.


Mash everything well until we get a smooth batter. We will add 1/4 of the pineapple juice to it.


Now add the fennel seeds, baking powder and little oil to the batter and fold in well. We will keep it for rest for about 35-45 minutes before frying.


Heat 200 ml oil in a wok. Use a round-shaped spoon to take the batter, the shape of the malpua has to be round.


When one side of the malpua / pancake turns golden brown, we will flip over and fry until the other side turns brown too.


We will keep them on a tissue paper first before transferring to a serving plate. Once we are done with  frying quite a few of the malpuas, we will prepare the pineapple syrup side by side. Take the pineapple juice , sugar, water and 2-3 torn green cardamom in a clean wok, switch on the burner.


We will simmer it till we get a sticky consistency. Switch of and let the syrup cool a bit. Add the malpuas gently, keep for 1-2 minutes and take out, place in serving plates. We will do this in batches.



Serve while still warm. We can refrigerate it up to 3-4 days. Always take out 1 hour before serving, heat for 30 seconds - 1 minute before serving. An irresistible sweet / dessert suitable for any festival is ready to be served. Enjoy!



Monday, 21 August 2017

SPICY SHRIMP SALAD



"Ufffff chine badam, shosha, tomato, cucho lanka, bhutta... besh ektu lebur rosh aar dhonepata kuchono .... tar opor besh moshladar chingri chorano ..... wooooow slurp! Didi eto macher chaat hoye gelo .... dekhun bhaya .... didi obdi thik achey .... kaal jodi Ranvir Kapoor didima daakey.... ami heart fail kori apni tar dai neben moshai? tai bhaat takey nahoy ektu side korlam, mach takey ektu ebhabey rakhlam .... kolbalish aar mach.... e dui chara Bangalir mete ki aash" ..... I must translate it for you ..... after some shameless eating .... I have to go for some cleaning the system phenomena .... thats when my Bengali counterparts are questioning my integrity .... prawns on salad instead of rice .... are you a Bengali? My answer is clear ..... who will take the responsibility if Ranvir Kapoor calls me grandma and I suffer a severe heart attack? With 70% of grey hair I do force myself to the gym out of that fear .... I am yet seven kilograms away from the right BMI, hence keeping aside all the invitations from our friends in Mumbai..... again ..... what if Ranvir calls me grandma ?..... haha these are healthy jokes just as healthy and yum is this spicy shrimp salad. The phrase in the beginning is quite influenced by Tanmoy Mukherjee who blogs at bongpen.net, he has few books to his credit too . He does not require my recommendation and this is not the right post to discuss him..... he is that typical Bengali who does his breakfast with Luchi .... Aloor Dum... jilipi.... golapjam and ends with Kosha Murgi / Mutton / Ilish and Mishti Doi ..... You see our whole community is hale .... hearty and alive after this kind of a diet ..... my question is what is so wrong if we adopt some healthier habits? ...... I will always recommend that ..... given that I am a foodie since childhood who dumped her stomach with carbs beyond limit since ages and now paying hard for it ..... wearing a garland of quite a number of diseases . That should never make a good example to follow.... I cannot follow any hard rules in life but I try to keep the cheat days limited to two in a week..... yet I will never claim my blog to be one of the kind of healthy food share ..... it is more about what an average Indian or I / We eat everyday. Coming to the writer Tanmoy Mukherjee what I like about his writing style is that they are on similar lines as that of Munna Bhai's philosophy ..... they help keep melancholic characters like me in high spirits ....  this guy has to say a lot about life and philosophy keeping the tone lighter .... hence the follow.

Coming to the food share today, I force myself to have salads, it is not a natural love for me. So I need to think of some yummy add ons .... life gets easier for me that way.... I have anyway sacrificed my love for few things in life ... take for example rice and luchi .... two tablespoon and one number is never enough for a greedy like me but I try to follow what the wise men say .... old Dr.Chang been one of them. I have never been too particular about my salads..... I do them with whatever is available in my kitchen .... legumes, greens, nuts, seeds, cucumber, tomato, sprouts .... to that I will add some spicy prawn / shrimp, or minced chicken or at times eggs too .... nonetheless to mention there will be some tofu or paneer too. If you think my men ate the salad happily just because there were spicy prawns atop it .... then you are not following my posts sincerely .... their girl has to prepare some fried rice kind of thing with the masala prawns. I am kind of indulgent about their diet. Salads are usually a part of my lunch spread, so that I can have two tablespoon of what I love sitting with my men at night ...... which is again a big no according to fitness experts.... but a Bong and a bongpen.net follower will take that much of liberty.This was a simplistic salad with some assorted greens, corn, green pea, onion, cucumber, tomato, peanut tossed with lemon juice and olive oil and atop it some grilled masala shrimps .... you got to love it. To prove that how tasty it was we need to cook it together which means assorting, tossing, light grill and done .... as simple as that.



INGREDIENTS : 
Shrimp : 150-200gm
Cucumber : 1 medium [peel, wash, chop]
Tomato : 1big [wash, cut half, deseed, chop further]
Assorted Greens : 1big cup [washed, chopped, alternatively use lettuce]
Corn : 1/4small cup
Green Pea : 1/4small cup
Onion : 1small [peel, wash, chop]
Carrot : 1small [peel, wash, chop]
Green Chilli : 2[chopped]
Peanut : 2-3tbsp [skinless and roasted]
Lemon Juice : 2-3tbsp + 1tbsp
Olive Oil : 1tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp [coarsely ground]
Black Salt : As Required
Coriander Leaves : 2tbsp [washed, chopped]
Tandoori Masala Powder : 1tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2tsp
Mustard Oil or any other : 1tsp

METHOD :

Let us prepare the grilled masala prawns first. De shell, de vein all the shrimps and wash thoroughly. Marinate with 1tbsp lemon juice, 1tsp mustard oil, tandoori masala powder, garam masala powder and keep aside for 20 minutes. We will place them in a greased grill plate and grill one side for about 8 minutes, turn over and grill for another 5 minutes. They are ready to savoured either in salad or fried rice.





Sorry, the greedy girl was in a hurry to eat and forgot to take stepwise pictures.

Now we will assort all ingredients for the salad. Take the chopped assorted greens, green chilli, onion, tomato, cucumber, coriander leaves, corn, carrot, green pea, peanuts in a bowl. Add the remaining lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper powder, black salt and toss very well.

Add the grilled, spicy shrimps atop .... keep the big prawns for some chingrir malaikari... haha... thats the Bong way.





Sunday, 20 August 2017

INSTANT DATES FIGS N MIXED NUT LADOO



After a Saturday late night bash, how do we feel actually? I do not know about you all but I wish to be treated as a queen, get even more lazier... throw myself in the cosy corner of the couch and do what we usually do on Sundays ... watch movies one after another on either You Tube or Netflix or listen to music. I very much need to go out for a warm up jog and then to the gym after having two rounds of desserts last night shamelessly and I am too tired and unwilling to.... on such occasions I really get jealous of my chopsticks with high metabolic rate. As I recall last night, I find myself eating a weird combination of food.... cheese poppers, chilli prawn, papri chaat to start with... then some tahini with pita, mixed green salad, Russian salad and mutton Stroganoff. I skipped Sarson Saag, Jeera Rice, Makhni Dal, Chicken Tikka Masala .... I do them pretty well.Then came the real killers.... melt in the mouth cakes with mango cream layers and jalebi with rabri. The shameless me had three jalebi.... aww I turned into jalebi bai out of joy... each spoonful of the cake .... each bite on the crisp jalebi were as pleasureful as... as .... as... well anything from watching a butterfly sipping honey from a flower to looking deep into dark, doe eyes of a deer off course... haha or sitting alone in the woods with a book and some music... these are the things I loved / love doing then, today, tomorrow and always..... yet such crowded, jazzy parties are welcome at times. The funny thing last night was the varied combination of food .... off course keeping in mind the fact that the mariner's come from different communities there with different taste buds. Ain't that is exactly what we are doing in the food world .... we cater to so many kinds of readers within and beyond boundaries. We cannot get regional at all times. It feels good to see some of us who practice what they or their blog aimed for .... maximum of their readers identifying themselves with what they share. All said and done a macher jhol is long due and it should be there soon .... if back there the movie 'Macher Jhol' is doing the rounds.

Sunday is a no cook day for me, however angry the mother gets, I will not cook everyday. Today I will neither cook nor share an elaborate recipe .... people are already in a festive mood. If they are as lazy as me, they must be looking for some quick to do handmade goodies. I remember grandma preparing naru, nimki, goja and lot more for Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Bijoya Dashami along with other ladies at home ..... this was the picture in the entire community and beyond in a larger India .... no wonder the super excited, still primitive at heart grand daughter will call and say.... 'didu... mani jano shakkarpara aar amader mishti nimki aki jinish prai' .... even the locals in the island eat a kind of sweetened twister fries which I find similar to our goza in taste.... if not in looks. This sweet share is the resultant of some hired idea / inspiration drawn from friends around. Fig is not something common among us Bengalis, in my tireless effort to get my men rid of this under weight tag I keep on adding dried fruits, nuts, generous amount of ghee, butter in their food..... I feel the urge to do some constructive reading on food nutrition too. Before that, I bet you will love my 'INSTANT DATES FIGS N MIXED NUT LADOO' .... that has that unique flavour of our desi ghee and oh so quick to make without any fire to lit.... I am aging, I do not have 1/4 of energy of my mother and I do love quick and easy recipes..... with a heart that treasure and respect the tireless effort the yesteryear ladies have given for their family and also them who do the same following tradition ..... Each one of us have something good in us as an offer to the world .... we should applaud each other for that. This 'INSTANT DATES FIGS N MIXED NUT LADOO' of mine is done without any cooking, one we can do quickly and give a sweet treat to even sudden guests.... isn't that a cool idea? Let us do it together with help of few stepwise pictures this festive season or anytime.




INGREDIENTS :
Date / Khajur / Khejur : 8-10
Dried Fig / Anjeer : 6-8
Peanut : 1small cup
Pistachio : 8-10
Almond : 1-2tbsp
Sugar : 1/4small cup [optional]
Milk Powder : 1/2small cup
Cardamom Powder : 1tsp
Ghee / Clarified Butter : 2tbsp or little more
Garnish as you wish...

METHOD :
We will take the skinless peanut, pistachios and almonds in a glass bowl and microwave for 1-11/2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds.

We will take it out and put the mixed nuts in a blender.



We will blend them in to a coarse powder and keep it in a plate. Add the sugar and cardamom powder and fold in well.



We will wash and pat dry the dried figs or anjeer and the dates. It is better to soak the dried figs in warm water for 15-20 minutes before chopping. We will chop both the dates and figs roughly.



We will add both of them to the blender.



We will pulse it for 1-2 minutes at intervals. Add the mixture to the mixed nut powder.



Fold the whole thing well. We will now add the ghee and milk powder and fold in well further.



We will wash and pat dry our hands. We will apply little ghee on the palms, take out small portions of a tennis size ball and smoothen between two palms. Our instant, no cook dates figs n mixed nut ladoo is ready. We will refrigerate for an hour or two before serving. It has to be always served straight from the refrigerator.