Friday, 30 March 2018

SAMBA RICE ..... SABUT MASOOR .... KIDNEY BEAN PULAO



This Samba Rice is winning over me these days... so small grains compared to a Basmati and unlikely to be a Bengali's favourite, but I am liking it .... I have not tried it with "macher jhol".... yet, I feel it should go well.... If I can have "macher jhol" with basmati.... a samba or ponny variety should work. I do not like a basmati rice and fish curry combination..... why? because I am fond of "macher jhol" and not "fish curry".... the rest in this house prefers fish curry.... I am simply craving for some "bata macher jhal" these days but I will not buy those frozen ones.... The locals here do eat some "Bengali" fish like gurjali [Indian Salmon], bhangor [Grey Mullet], tilapia... problem is the couple duo did not fancy these fish ever .... The son do not even remember what mumma fed him back in Kolkata, how much I try, he prefers a "fish curry" over "macher jhol".... I did cook that fish recipe of that person who supposedly rules the "fish market" among the food bloggers of a particular region, the morons at this home loved it so much so that they along with Cristine finished a big bowl.... the primitive me enjoyed my share of "kechki macher peyaj chocchori".... I will blog on it only when some stop irritating me, I will serve this SAMBA RICE .... SABUT MASOOR.... KIDNEY BEAN PULAO on a yellow plate only when "My India" stop smelling communal .... only when the hooligans out on a destructive spree are booked and punished hard! Only an uneducated mass can destroy a national property.... and when they are backed by an authority... you know the dooms day is very near. Only education can enlighten them to think and re-think that Ram-Sita-Lakshman looks good in a temple .... we will visit the temple and offer prayers, flowers, sweets.... the trio or other Gods & Goddesses have no role to play in the Senate, Parliament! "My India" is "Not Shining".... Religious sentiments of people need not be hurt, Religion need not be allowed any entry into mainstream politics nor be made prime in one's life... it is just a part of our life!  I wonder how the Chief Minister of a state talks of building goushalas  where kids die of lack of oxygen in the hospital..... I feel exhausted, irritated and lack of rhythm within me.... Better we talk food! The senior at this home requested .... S, I wish to have only Basmati if having rice, yes he turned an "elitist leftist".... accha ok... will not get sarcastic as much.... I give in.... the thin framed man works hard.... looks very exhausted in the evening.... My wish to switch to unpolished wild or red rice remains a dream.... The son who belongs to this island or say more like people who hated his mumma .... loves red rice to iced lemon tea to white liquid in fish fillets... "fish curry"... you see.... I am not the person who can exert, who can force anything unto anyone... So long the son fancies a "aloo chingrir patla jhol".... "murgi o pathar jhol".... "shutki macher bhorta".... "chanar dalna".... "luchi-porota".... the mother should be happy with a consolation prize  and whispers "boukey bolish roj raatey pasta aar pizza na kortey, ektu pepey aloo diye murgir jhol korey khash dujoney".... The mumma releases a big sigh and cooks a "khichdi" dish as this SAMBA RICE.... SABUT MASOOR.... KIDNEY BEAN PULAO.... If my men enjoy "fulko luchi & murgir kosha".... I will happily serve this wholesome mains with a sides they worship.... crisp chicken strips done in grill option... beautifully yellow huh?.... I do not have a sharp nose to poke here, there everywhere.... I can only talk about "My India" and show my concern on how to keep this island more green..... so you will not see me ever doing a "green curry pork".... no one has any right to cross boundaries.... I only wonder why two neighbouring countries with similar kind of hindrances towards growth could not ever be friends... remained foes! Yes, I will use this space to speak my mind.... I am not an ace food blogger either .... you will never see me hopping around big shots .... be it in virtual or real world.... that is a mediocre trait!

What is cooking this morning at this home? Not much but a pulao, chicken curry, egg curry and pasta! Weird combination, we have a party today at a friend's place.... food is to be parcelled.... I will take shower in vodka with fresh lime .... I am hating sprite in vodka... so sweet... what else we will do?.... Well, we will talk about well being of India with heavenly sips on Martini.... as all NRIs do when they get together.... we do not have to commute in overcrowded buses and trains! I do not get angry when people justifiably attack the hypocrite in me! When I say mornings are so beautiful.... it is the failed poet in me saying so, while a friend called Prama Bhattacharjee has to travel for two hours to her college where she teaches English .... in an overcrowded train.... she shares the picture of that ordeal.... how mornings actually are in India... I have no right to get angry with her though she points at  how hypocrite I am.... I could not share something to tell her you are right Prama! Why so? .... because I "target" readers for my blog.... I did not kiss my buddy Indirra Sengupta either who travels to her school in a chauffeur driven car.... I took a midway.... I cannot remain wise as often as I wish to.... the not so versatile cook in me is detrimental to it..... I can never manage a rose fondant.... "nikuchi korechey.... dhonepata diye pabdar jhol namiye debo shudhu kalojeerey foron aar ektu ada lanka bata, holud guro diye, ekta mathao bhangbey na"..... Anyway, I have a Prama, Indirra as friends, some dears of late have started smelling stinkingly communal including the brother! ..... I will not leave them neither kiss when I am hurt! The brother is to be kept closer, he sees a chicken and immediately shares the sister's post without thinking much... haha.... trust me he has a heart of a kid even at 40.... interested only in meat, biryani and sports .... the communal in him is just an odd, temporary phase... by chance! So if an S can call herself a hypocrite, why cannot the rulers of that country call themselves communal?..... Stay in power, do not use religion to win over the uneducated mass. It is Good Friday today, this SAMBA RICE.... SABUT MASOOR.... KIDNEY BEAN PULAO does not suit the occasion.... if I have posted a chicken stew on Ram Navami, I will not share a cake recipe on Easter either.... I have decided to celebrate only Durga Pooja, Diwali, Eid, Janmashtami, X-mas.... ok Poila Boishak too.... Besides been a hypocrite, I am a "ghar tyara"..... I still remember a six year old who got down the dance floor sensing a lovelessness in the teacher's attitude, a sixteen year old who vowed "tor mukhta ami sharajiboney dekhtey chaina".... if not in real life scene, but the vow is not broken in actual sense! Anyway, this rice & dal pulao went down very well with us.... It is a bit on the spicier side... you can always adjust the heat! I used whole skinned red lentil, kidney bean, samba rice, onion, chillies, garam masala, dry mango powder in it... It is cooked in ghee and yes, in pressure cooker! The "elitist leftist" family enjoyed it with some crisp chicken strips.... The son kept aside all of the kidney beans.... ate rest of the rice and most of the chicken... mumma & babai enjoyed both! There has to be some relief before I write the steps of the recipe.... What did that heroine tell Jholmol Khan in that movie "mujhe nafrat se nehi, pyar se darr lagti hai babu"..... till date I cannot stop giggling at it.... I say in same style... "mujhe pela rang se nafrat nehi yaroon, bas woh pela rang ke fetti mathe pe dekhkar... aakhein dukhta hai".... before you faint at my miserable hindi I should stop.... Yellow that looks so beautiful in the picture below looks horrible when used as a politically motivated agenda!... My own cousin is a monk at Ramakrishna Mission.... He is the principal of a boy's school run by the mission... his saffron dress does not disturb me... he does eat biryani when he comes to us... BTW, we also had 'lebu, lanka, peyaj, chaltar achar' and a salad with lettuce & cherry tomato with the platter!




While I write down the recipe for it, try the below given link for a prawn curry...






INGREDIENTS :

Samba Rice : 1 coffee mug [choose your variety]
Whole Red Lentil with Skin : 1/2 small cup [malka masoor]
Kidney Bean : 1small cup [rajma]
Onion : 2medium [sliced little thick]
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3 [halved]
Green Chilli : 2-3 [slitted]
Cinnamon Stick : 2-3 two inch stick
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Clove : 4
Bayleaf : 2-3
Aamchur Powder : 11/2tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Ghee : 4tbsp + 2tbsp
Water : 11/2 coffee mug
Chopped coriander to garnish
A pressure cooker of 4-5 litres size to cook.... haha



PROCEDURE :

We need to soak the kidney beans / rajma in hot water for about 2 hours and then pressure cook it up to four whistles at low heat adding water and salt.

Soak the samba rice and malka masoor dal for 1hour each. Drain the water from all once they are ready to cook.

Heat 4tbsp ghee in a pressure cooker, temper with bay leaves, halved dry red chillies, cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms and cloves... Stir!

Add the onion slices now and stir fry till golden brown. Add the boiled kidney beans, totally discard the water. Stir for 2 minutes.

Add the samba rice and whole, skinned red lentil, Fold in well and stir further for 2 minutes. 

Add the turmeric, garam masala and dry mango powders, fold in well and stir for a minute or so.

Add 11/2 coffee mug of water .... fold in well. Add salt. Close lid of the pressure cooker.

Pressure cook at lowest heat up to just one whistle and switch off. That gets you "jhorjhorey pulao in cooker.".... I am happy because I am not comfortable in pressure cooking.

Once it opens normally, transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with 2tbsp ghee and chopped coriander.

For the crisp chicken strips.... marinate the chicken strips with lemon juice, black pepper powder, tandoori masala, oil and salt. Keep aside for 1hr. Take bread crumbs in a bowl... coat each chicken piece well with it.... cook in grill option of microwave 12 minutes one side and 10 minutes the other.

Serve the platter with lemon wedges, pickle, salad, onion and green chilli!





Wednesday, 28 March 2018

PINEAPPLE JAGGERY SWEET



Ghee, Pistachio, Pineapple Juice, Date Palm Jaggery, Khoya Kheer, Green Cardamom Powder ..... those are what that went  in to prepare this sweet temptation! Why did not I name this "sandesh?".... simply because it is not a sandesh ..... there is no amount of chena / paneer in it! Mithai would have been a better option, then I felt whats in a name? Let us experience heaven with each bite! Yes, I am that shameless diabetic who is at seventh heaven at the sight of "certain" desserts.... The word certain is important here, not all of them attract me.... only the unhealthy, fried ones.... others like a Russian Pavlova gives me the feel of what, what, what? .... as a teen girl's fantasy with, with, with? Well, I do not have a daughter but I have a couple of them around .... I feel so very connected.... They take me back in time to a teen me... I felt today I should call them all at home and treat with this PINEAPPLE JAGGERY SWEET! The son at this home is a heartthrob... "jigar ka tukra".... but he has no time for mumma, to sit with her.... I mean she is allowed to sit at a distance without making any attempt to touch him. I can understand he is not at the age when one may want to kiss and hug old mumma or to go out on a lunch date with her.... but I am pretty sure a teen girl would discuss everything that happened at school for the day, pluck the white lines from momma's forehead and ask her how had life  been so far? What are your regrets, accomplishments, unfulfilled wishes? What story is hidden in those tired eyes with swollen under eye bags? I would have taken her out on a coffee date, the coffee would have been for me and a chicken pie or a cake for her.... finally a heart filling shopping... a variety of clothes.... only if she promise me to wear a shrug over her spaghetti strapped tops.... She would have known then that her mumma is not that much of a liberated soul either ..... a spaghetti strapped top needs a thin shrug and the length of the half pants has to be little longer ..... She would have also known that her mumma would not make her feel back dated.... mumma loves those who carry themselves well! Why I have to get this discussion here today? Oh! I got bored buying same old shirts and trousers, kurtis for the son and his dad! ..... a dad who says if you still treat him like a five year old he will not be friendly, speak to him in his language! It takes me to another home where a son relays every details of his daily routine to his mother, that mother relays to her daughter oblivion of the fact that it is an ISD call.... That woman, who is too proud of her culinary skills has to narrate the daughter how her son's colleagues appreciate the food she sends to her son's office, that "Shiprar Maa" came 15 minutes late for work and so her Gods did not get food in time, the entire home from the terrace to the garden and gate down was not swiped and mopped before her son left for office.... The world does crash down on her head on such days.... the daughter is tired of saying stop all these now.... she is not the one to listen.... She is the follower of the Ramakrishna Order and till date catches the train to Belur or Dakshineshwar at 4am on special occasions!..... From such a home I got married to a home where people wake up at 12pm, perhaps never had seen the beauty of a sunrise unless on a pleasure trip to the Tiger Hills.... After having bed tea at 12-1pm, people got on to me... "maa to kono shikkha diye pathaini"..... your mother has not taught you any manners.... I am a "bad o-men".... I definitely would retaliate saying ... I think your mother also did not.... else you would not have spoken in this manner! So, you see a girl has to adjust a lot in a life time and it is not only men who "outrage the modesty of a girl".... women too! What is this "bad o-men's" message to her daughters? Do no less duty to the surrounding but do not allow anyone have the pleasure to insult you or your parents! No, no I am not trying to impress any prospective Olive Oyl .... be it a fashion diva, a book worm, a singer-dancer or a sports freak!.... Do these teens read my posts?.... My recipes are not health prone.... you must remain healthy, not to attract boys but knowing that obesity it a disease! So, have only one piece of this PINEAPPLE JAGGERY SWEET and play, sing, dance, read, merry.... make sure to stay away from Indian TV soaps.... most of them teach wrong... they teach a woman to accept disrespect with a smile .... respect people who do not deny you of it.... Read classics.... or say a reader's digest instead of Archies.... Though I still cannot forget about... "Aronyodeb".... "Jadukar Mandrake".... "hada bhoda"..... "batul the great"..... but we also read Upendra Kishore or Sailor Sindbaad.... Our son is a car game freak, you should not be .... To parents who say.... "anko te ekshoi-eksho na pele kaan tene chirey debo"..... sorry to say... it is not good parenting! There is no good parenting at this home too.... the father sits with his beer mug and peanuts back from office, the son plays in his computer, the hopeless mother does "ghanta pooja from this food group to that."


What was I doing the last two days? I was following news of the upcoming big, fat wedding.... was thinking where will it take place... in Seychelles Island or in that house that is called one of the wonders of India these days? However, I find the exterior of that house resembling a skeleton with no sense of aesthetic beauty.... but then you see... grapes are sour when you cannot get them! Going back 15 years, Times Of India was such a pleasure every morning that we ceased from showing our loyalty towards Stateman.... Teenhood meant Statesman, Anandabazaar Patrika, "onekta dudhe ektukhani cha, ruti-aloordum, jilipi".... oh! do not expect me to love marie & cream-crackers.... the parents force-fed the sibling duo for 25 long years with hardly any variation! Why that pleasure called Times Of India has to share women in swim suits explaining in details their BMI .... making me so jealous who cannot do anything with her overly thunderous thighs.... how to? This fat, old lady takes a power nap in the gym at times... haha and then goes to the MacDonald opposite for an apple pie.... while the sweat is still on.... However... I enjoy the Times Food shares, save them! To the teens, do not be this sarcastic as this senile woman.... and know that to build a home to make it a place to visit, it requires a lot of hard work! We must take lessons from the incidents around... like saving Times Food recipes and closing my eyes at the girls with perfect BMI.... No wonder the husband will say that his wife measures a woman more than any guy.... Following this trend in me I should have been a poet or a painter... I am none, sigh! I am that mean, jealous who prepares this heavenly, quick, sweet bites PINEAPPLE JAGGERY SWEET and jeopardise your plans to remain slim & trim! I talk such rubbish na? What to do I do not have a train to catch, a bus to board! What is my current read?.... Mircea Elliade's English version of La Nuit Bengali..... almost after 31 years of reading Nahanyate! I always prefer print media... e-books seem difficult to me.... but this site offers you a lot... just discovered few days back! I still do not know it is a must read or not, but you should know the other version of the same story... which incidentally was true..... hence!




Would you please take a look at few of my previously shared recipes? Here they are...

MATAR MUSHROOM

CASHEW CHICKEN





INGREDIENTS :
Fresh Pineapple Juice : 1coffee mug
Grated Jaggery : 1/2small cup [I used date-palm jaggery]
Powdered Milk : 1medium cup
Ghee : 3tsp [clarified butter]
Full Fat Milk : 1/2small cup
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
Sliced Pistachios or almonds to garnish...

METHOD :

We will use a juicer to get fresh pineapple juice from cubed pineapple chunks. We will grate the jaggery too!

We will take the powdered milk, ghee and full fat milk together in a microwave proof bowl and mix well. Microwave at high for 2 minutes, stirring in between.

The main ingredients are ready at the kitchen counter!




Heat a wok on gas stove and pour the pineapple juice. Bring it to boil and let it boil for 3-4 minutes at low to medium heat!

Add the grated jaggery!




Mix the jaggery and pineapple juice very well and let boil. Discard the scum from top if any.




Once the mixture get sticky.... but not much.... we will add the green cardamom powder and instantly made solidified milk / khoya.




Fold in well and constantly stir for 3-4 minutes, switch off. Overcooking it may get you irresistible candies!




Transfer to a plate and let cook a bit, so that we do not burn our precious palms!



We will shape the sweets while the mixture is still warm.




We will have them fresh, they are a bit of a chewy texture, not soft. Refrigerate if you may but bring to the normal temperature before consuming. If you are aspiring for a bikini body, stay off... its a poison for you!



Sunday, 25 March 2018

BENGALI STYLE CHICKEN STEW



 If anyone is trying to assess me, my likes, dislikes, preferences..... stop it immediately! You are just wasting your time, there are other important issues around the world that needs our attention! I am that kind who does not prefer an egg but loves egg tarts and "hasher dimer kushum".... who started disliking chicken in the recent years but enjoys a BENGALI STYLE CHICKEN STEW! Which age was that when the daughter of a certain house waited eagerly for the Sunday lunch ..... "murgir jhol, laal shak, Sherlock Holmes, Ramayan?"..... Yes, we talk at same length of protecting women's rights and also worship the Lord who could not be at the side of his lady love when she needed him! No, I will not go further with it, I need to go out post lunch with the husband.... not on a romantic drive by the sea.... though I expressed my wish to the husband... bossy would you click me by the sea.... I wish to change my profile picture.... Now the one who took interest in photography many years back hates to click humans, specially photos of his wife.... so I depend heavily on our Cristine .... in a boring location.... the favourite couch corner .... with no other option left within a 1150 sq.ft. space! When I am worried with my clicks so much, many things are happening around the world, and I had to stick to sharing a non spicy chicken curry today.... After I lend my support to something good happening around, I can get back to I, Me, Myself! I actually have to go out for some practice with that "gol chakti".... Its almost a year now that I managed a license against all wishes of the mother, yet cannot go out alone! Why our mother never wished?.... because she believes that her daughter will die in a road accident if so! Let us go back to 1997 December.... I was doing my bachelor of education because the mother wished so.... but any husband would wish for a honeymoon too.... caught in between the husband's wish and a mother's warning.... "you can enjoy with your husband later in life but you have to complete your examination this session".... we zeroed in on near to the home Toshali Sands instead of  Maldives! The mother made it sure I call her every evening to report what I ate, where I ate, what I should buy, that I should hold T's hands always .... Ok, I will not blame her, the memories of the movie "Adalat O Ekti Meye" was still fresh on our minds! .... I am infact very thankful to the husband who did not say... let us get Mani here S, hihihi.... So you see... if a husband who wore torn kurti once drives to his office everyday... and dreams of buying a "second hand" Mercedes, I will not stop him.... In this context, I also remember of a little boy who did not turn up to school on a particular Teacher's Day celebration!.... So the then best friend, who happens to be my husband now went up to a neighbourhood home to know the reason why and convinced the classmate to attend the programme! Yes, on Teacher's Day we were allowed some freedom but what was the reason?...... that "fashion-o-phobic" felt there was no proper dress to wear .... you must consider that a co-educational school need not have dull girls like me alone, there were fireworks around and a "chamkili" attire was a necessity.... haha! My eyelids did sparkle to see a "mete holud ranger jama".... while the husband conducted the entire programme wearing the "faded" school uniform .... a husband who told straight on the face of a teacher.... yes, I will change over once my father can afford a new set of uniform.... a teacher who used to hit us mercilessly even at 10th standard and eventually fled with lakhs from the school fund! So, you know however angry Marx Saheb is with us, I feel proud of these people who made it in future, so I do not get angry if the list of one's assets is sent to me.... I am not angry with our mother either whose entire life is dedicated to spoon-fed her two kids.... but I feel very much connected to people who think beyond their "home" and do not make love with their couch corner all the time like me! A BENGALI STYLE CHICKEN STEW with some butter-toasted paneer and salad as tongue teasers should rock over the weekend! Do not expect me to have a giant piece of chicken, it is not mutton but I love the stew truly....


Why the spice loving S loves a stew? You must consider the fact that it is a Bengali stew which has "ektushkhan ada roshunbata to holud guro".... and not a "gorom joley nun aar golmorich".... I do love soups, but the light oriental ones made with this and that sauces. I do love this island but not when I see a green patch half the size of a football ground under construction.... its a small island which desperately needs more green... I can understand why the government here cannot provide us foreigners home and educational facilities .... it has to take care of its own people within a confined periphery .... but why it has to refute nature and turn the entire island into a seven star hotel?.... At times I feel asphyxiated.... below is the green patch where I first started with my walks.... it hurts to see it occupied!




Why do the natives here cannot sustain heat, rain and you get to see a bee-line at the doctor's chamber throughout the year?..... They are not taught to bear any hardship.... there are sheds everywhere so that a single drop of rain do not touch their hair, you never know the toilets of a school may have an air conditioner tomorrow.... but I do enjoy the hassle free life we are provided here. I even told the husband the ideal situation would be to make this our home and visit Kolkata thrice a year.... The husband immediately checks his wine cellar.... suspecting the wife and says.... wife I cannot work till 75..... I can feel, he started with painting "her" body at age 20, clearing snow clad "her" @ -40*.... The "bad o-men"... keeps aside the memories of a "mete holud ranger jama".... and cooks some BENGALI STYLE CHICKEN STEW for her men, serves with an unusual pairing of butter toasted paneer and coconut rice! Before you question me on the "unusual, bad o-men" in me, I would recommend you a movie.... 2010, a Bollywood commercial one "New York".... which touched a chord somewhere deep inside! No, I will not get into politics today, I am trying to get people together with a chicken stew! The master mariner husband of this home had to go through special security screening at various US airports when he sailed, why? because "Saha" and "Shah" has near similar pronunciation! ... No, I am not trying to play any kind of match game with 'King Khan" of Bollywood who says 'Whenever I get a bit more arrogant, I travel to US'.... haha... he went through the same ordeal a couple of times!... I am too small... too much ignorant to talk on a country's safety and security issues .... to me even handing over a "cap-bonduk" to kids is not ok... it develops a sense of violence in kids... why then? I actually loved another aspect of the movie.... that friendship angle! What is it? To me it is commitment and trust.... Come to me with commitments, else "physically" quit! If you cannot get away with certain feelings, you will prepare such weird combination of BENGALI STYLE CHICKEN STEW, coconut rice and butter toasted paneer! I had to take care of the fact that the brother do not attempt suicide knowing his didibhai's wish to stay in this island for a longer period, I had to go ahead with a meat share, though its the F1 season and he perhaps can go without food! Not to worry, we did have the stew with bread rolls the next day....



So, do it in bulk in few easy steps for a lazier but fitter you! Be sure, I never wished to project myself as something I am not, that is a "good o-men".... neither do I consider those as friends who lack the trust factor and stab you from the back, let us respect the "dislike" for each other!.... To get away with such feelings, I indeed enjoy Bollywood "commitments" in the film "New York".... We are gearing up for one of my heart-stealing lady love Tabu's upcoming thriller "Missing".... join us if you may!

Below are the recipes I wish you to check with....

CASHEW MUTTON

OMELLETE WRAPPED FRIED RICE






INGREDIENTS :

Chicken : 1kg [medium to big cuts]
Carrot : 2 [peeled, washed, cut into bigger cubes]
Potato : 2 big [peeled, washed, each cut into 4 pieces]
Green Pea : 1small cup
Onion : 2medium [sliced]
Lemon Juice : 3tbsp +2tbsp
Garlic Paste : 1tsp
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp +1tsp [freshly ground, coarse]
Salt : As Required
Butter : 1tsp
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Clove : 3-4
Cinnamon Stick : 2-3 two inch sticks
Bayleaf : 1
Oil : 3tbsp
A tbsp of cornflour diluted in water can be added towards the end, we do not prefer

PROCEDURE :

Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly. Marinate with salt, turmeric, 1tsp black pepper powder, 3tbsp lemon juice for an hour!

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and temper with cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms, cloves and a bayleaf! I do not cook much in pressure cooker but stews taste very good in it!

Add the garlic paste and stir for a minute or until the raw smell goes away.

Add the sliced onions and fry till golden brown.

Add the marinated chicken and stir fry at high heat for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat, add the carrot and potato pieces that we have marinated with salt at least 10 minutes prior. Fold in well and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the green peas and ginger paste and stir for another 2 minutes. Add 1tsp of black pepper powder and fold in well.

Add 1 coffee mug of warm water to the pressure cooker, fold in well.

Pressure cook at low heat up to 1 whistle! Switch off and let open normally! Add the butter and the remaining lemon juice now and mix well!

Enjoy with toasted bread, phulkas or any kind of rice!






Friday, 23 March 2018

FRESH & DRY FRUIT PULAO



"Raat Jo Tumne Deep Bujhaye Mere The
Ashk Jo Tariki Ne Chupaye Mere The
.............................................................
Mere The Woh Khwab Jo Tumne Cheen Liye
Geet Jo Hooton Par Murjhaye Woh Mere The"...
..........................................................................

This particular number has been sung by a couple of singers including Farida Khanum, Asha Bhosle and chote Ghulam Ali saab! Whose I loved the most and listened to the entire evening yesterday is not to be mentioned here, not always do I wish to invite controversies, not at all on a beautiful morning as this.... I should try some "daler bori" instead .... but the Sun betrays anytime here! I was in middle school since when I developed love for ghazal.... life was beautiful then and no one really questioned you why ghazal and not Hindustani Classical or Tagore ..... Life was simple and people did not really give a religio-politico angle to everything! For a free willed person like me, life got tough... and truly so! Later in life I developed interest in Hindustani Classical, a Prisley, a KennyG, Elton John, different bands but Ghazal rules! When I am not entangled in "his" novels and poems, I do listen to his songs too! That does not make me a Bengali huh? I have stopped going to my "Guru Maa" too... the music teacher! Hypothyroidism had a very bad effect on my voice and you need a strong drive at this age to pick up! "Didi"... my music teacher got very upset, she always says I have music within me and she needs two years to prove it! I very much liked / like her company, she used to sing for All India Radio back in Kolkata... her husband plays Sitar at the president's programme too here in this island! You see love is something, it is the passion together with it that drives you to pursue what you love. I met two gentlemen at didi's music school who come to her during their office lunch hours .... that is called a perfect concoction of love and passion for something! Be it music, dance or any art form... you will spend hours each day on it to perfect it.... legends do that and so they reach heights! I lack concentration, drive, self pride.... and that makes me a mediocre in all aspects of life... a happy go lucky who never chases her dreams and does what she loves when! She eats... drinks... clicks and cooks! She had a yummy lunch yesterday after her walk with u-mian and olong tea.... she clicked these orchids growing on a mango tree bark ... may be planted that way... just loved it ! She bakes a cake too!





Once the two terrorists are out of home for the office and school, I do what I love and above is what I love... "me-time"..... I am all about I, Me, Myself! I do not know what pisses off a near fifty woman but if anyone expects me to talk over phone while I am humming a "raat jo tumne deep bujhaye mere the".... I get pissed off! I am always angry with the duo at home, but they do not interfere in my life and kitchen.... so I cook this FRESH & DRY FRUIT PULAO for them and serve it with a raw banana kofta curry! I understand  being self centric to this extent is not good but I got used to an extreme level of freedom at this home .... so much so that I could not continue with my job .... I could not take orders or spent time and energy in taking reading classes at mid forty.... "ek mummy ne kabhi kuch degree bhi dilwai thi, ABCD parane ke liye nehi".... I wonder these days that at one point of time we could write a paper on a Boroland Movement or do a case study on the difference between liberal democracy and Marxism.... Now look at me.... the entire day is spent on correcting major grammatical errors done in the posts I share! The senior of the two terrorists at home tied up with our mother and so much tried to get me admitted in his college.... "some-Sagar".... both saying S.... if you have chosen the Arts stream, take up English as major.... I was not qualifying for it in our college! I loved my college and thought it was right, I am so poor in parts of speech, say English grammar & vocabulary both! .... That there is something called effort and you can correct your flaws with sincere efforts were never in my thoughts! Then I had reservations getting into that "some-sagar" college in the year 1989-90..... Why did I say all these?... to strengthen a fact.... one cannot deny that English is the communicative language of the world! I mean people who limit themselves within a region are mentally retarded in a way! Think of a multi-lingual country like India.... Bengalis talking about throwing off others from their state... so other states gets the authority to do the same! I feel people who share about 50-100 posts everyday.... do that without thinking much or have a lot of spare time... just like me who has enough time to pen down rubbish in this space! The senior  at this home does not take my calls at office! I am pretty sure he has other interests there, I do not know why at all I have to cook a yum platter as this FRESH & DRY FRUIT PULAO and Raw Banana Kofta Curry for him!


I am actually looking for easy platters these days.... the morons love one pot meals! Like yesterday, I prepared a hotch-potch with samba rice, malka masoor and green moong.... served it with grilled chicken drumlets and aloo bhaja..... Yes, happiness and smiles of your own matters a lot! Did not you notice what an expert I am while describing a woman!.... Why?.... because I try to keep promises made to people who mean... I was categorically told to enjoy only women... beautiful women.... see till date I am doing just that... praising women!.... I fell for a couple of men... the feelings perhaps were not strong enough to approach.... or even before that a happening woman stood before me and refreshened memories.... I immediately fell for that girl.... "yeh ishk bhi yaar bari khatarnaak chheez hai".... You see here too there is a lack of effort! I could have transformed me watching my diet, doing exercise and knock a door, ask .... how do I look? ....but there were other points too ..... who will pay for my surgery to get a "tikolo naak, tiya pakhir moto thot, potol chera chokh, mosrin tawk"..... There was something inside that stopped me.... "I love myself the most" feel perhaps. Better I show my commitment in a different way.... praising happening women....... though it gives me immense pleasure to see the balance in someone's taste.... there are classy associations too around! Good move, we definitely mature with time and age! I have very little informations about people who are long lost.... what they like, what they eat, assumptions does not help much! So, I always cook and share what this home prefer, its safe! This FRESH & DRY FRUIT PULAO was done in a pot, I am not good at one pot meals but try these days.... After a hectic Biryani making session, I go very easy for a week.... With a wonderful girl like Cristine to help, kofta is not at all an issue! The recent issue at home is that I am hating the curtains I got home.... We did not wish to spend much on a rented home and did not look for variety either .... paying the price now.... I have a problem with anything that shines except for a diamond nose pin or ear studs.... haha... call me a brutally double standard... I accept! However, I never have a problem with people who love glimmer & glitter.... our taste is our own! I tried to prepare this dish in such a way that it suits everyone's taste buds, more or less... I am poor at bakes should not mean I do not care... The mother inside is same everywhere, why the entire world is not rice eater? Have once in a while.... its heavenly !... For this FRESH & DRY FRUIT PULAO, I used pineapples, ripe mango, orange pieces, pistachios, raisins, cashew nuts, ghee, milk, saffron, sugar and salt! Let us do it, excuse my inability to provide stepwise pictures, it was already 9 pm when I started off!

For the following Recipe, just click the heading :

RAW BANANA KOFTA CURRY / KANCHAKOLAR KOFTA JHOL





INGREDIENTS :

Rice : 1big cup [I used Basmati]
Ripe Mango : 1medium cup [cubed]
Orange : 1small cup [cubed]
Pineapple : 1small cup [cubed]
Pistachio : 1tbsp [chopped]
Cashew Nuts : 8-10 [halved]
Raisin : 10-15
Cinnamon Stick : 3-4 two inch length
Green Cardamom : 4
Clove : 4
Bay Leaf : 3-4
Saffron : 5-7 strands
Milk : 1small cup [warm]
Water : 2big cup
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 2tbsp
Ghee : 5tbsp +2tbsp

METHOD : 

Note : The measuring cup for the rice and water should be same.

Warm a cup of water and soak the saffron strands in it.

Wash and soak the rice for half an hour. Drain water and spread the rice on a plate and keep that way for 1/2 an hour.

Heat 5tbsp ghee in a deep bottomed vessel. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins and take out.

Temper oil with green cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves. Add the raw rice and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add little less than two cups of water, the rest can be added later if required.

Add salt, give a stir and cover cook at medium heat for 10 minutes! We must uncover and check in between.

Once we see the water has almost dried up, we will add 2 tbsp of ghee, 1/3 of the chopped fruits, the saffron milk, sugar and the chopped nuts & raisin! We will gently stir and let cook for another 2 minutes.

Switch off and keep at rest for 5 minutes, gently shake with the lid on. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with the remaining dry and fresh fruits!

We had it with raw banana kofta curry and a salad had to be there for me!



Wednesday, 21 March 2018

BORBOTI ALOO R TORKARI O DAL POROTA



Till yesterday afternoon I knew I will blog on this platter today.... my readers believe it or not... this platter was done and served about two weeks back .... however I felt I will blog on it today! Then  I came across something and got skeptical.... should I or should not? Then I felt.... if I have decided I will go ahead with it, I will... "ghar tyara!"If my readers have watched the movie Sonata directed by Aparna Sen ..... you can identify me with a particular character trait of the role played by Aparna herself ..... I am not comfortable or say I have severe allergies towards "unwanted" touches..... "wanted" ones I welcome.... BORBOTI ALOOR TORKARI O DAL POROTA should go ahead today! Now, my touches too can be considered unwanted by others.... they can react and I do not mind that.... Even I do the same to my husband .... shout at him..... your "adorer manush".... dear people need not be my dear ones and a vice versa is welcome! So it makes me think the ordeal of a woman, a kid as young as three years old when they are raped.... animals are in a better position than women.... a birth of a calf is consensual, not of all human kids!.... I see a couple of male protagonists around me who share so many sincere posts every five minutes, you will not see them sharing a single post on women's ordeal, may be it is not that much of an issue to be bothered of. Uff, how much I wish to share my selfies every other day in social media, no point you know unless you have a pointed nose, doe eyes, lips like orange segments, skin as smooth as that of an eggplant.... haha that proves how much I love egg plants! No one on this earth is born to see the wrinkles on my forehead, the silvery head is turning bald now.... I never knew some love me so much so that they are praying hard for my total hair loss.... Well do I have a nose at all?... or two holes instead?.... how the mother laments till date... "koto tel malish korlam tobu holona naak".... I scold her harder... you should have used clips instead !.... So, being "jealous" of the "fairer" people of both genders is quite but natural for me! To the people who have a different notion of me, accept the truth... I am a "mean"..... So the sad me does what suits my nature, something I love! I go for long, brisk walks and click without knowing anything about photography! Back in 2011, someone told me S buy a DSLR and learn photography from the internet not knowing perhaps I cannot operate the keypad properly! I do not see such people around me anymore only because of my "unapologetically truthful" nature may be! When they construe me as "Saddhi Devi Maa".... I appear as something else, what, what, what?... I cannot call myself a "nagin"... either.... I am so scared of my "Sher" protagonist friends Joydip & Suchandra Kundu .... far from being a sparrow or a parrot either! Well, lets get it simple and admit .... "I am miserable at hiding feelings".... so loss of people close around will increase with every passing day! I do not mind so long I get to see and relive my childhood memories on my walk way .... "Bokul Phool".... a little girl saw her mother collecting this rare flower on yam leaves... a shot freezed for ever! "Batabi Lebur Jhar".... have you ever tried pomelo with toasted chilli flakes, black salt and two drops of mustard oil?... try!.... and then a "Babui Pakhir Basha?".... perhaps! This is how I freeze loving moments, hence keeping loved ones closer to me! It helps you know... does not invite controversies or flaks... unless you are storming in to their homes... If you are self respecting you will not do that.... you will not exercise your authority on people if you were being denied of it! There are better ways to keep them by your side to which people should not have a problem... even if they have... you should not care! To the males.... beware of women like me.... once you get "us" home, you will know your freedom is gone and you are mine!



It is always wise to do some weight trainings after a cardio! Before entering the gym, one should not have ate anything for the past two hours at least ! Yesterday was an exception... I hardly follow rules.... I had a cup of "teh tarik" without sugar and my favourite cookie! Milind Soman is sure to ban me from his page.... No I did not like his  recent profile picture .... I respect the Ironman in him, the feet that crossed miles .... his "bare chest" is for his cutie girl friend to enjoy! Then I do some circuit training and floor exercises .... finish off and have a healthy lunch too....  "soto ayam" sans the yellow noodles.... chicken stew kind of! All my efforts to avoid carbs to get slimmer ends up there... where?... you will see later in this post itself.... a recipe share full of carb!... BORBOTI ALOO R TORKARI O DAL POROTA!





These days what I see around in my country of birth worries me, angers me so much so that I feel like blogging on breads, cookies, cakes, sago mango or chilli crab, if only I was a master cook, sigh!.... I feel like screaming " jei deshe ashi shotangsho manush ashikkhito.... shei deshe dharma o rajniti niye lorai kora aproyojonio".... a country where the basic needs of the illiterate majority are denied, not today but for decades... what is there to fight over religion and politics? I follow a page called "Milaap".... and can feel how fortunate I am! Till date I have not made any financial contribution as I have reservations on transferring money to unknown funds.... see if you can rise above the self-centric me! I am not a good soul who does not usually forget "foul mouths" meted out to her.... family to her is not always the kin! Wrong doers forget.... victims like me do not..... I do not disown but decide alone who to hug how tight and when! Anyway, you cannot turn your face away from your mother, in this case your motherland.... so a BORBOTI ALOO R TORKARI O DAL POROTA is a natural choice! I am not so fond of borboti or long beans!.... and you know how difficult it is to feed my men a vegetarian bowl.... it is like doing three sets of thirty planks, I can manage only ten in a day! So, there had to be some South Asian flat breads to pair with it and off course chicken alongside! Borboti or long beans were used to be fried with potato sans the spices or used in mixed veggies in the family earlier .... I did not like any! This island supplies you very fresh ones, not every week do I travel five metro stations to get my favourite "echor & mocha".... green jack fruit and banana blossom.... the husband is allergic to wet markets.... Yet, the wife cooks mutton biryani for him and his monkey!.... May be she has a weak point or may be he has a great point in him.... who knows? .... Remember autobiographies are also novels with "little truth in it."....



So you know in between kettle bells, soups and a mutton biryani dinner .... lies the secret of having a "wonder physique" like me.... "58kg @ 4'10" height".... I do not like people similar to me.... so you will have biryani once every two months! In between the above four steps.... there were few  others.... I feel very tired but satisfied this morning.... shall share the recipe soon, "fotu" ready! Though tired, I very much wished to share this particular platter today... BORBOTI ALOO R TORKARI O DAL POROTA.... Yes, I spiced up the borboti to make it lovable, mothers are not always the best! Dal Porota is not an authentic Bengali thing, do not create a ruckus .... spell it paratha.... thats it! The morons had the veggie dish only when allured with a chicken curry ... else one would have had the dal porota just like that and the other with pickle and raita! I indeed live with difficult people, life is still good!

If you can digest my trash, you can take a look at the following recipes too, just click on the headings :

MASALA CRAB

STIR FRY PANEER





INGREDIENTS : [for the long bean and potato veggie]

Long Bean : 5-6
Potato : 2medium
Tomato Paste : 1/2small cup
Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1/3tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Dry Red Chilli : 1
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Baking Powder : A pinch
Oil : 2tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the dal porota]

Boiled Masoor Dal : 1medium cup [red lentil]
Whole Wheat Flour : 1coffee cup
Chopped Coriander : 2small cup
Carom Seed : 1tsp
Cumin Seed : 1tsp
Chopped Green Chilli : 2-3
Chopped Onion : 1/2small cup
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : Little
Ghee : 3tbsp +1tbsp for each flat bread

PROCEDURE :

Let us do the vegetable dish first!

Peel and wash the potatoes, cut half and then cube as you wish... good if cut lengthwise.

Discard the two ends of the long beans.... "accha ashh charanor ingriji ki?".... You see I never got more than 60% in English. Cut them lengthwise and wash.

Take the potatoes and long beans in a bowl. Add salt and turmeric, mix well.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with cumin seeds and halved dry red chillies. Add the tomato paste and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the dry spice powders except the garam masala and salt... stir for half a minute!

Add the marinated vegetables, fold in well. Add a pinch of baking powder to retain the colour!

Cover cook for 8-10 minutes stirring in between! Add the garam masala, fold in well and cook furthermore for 2-3 minutes. We are done! Transfer to a serving bowl!


For the dal paratha dough, take all the ingredients along with 3tbsp ghee in a bowl.




Mix well and knead well till we get a soft and smooth dough! Add more of the boiled dal if required but not water, we lose taste that way.




Keep covered for 15-20 minutes before you knead again for 1 minute or so. Tear off tennis ball size portions and roll out round parathas with help of a rolling pin.




Heat griddle/ tawa / pan on gas top! Fry each paratha, both sides well with help of 1tbsp ghee!




We enjoyed the platter of BORBOTI ALOO R TORKARI O DAL POROTA with homemade stuffed chilli pickle and chicken curry alongside....



Sunday, 18 March 2018

SHORSHE NARKOL BATA POMFRET




Going ahead with a non-vegetarian share today may not seem wise to some of my readers / friends.... there is a celebration in some parts of India, supposedly an all vegetarian day for them. Then, it is also not possible to keep everyone happy at the same time! If my friends are already on with some vegetarian shares that suits the occasion, I can go ahead with a non vegetarian share as good as this SHORSHE NARKOL BATA POMFRET without much guilt. A vegetarian lunch over the weekend for a Bengali is as weird as S been seen on a lunch date with an alien who she is very fond of! She is fond of few other things, people..... so fond of that she even interferes in to their personal lives and say when did you start loving yellow so much? If you have loved it, know that it does not go well with a red contrast... a green or a blue contrast is a better option! No, they do not batter you with social media posts after that.... and we enjoy some fun moments together through messages. Though the husband scolds me for interfering in to people's lives, I assure him.... "trust me, I do not exercise it on everyone but only on them who do not make an issue out of anything and everything."..... I am very comfortable with such people with whom I can be me, speak without mincing words, who do not suffer from an "I am the best" syndrome.... They do deserve some "maach-bhaat" from me today! Sharing a fish dish today is also not been wise to the Gujarati brother duo whose musical extravaganza I attended yesterday.... Amit & Anand Dhamelia.... they had been my colleagues for two years and I usually attend their programmes.... yet I cannot go ahead with a Dal Dhokli share today.... why? I very recently learnt, there is something called protocol..... this time between me and them.... there are many heads... pros and cons, regions and groups. I am not the person who will spend an inch of her thought on such silly matters.... I went, I sat alone, I met some friends, I enjoyed the show, I filled in my heart and came back home alone a little before midnight.... Yes, you read it right... "alone at midnight!"..... My present home that ensured me a hassle free life had to be kept close today.... Pomfret is their favourite but not SHORSHE NARKOL BATA POMFRET. When did I say that the anti-national me forgot my roots! One lady  is absent from the scenario at present, does not mean that she will not scold me for blogging on a noodles pakora... "S, what you said and what you are doing does not match!".... Well, I have every right to justify myself.... "kabhi kabhi karni parti hai".... Coming to the brother duo, they eat & live Indian music.... Anyone in this island who are reading this ..... if you wish to take some music lessons [vocal or instrument] or book them for a programme.... please do contact their respective FaceBook pages in the same names.... Amit Dhamelia & Anand Hargovind Dhamelia.... Why did not I share it on my stream? Well, I do not have time to invite unnecessary complications in my life, I simply hate it! .... I am instead enjoying humming "Dil Khudgarz Hai, Fisla Hai Yeh Phir Haath Se".... I totally enjoy KK & James' numbers when I go for my walks! I remotely remember this Pritam Mukherjee and Anindya Chaterjee and rest were in the same band initially and until Pritam chose Bollywood! I also remember, even before that how we cheered for Anindya... Upal and team, following them at every fest that took place in almost all the Kolkata based Universities, Colleges, Medical Colleges and the Science Colleges except for one Science College, do not even remember it hosted one or not!.... It was  my conscious decision but ! ... "Gate Crashing" is not a wise habit, I hate to be anyone's second thought either.... "har dil ko khudgarz honi hi chahiye".... Anyway, Anindya or Upal accepts it or not, we are still "Caledonians" ..... and a SHORSHE NARKOL BATA POMFRET "banta hai"..... well not all of us Caledonians eat fish!

Why I am even sharing something that the demon husband and his son loves? Yesterday, while he dropped me at the venue, I conveyed him a "sanctioned" flying kiss, instead of accepting it and before I could explain how Aamir Khan kissed his wife publicly, the moron husband shouted at me.... Wifeeee.... the next car will crush you under the wheel.... goooo! The wife decided on way back home to travel alone, even elope with anyone who offers! The silver streaks were visible in the dark more and there was no such offer, sigh!....... The disheartened but a wise me came back home.... "there is perhaps no one on earth who will clean me with so much care when I throw off after extreme nausea".... The entire Bollywood film & music industry is there to romance with!.... "ek SHORSHE NARKOL BATA POMFRET iss karan bhi banta hai"..... if I am not doing justice to some today, I will do it the next day with a dal paratha may be! I respect "relationships" which are not "superfluous" to me.... I am still in a kind of hangover, which I usually have after a musical fiesta ..... and I will go for an easy share today, then dive into music again and more of Bollywood..... like tomorrow we are going for Ajay Devgan's "Raid" and the ill health of Irfan Khan is bothering me.... we cannot afford to lose such top class actors so soon.... I do not usually miss any of his movies! Yesterday, a friend told me at the venue.... S.... your boy is having examinations and you are freaking around?.... I said had he been an obedient son, I would not have.... he is a rebel, so mumma lives her life! Yesterday came the latest blow, the father told me that the son now says he will study political administration and do politics.... Every attempt is made at this home to send me to a mental asylum.... Well.... if the son loves his mother so much in a way.... she can take an ice-bath to destress and cook his favourite pomfret with a very simple but authentic spice mix of garlic, mustard, coconut and green chillies.... It is so common and simple that we do not need to take any stress while doing it. While I do it, may I recommend you a movie?.... Saif's urrf Chote Nawab's "Cocktail" .... it may explain certain real life stories.... no they do not end up Bollywood style... "all good and happy!".... I do not believe in the terms "romantic comedy"..... "no string attached relationships"..... the phrases hurt me till date as the tip of a knife held close.... So, I could not be or cannot be either with people who live their lives in such terms.... Let us live our lives in our own terms. Yes, my readers can blame me for taking life too seriously. I can gift you this fish curry with love for tolerating me, struggle to get viewers for it, admit my apathy towards constructive academics, and construing  life in terms of Bollywood! We had some Cabbage-Potato Sabzi and Bottlegourd-Dal too alongside! Ok, I indeed liked this preparation of pomfret after marinating the fish with lemon juice for one hour to get rid of any odour! The use of red chilli powder, lemon juice and garlic cloves.... all are used to get rid of any smell that a non-pomfret lover like me cannot take!






INGREDIENTS :

Pomfret : 5-7 [medium sized]
Shredded Coconut : 1/2 small cup
Mustard Seed : 1tbsp [black or yellow.... black is a tongue teaser]
Nigella Seed : 1/4tsp [kalonji]
Green Chilli : 4-6 [I am always generous, you choose]
Garlic Cloves : 2 [peeled]
Ice Cubes : 2-3 [they say it prevents the paste turning bitter besides salt, its true]
Salt :  As Required
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp + 1/3tsp
Lemon Juice : 4tbsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Oil : 4-5tbsp [We use mustard oil]

METHOD :

Clean the stomach of the pomfrets, hopefully your fish seller will do it for you! Wash them thoroughly.

Marinate with lemon juice and very little salt. Overdose of salt will totally spoil the taste... they are soft fish without scales.

After an hour, we will drain the marinade and wash them again. Rub with little salt, 1/3rd tsp turmeric powder and 1tsp red chilli powder! Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Wash the mustard seeds through a strainer. Take the washed mustard seeds and green chillies, de skinned and washed garlic cloves, the shredded coconut, little salt and the ice cubes in the grinder! Grind them to a smooth paste. Add little water if required!

Transfer to a bowl and add 1/4tsp turmeric powder!

Heat oil in a wok and fry the fish pieces lightly discarding the water released on marination. Take out.

Temper same oil with nigella seeds. Add the chilli-mustard-coconut paste and stir for  1/2 a minute. Add water to the bowl and then to the wok. Add another bowl thereafter.

When the gravy boils, gently add the fried fish pieces.

Let cook at low heat till the gravy thickens!

At times, our weekend lunch platter is such... a SHORSHE NARKOL BATA POMFRET with steamed rice, a dal and a vegetarian sides.... fritters too....



Friday, 16 March 2018

OATS DRY FRUITS TIL CHIKKI



Stephen Hawking ..... who am I to utter a single word on him? Do I at all have the material in me to do so? ... "podartho bigyaan niye katha bolbo shei podartho ki bhetorey achey?"..... but I am enjoying watching people celebrating his life and work.... So far, so long it is fine.... What worries me is that some are dissecting his personal life .... that too within 24 hours of his death.... they went ahead with dramatic short stories on when he married, who he went off with and again came back.... I really could not digest such insult of the magnanimous persona.... its so irrelevant compared to his contribution to this world.... at least he should not be made a material for a dramatic novel.... a movie was made during his life time it is ok... it must have included his work too .... but a separate note on his love life is totally un welcome! So, when the no more best friend but the near closest one gets back home from office, the  lady screamed.... "yeh kya hai yaar... Stephen Hawking ke niye premer golpo cherey diyechey bazaarey"..... The husband says "cool baby, a celebrity life is always too much, unfortunately a public property".... This lady who sits far from Science and Technology always loved Hawking's take on alien life made easy to her.... haha... a major part of her heart is still that of an eight year old or a fifteen! There is another memory that popped up on the death news day before yesterday! Our monkey was 7-8 years old when the mother noticed that he watches a Stephen Hawking's show, come on Indian television is not only about those indigestible soaps! Obviously the mother's chest will swell like an elephant's feet or say like our gym going big brother from college "buk folano dada".... She made "International Maritime Satellite Call" to the husband .... "Boss our boy is watching a Stephen Hawking Show consistently for sometime and not taking any interest in the Chota Bheem CD mumma got for him! The boss as usual did not show any interest and hung up the phone!"..... Eight years passed, now that boy plays car games in that box and tells his father that one day he will make those Games .... courtesy his 'mamujaan'... my brother .... so no meat share today too! Our boy, the teachers' A* student got 75% in Physics last week while the rest of the class perhaps got 95%! The father does not say anything to his son but shouts at the mother.... "how many times have you watched Three Idiots, you will not take its essence!".... How will I? I do not qualify to be a Kolkata mother anymore is true but I had been one.... even earlier I have witnessed how friendships break because of mothers!.... No, I have no intention to take a dig at the ones for whom we are here on this earth.... if only the then mothers, who claimed themselves to be friends could feel this way...."our kids" and not "my kid" alone.... may be I looked back few decades back while saying so... it still hurts to see your own becoming strangers.... and force you to conclude they were not our own ever! Some ten years back... we were in a little better position than before but still tore off the teachers' hairs for that one or two marks which will not matter later in life! It always feels good to see when my clan use the term "our kids"..... A good criticism, a good cause should always supersede the "me.".... I think  my beliefs will leave me even lonelier in future... yet I cannot love something I do not have faith in! Coming to "me" again, not that I do not weep in stress thinking of the board examination starting this May, yet I have stopped enquiring about the marks obtained by other students of his class, the husband does not allow me to gather much information about what goes on inside the classroom! I only confide in my beautiful friend Piali Maitra .... her daughter is our boy's classmate though they are in different sections.... Her daughter gets frustrated if she gets anything less than 90% while our boy watched television the entire day yesterday which was supposed to be his study leave! No.... no I am not comparing our son to others.... I have watched Three Idiots about five to six times, just that the thought of the son making Car Games  is giving me sleepless nights.... but he is mumma's baby... and she had to make some OATS DRY FRUITS TIL CHIKKI for him and his clan / brethren whatever!

As I said earlier, oats could not be a healthy breakfast or lunch option for me... however I tried, it was helpful too, yet I could not have oats with banana, yogurt or milk! One that does not align with my taste bud cannot be in my palette. I am not in the habit of wasting food either, so I had to make use of them in parathas, idlis and the last batch in this OATS DRY FRUITS TIL CHIKKI! The shameless me could not resist herself from having one! So you know this home could never be a good example of a healthy home! The ice-spice game continues... but I made a Bengali style chicken stew day before yesterday which I enjoyed, which was our boy's staple for few years just like many Indian homes.... chicken stew is considered as a part of a sick man's or kids' diet! Its been three days now I am on a carb diet without any exercise .... this evening I must! I am the creator of an unhealthy home does not mean I do not support what an expert has to say... if one Rujuta Diwekar says microwave cooking is bad for health, there is truth in it... How much I scolded one poor lady for reheating food every night in a skillet and not in the microwave!... Why so?... may be because she does not earn in lakhs, may be because she lives in the extreme suburbs of Kolkata, may be because we are used to negate our own saying "dur tumi kichu janona!" I do not cook much in the microwave, I am that primitive "hata-khunti-korai zindabad types!".... I cook Bengali, I love to share them but not when I am forced to! These chikkis or brittles or energy balls / bombs whatever we call it takes no time to be made and in turn you get to see happy faces around.... The mumma of this house has to prepare and store a variety of food, someone loves "refrigerator hunting".... If I could be strict enough to say no study... no food, then I would have been all smiles to see an 95% overall grade! Anyway, I got the idea of this OATS DRY FRUITS TIL CHIKKI  from so many similar recipes done by the blogger friends or others.... oats energy bars, badam ladoo / chikki, til chikki. You can call this attempt of mine as a stepping stone towards gathering some courage to prepare "til er khaja or til er naru".... not an easy task I must tell you... the right amount of jaggery, its cooking has to tally with the amount of sesame seed used... then only we get crisp, light and not sticky til er khaja or breaking the teeth tiler naru! Well, I am not a master chef... so there has to be a trial and error method for me.... Not a bad home cook either, if one friend says the Bengali style achar was yum and the other got me into tears saying S, my grandma made "chalter achar" decades back just this way.... you got me the lost taste.... I should be happy... Just when I was about to tell her... ok tell your friends... if they wish I can supply.... the husband anticipates and roars... do you want me to lose my work permit... you know the rules here! He however did not have a problem when I worked here in a concern.... only if I had the patience to continue! Ok fine... I will cook and then eat it too! This OATS DRY FRUITS TIL CHIKKI is made using jaggery, pistachio, cashew nut, raisin, almond, cardamom powder and yes lemon juice! Do not laugh, try it you will like...




INGREDIENTS :

Oats : 1medium cup
Sesame seed : 1/2medium cup
Dry Fruits : 1small cup [includes raisins, pistachios, cashew nuts, almonds]
Grated Jaggery : 1/3small cup
Lemon Juice : 3-4tbsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
Water : 1coffee mug
Chopped Pistachio or Saffron Strands to garnish!


METHOD :

Dry toast the sesame seeds in a hot wok and keep aside in a bowl....




Take the pistachios, cashew nuts and almonds in a bowl.




Microwave at low heat for a minute pausing and stirring it at an interval of 30 seconds!




Transfer the mixed nuts to a mortar and pestle and just half break roughly... you can use a rolling pin for this purpose!




Heat a wok... add the grated jaggery and 1 coffee mug water.




Bring it to boil, throw away the scum if you see any! No I could not translate.... "moila fyana ta alga korey tulle feley ditey hobey!"





Add the lemon juice and the green cardamom powder, stir and continue to cook till the mixture gets sticky. This may take 7-10 minutes at low to medium heat! Add the mixed nuts, raisins, oats and the toasted sesame seeds!




Fold in well immediately and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes at medium heat!




Transfer to a plate and let cool! You cannot allow the palms to burn.... they might be a poet's imagination.... I meant both here! Do not tell me boys cannot make laddoos... not all are like my men.... the world renowned chefs are male too!

Once cool.... take out small portions and shape as you wish!





Garnish with zafran or chopped pista! Enjoy having and sharing it too!