Monday, October 31, 2011

Rui Macher Chop - Rohu Fish Chop





I was in a mood to prepare something different today with Rohu fish. Initially I thought of preparing Moinga (a Burmese dish) with the left over Rohu pieces rotting in the refrigerator for last few days, but then I didnt have lemons at home and it's awfully impossible to send my hubby back to the market once he returns home from office and flops his body on sofa in heavy tiredness. So I had to make do with whatever was available and handy at home. With that thought an idea crossed my mind to try preparing fish chops. It's been a while when I last made them and my husband hogs them like he has been starving for days. It's damn easy also requiring minimal preparation and the outcome turns out mouth-watering everytime.

Ingredients:                                                         Cooking time: 30 minutes

300 gm Rohu fishes (about 4-5 pieces)

1 medium sized potato (boiled and mashed)

1 medium sized onion (chopped)

5-6 green chillies (chopped)

1 tsp ginger paste

3 tbs rice flour

3 tbs semolina or rava

salt to taste

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder

White oil for frying

Method:

1) Boil the Rohu pieces and debone them.

2) In a bowl mix potato, Rohu pieces, green chillies, onions, ginger paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder, rice powder and semolina with about 1/4 cup of water. Be careful with the quantity of water. The batter should not be watery.

3) Now make small balls with the batter and slightly press them keeping between your palms to give a flattened shape as shown in the pic below:



4) In a separate bowl, take about 1/4 cup of semolina and keep it aside. Heat oil in a frying pan and when oil turns smoking hot, roll over the fritters on semolina and set them into oil for frying on both sides. Semolina coating would make the fritters crunchy helping them remain crispy for a long time.

Chicken Stock - Easy Recipe

Preparing chicken stock involves an easy process if you have a pressure cooker handy. Just give the right ingredients in right amount and you have a nice aromatic stock ready within a jiffy.

Ingredients:                                                 Cooking time: 15 minutes

500 gm chicken (you can use the unused parts of chicken like necks, wings, bones, backs etc.)

1 carrot (chopped)

1 onion (chopped)

Fresh coriander leaves or cilantro (chopped)

7-8 black peppercorns

3-4 cloves

3-4 cardamom

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

2 bay leaves

6-7 cups of water depending on your need for thickness

salt to taste

Method:

1) Put all the ingredients together in a pressure cooker. Tighten the lid and cook on low heat till three whistles.

2) Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables and chicken pieces and a sieve to strain the stock carefully.

3) Chicken stock is ready.

Arroz Con Pollo - Spanish rice with chicken



Arroz Con Pollo meaning 'rice with Chicken' in Spanish is a traditional dish of Spain and Latin America. It might have some sort of Indian influence as the dish tastes a bit like "Indian Biriyani" in its simplest of form with less spices. The sweet fragrance created by chicken stock and a pinch of oregano gives it a unique essence. This dish can be made in variety of ways with peas, beef stock, wine combining to add an extra flavour, but without daring to make much experimentation lest the result doesnot suit our Bengali tastebud, I mostly stuck to the original recipe as explained by Elise Bauer, adding slightest of modification of my own and the outcome turned out really delicious winning at once the hearts of my family.

Ingredients:                                             Cooking time: 45 minutes approx.

8-10 pieces of Chicken (breasts or thighs with or without bones, with or without skin)

3 cups of long grain rice (Basmati)

1 medium sized onion (chopped)

1 tomato (turned into a paste)

5-6 green chillies (paste)

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp black pepper powder

1/2 cup of all purpose flour

6 cups of chicken stock (If you dont get a readymade chicken stock, you may prepare it at home by following the chicken stock recipe)

1 tsp of oregano

salt to taste

Olive oil for cooking

* Please note the amount of chicken stock required depends on the quality of rice. I used long grain Basmati rice which required 2 cups of chicken stock for preparing 1 cup of rice. Accordingly I have used 6 cups of stock for cooking 3 cups of rice.

Method:

1) In a bowl mix all purpose flour with black pepper powder, salt and paprika. Dredge the chicken pieces with this powder and lightly fry them in olive oil in a non-sticky pan. They will look similar to the ones shown in the pic below:



2) Now add more olive oil to the pan and brown the rice. When the rice grains become slightly brown in color, add onions and ginger & garlic paste.

3) Stir fry the onions with rice till onions become translucent. In a separate bowl mix chicken stock with green chilli paste, tomato paste, salt and oregano. When onions turn soft, arrange the chicken pieces on top of the rice in a particular order and pour the chicken stock mixture over it.

3) Reduce the heat to low, put the lid on and cook for 20-25 minutes till rice is thoroughly cooked. Serve hot.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Egg Poach Curry



Egg Poach Curry is a simple egg dish that takes hardly 15-20 minutes to prepare. It's one of my favourite cause when am not in a mood for cooking anything with elaborate preparation, this dish kicks in to help. However, what you ought to be careful about during the preparation of this curry is just make sure that when you flip over the poach to fry it on the other side, the yolk doesnot break. This is the most tricky part of all. If you can manage this, preparing the curry is as easy as drinking a glass of water.

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1 medium sized onion (chopped)

1 tomato (chopped)

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder

5-6 green chillies (chopped)

salt to taste

5-6 green chillies or as per your craving for hotness

2 dry red chillies

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)

White oil for cooking

Method:

1) First of all, make a simple poach with the yolk unbroken and sitting solid in the centre. Then flip it over carefully to fry it from the other side. When it will be fried from both the sides, it will look similar to the ones shown in the pic below:


2) Now heat oil in a frying pan. When the oil turns smoking hot, slide in 2 dry red chillies and black mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the onions and tomatoes and fry them till they turn translucent.

3)  Now add ginger paste, green chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes. Add salt and water as per your requirement for gravy. When the gravy starts to boil, add the fried egg poaches and simmer for 1 minute more.

4) Serve hot with rice.

Alu posto : Poppy dish with potato



Alu posto has been a part of traditional Bengali meal from time immemorial in all Bengali households. Any occasion celebrated at home, be that of Jamai Sashti (done for pampering Bengali sons in law) or bhai phonta (done to express love for brothers), seems incomplete without alu posto added to the menu. Alu Posto has different other variations where alu is substituted or supplemented by jhinge and sometimes onion too is added to give an extra flavour. The following recipe is the simplest and easiest version of alu posto and its taste multiplies when cooked by my mother. Afterall, no spice is as delicious as mother's love is.

Ingredients:(Serves 4)                                           Cooking time: 30 minutes approx.

3 medium sized potatoes (cut into small cubes)

50 gm of poppy seeds paste

1tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

salt to taste

5-6 green chillies (slit in between)

1/2 tsp black cumin seeds or shahi jeera

White oil for cooking (You may use mustard oil too.Mustard oil adds an extra aroma to it.)

Process:

1) Heat oil in a frying pan. When the oil turns smoking hot, throw in black cumin seeds and once the seeds start crackling, add potato cubes and lightly fry them till they become slight brown in color.

2) Now add the poppy paste, turmeric powder, coriander and cumin powder. Mix the ingredients well. Add 1/2 cup of water and let it boil. Add salt and slit green chillies. Simmer on medium heat till potatoes turn soft and tender. If required add more water to cook the poppy and potatoes. Be careful of not to let poppy burn at the bottom of the pan.

3) Serve hot with rice.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bhetki Fish Fry



Durga Puja is the biggest festival for Bengalis. The flamboyance and enthusiasm associated with this festival make it all the more special when we, forgetting all about our pain and hardship, join in the madness of celebration. The entire city, chock-a-block with pandals based on different themes, looks nothing short of a kaleidoscope of light,color and sound. The artistry manifested in the innovative creation of varieties of idols of Goddess Durga and decorative artifacts deserves an accolade to be preserved in museum.

These five days of merriment recharge us for the next 360 days of daily grind and we Bengalis, wistfully looking forward to the next year Puja, start counting days from the day of Dashami itself i.e. the day when the goddess is immersed in water. Puja means a lot to us. Besides the ritual of wearing new dresses and pandal-hopping, we also partake in celebrating foods through the festival. All the food joints across the city become packed with hungry customers.Sometimes the restaurants and eateries become so crowded that a long queue forms outside, extending up to a mile. Junkies sell like hot cakes during those fun-filled five days and one of such popular junkies is Fish Fry. After we have shifted to Bangalore, such junk delicacies have become elusive to us. Somewhat forced by circumstances, I have managed to learn preparing Fish Fry.

Fish Fry is an all-time hit snack item that, usually prepared with Bhetki fish fillet, can be made with Gurjali fish also, but with a compromised taste. Fresh Bhetki fillets with juicy fleshy meat are sacrosanct ingredient the quality and taste of this dish depend on.

Ingredients:                                                       Cooking time: 40 minutes
                                                                           
8 Bhetki fillets

2 tbs Eastern Fish Fry Masala (you may use fish fry masala of other brands also)

2 tsp  ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

2 tbs of lemon juice

2 eggs

2 cups of breadcrumb

1 tsp of cornflour

salt to taste

white oil for deep frying

Method:

1) In a bowl mix ginger paste, garlic paste, fish fry masala and salt. Use this mixture to marinate the fish fillets. Then rub lemon juice on them. Keep the marinade on fridge for an hour or two. Some people choose to keep the marinade in refrigerator for about 6-7 hours all through the night.

2) Just when the time comes to fry the fillets, take them out. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with 1 tsp of cornflour. Whisk the eggs till it forms a smooth consistency.

3) Now heat oil in a frying pan. When smoke starts spiralling up from the oil, dip the fillets into the mixture of egg and cornflour and then roll them over on breadcrumb. When the fish fillets get covered in a fine coat of breadcrumbs, toss them into the smoking oil.

4) Fry the fillets till they turn brown in color. Serve hot with kasundi or tomato sauce.

Baingan Bharta - Eggplant Bharta




As a child I was not very fond of vegetables except potato and I gave my mother some tough time when she tried feeding me a morsel of any vegetable curry.Of all the vegetables, brinjal was my least favourite and no coaxing and cajoling could work in forcing a brinjal preparation down my throat.I wouldnot just have it at any cost. I was quite a stubborn child and my refusal never turned into an affirmative, but my mother being equally stubborn pursued her endeavours to feed me nutritious vegetable dishes saying that I would not grow into a healthy girl if I continued living on a diet of fishes, eggs, chicken and potato without vegetables and when such brainwashing wouldnot budge me, she sometimes resorted to scolding and thrashing as last-ditch effort.

Now all grown-up I can imagine the hard time I gave my mother over food and pray that my children would not make me suffer over vegetables as I did.Well, after my marriage I have changed a lot as far as finickiness over food is concerned. Sometimes situations force you to get into a compromise with a lot of things you otherwise turn up your nose at. Marriage is one such transitional stage that changes a man and woman from within, putting you through a variety of circumstances. After marriage I started living with my husband on our own without any elderly support above our heads, and in a nuclear family when things are to be done on your own, many such finickiness, fastidiousness and complaints fly out of the window. I started eating vegetables out of compulsion somewhat since on coming back from office I didnt feel the urge to cook a non vegetarian item as non-vegetarian Bengali dishes require a considerable amount of time and labour for preparation. So we turned vegetarian for most of the week days keeping non-veg delicacies exclusive for the weekends. Believe it or not, after marriage only I realized that vegetable dishes are equally tasty and delicious as any non-veg item. My mother in law can prepare some exotic vegetable dishes that would leave an everlasting impression in one's tastebud.

Feeling ashamed to admit but yes, I tasted Baingan Bharta cooked by my mother after marriage only and yes, since then I have grown fond of it. Here goes the recipe:

Ingredients:                                                           Cooking time: 15 minutes
                                                                                Preparation time: 15 minutes
2 eggplants

1 onion (chopped)

1 tomato (chopped)

6-7 green chillies (chopped)

1 tsp turmeric powder

White oil for cooking

salt to taste

Method:

1) Heat a tawa or a skillet and dry roast the eggplants.


2) When they are roasted on all sides with a sweet burning smell of brinjal permeating the air, take them off the heat and remove the husk.

3) The flesh of the roasted eggplant would be soft from inside and so once the husk is removed, mash the eggplants with your hands just as shown in the pic below:


3) Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the chopped onions and tomatoes and fry them till they turn translucent.

4) Then add the mashed eggplants along with green chillies. Add 1 tsp of turmeric and salt. Fry the eggplants on low or medium heat thoroughly, stirring sporadically.

5) When the eggplants would become brownish in color, taste the salt and take it off the heat. Serve hot.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Suji Rava Laddu - Semolina Laddu




This rava laddu recipe I came across in a You tube video where chef Sanjay Thumma explained the process of preparing laddus very neatly and simply, making it easier for anyone to grasp the skill. I tried it at home on Diwali and the laddus turned our really yummy. So thought of sharing the recipe in my blog.


 
 
Ingredients:                                                         Cooking time: 15 minutes approx

2 tsp of ghee

1 cup of dried fruits including almonds, cashew nuts and raisins

1 cup of grated coconuts

1 cup of rava

2 tbs of sugar (add more or less as per your sweet craving)

1/2 cup of milk

1 pinch of cardamom powder (optional)

Preparation:

1) Heat ghee in a frying pan. Roast the dried fruits - broken almonds, cashew nuts and raisins in the ghee.


2) When the raisins start ballooning up, add the grated coconuts. This will stop the further coloring or roasting of the dried fruits. Reduce the heat to low flame.

3) Saute the coconuts for 1 - 2 minutes before adding up the rava. Once the rava is added, cook it stirring continuously for 10 minutes on low flame. When the rava looks slightly brown in color with a nice smell of roasted rava entering your nostril, add sugar and mix well for 1-2 minutes.

4) Now turn off the heat and add milk. Sprinkle a pinch of cardamom powder. Milk will make the mixture moist so that you can prepare laddus easily and cardamom powder will lend it a nice flavour.

5) Now take a spoonful of mixture on your palm and with light pressure of your fingers, make round balls or laddus.






Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rui Maacher Kajuri -- Rohu Kajuri




Rohu Kajuri is an awesome Bengali dish that will leave anyone licking his fingers. It came out of my mother's kitty who oft-repeated this item to meet our cravings. The gravy, cooked with cashew nuts paste and yogurt, lapping up against the soft pieces of Rohu is an absolute bliss when mixed with rice. You may try out this recipe with other fishes too. Hitherto I prepared this only with Rohu, but am certain it will turn out as delicious as with Rohu with other fishes also.


Ingredients:                                                       Cooking time:20 minutes

8 pieces of Rohu fish

1 onion (chopped)

1 tsp ginger paste

5-6 green chillies

1/2 cup of cashew nuts

1/2 cup of yogurt

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp sugar

saltt to taste

1/2 tsp garam masala

 2 bay leaves

2 dry red chillies

white oil for cooking

Preparation:

1) Heat oil in a frying pan and when oil turns smoking hot, toss in the rohu fishes and brown them on both sides. Once fried, keep them aside.

2) Now fry the chopped onions till they become golden and translucent. Then in a blender make a paste from fried onions, ginger paste, green chillies and cashew nuts just as shown in the pic below:



3) Heat oil and add dry red chillies and bay leaves. Once they begin to splutter, add the above paste and saute till the mixture turns golden.

4) In a separate bowl, make a mixture out of yogurt, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Whisk the yogurt to a smooth consistency before adding turmeric and chilli powder.

5) Once the onion and cashew nuts paste in the frying pan turn golden in color, add the mixture of yogurt and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Add salt and sugar. Then add 2/3 cup of water and when water starts to boil, throw in the fish pieces.

6) When the gravy gets the desired thickness, sprinkle garama masala and mix gently with the gravy. Serve hot.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oats Upma



Oats is good for people working on reducing weight. Since oats has good amount of fibre content, it gives a feeling of filling lasting for hours and you dont feel hungry for a long time.This recipe that I am sharing today was written on the back wall of Saffola oats packet and with some variations added into it from my part made it a tasty snack relished by all. You may try it out too.

Ingredients:(Serving 2)

2 cups of oats

2 tbs of Urad dal or black gram

1 potato (boiled and cut into small cubes)

1 onion (finely chopped)

1 tomato (chopped)

curry leaves

4-5 green chillies (chopped)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

Coriander leaves (optional)

white oil for cooking

salt to taste

1/2 tsp sugar

Preparation:

1) Heat oil in a frying pan. When oil starts to smoke, add mustard seeds and when they start crackling, add onion and tomato. Fry them till they turn golden in color.

2) Then add green chillies and urad dal. When urad dal will turn brownish, add potato cubes, turmeric and salt. Cook for 1 minute.

3) Now add oats. Stir to mix oats with the mixture. Add salt and sugar. Add 1/2 cup of water. Please note adding too much water might make the upma soggy. Add water as much required for cooking the oats and when water completely evaporates and oats seem cooked, turn off the heat.

4)  Garnish it with coriander leaves.  Serve hot.




Monday, October 24, 2011

Mutton Dopiyaza




I am not very fond of red meat, but occasionally I need to cook mutton for my husband. Yesterday I tried this mutton dopiyaza following the culinary instincts of my mind and it came out really delicious. You may try it too.

Ingredients:                                                                       Cooking time: 1 hour

1 1/2 kg mutton

3 medium sized onions

1 tomato

6-7 green chillies or more as per your need

1 cup of yogurt

1 cup of white vinegar

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp red chilli powder

2-3 dry red chillies

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1-2 bay leaves

white oil for cooking (you may use mustard oil too)

salt to taste

2 tsp of special garam masala made from the following ingredients:

1/2 tsp of fennel seeds

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

6-7 cloves

5-6 green cardamom

2 inch cinnamon stick

Grind the above ingredients together and make the special masala

Preparation

1) Soak the mutton in white vinegar for one hour and then drain the vinegar.

2) Marinate the mutton with yogurt, turmeric and salt and keep it in refrigerator for one and half hour.

3) Make a paste with 1 onion, green chillies and tomato. Keep it aside. Chop the second and third onions into fine slices.

4) Heat oil in a frying pan. Dont use more than 1 tbs of oil as mutton would release oil from its body once cooked in pressure cooker, unless you want the dish to be coated in oil.

5) Toss mustard seeds, bay leaves and dry red chillies into the smoking oil. Once they start crackling, add the paste made from onion, green chillies and tomato. Fry them till they turn golden in color.

6) Add ginger paste and garlic paste along with red chilli powder. Saute for 1 minute.

7) Now add the special garam masala and saute for 5 minutes. Around this time put 1 cup of water and salt. Stir for 1 or 2 minutes. Then transfer the mixture into pressure cooker.

8) Once the masala mixture settles in the pressure cooker, pour the mutton pieces along with the marinade. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes and add water as per your need for the gravy. If you want thick gravy then add little water or no water, and if you want more gravy, then add more water. Now seal the pressure cooker with the lid.

9) Once the lid is fixed into the pressure cooker, cook it on low heat till 7-8 whistles. Then take the pressure cooker off the heat and let it cool down.

10) Meanwhile, fry the fine slices of the other two onion pieces till they turn golden in color.

11) After the pressure evaporates from the cooker, open the lid and put it on heat again and add the fried onion slices and stir to mix them well with the mutton curry. Cook for 2 minutes more. That's it. Mutton Dopiyaza is ready to serve.


Oats Porridge with Apple and Chocolate Soya Milk



Oats is high fibre nutritious food, good for the reduction of cholesterol. Since we are living in hyper active age ridden by tension and anxiety, heart related ailments can kick off at any age. Recently, one of my school mates' husband died of sudden stroke at a tender age of early thirties. Such is the case that this kind of tragedy might strike anyone unexpectedly and since certain things are beyond our control, what we can do best is to take care of ourselves and our loved ones as best as possible. Oats should be introduced into your diet as besides checking cholesterol, it has other valuable properties attributing to good health. To know more about the healthy effects of eating oats daily, you may refer to the link below:

http://eatmoreoats.com/health.html


The following recipe is a slight variation of Sanjeev Kapoor's Oats Porridge with apple puree and butter featured in Khana Khajana on Zee TV. Sanjeev used plain white cow milk for the recipe while I used Chocolate Soya Milk. You can prepare this porridge either with cow milk like Sanjeev or choco soya milk like me, as per your taste.

Ingredients:                                                                   Cooking time: 15 minutes approx.

1 cup oats

1 apple (finely grated)

1 cup Choco soya milk/cow milk

3/4 cup water

1-2 tsp sugar or as per your sweet craving

1 tsp butter

5-6 almonds (optional)

Preparation:

1) Heat butter in a non-sticky skillet. Then add the grated apple into the butter. Apple should be grated as shown in the pic below. You can either peel off the apple or grate with the peel on.


2) Cook the apple stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add water and cook for another 2 minutes.

3) Then add oats and little water and cook for 5 minutes till oats appear cooked and the mixture forms a smooth consistency.

4) Around this time, add sugar and stir. Then add milk. Cook it on medium heat for another 2 minutes and then take it off the heat.

5) Sprinkle the crushed almonds over the porridge. Dish is ready to serve.

Rui Machher Dimer Bora - Vadas made from Rohu Roe



Rohu roe dumplings are crunchy snack items that we Bengalis fondly savour. You can have it with rice and dal during lunch or dinner, or it can serve as evening time munchies with tea or coffee. Recipe is below:

Ingredients:

300 gm Rohu fish roe

1 onion (chopped)

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

6-7 green chillies or as per your taste (finely chopped)

1 tbs besan/gram flour

1 tsp rice flour

salt to taste

white oil for frying

Preparation

1) Chop the roe into pieces and then in a bowl mix them well with all the above ingredients. Give 1/2 cup water or as required to make a smooth batter. The batter should be of smooth consistency, neither very watery nor very thick.

2) Heat oil in a frying pan and pour a spoonful of batter into the smoking oil. Fry the dumplings on medium heat so that they get fried equally inside and out. Frying the dumplings on high heat will result the outside become very crispy while inside will remain uncooked.

3) When the dumplings change colour into brown, take them off the heat. Serve hot with chutney.






 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pepper Chicken with roasted peanuts




Pepper chicken is a lip-smacking chicken dish that requires minimum ingredients and can be made within 40 minutes. Roasted peanuts add an extra flavour to the natural hotness of peppers. It can be taken like an appetizer or with french breads and tortillas.

Ingredients:                                                          Cooking time: 40 minutes

1 kg boneless chicken (diced)

1 or 2 medium sized onions (finely chopped)

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

6-7 green chillies (chopped)

2 tsp black pepper powder (Grind peppercorn into fine powder. The taste of the dish depends on the quality of the pepper.)

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tbs of roasted peanuts

1 tsp mustard seeds

White oil for cooking

salt to taste

Preparation:

1) Heat the oil in a frying pan. Toss mustard seeds into the smoking oil and saute for 1 minute till the seeds start crackling. Then add the onions and fry them till brown.

2) Then add ginger paste, garlic paste, salt, pepper powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and saute for about 2 minutes.

3) Now add the chicken pieces and green chillies. Stir a little to mix chicken well with the spices. Now put the lid on and cook covered on medium heat till chicken is cooked. Add boiled water into the mixture if required to prevent chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Dont overdo water as the preparation requires dry gravy.

4) When chicken seems cooked, add the roasted peanuts just 5 minutes before taking the dish off the heat. Serve hot.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dahi Bada



Dahi Vada is one of my favourite snack items, more so because the vadas once prepared can be stored for atleast 20-30 days in refrigerator and whenever you feel hunger pinch gnawing at your stomach, you may have it ready on your platter within minutes. Here goes the recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cups Moong dal

1 cup Urad dal

2 cups of yogurt

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp roasted powder(dry roast 1 tsp of cumin seeds, coriander seeds and dry red chillies and then grind them into powder)

2-3 tbs tamarind chutney as per taste

1 tsp salt

white oil for frying

Preparation:

1) Combine both moong dal and urad dal and keep them soaked in water for atleast 5-6 hours. Then blend them into a fine paste. Add water only as required to give the batter a creamy texture. Stir it well so that the batter turns smooth and of pouring consistency as shown in the pic below:



2) Use a flat bottomed frying pan for frying the vadas. Heat oil on medium heat and when smoke emerges from the oil, give a spoonful of batter into the oil and fry the vada till it turns golden in colour. Vadas should be soft. Dont deep fry the vadas as then they will turn crispy and lose the softness. Further, vadas should float in the oil so that they get enough space to become fluffy. Dont use too much oil at once for frying.

 








3) Once the vadas are ready, you can store them in refrigerator for 20-30 days. Just when you feel like eating, take the vadas out. Dip them in hot water for about few minutes and then place them in water of normal temperature for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards placing the vadas between your palms, gently squeeze the water out. Be careful not to put too much pressure as that might break the vadas into pieces. If you are eating freshly cooked vadas, then put them in water of normal temperature only.



4) In a bowl mix two cups of yogurt with salt and make a batter of smooth consistency. Add little milk if required to get the desired smoothness. Then soak the vadas in the yogurt batter for about 15 minutes.

5) Just before serving pick the vadas out one by one and arranged them on a plate. Pour the yogurt on each of the vadas and sprinkle some roasted powder, chilli powder and tamarind chutney. Dahi Vada is ready to serve.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fish Kabiraji


Today was Saturday and I was not well since morning. Fortunately, my husband gets a day off on Saturday and so he made all the arrangements for lunch. In the afternoon unable to bear the stomachache for any longer, I swallowed a painkiller. By the evening I was standing on my toes, ready to roll my brush with cooking. I had been planning to prepare Fish Kabiraji since the time my mother shared the recipe on phone and my husband in an excitement to have his favourite fast food, after a long time of his leaving Kolkata, added Bhetki in his weekend shopping basket. Without wasting any further time, I set about preparing Fish Kabiraji which tastes best when prepared with Bhetki fillet. But as an alternative option, it can be prepared with Gurjali fish also.

Ingredients:                                                              Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

8 Bhetki fish fillets

3-4 eggs

Corn Flour 5 tbs

ginger paste 1 tsp

garlic paste 1 tsp

juice extracted from 2 lemons

pepper powder 1 tsp

1 tsp of fish fry masala (optional)

Salt to taste

sugar 1/2 tsp

White oil for frying

Preparation:

1) Marinate the fish with ginger paste, garlic paste, salt, lemon juice, pepper powder and fish fry masala. Keep it aside for one hour.

2) In a bowl, make batter out of cornflour, the yellow portion of the egg i.e yolk and water. Make sure the batter has smooth consistency. Add salt, sugar and pepper powder into the batter and mix well.

3) In another separate bowl, mix the albumin i.e the white portion of the egg with 2 tbs of cornflour and stir till they combine into a smooth potion. Ascertain that cornflour doesnot form lumps.

4) Now heat the oil in a frying pan. Dip the fish fillets into the batter made out of egg yolk, cornflour and water and fry them one by one.

5)While frying the fish fillets, pour a spoonful of white mixture prepared from albumin and cornflour over each fish being fried on the pan. This is an important step. Make sure that the white mixture is poured on the surface of each fish fillet on both sides. As soon as the whites of the egg would come in touch with the hot oil, it will become fluffy enveloping the fishes in a crispier outer layer.

6) Thus following the above steps, fish fillets are to be fried into Fish Kabiraji. Serve hot with chutney or kasundi.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bread Bhurji



Bread Bhurji is a wonderful snack item. It is one of the easy to make dishes with very little hassle involved in preparation. When I am not in a particular mood to cook and feel lazy, I conjure this up to save myself from the pain of cooking for hours and it turns out delicious and mouth-watering everytime with so little labour gone into it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rohu Fish with Fennel Seeds





This recipe of preparing fish with fennel seeds was published in Sananda, a popular Bengali magazine. There the fish cooked with fennel paste was Parshey, but since I am not quite fond of Parshey fish, I modified it to Rohu and the dish came out to be really mouth-watering.You may try it out at home too.

Ingredient:                                                        Cooking time:1 hour

8 pieces of Rohu Fish

1 cup yogurt

fennel seeds paste (Grind 2 tbs of fennel seeds into smooth paste)

6-7 green chillies paste

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp sugar

2 dry red chillies

1-2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp methi or fenugreek seeds

salt to taste

Mustard oil for cooking

Preparation:

1) Rub turmeric and salt on the fish pieces and fry them till they become golden brown in color. The oil should be smoking hot when you will drop the fish pieces into the oil else the fish might stick to the bottom of the pan.

2) Make a paste of fennel seeds. Keep it aside. Then in a blender mix all the ingredients together including curd, ginger and garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder and blend them into a smooth paste.

3) Heat the oil in a frying pan and add methi seeds, red chillies and bay leaves. When they will begin to crackle, add the fennel seeds paste. Stir well. Then add the paste made from mixing up all the ingredients together in a blender and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

4) Add salt and sugar. Pour water as much required for making gravy and boil it for about 5 minutes.

5) Drop the fried fish pieces into the gravy now and simmer with lid covered for 5 minutes. Your dish is ready for serving.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cabbage Pakoda



Cabbage Pakoda serves as a great snack to munch on in the evening while sitting together with family and friends, and most of the time the pakodas are cleaned off the plate at lightening speed within minutes of its serving.

Ingredients:                                                              Cooking time: 20 minutes

1 cup of cabbage (cut into thin strips)

2 small size potatoes (boiled and mashed)

3 tbs of Besan (Bengal gram flour)

2 tbs of rice flour

1 small size chopped onion (optional)

5-6 green chillies (finely chopped)

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp dry mango powder (optional)

white oil for frying

salt to taste

Preparation:

1) Boil the cabbage for 10 minutes and drain the water.

2) In a bowl, mix potato, cabbage, rice flour, bengal gram flour, ginger paste, green chillies, dry mango powder and salt, and make a batter of thick consistency adding water as little as possible.

3) Heat the oil in a frying pan and spill a spoonful of batter into the smoking oil. Deep fry it till it turns crispy and golden brown.





Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bread Pudding



It might sound a cliche but yes Bengalis are fond of sweets and I am no exception either. I have a sweet tooth and I yearn for something sweet after my every meal. When we were in Kolkata, sweets were sacrosanct part of our daily diet. Any occasion would remain incomplete without a tub of rosogollas and why not that be? Kolkata abounds with confectionaries selling various types of sweets with each one of them outdoing the other in taste and quality. Remarkable creativity and innovation go into the preparation of each one of those sweets. But sweets are not specialities in Bangalore as they are in Kolkata. Hence the chances of tumbling upon a top quality confectionary in Bangalore are very limited and the taste doesnot even come close to the ones sold in Kolkata.Literally, I am left with no option but to learn cooking sweet dishes in order to fulfill my craving.The following is a bread pudding recipe that serves as a good dessert. Whenever I have an excess of breads one or two days old, I make use of them by preparing bread pudding or bread pakoda or bread bhurji and they always come out nice and relished with pleasure by family.

Ingredients:                                                    Cooking time: 45 minutes

8-9 slices of breads (shredded with crusts removed)

3 cups of milk

1 tbs butter

2 cups of sugar

3 eggs

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

1/2 cup raisins

Preparation:

1) Boil the milk on medium heat and drop a scoop of butter into it. Keep them on oven till both butter and milk combine well.

2) Mix eggs, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and sugar in a separate bowl and beat the mixture till it becomes smooth with no lumps. Add the milk gradually and stir well.

3) Remove the crusts from the breads and tear them into tiny shreds.


4) Grease a bakish dish and arrange the bread crumbs. Then sprinkle raisins on top of the bread crumbs.



5) Pour the milk admixture over the bread shreds. Make sure that all the bread pieces are dipped in the mixture. Now set your oven at 180 degree C ( about 350 degree F)  and bake for about 30 minutes or till a toothpick or fork inserted in the pudding comes out clean.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Egg Devil Curry





This recipe derives directly from my mother's kitchen. Undeniably, it is one of those finger licking tasty dishes that my mother fondly prepares and spices apart, her love added into the cooking makes it way tastier. This is one of my favorite egg preparations and needless to say, the oft-repeated one that my family loves lapping up.
 
Ingredients:                                                                     Cooking time: 30 minutes
ü  6 eggs (boiled and peeled)
ü  1 large size onion
ü  2 tomatoes
ü  Green chillies (5-6 or as per your taste)
ü  1 tsp ginger paste
ü  1 tsp garlic paste
ü  1 tsp turmeric powder
ü  1 tsp coriander powder
ü  1 tsp cumin powder
ü  1 tsp nutmeg powder
ü  1 tsp black pepper powder
ü  1/2 tsp garam masala powder (optional)
ü  1/2 tsp chilli powder
ü  1/2 tsp mustard seeds (for saute)
ü  Salt to taste
ü  White oil for cooking
Preparation:
1) First make a paste of onion, tomatoes and green chillies.
2) Put oil into a frying pan and when the oil will start to smoke, add the eggs and lightly roast them. Take them off the heat and keep aside. (Make sure to wait for the oil to start smoking else the water content in the eggs will make them stick to the bottom of the pan)




 
3) Now add mustard seeds into the oil and when they will begin to splutter, add the onion, tomatoes and green chilli paste. Simmer till the mixture starts changing color.

4) Add ginger and garlic paste.  Roast them for 1 minute and then add all the spices. Sauté the spices for at least 10 minutes on medium heat. When the mixture will get dry, add 1 tbs of water and keep sautéing till the spices get properly cooked. Please don’t overdo water as the gravy needs to be thickened in consistency.

5) When the gravy will look tempting and spicy, add the eggs and cook for 2 minutes with lid covered on medium flame. Egg Devil Curry is now ready to win the hearts of all.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Oats and Moong Dal Dosa

My mother in law is a serious heart patient with a pacemaker supporting her heart function and since heart ailment is considered to be hereditary, I try making sure that my husband eats healthy low cholesterol food as much as possible though it's difficult to control diet of a guy of his age who is in constant craving for binging fast food or tasty oily dishes. Still I try doing as best as possible for me to monitor his food intake.

Oats is a highly nutritious food, rich in the content of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. One important component present in oats is beta-glucans which specifically helps reduce cholesterol in bloodstream. Since oats itself is tasteless, it might not suit the tastebud of many people looking for only delectability in their dishes.My husband being that kind, I need to think outside the box to feed him oats without compromising with the taste factor.With that thought I mixed oats and moong dal (golden gram) together and prepared moong oats dosa.It is easy and simple to make and you can have it with tomato sauce or curd or with any vegetable curry.

Ingredient: (5-6 dosas)                                          Cooking time: 30 minutes

2 cups of Moong dal (Golden gram)

1 cup of oats

Coriander or Cilantro leaves (finely chopped)

5-6 green chillies (chopped)

salt to taste

white oil for cooking

Method:

1. Soak the moong dal for half an hour and then put both moong dal and oats in a blender and make a paste.



2. Give half cup of water or as required into the paste and make a batter of smooth consistency. Add coriander leaves and green chillies. Give salt as per taste. You may add onion and tomatoes to enhance the taste further.



3. Add oil into a non-sticky skillet and pour one cup of batter into it and lightly roast it from both side. Dosa is ready.





If you wish to know more about the benefits earned by eating oats daily, you may visit the following webpage:

http://eatmoreoats.com/health.html

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Recipe for Egg Mutton Roll



I had some leftovers from the Mutton curry I prepared yesterday and I didnt feel like having it with rice or roti. With that thought a sudden idea of preparing egg mutton roll clicked my mind. Egg mutton roll is a popular roadside snack savoured by Bengalis in Kolkata. Atleast one food stall in every alley within Kolkata has this item selling like hot cake. Egg mutton roll belongs to the same fraternity of egg chicken roll and egg roll. Kolkata is dotted with makeshift shops that proudly fulfill the fast food craving of its inhabitants by an array of choices including rolls, chops, phuchkas and other such mouthwatering delicacies. In Bangalore, such roadside delicacy is rather difficult to find. Sigh !

Ingredient: (4 rolls)                                                               Cooking time: 15 minutes

1 and half cup of all purpose flour (Maida)

1 cup of whole wheat flour (Atta)

2 tsp of yogurt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

4 Eggs

1 small size onion (chopped)

4 green chillies (diced)

Mutton curry (remove the bones and drain the gravy)

1 cup of white oil

1 lemon cut into four pieces

Method:

1. Blend maida with salt and sugar. Add 1 tsp oil and yogurt into the mixture and mix well. Gradually pour water and make a tight dough. Make 4 medium size balls as shown in the pic below:



2. Roll the balls flat into a circle shape like paratha. Then take a non sticky skillet and lightly fry the parathas and keep them aside.

3. 1 egg has to be used for each roll. If you wish, you may use 2 eggs per roll. Whisk the egg in a container and add a bit of salt according to your taste. Then pour it over into the skillet and try making an omlet. While a tiny portion of the egg remains slightly uncooked, slap the paratha over it so that the paratha gets glued to the omlet. See the pic below:



4. Now comes the easiest but the most important step i.e arrangement of components in proper order. Just through the middle of the paratha, form a layer of onion pieces, green chillies and mutton pieces. Squeeze lemon juice along the layer.



5. Finally wrap the paratha into a roll. Egg Mutton Roll is now ready to serve.



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