Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pabda Pasinda

Lately the media seems to be lacking in their resources, why otherwise the only pictures hovering here, there and everywhere are the pics of Aishwarya Rai in her baby bumps or in her post pregnancy weight gain. It is disgusting how media being a responsible source of information does not give other crucial news their due importance and creates commotion on what is natural to women upon the delivery of a child. I am not an Aishwarya hater, but the excessive coverage of her by the media makes me feel that the media spokespersons are too gung-ho about her and go overboard in their dealing of covering a news on her. C'mon there are other actresses too, who though not be hailing from a Bachchan family, have notched a name in the tinsel world by virtue of their acting prowess like Madhuri Dixit and Rani Mukherjee.

Talking about Rani Mukherjee, she is a Bengali by origin and somewhere I read that she is fond of fishes. So assuming that she likes pabda, I want to dedicate this dish to her :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lemon Cake

Day before yesterday we returned all tired, from the two days trip to Smoky Mountain. Hiking along a half mile trail to reach the highest mountain in Smoky Mountain National Park left my knees shaking in pain. Sudden spurt of exercise makes every joint of your body sore which otherwise is accustomed only to sedentary life style. I have taken an oath that I would do workouts regularly without miss every day from now on.

There on the day we started the trip, I packed tiffin full of lemon cake slices and relished them on the way. It truly added to the enjoyment of our trip. The strong fascinating flavour of lemon combined with the slight sour taste of the frosting makes it a compact treat to satisfy a palate.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chicken Mushroom Soup

Finally, we have the beautiful summer months setting in, in USA. It is strange that the season agonizing for some could be a thing for others to look forward to. Summer climate in US is beautiful with shades of green popping up everywhere whereas in Kolkata, amidst insufferable humidity and the soaring temperature, the beauty of greenery goes unnoticed. My mother was telling me how badly the weather is there now with heat waves wearing out the last bit of strength from everyone.

I am lucky in a way to be able to escape one more summer season of Kolkata. Summer in Bangalore, however, was beautiful. Whenever the temperature soars beyond the tolerance limit, showers of rain cool the environment giving all a moment of respite. Infact, it's very uncommon in Bangalore to have A/C at home. The A/C of ours which we bought in Kolkata and used for about 2 years was of no use in Bangalore when we shifted there. Finally, before flying to US, we packed the A/C and put it on for sale.

Anyway, hope the below chicken mushroom soup recipe takes some of the heat away leaving a savory taste in your mouth.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicken Fettuccine in Creamy Vodka Sauce

That Smirnoff bottle is standing as a showpiece in one corner of our refrigerator for long time now and since both of us have quit drinking (apparently), we are thinking of ways to use it otherwise. First we infused a peg of vodka into our cake in Vodka Mocha Bundt Cake, now we have conceived a novel way of eating pasta cooked in vodka sauce. Trust me; vodka can take your dish to an ultimate level of gastronomic wonder.

Of all the pastas I have concocted so far, my hubby verdicts 'this one' just stands apart. Kudos to vodka :D

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mughlai Chicken Biriyani

My hubby itching for biriyani seems to have become a regular affair on Sundays. Though most of the Sundays I satiate his desire cooking something else equally grand in taste in lieu of biriyani, but his biriyani craving perpetuates till finally I give in to his demand or he visits a restaurant to eat a plateful of the same.

Well, the scenario is not as bad as I have mentioned above, but yes he is one of those crazy biriyani lovers. In our initial months in Bangalore, we used to try every biriyani food chain available nearby to seek out the best eatery conjuring up the biriyani most exotic in taste. We came across an array of very fine restaurants where the biriyani was one of the best items cooked; such as, Arsalan, ITC Fortune Welcome Group and Hyderabadi House. If despite staying in Bangalore, you didn't eat out in any of the above three mentioned, you are missing out on something.

Lau Bata - Bottle Gourd Paste

I was a member of a cooking forum in Orkut where the members used to exchange recipes. In one such forum, I picked up the below recipe of bottle gourd detailed by one of the fellow members. In fact, before I joined the thread which was carrying on discussion upon bottle gourd cooked in variety of ways, I was not aware that bottle gourd offers such wide range of culinary creations.  Amazing!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vodka Mocha Bundt Cake

One perfect way to use vodka if you don't like to belt it down is to seep a peg into your cake. It heightens the taste of your baked goodies. The moist texture of the cake provides pure bliss at each morsel.

Since I am away from the city and hence unable to partake in the celebration of my niece's brilliant result (she has been ranked 3rd in ICSE in West Bengal.), I planned to bake a cake dedicating to her success. This is for my dear beloved Titli!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Egg Chicken Mughlai Paratha

In Bangalore there was a shopping mall where in the cafeteria we used to get this wonderful Egg Chicken Mughlai Paratha directly as if transported from Kolkata. It was undoubtedly a Bengali food outlet catering to the gastronomic fancies of bongs living outside their hometown. We were quite frequent there many a time fulfilling our appetite with luchi alu dum, egg roll, chicken roll, vegetable chop and last but not the least with Mughlai parathas.

 The tough crispy exterior of the Mughlai paratha falling apart as you lay your fingers on it with the mushy chicken stuffing melting in your mouth makes eating a tantalizing experience.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Honey Chicken

I am so happy today. The first born of our next generation that is my elder sister's daughter, my niece has passed out ICSE exam with flying colors topping in her school with 98.3 % marks. She was always very bright, somewhat precocious, from her very childhood.

It all seems so strange now that she is growing up so fast. As a child she used to be pretty inquisitive making enquiries about everything happening around her. She would emulate whatever I did. If I sat with a book, she would do the same. If I worked on my desktop, she would crib for the same. Also, when I used to dress up for an occasion in front of the mirror, standing beside me she would notice me meticulously only to do the same when I was away. Now putting all such puerile quirks behind, she has given us a proud moment to rejoice at her success.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Stir Fried Prawns in Chilli Garlic Soy Sauce

It's been days I have not eaten Chinese. On my birthday this year we ordered a takeaway from a popular Chinese chain here. We soon rued our decision at the first mouthful. The gravy in the chicken curry was plain syrup. In a manner of speaking, it was 'disgusting.' I didn't wish to have a birthday dinner end up in discarding foods, so painfully I nibbled all that was on my plate. My hubby doesn't make much hue and cry over taste as being grown up in hostel has accustomed him to anything tasting bland or repulsive. So it's out of his nature to turn up nose at any food. But he too carefully avoided the gravy plucking only the meatballs afloat in the syrup and got done and dusted with his meal.

Talking about Chinese cuisine, the Chinese food that is available in India conform to the Indian taste bud. So they appeal to our palate. But the ones available here are cooked in accordance with the taste bud of the people living here. So it's little different in taste. I guess the Chinese food that we are used to eating in India is different in taste in China too. So you see you cannot ignore the cross-cultural influence.

Anyway, enough lecture on Chinese food. It's time to share one amazing stir fried prawn recipe that I cooked in the fashion of Chinese cuisine. Hope you all will like it. Happy feasting!

Doi Sojne - Drumsticks in Yogurt Sauce

My mother would say that chewing drumsticks strengthens teeth and muscles of the mouth. I was a vegetable hater during my childhood and teenage years. However, some of the vegetables that I loved chomping were potatoes, drumsticks, cauliflower, cabbage, pui shaak, carrots and peas. I hated eggplants but loved 'Baingan Bharta'. Quite weird food habit, eh? Since my hapless mother could not succeed in forcing other vegetables down my throat, she stuck to adding the ones that I eat in abundance to my diet. Needless to say, drumsticks were one such item.


Post marriage, once we shifted to Bangalore, we parted with some of the vegetables due to their unavailability. Pui shaak and drumsticks for instance. So, I did not let the chance slide when I caught hold of drumsticks in an Indian store here in US. For me it's nothing short of a miracle because in Bangalore, I could not find drumsticks anywhere; so among all, it was least expected to be found in a foreign land. But as it seems except for Bhetki or Beckti, everything else is quite within reach. I am happy that I got my favourite vegetable back to my palate, after a long time, for chewing.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dimer Dhokar Dalna

Dimer Dhokar Dalna is another variation of Egg Cake Curry. If you have enjoyed 'Egg Cake Curry', I am sure this one too will win your heart. Since I don't have any steamer, I choose to cook the eggs in oven. If you have steamer, you may cook the eggs in a steamer for 20 minutes. Or you may go for another option - pressure-cooking. Put the egg potato mixture inside a closed tiffin box and place that in a pressure cooker. Empty a glass of water into the pressure cooker so that the water sliding around the tiffin box helps in building steams to cook the egg.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kachkolar Kofta - Plantain Kofta Curry

Considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables, plantain is rich with nutrients. Low in calories, plantains are a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, B6 and C. The potassium content in plantains is deemed to be beneficial for people with heart ailment. Rich in dietary fibres, plantains also help in clearing bowels.

‘Kachkola’ as we call plantain in Bengali makes one of the tastiest vegetable dishes - Kachkolar Kofta. I was never fond of vegetables during my growing years, least of all kachkola. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the koftas my mother made from kachkola. It was damn tasty and I would keep asking for repeated serving. For more

For more such recipes on Koftas, click the links below:

Lau er Kofta Curry
Rui Kofta Curry
Prawn Kofta Curry
Chicken Kofta Curry

Paneer La Jabab

It's shocking to know that in some parts of India the male female ratio has dropped to such an alarming level that a noticeable number of marriageable guys are forced to live a life of bachelorhood due to the scarcity of women in their region. Yesterday I was watching Satyameva Jayate produced by Aamir Khan on YouTube where the first episode was based on female foeticide. I thought that infanticide in India is rooted only in the backward underprivileged section of the society, but it was a terrifying revelation that the people opting for female infanticide are mostly educated hailing from sound financial background.

Years before I saw a movie called 'Matrubhoomi', the plot of which was based on a future dystopia in a village, located in Bihar, populated excessively by males owing to female foeticide practiced over the years. The condition led to a grim exploitation of women trafficked from other states and a single woman forcefully being married to multiple husbands. It was utterly disgusting to see how tragic and horrifying the social circumstances could turn out to be if an ill-practice like infanticide goes undeterred.

In times like this when women have proven themselves to be no less than their male counterparts, I only can feel sorry for the warped psychology of those who consider girl child a curse.

Mexican Egg

The following is a fine Mexican Egg also known as Fricassee. Ideal on breakfast table, this fulsome egg is easy to be made, less time-taking and tastes heavenly with cheese melting in your mouth. I have used mozzarella in my preparation, but there is no hard and fast rule of mozzarella to be used only. You may substitute mozzarella with any other cheese of your choice, like parmesan or feta cheese.

Same goes for parsley also. If you prefer cilantro or coriander leaves over parsley, then don’t be hesitant in using that for topping.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Doi Pomfret - Pomfret in Yogurt Sauce

We all know that Pomfret is a fish we so dearly love and consume, but hardly few of us know there is a whole city named 'Pomfret' in Connecticut and not only that, 'Pomfret' is also an English surname. Infact, as wikipedia informs, West Yorkshire in Norman times was known as 'Pomfret'. Until now I had least idea that the fish I fondly savour has so many namesakes.

Doi Pomfret is another amazing way you can relish your favourite fish. It goes best with rice or pulao. Trust me, each grain of rice drenched in the gravy of this dish makes eating a heavenly experience. I am already salivating!

Chicken Pakoda

Chicken Pakoda is a very savory snack item, ideal for the evening to accompany tea. The good thing about it is it takes less time for preparation, yet wins the hearts of all, from old to young. I prepare it often at home, but somehow have always missed out on uploading the recipe. So without delaying further, here it goes:

White Sauce

Since I made an entry recently on Baked Salmon with Spinach requiring white sauce in the process, unless you know how to make it, you might not be able to cook the dish. So I thought to give a quick touch upon the recipe. Sorry, no photo for white sauce as the sauce is boringly white and looks like a batter, nothing special.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Baked Salmon with Spinach

I am a big fan of the serial 'Balika Badhu'. Except during the time of my working in IBM in Bangalore, I always watched the serial sharp at 8 o'clock without miss from the day it started to be on air. Now when I am in US, I still am hooked on to the serial with the same zeal and enthusiasm. The recent entry of 'Siddharth Shukla' to replace Jagya in Anandi's life has incited my interest further in the upcoming episodes. I am impressed with the fact that our serials have matured in terms of showing the heroines move ahead with their lives leaving the past behind.

For all those women who have suffered the pain of being jilted by their husbands or boyfriends for another woman, let me tell you it's better that God has given you a second chance to make something good out of your life and find someone better than wasting your precious life with a wicked selfish creature. I myself have gone through a similar experience in my life, but on hindsight I feel happy and thank God that it happened because that gave me a chance to find someone so honest and loving like my husband. No one else would have been a better life partner for me other than him.

Back to the recipe, the following dish can be prepared using any fish that has fewer bones, like Tilapia and Bhetki. I have cooked the dish previously with Bhetki but since I didn't find Bhetki fish available in US, I tried it with Salmon.

Kurkure Corn Kamal

I got this chaat recipe on the back of a Kurkure packet. I found it to be an amazing chaat, perfect for the evening.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Shahi Paneer

Today was Sunday and planning to turn it into another feasting 'Sunday' I thought to cook something special with paneer. I combed through the cyber world in search of a recipe for shahi paneer and came across one in Sanjiv Kapoor's website. It seemed to suit what I was looking for and without further ado, I set about cooking it. However, I have made few changes to the recipe according to my palate, like I have added sugar and garnished it with green chillies. The white color of the dish in contrast with green made it a visual treat.

Regardless of the look, the dish is a kickshaw, something that you would make your friends sing your praises. The creamy aromatic succulent flavour of the dish will keep you licking your fingers.

Dim Jhal Posto - Hot Egg Poppy Curry

Just few days back my hubby came back home running from office with good news that at long last finally he had managed to get the full video of 'Bhuter Bhobishyot' online on You Tube. That night I finished cooking early and had dinner quick before time. Just when we sat to watch the movie in full enthusiasm, BANG, the movie is gone. Gone means it's removed, totally wiped out from You Tube video collection. Alas, with that went our only chance of watching the movie sitting here some thousands miles away from our country, down the drain. Aw man, I don't know when the movie will come printed in DVD and even it comes whether that will be available in US.

For people not sharing my mother tongue, let me inform that 'Bhooter Bhobishyot' is a super hit Bengali movie. The rave reviews of the movie from those who have watched it has bred a desire in me to watch it too.

Back to the recipe, 'Dim' in Bengali means Egg, 'Jhal' in Bengali means hot, 'Posto' means 'Poppy' and hence the name 'Dim Jhal Posto'. If you are contemplating to cook something different with eggs yet suitable to accompany rice or chapati, this is an ideal deal for you. While cooking this egg curry today, I was missing my mother a lot. Hence I dedicate the recipe to my mother.

Sour Cream Pear Cake

I had couple of pears staling in the fridge for last two weeks. Since I hate wasting food, I finally found the solution to put the pears to their best use through baking. In order to go according to plan, I scoured the cyber world in search of a delectable yet innovative pear cake recipe and came across something extraordinary in Soon I set about assembling the ingredients required to bake the cake below all through the afternoon and finally came up with a nice turnout.

However, I have adjusted the measurements according to my convenience. You may increase or decrease the same to your discretion.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Egg Cake Curry

One of my friends on Facebook literally went into a skirmish with me over the roles some women play in destroying a man's life. Well, I have a little pro-female view when it comes to an argument about man and woman. My friends often label me 'a feminist' for my rebellious thoughts, but the truth is I am not a feminist. It's just that my views are inclined towards women because I feel just for the reason of a handful of women misusing the dhara 498 to exploit their husbands; one cannot conclude that our kinds are in better condition. If you go by the statistics of women being victimized and exploited by their husbands versus men being manhandled by women, the former outweighs the latter in number, always. Just see the number of women being subjected to violent acid attack or physical attack all over the world and the horrific photos and reports about the same will make any sensible mind shudder in shock.

Okay, now that I am aware of opening my mouth on a touchy sensitive topic very unsuitable for a cooking blog, I would rather keep my thoughts to myself lest an argument on men and women is triggered here and your attention from the recipe diverts.

Egg Cake Curry is an interesting egg curry the recipe of which I picked up very recently during a pot-luck meal. I always love potlucks. It just introduces you to a variety of culinary delights. My friend followed the old technique of putting a closed tiffin box half submerged in water inside a pressure cooker to cook the egg cakes. But I found the microwave way easier for me. You may do whichever way befits you.