Monday, October 29, 2012

Tangra Maach Begun Diye - Tangra Eggplant Curry



Hurricane Sandy is touching the base today in the evening. Throughout the East coast everyone has been told to evacuate homes and take shelter in somewhere safe. All the flights have been cancelled for the day. It's being claimed that Sandy is one of the most powerful superstorms no one alive today has witnessed. Sandy is expected to affect 60 million people bringing out unforeseen devastation including indefinite period of power outages, flooding and potential heavy wind damages. Sandy has already claimed 67 lives on its path across the Caribbean last week and now New York is bracing itself for the impending catastrophe.
 
 

Some of my friends staying in New York have uploaded snaps, on Facebook, of deserted shelves in Wal-Mart, deserted streets in otherwise busy Manhattan, wooden planks being plastered on the glass panes of departmental stores, piles of sacks filled with sands heaped in front of the closed shutter of restaurants as precautionary measures to withstand the storm.  

Since yesterday here in Ohio, we could feel the wind blowing strongly than ever with the temperature suddenly dropping to a freezing degree. As I was out on practice driving along a narrow road yesterday, at 45 mph speed I could feel the gust of wind lashing against my car, I anchored my hands as firmly as possible upon the wheel to prevent the car swaying sideways. Throughout the time I was behind the wheel, I was on my toes while my hubby was quietly smiling beside me, enjoying my trepidation. So mean, truly.
 
 

Back to the recipe, we all are familiar with Elish preparation with eggplant, but this one is an uncommon concoction of Tangra and Begun (eggplant in Bengali). I never had any idea before I tried this that Tangra could harmonize so tastefully with begun.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Maharashtrian Mooli Curry



Time is powerful. It heals pain, shows us who our real friends are, teaching us lessons we ignore otherwise. Time brings strangers close to us while pulling best friends away. Time is what regulates, controls and shapes our life. We tend to ignore time when we have plenty of it, but each count of seconds seems too precious to while away when we are in the midst of an exam, filling answer sheets. Sometimes I dearly wish to have the power to turn back the clock, so many things being there to rectify, so many people I would not allow to step into my life given a second chance. But as they say "time and tide wait for none" and so there we are pulled into the vortex of time.
 
 

Just as I was on the verge of getting bored with the usual Mooli Bhaji I cook at home, I had this typical mooli curry radiating the flavour of Maharashtrian cuisine in every sense at my friend's place. I really like the aroma of curry leaves, unlike my brother who refuses to eat anything cooked with a slight hint of curry leaves saying that reminds him of 4 arduous years of his engineering days in Bangalore back in early 90s when it was yet to metamorphose itself into a cosmopolitan hub, with very limited range of cuisines save South Indian on offer to the outsiders. My experience in Bangalore had been pretty nice as opposed to what my brother went through. Now, there are a cluster of restaurants catering to different taste buds of people ranging from South to North, East to West. The options are abundant, in case if someone doesn't enjoy eating South Indian cuisines, he/she can always switch to relish the flavour of other cuisines.
 

 
 

Bhoger Khichuri



As the name implicates, Bhoger Khichuri refers to the khichudi offered to god. There is a slight difference in preparation between Bhoger Khichuri and conventional khichuri. Bhoger Khichuri is made fully 'niramish' (vegetarian) with no hint of onion and garlic, two basic ingredients commonly associated with non-veg preparations. Taste wise, bhoger khichuri is lip-smacking, people literally falling over each other to get their share of the bhog when the same is distributed in pandals during Durga Puja, mainly on Ashtami. Bhoger Khichuri acquires a distinctive savory flavor when offered to the deity, the fragrance of incense, flowers and the blessing of the almighty all contributing to enrich the taste. Of all the goodness of Pujo, this one I find the most tempting - Khichuri.


 

Just as we spent the pujo this year away from all the cacophony and clamor connected to the festivity, my hubby came to me with a request to grace our Saturday lunch with bhoger khichuri and Elish Mach bhaja. Like a good wife always at my hubby's service, I naturally complied with his wish serving him a fulfilling meal yesterday.



Friday, October 26, 2012

Baked Corn Rice



Pujo Pujo Pujo and now Pujo is over. As everyone is busy bidding adieu to the goddess Durga, I pray that I make it to Kolkata next year, missing the fervour and exhilaration associated with Kolkata pujo three years in a row. It's utterly painful as you see Facebook pages flooded with the snaps of friends, attired in brand new clothes, swept away into the celebration while you spending the time alone secluded from all nears and dear ones in a foreign land with no vestige of festivity close by, your heart sinks into despair.


 

I might have mentioned in my earlier posts about how so long as Puja is going on I occupy myself in cooking delicacies to evade the feeling of heavyheartedness, a small attempt to derive consolation from; so taken over by such an orgy recently I tried a vegetarian version of stroganoff with fried potato chunks and sweet corn sauce lacing the flavour with irrepressible charm. I swear each spoonful of this dish exudes the warmth comparable only to the Chicken Stroganoff served in a popular restaurant in Kolkata the very memory of which brings water to my mouth.

The pictures of the dish didn't come out good, however, due to low light exposure. I swear to post some good quality snaps soon, replacing the ones published now.



For more recipes on rice, please click the links below:

Paneer Fried Rice
Mint Pilaf - Pudine Rice
Arroz Con Pollo - Spanish Rice with Chicken
Pulao with Coconut Milk
Egg Prawn Fried Rice
 

Stuffed Bread Pakoda


Jaspal Bhatti's sudden demise in an accident is really shocking. His shows on Dooradarshan in early 90's were hit in our home, our entire family gathered in front of the TV just as his shows were on air. Barely a child then, I don't have much recollection about the subjects covered in his shows that were based on socio economical problem of a common man projected in a satirical way, but the smiles brought forth by Jaspal Bhatti's natural facial expression and wittiness were infectious. Whether or not I understood the depth of the issues concerned, the playfulness with which the issues were dealt with in a humorous way never failed to tickle me pink. It's sad how the life of a person bringing smile to everyone's face met such a tragic end.
 

 
It's pathetic when people die in accidents. At least for people dying natural death due to illness, their family members get some time to mentally prepare themselves for the inevitable but passing away of someone hale and hearty just like that in a matter of few seconds is very difficult coming to terms with.

Stuffed Bread Pakoda is one of the many items I find myself at ease while preparing, especially when the guests arrive unannounced. It does not take much time, hardly 30 minutes and you have a fulfilling snack ready for serving.
 
 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lau er Kofta Curry


What is Kolkata becoming? The number of rape cases being on the rise with a chief minister shrugging of her responsibility by pointing the finger of blame at the growing intimacy between boys and girls, mothers, judged on what I have seen of my sister, mother of a teenage daughter, are too antsy to let their daughters out on their own, forget after nightfall, even in broad daylight. In fact, my niece leads a sheltered life, precisely, due to my sister worrying sick over her daughter's safety that she drops her to the tuition class barely 100 meters away from home. It's not that during our growing years, our movements were unrestricted. It was, to a healthy extent, restricted with my parents always reminding me, the moment I would step out, of returning home on time which in my case was stipulated between 8 to 9 p.m. depending on the occasion, but it was never this bad.
 
 

I don't know whether my sister is the overprotective anxious mother going overboard to keep her daughter out of harm's way or if it is the common feeling shared by every mother of a teenage daughter, but one thing I must admit Kolkata is not a safe haven anymore.
 
 

Lau er Kofta Curry is my mother's favourite lau preparation. Bottle Gourd is a summer vegetable found aplenty in the market during the scorching summer months when to cope up with the soaring temperature, all we could think of is to drink gallons of water. Bottle gourd, deemed as one of the most consumed summer vegetables, contains a lot of water that helps in digestion and cooling the body. The Indian summer produce are better in quality in all respect than what are sold in US especially in view of the bottle gourd that are available here having very little water content and taking pointlessly more time getting cooked. 
For more recipes on Kofta curries, please click the links below:
 

Chocolate Cherry Cake




Ever since I brought two cans of cherry pie filling home, I have been planning to make the luscious Chocolate Cherry Cake, but owing to one reason after another, it was getting shelved until yesterday when in a spree of cooking my favourite dishes in celebration of Durga Puja, I finally gave it a try.
 


This Chocolate Cherry Cake is truly bluely sinful. As if chocolates and cherries are made for each other, their happy union creating an explosion of decadent pleasure at each mouthful. The sweetness of cherries and the wickedness of chocolates melded together bring forth an irresistible combination, the creamy layer of frosting reinforcing the flavour. The soft moist texture crumbling in your mouth gives the pleasure of tasting a forbidden fruit, purely outrageous and sinfully decadent.
 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Egg Kosha



 
We were to attend the Durga Puja held by the Bengali Association 2 and half hours driving distance away in Columbus this weekend, but at the last moment some urgent errand tied up my hubby in office which led to our missing the occasion we were making plans of for weeks. I was all morose on Saturday when my hubby went to office and I was spending the time alone at home. This is one of the worst Saptamis I have spent, next to the one that I spent slogging in office till 7 p.m and then getting stuck amid torrential downpour attired in saree 2 years back in Bangalore. That was, by far, the worst day I had experienced during a pujo. 
 
 

In view of cooking as a fruitful way to keep out the blues, I invited couple of my friends over for dinner to busy myself cooking instead of sulking and glooming at home. The recipe below I have noted down from a Bengali cookery show and tried for the first time on Saturday; it turned out to be really yummilicious. The thick gravy infused with all the aromatic spices and color besides making the curry look tempting offers an awesome treat to be relished with paratha, luchi or puri.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kheer Kamala



As Durga Puja is going on full swing and half way across the globe, I am sitting isolated from all the craze and madness going around Kolkata, to evoke a mood of festivity I have decided to busy myself preparing the festive foods, including Khichdi, Labda, Begun Bhaja, Luchi, Alur Dum, Radha Ballavi and many more for the next days till Bijoya Dashami, the last day when the idol of goddess Durga is immersed.

Kheer Kamala is a traditional sweet recipe of Bengal. Yesterday some friends were invited to our home for dinner; after the meal was consumed, everyone was offered a bowl of kheer kamala as dessert and I realized it winning everyone's heart the moment the most finicky eater from the group asked for a second helping. Not only that guests were curious about the recipe as well for all of them being non-Bengalis have never had this type of kheer before.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kakrol Pur - Stuffed Teasel Gourd

Kakrol is not included in the list of vegetables I eat regularly; I rather find it completely loathsome. My mother makes a lot of dishes with kakrol but she has never succeeded in feeding me any save one - Kakrol Pur. Kakrol with its seeds removed and with delectable stuffing inside tastes beyond words. My mother makes the stuffing so delicious that all the bitterness and blandness of kakrol disappears. 
 
 
Whether or not you share similar abhorrence for kakrols, the below dish is a must try out, at least for the experience to have the veggie prepared in a different way that begets liking or may be love for the same. Let me know how it turns out.

Radha Ballavi

Radha Ballavi is lentil stuffed puris very popular in West Bengal on breakfast and as evening snack. Served either with Cholar Dal or Bengali Aloo Curry, they are easily available at any sweet shop in Kolkata in the morning or in the evening. Some of the choice sweet shops are so much known for the radha ballavis that within minutes of their arrival, they are all sold out for the day; a little delay resulting in returning home empty handed. Infact, I have seen people queuing in front of the shops an hour in advance to avail the soft puris in the evening, the craze matching with that of samosa (shingara in Bengali) only.


 
It's been years after we shifted to Bangalore that I have had the opportunity to bite into my favourite snack. So helpless with the circumstances, I learned to make it on my own not willing to let go of my appetite. I realized one thing after I started cooking radha ballavis at home that they are quite easy in preparation compared to a lot of other snack items.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Elish Macher Dimer Chochchori



Ha ha ha ha...the take of the Khap Panchayat in Hariyana accusing fast food (read chowmein) of arousing men to commit rapes sent me cackling in a fit of laughter when the news caught my notice the first time and now a follow-up satirical article on Times of India set me onto another round of bellyaching hysteria. I never dreamed chowmein among all would become a subject of controversy due to an ignorant Indian leader viewing it as a stimulant for eroticism, completely bizarre to say the least. The jokes passing around Facebook since then over chowmein are just too funny to ignore, one of them read "Babo will be serving a plate of chowmein tonight to Saifu darling, her newly wed husband."


 

The article linked below offers a parodical review on the subject with a stunning opening line "Chowmein will soon officially replace Viagra in India as the scheduled prescription drug to enhance potency in men..... This move is significant as chowmein will now be a restricted commodity and will be moved from the food and beverages industry to the pharmaceutical industry". Please click the link below to enjoy 10 minutes of belly laugh.

 
Back to the recipe, Elish Macher Dimer Chochchori is another exciting preparation of hilsa roe, next to Elish Macher Dimer Tok Mishti Ambol. Savoury and flavoursome, this dish goes best with rice and paratha.
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Egg Sandwich



Looks like dengue fever has hit Kolkata endemically with so many people I know reported to be suffering from the ailment, my own nephew among the many. Spread by mosquito bites during the late monsoon, I feel relieved of one thing after coming to US, the little monsters we know as 'mosquitoes'. It seems mosquitoes are nonentity here especially the part of US we reside in.



 
A recent article published on Times of India asserts the harmful effect of one mosquito coil being equivalent to smoking ten cigarettes. If this revelation carries an iota of truth, me and my hubby, though non-smokers have exposed us to the same extent of toxicity a chain smoker inhales every day, unknowingly for years during our stay in the city of joy. Not only us, I am sure, there are many who in order to enjoy a peaceful goodnight rest have mosquito repellants burning close by the bed side or beneath the bed throughout the night, worse in a closed room with doors and windows completely shut if the AC is turned on. I shudder to think what long term consequences are awaiting us in the coming days for so long as we stayed in Kolkata, we had the coil burning almost every day. No matter what you do, close the windows of your house before sunset or use a Bagon spray to get rid of the killer insects, you will find them humming around the bed after every light is turned off, so much as one single mosquito being enough to blow your cool keeping you restless through the night.



 

For many like my parents, net is a safe option to shield from the onslaught of mosquitoes, but the blood-sucking monsters get their way inside the net also as it did happen to me many a time when upon turning and tossing about my bed for several hours in a struggle to remain asleep ignoring the sting of the bites that finally, robbed of my sleep, I would forcefully get up from my bed in a fit of rage, switch on the light and set to a venture of killing the muggers.


 

Coming back to the recipe, sandwiches are my favourite, especially the ones requiring minimal preparation. The Egg Sandwich described below is one such darling that can be quickly put together and consumed in a hurry, provided you make the plan a little ahead and boil the eggs beforehand.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chicken Roganjosh



Recently on our weekly grocery shopping, I came across a jar of Rogan Josh curry paste. Before I proceed further with my tale, allow me cast a bit of light on Rogan Josh. As the name suggests, Rogan meaning 'oil' in Persian and Josh meaning 'hot' refer to a tongue-tickling hot preparation of meat, originally of lamb meat that is laced with an array of flavorsome ingredients, the color lent by a special breed of kashmiri red chillies deseeded to minimize the heat quotient.



 

In a world of innovation when scores of women are experimenting in their kitchen to cook a known dish in a variety of novel ways, variations into Rogan Josh are only but inevitable. As a result, we have Rogan Josh not only of lamb, but of fish, chicken, mutton and so much as vegetables. Since chicken is a staple at our home than mutton or lamb, needless to say, I have tried Rogan Josh with chicken only, until now.



 

Although I yearned of making the dish right from a scratch, I couldn't resist myself buying a readymade curry paste when it was right within my grasp. In future, I might post a recipe of Chicken Rogan Josh from the basics, but for now, if you want to follow my way, get a readymade Rogan Josh curry paste from the market (any Indian grocery of your area) and set out to a culinary venture, the end result of which will have people licking their fingers to savor the last bit of flavour.    

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lemony Toor Dal


With a variety of dal preparations dominating the Indian kitchen, dal makes a quintessential part of our meal. Each region of India has its own singular dal preparation, the list is endless.
 
 

Not being an exception, dal is integral to our daily menu too. My hubby slurps dal like a soup when it is thin in consistency. The lentil preparations, thicker in consistency, are relished with roti or paratha by the side. To put it in one word, our food remains incomplete without a bowl of dal on our platter and I am yet to find one who doesn't like lentils.
 
 

My love for lentil gives me an impetus to look out for new lentil recipes. Until I started exploring the culinary world, I didn't have idea, an iota, about the diversity of lentil preparations, the broad range of which only heightening my amazement. The recipe of the following dal I have come across recently in a culinary show but due to the unavailability of fresh lemon grass in market around this time of the season, I used lemon grass herb blend that lent a beautiful aroma to the dish. This dal, usually thick in consistency teams up well with paratha or bread. However, giving way to your preference, you may dilute the consistency.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cholar Dal without Onion



Now that Durga Pujo is knocking at the door and just like last two years, this year too I am away from home, I have already begun to miss the euphoria and excitement the countdown of puja incites in Kolkata, the very ambience overrun by a pujo pujo feeling. I am missing the roads chockablock with shoppers wrapping up their last minute pujo shopping, the clamor of haggling between buyers and sellers and last but not the least the exhilaration upon the purchase of new clothes. The madness of Durga Pujo in Kolkata in one word is beyond description, something one ought to experience first-hand.
 
 

I have many memories connected to pujo starting from childhood days when me with my three cousins would venture out for pandal hopping with a meager amount of money handed in by the elders. The eldest of all, five years senior to me would play the role of chaperon overseeing our safety. We were strictly instructed by the elders to hover within the boundary of Behala, which is about few kilometers distance from our homes. Once or twice, however, the eldest cousin planning to check out the pujos of Kidderpore, a little faraway from our home, told us to keep the plan hush-hush from elders, which all the time save once got leaked to my parents through me, thanks to my elder brother who always getting a hint about our pujo plan would try messing it up by informing the elders if the plan went beyond the permissible course while he himself would go around with his buddies to all the nooks and corners of Kolkata for pandal hopping.
 
 

The following is a recipe of a very traditional cholar dal that is cooked without onion in a typical purist vegetarian fashion, offered as obeisance to the deity during Durga Pujo or Lokkhi Pujo. Among all the wholesome bhog items (offerings), if any that is consumed with unstinted appetite, next to bhoger khichuri, is cholar dal with luchi. I know many who literally would get into a fierce competition of outdoing each other in the number of luchis eaten during pujo, such is the frenzy luchi-cholar dal combination triggers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Shahi Tukda



Shahi Tukda is a Mughlai dessert prepared with breads, fried in butter or ghee and soaked in kheer topped with plentiful dried fruits. I first had shahi tukda at my own home cooked by my mother, she having learned the dish from a Muslim neighbour of ours.


 

As the name suggests, Shahi Tukda is indeed cooked in a shahi or grand way with dollops of butter and ghee used for frying the breads and the milk thickened in consistency through continuous moderate heating, sometimes, condensed milk used to enrich its flavour and garnished with generous amount of pistachios and almonds.



 

This dish if served in a party is going to earn you copious appreciation from sweet loving guests. It has that fulsome flavour, the crispy bread turning soft after soaking up the syrup and subsequently covered in kheer providing an enriched melt in the mouth experience at each mouthful.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mushroom Paneer Butter Masala



Cooking/baking mishap is a common phenomenon everyone cooking or baking in the kitchen must have encountered at least once (in my case pretty often) in their life. Sometimes out of unmindfulness we botch up a dish that we might have cooked umpteen times earlier by missing out on some key ingredients or blundering a crucial step. If while cooking, I enter a serious conversation with someone, chances of my forgetting something to add are ample with the final output turning awful in taste. Hence usually when I invite someone over to my place, I keep everything ready beforehand so as to avoid culinary disasters.
 
 

As if precautions are not all the time useful in keeping hazards away, sometimes, troubles come uninvited when a slight oversight in calculation can put a damper on all your efforts and hard work as it did happen yesterday while I set myself to baking a lemon pie. Read more:

I had a group of guests invited to our place yesterday over dinner. The invitees were all vegetarians, so the menu included an assortment of veg dishes, some of which won havoc appreciation from all. One of them is the Mushroom Paneer Butter Masala that I cooked being inspired by the recipe from http://madhurasrecipe.com/. I modified the sauté ingredients a bit, but that apart, everything remained same to what Madhura has described in her video.
 
 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Paneer Ka Chilla - Paneer Pancake





I had a great Saturday this weekend. We went to Columbus for a get together with my hubby's old friends, all from the same alma mater. It was a fun filled day spent amid food and talks with a crowd of Bengalis for company after a long time. The best part of the entire menu was the box of baklavas that caught my notice the very moment it was placed on the dining table. Usually I don't allow my husband to bring baklavas at home, simply for my inability to resist temptation at the very sight of them. So today, I indulged myself the unalloyed pleasure that each bite of baklava provides pretending to be ignorant of the calories involved, for one time. It was sinful totally :)
 




The recipe I am posting today is not of baklava by the way. It's of Paneer Ka Chilla that I recently learned from a friend. Chilla in English means pancake. Paneer pancake is quite versatile in preparation. You may toss various ingredients into it....egg, spinach, milk and semolina apart from the ingredients I have already touched upon. As I fancied, I pureed the tomatoes and mixed it into the batter, but in case if you prefer tomatoes in the filling, then chop them into bite size pieces and add them into the mixture for the same.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sambar Dal



It's been days that I had last posted a recipe of dal. I first had the helping of sambar dal in Kolkata served as accompaniment to masala dosa in a restaurant that was famed for its South Indian meal with Uttapam, Masala Dosa, Onion Dosa, Butter Dosa and Idli topping the list. Since then I had a desire secretly nurtured in my heart that one day if opportunity came my way, I would like to try cooking South Indian dishes.





My wish came true when I went to Bangalore and started working in office. Most of my colleagues hailing from different regions of South India used to bring varieties of home cooked cuisines for lunch. I happened to pick up some authentic South Indian recipes from couple of my colleagues who, like me, cherished a penchant for cooking and showed an express desire for learning Bengali fish curries. Sharing tiffin among colleagues and friends makes you aware of the endless spectrum of Indian culinary creations, each one tasting different from the other and singular in its own way.




 
Sambar also known as Sambhar Dal is a popular Southern lentil concoction with seasonal vegetables namely, okra, eggplants, carrots, shallots, bottle gourds, pumpkin, radish and even potatoes thrown together with tamarind extract. A special powder, which is a mix of an array of spices, known by the name of Sambar or Sambhar powder is used here. For my convenience, I always rely on the readymade sambar powder easily available in Indian groceries, but if you want to take the effort of making the powder from a scratch, then note down the ingredients below, dry roast them on a skillet and grind them into powder.

 
v  2 tbsp coriander seeds
v  3 dry red chillies
v  1/2 tsp cumin seeds
v  1 tbsp Bengal gram/chana dal
v  1 tbsp urad dal/split black gram
v  1 1/2 tbsp toor dal/ pigeon peas
v  1/2 tsp turmeric powder
v  1/2 tsp asafetida powder
v  1 inch cinnamon stick
v  6-7 curry leaves
v  1/2 tsp methi or fenugreek seeds
v  1/2 tsp mustard seeds
v  1 tsp black peppercorns (optional)
 

 

Bata Macher Jhal


Recently while hopping through profiles of my niece's classmates, I came across an album of a boy studying in class XI in one of the most reputed schools of India. Apparently he posted pics of his Shantiniketan visit with captions and comments, some made by his own younger brother that were so revolting in nature that ignoring them as juvenile vagary would be unfair to the person, who was the butt of their ridicule, Rabindranath Tagore. Growing up in a cultural city like Kolkata, I have seen people making fun of legendary figures but none was ever so derogatory and offensive to the core. The comments made at the expense of Rabi Thakur were essentially very insulting in tone, something that would make anyone who has grown up listening to the songs and reading the poems of Rabindranath Tagore fly into rage.


 

As appeared in the pictures, the boys went to Shantiniketan with their parents who seemed pretty decent and well-stationed in life, well, has to be because affording the regular fees of that expensive school is not everyone's cup of tea. But evidently the parents failed miserably in one thing that is instilling in their wards a little bit of value and respect for the culture that is rooted in Shantiniketan.



 
Turning to the recipe, Bata Macher Jhal is another astounding preparation involving bata fish, after Aam Doi Bata which my mother cooks amazingly. The simple tomato based gravy infused with the nice fragrance of coriander leaves is a healthy concoction befitting to be had almost every day. It is an ideal curry for those days when we feel like having something tasty, yet light on stomach and quick in preparation, the best part of this dish requiring miniscule precooking arrangement.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chire Moong Tikia - Flattened Rice Moong Fritters




If you grow weary of Potato Poha, you may try out Chire Moong Tikia, another appetizing snack prepared with flattened rice that gets polished off within minutes of its serving; such is the frenzy it triggers among guests. I usually make it in the evening to be had with tea, but occasionally I team it up with a plate of steaming rice and a bowl of dal, turning the entire meal to a fulfilling one.
 


I believe chire moong tikia tastes its best when it is made simple with minimal ingredients, but you are free to play around anyway putting your imagination into action.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Boondi Raita



I had this lip-smacking Boondi raita first time at a friend's house and I fell in love with it the very instant I had the first mouthful. A number of times that I prepared it home has earned me immense appreciation from whoever tasting it for this raita is simple in concoction, less time-taking, yet mouthwatering.
 
 

As regards boondis, you may either prepare them at home or buy them readymade from Indian stores. I usually stick to spicy boondis believing the extra spiciness adding a zest to the overall flavour. If you wish to eliminate the factor of calorie, then soak the boondis in water for some time before squeezing the oil out and dunking them in yogurt. Some people don't add sugar to boondi raitas, but I love that light tinge of sweetness in mine one.
 

Rui Macher Matha Diye Badhakopi Ghonto - Cabbage Dry Curry with Rohu Fish Head



Dry Cabbage Curry with Rohu fish head, a traditional delicacy in Bengal is cooked very rich with an array of spices and dollops of ghee boosting the flavour. The heady aroma pervading each corner of your home while the dish is in making might bring in the next door neighbour knocking at your door inquiring of the menu for the day, the all-pervasive savour announcing of a grand feasting.
 


Known best as an accompaniment to Bhoger Khichuri, this cabbage preparation is relished in every household of Bengal. Both my mother and mother in law with their magical touch of love cook this curry bringing out a mouth-watering taste that an entire plate of rice can be consumed only with this dish by the side; one simply doesn't need anything else.


 
Immediately after marriage when I was not very comfortable with cooking, for the most part relying on the cook for every small meal, I often wondered why only rohu fish is to be added in cooking this cabbage curry. So twice, out of sheer curiosity, I switched the rofu fish head with that of hilsa and bhetki and the turnout came nowhere near to the one cooked with rohu. With the twin failures of my experimentation, I finally dropped the idea having stuck to the traditional way of cooking the cabbage with rohu fish head only from the next time on. Thenceforth, I never made any attempt at distorting the traditional recipes.


Egg Drop Curry



For some time I have been planning to post the recipe of this egg curry, but incidentally either I was too busy to capture snaps or the snaps came too horrid to make a favorable impression on the readers that I withheld each time. Finally, last Sunday when I made this curry again, I wishing to click some nice, at least, presentable snaps under the daylight prettily organized the bowl containing the egg curry on our dining table nearby the window, but just when I was readying myself to take snaps, the Sun hid behind a puff of cloud without meaning to show up again, and my hopes were dashed when upon waiting for half an hour, it started raining. My enthusiasm ebbed away, I dropped the plan of taking any picture at all busying myself in serving lunch when my husband stepped forward managing to click some shots of the egg curry which although was somewhat dimmed by the absence of sufficient amount of light turned out to be decent enough for posting.
 
 

I promise I would post some good snaps of the curry when I will prepare it next time. Two words of caution I would like you to note down before attempting the curry -

1. Don't stir after the eggs are dropped into the curry.

2. Break the eggs gently into the curry without upsetting the yolks. It will lose its essence then. 
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