Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Soya Chana Kofta Curry



This is one of my favorite soya chunk preparations of all time. Both soya and chana are full of nutrition and when these ingredients combine into a curry, it becomes a powerhouse of nourishment and wholesome goodness. Please don't assume that chana is a lentil product. I know chickpeas are popularly called 'chana', but this 'Chana' in Bengali refers to the fat extracted out of curdled milk. All you need to do to produce chana is to curdle the milk and separate the whey water. With the help of a muslin cloth or strainer, then the milk fat or the chana needs to be completely drained of water. You may let the chana dry for one or two hours in open air before proceeding with making the koftas. The moisture or the water content in chana will then completely evaporate, making it easy to work with. 

If you like this recipe, please check out other soya chunk recipes in my blog:

Baingan with Soya Nuggets



Soya Malwani 



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Eggless Semolina Mango Cake



The season of mango is in. Now is the time to try a variety of dishes cooked with mango, either with raw mangoes or ripe ones. Back home in India during mango season, my father used to bring home cartons of mangoes. My mother used to keep the mangoes in rice jars so that the mangoes ripen and once ripe, we used to make a hole in the middle of the fruit and suck the juice out of the mangoes directly. The juicy succulent taste of the ripe mango pulp would take one to seventh heaven. Lest we got tired of eating ripe mangoes, my mother in a bid to add variety to our consumption of mangoes used to cook Mango Kheer with ripe mangoes. With the raw ones, she would Hilsa Mango, Aam Diye Dal, Rohu Mango Curry and Aamer Aachar. The beauty of mangoes is that it enhances the taste of a dish manifold, be it dessert or curry.


The recipe that will be posted today is of Eggless Semolina Mango Cake. I prepared this cake last Sunday when I invited a group of friends over dinner. Since they are vegetarian, I prepared this eggless cake that they savored delightfully. I was especially carried away when the my friend's daughter, who just turned one a few months back, happily polished this cake off asking for more. Now what else can express a compliment so purely other than a child's desire to have more of your food.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Strawberry Cupcakes topped with Homemade Strawberry Frosting

Finally I have completed half the quantity of strawberries that I brought home from my last visit to the local strawberry farm. The number of items that I prepared with strawberries over the past few days are Strawberry and Cream, Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream, and Strawberry Cupcakes topped with Homemade Strawberry Frosting. The beauty of strawberry desserts is that you will never get bored of eating strawberries for the variety of preparations that you can do with strawberries is never ending. The favorite thing of mine concerning these cupcakes is that these gems are super moist. Glazed in homemade frosting, these cupcakes have a melt-in-mouth texture that makes eating them a pure heavenly experience. I bet you cannot stop at eating only one. That is guaranteed. I for one polished off 4-5 cupcakes at one go. Now that's an appetite !! 





If you love the recipe of Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream, please don't forget to check out other cool recipes of strawberries on my page,

Friday, June 24, 2016

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream



In the summer months when the mercury rises, nothing beats the heat and humidity as much as ice cream does. During my childhood days, while coming back from school, I would have at least one stick of ice cream on my way. Growing up, as I became more figure conscious, I started giving ice creams a deliberate miss to keep the intake of extra calories at bay. However, the love of ice cream is not lost yet, as I run out to buy ice creams drawn by the catchy jingle played in the cart of the ice cream vendor who visits our complex almost every afternoon to sell ice creams. My son, who just turned two, has developed a fondness, just like his mother, for ice cream, and whenever we take him out in the scorching afternoon of the ongoing summer, he gulps one whole ice cream down leaving me agape with surprise given the amount of troubles he otherwise gives me while feeding him. 





Due to our last weekend visit to the strawberry farm, we have a few pounds of strawberries in the refrigerator. Though I am up to preparing all the delicacies imaginable with the strawberries, one item that is a special favorite of mine is the homemade strawberry ice cream. I love homemade ice creams, because they are fresh and free from any unknown chemical or preservatives added to the store bought ice creams. Another advantage of preparing ice cream at home is one can control the amount of sugar added to the ice creams and thus make it of reduced calories. I for one added sugar substitute Truvia in my ice cream. 

If you love the recipe of Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream, please don't forget to check out other cool recipes of strawberries on my page,

Strawberry and Cream

Strawberry Sponge Cake

Strawberry Cheesecake


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Strawberry and Cream Dessert



With the development of storage system, nowadays we get all the seasonal fruits round the year. Strawberry is no different. However, the store bought preserved strawberries can hardly match the juiciness and freshness of fresh strawberries plucked from the trees. Since the harvesting season of strawberries is going on now, we took the opportunity to visit a local farm last week and bought a few pounds of fresh strawberries that we plucked all by ourselves from the fields. It was my first time experience to visit a strawberry field. Strawberry picking is no easy task as it requires sitting carefully between the rows of strawberry shrubs and yanking the red and ripe juicy fruits from the stems. Since the local farm we visited cultivated the strawberries organically without adding any pesticide or herbicide, we could direct eat the strawberries right after we plucked them from the trees. The strawberries in all their freshness were much juicier and sweeter than the ones available in stores throughout the year. 





While picking strawberries, I was simultaneously thinking of the delicacies I am going to prepare with them. A few recipes were in my mind, and one such recipe is of strawberry dessert prepared with heavy whipping cream. Since I prepare Strawberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Sponge Cake and Strawberry Cake whenever I bring home strawberries, this time I wanted to try something new that I did not try before. Hope you will enjoy the recipe of Strawberry and Cream Dessert. Please don't forget to leave a comment. 


Apple Kheer or Apple Pudding




My son has just turned two a month back. He is getting super choosy about food as days go by. He refuses to eat foods that even 6 months back he used to relish. He grew very fond of egg yolks after we introduced egg to him at his first year, but now he does not like eating egg that much. As soon as he smells egg in any dish, he turns his face away. May be in our excitement of seeing our child growing up, we fed him too much eggs in his first year that hew grew bored of eating it. These days my son has developed a liking for rice pudding, but lest he grows bored of eating it too, I try to maintain variety in pudding preparation so that his interest in pudding remains intact. So instead of cooking rice pudding every time, I try adding different flavors into the pudding. For example, recently I prepared Mango pudding that my son liked so much that the otherwise fussy eater polished it off without complaint. 

When the first time I cooked Apple Pudding, I only grated the apples and mixed it into the boiling milk, but the acid in apple curdled the milk and turned it into chana. However, even though the whey water separated from the milk, the taste of the pudding was delicious and my son relished that with pleasure. Since chana is good for children, it was a nutritious pudding. However, grown ups may not like the taste of that pudding since many people do not like the taste of chana. So while cooking apple pudding for grown up people, I boil apples so that the acid becomes neutralized and it does not curdle the milk. The rich creamy taste of this pudding will not only savor the taste bud of grown ups, but will also please the taste buds of fussy little ones. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Egg Cooked with Methi and Paanch Phoron


Traditionally, paanch phoron, meaning the mix of five spices, including fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds, is used with vegetable preparations in West Bengal. I have grown up seeing my mother and aunts cooking a variety of vegetable dishes using paanch phoron as a flavoring ingredient. However, in modern times, paanch phoron is being used with elan in non-veg preparations as well. I myself have cooked mutton using paanch phoron as a base flavoring agent. The traditional concept that prevailed in our parents' generation that paanch phoron is a spice exclusive to vegetable preparations is slowly becoming obsolete, as not only paanch phoron is used in meat preparations, but also in preparing fishes, eggs and other cuisines. Another spice, which was traditionally used in bitter tasting vegetable preparation in West Bengal, is fenugreek seeds. However, its use is witnessing a lot of changes as methi seeds are now abundantly used in preparing fishes, meat and even eggs. 




The recipe of an egg dish that I am posting today has two uncommon ingredients for non-veg dishes, paanch phoron powder and methi seeds, used as taste enhancers. The recipe is very easy to follow. You may skip on potato or yogurt, if you want the gravy to be simple. 

If you like this recipe, please don't forget to check out other egg recipes posted in this blog,

Peyazkoli Diye Dim

Egg Malai Masala

Egg Shrimp Sukha

Dimer Dhokar Dalna

Egg Keema

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Chicken Patties

Summer is beautiful and salubrious in the USA and since I have lighter courses over summer semester, I am trying to fully enjoy my summer by travelling, getting together with friends and family, and cooking. One important part of any get-together is food. Without appetizing food, any occasion does not get the spark needed, because people bond over foods, and discussion and conversation get intense over good delicacies. Some of the snack items that rev up any evening gathering are Egg Devil with Mutton Keema, Alur Chop, Kolkata Egg Roll, Bhetki Fish Fry, Chicken Popcorn and Chicken Spring Roll. However, one item that was missing from the list until now is Chicken Patties. 



 

The preparation of Chicken Patties involves less hassle. If one has all the rightful ingredients at home, one can put the dish together within no time. If in case, you love the recipe of Chicken Patties I posted, please don't forget to leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Alur Dum with Baby Potatoes



"Me and my husband are not particularly people who plan a trip a few months in advance. We make impromptu plans one or two days or at the most a week in advance and go ahead with it. Most of our trips were chalked out at the last minute and we have always enjoyed such surprise tours. This trip that I am going to write about is not an exception either. My classes for MBA first semester came to an end on 4th May and classes for summer semester were supposed to start from 16th May. So in between, I had little more than 10 days of holidays to take advantage of. Though we desired to take a trip during my holidays, we didn’t start planning until 9th May when my husband came home for lunch in the afternoon and told me that he wanted to go to Yellowstone National Park for three days. I told him to give me the afternoon for doing my research before confirming on Yellowstone. I did a small research on Google and realized that going to Yellowstone during spring break would not be wise as many parts of the park remain closed. Besides, the weather runs amok during spring. The weather forecast for Yellowstone exactly on the days we were planning to visit showed signs of rain showers. I didn’t want to take the pain of visiting a place when the chances of rain putting a damper on our trip were high. So we dropped the plan for Yellowstone. I zeroed in on choosing a location ideal for a visit this time of the year. So after an hour of deliberation, we decided on visiting the national parks in and around Utah. Utah with its desert climate is ideal for a visit during spring when the temperature hovers below 90 F."

Above is the excerpt from my travel journal. If you have liked what you have read so far, please don't forget to read the whole story here.



Coming back to the recipe. This preparation is one of the easiest ways to prepare alur dum. I prepare it especially in the morning when I have to put together breakfast in a hurry. I just get the baby potatoes boiled and peeled the previous night and prepare the curry in the morning. It tastes awesome with roti, luchi, and paratha. Please leave your feedback if you prepare this dish at home and it turns out to your liking. Thank you for visiting my page !


Friday, June 3, 2016

Pui Shaak Chingri Diye - Pui Leaves cooked with Shrimps

Before leaving Kolkata, it never occurred to me that getting hands on some of my favorite vegetables such as potol, kumro (pumpkin), uchche (bitter gourd), shim (hyacinth beans), kochu shaak and pui leaves would be a difficult task. Since most of the Indian grocery stores are located far away from where we live except one Indian grocery that does not keep these veggies, we need to drive more than two hours to and fro to get to a grocery store that sells these veggies in Detroit or near Ann Arbor. Naturally, we cannot undertake such long distance drives every week for grocery purpose and hence, eating pui leaves or kochu shaak is a rare occasion. Anyway, last week when we did our grocery shopping, we happened to get some fresh pui leaves in the store and not wasting a single moment, I picked a few pounds of that. 




The beauty of this dish is that it can be prepared with all the leftover veggies. If you don't have pumpkin, you can use squash in its place and all the veggies that you have at your home at the moment. I had lots of carrots, snow peas and beans in the refrigerator and I made a good use of them by putting them together in this preparation. In fact, I believe that if you don't have pui leaves at home, you can try it with spinach. The taste may be different though. 


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