Wednesday, 23 January 2019

BHAAT ER BHAPE MOSHOLA ILISH



Where should I start from? 1977, January 23rd... RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata! ... As the dusk  had set in, there was a little bundle of joy on my lap... Early morning, I was crying not being able to see my mother anywhere, that is when thy neighbours told me that she was in the hospital. Every year I write this on this day perhaps. In those days, our neighbours were like an extended family! Yes, we did sit together and peeled oranges with our backs soaking up the sun. Any middle class Bengali will speak the same... unless you are a show off like few of my school classmates... who raved about Liz Taylor but did not watch Suchitra Sen's "Hospital" or that epitome of grace Arundhati Devi's "Bicharak"or found reading Bibhutibhushan a waste of time! However, I also count "2 plus 2 ijikaltu chikch" but I had to watch Bicharak quite a few times to understand it! "May be science & reasoning got you to be friends.... else you would have been my friend... girl... haha!" Where was I? Ok, be it a brother or a sister... a sibling brings out the best in you.... both are prized possessions, the reason why I find it unnecessary to showcase our son or the brother or even the husband in public every now and then. Off course, I like to stay put with those people who have the same layers of emotions & experience working when life of a Bengali middle-class of the 80's-90's comes. "roddurey pith diye charaponar jhol diye bhaat athaba shiter bhorey haritey korey khejurer roshwalar haak diye jaoar amejta amrai tuley dhorbo apnader kachey".... There will be people like my brother who have experienced all of these but has no interest in preserving or living through a culture... some speak such an abbreviated English language which I find too annoying.... English is after all the Queen's language! Anyway, I stay put with the Bengali Cultural Bigwigs just to get the essence of my own land.... an Anindya Chaterjee's "choshma" too has caught my fancy... not surprising for a woman who forgets to eat in time while reading Ganguly's "Pratham Alo" or "Shei Shomoy"... Just that I have started speaking about all these years later, it may sound imitative to many readers. On my short stays at Kolkata, I do not get to savour 1/10th of it... like having "shorbot at Kapila Ashram" or walking through the alleys of Burrabazaar to have a masala tea from those giant brass kettles. I do not even get into "Ananda" or "Dey's".... these were our heaven. Ananda, at Jhamapukur Lane is just another 4-5 minutes of walk from the Indian Coffee House towards the University Institute Hall may be... I know that if I am at Ananda, I will be spoilt for choice and have to leave a full suitcase of them at the airport! You know crossing the airport is necessary, else you may not get to have appe... A true heart Bengali in Kolkata hardly will care for the health benefits of having an appe pan.



Yesterday, I visited the veteran Hindi teacher Chitra Gupta Maam who treated me with semolina appe and masala tea .... its for her that our son could get through that horrifying subject in his 10th boards! .... the Southern Indians and a majority of Bengalis are terrible in Hindi, so I prepared a dalia-yogurt appe this morning ... haha! I was waiting to get something for her from Kolkata... "guru dakshina".... is important. However, Bengal has to rule today with BHAAT ER BHAPE MOSHOLA ILISH.

This day can be called a Family Day... the brother has his birthday and the husband's sister has their marriage anniversary. I will call both of them after I am done with the post. Their big brother T hardly believes in any ritual... regular calls being one! He thinks S will manage this part well. Why such a weird name BHAAT ER BHAPE MOSHOLA ILISH and not Ilish Polao or Ilish Biryani? I went through a couple of similar posts, yet could not accept using ghee, cashews & raisins in ilish / hilsa fish. I have to first taste it in other homes to know if my tongue survives it or not.... off course a piece of ilish maach is that precious. I went through a couple of hilsa polao or biryani recipes for months until I decided to get it simpler for myself and my readers. I did it in dum method but that is not what should be called a biryani or polao. I incorporated everything associated with West Bengal's notion of hilsa and the usual spices used! Very few ingredients had been used to cook this dish... few pieces of ilish which should not be too stale, dry red chillies, green chillies, cumin-coriander-red chilli powders, turmeric, kalonji, ginger paste and salt too ... haha! The fresh corianders and the raita are unusual additions to an hilsa but they have added a new dimension to the fish & rice dish... the coriander leaves made it yet more flavour burst, while I found it incomplete without spoonfuls of Raita.



INGREDIENTS :

Hilsa / Ilish : 5-6 pieces
Basmati Rice : 1coffee mug
Ginger Paste : 2tbsp
Cumin Powder : 2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp + 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp + 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Chopped Fresh Coriander : 1small tea cup
Slitted Green Chilli : 4-5
Dry Red Chilli : 3-4
Nigella Seed : 1/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Refined Flour : 2tbsp
Oil : 5-6tbsp[I used Mustard]

PROCEDURE :

Let us prepare the rice first. Do it in a vessel as most of the Indian homes do. Boil it adding some salt to it until when 60% is done. Strain through a colander and let all of the water drain.


Prepare a spice paste adding the cumin & coriander powders, 1tsp each of the turmeric & red chilli powders, salt as required. Add little water for a smooth paste. However, freshly made spice paste will give a better flavour, I am a lazy cook but.


Marinate the fish pieces with the refined flour, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp each of turmeric & red chilli powders, salt! Keep aside for 1/2 an hour.

Wash an keep the fresh corianders ready to be used.



Heat oil in a vessel or wide wok. Fry the fish pieces lightly, take out on a plate and reserve.



Temper the remaining oil with the nigella seeds / kalonji and the dry red chillies. Stir at low heat for 1/2 a minute.

Add the spice paste and stir at low heat for 2 minutes until the spice paste separates from the oil.





Take out and reserve on a bowl.



Add some rice in the same wok, add 1tsp of the cooked spice mixture and lightly mix. Place few pieces of the lightly fried fish atop and add a little of the cooked spice mixture, fresh coriander, slitted green chillies on them.


Repeat the steps again... atop should be a layer of rice, the remaining spice mixture, fresh coriander.


Cover cook at low heat for 10-15 minutes. Just check in between.


The end product will be a fish lover's delight.



Prepare a big bowl of Raita which will go very well with it. Always have it fresh & hot.


Monday, 21 January 2019

KAJU KISHMISH KHEJUR ER CHUTNEY


Chutney, a must have condiment for a maximum number of South Asian Homes used to be a family favourite once. The present scenario is such that the husband has stopped having it.... the son too.... One reason can be so that I see in him the tendency to follow his father's footsteps..... there can be another angle too.... during his childhood, his mumma fed him chutney, a South Asian condiment every other day so that the feeding time can be lessened to an hour at least from 2 hours per meal. He might have got bored. The brother who is very fond of his T dada and picked up all of my husband's bad habits like smoking, not following any routine specially over the weekends also have stopped having chutney.... The elderly gentleman not among us anymore needed a chutney or achar everyday with his lunch & dinner platter. His wife and daughter too loves, cannot have it regularly given their health conditions. I know that in the other half of the family... the sis-in-law & her husband, my in-laws like it too. Who else is left? My favourite girl B who never asks anything from me.... I do not think she is interested in anything besides noodles, egg & meat curries, "maacher tok", chana masala and those unhealthy roadside snacks. Her mother-in-law says that she loves my way of cooking... haha... At least for this statement, I can blog on a sweet & spicy, a very authentic Bengali condiment that had been a regular in the mother's kitchen.... KAJU KISHMISH KHEJUR ER CHUTNEY! One ingredient is missing here, that is aam shotto / aam papad! You all know I cook with what is readily available in my kitchen.... Moreover, after a few years of stay in this island, we prefer lesser amount of sweet on our desserts & condiments.

There are back to back two celebrations in the family housed in Kolkata soon .... they know that didibhai / S di will treat them virtually in the right time with their favourites. Bhai loves his didibhai and will not mind her sharing her personal favourite today. You see I am not particular about any routine either. We ventured out last Saturday with some friends to let our hair down over few drinks. We munched on deep fries and that yummy Thai salad too! I did not run to the gym on the next morning either. I take life easy, try to stay truthful without trying to impress anyone in the process. I just felt that if I cut carrots & radish into thin strips, I can incorporate them in my salad... getting to use that cutter soon! This definitely is not to stay in anyone's good book.... just that a big portion of grilled meat with a bowl of salad on my lunches may help my sugar level to go down.... that is the main concern right now... I wish to live more and take up big fights with the daughter-in-law over the ownership of my son... haha!



The Thai raw papaya salad was too good, so was the Bloody Mary! We sat in two venues... I had a Margarita, a Bloody Mary and a shot that evening... yet I did not get the right kick however. If I am drinking, I do not want my senses ruling over me for that particular night! You should not allow alcohol to rule over you either... that kills. Anyway, a sweet chutney everyday also kills... If you are a diabetic, have this KAJU KISHMISH KHEJUR ER CHUTNEY once a month, rest once a week "banta hai rey".... We are using sugar, dates, raisins, cashew nuts and a homemade spice mixture for this dish!



INGREDIENTS : FOR THE HOMEMADE SPICE MIXTURE

DRY RED CHILLI : 3-4 
NIGELLA SEED : 1/2TSP
FENNEL SEED : 1/2TSP
CUMIN SEED : 1TSP
WILD CELERY SEED : 1/4TSP
FENUGREEK SEED : 1/4TSP
BLACK MUSTARD SEED : 1/2TSP

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHUTNEY / SOUTH ASIAN CONDIMENT

THE SPICE MIXTURE
CASHEW NUT : 8-10
DATE : 10-12 [DE SEEDED, HALVED]
RAISIN : 12-13
LEMON JUICE : 3-4TBSP
SUGAR : 1/2 SMALL TEA CUP OR A LITTLE MORE AS PER YOUR PREFERENCE

PROCEDURE :

Dry roast all the spices mentioned & required for the homemade spice mixture. Do it at low heat for a minute or two stirring constantly. Let cool but dry grind when it is still warm. Keep aside.

Take the sugar and a small tea cup of water on a wok. Bring to boil keeping it at low heat.

Meanwhile, de seed & tear the dates, wash them. Wash the raisins thoroughly and halve the cashew nuts. 

Do one thing, microwave the cashew nuts  for 30 seconds at high heat, stir and repeat for another 30 seconds.

As the sugar syrup gets nearer to the one string consistency, add the roasted cashew nuts, dates & raisins. Stir and let cook at low heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir a bit to avoid burning at the bottom.

Add the lemon juice and gently stir. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Garnish with the homemade spice mixture, stir & mix just before having it. Can be stored week long!






Friday, 18 January 2019

SHEEM MULO DHONEPATA DIYE MOONG DAL


It is a weekend and yours truly S usually shares a fish or meat curry for you! Then exceptions has to be there, it proves the rule. This winter special, authentic, Bengali lentil curry SHEEM MULO DHONEPATA DIYE MOONG DAL from my side of the family had to be shared before spring arrives in India. Last year, during this time I did a photo session with this dal, then for this and that reasons I could not share it. I was not happy with the pictures either, so deleted them. I keep doing this dal throughout the year as we get radish even in a local minimart and sheem / broad beans in the Indian / Bangladeshi stores throughout the year. Whether India get them all through the year is my concern. However, I got to see potol / pointed gourd in the Kolkata wet markets last month. The thing is that there people are not so keen on having fruits and vegetables that are not seasonal. I have seen radish & cauliflower been fed to a cow towards the end of February! Tell me why not? With the onset of spring, comes to the market "shojne phool & shojne data".... Drumstick Flowers & the Sticks.... people get busy cooking them .... drumsticks have high medicinal value. I have a long association with plant life! The little girl who played alone at the maternal grandfather's garden found fearful the caterpillars on the drumstick & "sheuli phool er gach".... I still do not know the reason as of why caterpillars crowd on a naturally grown drumstick and nyctanthes arbortristis [from wiki].... what I can say is that they both have high, medicinal properties. "Shorotkaaler Sheuli"  has a permanent place in this romantic soul.... the blooms mark the beginning of Debipokkho! However lost I am, I keep cooking this or that in my den.... did some experiment with blueberries and dates yesterday .... shall come up with the recipe when my mood permits!



The CURRY AND SPICE Blog has some 627 food posts in it.... mostly heirloom Bengali / Indian .... I know I should do some kind of self promotion .... just waiting for the horrid, old pictures to be replaced by decent ones. The laid back me has stopped taking my food posts to different forums, people have stopped visiting my space in flocks! However, I still enjoy blogging for my own pleasure and for the few hundreds of my loyal readers. I know how difficult it is to put trust on someone not so famous.... just like I could not trust anyone but T while choosing a life partner.... that faith and trust got me an upgraded iPhone Xs Max yesterday night.... someone stood in a long queue at the StarHub centre after a long day at office.... I see myself at Hell for not being able to give my 100% of loyalty to this gentleman. You see I did not want it.... I am a worthless, sit at home... the earlier iPhone was not this expensive.... I just wanted a set that gets me good pictures. What will I do with an expensive set when my food preferences are such.... while the family had garlic bread with chicken curry yesterday, I had my brown rice with "til-kanchalanka-peyaz bata"....



No wonder, such a woman will proudly have SHEEM MULO DHONEPATA DIYE MOONG DAL on her blog.... people peep or not... I will not compromise on what this blog was / is meant for unless it is a special occasion for those from the other lands without whom CURRY AND SPICE would not have survived. This very authentic, family recipe with split, de husked yellow lentil, broad beans, radish, fresh coriander does not require any spice. Bengalis do not add a lot of spices in their lentil curries. The tempering matters however! This had been a much loved winter dal which I do throughout the year now. I remember, the paa-in-law told me once that this particular dal reminded him of his family veterans.... I treasure such remarks.... my mother did not allow me to get such appraisal from my paa.... When my little brother got very appreciative of my way of preparing a dal.... his mother got very upset.... This time I got to see that he became a mere pet of his mother.... who decides who he will talk to... who he should not... whether to smile at anyone or not... He comes back from office, hugs and makes joker like gestures to make her laugh.... I shout at it... "bhai stop all these... you have crossed 40 a year back idiot!" I so wished to get him out of that house, grow up and explore the world. Anyway, my side of the family have to have lentil curry everyday and here is one of the few varieties we usually do! Have it with steamed rice, chapati, even as a soup skipping the carb filled mains!




INGREDIENTS :

MOONG DAL / SKINLESS, SPLIT MOONG DAL : 1MEDIUM CUP
SHEEM / BROAD BEAN : 7-8
MULO / RADISH : 2SMALL SIZED OR 1/2 OF A BIG ONE
DHONEPATA / FRESH CORIANDER : 2TBSP CHOPPED & WASHED
GREEN CHILLI : 3-4 SLITTED
DRY RED CHILLI : 2-3 HALVED
CUMIN SEED : 1/4TSP
BAY LEAF : 1
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/2TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
SUGAR : 1TSP [OPTIONAL]
OIL : 2TBSP [THIS FAMILY USES MUSTARD OIL ALWAYS]

PROCEDURE :

The first thing we will do is dry roast the dal until they turn golden brown.

Store in a bowl and let cool. Wash once cool.

Add it, 2 cups of water, a bit of salt & turmeric powder to a pressure cooker. Close tight the lead.

Pressure cook at the lowest heat up to 1 whistle if it is small sized 'shona moonger dal".... if the size is that of normal moong dal.... 2 whistles are required. If you are a perfectionist, you will boil in a vessel without touching the pressure cooker.

Meanwhile, we will discard the two ends of the broad beans and tear off the thread like on the inner side. Cut half and wash. Marinate with little salt and turmeric. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Discard the two ends of the radish. Cut half and peel off the skin. Cut each half into 4 pieces lengthwise and marinate with little salt & turmeric. Set aside for 5 minute.

Once cool, we can do the main cooking. Heat oil in a clean wok and add the marinated broad beans. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes and take out. 

Temper with cumin seeds, dry red chillies, a bay leaf! Add the marinated radish pieces and fry at low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add the boiled dal to the wok. Pour 1 coffee mugs of water to the pressure cooker and then add it to the wok.

Add the remaining turmeric powder and let boil at medium to low heat, covered.

After about 7 minutes, open the cover and add the broad beans. Adjust the salt and slitted green chillies. Add half of the coriander leaves to be used. 

Let boil for 2-3 minutes uncovered. Add the sugar and the remaining chopped, fresh coriander.

Let boil for a minute and we are done.

Enjoy with steamed rice or ruti / chapati. Health watchers can consider it as a Bengali soup!



Wednesday, 16 January 2019

PATALI GUR DIYA CHOSHIR PAYESH


"Sankrantir Pithe-Puli" had been / is a regular affair in both sides of our family.... in fact in a maximum number of Bengali homes! Way later, I got to know that entire India celebrate it as per their tradition. How come the primitive me will not follow the tradition? I am not a pro or energetic like our mother, so decided to prepare one sweetmeat at a time.... Anyway, in a tropical country having "pithe-puli" is not time bound! So, I am not in a hurry! You will see in the ingredient list, I did this Bengali, winter dessert PATALI GUR DIYA CHOSHIR PAYESH with 11/2 lt. of milk.... The making of choshi / chushi / rice flour strips takes pretty good time and requires patience! I am an impatient being but really enjoy following tradition. Cristine did help me in the making of "choshi".... else I would have taken some 1/2 an hour to 40 minutes more! It is not that if we relocate to another country... I will not prepare them.... may be will do in lesser quantity & frequency! My senior loves "pithe-puli".... there was a time when he could have a plateful of them.... now he has little at a time. I enjoy cooking for my family. I know homes where people carry "roti" in lunch boxes that are inedible.... heard from themselves. I am not in the habit of poking my flat nose in other homes but this irritates me! One may not have any interest in the kitchen and household chores ..... there is no wrong in it ..... at least you should have the interest & ability to train your help to cook proper meals! Anyway, I do not get home 6000-7000 dollars each month... so no big talks. As I always say and believe that one has to set their priorities at a young age... one cannot get everything in one life.... There is only one life but.... what we lose is lost for ever.... One can wet the pillow thinking of the people and time lost forever but not repent over it... no point! Get the maximum happiness out of what you have and consider it a blessing.... My T is a rare breed who told me long long back that he does not have any expectation from life.... I was impressed but it was not told to impress me.... even if I serve him "jhol-bhaat" everyday .... he will not complain! This is a lesson he learnt from his father who I saw preparing his own cup of tea back from the office while his homemaker wife used to be busy partying with friends! I do not like thankless women and men who keep telling lies right on my ears that she or say he alone has brought up her kid / kids! I do not support patriarchy, neither a matriarch and such lies are uncalled for when I can see the truth right in front of me.... I am not in the habit of arguing, neither can I oil anyone to remain in their good book .... what I do is just avoid such discussions! I so wish to use my spare time engaging in a home delivery business... however I am caught in between very strict rules.... My ultimate wish is to own a "Bengali Eatery... Bhaater Hotel" in an "Office Para" of Kolkata... when? I am 48 already and enjoy my stay in the island! If your husband is not a food lover, your dream remains a dream.... I am not keen on any joint ventures with any of the family members or friends! All said and done, I continue to cook easy, everyday recipes for my loving followers, readers... the food has to be eaten by the family but.

As told, I did serve the PATALI GUR DIYA CHOSHIR PAYESH with "luchi"... poori made with refined flour, frozen French Fries cooked in microwave. I keep a packet for such lazy days. Moreover, the senior & junior will not have a bowlful of dessert in the evening and then a dinner. As anticipated, the junior did not have the dessert at night... he never does! I am not worried as he will have it once back from the school today! The nocturnal senior had it post dinner. I went to sleep in peace.


Choshi / Chushir Payesh is usually done using date palm jaggery, milk, rice flour. The dough for the strips called choshi or chushi is done with rice flour authentically. I added a little of refined flour and semolina to the dough so that they remain soft even after refrigeration. Remember, Bengal eats it in winter.... they do not refrigerate it there. It is never recommended to reheat such kinds, it curdles. We live in a tropical island, the tradition bound me has to make it. You see my priorities in life are clear cut.... being a diabetic I still had to have half a bowl of PATALI GUR DIYA CHOSHIR PAYESH.... I did not mind to sacrifice wearing trousers in the process, haha! What makes me happy is that my not so much of a Bengali son loves the flavour of patali gur / date palm jaggery.... I noticed that he eats payesh / rice kheer made with patali... stopped having the one made with sugar! I am still hopeful that one day he will have everything his mother wants him to ....... haha! Going a little further with my expectations... I think my daughter-in-law too will unless he brings someone from Timbaktu... will she call me Mrs.SSR?..... nooooooooo...



INGREDIENTS : 

Full Cream Milk : 11/2lt.
Rice Flour : 1/2medium tea cup
Semolina : 1tbsp
Refined Flour : 2tsp
Date Palm Jaggery : 150gm [broken into small pieces]
Sugar : 1tbsp
Salt : A pinch
Warm Water : As Required for a soft but firm dough

PROCEDURE :

Take the rice flour in a bowl.



Add a little of warm water first. Rub for a minute.



Now add the semolina and refined flour to it.



Add more of warm water little by little and form a soft & smooth dough.



Now, we will pour the entire amount of milk on a heavy bottomed vessel and put it for boil at the lowest heat.



Before we sit to prepare the rice flour-refined flour-semolina strips, we will break the date palm jaggery into smaller pieces.



Now, take a chair and sit... you need to show up your patience at this step. 

Tear out very small portion from the dough!



Rub lightly in between your palms. Do not press hard. 



Authentically, the strips are even more finer but I am not a perfectionist, quite impatient too! Mine worked pretty well in the boiling milk.

We did go and stir the boiling milk in the kitchen in between.

Cristine helped me equally at this step, else it would have taken more time.

Keep the strips on a plate dusted with flour.



When the milk reduces from 11/2 kg to about 800ml which may take some 20-25 minutes, add the rice flour-refined flour-semolina strips to the boiling milk.



At this stage and thereafter till the completion we will not move from the kitchen. We have increased the heat a bit and the bottom may burn due to any negligence.



After 2-3 minutes of adding the strips, we will stir the content gently and frequently. 

When they look like above, they are soft and done. Add the sugar now and let boil for another minute.

Switch off the gas oven. Add the broken pieces patali gur / date palm jaggery. Gently stir, they will melt in minutes.

Never boil after adding the jaggery, the kheer may get curdled. 

We should be done.

It is not necessary to add all of the jaggery if not required. You can store it back in the refrigerator.






I never use flavouring agents like cardamoms & rose water when there is date palm jaggery used in the dish!

Have it fresh and warm or stale... having it stale gives you the best taste!



Monday, 14 January 2019

CHAKA TELE POROTA O CREAMY SHORSHE SHAAK


Until the Kolkata hangover goes off, I will have this kind of food at home and Oriental soups outside adding to it the island special chilli-garlic-vinegar mixed chutney.... it supposedly is made of so! I should get back to my swimming & walking sessions as soon as possible ..... a gym is something I dread.... I feel suffocated in that confiner. Just when I was planning to add more of "chirey, muri, doi" on my diet, our good friend Joy told that they are grains too full of carb... I cannot just survive on a soup and oats diet... what will I eat then? Things I fancy are a poison for me. I cannot switch over to a no grain, Keto diet.... eating eggs and high protein stuffs every day is not for me. My knowledge of science is negligible.... but the question arises within... how scientific is a no grain diet? Our body is used to grains... we should have them but in less quantity.... Our friend Chandrayee was on a herbal supplement for the last 3-4 years even after my repeated warnings... now her haemoglobin content went down severely. I absolutely do not believe in artificial, food supplements. Neither should you be supportive of the amount of food I eat. However, my food preferences are changing or may be I got stricter about the quality of food! I did not enjoy the Kolkata Biryani this time ..... only the grand child was lucky enough to have home cooked Biryani... ok, ok, I also got to taste "shutkir bhorta, chara ponar tok, chuno maacher chocchori" from the same person. I am really jealous of my friends who prepare Biryani every week, eat outside and manage to remain fit. Feared of me, they do not show up in full face, haha! My brother is not this lucky.... the Swiggy App is destroying him and the majority in Kolkata I feel. Every other day, he orders online a burger, pizza, kebab when there might be  at least 5-6 home cooked dishes lying in the refrigerator. My athletic brother has turned into a hot air balloon... its a major concern now! Both of them husband-wife need a proper diet to follow and yes... a stay in this island or its likes to see how health conscious can people be.... 90% of Bengal do not value a healthy lifestyle.... The question is do I at all have the right to speak on health & diet? Why did I have to eat that lemon-turmeric rice and a "gola ruti" at 10 pm yesterday night? "Gola Ruti" is nothing but whole wheat pan cake that I saw my maa-in-law eating on Fridays when she used to perform "Santoshi Maa r Pujoo & Fasting".... I added some chopped onion, coriander & green chillies to the batter. If you feel tired & lazy or not keen on learning to make roti / chapati.... try this "gola-ruti".... The son had it with a little of left-over Kheema Curry, I prepared our kind of spicy scrambled egg for the hubby, Cristine really made a wonderful dal... "kumro bhaja".... well my "jolpai er achar" got a lot of sun bath and is ready!



This CHAKA TELE POROTA O CREAMY SHORSHE SHAAK was prepared last month after I had  a plate of Sarson Da Saag & Makki Di Roti at the restaurant Mustard here. The son who mumma had to take out for dining every week some ten years back refuses to go out with me, mumma getting food home is awaited though.... so I go out with the daughter likes. This creamy shorshe shaak is not a Northern Indian Sarson Da Saag, neither Roshun Phoron Diye Shorshe Saak.... I did it just my way as I usually do unless it is an authentic Bengali dish.... Oh! I look at my phone's photo album and see that 90% of them are of typical Bengali food items. You bet I will even blog on a "maar bhaat" to be eaten with butter, boiled egg & green chilli.... Bianca or Liz Harley will not be upset, they know that I still do not know clearly the difference between a jam, jelly and spread! However, I will blog on my mother's "peyarer jelly".... I was so busy fighting with her that I forgot to get the recipe from her... she might have forgotten by now getting busy perfecting a biryani, kheema chole, ilish  for her son!

You see, my food habit and my men's do not match in most cases. If it is not a prawn or meat curry or "bhaja bhuji".... they prefer a fusion Bengali besides their absolute favourite Mughlai & Japanese. I think I cannot have a sushi or salmon for the next one month. I do not mind cooking their likes for them.... for myself I will get an yam, peel and paste it with at least 5-6 green chillies, shredded coconut, black mustard seeds.... take half cup of rice and enjoy or will have "peyazkoli bhaja with a ruti".... omitting half cup of rice and a roti at least 3 days a week helps in weight loss... the courage I am failing to gather! Anyway, the man and me bond over few other things.... like having a drink together over the weekend! I love that "mouri-jol".... the Turkish Local Drink Yeniraki... I may be totally engrossed in Udayan Majumder's The Labyrinth.... you bet he will not bother me! Both of us respect each other's personal spaces.... we have our own lives.




Coming to the combo, vegetarian meal today, CHAKA TELE POROTA O CREAMY SHORSHE SHAAK, I repeat that the side dish is not done following the authentic recipe. The deep fried porota / paratha is no unique or a big thing.... neither our mother does it. I remember, our maternal grandmother used to prepare it for breakfast at least once a week and serve it with "aloor chocchori " and a roshogolla or sandesh! My memory bank is flooded with bits & pieces from the past ... I am treasuring even the bitter ones. This vegetarian meal using wholewheat flour, refined flour, mustard greens, fresh cream is something you will enjoy, so will be "The Labyrinth" for my kinds! Do not ask it from me for they do not come back. However, collecting books by any means is a birth right for the book lovers, better order online!



INGREDIENTS FOR THE "CHAKA TELE POROTA" / DEEP FRIED PARANTHA

WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR : 11/2COFFEE MUG
REFINED FLOUR : 1/2COFFEE MUG
SALT : 2PINCH
OIL : 2TBSP + 100-150ML TO DEEP FRY

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CREAMY SHORSHE SHAAK

MUSTARD GREENS : 2BUNCH
SLICED ONION : 1MEDIUM CUP [OF 2 MEDIUM SIZED]
GREEN CHILLI : 2
MINCED GARLIC : 1TSP
CUMIN POWDER : 1TSP
CORIANDER POWDER : 1TSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/4TSP
FENUGREEK SEED : 1/4TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
FRESH CREAM : 2TBSP + 2TBSP
BUTTER : 1TBSP
OIL : 3-4tbsp


PROCEDURE :

Let us prepare the Creamy Shorshe Shaak at first!



Get the young leafy mustard greens and discard the ends. Roughly chop and wash them thoroughly under running water.

Fill a container with hot water, blanch them for 1/2 an hour.

Strain and blend together the blanched mustard greens and the green chillies. 

heat oil in a wok and temper with the fenugreek seeds. Add the minced garlic and fry until light brown.

Add the washed and sliced onions and stir fry till golden brown.

Add the mustard greens and green chilli paste to the wok now. Add the cumin-coriander-turmeric powders to it and little salt. Fold in well.

Let it cook at low heat for 7-8 minutes. We need to stir at an interval of 1 minute.

We can see the water been dried up, add two table spoon of fresh cream and stir well for 1/2 a minute. 

Transfer to a bowl. Reheat before serving, garnish with 1tbsp of butter and 2tbsp of fresh cream!

Now the Chaka Tele Porota / Deep Fried Parantha!




The original porota colour is this, why it turned yellow while trying to edit a bit the main pictures I do not know. The husband is suggesting to buy a Google Pixel Colour .... its time to change the phone! The problem is that I do not know to operate most of the features in a phone. In every way, I am a grandmother's favourite girl.

Anyway, take both the flours, salt and oil on a bowl. Rub for a minute. Add water little by little and prepare a dough. Cover for 15 minutes. I do not do it while in a hurry.

Tear out small portions and smoothen between your palms.



With help of your rolling pin and base, roll out roundels. Now fold them half.... looks like a half moon.

Fold from any one side again. It takes the shape of a triangle. Roll out again a bit to get the "triton porota" shape.



Heat 100-150ml oil on a wok and deep fry both sides. Do one at a time.... we do not have "Alibaba Korai" at our homes.




Above is exactly how the porotas look! I cannot use photo editor app neither is fond of that famous grandfather... not happy with the pictures but you will enjoy the platter adding some pickle & salad of choice to it!