Sunday, 17 June 2018

FULKOPI ALOO DIYE KOI MAACHER JHOL



Now that the big event for some of my friends and readers is over, I can go ahead with some Fish Tales.... Was just waiting for the right time, and today is just perfect! Born and brought up in a "nodi matrik" state... love for fresh water fish is natural for me. Therein lies the problem.... In the past eight years of stay in this island, I failed to hug a sea fish except for salmon.... but how long can you have "shorshe salmon" and "grilled salmon".... You can have if not you are a primitive like me.... who finds solace in a "kechki maacher aloo-peyaz chocchori" in absence of a "deshi tyangra, pabda, aar, boyal, dhai, kajoli, charapona" and people have to share pictures of them been sold in front of my eyes! These days I have stopped sharing my pain with our mother, she cannot take anything lightly, the word joke is not in her dictionary and gets so sad ..... It makes me angry... "Mani, I am happy here.... tomai kichu boler upai nei".... I am not happy with the taste of mutton here too which does not necessarily mean I want to go away from this place.... We feel safe and secured here! Neither I am interested in taking a dig at my place of birth except for lamenting over the loose administration.... the well being of my own is definitely a concern. I am anti-ruling party of my country of origin that is true.... I am silly that is also true... but I always treat issues in particular, I do not sew them together!.... There is no pride in mocking a prime minister for practising Yoga.... I am not a good example to follow.... but I will always have good things to say about people who take some care of their body and health.... You do not care about your body only means you do not care about your loved ones.... Let us leave discussions that breed controversies.... situation at this home needs some attention.... the Argentina supporter did not sleep last night it seems.... I woke up exactly at 5:40 am this morning and saw someone smoking, did not answer any of my queries and now sleeping after a cuppa.... I travelled backwards.... the maternal grandfather lived with us from Monday to Friday and spent the weekend at his own palace! He made it sure that we siblings watch cricket, football and lawn tennis religiously.... both him and our father were Argentina supporters, next came Brazil. The brother became a sports lover and his elder sister.... a celebrity maniac. I loved cricket till Sunil Gavaskar, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Ravi Shastri, Mohinder Amarnath, Dennis Lillee, the blue eyed David Gower played.... Richie Benaud not in the commentary box?... no point watching! I watched football till Maradona played and enjoyed Lawn Tennis till Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edburg ruled the court .... So, this cannot be called love for sports, I do not even understand the games.... The brother had sports in him.... when his team wins... he takes out "kali-potka, dodoma" from his store, goes to the terrace and burst those crackers without caring about the neighbours! He must be missing our father this World Cup season.... the feet that dribbled did not move a bit in the last seven days of his life! The brother had cricket in him but you know middle class families cannot take risk! One cannot expect the offspring to be Nadia Comaneci and Marie Curie at the same time! Now it worries me to see the brother's slim and trim body turning onto a couched potato like his sister... absolutely uncalled for! If not sports, let me talk something I love... food and greenery! Last Thursday I went to a friend's home and instantly loved her flat.... it has almost a small terrace sized balcony and another adjoining smaller one with the master bedroom... and her husband loves gardening! I fell for their indoor plants and eager to visit the nursery next week... I have some space beside the main door! Several times I requested the boss at this home to rent a ground floor flat that usually comes with a backyard and a wide balcony in this island, that too at a lesser price... who listens to me at this home?.... Tell me only people at ground floor catches dengue? I cannot sacrifice Cristine, he cannot get away with his recent love for some specific car brands and we are very very middle class who are unable to fulfil all their wishes together at a time! Let us eat, travel, enjoy instead... So, that friend of mine is from Midnapore district of Bengal.... to be precise from the tourist spot Mandarmoni... I was lost in the stories of her parent's pond full of fish of my choice, garden occupying acres of land.... No wonder, we got to have "goyna bori"prepared and sent by her mother and sister-in-laws.... amazing taste... she prepared so many items of which "maacher tok" was one and as I said earlier it is little different from the one done in our side of the family! We get a seasoning kind of here "butter cereal"... she used it in a dry prawn starter with crisp curry leaves.... I liked! The rest of the fish varieties I could not have full, I just tasted because the primitive me is craving for a "charaponar tok" in this heat or a "kochi pathar patla jhol" .... because I loved her "dal, ucche aloo bhaja and echorer dalna" way too much.... Our mother do not read my blog.... else she would have fainted knowing her daughter eating vegetables.... that too a bitter gourd.... So, I have high hopes about our son that one day besides a chicken, mutton, prawn and salmon, he may go after his mother and  enjoy an ilish or this FULKOPI ALOO DIYE KOI MAACHER JHOL. I used to love chicken so much, now you see I look for chicken "stir fry cut" to be able to have a little bit.... Instead of stir frying, I ended up into another dish... yummy... to be shared some day.... Bengalis are not so good at stir frying... not a primitive like me... my kinds are always skeptical .... "what if it remains undercooked".... let me enjoy it in an Oriental restaurant... that high heat and wide woks do wonders.

FULKOPI ALOO DIYE KOI MAACHER JHOL is a very common, Bengali dish with the climbing perch fish, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes and few regular spices. Though its price has sky rocketed, this is not the curry a Bengali mother-in-law will wish to do for her son-in-law on the occasion of jamaishashti leaving big sized prawns, mutton, ilish or doi katla .... it is a weekend affair for us! Me at 47 is against the ritual of "jamaishashti".... That my father, husband, brother was / is a son-in-law or the son will be one son-in-law does not matter, I believe it has to stop.... I have seen many a parents go out of the way to treat the son-in-law.... I have seen how discriminated a daughter-in-law is  as against a son-in-law in most homes in our society.... the relationship is same... the treatment different.... why? I am a proud mother of a son does not mean that this inequality does not hurt me.... I am also against the so called feminists' intent of male bashing.... thats so silly.... why do they need a male companion then... Get a balance in your thoughts!  Anyway, I wished to go Bengali today with a very Bengali way of cooking Koi Maach urff Climbing Perch! Its a very favourite fish of mine, We get it fresh too both in some of the local markets and the Asian stores but they are supplies from the neighbouring states.... so the taste could not satisfy me! This dish was made some three months back, I did not feel like buying anymore.... just dreaming of the "borsher dim bhora koi" ever since. Climbing Perch tastes best when caught from a canal... more or less small in size.... they are caught and sold fresh.... Our mother always says that she was the eldest of her six siblings... three sisters and three brothers... so she had to learn everything at a tender age to help her mother.... I do feel proud when she takes pride saying that she learnt cutting a Koi Maach at age 13... better than people saying that "I was the youngest of the siblings and was not allowed to work"... I see they learnt to abuse people who do not fall at their feet with great expertise! Our wrong is not knowing something but  in the inability to accept that there is always someone better somewhere and we must know to appreciate them! Anyway, I cannot be our mother, neither do I have a supply of "unaner chai".... ash of earthen or wooden oven is required to hold the slippery body of this fish.... so I get them cut in the store.... Back in Kolkata, all the effort is worth because of its amazing taste! Here, even the fresh ones taste like Tilapia.... I am not taking a dig at anyone.... some 35 years back our family doctor said Tilapia is good for our body.... just that the couple at this home do not fancy it! Such dishes like FULKOPI ALOO DIYE KOI MAACHER JHOL should be there in a Bengali food blogger's collection.... though I know the majority of my readers will not know what a climbing perch is.... We do the same curry with Bengal Carps, Prawn and Sea Bass, taste definitely will differ! .... Yesterday only I did the same curry with sea bass.. and changed the pictures too! People visit or not, it always feels good to blog on a very authentic dish! This was definitely a winter treat during our childhood! About the picture, something is missing... beside the dal there have to be some vegetables and pakoras.... the top left corner looks very empty, needed some fillers?


If you have not gone through my Chicken Kasha recipe for a long time, please do! I updated the pictures and kept some gravy which is unlikely of this dish.... dunk you chapati or paratha as you wish....

CHICKEN KASHA





INGREDIENTS :

Koi Maach / Climbing Perch : 6-8 [cut and cleaned, washed]
Cauliflower Florets : 10-12 [medium cut,washed]
Potato : 1big [washed, peeled, cut into 8pieces]
Tomato : 1medium [washed, chopped]
Green Chilli : 2 [washed, slitted]
Cumin Seed : 2pinch
Bayleaf : 1
Ginger Paste : 11/2tbsp
Cumin Powder : 2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp +1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 5-6 tbsp + 2tbsp [We always use Mustard Oil]


PROCEDURE :

The cleaning process of Koi Maach take some time as they have got numerous scales! Wash each under running water and rub with turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

Take the washed cauliflower florets in a microwave proof bowl, add water and little salt. Microwave at high for 6-8 minutes. Let cool to drain the water. This helps to get rid of the hidden insects if any. I am not my couple friends, the Sher protagonists Suchandra & Joydip Kundu, so I cannot kiss flies & insects.... I am scared of them. Steaming the cauliflower before cooking also helps a "Bengali pet from gola-buk jola, ambaler dhekur"....

Rub little salt and turmeric to the steamed cauliflower florets and washed potato pieces. Keep aside for 5 minutes or so.

Heat oil in a wok and lightly fry the cauliflower florets and potato pieces separately and in batches. Take out. Fry the fish pieces lightly in batches.

Add little more oil to the existing oil and bring to heat! Temper with cumin seeds and a bay leaf!

Add the ginger paste, 1/2tsp turmeric powder, salt as required. Stir for 2 minutes or so. Add the tomato pieces and fold in well.

Keep stirring till the tomato pieces melt.... Add the cumin powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and keep stirring for another 1minute or so. Add 11/2 coffee mug of water. Give a gentle stir.

Cover cook at low heat for 2 minutes. Open cover and add the fried potatoes. Cover cook at low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Open cover and add the fried fish and cauliflower florets. Gently stir once. Cover cook at low heat for 3 minutes or so.

We are done. Enjoy hot with piping hot steamed rice.... I am not happy with the pictures.... the dal should have some "bhajabhuji" / pakoras by its side!








Friday, 15 June 2018

VEGETARIAN CURRY PUFF



There are a couple of special occasions round the year, I wish to give considerable amount of importance to a couple of them, if not all. For a Hari Raya Aidilfitri, I have to wish everyone who are celebrating ..... Ramadan Kareem.... People around who helped at different stages of life do not necessarily belong to my religion.... some explained me the meaning of a blog, stopped by my not so satisfying posts, a girl much younger than me was made my partner on the first day at work here in the island.... Me, who had always preferred to work manually got extremely scared at the sight of a computer getting back to work after 10 years.... When I lacked confidence totally, this girl named F helped me with all necessary guidance.... another F was one of my mentors.... both have a celebration today like few others.... so fish shares can wait till Sunday. What I wonder is that is it me who at age 22 was entrusted with lot more responsibilities.... like accompanying 20-25 board examines from Barasat to Kanchrapara and getting them back safely.... I was young, inexperienced.... yet the management trusted me and said... we know you are the right person who can stay cool and handle anything on the road.... I definitely had few accompanying colleagues with me.... Look at me today, my colleagues and friends are either a principal at a school or a senior teacher.... what I am? nothing.... I sit at home and cook.... but one must follow one's passion.... If you look at my friend Atoshi Shyam's page Artesance.... you will not believe that she has no formal training in Art! So not knowing to bake is no excuse..... The only thing I can say in my defence is that I still try to be honest in whatever I do! As a Food Blogger, we will try to unite people..... if not always but during special occasions.... so I strongly felt that I will not go ahead with a meat share either..... Let me unite cooks, artists and skilled photographers 😊.... not always it is possible though. That I will prepare a mutton pulao & paneer for our Ramadan lunch is a completely different issue... I cannot multitask.... writing a recipe and cooking 4 dishes before lunch is not my cuppa.... meat pulao is a wonderful solution to hide my drawback. I am not our mother, the extremely energetic person at 70 was cleaning my home last week and yes all alone! I / We felt very bad and said ... "Mani ask bhai to take you back home, get a help when we go and then clean... you are not our helper"..... So, you know now Rizia Mashi has failed to prove her faithfulness.... It was me who literally supported her home when she had no work, it was me who got her work in different homes once I left.... Now, you see allegiance changes according to convenience! I do not blame her.... she is a have not who has to feed few stomachs, obviously she has to keep happy her present resources.... What I can do best is stop going out of the way for people who will not move an inch for my benefit!..... People may forget what I did for them.... I will not forget what some did to get CURRY AND SPICE a place in the food blogging world.... So, to me this VEGETARIAN CURRY PUFF is the right share for today! Till yesterday, I was very much worried about the mother who was cleaning our home all alone.... The husband always says.... curtail your expectations S.... Now that the mother is back to her "palace".... I am happy........ Rizia Mashi is just an example, it could be Radharani too.... and you know it is through small incidents you get to know people.... What I fail to make our expert mother understand is that poor people are just made pawns to fulfil our own interests, we are at fault.... not them! .... So I will not tell her anything... just that "your service is not required anymore mashi.... come to me when your daughter's marriage is fixed.... I will help you more than anyone else.... I know I have a broader mind".... The only thing I can take pride in is I do not rebuke people even when they cause me irritation.... I am still struggling to pay due respect to the people who felt that this girl should be given the best conduct prize.... haha... do not know how long I can to maintain an "image" of innocence! .... I do not know why some nice / pleasant personas have to give so horrid poses in social media.... I do not know either why it irritates me.... they do not even feature in my life! Unlike some of you, S' Kolkata visits are not "romanticising with Kolkata"...... its work... work... work.... she loves her freedom and she hates to be questioned.... "why are you seen always @ City Centre2? Everyday you have to go out?".... My smile answers... "How is it bothering you? Will you do my works?" People only see my pictures with friends in the social media and takes no time to judge! .... S purposefully is behaving selfish with her family this season.... Instead of spending time visiting the doctors and the bank.... she has chosen to go for a holiday.... she will divulge in right time.... places we visited and the food we had!....Why do people publicise the hotel names too while on tour.... isn't that a serious security threat? Anyway, my concern today is wishing Ramadan Kareem to my friends and readers ... if not royally but with this simple, a famous snack in this island and its neighbouring state VEGETARIAN CURRY PUFF!

My VEGETARIAN CURRY PUFF may not look that much authentic, I have used less butter in the dough, I did it for the first time  and decided to blog on it! I find the very popular curry puffs of OCK chain very heavy on my stomach.... they are very tasty though.... They have chicken too in the filling alongside potato.... I do not prefer always... I discovered another joint who sell pure vegetarian ones.... yet again they are heavy on the stomach. My sealing part is a tampering of the original.... haha.... I used a fork to seal which is not done in case of curry puffs. For  recipes of this island and its neighbour.... I trust Rasa Malaysia.... though I made the filling as per our taste bud! So, it is more like our samosa / shingara. This salted, deep fried, vegetarian snack VEGETARIAN CURRY PUFF seems to me like a near cousin of our samosa / shingara sans the tempering of the oil or the use of green peas / peanuts! I even found the casing of curry puffs easier than samosas. I was very much willing to blog on something today that South Asia / India can feel connected to and can recreate at their homes. I found curry puff the right choice. For the rest, if you can make me eat salad with an olive oil dressing, you should prepare a curry puff too.... its near to your minced chicken pie. Yet.... few nations' and Bengal's take on food is same.... keep separate food and health.... haha.... My note to them.... "if you can pile your stomachs with French Fries every other day, having curry puff once a month is no big deal".... the stepwise pictures will say its not a sweaty affair! This pretending to be an angel is not a wise soul either when it comes to food! She balances her diet and hunger pangs eating one paratha instead of two and good amount of fruits of her choice. She is a champion in spoiling the process of clean eating.... she got burgers for her men and Cristine yesterday night, she herself had "amriti o muri".... If she cannot have burgers, she should have dined on a soup.... and salad! These days I have stopped showing my tummy to Cristine... no point except for turning her crazy.




God forbid... I do not have a generous serving of the mutton pulao... walking 7-8 km five days a week and eating loads of carb rarely helps.... You have not developed severe neck to back pain and you will do some weight trainings... walking is a very low intensity cardio.... It is the lazy me who loves brisk walks and no other exercises. Anyway, when I prepare and enjoy a snack as tasty as this VEGETARIAN CURRY PUFF, body trimming is hardly on my mind.... I am lost in each bite. I know you too will.... shall we proceed to prove it? In one of the steps.... you will see that I have messed with the frying part in the beginning.... We have to be careful... they should not feel like "poori-aloo" roll... heat the oil, bring it to minimum and fry.... At times we have to switch off gas and fry and again switch on in minutes.... Yet, I could not get the perfect look... Google Images will prove that! Trying to be honest, I must also say that they tasted amazing! Instead of meat masala they use, I made use of the tandoori masala and garam masala I always have in stock.

Fairly inspired by a recipe from Rasa Malaysia!




INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE DOUGH]

REFINED FLOUR : 11/2COFFEE MUG
BUTTER : 4TBSP
BAKING SODA : 2PINCH
WATER : AS REQUIRED
SALT : 1/4TSP

INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE FILLING]

BOILED POTATO : OF TWO BIG ONES
MINCED ONION : 1/2SMALL CUP
TANDOORI MASALA : 2-3TSP
GARAM MASALA : 1TSP
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1/2TSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/4TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 2TBSP

INGREDIENTS : [FINAL ASSORTMENT]

THE DOUGH
THE POTATO FILLING
OIL TO DEEP FRY


PROCEDURE :

Boil the potatoes as you wish, wash again and peel. Chop them roughly... they chop it here unlike mashing it as in case of samosa / shingara.



Peel, wash and chop the onions. 




Heat oil in a wok and add the chopped onions. Stir and fry for 3-4 minutes.





Add the chopped, boiled potatoes. Fold in well. Add the turmeric and red chilli powders, tandoori and garam masala powders, salt as required.




Fold in very well and keep stirring for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.





Take the refined flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Mix well.




Add the butter and rub for 2 minutes. I used less butter than required!





Add water little by little and knead to prepare a smooth dough... do not add all the water at a time.... it may give you trouble. This may take some 10-12 minutes.




Cover the dough with a moist cloth for 15 - 20 minutes.... Remove cover and knead for 2-3 minutes again. Tear off small portions, smoothen between your two palms.




Roll each in poori shape.




Fill in with the potato mixture.




Fold in and seal the ends with a fork. I found it very much convenient compared to casing of a samosa / shingara.





Now heat enough oil in a wok to deep fry. Reduce heat to minimum. Frying in too hot oil will make them soggy and give a poori feeling.... you can see the difference between the first one and the rest.



So, we will fry both sides at very low heat, even switching off gas if required and again switching on in a moment.

We will use a "chakni hata".... perforated ladle to fry both sides well and hold for sometime as seen below to get rid of oil. We will then place them on tissue papers before serving.





We will definitely have them hot and fresh with a generous serving of salad.... which the senior had this time to my surprise... the prince did not. The tea / coffee cups are missing.... do not forget them.




Tuesday, 12 June 2018

KAJU KISHMISH BATA DIYE ECHOR



I was wondering for quite sometime that besides an "niramish echorer dalna".... "echor chingri"..... "echorer kofta".... what else can we do with echor... that is raw jackfruit! It is during this time of the year that Bengal markets are flooded with raw jackfruits.... our mothers used to cut it all by themselves which required great efforts.... These days Kolkata too has made things easier... The sellers sit with a "boti" and cut it for you once you pay.... Our mother is a perfectionist, so she only gets the skin cut and rest of the cutting part she does herself.... We get it here in this island both as a whole and in pieces.... fresh but packaged! Buying whole is economical but I cannot use a "boti" neither our Cristine can.... we both use knife... so I buy fresh, cut ones.... You see even cut raw jackfruit need some treatments before cooking.... the seeds need to be taken out and its skin is to be discarded, the tip of the pieces are to be trimmed! I must tell you and many of you already know that all the effort is worth it. This time I prepared the raw jackfruit with a spice paste which is not so common at Bengali homes. Now, our generation is not so much stuck to authenticity.... we try and test everything that suit our tastebuds! I have seen 'raw jackfruit korma' to 'shahi kathal' in different food groups.... most of the time I do not follow a particular recipe which may require buying ingredients worth 50 dollars........ instead I will buy five jilipis for 5 dollars and then come out sobbing from a clothing store... none of them fit in given the standard of this island.... I have to hug the slogan "saree tomatei purna hoy nari"..... People around also do not love me.... they have to allure me with something I wish to give a blind eye to, say a jilipi!.... Why they cannot share pictures of zucchini salad.... carrot juice... beet smoothie.... uff, I will worship those bodies but cannot have a drop of it.... I will pour the beet smoothie in a wok.... boil to reduce, add kheer / mawa and cardamom powder towards the end and call it beet sandesh / halwa! Anyway, since I will not buy some extra ingredients for one dish, I will prepare this KAJU KISHMISH BATA DIYE ECHOR with available ingredients at home.... I may tell you this is an awesome vegetarian option that you can cook for the family or for your visiting guests as a vegetarian side besides the other non vegetarian items. My men like this as it tastes almost like mutton. I feel happy if they are happy..... like it feels good to see the husband behaving normal. Since Sunday evening he is not only talking work and watching CNN, CNBC, BBC NEWS, those violent shows in FOX CRIME that I cannot tolerate, he is taking interest in normal things like rejoicing at his name been included in his college group. We just met his college friend at our very own Sanak and Nibedita Chattopadhay's home.... they were not in touch and it was so sudden. This lady actually lives in the Bay Area of San Francisco and they were here for two years, now leaving!.... All this while the danseuse Nibedita used to tell me about one Piali Mukherjee who is very nice and helpful, whose kids used to dance in her troop... Nritya Chanda! How do we know that she would be my husband's college mate? I saw my husband very relaxed talking past.... I really wished that they stay here and do not go back. I could have called them this month to our home instead of July! I did not.... I do not understand social media norms but I maintain protocols in real life.... as much as possible or required! Sanak-Nibedita are going to Kolkata and I will wait for them to be back because it is for them that my husband got to meet his friend..... I did not exchange phone number with Piali.... why? Its too early to do that.... it is my husband who is her friend ... I am here to call and treat his friend Piali and her family royally because we do not know if we are going to meet again or not.... they are going back to their present home which is thousands of miles far or may be I do not wish to travel to that land ever 😊. I am happy that I have a month long time to decide on the menu... what should be the starters? the non vegetarian mains? the dessert? should the vegetarian dishes be this KAJU KISHMISH BATA DIYE ECHOR or kancha kolar kofta or dhokar dalna?.... I value all my guests alike! Besides a newly found Piali who managed to include my weird husband in different friends groups, there is also a Nibedita's husband Sanak who omitted the first two letters of my name, added an extra at the end and calls me "maa".... I keep some people in the warmth of my breathe!

For this vegetarian bliss called KAJU KISHMISH BATA DIYE ECHOR, I used "charmogoj".... melon seeds, cashew nut, raisins in the paste, a generous amount of tomato paste.... So you can see it is neither korma nor a shahi item.... its just itself.... a pleasure to have with steamed rice and should go very well with roti / prata! The senior loved it, the son had it too given mumma mixed it well with the rice with few drops of lemon juice added. At every meal with rice, we have to have lemon. I read somewhere, smokers should have more of lemon juice.... ever since his rice plate has to have a big piece.... Lemon juice also helps to prevent cough & cold often. The latter is a proven fact.... earlier when the son would catch cold... I used to feed him a table spoonful of lemon juice mixed with 2 pinches of pepper powder and 1tsp honey... 3 times a day! It works wonder, I did not depend much on cough syrups! Now that the toddler has turned in to a tailed teen, he does not listen to me at all.... Both men are weird of whom the junior is more.... he keeps his bedroom window closed at all times not letting natural air and light coming in..... he will not go for outdoor games.... the father will not say anything.... hence, he catches cold every month. I am a total failure as a mother.... or a wife..... How about you? You have built disciplined homes I believe where people go by certain rules! You can well include this vegetarian side KAJU KISHMISH BATA DIYE ECHOR in your family menu plan or for your visiting guests. You can see I also cooked some chicken, 'beulir dal' and 'laal shaaker ghonto'..... Had it being for visiting guests, I would have changed the daal to "fulkopi-motorshuti diye moong dal".... chicken to "dahi murg" or "doi mutton".... a prawn or "shorshe bata salmon".... chutney, two more veggie dishes and off course 3-4 starters, 2 desserts!.... Its a food blogger's home which should have the word food written in the walls.... Besides cooking, this lady knows nothing.... she cannot make pot pies either for her guests.... what if Bianca visits her home some day? Instant Idli, butter chicken with naan, salads and wine of her choice "can can lah!".... She cannot go from this home insulting fish... so she has to have macher chop and baked fish or I may force her to have a "fish fillet er kalia"..... though I know she will not take the risk of getting me "hasher tatka dim" from her farm... If you allow me to talk, I may not stop... so lets cook and share. This semi-dry curry is quite easy to cook but getting the jackfruit ready to cook takes some time..... I do not stay in that "bahargaon".... so I will not buy tinned food.... How is it so that a country do not have enough wet markets .... then buy from the farmer's market... When Piali's husband told "we at times drive 20-25 miles to dine at a restaurant".... I was about to faint... and whispered "dada e jonmey aar apner bari dekha holona"....




INGREDIENTS :

Raw Jackfruit : 500gm [buy skin off but fresh if possible]
Cashew Nut : 8-10
Raisin : 6-8
Melon Seed : 1tsp
Ginger Paste : 2tsp
Onion Paste : 2tbsp
Tomato Paste : 1small cup
Red Chilli Powder : 2tsp
Cinnamon Stick : 2-3 two inch stick
Clove : 3-4
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Bay Leaf : 1
Sugar : 1/2tsp [optional]
Salt : As Required
Oil : 3-4tbsp

PROCEDURE :

I definitely had to provide pictures for the jackfruit cleaning process, but it was cooked on a Saturday morning.... I cook 8-10 other dishes too!

Ok, I always buy fresh but packaged jackfruit. You still need to spend some time to clean and cut it into shapes.

The first thing we will do is to apply mustard oil on our two palms and the knife, else the juice released can give trouble to be removed.

Cut the jackfruit pieces further into smaller, square shapes. Take out the seeds and get rid of the skin... its yellowish. Trim the tip of each piece. Oh! my English... so horrible!

When we are cutting the jackfruit, we will sit with a vessel full of water. Just cut and drop them in the vessel.... else they get pale and black may be.

This will take some 20 minutes. Wash and pass the water through a strainer.

Fill the vessel again with water. Add the jackfruit pieces, salt and turmeric!

Boil at medium heat, covered for 7-8 minutes. Let cool and throw the water... use a strainer... raw jackfruit is precious for us... not a piece to be wasted.

Heat oil in a wok! Rub the boiled jackfruit pieces with little salt and turmeric and fry lightly in batches... take out!

Temper oil with a bayleaf, cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms and cloves! Add the onion paste and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the ginger paste and fry for a minute or little more. Add the tomato paste and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. When the oil separates from the spice mixture.... add some salt, turmeric and the chilli powder. Mix very well and stir for a minute.

Add the lightly fried jackfruit pieces and fold in well. Cover the wok and put the oven at minimum heat.

Wash the melon seeds, cashew nuts and raisins taking in a strainer. Adding little water, blend them together to a paste.

After 5 minutes, remove cover and add 11/2 medium cup of water to the wok and give a quick stir. Cover cook at the lowest heat for 3-4 minutes.

Open cover and add the cashew nut-raisin and melon seed paste, sugar. Fold in well and cook covered for another 3-4 minutes at minimum heat.

Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with steamed rice or roti / prata / paratha.






Sunday, 10 June 2018

ALOOR PUR BHORA LANKAR BORA



That the primates in this family eat unhealthy is well known to the readers by now! This ALOOR PUR BHORA LANKAR BORA was a part of a meal including those yogurt porota and a healthy dish with mushroom-bell peppers, lettuce salad! At the best, I can do that much ... combine unhealthy dishes with the healthy ones! May you know that the sushi-sashimi & steak loving husband is revolting not only for me cooking too much but complaining that his wife cooks spicy as well! ... The son eats, our friends eat... only he has a problem.... I will not change till the son ventures out of home.... though I do not know how to live a single day without him.... The thought of the son having food outside everyday or cooking "dal sheddo-aloo sheddo-dim sheddo" for himself gets me into tears! Given the prolonged, mental illness I suffer from, I know I will spend sleepless nights thinking.... "did he switch off the gas oven properly?" It is the husband then who will be my support, come on trust me I consider him as my biggest confidant.... what I do not like is that he is turning like his father who thinks anything except "kancha lanka bata jhol" is bad for the stomach.... Every day the same boring food could not save their stomach either .... they live within 2 km from our Kolkata home.... but my mother has to come from Barrackpore to clean our home "each" time.... for the rest of the time while it comes to "claims".... people do not hesitate to say "its our son's home".... Each time I got "my" parents to stay with me for few days, my husband's parents got upset, felt insecure and they had to express it in front of the very "sensitive" me! So, I visit my in-law's home as a guest... "on duty" call.... with cooked and packed food, gifts, essentials and for some evening or morning tea & chitchat .... So, you must treat your daughter the best, who knows what is waiting for her in future....The otherwise quiet and decent me had the guts to say straight on face that I treat you the way you treat my parents.... neither do I allow my mother to poke her nose when it comes to discharging "duty" towards my in laws.... It is true that "their son" gifted me a good life.... So, I love a girl child but not at the cost of my son.... he is the "prime" in my life unless he is causing any harm to a girl! For imparting such lessons including not to fall for girls online in kinder chats and its likes ... I need to sit with him for sessions of vocal tonic.... for this I urged the rebel husband to arrange meetings with our rebel son 😰.... though he does not have a problem having mumma made vegetarian snacks ALOOR PUR BHORA LANKAR BORA! 

I am not going ahead with meat and fish shares today too.... may be I am waiting for the occasion of "Jamaisashti".... In this 31/2 years of blogging, I made no special posts on Jamaishashti.... I find it very wrong with no "boushashti".... around.... I do not know about others... but in most Bengali homes... you can see clear the discrimination in behaviour towards the son-in-law and the daughter-in-law.... The discriminated treatment of the daughter and daughter-in-law is wide open in most cases .... what is very wrong with the daughter-in-law becomes perfect when it comes to the daughter.... Our mother is not allowed to do that... she got dependant on her son and daughter-in-law who are so dutiful that she herself does not complain "much".... A person who keeps herself too busy has no time for complaints either! Yet, I am unable to go ahead with a meat share for my little brother today too, he will always remain a "littler" to me.... I will always wish to see his Kimi and cricket shares on his stream.... because he is nothing else but that.... He and his likes have to understand the truth.... The truth is in the pictures below.... Just an hour back it was BBC News happening at this home... it was featuring some real life stories... of where?... well... particularly of the so called "India's enemy country".... Religious extremists on both sides are actually destroying the structure of their own country.... else everything else is just two sides of a coin.... Isn't this Child Labour a menace? Isn't the situation same in the entire sub-continent? Then why do we fight over the wrong issues? This boy Akhtar who was tortured to death at his master's house could be an Akhil too! The kids as small as them are sent to work out of poverty... who will teach their parents about birth control if we are busy spreading hatred based on religion? Are human lives any less important than the other species? I am not against the four legged "thingis"... oh! how beautiful are the eyes of a doe or how painful it is to see a caged bird! None of us or very few do pay attention to the need of the hour... it is not overdose of religion but the right amount of education that makes us wise humans.... Well, the moms are not in the picture... may be they were crying mad inside their homes...




Hundreds of Akhtar / Akhil / Ayesha / Ahana die tortured... that requires to be stopped.... You are not a "sit at home and giving big talks" kind of superfluous lady and you work silently for them just as a Madhuchanda Dey Ghosh of Mumbai does! The couple donate fat amounts to Pondicherry Ashram too.... There need not be any fight between a cause and one's own belief... if we can be wise! Watching BBC News made the atmosphere heavy... a Sunday morning and the television is switched off.... No, angels do not stay at this home... I just remember a teen boy and a girl walking towards a bank... the boy has to pay his sister's school fees... The girl says "T tor panjabi ta chera".... T your kurti is torn.... T said "the bank is not bothered about it... they want that money.... one day I will have fatter pockets".... Today, he is smoking B&H one after another! The now middle aged woman says.... once the son settles down .... we must do something to recover the lost pride.... We cannot die without  contributing a little something to the society.... Can we? Thoughts and wishes are to be nourished alongside the regular household chores.... of which cooking is one.... So, the easy and yum recipe of ALOOR PUR BHORA LANKAR BORA is to be shared.... Besides weight watchers, every one else will grab at least two... This snack or appetiser is not an authentic Bengali thing, I named it so because it is done at this Bengali home often.... also I enjoy doing some "dushtumi" at times.... do not bother much about anything that does not harm others! We get a variety of chillies here, this been one... Do not ask me to name them.... I am not my expert friends. What I would say is that I use this big, fat, red variety of chilli for both pickle and pakoras. They are not at all hot, I discard the seeds too! So, they can be had by little growing up kids... I do not understand this part because I started feeding our son our kind of food at a very tender age! Do not feed them kichdi and porridge all the time.... they have tastebuds too! Lets do it and enjoy having! Keep yourself so busy, so occupied, so positive that you do not feel like destroying your life.... Why should that stage come in your life when you do not find anything interesting around? It does come for some.... but it has to be overcome.... What are you all doing today? We have a party to attend.... and I have to bake a cake!

By the way, my Coriander Poori recipe gets updated with new pictures.... Do have a look clicking the heading / link!






INGREDIENTS : [for the batter]

Gram Flour : 1medium cup
Rice Flour : 1/4small cup
Salt : As Required
Water : As Required
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Sugar : 1/2tsp [optional]
Oil : 2-3 drops
Baking Soda : 2pinch

INGREDIENTS : [for the filling]

Boiled Potato : 2medium
Chat Masala : 1tsp
Dry Mango Powder : 1tsp
Carom Seed : 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder : 2-3pinch
Black Salt : As Required
Lemon Juice : 2-3tbsp

THE FINAL STAGE :

The Big, Fat, Red Variety of Chilli : 8-10 
The Assorted Filling
The Batter
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : To deep fry

PROCEDURE :

Boil the potatoes as you wish... wash, half, take in a pot and boil on stove top or pressure cook at low up to 1 whistle! If you are a diabetic like me, wash the potatoes, prick with a fork and microwave at high for 3-4 minutes. Thereafter, let them cool, peel, wash again and mash.

In the mashed potato.... add black salt, turmeric, carom seeds, chat masala, dry mango powder, lemon juice. Mix together everything very well! Keep aside.




Prepare the batter with gram flour, rice flour, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, drops of oil adding water little by little to get a thick paste like consistency. We will add the baking soda before  we start to fry.



Slit each of the washed big, fat as me, red chillies from the middle and discard the seeds.



Marinate each of the chillies inside-out with little salt, turmeric and lemon juice before we fill them. Stuff each one with the potato filling.... 



They are now ready to be fried!



Add the baking soda to the batter now... and mix very well!

Coat each of the stuffed chillies very well with the batter.



Heat enough oil in a wok, deep fry the coated and stuffed chillies well turning them constantly, adjusting the heat from low to medium. Do them in batches as they need space to move around... "tele dub shatar ditey hobey".... 



Your homes are not as weird as ours, so you will have them as evening teatime snacks with tea / coffee!




Thursday, 7 June 2018

INSTANT ROSE FLAVOURED SANDESH






 Sweets and Desserts are always on making at this home and it never can happen that I will not taste them.... The result is that junior Chang got worried and increased my dose while his father.... my favourite Old Doctor Chang is tensed why my medicinal dose was increased... can anything be done to alter it? I urged "let it be doctor.... I can at least eat something.... else I have to cut off my tongue!" The senior of the two doctors is totally old school and hates too much dependence on medicine, he wants me to eat too.... he himself is too fond of South Asian food, besides his own cuisine!.... To go by his wishes what do I have to do? I need all six days of exercise.... walking and weight training.... That does not happen in my life... therein lies all the problems.... When it is time to go for an exercise, I feel like doing some cooking.... like yesterday when the time was perfect to go for some constructive exercise, I sat with "bori".... dal vadi.... sun dried lentil balls making session! Actually, it was in plan since morning.... before going to the son's school I soaked the dal.... came back and did the rest... If rain does not become a spoiler.... they should be on the blog in another 15-20 days. Last year's stuffed chilli pickle is due till date, I so much wish to blog on it. My readers will laugh at me to know that some of the earlier food pictures I may have to delete... why? I clicked them months back, they may not be authentic Bengali or of any place.... I did not click the steps and now only remember the main ingredients and not the entire recipeπŸ˜…... Those who know me already, they will not be surprised! After I was done with the "bori"... the idea of an instant sweet popped up... I took no time to do this INSTANT ROSE FLAVOURED SANDESH.... I have some guests due, I start cooking one or two days prior! Usually, I keep two dessert options for guests.... hopefully to manage another one tomorrow.... There will be two starters with a salad... a seven items main meal including the chutney! My friends are not coming to me for food but I love that little bit of appreciation.... As I always say, there has to be something, at least one thing in us that we can take pride of... It is required specially when your credibility had been questioned, if so you must love yourself a bit more... haha... I wish... I wish.... I wish I had given it a serious thought earlier and be a lot more sincere with life... Then, there has to be some to sit at home and give big talks! Well, she does not talk big only, she is here to share such a quick fix sweet for you.... there is always a Rose Syrup, milk powder, paneer, ghee at home... so why not an INSTANT ROSE FLAVOURED SANDESH? Both the 'bori' and the 'sandesh' requires  good use of your palm... specially the lentil balls.... beating the paste for about 20-25 minutes... the right arm is paining now.... did I ever care about a pain except for those injections?... For Bori / dal vadi we need to beat the lentil paste clockwise for quite sometime... the paste needs to be light just as in dahi vada or our rosh bora... 





This INSTANT ROSE FLAVOURED SANDESH is really hassle free except for the kneading part... that too is a 10 minutes affair. All the pain is worth when you see smiles around! Besides these, I had some photo session with the watermelon popsicles.... you get to see when you click the heading / link! I got tired and the men had to have "kena porota".... the guilt will be on until I pack the lunch box with "ruti, kumror chokka and sandesh" tomorrow morning... When I enjoy at home, the skeletal structure sweats outdoor... he never asks for anything ... he deserves this little bit! Anyway, every now and then we are craving for coolers or something light on the stomach.... I sit and think about those who may be having their food once in a day for specific number of days, its tough!... Then there are anniversaries, birthdays, me day, humtum day and yes "miracle" days too.... I feel both happy and concerned.... My concerns do not revolve around familial people only, I am not a robot. So, sharing a sweet recipe as yum as this INSTANT ROSE FLAVOURED SANDESH for all! I did not even prepare the paneer at home, just used a store bought one! The idea was instant and the action too thereafter! From scratch to the end, everything was done within an hour... for a sudden guest or for the people around... a little pain in the right palm is worth it! You may have seen me using instant mawa a lot, try it and you will not buy it anymore!

For the Watermelon Popsicles that I blogged on last year, below is the link.... just click the link for the recipe, excellent for hydration! ....








INGREDIENTS :

Milk Powder : 1coffee mug
Full Cream Milk : 1/2medium cup
Ghee : 11/2tbsp
Sugar : 2tbsp
Concentrated Rose Syrup : 11/2tbsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/2tsp
Paneer : 100-150gm [cottage cheese / chena]
Chopped Pistachio to garnish

Good amount of love as a final touch...haha!


PROCEDURE :

Take the full cream milk, powdered milk, sugar, green cardamom powder and ghee in a wide mouthed bowl. Mix together everything very well.

Add the rose syrup and mix together well again.








Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave at high for 1 minute. Pause and stir with a spoon. Microwave at high for one more minute. Take out. We are ready with the base of the sandesh.





Transfer the content to a plate and add the paneer to it crumbling the later roughly.






Now sit at your favourite corner and start kneading with your right hand palm. We will do it for 10-14 minutes to get everything mix together well. 




The dough will not remain sticky once kneaded well. Now we can shape the sandesh as we wish. I keep the moulds for rest and go for the easiest shapes. Our Cristine helps at the shaping stage always!





Garnish with almonds or pistachios before serving. It tastes best when fresh... but this home has to refrigerate it for the lunch boxes and has to depend on peoples' mood before serving.... people have other interesting things to have like beer, wine, nuts, cigars..... Moreover, they "visit" home... hardly "stay".... You are not us, you are good homes.... you will refrigerate the INSTANT ROSE FLAVOURED SANDESH for an hour and have it!