Wednesday, 20 March 2019

KAJU KISHMISH NARKOL BHORA KHASTA KOCHURI




..... and how much satisfied I felt with the outcome of the snackers yesterday evening... I am planning it since Sunday "karon aaj amader nyarapora kaal amader dol"... We had a happy meal, only that I missed the husband who definitely would have liked it. So, it is to be done very soon again... may be next weekend. I was very hopeful about doing this dry kochuri, wanted a right kind of dough and be totally relaxed too while preparing them. So, you can see that they are not designer ones... I did what I am comfortable in... just stuffed and shaped them round. To enjoy at least four of them, we need some workouts... although it does not work that way... I am telling you it does not... After a 10.5 km of walk yesterday afternoon, I had a soul satisfying meal with "mutton curry, radish, dal, papad, bandung" at an Indo-Malaysian-Tamil joint located just at the back of our home. I like their rice meals. So, all of that pride of a long walk in the sun went into the river. I am that way but.... life is short and I cannot limit it to something I do not wish to. Like, these days I got very calculative about mingling with people... I study intents and who is how much willing to give it for me or my family ... if I am not satisfied, I prefer to be formal .... So, the happy loner me walked to her old neighbourhood yesterday.... she goes every 15 days for her eyebrows to be done. Menopause is not a concern but the super fast greying is.... Anyway, I finished my work there and did not have my favourite Bento Box at 5 dollars. Ask me why? I wished to walk back home which is not possible with a loaded stomach. Any sincere health watcher would have eaten a carb free lunch but I am the one who will cook, eat and do little cardio. Like today & tomorrow, I will swim.... its a lazy body that functions in slow motion and I am indulgent about it. The adventure was in inventing few "thoka togor er gach" on the way and tearing a branch on way back .... Handing it over to Cristine at the gate, I went for my lunch.... back home it was waiting for the son to come from the school and then starting with the preparation of KAJU KISHMISH NARKOL BHORA KHASTA KOCHURI. It was a fun project specially the thought of surprising the son with an uncanny dinner was making me happy.... did not our mother do the same for her 'petuk' daughter?.... my little brother was never a foodie as such.





Excuse me if my life, my likings resemble with any of my readers or their "beau's"..... I really do not know or that much interested in others' lives... but can understand how protective and possessive one can get on certain things... at least I am that way... I do not like sharing what I love or you can say I decide who to share with. Leave that... you cannot analyse the weird, silly nerd in me... let me carry the  heavy burden called "me" alone... another 15-20 years left or may be less.... let us enjoy life. Totally believing in getting the maximum out of life, I had to have that amount of dinner yesterday, as if the "doier ghol" and the salad is going to help me out from the negative effect of a deep fried snacker.... but tomorrow is Dol / Holi.... I must think of my readers who celebrate it. This home does not play, I will pay my homage to my ladoo Gopal with some colours... thats it! How is the morning today? Coming to food again... Kodo Millet Idli went to the son's lunch box, I had to have it with my black coffee and one left over dry 'kochuri' too. Life is good!



For, the KAJU KISHMISH NARKOL BHORA KHASTA KOCHURI, we require few ingredients... some spices, shredded coconut, cashew nuts, raisins, refined flour, ghee, oil and done. I wanted to be very particular about the dough and again watched a youtube video by one Sourav from Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's team.... shortening of the flour with ghee is the secret key to the best textured shingara / samosa .... which I forget at times while preparing them and is left unhappy! This time I did not want bubbles on the kochuri skins. I am eager to share the recipe... oh! how divine the filling smelt... I felt like I am standing at "Ultadangar more with a thonga full of khasta kochuri from VIP Sweets?".... it has one of its biggest outlet within 200 metres of our Kolkata home... in between Arsalan & Aminia... "karey chairya karey chumu khamu kou"....



INGREDIENTS : [for the filling]

Shredded Coconut : 11/2medium tea cup
Cashew Nut : 6-7 [chopped]
Raisin : 10-12 [chopped]
Coriander Seed : 1tbsp
Cumin Seed : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3
Sugar : 1/2tsp
Salt : 1/4tsp
Ghee : 2tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the dough]

Refined Flour : 11/2 coffee mug
Ghee : 2-3 tbsp
Salt : 2-3pinch
Water : As Required

INGREDIENTS : [for the kochuri]

The Filling
The Dough
Oil to deep fry!

PROCEDURE :

Let us prepare the dough first.

Take the flour & salt in a wide mouthed bowl and mix well.

Melt the ghee and pour onto the flour. It needs to be lukewarm.


Be careful when you touch, remember it should be lukewarm and not hot.


Now mix well and keep rubbing with your right palm. Come on do not smell your fingers while at work... although the ghee smells divine.


After 3-4 minutes, it will get crumbly. Add water very little at a time and keep kneading.


It will take some 10 minutes to prepare the correct dough which needs to be harder than an usual one for 'luchi-porota'... this is important.


We will cover it with a clean towel for 20 minutes.


For the filling, we will heat 2tbsp ghee in a wok. We will add the shredded coconut to it.



After 3-4 minutes of constant stirring, it will turn light brown in colour and your kitchen will smell heaven.


Store it  and let cool.



Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and grind to a coarse powder. I had previously done, cannot furnish the pictures... do not store this spice powder for more than a week... loses the aroma.

Add it to the fried coconut. Microwave the cashew nuts for 30 seconds and chop. Cut small the raisins. Add both to the spiced & fried coconut. Add the salt, sugar.... mix well.


Now remove the cover from the dough and knead well again for 2-3 minutes.



Tear out small portions and press in between your palm.


Smoothen in between your palms and make a hollow.


Fill in with the filling and press with the back of your spoon. Now close both the ends.



Get a round shape for each. Cristine helps a lot at this stage.



Now heat the oil in a wok and deep fry in batches. Keep on to tissue papers before serving hot.



I served my family with 'doier ghol"... salad... a vinegar-green chilli chutney, a store bought red chilli sauce...




Monday, 18 March 2019

DAAB ER JOL DIYE BAEL ER SHORBOT


I call it a miracle drink and we are having it since childhood! Bael / Bengal Quince / Wood Apple has immense medicinal properties. I cannot jot down at least 10 properties of it... reasons are 2... I do not wish  to believe everything of wiki... do not think that wiki knowledge is enough neither do I have the sincerity to do some homework in the library prior to this post. So, let me stick to what I have known since childhood from the hearsay & personal experience! The parents, grand parents told, "you have to eat it everyday in the season"... so we did. What I miss today is a spoonful of sugar in it. However, we get so good quality of bael / wood apple / Bengal Quince here that we hardly need to add sugar to it unless one have a very sweet tooth! I am so thankful to the Bangladeshi shops here, they really keep you rooted. One like me with a Bengali tooth would find it difficult without these stores. So, each year during the season, I would get them a couple of time... If you say so I wish to have it throughout the year, of the few things from the past my husband relish, this is one. Then, production is round the year only when something is universally accepted or popular. I think something like "bael er pana" should be made a popular health drink ... it truly helps in normalising your bowel movement. The husband is leaving home again for a week, so I had to serve it last Saturday because I know he would have it... I do not wait for him to enjoy things he does not enjoy. The son perhaps do not enjoy it... so long he has sugar free Olong & Ayataka tea, Soya Milk all day through, I do not force anything on to him.... I am not the kind who can force anything on anyone. It is tiring, it is energy consuming. I still hope that our son will someday love most of the delicacies of his root that he does not like now or I may die watching the death of Bangaliana at this home. I see so many of my generation here who do not have any idea on heirloom Bengali dishes, it is just as irritating as me not knowing the functions of a computer box. While you wonder what my head is actually filled with... "goborpora?".... I keep wondering "era ki je khichuri ranna randhe... ja kheye boro hoyeche tar chemistry janar icche porjonto hoyni eder".... So, definitely I will limit my liking towards those who manage both sides well and will like more those who have the guts to say in public "torkari diye biryani khaoar bodoley sheko bish kheye mora bhalo".... You bet when I read this in a column .... I could not stop giggling for the next few days... What should me my treat for such people?... "katlar kalia, aloo diye pathar patla jhol, murgir kosha, chingri bhora potol, fulkopi-motorshuti diye moongdal, dhokar dalna, shukta, pathar chorbir bora".... with the slogan... "esho kichu korey dekhai... kheye mori".... Since childhood, I have been told that I have a "pocha shorir"... I was / is obese, foodie, every summer I used to have sores and all these were so uncanny in a family of athletes... both parents and the brother were concerned but allowed me to eat. My once khokho & kabadi champion mother still says "shorir ta akhono jhorjhorey holona".... she has the right you know... I saw her running at the parent's meet in our school while me till date could not take part in the son's school meets.... neither the husband or the son is a sporty type. I fear targets, competitions you know.... an average is that way... My comforting message to my family is that I will stay true to my roots until my death with similar kinds like a "dudh ba doi diye bael er pana".... sometimes with a coveted twist like this DAAB ER JOL DIYE BAEL ER SHORBOT.

This thick, sweet drink is still ok but my maternal grandfather made me drink "chiroter jol" too. After few years of force feed, I refused to once in middle school. I see them too in the Bangladeshi stores... too scared to start again.... the only reason of my staggering blood sugar level is my inability to follow a proper diet chart. Too much of attachment to food is a mental disorder and why I am so unable to get over it?... the sight of food gives me so much of pleasure. Below is what we ate yesterday for lunch and what I started with this morning. There was some leftover dough from Saturday night that fetched me 7 luchis.... and how the husband gets irritated... he does not want rice and breads together... I was lazy enough not to prepare a fresh dough. There was a fight again, finally I won and made him eat both. This morning the son took Cristine made noodles in his lunch box which I had to taste and also the sugar free, plain cake that I prepared yesterday evening for the son's snack box. Now, planning a "sama chal er khichuri" for my lunch... so the "sugar er bori" is not at fault you know.




Tell me what went slightly wrong in the cake?... I think I used a bit more baking soda than required, I could make out from the smell... I may also have over beaten it that caused that wide breakage at the top... The husband left, that makes me feel lonelier... his jokes on me and his mother are what I enjoy.... Yet, I am feeling a bit lifted... I have stopped bleeding since early morning... I am really very fond of old Dr. Chang in the truest sense... his presence, his words of wisdom to his patients works like magic... He flatly told me yesterday not to worry... that he will not check me but his wife will once I get dry.... that diabetes is a silent killer but we are not a saint that we can religiously follow a stricter diet, that he loves spicy, Indian food.... of which Biryani the most. So, I can see some hope in today's bright sunny morning! Similar bright was the morning few years back when I met someone at the airport.... the elder brother kind did I meet after 30-32 years... I did not really expect any concern for my health from that person... as a teen I always feared his persona and always wished... sincerely wished that he generates his strong personality, his good vive into his sibling... it will work as a protective shield for the very soft kind.... So, when this guy told me that why I am not trying some Oriental medicine... I got surprised, eyes got wet .... Although he has a clear idea of my husband's temperament, I did not wish to say that he believes only in Allopathy. I hate arguments specially when someone is showing some concern.... Keeping my respect intact for these kinds who believe in alternative medicine, I try my hands on a "ucche sheddo".... "bhindi sheddo" or a DAAB ER JOL DIYE BAEL ER SHORBOT .... I can swear on the immediate effect of this purely natural, healthy drink that has laxative properties... so go ahead.... buy from the local market or order online... you do not have to think about the recipes.... there are a couple of around including CURRY AND SPICE to help you out. What else?... let me finish quick and go for a swim... for over one hour today, feels lighter!



INGREDIENTS :

BAEL / BENGAL QUINCE / WOOD APPLE : 1STANDARD SIZED
YOUNG COCONUT WATER : 1BIG GLASS FULL
LEMON JUICE : 3-4TBSP
SUGAR : 2TBSP [ALTERNATIVELY SUGAR FREE STEVIA]
ROSE WATER : 4-5 DROPS

PROCEDURE :

Breaking of the hard shell of the bael fruit is to be done carefully.... we do not want cracks on the floor... not at all in a rented home... neither our foreheads are the coveted surfaces... although you may wish to consider your husband's but you should not... come on... be nice.

So, just hit once on the floor.



Scoop out the flesh with help of a spoon and store on a bowl.



Cristine did it for me and I am so thankful to her. Now wash your hands with soap. Rub both palms with a sanitiser. Start squeezing and mixing with your right palm holding the bowl tight with your left.

It takes some time. Add 1/2 big cup of water and continue until it gets mashy.

Now take a strainer not meant for spices. Take a little amount and pass through the strainer, use the back of a tablespoon. The idea is to discard all the thread like fibres and seeds.

Add the sugar, coconut water, lemon juice. Stir until the sugar melts.



Set for chill.... I am turning a rustic drink onto a smoothie... so it is required. Enjoy and see the result next morning!




Friday, 15 March 2019

SUGAR FREE POWER LADOO


When any of my friend applaud on my innovative recipe ideas ... I humbly deny! I know that I cannot be the origin of any idea... I might have seen something somewhere, the idea absorbed then may have an influence on me later... years later. I remember how I screamed at the sight of banana fritters at Bali back in 2011.... "boss, erao amader moto kolar bora khai".... Then I discovered it in the local shops... do get it at times but cannot take the raw smell of egg in the batter. I cannot have something does not mean that I have to indulge in criticism .... The sight of a suckling pig on a plate disturbs me, should I comment nonsensical on that post? never should I.... that is what India today has become... intolerant.... West Bengal never entertained it... although some tried always. The reason why I hate any kind of radicalism ... radicals destroy mindsets, nations. I could not have been able to live in a country where women are rule bound to take along male assistants while out in the evening... I am too scared to go and live in a India after retirement where the government will have a say in what we do at home. We are Hindu, my men too know that they are Hindu but are atheists who enjoy beef.... I am prejudiced enough not to cook it at home .... in case I do it for my men.... who the hell anyone is to stop me... "set your rules in your respective homes".... that should be the wise thing to do. You see I sit idle at home, nothing fruitful as such to do... so such thoughts play around ... I am worried to see how the Indian media is totally sold out, how a majority of the Indians, very educated class has given in to radicalism... Anyway, this SUGAR FREE POWER LADOO has nothing to do with what I sit and think.... what I believe is that India is not in safe hands.... neither does it have a good alternative... at least the last 72 years of history says so. Sitting in a luxurious island, I should not give so big talks... however, on my last visit I made it a point to ride buses... may be an AC bus or at stipulated times avoiding the crowd but I did! I remember, back in January, how Swati got tensed when I was catching a 221 bus from Kankurgachi, how Chandrayee would repeatedly say... "shabdhaney jash".... I get angry... "tora amai ki bhabish?"... I regret my inability to board an over crowded train from DumDum anymore... It requires special skills and I had it! So, you will know more about "Roll No. 35's" inability to influence on who I actually am.... yet "ladoo-shadoo aaj banta hai"... that "touch is infectious".... do not make Bollywood stories out of it .... "that touch is not = shedding of this-that-everything".... not all mindsets are same.... I am not a saint but as I move forward, I am unable to get along with the maximum numbers... Unless it is a learning experience, I am unwilling to indulge in any useless talks .... uff! Mani please! I do not wish to be like you either "my home and only that, nothing else matter"..... Anyway, this particular sweet that I prepared yesterday is a keep, I am telling you that it is. I enjoy preparing desserts and have my share too. I take ideas from different food shares but very much unable to follow ditto... if I am not given freedom in the kitchen.... I cannot perform. I did come across few recipes on black sesame and peanut ladoo and thoroughly went through Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's Badam Barfi but did not follow any.... I decided to discard the sugar syrup part. I am a little scared now... if I am bleeding for so long... there must be a reason... if it is menopause, it is normal! If it is polyps, tumour it is not ok... will see a doctor early next week. Let me take tiny steps towards a healthier life... I cannot be on a bland diet unless a doctor enforces it on me.

The initial plan was to prepare a three layered ladoo .... then lethargy crippled the idea... I had to cook the dinner too yesterday... My health hazards are not keeping me in high spirits ... I fear the smell of a hospital, the gadgets... So, I made things easier for me and for you... my readers! In the process, I used some freshly roasted peanuts and black sesame seeds, microwave made mawa, two sachets of Tropicana sugar free sweeteners, almond slices to garnish. Done within an hour, I enjoyed one guilt free too besides all those what I ate for the entire day yesterday. Around 11:30 am yesterday, I craved for a curry puff stuffed with egg, chicken & potato! ... the husband must rent a home in Khatib next.... else the wife with die soon. Around 3:30 pm... some good will prevailed and I went to the nearest food court to have some greens and sweet & sour pork.... a wiser soul would have eaten only fruits piled at home.... At night, the dinner was "kumra sheddho, dayil, ccingri".... few pictures of a blog post had to be changed!.... We had prawns for three consecutive weeks, next four weeks will not get it. Pumpkin or any boiled vegetables at this home have two different garnishes... I have it with mustard oil and green chilli while the rest have it with butter or ghee. Adding another feather to the weirdness of my husband, he eats green chilli with "jhal muri" only.




Now the question is that why am I calling it "power ladoo?".... You do not have to travel backward as far as Bengal renaissance, just take a look at the different Bengali movies of the 50's & 60's... what did the "pehelwan's".... "akhrer dada" ra ate after a workout session?... "kancha holud, gur, chine badam bhejano, chola bhejano"... When it comes to riding a camel or looking at amazing body works, I am Lalmohon Babu's sister! Anyway, you bet this homestyle sweet, SUGAR FREE POWER LADOO is done within an hour and can be eaten guilt free.... not always though. My doctors do not recommend sugar alternatives to be had on a regular basis. Shall we proceed with the super simple recipe?

'uff kaal theke maach-mangsho-moshola shob namao... dekhi pranbhorey"..... Never feel obligated unless required... but there is something called wish.... I do not bypass it most of the time!



INGREDIENT : [ FOR THE INSTANT MAWA]

POWDERED MILK : 100GM
GHEE : 2TBSP
FULL CREAM MILK : 4TBSP

INGREDIENT : [FOR THE LADOO]

THE INSTANT MAWA
BLACK SESAME SEED : 2-3TBSP [RAW]
PEANUT : 100-150GM [RAW]
GREEN CARDAMOM POWDER : 1/2TSP [FRESHLY MADE]
SUGAR FREE SACHET : 2-3 [I USED DIABETIC FRIENDLY TROPICANA]
MIXED NUTS TO GARNISH, I USED ALMOND SLICES

PROCEDURE :

We will mix together the milk powder, full cream milk and ghee.



Microwave at low for 3 minutes pausing and stirring after each minute. Our instant mawa is ready.



Switch on gas oven and place a wok on it. Add the raw peanuts and black sesame seeds on it.... keep roasting at low heat. Do it for 3-4-5 minutes or until you get a sweet, nutty aroma.



Once done, store in a bowl and let cool a bit.



When its still warm, add the roasted peanuts, black sesame seeds and the sugar free sweetener powder to a blender not meant for preparing spice powders and pastes.



Grind to a powder that will take some 2 minutes and pauses.



Transfer to a plate and add the green cardamom powder and instant mawa / semi solidified milk to it.



Now knead very well for 3-4 minutes.




My finger rings are on vacation now... Cristine saved one from going down the toilet pipe. She did most of the ladoo and opened the coconut shell for me. South East Asia do not eat "daab" in the true sense... "sash jomey kath, daab bolchey"... I feel so bad throwing off the shell after having the water... do not have a "dao"...

Sugar Free Power Ladoo is ready.



Fresh and warm will taste the best, although I had to refrigerate. You must garnish with mixed nuts before serving, I used almonds.