Monday, 27 June 2016


Paneer again and again and thinking of a new kind of once again. I made this Paneer Hara Bhara Curry last week. I remember it was quite late in the evening, pretty hot weather. Naturally I wished to stir up something quickly. There was a dal and a chicken, family wished home made breads, so I planned for a paneer curry as a vegetarian side. Since I am not so fond of chicken and not allowed to have much carb..... I depend on dal, veggies and salads to satisfy my body needs. This is at this point where I have an imaginary conversation with the almighty... why did He had to gift diabetes to someone who loved to have carbs and fats... all kinds of..... Its been ages I did not have pakoras made of mutton fat / fish fat / fish roe with rice accompanied by a green chilli. Those who had / have it.... it will sound heavenly.... to me it definitely is.

Coming to Paneer Hara Bhara Curry, it was done simply using coriander and fresh mint paste. I thought if we can have a chutney with this paste or use it in a non vegetarian curry, let us see how it works with paneer. This quick paneer curry with few ingredients did taste well and goes very well with Indian breads. Let us do this Paneer Hara Bhara Curry together.

Paneer : 250-300 gm [ I used store bought]
Fresh Coriander Leaves : 2 sprig
Mint Leaves : 6-8
Garlic Cloves : 2
Green Chilli : 3-4
Black Peppercorn : 6-8
Plain Yogurt : 2tbsp
Onion [sliced] : 1medium
Bayleaf : 1
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2-3tbsp

Cut the paneer into smaller cubes and marinate with little salt for 15 minutes.

Prepare a paste with washed coriander leaves, mint leaves, peeled garlic cloves, green chilli and black peppercorns in the grinder adding little water.

Peel, wash and slice the onion. Beat the yogurt.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with bayleaf.

Add the sliced onions and fry till translucent.

Add the green paste and saute for a minute. Add the beaten yogurt and saute for I minute.

Add one medium cup water and let boil for 2-3 minutes. Add the paneer pieces, stir and let cook for 1 minute. Add salt as required. Stir well. Its done.

The gravy will be little thick. Serve hot with chapati / paratha / poori.

Friday, 24 June 2016


I love Cauliflower in all forms, curry, batter fried, grilled. I think it is an universally accepted and loved vegetable. With its availability throughout the year nowadays, it is a regular at my home. My personal favourite is a humble meal of rice, dal and batter fried cauliflower pakoras. Remembering childhood days, cauliflower was available only during winter.... the white beauty hidden within the long green leaves. So lovely was its taste that I cannot equate it with its taste now. Each part of it was eaten in our family, even the leaves. In those days, cauliflower was rarely available during summers, mom used to get them at high price during special occasions...... during any pooja at home or if there were guests. Perhaps so they tasted even better in the off season.

I often prepare this Tandoori Gobi / Grilled Cauliflower and serve as a vegetarian starter, besides non vegetarian ones. I never tried it with a whole cauliflower as it does not work for me, I prefer to cut it into pieces, marinate it with spices and plain yogurt and then grill. This grilled vegetarian starter with cauliflower is loved by the family and our guests too. If we leave the marination period, it is quick to do and hassle free. Let us do this Tandoori Gobi / Grilled Cauliflower together.

Cauliflower : 1medium
Plain Yogurt : 1 medium cup
Tandoori Masala : 2tbsp [ I use Everest]
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1/2tsp [optional]
Oil : 3-4tbsp

Cut the cauliflower into florets and wash thoroughly. Apply salt and turmeric, keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

Rub chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder, tandoori masala, beaten yogurt to the florets. Keep marinated in a covered container for 2-3 hours.

Open cover, apply oil to the marinated florets and keep standing for 10 minutes.

I do not have an OTG but a convection mode microwave. So I grilled the marinated cauliflower florets one side for 10-13 minutes, turned to the other side, grilled for another 8-10 minutes.

Time may vary in each machine.

Serve hot with choice of your sauce or dips.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016


In our community, Yam is quite a favourite. We have all the varieties of it and perhaps cook all parts of it, leaves, stems and what not. The leaves are usually used to do steamed stuffs, say spiced fish or veggies wrapped in its leaves and steamed. We prepare yam items either with fish head or small prawns or at times just keep it as a vegetarian side. The place I stay now, has all variety of yam in offer as people here too love it. I love to have their steamed yam cakes topped with a unique sweet n chilli sauce. I never tried to make it at home though.

My favourite of all yam dishes is this simple curry with our regular spices. They say eating yam is good for health as it purifies blood. I do not know how much truth is there in it, I have it just for the love of it. I have seen my mother adding small prawns to this curry at times. I preferred to keep this curry a vegetarian one this time. We call it Oler Dalna. Let us prepare this all vegetarian Yam Curry / Oler Dalna together.

Ol[suran/elephant foot yam] : 250gm
Ginger Paste : 2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Cinnamon Powder : 2pinches
Cardamom Powder : 1pinch
Cloves Powder : 1pinch
Cumin Seed : 2pinches
Salt : As Required
Bayleaf : 1
Ghee : 1tsp
Oil : 2tsp

Peel and cut the big chunk of yum into smaller cubes. Wash them and rub with salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the yam pieces in batches. Keep aside.

Temper the same oil with a bayleaf and cumin seeds. Add the ginger paste and fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add cumin powder, salt, turmeric, coriander powder, chilli powder. Saute for 1/2 a minute. Add the fried pieces of yum. Fold in well and stir for a minute.

Add a cup of water. Boil for 3-5 minutes. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves powder, ghee and cook for another 1 minute.

Serve hot with steamed rice. or Indian breads.

Monday, 20 June 2016


Another weekend passed, a nice one watching a good movie in good company. Monday again, and throughout the week I wait for another Friday, going out, watching a good movie or show, a lunch or a dinner. I am still in a hangover of the movie we watched last saturday evening.... Dhanak... meaning The Rainbow.... journey of two little kids through all odds, the people they met on the way, how they helped them to reach their destination. The love between the siblings takes me long back.... when I was an over protective elder sister. All the viewers absolutely loved the kids delivering so well. At the end of the movie, we were lucky enough to be present in an interactive session with the director who said how cooperative the kids were throughout the entire shooting period, bearing the burnt of the heat in Rajasthan is not an easy task. So I dedicate these Lychee Ice-cream to those kids and look forward to watch more such amazing performance from them. The men at home are not deprived though.... a good option to have this after a pizza or burger session, specially in a tropical environment.

I love lychee, my memory of lychee goes back to the late 70s and 80s. The summer vacation was spent in maternal grandparent's house, nearby there was a lychee garden.... comprising of acres of land. So buying lychee was straight from the garden in bulk. Later, I remember it was sold and how mercilessly the trees were cut, a locality of housing was grown. Here I buy the green variety of lychee which they say come from China. At home, the men are not so fond of having lychee as a fruit, so I thought of preparing this Lychee Ice-cream for them. Let us prepare this Lychee Ice-cream together with few ingredients.

Lychee : 300gm
Fresh Cream : 170ml[I used Nestle]
Condensed Milk : 100ml
Vanilla Essence : 1/2tsp

Peel and deseed the lychees. Wash them thoroughly. Blend them in a juicer leaving 3-4 of them. Pour in a large bowl.

Blend together the fresh cream and condensed milk for 2-3 minutes. Add to the bowl. Mix well with the lychee extract.

Add the vanilla essence to the mix and stir well. Cover the bowl with its lid and freeze for 2 hours.

Take out and blend for 2-3 minutes. Cut the remaining lychees into smaller pieces and add to the mix. Stir and freeze again for 5-6 hours.

I poured them in popsicle moulds, we can pour them in the same covered bowl too and later scoop it out.


Wednesday, 15 June 2016


The lady who loved cooking and compiling them on her blog is suddenly in a 'no mood' mode. Everything seems to be boring sort of. When passion seems to be boring, perhaps it is time to take a break. Priorities keep changing and we definitely need to prioritise things. With only son in high school, mind gets extremely bothered with his studies, specially when it is the last thing in his to do list. A long summer holiday and he is doing anything except studying, that bothers me a lot. To that, the news back home that the mother is not doing well with uncontrolled sugar level does make one sad. A very caring and responsible brother and sister-in-law does not let you go crazy though. So sat with the computer early morning to concentrate on writing a recipe, at least that can deviate the mind.

This is Konkani Egg Curry. Preparing egg curry is a regular at home. I was going through google for a different kind of egg curry recipe and came across a number of Konkani egg curry recipes. I specially liked this recipe by Shwetha Shanbag of, which has a very simplistic approach. I drew the inspiration from her recipe with my inputs. Like I added tomato paste, cumin and coriander which is not there in the original recipe. Let us prepare my version of Konkani Egg Curry together.

Recipe Inspiration :

Egg : 6
Onion : 1medium[sliced]
Tomato : 1small[paste]
Shredded Coconut : 1/2small cup
Black Pepper : 8-10
Cinnamon : 1one inch stick
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Cloves : 2-3
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp + 2pinches
Coriander Seed : 1/4tsp
Red Chilli : 4-5
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As required
Tamarind : 1/2tsp[deseeded]
Oil : 3-4tbsp

Wash the eggs carefully and boil in enough water. Let cool, take out the shell. Wash again and slit little on both sides. Apply little salt on them.

Dry roast 1/4tsp cumin seed, coriander seed, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, red chillies for 2 minutes. Put in to a grinder.

Add the shredded coconut and tamarind also to the grinder. Add little water for a smooth paste. Grind to a paste with regular intervals.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with cumin seeds. Add the sliced onions and fry till golden brown.

Add the spice paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, turmeric powder and salt. Fry for a minute or two.

Add a cup of water and let boil for 3-4 minutes at low heat.

Add the eggs and boil for another 2 minutes. Its done.

Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!!

Friday, 10 June 2016


Had it been not for my love for mutton and hilsa [ilish], I would have turned into a vegetarian. Had my parents have seen this, they would be in utter disbelief. The girl who they had to pester for eating veggies is saying so. There is truth in the fact that I have developed a love kind of for veggies but not for all of them. They have to appeal to my taste buds. I cannot have broccoli or carrot tossed in minimal oil, however healthy they are. I love typical Bengali / Indian veggies laced with spices. My men would be happy to totally skip them and gorge on their regular dose of fish or meat. I do not allow them that and had given the ultimatum.... fish n meat will come with veggies and dal as a package. The duo does accept this, unwillingly though.

This palak / spinach kofta curry was made day before yesterday as a vegetarian side. I prefer not to fry the kofta these days, instead I cook the kofta mix well enough and refrigerate the balls for quite sometime, before adding the curry to them. No they do not break and given some time, the gravy is well incorporated in the koftas. For kofta, I always need help of boiled potato and refined flour or gram flour to bind. Let us prepare these palak / spinach kofta curry together.

INGREDIENTS :[for the kofta]
Palak / Spinach : A bunch 
Potato : 1big [boiled]
Onion : 1small [sliced]
Green Chilli : 2 [chopped]
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 2 pinches
Cumin Seed : 2-3 pinches
Salt : As Required
Refined Flour : 1tbsp
Oil : 3tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the curry]
Tomato Paste : 1/2small cup
Plain Yogurt : 2tbsp
Onion Paste : 2tbsp
Ginger Paste : 2tsp
Garlic Paste : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2tsp
Melon Seed : 1/2tsp
Sugar : 1/2tsp[optional]
Salt : As Required
Cumin Seed : 2 pinches
Bayleaf : 1
Oil : 2-3 tbsp

Wash and roughly chop the spinach and microwave in enough water at high for 5 minutes. Let cool and mash with hand.

Peel, wash and boil the potato. Mash it adding little salt.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with cumin seeds.

Add the sliced onions and cook till golden brown. Add the chopped green chillies and stir for 1/2 a minute.

Add the mashed spinach, cumin powder and turmeric powder. Stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add the mashed potato, fold in well. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the refined flour. Mix well.

Transfer the mixture to a plate. Let cool. Shape into kofta and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Let us prepare the curry now.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with bayleaf and cumin seeds.

Add the onion paste and stir for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and let cook for 2 minutes. Make a paste with melon seeds and yogurt and add to the wok. Stir for a minute.

Add coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Fold in well and add a cup of water.

Let boil for 3-4 minutes. Add the garam masala powder and sugar.

Let cook for a minute.

Take out the koftas and arrange in a bowl. Pour in the gravy over them. Let stand for sometime before serving.

Enjoy with rice or Indian breads.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016


Pakora or Fries n Fritters or Telebhaja ....... who doesn't love? Most of us do and there is nothing wrong in indulging ourselves into what we love to eat once in a while, though not always. May be this is a frustrated diabetic who loves food to the hilt is speaking, but life need not be calculative always. Definitely we should eat right, but we need not deprive ourselves entirely from what we love. My tagline is.... Eat in Moderation. If you are craving for something you know may not be beneficial for your health, have it once or twice a month. I do it that way.... eat ice cream to pakora, everything I love in moderation.

Pakora or fritters are called telebhaja among us. We love to have it as an evening tea time snacks or as an accompaniment with steamed rice and dal[lentil curry]. We prepare pakora / telebhaja / fries and fritters with a number of vegetables. The basic batter consist of gram flour, rice flour, salt, turmeric powder, little red chilli powder with a dash of sugar. To it we can make some additions for a particular pakora, like nigella seeds for some or chopped green chillies for others. I have compiled here three kinds of pakora among a number of we usually have at home. One is with sliced onions, one with chopped malabar spinach leaves and the other with thinly sliced egg plants. Let us prepare some of our much loved pakora / fries n fritters / telebhaja together.

INGREDIENTS : [for the batter]
Gram flour : 1big cup
Rice Flour : 1 small cup
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Green Chilli : 2-3[chopped]
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1tsp
Nigella Seeds[kalonji / kalo jeera] : 1/2tsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the pakoras]
Egg Plant : 1big sized
Malabar Spinach : 1 bunch[leaves only]
Onion : 2 big[sliced]
Salt : As Required
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Oil : As required to deep fry


Let us prepare the basic batter first. Take the gram flour and rice flour in a bowl. Add the salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, sugar to it. Add water little by little to the flour mix until it becomes a paste like consistency. It will look as below.

Let us do the onion pakora / peyaji first.

Peel, wash and slice the onions.

For the onion fritters, we will add some nigella seeds and chopped green chillies to the batter.

Add the onion slices to the batter. Mix well.

Heat oil in a wok. Take some battered sliced onion mix, shape into flat or round pakora and drop in to the oil. Deep fry on both sides in batches.

They should be brown but not burnt. We need to adjust heat accordingly.

Take out and place on tissue paper to get rid of excess oil.

Serve it hot with chutney accompanied by tea.

Let us prepare the Malabar Spinach Pakora now.

Take out the leaves, roughly chop them and wash.

Add little salt to them and keep aside for 3-5 minutes. Add to the batter and mix well.

Heat oil in a wok. Shape the mix into pakoras and deep fry on both sides. Take out and place on tissue papers.

Serve hot with sauce / chutney accompanied by tea.

Let us prepare the beguni / egg plant fritters now.

Wash and cut half the egg plant. Cut further into thin slices. Add little salt and turmeric and keep aside.

Dip the egg plant slices in to the batter and coat well with it. This batter need not have chopped green chillies.

Heat enough oil in a wok. Deep fry each side pretty well. Take out and place on tissue paper.

Serve hot with chutney and tea.

Monday, 6 June 2016


Paneer is an absolute love just after fish. Since I do not get fish of my choice here, the frequency of preparing paneer has increased. I first tasted it way back in the late 80's or 90's when it was first available in the Kolkata markets. Almost all the neighbourhood sweet shops used to sell it. Even when I was in my 20's, I hated vegetables. Mom had to take a lot of trouble to feed me veggies and had to think about alternatives. Thursday was an all vegetarian day at our home, not at any cost non veg was cooked on that day. I loved the taste of paneer and accepted it wholeheartedly. The same tradition continues. My junior hates veggies and loves paneer. So, there is no reason why I will not prepare it often at home.

I do not always get fresh Methi leaves[fenugreek] in the local market, so I keep a packet of kasuri methi[dried fenugreek leaves] at home. They impart a distinct flavour to a dish. This Kasuri Methi Malai Paneer was flavoured with a spice powder I prepared with Kasuri Methi and few other spices in small quantity. Garnished with some fresh cream, the paneer curry turned out to be flavourful and creamy. Once in a while I do use little cream in my cooking. Let us prepare this Kasuri Methi Malai Paneer together.

INGREDIENTS :[for the dry spiced powder]
Kasuri Methi Leaves[dried fenugreek leaves] : 1tsp
Black Peppercorns : 8-10
Cumin Seeds : 1/4tsp
Coriander Seeds : 1/2tsp
Fennel Seeds : 1/4tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 1

Paneer : 250gm
Tomato Paste : 1/2small cup
Onion[sliced] : 1 medium
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Garlic Paste : 1/2tsp
Cumin Seed : 2pinches
Bayleaf : 1
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1/2tsp[optional]
Fresh Cream : 1tbsp
Oil : 2tbsp

Dry roast the kasuri methi leaves, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and dry red chilli for a minute and dry grind them to a powder once cool.

Rub very little salt to the paneer. Heat oil in a wok. Temper with bayleaf and cumin seeds.

Add the sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the spice powder, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Saute for a minute.

Add a cup of water and let the gravy boil for 3-4 minutes. Add the paneer pieces and let boil for 2 minutes.

Add the garam masala powder, sugar and stir well. Let cook for a minute.

Switch off and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Add the fresh cream. Enjoy with your favourite bread!!

Friday, 3 June 2016


The fat, old lady is growing older and lazier, always looking for quick kitchen solutions these days. Its a pretty long time I have not prepared a sweet, which had been a must do every week. I do them and end up in eating them too which I am not supposed to. Then I thought when did I become so selfish which I never was. The growing up teen very much needs different kinds of tit bits stored in the refrigerator. What is necessary is self control and not deprive the loved ones. Hence yesterday morning I thought its weekend, let us prepare a sweet, an easy barfi / fudge kind of .

My idea of preparing the milk  barfi / fudge in the microwave was to save time, energy and the curiosity to see how it turns up. Otherwise I use that wonder box only for heating and simple baking. Suddenly remembered I do have a book on microwave cooking and I need to explore it . Well, that is a proof enough I am growing old and lazy, but so long it is gracefully, it should not be a problem. The main ingredient in this preparation is milk and sugar. Let us prepare this easy to do Milk Barfi / Fudge together in a microwave.

Full Cream Milk : 1lt
Powdered Sugar : 1/2medium cup
Milk Powder : 3tbsp
Rice Powder : 1tbsp
Kewra / Rose Water : 2-4drops
Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Pistachios[chopped] : 1tbsp[optional]
Ghee[clarified butter] : 1tsp

Take the milk in a microwave prove deep bottomed big bowl. We will microwave the milk at high for 20 minutes at an interval of 5 minutes.

At each interval we will stir the milk and scrape the sides. In the last lap we will add the powdered sugar and cardamom powder, stir and microwave for another 5 minutes.

Switch off microwave, let stand for few minutes. Take out and let cool. Transfer to a greased plate. It will still be little soft.

Add the essence, rice powder, milk powder, chopped pistachios. Fold in well and knead for 6-10 minutes. Grease a box with little ghee and put the thing in it. Close and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Turn it upside down on a plate, it will come out easily. Cut into shape of your choice.

Can be stored refrigerated for 3-4 days. Best to have it fresh.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016


Yes,  one of our million Gods and Goddesses does love to have non vegetarian on her offerings. She is Goddess Kali. Every time I prepare this, I remember how I loved to read the stories of the Bengal Robbers who worshipped Goddess Kali. It is then I came to know about this preparation. They used to offer a goat to Maa Kali and after the successful loot cooked it without onion and garlic, offered to her and finally feasted on it. Everything was done in their hideouts in the woods. I loved everything about those stories, how they used to hide their loots which used to be big pots filled with "mohor"[gold coins] and the adventures associated with them. Though I love mutton, this killing part which was / is called "patha boli" disturbed me mentally. Now rules got stricter, no killing is legal in the festival venue. To keep in tune with the ritual, the organisers offer a vegetable to the Goddess and then get the mutton from the market. If you are lucky enough and have the patience of standing in a long queue, you may get a small piece of prasadam. In a number of zaminder families too the ritual is still followed. I cannot go further with it as it requires a lot of research which I have not done. So there may be other opinions on the origin of it . Bengal did have a number of ferocious and famous robbers some of whom were kind of Robin Hood.

This No Onion No Garlic Mutton Curry which we call Maa er Prashadi Mangsho is done with normal spices that is used in a normal Bengali household. The amount of Bengali Garam Masala that is a mix of cinnamon, clove and green cardamom powder used is a bit more here as we are not using garlic or onion paste in this dish. I have used lemon juice here for marination though I doubt whether it was used in the original recipe or not. Let us do this No Onion No Garlic Mutton Curry together.

Mutton : 1kg
Ginger Paste : 2tbsp
Red Chilli Powder : 2-3tsp[authentically paste]
Cumin Powder : 1tsp[authentically paste]
Coriander Powder : 1tsp[authentically paste]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Cinnamon Powder : 1/4tsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Cloves Powder : 2pinches
Bayleaf : 2small
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Oil : 4tbsp + 2tbsp[authentically mustard]

Wash the mutton thoroughly discarding the skin and any residual hair. Marinate with half of chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt, lemon juice and 2tbsp of mustard oil. Rub well for 2-3 minutes and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hrs or overnight in a closed container.

Take out the mutton 1-2 hours before cooking. Heat 4tbsp oil in a wok. Temper oil with bay leaves. Add the ginger paste and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the remaining cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt as required. Stir at low heat for a minute. Add the marinated mutton with the marinade and fold in well.

Stir the mutton at high heat for 5 minute. Reduce heat to minimum and cover. Open cover at short intervals and stir, cover again. A lot of water will be released which will take about 45-55 minutes to dry.

At this stage, add 2 medium cups of warm water. Stir and cover cook for another 10-15 minutes. Open cover and add the cinnamon, green cardamom and cloves powder. Stir and let cook for another 3-4 minutes. Its done.

Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with piping hot steamed rice.