Sunday, 31 January 2016

COCONUT CHOCOCHIP CUPCAKE



With  a growing up teen at home, I always have to keep a good stock of snacks at home. Kids of all age are fond of snackers rather than the main meals. Mine will not have his rice lovingly unless it is accompanied by chicken/mutton /prawns or paneer. So he is in a 'Hungry Kya' mode always. Mamma has to prepare few kinds of snackers for him, he loves to have them from time to time. Mamma does it with utmost pleasure because cooking is something she loves doing. The pleasure of doing something for our own is immeasurable. These days a thought disturbs me a lot. In few years he will be away from home.... for studies, job, how will mamma survive then? I perhaps will stop blogging then. How can mamma cook and eat things that he loves without him. The thought itself paralyses me. Anyway the senior at home does not want to eat much these days. May be the two of us will retire from the worldly crowd and tour amidst nature most of the time.

I prefer doing muffins/cup cakes because the preparation and cooking time is so less. I love that because I am a lazy cook. Not so much of an innovative cook, I need to hire ideas for cooking. This recipe of choco chip cake I got from Allrecipes.com posted by someone named Janice. Thanks to Janice for the easy to do recipe which will be a hit with the kids. My contribution to the cup cake is the use of desiccated coconut which I had at home and I wished to use in it.Let us do it.

INGREDIENTS :
All Purpose Flour : 2cups
White Sugar : 1/2 cup
Baking Powder : 2tsp
Milk : 3/4cup
Egg : 1big
Vegetable Oil : 1/3cup
Choco Chip : 3/4cup
Brown Sugar : 2tbsp
Desiccated Coconut : 2tbsp

METHOD :
Preheat oven to 200*C.

In a small bowl, take desiccated coconut and brown sugar, mix well and keep aside.

In a separate bowl take the sugar, flour and baking powder and mix well.

Take the oil, egg and milk in a bowl and beat well. Add to the flour mix. Just fold in but do not beat. The batter has to have lumps. Add half of the choco chips to the batter and mix lightly.

Place the paper cups in a cup cake tin. Pour 1/4 of the batter. Sprinkle the coconut-brownsugar mix.

Pour the batter again till half. Sprinkle with coconut-brownsugar mix. Add few choco chips on top.



Bake at 200*C for 20 minutes.



Its done. Enjoy the soft cup cakes with your cuppa!!






Friday, 29 January 2016

DUBKI WALE ALOO OF MATHURA WITH HING ER KOCHURI


This was in my to do list for long. The very word Dubki Wale Aloo was alluring me like anything. Whether we are allowed to have it or not, the majority of us love to have it, in any form. Whether it is a curry or mashed or fry, we love it. I think it is true with the whole world, only the way of cooking is different. I stopped by this recipe while surfing the net, the experience was quite enriching. So many have made their own contribution to the recipe. The authenticity may not be retained always because each has their own addition and subtraction to a recipe. On the contrary, we get to learn so much. Bringing innovations in an already existing recipe is a great thing to me.

To get an authentic feel and taste, we really need to be in Mathura it self. We need to stop by a road side shop, sit on the wooden bench and enjoy Mathura ki Dubki Hui Aloo with hot pooris. While reading the recipes, I was already in Mathura in my dreams, the birth place of Lord Krishna. Myth or truth is not important here as much as the faith or belief. I don't like arguments, perhaps because of my escapist nature. I just stick to my belief/faith. I was only 8 years old when I visited Mathura, remotely remember the temples I visited. I might have tasted dubki wale aloo but I do not remember. After going through the recipes, I really wish to visit once again. For my love of history, I love to visit ancient cities, read and learn about it, even listen to the myths from the locals that have come down for generations and imagine myself in that era.

I prepared this Mathura ki dubki aloo with little changes. I cannot always take the strong smell of ginger powder, so skipped it this time. I used a small tomato and also squeezed juice of a lemon on top. Just loved it. I served it with Hing Kachuri, done in the Bengali way, for which I provided  stepwise pictures. Let us see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :[for the kachuri]
Refined Flour : 2cups
Whole Wheat Flour : 1cup
Urad Dal : 1 small cup
Ghee[clarified butter] : 1tbsp
Salt : As required
Green Chilli : 2
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Cumin Seeds : 2pinches
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/4tsp
Asafoetida : 1/2tsp
Oil : 150ml[to fry the kachuri]

INGREDIENTS :[for the aloo sabzi]
Potato : 3-4
Tomato : 1[chopped]
Asafoetida : 1/4tsp
Cumin Seeds : 1pinch
Fennel Seeds : 1pinch
Dry Red Chilli : 2[halved]
Green Chilli : 2[slitted]
Cumin Powder : 1/4tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Aamchur Powder : 1/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 1tbsp
Coriander Leaves : 1sprig[chopped]
Oil : 1tbsp

METHOD : 
Soak the urad dal in enough hot water for 2 hours.

Wash, peel, halve and boil the potatoes. Let cool. Cut into big cubes and rub with salt n turmeric.

Heat Oil in a wok. Temper with asafoetida, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and halved dry red chillies.

Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till it melts. Add the potato pieces. Fold in well.

Add the cumin, aamchur, coriander, turmeric powders and salt as required. Saute for a minute.

Add a big cup of water. Let boil for 3-4 minutes. Add the slitted green chillies, chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice. Switch off gas after 1/2 a minute.

Coming to the poori, we will take both the flours in a bowl. Add little salt and ghee. Rub well. Add water little by little and form a soft yet firm dough. Cover with a moist cloth and keep aside for half an hour. Just as below.




Drain the water from the soaked dal and grind into a coarse paste adding the green chillies. Heat oil in a wok and temper with asafoetida, cumin seeds. Add the ginger paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the red chilli powder. Stir and add the dal paste. Add salt and turmeric and fry till it dries up. Once done, let it cool. It will look as below.



Make round balls from the dough. Make hole in the middle and fill with the dal stuffing. They look as below.



Close the balls and with help of rolling pin shape into poori as seen below.



Heat 150 ml oil in a wok. Fry each poori well on both sides. They should be fluffy as below.



Serve hot with Mathura wale dubki aloo. Enjoy!!



Wednesday, 27 January 2016

THREE REGULAR HEALTHY VEGGIES


These are something very close to heart. I have grown up eating this kind of veggies, like me many have. I cook them with lot of love, they take me down memory lane to a big kitchen, brass n steel utensils, a mud oven, wood and coal to keep the fire on, a sweaty face, the tinkling of bangles. This was the scenario in all middle class Indian homes. These ladies were so less demanding. Coming to present, I see we have so many demands, when I get a microwave I ask for a convection mode, a separate griller, a built in oven, modular kitchen, and the list is on.

The good thing is I cook the simplest of dishes till date and they shall remain compiled in my blog. Whether there is any taker or not, they will be there for the future generation. If my daughter-in-law stops by some day, I will be very happy. Oh, these days how much I dream of a cute girl taking care of my son. Only  things I expect from her is calling me mom, showering my son with lots of love and she must love sarees.
Before I go offtrack, I must dive straight into compiling the recipes. Thats what I am here for. Let us do them together.

                                                                  KUMRO BOTI



INGREDIENTS :[KUMRO BOTI]
Pumpkin : 1/2 of a medium size
Dry Red Chilli : 1
Green Chilli : 2[slitted]
Nigella Seeds : 1/4spoon[kalonji]
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1/4spoon[optional]
Oil : 1tbsp[preferably mustard]

METHOD :
Peel and cut the pumpkin into cubes. Wash thoroughly.

Rub with salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with kalonji and halved dry red chilli. Add the pumpkin pieces.

Stir and cover cook at medium to low heat till half done.

Open cover, add sugar and slitted green chillies.

Stir and cook uncovered till done.


                                                     BORBOTI ALOOR TARKARI



INGREDIENTS :[BORBOTI ALOO R TARKARI]
Long Beans : 6-7
Potato : 1big
Nigella Seeds[kalonji] : 1/4tsp[alternatively cumin seeds]
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3[halved]
Salt : As required
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/4tsp
Sugar : 1/4tsp[optional]
Oil : 1tbsp[preferably mustard]

METHOD :
Cut the long beans finger length size discarding the 2 ends. Peel the potatoes and cut length wise too.

Take both the veggies in a bowl, wash and rub with salt and turmeric. Keep aside for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with kalonji and halved dry red chillies.

Add the veggies, stir and cover cook at low heat till half done. Stir every 1 minute so that it does not burn.

Uncover once half done. Add sugar if you want. Stir and let cook till done stirring every 1 minute gently.

                                                               PUISHAK KUMRO




INGREDIENTS :[PUISHAK KUMRO]
Malabar Spinach : A bunch[puishak/slippery greens]
Pumpkin : 1/4of a medium sized
Potato : 1big
Salt : As Required
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2[halved]
Green Chilli : 2[slitted]
Panchphoron[Bengali] : 1/4tsp[an equal amount of cumin, nigella,fenugreek, fennel and wild celery seeds]
Sugar : 1/2tsp[optional]
Oil : 2tbsp

METHOD :
Peel and cut the potato and pumpkin into big cubes. Was and rub with salt and turmeric.

Chop the malabar spinach big discarding the end of the stick. Wash nicely and apply little salt.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with panchphoron and halved dry red chilli. Add the marinated potato and pumpkin pieces.

Stir and cover cook till 60% done stirring every 2ninutes.

Open cover and add the malabar spinach and slitted green chillies. Stir and let cook without cover for 3-4 minutes.

Add the sugar. Stir and let cook for 1minute.

Enjoy with steamed rice or roti.

Please note... there is no need to add water to cook the dishes, as the vegetables themselves releases lot of water .


Monday, 25 January 2016

PANEER STUFFED POTATO KOFTA CURRY


Koftas are a favourite at my home. Done with various ingredients, it adds a special touch to the dish. I call it a delightful vegetarian dish.... classy, tasty. Paneer is something I always keep handy at home. It so happened I had little left at home the other day, I was not in the mood to go out and fetch it either. Though I am not so good with ideas, these are the situations when ideas pop up in our minds, specially if we hate wastage of food. Perhaps is was a friday, my pantry was almost empty. So could not think of a mixed-veg paneer masala also as a vegetarian side. Hence, this idea of preparing a Paneer Stuffed Potato Kofta Curry popped up.

I prepared this kofta curry for the first time and was very happy with the outcome. Definitely it will be on my to do list on a regular basis. Though a little time consuming the process is, I felt it is worth of it. I used store bought paneer, you can prepare it fresh at home. Let us do it.

INGREDIENTS : [for the stuffing]
Paneer[Indian Cottage Cheese] : 100gm
Cashew : 5-6
Raisin : 7-8
Salt : 2pinches
Sugar : 4-5pinches

INGREDIENTS :[for the coverage]
Potato : 2
Green Chilli : 2
Cumin Powder : 1/4spoon
Coriander Powder : 1/4spoon
Salt : As required

INGREDIENTS :[final take]
Tomato : 1
Plain Yogurt : 1/2small cup
Onion Paste : 2tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Garlic Paste : 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Cumin Seed : 2pinches
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As required
Oil : 1tbsp + 100ml[to fry the koftas]

METHOD :
Take the paneer in a bowl. Mash it. Chop the cashews and raisins. Add the salt, sugar, cashews and raisins to the mashed paneer. Fold in well. The filling is ready.

Peel, wash, halve and pressure cook the potatoes in enough water up to 1 whistle. Let cool. Transfer the potatoes in a bowl. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, salt. Wash and chop the green chillies, add to the potatoes. Mash together well.

Prepare balls with the potato mix. Make pockets. Fill with paneer mix. Close tight and make round shapes. They look as below.



Heat 100 ml oil in a wok. Fry the koftas till light brown. They look as below.



Wash and chop the tomatoes. Whisk the yogurt. Heat oil in a wok. Temper with cumin seeds.

Add the onion paste. Fry for a minute. Add the ginger and garlic paste. Fry for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes. Saute till it melts.

Add the salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander and red chilli powders. Mix well. Add the yogurt and stir till the spice mix separates from the oil. Add a small cup of water. Let boil for 3-5 minutes.

Add the garam masala powder. Let cook for 2-3 minutes. Switch off gas.

Arrange the koftas in a serving bowl. Pour the gravy over the koftas. Let stand for sometime before serving.


Friday, 22 January 2016

NO BAKE YOGURT PANEER CAKE






This was in the to-do list for a long time. I come across a number of cheese cakes everyday and keep on thinking I have to try these no bake desserts some day. Not very familiar about this kind of desserts, I was always skeptical about trying them. After the relocation, we tasted them a couple of times and loved. However, I wished to prepare a desi version of it, a low caloric dessert that is in tune with our Indian taste bud.

Since I was doing it for the first time, I needed ideas on it, specially on the measurement of the ingredients. While surfing I came across a number of recipes on yogurt cake. I largely drew inspiration from similar recipes of saffronstreaks and spiceupthecurry. Since I was doing it for the first time I did not take the risk of doing it without gelatin powder. What I loved about this dessert is that it is hassle free and I could do it with everything available at home. The addition of chopped fruit is optional. I had some, so I added, can be skipped. Let us do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Yogurt : 200ml[I used Greek Yogurt]
Paneer[Indian Cottage Cheese] : 100gm
Sugar : 1/2 small cup[adjust as per your taste]
Biscuit : 10-12 medium sized[I used digestive oats biscuits]
Butter : 1/4 small cup
Gelatin Powder : 2tsp
Pineapple[chopped] : 2tbsp[optional]
Pomegranate : 1tbsp[optional

METHOD :
Take the yogurt and sugar in a bowl and whisk well for 2 minutes. Crumble the paneer with hand and keep rubbing for 2-3 minutes. Add to the yogurt and mix well with a spoon.

Take 4-5 tbsp water in a bowl and add the gelatin powder to it. Mix well and microwave at low for 11/2 minute. Add to the yogurt mix and fold in well.

In a grinder, grind the biscuits into a coarse powder. Melt the butter and add to it. Grind again.

Take a plate and place a cake ring just on the middle. Transfer the biscuit-butter mix  inside the ring and press it with your hand.

Add the fruits to the yogurt mix if you are using it. Pour the mix inside the ring. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours.

Take out, insert a knife on the inner side of the ring to loosen a bit. Take out the ring carefully.

Serve immediately. The leftovers, if any should be refrigerated again and had within 2 days.




Wednesday, 20 January 2016

MIXED FRUIT SALSA



I prepared it for myself and loved it immensely. Off course I did not have any kind of chips with it, its for the others. As a healthy lunch or as an appetiser, it is a delight either way. Just back from a trip from my hometown, I need to shed few kilos. Its no magic, hence we need to work hard on it. This urge takes me on a wonderful tour of so many healthy recipes posted by the talented chefs. I have really come across very good recipes of salads and salsas. What I do not prefer is using the store bought salad dressings. What I love about salsa is that it can be done so simply and we can add innovation to it. The mix and match option works here so well.

This time I prepared a mixed fruit salsa as I had few of them readily available at home. Though refrigerated, everything has a shelf life. So better to use them up wisely. The fruits I used here are pomegranate, orange, apple, cucumber. It was so fun doing it in so less time.

INGREDIENTS :
Orange : 1small
Pomegranate : 1/2small cup
Apple : 1small
Cucumber : 1medium[i used the crunchy Japanese one]
Coriander Leaves :1tbsp[chopped]
Green Chilli : 1[chopped]
Onion : 1small[chopped]
Lemon Zest : 1/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 1tbsp
Salt : A pinch
Sugar : 1/4tsp

METHOD :
Wash all the ingredients. Peel the orange and cut into small pieces. Cut the other fruits into small pieces. Peel and get the pomegranate seeds out.

Peel, wash and chop the onion. Wash and chop the coriander leaves and green chillies.

Prepare a tsp of lemon zest and a tbsp of lemon juice from a medium sized lemon.

Take everything in a serving bowl and toss well. A little tamarind juice should also do justice.

Have it fresh whether we serve it with chips or have it just like that. It is quite filling.




Monday, 18 January 2016

MATAR MUSHROOM


Mushroom is something we never had in India. I was so scared to buy it and ended up identifying it with 'byanger chata', meaning frog's umbrella which is very very poisonous. What aggravated the fear was the news of people dying eating poisonous byanger chata considering it as mushroom. So I never bought them. After shifting to Singapore, I was awestruck to see so many variety of mushrooms and the health benefits they have. I gradually started including it on our diet. Yet i failed to persuade my very choosy about food pa-in-law to have it, haha. He still has serious doubts about it. We get very good quality mushrooms in the supermarkets of India. I would still suggest not to buy it from the street markets there, rather I can say that about Kolkata.

I prefer Indian Curries with mushrooms. I incorporate them in my salads too. I am yet to learn the creamy homemade mushroom sauce. I have gone through some really good recipes of that, may be soon. This recipe I have done very simply with our regular Indian spices and sliced mushrooms. Most of its variety is unknown to me, hence I prefer doing it with sliced button mushroom. Let us do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Button Mushroom[sliced] : 250gm
Tomato : 1medium
Green Peas : 1/2 medium cup
Onion : 1medium
Milk : 1/2small cup
Fenugreek Powder : 4pinches
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 11/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Ginger Paste : 1/2tsp
Garlic Paste : 1/4tsp
Salt : As required
Cumin Seeds : 3pinches
Oil : 2tbsp

METHOD :
Heat oil in a pan. Wash the green peas and mushrooms and apply little salt. Add to the oil and saute lightly at low heat. Take out and keep aside.

Wash, chop and prepare a paste with the tomato. Temper oil with cumin seeds. Add the sliced onions. Fry till brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste, and saute till it separates from the oil. Add salt, fenugreek powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder and saute for a minute.

Add 1 medium cup water and bring to boil. Let boil for 2-3 minutes. Add the lightly sautéed green peas and mushrooms. Let cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and garam masala powder, stir. Cook for another 1 minute. Its done.

Enjoy with any kind of flatbreads or cumin tempered rice!!





Saturday, 16 January 2016

SHALLOW FRIED SPICED FISH WITH GARLIC PEPPER RICE


This is an absolute favourite at my home, to be precise with my men. They are not good example of a Bengali. All my efforts to make them so goes in vein. I sweat out in the kitchen and there is no sunlit face on the dinner plate. The senior still loves a nicely made 'macher jhol', the junior prefers this kind. The wonder how it happened, ever since he was fed what we ate, an average, simple, Bengali meal. Though their preference of food helps me with hassle free cooking, but I am not happy. I do Bengali cooking and share the joy with people around who love it.

I cannot accept the fact that my son will have only meat and no fish. I feel it is a serious threat to my Bengali identity. So I try to prepare it the way he loves. However, I feel this generation kids do not want to make any effort for anything.... my boy prefers prawns and fish fillets for the same reason. To see some sunshine on their face, I decided the other day to prepare this dish. Accompanied by a generous serving of salad, it is goodness in a plate. I used tilapia fillets for the fish preparation. Compiled together both recipes of spicy fish and garlic pepper rice.

INGREDIENTS :[for the garlic pepper rice]
Rice : 1big cup
Green Pea : 1/2 small cup[optional]
Black Pepper Powder[fresh, coarsely ground] : 1tsp
Garlic[minced] : 1tbsp
Salt : As required
Butter : 1tbsp

INGREDIENTS :[for the fish fry]
Fish Fillets[white&firm] : 500 gm
Lemon Juice : 2-3 tbsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1tsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 1tbsp+1tbsp

METHOD :[the garlic pepper rice]
Prepare the rice in enough water till its 70% done. Spread over a newspaper and let cool.

Heat butter in a pan. Apply salt in the green peas, add to the oil. Saute at low heat for a minute and keep aside.

Add the minced garlic and saute at high heat till it gives a nice aroma. Add the rice, fold in well.

Add salt and pepper powder, fold in well. Add the sautéed green peas and stir at high heat for 2 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl.

METHOD :[the swallow fried spiced fish]
Cut the fillets into medium size, wash and marinate with lemon juice and little salt for 1/2 an hour.

Now discard the marinade. Rub the fish pieces with cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, Kashmiri Chilli powder, 1tbsp oil, turmeric powder and little salt. Keep aside for 20 minutes.

Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan and swallow fry the marinated fish pieces on both sides. They will be crisp with the added goodness of health as we are using very less oil in it.

Serve hot with a serving of salad. Thats really a quick, no fuss cooking!!





Thursday, 14 January 2016

MOONG PULI




With Makar Sankranti round the corner, many of us are busy with preparing pitha, payesh, following family tradition. I do not know many of them, just do the usual ones, patishapta, malpua, choshir payesh. Offering to God and then savouring them sitting together. Preparing them in the evening and having them next morning is the best idea. Pitha, payesh tastes best the next day of preparation. Some of them should be have hot though. My childhood memory of having pitha is wintry mornings, courtyard in maternal grandparent's home, grand mom preparing a variety of in a mud oven lighted by wood[unan]. We must remember even the rice flour had to be made at home which was a tedious job.

This is my first attempt at moong puli. Bhaja pitha tastes yum along with the steamed ones. Moong Puli can be soaked in sugar syrup also after being fried. I skipped that part and served the fried ones. This one tastes best when served fresh and hot. Let us do it.

INGREDIENTS :[for the dough for coverage]
Moong Dal[splitted yellow lentil] : 1big cup
Salt : A pinch of
Water : As required

INGREDIENTS :[for the filling]
Shredded Coconut : 1cup
Jaggery : 1/2cup[I used date jaggery]
Sugar : 1tbsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1tsp

INGREDIENTS :[for frying]
Oil : 100 ml

METHOD :
Dry roast the dal, wash and pressure cook up to 2 whistles using 11/2 cup water. Please note do not use much water. If it gets watery, we will find it very difficult to prepare the dough.

Once cool, add a pinch of salt to the boiled dal and keep on rubbing until a firm dough is formed. Keep covered with a piece of cloth while we prepare the filling.

Heat a pan, add the shredded coconut and stir for a minute. Break the jaggery into smaller pieces and add to the pan.

Keep stirring, we will see the jaggery melts. Add the sugar and after 5 minutes, the cardamom powder. We will keep stirring till a sticky filling is prepared. Let it cool.

Prepare medium sized balls from the dough and make hollow. Fill with 2 spoonful of coconut filling. Close and shape as you desire.

Heat oil in a wok and deep fry in batches. The oil should be neither too hot nor less. If more it will burn, if less it will break.

Serve hot!!



Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A REGULAR QUICK EGG CURRY



This is an easy week day night solution. There are days when we wish to keep the cooking very simple, spend less time in the kitchen. I particularly feel like this on weekday evenings. If it is a weekday, I prefer cooking in the evening so that food can be served fresh and hot to my men. At the same time I wish to keep it simple, so that I can spend minimal time in the kitchen. To me weekday evenings are meant to peep into junior's room at regular intervals and check whether he is studying or not. It is also to wait for the senior to come back and have small chit chat while watching television together. Cooking needs a lot of concentration, patience which I lack in the evenings. I do not know why so.

This is an egg curry which I did very simply. May be because I was not willing to chop onion, peel ginger-garlic and grind into a paste. Perhaps my maid was away for some other work. I have never claimed myself to be an independent worker, even if I be given any credit, half goes to her. Besides all these excuses, there is also the willingness to try something new or different. Hence this light, tangy egg curry, a minimalist approach. I think my recipes are just apt for a bachelor or a newly married girl settling abroad. Let us do it which will take little more than 1/2 an hour.

INGREDIENTS :
Egg : 6
Tomato : 1big
Green Chilli : 2-3
Cumin Powder : 1tsp 
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Cumin Seed : 2pinches
Coriander Leaves : 2sprig
Bayleaf : 1
Oil : 2tbsp

METHOD :
Boil the eggs in enough water for about 5 minutes. Leave it for some time and peel the shell cautiously. Wash carefully under running water.

Make slits on both ends. Rub with salt, turmeric powder, half of chilli powder and cumin powder. Keep aside for 5 minutes.

Wash and chop the coriander leaves discarding the roots. Wash and slit the green chillies. Wash and roughly chop the tomatoes discarding the seeds.

Heat oil in a wok. Lightly fry the boiled and marinated eggs at low heat. Keep aside.

Temper the oil with cumin seeds and a bayleaf. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and turmeric powder. Stir till the tomato pieces melt and separates from the oil.

Add the remaining cumin and chilli powder, coriander powder and slitted green chilli. Stir for 1/2 a minute.

Add one medium cup water. Bring to boil. Add the fried eggs. Let boil for 3-4 minutes.

Add the chopped coriander leaves. Cook for another 1/2 a minute. Its done.

Enjoy with steamed rice.









Monday, 11 January 2016

CAULIFLOWER STUFFED SAMOSA/ PHOOLKOPIR SHINGARA



Phoolkopir Shingara- another nostalgia. It was a winter speciality earlier because in those days cauliflower was available in winter only. It took whole day for my mom for the preparation. In the evening, she would bring her stove in the bedroom, switch off the fan and fry one after another. We would flock around with a bowl to have them fresh and hot. Stove was a kind of portable oven largely used in those days as an alternative arrangement to gas oven. Whenever mom prepared some time consuming dishes, she would use it, so that she could sit and do. She would prepare mini-sized samosas so that we could have quite a number without feeling too heavy on stomach.

Coming to present, cauliflower is available throughout the year, at least at the place where I stay. I still prefer to do this kind of samosa with cauliflower stuffing during these months of the year.... December and January. With peas available readily in packets, it is not a tedious job too. We can do these mouthwatering samosas with everything available at home.... maida, ghee, cauliflower, green pea, potato. Let us do it.

INGREDIENTS:[for the cover]
Maida : 2cups
Ghee : 2tbsp
Salt : 2pinches

INGREDIENTS :[for the filling]
Cauliflower : 1small
Green Pea : 1/2 small cup
Potato : 2medium
Roasted Peanut : 1tbsp
Dry red chilli : 2
Cumin Seed : 1tsp + 1pinch
Coriander Seed : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1/2tsp
Oil : 1tbsp

INGREDIENTS :[to fry]
Oil : 150-200ml[left over can be used later]

Yields about 12-14 samosas.

METHOD :
We will prepare the dough first. Take the maida, salt and ghee[clarified butter] in a wide mouther big bowl. Keep rubbing for 3-4 minutes till they turn into crumbles.

Now add water little by little and keep rubbing until a smooth dough is formed. It look as this.



We will cover it for 30 minutes as seen below.



Let us prepare the filling meanwhile. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, wash and apply salt and turmeric. Peel wash and cut each potato into 4 pieces. Boil them and mash.

Dry roast the dry red chilli, coriander and cumin seeds and dry grind to a coarse powder.

Heat oil in a pan and temper with a pinch of cumin seeds. Add the roasted peanuts and stir for 1/2 a minute. Add the cauliflower florets and stir for 3 minutes at medium heat.

Add the green peas and fry for 2 minutes. Add the mashed potato and add the sugar, little turmeric powder and salt as required. Stir  and cook for 2-3 minutes till it dries up completely. Its done and look as this.



Remove the cover from the dough and rub for a minute or two again. Make balls and roll out roundels from it. Cut into halves as below.



Fold each half to form pockets. Fill with the filling. They look as below.



Press the filling with back of a spoon. Apply little water to the edges. Fold one side and then overlap the other side over it. This is how I do it. They look as below.



Heat 200 ml oil in a wok. Lower the heat to minimum once its hot. Fry 3-4 samosa at a time at low heat till they are brown. Keep on tissue paper to get rid of the excess oil before serving.


Enjoy with your choice of chutney or sauce!!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

MOM's LIGHT CHICKEN CURRY


I remotely remember chicken took an entry at our home when I was at middle school. Earlier it was only mutton. Chicken was forbidden in many households within our community. The reasons are known but we are not always at the liberty to disclose what we know. At this age, I feel that the reason was very silly. Our moms were good cooks of their times but were not so keen on experimental cooking. They were happy and content with whatever they learnt within the family. Though my mom made a breakthrough and welcomed cuisines of other states, given her daughter was a foodie.

This particular chicken curry was simply done and called murgir patla jhol. In those days chicken was a sunday affair, just as watching Ramayan was. Having shak[leafy green veggies], chicken curry and watching television serials were such a pleasure. Happiness was abundant within that two roomed rented flat, because life was simple, demands fewer. This chicken curry is made simply with ginger garlic paste and onion with no garam masala added. Let us do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Chicken : 1kg
Onion : 2-3 medium
Garlic Paste : 2tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tbsp
Green Chilli : 4
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp[juice of 1 lemon]
Salt : As required
Bayleaf : 1
Oil : 3tbsp

METHOD :
Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly and apply salt, 1/2 of turmeric powder and lemon juice. Keep aside for about 45 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok. Peel, wash and slice the onions. Add the sliced onions to the oil and fry till brown and transfer to a bowl.

Temper the same oil with a bayleaf. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till it separates from the oil. Add turmeric powder, Kashmiri chilli powder and salt to it and fry for 1/2 a minute.

Add the chicken along with the marinade to the wok and fold in very well with the spice mix. Keep stirring at high heat for 2-3 minutes.

Lower the heat to minimum and cover cook till all the water released dries up. This may take about 20 minutes. Add the fried onions now. Fold in well.

Add two medium cups of warm water. As it comes to boil, slit the green chillies and add.

Cook for another 5 minutes at low heat. Its done.

Enjoy with piping hot  steamed rice or chapati!!



Friday, 8 January 2016

NAVRATAN KORMA


Navratan Korma.... prepared for the first time... What motivated me? Perhaps a worst tasted one that I ordered from a local restaurant during my Kolkata stay this time. More worse was that, it was for my brother who is quite choosy about food. For me too, food is all about good colour, texture and taste. I also believe in value for money. Hence, totally irritated with what I got, I made up my mind to try my hands on it. The sad part is I could not treat my brother with it, may be on my next visit. Miss my family back home and definitely my city.

For doing this Navratan Korma, I went through a number of recipes and then did it my own way. To keep it low caloric, I used yogurt and milk instead of fresh cream. There is less use of cream and cheese at my home. The vegetables I used are carrot, french beans, green peas, cauliflower. To them I added cashews, raisins and pineapple chunks. Let us see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :[main]
Carrot : 1
French Bean : 5-6
Green Pea : 1/2 small cup
Cauliflower : 1small
Pineapple[cubed] : 1small cup
Cashew[halved] : 1tbsp
Raisins : 1tsp
Paneer[cubed] : 100-150gm[Indian cottage cheese]

INGREDIENTS :[the spice paste]
Poppyseed : 1tsp[substitute with white sesame seed if you stay in Dubai or Singapore]
Coconut[shredded] : 2tbsp
Tomato : 2small
Onion Paste : 1tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Garlic Paste : 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder : 1tsp[this dish need not be hot, so I used Kashmiri Mirch]
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Plain Yogurt : 1/2small cup
Milk : 1/2small cup
Salt : As required

INGREDIENTS :[final countdown]
Bayleaf : 1
Green Cardamom : 2
Cinnamon : 1two inch stick
Oil : 2tbsp
Ghee[clarified butter] : 1tsp

METHOD :
Wash and cut the vegetables into small pieces and keep separately. Rub them with salt. The carrot needs to be peeled.

Soak the poppyseed in warm water for an hour and blend to a paste along with the shredded coconut. Wash, cut and deseed the tomatoes, blend to get a paste. Get ready with the ginger, garlic and onion paste.

Heat oil and ghee in a wok. Temper with a bayleaf, green cardamom and cinnamon stick. Add the onion paste and saute for a minute or two. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2minutes.

Now add the poppyseed-coconut paste. Saute for a minute. Add the tomato paste, fry for 2 minutes. Add carrot pieces, salt, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Stir well and cover cook for 2 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, french beans and stir. Cover cook for 1 minute. Open cover and add 1 small cup water. Cover cook for 2 minutes at medium to low flame.

Open cover, add the paneer cubes, green pea, cashews, raisin, stir. Blend together the milk and curd and pour over the curry. Let boil for a minute or two.

Add the pineapple cubes and garam masala powder. Stir and let cook for 1/2 a minute. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Garnish with a spoonful of milk-yogurt mix.

Enjoy with any kind of South-Asian bread!!


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

TANGRA MACHER JHOL


Tangra Mach is a kind of small cat fish. I did not get its English name in google search, only that it belongs to the cat fish family. It is a much loved fish among us, in fact quite popular throughout Eastern India. On each visit to my hometown, I cook and have all kinds of fresh water fish to my heart's content. We do get here fresh Tangra where we stay, but rare. Our fish loving community needs to have fish on a regular basis. It is also true that we adjust to circumstances slowly and gradually.

We prepare this small fish in a number of ways, light curries, at times with mustard seeds paste, sometimes with assorted veggies. My today's post is about preparing a very light curry with Tangra fish, flavoured with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Let us see how we do it.

INGREDIENTS :
Tangra Mach[small cat fish] : 500gm
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Cumin Seed : 2pinches
Coriander Leaves : 2tbsp[chopped]
Oil[authentically mustard] : 4tbsp

METHOD :
Clean and wash the fish thoroughly. Rub with salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the fish lightly on both sides and keep on tissue papers to get rid of excess oil.

Temper the remaining oil with cumin seeds. Add the ginger paste. Saute for a minute. Add salt, turmeric, chilli powder and fry for another minute.

Add a cup of water and let boil for 3-4 minutes. Add the fried fish. Cover and let boil for 2-3 minutes at low heat.

Add the chopped coriander leaves. Stir and switch off.

Serve with piping hot steamed rice.