Saturday, 17 June 2017

KHEJUR ANAROSHER CHUTNEY



Chutneys .... Pickles.... condiments are a part of our lunch and dinner. As I have said earlier in similar posts that we have chutney to end a meal. Though, that elaborate cooking affair starting with a shukto and ending up with a chutney is not so much in practice today, many of us do elaborate cooking on weekends. Chutney does feature in that menu. When almost the entire world says and it is true that life got busy, this sit at home, good for nothing woman finds pleasure in cooking everyday something or the other. That is my pleasure, happiness, creative corner. How I wished my men to be big eaters and be demanding a bit. Many ask me why are you sitting at home idle, do something. I cannot make them believe how much I enjoy staying at home reading, or just watching my plants grow, going out for a walk, going through various recipes and suddenly screaming.... Cristine take out the flour, sugar too, soften the butter... I am planning for a dish and needs to complete it before he comes back from school. Why not? .... he is my father too ..... my daddy used to say 'mamoni'.... you are my another mother, my mother stays so far. My father stayed away from his parents from such a young age. The reason why I talk more about my maternal side is that I have spent so less time with my paternal grand parents they been staying in Nowgong, Assam. My paternal grand mother was a wonderful lady, never ill treated her four daughter-in-laws. I kept on telling my mother you are lucky to get such a lady as your maa-in-law who never showered you with choicest words or robbed you of your self-respect..... I am kind of jealous with you. My daddy derived his mom's purity and his father's anger. I look at his picture and say....... you must be having gala time over there with your parents.

This post could or should have been written very beautifully but I am so busy packing for a trip to Kolkata and cooking too. Do you think this extremely possessive wife will allow Cristine to take away all the credit? HaHa never so ...... It is my home, my den and I am the queen of this house. Perhaps for this reason my mom never allowed me to cook for my dad. The daughter has similar traits in character as of her mother though she always says I am good at heart like him. I do not agree to that .... I think I am a mixed-bag of all human emotions. Girls.... take hold of your own home, nurture it with love... do not allow outside forces to storm in ..... Boys appreciate your girls from time to time .... they too need fuel to energise themselves. Daddy loved chutney and achar too much and he needed any one of them for lunch and dinner. Maa used to prepare different types of achar / pickle and stock it for the entire year ..... chutneys were made fresh. This sweet and sour chutney is made of dates and pineapple complete with a garnish of 'bhaja moshlar guro.' This is done in most Bengali homes, 'biye bari'.... Bengali marriage ceremonies. Once upon a time, the main attraction in the 'biye bari' menu was papad with chutney for this little girl. At our place chutneys had always been  done with ingredients available in the season. Most of them were done at home as daddy loved. So this KHEJUR ANARASHER CHUTNEY is my tribute to my late dad with a sweet note to the dotting fathers all around .... known.... unknown. Some of the known, wonderful fathers were famous casanovas in their youth, it feels so good to see them in the present avatar..... responsible, sincere, loving family person ..... some of them I wish to talk about in different posts ..... some names I will never utter, I buried 'it' in the ruins of Pompei?.... perhaps.Though I do not believe in any single day celebration of valentine .... father or mother, I also feel there is no harm in doing so. So let us prepare together this yum chutney done with few fresh ingredients.





INGREDIENTS :
Pineapple : 1/2 of a medium whole
Date : 8-10
Lemon Juice : 2-3tbsp
Sugar : 1/2 small cup
Panch Phoron : 1/4tsp [an equal amount of cumin, wild celery, nigella, fenugreek, fennel seeds or alternatively use mustard seeds only]
Dry Red Chilli : 1 + 2 
Cumin Seed : 1/2tsp
Coriander Seed : 1/2tsp
Fenugreek Seed : 1/2tsp
Salt : 2-3 pinches
Oil : 1tbsp [Authentically Mustard]

METHOD :
Peel the pineapple, wash and chop. De seed and half the date, wash. The reason for a KFC touch in chutney? Well the brother thing has KFC addiction and he feels insecure when didibhai shows too much love for anyone except for his nephew.







Dry roast the cumin, coriander, fenugreek seeds and dry red chilli for a minute. Cool it and get a coarse powder from it.



Heat oil in a wok. Temper with panch phoron and halved dry red chilli.




Add the pineapple chunks and the salt. Stir and let cook for 2 minutes at minimal heat.



Add a medium cup of water and cover cook at minimal heat for 3-4 minutes.



Add sugar and stir. Cover again and cook again at low heat for 3 minutes allowing the sugar to melt and incorporate well. 

Open cover, add the lemon juice and halved dates. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so. We are done. 


Transfer the pineapple - dates chutney to a bowl, garnish with 'bhaja moshla mix'... coarsely ground dry roasted mixed spice powder and fold in gently. We usually have it at the end of a meal but I have seen it goes very well with paratha too..... not so much with luchi or roti though.





Thursday, 15 June 2017

INSTANT ICE-CREAM SANDESH






This is my summer assignment to all the kids.... known ..... unknown. You do not need to know a kid to love them. It just comes naturally. My senior is a better person to talk on this matter. At their home I have seen a couple of neighbourhood kids growing up ..... from morning till night playing, eating, sleeping. I am not a good daughter-in-law to them, neither they are perfect to me. A perfect situation cannot happen perhaps, then there would not have been any term like 'swargey jaoa'..... going to heaven. I have no guilt or regret for not been able to say publicly.... aww you know I love my in-laws so much... more than my own parents. I am a very poor actor. I know I am doing my duty well. I do not have the silly habit of patting my own back, I believe it is for other's to say.... yet I wish to say that if I could trust my paa-in-law so much so that I kept all my financial papers with him, at times even blank cheques, I know I am on the right track. I respect his dedication and sacrifice for his family and the Communist Party but I cannot accept his patriarchal mental set up. Keeping with the majority of the society, they expected me to leave my parents and be their's totally. I am unable to give in to that, neither do I believe in or support strict rules imposed on widows of any age. My men lives with an 'impossible to tame woman'.... they deserve dessert every now and then. I do not bother even if my man's sister is reading this.... she is very matured and a daughter-in-law herself, never fuelled her mom and dad against me...... so she deserves from her S di..... what? My stupid brother kisses her mother and sister right in front of his wifey.... the poor girl smiles and runs from pillar to post to settle our daddy's property... what gift is awaiting for her from didibhai?..... well gifts are best as a surprise.

However are my in-laws to me, they are mine. They have lot of good deeds to their credit. The foremost is that they are helpful to others and have done a lot for people and extended family once with very limited financial resource. They loved kids, perhaps from them their son picked up this attribute. Kids are so comfortable and happy with my man who manages them pretty well. I so much wished for a second child, a daughter to be precise. He said we have so many around as our friend's and relative's and each time I said, he came up with a personal finance chart.... me too is living with a terrible person. Jokes apart, we could not take a firm decision on it for a couple of reasons. Do you know I prepared this sweet just in the morning and wished to blog on it immediately..... for a couple of reasons.... my grand mom is touring 'Jairambati' and 'Kamarpukur'.... with her three daughters. They are holy places for us and 'ailaaa... kya baat'.... grandma too did 'Mangalchandir Uposh' on tuesdays and whenever I was there, I enjoyed a bowlful of 'shaboo makha'.... tapioca pearls mixed with sandesh, shredded coconut, mango, banana, milk and sugar. It is also a holy month for many others .... I  get a bit tired on the next day of fasting, I respect those who are doing it for a month..... there is no wrong if you sooth your mind and body with this yum dessert.  I have a message also for those who consider touring or staying abroad..... is a crime..... come on they have earned it in a hard way shedding a lot of sweat. If tomorrow you get a chance you will not spare time to go .... learn to appreciate people..... and yes I will always praise the country I stay...... from time to time.... besides other reasons.... on my night run day I went to the race ground at an unearthly hour of the night.... ALONE.... praising the good in others does not demean my own. We are more of a nationalist...... we earn foreign currency for our motherland. Finally, I dedicate this post to the angels of the world.... THE KIDS.... rest each one of us have a satan living within. Come angels, let us prepare this instant, easy, melt in the mouth cool dessert at the comfort of our home. Ask your parents to make good use of leftover things..... I did it with leftover... a little of this and that.



INGREDIENTS :
Ice-Cream - Any Flavour [I used vanilla-chocochip]
Paneer - 100gm
Condensed Milk : 1/4medium cup

METHOD :

Take the ice-cream and cubed paneer in a mixer. Pulse for 30 seconds or so.



Take the ice-cream in a bowl and lightly crumble.



Add the mashed paneer and condensed milk to the ice-cream. Lightly mix. You can add little cardamom powder to the mix if you wish.



Transfer to individual bowls and freeze for half an hour. Serve chilled.


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

HERBED GRILLED BABY POTATOES




Well this was my final call on today's post after juggling with quite a few. Ask me why? I am  just that way... whimsical and the master of my own mind. I decided on this universally accepted potatoes on a bed of red and white chequered mat .... a lip smacking green mint - coriander chutney to accompany with a touch of blue far there. S what happened...... no South Asian / Indian / Bengali this week? Why these people do not eat western or what? Do not under estimate us, we can can lah. So far I am concerned I go for easy ones, do not expect a shepherd's pie from me. Even if I nail it some day, you will see this primitive fat old Bengali lady adding some chopped green chillies to the the shepherd pie  before eating. Some chopped onion and coriander leaves will also work fine.... I mean I will end up preparing a shepherd pie chaat for myself..... ' thora woh cheese hatao aur laal mirch dalo' .... I am that kind of a desi who cooks 'dhonepata bata shim' broad beans in coriander paste sitting far off from home  in the kitchen of another home. Hola my expert counterparts, I can also cook 'lau chingri', 'loitta shutkir bhorta', 'chyachra', 'tatka loter jhuri' 'mutton dopiaza' and 'curry chicken-the island way too.'Always remember I have many other people to deal with, a mariner or his wife has friends and acquaintances worldwide. Not always the wifey wishes to show love to anyone or everyone.

My friend Bianca Castafiore would be sad if I blog on chaat today. She is among very few who thinks S is not so bad looking.... hahaha. Then some of the dear people are potato lovers whom Bianca loves too. So why not try some guilt free potato as yum snacks or appetisers. Besides, some dears are touring Santorini, Paris, Venice and sending beautiful pictures. Been jealous is not my forte, the best way I can call them back home is with some lemony, yummy, herbed grilled potatoes.... haha. My most favourite Bengali actor, Oscar winning Ray's 'akhon ke noor' Soumitra Chottopadhay receives France's highest award... the Legion D' Honneur? or Honour . I fell for him after watching Apur Sangshar .... one among Ray's famous trilogy.... available in youtube perhaps. I do not know whether this is the right post to talk about him or not, but this actor par excellence is my heart throb since child hood till date. More about him in a fish and rice post may be. I got too busy this week buying gifts for the family.... these idiots do not allow me beyond the airport gate if I do not..... haha. In reality, they know I love gifting people however small it is. Money never counts when it comes to a gift. With time really an important factor, I selected this easy and quick appetiser to be cooked together with you and shared. I prepared it for few visiting friends. My very beautiful dancer friend Nibedita Chottopadhay who specialised in kathak form, a choreographer too said she loved it. Whatever comes or whoever tries any damn thing.... this couple is or will remain very special to us. I have seen some people have very wrong habit of creating holes in relationship, I believe they have something really wrong about themselves. You see staying at home is by choice. Call us when you need us or we need you, I do not have time to indulge in all these non-sense. I sit at home but can sense what goes around, come on not so dumbo either.



INGREDIENTS :
Baby Potato : 250gm
Chopped Parsley : 1tbsp
Chopped Coriander : 1tbsp
Dried Mixed Herbs : 11/2tbsp [I use the FunFood one]
Salt : As Required
Black Pepper : 1tsp
Lemon Juice : 2-3 tbsp
Olive Oil : 2-3tbsp

METHOD :

Wash the potatoes with skin on. Prick all over of each with a fork. Place on a plate and microwave at high for 3-4 minutes. Let cool. Peel off the skin. Marinate with chopped parsley, coriander, dried mixed herbs, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, olive oil. Keep aside for at least 1 hour.



Place atop the grill tool.





Grill for 6-8 minutes depending on your machine.



Turn over the baby potatoes gently and grill further for 5 minutes. They are done.



They are crisp outside and soft inside, ready to served and finished immediately. Enjoy! We enjoyed with a mint-coriander chutney.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

GRILLED PINEAPPLE AND ALOO MATAR TIKKI



Aloo Tikki is something I am acquainted to since I was this small. In Kolkata, aloo tikki is usually served alongside ghugni as a chaat. Giant sized iron skillets and atop it aloo tikki and ghugni cooking. The ghugni was pre cooked, it was tempered and garnished on the skillet when the customer ordered. The mother thing never allowed us to have roadside food till we were at school. Once in college, we got some freedom and spread our wings. Our college was located amidst a number of eateries .... Capri.... the Indo - Chinese joint where we tasted Bengali style chilli chicken for the first time. There was a cafeteria serving coffee and mendu vada, idly and dosa, dahi vada .... we were regular at that.... Sanatan dar "roll er dokan." ..... Basanta Cabin selling mouthwatering fish fry with kasundi and onion rings .... though I do not know whether it is the branch of the famous one in College Street or not.... and then there was this aloo tikki seller who did full justice to it. We were frequently seen at this joints, at times we packed them and enjoyed them sitting at the college lawn.  We were a naughty gang and not as good and studious as the girls of the college located just opposite ours.... they were Bethune-ites who looked at us as step or half brothers and sisters. Yes, we were a notorious gang of Scottish Church College. It had a very enriched history with a big number of distinguished personalities graduating from there since the British era. It lost its pride in the 80's and 90's allowing admission to hooligans like us.... now I hear it is reviving its past glory. Some of us friends visited our college back in 2013... it was a total nostalgia .... I am deadly against any kind of make over of the building. Years before that in 2008 I took my little boy to my college.... see this is mumma's college. It was a saturday evening, I accidentally bumped on "Chipu da".... our book store supplier where we got books and note books at cheaper rates. Oh God how some of us irritated him not paying for the books in time. We took no time to hug each other with teary eyes ..... "Chipu da kyamon achish?"..... forgetting we are grown ups and married with kids. Does this male - female thing matter when it comes to friendship? That is when I ask the boys gang of college to arrange for an outing  on my next visit assuring them you can take your wives. The daddy thing ditched in between, so it has to be postponed.

If I am talking about our college, our pride today, I felt I should talk about Anindya Chatterjee of the famous Bengali Band "Chandrabindu." If he and his team has taken Bengali music to few places in the world, as an old time friend I should clap for him. I am not that kind of a person who will say oh Anindya.... we were best of friends in college and shared our lunch everyday. No, it was not like that. He was a year senior to us and we were just friends who chatted everyday if our off periods matched. His wife I see a Bong beauty.... a journo by profession. In college his eyes were stuck into another beauty.... daughter of a Kashmiri mother and Bengali father doing physics honours. She was too mild,  pure and studious, and I could not help him anyway. Jokes apart, Anindya had excellent command over Bengali, no wonder he will write the lyrics of his songs. I remember he used to say I do not wish  to go for a 9-5 job, I will do something else. They were four or five friends who took part in skits and extempore and would ask some of us to go and cheer for them when they went to different colleges.... Calcutta Medical.... RG Kar... National Medical.... Presidency.... Vidyasagar or elsewhere.... we did comply skipping our classes. I remember Upal.. one of the band member was from science department and I knew him by face only.... I was closer to Anubrata of physics and Sanjay too but the last two did not join the music band. Chandril.... now a band member and a journo was an excellent orator too and used to come from City college as a competitor of Anindya. They became friends later. I had a misunderstanding with Anindya later over a silly issue ..... one day I had to follow the trail to his Sahitya Parishad Street home to drop a letter in their letter box on behalf of a dear someone. Anindya thought the girl in question was me and was not very kind about it. As of me I could or can never disclose the name so long I am alive. I know if I meet Anindya in a concert we will smile at each other and request for an autograph. Last year he came with his band to this island but I missed as we were touring Europe. Some of my dear friends are still close to him, we need to plan something. As of me, I had a couple of crushes while in college, but then I did not feel the drive within to go and talk and settle for something. I had to call my senior to my college and ask take a look at that boy, does he look dependable? He used to get angry.... how do I know, how can I decide for you S? I stepped backwards, I knew they cannot give me 100% commitment. Yes, I have commitment phobia.

Why did I say all these in the above para - phrase? I have a message to convey ..... give your passion some time and love even if you are not willing to take a risk or be able to become as successful as Anindya. Secondly, hold hands only when you can trust and fully depend on a person. With doubts in mind we cannot do justice to any relationship. Life is definitely not only about running around the trees and singing songs. I keep my fantasies active to fulfil that area .... To girls in their 20's ... not so attractive .... you do not need to stoop low to seek attention .... focus on what can take you to new heights, find strength in your potentials. Grilled Pineapple and Matar Aloo Tikki post is not something where I should talk about Anindya and his band..... the excellent aloo tikki seller then took me there ..... I also have buddies .... non Bengali speaking, vegetarian who said S... your boris look good. I have to express my gratitude to them. Then some friends are touring Europe and eating grilled stuffs .... ok I wish to walk together with them .... then some butterflies are flying around in multiple colour tones..... so let us add some colour to the post .... let us take everyone in. What do I wish? Well..... who bothers? I do take care of myself cooking some mutton curry and paratha or ilish and rice for myself..... wearing a white and black combination of handloom cotton with antic silver jewelry ..... I know I look best when I am me.... rest are all made up because I only preach rise above yourself. You can prepare this yummy, healthy starters hassle free. In fact your kids can do it for you, I love watching them constructively engaged in cooking, painting, reading, dancing, singing besides studying.

You can do them in skewers, I find this method easier. I do not have griller and do all grilled stuffs in convection mode.



Let us get the  Aloo Matar tikki ready to be grilled.

INGREDIENTS :
Potato : 3-4 medium sized
Green Pea : 1/2 small cup
Black Pepper : 1tsp
Green Chilli : 2 slitted
Aamchur Powder : 1tsp [dry mango powder]
Chaat Masala : 1tsp [assorted spice powder]
Salt : As Required
Melted Butter : 1-2 tbsp

METHOD :

Pressure cook 3-4 medium sized halved and washed potatoes in enough water up to one whistle.

Once cold peel of the skin and mash well adding salt, chaat masala, black pepper and aamchur powder.

Add the green peas and 2tbsp melted butter. Fold in gently.





Prepare balls or tikkis taking out small portions. They are ready to be grilled.




Let us get the pineapple ready to be grilled.

INGREDIENTS :

Pineapple : 1medium
Tandoori Masala : 2tsp [I use Everest]
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Oil : 1tbsp

METHOD :

Peel the pineapple properly and wash. Cut half lengthwise.



Cut further into smaller cubes. Marinate with tandoori masala, red chilli powder, oil, salt and lemon juice. Keep marinated for 1/2 an hour.




Arrange the marinated pineapple cubes and aloo tikki on your grill plate. Place it atop the tool.



Grill one side for 8 minutes. Check.



Turn over and grill for another 5-6 minutes.



They are done, enjoy fresh with your choice of salad, dip, chutney.








Thursday, 8 June 2017

ICED LEMON JASMINE TEA



Iced Lemon Tea is definitely a craze islandwide ...... specially this flavour. This icy-icy cooler is a hot favourite with the junior and his mumma. The son thingi needs a full stock in the refrigerator and he has it even at 10 pm. Mumma loves to buy one her way back from walk  and sip through. We are tea connoisseurs who love to keep a few variety of flavours at home. The senior loves them normal hot.... our weekend pleasure is watching movies accompanied by tea and jhalmuri or different kinds of pakoras / fritters. Come over if you wish to experience unadulterated happiness, supply of antacid is free at this home. Life need not be calculative 24/7. Weekend is the perfect time to set yourself free and we do that. Ever since I have started consuming less sugar, I was planning to prepare my own iced tea either without sugar or with an artificial sweetener. Yesterday I happened to land at the Indian market for a different reason, saw these fresh jasmine and got a packet full of for a dollar. Back home I did not take much time to prepare this Lemon Jasmine Tea with ice.... a perfect, healthy cooler packed with flavour. Over the weekend I will prepare a hot cuppa with same flavours for the senior at home.

My association with jasmine dates back to the 70's. A little girl playing at her maternal grandparent's garden full of trees starting from bael, coconut, lemon, litchi, mango, jackfruit to even pomelo and star fruit is still fresh in mind. Then there was this flowering plants.... rose, jasmine, "kamini", "juthika", "rajanigandha" and a couple of others. From the evening till sunrise the next day, the garden and the entire house was filled with fragrance of these flowers. The fragrance still lingers on, perhaps so I never could take artificial fragrances, flavours. I am kind of allergic to artificial flavours, fragrances and have to be very cautious while buying any thing from floor cleaners to perfume to lipstick. Many of you may have the same condition as mine, try such natural products, keeping such things say a potful of water with fragrant flower is way better than a room spray. My mother perhaps inherited her love for gardening from my grandfather. I am so pathetic at it... feels disgusted.... neither can I get jealous with people around who do it so beautifully with such an expertise. Been jealous is not in my nature and I am not patting my back saying so. You will see a a big bunch of weirdness in me that will irritate you. Take the example of a person who told me few years back that my persistent nature is a thing of irritation and makes me totally unfit to mingle. I was taken aback for a moment, when did  persistence become a negative trait in one's nature. I said ok fine do not mingle if it is a problem...... though I long for it I will not beg for it or change myself to seek any kind of attention.

Today's post of Iced Lemon Jasmine Tea is a much loved one and it has been a long standing wish to blog on it. If I have decided to go up with an agenda I will go ahead with it. I will not listen to anyone unless I feel it is demeaning anyone or a community or group. I know I have ample time to sooth their irritation in future. I was part of a very large food group till last month which got me a considerable amount of readers. One fine morning I see they removed me because I failed to follow their newly formed guidelines. Come on I did not even see those posts among 500 other posts posted each day.What is the fuss over? Is it a governmental organization that you will set guidelines every other day, it is just a food group with perhaps some more members which does not affect Narendra Modi's office anyway. I did not spare anytime to remove their widget from my blog neither did I mail them to beg for my inclusion.... that would have probably satisfy their ego. I decide who I give that much of importance.... I cannot call eccentric, hot heads as sir / madam because this mouth has uttered Sir for some noted dignitaries in Kolkata or even a cab guide in this island .... you can say a 75 year old cab guide who took me to a race ground in 10 minutes one day when I got late. We should respect people for their behaviour, deeds and attributes..... it has nothing to do with one's power or financial status.The group administrators should have understood some of us missed it and had no intention to break rules. So far as I am concerned I know I will listen and show love to people in turns .... to the ones who mean to me off course..... even if I no longer remain a part of a single group, my blog remains so long I wish. I expect that from my people too, do what you think is right, I will follow you from time to time.

With menopause approaching near, I think I am getting irritated every now and then. To get relief from it, I prepare my own coolers. I am taking a lot of interest in various infusions too. They help me get rid of headache and manage sleep disorders to some extent. This island is a great place or even the entire South East Asia offers you a large variety of tea and infusion. I wish to taste all of them at least for once or try my hands on a couple of them and keep sharing the recipes with you all. One advantage of  preparing them on your own is that you do them as per your preferences with fresh ingredients.... no sugar, less sugar... whatever. Before I get busy with preparing snacks and hot cuppa for some visiting guests in the evening, I felt like rehearsing with you all the entire process of preparing Iced Lemon Tea. I used Turkish Tea.... a new inclusion in our family.... you choose yours. I wish to prepare it with the jasmine in my mom's garden as I am visiting next week only if she promises she will through away her 25-30 years old antic, already broken utensils. I am too prejudiced and once heard that using broken utensils bring bad luck to the family. So I kept on telling the poor lady you see now my father passed away forgetting he was 75 already and it can happen. She would always tell me " ami jotoi kori toder jonyo, babakei beshi bhalobashis."..... how much I do for you... you love your daddy more. I have not measured, neither do I address him as baba, papa or daddy.... something else that I do not wish to go public with anymore.... creating wrong connections is not a wise thing I feel, it can embarrass others. I remember him as a partner at Book Fair or at the Eden Gardens even if it was for watching girl's cricket .... one who has a collection of some fairly exclusive pens... one whose cell phone numbers I am yet to delete or may be I will never. No he never had tea, coffee or cigarette..... yet did not live till 90..... So have everything guys and dolls.... but in moderation. Those who associate flowers to any particular community, I beg to say I cannot kiss on your lips, cheek or forehead because I am my daddy's daughter and husband's wife .... neither am I an anti - Indian , anti - Hindu or someone who couple of people wish to shoot at point blank range once seen in an Indian airport ..... I am just averse to any kind of communally abusive posts or speeches coming from any side.... I can talk only of my side because I have grown up in that environment ...... thats when I lament... I loved you so much 'Arnab'... how could you? .... I wish to withdraw myself from this social world when a personality like Arundhati Roy is tagged as an anti - national and deserves to be "kicked out of the nation"... exactly this was the language used..... freedom of speech yeah.....



INGREDIENTS :

TEA : 2-3TSP [I USED TURKISH]
FRESH JASMINE : A HANDFUL
SUGAR : 2-4TSP [ I USED ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER]
LEMON JUICE : 1/4 SMALL CUP
WATER 11/2 COFFEE MUG + 1 MEDIUM SIZED BOWL
ICE CUBE : 3-4 FOR EACH GLASS

METHOD :

Soak the jasmines in a bowlful of water.



Cover with a plate and keep aside for an hour. Open cover.



Microwave the bowl at high for a minute.


Take out and add the tea. Stir and cover.



Remove cover after 5 minutes and add sugar and lemon juice. Stir well.



Pass through a strainer on to a teapot or bowl.



Fill half of the serving glasses with ice-cubes. Top the glasses with lemon jasmine tea and decor with lemon slices.

Serve immediately and enjoy.


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

MANGO ICE-CREAM WITH PUMPKIN SEED



You see eating can be guilt free but not for long if it is someone like me. Back from my long brisk walks, I needed this vibrantly yellow with hues of green... melt in the mouth... creamy.... all vegetarian Mango Ice-Cream with Pumpkin Seed done with Thai Rainbow Mangoes. Ice-Cream is always a 'She' for me which is to be enjoyed with our beloved... which can be a 'him' or a 'her'. What is most important to me is 'love'.... and I decide who I give that and who I do not. How will I describe this bowlful of bliss.... may be as happening as "Parvin Babi" in a saree..... hahaha I am very naughty.... as the man of this house say that his wife is a veteran and consistent "bird watcher."Jokes apart ..... I praise beauty... it can be a woman, a man, a nice gesture, a giving heart, a rainbow, a grasshopper that is trying to fly.... anything that takes me to an another world... a creative world of fantasy, romance... my small utopian world. That is where I mostly stay even when I am cooking or reading. Music is already a therapy that helps you to stay away from anything that irritates you.

Many years back a palmist said you have an artistic hand girl. I found no truth in it. I was so pathetic at painting, perhaps I scored a C grade in my boards. I used to watch and get surprised to see how our teacher or friends good at it would give a stroke. Later I so very tried with my son taking him to different teachers. All in vain, that is when the senior intervened.... stop it S... Fine Arts is not something that can be forced on anyone..... it is an inside job. Last year we really enjoyed watching the paintings of the stalwarts in Amsterdam and elsewhere. So those who have real artistry in them, there is no reason why they should not pursue it. If a pathetic singer like me can sing, one should give their passion a fair chance. In fact I was not in the mood to write today, instead thought of recording a song. I do but not sharing them on Twitter or G+ ever since some of my friends complained of severe damage in their ear drums. Then someone stormed in and said hi! There was a feel good wave... I asked how come you are so near to me? Did your high nose someone allow you to come here? .... I am no where near Pricilla till date... wondering....

I do not believe in the saying 'do not look back.'...... I believe our past... present.... future are entwined..... though we do not know what is going to happen the next moment. You see as my tale goes... I should post a mutton or chicken recipe everyday.... then why do not I? That is an answer I am looking for..... Well so long it was the little Alice within me who was feeding you unreal stories woven in her dreams. In reality.... my study shows my readers wish vegetarian dishes from me. I think I am on the right track because when we go back we may have to survive on vegetables. When a State machinery takes up the "noble" responsibility of deciding what we eat and what we do not, what should we do? I was just thinking so many factors require immediate attention.... suicide of farmers to get relief from debts, education and health sectors.... ahh my elder son has a very good opinion on these matters and I stand by him.

At times blogging on a roast chicken or ice-cream full of cream gets difficult when majority of people back there stands in front of me and says you are a 'hypocrite'... what you guys do is very less ..... awareness is not enough... we want action.... if you do not give us our basic rights, we will snatch it. What is wrong in that? A mother of a child who does not get enough milk on her breast due to malnutrition can target her bow and arrow at me who can afford a pediasure for her son. We will talk more about them when we blog on 'lauer chokla boti' or 'kanchakolar khosha bata.' Today's share is an easy, peasy, 10 minutes, kids friendly ice-cream done with only four ingredients ...... mango, pumpkin seed, fresh cream, condensed milk and little sugar..... may be for touching a bruised soul or to pass on the message to my fellow workers... we are together with all our differences... Food is something that binds cultures.... and if culinary art is considered an art .... I / We may be tagged as artistic. Enough of talking, let us prepare together this mango ice-cream with pumpkin seed which your kids can do for you when you guys are in a romantic mood... not all search the kitchen in Google map like mine, none of the two wished their respective mothers on Mother's Day.... I live with terrible people.... I need ice-cream more often.



INGREDIENTS :
Mango : 2big [I used Thai rainbow]
Fresh Cream : 1medium cup [I used Nestle]
Condensed Milk : 1/2medium cup [ I used Milkmaid]
Pumpkin Seed : 1-2tbsp
Sugar : 1tbsp [optional]


METHOD :

Peel the mangoes and get the pulp. Discard the seeds. In a blender, blend it to a paste.

Add the condensed milk and pulse for a minute. Add the fresh cream now and pulse for 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture in a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Freeze for 2 hours.

Take out and blend it for another two minute. Pour onto the same bowl and stir in half of the pumpkin seeds. Top up with rest of the pumpkin seeds and cover with a cling wrap. Freeze for at least 4-5 hours.

Take out and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy an out of the world experience in the comfort of your home.



Sunday, 4 June 2017

AAMKORA SHORSHEBATA DIM



Aamkora Shorshebata Dim ..... Eggs cooked with mustard paste and grated raw mango ..... slurp is what will be your reaction once you try this. Little tangy and hot, it is  enjoyed more during summers. I got the basic idea of this dish again from a Bengali Food Magazine "Hyangla Hseshel"..... literally meaning the greedy kitchen. Few months back they had posted such a recipe of eggs cooked with kasundi..... that is a raw mango and mustard paste sauce. The recipe post very much appealed to me but I did not have kasundi in my stock ..... I think I will soon cease to have the tag of an 'organised homemaker.'....... the way I am becoming forgetful. Anyway..... that is when the idea of cooking this egg curry with raw mango and mustard paste popped up. I am not so much fond of egg as much as of my senior, his mother and my daddy. The mother and son's love for egg has a number of hilarious stories associated with it. My father's love for eggs may have been a recent development because my side of the family is heavily into fish and meat. My brother had a general apathy towards egg since his birth. The mother played so many tricks getting him to eat egg but all went in vain. So, egg was a weekly or bi-monthly affair at home. Now I hear my family too is into eggs. This happens you know when fish prices rise up to 500 - 1500 per kilo. When I look back, I feel my mother had every quality to become the finance minister.

Though I have decided to put up an egg recipe after a long time, I actually needed to blog on a mutton / lamb curry to my brother's delight. He liked his didibhai's idea of baked postor bora and even shared it in his stream. He deserves love from me... one who could not think beyond mutton biryani or porota-mangsho till he got married. His Indo - Chinese loving wifey got him there and made him explore other cuisines. You may need antacids if you hear his everyday breakfast menu ..... its luchi / poori. When the worried elder sister warns.... she is too bad and not worth talking. The blind in love mother does not even understand how harmful it is to have deep fried stuffs each and everyday. So, I will blog on his favourite mutton... a red hot one when he says... didibhai I had a bowlful of salad and yogurt with my porota -mangsho for lunch. However angry the entire Bengali community gets with me, I must say by yogurt we meant only "mishti doi" haha.... It is in recent years we made friends with tok doi.....plain yogurt ...... but a considerable section of us do love our "macher tok" during summers. I feel all communities have some similarities when it concerns food. Did I ever think our "shutkir bharta" has a cousin in the Red Dot called "Prawn Sambal" or a "moglai porota" or "mughlai paratha" has a partner in crime "murtabak"..... one murtabak a week.... flat 1kg weight gain in two days.

How is your weekend going on? Me too cooked, read, sang like you all and got heavily drenched in vodka. We decided to let our hair down this weekend and called over few friends with whom we can go to hell and get back too..... unhurt .... cook some "pathar mangsho" and "chingri diye chalkumro ghonto" next day and parcel to their homes. You see however angry some of you are getting with me.... I love my vodka sessions.... after four quick shots I can see my nose has become as sharp as my daddy's and telling few people with similar complex.... do not worry ... let us concentrate on buying end number of sarees ........ I treasure my cool blue with a white temple border.... my beloved pastel green with a red contrast pallu, or an all time loved red and white dhakai..... and what about my red and blue chamunda silk?.... shall wear that when my mood permits... let it rest in the dark, cold corner of the wardrobe till then. I will be in love with vodka however angry you or my mom gets.... it helps me to forget quite a few incidents .... I need it till I am caught with dementia which has a possibility in all probability. My friend from college Dr. Nishi Pulugurtha.... a professor of English at a Kolkata college writes on alzheimer, life, philosophy, history, travel. She also writes for a New York based magazine Cafe Dissensus managed by few of her friends perhaps. I follow and love reading them. Nishi is an Andhraite by birth..... a Bengali in spirit and by marriage.... a friend and neighbour to whom I can confess.... Nishi while you spent your time in the college library.... I was mostly seen in the movie theatres.... wish I would have been a little more serious then.


Coming to the dish today, I am blogging on an egg dish after quite sometime, some of my readers do take interest on my egg recipes. You need not get doubtful on my love for fish... it is a lifetime love just as my love for mutton. In quick succession are all kinds of chaats and pickle. Come on I do not have any good news to give you at this juncture of life. For my friend Bianca I prepared some jam and ice-cream with healthy nuts, shall come up gradually. Let us cook together this uber cool, delicious egg curry with homemade chilli - mustard paste and grated raw mango and have it with.... ok just two table spoon rice will not be so much of harm. Well this self proclaimed fitness pal actually eats everything and cries for having horrible saddle bagged  back. Not every one is Milind Soman..... you must follow his Facebook page to know what gets him the Iron Man title. Besides his hard work and tenacity.... he has a mother in her 70's who still runs wearing a saree and does her planks regularly. My mother is no less when it comes to energy and been active.... her kids are foodies.... haha... and lazy too...



INGREDIENTS :
Egg : 4 [preferably duck]
Black Mustard Seed : 2tsp
Raw Mango [shredded] : 11/2tbsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2
Green Chilli : 3-4 [ I love my shorshe bata hot, you choose yours]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Nigella Seed : 1/4tsp
Oil : 4tbsp [ we use mustard oil ]

METHOD :
Boil the eggs in enough water adding little salt. Let cool and take off the shell carefully.

Rub some turmeric powder and salt on them after making few slits.

Prepare a paste with pre washed mustard paste, green chillies and salt adding little water. Keep your shredded raw mango near you.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the eggs lightly and take out.

Temper same oil with nigella seeds and halved dry red chillies.

Add the shredded raw mango and stir for a minute. Add the homemade chilli - mustard paste and quick stir for just half a minute. Add rest of the turmeric, add a cup of water.

Once it comes to boil, add the fried eggs. Let simmer at low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add salt if only it is required.

Switch of, its done. Enjoy fresh with piping hot steamed rice.





Thursday, 1 June 2017

BAKED ALOO POSTOR BORA



Shall I go or not?.... the entire morning was wasted on this.... Where to? Or what... for my walks which has become a necessity now. Old doctor Chang has become stricter and said you have to do it. Even I wish to live more... just not in the mood to take a leave before seeing my Olive Oyl.... you never know who it will be so early. One should not be fool enough to weave stories on how the future is going to be and waste the present, there are very few such.... need not be any. Somehow this morning I felt like doing some healthy cooking though the mind craves for some mutton biryani or a plateful of hilsa curry and rice. I keep aside such cooking for the nights or weekends. I am cooking some red rice with carrots, beans and scrambled egg. What is there to accompany? I am grilling some pineapple chunks marinated in tandoori masala. The combination sounds weird, right? The grilled pineapple was done for my vegetarian Punjabi friends yesterday. They are all glam dolls... so the appetisers were grilled... baked... paneer or even aloo-matar tikki. Do you think my men ate grilled aloo tikki and pineapple without any bribe? My boys are not so good.... I had to allure them with batter fried masala pomfret.... there was Thai Jasmine rice tossed in butter as mains. Both my men were happy. By the way, two green, super fresh chalkumro.... that is ash gourds are resting in the refrigerator.... I will cook them with either prawns or with bori... dried lentil fritters and freshly chopped coriander leaves with a simple tempering of cumin seeds and dry red chillies. For my friend Bianca Castafiore I am thinking of preparing a no bake mango cake. After all these, if I feel like I will venture out. Then there is also the music bug, somedays it totally overpowers me.... for few days it is the comparatively new sensations Monali Thakur and Papon. The girl is a yesteryear Bengali actor's daughter... really enjoying their duet 'yeh moh moh ke dhaage' or a solo 'sawaar loon'.

My new Samsung Microwave came with a magic grill / bake plate as a gift or a boon. I enjoy using it... in the process we tend to use less oil. Posto... poppyseed is something most of the Bengalis swear by.... then I hear of blue colour poppyseed used elsewhere and wow... in cakes too! I will not take the risk of baking a cake with it because I hardly get out of my den. Except for exploring new places.... I hardly wish to be experimental or adventurous..... neither am I judgemental. I do what I like ... I think it should be true for all. Postor Bora or poppyseed fritters / pakora has always been loved by my family and it has some childhood memories attached to it. This fat old lady is quite an old lady truly and a little girl of eight years back in 1978-79 may be. There was a severe flood in West Bengal that year. The happy family of four lived in a two roomed rented flat. All streets were waterlogged with scarcity of food. I wonder how the super mom managed with a younger kid of two years. With almost no supply of vegetables and fish in the market.... we were having this postor bora, dal and minimal something everyday perhaps. This little girl who was innocent then asked her mother... mani have we become rich?.... then too poppyseed was quite expensive for a middle class Bengali to have regularly. We definitely were not but the super lady arranged somehow. I am no where near my mother or grand mother.... little I have inherited.... it is their training or blessings that makes me what I am. You know readers.... postor bora does not seem that 'exclusive' anymore..... I feel it is a normal human tendency to lose interest in what we can afford. Maa used to prepare postor bora without using potato. The daughter fails to get the right consistency of paste done in a blender..... I always admit my shortcomings.... rigidity been the foremost. I just cannot be what I am not.... neither do I expect others to be. This baked aloo postor bora can be enjoyed as an appetiser or to be had as an accompaniment with dal and rice. We use a lot less of oil when we bake these fritters instead of deep frying. Let us do them together and be happy souls today and for ever. I happily  had my ear job done for the second time to the displeasure of my men... so they deserve some meaty curry tonight.

If you stay in Dubai or Singapore.... use white sesame seeds instead of poppyseed.... recipe remains same.... Mind it!... Rajnikant style.

INGREDIENTS :
Poppy Seed : 50gm
Potato : 2medium
Green Chilli : 2-3
Red Chilli Powder : 1/4tsp
Rice Flour : 1tbsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Sugar : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 1tbsp

METHOD :
Wash the poppy seeds with help of a strainer. Soak them in hot water for an hour.... my grinder is stubborn otherwise. Though my mother prefers a coarse like paste done in a 'shil-nora'. After an hour get a paste of it done using very little water.

Wash the potatoes and prick all over it using a fork. Take in a microwave proof plate and microwave at high heat for 5 minutes. Let cool and then mash thoroughly.

Take the poppyseed paste and potato together in a bowl. Add salt, sugar, chopped green chilli, red chilli powder, rice flour, turmeric powder and the oil  to it. Mash all together thoroughly.



Prepare tennis size balls taking out small portions and flatten in between your palms.



Grease the baking tray with one or two drops of oil. Place the bora / pakora atop.



Preheat oven. Bake the postor bora or poppyseed fritters for 10-12 minutes at 160*C or till they are golden brown atop. Once done they look as below. If the other side needs to be done.... you can turn over and bake for another 5 minutes... which may not be required.



Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy hot either with tea or with dal and rice. Trust me ... you will love this Bengali bora / fry / pakora anytime... any day.