Tuesday, 28 November 2017


Aww it was last night... a Monday when we had this platter of PINEAPPLE PRAWN & GARLIC TEMPERED RICE at the dinner table. Have I stopped cooking till 4 pm on Saturday's?... not really, I have a rack full of "aloo diye murgir jhol, phoolkopir dalna, beulir dal, jhingey-kumro" in the refrigerator .... yes I cooked half the number of dishes than I usually do on Saturdays.... the men are refusing to have their meals with three-four items. Instead, if I serve some hot poori with the chicken and potato curry for the dinner.... they are more than happy. I should not have any problem with it if they had a bowl of salad and raita alongside. No, they are not even near to your spouses and kids and will not eat something they do not wish to. This lady cannot rely entirely on fish and meat proteins but wish to serve a wholesome meal end of the day. In such a scenario, a "phoolkopir dalna".... helps.... If served with hot chapatis... they will have it.... though I doubt whether a cauliflower gets justice in a Bengali / Indian / South Asian home or not.... after a "koshano with ada jirey lanka bata and a garnish with cinnamon and cardamom powder."... I do have sautéed cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms at the food courts and in parties but cannot make it my religion. I did not make my birthday public.... you know why? I was too scared of my friends sharing a broccoli soup on that particular day .... I did not wish tears rolling down my "almost blind" eyes on my birthday.... the spicy mutton soup native of our neighbouring country is a hot favourite though. So no wonder, this lady will add some dry roasted red chilli powder to the pineapple prawn  of the combined platter of PINEAPPLE PRAWN & GARLIC TEMPERED RICE. Anyway, this miser finally got some Taiwan Cauliflower the other day at double the price than normal... they looked similar to the "deshi phoolkopi" that my grandfather grew in his garden and tasted similar too. Memories are not seasonal for me.... it is just there!

Saturday activities in the kitchen has to be lessened.... however unromantic the senior is.... he gets pissed off watching me busy in the kitchen till 4pm on a Saturday, that too wearing a worn out nightwear, messy haired, sweating profusely.... there he shouts... you are getting more & more unorganised S. I retaliate saying I refuse to sit and watch CNBC's "kochkochani".... if you promise me to take out for a long drive, sit at the cosy, dark corner of a restaurant and say only platinum suits my wife.... I can think and re-think about it.... Before he gives an answer in his signature style.... Cristine has to intervene.... "ma'am, the dal is boiling... shall I add the slitted green chillies?"... I run to the kitchen fearing she may add sugar to the 'mushurir dal' with a mood to tell her "jhogrer shomoy bagra dibina." In fear of gifting the wife Platinum Jewelry, the husband also lets the wife cook peacefully. I really have to stop cooking so much on a day.... two to three days in a week there are messages coming from the man... S, we have a conference with our "that" office, located in a place which starts functioning when it is time for us to go to bed. Each time I fail to see the messages in time , get to see them once the rice is done, dough gets ready, food taken out to be reheated. You can well understand the mood of this woman .... more so when she is approaching menopause... neither I am ill-tempered like his mother that I will throw all the food from the table to scare others present. No one wishes to see frowning faces after a hard day at office.... so such easy solutions like a combined platter of PINEAPPLE PRAWN & GARLIC TEMPERED RICE are welcome... always! The senior is not so fond of anything cooked with ketchups or a sweet and sour sauce to be precise.... where as the son's plate seems like squeaky clean without use of a dishwasher! What will the lady do? She will prepare some paratha tonight to go with the aloo-chicken and bring both the father and son in tune.... she herself will have a thin paratha with "boondi-raita" and salad... happily! Cooking is a pleasure for me so long people around are happy with the dishes I cook. This combined platter of PINEAPPLE PRAWN & GARLIC TEMPERED RICE takes only 11/2 hours to be done and we must have it fresh and hot. The pineapple used has to be really sweet and we are lucky to get it from a neighbouring country... Elephants like them or not, this baby elephant loves it just like that with some chaat masala and black salt. I / We love a very simple, burnt garlic rice at the beach side restaurants of our island and I try to do something similar. This platter has soya sauce, cornflour used... so what ?... I will not call it oriental... I do not have the required utensils for oriental cooking in the first place! It is something near to "Shyambazaar er morer chow chow".... flocks of people in queue to have a plate.... You too cannot stop at trying my recipe of PINEAPPLE PRAWN & GARLIC TEMPERED RICE only once!

Prawn : 500gm [cleaned, de shelled, washed]
Pineapple : 1medium cup [peeled, washed, cubed]
Capsicum : 1/2small cup [washed, cut in strips or cubed]
Red Bell Pepper : 1/2small cup [washed, cut in strips or cubed]
Onion : 1medium [peeled, washed and cubed]
Cornflour : 11/2tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp
Tomato Sauce : 1/2medium cup
Light Soya Sauce : 2-3tbsp
Dry Red Chilli : 4-6 [dry roasted and coarsely ground]
Garlic : 1tbsp[minced]
Salt : As Required
Oil : 4tbsp

Pre Cooked Rice : 4 coffee mugs [I used Basmati]
Onion : 1large [sliced, washed]
Garlic : 2tbsp [minced]
Light Soya Sauce : 2-3tbsp 
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2-3tbsp

For the GARLIC TEMPERED RICE, take a wide mouthed wok, heat the oil. Add the sliced onion and fry till crisp. Take out and place on a tissue paper.

Add the minced garlic and stir at high heat for 30-40 seconds. Add the pre cooked rice and stir at high heat for two minutes. Add the required amount of salt and the light soya sauce. Stir again for a minute and switch off gas... we are done. Garnish with the crispy fried onions.

For the PINEAPPLE PRAWN, marinate the washed prawns with some salt and black pepper powder for 45 minutes-1hr.

Rub the bell peppers too with some salt and black pepper powder. Prepare a mixture taking the tomato sauce, light soya sauce and coarsely ground dry roasted red chillies.

Heat the oil in a wok, add the cornflour to the prawns, rub well and fry them lightly discarding the marinade.

Reserve rest of the oil for future use, keeping 1-11/2tbsp in the wok. Once hot, add the minced garlic and onion cubes, stir at high heat for a minute. Add the pineapple chunks and bell peppers without the marinade and stir at high heat for another minute. Add the sauce mixture and fold in well. Let cook for a minute.

Add the lightly fried prawns to the wok and fold the entire content very well at high heat. Switch of gas.

Serve the Pineapple Prawn immediately with the Garlic Tempered Rice which you may reheat once if required. Enjoy!