Friday, 31 August 2018

ALOO KOFTA CURRY



All of a sudden life got very busy without being engaged in any fruitful activity! So frequently I am attending friends' meets and occasionally calling them home too! I was wondering how come I see myself going out often except for my "lonely walks".... the later term is neither a complaint nor a curse on me! I feel I am both a daddy's girl and the mother's too... the brother is a mother's pet totally! That mother who would love to have control on her kids even when they reach their 60s-70s once told me not to go for walks with friends.... its called chatting and not walking for good! I am not as good and loyal as the brother, yet I listened and totally believe that a walk or a run is to be done alone unless you have mastered self control. While believing in this the mother or me did not have in the remotest corner of our minds that there can be something called "couple run".... that our husbands can ever go for a walk with us! Her case was even worse.... the wife having fever or fasting for a special prayer... our father invited 10 friends for an evening tea and to play bridge with .... The disciplinarian mother always maintained that guests should come or a party should happen on stipulated holidays and never when our examinations were near! I vividly remember her time for talking to the neighbours was fixed... in between our coming back from the school and the evening sit to study time! She never did visit anyone's home after 7pm or entertained anyone at her's on her own will on the weekdays.... This did not help much to make her happy, to fulfil her dreams because her kids did not love academics like those of some other homes  quite similar to ours... Its true that like poles repel.... haha! Unlike poles attract or not.... the almighty reserves the right to unite people or its the law of science one has to follow. I have seen sharp contrast in few homes.... the mother going out for the day once her kids go off to the school... kids learn to be independent at a very tender age... folding mosquito net with such expertise that anyone in the hospitality industry will be awestruck! Since such kids were taught human values, that they did not stray does not let me abandon totally some people .... neither do I let anyone to decide who I like and choose to keep close to my heart.... Relationships have a different definition to me.... who I like more is my own.... I like what I have grown up watching.... So, I keep some contacts away from the public glare.... I make secret calls or messages telling "your tremendous sacrifices are paying off now.... stop crying".... She.... who I call "another woman" does not love me but I am fond of those who keep her happy.... I kiss my brother too ten times a day virtually for being a mother's dotting son... trust me he couldn't be anything else! Though my spouse did not allow me to set it as an example and is trying out every possible way to separate the son from me! Everyday there is a fight at this home regarding his choice of university.... I am drawing courage from the people around on how to survive without my heart if required and feeling more duty bound... I must! I may not have the required amount of IQ... but the EQ is in good amount hopefully! I am trying to be friendly at least with the like minded people... I felt going for such lunch meets or arranging one at our place helps me stop messaging the son 10 times a day when he has extra classes.... though knowing that the school does not allow phones during working hours. On one such day I might have prepared this ALOO KOFTA CURRY.... Kofta Curry is regular at this home... they hate most of the vegetables and I am determined not to serve them meat and rice / breads everyday.... They do not fancy salad... how can I?


An ALOO KOFTA CURRY may not be that nutrient enriched dish as of a mixed greens & chicken soup with a piece of country loaf or a "shukto" or "lamb shorba" .... but I am pretty sure we had some dal protein alongside and I served both with a carrot or palak paratha or a methi rice.... I do not remember for its over a month now.... what I know is that the mother will fall from the sky literally knowing the daughter's recent development of the  taste bud.... it has out grown if not shifted! However, I do give in to the men's demands at times.... I served them "luchi o mutton keema" the day before yesterday.... which they love with rice too.... and yesterday night I made some "ruti" to go with the ghugni.... you can see the husband's plate... The son does not touch a "ghugni " when there is a "tandoori masala macchi" or a "fish kofta"..... There was one more thing for me... "shorshe bata ucche".... I wish to blog on it later.... meanwhile you can have it with flatbreads or rice... yum if you are unlike my men....




Preparing this ALOO KOFTA CURRY was an absolute pleasure for I knew the men folks would love it... You can do it on days when you do not have a single vegetable left at your pantry.... so next Friday go ahead with it and make me happy! We need few associating ingredients for this creamy / makhmali vegetarian curry like cashew nuts, raisins, white sesame seeds, onion paste, ginger paste, green chilli paste and whole garam masalas! I like flavour and spices in my curries! If I have flavouring agents like ghee and whole garam masalas, I will not use powdered spices much! You can enjoy this with any kind of fried rices or South Asian flat or fluffy breads... even toasted breads!





INGREDIENTS :

Potato : 2-3big [washed, boiled, peeled, mashed]
Onion Paste : 2-3tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Green Chilli Paste : 2tsp
Chopped Green Chilli : 2
Roasted White Sesame Seed: 2tsp
Plain Yogurt : 2tbsp [beaten]
Cashew Nut : 6 + 6
Raisin : 10 + 5
Bay Leaf : 1
Cinnamon Stick : 2-3 two inch size
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Cloves : 3-4
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Ghee : 1tbsp
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1tsp
Refined Flour : 1-2tbsp
Oil : 2tsp + 3-4tbsp or as required to fry all the koftas
Ghee / Clarified Butter : 1tbsp to garnish.... and some chopped fresh coriander too!


PROCEDURE :

Chop 10 raisins and 6 cashew nuts. Heat oil in a pan, temper with cumin seeds and chopped green chillies.

Add the chopped cashew nuts and raisins. Stir at low heat for 1/2 a minute.... 

Add the boiled and mashed potato and fold in well. Add some salt as required! Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. 

Now add the refined flour and stir well. Transfer to a plate... let cool.

Prepare some kofta balls from it.

Heat 3-4 tbsp oil in a wok. Fry the kofta balls till brown and keep on tissue papers.

Temper oil with a bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, green cardamom, cloves.

Add the onion, ginger and the green chilli paste. Stir for a minute or two.

Earlier we already had prepared a paste with the plain yogurt, cashew nuts, raisins and roasted sesame seeds. We will add it to the wok at this stage. Stir for 1/2 a minute.

Add 1 coffee mug of water, stir and let boil for 2-3 minutes at low heat. Add the sugar, let boil for a minute. 

Arrange the kofta balls in a serving bowl. Pour the gravy atop. Garnish with 1tbsp ghee and chopped fresh coriander! Enjoy with any kind of pulao rice / paratha or even with toasted breads!








Wednesday, 29 August 2018

PANEER COCONUT APPLE NARU



For this post of PANEER COCONUT APPLE NARU, I did not have to search pictures.... I did it fresh last evening .... the idea too was fresh once back from my walk in the afternoon.... If you are a miser like me you cannot resist yourself from buying two big boxes of fresh, juicy apples at a discounted price . If you are living with two bad guys, they will revolt taking apple every day to school and office though the junior prefers a fruit box for this short break... If its heavy... he does not open his lunch box and brings it back home! There had to be something to do with the apples! I like very sweet apples but it is not so favourite with me as are mango, jackfruit, watermelon, litchi or custard apple. What I like about apples is that it takes me to my two favourite destinations of India .... Kashmir and Shimla-Manali! However poor my 10th board result was, the daddy did take us to a tour of Kashmir way back in 1987 after I got admission in a decent college! Though I was not in a great mood for I faired too bad in my boards or may be for other reasons.... but trust me the paradise on earth keeps up the spirit at all times.... so I could sing holding tight the little brother's hands "husn pahadon ka... o sahiba... kya kehna ke baro mahine yaaha mausam jaro ka".... the brother was not bothered about the sister's romantic self.... he might have been planning to insert a walnut inside his nostrils to see if he can breathe or not.... he gave us harrowing time till his marriage. Anyway, my unromantic daddy took us to the local State Bank of India but not to the "Bobby House" even after several requests by me. Yet, I excused him because he tolerated my full body weight up in the hills when the ponies got tired.... haha... till date I could not do anything for the rescue of the ponies.... though I have stopped riding them... I did not do so in Shimla back in 2008... my child enjoyed a lot but I feel this practice of entertaining the tourists should stop! India gets her supply of apple from these two places and like me, a majority of Indian kids do not like apple for one big reason.... we as kids are fed "apel sheddo with cerelac".... the same reason why I will never blog on a "tapioca kheer" ..... I just giggle on my own when I see this island and its neighbour eats all those what we grew up eating... "sago, barley and even kamranga... a celebrity fruit here... God! Coming to apple, I can never forget the taste and joy of those apples freshly plucked from the orchards in Kashmir! Here too we get a variety of apple and it comes home on a regular basis alongside grapes... the junior prefers apple while the senior prefers grapes... I have to balance.... learnt the balancing act with tiffin boxes. Now what to do with 12 apples.... this is not a wise home to have breakfast with muesli, yogurt and apple! So, an idea popped up! .. Initially I thought of a "sandesh" / fudge ... but I ended up using more of desiccated coconut compared to the shredded apple and crumbled paneer.... hence a PANEER COCONUT APPLE NARU.... is more of an appropriate name! Most of the time I do not use measuring units .... inside the kitchen I love to feel free!

If you can prepare the paneer / chena fresh before using it for this sweet recipe.... nothing can be better than it. At times I do not wish to go authentic, neither sweat much while cooking. I was unwilling to boil 2 litres of milk to get this little amount of chena / paneer. I just took out 1/3rd of a paneer block from the freezer.... soaked in hot water for 2 hours. Cristine skinned and shredded the apples..... as of desiccated coconut, I just required the packet to be cut. I purposefully did not use any milk product in the sweet.... hence the use of water ... I had to use water for the apple to cook and the jaggery to get sticky. In fact, I was very keen on clicking the hand which helps me in all these ventures.... sudden or planned without any expression of irritation. Look at Cristine's palms... they are as soft and supple as of Mandakini in Bollywood! The husband does not tolerate my "attempts to sing".... calls me "pata kumari"..... The 16 year old silly girl who got swayed away by the beauty of the paradise on earth and hummed "husn pahadon ka"... is humming at this moment "khile khile phoolon se bhari bhari wadi.... raat i hi raaton mein kisne sajadi".... she will be 48 in two month... she still cherishes these dream numbers.... she lives her unreal dreams through Bollywood and accuses it to have destroyed her academic life! My readers must be wondering how I am able to live with so practical a person.... well I love mountains and have fear of heights at the same time! It is him who tolerates me after puking ten times on his lap.... he tends to me without a frown when I felt sick while travelling last January.... forgot our relationship and screamed... "driver rokke rokke... I want to puke... I cannot tolerate AC in cars... I need fresh air".... at least 5 times it repeated in the 5 hours of journey. He is leaving again on the Janmashtami day.... his lunch box had to have some PANEER COCONUT APPLE NARU.... though I will store every thing stale for him till his return! This is me who I love to unfold to my readers, who is super excited to know from the girls at the doctor's chamber that there is a nature's trail near to our home and I must go there for walks. I must go there soon and cherish together Bollywood and Walking! To find out the direction too I have to call the husband while my girl friends are at work... have the ability to be on their own! Anyway, I so liked the native girls at old Dr. Chang's chamber.... remember we have to love the place where we stay else they will not accept us .... sitting at one place and "at all times" praising another is not a right thing to do... let us stay connected to both the places! Thats what I do.... To blog on a "loti shutki" is not a wise idea before Janmashtami for some of us... hence a PANEER COCONUT APPLE NARU....



INGREDIENTS :

DESICCATED COCONUT : 11/2COFFEE MUG
APPLE : 2STANDARD SIZED
PANEER : 300 GM
JAGGERY POWDER: 1SMALL CUP [I use a chemical free one]
GREEN CARDAMOM POWDER : 11/2TSP [make it fresh at home]
GHEE : 2-3 TBSP + 2-3TSP
ALMOND SLICES TO GARNISH!

PROCEDURE :

Cut the apples into 4 pieces each. Peel off the skin and thinly cut off the seed segment. Wash and shred.




Now we will break the paneer block into crumbles and keep rubbing for 7-8 minutes.




Heat 2-3tbsp ghee in a wok.




Add the desiccated coconut and keep stirring until its light brown and aromatic.




Add the shredded apple, stir. Add 1 medium cup water, fold in well and cook till the shredded apple melts.




Add the crumbled paneer and fold in very well. Stir until they mix very well. This may take some 3-4 minutes.




Now add the freshly made cardamom powder and the jaggery powder. Fold in well. Add a medium cup of water.



Keep cooking until the mixture gets sticky which may take 8-10 minutes.




Transfer to a plate and let cool a bit. Knead well for 2-3 minutes.




Now just make round shape with your right palm. I was not so particular with the shape. Desiccated coconut may not give a smooth finish or I may not have that expertise.




Garnish with sliced almonds and serve fresh or you can refrigerate in containers for a maximum of 3-4 days.



Sunday, 26 August 2018

BENGALI STYLE SHINGARA



I did these BENGALI STYLE SHINGARA that is samosa / stuffed savoury snack earlier this month.... well this is not so regular at this home.... may be once in 2-3 months.... if Cristine goes off... it will become rare.... I would prefer to serve my men a potato curry and "luchi / porota" often rather than spending half a day in the preparation of "samosa / shingara".... the former takes hardly half an hour because I am used to it and people at home are happy too! I am a lazy cook indeed... I have to admit it! I think my guests would catch me red handed any day.... If you have noticed my food platter  pictures when my guests are due, you will notice I do not go for a "dimer chop or mochar chop or a chingri ba murgir keema bhora potoler dorma"..... I cook simpler dishes to greet them instead... some fish bakes, grilled meats or "keema matar / potol chingri".... I keep few things in mind.... I still did not achieve that level of mastery where I am able to fry "chop" and entertain the guests at the same time. I will not fry before hand and "chop" becomes soggy once reheated.... Guests do not visit only for food.... "chit chaat" is the main attraction. I arrange meets for the husband to relax! If you enjoy few pegs, better is to provide more number of appetisers with it instead of showing off how skilled a cook one is. I mean this may be an excuse for I am not at all a skilled cook.... Yet, you may hire this idea of sweating less and serving the guests more number of plates. I got a lot of complains from my dear ones that I do not cook for them what I blog on..... specially from the Kolkata part! I really lack skills of attending twenty people without a help and a weakened infrastructure..... I strongly feel these days that there should not be any special treatments where many there deserve more or less equal attention.... Some understand, some do not and I cannot help but to say that you are all cordially invited to our island... I will do my utmost! So, I will share the credit of this time consuming BENGALI STYLE SHINGARA with our Cristine.... You can see my fingers at work but the "pocket making" part was done mainly by her.... the Filipino eats and enjoys everything Bengali or Indian.... thats my credit!

I was waiting to share this savoury snack on this special occasion of Rakhi Poornima / Rakshabandhan.... it brings back a lot of fond memories with the sibling / siblings / friends too! Each year I do not wish to repeat the same stories but did you know I married one of my "rakhi brothers?".... hahaha.... When I first broke the news at home, our mother's first reaction was "mamoni tui na okey rakhi poriyechish.... kichutei shombhob na!".... I had to refreshen her memory giving the instance of Robi Thakur.... Rabindranath Tagore.... who used this day as building bridges between two warring communities.... Where are you sensible people? We need more of you.... the entire Third World needs food... clothing.... shelter more than anything else! Anyway, me or the parents could not be this liberal when it came to the little brother! The brother got new pictures every six months.... the mother ran to the daughter crying.... urging ... "do something mamoni to stop him".... The big sister looked once at those pictures and told in just one sentence.... "where is the grace and decency? Get her and prepare to leave me for ever!".... I mean I do not have a problem with Ms. Sawant... she earns in crores while I do not earn a penny.... she has to maintain that image! So long we do not cross each other I am ok! Those girls may have got better husbands than my brother..... they should not curse me! People should know I also had to face rejection .... reasons can be multifarious ... my height, skin colour, flat nose, not having street smartness, belonging to a non-pedigreed background whose relatives lived / lives in interiors of Bengal and Assam and not settled abroad, me living in a notorious locality and not in South Calcutta, not knowing to play table tennis and lot more! So.... dislikes are always mutual and we must respect that! I do not hold any grudge against anyone "apparently".... I do not know my "sub-conscious self" though! My intentions are not clear even to me ..... haha! Coming to my brother, he is obedient, so he deserves something he loves today.... if not a mutton or hilsa! A sweet share would have been more appropriate but I thought of a BENGALI STYLE SHINGARA.... a salted snack. I am soon to prepare another batch for a girl and her friend. I met this sweet 18 last Friday and we clicked. I was really too tensed before the meet.... if I do not like something in people, repulsion occurs inside.... I get withdrawn.... in this case it was not possible as its a duty call! All my tension went off once we met.... so well behaved.... down to the earth.... no show offs at all. Did I see me at 16 in her? Yes but sans the intellect and persona... her strong motivation towards career building.... In the two long hours they did not talk about lipstick, face powder but education.... I have to set the menu cautiously and with love before calling home haha... it seems they love food a lot too!

This home is "shorbobhuk".... we enjoy a BENGALI STYLE SHINGARA .... that is samosa and enjoyed a tom yum fish soup yesterday night. I skipped the rice part as I wished to have the full of that dessert! The men folks at home do not eat desserts at the restaurants as they prefer mumma / wifey made ones more!





The shingara / samosa / savoury snack you see are truly "desi".... very similar to a vegetarian version of curry puff or empanadas may be.... Ours is a spicy filling as is the curry puff version of our island's neighbouring country! As I am writing this post, I am craving for some hot shingara / samosa and.... well a Twinkle Khanna read.... I call myself a fan but I have not read any of her's.... soon to order her earlier two through amazon.com, for her latest "Pajamas Are Forgiving".... it will take some time! She does not pay me for this neither she requires me to speak on her behalf ... but I do it on my free will if only your ways satisfy me.... I am not in the habit of accommodating what I dislike.... that off course is one of my vices! Before reading a new author, I read reviews.... I came to learn that she has a skill with the flow of writing and telling a story wonderfully.... highlighting a relevant issue! No, I am not the one who loves to read a Kafka or listen to Mozart at all times. I will read her for I am biased about people I am fond of.... for I am not comfortable with ornate language! I like her for she is different amidst her peer group.... carries herself gracefully almost in every dress she wears.... Think 101 times before you buy a dress.... does it suit you? can you carry it with grace? More important is why am I calling a samosa.... a BENGALI STYLE SHINGARA? It is because a Bengali shingara / samosa will have a slightly different potato filling from the rest of India. The filling is little sweet and spicy and has peanuts in it unlike the northern Indian states which do not use sugar and peanuts may be but green peas. We get both varieties and few other with minced meat filling in Kolkata! Towards the interior, in smaller towns where Haldiram did not reach.... where people need fish and rice almost all days of the week.... you will find not so pedigreed sweet shops selling "shingara" starting from 4pm every evening! My filling was / is exactly the same with more roasted peanuts in them. I was not happy with the skin cover of mine this time.... they did remain crisp all through but in looks they are not like the shop ones... flaky! I totally forgot to add the baking soda in the dough making step and I use less amount of ghee in it as is required.... that can be a reason!.... because I guarantee you taste and hygiene.... you will do it with me for your siblings... a sister or a brother! You can see, I ran out of the filling and made parathas with the left over dough! I hate wastage and lack the energy to prepare another batch of samosa the very next day!

Just thinking of trying out Madhur Jaffrey's samosa recipe next time... I am keen on learning more about her beyond the wiki!

On my initial days of blogging, I did this post fish balls in a rich creamy sauce.... wondering why I did not name it shahi  macchi kofta.... whatever... if you are not so much of a fish lover... try it this way... the pictures got updated... just click the link below!

FISH BALLS IN RICH CREAMY SAUCE




INGREDIENTS : [for the filling]

Boiled Potato : 4medium to large sized [peeled, mashed]
Roasted Peanuts : 2-3 tbsp [halved]
Cumin Seed : 1tbsp + 1/4tsp
Coriander Seed : 1tbsp
Dry Red Chilli : 3-4 [I had readymade flakes ... so used]
Fenugreek Seed : 2-3 pinch
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Sugar : 11/2-2tsp
Salt : As Required
Sliced Ginger : 1/2tsp [lightly smash with a heavy something]
Oil : 2-3tsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the dough]

Refined Flour : 250-300gm or 2coffee mug
Salt : As Required
Nigella Seed : 1/2tsp
Clarified Butter / Ghee : 2-3tbsp
Baking Soda : 1-2pinch

INGREDIENTS : [for the final step]

The cooked filling
The prepared dough
Oil to deep fry : 200ml... left over can be used later


PROCEDURE :

Let us prepare the dough and keep it covered for at least half an hour.

Take the flour, baking soda, salt, nigella seeds in a bowl.





Add the ghee.




Mix well and rub for 2-3 minutes.





Add water little by little to form a soft dough. Keep kneading for 7-10 minutes.




Cover it for an hour, while we prepare the filling.

Mash the washed and boiled potato discarding the skin and water.




Dry roast 1tbsp cumin seed, 1tbsp coriander seed, the dry red chillies for a minute and grind them to a coarse powder! 

Take all the ingredients in the kitchen counter. 




Heat oil in a wok and temper with 1/4tsp of cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and ginger. Add the peanuts and slightly fry.



Add the salt and mashed potato. Mix well. Now add the ground spices.




Fold in very well and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes. We are ready with the filling.




Now remove the cover of the dough. Knead the dough well again for 2-3 minutes.





Prepare small balls tearing portions from the dough.




Roll out each into round luchi / poori shapes. Cut half with a bread knife else you damage your rolling base.




Now take each half, fold from the sides and stick lining with little water.




A pocket is formed. Fill the pastries with the potato-peanut filling. Fold and seal well... use water!






Repeat for the rest of the shingaras. They look as below. I am not an expert as those in the sweet shops. Cristine helped the more at this stage. Grease the plate with little oil where you keep the samosas ready to fry!

Refrigerate for 2 hours before frying.





Now heat oil in a wok, take them out and fry the shingaras in batches at very low heat. 




Serve with your choice of sauces and chutneys.



Thursday, 23 August 2018

STUFFED CHILLI PICKLE



I think this variety of chili used in my STUFFED CHILLI PICKLE is the Carmen Italian Sweet Chilli Pepper! You know how casual I am with the details of my food posts.... the ingredients used... where the ingredients are sourced from! I had been buying this variety of chilli... both the green and red variety for a couple of years now for fritters, curry and pickle but I never did care to note down its name... I call myself as less informed a food blogger as is possible. I know people who collect every details of the dish they are going to blog on, they collect the right props required for the dish and do not keep a bone china bowl atop a bamboo tray like me and click! I definitely do not like what I do but I have my own limitations.... I am so open about who I am.... really not in the habit of boasting about myself.... jumping around and saying I am flawless.... yeah I am perfect!.... One needs to be down to the earth and be honest to their own self! When people speak good about me I do not get carried away.... they do it because they are trying to be decent with me.... no one knows me better than myself.... my vices and virtues walk hand in hand.... This is true about the entire mankind. I have seen how some around me have looked down at people who are not so fortunate.... who lack "pedigree".... that is a vice... for sure! That help people to go high up in the ladder though.... if you have the fire in you.... you must give answer to any wrong royally! So what or whoever I like around I am very vocal about.... Had not I found social media to be very complicated, you would have seen me going public praising people I really wish to compliment.... the people or their work! So, I only watch and praise in silence! My biggest vice is my laziness, laid back tendency, so my pictures may not please the eyes of my readers.... but as I always say I can guarantee its taste! I do not blog on anything that do not appeal my taste buds! Then comes the misery part.... there are a couple of shops here selling antique utensils and show pieces.... when I am about to buy, an invisible hand holds tight my purse! So, my readers have to tolerate this condiment... a STUFFED CHILLI PICKLE ... that is a "pur bhora lankar achar / bharwan mirchi achar" on a fish shaped bowl.


Our mother used to prepare a variety of pickle / achar but not this one with chilli! The daddy loved to have pickle with his "macher jhol aar bhaat".... but the typical Bengali varieties.... sweet ones done with raw mango or tamarind or Indian berry or elephant apple and good amount of jaggery & roasted ground spices. The non-Bengali type of achar / pickle was not so welcome at our home. I did taste them during our lunch hours from our non-Bengali speaking friends!.... I loved the smell of that mixed spices if not the achar. I was never fond of sour food except for the family special sour fish curries. It was three years after marriage that we shifted to our own home and the husband started getting jars of pickle. During my pregnancy I fell in love with northern & southern I Indian food ..... I was unable to have big... fat oily fish and meat for the entire period.... the "pomfret er kasha" I loved so much was no more in my to have list. All of a sudden I leaned towards dahi vada, dhokla, idly, dosa, uttapam.... and to top them all tamarind & lemon rice! These days what I do is keep one or two variety of a store bought one and prepare one pickle / achar myself. Now that our Cristine had discovered broken pieces of glass inside a store bought pickle bottle, I am in a dilemma on what to do! However miser I am, I always buy good brands! We were in a shock.... what would have happened had we have eaten it. This made me think ..... "should I prepare two variety of achar / pickle at home at a time and stop buying from the store?" This STUFFED CHILLI PICKLE that I prepared last year is about to finish now.... yes a jar full of lasts long because we have very little at a time.... This particular condiment called achar / pickle is to be had in this little amount beside some rice & dal or with flat  or fluffy breads! The ingredients I used are those big, fat red chillies, a mixed blend of spices, a generous amount of oil, turmeric and salt. It needs a good amount of sun bath to survive for a longer period!





INGREDIENTS :

Big Red Chilli : 12-15 [the ones I buy are less hot]
Cumin Seed : 2tsp
Coriander Seed : 2tsp
Fenugreek Seed : 1/3tsp
Carom Seed : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 6-7
Turmeric Powder : 11/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 11/2tsp
Cumin Powder : 11/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Salt : As Required
Mustard Oil : 200-250gm [we need to be generous]

PROCEDURE :

Wash the chillies thoroughly. Cut half and carefully take out the seeds, discard them.

Take all the spices like cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, carom seeds and dry red chillies in a pan and dry roast them for 2-3 minutes stirring continuously.



Once cool, take them in a blender.


Blend at high for 3-4 minutes pausing at every 1 minute.

Take the coarsely ground spice mixture in a bowl and add some lemon juice & salt.



Now fill each pocket of the halved chillies with the spice mixture. Use the back of a tea spoon for this job to be done. It works better.



Once done, they look as below.



Now add the cumin powder, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder to them.


Rub well. Be careful.... the spice filling should not come out.

Add the oil now, again mix in well.


In my case, what I do is that I add the oil little at a time.... I place the pickle under the sun for 2 days and add little more oil. I repeat the process for 15 days. Now, it is time to transfer the entire content to a distilled jar.... preferably a glass container and not a plastic one.

Once we have transferred the achar to a jar, we will pour about 100gm of mustard oil atop and close the lid!

At this stage we can refrigerate the pickle jar but we must give it a sun bath for one or two days every week.