Wednesday, 31 October 2018

TIL BADAM


This lady is very whimsical you know, though not it is an all of a sudden decision, since yesterday afternoon she stopped taking her blog posts to different food groups here and there. I finally could say good bye to the tiresome job at least for quite sometime now.... Am I following the footsteps of Bianca? Not really, I will keep the blog alive, I love to cook and share..... and yes, love to write on what is happening around! Do I have a garden like her that I get to spend the entire day there, somedays cleaning and picking, somedays with a book completely detached from the world or am I an OCD like that beauty who single handedly manages a big home with a garden, irons the clothes too staying in a country where helps can be hired at a cheap rate? Our mother has OCD, so she is losing weight so fast, I scolded her too hard.... the brother did send me the photographs of the Lakshmi Pooja at their home! Me too have an OCD syndrome, given my lazy nature and Cristine's denial mode to improve her dusting skills, I have given up on it! You see her father has undergone a brain surgery yesterday, she lost her work permit.... we are unable to send her before Saturday.... yet she insists to prepare the men's lunch in the morning.... She does all the pastas, noodles and sandwiches.... I do not interfere! I just cannot have sandwiches and burgers... unnecessary heavy feelings.... ahem, as if "dal-dal er bora, kopi-pata bata, shutkir bhorta, kancha-kolar khosha bata shada bhaat diye" is not! Haha.... so I say cheers to all who grew up on "kochu-ghechu-bora-tora".... they must have eaten piles of rice grains just like me and licked their fingers at the end.... developed a tummy like me..... oblivion of making thyself attractive.... urging others.... please come to me, hug me, kiss me, do not leave me.... I will eat right .... do a nose job... wear high heels... what is called falling onto  the feet of people begging... Aha! we must sit together for a cuppa at some point in life, as I believe that some faces describe their selves... that they are plain, simple, do not mince words just like me.... if only the science & mathematics books were not there in between and the "gerua" colour! Anyway, I do not know most of the peoples' food preferences, only in flashes do I get to know.... I very much wished to blog on a kochu-chingrir dalna today, even the deceased soul of Sukumar Ray would have loved it.... then I felt that its Diwali for majority of the Indians, some parents are forcefully making their kids look weird.... that reminds me that there must be some celebration in the other parts of the world.... kids get me melt away all my frustrations if not a celebration, I have nothing to do with ghostly beings! So, a TIL BADAM is best suited on a day after Sukumar Ray's birthday who contributed immensely for us kids to grow up healthy! The monkey at this home does not read what his mother fancy, he forgot identifying Bengali letters, so mumma still debones his "ilish pieces".... at least he should not give up his roots altogether! His snack box is packed with the TIL BADAM I prepared yesterday and apple.... that is one good thing that they eat fruits of their choice as snacks on a working day. On a holiday, you cannot feed them fruits! Aren't my men weird? They are! You see, what a queenly treat I get from Cristine, OCD syndrome has to take a back seat! It comes forth when Cristine goes on a holiday, very few can make me happy with their cleaning skills..... I lose some weight doing so, I do not know why a kind of mental lethargy is eating me up and why I am allowing people who have not done anything for me ever or will never do, having so much control over me! If I am not a silly nut, who is? If I am in a self destruction mode, who can save me? If you are keen on homely vegetarian dishes, try this healthy TIL NARKOL POTOL too and enjoy it with steamed rice or chapati!






Anyway, I may not have a swing in the garden where I can sit quietly with a book and get lost in it but an avid reader can create such an ambience anywhere! This is the major reason why at the moment I took such a decision to stop visiting food groups with my recipe posts.... With strict social media rules, one has to maintain time gaps between shares.... doing so my life has become a hell..... Say... I am at an important juncture of a story.... all of a sudden, I remember I have to post in that food group or this.... that is disturbing and absolutely uncalled for.... the pleasure of blogging was going, the amount of reading got minimal which definitely will make me even poorer a writer! How I regret of not practising to write when I should have.... everything improves with practise. This easy, sweet snack recipe of TIL BADAM .... that is a medley of roasted white sesame seed, roasted peanuts and jaggery does not require much practice, it is that simple. I just added some cashew nuts & pistachios to it! Ask me where did I taste it first? It was in Kusadasi.... a small township in Turkey with lots of history.... Ancient Roman to Byzantine architecture! There we were taken to curio shops to buy carpets, goodies like lokum, baklava, handmade soaps, very exclusive Iranian saffron and this TIL BADAM .... Trust me, I myself was too surprised to find something so homely there.... I mean before we knew Southern India, we tasted "tiler naru".... Now that we live in an island with a considerable population of Southern Indian origin, we get very good quality of "tiler naru to badam tokti to even muri bars".... haha! It was silly to ask the store attendants to share the recipe of it, tasting a little from what on display, I screamed literally.... "husband... this is nothing else but gur diye til badam"..... So, do it with me in few easy steps for your family and visiting guests or take it to homes you are visiting instead of store bought sweets.... it will emanate happiness.... within you and get spread  around! Shall we?




INGREDIENTS :

RAW SKINLESS PEANUT : 1SMALL CUP
WHITE SESAME SEED : 1/2SMALL CUP
JAGGERY : 4-5 TBSP
GREEN CARDAMOM POWDER : 1/4TSP
CASHEW NUT : 7-8 HALVED
PISTACHIO : 7-8 

PROCEDURE :

We have taken the raw, skinless peanuts and the white sesame seeds in separate plates.



Heat a wok on your gas stove, add the raw sesame seeds and stir at low heat for a minute or two. They will be light brown in colour and not burnt. A step very crucial and to be done carefully!



Store it on a plate and add the skinless, raw peanuts to the heated wok. Again, we have to toast them very carefully without allowing them to burn. Gently stir them at low heat for 2-3 minutes and take down.




Add the jaggery and a medium sized cup full of water to the wok. Let boil at low heat for quite sometime allowing the mixture to get sticky.... Somewhere in between, add the green cardamom powder.



Add the roasted peanuts first and fold in very well. This will take 1/2 a minute or so! 





 Now add the roasted, white sesame seeds and stir for a minute or so. Rolling the peanut & jaggery mixture on the roasted white sesame seeds would have been a better idea but it did not make any difference!



We had microwaved the cashew nuts & pistachios and roughly chopped the later. Now we will add it to the sweet snack mixture and fold in gently.




Take down, let cool and its ready to be served! We can store it in sterilised, dry, airtight containers up to 4-5 days. Do not refrigerate!






















Sunday, 28 October 2018

TIL NARKOL POTOL




Yes, this lady is missing "posto"... poppyseed way too much these days .... its been over a year now we are not having it.... just waiting for December to come. "We are missing" is wrongly said, my not so Bengali men do not miss the heirloom, simple Bengali Recipes... the reason why I wish to compile them here in this space.... no one in the family is going to cook a TIL NARKOL POTOL after me, the junior has to be fed such dishes being mashed with dal and rice! Even if his wife wishes to, she would not cook something that her man has to be fed forcefully.... I sincerely hope she would not sit at home like me! The senior would have this kinds of "neat" vegetarian food but not mixed vegetable medleys .... I just struggle to keep such recipes alive by tricks... like with a mixed vegetable dish, I keep a "choto chingri diye dal" and a "fish curry with boneless fish and not maacher jhol".... they are happy and I am relieved.... Things are not same with all of this generation kids.... Our couple friend Ipsita & Soumya's 8th grader son cooked "bori diye kochur loti" day before yesterday and sent a boxful for me! On way to receive it in a hurry, I slipped off my feet.... something serious could have happened .... the lazy me is sad being unable to go for the walks and eating "naru and chirer murki".... why blame a doctor or the overweight! Rujuta prescribes paratha and jaggery after a proper workout, not to the lazy us. I wonder how severe overweights with smaller kids can be so unaware of their future, its irritating... So is irritating some people's behaviour.... I do not struggle anymore to be in their good book, I will not, I refuse to go out of the way for people who cannot be nice towards my family.... in this case it refers to my son and husband! I was never a social being.... these days I feel I do not need many people around me.... just a few like minded! I do not blame people who love to create a false aura around them and consider themselves to be a king / queen / the best whatever! I do not really blame them... if we parents keep bragging about our son or daughter as the best since childhood.... that too in front of them, they do not learn to appreciate the qualities in others! If they fail to achieve what they wish for, they get frustrated and start criticising successful people who possess talent far more than them.... they cannot accept it because they were not taught to! I am a failure, I get frustrated but I never seize to appreciate in others what I do not have. However, people should not suffer from low self esteem like me! I however continue to pity those who have created a false paradise for themselves surrounded by "pleasers" who do not have the guts to speak the truth about their so called friend! Look at my friends Nishi & Rupsha.... they did not pursue science, hence was not the "toppers" in school.... I cannot speak or write a single line like them.... the very mediocre Indirra or Chandrayee or Bidisha ... made a place for themselves at their workplace.... a 'better than an average Sandip but not a topper' or say even a "failed in one or two subjects" Pravin or Goutam indeed did good in life .... a very bright & intelligent student of our time who could not even pursue higher studies due to poverty has recently owned a brand new Audi a4.... I feel extremely proud to hear that.... even broke into tears! Look at my friend Neeti, who herself teaches Biology in an international school.... her husband has reached a position where very few can reach at age 45... she is proud but never brags... I love it! Then there is a Sreyashi Das.... who is about 10 years younger than me and tasted sorrows in its toughest form.... did not cease to live  and now is the principal of Delhi Public School, Agartala. I will always remember her not because she got me a job in this island but she gave me a precious compliment.... "I got you the job because I have full faith in you.... I owe to this school and is loyal to it, never will let wrong people in".... I stopped meeting her while at Kolkata.... ask me why? Well, that bothers "some" a lot, those who are always in fear of losing control over people around.... those who can gift you gold, silver, silks to keep you in their pockets! Somehow, S is that kind who did not even allow her "P".... daddy to buy an expensive Benarasi Saree for her wedding... "P get me a low cost one... do not waste on something I will not wear much... ohh, uggh 'chokchokey, jholmoley laal saree'..... Well, she is fighting with her husband now .... "bochorey ekta goyna kiney dibina boukey?"..... haha.... I place my demands to my sole confidant... a very good friend, my senior! Daughters... build yourselves in such a manner that you get to meet others' demands. By the way, S wishes to make it very clear to the people around that she demarcates very clearly between "a friend and a family friend".... she has very few friends in this world! S does not look like a queen or wishes to be a virtual one and poke her nose in areas she should not. She remains that silly, little girl who prefers to leave the stage where wrong people hug each other! S however is very proud of herself of not being a "mean" and being able to appreciate wholeheartedly those people who possess "quality".... Here to all of you people.... who I dislike or like both.... a very humble, not so authentic Bengali recipe with pointed gourds, sesame seeds and coconut.... TIL NARKOL POTOL.

This recipe is authentic when we do it with poppy seed paste.... ahem.... this island will never take care of my sorrows! Poppy Seed is a very West Bengal thing but those who migrated from East Bengal got adopted to it quickly.... like we may have it on a regular basis but not in that frequency as does the origins of West Bengal. I love it, actually I eat a variety of food in turns. Unfortunately, I am unable to digest them all. Like the quantity of a Southern Indian dish and that of the Bahargaon is too big for me.... why did I take that veggie with vadai?... it prevents acidity... I am a primitive Bengali... Rice grain is therapeutic to me.... Look below, how less I cooked yesterday... I am actually planning to cook  fresh and sleek dishes next week.... if I prepare drumstick leaves and shredded carrot parathas for my men... they will love to have a vegetarian meal.... junior will have it with chilli sauce, me-husband-Cristine with raita and pickle.... Cristine is going home... her father and brother are sick... I have to plan meticulously! Oh! Yes, while the men were served the leftover minced, mutton rice and baby naan with spicy white snapper fillets yesterday for lunch, the primitive S could not think having anything else when there had some "begun aloo shutki".... with her favourite brown rice.... haha! S had to leave the stage long back making way to welcome the "wanted"..... that is fine.... but not the wrong! While you get busy accusing S of being contradictory, of rebuking people with a habit of interference and herself trying to control lives of other people at the same time... that also of people who denies S's existence altogether and  what she dislikes.... let me share with you this recipe of TIL NARKOL POTOL.... "til naryal wale parwal sabzi".... because I do not know the psychology deep inside my caged ribs .... why I do not want some in someone's life while very much want few others to surround the same person as a shield ..... I do not know....  I am complicated.... way more than this easy to make but good to eat  TIL NARKOL POTOL.... Enough of silly talks, I need to prepare some chapati or luchi and serve with the shahi paneer or do you suggest a  lemon rice?





Dal is a constant at this home, how much they say it is too high in protein and contributes to weight gain!





INGREDIENTS : 

Pointed Gourd : 8-10
White Sesame Seed : 2tbsp
Black Mustard Seed : 1tsp
Shredded Coconut : 1small cup
Green Chilli : 5-6-7
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Nigella Seed / Kalonji / Kalojeera : 1/4tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2 halved
Salt : As Required
Oil : 5-6tbsp


PROCEDURE :

Wash the potol / parwal / pointed gourds! Cut the two ends of each. Take off the skin thinly keeping a gap of 1-2 inch. A our home, we do not peel off all of the skin of a potol.... if you wish to prepare a potoler khosha bata then you are welcome.

Wash them thoroughly under running water. Apply little salt & 1/2tsp turmeric and keep aside for 10 minutes.

We will dry roast the sesame seeds, take them and the mustard seeds on a strainer and wash.

We will blend together the sesame seeds, mustard seeds, green chillies, salt to a smooth paste adding little water.

Heat oil in a wok, fry the pointed gourds in batches till light brown.

Take out on a plate.

Temper oil with with nigella seeds and the halved dry red chillies. Add the shredded coconut and fry till light brown.

Add the spice paste now and fold in well. Stir for not more than 1/2 a minutes.

Add the pointed gourds now and fold in well. Stir at lowest heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add a cup of water, fold in well and cook covered for 5-6 minutes at lowest heat! You can add some slitted green chillies before taking down.




Friday, 26 October 2018

GHEE MAWA CAKE



At this home.... all the celebrations are in between the month of October and December.... thereafter it continues with the brother's birthday in January. They rightly say that be it a celebration or festival.... it is continuous.... I say .... there is only one life... live it.... saying so I am again not taking into consideration those majority of the mass for whom each day is a struggle to get a plate of rice or two chapatis.... So, those of who criticise a Mother Teresa saying she did everything to attain sainthood.... stop your nonsense... I am not bothered about her or similar others' intentions.... that many a homeless got / get food, shelter, health care is good enough reason to support them. Yes, in my country of birth... NGOs do misuse funds, the reason I hesitate to transfer money online without knowing the organisation well... its my husband's hard earned money. I wish to put in my labour for such concerns instead .... the selfish me is waiting for the son to reach somewhere.... my kinds can never be care givers... their self comes first to them.... Those of us who were wearing heavy silks and jewelries worth lakhs of rupees were not willing to donate 10-20 dollars to "dhaki da"... the drummer in the Durga Pooja venue... so, I like those who are unlike me! It feels great to know that some of the Kolkata Pooja Committees came forward to include the needy, visually impaired, unfortunate women in the pooja affairs.... good move indeed!

Coming to the celebration part, today is indeed a very special day at this home! While S prepares some good food on this day every year, she is limping around. As you know I am the one who lacks common sense...... yesterday, I gave my indoor plants a water bath, then totally forgot all about it... obviously this humpty dumpty had a great fall in that spilled water. She injured her right knee bone.



Should she stop cooking now and serve the family a "dimer jhol bhat"?.... No, she will not! The family will neither pamper her knee nor will rebel for having egg curry and rice... they are accommodative if it is not a vegetarian meal. I cannot sit just like that today.... planning for some prawn cutlets, shahi paneer, mutton kheema rice, parantha and a chocolate cake for dinner. If the pain does not come on my way, I will. It is not proving anything to anyone.... I love cooking and more so on special days! Few days back I prepared a rich chocolate cake for the family and I was to meet someone, it tasted very well but I do not know where I went wrong, it fluffed up and then went down.... Today's one too I will not blog on... you know to blog on it... I may add pistachios and rose syrup to chocolate... The world needs "maitreyi"... Come keep your hands on mine and atop one more and continue! As of now let us enjoy with this GHEE MAWA CAKE I prepared last month. It really came out well, tasted like a barfi cake... hahaha! As of my knee, it will take some time to recover. Cristine has given me a pain relieving oil and that pain removing strip.... my weird boy told "besh hoyeche".... he does not even tell us if he gets hurt in the school or if he feels sick unless it is serious... he has gone after his father. Mumma had been pampered thoroughly by her mother.... the mother who cried inconsolably when she saw her married daughter takes bread butter and apple to her work place everyday, that no one offers her a "lebur shorbot" once she came back home around 1:30pm thirsty, hungry. I told her several times to stop... Mani, the daughter at that home cooks her own food back from office while her mother watches television! However, our mother continues to prepare "doier ghol" for her 41 year old son, the reason why he is not moving to my favourite city Mumbai after repeated calls from the company. The brother who was beaten hard by the father at age 8-9 for dancing to the tune of "I am a disco dancer" at the Durga Pooja Pandal. A middle class Bengali father did not know that a "one two ka four, four two ka one" and immense hard work got people mansions in Mumbai to other major cities of the world, high end cars perhaps for each member of the family... while my brother has to remain happy with his tiny red beauty from Hyundai... losing his Samsung cell phone while boarding crowded trains. Anyway, do not compare your kids, it is my brother who took care of his parents, continues to. Take note that his father ironed his trouser a day before he went to the state of coma... haha! Coming from that home, I have to cook some goodies today, I cannot sit idle with my legs stretched!

Did my husband caress my wound... nah.... do I expect? I do very much... Am I hurt? A bit, not much because I know when things are serious, he will take me on his shoulder if required and lay me down only at the hospital bed... he did carry the 70kg me in a stretcher to the third floor when I got back home with our one week old monkey... we did not have a lift in that building. Except for his sister, no one in his family know how to speak softly, how to win hearts with some kind words.... sniff... sniff... I still do... Be a little strict with your daughters, you do not know where she lands in future! Anyway... take a look at the "kumro phools" on my pumpkin plant. These are my simple pleasures. I did fry them but you know each one of us need 5-6.... so not satisfied!




What is satisfying is that I am gradually coming out of the madness of getting viewership to the blog.... I mean this "ghanta pooja" is really getting tiresome.... When I wish to go for a walk, I force myself to stay back thinking this is the best time for sharing... that is stupidity and surely taking a toll on my health and in the weight loss mission... I should enjoy blogging and finally decide to share only on my personal streams some day. I am really concerned and worried about some extremely skilled bloggers who had thousands of followers in Google Plus.... which is going to be shut down. Off course, it is good to be teamed up with them in Face Book...  I wish to stay put with my friends' food posts even though I do not interact much. Most of the time I miss their posts because I do not look around.... Like I remember another ace blogger from Mumbai Moumita Kundu Malla blogged on a Mawa Cake some two years back.... I read then if not now... I do not even get to see her posts these days... she also has the habit of vanishing from the scene like one of my sister like.... and I eventually lost track. So, this GHEE MAWA CAKE is my creation.... may be on similar lines with others... but I did not consult any recipe recently.... This home is on a celebration mode today, so let us all enjoy with a piece of GHEE MAWA CAKE done with clarified butter, semi-solidified milk, brown sugar, green cardamom powder ... very few ingredients... right?





INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE INSTANT MAWA / SEMI SOLIDIFIED MILK]

POWDERED MILK : 2SMALL CUP
CLARIFIED BUTTER / GHEE : 4TBSP [I USE LESS THAN RECOMMENDED]
FULL CREAM MILK : 5-6TBSP
SUGAR : 1TBSP

INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE CAKE]

THE MAWA
BROWN SUGAR : 1SMALL CUP [ALTERNATIVELY NORMAL SUGAR]
REFINED FLOUR : 1COFFEE MUG
FULL CREAM MILK : 1MEDIUM CUP
GREEN CARDAMOM POWDER : 1TSP
GHEE : 1SMALL CUP
BAKING POWDER : 1TSP
BAKING SODA : 1/4TSP

PROCEDURE :

Let us prepare the semi-solidified milk first. Take the powdered milk, 5-6 tbsp full cream milk and 4 tbsp clarified butter in a bowl and mix well.




Microwave the mixture at high for 3-4 minutes, pausing and stirring every 1 minute.




To it add 1 small cup of ghee / clarified butter and 1 small cup of brown sugar and a cup of milk thereafter.





I had beaten the entire content for 5 minutes with a tablespoon. I got this.



Hold a clean, big strainer just above the batter containing bowl. Pour the refined flour, baking powder and soda on it . Mix lightly and strain.



Mix together the batter very well. Add the green cardamom powder and mix well again. That is what we get.







Preheat oven to 180*C. Pour the the batter into a cake tin. Poor bakers like me should always use aluminium foils.


Place the cake tin onto the low stool meant for baking in a convection mode microwave. Bake at 180* for 30 minutes first and then 5-8 minutes more if required!


Let cool and enjoy with tea or coffee!


Sunday, 21 October 2018

ANARASHER SANDESH



So, a week long celebration comes to an end finally.... as all good things do! Durga Pooja for us is a cyclic celebration... the wait is little longer.... say for 365 days.... thats it! We totally enjoy the festival staying here far from home. In fact, I am scared now of the Kolkata Pooja.... I am definitely not in support of getting to see the mother's face as early as on Mahalaya neither am I comfortable with the idea of pandal hopping in the crowd. To park the car a mile away from each pandal and joining the queue seems scary to me now. I totally enjoy the ride in a personal chauffeur driven car here in this island, in return I cook good food for him and digest all the threats he showers on me.... What else can I expect from a person who told me this when we got engaged.... "T to what extent would you be romantic towards me, how happy do you feel getting to be with me?" Take a look at the answer.... he said.... "yes, I am happy... I can make slits on your body with a knife, rub some salt and enjoy watching your reaction.... I will tie you with a robe, hang you onto  a moving fan and enjoy watching it!" The clever person was testing the durability of my feelings.... I understood, did not express my fear .... You see that patience got me a good chauffeur for free.... so I cook ANARASHER SANDESH to 8-9 dishes on a Saturday. That really helps me you know. I will just make some parathas on a Monday morning, reheat the cauliflower-potato curry and pack their lunch boxes. Their short break boxes are usually packed with fruits and sweets or homemade cakes... even store bought cakes & sweets at times. I am not so happy with the quality of the Indian sweets here.... so I make my own sweets at home with the soft & supple paneer made at home.... Once I finish sharing the recipe of ANARASHER SANDESH with you, I will prepare some "luchi / poori".... take out the mutton kheema curry and serve hot their favourite lunch.... I would have been happier if they had some salad & raita in the platter. Mumma prepared both chicken & mutton within a span of 12 hours.... ask me why? The son is more like his father.... not in the habit of complaining usually. He was away from home during the entire week of Durga Pooja on an outbound trip from the school to Cambodia! Once back, he told that there were more vegetarian food in offer than meat, so he did not enjoy the food. Most of the students in Indian schools are vegetarian, hence our son will have problem and mumma has to cook chicken and mutton both for him! I could not manage the dried fish bharta yesterday.... both me and Cristine were feeling tired.... we had our lunch at 5pm and you can well imagine the husband's mood who says the priorities of my life are wrong.... He wishes to go out for a driving practice with me on a Sunday morning and I prefer to write a blog post. I mean I do not have the patience to learn anything.... its going to be 2 years ever since I have got a driving licence but cannot take the car out alone even in the neighbourhood.... the husband has to sit beside. I go for swimming classes down below.... while the co-learners learnt it in 5 classes, I am still struggling with a floater.... The brother is the same, lacks patience .... he will watch Formula1 and play car games over the weekends but will not go out with his wife for a driving session, he is a skilled driver. His mobile phone got pick pocketed while boarding a train last to last week..... he bought a bit expensive one not required to..... next day his wife transferred that big amount to his account as a pooja gift! You know why we siblings are like this? Our mother spoon fed us. However, I love to cook like her although she does not recommend eating stale food ever....




Even after cooking a couple of dishes, I forced myself to go out for a walk in the dusk. I am scared now after eating beyond the limit for 5 long days.... Its not about the overweight factor, that I am a diabetic is a concern! Each day on my walk, I engage in some silly clicking... be it a "hanging dalim" or a "dedicated runner couple".... By the time I unlocked my cell phone, they surpassed me and went ahead.... Couple workouts are always fruitful.... At this home if I offer so.... the man's expression seems as if he is "ghost stricken".... look at what he is doing.... the one who can sleep 16 hours a day if given a chance. Post workout, I love some chilled coolers.... people were having their weekend dinner by then... I was observing the young couple in black..... so engrossed in themselves.... right associations can feel secluded amidst a crowd, they do not need dark corners! .... In one of those shoe box high rises lives a couple who are very good friends.... yet a she misses her best friend in him.... she wishes to let her hair down totally in his presence as she used to do in her teens.... Leave that, I click and wish to weave stories revolving my silly clicks .... I lack stock of words that can be called good literature. I loved that chilled drink... a mixture of milk tea and coffee. I had a chia seed banana sugar free dinner, while the rest had prawn, 'bhindi bhaja, dal'. If you reheat fried 'bhindi' in the microwave, it gets crispy again. My problem is that I cannot stick to healthy eating, I will end up eating two 'luchi' for lunch!












Yesterday, I updated the pictures of an old blog post.... MAACH TARKARIR JHOL ..... Now I wish to share this Bengali style sweet / sandesh recipe done with chena / paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese and Pineapple Paste! Here, we get very good quality readymade pineapple paste but I preferred to prepare it fresh. Those super sweet, smaller variety comes from Thailand! If your pineapple is not that sweet, use more sugar! This sweet really tasted good as we Bengalis prefer paneer more than mawa as the  base for a sweet! If you follow the stepwise pictures, you will know that this ANARASHER SANDESH is done with few ingredients. Come let us do this Bengali style sweet together!

An old blog post of a fish curry with few veggies gets updated with new pictures, do have a look!

MAACH TARKARIR JHOL




INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE PANEER / CHENA / INDIAN COTTAGE CHEESE]

FRESH FULL CREAM MILK : 2LT 
LEMON JUICE : 4-5TBSP
ICE CUBE : 1SMALL CUP [PREVENTS THE PANEER BECOMING HARD]


INGREDIENTS : [ FOR ANARASHER SANDESH]

THE PANEER / CHENA / INDIAN COTTAGE CHEESE
FRESH PINEAPPLE CUBE : 1COFFEE MUG [1/2 OF A STANDARD SIZED PINEAPPLE]
SUGAR : 1/4SMALL CUP
GREEN CARDAMOM POWDER : 1/2TSP [FRESHLY MADE]
SCREWPINE ESSENCE : 2-3DROPS
CHOPPED PISTACHIO OR SLICED ALMOND TO GARNISH
GREASE YOUR HANDS WITH LITTLE GHEE BEFORE YOU START TO SHAPE THE SWEET


PROCEDURE :

Let us prepare the paneer / chena / Indian Cottage Cheese first. Take the milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and put for boil. As it comes to boil, add the lemon juice 1tbsp at a time while we keep stirring the content. 

Once the milk curdles, stop adding the lemon juice. Add the ice cubes immediately. We will not wait for the content to cool down.... the mistake I was doing all this while.



We will immediately pass it through a white, clean, cotton or muslin cloth. 

We will store the whey for a later use in curries or doughs, just refrigerate it. I saw my mother using it  to curdle a fresh batch of milk ... we had to have chena everyday.




Tie the cloth properly. I never wash the chena before tying the knot, I love the smell of fresh lemon.

Tie it tight to the kitchen tap and leave for 45 minutes or little more.




You can see how Cristine helps me in all my cooking adventures.

Meanwhile, we will peel, wash and chop the pineapple. We get the readymade, peeled one in the local fruit store and all over the island!




Take the chopped fruit pieces in a blender and blend at high for 2-3 minutes to get a paste. Pause in between. I spoilt two machines already.




After 45 minutes to 1 hour, take down and untie the knot... the paneer looks lucrative!




We will take it on a plate. Washing the cloth is Cristine's headache!

Now we will knead it for 5-7 minutes.... amazing palm exercising mechanism.





Heat a wok and add the pineapple paste, amount of sugar to be used and the green cardamom powder.




Stir for about 4-5 minutes at low heat. 




Add the kneaded chena / paneer / Indian cottage cheese.




Fold in well and keep stirring for 4-5 minutes. Add few drops of screw pine water at this stage.





Transfer the entire content to a plate. Let it cool a bit. We will knead it for 3-4 minutes while its still warm.




Take out small portions and use your palms to get the desired shapes. The moulds I got from the Dakhineshwar Temple ground are not of good quality, moreover I am poor at anything that needs patience and artistry. I got to know that we get good quality of sandesh moulds in the Chitpur area of Kolkata.... I do not visit that area although I crave for Royal er Biryani. I would request our good friend Joy Ghosh to get 3-4 shapes for me!

This sweet tastes best if eaten fresh, we can refrigerate it up to 2-3 days.