Friday, 30 November 2018

LAU CHINGRI


After a wonderful lunch date yesterday with some yummy North Indian Food, I felt strongly to go Authentic Bengali today! This LAU CHINGRI was long due, I mean a Bengali Blogger adding this recipe with bottle gourd and prawns after over four years of her blog's inception is a sin.... not excusable! These days I have stopped thinking too much about what I blog on... this is a Northern Indian Group .... that Southern Indian.... again a pure Bengali Group... or the guilt.... "should I share a  porota recipe in a purely Oriental Group of this island?"...."if more traffic comes from the vegetarian groups, should I blog on fish or meat?".... Now that the "kumrar mishtanno utsab" is over, I can feel thankful .... oh! I could get out of all these, my home will not be in a mess henceforth! Cristine returns tomorrow.... I am happy, she may not be.... her father is unwell. The husband called me a self-centric because I got angry when Cristine asked for the extension of leave till today... he spent extra amount of dollars to get her tickets changed. What he does not see is that I cleaned Cristine's room so that she does not have to! I have cleaned every corner of this home so that she does not feel over burdened all of a sudden. Look what I got in her room.... It feels good to see that she reads whatever it is even after or in between her busy schedule.... I felt happy.... will definitely ask her... does she want me to buy any specific genre for her or she may select from ours' too!


I remember, few years back I gifted a story book to a little girl of this island, looking at her mother's facial expression I decided that I will never ever take a book to that home.... better I gift dresses and make-up boxes.... Everyone need not be a book lover but reading is a habit which is to be respected! It is always up to the respective parents what they want their kids to be! Then the husband says "do not force your likes on others S"...... I listen to that these days so much so that I mingle only with those who satisfy my tastebud.... and strictly so.... a vice-versa is so welcome! So, yesterday's lunch date was extremely satisfying with whom I could discuss socio-politico-religious issues on a lighter tone .... who was it I cannot say but the "makki di roti, sarson wali saag, malai chicken tikka" was awesome.... the masala chai & phirni is not in the picture. If anyone of this island is reading this, I would always recommend the eatery "Mustard" near Tekka Centre... I love their kebabs... never undercooked!


I do love Northern Indian saag preparations, I did get fresh bunch of "shorshe shaak" yesterday... Instead of "pata bata", I am thinking of doing it with some "cream-shim"..... Leave that, come to me.... after that lunch.... I had to have a "jilipi" in the evening .... my secret gateway to happiness....


Since I went to the Indian wet market, I bought "sheem, desher fulkopi, rui maach, ilish"..... "uff jompesh Bangali ranna hobey aaj o kaal".... From next week, I will start my shopping for the family in India.... so long the little brother gets them, he does not have a problem with didibhai cooking prawns, crab whatever! As I always say that CURRY AND SPICE is not solely a family affair.... though it is largely meant to be a space for sharing family recipes.... LAU CHINGRI is one such. Question is how can the husband, Old Dr.Chang or his son tolerate me after looking at my food intake. The husband has a reason may be.... the wife packed his lunch box with "luchi o dhoney phoron diye aloo chocchori".... do not expect anything more.... for that you have to go to my friends.... my life is miserable without Cristine!



I do not hesitate to applause the qualities people possess in public.... if only I think it is so.... I do not fear loosing followers... I do not have decent body parts to flaunt and get some either, man... jealousy?... you can say! "maago jilipi... tui porer jonmey amar dharey kachey jodi ashish".... What they say is true.... "being tactful" is not my cuppa... Like, I will not hesitate a bit to say that in a group, I like the smile of that guy with a bulging out stomach... haha... keep it going.... your types really maintain the balance of this world. On my next birth if I can avoid "jilipi & patha"..... I will definitely try to "attract" happening guys be it at 15 or at 50.... Till then let me live my life... Old Dr. Chang's son Dr.Vincent would always think I am in depression.... How much I say that I am that way, smile does not come naturally to me unless it is an "ilish, patha" or these giant mangoes & tangerines... he has to ask me in each visit. These mangoes supplied from Australia really taste near to our Himsagar... During this time of the year, I wait for this super sweet tangerine... that comes either from China or ... or... or... forgot... haha.... I wish to forget many a things.... A dementia patient becomes too dependant, else I would not mind to be one ... absolute peace that is!



At our home LAU CHINGRI is done without using any spice paste. If the bottle gourd / lau is young and fresh, the prawns too.... you do not need to.... the chopped fresh coriander does the work. Earlier, I used to love "maacher matha diye lau ghonto".... these days I cannot have big fish heads of rui-katla unless the mother cooks it in Kolkata.... I am also waiting to visit the husband's maternal uncles' family.... my favourite "boro mami" stays there... love her "bhanga chora shukto" and "aloo diye murgir patla jhol".... Daughter of a fish seller, she did not even complete her schooling but stays with her daughter-in-law under one roof.... happily! I love spending a day there.... so much of warmth I can feel. If you can touch my soul, I am readily at your feet..... I do not wish to be protocol bound! Anyway, the morons at this home eat vegetables which has meat and prawns thrown in to in good amount.... So, the not at all tactful woman learnt to play tricks in her kitchen.... so meat stews, tahiri with vegetables and chicken or gajar-beans-motorshuti-maach polao keep happening! How much of "shorshe shaak" I use for "cream da saag".... I did feel happy when the son wasted rice with palak dal yesterday.... ask me why? Half of the rice mumma served with "deboned ilish bhaja o tel".... that he ate all.... haha! "jee chota maat karo"... you bet they will eat that "creamy sarson saag" when served with "porota".... If you want Southern India on my boys' plates... ok when they visit you serve them spicy, baked batang steaks, meat stuffed dosa or idli, egg stew with appam, deep fried pomfret... haha.... but this blog is not entirely for my boys either.... so there will be "chalkumror pur bhaja" soon! This "love for Bong" have cost me likes, followers or readers... do I care? This blog is a space for me to unwind.... I am stubborn... and only kiss what I can respect or at times do not do that either!



INGREDIENTS :

LAU / BOTTLEGOURD : 1STANDARD SIZED
PRAWN : 250-300GM MEDIUM SIZED [FRESH]
CHOPPED FRESH CORIANDER : 3-4TBSP
SLITTED GREEN CHILLI : 3-4
CUMIN SEEDS OR NIGELLA SEED : 1/4TSP
DRY RED CHILLI : 2HALVED
BAYLEAF : 1
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/2TSP + 1/4TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 5-6TBSP [I USE MUSTARD OIL]

PROCEDURE :

De vein the prawns, wash them thoroughly. I always recommend to keep the head of them unless your kid is a moron as mine.

Apply some salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder to them and rub well. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Remove the skin of the bottle gourd, discard the two ends.

Cut into 4 halves, wash thoroughly.

Now shred each piece in a grater. Try to buy young bottle gourds always.

Apply little salt and 1/4tsp of turmeric.

Heat the oil in a wok, discard the marinade and lightly fry the prawns. Take them out to be used later.

Temper the oil with the cumin or nigella seeds, bayleaf and halved dry red chillies.

Add the shredded bottle gourd along with marinade. Fold in well and cover cook at  lowest heat for 12-14 minutes. Check in between.

A lot of water will release. Once the water is almost dry, add the fried prawns and slitted green chillies, 1/3rd of the washed & chopped fresh coriander.

Fold in well and gently stir for a while till the water dries up and the content turns a little brown.

Add the rest of the chopped fresh coriander now and gently mix.

We enjoyed it with steamed rice, deep fried Indian River Sprat and Palak Dal {kechki maach bhaja o palong er dal}....




Wednesday, 28 November 2018

SPICY CHICKEN RICE & GREEN MASALA PANEER


Its been ages that I have not prepared a traditional Biryani at home, instead prefer a meat Tahiri.... lazy brats think alike you know. The husband does eat a tahiri without a noise but that he does even if you serve him "aloo sheddo bhaat".... You get to know that he is craving for Biryani when he concludes after having a plateful of Tahiri ... "tahiri is nowhere near to biryani".... Wife gets it from outside but this island cannot make biryani... Kolkatans always prefer an Awadhi Biryani! The platter you can see with rice & chicken.... combo meal of a main & sides, SPICY CHICKEN RICE & GREEN MASALA PANEER is not even a tahiri... it was part of a dinner menu last week when I was lamenting over our inability to go out for a lavish family dinner! I told the men, let us postpone it and prepare a humble dinner for us.... I did not have the energy to go out to the market and prepared with whatever was available in the pantry. Like there were no beans but carrot... I thought "yehi sahi".... Each time I prepare a tahiri, I browse the internet, this time I did not do that.... so naming the platter got difficult. If you say so, the amount of happiness I get while blogging on a "ilish maacher matha diye kochu shaaker ghonto" or "chalkumror pur bhaja" is unmatchable.... they are authentic family recipes. Do not know when to. There are celebrations around every other day and I had to make friendship with people from different communities... ohh! Anyway, what I did with the chicken, basmati rice, paneer was good in taste, else I would not have blogged on it. The son did not waste a bit means it was good. I hate wastage, hence dieting is kept at bay. Cristine is not there to share the left overs with me or help me out in the kitchen. So, I have no other way but to eat "panta bhaat with bandhakopir bora, peyaz, kanchalanka"... undoubtedly one of my most loved food. "Aisa nehi ki baharwalo ke saath dosti nehi hai meri"... those sweet buns & fruits goes to their snack boxes.... That is fine but breads going to my stomach with tea is not at all okay! Next month Mani will say "besh komey giyechili abar shorir bhari hoye geche"..... The mother-in-law will give instances of other's wives how beautiful they are... shiny bright skin or "tiyapakhir moto thot, tikolo naak"..... I myself adore anything that is beautiful because I was indoctrinated to on my teens... that I do wholeheartedly.... When anyone insults me, I do take the liberty to insult them in return.... like my husband's paternal grandmother was a beautiful, very hardworking woman.... the Vaishnavi who cooked her own food in a small stove until her death at age 84.... none of her three daughter-in-laws are anywhere near to her in beauty or qualities.... the youngest one is an excellent cook though! "Thakuma" loved me, always told "you are learned, do not counter attack when a fight occurs between you two".... She definitely complained that her eldest son goes to office making his own tea when the rest in the family sleeps till 12pm... None of you can make such complaints about me, I do not pack their lunch boxes with store bought food... it was egg-potato rice yesterday. I have not excused, but tolerated till date all the bad-mouthing of my mother-in-law only because she is my loving husband's mother.... mind it, not mine! The best things at her home and wardrobe goes from this home....





Anything with rice is enticing to me, be it some "makhon / ghee bhaat, panta bhaat" or this SPICY CHICKEN RICE & GREEN MASALA PANEER..... I think I have a green paneer curry blogged on earlier.... however this one I marinated and cooked in grill option.... so let it be!


I am cooking less number of dishes at a time, cleaning all the cupboards is my priority now.... that is keeping me so busy... then throwing away the old pans, buying new needs going out frequently. Do you like my new omelette pan?... I do like having omelette once in a while... solo or with rice & dal or bread... digesting them is a problem.


If I had high metabolic rate, my meals would have been like "panta with daler bora, kancha lanka, peyaz".... "bhaat, begun bhaja with dal or ghee, ekta kancha lanka".... "maar bhaat, aloo sheddo, ekta maach bhaja"..... "aloo-peyaz bhaja, porota".... "kochi pathar patla jhol... jui phool bhaat"..... "Bangali French toast, Danish Bread, chop-cutlet-shingara cha".... each and everyday! Look at my husband, you cannot make him eat anything except for the three meals a day! He will have appetisers only when guests come over, else its only nuts with his wine & beer! On weekends, he does enjoy a "jhal-muri".... The son and his mother are having too much of prawn crackers and "jhuri bhaja".... thinking of getting only mixed-nut snackers now onwards besides the individual packets.... Bengalis do not eat fox nuts and all... they are healthy! Anyway, this platter of SPICY CHICKEN RICE & GREEN MASALA PANEER is wholesome and tasty both.... Besides, I prepared a macaroni-paneer kheer too as a dessert .... our mother used to prepare a "roshogolla-paneer er payesh" which both of us siblings loved! Distant Memories give you both pleasure and pain.... I make it a point to enjoy them just as tequila shots!!



INGREDIENTS : [for the SPICY CHICKEN RICE]

Chicken : 750gm
Basmati Rice : 1coffee mug
Plain Yogurt : 1/2coffee mug beaten
Potato : 2-3 medium sized [peel, wash, remove skin, cut half]
Onion : 2medium [remove skin, discard two ends, wash, slice]
Carrot : 1 [ends discarded, peeled, washed]
Green Chilli : 3-4 [slitted, washed]
Mint Leaf : 12-15 [washed]
Coriander Leaf : 2-3 sprig [washed, roots discarded, washed]
Curry Leaf : 8-10 [washed]
Garlic Paste : 2tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Meat Masala Powder : 1tbsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 11/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Star Anise : 2
Green Cardamom : 3-4 [slightly torn]
Cinnamon Stick : 2-3 two-three inch sized
Clove : 3-4
Bayleaf : 2-3
Salt : As Required
Ghee : 4tbsp
Oil : 2tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the GREEN MASALA PANEER]

Paneer : 250-300gm
Mint Leaf : 10-12
Chopped Coriander : 2-3tbsp
Green Chilli : 2-3
Plain Yogurt : 2tbsp
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2-3tbsp

PROCEDURE :

Let us wash the chicken pieces thoroughly under running water and marinate with some salt, plain yogurt that is beaten, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin & coriander powder, meat masala powder, ginger & garlic paste nicely and keep aside covered for 1-11/2 hours.





Soak the cut and washed potatoes and carrots in salted water for an hour or so.

Wash the onion slices and the green herbs & slitted green chillies nicely too!






For the Green Masala Paneer, prepare a paste with all the ingredients mentioned except for the paneer pieces and oil.

Marinate the washed and cut paneer pieces with the paste and oil for an hour.





Wash and soak the rice 1/2 an hour before adding it to the 1/2cooked chicken.




For the Spicy, Chicken Rice, heat the oil and ghee together in oil. Temper with star anise, bayleaf, cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms, cloves.



Add the sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add the curry leaves and stir for a minute. I forgot to click this step or did I burn the onion slices singing an old Bollywood number.... "Akhiyon ko rehne do, Akhiyon ke aas paas".... I hum to good old 1950-60's numbers.... 

Anyway, add the marinated chicken. Give a gentle stir to fold in everything well.



Lower the heat to minimum and cover cook for 8-10 minutes. Open cover and add the potatoes, carrots, mint leaves, chopped coriander leaves, slitted green chillies.



Fold in well and cover cook at minimal heat for 2-3 minutes.

Open cover, add the soaked rice discarding the water. Stir gently for 2-3 minutes.



Open cover, add 11/2 coffee mug of water and little salt. Forgot to click this step too. Must be shouting at the husband for spilling water on my dry cleaned toilet!

Cover cook at medium to low heat for 8-10 minutes, we should be done. Always check in between... they should not burn.



Garnish with fresh herbs before you serve.

For the Green Masala Paneer, grease a bake proof plate with few drops of oil, place the marinated paneer pieces on it. 

Place the high stool meant for grilling on a convection mode microwave inside.... Grill for 7 minutes one side.... turn over and grill for another 5-6 minutes.... We are done.

We also had this paneer-macaroni kheer / pudding made to be enjoyed as an after meal dessert!

The photography is horrible but the food is not. I hope you will do it to know how yum it is!



Monday, 26 November 2018

BITTER GOURD CHIPS



 I was literally giggling looking at the stepwise pictures of this BITTER GOURD CHIPS making process. Cristine is still on leave, the men at home will not touch even a tiny bit of a bitter gourd.... then why the hell I went through it spending more than an hour of my valuable time .... that too singing "patjhar sawan basant bahar".... haha... that means I became a fan of bitter gourd chips that I tasted for the first time last month when I saw small packets of it being sold at a famous grocer here "Karthika".... Accha, does Jaya Prada eat bitter gourd?.... so sweet she is! I am a fan of her ever since I was in school.... when she sang "koyel boli duniya doli, samjho dil ki boli" with that heavy ghungroo working with the "dafli". Be it a Jaya Prada or a Rekha Ganeshan or a Tanushree Shankar ..... I wish to follow that trend.... make saree my signature attire in public. I do not have their beauty or grace, then how does it matter? Jaya's "dafliwale" is presently stationed in a hospital of that "bahargaon".... suffering from what the family did not declare.... not everyone possess the courage of these girls... Sonali Bendre or Manisha Koirala.... I do follow Bollywood news in Instagram.... I may not get any breakthrough in that forum as my pictures are not qualitative,.... I am too laid back to take any initiative in this matter.... instead I enjoy watching a poise called "Nisha Narayanan" there.... haha! I very sincerely hope she does not pose in public on a swim suit and break my heart... swim suits look good in a swimming pool, a beach wear on a beach.... not in public profiles.... I am a grand mother's favourite girl I know.... I too wish to be their sticks! By the way, does a grandmother prepare "scallion diye mushurir dal?" Yep, I did it last Saturday adding some lime leaves to it.... amazingly tasty result it got. The son obviously had it with lamb! He is at home today and having this dates-nuts & banana smoothie with store bought butter cake.... the kinds he prefers .... plain & simple or with cream frosting! The tawa for "roti-prata" is always ready to be used in this kitchen. The daddy took "ruti with palong er dal"..... the son prefers dal with rice.... mumma does not have any potato curry, meat curry or "begun bhaja" in store .... so his lunch will be hot "ruti rolls" with dollops of butter and sugar! So, mumma can fry some BITTER GOURD CHIPS guilt free for herself!




The idea of adding scallion to the "mushur dal" was simple..... to make it healthier... I knew we will like it because "peyaz phoron mushurir dal" is a very authentic & dear dal dish for us!

Besides cooking, what does the lady of this house does? She plays with her newly bought gifts. She got some cash as an anniversary gift from the husband.... instead of buying for herself only.... she got three little things. The husband is not in the habit of wearing any kind of jewelry... not even the diamond studded, gold tie pin I gifted him few years back or what he got as gifts from our family in marriage. Yesterday, when I tried to put in the ring I meant for him.... you know what I got in return.... Oh! God why did I marry this guy? I get a little "mean" in such situations.... "bou jodi sundori aar rojgere hoto, bouer kathai uthti aar boshti boss"...... His attitude each time is like a tiger... "try me and know that I am not born to be tamed"..... who know this better than me and the father-in-law who we are living with?...... I do not have half of the old man's patience though! My belief  gets stronger that this world only belong to those who have a voice! Since he never compares me with others, cleans me after I puke ten times on his shirt on the road, in the air or at the hills.... I do not consider myself as an unfortunate. I think my dream of exploring the Himalayan Range will remain a dream.... I have nausea.... fear of height, an unfit body and what not!



Do not be silly like me, keep changing the location of your ring from this finger to that. See, the condition of my ring fingers.... Something is wrong inside, the reason why I will be staying back for a week more in Kolkata, the men will be coming back.... I wish to spend some more time with the family, request good friend Bonya to accompany me to the Apollo Hospital for few tests.... Wise and old Dr.Chang discourages me to do the tests here which are too expensive. By the way, when my little brother got a little wiser, he used to say "I like Bonya di kinds.... long plated hair, soft spoken, Bengali Beauty".... now he flaunts the high end cell phone his wife gifted him last month, shamelessly eats 'phuchka' his wife gets for him while he watches Formula 1 races. Bonya aka Manasi Mahanty is my boy friend no.1's lovely wife... who is a handsome engineer from Bihar.... I am a fan of his persona.... may not have married the book-a-holic, much revered person .... why? He smells "a bit of a chauvinist & excessively stubborn".... hihihi.... Bonya is perfect for him .... He continues to remain a favourite, he shares his birthday with our son after all! Soon to meet my morning walk partner.... I hardly get to though, Kolkata stay got busier! Kolkata did see me going for morning walks towards sector-v with my boyfriends .... from the veteran Dr.Santra to dear Suman da, now a days it just not happens.... I have so many things in hand to be done.... I cannot even call them home.... can I serve them this vegetarian snack BITTER GOURD CHIPS with tea, tell me? Once the son's 12th grade is over, I will go and stay there for over a month..... Till then, let me treat people near and far virtually with simple, easy, largely "desi" food!! I usually enjoy this snack with my evening time tea / coffee or with dal, rice and some salad!



INGREDIENTS :

Bitter Gourd : 3-4standard sized
Chopped Green Chilli : 2-3
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/4tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/4tsp
Refined Flour : 4-5small cup
Gram Flour : 2tbsp
Rice Flour : 1/2small cup
Semolina : 3-4tbsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 100-150ml to deep fry

PROCEDURE :

Wash the bitter-gourds under running water.



Discard the two ends, cut half.

Discard the seeds and make thin slices from each half.


Wash the slices of bitter gourd again. Add the turmeric powder and some salt and rub well. Cover and keep aside for at least an hour.



After an hour, drain the marinade that has released. Add very little salt, refined flour, gram flour, rice flour, semolina, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, washed & chopped green chillies to the bitter gourds and mix well. Do not add a bit of water, it is not required!


Heat 100-150ml oil in a wok. Deep fry the batter coated bitter gourds in batches till they are crispy.


Take out draining as much oil as is possible. Better you keep them on tissue papers before eating, I just forgot that step.



Enjoy them as a tea / coffee time snacks or with dal, rice and "sosha-tomato-peyaz kuchi"....


Friday, 23 November 2018

MAACHER ALOO PEYAZ CHOCCHORI



A combo recipe of chicken & paneer did I wish to blog on today.... you will know from the pictures  of the spicy & yum marination I shared down below! There indeed was a humble celebration of 21 years of trust and beyond... sometime this week.... the husband's sister and my friend Piyali Mahanty makes it a point to wish every year... I wonder how few of these people manage to remember specific dates... Each year I forget to wish on the brother's marriage anniversary which is on February.... early this year too I forgot but on that date I shared a mutton recipe.... how come? There is something called "ethereal connection.... bond".... a heart that sings for people who mean... Since the husband considers it as his doom's day when he became "bar kheye khudiram".... I never make it a grand affair.... Jokes apart, the husband always says marriage anniversary is a very private affair S.... Okay... Boss! The Boss got even clever, he usually accompanies me to buy the anniversary gift, this year he gave me cash... that saves him actually! We could not go out as the son is really busy with his school, examinations, projects! I just cooked with what was available in my pantry and served a rice and chicken medley kind of thing, a yum paneer by the side and paneer-macaroni kheer around 10pm at night... I really wished to share that platter today but looking at the picture I felt.... oh! no.... I felt like throwing off that Corelle set of mine.... they do not break man.... I keep watching how people do the plating keeping a note of every details.... I love their work and they know how appreciative I am of their food boutique.... There is nothing in a like... I did not wish to place my horridly photographed, chicken rice kind of 'thingi' so early ..... it is not fair! Secondly, what I have learnt from around is that, if there is showering meat around, I must share something for the vegetarians and fish lovers.... It is a weekend and I had chosen this humble, fish dish with potato and onion MAACHER ALOO PEYAZ CHOCCHORI for all!





There is a cuckoo cooing somewhere near.... Back there we always heard a cuckoo during summer evenings.... or am I wrong? I have seen a cuckoo only in a "chorar boi".... I always wished to meet in person and ask... "onyer bashai dim paro keno? nijer bashar moto shanti keu ditey parbey na"..... the tiger at this home gifted me a home indeed, I seeked an asylum"..... So, I make it a point to keep it clean, polished and happy! As the dusk sets in, I wait for his homecoming .... sitting together and chatting means a lot to me! When he comes late, I click other homes and think what is going on at / in other homes.... they have their own stories, own problems to solve.... let them be! One reason of not "kuchicuing" enough is that I have no interest in listening to stories of other homes.... my nose is too flat you know.... I am happy in my own world. I cannot solve a problem occured in another home, I do not need to hear either! You see a good photographer will not call a mobile click anything near to photography.... they are just clicks ..... I do that.... I click what is not photography.... the later I enjoy in other's streams.... I do not have much interest in human figurines, I love landscapes, nature portraits and social media does treat my eyes!


There is a lot of flaws in the above picture, but a fish lover will not find any flaw on this recipe of MAACHER ALOO PEYAZ CHOCCHORI! This is exactly not an old family recipe but learnt from a new family member in the early 90's.... During summers, "boro maacher jhol".... we could not eat.... then the newly married wife of our mother's youngest brother "boumoni" told our mother about it.... to be had with dal and some fries... it goes pretty well. Our mother also learnt "posto badam bata" from her .... the mother of my weird cousin Ronit Debnath. I call him weird for a reason... he did very well in his 10th and 12th.... refused to appear for joint entrances as he wished to pursue pure mathematics.... he got admission in the IITs and St.Xaviers College, Kolkata but did his graduation from Belur Math College in his own will to learn some virtues as he says... but he is an atheist, Formula1 fan and cycles around Pune... where he is currently studying... After his years in Belur he refused to carry forward his father's business... My maternal uncles are big names in that district... specially the youngest is a business magnet! As our mother says, Sonai is very different.... Boumoni gave him a very good upbringing.... I felt for her strongly during her marriage.... The daughter of an Indian Air Force pilot or co-pilot, this bright student of Delhi's Jesus & Mary College who loved reading, baking agreed to marry a rich business man and settle down in a district town. She is just a year older than me and I did not like it when my side of the family was saying how lucky she was.... don't you think my "babbu"... my mama was luckier... She single handedly brought up her son besides reading John Grisham to Agatha Christi, Babbu did not have time. My husband likes conversing with her as he used to read similar kinds during his travels earlier! Thats controversial, who wins in a marriage? Why do people consider it  a deal? .... Let us prepare a less controversial, not so spicy, yummy, simple fish dish with few ingredients. I always prefer to do it with cut portions from a bigger "rui-katla" as was done in the family.... but these days I do it with any firm, white, fish fillets! The curry leaves are my addition. After a meal what will you have as a dessert? Try my KALAKAND recipe, done the easy way!




INGREDIENTS :

FISH : 500GM [SMALL CUTS OF BENGAL CARP OR OF ANY FIRM, WHITE FILLET]
SLICED ONION : 1MEDIUM CUP [OF TWO BIG ONES]
POTATO : 2MDEDIUM
KALOJEERA / NIGELLA SEED / KALONJI : 1/4TSP
SLITTED GREEN CHILLI : 4-5
CURRY LEAF : 10-12
TURMERIC POWDER : 1TSP
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1/2TSP
CUMIN POWDER : 1/2TSP
CORIANDER POWDER : 1/2TSP
LEMON JUICE : 4-5TBSP
DRY RED CHILLI : 2HALVED
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 5-6TBSP [I USE MUSTARD]

PROCEDURE :

If I use "rui-katla".... I only wash and marinate the fish pieces with salt & turmeric before frying. When I use fish fillets of different kinds, I would wash them and marinate with lemon juice for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, I would peel, wash and half the potatoes. Then cut them in thick strips width wise. I would then peel and discard the two ends of the onions, slice them thickly and wash again. Slit the green chillies and wash.

We must remember to marinate the potatoes with salt and turmeric just 10 minutes before adding to the wok.

After 2 hours of marination... bathe the fish fillet pieces and discard the marinated vinegar water released. Apply salt as required, some lemon juice, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, 1/2 of the turmeric powder to the fish fillet pieces and rub well. Live like that for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok, fry the fish pieces in batches. You can sprinkle some refined flour on the fish pieces before frying.

Once done, temper oil with the halved dry red chillies, nigella seeds and stir for 1/2 a minute. Add the curry leaves and give a stir.... 

We will add the onion slices now and stir at high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to minimum and add the potato pieces without the marinade! Add turmeric powder and give a stir!

Cover cook at lowest heat for 3-4 minutes, stir in between. If required, sprinkle little water to avoid burning of the potatoes.

Open cover, add the slitted green chillies and the fried fish.... Gently fold in! Sprinkle some water if required, adjust the salt and cover cook for another 3-4 minutes. We should be done.

I served it with skin on black gram dal and a vegetarian preparation with pointed gourd on that day!




Wednesday, 21 November 2018

PEA SHOOTS GREEN MOONG DAL & COCONUT PEANUT RICE




Yesterday evening when I decided to blog on it today, I realised that the platter is not complete... I just forgot to place the salad plate by the side and the lemon wedges. I am getting more forgetful with each passing day, I think I need to talk to my friend Dr. Nishi Pulugurtha who had been dealing  with two dementia patients for long, her mother-in-law just passed away. She does write besides managing her students and friends, travelling.... want to read? Then follow 'Cafe Dissensus Blog Everyday' or Cafe Dissensus... a magazine that deals with art, literature, politics. I do not follow them may be because they publish from that happening city having this park and that park and lady seagull playing around... I have a lifelong enmity with that place perhaps ... haha... Nishi herself does not make her articles public, I like them, specially the accounts of her short tours. Coming to the plating, it was last Saturday, I had the burden of the thought of cleaning after all the cooking. Forget about the stepwise pictures, I could not even click neatly.... If you call it lack of sincerity on my part, I accept... the reason why me or people like me never can excel. Life got laborious in Cristine's absence, but I got two part-time helps coming for me every alternate day... they are nice! I should thank two of my friends Ipsita Bhattacharya & Paramita Chakravartty for helping me out in this matter.... its really tough to get real helps when you need it... they did it and gifted me two beautiful sarees too recently .... Oh my! Will drape them sometime next year.... the later married a Himachali Shippy gentleman, a native of Shimla who use their abode as a home stay offer to the tourists.... the naughty girl gifted me a saree with blue, orange and red combo... so I need a proper contrast blouse... We at home believe in a different ideology and we are celebrating today a special occasion.... a non-vegetarian share had to go up... then I felt okay let it be on the next day! The son is having his periodic examinations, I am not the kind of a mother who will go out on a dinner date to celebrate leaving the son alone at home! There is a reason why my brother could not get out of his mother's lap till date! There is a reason why his wife runs to her parent's home six days a week.... they brought up their two girls in hardships and pretty well.... the elder one is brighter, haha! I am cooking today with whatever ingredients are available at home... non vegetarian off course!! As of now, let us explore this wholesome, vegetarian meal option PEA SHOOTS GREEN MOONG DAL & COCONUT PEANUT RICE...

People around are also celebrating their special days... a big sister like's son in Kolkata has his birthday.... unfortunately I am unable to go Bengali today for another reason... I cannot get along with shallowness in people... I am an idiot but I love those who are classy as is defined in my dictionary! Leave that, it was an angel's birthday too, then two of my loving friends' too... a boy and a girl.... I know today is the marriage anniversary of a Punjabi sister like who shifted to Ontario some two years back... the son was a littler student, last met when her daughter was born... Rupinder Syan.... forgot our beautiful island and plays with snowballs these days.... forgot her small, cosy flat here and shows off their plush, spacious bungalow.... However, she had been a beautiful soul, a science teacher here.... so this healthy, vegetarian platter of PEA SHOOTS GREEN MOONG DAL & COCONUT PEANUT RICE do they deserve. We can eat anything and everything at home. Look at this lazy me... I am packing their lunch box with left over egg curry that Ipsita has sent and stale rice "bhaja", store bought parantha, this and that! All the big talks I give on health boils down to a big, round coconut cookie.... Curse me people, I got a big box of pea shoots to eat as a salad during lunch! By the way, always cling wrap cut fruits.... stop eating Romaine Lettuce for a while.... according to a Tasty's Facebook post, there is again an "E-coli" outbreak! After my appendix was removed, the daddy was told to stop my meat intake and lessen the amount of green, leafy stuffs... I have a problem of colitis.... I am alive till 48.... I will go and have a "bak-tu-teh" for lunch because dinner will be rice with meat.








INGREDIENTS : [for the COCONUT PEANUT RICE]

FINE BASMATI : 1COFFEE MUG
SHREDDED COCONUT : 1MEDIUM CUP
ROASTED PEANUT : 2TBSP
SKINLESS BLACK GRAM DAL : 1TBSP
CURRY LEAF : 10-12
BLACK MUSTARD SEED : 1/4TSP
DRY RED CHILLI : 3-4 [HALVED]
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/4TSP
TAMARIND JUICE : 2TBSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 4-5 TBSP

INGREDIENTS : [for the PEA SHOOTS GREEN MOONG DAL]

GREEN MOONG DAL : 1SMALL CUP
PEA SHOOT : 1MEDIUM BOWL
MINCED GARLIC : 1TBSP
MINCED GINGER : 1TSP
SLICED ONION : 1SMALL CUP
SLITTED GREEN CHILLIES : 3-4
CHOPPED TOMATO : 1MEDIUM CUP
CORIANDER POWDER : 1TSP
GARAM MASALA POWDER : 2TSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/2TSP +1/2TSP
CUMIN SEED : 1/4TSP
BAYLEAF : 1
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 2TBSP
BUTTER : 2TBSP


PROCEDURE :

Let us do the PEANUT COCONUT RICE  first!




Wash and soak the rice for 1/2 an hour. Cook it at low to medium heat until 70% done!

Transfer to a strainer and let the water drain.

Heat oil in a wok, add the skinless black gram dal, black mustard seeds, halved dry red chillies. As the dal turns little brown and the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves.

Give a stir and add the shredded coconut. Stir at medium heat for 3-4 minutes. They will turn golden brown and ummm what an aroma.

Add the peanuts and stir for half a minute. Add the cooked rice, salt as required, tamarind juice and the turmeric powder. Stir gently for 2-3 minutes at medium heat.

We are done, transfer to a rice bowl, ready to be served. 

Do not dare to look at my kitchen when I am cooking.


Now, let us do the PEA SHOOTS GREEN MOONG DAL.





I washed and soaked the dal in hot water for 2-3 hours. Adding little more water, turmeric powder and salt, I boiled it at low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add more water if required. I love them little mashy.

Wash the pea shoots and add very little salt to them, rub well.

In a clean wok, I heated 2tbsp oil. I tempered it with cumin seeds and a bayleaf. I added minced garlic and ginger and stirred for 1/2 a minute. 

I added the sliced onion and stirred till it turned golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes now.

As the tomatoes melt, add the turmeric and cumin powders, salt, slitted green chillies. Stir for half a minute.

Add the boiled dal, mix well and cover cook at low heat for 5-7 minutes. Open cover, add the pea shoots and garam masala powder. Stir and simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Add some warm water if required.

Transfer to a bowl and garnish with dollops of butter.

We had a lamb curry alongside... oh! what a meal it was.