Wednesday, 10 July 2019

OVEN COOKED PEPPERY CHICKEN & AAMCHOOR ALOO



 Its a beautiful, sunny morning.. you never can predict the weather here however.... it was cloudy an hour back. I did wake up healthy after a "dahi poori" session around 8pm yesterday, in fact feeling refreshed very much. Ask me why? There are a couple of reasons you know. Until 1am I was listening to the iconic Ustad Rashid Khan, I am his fan and can listen to him for hours.... "albela sajan ayoo to yaad piya ki aaye".... the Indian community in the island is smaller than that of the bahargaon.... I can understand it is difficult to arrange sessions with such talents every year or do I miss them? I saw him on stage some 4 years back. Another reason of joy was to get some fresh "data" in a local Chinese shop yesterday, amazing na? My side of the family cooks the hard stem either with potato & jackfruit seeds or with potato and prawn. I am going to cook with prawns in few hours from now, hopefully to blog about it once I am back from Kolkata. I do have Bengali themed chicken recipes in hand to share, but I felt that can wait and this vegetarian and non vegetarian snack combo OVEN COOKED PEPPERY CHICKEN & AAMCHOOR ALOO should go up today. I was surfing my Google photos and found Bengali fish recipe pictures from 2017-2018 which I am yet to blog about, okay I will. The mother too is causing irritation trying to relate everything that is Indian here to Bengal or Bengali.... I severely dislike it.... "dekh Bangali money hocchey" I am like "stop it mani, there is a country called India, of which Bengal is a state, a state which will become a non-entity if they do not live in the present, even Tagore cannot save them".... People migrate there from different states, build palace even selling "khaini" and the "amra Bangali" do 'doshta-pachta apish" and give big talks, calling people "unpar-gawar, uncultured".... totally oblivious of the fact that the majority of Bengalis work "under" these "uncultured"..... we have to realise, accept and do something. I am with Bengal's cultural & food circuit, not with those who at all times deny themselves to be a part of a sovereign State called India. I was telling the mother that she and her son are influencing each other very wrongly. I will not give in to that, I have my father and husband's ideologies working inside. I told the mother when it comes to talent, appreciate the quality wholeheartedly, do not be regionalistic. "Bengalis anyway do the "bambooing" act most on each other, look at the brotherly feelings among the people of other states and learn.



From Ustad Rashid Khan, I have now reached Kaushiki Chakroborty, she inherited the qualities of her father in the right amount. Each day, I have to listen to music, from one genre to another, among the few genres I love.... raps, loud music is not for me. Once back from Kolkata, I should be able to sit with music in a lonely home, at times would visit my music teacher for a therapy. Yesterday, my entire time outside was spent listening to music and walking from this store to another. On way back, I saw three dedicated, elderly souls practicing outside our condominium around 8:30pm, my mother-in-law has a bag full of complaints at all times, it irritates me way too much..... all day sitting at home, watching television and complaining. Such kinds actually die long before they are brain dead. They have not seen the hardships of people actually. I enjoy being with positive, spontaneous people, they help me go on with life! Three of such kinds you can see below.


Do not you think I should share the combined vegetarian and non-vegetarian snack recipe of OVEN COOKED PEPPERY CHICKEN & AAMCHOOR ALOO done using freshly ground black pepper and dry mango powder in the marination today? I think these two snackers required the simplest marination I have ever used in my kitchen. Kids who enjoy cooking can prepare them too, at this home the mumma has to do it. Although they fall under the snacker category, we had them for dinner a month back which had some store bought garlic bread and a bliss called "kurkurey bhindi."



INGREDIENTS FOR THE OVEN COOKED PEPPERY CHICKEN :

CHICKEN LEG OR BREAST OR BOTH : 10-12 PIECES
FRESH COARSELY GROUND BLACK PEPPER : 1HEAPED TBSP
LEMON JUICE : 4-5TBSP
GINGER EXTRACT : 1TBSP
GARLIC EXTRACT : 2TBSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED [SEA SALT PREFERRED]
OIL : 2-3TBSP + 2TBSP TO BRUSH

INGREDIENTS FOR THE AAMCHOOR ALOO :

BIG POTATO : 2-3-4 [I USE RUSSET]
AAMCHOOR / DRY MANGO POWDER : 2TSP
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1TSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/2TSP
CAROM SEED : 1/2TSP
LEMON JUICE : 2TBSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 2-3TBSP + 1TBSP TO BRUSH

THE AMOUNT OF INGREDIENTS USED IS MEANT FOR A NUCLEAR FAMILY OF 3-5 MEMBERS.

PROCEDURE :

Let us do the PEPPERY CHICKEN  first.




Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly. Pat dry.

Marinate with 2-3tbsp of oil, lemon juice, ginger and garlic extract, fresh coarsely ground black pepper and salt as required.

Fold in very well. Keep refrigerated in an air tight container for 5-6 hours or overnight.

Take out an hour before cooking. Grease an oven proof tray with oil. Place the chicken pieces in a single layer. Pour over the marinade evenly.

I work with a convection mode microwave oven, so I placed the high stool inside and the plate atop it.

Now switch on the grill mode for 10 minutes. Take out, brush with oil all over each one. Grill for 10 minutes more.

Take out, brush oil all over each one, grill for 6 minutes. Take out and brush oil, grill for another 6 minutes. We should be done.

Now let us do the AAMCHOOR ALOO / Potato with Dry Mango Powder.




I am a diabetic, hence I am prescribed to boil the potatoes skin on before using it for cooking. I pricked the washed potatoes with a fork, took them on a plate and microwaved at high for 3-321/2 minutes.

I took them out, cut into desired shapes on cooling. I then marinated them with lightly crushed carom seeds, aamchoor / dry mango powder, turmeric + red chilli powder, lemon juice, salt as required.

The marinated potatoes are to be kept aside for an hour or so. We will then place them in a single layer on a greased grill proof tray.

We will place the high stool inside with the plate atop if using a convection mode microwave oven. We will then grill one side for 8-10 minutes. 

We will take the tray out, brush oil and turn over the potatoes. We will then grill them for 5 minutes. We should be done.

Always serve them fresh.





Monday, 8 July 2019

SPICY CHILLI


Well, it had been a recent wish to share the recipe of this dish that is so hassle free to do and yum to eat. This variety of chillies are available here every few hundred steps and in abundance. They are less hot and makes for a wonderful ingredient for fritters and stuffed vegetarian or even non-vegetarian dishes. Having chillies as a side dish is not a Bengali thing, I saw my non-Bengali speaking friends in school getting wonderful pickles made with chillies, the varieties my family never made. I am ahead of my family when it comes to the acceptability of a varied kinds of food, so I have to experiment with different ingredients and include in the family menu card those which more or less appeals to our taste buds. I see my visiting family choosing the "lyangra" variety of mango among at least ten variety of it. What was causing me irritation was that why do I have to choose a mango that might have been packaged a month ago keeping aside the freshest produce coming in from the neighbouring states. I do follow Bengal while in the market, I am not the kind who will get Bengal from there and try to  install it here, I go to the Bangladeshi shops for fresh vegetables our kinds, long back I have stopped buying the stale, frozen fish coming in from there.... they would do no good to my men's health. Then, if your men are happy with salmon, prawn, chicken and snapper, you would not go to that extreme. The mother did not have problem in her 11/2 month of stay, she got fresh "rui and chingri", she can survive on prawn+noodle soup, salad, even chicken strips in soups, fruits.... moreover the daughter prepared different vegetarian dishes. She does not fancy chunks of meat, no problem.... her daughter prepared a stuffing with minced chicken, did kofta... this... that! She enjoyed this vegetarian side, oven grilled SPICY CHILLI, but loved more the chilli pakoras I prepared last Friday when we had a visiting guest with us.... you can see some fish tikki beside.


Our guest loved what we served, then our son loved both the dishes with this fat, big variety of red chillies. This mother taught her son to have moderately spicy and hot food, problem is with the husband who does not enjoy too much of hot and spicy stuffs. I do not like this trait in him, but so long he provides me enough to eat, eat and eat more of pizza and kueh, food in general.... I have no problem. Yesterday was pizza night which we have every fifteen days, the mother loves it too.



By the way, if you want to have good quality "kueh" here, always buy from shops which sell it fresh.


Being obese, I have them may be once every six months but from such shops usually. This restriction does not work when it comes to lemon rice, in fact rice is a love though made laccha paratha for the husband's lunch box, the rest's breakfast. Instead of paratha or chapati, I preferred serving the vegetarian, yum dish SPICY CHILLI last week with LEMON RICE. It definitely is not innovative, some parts of India and South Asia do eat it, where I stand out is using our Bengali "bhaja moshola" for the marination that I prepared to garnish a pickle.




INGREDIENTS FOR THE FRESHLY GROUND DRY ROASTED SPICES:

DRY RED CHILLI / SHUKNO LANKA : 2-3
CORIANDER SEED / DHONEY : 1TSP
CUMIN SEED / JEEREY : 1TSP
FENNEL SEED / MOURI : 1/2TSP
CAROM SEED / JOYAN : 1TSP

INGREDIENTS FOR THE COOKED DISH :

BIG FAT RED CHILLI : 12-15
THE FRESHLY GROUND DRY ROASTED SPICES / BHAJA MOSHOLAR GURO
GRAM FLOUR / BESAN : 1TBSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
LEMON JUICE : 2-3TBSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/2TSP
OIL : 2TSP + 1/2TSP

PROCEDURE :

Wash the chillies, pat dry. Make slits in each one of them and de seed. Wash again and pat dry.

Now marinate each one of them with the lemon juice, turmeric and salt as much as required. 

Keep aside for 1/2 an hour.



Dry roast the ingredients required to prepare the freshly ground spices for 2 minutes at low heat. Cool and dry blend to get a coarsely ground powder.

Now add the besan / gram flour, dry roasted coarsely ground spices, 2tsp oil to the marinated big, fat red chillies and fold in well.

Keep aside for 10-12 minutes.

Grease a grill proof plate with 1/2 tsp of oil and place the marinated chillies in a single layer on it.



I work with a convection mode microwave oven, so I placed that high stool inside and then the plate atop it.



I grilled it for 8-10 minutes one side. Then we will take the plate out and turn over each chilli. 

I grilled the other side for 5-6 minutes. We are done.



Doing it in a pan on stove top may require few more time and a little more amount of oil. 

Whatever you are serving it with, LEMON RICE or other varieties of rice or chapati, serve it fresh and hot, else the crunch of the gram flour goes away.



Friday, 5 July 2019

SUGAR FREE ROSHOGOLLA


A litre of full cream milk gives me twelve standard sized roshogollas. I am not a roshogolla / Bengali healthy dessert expert, so their calculation may differ from mine. At this moment, I am unable to think this way.... what difference does a twelve or thirteen make? It does make a difference, we will not know unless we experience. Anything, any damn thing, be it a loss or a joy..... we have to experience it ourselves to know it's extent.... others will send a single day of congratulations or condolences, they have to move on with their own lives. In the present day scenario.... this number twelve is making a lot of sense to me. Okay, I will not stick to it but I liked it when this morning I saw this picture of exactly twelve number of sugar free "roshogollas".. that is cottage cheese balls swimming  in a pool of sugar free stevia syrup. With Roshogolla, my experience had been bitter sweet. Somedays it comes out just fine, while some other days it does not work at all. Then, I had to do some research to correct the flaws because our son loves it for sixteen years now. I do not like the roshogolla we get here, I do not buy the tinned ones airflown from India.... so the option left with me is doing them at home, our only son loves it after all. The husband too loves it but not the sugar free option. Their home eats their dessert so sweet which I never could get along with then, now it is out of question. After marriage, his relatives served me luchi with five to six types of sweets and desserts and I was about to puke [english of ga gholano?] I am not disrespecting their good intent but I use less than half of the sugar  preparing the same amount of payesh than them. So, the son happily had a few of the SUGAR FREE ROSHOGOLLA"... the husband ate but did say it was not "Satyanarayan Mishtanna Bhander er roshogolla, that famous sweet shop in DumDum, Bancharam is baby to them.... one who sales well may not necessarily be good at it. The mother too told it was good. So why not share the recipe in the blog?

Really had a good time with the mother, she took good care of my Gods & Goddesses, enjoyed going out with me, ate what I suggested. She has to do all her work alone back at home, so I tried to give her some rest.... allowed her to cook only for the grandson some days.... I have a wonderful support system in Cristine. The mother too applauded Cristine's "porota" making skills, having it while watching old, recorded cricket matches as old as Chris Lloyd or Viv Richard's batting. I remember, while at school how as a family we were made to watch sports on television.... we had to and we enjoyed, then gradually my mind shifted from that box into print media totally. Coming to the present, we had a wonderful tour of the Singapore museum yesterday afternoon, we had non vegetarian soup and meal too for lunch and dinner though it was Rather Mela, but for dinner we had to have " papor bhaja" meant for the day. The grand mother was reminiscing how she would decorate the grandson's chariot with flowers and leaves and how he loved going out with it along with the maternal grandmother and the paternal grandfather. Look at today, such dates have no relevance to him, after coming here his father's influence worked more on him, he thinks defying me in every matter is a manly act.



Anyway, that he ate a papor bhaja with rice yesterday or enjoys a SUGAR FREE ROSHOGOLLA treat from his mother is a good enough reason for me to cling on to a ray of hope. I enjoy preparing roshogolla because it requires so few ingredients and is considered one of the healthiest sweet among us.



INGREDIENTS :

FULL CREAM MILK : 1LITRE
VINEGAR : 2-21/2TBSP
WATER : 1/2SMALL TEA CUP + 4-5 COFFEE MUG
SUGAR FREE GRANULES : 1-11/2MEDIUM CUP [I USE STEVIA IN POWDER FORM]
GREEN CARDAMOM : 3-4

PROCEDURE : 

Take the milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and put for boil. Dilute the vinegar and 1/2 small tea cup of water.



Once the milk comes to boil and have boiled for not more than 2-3 minutes, add the vinegar-water mixture to it, 1tbsp at a time.

As the milk starts curdling, switch off the gas.



As soon as the whey forms, "immediately" strain through a clean, white piece of cloth placed over a strainer. Wash under water, tie and hang it on your kitchen tap.



After about 45 minutes to an hour, squeeze and take the chena / Indian cottage cheese down and open the knot.



Remove the cloth and start kneading, use your palm. This may take about 10-12 minutes to get the right dough.




Take 4-5 coffee mugs of water in a clean vessel, to it add the sugar free granules and slightly torn green cardamoms. Bring it to boil.

Simultaneously, tear off smaller portions of the dough and prepare smooth balls.




When the syrup starts boiling vigorously, add the balls gently and cover with a heavy lid.



The first 10 minutes should we boil for 10 minutes and the rest of the 15-20 minutes at medium heat. Some inputs should be ours, so use that. With trial & error, roshogolla perfects with practice.



Wednesday, 3 July 2019

BLUEBERRY CARDAMOM BAKED DOI



I was thinking of sharing few Bengali, rustic, family recipes this week. I am confirmed one more time in life that we should not plan ahead much, really should not except for our life savings. Just let it be is how I feel most of the time these days. At this time, I am trying to be quite relaxed except for the worries concerning the son's college admission. The husband is again travelling, if he does not drive to the neighbouring country, I am a little less worried..... then he does not have the habit of calling home and giving all the details of his day, neither allows me to talk much over phone. I myself am not in the habit of talking much over phone, with the husband I can willingly do that. I am never a spendthrift but some 10-12 years back, I payed telephone bills ranging from 10000 to 16000 rupees each month talking to him on satellite phone.... this part only a mariner's wife will understand and support. I was telling my mother that life is standing at the sunset point, I feel I did not have enough of my married life. If one is not ready to give a lot and lot more to the marriage, to the partner, one should not agree to marry. I could not help my man financially but I tried to "be" with him all the time, I do not require a social media handle to prove it. In the first place, the men at home do not allow me to click them or to get clicked with them. I have also decided not to ask them to pose for me or get clicked with me from our next tour.... I will just randomly click them as per their wish. What will happen is that the people on my friend's list may not get to see their face properly or likewise, they will perhaps anticipate a major game play here which I am least interested in.... I prefer to respond to real life situations. So, stay cool and enjoy this BLUEBERRY CARDAMOM BAKED DOI. It is a fruity yogurt too tasty and easy to do. 

It was our mother's birthday yesterday, I gifted myself an indoor plant on this occasion and a Thai treat to the mother. I do not like any excess of drama concerning a day, she and me both would want to avoid any excess post the father's death. If life can make me feel each day as a birthday treat, I am game for it. Oh My! I did not even bake a cake for her yesterday, but she was happy to be allowed to have a sweet bun with tea, the Thai treat of chicken clear soup, vegetarian spring roll, prawn glass noodles, Thai sticky rice & mango. 



I was very sad to see my Areca Palm dying, then went to the nursery to get it repotted for a price. I spend on them but do not know the right ways of taking care of them. The mother did furnish some tips, says my blooms are less because they are not getting enough sunlight in the hedge, the indoor ones we are perhaps over watering or they may require a bit of sunlight at regular intervals. So, the thing is that we are spending good time, I have told the husband that we need to get his parents and my mother every alternate year if their health permits.... Yesterday was a no fuss, non dramatic, just another day, I however wish to serve you an easy to make, chilled dessert BLUEBERRY CARDAMOM BAKED DOI treat today. I got a packet of blueberry last month, prepared two desserts with it for my visiting family using different combinations. All of us including my fussy eater brother liked both of them, hence wished to share the recipe with every one in public.




INGREDIENTS :

PLAIN YOGURT : 500ML
FRESH BLUEBERRY PASTE : 1SMALL TEA CUP
FRESH CREAM : 150GM
CONDENSED MILK : 100ML
GREEN CARDAMOM SEED : 1/2TSP
SUGAR : 1TBSP
VANILLA ESSENCE : 1/2TSP

PROCEDURE :

Whisk together the plain yogurt, fresh cream, condensed milk and sugar. There should not be any lump and it should be a paste like consistency.

To it, add the freshly made blueberry paste, green cardamom seeds and fold in well gently.

Fill 1/2 of a bake proof tray with water. Transfer the mixed batter to a bake proof bowl and place it in the middle of the tray. Cover it with aluminium foil.

Mine is a convection mode microwave oven, so I placed the low stool inside the oven, preheated it at 200*C for 10 minutes.

Then I placed the tray with the bowl that is covered with foil.

Bake at 200*C  for 18-20 minutes. Each machine works differently, so the time required in the final step may be different.

Once done, cool completely. Now chill for at least 2-3 hours before you serve.

Its a bliss and we love it anytime.



Monday, 1 July 2019

HALENCHA DIYE SHUKTO



I was thinking of sharing a healthy dish sooner, I got determined to share it today after the news of a brother like friend's husband getting admitted to the hospital came in. By Saturday afternoon, I decided to blog on this healthy curry with raw papaya, raw banana and water cress. I remember, this curry was quite common at our home, specially when anyone in the family suffered from stomach ailments. This definitely has healing properties. I was craving for this curry for a long time but did not know that water cress so popular throughout the island is our "halencha." It is only about two months that I came to know that water cress is our very own ingredient for a healthy curry from a blogger friend. In all of the Kolkata wet markets, water cress is sold, I do not know why I could not recognise it after stepping into the island. I even had water cress in meat soups several times in food courts, yet could not. There are so many small details of a Bengali kitchen that got buried in the rubbles of memory, they are coming up in fragments these days, will if your visiting mother is here. Its another one and half week and then comes a Kolkata tour, thereafter every one will be back to the grind. I do not do anything for my mother, my brother does. It is for him that she does not have to live alone at this stage of life..... he sacrificed by not buying a flat in and around Kolkata and shift leaving the mother alone in Barrackpore. Financially, I may be a little abler than him but he does more, may be because I do not earn so I cannot call myself abler but just a dependent. My husband is nice, helpful but Indian families cannot accept the son-in-law as a son, neither they ask for any help from the son-in-law if not urgently required. Recently, certain incidents around is causing irritation in me, I am too upset. I am not in the habit of poking my flat nose everywhere, all my grievances finds place in this small space. I watch people taking advantage, I can see one who does the duty has to shoulder more of it with each passing day, while the abler of the two does not.... financially or otherwise. I am really getting pissed of it these days, unable to keep in place my "good girl" image anymore. Given this, there is no better day than today to share the recipe of this coolant, vegetarian curry, the non spicy HALENCHA DIYE SHUKTO. I may not remain as good as in the eyes of some anymore, I had to poke into some family matters, may be in vain but I still did because I do not see a fair deal in a business that is going on. Although my brother had this curry sitting with me, it is not his favourite or my men's.... they just eat it. Does that prove anything? I will always support my brother or my men when situation demands, I have always protected my brother from unnecessary burdens, would want a hassle free life for him though he has a number of flaws in him, my brother is meek after all .....   he should take responsibilities does not mean that all is his concern and the rest manage to skip it tactfully..... look at me how selfish I am. I again believe it firmer.... "jor jar, muluk tar".... one who can shout, abuse, rule over the meek and weak, the world belongs to them.

I am not really in a good mood since yesterday afternoon, neither can be a part of cat fights. So better I try to concentrate on the blog. That too I cannot do in peace, the mother has so much to talk about. I scold her at times but it aches inside. While I see other elderly women being at rest, my mother-in-law is in total rest for more than 20 years now, my mother is still struggling with two part-time helps. She is underweight, increased a bit here... about three kilograms. I do not blame the brother, he did his bit of staying true to his mother.... the daughter-in-law does bear her medical expenses but gets everything ready on the table. I never ever had this liberty to do what I wish to from the second day of marriage, abusing my parents was an everyday affair done guilt free, going to visit my parents required a permission. I am however disliking "both the extremes" I see in my family. Again, the "meeks" are always at the receiving end, wrongly high tempered beings rule. I will still maintain a moderately formal relation within and outside the family because my nature does not allow me to be  otherwise. Anyway, let me take the pleasure of sharing a healthy, authentic family recipe with raw banana, raw papaya and watercress HALENCHA DIYE SHUKTO that uses almost no spices.




INGREDIENTS :

WATER CRESS : A BUNCH
RAW BANANA : 1STANDARD SIZED
RAW PAPAYA : 1/2OF A MEDIUM SIZED
WILD CELERY SEED / RADHUNI : 1/4TSP
BAY LEAF : 1
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/4TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
MILK : 2TBSP [SKIP IN CASE YOU ARE EXPERIENCING STOMACH UPSET]
OIL : 1TBSP

PROCEDURE :

Peel off the skin and inner layer of the raw papaya, cut into smaller cubes.

Peel off the skin of the raw banana, cut into smaller cubes.

Chop roughly the watercress discarding the root.

Wash all the vegetables separately. Apply very little salt and turmeric in each one of them.

Heat 1tbsp oil in a wok, temper with wild celery seeds and a bay leaf.

Add the marinated papaya first, stir and cover cook at the lowest heat for 4-5 minutes.

Open cover and add the raw banana, give a stir and cover cook at the lowest heat for 6-7 minutes. Check whether they get burnt or not.

Add the chopped and marinated water cress. Fold in all well, add 2 medium cups of water and cover cook at the lowest heat for 7-8 minutes.

Open cover, add the milk and adjust the salt. At this stage, you can add a little of salt and 2-3 lime leaves if you wish to. Cook at low for another minute or two.

We are done, enjoy with steamed rice.






Friday, 28 June 2019

MOCHA CHINGRI


Okay this was what I cooked yesterday night. Of all the unhealthy habits this family practice, one is eating our dinner late. When the people here finish off with their dinner, I have my evening tea session. Yesterday morning I felt I will go ahead with an authentic Bengali recipe with prawns, declared my wish asap in public. I had few pictures ready but looking at them I felt it is incomplete. I am not keeping well, caught with severe cough & cold, sore throat, so I had to go to the doctor, back home I had to take out the mother to get some gifts for the very few friends she has in Barrackpore and all of a sudden I was unwilling to share the previous pictures.


Once declared, I will not step back, we had to prepare our dinner too. Why not do a MOCHA CHINGRI, an authentic Bengali non vegetarian side dish?, the heart whispered. Then how? It was 12:30 pm and we have only two Southern Indian minimarts in the neighbourhood who do not stock mocha / banana blossom all the time. I was hell bound to prepare it. Who came to my rescue? Cristine! She has no problem to go out for shopping as many times she needs to, do not ever take a dig at her intentions... she is different than the usual, perhaps lost interest in human anatomy repeatedly measuring her maam's tummy, arms, thighs. She first went to the local minimarts who did not have banana blossom. She came back home, before going out with the mother, I requested her to finish off with the daily chores and the lunch that dimma prepared for the grandson and Cristine and then take the train to the Indian market to get it. I had to ask her to chop them, boil, the rest to be done by me because I had to be out. She did as per my instructions, clicked with her phone and sent me in WhatsApp too.


I cannot be pretentious ever, I cannot take undue credits, I had to say this, but the rest of the main cooking was done by me 7pm onwards. I cannot let the mother cook, I have to take credit of the final dish is true, then she has come here not to work, she does that in her own home. She is underweight, I am letting her to cook only for the grandson. She watches Bengali tele serials, live shows and cricket, goes out with me, chats with Cristine in broken English, in all praises of Cristine. She also is praising a Soumya Bhattacharya and a Sanak Chottopadhay all the time, says they are decent boys, okay their wives too are warm. She is fond of a Sanak for 20 years now, planning a "shutkir bharta & dhokar dalna" for him before going back, Soumya is a new addition who ran to us for help when an emergency occured last Sunday in T's absence. We have a good bunch of friends. I need to wrap up soon today, a girl friend is due to visit in the evening to meet the mother, I wish to prepare "cholar dal, chicken kofta curry, luchi" for her. What I wished to tell you is that both my men love prawn, they eat vegetarian dishes that has prawns in it.... the son ate all of the MOCHA CHINGRI, the non vegetarian side dish I served him yesterday night for dinner. There may not be anyone left in the family after me to cook heirloom, Bengali dishes, let me cherish and treasure such moments.


INGREDIENTS :

MOCHA / BANANA BLOSSOM : 1BIG OR 2SMALLER SIZED
PRAWN / CHINGRI : 500GM SMALLER OR MEDIUM SIZED
SHREDDED COCONUT : 1SMALL TEA CUP
GINGER PASTE : 1TBSP
CUMIN POWDER : 1TSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1TSP
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1TSP
CINNAMON POWDER : 1/2TSP
GREEN CARDAMOM POWDER : 1/4TSP
CLOVE POWDER : 1/4TSP
DRY RED CHILLI : 2
CUMIN SEED : 1/4TSP
BAYLEAF : 1
SUGAR : 2TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
GHEE : 2TBSP
OIL : 2-3TBSP

PROCEDURE :

The first step is to rub your palms with oil, take off each layer of the cover, tear off the blossoms.



Then from each flower, take off the transparent case and the hardest stigma.

Store them in a water filled bowl.



At one point we cannot take off the cover, we will chop it too along with the flowers after washing them. Our mother used to slice the inner most part and batter fry for us to have with dal.

We will chop and keep them in a water filled bowl, then strain.


Now we will transfer it to a pressure cooker, add 2 coffee mugs of water, some salt and 1/2tsp turmeric powder. We will pressure cook it unto 3-4 whistles at the lowest heat.


On cooling, we will strain it and squeeze, rub for a minute[chotkabo ek du minute]. Remember to rub the palms with oil.


We will clean, wash and marinate the prawns with some salt and turmeric for 5 minutes. We will fry them at low heat and take out.


We will temper the remaining oil with cumin seeds, bayleaf and dry red chillies. We will add the shredded coconut now and stir fry for 2 minutes.


We will add the ginger paste now and stir for 2 minutes.


Add the red chilli and cumin powders now and stir for 1/2 a minute.


We will add the boiled mocha / banana blossom, slitted green chillies now and fold in well.


We will add some water, fold in well and cover cook at low heat for 10-12 minutes checking in between.



We will open cover, add the cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves powders, prawns and fold in well. Cover cook again for 6-7 minutes.



Open cover, add the ghee and sugar, fold in well and continuously stir cook for 2-3 minutes at medium heat.



I also cooked "peyaz diye mushurir dal o potol bhaja" to serve with the piping hot steamed rice, salad has become a part of life by force or whatever.