Wednesday, 27 February 2019

FISH KACHORI


I have literally fallen in love with this new way of preparing kachori / stuffed South Asian Bread, just that I cannot call it kochuri as the Bengalis always use rolling pin to roll their bread! I am thinking of making these stuffed breads a weekly affair at home given that they are hassle free and take lesser time than usual... Trust me they are a keep.... just do not pack them in the lunch boxes... they will spoil once cold. The best part is that this FISH KACHORI does not require any side dish. Different kinds of chutneys, dips, sauces are just fine. My personal favourite is this chutney made of fresh coriander & mint, green chillies, a garlic clove, black salt and yogurt. I do not know why some of the South Asian restaurants or Catering Services add an artificial food colouring to it. It is not required at all. Last week on Thursday, Friday & Saturday there was a kind of food fair at home... I totally forgot that the man of the house will be travelling on Sunday afternoon. I could not afford the mutton to freeze for another week ... the plan was to have a Kabuli Pulao and Kachori with a fish stuffing back to back over the weekend. He does get angry with his wife being so nagging .... but then when I tell him the stories of "all perfect, too much in love" husband & wife in social media .... he cools down. This home never have their meals on the dining table.... one eats in his room while surfing... we have it sitting in front of the television.... I tear a small piece of the stuffed bread, dip it in to the chutney.... turn to the husband and say... "people so successfully put up a good show, maintain a public facet, I never could acquire this quality".... The public is never eager to see the real you, they want "chamak-dhamak".... the reason why Bollywood can reach the heart of the masses. However, I will always remain me and take pleasure in the simple things like giggling alone watching my flowering green chilli plant or the "rokto joba" peeping out and soaking in the sunlight. I am happy about few more things... this time I successfully made a "chaltar achar"... last year it got drier. I called up the mother to enquire whether she used to boil the elephant apple or just cooked it in jaggery syrup... I followed her instructions and remember how she sunbathed jars of pickle she made of 3-4 varieties in the two major seasons. Now for at least 10 days the pickle will get a sun bath and then a homemade, spice mixture is to be added before it goes up on the blog!





Happiness is not only in each bite of FISH KACHORI but  also in making your loved ones listen to you a bit. I had to say something to my brother yesterday and I am happy that I could make my stand clear to him.... that he agreed to behave.... may be his mood is fine because Kimi's performance this season is good... haha! I always tell him to bring on the good qualities he possesses ... rest are not required... neither in public nor in private! Yesterday, I did not go out for my lunch... I asked Cristine to prepare an upma... the way I prefer "jhurjhurey" .... she did so with millet &vegetables. My concern is that I just could not identify the millet variety... I bought it but Cristine had already thrown away the packet.


Me and my forgetful self will go out, get more burnt, sit on a food court and have my choice of something.... the last one is very important to me.... getting to have what I wish! No wonder, yours truly will have two kachoris / stuffed breads whenever she prepares them. My men will prefer anything be it a South Asian Bread or a sandwich or a wrap with this spice laden fish filling than a very authentic Bengali bony fish curry. I do feel sad, very much so when that very enthusiasm of sighting anything that is authentic & say primitively Bengali turns into ashes when they do not enjoy having dishes like "batabuti, chocchori, shukto, chechki, ghyat" ..... However, my taste bud is turning into that of the primitive, family veterans'.... so I will cook them for myself.  They are definitely a keep for those like me... who even if stationed in Iceland will manage "shutkir bhorta to sheem bata to laupatai mora kechki maacher bora" in her kitchen... At 48, I am at large into the shoes of the family veterans.... it was inevitable perhaps!



INGREDIENTS FOR FISH STUFFING :

ANY FIRM WHITE FISH FILLET : 500GM
SLICED ONION : 1SMALL TEA CUP [WASHED]
MINCED GARLIC : 1TBSP [WASHED]
MINCED GINGER : 1TSP [WASHED]
CHOPPED FRESH CORIANDER : 1SMALL TEA CUP [WASHED]
CHOPPED GREEN CHILLI : 11/2-2TBSP [ADJUST]
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1TSP
GARAM MASALA POWDER : 1TSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/2TSP
LEMON JUICE : 1/4SMALL CUP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
CUMIN SEED : 1/2TSP
OIL : 4TBSP

INGREDIENTS FOR THE DOUGH :

REFINED FLOUR : 2 COFFEE MUG
SEMOLINA : 1/2 MEDIUM TEA CUP
GHEE / CLARIFIED BUTTER : 2TBSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED

WHAT WE NEED FINALLY :

THE DOUGH
THE FISH FILLING
OIL : 150GM

PROCEDURE :

Let us prepare the fish filling first.



I washed the fillets and marinated with a pinch of salt and the lemon juice for an hour.

I drained the marinade and washed the fish again. I microwaved it at high for 4-5 minutes adding a big cup of water and a little salt. Once cold, I drained the water.

I heated 4tbsp oil in a wok and tempered it with cumin seeds, minced ginger & garlic, chopped green chillies, then stirred it for 1/2 a minute.

Then I added the sliced onion and fried until brown. Thereafter we need to add the boiled fish, fold in well and just break into smaller pieces with the back of your ladle.

After stirring the content for 2-3 minutes at medium heat, we will add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and fold in well.

Let us stir for 2-3 minutes and add the chopped coriander, adjust the salt. Fold in very well and stir for another 2-3 minutes. We are done... let it cool.


Now the dough for the kachori / stuffed bread!




Take all the ingredients mentioned for the making of the dough on a bowl and rub well for 2 minutes.

Add warm water little by little and keep kneading. It may take some 8-10 minutes to get the desired soft, pillowy dough.

Cover it for 15-20 minutes. Remove cover. Tear off small portions and smoothen in between you palms.

Make a hollow and add some filling with a spoon.




Close it properly so that there is no possibility of the filling to ooze out.




Flatten softly in between your palms. They should be ready to fry.





I missed to click the pictures of frying them... was too eager to have them may be. Okay, know that they will not fluff up much as we have not rolled them thinner. They taste amazing when had fresh & hot. Reheating may cause them to get soggy!



Monday, 25 February 2019

ROSE FLAVOURED 'MOCK' BAKARKHANI ON STOVE TOP


This definitely is a breakfast fair or even goes very well with meat or potato curries. However, I had it for dinner yesterday with a strong dose of Arabica coffee... Bossy fled to the neighbouring state in the afternoon, I had nothing much to do except for sitting idle.... either day dreaming or listening to some Latino Classics... Flamenco Guitar is my favourite actually! I think I loved everything about Spain... I mean the very little of it we got to see back in 2016... Isn't Toledo the near perfect place to retire? Every piece of a stone there has a story from the distant past to say... Looking towards home... this Nomadic Weekend page in FaceBook is driving me crazy... just when I wish to go for a weekend trip... the son gets engaged with something or the other. Our mother considered us her prime focus... how can I be otherwise? I was even unwilling to leave the son alone at home and go out for a walk yesterday .... but I did go... anyway the  ROSE FLAVOURED MOCK BAKARKHANI ON STOVE TOP had to be done at night... it required only 30 minutes of standing time besides the rest of the preparations. It is that rhythmic Latino music that got me put on my shoes, wear some sun screen lotion and set out .... most of the time to nowhere... it is hardly any cardio for me... I walk in slow motion... click food... purposefully take unknown roads to get lost and feel the thrill... then ask the passerby for the way to my home.... Of the few of them I could only click the elderly gentleman... Doing all these, I complete a 6.8 km in an hour and have two bakarkhani / sweetened desi bread for dinner.... It never works... neither can I be friends with people who spend their life eating boiled broccoli and get on to the weighing machine every 5 minutes. I do not allow Ipsita to overdo in front of me... I am already a controversial woman, she gets me to earn the label 'dirty woman'.... what else?... I keep measuring Soumya from all angles and say... where is the loose fat you had been hallucinating? I cannot be too rude else she will stop sending me "potoler khosha bata".... hehe... however, I will not touch the giant sized fish pieces she has sent... but having the egg curry she parceled yesterday right now with one table spoon of rice, trust me only 1tbsp .... Of the very big fishes, I only like 'aar, boyal, dhai, chitol' It feels bad to have alone anything that the husband loves. Anyway, I get lost on the road purposefully, can afford to because I live in a 98% crime free nation.... I discovered a new park yesterday... not too far from our home... and that was the gift I got home .... I can take a lazy stroll there, sit on a bench until reality pecks... "go home... people are waiting"... Here no one bothers you on the road, neither anyone questions me on integrity at home. The happy me feels thankful... I do tell the husband that I might not have tolerated a poky nose husband... 'my father never did it, your father did not... you too never took the risk... haha'.... The sweet sensation called Bakarkhani should be made again soon once  he is back home and served with a meat or potato curry!
See, I do not even know how to make a collage sequentially!



I tasted a Bakarkhani for the first time at age 22 and fell in love with it.... Bengalis of DumDum hardly used to have this sweet toasted bread or biscuit kind of thing.... they were mostly my mother's kind... happy and content with the quality of fish at DumDum Bazaar .... "Naruda aajkeo lyaja ta free dilo janish mamoni".... even after few years of stay in Barrackpore... she could not stop raving about her "Naru da"..... no... no I did not question her intent for a single time... "mummy kya gulchari ura rahi hai kya pata".... haha! Anyway, this "Naru kaku" was one of the richest fish seller in DumDum and he used to give free tail end pieces of giant sized 7-8-10 kg of weight Rui / Katla to his loyal customers... I may have lost interest in bigger carps, but anytime is a good time for a "kora korey lyaja bhaja".... the mother and her daughter loved it... the daughter had it most of the time.... the brother never questioned why didibhai gets the bigger pieces on her plate... His problem was elsewhere... all my complaints against him were revenged with physical hits and I had to take refuge under the bed. How did I take revenge? Till date, I check his friend's list regularly and decide on the course of action to be taken .... Those I thought to be mine may have got lost leaving me alone to brood but my brother is mine .... so thankful to his wife who allows my nuisance! If only the two stopped eating junk, moreover if the mother could stop controlling their lives! All the three of them are revisiting in few months and I am planning what new dishes to cook for them... a yummy snacker as this ROSE FLAVOURED MOCK BAKARKHANI ON STOVE TOP is one of them. Back in 1992, I bagged a job in a newbie school in the subdivisional town of Barasat.... after a year, joined an elder sister like lady from my neighbourhood in DumDum .... the unpredicted meet was surprising! We used to come back together some days.... I have a five years of experience in facing "rail roko"..... stopping the train at any damn place and creating trouble to the daily commuters was rampant. On such a day, the tired us were on a bus to reach home after three changes when Mitadi told 'lets get down here right now, you get to taste  heaven.' A small, shabby room and tins of Bakarkhani... sweet breads / biscuits stacked. I loved. I have consulted the Bakarkhani recipe of Whiskaffair, Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Cook With Faiza, Lail Hossain, Times of India before going ahead with my easier version of it.... I found Faiza's picture nearer to what I had in that bakery. The grandmother loved "mishti bun ruti of only DumDum"....haha... perhaps my love for breads originated from there... why I did not get bakarkhani thereafter for the family I do not know. Now, my present home in Kolkata is only 1/2 an hour to 45 minutes from there which in all probability is near the Central Jail or the Gun and Shell Factory... but I cannot locate it after so many years .... better I cook it my way and feed fresh to my loved ones. I used dry fruits that the recipe calls for, adding the rose syrup was my idea instead of sugar. Yesterday, I did it on a tawa / griddle.... today our boy had it baked in his lunch box with plum chutney! I will share both the ways of doing the egg free delight!

Recipe Idea taken from :

MASTER CHEF SANJEEV KAPOOR
WHISKAFFAIR
COOK WITH FAIZA
TIMES OF INDIA FOOD
LAIL HOSSAIN - HONEST COOKING




INGREDIENTS :

REFINED FLOUR : 11/2 COFFEE CUP
SEMOLINA : 1/4 COFFEE MUG
ROSE SYRUP : 2TBSP
MILK : 1/2 COFFEE MUG [USE MORE IF REQUIRED]
YEAST : 11GM OF DRY BAKER'S YEAST DID I USE
BAKING POWDER : 1/2TSP
SALT : 1/4TSP
ALMOND SLICE : 1TBSP
RAISIN : 2TBSP
BLACK SESAME SEED : 1TSP
GHEE : 2TBSP + 1TBSP + AS REQUIRED TO BRUSH & GREASE

I used rose syrup, so did not use other flavouring agents like meera / screw pine water or cardamom powder!

PROCEDURE :

The brands I used and the measuring cup!




Take the refined flour, semolina, salt and yeast on a bowl, mix well.


Add the raisins, almond slices, black sesame seeds and 2tbsp of ghee. Rub well for 2 minutes.





Mix the rose syrup and milk well and warm in the microwave at high power for a minute, pausing in between.


Do take 1/2 cup of milk, I had to add milk later. So, add the warm rose syrup & milk mixture to the flour mix. Knead to a soft dough which will take some 6-8 minutes.




Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 30 minutes. I prefer keeping inside the microwave oven.

Open cover, add 1tbsp ghee to the dough and knead again for 5 minutes.




Keep covered for 5-7 minutes. Remove cover, tear off lawn tennis sized balls and smoothen between palms. Remember when Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Chris Evert or Gabriela Sabatini retires, there fans reminiscent the past with cups of coffee and bakarkhani!



With a rolling pin prepare roundels. Apply ghee on the surface. Fold and apply ghee... again fold and apply ghee. 

Roll each to a string, fold to a ring shape and roll out a shape... do not make them thin.






Grease the hot griddle with some ghee. Place one uncooked bakarkhani gently. Apply some ghee atop and cook at the lowest heat for 1/2 a minute. Turn over and apply some ghee atop. 

This way we will turn over quite a few time unlike a paratha or naan. It would remain crisp & crusty outside for a long time.... the inside will be softer, chewy. 
[Lack of patience and the mistake of keeping the griddle on high heat will leave the inside uncooked. If one of my kind can show patience when required, you too can]...

Take some fruits & nuts if you are having it for breakfast.... if for lunch... a meat or potato curry and salad suits!

For the oven baked ones , we do as below!



Instead of greasing a tawa / griddle, we will grease a bake proof tray with some ghee. Place the bakarkhani may be two at a time. Grease some ghee atop.

Preheat oven to 200*C.... I baked for 13 minutes @ 200*C on my convection mode microwave... We got the above for our boy's lunch box!



Wednesday, 20 February 2019

GARLIC TEMPERED FRESH HERBS & MUSHROOM STUFFED RICE BALL


It was only yesterday morning when I was planning something similar to this rice dish for my dinner. As told earlier, I went for a quiet lunch date yesterday and the plan was to have a chaat platter... I love it way too much served chilled... not always willing to gather five things to prepare a plate for myself! Anyway, I think every police station of Philippines have my photo in their record book... I do not wish to add more to it asking Cristine to have papri chaat for lunch. If I buy a 500gm packet of papri, I finish it in 4-5 days and shout at the poor girl when she fails to get the two ends of the measuring tape meet at my N... haha! "A" marked joke?... ok ok lah... not to go further. Now, if I eat junk for the day, I have to have some rice before retiring to the bed .... I mean it is a "bheto bangal's" take... my system stops working otherwise! Since, I am a sit at home worthless, I feel more the heat on days when I am out for longer periods.... I need coolers all day... that made me prepare those vegetarian, stuffed rice balls... served chilled to myself... GARLIC TEMPERED FRESH HERBS & MUSHROOM TEMPERED RICE BALLS Yesterday, I had it with a glass of iced tea around 10:15pm! I enjoyed it way too much. In this rarest of the rare case, my men had full Bengali dinner and me... ok enjoyed the Oriental inspired meal.... "bewda hoon kya isko authentic boloon?".... Eight years on, I still stand in front of the rack full of Oriental Sauces and wonder which is what.... Look at those Pomfrets. Standard sized Silver Pomfrets are quite pricey here... I get them home because my men love it. I am not fond of it... I just eat it and felt that I will not enjoy it with dal & rice... I have to have something of my choice.



Yes, my men love their "alu sheddo" with a generous amount of ghee and I keep nagging "how come you guys even have ghee or butter without a green chilli".... By the way, the thickness of the soya sauce & chilli padi dip is due to the tamarind pulp I added... I loved it.... One ball was for Cristine off course.

The reason for this idea of GARLIC TEMPERED FRESH HERBS & MUSHROOM STUFFED RICE BALL may have borne of my likeness to having rice  with soya sauce and chopped green chillies. I laughed out loud the day I discovered myself christened into a "halfway islander".... I still cannot have clams & mussels. Did I ever think in my childhood that I will one day fancy those "dheki chata chal" varieties? Yes, this dish has been prepared with red rice, although I love the brown rice variety the local Tamil Minimarts sell... We have two in our neighbourhood, In one, its either the lady or her husband sits in the cash .... one day she told me how to prepare appam in a normal pan... I do like building relationship this way who I think may serve my soul. In between going ahead with the preparations for this vegetarian main dish, I was talking to Mani ... The mother as usual got a scolding .... its just recently that she has recovered from a weeklong flu and she went out on a day tour to this temple in Rishra and that in Sreerampore. Its just early spring, she might have set out around 5am, went to the Barrackpore Ferry Ghat and crossed over on a boat.. Thank God that she rode toto & auto for the purpose... no her kids do not tell her that riding public vehicles may go against their "status symbol".... haha... we are non-pedigreed! I rebuked because she over does it ... she has not learnt anything from the humanist she was married to... "dharmandho manusher tyamon kono tatporjo nei aajker prithibitey.... dharma kokhono manusher urdhey noy"..... his wife may not have but I have taken some good lessons from my father.... who throughout his life has practiced humanism.... it is for him that shallow minds do not excite me neither can I utter filth just like that... Recently, someone told me something I found derogatory..... I have the guts to say straight on face that "you are making me feel uncomfortable, please leave me alone." I have nothing to fear or lose because I hate "moshahebi, chatukarita, abhinoy".... I cannot be a double standard... one as you see and something else once you turn your back! I do not claim myself to be a good human being altogether ... no one can be only good but I am better than anyone who bad mouths. Coming to the dish... it was planned yesterday morning, the mushroom, parsley , fresh tamarind were bought on way back from my date... and done between 9pm and 10pm.... because I had cooked red rice in store!



INGREDIENTS :

COOKED RED RICE : 2MEDIUM SIZED TEA CUP [FOR ONE PERSON, ONE CAN USE ANY VARIETY OF RICE]
CHOPPED MUSHROOM : 1/2MEDIUM SIZED TEA CUP [ANY FRESH VARIETY]
CHOPPED PARSLEY : 2TBSP
CHOPPED MINT LEAF : 1TBSP
CHOPPED CORIANDER : 3TBSP
CHOPPED FRESH CHILLI : 2TSP [USE 1TSP IF USING CHILLI PADI LIKE ME]
CHOPPED SPRING ONION : 1-2TBSP
MINCED GARLIC : 11/2TBSP
MINCED GINGER : 1TSP
SLICED ONION : 2TBSP
LIGHT SOYA SAUCE : 2TBSP + 2TSP
BLACK PEPPER POWDER : 1TSP [FRESHLY GROUND]
BLACK SESAME SEED : 1/2TSP [I missed, you should not]
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 2TBSP

PROCEDURE :

Take the rice on your plate, add little salt, 2tbsp soya sauce, black sesame seeds and freshly ground, coarse black pepper.




When I was mixing the content well, lightly pressing it with my palm so that I can bind the ball without refined flour, rice flour, corn flour or egg.... Cristine chopped and washed rest of the ingredients required for the filling ... the fresh flavour indeed made me happy.



Heat oil in a wok and temper with minced garlic & ginger.




When you are about to fall for the mesmerising aroma of burnt garlic, you need to check yourself and add the sliced onion.



Once the sliced onions turn golden brown, we will add the chopped fresh chillies. Stir for 1/2 a minute.



Now add the chopped mushrooms and stir for a minute.




Add the chopped fresh herbs and 2tsp of soya sauce.... adjust the salt.



Stir for not more than a minute and then transfer to a plate. Let it cool completely.


Tear out a bigger portion of the marinated rice, flatten with your palm and add some filling atop.


Cover it to get the shape of a stuffed rice ball. Relax, we do not have to roll and make parathas. The initial plan was to prepare smaller balls and batter fry them. I thought no point after having a chaat platter for lunch.


When I refrigerated the rice cutlets to get chilled, I prepared the sauce with soya sauce, tamarind paste and chopped chilli padi.... what a celebration of my tongue...



In a tropical climate, it is not a crime to have chilled, stuffed rice with a glass of iced tea around 10:15 pm!



Monday, 18 February 2019

CHINGRI DIYE GATHI KOCHUR DALNA


Many a thing are disrupting the peace of mind and I was literally eating up the head of the quieter person at home. As I went through the indecency of people in social media .... wondering how is it possible to behave so differently in public and in private... I found the otherwise rigid myself enjoying half bare bodied men and women throughout ... haha... at least they are selling themselves .... Who are those Satans who stood in front of a girl's hostel and asked to hand over the girls to them or demanding shutting down of certain business houses ... why?.... na those girls or businessmen have come from a place which is not in the good book of the one side of the radicals.... I am pretty sure it is the same in the other side too! Can we trade hatred with love? I see "highly educated" people spreading filth and instigating violence all through social media giving birth to more of enmity! Any such nonsensical post forwarded to me was sent to my garbage bin, I refuse to even read some. I turn to the husband and say that it is our faulty education system that furnish degrees and do not teach us compassion.... the basic quality required to be called ourselves human. Why not? A majority of the educationists are spreading rumours, breeding hatred.... nothing but extremists, radicals will be produced by them. Those radicals who will create ruckus in both sides of the border.... I thought I am in the top rank of the idiots who stood stupefied in Rakhal Sir's Physics and Chemistry class or in the Biology class always unable to answer.... Rakhal Sir yet loved me ... I do not know why... The disregard between me and the Biology teacher was mutual... he discriminated the students, kept dirty eye on the happening girl students, abused the back bencher boys in front of everyone! Well, I do not fall in the category who enjoy unknown males  praising their body parts... grapes are definitely not sour in this case. Ratna Ganguly Biswas di... if you are reading this, I love you... wish I had got a Biology teacher like you! Yes, I will stick to 'my' definition of a "qualitative woman" till death! I perhaps got 28 or 35 in Mathematics out of 100 in the 10th board test, got so tensed on how to clear the final boards.... did able to clear with a percentile of 55 or 59 may be ..... I remember the hapless face of my mother on the result day.... we were making a theftly exit when our T who was noting down each one of our total marks obtained stopped us. I was tired and sad, more for my mother.... got so pissed off with T that I did not visit his home for months. I did not like him looking at my mark sheet.. haha! Now he is the one I turned to yesterday saying "Boss I do not feel like mingling with anyone & everyone and take part in blunt discussions, its getting difficult for me".... All his humour comes out on a weekend... that too on his wife.... "dudin Arundhati Roy shoriye Tarapada Roy poro".... I am reading Twinkle Khanna actually, hopefully Mr.K will not exercise his karate stunts on me! I do not have a problem with people having a different opinion than mine, I am unable to get along with people who spread hatred, filth, violence in public when the need of the hour  requires one to remain level headed. So far the author has taken us to an Ayurvedic Retreat in Kerala where the leading lady meets her ex-husband with his new, hot stuff wife.... It is not an easy, pleasant sight for the protagonist you can understand .... lets see where the read takes me to.... off course not on a fairy tale ride. In a real life situation, it cannot be an all kiss scenario praising on how lovely they look together.... I mean one should have this much of self respect for oneself not to! One can only wish the best and move ahead in life. I sincerely hope to get back soon with the twosome blogposts .... in fact all my fish posts are two on a plate.... it makes clicking easier for me who is very poor in this area... So, you can see that I do not find it necessary to hide the real me, neither you should. I just request people to stay calm and decent in public! I wish I could blog on a scallop & asparagus seared in butter or crispy fried squid rings today not showing any mercy to the radicals sitting on both sides of the wired fence. Then, I cannot cook them at home and a prawn serves my immediate purpose.... I believe that if you cannot behave in public, you have not learnt the basics of life. Actually, the mother's distorted self haunts me often.... I could have shown her some love later ..... when I realised the blunder I made with life and tried to pursue my interest in Journalism or Anthropology, it was too late. Is anybody there? You can do those fashion after you reach somewhere in life. My brother could have, but he engages more in irritating me. I just wished to tell my Mani in public that I could not fulfil her dreams.... but I try to recreate her recipes in my den... this time a CHINGRI DIYE GATHI KOCHUR DALNA ..... prawns and taro yam cooked together with usual Bengali spices..... a non vegetarian side dish.

Oh yes! the men eat veggies when prawns and meat are thrown into them. Of me, I prefer smaller sized prawns these days and stick to what I feel .... bigger prawns does not seem that tasty when you get the ability to buy them on any date of the month! The son is at home today.... he is under an examination schedule which I got to know from Piali... my friend... to whom I can say... "duto zedi ghorar jonyo amar chulgulo pekey gelo shob...".... actually the first one was discovered at age sixteen at the grand parent's home few weeks after I left that 'Benglish' school for ever. Yesterday, the husband taunted or mocked whatever.... "wife do not struggle to speak English".... quite in contrast to an yesteryear friend cum senior, now famous Anindya Chatterjee who used to scold me and Chandrayee while chatting at our lawn.... "aai akaroney ingrizite katha bolbi na".... because our professors Mahim Babu and Kalipada Babu were always in praise of his excellent command over Bengali.... that the "Bethuner Bangla Department er Didira".... read out Anindya's essays to their girls... I lost all confidence during the Bengali examination... faired average and phew gone with the wind was my wish to pursue Bengali Literature. It was this T and some other who went to Iva Miss and reportedly told her that her blue-eyed girl did miserably poor in Bengali.... I was upset when she told me this... and confessed sobbing inconsolably that I have exam fear... I hate to meet targets... A toast to that unique "Bongofied" eye glasses of Anindya or his determination to live his dreams .... here is  a CHINGRI DIYE GATHI KOCHUR DALNA! I do not bother whether a West Bengal origin Bengali eats yam or not, neither will I go public bragging ... "you know I know Anindya from the days when he expressed his dislike for doshta-pachter chakri, that he had high regards for one DSO r didi who held secret meetings at Presidency".... I keep myself away from any such thing and get my men their loves for a Sunday dinner. If they eat my spicy treat with yam and smaller prawns... I do not mind. The thing is that I had to have chia with banana.... the lunch yesterday was heavy.... with no amount of exercise for the past two days, I could not think otherwise. This morning too it was dalia idli for all of us which I tactfully push into their stomachs in between a biryani, burger and prawn curry day!



Life could have been all good if I could close my eyes to the nuisance that amounts to the retarded growth of two nations.... can we stop injecting poison into young minds and let them grow  to understand that we are just pawns in a bigger political game where the heads are always shaking hands at the cost of our lives. I am cowardly and wish my son not to return to the fire.... neither the ones who have arrived here... my intention will always be to indoctrinate.... "consider yourself the daughter & son of the world society and do not allow petty minds to conquer the good in you." I have to wrap up... needs to make  preparation for some fish kachori for the family and take some fish tikki and sweet potato filled kachori for someone I am meeting for a lunch date tomorrow. Who told you that I am not an escapist? All of these 48 precious years... I have escaped from anything that can cause hurt to me... my mother has not taught me to face the world... However, I learnt some authentic Bengali, family recipes as this one from her... she from her mother... I take pride in each one of them including this non vegetarian sides using usual Bengali spices, taro yam and smaller sized prawns!


As I am about to shut myself up and share the recipe, I am into another cuppa... this time a relaxing Chamomile tea with ginger cookies... I never can get rid of my 3-tier belly... no point spending a single dollar on the slimming apps... in my case!




INGREDIENTS :

PRAWN : 300-400gm [medium or smaller sized]
TARO YAM : 10-12 [smaller sized .... nearly round or oval do I prefer]
GINGER PASTE : 1tbsp
CUMIN POWDER : 2tsp
RED CHILLI POWDER : 2tsp
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/2tsp + 1/2tsp + 1/2tsp
CUMIN SEED : 1/4tsp
DRY RED CHILLI : 2
BAYLEAF : 1
GHEE / CLARIFIED BUTTER : 1tbsp
TAMARIND JUICE : 1tbsp
SUGAR : 1tsp
OIL : 4-5tbsp [we use mustard always]

PROCEDURE :

To be on the safer side put on your kitchen gloves. Wash the taro yam under running water and take on a heavy bottomed vessel... fill with water as much as the yams needs to be covered or little more. Put on the heat and boil covered at low heat for 12-13 minutes.

Switch off gas stove and let cool. Drain the water and peel off the skin with your fingers. It gets easier after boiling... your gloves must be on.

They are a little slippery now. Rub with 1/2tsp turmeric and salt. Heat oil and fry them until brown in batches.

Meanwhile, we have de shelled, washed and marinated the prawns with salt and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder.

While the fried taro yam are resting on a plate, we will discard the marinade from the prawns and lightly fry them.

In a bowl prepare a smooth paste with cumin powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, red chilli powder, ginger paste and salt. The mother definitely uses a secret ingredient that she does not share with me. In the last visit too, I loved her's.

Temper the same oil with a bayleaf, cumin seeds and slightly torn from the end dry red chillies. I do not half them these days as they look better while whole. Oh yes, good looks keeps me on since my teen! If they can keep their pride a little under control I feel better.... when they criticise on other's looks... I say... please take your leave....

Oh! I hope the tempering did not burn, hurry up add the spice paste. You remember na we need to slow cook when it comes to "maa-dida-thakumar" ranna!

Stir fry the spice mixture at minimal heat for 2 minutes, add the fried taro yams now... Fold in well and stir for a minute.

Add 1 coffee mug of water, Bring to boil keeping the heat at the lowest.

After some 5-7 minutes, add the sugar and fried prawns, slitted green chillies, tamarind juice, adjust the salt if only required. Let cook for 3-4 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl.... garnish with ghee / clarified butter! Enjoy hot with steamed rice with a dal, meat curry, some salad alongside!