Friday, 29 March 2019

AVOCADO COCONUT CHUTNEY & CARROT SESAME CORNMEAL FLAT BREAD




I again repeat, this blog was meant to be totally Bengali in essence but then I could not keep my promise.... could not remain true to the iconic Bengali fictional or real life figures looking at whom I grew up... may be so a very upset Saubhik Sengupta does not find time to meet me / us on our Kolkata visit these days. There was a time when his vibrant wife too visited me alone... She shares her birthday with my husband and perhaps so T thinks she is far more accommodative than her husband. I had to mention Saubhik because such posts cause irritation in him just as in one Lalmohon Babu I know. Although I am no less a Bengali than them, I do believe in touching hearts in turns.... then there also works the influence of Liz Taylor's beauty to one Punita's glitz... I should have done away with this particular influence totally long back but could not... may be because our Pa was a fan of Sophia Loren... that my movie going experience started with him at Light House & New Empire... he was totally into Tollywood and Hollywood! So, bother less about what I "should"... let me handle my own odds or fight it until my end. I do not mind so long I get to do what I wish to... cook, eat, merry and repeat, continue. One should not waste their time trying to find justification in my actions... I myself had been unable to explore 25% of me so far, not bothered... I flow with my wishes & time. Like, I did not even try to reason why I had to have a dosa meal and thereafter two makai paratha with chicken & avocado chutney after a 10km walk in the sun... no one wishes to be sun kissed in this clime but I do not mind... Since, I do not set targets for myself ... I enjoy the surrounding in my own speed, hate the confinement of a gym but love the cage called home. In between preparing this vegetarian platter of AVOCADO COCONUT CHUTNEY & CARROT SESAME CORN MEAL FLAT BREAD, I did manage to capture the cloudy sky and how it turned into a weeping willow within minutes from my tiny living room... If I do away with romanticism, I will feel claustrophobic and die sooner.





I see a number of Southern Indian bloggers who have prepared an avocado chutney, since I have not clicked and seen any of their recipes... I need not make any mentions... mine may be similar but their chutneys I see have more or less the same tempering. However, I used coriander leaves without which I felt I cannot have it. I had to keep chicken as a standby, else they would have eaten the flatbread / paratha all by itself. They did have the chutney but one tablespoon each. The chutney was good as I did it as per my tastebud, the problem is that by then I had seen those perfect "moirar dokaner shingara.... Felu Mittir kaat hoye jabey to ami kon char"... Oh! I cannot mince words, I cannot fake, I cannot be a people pleaser, I stand bare in front of the world... that have cost me dearer, lost readers and I do not care... I will be following my Pa's footsteps rest of my life and hone my mother's cooking hat! So eagerly waiting to feed her the freshest of the fruit varieties here!

Today is a very hectic day for me. I have friends coming over tomorrow, today I have to attend Hariharan ji's programme... Ipsita will be taking the queen bee to the venue... only if she could manage loving her husband a little less and keep the speed limit within 80... [jha korey 120 korey dilo, blog e akhono Rukma Dakshir Ilishta otheni]... I have swimming class with the super taskmaster Joe tomorrow morning .... when do I cook? Anyway, its going to be a full course Bengali mains... so I am totally in control.... Anyway, I do not like measuring cups in my kitchen... I do it for you... my readers... for this habit... my cakes go wrong often. Okay, avocado chutney done with six avocados will fetch a big bowl of it.... what to do? It is not "dhonepatar chutney or shutkir bhorta" that I will savour it for a week. So some semolina idli went to the husband's lunch box with the chutney, son is having his breakfast with idli and chilli sauce, the rest of the chutney with few idli went to Debarathi & Ipsita's home. The dinner for the husband & son are left over chicken from yesterday and "dim sheddo aloo sheddo bhaat".... the son will eat double the rice today... mumma will not be there to force him with vegetables. What I must mention is that yesterday I prepared the chicken in the microwave... yes, I did enjoy the smaller leg piece... it does require a longer marination time.




Mumma is not the kind who would wish to leave the unwell son at home and attend a concert. So, he gets 6 dollars to get his lunch from outside... I know what it is.... a Mac meal! Weekly once I do allow. How much of upset Lalmohon Babu gets, my family enjoy the variety of breads I prepare including this AVOCADO COCONUT CHUTNEY & CARROT SESAME CORN MEAL FLAT BREAD. They are the kinds who can sustain anywhere in the world, I am not... I want an "aloo sheddo bhaat" after 5 days while on a tour. I have to finish off the post and do some arrangements for tomorrow.... my guests should not feel unattended! For the avocado coconut chutney, I used fresh coriander, green chillies, coconut, lemon juice everything to suit an Indian taste bud. The cornmeal bread did steal my heart.... I kept watching my friends having it.... so got a packet for the first time. Liked combining the shredded carrot, coriander, roasted sesame seeds. What happened was that after a standing time of one hour... the dough got softer... that made me use my palms to shape the mini flat breads. I was finding it difficult to roll them... so be careful while adding water. I was working with cornmeal for the first time and felt this can go up in the blog... have some trust and go ahead! Do not stop by here for photography, it is always like "Cristine kalo jamata aar shada orna ta dey to, then click, click, click!"




INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE AVOCADO COCONUT CHUTNEY]

RIPE AVOCADO : 6 [CUT 1/2, SCOOPED, WASHED]
SHREDDED COCONUT : 1SMALL TEA CUP
FRESH CORIANDER : 2SPRIG [DISCARD ROOT, CHOP, WASH]
GREEN CHILLI : 4 [WASHED]
LEMON JUICE : 5-6TBSP
CURRY LEAF : 10-15 [WASHED, WIPED]
MUSTARD SEED : 1/2TSP
CHANA DAL : 1/4TSP
URAD DAL : 1/4TSP
OIL : 1TBSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
CHAAT MASALA : 1TSP

INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE CARROT SESAME CORNMEAL BREAD]

CORN MEAL / MAIZE FLOUR / MAKAI ATTA : 11/2 COFFEE MUG
REFINED FLOUR : 1/2 COFFEE MUG
SHREDDED CARROT : 1SMALL TEA CUP [WASHED]
CHOPPED CORIANDER : 4TBSP [WASHED]
ROASTED WHITE SESAME SEED : 2-3TBSP 
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 2TBSP + 1TSP PER PARATHA

Let us prepare the Avocado Coconut Chutney first.




Take the avocado flesh, shredded coconut, green chillies, fresh coriander and salt in a blender. I had to add a medium tea cup of water to get a smooth paste. My blender is not a supreme woman but a rebel like my men.




Now blend at hight for a minute, pause and repeat. It should be done in 3 minutes.

We will add the chaat masala and lemon juice now. Mix well.


Transfer the entire amount onto a bowl. Heat oil in a wok, add the curry leaves, give a stir and take out before they burn.

Add the mustard seeds, let them splutter. Add the two variety of dal and stir till light brown.

Garnish the Avocado Coconut Chutney with it.


Now, the Carrot Sesame Corn Meal Bread!



Take the corn meal, refined flour, salt, shredded carrot, roasted sesame, 2tbsp oil in a bowl. I added the chopped coriander later after the dough was ready .... may be so it got softer than required.



Add very little water and knead to a smooth dough. It will take 6-7 minutes.

Cover it for not more than 1/2 an hour. I did not calculate the time... kept it covered for an hour. It can be another reason for a softer than required dough.


At this stage I added some chopped coriander. I tore off smaller portions and smoothened between my palms.

Now, they required a lot of dusting to be rolled with a rolling pin, else it was getting difficult to give a shape. I even browsed some bati and litti recipes, but no, they need prior preparations and I wanted cornmeal 'tawa' breads.

So, "yeh jo meri haath hai, laga diye kaam pe".... I used my palms to shape the parathas.


Heat a pan, place one paratha... cook both sides well. Now add 1tsp oil and cook until each side turn brown.




I got 13 parathas from the dough and served it with salad, avocado coconut chutney and chicken!





Wednesday, 27 March 2019

PANCH PHORON MOURI GURO DIYE BHETKI



After a half day tour yesterday at the China Town, the lazy body is very much willing to be stationed  at home except for an 1 hour swimming session down below. Then there is that "ghar shongshar"... Cristine is there to remind me that I have to go out to get some fruits and look for "Amul" butter in the local minimarts... our 'desi' superstore is running out of it... Given the Indian mindset, butter is synonymous to "Amul" for us... I do not know what I would have done if stationed in Timbuktu or Iceland. Raw Food is something that I do not allow Cristine to get.... you know that no one at this home can satisfy me with the fruits and vegetables they buy... so they got away with the habit totally. Last to last Sunday, I just requested the husband to accompany me to the Indian market for Bael Fruits because the day next was Shivaratri... The readers will not believe how his temperament changed within an hour... his irritation was causing me pain... "arey holoholo korcho keno...kota jinish kini eshechi jokhon".... The hyper sensitive me will get wetty eyed in such a situation and keep cribbing ....  "go and see how the husbands accompany their wives everywhere, hold hands and express their 'eknishto prem' for their wives only"... the cool guy lights another cigarette within a gap of five minutes and says "dhop marey social media tey bou er bhoye".... Do you think I leave him? I also retaliate "tui aar tor maa miley besh kore nili amader opor".... I still remember how his mother partied with her friends and his father polished their shoes, stayed with the kids over the weekend... However, Shivaratri fasting is still not a forced practice for me, I lovingly do it praying for my loves. I have a writer cum painter cum good at cooking friend in Instagram whose note on a husband-wife relationship perfectly suits this home.... this couple and their monkey will always bond over such dishes like this non-vegetarian, fish curry... in fact "maacher jhol"... PANCH PHORON MOURI GURO DIYE BHETKI.

The family together had a "boro katlar jhol diye bhaat" yesterday night too... before that the senior was scolding me for turning the home into a zoo... not selecting a theme and then buying decorative stuffs.




He asked me how can a single wall  have two different themes and he does have a point. As I always tell  you all that I immensely love the PreeOccupied and the Hatkargha kind of homes or my husband's sister's home decor in Salt Lake. Her trekker husband collects artefacts from his travels, grows flowers and fruits in his small patch of green and cooks too. His wife is the rare kind who manages home and office equally well... You know what, while at middle school I saw her doing her home when her mother was away from home most of the time... so she can fold a mosquito net with an expertise of a trained hotel staff. I had to repeat these mentions... this guy Anirban may be closer to his mumma-in-law far more than me but he also says that "S di ... you cook the best in this family"... I find his mother's cooking too good... we both having our origin in Comilla, I like how his 75 year old mother, a 5'7-8" inch tall, former volley ball player in the national team may be representing Tripura cooks 5-6 course meal everyday. BTW, what if Anirban had been closer to me than his mother-in-law?... He would have been going to office wearing a Swatch by now or would be doning a Denizen instead of a Giordano or Bossini. Oh yes! I am that mean... However, I feel happy to see my brother's wife taking my mother to the top doctors in Kolkata.... else my side of the family was like buying medicines from the pharmacy asking the counter guys there... imagine! A dear family member is paying the price now for such negligencies. It is a regret that none from my side of the family have aesthetic sense.... what if the brother's wife had so?... She would have been unable to live in that home in Barrackpore that curate 30-40 years old furnitures.... my mumma madam did not allow me to ask the father to get some decent cupboards at her kitchen... she loves her vintage "jal deoa mitsafe" so much.... I shout at them "I will not stay here more than 4 days".... they say that they are happy with the grandson whose Kolkata visit means staying at "Dimma Bari".... going out with "nono & B aunty".... eating 'Bonde' and all the junk my brother orders online ... pizza, mac meals, KFC and yes... Dimma made 'murgir jhol' and her biryani.... not "dada boudir biryani".... However, he does like bhetki... okay seabass... done the mumma way with steamed rice... PANCH PHORON MOURI GURO DIYE BHETKI. Its his break time and he is getting on my nerves finishing 2litres of iced tea in two days, not letting us open the windows of his room resulting into severe cough and cold every month... "ato abadhyo ki bolbo".... its difficult to live with such kinds... its by inheritance but ... He watches shows on fencing classes while the mother wished him to learn a musical instrument. The mother wished to see his performance but he did not start until I left the venue... I do not even know if he is provided with proper guards or not.




So, my stress is to live with people who do not listen to me.... however, I find my own happiness in food... Yesterday night was totally Bengali with "begun diye aar maacher matha, kanchakola aloo diye katla, aam dal, laal shaak bhaja".... I do not like so big carps any more but the fish was really of good quality.... I have called few guests coming Saturday to clear off the big head and 25-26 pieces... the husband is travelling next week. The regret is not been able to send Sanak "katlar jhol"... he had "me" cooked food last to last week... I feel I should not take advantage of a very gentle Soumya or Cristine all the time and ask them to carry food packets to places... I had the biggest sized hilsa at Sanak's father's place while Sanak's immediate family prefers smaller sized "rui and chicken"... their teen prefers pasta and Northern India on the plate... I have a pasta recipe to share but at the right time! "katlar jhol" definitely went for Ipsita & Debarathi's family.... it will until we change this home... I wish for a bigger balcony to place my flowering pots and more of them. Day before yesterday it was "sabudana khichdi" for lunch.... Since, I do not like to prepare lunch for myself which I rarely have at home, Cristine does it and all this while she was feeding me "shabur jhal ghyat".... I had to take over and it was decent this time .... tapioca is high on starch and I should not have it often. I wish to blog on a Bengali "shabur khichuri".... I know two Bengali bloggers who have already blogged on it the way Chandrayee's mother used to do... it was not our family recipe... I must try it!




There is nothing much to say about this Bengali style fish curry... I just tried it with a different combination of spices keeping in tact the Bengali essence. Doing so, I used very less spices like a bit of ginger extract, fennel powder, red chilli powder, lemon juice, turmeric powder, salt... later I felt that adding some slitted green chillies towards the end would have done more justice to the curry. Come on, such dishes do not require stepwise pictures, it needs a hot bowl of steamed rice, "toker dal aar peyaz diye mushur daal er bora".... Do not serve me cold food when I visit your home... I cannot have food if I do not feel the warmth of the hosts.... Yes, the mother's daughter has stopped serving fritters to a big gathering of guests as she fails to coordinate the chat sessions & adjusting the gas oven heat alternatively, Cristine's timing in accordance with my instructions and serving them crispy hot fritters... fritters lose their crispiness if reheated!





INGREDIENTS :

SEA BASS / BHETKI :  1 PIECE OF 700-800 GM
GINGER EXTRACT : 4TBSP
FENNEL POWDER : 11/2TBSP
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1TBSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1TSP + 1/2TSP
LEMON JUICE : 3-4TBSP
BENGALI PANCH PHORON : 1/2TSP [A MIX OF WILD CELERY-CUMIN-FENNEL-BLACK MUSTARD-FENUGREEK-NIGELLA SEED]
SALT : AS REQUIRED
SLITTED GREEN CHILLI : 3-4
OIL : 6-8 TBSP

PROCEDURE :

I always get my fish cut by the fish sellers who I think are babies compared to their counter parts in Bengal. Since, I am the daughter of a mother who still does not allow fish and meat to be cut by the fish sellers back there except for very big ones.... I cannot cook anything that does not look good to my eyes. My cutting instructions cause irritation to them. I am that Bengali who is against cutting open the fish stomach or chopping off the tail end totally.

Clean the scales very well before washing them. I remember that I did not let Sushama or Dipa didi when my son was 1-2 years old to clean and wash the fish and meat. I got older and lethargic, so Cristine gets the liberty to get me puke behind closed doors of the toilet at times. After that what she gets is oral abuses not amounting to physical assaults. What I get is scolding from the husband. "you will not be abusive to the needy"... So, each time I give demo with at least one piece of fish or meat... which again does not meet my mother's standard of perfection.

Now, wash them thoroughly under running water. I do enjoy those village style cooking videos, feel jealous to see their lakhs of followers, promote mine which you never should because there is no mutual belongingness that happens... most of them are not keen to trust you enough and click the recipe link ... .... Although I enjoy watching the shows, I cannot agree to the idea of washing food stuffs in a colander. Yes, I am that hypocrite whose wish to live deep inside the woods is just a romantic dream... she lives in a no man's land actually .... may be alongside one single inhabitant... the protagonist of Labyrinth.

Washed already ya? Now drain the water and rub with some salt and 1tsp turmeric powder... Those who eat turmeric regularly  get less of skin cancer comparatively... turmeric has medicinal properties. Keep the fish pieces marinated for 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok, fry the fish pieces lightly. Take out and reserve for later use. Do not fry too much or at high heat. I had shown the door to one cook Julie within 6 months of appointing her for trying to play tricks with me doing 4 items within an hour. That was in 2009. Not knowing that cooking ability runs in my blood, she and her another "boudi" tried to give me a lot of lectures .... I learn from the right people, I do not entertain tricks and poor intents. I absolutely hated Julie's unprofessionalism when my that neighbour wooed and bought her with gifts... she could because every corner of her home has or had black money hidden... she could... I am not so rich. I sincerely hope my eye-surgeon's wife or my boy friend's wife Kana is not reading it... they cannot stop laughing for the entire day ... while a Rupa Roy will scold me for talking like this.

Okay, add the panch phoron to the wok and give a quick stir. Immediately add the ginger extract, dry red chilli, fennel and turmeric powders. Fold in well and stir at lowest heat for 1/2 a minute. Add the slitted green chillies and give a stir. Add 2 coffee mugs of water and  let boil for 5 minutes at low heat.

Gently add the fried fish pieces and simmer at low heat for not more than 3-4 minutes. Switch off the gas oven and add the lemon juice.

I gift you a very light, summer cool fish curry that you may enjoy with steamed rice. We also had some egg curry and green moong dal that day!

Do not get upset if I have talked way too much today, stay put with CURRY AND SPICE for more on simple recipes and her simpler takes on life. Thank You!




Monday, 25 March 2019

METHI BATA MUTTON




Of the three meat varieties I eat, Mutton rules over my mind and taste bud.... because Kolkata and Rajasthan sell the best quality of mutton in India, here the mutton quality do not satisfy me. Mine is a complicated stomach functioning, so our Pa was told to stop giving me any meat back in the 90's... I told you all so in an earlier meat post so far I can remember. I could not listen to the doctor and my parents always have given indulgence to my food-o-phobic nature.... They forced cycling to yoga on me with no result... the father fell sick trying to teach me cycling, while my little brother learnt riding a bicycle and scooter at age 13.... this too I like telling you repeatedly. However, I was the happiest person on earth when his 65,000 rupees of worth Bajaj Pulsar got stolen a day after he bought it... Barrackpore is a very peaceful township otherwise, it perhaps was the handiwork of the rowdies he sold his old scooter to. One should not call such kinds at home and let them know your location, so be careful about who you are calling home! It happened for his good, else his dream was to own John Abraham's kind of a bike... now he loves his tiny four wheeler.... The thing of concern  is that if the cleaner does not turn up over the weekends, it is his mother and wife who cleans it. Situation could have been so when his large portico could have housed 4-5 cars and the cleaners would line up to wash them.... but Bengali households in those days were a "kerani tairir karkhana".... I really wish to meet one Anindya or Anupam's parents. Yes, my brother had the potential to be a cricketer or a dancing actor but my parents were very much like any other middle-class Bengali.... "arey oor to lekhapora kortey bhalolageyna, oto oor didir bhai.... kono dadar bhai to noi je dhomkey dilam aar jhuley jhuley poreyi gelo.... jak baba amar bhaier mathai onek chul... angul dhokena".... On a serious note, within a very Bengali setup, a TSRay could say that he does not have the tenacity to work hard to secure a first class in physics, that his father does not have the ability to finance his pursuit for a higher professional degree, that he completely wishes to do away with the word "masher sesh".... aka "end of the month" from his life.... and traversed the very tough, unknown path. I am not so silly not to grab tight this guy's waist. Okay, we are not an affluent, propertied class per say but I can cook a yum non vegetarian meat curry METHI BATA MUTTON towards the end of a month. It is an eternal human nature to ask for more, we should not.

Besides a mutton or a hilsa, you know na how much I love to be in touch with the greens... most of the flowering plants we see here used to be grown by the maternal grandfather and his eldest daughter still grows them. I may love walking outdoor because I get to be in touch with them. I wonder if I had ever seen so tall a "jabar jhar" back in Bengal.... the white ones are kamini... I do not get them at home... they call home snakes .... I still remember big sized embracing those plants at the grandparent's home. I grew up in an environment that was "matir kacha-kachi"....... the husband however is a concrete jungle kind of.... did his crowd puller, party loving mother had time for doing all these?



Aren't the above too beautiful? Although they release carbon dioxide, they provide oxygen to my soul. Come on, this much of science I know... I also know that mutton slow cooked in a wok gives you the best taste. However, given the dry, hard quality of it here, I may need to rethink and give the marinated pieces one whistle and then slow cook it further in onion, garlic and spices. This particular recipe with a fenugreek seed and plain yogurt METHI BATA MUTTON did our mother learn from a mention by the host, Paroma Banerjee of "Rojgere Ginni"... a popular Bengali television show. I met this vibrant girl with an excellent oratory skill at my neighbourhood friend Kana's place some 10-12 years back... she asked me why I do not participate once. Actually, as per the TV host, it was her mother who cooked methi chicken this way.... Our mother may not have adapted a copy pasted one, neither did I remember to ask mani about it.... let all of us have some liberty in the kitchen.... I wish to finish off quickly, our boy is at home today and mumma wishes to prepare some "bonde" for him.... he loves... specially the wet, Bengali kind he eats everyday while at "dimma bari".... This non-vegetarian  meat curry is done with very few spices, the marination is what is important.... measuring the right amount of fenugreek seed used is necessary... else it may turn onto a "pathar shukto"...




INGREDIENTS :

MUTTON : 1KG [MEDIUM CUT]
PLAIN YOGURT : 200-250GM [BEATEN]
FENUGREEK SEED PASTE : 11/3 TBSP
GINGER EXTRACT : 2TBSP
GARLIC EXTRACT : 2TBSP
GINGER PASTE : 2TSP
GARLIC PASTE : 2TBSP
ONION : 2 BIG [PEELED, WASHED, SLICED]
RED CHILLI POWDER : 3-4 TBSP [ADJUST YOURS]
GREEN CHILLI : 4 [SLITTED, WASHED]
FRESH CORIANDER : 1/2SMALL TEA CUP [CHOPPED, WASHED]
CINNAMON STICK : 2-3 [2 INCH LENGTH]
GREEN CARDAMOM : 2-3
CLOVE : 3-4
BAYLEAF : 1
TURMERIC : 1TSP+1TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 2TBSP +5TBSP

PROCEDURE :

Wash the mutton thoroughly under running water. Drain all the water. Marinate the mutton with the fenugreek seeds paste, beaten yogurt, salt, 1tsp turmeric, ginger extract, garlic extract, 2tbsp oil. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for at least 5-6 hours.

Take the box out and bring to the normal room temperature before adding to the wok.

Heat 5-6 tbsp oil in a wok and temper with the bay leaf, green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon sticks.

Add the washed and sliced onions, fry until brown. Now add the ginger and garlic paste, salt and 1tsp turmeric powder. Stir for 2 minutes. Add the red chilli powder and stir for 1/2 a minute.

Add the mutton to the wok sans the marinade. Stir cook at high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Now add the marinade, fold in well and lower the heat to minimal. Cover cook for at least 45-50 minutes.... checking & stirring in between.

We will add 2 coffee mugs of warm [as they say] water when all the water has dried up [koshano holey]

Cover cook at lowest heat for 5-6 minutes at the lowest heat. Open cover and add 1/4 of the chopped fresh coriander & slitted green chillies.

Cover cook again at minimal heat for 5-6 minutes. We are done. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the rest of the chopped coriander leaves.

We enjoyed it with some rice and "doi potol"...




Friday, 22 March 2019

KOLAR BORA IN APPE PAN



 I am calling it a magic pan these days and gradually learning to use it better. How amazing it is to wake up in the morning, ask Cristine to chop some vegetables... mix them with few ingredients, warm half teaspoon oil in the moulds, pour the batter and done.... wow! I consider the makers of it  engineers .... and truly so. For a Bengali, that too a primitive one, it is quite obvious to learn about an "appe" pan so late in life. If I have known, I will make full use of it. I mean I am so eager to try different combinations of batter in it.... even some 'doi bora'! The mildly sweet snack KOLAR BORA IN APPE PAN was a venture day before.... see what I made this morning... semolina-yogurt appe... just loving the crisp outside and soft inside texture... and the hint of green chilli in it is just awesome... Ever since I have started blogging... I get to see people cooking in this moulded pan... I never took interest until when I met the veteran Hindi teacher of this island Chitra Gupta ma'am at her place... so loved the quiet conversation with semolina "appe" and "masala chai"... Have I turned really old inside too? I do not know.... when the earphones are at work... I am that 16 year old teen till date.... when it comes to judgements and all... I am totally into the shoes of one Susan John... one of the best Social Studies teacher I came across... I know it is not good to be judgemental... the best way to express your displeasure over anything is distancing yourself.... who am I to judge anyone?.... I am just trying to teach this to myself... "Susan ma'am is very rigid".... that had been the complain of the younger brigade at the place where I used to work.... She used to scold me too for browsing the net during the breaks .... but I always looked up to her.... five years back I did not know what makes me so fond of her.... today, I know that deep inside I am a miniature Susan John.... I should not be.... I need to be a bit open-minded .... unable to be so... I am totally into myself... experimenting with food... roaming around the island.... enjoying it too. 90% of group discussions do not make happy.... I find myself unable to discuss people in their absence, discuss other's bedroom stories.... neither can I expect people to talk music & food with me all the time...





Respecting a Susan ma'am does not mean I keep a Anindita Goswami or a Rita Banerjee at far. If you wish to see the real life Aunty Acid, you must meet the MCA Graduate from Jadavpur University, a mathematics teacher here ... you must! The mother of an engineer son and of a daughter doing final years at Symbiosis, Pune... she was seen wearing an off-shoulder in the Indian locality one day.... and how this nut screamed from a taxi... "tumi eshob porcho naki... facebook e diona".... I do not know why I had to make such a comment... This lady follows some of the who's who of Bengali Food Blogging world.... ok also the poor me.... but the question is that why so?.... she so hates cooking. Okay, Rita di is a veteran English teacher in the island... mother of two boys who is wasting her talent being stationed at one place for ages... a place with very poor infrastructure and pay package. She is a citizen, proud owner of may be a 3000 sq.ft. flat here that houses a pool table and a pup... a boy or a girl... I forgot... Does she get angry when I speak of "shamya baad".... she should not.... I also do not hesitate to applaud in people what I do not have. If they have come to my mind... we need to sit together, its being long we have not. I do not miss that workplace, but I do miss my colleagues there ... it is from the Southern Indians there that I have developed a love sort of for mango & tamarind rice... I tasted a "gatta curry" or  a "churma" from the Northern Indians .... a Priti Taneja prepares the best "atta halwa"... the teacher with two daughters writes, owns a blog and I am so unable to hit a like on her anecdotes. If you get to meet a Noopur Somani at any marathon meet there in the bahargaon... she will in few months... do not talk about food... the very sincere runner is always on a strict diet. For all of the above, a healthy vegetarian snack as this KOLAR BORA IN APPE PAN.

Now the authentic Bengalis including my brother are so willing to unfollow my blog... "tui ki Bangalitto harali naki?".... No baba, when I share with you tomorrow the picture of a 7 kg of weight 'Katla' I bought yesterday... you will know I have not.... very eagerly looking forward to a mutton share on Monday. I am just trying to respect people's feelings... the Dol Purnima / Holi fervour is still on... What did I do yesterday?... tried to sing to the husband some romantic numbers over phone just to hear the phone to be disconnected in a minute. I save them on my voice recorder. Bored with salmon, seabass and prawns, I went to my favourite Bangladeshi shop yesterday... spotted the fresh, big 'katla maach' that came from the neighbouring state..... the husband loves it... son will eat too the "peter piece" following his father....  I do not know when to finish all of  the 43 pieces.... we have not called any guest either. S is a miser who got a 7kg weight 'katla' because it is the cheapest fish in this island. I will not share the pictures today for obvious reasons. You see, it is important to go out of our native places at least for few years... we learn other cultures and should preserve our own too. Yesterday's lunch was biryani instead of a chaat... I can break Holi rules... Bengalis eat non-vegetarian on special occasions ... although my mother does not... felt happy to see her playing with colours alongside her mad son and okay ... younger daughter... Feared of me, they will not make the "ghostly" pictures public... My side of the family forces to eat vegetarian food on occasions. It was because I ate double the amount of biryani rice yesterday than I usually eat... I got very scared... I had "dal sheddo, ucche begun bhaja, bhindi sheddo, maach" for dinner .... I was not willing to have the fish but it had to be done with yesterday.


Today too I may not have rice the entire day.... at night may be it will be two tiny "ruti with chicken and dal, bhindi sheddo".... I love rice and all this drama makes me very unhappy... Had I have eaten a bit healthy and exercised a bit while in Kolkata, I would not have been caught with diabetes... a lifestyle disease! I continue to live but... The meat-o-phobic, fish-a-holic teen who vowed "hawaayein jahan bhi le jaye main chal padungi... hamein jina hain".... the 48 year old got home an appe / moulded pan in line with that... I wish to live... I must... I cannot quit eating what I love either. KOLAR BORA IN APPE PAN is made with few ingredients... a must do in your kitchen... did this Bengali ever imagine that a kolar bora / banana fritters or say a mini malpua can be done in half tablespoon of oil? Have overripe bananas at home? tired of banana cakes?... try this!



INGREDIENTS :

BANANA : 2MEDIUM SIZED
REFINED FLOUR : 1MEDIUM TEA CUP
RICE FLOUR : 1/2 MEDIUM TEA CUP
SEMOLINA : 2TBSP
YOGURT : 1/3COFFEE MUG
SHREDDED COCONUT : 1/2SMALL TEA CUP
SUGAR : 2TBSP [I USED SUGAR FREE ALTERNATIVES OF SAME AMOUNT]
FENNEL SEED : 11/2TSP
BAKING SODA : A PINCH
OIL : 1/2TSP FOR EACH FRITTER [LATER I FELT GHEE WOULD HAVE GIVEN IT A NICER FLAVOUR]

PROCEDURE :

Peel off the banana skins and take them on a bowl. Make sure you washed them before peeling.

To it add the refined flour, rice flour, semolina. Mix well.

Add the shredded coconut & yogurt now and fold in very well. There should not be any lump. Add little water only if required for a paste like consistency.

Add the sugar and fennel seeds. Fold in well and keep covered for an hour. The standing time is important.

Before we start cooking them... add the baking soda and mix well.



Place an appe pan on high heat. After a minute, grease each mould with 1/2 tsp oil. Let it warm.



Better use an ice-cream scoop or a round spoon for taking and placing the batter correctly in each mould. Lower the heat to minimum before doing that.


Cristine turns them more confidently, while maam prepares some  'aloo-potol diye katlar jhol' for her too! Okay, try my minimal oil mini malpua or kolar bora in your kitchen and enjoy them fresh & hot.


Wednesday, 20 March 2019

KAJU KISHMISH NARKOL BHORA KHASTA KOCHURI




..... and how much satisfied I felt with the outcome of the snackers yesterday evening... I am planning it since Sunday "karon aaj amader nyarapora kaal amader dol"... We had a happy meal, only that I missed the husband who definitely would have liked it. So, it is to be done very soon again... may be next weekend. I was very hopeful about doing this dry kochuri, wanted a right kind of dough and be totally relaxed too while preparing them. So, you can see that they are not designer ones... I did what I am comfortable in... just stuffed and shaped them round. To enjoy at least four of them, we need some workouts... although it does not work that way... I am telling you it does not... After a 10.5 km of walk yesterday afternoon, I had a soul satisfying meal with "mutton curry, radish, dal, papad, bandung" at an Indo-Malaysian-Tamil joint located just at the back of our home. I like their rice meals. So, all of that pride of a long walk in the sun went into the river. I am that way but.... life is short and I cannot limit it to something I do not wish to. Like, these days I got very calculative about mingling with people... I study intents and who is how much willing to give it for me or my family ... if I am not satisfied, I prefer to be formal .... So, the happy loner me walked to her old neighbourhood yesterday.... she goes every 15 days for her eyebrows to be done. Menopause is not a concern but the super fast greying is.... Anyway, I finished my work there and did not have my favourite Bento Box at 5 dollars. Ask me why? I wished to walk back home which is not possible with a loaded stomach. Any sincere health watcher would have eaten a carb free lunch but I am the one who will cook, eat and do little cardio. Like today & tomorrow, I will swim.... its a lazy body that functions in slow motion and I am indulgent about it. The adventure was in inventing few "thoka togor er gach" on the way and tearing a branch on way back .... Handing it over to Cristine at the gate, I went for my lunch.... back home it was waiting for the son to come from the school and then starting with the preparation of KAJU KISHMISH NARKOL BHORA KHASTA KOCHURI. It was a fun project specially the thought of surprising the son with an uncanny dinner was making me happy.... did not our mother do the same for her 'petuk' daughter?.... my little brother was never a foodie as such.





Excuse me if my life, my likings resemble with any of my readers or their "beau's"..... I really do not know or that much interested in others' lives... but can understand how protective and possessive one can get on certain things... at least I am that way... I do not like sharing what I love or you can say I decide who to share with. Leave that... you cannot analyse the weird, silly nerd in me... let me carry the  heavy burden called "me" alone... another 15-20 years left or may be less.... let us enjoy life. Totally believing in getting the maximum out of life, I had to have that amount of dinner yesterday, as if the "doier ghol" and the salad is going to help me out from the negative effect of a deep fried snacker.... but tomorrow is Dol / Holi.... I must think of my readers who celebrate it. This home does not play, I will pay my homage to my ladoo Gopal with some colours... thats it! How is the morning today? Coming to food again... Kodo Millet Idli went to the son's lunch box, I had to have it with my black coffee and one left over dry 'kochuri' too. Life is good!



For, the KAJU KISHMISH NARKOL BHORA KHASTA KOCHURI, we require few ingredients... some spices, shredded coconut, cashew nuts, raisins, refined flour, ghee, oil and done. I wanted to be very particular about the dough and again watched a youtube video by one Sourav from Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's team.... shortening of the flour with ghee is the secret key to the best textured shingara / samosa .... which I forget at times while preparing them and is left unhappy! This time I did not want bubbles on the kochuri skins. I am eager to share the recipe... oh! how divine the filling smelt... I felt like I am standing at "Ultadangar more with a thonga full of khasta kochuri from VIP Sweets?".... it has one of its biggest outlet within 200 metres of our Kolkata home... in between Arsalan & Aminia... "karey chairya karey chumu khamu kou"....



INGREDIENTS : [for the filling]

Shredded Coconut : 11/2medium tea cup
Cashew Nut : 6-7 [chopped]
Raisin : 10-12 [chopped]
Coriander Seed : 1tbsp
Cumin Seed : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3
Sugar : 1/2tsp
Salt : 1/4tsp
Ghee : 2tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [for the dough]

Refined Flour : 11/2 coffee mug
Ghee : 2-3 tbsp
Salt : 2-3pinch
Water : As Required

INGREDIENTS : [for the kochuri]

The Filling
The Dough
Oil to deep fry!

PROCEDURE :

Let us prepare the dough first.

Take the flour & salt in a wide mouthed bowl and mix well.

Melt the ghee and pour onto the flour. It needs to be lukewarm.


Be careful when you touch, remember it should be lukewarm and not hot.


Now mix well and keep rubbing with your right palm. Come on do not smell your fingers while at work... although the ghee smells divine.


After 3-4 minutes, it will get crumbly. Add water very little at a time and keep kneading.


It will take some 10 minutes to prepare the correct dough which needs to be harder than an usual one for 'luchi-porota'... this is important.


We will cover it with a clean towel for 20 minutes.


For the filling, we will heat 2tbsp ghee in a wok. We will add the shredded coconut to it.



After 3-4 minutes of constant stirring, it will turn light brown in colour and your kitchen will smell heaven.


Store it  and let cool.



Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and grind to a coarse powder. I had previously done, cannot furnish the pictures... do not store this spice powder for more than a week... loses the aroma.

Add it to the fried coconut. Microwave the cashew nuts for 30 seconds and chop. Cut small the raisins. Add both to the spiced & fried coconut. Add the salt, sugar.... mix well.


Now remove the cover from the dough and knead well again for 2-3 minutes.



Tear out small portions and press in between your palm.


Smoothen in between your palms and make a hollow.


Fill in with the filling and press with the back of your spoon. Now close both the ends.



Get a round shape for each. Cristine helps a lot at this stage.



Now heat the oil in a wok and deep fry in batches. Keep on to tissue papers before serving hot.



I served my family with 'doier ghol"... salad... a vinegar-green chilli chutney, a store bought red chilli sauce...