Monday, 18 October 2021

LESS SUGAR LOBONGO LOTIKA


 

FOOD MUST LOOK GOOD IN MY HOME, IF NOT PERFECT!

Not only a sweet snack post, I wish to share with you the story revolving around it's making!It all started a day or two prior to the Durga Pooja!I was yet to do up my nails and other stuffs necessary, just before the Durga Pooja!They may not be as important in life! Somehow, I managed to cook this low in sugar, modified version of a Bengali sweet "Lobongo Lotika" in between all of those busy schedule!I clicked the steps and the final pictures too!




That I will skip the last step of soaking them in a warm sugar syrup for a while was pre-decided! Then, I did not like the finish of it! Those bubbles are unwelcome, may be the oil was more hot that required! I got busy with the festivity thereafter!

I AM EATING UNBELIEVABLY SIMPLE THESE DAYS!

Most importantly, I ate the simplest food during the Durga Pooja and did not feel irritated or suffered from a lack of fulfilment!A dinner at the Arab Street was good enough for me and the taste of the lamb kebabs would linger for long, even the chicken kebabs were too good.I love middle eastern breads!I was getting home the simplest of food from the pooja venue for our lunch!That simplicity continues!I did not cook in bulk last Saturday because my refrigerator racks must remain empty until Wednesday, its Lakshmi Pooja!I got food from Jollibee yesterday for the man's lunch, I did not wish to because I had to do away with a couple of leftovers!






May be towards the end of the week, I will go to Jollibee for a fried chicken meal!I prefer sitting in the venue amidst strangers, study them or just get lost! Why I never get bored wandering alone I wonder!Thereafter, I had a dry cake biscuit & tea in the evening and our dinner was what I cooked last to last Saturday.



Today too, you will know gradually how involved I got with something! Then, I went down for a swim, came back and had another rustic meal! In between all these, I did two sets of prayers! 


Oh!How I loved the "panta bhaat"with oven cooked potatoes!I am just feeling tired and feverish, swimming in the rain & a plate of "panta bhaat"are a deadly combination! Every bone is wanting an hour of nap to feel fresh but writing the blog is a pleasure!Besides, I have discovered hidden cough & cold within; is hypothyroidism a reason?

WHAT IS LESS SUGAR LOBONGO LOTIKA?

The incomplete story had been the following! This morning, I felt I would not use the pictures clicked last week. Why not? I know the trick of frying them that can avoid that finish!I cooked another batch of LESS SUGAR LOBONGO LATIKA.It is a Bengali vegetarian sweet, I rather would call it a sweet snack! Again, it is not a pedigreed sweet in Kolkata, the local snack shops rather make it in the morning, the famous sweet shops won't keep it, still the neighbourhood shops would!I added some cashews & raisins to the instantly made khoya / mawa filling and totally skipped the sugar syrup part! Hope, that helps you too! I feel great been able to get that near perfect texture & look today! I feel better sipping some hot tea and a bowl of "jhal muri"! Life is always good if we know how to face it!





INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE FILLING]

FULL CREAM MILK : 1 SMALL TEA CUP
GHEE / CLARIFIED BUTTER : 2-3 TBSP
POWDERED MILK : 1/2 MEDIUM TEA CUP
GRAM FLOUR : 1/2 MEDIUM TEA CUP [CAN SKIP & USE MILK POWDER ALONE]
CHOPPED & ROASTED CASHEW NUT : 1 TBSP
RAISIN : 10-12
SUGAR : 2 TSP [I USED BROWN SUGAR]
GREEN CARDAMOM POWDER : 1/4 TSP

INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE DOUGH]

REFINED FLOUR : 1 COFFEE MUG
SALT : A PINCH OR TWO
GHEE / CLARIFIED BUTTER : 1 TBSP
OIL : 1 TBSP
WATER : AS REQUIRED

THE FINAL REQUIREMENT :

THE MAWA / KHOYA / REDUCED MILK FILLING
THE DOUGH
CLOVE : 1 FOR EACH SWEET
OIL FOR DEEP FRYING

PROCEDURE :



Let us prepare the mawa filling at first! I always do it instantly, following a youtube video!

I mixed together the gram flour, milk powder, full fat milk, sugar, ghee, green cardamom powder and cooked at the highest power for one & half minute!

Thereafter, I added the roasted, chopped cashews & raisins to it!


For the dough, I had taken together the refined flour, salt, ghee & oil and rubbed well for a minute or two!



I added water little by little and prepared a dough! I kept it covered for ten minutes or so!



Thereafter, I kneaded it again for 2-3 minutes! 

I made small dough balls from it!



We rolled out small roundels, added the mawa at the centre and folded sideways; then joined the other ends!




Then, I locked each with a clove!


I heated the empty wok for a pretty 4-5 minutes!
 

Then I poured the oil and also a few of the filled dough balls in the cold oil!

This part is crucial! We have to fry them for a longer period in seriously low heat. We will switch on & off the gas stove constantly!


Once both sides turn crisp, we will take them out and place onto a tissue paper!



I skipped the last step of soaking them in a warm sticky sugar syrup, a good decision I took!

You must eat it within half an hour for a crisper feel!







Saturday, 16 October 2021

COCONUT CREAM PLUM ICE-CREAM



IN SEARCH OF A HEALTHIER DESSERT!

I am really in the lookout for less sugar, healthier sweets & desserts these days.That is one reason I do not blog about the traditional Bengali Sweets; the major reason off course is the patience & hard work that goes into making them.Think of the time & patience a "kheer kadom" takes!I do not think I want to make them, neither the family is fond of! So far I can remember, I liked the mawa / kheer coverage of a "kheer kodom" sweet that had poppyseed in them!The inside would be an overcooked roshogolla, very sweet! I do not know why I blogged about a DANADER / DANADAR recipe, we were never allowed to eat it, neither I was that fond of. But one or two of it would go very well with what I cooked today for our lunch! We ate and I updated an old blogpost DAL POORI WITH SPICED POTATO!

I AM LOSING WEIGHT!

The above sounds very sweet. But I am wondering what exactly is triggering my weight loss!I did not exercise for a week!Is it because I did not eat junk food for quite sometime or is it the 24 hours of fasting effect? I am surprised because I ate a lot of rice grains the past few days!The worst thought is if at all the weight machine is giving the right measurements,I bought the cheapest one I remember!No point pondering, the hardest job is to continue with the the weight loss journey which I tend to fail!I fear if there is any internal illness I am unable to feel. Anyway, the frozen shoulder thing needs an immediate attention, I am planning to see a Chinese Traditional Therapist post Lakshmi Puja! There are other discomforts all over the body but I do not bother others, neither myself! The world today got very self-centric; no one bothers, no one would ask you, hi whats up? My life cannot stop for that, if the week of Durga Pooja was a bit off track from my usual routine, I will now get back to my usual self! I need to go for long walks, unknown pathways make me happy!And yes, cooking for my family, and my clients off course!My biggest shortcoming since childhood is my instant mood swings followed by severe irritation, the reason of which I cannot share with anyone!

WHAT IS THIS COCONUT CREAM PLUM ICE-CREAM?

COCONUT CREAM PLUM ICE-CREAM is a homemade ice-cream, vegan , gluten-free, diary free, less on sugar using coconut-cream, cashew nuts, raisins, cornflour, a little of brown sugar and plums. Its a no cook ice-cream without any trace of egg in it!I did not know I would like it so much, but I did!My body is kind of averse to the diary products since childhood! I have them but find it hard to digest!Because I will be 51 sooner,I try to get diary-free alternatives to my desserts & sweets!I am not fond of coconut cream or milk as much I am of coconut, I did not know I would love it so much!


The little sour tone of the plum chunks amalgamated so well with the sweetened coconut cream!




INGREDIENTS :

CHOPPED PLUM : A BOWLFUL
COCONUT CREAM : 350 ML -400 ML
CASHEW NUT : 14-15
RAISIN : 15-20
SUGAR : 2 TBSP [I USED BROWN SUGAR]
CORN FLOUR : 2 TSP
ROSE ESSENCE : 2-3 DROP
CHOPPED PISTACHIO TO GARNISH!

PROCEDURE :



We are using these few ingredients!


I have taken together all of them in a blender except the chopped plums!


I blended them well and poured in a glass bowl.



I had refrigerated the bowl for a pretty 2 hours!


I took it out and again blended for a minute or two!




I pourED it into a container and added the plums to it! I froze it overnight!


Before serving, I garnished it with chopped pistachios!









 

Friday, 8 October 2021

OVEN E MOSHOLA FULKOPI GRAVY



THE "WE LOVE CAULIFLOWER" FAMILY!

Is cauliflower the glamour quotient in the vegetable kingdom? I do not know why this question arises on my mind often! The movements & actions in the food world make me think so! Say, the PM of UK wished to go for a Bengali dinner one evening! Would he be served "gathi kochur dalna" or "chal kumror pur bhaja"? He would not be, even if the chef is from Kolkata or Dhaka, they would serve him a modified version of "fulkopi-aloor dalna" with lots of cashews & raisins in it which the Bengali Homes do not have any clue about! This is the reason why I never blog about a Hyderabad Charminar's Nihari or Lucknow's trademark Galouti or Mangalorean Fish Curry! I may try them in a restaurant but do not believe in their authenticity! I believe only a Mangalorean or an Andhraite or an UP resident  by birth can serve me food authentic of their place! Well, I took the name of the UK's PM because I like his mannerisms, so funny!Had Herge been alive, he would have evolved one new character drawing the inspiration from the PM! In the food world too; there is constant evolving, modifying, developing of the authentic which is constant I guess. My today's recipe is such a modification! It is like, give me a "fulkopi, jeerey guro, dhone guro, lankar guro, noon, lebur rosh", I will give it a glorified status! There is no wrong in that so long the food is tasty and the ingredients do not go to waste!These days, I try to get them healthier too!

EATING DISORDER IS CAUSING RUCKUS IN MY SYSTEM!

There is not much of upheaval in my life, I do not have to run for my office early morning, I do not have targets to meet or have to face the rage of my bosses! I am such a dilli-dallied self that I do not load myself with more than two orders in a day, even if it involves good earning!I want to earn but cannot perform under pressure!What I am more concerned about is my inability to bring my diet pattern in control. Why do I tend to over eat post 50 and fall sick thereafter? I have no answer to this!All my uneasiness is in the stomach area!I cannot stay away from eating, hence never shall recover, may not live for long either!The period I feel sick,I go into some restrictions, make promises and then again I forget! The last few days, I am having light curries with Ajmod tempering!I was not enjoying non-vegetarian food! I preferred a Water Cress Pakora / Halenchar Bora, butter rice yesterday night!The kali dal & bandhakopir ghonto was an excess, I had to not letting them go waste!



I do not eat that heavy dinners, this week I did eat rice!Out of fear, I was not having salad since last Sunday!Yesterday, I ate few lettuce leaves, today morning, I am happier!I am happy enough to share my last blogpost, the week before Durga Pooja!I wished for such a recipe that young kids living on their own can try in the oven. Cauliflower is a wonder vegetable that way, every oven type loves it!

WHAT IS OVEN E MOSHOLA FULKOPI GRAVY?

This is another khichuri / hodge-potch Vegan, Gluten-free dish that does not have any fixed history of a place, race, clan, community! Okay, we can say, the source can be the West!Did we not learn from them all the use of oven; baking, grilling, broiling, roasting? I still do not understand the difference between broiling, roasting. I have not done broiling ever because I have never used a conventional / traditional oven, I have worked with a convection mode microwave!In that too, I do not use all the functions!I have technology phobia!These days, I do a lot of cooking in the oven, mainly to avoid the oil consumption; it saves time & labour too!I do it staying within my limited knowledge!So, in this OVEN E MOSHOLA FULKOPI GRAVY,I have used the basic Bengali Spices and my favourite curry base with cashews, raisins, onion, melon seeds!Its as simple as that, lets do it!The rest you see are Bhature & Coriander Chutney!Nonetheless to say, we love such vegetarian platters!



INGREDIENTS : 

CAULIFLOWER : A STANDARD SIZED
ONION : 1
GREEN CHILLI : 1
CASHEW NUT : 7-8
RAISIN : 7-8
MELON SEED : 1 TSP
CUMIN POWDER : 11/2 TSP
CORIANDER POWDER : 11/2 TSP
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1 TSP
DRY MANGO POWDER : 1 TSP
LEMON JUICE : 5-6 TBSP
CINNAMON STICK : 2-3 ONE INCH STICK
GREEN CARDAMOM : 2-3
CLOVE : 3-4
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 2 TBSP+2TBSP

PROCEDURE : 


Trim the cauliflower stalks as much as possible without a breakage or tear!

Wash it well!Soak both sides in salted hot water at least for an hour.Drain the water!Wash the cauliflower again!



Marinate it very well with all the spice powders, salt, lemon juice,2 tbsp oil!

The spice mixture should reach the remote corner of the cauliflower!


Keep it marinated for 5-6 hours for a better taste!I usually marinate in the morning and cook at night!


Grease a oven proof plate with few drops of oil and place the cauliflower on the plate! Pour the marinade on top!


The bake mode of my convection microwave oven is not working!I used the combination method; microwave+grill!

I had placed the low height wired stand inside and placed the metal plate with the cauliflower atop!

I cooked 10+10+5 minutes at 300 power I think! You must check your timing, it may differ! Every 10 minutes, brush some oil atop. Do not forget to wear gloves!


Peel, throw the two ends of the onion and cut, wash!

Add the raisins & cashews, washed green chilli, melon seeds! Add 1/4 small tea cup of water. Prepare a paste!


Heat 2tbsp of oil in a wok and temper it with the cinnamon stick, green cardamom & cloves!

Add the white spice paste and stir at low heat for 3-4 minutes!



Add 1/2 coffee mug of water and bring to a boil!


Once it turns thick, say after 4-5 minutes; switch of the gas stove!


Pour it atop the cauliflower!We loved the platter of Bhature, Coriander Chutney and the oven cooked Cauliflower!