Monday, 15 August 2022

ONION MUSHROOM PANEER


 

THERE ARE DAYS WHEN I DO NOT WANT TO HANDLE TOO MANY FOOD PHOTOS!

Today is one such day! I am at home since the morning, the gentleman who services the AC's could not make it last Saturday, he was there today! We should have offered him chai / coffee, earlier he used to refuse! Today, I forgot to offer altogether! Among us, whoever visits home, we should offer at least tea / coffee & biscuit, water! 


Thereafter, I could have gone for a long walk, I had only three photos required to be edited! It was a lethargic feel that stopped me! I think it was my decision & the excitement revolving around cooking a vermicelli upma for lunch, that after a long long time, is responsible for this lethargy! Anyway, I had always been a lazy being with no intent to exercise or eat healthy! If I do go for walks, do stretches, that I do under the pressure of staying a bit of sane! I do not wish to go back to my obese self! For years, two kinds of vermicelli; un-roasted & roasted, were lying in the kitchen counter! I had to finish the un-roasted, white variety! I cook this dish pretty well but it has got a lot of carb! 


 Having had that plateful of, I had Cristine's coffee with milk & sugar, two sky flakes! I know I am a nuts but I cannot keep away from food ! You see, I have stopped getting cookies, cream biscuits without forcing myself! I am hopeful but I can never quit everything I enjoy having! Like I do not wish to stop having homemade & store bought frill-free cakes! T wants to relax at home in the weekends; the son refuses to talk for long & frequently; it is my food adventure trips that keep me happy without getting bored! Else, looking at my hopeless, unproductive self, I get irritated easily!

WITHIN A WEEK, I GAINED BACK WHAT I LOST!

What to do? "Rosh er Malpua" is an addiction! Its better than taking to drugs! If the West want, I can export malpoa to their land! Why look for chivalry in an instrument meant for the trained personnel! Each culture would have it's own vices! Till date, I could not forget that scene near that Ultadanga Foot Bridge; a mentally deranged woman giving birth to a child; he or she would never know who the father was, neither the mother would! I also do not understand how can one be beaten to death wanting to quench the thirst! I do not wish to be a social media warrior, hence would keep sharing food, that I do the best! Last Saturday, we had guests, obviously there would be some overeating! Yet, yesterday both times I had carb filled meals; the "gur narkel"  stuffed bun had in between was not been clicked!




I cooked some Lavash Bread for our dinner yesterday! They had to be thinner I believe! Our lunch for Saturday was our favourite "dim sheddo aloo sheddo bhaat"! The son loves it with dollops of butter, more than ghee! I prefer a choice of fried fish, not the egg! I ask him to go slow on red meat steak & cook this! Cristine, being a Filipino has developed a love for all sorts of flat & puffed bread like us!



WHAT IS THIS ONION MUSHROOM PANEER?

Few months back, I cooked this in a jiffy! I had no intent to blog about it, yet did some clicks & felt if we enjoy, I would blog about it! I remember, we had about 100 gm of paneer cheese left in the freezer & I got a pack of sliced button mushrooms for some other purpose! All of a sudden this idea of cooking the mushroom slices with paneer popped up on my mind and I went ahead with it! From the preparation to cooking, it would take less than an hour! ONION MUSHROOM PANEER is a gluten-free, vegetarian dish, easy to do with a few spice powders lying in our kitchen, paneer cheese, mushroom, onion! I may tell you without the use of the onion, it would not taste as good as it tastes with the use of it! I have not used ginger & garlic pastes in this veg recipe, not required at all! I sincerely hope I am creating an useful blogpost today for my readers, who are busy with work load, be it in their office or  students occupied with their studies! BTW, paneer cheese is an Indian Cottage Cheese & of few other South Asian Countries! This Everest brand Kitchen King Masala & the Kulambu Spice Mix have taken over me!



INGREDIENTS :

PANEER CHEESE CUBE : 150-200 GM
SLICED MUSHROOM : 200-250 GM
SLICED ONION : 1 MEDIUM TEA CUP [CUT A BIT FAT]
MINCED GARLIC : 1 TBSP
SLITTED GREEN CHILLI : 2-3
LEMON JUICE : 2-3 TBSP
CUMIN SEED : 1/4 TSP
BAY LEAF : 1
CUMIN POWDER : 1/4 TSP
CORIANDER POWDER : 1/4 TSP
KULAMBU SPICE MIX : 1 1/2 TSP
KITCHEN KING MASALA : 1 TSP [I USE THE EVEREST BRAND]
TURMERIC POWDER : 1/2 TSP
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1/4 TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 2 TBSP

PROCEDURE :

We would marinate the paneer cheese with a little of salt & turmeric powder for 10-15 minutes!

Meanwhile, we would wash the sliced mushroom & soak them in hot water for 15-20 minutes and then drain the water! This I must do when I cook mushrooms!

We would peel, wash & slice the onion a little thick!

We would heat the oil in the wok and temper it with the minced garlic, bay leaf & cumin seeds, give a stir! We would add the sliced onions and stir cook at medium heat until pink & translucent!

To that, we would add the mushroom slices and stir cook at medium heat for 3-4 minutes adding a little of salt & turmeric! We must remember that mushrooms catch salt easily!

Thereafter, we would add all of the spice powders and fold in well! We would reduce the heat to low & add the marinated paneer & the washed & slitted green chillies! 

At this stage, we are to fold in well & carefully; we do not want the paneer pieces to break & get crumbly! We would cook for 3-4 minutes at low heat, stirring gently every minute!

We would transfer it to a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice on top! You can enjoy it hot & fresh with a variety of rice & bread!






Thursday, 11 August 2022

VEGETARIAN GLASS CAKE

 

 WHO ON THIS PRESENT DAY EARTH SITS THIS USELESS?

I do feel the guilt at times! It is not about your family's financial strength, the thing is if you can independently earn for yourself at least or not! From that angle, I am a hopeless! Because I can feel exactly this way, I do not look down upon those who have taken financial responsibilities upon themselves! Besides, I / We do not hail from a pedigreed family full of engineers & doctors, IAS & IPS Officers, parts of both the family branches are still too rustic, working class or small time traders!  T & I are two different personas who bond over certain things; like both of us would not mind visiting our rustic distant relatives and share a meal with an ease! I just did not wish the son to stay there; both of us shared the same dream to pull him up on the social ladder! Because T has the ability, the son need not stay there where he belongs; I expect him to achieve and a lot, yet stay grounded & very much! Mumma does not like pride & show off, except for the pride of higher academics! Mumma tells her young adult baby that once he achieves enough, he should give back a little something to the society! Do you know this mumma's way of communicating? She expresses herself through a series of WhatsApp messages without any answer! The weird creature only reads them! The world cannot have same kind of people all over. Mine is different, I have accepted it, I expect him to be good towards the society! T had been really difficult & aggressive but proved to be one of the most responsible son till this day! The definition of good & bad is not necessarily easy! My brother, on the other hand is softer, obedient! He was too naughty in his younger days, as was compared to my quiet self! But once I got married, he proved to be too dependent & obedient son! Not really he is economically dependent, he bears the family expenses; he just fears the thought of living in another city, fetching everything for himself! Except for his office work, he does not wish to do anything! I hold our mother responsible for this! She has pampered both of us to the core! Today is Rakhi Poornima / Rakshabandhan; the brother-sister day! Ever since, I left India for this island; our mother has taken the responsibility of buying & tying the sacred thread on my brother's wrist! How beautiful is that! T's sister too may call her brother, I do not always poke in their talks! My brother is more of a ritualistic & a believer of tradition than T! Our son is a single child, I wish he gets some good friends in life, who become family for him! I remember about this day in school; our mother would buy me a couple of rakhis for my male friends, chanachur & chips! She got too upset when I decided to marry one of my rakhi brothers!

THERE IS SOME KIND OF AN ANOMALY IN MY THYROID LEVEL, I GET TIRED SOONER!

A mere 5-6km walk is making me tired these days! It was last week the doctor's report said so, the doc decreased my dosage of the thyroxin! Let me follow the course for a month or two! Today, I did not go out but was dancing! The problem is I do not know dancing, how effective my throwing of legs & hands is for weight loss, who knows? Then, I cannot eat less & healthy! The jilipi & malpua desserts have caused increase in my weight! Though, I have switched to quinoa from quinoa-brown rice mix, I ended up eating three chapatis yesterday! I always hurry to finish off the stale food!




Not one, I had two malpoa today, one frozen paratha for the lunch! Pran's is better, it is less oily! One packet stays in my freezer, I hardly use! Without some choice of food, life would become mundane for me, anyway I have nothing much to do at home! When would the son realise he needs to talk, at least text mumma frequently to keep her self going? All the negative news from all over the world would come across me, I would get bothered, worried! Neither T, nor the son would care a bit, both are so hardcore practical!

WHAT IS THIS VEGETARIAN GLASS CAKE?

Over 30 years back, I had it in the Dutta Bakery of Fariapukur area! My friend Tanushree who stayed in that area introduced to these local shops! Else, the other shopping centres I had been with the mother! Dutta Bakery was not actually a Bakery, but a stationary shop of our times who kept this glass cake variety that came sometime around 3-4 pm and got sold like hot cake literally by 6 pm! Later, they sold off half the portion of their shop to the Orphan Tea Syndicate or to the shop beside it and one day again Dutta Bakery was no more there! We shifted to Barrackpore and found an exact variety of glass cake there sold at the Barrackpore railway station's platform number one! That too closed sooner! But till date, the mother would travel to Shyambazaar, even I must when I visit Kolkata! It was a long standing wish to try something similar to the glass cake but an eggless one! Last week, I tried once, then again the day before! I cooked one in the air-fryer & the top burnt! I am just unable to adjust the air-fryer power, stove top cakes give me peace!



VEGETARIAN GLASS CAKE is a nostalgia; a plain, glass shaped cake available only in certain shops in those days! Today, on my visits to Kolkata, I do not get the exact ones, I like it frill-free, be it life or cakes! You can get near something at Nahoum's, New Market Area, the heart shaped ones! I am pretty sure, addition of eggs would have given mine the exact taste but I kept it vegetarian! Also, my evening coffee has arrived! That bun is stuffed with much loved "gur-narkel"!



INGREDIENTS : 

REFINED FLOUR : 1 1/2 COFFEE MUG
BAKING POWDER : 1 TSP
BAKING SODA : 1/2 TSP
EVAPORATED CREAMER : 1 TIN
SUGAR : 1/2 A SMALL BOWL [YOU MAY NEED MORE]
JAGGERY : 2-3 TBSP
VINEGAR : 1 TBSP
VANILLA ESSENCE : 1 TSP
OIL : 1/3 SMALL BOWL
CASHEWNUTS TO GARNISH

PROCEDURE :


We are using the following ingredients; refined flour, baking soda & powder, evaporated creamer, sugar, a bit of jaggery powder, oil, vanilla essence!


My measuring small bowl is that!





Except for the refined flour, baking soda & powder, vanilla essence; we would take all the other ingredients in a blender! We would blend it at high to mix them well!



My measuring coffee mug is that! We would take the refined flour, baking soda & powder in a wide mouthed bowl & mix very well!




To the flour mix, we would add the wet mixture & beat well for 5 minutes or so!


Thereafter, we would add the vanilla essence & mix well!



I have used the paper cups I got from Daiso! I filled them little more than half, tapped on the kitchen counter and placed half of a cashew nut on each!


I had heated a wired stand kept on a wide, big wok! 


I had kept the glasses on a cup cake mould & placed it carefully on the wired stand!


I cover cooked them at the minimal heat for about 45-48 minutes!



Aren't they looking beautiful?


Try having them fresh & warm to get the best taste! We refrigerate, take out an hour before eating, warm about 30 seconds at low power!
 


Monday, 8 August 2022

MICROWAVE CHICKEN RICE



 

I BELIEVE PULAO RICE, BIRYANI, WRAPS & ROLLS SUIT MY FAMILY!

They want only these kinds & nothing else! This lessens my time of stay in the kitchen but there is one major problem, my family is not in the habit of having salads with their meals! I am too uncomfortable with the idea of giving them only meat & fish proteins without any vegetable day in and day out! This should not be what our food be like! At a ripe age, in fact during the sun set of my life I have understood the importance of having vegetables at one meal per day! If I serve it with flat or puffed breads, rice; they would eat! This is the reason why I do not simplify my cooking chore! It is also because I am a Bengali, our predecessors are used to a five course meal on a daily basis! I also hear of present day Bengalis having an avocado toast for breakfast or oatmeal with fruits! There is no wrong in either of the two, whatever suits whom! I would stand somewhere in the middle of the two extremes! I am not fond of any extremes! But how beautiful it would be had my people have a bowl of salad with pulao & chicken or baked fish & buttered rice! Because they do not touch the salad bowl, they do not get their coveted bowls of non-vegetarian pulao or a meat filled wrap on a regular basis!

I AM AGING BUT, HENCE LOOK FOR EASIER METHOD OF COOKING, IF NOT THE FASTEST!

Given our tastebuds, we hardly have anything to whip up fast! I do not believe in fast cooked vegetables, least to be eaten raw. They should not be over-cooked but well cooked! At this time, the quickest recipe I can remember would make me happy is a Russian Salad! May be because it has potatoes so I like it! Also I am fond of the dressing of it and keep thinking how it can be healthy, it has to be high in calorie! Besides all these, the thing is we cannot eat a salad bowl sitting together as a family; then I have no interest going through the process of making myself a salad even if it is of my choice! Instead, we would enjoy having a "mochar ghonto" or "kofta curry" together! The joy of having a meal together with your own is immense, it hurts mumma how her son eats his meals alone and has to arrange his every meal all by himself! Then, that is the way he would become independent I am told! What I know is I continue to live with tension, fear, worries about his safety & security until my end! Leave those, let us see what I ate yesterday! It was meals of my choice! For lunch, I had rice with my favourite Bhola Mach! For dinner, I enjoyed a khichuri meal! 



What you good people do not see are that I had two "Purir Khaja" & two "rice flour snack" with Cristine's coffee in between! T would never tempt himself to have something in between meals; does he love food? May be today he would have the starters sitting with his friends! A friend's family is leaving for Abu Dhabi next month! So long the son was here, he enjoyed the variety of food mumma cooked for him!

WHAT IS THIS MICROWAVE CHICKEN RICE?

It's been long I had been wanting to share this "useful" recipe with you all beautiful people! It's Rakshabandhan approaching, my biryani prone brother would enjoy this. There are birthdays in the family too! Also, I wish to share such recipes for my son to cook in few easy steps! I am scared about his health! One can cook it in a mono microwave without the grill mode! Not always we wish to take the hassle of cooking a biryani, for me it's royal, it's laborious! I would never call a cooker made meat & rice, a biryani! But I can always cook a boneless chicken, potato & rice bowl using some fresh herbs & spices; name it MICROWAVE CHICKEN RICE! Why do we need to call it a Biryani? Tomorrow is a National Holiday here, I think besides the world; the entire South East Asia would want to cook this gluten-free, meat & rice recipe!



 INGREDIENTS :

BONELESS CHICKEN CUBE : 400-500 GM
RICE GRAIN : 1 COFFEE MUG [I USED SHORT GRAIN JEERAKASALA VARIETY]
CUBED POTATO : 7-8 PIECE
CHOPPED CORIANDER LEAF: A HANDFUL
CHOPPED MINT LEAF : 2-3 TBSP
SLITTED GREEN CHILLI : 3-4
SLICED ONION : 1 SMALL TEA CUP
GINGER PASTE : 2 TBSP
GARLIC PASTE : 3 TBSP
CUMIN POWDER : 1 TSP
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1 TSP
CORIANDER POWDER : 2 TSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1 TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
OIL : 2 TBSP
WATER AS REQUIRED

PROCEDURE : 


We would wash the chicken pieces well & marinate with the ginger & garlic pastes, washed & sliced onion, all of the spice powders, the oil & the salt! Let us rest it covered for over an hour!


We would peel, wash, cube the potato & soak in water! We would chop the herbs & wash; wash & slit the chillies!


We are to wash the rice grains well & soak for an hour & then drain the water! We would take the washed & drained rice in a microwave proof deep bowl!


We would add the marinated chicken to it along with the marination!


We would fold in well and cover cook it in high for 4-5 minutes!



We would uncover and add the potato cubes marinated with salt, the washed & chopped mint & coriander, the washed & slitted green chillies! We are to fold in well!



To that, we would add water as much required to just cover the rice, meat & potato mix! We would adjust the salt at this point a bit! We would fold in well & cover! Too much of water may spoil the texture of the rice!


We would cover the bowl & cook for 20 minutes at 600 power! You are to check your temperature, machines differ!


In between, we can stop & stir but I scared the rice grains may break! Once 20 minutes of cooking is done, we would neither take out immediately, nor uncover! We would let it be in rest for 8-10 minutes & then take out!


We would mix lightly before serving! We would have it hot with some raita & salad!