Thursday, 21 September 2017


Have you ever had dinner and appetiser at the same time? We did it last night. Do we really have any time for enjoying appetisers on weekdays? We do not have ..... not at our home where some one finds it really difficult to leave his first love and come back to his wife and kid ..... more so when the kid has his major examination knocking the door..... at least this is the scenario at this home. It is absolutely unnecessary to listen to a worried wife saying please sit with the son at least for an hour now. The knowledge level of the mother of this particular house is questionable and limited to "H2O maney jol.... O2 maney oxygen"...."eei prithibi je amai oxygen nitey dicchey akhono dhakka merey joley feley deini eei onek bhagyo amar" ..... what she can do to keep herself engaged? She makes some plan and calls for Cristine ..... come let us do some"mukhorochok".... may be a "fry.. shry" this time. Ideally the fry had to have some kheema or fish stuffing inside because it is the eve of our biggest festival. Then it is also the start of a fasting week for many in India, abroad and yes.... perhaps for majority of my readers .... I definitely will take care of their sentiments.... I also need to see the Bengalis do not use their sticks on me.... come on MIXED VEGETABLE & DRY FRUIT FINGERS is a good option to have before setting out for your pandal hopping on Panchami.... Phuchka may have been a better option but I do not know if chaat is welcome during fast or not. Even on "Shasthi".... Bengalis of the West Bengal side keep fast or do not eat rice. In my side of the family, all four days are painstakingly vegetarian as the daddy's extended family still perform Durgotshob at their Bangladesh home. Before her marriage, the daughter of the house then would run to her now in-law's place or to one of her dearest Chandrayee's place for a taste of fish and meat. At times my little brother would also accompany me though he was never a foodie like his didibhai.

Before we dive into some "jomiye ekta pathar jhol" or "chingrir jyamon tyamon".... let us share something that would say ..... fast can be a feast too. A couple of my friends in this island, back in India and elsewhere shall be keeping fast from today I know.... my small way to say.... you mean. I also felt this kind of food can appeal to the Western world too if you can take the heat of my RAW MANGO-GREEN CHILLI DIP.... just take a look at the number of chillies I used.... hahaha .... no worries, choose yours. I simply loved it and the man who tells his friends oil and chillies come for free in our house loved the platter..... we had some rice, narkol diye cholar dal and choto chingri diye aloo-potol to complete the dinner ..... while J Lo must be having her dinner with an assorted vegetables and seeds salad and a low-fat Greek yogurt..... To my defence I will say so long I have a saree to hide my tummy.... "go as you like more often.... zindegi do pal ki"..... Keeping in mind my followers and friends who are keeping fast today, I kept this appetiser and the dip.... MIXED VEGETABLE & MIXED FRUIT FINGERS WITH RAW MANGO-GREEN CHILLI DIP totally free of onion and garlic. Earlier, I never used semolina as a coating, I found it really awesome to get that crisp, hard coating which does not allow the fries to get soggy for a long time.... You can reheat them after few hours and still feel its fresh and crisp. The fingers may look fat than usual..... what else do you expect from this fat, old lady... her fingers are never artistic enough to be a poet's fancy. Haha..... actually it was too late yesterday and we preferred 13 medium sized fritters than 18-20 beautifully shaped ones.... I can guarantee you taste but perfectionist I am not ..... "doi er modhya shosha dubey gelo, kheyali nei.... chobi tola hoye gelo"..... the cucumber pieces are not arranged properly in the yogurt salad bowl.... I did not even notice and clicked. I am a lost case.... diagnosed and it is true. Forget that, prepare the fries along with me and enjoy the heavenly bites. Do not forget to have your favourite beverage with it either.

Raw Mango - 1[shredded]
Green Chilli - 3-4 [choose yours]
Ginger Extract : 1tsp
Jaggery : 2tsp [shredded]
Black Salt : 2pinches
Water : 2tbsp
You can add little olive oil atop the dip, I did not.... the difference between chutney and dip is not always clear to me..... "likhtey icche holo like dilam..... diiipp"

INGREDIENTS : [for the batter]
Corn Flour : 3tbsp [I do not know if we can use this for fast]
Black Pepper Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : Little [rock or black salt as alternative]
Water : 1/2small cup or little more

Cauliflower Florets : 1coffee mug
Potato : 2medium
Carrot : 2medium
Beet Root : 1
Raw Mango : 2tbsp [shredded]
Green Pea : 2tbsp
Coriander Leaves : 1small cup [chopped]
Green Chilli : 2 [chopped]
Raisin : 11/2tbsp
Pistachio : 2tsp [chopped]
Cashew nuts : 11/2tbsp [chopped]
Asafoetida : 2pinches
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Fennel Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Cinnamon Powder : 1/4tsp
Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required [rock or black salt as alternative]
Corn Flour : 2tbsp
Semolina : 11/2medium cup
Oil : 100-150ml for deep frying

Let us prepare the RAW MANGO-GREEN CHILLI DIP first and refrigerate till the fries are done.

Take the peeled, washed and shredded raw mango leaving 2tbsp for the fries, shredded jaggery, black salt, ginger extract and 4 green chillies in a grinder....

Grind to a paste adding the water. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate till we are done with the fries.

Peel, wash and cube the potatoes, carrots and beet root. Pressure cook them along with the cauliflower florets in enough water adding little salt and turmeric up to 2 whistles . Let cool, take down, open cover and strain all the water.

Take the vegetables in a wide mouthed bowl, mash adding salt and turmeric powder.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok. Temper with asafoetida. Immediately add the green peas and fry for a minute or two. Add the chopped green chillies and stir.

Add the mashed vegetables to the wok and fold in well. Add all the remaining powdered spices to the wok and fold in very well. Keep stirring for 3-4 minutes till the water dries up.

Now add the corn flour, chopped coriander leaves, raisins, chopped cashew nuts and pistachio to the mixture.

Fold in very well and stir for a minute. We are done, we will transfer the mixture to a plate and let cool for sometime.

Add the shredded mango and little semolina to the mixed vegetable and dry fruit mixture and mix well.

Take out small portion and prepare finger like shapes and roll on to the semolina.

Once done, we will refrigerate them for sometime.

Prepare a batter with black pepper, salt, water and cornflour.... mix well. Keep the semolina, batter and fingers ready on your gas table. Dip the fingers in the batter, coat with semolina well, they are now ready to fry. Heat oil in a wok for deep frying the veg fingers.

Deep fry the vegetable and dry fruit fingers at medium to low heat in batches.

Once they turn golden brown, transfer them onto tissue paper for the excess oil to soak.

Arrange the MIXED VEGETABLE & DRY FRUIT FINGERS in a nice plate and serve with the cool, RAW MANGO-GREEN CHILLI DIP along with some salad.... It still remains incomplete if you do not have your favourite beverage with this superbly delicious platter.