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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dhakai Murgh Roast


This is a famous Bangladeshi food served in wedding and other party banquets. In our part of US it is frequently ordered from caterers in Bangla parties. Unfortunately I do not appreciate they way it is made to become too sweet. That is not how I remember my grandmom making it.

Dhakai Murgh roast is a open flame roasted chicken that has a good balance of sweet and sour taste. It is never overtly sweet. This goes best with Zarda Pulao.

  • 6 pieces chicken leg quarters
  • 1/2 cup golden fried onion
  • 3 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 3 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 5-6 aloo Bukhara soaked in half a cup of water and de seeded ( in case you don't find it replace with few dried plums. Remember the color will be more on the darker side.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • 1/4 cup khoya
  • 1 tbsp. saffron soaked in warm milk
  • 2 tbsp. rose water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1/2 cup refined white oil
  • 2 tsp. shahi garam masala powder ( just grind all the spices below together and keep in an airtight bottle)   
    • 2.5 tbsp. green cardamom
    • 2.5 tbsp. broken cinnamon stick
    • 1.5 tbsp. shah jeera or caraway seeds
    • 1 tsp. mace
    • 1 tsp. white pepper corn
    • 1 nutmeg

In a grinder make a paste of fried onions, raisins and pre soaked aloo Bukhara and keep aside. If needed you can add a spoon full of plain yogurt to make the paste.

In a wide pan heat up oil and sear the chicken pieces on medium heat. After about three minutes when the raw pink color goes away add salt and sugar to it.

Add saffron soaked milk and mix well. Now one by one add ginger paste, garlic paste, chili powder and half of the shahi garam masala powder to it. Keep sautéing on low heat.

Now add the onion, raisin paste you made earlier to it and mix well. Add about half a cup of water and cook it covered on medium low heat for about twenty minutes.

When the chicken is cooked remove the cover and add cream and khoya to it and mix well. This will make the gravy a bit sticky. Add ghee to it and mix well.  Sprinkle rose water along with the rest of the shahi garam masala powder. Turn off the heat and serve with paratha, pulao or zarda rice..


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Prawn Cutlet


Yesterday I met with a bunch of friends for our monthly adda session. One of our friends had posted on Facebook, delicious photos of prawn cutlet she had made. We were after her about our missing share of the booty.

That reminded me that my post of chingrir cutlet was languishing in drafts. Time to post it.

With summer around the corner this makes for a fantastic eat on your patio paired with some nice white wine or Riesling.

  • 2 large king prawns (each about 150gm)
  • 2 tsp. chopped green chilies
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 large egg
  • 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 cups bread crumb
  • Mustard oil enough for deep frying


Devein the prawns. Remove the shell other than the tail part. Slit and open it flat. Score lengthwise on each side of the central cut. This will help to keep the prawn flat while giving them the shape of a cutlet.

In a bowl mix everything other than the last four ingredients. Apply on both sides of the prawn and marinate them in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Take out the marinated prawns.

In a bowl mix the flour with the egg and 1 tbsp. mustard oil. Season it with salt and sugar and mix well to make a lump free batter.

**Take each marinated prawn at a time and first roll it over the bed of bread crumb. Take the blunt side of a knife and press it against the side of the prawn to give them the shape of a cutlet. Repeat the same process for the other marinated prawn.

In a deep wok heat mustard oil enough for deep frying. Now take each prawn and dip into the egg batter. Shake off the extra batter from it and gently slide it into the medium hot oil. Fry on medium heat till both sides are crispy and golden brown..

Serve with your favorite ketchup and salad..

**NOTE: Normally you first dip in batter and then roll in bread-crump, in this recipe it is intentional that it is done the other way around so as to stop the prawn from curling up.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Top 10 Receipes on BongCook

First of thanks dear readers for making so successfull. I first started BongCook as a personal log of all the food I make and all the recipes I wanted to pass on to my daughter. In my wildest dream I did not expect it to become my primary identity. I have had countless emails, facebook messages encouraging me to go on or asking me frantically for help when guests are due in an hour and something is not turning out right. This has been a tremendous journey and I have you my readers to thank.

Here I present to you the most read posts of Some I always expected to be a hit like the Kolkata Biriyani, some like Jinge Post and mete chorchori is a surprise. Please leave your comments in my blog if you have something in your mind.

Kolkata Mutton Biriyani image
Tadka Dal Dhaba Style image
Bengali Aloo Phulkopir Singara (Samosa)
Bengali Style Malpua
Radhaballavi (Radhaballabhi)
Jhinge Aloo Posto (Ridgegourd and Potato in Poppy seed Paste)
Mughlai Paratha with Spicy Potato Curry
Nolen Gurer Sondesh/Sandesh With Ricotta Cheese
Mete Chorchori (Liver Curry)
Labanga Latika (Lavang Latika)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hello Readers


It has been over 4 years since I started this blog. The story of why I started the blog is a story for another day. I never imagined that I will get to know so many of you through your emails, messages and comments. Even though I expected a bunch of you to visit my web-site from India, US and other countries with large expat Indian community, I never thought so many of you would come from Ukraine. Вітаю to all of you! And to you my Israeli friends שלום

The top visitors by countries

  1. India
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Ukraine
  5. Canada
  6. Australia
  7. Israel
  8. United Arab Emirates
  9. Germany
  10. Singapore

In the past most of you would visit this web-site from your Windows laptops and computers. In the recent past this has hugely changed. You are mostly coming from your Android phones and tablets. I hope my website is mobile friendly and even on the smaller screen you enjoy the pictures. Be careful and don’t drop your device into your pan. Fried phone doesn’t taste that good.


I also always try to ensure that my blog looks good on the varied browser you use


Going by my blog analytics, most of you are reading this page on their Android device.

The most popular posts seem to be the traditional Bengali food. The top 5 are

Singara  [IMG_7520%255B4%255D.jpg]
Chelo Kebab [IMG_0743%255B3%255D.jpg]
Kheer Kadam [IMG_0598%255B4%255D.jpg]
Jinge Posto [IMG_9286%255B3%255D.jpg]
Tadka Daal [IMG_1857%255B4%255D.jpg]

If you would like me to post something or need some clarifications, its always faster to get to me over my facebook page

Or you can always leave your comments here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Prawn Butter Masala

In our last Kolkata visit my venerable Buria Pishi asked my daughter, what she’d like to have. My daughter asked for some butter masala without eluding to butter masals of what. Pishi cooked up this amazing prawn butter masala. I asked her for her recipe and she sent me this beautiful hand written note.
I followed her recipe and made some fantastic prawn butter masals (if I may say so myself Smile). Hope you get equal success.


  • 1kg tiger prawn cleaned and deveined
  • 2 medium onions chopped finely
  • 2 medium onions ground to paste
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 100gms. cashew
  • 50gms. golden raisins
  • 50gms. chaar magaz
  • 1tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp. Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 lit whole milk
  • 1 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  • 3 tbsp. ghee (clarified Butter)
  • 1/2 cup refined oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Tempering
    • 4 whole dry red chilies
    • 2 large bay leaves
    • 4 green cardamom
    • 1" cinnamon
    • 4 cloves
    • 1/2 tsp. shahi jeera

In a grinder make a fine .paste of cashew, raisin and chaarmagaz with minimum water and keep it aside for later use.

In a mixing bowl take the cleaned prawns and smear them with turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for about 15 minutes.
In a pan take 2 tbsp. oil and heat it. Add the marinated prawns and sauté. Lower the heat and keep it covered for a minute. You will find water releasing from the prawns. Turn off the heat and reserve the sautéed prawns along with its water.
Take another big clean pan and add rest of the oil along with 2 tbsp. ghee to it. Heat it up and temper it with whole red chili, broken whole garam masala, bay leaves and shahi jeera. When the spices stop buzzing lower the heat and add 1tsp. sugar to it. Soon you will see the sugar frothing. Immediately add chopped onions to it and fry on low heat till the onions turn golden brown.
Add onion paste along with the ginger garlic paste to it. Sauté till you see oil seeping out of the spices. In a bowl mix coriander and chili powder with little water to make a paste.
Next to go in are the reserved sautéed prawns along with coriander and chilii powder paste. Mix everything well on low heat for about 2 minutes. Add cashew, raisin and chaar magaz paste. Mix well. Now add about a liter of whole milk and give it a nice stir. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Remember don't boil too long after you add milk. So adjust the quantity of milk depending on how much gravy you want.
Let the entire mixture simmer for about a minute or two.
In a small pan heat 1 tbsp. ghee and temper it with Bengali garam masala powder. Pour it over the gravy and turn off the heat. Keep it covered till you serve.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mutton Tikia or Balls


The same recipe works for both tikia and balls based on the final shape you choose. If you have ample time, shape them as discs (tikia) and shallow fry them, if you are in a hurry and your guests arrive in the next hour, make them into balls like I have done and deep fry them. The taste and texture remains very similar.
Tikia goes very well both with a glass of scotch that you share with your guests before dinner, or with a steaming cup of coffee.


  • 1lb. minced mutton
  • 1 tbsp. raw papaya (Instead you can use 1/2tsp. meat tenderizer)
  • 2 medium onions minced
  • 10 large garlic cloves minced
  • 5 green chilies minced
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. clarified butter (Ghee)
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground Bengali garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. roasted gram flour (Besan)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar 
  • Salt to taste
  • Refined oil for frying


Wash the minced meat and drain it on a colander or strainer to drain out most of the water from it.
Now take the meat in a mixing bowl and add chopped, onion, garlic, green chilies, raw papaya paste red chili powder, garam masala powder, salt, sugar along with a tablespoon of ghee to it.
Knead the minced meat well with all the spices and keep the mixture marinated in the refrigerator for half an hour.
After thirty minutes take out the mixture and bring it back to the room temperature.
Add roasted gram flour to it and mix well. This will help in binding the tikias. Take a lemon sized meat mixture and give it a flat round cutlet shape. that is the traditional shape of tikia. I have made them round as I was in a hurry.
Heat oil in a tawa (Skillet) and fry them on medium heat till the meat meat is cooked. Drain them on a paper towel and serve hot with paratha and your favorite chutney..

Monday, January 25, 2016

Zarda Pulao

When I first posted this picture to facebook a few asked me why have I used Zarda (chewable tobacco) in a recipe. I hope someone doesn’t get that idea again, here Zarda means yellow color and the name comes from the bright yellow pulao (pillaf).
This is a dry fruit pulao and not overtly sweet as some other sources might indicate. IT is very easy to make and goes very well with mughlai meat dishes like chicken roast in the picture.


  • 1 cup long grain  basmati rice
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 10-12 sliced almonds
  • 10-12 golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup crispy fried onions (beresta)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder / few drops of yellow food color
  • 4 tbsp. refined oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/4 cup of mawa / 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. Bengali Garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp. rose water
  • 1 silver warq optional for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Whole Garam Masala
    • 2' cinnamon stick
    • 5-6 cloves
    • 5-6 green cardamom
    • 2 bay leaves


Wash rice and soak it in enough water for about thirty minutes. In a big sauce pan take enough water to cook the rice and add salt and turmeric powder to it. If you are using yellow food color this is the time you add few drops to the water instead of the turmeric powder. I prefer to use turmeric powder.
When the water starts boiling add the soaked rice to it and cook till the rice is just done. Now drain the water completely. Spread the cooked rice on a flat tray and allow it to cool.
By the mean time heat one teaspoon full of ghee in a pan and fry cashew, almond and raisin on low heat till they turn golden brown. Drain it on an absorbent paper and reserve.
Now in a non stick pan heat four tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Temper it with whole garam masala. When the oil becomes fragrant add rice along with salt, sugar and three fourth of the fried nuts. Mix well gently so the rice grains remain intact. Now lower the heat and add either mawa or full cream milk to it. Along with it also sprinkle rose water and Bengali garam masala powder. Mix gently, and cook it covered on very low heat for three to four minutes. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ghee. Transfer it to a serving dish and garnish with the rest of the fried nuts, crispy fried onions and silver warq.
Serve it with Dhakai chicken roast..


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