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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..

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Egg Parantha


I make this hearty breakfast for my daughter when she heads out to play, either in the summer sun or on snowy winter days. It is easy to make and at the same time tasty and very filling. An extra dollop of butter over it makes her extra happy.


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (Atta)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
  • 5 egg
  • 4 tbsp. minced onion
  • 2tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp. minced green chilies
  • Salt to taste
  • Refined oil for frying


In a mixing bowl mix two kinds of flour. Add salt to it and mix well. Now break one egg and add to it. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro. Start kneading to make a soft dough. If required you can add water little at a time. Cover the dough and keep aside for half an hour.

Divide the dough into four equal sized balls. Now take dry flour on a rolling surface and roll out each dough ball into a disc of about 10” diameter.

Heat a skillet and transfer the disc on the skillet. Keep he heat mark on low.

Beat one egg with little salt and pour it over the disc. Gently spread the egg evenly all over the disc. Increase the heat mark to medium.  Sprinkle chopped cilantro, ginger, onion and green chilies over it. Now fold the paratha a shown in the picture. Brush oil on the top surface of the paratha and flip it over. Brush oil on the other surface too.

Cook on medium heat till you see brown spots all over the surface of the paratha.

Serve with ketchup or achar.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Masala Filling for Dosa



I just posted my recipe for easy Dosa. This is the recipe for the filling if you want to make ‘em stuffed. It goes well with Poori as well.


  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 large onion cut into medium sized thick chunks
  • 1 tbsp. minced gingers
  • 1/4 cup green peas fresh or frozen 
  • 4 green chilies chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (black gram)
  • 1 tsp. chana dal (Bengal gram)
  • 10- 12 curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (Coriander leaves)
  • 1 tbsp. ghee (Clarified butter) 
  • 2 tbsp. white oil
  • Salt to taste


Cut potatoes in halves and cook them in a pressure cooker till one whistle comes. Let them cool down enough to handle and then peel off the skin. With your hands break boiled potatoes coarsely into medium pieces.

Heat oil in a pan and add whole mustard seeds. When the seeds start spluttering add urad dal and chana dal to it. Keep stirring them on medium heat till they take a golden brown hue.

Next to go in are onion, chopped ginger, peas, curry leaves, chopped green chilies and turmeric. Sauté till onion starts to loose its raw color.

Add potatoes and salt. If required add 1/4 cup of water to it. Mix well and cook till the moisture is completely gone.

Sprinkle chopped cilantro and drizzle a spoon full of ghee. Give a nice mix and keep it covered till you serve to retain all the flavors. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Dosa in Bong Kitchen



We love Dosa, but since it is not our staple food, we do not have the gadgets to make it easily. Unlike a South Indian household we do not have a wet-grinder. Having lived in the South of India for a long time and later with South Indian neighbors in another corner of the world, I picked up this easy recipe which anyone can use to dole out Dosas.


  • 4 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds (Methi)
  • 1 tsp. flattened rice (Poha) optional
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Oil


Wash urad dal thoroughly and soak it for 4-6 hrs. along with the fenugreek seeds.

Soak rice flour in a cup of water.

After the dal is soaked drain the water and in a regular grinder grind it into a smooth paste. Grind till the paste is soft and foamy. You may need to add water.

After the dal is completely ground, gradually add the rice flour mixture to it and grind them together.

Transfer the batter into a large bowl. Add salt and mix it.

Add enough water to the batter so that it is thick but when you scoop it with your hand it falls through your fingers.

Cover the bowl with a lid. Make it sure that the bowl is not airtight.

Keep the batter in a warm place for about 8-10 hrs. to ferment. For those living in a cold area keep the batter bowl inside your oven with the oven light on. The light will provide the temperature of fermentation. The ideal temperature for fermentation is around 95F or 34C.

Once the batter is fermented it will double in volume and should be frothy. If the batter is too thick add little water to make it pouring consistency.

Heat a round non stick skillet. Drizzle few drops of water. The water should sizzle and evaporate. Brush the pan with little oil and now put a ladle full of batter. Swirl the back of your ladle in concentric circles to evenly spread out the batter.

Once the batter is spread out drizzle few drops of refined oil around the edges.

Cook dosa on medium high heat till the bottom appears light brown. To make crispy dosa turn them over and let the other side take a light brown hue.

After you are done cooking each dosa make sure to cool down the skillet by sprinkling water to it. If the skillet is too hot you won’t be able to spread the batter.

Fold and serve either with aloo masala, chutney and sambar or enjoy plain with chutney and sambar. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Shepherd’s Pie

A few weeks back we visited a very popular local irish pub and I was about to order the Shepherd's pie when I noticed that it has beef. That is definitely not an authentic Shepherd's pie. A Shepherd's pie is supposed to have lamb, just like fisherman's pie has fish and cowboy's pie has beef. This prompted me to make some of my own pie.

Ingredients For Meat Mixture

  • 2 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1cup chicken stock
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients For Mashed Potato

  • 2 lb. golden potatoes cut into quarters
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 egg yolk beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
Procedure Of making Meat Mixture
Preheat oven at 250F. In an oven proof baking dish take butter along with onion, garlic, minced meat. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Mix well. Add half a cup of chicken tock to it and stir.
Put the dish in the middle rack of the oven and cook for an hour. Carefully take the baking dish out. Add vegetables. Mix flour with rest of the chicken stock and pour over the meat mixture. Give everything a nice mix. Now cook it again for another hour. At the end of the cooking it will look like a thick meaty gravy.
By this mean time make the mashed potato. Boil potatoes in adequate water till tender. Drain it. Mash the potato with a little butter. Season it with salt and pepper. Sprinkle chopped parsley and mash till potatoes are smooth.
In a bowl whisk together egg yolk and milk and stir it into the mashed potato mixture. Top the meat mixture with mashed potato and spread it evenly to cover. You can pipe the mixture too, to give it a fancy look.
Bake it in a pre heat oven at 350F for 25-30 minutes.
Serve warm.


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