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Monday, October 30, 2017

Kumro Potoler Chokka

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The very first year we were in US, my daughter went on a school trip to a farm for Halloween. She proudly brought home a pumpkin which she had picked up. She was tiny and the pumpkin tinier, not suitable for carving. I chopped it up and made some Kumro-r Chokka, she still reminds me of this sad incident every Halloween. This year being no exception.

While stealing pumpkins from little one is not recommended, the recipe totally is.

Ingredients

  • 250 gm pumpkin peeled and cut into medium sized cubes
  • 250 gm potol (Pointed Gourd) peeled and cut into halves
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into medium sized cubes
  • 1/2 cup soaked  whole red Bengal gram
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1 large tomato cut into quarters
  • 1 tbsp. cashew powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1tbsp. Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 2 dry whole red chilies
  • 1 tsp. paanch phoron
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. powder of dry roasted cumin and coriander seeds of equal quantity


Procedure

Heat mustard oil in a wok and one by one fry pumpkin, potol and potato pieces for about two to three minutes and remove them for later use.

If required add more mustard oil to the wok and temper it with dry whole red chilies, paanch phoron and hing. When they stop sputtering add tomatoes to it. Lower the heat and add fried potato cubes. Sauté everything together on medium heat.. You can add turmeric, chili, cumin powder at this point and keep frying. If required add water little at a time to prevent burning of the spices.

Add grated coconut, soaked red Bengal gram and keep sautéing. Pour half a cup of water and let it simmer on medium heat for about five minutes.

When the potatoes are half way through add potol and pumpkin pieces to it along with grated ginger. Add the seasonings and mix well. You may want to add some more water to it. Cook it covered on medium heat till all vegetables are tender but yet retaining their shapes.

This will be a dry gravy. so adjust the quantity of liquid accordingly. Add cashew powder and let cook it for about a minute.

Turn off the heat and sprinkle dry roasted cumin and coriander powder to it. Garnish with some more grated coconut.

Enjoy with luchi or parota.




Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cook Friendly Chili Chicken

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One of my most ardent readers is now one of my very good friend and neighbor. One day over tea we were discussing, how hard it is to make chili-chicken when you have food robbers in the house. The moment we are done with frying the chicken it starts disappearing. Finally the chili-chicken results in lot of chili and very little chicken.
Just to handle this situation I have come up with the cook friendly version where the chicken is not fully cooked after frying and that stops the robbers.

Ingredients

For Marination
  • 1lb boneless chicken cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp. dark soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tbsp. green chili sauce
  • Salt to state
  • 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. corn meal or rice flour
  • 4 tbsp.. oil
For Gravy
  • 1 large onion cut into cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp. chopped green chilies
  • 1/.2 cup chopped green onion.
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. green chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tbsp. dark soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch diluted in half cup water
  • Salt to taste
Procedure

Marinates chicken pieces with all ingredients listed under margination without the flours and the oil. Marinate for half an hour. Sprinkle all purpose flour and corn meal over the chicken pieces and coat very gently.

Now heat oil in a wide shallow frying pan. Shallow fry the chicken pieces in one layer first on high heat for a minute and then on medium heat till the meat is ninety percent done. You will see the surface of the chicken pieces are crispy because of the application of corn meal. Remove and reserve for later use.

In the rest of the oil add chopped garlic and fry for a minute before you add onion and green chilies to it. Sauté everything together for a minute or two on high heat. Now add fried chicken pieces to it and mix well. Cook it covered on low heat for couple of minutes. This will cook chicken through and through.

Remove the lid and crank up the heat to high. Add bell pepper and toss everything well. Turn off the heat.

In another sauce pan combine vinegar, chili garlic sauce, green chili sauce, dark soya sauce with half
a cup of water. Bring it to a boil. Bring the heat to the lowest and slowly add diluted corn starch to it.

Crank up the heat while stirring it continuously till you see the sauce thickens up. Add the fried chicken mixture to it and turn off the heat.  check the seasoning and adjust. Garnish with green onion.

If you want dry chili chicken then you add all the sauce directly over the fried chicken mixture and fry everything together till the chicken pieces are well coated with the sauces. Add diluted cornstarch over it and mix on high flame till the moisture dries up. Check the seasoning and adjust. Finish it off with chopped green onion.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rajsahi Fish Tikka

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My husband had invited few of his friends for a barbecue at our home. Seattle weather being as it is, turned a bit iffy with possibilities of rain. So I decided to make something indoors incase cooking outside failed. Given the party theme I plated it in a more western style on slices of whole grain bread with fresh cut salad.

Rajsahi is a major city in Bangladesh and I actually doubt if people from there really know about this recipe. Either way it is pretty rajokio or royal in taste.

I make most of these kind of bengali dry fish recipes with locally available rock-fish. If you have the good fortune of access to bhetki, please go with that instead.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. fish fillet cut into medium cubes (Best if you can get bhetki, cod and rock fish work well)
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. green chili paste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. thick plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. Bengali Garam Masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • Few slices of bread for serving

Procedure

Wash fish and pat it dry with a paper towel. Mix everything with fish keeping aside one tbsp. ghee and half of the lime juice.

Now marinate the fish for about an hour.

Pre heat oven at 350F. Grease a baking tray with oil and lay the fish pieces in single layer.

Bake for about five minutes. Take the tray out and strain the liquid released from the fish.

Turn over the fish cubes, brush it with the rest of lemon juice and ghee and bake it again for about ten minutes..

Remove and brush it again with the lemon juice and ghee mixture. Sprinkle a pinch of mustard and black pepper powder over it.

Cut the bread slices into square and place each tikka on top of it to serve.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dim Fulkopi R Rezala

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Few days back I posted the story of our new family tradition of making Prawn-pulao every Mahalaya. Now you cannot really eat pulao by itself, even though mysteriously the pulao kept decreasing as I was busy making it’s accompaniment. While I do plan to summon Mr. Holmes to get to the bottom of this mystery, here goes the recipe of egg-cauliflower rezala that I made to go with the pulao.

This rezala goes really well with the pulao because of it’s mild smooth taste. Since the pulao itself has a very distinct flavor, serving it with anything stronger like mutton doesn’t work that well. We also really enjoyed the left over rezala with some laccha paratha.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs boiled and de-shelled
  • 2 medium potatoes cut into halves
  • 8 medium sized florets of cauliflower
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 2 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1tbsp. cashew and raisin paste
  • 1/4th cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. dry spice powder of the following dry roasted spices
    • 1" cinnamon stick
    • 4 green cardamom
    • 5 cloves
    • 1 tsp. caraway seed
    • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

Procedure


Heat oil in a pan and fry onion, ginger, and garlic for about five minutes on low heat.
Remove from heat and let it come down to room temperature. Now make a paste of all these three ingredient with half a cup of yogurt.

Heat oil in a wok and fry cauliflower florets on medium high heat. Ensure the florets don't change their white color. Remove with slotted spoon and reserve. Fry potatoes and eggs in the same way.

Now in the same oil add dry whole red chilies and pepper corn. When they stop sizzling add onion, ginger, garlic paste to it add fried potatoes and sauté till the raw smell subsides.  If required you may add water during the sautéing process.

When the potatoes are three quarter done add cauliflower florets to it. Sprinkle salt and sugar to your taste. Mix well so that every pieces are well coated with spice mixture.

Add half a cup of water and let it simmer on low heat till both the vegetables are tender. Now goes in the fried boiled eggs along with the cashew and raisin paste. Add quarter cup of milk to it. Let it simmer for a while till it takes a thick gravy consistency.

Turn off the heat. Add one tbsp. ghee along with one tsp. of dry roasted spice powder. Mix once and keep it covered till you serve.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dhakai Fish

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I have had the good fortune to be always blessed with great neighbors. Our Seattle home is no exception. We meet a few times over the summer vacation to indulge in barbecue and pot-lucks.This summer when one of my neighbors organized a get-together at their place, I asked them what I should get. I got the request of something spicy.

I wanted to ensure I bring something from our homeland and not the fake Indian food like butter chicken. It also needed to be finger food and palatable to the western taste. I settled on Dhakai fish, which is a shallow fried fish garnished with sautéed onion and green chilies. I made it with locally available fresh rock-fish fillet. You can use any fish of your choice both as fillet or cut into steaks. You can even use whole cut fish like pomfret. Just change the frying time depending on the size of the fish.

I have no clue why this is referred to as “Dhakai” or from Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh, it’s just what my mom used to call it.

Ingredients

  • 1lb fish fillets cut into medium cubes (2" *2")
  • 1tbswp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. Besan (Bengal Gram Flour)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for shallow frying

For Serving

  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp. chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. oil

Procedure


Marinate the fish cubes with all ingredients other than the flours and oil for half an hour.

Once the margination is over sprinkle the flours over it and mix it gently so the fish cubes are roughly coated with the flours.

Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fish pieces on medium high heat in a single layer so that their surface turns crispy yet the inside stays soft and juicy. It takes about three minutes. Remove them.

Now keep one tbsp. oil in the pan and add chopped ginger, garlic, onion sliced fry on medium high heat for about two to three minutes. Add green chilies to it and fry everything together on low heat.
Add fried fished to it and toss very gently to coat the fishes with the fried spices. Take care not to break the fishes.

Serve on a platter and garnish with chopped cilantro and crushed black pepper.

Enjoy with plain rice or as a finger food.


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Chingri Maacher Pulao (Prawn Pulao)


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We are still in Durga pujo mode here in Seattle. Pujo is over, but the ever going Bijoya parties are not yet over. I sometimes feel that they continue to next years pujo Smile

This year I was telling my husband the story of my mom making prawn pulao every year for Mahalaya because on most of the pujo days she’d be fasting and hence wouldn’t be able to make something nice for us. The petuk guy jumped at the opportunity and established that this is a custom apparently we are also starting. I was coaxed into agreeing to this and I made some prawn pulao and egg rezala.

Here goes the pulao recipe.
Ingredients
  • 250gms gobindo bhog rice or kali jeera rice (1 cup)
  • 500 gms. medium sized prawn deveined and cleaned
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 5 - 6 green chilies slit lengthwise
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. refined oil
  • 3 tbsp.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
Procedure

Wash rice and soak it in water for thirty minutes.. Now drain the water and spread it on a wide tray. Let it dry. It will take about 3-4 hours.

Sprinkle salt, sugar , grated ginger and half of the garam masala on the rice and mix it with a gentle hand.

Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker till it melts, then fry prawns till their surfaces turn pink.. Do not fry them for more than thirty seconds. Remove the prawns from the oil.

Now add the spice mixed rice to the hot oil and fry on low heat for about five minutes. You will see the grains turn opaque. This is the time you add a cup of coconut milk and a cup of plain room temperature water to it. Stir well and add the fried prawns and green chilies to it.

Cover the pressure cooker and crank up the heat to the highest heat mark. Ensure the pressure builds up inside and the steam is not escaping through the sides of the lid. Wait till one whistle comes up.
Turn off the heat and wait till the pressure release on its own.

Open the lid and sprinkle rest of the garam masala powder. Immediately spread the pulao in a wide serving plate.

Enjoy this with Egg rezala or korma of your choice..


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bhuni Khichuri from Bhaskar da, Simkie di

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After a long hiatus I am back to food blogging. This post is brought to you by a bad bout of cold. The last time I had a cold was when I visited, ahem, a very cold place.

It was January of 2017, when few of us visited the cold sleepy town or rather village of Roslyn, up in the Cascade mountains. Like any true Bong outing, it was less about where we went, but more about what we ate.

Since I was down with a cold, I mostly stayed indoors helping others cook. One of our friend BhaskarDa made this amazing Khichuri based on his better half SimkiDi’s  recipe.

The great thing about this Khichuri is it’s simplicity and rustic taste. IMG_9467IMG_9473

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gobindobhog rice ( Jeera rice)
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 dry red chilies
  • 1” raw ginger grated
  • 1 cup medium sized cauliflower florets
  • 1 cub medium sized cubed potato
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Wash rice and drain the water and keep aside.

In a frying pan take moong dal and dry roast it on medium flame till you get a nutty aroma and dal starts taking a nice brown hue.

Remove from the heat and wash it. Now soak the dal in water.

In a heavy bottomed pan heat two tbsp. oil and temper it with one tbsp. cumin seeds, bay leaves and dry red chilies. When you get a nice aroma add washed and drained rice to it and fry them on very low heat for about five minutes.

Once you start getting the flavor of the fried rice add soaked dal along with its water to it. Give them a hearty stir. Add salt and cook it covered. you need to check the water level time to time and need to replenish if required.

In the mean time smear the cauliflower florets and potato cubes with little salt and start heating the rest of the oil in a frying pan..

Once the oil is hot enough  fry the cauliflower florets and the potato cubes on medium heat. Remove them from oil and keep aside.

When the rice and dal mixture is three fourth cooked add the fried cauliflower florets and potato to it.  Check the seasoning and the water level and adjust accordingly. This is the time you add grated ginger and sugar. Mix once more and cook it covered.

When the khichuri is done, turn off the heat. In a small frying pan heat ghee till it melts and temper it with the rest of the cumin seeds. When they stop sputtering, pour it over the khichuri and immediately cover the pot. Keep it covered till you serve.

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