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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Homemade Dhoka Mix (Dhoka Flour)

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I had a friend who told me that she has seen Dhoka Mix at our local Indian grocery store. I searched everywhere but came empty handed. All the while I had my suspicions that she had either seen Dhokla mix, or the right mix at the wrong place (in India).

I was coping with my disappointment and even considering professional help, when I visited another friends house. Who reached into her pantry and pulled out Dhoka mix she got from India and showed me. That was the tipping point.

Thankfully the next week I got some time to myself when my husband and kids went out for some snow fun. After various attempts I finally came up with my own very own Dhoka mix. Please see the steps below. And if you want to make some Dhoka with the mix, see my post http://www.bongcook.com/2012/01/dhoka-r-dalna-lentil-cake-curry.html

Ingredients

  • 100 gms Bengal gram ( Cholar daal  / Chaana Daal)
  • 1 tsp. asafoetida (Hing)
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Procedure

Dry roast red chilies, cumin and coriander seeds till they are fragrant. Remove and let them come to room temperature.

Wet a cheese cloth and wring it well to get rid of the extra water. Now clean the dal by rubbing them with the moist cheese cloth. spread the daal on a plate and let it to dry completely. It is best to wait overnight to ensure the daal doesn.t have any moisture left on their surface.

Now take the daal along with all other ingredients into a dry grinding jar and grind them to make a coarse powder. Allow it too cool down before you pour it into a airtight jar. Store in the refrigerator.

Before making Dhoka take required the dry mix (100gms) in a bowl and mix with 75 ml. of luke warm water. Let it stand for twenty minute. You can adjust seasoning if required. I like to add a tsp. of grated ginger at this point.

Heat one tbsp. oil in a non stick pan and and pour the batter. Cook it while continously stirring on low heat for couple of minutes. Turn off the heat when you see the mixture is coming together to form a dough..

Transfer the dough on a greased plate and press it downwards and flatten the surface while it is still warm. Allow it to cool down. Now with a sharp knife cut into squares or triangles.

Heat enough oil for deep frying in a wok and fry the dhoka pieces on medium high heat till they are brown and crispy. Remove and make dhokar dalna…

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Chicken Pepper Roast

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When we first moved to the US and were living in the temporary housing, my kitchen was obviously not fully setup yet as most of my appliances were still floating in a ship somewhere over the atlantic. However, I had to entertain some guests and cooked up this chicken pepper roast because it needed very few and common ingredients. My husband liked it so much that he frequently requests for a re-do.  Here is a post from one of those many re-dos.

Ingredients

  • 1lb. chicken cut into medium pieces on bone
  • 1/4th cup thick plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2 tsp. chicken tandoori masala
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. chopped green chili
  • 10 - 15 curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper corns
  • 5 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro for garnishing 
 

Procedure

In a mixing bowl take chicken pieces and marinate it well with yogurt, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, Kashmiri red chili powder and chicken tandoori masala and salt. Let it rest for at least three hours.

Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Now take the chicken pieces and shake off the excess marinade from it and lay them on the tray in single layer. Don't discard the marinade. Pre heat the oven at 200C and bake the chicken pieces for about twenty minutes. Don't forget to brush up ghee every five minutes.

After baking is done, you will notice a good amount of watery liquid is accumulated in the baking tray. Keep this liquid along with the marinade.

In a small pan start cooking the marinade along with the liquid and let it simmer until  the quantity is just enough to coat the chicken pieces. Check the seasoning and adjust. This is the time you add sugar to it.

Now heat 3tbsp. ghee in a cooking pan. After it melts add chopped ginger and green chili to it and sauté on very low heat for about a minute or two. add chicken pieces to it along with the cooked marinade. Toss everything well so that the chicken pieces are well coated with spice. Cover and let it sit on low heat for about 2-3 minutes.  Pour the rest amount of ghee and add freshly crushed pepper corn and curry leaves to it. Give it a good mix before you turn off the heat. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy..

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Chingri Bharta

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This is a classic Bangladeshi dish. It’s common for Bangladeshi’s to make bharta/bhorta (mish-mash) out of a lot of everyday items. Chingri or Prawn being no exception.

Recently I attended a potluck lunch and decided to make this yummy yet easy to make main-course. Prawn Bharta goes really well with steaming white rice.

Ingredients

  • 20-25 medium sized shrimp shelled and de -veined
  • 5-6 dried red chilies
  • 5-6 green hot chilies
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • 1/4 cup mustard oil
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. sugatr
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

 

Procedure

Heat 2 tablespoon mustard oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Smear the prawns with turmeric powder. Add the prawns to medium hot oil and cook till they turn pink and cooked through. Do not over cook. Remove them from the pan and allow them to come down to the room temperature. Take aside 10-12 prawns and put them in a blender or food processor. Pulse the blender/food processor to process the shrimp coarse and chunky consistency. It should NOT be a fine paste. Transfer the content in a mixing bowl.

Cut the rest of the prawns into small bit sized pieces. Keep them in the mixing bowl.

In the separate pan, heat about 2 tbsp. of oil. Add the dry red chilies and nigella seeds to it. Cook them until they stop sputtering. Now add half the amount of the green chilies, 1/4 cup onion, garlic and the ginger in the pan and cook them on low to medium heat until the onion, garlic and ginger looses their rawness, but still maintain their structure. They should not turn brown. Once done, transfer the all the content of the pan to the mixing bowl.

Add the rest of the chopped onions, green chili peppers, rest of the mustard oil, sugar, salt and lime juice. Gently toss. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Serve over hot rice or as a side.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Khowa Murgh

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My daughter is now a middle schooler and these days she has quite a few friends visiting us. I land in a dilemma while trying to make dinner for them. If I make what is called Indian food in the US then we cannot really eat that. If I make something for our palate then it’s hard on her friends. I made this Khowa Murgh (Chicken with milk solids) as a good compromise. It has a slight sweet taste and at the same time has chili-flakes which gives it a nice balance.

Ingredients

  • 1lb. chicken pieces on bone
  • 1 cup finely sliced onion
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 Kashmiri red chili pound into flakes
  • 50 gms khowa 9Unsweetened milk solids)
  • 2 tbsp. almond powder
  • 1/4 cup thick yogurt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt to taste
  • Oil
  • 2-3 whole black cardamom
  • 5-6 clove

Procedure

Heat oil in a thick bottom pan and reduce the heat. Add black cardamom and cloves to it and sauté on low heat for about two to three minutes till the oil gets fragrant.
 
Add sliced onion to it along with a pinch of salt. fry on low heat till the onion is translucent the edges are light brown.
 
Add ginger, garlic paste to it and fry on low heat till the raw smell subsides.
 
Next to go in are the chicken pieces along with the sugar. Sauté the chicken pieces on high heat till they are properly seared.
 
Add salt to it and mix it well. Cook it covered till the meat is almost done. While the chicken is being cooked make a paste of the khowa along with the almond powder and yogurt.
 
When the meat is almost done for add the khowa paste to it. Now let it simmer uncovered for about five more minutes. Sprinkle  chili flakes over it for garnishing...

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Italian Style Chicken Stew

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Sometimes I need to make lunch for my daughter and her friends of European origin. It’s hard to get something to plate which both would equally enjoy. This chicken stew seems to fit the bill. It has both Indian spices as well as Italian herbs.
 
Ingredients
  • 1lb. chicken on bone
  • 1/4th cup onion juice
  • 2 medium sized onion sliced thinly
  • 1 large tomato sliced lengthwise
  • 5-6 baby potatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped leek (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. whole pepper corn
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp. saffron
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (you can use any vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
Procedure
 
Wash and pat dry chicken pieces and marinate them with onion juice, black pepper powder and salt..
Keep it aside for an hour or two.
 
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces on medium low heat till all sides take a light brown hue. This way you can seal the juice of the chicken.
 
In another pan take butter and allow it to melt on very low heat. You need to be careful not to burn the butter. Add whole peppercorns to it followed by minced garlic. Sauté till you start getting a nice aroma.
 
Add sliced onions and leek and fry on medium heat till the onions turn a little brown.. Next to go in are the tomato slices.. Fry on medium heat till the tomato starts to melt.. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down and come to the room temperature..
 
Put the fried mixture in a blender and blend it for half a minute.. Now strain the blended mixture through a strainer and reserve the pulp.
 
In a separate pan melt another spoon of  butter on very low flame and add flour to it.. Fry for a little while. Add the reserved pulp to it and pour about 4 cups of water to it. Mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil before you add the fried chicken pieces to it. Add the baby potatoes. Season with salt and sugar. Cover it. Allow it to simmer on low heat to infuse all the flavors together. When the chicken and the potato is just done sprinkle saffron strands and mix it well. Let it simmer for another minute before you add 2 tbsp. of  fresh cream to it. Turn off the heat and garnish with parsley. 
 
You can serve with garlic bread or plain bread.. 

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gondhoraj Bhetki

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Gondhoraj Bhetki is one of the most popular dishes served in the famous Oh Calcutta! restaurant in Kolkata. If you landed on this page searching for that, then this is not it. Oh Calcutta created it’s own version to appeal to a more cosmopolitan clientele. Gondhoraj Bhetki or fragnant bhetki presented here is the authentic traditional summer food prepared in Bengali households, something my grand mom or mom would’ve made.
 
Ingredients
  • 4 medium sized steak pieces of bhetki (substitute with Cod or Tai Snapper steak based on local availability)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. green chili paste
  • 2 large gondhoraj lime (substitute with any fragrant large lime)
  • 1 tsp. gondhoraj lime rind
  • 4 kafir lime leaf
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • White vegetable oil
Procedure

Clean and wash the fish. Pat it dry with a paper towel.

Grate one lime. Now cut and squeeze the juice of both the limes and reserve it.

In a bowl take half of the ginger, garlic, chili paste along with lime juice and salt. Mix it well and apply on both sides of the fish steaks. Let it rest for about thirty minutes.

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and one by one shallow fry the fish steaks after shaking off the extra marinade. Remove from oil and keep aside.

In a pan take 3-4 tsp. of refined oil and add ginger, garlic and chili paste to it. sauté on very low heat till the raw smell subsides. Turn off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Now add beaten  yogurt to it. Mix well. Add salt and sugar to your taste and add half a cup of water. Mix well and let it come to a boil. Throw the kafir lime leaves and gently slide the fish steaks in. Cook till the fish is cooked and the sauce is thick. Sprinkle the lime juice along with its rind.

Serve hot with plain rice..
 

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Macher Kason Pora Jhol

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This is a very old traditional Bangladeshi fish curry, I learnt it from my grandmom and unfortunately have no clue to the origin of the name “kason”. The main ingredient is deeply fried and almost burnt fenugreek seeds. The taste is very rustic and this is very easy and fast to make as well. You cannot go wrong with this. If you have never made fish curries this is a fantastic first yet innovative one to try.
 
Ingredients
  • 4 steak pieces of  fish ( Preferably Rohu / Catla)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped green chilies
  • 2 tbsp. finely chpped cilantro
  • 2 tsp. methi seed (Fenugreek)
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
Procedure
Wash and pat dry fish pieces. Smear them with half tablespoon of turmeric powder and salt. Keep them aside for fifteen minutes.
 
In a small bowl make a paste of half turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder with water and keep it handy.
 
Heat mustard oil in a wok till it smokes. Reduce the heat and fry the fish pieces till both sides turn golden brown. Remove the fish pieces on a paper towel and keep aside. Discard the oil.
 
Heat another two tablespoon of oil on medium heat and temper it with methi seeds. Fry on low heat till you start getting the aroma. Now remove the methi seeds from the oil and discard.  Add chopped garlic to the oil and fry till you get a nice aroma. Remove and reserve it for garnishing. Add garlic paste to the oil along with half of  the chopped green chilies. Fry on low heat till the garlic paste loosed its raw smell.
 
add the spice powder mixture to it and fry on low heat till you can see the oil oozing out of the spice mixture. Add one cup of water and bring it to a boil before you add fried fish pieces to it. season with salt and let it boil for another five minutes.
 
Turn off the heat and garnish the gravy with fried chopped garlic, chopped green chilies and cilantro.
 
Serve with hot rice..
 
 
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