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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.

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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