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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fish Chop

IMG_8854 Fish chop closely competes with the fish fry in popularity. The main reason being that it costs less in a typical road-side bong food joint. The reason is simple, you need less fish to make it and there is no necessity to have large fillets.

Ingredients

My mom used to use Bhetki fillets, as I don't get it here I prefer to use Cod fillets. You can also make it with small fish chunks.

  • 1 lb. of fish fillets or small boneless fish pieces  
  • 2 medium potatoes boiled and mashed 
  • 1onion roughly chopped 
  • 1tbsp. grated ginger 
  • 1tsp. grated garlic
  • 1tsp. minced green chilies 
  • 1tsp. coriander powder
  • 1tsp. cumin powder  
  • 1/2tsp. turmeric powder 
  • 1tsp. chili powder 
  • 1tsp. garam masala powder (I use only Cinnamon, Clove and Cardamom in my garam masala powder)
  • 1tsp. sugar 
  • Salt - to taste
  • 2 eggs beaten with a pinch of salt 
  • Bread crumb (See my post on Fish-fry to see how you can make your own)

Procedure

  • Boil the fish fillets in microwave for 6-8 minutes. Allow it to cool and mash it. If you are using any carp thoroughly remove the bones.  
  • In a pan take oil and add the chopped onions. Fry it in medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
  • Now add grated ginger, garlic, green chilies, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
  • Fry till the spices are cooked and the raw smell is completely gone.
  • Now add mashed fish and potato and fry it till the mixture becomes completely dry. Allow it to cool. Sprinkle garam masala powder.
  • Give them a shape of chops of your choice. 
  • Dip it in the egg wash and roll it over the bread crumbs and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hr.
  • Heat oil in a wok and deep fry till both sides turn crispy brown. 
  • Sprinkle some black salt and enjoy it with your favorite chutney.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chingri Bhape (Steamed prawn with mustard and coconut sauce)

Another authentic bong dish and contains the hallmark mustard paste. This is Bengal cuisine at it finest.

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What all you need

  1. Medium size prawns-10-12 pieces
  2. Grated fresh coconut-1/2 cup
    You can substitute with frozen fresh coconut from the store as well. If you use desiccated coconut you’ll be severely punished by a disgusting smell and taste.
  3. Mustard seed-2 tbsp
  4. Mustard oil-2-3 tbsp
  5. Turmeric 1/2 tsp
  6. Green chilli- 4-5
  7. Salt

You need a container like a steel tiffin box which can be used for steaming in the pressure cooker.

 

The way my ma used to make it.

  1. Clean and devein the prawns properly.
  2. Now make a very smooth paste of the coconut , mustard and a small green chili by slowly adding water. Ma was very careful about adding the water because she wanted the paste to be really thick.
  3. Now mix salt, turmeric powder and mustard oil into the paste and mix it with the prawns.
  4. Transfer it into the container which you can steam.
  5. Put water in bottom of the pressure cooker and keep the box inside it.
  6. Once the pressure is built up wait for 1-2 mins and put off the stove
  7. Wait until the steam escapes. Take out the box , open it.
  8. Garnish with green chilies and 1spoon of mustard oil.
  9. Serve with steaming hot rice.

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Lau-chingri

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Lau-chingri or shrimp-bottle gourd is a famous bong dish, something that your grandma made for you. This transcends time and generation, our daughter loves it as much as my grandfather did.

Ingredient 

  1. Bottle gourd- 1 medium size
  2. Shrimp: 10-12 medium size. (make sure the shrimps should  be  properly deveined)
  3. Green chilies-2
  4. Coriander powder-1tsp
  5. Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
  6. Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  7. Coriander leaves- 1/4th cup
  8. Whole cumin seed-1/2 tsp 

Process

  1. Finely chop the bottle gourd and keep aside.
  2. Add salt and a pinch of turmeric to the shrimp and keep it.
  3. Now add oil to the pan and fry the shrimps and keep aside.
  4. Temper the oil with whole cumin seed and green chilies.
  5. When the cumin seeds start sputtering add the chopped bottle gourd.
  6. Gradually add turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
  7. Mix it well and add salt and a pinch of sugar to it.
  8. Sauté it for about a minute.
  9. Cover it and cook. You don't have to add any water as the bottle gourd releases it.
  10. You have to stir intermittently till the water released by the bottle gourd gets dried up.
  11. Now add the fried shrimp and cook it for a while,
  12. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and green chili.

Serve it with hot steamed white rice.

Home Style Chicken Tandoori

IMG_1304There are no short cuts to good things in life. You need 24 hours time in your hand before you attempt this.

Long long ago when microwaves used to be the devices from the future, we actually got free cooking classes when we bought one of those. The first thing they taught was how to make the famous chicken tandoori. Obvious the real way is to cook it in a clay tandoor, but this recipe gives you couple of options to cheat and make ‘em at home without the tandoor.

 

Ingredient

  1. Chicken leg quarter-5 pieces (this is not the leg piece but rather includes the thigh as well)
  2. Hung curd-2 cups.
    This is curd without the excess water. Make this by hanging curd from a cotton cloth or buy some Greek curd from the nearest departmental store
  3. Ginger paste-2 tb. spoon
  4. Garlic paste-2 tb. spoon
  5. Kashmiri red chili powder-1 tb. spoon
  6. Lime juice -5tb. spoon (just squish some lime into a cup)
  7. Chicken Tandoori Masala-2tb. spoon (available in all Indian store)
  8. Salt
  9. Butter-2 tb. spoon

Procedure

  1. Take the chicken legs, clean it and make 2,3 deep incisions through the flesh. It will help the marinade to get inside.
  2. In a bowl mix curd,and all other ingredients.
  3. Apply it on both the sides of the chicken legs and cover it.
  4. Keep it in the refrigerator for 24 hrs.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  6. Now in a baking tray arrange the chicken legs and bake it in the preheated for 30 mins
  7. Every 5 mins check to see if the legs are getting too dry, in that case dab it with butter
  8. In the absence of oven you can make it in a microwave’s combination mode for 30 mins

Serving Tips

Sprinkle some chat masala over it and enjoy as an appetizer or with some butter naan.

Special tip from my husband, this rocks with some good ‘ol beer.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Robibarer Mangsor Jhol (Goat Meat Curry)

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Even though it’s hard to believe now, when we were kids refrigerator were very rare and expensive in India. Most families didn’t own one and that meant most people used to go to the market every morning and cook/eat all they bought that day itself.

Most offices and schools were open for half day on Saturday so the true week holiday was Sunday. This brings us to the Sunday Mutton Curry :). It was common for most families to eat Goat Meat on this Sunday as everyone was at home. Goat meat was cooked in a Pressure Cooker and if you strolled out in the neighborhood around noon, you could hear the whistle coming out from them all around the place and the aroma filled the air. Oh the good ‘ol days.

So it was rice with the curry for lunch, roti/poori with that same curry in dinner and if it’s winter (cold enough for things to not go bad) the left over is breakfast on Monday morning with toasted bread.

Anyways the recipe for the “Mangser Jhol” is here. You can make it with Goat/lamb meat.

Ingredient

  • Goat meat (or mutton) 1 lbs. In US if this is hard to come by, you can use lamb meat as well (stew pieces)
  • Potato 2 medium sized cut in halves
  • Onion 2 medium sized thinly sliced
  • Tomato 2 medium sized pureed
  • Ginger paste 2tb. spoon
  • Garlic paste 1tb. spoon
  • Turmeric powder 1tb. spoon
  • Kashmiri red chili powder 2tsp.
  • Mustard oil 1/2 cup
  • Salt as per taste
  • Sugar as per taste

Direction

Heat oil in a pressure cooker till its really hot. Add onion slices to it and fry on low heat till they turn light brown. You may sprinkle a pinch of salt to faster the process.

Next add ginger, garlic and tomato paste followed by turmeric and chili powder. Sauté on low heat for about 2-3 minutes. Next to go in are meat pieces.

Sear them on high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle salt and sugar to your taste. Keep frying the meat pieces along with the spices for about 8-10 minutes on low heat. By this time the raw smell of all spices will subside.

By the mean time heat oil in another pan and fry the potato halves on medium high heat till they turn golden yellow. Remove and keep them aside.

When you are done with sautéing add fried potato halves to it.

Pour about a cup of warm water in the pressure cooker and give everything a nice mix. Cover the lid and pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles if you are really in a hurry. Alternatively you can cook it on high heat till the first whistle comes and then lower the heat to medium and cook it for another 15 minutes. I personally prefer the second option.

Wait for the steam to escape before you open the lid.

Serve with plain hot rice or luchi.

NOTE: In case you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook covered in a heavy bottom pan for about 40 minutes.

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