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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dimer Devil

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Dimer devil or deviled egg is boiled egg coated by spicy minced meat. I have no idea what it’s association with devil is, but I can promise you’ll think more about heaven than hell when you have it.

This is commonly sold in road side shacks in Kolkata and also in college cafeterias. My boyfriend used to get it for me from his college’s café when he came to pick me up after classes. I still remember those days of munching on the devils while going back home in the Kolkata metro rail.

IngredientsIMG_1954

  1. 6 hard boiled eggs cut into halves lengthwise 
  2. 250 gm minced meat (keema). This is optional. 
  3. 2 medium sized potatoes boiled
  4. 1 medium onion finely chopped
  5. 1 inch ginger finely minced + 1/2 tsp. ginger paste 
  6. 1 tbsp. grated garlic + 1/2 tsp. garlic paste 
  7. 2-3 green chilies finely chopped
  8. 1 tsp. raisins 
  9. 1/2 tsp. bengali garam masala powder
  10. 1/2 tsp. bhaja masala (dry roast and coarsely grind whole cumin, coriander and dry red chilly)
  11. 1tsp. sugar
  12. Salt to taste
  13. 3-4 tbsp. maida (AP flour)
  14. 3-4 tbsp. cornstarch
  15. Enough bread crumb
  16. Oil for deep frying

NOTE: I make this with and without minced meat, based on whom I’m making this for. I have a bunch of vegetarian friends who have taken up eating eggs but nothing beyond that. For them you need to substitute the meat with equal amount of boiled mashed potato. Everything else remains the same.

Procedure

Step 1: Stuffing

In a mixing bowl mix minced meat with ginger garlic paste, salt and sugar. Cook it on a medium heat till all moisture dries up. Let it cool.

Heat 2 tsp. oil in a frying pan and sauté chopped onion, ginger and garlic on low heat for about 2 minutes. The taste will go bad if you fry it on a high heat for long.

In a separate mixing bowl mash boiled potatoes with fried masala, green chilies, garam masala powder and bhaja masala with your hand. Mix cooked meat with it and taste the seasoning. Add salt and sugar to taste. Your stuffing is ready to be used.

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Step 2

Take each half of the eggs and place one raisins in  the center of the yolk. Press down with your finger tip to secure it in place.

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Now take a part of the meat mixture on your palm and flatten it with the other hand. Put the halved egg in the center of it. Place the yolk side down. Cover it up with the meat mixture by closing your fist.

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Using both your palms smoothen the surface and try to give it a natural oval  shape of an egg.

Step 3

In a bowl mix maida and corn starch uniformly. Gradually add water to make a thin batter. Take enough bread crumb on a plate.

Dip each of the deviled egg in the batter and  roll them on the bread crumb. Repeat the process. Dust off any extra bread crumb. You can refrigerate them and fry just before serving.

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Heat enough oil for deep frying in a wok or kadai. Gently slide the deviled eggs one or two at a time in the hot oil and fry till all sides turn brown. Remove with a slotted spoon.

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Sprinkle black salt over it and serve with some onion slices.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Shubho Noboborsho

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Poila boishakh is the first day of Bengali Calendar. It is based on Surya Siddhanta and closely tied with the Vedic Solar Calendar. It generally falls on 14th or 15th of April.

For the traders in Bengal it is customary to clear up all the dues on the last day of the year. They start their new accounting book on the auspicious Poila Baishakh after receiving blessings from The Almighty.

For us it was just a quick puja wearing new clothes which were undoubtedly bought  from Chaitra Sale. Evenings were generally booked for cultural events. We were invited to shops, where we were regulars and got a big fat box of sweet and savory.

Now on the other side of the ocean it is the day to celebrate Bangaliana. The plan is already chalked out. Before I move into my kitchen let me share my lunch menu for Poila baishakh with you.

  1. Plain white rice
  2. Maacher matha diye muger da
  3. Dhokar Dalna
  4. Prawn Malaikari 
  5. Kosha Mangsho
  6. Raw Mango Chutney
  7. Mishti-Doi

To all my readers best wishes for a year of peace, prosperity, happiness and most importantly good health.

Shubo Nobo borsho to you all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kachalonka Murgi aka Green chili chicken

IMG_9195I had gone to a seminar in Peerless Inn, Kolkata, which is where I had this. Initially the the buffet signage scared me off because I am not a fan of very spicy food. The chef was hovering around in the banquet hall and was requesting folks to try it out. It was his creation and he insisted that it was not that spicy. His special way of treating the chilies removed their heat but retained the flavor. Obviously I asked how, and he was gracious enough to explain.

Ingredients

  1. 2lbs. whole chicken cut into medium pieces
  2. 3tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  3. 2 medium onions thinly sliced
  4. 3tbsp. coriander (cilantro) leaves paste
  5. 100 gm. of green chilies slit length wise and seeds removed (I used half not mild Mexican and 1/2 very hot Indian green chilies)
  6. 1 tsp. sugar
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Oil
  9. For Tempering
    1. 2 bay leaves
    2. 1” cinnamon
    3. 2,3 green cardamom
    4. 2,3 black cardamom
    5. 4,5 cloves

Procedure

Heat oil in a pan and fry onion slices till they turn light brown. Remove and drain them on a paper towel. In a grinder make a smooth paste of the fried onions once they are cool.

Temper the same oil with all the spices listed under tempering. Add chicken pieces to it. Fry the chicken pieces on medium heat till they loose their raw color.

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Now add ginger, garlic and fried onion paste to it. Sauté for a while. Let the raw smell of ginger and garlic go away. Season with salt and sugar and mix well. Pour about half a cup of water and cook it covered for about 5 minutes on low flame.

Lets make the green chili paste till the chicken is done.Take water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Add green chilies to it and allow it cook for 30 sec. Drain the water and make a fine paste of the green chilies in a grinder. This ensures that the paste is not very hot.

Remove the lid of your pan and add cilantro paste to it. Mix it well and cook for one more minute. Add green chili paste and give it a nice mix. Cook for another five minutes.

Goes well with any non fried Indian breads like Naan, Phula or Rumali-roti. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Jhinge Aloo Posto (Ridgegourd and Potato in Poppy seed Paste)

IMG_9286My daughter had invited one of her friends of Japanese origin for a play-date. While she had sat down for lunch with me we started discussing what I should make for her friend. She instantly replied pointing to what she was having at that time “Jinge Aloo Posto”. I had a hard time explaining to her why it wouldn’t really work out for her friend. She went on insisting “It’s yummy, mummy, my friend will surely like it with rice, they do have rice at home. Also write it in your bongcook so that her mom can make it for her as well”.

So here goes one of the all time bong favs, Jinge Aloo Posto.

Ingredients

  1. 2 long ridge gourds
  2. 2 medium sized potatoes
  3. 3 tbsp. of poppy seeds ( posto)
  4. 1 dry red chili 
  5. 5-6 green chilies slit length wise
  6. 1 tsp. nigella seeds or kalojeera (Kalonji)
  7. 2-3 tbsp. of oil
  8. 1/2 tsp. sugar
  9. Salt to taste

Procedure

I love to dry grind my poppy seeds along with a dry red chili in a coffee grinder and then add little water to make a paste of it. If you have a wet grinder you can make your paste in one go.

Wash ridge gourd and peel the skin alternatively. Cut it lengthwise and then chop into half moon sized quarter inch pieces.

Wash, peel and cut potatoes in accordance with the pieces of ridge gourd.

IMG_1257Heat oil in a pan and temper it with kalojeera and green chilies. Wait till they stop dancing in the pan.

Add potatoes to it and fry on medium heat for a minute or two. Add chopped ridge gourd to it along with turmeric powder. Sauté for a while.

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Season with salt and sugar. Cook it covered till the vegetables are tender. Ridge gourd releases water. So allow it to cook in its own water.

When the veggies are almost done and the moisture is all dried up, add poppy seeds paste to it and mix well. Cook everything together for couple of more minutes.

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Drizzle some more mustard oil to finish.

Chingri Maach Diye Bandhakopi r Torkari

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WP_000376In our ancestral home all the 11 brothers and 2 sisters of my dad never had rice for their dinner. Which is atypical for a bong household. Their eldest sister (my boro-pisi) used to make this dish commonly for dinner. She could chop cabbage as fine as hair using the traditional boti (pictured on the right).
Even in US I have my boti, which I very rarely use. However, when my dad comes over he shuns my fancy Hamilton Beach knife set and gets this boti out.

Ingredients

  1. 12-15 medium sized prawns de shelled and deveined
  2. 1 medium sized cabbage finely shredded
  3. 2 large potatoes diced
  4. 1/2 cup green peas
  5. 1 medium onion finely chopped
  6. 2tbsp. grated ginger and garlic
  7. 1 large tomato cut into quarters
  8. 2 green chilies slit length wise
  9. 1tsp. turmeric powder
  10. 1 tbsp. chili powder
  11. 1 tsp. cumin powder
  12. 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  13. 1 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  14. 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  15. 1 tsp. sugar
  16. Salt to taste
  17. 2-3 tbsp. of cooking oil

Procedure

Smear the cleaned prawns with turmeric and salt. Keep them marinated for 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the prawns till they turn golden yellow. Remove and reserve them.
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Add chopped onion and green chilies in the same oil and sauté on medium heat till onions turn light brown.Add cubed potatoes to it and fry.
Add grated ginger garlic along with the dry spice powder. Fry them altogether. Add tomato pieces to it along with salt and sugar. Cook for a while till the tomatoes become soft.
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Add shredded cabbage (Bandha-kopi) and mix well with all the spices. Keep it covered on low heat. Add green peas. After 5 minutes you will see water is releasing from the cabbage. Mix it once more scraping the sides and the bottom of the pan.
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Cook it  covered till the cabbage and potatoes are done. Now remove the lid and increase the level of heat to reduce excess moisture. Give a taste test and adjust accordingly.
This is the time when you add the fried prawns to it. Cook it for further 3-4 minutes.
Sprinkle garam masala powder and add a spoonful of ghee to finish.
I love to have this with hot Phulkas.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Chingri Maach Diye Aloo Phulkopir Dalna (Cauliflower and potato curry with Prawn )

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So I had never had this in life. Each time we get prawns at home my dad wants me to make this and each time I side-track the request, because, well I never had it!!

However, this time I considered it and thought, what the heck. Let me try it out. So after a conference with my over-seas consultant (my aunt Smile). I tried it out and glad to report that the project landed successfully and was fully endorsed not only by my dad, but also by his son-in-law and grand-daughter.

Ingredients

  1. 1 medium sized cauliflower cut into big florets
  2. 10-12 medium sized prawns cleaned 
  3. 3 medium sized potatoes cut into quarters
  4. 1 medium tomato cut into quarters
  5. 3,4 green chilies slit lengthwise
  6. 1tbsp. ginger paste
  7. 1 tbsp. coriander seeds paste or powder  (Tastes better with paste)
  8. 1tsp. cumin (jeera) seeds paste or powder
  9. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  10. 1tbsp. chili powder
  11. 1 tsp. bengali garam masala powder
  12. 1 tsp. ghee ( clarified butter )
  13. 1 tsp. sugar
  14. salt to taste
  15. For Tempering
    1. 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
    2. 2 bay leaves
    3. 2-3 cloves
    4. 1” cinnamon stick
    5. 2-3 green cardamoms

Procedure

Wash prawn and pat them dry. Marinate with salt and turmeric powder.

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Heat oil in a pan or kadai till smoking and add prawns to fry them. Once they change the color remove and reserve it for later use.

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Add cauliflower florets to the oil and fry them on medium heat till the florets take a light brown hue. Remove and drain them on a paper towel. Fry the potato quarters on medium heat till they turn golden brown. Remove and keep aside.

If you think the oil is too less after frying you can add little more and heat it up. Add all spices for tempering along with the green chilies. Once you get the nice aroma of the spices remove the fried green chilies and keep it reserved. This way you can retain the color of the chilies till the end of the cooking process after extracting the flavor in the oil.

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Add fried potatoes and cauliflower to the aromatic oil along with ginger, coriander and cumin paste. Sauté them together on low heat till the raw smell of ginger goes away. You may need to add little water if you see the spices sticking to the bottom. Add quartered tomatoes to it followed by turmeric and chili powder. Fry them till the tomatoes are all nicely mushed up. Season with salt and sugar and give a nice mix. Add about a cup of water to it and allow it to simmer. Cook till the vegetables are done and the water quantity has been reduced to half.

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Throw in the fried prawns and cook them together for a while. Overcooking makes the prawns rubbery, so avoid it. Add a dollop of ghee and sprinkle garam masala powder. Garnish with fried green chilies.

Goes well with roti, parantha, pulao. 

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Aloor Dum (Dry Potato Gravy)

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In my last post I gave the recipe of Radhaballavi. Generally Radhaballavi is served with cholar-daal. However, I like to make it with Aloor-dum. Here goes it’s recipe.

Ingredients

  1. 10 baby potatoes ( I didn’t have at home so I used 5 medium sized potatoes and cut them into halves)
  2. 1 medium sized onion ( 1/2 finely chopped and make a fine paste of the other half.)
  3. 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  4. 1 large tomato cut into quarters
  5. 2 green chilies finely chopped
  6. Few twigs of coriander leaves finely chopped
  7. 1 tsp. cumin powder
  8. 1tbsp. coriander powder
  9. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  10. 1 tbsp. chili powder
  11. 2tbsp. tamarind juice
  12. 1 tsp. bengali garam masala (1” cinnamon stick, 2-3 green cardamom, 3-4 cloves ground to a powder)
  13. 1 tsp. bhaja masla
  14. 1 tsp. sugar
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Oil
  17. For tempering
    1. 2 bay leaves
    2. 2-3 cloves
    3. 1” cinnamon stick
    4. 2-3 green cardamoms

Procedure

In a pan take water along with a spoonful of salt. Bring it to a boil. Now add potatoes to it and cook till it is just just done. Drain the water and immediately put the potatoes under cold water to ease the process of peeling. Peel off the potato skin.

Heat oil in a wok / kadai and temper it with bay leaves and whole garam masala. Once you get the aroma of the whole spices add boiled potatoes to the fragrant oil and fry them on high heat till they turn golden yellow. Remove them along with the bay leaves and whole spices. Discard the fried whole spices and the bay leaves.

In the same oil add chopped onion with a pinch of salt and fry them on low heat till they turn light brown. Addition of salt makes the frying process faster. Add ginger, garlic and onion paste to it and fry on low heat till they loose their raw smell.

Add fried potatoes to it followed by the dry spice powder ( turmeric + chili + cumin + coriander ). Next to add is the tomato pieces. Fry them together till the tomato pieces are all mushed up.

Pour half a cup of water and season with salt and sugar. Cook it on medium heat till the water dries up and masala nicely coats the potatoes. Add 2tbsp of tamarind paste and mix them well. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Sprinkle bhaja masla and bengali garam masala powder over it. Garnish with chopped green chilies and coriander leaves.  

Radhaballavi (Radhaballabhi) with Aloor-dum


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On a wintery Sunday morning it’s pretty common to see a bong gentleman performing the delicate art of balancing a sack full of fresh vegetables/mutton in one hand and a large newspaper bag filled with freshly made radhaballavi in the other. It’s next to impossible to pass by the sweet shop close to the bazaar and ignore the aroma of hing emanating from the radhaballavis.
Radhaballavis were rarely made at home, It’s generally left to the moira at the sweet shop or the “chef” appointed to cook for marriage feast. However, being deprived of both I generally resort to become the moira myself (without the humongous tummy).
 

Ingredients For The Stuffing

  1. 1/2 cup chana dal (also known as Bengal gram) washed and soaked overnight
  2. 1/2” ginger
  3. 1 green chili
  4. 1/2 tsp. hing (Asafetida)
  5. 1 tsp. whole fennel seeds( Mouri )
  6. 1 tsp. bhaaja masala powder (1tsp. whole cumin seed, 1 tsp. whole coriander seed, 2 dry red chili, dry roasted and ground to a powder)
  7. 1/2 tsp. sugar
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Oil

Procedure to make the Stuffing

In a grinder make a paste of pre-soaked dal with ginger and green chili. Heat oil in a non stick pan and temper with hing and whole fennel seeds. Let it sizzle for a while before you add ground dal paste to it. Season with salt and sugar. Keep stirring on medium heat till it comes together. This dal mixture has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, so don’t stop stirring. Once done, allow it to cool and then sprinkle bhaja masala powder over it.
 

Ingredients for the outer Shell

  1. 1 cup maida (All purpose flour)
  2. 2 tsp. oil or ghee
  3. 1/2 tsp. salt
  4. 1/4th cup warm water
  5. Oil for frying

Procedure

In a bowl take maida, salt and 2 tbsp. of oil or ghee. Mix them together well with your finger tips to give them a texture of crumbs. Now gradually add warm water to knead the maida. You need to kneed it tight. Smear it with a spoon of oil and keep it covered with a damp kitchen towel for 30 mins. Knead it quickly once more before you make lemon sized balls out of it.
 

Bringing Them together

 

Take each balls you make out of the dough and give them a shape of disc by using your palm. Now put a part of the stuffing in the center of the disc and close the opening by bringing the sides altogether. Flatten it and roll it  out uniformly into flat round discs of 4-5” diameter by using few drops of oil.
Take enough oil for deep frying in a kadai(Wok)  and heat it up before you let your radhaballabhi to go in one by one.  Fry one side till it takes a brown hue and then flip it over. Because they are stuffed in, they won’t always puff like luchi or puri. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel if you want to keep you heart healthy.
Radhaballavi is best served with Aloor Dum

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