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Friday, November 30, 2012

Lau Shaager Morich Jhol

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I suddenly discovered bottle gourd creepers (lau saak) at the local farmer’s market. I had never imagined that I’d be able to get freshest of lau saak here in US. I tried to ask the Chinese lady selling them how they eat it. However, her English was too limited for me to figure out the recipe.

I brought them home and cooked it following my mom’s traditional lau-saak recipe. I didn’t use bottle gourd itself with the vegetable because my mom used to tell me that you never cook fruit along with it’s plant because cooking mom and kids together isn’t really a good idea. So I used pumpkin instead.

The same recipe can also be used with pumpkin twigs with bottle gourd (remember no same plant and it’s fruit :))

Ingredients

  1. 1 lb. bottle gourd twigs cut into 2” pieces
  2. 1/2 lb. orange pumpkin cut into cubes
  3. 2 medium potatoes cut into cubes
  4. 2 green chilies slit lengthwise
  5. 1tsp. kalonji ( Nigella ) seeds for tempering
  6. 1tsp. whole wheat flour (Atta)
  7. 1 tbsp. nigella seeds and 1 green chili grind into fine paste
  8. 1 tsp. sugar
  9. Salt
  10. Oil

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Procedure

Start by heating mustard oil in a pan. Drop nigella seeds and slit green chilies. sauté them for 1-2 minutes. Add potato and pumpkin cubes in the midway of your sautéing process. Sprinkle salt and sugar and fry the vegetables for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Add a cup of water and continue cooking till they are half done.

Now add bottle gourd twigs and mix everything well. Continue cooking covered till all the vegetables are tender.

Adjust consistency of the gravy to how you like it Traditionally it is runny. Stir 1 tsp. of whole wheat flour in 1/2 cup of water and pour it over. Gently mix it. It will give a mild thickness to the runny gravy.

Now last but not the least add nigella and green chili paste to it and mix well before you finish.

Enjoy with plain rice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chicken Do-Pyaja

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During the British Raj a lot of different food started entering the Bengali household. Chicken was one of them which was previously not allowed inside Bengali kitchen. Since the women still refused to cook them at home the rich began employing Bawarchi’s or chefs from other parts of India. The bawarchi bought the nawabi cuisine with them. One of them was Chicken-do-pyaja. With time the ladies of the house started learning from them and added their own twist to the cuisine. The spices became milder and the oil was spared to make it more healthy.

Ingredients

  1. 2lb chicken cut into medium sized pieces
  2. 2 onions sliced
  3. 1 cup plain yogurt
  4. 1 tsp. ginger paste
  5. 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  6. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  7. 1 tbsp. Kashmiri red chili powder
  8. 1 tbsp. sugar
  9. 1 pinch saffron soaked in 1/4th cup warm milk
  10. 5 tbsp. ghee (Clarified Butter)
  11. Dry roast and grind it to make a fine powder of the following
    1. 1tsp. sahi jeera (Caraway seed)
    2. 1tsp. white peppercorn
    3. 3 green cardamom
    4. 3cloves
    5. 1”cinnamon stick
    6. 1/4 nutmeg (jaifal)
    7. 1 leaf of mace ( javitri)
    8. 1/2 tsp. fennel seed (Sauf or mouri)
  12. For tempering
    1. 2 bay leaves
    2. 1” cinnamon
    3. 2 cardamom

Procedure

Marinate chicken with yogurt and ginger garlic paste and allow it to rest for at least 2 hours.

Heat 4tbsp. of ghee in a wide pan and temper it with bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamom. When the spices start sizzling add sliced onions to it. You can add little sugar to it to make the dish vibrant. Fry onions on medium heat till it turns golden brown. Remove one tbsp. of fried onions from it for garnishing.

Now take the  chicken pieces and shake off the marinade from it. Gently slide them into the pan and sear it  on high heat. This way you can seal the juice inside the chicken. Sprinkle turmeric and Kashmiri chili powder to it. Keep on frying on medium high heat till oil separates out.

Now add the marinade and sprinkle half of the roasted ground spice powder, salt and sugar over the chicken pieces. Give everything a nice mix and cook it covered till chicken is tender. This gravy will be thick and dry, so If you see  any excess moisture put the heat on high and allow it to dry.

Turn off the heat. and transfer it to the serving dish. Garnish with the fried onions you have reserved.

In a separate small pan heat 1tbsp. of ghee and pour the rest of the dry spice powder. When it sizzles pour it over the cooked chicken and immediately close the lid (this is called the tadka). Keep it covered till you serve.

Serve with fried rice, parantha or naan.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Oven Grilled Mackerel

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We first had this when my Konkani friend Anita made it for us in Hyderabad. My husband loved the masala and this has turned out to be one of his favorite dinner. I make it for him, but cannot stand the strong sea fish smell. So I make it a point to have my dinner first before cooking this. That and ventilating the home well afterwards :)

Ingredients

  1. 1 mackerel ( blue fish about 2’ long )
  2. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  3. 1/2 cup cilantro or coriander greens
  4. 2-3 green chilies
  5. 1/4 cup mint leaves
  6. Juice of 1 lime
  7. Salt
  8. 2tbsp. mustard oil + 1tsp. mustard oil (OR any refined oil)

Procedure

Clean and rub the fish with lime juice and salt. Set it aside for 1/2hr. Now wash the fish with cold running water.

In a grinder make a thick paste of garlic, cilantro, mint leaves and green chilies. Add salt and mustard oil to this wet mixture and whisk well.

Make 1” long slits at 2” intervals down middle of the fish on both sides.

Rub the marinade on both sides of the fish including the cavities. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Pre heat your oven at 375F. Oil a baking dish and place the marinated fish. Drizzle few drops of oil over it. Grill for 25 – 30 minutes in the middle rack.

Serve hot.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lal Kankrar Jhal (Crab in Red Hot Sauce)

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Easy availability of Alaskan crabs has turned crabs from a rare delicacy to a common staple at our household. My daughter never lets us skip it on the grocery trips. I have posted bunch of crab recipes but most were from the other coasts of India. This is a traditional Bengali recipe.

Ingredients

  1. 2lb. crab (I got crab claws)
  2. 2tbsp. onion paste
  3. 1tbsp. garlic paste
  4. 1tbsp. dry red chili paste
  5. 1/2tsp. turmeric powder
  6. 1tbsp. chopped green chilies
  7. 1tbsp. ginger cut into thin strips
  8. 2tbsp. tamarind pulp
  9. 1tsp. yellow mustard paste
  10. 5-6 green chilies slit lengthwise
  11. 1tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  12. 200gms. mustard oil
  13. 1tsp. sugar
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Whole garam masala for tempering
    1. 2 green cardamom
    2. 1” cinnamon stick
    3. 2-3 cloves

Procedure

Take crab and cut into halves. The legs need to be crushed a bit. This is done so that the spices and salt gets into the juicy flesh.

Now heat mustard oil in a pan and toss the crab pieces. The color of the crab will turn vibrant orange. Remove and set aside.

Temper the same oil with whole garam masala. Wait till the oil becomes fragrant. Lower the heat and add garlic paste to it. Sauté for 2-3 minutes before you add onion and red chili paste to it.Drop chopped green chilies. Fry everything together on low  heat. Now add turmeric powder, salt and sugar one by one. stir continuously till you cook out their raw smell. If required you may sprinkle little water so that the spices don’t get burnt.

Add fried crab pieces to it and mix well so all sides of the crab pieces are nicely coated with spices. Throw the ginger sticks in. Now add a cup of water and simmer it covered for about 10 minutes. Add mustard paste and tamarind pulp to it and crank up the heat to high.

Stir everything together till all the moisture evaporates and the oil oozes out from the gravy. Sprinkle garam masala powder and slit green chilies.

Serve with plain hot rice.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rui Maacher Sukha (Dry Carp Curry)

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At our daughter’s school they get turns in “cafeteria duty”. For a week she gets to serve lunch to the entire school and in return she gets to eat lunch without having to buy that. This serves as a great learning on work and compensation.

Having had “formal training” we thought we’d give her newly learned skills a trial at home. So we asked her to serve lunch. Promptly she headed to the kitchen, washed her hands, patted them dry and asked for gloves :). It took some convincing that gloves are optional at home. After that she did a fantastic job of laying down the table mats and serving us lunch. The food was extra sweet.

Ingredients

  1. 4 steak pieces of rui (Any sweet water carp can be used)
  2. 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  3. 1tsp. ginger juice
  4. 2tbsp. tomato paste
  5. 1tsp. mustard paste
  6. 1tsp. turmeric powder
  7. 1tbsp. chili powder
  8. 2,3 bay leaves
  9. 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (jaifal) powder
  10. 1tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  11. 1tsp. sugar
  12. Salt
  13. Mustard oil

Procedure

Smear the fish steaks with turmeric powder and salt. Keep it marinated for about 15 minutes.

Heat mustard oil in a wok or kadai and fry fish pieces one by one till both sides take a golden hue. Remove and keep them aside.

Take some more mustard oil and heat it up. Add bay leaves and sliced onions to it. Fry them on medium heat till the sides of the onions turn light brown. Add tomatoe puree and mustard paste to it. Mix everything well and fry them together in low heat.

Now add turmeric and chili powder to the fried spices and season it with salt and sugar.

Add fried fish steaks to it and pour half cup of water to it. Let it simmer on high flame till all the  fish pieces are well coated with the spices. This is a dry dish, so dry up any excess moisture.

Add ghee and one tsp. ginger juice to it. Wait for a minute before you turn off the heat. Finish it off with a pinch of nutmeg powder.

Enjoy with steaming white rice or pulao.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kosha Mangsho, Thakurbari Style (Dry Mutton Curry)

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Last couple of days I had been watching a bunch of movies based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novels on Youtube like Naukadubi. Watching all of these movies reminded me of this spicy curry from the Tagore family which I hadn’t made for some time. I read about it in a book by Purnima Devi from the Tagore family (or Thakurbari) who was a renowned cook. I had one of her books many years ago. This recipe is different from the regular Kosha Mangsho in the spices that is used. Today is Bhai phota and I made it for this special day. It goes great with basanti pulao.

Ingredients

  1. 1 kg mutton (goat meat)
  2. 2 medium onions
  3. 1”ginger
  4. 6-8 cloves garlic
  5. 8 whole red chilies
  6. 1/2tsp. turmeric powder
  7. 4tsp. coriander powder
  8. 4tbsp. plain yogurt
  9. 1tsp. sugar
  10. Salt to taste 
  11. 4-5 green chilies
  12. Mustard oil
  13. 2-3 tsp. ghee(Clarified butter)
  14. Dry roast and make a powder of
  1. 4-5 green cardamoms
  2. 1” cinnamon stick

Procedure

Grind together onion, ginger, garlic and red chilies. Now in a bowl transfer the ground wet spices and add yogurt, turmeric powder, coriander powder to it. Mix everything well.  Marinate the meat pieces in this paste. If you can marinate it overnight, nothing like it. But it should be marinated for at least couple of hours.

Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker or heavy bottom pan. Add marinated mutton pieces and cook on high flame for about 5 minutes. Add salt and sugar to it. Now lower the heat and cook till the oil separates. Add half cup warm water.

Pressure cook on medium flame for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow some time for the steam to release on its own. In case you want to reduce the amount of gravy continue to heat on high flame.

In a separate pan heat ghee and add roasted and powdered cinnamon and cardamom to it. Give them a quick stir and pour it over the meat curry. Garnish with green chilies and serve with hot rice or Bengali mishti pulao.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Diwali with Spicy Chicken Kebab Sliders

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In our childhood in Kolkata the day before Diwali was celebrated as Kali Puja. We would light up the house with diya and then burst noisy fireworks (pataka). This was rooted in the traditional custom of bursting crackers to scare off evil demons. After couple of hours of doing it we’d be ready for the dinner, which used to be a special affair. Now in Kolkata sound pollution control has resulted in the ban of sounds-crackers, but thankfully the special dinner remains.

Here in the US our plans is to head to the local temple which organizes spectacular fireworks and then come home to have some easy to fry chicken kebab.

IMG_3604Ingredients

  1. 250gms. chicken paste
  2. 2 heaped tbsp. of plain yogurt 
  3. 2tbsp. finely chopped ginger
  4. 2tbsp. finely chopped garlic
  5. 1 medium onion finely chopped
  6. 2 tbsp. chopped green chilies
  7. 1 tbsp. chopped coriander greens (cilantro)
  8. 1tsp. chopped mint leaves ( I have used crushed dried mint leaves )
  9. 1tsp. turmeric powder
  10. 1tsp. chicken tandoori masala
  11. 1 tsp. bengali garam masala
  12. 1tsp. bhaaja masala. Dry roast and grind to a powder the following
    1. 1tbsp. whole cumin seeds
    2. 1 tbsp.coriander seeds
    3. 4 dry red chilly
  13. 1 egg beaten
  14. 3-4 tbsp. chickpea flour (Besan)
  15. 1tbsp. sugar
  16. Salt to taste
  17. 2-3tbsp. clarified butter (Ghee)

Procedure

In a large mixing bowl take the chicken paste and one by one add all the ingredients other than ghee. Pound everything together with your hand and mix them really well.

Now take lime sized portions from the chicken mixture and flatten them between your palms to give a shape.

Grease a non stick tawa with ghee and arrange the kabab patty on it. Shallow fry both the sides on low heat till  the meat is cooked enough. Once done increase the heat and let the kababs turn golden brown on each sides.

Serve with green chutney or ketchup.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

From Street to Home: Kolkata Style Phuchka and Churmur

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Our Kolkata college memories are filled with standing infront of the local phuchka vendor starting the conversation with “দাদা টাকায় কটা" and ending with “দুটো ফাউ”. Later when we moved to other cities, it was one of our eternal quest to find a phuchka center and explaining to everyone that gol-gappa or the panipuri is NOT phuchka. Phuchka is a West Bengal and Bihar specialty which varies significantly from rest of India.

When I decided to make phuchk the first name that came to my mind was our friend Jhuma. It was oft rumored that she was going to marry a phuchka-walla and settle down :). We always used to go eat phuchka with her because she got heavy frequent customer discount. One of our college professors saw her eating phuchka while he was coming in and saw her do the same while leaving for the day. Next day in class he asked her whether she stayed the entire day in front of the stall gobbling them down.

Jhuma’s phuchka fondness could only be contrasted against my father-in-law’s disgust for it. He’d share graphic details of the contents on the hands of the phuchka-walla as he dipped it inside the tamarind water. Few who could bear to hear him out could eat phuchka for the next few weeks. Ultimately though the craving won out. I started to write down the story he narrated, but then figured out that most of my readers would just leave this page and not read the recipe.

This recipe takes the easier route of getting packed phuchka like Deep Panipuri and taking it from there.

Ingredients for Tamarind Water

  1. Seedless dried tamarind (lemon sized ball)
  2. 1tsp. beet noon (Black salt)
  3. 2tsp. bhaaja masala. Dry roast and grind to a powder the following
    1. 1tbsp. whole cumin seeds
    2. 1 tbsp.coriander seeds
    3. 4 dry red chilly
  4. 4 cups water

Procedure of making Tamarind water

Soak the tamarind in one cup of water for about half an hour. Now squeeze the pulp out of it and discard the fiber.

Take around 3 cup of water in a mixing bowl and add tamarind pulp and one tsp. green chili paste to it.

Sprinkle 2tsp. bhaaja masala, 1tsp. beet noon (Black salt) and half a tsp. of plain salt to it. Stir it well till salt dissolves. Taste and adjust salt and sour balance in it.

Ingredients for stuffing

  1. 1/2 cup yellow peas soaked in water overnight
  2. 3 medium sized potatoes peeled and boiled
  3. 4-5 green chilies finely chopped (you can adjust it depending on your spice level)
  4. 1/2 cup coriander leaves (cilantro) finely chopped
  5. 1tbsp. bhaaja masala (see above on how to make it)
  6. 1tsp. red chili powder
  7. 1 tsp. beet noon (black salt)
  8. Plain salt as required

Procedure

In a pressure cooker boil the soaked peas with salt. Cook it for one to two whistles. Let the pressure release on its own. Allow the cooked peas to come down to the room temperature.

In a big bowl take all the above ingredients and add one or to spoonful of tamarind water to it. Mix them well but try to not squish the peas.

Ingredients For phuchka

I bought Deep Panipuri packet from Indian store. Each of the packet has 30 pieces. Here I have given the measurements enough for 30 panipuris. I use the puffed ones for phuchka, and the flat ones for making churmur.

Bringing everything together

Puchka is best had when someone is continually making it for others. If you wait to eat them it will get soggy.

Take phuchka and poke a hole at the center of each of them with your thumb. Stuff it with little potato filling and give it a quick dip in the tamarind water and serve it immediately.IMG_6251

churmur

Once we were done eating phuchka we’d generally get churmur to-go. This is the same thing as phuchka in chaat format where everything is mashed together. We’d take it back home for the family and also as something to munch on as we headed back home.
  1. 5-6 panipuris specially the flat ones
  2. 1 medium potatoes boiled and chopped
  3. 2tbsp. boiled yellow peas
  4. 1/2 tsp. chopped green chilies
  5. 1tsp. chopped cilantro
  6. 1tsp. finely chopped red onions
  7. 1/2tsp. bhaaja masala (see above on how to make it)
  8. 1/2tsp. beet noon (black salt)
  9. 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  10. 2tsp. tamarind water
  11. Salt

Procedure

In a bowl mix everything together other than panipuris. Taste to check the salt and sour balance. Adjust accordingly. and keep it ready. Just before serving crush the panipuris and sprinkle over.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lau Shukto (Bottle Gourd with Lentil Dumplings)

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Shukto is a generic name for vegetable mish-mash. It’s a bitter food which is served as the first course. Old timers believed that shukto should be eaten first so that it cleans up germs in the system.

I generally make lau (bottle gourd) in summer like it is generally made back home. I made this some time back and it somehow stayed forgotten in my blog drafts. I thought I’d post this out before it really starts snowing around here :)

Ingredients

  1. 1 bottle gourd finely chopped
  2. 1 bitter gourd (Karela) thinly sliced
  3. 1/2 cup yellow split pea(Motor Dal) soaked in water for 3-4 hrs.
  4. 1 tsp. grated ginger
  5. 1 tsp. poppy seed and mustard paste
  6. Dry roast and grind 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seed and 1/2 tsp. radhuni (Optional)
  7. 1/2 cup milk
  8. Salt
  9. Sugar
  10. Oil
  11. 1tsp. clarified butter (Ghee)
  12. For tempering
    1. 2 bay leaves
    2. 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
    3. 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seed

Procedure

Drain the soaked dal and grind it into a thick paste with little water. Add salt to it and mix well. Now make small dumplings out of it. Heat oil in a pan and gently slide the dumplings into the oil. Fry on medium heat till both sides turn golden brown. Remove and drain it on a paper towel.

Fry thin slices of karela till they become crispy. Remove and keep them handy. Discard the oil if it turns black.

Heat 2 tsp. oil in a pan and temper it with bay leaf, mustard and fenugreek seeds. Let it sizzle. Add grated ginger to it and sauté for a while. Add chopped bottle gourd  and sprinkle salt over it. Since the quantity of the final product will be reduced to its half, be cautious with the amount of salt you are adding. Give it a nice mix and cook it covered till the bottle gourd becomes soft. Now add sugar to it.

Stir the poppy seed and mustard paste in half cup of milk and pour it over. Throw the fried dumplings and karela slices in. Mix everything well and allow it to simmer on low heat for another 2-3 minutes.

Add a dollop of ghee and sprinkle the dry roasted spice powder over it. Turn off the heat and keep it covered to retain the flavor of ghee and spices. This dish should neither be to dry nor too runny.

Enjoy with hot steaming rice.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hinger Kochuri with Kumro Aloor Torkari

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Once Halloween comes up in US, everyone finds excuse to put some form of pumpkin in anything they eat or drink. While some like pumpkin pie makes sense, others like pumpkin latte seems weird to say the least.

I had to get pumpkin for the little devil at home, so I decided to make something Indian out of it. Since my husband worked really hard at carving it up, I decided to treat him with his absolute favorite Hinger Kochuri (asafetida stuffed poori) and pumpkin potato curry.

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He was so happy to have it, that he dug out the photo he took many years ago of his favorite dingy kochuri shack in Behala. He insists that the guy is pure genius and an artist (see English Vinglish)

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Kumro AlooR Torkari

Ingredients

  1. 3 large potatoes cut into medium cubes along with their skin
  2. 100gms pumpkin peeled and cut into cubes
  3. 1tsp. turmeric powder
  4. 1tsp. chili powder
  5. 1tsp. asafetida powder or hing
  6. 2-3 dry red chilies broken
  7. 1tsp. paanch phoron
  8. salt
  9. 2 tsp. oil

Procedure

Heat oil in a pan and temper it with paanch phoron, hing and dry red chilies. Wait till you get a pungent smell. Now add pumpkin and potato cubes to it. Add turmeric and chili powder and fry them for a minute. Season with salt and mix well.

Now add one and half cups of water to it and cook it covered on medium heat till potatoes are done and pumpkin cubes are very mushy and melts. There should be no solid pieces of pumpkin, they should’ve all turned into a gooey paste.

Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.

Kochuri

Ingredients For Stuffing

  1. 1 cup white urad dal soaked overnight
  2. 1 tsp.ginger paste
  3. 2-3 green chilies
  4. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  5. 1/2tsp. kalonji  (nigella seeds)
  6. 1+2 tbsp. hing (asafetida)
  7. !/2tsp. sugar
  8. Salt
  9. 1 tsp. oil

Procedure To Make The Stuffing

In a grinder grind urad dal along with green chilies into a paste.

Heat oil in a frying pan and temper it with a spoon of hing and kalonji.

Now add the paste of dal to it. Sprinkle turmeric powder, salt and sugar over it and mix well. Fry the dal mixture on medium heat till you see the paste is coming together.

Turn off the heat and let it cool.

Once it cools down, add the rest of the asafetida and ginger paste to it. To retain the flavor of hing in hinger kochuri, we add asafetida at the end. Knead it well.

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Ingredients for dough

  1. 2 ups maida (All purpose flour)
  2. 1tsp. salt
  3. 1/2 tsp. sugar
  4. 1/2 – 3/4th cup of water
  5. 2 cups oil for deep frying

Procedure To make Dough

In a mixing bowl take all the dry ingredients (1 through 3) and mix well.

Add 2tbsp. of oil to it and mix with the flour mixture using your fingertips till it takes a crumb texture.

Knead it by adding water little at a time till you get a soft smooth dough. Keep it covered with a damp cloth for 30 minutes.

Knead once more and then make ping pong size balls out of the dough.

Approximately you will get around 20 balls.

Procedure of making kochuri

Take each balls you made from the dough and press it between your palm to flatten it. Now put a spoonful of stuffing at the centre of the flattened dough and round the dough again by gathering the sides together.

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Roll them into discs as you would make pooris.

Take enough oil in a wok and heat it up before you slide the kochuris in. Give both sides a minute before flipping them.

They might not always fluff up like a puri as they have stuffing in it.

Your kochuris are ready.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bengali Rasgulla or Rosogolla

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Even though Hindi is very similar to Bengali, its common knowledge that all pronunciation changes by replacing A’s with O’s. Say a name like Ashok becomes Oshok, my daughter is named Prokriti and not Prakruti. Similarly we say Rosogolla and not Rasgulla. The secret reason is that we always imagine the round rosogollas in our head and unconsciously use it everywhere. Also it makes Bengali and the bong folks the sweetest ever :)

Being a NRB (non-resident Bengali) and a food blogger the most frequent question I get is “how to make rasgulla at home”. This seemingly simple and extremely tasty desert is one of the most technical to make. While it’s easy to land up with a white ball in a syrup, getting the right texture and softness is way more difficult then it seems.

Rosogolla is responsible for making Bengali sweets famous across India and outside and is easily the most commonly known bong food.I am always careful about making it, as the last thing I want to do as bongcook is to screw it up.

Ingredients for making ChEena

Cheena is homemade soft cottage cheese and is the primary ingredient in Rasgulla.

  1. 1/2 gallon whole milk
  2. 1/2 cup vinegar diluted in 1/2 cup of water
  3. 1tsp. all purpose flour (maida)
  4. 1tsp. sooji ( Semolina )

Procedure of making cheena balls

In a thick bottom pan take the milk and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling remove it from heat. Stir for 5-7 minutes till the milk is slightly cool.

Add the diluted vinegar solution to it and stir the milk gently. You will see the milk will curdle and the whey will separate out from the milk solids. When the whey becomes clear, it indicates that the milk is completely curdled.

Line a colander with a cheese cloth and strain out all the whey.

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Gather all the sides of the cloth and twirl it gently so that most whey is drained out. Don,t make it over dry.

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For making rasgulla you have to use this cheena immediately.

Transfer the chenna onto a clean flat plate and add maida and semolina to it. Mix well. Knead the mixture with the back of your palm so that it is free of lumps. Then make table-tennis/ping-pong sized balls. Roughly around 20 from the amount of ingredients I mentioned for this recipe. Be careful that there shouldn’t be any cracks in the ball or else they will break off from the cracks later.

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Ingredients for making sugar syrup

  1. 2 cups of sugar
  2. 4 + 2 cups water

Procedure

Take a pan and add 2 cups of sugar in 3 cups of water. Heat till sugar dissolves completely and then increase the temperature and boil the syrup vigorously for 1-2 minutes.

Now add the chenna balls by turning over the plate on which they are kept. Do not touch them as they are fragile.

Cook the chenna ball in the sugar syrup while sprinkling water through out the cooking time.

Cook it for about 20 – 30 minutes depending on the size of rasgullas you made. Take out one after 15 minutes, if ready stop boiling. Ensure the syrup froths all the time while cooking.

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Check whether rasgullas are cooked or not. If the rasgullas spring back and retain its shape when pressed, it is done.

Another way of checking is to drop a rasgulla in a pan of cold water. If it sinks, it is cooked.

Remove the pan from heat and transfer the rasgullas in a bowl along with sugar syrup. Wait for at least couple of hours before eating so that the rasgullas get time to soak in all the sweetness.

Tips

  • Rasgullas should always be made on a high temperature
  • Sugar syrup must froth all the time
  • Sprinkle water little at a time approximately 1tsp. at a time when boiling in sugar syrup

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