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Monday, July 28, 2014

Peas or Koraishutir Kochuri

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Peas Puri or Koraishutir Kochuri as bongs call it is brings on fond memory of Kolkata. It reminds me of the freezing 60°F (15°C) winters in Kolkata. It’s during that time fresh green peas hit the local market. The kids in the house were given the chore of taking the peas out of their pods. The yield rates were around 50%, the other 50% were stuffed in the mouths with small little hands.

These days in the world of frozen goodies, the famed Koraishutir Kochuri can be made any time of the year, all that is needed is a short trip to the local store. 

Ingredients

  1. Frozen peas-1 cup (preferably the fresh ones, or else frozen peas will do)
  2. Ginger-1 inch
  3. Green Chili –2
  4. Asfoetida / Asafetida / hing – 1pinch
  5. Dry roasted cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  6. Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  7. All purpose flour (maida) – 2 cup
  8. salt- 1 teaspoon
  9. White oil or ghee(clarified butter) -2 tb spoon
  10. Warm water - 1/2 cup
  11. Dry flour for rolling the paratha – as required

Procedure

In a grinder add a little water, peas, ginger and green chili. Make a fine paste out of IMG_7367them.

Take oil in a frying pan. Add one pinch of asfoetida. Now add the paste you just made. Keep on stirring till the water completely evaporates and the pea mixture becomes dry and thick enough to make small balls out of it. Now add salt to your taste and if the peas are not sweet enough you can add little sugar to it. Let it cool and then sprinkle some dry roasted cumin powder.

IMG_7370Now we need to make the dough. In a wide vessel take the flour, salt and the oil or ghee for shortening. Rub the ghee into the flour with your finger tips. Now slowly add the warm water and knead it until the dough becomes soft and smooth. Cover it with a damp cloth or kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Once again knead it and make small ping pong sized ball out of it.

Take a ball you made out from the flour and keep it on your palm. Using the other IMG_7371palm press it and make a small disc. You can also use your rolling pin to make this disc. Make a small ball out of your pea stuffing and put it in the center of the disc.  Bring the sides together and cover the opening. Now flatten it with your palm.

Roll out by applying little oil on both the sides.

IMG_7373Take oil in a wok or kadai and heat it. Deep fry the kochuri till both sides puff up.

Traditionally koraishutir kochuri is had with chana dal or potato curry (aloor dum). However, this time when I made it we had some home made mango chutney from my Tamil friends, it made a killer combo.

Healthy option

If you are like me and need to take care of someone who is prone to over-eat you can take the healthier option of making Peas Paratha.

The stuffing is made exactly the same way. For the dough replace with whole wheat flour. While rolling out the dough use more dough to create larger parathas. Also the dip-fry step is omitted in the Paratha. Heat a tawa or a skillet. Place the paratha on the heated tawa and cook for half a minute. Now flip the other side and pour oil with a spoon around the edge. Cook this side and flip again. You will notice brown spots on the surfaces  when the paratha is cooked.

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Semiya Kheer

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Eid Mubarak to all my friends celebrating Eid today. Hope you have been having your fill of Kheer or Payesh at the end of iftar parties. Here goes my recipe for Semiya Kheer that I like to serve as dessert at the end of a heavy traditional Bengali meal.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vermicelli
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 3-4 tbsp. mixed dry fruits (Cashew, Raisin, Pistachio)
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom Powder
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • Pinch of saffron

Procedure

In a heavy bottom pan take milk and let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling lower the heat and keep stirring it till it reduces to about 3 cups.

In a non stick pan heat ghee till it melts. Add cashew and raisins to it and fry on low flame till the nuts take a golden brown color. Remove and set aside.

Add vermicelli to the same pan and roast it on medium flame with the remaining ghee until turns golden brown.

Add roasted vermicelli and half of the dry fruits to the reduced milk. Cook on medium heat until the vermicelli is cooked.

Add sugar to it. The milk will become thinner immediately after you add sugar. Keep it simmering till you get the previous consistency. Turn off the heat and add cardamom powder to it. Stir well.

I like my kheer hot directly from the stove. You can go ahead and chill it in refrigerator. Garnish with rest of the dry fruits and saffron.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Murg Masur Pulao

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Eid Mubarak to all my friends who are celebrating Eid tomorrow. Hope you are filling to your brim at the Iftar parties.

When I was a college student, one of my friends Shama used to bring Murg Masur Pulao to the class just after Eid. It would come in a huge container and in no time disappear. I have no idea where Shama is today, but I hope she is doing well and still enjoys this great dish. Thanks to the fantastic pulao I am thinking of her from another corner of the world.

Ingredients

  • 500 gm. bone in chicken cut into medium pieces
  • 2 and 1/2 cup long grain Basmamti rice washed and soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup Masoor (Red lentil with skin) washed and soaked for 2 hours
  • 2 medium potatoes cut into quarters
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes cut into round thin slices
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • Whole garam masala ( 2 black cardamom, 4 green cardamom, 1” cinnamon stick, 5 cloves, 1 tp. shahi jeera)
  • 1 bunch fresh fenugreek (methi) leaves finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. mint leaves
  • 4 tbsp. chopped cilantro or coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste                 
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • Few Saffron strands 
  • Few drops Kewra water

Procedure

In a heavy bottom pan heat oil and add onion slices to it. Fry till golden brown. Remove half of the fried onion on a paper towel and reserve for later use.

In the rest of the onion add ginger garlic paste, and chili powder. Sauté till the raw smell subsides. Now add chopped fenugreek leaves and tomato slices to it. sprinkle coriander and cumin powder. Fry till the moisture dries up.

Add chicken pieces to it and fry well so that the meat pieces are nicely coated with spices. Add salt and cook it covered till the meat is tender.

Now add potato quarter to it and fry along with the meat for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala powder and keep it covered. Add yogurt to it and cook till chicken and potatoes are tender.

In a separate pan boil the soaked lentil with salt till cooked. Take care so that they retain their shape.

In a large pan boil enough water with salt and whole garam masala and add soaked rice to it. Boil till the rice is 90% done. Drain the water.

Soak saffron strands in warm milk and keep aside.  

For layering in a large pan take half of the rice. Lay evenly the chicken and potato mixture with the lentils on top. Add chopped cilantro, mint and slit green chilies over it. Add  half of the golden brown onions.

For the top layer spread evenly the remaining rice. sprinkle saffron milk over it. Top it up with the rest of the chopped mint, cilantro and green chilies.

Finish it up with the rest of the golden onions and kewra water. 

Place this pan covered on the lowest mark of heat for 30 minutes.

Dish out and serve it with raita.

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