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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Egg Parantha

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I make this hearty breakfast for my daughter when she heads out to play, either in the summer sun or on snowy winter days. It is easy to make and at the same time tasty and very filling. An extra dollop of butter over it makes her extra happy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (Atta)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
  • 5 egg
  • 4 tbsp. minced onion
  • 2tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp. minced green chilies
  • Salt to taste
  • Refined oil for frying

Procedure

In a mixing bowl mix two kinds of flour. Add salt to it and mix well. Now break one egg and add to it. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro. Start kneading to make a soft dough. If required you can add water little at a time. Cover the dough and keep aside for half an hour.

Divide the dough into four equal sized balls. Now take dry flour on a rolling surface and roll out each dough ball into a disc of about 10” diameter.

Heat a skillet and transfer the disc on the skillet. Keep he heat mark on low.

Beat one egg with little salt and pour it over the disc. Gently spread the egg evenly all over the disc. Increase the heat mark to medium.  Sprinkle chopped cilantro, ginger, onion and green chilies over it. Now fold the paratha a shown in the picture. Brush oil on the top surface of the paratha and flip it over. Brush oil on the other surface too.

Cook on medium heat till you see brown spots all over the surface of the paratha.

Serve with ketchup or achar.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Masala Filling for Dosa

 

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I just posted my recipe for easy Dosa. This is the recipe for the filling if you want to make ‘em stuffed. It goes well with Poori as well.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 large onion cut into medium sized thick chunks
  • 1 tbsp. minced gingers
  • 1/4 cup green peas fresh or frozen 
  • 4 green chilies chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (black gram)
  • 1 tsp. chana dal (Bengal gram)
  • 10- 12 curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (Coriander leaves)
  • 1 tbsp. ghee (Clarified butter) 
  • 2 tbsp. white oil
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Cut potatoes in halves and cook them in a pressure cooker till one whistle comes. Let them cool down enough to handle and then peel off the skin. With your hands break boiled potatoes coarsely into medium pieces.

Heat oil in a pan and add whole mustard seeds. When the seeds start spluttering add urad dal and chana dal to it. Keep stirring them on medium heat till they take a golden brown hue.

Next to go in are onion, chopped ginger, peas, curry leaves, chopped green chilies and turmeric. Sauté till onion starts to loose its raw color.

Add potatoes and salt. If required add 1/4 cup of water to it. Mix well and cook till the moisture is completely gone.

Sprinkle chopped cilantro and drizzle a spoon full of ghee. Give a nice mix and keep it covered till you serve to retain all the flavors. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Dosa in Bong Kitchen

 

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We love Dosa, but since it is not our staple food, we do not have the gadgets to make it easily. Unlike a South Indian household we do not have a wet-grinder. Having lived in the South of India for a long time and later with South Indian neighbors in another corner of the world, I picked up this easy recipe which anyone can use to dole out Dosas.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds (Methi)
  • 1 tsp. flattened rice (Poha) optional
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Oil

Procedure

Wash urad dal thoroughly and soak it for 4-6 hrs. along with the fenugreek seeds.

Soak rice flour in a cup of water.

After the dal is soaked drain the water and in a regular grinder grind it into a smooth paste. Grind till the paste is soft and foamy. You may need to add water.

After the dal is completely ground, gradually add the rice flour mixture to it and grind them together.

Transfer the batter into a large bowl. Add salt and mix it.

Add enough water to the batter so that it is thick but when you scoop it with your hand it falls through your fingers.

Cover the bowl with a lid. Make it sure that the bowl is not airtight.

Keep the batter in a warm place for about 8-10 hrs. to ferment. For those living in a cold area keep the batter bowl inside your oven with the oven light on. The light will provide the temperature of fermentation. The ideal temperature for fermentation is around 95F or 34C.

Once the batter is fermented it will double in volume and should be frothy. If the batter is too thick add little water to make it pouring consistency.

Heat a round non stick skillet. Drizzle few drops of water. The water should sizzle and evaporate. Brush the pan with little oil and now put a ladle full of batter. Swirl the back of your ladle in concentric circles to evenly spread out the batter.

Once the batter is spread out drizzle few drops of refined oil around the edges.

Cook dosa on medium high heat till the bottom appears light brown. To make crispy dosa turn them over and let the other side take a light brown hue.

After you are done cooking each dosa make sure to cool down the skillet by sprinkling water to it. If the skillet is too hot you won’t be able to spread the batter.

Fold and serve either with aloo masala, chutney and sambar or enjoy plain with chutney and sambar. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Shepherd’s Pie


A few weeks back we visited a very popular local irish pub and I was about to order the Shepherd's pie when I noticed that it has beef. That is definitely not an authentic Shepherd's pie. A Shepherd's pie is supposed to have lamb, just like fisherman's pie has fish and cowboy's pie has beef. This prompted me to make some of my own pie.

Ingredients For Meat Mixture

  • 2 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1cup chicken stock
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients For Mashed Potato

  • 2 lb. golden potatoes cut into quarters
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 egg yolk beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
Procedure Of making Meat Mixture
Preheat oven at 250F. In an oven proof baking dish take butter along with onion, garlic, minced meat. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Mix well. Add half a cup of chicken tock to it and stir.
Put the dish in the middle rack of the oven and cook for an hour. Carefully take the baking dish out. Add vegetables. Mix flour with rest of the chicken stock and pour over the meat mixture. Give everything a nice mix. Now cook it again for another hour. At the end of the cooking it will look like a thick meaty gravy.
By this mean time make the mashed potato. Boil potatoes in adequate water till tender. Drain it. Mash the potato with a little butter. Season it with salt and pepper. Sprinkle chopped parsley and mash till potatoes are smooth.
In a bowl whisk together egg yolk and milk and stir it into the mashed potato mixture. Top the meat mixture with mashed potato and spread it evenly to cover. You can pipe the mixture too, to give it a fancy look.
Bake it in a pre heat oven at 350F for 25-30 minutes.
Serve warm.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Nalli Nihari



Foods like nalli nihari made our stay in Hyderabad oh so enjoyable. One of the delights was to drudge through the insane evening traffic on Fridays to head to old Hyderabad, to pick up some nalli. I have forgotten the name of the restaurant but the taste still lingers on in my memory.
You can make this with lamb or goat. Ask the butcher for shanks (leg meat on bone). Made with a lot of spices this needs some planning, but the results easily make up for your hard work.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. lamb leg on bone
  • 2 medium onions sliced
  • 1/2 “ ginger cut into thin sticks
  • 2 cups mutton stock
  • 2 tbsp. clarified butter ( Ghee)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp. ghee ( Clarified Butter )
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp. Nihari masala powder
    • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
    • 8 green cardamom
    • 3 black cardamom
    • 2” cinnamon stick
    • 10 cloves
    • 3 blades of mace
    • 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
    • 14 black pepper corn
    • 1 star anise
    • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
    • 2 tsp. poppy seeds
    • 1 tsp. dry ginger powder
    • 8 dry red chili
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tbsp. roasted chana dal powder

Procedure

Take all the ingredients listed under Nihari Masala Powder and dry roast them on medium heat till you start getting a nice aroma.  Turn off the heat and bring them down to room temperature. Dry grind them in a blender to make a fine powder of them.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan till it melts. Now add onion slices to it and fry them on medium heat for about five minutes. Add meat pieces to it and sear them on high heat to lock the moisture inside.
Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of freshly ground nihari masala powder and mix well. Saute everything together for about ten minutes on low heat.
Season the meat with salt, sugar and pour six cups of water to it. Give a nice stir and cook it covered on low heat till the meat is tender. it takes about 45 minutes.
Now pour the mutton stock over it along with the rest of nihari masala powder.
Mix the flour with half cup of water the add this mixture to the cooked mutton. Mix well and allow the gravy to simmer till it thickens.
Turn off the heat. Finish it off with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Dish it out and garnish with cilantro and serve.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Khichuri Kancha Maslar


Winter is coming up and so is the season for khichuri for those sleepy rainy Sunday lunches. This khichuri is from my dida and is not the typical bong niramish version (for that you have plain Khichuri). This has the flavor or raw spices and is made without any oil. However, you can indulge yourself with a large dollop of ghee on top of it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 3/4 cup musur dal ( Red Lentil)
  • 2 medium potatoes cut into halves
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1” ginger knob grated
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic grated
  • 1 medium sized onion cut into quarters
  • 4-5 green chilies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Wash rice and dal thoroughly.  Take a big pan and put rice and dal  along with salt, sugar and turmeric powder. Mix well and pour enough water, about six cups. Throw the potato halves into it. Cover it up and let it come to a boil on high heat. Once it starts boiling remove the lid and one by one add bay leaf, onion, grated ginger, garlic and green chilies, cauliflower florets and green peas. Keep boiling on medium heat till rice , dal and potatoes are cooked and look a bit mushy. You might need to add water to get the desired consistency.
Serve it with a big spoon full of ghee.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mutton Pulao


Durga pujo is just around the corner. The fall weather in Pacific North West is very close to that of Kolkata just before Pujo. The sky is blue with fluffy clouds hanging around. The first nip of chill is in the air. Some variant or atleast look-a-like of kash flower abounds in our area.
I have already started planning for the Durga pujo feast at home. A must have is the simple rustic mutton pulao. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. mutton pieces on bone
  • 3 cups basmati rice washed and soaked
  • 1 medium sized onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 12-14 green chilies slit lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp. plain yogurt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. Bengali garam maala
  • 2 tbsp. whole garam masala (2” cinnamon stick, 8 cloves, 8 green cardamom)
  • 4 tbsp. clarified butter (Ghee)
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

In a pan heat 1 tbsp. ghee till melts. Add onion slices and fry on medium heat. Add four slit green chilies along with ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes away.
Add meat pieces to it and sear them on high heat along with the spices for about two minutes. Reduce the heat to the lowest mark. Sprinkle salt, sugar. Now add yogurt along with 1 tsp. garam masala powder and mix well.
Cook it on low heat till the mutton is three fourth done.
In a deep pan take enough water and bring it to a rolling boil. Add the soaked and drained rice to it and wait till it just starts to boil. It takes around three to four minutes time. Drain the rice on a colander.
Now in a wide pan heat two tbsp. ghee. Add bay leaves, green chilies, and whole garam masala. When it stops sputtering add the drained rice to it. Fry on medium heat gently so that the grains don’t break.
Add salt and sugar to your taste.
Now in a pressure cooker take the fried rice, put the meat pieces. Measure 3 cups of liquid (includes mutton stock + water) and pour over it. Put the pressure lid on and cook on high flame till one whistle comes. Let the pressure release on its own.
In a separate pan heat 1 tbsp. ghee till it melts and add green chilies and garam masala powder to it. Once they start sizzling pour over the pulao and serve….

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Comeback


My last post was on the 26th of January. A bunch of my readers have reached out to me to ask why I am not posting any more. Some had even tried to contact me for specific advice on some of the recipes, unfortunately I was not even able to respond to most of them.

End of last year my dad came to visit me. He was supposed to spend 6 months with us. My cooking objective was to make a whole bunch of traditional Bengali food for him, stuff that I had already posted. That was how the initial blog silence began. Unfortunately on the 1st of April he passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was one of the main inspiration behind this blog and even his last meal was one I prepared. It has taken me a long time to recover and finally I am back and hopefully will continue to do what he would've wanted me to do. Share the joy of cooking and great food with everyone.

In-spite of my radio silence the readers have not left me. My blog continues to get great traffic and I am deeply grateful for everyone's patience. Thank you my dear readers!!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bhutwa aka Nepali Mutton

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I got this recipe from Mr. Atul Sikand over a food network on Facebook. The day I decided to make it I called my husband to know whether he would be in early for dinner. He told me that he was at a Asian grocery store close to his office. So I asked him to look for Szechuan pepper (also known as timur) and fortunately store keeper exactly knew what I was looking for. This chili made the recipe extra special. If you cannot get it, you can always try with dry red chili, but be forewarned it will never be the same.

Ingredients

  • 750 gms. mutton cut on bone in 2” pieces
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 10 dry red chili
  • 1/2 tsp. methi (fenugreek) seeds
  • 1 tsp. ajwain (carom) seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. timur (Szechuan pepper)
  • 2-3 black cardamom
  • 1’'”cinnamon stick
  • 8-10 black pepper corn
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150 ml. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Heat mustard oil in a pan till it smokes. Now reduce the heat and add bay leaf, cinnamon, black cardamom and pepper corn to it. Fry them on low heat for a minute till the oil becomes fragrant.

Add methi seeds and wait till the seeds turn black. Immediately add ajwain seeds and dry red chili.

Next to go in is chopped onion. Fry them on medium heat till they turn dark brown.

Add meat pieces to it and fry them on medium heat along with the fried onions. Fry for about ten to fifteen minutes till the meat changes its raw color and turn brown.

Sprinkle salt and sugar. Add a cup of water to it and mix well. Cook covered on low heat till the meat is 90% done.

By the mean time heat 2 tsp. oil in a small pan and add ginger garlic paste along with the coriander powder. Cook on low heat till the raw smell subsides.

Once the meat is almost done add this spice mixture to the meat. This is the time for the red chili powder to go in. Mix everything together and cook  for another ten to fifteen minutes.

When the meat is tender and the oil is separated add timur paste to it and let it simmer for another minute.

Your Bhutwa or Nepali style mutton is ready to serve.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Chicken Hariyali Kebab

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We had a steady stream of guests over the holidays. Especially to cater to the palate of our local friends I chose this mild kebab, which goes really well with wine and beer. I serve this as a starter as Hariyali kebab turns out to be an excellent conversation starter.

Hariyali means green which is the color of the kebab, in this regard this is very different from the other kebabs. The green comes from the paste of cilantro, mint and fenugreek leaves that is used as marinade.

Ingredients

For 4 people. serving size 4 pieces

  • 1lb. boneless chicken breast cut into 2” pieces
  • 4 tbsp. thick curd
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup cilantro ( Coriander Leaves )
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fenugreek leaves ( Methi )
  • 1” ginger
  • 5-6 fat cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 2 tsp. chicken tandoori masala
  • 3-4 tbsp. ghee ( Clarified Butter)
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

Take chicken pieces and apply salt, lemon juice and red chili powder to it. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

In the mean time make a smooth paste of cilantro, mint, fenugreek leaves along with ginger, garlic and green chilies.

In a mixing bowl add curd and all other ground spices and mix them with the green paste. Add chicken pieces to it and mix them well with the marinade so that the chicken pieces are well coated with it. Keep it covered for at least two to three hours.

Soak the skewers in plain water for half an hour to avoid burning. Now arrange chicken pieces on the skewer and apply some clarified butter over it.

Pre heat the oven at 400F and grill them for 12-15 minutes. Turn the skewers once when they are half way through for even cooking.

Remove the kebabs from the skewers and arrange them on a serving plate. Serve with some green chutney and lemon wedge.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Crab Malaikari

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In all our trips to Costco my daughter insists that I pick up the huge king crabs they have on sale. I mostly land up making Konkani Crab or Red Curry. This time I decided to adapt the traditional Bengali Prawn Malaikari to Crabs. It turned out to be really yummy. Hope you would enjoy it as well.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs. crab cleaned and cut
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 2” ginger 
  • 2 tsp.red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 tbsp. ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • Whole garam masala (1’ cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 2 green cardamom, 1 bay leaf)
  • 1 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • Small piece of cinnamon and few cloves

Procedure

Make a paste of onion, ginger with two green chilies.

In a wide vessel heat ghee till it melts. Now temper it with whole garam masala and bay leaf.

Add the ground onion paste to it and sauté on low heat till the raw smell goes away.

Now one by one add turmeric and chili powder to it. Sauté on low heat till you see oil gets separated from the spice mixture.

Add crab pieces to it and fry them on medium heat for about two to three minutes. Make sure that all crab pieces are well coated with the spices. season them with salt.

Pour half a cup of water and let it simmer on low heat for about ten minutes. Add coconut milk to it and give a nice stir. Cook for another three to four minutes.

Finish it off by adding a spoon full of ghee, green chilies and a spoon  Bengali garam masala powder. Serve hot with plain rice.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Keema Parantha or Porota

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It’s been a long time since I last blogged. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I have not been cooking anything interesting, rather it is the contrary. I have been hosting a lot of friends and family through the holidays and my pipeline of blogs is almost full.

Today I bring to you Keema Parantha. Most Indian restaurants around our area serve variants of this. However, they mostly use Beef or Lamb. I have used chicken instead because a lot more Indians eat that. You can easily replace chicken with your choice of meat without any other modification.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 500 gm. minced meat
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

In a mixing bowl take flour with salt and oil. Rub flour with your finger to give it a crumb like texture. Add water and work on it to make a smooth dough. Keep it covered.

In a wide frying pan heat 1 tsp. oil. Fry chopped onion in it till they turn soft. Add turmeric powder, red chili , cumin powder and ginger garlic paste to it. Fry them together till the raw smell goes away.

Add chopped tomato to it and fry till they turn mushy. Now add minced meat to it.

Season with salt and sugar. Mix well and keep frying on medium heat till the entire moisture is evaporated.

Add chopped green chilies and cilantro to it. Sprinkle garam masala powder and mix well. Turn off the heat and spread the meat mixture in a plate to cool down.

Divide the dough into eight equal portions and make roundels with each of them.

Roll out each roundel  into a disc of four inch diameter. Make sure to thin out the edges of the circle with a rolling pin. Fill this up with 2 tbsp. of filling and then using your finger close the open end and seal.

Flatten it by pressing gently within your palm. Now on a flour dusted surface roll out each stuffed dough ball into a circle of six inch diameter.

Heat a skillet (Tawa) on medium high heat. Brush the surface with oil. Place the rolled out disc on hot tawa and let this side cook for thirty seconds. Flip it over and cook the other side. 

Your parantha is ready to serve.

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