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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lobster with chili garlic sauce


This part II of the fried-rice lobster combo that I cooked.



  1. 2 lobsters cleaned, deveined and cut into medium sized cubes
  2. 1 large onion cut into thick cubes
  3. 1 green bell pepper cut into medium cubes
  4. Minced garlic - 2 tb spoon
  5. Chili garlic sauce - 2 tb spoon
  6. Oil for deep frying

For Marination

  1. Garlic paste - 1tbspoon
  2. Ginger paste -  1tbspoon
  3. Black pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
  4. Corn flour - 3 to 4 tb spoon
  5. Egg -  1 beated
  6. Salt


Take the lobster pieces and add salt, black pepper powder and ginger, garlic paste to it. Mix it well and marinate for an hour. Now add 2 tb spoon of corn flour to IMG_7320it Gradually add the beaten egg and make a thick batter.

Heat oil in a wok or kadai until it starts smoking . Release the marinated lobster pieces into the hot oil and fry them till they turn golden brown in color.

Take couple of spoons of oil in a wok from the oil you used for frying the lobster pieces and heat it. Add the chopped garlic and sauté it for a while on a high flame without browning it.

Now add the onion and toss them around. While the onions are still pink add the bell pepper.

After cooking the bell pepper with onion and garlic add chili garlic sauce.

Whisk the remaining corn starch in half a cup of water and add little by little when the sauce starts boiling in the wok.

Keep mixing it continuously so that it doesn't form any lump. Give it a taste test to check the salt.

Now add the fried lobster pieces and toss it in the sauce. When the lobster pieces are coated with the sauce finish it with chopped green chilies and black pepper powder. IMG_7325

Shrimp Fried Rice


The other day we were at Costco and bought some good sized lobster. So at dinner I cooked lobster with fried rice. In this post I’ll cover how I made the fried rice and in a later post the lobster.

Ingredients IMG_7518

  1. Basmati or any Long grain rice - 500 gms
  2. Carrot - 1 cup finely chopped
  3. Beans - 1/2 cup finely chopped
  4. Green Bell Pepper - 1 cup finely chopped
  5. Garlic Paste -  1tb spoon
  6. Shrimp - 1/2 cup cleaned (you can avoid if you want to)
  7. Black pepper powder - 1 tea spoon
  8. Salt


Boil the rice in a open pan and drain the water. You need to be careful so the rice doesn't get over cooked. If you are not confident enough to drain the water safely, you can cook the rice as you would in a ratio of 1:2 of rice and water. Now spread the rice on a plate and keep it in the refrigerator for 30 mins. It will prevent the rice from breaking while frying.

Now take a wok or a frying pan and fry the chopped vegetables and keep them aside. Fry the shrimps and remove them.

Heat oil in a frying pan and  add the garlic paste. Fry it in a low heat and slowly add  rice, fried shrimps and vegetables. Add salt and black pepper powder to it. Mix it well and fry it for about 5 minutes on medium heat.

Your fried rice is ready to be served


Part III - Tomato Khejur-er Chutney With Dried Black Currant


This is the part-III of the Khichuri-Labra-Chutney post

While this can be had as is  or with a variety of other main-course, having it with Khichuri and Labra adds that extra dimension to the palate.


Ingredients Of Chutney

  1. Tomato 1 lb cut in halves
  2. Dates - 20 cut in halves
  3. Dried Black Currant - 1/2 cup
  4. Grated ginger 1 tb spoon
  5. A mixture of black Mustard seed, Fenugreek seed, and fennel - 1 tb spoon
  6. Salt
  7. Sugar 1/2 cup or more
  8. Roasted Panch phoron and Dry Red Chili Powder - 1 teaspoon  


Heat oil in a pan and temper it with fennel. mustard and fenugreek seed. When they start sputtering add grated ginger and tomatoes and sprinkle salt over it. Sauté it for a while and cook it covered until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy. Now add black currant and dates. You can add Aamsatta/ mango papad or dehydrated mango pulp cut in cubes at this stage.

Add sugar and water and mix it well. Bring the mixture to a boil. Check the consistency, it should be thick. Taste the sweetness, add more sugar if required. Sprinkle the dry roasted masala powder before serving.

Part II - Labra (A medley of vegetables)


This is Part II of the Khichuri/Labra post.


  1. Potato - 2 medium sized peeled and cubed
  2. Red pumkin or Butter squash - Half pound
  3. Brinjal or Eggplant -1 medium sized cubed
  4. Cauliflower 1 medium cut into big florets
  5. Cabbage - 1 small cut into large pieces
  6. Carrot - 2 cut into cubes
  7. Beans - 10 cut into 1inch long pieces
  8. Asfoetida or Hing - 1 pinch 
  9. Dry red chili - 3 to 4
  10. Paanch phoron - 1 teaspoon
  11. Ginger paste - 1 teaspoon
  12. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
  13. Chili powder - 1 teaspoon
  14. Salt
  15. Sugar


Heat oil in a pan and temper it with hing, paanch phoron and dry chilies . Once the spices pop up add the vegetables followed by the ginger paste and turmeric powder.

I prefer to add ginger paste and turmeric powder after adding the vegetables so that they don’t get burnt on contact with the hot oil and make the food bitter.

Sauté the vegetables for a while then add chili powder, salt and little sugar. Fry it in medium heat. Once the vegetables are coated with the oil and spice cover it up and cook.At this stage you don't have to add any water. The salt will help the vegetables to release water (reverse osmosis anyone :P). Keep an eye to it, your vegetables and spices should not get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add little water if required and keep mixing the vegetables and cook till the veggies are done. Your labra should be a little moist and not completely dry.

Khichuri & Labra


Celebrating Durga pujo 8000 miles away from home is hard. It’s not possible to re-create the শরতের আকাশ the faint music from pandals drifting around, the smell of new clothes. We definitely can but try to cook the same food.

Aastamir morning is one of the very very few times where by tradition bong succumb to have vegetarian food, the bhog offered to the goddess. I will cover the traditional bhog in 3 part post.



  1. Yellow Moong dal - 1/2 cup
  2. Red Moosur dal - 1/2 cup (not used when this is offered for Bhog)
  3. Chana dal -1/2 cup
  4. Gobindobhog or BasmatiRice(also available in US as jeera rice) -1 and 1/2 cup
  5. Cumin seed -1/2 tea spoon
  6. Bay leaf - 2
  7. Clove - 4
  8. Cardamom - 2
  9. Cinnamon stick - 1"
  10. Ginger - 1"
  11. Garlic clove - 1 small (not used when this is offered for Bhog)
  12. Green chili - 2
  13. Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  14. Frozen Green peas - 1/2 cup  
  15. Bhaja masla - 1 tb spoon (ingredients given below)
  16. Turmeric powder - 1tea spoon


  1. Make a paste of ginger, garlic and green chili.
  2. Wash and soak the rice for half an hour.
  3. Dry roast moong dal until some of them turn light brown.
  4. In a pressure cooker add 3 to 4 tb spoon of oil and temper it with bay leaf, cumin seed and whole garam masala. (Clove, cardamom and cinnamon)
  5. Now add the soaked rice and fry unless you start getting a nice aroma.
  6. Gradually add moong, musur and chana dal followed by turmeric powder.
  7. Add the ginger, garlic and chili paste along with the grated coconut.
  8. Fry it in a very low heat until the raw smell of the spices completely goes off
  9. Now add the peas..
  10. Add 7 to 8 cups of water along with salt and a little sugar.
  11. Mix it and cover the pressure cooker.
  12. Cook for 4-5 minutes at full pressure.
  13. After opening the pressure cooker add bhaja masala and 1 or 2 tb spoon of ghee.

Bhaja Masla

Dry roast all the ingredients below and grind it. You can store this in an airtight container and use for Jhal muri (Spicy puffed rice) and Chutney.

  1. Clove -5
  2. Cinnamon -2 inch
  3. Cardamom -4
  4. Cumin seed -1 tb spoon
  5. Coriander seed -1 tb spoon
  6. Dry red chili - 5/6
  7. Fennel seed - 1 tea spoon

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chicken Roll


Being in US during Durga Pujo is a torture, more so because we live in a region with not that much of a bong population. What fun is there in pujo if you can’t gorge on the road side chicken roll.

Making rolls at home may be too much of trouble, especially if you have to run to the various pujo-mandaps. Here’s a super short-cut way to make very tasty roll at home out of readily available stuff.

Get hold of some ready to cook paratha from the nearest Asian/Indian store. I get mine from Mayuri in the Redmond area. Any brand should do, but I’d strongly recommend the Kawan or Deep flakey parathas. Something like below.

Now you need to get the filling, there are various ready to make Kababs that you can get from these stores as well. I use the Chicken Tikka Boti  from Colonel Kababz. The various other Kebabs like Seekh, Malai work equally well. Just dig around in the Indian store refrigerators and pick things like this



  1. Fry the Paratha and the Kebab (around 2/3 pieces) according to the instructions on the package
  2. Place some chopped onion, green chili and Kebab on the paratha
  3. Put a little pudina (mint) chutney, tomato sauce on it. Be creative and use whatever sauce you like. E.g. Sriracha/Chili sauce will also work.
  4. Sprinkle some rock salt (beet-noon)
  5. Roll the whole thing using a paper kitchen towel, napkin.

Your sumptuous roll is ready to eat.

Vegetable Biryani


Even though my husband strongly contends that vegetable biriyani is not really a biriyani, I don’t agree. We have a lot of vegetarian friends and I frequently make this for them. One of them asked me for the recipe, so here you go…


  1. Basmati rice -500 gms (washed and soaked in water for at least 30 mins)
  2. Onion - 1 large thinly sliced
  3. Ginger paste - 1 tb spoon
  4. Garlic paste - 1 tb spoon
  5. Carrot - 3 large
  6. Potato - 3 medium
  7. French bean - 10/15
  8. Frozen or fresh peas - 1/2 a cup
  9. Coriander leaf -1 cup chopped
  10. Mint leaf - 1 cup chopped
  11. Green chili - 5/6
  12. Curd / plain yogurt - 2 cups
  13. Whole garam masala – (2 clove, 2 cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon stick)
  14. Vegetable biriyani masala- - 1 packet (Available at Indian stores)
  15. Lime - 1
  16. salt
  17. Sugar
  18. Oil -3/4th cup


Getting the vegetables done

  1. Take a frying pan and pour the oil. Deep fry the onion slices till brown. Remove them from the oil and keep aside.
  2. Now in a  pan take 1/2 the oil you used for frying the onion. Heat it and add the whole garam masala.
  3. Add carrot, beans and potato. Sauté it for a while. Now add ginger garlic paste and salt to it.
  4. Fry till the raw smell goes away.
  5. Pour 1 cup of yogurt to it and add biriyani masala.
  6. Fry it till all the vegetables are coated with the spices.
  7. Now add the chopped coriander, mint leaves and green chilies and cook it for around 5 mins.
  8. Now your vegetable biriyani masala is ready. Keep it aside and lets get prepared to make the rice.

Getting it all together

Martha Stewart Collection 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel CasseroleTo make the biriyani you need wide bottom pan/pot with a tight lid so that all the great aromas don’t escape. The pan should also have a thick bottom layer, so that the rice inside don’t burn easily. I use Martha Stewart glass top pots, something like the one in this amazon link . Other alternatives include Futura pots available in India. In the worst case you can attempt the messier option of taking a normal handa and lid and seal the lid with atta/maida dough. However, I strongly recommend investing in a good pot, it comes in handy for various types of cooking.

  1. Boil water in the pan and add the soaked rice. Once you add the rice the water will stop boiling. Wait  till it starts boiling again. It will take around 3-4 mins . Now drain the water.
  2. Keep the rice aside.
  3. In the pan make a layer out of the vegetable masala (sautéed vegetables we made above) and add the rest of the yogurt over it. Cover it up with a layer of rice. Sprinkle fried onions and salt over it.
  4. Now again make a layer of sautéed vegetables followed by the layer of rice. Add some mint and coriander leaves.
  5. Cover the pan up tightly so the steam doesn't escape and put the vessel in a very low flame for 30 mins.
  6. Your vegetable biriyani should be ready by this time. Mix it well and serve with raaita.