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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bhuna Mutton


When my husband calls me from office and tells me that he is inviting someone over for dinner, the first question I ask him is “Are they vegetarian”? If the answer is no, Bhuna Gosth it is with ready to cook paratha. You can make this with chicken as well.


  • For marination
    1. 2lbs. lamb or goat meat cut into medium pieces on bone
    2. 2 medium onions finely chopped
    3. 5-6 cloves of garlic paste 
    4. 1'” ginger cut into Julian (Thin strips)
    5. 3-4 small tomatoes cut into halves
    6. 1tsp. turmeric powder
    7. 1tbsp. red chili powder 
    8. 1tsp. sugar
    9. 2-3 tsp. mustard oil
    10. Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tomatoes cut into quarters  
  • 2-3 tbsp. roasted ground spices (Dry roast and grind into a powder 2tsp. whole cumin seed + 2tsp. whole coriander seeds + 5 black cardamom + 3 green cardamom)
  • 1 tsp. ghee(clarified butter)


In a big mixing bowl take everything listed under marination and mix well. Allow it to rest for an hour in a refrigerator.


Take it out half an hour before you start cooking.

Transfer the marinated mutton to a heavy bottom pan. Fry them all together on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Soon you will see water releasing from the meat. Now lower the heat and cook covered on lowest heat for an hour.

By this time there should not be any excess moisture left in it. If you still see any excess water  let it dry by boiling on a high heat. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.

In a separate pan heat ghee and sauté quartered tomatoes on high heat for a while. Add roasted ground spices to it. Let it sizzle, then pour it over the cooked mutton and mix it. Simmer for another five minutes and then its ready to go!

Goes well with Indian non fried bread like naan, phulka or rumali –roti.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dimer Paturi


One of my mashi is married to a family who is better known in their neighborhood as paturi bari. Ilish (Hilsa) paturi being the most famous, they make paturi with shrimp, egg and even with dal. Paturi is the process of cooking fish in mustard sauce inside a banana or plantain leaf wrap.

I am not a connoisseur of ilish, so whenever I visited my mashi she used make either egg paturi or shrimp paturi for me.

This time when I got a big packet of banana leaf at Indian store I picked it up without even giving a second thought. My initial plan was to make shrimp paturi. However, I thought I’d make it with eggs so that my eggeterian friends could also enjoy it.


  1. 4 hard boiled eggs
  2. 2 medium sized potato boiled and peeled
  3. 1 medium red onion sliced
  4. 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  5. 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  6. 1 clove garlic
  7. 4,5 hot green chilies
  8. Few cilantro chopped 
  9. 2,3 tbsp. mustard oil
  10. Salt to taste


First the marinade has to be made. Make a wet paste of mustard seeds with 2 green chilies and garlic. Add a tsp. of turmeric powder to it.

Now remove the shell of the boiled eggs  and cut them into quarters.

In a separate plate take the boiled potatoes and mash them. To it add sliced onions, cilantro and the pieces of eggs.


Pour the marinade over it along with some salt.  Mix them gently using hands instead of spoons. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

By this time season the banana leaf for wrapping. Wash it under running water and wipe it dry.

Now turn the heat on and just swipe it over the heating coil or the flame. This will make the banana leaf more pliable so that it won’t tear when you try to fold it.


Alternatively you can dip the leaves under hot water to make them soft.

Now take two rectangular piece of banana leaf and place he marinated egg in the center of it. Fold the sides by overlapping each other to make a packet and secure them by tying with your kitchen twine. I used my quilting thread to tie them up.



Arrange the packets on a frying pan and allow them to cook covered on low heat till the outer leaf of the packet turns brown. Turn it over and allow it to cook the other side as well. Alternative you can arrange the packets in a microwavable dish and microwave it for high power for 10 minutes.

Remove and snip off the thread. You may drizzle some extra mustard oil over it.  IMG_1939

Enjoy with hot rice.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baked Salmon on Quinoa Bed

IMG_2069Quinoa is the new super grain which is making rounds in my circle. One of my close friends have turned into the unofficial brand ambassador of Quinoa. However, even with all her effort, it never really made it to our table.

After a hiking trip my husband came and reported he had his favorite baked Salmon on a bed of Quinoa at a small restaurant in North Bend, WA. He was impressed enough to drag me there to taste it. After we all enjoyed it, it had to make it’s way into our home.


  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
  3. 1 tsp. garlic paste
  4. 1 lb. salmon fillet
  5. 2tbsp. lime juice
  6. 1 + 1 tsp. black pepper powder
  7. 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  8. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  9. Salt to taste


In a strainer wash quinoa thoroughly under running water and drain. In a saucepan combine quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Now cook it covered on low heat till the water is completely absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff it with a fork.

In a skillet add 1 tbsp. olive oil and toss cooked quinoa with baby spinach. Season with salt and black pepper powder.

Transfer the tossed quinoa on a serving plate.

Wash the salmon fillet and marinate it with garlic paste, lime juice, mayonnaise, black pepper powder and salt for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven at 350F. Drizzle a spoonful of olive oil on the marinated fish and bake it for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and gently place it over the bed of quinoa.

Enjoy your light dinner with a glass of white wine.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chaanar Dalna


Most of our guests these days turn out to be vegetarian. Serving authentic bong food to them becomes a hard chore. I have already gotten tired of the same old gazillion combinations of paneer. So this authentic but a little hard to make variant of paneer or chanar dalna comes as a welcome change.


  1. 500 ml of full cream milk
  2. 2 medium potatoes cut into cubes
  3. 1/2 cup frozen peas
  4. 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  5. 2,3 green chilies chopped
  6. 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  8. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  9. 1 tsp. chili powder
  10. 1 tsp. sugar
  11. 1 tsp. ghee (Clarified butter)
  12. 2-3 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
  13. For tempering
    1. 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
    2. 2 green cardamom pods
    3. 1’” cinnamon stick
    4. 2 cloves
    5. 2 bay leaves


Step1: Making the Chana

Take 500 ml of milk in a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil. Once it rises to the surface of the vessel, lower the heat and add lemon juice to it. Stir it well to mix it. You will see milk curdles and separates out from the whey. Pour the contents in the strainer and drain out the whey.

Now add chopped coriander, chopped green chilies, 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder, 1/2 tsp. cumin powder to the paneer and mix. Transfer it to the cheesecloth. Bring the four corners of the cloth together and twist it. Hang the cheese cloth from the water faucet for about 30 minutes to drain out the last drop of whey.

Now place the cheesecloth with the paneer in it on  a flat surface and put something very heavy on it for another one hour to squeeze out the residual whey. I used my wooden chopping board and a water filled stock pot for this purpose.

IMG_1989Now take out the block of paneer from the cheesecloth and cut it into squares to give them a structure.


Step 2: Making Chaanar dalna

Heat oil in a kadai and fry the paneer cubes till the edges turn brown. Remove and keep aside.


Temper the oil with whole cumin, bay leaves, and whole garam masala. allow them to crackle. Add potato cubes to it and sauté for a while.

Gradually add ginger paste, turmeric , chili and cumin powder one by one. Fry them along with the potato cubes till the raw smell goes away.Sprinkle some water in between so the spices don’t get burnt. Keep cooking till you see the oil separates out from the spice mixture.

Pour about 2 cups of water followed by salt and sugar. Mix it well and let it cooked on medium heat till the potatoes are just done.

Check the seasoning and adjust. Throw the frozen peas and fried paneer cubes to it and allow it to simmer for another 5 minutes. Add  green chilies and a spoon full of ghee to it. Sprinkle Bengali garam masala powder to finish.

Goes best with plain rice.  


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Raw jackfruit with Mutton


Ripe jackfruit is something which I dislike from the core of my heart. However my feelings just take a 180 degree turn when its raw. If a jackfruit is cracked open you can find pods inside it. Pods are nothing but a fleshy covering of the seeds. When it is raw the texture of the fleshy covering is remarkably similar to that of goat or lamb meat. This has made raw jackfruit an excellent vegetarian substitute for meat.

My todays post is about a jugalbandi of Goat meat and raw jackfruit. My dida (Grandmom) used to make it quite often. Years and continents later I encountered the same food in a Bistro named Rangoli in Vancouver, Canada. Even the taste matched it perfectly.


  1. 1 can of raw jackfruit drained, washed and cut into meat sized chunks
  2. 250gms of mutton on bone ( I have used goat meat )
  3. 2 medium onion finely sliced
  4. 1 tsp. ginger paste
  5. 1 tsp. garlic paste
  6. 2 medium sized tomatoes cut into quarters
  7. 1 tsp.turmeric powder
  8. 1tbsp. chili powder
  9. 1tsp. sugar
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Oil
  12. 1 tsp. bengali garam masala powder
  13. For Tempering
    1. 2,3 Bay leaves
    2. 1” cinnamon stick
    3. 2,3 cloves
    4. 2 green cardamom pods.


Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the jackfruit pieces till all the sides take a brown hue. Remove and keep them reserved.


If the oil remaining is sufficient for the rest of the cooking go ahead or else you can add little more to it.

Temper the oil with all the whole spices listed under tempering. Allow them to sizzle a bit. Now add onion slices to the fragrant oil and fry them on low heat till they turn light brown. This process is a bit lengthy. You can add a pinch of salt to the raw onion slices to make the process faster.

Add mutton pieces to it and sear them on high heat till it looses its raw color.


Add ginger garlic paste to it and sauté along with the mutton pieces. Next add tomato  to it along with turmeric and chili powder. Fry on medium heat till the tomatoes become mushy.

Season with salt and sugar. Cook it covered on low heat till the meat is half cooked. You can use your pressure cooker as well to make this quick.

Now add the jackfruit pieces you have already fried. Mix everything together. Give a taste test and adjust accordingly. Cook it covered till both meat and jackfruit are tender.This will have a thick gravy. So adjust the water either by boiling the extra off or by adding little more.

Sprinkle garam masala powder and keep it covered till you serve.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Shrimp Enchiladas – Indian Style


When my dad came to visit us in the US, we went on couple of road trips. One was to a nearby Bavarian village at Leavenworth. Since he doesn’t like to experiment with food, I was a bit worried about how he’d take to the local fare. I steered clear off European food. It's a common consensus that Mexican and Indian food has a similar taste and hence I headed to a local Mexican restaurant which our hotel’s receptionist recommended.

My dad just loved the fresh tortilla and black beans served along with the enchiladas and referred to it as “daal rooti”. He was enraged that they’d not just serve the “daal rooti” and we are forced to have the enchiladas as well. As with most senior citizen logic had little bearing.

After we came back, I made his new found love multiple times, obviously Indianizing it a bit. Here goes the recipe.

Ingredients For Sauce

  1. 1/4  cup tomato ketchup
  2. 1 tsp. paprika or Kashmiri chili powder
  3. 1 tsp. minced garlic
  4. 1/2 tsp. black pepper power
  5. 1 tsp. corn starch
  6. Salt to taste

Procedure For Making Sauce

In a mixing bowl mix all ingredients other than the corn starch with 3 cups of water. Transfer the content in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat. Mix it well and taste the salt whether it is rightly balanced or not. Adjust accordingly. Now in a small bowl mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp. of water. Slowly add the corn starch mixture to the boiling sauce. Stir it continuously to avoid formation of the lump.Once you add the corn starch you will see the sauce becomes thick. Remove from the heat and keep it for later use.


Ingredients for Black Bean

  1. 1 cup dry black turtle bean soaked in water for 2-3 hrs.
  2. 1 tsp. chopped ginger
  3. 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  4. 1 tsp. chopped onion
  5. 1 tsp. sugar
  6. Salt to taste

Procedure For Making Black Bean

In a pressure cooker add the drained beans and all ingredients listed above with 2 cups of water. Cook it on high heat till the first whistle. Now reduce the heat and cook it for another 20 minutes. Wait till the pressure releases on its own. Remove the lid and check the seasoning. Adjust accordingly. If it is little watery crank up the heat and allow the excess water to evaporate. I sprinkled about a tsp. of Bengali garam masala powder over it.

Note: Alternatively you can use store bought ready to use canned black beans.

Ingredients For Stuffing

  1. 15-20 medium sized shrimp cleaned and cut into bite size pieces   
  2. 1 medium onion finely chopped
  3. 1 tsp. grated ginger and garlic
  4. 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  5. 1/2 cup chopped cabbage
  6. 1 tsp. black pepper powder
  7. Salt to taste.

Procedure for making the stuffing

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a frying pan and add chopped ginger garlic to it. sauté for a while. Now add chopped onion to it fry on medium heat till it turns pink. Next add shrimp pieces. Season with salt and black pepper and fry it all together for about a minute. Add the chopped vegetables and toss them really well. Give it a taste test and adjust. Cook till the vegetables are done. Remove and keep it aside.


Ingredients for Salsa

  1. 2 large ripe tomatoes
  2. 3-4 jalapeño pepper deseeded
  3. 1/2 cup cilantro (coriander leaves)
  4. 1 medium onion
  5. 2 clove of garlic
  6. Juice of one lime
  7. Salt

Procedure of making Salsa

In a food processor take all of these ingredients and coarsely chop them. Now transfer the content in a serving bowl. Your salsa is all set to go.

Things you need to bring everything together

  1. 8 corn tortillas
  2. 400 gm. sour cream (You can use hung curd alternatively)
  3. Shredded parmesan cheese
  4. 2 large avocado ( Remove the huge seed and scoop out the flesh inside. Make a smooth paste of it. Season with little salt.)

Bring them all together

Pre heat oven or 350F.

Brush little oil on both sides of each tortilla and heat them up in microwave for 30 seconds. This makes the tortillas more pliable. Spoon some shrimp mixture in each tortilla and fold over. Place them seam side down on a oven proof serving plate.Top them up with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. Keep a spoonful of black bean in one side of the plate. Bake the enchilada for about 15 minutes till the cheese melts.

Garnish with salsa, avocado and a dollop of sour cream before you serve.