Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Italian Style Chicken Stew


Sometimes I need to make lunch for my daughter and her friends of European origin. It’s hard to get something to plate which both would equally enjoy. This chicken stew seems to fit the bill. It has both Indian spices as well as Italian herbs.
  • 1lb. chicken on bone
  • 1/4th cup onion juice
  • 2 medium sized onion sliced thinly
  • 1 large tomato sliced lengthwise
  • 5-6 baby potatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped leek (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. whole pepper corn
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp. saffron
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (you can use any vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
Wash and pat dry chicken pieces and marinate them with onion juice, black pepper powder and salt..
Keep it aside for an hour or two.
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces on medium low heat till all sides take a light brown hue. This way you can seal the juice of the chicken.
In another pan take butter and allow it to melt on very low heat. You need to be careful not to burn the butter. Add whole peppercorns to it followed by minced garlic. Sauté till you start getting a nice aroma.
Add sliced onions and leek and fry on medium heat till the onions turn a little brown.. Next to go in are the tomato slices.. Fry on medium heat till the tomato starts to melt.. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down and come to the room temperature..
Put the fried mixture in a blender and blend it for half a minute.. Now strain the blended mixture through a strainer and reserve the pulp.
In a separate pan melt another spoon of  butter on very low flame and add flour to it.. Fry for a little while. Add the reserved pulp to it and pour about 4 cups of water to it. Mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil before you add the fried chicken pieces to it. Add the baby potatoes. Season with salt and sugar. Cover it. Allow it to simmer on low heat to infuse all the flavors together. When the chicken and the potato is just done sprinkle saffron strands and mix it well. Let it simmer for another minute before you add 2 tbsp. of  fresh cream to it. Turn off the heat and garnish with parsley. 
You can serve with garlic bread or plain bread.. 


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gondhoraj Bhetki

Gondhoraj Bhetki is one of the most popular dishes served in the famous Oh Calcutta! restaurant in Kolkata. If you landed on this page searching for that, then this is not it. Oh Calcutta created it’s own version to appeal to a more cosmopolitan clientele. Gondhoraj Bhetki or fragnant bhetki presented here is the authentic traditional summer food prepared in Bengali households, something my grand mom or mom would’ve made.
  • 4 medium sized steak pieces of bhetki (substitute with Cod or Tai Snapper steak based on local availability)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. green chili paste
  • 2 large gondhoraj lime (substitute with any fragrant large lime)
  • 1 tsp. gondhoraj lime rind
  • 4 kafir lime leaf
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • White vegetable oil

Clean and wash the fish. Pat it dry with a paper towel.

Grate one lime. Now cut and squeeze the juice of both the limes and reserve it.

In a bowl take half of the ginger, garlic, chili paste along with lime juice and salt. Mix it well and apply on both sides of the fish steaks. Let it rest for about thirty minutes.

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and one by one shallow fry the fish steaks after shaking off the extra marinade. Remove from oil and keep aside.

In a pan take 3-4 tsp. of refined oil and add ginger, garlic and chili paste to it. sauté on very low heat till the raw smell subsides. Turn off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Now add beaten  yogurt to it. Mix well. Add salt and sugar to your taste and add half a cup of water. Mix well and let it come to a boil. Throw the kafir lime leaves and gently slide the fish steaks in. Cook till the fish is cooked and the sauce is thick. Sprinkle the lime juice along with its rind.

Serve hot with plain rice..


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Macher Kason Pora Jhol

This is a very old traditional Bangladeshi fish curry, I learnt it from my grandmom and unfortunately have no clue to the origin of the name “kason”. The main ingredient is deeply fried and almost burnt fenugreek seeds. The taste is very rustic and this is very easy and fast to make as well. You cannot go wrong with this. If you have never made fish curries this is a fantastic first yet innovative one to try.
  • 4 steak pieces of  fish ( Preferably Rohu / Catla)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped green chilies
  • 2 tbsp. finely chpped cilantro
  • 2 tsp. methi seed (Fenugreek)
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
Wash and pat dry fish pieces. Smear them with half tablespoon of turmeric powder and salt. Keep them aside for fifteen minutes.
In a small bowl make a paste of half turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder with water and keep it handy.
Heat mustard oil in a wok till it smokes. Reduce the heat and fry the fish pieces till both sides turn golden brown. Remove the fish pieces on a paper towel and keep aside. Discard the oil.
Heat another two tablespoon of oil on medium heat and temper it with methi seeds. Fry on low heat till you start getting the aroma. Now remove the methi seeds from the oil and discard.  Add chopped garlic to the oil and fry till you get a nice aroma. Remove and reserve it for garnishing. Add garlic paste to the oil along with half of  the chopped green chilies. Fry on low heat till the garlic paste loosed its raw smell.
add the spice powder mixture to it and fry on low heat till you can see the oil oozing out of the spice mixture. Add one cup of water and bring it to a boil before you add fried fish pieces to it. season with salt and let it boil for another five minutes.
Turn off the heat and garnish the gravy with fried chopped garlic, chopped green chilies and cilantro.
Serve with hot rice..

Friday, July 1, 2016

Texas Tijuana Taco Pasta



Each Thursday my husband refuses to take lunch to office and my daughter finds every excuse to go to dad’s office. All for “Texas Tijuana Taco Penne” which is served by the restaurant “Pasta Ya Gotcha” at their café. That is generally followed by him vigorously running at the gym to get rid of the 750 calls accumulated in one meal.

So one Thursday I relented to his repeated requests and drove down to his office to try it out. It helped that the chefs made it live and I could observe how they cooked. The taste was out of the world and I finally understood the lure of Thursday café lunch which so much enticed the rest of my family. So after careful analysis and couple of attempts I think I got it albeit in a more healthier form :)


  1. 1 cup store bought dry pasta of your choice
  2. 1 cup ground chicken (coarse keema)
  3. 1tsp. minced garlic
  4. 2 cups whole milk
  5. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  6. 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  7. 1tsp. all purpose flour
  8. 2tsp. butter
  9. 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  10. 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  11. 3tbsp. readymade taco seasonings (amazon link)
  12. Salt to taste


Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the water and keep it ready.

In frying pan melt butter and add ground chicken to it. Fry on medium heat for about 5 minutes and remove them.

Heat rest of the butter and add minced garlic to it. Don’t forget to reduce the heat to low else it will turn brown.

Add one teaspoon flour to it and fry on medium heat for few seconds. Now pour milk and cream to it.Mix well so that it doesn’t have any lump inside. Bring them to a boil while stirring continuously.

While the sauce is boiling add half of the cheese and cooked ground chicken to it and allow it to simmer till it thickens. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and taco spices. You can make the sauce in advance and keep it refrigerated. In that case you have to warm up the sauce just before.

Take the cooked pasta on a pasta bowl and pour ladleful of sauce over it. Top it up with grated cheese and green onions.

You can dump the drained pasta in the sauce  and mix it well. Garnish with cheese and green onions.


Malabar Egg Curry

One of my friends is from coastal Karanataka and this is her signature dish. First time she made it for a large gathering, everyone loved this over mutton keema which goes to say how awesome the malabar curry tasted. This is a slightly modified version of the same malabar curry, the change being that I didn’t use turmeric and red chilli powder, you can always try with those as well.
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 2 tbsp. onion paste
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 dry red chili
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp. ghee
  • 2 tbsp. refined oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

In a pan heat oil and lower the temperature to medium. Fry the boiled eggs so that the they take a light brown hue. Don't over fry them. Remove them and keep aside.

Now temper the same oil with star anise and dry red chilies. When you start getting a nice aroma, add the onion paste to it. Fry on low heat for about three to four minutes. Now add ginger garlic paste and keep sautéing them on very low heat till the raw smell goes away.

Now add fried eggs to it and season it with salt and sugar. Add one fourth cup of water and mix them well. Bring it to a boil before you pour the coconut milk to it.

Now let it simmer on low heat for about five minutes. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ghee and curry leaves to it. Give a stir and keep it covered till you serve..

Serve it with laccha parota, jeera rice or peas pulao.. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dhakai Murgh Roast


This is a famous Bangladeshi food served in wedding and other party banquets. In our part of US it is frequently ordered from caterers in Bangla parties. Unfortunately I do not appreciate they way it is made to become too sweet. That is not how I remember my grandmom making it.

Dhakai Murgh roast is a open flame roasted chicken that has a good balance of sweet and sour taste. It is never overtly sweet. This goes best with Zarda Pulao.

  • 6 pieces chicken leg quarters
  • 1/2 cup golden fried onion
  • 3 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 3 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 5-6 aloo Bukhara soaked in half a cup of water and de seeded ( in case you don't find it replace with few dried plums. Remember the color will be more on the darker side.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • 1/4 cup khoya
  • 1 tbsp. saffron soaked in warm milk
  • 2 tbsp. rose water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1/2 cup refined white oil
  • 2 tsp. shahi garam masala powder ( just grind all the spices below together and keep in an airtight bottle)   
    • 2.5 tbsp. green cardamom
    • 2.5 tbsp. broken cinnamon stick
    • 1.5 tbsp. shah jeera or caraway seeds
    • 1 tsp. mace
    • 1 tsp. white pepper corn
    • 1 nutmeg

In a grinder make a paste of fried onions, raisins and pre soaked aloo Bukhara and keep aside. If needed you can add a spoon full of plain yogurt to make the paste.

In a wide pan heat up oil and sear the chicken pieces on medium heat. After about three minutes when the raw pink color goes away add salt and sugar to it.

Add saffron soaked milk and mix well. Now one by one add ginger paste, garlic paste, chili powder and half of the shahi garam masala powder to it. Keep sautéing on low heat.

Now add the onion, raisin paste you made earlier to it and mix well. Add about half a cup of water and cook it covered on medium low heat for about twenty minutes.

When the chicken is cooked remove the cover and add cream and khoya to it and mix well. This will make the gravy a bit sticky. Add ghee to it and mix well.  Sprinkle rose water along with the rest of the shahi garam masala powder. Turn off the heat and serve with paratha, pulao or zarda rice..


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Prawn Cutlet


Yesterday I met with a bunch of friends for our monthly adda session. One of our friends had posted on Facebook, delicious photos of prawn cutlet she had made. We were after her about our missing share of the booty.

That reminded me that my post of chingrir cutlet was languishing in drafts. Time to post it.

With summer around the corner this makes for a fantastic eat on your patio paired with some nice white wine or Riesling.

  • 2 large king prawns (each about 150gm)
  • 2 tsp. chopped green chilies
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 large egg
  • 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 cups bread crumb
  • Mustard oil enough for deep frying


Devein the prawns. Remove the shell other than the tail part. Slit and open it flat. Score lengthwise on each side of the central cut. This will help to keep the prawn flat while giving them the shape of a cutlet.

In a bowl mix everything other than the last four ingredients. Apply on both sides of the prawn and marinate them in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Take out the marinated prawns.

In a bowl mix the flour with the egg and 1 tbsp. mustard oil. Season it with salt and sugar and mix well to make a lump free batter.

**Take each marinated prawn at a time and first roll it over the bed of bread crumb. Take the blunt side of a knife and press it against the side of the prawn to give them the shape of a cutlet. Repeat the same process for the other marinated prawn.

In a deep wok heat mustard oil enough for deep frying. Now take each prawn and dip into the egg batter. Shake off the extra batter from it and gently slide it into the medium hot oil. Fry on medium heat till both sides are crispy and golden brown..

Serve with your favorite ketchup and salad..

**NOTE: Normally you first dip in batter and then roll in bread-crump, in this recipe it is intentional that it is done the other way around so as to stop the prawn from curling up.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Top 10 Receipes on BongCook

First of thanks dear readers for making so successfull. I first started BongCook as a personal log of all the food I make and all the recipes I wanted to pass on to my daughter. In my wildest dream I did not expect it to become my primary identity. I have had countless emails, facebook messages encouraging me to go on or asking me frantically for help when guests are due in an hour and something is not turning out right. This has been a tremendous journey and I have you my readers to thank.

Here I present to you the most read posts of Some I always expected to be a hit like the Kolkata Biriyani, some like Jinge Post and mete chorchori is a surprise. Please leave your comments in my blog if you have something in your mind.

Kolkata Mutton Biriyani image
Tadka Dal Dhaba Style image
Bengali Aloo Phulkopir Singara (Samosa)
Bengali Style Malpua
Radhaballavi (Radhaballabhi)
Jhinge Aloo Posto (Ridgegourd and Potato in Poppy seed Paste)
Mughlai Paratha with Spicy Potato Curry
Nolen Gurer Sondesh/Sandesh With Ricotta Cheese
Mete Chorchori (Liver Curry)
Labanga Latika (Lavang Latika)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hello Readers


It has been over 4 years since I started this blog. The story of why I started the blog is a story for another day. I never imagined that I will get to know so many of you through your emails, messages and comments. Even though I expected a bunch of you to visit my web-site from India, US and other countries with large expat Indian community, I never thought so many of you would come from Ukraine. Вітаю to all of you! And to you my Israeli friends שלום

The top visitors by countries

  1. India
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Ukraine
  5. Canada
  6. Australia
  7. Israel
  8. United Arab Emirates
  9. Germany
  10. Singapore

In the past most of you would visit this web-site from your Windows laptops and computers. In the recent past this has hugely changed. You are mostly coming from your Android phones and tablets. I hope my website is mobile friendly and even on the smaller screen you enjoy the pictures. Be careful and don’t drop your device into your pan. Fried phone doesn’t taste that good.


I also always try to ensure that my blog looks good on the varied browser you use


Going by my blog analytics, most of you are reading this page on their Android device.

The most popular posts seem to be the traditional Bengali food. The top 5 are

Singara  [IMG_7520%255B4%255D.jpg]
Chelo Kebab [IMG_0743%255B3%255D.jpg]
Kheer Kadam [IMG_0598%255B4%255D.jpg]
Jinge Posto [IMG_9286%255B3%255D.jpg]
Tadka Daal [IMG_1857%255B4%255D.jpg]

If you would like me to post something or need some clarifications, its always faster to get to me over my facebook page

Or you can always leave your comments here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Prawn Butter Masala

In our last Kolkata visit my venerable Buria Pishi asked my daughter, what she’d like to have. My daughter asked for some butter masala without eluding to butter masals of what. Pishi cooked up this amazing prawn butter masala. I asked her for her recipe and she sent me this beautiful hand written note.
I followed her recipe and made some fantastic prawn butter masals (if I may say so myself Smile). Hope you get equal success.


  • 1kg tiger prawn cleaned and deveined
  • 2 medium onions chopped finely
  • 2 medium onions ground to paste
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 100gms. cashew
  • 50gms. golden raisins
  • 50gms. chaar magaz
  • 1tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp. Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 lit whole milk
  • 1 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  • 3 tbsp. ghee (clarified Butter)
  • 1/2 cup refined oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Tempering
    • 4 whole dry red chilies
    • 2 large bay leaves
    • 4 green cardamom
    • 1" cinnamon
    • 4 cloves
    • 1/2 tsp. shahi jeera

In a grinder make a fine .paste of cashew, raisin and chaarmagaz with minimum water and keep it aside for later use.

In a mixing bowl take the cleaned prawns and smear them with turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for about 15 minutes.
In a pan take 2 tbsp. oil and heat it. Add the marinated prawns and sauté. Lower the heat and keep it covered for a minute. You will find water releasing from the prawns. Turn off the heat and reserve the sautéed prawns along with its water.
Take another big clean pan and add rest of the oil along with 2 tbsp. ghee to it. Heat it up and temper it with whole red chili, broken whole garam masala, bay leaves and shahi jeera. When the spices stop buzzing lower the heat and add 1tsp. sugar to it. Soon you will see the sugar frothing. Immediately add chopped onions to it and fry on low heat till the onions turn golden brown.
Add onion paste along with the ginger garlic paste to it. Sauté till you see oil seeping out of the spices. In a bowl mix coriander and chili powder with little water to make a paste.
Next to go in are the reserved sautéed prawns along with coriander and chilii powder paste. Mix everything well on low heat for about 2 minutes. Add cashew, raisin and chaar magaz paste. Mix well. Now add about a liter of whole milk and give it a nice stir. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Remember don't boil too long after you add milk. So adjust the quantity of milk depending on how much gravy you want.
Let the entire mixture simmer for about a minute or two.
In a small pan heat 1 tbsp. ghee and temper it with Bengali garam masala powder. Pour it over the gravy and turn off the heat. Keep it covered till you serve.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mutton Tikia or Balls


The same recipe works for both tikia and balls based on the final shape you choose. If you have ample time, shape them as discs (tikia) and shallow fry them, if you are in a hurry and your guests arrive in the next hour, make them into balls like I have done and deep fry them. The taste and texture remains very similar.
Tikia goes very well both with a glass of scotch that you share with your guests before dinner, or with a steaming cup of coffee.


  • 1lb. minced mutton
  • 1 tbsp. raw papaya (Instead you can use 1/2tsp. meat tenderizer)
  • 2 medium onions minced
  • 10 large garlic cloves minced
  • 5 green chilies minced
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. clarified butter (Ghee)
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground Bengali garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. roasted gram flour (Besan)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar 
  • Salt to taste
  • Refined oil for frying


Wash the minced meat and drain it on a colander or strainer to drain out most of the water from it.
Now take the meat in a mixing bowl and add chopped, onion, garlic, green chilies, raw papaya paste red chili powder, garam masala powder, salt, sugar along with a tablespoon of ghee to it.
Knead the minced meat well with all the spices and keep the mixture marinated in the refrigerator for half an hour.
After thirty minutes take out the mixture and bring it back to the room temperature.
Add roasted gram flour to it and mix well. This will help in binding the tikias. Take a lemon sized meat mixture and give it a flat round cutlet shape. that is the traditional shape of tikia. I have made them round as I was in a hurry.
Heat oil in a tawa (Skillet) and fry them on medium heat till the meat meat is cooked. Drain them on a paper towel and serve hot with paratha and your favorite chutney..

Monday, January 25, 2016

Zarda Pulao

When I first posted this picture to facebook a few asked me why have I used Zarda (chewable tobacco) in a recipe. I hope someone doesn’t get that idea again, here Zarda means yellow color and the name comes from the bright yellow pulao (pillaf).
This is a dry fruit pulao and not overtly sweet as some other sources might indicate. IT is very easy to make and goes very well with mughlai meat dishes like chicken roast in the picture.


  • 1 cup long grain  basmati rice
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 10-12 sliced almonds
  • 10-12 golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup crispy fried onions (beresta)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder / few drops of yellow food color
  • 4 tbsp. refined oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/4 cup of mawa / 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. Bengali Garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp. rose water
  • 1 silver warq optional for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Whole Garam Masala
    • 2' cinnamon stick
    • 5-6 cloves
    • 5-6 green cardamom
    • 2 bay leaves


Wash rice and soak it in enough water for about thirty minutes. In a big sauce pan take enough water to cook the rice and add salt and turmeric powder to it. If you are using yellow food color this is the time you add few drops to the water instead of the turmeric powder. I prefer to use turmeric powder.
When the water starts boiling add the soaked rice to it and cook till the rice is just done. Now drain the water completely. Spread the cooked rice on a flat tray and allow it to cool.
By the mean time heat one teaspoon full of ghee in a pan and fry cashew, almond and raisin on low heat till they turn golden brown. Drain it on an absorbent paper and reserve.
Now in a non stick pan heat four tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Temper it with whole garam masala. When the oil becomes fragrant add rice along with salt, sugar and three fourth of the fried nuts. Mix well gently so the rice grains remain intact. Now lower the heat and add either mawa or full cream milk to it. Along with it also sprinkle rose water and Bengali garam masala powder. Mix gently, and cook it covered on very low heat for three to four minutes. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ghee. Transfer it to a serving dish and garnish with the rest of the fried nuts, crispy fried onions and silver warq.
Serve it with Dhakai chicken roast..