Sunday, June 29, 2014

Avocado Egg Salad : Quick Breakfast

I often forget about my breakfast. Sometimes when its already noon I remember that I haven't have any breakfast. But this is a very bad habit, as breakfast being the first meal of the day should be done properly and if possible heavily. With the lack of time to prepare a separate breakfast for me I resorted to something which takes minimum time to make and easy to make as well. This is what I made.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mangsher Khichuri / Chicken Hotchpotch

how to make hotchpotch with chicken or mutton

I was never a news person..and may be never will be. Sitting in front of the t.v and digesting everything that is freshly being served from another side of the t.v screen has never been my agenda. But this was about the time when I did not have to sit in front of the t.v for getting news...our family news channel was freshly served by my father, who was an ardent reader and a loyal news listener. But now..without watching news and reading news papers I felt like I am lacking something and I am no longer up to dated with any of the incidents that are taking place in my home city....let alone home country. So its nearly 2/3 days I have started reading news papers online. I mainly read " The Times of India " , " Economic Times" and "Anandabazar Patrika"..the last one is a Bengali news paper. I did not read it back in Kolkata..but now after seeing French in every paper, and advertisement and hoardings reading my local news paper brought a scent of homesickness as well as the aroma of my City of Joy. The feeling of the first rain, the sweaty afternoons and the rush hours...all seemed so close to feel and yet so distant to relieve them again. And as an additional gain I got to read the food columns too which I so easily used to turn over some months ago.

Its raining heavily in Abidjan. Temperature has dropped to 25 degrees suddenly. And I am having a hard time to wake up in the morning now. Since I don't have maid now...waking up late means all my daily routine gets dismantled. So in one such a day I decided to let go of making rice and fish and other things because I had a whole house to clean up and make Khichri. The combination of Khichri and rain was also too strong to have a let down. So I made Khichri with meat.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fried Kima

I don't know whether such a recipe exist or not and if yes..then whether I have made it right or not. But this is an accidental outcome of the hesitation of throwing away the leftover chicken curry and I happened to have kima in the fridge. But whether or not I followed the rule...the dish tasted good. Its a dry dish and I  ate it with the pulao I made.

Dish Reminder:

  • I used the left over chicken curry which is the basic curry base we use. In case you don't have the curry you can make a fresh one.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Simple Chicken Soup

For me chicken soups are like cherry on the cake.  It can be your diner, appetizer or just a dish to lift up a feverish taste. Generally simple chicken soups are not what I make so often. I like to work that up a little bit..trying different things every time so that there can not be a monotony over the taste.

Two days ago I made chicken soup for my husband who was literally shivering because of Malaria. I started making this when he was sleeping. So I had the chance to click some photographs. For those who are thinking that how can I be so cool when my husband is affected from Malaria..this piece of information is for them - Here..Malaria is very common. Just like common fever in India. 3 days of saline with Quinine pushed into it with some vitamins and you will be rock steady in the 4th day. Yes....he went to office today morning. Workaholic...sigh!!!

So this post is for them who likes sipping soups in fever. You can have it in your perfectly healthy condition tooo!! Who is stopping you by the way??

Monday, June 23, 2014

Badam Milk

I made this drink a few days ago for my husband's friends who came for dinner. Actually I wanted to make Kesar Kulfi but I ran out of milk and hubby forgot to buy milk the previous day. Since I did not have time to freeze the Kulfi I thought of turning my recipe upside down since the ingredients were all same and it was too late to make something new for the dessert and I did not want to serve anything that came from outside my kitchen. Its a very simple drink and it takes minutes to make. The main time that is required here chilling. 30minutes in the freezer and its all set to serve.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pesto Sauce

 Its only 11:30 and its already night in our house. Generally I don't sleep until its half past one or two. But today is exceptional. Hubby caught Malaria and slept all the day through. From tomorrow the saline will start. We have to go to the hospital in the first hour in the morning so he went to sleep a little while again..I have to sleep too....but I am not feeling sleepy at all!!!

All these are so new yet so strange for me. Living under the shed of the family keeps you out of the tension and the worries all the time. In my home Ma was someone who did everything for us and we didn't bother to think about them either..but still everything used to be in their place at the perfect moment at the perfect time and in their perfect shape. Where I am just struggling to keep everything in the balance and in the place for the house of two...I just wonder how much pressure my mother went through to keep everything in place without letting anyone be weary about anything!! Now that I think about all the time I passed in my home with my room locked with the music going high and reading was my mother who struggled outside to prepare everything so that I can get them at my need.

Love is not everything..and it can not just overlook the need of the simple word responsibility. And it takes a whole lot of understanding to pass days with another it family member, husband or friend.
So..since Subrata is sick I need to prepare less spicy food and for that reason I prepared the Pesto sauce. He likes pastas and soups. And spaghetti with pesto tastes simply yummm!! Besides the garlic smell will give the sicky tongue a little change.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Chire Bhaja/Roasted Flat Rice

One very important advice for those who are about to leave their native land and move to some other create an urge to enquire about the availability of your choice of food there and learn to cook those foods which you love or like to eat. Otherwise my are destined to have some tough time. But adaptation is a very unique characteristic of the human nature and at times are best capable of fetching the best out of you.
Unable to find a tea time snack one day...I accidentally discovered how to make Chire Bhaja. It is one of the most popular tea time snack of the bengalis that are abanduntly availble in Kolkata but unfortunately I did not carry a single piece with me here. I have tried and tasted dishes of other cuisines here, which introduced me to a lot of new dishes, flavors and herbs and spices...but finally "Mera Bharat Mahan Hain" is what conquered here too. Of course Pastas, Pizzas and rissotos are tasty and savory dishes, and one day I might share those recipes with you when I will again have the urge to prepare and eat them but nothing comes close to my Indian dishes. Be it the desserts or the appetizers or the green veggies. And I think chicken, mutton or any kind of meat do not become fully flavored until its accompanied with Indian spices. But today is the time of Chire Bhaja and lets start with that.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spicy Chili Pulao


The classic pulao that is usually prepared during any occasion or "bhog" to the god is sweet. But this pulao that one of our neighbour in India used to prepare was damn spicy and at the same time non-veg. It has all the features of the Pulao but tastes so different. Since I am yet to catch up to that desired taste of Biriyani I am passing my days with this spicy Pulao...:):) Loving it every time I eat it...simply because its soo tasty and yet so simple to prepare.

Dish Reminder:

  • You can use as much veggie as you want. Make it colorful...just like a "rainbow nation".
  • I have used soya chunks, but you can use meat balls instead to give it a more flavory and rich taste.
  • Try to make this dish with ghee or add at least 1 tbsp of ghee at the end because it adds such a beautiful aroma to the surrounding of the dish that just makes the stomach half full before even eating it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

French Toast : Quick Breakfast

French toast is a very frequent dish in Indian household. I don't know whether its really of French origin or not..but I love to eat it. I usually followed the way my mother used to make but recently I found a new way to make it. Besides its a really quick way to make the breakfast when you are out of time but still want to taste something good.

Dish Reminder:

  • I have used honey for the topping but you can use golden syrup/maple syrup/mermalade. We need a little sweetness...flavor is all up to you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Daal Gosht

 I never knew that daal can also be cooked with chicken. The only thing I ate in which daal and chicken  was cooked together was the Halim. Other than that the it never occurred to me in that way. But it was my husband who actually proposed to do chicken with daal as an alternative the other day. I too was not willing to have something spicy. So I searched Faiza's cooking channel in youtube and to my utter disbelief discovered this dish. Faiza's cooking channel is a great way of learning Pakistani/Kashmiri chicken/meat dishes if you are obsessed with the simple word meat.

Now, some dishes are born spicy. They can never be adjusted to a subtle level/taste. But this Daal Gosht does not fall in that category. You can well adjust the seasoning to make it rich or subtle.

Dish Reminder:

  • Using meat with bones will give a better taste here as the juices of the bones will add to the taste. If you are usig boneless then try to add some bones separately. Put them out of the dish before serving.
  • If you want to make dish subtle then skip the ghee and garam masala.
  • I like the daal completely melted with the meat making a smooth creamy gravy for me. But if you want the daal remain whole in its size then you can half cook the daal first and cook the meat fully separately. Then add with the daal and simmer.
  • If you are cooking with chicken then you can add half cooked chicken with the half cooked daal. Simmer covered and it will be cooked eventually.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup

 Its World Cup time...and football is always on the house.  I am not really a sports person. Never really was but when there is a t.v running almost always when the matches start I literally have nothing to do rather than watching the game and feel like the greatest fan of football, ha ha ha ah ah ah ah ah ha...................... whatever friends, it is nothing but a football mania!!!
And when the Football mania enters in your mind....there is a little space to think of something else. But and world cup...its tough choice. And here matches start late in the evening and continues till late night. So no choice of watching first and then making dinner. The dinner has to be made early or in between the match. So I picked up the half time to make my dinner. And what else can be a good option of a quick dinner than making soup. So last night I made soup....Chicken Noodle Soup. Loved that it now...and will love it always.

As for the chicken stock, I like to use home made rather than canned or powder. I usually make a big bunch and freeze them. In this way they remain fresh for a long time. Because making chicken stock and then preparing soup takes a whole lot of time and if you do not give them that time the soup will not taste that good. It will taste bland and dull. So I always recommend using homemade chicken stock.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kolkata Style Chicken Roll

                                             how to cook Kolkata style chicken roll

A few days before leaving India my mother called me and asked if she would bring something for me at the airport that I would like to have. And instantly I asked my mother that it should be a chicken roll from the shop that I used to eat. If you live in Kolkata you will probably know Shyambazar and there is a fast food centre whose name is Anir's, and Anir' according to me and my whole family is the maker of the best chicken roll in Kolkata. I have eaten roll perhaps in every nooks and corners but none of them beat its taste. So at the airport mother brought me that special chicken roll and I ate there before entering, in front of everyone...shamelessly....because I khnew that the next time when I will bite this roll....there will be a lot of reminiscing and waiting in between.

how to cook Kolkata style chicken roll

So when I wanted to eat chicken roll again...I tried to remeber what they used to put in the platter. The most important thing here is the that has to be tasty. And they used chicken kababs for the stuffing. It used to be red. Another kabab was there too lying beside the red one...that was green. Later I realized those were tandoori chicken and hariyali chicken. Gosh...then I was only interested in whats in my plate...other things were of mere importance to me.:) Lol!!
Here is the main point. You can use any time of kabab to make chicken roll. I like mine to be the Tandoori Chicken. The important part is it should be spicy and chili. Shik Kababs are also a good option for this. 

how to cook Kolkata style chicken roll

Now, chicken rolls are instant cravings. Its not that I plan it the day before I make it. So here I take a short cut. Instead of making the classic tandoori chicken, I go with the instant tandoori chicken masala. I use the Everest Tandoori Chicken masala and I have to admit. There is not much difference to notice.

Dish Reminder:

  • I prefer my chicken filling a little juicy but you can make it dry too.
  • In that case reduce the quantity of yogurt in it and roast a little ore in the oven or until its fully cooked.
  • Then mix it with the fried onion in the pan.
  • You can use red food color also to get that classic tandoori chicken color in your roll.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bandhakopir Torkari ~ Bengali Dry Cabbage Curry with Peas and Potato

how to cook bengali bandhakopir tarkari bengali dry cabbage curry with peas and potato

 This is one dish that tops my list when I want to give a less effort but have a good lunch. Bandhkopir Torkari as we bengalis say it, is a super easy dish. The only tricky part is that the cabbage should be properly cooked, but that problem is also solved by putting the cabbage in the pressure cooker before cooking or just boiling it until its perfectly cooked. It just needs 3 spices and nothing else.

bengali dry cabbage curry with peas and potato

Its tasty, subtle in spices and goes almost with everything - rice, chapati or puri... and the plus point is that you can always go vegan with this dish. Just ommit the non-veg items and it will become a non-vegetarian dish to go with.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Doi Maach in a Pressure Cooker

how to cook Doi Maach recipe and preparation

I love using curd in my dishes. They give a beautiful aroma in the dish as well as a creamy gravy that stands just outstanding. This Baked Fish with Curd is one of my husband's favorite, from the day I have first made the dish. The origin of this dish is Odisha and it is very mild and spices in it mix with each other giving the fish a beautiful taste. The yellow saucy gravy looks too creamy to resist the tongue.

how to cook Doi Maach recipe and preparation

 Another thing that I learnt from self teaching is that using whole spices makes a lot of difference in the taste. For daily use I use the powdered masalas as they saves way a lot of time...but for special occasions / Biriyani its the whole spices that becomes my ultimate shelter. A little dry roasting before  grinding them just boosts the flavor in it making a big difference in the taste and flavor. And as elders have said it....a good start is half done...a good smell makes the dish more craving and delicious.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

French Fries

how to cook french fries

The classic French Fries never gets boring. It just needs am excuse to be made in my kitchen. I loved eating French Fries whenever I went to KFC or McDonalds. But what about the temptation that I have sometimes when I am in home. So I needed a replacement. And I found out that its not that tough to make French Fries at home. All you need is some 45minutes in hand and it will be in your nearest bowl all prepped up to go to a mouth watering delicious journey.

However about the calories....err...plz don't ask me. It has potatoes, oil...lots you can either you can have a mouthful or  big bowl. He heee!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mangser Jhol : The basic Lamb/Mutton Curry

how to cook mangser jhol

I learnt this recipe from my Kashmiri neighbor here. I was in awe that how should I prepare the lamb when she came as my fairy god mother and helped me by giving the recipe. Its very simple and just like the basic chicken curry that I know. But lambs need slow cooking so that the meat is properly cooked from the inside. Otherwise it will be struck in between the teeth while chewing.

how to cook mangser jhol

This recipe can be used for preparing mutton also. Another plus point of this recipe is that it uses pressure cooker to prepare the meat. Which ensures the fact that the meat is soft and juicy.

Dish reminder (update) :

  • If you want the curry to be light and runny then the following simmering time after pressure cooking should not be long. Make it minimum. But if you want the curry to be rich and "kosha" simmer until the gravy becomes thick. This will thicken the gravy and make the curry more rich in taste. For me it takes approximately 45 minutes of simmering on medium flame.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Avocado Salad

how to make simple avocado salad

One thing that has made me an absolute lover is Avocado!!! Earlier I used to hate its no-taste taste...but then I actually grew a special liking towards much so that I almost have this as my sald every alternate day!! Its healthy, tasty and good for ski too. See..I have good reasons.

how to make simple avocado salad

I was watching 100 craziest places down the chowdown and literally gave up watching hopelessly after going down by the list up to 50. I was turning crazy by watching all those drooling dishes and realizing that I can eat them. It was going over my mind. So I stopped. Changed the channel in order to have some peace of mind. Yes I needed that.
After all those fatty stuffs I needed a break. I remembered my Avocado salad and had my peace of mind.:)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fish with mustard seeds paste/ Sorshe Maach

how to cook sorshe mach

There are some food habits that becomes almost synonym with a particular cuisine. Like Idli/ Dosa is a synonym for South Indian cuisine, delicious vegan dishes with the Gujarati cuisine...and fish with the bengali cuisine. Fish is almost a daily dish in Bengali household unless its a fasting day or vegetarian day. This sorshe mach is a typical dish that is so popular within my in-laws and they say itts a popular dish, whereas I tasted it only after my marriage. As for the fish with mustards I only had Hilsa with mustards and the preperation of that dish is different from this dish. If you are not familiar with this dish it can be an excellent taste changer in the day-to-day menu. It has the sizzling flavor from the mustards, a little spice from the green chilies and ginger and mustard oil and is also a little tangy, which comes from the tomatoes. Its a blend of various flavor which you can adjust according to your taste to make it mild to fit in the daily menu and also can increase the quantity of mustard and ginger to increase the richness of the dish.