Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spicy Potato Curry

Its feeling good to be able to do all the things myself again. It had been a terrible fortnight....and finally I am in my good health again. Its not very often that I fall ill...but this time it was the time for such an exception. I was hospitalized and for almost 10-11 days all I did was lying in the bed and sleep through day and night. Then infection spread out in my left hand leaving me unable to do almost nothing on my on. But hopefully all are gone now and I couldn't have been recovered this much if it was not my husband who stayed by my side all the time. Running between office and hospital it was his condition that was worse than me.

Well...back to my cooking zone, this is what I cooked first. A simple, spicy and tangy potato curry.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sweet Vegetable Pulao

This is a one pot dish which takes less time and also contains lots of vegetables.

 Because of the nuts and raisins and its sweetness it is loved by children as well. Generally its prepared without onions as bhog...but it goes as a good replacement of fried rice with onion as well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Aloo Zeera / Zeera Aloo

Body is a prolific reader of the mind. Or otherwise. Both are so complementary to each other that without a good one to one matching its not possible to be a well functioning human being. There are days when a recipe does not work for you...and there are also the days when you will feel least interest in going to the kitchen and cook something. Some I rediscovered when my husband was ill and some when I was. Today is the day of such a simple and quick potato recipe. This goes so well with just roti or just plain rice and dal. Low in oil and spices its also a good option for breakfast or lunch-box.

Dish Reminder:
  • I have not parboiled the potatoes before cooking. If you want to boil it before then make sure it is not fully cooked. The potatoes should be half cooked before you proceed to make the dish.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Punjabi Dum Aloo

My first choice for a vegetarian dish is always Dum Aloo. It goes so well with almost everything. But I like it to be paired with "luchi". Nothing can beat the combination. Its easy and takes some minutes to prepare. Also Punjabi Dum Aloo is spicier compared to the Kashmiri version which is more towards a mild fragrant dish.

Dish Reminder:

  • I used Kashmiri red chili powder to get this red color. But I actually used a bit more than required to make it chili since Kashmiri Red Chili powders are comparatively mild. So don't be scared by its red color. If you are not using them then the color might be more on the yellow side but that will not create any problem.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fulkopir Roast / Roasted Cauliflower

 I don't know why this dish is called roast. The cauliflowers are not roasted..not even deep fried. But its a bit different from the ordinary aloo-gobi that we eat generally. Its sweeter than that and also a little tangy which comes from the tomatoes. Also a difference is that, in this dish big florets are used to prepare the dish, unlike aloo-gobi where we use small florets.

This is not the season of cauliflower but still we got this beauty in the near by super market and it cost 5000Fcfa!!! Omg!! Which means we had to spend approximately 500 Rs. But it has been ages that we ate one, and the cauliflowers were big, white and clean. They were very fresh which was visible from their fresh leaves. So we wasted no time and picked up one. First I thought of making the aloo-gobi, but then I thought of this recipe which I learnt from my aunt.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tamarind & Dates Chutney

Often when I used to eat chat from any street vendor I used to ask him to give an extra dollop of this mitha chutney. Its sweet, tangy and at the same time chili. I bet everyone likes it. Be it dahi vara, papri chat or just a simple kebab..its excellent in bringing a twist in it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nalli Nihari / Nihari

On my insistence my husband bought some bones of lamb separately last week. The store we buy meat from sells only boneless lamb but I love to eat the gooey part in between the bones. They were in the fridge when I thought of making Nihari.

Nihari is generally made from beef but I use lamb to prepare Nihari and it tastes yummy.

Dish Reminder:

  • You can prepare the dish without the bones too. In that case use plain water instead of the stocks.
  • Some used poppy seeds/cashew nuts paste in this dish. Its your choice. I did not use them.(update)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tarka Dal / Bengali Tarka Dal / Dhaba Style Tarka Dal

Back in Kolkata whenever my mother did not like to cook...we used to eat this Tarka Daal from a nearby Panjabi Dhaba. This daal, paired with tandoori roti was something that we could not resist, and used to search every opportunity to order one. But sometimes mother used to make that in home too. And when I asked her the recipe I was astonished to found out that it requires so little ingredients to cook.

I hardly know anyone who does not like tarka dal. My whole family, my cousins, my husband and even my in-laws love to eat them. In Bengal its highly popular as a staple road-side meal. You can make them with chicken, mutton and egg. And if you are a vegetarian then skip them altogether and it will taste still as good and yummy!!

Dish Reminder:

  • I like my dal to be a little green but if you notice the tarka dal that we buy is more dark and brown. In that case increase the quantity of red kidney beans.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cheesy Bread

Its Sunday and I can understand that its perfectly normal if you want to have a good but easy to make evening snack. Then I have the perfect recipe for you. Its crunchy, its loaded with cheese and chicken. So lets get started.

Dish Reminder:

  • I like my cheesy bread to be crusty but you may like it to be soft. In that case wrap the bread with an aluminium foil before putting into the oven. You will know the breads have become crusty when the outer edge will be brown and the middle portion will be comparatively soft.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Egg-less Chocolate Mousse / Quick Chocolate Mousse

I thought of posting the recipe later but then I remembered that today is Friday and weekend needs a celebration. Besides for me and most of you out there probably, having no reason is the best reason to have some chocolate!!

May be the first time I tasted a chocolate mousse was in Monjinis. Its a famous bakery chain in Kolkata. But from then there has been no look back. I have relished each and every moment savoring the velvety chocolate. You can make cake from chocolate mousse but I think I can't wait that much. You can see from the photographs that I have already scooped some portion of the mousse before even taking pictures. They are delicious.

As per my knowledge I have came across 4 different processes of making Chocolate Mousse. But you are required to have a kitchen appliance or at least an electric hand beater for them. But this one requires nothing. Trust me its that easy. Serve it as a dessert and the guests will never know that you underwent nothing to make that heavenly scoop.

Dish Reminder:

  • I am giving quantities that has worked for me. But depending upon the quality and bitterness of the chocolate you might have to tweak a little of the amount of the products that you are using.

  • Use the chocolate that you enjoy eating normally. I have used chocolate that has 70% cocoa mixture. You can use 56% or 86% depending on your preference. You can also use choco - chips. 
  • We are using two types of cremes here. One is heavy creme and one is whipping creme. Heavy creme is made specially to be used in cooking. Try to use that particular one for melting the chocolate.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Moroccan Chicken / Chicken Tagine / Chicken with Apricot

 As much as I am starting to discover I am becoming more exited and hooked to the African and Lebanese cuisine that is so much available here. The rich, hot and spicy dishes are something that I will always love to have on my plate. A recent discovery on this journey was this Moroccan Chicken. With a mixture of sweet, sour and hot flavors this dish stands out with its own culture.

This is normally cooked in Tagine, an earthen pot to slow cook the chicken in one pot. But since I am yet to put a hand on it I did it in a dutch oven. Obviously there will be some compromises in the flavor but I am looking forward to overlook that. The recipe that I am sharing here is the very basic one. I will get you posted with the other ones as I will cook them in the near future.

Dish Reminder:
  • Chicken Tagine is basically a stewed chicken dish. Therefore it has a runny and more liquid gravy. But since I like thicker ones I always tend to simmer them more than they are required to evaporate the excess water and make them dry. But one can go ahead and add some diluted cornstarch to the gravy to make the gravy thicker.

  • I have used dried as well as fresh apricot, but you can used prunes / dried plums. Both are used in making Moroccan Chicken. Plumes are a good replacement for apricot. You can also add olives in this dish.
  • Some people like to have cooked onion slices in their dish. But I am more of a gravy person. So I prefer to use pastes along with the chopped ones.The gravy is made from the onion and tomato and oil.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mung Daal #1

Daal is a staple dish in my kitchen. No matter what it has to be prepared. But who would like to have the same lentils over and over again?? So this became the point that I started to try different kinds of daal. After red lentils this moong daal was something that I liked more than the Arhar or Chana daal. But as a kid and of course as a student I used to hate it.

how to cook Mung Daal recipe

how to cook bengali tyle mung dal recipe

Its peculiar taste has always driven me away from it. Moreover its raw yellow color was so demoralizing that I have always preferred the red lentils. But monotony plays a very important role in the life. No matter how much we hate it, this is the reason that we is the reason we seek new place, new events, new life. And I am no difference. The lentils, who were once so savoring, so favorite, drove me away from itself by its those features which were once so breathtaking and lovely for me.
Since then I have prepared moong daal in different ways. This is one of them.

how to cook mung da with bori recipe

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Change is necessary. As it is necessary to have a break. From everyday routine. From everyday entertainment. From everyday surroundings and from everyday boredom.  Passing some decent time in solitude away from all the hassle keeps the mind going...prevents it to be jammed from the incidents that acts like building a slow moving blockage.

I wanted to go to the beach in rain..but everyone said that then the waves will be high and I will not be able to even walk on the sands. So I went on Saturday. A dry day...with no sun in the sky,,still covered with dark blue clouds but yet to drain their water from themselves. As if they were also taking a break from their daily schedule. The outing was good. I walked on the sand. Splashed some water. The high waves coming with force but finally crushing itself on the shore and then slipping back again. We sat there for a long time too. Sometimes splashes were water was coming to our face too. The high winds were blowing my hairs, creating messy tangles and it was feeling good. Closing eyes and heavily breathing in that fresh air it seemed that I was walking past all the worries if nothing could bother me now...I have again gained control on myself.

Coming back home I made Chicken & Pesto Pasta for dinner. It was easy and takes minutes to be done.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Pineapple and Orange Mocktail

A party is never complete without a cocktail. And in my case its mocktail. This is my first attempt towards making mocktails and hope to make more in future. Since it was my first attempt I wanted to play safe and went ahead with some subtle flavors which had a very slim chance of ruining the drink. 

Dish Reminder:

  • I used market bought juices but it will be far more better to use real fruits. In that case cut the fruits and put the fruits into a blender with water and sugar as per your taste. Then strain to avoid any pulps of the fruits.

New In My Kitchen

The biggest passion I have besides cooking is shopping for food. I love to see the fresh vegetables, the aromatic cheeses and the new arrivals in the food section. And I literally jump on my feet when I see new spices in the Indian Market. Yesterday I saw Star Anise there. And I feel no one as as much happy as I was seeing that there. My husband was clueless that why was I so much exited to see a packet of dry spices.

I had powdered start anise earlier but I did not have whole star anise. And they are sooooo beautiful that they are a treat for the eyes before even making a treat for your tongues!!!

And then I found apricot in the fruit section of Cash Centre and I was again super exited as I was thinking of making Moroccan Chicken for nearly one month!! Two surprises in one day and then we were invited for Biriyani lunch from one of my husband's friends!! Mutton Biriyani with chicken kababs! My day couldn't have been better!:):)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mutton Karahi

 I love gatherings. But if you think that I am a party are horribly wrong!! I am a highly unsocial person with conceptually negative sense of humor. But here when my husband calls his friends I enjoy that. Because no one is there to force me to start a conversation. I can be me. I can take a book and sit in the corner of the sofa and read that while others will be chatting or sipping a drink or watching the t.v. Watching a full fledged on going party in front of me and at the same time not feeling lonely and out of the water gives me a chance to be me. I love that atmosphere as much as I love to cook for them.

So...yesterday we had such a gathering and I cooked all day to prepare for them. As soon as I finished cooking people came and after everything was over I was so exhausted that immediately I went to sleep without even removing my makeup. This Mutton Karahi I made yesterday for the dinner. Generally we plan such gatherings on Saturday night because then I will have a helping hand on Sunday in clearing up the mess. But since one of them was leaving for India on Monday we had no choice.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Spicy Prawn Curry

 One thing I have faced and realized lately that there is a scarcity of good regional food blogs. Some blogs are really good.. but for foods that are really popular within all over India. But if I search for a typical regional recipe it takes a hell lot of time to get one. And even if I get that there is really a slim chance of that turning out to be a show stopper. Today is the time of such a story. I was searching for the very famous Chingri Macher Malaikari. After watching a few you tube videos and reading some bogs I was simply at nowhere. I was confused to find a start point. Stumbling upon them I prepared a dish which was nowhere close to the name Chingrir Malaikari...which my mother used to make so well and which then I was so desperately trying to make up. But thankfully the taste was good. Compared to the very mild infused flavor of coconut milk and garam masala mine turned out to be very spicy and oily with a very fine and silky texture coming from the coconut milk but its flavor got dominated by the other spices I used.

But who says that prawns are there only for the malaikari??? It can be used to make a lot of tasty dishes along with a spicy curry that just easily goes with approximately anything. Since then I tried this one...and relished every moment eating that. Hope you like it too...:)

Spicy Prawn Curry
Serves 2

  • 6 Tiger Prawns 
  • 1 large onion - paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes - paste
  • 1 small potato - diced
  • 2 green chilies - chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander leaves - chopped
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds - paste
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp scraped coconut
  • 1 tsp clarified butter - optional
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • De-vein and marinate the prawns with salt and turmeric powder.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Put the shrimps and dices potatoes in them.
  • Stir fry them until the shrimps are half cooked and the potatoes are slightly golden.
  • Put them out of the pan and keep aside.
  • In the same pan put the onion paste. Add some more oil if needed.
  • After frying a little add the ginger-garlic paste.
  • When the onion paste has turned a little golden brown and the raw smell is gone add the tomato paste in it.
  • Stir until they are properly cooked.
  • Add the chopped green chilies, mustard seed paste and mix evenly with the mixture.
  • Add water at this point if the mixture is dry and tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • When the water in the mixture has evaporated completely add the coconut scraps and coconut milk in it with the shrimps and diced potatoes.
  • Cover and let them cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add ghee and garam masala after the potatoes are properly cooked and simmer for 2 minutes.