Sunday, August 31, 2014

Prawn Fried Rice

I think the most popular Chinese dish that everyone knows is Fried Rice. Fried Rice and Chili Chicken is the most popular combo in Kolkata, outside Biriyani and Kosha Mangsho. Heavenly and tasty. My sister loves fried rice, even more than the Biriyani, and it was mainly on her insistence we used to go for Fried Rice once in a while. Even on her birthday, mother made Fried Rice in the dinner. She is that obsessed with the dish. While Biriyani is more assorted and flavorsome, Fried Rice is a more preferable option for lunch / dinner..mainly because of it is subtle in taste and less richer in terms of the ingredients that is needed to make this. We also have Fried Rice as a lunch menu, simply because its a one pot dish and also Fried Rice is full and final on its own. You will only need this. And you will have a full stomach by the end of the meal.

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I kind of made promise to myself that unless I can make a perfect and tasty fried rice,exactly like the one that is served in the restaurants I will keep trying. So, after almost 3 months of tryst and trying I kind of nailed the task. It is exactly like the one I used to eat back in Kolkata. This prawn fried rice is inspired from the Thai Fried Rice recipe shared in the show Marion's Thailand. I tried and tasted and voila!! I am going to try this in  mushroom, chicken and mixed version. Till then, you try the recipe of Prawn Fried Rice. I hope you will like it.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Aloo Zeera / Zeera Aloo / Cumin Potato

A few weeks ago after I came home from hospital I made this Zeera Alu and shared the recipe in this blog. But it was a very subtle and plain tasting potato dish, ideal when you really don't have time to make anything, then it can suit your fancy.

But with a healthy mind and body and of course, who can ignore my healthy apetite...I usually go a little beyond that recipe to add an extra zing. This is a very popular Bengali recipe and my Ma used to pack this with parathas in my lunch box, when I was in the school.

 Aloo Zeera also makes a good Sunday breakfast to pass a leisurely time in the morning with a cup full of hot tea. My husband enjoys this with hot cinnamon tea and urges to keep some of the Aloo Zeera aside before serving because that he will eat after eating parathas. Well..Aloo Zeera is so tasty that I can not blame him. I simply make more so that I can keep some for me too!!!! Lol!

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Rains have not stopped yet in Abidjan and its really very rare that I can catch a glimpse of the sun. I rescued 4 cute kittens from the road side after their mother's death and my schedule is now quite hectic as I have to feed them in every 2 hours. Each pair is a look alike and once I fed one kitten twice and forgot the other. So after that I made colorful ribbons and tied them to their neck as a symbol of recognition!! Ha Ha!! Besides all these I loaded tons of e-books into my tab and having a real tough time, because I can not decide whether I should stick to one book at a time or read 4 books instead!!

Come, lets cook Aloo Zeera / Cumin Potato

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Shorshe Maach / Fish With Mustard Sauce

Previously I have posted a recipe on the same name, here, but this has some variations in it. No matter how much you learn and how much you will always end up doing that with a touch of personal freedom. Its your master touch that makes this your own art work..well an inspired one.
The previous recipe of fish with mustard sauce was my mother-in-law's recipe. That is how everyone there cooks that. But this time I made some tweaks preferring my senses. Shorshe Maach is an extremely tasty dish and its very simple at the same time. Rather than preparing a plain fish curry I prefer to make this Shorshe Maach because once you make this one, there is no need to prepare another dish for the meal. Again, this recipe goes along with any kind of dish. When I was with my in-laws I saw my mother-in-law making this recipe almost with every type of fish. But the show stopper was with Hilsa. But of course its not possible to find Hilsa all over the year, so try thisShorshe Maach with any fish you can lay your hand on.

Bengali Shorshe Maach recipe

So, come lets cook Shorshe Maach.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Falooda Kulfi

Finally I made rose syrup and I made kulfi. So...I was all ready to have a mouth watering Faluda Kulfi. Generally Kulfis are always served with faluda and roe syrup. You can have any kind of kulfi with faluda but I think it best goes with Kesar Pista Kulfi, Malai Kulfi and Dry Fruit Kulfi. But of course you can have your own choice.

How to make Falooda Kulfi

Kulfi is an Indian frozen dessert. Its a bit chewy and very creamy in texture. It becomes very popular in the summer time, when you can see kulfi vendors in the streets. Also its very filling at the same time. One bowl of Falooda Kulfi will make your hungry appetite go in just a few seconds. Falooda is actually a cornstarch vermicelli. You can make this at your home too...but its so much available in the market that unless I go out of the stock I don't make it at home. If you want the recipe I can post it later. Let me know at the comment box.

How to make Falooda Kulfi

Many use sabja seeds for making falooda, but I am unable to buy it here so I went ahead without it, but it still tasted very good. Its basically nothing but putting everything together which I think anyone can do.
So, come lets make Falooda Kulfi.

How to make Falooda Kulfi

Dish Reminder:

  • You can make your own kulfi or just use a store bought kulfi. For other kulfi recipes you can check out Kesar Pista Kulfi , Dry Fruit Kulfi. The malai kulfi recipe is coming soon. Rose Syrup recipe is here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Avocado and Shrimp Salad

I am back with another Avocado salad. I am trying more and more of it as days are going by. A few months ago when we went to Bassam Beach I ate a dish there called "Avoca avec Crevette " which means "Avocado with Shrimps/Prawns".  The prawns were mixed with a mayo based hot sauce and the mixture was put into the cups of the halved avocado. It looked interesting and I had my idea of making a salad.
I don't know what exactly the recipe I recreated something that found good to my taste buds. Hope you will enjoy too.

how to make healthy and simple Avocado and Shrimp Salad

how to make healthy and simple Avocado and Shrimp Salad

The smooth and soft avocado with crispy and buttery shrimps with a hint of sweetness from the sweet corns and a little tartness from the mayonaise and the tabasco sauce, this Avocado With Shrimp salad is bursting with a lot of flavors, each of them uniquely defining itself into the mouth and together creating a taste to stand out. I hope you will love the Avocado with Shrimp salad as much as I loved it from the first day I tasted it.

how to make healthy and simple Avocado and Shrimp Salad

how to make healthy and simple Avocado and Shrimp Salad

Friday, August 22, 2014

Coriander and Pistachio Pesto

In the kitchen there is only one golden rule, and that is, the food should be tasty. And then you can  bend the rules as you please with the intention that the end result should be yummy, tasty and mind bogglingly delicious.

I love Pesto. It has a very unique earthy smell from the Basil leaves infused with the very familiar smell of garlic and then it has the smoothness from the Parmesan Cheese. Traditionally Pesto uses Basil only with toasted pine nuts but you can tweak a little here and there.

First time I used toasted walnuts in the place of pine nuts. But this time I changed a bit more. This time when I was making the Pesto sauce I used a little coriander leaves with pistachio. I did not use much coriander to the Pesto because that could have dominated the flavours of Basils. And if you have read my earlier posts you will have a faint idea that I love to use pistachios in everything. I love their green nuts, their sweet nutty smell and their taste. There is absolutely nothing comparable to them. I love love love love my box of pistachios. And I love breaking their shells too. They come as cute green babies just into my palms..:)

Watched Legally Blonde after a long time. Laughed a lot. And during the whole time my cat was sleeping just beside me. Simple dozing with 2 hands dripping from a side of the sofa and he was sound asleep. And every time I saw Reese Witherspoon with her dog I glanced upon my cat. It was sooo satisfying to see him sleeping in so peace. I wish humans could sleep like them too.

So, lets make Coriander and Pistachio Pesto

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Homemade Rose Syrup

Today we had a pure African lunch. The lunch was made and sent to us by one of my husband's friend and I must say it was very very good. The main dish was Fufu, which was made with baked and smashed banana. But you can not tell that just by tasting. It was a little tangy and very very smooth, no where near a banana. And that we ate with a hot and spicy curry made with crab and pork. Lovely combination and lovely presentation it was. I ate crab after a long time and I was eating with such pleasure that my husband started clicking photos. Generally, I am not so photogenic, but today the photos came so well..that I told him, food makes me beautiful!! Lol!! My husband only chuckled a bit..!!All in was a wonderful lunch. Hot, spicy and eternally tasty..just the way I want.:)

Made Malai Kulfis a few days ago and I was craving to have a faluda kulfi, so much so that until I was prepared to have faluda I did not have a bite of the kulfi. Such resistance...for me is very rare..very very rare!!:) I had faluda, I had kufi but I did not have the very essential rose syrup. I tried to get them from the local market but I could not get one. I even searched the Indian market but I returned empty handed. This was the time, I started thinking about making Rose Syrup at home.

Rose syrup is a very versatile ingredient. You can drizzle the rose syrup over ice cream or kulfi, or use it with the kulfi mixture to have a rose flavoured kulfi. you can make sorbet, you can make a refreshing summer drink with it. The uses are endless. 

Making rose syrup is very easy. All you will need is roses, sugar and some rose water. Now, we are going to use dried rose petals, so its very important that you use organic rose flowers, otherwise there is a heavy possibility that it will have pesticides in it. Or you can use store bought dried rose petals. The choice is yours.

So, come, lets make rose syrup.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bengali Spicy and Dry Chicken Curry / Kasha Mangsho / Chicken Kasha

As a nation evolves with time so does its food habit. If you look closely to the history of India, you will realise how the tastes changed according to the trend and events and eventually became a part of the cuisine. Chicken is the most favoured and popular dish in Bengal after fishes. Many prefers red meat mutton or lamb but because of their high prices it is not so common as chicken. It is ironic that once chicken was more expensive than mutton and even before that eating chicken was considered to be filthy. Even there were homes where cooking chicken was a taboo.
But the Bengalis who returned from India with a new taste in their tongue started a new culture of eating poultry chicken. It gained popularity and gradually the house rules also started to bend. And with time there were various tasty dishes with chicken. Such a delicacy is Chicken Kasha / Kasha Mangsho.

how to cook bengali style kosha mangsho

Kasha Mangsho is traditioanally cooked with goat meat / mutton, but chicken also gives it a spicy perk. In Bengal it is almost a ritual for every Bengali household to cook kasha mangsho on Sunday and eat it in the lunch/dinner time. And no bie bari menu (food served on the day of marriage ) in Bengal is complete without Kasha Mangsho. My aunt cooks it so well that all our friends and distant families have known about her credibility and in every occasion it is her rightful duty to cook the Kasha Mangso with Biriyani. :)Chicken Kasha / kasha Mangsho is a very rich and dry dish and without any hesitation and doubt its inexplicably tasty. Very often I cook it on sundays and my husband loves this Kasha Mangsho. Kasha Mangsho goes very well with just plain rice / zeera rice / naan / tandoori roti / rumali roti.

how to cook bengali style kosha mangsho

Come, lets cook Kasha Mangsho

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Alu Morich / Potato with Black Pepper

Although potato was introduced to India by the Portuguese who cam here for the intention of creating a sovereign, potato has since then become a staple food in India. And with time they had mastered the art of cooking potatoes in various forms and in various ways. Be it mashed or baked or cooked in a gravy, potato is essential in every Indian cuisine and of course in every it lunch or breakfast or dinner.
We Bengalis love fish and we love potato too. Our daily meal is never complete without a potato curry and daal in the menu. The breakfast will be lovely and delicious if there is roti/paratha with a spicy / mild potato fry / curry. Boiled mushy rice with ghee/clarified butter and mashed potato mixed with onion and chopped green chili is every Bengalis favourite childhood meal. We put chunks of potato in the chicken or mutton dishes. We relish eating that mushy potato infused with the spicy curry flavour. And if there is a fish curry, we don't even miss potato there too. And it is we, the Bengalis, who started putting potatoes in the Biriyani as well. Some even put thin potato slices in the noodles. In short, we love potatoes in everything. And I feel great joy in sharing those simple quick dishes that are very much favourite in Bengali households, with you, whoever is reading my blog.

how to cook Alu Morich

Today I am sharing the recipe of a very favourite and popular potato dish of Bengal called Alu Morich. Alu means potato and morich stands for black pepper. Alu Morich / Potato with Black Pepper is a very simple and tasty dish. It goes perfectly well with roti / paratha / luchi (Bengali Puris). Alu Morich is cooked only with ghee / clarified butter. It is the ghee / clarified butter that brings in the aroma and the much needed creamy feel to the dish. And since Alu Morich is without onion and garlic it is also a much preferred item on the days of puja, as a breakfast for the household or when you can not eat rice. Alu Morich is also popular among the working young people as well because of its sheer flavour and simplicity.

how to cook Alu Morich

Come, lets cook Alu Morich / Potato with Black Pepper

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bengali Style RedLentils / Musurir Dal /Bengali Style Masoor Dal

On 15th August we came home late. After leaving the Embassy we went to Benjerville which is a little way from Vallon, where we live. Benjerville is actually the highest point of Abidjan. It is situated on top of the plateau. When the French invaded Ivory Coast, they made Benjerville their centre because its on top, so its very easy to spot any invation or any kind of other abnormality. There is a very beautiful view of Abidjan from Benjerville. The lake, the plateau, the beautiful valleys in between and innumerable houses signifying the locality.
Currently, time has stopped for Benjerville right after the French left the country. This city is now inhabited by local people with very low development. There is no concrete road in this place and the buildings and church are very old and without any touch of renovation for a long time. However, from the perspective of nature its very beautiful. There are rows of palm trees and lots of greens everywhere. If you see as a whole, Ivory Coast is a beautiful country, and it would have been much more beautiful if it would have properly taken care of and development would have taken place properly.

how to cook musurir dal

Coming back home, we both were starting to be hungry. So wasting no time I came to the kitchen and made a quick meal. In my opinion its the quickest anyone can get and the food that I prepared will never go wrong. I made plain rice, aloo zeera and musurir dal/masoor dal. Bengalis love musurir dal / masoor dal / red lentils. It is the red lentils that we prepare mostly. In my home this musurir dal / masoor dal /red lentils used to be prepared almost 5 days a week and my favourite was plain rice, musurir daal / red lentils with mashed potato. Every Bengali household prepares this musurir daal/ red lentils and there is another point, we Bengalis consider it as amish / non-veg. I do not know the reason but this red lentil is not prepared in any pious occasion.

how to cook classic bengali style red lentils recipe

If you ask any Bengali, be it young or old, almost most of them will have a memory with this red lentils. It is such a common and important item in our food habit and life. Besides Bengalis prepare the masoor dal in a different way from others. Compared to the dals of the other cuisines its a little runny and soupy and its the soup of the daal that we love to eat.  In my version, I prefer to make it thick. However, every household has its own version of masoor dal/musurir dal.The masoor dal recipe is more or less similar everywhere and you can choose the consistency.
So, come lets cook Musurir Daal / Bengali style masoor dal / bengali style Red Lentils.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bengali Dry Cabbage Curry With Fish Head / Macher Matha Die Bandhakopir Torkari

We Bengalis love our fish. And every bit of it. Fish heads have a unique place in Bengali Cuisine. They make labra, chochchori, jhal and much more. Fish heads are also main ingredients in making rosa and muri ghonto. Well there are other dishes too where we the fish head as an addition just to bring an extra taste.
This Cabbage with Fish head is unique in its taste and is an important item in the winter when cabbage is available.

how to cook Bengali style Macher Matha Die Bandhakopir Torkari recipe with step by step pictures

Finely cooked cabbage with subtle spices and little pieces of fish and also little pieces of fish heads makes it wonderful. But I get cabbage here in Abidjan anytime. And often I make this Cabbage with Fish Head / Macher Matha Die Badha Kopir Tarkari. It goes so well with daal and plain rice or just even with plain rice. I do not leave a single grain on my plate when I make this. Lol!!

how to cook bengali Macher Matha Die Bandhakopir Tarkari recipe with step by step pictures

Cooking Badha Kopir Tarkari is very easy and it needs as little spices as you can imagine, but still it imparts a lovely aroma all over the house and a rich taste. When cooking Badha Kopir tarkari with Fish Head / Cabbage with Fish Head you must give an importance in choosing a big fish head i.e. a big fish's head, beacuse it will be rich in its fat and big fishes are more tasty than the smaller ones. The richer the fish head will be the tastier will your badha kopir tarkari will turn out.

how to cook bengali Macher Matha Die Bandhakopir Tarkari recipe with step by step pictures

So come lets cook Cabbage With Fish Head / Macher Matha Die Badha Kopir Tarkari. Here is a step by step guide towards making badha kopir tarkari with fish head.

Happy 68th Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!!
Till I left school this day used to bring no more significance to me. But was different. Thanks to my husband. In the morning we went to Indian Embassy because they were celebrating Independence Day there with other Indians residing in Abidjan. There was Flag hoisting and later children performed a beautiful dance program. After that we went to an Ice cream parlor, which thankfully is abundant here and came back home. When we were listening to our national anthem in the morning, it gave goosebumps the way it used to give me then, when I was in school. Our school celebrates the most beautiful Independence Day program. It is mandatory that every single should participate in that program. And when Vande Mataram used to be sung in the beginning of that program we all listened to it so keenly that there used to be pin drop silence in that whole area.
Throughout all my school like I hated my school. Simply because it was so tough to its students, both in rules for our presentation in the school as well as in the academic area. Unlike other schools, we used to have additional mandatory articles in every subjects, which was not necessary, but in our school it was a choice of life and death. Then we had to study the lives of Swamiji, Rama Krishna Dev and Sarada Devi, and not only them but their disciples and their works too. Studying Geeta was mandatory for us until we passed class 8. And their was another thing for which I adored them is they strongly encouraged the study of literature. May be, if it was not my school I would have never been a book lover, the way I am now. But I hated them. I hated the teachers. And even after passing the school too I hated them. I never went there after I passed my board exam. But now, when I look back, I feel a strong gratitude towards them, it was simply because of them that I know so much about our culture, our language and our country. When I was a kid. all these used to be stburden for me, but now I know all these gave me an eye to look for, and a knowledge to expand. I feel extreme gratitude for them for all these. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Zeera Rice

Zeera rice is a rice dish which is very simple to make yet adds an extra flavor to the plain rice as well as the dinner platter. Since Zeera Rice has a very subtle flavor this goes along with almost any kind of rich dish to make a balance in the menu. I personally make Zeera Rice whenever I make Chicken Kosha or Spicy Dum Aloo.

Zeera Rice is simply the plain rice which is infused with the flavor of zeera /cumin seed. Zeera Rice is very popular in restaurants and is very popular among students who lives away from home, simply because of its easy to make process and adding a bit of zing to the everyday rice. I prefer this even more than pulao or fried rice. Zeera Rice is a life saver for me when I have to cook for a group coming to the dinner and already have my hands full.
There are 2 process of making the Zeera Rice:
  • You can cook the rice separately and then add the tempered oil to this. This is more of a restaurant like and quick process.
  • In this process you cook the rice along with all the spices till its cooked. This gives a more infused rich flavor to the rice.

Even though the second process gives a good flavor than the other, it is not so much popular in my kitchen. I take the second process only when I can serve the rice immediately after cooking. Since in this process the starch water is not drained, it makes the rice sticky and lump like if it is preserved and served later. Whereas with the first process I do not have any problem like this. Here I am posting the second process/quick process of cooking Zeera Rice.
So, come lets cook Zeera Rice.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bengali Dum Aloo / Aloor Dum / Vegetarian Dum Aloo

One of the most loved food that all Bengalis have is Aloor Dum / Dum Aloo. Luchi and Aloor Dum is one of those rarest food couple who will remain evergreen. No matter what day it is, no matter what occassion that is, no matter that you don't have any occassion and you just want to cheer up your boring sunday morning..Luchi and Aloor Dum will perk up your eating time. Those hot puffed up luchis ( Puris made of white flour ) resideing beside a bowl of dum aloo is a divine sight itself.

how to cook bengali style dum aloo

The Bengali Aloor Dum / Dum Aloo is  bit different from the dum aloos of other regions. It is made without onion and garlic...i.e its pure vegetarian. And generally it is a winter dish when its made with the soft new batch of potatoes coming to the market. You can make it spicy or you can add a handful of green peas to give a dash of sweetness to it. Both the versions are equally tasty and lovely.
May be its the first time that I made the Aloor Dum soo perfect. It was just like my mother used to make. But of course her is way better than mine.

how to cook bengali style dum aloo without onion and garlic

Lots of memories related with dish had its own flash back when I was cooking this dish. May be that is why the dish turned out so perfect and so tasty. My aunt lives in Cuttack, the previous capital, a small city of Odissa. We used to go there by train and on its way there was a station called Baleswar. It has lots of Dum Aloo vendors. They sell dum aloo on Shal Pata / Dried    Leaf. And its available abanduntly throughout the station. The train haults there for merely 3-5 minutes and almost every passenger eats Dum Aloo from there. Spicy and red hot Dum Aloos made of baby potatoes was something that we always looked forward in that journey.

how to cook niramish aloor dom or vegetarian dum aloo

Then their is another story which will always remain memorable. The first time we cooked for ourselves in Abidjan, my husband made Dum Aloo for me in the lunch, since I was so scared at that time to even lit the gas. Its really surprizing that how life changes. And sometimes the changes brings so many happiness with it.

Dish Reminder:

  • Many use cumin seeds for the tempering, but its the methi seeds / fenugreek seeds, which are used in the Bengali Kitchens of West Bengal. Trust me.
  • Adding green peas is totally and strongly recommended in Dum Aloo. I forgot to add it.:(
  • Authentic Bengali recipes require Mustard oil. But you can use any unflavored oil of your choice.

So, come lets cook Aloor Dum / Bengali Dum Aloo / Vegetarian Dum Aloo.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dry Fruit Kulfi / How To Make Kulfi With Khoya

Well..there is no denying of the fact that I love ice - creams. And when it comes to kulfi..I literally go crazy about it. In Kolkata there is a street called Hatibagan, it is the heaven for any junk jewelery lover. If you go straight along that road there comes a big sweet shop called K.C. Gope..and it serves the best Faluda - Kulfi in Kolkata(according to me.:)) I often headed there in the summer to have a mouthful of that kulfi. It was actually Malai Kulfi and the when the creamy malai kulfi melted in the mouth with the soft faluda and chilled rose seemed..if there is heaven somewhere in this earth, this is is..this is it!!

how to make dry fruit kulfi recipe

Kulfi is actually a little different from the ice - cream. Ice creams are soft and melting whereas the kulfi is comparatively harder and you can actually chew it and it takes time to melt in the mouth and in between you get tortured with its sultry, creamy texture.

how to make kulfi with khoya

There are many types of kulfis and with the modern day technology the process of making kulfi is being upgraded as well. Before Kulfi used to be made with evaporating the milk. They made rabri with that and then with that Kulfi was made. Its a long and tedious process. Now we use heavy creme, condensed milk, corn starch for making kulfi, which I think somehow changes the taste. That classic and authentic taste is missing from them. So, I thought of making Kulfi with khoya and rice powder as the thickener. And since it is a dry fruit kulfi, lots of nuts will go there too.
Come, lets cook dry fruits kulfi.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Garlic And Broccoli Pasta

I had left food from our lunch today and it was enough for my husband. Then in the evening I suddenly stumbled upon "Mountain Biking World Cup" which was being aired live and after watching for 5 minutes I refused to leave the t.v even for one minute. It was so engrossing that I watched that till the end. Generally I am not at all a sports person but this was simply, in word "mind blowing". I loved that. The grip and control with which they were driving their bike in that wavy, rubble path was something that left me speechless. In the end I refused to go to the kitchen for preparing a heavy meal. It has been a long time since I made pasta. So I took the easy way and made "Garlic and Broccoli Pasta" for me. Of course I added some extra bite for my husband.

The first time I made Garlic Pasta was, after watching a food show in Food Network and instantly fell in love with it simple and captivating taste. If you haven't try this out yet...its time that you should try. This simple recipes sometimes remind me that there is a world beyond our spicy world where we should look around and lost ourselves sometime to bring back our taste, because its really necessary to have a simple food habit too.This Garlic Broccoli Pasta is a little different than the conventional. But it turned out really good and tasty and the extra bit of Parmesan made a lot difference in the taste. I prefer Parmesan cheese a lot than using grated Mozzarella in the pasta. The gooey texture is something that I like only is cheesy bread and pizzas. Other than that its the Parmesan for which I reach for generally.

So..come lets cook Garlic and Broccoli Pasta.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Muri Ghonto / Macher Matha Diye Muri Ghonto

I often write about my aunt who cooks the best Kosha Mangsho and Chicken Biriyani. But there was another person who was even better that her and lent all her learnings to my aunt. She is my grand mother. Fish was her forte. She was mind boggling with it. No matter what fish it used to be a show stopper, an instant hit. My earliest memory of her cooking is "Macher Matha Die Muri Ghonto" which is a spicy dry curry cooked with rice and fish head. She cooked it best. And whenever she used to cook this she used to send them to her every child and we used to devour it like a "hungry caterpillar". She is the only one from whom I liked eating Sutki Mach which is nothing but fermented fish. It is usually cooked with a mother-load of spices and oil to let go of its smell. But the way she cooked it, it was almost impossible to recognize that.

how to cook bengalis style traditional muri ghonto

Generally I throw away the fish head. But sometimes I keep them and cook Rosha or Muri Ghonto or Macher Matha die Badha Kopir Tarkari. All three of them are very popular Bengali dishes. Today I am going to share the recipe of Muri Ghonto. The word "Muri" comes from the word "Muro" which means head, here "fish head" and "Ghonto" means a mashed up situation. So the name kind of gives some hint of the dish. Here the fish head is fried and mashed up and then cooked with rice.
So..come, lets cook Macher Matha Die Muri Ghonto.

Bengali style sweet rice dish with mashed up fish head
Dish Reminder:

  • Its a very rich and oily dish and cooked mainly with mustard oil. But if you are not comfortable with mustard oil you can go ahead with any kind of unflavored oil.
  • This dish has deep sweetness in it. So don't be surprised at my use of sugar in it.
  • Try to use a giant fish head. It gives a very rich flavor to the dish. Because the bigger the fish, the older it is and it makes them richer in taste. We bengalis call them Paka Mach.
  • The recipe tells that how Muri Ghonto is originally made. You can easily make it less in calorie by cutting down the quantity of oil and using a small fish head.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Nutty Brussels Sprouts Salad

Salads are my new findings that I am having a lot these days. This Nutty Brussels Sprout is a new addition to this. Besides I felt an urge to fill myself with greens after chasing chicken and lambs for a long time.:)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Aloo Fulkopi Bhaja / Stir Fried Potato and Cauliflower

There are some recipes that never get old and forgotten. There are some staple potato dishes which are always dished out with rotis or parathas as breakfast or an evening snack or just making a lunch box. In short they are a great companion for making a light meal and also good option if you are thinking of quick cooking. Also this Aloo Fulkopi Bhaja goes so well with plain rice and daal. For me its a match made in heaven.:):)
So..lets cook Aloo Fulkopi Bhaja / Stir Fried Potato and Cauliflower

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sheer Khurma

The better thing about living somewhere else other than your native place is that you come face to face with other cultures. Some you like and soon try to adapt yourself to that. It has been the first time that I saw celebrating Ramadan so closely.I came to know about this Sheer Khurm from my Kashmiri friend...who leaves in the same locality. It is generally prepared on the day of Iid to eat after the morning prayer and then to serve to the guests who will come during that day.

Ramadan iftar recipe sheer khurma

Its actually a richer version of the sevayiaan kheer that we prepare generally. And the main difference is that it includes dates as a main ingredient. Khurma means dates. And along with that there goes much more ingredients making it special during the Ramadan occassion. So...come lets cook Sheer Khurma.

sheer khurma recipe with condensed milk

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mughlai Mutton Malai / Mughlai Mutton

Even sometimes back for the meat dish all I knew was Chicken Kosha / Mutton Kosha ...and even if I had some other chicken dishes all of them used to taste the same. But still now my aunt cooks the best chicken kosha in this world. However in the urge to have some variety in the chicken I looked for Mughlai dishes. Its like the tiger having the first taste of human flesh and blood. Its soo addictive that after only one dish all you will want is more of them. Mughlai cuisine has some distinctive features from all other cuisine. They use ghee/clarified butter solely in cooking. This is the main feature that puts them in a special corner than others. Then there is saffron and cashew paste...used widely in many dishes.

Mughlai Mutton is one of the simpler dishes that I have cooked till now. So...lets cook!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tel Koi ~ An Inspiration # 1

Lately I have been craving for fishes like never before. Being raised in a proper North - Calcutta was something that I never felt any scarcity in my life. Meat or was an absolute important and not avoidable item in my mother's kitchen. And the way she cooked....that is something I miss sooo much now. And there was these variety of fishes that I only noticed after leaving India...because thankfully my in-laws are quite a good fish eater too.

One day I was talking to my sister when I said that all I am going to eat is fish back in Kolkata when I will return and I started counting the names - Rui, Katla, Tangra, Bhetki, Ilish, Pabda, Pona , Chuno, Koi, Telapia, Sutki and I was going for more....when she finally broke my motion and told me that I have turned into a total freak and all I do now is really eat and read and cook!!! Lol!!!
If you are a Bengali then you must be aware of the never ending egoistic war between Bangal and Edeshi....the typical devision between Bengalis who used to live in now Bangladesh and West Bengal. From my mother's side I am Bangal and seriously in my opinion Bangals are the best cook in the world. :):) Many Bengali recipes bear 2 different names from these two Bengal Parts and Tel Koi is such an exception. My mother used to call this Koi Macher Jhal whereas my husband knows it as Tel Koi. But as Shakespeare has said "what's in a name!!"..I throw away this war and confusion and simply go for the taste which is a showstopper and always a hit.

Since its impossible to get Bengal Fishes here in Africa...of course its not New my much dissatisfaction, I applied the recipe to a local sea fish called Bar, and to my utter surprise it came out so good. So today I am sharing the recipe of Tel Koi which I cooked with a different fish. Now as far as I know there are 2 recipes of Tel is with the onion and other without. Today I am sharing the dish with the onion.