Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Raspberry Smoothie

Recently I bought a large amount of berries. Some I used to make frozen yogurts and some I froze in the freezer and kept aside for making smoothies. Lately I am having a tough time to wake up in the morning because of all the terrible back pain continuing for some days. Then getting the fruits and putting them in the blender is something that appears to be the most easiest at that time. And these berries made my morning easy and tasty like never before. Yum..!!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kochi Pathar Jhol / Bengali Thin Mutton Curry

In Bengali "jhol" means a very thin and soupy gravy. Kochi Pathar Jhol is made with tender young goat meat and with potatoes. The consistency is more like a stew than a gravy. Unlike the Kosha Mangsho, this recipe does not require the "koshano" or simmering. We Bengalis can make through the whole meal with just this Jhol and rice. Enough to tempt us and full our tummy. yumm!!
There is something special about Sundays in Bengal. Its different. The Sunday mornings are always different, being a lazy time, with special elaborate  breakfasts and reading the newspapers for a loooong time. Then the lunch....the sunday lunch is very very special, because its that one day of the week when meat is prepared in almost every household.Many prepares this tender goat meat curry and many prepares a soupy chicken curry. Residing outside Kolkata, I do not feel that special spice of Sundays anymore, but sometimes I feel like cooking this particular curry to make a Sunday special feeling or when my husband asks me to cook this, since its one of his favorite mutton dish.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hyderabadi Marag

Hyderabadi and Mughlai cuisine has always attracted me with their rich aroma, taste and history. This attraction turned into a passion when I was able to replicate the taste of certain dishes on my own. With a target of documenting as much as possible Mughlai and Hyderabadi recipes in my blog, I am discovering new recipes everyday. This particular state's food culture is heavily influenced by Mughlai, Arabic and Turkey cuisine which was then infused with its local South Indian cooking process and ingredients. Some very famous meat dishes has their own variation there and has become popular with the city's native name.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rose Kulfi

You might have already guessed that I am crazy for Kulfi. Once I learnt the process of making a perfect Kulfi I started experimenting with different flavors. For some more Kulfi recipes you can read Kesar Pista Kulfi, Dry Fruit Kulfi, Faluda Kulfi. 

homemade kulfi recipe


simple kulfi recipe

kulfi recipe

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mushroom and Corn Salad

Salads are something which becomes new every time I make, because every time I add something new and it becomes a totally different dish. How wonderful! I wonder if any other food category would give me such an opportunity!!
A few days ago hubby and I was getting really hungry after returning home from shopping. I was not at all feeling energetic to be engaged into a full meal, so quickly I made this salad to ward off our hunger. I was feeling something without meat..so I made this Mushroom and Corn Salad.


And after that, I made this a couple of times more, and it became a favorite among us, just because I love the taste of corn with lime juice and salt. The slight tangy taste from the lime juice makes a hell lot of difference. Its quick and you can add any vegetable you have in your fridge. Just dump everything, give a quick stir fry and your dish is ready within minutes!!:)


Mushroom And Corn Salad
Serves 2


Ingredients:

  • 1 big mushroom (any kind) - sliced
  • 1/2 onion - sliced
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cloves of garlic - chopped
  • 2 inch ginger - chopped
  • 1/2 yellow capsicum - chopped
  • 1/2 red capsicum - chopped
  • 1/2 orange capsicum - chopped
  • 1/4 cup green peas 
  • 2 bunches of fresh coriander leaves - chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper
Method:
  • Sauté the mushrooms and onion in butter with salt and pepper until tender.
  • Now add the ginger and garlic and sauté until their raw flavor is gone.
  • Now add the capsicums, green peas, corn. soy sauce and sesame oil. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, allowing them to be a little tender but they should not loose their crispiness.
  • Now add the chopped coriander leaves. Give a good stir and put off the flame.
  • Transfer them to a bowl and add the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let them cool down a bit and serve.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chicken Chaap / Chicken Chanp

I love histories behind food. They make such a lovely background and I keep wondering how an accidental recipe or addition of a typical ingredient slowly became famous and then became a norm. Interesting..right??
When I first made my attempt to make Chicken Chanp/chaap I read its story for the first time. I made this a number of times, sometimes just to have a devouring dish or sometimes for a small get together in our home. Every time I make this Chicken Chaap/Chanp it brings back my Biriyani memory of Kolkata. As much as I loved KFC, I loved Biriyani as well...and Biriyani is never complete without Chicken Chaap/ Chanp. A slow cooked chicken leg or breast piece with a tasty and velvety gravy with oil floating on top of it..its a sight..we Bengalis know how tempting it is!!
Mughals brought their rich food culture in India which slowly became an important part of the Indian cuisine and in many ways it influenced the local dishes as well. It was the Mughal effect that lead to the use of nuts, saffron, mace and cream in making dishes. It was during the early British ruling period that the Nawab Of Awadh came to Bengal to live permanently. He was a grat patron of food and brought with him many cooks with divine cooking skills and great knowledge. Mainly because of his influence Mughlai food became popular in Bengal and gave birth to a new fusion.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oats Khichdi

Oats is such a healthy option for breakfast or a meal. A few months ago when I vowed to loose my weight I completely gave up rice and took oats as my meal. It worked and I lost almost 5kg weight in just a few months. I saw everyone ate oats with milk. But I hated that gooey stuff. So, every now and then I used to experiment with oats with the intention of making it a little spicy and tasty. That was the time I made this Oats Khichdi.


Here I have taken a different method for making the oats khichdi. Instead of cooking the dal and oats together, I have used to dal water to cook the oats. The water of the dal is very nutritious and also it is low in fat. And since the oats is being cooked in the dal water it has all the flavors of the dal, making it delicious and aromatic like khichdi.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chicken Dopiaza / Chicken Dopyaza

Before marriage I used to envy a eventless life. Disgusted and tired of my own routines and schedules and studies, I used to think that my lonely time in Abidjan will be rocking. But only after a fortnight all my excitements were lost. The golden mirage of loneliness became a hollow space where I looked for routines and  events, that will make my life busy again. But then I found something that changed me entirely. My cooking, something that I have never thought will become an important part of my life. I tempered and simmered the masalas and I found my happiness in the flavors of my cooked food.


From then I cooked a lot. In short I cooked whatever suited my fancy. Be it British or French or Italian or Indian or Korean....I took no hid towards them. The only thing that mattered most was that I have to keep cooking to have a knowledge of the perfect taste. Because if you don't have a perfect taste...your cooking might go bland..or in one word no-where!! During these period the Mughlai Cuisine caught my attention. I got the recipes of the dishes, which I once savored in restaurants. Cooking them myself, in my home, was a challenge that I took eagerly. Initially they were not so good. But some has already said that "practice makes a man perfect", so here I am...perfecting the tastes and recipes of all those dishes, for which I once cued outside the restaurants.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lunchbox Ideas : Indian Spicy Pancake

Pancakes are quick and easy to make and takes only a couple of minutes to prepare. So, it is a good choice as a quick breakfast and lunch box. Generally pancakes are sweet and savory, but we Indians have a tendency of spicing up everything we see around ourselves, so...we gave a hint of Indianess, and made a whole new version out of it.



If you look around you will see a lot of Indian pancakes which are not limited to the typical flour batter. One example is -Dosa , uttapam and many others.
Compared to the sweeter version, I prefer this spicy Indian pancakes as breakfast. There is a good reason behind this. One is, I don't like eating sweets in the morning. And second, is, I get an opportunity to put some vegetables in it, which is a healthier option.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Shahi Mutton Korma/Qorma

Literally, Korma/Quorma means a meat or vegetable dish in a spiced gravy, with yogurt, cream and nuts. It originated in Central Asia and then found its way to India through the Mughals and now prevails mainly in India and Pakistan. The word "shahi" indicates the richness of the dish, which is surely not an everyday dish and also indicates its association to the court.:)




Since milk, cream and yogurt is used in this dish, the color of the dish can not get a dark red color, but takes a rather lighter one. Shahi Mutton Korma is normally cooked in ghee/clarified butter and in the cooking process cream and milk is also added. So, in a way it becomes so rich in oil and spices that it is an ideal dish for party or grand occasion.



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bengali Khichdi / Bengali Khichuri

Bengalis have 2 different types of khichuris. One is non-veg and one is veg. The veg one is made with dry roasted mung dal, which is called "bhaja muger khichuri". This is specially done for the pious occasions for the offerings of the God. Its then called as "bhoger khichuri". But this khichuri is the one that is done ordinarily as a meal. Its a special, for the rainy day.

how to cook bengali style khichdi

The history of Khichuri / khichdi dates back to the medieval period but the Mughals popularized this dish. Today this dish is enjoyed throughout India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. In Bihar it has almost become a staple dish among the people there. It is generally looked upon as wholesome meal, a rich gourmet dish. It is enjoyed with chutney, papad or any spicy dry side dish. It also goes extremely well with fried omelet.
There are different types of Khichdi/khichuri prevailing all across India. There is a spicy version, as well as a meat version, which I have already shared here. Also, in Maharashtra there is a variation of khichuri which is made with prawns. Plain khichdi /khichuris, without any loud spices are granted best for sick people. Loaded with rice, lentils and vegetables, its rich with vitamins and carbohydrates.

bengali style khichuri recipe

Since this khichuri/khichdi is not prepared for bhog/offering to the god, I used garlic and onion. However, in case of vegetarian khichdi/khichuri just omit the onion and garlic. Its highly recommended to use a pressure cooker for making the khichdi because it takes way less time to be prepared.

simple bengali style khichdi recipe

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lunchbox Ideas : Simple Grilled Cheese Sandwich

My husband goes to the office on 7'o clock sharp. And I always insisted that instead of eating from the office, he should take his lunch box with him. There started mu journey of waking up sharp at 6'o clock and prepare something for him. Earlier I used to give him bread and butter with some fruits. Everyday, the same thing, the same item. Naturally I prepared breakfast for both of us and I got bored of the same routine every day. That is when I started experimenting with the lunch box , which eventually lead me to the starting of this series - lunch box ideas. Not only for grownups, this will also work for children as well, because when it comes to the matter of food, only one side wins the race - i.e. taste. In this first post of this series, I am sharing a very basic and simple recipe of Grilled Cheese Sandwich.


This was very tough for me in the begining, as I have always been a let riser. Even when I went to University, I used to wake up at 8:30 a.m and then literally ran to enter the class in time, which used to start by 10'o clock sharp. So making breakfast so early has taught me 2 things - to get up early and to make something really appetizing quickly and I mean very very quickly. All the recipes that I will post here will be more or less appetizng because I believe(which is also a fact) that a good breakfast makes the body less carving for food for the entire day as well as, it makes the body more fresh and energetic.
Sandwich stands for me as a grab and go meal. Everything punched inside the two slices of bread its just a whole meal that you can just grab, take a bite and work again. And its easy to make too. And the fun part is that with sandwich there is no limit of experimenting. You can throw any vegetables that you have in your pantry, inside it. If you are looking for a healthier option, go for brown breads or whole wheat breads and low fat mayonnaise and cheese. Its an wonderland of all the flavors.:)


Dish Reminder:

  • In this grilled cheese sandwich I have put in the grated mozzarella and cheddar. But you can mix any cheese of your choice.
  • This cheese sandwich is full of cheese and gives a maddening flavor of the cheeses inside. You can go ahead and add veggies to it. But by doing that you will loose the simple flavor of the cheese inside. This is why I packed the salad separately. Sometimes, keeping things simple actually enhance the richness and make it fuller.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Aamras / Creamy Mango Puree

Aamras is a typical Gujarati dessert, which is made with the pulp of the mangoes. Its a very rich and aromatic dessert and generally eaten with puris. But for me, Aamras is more of a sauce which I drizzle over ice-creams to have a fusion of flavors on my plate. In Maharashtra and Gujarat, its a must dish during pujas and other occasions.


Although Aamras looks a little on the bowl its actually plenty when eaten, because you get the nit pulp of the fruit which makes your stomach full. You can have aamras as a dessert, or puris or just eat the aamras alone with chopped nuts over it. You can also add a dollop of ghee / clarified butter on top of the aamras to enhance its flavors. Try to make the aamras with sweet mangoes. In that case you will need less sugar to add into it and the authentic taste and flavor of the mangoes will remain unchanged.


Come, lets make Aamras.