Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pyaj Koli Diye Macher Jhol / Bengali Fish Curry with Spring Onions

I was thinking of cooking this Fish Curry with spring onions for a long time. But something or the other kept popping up and the post got delayed. This fish curry was a regular in our home in winter. Mu used to add almost every winter special veggies in the fish curries at that time because she was convinced that it was the most effective way to feed the goodness of the veggies to us. We of course did not like it all the time, but if they were cauliflower or spring onions surely we did not mind.

how to cook macher jhol with pyaj koli

spring onion fish curry recipe

simple macher jhol pyaj koli diye

Last week my husband bought a giant Meru fish. It cost us 20,000Fcfa and sure it weighed 4-5 kgs. It had a giant head and we had to make 4 pieces of that particular head to make a manageable portion for us. This curry is the first instalment to that giant fish which is currently in pieces and inside my freezer. Now I have lots of fish recipes to experiment. He hee!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Bandhakopir Ghonto / Niramish Bandhakopir Torkari

Abidjan glowed with some “puja roddur” for some days and bid adieu to the soft charm of the weather forever. Now the scorching heat comes fiercely at the first hour of the day and we burn with its afterglow. Even the A.C stops working in the afternoon. But after the evening, the surrounding air become thin and cold. We need a light cloth to cover ourselves and even the fan on the ceiling gives us goosebumps. A perfect tropical weather I am experiencing here. Don’t like it in the day time....but night tales a completely different story.

simple bengali cabbage curry without onion and garlic recipe

bengali style niramish bandhakopir torkari recipe

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sorshe Mangsho / Mutton with Bengali Mustard Paste

The next time I write I can give you a full dissertation of my ph.d on how to use and cook mustard the Bengali way. Although I have still a long way to go, the vastness of this ingredient has already astonished me. It’s so adaptable that it can make its way through any dish. After poppy seeds aka the “posto”, it’s the “sorshe” or the mustard that is my next favourite trinklet to dwell upon.

how to cook sorshe mangsho

how to cook sorshe mutton recipe

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Chicken Dak Bunglow / Chicken Dak Bangla

During our childhood and as we grew up we used to read a number of stories and novels related to the mail delivery man or mail delivery system during the British rule in India, which was more commonly known as the “Dak Byabostha”. The most significant for me is the play "Dak Ghar" written by Rabindranath Tagore, where an ailing boy named Amal awaits the king’s letter before he dies.The men who delivered the mails or the postmen were known as the “Dak Horkora”. This mail delivery system consisted of a number of relaying postmen or dak horkoras, who delivered the mails and letters on foot or riding a horse while carrying their treasure on their back. And very naturally the route they used for this purpose came to be known as the Dak route.

bengali chicken dak bunglow recipe

bengali style chicken dak bangla recipe

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Garlic Methi Chicken

Happy Belated “Bakri Eid” to all. We had a fine holiday today, except for the fact that our maid did not come and there were at least 20 lambs who got slaughtered around our flat as part of the ritual related to Eid today. I have a messy house and a super messy kitchen right now and to go on with the festive mood, I cooked Maharashtrian Mutton Sukka and Bengali Ghee Bhat / Mishti Pulao in the lunch. A little odd combination, but if you look at the procedure of mutton sukka, that is very much like the Mutton Kosha we Bengalis cook except for the addition of coconut, and the coconut also helps in getting a dark red colour (because we brown the  grated coconut with the masala paste before cooking) for the curry, which is in word “scrumptious”.

garlic methi chicken recipe with step by step pictures

how to cook methi chicken curry

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chuno Macher Chorchori / Bengali Dry Vegetable Curry with Small Fishes

My inner self has woken up from its hibernation and is in deep need of the warm autumn glow on my cheeks. I need the Puja rush..."I (just) can’t keep calm because I am a Bengali and the Durga Puja is coming". All my friends and relatives are done with their shopping and I am still counting my days.

bengali small fish curry recipe

Monday, September 21, 2015

Chorizo Fried Rice with Prawns and Eggs

Chorizo is a spicy chilli Mexican sausage and ever since I have heard of it...I wanted to try this one. Simple sausages do not excite me, as they are kind of the same and misses out my favourite chilli part. But as for chorizo...I can’t think of anything like this.

chorizo fried rice recipe

prawns and chorizo fried rice

Friday, September 18, 2015

Macher Bhorta / Bengali Style Mashed Fish

What you do when you have 4-5 large big fish heads in your fridge and you are too lazy to whip up any delicacies with them? Simple....mash them up!! Well...that’s what I do when my stock of fish heads grow up. But of course you can do them with fish fillets or whole fish or fish pieces too!! Its just a simple way to finish them up rather than throwing them away, because none of us prefers fish heads in a curry.

simple macher bhorta recipe

bangladeshi macher bhorta recipe

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Doi Murgi / Dahi Chicken / Chicken in smooth Yogurt Sauce

Doi Murgi is a very popular Bengali chicken dish, where the chicken pieces are simmered in a thick yogurt sauce with very minimum spices. A very light and soothing recipe from the house of Bengalis....where adding lots of red chilli powders and an utter amount of spices is not just a norm but an unwritten rule, a habit that has survived the test of time and still running strong.

simple dahi chicken recipe

bengali simple chicken curry recipe

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Narkel Naru / Bengali Coconut Laddu

Sweet and savoury delicacies used to be made in our home twice a year. Once it was during Janmashtami and another time it was during Poush Sankranti...the last day of the month Poush. The sweets were somewhat same, except the “Taal” (Asian sugar palm), which is available only during the month of Janmashtami and it is used to make “Taler Bora” (Sugar palm fritters)and “Taler Kheer”(sweetened evaporated milk flavoured with sugar palm juice).

bengali narkel naru recipe

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fruit Lassi ~ Strawberry Lassi

Plain lassis are good old goodies, but infusing them with various fruits has always been one my exciting jobs. Besides I have never been a good girl enough to eat plain chopped up fruits. So when I remembered that the frozen strawberries are freezing in my refrigerator for a long time...suddenly breezing through the colourful pictures of Varanasi I decided to make a lassi aka the Varanasi style. So I got my frozen strawberries, threw them into the blender with some yogurt, sugar, rose water and oh...yes...cardamom ( they are a staple in any Indian kitchen) and blended till frothy and smooth. They came out thick, creamy and blissfully calm.

simple lassi recipe fruit lassi strawberry lassi

Indian style yogurt smoothie recipe strawberry lassi recipe

Monday, September 14, 2015

Begun Posto / Bengali Style Eggplant in Poppy Seeds Paste

By now you must be sure that posto aka the poppy seed is a staple in our home. It has to be made at least twice a week...and really I can’t have aloo posto twice every time. So I try different dishes, different ways to make the poppy seeds more useful and versatile. So, after sorshe begun...I wanted to make the dish without mustard seeds and in a way I was pretty much sure that begun posto will taste great too.

how to cook  Bengali Style Eggplant in Poppy Seeds Paste

how to cook bengali style eggplat dry curry with poppy seeds paste recipe

Back in Kolkata, use of posto or poppy seeds are versatile, and jhinge aloo posto is a regular in summer time as well as potol posto. But we don’t get potol or jhinge here. My husband’s aunt makes a delicious Tomato Posto, which I intend to learn when I will visit her the next time, but till then I have to make my life through these recipes.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Aloo Tikki / Potato Patties

Today I have hit the jackpot. First, I shopped our weekly grocery under budget, and then within 1700Fcfa I bought mascarpone and cream cheese. It was a real surprise, when I saw a promo offer running on the sale of the Mascarpone cheese. I was thinking of making no-bake cheesecake for a long time, and mascarpone will definitely add a new flavour to it.

vegetarian patty recipe aloo tikki

how to make quick potato tikki

Friday, September 11, 2015

Chuno Macher Jhal / Small Fish Spicy Dry Curry

I am not much of a serial person. I am tired of those saas-bahu dramas, over made up faces and quite a very predictable repeating story line. Although English and French dramas are quite interesting but that does not quench the thirst of watching a soft romatic Indian drama series, with a deadline. I searched some more and found out the Pakistani romantic drama called “Humsafar”. It’s overly romantic and in no way resembles to those typical Indian Dramas. And most of’s all complete in 23 episodes. Thank’s not elastic like rubber!!! It has a good and tight storyline and has a soothing background score. I would suggest you to listen to the title track of this serial “woh humsafar tha mera”, which was actually composed during the Independence war of Bangladesh.

how to cook chuno macher jhal

how to cook mourala macher jhal

I watched only one episode and then I started watching the serial everywhere and every time, and completed the whole season in 2 days. Although I admit the ending is not that dramatic as I have expected, but the serial is very refreshing and a complete break from all the nuisances that run 24*7 on T.V.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pure Vegetarian Chole Masala / Chana Masala

I don’t like eating pure vegetarian dishes. And my husband has the same attitude. So, we rarely have occasions like that when we eat food without onion and garlic. But there are some dishes, some foods which can never go wrong. With which you never feel that bland taste. And of course, we like vegetarian foods like that. Even though that is also a rare occasion, but pure veg satvik food is a delight to eat if you can cook it right.

how to cook chole bhature

easy chana masala recipe

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Bengali Fish Fry / The Fish Cutlet

Even a few years ago when surprise guests arrived in home the instant rescue was the just out of the oil, a fresh batch of Fish Fries from the shop around the corner of our locality, which we call "para". Crispy brown crust and when you break them with your two fingers, first a hot air will hit your face and then you will see white fleshy fish giving you the final call of the stunning feast it can be for you. It was for those Fish Fries that I loved having guests in home. They were such delights then. It was almost eating the forbidden fruit, as we were only allowed to eat them rarely, that also during festivals like Durga Puja, as Maa did not like eating street foods.

fish fry recipe

Mostly my father or sister used to buy them if needed, and these flat, crispy, fried fillets of fish always came in “Thonga” or small paper bags. That thonga was put inside a plastic bag, which was then tied tightly so that the steam can not escape and they remain hot till we open them in our home. Inside that thonga, there used to be the fish fries and another small thonga, which had the salads. The salads included lots of onions, some cucumbers and some carrot rings. that the prices of onions are roaring high....I wonder what they are mixing with the salad now.

how to make fish fries in home

bengali fish fry recipe

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bhuna Chicken with Bengali Five Spices aka Panch Phoron

Our cats are just gifts to their catkind!!! As days are passing we are heavily pressurized with the demands they are curatively putting on us. As per as their recent behaviour, they need a bed. There used to be old worn out table in our balcony, which I literally piled up with old and torn clothes and pillows to work as a resting ground of my cats. But the table started to crack more and we decided to throw that away. Now my cats have taken refuge on our dinner table.  They are sleeping there, stretching there, making large holes with their nails on my table cloth, while I stay put at my place....and I just bite the corner of my lip and think about the solution.

chicken bhuna with bengali five spices recipe

easy bengali chicken bhuna recipe

Monday, September 7, 2015

Zafrani Pulao / Saffron Rice Pilaf

We had water problems for three consecutive days in our locality. Some people were getting thin flow of water, but since we are in the upper storey, we had none. Thankfully, we started storing water some months ago facing the same problem....and survived the days. But then at the end the second day, we faced water shortage. We could not bathe, could not wash our clothes, could not clean the house...and had to make the cooking to its minimum. Realized from my heart that how much blessed we are when we open the tap and a clean stream of water splashes into our palms and we can feel refreshed by washing our face with it. After completing 3 days, we got some dirty water on the morning of the fourth day. We had to let go of some water and then again our lives became normal.

how to cook saffron pulao recipe

saffron pilaf recipe with step by step pictures

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Hariyali Chicken Tikka

We had a pretty crazy Saturday night this weekend. After a long period , I was happily laughing with all my teeth out and giggled that screeched the numbness of the soaring night. Our adda session lasted pretty long and when we became aware of it when it was already near midnight. Everyone was in a relaxed mood and suddenly we all decided to eat out. So at midnight, we got out on the street, we walked and reached our all time last stop l’automatic and ordered falafel, kafta and roasted chicken. The food was good, the French fries were good, the falafels were crispy...and I had my first night out.:P

how to cook hariyali murgh tikka

simple hariyali chicken tikka in micro oven recipe

Friday, September 4, 2015

Kerala Style Sardine Curry

I have always liked Kerala Cuisine for its awesome flavours.  And lately curry leaves left a maddening effect on me. I just can’t get enough of them. They are so soooo aromatic. So I just find excuses to put curry leaves into my curries. But there is one big problem that my husband hates it. So I have to pick up recipes with care so that nothing can never go wrong. I really don’t know why he hates it. But he hates it. But if I look it that way, he actuallt hates the leaves and not the aromas. Now you are confused..I know. Well the fact is, my husband hates any whole spices that are visible in his plate. I know..I’s really irritating. He says those spices ruins the taste in his mouth. So one day, when I became truly madly crazily annoyed by his complains about whole spices making its way right into his mouth, I simply took his plate and fished out every whole spices from there!! Do any of you face this problem??

how to cook nadan sardine fish curry recipe

sardine curry kerala style with step by step pictures

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bori Posto / Poppy Seeds Paste Coated Bengali Sun Dried Dumplings

As IKEA is the main retailer of affordable and good quality furniture and decorating items in the West, in Africa we have Orca. Orca has two main divisions here. One is Orca Deco, which specialises on the decorating items of the house, like lamps, carpets and other show pieces, and the other one is Orca Tendence, which sells affordable furniture. They were running 35% promo on all products during August and they are continuing this promo for September also. Double yay for me...because we were planning to buy some things for our home for some time and could not get enough time to go to Orca during August. Hopefully we will make it this time.

bengali posto recipe

posto die bori recipe

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dhone Pata Mangsho / Dhania Chicken / Coriander Chicken Curry

Lucid winter nights used to spike up with this delicious Dhania Chicken cooked by my father in our Kolkata home. Winter meant a lot of things....abundant red plumpy tomatoes, ripe fresh aubergines, fresh green peas and a lot of fresh coriander leaves. So to use the perfect opportunity father used to make Dhania Chicken often in the night after he came home from work. Ma used to make rotis after father finished cooking. And as we used to tear a part of the roti to eat a chicken morsel with its gravy...father winked at us to acknowledge that he also can cook.

dhania chicken / coriander chicken recipe

simple coriander chicken curry

When Baba used to be in the kitchen none of us had the right to enter there. It became his area then and going there and looking at him while he cooked or asking questions were sheer distractions for him. But still I and my sister used to creep there silently and watched him cooking.

how to cook chicken with coriander leaves

A few days ago the girl who comes to my house to sell vegetables sold me a big bunch of coriander leaves. I usually make Green Chicken with mint and coriander leaves, but these fresh coriander leaves left me all reminiscing about the past and I could think of nothing better than the Dhania Chicken.

how to cook dhania chicken

So I put every bit of those fresh leaves in the blender with the other ingredients and whizzed up the blender to make the paste. And it worked.  Plus the addition of mustard oil and tempering with dry red chillies along with the other whole garam masalas added a kick to the dish too. It became so sooo Bengali. I loved every bit of it.

simple chicken with coriander recipe

Dhone Pata Diye Mangsho / Coriander Chicken Curry / Dhania Chicken
Serves 4-5

how to cook dhaniya chicken

1 kg chicken on bone
2 cups of chopped fresh coriander leaves
½ cup thick curd
1 tbsp roasted gram flour / besan
6-7 garlic cloves
1 inch stick of ginger
8-10 green chillies - slitted
Juice of 1 lemon
2 medium onion – finely chopped
1 tbsp + 2 tsp mustard oil
1 medium cinnamon stick
1 medium bay leaf
3 green cardamoms
3 cloves
5-6 black peppercorns
2 dry red chillies

In a shallow frying pan heat 2 tsp oil. Add in the whole garlic and ginger. As the garlic starts to change colour add in the chopped coriander leaves, 5 slitted green chillies and roasted gram flour.
Sauté for 2 minutes or until you start to get a fine aroma. Then put off the flame and pour everything into a blender. Add in the curd, lemon juice, 2 tsp mustard oil and salt. Blend until it becomes a smooth paste.
Take the chicken pieces into a bowl and rub the prepared paste over them. Let them marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Once the marination is done, heat the rest of the oil in a kadai and add in the whole cinnamon stick, dry red chillies, bay leaf, green cardamoms, cloves and black peppercorns.
Stir for 30 seconds or until the oil becomes aromatic and then throw in the chopped onions.
Saute the onions until golden and then add in the chicken pieces one by one, such that each of the pieces touches the surface. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes and then flip them over, so that the other sides can get colour too.
Put cover and let the chicken cook into its own juices. After 5 minutes uncover the lid and pour in the rest of the marinating paste.
Stir everything and cook until the oil seperates.
Pour 1 cup of water and mix well.
Put cover and cook until the chicken is cooked properly.
Then open the lid and simmer until the gravy thickens and the oil starts to float on top of the curry.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Switch off the flame.
Serve hot with some rice / roti / paratha / naan.