Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mulo Diye Macher Jhol / Bengali Fish Curry with Radish

After the tragic incident that occurred today at the BaraBazar area in Kolkata, and after watching those horrifying aftermath, the crushed bodies...the rubble...the debris, the broken pillars, and more over after the typical blame game of our dear political parties....today I have nothing to say.
 I don’t feel like saying anything. My only hope is that those trapped inside those rubble can stay alive until rescued. And those who met today their untimely death can rest in peace. I pray for their families and loved ones, whose lives will never be the same again. May god be with them.

simple bengali Mulo Diye Macher Jhol recipe and preparation / Bengali Fish Curry with Radish recipe and preparation

simple bengali Mulo Diye Macher Jhol recipe and preparation / Bengali Fish Curry with Radish recipe and preparation

simple bengali Mulo Diye Macher Jhol recipe and preparation / Bengali Fish Curry with Radish recipe and preparation

simple bengali Mulo Diye Macher Jhol recipe and preparation / Bengali Fish Curry with Radish recipe and preparation

From the ingredients, Mulo Diye Macher Jhol is just another Bengali Fish Curry with the addition of radish!! But the strong flavour of the radish is what makes all the difference here. I will say...don’t go by the ingredients, just cook it. The recipe is very very similar with Kalo Jeera die Macher Jhal, but so so different and delicious.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fulkopi Chingrir Torkari / Bengali Style Cauliflower and Prawns Curry

Last night we wanted to eat the hottest chicken curry in town. For us...it’s generally the Poulet Piquante...but it was already half past 9...too late to order!! So after much discussion, at 10:00P.M in the night we agreed to have the rustic village style chicken curry.  Within minutes, I was all prepared in my kitchen to make the red hot chicken curry. Thankfully the chicken thawed quickly and hubby chopped the onions, garlic and ginger.  The process and the required ingredients of this particular curry is very simple but the rustic nature of the process is what it makes drool worthy!!Then hubby left the kitchen and I slipped almost 8 African chillies into that curry with a generous amount of Kashmiri red chilli powder!! Red hot...smoking hot!!! My chicken curry, which took me to prepare almost 1 hour, looked rather sinister in its final form!!

easy and simple bengali style Fulkopi Chingrir Torkari recipe / Bengali Style Cauliflower and Prawns Curry recipe and preparation step by step with pictures

easy and simple bengali style Fulkopi Chingrir Torkari recipe / Bengali Style Cauliflower and Prawns Curry recipe and preparation step by step with pictures

easy and simple bengali style Fulkopi Chingrir Torkari recipe / Bengali Style Cauliflower and Prawns Curry recipe and preparation step by step with pictures

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bori Chechki / Simple Bengali Bori Stew / Boiled Bengali Sundried Dumplings

Quick dishes comes handy when you have a rough day and even the small distance between your toilette and bedroom seems infinitely far!! Musurir Dal and Alu Sedho Makha with simple rice is an ultimate comfort food...but it is not a quick food. Cooking masoor dal takes time and so does boiling the potatoes to perfection. Then you have to chop the onions, green chillies....mix them up with mustard oil and salt and give those mashed potatoes a nice firm round shape. And then you have to temper and simmer the masoor dal with caramelized onions, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds / panch foron. After going through all of them....you can have your own silent time with your favourite Bengali Comfort Food.

how to cook Bori Chechki / Bengali Sundried Dumplings recipe / Bengali Bori Recipe / Simple Bengali Bori Stew recipe with step by step pictures

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chanay ki Daal Gosht / Chana Dal with Meat

It was a well known fact that I hated Cholar Dal / Bengali Chana Dal. We cook them in ghee with whole garam masalas, coconut, cashews and raisins. The golden raisins sautéed and puffed up in ghee is a serious eat. This sweet chana dal is generally eaten with luchi / puris.

Chanay ki Daal Gosht recipe with step by step pictures chane ki daal gosht recipe

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Doi Die Alur Dom / Easy Dum Aloo with Yogurt

This is probably my last instalment towards my Dum Aloo series. Series because I came across many procedures of making this particular dish. With onions and tomatoes, without tomatoes, with only tomatoes or onions, without yogurt, with yogurt!!!

how to make dum aloo with yogurt recipe

easy and simple dum aloo with yogurt recipe

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Nolen Gurer Ice-Cream / Date - Palm Jaggery Flavoured Ice-Cream

No churn ice creams are such a life savior!! Very few ingredients and such a splendid result!! I have made so many ice creams in the past....but whenever I look at my options I always feel so many of my favourite being left out. I guess you can never have enough ice creams.

how to make nolen gurer ice cream / date palm jaggery ice cream

bengali nolen gurer ice cream recipe / date palm jaggery flavoured ice cream recipe

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Niramish Tadka Dal / Pure Vegetarian Tadka Dal ~ no onion, no garlic

It’s no hidden fact that I love tadka dal. It always reminds me of the small eating outs to the dhabas in Kolkata. But till now I couldn’t recreate the magic without onions and garlic. It simply tasted bland with tomatoes. It lacked the required richness and jazz that we generally get in the tadka dal coming out of the dhabas.

bengali style Niramish Tadka Dal recipe / Pure Vegetarian Tadka Dal recipe

how to cook bengali style Niramish Tadka Dal recipe / Pure Vegetarian Tadka Dal recipe

bengali style Niramish Tadka Dal recipe / Pure Vegetarian Tadka Dal recipe

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ma'er Moto Murgir Jhol / Chicken Curry

My oven was not working for almost a year. Micro-oven is good for warming the food and making some puddings...but for making cakes you need to have that oven. So last week finally I could find a man who repaired the oven and right away....I made carrot cake!! Its summer....so what can be better than making a light and fluffy sweet carrot cake??? But unfortunately I made too much of that cake batter which gave us way more carrot cakes than we could actually finish. Perks (er...or curse???) of being out of practise I guess!!!

how to cook simple chicken curry / bengali style murgir jhol recipe

bengali style chicken curry with potatoes recipe murgir jhol recipe

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Niramish Lau Ghonto / Lau Bori / Bengali Style Pure Vegetarian Bottle Gourd Curry

The more you move out of Kolkata and enter deep into the suburb and village area..you will see a stark change in their food habitat and and of course cooking style. I have seen my in-laws being very heavy handed with mustard oil, mustard seeds and poppy seeds. In their breakfast they are more likely to eat muri or puffed rice with some potato curry and sweet. Sweet is a must for my husband and in-laws. They are crazy for the particular “makha sondesh” that is available in most of the sweetmeat shops in that area.

Breakfast with muri (puffed rice), potato curry, omelette and sweets.
DDLJ anyone??

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Paneer Bhapa / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer

There is a debate as from where India learnt to curdle the milk and make cottage cheese out of it. Because if you look at the chronological food history of India you will see that cottage cheese is mentioned in no-where. Some says that cottage cheese was a Portuguese influence in the Indian cuisine. Even if you see the Puran and other texts, you will get the mentions of milk, ghee and butter but no curdling as to making chana or cottage cheese. Some says it was invented in Bengal and some says it was invented in the Puri Mandir. But there is no evidence of making cottage cheese or even of the sweets made from them in the menu of the Bhog of the Puri Mandir. Besides they considered milk as pure and pious, so curdling of the milk with lime or vinegar was obviously considered as an unholy action.

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Simple Bhaja Muger Dal / Simple Bengali Style Dry Roasted Moong Dal

The more I am seeing the versatility of moong dal the more I am being sursprized on its adaptability of taste. Earlier I used to be obsessed about the Masoor dal and it used to be the only lentils that passed my clearance of being the only edible lentil. Now I thank my days when the Masoor dal was unavailable and I really got tired of them...and out of curiosity resorted towards the yellow split moong dal as my rescuer.

how to cook bengali style Simple Bhaja Muger Dal recipe / Simple Dry Roasted Moong Dal recipe

bengali recipe Simple Bhaja Muger Dal recipe / Simple Dry Roasted Moong Dal recipe

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Kalo Jeera die Macher Jhal / Bengali Spicy Fish Curry with Nigella Seeds

As my husband grew up eating Sorshe Maach and rice almost every day...I on the other hand was more accustomed to Sobjir Jhol / Vegetable curry and simple fish curries which are prepared with simple spices. No onions...no tomatoes...and definitely not garlic!! The curries are strictly light in texture and taste, to suit everyday simple lifestyle. Of course we knew about Sorshe Maach but in our family Mustard used to become important only during the season of Hilsa. Mother cooked only Hilsa with mustard seeds. Sorse Paturi...that’s what we called them. Rich and lush....a match almost made in heaven.

bengali style preparation kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe / bengali spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe with step by step pictures

bengali style kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe / bengali style spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe

simple macher jhal recipe / bengali style nigella seeds fish curry recipe

Monday, March 14, 2016

Paneer Fulkopir Torkari / Bengali Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry

One of the good things of childhood is that we love to eat foods in between their process. I loved teat fried dhokas before ma added them to the curry and fried fishes were my favourite before adding to the curry. So as per this rule we loved to eat raw paneer before frying and adding them to the curry.

simple Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe

how to cook Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe

bengali recipe Paneer Fulkopir Torkari recipe / Cauliflower and Cottage Cheese Curry recipe

Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd

Ma just said today that the temperature is slowly increasing now in Kolkata. March is already here and this means Poila Boisakh is just round the corner. My maternal uncle has jewelry shop in Kolkata and therefore Poila Boisakh is celebrated in their home rather in a big fat way. This is the day when every jewelry shopkeeper opens their new audit copy for that respective year, which in Bengali we call “Halkhata”. On this particular day people go to their family jeweler to open their account with a little money, which will be debited later as per their jewelry order in that year. Every shop owner gives away sweets and a calendar of Bengali year, which commences from that particular day, to each of his customers. My uncle’s shop is no different from all these rituals.

bengali style dal Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures

As a kid we used to go to the shop from the morning. Stayed all day long there eating sweets and sipping soft drinks and helping everyone by forwarding the boxes of sweets and calendars. When we got tired we sat on the shop with our uncle while he wrote the names of the customers who deposited money in a red hardcover copy. Lunch on that day used to be purely authentic Bengali and it was served on a large banana leaf. At first salt and lime wedges were given with fluffy Basmati rice, curly fried thin potato strips with peanuts and curry leaves and mung dal with fish heads. Then came some other fries, which were followed by Macher Kalia and Mutton Kasha. In the end there used to be chutney, payesh, crispy wafers and a big bowl of chilled mishit doi. I still can’t forget the taste of these dishes...and each of them used to be home cooked by my aunt and grandmother.

Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Temper the oil with dry red chillies, panch foron and hing / asafoetida.
bengali style Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Add the boiled bottle gourd.
easy and simple Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Add the boiled mung / moog dal and water.
bengali lentils recipe Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Add salt, sugar, and simmer till the desired consistency is achieved.
how to cook Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures
Finally add dry roasted ground cumin and put off the flame.
On this auspicious day, Macher Matha Die Moog Dal or Yellow Mung dal with fish head used to be huge hit. Mami cooked them with the finest, richest and oiliest fish head in the market. And when that thing went into with roasted mung dal and after all that mish - mash...the dal used to be instantly mouth watering. But since I have already shared the recipe of that dal...I thought today must be the recipe of rather simple dal which is very poupular during the summer days. A sweet, light and healthy option.

bengali recipe and preparation Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures

Lau dal is another variation of the dal / lentils category where the bottle gourd is cooked with yellow split lentils with minimum spices. This dal is rather sweeter than any other dal you can find...as the bottle gourd taste better with some sweetness in it. Some people cook this dal with whole garam masalas...but I like this simple variation more, which my mother used cook for us in every summer. Watery dal with medium chunks of lau / bottle gourd in it. But I like to grate them...and in that way the bottle gourd / lau gets blended with the mung / moog dal well.

Lau Dal – Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd
Serves 2-3

how to cook Lau Dal - Bengali Style Mung Dal with Sweet Bottle Gourd recipe with step by step pictures

Ingredients:
2 small sweet bottle gourd / 1 medium sweet bottle gourd
1 cup of mung dal
1 tsp panch foron / Bengali five spices
2 dry red chillies
A pinch of hing / asafoetida
1 tsp ground dry roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
Salt & 2 tsp sugar

Method:
Dry roast the mung / moog dal in a flat pan until you start to to have its nutty smell. Be careful to not to burn them. Stop when the mung / moog dal starts to turn a little brownish.
Peel and grate the lau / sweet bottle gourd. Wash them well and discard the seeds (if any).
Put the lau / sweet bottle gourd in a saucepan with some salt and water. Boil them until the bottle gourd is cooked through. Then keep them aside. Do not drain the water.
Put the mung dal and grated lau / sweet bottle gourd in a pressure cooker with 2 and ½ cups of water, salt and 2 tsp oil.
Cook the dal on pressure until the cooker blows 4-5 whistles. Keep the cooker aside till all the steam vents out.
In a kadai heat the rest of the oil and temper it with dry red chillies, hing / asafoetida and panch foron / Bengali five spices.
Sauté them for 2 minutes and then add the boiled lauki / sweet bottle gourd and boiled mung dal / yellow split lentils. Also add in the kept aside boiled water of the lau /sweet bottle gourd. If required add in some more water to keep the consistency right. We need 2-2 and ½ cups of water to keep the right consistency of the dal right.
Add salt, sugar and stir them well.
Simmer on low flame till the dal reaches your desirable consistency.
Once the dal reaches its desirable consistency add the dry roasted ground cumin seeds.
Stir well and put off the flame.

Serve well with potato curry and plain Basmati rice.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Mughlai Chicken Pulao

Hypothetically my enthusiasm for food grew after my marriage or more specifically after I came to Abidjan. But when I think of my days in Kolkata, my eating habit, my nature...everything indicates that I was a foodie for a long time. It’s nothing special. I just realized it’s in our blood. We are Bengali...and there is no escape from the fact that as much as we love football we do love mish, mustard oil and anything you can cook into that. Our day starts with shopping the fish and vegetables. We love to shop everyday...so that we can eat fresh fishes three times a day. We greet our guests with sweets and don’t let them go without stuffing them with foods. And even when we go to someone’s house the most important thing to go with us is not the present but the sweet. Sundays are special for us...not for being a holiday but Sundays are special for their elaborate breakfast menus and their special chicken curries. We love monsoon....do you know why? Because we get Hilsas!! Durga Puja is very synonymous to us as Pet Puja. Now don’t get me started...because it’s a very long list and then the post will not be completed.

aromatic Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures

how to cook Mughlai Chicken Pulao

 So I guess you get it!! My food narcotism comes from my very pure Bengali blood. I love the sight of them...I loved smelling them...and of course I devoured eating them. Even I had a diary in which I used to write all the recipes from Sanjeev Kapoors Sunday’s Khana Khazana episodes. I used to ask the momo vendors about their secret of making their spicy garlic sauce. I used to have a very intriguing eye when the chat seller made the papri chat for us.  And I loved eating Kachoris in my breakfast. I nagged mother many times to buy Tadka – roti from the nearby Punjabi Dhaba. I used to search for the best roll in Kolkata...and I always...always...whenever I came across Monjinis I used to buy Chocolate Mousse.

Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Temper the ghee with whole spices and add the chopped onions to them.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Cook the onions until golden and add the chilli - ginger - garlic paste. Cook until the onions become golden brown.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add the tomatoes and cook till the oil separates.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add the powdered spices, half of the prepared garam masala powder, mint and coriander leaves. Cook for another 2 minutes to ward off the raw smell of the spices,
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add the yogurt and chicken pieces.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add salt, mix and cover to cook.
KFC was my favourite corner whenever I had the urge to eat some crispy chicken. Lassis from Shyambazar, Biryani from Arsalan, Mutton Cutlet from Mitra Cafe, Mutton Kosha from Golbari, Poached eggs from the small stalls in front of the Ganga Ghat, Jhalmuri, Phuchka, Chats....I didn’t miss any of them. I have rattled the streets of North Kolkata with my sister and friends to get the perfect pantharas and pyaji and of course Biryani. I loved eating even then also. Not just for the sake of eating...I ate because I loved those flavours. I loved the way they were presented. I loved the galore of Bengal’s street food in every way and in every style. The only downside was I never tried to click them or replicate them in my home.

easy Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
The chicken and yogurt will ooze out a lot of water.
authentic Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Cook the chicken until they are almost done and all the excess water has been evaporated. Check the chicken and if its not cooked yet then add water and continue cooking.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add the washed and soaked rice and mix.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add water, rest of the garam masala powder, saffron and lemon juice.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Cook till the rice is cooked through.
Even home cooked meal had their own charisma to me. I knew exactly who cooks what best. Like my Mami’s excuisite Mutton Kasha, chicken and mutton biryani, my grandmother’s sutki maach or dried fish curry, muri ghonto, my aunt’s mutton rezala, mu youngest aunt’s dum aloo. I can’t even just count and say I love this and this. They are so many. And each of them is special in just their own way!! Bengalis sure do love their food and they take it so sooo seriously.

chicken pulao recipe easy chicken pulao recipe

However the worst part of being a foodie is I either I am eating or I am thinking about food. And being a food blogger has made it all worse...I am thinking about food now all the time. Either I am going through cookbooks or scrolling a webpage to get a suitable recipe or making my list for the ingredients to buy a certain one. I am a foodaholic, after much speculation that’s the best I can think of my situation ... yes that’s what I am!!

how to cook Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures


...........
If you love chicken biryani, then you are sure going to love this Mughlai Chicken Pulao.  The rich and aromatic rice dish from the kitchen of the Mughals. I will say this is more like the younger brother of Biryani...and it’s much hassle free. The mint leaves and the garam masala sure give this Chicken Pulao a much needed difference and at the same time despite being so tasty and aromatic it is very easy to cook. In my opinion, do give this pulao a try...it sure will make your day.

simple Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures

Mughlai Chicken Pulao
Serves 5-6

authentic Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures

Ingredients:
2 cups of fine Basmati rice
6 chicken legs / 6 medium solid pieces of chicken
3 medium onions –sliced
2 medium tomatoes – chopped
8 fat cloves of garlic – minced
1 tbsp ginger paste
A handful of fresh coriander leaves – chopped
A handful of fresh mint leaves – chopped
2 tbsp of thick curd – whisked
2 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp of garam masala (recipe follows)
10-12 saffron strands
½ cup ghee
2 medium cinnamon sticks
4-5 green cardamoms
4 cloves
2 large bay leaves
Salt

Garam Masala for Pulao:
1 small cinnamon stick
2 green cardamoms
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
4-6 black peppercorns
4 white peppercorns
1 blade of mace
A little nutmeg
½ tsp caraway seeds
1 petal of star anise

Method:
Dry roast the whole spices listed under garam masala for 2 minutes or you start to get their rich aroma. Grind them to a fine powder and keep aside.
Wash the rice well and soak them in water for 30-45 minutes.
Heat ½ cup of ghee and temper it with cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamoms and bay leaves.
Sauté them for half a minute and then add the sliced onions to them.
Add some salt and fry the onions till they are golden.
Now add the ginger – garlic paste and cook fry the onions till they become golden brown.
Next add the chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander, mint leaves, half of the garam masala powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix them well and cook the tomatoes till they start to ooze out oil from them.
When the curry is ready add the chicken pieces and whisked curd to them. Sprinkle some more salt to season the meat and mix them well so that they get nicely covered with the curry.
Put a cover and let the chicken cook. Stir every 2 minutes to prevent any kind of burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook until all the water that ooze out of the yogurt and chicken pieces is evaporated and the oil starts to float on top of the curry.
Check whether the chicken is cooked. If not add a little water and keep cooking until the chicken is almost cooked and soft from inside. Do not cook the chicken completely as we will add rice later and cook them further together.
Drain the water from the rice and add them to the chicken.
Mix well. Add 1 and ½ cup of water, the lime juice, saffron strands, rest of the garam masala powder and give a good stir. We already have a lot of water in the curry so the lesser we add the fluffier the rice will be.
Put cover and cook till the rice is cooked. It will take 10 – 15 minutes of time.
Once the rice is cooked, let the rice sit covered for another 15 minutes so all the moistures can be evaporated.
Serve hot with the raita of your choice.