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Saturday, 4 April 2020

Lau Chingri Chechki (Bottle Gourd Curry with Prawns)


          This is a simple and a quick Bengali homemade style bottle gourd stir fry cooked along with some prawns. It is a dry recipe where I gave a tempering of kalonji (nigella seeds), fresh chilies and asafoetida in mustard oil. For a veg. version, vadi / dried lentil dumplings can be added.

          The garnishing of coriander leaves along with some raw mustard oil to the end product gives a nice mustardy flavour and an authentic touch to this dish. It is best relished with only and only hot steamed rice. So check the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.






          Lau in the Bengali lingo is bottle gourd and Chingri is know as prawn. So this recipe is a jugalbandi of both these key ingredients. 

          This is a very easy and a great comfort food that is especially relished for lunch with hot steamed rice. But there is no harm in having it with roti /paratha. So enjoy !!!





  • 1 medium size bottle gourd, grated
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 10-12 prawns, cleaned & tail intact
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit 
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
          






          Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the prawns slightly till it changes colour. Drain and keep aside. 

          Temper the same oil with nigella seeds, green chilies and asafoetida. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add all the dry spices, followed by the grated bottle gourd. Mix well and stir fry till well cooked and dry.

          When done, switch off the flame. Add the coriander leaves, fried prawns and remaining raw mustard oil. Give it a stir and keep it covered for 5 minutes. Serve, preferably with hot steamed rice.




                  Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan & fry the prawns slightly till it changes colour. Drain 
                  and keep aside. 



                  Temper the same oil with nigella seeds, green chilies & asafoetida. Saute for
                  a few seconds.



                               Add all the dry spices, 




                followed by the grated bottle gourd. Mix well & stir fry till well cooked & dry.



                  When done, switch off the flame. Add the coriander leaves, fried prawns and                                    remaining raw mustard oil. 



                               Give it a stir and keep it covered for 5 minutes.



                      Serve, preferably with hot steamed rice.












Friday, 3 April 2020

Dates Paratha


          This is a healthy version of a paratha with the goodness of dates and whole wheat flour. Very easy and simple to make, it is completely sugar free. It can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, snack or as a lunch box meal too. I have added some sesame seeds for a slight crunch. But it is purely optional. 

          As dates contains many health benefits, it can be made good use of it by dishing out these shallow fried flat breads, Oil, ghee or butter may be used as per individual preference. Enjoy them hot just as it is, with a drizzle of some honey, date syrup or with some kheer / rabri. So check the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it. 











  • 12-15 dates, soaked for an hour and pitted
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • water to knead (opt)
  • oil to shallow fry








          Blend the dates to a smooth paste by adding some water. Then mix with the remaining ingredients (except oil) and knead into a tight dough. Cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

          Divide the dough into equal portions. Roll out each portion into a disc and if you wish, you can give a proper round shape with the help of a cookie cutter.

          Heat a tawa / griddle and fry the parathas in batches, with a drizzle of some oil on both sides till light golden in colour. 

          Drain on a kitchen towel and enjoy them hot just as it is, with a drizzle of some honey, date syrup or with some kheer / rabri. 




                    Blend the dates to a smooth paste by adding some water. Then mix with the 
                    remaining ingredients (except oil) and knead into a tight dough. 




                               Cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.



                               Divide the dough into equal portions. 




                    Roll out each portion into a disc & if you wish, you can give a proper round 
                    shape with the help of a cookie cutter.



                   Heat a tawa & fry the parathas in batches, with a drizzle of some oil on both
                   sides till light golden in colour. 



                                Drain on a kitchen towel.







                   Enjoy them hot just as it is, with a drizzle of some honey, date syrup or with
                   some kheer / rabri.  












Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Mirchi Vada (with a twist)


          These Mirchi Vadas are stuffed green chili peppers that are batter fried. It has its origin in Rajasthan, where it is a very popular street food. It is a great tea time snack and also goes well as an appetizer with some green chutney, tamarind chutney or sauce. Generally the stuffing is that of boiled and mashed potato and it is almost similar to the Andhra style mirchi bajji, except for the stuffing.

           But I gave a slight twist to the original recipe by adding some boiled and grated eggs to the potato mix to dish out this non-veg. version of mirchi vada. They turned out simply yummy. Moreover, any leftover ones can be served as chaat or can be added to your kadhi. So check the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.






Ingredients - 
  • 7-8 fresh green chilies
  • oil to deep fry
  • chaat masala to sprinkle

Stuffing-

  • 1 medium potato, boiled & grated
  • 2 boiled eggs, grated
  • 2-3 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. amchur powder (dry mango powder)

Batter-

  • 1 cup besan (Bengal Gram / Chickpea flour)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda 





            Slit the chilies and apply some salt to it and keep aside for 15 minutes. Wash well and pat dry. 

           For the stuffing, in a bowl, combine all the mentioned ingredients. Stuff the chilies with this potato-egg mix and keep aside. 

          Make a batter with all the mentioned ingredients and keep aside for 10 minutes. 

          Heat oil in a pan. Dip each of the stuffed chilies in the prepared batter and deep fry them on a med. flame to a golden colour. 

           Drain on a kitchen towel. Sprinkle some chaat masala and serve them hot with green chutney or sauce.




                Slit the chilies & apply some salt to it. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Wash well 
                and pat dry. 




                           In a bowl, combine all the mentioned ingredients for the stuffing. 



                              Stuff the chilies with this potato-egg mix and keep aside. 




              Make a batter with all the mentioned ingredients & keep aside for 10 minutes. 



                Heat oil in a pan. Dip each of the stuffed chilies in the prepared batter & deep
                fry them on a med. flame to a golden colour. 



                                Drain on a kitchen towel.



                Sprinkle some chaat masala & serve them hot with green chutney or sauce.












Monday, 30 March 2020

Mint Thalipeeth


          Thalipeeth is a traditional Maharashtrian breakfast prepared from multigrain flours. Very healthy and wholesome, they can be had as a snack, breakfast, dinner or can be a great lunch box meal too. But let me share my version of Thalipeeth made of gram flour, whole wheat flour, mint puree and other basic ingredients easily available in your kitchen. It turned out real yummy. It can be enjoyed with yoghurt, pickles, chutney or butter. So check the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.








  • 1 cup besan (gram flour)
  • 1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup mint puree
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida 
  • 1 tsp. flax seed
  • 1 tsp. kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • 1-2 tbsp. oil to knead
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • oil to shallow fry 











            In a bowl, combine all the above mentioned ingredients (except oil to shallow fry ). Knead into a dough by adding water, only if required. Cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

          Divide the dough into equal portions. Take each portion and spread it directly on a greased tawa / griddle into a circle just like a chapati with the help of some water.

          Make few holes on it. Drizzle 2 tsp. oil in the holes and around the edges and fry on a low flame on both sides till done.

          Make similar Thalipeeth with the remaining dough and relish them hot, with pickle, butter, plain yoghurt, raita or green chutney.





                  In a bowl, combine all the mentioned ingredients (except oil to shallow fry).                                      Knead into a dough by adding water, only if required.




                               Cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.



                 Divide the dough into equal portions. Take each portion & spread it directly 
                 on a greased tawa into a circle just like a chapati with the help of some water.
                 Make few holes on it. 







                     Drizzle 2 tsp. oil in the holes & around the edges and fry on a low flame 
                     on both sides till done.






                   Relish them hot with pickle, butter, plain yoghurt, raita or green chutney.












Sunday, 29 March 2020

Tomato Rasam


          This is a very popular South Indian style soup which is either had with rice or with some croutons / bread sticks for a light meal. It tastes great as an appetizer too. No meal is complete without rasam. It is light on the tummy and I like having it with hot steamed rice and accompanied with some papad / fryums. It simply tastes divine. So check the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare my version of this yummy Tomato Rasam.






          There are many versions to this yummy and refreshing soup. It helps in warding off cold and congestion. Have it piping hot for all the health benefits. It can be prepared with homemade rasam powder or a store bought one. Choice is yours. I usually make it with a paste made of cumin seeds, peppercorns and garlic. But in this recipe I added some store bought rasam powder too. Both ways it tastes just yummy. 





  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. peppercorns 
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tbsp. rasam powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped








           Heat oil in a pan and temper with dry red chili, cumin seeds and peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds. Then add the garlic and 1 sprig curry leaves. Stir fry till the garlic changes colour.

          Now add the chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder and tamarind paste. Mix everything well and them add the water.

          Pressure cook for 3 whistles. When cool, blend into a puree and strain.  keep aside.

          Heat ghee in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add asafoetida, rasam powder and remaining curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds. 

          Add the prepared rasam and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot as an appetizer, with hot steamed rice or as a soup.




                  Heat oil & temper with dry red chili, cumin seeds & peppercorns. Saute
                  for a few seconds. Then add the garlic and 1 sprig curry leaves. Stir fry till the
                  garlic changes colour.



                  Now add the chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder & tamarind paste. 




                                Mix everything well and them add the water.



                                Pressure cook for 3 whistles. 




                                When cool, blend into a puree and strain.  keep aside.



                  Heat ghee & temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, 
                  add asafoetida, rasam powder & remaining curry leaves. Saute for a few sec. 



                      Add the prepared rasam and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. 




                                Switch off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves. 






                                Serve hot as an appetizer, with hot steamed rice or as a soup.













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