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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Chingri diye Aloo Squasher Dalna (Chow Chow Prawns Curry - Bengali Style)


           This is just a simple Bengali style curry made of Chow Chow / Chayote. It is the non-veg. version where I added some prawns. You can omit it and add instead some fried vadi / dried lentil dumplings for a veg. version. Enjoy it with some hot steamed rice for lunch or with chapatis for a light dinner. So check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare this traditional homemade delicacy.








  • 2 medium size Squash (chow chow), cubed
  • 1 potato, cubed
  • 8-10 large prawns
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. celery / nigella seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • 1" ginger
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 4 green chilies
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped








          Grind ginger, 2 green chilies and cumin seeds with little water into a paste. Keep aside. Marinate the prawns with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 5-10 minutes.

         Heat oil in a pan and fry the potatoes and prawns separately. Drain and keep aside. Temper the same oil with bay leaves, celery seeds and asafoetida. Saute for a few seconds.

          Now add the ground paste and turmeric powder. Stir fry till the oil separates. Add the chopped chow chow and salt to taste. Mix everything well and simmer, covered for 2-3 minutes.

          Add 1 cup water, fried potatoes and prawns. Cover and cook on a low flame till done. Switch off the flame and add the ghee, remaining green chilies and garam masala powder. 

           Give it a stir and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve as a side dish with either rice or chapatis.

   


                     Heat oil in a pan and fry the potatoes and prawns separately. Drain and
                     keep aside. 




                    Temper the same oil with bay leaves, celery seeds and asafoetida. Saute
                    for a few seconds.



                    Add the ground paste of cumin seeds and ginger and turmeric powder. Stir 
                    fry till the oil separates. 




                    Add the chopped chow chow and salt to taste. Mix everything well and 
                    simmer, covered for 2-3 minutes.



                    Add 1 cup water, fried potatoes & prawns. Cover and cook on a low flame
                    till done. 



                      Switch off the flame and add the ghee, remaining green chilies & garam 
                      masala powder.  Give it a stir and garnish with coriander leaves. 






                               Serve as a side dish with either rice or chapatis.










Saturday, 24 February 2018

Foxtail Millet / Kangni Pongal


          I was introduced to this wonder grain by my son who is doing an official project on Millets. It is a diabetic friendly and a heart friendly grain that helps in reducing blood sugar levels. It contains a lot of antioxidants, healthy carbs, dietary fibre, calcium, iron and can be consumed as a substitute to rice and wheat. It is very popular in many countries where it is used as a staple diet. The flour is also used to prepare many yummy and healthy recipes. 

          So let me share a very simple South Indian breakfast recipe of Pongal, where I substituted rice with foxtail millet. You can relish it with coconut chutney and sambar for a healthy and a sumptuous breakfast. Check below for a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it. 








  • 3/4 cup foxtail millet
  • 1/4 cup roasted moong dal
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1-2 green chili, slit
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns
  • 2-3 tbsp. roasted cashew nuts
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped






          Soak the foxtail millet and moong dal for 2-3 hours. Pressure cook with 3 1/2 cups water and salt to taste for 4-5 whistles. Keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds and red chili. After it stops spluttering, add the curry leaves, green chilies, peppercorns, ginger, urad dal and roasted cashews. 

           Saute for a few seconds and pour this tempering over the boiled millet-dal mix. Drizzle some ghee over it and garnish with coriander leaves. 

          Serve with coconut chutney and sambar for a healthy and a sumptuous breakfast. 




                     Soak the foxtail millet and moong dal for 2-3 hours. Pressure cook with 
                     3 &1/2 cups water and salt to taste for 4-5 whistles. Keep aside.



                    Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds & red chili. After it stops                                        spluttering, add the curry leaves, green chilies, peppercorns, ginger, urad
                    dal and roasted cashews. 




                   Saute for a few seconds and pour this tempering over the boiled millet-dal 
                   mix. Drizzle some ghee over it and garnish with coriander leaves. 



                               Serve with coconut chutney & sambar.












Thursday, 22 February 2018

Cauliflower Korma


          Korma in general is a very popular side dish served in many restaurants. It is prepared with mixed veggies or any individual veggie and differs from one region to the other. Yoghurt, coconut or cashew paste is used for the base gravy. 

         So let me share today Korma made of cauliflower. This yummy preparation can be served either with pulao, jeera rice, poori, paratha, chapati, etc. In the South it is often relished with appam, idiyappam or biryani. 











  • 1 medium size cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3-4 tbsp. oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1" cinnamon stick 
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds 
  • 1 onion
  • 1" ginger
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tomato
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar (opt)
  • 1 tsp. kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves). crushed
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • coriander leaves to garnish









          Blend the onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes to a smooth paste. Keep aside. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the cauliflower florets till light brown in colour. Drain and keep aside. 

          Heat remaining oil and temper with bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and cumin seeds. Saute for a few seconds.

          Now add the ground paste and saute till the oil separates. Add all the dry spices (except garam masala) kasuri methi, sugar and yogurt. Mix well and continue to stir fry till it leaves the sides of the pan. 

          Add the fried cauliflower and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook on a low flame till done. Add the garam masala and ghee. 

          Stir and switch off the flame. Keep it covered for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve as a side dish with rice or chapati. 


         








       








Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Lau Posto (Bottle Gourd Curry cooked with Poppy Seeds Paste - Bengali Style)


          This healthy and wonder veggie can be made use of in making many yummy dishes. One such is Lau Posto, a traditional Bengali homemade recipe that is simply out of this world. Bottle gourd is cooked along with some poppy seeds paste and in mustard oil for an authentic touch. 

           Drop in some fried vadi for a slight crunch. Light on any spices and your tummy, it can be dished out in a ziffy. This amazingly delicious side dish goes well with plain steamed rice or chapati. So check for a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it. 











  • 1 medium size bottle gourd / lauki, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds (kalonji)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar (opt)
  • 8-10 bori / dried lentil dumplings / vadi
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds paste
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped








          Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and saute the mangodi till golden brown in colour. Drain and keep aside. Temper the same oil with nigella seeds. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add the chopped bottle gourd, salt, turmeric powder, sugar, cumin powder, fried mangodi and green chilies. Mix well and cook, covered for 4-5 minutes.

           Add the poppy seeds paste and 1/2 cup water. Again cover and cook till done. Switch off the flame and add the coriander leaves and remaining mustard oil. 

           Give it a stir and let it remain covered for 2-3 minutes. Serve as a side dish with hot steamed rice or chapati.





                    Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan & saute the mangodi till golden brown in colour. 
                    Drain & keep aside. Temper the same oil with nigella seeds. Saute for a
                    few seconds. Add the chopped bottle gourd, salt, turmeric powder, sugar, 
                    cumin powder, fried mangodi & green chilies. 



                               Mix well and cook, covered for 4-5 minutes.




                   Add the poppy seeds paste & 1/2 cup water. Again cover and cook till done. 



  Switch off the flame & add the coriander leaves & remaining mustard oil. 
Give it a stir and let it remain covered for 2-3 minutes. 



                               Serve as a side dish with hot steamed rice or chapati.









Monday, 19 February 2018

Mulo Bata (Radish Chutney - Bengali Style)


          A far cry from all the restaurant style food, this humble veggie can be made into a lip smacking yummy side dish. It is almost a lost and a forgotten recipe that the new generation is not much aware of. It is an extremely easy, simple and a quick recipe that consists of all the flavours infused in it. 

          This homemade delicacy has minimum of spices and is sauteed in mustard oil for that authentic touch. It tastes simply awesome with plain steamed rice. But you may also try it with chapati or as a spread on parathas.








  • 3-4 radish
  • 2 green chilies
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • handful of coriander roots (opt)
  • 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds (kalonji)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder









          Blend the radish, green chilies, garlic and coriander roots into a fine paste. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and temper with the nigella seeds. Saute for a few seconds. 

          Add the ground paste, salt and turmeric powder. Saute on a low flame till all the moisture is dried up. 

          Switch off the flame and add the remaining mustard oil. Give it a stir and serve with plain steamed rice or as a side dish with chapati. 




















Chingri Posto Bata (Prawns Poppy Seeds Chutney - Bengali Style)


           In my quest to discover some traditional and lost recipes, I came across this simple and  yummy recipe of fried prawns that are ground to a paste along with poppy seeds, coconut, mustard seeds, etc. It is then sauteed in mustard oil for an authentic Bengali flavour.  

          So all prawn lovers, go for it. Just try this rustic style no-frills recipe and I'm sure you'll gonna love this amazing and unique dish. The best way is to have it with only plain steamed rice, but you may also try having it with chapati.





  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 cup prawns, cleaned & deveined
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds (kalonji)





          Grind together poppy seeds, mustard seeds, prawns, 1 tbsp. mustard oil, salt, turmeric powder, coconut and green chilies to a fine paste.

          Heat the remaining oil and temper with the kalonji. Saute for a few seconds and then add the ground paste. Stir fry on a low flame till dry. Serve with hot steamed rice.
















Sunday, 18 February 2018

Tofu Butter Masala


          Tofu is rich in protein and calcium. It lowers cholesterol level, makes the bones stronger and increases blood circulation. So here is a yummy side dish that is so easy and simple to make. It is an absolute delicacy and is also a perfect party dish. 

          Tofu chunks are slightly sauteed and then simmered in a onion-tomato-coconut gravy. A healthy substitute to paneer (cottage cheese), it can be served with jeera rice, pulao, plain biryani, naan, tandoori roti, kulcha or just plain chapati. 





  • 200 gms. tofu, cubed
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1-2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1" ginger
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1-2 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. kasuri methi, crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp. butter
  • 3-4 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped






          Grind the onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and coconut with little water into a smooth paste. Keep aside. 

          Heat oil in a pan and fry the the tofu till light brown in colour. Drain and keep aside. Temper the same oil with cumin seeds and asafoetida.

          Add the ground paste and saute till the oil separates. Now add all the dry spices and mix well. Add the fried tofu, kasuri methi and 1/2 cup water. 

          Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes on a low flame. Switch off the flame and add the butter and coriander leaves. 

          Mix everything well and keep it covered for 2-3 minutes. Serve as a side dish with any form of rice or Indian bread. 
















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