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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Morula Mach Er Paturi - (Mola Carplet Fish) Cooked in Banana Leaf / Foil


          This Bengali Fish delicacy is traditionally cooked, wrapped in a banana leaf. But it can also be substituted with aluminium foil in case of non-availability. It is a very simple and an easy dish as too much of preparation is not required. All it needs is to mix all the ingredients and cook, wrapped in a foil / banana leaf on a low flame. 

          And in just 20 minutes it is ready to be devoured with plain steamed rice. In case of banana leaf, make sure to heat the leaves on an open flame to make it more pliable so that it can be wrapped very easily. These small river water fish can be substituted with anchovies too. Please check below a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.





  • 350 gms Morula maach (fish), cleaned and rinsed well
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 2-3 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. fresh coconut, grated 
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds paste (opt)
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seeds paste 
  • foil / banana leaf as required



          In a  bowl mix together all the above mentioned ingredients. Place it on a foil / banana leaf and secure well with a tooth pick in case of a banana leaf.

          Heat a tawa / griddle and place the wrapped foil on it and cook on a low flame for 20 minutes by flipping it over at an interval of 5 minutes.

          Serve it in the foil itself with plain steamed rice or in a serving dish, garnished with coriander leaves and fresh chilies.





























Morula Mach Er Tok (Mola Carplet / Small Fish In Tangy Gravy)


          These small river water fish is a Bengali delicacy. Cooked in a tamarind based gravy, it is best relished with plain steamed rice. It is light on the stomach as hardly any masala goes into it. A very simple and an easy recipe, you can add some kaffir lime leaves to give this dish a lemony flavour. Do cook it in mustard oil to give an authentic flavour and taste.





  • 250 gms. Fish, cleaned and rinsed well
  • 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chily, broken into half
  • 1 green chilly, slit
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. tamarind paste


          Marinate the fish with salt to taste and 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder for 10 minutes. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan and fry the fish till light golden brown. Keep aside.

          Heat the remaining oil and temper with mustard seeds and dry red chily. After it stops spluttering, add the tamarind paste mixed in a cup of water, salt, turmeric powder, green chily and the fried fish.

         Simmer on low flame for 4-5 minutes or till the gravy is slightly reduced. Serve hot on a bed of steamed rice.







                                           Marinated fish in salt and turmeric powder,



                                                                Fried Fish.











Friday, 27 February 2015

Rui Mach Er Jhaal (Rohu Fish Curry - Bengali Style)


          This is a very common preparation of fish, prepared almost every day in any Bengali home. Usually Rohu fish is prepared in a gravy based curry with some potatoes or eggplants thrown in. 

          But here I made it in a slightly dry based gravy with just a tempering of panch phoron, onion, green chilies and tomato paste to give a vibrant red colour to the dish.  It simply tastes awesome if had with plain steamed rice with a dash of lime.





  • 3-4 Rohu fish pieces
  • 3-4 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantities of fennel, mustard, cumin, fenugreek & nigella seeds/kalonji)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped


           Marinate the fish pieces with salt to taste and a pinch of turmeric powder for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces on both the sides till light golden brown in colour. Keep aside.

          Temper the same oil with panch phoron and allow it to splutter. Add the onion and saute till light brown.

          Now add the tomato paste and turmeric powder and stir for a few seconds. Add 1/2 cup water, salt, fried fish pieces and slit green chilies.

          Simmer on low flame for 2-3 minutes till the gravy is slightly reduced. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.
 


     

       








Chana Dal Paratha (Bengal Gram Lentil Flat Bread)


          Here are some protein rich and healthy parathas made out of Chana dal (Bengal Gram Lentils). They are not only wholesome and filling, but a hearty breakfast dish which can be had any time of the day. Any leftover dal too can be used to dish out these yummy parathas. Best had hot with either some plain yoghurt, pickles or butter.








  • 1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil 


Stuffing--

  • 1/2 cup chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), soaked for 30 minutes
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida (hing)
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted panch phoron powder (opt)
  • 1 tbsp. kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • oil to shallow fry



          Pressure cook the dal in 1/2 cup of water for 3-4 whistles. When cool, grind to a smooth paste by adding very little water. Keep aside. Knead a dough along with atta, salt, oil and required quantity of water. Keep aside.

          Heat oil in a non-stick pan and temper with cumin seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the asafoetida, green chilies and ginger and saute for a few seconds.

          Now add the ground chana dal paste, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder,  cumin powder and the kasuri methi. Mix well and saute till all the moisture evaporates. Set aside to cool.

          Divide the dough into equal portions. Roll out each portion into a shape of a poori. Add 2-3 tbsp. of the stuffing in the centre and seal all the edges.

          Roll out gently with a sprinkle of some flour into a slightly bigger circle. Make similar stuffed parathas with the rest of the dough and the stuffing.

          Heat a tawa / griddle and shallow fry the parathas one at a time by drizzling a tsp. of oil. Fry till light golden brown on both sides. Fry the rest of the parathas in the same way. Serve hot along with yoghurt, butter, pickle or raita.





















































Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Grilled Chicken - Mediterranean Style


          These grilled delicacies has a Middle Eastern flavour as they are marinated with zaatar and sumac powder besides other ingredients. They are usually served with salad or on a bed of flavoured rice. Something different in taste and flavour from the usual fare, they are perfect as appetizers.





  • 4 pieces of chicken
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp/ pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp. zaatar powder
  • 1 tsp. sumac powder
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • oil for basting
  • lettuce leaves, chopped fresh chilies and coriander leaves to garnish


          In a bowl, mix together the ginger-garlic paste, salt, red chili powder, pepper powder, zaatar, sumac, olive oil, lime juice and required quantity of water to make a paste.

          Smear this paste all over the chicken and marinate for 6-7 hours, preferably overnight in the fridge.

          Grease a microwave upper rack and place the marinated chicken on it. Place it inside the microwave and grill for 30 minutes, basting with oil at intervals. Serve hot garnished with lettuce, coriander leaves and fresh chilies.








Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Lemony Bell Pepper & Cabbage Soup

   
          A very light and a refreshing lemony soup made with Bell Peppers and Cabbage. This is a complete meal in itself with the goodness of vegetables. Perfect for a diet control and a light dinner. 

          As cabbage and bell peppers are low in calories, they are a good combination for a healthy nutritious soup. The addition of kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass gives this soup a slight lemony flavour. Not to forget the tanginess that comes from the lime juice.





  • 1 cup assorted bell peppers, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup cabbage, cut into big chunks
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper or to taste
  • 3 cups stock
  • 7-8 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, cut into three
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • coriander leaves to garnish




          Heat oil in a pan and saute the garlic till it changes colour. Then add the rest of the ingredients (except, lime juice and coriander leaves) and bring it to a boil.

          Simmer on low flame for 10-15 minutes or till the veggies turn soft but they should have a slight crunch. Discard the lime leaves and add the lime juice. Mix well and serve, hot, garnished with coriander leaves.
















Nutritious Beetroot & Sprouts Salad


          Beetroot and sprouts no doubt are a power house of essential vitamins, iron and fibre. So incorporating them in  our daily diet is very essential. And the better way is to have them in the form of this healthy salad. 

          So here is a very simple and a nutritious salad of this combination to go along with your grilled delicacies for a light meal. Just a dash of lime, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper is what you need to dish up this no frills salad.





  • 1/2 medium Beetroot, grated
  • 1/2 cup mixed sprouts, steamed
  • 2 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 green chilies, chopped (opt)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • lemon wedges, coriander leaves and fresh chilies to garnish




         In a bowl, mix all the above mentioned ingredients and serve , garnished with lemon wedges, coriander leaves and fresh red chilly.
















Monday, 23 February 2015

Shalgum - Koraishutir Torkari (Turnip - Green Peas Masala - Bengali style)


          This humble veggie has a lot of nutritional benefits and is considered low in calories and should be included in our daily diet. The pungent smell may not be too inviting, but if cooked properly with a combination of masalas, tastes absolutely fine. I prepared it with an addition of some green peas - the Bengali way. Great as a side dish with chapattis or with steamed rice.





  • 2 shalgum, cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 4 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 8-10 bodi (dried lentil dumplings / Vadi)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1" cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1" ginger
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tomato, chopped / 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • coriander leaves to garnish


          Grind the onion, ginger, garlic and the tomatoes to a smooth paste. Mix this paste along with coriander-cumin powder, turmeric powder and 1/4 cup water and keep aside.

          Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan and saute the chopped shalgam till light brown in colour. Keep aside. Heat another 1 tbsp. oil and fry the bodi till golden brown. Remove and keep aside.

          Heat the remaining oil and temper with bay leaf, cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and cumin seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the ground paste and saute till the oil leaves the sides of the pan.

          Now add the sauteed shalgam cubes, green peas, slit green chilies, fried bodi, salt and 1 - 1/2 cup water. Simmer, covered on low flame.

          When half done, add the garam masala and continue to cook till the shalgam turns soft and the gravy is thick. Just before taking off the fire, add the ghee and mix well. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.







   






Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding)


         This dessert is a very popular sweet in the Northern regions of India, especially Punjab. They are generally grated carrots, cooked with sugar, milk, dry fruits, khoya and cardamom powder. Due to unavailability of khoya, I used store bought pedas. They were a perfect substitute and gave this dessert a good taste and flavour.

          There are many ways of making this yummy dessert. But I used the quicker method by pressure cooking it first and cutting short the time. But the real taste lies in cooking it the traditional way by simmering on a low flame. It can also be cooked in a microwave. To make it more healthy, use brown sugar and less of ghee.








  • 3 med carrots, grated
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 3-4 pedas (substitute of khoya), crumbled
  • 2 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • sugar to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry fruits
  • few strands of saffron to garnish
  • 1 tbsp. rose water (opt)








          Heat ghee in a pan and saute the carrots for a minute or two on a low flame. Transfer to a pressure cooker. Add milk and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.

          When cool, transfer it to a non -stick pan and add the dry fruits (leaving few to garnish). keep stirring on low flame till the moisture is reduced.

          Add the crumbled pedas, cardamom powder and sugar to taste. Continue to stir till it slightly thickens. Add the saffron and rose water and serve, garnished with dry fruits.




                                Take 3 carrots.



                                Grate them 



                              I have taken 4 pedas instead of khoya.



                  Heat ghee in a pan and saute the carrots for a minute or two on a low flame. 
                  Transfer to a pressure cooker. Add milk and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.



                   When cool, transfer it to a non -stick pan and add the dry fruits (leaving few
                   to garnish). keep stirring on low flame till the moisture is reduced.



                               Add the crumbled pedas, cardamom powder and ......



                     ....... sugar to taste. Continue to stir till it slightly thickens. Add the saffron
                     and rose water. 



                               Serve, garnished with dry fruits and saffron.












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