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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Coriander Leaves Parathas


          A healthy and a nutritious Paratha made with fresh coriander leaves makes for a wholesome breakfast. Loaded with a number of nutrients, coriander leaves lends a good aroma to our daily parathas and is equally delicious too. 

          It can be served as a snack any time of the day by cutting them into bite sized pieces along with mayo / hummus. Otherwise, it is best enjoyed with any side dish, raita, pickles, plain yoghurt or just butter. It is also a great lunch box meal. Please check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.








  • 1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • oil to shallow fry


          In a bowl, combine all the ingredients (except oil to shallow fry) and knead into a soft dough with required quantity of water. Keep aside to rest for 30 minutes.

          Divide the dough into 4-5 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a circle like chapattis. Heat a tawa / griddle and sallow fry the parathas one at a time by smearing some oil on both the sides into a light golden colour. 

          Serve hot with some pickles, yoghurt, butter or any side dish.




                                        Mix together atta, salt to taste, red chili flakes, turmeric 
                                        powder, garam masala powder and asafoetida.



                                        Add the chopped coriander leaves and oil.



                                        Mix well and add kalonji (nigella seeds).



                                        Knead into a soft dough with required quantity of water.











Aloo Potol Er Dalna (Parwal / Pointed Gourd Curry - Bengali Style)


          Potol (Parwal / Pointed Gourd) cooked with potatoes and dry lentil dumplings is a traditional and a favourite dish among all Bengalis. It is cooked in mustard oil for an authentic flavour and is served with either plain rice or poori.

          Dalna generally means thick gravy where onion may or may not be added. For a non-veg. version, prawns or fried fish head is added instead of vadi. A drizzle of a tsp. of ghee towards the end gives a very good taste and flavour to the dish.





  • 10 Potol (Parwals/Pointed Gourd) chopped into roundels of 1/2 " thick
  • 1 potato, cubed
  • 8-10 bodi (vadi / dried lentil dumplings)
  • 3-4 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 fresh chilies, slit
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • coriander leaves to garnish


          Heat 2 tbsp. oil and fry the bodi till golden brown. Drain and keep aside. In the same oil fry the parwals till light brown. Keep aside.

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

          Add the potatoes and fry till light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and tomato paste mixed with 1/4 cup water. Saute till the oil separates from the sides of the pan.

          Now add the fried parwals, slit chilies, salt to taste and 2 cups water. Cover and simmer on low to medium flame till the gravy thickens and the parwals turns soft.

          Add ghee and mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with either plain steamed rice, chapattis or poori.





                           Heat oil in a pan and fry the vadi (dried lentil dumplings) till golden brown
                           and keep aside.



                          Fry the parwals till light brown. Keep aside.



                          Temper the oil with cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and bay                               leaves.



                         Add the potatoes and saute till light brown.



                          Add the ginger-garlic paste, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric powder,                                 garam masala powder and tomato paste mixed with little water.



                           Add the fried parwals, chilies, water and salt.



                          Cook, covered till done and the gravy thickens. Add ghee and ......



                          serve, garnished with coriander leaves.
                    



Brown Bread


          This is a simple homemade style brown bread that is very common in every household. A healthy variation than any store bought one, they can simply be relished with either jam, butter or eggs in any form. 

          Very few ingredients went into making this awesome fresh bread in the convection mode in the microwave at 190 degrees c for 30 minutes. For a healthier version, I have added olive oil instead of butter and raw sugar.





  • 3 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. oats


          In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup lukewarm water, yeast and sugar. Keep aside for 15 minutes. 

          In a bowl, sift the flour. Add salt, egg yolk, milk, oil and the yeast water. Mix well and knead into a soft, pliable dough with required quantity of lukewarm water. 

          Add 1/2 tsp. oil and continue to knead for another 2 minutes. Cover with a plastic bag and keep aside in a warm place for 2 hours. 

          Punch the swelled up dough for 2-3 minutes and shape it into a log. Transfer to a greased and floured loaf tin. Cover again with a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

          Take it out of the refrigerator 2 hours prior to baking. Brush the surface with some milk and sprinkle some oats over it.

          Preheat the microwave oven at 190 degrees in the convection mode. Place the loaf tin on the lower rack and bake for 30 minutes.

          After 20 minutes of baking when the surface of the bread starts to brown, cover lightly with a foil and continue to bake.

          When done, transfer the bread loaf onto a wire rack and let it cool. Slice it and serve as desired.






       










Sunday, 29 March 2015

Spinach Biryani


          
          This is a wholesome and a nutritious meal with the goodness of spinach. Very easy and simple to make, they can be had with raita, pickles or just plain roasted papad. Do try this delicious one-pot meal when time is a constraint and when you want something healthy. So follow a step by step method with photos to prepare it.










  • 1/2 cup Basmati rice, soaked for 1/2 hour
  • 3 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter
  • 1" cinnamon
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed & chopped roughly
  • 1" ginger
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • fried onions, tomato wedges, lemon wedges & fried cashews to garnish (opt)





          Make a puree with of the spinach with ginger and green chilies with 1/4 cup water. Keep aside.

          Heat the ghee and temper with bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and cumin seeds. saute for a few seconds.

          Add the onion and fry till light brown. Now add the soaked and drained rice and saute for 1-2 minutes.

          Add the pureed spinach, salt, turmeric powder and garam masala powder and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes.

          Add 1 and 1/2  cups water and pressure cook for 1-2 whistles. Garnish with fried onions, tomato wedges, lemon wedges and fried cashews. Serve along with some raita, pickle or papad.




                   Temper the ghee with bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and cumin 
                    seeds. Then add onions and saute.



                                Add the rice and fry for 1-2 minutes.



                  Add the pureed spinach, salt, turmeric powder and garam masala powder. 
                  Saute, add water and pressure cook.



                                Serve, garnished with raita, pickles or papad.












Saturday, 28 March 2015

Ol Makha (Suran Bharta / Mashed Elephant Yam Curry - Bengali Style)


          'OL' means Elephant Yam / Suran and 'Makha' means boiled / mashed / bharta. So this is my version of a Yam Bharta a la Bengali style. This is another great way of serving this humble veggie which is full of essential nutrients. It is a simple homemade, easy and a delicious dish. The tempering is done in mustard oil for an authentic Bengali flavour. 

           It is a great comfort food for those days when time is a constraint. You can try this recipe with potato too. It can also be had, rolled up in a roti as a wrap or spread on a toast for a quick meal. Please check below a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.






  • 500 gms. yam, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • 2 dry red chilies, broken into half
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped



          Boil the yam till soft or pressure cook for 3 whistles. When cool, mash them and keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with the red chilies. Then add the garlic and kalonji.  Saute for a few seconds till the garlic changes colour.
    
          Now add the onion, salt and turmeric powder and fry till light brown. Add this tempering and the coriander leaves to the mashed yam and mix well. Serve as a side dish with rice or with chapattis / parathas.





                                 Boil the Yam till soft. When cool, mash and keep aside.



                               Temper the oil with dry red chilies.



                            Add the kalonji and garlic. Saute till the garlic changes colour.



                           Add the onion, salt and turmeric powder. Saute till light brown.
                                      


                         Add the tempering and coriander leaves to the mashed yam and mix well.
                                  
                                

                                Serve, garnished as a side dish with either rice or chapattis.







Friday, 27 March 2015

Kosha Mangsho (Mutton Curry - Bengali Style)


          This is a very popular and an authentic Bengali style Mutton Curry known as Kosha Mangsho. Kosha means frying the marinated mutton on low flame till dry before adding the water. Mangsho means Mutton / Lamb. 

          It is a spicy dry gravy which is either had with rice, pulao or any Indian bread. This dish is an all-time favourite of any Bengali and is a must have on any weekend lunch or dinner. It is slow cooked to perfection in mustard oil and other aromatic spices.






  • 500 gms. Mutton on bones, cubed
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. mustard oil (for marination)
  • 2 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil (for cooking)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • onion slices, lemon wedges & coriander leaves to garnish


          Marinate the mutton with all the ingredients starting from salt to garlic paste for a minimum of 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves. Saute for a few seconds.

          Then add the onion and sugar and fry till light brown. Add the marinated mutton and continue to fry on low flame till dry.

          Add 1 1/2 cups water and pressure cook on high flame for 1 whistle. Then cook on low flame for 20-25 minutes.

          Simmer further and reduce the gravy to a thick consistency. Garnish with onion slices, lemon wedges and coriander leaves. Serve hot with either rice, naan or paratha.




                          Temper the oil with bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves.
                                     


                           Add the onion and sugar and fry till light brown.



                           Add the marinated mutton and cook on low flame till dry.
                           Add water and pressure cook.




                          Serve, garnished with onion slices, lemon wedges and coriander leaves.
                                        




          

Palak Lachcha Paratha (Flaky Spinach Flat Bread)


          Another variation to the usual Paratha is to mix it with a puree of spinach, ginger and green chilies. Some more spices are added to make a delicious and a healthy breakfast menu to be relished with any side dish, Yoghurt, pickle or butter. 

          They can also be had for lunch or dinner and can be a great lunch box meal too for young and old alike. They are not only nutritious with the goodness of iron but is a very good way of camouflaging it for fussy eaters. Please check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.





  • 1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • 1 bunch spinach leaves, cleaned & chopped
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • oil to shallow fry





          Puree the spinach leaves, ginger and green chilies with very little water. Keep aside.

          In a bowl, mix together atta, salt, baking soda, garam masala powder and amchur. Add the spinach puree and knead into a stiff dough with required quantity of water. 

          Add 1/2 tsp. oil and knead for another minute and keep aside to rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into equal portions.

          Roll out each portion into a round circle. Drizzle some oil and sprinkle some flour over it. Carefully fold it back and forth. Stretch it slightly and fold it like a Swiss roll.

          Dust some flour and roll it into a circle. Do the same with the rest of the dough. Heat a tawa / griddle and shallow fry the rolled out parathas on both sides by drizzling some oil over it and along the edges. 

          Fry till light golden in colour. Serve them hot with any side dish, raita, yoghurt, butter or pickle.




                  In a bowl, mix together atta, salt, baking soda, amchur powder and garam
                  masala powder.



                                Add the spinach-ginger-green chilies paste.



                                Knead into a stiff dough and leave aside for 30 minutes.



                                Divide into equal portions.



                  Roll them out into a circle. Drizzle some oil & sprinkle a bit of flour over it.



                                Fold back and forth.



                               Stretch it a little longer by pulling both ends gently.



                               And fold like a Swiss roll.



                                Flatten it and......



                                and roll into a circle.



                          Shallow fry them by drizzling some oil over it and along the edges.
                                    
                          








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