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Sunday, 30 December 2018

Uchche Bhaja (Bitter Gourd Stir Fry - Bengali Cuisine)


           This bitter preparation is a delicacy on a Bengali platter and is quite popular among the  Bengalis. It is had at the beginning of any meal as it is considered to cleanse the system. It is just fried on its own or along with potatoes depending on individual choice and availability. Add kasundi paste to the end product if a more pungent flavour is desired. Serve with ghee and hot steamed rice.


  






  • 2-3 medium size bitter gourd, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantity of fennel, cumin, mustard, fenugreek and nigella (kalonji) seeds)
  • 1-2 whole dry red chilies, broken into two
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped (opt)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. kasundi  (mustard paste) / ghee 
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped








          Heat oil in a pan and temper with whole dry red chilies and panch phoron. After it stops spluttering, add the chopped garlic and saute for a few seconds. 

          Now add the chopped bitter gourd, salt and turmeric powder. Cover and cook on a low flame till it is tender. (this will take some time, so be patient).

          Keep stirring at intervals. When done, add the kasundi and stir well to combine. Switch off the flame. Add coriander leaves and give it a toss. Serve with hot steamed rice and ghee. 




                     Heat oil in a pan and temper with whole dry red chilies & panch phoron. 
                   After it stops spluttering, add chopped garlic & saute for a few seconds. 



                     Now add the chopped bitter gourd, salt and turmeric powder. 



                     Cover and cook on a low flame till it is tender. Keep stirring at intervals.



                      When done, add the kasundi and stir well to combine.



                     Switch off the flame. Add coriander leave and give it a toss. 







                               Serve with hot steamed rice and ghee. 













Saturday, 29 December 2018

Egg Angara with Jeera Rice


          Serve this restaurant style egg curry along with some jeera rice as they both complement each other. Prepared this Egg Angara with a slight twist as the main gravy based ingredients were first char grilled on an open flame and then made into a paste. This gives a nice smoky flavour to the dish. 

          On the other hand plain steamed rice can be more flavourful in the form of jeera rice. It  tastes yummy with the flavour of the ghee along with the crunch of the fried cumin seeds. So this simple platter is apt to be served and enjoyed during special occasions along with your family and friends. Happy Cooking !!!






Egg Angara - 
  • 2-3 boiled eggs, cut into half
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 2 green chilies
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1" ginger
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1" cinnamon stick 
  • 2-3 cardamoms 
  • 4-5 cloves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped





          Grill the onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chilies on an open fire till it is slightly charred. Grind into a fine paste and keep aside. 

          Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry the boiled eggs. Drain and keep aside. Temper the same oil with cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves.

          Add the onion paste, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Saute till the oil separates. Add 1 - 1 & 1/2 cups water and salt. Bring it to a boil.

          Cover and simmer on a low flame for 4-5 minutes till the gravy reduces to a desired consistency. Add the garam masala powder and ghee and simmer further for a minute. 

          Switch off the flame and transfer to a serving plate. Arrange the boiled eggs over it and garnish with coriander leaves. 






Jeera Rice - 

  • 1 cup Basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes
  • salt to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2-3 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped





           Pressure cook the rice in 1 & 1/2 cups water, salt and lime juice for 1 whistle. Spread on a plate to cool down.

          Heat ghee in a pan and temper with the cumin seeds and green chilies. Then add the rice and mix well. Saute for a minute or two on a low flame. 

          Add the coriander leaves and give it a toss. Switch off the flame and transfer to a serving plate.

















Friday, 28 December 2018

Sundal (Chickpea Snack - Tamilian Cuisine)


          This is a very popular and a healthy snack found in South India, especially Tamil Nadu. I was introduced to this simple and easy snack during my stay in Chennai. They are usually served in temples and also can be found being sold in beaches and parks. 

          As chickpeas contain high protein, they can be relished anytime of the day. But it is best relished as an evening snack along with a cup of hot tea or coffee. So check for a step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.








  • 1 cup white chickpeas, boiled
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 whole red chilly, broken
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh coconut, grated
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves to garnish 
         








           Heat oil in a pan and temper with red chilies and mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the green chili, urad dal and curry leaves. Saute till the dal changes colour.


          Add the boiled chickpeas and salt and stir for a minute or two. Add the grated coconut and coriander leaves. Give it a toss and switch off the flame. Serve and enjoy as a snack.




                               Heat oil and temper with red chilies and mustard seeds. After i
                               stops spluttering, add the green chili, urad dal and curry leaves.
                               Saute till the dal changes colour.



                                 Add the boiled chickpeas and salt and stir for a minute or two. 




                             Add the grated coconut & coriander leaves. Give it a toss and
                             switch off the flame. 







                               Serve and enjoy as a snack.











Thursday, 27 December 2018

Besani Garlic Bhindi (Okra Stir Fry - Rajasthani Style)


         This is my version of a traditional Rajasthani cuisine. It is a simple and a yummy okra curry with some garlicky flavour, which can be made in a jiffy. I made it extra spicy and tangy to suit my taste. It is a dry side dish to be relished with chapatis, but it can also be had with dal-chawal. So do give it a try by checking for an easy step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it. 








  • 400 gms. bhindi (Okra), cut into 1" thickness
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped 
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. roasted chickpea flour 
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. coriander leaves 







          Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds. Saute for a few seconds. Add the garlic, green chilies and asafoetida. Fry till the garlic changes colour.

          Add the besan and saute till you get a nice aroma. Immediately add the bhindi, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and red chili powder.

          Mix everything well and cook, covered on a low to medium flame till done. Sprinkle water and stir at intervals.

          When done, add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Give it a stir and switch off the flame. Serve as a side dish with either chapati or rice.




                                            Cut the okra to 1" thickness. 



                     Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds. Saute for a few seconds. 
                     Add the garlic, green chilies & asafoetida. Fry till the garlic changes colour.



                                         Add the besan and saute till you get a nice aroma. 




                               Add the bhindi, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin
                               powder and red chili powder. Mix everything well and cook, 
                               covered on a low to medium flame till done. Sprinkle water and 
                               stir at intervals.



                                         When done, add the coriander leaves..... 




                                  ....and lemon juice Give it a stir & switch off the flame. 






                                Serve as a side dish with either chapati or rice.














Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Chickpea & Pumpkin Soup with Corn & Green Peas


          A bowl of piping hot soup is always welcome on a cold winter night and is just what you need to keep you warm from inside. So come lets enjoy this yummy and hearty soup with the goodness of some veggies like pumpkin, corn, green peas and boiled chickpeas. This one-pot wonder is both nutritious and healthy, loaded with fibre and proteins. 








  • 1 cup chickpea (kabuli chana), boiled
  • 1 cup pumpkin, chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn 
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 cups stock 
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped 





          Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and saute the pumpkin till it is tender. Drain and keep aside. Heat remaining oil and temper with cinnamon and bay leaves.

          Add the garlic and onion and stir fry till it turns translucent. Now add the stock and bring it to a boil.

          Now add the boiled chickpeas, cooked pumpkin, corn peas, salt and pepper powder. Simmer on a low flame and coarsely crush the contents with the ladle. 

          When done, switch off the lame and transfer to individual serving bowls. Serve, garnished with oregano and coriander leaves. 
          



Note - I have used frozen corn and green peas. If using fresh ones, you can parboil them before adding them to the boiling stock.




















Monday, 24 December 2018

Soya Stuffed Mirchi Ka Salan



          Mirchi Ka Salan is a Hyderabadi delicacy usually served with Dum Biryani. It is a spicy and a tangy Chili Curry in a sesame seeds-coconut-peanut gravy called 'Salan' in the local lingo which means curry / gravy. No Biryani is complete without this accompaniment. 

           So went ahead and prepared this fusion dish where I stuffed the green chilies with some leftover soya keema matar and then made a salan out of it. It was real yum. It can be relished as a side dish with pulao, jeera rice, plain biryani, paratha, poori, naan, tandoori roti or just plain chapati. 






Soya Keema Matar - 
  • 1/2 cup soya granules
  • 1/4 cup frozen green peas 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped





           Make a paste of the ginger-garlic and all the dry spices along with some water. Keep aside. Soak the soya granules in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds. Then add the onion and saute till light brown.

            Add the spice paste and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes along with some water. Cover and cook till it is mashed.

           Add the drained soya granules, peas and some water. Cover and simmer till the moisture is all absorbed. When done, add ghee and coriander leaves. Give it a toss and keep aside.




         

Salan - 
  • 6-7 big fresh green chilies
  • 2 tbsp. peanuts
  • 1 tbsp. white sesame seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste mixed with 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves








           Dry roast the peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut, coriander seeds and cumin seeds for 1-2 minutes or till you get a nice aroma coming through. Switch off the flame and set aside to cool down. Then grind into a paste by adding some water. Keep aside.

          Grind the onion, ginger & garlic to a fine paste and keep aside. Make a slit in the chilies and deseed them. Stuff with the prepare soya keema matar.

          Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and shallow fry them till light brown. Drain and keep aside. 

           Temper the remaining oil with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Allow it to splutter.  Add onion-ginger-garlic paste and saute till oil separates.

          Add the ground paste, turmeric powder and red chili powder and fry.  Add tamarind water, salt and some extra water if required and simmer. Cover and cook till the gravy thickens. 

          Switch off the flame and transfer to a serving dish. Arrange the stuffed green chilies over the gravy and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve as a side dish with pulao, biryani, plain steamed rice or chapatis.
               









         








Sunday, 23 December 2018

Pomfret Macher Jhaal (Bengali Style Pomfret Curry)


          Who loves Pomfret? I'm sure many of you do just like me. My most favorite winter special lunch is and will always be fish curry and rice. Then try this very simple Bengali homemade style fish curry. It is cooked with minimum of spices and is a quick recipe. It just has red chili powder and turmeric powder as the base of the gravy. 

          It's that simple with minimum effort but with maximum flavour. It hardly takes any time to dish out this traditional Bengali delicacy. It does not have too much gravy and is on the dry side. It is best relished with only and only plain steamed rice. So check for a step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this Bong delicacy.








  • 1 pomfret fish, cut into 3 pieces
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp. nigella seeds
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste 
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped










          Marinate the fish with a pinch of turmeric powder and red chili powder for 10 minutes. Mix the remaining turmeric powder and red chili powder in 1/2 cup water and keep aside. 

          Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the fish on both sides till light brown in colour. Drain and keep aside. 

          Temper the same oil with nigella seeds and green chilies. Saute for a few seconds. Add the paste and salt to taste. 

          Bring it to a boil and gently drop in the fried fish. Cover and simmer on a low flame till the gravy reduces and the oil separates. 

          When done, drizzle the remaining mustard oil and switch off the flame.  Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with plain steamed rice. 


       

                     Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan & fry the fish on both sides till light brown in colour.
                     Drain and keep aside. 



                     Temper the same oil with nigella seeds and green chilies.



                     Add the paste and salt to taste. Bring it to a boil & gently drop in the fried
                     fish. Cover and simmer on a low flame till the gravy reduces and the oil 
                     separates. 



                      When done, drizzle the remaining mustard oil and switch off the flame.  
                      Garnish with coriander leaves.








                                Serve with plain steamed rice. 












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