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Sunday 27 March 2016

Kumro Phool Bhaja (Pumpkin Flowers Pakoras / Fritters - Bong Style)

           These are amazing Pakoras / Fritters made out of Pumpkin Flowers. It is a traditional Bengali appetizer or side dish that is very much relished as a part of a Bengali platter with dal-chawal (rice-lentil combo). These awesome and delicious pakoras are not commonly heard or seen these days. But if you happen to come across these flowers, do go ahead and try. You will simply love them. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

          I came across them on the terrace of my parents home, when I recently came to visit them in Hyderabad. I immediately jumped at the idea of making some fritters out of these blossoms, as I did not want to miss this golden opportunity to add one more post (an interesting one) in my blog.

  • 5-6 Pumpkin Flowers / Blossoms
  • 4-5 tbsp. besan (gram flour)
  • 2 tbsp. rice flour
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds 
  • 1/2 tsp. kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • oil to deep fry 

          Discard the stem and stigma from each of the Pumpkin flowers. Wash them gently and rinse well. Keep aside.

          In a bowl, make a semi thick batter with rest of the ingredients (except oil) with required quantity of water. 

          Heat oil in a pan. Dip each flower in the batter and gently drop them in the hot oil few at a time. Fry on a low flame till they turn light golden in colour on both sides.

          Drain them on a kitchen towel and serve hot as an appetizer or as a side dish with rice-dal combo.


                                 Remove the stems & stigma from all the flowers.

                 Prepare a batter with besan (gram flour), salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder,                         baking soda, kalonji, rice flour & poppy seeds with required quantity of water.  
                 Dip washed & drained flowers in the batter.

                                  Deep fry them in hot oil till golden in colour.

                                 Drain on a tissue paper.

                 Serve them as an appetizer or as a side dish with dal-chawal (rice-lentil combo).

Friday 25 March 2016

Kumro Pata Bata (Red Pumpkin Leaf Chutney - Bengali Style)

          This is an extremely simple dish, yet full of flavours. You have noticed these pumpkin plants growing wild on terraces or almost everywhere. Just try making a chutney out of few tender leaves, garlic and green chilies and tempering it with some kalonji (nigella seeds) in mustard oil. This amazing side dish is relished with hot steamed rice.

  • 10-12 Red Pumpkin leaves, washed & drained
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • 1 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kalonji (nigella / onion seeds)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

          Blend the leaves, garlic and green chilies to a fine paste by adding some water, preferably in a grinding stone. Alternatively, it can be also ground in a mixer grinder.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with kalonji. Sauté for a few seconds and add the paste, salt and turmeric powder. Fry on a low flame till dry. Serve hot with hot steamed rice and enjoy this simple delicacy.

                       Grind leaves, garlic & green chilies into a fine paste, preferably in a
                       grinding stone. 

                                  Alternatively, it can be also ground in a mixer grinder. 

                                Serve hot with hot steamed rice & enjoy this simple delicacy.

Saturday 12 March 2016

Chicken Tikka Roll

          This is an amazing quick fix snack, that is not only delicious but wholesome and filling. It can be served as a meal on the go, as a tea-time snack, a simple lunch box meal or a light lunch / dinner. Options are a plenty. 

          These rolls are a popular street food / snack that is much liked by one and all. Even some store bought Tikkas can be used to prepare this delicacy if time is a restraint. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

Roll - 

  • 1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil to knead
  • 2 eggs, beaten well with a pinch of salt
  • 1 onion, cut into roundels
  • 1/2 cup mint chutney
  • oil to shallow fry

Tikka - 

  • 1 cup chicken cubes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • skewers, soaked in water for an hour

          In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients mentioned under TIKKA. Dip the chicken cubes in it and marinate for a couple of hours (preferably overnight).

          Knead a dough with atta, salt to taste, 1 tbsp. oil and required quantity of water. Keep aside for 30 minutes. Divide it into 2-3 equal portions.

          Thread the marinated chicken cubes in the skewers. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a grilled pan and fry the chicken tikkas on all sides till well browned. Drain and keep aside.

          Roll out each portion of the dough into a circle, just like chapattis. Heat a little oil in a tawa / griddle and fry the chapattis one at a time on both sides till slightly cooked.

          Add a ladle of the beaten egg on one side of the chapatti and swirl it around so that it is evenly spread on the chapatti. 

          Fry for a minute and flip it over when set. Fry till both the sides are done. Fry the remaining ones in the same way.

          To assemble, take a paratha and spread some of the mint chutney. Place few chicken tikka pieces lengthwise and spread some onion rings on the egg side of the parathas. 

          Gently roll over and secure with a piece of an aluminum foil. Serve as a tea-time snack, a lunch box meal or for a light lunch / dinner.

                                  Fry the Tikkas on all sides till done.

                                 Fry rolled out chapatti on both sides till it is slightly cooked.

                                 Pour a ladle of the beaten egg on one side & cook till it is set.

                                  Flip it over & cook the other side too till done.

                                 Transfer to a plate.

                                  Spread some mint chutney & place tikkas & onion rings.

                 Roll over & secure with aluminum foil. Serve as a tea time snack, a lunch 

                 box meal or for a light lunch / dinner.

Baked Mishti Doi (Sweet Yoghurt)

          This totally delicious and melt in the mouth delicacy is simply to die for. Absolutely a hassle-free dessert, it can be dished out in no time in a baked version. A simple 3 ingredients (yoghurt, evaporated milk and condensed milk) baked delicacy, is a pure bliss and a total hit at any in-house party. Be sure to make some extra as it will disappear in no time. Garnishing can be done according to your preference. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

  • 90 gms. condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsp. chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • pinch of saffron

          In a bowl, whisk together all the above mentioned ingredients (except saffron) so that there are no lumps. Sprinkle the saffron over it.

          Place the bowl on a baking tray filled with some water and bake in a preheated microwave oven at 180 degrees C. for 10-12 minutes. 

          Let it remain in the oven for a couple of minutes. It may be a little wobbly, but it will set as it cools down. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours and serve them chilled in individual bowls.

                               In a bowl add condensed milk,


                               .... & evaporated milk.

                                  Whisk well.

                                 Add cardamom powder & ....

                                ... the chopped nuts & mix well.

Garnish with a pinch of saffron.

Pre heat the oven at 180 degrees C. Place the bowl on a tray with 
water & bake for 10-12 minutes.

                            Refrigerate for 2-3 hours & serve them chilled in individual bowls.

Friday 11 March 2016

Chettinad Prawn Pepper Fry

          Chettinad region in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu is known for its fiery non-vegetarian dishes. So here comes my version of a spicy and tangy Prawn Pepper Fry in a true Chettinad style. Do try this delicious recipe and relish with plain steamed rice or with any other form of rice or Indian bread. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

  • 250 gms. prawns, cleaned & deveined
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 2" cinnamon stick
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • pinch of fenugreek seeds
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, sliced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. pepper powder, coarsely ground
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime

          Marinate the prawns with a pinch of salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder for 10-15 minutes.

          Make a paste of all the dry powdered spices (garam masala powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and red chili powder) except salt with some water to form a paste. Keep aside.

          Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the prawns for 2-3 minutes. Drain and keep aside. Heat the remaining oil and temper with whole spices - mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, asafoetida and star anise. Sauté for a few seconds.

          Now add the onion, ginger, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves. Fry till light brown. Add the tomatoes and sauté till it is mashed.

          Add the spice paste and fry till the oil separates. Add the fried prawns and salt to taste. Mix everything well and add 1/2 cup water. 

          Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes on a low flame. When done, add the pepper powder, coriander leaves and lime juice. Give it a stir and serve hot with either rice or chapattis.

                    Marinate prawns with a pinch of salt, turmeric powder & red chili powder.

                         Heat oil & sauté for 2-3 minutes or till it changes colour. keep aside.

                Take turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder &
                 garam masala powder ...

                            ....in a bowl & make a paste by adding some water. Keep aside.

                   Heat oil & temper with mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, 
                   cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, asafoetida & star anise. Allow it to splutter.

                Add onion, ginger, garlic, green chilies & curry leaves. Sauté till light brown.

Add tomatoes & fry till it is mashed.

                                Then add spice paste & fry till oil separates.

                                  Add fried prawns & salt. Mix well.

                           Add 1/2 cup water & cook, covered for 2-3 minutes on a low flame.

                  When done, add coriander leaves, pepper powder & lime juice. Give it a stir.

                               Serve with either rice or chapattis. 

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