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Saturday, 30 April 2022

Chinese French Beans Stir Fry

 

          Chinese style French Beans Stir Fry is amazingly a very satisfying comfort dish. If you are a fan of Chinese food, you will simply love it. This simple, quick to prepare and healthy dish is popularly found in many Chinese restaurants. It goes absolutely well as an accompaniment with either Chinese fried rice or noodles. 

          Light on the tummy, it is extremely easy to whip up. Minimum of spices goes into preparing it, yet there is no compromise in the taste and flavour. Few toasted sesame seeds, sprinkled on it gives a nice crunch and flavour to this dish. For a non-veg. version, prawns and chicken may be added. So a perfect Chinese style weekend lunch. 






  • 250-300 gms. French beans, cut into 2" size
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 2-3 dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp. ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. green chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp. hot chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • salt & sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp. cornflour mixed with some water
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds, dry roasted
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped






          Boil the beans in required quantity of water till they are fork tender. Strain and keep aside,

          Heat oil in a wok and add the dry red chilies, followed by the ginger and garlic. Sauté for a few seconds. Then add the onion and stir fry till translucent.

          Now add the beans, all the sauces, sugar and salt to taste. Give it a toss and stir fry for a few seconds more. Add the corn flour slurry and sauté till it thickens.

         When done, switch off the flame and add the sesame oil. Garnish with the sesame seeds and coriander leaves and enjoy as a side dish with Chinese fried rice or noodles. 

          













Thursday, 28 April 2022

Ilish Macher Kalo Jhaal (Hilsa Fish cooked with Nigella Seeds paste)

 

          Let me share a very easy, simple and a quick traditional recipe of Ilish Macher Kalo Jhaal. To sum up it is Hilsa Fish in black gravy as the fish is marinated in nigella seeds, garlic & green chili paste, the three main ingredients in this recipe. This is then cooked in a dum style. So less effort but the end product is just mouth watering with a drizzle of some extra raw mustard oil. It is pure divine and a must try recipe. This is almost a lost recipe, not to be found in restaurants and it is best enjoyed with only hot steamed rice.

        




           Ilish Maach is undoubtedly the most favored and popular river water fish among most of the Bengali crowd. Various types of recipes can be dished out with it. It is also an all time favorite of mine. You can opt for this simple recipe when you need something in a jiffy. It has minimum of ingredients easily available in your kitchen. 





  • 3-4 Ilish fish pieces
  • salt to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil 
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves 

To Grind - 

  • 1 tbsp. nigella seeds
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • pinch of salt







          Grind the nigella seeds, green chilies, garlic and a pinch of salt into a paste. 

          Marinate the fish with this paste, salt to taste, turmeric powder and 1 tbsp. mustard oil for 10-15 minutes.

          Heat another tbsp. of oil in a pan and temper with nigella seeds. Sauté for a few seconds and then transfer the marinated fish and 1/3 cup water. Cover and cook on a low flame for 8-10 minutes by gently turning the fish halfway.

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

          Cover and give a standing time for 2-3 minutes. Serve with hot steamed rice for a nice comfort lunch. 
















Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Chicken Haleem - Hyderabadi Style)

 

          Chicken Haleem is a delicious one-pot meal that has its origin in Hyderabad. This popular dish is usually had during the holy month of Ramzan. It is traditionally prepared with mutton, But I tried the easier method with chicken in a pressure cooker. It is typically cooked on an open flame. It is quite a rich dish with loads of dry fruits and ghee. But it is equally nutritious and wholesome as it contains broken wheat, oats and various types of lentils.

          It also contains chicken which is a lean meat and is better than any red meat. Chicken has proteins and antioxidants that improves our immune system. Mixed lentils and oats have loads of proteins, fibre, has less cholesterol and is heart healthy. This delicacy is best relished with a dash of lime and garnished with fried onions, coriander leaves and roasted cashews. 









Ingredients - 
  • 400 gms. chicken, cut into small pieces 
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3/4 cup yoghurt 
  • 1/3 cup cracked wheat 
  • 2 tbsp. oats
  • 2 tbsp. each of masoor, split moong, urad and chana dal 
  • 2 tbsp. each cashew, almonds & pistachios
  • 3-4 tbsp. ghee
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit
  • 3 onions, sliced + 1 cup oil to deep fry
  • 1 tsp. rose essence 
  • few drops of kewra essence
  • Roasted cashews, coriander leaves, lemon wedges, fried onions & mint leaves to garnish

Garam Masala - 
  • 1" cinnamon sticks
  • 10-15 whole peppercorns
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 mace
  • small piece nutmeg
  • 5 whole red chilies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. shahjeera
  • 1/2 tsp. kebab chini
  • 2 tbsp. dry rose petals 








          Soak all the lentils, dry fruits and wheat overnight. Heat oil and deep fry the onion till golden brown and crisp. Drain and keep aside. 

         Garam masala - Dry roast all the mentioned ingredients for a few seconds and set aside to cool. Then grind into a fine powder and keep aside. 

          Marinate the chicken with ginger-garlic paste, yoghurt, salt to taste, rose water, kewra essence, turmeric powder and the prepared garam masala powder for an hour. 

          Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and sauté the marinated chicken till the oil separates. 

          Add the soaked lentils, wheat, almonds, 3/4 of the fried onions and 4-5 cups of water. 

          Pressure  cook for 20-25 minutes on a very low flame after the first whistle. After the pressure is released, continue simmering and mashing with a potato masher.

          Serve hot with some lemon wedges, fried onions, roasted cashew and coriander leaves. 






















Friday, 22 April 2022

Broken Glass Pudding

 

          Broken Glass Pudding is a visually attractive dessert, that is very easy to prepare and yummy too. It is also called as Stained Glass / Agar Agar / China Grass Pudding. This impressive looking dessert is a great party recipe and is apt for any special occasions. Kids, especially will love it. This pudding is made, using agar agar (China grass) and with or without jelly crystals. In fact, I have not used any jello and instead added different food colours to the agar agar mix. So go ahead and give it a try and enjoy it chilled.







  • 8 gms. Agar Agar (China Grass) strands
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar or to taste
  • few drops of 3 different food colours
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • few drops of kewra essence





          Jelly - Soak half of the agar agar in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes. Then in a saucepan add the remaining water and the soaked agar agar and simmer on a low flame, stirring continuously till it dissolves completely. 

          Add half of the sugar and continue to stir till it dissolves. Now add the lemon juice, rose water and kewra essence. Mix well and pour equally into 3 separate bowls.

          Add the 3 types of food colour in each of them. Mix well and let it come to room temperature. Then refrigerate till it is set. Cut them into cubes and transfer into a container / cake tin / casserole. 

          Pudding - Soak remaining half of the agar agar in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes. Then in a saucepan add the milk, the soaked agar agar and remaining sugar. simmer on a low flame, stirring continuously till it dissolves completely. Do not let it come to a boil. 

          Switch off the flame and pour it gently over the jelly crystals. Keep it aside and let it come to room temperature. Then refrigerate it for a couple of hours for it to set. Cut into squares or as desired and enjoy. 












Monday, 18 April 2022

Palada Payasam (Rice Flakes Kheer / Pudding - Kerala style)

 

          Palada Payasam or Kheer is a traditional Kerala style dessert made of milk, sugar and small rice flakes that is called Ada in the local lingo. This must try recipe is very popular during Onam and Vishu festival. Sugar can be substituted with jaggery if you wish. This was my first try and it turned out very yummy. I simply loved the texture of this dessert. Garnish with dry fruits of your choice and enjoy it warm or chilled. So do check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this regional festive dessert.






  • 3 cups full fat milk
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1/4 cup ada (rice flakes)
  • 1/4 cup sugar or to taste 
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp. raisins, soaked in warm water
  • 2-3 tbsp. dry fruits





          Wash the rice ada (flakes) well and soak in hot water for 15-20 minutes to soften them. By then it will swell up. Then strain and keep aside for a couple of minutes for the water to drain completely.

          Heat ghee in a pan and sauté the soaked ada for a minute and keep aside. In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil and simmer till it is slightly reduced. 

          Now add the sautéed ada, sugar, cardamom powder, soaked raisins and saffron. Simmer till the rice ada is soft, but not mushy. Stir at intervals so that it does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan.

          When the payasam has thickened to a desired consistency and has turned creamy, switch off the flame. Garnish with dried fruits of your choice and serve at room temperature or chilled.



                                   Wash the rice ada well & soak in hot water for 15-20 minutes.


                                   It will swell up. 


                                Then strain and keep aside for a couple of minutes.



                       Heat ghee in a pan & sauté the soaked ada for a minute & keep aside.


                      In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil & simmer till it is slightly reduced. 

                      Now add the sautéed ada, 


                         followed by the sugar, cardamom powder, soaked raisins & saffron. 

                         Simmer till the rice ada is soft, but not mushy. 


                      When the payasam has thickened to a desired consistency & has turned 

                      creamy, switch off the flame. 



              Garnish with dried fruits of your choice & serve at room temperature or chilled.










Sunday, 17 April 2022

Mourola Macher Chorchori (Small River Water Fish Curry - Bong style)

 

         This is a traditional Bengali style fish curry with some veggies thrown in. Chorchori, typically refers to a mixed veg curry. In the vegetarian version, dried lentil dumplings (vadi) is added and some sort of fish or fish head is added for a non-veg. version. However, I added some Mourola Maach, a small river water fish also known as Mola Carplet. 

          This is a very simple, easy and an equally yummy recipe. It is a semi-dry recipe and is cooked in mustard oil. Some mustard paste and fresh grated coconut is then added to the end product for an authentic touch and added flavour. In case of unavailability, You can substitute it with anchovies or prawns. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare my version of this Bong delicacy.




  • 200 gms. Mourola Fish, cleaned & rinsed well
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds (kalonji)
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1-2 onions, sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 potato, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup red pumpkin, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup eggplant, sliced, lengthwise
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp. fresh coconut, grated
  • 2 tbsp. mustard paste
  • 2 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped





          Marinate the fish with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a kadai / pan and stir fry the fish till crisp. Drain and keep aside. 

          Temper the same oil with nigella seeds and green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds. 

          Add the onion and garlic and sauté till translucent. Then add the potato, salt and turmeric powder. Cook, covered till it is half done. 

         Then add the pumpkin, eggplant and remaining dry spices. Mix everything well and cook, covered till the veggies are tender. Stir at intervals and sprinkle some water if needed.

          Now add the fried fish, fresh grated coconut, mustard paste and coriander leaves. Give it a gentle toss and cook, covered for a minute. 

          When done, switch off the flame and enjoy with hot steamed rice for a nice weekend lunch.



                    Marinate the fish with a pinch of salt & turmeric powder for 10 minutes.



                                   Heat oil & stir fry the fish till crisp. Drain & keep aside. 



                   Temper the same oil with nigella seeds & green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds. 



                                  Add onion & garlic and sauté till translucent. 



                                    Add the potato, salt & turmeric powder. 



                                  Cook, covered till it is half done. 



                        Add pumpkin, eggplant & remaining dry spices. Mix everything well.



                                 Cook, covered till the veggies are tender. 



                    Add the fried fish, fresh grated coconut, mustard paste & coriander leaves. 



                                  Give it a gentle toss and cook, covered for a minute. 



                                  Enjoy with hot steamed rice for a nice weekend lunch.




          





Friday, 15 April 2022

Raw Jackfruit (Kathal) Dum Biryani

 

            Let us relish some Raw/Green Jackfruit (Kathal) Dum Biryani which is not much popular but it does tastes delicious. This fruit or rather a veggie in the unripe form is known as a vegetarian's Non-Veg. dish as the texture resembles that of mutton. Enjoy it with raita and salad. You can also add in some roasted papad and pickles to go with it. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.




  • 1 cup Basmati rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 small Raw Jackfruit, cubed & soaked in water
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 3 tbsp. ghee
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 big cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 mace
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • few rose petals 
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • few strands of saffron soaked in 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • few drops of kewra essence
  • handful of roasted cashew nuts








          Bring sufficient quantity of water to boil along with cinnamon stick, both the cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves, mace, 1 tsp. oil and 1 tbsp. salt. Add in the rice and simmer till half done. Drain and keep aside.

          Boil the jackfruit pieces along with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.  Drain them well.

          Heat oil in a pan and stir fry the boiled jackfruit pieces till light brown. Keep aside. In the same oil fry two onions till golden in color. Keep them aside. 

         Heat 2 tbsp. ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and fry the remaining onion till light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and all the dry spices mixed with some water. Sauté till the oil separates. 

         Add the yoghurt and jackfruit and mix well. Sprinkle half of the coriander leaves, mint leaves, few rose petals, cashew nuts and fried onion.

          Spread the half cooked rice, followed by the remaining coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried onions, remaining rose petals, saffron milk, remaining ghee, roasted cashew, rose water and kewra essence.

          Cover with an aluminum foil tightly around the edges and place a lid / steel plate over it. Place something heavy over the lid if possible.

          Cook on a high flame for 2 minutes. Then place it over a hot tawa / griddle and cook further for 15-20 minutes on a very low flame.

          Switch off the flame and let it remain covered for another 10 minutes. Garnish as desired and serve with raita and salad for a weekend lunch.






Note - 

1.  If you don't have access to fresh jackfruit, use a tin of pre-boiled of 400-500 gms. jackfruit and skip the boiling process.

2.  Both the kewra essence and rose water will impart a strong taste to the biryani and can be skipped according to individual preference.

3.  Diabetics can skip the rice and use millets or quinoa instead.


          

                     Cook rice in boiling water along with cinnamon stick, both the cardamoms, 

                     cloves, bay leaves, mace, 1 tsp. oil & 1 tbsp. salt till half done. 


                                  Drain and keep aside.


                             Boil the jackfruit along with a pinch of salt & turmeric powder.  


                      Heat oil & stir fry the boiled jackfruit pieces till light brown. Keep aside.

                      In the same oil fry two onions till golden in color. Keep them aside. 


                                  Heat 2 tbsp. & fry the remaining onion till light brown. 


                         Add ginger-garlic paste & all the dry spices mixed with some water.

                         Sauté till oil separates. 


                                  Add the yoghurt 


                                  and jackfruit and mix well. 


                  Sprinkle half of the coriander & mint leaves, few rose petals, cashew nut

                  & fried onion.


                                  Spread the half cooked rice,                     



                      Add remaining coriander & mint leaves, fried onions, remaining rose petals, 

                      saffron milk, remaining ghee, roasted cashew, rose water & kewra essence.                  



                      Cover with an aluminum foil tightly & place a lid / steel plate over it. Cook 

                      on a high flame for 2 minutes. Then place it over a hot tawa / griddle & cook 

                      further for 15-20 minutes on a very low flame.



                      Switch off the flame and let it remain covered for another 10 minutes. 


         


                       Garnish as desired and serve with raita and salad for a weekend lunch.









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