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Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Plum Shrikhand (Hung Yoghurt based Dessert - Maharashtrian Style)

 

          Shrikhand is a traditional Maharashtrian Sweet prepared with hung yoghurt. It is a very easy dessert that can be made in no time if the hung yoghurt is ready. It is typically flavored with saffron and cardamom powder for the plain version. 

          However, I gave a healthy twist by adding some pureed plum and it turned out yummy. I also used a combination of low fat yoghurt and brown sugar. I flavored it with rose water along with cardamom powder. Enjoy chilled as an after meal dessert or with poori. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it. 






  • 400 gms yoghurt (I used low fat)
  • 3-4 tbsp. brown sugar, powdered
  • 4 plums, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 1 tsp. chopped pistachios & rose petals to garnish







          Pour the yoghurt in a cheese cloth and place on a strainer. Keep this on a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The thick hung yoghurt is used for the recipe. The whey collected can be saved for later use. 

          Blend the plum to a smooth paste. Heat a pan and simmer the plum paste, sugar and cardamom powder till reduced and slightly thick.

          In a bowl, whisk together hung yoghurt and the reduced plum to a smooth paste. Pass it through a sieve to remove any granules. 

          Add the rose water and mix well. Chill before serving the shrikhand in individual bowls, garnished with chopped pistachios, almonds, dried rose petals and mint.



                      Pour yoghurt in a cheese cloth & place on a strainer. Keep this on a bowl
                      in the refrigerator overnight. Use thick hung yoghurt for the recipe. 



                                   Slice the plum and blend into a smooth paste. 



                      Heat a pan & simmer the plum paste, sugar & cardamom powder till 
                      reduced & slightly thick.



                        Whisk together hung yoghurt & the reduced plum to a smooth paste. 



                                  Pass it through a sieve to remove any granules. 


                                  Add the rose water & mix well. Chill before serving.



                         Garnish with chopped pistachios, almonds, dried rose petals & mint.












Monday, 12 September 2022

Ilisher Ullash (Bong style Hilsa fish curry)

 

          This age old and lost recipe, that I came across, has been documented by Pragyasundari Devi, niece of Ravindranath Tagore. It was a homemade recipe of the latter and was one of his favourite. It pairs well with hot steamed rice. Ullash means cheers. So once you take the first bite of this delectable dish, it makes you feel elated and happy. Hence the name. 

          It is very easy to prepare and the uniqueness of this recipe lies in the use of garlic and vinegar, which is generally unheard of. So there is a mix of flavors - garlicy, spicy, pungency from the mustard and the tang from the vinegar. It is best enjoyed with hot steamed rice. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this simple delicacy.







  • 2 Hilsa fish pieces
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 4-5 dry red chilies
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. mustard 
  • 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 2-3 slit green chilies






          Marinate the fish with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 5-10 minutes. 

          Blend together red chilies, garlic, vinegar, salt, turmeric powder and mustard along with some water into a fine paste. Strain it.

          Transfer the paste into a pan / kadai along with the mustard oil. Switch on the flame and add the marinated fish and green chilies. 

          Cover and cook on a low flame for 10-12 minutes. Halfway through, carefully turn the fish over. When done, switch off the flame and keep it covered for 4-5 minutes. Serve with hot steamed rice.



                    Marinate the fish with a pinch of salt & turmeric powder for 5-10 minutes. 



                        Blend the red chilies, garlic, vinegar, salt, turmeric powder & mustard
                       along with some water into a fine paste. Strain it. 



                             Transfer the paste into a pan / kadai along with the mustard oil. 



                     Switch on the flame & add the marinated fish & green chilies. Cover and
                     cook on a low flame for 10-12 minutes.



                                  Serve with hot steamed rice.










Thursday, 8 September 2022

Thankuni Pata diye Rui Macher Jhol (Bong style Fish Curry with Centella Leaves)

 

           Macher Jhol Bhaat (Fish Curry & rice) is an integral part of Bengali cuisine. So check out this traditional homemade style Rohu fish curry with a handful of Thankuni Pata / Centella Leaves thrown in. These greens are not much popular. However, they have some medicinal properties that is very healthy for us. 

          The gravy is generally thin and is prepared using minimum of spices. Typically, veggies like, potato, eggplants, raw banana, raw papaya, pointed gourd, etc. are added. So a healthy mix of proteins, vitamins and fibre. It is popular in every Bengali household and is relished with hot steamed rice. 

         



         
         Thankuni Pata can also be found in the North Eastern regions of India and our neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia to name a few. 

         Traditionally, these greens are used to make pakoras, chutney, stir fries, juice or salads. 

        As I was able to source these greens in one of the supermarkets here, I went ahead and dished out this simple fish curry where I added these leaves. It is perfect for our every day meals or for a comforting weekend lunch with your dear ones. 



  • 4-5 pieces of Rohu Fish
  • handful of Thankuni leaves
  • 1-2 raw bananas, cut lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp. + 1 tsp. mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp. nigella seeds
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste






          Marinate the fish pieces with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 5-10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together the ginger paste, roasted cumin powder and turmeric powder with some water and keep aside. 

          Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a kadai / pan and fry the marinated fish pieces till golden brown. Keep aside. 

          Heat remaining oil and fry the raw banana pieces slightly. Keep aside. Temper the same oil with nigella seeds and green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds. 

          Now add the ginger paste and fry till the oil separates. Add the greens and sauté till it is withered. 

          Add 2 cups water (or as needed) and salt. Bring it to a boil. Add the fried fish pieces and simmer on a low to medium flame till the raw bananas are cooked well and the gravy reduced to a desired consistency. 

          When done, switch off the flame and drizzle 1 tsp. of mustard oil. Serve with hot steamed rice. 















Monday, 5 September 2022

Chingri Pui Metuli (Malabar Spinach Seeds Curry with Prawns)

 

          Pui Metuli / Dana are the seeds of Malabar Spinach (Pui Shaag in Bengali) and is the core ingredient in this curry. It remains purely a homemade recipe, not usually found in restaurants. This is a traditional village style recipe, mostly cooked in the interiors of West Bengal and Bangladesh. 

          I added some prawns to the curry. however, you can also add some fish head, any small variety of fish or some dried fish. For a veg. version, add few dried lentil dumplings and mixed veggies, like cauliflower, raw banana, green peas, raw papaya, eggplant, etc. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this recipe. 





         This type of recipe is not widely cooked as it is very difficult to procure these seeds. 

         As I was able to source these seeds in a local Bangladeshi supermarket, I decided to give it a try. It turned out very yummy. 

         So I would highly recommend you to give this recipe a try if you happen to come across these seeds and I assure you it will be much appreciated.





  • 300 gms. Pui Metuli (Pui Shaag Bitchi / Malabar Spinach Seeds)
  • 12-15 prawns, deveined, cleaned & rinsed
  • 1 potato, cubed
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2-3 bay leaves 
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. roasted cumin-coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ghee






         Heat oil in a pan / kadai and fry the potatoes and the prawns separately till light brown. Drain and keep aside. 

         Heat remaining oil and temper with cumin seeds, bay leaves and dry red chilies. Sauté for a few seconds. 

          Add the onion and stir fry till light brown. Now add the ginger-garlic paste and all the dry spices (except salt and garam masala powder) mixed with some waterSauté till the oil separates. 

          Add the chopped tomato and cook till is mashed. Now add the Pui Metuli and salt. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on a low flame. 

          Add the fried potatoes and prawns. Mix well and add 1 cup water. Cover and cook again till done and the gravy reduces to a desired consistency. 

          Add the garam masala powder and ghee. Give it a toss and switch off the flame. Keep it covered for 5 minutes. Then serve with hot steamed rice or chapatti for a Bong style traditional meal. 



                                      Wash the pui metuli and keep aside.



                    Heat oil & fry the potatoes & the prawns separately till light brown. Drain
                    and keep aside. 



                        Heat remaining oil & temper with cumin seeds, bay leaves and dry red                                                chilies. Sauté for a few seconds. 



                                  Add the onion and stir fry till light brown. 


                     Add ginger-garlic paste & all the dry spices (except salt & garam masala 

                     powder) mixed with some waterSauté till the oil separates. 



                                  Add the chopped tomato and cook till it is mashed. 



                     Add the Pui Metuli & salt. Cover & cook for 4-5 minutes on a low flame. 



                                  Add the fried potatoes & prawns. Mix well.



                       Add 1 cup water. Cover & cook till done & the gravy reduces to a desired                                           consistency. 



                     Add garam masala powder & ghee. Give it a toss & switch off the flame.



                       Serve with hot steamed rice or chapatti for a Bong style traditional meal. 











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