Here I Cook

Ek Bangalir Rannaghaur Theke(From a Bengali’s Kitchen)

Archive for December, 2008

Upma

Posted by Sudeshna on December 28, 2008

We’ve moved to own domain name – bengalicuisine.net. You can follow me on Twitter, visit my Flickr photostream.

Semolina is cooked in all over India. As its name varies from the different parts of the country, the way its preapared also varies from state to state. In the eastern parts its cooked more often as a sweet. Here in the southern part my neighbor taught me to cook it in the South Indian style. They call it Upma here. It tastes so good, and is a wholesome breakfast option with little oil. This version of the upma doesn’t contain any vegetables, if you wish, you can also add vegetables like cauliflower, carrot, potatoes, or anything of your choice.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Semolina (Suji): 2 cups

Curry leaves: 6 -7

Mustard Seeds (Sarse dana): 1 teaspoon

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size, chopped finely

Tomato: 1 small, chopped into small pieces

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 1 teaspoon

Sugar (Chini): 1 teaspoon

Water: 1 ½ cup

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Heat oil in a wok, throw in the mustard seeds and curry leaves, toss for 30 seconds
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté till golden brown
  • Pour in the tomatoes, add salt and fry till oil starts leaving from the mixture
  • Add the semolina and mix well with the fried spices
  • Put in the sugar and water
  • Cook till the semolina becomes soft, add more water if necessary

upma

Serve with chutney or just have it as a wholesome breakfast. Check for more updates here, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

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Posted in Breakfast, snacks | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Alu Kabli

Posted by Sudeshna on December 27, 2008

We’ve moved to own domain name – bengalicuisine.net. You can follow me on Twitter, visit my Flickr photostream.

When I was young and still a school going child, my mom was very particular about my hygiene. She never used to let me have anything prepared on the streets, but that led me to break the rule and indulge having roadside food. Everyday when I used to comeback from school I used stop at the nearest chaat stall and had my share of alu kabli. Alu Kabli or alu chaat as they call it in most parts of India is very popular among all students, but to disclose the secret it tempts all. My mom used to scold me for having street junks, but I could never kill my temptation to have the small bowl full of alu chaat. School days have passed years ago, but I still can’t resist the smell and taste of alu chaat.

The tamarind paste and the green chilies mix to create an ecstatic smell of freshness, which I have never got from any dish I had. The spices make a brilliant hot and sour combination, and of course the potatoes and chickpeas add to the joy of having it. This evening when I was preparing the alu chaat, I am flown back to the stall just outside my school, and how I craved for the last bell to ring. I have had alu chaats in many different places, but still when I pass by that chaatwala I stop to commit the sin of having the same old alu chaat. Today my post is a tribute to the good times I spent with my friends in front of the chaat stall and the fear of getting caught by mom.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Potato (Alu): 2 large sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size

Roasted cumin powder (Jeera guro): 1 teaspoon

Red Chili Powder (Sukhno Lankar guro): 1 teaspoon

Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 2-3

Chickpea (Chana Dal): 1 tablespoon

Coriander leaves (Dhane pata) for garnishing

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight, or for more than 6 to 7 hours.
  • Boil the potatoes without taking out the peel. Alternately you can also bake it in a microwave oven for 12 minutes.
  • After the potatoes are boiled properly, see to it that they are not over boiled, take out the peels and chop them into 1” length pieces
  • Chop the onions very finely, the chilies in small rings
  • Add all spices along with the onions, green chili and salt; mix well
  • Throw in the chickpeas and tamarind paste, toss it so that it gets evenly mixed
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve
Alu Kabli

Alu Kabli

Alu chaat is a favorite among all age groups. Serve it over an evening chit chatting. Look for more updates here, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Sending this to Original Recipes – Monthly Round-Up Event.

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Posted in snacks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Christmas

Posted by Sudeshna on December 26, 2008

Christmas is that time of  the year when everything around feels so good. In my office almost half the population has gone out for vacation. This time, though I couldnt go home for Christmas, but eys I enjoyed the night and the whole day. Bangalore gets decked up in this winter season with glitters, streamers and rows of lights on the roads.

I prepared a cake at home. I’ll post the recipe soon.

Till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

Posted in Egg, event, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Mochar Tarkari/Banana Flower

Posted by Sudeshna on December 14, 2008

Banana is one of those plants which can be used in various different ways. From its stem to the flowers and the fruits to the leaves everything is in use. Banana flower, what we call mocha in my mother tongue, Bengali is a delicacy to have. It is prepared in different ways, using various ingredients.

After coming to Bangalore I had never seen banana flowers sold in the market. The last time when I went to my nearby supermarket, there was a whole rack of banana flowers being sold. I just couldn’t help myself and brought one of them back home. My mom cooks it in many ways. I started thinking of which one would be most simple and easy to cook. She puts in gram seeds (chola), even small pakoras made of lentils. But due to lack of time, I cooked it with potato and nothing else. As you all know Bengalis just can’t live without potatoes, so that was a simple choice for me.

The preparation turned out petty well and all my friends who came home that day had only one thing to say, “You made me remember my mom”. I remembered watching Ratatouille, when the food critic too remembered his mom having had the dish. That is always the best part of cooking an authentic dish from Bengal.

Banana Flower - a potrait

Banana Flower - a potrait

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Banana Flower (Mocha): 1 medium size

Potato (Alu): 2 medium sizes

Turmeric Powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon

Chili Powder (Lanka Guro): 1 teaspoon

Cumin Powder (Jeera Guro): 1 teaspoon

Garam Masala Powder: ½ teaspoon

Clarified Butter (Ghee): 1 teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 tablespoon

Preparation:

  • Take out each flower from the inflorescence and cut off the anther from it.
  • Chop the flowers very finely
  • Put all the chopped flowers in a deep pan and pour in water till it is fully under water
  • Get it to boil and drain of the water, keep the chopped flowers aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok and fry the potatoes till tender. Take out the potatoes and keep separately.
  • To the left over oil add the spices except ghee and garam masala, fry for 30 seconds.
  • Throw in the boiled flowers and mix the spices well with it.
  • Add the potatoes and pour in some water for the vegetables to get cooked constantly.
  • Simmer the flame and stir it often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add extra water if it is not cooked properly
  • Just before taking it out of the flame sprinkle garam masala powder and ghee; mix well.

mocha

You can add some soaked gram seeds, frying them along with the potatoes, also pakoras made of lentils is a good addition to this preparation. Click on pakoras to know how to make them. Mochar tarkari tastes best with steamed rice.

Look for more update on this blog, till the Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Sending this to Lore’s Original Recipes – Monthly Round-Up Event.

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Posted in Niramis(Vegetarian), potato, Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Begun Bhaja/ Aubergine fry

Posted by Sudeshna on December 7, 2008

Brinjal – aubergine – egg plant, whatever you call it, it tastes the same. I remember those nights when mom used to fry aubergine. The smell loomed over the whole household. Aubergine fry or begun bhaja is one of my favorites. I love them with roti.

Yesterday when I went to the nearby supermarket, I saw a big placard hanging on top of the aubergine basket. It was a whole list of the nutrient contents of aubergine. I am not sure though that those nutrient value retains after deep frying. Navita had written a post on aubergine fry, you cannot fry aubergine in a different style but I have one ingredient more to let the aubergine absorb less oil.

begun-roti

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Aubergine (Begun): 1 medium size

Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): ¼ teaspoon

Sugar (Chini): ¼ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser Tel) for deep frying

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Cut the aubergine in 2 inches width circles
  • Put spices over the cut aubergine pieces
  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan , when fumes comes out of the oil fry the egg plants

begun-bhaja

Aubergine absorbs too much oil while frying, so it is best to wrap them with blotting paper before serving. It’s my mom’s tip to put little sugar which also helps the aubergine to absorb less oil.

Check for more updates here, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Posted in Niramis(Vegetarian), Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »