Here I Cook

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

Guess What!!!!

Posted by Sudeshna on January 6, 2009

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

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Hello to all my visitors. Today I am in a jolly mood, and so thought of having some fun with all  my visitors. A couple of days back, my mom cooked up something and sent the pics to me. The pics courtesy my little sister, this she told me to specifically mention on my post when I upload the photos.

There was coterie at my home in Kolkata and so mom prepared this. The review that I got from all those who attended the party, was that the preparation was very innovative and very very delicious.

The task for you today is to guess what actually is the dish made of. There are two main ingredients in the preparation and it is purely vegetarian dish.

So put on your thinking caps and start tickling your imagination. I’ll put up the recipe tomorrow. Till then keep guessing.

No more thing, for those who guess it correctly there aren’t prizes to win. It is only to understand yourself how well you can imagine and distinguish the ingredients in your fridge and kitchen.

guess 2

All the best.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

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Posted in Dinner, Niramis(Vegetarian), Side dish, snacks | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Masur Dal/Red Lentil Recipe

Posted by Sudeshna on January 5, 2009

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

Legumes are a very important part of our meals. In my family, I have seen my mom cook dal for every meal. Be it an accompaniment for paratha, roti or rice, dal is always there. Among the all types of legumes found in the market, the one that is very popular in my family is the masyr dal, that too it is cooked in a very simple but special way. It tastes so good.

Masur dal is a lentil which is also a part of the  legume family. Lentils have a very high percentage of  proteins, and also essential amino acids like isoleucine and lysine. But, they lack in the other two essential amino acids, viz.,  methionine and cystine. Iron which is an important source of nutrition is present in high quantities in lentils and is adviced for pregnant ladies, adolescents or those who suffere from iron deficiency.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Red lentil (Masur dal): 1 small bowl

Onion (Peyaj): 1 small, finely chopped

Green chili (Kancha Lanka) : 1 or 2, chopped

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ¼ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teapoon

Water : 2 cups

Salt to taste

Preparation:

•·        In a pan pour in the water and masur dal with the salt and put to boil

  • Let it boil for 10 to 12 minutes, add water if necessary
  • Heat the oil in a wok and sauté the onions
  • Pour in the now boiled dal
  • Add turmeric powder and green chilies and stir so that the turmeric powder gets mixed well
  • Bring to boil and let it remain for 2 to 3 minutes, then take out of flame

dal

Masur dal tastes good with naything, so just try it with anything you want. Check for more updates here, till then .Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

I am sending this post as a second entry to My Legume Love Affair, Seventh Helping! hosted by Srivalli, the event actually is the brain child of Well-Seasoned Cook Susan.

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Also sending the recipe to Sara for her Weekend Cookbook Challenge: 36

The post on way to the FIC-January event hosted by Sunshinemom, the color of the event being Yellow this month.

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Also sending it to Ramki’s  “Recipes for the rest of us” .

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My fiancee is in love with this dal, he just licks his fingers whenever I cook it, so here it goes for the lovely event, Just for you hosted by Alka.

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

Announcing event – Harvest: The Festival of Rice

Posted by Sudeshna on January 4, 2009

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

Each day of the year flies off so fast that its hard to believe that we have crossed 365 days and even more on leap years between to New Year celebrations. The winter sets in with loads of happiness. Christmas and New Year rings the bells for enjoyment and merriment. It is the time of harvest in India. US celebrate it as Thanks Giving, but that is couple of months before hat in India. In India the harvesting festival is celebrated with much glory. It is called by different names in all over India – Nabanno, Makar Shankranti, Pongal are just a few to mention.

While most of the Hindu festivals are followed according to the lunar calendar, the Sankranti festival is celebrated in accordance with the solar calendar, and so the date never changes from the English date of 14th January. It is the day when the Hindus believe that the Sun god begins ascending to the Northern Hemisphere.

The Puranas say that this is the day when the Sun-God visits the house of his son Shani, though the son and father do not get along nicely. So this is day has an important significance of father son relationship.

It is also said that this the day when Lord Vishnu ended the terrorism of the Asuras and buried their heads under the Mandar Parvat. So this day also stands for the end of evil and begins an era of righteousness.

In Uttar Pradesh this day is called “Khichdi”. Taking a dip in the Ganges is thought to be auspicious on this day. The Magh Mela is celebrated during this time of the year in Prayag, better known as Allahabad.

In Maharashtra and Gujarat it is celebrated as Sankranti. Sweets made of sesame seeds and jaggery are distributed among families. Married women are invited to their relatives’ houses and are offered utensils. Especially in Gujarat kite flying is a marked for this day.

Lahari is celebrated in Punjab where families gather around a bonfire and throw in sweets, sugarcane and rice. The next day of Lahari is Maghi. This day is marked with the famous Bhangra dance in Punjab.

Bihu festival of Assam is celebrated on this very day.

Bengal sees a huge swarming of devotees from all over India and also abroad to take a holy dip at Sagar Islands, where the Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal.

Andhra Pradesh celebrates it as a four day festival. The Telugus call it the Pedda Panduga, naming each day as Bhogi, Sankranti, Kanuma and Mukkanuma respectively.

As mentioned above, almost every state of India has its own way of celebrating this festival. It is the day of celebration and bringing home the newly cut harvest from the fields.

Every year my mom prepares different kinds of sweets all made of rice or rice flour. So this time I thought of celebrating it in my way, with you all.

Prepare anything where the main ingredient is either rice or rice flour. The preparation can be vegan or non-vegitarian, depending upon your choice. You can also take some idea from the following recipes.

khichudi patishapta chickenbiriyani chaler-payesh2 lemon-rice

Send in your entries to bengalicuisine@gmail.com with the Subject as “Harvest: The Festival of Rice”, with the following details.

  • NAME:
  • BLOG NAME:
  • BLOG URL:
  • POST NAME:
  • POST URL:
  • Attach a picture of the preparation in jpeg, jpg

The last day for receiving all entries is 31st January 2009. No late entries will be entertained. I’ll post the round up on 2nd February.

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Feel free to use the event logo, and put a link on your blog for this event. If you want to send any old posts then please update it with the event logo and a link back to this announcement.

Those of you who don’t have a blog, send in your recipe along with a photo of the dish to the above mentioned e-mail id.

It would be nice of you if you can also add your memories related to this time of the year, also post photos if you have decorated your house for the event.

There is no limit to the number of entries you can send, so put on your aprons and start preparing.Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

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Posted in Breakfast, Desserts, Dinner, event, More to rice, Niramis(Vegetarian) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

Dimer Tarkari/ Egg Curry

Posted by Sudeshna on January 3, 2009

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

I wish all of you have a great vacation, and the New Year brought more joy to all your lives.

Here in India the only two of vacation in winter are Christmas and New Year, and so there is no bypassing the daily routines. Each night I think of the easiest ways of cooking things. Last night, it was the turn of eggs to be cooked in an easy but tasty way.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Eggs (Dim): 4

Potato (Alu): 2 medium sizes , cut into quarters

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size, chopped finely

Ginger- garlic paste (Ada-rasun bata): ½ teaspoon

Garlic (Rasun): 3-4 cloves

Garam Masala: ½ teaspoon

Chili powder (Sukhno lankar guro): ¾ teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 tablespoon

Preparation:

  • Boil the potatoes and eggs for 10 to 12 minutes, or till the eggs are hard boiled
  • As the eggs are boiled, take out the shells and keep aside
  • In a wok heat half of the oil and fry the eggs and potatoes separately. Do not over fry, just fry till a golden layer is formed over the eggs and potatoes. Keep aside
  • Pour in the rest of the oil in the wok, and sauté the onions
  • Throw in the garlic cloves and ginger garlic paste to the sautéed onions and fry for 1 minute over medium flame
  • Add the spices excepting garam masala and fry for half a minute more
  • Pour in 1 cup of water, or if you want more gravy then pour more
  • Let the curry gets cooked and thickened
  • When the curry is of your wanted consistency carefully drop the eggs and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and take it out of flame

dimer-tarkari

Egg curry goes well with rice, paratha or roti. So, have it as a side with anything of your choice.

I love the smell of mustard oil, and so use it for making curries, those of you who don’t like it can also try preparing with sunflower or vegetable, in that case any oil of your choice.

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

Sending the recipe to Original Recipes – Monthly Round-Up Event hosted by Culinarty.

Also this recipe is heading for the EFM-Savouries hosted by Srilekha.

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Posted in Dinner, Egg, Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Roadside Tadka

Posted by Sudeshna on January 2, 2009

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

I have posted this recipe before but its for Srivalli that I am posting it once more to participate in the event hosted by her.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Green Mugh dal: 150gms

Tomato: 2 medium sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 2 large ones

Garlic (Rasun): 7 or 8 cloves

Kasturi Methi (Fenugreek leaves): 1 tablespoon

Green chili (Sukhno Lanka): 3

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower Oil (Saada tel): 2 tablespoons

Salt to taste

The Ingredients

The Ingredients

Preparation:

  • Soak the mugh dal for about an hour.
  • Pressure cook for at 2 to 3 whistles.
  • Drain the excess water out of the dal and keep aside.
  • Cut the onions in square pieces, and the chilies into small ringlets.
  • Heat the oil in a shallow wok.
  • As the oil gets heated throw in the onions to sauté along with the garlic.
  • As the onions become tender, add tomatoes and chili, sauté for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the mugh dal, turmeric powder, salt and toss well.
  • Add little water if necessary and in between mash the dal properly.
  • Now add the Kasturi Methi to the preparation and mix well.
  • Scramble to eggs in a separate frying pan with little salt and throw in to the Tarka preparation.
  • Take it out of flame as it gets dried up.
Tarka with roti, curd and onion

Tarka with roti, curd and onion

It tastes best with roti or paratha and a little bit of curd and onions. You can add chicken or mutton keema, or anything of your choice. Tarka also tastes good without adding any other non-vegetarian items to it. So, you can have it without any other supplementary to it. Catch you soon, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Sending my recipe to Srivalli’s Announcing My Legume Love Affair, Seventh Helping! , the event brain child of Well-Seasoned Cook Susan .

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Posted in Dinner, Egg, Niramis(Vegetarian), Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Christmas Cake in Pressure Cooker

Posted by Sudeshna on January 2, 2009

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Christmas is that time of the year when you make merry and go out shopping and traveling with friends and family. The chill and the dryness in the air make the whole environment to go around more to keep warm. My Christmas day this year, o I should be saying last year was a good now. The celebration started from Christmas Eve, just after I came out of my office. I went to the St. Mary’s Basilica, the oldest Church in Bangalore. The Church was decked up with white flowers all around the alter. I presumed it was to show respect to all those who lost their lives in different terror attacks all over India in 2008. That night we had good dinner at one of the well known restaurants in Bangalore and then off to St. Patrick’s Church for the grand celebration. What I have never done before, this time I was there inside the Church and sang along with many others the Christmas carols. It reminded me of those days in school. I still do remember the songs well.

Christmas day without some different things from the kitchen makes it very dull. So, after the day long hovering about from one Church to the other, I thought of baking a cake to mark this grand occasion.

The problem with baking a cake at my home is I don’t have a convection microwave oven, for that matter not a simple oven. So my only resort was my faithful pressure cooker. This was the first time I baked a cake in the pressure cooker and was quite apprehensive about the outcome till I had a bite. The cake was absolutely soft and everyone really liked it.


For one pound cake

Ingredients:


Cake flour or Wheat Flour (Maida): 1 ¼ cup

Baking powder: 1 teaspoon

Castor sugar (Guro Chini): ¾ cup

Unsalted Butter (Sada Makhon): 50gms

Eggs (Dim): 3

Clarified Butter (Ghee): 1 tablespoon

Vanilla Essence: 1 teaspoon

Dry fruits like raisins and cashew nuts, etc

Cadbury Gems for frosting

Sand for heating in pressure cooker

Preparation:

  • Add half cup of sugar to the eggs with the vanilla essence and beat well with a blender until the eggs make small peaks the blender is lifted
  • In a large bowl put in the flour, baking powder and sift thrice
  • Drop in the butter to the sifted flour and mix well with a blender
  • As the mixture gets fluffy and soft pour in the egg and castor sugar mixture and blend
  • Take a steel bowl (of the shape you want your cake to be like ) and coat it with the clarified butter well
  • Pour in the cake mixture into the steel bowl
  • Cover the base of the pressure cooker with half inch of sand, sand helps in passing the heating evenly
  • Place the steel bowl with the cake mixture in the pressure cooker, and add some dry fruits to it
  • Close the lid of the pressure cooker without the whistle
Baking in Progress - inside the pressure cooker

Baking in Progress - inside the pressure cooker

  • Let it be there on medium flame for at least 12 minutes
  • The smell of baked cake will come when it is properly baked
  • Insert a knife through the cake, it the knife comes out clean , the cake is properly baked then

Baked properly - time for frosting

Baked properly - time for frosting

  • With a knife scrap the sides of the steel bowl and invert it over a plate
  • Frost it in whatever way you like; I frosted it with castor sugar and gems.

x-mas-cake

Baking a cake without an oven was really a good experiment, and loved it more when the outcome was sweet and good looking. Check for more updates on this page till then Happy Cooking and Happy Blogging.

Sending it to Baking For Beginners – put on those mittens!! hosted by Vandana.

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As the winter we can’t just think about anything else other than cakes, so sending the Christmas cake in pressure cooker to Winter Treat ‘ Event hosted by Trupti .

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To Purva for her Christmas Feast Event

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And here the cake goes for Sweet series – Baked sweets & chocolates hosted by Mythreyee

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Posted in cake, Egg | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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.

Sending the post to Original Recipes – Monthly Round-Up Event.

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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 »

Begun Morichut

Posted by Sudeshna on November 30, 2008

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

This is my fiftieth post here on this blog. I thank all my blog visitors for giving me the courage and inspiration to go ahead and write new posts on my blog, and most of all I thank my parents and sister. My mom who taught me to love the art of cooking, and my father though never enters the kitchen always find it tempting to know whats cooking on my blog. My little sister who is always busy taking photographs of every step and every ,eal I cook, when I am at home in Kolkata.

To mark this happy event for me, I have prepared  a typical dish which hails from Chittagong in Bangaladesh‘. Now, this is a bit tricky, why should I be cooking something that sounds and tastes like a typical Bangladeshi dish. The answer is simple, my grandfathers, both from my father’s as well as from my mother’s sides were inhabitants of then unpartitioned Bengal. After the partition in 1947, they came and settled in Kolkata. As everybody say you can take out the Bengali from Bengal, but not the Bengal from the Bengali, so was it. At home our cooking style resembles those of the people of Bangladesh, though I am the third generation who is living in India and never had a luck to see the place where my grandparents were born and lived the best days of their lives.

Morichut is a typical naming for any curry in their native language of Chittagong. I love this one with eggs and aubergines. Morichut also can be made using potatoes. May be I’ll write a post on that sometime later.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Aubergine (Choto Begun): 200gms

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size

Eggs (Dim): 2

Mustard Oil (Sarser Tel): ½ teaspoon

Turmeric Powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 1 or 2

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Heat oil in a shallow wok
  • Add the onions to sauté as the oil gets heated
  • Toss in the aubergine cut into small square shaped pieces and fry till they are partly cooked
  • Add salt, turmeric and the green chili
  • Keep aside the half cooked egg plants, and heat 1 teaspoon of oil and add the eggs.
  • Scramble the eggs and add it to the half cooked aubergine
  • Cook till the aubergine gets cooked

begun-morichut

It tastes good with roti, paratha or even rice. So cook it and have with anything you like.

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

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Posted in Egg, Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Sujir Halwa

Posted by Sudeshna on November 24, 2008

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

Durga Puja is a big occasion for all Bengalis and for that matter anybody who has a Bengali friend or acquaintance. Everyone who is a Bengali by heart looks out for those few days of the year when the mother goddess comes down to earth and showers her blessing. Durga Puja is also a great occasion to me too, but especially I like the Sandhi Puja night. There is of course a reason behind this liking. It is the night when the goddess is offered Sujir halwa and luchi. It just tastes so good in that combination and my mom cooks it just the way I love; not to flaccid not too condensed, just the right consistency to have it.

Not only during Durga Puja, Sujir halwa always has a soft corner in all our hearts, so throughout the year, mom prepares it often. Mom is not there now with me here in my Bangalore flat, so when it comes to having something typically Bengali I have to enter the kitchen. The other day I prepared Sujir halwa, though I couldn’t get the feeling of my mom’s love in it, but yes it satisfied my taste buds.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Semolina (Suji / Rava): 4 heaped tablespoons

Clarified Butter (Ghee): ½ teaspoon

Milk (Dudh): 2cups (300ml)

Sugar (Chini): 2 tablespoons

Cardamon (Elaichi): Seeds of 2 or 3 crushed to form powder

Dry fruits for garnishing

Preparation:

  • In a wok heat the ghee in simmering flame
  • Add the semolina along with 2 bay leaves to it and toss for a minute or two
  • Pour in the milk along with sugar and let it boil, stir every two to three minutes to ensure that the semolina doesn’t get stick to the bottom of the wok
  • When half cooked add the cardamom powder to it and stir well so that it gets mixed to the halwa
  • As the semolina thickens take it out of flame and serve with dry fruit garnishing

sujir-payesh

Sujir payes serves as a good accompaniment with luchi or even can be had hot or cold as a dessert. Depending on how you like it, you can also add more or less milk to make the consistency of your choice. I like it uncondensed and so I have added more milk to it.

NB: Be very careful when you are frying the semolina in ghee, because with heat just above the optimum heat, semolina tends to get burnt. It is better to fry it in low flame with constant stirring, and ensuring that the milk is within your reach.

Check for my fiftieth post here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking, Happy Eating

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Posted in Desserts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Kumro Alur Tarkari

Posted by Sudeshna on November 20, 2008

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

Bengalis have a tendency of putting potato in any kind of recipe. It feels as if potatoes are an integral part of all the recipes. You can guess from the average health of all Bengalis, barring some exceptions, generally every Bengali signifies that potato look, a little more fats here and there. I too am not an exception. I like to add potatoes in different curries, though because of peer pressure the quantity has reduced with the passage of time.

Everyday after coming back from office, it’s always a pain staking job to think what to cook for dinner. Last night I was only left out with a piece of pumpkin and some potatoes. In my flat I don’t have a mixer grinder so couldn’t think of experimenting any other curries with that pumpkin. I took to cooking a simple potato pumpkin curry.

This preparation uses a masala that is a widely used spice in Bengali cuisine. As the name suggests (“Five Spices”), panch phoron is a combination of 5 spices, namely mustard seeds (sarse), fennel (mouri), nigella (kalo jeera), cumin (jeera) and fenugreek seeds (methi), you canknow more at Wiki.

kumror-tarkari-panch-phoron

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin (Kumro): 100gms
  • Potato (Alu): 2 medium sizes
  • Onion (Peyaj): 1 small
  • Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 2
  • Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon
  • Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

kumror-tarkari-ingredients

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a wok
  • Sauté the onions in the heated oil and throw in the panch phoron
  • Stir for 30 seconds before adding the vegetables
  • Put in turmeric powder, salt and the chilies
  • Stir for 2 -3 minutes, and add ½ cup of water for the vegetables to get cooked properly
  • As the vegetables get cooked properly, take out from flame and serve with roti, paratha or rice

kumror-tarkari-ready1

Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

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Posted in Niramis(Vegetarian), potato, Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

String beans with Potato Curry

Posted by Sudeshna on November 19, 2008

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

I have just joined Glaxo SmithKline Ltd for my Post Graduate internship. I have become so busy with the work that I couldn’t even think about writing a post for my blog. Yesterday I got a scrap from a school friend. She is presently staying in Bangladesh and as she says there are very few options for any vegan dishes. She requested me to write about some vegetarian dishes for her.

I just could not leave out her request and so thought of posting this dish for her.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

String beans (Barboti): 100gms

Potato (Aalu): 4 medium sizes

Nigella seeds(Kalo jeera): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 teaspoon

Turmeric Powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon

Green Chili (Kancha Lanka): 2

Preparation:

  • Slice the strings beans into one inch sizes and the potato into small square pieces
  • Take oil in a wok and let it heat
  • Throw in the nigella seeds as the oil gets heated
  • Add the potatoes and strings beans along with the turmeric powder and salt
  • Toss the vegetables for a minute so that the oil and spices get mixed
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour in 1 cup of water and let it cook with stirring twice or thrice
  • As the vegetables get cooked take out of flame

100_3942

Serve with roti, paratha or with steamed rice. It tastes good with anything. Check for more updates here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking, Happy Eating.

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Posted in Niramis(Vegetarian), potato, Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Round Up

Posted by Sudeshna on November 13, 2008

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

Round ups of events are always fun, be that I am reading or creating them. Just for one single thing its great to learn how everybody makes a different recipe of his or her own. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth was not an exception. Sweets in different styles and ingredients made this event a success.
You all know WordPress.com doesn’t support advertisements and so I cannot announce a prize for the best entry, but to make it a bit more fun, there is a poll at the end of this post, so feel free and vote for your favorite recipes doe this event.

Payesam or Payesa or Kheer

payesam1

Laddus:

Fried sweets:

fried-sweets

Baked sweets:

baked

Burfi:

burfi

Others:

arundhuti_rasmalai

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Posted in Desserts, event | Tagged: , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Put in Everything Omellete

Posted by Sudeshna on November 11, 2008

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

There is a always a problem with the left over vegetables of last night at my place. Neither do I feel to throw them out nor eat those just like that. Vegetable omelet was my brain child to cope up with this matter. Its a very easy to cook and ready to eat kind of food and is ideal for breakfast, especially when the house cook do not want to work much for the breakfast table. I used the leftover vegetables or meat for the preparation. You can also use any kind of fresh vegetables or meat for making it up.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Egg (Dim): 2

Wheat flour (Maida): 1 tablespoon

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size, cut into small squares

Coriander leaves (Dhaniya pata): 1 tablespoon, finely chopped

Milk (Dudh): 1/4 cup

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 2-3 , cut into small rings

Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): 1/4 teaspoon

Vegetables or meat of choice: 1 small bowl

Sunflower oil (Sada tel) to fry

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Add all the ingredients into a deep bowl and stir to make a dilute batter.

omelet-batter

  • Heat 1/2 teaspoon of oil on a non-stick frying pan
  • Gently pour in one large spoon of the batter to make an omelet.
  • Make as many as you wish out of the batter.
  • Serve with green salad and tomato sauce.

omelet

Look for more on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

I am sending this to Sangeeth for her 101 omelets.

Sending this entry to BlOg yOur Omelet hosted by Nuria.

blogyouromelet_small

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Posted in Egg, potato, snacks, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Masur Dal and Alu Posto: A whole lunch

Posted by Sudeshna on November 6, 2008

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

Posto or poppy seeds is always a delicacy in all Bengali household. It is extensively used as a spice in various dishes, be that in potato or chicken curry.It is said that poppy makes you feel cool, I am not sure of this saying though. I mom believes in it and so come summer there has to be some kind of a curry consisting of poppy seeds. The range varies from simple poppy seed paste sauted to poppy seed grind with cashew to make chicken curry.

As with poppy seeds, masur dal also takes up a very important place in Bengali kitchens. whenever I taste masur dal, I go down memory lane. every day when I came back from school for lunch, mom always prepared masur dal, my all time favorite among all lentils.  Even till now, when I go home in my vacations mom always cook masur dal for me.

All this I was telling because I had the best combination of veggie delight last night. It was steamed rice with masur dal and alu posto. If you are a Bengali or if you are not, then ask any Bengali , you’ll come to know that anyone would kill for this platter.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For Alu Posto:-

Potato (Alu): 3 large size

Nigella seeds (Kalonji): 1 teaspoon

Poppy seeds (Posto): 2 tablespoons

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

For Masur dal:-

Masur dal: 50 gms

Onions (Peyaj): 2 small sizes

Green chili (Kacha lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

Cilantro leaves (Dhaniya pata): 2 tablespoon of chopped leaves (optional)

chopped-coriander

Preparation:

Alu Posto:-

  • Grind the poppy seeds and green chili in a grinder to make a paste
  • Cut the potatoes into small one inch squares
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the nigella seeds as the oil gets heated.
  • Immediately add the potatoes and toss for a while so that the oil gets mixed with the potatoes.
  • Now add turmeric and salt along with a cup of water and let the potatoes get half cooked.
  • Put in the poppy seed paste and stir so that the paste gets mixed with the half cooked potatoes. You can add more water if the curry gets dried up.
  • Cook till the potatoes get cooked properly and the water disappears.
Potato in poppy seed paste

Potato in poppy seed paste

Here is a slide show to show the stages of the cooking:

Masur Dal:-

  • Thoroughly wash the dal and put in a deep pan with salt and water so that the dal remain almost 3 inches under water. Let it boil till the water and dal becomes inseparable.
  • In a separate heat the oil and throw in the onions and green chili. Saute till the onions turn golden brown
  • Add the sauted onions to the boiled dal along with the turmeric powder and cook for two to three minutes more.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Masur Dal

Masur Dal

Masur dal and poppy-potato curry tastes best with steamed rice, but you can also try it with chapatis and rotis. The curry also looks good without turmeric, so you can try out that too. About masur dal, it depends what concentration you want for it, depending on that you can keep the water or make it dry.

the-platter

Sending this to Challenge Event hosted by Veda of Iyengar’s kitchen

presentation11

Check for more updates here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

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Posted in Niramis(Vegetarian), potato, Side dish, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Potato-Okra Fry

Posted by Sudeshna on November 5, 2008

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

When I was a child my hobby was to paint and dance. As I grew up and stepped into my adolescence dance turned from a hobby to a passion. I had performed in various festivals, stage shows, TV shows, school and college fests. Painting was no more a hobby, but I still draw at times, just to feel happy. I left Kolkata almost a year and a half back. Leaving Kolkata had a great toll on me, I had to leave out my dance session, which I had been attending for the last 20 years. The last time I danced on stage was back in winter 2006.

But there was another hobby which was in its nascent stage some two years back and for which I spend a good percentage of my monthly money these days. This hobby started even before I became a full time cook in my kitchen (here to note, I still don’t have what I can call my own kitchen, but still need to be satisfied with the small kitchen in my rented apartment) and a food blogger. Coming back to my new but not so new hobby, collecting cook books. I have a plethora of these cook books now. From Sanjeev Kapoor to Tarla Dalal and Roz Denny to old worn out books of multiple authors; books written in English and also in Bengali, my mother tongue. Every year I used to visit Kolkata Book Fair and my task was to search for the most recent and the oldest cook books being sold. I have bought books of well known publishers like Duncan Baird Publishers (London), Popular Prakashan (Mumbai) and also from the not so known publishers. Now that I am away from Kolkata, the annual book fair is almost out of question to visit, so I visit all the book stalls here in Bangalore and peek into the culinary sections of these stores. I have got books starting from INR 10 to few that were quite a burden to my wallet. Of all these books that I bought, the one that I felt very happy in buying was “The Big Book of Great British Recipes“. This book has got 365 delicious and treasured recipes, as the book cover says. But the reason of my being happy in buying this book was something different. The book is sold at 625 INR in India, but the copy I have had cost me only 50 INR because of a little tear on its cover. It was like getting a treasure for almost nothing. The book is really great. Another book in line is written in Bengali, which my mom gifted. It has a whopping collection of 1001 recipes from East Bengal (presently Bangladesh) and West Bengal (eastern state in India, where I hail from). I treasure my books above everything, and whenever I am alone and have got nothing to do I just go through them. It brings me immense pleasure to see the colorful photographs and the passion the cook has put in to prepare those dishes. Though I have not tried much of the recipes from these books, but they have made me realize the basic difference in the different styles of cooking. Books from professional cooks have the exact amount of the ingredients and the time of cooking mentioned in every recipe and also a note from the cook as a recommendation from him or her to make the dish taste better. Another very important aspect of all cook books is the photograph they feature. Though the cheap books have very few or no photos of the cooked food, the not so cheap books have a whacking number of food photographs in them. It is a general tendency I have noticed in me, to read those recipes having photographs, I think you will also agree to that.

cook-books

That was a lot of writing from my side today. I hope you loved the discussion. I would appreciate if you pen down some lines on the type of books you have at home and how they have helped to bring out the cook in you.

To come to recipe for the day, it is a very simple one; my mom cooks it as a side dish along with rice and dal.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Okra (Bhindi): 100 gms

Potato (Alu): 100 gms or 2 medium sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 2 medium sizes

Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 2

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Saada tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

alu-bhendi-fry-ingredients

Preparation:

  • Cut the potatoes in thin long pieces of length 2 inches each
  • Similarly cut the ladies finger into halves with 2 inches length
  • Julienne the onions
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the potatoes along with the onions as the oil gets heated.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the ladies finger to it.
  • Toss the whole for a minute or two and then add half cup of water for the vegetables to get cooked properly.
  • Leave for 8 minutes more for everything to get cooked, stir for a few times and add water if required.

We used to have potato-ladies finger fry as an accompaniment with rice and dal, you can also have it with chapattis or paratha.

alu-bhendi-fry

This should be the ideal one to send for the Challenge event hosted by Veda of Iyengar’s kitchen

presentation1

Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

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Posted in Niramis(Vegetarian), potato, Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Baigan Bharta

Posted by Sudeshna on November 4, 2008

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

Last five days I am all done with a heavy cold and extreme head aches. All of these sickness made me stay out of kitchen for these. I am speding time more on the bed than anywhere else at home. This morning when at last I thought of visiting the near by doctor, he gave me a shock. He prescribed with lots of medicine and talked about me having rhinocitis. The term reminded me of that Khaziranga National Forest rinos with a horn at the place of nose. Now, coming to the graver part, he suggested that if these problems do not get better by the next 5 days and with all these medications then it is presumably a case of sinusitis and in that case I need to a have a CT scan done. CT scan !!!! O dear Lord !!! I am an absolute claustrophobic, I can’t stay inside a lift for more than a few seconds and he was asking me to have a CT scan done, that means staying inside that whole for more than half-an hour. I was feeling worse with this news than with all of these running nose, blocked ears and head aches.

I had cooked up Baigan Bharta as a side dish for last night dinner. My brain going haywire with the news from the doctor this morning, it think it will look like a bharta and nothing less. So thought of writing this post.

The Big Fat Brinjal - ready to roast

The Big Fat Brinjal - ready to roast

Serves 4

Ingredients

Eggplant (Begun) : 1 big size

Onions (Peyaj): 3 large size, julienned

Tomato: 2 medium size, cut into squares

Green chilli (kacha Lanka): 4, cut into ringlets

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Coriander leaves(Dhaniya pata) chopped for garnishing

Salt to taste

Lemon juice (Pati lebur raus): 1 tablespoon, optional

Preparation:

  • Prick the brinjal with a fork or knife.
  • Roast the eggplant, so that it gets softened and the skin starts coming out of it.
  • Take the skin out of the eggplant, mash and  keep it aside
  • Heat oil in a wok
  • Toss in the onion. Sauté till softens
  • Add the mashed eggplant to the onions along with tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili ringlets and salt.
  • Cook till the eggplant dries, take care that it doesn’t get stick to the bottom of the wok.
  • Take out of flame and garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice.

Baigan bharta is best tasted with roti or parantha. Though I had to roast the eggplant on a gas oven, it tastes and smells best when roasted over a charcoal oven.

Baigan Bharta

Baigan Bharta

Catch me with more updates on this blog, till then

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

As I have not used any electrical or electronic gadgets to cook this, my post is heading for the ‘Power’ less cooking event

hosted by Simple Indian Food

powerless

This is of great joy for me to send in my post to Devon Ave: Indian-Jewish Adventure! hosted by Joelen.

Baigan Bharta goes to fight the other Eat Healthy-Fight Diabetes entries hosted by Sangeeth.

ehlogo-1

Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

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Posted in Dinner, Niramis(Vegetarian), Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »