Here I Cook

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

Posts Tagged ‘bengali cuisine’

New Home for Bengali Cuisine

Posted by Sudeshna on July 7, 2009

As you all know I had been blogging here in wordpress.com site for the past fourteen months. With the gain in traffic and popularity, I thought of shifting the blog to a new location to Cook Like a Bong. You can find all the old entries of this blog at its present site.

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Please update your Bookmarks, Blogroll and Feeds to the new address – http://bengalicuisine.net. I look forward to seeing you there.

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Dal Sukhno/ Dried Masur Dal

Posted by Sudeshna on June 12, 2009

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

I have found that Masur dal post on my blog has become the most popular post. In most Bengali households masur or red lentil is the most important of all pulses served. Whenever there is some left out masur dal in the refrigerator my mom always makes the Sukhno dal (Bengali for dried pulses), though it can be prepared with fresh masur dal also. It is a best accompaniment of warm rice served at first of the meal. This preparation had been one of my favorite dishes in lunch. Its simple to cook and absolutely yummy.

dal sukhno 2

Ingredients:

Masur dal (Red lentil): ½ cup

Onions (Peyaj): 2 medium sizes

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Green chili (Kancha lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 2 tablespoon

Salt to taste and 3 cups of water

Preparation:

  • Wash the masur dal well and cook as instructed here
  • Simmer the dal for further 5 -6 minutes so that the dal gets absolutely dried up
  • Serve with freshly chopped onions and mustard oil

dal sukhno 1

My tip: While simmering the dal to dry, constantly stir it so that it doesn’t get stick to the bottom of the vessel.

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Posted in Niramis(Vegetarian), Side dish | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Alu posto/ Potato in poppy seed paste

Posted by Sudeshna on April 26, 2009

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

Poppy seed is an integral part of the platter in all Bengali households. Preparations with poppy seeds mainly include vegan dishes, but there are also some dishes where poppy seeds are used with fish or meat. The love for poppy seeds among Bengalis started hundreds of years ago. Alu posto is the most common form of poppy seeds use in Bengali cuisine, at times the potatoes are also replaced with ridge gourds, onions, aubergine, or even chicken.

The herbal concoction of the seeds is also beneficial in treating all kinds of nervous disorders. Apart from consuming poppy seeds in its raw form or toasted on bagels and sweet breads, a paste made from the seeds can be used as a poultice in obtaining relief from swellings and joint pains.  Finely ground powder made from poppy seeds can also be consumed to treat insomnia and diarrhea. Apart from adding flavor to food, poppy fields also present an added advantage of providing health benefits to the human body. It also supplies essential enzymes and fatty acids as a form of nutrition. In ancient days, athletes would consume or blend of poppy seeds with honey entwined to ensure strength and good health. The oil derived from poppy seeds is used in various cosmetic preparations for the head and skin as balms and conditioners.

sheel-nora

Ingredients:

Potato (Alu): 4 medium sizes

Poppy seeds (Posto): 3 tablespoons

Nigella seeds (Kalo jeera): 1 teaspoon

Green chili (kancha lanka): 3

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Make a soft fine paste of the poppy seeds and keep aside
  • Cut the potatoes into small square pieces
  • Heat oil in a wok over low flame, add the nigella seeds
  • Throw in the potatoes along with the turmeric powder, green chilies and salt
  • Pour in about a cup of water and let the potatoes get half cooked
  • Add the poppy seed paste and cook till the potatoes are well cooked
  • Pour in water if necessary

alu-posto

Take out of flame and serve with rice or chapattis.

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

Palak in Paneer Bowl

Posted by Sudeshna on January 7, 2009

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

So the guessing game was fun. Thank you all for the comments. Yes, you all have guessed it right the main ingredients were paneer (famer’s cheese) and spinach. Here goes the recipe for the yummy and delicious recipe from my mom’s kitchen.

paneer_palak2

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For making the paneer bowls:-

Farmer’s cheese (Paneer): ½ kg

Wheat flour (Maida): ½ cup

Spinach paste (Palak shaakh bata): 1 large bowl

Garlic (Rasun): 10 -12 cloves, chopped finely

Ginger paste (Ada bata): 1 teaspoon

Sugar (Chini): ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Chilli powder (Sukhno lanka guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 5 tablespoons for frying

Salt to taste

For making the gravy:-

Cashew nuts (Kaju badam): 30 gms

Poppy seeds (Posto): 100 gms

Green cardamom (Choto elaichi): 3-4

Cinnamon (Darchini): One 1″ size

Cloves (Labango): 3-4

Green chili (Kanch LAnka): 3 – 4

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 1 tablespoon

Preparation:

For making the paneer bowls:-

  • Take the paneer, wheat flour and salt in a large bowl and knead well to make dough. The dough shouldn’t be very soft, depending on the water content of the farmer’s cheese.
  • Make two inch diameter spheres from the dough
  • Using your hand make them into small bowls to hold the spinach
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok
  • As the oil becomes piping hot sauté the onions in it
  • Throw in the chopped garlic and ginger paste just as the onions turn golden
  • Add the spinach paste when the oil starts separating from the sautéed spices
  • Put in the turmeric and chili powder along with salt and sugar
  • Fry till the spinach gets dry
  • Take it out of flame and let it cool down completely
  • Take a large tablespoon of the fried spinach paste and put it into the paneer bowls
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fried spinach paste filled paneer bowls in batches
  • Drain the excess oil using a kitchen paper

paneer_palak_fry

The fried bowls are an ideal snack for any evening party, or you can even use it as a starter along with tomato sauce. Read on if you want to make it into a curry.

For the curry:-

  • In a mixer grinder put in cashew nuts, poppy seeds, green chilies and ½ cup of water, make it into a smooth paste
  • Heat oil in a wok and throw in cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
  • As they start popping pour in the poppy paste along with salt and sauté till the oil starts leaving
  • Carefully add the fried farmer’s cheese bowls to the gravy and cook uncovered for 5 minutes
  • Take out from flame and serve with rice, paratha or roti

paneer_palak_curry2

This dish was a instant hit among all my relatives when my mom cooked it for the first time. Though a little tedious and take almost 1 hour to prepare from the raw materials to the dining table, but the outcome is worth all these hard work. Look for more recipe here, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating .

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

savouries-logo1

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Posted in Dinner, Side dish, snacks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 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.

justforyou

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

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.

original-recipe

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

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 »