Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tropical Smoothie and Coconut Ladoo

Tropical Smoothie
Fresh Coconut water 2 cups
Pineapple Juice 2 cups
1 Mango slice
Fresh grated Coconut meat ½ cups
Yogurt 1 cup
2 tbs of sugar

Grate coconut meat, or blend it in mixer.
Now put all the ingredients in mixer and blend well .Refrigerate for 2 hrs before you serve.
Coconut water is good for tropical climate and adds the advantage of Yogurt; this drink gives a cooling effect in hot humid weather.
This is going to Raaga at The Singing Chef , who is hosting WBB this time, visit here for more details , Express -WBB .Wbb is an event originally started by Nandita at SaffronTrail .

Coconut Ladoo

Fresh coconut meat grated 2 cups
½ cup of sugar
3 tbs of Besan or chick pea flour
2 tbs of milk
4-5 tbs of ghee

Heat up ghee , now add coconut and sugar and cook at low for 10 -15 mints stiring continuously .Make sure the Batter doesn’t stick to base .
When it starts to collect and comes out smoothly from the side of Kadai , this is ready .
Now add milk and besan and mix well , add this mixture to the coconut and cook at low for 5 mints till the milk mixture gets dried .
Take out in a separate plate and quickly start to roll them into small balls like ladoo .Coconut Laddo is ready .
This is very similar to Narkoler Naru except that Narkoler Naro is made with Gur and coconut only .
These are going to Suganya at Tasty Palettes , visit here for more details AFAM-JUNE.
Afam is a Monthly event started by Maheshwari at Beyond The Usual .
Happy Cooking

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pabda Macher Jhal (Bengali Fish Curry)

Living in Kolkata has helped me in many ways , my fondness for fish grew day by day , what more Can I ask for when our local Fish Markets is loaded with fresh supply of innumerable Variety of fish every day .One Fish is Pabda from Ganges ,This fish is quite tasty to eat when its made with the coarse fresh home-made powder of cumin,Nigella seed and Black Pepper powder .This combination of spice gives this fish curry a distinct Black color , also called by My little one Kalo Macher Jhaal .I have slightly put the spice content to a higher tone to satisfy our cravings for spicy fish curry however Just lower the spice and its good for stomach specially for Pregnant Ladies and toddlers , Other fishes like , Bata ,Magur ,Tangra or sometimes Pona Mach can also be made in a similar way .This brings a great change to a normal fish curry ,Making it more edible and delectable.

Morich Kalo Jeere diye Pabda macher Jhaal (Bengali Fish Curry)
Recipe Requirements

5-6 large Pabda Mach or fish
½ tsp of red pepper powder
2-3 tsp of cumin seeds
2-3 tsp of kalo jeere/kalaunji(nigella seeds)
2 tsp of black pepper powder
½ tomato chopped
1 tsp of turmeric powder
3-4 tbs mustard oil for frying fish +2 tbs of mustard oil to make the curry
1 cup of water or vegetable stock
Marinate the fish with turmeric and salt , keep aside for half hour
Heat up a Kadai and add mustard oil , fry fish on each side for 5 mints at medium till they are turned little brown . Be Careful while frying Pabda Fish.Take out gently after they are fried .
Now grind to a coarse powder, cumin seeds , Kalo jeere or kalaunji (Nigella seeds) .Add black Pepper and red pepper powder .
Add the fried fish and the coarse powder , turmeric , salt , 1 cup of water and tomato and 2 tbs of mustard oil.Cover and cook at low for 10 mints.
Take out when the gravy is thick , serve with warm cooked rice .
If Making for Toddlers , just add more water and half the spice , quite like Patla jhol..This Jhol is good for even pregnant Ladies. I used to have it while I was expecting with my little one, quite often. This remains our easy to cook and easy to digest recipe for rainy days.
Happy Cooking Friends.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mango Lassi and Kadhi with Besan Pakode for Frozen Yogurt event

Mango lassi
Fresh Pulp of 1 Mango
2-3 cups of yougurt or curd
2-3 tbs of sugar
2 sandesh, recipe link for Sandesh recipe or any other Khoya sweet
Roohafza 2-3 tbs
Blend all in a mixer .Chill in refrigerator for 2hrs .
At the time of serving add crumbled sandesh over top and few drops of Roohafza..

Kadhi with Pakode

3 cups of yogurt
1 cup of water
3 tbs of Besan (Chick Pea Flour)
2 tsp of fresh grated ginger
1 tsp of cumin powder
1tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of salt
Pinch of sugar

2-3 tbs of fresh chopped coriander leaves
For tempering
1 tsp of Mustard seeds
1 Dry Red pepper

1 small onion chopped finely
1 bay leaf

Mix in curd and water , whisk well , set aside.
Add all the dry powders, red pepper , garam masala,cumin powder and Besan,
Heat up Mustard oil, temper it with mustard seeds, dry red pepper powder and Bay leaf, now add chopped onions, ginger and fry at low for 3-4 mints.
Now add the Yogurt mixture , cook at low for 1-2mints .
For Variations
Add Besan Pakodas
Besan 3 cups
1 tsp of salt
pinch of Baking soda
1 tsp of Red Pepper powder
Mix well with water and keep the constituency little bit thick .
Heat up Mustard Oil and drop spoonful of batter to the hot oil, Fry at low.
Take out and cool , now add to the prepared Kadhi .This will thickened the Kadhi a lot,add warm water if required .

This is going to siri at siri corner, visiy here for more details Frozen Yogurt .

I would like to mention , one of my friends at Daily Meals has forwarded nice matters award .Thanks Vijaya for thinking about me .
Happy Cooking Friends

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mangshor Keema or Mutton Keema Curry with Vegetable Pulao

Weekends are always a good break to charge up our batteries for life , and the meals also plays a crucial role in it , somehow we indulge in some spicy, tangy and rich food .Mutton Keema or minced meat curry and vegetable Pulao is one such meal .Keema or Minced meat is quite an intriguing ingredient .It can be great to have minced meat kabab any time of the day or simple keema,I remembered making Ghughni with minced meat during Durga Puja on dashmi .This Ghughni is made with Matar Dal or sometimes with Chick Pea .
We put The spice content in Minced meat curry on a higher note as the spice enhances the flavor of minced meat . meat is first marinated and then the meat is deep fried at med with all the spices , little bit of frying and then its is transferred to Pressure cooker for quick cooking, otherwise in the contemporary method whole of the fried meat is slowly cooked over a very low flame for an hour .Both the way keema is such a pleasure to eat .
Here is the way we like to prepare our Minced Meat curry , this curry is loaded with oodles of spice .This is one hot and spicy meal for hot summer afternoon. We thoroughly enjoyed eating it with vegetable pulao .

Mangshor Keema (Mutton Keema) aar vegetable Pulao
Keema or Minced meat – 1kg
For Marinating minced meat
Turmeric powder- 2-3 tsp
Red pepper powder-3-4 tsp
Coriander powder- 2tsp
Salt -2 tsp
2 tbs of mustard oil
For the Masala Paste
2 medium size onion
2 inch fresh ginger
10 -12 cloves of garlic
Grind the above in Mixer
tempering and flavoring
onion-3-4 chopped finely.
Sugar -1 tsp
Cardamom- 5
Cinnamon- 2-3 inch stick, broken into pieces
2-3 bay leaves
2 -3 tbs of mustard oil
1 tomato chopped finely
Wash the minced meat in little warm water and take out and drain .
Marinate the mutton with turmeric, red pepper ,salt,mustard oil.
Meanwhile prepare the masala Paste . Add to the marinating Mutton,and set aside for 1 hrs .
Now heat up Kadai or any heavy bottom pan, add mustard oil and let it heat up.
Add sugar, bay leaf and all the spice including, cardamom,cloves and cinnamon .
Add onions and fry at med for 3-4 mints till they are slightly brown, add more oil if necessary .
Add the marinated mutton and now deep fry the minced meat for 10 mints at med high.
Transfer the content to a pressure cooker and TIP-add the water by slightly warming in the Kadai which you used for deep frying ,this way the masala that has stuck at the sides of Kadai will come out easily and it can be added to the Gravy also .Add one chopped tomato also .
Cover the cooker Pan and lock it , at full high flame , one whistle and quickly lower the flame and let it cook for another 10 mints .stop the Flame and let the pressure subside .
Open the cover and sprinkle chopped coriander leaves (optional).

Vegetable Pulao
Basmati rice – 2cups (we used Govind Bhog Rice)
10 beans chopped finely (you may add other vegetables also)
1 medium size onion
4 cloves of garlic chopped finely
½ inch of fresh ginger chopped finely
2 inch cinnamon broken into random pieces
6 cloves
3 -4 cardamom open in between .
2 Bay leaf
3-4 tbs of Ghee for frying
Wash the rice thoroughly and soak them for 10 mints , now transfer them in large vessel with water and cook the rice , Drain the water when its partially done .
Now heat up the Kadai , add ghee and all the tempering ingredients and fry at low for 2-3 mints till the nice smell of Spices comes out .
Now add all the dry fruits , beans and tomato , again fry them at low for 4mints , Now transfer this mixture to the cooked rice and gently mix them , if required at this time add more ghee .Take out the entire Pulao in a Hot Pot and cover .Let it remain there for at least ½ hrs this way the rest of rice that needs that extra cooking will be done .
Open when you are ready to serve and eat .
Happy Cooking Friends.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stuffed Jumbo Shells

Stuffed Jumbo shells
This recipe for stuffed Jumbo shells laid dormant, sleeping in my blogger draft for about a year ,I guess. I remembered making this dish while staying in US , we had some of the friends who were coming to visit us and on a short notice and I had to fix the dinner .This turn out to be a great hit with them ,hope you also like it ..This recipe can be well incorporated with Manicotti pasta also .

Stuffed Jumbo Shells
Recipe Requirements
10- 15 Jumbo shells
Home Made Panner ( Cottage cheese )
2 tsp of Italian seasoning
2 tbs of fresh chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of Red pepper powder
1 cup of tomato sauce or any Pasta sauce .
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
1 medium size onion chopped
1 garlic pod chopped finely

Make the Shells according to package directions .Heat up water in a heavy bottom pan .add pinch of salt .Give them plenty of space to swell and you wont be disappointed , it will take 7-8 mints to cook them ,drain the water .Cook them until they are crunchy to bite .
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F .Meanwhile you prepare the stuffing .
Crumble the Paneer, add all the ingredients and now fill in every shells , use your hands for this it will be easy to fill in,shift the stuffed shells to the baking casserole and add the pasta sauce over them , sprinkle cumin powder over it , cover it and cook it in oven for 10 to 15 mints .
sprinkle some shreded cheddar Cheese and bake another 3-4 mints, Take out ,Serve and enjoy .
Happy Cooking

Creating Crafts with Kids

Summer activity
Remember creating crafts out of paper tearing and making them a collage on my this post Mango Manthram .
Well we made similar type of crafts, now with the Pencil residue/pencil shavings and Leaf painting....

Just collect the shavings whenever you sharpen pencil for your little one, and then draw objects on a sheet of paper, of your little one’s fantasy and glue them with fevicol .Lend a hand to your little one in making crafts with these.

Leaf painting
Whenever you visit parks, ask your little one to pick leaves of their choices. That can be of any shape or size .Make it more interacting by asking them about the color, shape etc.
Collect them and when you are back home , make the colors of your little ones choice, and then dip the leaves in the color and then trace them with the leaves .Make flowers and leaves with them or any other objects .
Let it dry and then you add the finishing touch by outlining the objects and then doing the patch work if required any.
This is sure a fun way to engage your little one, doing some constructive work in this summer vacation .

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aamer Ambol and a click for Bri

This month click has a very noble cause , To stand with Bri for the fight against Breast cancer , This is our utmost priority to support her when her Medical Insurance company doesn’t feel the same .She has every right to live life happily .Visit Jai and Bee here Click June- Special Edition to know more about click for Briana Brownlow of Figs with Bri and also support her to Chip in for a good cause . You can see the entries and chip in here Here .

This click is Mango chutney (Amer Ambol in Bengali ), which is mango cooked in sugar syrup with a tinge of spice so its sweet spicy mango chutney .This is a recipe from my initial posts,you can read more about the recipe , visit this recipe link Mango Chutney (Amer Ambol) .
Happy Cooking Friends

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mujaddarah and Falafel for AWED


With the announancement of middle western cuisine at Siri's place ,I was searching for many recipes that were vegetarian , I came across these two , One is Mujaddarah and other is famous falafel .
Mujaddarah is a comfort food eaten fondly in Middle Eastern Region , specially in Syrian and Lebanese cuisine.This is basically a one pot meal where rice and Lentils are cooked together , Authenticity is maintained if you don’t add much spice, the flavor is due to the slow cooking of rice and Lentils together .While we often add Garam Masala or Black Pepper powder, Originally the recipe doesn’t include any of them . Recipe Link For Mujaddarah .

Recipe Requirements
Rice – ¾ cup (I have used boiled rice instead of Basmati rice)
1 1/3 cup of lentils (preferably French green lentils or Masoor dal)
2purple onions chopped into fine rings or finely chopped
1 tsp of cumin powder
1 ½ tsp of salt
Some raisins
Some cashews (optional)
6-7 tbs of oil (original recipe calls for olive oil, I have used vegetable oil instead of olive oil)
3-4 cups of water or vegetable broth
Clean the lentil, pick any stones foundand then wash it in running water 2-3 times.
Bring apot of water to boiland add the lentils, cook for 15-17 mints.Add cumin powder.
Add the washed rice ,TIP- its better if you soak the rice for 1hrs prior to making Mujaddarah .
Cook again at low for 30-40 mints till the rice-lentil mixture is cooked.Add the half of the fried brown onions and keep the remaining for serving.
TIP-Let it sit there for 10 mints before you serve mujaddarah. Mine was little watery ,see first pic and later after sitting for 10-12 mints it thickened ,see in second pic.
Serve it with a bowl of Yogurt and tomato salad.
Mujaddarah can be well paired with any Greek Salad .People often substitute Yogurt with Sour Cream, but Originally the recipe goes well with Yogurt and fried brown onion.
This is one meal which my Toddler Likes to eat .

I am greatly inspired by this recipe for Falafel, Vegen Friendly Falafel .Although I must admit that we have adapted to suit our taste and also I was short of some ingredients ,so completely skipped those ingredients Like Parsley etc. .We loved eating falafel and It’s a great appetizer also .
I guess falafel is more or less very similar to the fritters we make out of boiled potato and some Lentils. It reminds me of My favorite Bengali Fritter ,Musoor dal(Red Lentil) er Boda in which the lentil is soaked 2-3 hrs and then the Lentil is made into paste ,then chopped onion , green chilly is added and then they are deep fried .
Here is the recipe which worked fine for us
Recipe Requirements

11/2 cup of chick peas(soak them overnight for 10-12 hrs, rinse them well in water before making paste)
3-4 Bread Slices – easiest way to make home-made bread crumbs is to process in a mixer.
2 medium size potato boiled and mashed .
2 tsp of cumin powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of red pepper powder
1 ½ tsp of salt
olive oil for frying and adding to the batter (I have used vegetable oil instead of olive oil)
1tsp of baking soda
1 onion
Make a paste of chick peas in a blender, Take them out in a bowl.
Add all the powders, salt ,oil.and baking soda .
Add bread crumbs and boiled potato ,little bit of salt and mix them well .
Mix in all the two mixtures and make small balls diameter of 1 inch each, refrigerate them for 3-4 hrs .
When you are ready to fry them, heat a heavy bottom Pan, wok , add oil for frying ,make sure to add at least 2-3 inch deep oil, check the oil if its ready to deep fryTIP- by adding little bit of cumin seeds ,if it floats on top simmering, the oil is ready to deep fry Falafel.
Fry the falafel of abatch of 4-5 for 5mints at low till the color changes to brown .Repeat this step for other falafel Balls .
Take them out and drain them over tissue paper or paper towels.
Serve with Tahini (Sesame seed Paste) .
We had it with Maggi Hot and sweet Sauce and it taste great .
This is going to Siri at Siri's Corner ,here are the details of this lovely event AWED -middle eastern Cuisine event originally conceptualized by DK at Culinary Bazaar her wondefrful site , visit her also .

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Quick Appetizers

Appetizer for Monthly Mingle
10 Brittania 50-50 biscuits or any other crackers
For the Toppings
Combo one
1 boiled potato
prepare the mashed potato
¼ tsp of salt
¼ tsp of red pepper powder
¼ tsp of coriander powder
mix and mash them well
Combo two
Badaam(peanuts) chutney
½ cup of peanuts
1onion chopped
2 green chillies
salt as per taste
blend them to a thick paste in a blender
Combo three
Some Paneer grated or chopped finely
Grated carrots
Little bit of boiled corn
¼ tsp of Black Pepper
Salt as per taste
Mix them well and set aside for ½ hrs .

Coriander leaves for decoration

What you should now
Arrange the biscuits/crackers on a plate , scoop little bit of each toppings over biscuits and serve with cold drinks or any other juice. I had refrigerated for 2hrs before serving them,to my surprise they tasted even better.
I have assembled some of the toppings which my family and friends liked, be a little more innovative and the toppings can vary from chicken, shrimp or fish pieces that are slightly sautéed with black pepper and salt .
This appetizer requires very little time to assemble and it tastes even better.
This is going to Monthly Mingle , an event brain child of Meeta of Whats For Lunch Honey , now being hosted by Mansi of Fun and Food (Monthly Mingle)
Happy Cooking Friends.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pui Shaak'er Chorchori

Pui Shaak'er chorchori

Chorchori is basically a Bengali semi dry curry which is a medley of vegetables,that is cooked at low with a little bit of spices.
Pujor samay (during festival of Durga Poja ), Puin Shaak'er chorchori is being served as part of bhog/prasad on ashtami.This chorchori is accompanied with Khichuri , Payesh and chatni , For Payesh and Chutney .

The main thing which is taken into consideration is that the entire meal is Niramish ( Vegetarian), Khichuri is made with Ada bata (ginger paste),kancha lonka(green chilly ) and may be garam masala. Puin shaak'er chorchori also is Niramish (vegetarian).This medley of vegetables is cooked into mushy texture in a large Pot , and the taste is very divine .I have tried making many times bhog'er khichuri and Puin Shaak'er chorchori ,but that ambience, that feeling and that emotion remains unavailable to me.I guess you enjoy these foods in Pujor Mathe( Venue of Durga Poja) with your family ,friends sitting in a line on a ground and waiting for the bhog'er khichuri and puin shaak'er chorchori being served by Parar Kaku ,Jethu and Dada (neighborhood uncles and brothers).

Every culture survives on these small but things of great importance.....

Things you need for this Chorchori
Puin Shaak – ½ kg or two big bunch
Kumro (Pumpkin) -15 cube pieces
2 long Jhinge/ridge gourd cut into long pieces of 1 1/2 inch
Potato 2 cut into cubes
1/2  tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of sugar
½ tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of salt
3 tbs of mustard oil
1 Ilish macher matha fried prior to making the chorchori (if preparing vegetarianway skip this ingredient)
1 tsp of panch Phoron for tempering

Cut and clean the shak first, cut the leaves and then chop them , also cut the danta ( tender stalk ) approx 1 inch long pieces and slit them in between .Throughly clean them in running water . Cut all the vegetables as said above .

Now heat up a kadai , add mustard oil, temper it with Panch phoron ,add potato, kumro(pumpkin) and fry them at med , add all the masala powders ,salt,sugar ,fry them at low for 5mints.TIP--At this point if you want to make the chorchori aamish (non-veg), add fried ilish macher matha (hilsa fish head) and with the help of spatula ,break it into pieces in the the wok itself.This is my MIL’s way of preparing Puin shaak'er chorchori in home .

Now add chopped puin shaak or green leaves and fry a little ,add water( just a little bit is sufficient) ,cover and cook for 10 mints at low, slow the process of making it ,it will add up to the flavour .Take out after it and have it with garam bhaat( warm cooked rice) .

Note- My Mother add shorshe bata ( mustard seeds paste) as well at the end and then take it off from the flame.

Updated to include this pic of Puin Shaak.

Updated again
I have been asked many times more about the Pui Shaak.
So here is the detail
Pui Shaak is
Basella alba belonging to spinach family, is also known as climbing spinach .
It is also known as Malabar,East Indian ,Chinese and Vietnamese spinach ,broad bologi etc..
In English it is known as Malabar climbing spinach or nightshade.
Bengali it is known as Pui Shaak ,In KonKani it’s Valchi Bhaji,Kannada name is basale soppu ,in telegu it’s bachhali.
In Vietnam it is made into soup with crab meat and is avery popular dish in north-Vietnam.
In fact climbing spinach is an integral part of Chinese cuisine also and is stir/fried as well.
Now you may find it in any Asian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean grocery stores .
More details Here .

Happy Cooking Friends

Monday, June 2, 2008

Borbotir Torkari(Yard Long Bean Curry) and chingri mach Bandhakopir Torkari ( Cabbage shrimp stir-fry)

Summer vegetables are always healthy, easy on stomach and loaded with full of nourishments . I guess summer time is good for eating light and healthy also, luckily we have our local vegetable market near ,that makes a lot of difference as we get fresh vegetables on a daily basis .We get fresh supply of potol,borboti ,kumro,beans,jhinge and also other vegetables also . Here is what we purchased yesterday morning .

I have decided to blog about 2 recipe for this post ,one is a simple Borbotir Torkari and other is Bandha Kopir(cabbage) torkari with chingri mach (shrimp).Here is a simple torkari recipe for Borboti or Indian Yard Long Bean also known as Asparagus bean .Know more about this vegetable here, Click Here

Borbotir Torkari
Borboti (Indian Yard Long Bean)-1 bunch cut into 1inch long (see pic above )
Kumro (Pumpkin)– 15-16 pieces
Potato – 2 medium cut into long pieces .
1tsp of panch phoron
1tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of sugar
1tsp of salt
1 bay leaf
2-3 tbs of mustard oil
Heat up a kadai, add mustard oil , temper it with panch phoron , bay leaf , add potatoes and kumro fry at medium for 3-4mints
Add salt , turmeric, red pepper powder,sugar and stir fry , add booorboti and fry for some time .
Add little bit of water ( in Bengali it goes like “ jol chora deva “), cover and cook for 10 mints at low till veggies are tender .Take out and serve with bhaat (rice) or chappati .

Chingri Mach Diye Bandha kopir Torkari ( Cabbage shrimp Stir -fry )

Jumbo shrimp – 10
Cabbage half finely cut .
Boiled potato – 2 medum size

Prepare the mashed potato
1 ½ tsp of salt
1 dry Red chilly
1 tbs of mustard oil.
Heat up a kadai , add dry red chilly sauté it till brown ,take it outside , let the oil cool it off .Mash the potato with this oil and red pepper .Wash your hands before you do anything else .This recipe goes well with Panta Bhaat also .Panta Bhaat or the cooked boiled rice soaked in water for 4-5 hrs is a staple diet in summers and we are not any exceptions , fiery and spicy mashed potato tastes too good with panta bhaat .

To the recipe of Bandhakopir Torkari .
1-2 Bay leaf
2-3 tbs of mustard oil
2 tsp of garam masala
1tsp of salt
½ tsp of sugar
heat up the mustard oil in kadai and fry the shrimps , refer this recipe
add rest of the oil , temper it with cumin seeds , bay leaf and sauté the cabbage , it will take very less time as the cabbage is cut finely , say 3or 4 mints , mix in the mashed potato and fried shrimp and take out in serving bowl .
It goes well with noodles on top or cooked rice .While we had it with Chappati for dinners .
Our Verdict – The addition of spicy mashed potato gives a distinct touch , and my in-laws liked it too , My ma-in-law named it “Darling Bandhakopi” LOL…. so we call it Darling Bandhakopi also .

Sireesha of Mom's Recipe ,Consideres my blog yummy , thanks a lot for your appreciation ,it means a lot .
Here is a link to my yummy recipes Click here .
And I would like to pass it on To Talented and a great persona , Vivacious Asha for her hard work which shows thro her wonderful site Foodies Hope .

My posts are not showing in Taste Of India , So friends please get the subscription of spice and Curry , I will really appreciate it .Thanks a lot everyone , Happy Cooking .