Monday, January 26, 2009

Wishes For A Bright Tomorrow

Mera Rang De basanti Chola , maye rand De !
Lets remember those who have sacrificed their life for our Independence,close your eyes for some sec and pay homage to them , thank you !
The patriotic fever brings the country together on this particular day "26 Jan" , so lets join the hands for a bright future .The future that is golden and filled with joy and success for every one.

Wish every Indian living in India and abroad a very happy Republic day.
Jai Hind !

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Noton Gurer Payesh

There is one thing which connects winter and Bengal is "Nolen Gur" or "Notun Gur".
So many fond memories are attached to it , whenever my DaduBhai would visit Calcutta ,now kolkata to his sisters living here, he would bring back "Nolen Gur" or "patali gur" as their gifts to us.
He had all sorts of stories to tell, we children would sit beside him and would ask many questions regarding vehicles , sweets and people. He, in return would answer each and everyone without getting impatient or angry.
Now being married to a Bengali ,living in Kolkata , I think I have that liberty to cook with things which I only dreamt of while growing up...
There is "Patali gur" or "Khejurer Gur" , "Joynagarer Moua",all available in plenty and affordable price during these days in winter.
This gur is made form date Palm tree, commonly known as "Khejurer Gur" or "Noton gur", also known as Palm syrup.

After collecting the rather raw sap , its boiled at low stiring continuously to get that uniform ,rich texture of the liquid jaggery.The solid gur is known as the "Patali Gur" a round solid gur/jaggery sold here in many grocery stores , called as"Modi khana" in Bengali.
Now do you remember a Hindi film “Saudagar” , starring Amitabh Bacchan and Nutan, The story revolves round the making of "nolen gur". I would recommend to watch it, to gain that experience of a village life in Bengal and the living of people , mainly by harvesting these trees, then collecting the juices and "Nolen Gur" making.
That was a Classic movie with a interesting twist to the story!

Now to the simple recipe for payesh .

Semiya payesh
Quarter packet Semiya(any brand that is available in, near your grocery stores)
½ litre milk(whole milk, dont compromise on the quality of milk, the whole milk is best for any kind of Payesh )
2 tbs of ghee(yes, you need that much, it enhances the overall flavor)
4heaped tbs of liquid jaggery/Palm Syrup(notun gur) add in more if you feel the sweetness is less.
This came out perfect for us.
½ cup of cashews /raisins/almonds or add in as per preferences.
A heavy bottom pan /wok/saucepan

Add ghee to the kadhai/heavy bottom pan.
Now fry the semiya till little golden in ghee.It will take 4-5 mints at low. Make sure you dont burn them out while frying .Fry at med-low always for better results.

Now add in milk.Add in some cashews/raisins/almonds. (below picture was difficult to take, with milk pot in one hand and camera in other!)

Let it simmer for few mints there.

Once the milk is properly boiled , like this pic , lower the flame , cook at low.

Cook at low for 10 mints till the milk mixture gets thickened.Dont forget to stir in between .
If you want little runny constitency of Payesh, not much thick and rich,cook for few mints till the semiya starts to float over the top.
Now add Notun Gur to the above slowly at low, stiring at low.
Take out and cool .Enjoy Notun Gurer payesh.
Usually the rice is added to make Notun Gurer Payesh.
Soak a handful of rice in water for half an hour and follow this recipe , Payesh and Chutney . Except add in Notun Gur in place of sugar.

This is how "Gur" is being sold here in Kolkata , in a earthen pot .
With this post,from Friday , I will be taking a month long break from blogging.Meanwhile do drop in here whenever you have time to do so .I will appreciate it a lot.I will not be able to visit you often , hope you people understand that .

Enjoy the winter , and cook delicious yummy foods and sometimes even go out for long walks near your place.It gives immense pleasure in nature's lap sometimes.... ...
Happy Cooking Friends

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chole Chaat

What does love mean to you?
No, just don’t roll your eyes, and start thinking there, there she goes again.
Now if someone asks this question.There is so many emotions gets attached to it.
Does his/her presence make you excel in other fields of life also or is that it hinders the growth in other directions.
Do you start behaving like loner stuck with cupid’s arrow, flying high, with a zero level of connectivity to the real world.The world that surrounds your family, friends or professional life?
But what about love between mother and a child, love between two brothers or sisiters.Love between kids and parents??
The more you go deep into these feelings, the definition of love changes with each relationship and even time!
The love Budha endowed upon the unknown people who were suffering from pain and anger.
The love Mother Tressa showered on poor, suffering people.
Love is endless and eternal and ...I am still searching for words to define “Love”.
It will be great if you share what you feel about love.

Menwhile I will engage you with this recipe for chaat.
I have used some boiled chickpeas, carrots as base ingredients; now this can be well substituted with other beans or even vegetables also,with a dash of salt, cumin powder, red pepper powder and less oil, this came out real good.

Chole Chaat
Chick peas/kabuli channa/sada channa/Garbanzo beans, boiled 1-2 cup
½ cup of carrots grated
1 cucumber
1 green chilly
Following as per your taste
Cumin powder
Red pepper powder
Chaat masala
Any oil olive/canola/mustard/refined sunflower oil
Chop the onions, cucumber, grate carrots.
Prepare the dressing
Whisk in oil, red pepper powder, cumin,chaat masala and salt.
Add in to the boiled chick peas
Add in chopped onions, cucumber.
~You may add any other vegetables also that are available in season.
~Trust me, this is very filling, so it can be substituted as low-cal food for diet purpose.
~Also there is no need to add other dressing such as mayonnaise or sour cream.
~If you feel, you may add in for extra zing, but it’s always healthy to use fresh yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

~We often make this and top it with some sev or roasted peanuts, and it’s a great evening snack with muri (puffed rice)
~This is also healthy and so it can be given in your kid’s lunch box. Having unhealthy cake pieces, brownies or chips is not at all good.
So next time you pack the lunch , do include this one .
~You may add in some boiled potato cubes, corn or some paneer slices to it for variations.
From this post , I have started a new label ,"Low-cal Food".
I will be adding many more recipes to that , and also there are some old recipes which are low -calorie food recipes, do somebody know how should I add them to this Label now.Do help me out,it will be great to know.
I often plan out things that I would participate in every food events ,cook accordingly and Blah-blah ...but I am unable to do so.
There are other things in my real world which keep me busy.I often peek into many round-ups of food events , that I dont participate in and I must admit I enjoy them reading also.
Now there is these two lovely food events going on in blogging world ,and I am sending this lone entry to both of them.
This is going to this month's JFI which has Chick-pea as highlighted ingredient , originally started by Mahanandi .
and to also
Visit the links for more details.

Happy Cooking Friends.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Soybean Curry

Soybean Curry
Soybean is Glycine max belonging to legumes species, is a native of eastern Asia. We all know how healthy soybean is .Soy and its products are high in protein content.Tofu,tempeh,soy milk,miso,soy granules,soy cheese and well known soy sauce which acts as a great condiments to every recipes.You can see more about soybean Here .
Onion/ginger/garlic paste is added to enhance the flavor , and then the soybean is cooked with this deep fried paste for sometime , to get a thick gravy .This goes well with roti or naan .It tastes great the other day with warm rice also.

Soybean Curry
Masala paste for the gravy
5 onions chopped
5 garlic pods
½ inch ginger
1 tomato to be pureed
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 ½ tsp of turmeric powder
3-4 tsp of red pepper powder
¼ cup of fresh yogurt
4-5 tbs of mustard oil
1-2 tsp of salt or as desired
1 tsp of sugar
2tsp of ghee

Soak the soybeans for 4-5 hrs or overnight and make it the other day.
Pressure cook the legume for 15 mints or you can cook it at low with ample amount fo water in deep bottomed pan.

Make paste for ginger/garlic/onions

Now puree the tomato

Now heat up a Kadhai, add mustard oil,now add in cumin seeds .

Let it splutter , add sugar and the smooth masala paste of ginger/garlic/onion, and fry at high for 1-2 mints.
Add the dry ingredients like turmeric+red pepper +coriander powder + salt+ little bit of water (approx 3-4 tbs) add fresh yogurt also .

Fry at high for 5-7 mints till the rawness of paste is gone.

Now add the pureed tomato paste and stir/fry for 5 mints.

Fry till the gravy dries out little bit

fry till the color changes to some dark if required ,add little bit of warm water.

Mix in to the cooked soybean, and cover. Let it simmer there for 5-8 mints at low till the entire flavor gets incorporated.

Puree half of the curry to a smooth paste and mix in to the prepared curry, this gives a nice smooth silky texture.
It taste great the other day, great way to eat with rice.

This is going MLLA at Cooking for all Season .Originally started by The Well Seasoned Cook .

Wish everybody a happy Makar sankranti, Pongal and Lohri.

Happy Cooking Friends

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Click -Red

Can you guys help me out to decide, which one Should I sent it across to Click( a monthly event for food photography) at Jugalbandi for this month ......

Visit here for more details Click-Jan 2009 Red .

Thank you guys for your positive response , on popular verdict number 1 is going to Click-Jan 2009 Red at Jugalbandi ..
Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Number 4

It will be great to hear you out .....
Happy cooking Friends

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Korai Daler Boda (Urad Dal Fritters)

We all love fritters, and with winter season, we get another excuse to make them and have them.Urad dal/Lentil is packed with goodness of protein. Now with the addition of coriander leaves ,they turn out pretty tasty and flavorful.
Soak the dal /Lentil overnight and make the paste the other day in morning, add in some red pepper powder, coriander leaves,Ginger pieces and salt as per taste and the vadas/Fritters are ready to be fried .I found out that the Vadas fried at low flame are more crsip and tasty .
We liked it eating with coriander/Cilantro Chutney(Recipe is very simple , grind a bunch of cilantro leaves and 1 tomato+1 onion+1 garlic pod with some salt and oil untill a thick paste is obtained, If you think you are ready for some spice , add in 2 green chillies or 1 serrano pepper know more about it here )
A perfect way to warm up , an evening in winter season.

Urad dal Fritters

1-2 cup of Urad dal
½ cup of coriander leaves
3-4 tsp of ginger grated or pieced
2 green chillies chopped
½ tsp of red pepper powder
½ tsp of salt or as per taste

Soak the urad dal for 4-5 hrs. or for better results overnight.
Wash it thrice in water to get a clear picture of dal.
Grind the dal to a smooth paste with just enough water or very little water(little to just rotate the spice grinder)
Now add in salt, ginger, coriander leaves, and red pepper powder.
Mix in well ,in fact whisk in with a spoon for 1-2 mints.
Now fry at low in hot refind oil/canola oil/olive oil.
Soak the extra oil from fritters in tissue paper.
TIP-Usually for frying purpose, the oil temperature should be accurate. Drop in some cumin seeds before frying the fritters in hot oil, if it simmers the temperature of oil is perfect for deep frying.
These vadas can also be served with sambhar as evening snacks.

This is going to Cook Almost Anything at Least Once for this weeks (29 Dec-4 Jan 2009)Weekend herb Blogging , visit here for more details .WHB#164 .
Happpy Cooking Friends