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Monday, February 15, 2021

Shootme Photography: A day out in Kolkata

 Rediscovering Kolkata with Shootme

‘Hire a local photographer to capture your travels’ This was probably the first time I came across
a service like this. I believe photographs are truly a novelty item, we try to keep every little
memory safe by capturing it in a click but we very rarely look beyond our phone cameras to do
so. It was only because I made a trip to Kolkata and encountered Shootme’s services that I
realized how mistaken I was.
I love traveling, and even more, I love dressing up and getting my photographs clicked.
Traveling to Kolkata for a few months, I knew I had to go visit the Victoria Memorial and capture
a dozen memories of that beautiful place. The only problem, I was all by myself. I wanted
photographs but I hate selfie sticks, or even worse, asking random strangers for photographs.
Enter Shootme, your best friend who takes your awesome pictures in any city that you want.
I stumbled upon Shootme’s Instagram and I was intrigued, so I booked a photographer from
Kolkata to join me on the morning I was going to Victoria Memorial. From the moment I went on
the website to book one to the day I received my photographs, the journey was so exciting.
But why a professional photographer?
I had this question too, we often think of a professional photographer to do maternity shoots or a
wedding shoot, who thinks of capturing travel memories. Well, after the shoot I can say, you
truly need to book the shoot to experience the whole thing.
After booking a shoot, I was connected to my photographer Sohham 48 hours before the shoot,
where I told him I wanted my photographs in front of the memorial. He guided me through the
timeline, the other places nearby the memorial we could go for a shoot as well. Moreover, he
also made sure I wouldn’t feel too awkward in front of the camera.
On the day of the shoot as well, all I had to do was put on my favorite dress and be myself and
the Shootme photographer made sure I was super comfortable with poses in front of the
camera. He even showed me around Maidan in hopes of finding the perfect location to capture
my dress in all her glory in front of the majestic beauty of the memorial. For me, having
somebody who could take my photographs without worrying about how they are going to turn
out was the highlight. I knew I was going to get some great keepsakes.
When I received the photographs within 7 days, I was ecstatic. Here was I, in front of the
memorial, with no awkward lighting or poses in the photographs. I loved it. The experience of
planning the shoot to being there in that moment was worth the money I believe.
Next time you travel, even if you’re traveling locally, head to Shootme’s website and find a
When you see the photographs and hang them in your drawing room, you’ll not regret your

read more.. "Shootme Photography: A day out in Kolkata "

Friday, May 15, 2020

Bhat Bhaja : What Bengalis Do With Left Over Rice

Me : Ma, Khabar e ki ache? ( Mom, what's for lunch?) Was our common question soon            after coming home from school and hastily dropping my bag.
Ma : Hath dhuey, jama change kore asho ( Wash your hands and change your clothes).
        Your Bhaat Bhaja is ready. Bhaat Bhaja (Fried Leftover Rice) used to be our favourite             food back then as it is even now.
It is a very simple and fulfilling dish that can be complete meal on its own.
Now, when I am donning the role of a mom, who has to think how to make healthy and tasty meals, this dish is my "go-to" preparation, which is not only liked by my son,but also saves me a lot of preparation time besides being nutritious.         

Ingredients :
2 cups of Cooked Rice
1 Carrot (diced)
1 Cup of Peas
1 Cup of Cauliflower Florets
1 Small Onion (sliced)
1/4th Cup of Peanuts
1 Tsp of Black Pepper powder
1/2 Tsp Ginger, minced
1/4th Tsp of Sugar
Salt to Taste
2 Tsp of Ghee (OR) Oil

Method :

In a kadhai, heat ghee or oil and add minced ginger. Now, add peanuts and sliced onions in the kadhai and cook on low flame till the onions become translucent. Toss in all the vegetables, sprinkle some salt and pepper powder. Cook them on low flame till the vegetables are almost done. Time to add cooked rice and give it a nice stir. Fry everything together in low flame for 4-5 minutes. Add a ladle of water if required to keep the moisture in the rice. Do not stir it for long or else the rice grains will break. Add sugar, check the seasoning and serve hot. 

Note :

  • You can add fried eggs to the dish.
  • The choice of vegetables in this dish is as per your liking. You may add Capsicum, Sweet Corn and French Beans.
  • I have seen many of my aunts to add garam masala at the end.

read more.. "Bhat Bhaja : What Bengalis Do With Left Over Rice"

Monday, November 18, 2019

World On A Plate Chennai 2019 | Chicken Tikki On Philips Air Fryer

World On A Plate is India's first International Food Festival. One of the most exciting platforms featuring the most influential celebrity chefs from the culinary world. First time in Chennai, VR mall introduced globally acclaimed World On A Plate (popularly known as WOAP) on 10th November. Celebrity chef, model and restauranteur Sarah Todd, Vicky Ratnani and Saransh Goila kept the audience engaged with their MasterChef classes
And the food enthusiasts of Chennai came from all corners to attend a one-day culinary festival. The day was dazzled by MasterChefs, stalwarts from the food industry, food brands, restaurants, food bloggers, food critics, journalists, and social influencers. The food pops by the city's famous restaurants and patisseries offered a wide range of cuisine for the foodies. I was elated to see Goila's Butter Chicken stall by famous Chef Saransh Goila. I had to try the most popular Mumbai based restaurant 'Goila Butter Chicken' and it was delicious. Philips Kitchen Appliances was the title sponsor for the World On A Plate
Weekender event. Chef Saransh used the star kitchen gadget which hogged the limelight in his Masterclass -'Philips Air Fryer'. He made Chakli in Philips Air Fryer to make it super healthy and crispy.  

Inspired by him I made Chicken Tikki in Air Fryer and it came out excellent! Today's recipe is Chicken Tikki without deep frying but still excellent taste. These Chicken Tikkis can be best enjoyed with mint chutney and salad. Tikkis or Patties in India has many varieties like Aloo tikkis, Paneer tikkis, Oats tikkis and many more. So basically 'Tikki' means a small cutlet which are actually deep-fried spicy patties which are extremely popular in India. My earlier recipe which was made in Philips air fryer was Tandoori chicken.


300 gms Chicken Keema (minced chicken)
1 big red onion, chopped
2 Green chilies, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped Cilantro
1 tsp finely chopped Ginger
2 tsp finely chopped Garlic
1 Egg
1/4 Besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs 
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Chaat masala
1/2 tsp Red chili powder (I used Kashmiri red chili powder as I add green chilies)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp + Oil for brushing over the tikkis


1. I wasn't happy with the keema texture as I wanted fine grains of meat, so I used a food processor to ground fine. With the keema mixture, I added an egg and blend in the food processor just to mix both thoroughly. 

Added eggs

2. Take out the mixture in a wide plate and add chopped onions, green chilies, cilantro leaves, and all the dry spices along with besan and breadcrumbs.

3. Gently mix together everything with your fingertips. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

4. Make lemon sized balls of the chicken mixture and shape into round flatten tiikis. 

5. Pre-hear Philips Air fryer to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 minutes. And brush some oil on both sides of each tikki.

6. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the air fryer basket (this will ensure that your food won't stick) and arrange 4 tikkis at a time. 

7. Bake the first batch of tikkis in air fryer for 18 minutes at 200 degrees and don't forget to flip it once in between after 10 minutes fo cooking. This step is done to make sure the food is cooked evenly from both sides. 

8. Open the air fryer basket to check if the tikkis are golden in colour and crisp. Take out the first batch and follow the same with the remaining tikkis . Serve the tikkis with mint chutney and onion rings.

Were you at World On A plate in 2018 or 2019? How was your experience?

read more.. "World On A Plate Chennai 2019 | Chicken Tikki On Philips Air Fryer"

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Kolkata Dhaba Style Dim Torka (Egg Dal Tadka Recipe)

Dim Torka or Edd Tadka Dal is perhaps the most saleable item in Bengal, the roadside Dhaba style Dal preparation is a hit with Rumali Roti. 'Torka-Ruti' had been our must-have dish whenever we step into our local Dhaba outlets without missing a blink. The dish was tweaked to please our palate which is majorly inspired by Punjabi Daal Tadka.

 Many moons back when Yellow-Black taxis plied in West Bengal, mostly driven by Sardarjis this particular dish was a much sought-after item 'Dim Torka' along with Rumali roti or tandoori roti which was served at roadside Dhabas. That's how it became popular which can be gauged by the fact that almost all Dhabas have Dim Torka on their menu. Selling fast-selling hot! Tadka Dal is made with Whole Green Moong Dal or Green gram with scrambled eggs. It is generally served with Onion rings, green chilies and pickle.

1/2 cup Whole Green Moong Dal
1/4 cup Chana Dal ( Bengal gram dal)
2 Eggs
2 Onions, chopped
2 tbsp Ginger, chopped
2 tsp Garlic, chopped
2-3 Green chili paste
1 big red Tomato, chopped
1/4 cup Milk
1/4 tsp ground(powdered) Cloves
1 tsp Turmeric powder
2 tsp roasted coriander powder
1 tsp roasted Cumin powder
1 tsp Kashmiri Red chili powder
1 tsp Chaat masala powder
1 tsp Garam masala powder
Water needed to boil the pulses
1/4 cup oil
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
 A handful of chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp Kasoori methi
1 tbsp Butter

1. Wash the pulses/dal and soak them overnight. If you are pressed for time then soak the pulses in hot water and let it sit for 4-5 hours. Next pressure cook the dals with a little salt, 2 cups of water and cook until well done.
 ***In the meantime in a bowl take 2 tbsp water and mix together all the dry spices (roasted coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, red chili powder, ground cloves ). 

2. After 3-4 whistles of cooker open the lid and check if the dals is cooked. Add milk and bring to simmer again; this step is one to get a creamy texture of dal. Turn off the flame and mash the dal little bit with the back of your spatula and keep it aside.

3. Heat oil in a cast oil skillet (or pan) and add onions, continue to cook until translucent, stirring continuously.

4. Add ginger, garlic and chili paste and fry until the raw smell goes away.

5. Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft. When the masala starts leaving oil from the sides of pan add*** the water in which all powers were mixed.

6. Mix well for 2 minutes and cook until the oil separates. Add the cooked dal into the pan and give it a nice stir.

7. Check the consistency of the dal, if too thick add little hot water and check the seasoning.

8. Heat another pan, add some oil and add 2 beaten eggs. Stir them on medium flame with a spatula for 2 minutes. Don't cook them too long or else it will become rubbery.

9. Now add the scrambled eggs in the dal and sprinkle garam masala and chaat masala. Mix well and cook over medium flame dor 2-3 minutes.

10. Lastly, add butter, crushed methis leaves and chopped coriander leaves. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.

11. Serve this hot with Rumali roti or naan.

read more.. "Kolkata Dhaba Style Dim Torka (Egg Dal Tadka Recipe)"

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Chingri Bhorta | Prawn Bharta

Today I am here with a Bangladeshi bhorta preparation called Chingri Bhorta or Prawn Bhorta. I prefer using Mustard Oil in all my Bhorta preparations. It kinds of gives that extra kick.
This nation is known for its love for fish, Bangladesh has some wonderful vegetarian dishes as well as non-veg dishes. Bhorta is perhaps the simplest ultimate comfort food of Bangladesh.

 Bhorta / Bharta can be made with vegetables, leafy vegetables, fish, dry fish or chicken. Basically, the star ingredient may be partially cooked or steamed and simply mashed by hand. The point to remember is no water is used, in fact, the flavor comes from the pungent lemon flavor which we add at the last, sharpness of chili, sweetness from onions brings out the earthy flavor of Bhorta. 


1 cup Prawns, deshelled and deveined
2 red Onion, large chunks
4-5 Dry red chilies (adjust to your taste palate)
9-10 Garlic cloves
1 inch Ginger, chopped
2 Green chilies, chopped
6-7 drops of Lemon juice
1/4 tsp Turmeric
2 tbsp Mustard oil
Salt to taste

Sprinkle some salt and turmeric over prawn and in the meanwhile heat mustard oil in a pan. Once the oil is nicely heated till smoking point, fry the dry red chilies until they turn dark brown. Remove from pan and save it for later use.

 Add chopped garlic in the same oil and saute the minced garlic for few seconds only. Add ginger, green chilies, onion and add a little salt to it. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent. 

 Keep aside the onion mixture and in the remaining oil fry the prawns on medium heat for 5 minutes. Prawns should be cooked properly, if required do a taste test. Let all cool down to reach room temperature and transfer the prawns, onion mixture and add some salt to a blender jar. Mix everything together till you get a smooth consistency. Transfer to a small bowl and add a few drops of lemon and add a small amount of mustard oil and crush the fried dry red chilies. Serve in your desired shape with rice.  

read more.. "Chingri Bhorta | Prawn Bharta "

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Karachi Bakery Style Tutti Frutti Biscuits | Eggless Tutti Frutti Biscuits

Fruit Biscuits from Karachi Bakery are our favorite tea time accompaniment. Any friend coming from Hyderabad and visiting our home in Haridwar back in childhood days, made sure to bring several boxes of these tutti-frutti biscuits which were an absolute delight. These Karachi Style biscuits crumble in your mouth as soon as you bite into them. Very light in texture this biscuit is full of butter flavour with chewy candied dried fruits in every bite. The delicious melt-in-mouth Karachi Biscuits are tea time favorites. In India there is no dearth of usage of candied dried papaya or popularly known as Tutti Frutti which are generously used for making cookies, sweet buns and cakes.

1 cup All purpose flour
4 tbsp Custard powder
1/2 cup Butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Tutti Frutti / Dried Candid Fruit
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
1 tsp Pineapple essence
1-2 tbsp Milk (Only to be used if the dough isn't smooth)
Pinch of Salt

In a bowl mix together all dry ingredients - flour, salt, cardamom powder and custard powder. Keep aside. Take a hand beater and beat butter and sugar till creamy, smooth and pale in color. Don't overbeat to incorporate more air into it. Now add essence and cardamom powder. Mix well. Add in the tutti frutti and flour mix. With a mixing spatula combine everything together until it comes out a smooth round dough. Not if you find the dough little dry or see many cracks then add 1 or 2 tbsp milk gradually to knead a smooth dough. 
Pre-heat the Oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and make it into thick logs. Wrap the logs with a cling film and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours. 
Take out the dough logs and cut into your desired shape cookies (I shaped them in a square). Lay the cookies on the baking sheet and place them at least 2 inches apart. Bake them for 12-15 minutes. Remove from Oven and transfer to the wire rack to cool completely. Do not get fooled by the look of soft cookies, as they cool down they will be crispy. Store Karachi Style Biscuits in an airtight container and later enjoy with Chai !  


  • You can replace pineapple essence with rose essence.
  • Adding milk is totally optional as it makes the dough smooth so if your dough isn't smooth enough then add milk little by little.
  • Do not get tempted to bake the biscuits for more than mentioned time as otherwise it will become hard and loose it's light cream colour.

read more.. "Karachi Bakery Style Tutti Frutti Biscuits | Eggless Tutti Frutti Biscuits"

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Kancha Posto Bata | Raw Poppy Seeds Paste

Sometimes the simplest food gets overshadowed by the reputed much acclaimed dishes. Todays Poppy Seeds Paste is one such dish which because of it's simplicity doesn't get much attention. But trust me or ask any Bong and we swear by this traditional Bengali dish. Very popular in Bengali, Kancha Posto Bata is essentially famous at Ghoti's (originally from West Bengal) household, infact to some extent they are obsessed with Poppy seeds! Well I simply love this traditional dish with plain rice.
Also read : Aloo Jhinge Posto, Posto Bora, Pur Diye Kakrol Bhaja

Ingredients :
1/4 cup Poppy seeds
2-3 Green chilies, finely chopped
1 small Onion, chopped
Mustard oil 2 tbsp
Salt as needed
A few fresh coriander leaves, chopped


Soak poppy seeds in warm water for 20 minutes. Later transfer it to a sieve and wash it properly under tap water to remove any residue. Now for grinding I rely on 'Sheel-Nora' or grinding stone that can be found in Bengali kitchens, as it takes very less water to make a paste and you can stop grinding when you get your kind of texture. Grind the poppy seeds with very little water along with salt. Keep grinding till the paste becomes velvety smooth. Do the test by pressing a little amount of paste between your thumb and index finger, if it feels grainy then continue grinding. Scrape the paste neatly from the Shee-Nora / Silbatta to a bowl. Add mustard oil, chopped onions, green chilies and coriander leaves. Mix well and serve with steamed hot rice. 

read more.. "Kancha Posto Bata | Raw Poppy Seeds Paste"

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Bhapa Shorshe Ilish | Steamed Hilsa In Mustard Sauce

Bhapa Shorshe Ilish Recipe-
Ilish Bhape or Bhapa Shorshe Ilish is the quintessential Bong fish preparation. Come Mansoon and Bengalis will start making a bee line in the fish market to fetch out the best ilish from the fresh catch. Hilsa or Ilish undoubtedly stands tall above all other fish varieties and the heavier it is, the tastier it is. Fish is the staple diet of Bengalis and we make plenty of dishes with Ilish.

 The excess demand in and around the world has made Ilish /hilsa staring at the danger of extinction so we should save our pride so that our next generation too can enjoy the heavenly dishes from Ilish.
'Bhapa' in Bengla means 'steamed', the procedure is quite simple actually, all you need is an air tight steel tiffin box in which after adding all the ingredients with the Hero of the dish (be it Fish or Vegetable), the food is cooked in its own steam. And 'Shorse' means mustard sauce, now black mustard seeds is more pungent than yellow variety so if you want more pungent smell and flavour you can take 2 tbsp black mustard seeds instead of 1 tbsp in the given recipe. This Bhapa Shorshe Ilish preparation is best enjoyed with steamed rice. So let's get started! 
Do check my Ilish Pulao recipe and Ilish Paturi recipe too.

4-5 pieces of Hilsa / Ilish 
1 tsp Black mustard seeds
1 tsp Yellow mustard seeds
2 tbsp curd (*Beat the curd thoroughly)
2 tbsp grated fresh Coconut
4-5 Green chilies (slitted)
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
2 tbsp Mustard oil

First step is to season the fish pieces with a little bit of salt and turmeric. Keep aside.
Soak mustard seeds in water for 2 hours. In Bengali households we have Shil-Noda (Sil-Batta) which is used for grinding and making paste of different spices. We can achieve the same result with a mixi- grinder. Grind mustard seeds with a pinch of salt and 2 green chilies. Here I would point out the importance of adding salt while making the paste of mustard seeds, it reduces the bitterness to great extent. So don't skip adding salt and green chillies while grinding mustard seeds. Now add the grated coconut into the jar and make a smooth paste. 

Take a steel tiffin box and add beaten curd, slit green chillies, kashmiri red chilli powder, sugar, place the fish pieces and add the above paste. Coat the fish uniformly with the paste, add salt and a generous dose of mustard oil. Close the lid of the steel box. 

Take a thick bottom pan / kadhai and pour little water and place a separator. Carefully place the tiffin box in a way that water should not enter inside the tiffin box (check again that only half portion of the tiffin box is immersed into the water). Cook for 10 minutes on medium flame. Once done, take out the tiffin box out of the pan and open the lid. Serve hot with piping hot steamed rice and enjoy your meal.

read more.. "Bhapa Shorshe Ilish | Steamed Hilsa In Mustard Sauce"

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Samba Broken Wheat Halwa |Navratri Recipe | Dalia Ka Halwa

Wheat Halwa | Dalia Ka Halwa | Sweet Dalia | Gehun Ka Halwa is a very healthy and sweet dessert to make.This Dalia Sheera or cracked Wheat Halwa recipe is super healthy and healthy breakfast recipe for kids or toddlers. Broken Wheat Halwa is also offered as Prasad to the deity during festivals. To make it healthy and tastier, I have used Nolen Gur here (you can use jaggery if not available). The taste is heavenly if I may say so. One of the key point is to roast the wheat in ghee which gives the halwa nice brown colour and intense aroma. I love adding dried black currants in my wheat halwa as these are power house of nutrients, excellent source of antioxidants, fiber and iron.

Few other Halwa recipes on my blog - Gajar Ka Halwa , Bread Halwa , Semolina Halwa or Sooji Ka Halwa

1 cup Broken Wheat (I use fine grain variety)
1 cup Nolen Gur or you can use Palm Jaggery (diluted with 1cup of water)
2 cups of Water
1 inch Cinnamon 
2 tbsp chopped Cashew  
1 tbsp Dried Black Currants 
7-8 Pistachios , roughly chopped
Cardamom powder 1 tsp
2 tbsp Ghee +1 tsp ghee for frying the dry fruits

First we need to melt the jaggery or nolen gur with a cup of water. Heat and bring to boil, keep stirring till jaggery dissolves completely. Turn off the flame and keep aside. Once the mixture is at room temperature, filter the nolen gur -water or jaggery water using a strainer and keep aside. 

Take a thick bottomed pan with a tbsp of ghee, add cinnamon and roast broken wheat until it leaves nice aroma (2-3 minutes roughly) . Add 2 cups of water and stir well with dalia. Cover with a lid and cook till the dalia is half cooked. Also you will see the grains after cooking time have become little bigger in size. Now add filtered nolen gur-water / jaggery water to the dalia and add cardamom powder to it. Stir well. Cook it further until the water is absorbed in daila (6-7 minutes) . Keep stirring in between and add the remaining ghee little by little. 
In a tadka pan ghee fry the dry fruits and add to the halwa. By now the halwa will form a whole mass and won't stick to the pan. Turn off the flame and delicious wheat halwa is ready to serve.


  • You may replace sugar with jaggery here but then the color of halwa will not be dark as seen in the picture. 
  • You may have to add more water depending on the variety of the dalia. I use small grain dalia which relatively absorbs less water than coarse grain dalia.
  • The thin brown wheat variety gives a darker and smooth texture. 
  • If you are pressed for time then pressure cooker saves time while making this halwa. Pressure cook the broken wheat with double amount of water and cook until 2 whistles. Rest of the procedure is same. 

Hope you make this simple yet healthy sweet halwa for the coming Navratri and hope you like it as much as we do. 
If you have any queries or you have made this recipe, would love to hear it your feedback. Do write to me at  to share the picture of the dish that you tried.
We are on instagram too - follow me here  / @hamareerasoi 
read more.. "Samba Broken Wheat Halwa |Navratri Recipe | Dalia Ka Halwa"

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Taal Shash er Shorbot |Ice Apple Smoothie | Nungu Milkshake

Taal Shash / Ice Apple / Nungu Smoothie: Taal Shash (in Bangla) or jelly like sweet sap kernel of the Palmyra are hot favorites. Loaded cartful of these summer coolants are found being sold at every nook and corner of our city. Though I fondly remember having it from the trees at my grandma's backyard, Kolkata. It has many names Toddy Palm Fruit / Sugar Palm/ Tala Saja in Odiya/ Taati Munjalu in Andhra, Tadgole in Marathi, Taale Ningu in Kannada, Taal Shash in Bengal, With the abundance of Taal Shash in Chennai, we are fortunate enough to have it so often either as a fruit or as refreshing drink. Today's recipe is a very simple drink  made with Ice Apple, milk, sugar and few pistachios. Palm fruit has tons of health benefits hence it is widely consumed during summers.

4 Palm Kernels
2 cups cold Milk
2 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Rose water
Pinch of Roasted Cumin Powder
2-3 Sprigs of mint leaves
Few ice cubes
Chopped pistachios 

Peel the brownish skin from the palm kernels and cut into small pieces. Add milk, taal shash, rose water, sugar and few ice cubes in a blender and blend till you get a smooth consistency. Adjust the sugar quantity according to your taste. Pour the liquid in tall glasses and garnish with a small pinch of roasted cumin powder. You may add pudina on top and serve chilled. 


  • While buying Taal shash / Nungu, ask for tender and soft ones. 
  • You may add small chunks of ice apple while serving the drink for extra bites in between.

read more.. "Taal Shash er Shorbot |Ice Apple Smoothie | Nungu Milkshake"

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Pomelo Juice | বাতাবি লেবু রস

How To Make Pomelo Juice: Pomelo is the biggest  fruit in the citrus family. Perfect combination of sweet orange and mild grapefruit, Pomelo is rich in Vitamin B and C. It has a very thick green rind while the edible pulp inside is white, red and pink, depending on the variety. Being the largest citrus fruit, Pomelo is big in appearance and inside the juice sacs of the segments are bigger. In WestBengal 'Pomelo' is called Batabilebu or Jambura and we make delicious chaat (Jambura Makha) with fresh pink arils of the fruit with black salt, mustard oil, pepper, sugar and chopped green chilies. Ummm nom nom...Jambura makha is a delicacy among Bengalis that's why the mere mention here has bring back flood of memories.

The health benefits of Pomelo are innumerable. Excellent for Urinary Tract Infection, boosts immune system, aids in weight loss, anti -aging, treats cold and cough and maintains normal blood pressure levels. So if you have not tried this amazing source of Vitamin C, go for it right away! After all how could you ignore the benefits and astounding health boosts Pomelo offers?

1 big Pomelo (Batabi Lebu)
4 tsp Honey or you can use sugar
1/2 cold water
Ice cubes as required
A pinch of black salt

Cut the pomelo into 4 equal sections and remove the thick rind to avoid the bitterness. While it takes little time to peel the membrane from around the segments but it is worth it. Remove the fairly large seeds. Put everything in the blender and TaDa!
Enjoy the traditional refreshing drink in a healthy way!

read more.. "Pomelo Juice | বাতাবি লেবু রস"

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Rice Fiesta From McDonald With A Taste Of Chennai

"Think Global, Act  Local", I thought of this well known proverb when I was asked to taste and share my opinion about two newly introduced meal from McDonald's. This is called as Rice Fiesta which was introduced in Chennai on 25th January to attract to the traditional population who would love to visit McDonalds for it's youthful buzz and at the same time seek out traditional taste in the restaurant.

Now turning my attention towards two distinctly different looking bowls of Rice Fiesta. First about  the Cheese and Veggies Rice. Once you open the lid you are greeted with a layer of thick cheese sprinkled with a generous amount of vegetables like peas,carrot, American corn and Zucchini along with herbs. Just below this layer there is steamed basmati rice. There is also an instruction on the bowl that asks you to mix all the contents to enjoy the full taste of the Cheese and veggies Rice bowl. If anyone likes cheese and is of the less spicy type he or she would love the taste of it.

The next variety is more spicy thanks to the addition of  hot tomato gravy mixed with peas, carrot, chickpeas and kidney beans. This  Beans and Gravy Rice should attract the patrons who like to have gravy rice tastes same as their home kitchen. It was little spicy for my tastebud though.

Both the above meals could be converted to non veg ones by having chunks of crispy and spicy chicken added with them.

As far as my opinion goes both the rice bowls are something new for Chennai which is predominately a rice eating city. So kudos to McDonalds team to cater to this vast majority of the people. The taste of both the bowls are good and even children who are mostly burger eaters could also add these bowls in their menu so that they could enjoy the International taste of burgers along with traditional rice meals.
Pinch on Pocket: Affordably priced at Rs.119 (veg), Rs.139(non-veg)
read more.. "Rice Fiesta From McDonald With A Taste Of Chennai"

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Mint Chutney For Tandoori & Kebabs | How To Make Pudina Chutney

Pudina Dahi Chutney or Mint Yogurt Dip for Kebabs is something which is hard to miss if you are visiting any Indian restaurant. Any Tandoori item is served with this Pudina Dahi Chutney, be it Paneer Tikka /Chicken Roast/ Fish Tikka to name a few. Talking about this Pudina Chutney think of all the goodness it has in form of mint, yogurt, lemon and coriander leaves a burst of flavours in your mouth. Mint and coriander when gets added with yogurt gives a splendid flavourful dip. The abundance of Mint or Pudina in the market  at anytime of the year makes it a very popular dip. Mint also has a very strong and refreshing aroma not to mention how good it is for digestion. Moving onto today's Mint Yogurt dip which I have served with Tandoori Prawn. I have another version of Pudina chutney but with Coconut, you may can check the recipe here


1 cup fresh Mint leaves
1/4 cup Coriander leaves
1/2 cup Yogurt
4-5 Garlic cloves
1 tbsp Lemon juice
2-3 Green chilies (adjust according to your spice level)
1/2 tsp roasted Cumin seeds
Salt as per taste

Cut off the roots of coriander, pudina and rinse all the greens. Blend all the above ingredients except yogurt and salt. Grind for 30 seconds and open the lid to stir well. Add the yogurt and salt to get nice consistency of chutney. Generally it doesn't need water as yogurt fills the need so add water accordingly. Grind until all blends well into a smooth paste. Shift the chutney into an air tight container. Keep in the refrigerator and serve chilled. Serve this as an appetizing accompaniment with Tandoor dishes.


  • Don't skip lemon juice in this chutney if you want to retain the green color of it.
  • Don't forget to discard the stalks of mint while cleaning.
  • Adjust chilli as per your spice level.

read more.. "Mint Chutney For Tandoori & Kebabs | How To Make Pudina Chutney"

Monday, February 5, 2018

Kesar Pulao Recipe| How To Make Kesar Pulao | Saffron Rice

Saffron Rice

Saffron Rice Recipe or Kesar Rice Recipe is made in many parts of the world because of it's simplicity yet aromatic nature. Kesar or Saffron imparts a yellowish tinge and adds a wonderful flavour. Easy to make, Saffron Rice can be made in very little time. I had made it in my Rice Cooker as I wanted to serve it warm to my guests. Rice cooker lets the food warm in the container after cooking is done. This recipe was made on gas stove. You can also find more Rice recipes like Ilish Pulao, Mumbai Style Tawa Pulao, Bengali Special Mishti Pulao, Paneer Pulao, Corn Veg Pulao or Peas Pulao Without Onion- Garlic

1 cup long grain Basmati Rice
1/4 tsp Saffron (Kesar) soaked in 1 cup of warm milk
2 tbsp pure Ghee
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp mixed Dry Fruits chopped (Almonds, Pista, Cashews)
1 inch Cinnamon
1 strand of Mace
4 Cloves
Salt to taste

Take saffron in a small bowl and crush the saffron threads with a back of spoon or in ceramic mortar mash the threads so that a thick paste if formed. Now soak the saffron paste in 1 cup of warm water and keep aside.

Wash the basmati rice thoroughly with water and drain out excess water. Let it soak for 20 minutes.
Heat a heavy pan with well fitting lid on medium heat. Add ghee and throw in mace, cloves and cinnamon, stir for a minute. Now in the same pan add rice and salt, mix it well till rice is nicely coated with spices. Add saffron soaked milk, cover the pan and cook it for 10 minutes or until the rice is done. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over rice and fluff with fork. Serve this with your choice of gravy.

read more.. "Kesar Pulao Recipe| How To Make Kesar Pulao | Saffron Rice"

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ilish Pulao | ইলিশ পোলাও | Ilish Maacher Pulao (Hilsa Fish Pilaf)

Ilish Pulao Recipe - Bengali Style Hilsa Fish Pilaf is an extremely fragrant and delicious flavoured rice. Ilish is the King of all fishes for us and every part of Ilish (except fins /scales and innards) is eaten with gusto and relish. As fish is the staple diet in Bengali households, Ilish or Hilsa is the king. A very important step once you select the perfect Ilish from the Fish Monger is, after he removes the entrails and roe from the fish and discard. Wash the fish in water thoroughly. DO NOT WASH AGAIN.

Ilish or Hilsa is the National Fish of Bangladesh we being the neighboring country enjoy it with equal zest. Ilish when simply fried in mustard oil become the side dish along with steamed rice. We love Ilish Paturi , Ilish Macher Jhal as much as Ilish er Matha Diye Lau er Torkari (Head of Hilsa Fish cooked with bottle gourd). So Ilish Pulao becomes a delicacy as it brings out the best of Hilsa when cooked with minimum spices to make a pilaf. Serve piping hot Hilsa Fish Pilaf with Raita for lunch.
If you like this recipe and have a look at the below recipes too-

This recipe is a part of Virtual Diwali Potluck Party, where some blogger friends from different parts of world are joining us for Diwali special traditional recipes. Look out for our collective Diwali Potluck recipes on Instagram with #diwalipotluck handle. Dear readers wishing you all a very Happy, Prosperous and Safe Diwali.

4-5 Ilish pieces or Hilsa fish
1/2 cup Yogurt, whisk it well
1/2 cup crispy Barista (crushed into roughly powder)
1 tsp Ginger paste
5-6 Green chilies, slit
1/2 tsp Salt
4 tbsp Mustard oil
2 tbsp Ghee

For Rice:

2 cups Basmati rice
1/2 Onion for barista
2-3 Green cardamom
4-5 Cloves 
2 Bay leaf (tej patta)
2 inch Cinnamon stick
Pinch of yellow food color (optional)
1 tbsp Ghee /Oil
Salt to taste (roughly 2 tbsp)

Wash the rice and soak it for 20 minutes.  We need to make the fish gravy now, for that marinate the Hilsa pieces with salt, green chilies, ginger paste, crushed crispy barista and yogurt. Take a flat plate and apply the marinade on the pieces thoroughly and close with a lid. Leave it for 1/2 an hour.

Heat mustard oil in a deep pan add the marinated fish along with yogurt paste. Cook it in lower medium heat for 10 minutes. Be careful not to break the soft Hilsa fish while cooking. By now the oil should separate from the sides of the pan. Carefully remove the fish pieces and the gravy separately from the pan. 
Drain water from the soaked rice and heat water (1:3 ratio of rice to water respectively) in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add green cardamoms, cloves, tej patta, cinnamon stick, a tbsp of ghee/oil along with salt into the vessel. Add rice once the first boil comes and stir well. We need to cook rice only 70% so keep an eye on the state of rice as Basmati rice takes very little time to cook. Turn off the heat and drain off any excess water from half cooked rice.
Best way to make layered biryani is using it either a Handi or open wide vessel with lid.Take some gravy of fish curry and spread it at bottom layer (by doing that you can ensure the rice doesn't get brunt when slow cooking. Now place half of the rice and spread it over gravy, sprinkle some barista, a tsp of ghee and place all the fish pieces and gravy. Finally put the remaining rice on top and repeat the addition of barista, ghee and some yellow food color (optional). 

Cover the pan with lid and cook on low flame for 10 minutes.Turn off the flame and wait for few more minutes so the the pilaf absorbs the characteristic fragrant. Be careful while serving as the Ilish should remain intact. 

Have a look at the lavish spread by my blogger friends who were part of Virtual Diwali Potluck-
read more.. "Ilish Pulao | ইলিশ পোলাও | Ilish Maacher Pulao (Hilsa Fish Pilaf)"