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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Veg Pulao Recipe | Paneer Pulao



This is perhaps one of the very favorite tiffin item for my son. He loves paneer in any form, be it Paneer paratha, Paneer sandwich, Paneer cutlets or you name it ! Nowadays he comes back from his school and gives me feedback how his friends shared his tiffin box and licked till the last grain. The paneer pulao is very easy to make and one pot meal. 

Ingredients:
1 cup Basmati rice
250 gms Paneer
150 gm French beans, thin strips
1/2 cup Green peas
1-2 Green chilies (optional)
2-3 Green Cardamoms
1 Star Anise 
1 inch Cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper powder according to your taste
Handful of coriander leaves
2 tbsp Sunflower oil + 1tbsp Ghee

Method:
Rinse and soak basmati rice for half an hour. Drain out the excess water and keep aside.
In a non stick kadai add 2 tsp oil, shallow fry paneer pieces with a sprinkle of salt and keep aside. 

In the same kadai, add remaining oil and throw in the garam masalas (cardamoms, star anise, cinnamon stick) fry till it leaves nice aroma. Add beans, carrot and sprinkle some salt and pepper. On medium flame keep stirring the vegetables for 2 minutes or till the raw smell goes off. Add green peas, stir fry for a minute and then add rice.  Add 2 cups of water sprinkle some salt and pepper and combine well. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove from fire, add the fried paneer pieces, fluff the pulao carefully with a fork and add ghee. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Paneer Pulao is ready to be served with Chilly Chicken or Chilly Tofu. We had this rice with Cucumber Raita.


read more.. "Veg Pulao Recipe | Paneer Pulao "

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Coffee Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting | Easy Baking Recipes


Valentine day just passed round the corner. It’s been quite a while in last 12 years of my married life that we went out to this occasion. However this time around my hubby insisted that we visit nearby Phoenix mall to listen to music concert played over there. So late in evening we went over there and instead of taking our seat my husband took me to the basement departmental store and presented me two nonstick frying pans, which I was longing to buy. So this was indeed a surprise for me. After that we went up and watched a couple of performances. A Kathak based fusion and another DJ who flown in from US to entertain us. So overall it was a great evening and the zest was still on after so many years.
Had made these absolutely delicious coffee flavour cupcakes for the occasion. The frosting was cream cheese with a strawberry on top. Needless to say my man was happy to gobble them up.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Brown sugar
1 +1/2 cups All purpose Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa powder (dutch process)
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
2 Eggs, room temperature
1 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
1/2 cup mini Chocolate chips
Pinch of salt

Method:
Pre-heat the Oven to 180 Degree Celsius. Line the cupcake tray with the cup liners. 
In a large mixing bowl sift together all the dry ingredients twice. Keep aside.
Cream butter and sugar by a hand blender on low speed for 3-4 minutes. In the same bowl, beat one egg at a time with blender till it is fluffy, then add another. Add brewed coffee and stir well. 

Slowly pour chocolate chips and lightly mix with a spatula. Spoon the mixture into prepared tins (they swell beautifully so fill only 3/4) and bake  for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from Oven and cool on wire racks. 

For Cream Cheese Frosting : Take 1 cup Cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tsp Vanilla extract, 1 cup cold heavy Cream. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, sift the sugar into the bowl and beat to combine. Add vanilla extract and mix well. Scrape down any cream cheese from the sides of the bowl. In another bowl beat heavy cream at medium speed for 4-5 minutes or until you get soft and firm peaks. With a spatula mix heavy cream with cream cheese. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and decorate as you want. I added strawberries on top as we are having them in abundance.
read more.. "Coffee Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting | Easy Baking Recipes"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bata Maach Shorshe Diye | Bata Fish in Mustard Sauce


Ingredients:
6-7 Bata fish, cleaned and washed
4 tbsp Mustard seeds (I used yellow seeds)
1 tbsp Vinegar 
3-4 Green chilies 
A pinch of Onion seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder + a big pinch for marinating
2 tbsp grated Coconut (optional)
3 tbsp Mustard oil, strictly mustard oil as no other oil will do justice to this dish
1/2 Water
Salt to taste

Method:
Soak mustard seeds and vinegar in a small bowl in warm water for half an hour. Grind the mustard with a green chili (or you can add according to your preference) and a pinch of salt at the time of grinding. 

You may add 1-2 tsp water if the mixture is too dry while grinding. Now add 1/2 cup of water, salt and turmeric powder in it and keep aside Marinate fish pieces with some salt, turmeric and red chilly powder. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Heat a part of mustard oil in a flat pan and fry fish pieces one at a time on low flame till light brown and keep aside. 

Discard the oil in which you fried the fishes, heat fresh oil. Now add onion seeds and few green chilies into the hot oil and when the seeds splutters, add mustard paste.

 Cover the pan for 2-3 minutes and then add fried fishes. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and turn off the flame.

 For more pungent flavour you may add raw mustard oil over the final dish. Serve with plain rice.

read more.. "Bata Maach Shorshe Diye | Bata Fish in Mustard Sauce"

Friday, February 6, 2015

How to Make Luchi Step by Step | Deep Fried Flatbread | Bengali Luchi Recipe


I wish to make a humble declaration that Luchi and Puri are as different as parathas and chapattis. Many a times my friends get confused between what are the specific differences between luchis and puris? The answer to this question my friends is that one Puris are made out of Atta ( Wheat flour) and Luchis are made out of Flour. Moreover, we add Moyen or Ghee to knead the dough also while rolling in circular shape a few drops of oil is added instead of Aata. Now you might be wondering why am I explaining so much about them? It’s because next time you try either of them in your kitchen, you can easily make out the difference.

I still remember during our childhood days in weekends when my dad headed for the market in early morning, all three of us Mom, me and my sis used to form a team and start preparing luchis. 

As usual Mom was the captain who used to fry them, I used to roll the dough and my sister used to set the table. When Dad returned with fish and veggies we all used to sit and enjoy and well-earned breakfast with luchis and Aloo Chorchori or Cholar Dal.

Ingredients:
3 cup All purpose flour /moida
3 tbsp Refind oil / moyen
Pinch of salt
Water as required (warm)
Sunflower Oil / Shada Tel for deep frying 

Method:

In a large bowl take flour, pinch of salt and 2tbsp oil and mix thoroughly. We Bengalis use oil as shortening to knead the  flour which is also called ‘moyan/moin’. 

Add little water at a time to knead the dough. 

The longer time you knead the dough the softer and fluffier your luchis will come out. The magic of having soft luchi lies here only. 

You have to knead the dough till it doesn't stick to your fingers. As you can see in the above pic I'm still not there so another 5 minutes. 

You will know you are there if you press the dough with your finger it should spring back instantly. Cover this dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for ½ hour.

Since luchi is a deep fried item, take enough oil in a kadai abd put it on low flame. Remember temperature is a very important factor when we are making luchi, we need piping hot oil but not smoking hot oil.



Now divide the dough into equal sized balls and cover the rest with a damp cloth to retain the moisture. And roll the balls into 5 inch diameter.

Prepare 4-5 and place these on a oil smeared surface. Test the oil by dropping a small pinch of dough in the oil, if it immediately rises upto the surface, it is ready.

 At a time only one luchi has to be fried, so gently slide one luchi in kadai and start flicking hot oil over the top of luchi.

 Within seconds it will swell and then gently flip it to the other side. Just when the surface starts yellow golden spots remove from heat and drain with an absorbent paper. 

Remove it from the kadai and place in a colander to remove any excess oil.

Follow the same procedure with the rest of the rolled discs. Serve these soft and gorom(hot) luchis with Aloo chorchori or Cholar Dal and enjoy the simple bliss !



read more.. "How to Make Luchi Step by Step | Deep Fried Flatbread | Bengali Luchi Recipe"

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dill Garlic Dinner Rolls (Eggless)


It’s that time of the year where there is a tussle between the cold winds of the morning vs. the warm sun of the day till it becomes pleasant during the daytime. So in order to make the best out of it this weekend we visited Arignar Anna Zoological Park also called Vandalur Zoo, about 30 odd kms. from Chennai. The idea was to take long walks within the premises of the zoo without having to face both the afternoon sun or the ever increasing crowd during the course of the day. The best part was the zoo area had plenty of trees which meant long walks in the shade. It was fun to see wild cats  with only a barrier of wall between them and us. When we went for Lion Safari, for a change we were in a caged vehicle where the lions roamed 6 feet away from us. The range of animals were from Elephants to Giraffes to Lions and White Tigers. Overall the children of my friends and my boy enjoyed a lot and they had two children parks to showcase their acrobatics a la chimpanzees ;-).

Coming back to these dill Garlic dinner rolls, well these are great to pair with hot soups. The recipe below is no fail recipe, so delightful, buttery and soft dinner rolls. And above all with no Eggs ! Isn't it inviting?

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups of All purpose flour + little more for dusting
1/2 cup LUKE WARM WATER
2 tsp Active dry yeast
2 tsp Granulated Sugar
1 cup Milk, room temperature
3-4 tbsp freshly chopped dill weed
3-4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp Butter, melted +1 tbsp for filling
1 tbsp Olive oil
A big pinch of Salt

Method:
In a ceramic bowl add barely warm water, sugar, yeast and mix together for a second. Allow to sit it about 10-15 minutes until activated. By now Yeast will be foamy and frothy, if not then your yeast is not alive and you need to start again with another packet of yeast.

In a big mixing bowl and add flour, salt, 2tbsp melted butter, 1tbsp dill weed (remaining for filling) and the yeast mixture and knead until the dough come together. Now add milk and knead the dough by hand for a few minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. You might need extra bit of flour or water to knead it smoothly, so adjust accordingly. 


Shape the dough into a neat ball and grease a separate big container to keep the dough (this step will ensure your dough will not stick to the container) and apply Olive oil from top. Cover the dough in a plastic wrap and keep in a warm place for next 2 hours( I kept the dough in a casserole).
Remove the plastic wrap, you will see dough has double in volume now lightly flour your work surface /kitchen slab. Punch down the dough and knead it for some time. This step is down to roll out the air bubbles so do it for at least 10 minutes. Roll the dough out into the rectangular shape, about a quarter inch thick. Mix  dill weed, chopped garlic with 1 tbsp butter and spread this over the dough, leaving a half inch edge on all sides.

Slowly roll the dough into a cylinder and cut rolls about 1 inch thick. Place on grease baking pan (1 inch apart), wrap it with a clean kitchen towel, find a warm spot and keep it aside for another 1/2 an hour minimum.

Meanwhile pre-heat Oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit, bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

 Rub a stick of cold butter on these hot buns (the best sight of baking these buns is soaking melted butter ! Wrap in a clean towel for another 20 minutes, by following this step, your buns will be very soft.


read more.. "Dill Garlic Dinner Rolls (Eggless)"

Monday, January 12, 2015

Kucho Chingrir Bora | Chingri Macher Bora | Small Shrimp Fritters


My recent trip to Kolkata was an eventful holiday, all my to-do-list were fulfilled. Watching Bangla theater, meeting friends, watching new Bengali movies,shopping, meeting relatives, friends and what not ! I had kept one mission on the day of departure, a visit to local fish market which falls on the west of the Ballygunge bridge around Gariahat Flyover. How could I miss a trip to the huge fresh water fish market before embarking for Chennai ! As expected I bought many fish varieties which are hard to find in Chennai. Small PutiKucho Chingri, Mourala, Bhetki (fish finger cut), small Pabda and Parshey to name a few. The recipe that I am going to share today is simple but delicious. Have a look at the pic and see how fresh these kucho chingris were...
See how small they are


Ingredients:

400 gms Kucho Chingri (Baby Shrimps)
1 small Onion, finely diced
1-2 Green chilies, chopped
1 tsp Ginger paste
3-4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
1/3 cup All purpose flour
Handful of Coriander leaves(chopped) + 1tbsp of tender stems of coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Method:
The first step is to clean the nano shrimps by taking a big bowl and rinse them several times in running water. Use both your hands and rub thoroughly. This is the only effective way to remove any mud.

 Strain through a fine sieve and let it sit for 5 minutes. In between take a mixing bowl or plate, add onions, green chilies, ginger paste and mix well. Squeeze out any excess water from the Kucho Chingri (baby shrimp) and add into the bowl.

 Now what my Baba follows is to mash the Kucho Chingri with the bottom of a glass. I sometimes take half of the Chingri and run it for a minute in a coffee grinder. You can skip this step if you wish to. Add the remaining ingredients except oil and mix everything well. Heat oil in a frying pan and drop small amount of batter into the pan.
The final batter looks like this...
 Fry on low heat till it becomes golden brown. Repeat this till you finish all the batches. Enjoy these hot Kucho Chingrir bora with chili sauce / dhonepatar chutney or just itself !


read more.. "Kucho Chingrir Bora | Chingri Macher Bora | Small Shrimp Fritters"

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Kumro Phool Bhaja | Pumpkin Blossom Fritters


Firstly a very happy and Prosperous New Year to all my readers and blogger friends all across the world. Hope this new year 2015 brings immense happiness and prosperity to your lives.

Let me start the blog with a humble snack called as “Kumro Phool Bhaja” or Pumpkin Flower Fritters. Essentially it is a snack that can double up as a side dish in a main meal as well. During my childhood days in Haridwar ( Uttarakhand), we used to wait till the blossoming of the flowers used to blossom and then me and my sister used to pluck them and bring them straight to our kitchen to let Ma fry them for us. Yes we were fortunate to have a huge Bagaan (backyard kitchen).

I remember an incident few years back. During a trip to Ooty, while returning from the beautiful hill station, we passed from a household outside on the road there were pumpkin plants with flowers blossomed. We immediately stopped our cars and like a commando operation me and my sister plucked a lot of flowers. And before the neighbours who never knew that this flower was edible, yelled at us, we had zoomed back in our car. Was it a fun sight to watch. Sheepishly admit that I am a 'phool' (blossom) chor :-P

You can also check my previous Bhaji recipes like Bok Phool Bhaja (Hadga blossom Bhaji), Pur Diye Sheem Bhaja (Stuffed Hyacinth Beans Fry)

Ingredients: 

5-6 Pumpkin Blossom (Kumro Phool)
1/2 cup Rice flour
1 small pinch of Kalo jeera (Kalonj /Nigella seeds)
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder (optional)
Small pinch of Black pepper powder
Water to make the batter
Salt to taste
Refind oil for deep frying


Method:

First of all you need to  remove the stigma and the stem from each blossom (I sometimes leave the stem part as while eating it makes easier to hold it BUT NEVER EAT THAT PORTION). Take a big serving bowl and dip these blossoms in chilled water. Take extra care not to tear them as the blossoms are very delicate. 

Mix flour with nigella seeds, baking soda,black pepper powder, turmeric (optional) and salt. Add water to make a thick batter.

Heat oil in a wok. Dip the blossoms one by one into the prepared batter and deep fry for couple of minutes on low flame until light golden. 

Remove with a slotted spoon and place the fried blossoms on tissue paper to soak extra oil. Serve immediately with steamed rice-dal combination.

Tips:

  • You can use Besan (Bengal gram flour) in place of rice flour, in that case do add2-3 tsps of Flour along with it.
  • You can try the same recipe with Bok phool.


Thin like wafer, hint of sweet yet so crunchy....

read more.. "Kumro Phool Bhaja | Pumpkin Blossom Fritters"