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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"

Friday, December 5, 2014

Kerala Style Fish Fry | Pomfret Fry


My days have become so hectic and tiring that the sheer thought of escaping to my Mom's place, makes me happy. Yes the situations are tough at home front so after my duties are done towards my home front I want a good break. In between I have learnt a new fish fry from my Keralite cook who was with us for few days. Needless to say I loved it ! If you are looking for other variety of fish fry recipes then have a look at 



Ingredients:
3 medium size White Pomfrets, cleaned
2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste 
2 tbsp Red chili powder
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Freshly ground Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Black pepper powder
Handful of coriander and mint leaves
2-3 Sesame seeds
Oil for shallow frying


Method:

Take the pomfrets, clean thoroughly and make incisions across the fish on both sides about one inch apart. 



Make a slurry-like marinade of the ginger-garlic paste, chili , pepper powder, lemon juice, turmeric powder, throw in some coriander and mint leaves and salt.

 Marinate the fish in this paste for atleast 1/2 hour. Take the fish and coat it with the sesame seeds evenly.

 Heat oil in a flat pan and shallow fry the fish. Now carefully turn the pomfret to the other side and fry evenly. Serve this crispy fried fish with some onions and lemon wedges.

read more.. "Kerala Style Fish Fry | Pomfret Fry"

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Easy Onion Tomato Chutney Recipe (For Idli, Dosa)


Is there one vegetable without which you can't survive for 2 days? Well for me it is Onions!
Even when I'm returning from vacation, I make it a point to either carry it (in minimum amount) my suitcase or soon after entering my home I will run over to the nearest vegetable shop to buy onions. 

 Be it for a main ingredient by itself or it could be used as an accessory like chutney. I like to make this chutney as it is super easy and can be made when you are making Idli side by side.  More so I could carry it for picnics and within minutes it would be over with dosas or pooris. The aroma itself is enough to make you crave for it.

Ingredients:
3 Tomatoes, cubed
1 red Onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves
1 Green chili, chopped
Pinch of Asafoetida / Hing
Handful of chopped Coriander leaves
1 tsp Salt (adjust according to your taste)
2 tsp Oil

For the Seasoning: 
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Urad dal
1 tsp Oil
2-3 Curry leaves (optional) 

Method:
Take a pan and heat 2 tsp oil, add hing, onions and saute until onions turn transparent. Now add tomatoes,  green chili, coriander leaves and cook until tomatoes become soft and slightly mushy. Allow the mixture to cool. 

Now grind the mixture with salt and grind without adding water to make a smooth paste. Chutney is ready for tempering. Pour little oil in a tadka pan and put mustard seeds in it, wait till seeds crackle. Now add urad dal and curry leaves. Keep tempering for less than a minute. 


Turn off the flame and pour over chutney. This Onion Tomato chutney can be best served with Idli, Dosa but I find very tasty with Curd Rice, Bread toast, Upma and with Poori even. For variation I fried the tempering items at the very beginning and then grind it with the cooled Onion-Tomato mixture. Believe me it tasted well.

Notes:

  • Instead of onions you can use shallots if you like.
  • As I mentioned above this chutney can be made without tempering also, for variation instead of tempering at the end you can fry the Mustard seeds +Urad Dal+Curry leaves (optional) at the very beginning and then grind it with the cooked Onion-Tomato mixture. 
  • This chutney stays well outside for 2-3 days.

read more.. "Easy Onion Tomato Chutney Recipe (For Idli, Dosa)"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chocolate- Muesli Bars | Kids Snack | Gluten Free Diwali Treat


Can’t believe that we are already knocking the doors of Diwali and within a matter of 36 hours we’d be celebrating in full light. I believe that since Diwali equals festival of lights, it should be there in full steam. Decked up my home with decorative Diwali special lights, diyas are painted. Diwali crackers are spread on a newspaper to soak sun's warmth. A ritual I have been following since long as my Dad once explained the more sunlight and heat the crackers absorbed, the better they will burn. And this takes me back to my childhood days when my hand eye coordination was at it’s peak during blasting crackers and making patterns by lighting up sparklers. So after about 25 odd years here I am a mum watching his husband and growing child safely burn crackers for one day and joining in once in a while. 

And for the guests who drop by, have prepared muesli and chocolate bars which I believe is an energizing and healthy sweet during Diwali. So let the countdown to the festival begins. Happy Diwali to all my friends and co bloggers.

Recipe Source: NibblesandFeasts

Ingredients:
2 cups of Dark chocolate chips
1/4 Coconut milk
2 1/2 cups of Muesli
1/3 cup Dried Coconut, grated
1/2 cup mixture of salted Pistachio + walnuts+ hazelnuts

Method:
Line a rectangle pan with parchment paper and set aside. Pour coconut milk in a medium saucepan and heat over low flame. Bring milk to the simmer point and add the chocolate chips. Stir until  the mixture is thick and chocolate melts completely. Another sign is the mixture will become glossy. 

In another bowl mix muesli pistachio and remaining nuts. Place half of the chocolate liquid over muesli mixture and mix well to combine. Now transfer this mixture to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Garnish with remaining chocolate liquid, dried coconut, walnuts and pistachios. Refrigerate until firm, best is overnight. Transfer to cutting board and cut into equal bars. 


read more.. "Chocolate- Muesli Bars | Kids Snack | Gluten Free Diwali Treat"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cheesy Corn Balls | Party Snacks Recipes


I am still nostalgic about the time when I started food blogging (some 7 years back) and there were altogether a few dozen serious bloggers that were around. However, thanks to the penetration of the Internet, now a days I come across at least a dozen new bloggers per week who are so much well informed about blog statistics/ views per post calculations and promoting their recipes on different platforms smartly. This week only one of my good friend raised up an issue on FB, upon asking a query she was puzzled to get many comments as "...." Well seriously even I wasn't aware of it ! Later came to know it means "following" :-D This shows how dumb I am in this fast moving food blogging world. I think it’s a very encouraging sign for the days to come where food can be a bonding factor and a platform for friendship.

Coming back to this easy Cheesy Corn Balls recipe which is very famous with kids party. Crunchy from outside and cheesy from the center. Really simple way to please anyone.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Cheddar, grated
1/4 cup All purpose flour
1 big boiled Potato
1/2 cup Corn
2 Green chilies, finely chopped
2 tbsp Cornflour
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp Oregano powder
Salt to taste
Freshly grounded Pepper powder
Oil for frying

Method:
In a mixing bowl put all varieties of cheese and mix with a fork. Add pepper powder and salt to taste and mix thoroughly. In a coffee grinder take corn and grind to a coarse paste. 

Take another bowl and knead the boiled potato, corn, oregano along with all purpose flour and yes sprinkle some salt again. Now add the cheese mixture to it and make small balls of same size.

Make a paste of cornflour with 2-3 tsp water, dip the balls in the cornflour paste and coat with breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess and place them in dry plate.

 In a large deep frying pan, heat oil and fry them in small batches till golden brown for 2 minutes. Do toss them in between so that they get cooked evenly. 

Lift them out wit a slotted spoon and place the cheese balls over a kitchen towel. They are best eaten right away so serve them with sauce or mayo. 

read more.. " Cheesy Corn Balls | Party Snacks Recipes "

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

International Pizza Festival @ Californina Pizza Kicthen, Chennai Till 19 October


For me toppings of pizza must be full of veggies, herbs and non veg items wherever possible. So whenever I visit any pizza outlet I am sure of the regular convention of above. However, this time when I was invited to taste the International Festival Pizza Carnival @ California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), Phoenix Mall, Chennai, I was pleasantly surprised with the new variation of the pizza toppings offered to us by their team. 

 I like the fact that they often keep coming up with various festivals to beat the boredom and offer something new for their regular visitors. They started the festival last month i.e 18 Sep and will be till 19 October. I and another blogger friend Aarti decided to meet over new range of pizza.

Have been there at numerous occasions as after shopping at Phoenix we go to CPK for a quick bite.As soon as I had entered Chef Anton Madhan introduced himself who has joined CPK just a while ago. He explained us that all together they have introduced 9 Pizzas which are topped with signatures dishes from the different countries. Out of these 5 were vegetarian and remaining were non-veg toppings. We requested the chef if it is possible to bring the portions in limited numbers as none of us wanted to waste much. He said he can customize all veggie options in one pizza with different flavours and same with the non veg option. 

I ordered a Mocktail called Mango Mint Ecstasy which was refreshing and I love the mint flavour anyways.
First came Kasundi Panner Pizza. Never did I imagine that Indian Mustard Sauce (we Bengalis are anyway die hard fan of it) called as kasundi garnished with Indian spices and layered with mozzarella would taste so delicious. 



 For that matter, even a Southwest Burrito Pizza {Mexico: grilled onion, cottage cheese, roasted chills, mozaralla and other cheddar cheese} would taste so awesome!  

Along with that came Beijing Style Veg Pizza {Soya and Garlic flavoured Mushrooms with Babycorn, bellpeppers and teamed up with fiery Schezwan  sauce on a tradition crust with Mozarella and Cheddar cheese}. It was spicy so I loved it but my friend couldn't eat more. 

And then there was the Capriciossa Pizza {Thin crispy crust with Italian Pormodoro and mozzarella cheese and then topped with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and fresh sliced mushroom garnished with hand torn basil} also Brussels pizza {Belgium- pesto marinana, , sun dried tomato, saute spinach, sliced mushroom, Mozarella & parmesan cheese and olives on a thin bubbly crust}. I loved all but especially liked Beijing Style and Kasundi Paneer Pizza.

The Fish & Chips Pizza [United Kingdom - Thin crispy crust loaded with CPK tartare sauce, onion rings,mozzarella cheese, fried fish and capers, finished with lime cream sauce and served with a good portion of crispy spiced fries] was the best. I ate full portion of it !
 Rookwurst Pizza { Holland: traditional crust topped with marainara along with sliced onion, pork salami, smoky bratwurst sausage and hearty sprinkling of Dutch Gouda cheese and herbs]



The Sauerbraten Pizza {Germany: Traditional sauerkraut, shredded chicken, sliced onion on a regular crust with mozzarella cheese baked to a crisp golden crust topped with German potato salad] which I found somewhat bland. Apart from these, there were two more-Cheeseburger Pizza {USA Chunky chicken burger with caramalized onions and crushed black pepper , with a good drizzle of their secret sauce, Mozzarella & cheddar cheese} Rookwurst Pizza  {Holland: traditional crust topped with marainara along with sliced onion, pork salami, smoky bratwurst sausage and hearty sprinkling of Dutch Gouda cheese and herbs}



If you are in CPK and walk away without having dessert then I'd consider it's a crime :-D wasn't able to decide between Red Velvet cake or Chocolate Banana cake. Chocolate -Banana cake won. And my friend Aarti settled down for White Chocolate- Strawberry Cake with Oreo crust. Overall had a wonderful time tasting different flavours from all over world. A must visit for Pizza lovers if you value good taste and great dining experience.

Location: Phoneix Market City, GroundFloor, Velachery, Chennai
Festival till 19 October, 2014
Website: http://www.cpk.com/
Phone no.: 044-65108888

PS : The above opinion is entirely mine and have tried to review with an objective frame of mind.The other dishes in the menu was not tasted by me so I reserve my views for another day. 
read more.. "International Pizza Festival @ Californina Pizza Kicthen, Chennai Till 19 October"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Strawberry Sandesh | Shubho Bijoya Special Sweet


This is that part of the year when we bid adieu to our biggest festival “Durga Pujo”. The finale is the immersion of the Idol of the Goddess and with a renewed hope that next year around the same time we’d be celebrating the festival with full vigor. So, to my blogger and reader friends all across the world, Wish you all a very Shubho Bijoya ( literally means victory of everything that’s good). So with a hope that all of us would live together happily and with harmony let me sweeten the environment with Strawberry Sondesh (sweet).

Ingredients:
1 packet Strawberry (Roughly 150 gms), chopped finely
1 1/2 litre full cream Milk
1/2 Lemon
2-3 tbsp  powdered Sugar (depending upon the sweetness of strawberries you may need to adjust the sugar)
1 tbsp Sugar + 2 tbsp Water to make strawberry sauce

Method:
Take a heavy bottom pan, add chopped strawberries, 1tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp water. Cover and cook on medium flame until the sugar takes out all the juices from the strawberries and the sauce thickens. Let it cool down.

Boil the milk and after first boil, add lemon juice in it. Stir it till milk curdles and then remove it from the heat. Remember the longer you let it cook the harder your chana(paneer) will be. Strain the curdled milk in a muslin cloth and wash it under runninng water to remove any trace of lemon flavour. Keep it hanged for 30 minutes. Transfer the chana in a plate and mash with your palm till your palm feel the oil. Add powdered sugar and mix it thoroughly. Now add strawberry sauce and mix it again. By now you will see the chana mixture is gooey so we need to cook the mixture in a heavy bottom pan again but on LOW HEAT.

 Soon chana mixture will start leaving the pan and the consistency will be like any other Sondesh. Remove from heat and let this cool down. 

Shape them as you wish and garnish with a slice of strawberry in the center. Chill and serve these flavoured sondesh to your loved ones. 
Sending this to my friend Raksha's  page "For the contest "Indian Dessert Recipes Sponsored by Zoutons.com and Collegedunia.com" who blogs at Raksha's Kitchen

read more.. "Strawberry Sandesh | Shubho Bijoya Special Sweet "