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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Murir Moa / Puffed Rice Balls


Today I am posting a very easy sweet preparation called Murir Moa ( Puffed Rice Balls). This is a traditional Bengali snack/sweet item which requires only two ingredients ( I kid you not!). I clearly remember during my childhood period we sisters used to count out day to visit out grandmother's home, where she used to store this wonderful item in huge steel containers. We used to finish dozens of moas during our stay and she was always ready to prepare more for us. Also, this snack ensures that your hunger is satisfied and also the taste is excellent. Children love this item and I can tell on behalf of my son that he craves for it. So here goes.... 

400 gm Dheli gur (semi solid jaggery)
250 gm Muri / Puffed rice

In a thick heavy bottomed pan add semi solid jaggery and heat it on low flame. Stir continuously until it reaches boiling point on lower flame. Add a handful of puffed rice at a time so that it is  evenly coated with jaggery. Remove the mixture  from fire. Place a tbsp of mixture on your oil smeared palm and roll into desired size. Prepare the rest in the same process. Cool and store in air tight container for consumption within 2-3 weeks.

User Comment & Tips:

  • While heating jaggery do keep this in mind that by overcooking jaggery you won't be able to bind the puffed balls later. So do test to find if the mixture is sticky enough to roll into a ladoo or balls

This Murir Moa goes to Flavours of Bengal guest hosted by Priya and started by Nayna of
Shobha of Food Mazaa has passed a beautiful award to me. Thanks dear..
Another friend Akila of Learning to Cook has passed this card as participation award. It was my pleasure to participate in your event dear. Thanks...
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Aamer Dal/ Tak Dal/ Red Lentil with raw Mangoes


Tak Dal ( Tangy Lentil ) is a very healthy and tangy dish which is consumed in the Eastern Part of the country during summer period. It is very useful to replenish all the necessary nutrients which our body loses during peak of summer. Mostly it is accompanied with steamed rice and an additional fried vegetable to complete the meal. Mangoes add to the tanginess of the dish and dal provides all the proteins required for a hard days work in summer time.  
1 cup Masoor dal (Red lentil)
1 Raw mango
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
1 Tomato, chopped
2 Whole red chilly 
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
Mustard oil for tempering

Wash the raw mango, peel the outer skin and cut the mango into 4-6 pieces lengthwise. Keep aside. Wash dal properly, rinse in running water then drain. Repeat the same till water is clear. Add 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker and add chopped tomato, turmeric powder and salt. After first whistle, switch off the burner and when the steam goes off add mango pieces. Close the lid of cooker and heat again for 5 -7 minutes. Later mash the dal with a ladle.
Heat mustard oil and when it is smoking hot add mustard seeds and when they start spluttering, add dry whole red chillies. Add chopped ginger, and red chilli powder. Pour over the mango dal on the tadka, check the seasoning and let it boil. Remove from heat and serve hot with steamed rice. 
This Aamer tak goes to Flavours of Bengal guest hosted by Priya and started by Nayna of
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Naan - Indian Flat Bread Recipe

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Naan is a very popular flat bread which is a staple food in entire South Asia as well as in some part of Middle East. Also it has gained acceptance in the Western Countries as well. Today, I am posting a type of Naan which you may find in many South Asian Restaurants wherever you are. As one picture says a thousand words, I leave it to your discretion to judge by the pics that I have posted. Hope you too love it's taste .....
Yields: 10-12 Naans, Fermentation time: 2-3 hours, Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

5 cups All purpose flour
1/2 cup Milk, warm
1/2 cup Yogurt
1 1/2 tsp Active dry Yeast
1 Egg
2 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Butter (room temperature) / Oil
1/4 cup water

For Garnishing:
Nigella seeds, Sesame seeds, Fennel seeds/ saunf, chopped coriander leaves, Kashmiri red chilly. 

Heat 1/4 cup water and pour yeast, sugar and water in a plastic jar. Shake well and let it sit for 20-25 minutes. Foam will be formed on top of the jar.
Sieve flour and salt, make a small well in the center and pour the yeast liquid. Blend in beaten egg, melted butter, yogurt and combine well by using your hand. If the dough is sticky you can dust your palm with little flour. Knead well to make a soft dough cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit for 25 minutes. Knead the dough again, now place the dough in lightly oiled container and keep it in warm place for 2-3 hours or untill the dough has doubled in size.

Pre-heat Oven to 250 Degree Celsius for 20 minutes and grease the baking tray. Punch down the dough and take out golf size dough and make a smooth ball. Then roll the ball into a rough oval shape. The naans should be rolled out thick about 1/2 inch. And do not use rolling pin here as these are rolled out by hand. Now  sprinkle nigella seeds, saunf, sesame seeds, coriander leaves and red chilly powder and press lightly with your hand. 

Place two naans on the baking tray at a time and bake this for 4-5 minutes. Then change the Oven mode to Broil and place the baking tray on the top rack of the oven and heat it for another 3-4 minutes. This will give the best results in appearance. It will give naan beautiful brown spots just like the way you get in restaurants.
Remove from oven and brush it with butter again. Have this delicious hot and freshly made Naan with  Tandoori Chicken or Dal Makhni. And if you want to have this later then you can stack them and wrap the naans in aluminium foil and keep in hot pot. But my suggestion would be to serve it hot and relish immediately as they tend to become hard and chewy. 


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Monday, April 18, 2011

Sorshe Ilish/ Ilish Macher Jhal (Hilsa in Mustard Gravy)


Today I'm going to present a traditional Bengali dish called Sorshe Ilish (Hilsa with Mustard sauce). We Bengalis from both India and Bangladesh have a special affinity toward fish which forms a integral part of our diet. This Hilsa fish is mostly found in the Delta region of the Bay Of Bengal, where the river Ganges merges with the sea. As per taste, supposed to be the tastiest fish in this world. There are several methods of cooking this fish, however the most effective and tasty preparation is through cooking it with mustard oil. This is the key point as using any other oil would not bring out the awesome taste as compared to mustard oil. The pictures are below for you to judge and comment. Happy cooking !!!    
4-5 pieces of Hilsa Fish / Ilish Mach 
2 tbsp Mustard powder 
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Nigella seeds
1 tsp Red chilly powder
5-6 Green chillies
4 tbsp Mustard oil
Salt as per your taste
1 1/2 cups of Water

Rub the fish pieces with some salt and a pinch of turmeric powder and keep aside for 1/2 hour. Heat mustard oil in a cast iron wok and on smoking point gently slide the fish pieces into the oil. Lightly fry it from both the sides and keep aside.
If you are using mustard powder (I've used mustard powder in my case) soak 2 tbsp of mustard powder in lukewarm water along with a pinch of salt and green chilly for 10-15 minutes.
If you are using mustard seeds, then soak this in 2 tbsp of lukewarm water with green chilly and a pinch of salt for 10-15 minutes. Then grind till you get a smooth paste, strain the liquid from the residues and keep the mustard liquid aside for later use.
Heat the remaining oil and when it starts smoking and add nigella seeds. Add slit green chillies, red chilly powder, turmeric powder and pour in the already prepared paste. Add water and bring it to boil. Gently slide the fried fishes and adjust the salt as per taste. Cover with lid and let it cook on low flame for 10 minutes or until you get the desired consistency of the gravy. Garnish with slit green chilly and 1 tsp of mustard oil for that extra pungent flavor. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Ankita of Eat Hearty- Stay Healthy has shared Best Blogger, You Are The Best Blogger Award, Yummy Recipes, Stylish blogger, One Lovely Blog, Kreative Blogger and Lovely Blog awards with me. Since I posted the same set of awards in my last post only so kindly excuse me for not repeating the same exercise again. Thanks a lot Ankita for the wonderful gesture of passing me these awards.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Restaurant style Shahi Paneer Recipe (Cottage Cheese with Thick Gravy)

This dish is a symbol of happiness , royalty and lavishness. The word Shahi means Regal and Paneer is Cottage Cheese. Also the fact that the gravy consists of milk, cashew nuts and fresh cream adds to the richness and taste of this preparation. Each time I have prepared , I have received plenty compliments from all my family members especially my father in law. This particular preparation in the photo is a result of celebration of India's 2011 Cricket World Cup win. After India had won, Lubna of Yummy Food had called me. Due to excessive cracker bursts I could not listen completely and called her back around 11:30 pm.

Lubna: Badhai ho !! (Congrats)
Me: You too. Finally Indian players didn't succumb to pressure and won the most important match.
Lubna: Yeah I'm so thrilled. I was constantly putting my thoughts in Facebook. Few of online blogger pals cheered every four and sixes.
Me: This calls for a celebration. What do you say?
Lubna: Sure. We will celebrate this with a bang.
Me: What do you suggest? 
Lubna: Let each one of us prepare a special dish to celebrate this happy event.

So here I am posting this recipe which I had made for Pot Luck and hope you relish it just like we did. While she prepared Qubooli and dalcha which tasted real nice. She even parceled me a portion of it so that my hubby could taste it as well. So sweet of her :-)

300 gms Cottage cheese (paneer), out of that 250 gm cut into triangle shape and rest mashed
2 Onion
3 tbsp Tomato puree
6-7 Garlic pods
1 "inch Ginger
3 Green chillies
1 cup Milk + 1/2 cup
1 tsp Red chilly powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Garam masala
2 green Cardamom
3-4 Tej patta
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
10 Cashews
1 tbsp fresh Cream
1 tbsp fresh Curd
Salt to taste
1 tsp Kasoori methi
1 tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp Oil

Cut paneer pieces into triangle shape and sprinkle some salt and turmeric powder over them. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Fry the paneer pieces until turns to light pink (be careful as frying them too long will make paneer lose it's softness). Dip the fired paneer pieces into 1/2 warm milk.
Now make a paste of onion and keep aside. Then make a fine paste of green chillies, ginger, garlic and cashews. In the remaining oil add tej patta and green cardamom and fry for a minute. Add onion paste and fry till it's light pink. Now add garlic-cashew paste and fry till oil starts separating. Add salt, red chilly powder, coriander powder and turmeric and saute for 2 minutes on low flame. Now add tomato puree and fry till it leaves oil. Add mashed paneer and mix thoroughly. Add curd and stir fast so that it doesn't curdle. Add cream and mix well.Add 1 cup milk along with the 1/2 cup milk that has paneer pieces. Now add garam masala, kasoori methi  and cook it for another 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with nan or chappati.


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Monday, April 11, 2011

Mango Burfi- Sweet made with Dried Whole Milk

While I was making Holi Special Gujjias last month, the idea of preparing mango special burfis was in my mind. So, yesterday I spent some time of the morning preparing this Indian dessert. After I served it to my family and friends, they all loved the taste of  it. Moreover, it did not take more than half hour. May I recommend that you prepare this burfis and serve them to your guests and bask yourself with their compliments.

4 ripe Mangoes, peeled and cubed Or you can use canned mango pulp
200 gms Khoya / Mava
1 tbsp Semolina
1/2 cup Dessicated coconut
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Ghee
1 tsp Mango essence
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
Few slices of Pistachio for garnish
15 Cashews for garnish
Aluminium foil

In a blender take the mango cubes, blend it on low speed till you get a smooth paste. In a saucepan put mango puree with sugar and keep on stirring it with medium heat till the mixture is reduced to half.
In a kadhai / skillet take 1 tbsp ghee and add semolina and fry for a minute on slow flame. Add desiccated coconut and mawa and stir continuously till it is light browns in color. Add the mango mixture and combine well. Keep on stirring to prevent the mix from getting burnt at the base.Add cardamom powder and mango essence, mix thoroughly. Till 10 minutes keep on stirring and when the mix thickens, take it out from the saucepan. On a baking tray place Aluminum foil and Spread the mix evenly with the back of a spatula in order to bring smoothness of the surface.

Sprinkle pistachios and cashew nuts and press them lightly on the surface.After the mix is cooled, cut them int desired shapes.

User Comments & Tips:
  • Adjust the sweetness of the mango pulp depending upon the sweetness of the fruit.
  • In case you are applying canned pulp , make sure to use reduced sugar content
  • Keep on stirring the mix in the saucepan till it's evens out.
  • For better color, apply one pinch of artificial orange color ( optional).

  Sunanda, Malar Gandhi, Fajeeda and Love2Cook have shared quite a few awards. I must say I'm truly flattered to receive these awards. It is really encouraging to know that people are enjoying my efforts. Thank you so much ....And I love admiring each of your blog. Here are the awards-

7 things about myself:

  1. I love to collect old coins and notes. I have 1 paise, 2 paise, 3 paise coins and some very old notes.
  2. I love to do multi- task at all the time. 
  3. I can't imagine to start my day without going through the headlines of News Paper.
  4. I'm addicted to travelling different places.
  5. Whenever I'm bored I pick a random Friends episode and watch it on my computer. Rachel is my favorite character. 
  6. One thing I love the most is playing with my toddler.
  7. I can spend  whole day in the swimming pool. :-)
I would love to share the same set of awards with my 15 friends:

So girls please accept these bunch of awards from me...... 
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vegetable Manchurian

All you blogger friends must be wondering why I have posted two back to back Chinese dishes in my post. Actually , Me, my hubby and my little son are fans of Chinese food because of it's delicious taste and light in being light in spiciness. Also another good characteristic is that Chinese Food can not be preserved and had in the next day. It does not taste as good as eating just after cooking. So we are sure that whichever Chinese Restaurant we go , we would get freshly prepared meal. Now, I am posting a meal that can be relished by both Vegetarians and Non vegetarians alike. Hope you like the recipe. As always, your feedback / comments are welcome. 

For the Manchurian Balls-
1/2 Cabbage, finely chopped
2 Capsicum, deseed & finely chopped 
2 Carrots, grated 
10-12 French Beans, finely chopped
2-3 Green chillies, finely chopped
1 " Ginger, finely chopped
2-3 Garlic pods, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1 tbsp All purpose flour
5 tsp Cornflour
1 tsp Salt
Oil to deep fry

For the Manchurian Sauce-
1 big Onion, finely chopped
1 Capsicum, cut into small cubes
7-8 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tomato, ground to paste
1 tsp Red chilly flake
2 tsp Cornflour
1 tbsp Tomato sauce
1 tsp Soya sauce
1 tsp Chilly sauce
1 tsp Vinegar
1/2 tsp Red chilli sauce
1 cup Vegetable stock
Salt  & Black pepper according to taste
Pinch of sugar 
2-3 Spring onions, finely chopped

First to make balls: 
Wash all the vegetables, grate and chop as I have mentioned above. Transfer all the vegetables in a big bowl and sprinkle salt. Mix well and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Now squeeze out the excess water. Add ginger, garlic, flour, cornflour, garam masala and red chilly powder. Mix thoroughly and take little quantity on your palm to make like a small marble ball. Heat oil in a frying pan and slide 3-4 balls at a time to deep fry. Fry them thoroughly till they are golden brown. Drain out the oil on absorbent tissues and keep aside.

Now to make the sauce: 
Heat oil in a wok and add chopped garlic and saute immediately so that you don't burn them. Add white portion of green onion, capsicum and chopped onion. Saute till onion turns semi transparent, add red chilly flake and tomato. Add all the sauces and vegetable stock. Adjust salt, sugar and pepper. Cover with lid and bring it to boil. Make a paste of cornflour with little water and add it to the sauce while stirring continuously till the sauce thickens. Add green spring onion here and remove from heat. Just before serving reheat the sauce and add the fried balls and enjoy this with plain rice / fried rice. I had made egg fried rice with this. 

User Comments and Tips:

  • Add fried manchurian balls just before serving. Otherwise they will become too soggy and soft.
  • Make sure the oil is hot when you are about to fry the manchurian balls.
  • If you find the gravy too thick then you can add little water and heat again. 

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Mushroom Schezwan

Last Wednesday, along with the entire nation, I too was glued to the TV watching electrifying Indo - Pak Cricket Semifinal. What a match it was that went on till the last over! And Hurray! We Won! Pakistan Players too played hard till the end. As a celebration, I had to prepare something quick yet special. So, here, is this preparation called Mushroom Schewan, which I thought would add to the heat of the already charged atmosphere post a Thrilling Victory of India. Hope all of you enjoyed the match as much as me and my family did. And my best wishes to the Indian Team for the grand finale. So common everyone and join me, to cheer the Indian Team :-)
1 packet of Button mushroom, washed & cut into half
2 Onions, chopped in square
1/2 Yellow bell peppers
1/2 Green bell pepper
7-8 Garlic pods, chopped finely
1 1/2 tbsp Cornflour
4 tsp Ching's Schezwan sauce
1 tbsp Oil
1 cup Water

Heat oil in a wok. Cut bell peppers into cubes. Add chopped garlic, fry for a minute then add bell peppers. Stir fry for 2 minutes and add onions, when the onions turn transparent add  mushrooms and fry on high flame.  Fry the mushrooms while stirring continuously, until all the liquid in it leaves evaporates. Add 1 1/2 tbsp Ching's secret schezwan sauce and mix well with the vegetables. Add 1 cup water and check salt and adjust according to your taste and let it boil. To thicken the gravy add 1 tbsp cornflour with little water and dilute well. Add this cornflour liquid to the gravy. Stir well for a minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with hakka noodles.


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