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Monday, January 30, 2012

Sheem Sorshe (Flat Beans Cooked With Mustard)

Last two weeks were very enjoyable for me as my younger sister had come to bangalore after a long period and stayed with us for two weeks. During this period I made it a point to prepare most of her favourite dishes for her to enjoy. Only two items were left out Paneer Tikka and Garlic Bread, which I could not treat her with :(. I wished she could have stayed a few days longer, but she promised that she would be back soon and I would be able to start her next visit with these two dishes. Anyway, within her stay period , she wished to have this dish which is easy to prepare and healthy. So between many other dishes, I prepared Sheem Sorshe and was delighted to see her savoring this with pleasure.

250 gms flat fresh Beans
4 tbsp Mustard seeds (soak in warm water for atleast 1/2 hr before making paste)
4 Green chilies
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Sugar
Pinch of Black onion seeds 
4 tbsp Oil ( I use Mustard oil in this recipe)
Salt to taste

Rinse the beans thoroughly under cool water, pinch the ends off and take off the strings. Cut them into horizontally 3-4 pieces depending on their length. Make a smooth paste of mustard seeds with pinch of salt,  green chillies and with 2 tbsp water. Keep aside. 

In a heavy bottomed pan heat oil, add black onion seeds and the sliced beans. Add turmeric powder, salt, cover and cook on low flame. Keep stirring so that beans doesn't stick to the pan. Let it cook on it's own juices. When it is almost cooked add the mustard paste. Add sugar and salt to adjust the seasoning. Gently mix the paste with beans and cook till all the water is absorbed and leaves oil on sides of pan. This is a healthy accompaniment for rice. 


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Friday, January 27, 2012

Mutton Keema Gravy / Mangshor Ghugni

I guest posted today at Saffron Streaks, where I shared few things about myself and my journey in the blogging world so far. Thanks to Sukanya for giving me this platform to share one of my recipes. So please click here to know how to prepare this Bengali special Keema curry. Look forward to your valuable feedback.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Masala Biscuits -Loaded with Spices

 If you like spicy biscuits then these light on weight but full of spices biscuits are the right munchies for you. 
1 1/4 cup All purpose flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
75 gms unsalted Butter
1 tbsp Powdered sugar
1 tbsp hung Curd
2 tbsp Milk

1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp grated Ginger
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
Pinch of Cinnamon powder
Pinch of Oregano
1/2 tsp Black pepper powder
4-5 Curry leaves
1 tsp dry Fenugreek leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped
3-4 Green chillies, finely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 180°C and line the baking tray with parchment paper.
Sieve flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl and keep aside.
In a bowl beat butter on low speed till it becomes creamy. Add all the spices along with hung curd and beat once more. Add dry flour into the bowl and knead well with milk for few minutes. The dough should be soft and smooth. Now divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll out each portion of dough between waxed paper. Cut out the desired shapes. I have used square shape cookie cutter and pricked them with toothpicks. 

Bake them for 12-15 minutes or until edges are light brown. Since I rolled my biscuits very thin so mine took just 12 minutes to bake. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy these tea time biscuits. 

User Comments & Tips:

  • You can adjust the spices here according to your taste. 
  • For more crispy and crunchy biscuits, roll out the dough very thin but do keep an eye on baking time as the thinner ones will take less time to bake. 
  • If you find the dough little tight during kneading even after adding 2 tbsp milk, add 1 or 2 tsp milk to make a soft dough.

read more.. "Masala Biscuits -Loaded with Spices"

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gokul Pithe - Makar Sankranti Special Bengali Sweet

Pithey is one of the most traditional sweet /dessert that we Bengalis prepare on the occasion of Poush Sankranti. Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival which is widely celebrated across various parts of India and given various names. We Bengalis prepare a lot of traditional Bewgali sweets, specially made with 'palm jaggery', 'rice flour', coconut and milk.

 I have learnt this from my mother who every year on Sankranti used to make this delectable sweet along with Patishapta, Nolen Gurer Payesh and both me and my sister would wait in the kitchen to grab the first hot gokul pithey.

For the Outer Coating / Batter-:
1/2 cup All purpose flour
2 tbsp Sooji / Semolina
1/2 tsp Saunf powder or roughly crush the sauf (Fennel seeds)
3-4 tsp Ghee
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Milk
Pinch of salt

To make the outer coating:-
Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and make a thick batter. If you find the batter too tight , then sprinkle little water but remember batter should be thick. Keep aside. 

For the Filling:
2 cups grated Coconut
1/2 Palm jaggery (optional)
2-3 tsp Sugar
1 cup Kheer (boil 1 1/2 liters of milk in a saucepan and stir occasionally till it reduces to 1 cup)

To make the filling-:
Melt palm jaggery in a kadhai on low flame, stir continuously to avoid burning from bottom and add coconut. Continue stirring for 5-6 minutes, add kheer, sugar and keep stirring till the mixture becomes dry and sticky. Remove from heat and let it cool down. 

This is how Palm jaggery (/khejurer /patali gur) looks like

For syrup:
3 cups Water
1 1/2 cups Sugar
2-3 Cardamom pods
Pinch of saffron strands

To make syrup:-
Mix sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan on low heat and bring it to boil. Stir continuously until sugar dissolves completely, add cardamom pods and saffron strands. When the consistency of syrup is single string, remove from heat. The ugar syrup is ready.

To make Gokul Pithey:

Divide the palm jaggery-coconut mixture into 18-20 small balls. Slightly flatten the balls, dip in flour batter and immediately immerse the flatten ball into piping hot oil in a frying pan. At a time you can fry 2-3 flatten balls and deep fry until golden brown. Take out the fried ones and dip them into sugar syrup. Repeat the process until all the flatten balls are finished in the form of Gokul Pithey.

My friend Faseela of Good Food Ends With Good Talk has shared an award with me. Grateful for this gesture Faseela. Do visit her lovely blog for more bites.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Strawberry Cake With Whipped Strawberry Frosting

Today I'm posting Strawberry cake which I have made from the scratch. Thanks to the farm fresh strawberries I managed to find, that I could immediately start baking this delicious dessert which neither has any artificial coloring as found in commercial baking shops nor any gelatine. Moreover, this cake has been baked with only strawberry slices as  toppings and I have used strawberry puree along with heavy cream for frosting. Dear Blogger Friends, hope all of you try this one out and come out with results even better than mine.

1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1 cup Granulated sugar
*1/2 cup fresh Strawberry puree 
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
* To make fresh strawberry puree, slice and toss with 1 tbsp sugar and leave them in room temperature for almost an hour. Then place the strawberries in a food processor and puree. For smooth texture, press strawberries through a sieve to remove the seeds.


For Frosting:
*Fresh strawberry puree (for smooth texture remove the seeds)
1 cup Heavy whipped cream
1/2 cup Icing sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 325 Degrees. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans, spray and dust with flour. Keep aside.
Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Take a large bowl, with the help of hand blender, beat butter and sugar on medium speed till light and fluffy. Add all the wet ingredients into the bowl and mix well. Now with the blender, on low speed, mix dry ingredients and mix until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the two pans and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time may vary depending on the type and efficiency of your oven). Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Now it's ready for frosting.


For Frosting:
Beat heavy cream at medium speed until soft peaks form, this will take just one minute. Then add sugar, vanilla essence, strawberry puree and beat just until stiff peaks form. Adjust the sweet part, as lot of depend of your strawberry batch.

To assemble the Cake:
Slice the cake in half carefully by either long serrated knife or by running a thread in between. Place the bottom layer and cover with whipped strawberry frosting and carefully level the top of the other cake, and place it directly on top of the frosted one. Now cover the whole cake with the remaining frosting and give a smooth finishing. Decorate with few strawberry slices and keep this in fridge for half and hour before you serve. 

This picture was taken at night so please bear with the poor outcome

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Labra (A Bengali Delicacy)

Labra is a simple and unique recipe of Bengal. And assimilation of readily available assorted vegetables, easy to cook, non-spicy yet a palatable dish. Generally compliments along with 'Kichuri Bhog', 'Tomato Chuteny', 'Pickle' and papad as shown in the picture. 

Kichuri Bhog (a very familiar term in Bengal household) is prepared as an offering to God on various religious occasion .However with or without any function labra could be served with plain rice and even rotis. At the end of it you can realize that the preparation is nutritious and also all the veggies individually contribute to the taste of it. 

100 gms Red pumpkin, cubed
1 Carrot, cubed
1 Radish, long strips
1 Eggplant, long strips
1 Potato (peeled and cut into long thin slice)
1 cup Cauliflower, small florets 
1 cup Cabbage Chopped (but not finely)
Palong saag /Spinach 
 2tsp Ginger, chopped
2 Green chillies
1 whole Red chilly
2 tsp Panch phoron
1 1/2tsp Turmeric powder
2 tbsp Ghee
6 tbsp Mustard oil

Wash all the vegetables and chop the way I've described above. Take spinach in a large vessel, add water, salt, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

 Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. When the oil reaches smoking point, switch off the burner and let it cool. Reheat again, add panch phoron and when it stops spluttering, add sliced chillies and whole red chilly. Add chopped ginger, stir for a minute. Add all the vegetables, sprinkle some salt. Cover and cook, simmer for 10 minutes. 

Add turmeric, red chilly powder and mix well. Let the vegetables cook in their own juices as much you can. If you find the veggies are sticking to the pan but are not done yet, then sprinkle some water. Before taking off from heat add sugar, mix well. Add ghee and serve with Kichuri / Kichdi.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Paneer Bhurji (Scrambled Cottage Cheese)

Paneer ( Cottage Cheese ) is a very popular dairy product particularly in the Northern India. Right now in Delhi the winter is at it's peak and many of my friends are going for long drive till India Gate just to have ice-cream !! 
When I shifted to Bangalore from Delhi I had a tough time to find quality paneer. After many hit and trials finally found a good shop which makes fresh paneer. Anyways today, I am about to post a very common dish called Paneer Bhurji ( Cottage Cheese Grind) which can be had as a meal as well as a snack. 

It is a hit with all age groups. Basically a very healthy and quick recipe which needs just 10-15 minutes to make. I use the bhurji  as a side dish for chapatis /parathas, stuffed mughlai paratha or even for sandwiches. 

250 gms fresh Paneer (cottage cheese)
1 big Onion (cut into long thin strips)
1 small Capsicum (cut into long thin strips)
1 Tomato (cut into long thin strips)
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
2 Green chillies
1 tsp Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of garam masala
Pinch of Black pepper powder
Chopped coriander leaves
1 1/2 tbsp Cooking oil
Salt to taste

In a plate mash paneer with fingertips and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and stir. Add onions, capsicum, red chilly powder, pepper, turmeric powder and mix well. Cover and cook or 5-6 minutes. Open the lid, add tomatoes and stir fry till the tomatoes are well cooked. After that add paneer, garam masala, salt and stir fry on meduim heat for 2 minutes. Garnish with corander leaves and serve hot with chapatis or plain paratha.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Basic Vanilla Cupcake

Winter is the time where your appetite increases and you start craving for various preparations. For last few weeks I had posted a lot of chocolate based cakes, cookies etc. So after getting few requests from my readers for simple /basic vanilla cupcakes, I am posting this recipe which was lying in my archive for a very long time. Another key point of this recipe is that it is very easy to prepare. So  friends, till the time you prepare this your selves, the visual treat is for you.

2 cups All purpose flour
2 large Eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated Sugar
1/2 cup unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Milk
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt 

Pre-heat oven to 350 F (175 C) and line/grease  cupcake pan. In a large bowl sift the dry ingredients and keep aside. 
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and allow to mix thoroughly in between each egg. Add vanilla extract, milk and mix well. Add flour little by little and mix the batter with cut and fold method. The batter will be little watery, so don't panic yet.
Pour the batter into the cupcake pan with just 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes and check if they are done by inserting toothpick in the center. Remove the tin from oven and leave them on a cooling rack. Serve warm or cold as per your preference.


read more.. "Basic Vanilla Cupcake"

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sheem Diye Moong Dal (Broad Beans and Lentils)

                                                   Wishing You The Best In 2012

At the beginning let me wish my readers, fellow Bloggers and Visitors a Happy and Prosperous 2012. May all your wishes and aspirations be fulfilled in the current year. As for me after a break of few days I am back to blogging , but this time around I am starting the year on a healthy note by posting a lentil recipe which is not only delicious in taste but also comforting to the body as well. It is called as Sheem Diye Moong Dal ( Broad Beans & lentils) which is highly popular amongst Bengali community. The beauty of this dish is that the Moong dal retains it's flavor amongst all the added vegetables particularly sheem. And since this vegetable sheem is available only for a short period of time during winter, I recommend that you try it out at least once this season. And as always your feedback and encouragement is what makes me go on, so requesting you to keep on posting your comments and suggestions and I promise to respond accordingly. 

                                          This is how broad beans look like(Picture courtesy here )
1 cup Moong dal
200 gms Broad Beans
1 big red Carrot
1/4 cup Cauliflower florets
1/4 Green peas
1 tsp grated Ginger
2 Bay leaves
2 Red whole chilly
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Panch phoron (Bengali special spice: mixture of five spices-aniseed, cumin, fenugreek, mustard and nigella)
Salt and sugar to taste
4-5 cups of Water
2 tbsp Ghee

In a kadhai (wok)dry roast moong dal till you get nice aroma on medium heat. When the colour starts changing, turn off the gas and wash the dal thoroughly.
Wash and chop all the vegetables into bite-sized chunks and keep aside.
Put the moong dal on boil with turmeric, salt and water on gas stove. Simmer until dal is half cooked (to fasten the process you can also do the same with pressure cooker). Add the vegetables according to their cooking time. Add more water if required and cook till all the vegetables are cooked and tender. The consistency should be medium.Add sugar, stir well and remove from heat.
In a separate pan add ghee and add panch phoron,  red chillies and fry until it begins to splutter. Add bay leaves, ginger and stir for a second. Add this to the dal and mix well. Serve hot with rice. 

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