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Monday, July 30, 2012

Stuffed Hyacinth Beans Fry - Pur Diye Sheem Bhaja

Let me try to dispel a myth that Bengali cuisines are always Non Veg based. On the contrary, due to the fertile soil of the Gengetic belt region, many nutritious and tasty vegetables are grown in this region. One of the most popular one is seem( English name) . The method I am about to share with you is fried sheem which can be included as a side dish with dal and steamed rice. I love to have this with plain rice, some hot bhaja tel (same oil in which it was fried) and green chilly. The stuffing is made of mustard seeds, coconut. poppy seeds, which make it extremely delectable.

8-10 Hyacinth Beans (seem)
3 tbsp Poppy seeds
3 tbsp Mustard seeds
3 tbsp Coconut
3-4 Green chillies
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

Outer coating:
Besan (gram flour)
Rice flour
Kalo jeera /Nigella seeds
Turmeric powder
Little water to make the paste
Pinch of Sugar
Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Make a paste of poppy seeds + Mustard seeds +Green chillies and coconut in either sheelnora or in mixi by adding a pinch of sugar. With little water grind it to make a smooth paste.

Cook the beans in salted water on low flame till it is soft and half done. It should not take more than 6-7 minutes to reach this stage. Drain out the excess water and place the beans on a dry towel to soak the water.

Split the beans from the center carefully. Take a spoon full of the above paste and fill it inside the beans. Don't overload the beans pocket :-)

Make a batter of  besan, rice flour and mix the spices to make a smooth batter. Dip each stuffed bean into the batter to coat evenly. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Enjoy these crispy beans fry with steamed rice and dal. 

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Low Calorie Snack- Chocolaty Banana

They say necessity is the mother of invention. Being a mother I can definitely relate to this with my child who is fussy about not having banana at any cost. So in order to provide him with the richness of the nutrients of a banana, I coated it with melted chocolate chips for some time and then let him have it. Knowing him to be a avid fan of chocolate he would grab on to those and by the time he realizes that he has been duped;-), he would have munched a whole lot of those. By doing so there would be three purposes served, 1- my son would have his banana and 2- he would develop a taste for it and 3- he would start thinking about next time I give him a chocolate based food and be on guard ;).

4 ripe Bananas 
1/2 semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp Sprinkles /chopped nuts

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Peel the bananas and place them on a baking sheet. Freeze for at least 15-20 minutes. Take the chocolate chips on a microwave proof bowl and microwave on high until just melted, almost 1 minute( in between stir every 20 seconds). Stir until smooth, with the help of a spatula pour the melted chocolate on bananas quickly, coating well.

 And decorate with sprinkles to make them attractive. Put these chocolate coated bananas back in freezer for firmness. Serve these with chocolate sauce. I was in total mood to pamper myself so had these with chocolate ice-cream and chocolate sauce. You can roll them in chopped nuts too. Infact tastes great with butterscotch bites. 

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Monday, July 23, 2012

How To Make Prawn 65 / Prawn 65

There is no answer for certain cravings !! This happened with me few days back only, after preparing full course meal on Sunday, I felt like eating Spicy prawn stir fry. Finally the greedy me inside went ahead to pamper myself. For next few minutes I was handling the most delicate seafood  by cleaning the entrails of the prawns and marinating them ready for the evening. This may have been the effect of my recent visit to Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu a few weeks back which I thoroughly enjoyed and had up close view and taste of the freshly caught seafood.

So once there was evening, completed my prawns 65, sat with a glass of cold drink in the balcony with my family and watched the sun set far away . Sounds cliched but anyway thought using it :)

300 gms Prawn
1 Onion, ground to paste
1 Tomato, ground to paste
1 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp Garlic, finely chopped + 1/2 tsp for garnishing
1 tsp Kashmiri red chilly
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 Garam Masala
2-3 Green chillies, chopped
1/4 tsp Pepper powder
1 Lemon juice
A fistful of fresh curry leaves
Salt to taste
Oil as required

Clean the prawns, de-vain them and remove excess water. Marinate the prawns with 5-6 lemon drops, turmeric powder, salt and keep aside for 15 minutes. 

Deep fry the prawns in hot oil for few seconds, frying for long time will make the delicate prawns hard to eat. In the same pan add curry leaves and saute for few seconds.Add onion paste and fry on low heat. When it turns pink, add turmeric powder, red chilly, ginger, garlic and green chilli. When it starts leaving oil add tomato paste and fry till the raw smell disappears. 

Add the fried prawns, garam masala, pepper powder and mix them gently with the masala for 2 minutes. Remove form heat and add finely chopped garlic at this stage (optional) if you really love garlic flavour like me ;-) . Squeeze some lemon juice on it and serve hot. 

read more.. "How To Make Prawn 65 / Prawn 65"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lemon Rasam (South Indian Soup With Lemon)

One of the staple side dish in South India  is rasam. The name literally means juice. Depending upon which flavour you might like to add, you can create a variety of rasam. It has already been more than 5 years that I have settled in Bangalore and I have found this preparation to be very tangy and comforting. In summer days it rehydrates your body and your Vitamin C requirements are taken care of. 
The clear dal liquid before tempering...
Though I had learnt this simple tangy soup long time ago from one of our South Indian Aunty, it was only after I came in Banglore I started preparing it on a regular basis. Mostly rasam is added in rice however in case you want to include it as an accompanying preparation with snacks like papads, vadas etc. it too would taste good. 


2 tbsp Tool dal (Arhar/ Tuvar)
2 cups of water +Pinch of Turmeric +Salt to taste {Step 1}

1 tsp Cumin seeds+ 1/2 tbsp Peppercorns {Step2}
1 big Roma Tomato 
1" inch Ginger, finely chopped
2 Green chillis, finely chopped
1/2 Kashmiri red chilly powder
1 tsp Rasam powder
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Pinch of Asafetida (hing)
1 Lemon
Fistful of Curry leaves
Cilantro a handful
1 1/2 tsp Ghee

Cook toor dal and mentioned ingredients of  Step 1 in a pressure cooker upto 3-4 whistles. Once the steam is released, mash the dal and keep aside for later use.
Step 2: In a mortal and pestle grind peppercorn and cumin seeds roughly. 

Put whole tomato in boiling water(1cup), add the rasam powder, salt and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Let it cool and then mash the tomato. Add the toor dal water in it and boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and start preparing for seasoning.

Heat ghee on a tadka pan and add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering add chopped green chillies, ginger, asafetida, curry leaves and cilantro. Immediately add this to rasam water and allow it to cool, before you add lemon juice. Once it is cooled, add lemon juice. Serve with steamed rice and papad. I like to have this in a cup for a warm, tangy sip. 

User Comments & Tips:

  • Rasam can also be given as a bowl of soup.
  • I blanch tomato separately and then mash it up to get a nice color of rasam. But you can boil the tomato along with the dal (step 1) if you want so.
  • I just can't emphasis much on the timing of adding lemon juice when the rasam is warm enough. As adding lime juice in hot rasam will make it bitter.

read more.. "Lemon Rasam (South Indian Soup With Lemon)"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pistachio Biscotti

If someone asks me what is my favourite portable snack? I would answer it is undoubtedly Biscotti's. As it is I like their crunchy taste of it and the goodness of  pistachios does the rest !! 

Moreover, when you feel like having a quick bite between the meals or while you are on the move these biscotti's come at your aid. The best part is that they last really long. Simple to prepare as well. Run your imagination wild while making these biscottis when it comes to nuts.

1/2 cup Pistachio
1 1/4 cups All purpose flour
4 tbsp Butter, chilled
1/2 powdered sugar
2 Eggs, beaten +4tbsp eggwash to give them a shiny look
5 drops of Vanilla essence
1/2 Baking powder
Pinch of salt

Pre-heat Oven to 350 Degrees F/180 C. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed for few seconds. Beat in the eggs and beat again till it is incorporated well. Now mix in the dry ingredients. Mix well with spatula.Now add butter mixture,vanilla, nuts and start kneading the dough. Here you may need extra flour to knead the dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two portions and shape them into logs. 
Left photo: Logs are bit flattened. Right Photo: Eggwash for shiny look
Place each log on the parchment paper covered baking sheet and flatten out 3 inch wide. Egg wash the upper side and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. For even browning of the surface you may rotate the baking pan once. Take out and slice the logs by a serrate knife diagonally about 1/2 inch thick to form the biscotti. 

Carefully place them back on the cookie sheet with either cut side down and bake for another 15 minutes. I kept my biscottis inside the hot oven for another 10 minutes even after cutting off the power for more crunchy and firmness. Enjoy these delicious biscottis with your Chai or even with a glass of milk.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Chocolate-Lychee Ice Pops

Can you see the Lychee bites there? :-)
Since last two weeks, I had literally no time for myself, particularly for a new recipe post due to extensive travelling and preparing for my little one's 5th birthday bash. As mentioned in my earlier post, we had a tour of Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry based from Chennai. This meant that for a whole week we were visiting one tourist spot to another. The places that we liked most are the Sea Coast temples, Paradise Beach and the T Nagar in Chennai ( For extensive shopping). 

And as soon as I returned home, became busy with Son's birthday preparation starting from Inviting guests,Venue, menu and theme selection. Hiring decorators ( selected Angry Birds theme as it is going viral these days). And finally take care of all the guests ensuring they had a good time in the party. Now that all the hustle and bustle is over, I am posting this dessert as a cooler for this summer. As litchi is my favourite fruit and chocolate is a popular flavour, I chose to make a combination out of it. So here goes..

1/2 cup Heavy cream
250 gms of Semisweet Chocolate
1/3 cup Powdered sugar
1 tbsp unsweetened Cocoa powder
3/4 cup chopped Lychees /Litchi
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp chocolate essence

In a saucepan combine heavy cream, sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and heat on a low flame. Now pour the chopped pieces of chocolates and melt them on low heat by continuously stirring until smooth. With a wooden spatula stir it until you get smooth, silky texture. Keep aside to cool a bit.

Keep it aside and allow it to cooling to normal temperature. Then add chopped lychees /litchi and chocolate essence and stir well. Carefully pour this mixture into desired molds and place it in freezer for overnight. Enjoy !!

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Haryali Chicken Tangri Kebab

Last weekend me and my family were on a whirlwind tour of Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry driven in our new car Global Fiesta. Got an opportunity to click a number of photos and the combination of new vehicle and good roads drive was very nice. Both these places have historical significances and their beaches were awesome. Whatever time we spent roaming around these beaches and temples were very fruitful.

Now that I am back, I can get down to my blogging with a popular and time tested chicken starter called Haryali Chicken Tangri Kebab (leg kebab). This needs no introduction and the key to this is proper marinating. I like the natural green color of this kebab by adding pudina leaves. To my foreign and NRI friends: Next time when you visit India, do make it a point to visits these two places. You would really cherish your visit.

6 Chicken leg sticks
3/4 cup Hung curd
1/2 cup Pudina/ Mint leaves
3-4 Green chillies
3 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tsp Kashmiri Red chilly powder
1 tbsp Lemon juice
Salt to taste

Wash the chicken legs properly, pat dry with absorbent paper and make slits on them. Wash mint leaves and  grind to make a thick paste. Now to mix the marinade, take a big bowl and mix all the above ingredients. Pour the marinade in the zip lock bag along with the chicken legs and marinade in the fridge for atleast 8 hours or overnight. Pre-heat Oven to 250 Degrees Celsius, place a sheet of foil on a baking tray and place the chicken legs on it. Lightly brush the chicken legs with little melted butter and roast for 15 minutes on one side. Guard yourself with oven gloves and turnover the leg pieces to the other side and bake again for 15 minutes. Finally broil for 5 minutes to give nice golden color. Serve with onion rings and lemon wedges. I served mine with tava roasted capsicums and onions along with Arhar Dal and Nan.

read more.. "Haryali Chicken Tangri Kebab"