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Monday, October 29, 2012

Urad Dal Ke Pakore


Not getting enough time to devote much time to my blog as this whole month is very busy for us. Initially we were under the grip of Durga Puja fever then came Bojoya celebrations and my b'day. So need to catch up in this blogging world but even today we are preparing for Lokkhi Pujo. Yes today is the Lakshmi Puja day after the hustle and bustle of Durga Puja( See Previous Post). After Goddess Durga is immersed, Lakshmi Stays back . As she is the Goddess of Wealth so this evening we decorate the house, offer tributes and keep the main door open till the time the Puja ends ( so that she enters the house without any hindrance). 

And after the ceremony, a veg preparation of kichudi and fritters are the order for the day. Here I have prepared urad dal kakore for lunch. The recipe is below. Hope you like them.
Ingredients:
3/4 cup Urad Dal (White Skinned Lentils) 
2 Onions, chopped
3-4 Green chillies
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
A big pinch of Soda
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1/2 chopped Ginger
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Method:
Wash lentils and soak in water for 5-6 hours. Transfer it into a wet grinder and with very little water (2 tbsp) and grind into a fine paste. Place the paste in a large bowl and mix everything into it. Heat oil in a frying oil and once the oil is hot add 2 tsp into the batter to make the pakoras more crispy. Take small quantity of batter and drop into hot oil and fry until they get a golden tinge. Use kitchen tissues to absorb excess oil. And serve with ketchup or garlic chutney.


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read more.. "Urad Dal Ke Pakore"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Brownie Sandwich To Celebrate Dusshera



Today, with the advent of Vijaya Dashami, Hindus from all over the world  have celebrated the Victory of Good over Evil. This period of the year is the most auspicious period throughout the year. Here in Bangalore, Probashi ( Non Resident) Bengalis celebrated Durga Puja which peaks in last four days till today. In these mornings we head to the nearby Puja Pandal( Image) with new clothes on and offer floral tributes to her and seek her blessings for each one of our well-being.

 After this there are arrangements for community meals for the afternoon where anybody could join in for a delicious lunch consisting of Khichdi, Mixed Veggies and a sweet. It seems to be the best possible meal after fasting throughout the morning and the best part is that it is consumed as a gratitude to the Goddess for her blessing towards each individual. 

Then we head for other pujas in the city. Although the numbers are not as much as Calcutta but there are sizable Bengalis here who made it sure that we do not feel away from home. During evening we have musical programs in different locations. The one that I liked this year was from upcoming singer Mayukh Majumder at 6th main Indiranagar. Her really rocked the show and ensured that the crowd was totally involved. We danced to our heart’s delight from the Bengali and Hindi numbers that he churned out. Even my 5 year old danced on stage for more than half hour. 

Then comes the part when we gorge up to various dishes served from food courts near the pandals namely, biriyani, kababs parathas and chat till late night. Then comes next day till the nabami. Suddenly in dashami we are with this sad feeling that four days of enjoyment are over. But the last word that rings from our heart is that “Asche Bochor Abar Hobe” ( It would happen again next year). Presenting you today a dessert to celebrate this great festival. 


Ingredients:
3/4 cup All purpose flour
100 gms semi sweet Chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Honey
2 tbsp Brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted Butter
1/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Eggs
Pinch of salt

A packet of Vanilla ice-cream

Method:
Pre-heat Oven to 160 Degree C. Line a 8" square pan a butter paper with an inch overhang on two opposite sides. In a heat proof bowl combine butter and chocolate and melt it on low using a Microwave stirring every 30 seconds to avoid scorching.

In a large mixing bowl mix flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Beat one egg for 30 seconds then add another, mix in vanilla essence and beat well. Mix honey now and pour the wet mix into the dry mixture. Fold the mixture well. Pour into prepared pan smoothing top. Bake for 30 minutes or test with a skewer. Remove from Oven and leave it to cool completely.


Cut into 4 x 6 cm squares and keep aside. When you are ready to serve, just slice the ice-cream in the same 4 x 6 cm and keep one slice in between two brownies. You may drizzle it with chocolate sauce with white chocolate chips for contrast and serve immediately.



read more.. "Brownie Sandwich To Celebrate Dusshera"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Corn Chaat




Today at 5 in the morning I woke up listening to the hymns of Mahalaya (Beginning of Festival of Goddess Durga for the year). Every Bengali waits for this festival throughout the year. This is the time when we present offerings, socialize with friends and have a lot of sumptuous meals. Form today till 24th the streets of Calcutta would be lit up and there would be a flavor of upcoming festival amongst all the people. Had I been in Calcutta today I would have heard of the hymns from each and every household. But there is a saying that you can take a Bengali out of Bengal but you could never take Bengal out of a Bengali. So without much ado I too have started to warm up for Durga Puja and would be busy Pandal hopping ( even so there are limited nos. ) in Bangalore. So happy Puja to my Blogger and Reader friends all over the world.

Coming back to post, as a person, I do not eat a heavy meal but munch on small bits of items from time to time. This prevents me from overeating and I do not feel hungry. Hence, today am going going to share a quick, easy and healthy chaat. This time around it is corn chaat. It is tangy and lip smacking. So here goes:
Ingredients:
1 cup Corn Kernels 
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, deseed and diced
1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup Cucumber, chopped
2-3 Green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp Chaat masala
1/4 tsp Red chilly powder
Pinch of Black salt
Salt to taste
Pinch of Black pepper
Fresh Coriander leaves

Method:
Take a big mixing bowl and add corn kernels. Mix all the ingredients well, check the level of salt and adjust. Serve immediately and enjoy this fresh, instant chaat. 




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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chingri Bhape -Steamed Prawns in Mustard Sauce (Pressure Cooker Method)


Bhapa chingri is the ultimate delicacy which doesn't need any special reason to happen. Just on a lazy afternoon when I don't feel like making anything elaborate for myself I keep looking for some prawns in my fridge. Don't frown upon seeing the red chillies and mustard oil quantity as it is supposed to be hot and delicious. 

The delicate prawns are steamed in a way that it soaks up the juices of mustard, poppy seeds but still retains it's softness.  The beauty of this dish is that it tastes absolutely sublime keeping the nutritional values intact. I do not want to run into paragraphs complimenting this dish and leave it to you, my blogger friends and readers to try it out yourself. I guarantee that you would relish this dish and remember it for a long time. 

Ingredients:
500 gms Prawns (medium sized) cleaned
Pinch of turmeric 
Salt to taste
5-6 Green chillies, slit

For the paste: (Ground to Paste)
3 tbsp Yellow mustard seeds (dip in warm water for 20 minutes alongwith 1/2 tsp Vinegar and pinch of salt) My Mom does this to tone down the bitterness of mustard seeds.)
1 tbsp Poppy seeds (dipped in a small glass for 10 minutes)
2 tbsp grated Coconut
3-4 small green chillies which are real HOT 
Salt to taste

1 1/2 tbsp Hung curd * BongMom's Sandeepa once shared this great tip to add curd in this recipe for the extra thick gravy. I now add it sometimes...Thank you dear
4 tbsp Mustard oil

Method:
Marinate the prawns with salt and little turmeric for 10-15 minutes. Keep aside.
To make the Sorshe Bata: you need to grind mustard seeds, poppy seeds, chillies, grated coconut and salt till you get a smooth paste. Sprinkle little water in between if you feel the paste is too thick. But ideally the paste should not have much water in it. We have Sheel Nora -grinding stone a very traditional way to make these kind of smooth paste in our Bengali Rannaghor. 

Smear this paste over prawns, add oil, curd and let it set for 20 minutes. Place it in a tiffin box, add some more green chillies for that extra zing and you may add some more mustard oil on top and close the lid of the tiffin box tight. 

Now take little water in a pressure cooker and use a separator, place the tiffin box inside the pressure cooker and close the lid of the cooker by removing the weight. Now on low heat for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool down. Wear a gloves to take out the hot tiffin box from the cooker and serve it with plain rice for the pure bliss !!!
If you Like this post and my recipes then please LIKE my Facebook Page  which I created recently. Thank you in advance.
read more.. "Chingri Bhape -Steamed Prawns in Mustard Sauce (Pressure Cooker Method)"

Monday, October 8, 2012

Whole Wheat Brownies


Ingredients:
1 cup Whole Wheat flour
1 cup light Brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted Butter / 1 stick
1/4 cup Cocoa powder
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (this time I used chocolate bars)
2 Eggs
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp chocolate essence
A pinch of Salt
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

Method:
Pre-heat the Oven to 350 Degrees F and line a baking tray with grease proof paper leaving 2 inch overhang from all the sides. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Beat brown sugar and one egg at a time for 1 -2 minutes or until light and fluffy. 



Add chocolate essence and beat it well. Place chocolate chips and butter in a heatproof bowl and Microwave on High for 1 minute, then stir once and again on High for few more seconds till butter and chips are melted together.Now pour this chocolate liquid to egg mixture. Add dry flour into the wet and continuously stir the batter to incorporate it.
Add the walnuts and mix gently. Pour this pan into the prepared baking tray and Bake 20-25 minutes or until  the top sets and inside is moist. Cool completely on a wire rack. Then cut into squares and serve with ice-cream or plain. 


read more.. "Whole Wheat Brownies"

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Celebrating 300th Post: Brown Sugar Cookies With Whole Wheat


Here comes the 300th post !! I must thank all my family, readers, friends,bloggers who supported me BIG time. It is only possible because of your generous support and constant encouragement. There comes a time in once life when the important milestone becomes agonizingly long. It's like you can almost touch the target yet not achieved it. This how i felt the time between 294th to 300th recipe post. I just wanted to show how happy my HEART is to celebrate it with all of you. Hamaree Rasoi gave me an identity, the reason to get going in my kitchen, trying out new dishes. 

So here I am with a heart shaped cookie which not only looks beautiful but healthy too as it has wheat flour, brown sugar, oats which makes it humble , yet your body would love it due to it's health content. Thank you once again and would like to assure that I would visually treat you all with newer recipes in futureIf you Like this post and my recipes then please LIKE my Facebook Page  . Thank you in advance.

Ingredients:
1 cup Whole Wheat flour
1/4 cup Oats (powdered)
1/4 cup All purpose flour
1/3 unsweetened Cocoa powder
3/4 cup Light Brown sugar
1 cup unsalted Butter, normal temperature
2 Eggs, normal temp.
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of Baking soda

What else you need: OTG, line a baking tray with a foil, cling film and some cookie cutters.

Method:
In a mixing bowl stir together wheat + oats powder + flour + cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix all these dry ingredients thoroughly.

Beat brown sugar and butter, cream together in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add in one egg at a time and beat the mixture on low speed for few seconds. Add vanilla essence and combined well. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and make a soft dough with your hand. If the mixture seems little wet the add in little all purpose flour. Divide the dough into 2 parts and cover with cling film. Keep this in refrigerator (NOT IN THE FREEZER) for at least an hour.


In between pre-heat the Otg to 350 Degrees. Take out one dough ball from the fridge and roll the dough on the floured surface. I wanted thin cookies so rolled the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Place them on the baking tray and place it on middle rack.

Bake for 15-18 minutes (depending upon your Otg heating) or until golden around the edges.
Repeat the same process with the remaining dough. These crispy cookies stays good for 4-5 days.

I decorated these cookies with buttercream for my son and I had some plain. If you intend to do the same make sure cookies are cool before you start decorating. These were fun to make and so good to eat as brown sugar provides butterscotch note at the same time soft also. the dough is not going to disappoint you I promise.



read more.. "Celebrating 300th Post: Brown Sugar Cookies With Whole Wheat"

Monday, October 1, 2012

Innovative Baked Uttapams : Rice Crepes In Ice Cream Sticks


No no this is not just another recipe of Uttapam !! I tried to make it more healthy and fun simultaneously. As I treat breakfast the most important meal of the day so nothing can beat these uttapams which are baked in Oven to sans oil. 

This summer when I was doing a course, had to leave my little A as school were closed to a day care/ hobby Center. The Day care planned to celebrate "Healthy Tiffin Day" so there I was raking up my brain to come up with an eye catching tiffin item. I like if the batter is one day or two days old. Needless to say I got the 'Innovative Mom's' Tag :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups of Dosa batter
{Rice 3 cups+1 cup Urad Dal + 1 tbspChana Dal and 1 tsp Methi seeds, soaked overnight and next day ground to paste, the texture should be coarse. And finally leave it for frementation for 8 hours}
1 Carrot , grated
1 Onion, chopped finely
3-4 French beans
few Corander leaves
Butter or Oil if required
Salt to taste
*For Varitation you can use any kind of chopped vegetables

Method:

Chop and grate the veteables and keep aside. Sprinkle some salt and spread a spoonful batter on pre-heated tawa for round shape. Do not spread it much as we want small uttapams only. So smaller the better. Now sprinkle some carrot-beans and a pinch of salt. Slightly press it with the back of flat laddle to stick the vegetables. Absolutely no need to drizzle oil around the corner but if you are finding it difficult then might add 2-3 drops per uttapam.

 Now leave it for 2 minutes on low flame to set, once you see light golden color at the bottom remove it from the heat and place it on baking tray. For different shapes use the cookie cutters and pour the batter inside those, let it set down and sprinkle onion+coriander leaves.

When you are done with the remaining batter, place the baking tray inside the Oven (170 C) and bake for 5-6 minutes. Remove and insert he ice-cream sticks inside those thick uttapams. Kids will be delighted to see these cute uttapams on stick. 


Notes:

  • As soon as you pour batter on hot tawa, sprinkle vegetables, little salt on it, this step will make the veggies to stick to the batter. 
  • Instead of oil you can also use butter if you want.
  • Instead of coriander leaves you can replace it with curry leaves.
  • I never drizzle oil before putting the batter on hot tawa, just sprinkle some water and wipe it off with a clean cloth. But you can put 2-3 drops of oil on tawa and rub it with onion and then pour the batter. This way your uttapam will not stick to the pan. 
If you Like this post and my recipes then please LIKE my Facebook Page  which I created recently. Thank you in advance.
read more.. "Innovative Baked Uttapams : Rice Crepes In Ice Cream Sticks"