Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Nargis-i-kofte


Hello there,
A nice Sunday to all! And by that i mean, lazying around, gossips, family time and of course, of course good food. But who wants to labour over food on a Sunday, yet all we want is comforting and yummy food on the table. That perfectly normal you know!!
But these strange things do happen in our everyday life. Trust me, they do!! And the magic is you, or the one responsible and loving enough to keep you happy. I guess once u love somebody the story of that affection continues, once loved always treasured. Well, i should be the last person to talk about all these mush, as I somehow don’t get to keep my love. They always fly away!! Alas, poor men. By the time they will realise what treasure they left behind, i guess i would be permanently owned up by somebody. Lol!! High expectations i know.
Never mind, quickly coming back to my recipe and its origin.
We all have heard of Scotch eggs, a British version of our very own “dim-er devil” as we fondly call in Bengali. But why Bengalis should take the pride in this, the Mughals had created an apt answer for this beautiful English food much before. And they named it : Narghis-i kofte!! (My friend Ambrish told me to look up the meaning of this name, but i am suddenly interested in love and nothing else. Nomenclature isn’t in my head anywhere currently. Chill, its one sided and there,s no mush!!)

Here goes the recipe:
Mutton mince: 400 gm
Hard boiled eggs: 8 nos (boiled for 10 mins)

Marinate the mince with chopped onion and a few cloves of garlic and 2 roughly chopped green chillies, then i made a fine paste of it with a little dash of water. You can give this step of mixer grinder a miss if your butcher is good at mincing. My one is lazy enough to add burden on me!!


Scrape out the grinder bowl and pour the mix in a bowl. Add 2 tsp heaped besan (gram flour), 1 egg, finely chopped onion, 1tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 1tbsp badam paste (i used peanuts with a bit of seaseme. Didn’t have almonds of cashews at home), a handful finely chopped coriander leaves and 1 finely chopped green chilli with its seed, 1tsp black pepper powder, 1 tsp chilli flakes, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1tsp cumin & coriander powder and quarter tsp cinnamon powder. Give this all a good mix. I used my hands o mix it all together. Keep it aside to rest and for all flavours to get infused for about 15-20 mins.
De-shell your eggs and season them with a bit of salt and pepper.
Once the mince has rested, wet your hands and grease a plate. Divide the mince into eight portions. Now time to show some seriousness towards your craft!! Take one portion of mine and spread it in the palm of your hand (well size matters is what i learnt after the exercise). With a lot of love place an egg (the boiled and de-shelled one) in the middle of the mix. Now hide the white opaque beauty behind a layer of this meaty beauty. Be patient. It might take a couple of stances or the first two-three. Trust me you will be a pro at it after that. It kind of gives you a sense of achievment.
Repeat the above step of wrapping with all the eggs.
Now one, can deep fry it and get done with making these. I wanted to feel less guilty and still devour one of this Dinosour egg (trust me, that’s what they look like!! Or is it just my imagination! One can also call these oval bombs. Btw, I saw this recipe being cooked by chef Ranveer Brar on television).

I boiled some water with a big of salt, 2 bay leaves, 1 star anise, 2 cloves of garlic and half n inch of ginger. Bring it to boil and gently place all your stuffed meat balls. Bring them a gentle simmer, then cover and cook till the meat balls have changed colours. Once it starts rising on the surface, your balls are done, it is cooked through. I shallow fry it in a pan, in a combination of clarified butter (ghee) & sunflower oil. Once they brown on all sides, take them out and place them on kitchen papers to eliminate the excess oil.
In the same pan, add one big chopped onion, 2tsp ginger garlic salt and chopped finely green chillies, according to taste. Once they turn translucent, time to pour in a packet of tomato puree ( I used storebought Kissan one), cook at medium flame, till it comes to boil. Throw in one and half tsp of cumin & coriander powder, 1tsp red chilli powder, one and half tbsp badam paste adjust salt & sugar and cook till combined well. Add in the fried koftas and a handful of freshly chopped coriander. Bring in to boil, and finish it with some garam-masala powder and a dash of cream. Done!!
P:S: I strained the gravy before serving, you can give this step a miss though.

Enjoy and do let me know how you liked it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mint & Chocolate chip cookies

I know, i know, it is almost like a criminal offence, not to visit my own blog for so many months, probably close to a year. But i promise to be a regular from now on. While my appetite for trying out dishes had also taken a backseat, but as luck ha it chalked out for me, i come back to my kitchen whenever i need solace from the events happening around me, whenever i need a break from the relationships one makes and takes care of!!

I have been craving for some nice cookies with oodles of chocolate chips. while i had made some during my trip in April end to Sikkim, but as fate would have it, i didn't document it.. at all!! I had also made some cupcakes which garnered quite much of appreciation from all my friends, and again i forgot to click pictures. But this time i didn't make that mistake. i have clicked nice images to share with you all.



The best thing about these cookies is the taste and fragrance of fresh mint which i have used. i had a bunch of this fresh mint leaves lying in my freezer for a while. so i thought of using them up. One can substitute it with basil as well, which i am sure will add a different flavour to it.

So here goes the recipe for all of you to try it at home!!!!



Ingredients
2
cups of all purpose flour (about 250gm)
1
teaspoon of baking powder
¾
teaspoon of baking soda
½
teaspoon of salt
125
grams of chocolate chunks (coarsely chop a chocolate bar)
cup of chopped fresh basil ( i have used two handffuls)
½
teaspoon of cinnamon powder
½
teaspoon of cardamom powder
   
a pinch of star anise powder
½
cup of sugar
½
cup of (packed) light brown sugar
½
cup of olive oil and additional 1 tablespoon
¼
cup of water and additional 1 tablespoon
salt
for sprinkling (coarse variety) (optional)
Preparation

  • 1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon & cardamom powder. star anise powder, salt & the chocolate chips. Mix well and keep aside.
  • 2. Clean and chop the mint leaves and keep aside.
  • 3. In another bowl i had mixed the sugar (both the type) with water & olive oil for about two mins ( i used a hand beater). Be sure to get rid of all the lumps and make sure sugar is well dissolved. Brown sugar as it is takes longer time than caster sugar.
  • 4. Time to add the dry ingrediants into the wet. Mix well to avoid lumps, making sure that no flour is visisble in the mixture. Add in the chopped mint as well and give it a good mix.
  • 5. Cover the bowl with clean film and refrigerate overnight. I know that's the hardest part. As i have always said, patience has never been one of my virtues, so i refrigerated the dough for 2 hours for the first batch of cookie. Gluttony is surely one of my biggest sins!!)
  • 6. Roll out discs from the dough and place them keeping a distance of 1" in between them on a greased tray. Place them discs with the tray inside the freezer again for about 10 mins before placing them inside the oven.
  • 7. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and bake them for 15-20 mins. (I baked the for 22 mins because I enjoy the crunch instead of the chewy texture).
  • 8. Cool them and serve hot with a piping hot cup of tea.

Notes: I didn't use because I didn't have it in my kitchen, but i think a bit of mint powder added to the dough will add a bit more depth of flavour of the mint.

Try it soon and do let me now what you feel about it.
Chow!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Frosted chocolate cupcake


It was a lovely evening.
I had invited two of my colleagues, my new fund friends workplace to my place for a drink, and the time we spent together, turned out to be quite memorable.
i am glad it did.
while i was confused what to make for dessert, in came the idea of these chocolate clad beauties, and i believe they liked it as well.
it was easy, and yummy. the steps are given below for you to savour the taste of this delicasy.

For the Frosting
1 3/4
cups cups confectioners sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
1/2
cup unsalted butter, chilled
pinch of salt
1/2
teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1
tablespoon milk
For the Cupcakes
1/2
cup good quality cocoa powder
1
cup boiling water
1 1/3
cups all purpose flour
2
teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2
cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1
cup granulated sugar
2
large eggs
1/2
cup fresh raspberries

METHOD

In the large mixing combine 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla using an electric mixer. 
Add milk and continue mixing until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture from the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer running, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, mixing until well combined. keep it in the freezer.
Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a small non reactive mixing bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder.
Let cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add the vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. 

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 


Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost it according to your choice.

Enjoy your evening with these babies. trust me, you will have a good time!! do write back if you like it, or even if you don't!!
Bye!!!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sesame Chicken with chillies & honey

My collegues cum friends were invited yesterday evening at my place for an evening of chilling. After a hectic day at office, combating with deadly deadlines, this was a welcome relief to unwind with all of them , there were three of us !!!

While beer never gave us a moment to get bored, and contributed towards free flow of words, i guess food that i prepared made an impact as well. One of the dishes which i particularly loved was this chicken dish. It was easy and the ingrediants easily available as well.

I marinated the chicken cubes (aproxx 250 gm ) with 1egg, 1tsp of white pepper powder, 1tbsp of cornflour, salt, 1tsp of ginger juice & keep aside half in hour.
Heat oil in a an and fry them till light brown in colour. Place them on a tissue paper to drain excess oil.
Time to make the sauce now.
Toast some seasame  seeds and keep aside.
Heat oil ( Vegetable oil about 1tbsp) & add 3 chopped dry red chillies to it & 1/2 tsp of finely chopped ginger and saute well. Add about 45ml of honey to your pan and about 3 tbsp of chicken of vegetable stock (please use boiling hot stock) & mix.
In goes all the fried chicken pieces & coat it well with the honey mixture. Add to the pan along with 1tsp of dark soy, 1&1/2 tsp of white pepper powder, and 1 tsp of white vinegar. Stir well.
Add the seasame seeds to it & serve hot.

A quick dish, super easy to make and easy to diggest as well. Beer paired extremely well with it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tea Kiss Cookies

How do you people begin your day?
Certainly with a cup of steaming hot green tea or black tea or  cardamon scented milk tea. The early morning companion of this desired liquid arrives on a saucer in different shapes, sizes and flavours. You guessed it right i am indeed talking about cookies.

It's interesting to note that I had started my delightful cooking journey with baking initilally and in the last few months, I have had brushed aside the love for it. I have not had a chance to play while dusting flour or creaming the butter and sugar. and like bollywood movies after every sad & brushed side incident, comes the new season with new memories. so I re-discovered my passion for baking.

This batch of tea leaf cookies are for my sister, who is currently away from home for pursuing her masters.
Trust me it's easy enough to be made right after office as well. even i made it that way!!!

INGREDIANTS:


  • 115 gm butter (unsalted/ salted), at room temp
  • 115 gm brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tea leaves (i had used Darjeeling tea leaves)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 300 gms flour + extra for dusting
  • Caster sugar for sprinkling


METHOD:


  • Heat oven at 190 degree C.
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light & creamy.
  • Once done stir in the tea leaves. Mix well and pour n the beaten egg and give it a good mix.
  • Sieve your flower and keep aside.
  • Then fold in the flour in the wet mixture.
  • Once done, dust a surface with flour & roll out the dough. 
  • Cut it in desired shapes with a cookie cutter.
  • Grease your baking pan with butter and dust it with some flour as well. place the cookies in a row & sprinkle some sugar. Bake for 15 mins.


Well, while making this I had used caster sugar, since I didn't have a stock of brow sugar, but I feel using brown sugar will give it a better colour. Also my sincere appologies that i haven't been able to click pics of every stage like all other posts of mine.
Do bake them.
And enjoy the lingering taste of tea in your mouth after your first bite of the cookie. It can be a great gift for anyone.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

THE BLUE DOOR

Well, time spent with friends always feels great. and i am truely no excepion to that.
A few back, while chatting with my friend & business partner at their newly opened fashion & lifestyle store we were hit by hunger pangs. And boy, we were really "hungry". Not sure about the cuisine to hogg ( though my mind kept saying Italian, italian & italian) i gave that a miss. unsure about the destination we stopped mid way and then suddenly the name of this door came to my mind. The door is Blue in colour, or The Blue Door.

Tucked away in a bylane of Southern Avenue, bang opposite to Tyagraj Hall, we reached our destination. What struck you in the first sight is the big Blue door sign. When asked how he justifies the nomenclature of the resturant, he pointed towards the oval blue glass which had the name etched on them with white.We were greeted by the owner. the resturant was devoid of any hungry soul which made it quieter, housed in an old building the eatery cant really boast of a good interior. Only a few knick-knacks here & there.

We started by ordering the starters: Bacon wrapped chicken & Cajun spicy prawns.
Cajun spiced prawns

Bacon wrapped chicken

The mixed breed sauce


The bacon wrapped was a tad bit salty to everyone's palate & a n overdose of pepper didn't mark a good start. The Prawns were a disappointment once again. The spiced coating half-burnt, no kick of the Cajun spices didn't make us happy. another reason of disappointment was the white sauce ( a cross between tartare & mayo with bits of super fine chopped bellpeppers) served with both the dishes. I would have loved a honey mustard mayo to go with the bacon wrapped chicken.

We moved on to the Mains: The beef steak, Classic fish & chips & Ayam Bai with Nasi Goreng Rice.
Classic fish & chips

Nasi goreng & the chicken

the beef steak

Those 3 slices of fish were crispy and light coated fish ( i felt it was coated with a mix of poha & some rava)  had under-seasoned melt in mouth Basa fillets underneath. The potato chips failed to impress.
While The beef steak ( it was an off the menu option suggested by the owner) that we ordered had a succulent piece of beef covered in a brown sauce. The sauce wasn't much yumm, but i loved the mashed potatoes. I always dread the unseasoned, bland boiled vegetables served as accompaniments, but this time the veggies were seasoned well.
The chicken was served with a side of rice garnished with strips of Omlette. The rice tasted of the northeast & we loved it. The chicken was however nothing to praise, heavy with the coconut milk and some other ingrediant which brought in a not so pleasing smell ( i couldn't identify the ingrediant) was quite heavy for the pallet. The sauce served was afore-mentioned mixed breed white sauce. My friends had also ordered for two fresh lime sweet, while i refrained.
Also we were full to the brink. So we gave the desserts a miss.
Turtle baby

Let me introduce you to the turtle sitting quietly in the front desk. She is friendly in a quiet way unlike the staffs. You will find the printed menus left in disarray. Those are for keeps!!
While the quantity was a true value for money, i can't say the same about the quality though. While it can be a perfect place to treat the crowd, but sacrifising about the taste. I might drop in again to taste the other dishes in the menu.
Drop in a message here, if you find yourself there!!
Will be happy to be proved wrong!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spiced Egg & Toast


That breakfast ritual happens only on Sundays, when maa cooks luchi and chole or anda curry with the syrupy jalebis.



But this Sunday, I did the same ritual my way. Having the kitchen all to myself since folks were out on an invitation I decided to gorge on food that's yumm and doesn't need much effort. And armed with that thought and a bit o research I landed on this recipe.
Eggs are a perennial favourite of not only mine but I am sure of many. And for them & my spice loving friends this i promise is nothing less than a treat.
The ingrediants I promise are all found in our everyday kitchen.

Beat 3 medium or large size eggs and season them ( I didn't use free range by the way) and keep aside.
Slice I onion roughly (you can also choose spring onions, I had a normal white onion in my kitchen).
Finely chop 1 fat clove of garlic.
Chop 2 medium tomatoes or 6-7 cherry tomatoes, I used normal.
Chop a handful of coriander leaves with their stalks.
Heat butter and oil in a pan. ( I used herb garlic butter &olive oil)- 1tsp of each

Once it heats up add 2 chopped dry red chilles and fry along with the onion and garlic.

Once the room  fills up with the aroma of this trinity, pour in the chopped tomatoes and 1/2 tsp of garam masala powder. Fry til it blends. You might have to add a few spoonfull of water to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook all of it for a minute and scoop out and keep aside.

Next heat 1 tsp of olive oil in the same pan and scramble the eggs.


Once done add in the tomato mixture and the chopped coriander. Toss well and its ready to serve.
before entering the oven
once they crisped up


I used wholewheat bread foe the toast, you can pick any bread of your choice- 3pc
Cut them in triangles (just looks good on Instagram) or retain its normal shape.
Preheat the oven at 150 degree centigrade for 5 mins.
Next butter your breads. I used herb garlic butter on 3 and pesto on the remaining 3.
Place them on the bowl and scatter with sesame seeds. Bake them for 10-12 mins for that super crispy toast.
What else??!!!! Eat now before it turns cold.