Friday, December 27, 2013

Goan Fish Curry

The recipe reads Goan Fish curry, but what I loved about it was the characteristic lightness that south Indian cuisine imparts to all its dishes .....

This recipe taken from one of AnjumAnamd's book was apart o the picnic menu we had at my place while my parents were having a vacation. What made the feat memorable was wine, booze, blossoming love, great conversation and Food. The menu included Cheese and Bacon rice, Bengal style Aloo dum with peas,Goan fish curry, two kinds of unknown chicken experiments (made by my friend), gajar ka halwa.
My favourite was the Cheese and Bacon rice, made by aomeone special....*blush*......

While all the other dishes held on their own, and was quite heavy, this mild fish curry kind o worked as a palatte cleanser. It was light, and airy, ans super duper easy to make. This can be one handy rcipe, if you have sudden unexpeced guests at home.

Here goes the recipe:

Cube about500gm of white fish fillets into cubes. Wash well, marinate in lime juice for 30 mins and keep aside. Then wash the fish cubes again and keep aside.

Heat about 2 tbsp of Vegetable oil in the pan. Add the mustard seeds, andonce they strt popping turn down the heat and add 1 medium onions sliced and  1 medium size cinnamon stick. The onion needs to be cooked till golden.
Make a paste of 7 large garlic cloves, 3/4" ginger and 5 red chillies ( I had soaked the chillies in Vinegar, to get a nice flavour, and so that that hotness works well. I had made the mixture in a mortar and pestle, thus keeping the rustic side alive, which I feel worked well for this dish). Add this paste to the cooked onions along with 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric,. mix well. Fry over high heat for about 2-3 mins or till the raw smell disappears and oil leaves from the sides.

Add about 2 medium tomatoes, chopped  and a cup of water, cover and cook till the tomatoes become tender and the water is completly reduced.Stir in about 11/2 cup coconut milk and about 1/2 cup of water, bring the flame to a gentle simmer and allow it to cook for sometime.

Add the fish and cook for 5-7mins or until done. Adjust seasoning.
Serve hot.

Goes best with hot steamed rice. Now, comes how i cheated!! Well, i couldn't mange to find package coconut milk in the vicinity, so had to replace it with the coconut powder which Maggi sells. I had mixed it with hot water and used it, the result was good. What i loved was the consistency, which wasn't heavy that coconut milk brings with it into any dish. Also i feel the quantity of water added can be decreased a bit, or else the gravy becomes overpowering.. I had also finished it with chopped coriander.

Enjoy the meal.
Promise to be back soon!!!!!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Iced Orange Cake

Merry Christmas to all my readers!!!
At last winter is knocking at the door.
My morning started with the slow blowing winds, brushing against my skin, bringing with it the aroma of cakes baked in the oven....
My childhood had witnessed the freshly baked cake out of the cake oven on Christmas, every year, Thanx to my mom. The custom still continues at my place, with slight differences being incorporated like the use of micro-oven and me being a helping hand at times, depending on what sate of quarreling mood we both are into!!.......

I had also baked a cake few days back, while it was not at all meant for celebrating Christmas, but a part of the dinner menu that i had prepared along with my friends. But the use of oranges and the way my friend had decorated it, it did bring in orangy flavoured memories of Christmas, remeniscent of my childhood as well.

The cake is from a recipe by Rachel Allen. Luckily, this time i could something constructive with her recipes, unlike the last fewer times, when it was nothing less than a disaster.

The steps are easy to follow. But then i apologise for not being able to provide you all with pictorial documentation. The cake was ready in a jiffy.

INGREDIANTS:


  • 100 gm Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Orange zest, grated
  • 100 gm Caster Sugar
  • 100 gm Icing Sugar
  • 125 gm Flour, all purpose if possible
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder


METHOD:


  • Melt the butter and then cool it. Keep aside.
  • Whisk the eggs and add grated orange zest, caster and Icing sugar and whisk well. Mix till it all sugar gets dissolved.
  • Fold in the cooled butter now.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and fold it into the liquid ingrediants..
  • Grease your cake tin well. Put the mixture in there.
  • Bake it at a preheated oven for 40-45 mins at 140 degree C.
  • After it comes out of the oven, prick to see if cooked well. Cool it. Then transfer it into the wire rack.
  • Now time for some icing.
  • ICING: Mix 100 gm Icing sugar with a tbsp of freshly squeezed orange juice. The icing shouldn't be grainy, and should have a nice consistency for drizzling.
  • Ready to serve.


The cake according to one was "too sweet", but i think the others quite liked it. The decoration part was completely taken care of my my friend Avijit Biswas, and probably that was one of the reason why it looked yum. The dusting of icing sugar was my idea though.

Try it!! and defy the kolkata custom of not making the all-Brit cakes for Christmas....


Monday, December 9, 2013

Baked Chicken Roses


I was getting bored sitting at home the other day.
Nothing good to read, nothin interesting to write about, nothing to paint!!!
And then i suddenly remembered about this recipe, which i had come across in facebook, months back!!! It was nice to eat, warm and yumm!!

The filling was what i made in the begining: Heat 2tbsp butter in a pan and fry 2 small chopped onions till soft, add 4 chopped green chillies as well.  Add 500 gm chicken mince to the onions and mix well. Add 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, a bit of garam masala powder,  a bit of milk and cover and cook on low flame  till cooked. Finish with chopped coriander leaves. And keep aside the filling, and bring to room temperature.

To make the dough mix 4 cups of all purpose flour, with 2tbsp powdered milk, 1 tsp salt, 4 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 egg & 1 tsp castor sugar and 3 tbsp kalonji (that's my twist!!!!) I also added a bit of warm water to bring the dough together.

It makes 15- 20 roundels from this dough.

Flour your rolling surface and Roll out each ball into an approx 4" diameter circle.
Melt a bit of butter and keep aside. Brush this inside the dough.

Make 4 diagonal slits and add your filling in the centre.

Cover your filling with two opposite sections. Repeat with last two sections. Pinch the dough on the side to seal it. Repeat with the other two sides as well.

Place the prepared rolls on a greased tray. And pre-heat the oven to 180 degree C.
Mix 1 egg yolk with 2 tsp of milk. Brush the rolls with this mixture. And put it inside the oven. Bake for 20-25 mins.
Once ready, remove and brush them again with melted butter. You will see the babies blushing more!!

I know, the recipe sounds and seems (courtesy pics of all steps) very easy. And the best part is that the ingrediants are all ready in the kitchen. I am sure, you will love it with some hot coffee as well!!!

See you all soon!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

LAH0RI MUTT0N


I have always liked Anjum Anands cookery show whenever I came across it on television. However the idea of calling her "Nigelle Lawson ka Indian version" has never really appealed to me.
The dish that I made collecting the recipe from one of her books that I own, had used lamb, which I had successfully replaced with mutton.

The dish appealed because of it's yummy pic and the easy ingrediants, and has kind of become my fixation to make again and again. The list of ingrediants are below:

INGREDIANTS:


  • 500 g mutton, cubed or cut into bite sized pieces
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • Half an inch of ginger, peeled
  • 1 cup (around 250 g) plain yoghurt
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 brown cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 2" cinnamon sticks
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 and half tsp red chilli powder
  • 4 medium large tomatoes
  • 3 dry red chillies


METHOD:


  • Make a pate of ginger and garlic together with a splash of water.
  • Boil the tomatoes and de-skin them, puree them with the yoghurt.
  • Heat oil in a pan, and fry the bay leaves and dry red chillies, whole spices and sizzle fr a few seconds.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a couple of minutes till he rawmess disappearns.
  • Add the salt, sugar, red chilli powder, mix well and tip in the yoghurt paste. Stir constantly and bring to a boil.
  • Add the mutton and cook over high heat for around 5 mins. Be careful that the yoghurt doesn't split.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for about 45 mins, or till the mutton is tender.
  • After the specifies time, remove the lid, toss the meat well in the gravy, and add some water if you look for a higher quantity of gravy.
  • Cook till gravy is reduced to half of he quantity.



  •    Serve hot with plain rice.


The best part of this recipe is that it is not hectic and doesn't call for an army of ingrediants an most of the other recipes do. All I found the absence of onion quite interesting. It's advisable to use hot stock in place of water to get a rich and creamy gravy. The slow kadhai cooking process did add a depth of flavour to the dish.
I had added in a bit of green chilli paste as well, because I like my food very spicy. Also I finished the dish with some garam masala powder.
From the quantity of oil it used, to the humble ingrediants it calls for, one needs to try this to understand the grandeur.

Try it!!!
U will be happy as was my family.......

Monday, December 2, 2013

GARLIC PEPPER CHICKEN


I know i am again late, but then this post is special!!! very special!!
I cooked for the first time for my friends, new friends and for 'someone special'.
This recipe is easy, rather super easy, and the recipe is chinese!! which makes it even more loveable. The ingrediants used are all to be used easily in everyone's kitchen.

Here goes the recipe.

Marinate 500 gm chicken, cut into cubes, boneless or with bone depends on your choice with 1 egg lightly beaten, 4 tsp light soy sauce, 3 tsp corn starch and about 4 tbsp ground nut oil. Keep aside for about 20-30 mins.

Wash and chop the following veggies: 1 large green capsicum in triangles, 1 large red bellpepper in triangles, 1 onion diced, sliced keep aside.

Heat oil and fry the chicken pieces in batches. Fry them till they are golden brown. Keep them in kitchen towels.

Remove most of the oil from the pan, and fry 4tbsp thinly sliced or finely chopped garlic. Saute till they are brown. Add 2tbsp freshly chopped chillies.
ok for about 30 seconds to impart the flavours.

Return the cooked chicken into the pan. Add crushed black pepper (around 10 peppercorns)  and the triangular chopped bellpeppers. Saute well.

Add the seasoning: 3tsp  Dark Soy, 3tsp Light Soy, 1 tsp sugar, salt, 2 tbsp Vinegar,  1tsp Seasme Oil, 1tsp Chilli Oil. Mix well.
Mix 1tbs cornstarch in2tbsp cold water and pour into the pan. Toss well and remove from the gas.

Serve hot!!!
But i missed seeing the happy faces of all these people devouring the food happily. Hope Better luck next tym!!
U never know, even you might enjoy the title as i do proudly now..............
"Ron-dhone Draupadii".
#happyme!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Date & Alm0nd Cookies

Hii,

Wish you all a superb Diwali!!! May the festival of lights, light up your life as well!!!



The new cookies that i made day before, was meant for gifting a special friend. However, the friend will have to wait for more, since all of them have been consumed, thnx to my sister and her colleagues.

The cookies that i have made till now, have always been non-fussy except for the Pinwheel Cookies that i made last October. This bunch of babies however, were a bit complicated, yet once you bite into them, you forget all those hardwork. However, all our hard work gets a gud companionship from the technology that have became a part of our daily life.

There was no prior planning to bake these cookies, but since all the ingrediants were readily available at home, in that way these are budget cookies and non-fussy as well. The recipe and the ingrediants are given below. Try them, you will fall in love with them.

INGREDIANTS:


  • Flour (all purpose)........................................ 1 1/4 cup
  • Caster Sugar................................................. 1/4 cup
  • Unsalted Butter............................................. 8 tbsp, cubed into small sizes
  • Iced Water................................................... 3 tbsp
  • Dates........................................................... 200 gm, chopped, 
  • Almonds...................................................... 150 gm, chopped
  • Lime rind & Juice......................................... 1 no
  • Milk............................................................. 2 tbsp
  • Honey.......................................................... 5 tbsp


METHOD:


  • Combine the dry ingrediants: Flour and sugar together with an electric whisk.
  • Add the cubed butter to this dry mix and blend till the mixture is crumbly ( your fingers are the best way for that. They work as a stess-buster for me as well ).
  • Drizzle iced water (so as to keep of the temp of butter low) over the crumbly mix and make the dough. Pack in a cling film and chill in the freezer for 20 mins atleast.

  • Chop the almonds and the dates and mix with a bit of sugar ( the sugar was my idea, as i felt the dough might not be that sweet), lime zest and the juice. Pulse till coarsely ground.



  • Preheat the oven at 170 degree C.
  • Take the dough out after the required time, and make 1 1/2 inch diameter. Flatten them into approx 2 inch. P circles. Place about a heaped tbsp of the filling mixture into the circle. Fold in half, and then press down the sides with a fork.



  • Mix the milk and honey together. Brush them on these folded cookies and place on the greased tray.
  • Bake them for about 25 mins, till golden brown.

  • Once the cookies come out of the oven, brush them with the honey-milk mixture again, and allow it to cool.



The cookies can be kept in an airtight container upto a week, but i am sure they would not last for a week. you will get around 20 cookies out of this mix. i didnt have all-purpose flour, i had mixed baking powder and soda into it.

These babies can be wonderful gift for friends as well. Pack them in colourful muslin fabric and tie with a nice ribbon!!!

Try them, serve with loads of love!!!!
Happy Diwali to all of you once again.!!!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

FISH KOFTAS

I rememeber having this dish for the first time, at my friend Imon's place. His mom, was a fab and a passionate home cook. Simple dishes, simple ingrediants but fab flavours!!!!


I had to force my mom to learn the tricks of the dish from Aunty, and thankfully she did. And later from her, I learned it. Though i had loved it the first time i tasted it, but with every time it came to my plate, i kept on loving it more. And how!!! This dish had somehow become a part of my thoughts of what all should be included in an essential Bengali menu.



My friend had come down from Delhi, few days back. And as promised i had to treat her to the Bengali fare, and i was more than happy to serve. Took a day off from office, and cooked the Fish koftas and the Khatta-Metha chicken ( the recipe has been published before in the blog). While mom made the quientessentialy Bengali  Shukto, Phul-kopir ghonto & Macher matha diye daal (Lentil cooked with fish head).

I am sharing the recipe of my favourite Fish Koftas. However the quantity is not mentioned in most, because i did it with my "keen eye " measurment, yet i am putting in some figure, please consider them as approximations:

INGREDIANTS:


  • Rohu fish...................................................... 500gm
  • Potatoes.......................................................3 nos, bolied
  • Onions.......................................................... 1 no, chopped
  • Ginger............................................................1 tsp, grated
  • Green chillies..................................................3nos, chopped finely
  • Salt................................................................ to taste
  • Chilli powder................................................. 1tsp
  • Coriander Powder......................................... 1tsp
  • Corn Starch.................................................. 3tbsp
  • Ghee............................................................ 2tbsp
  • Mustard Oil.................................................  2 tbsp + 3tbsp
  • Bay leaf........................................................ 2 nos
  • Onion Paste.................................................. 3-4tbsp
  • Ginger garlic paste....................................... 1tbsp
  • Green Cardamoms.......................................4-5nos
  • Cloves.........................................................4-5nos
  • Cinnamon Sticks......................................... 2 nos, divided from middle
  • Green chillies.............................................. 3-4 , slit in middle
  • Sugar......................................................... 1 tsp
  • Corinader-cumin powder........................... 1 tsp
  • Garam Masla powder................................ 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves........................................ Handful, chopped



METHOD:


  • Boil the fish, de-bone and de-skin them. Mash the fish.
  • Boil the potatoes and peel them.  Mash them separetly, and then mix with the mashed fish.



  • Add the chopped onions, green chillies, coriander powder, salt, grated ginger, chilli powder & coriander powder, corn starch and make the dough.
  • Make small roundels out of it. This quantity can make up to 18 roundels.


  • Heat Mustard oil in a pan.
  • Once heated, fry the fish koftas,  in batches, till brown outside. Be careful with them, as they are very soft at this stage as well. Place them on a plate

  • In the remaining oil, add ghee. Once it starts steaming add the bay leaf, green cardamom, cloves & cinnamon sticks.
  • Once they release aroma, add in the onion paste, and mix well. Cook for 3-4mins.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and the slited green chillies. Cook for some time till it relases oil from the sides.
  • Add the remaining spices and cook at high flame till the raw smell disappears.
  • Decrease the flame and add water, and bring it to the boil.

  • Once it gets the desired consistency, finish with the garam masala and chopped coriander.
  • Pour over the Fish Koftas and keep aside for some time. The koftas will soak up the flavours of the gravy and will became yumm!!!!!



Well, this dish is not a very uncommon dish, but every household has its own recipe. I had added the ghee, only because to make my friends happy. I chose to add the ghee in the begining,while one can also complete the dish with a teaspoon of ghee at the end,. I had also used red chilli paste instead of powder. I had warmed the cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon pounded them a bit before pouring them into the pan. The list might seem to be too long, but are ingrediants that can easily be found in everyone's kitchen.

While some prefer to add the koftas in the gravy, i restrain from doing that. I am just scraed to break down the round babies. And that is the reason, why had placed them on a plate instead of a bowl, so that they don't break while serving.

The result of all this measured steps and hardwork???
Yumm lunch!!!
Serve with hot rice, for max effect.

C u all soon.



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Baked Spicy Honey Chicken

This particular dish was made out of urgency, because i was i was running super short of time. Few of my friends were supposed to drop down at my place, and so i had to cook for them. But, got super duper late from office that day, so alongside other dishes, which only and only consisted of starters, this was another addition.

My mom had often made chicken in microwave but. i had never tried it before. This seemed like an easy and yumm fuss free recipe. for all those people, who like me, are not so good at managing their time effectively. The best part about this is, that it hardly takes any time for cooking, no prior marination required, and the ingrediants can be easily found at home. Moreover, while this is cooking in the microwave, you can go around completing your other jobs, like i did.

The list of humble ingrediants are as follows, and trust me, you will be surprised yourself, to see the name.

INGREDIANTS:


  • Chicken drumstick       :  250 gm
  • Honey                         : 4 tbsp
  • Salt                             : to taste
  • Chilli flakes                 : to taste ( i added a generous pinch)
  • Pepper powder           :  1 1/4 tsp (freshly pounded)
  • Olive oil                      : 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves               : 2 nos, grated


METHOD:

  • wash the chicken properly and keep aside.
  • Mix all the above ingrediants together in a bowl. You can even taste a bit to see if it is to your liking.
  • Add the chicken pieces and mix well.


  • Preheat the oven at 190 degree C.
  • Put all this in an ovenprof dish, keeping a gap approx 1 cm between the chicken pieces. 
  • Cook them at 190 degrees for around 20-25 mins.
  • once out of the oven , transfer to the serving plate and scarp the masala and juices from the dish and put of top. That's where all the flavours are!!!!


Isn't it easy people?? I know it is.... You can also add a twist by wrapping the chicken pieces with bacan, but since my guests didn't like bacon, so i had to give it a miss. Also for the lovers of sweet & sour, you can always add in a bit of tamarind. Though i didn't add but adding a bit of onions can also impart a body to the dish. Charred & grilled onions in this sauce will be a treat for your taste buds as well.

A nice dip can go well with this, but i had served it as it is!!!

A perfect recipe for kittie parties, small gathering with friends. Fuss free & yumm.....
Try it!!