Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rawa Fried Fish

Not stepping into kitchen is becoming a bad habbit of mine, which needs to change soon.
But wait, I am sincerely trying to change...

Parent's went out of time for a week, and its natural to party with friends. But my idea os party is quite different. In place of music you will hear the sounds of chatterbox me and my friends. The most indispencible part of this get together is food along with company!!!! And here I am to provide that.

I had some basa fish fillets lying with me for sometime now. And considering its a month end, I decided to dive into the stored components of my freezer.
After combating a lot of inspirations and recipe reads I finally settled on a dish which is less hectic to make and surely is a conversation starter. Rawa fried fish.

I had a fish fillet lying with me, de-boned and de skinned. I got around 14 medium size steaks from them, which were good 3nough filling to feed the company. Marinate the fish fillets in the juice o half a lime and 1tsp of salt. Keep it aside for 10-15 mins. After that wash them under running water and now its time for marinade.
Mix 2tsp olive oil, 1.5tsp thyme, 2 tsp chilli flakes, 1tsp coriander powder, 1tsp paprika powder in a bowl and then marinate the fishes in it and keep aside for 15-20 mins. I fell in love with the beautiful red colour it got from the paprika.

Next spread the rava on a flat surface. I add some chilli flakes to it for that extra zing. Take the fish and coat it in the dry mixture and keep aside on a plate. Heat oil in your kadhai or wok, I have used vegetable oil. Deep fry all the coated fish cubes till they get a beautiful brown colour on the exterior and a softer inside.

Serve them with some onion rings and some sauce (I had used some leftover momo sauce). The rava gave the fish an amazingly crunchy outside, while the interior was soft and melt in your mouth.

Appologies for not being able to take photographs of the marinade and the other steps like my other posts. It was made fast, and trust me its because of the recipe, that it got faster.

Cook for frnds. And keep enjoying their company!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NOODLE BAR

I have read about this resturant in mags and my friends who had visited the place had good things to say about it. However, for me it was a chance meeting, the memories of which are mouth-watering enough for me to drop in once more during my stay in Mumbai.
Mumbai as all my near and dear ones know, haven't been much of my choice ever, sine time immemorial.



Noodle bar, at Palladium Mall, Mumbai have lovely interiors done up tastefully. It was full, but then we didn't have to wait for a table at all. The table for two though wasn't spacious at all. On my first night there, I was seating a table for 2, I was having dinner with my boss. What caught my attention were those circular lights hanging from the ceilings of the corner tables. Two circular beams were covered in red rawsilk, and the characteristic weave gave its own beauty to it.

 The ceiling also had a wooden carving on it, the necessary Chinese lamps and the red walls, made it quirt easy for one to understand its south Asian flavours.


Now the food!!! Something of primal importance. While the hungry me, wanted to settle for any thng filling and non fussy, for my petite boss it had to be a light meal. She suggested sizzlers, and I grabbed the idea. That's the best deal, since she is a hard-core Maru (means vegetarian, no offence meant) nd I love to devour anything the walks, crawls or flies!!!

She settled for her Thai sizzler, while I chose Malaysian Sea food sizzler along with two sweet lime soda. Not sure of the quantity to be finished off, we chose to avoid any other starters, which turned out to be a wise desicion. The waiters though helped us in making the selection, but are not available much when you need your empty glass to be filled up!!  The food journey began with a bowl of kimchi, which included some cabbage kimchi, some with cucumber, and the other I reckon was a mix of veggies. I love the kimchi that mainland china serves more than this, any day.



The food announced its sizzling entry with loads of fumes just like the retro vamps of bolly movies (not to forget I am a retro-kumar, and my love for all things filmy). My boss got her plate with a bowl of steam rice as accompaniment, while I choose to go with the spicy noodles, which I am always partial to. Ignoring the sizzling veggies on the other plate, I turned my attention to the beauties swimming in a light base gravy on my plate. And boy, The Food was YUMM!!! I found succulent pieces of prawns, cubes of fish, some squids  floating in there. The noodles, bit on the spicier side, juat the way I like them to be, were in perfect harmony with the milder gravy.

What I love the mpst about these hot gimmicy iron paltes, are the charred lettuce pr cabbage leaves. I love the way their burnt bodies lend a characteristics smoky flavour to the entire dish. As as the character of coconut milk, it thickens with so muh exposure to heat and the mild dense flavours leave your palette filling fresh. Not to forget the crunch the humble prawn fritters and the butter garlic sauted green beans added to the dish. The amalgamation of all these textures lead to the burst of flavours, I absolutely adored.

The sweet lime soda can't be brushed aside. It did, what it was expected to do...... wanna hear what??

Burppppppp!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

MAKA MAKA

Kolkata, my lovely city has always boasted of a strong food history. And what adds to its charm, are the tons of new places which are opening up everyday.

Maka-Maka is one of the brightest addition to this cities culinary map. A location as enviable as ever, the place which they have done up surperbly, will be any designer's dream den. The ambience, the food, and the people all are well loved.
The painted wall

But i am sorry, i wouldn't be able to tell you much about the history of the place. Not that i am not much interested in its initial days, but just that i don't know Anything about it now, but hopefully someday over steaming cup of coffee i might strike a conversation with the luvly co-owner Mitun Chakrabarty and cajole her to narrate the stories of the cafe's toddler steps.

What i fell in love with is the quaintness of the place, kind of what i had seen at Hauz Khas Village in Delhi!! The place doesn't boast of ostentatious surrounding instead what it offers is a heart one, which carries a string sense of aesthetics and a personal space!! A great to hangout for the newly found love couples. My most favourite place is the balcony and the "jhula" which i religiously occupied during my first and second visit.



i loved the colours and the intricasy of the design on it

The entrace of the cafe
While the first visit was made im-memorable by fresh watermelon juice, which not only quenched my intermittent thurst, was fresh and light. However the mango juice served up on the second day, which was fresh as well, was a bit too thick for my liking.

The mango juice

The food is prepared fresh for you, once you place the order. The first evening me and my friend spent sharing a plate of Spanish Scotch Eggs ( don't as for a pic!! I am a human, i need to eat first, pic comes secondery.......), which in it's new avatar is a modern take on the classic dish. The olive with which it was decorated, to the best of my belif is a from a preserved jar,but tasted well with this dish. I would say it was a snack, a not so filling snack type!! But trust me, the drizzle added to the charm of the bolied eggs, in whose womb the chef's creation was pipped in & served.

The second evening we spent sharing another dish, Tortia. It was filling, it had eggs and potates. Though the salt was not well distributed at the time of beating the egg, but i am not complaining much of that!! But what i didn,t like much was the ketchup which came along, i feel some other fresh dip could have perked up the presentation of the dish quite much.

The cafe also has a section to make the shoppers happy. They have nicely curated stuffs from designers and some are also sourced from places across the world. The merchandise comprises of garments, jewellery, upholstery and also bit of furniture. What immediately catches ones attention is the generous display of ceramics, which i just loved.
shopper's sections




And i also loved the two owners whom i met, and the sweet store girl as well, whom you will always find smiling behind the baked goodies counter. I wish them more strength, and hope their curve of growth keeps rising!!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

ECSTASEA, an exotic seafood experience!!!!!

I have been hearing a lot about this quiant little resturant located in the same lane as Lake road CCD, Southern Avenue for quite sometime. The food people said is fresh and yum.
Last week thursday i decided to discover this eatery with my friend, we went around 8:45 and found it to be not so crowded. though it wasn't too late that people started flocking in. The place boasts of two 4-seater tables, and  two 2 seater. Bang opposite the door, u find a rectangular glass case where you can see your food getting made.

The owner was a nice amicable man, happy to talk and ready to sugest ofcourse with your permission. And in the first trip its always better to try the specialities. The  place offers squid Momo along with the normal types available in the market. But none of it was available on that evening, since they were sold out on it.

We started sampling the food with soup. Its aptly titled mixed seafood soup, which contains fish flakes, chopped up shrimp, prawns, squid and octopus. While the consistancy was a bit too thick for me. It tasted good, but i fell it needed a bit more of character.

Abiding by the owner's suggestions (Sorry have forgotten his name) we ordered our main course duly. Hungry stomach ca't resist mouth watering aroma at all!!! Blame gluttony for that!! We ordered Green Seafood rice, which was mild, and nice. It had been cooked in a spice mix of coriander and green chilli. And trust me it had good portions of all those yum seafoods.

We teamed it with Prawn Koshimbir. The prawns were fresh, juicy, and the gravy was superb. One can taste the spices , the fresh coconut which tasted yum with the prawns. The gravy was thick and with every spoonful you taste all the spices that went into it.

We had also ordered Butter garlic pepper crab on the other hand was opposite to the prawn dish. It was mild, buttery with the zing of pepper. They had used soft shell sea crab. It was melt in mouth and i finished most of the gravy while my friend wanted more of it.
And we had washed down all of it with the usual suspect, thumbs up.
The service was prompt, the food was hot. Its probably the perfect example of value for money. And it's damn affordable.

Please visit it soon, as i am gonna make another trip very soon.

And another good news, you can also find them at Zomato!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

EGGY & CHEESY TAGLIATELLE

I have always loved pasta, in whatever form. And these days its my comfort food, and seeing Italian and indian chefs treating it like their best buddy, my kitchen have also developed a close friendship with it.

But I like the longer ones more like linguine, spaghetti & tagliatelle. Linguine & pasta I have cooked and tried  before. But tagliatele was a distant friend. So I had to bring it home with me from my last shopping expedition and then introduce the two: my kitchen & tagliatelle.

I made this and packed it for my lunch at office. Trust me its damn easy, hardly took me anytime to prepare.

Boil 250 gm of tagliatelle in a big pan of water. Do add a pinch of salt & 2tsp of oliveoil. Cook it according to packet instructions, and cook till al-dante!!!

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add 3 cloves of chopped garlic and 1tsp of chilli flakes. Once you fill your stomach with the smell,  add in chopped bacon (I had used 6 rashes of bacon) and chopped sausage (5 cocktail sausages). Mix well.  Drain the pasta into a colander once done and add to the pan. Give a good stir.

Mix 2 eggs with 3/4 th cup of gouda cheese (its advisable to use grated parmesan, but I had gouda lying with me for quie some time) and add it into the pan. Stir well. And add some freshly pound black pepper.

Serve it on plate (or tiffin-box like I did) and top with grated cheese.
For the greedy soul that I am, I finished with 2 rashes of crispy friend bacon and a sprinkling of some dried oregano. The yummiest bit is d fried bacon on top!!!

Try the yumm lunch, and do lemme know!!!
Chow!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

MUTTON PULAO

Mother's day was celebrated across the world last Sunday.
Though i am a part of the gang, who celebrates each & every day with their mother, because i just can't do without her, yet i did celebrate it like the teeming million.
I cooked lunch for her: Mutton Pulao & Chicken Rezala:

I had come across this recipe long time back in an old newspaper, though the page is now lost, the recipe is still vivid in my mind. Also this is something i haven't tried before, so thought of trying it on this eventful day. Trust me, the effort wasn't much, and the result was a handi full of deliciousness. Here's the recipe for all of you to follow.

Mix 150gm yoghurt (whipped) with1tbsp each of ginger & garlic paste ( i had used the storebought ginger-garlic paste) with onion paste (made with 2 medium onions), 4-6 slit green chillies, 2tsp red chilli powder.

Add the about 750gm of mutton to this marination and mix well. Keep aside for 30-45 mins.

Heat about 2tbsp ghee in a pan and add about 2 medium onions, chopped finely and fry until lightly browned. Then add the marinated mutton and fry until brown. It will take around 10 mins. then add 2 cups of hot water (i had mixed chicken stock cubes in the water) & bring to a boil. Check seasoning and cook till the meat is tender.

You get a lovely colour once the meat is done. I had made the entire mutton in a pressure cooker.

Wash 500gms of basmati rice properly under running water. I did soak it in water for some time as well, before adding it to the pan.

In a large pan, bring 2 cups of water to boil and add the rice to it along with 2 bay leaves, some salt, 1 tbsp shahi jeera, 2 green cardamoms, 4pcs of cloves, 2pc cinnamon sticks, ( You can tie up all these in a muslin cloth and add to the pan, it's easier to remove it that way, but i didn't do that).

Cook till rice is 3/4th done. Store 2 cups of ths rice water and drain the rest.

Heat some ghee in a pan and fry some raisins/sultanas (i had soaked them in water) and some cashews. Fry till a bit browned and keep aside.

In another large pan add 2 tbsp of ghee. Now add half the rice, sprinkle with some saffron infused milk, fried sultanas and cashews,, half of the meat mixture (i added a bit of storebought biriyani masala as well, which if you want you can ommit) and repeat the entire process. Add the reserve rice water and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook over slow fire for 15-20 mins, till the room fills up with the smell of the yumm food sealed inside the pan!!
Once its done, shake it well, and after removing the lid mix it slowly with fork.
Garnish with remaining sultanas and cashews if you want, and just gorge into this bowlful of delicious food.

My mum was indeed happy.
Happy mother's day to all the women who r mothers and the ones who one day will make great moms.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

BarleY-cHicken oNe PoT mEal

I have said before as well, that cooking is my biggest stress buster.
While my city was showering me with enough of stress through the generated heat waves, i had to seek refuge to my kitchen.
While the mundane lentils with raw mango with rice is tasting delectable in this weather, but dil always maange more!!
Of all the cookery shows that i am glued to on television, i have a special liking for Jamie Oliver, not only because of his rich Italian good looks and the way he swirls his tongue while talking but  for the main reason that his dishes look yumm and are easy to make. Not to forget nutritious as well.

The starch used in this meal is Barley, a grain about which i had heard in old Bengali movies and from my granny. While barley has come a long way from being the only one pot for patients during suffering fever and dysentry, in its moden avatar it has made its way to the table of diners in Michelin star resturants as well. I got hold of this baby from a small shop in a nice tin can.



Wash 200 gm of barley (100 gm per person) properly and soak it in water for 10 mins. While the cookery showed using instant barley in didn't come across any such thing. Just noticed the middle aged shopkeeper gaping at me while i asked for instant barley and got curt reply, sob kichu instant hoy na dada, dudin pore baccho instant chaiben!!!

Anyways wash and keep aside the barley. boil it in 21/2 cups of water for 10-15 mins and with 2 green cardamoms.

Heat some olive oil and some butter in a pan, and before it starts smoking add 2-3 dry red chilli. Once the flavour of chilli fills the room ( be careful not to burn it), add in 1 chopped onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped. fry till translucent, and add in the half boiled barley. Mix well. add in 1-2 tsp of chilli flakes and adjust seasoning. Next pour in chicken stock, enough to cover up till the surface of it, and cook it covered for 10 mins more, until they are soft and edible. once ready add little bit of butter for that extra flavour

Fry 5-6 bacon strips in a non-stick pan. once they crisp up, remove them with slotted spoon keeping behind the oil in the pan. You can chop them into small pieces, but i love biting into bacon strip.



Chop up about 250 gm of boneless chicken into edible strips, (I have included all kind of cuts, but you can restrict yourself to breasts or thighs according to your liking & availability). Marinate the chicken with olive oil,salt, cayenne pepper and thyme, (i had used dry, since i don't know where to get the fresh one from) & keep aside for 10-15 mins.Fry the chicken in the same pan as bacon in the rendered bacon fat. Cook till them turn lovely brown, a bit charred and is cooked through. Once done it's time to serve.



Place the cooked barley on the base of the plate, top it with the cooked chicken strips and the red oil of the pan. Top with the crisp bacon pieces and finish it with freshly chopped coriander.

What Jamie made was the same dish with his english sensibilities which are a bit bland for me, so i added he desi-tadka to my dish for that zing. I loved the taste, and since was hungry finished all of it myself. The barley was well cooked, and i felt this dish could even be tweaked with dalia.

ATTENTION: Consume when piping hot, or else turns hard and messy

See you soon!!!.