Some of the dishes are so fascinating in their looks and presentation that we get instantly drawn to them. Dab Chingri is such a dish which evokes a story through the image of prawns resting on the green coconut. Equally fascinating is its stint with Bengali food fantasy since long. Prawns are secretly cooked inside the green coconut shell that too in a complete organic process. More of a restaurant dish, Dab Chingri is thought to be a delicate item which in actual is pretty easy and can be prepared at home. I have tried for the first time and it took only 30 minutes. The prawns mingled with coconut flavour is an absolute treat to the tongue. The best part is that the prawns become so tender and soft that it just melts in your mouth.
For long, I have been fancying to prepare a whole chicken recipe and finally decided to zero on Murgh Musallam, a delicate mughlai dish. For those who are not slightly aware of the recipe, it is a whole chicken dum cooked in rich and thick gravy, with its belly stuffed with mutton or chicken mince and eggs. Does not it sound audaciously mughlai ? Soaked in the glory of awadhi gharana, musallam still spreads the rich, exquisite fragrance of sub-continental cuisine which still enthralls food lovers. Before embarking up on the recipe, let me remind that it is a long and laborious process handling with a long list of ingredients. However when the journey ends, you reach a fascinating destination full of aroma and deliciousness which worth every bit of effort. Absolute blinder with pulao and parantha, a must try for non-vegetarians.
Pointed Gourd (Patol or Parwal) has never been one of my favourites throughout my growing years. However, off late, I started liking it as a summer vegetable. In fact it would be no exaggeration to call it a wonder vegetable because of its multipurpose utility. Parwal can be used in a various solo preparations, in combination with other vegetables or even in regular fish curry or macher jhol with elan. The present recipe of parwal in mustard gravy is a semi dry spicy curry and one of my favourites too. As you may be aware, mustard paste is often used in a number of delicious recipes in Bengali households, both in the veg and fish curries. I have already shared quite a few fish recipes with mustard gravy. In fact, a few recipes of parwal have also been shared in this blog ( Patol Aloor Dalna, Patoler Dolma/Dorma ). Now this is time to tell you the story of parwal in a creamy mustard gravy.
If you are bored with the traditional egg curry, this recipe can surely prove to be a nice departure and be an interesting addition to the daily menu. Though it is quite a common preparation, I have not tried it before, and thought to try this out. In fact this preparation could avoid the hassles of boiling the egg as well.
Taste-wise, this egg drop curry is quite interesting and looks nice too with egg yolks floating over the gravy. Try this out.
It has been quite a while since I prepared any new fried sweet. While pondering over what could be an interesting recipe, I zeroed on a bengali speciality called Chanar Jilipi which is one of my favourites of this genre. As the name suggests, it follows a jilipi or jalebi shape but made of chena or cottage cheese. A bit tricky to make, contrary to hardness of jalebi, it is fired, still soft and tender, soaked in sugar syrup. The trickiness lies in maintaining the swirl shape and the texture as chena is a delicate product to handle and easy to crack while rolling or even during frying.
Among the fried sweets Gulab Jamun is adored overwhelmingly by the followers. Like wise, I believe that this recipe would prove to be a treat for sweet lovers.
Amidst lock-down, while everything is shut off, I was dearly missing my daily dose of fish curry. All of sudden, got hold of good half a kilo of fresh Katla fish which demanded some special treatment. What else could be better to prepare a rich katla curry with creamy yogurt gravy? Indulged into the sheer joy of preparing the Doi Katla and then to have it with long grained rice. One of the few brighter spots in the time of containment.
Just to mention that, many moons back shared almost a similar recipe but with Salmon fillet ( Salmon with yogurt gravy (Doi Mach) ).
In fact one can prepare this dish with Rohu fish as well.
After a long hiatus, amidst the COVID crisis, with close ones staying at home, it is time to share a very simple recipe of chocolate cake, that too an egg-less one. It is always a joy to get back to baking whenever I feel to satisfy my sweet teeth. This recipe, in that sense is so quicker and easier that one can prepare it without much ado, anytime. Frosting for this recipe is purely optional and and one can easily do away with it. As I often follow the videos of “Joy of baking” for various preparations of cake, I am indebted to chef, Stephanie Jaworski, for this recipe too.
Christmas is perhaps synonymous with fruit cakes. As the mercury dips down, jingle bells ring around, it is time to indulge in the pie of fruit cake, teasing the tongue with sweat-sour diced fruits. Although I am into baking for quite some time now, this is for the first time, I have prepared a full-fledged fruit cake during the Christmas with generous amount of candied fruits viz. pineapples, orange, ginger, cherry, raisin, currant and nuts. One can use few drops of alcohol too, although I refrained. Friends and family was happy and I was over the moon.
With the winter is knocking at the door announcing its arrival, sweat shirts are out of the closets, soaking in the sun gets delightful, I am also geared up to share a very interesting preparation with you. It is called ‘Komolabhog” which you can translate into Orange flavoured rasgulla. Actually I was thinking to prepare Rasgulla for a while the recipe of which is already shared with you (Bengali’s Popular Dessert “Rasgulla” or “Roshogolla”). With the oranges started to showing their faces, I thought to blend the mild sourness of oranges with the soft pulpy rasgullas.
In fact, it is a traditional and a very common sweet all over Bengal particularly during the winter which I immensely enjoyed preparing. The process is fascinating right from handpicking the oranges, squeezing the juice, making the orangy cottage cheese to actually coming up with the wonderful juicy balls. Welcome Winter !!!
Chicken Kosha is a very common preparation in bengali households. I often include the item in my Sunday lunch menu or while serving guests in our house. This is a spicy and dry curry of chicken in contrary to my earlier post ‘Murgir Jhol‘ which is a light dish of chicken with runny gravy. The most suitable accompaniment of this dish is ‘mishti pulao‘ or ‘fried rice‘. One can also serve it with roti, paratha or luchi.
The festival of light ‘Deepavali” has arrived with hope to rekindle the joy of our lives, to shed off the regrets and to ignite the purity of soul. A dose of overpouring sweetness is a must in this occasion. While dabbling with ideas, thought of good old “Besan ka Laddus”, synonymous to Diwali. These crunchy golden spheres, gently yellowish, soaked in desi ghee, with a piece of almond or cashew sneaking out tell a fascinating story while getting melted in the mouth. Laddus never get old. They just get fascinating during Diwali.
Capsicum is a quite a key supplementary vegetable in oriental dishes, particularly Chinese and Thai if one forgets to mention green salad. We as Indian with the inherent expertise of making curry of everything, can’t afford to leave capsicum either out of the grasp 😉 On a serious note, spicy capsicum curry with cubed potato can make into quite a lovely dish which goes really well with chapatti. Here I share such a recipe which I try often during winter with abundance of capsicums.
How much can you experiment with your favourite dishes, they still remain dear in traditional forms. Likewise, although I have tried so many innovative dishes with mutton, mutton kosha is something most alluring to me. ‘Kosha Mangsho’ is a rich preparation of mutton with a thick brownish gravy almost dried. No need to add additional water here, the mutton gets cooked by its own fat and water coming out of it. Cashew nut and poppy seed paste makes the gravy sublime, so does the ghee as well. Being a slow cooked dish, patience is fully rewarded at the end. Recall the good old days when the ‘Golbari’, the food joint at North Kolkata was famous for its ‘Kosha Mangsho. In fact it still is and favourite to the Kolkatans. Here I just tried to replicate Golbari’s ‘kosha mangsho’ in my own way.
Off late, I realised that I have hardly shared much of an interesting egg recipe in my blog. Dim kosha / Egg curry is the common and regural preparation at my kitchen. The recipe is already present in my blog along with another interesting recipe of ‘Dudh Dim or Egg in Milky Gravy‘. To try something new I went through few you tube videos and chose the recipe of a ‘baked or steamed egg’. So here comes the recipe of baked egg with a spicy gravy. An exciting break for the eggetarians from the conventional and hackneyed recipes and sheer joy for me to present it to you with an eye to add diversity to the existing egg dishes.
It has been a while since I had delved into the business of making sweets which led me to ponder what could be the ideal comeback. Finally I decided to make ‘barfi’ with mawa and milky white grated coconut. I am a fan of sweets made of coconut, the fact can be proved with my earlier post of coconut laddus (Chinir Narkol Naru , Gurer Narkol Naru , Carrot Coconut Laddu). This time I coupled it with mawa to make it even more lucrative. The barfi is indeed a quick to make recipe. The raisin (kismis) on the top enhances its beauty. By this recipe you can impress your guests within a jiffy.
‘Bhapa Chingri’ or ‘Chingrir Bhapa’ is one of the delicate Bengali recipes with ‘Prawns’ aka ‘Chingri’. I have already shown my weakness for prawns through my earlier posts which include various of its curry preparations, rice dishes as well as cutlet. This recipe is perhaps the simplest and need few ingredients. Time for both preparation and cooking is very less. As we know, mustard seeds are very common in bengali fish recipes. Here, along with two types of mustard seeds (black and yellow), I also added grated coconut and poppy seeds.They reduce the strong pungent smell of black mustard to some extent and infuses an interesting flavour. Raw prawns cooked in mustard paste along with generous amount of mustard oil and green chilli creates the magic which we call ‘ Chingrir Bhapa’. 🙂
The same recipe can also be followed for some other fishes, such as Hilsa, Bhetki etc.
‘Fruitcake’ is ideal to be prepared on the occasion of ‘Christmas’. However, I missed the chance to make it in last Christmas. Few days back, on demand of my family I baked a super soft, fluffy and spiced fruitcake. Moreover the cake is egg-less as my parents become vegetarian few years back. The recipe is quite simple and does not need any electric hand or stand mixer. The reaction of buttermilk with baking soda gives the cake a soft and airy texture. I have used four types of spices in the cake batter which smells captivating while baking the cake. One will have ample amount of dry fruits with each bite of the cake. As the winter is still not over we can enjoy a slice or two with a hot cup of coffee.
Pancakes are popular all over the world. A starch-based batter with milk and egg is used to prepare a thin, flat cake on hot griddle or frying pan. Sweet pancakes accompanied with jam, nutella, whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream can make lip smacking desserts. Whereas a large, round, savoury pancake with cheese, bacon or vegetables can be served as a full fledged meal. In fact, the best pan cake I ever had, was during my stay in Holland. It was very thin, loaded with cheese and bacons.
However today’s recipe is of a simple savoury pancake with a few handful vegetables and cheese. It can be made into a tasty breakfast and prepared quick without much fuss.
With the onset of winter, vegetable markets get exciting with offerings of colourful seasonal vegetables and fruits. Fresh and lively spinach adds to the variety which I prepare often. It is a healthy piece of green and can be turned into some interesting preparations without much effort. Here I prepare a spinach dish with possibly all the winter vegetables like carrot, broad beans with sprinkled green peas and truly can be tagged as ideal mix veg. The USP of the dish is lentil dumplings alias ‘bori’ which is a must ingredient. Indeed winter is splendid with spinach.
Makar Sankranti, the folklore indicating harvesting of crops is celebrated all across India with much fanfare. In Bengal, it is called ‘Poush Parbon’, on the last day of month “Poush” when each Bengali household gets engaged in preparation of varities of ‘Puli’ & ‘Pithe’, a typical rice cake made with ‘Notun Gurh’ or the fresh date palm jaggery, a signature of winter.
The amazing aroma of date palm jaggery coming out of the kitchen, when boiled, to make syrup is nothing short of magical. Usually the pithas are filled with finely grated coconut.
This year I choose the recipe of ‘Gokul Pithe’ share with you. The ‘pithe’ is actually a flat round shaped coconut ball, made with either date palm jaggery or sugar. The coconut ball is then dipped into a flour batter, deep fried in oil and soaked into sugar syrup.
These days, unarguably we are drifting away from our age-old culture and traditional practices. As per the food and recipes are concerned, many of them got deep buried or even lost. On the holy occasion of Makar Sankranti, this is a small attempt to relive the moments through food, we left far behind.