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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
Earlier posts on ‘Makar Sankranti’ recipes :
Long back, I shared the recipe of Prawn Pulao. This time, I present the same dish, however with some substantial difference, in a new avatar which actually does an interesting facelift altogether. Here I prepare the pulao using Gobindobhog rice, which is a typical rice cultivar found in West Bengal. It has a short grain with an unmatchable, fascinating aroma. The rice pudding or payesh in bengal is ideally made with this gobindobhog rice.
Back to the present recipe, I cook it in the pressure cooker this time which makes it much prompter and easier compared to the previous version. The other good thing is that, in the pressure cooker, the aroma of rice, prawns and the ghee mix so well, that I got the flavour exactly what I desired. For the prawn lovers, the pulao is an absolute joy. Again to mention, the key trick and the ingredient in this recipe is Gobindobhog rice, which you can try to procure online if not available in the Bengali market close by.
Bombay Duck Fish or ‘Lote/ Loytta mach’ (in Bengali) although not being considered as a top grade fish, however can be turned into quite a few tasty preparations. ‘Lote Macher Jhuri’ is one of these finger-licking dishes. With ample use of onion, tomato and garlic, this mashed fish curry will surely rouse your taste buds. In contrary to the traditional fish preparations, the spicy dried fish curry is nothing short of a revelation. I can bet you will finish your plate without a blink of your eyes.
For some reason unknown, these days my husband got so enthusiastic about ‘ol’, a seasonal vegetable of highly moderate status; not even much well known either, that he buys it every other day and I am compelled to prepare curry out of it. As this story is recurring much too often, I am prompted to try different dishes with ol to make it a bit more interesting. Thus I arrive at the present dish, where I make diced ol marry with prawns in a spicy curry. The presence of potato pieces make it even more delightful, as usual though. To be noted here that this dish is not at all invented by me, but collected from a old popular recipe. To people, who are aware about ol, this dish might seem interesting. And for the rest, here comes a dose of GK on ol. Falling in the category of ‘Yam’ (sweet potato etc.), ol is basically a tropical ‘tuber’ crop which is nothing but a much thickened underground part of stem. It has an interesting English name ‘Elephant Foot Yam’ probably due to its jumbo size.
Hilsa (Ilish in Bengali), the most quintessential Bengali fish is still counted to be the poster boy of Bengali cuisine and culture withstanding the onslaught of modernity. Undoubtedly one of the most exotic fishes ever to be come out from the water of Bengal (East Bengal to be precise), make stuff for legends. A few years back, I have shared with you recipe of Bhapa Ilish or Smoked Hilsa which is one of the richest treatments that can be meted with ‘Ilish’. In comparison, the present recipe describes a light gravy with flavours of Brinjal and pinch of Kalonji. The best part of this recipe is that, Ilish flourishes in taste in the light gravy as the latter acts as the perfect foil for the former. It further proves that Hilsa imposes its uniqueness both in the rich must mustrad gravy as much as it does in light soup like ‘jhol’.
Once, I have had the pleasure to share the recipe of coconut laddu with you, that too a while back (Coconut Laddu with Jaggery (Gurher Narkol Naru)). Here, I present the same but with a difference. Here the Laddu is getting prepared with Sugar instead of Jaggery. Must admit, that both are equally delicious, however none to be blamed if at all having an edgy preference. The effort gone into grating the coconut turns into a delight when you put those coconut balls into your mouth and they melt happily. A must during the Dashami or Dusshera in Bengal, coconut laddu can be prepared whenever your sweet teeth need to be sharpened.
Month of July can be regarded as an ideal month for rainy season. However, in Delhi it is hard to find a completely rain drenched day. For me, here, the extended summer starts in April and ends in September. I dearly miss the good old Monsoon of my growing years in Kolkata.
However summer brings with it a plateful of vegetables among which ‘Bottle Gourd’ or ‘Lauki’ or ‘Lau’ (in Bengali) is perhaps the commonest and still my beloved. Thinking of bottle gourd, the dish which comes in my mind at the foremost is Lau Ghanto or the traditional bottle gourd curry. For preparing ‘Lau Ghanto’ one needs to chop the bottle gourd very fine which is a bit time consuming. While an alternative preparation with bottle gourd, known as ‘Lau er Dalna’, can be prepared much easily which I present here.Potato and bottle gourd chunks are simply cooked in Indian spices to make a curry for Lau er dalna. This dish is very delicious too with an aroma of garam masala and ghee and indeed a great accompaniment of plain rice or roti or paratha.
With hardly any bone and more than a taste of sea fish, ‘Bhetki’ is quite a popular and counted among the elites of fishes to Bengalis. “Paturi” (smoked fish cooked with mustard paste in banana leaf) is the best and a top class preparation out of Bhetki. Even the base for fish cutlets and fries is unimaginable without it. However today, I describe a preparation which is very simple and common in Bengali house holds and quite similar to the fish curry prepared with Rahu and vegetables. The added attraction is the cauliflower and green peas in it and of course the charm of Bhetki itself.
“Kumror Chokka” or diced pumpkin curry is quite a well known vegetarian dish in Bengali Cuisine. It is also often made as a ‘prasad’ among others during household pujas and best enjoyed with luchi aka puri or paranthas. The usual pumpkin curry with the chunks of potato tastes even more lucrative while a handful black chickpeas find their way in the curry. Largely unassuming and underrated, this simply curry, if prepared well can arouse your taste bud with ease.
After a long I am back with an unique preparation of Rahu fish (Rui mach). Rohu is almost in our daily intake of food list and earlier I shared 3 of it’s preparations also. This time I am presenting a bit different dish which I’ve prepared with poppy seed paste (posto). I am actually a die heart fan of poppy seeds which is called “posto” in Bengali and love anything made out of it. In general Bengali fish curries contains a combination of mustard paste and poppy seed paste. However this curry solely made with poppy seed paste. Hope you will enjoy it :).
Earlier I have already shared with you one of the Tangra fish recipes (Tangra Macher Jhal/Tangra fish in Rich Gravy) which might have introduced you to Tangra, a tasty sweet water fish, adored by many Bengalis. Here I present another Tangra fish recipe which, in contrast to the earlier one, is much lighter in taste, less spicy and makes a traditional healthy “macher jhol” or fish curry with gravy. With some vegetables into it, tangra macher jhol is an ideal example of common daily fish recipe, quick and easy to adopt.
Ghugni is quite a popular street food in Kolkata which finds a resonance with my childhood and growing up in the city. I still have a vivid memory of the street hawkers carrying a large bowl of ghugni on the flame, roamed around the streets in the evening, calling for the buyers with a signature yell. Ghugni used to be a lucrative tiffin snack at the school gates with a piece of bread too. For those who had never heard about it, Ghugni is actually a spicy curry prepared with dried yellow peas which is known as ‘ghugnir mator’ in Bengali. Pretty riveting in the tongue, Ghugni remains still a favourite and I use the following space to describe its recipe although slightly in a different mould. Here I will add Mutton keema in the Ghugni which makes it even more compelling for the non-vegetarians. Must admit although that is not my innovation at all. In fact ‘keema ghugni’ or ‘mangsher ghugni’ is also immensely popular in Bengal. Happy cooking.