‘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.
Palon Saker Ghonto (Spinach with Mixed Vegetables)
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.
Lote Macher Jhuri (Mashed Bombay Duck Fish Curry)
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.
Ol Chingri r Dalna (Elephant Foot Yam Curry with Prawn)
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’.
Hilsa fish in light gravy (Ilish Macher 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.
Coconut Laddu with Sugar (Chinir Narkel Naru)
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.
Lau er Dalna (Bottle Gourd & Potato Curry)
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.
Bhetki Macher Jhol / Bhetki Fish Curry
“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.
Kumror Chokka (Pumpkin – Potato Curry)
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 :).
Rui Posto (Rohu cooked in Poppy Seed paste)
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.
Tangra Macher Jhol/ Tangra fish in Light Gravy
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.
Keema Ghugni (Dried Yellow Peas cooked with Mutton keema)
Happy Makar Sankranti to all my readers.
Winter is here in its fullest. It is the time of the year to celebrate the holy occasion of Makar Sankranti and Poush Parbon. The signature dishes during this harvest festival are mainly prepared with rice, date palm jaggery and coconut. However today I am here with a different recipe, named Rash Bora, which is also common in Bengali households during this time. Although the ‘Rash’ or syrup is usually made with date palm jaggery (Khejurer gur/Notun gur), here I have used sugar. ‘Boras’ or vadas are nothing but the urad dal fritters.
If you have not yet decided what to make in this Poush Parbon, you can go for this easy and simple recipe 🙂
Earlier posts about Makar Sankranti Recipes :
Rash Bora (Urad dal fritters in Sweet Syrup)
Any dish cooked in Dum ( slow cooked in low flame with lid on and hardly any added water) brings out amazing aroma of the ingredients and the spices which one can feel even while eating. Biryani can be a good example of what height can any Dum dish reach. In fact many of the meat recipes are best cooked while in Dum. However, here I will describe of a paneer recipe which is Dum cooked and brings in a certain smoky flavour which I immensely liked. It can certainly be a worthy addition to the already existing plethora of paneer recipes.
Chanar Dompokt (‘Dum’ cooked Paneer)
‘Macher chop‘ or fish cutlet is among the most popular street foods in Kolkata. Spicy mashed fish content makes the cutlet savoury inside with a crunchy outside twist. This is the newest addition to my list of chop & cutlet recipes which I shared earlier. This is a perfect evening snack, a party winner and a delight to your guests. Any fish with less bone can be chosen for this recipe, for example Rohu, Bhetki, Lote (Bombay duck fish) etc. So with no more delay save a little fish from your daily menu and try this mouthwatering snack.
Fish Cutlets (Bengali Macher Chop)
I just love prawns in any form and take a fancy trying new recipes with it. Generally I go around few common Bengali recipes of prawn curries. Though this time a little touch of rose and kewra water has lifted the curry dish to an altogether a new level what I may call it ‘shahi’. I have found the recipe in one of a cooking shows and gave it a try to pose a challenge for my tasting buds. Indeed the tongue got amazed. It goes well with plain rice or pulao. Just give it a try for a change.
Prawn Curry with a little Sahi touch
Earlier I have posted a recipe with pointed gourd, Patol Aloor Dalna, which was perhaps one of its simplest. Today I am sharing with you a bit delicate recipe known as Patoler Dolma or Dorma. Here the big fat belly of pointed gourd is cleaned to get stuffed with cottage cheese. The filling can although be of minced meat or even different fishes. As Durga puja is around the corner and many of us are used to experiment with vegetarian foods and willing to dish out something special, it could be a perfect choice for your puja menu 🙂
Patoler Dolma/Dorma (Stuffed Pointed Gourd Curry)
Tilapia does not really fall in to the elite class of fishes. Somehow living in the fringe for long, it starts getting its share of appreciation off late. What is interesting about Tilapia is its universal presence and found almost everywhere on the globe. A little search on the youtube also shows that Grilled Tilpia is one of its most popular preparation. However here I share a more traditional Tilapia fish curry which can be cooked happily once in a while. Not too spicy, the gravy consists of slice of onions and a few green chilly which is quite tasty. And Tilapia has its nice taste too.
Tilapia fish curry