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
As the scorching summer is on its peak with the mercury soaring high, we should opt for lighter and healthier food to keep our body cool. Even the usual dals which we take every other day can be prepared slightly different to keep the appetite intact. In this recipe I share such an example with the masoor dal or lentil gets prepared with green mango which is available plenty in summer. Green mangoes add a little sourness and its unmatchable flavour into the dal which tastes very different from the usual preparation. Certainly an appetite enhancer, aam dal is ideal for summer.
Aam Dal (Masoor lentils with green mango)
Fish Kalia is a Bengali delicacy often made in occasions like marriage ceremony, rice-eating ceremony etc. Being rich and spicy, it often features in Sunday lunch menu for full relish. It is prepared of Rohu or Katla fish and made into a rich spicy gravy. Vastly different from the usual “macher jhol’, fish Kalia carries certain aristocracy with it and is an absolute delight for voracious fish loving non-vegetarians.
Rui macher kalia (Rohu fish in rich gravy)
Pointed Gourd, known as ‘Patol’ in Bengali, is one of my favourite summer vegetables. We prepare various curries with this vegetable. Often mustard seed paste, poppy seed paste, curd etc. are used to elevate the taste of the curry. However today I am sharing with you is perhaps the simplest one, Patol Aloor Dalna. It is a very common preparation in Bengali households either over lunch with rice or at dinner with roti. As the summer is approaching, pointed gourds are getting more visible in the market and so I couldn’t resist myself having the very known taste of ‘Patol Aloor Dalna’.
Patol Aloor Dalna (Pointed Gourd & Potato Curry)
Spring can be felt in the air with the trees donning luminous colours, looking orange and yellow and grey. The Sun is soft, while the wind blows slowly and keeps whistling. Then comes the festival of holi when India becomes jubilant with extravagant colours. However the festival already has been started in Bengal, we celebrate Holi a day prior which is known as ‘Dol Yatra’.
Sweets are synonymous with holi and I found ‘Gujiya’ is made rampantly in north Indian household during holi. Here I thought a little, stirred my creativity and came up with this Mawa samosa, which in fact is pretty close to Gujiya. However, it certainly punches the surprise as samosa is known to be the savoury delicacy. The surprise soon transforms into a pure pleasure and satisfies the sweet teeth to fullest.
Khirer Singara (Mawa Samosa)
The winter is bygone for this year from this part of the world where I belong and it left moments, memories and some recipes as well. In one of my earlier posts, I depicted the glory of winter dessert through Gurher Payes or Rice Pudding with Date Palm Jaggery. Now as the spring sets in, why should not we stir the memory and linger on it through another winter special recipe, called Gurher Roshogolla. The least said of Roshogollas, the better, which incidentally happens to be my first post. But the magic balls with Gurh or date palm syrup is nothing short of an enigma.
Gurher Rasogolla (Rasgulla in Date Palm Jaggery)
Mung Daler Bhaja Puli is a special preparation for Makar Sankranti or Poush Parbon, as celebrated in Bengal. Last year also I posted few recipes on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, such as Sedhyo Pithe, Dudh Puli, Patishapta, however this year quite late I am. But that does not bar me from sharing this tempting recipe. Bhaja (means fried) puli is also a departure from my previous recipes as it is not only sweet but savoury as well. That’s why it could be served as snacks with surprise of sweetness inside. Each bite of fried mung dal cover and sweet coconut filling brings in a heavenly feeling.
Mung Daler Bhaja Puli
‘Batichachchori’ is a preparation in which mainly potato and onion cooked together in ‘dam’ with generous amount of mustard oil and green chilli. The dish itself goes very well with steamed rice. However, we fish lovers often use various fishes and prawns as well in this distinct method of preparation to satisfy our taste buds. Earlier I already shared with you the same recipe with prawns, Chingrir Batichachchori (‘Dam’ cooked Prawn with Potato & Onion). Today Rohu fish replaces prawns and makes a lovely combination for my lunch.
Rui Macher Batichachchori (‘Dam’ Cooked Rohu fish with Potato and Onion)
Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables. I generally used to make a simple curry with potato and cauliflower which can be found here ‘https://jayeetacha.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/fulkopi-alur-dalnacauliflower-potato-curry/‘. Cauliflower seamlessly suits well in various dishes, for example lentils, mixed veg and even in fish curries. However, when I wish to make a rich dish out of it, I go for ‘Cauliflower Roast‘ which is a spicy preparation indeed. Even one can draw some similarity of its recipe with the following non-vegie as given here ‘https://jayeetacha.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/murgir-jhol-bengali-style-chicken-curry/‘. This dish is in that sense a bit experimental and perhaps elevates the good old run of the mill cauliflower to a new high.