Kolkata style Fish Fry

The word ‘Fish fry’ means either shallow frying or deep frying the pieces of a fish coated with salt and some spices. But in Kolkatan lingo, fish fry is a special snack rather a starter made from Bhetki fish (Asian Seabass) fillet coated with breadcrumbs. One can just stop by any of the numerous road side snack bars in Kolkata and find the inexpressible pleasure with just a bite in the crunchy fish fry dipped in mustard sauce with a bit of salad.

During my stay in Europe I always missed the Bhetki fish and forced to substitute it with either Atlantic Seabass, Cod or Pangasius if I had any plan of making fish fries. This time I took the opportunity to the fullest for being in Kolkata and did not miss the chance to prepare Bhetki fish fry for one of my good friends during her visit to my place. She was most certainly impressed.

Kolkata style Fish fry

Kolkata style Fish fry

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Parshe Macher kalo jeere-kancha lonkar jhol

Parshe macher jhlol or Mullet fish gravy with green chilli and nigella  seeds has found its place in Bengali kitchen perhaps from time immemorial. Small in size, fitted well within the palm, Parshe has an immaculate taste which is simply unmatched. I am pretty fond of Parshe fish and invariably all of its preparations, among which the simplest one is the present recipe which can be cooked any day almost in no time . Among the spices you just need the turmeric powder and nigella seeds while the fish itself lifts the tempo to great height. So all my fish loving patrons, go for Parshe this time .

Parshe Macher kalo jeere-kancha lonkar jhol

Parshe Macher kalo jeere-kancha lonkar jhol

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Mutton Chanb

“Mutton Chanb” is one of the most lucrative Mughlai foods, I have ever came across with. Perhaps I mentioned earlier that Kolkatans are crazy about Mughlai cuisine and one can find a number of traditional mughlai restaurants over the city. Whenever I get into any of these restaurants, the order is not complete without the famous “Mutton Chanb”. This dish is prepared with goat ribs cooked slowly with various spices, however I used lamb ribs here. The essence of Rose and Kewra water adds an exquisite aroma in the food which spreads all over and everyone knows that you are preparing something very special. In fact it is a rich preparation and not a-everyday-dish which you can make once in a while for some special occasion.

Mutton Chanb

Mutton Chanb

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Dudh Dim or Egg in Milky Gravy

My husband has an undying love for egg which propels me to carry out different experiments. Whenever I found an interesting recipe with egg, I pinned it in my ‘to do’ list. “Dudh Dim” is one such dish where fried eggs are immersed in milky gravy. The combination of egg with milk was completely new to me which I found in Andy’s Kitchen of acbistro. Andy has a lovely blog full of tempting foods and wonderful photographs, of which I am a big fan. Coming back to ‘Dudh Dim’, it is a very light preparation and if you do not like the spicy egg curry, it should be your call. As you can see below, the half eggs floating on the gravy looks very nice. Enjoy it preferably with rice.

Dudh Dim or Egg in Milky Gravy

Dudh Dim or Egg in Milky Gravy

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Murgir Jhol – Bengali style Chicken Curry

“Murgir Jhol” is quite a common dish in Bengali households that features often in Sunday lunch menu. This preparation contains light runny gravy or ‘jhol’ in which chicken and potatoes are immersed. Using big pieces of potatoes in meat curries is a signature for Bengalis which is not seen elsewhere. While going through the posts in my blog, I suddenly discover that till date even if I shared various recipes of chicken, missed this simplest one. Since my childhood, I saw my mother to prepare this curry which I follow blindly. So here comes the recipe of Bengali “Murgir Jhol” taken from my mother’s cook book. Enjoy 🙂

Murgir Jhol or Bengali style Chicken curry

Murgir Jhol or Bengali style Chicken curry

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Pabda Macher Jhal/ Pabo Catfish in mustard curry

‘Pabda’ is quite a well known fish in Bengal and one of my favourites too. Back home, it can be prepared in different ways, however I like it most when cooked in mustard gravy and tastes a bit on the upper edge of my spice tolerance. In fact, fish curry with mustard paste is a quintessential Bengali way of preparing fishes like Hilsha, Pomfret, Parshe and many more.  The recipes are quite similar and do not require much spices apart from mustard seeds paste. Since I got hold of some large sizes Pabdas recently, could not resist to make this preparation and share with you, my fellow fish lovers.

Pabdar Jhal

Pabdar Jhal

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Lebu Murgir Jhol/Chicken in light lemony gravy

Ideally the chicken curries are prepared with lot of spices and known for its thick gravy. However, deviating from the usual preparations of chicken, here I am sharing with you a simple recipe with lemon juice known as ‘Lebu Murgir Jhol’. The speciality of this dish is the use of lime leaves and juice in the gravy which adds a nice flavour to it. The whole preparation doesn’t require any spice and cooked in little amount of oil. Thus it is perfectly suitable for children and  for those who prefer a light chicken dish.

Generally I am fond of limes and love to have a piece of it on my plate during lunch. Adding few drops of lime in steamed hot rice along with dal/lentils, fish curry (macher jhol) or few veg curries enhances the taste twice for me. But it is quite new even for me to use lime juice and its leaves in the gravy of a chicken dish.

Ideally one should use Gandharaj lime and its leaves for this recipe. As I didn’t find that particular lime, I used Kaffir lime and its leaves. The out come was really light, flavourful and enjoyable. 🙂

Lebu Murgir Jhol/Chicken in light lemony gravy

Lebu Murgir Jhol/Chicken in light lemony gravy

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Fish Cordon Bleu

Cordon bleu is a cutlet in which a thin slice of pounded meat is wrapped around cheese, then breaded and pan fried or deep fried. Various meat can be used for this purpose, such as chicken, veal, ham etc.

But as the name reveals I replaced meat with fish fillet and made a fish cordon bleu. I used Atlantic Cod fillets which can be replaced well by our favourite ‘Bhetki’ fish. The combination of fish with molten cheese made it so exquisitely delicious that is hard to explain in words. So better to prepare and try yourself. 😉

Fish Cordon Blue

Fish Cordon Blue

Ingredients to serve 2-4 :

  1. Fish fillet – 1 (approx. 150 gm)
  2. Onion paste – 1½ tbspoon
  3. Ginger – garlic paste – ½ tbspoon
  4. Green chilli paste – 1 teaspoon (optional)
  5. Lime juice – 1 tbspoon
  6. Black pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Mustard sauce or “Kasundi” – 1 tbspoon
  9. Grated cheese – 3-4 tbspoon
  10. Chopped Parsley – 2 tbspoon (heaped)
  11. Egg (beaten) – 1
  12. Breadcrumbs to coat
  13. Flour – 2-3 tbspoon
  14. Oil for pan fry

Procedure :

Clean and take out 4 medium size thin fillets of square or rectangular shape out of the large fillet. Try to cut them in equal size as they are going to be sandwiched with one another.

Fish fillets

Fish fillets

Marinate the fillets with the ingredients from 2-7 for at least 2 hours.

To make the filling, mix together the grated cheese and chopped parsley in a bowl.

Now coat one side of a fillet with ½ tbspoon of mustard sauce, spread half of the cheese filling over it, then sandwich it with another fillet. Prepare the other one following the same way.

Coating the fillet with mustard sauce & cheese feeling

Coating the fillet with mustard sauce & cheese feeling

Sandwiching the fillets

Sandwiching the fillets

Now spread the flour and breadcrumbs in two separate plates.

First coat the sandwiched fillet with flour, then dip in the beaten egg and finally coat with breadcrumbs.

Now heat oil in a pan over medium heat and shallow fry both sides of them till golden brown.

Fish Cordon Blue is ready to fry

Fish Cordon Bleu is ready to fry

Fish Cordon Blue is ready to serve

Fish Cordon Bleu is ready to serve

Transfer them on a paper towel and then cut diagonally in gentle hand.

Serve hot with mustard sauce , chopped parsley and salad.

Note :

  1. You can also deep fry the fillets. Always maintain the oil temperature moderately hot.

Chingrir Chachchori/Dry Prawn Curry

Prawn has always been a favourite of mine and I often prepare different dishes with it. Recently I came to know about the “Chingrir Chachchori” or Dry Prawn curry which I tried a few times and liked quite a lot. Here, onion, tomato and raw prawns are all cooked together right from the beginning along with the spices, thus reducing the cooking time. Since the prawns are not fried here, they remain quite soft and tender which I like. This preparation is immensely enjoyable with steamed rice.

Chingrir Chachchori or Dry Prawn Curry

Chingrir Chachchori or Dry Prawn Curry

Ingredients to serve 3-4 :

  1. Prawn – 250gm.
  2. Onion (finely chopped) – 1 (large)
  3. Tomato (chopped) – 1 (small)
  4. Green chillies (chopped) – 2
  5. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  6. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Cumin powder – ½ tbspoon
  8. Coriander powder – ½ tbspoon
  9. Garlic powder – ½ teaspoon
  10. Dry ginger powder – 1 teaspoon
  11. Coriander leaves (Chopped) – 2-3 tbspoon (heaped)
  12. Pinch of sugar
  13. Salt to taste
  14. Mustard oil – 2½ tbspoon

Procedure :

Remove the shell, head and tail of the prawns, devein them and wash thoroughly. Smear salt and turmeric powder on prawns and keep it aside.

Heat 2 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan or kadai over medium heat.

Add chopped onion and fry till they get translucent.

Then add little water, ingredients from 3-9, prawns, sugar and salt to taste. Put the flame on high and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Again add ½ cup of water, cover the pan and let it cook over low-medium flame.

As the gravy thickens to your desired consistency add ginger powder and chopped coriander leaves.

Cook for another 1-2 minutes till raw flavour of ginger goes away.

Then sprinkle ½ tbspoon of mustard oil, give it a good stir and put the gas off.

Serve with plain rice.

Note :

  1. Adjust chilli according to your taste.

Kolkata style Chicken Biryani

Biryani ranks at the top of my favourite food list. Whenever there is a special occasion in my house, the very first dish comes to my mind is Biryani. It is a very well known Mughlai dish, cooked with meat and rice in dum, adored all over the sub-continent. However, Vegetable biryani is also well accepted among vegetarians.

Biryani should ideally be prepared in dum, where the meat and rice are cooked together in an air tight container over low flame. I already posted the recipe of dum biryani which is cooked with raw meat and known as Chicken Kachchi Biryani. However, one who is giving it a first try can have a doubt if the meat is properly cooked or not. So this time I am sharing with you an easier version of dum biryani which is followed in most of the biryani houses in Kolkata. The difference with the earlier version is that here, the meat is already cooked before putting over dum with rice. The result is by no way inferior to the Kacchi typed biryani.

Kolkata style Chicken Biryani

Kolkata style Chicken Biryani

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Chicken thigh – approx. 700-800 gm.
  2. Basmati rice – 400 gm.
  3. Potato (large) – 2
  4. Hard boiled egg – 4
  5. Beresta (out of 3 medium-sized onion)
  6. Plain yogurt (beaten) – 3-4 tbspoon
  7. Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbspoon (heaped)
  8. Lime juice – 1 tbspoon
  9. Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  10. White pepper powder (samorich) – ½ teaspoon
  11. Biryani Masala – 1½ tbspoon
  12. Cloves – 5-6
  13. Green cardamom – 5-6 pods
  14. Alubukhara/dried plum – 2-3 (I didn’t have that, so I skipped)
  15. Milk powder or Khoya/Mawa – 2 tbspoon (heaped) (I used milk powder)
  16. Rose water – ½ tbspoon
  17. Kewra water – 1 tbspoon
  18. Few strands of  saffron (soaked in 2 tbspoon warm milk)
  19. Milk – 1 cup of a large coffee cup
  20. Salt to taste
  21. Ghee/Clarified butter (melted) – 3 tbspoon
  22. Cooking oil – 3-4 tbspoon
  23. Wheat flour – 1 cup

Procedure :

Cooking Chicken and Rice :

Marinate the chicken with salt, ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, chilli powder, white pepper powder, 1 tbspoon of biryani masala, ½ tbspoon kewra water and 1 tbspoon of cooking oil for minimum 2 hours. (For best result marinate the chicken overnight).

Peel the potatoes and cut them into two halves, coat with salt and turmeric powder and boil them till half-cooked. (I cooked them in microwave and it takes around 8 minutes. You can also fry them in oil till half-cooked.)

Also smear the boiled eggs with salt and turmeric powder and shallow fry in 1-2 tbspoon of oil.

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan or kadai over medium flame. Add the marinated chicken and half of the beresta into it. Cook till oil separates from the mixture, then add approx. 1½ cup of hot water into it. Cover the pan with a lid and let the chicken get cooked. As chickens become tender, remove them from the pan and keep aside, reduce the gravy to ¾ of a cup.

Wash and soak the rice in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Then bring to boil sufficient amount of water in a pan. Add drained rice, salt (approx. 2½ teaspoon), green cardamom and cloves. Cook the rice till it is 50% done. Drain the water and discard whole spices from cooked rice, keep it aside.

Make a soft dough by wheat flour and water.

Assembling Chicken & Rice for Dum :

Now grease a heavy bottomed pan or preferably a “Handi” (a deep, narrow-mouthed cooking vessel) with ½ tbspoon of ghee. Pour the chicken gravy/broth into it. Add lime juice, alubukhara, remaining biryani masala, 1 tbspoon of ghee, ½ cup of milk and the chicken pieces, mix them well.

Place the potatoes over the chicken and sprinkle over remaining beresta.

Now spread half of the rice over it. Spread saffron milk, rose-water, kewra water, milk powder and remaining ghee over the rice.

Then spread the remaining rice and milk at the top and place the eggs over it.

Cover the pan with a lid and seal with the dough to make it air tight. Now put a “tawa” on medium-high flame and place the sealed pot containing the meat & rice over it, cook for 6-8 minutes and then put the flame on low. Cook for another 30-35 minutes till rice get properly cooked. Check for the liquid at the bottom, whether it is completely dried out.

Cooking meat & rice in dum

Cooking meat & rice in dum

Serve hot with salads and raita.

Chicken Biryani is ready to be served

Chicken Biryani is ready to be served

Note :

  1. Try to use less weight chicken thighs. It is better if the total weight of 4 chicken thighs is to 700-800 weight.
  2. You can also use food colour for colouring the rice. Even ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with 2 tbspoon of milk can also serve the purpose well. Sprinkle it over the first layer of rice.

Bhapa Ilish or Smoked Hilsa

Ilish or Hilsa is the king of fishes for Bengali. This fish is generally found in sweet river water and possess a distinctive silver like shining body. What sets it apart from all the other fishes is its supreme unbeatable taste which however comes at the cost of innumerable thin bones in the flesh. But as they say, the more bones a fish has, the more tastier it becomes. When the soft Hilsa flesh melts in your mouth, it gives you a feeling nothing other than which should be called absolute ‘divine’.

In my previous post, Salmon macher paturi / Salmon smoked in Banana leaf, I briefly mentioned about Hilsa. We can prepare hilsa in different ways, among which the the most popular and super delicious is “Bhapa Ilish” or smoked Hilsa. The recipe is  quite simple yet lip smacking. And it requires less oil too.

Hilsa is not at all a common fish here in Europe. It is exported from sub-continent and found frozen in Asian stores, if one is very lucky. 🙂 This time our luck favoured and we got it. The image and the text below is telling you the rest of the story. Enjoy 🙂

Bhapa Ilish or Smoked Hilsha

Bhapa Ilish or Smoked Hilsha

Ingredients for 4 pieces :

  1. Hilsha fish – 4 pieces
  2. Green chilli – 4
  3. Mustard seed (black/white) – 1½ – 2 tbspoon
  4. Poppy seeds – ¾ – 1 tbspoon (optional)
  5. Grated coconut – 2 – 3 tbspoon heaped
  6. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Mustard oil – 1-2 tbspoon

Procedure :

Wash the hilsha pieces well and smear with salt and turmeric powder, keep aside.

Hilsha coated with salt & turmeric powder

Ingredients

Now grind mustard and poppy seeds along with 2 green chillies to make a smooth paste. Add little salt while making the paste to get rid of bitterness of mustard. When it is almost done add grated coconut and again grind to blend the coconut with the mustard paste.

Now take a steel bowl with lid (preferably tiffin box) and place the fish pieces into it.

In another small bowl take the paste, mustard oil, pinch of turmeric powder, salt to taste (remember you have earlier added little salt to the paste and fish too) and little water and mix them well.

Now pour this mixture onto the fish and coat them well with it. Slit remaining 2 green chillies and put into the fish mixture, cover the bowl with its lid.

Ready for steaming

Ready for steaming

Now boil water in a large pan or kadhai over medium flam and then place the covered bowl/tiffin box into it. Place a heavy thing at the top so that the bowl/box can’t be displaced while water is boiling.

Steaming process

Steaming process

Let the fish cook over medium flame for 20 minutes, then put the gas off.

Bhapa ilish is ready to be served

Bhapa ilish is ready to be served

Serve with steamed rice.

Note :

  1. Best if you make the mustard paste in flat stone grinder i.e. “Shil nora”. Because it is not very easy to make a paste in blender from such a small quantity of mustard seeds.
  2. Hilsha is a very soft fish, often break while using, so handle with care.

Shami Kebab

‘Shami Kebab’ is a small patty composed of minced or ground meat mixed with Bengal gram lentils and spices. It is a very popular snack in India and features regularly in Pakistani and Afghan cuisine. In India it is generally prepared with mutton. However one can use any kind of meat like beef, chicken or lamb. Since mutton is unavailable at my current place, I used lamb mince to prepare these kebabs. They act as delicious starters to impress guests. 🙂

Shami Kabab

Shami Kebab

Ingredients for 12 pieces :

  1. Meat mince – 250 gm.
  2. Bengal gram or chana dal (soaked for 1 hr.) – 50 gm.
  3. Potato (medium size, cut into halves) – ½
  4. Onion (small, cut into large cubes) – ½
  5. Ginger-garlic paste – ½ tbspoon
  6. Cumin seed – ¼ tbspoon
  7. Dry red chilli – 3 to 4
  8. Whole gamar masala (Cinnamon stick – 1″, Clove – 3, Black cardamom – 1/green cardamom – 3 pods)
  9. Black pepper corn – 6-8
  10. Salt – ¼ tbspoon
  11. Chopped onion (medium size) – ½
  12. Chopped fresh coriander leaves – 2-3 tbspoon
  13. Chopped green chilli – 1
  14. Egg – 1
  15. Water – 1¼ cup
  16. Cooking oil to fry the kebabs

Procedure :

Take the ingredients from 1 – 10 & 15 in a large pot, mix well and put over gas on medium flame. As water starts boiling, cover the pan with a lid and put the gas on low-medium. Let it cook for 30-35 minutes, stir occasionally so that it doesn’t get brunt from the bottom . When the lentils get cooked and all of water evaporated, put the gas off. Let the mixture come to room temperature.

Now discard whole spices and dry red chillies from the mixture and grind it to a coarse paste.

Add ingredients 11, 12 & 13 to this meat paste and mix well. At this point the mixture remains little soft. Leave the mixture for 30 minutes and you will get the binding consistency.

Then wet your hand with little water and start making ‘Kebabs’ i.e. flat round shaped balls out of the paste. The size of them will depend completely up to you. I made 12 medium size kebabs, you can make larger or even smaller than that.

Making the Kababs

Making the Kebabs

Beat egg in a bowl and dip the kebabs into it.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium flame and shallow fry the kebabs from both sides evenly until brown.

Serve hot with salad and tomato sauce.

Delicious Shami kebab is ready to be served

Delicious Shami kebab is ready to be served

Note :

  1. Make sure all of water evaporates from the meat mixture, otherwise your paste will be too soft and you won’t be able to make kebabs out of that mixture.
  2. I throw out the whole spices from the mixture before making the paste. However it is not mandatory and you can keep them with the mixture, if you like.
  3. You can store the kebabs into the refrigerator for one or two days and then fry while needed after defrosting. Keep the kebabs in layers separated by a plastic sheet in an air tight container.

Mutton Badam Pasanda

Pasanda is a Mughlai dish of meat in rich gravy. Raw meat, coated with yogurt and few spice seasonings, cooks itself in ‘dum’ i.e. in a closed vessel on low heat. The meat could be any of mutton, beef or chicken. And whenever almond nuts are used in the preparation; it is called ‘Badam Pasanda’.

As a Bengali I just love to eat any preparation of mutton. Here goat meat is generally known to us as Mutton. But unfortunately I don’t find goat meat here in Europe, so as an alternative, have to be content with Lamb meat. In fact this time I prepared the dish with lamb meat, which otherwise can well be replaced with mutton or chicken, following the same recipe.

As we all know “Mughlai food” is pretty rich in content, one should not have it just regularly. However during festive season, we can let our daily food habit break loose and compromise a bit. So we can enjoy ‘Mutton Badam Pasanda’ at our home during Durga Puja and perhaps either ‘saptami’ or ‘nabami’ would be ideal for it. 🙂

Mutton Badam Pasanda

Mutton Badam Pasanda

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Boneless pieces of mutton – 400 gm.
  2. Garlic paste – 1 tbspoon
  3. Brown onion or Beresta out of 1 medium size onion
  4. Plain yogurt – 250gm.
  5. Melted Ghee/Clarified Butter – 3½ tbspoon
  6. Red chilli powder – 1½ teaspoon (adjust according to your taste)
  7. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  8. Cumin powder – ½ tbspoon
  9. Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  10. Clove – 2-3
  11. Cardamom – 2-3 pods
  12. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  13. Almond flake/slice – 2 tbspoon + extra for garnishing
  14. Salt to taste

Procedure :

Mix together the meat, garlic paste, yogurt, chilli powder, pepper powder, cumin powder, sugar, cloves, cardamom and ghee in a kadai or heavy bottomed frying pan.

Meat mixture

Meat mixture

Put the kadai on gas over very low flame and cover it with a lid. Let the meat cook on ‘dum’ i.e. in air tight condition on low heat. There is no need to add water, the meat will cook by yogurt, ghee and the water released by itself.

Grind the brown onion into a fine dust.

As the meat gets cooked (it took more than one hour for me) add brown onion powder, garam masala powder, almond flakes and salt. Give it a good stir and again let it cook for another 4-5 minutes putting the lid of the pan.

Now transfer the meat in a serving bowl and garnish with almond flakes.

It will be best served with ‘rumali roti’ (the thinnest bread in the world)  in my opinion. But making ‘rumali roti’ is not the easiest task and I didn’t try it at home yet. So I served mutton badam pasanda with Misti Pulao. It will be equally enjoyable with roti, paratha or puri.

Mutton badam pasanda with misti pulao

Mutton badam pasanda with misti pulao

Note :

  1. You can use whole almonds instead of flakes. Just peel and boil the almonds before using. I have almond flakes in my stock so I used that.
  2. Mutton takes time to get cooked. In order to cook it faster marinate it with green papaya paste overnight. Green papaya paste works as a natural meat tenderizer.

Egg Fried Rice

I already expressed my soft corner for Chinese food, which is incomplete without mentioning fried rice. Perhaps it is not justified to tout fried rice as Chinese, since it can be found in abundance in Thai, Indonesian and other Asian cuisines. In fact, they taste drastically different depending on where you get it. I do not run into any complexity here, rather will describe how to make a simple fried rice with egg and vegetables. However, egg is not obligatory and the same recipe can be followed to make vegetable fried rice as well. In fact there you can apply your innovative skills while using different vegetables. Although somewhere before, I mentioned it as complimentary to Chilli Chicken, fired rice can serve as a tempting one dish meal too.

Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Rice – 1½ cup
  2. Finely chopped carrot – 1/3 cup
  3. Finely chopped green bin – 1/3 cup
  4. Finely chopped onion – 1½ (large)
  5. Chopped garlic – 2-3 cloves
  6. Chopped green chilli – 2 (optional)
  7. Finely chopped spring onion –  3-4 sticks
  8. Egg (beaten with salt) – 3
  9. Black pepper powder – 2 teaspoon
  10. Soya sauce – 1 tbspoon
  11. Salt & sugar to taste
  12. Sunflower oil – 7-8 tbspoon

Procedure :

Rinse the rice well with water a few times. Cook it with sufficient amount of water. After draining the water from cooked rice spread it over a large plate and let it dry.

Mean while heat 3 tbspoon of oil in a large wok over medium-high flame.

Add chopped carrot and beans to hot oil and fry till they get cooked half.

Then add chopped onion and salt, fry till onion gets translucent.

Now shift this vegetable mixture to the edge of your wok and make space to fry the egg.

Add another 2 tbspoon of oil in your wok and let it become hot.

Then add beaten eggs and fry. Make small fragments of egg with spatula while frying.

Now mix together the fried eggs and vegetables, add soya sauce and again fry for 1-2 minutes more.

Now keep this vegetable mixture aside.

Heat remaining oil in the wok and add chopped garlic, fry till it starts changing colour.

Now add cooked rice into the wok and fry for 2 minutes followed by adding salt and sugar.

Then add egg & vegetable mixture and fry till the raw flavour of rice goes away.

Now add chopped spring onion and pepper powder. Mix them very well and then put the gas off

Serve with Chilli Chicken.

Note :

  1. We need well-neat rice to make a good fried rice dish. So, keep an watchful eye while cooking the rice. Try to cook it in a large vessel, use generous amount of water and drain the water before the rice get soften.
  2. Drying out the cooked rice is an important step.
  3. Fry the rice very well till its raw flavour disappear otherwise the dish will not taste desirable.
  4. Don’t overcrowd your wok if you have large quantity of rice and vegetables. Then fry the vegetables and rice together in batches.

Boneless Chilli Chicken

I am a big fan of Indochinese food. Whenever I have boneless chicken fillet in my stock, the very first dish comes into my mind,  is “Chilli Chicken”, a very well-known delicacy to every other non-vegetarian. Crispy fried chicken in a saucy gravy with crunchy vegetables is just awesome in taste. It strikes a perfect combination with fried rice and together they make a complete lunch/dinner. It is very quick to make and requires few handful ingredients. So, instead of running between restaurants, you can make chilli chicken at your own kitchen following this recipe. Enjoy 🙂

Boneless Chilli Chicken

Boneless Chilli Chicken

Ingredients to serve 2 – 3 :

  1. Boneless chicken (cut into 1″ cubes) – 300 gm.
  2. Onion (medium size) – 1
  3. Green capsicum – ½
  4. Spring onion – 2 sticks
  5. Slit green chilli – 2-3
  6. Garlic – 1-2 cloves
  7. Ginger-garlic paste – ½ tbspoon
  8. Tomato sauce – 1½ tbspoon
  9. Chilli sauce – 1 tbspoon
  10. Soya sauce – 2 tbspoon
  11. Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
  12. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  13. Corn flour – 2¼ tbspoon
  14. Egg (beaten) – 1
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Coat the chicken with salt, ½ teaspoon pepper powder, ginger-garlic paste, 1 tbspoon soya sauce, 2 tbspoon corn flour,egg and 2 tbspoon of water for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cut the capsicum and onion into square. Finely chop garlic cloves. Roughly chop spring onion.

Heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan over medium flame for deep-frying the chicken pieces. Add the chicken pieces when oil is moderately hot and fry till they turn golden brown. Take them out and spread on kitchen towel to soak the excess oil.

Fried chicken pieces

Fried chicken pieces

Heat 2 tbspoon of oil in another pan/wok over medium heat.

Add chopped garlic and fry till they start changing colour.

Then add onion and capsicum and fry for 2-3 minutes on high flame till the onion gets translucent.

Then turn the flame on medium and add green chilies, tomato sauce, chilli sauce, remaining soya sauce, pepper powder and salt. Saute for 2 minutes, then add little water and let it cook for 2 more minutes.

As the gravy thickens put fried chicken,vinegar and spring onion (reserve few for garnishing) and cook for further 1-2 minutes.

Stir remaining ¼ tbspoon of corn flour in 2 tbspoon of water and add into the gravy. Give it a good stir and put the gas off

Garnish with reserved spring onion.

Serve with Fried Rice.

Fried rice with Chilli Chicken

Fried rice with Chilli Chicken

Note :

  1. Fry the vegetables on high flame so that they remain crunchy.
  2. Don’t fry the chicken for long, otherwise they will turn stiff.
  3. Chicken with bone can also be used instead of boneless chicken.
  4. Be careful while adding salt as Soya sauce is bit salty.
  5. I like this dish to be a little dry. If you want more gravy adjust the amount of water according to your preference.

Spaghetti with prawns & garlic sauce

I am here again with another pasta recipe. These days, mostly in weekends, whenever I don’t wish to cook much for dinner, I resort to my small pasta book, put together the ingredients and make a yummy pasta dish with creamy sauce. I feel content as my husband also relish those dishes and thus we end up having a continental dinner at home at least once a week. 🙂

When I first came to Europe, I came across a range of noodles, but didn’t get our Indian noodles or ‘chowmein’ of which I am a big fan. I can remember that day when I prepared Indian style chowmein with spaghetti and simply didn’t like it. Since then, for long spaghetti could not be found in my kitchen. However, gradually I got acquainted with different pasta noodles and their various preparations. I also learned that pasta sauce is the only secret to make the dish unique in its taste. Now I am very fond of experimenting with various sauces and easy to go ingredients. The reap of it comes here in the shape of spaghetti with creamy garlic sauce and prawns. Enjoy 🙂

Spaghetti with Prawn & Garlic sauce

Spaghetti with Prawn & Garlic sauce

Ingredients to serve 2 :

  1. Olive oil – 1½ tbspoon
  2. Butter – 1½ tbspoon
  3. Garlic (minced) – 2 cloves
  4. Red pepper (finely diced) – 1 tbspoon
  5. Tomato puree – 1 tbspoon
  6. Dry white wine – 65 ml.
  7. Spaghetti – 225 gm.
  8. Raw shelled prawns – 175 gm.
  9. Double cream – 60 ml.
  10. Salt & pepper
  11. Fresh parsley (chopped) to garnish – 1½ tbspoon

Procedure :

Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper. Fry for a few seconds until the garlic is just beginning to colour. Stir in the tomato puree and wine. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring.

Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain and return to the sauce pan.

Add the prawns to the sauce and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until the prawns turn pink. Reduce the heat and stir in the cream. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the spaghetti to a warmed serving dish and pour over the sauce. Sprinkle with the parsley. Toss well to mix and serve at once.

Dim kosha / Egg curry

“Dimkosha” or egg curry is a very common dish in Bengali households. Though I am not a big fan of eggs, I still prepare it sometimes when my husband demands. For some of my vegetarian friends who takes egg, the spicy egg curry can prove to be quite tempting.

Dim Kosha or Egg Curry

Dim Kosha or Egg Curry

Ingredients to serve 5 :

  1. Hard boiled egg – 5
  2. Boiled potato (cut into two halves) – 5
  3. Finely chopped onion – 2
  4. Crushed garlic – 2 – 3 cloves
  5. Ginger paste  – 1 tbspoon
  6. Chopped tomato (small size) – 1
  7. Cumin seed – ½ teaspoon
  8. Whole garam masala (Cinnamon – 1″ stick, Cardamom – 3, Clove – 3)
  9. Bay leaf – 1
  10. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  11. Cumin powder – ½ teaspoon
  12. Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  13. Garam masala powder – ¼ teaspoon
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Cooking oil – 2 – 3 tbspoon

Procedure :

Smear salt and turmeric powder on boiled potato and egg.

Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Shallow fry the eggs and potatoes into it. Take them out and keep aside.

Now add whole garam masala, bay leaf, cumin seeds and crushed garlic in the same oil. Fry the garlic till light brown, then add chopped onion. Add ginger paste when onion turns translucent. Continue frying till onion turns brown and then add chopped tomato. As the tomato gets softened, add turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder and salt. Cook till oil separates from the mixture.

Then add fried eggs and potatoes and mix them very well with the mixture. Add water depending on your preference of gravy (I usually don’t add much water as I want gravy a bit dry). As the gravy starts boiling check for salt and add if needed. Then cover the pan and let it cook for few minutes.

Put the gas off as gravy thickens and sprinkle over garam masala powder. Again put the lid on and leave it for few minutes.

Serve with rice or roti or paratha.

Note :

  1. Onion paste can also be used instead of chopped onion.

 

Kashmiri Chicken

Kashmiri chicken is a bit different preparation from regular chicken curries. It is a very simple yet tasty dish. The flavour of pepper corn mingled with garlic and yogurt and the colour of Kashmiri red chilli powder give a whole new dimension.

When I found this recipe in my favourite cooking show, “Rannaghar”, I book marked it to save for future when in the mood of experimenting. Last night I did this experiment in my “kitchen” lab and the result was quite satisfactory. Today I am sharing the recipe with you so that you can share your “experiment, observation and inference” with me. 😉

Kashmiri Chicken

Kashmiri Chicken

Ingredients to serve 3 :

  1. Chicken pieces with bone (medium size) – 500 gm.
  2. Finely chopped garlic – 2 or 3 cloves (big size)
  3. Plain yogurt – 4 tbspoon
  4. Black pepper corn – 20 pieces
  5. Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1½ teaspoon
  6. Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
  8. Cardamom – 3 pods
  9. Clove – 3
  10. Bay leaf – 2
  11. Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Ghee – 1 tbspoon
  14. Cooking oil – 2 tbspoon

Procedure :

Boil the chicken pieces with water, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and salt. Take out the boiled chicken pieces and reserve the stock for future use.

Heat oil in a pan over medium flame and shallow fry the chicken pieces into it.

Take out the chicken and add ghee in the same oil. Add ½ teaspoon of sugar and let it melt. Then add black pepper corn, chopped garlic and red chilli powder, saute for a while and then add the fried chicken and kashmiri red chilli powder. Cook for 10 minutes over low flame.

Then add salt, remaining sugar and yogurt, mix well and again cook for couple of minutes.

Now add 5 tbspoon of reserved chicken stock. Give it a good stir, cover the pan and let it cook over low flame.

As the gravy thickens as per your desire consistency put the gas off. Let it stand for few minutes in covered condition.

Serve with paratha, puri, pulao or jeera rice.

Note :

  1. This recipe is applicable with mutton also.
  2. Adjust sugar, pepper and chilli powder according to your taste.

Fish Roll

Rolls, the wrapped rotis/parathas with meat mince, egg and even vegetables mingled with ketchup are known to be quick tasty snacks. However, when the stuffing gets substituted by fish, things get a new high. Interestingly, here the wrapping is also made of fish, sliced thin. I adopted this recipe from a well known snack corner in Kolkata. However unlike them, instead of Bhetki fish, I had to use the ‘Kabeljou’, a local sea fish as a poor substitute. It was indeed lip smacking to have the fish roll dipping in mustard sauce with a bite of salad. Enjoy 🙂

Delicious Fish Roll

Delicious Fish Roll

Ingredients for 3 – 4 pieces :

  1. Fish fillet – 300 gm.
  2. Onion (large) – 1
  3. Garlic – 2 to 3 cloves
  4. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  5. Chopped tomato – ½
  6. Chopped green chilli – 2
  7. Chopped coriander leaves – 2 to 3 tbspoon heaped
  8. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon (optional)
  10. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  12. Lemon juice – 1 tbspoon
  13. Egg – 1
  14. Flour – 3 tbspoon
  15. Breadcrumbs
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Cut 3 or 4 thin, square/rectangular slices from the fish fillet. Marinate the slices with lemon juice, ½ teaspoon black pepper powder and salt.

Roughly chop the remaining fish.

Finely chop the onion. Make a smooth paste of ginger and garlic.

Beat the egg in a bowl by adding pinch of salt and the remaining pepper powder. Add the flour and make a lump free batter followed by adding a bit of water. The batter should neither be very thick nor be very thin.

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Shallow fry the chopped fish into it, adding a bit of salt. With the help of a spatula break the pieces into smaller fragments. Don’t fry it for a long time, our intention is only to cook the fish, not making a hard fry. Now transfer the fish into a bowl and keep it aside.

In the same pan heat 2 tbspoon of oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and fry till it becomes translucent. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and again fry till the onion turns brown. Now add chopped tomato, chopped green chilli, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt, fry till the tomato gets softened. Then add the fried fish and cook till oil separates from the mixture. Put the gas off, add garam masala powder and coriander leaves and give it a good stir. The end product should be a spicy,mushy fish mixture.

Ingredients ready for assembling to make the roll

Ingredients ready for assembling to make the roll

Now add 1 or 2 tbspoon of breadcrumbs to the fish mixture to bind it and then divide the mixture into 3 or 4 equal parts.

Now make long shaped balls from each part and wrap it with a thin slice of fish.

Wrapping the fish mixture with fish slice

Wrapping the fish mixture with fish slice

Now coat each wrapped fish ball first with breadcrumbs, then with the prepared batter and finally with the breadcrumbs.

Coated fish rolls are ready to fry

Coated fish rolls are ready to fry

Heat sufficient amount of oil in a pan for deep frying and fry the fish rolls on moderate flame till golden brown in colour.

transfer them on paper towel to absorb excess oil and serve hot with salad.

Fish rolls are ready to be served

Fish rolls are ready to be served

 

 

 

Shahi Chicken Korma

“Shahi Chicken Korma” is another delicious recipe from my earlier collections. Though I jot down the recipe long time back, I made it for the first time and as the name reveals the outcome was really “Shahi” or royal in taste. What sets this recipe apart from the other chicken curries is the usage of cashew nut and poppy seed paste. In fact these two ingredients add a richness to its gravy without making it too spicy. Since it is a korma preparation, one expects it to be drier than the normal chicken curry, with a thick gravy. In fact it dons a rather whitish look with a taste quite of its own. Goes very well with chapatis or paratha and even with Pulao.

Shahi Chicken Korma

Shahi Chicken Korma

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Chicken with bone – 600 gm.
  2. Onion – 2
  3. Ginger – 1.5 inch piece
  4. Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves
  5. Plain yogurt – 4 tbspoon
  6. Poppy seed paste – 1 tbspoon
  7. Cashew nut paste (using 10 – 12 cashew nuts)
  8. Mace powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Nutmage  powder- ½ teaspoon
  10. Sajeera (white cumin) powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. White pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  12. Green cardamom – 5 pods
  13. Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  14. Black peppercorns – 7 to 8
  15. Dry red chilli – 2
  16. Saffron – 2 to 3 strands
  17. Milk – 1 tbspoon
  18. Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  19. Salt to taste
  20. Ghee or clarified butter – 1 tbspoon
  21. Cooking oil – 2 tbspoon

Procedure :

Wash and cut the chicken into big pieces.

Make a smooth paste with oinon, ginger and garlic.

Marinate the chicken with this onion-ginger-garlic paste, yogurt and red chilli powder for 2 hours.

In a small ovenproof bowl take mace, nutmeg, sajeera & white pepper powder and dry roast them in microwave for 1 minute.

Take out the seeds from the green cardamom pods and make a powder of them.

Soak the saffron strands into milk.

Now heat oil & ghee in a pan over medium flame. Add black peppercorns, dry red chillies, marinated chicken, salt and sugar to it. Give it a good stir, cover with a lid and let it cook over low flame.

As the chicken gets cooked and most of the water released from it, eventually dries out, add poppy seed paste, cashew nut paste, dry roasted spices, cardamom powder and the milk with saffron.

Cook for another few minutes and put the gas off as the gravy thicken as per your desire.

Again put the lid of the pan and let it stand for few minutes.

Note :

  1. You can add “charmagaz” paste along with poppy seed and cashew nut paste. I didn’t have that, so I had to skip it.
  2. It is better if you take whole nutmeg, mace, sajeera and white pepper, dry roast them in a pan and then make a powder out of them.
  3. The preparation will be richer and tastier if you use only ghee instead of adding oil to it.