Croquettes are referred to as fried snacks coated with breadcrumbs. The stuffing can be made of either vegetables, cheese, fish or meat. These kind of snacks are pretty popular among Bengalis and we usually call them ‘chop’ or ‘cutlets’. You will find a few cutlet recipes in my earlier posts, which are given here.
In the current recipe, I have chosen paneer or the Indian Cottage Cheese as the stuffing since it is extremely popular among vegetarians. I love the soft, crumbly texture of paneer in my mouth with each bite. Icing on the top is the flavour of coriander leaves in the stuffing, symbolizing the onset of winter. Without using variety of spices, the garam masala solely creates the magic.
While one has to be careful while frying the croquettes which is the only tricky part, however, with a few handful ingredients a tasty snack will be ready within minutes.
Paneer er Chop (Cottage Chheese Croquettes/ Cutlets)
Mathri is the famous Rajasthani namkeen aka savoury snack, I came to know about while staying here in Delhi. In fact it is hugely popular in northern India and served at marriages and pujas. It has some basic similarities with Nimkee, the quintessential bengali namkeen.
Here I prepared a special kind of ‘mathri’ having some additional ingredients like methi (fenugreek leaves) and various spices. Produced in heaps, mathri can be best enjoyed with tea or served with pickle. Don’t mind if it is a bit oily since the taste is simply unbeatable and the extra oil surely can be soaked out with a tissue underneath.
“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)
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)
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)
The well known and common recipes of Paneer are butter masala, matar paneer or palak paneer. So when I was thinking to give Paneer a slight different treatment, I suddenly got reminded of a recipe which I shared with you quite a while back. That was of “Kadai Mushroom” which met with pretty good response. So I thought to prepare the panner dish following a similar approach which would be known as “Kadai Paneer”. In fact, along with the traditional panner dishes, Kadai paneer is also quite popular these days and can be found in any good restaurant. If you like panner dipped in a spicy, thick gravy, this recipe would be ideal for you. A pure vegetarian delicacy it is, worth a try.
After a long sabbatical of almost three months, I again find my calling here to share with you a well known snack “Dahi Vada”. Originated sometimes during the 12th century, in the present day Karnataka, as Dahi Vada kept on making fans all over India, it can hardly be called a South Indian Snack. Found in every corner of India these days, Dahi Vada plays a multi-purpose role, from being a filler to starter and from a party dish to a road-side delight. I am also in sheer love with this fried dumpling of lentils dunked in yogurt with a topping of bhujia. An absolute pleasure sharing this recipe.
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)
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)
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
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.
I have started a new phase of my life in Delhi six months back. Again a new city, new people around with some interesting foods to explore 🙂 Though Delhi is famous for its Mughlai food, I bet one would love the parathas available here, even in small road side stalls. In old Delhi, there is one famous and well known street named “Parathe wala gali” where you can find every possible variety of partahas. Can one imagine Parathas can be stuffed with Rabri and this ‘Rabri Paratha’ is something one can die for !!! Left insanely inspired, I have added a number of parathas in my to do kitty among which today I am sharing a very simple and common one which is ‘Methi Paratha’ or Fenugreek leaves paratha. The recipe is pretty simple and lot easier than other stuffed parathas. Enjoy 🙂
Methi Paratha or Fenugreek Leaves Paratha
Alur chop is perhaps the most quintessential street-side snack in Kolkata. Perhaps the most common as well, among all the Pakoras or “Chop”s as known in Bangla, it can’t be separated from Bengali identity. However, being so common and available at every other snack vendors, it is taken granted and hardly anyone feels the urge to prepare at home. I felt the urge dearly; since being away from Kolkata for so many years now, missing the good old Alur chop is quite obvious. The recipe comes here, though a bit late, as I have been preparing it for quite some time now. It is time to rekindle the love again.
Alur Chop or Potato Frites
As the severity of winter mellows down, I find vegetable markets are flooded by vegetables. Cauliflower, milky white radish, mushroom; Green cabbage, spinach, broccoli; Orange carrot; vibrant Red beetroot; tri-colour bell peppers, I go on shuttling between them and fill in my shopping bag. Although neither me nor my husband are not exactly keen on radish, still we love this preparation ‘Mluor Ghonto’ or Stir-fried radish. I fondly recall my grand-mother preparing the dish sans the radish leaves and rather sprinkling over chopped coriander leaves on the top. It used to be super tasty with steamed rice over lunch. As the winter is rolling on, I thought to try something different and prepared Stir-fried radish with the leaves in and not discarding them. Result was quite satisfactory 🙂 . Now can’t refrain myself from sharing the recipe of such a healthy winter preparation 🙂 .
Mulor Ghonto / Stir-fried Radish
Banana flower or ‘Mocha’ can be turned into a fascinating vegetarian dish, a torch bearer of age old traditional Bengali recipes. As they say, ‘as you sow so you reap’, the super delicious Mocha curry does not come easy, one has to toil hard to achieve it. That is perhaps the reason you do not see the dry banana flower aplenty in the market these days. You do not also expect to prepare it too often. More than the time it requires to get cooked, sorting the flowers and picking the stem is a trickier job. However, the effort seems worthy of every pence when the curry is served with white steamed rice. I feel extremely proud to share with you the recipe 😀
Mochar Ghanto (Dry Banana Flower Curry)
Quite in the same line of Shami Kebab, which I have shared with you earlier, here I present a completely vegetarian counterpart, made of Soya nuggets and can proudly be called Soya Nugget Kebab. I have always felt that Soya nugget is a perfect foil for meat and can give the latter a run for its money, if prepared rich with generous amount of spices. Then I thought as the word ‘Kebab’ always sounds meaty, why not give it a vegetarian version with the good old soya nuggets? The result is as delightful as ever and serves as a great appetizer, snacks or whatever you like to call it. Kebab is not any longer the monopoly of flesh eaters 🙂
Soya Nugget Kebabs
Earlier I have shared with you a recipe with Mushroom, called ‘Kadai Mushroom’. However, I had tried the dry mushroom even before that. In fact Dry mushroom was my first stint ever with mushroom. It is such a simple dish that you need just a pinch of cumin seed as for the spices. Even if you are not a great fan of mushroom and do not make it often, you will love this preparation. This happened with me and the mushroom curry is a nice addition to my kitty of vegetarian foods.
Dry Mushroom Curry
Malaber spinach, known as Pui Sag in Bengali, is something I adore a lot. I hardly miss a chance to pick the green tall branches of fresh pui sag from the market, if I find some. Unlike spinach or similar sags, this one can be best prepared with pumpkin. Aubergine and ridge gourd can give an edge too. A sheer delight to the vegetarians, Pui sag has a great fan following in Bengal.
Pui Sag (Malaber Spinach) chachchori
Aubergine or Eggplant is the sort of vegetables which I like in any form and perhaps in any of vegetarian curries. However the story does not exactly hold true for my husband which always prompts me to prepare it in different ways. The current recipe is my latest experiment with aubergine which comes out quite successful and adds flavour to the otherwise hackneyed dishes and to my husbands tongue as well. Hope you all will enjoy it.
Tok Jhal Begun Aloo/Tangy & Spicy Aubergine and Potato Curry
Sattu or Chatu (in Bengali) is a flour of dry roasted grains such as barley, bengal gram, millet, corn etc. In Bihar sattu is used extensively in different sweet and savoury dishes. They generally use the sattu of bengal gram. Whereas in Punjab barley sattu is much popular. One can easily confuse Sattu with bengal gram flour or besan. The former is a fiber rich and nutritious food. One glass of water mixed with sattu, salt, sugar and lemon juice is a healthy and energetic start for a day.
Till date I have tasted two dishes of Bihar – one is sattu paratha, made by my mother and second one is litti, prepared by a Bihari guy I met in Germany. Although both have been delicious, my favourite is the paratha. Again this recipe, which I share with you is stolen from my mother’s cook book 🙂 😉
Chatur Parota/Sattu Paratha