Begun Morichut

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This is my fiftieth post here on this blog. I thank all my blog visitors for giving me the courage and inspiration to go ahead and write new posts on my blog, and most of all I thank my parents and sister. My mom who taught me to love the art of cooking, and my father though never enters the kitchen always find it tempting to know whats cooking on my blog. My little sister who is always busy taking photographs of every step and every ,eal I cook, when I am at home in Kolkata.

To mark this happy event for me, I have prepared  a typical dish which hails from Chittagong in Bangaladesh‘. Now, this is a bit tricky, why should I be cooking something that sounds and tastes like a typical Bangladeshi dish. The answer is simple, my grandfathers, both from my father’s as well as from my mother’s sides were inhabitants of then unpartitioned Bengal. After the partition in 1947, they came and settled in Kolkata. As everybody say you can take out the Bengali from Bengal, but not the Bengal from the Bengali, so was it. At home our cooking style resembles those of the people of Bangladesh, though I am the third generation who is living in India and never had a luck to see the place where my grandparents were born and lived the best days of their lives.

Morichut is a typical naming for any curry in their native language of Chittagong. I love this one with eggs and aubergines. Morichut also can be made using potatoes. May be I’ll write a post on that sometime later.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Aubergine (Choto Begun): 200gms

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size

Eggs (Dim): 2

Mustard Oil (Sarser Tel): ½ teaspoon

Turmeric Powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 1 or 2

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Heat oil in a shallow wok
  • Add the onions to sauté as the oil gets heated
  • Toss in the aubergine cut into small square shaped pieces and fry till they are partly cooked
  • Add salt, turmeric and the green chili
  • Keep aside the half cooked egg plants, and heat 1 teaspoon of oil and add the eggs.
  • Scramble the eggs and add it to the half cooked aubergine
  • Cook till the aubergine gets cooked

begun-morichut

It tastes good with roti, paratha or even rice. So cook it and have with anything you like.

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Sujir Halwa

Durga Puja is a big occasion for all Bengalis and for that matter anybody who has a Bengali friend or acquaintance. Everyone who is a Bengali by heart looks out for those few days of the year when the mother goddess comes down to earth and showers her blessing. Durga Puja is also a great occasion to me too, but especially I like the Sandhi Puja night. There is of course a reason behind this liking. It is the night when the goddess is offered Sujir halwa and luchi. It just tastes so good in that combination and my mom cooks it just the way I love; not to flaccid not too condensed, just the right consistency to have it.

Not only during Durga Puja, Sujir halwa always has a soft corner in all our hearts, so throughout the year, mom prepares it often. Mom is not there now with me here in my Bangalore flat, so when it comes to having something typically Bengali I have to enter the kitchen. The other day I prepared Sujir halwa, though I couldn’t get the feeling of my mom’s love in it, but yes it satisfied my taste buds.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Semolina (Suji / Rava): 4 heaped tablespoons

Clarified Butter (Ghee): ½ teaspoon

Milk (Dudh): 2cups (300ml)

Sugar (Chini): 2 tablespoons

Cardamon (Elaichi): Seeds of 2 or 3 crushed to form powder

Dry fruits for garnishing

Preparation:

  • In a wok heat the ghee in simmering flame
  • Add the semolina along with 2 bay leaves to it and toss for a minute or two
  • Pour in the milk along with sugar and let it boil, stir every two to three minutes to ensure that the semolina doesn’t get stick to the bottom of the wok
  • When half cooked add the cardamom powder to it and stir well so that it gets mixed to the halwa
  • As the semolina thickens take it out of flame and serve with dry fruit garnishing
sujir halwa

Sujir halwa

Sujir payes serves as a good accompaniment with luchi or even can be had hot or cold as a dessert. Depending on how you like it, you can also add more or less milk to make the consistency of your choice. I like it uncondensed and so I have added more milk to it.

NB: Be very careful when you are frying the semolina in ghee, because with heat just above the optimum heat, semolina tends to get burnt. It is better to fry it in low flame with constant stirring, and ensuring that the milk is within your reach.

Check for my fiftieth post here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking, Happy Eating

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Kumro Alur Tarkari

Bengalis have a tendency of putting potato in any kind of recipe. It feels as if potatoes are an integral part of all the recipes. You can guess from the average health of all Bengalis, barring some exceptions, generally every Bengali signifies that potato look, a little more fats here and there. I too am not an exception. I like to add potatoes in different curries, though because of peer pressure the quantity has reduced with the passage of time.

Everyday after coming back from office, it’s always a pain staking job to think what to cook for dinner. Last night I was only left out with a piece of pumpkin and some potatoes. In my flat I don’t have a mixer grinder so couldn’t think of experimenting any other curries with that pumpkin. I took to cooking a simple potato pumpkin curry.

This preparation uses a masala that is a widely used spice in Bengali cuisine. As the name suggests (“Five Spices”), panch phoron is a combination of 5 spices, namely mustard seeds (sarse), fennel (mouri), nigella (kalo jeera), cumin (jeera) and fenugreek seeds (methi), you canknow more at Wiki.

kumror-tarkari-panch-phoron

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin (Kumro): 100gms
  • Potato (Alu): 2 medium sizes
  • Onion (Peyaj): 1 small
  • Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 2
  • Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon
  • Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

kumror-tarkari-ingredients

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a wok
  • Sauté the onions in the heated oil and throw in the panch phoron
  • Stir for 30 seconds before adding the vegetables
  • Put in turmeric powder, salt and the chilies
  • Stir for 2 -3 minutes, and add ½ cup of water for the vegetables to get cooked properly
  • As the vegetables get cooked properly, take out from flame and serve with roti, paratha or rice

kumror-tarkari-ready1

Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

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String beans with Potato Curry

I have just joined Glaxo SmithKline Ltd for my Post Graduate internship. I have become so busy with the work that I couldn’t even think about writing a post for my blog. Yesterday I got a scrap from a school friend. She is presently staying in Bangladesh and as she says there are very few options for any vegan dishes. She requested me to write about some vegetarian dishes for her.

I just could not leave out her request and so thought of posting this dish for her.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

String beans (Barboti): 100gms

Potato (Aalu): 4 medium sizes

Nigella seeds(Kalo jeera): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 teaspoon

Turmeric Powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon

Green Chili (Kancha Lanka): 2

Preparation:

  • Slice the strings beans into one inch sizes and the potato into small square pieces
  • Take oil in a wok and let it heat
  • Throw in the nigella seeds as the oil gets heated
  • Add the potatoes and strings beans along with the turmeric powder and salt
  • Toss the vegetables for a minute so that the oil and spices get mixed
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour in 1 cup of water and let it cook with stirring twice or thrice
  • As the vegetables get cooked take out of flame

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Serve with roti, paratha or with steamed rice. It tastes good with anything. Check for more updates here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking, Happy Eating.

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Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Round Up

Round ups of events are always fun, be that I am reading or creating them. Just for one single thing its great to learn how everybody makes a different recipe of his or her own. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth was not an exception. Sweets in different styles and ingredients made this event a success.
You all know WordPress.com doesn’t support advertisements and so I cannot announce a prize for the best entry, but to make it a bit more fun, there is a poll at the end of this post, so feel free and vote for your favorite recipes doe this event.

Payesam or Payesa or Kheer

payesam1

Laddus:

Fried sweets:

fried-sweets

Baked sweets:

baked

Burfi:

burfi

Others:

arundhuti_rasmalai


Please pen down a comment if I have missed out anybody from the round up or the poll.

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Put in Everything Omellete

There is a always a problem with the left over vegetables of last night at my place. Neither do I feel to throw them out nor eat those just like that. Vegetable omelet was my brain child to cope up with this matter. Its a very easy to cook and ready to eat kind of food and is ideal for breakfast, especially when the house cook do not want to work much for the breakfast table. I used the leftover vegetables or meat for the preparation. You can also use any kind of fresh vegetables or meat for making it up.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Egg (Dim): 2

Wheat flour (Maida): 1 tablespoon

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size, cut into small squares

Coriander leaves (Dhaniya pata): 1 tablespoon, finely chopped

Milk (Dudh): 1/4 cup

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 2-3 , cut into small rings

Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): 1/4 teaspoon

Vegetables or meat of choice: 1 small bowl

Sunflower oil (Sada tel) to fry

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Add all the ingredients into a deep bowl and stir to make a dilute batter.

omelet-batter

  • Heat 1/2 teaspoon of oil on a non-stick frying pan
  • Gently pour in one large spoon of the batter to make an omelet.
  • Make as many as you wish out of the batter.
  • Serve with green salad and tomato sauce.

omelet

Look for more on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

I am sending this to Sangeeth for her 101 omelets.

Sending this entry to BlOg yOur Omelet  hosted by Nuria.

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Masur Dal and Alu Posto: A whole lunch

Posto or poppy seeds is always a delicacy in all Bengali household. It is extensively used as a spice in various dishes, be that in potato or chicken curry.It is said that poppy makes you feel cool, I am not sure of this saying though. I mom believes in it and so come summer there has to be some kind of a curry consisting of poppy seeds. The range varies from simple poppy seed paste sauted to poppy seed grind with cashew to make chicken curry.

As with poppy seeds, masur dal also takes up a very important place in Bengali kitchens. whenever I taste masur dal, I go down memory lane. every day when I came back from school for lunch, mom always prepared masur dal, my all time favorite among all lentils.  Even till now, when I go home in my vacations mom always cook masur dal for me.

All this I was telling because I had the best combination of veggie delight last night. It was steamed rice with masur dal and alu posto. If you are a Bengali or if you are not, then ask any Bengali , you’ll come to know that anyone would kill for this platter.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For Alu Posto:-

Potato (Alu): 3 large size

Nigella seeds (Kalonji): 1 teaspoon

Poppy seeds (Posto): 2 tablespoons

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

For Masur dal:-

Masur dal: 50 gms

Onions (Peyaj): 2 small sizes

Green chili (Kacha lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

Cilantro leaves (Dhaniya pata): 2 tablespoon of chopped leaves (optional)

chopped-coriander

Preparation:

Alu Posto:-

  • Grind the poppy seeds and green chili in a grinder to make a paste
  • Cut the potatoes into small one inch squares
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the nigella seeds as the oil gets heated.
  • Immediately add the potatoes and toss for a while so that the oil gets mixed with the potatoes.
  • Now add turmeric and salt along with a cup of water and let the potatoes get half cooked.
  • Put in the poppy seed paste and stir so that the paste gets mixed with the half cooked potatoes. You can add more water if the curry gets dried up.
  • Cook till the potatoes get cooked properly and the water disappears.
Potato in poppy seed paste

Potato in poppy seed paste

Here is a slide show to show the stages of the cooking:

Masur Dal:-

  • Thoroughly wash the dal and put in a deep pan with salt and water so that the dal remain almost 3 inches under water. Let it boil till the water and dal becomes inseparable.
  • In a separate heat the oil and throw in the onions and green chili. Saute till the onions turn golden brown
  • Add the sauted onions to the boiled dal along with the turmeric powder and cook for two to three minutes more.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Masur Dal

Masur Dal

Masur dal and poppy-potato curry tastes best with steamed rice, but you can also try it with chapatis and rotis. The curry also looks good without turmeric, so you can try out that too. About masur dal, it depends what concentration you want for it, depending on that you can keep the water or make it dry.

the-platter

Sending this to Challenge Event hosted by Veda of Iyengar’s kitchen

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Check for more updates here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

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Potato-Okra Fry

When I was a child my hobby was to paint and dance. As I grew up and stepped into my adolescence dance turned from a hobby to a passion. I had performed in various festivals, stage shows, TV shows, school and college fests. Painting was no more a hobby, but I still draw at times, just to feel happy. I left Kolkata almost a year and a half back. Leaving Kolkata had a great toll on me, I had to leave out my dance session, which I had been attending for the last 20 years. The last time I danced on stage was back in winter 2006.

But there was another hobby which was in its nascent stage some two years back and for which I spend a good percentage of my monthly money these days. This hobby started even before I became a full time cook in my kitchen (here to note, I still don’t have what I can call my own kitchen, but still need to be satisfied with the small kitchen in my rented apartment) and a food blogger. Coming back to my new but not so new hobby, collecting cook books.

I have a plethora of these cook books now. From Sanjeev Kapoor to Tarla Dalal and Roz Denny to old worn out books of multiple authors; books written in English and also in Bengali, my mother tongue. Every year I used to visit Kolkata Book Fair and my task was to search for the most recent and the oldest cook books being sold. I have bought books of well known publishers like Duncan Baird Publishers (London), Popular Prakashan (Mumbai) and also from the not so known publishers.

Now that I am away from Kolkata, the annual book fair is almost out of question to visit, so I visit all the book stalls here in Bangalore and peek into the culinary sections of these stores. I have got books starting from INR 10 to few that were quite a burden to my wallet. Of all these books that I bought, the one that I felt very happy in buying was “The Big Book of Great British Recipes“. This book has got 365 delicious and treasured recipes, as the book cover says. But the reason of my being happy in buying this book was something different. The book is sold at 625 INR in India, but the copy I have had cost me only 50 INR because of a little tear on its cover. It was like getting a treasure for almost nothing. The book is really great.

Another book in line is written in Bengali, which my mom gifted. It has a whopping collection of 1001 recipes from East Bengal (presently Bangladesh) and West Bengal (eastern state in India, where I hail from). I treasure my books above everything, and whenever I am alone and have got nothing to do I just go through them. It brings me immense pleasure to see the colorful photographs and the passion the cook has put in to prepare those dishes. Though I have not tried much of the recipes from these books, but they have made me realize the basic difference in the different styles of cooking.

Books from professional cooks have the exact amount of the ingredients and the time of cooking mentioned in every recipe and also a note from the cook as a recommendation from him or her to make the dish taste better. Another very important aspect of all cook books is the photograph they feature. Though the cheap books have very few or no photos of the cooked food, the not so cheap books have a whacking number of food photographs in them. It is a general tendency I have noticed in me, to read those recipes having photographs, I think you will also agree to that.

cook-books

That was a lot of writing from my side today. I hope you loved the discussion. I would appreciate if you pen down some lines on the type of books you have at home and how they have helped to bring out the cook in you.

To come to recipe for the day, it is a very simple one; my mom cooks it as a side dish along with rice and dal.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Okra (Bhindi): 100 gms

Potato (Alu): 100 gms or 2 medium sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 2 medium sizes

Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 2

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Saada tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

alu-bhendi-fry-ingredients

Preparation:

  • Cut the potatoes in thin long pieces of length 2 inches each
  • Similarly cut the ladies finger into halves with 2 inches length
  • Julienne the onions
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the potatoes along with the onions as the oil gets heated.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the ladies finger to it.
  • Toss the whole for a minute or two and then add half cup of water for the vegetables to get cooked properly.
  • Leave for 8 minutes more for everything to get cooked, stir for a few times and add water if required.

We used to have potato-ladies finger fry as an accompaniment with rice and dal, you can also have it with chapattis or paratha.

alu-bhendi-fry

This should be the ideal one to send for the Challenge event hosted by Veda of Iyengar’s kitchen

Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.


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Baigan Bharta

Last five days I am all done with a heavy cold and extreme head aches. All of these sickness made me stay out of kitchen for these. I am speding time more on the bed than anywhere else at home. This morning when at last I thought of visiting the near by doctor, he gave me a shock. He prescribed with lots of medicine and talked about me having rhinocitis. The term reminded me of that Khaziranga National Forest rinos with a horn at the place of nose. Now, coming to the graver part, he suggested that if these problems do not get better by the next 5 days and with all these medications then it is presumably a case of sinusitis and in that case I need to a have a CT scan done. CT scan !!!! O dear Lord !!! I am an absolute claustrophobic, I can’t stay inside a lift for more than a few seconds and he was asking me to have a CT scan done, that means staying inside that whole for more than half-an hour. I was feeling worse with this news than with all of these running nose, blocked ears and head aches.

I had cooked up Baigan Bharta as a side dish for last night dinner. My brain going haywire with the news from the doctor this morning, it think it will look like a bharta and nothing less. So thought of writing this post.

The Big Fat Brinjal - ready to roast

The Big Fat Brinjal - ready to roast

Serves 4

Ingredients

Eggplant (Begun) : 1 big size

Onions (Peyaj): 3 large size, julienned

Tomato: 2 medium size, cut into squares

Green chilli (kacha Lanka): 4, cut into ringlets

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Coriander leaves(Dhaniya pata) chopped for garnishing

Salt to taste

Lemon juice (Pati lebur raus): 1 tablespoon, optional

Preparation:

  • Prick the brinjal with a fork or knife.
  • Roast the eggplant, so that it gets softened and the skin starts coming out of it.
  • Take the skin out of the eggplant, mash and  keep it aside
  • Heat oil in a wok
  • Toss in the onion. Sauté till softens
  • Add the mashed eggplant to the onions along with tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili ringlets and salt.
  • Cook till the eggplant dries, take care that it doesn’t get stick to the bottom of the wok.
  • Take out of flame and garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice.

Baigan bharta is best tasted with roti or parantha. Though I had to roast the eggplant on a gas oven, it tastes and smells best when roasted over a charcoal oven.

Baigan Bharta

Baigan Bharta

Catch me with more updates on this blog, till then

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

As I have not used any electrical or electronic gadgets to cook this, my post is heading for the ‘Power’ less cooking event

hosted by Simple Indian Food

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This is of great joy for me to send in my post to Devon Ave: Indian-Jewish Adventure! hosted by Joelen.

Baigan Bharta goes to fight the other Eat Healthy-Fight Diabetes entries hosted by Sangeeth.

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Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

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