Kasha Mangsho – Bengali Mutton Curry

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|| ya devi sarvabhutesu buddhirupena samsthita
namas-tasyai namas-tasyai namas-tasyai namo namah ||

|| ya devi sarvabhutesu sakti rupena samsthita
namas-tasyai namas-tasyai namas-tasyai namo namah ||

With less than a week to go for Saptami, its time for a brief on the relevant pujas and a savouring dish. Two events passed by – Vishwakarma Puja and Mahalaya. If you came here just for the recipe, you can skip the next 3 paras.

Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma is the god of architecture (in Hinduism) and thus, the presiding deity of all artisans and craftsmen. He architected of the Golden city of Lanka, Indraprastha (abode of Indra), Hastinapur (the capital of the Pandavas and Kauravas of Mahabharata) and the mythical town of Dwarka, where Lord Krishna lived during the Mahabharata period. Any parallel you can draw from modern times? J

The architect is worshipped usually in mid September each year in several parts of the country. In Bengal, the puja is marked by flying kites. And being the Lord of architecture, heavy machinery factories, construction sites and even engineering colleges celebrate Vishwakarma puja.

God on sale

Mahalaya

The enchanting voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra at 4am announces the arrival of Devi. Its Mahalaya and 7 days to Saptami. More about Mahalaya here. And here’s how Delhi is taking up Durga puja this year. Hundreds of men offer water to their deceased ancestors on this day, what Bengalis call as “Tarpan”.

puja shoppingpuja sale

Pujor Ranna – Kasha Mangsho

I had prepared a Bengali style mutton curry for lunch today. Though I am not much of a mutton loving person, just thought of preparing it. With a little help from mom, the preparation turned out well. Here’s how to cook Bengali mutton curry.

Preparation time: 1hr
Cooking time: 30min
Serves 2

 

Ingredients:

Mutton (Khashir mangsho): 400gms

Potato (Aalu): 2 large sizes cut into quarters

Papaya grated (Jhiri kore kata Pepe): 3 tablespoon

Sour curd (Tauk doi): 2 tablespoons

Onion (Peyaj): 2 large sizes

Garlic (Rasun): 8-10 cloves

Ginger-garlic paste (Aada-rasun bata): 1 ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Chili powder (Sukhno lanka guro): 1/2 teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 8 tablespoon

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Chop one onion and make a paste of the other
  • Make a
  • Wash the mutton pieces well, and drain out the excess water
  • Take the mutton in a large bowl, put in the sour curd, onion and ginger-garlic paste; mix well, pour in 2 tablespoon of mustard oil and a pinch of salt, marinate for 50mins in refrigerator
  • Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a wok and half fry the potatoes, keep aside
  • Pour in the rest of the oil in the same wok, and sauté the chopped onions and garlic cloves
  • Put in the marinated mutton, turmeric, chili, salt and grated papaya, stir in low flame till the mutton becomes absolutely dry and the oil separates (kashano in Bengali), it will also change color to a darker shade of brown
  • Add the dried up mutton in a pressure cooker and pour in 3 cups of water, close the lid and wait for 3 whistle
  • Open the lid and put in the potatoes and again allow 2 more whistles
  • Take out and serve with warm white rice

Kasha Mangsho

Hot Tips – The grated papaya helps in softening the mutton pieces, so its an optional ingredient in this preparation, if you want you can also add large papaya pieces in place of the grated papaya. The number of whistles depends on the quality of mutton, so check after the 5 whistles whether the mutton has become tender, else allow some more time.

Further Readings – Kasha Mangsho, Mutton Chaap (Bengali style)

Don’t forget to send in your entries to the blog Durga Puja Food Festival ending 22nd September.

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Luchi

Welcoming the Goddess

The Hindu calendar follows the lunar phases and so it’s a little different from our well known English calendar from January to December. As the Gregorian and the Hindu calendars do not tally the timing of Durga Puja also shifts yearly from Late September to late October. This time the Puja starts on 24th September; the day being Shasthi, welcoming the goddess to earth.

Shasthir ghaut

My grand mother used to tell me different stories of the goddess. One such was the welcoming of the goddess. According to the Hindu mythology, Devi Durga is the daughter of the King of Himalayas. Every year on the Shasthi of the Bengali month of Ashwin, she comes down from Kailash, the abode of her husband, Lord Shiva to earth. She stays here for the next four days and goes back to Kailash. The goddess doesn’t come alone; she comes along with her four children, two daughters and two sons, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Karthik.

The Celebration

While listening to these stories, as a kid I used to become spell bound and dreamt about how the goddess with her four children would come down to earth. Years have passed, and there is nobody to tell me stories nowJ. But the feeling of happiness, the planning to go pandal hopping, meeting friends, and above all buying new clothes and eating out – make this time the best month of the year.

From today the ninth day is Shasthi. Kolkata is getting decked up with the minute decorations of this grand festival. The clay idols of the goddess are almost ready except for the last coat of paint. At Cook Like a Bong we decided on celebrating this festival with an event and publishing our first eBook on Shasthi this year. Also, I’ll be posting about the different recipes that you can try out during the four days of celebration; starting today.

Shasthir Dala

Bongs love for luchi

A breakfast with some luchi, alu dum and sandesh will make the day for any Bong. Bengalis cannot get enough of these fluffy fried phulkas. Luchi, luuchi, lucchi, poori, puri, phulka – whatever one can call them, but to any Bong it’s an essence of pure ecstasy. The taste and smell of luchi enhances if fried in ghee. So, while frying the rolled out luchi, you can add half the volume of ghee with sunflower oil. Will tell you the recipe for this curry in my later post.

Luchi Tarkari

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30min
Makes 20 luchis

Ingredients:

All purpose flour (Maida): 2 cups

Carom seeds (Jowan/Ajwain): 1teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): For deep frying

Salt: ½ teaspoon

Water: 1 ½ cup

Preparation:

  • Take the flour in a big bowl, carom seeds, salt and 2 tablespoon of oil
  • Mix the ingredients well to form a sandy mixture
  • Pour in half the water and knead the dough to almost dry
  • Then again pour the other half of water and knead well
  • If you feel the dough is not sticking to your palm, then its ready
  • Keep the dough for about 40mins covered with a wet muslin cloth
  • Divide the dough into 20 small balls, dip half the balls in oil for lubrication and roll the balls to 4-5 inch diameter circles
  • Heat oil for frying in a deep wok till smoking hot
  • Reduce the flame and slide in the rolled out poori
  • Press the luchi, while frying with the back of a slotted spatula, this helps in making the luchis fluffy
  • Take out of flame and place in a colander to let the luchis drain out the excess oil
  • Serve with any thick gravy curry (veg or non-veg)

Luchi

Hot Tips: Don’t drop the rolled out pooris into the heated oil, oil may splash out. Luchi even tastes good with granulated sugar or payesh, try it. You can use atta instead of maida but that makes the luchi look darker on color. You can even leave out the carom seeds while preparing luchi.

Further Readings: Bong Mom’s Luchi Preparation, Wiki Puri

Let us know your likings and memories of luchis or pooris, and don’t forget to send in your entries to the blog event ending 22nd September.

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Chicken Keema Curry

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Festive spirit is raging high among Bongs with Durga Puja just round corner (only 11 days). There is so much to talk about – Puja Barshiki, history of Durga Puja, Durga Puja in Kolkata, memories of school/college days, Mahalaya hymns, my experience at last year’s Puja at Bangalore and of course the Puja wardrobe, Puja recipes – that I became overwhelmed with to write and what to leave out.

So, here’s the deal.

Starting today, I’ll write a post a day till Puja starts. And in these posts, I hope to cover ‘Pujor Amej’ (Festive Flavour) in terms of food, history and a bong’s insight. There would be occasional touches of fashion trends too.

And some updates on Durga Puja Food Festival too. Hurry folks, the deadline for getting a chance for an entry in the eBook and a prize is 22nd September. Click here for more information.

Puja is almost at the door steps and am counting on the days, just 11 days to go. The first essence of the puja you get in Kolkata is the sale of the Puja Barshikis. At this time of the year the fat magazines is a well known scene at the news paper stalls. I had not yet bought my share of Puja Shankha this time, but just brought back home this month’s edition of Anadamela. The trigger was the painting of a Durga idol on the cover page of the edition; it said “Pouranik Galpe Debi Durga” (Mention of the Goddess Durga in mythology). I’ll let you all the stories in the corresponding posts, so be patient.

Durga Puja

There had been several stories about the inception of this autumn festival, which became the most important festivals among Bengalis, and for that matter Hindus. My most fond memories of Durga Puja are the dawn of Mahalaya. Mahalaya is said to be the day of the inception of the goddess. This day also marks the last week on countdown for the pujas, and so it is so special. With the cracking of dawn starts the radio program for Mahalaya. When I was a kid that was the only source, these days every Bengali channel shows their version of Mahalaya, but still listening to the hymns sung by Virendra Kishore Bhadra in a half-awake state is my favorite.

What I thought of posting today has nothing to deal with Mahalaya or Durga Puja, but with less than a fortnight to go before the festival starts and as I have missed the last year of Durga Puja celebration in Kolkata, I am looking forward for this year. When it’s autumn, the air, the blue sky with the fluffy wet white clouds, the bamboo structures getting ready for the puja, the crowd at the shops – everything just compelling me to talk about the goddess and the way these four days is spent.

In my previous posts I had written about a lot of chicken preparations, but this time I just shifted a little and prepared with minced chicken. Those of you, who are fond of mutton or lamb, can also prepare it with minced meat.

Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 15 – 20min

Ingredients:

  • Minced chicken (Murgir keema): 300gm
  • Potatoes (Aalu): 2 medium sizes, cut into quarters
  • Sour curd (Tauk Doi): 2 tablespoons
  • Onion paste (Peyaj bata): 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger-garlic paste (Aada-rasun bata): 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder (Halud guro):  ½ teaspoon
  • Chili powder (Sukhno lanka guro): 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 4 tablespoon

Preparation:

  • Clean the keema  in a colander and keep for sometime for the water to drain out
  • Heat half the oil in a wok and half fry the potatoes and keep aside
  • Pour in the rest of the oil and let it heat
  • Add in the onion and ginger-garlic paste and sauté
  • Add the half-fried potatoes, sour curd, turmeric powder, chili powder and salt ; and stir till the color changes a shade darker and it becomes dry
  • Put in the keema and stir again
  • Pour in water and let the keema cook till tender
  • Take out of flame and serve with warm rice

Chicken Keema Curry

Further reading: Kheema Recipe, Keema in Naan

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Get featured in Durga Puja Food Festival

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“Prano Bhoriye Trisha Hariye
More aaro aaro aaro dao pran|
Tabo bhubane tabo bhabone
More aaro aaro aaro dao sthan|| ”

15 days to go for the biggest Bong festival of the year. Yes you have guessed it right, its Durga Puja time. And to mark the occasion, we at Cook Like a Bong are organizing an event, “Durga Puja Food Festival”. [Logo Courtesy: Dr. Satyaki Basu]

Durga-Puja-FF-Logo

Durga-Puja-FF-Logo

About Durga Puja

Autumn brings in a series of festivities. Among all these festivals the four day long Durga Puja or Dusshera is the most important and the most prominent social festival among Hindus. Durga Puja is mainly celebrated in the Eastern parts of India. Other states of the country (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad) and even in different countries have started celebrating the worship of the goddess of power. Durga Puja is the most significant social, cultural and even economic event of the year.

Buying new clothes, going pandal hopping, pushpanjali (showering flowers at the goddess), the sound of dhak (Bengali drum), the dhunuchi dance, and the immersion dance are an integral part of the Durga Puja festival. It is the time of homecoming, meeting friends and relatives, eating out, eating whatever you wish, a big and long smile. This is the time of publishing of the “Sharadiya Sankha” or “Pujabarshiki” (the festival collection of literary works) featuring works of both established and not so established poets and authors. And, here we are with our Sharadiya Event for this year.

eBook Announcement

Plus, we’ll create an e-book to celebrate the culinary side of this autumn festival. The eBook will feature mouthwatering recipes and photographs, useful anecdotes and notes and of course some free publicity for the featured authors.

Get featured in the eBook

Please send in your entries for the event. There is no limit to the number of recipes you send, nor is there any restriction on what you send. The recipes may be Bengali (preferably but not necessarily) or any other cuisine, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, starters, soups, salads, entrée, or dessert. Those who don’t want their recipes to be published in the eBook will see those only in the round-up posted at the end of this month in our blog. The recipes in the eBook will have due credit to their authors.

Sending entries to this event makes you eligible to be a part of the eBook. So, hurry and send in your entries as soon as possible.

We invite you to be a part of the celebrations. And the eBook. 🙂

Why should you participate?

  • Free Publicity to a wide audience (This site currently has 15000+ pageviews a month)
  • Your recipe will be a part of the eBook, and thus your recipe will have offline access, and will bring back more readers to your blog
  • The joy of being ‘published’
  • Sheer joy of helping a fellow blogger in  her project 🙂

How do I benefit?

  • Releasing an eBook is my long pending project. And what better occasion that Durga Puja?
  • E-book means offline access, spreading the word via email and doc sharing. And thus, more ‘comeback’ readers
  • Yet another way to celebrate Sharodotsav

Event Rules:

  1. Please post recipes on your blog along with a track back to this post
  2. Optional: Please use the event logo
  3. If you want to send us any archived entries please update the post with a link to this event so that more people get to know about it
  • You don’t need to repost it. Search engines don’t like duplicate content and that’s why you should avoid it. Here’s a link if you want to learn more about why and how’s of duplicate content.
  1. If you have a draft recipe that you would like to send us, that’s okay. Just ensure two points:
  • your blog’s side bar has the event link/logo; and
  • when you publish this draft, there’s a the event link/ logo is present in the post
  1. Sending a recipe photograph is compulsory. [You can learn more about food photography here]
  2. If you don’t have a blog and yet want to participate, you’re welcome. Just send in your recipes, preferably with an image of the end product to the mentioned mail id.

Send in your entries to bengalicuisine@gmail.com with “Durga Puja Food Festival” as the subject.

3. Last date 22nd September 2009, 11:59pm IST

Details Required:

  • Your name:
  • Blog name:
  • Blog URL:
  • Recipe:
  • Recipe URL:
  • What type of dish (eg: starter, soup, entrée, dessert):
  • Cuisine (Andhra, Bengali, Punjabi, Oriya etc):
  • Any memories associated with the dish (optional):
  • Any special decorations you created for the festival (optional):
  • Also, the following if you want the recipes to be enlisted in the eBook, send in your:
  1. Food Photograph
  2. Your profile pic
  3. About you

Bonus

A winner will be chosen for this event and will be awarded with a prize (to be declared later). Evaluation criteria – ease of preparation, suitability to the festival, relevance of the photograph and notes beyond recipe.

Should there be any other criteria for evaluation?

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Narkel Nadu

“Mushikavaahana modaka hastha,
Chaamara karna vilambitha sutra,
Vaamana rupa maheshwara putra,
Vighna vinaayaka paada namasthe”

“O Lord Vinayaka! The remover of all obstacles, the son of Lord Shiva, with a form which is very short, with mouse as Thy vehicle, with sweet pudding in hand, with wide ears and long hanging trunk, I prostrate at Thy lotus-like Feet!”

Homecoming

Ganesh Chaturthi is over (here’s my earlier post on Ganesh Chaturthi) and at home I and my sister are still sneaking into mom’s kitchen to get hold of the left over sweets (prasad). It really feels great to come back home after 2 long years and again indulge into those silly things that I left back here in Kolkata. Ganesh Chaturthi is just a reason for celebration. Even a few years back there were no such celebrations at home and no special puja for Ganeshji. The only way to remember this day was to see the calendar or the telecast of Ganesh idol immersion in Mumbai.

Narkel Nadu

Flashback

Quite a few years back, during Durga Bishorjon (durga idol immersion), my sister started howling when the Ganesha deity was about to be thrown into water. She was a little kid then. And that’s when mom’s fascination with the elephant headed deity (no offense intended) started. While coming back home shebrought a small Ganesh idol made of brass. Eventually, collecting Ganesh idols became her hobby  and she now has 60 odd Ganeshas of myriad variety. May be I’ll click some photos sometime later and post it here in our blog.

Narkel Nadu

During Ganesh Chaturthi this year it was my work to prepare the Nariyal Laddu (coconut laddu), better know as narkel naadu (nadu or naru) in Bengali. I just thought of sharing this recipe with you all. I prepared it with sugar, but even the combination of jaggery (here’s how Navita prepared it) tastes good.

Preparation time: 15min

Cooking time: 7-8min

Makes 15 naadu

Ingredients:

Coconut (Narkel): 1

Sugar (Chini): 250gms

Khoya kheer: 100gms

Cardamom powder (Elaichi guro):  ½ teaspoon

Preparation:

  • Grate the coconut mix with sugar and khoya kheer, mix thoroughly with your hand.
  • Take a thick bottom wok and simmer the coconut mixture with constant stirring, add the cardamom powder
  • Take the wok out of the flame as soon as the coconut starts to get sticky
  • Let it cool till you are able to touch it with your hand
  • Make small one inch size balls with this

Hot Tips- Do not let the coconut to get cooled totally, then you will not be able to make the balls as the mixture gets sticky and becomes a single mass.

Further Reading –  Indrani’s style

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August Monthly Roundup at Bengali Cuisine

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August has been pretty awesome here at BengaliCuisine. We had 7 new posts, loads of traffic improvement and corresponding comments. Here’s a summary of activities last month at the blog.

August Collage

August Collage

5 Authentic Bengali recipe

  1. PatishaptaThe most popular Pitha (Pithe) prepared during Makar Sankranti (Sankranthi)
  2. Mishti DoiA very popular dessert, yet rarely prepared at home
  3. Bhat Dal and BhajaA no frills carb rich bong meal
  4. ChanchraOne of the very few bong delicacies untouched by foreign culinary influence
  5. Rasogollar PayeshBuy Rasogolla and prepare pudding (the post also gives out a couple of links on how to make rasgulla)

FestivalFor the first time, Sudeshna celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi. Here’s how a  Bengali celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi . Recipe for Narkel Nadu is still awaited though. [Update: 3 days later, Sudeshna posted how to make Narkel Nadu]

Top 7 Bengali Recipe Blogs – Bookmark the list of 7 most popular blogs on Bengali recipes. To give a personal touch, we’ve kept out links of Sulekha and other community food websites whose focus is on collaborative food community building. We have also kept out Sutapa’s site (it being way ahead of any other website on Bengali food) and Cook like a Bong (for obvious reasons you see J).

Events participated

The recipes here also participated in some food events. Here’s the quick list:

  1. Mishti Doi to Linda’s event on Got Milk?
  2. Chanchra to Indrani’s event on Spotlight:Fish and Haalo’s Weekend Herb Blogging (originally started by Kalyn)
  3. Rasogollar Payesh to FIL: Milk hosted by Sanghi of Sanghi’s Food Delights

August Traffic Report

Traffic August 2009

Traffic August 2009

August witnessed 15000 + Pageviews, i.e.  almost 4 times that of July. Now, this HUGE difference is partly because WordPress pagestats plugin was installed only in July 10 and the site was down for a couple of days due to hosting issues. But mainly, the increase in traffic is due to return of the original readership of bengalicuisine. Now let me explain this.

Sudeshna’s earlier blog was fairly popular till January 2009. But she broke her hand in Feb and that’s when the post frequency reduced dramatically. Sudeshna still managed a couple of posts per month, but it was nowhere close to her earlier average of 8 recipes a month. Now most readers who came there saw only a couple of posts in ONE Month! Naturally, they kind of almost forgot about the blog.

As posts became regular in the second version of bengalicuisine and Sudeshna started commenting on several blogs, original readers returned. In fact, one of our earlier regular readers Tulip, commented – I had visited your blog long time back, i guess the blog design was different then. Suddenly i got this link from my bookmark…and visiting again !! Thankfully.

Hopefully you’ve bookmarked this blog too! Better still, Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.

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