Free eBook on Bengali Festive Recipes – Saradiya Rannabati

Sharodotsav

What does the word Sharadiya ( or Saradiya) mean to you?

Surely, you would identify with the several connotations of the word beyond its literal meaning (that which comes in the Autumn). Hymns by Birendra Kishore Bhadra on All India Radio, the great homecoming (Bongs flock from all parts of the country/elsewhere to their hometown), the annual shopping frenzy (what are you wearing on Saptami? On Nabami evening?), Sharod publications (Patrika, Bartaman, Anandalok take your pick), the three eyed Ma Durga with her Pangopal, the Kash ful dancing to the tunes of the fluttering breeze, the hair raising yet rhythmic beat of the traditional Dhak, the exquisite Pandals and the teeming millions, the egg-roll stalls (and your diet regime goes for a toss!), Akalbodhan, Khain, Bisarjan

Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the Carnival of the Year!

Free eBook

This Festive Season, Cook Like a Bong brings to you a collection of 26 traditional and trendy Bengali recipes in a free eBook, titled Saradiya Rannabati 2010. Do what you like, go anywhere you want, eat whatever you can lay your hands on. This Durga Puja, Eat Pray Live. 🙂

Eat Pray Live
Eat Pray Live

What’s on the Menu?

A collection of authentic Bengali recipes including fries, side dishes, main course and sweets and desserts from the BengaliCuisine kitchen and also from five different contributors. Unfold the secrets of the famous Kolkata phuchka. Know how to cook the brilliant looking Basanti pulao. Don’t miss the Chingri Bhapa, Doi Post Ilish or the mouthwatering Misti Doi. End the fare with Anarosher Chutney or Aamer Morobba.

Salivating already? Without wait, pounce on the delicacies. Please enter your name and email id in the box below to subscribe to our blog and we will give you the eBook for free.



Many Thanks to…

Thanks to all our readers, whose repeat visits to the website keep its traffic stats healthy. Kudos to the 2500+ strong community at Cook like a Bong’s Facebook Page – your discussions help everyone appreciate the myriad variations of Bangali Ranna. Special thanks to Jeet Saikia for designing the cover page of this e-book and to all our eBook recipe contributors.

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Ganesh Chaturthi: Modak

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Devi Durga, the mother Goddess comes home every year during autumn, the Bengali month of Ashwin. As myth says, Durga, the daughter of King Himalaya descends to her paternal house from her husband’s abode in Kailash. With much pomp and grandeur the goddess is welcome to the land.

Ganesh Chaturthi marks the advent of the great home coming of Goddess Durga and her four children – Ganesh, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Karthik. Yesterday was Ganesh Chaturthi and that gives us just 31 days for the start of the 5-day long worship.

Vakratunda mahakaya suryakoti samaprabha
Nirvighne kuru me deva sarva karaye shu sarvada

This is the shloka for Ganesh. Ganesh Chaturthi is a very big festival in the Western part of the Indian sub-continent, especially in Mumbai. At our home, we celebrate this day to mark the countdown of ending our year long wait for the goddess. This time I prepared modak and nadu.

Ingredients:

For the wrap

  • 250gm rice flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

For the filling

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 cup jiggery (gur) or sugar
  • ½ cup dry fruits (optional)
  • A pinch of camphor (optional)

Preparation:

For the wrap

  • Pour the water and ghee in a thick bottom pan and heat till luke warm
  • Use this water to make a soft dough with the rice flour, keep it covered with a moist cloth so that the dough doesn’t dry out

For the filling

  • Mix the sugar or jiggery with the grated coconut in a thick bottom wok
  • Place over low flame and stir continuously till it forms a sticky mixture
  • Take out of flame and add the dry fruits and camphor if using

Putting them together

  • Take a little part of the dough and make a small ball of about one-inch diameter
  • Press this ball with both your hands to make it flat
  • Place about one teaspoon of the filling at the centre of the flattened ball
  • Cover the filling from all sides with the dough
  • Repeat this till the dough and filling are exhausted
  • Place the modaks in a steamer and steam for about 4 minutes or till tender
  • Serve hot

Hot Tips – If the filling becomes cold it turns very sticky and can’t be removed from the bottom of the wok, you can reheat the wok a little to take out the filling, but these tactic can’t be used if you are using sugar instead of jiggery.

I have steamed the modaks, alternately you can also fry in ghee.

Further Readings – 5 Must see Ganesh Chaturthi Mandals in Mumbai

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Lau Khoshar Chhechki

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When I was young I have seen my mom and grandmother cook every bit and pieces of vegetables, starting from the stems of some plants growing in the back yard to the roots of others. Not to miss the peels of few vegetables, the gourd being in the top of the list.

Chhechki, as this preparation is popularly known in Bengal is a boiled down version of stir fries. Chechki is a very authentic Bengali recipe and is made from different vegetables – from radish to beet and carrots and from stems of plantain plants to pumpkin. This chechki  that I prepared a couple of days ago was with gourd peels with a subtle concoction of spices – whole mustard and poppy to titillate your taste buds. Peels for food may sound a bit weird, but a stir fry of juliened gourd peels miraculously tastes like elixir.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size potato
  • Peel of 1 gourd
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2/3 chili
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoon mustard oil or oil of choice
  • 7 – 8 bori (vodi)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Julienne the gourd peels and chop the potato in to thin 1” size pieces
  • Heat little oil in a wok and fry the boris till they turn slightly brownish, keep aside
  • Pour in rest of the oil in the wok, throw in the mustard seeds
  • Add the gourd peels and potato as the mustard seeds start spluttering
  • Add salt, turmeric powder and chili. Cook till the vegetables are half done
  • Put in the poppy seeds and cook till the veggies are fully cooked
  • Take out of flame and garnish with the fried bodis
  • Serve hot with warm rice

Hot Tips – Chhechki is mainly served with warm rice as the first side dish during lunch.

Further Reading – Chanchra, Kacha Kalar Kofta

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