Kabuli Chana – Bengali Style Chickpea

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Chana chola these two things are like a nemesis to me. I never got the difference, what to call which one. Do you have the same problem? While we Bengalis call the big whitish gram as chana and the small brown ones chola, my non-Bong friends tend to differ from the nomenclature, and it’s just the opposite. OMG!
Ok, I’ll stick to what my mom calls her chickpeas -kabuli chola, probably because people thought they came from Kabul.  A little google search on kabuli chola made me realize that this particular species had been around since the Neolethic ages, did you ever thought about that while having your share of chole  bature?

Bengali style kabuli chana recipe

With its high protein content and less in fat this is an aphrodisiac for any diabetic patient. And, also for the way it’s cooked, kabuli chola is loved by everyone.

Kabuli Chola

Indian, Side, Chana, Authentic bengali recipe, Chickpea recipe, Chola recipe
Cooks in    Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup kabuli chola, soaked overnight in warm water
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dhaniya powder
  • 3-4 whole red chilies
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  • Boil the chola till tender, drain out the water and keep,aside
  • Heat the oil in a thick bottom pan, put in the onions and sauté till translucent
  • Add the chola along with all the ground spices, season with salt and mix well
  • Pour in about 3 cups warm water and cook till the chola are soft and breaks with a little pressure
  • Serve with chapati garnished with onion rings and lemon juice

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Sarse Posto Dim – Egg in Poppy Mustard Gravy

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Which came first – the egg or the chicken? This question will probably never be answered. The other question is do you want egg or chicken for your next meal? To choose between chicken and eggs is equally hard.

K always says there is no way anybody can screw a chicken dish. Chicken with its inherent taste, tastes just good anyway you prepare it – be it the typical chicken-do-pyaja or just stuffed in between two bread loafs for a chicken sandwich.

On the other hands, eggs don’t require much time to prepare and doesn’t have much of the fuss as of preparing chicken. Boiling is perhaps the first things anybody learns after entering the kitchen.

I’m absolute fan of eggs. I love eggs in my breakfast, I love them as a side dish wih my rice/chapatti and I love eggs in my desserts. I just cannot live without eggs. Remember that “Sunday ho ya Monday, roj khao ande” ad. It was my favourite commercial.

Eggs are good enough for me, but when it combines with posto it just becomes a deadly combo to resist. This recipe, I learnt from my maternal aunt. She uses more mustard than poppy. But, with my love for poppy I try to prepare it the other way round. The soothing taste of poppy mixed with the tangy taste of mustard makes this egg curry very indistinct from the regular curries.

Sarse Posto Dim

Indian, Side, Bengali poppy recipe, Poppy, Egg recipe, Mustard paste recipe, Egg curry
Cooks in    Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon white mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 3-4 green chilli
  • 2 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  • Peel the shells of f the eggs. Mix with half the chilli and turmeric powder and a pinch of salt
  • Peel the potato and cut it into thin slices like in alu bhaja
  • Dry grind the poppy and mustard if using a coffee grinder, and then soak in about 2 tablespoon of lukewarm water. If you are using a food processor then grind with small amount of water along with the green chillies
  • Heat the oil in wok. Lightly fry the eggs, take out of the oil and keep aside.
  • Add the potatoes to the same oil, season with the spices and salt. Fry till the potatoes look slightly transparent. Add about 1/2 cup water and let the potatoes get almost cooked.
  • Pour in the poppy and mustard paste and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Add the fried eggs
  • Take out of flame and serve with warm white rice or chapatti.

Hot Tips – If you are using black mustard, then pour a little vinegar, salt and turmeric powder and make it a paste to get rid of the bitter taste.

How to hard boil an egg?

Put the eggs in a deep bottom vessel like a sauce pan. Pour in water to fully cover the eggs. Boil it for 10-12 minutes. Drain out the water and put the eggs in ice cold water. Keep there for 3-4minutes take out and peel off the shells.

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Mulo Saag Bhaja – Radish Green Stir Fry

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Bengalis try to use the maximum of anything that comes of the grocery back, and that includes eating peels of vegetables to stir frying the greens. Lau-er khosha bhaja (stir fried Indian gourd skin) is one of Bong delicacies. Even patol khosha boiled and grinded and then stir fried with a little onion seeds has its share of authentic Bengali recipe in Bengali cuisine.

Coming to leafy vegetables, there is a place for almost every type of edible leaves in the Bengali kitchen. The leaves of potato plant is one of my favourites, though it’s hard to find in any market, unless you are growing potatoes in your yard.

While palang shag (spinach) or the pui shag (climbing or Malabar spinach) are very common side dishes for the Bengali lunches, mulo shag though rare is a class of its own. The radish leaves are cooked in various ways, you can simply stir fry them with some mustard and onions or even add a little brinjal cubes and sliced radish.

Mulo Shaag Bhaja - Radish Green Stir Fry

Indian, Side, Radish green stir fry, Leafy vegetable, Authentic bengali recipe, Bengali stir fry
Cooks in    Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Radish leaves
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3-4 red chilis
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  • Wash the radish leaves thoroughly to get rid of any mud. Chop the leaves finely
  • Heat the oil in a wok, throw in the mustard seeds as they start spluttering add the onions and fry till the onions turn translucent
  • Add the chopped radish leaves, turmeric powder, salt and stir fry.
  • Serve hot with warm white rice

Hot Tips – Take care while adding the salt. The leaves reduce in volume after frying, if you are not sure how much salt to add, add it once the leaves are almost fried and reduced.

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Summer Dessert – Fruit Custard

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Summer is the time to have everything cold from drinks to salads and from starters to desserts. And, with those lots of berries flooded in the market, there’s nothing better to get some in your plate. The strawberry lassi is one of my favourites.

There are kids who just hate to eat fruits, whichever may that be. When my sister was young my mom used to make custard and pour it over any fruit and serve it to her. That was the only way my sister ate fruits. Back in India, there is always the custard powder available in your grocery store, but in here its a little hard to find. So, I made it a little my way.

Fruit Custard

Dessert, Summer dessert, Custard, Fruit custard, Children food, Fruit recipe
Cooks in    Serves 4
Ingredients
  • Preparation:
  • 2 cups whole fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3 egg yolks, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ½ cup refined sugar
  • Fruits of choice – banana, berries, apple, oranges
Directions
  • Heat the milk to boiling in a saucepan and then lower the flame. Reduce it to half the volume. Pour in the sugar and stir and continue simmering
  • In the meantime, take the egg yolks in a bowl, whisk till they become pale. If you are using an electric beater, use it at low for 1min, if you are using a balloon whisk; just beat it for 2-3 minutes.
  • Continue whisking and pour in the vanilla essence and all-purpose flour, make sure there aren’t any lumps.
  • Pour in the hot milk and whisk lightly. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and simmer while stirring. Continue stirring so that no lumps are formed. Simmer for 2-3 minutes more. Take out of flame and let cool
  • Chop the fruits to bite size pieces. Keep the chopped apple and banana, if using immersed in water so that they don’t turn black
  • Pour about a ladle of custard in small serving glasses, layer with fruits and pour another ladle of custard. Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour and serve topped with cherries.

Hot Tips – In place of all purpose flour you can also use cornflour as used by Nigella in her custard sauce recipe.

This custard recipe goes to Kid’s Special event hosted at Tickling Palates.

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