Dal Palang – Red Lentil with Spinach

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Ever since I can remember I always used to have my meals while watching TV, and to tell you the truth even now I watch TV during lunch and dinner at home. Call it a good or a bad habit, watching TV while having food has grown into more than a habit, it has now almost become an addiction. The only difference that I have felt is the channels have changed during this time period. During my childhood it was Tom and Jerry show and then I graduated to watching comedy series. Right now, my meal time is scheduled for drama, crime thrillers.

One series, that was very close to heart was Popeye. This sailor who eats cans of spinach was one of my favorites cartoons while growing up. I love spinach and so does Popeye, so I was able to connect to him. A few days back when I was preparing this dal palang for dinner, I was thinking this handsome guy :).

Dal Palang

 

Spinach with its greeny leaves is one of the best sources of plant nutrition. It contains loads of soluble dietary fibers and is a very good for a weight reducing diet. Red lentil also has high calcium content and dietary fibers. So, this simple preparation of dal palang or dal palak, however you want to call it is great for a healthy diet.

Dal Palang

Indian, Side, Bengali recipe, Red lentil, Bengali dal recipe, Spinach and dal
Cooks in    Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup red lentil
  • 1 cup spinach, washed and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 3-4 red chili
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups of water
Directions
  • Wash the red lentils thoroughly. Pour water in a deep bottom saucepan and let it simmer. Add the red lentil to the simmering water, season with salt and wait till the dal is half cooked. Using a ladle discard the scum
  • Thow in the spinach and cook till the dal is fully cooked
  • Heat the oil in a skillet, put in the cumin seeds and red chili. As the seeds start to sputter pour it in the cooked dal. Add the spices and boil for 3-4 minutes more. Serve with warm rice or chapati.

Dal Palank

Hot Tips- If you are knew to the kitchen, the best way to know if the dal is half cooked is to press one of the lentils with your thumb and if you feel a hard core, the dal is half cooked.

You can also try the moong dal version of dal palang from ecurry.

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win 4 different simmer sauces from Saffron Road Food. Click the image to know the rules. Just 6 days to go.

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Chingri Bhorta – Spicy Stir Fried Shrimp Paste

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Shrimps are quick and easy to prepare and auspiciously tasty. You can cook shrimps in less than 10 minutes and your family will be just happy to have it at the dinner table.

Shrimps have their own way of making a boring curry like lau-er tarkari (bottle gourd curry) or kumro boti into something with a wonderful taste and gives a different feel to the texture. And, when it comes to talking about shrimps how can chingrir malaikari (shrimps in sweet coconut gravy) be far behind. This sweet and thick authentic Bengali recipe is a pride of the Bengali kitchen. It cooks almost instantly, but is one of the most coveted recipes.

Chingri Bharta

I had always been fond of shrimps and prawns, and the bhapa chingri (steamed praws) is one of my favorite recipes. One of my favorite bloggers, Pree of Preeoccupied posted a chingri bharta recipe yesterday and I couldn’t resist but cook it. It took me less than ten minutes to prepare it but it was an instant hit for the weekend lunch. Pree had not fried the onions and used it to garnish, but I thought of frying it, so you can try either way.

Chingri Bhorta

Indian, Side, Chingri bharta, Shrimp bharta, Bengali shrimp recipe, Prawn recipe
Cooks in    Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups deveined, deshelled clean shrimps
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped coarsely
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 green chili, chopped
  • 4 whole dried red chili
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoon mustard oil
Directions
  • Heat about a tablespoon of mustard oil in a skillet, add the shrimps and toss for 2 minutes. Take out and keep for later
  • Pour another tablespoon of oil in the same skillet and stir fry the onion, garlic , red and green chili. As the onions turn translucent, add the shrimps with the ground spices and season with salt. Stir for a minutes, and transfer everything in a blender jar
  • Use the pulse mode in the blender to coarsely grind the shrimps.
  • Transfer to a bowl, pour in the extra mustard oil, serve instantly with warm white rice and masurir dal.

Chingri Bhorta

Hot Tips – This recipe is so easy to prepare, that it makes a good side dish for week night dinners. If you don’t have a grinder or the pulse mode in your grinder, don’y worry, just chop the shrimps coarsely with a chef’s knife.

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win 4 different simmer sauces from Saffron Road Food. Click the image to know the rules. Just 9 days to go.

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Chicken Korma – Guest Post

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Poila Baisakh, Bengali new year is just a day to go. You all should have many plans for this new year. We at CLB though of celebrating it in our own way. A new recipe for Poila Baisakh. It is shared by Nusrat Azimuth Suborna of Myself Nusrat. Suborna is new to blogging, but you’ll have fun browsing through her blog with loads of appetizing food photographs. And, here’s her take on chicken korma in her own words.

Legendary ‘Chicken Korma’ is a Mughlai delicacy from Hyderabad, India. But my Bangladeshi Grandma has her own version. She would care a damn about korma rules. Because her version is ruled by magic 🙂

Grandma’s almighty-creamy-pillowy-lovely-light almost all-white ‘Chicken Korma’ shall live forever as a ‘Hall of Fame’ in our family 🙂

Chicken Korma

Making ‘Chicken Korma’ is an art that requires precision and skill (which I don’t have like my Grandma) and I guess, it would take me a light year to replicate her flavorful, tasty as well as visually appealing Korma. Keeping in mind that it’s humanly impossible to give it the exact same heavenly texture, exact same mild heat, exact same intense aroma, I gave it a try for the first time.

Chicken Korma

Indian, Side, Chicken recipe, Chicken korma, Bengali chicken recipe
   Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken, skinless and with bone or boneless
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 large size onion
  • 2 green chilies
  • 6 to 7 Almonds, blanched and skin removed
  • 6 to 7 Cashews
  • 1 tablespoon white poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup plain, flavorless yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked white pepper
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 4 tablespoons ghee/ cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  • Marinate the chicken with yogurt, salt, garlic and ginger and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator.
  • With the help of a blender, puree the hell out of onion and green chilies.
  • Next, blend the cashew, almond and poppy seeds to a fine paste.
  • In a deep pan, add 2 tablespoons of ghee and bring it to heat. Add green cardamoms and let it release the flavor. This should take about 2 seconds. Add onion puree to the wok/pan, add a pinch of salt and cook at a medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the marinated chicken and continue cooking for about 5 minutes until the chicken is partially cooked through. Add freshly cracked pepper.
  • Continue cooking in medium heat until the oil starts to separate.
  • Add milk. Cook for 10 minutes with the lid on.Check for salt and once the chicken is cooked through, switch off the heat.
  • Serve with rice or your choice of bread.

Chicken Korma bangladeshi style

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win 4 different simmer sauces from Saffron Road Food. Click the image to know the rules.

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Snacks and Tea

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Ek cup garam jal haye jak” (Lets have a cup of hot water). Now, you must me wondering am I sick with a flu or what. Its nothing like that, “ek cup garam jal haye jak” is my father’s way of asking my mom for tea. Both my parents are a connoisseur of tea. They like their tea without sugar, without milk – just boiling water infused with the goodness of tea leaves.

Tea is such a thing that every person likes to have his/her in a different way. The most common being the dudh chai (milk tea). There are numerous other variations depending on taste, culture and the type tea available in the region.

Ginger Ice Tea

I had some friends over for a tea party. It has started to grow warm in here, and I thought of preparing iced tea. Iced tea with its refreshing coolness is a welcome break during a warm afternoon.

Along with it there were different snacks – golgappa, churmur, and dahi vada. I served the snacks in the Stacko Food Stand provided by Gitadini. The Stacko with it single serving bowls is great for parties, and you can serves appetizers to desserts in each bowl. Its a great accent to a party table. The colorful bowl adds a vibrancy to the table, and also the single serving bowls is a good hygiene technique if you are hosting a party.

Stacko Food Stand

Iced Tea

Indian, Drink, Iced tea, Tea recipe, Ginger ice tea
Cooks in    Serves 8
Ingredients
  • 1 quart of water
  • ¼ cup tea leaves
  • 1 tablespoon freshly julienne ginger
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 2 lemon cut into circles
  • Fresh mint leaves to garnish (optional)
  • Lots of ice cubes
Directions
  • Boil the water with sugar and ginger. As the water starts boiling add the tea leaves, and take out of flame. Cover for 2-3 minutes (depending on how strong you like your tea) and strain out the tea leaves and ginger with a tea strainer, and pour in a large bottle or jug.
  • Bring it to normal temperature and the put it in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
  • To serve, fill three-quarter of a tall glass with ice cubes. Add some lemon wedges and pour the cold tea over it. Serve garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Ice Tea more

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win 4 different simmer sauces from  Saffron Road Food. Click the image to know the rules.

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Rogan Josh Review and Giveaway

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Rogan josh is one of the most popular recipes of the Kashmiri cuisine, though its origin is from the Persian kitchen. It is mainly made with lamb or mutton, but nowadays even chicken or vegetarian versions are also available in the restaurants. This recipe is characterized by its brilliant red color. The Kashmiri red chili powder is mainly used to get this red color, but in traditional version of the recipe dried flowers or roots of Alkanet is also used and even saffron strands.

Saffron Road Food had sent me some of their simmer sauces to try out, and a rogan josh simmer sauce was one of them. The recipe was written in details, and was very easy to make. I made it with boneless chicken and put in some veggies – carrots, potatoes and bell pepper in it too. To make this rogan josh all I had to do was to fry the washed boneless chicken pieces in oil till they were soft, put in the thinly sliced vegetables and toss for 2-3 minutes. Then just added the simmer sauce and let it cook for 4-5 minutes more and that it restaurant style rogan josh was ready in less than 15 minutes.

Rogan Josh on plate

Most simmer sauces from other companies, which I have tried contains their own signature smell, probably because of a particular ingredient in them, but the simmer sauces from Saffron Road Food was perfect and the finished product tasted just like it should taste if you had made it from scratch. They also have simmer sauces for Mororccan Tagine, Tikka Masala and Lemongrass Basil and they were equally good. These simmer sauces are perfect for bachelors, who have no idea where to start from in the kitchen and also for families for a busy week night or a lazy weekend.

I am very glad to announce that Saffron Road Food has agreed to sponsor this month’s giveaway. All the 4 simmer sauces can be yours. Just follow the rules below and two lucky winners will receive 4 different simmer sauces from Saffron Road Food.

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Rules for the giveaway:

1. Eligible to all legal residents of USA. 
2. Visit the Saffron Road Food website and leave a comment here saying which product you loved most. 
3. Like Saffron Road Food and Cook Like a Bong Facebook pages if you have not already liked it. 
 

I will use a random number generator to choose two winners from those who have commented in this post.

Here’s my take on rogan josh.

Rogan Josh

Indian, Side, Chicken curry, Rohan josh, Kashmiri style rogan josh
Cooks in    Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs lamb or mutton
  • 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 mace
  • 1 medium size onion, made to paste
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 5 tablespoon canola oil
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  • Mix the lamb or mutton with yogurt, ginger garlic paste, onion paste, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well, put in a ziplock pouch and keep in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hours and not more than 8 hours.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottom wok, add the garlic cloves,whole spices and the marinaded lamb or mutton. Fry till the spices change to a darker color and the marinade dries out. Keep stirring so that it doesn\'t stick to the bottom
  • Reduce the flame to medium, pour in 2 cups of warm water and simmer for 45minutes, or transfer to a pressure cooker and wait till two whistles.
  • Wait till you attain the deserve consistency of the gravy, add more water if required. Sprinkle the garam masala and serve hot with basmati rice or naan.

Rogan Josh with kadai

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