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Rogan Josh for Your Valentine

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Though not an Indian custom, Valentine’s Day has become a very integral part of the Indian custom. TV commercials, newspaper ads 14th of February has turned into another day of celebration and festivities. Gifting red roses and chocolate have become the new custom. Only on 14th Feb 189 million stems of red roses are sold in US in comparison to 1.2 billion throughout the year.

It’s just not only among the teens; the festivities have even sipped into the minds of the older generation. Just as an example, my mom deliberately took off her nose pin this morning to show my father that she urgently requires a new nose pin. So, whats your Valentine’s Day gift this year. Share it with us.

When there are festivities, food cannot be far off. So, here at Cook Like Bong, we are celebrating this V-Day with an authentic Kashmiri style Rogan Josh shared by Debjani, our guest author. The name of the dish comes from rogan or roghan meaning color and josh meaning passion – what better way than to have this dish filled with colour and passion on the day of love.

Rogan Josh is generally made of lamb, but mutton rogan josh is a very popular dish throughout India. It was brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, and outside Kashmir it’s generally prepared in its commercial form.

The authentic Kashmiri rogan josh gets its colour from two things – the Kashmiri red chilli which is mild, yet gives a great colour to the food, and the dried Muawal flower, which grows locally in Kashmir or the Ratanjot, a root hat infuses the color .

Mutton Rogan Josh

Indian, Side, Authentic kashmiri cuisine, Kashmiri mutton rogan josh, Roghan josh, Rogan josh
Cooks in    Serves 2-3
Ingredients
  • Mutton,cut into 1½ inch pieces 500 grams
  • Mustard Oil 4 tablespoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida/Hing
  • 2 one-inch sticks Cinnamon/ Cassia Bark
  • 6-8 Cloves
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 medium red onion
  • 4-6 inch piece Root ginger
  • 8 Garlic cloves
  • 5-6 Black peppercorns
  • 4 Black cardamoms
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 tablespoon ( soak 3 Kashmiri chilies and make a paste along with the fennel seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dry ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup whisked Yogurt
Directions
  • Make a paste of onion, garlic and ginger.
  • Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan.
  • Add asafoetida, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns and black cardamoms.
  • Sauté till fragrant.
  • Add the onion and ginger-garlic paste. Stir fry.
  • Add lamb pieces and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly till lamb pieces turn a nice reddish brown color.
  • This may take twelve to fifteen minutes. Make sure to stir constantly and scrape all the sediments from the bottom of the pan, so that the meat doesn\'t get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Sprinkle a little water and continue cooking for twelve to fifteen minutes more on low heat.
  • Add Kashmiri red chilli powder, fennel powder, dry ginger powder, coriander powder and salt.
  • Add whipped yogurt and two cups of water.
  • Cook, covered, till lamb is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Slow cook the lamb, checking for the doneness from time to time.
  • Garnish with cilantro.
  • Serve hot.

Hot Tips – Ideally its served with warm white rice, but you can also serve it with paratha or chapati.As this is a slow cooing preparation, its better not to use a pressure cooker to tenderize the meat. While adding the spices, you can first add the Kashmiri chili and fennel paste, stir it for sometime and then add the other spices.

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Apple Crumble for your Valentine

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For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

  • Rosemonde Gerard

Wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day. It may be a regular day for most of us, but still at the back of the mind, this day may seem to be a little different from the other 364 days of the year – a day to love and of course to express your love for the one person who has made all the differences in life.

Though the history of this day has no connection with romance and was celebrated to commemorate the Christian martyrs who were named Valentine. The romantic tinge of this day came with Saint Valentine. Roman Emperor Claudius II, supposedly ordered that young men to remain single as he felt that married men did not make good soldiers. On the other hand, Saint Valentine secretly performed marriage ceremonies to young men. When the emperor came to know about this he persecuted Saint Valentine. Want to know more about the history of 14th February, click to see the wiki page.

This day is celebrated all throughout the Western world. Thanks to globalization 14th February has become a day of celebration for the non-Christian countries too. Though a candle light dinner would be the perfect choice to celebrate this day of love and passions most people remains content with flowers and chocolates. We at Cook Like a Bong would love to share our part of celebration with a dessert – the apple crumble. This dessert is just perfect for Valentine’s Day – rough and course from outside, soft and gooey from inside – just like your Valentine. Choose more of our Valentine’s Day recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, peeled, stoned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • Vanilla ice-cream or fresh cream for serving (optional)

Preparation:

  • In a thick bottom flask take the chopped apples and mix well with ½ cup icing sugar
  • Stew the apples over low flame with occasional stirring
  • The apples should become soft but not totally pureed
  • Place the apples in an oven proof pan
  • Mix the remaining sugar with the all-purpose flour and butter until it looks like bread crumps
  • Cover the cooked apple with the flour mix
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C
  • Place the pan in the middle rack of the preheated oven and cook for 30 min or till the upper layer turns light brown
  • Take out and serve hot with fresh cream or vanilla ice-cream

This recipe goes to Cooking with Fruits event hosted by Smita of  Tastebuds, also to Bake-off event . As this recipe is very easy to prepare and requires few ingredients, I’m sending it to Any One can Cook under the categories FB and WLI. This apple crumble is on its way to Monthly Mingle: Food for your loved ones hosted at Paulchens Food Blog?!, the event being the brainchild of Meeta of Whatsforlunchhoney.

The Calcutta Cookbook: A Treasury of Recipes From Pavement to Place

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Gurer Payesh – Rice Pudding with Jaggery

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Bengalis are fond of fish as they are of sweet. There are more sweet shops in Bengal than there are grocery stores. Bengali rasogollas and sandesh has become a pride and heritage for all Bengalis. But, these are what we get in the sweet shops and are generally not prepared at home.

Payesh or rice pudding is one of the most common desserts that you’ll see getting prepared in every Bengali household. It is one of the most authentic Bengali desserts. Payesh is offered as bhog during pujas, and also as a sweet treat for every birthday. Payesh has a special place in the menu to bid farewell to your loved ones. A Bengali occasion without payesh is yet to be heard of.

Gurer Payesh_1

Rice or vermicelli is the two main options for making payesh. The short grained scented gobindobhog chal is ideal for preparing payesh, the scent from the rice adds a special flavor to the whole preparation. The vermicelli or simayer payesh is a quick and easier version. Though sugar is used as the main sweetener, during winter the just-in-market jaggery, nalen gur adds a wintery treat to payesh.

Gitadini Items

Gitadini sent me a 2 quart saucepan to review. The saucepan has built-in strainer and is ideal for making tea, especially for people like e who keep on loosing the tea strainer. The built-in strainer allows you to pour tea into the cups directly without a tea strainer. But, I wanted to use the strainer for something better and preparing payesh in it was the best option I could think of. The handle is sturdy and has an extra padding for better comfort and insulation. While, making payesh you should be extra careful as the rice tends to get stuck to the bottom of the pan, but this saucepan worked wonders. And, the best part is it’s easy to clean and is dishwasher safe. I’m planning to  prepare soups in it too and I think it would be great for deep frying. They were also kind enough to send me a wall canvas (picture of ganesh). The canvas is nice and light weight, ideal for gifts or just for you to give your room an Indian touch.

Gurer Payesh

Dessert, Indian, Gurer payesh, Nalen gurer payesh, Rice pudding, Molasses dessert, Jaggery recipe
Cooks in    Serves 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1/4 cup scented rice
  • 1/4 cup jaggery
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
Directions
  • Boil the milk in low flame till it reduces to half the volume. It would take about 30 mins. In the meantime mix the rice with ghee
  • Pour out a little milk in a bowl and add the jaggery. Press the jaggery with the back of a spoon, so that it dissolves in the milk
  • Add the rice to the milk, and let it boil over low flame till the rice is cooked. Pour the jaggery mixed milk into the vessel and boil for 2-3 minutes more. Garnish with the crushed cloves. Serve hot or cold

Gurer Payesh_2

Hot Tips – Mixing ghee before adding the rice to milk lets the rice stay separated.

Always test the jaggery by mixing it with little milk before adding it to the payesh. At times the jaggery clumps the milk, making the payesh a clumpy mess.

 

Don’t forget to send in your entries to Holi event and Giveaway and get a chance to win vouchers from Flipkart sponsored by CupoNation.

Holi - The Festival of Colors Event Logo

The gurer payesh goes to the Chandrani’s Valentines’s Treat.

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Mini Apple Pie

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How will you define friendship? The first friend with whom you went to kindergarten; crying all the way because it was the first day without parents around. The school friends, who made you those naughty deeds, and of course that includes eating phuchka after school. The college friends with whom you bunked your first classes to get a mug of beer. And, then came the one friend with whom you are sharing your life.

Friends come and go, but some stay for a lifetime. So, Happy Friendship Day to all those friends who have touched my life in one way or the other.

On this very special day, here’s a little dessert to cheer up. Though a very popular dish in America; apple pie was probably brought to this country by the English colonists. It is a sweet tart filled mainly with apples, but sometimes with spices like ground cinnamon, and dried fruits like raisins and figs. This recipe is so old that in the traditional English pie recipes there was no sugar used. It was probably because sugar was an expensive item at that time.

The pie generally has a pastry bottom crust with a covered top or sometimes a pastry lattice woven top crust. The pastry lattice top is more common in USA, but the Swedish apple pie resembles more like an apple crumble with the apples lined on a baking tray and covered with the pastry crust.

Mini Apple Pie

Dessert, English, Apple pie, English dessert, Mini pie
Cooks in    Serves 4
Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoon ice cold water
  • For the filling:
  • 2 green apples peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¼ cup raisins (optional)
Directions
  • Mix the flour and the sugar until the mixture has a sandy texture. Add the butter cubes and mix well till it resembles bread crumbs. The butter pieces shouldn’t be more than the size of peas.
  • Pour in the ice cold water and knead it to make a dough. Cover with a cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour, you can keep it upto 24 hours. Do not freeze.
  • Take out the dough, make 8 small balls. In a floured board roll out 4 of these balls into quarter inch thick circles and place it on the tart pans. Press the sides so that the dough sticks to the side of the pan.
  • Mix the fillings together and distribute it among the tart pans. Preheat the oven to 425F
  • Roll out each of the other 4 balls one by one, and cut thin strips. Carefully Place the strips on top of the fillings like a lattice.
  • Place the tart pans in the oven and bake for 15-20mins till the top crust changes color to golden brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375F and bake for about 10mins more or until the filling starts bubbling.
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream.

These mini apple pies goes to the Taste of the Tropics: Cinnamon event hosted by Chef Mirelle’s Global kitchen.

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February Monthly Round Up

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9 new posts, Valentine’s week recipes, salad carnival and increased community engagement (both here and at Facebook page) made February 2010 pretty exciting at Cook Like a Bong. Valentine’s week, Holi and (unfortunately) sudden traffic drop due to hosting trouble marked the month.

Posts in February

  1. Strawberry SandeshA Bong can’t remain away from sweets for long. The strawberry sandesh is an ode to all those sweet lovers staying in a place far from sweet shops.
  2. Bengali Style Matar Paneer – Matar paneer is a favorite among North Indian communities, I tried putting in some Bengali twist to this very popular Indian recipe
  3. Chocolate Cake in Microwave – After many attempts, disasters and heart break, at last I succeeded in preparing a cake in microwave
  4. Bengali Food Bloggers Interview – Bong Mom: A series that plans to ‘bring out’ the personal side of your favourite Food Bloggers. Part 2 features Bong Mom of Bong Mom’s CookBook. Know her favourite food blogs, why she started cooking, what was her first dish and lots more.
  5. Paneer Pulao in Rice Cooker: Celebrating the Valentine’s week, paneer pulao was the recipe for Teddy Day. This preparation looked as lovely as your Teddy.
  6. Bread Chop Suey: This one is a must prepare for the kid at home, or even for the kid at heart.
  7. Gits Karaisutir Kachori Mix – Product Review – This was the first product review at Cook Like a Bong. Will be publishing the second one soon.
  8. Happy Holi – Celebrating the festival of colors at home. Here’s some more pics from my neighborhood. The kids went mad.

Awards:

Indrani was very kind to share two of her awards with me. Thanks a lot Indrani. Know more about the awards in our Awards Page.

Random: The luck arches the closing ozone.
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Bread Chopsuey

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Promise is most given when the least is said.
~George Chapman

Have you ever made a promise? The everyday ones. A promise that you could have written in caps with a bold and font size 72.

This post is a part of the Valentine’s Day Special recipes. Valentine’s day is just 2 days away, and today is Promise Day. Earlier we talked about Paneer Pulao in Rice Cooker on Teddy Day, Chocolate Cake in Microwave on Chocolate Day and Bengali Style Matar Paneer on Propose Day.

When I googled for the word “Promise”, there were more than 9 million hits including some promise day sms, lyrics from a song by Ciara, a wiki page on promise and many many more. I clicked on one particular link showing the etymology of the word.

Have you ever thought of writing promise as “Promys”, am sure the primary school teacher would have come to you with a long stick in hand. But, that was how the word was spelt in 1400s when it first appeared in Middle England. Through the centuries the word evolved and is now spelled differently.

I made a promise to myself today. By next year am going to be a good baker. I had been an awful baker all this time; you can have a look at my baking disasters. Recently, I have made some improvement in my skills, but still pounds to bake before I perfect the art. J.

Today’s recipe is a simple and easy to prepare one. It is a healthy breakfast and an ideal way to start a day. This recipe is on its way to Srivalli’s Kids Delight – Wholesome Breakfast.

Serves 4
Preparation time 10min
Cooking time 10min

Ingredients:

  • Bread (Pau ruti): 4 pieces, cut into four squares
  • Hard Boiled egg (Sedho dim): 4, cut into quarters
  • Boiled potato (Sedho alu): 2 medium sizes, chopped coarsely
  • Coriander leaves (Dhane pata): 2-3 sprigs, chopped coarsely
  • Sunflower Oil (Sada tel) for deep frying
  • Bhujia for garnishing
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice (Lebur rash): 2 tablespoon

Preparation:

  • Heat oil in a wok and fry the bread pieces. Fry till they are almost brown, take out and place over a kitchen paper to soak out the excess oil
  • In a large salad bowl put the fried bread pieces, boiled potato, chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice, salt and toss
  • Divide the tossed breads in four serving bowls, garnish with  the eggs and bhujia

Hot Tips– Its best to fry a little old bread pieces, fresh bread tends to crumble. I have cut the bread pieces into four. You can cut it with a cookie cutter in any shape of your choice.

Wish you a Happy Promise Day!

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Paneer Pulao in Rice Cooker

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There’s nothing as nice. As a new Teddy Bear.
To tickle and cuddle, And take everywhere
To share all your secrets,Your laughter and tears
To keep by your side Through seasons and years.
There’s nothing as nice As a new Teddy Bear…
Except for an old one With memories to share.

~Jeannie Hand-Stuart~

Did any of you get a teddy today? Today is Teddy Day and as promised we are here with the third Valentine’s Week special recipe. There’s Matar paneer on Propose Day and Microwave Chocolate cake on Chocolate Day.

After these two it’s a simple and non-greasy preparation for the menu. You can have it with the spicy Mutton kasha, or the healthy Cauliflower curry.

Paneer Pulao

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10min

Cooking time: 30min

Ingredients:

  • Long grain or Basmati rice (Chal): 2 cups
  • Farmer cheese (Paneer): 200gms
  • Peas (Matar shuti): ½ cup
  • Cumin (Jeera): 2 tablespoon
  • Onion (Peyaj): ½ cup, finely chopped
  • Water (Jal): 4 cups
  • Sunflower Oil (Sada tel): 5 tablespoon
  • Coriander leaves (Dhane pata) for garnishing
  • Salt to taste

Paneer Pulao

Preparation:

  • Wash the rice and spread them over a clean newspaper so that the water gets drained off
  • Cut the paneer in small square pieces
  • Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a wok, and fry the paneer pieces till golden brown
  • Plunge them into warm water with little salt, keep aside
  • In the rice cooker pour the extra oil, onions, cumin and salt, mix well, turn on and cook for 2-3min
  • Add the rice and mix well with the sautéed onions, pour in 4 cups of water
  • Cook for about 15 min
  • Add the peas and cook for some more time, check in between whether the rice has been cooked well
  • Add the paneer, and cook for 4-5mins more
  • Serve with chopped coriander garnished

Paneer Pulao

Hot Tips – You can also prepare it over flame. Just follow the steps, but use a little less water and cook over low flame.

Further Reading – Paneer pulao, Zafrani Paneer Pilaf

What’s your Teddy Bear Memory?

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Chocolate Cake in Microwave

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Lovely Chocolate and Lovely you. And lovely are the things you do, but the loveliest is the friendship of the two, one is me and the other is you. HAPPY CHOCOLATE DAY

My day started with this message. Most people I know love Chocolates (and chances are, you too) and when a day is dedicated to this, it ought to be celebrated.

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Day

Chocolate Day is 2nd day of the Valentine Week. As promised, each day of the Valentine week, I would post recipes befitting the occasion. I started with Matar Paneer with a Bengali twist on the Propose Day, and here’s  chocolate cake for the C-Day.

Uh oh, not so soon. Before jumping to the recipe, lets talk about Chocolate for a little while.

History of Chocolate

Cocoa trees grow in the wild in Latin America, and that’s where Chocolate is said to have originated from. It was the Olmec tribe who started preparing chocolate as early as 1000BC. Chocolate beans used as currency in many parts of Latin America almost till 19th Century. The Mayas also used chocolates for rituals and ceremonies, but it was strictly for drinking. The first chocolate bar came from Cadbury’s in England in 1842, and that started a new era of chocolates. [Source: Wikipedia]

Benefits of chocolate

No, seriously. You may be surprised to know that Chocolate has its own share of benefits.

Besides being a mood enhancer, chocolate has a very high food value, delays aging and helps avoid cardiac problems. It is believed that chocolate consumption releases chemicals in the body very similar to ones when you are in love. So, the next time you indulge yourself with a bar of chocolate, just think about all its good effects. J

Note: Indulging in chocolate doesn’t mean watching this movie.

Cooking Chocolate Cake in Microwave Oven

I tried making a chocolate pudding that I read in a Thai recipe book. The pudding was to be steamed in braine marie, but I tried doing that in the microwave. Now, here’s the news. The pudding didn’t seem to be like the one in the book pic, but it was a perfect cake like texture. That was my eureka moment, baking cake in a simple microwave oven. The tasters loved it. 🙂

Prepare Chocolate Cake

Prepare Chocolate Cake

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 15min

Cooking time: 6min

Ingredients for Chocolate Pudding

For the cake

  • Plain flour (Maida): 1 cup
  • Caster sugar (Guro chini): 1 ¼ cup
  • Egg (Dim): 3
  • Cocoa powder: 4 tablespoon
  • Unsalted butter (Sada Makhan): ½ cup + for greasing
  • Plain chocolate: 100gms

For chocolate sauce

  • Unsalted butter: 2 tablespoon
  • Cocoa powder: 2 tablespoon
  • Milk (Dudh): ½ cup
  • Caster sugar (Guro chini): 3 tablespoon
More Chocolate Pudding

More Chocolate Pudding

Preparation steps for Chocolate Pudding

For cake

  • Beat the egg and caster sugar together, whisk well till frothy
  • In another bowl sift the flour and cocoa powder
  • Gradually add flour and cocoa powder into the beaten egg, whisk well
  • Pour in individual bowls and place in large tray filled with water
  • Microwave high for 6 min or till a tooth pick inserted at the middle of the cake comes out clean

For the chocolate sauce

  • Melt the butter and cool down to room temperature
  • Mix milk, caster sugar and cocoa powder well, whisk well
  • Pour in the butter and stir again

Decoration

  • Take a dessert plate and place the cake on it, pour in the chocolate sauce and garnish with chocolate chips

Further Reading – Black Forest Chocolate Cookies, Chocolate Dessert

Happy Chocolate Day folks!

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Bengali Style Matar Paneer

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Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

A woman proposes a man. The man rejects. And then the man is punished for the refusal. Ever heard of such a thing?

Custom dictated if a man is proposed on 8th February, he can deny it only at the risk of punishment, which varied from a kiss to buying a gown or a pair of gloves.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

Well, you know that already. So, Ladies lets get started. In case you are a man, there’s nothing better for a lady to see a nice dinner table decked with her favorite food. You bet.

I love cooking, but there can’t be anything better if I see my man cooking dinner for me. Even if that’s not so good to taste, I would just devour that.

We at Cook Like a Bong are celebrating this week of love. Valentine’s Day is just round the corner. I am sure you all are busy thinking of what best to present to your loved one:). To make that special person feel how much you care, I am sure, you all are ready to do a lot (but not like the Hindi movies “Main tumhare liye jaan bhi de sakta/sakti hoon!” [– “I can sacrifice my life for you!”] – that’s too much:) ).

StepMom Proposal Scene, my favorite

Propose Day

Today is Propose  Day and I thought of preparing something simple yet special. K is not here, but I’m sure he would have loved it. The Matar Paneer is Bong-ofied by yours truly. Bon Apetite!

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 15min
 

 

 

Ingredients of Matar Paneer

Farmer cheese (Paneer ): 200gm
Potato (Aalu): 2 medium sized
Peas (Matar, ): ½ cup
Tomato: 1 medium sized
Cumin (Jeera): 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder (Jeera guro): 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1teaspoon
Chili Powder (Lanka guro): 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder: ½ teaspoon
Clarified butter (Ghee): 1 teaspoon [optional]
Sunflower Oil  (Sada tel): 1 ½ tablespoon, + extra for frying

Fresh Paneer

Fresh Paneer

Preparation for Matar Paneer

  • Cut the paneer and potatoes into small 1 inch size cubes, chop the tomato
  • Simmer about 2 cups of water with little salt
  • Heat oil in a wok and gently fry the paneer cubes till golden brown, drop the fried paneer in the salted water
  • Fry the potatoes till half cooked in the same oil, keep aside
Half Fried Paneer

Half Fried Paneer

  • Drain excess oil keeping just about one-and-half tablespoon of oil for the cooking
  • Add the cumin seeds and wait till they start popping, reduce the flame
  • Add the tomatoes, cook till they soften and the oil starts coming out
  • In the mean time, add all spices in a small bowl and pour in just about half cup of water to make a smooth paste
  • Pour the spice paste in the wok and cook, if it starts getting too dry then pour in some more water
  • Throw in the half cooked potatoes, salt and just as much water to cover the potatoes
  • Cook till the potatoes are almost done
  • Slowly drop the soaked paneer and cook till the gravy thicken
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and pour in the ghee
  • Take out of flame and serve with roti, paratha or vegetable pulao
More Matar Paneer

More Matar Paneer

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