Strawberries and Cream Cheese French Roll Up Toast

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I am a big proponent of breakfast. I love to pamper myself with large lavish breakfast, so whenever I travel my first criterion to choose a hotel is they have a good breakfast bar. My choice for breakfast always include bread and eggs and when they come together there nothing stopping me. Be it the humble bread butter with a side of poached eggs or the Indian style spicy French toast – I love them all. So, when I saw this photo on Pinterest for a French toast roll up, I just had to have it.

I used cream cheese and strawberries for the filling, but to say the least, the options are unending. You can try it with cream cheese and chocolate chips, or nutella and raspberries or the American favorite peanut butter and jam.

Try out these easy to make French roll ups and comment on what you used for the filling.

French Roll Up

 

Strawberries and Cream Cheese French Roll Up Toast
Serves 2
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 large sandwich bread
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 4-5 strawberries, hulled and cut to bite size pieces
  4. 6 tablespoon cream cheese
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  6. ½ cup refined sugar
  7. Cooking spray for frying
Instructions
  1. Take the crust out of the breads, and flatten them with a rolling pin. Beat the eggs in a spread out bowl
  2. To one side of the bread spread the cream cheese and top it with a good amount of strawberries
  3. Mix the cinnamon powder with the sugar and spread on a plate. Spray the cooking oil on a frying pan
  4. Roll the bread, and dip in the beaten eggs and place the rolled up bread on the frying pan.
  5. Fry the roll up till they are golden brown on all sides, roll on the cinnamon sugar and serve immediately
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

Cream cheese and Strawberries French Roll Up

Bengali Breakfast with Luchi

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When it comes to food, there’s no way you can beat a Bengali. Ask anybody who is or knows a Bong and you’ll know how true it is. We Bengalis love to eat and love to feed, so whether its lunch dinner or breakfast – food on the plate has to be grand.

Even though there is a particular inclination towards rice and its different forms, we try to keep it for lunch and dinner only. The day starts with wheat. In my house, the weekday mornings are always a rush. Breads, eggs, milks are generally in the menu. Even though the English breakfast is one of a kind, we have changed it to our own Bengali style English breakfast. The French toasts are not drizzled with powdered sugar or honey, but is fried in a savoury  batter of egg, onions, chillies and mix of spices. Even the scrambled egg has its share of turning more Bong loaded with herbs and spices.

But, when it comes to weekend, there’s nothing better than an authentic Bengali breakfast. And, there cannot be a Bengali breakfast without luchi. Luchi is a close cousin of the North India puri, which is generally made with whole wheat flour or atta. Luchi on the other hand is made with maida to get that light and fluffy golden texture. Maida is also made from the starchy white part of  the wheat grain, and almost resembles the all-purpose flour.

Luchi cannot be had by itself, so there has to be something to go with it. As a toddler my favourite was luchi with sugar, the crispy flakes of luchi with the sweet sugar is one of the best joys of growing up in a Bengali family.

As you grow, the choices of a side dish with luchi grows with you. Even if you are in a no meat mood, there is an array of options. The most popular is luchi with cholar dal. If you are from Kolkata or have visited the city, you must be aware of Sri Hari Mistanna Bhandar. This sweet shop has got just two branches, one near the Hazra crossroad and the other near the Kalighat temple. For more than 5 decades they had been selling the biggest and largest langcha in Kolkata, a long and thin cousin of gulab jamun, but the reason I mentioned here is Sri Hari also caters the best luchi and cholar dal all through the day. If you have not tried it till now, go and visit.

Cholar dal is just one, and there is a lot more to go. Bengalis are fond of potatoes, we try to use it almost everywhere. Probably if there is vote for the most popular comfort food for Bengalis alu seddho and bhaat would be a winner. Potatoes are a rage; they are used in almost all vegetarian side dishes and also in meat or fish curries. So, the simple potato curry with just a little of nigella and green chillies, the famous sada tarkari is an instant hit with luchi. Even though we get all types of vegetables throughout the year these days but the fulkopir tarkari in a chilly winter morning with luchi is something to die for.

Sunday is the meaty day, there’s hardly a few Bengalis who doesn’t cook chicken or mutton on Sundays. So, why not start the day with some meat. Smoking hot kasha mangsho with garam garam fulko luchi – no one can deny that breakfast.

Bengalis love their sweet. Sweet at the end of the meal is almost compulsory; we’ll find more sweet shops in any street of Kolkata than pharmacies. Sweets or desserts as a side dish with your luchi is a heavenly combination. Chaler payesh  or cold rice pudding or the Bengali special payesh with hot luchi is an ultimate combo. Or even the soft sandesh to go with luchi.

The list for Bengali breakfast with luchi is unending. It is like the queen of the kitchen. The fluffy golden texture, deep fried in refined oil always reminds me of the Sundays in my Kolkata home. What’s your luchi story, share it with us.

Hot Tips – if you want something more from your luchi, stuff it with some mashed peas to prepare karaisutir kachori.

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Summer Coolers – Watermelon Mocktail

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The temperature rising high and its becoming tougher by the day to sustain this heat almost throughout India and of course in Texas. The global warming is taking its toll. Though its quite pleasant out here in Bangalore, I’m just worried about my loved ones in Kolkata – almost no rain and the temperature rising above 36 degree celsius almost everyday with the terrifying humidity.

The only way out is to have a loads and loads of fruits – chopped to bite sized pieces or blended to a refreshing juice. Mango and watermelon are the kings of summer. Wherever you go, you’ll definitely get hold of these two at least.

There was a big watermelon lying in my fridge for the last couple of days, and even though the maid chops it into small pieces, am still lazy enough to bite into each piece, separate those hundreds of seeds and savour it. So, thought of a better idea – why not to puree it to a refreshing drink. Here I am gulping on the watermelon juice and writing about it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of chopped watermelon
  • 2 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • Puree the watermelon and strain out the seeds
  • Serve with ice cubes in martini or whiskey glasses

Hot Tips- If you are planning to have this on a weekend, I suggest that you mix a little vodka with it and treat yourself with a watermelon martini.

Health Tips – If you worry about your health a little then watermelon is the best fruit to have. The nutritional fact for watermelon says that it consists of more than 90 percent of water and very less in fat. So, enjoy this summer with watermelons.

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What to have for Holi

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Its already Holi time and nothing much to say. Here are some authentic Bengali recipes that you can try out for this doljatra.

Breakfast:

Lunch:

Desserts and Chatni:

To search for more recipe click to All Recipes.

Wish you all a very Happy Holi!!! Play safe and don’t forget to share your Holi pics and memories with us.

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Cooking with Seeds – Poppy: Event Round-up Addendum

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In addition to the entries listed for the Cooking with Seeds – Poppy event, here’s some more.

Biscuits with dates from Jayasri of Samayal Arai

Aloo Posto (Potatoes in Poppy Seeds Paste) from Arundhati of  My Saffron Kitchen

White Vegetable Korma from Denny of  Oh Taste n See

And, last but not the least an entry from a non-blogger friend, Subit Datta. I am writing the recipe for Papaya with Poppy Seeds here.

1. Grate a small papaya.

2. Make two tablespoon poppy seeds into paste with 1/2 green chillies.

3. Heat  one and a half tablespoon vegetable oil in a non-stick pan.

4. Put in 1/2 teaspoon onion seeds (kalojeerey).

5. Add grated papaya. Add salt. Cover and cook.

6. Add poppy seed paste. Keep stirring till dry.

7. Garnish with green chillies.

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Kolkata Style Vegan Frankie

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It so happened that I used to wake up late (I still do:P) and then need to rush without grabbing a proper breakfast. But, this had a bad toll on me and my health. I felt that pre-afternoon hunger and sluggishness. So, I made it a point to have a good and wholesome breakfast. You can check some of the quick breakfast recipes.

The four main reasons to skip breakfast, what I have learned from family and friends are:

  1. I don’t have time
  2. I really don’t have time
  3. I seriously don’t have time
  4. I’m skipping breakfast to lose weight

You can either set your alarm just 15min earlier or rush to the office with the hungry tummy aching to have some food. I chose the first option, nothing is better than to have a healthy breakfast and plan for a good day. Now, if your reason to skip breakfast is solely to shed some pounds, then beware skipping breakfast has a reverse effect on your weight loss plan. This is a good read on skip breakfast, get fat.

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

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • Potato (Alu): 3 large, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size, chopped
  • Tomato: 1 medium, chopped
  • Green chili (Kancha Lanka) : 2, chopped
  • Coriander leaves (Dhane Pata): ¼ cup chopped
  • Salt to taste

For the wrap:

  • Wheat Flour (Maida): 2 cup
  • Water

Preparation:

  • Make a dough using the flour and prepare parathas
  • Mash the boiled potatoes, add the other ingredients and mix well
  • Once the parathas are ready put a generous amount of the filling mixture and roll the parathas
  • Cut each roll into two from the middle and serve hot with tomato sauce, lemon juice and salad

Hot Tips – I have used parathas for the wrap you can use chapattis too. You can also use the left over rotis or parathas from last night to prepare the wrap. The filling can also of your own choice of vegan or meat, check the egg roll post for more ideas.

Further ReadingsBreakfast with eggsMumbai Frankie roll

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Bhat Bhaja (Fried Rice)

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As far as I remember, my mom had always told me, breakfast is the main food of the day; you should have your breakfast like a king. At home, of course that was maintained, but when am away I am always out of ideas to what to have for breakfast. Cornflakes and milk then becomes the best option. I am sure this happens to most of you.

On most weekends I wake up late and my breakfast becomes the luncheon. This was an easy and simple breakfasts come lunch I had on last Saturday, I hope you like it too. I had some rice left from last night and added some colorful vegetables to make it a sumptuous meal.

Preparation time: 7min
Cooking time: 10min

Ingredients:

  • Rice (Bhat): 1 bowl
  • Peas (Mator shuti): ½ cup
  • Sweet corn (Bhutta): ½ cup
  • Cauliflower (Ful kopi): 1 few florets cut into very small pieces
  • Potato (Alu): 1 small, cut into small squares
  • Oil (Tel): 2 tablespoons
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera): ½ tablespoon

Optional –

  • Cashew nut (Kaju badam): 5/ 6
  • Raisins (Kismis): 10 /12

Preparation:

  • Wash all the vegetables well. Heat oil in a wok and throw in the cauliflower and potatoes
  • Fry till they are half cooked and put in the peas and sweet corn, continue till the vegetables are cooked
  • Keep aside the vegetables and pour in just a dollop of ghee to the wok
  • Add the cumin seeds, as the seeds start sputtering, add the vegetables and rice
  • Cook over low flame till the vegetables and rice are mixed well
  • Garnish with cashew and raisins (if using) and serve hot

Hot Tips – If you want to add any other seasonal vegetables then go ahead and use it. The more the colorful the food, the more your kids will love it. While mixing the rice and vegetables together take care so that the rice grains do not break. You can have this with some side dish like Dimer malpua, Chal Diye Alu Dum.

Further readingFried rice in microwave, Jeera Rice

Sending this recipe for Scrumptious Delights From Leftovers hosted by PJ.

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Guest Post: Strawberry Chutney

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With the end semester examinations knocking at the door steps, and also because I got a bit lazy I was unable to post for quite a long time now. Due to the Municipal elections in my state end of this month, my exams have been postponed and I’m back to blogging.

A few days back WaterBearer (as she likes to call her) sent me a mail with a wonderful yet simple recipe of strawberry chutney. As she writes in her mail, she learnt this preparation from her mother-in-law. If you are not Pepper Potts from Iron Man reading this post, I’m sure you love strawberries. You had posted another guest post from Soma, to read about that click here.

Here’s some facts about strawberries I didn’t know before I wrote this post:

  • Strawberries are very rich in Vitamin C and a cup of these red juicy berries provide more than a day’s requirement of ascorbic acid.
  • They are low in calories and so for the health conscious people indulge without that sinful brain
  • It’s very good for expecting mothers as 8 strawberries contain 20% of the folic acid required in your daily nutrition
  • Strawberries are said to reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases

Now, am sure I would eat more strawberries than ever before. J

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries: 6 pieces, chopped
  • White oil (Sada tel): ¼ spoon
  • Sugar (Chini): 2-3 tablespoons
  • Green chili (Kancha lanka): 1/ 2, chopped [optional]
  • Mustard seeds (Sarse dana): 10-12
  • Salt a pinch full

Preparation:

Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seed

  • Throw in the chopped strawberries. Cover the pan till the strawberries soften. Stir gently from time to time
  • Add the sugar, green chili and salt
  • Stir till it becomes a thick jelly like substance. Remove from flame.
  • Serve it on the side with rotis / parathas as a tangy chutney

As with most chutneys this one too can be stored in the refrigerator, so you can enjoy this rich and tangy preparation anytime you wish to.

If you like to send any recipes, please forward it to benaglicuisine[at]gmail[dot]com, preferably with one or more photos of the preparation. We would love to hear your suggestions and comments.

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Egg Maggi Noodles in easy quick steps

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Recipe in 8 words

Prepare Egg Bhurji, prepare maggi and mix both.

Seriously, that’s Egg Maggi for you. If you want to learn the details, read on.

Egg and Maggi Noodles

Egg and Maggi Noodles

Maggi noodles – the Youth Icon

Over the years, several folks have enjoyed the status of being voted MTV Youth Icon – SRK, Rahul Dravid, Anil Ambani, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Orkut etc. These figures touch your life, but not a daily basis.

Maggi Noodles is undoubtedly the Youth Icon. Calories notwithstanding, Maggi comes to your help during late nights, rush breakfast, supper or when your cook hasn’t turned up.

Last was true in my case when I decided its time for Egg Maggi Noodles as a standalone dish.

Preparing Egg Bhurji

Preparing Egg Bhurji

Preparing Egg Bhurji

Preparing Egg Bhurji

How to prepare Egg Maggi Noodles

Serves – 1; Prep time – 12 min

  1. Beat the eggs, salt and pepper (if you like) – I usually do it in a steel glass, just like your neighborhood anda wala
  2. In the frying pan, add some oil and let it heat
  3. Pour the mixture from step 1 on the pan
  4. Make egg bhurji i.e. use a spoon to mix the egg mixture so that it mashes well
  5. In another pan, add two cups water and boil
  6. Add Maggi tastemaker to water and stir
  7. Break the Maggi noodles into 4 and add broken Maggi noodles to the boiling mix. Mix well.
  8. 3 minutes later (rather when the Maggi noodles have soaked enough water – but don’t worry about this too much), add the egg bhurji to boiling Maggi noodles. Mix well.
Boiling Maggi Noodles

Boiling Maggi Noodles

Egg Maggi Noodles

Egg Maggi Noodles

Voila! Your Egg Maggie Noodles (Anda Maggi) in front of you. Enjoy with ketchup.

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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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Microwave Chocolate-Honey Spiral Cookies

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I just came across the event organized by Malar this month. It’s a lovely event, the theme tells you everything about it – Kitchen Disasters. Kitchen disasters are not a new thing in probably anybody’s kitchen, especially for those who recently got married or just moved away from home. When I started cooking a year and a half back even I faced such problems frequently. Kitchen mishaps have now gone down because of the practice, but of course it’s not extinct. But when it comes to baking I am always there to do some kind of mishaps. The main reason behind this probably lack of a proper baking oven. I always try to bake something in the microwave oven and it turns out to be awful. Just last month, after much searching on the internet I got hold of a youtube video which taught to bake a cake in a cup in the microwave. I followed the steps, and the result was horrible. The first one was hard like a stone with an entirely blackened core. One burnt cake could not turn me down, I tried with the other one – that was even worse than the first one, it looked like a cake, but couldn’t eat it. It was so spongy, that my sister and myself started pulling from both sides to tear it into two pieces.

I clicked an image of this disaster, and was waiting for the right time to publish this. And what better way can I find but to send the entry for an event. The burnt cake chapter never turned me down, and so I was again in search of something to bake in the microwave oven. This time it came to my google reader, a post on microwave cookies by Indrani. I was very happy to get this post. First, the post was from a very loving person. Second, the cookies were baked in the microwave oven. I followed almost the same way as Indrani’s but made a little change but preparing two types of dough – one with honey and the other with chocolate, just to bring a little color to the cookies. I used the Cadbury chocolate, broke them down into small pieces. The cookies, to my utter happiness turned out to be good, at least not burnt or having some disastrous textures. But, they were a little hard which was probably because of over baking them. When I asked Indrani about it she said to Microwave the cookies for a less time.

Makes 30 cookies

Preparation time 1hr 15min

Baking time 3-4min

Ingredients:

All purpose flour (Maida): 3 cups

Butter (Makhan): 100gms, at room temperature

White sugar (Chini): ¾ cup

Honey (Madhu): ½ cup

Egg (Dim): 1, beaten well

Almond (Kath badam): A handful, coarsely chopped

Chocolate chips: 90gm

Preparation:

  • Divide all the ingredients except honey, and chocolate into two equal parts

For the honey dough:

  • Mix butter, honey and half the sugar and heat it over low flame till the sugar gets dissolved, keep it aside to cool to room temperature

For the chocolate dough:

  • Mix butter, chocolate chips, and the rest of the sugar and heat it over low flame with constant stirring till the sugar and chocolate dissolves, keep aside until cooled

  • Pour half the egg into the honey mix and the rest into the chocolate mix, fold well
  • Pour the two mixes separately into two halves of the flour and make into two firm dough
  • Refrigerate the two dough after wrapping them with plastic film for an hour or so
  • Take the two dough and roll them into a half-inch thick circles, now put the chocolate one over the honey mix dough and roll them together
  • Cut the roll laterally into half-inch thick cookies and place them on a microwave safe plate

  • Microwave high (800watts for my MW) for 3-4 mins; let them cool inside the microwave oven. Keep in an air tight jar and feast on them whenever you feel like.

Hot Tips – When baked in the microwave oven, the cookies start getting baked from the centre, so check the cookies in between baking once to make sure they don’t get over baked.

Further ReadingMicrowave Honey Lemon Pistachio Cookies, Microwave Peanut Butter Cookies

Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)

  • Calories 59
  • Calories from Fat  24
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
  • Monounsaturated Fat  1.4g
  • Cholesterol 3mg
  • Sodium 28mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 8.2g
  • Dietary Fiber 0.2g
  • Protein 0.6g

Sending this post to Malar Gandhi for hosting a wonderful event  –Kitchen Disasters.

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Dahi Vada

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The starting time of the parade is actually determined by the

length of time of the traditional brunch

-Charlie Brotman

Sundays are meant to be fun days. Since, childhood Sundays were the day to visit my grandpa and of course no-study-day. That made the day more special. On Sunday mornings there was an array of cartoons telecasted on TV those days. Alice in Wonderland, Jungle Book was my favorites. Ma used to serve a heavy breakfast on Sundays and that mostly included luchi, tarakari (Bengali for vegetable curry) and sweets.

Visiting grandpa has long stopped, grandpa passed years before. Nobody watches DD National these days, and I presume they don’t telecast cartoons any more these days. But, having a heavy breakfast that can almost be called a brunch is still a custom at home. Today I thought of having a little different from the usual Sunday brunches and so Dahi vada was in the menu today.

Dahi Vada

Makes 10 medium sized vadas

Preparation time: 15min

Cooking time: 15min

Ingredients:

Dahi Vada mix (I used the Gits Dahi Vada mix): 1 packet

Plain yogurt (Tauk doi): 200gms

Ginger paste (Ada bata): 1 teaspoon

Raisins (Kismis): 10-12

Water (Jal): 2 cups

Cumin seeds (Jeera): 1 tablespoon

Tamarind chutney (Tetuler chutney): ½ cup

Coriander leaves chopped (Dhane pata): 2 tablespoon

Bhujiya: 1 small packet

Sunflower/vegetable oil (Sada tel): For frying

Gits Dahi Vada Mix

Preparation:

  • Roast the cumin seeds and grind into powder, keep aside
  • Empty the dahi vada mix in a large bowl and put in the ginger paste, mix well
  • Add the raisins and water to prepare a not-very-runny mixture
  • Keep the batter aside for 10-15 mins
  • Heat oil in a frying pan, and take one lathe of the batter and gently pour it over the oil, fry both sides of the vada till they turn light brown
  • Keep a deep bowl filled with water beside the gas oven, drop the fried vadas into this water and take out after a minute
  • Squeeze the excess water by pressing those with both your palms, and keep aside
  • Place the vada in a plate
  • Stir the yogurt with half-a-cup of water, add a pinch of salt and pour the yogurt over the vada
  • Garnish with cumin powder, chopped coriander leaves, tamarind chutney, and bhujiya .

Dahi Vada

Hot Tips – I have used a ready mix for making the vadas, but you can also prepare it at home. Soak urad dal overnight, and then grind to a fine paste. The other preparation remains the same.

Further Links – Dahi Vada by Sunananda

Please do remember to send in your recipes for the Think Spice: Think Turmeric event ending November 30th, 2009.

Think-Spice

I am sending the Dahi Vada recipe to Monthly Mingle: Brunch hosted by MeetaK of What’s For Lunch Honey.

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Chal Diye Alu Dum

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Diwali is just round the corner, and we are counting on the days for the D-day. To me Diwali means a lot of crackers, the smell of burnt fireworks around, new clothes and above all a family get together along with a very heavy dinner. I am sure you all have almost the same feeling about this day. Diwali is more of a North Indian festival, celebrated in most parts of the Northern and Western states of the country. Sourthern parts of the country also celebrate this day to mark the empowering of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura. Here in Bengal, Diwali is differently termed and Kali Puja is held during this time of the year. Some people also celebrate this day by worshipping Lakshmi and Ganesh. Durga Puja has gone passed a few weeks back, and Kali Puja marks the end of Hindu festivities for the year.

DiyaDiya

Goddess Kali is another incarnation of the goddess Durga. According to Hindu mythology, she is the goddess of war. Kali is associated with corpses and war. The most primitive mention of the goddess dates back to the Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas. She is called as Goddess Ratri (night in Bengali), and the Veda regards Ratri as the supreme force in the universe. The goddess is considered to have been born from the brow of Devi Durga during one of the wars with the demons. As the legend goes, in the battle, Kali was so much involved in the killing spree that she got carried away and began destroying everything in sight. To stop her, Lord Shiva threw himself under her feet. Shocked at this sight, Kali stuck out her tongue in astonishment, and put an end to her homicidal rampage. Hence the common image of Kali shows her in her mêlée mood, standing with one foot on Shiva’s chest, with her enormous tongue stuck out.

Diya

The darkness of the new moon night brings about a different spell to the worshipping of the goddess. Kali Puja is generally held at night and continues till dawn. Above all these worship, to me the home coming of all the family members and enjoying themselves together is what matters most. It is the time of celebration. I had been busy all weekend making diyas to gift to my friends and relatives. Here are some of the samples, more of diya making in the following posts.

Diya

Diya

Today I prepared this alu dum and thought it would just be right choice to put up in our blog for the upcoming festivals. I used baby potatoes for this, you are unable to get those, don’t worry use the large sized potatoes cut into quarters.

Preparation time: 1hr 10min
Cooking time: 20min
Serves: 4
Alu Dum with rice

Ingredients:

Baby Potato (Choto alu): ½ kg
Small grain rice (Gonbindhobhog Chal): 2 tablespoon, soaked for an hour
Cumin powder (Jeera guro): 1 ½ teaspoon
Cumin seeds (Gota jeera): 1 teaspoon
Bay leaf (Tej pata): 1 /2
Sugar (Chini): 1 teaspoon
Red chili powder (Lanka guro): 1 teaspoon
Clarified butter (Ghee): 1 tablespoon
Sunflower or vegetable oil (Sada tel): 3 tablespoon
Cinnamon (Daar chini): 1 one inch size
Cardamom (Elaichi): 2-3
Cloves (Labango): 2-3
Ginger paste (Ada bata): 1 teaspoon
Garam masala: ½ teaspoon

Preparation:

  • Peel off the potatoes and half boil them
  • Grind the soaked rice to a rough paste
  • Heat oil in a wok and fry the boiled potatoes till the upper layer changes color
  • Take the potatoes out of flame and keep aside
  • In the left out oil put in the whole cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, bay leaf, sugar and sauté
  • Put in the potatoes and mix well with the whole spices
  • In a small bowl assemble cumin powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger paste and add 3-4 tablespoons of water to make a runny paste, add this to the potatoes  along with the grinded rice and stir well to mix the spices well with the potatoes
  • Sprinkle salt and add 11/2 -2 cups of water and cook covered for 8-10 mins, or till the potatoes are cooked entirely
  • Pour the clarified butter and garam masala and take out of flame
  • Serve hot with paratha or roti

Alu Dum

Further Reading – Baby Potato Curry, Bong Mom’s Dum Alu

Hot Tips –  Dum aloo goes best with luchi in a fine Sunday morning.

Sending the recipe To Priya’s event Diwali 2009 Contest and Diwali Dhamaka hosted by Purva in her blog.

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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.

Egg Roll

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“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” – Bernard Meltzer

The final recipe for the “Breakfast with eggs” series is Egg roll. I’ve posted six different easy to cook and quick egg recipes for the morning meal. Previous posts in the series:

  1. Mughlai Paratha
  2. French Toast
  3. Scrambled Eggs
  4. Banana Pancake
  5. Boiled Egg Sandwich

But I just couldn’t finish the series without a little flavor from the street food of Calcutta (Kolkata). Though many different Asian countries claim for the origin of this dish and among them southern China has the most number of votes, but this particular preparation very well known to everybody who hails from Kolkata or even those who had a visit to the city is typically from the make shift stalls on Kolkata foot paths.

Egg roll

Egg rol

There was one such stall near my dance school called Iceberg (quite contradictory for a joint that sold everything hot), and every month it was a ritual for our gang of friends to have an egg roll from there. I still remember it cost just seven rupees then, but still that was quite expensive for a school-going girl like me. At home, outside food was a taboo and so I always had to cook some stories to have those egg rolls. But alas, eventually mom found out my secret and instead of scolding me I was offered with two egg rolls the next day at tiffin, of course prepared by my mom in her kitchen. School days have passed a long time ago, but I still can’t forget the taste of those road side egg rolls, though my mom’s were quite similar but not that good. My father suggested that the dirt from the road made it taste better.

The egg roll in Kolkata is similar to Frankie of Mumbai and resembles the kathi rolls prepared in many roadside stalls throughout India. Egg roll in Kolkata was probably first introduced by Nizam’s, a very popular restaurant in Kolkata serving Mughlai dishes. Another famous joint serving egg roll in Kolkata is Haji Saheb in Behala (Hazi Saheb for some), it’s my personal request, don’t miss it if you ever visit this place.

Preparation time: 10mins

Cooking time: 8mins

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour (Maida): 1 cup
  • Eggs (Dim): 2
  • Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium, chopped finely
  • Cucumber (Sasha): one-half of a medium sized, julienned
  • Green chili (Kacha lanka): 2, chopped
  • Sunflower oil (Sada tel) for frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Tomato sauce for seasoning

Preparation:

  • Knead the flour well and make two round paratha with it
  • Beat the eggs with little salt
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add one beaten egg to it, spread it so as to have almost the same diameter as the parantha
  • Carefully place the parantha over the half fried omelet and allow it to cook for two more minutes, turn around the paratha and cook the other side for one minute and take out from the frying pan
  • Place the egg covered paratha on a flat surface with the egg side up
  • Add chopped cucumber, chilies and onion at the centre of the paratha to make the filling and pour the tomato sauce over the vegetables
  • Roll the paratha and cover half of it with an aluminum foil or kitchen paper and tuck the paper well so that the roll doesn’t open up
  • Serve hot with little lemon juice over the filling

Hot tips – You can put in a filling of mashed potatoes seasoned with chili powder and salt or even a filling with chicken or mutton kebab tastes great.

What variety of Egg Roll do you prefer?

Further reading – Nizam’s Kathi Roll, When in Kolkata, Egg Paratha

Nutrition calculator – 1 egg roll

Calories 580
Total Carbohydrate 46gms
Dietary fiber 3.9gms
Protein 35gm
Total fat 28gms
Cholesterol 365mg
Sugar 2gms
Vitamin A 20%
Vitamin C 0%
Iron 10%
Calcium 8%

Sending this to NTTC#5 event hosted by Sneh of Gel’s Kitchen.

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