4 Minute Microwave Peda

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Subho Bijayar Priti O Suvecha

And, the 5 days of celebrations come to an end with Dashami. Every year the day marks a bitter sweet farewell to the biggest festival of Bengalis. Dashami marks the end of Durga puja, and bijaya starts. Bijaya is the time to visit your relatives and gore on some delicious sweets and snacks.

peda

To extend the Dusshera festivities I decided to make some sweets.  It was a spur of the moment thought and so I had to resort to whatever I had in the pantry. I decided to make peda or milk fudge. While the ones you get in Kalighat are made from milk boiled for hours and stirred continuously, I resorted to the easier way – making peda in microwave. It took a total of 4 minutes cooking time in microwave to get the exact consistency you need to prepare the shapes.

The peda will remain good in the fridge for more than week if kept in an airtight container and for about 6 months in the freezer.

Micorwave Milk Powder Peda
Yields 15
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can condensed milk
  2. ¾ cup milk powder
  3. 1 teaspoon ghee
  4. ½ teaspoon cardamom powder, extra for garnish
  5. 1 teaspoon saffron
Instructions
  1. In a microwave safe bowl pour in the milk powder and ghee, give it a good stir to mix, then pour the condensed milk and mix well. Put it in the microwave and cook on high for a minutes.
  2. Take it out and add the saffron and cardamom powder and stir. Put it back in the microwave and cook for another 30 seconds. Take out and stir.
  3. By this time you’ll notice the mixture has taken a dry look on the top, and when you stir it will take a thick soup consistency. Put it back in the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes more in intervals of 30 seconds and stirring in between everytime.
  4. Once done, pour it on a plate or wax paper and let it cool so that you are able to touch it. Grease your palms with ghee and take about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll to make a ball, press in between your palms to flatten it. Garnish with saffron and cardamom
Notes
  1. Make sure the bowl is deep, as the mixture will rise while cooking, and in a shallow bowl it will spill.
  2. Instead of flattening the balls, you can also use stone or wooden mold to create shapes of your choice.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

micorwave-peda

 

Bhapa Doi – Baked Sweet Yogurt

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There are a lot of things a miss about Kolkata, and mishti doi comes quite on the top of the list. The creamy delicacy served in earthern pots is a food connoisseur’s dream. To set a perfect bowl of that yummy yogurt is a task to master. And, even though you master it, it’s really a time consuming job.

If you are really missing mishti doi or don’t have time to set a whole big bowl of it for your next party, the bhapa doi is your answer. The bhapa doi looks and tastes exactly like the store bought mishti doi, yet it’s not very time consuming and sets perfectly. The only con about this recipe is you need to have a oven. I never tried it making it in a pressure cooker, like baking cake in pressure cooker, but I’m sure that can also be done.

Baked Sweet Yogurt

I have added brown sugar to make it extra sweet, if you want you can also omit it. Also, once the doi is all set, just before serving you can pack the top with a thin layer of sugar and caramelize it with a blowtorch and make it into a bhapa doi brule. If you don’t have a blowtorch handy, you can place the bowl/ramekins in a large roasting pan, pack it with ice. Then place the bhapa doi topped with sugar in a broiler for about 2 minutes, or till the sugar melts.

Bhapa Doi
Serves 10
A Bengali delicacy that you can serve at your next party with a fuss
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs plain Greek yogurt
  2. 1 can evaporated milk
  3. 1 can condensed milk
  4. ½ cup brown sugar
  5. Handful of almonds for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Mix everything other than the almonds in a large bowl, use a hand held mixer if you have, once mixed it will have a consistency of this pancake batter. Pour the mixture in a large oven proof bowl or in separate ramekins.
  3. Place the bowl(s) in the oven for 25 mins. Depending on the oven you can keep the doi for a little longer or a little less; before taking out make sure the doi is set and not wobbly. Take them out and let the doi cool down. keep it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, better overnight.
  4. Serve chilled garnished with chopped almonds
Notes
  1. I have added brown sugar to make it extra sweet, if you want you can also omit it. Also, once the doi is all set, just before serving you can pack the top with a thin layer of sugar and caramelize it with a blowtorch and make it into a bhapa doi brule. If you don’t have a blowtorch handy, you can place the bowl/ramekins in a large roasting pan, pack it with ice. Then place the bhapa doi topped with sugar in a broiler for about 2 minutes, or till the sugar melts
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

Bhapa Doi

Malai Kulfi – Indian Spiced Ice Cream

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The Texas summer is in full swing now. The highest temperature for an average day is now above 100F, that would be almost 38C; yes the high school mathematics is of much help these days. Texas summers are hot and dry, and for me there is no chance of going out in the afternoon. Though I have seen many people love the sun and go for running especially during midday.

I hate summers, the heat, the sun, almost everything about it. But, the only two things I love during this time of the year is of course the worry free binging on ice cream and the abundance of berries. I love ice cream, as long as there is no chocolate involved; yes you heard it right, I don’t like chocolate ice cream.Indian ice cream, kulfi

When we talk about ice cream, one thing I miss after coming to the US is the tall dark mustached kulfi-wala who used to come to our neighborhood during the summer afternoon with his big red cloth covered handi on the back of his cycle. Kulfi, the indigenous Indian ice cream is generally made with non-homogenized milk, boiled to a thick consistency, the creamy fat on top of the milk is called malai, and that where malai kulfi name came from.

Apparently, kulfi was first made in the kitchen of Mughal emperor, Akbar. The ice was brought from the Himalayas to freeze this ice cream. While malai kulfi is the most commonly prepared kulfi, you can also use mango puree to mix with the kulfi mixture to prepare mango kulfi.

Kulfi

 

Malai Kulfi - Indian Spiced Ice Cream
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 cups half and half, room temperature
  2. ¼ cup condensed milk
  3. ¼ cup milk powder
  4. ½ cup blanched and peeled almond
  5. ⅛ cup shelled and chopped pistachios
  6. 10-12 whole almonds, crushed
  7. ¼ teaspoon saffron
  8. ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder
Instructions
  1. In a blender blend the blanched almonds to a thick paste.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan, preferably non-stick one add the milk powder, slowly pour the condensed milk while stirring the mixture, make sure the milk powder doesn’t form any lump. Once the condensed milk and milk powder is mixed, it will become a thick gooey paste, pour the half and half, and keep on stirring
  3. Now keep the pan over low flame and bring it to simmering bowl, stirring often. Take out about one-fourth cup of the boiling mixture and immerse the saffron in it. Once the saffron is dissolved and color turn yellowish, pour it back in the pan. Give it a stir.
  4. Take out of flame and fold in the almond paste and cardamom powder. Let the pan to cool down completely. Mix the chopped pistachios and almonds.
  5. Pour the mixture in kulfi or popsicle molds, and freeze for at least 6 hours.
Notes
  1. The best way to take out the kulfis without breaking them in halves is to pour hot water over the mold for a few seconds and then inverting the molds on a plate. The kulfi will come out smoothly.
  2. To give the kulfi a mughlai flavor, you can use a drop of rose water and keyra water.
  3. If you don’t have kulfi molds at home, use paper or plastic disposable cups.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

 

malai kulfi

 

Shrikhand – Indian Saffron Mousse

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Desserts are my weak point, I’m sure its for most of you. So, it was quite a blow to me when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in my third trimester of pregnancy, oh yes, here’s the good news, me and Kalyan are now the proud parents of a 8 week old boy, Samiron Banerjee. Ok, so coming back to my sweet eating habits, so once the baby was I born, I am compensating for the lack of sweets in the last 3 months. I had been eating cookies, cakes, sweets – I mean anything and everything that is sweet.

My friend brought me a bowl shrikhand, her own recipe and I loved it so much that I wanted to make it myself. The first attempt turned out awesome and I just couldn’t help but share this recipe with you all.

Shrikhand

Shrikhand is a very popular dessert in Western India and some parts of Kerala. It is a yogurt based recipe, and the best part is it you don’t even need to turn on the stovetop to make this delicious recipe. Even though shrikhand is made generally with yogurt, which is hung almost overnight to drain out any excess water, I used kefir cheese, which is as dense as hung curd and the taste is the same.

Gujrati dessert

Ingredients:

1 lb kefir cheese

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

⅛ teaspoon saffron

¼ teaspoon cardamom powder

⅛ teaspoon nutmeg powder

10-12 whole almonds

Handful of almonds and pistachios slivered

1 drop of yellow food color (optional)

Directions:

Add the saffron to 2 tablespoon of warm milk and keep aside

Coarsely grind the whole almonds in a spice grinder

In a large bowl pour the kefir cheese and beat it gently to get rid of any lumps

Add one cup of confectioners’ sugar and fold in gently, do it till the rest of the sugar is folded in. You can add more sugar according to your taste

Pour in the saffron milk and fold in to the cheese. You can also add the food color now if you are using

Add the ground almond, cardamom and nutmeg powder and give it a good stir to mix everything together

Chill in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours. Serve cold garnished with slivered almonds and pistachios.

Shrikhand Gujrati dessert

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Durga Puja 2013 Timtable and Kalakand in Microwave

Subho Shashthi

Durga puja has already started. As Bengal gets decked up with all the pandals and the puja shopping almost come to an end, I on the other hand, living thousands of miles away is waiting for this weekend to arrive. The Durga puja in the US is held during weekends just for the convenience of the attendees.

While I miss on my dose of the Kolkata Durga pooja fever, I’m getting ready to celebrate the US style Durga puja. I will definitely miss the phuchka, alu kabli, churmur, ghugni – oh I cant stop writing the list of road side food that I’ll be missing on this puja – but would have a new taste, a new experience of celebrating puja just over the weekend.

The street food on Kolkata adds an added charm to the whole flavor of Durga puja, but there is always the home cooked prasad. Though my family strictly becomes vegetarian during the four days of puja, mainly because of the fact we have our own durga idol at home, and she has been worshiped in the family for more than a century now. And, as Ma Durga is bid adieu, the next day, ekdashi is the day to eat fish and only fish. The entire family with brothers, sisters, cousins, their spouses, their kids – you know how the Indian family tree is – eats, sitting on the floor. Last year I was heading the frying department of the lunch, mostly because my mom felt her daughter is old enough to get married so she is old enough to cook for hundred people, or at least the dal and bhaja part. So, my task for last ekdashi was to make loitta macher vada for the entire family. It was intimidating, it was tiring, yet there was a satisfaction seeing everybody asking for more.

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No Bake Mango Cheesecake

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The rising heat and dry air has started taking its toll. Its almost impossible to get out in the afternoons. But, with summer comes the choice of various mangoes. Mangoes are my all time favorite fruits. Growing up in India, in the midst of the mango capital, I am very fond of this fruit. Whether its the raw green mangoes in aamer chatni or morobba, or the golden yellow ripe mangoes – I love them.

mango cheesecake

A few days back I bought a whole crate of mangoes from the farmer’s market. So, was trying to search for a simple recipe to use these mangoes. I came across the eggless no bake mango cheesecake recipe, and I just couldn’t resist but get my food processor to start making this one.

Though Sharmilee used toasted biscuits to make the base of her cheesecake, I used Graham crackers. The recipe was very simple and of course delicious.

No Bake Mango Cheesecake

American, Dessert, Summer dessert, No bake cheesecake, Mango cheesecake, Eggless chesecake
Cooks in    Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham crackers
  • 2 large mangoes
  • 1 cup confectioner\'s sugar
  • 1 sachet unflavored gelatin
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • Mint sprigs for garnishing
Directions
  • Wash and peel the mangoes, and cut into small cubes. Put it in the juicer and make a smooth juice.
  • Take 1 tablespoon of water with half the gelatin and microwave high for 20 seconds to dissolve the gelatin.
  • Take the cream cheese and beat it with an electric beater, pour half the mango smoothie, gelatin and about ¾ cup of sugar and beat again to mix it well. Keep the rest of the mango puree in the fridge.
  • Add equal amounts of graham crackers to the serving glass and press with your finger to set it firmly. Pour the cream cheese mixture equally to all the glasses and chill for an hour or too.
  • Add rest of the sugar and dissolved gelatin to the mango puree and beat well to mix all ingredients. Pour it equally in the serving glasses over the cream cheese layer. Fridge till ready to serve. Garnish with the mint sprigs.

no bake mango cheesecake

Hot Tips – You can also use tart pan to make the cheesecake and cut it to serve. The same recipe can be used to make cheesecake with any berries like strawberry, black berry or blue berry

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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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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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Shahi Tukda – Nawabi Bread Pudding

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Shahi tukra literally means “royal morsels”. The tale goes like this – one of the Nawabs of Awadh  – who was certainly not very famous for his generosity – used to distribute stale breads among his subjects on his rounds in and around the kingdom. Apparently, he had almost thousand chefs or khansamas in his kitchen. One of them came up with an idea. He dipped those stale breads; the nawab would distribute among his people, with sugar syrup and then pour thickened milk over it. And, the recipe for shahi tukra came up. This was one of the many stories anecdotes by Chitrita Banerjee in her book Amazon.

 There are many talks and discussions about the real origin of this rich and creamy bread pudding. Most believe it was the Moghuls who brought this recipe along with them. This dessert has become very popular in Southern parts of the Indian sub-continent; especially in Hyderabadi cuisine. You can find very few Hyderabadi restaurant or cook book which doesn’t have a recipe for shahi tukra.

Unlike most bread puddings which uses eggs this typical Mughlai dessert is eggless and is made with condensed milk, breads, saffron and dry fruits. The shahi tukda is also called double ka meetha as the bread swells to almost double its size after baking. The double ka meetha has become an indispensable dessert to serve after the rich meal on Bakrid or during Ramadan.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 30min

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices of milk bread
  • 1 liter full fat cream milk
  • 200ml fresh cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup condensed milk
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoon almond slices
  • 4 tablespoon of clarified butter/ghee
  • Few strands of saffron
  • Edible silver foil for garnishing (optional)

Preparation:

  • Boil the milk and cream in a thick bottom pan till it reduces to almost half its original volume
  • Take out of flame and pour about 4 tablespoon of milk on 6-7 strands of saffron
  • Mix the sugar and condensed milk with the milk in the pan and place it over flame again
  • Pour in the now colored saffron milk, bring to boil with constant stirring
  • Leave to get cooled
  • Cut the crust out of the bread and cut into halves along its diagonal
  • Heat about half tablespoon ghee in a pan for each bread slice and fry till golden brown
  • Place the fried bread pieces in a baking tray and pour in about one-third of the milk on the bread pieces
  • Bake it for about 5-7 minutes at 180°C. Take out from the oven and pour in some more milk over it and then bake for about 5-7 minutes more. Take out and pour the left out milk
  • Bring to normal temperature and serve garnished with raisins, almond slices, saffron strands and edible silver foil.

Eggless Indian bread pudding

Hot Tips – If you are keeping it in the fridge then always keep it covered. The shahi tukra tend to lose the moisture making the bread slices chewy. According to your love for sweets you can adjust the amount of sugar and condensed milk.

 

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Patol Mishti

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Bengalis are renowned for their sweets. Be it east west north or south – the Bengali sweet has its own niche. Not much sweet, yet not too dull – the sweet has the exact quantity of sweetness as it should be to please anybody, and mind it not just the sweet lovers. It is the birthplace of sandesh. Even though rasogolla or rasgulla was not born here in Bengal, but very few people know that.

From sweets dipped in sugar syrups like the rasogolla, pantua, rajbhog to the dry and fried balushai and from soft and mushy steamed sandesh to the milk soaked rasomalai – Bengali sweet has it all.

There cannot be a meal complete without a piece of sweet at the end. A spoonful of chatni, a papad (poppadam) and a sweet is all you need to make the sweet loving Bengali praise your dinner menu.

While milk and milk products constitute more than ninety percent of the main ingredient in sweets. There are exceptions to this rule too. The patol misti, a one of a kind seasonal sweet is prepared with an outer covering of pointed gourd stuffed with khoya and small bits of sugar cubes (michri/mishri/misri) to give a nutty feel to it.

Makes 8 patol misti
Preparation time: 30min
Cooking time: 20min

Ingredients:
8 Pointed gourds
200gms khoya
2 generous tablespoon of michri
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
5-6 green cardamom
Silver foil for garnishing (optional)

Preparation:

• Peel the pointed gourd/ patol with the back of a knife.
• Slit open the patol and take out the seeds from the inside, while doing so try not to puncture the outer coat
• Mix the water and sugar together and start boiling
• Let it boil till the sugar dissolves
• Gently place the pointed gourds inside the boiling syrup and boil till the coats get softened, but not absolutely gooey
• Take out, drain the excess syrup and let the coats get completed cooled
• Mix the khoya with the michri and stuff the coats gently with the khoya mixture
• If using the silver foil, wrap the sweets with the foil
• Keep the sweets on the upper rack of refrigerator till before serving

Hot Tips – While boiling the patol, don’t let it touch the base of the pan for long, it will change color then. Also if the syrup starts becoming too thick and caramelizing then pour in more water to make it thin. A syrup of one thred consistency is the best for boiling the pointed gourds. Thicker than that the sugar wont get inside the gourds.

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Butterscotch Mango Sundae

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The temperature rising high and there is nothing you can do about it – the scorching sun and the sweat dripping down your nape. Can you think of any solution?  Of course visiting a cool hill station is one way out, but a cheaper solution may be having a good, cold, long sundae.

A little googling about sundae gave me more than 10 million links to sundae. Google celebrated the 119th birthday of sundaes with a Google doodle, allegedly invented first by someone in Ithaca, N.Y, who also happens to be a pharmacist.

Whether or not it’s someone from USA or from Uruguay, sundaes are everyone’s favorite, and for those who are calorie conscious, why not just indulge in some sin – sundaes on Sunday.

Serves 2
Preparation time 5min

Ingredients:

  • 400gms butterscotch ice cream
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 6 chocolate wafers
  • Cherries for garnishing

Preparation:

  • Crush 4 wafers into small bits
  • Slice the mango into very small pieces
  • Take two wine flutes fill with 2 tablespoons of chocolate wafers and 3 tablespoons of mango slices
  • Put in 1 big scoop of ice-cream
  • Layer similarly till you reach the top of the glass; add one last scoop of ice cream
  • Garnish with cherries and wafers
  • Serve immediately

Hot Tips – If you don’t want to buy the ice-cream, here’s how you can prepare butterscotch ice-cream

Don’t forget to participate in the Father’s Day event happening at Cook Like a Bong. The last date of submission of all your entries is 15th June, 2011. You can send as many entries as you want . Send in your dad’s favorite recipes, your stories about your father, and any gift ideas for the day, or just send a photo of yours with your father – we’ll publish here on Father’s Day.

And, for the Father’s loving child there will be a surprise gift announced for the best entry. So, send your entries quickly and enroll yourself to get a great gift from Cook Like a Bong.

 

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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.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader

Beginners guide to Preparing Rajbhog quickly

Cooking can be stress buster for bachelors. More so if you don’t cook so well but can lay your hands on a book with an easy but mouthwatering recipe. Well, I had Satarupa Banerjee’s The Book of Indian Sweets (affiliate link) for help.

Missed my swimming lesson yesterday and so was desperate to put the evening to good use. I received the book yesterday from Kwench, and not having cooked for a while I decided to start with what a Bong outside Bengal craves for – The Oh-so-Awesome Rosogolla.

The Giant Rasgulla

Satarupa’s book on Indian sweets starts off with the unputdownable (yeah Telegraph, I borrowed your subtitle, but I hope you would take it as flattery) Rasogolla. Since the book looked pretty handy, I thought of starting off sequentially. But then it would have been too Bong for comfort. The next one was Rajbhog and I chose it immediately. Satarupa calls it The Giant Rasogulla, with a little different texture. Followed instructions to the T and ended up with this:

Rajbhog

Rajbhog

You can search the internet for several videos, recipes and prep styles for Rajbhog so would include just the basic style (without the jazz).

What you need (Ingredients of Rajbhog)

Note: I prepared 12 giant balls (no pun intended :P) with these. So, if you want more/less, extrapolate the figures accordingly.

  • 250 gm Paneer (softer the better. If you find Chhana, or Chhena, all the better)
  • 60 gm Khowa (not many stores would give you this amount though)
  • 1 tsp flour (maida), 1tsp semolina (suji), 1 cardamom (you just need the Elach, or Elaichi, seeds)
  • 1 kg sugar (yes, you need that much Chini for the sugar syrup)
  • 750 ml water (hopefully, you have one of those 1 litre mineral water bottles at your house, it would help in the measurement)
  • Edible Yellow color (or, 1 gm saffron, or Kesar, if you have some extra dough. Mind you, not many stores would give you 1gm of this costly stuff, so be prepared to be set back by 150 odd rupees. Else, edible colors work just well. What do you think they give you in the Sweets shops anyways?)
  • 1tsp rose water (if you already have all the other stuff at home, but not this one, don’t worry too much about it)

How to make Rajbhog (preparation steps of Rajbhog)

  • Ensure that the Paneer doesn’t have too much water (yeah I know that sounds a little moronic), and knead the Paneer with your palm well until it becomes smooth.
  • Then mix 1tsp (maida) and 1tsp semolina (suji) with the kneaded Paneer and knead again
  • Make 12 smooth balls, and ensure that there isn’t any crack
    • Tip 1 (For Beginners): at the start you may not know the optimum size of each ball, so don’t worry. Once you start making a few Golas, you would get a hang of how much Paneer to put in each Gola.
    • Tip 2 (for all) : if you want the Rajbhogs to look yellow, while kneading the Paneer, mix some edible yellow color with it
Slightly kneaded paneer

Slightly kneaded paneer

Smoothly kneaded Paneer

Smoothly kneaded Paneer

Paneer balls

Paneer balls

Now, that we have Paneer Golas, we need to make some Khowa/Cardamom balls and put it inside the Paneer Golas. Lets get started.

  • Mix Khowa and Cardamom (Elaichi) seeds and divide into 12 portions (I made 12 balls).
  • Stuff one portion of the Khowa/Cardamom mix into each Paneer Gola, and roll the balls into your palm so that the Paneer covers all the Khowa
    • Tip 3 (For Beginners): if you don’t, while boiling the Golas in sugar syrup, the Khowa would drain out. It happened to 2 of my Golas.
The Khowa balls

The Khowa balls

Preparing sugar syrup

Preparing sugar syrup

Okay, now we need to prepare sugar syrup and then boil the Golas in it. Lets do it.

  • In 750 ml water, put ½ kg sugar and boil it. When the sugar seems dissolved, pour another ½ kg sugar and continue with the heat. A while later (say 5-7 minutes), you have Sugar syrup with you.
  • Put your Golas one by one into the heated sugar syrup and continue with the boil. You’ll see that the Golas increase in size (I mean they will get puffed).
  • Continue for another 7-8 minutes and you might see some crack appearing on the Rajbhog’s surface. Remove them from fire.
  • Add (rather sprinkle) 1tsp rose water
  • You’ll have let the Golas soak in sugar syrup for a few hours (say 3-4 hours) before you can have them.

Tada, your Rajbhog is ready.

Expert Eater Challenge

Try having one Rajbhog in one mouthful J. If you can, send us a photo, we’ll publish it here.

Eating Rasogolla

Eating Rasogolla

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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