Couscous Khichudi – Savory Couscous Porridge

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As the mercury starts dropping, it’s time to have some warm comforting food. When it comes to planning a comforting one pot meal, khichudi is always the answer. Be it a rainy day or a cold winter night, the Indian style savory porridge is my go to meal. Rice and lentils is the main ingredients to make khichudi, but as the husband man starts getting calorie conscious and at the same time starts craving for some Bengali dinner, substituting rice with couscous was my only choice.

I prefer the couscous over the Israeli pearl couscous, which is much larger in size and tastes better in salads. The couscous khichudi tastes almost similar to dahliya khichudi. I made with with a mix of two different dals – moong (yellow split lentil) and masoor (red lentil) along with couscous and a mix of different seasonal vegetables – green beans, baby carrots, and cauliflower. You can serve this khichudi as it is with a dollop of butter and some lime juice or you can jazz it up with a side of some potato fries.

Couscous Khichudi


¼ cup masoor dal

⅓ cup moong dal

½ cup original plain couscous

1 cup vegetable mix

1 teaspoon whole cumin

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon ginger paste

½ teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoon ghee/ oil

½ teaspoon garam masala

Salt to taste



Take a deep bottom pan and dry roast the moong dal, till some of the dal starts browning; about 4 minutes. Cool it down and wash thoroughly. Wash the masoor dal also.

Boil 2 cup of water in the same pan and add the dal. Cook till the dal is half done. Add the vegetables. Add all the spices except the garam masala. Cook till the vegetables are almost done, and then add the couscous. Pour more water if you see the khichudi is getting too thick.

In a frying pan pour in the ghee and as it starts to melt add the whole cumin, the cumin will start to sputter, transfer it to the cooked khichudi. Cook for about a minute, then take it out of the flame and sprinkle the garam masala.

Serve immediately

Khichudi with couscous

Chef’s Tips – Khichudi tends to dry out quickly. So keep it runny when you take it out of the flame.

If you are using cauliflower, its better to fry the cauliflower till the florets start turning slightly brown on the sides. This helps to get rid of the cauliflower smell.

Methi Parota – Fenugreek Stuffed Paratha

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Fenugreek is one of the mostly grown herbs in India. The seeds are widely used as spices in whole or grounded in different North Indian dishes. But the fresh leaves with its distinctive taste and aroma is used in meat preparations like methi chicken. Another use of these fresh leaves is to make the well known methi paratha.

Methi Parantha_2

As the plants grow in winter, methi paratha is a common breakfast or dinner option for many. I love the bitter sweet taste of the leaves. The parathas taste great with just some mango pickle and curd. This is one of the easiest ways of preparing stuffed parota, and is less completed that the actually stiffed parathas like aloo paratha or gobi paratha. All you have to do is add the leaves to the flour and roll out into parathas.

When I first started making chapatis and parathas, I never got the perfect circular rotis, but don’t worry if your paratha looks like some country map, it will taste the same :).

Methi Paratha

Dinner, Indian, Methi paratha, Stuffed indian bread, Fenugreek recipe
Cooks in    Serves 2
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup fenugreek leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4-5 tablespoon canola oil for frying
  • Wash and pat dry the fenugreek leaves, and chop coarsely
  • Mix the leaves with the flour, add the spices and season with salt. Add warm water and knead to a dough. Divide the dough into 8 one inch size balls
  • Lightly dust a rolling board with flour and roll each dough separately to make the paratha
  • Heat a frying pan or tawa on high, gently place one paratha, as tiny bubbles start appearing on the paratha flip and roast the other side. Now add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the paratha and fry for 1-2 minutes on both sides. Repeat this process for all the parathas.
  • Serve hot with pickle and yogurt

Methi Paratha_1

Hot Tips – If you partially cook the paratha before adding the oil, it takes less oil to make the paratha. If you want the parathas to be oily, just add oil first and then directly fry the parathas in it.

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

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Posto Paneer Kofta

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Spring is here and so are the thousand colors of nature. Every nook and corner of the street is filled with red, yellow, orange blossoms. Though with the heat rising in Kolkata, there’s not much feel good feeling about this time of the year but still there is a grand festival coming up in just a few days from now. Yes you have guessed it right, its HOLI time. Holi, the National Festival of India is celebrated throughout the states of the sub-continent and West Bengal too is not far behind. The main attraction of holi, or doljatra (as we Bengalis like to say) is the Boshonto Utsav or Spring Festival in Shantiniketan. Thousands gather at the Viswa Bharati grounds on the day from all over the world.

Thinking of colors, the first thing that comes to mind is red, green, blue and yellow.  Remember those days in school, the houses had these names and everybody used to fight with the other houses – Yellow, yellow dirty fellow or the first love letter you wrote – roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. Do you have any other such poems or phrases, you used to throw, then share it with us!

Paneer balls prepared in poppy and sesame gravy

Thinking about a colourful preparation I scratched my head but nothing authentically Bengali came to mind. So, thought of mix matching the Western with the Eastern. And, there it is the result – paneer kofta in thick poppy paste with slices of red and yellow bell pepper to spice and color it up.


For the kofta:

  • 400gms of paneer or cottage cheese, mashed finely
  • 4 teaspoon gram flour or besan
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon sugar, preferably brown sugar
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

For the gravy:

  • 4 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame, ground to a fine paste with the poppy
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 red and yellow bell pepper diced coarsely
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • Few black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon clarified butter or ghee (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • Mix all the ingredients required for kofta excepting the oil and make a soft dough
  • Prepare small balls each having a rough diameter of 3cm
  • Heat oil in a wok and deep fry these balls in batches, keep aside
  • Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons of fresh oil, throw in the cumin seeds, as they start sputtering add the bell pepper and toss for a minute or two
  • Add the turmeric powder and season with salt and black pepper
  • Pour in the poppy and sesame paste and cook till the oil separates
  • Cover the gravy with 2 cups of water and stir well, cook covered for 10-12mins, check the seasoning
  • Put in the fried koftas as the gravy starts boiling, cook for 2-3min more and take out of flame
  • Serve hot with chapattis or rice

Hot Tips – Koftas tend to dry up the gravy, so if you are a gravy person try putting in more water or else, take out the koftas after cooking and serve the gravy and koftas separately.

Further Reading – Bengali Style Matar Paneer, Palak Paneer with a Twist




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Chilli Chicken

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After The Mainland China Cookbook (read the book review) was delivered last Saturday, I was just trying to find that opportunity to prepare something from it. Though I prepared crackling spinach, but before I could even get a chance to take a snap, it was all finished.

Last night prepared chilli chicken. Chilli chicken is probably the most popular Chinese dish prepared in IndiaJ. According to Mr. Ranjit Banerji, one of our very active users of the Cook Like a Bong Facebook page, chilli chicken and chicken manchurian is the innovation of the famous Nelson Wang, the founder of China Garden restaurant in Mumbai. It seems almost everybody can relate to this juicy and succulent Chinese preparation. From roadside stalls to fine-dining Chinese restaurants, chilli chicken finds it place everywhere. During my school days, I remember our favorite party-time combo was fried rice and chili chicken.

The Mainland China cookbook has the Keong style of chilli chicken documented. I have made a little variation to this dish to add the extra hint of greens in this saucy Chinese dish.


  • 200gms of Boneless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 2 heaped tablespoon of cornflour
  • ½ cup capsicums, cut into 1” triangles
  • ½ cup onions, chopped into 1” squares
  • ½ tablespoon of Ginger-garlic paste
  • 6-7 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 ½ tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of spring onions, chopped to 1” sizes
  • Few spring onions finely chopped for garnishing, optional
  • Salt to taste


  • Dissolve half the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of soya sauce and one beaten egg
  • Mix this with the chicken, marinate for ½ hour
  • Stir fry the chicken till the outside turn crispy, remove from the wok and soak the extra oil in a kitchen paper
  • Heat oil in a wok, as the oil turns smoking hot add the capsicum and onions. Stir well till the onions turn translucent. Add the green chilies
  • Dissolve the extra cornflour in the remaining soya sauce, and pour it in the wok, stir
  • Add the fried chicken and spring onions, and adjust the seasoning
  • Cook till the chicken is evenly coated with the sauce
  • Serve hot with noodles garnishes with chopped spring onions

Hot Tips – You can keep the chicken in the marinade for longer hours, but then refrigerate it.

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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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Cooking with Seeds – Poppy: Event Round-Up

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Poppy is one of the oldest recorded spices in the world. It’s used in various culinary and medicinal purposes. It is obtained from the poppy opium (Papaver somniferum) plant. As mentioned in the wiki page of poppy seeds, the plant had been grown by the Sumerians. Poppy has also been mentioned in Egyptian papyrus scrolls as early as 1550 B.C.

Poppy was at first used as a sedative and then as a spice. But, this kidney shaped seed with its unmatched taste and aroma has stolen the hearts of thousands of foodies across the world. So, when I got to host the Cooking with Seeds event, the brain child of Priya of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes, I chose poppy.

Poppy is extensively used in Bengali cuisine. Starting from stir fried poppy paste with a little garlic and salt to the famous alu-posto and dim posto sorse. Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian dish poppy finds its place everywhere in Bengali preparation.

I have categorized the entries into four different classes depending on the type of the dish and without further ado here’s the list. Hope you enjoy it.


Nithu Bala of Nithu’s Kitchen
Beetroot Kurma

Priya of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes
Sprouted Kala Channa Kurma,
Bittergourd Masala,
Broad Beans & Potato Stir fry,
Banana Blossom Dumplings Gravy

Roshan of Roshan’s Cucina
Green Pea Kurma

Pavanisrikanth  of FoodLovers
Aloo Kurma

Sangeetha of Sangi’s food world
Potato pakoda kuruma

Preethi Ram of Preethi’s Culinary
Navratna Kurma

Non – Vegetarian:

Roshan of Roshan’s Cucina
(Tomato Pilaf with) Mughlai Chicken

Nandini of Nandini’s Food Page
Fish Kurma
Egg Masala


Sangeetha of Sangi’s food world
Poppy seed Almond Basundi

Priya of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes
Poppy Seeds Kheer

Jaya of Tamalapaku
Pala Poli

Nandini of Nandini’s Food Page
Bottlegourd and Moong Dal Payasam/Kheer


Ayantika Ghosh of Eat Drink n Rock
Jam filled poppy seed cookies

Priya of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes
Poppyseeds & Quinoa Spice Powder

Gayathri of Gayathri’s Cook Spot
Poppy Seeds Dinner Rolls

Tanvi of Sinfully Spicy
Bengali Beet Chops

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Guest Post – Achari Murgh

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Debjani is a very active contributor to our Cook Like a Bong Facebook page. She has also contributed to the recently published authentic Bengali recipe cookbook, Sharadiyar Rannabati. Debjani posted about her signature dish, Achari Murgh in the Facebook page. I have heard and tasted alu achari before, but achari murg was an absolute different preparation. So, I tried it out at home and it was marvelous. So, I thought of sharing this wonderful recipe as a guest post from Debjani Chaudhuri.

Bengali chicken or mutton curries are mostly include potatoes with a thick and spicy gravy. Whether it’s chicken-do-peyaja or the kasha mutton potatoes are a must. But, unlike the age old dishes, this special chicken curry from Debjani’s kitchen didn’t have those potatoes neither does it have that pinch of garam masala to add the extra flavor. According to Debjani, as garam masala as its own smell and taste it would have killed the scent and tangy taste of the pickle oil.


  • Chicken , cut into small pieces
  • 8 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • ½  teaspoon Fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • ½  teaspoon  Cumin seeds / jeere
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds (saunf / mouri)
  • 1 teaspoon Onion seeds (kalonji)
  • 1 teaspoon Thymol/ carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 2- 3 Bay leaves
  • Mustard oil (must to use shorshe tel)
  • 4 medium Onions, chopped
  • 2 inch piece Ginger, chopped
  • 15-20 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 4 medium Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped ( for garnishing – optional)
  • 3 – 4 tablespoon of pickle oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat oil in a wok (kadai) and add all the seeds ( paanch phoron n ajwain) for tempering
  • Let the seeds splutter a bit, add bay leaves and whole red chilies
  • Add onion and garlic, ginger and tomatoes
  • Put in the turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt
  • Add the chicken pieces and fry with the spices a bit
  • When the oil separates, pour in little water and cook covered
  • Cook it on a slow fire and let the chicken become tender and cooked in its own juice, without adding too much water
  • When nearly done add lemon juice and ad pickle oil, mix and cover
  • Put off the flame, and serve with chapatis and salad.

Hot Tips – Debjani did not use garam masala for the preparation as it will spoil the taste of pickle. She used garlic pickle oil for this preparation, but you can also use pickle oil of chili pickle or mixed pickle, for added punch.

Panch Phoron is a concoction of 5 different spices – fenugreek, mustard, cumin, fennel and onion seeds/ nigella.

Don’t forget to have a copy of our Festive recipe e-book and the October calendar. And do send in your entries to the ongoing event Cooking with Seeds – Poppy, a brain child of Priya from Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes, just 2 more days to go before the event ends.

Preeti of ISing Cakes was kind enough to share the “One Lovely Blog” award with us. Thanks a lot Preeti.

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Cauliflower Broccoli Gratin – woo the opposite sex

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This post describes how to cook an exotic dish, Cauliflower Broccoli Gratin, in easy steps. A perfect recipe to woo the opposite sex. But before the recipe, I’ll talk about why an amateur cook like me even dared such an elaborate preparation. Skip ahead 3 paras if you’re just interested in the recipe.

Preparing Cauliflower Broccoli gratin

Preparing Cauliflower Broccoli gratin

Newbie trying Exotic dish, and succeeding

Having a domestic help, for almost everything that is non-core to your life, is an amazing experience. Wake up in the morning, and ask – Bhaiya, chai pilao. Aur haan, do ande ubaal do aur ek glass dudh bournvita. [Get me some tea please. And yes, boil two eggs and a glass of milk bournvita]. Ask him/her to prepare Rajma chawal for lunch and kadhi, roti and Gakar ka Halwa for dinner. Heavenly!

My all rounder domestic help left for home (for Holi) 3 weeks ago. Life has never been this dude-you-have-to-cook. So, started with. No, its not Maggi or Chana Daal or Fried Rice. Ladies and Gentlemen, fasten your seat belts. Its Cauliflower Broccoli Gratin. An expert level dish prepared by a nube. Not exactly inspiring. But surprise! It turned out well.

So, have no fear. If I could do it, I’m pretty sure anyone else can too. I’ve also tried Egg Maggi Noodles and Dimer Devil or Deviled Eggs with reasonable success. Amateurs, you can try these too.

Recipe in 10 words

Bake ingredients, crust to form a golden crust at top.

Gratin Ingredients

Gratin Ingredients

About Gratin

Hint: Grate means to scrape.

Gratin is a food preparation technique where you put a layer (of breadcrumbs, grated cheese and butter) above an ingredient mixture (of vegetables e.g. cauliflower, broccoli, potato, tomato, carrot etc), bake it till a golden crust forms at the top. You can try a meat based ingredient mix too.

Read on for how to prepare a vegetable based Gratin in easy steps.

Ingredients of Cauliflower Broccoli Gratin

  • Vegetables – I used Cauliflower, Broccoli, Potato, Tomato, Carrot
  • Cooking Oil (sunflower, Mustard, Olive whatever suits you)
  • Cheese (Cheddar, Parmesan whatever)
  • Milk
  • Maida
  • Bread crumbs
  • Onion
  • Pepper (optional)

Preparation steps

  1. Prepare the ingredients
  2. Prepare cheese sauce
  3. Pour over the ingredients alternating layers of cheese sauce and bread crumbs
  4. Bake it
Preparation for Gratin

Preparation for Gratin

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Separate small florets of cauliflower and wash it
  • Ditto for Broccoli
  • Cauliflower takes longer time to boil than Broccoli. So, first boil the cauliflower florets in water, and add some salt.
  • After 5 minutes, add Broccoli florets. Let them boil for another 7/8 min
  • Drain water and keep aside
  • Cut the other vegetables – tomato, carrot etc (you may grate the carrots if you want)

Prepare cheese sauce

  • Cut the onions into small pieces (doesn’t really matter whether you have arcs or random small pieces)
  • In a bowl, add 2 spoons of Maida
  • Add small quantity of milk and stir. Keep adding milk (total 1 cup) and stirring meanwhile.
  • Grate the cheese
  • Heat some cooking oil in a pan. Add the cut onions
  • Pour the milk maida mixture and add grated cheese
  • Heat and stir the mixture. Stop when it thickens. Keep aside.
  • Heat the oven at high temperature (I did it at 200 degrees C for 10 min)
Buttered Tray

Buttered Tray

Before being Oven-ed

Before being Oven-ed
Preparing before baking

Preparing before baking

Pour over the ingredients alternating layers to cheese sauce and bread crumbs

  • Apply butter on the oven tray
  • Spread the ingredients (vegetables) uniformly over the buttered tray
  • Pour a layer of cheese sauce
  • Add a layer of bread crumbs
  • Repeat the above two steps
  • Grate some cheese atop the mix

Bake it Baby

  • Open the oven door and insert the tray (be careful, the oven is too hot!)
  • Bake it for 20 min at 200 degrees C
Gratin is ready

Gratin is ready

Tada. Your exotic Cauliflower Broccoli Gratin is ready. Devour it with ketchup and Oregano (as a friend says, Everything tastes good with Oregano).

I used it as a Birthday base instead of a Cake. 🙂

Acknowledgements: Sudeshna (help over phone) and google (laptop was open with several links open in the browser while I prepared this dish)

Further Reading: Cook to Bang

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Dimer Devil or Deviled Eggs Recipe

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Update: Removing Vegan word from the post. Since it uses eggs even for the filling, how can it be vegan, argued Soma. And I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for pointing that out.

What is Dimer Devil or Deviled Eggs recipe

The eggs are boiled and the yolks are removed, and re-stuffed with a mixture prepared from the yolk, boiled potato and some vegetables. The re-stuffed egg is then dipped in besan, then in bread crumbs and fried in oil.

Who can cook Dimer Devil

This is for intermediate skilled cooks, or mere amateurs who want to prove that given adequate instructions, they can cook (I fall in this category). You can have Dimer Devil for an exotic evening snack. I had this at lunch with steamed rice, musuri daal and ketchup.

You can learn about more Egg Recipes here.

Ingredients of Deviled egg recipe

Ingredients of Deviled egg recipe

About the devil (why such name)

Deviling means seasoning the food heavily (This link gives an elaborate explanation). I tried this egg recipe only because of its name. Never had it, so gave it a shot. And it turned out well.

Though this isn’t an authentic Bengali recipe, Bengalis sure love it. And you would too.

Recipe in 10 words

Boil Eggs, cut in half, fill with stuffing, oil fry

Ingredients of Dimer Devil (Deviled Eggs recipe)

  • 3 eggs (2 for cooking + 1 for dip)
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 medium onion
  • Carrot (gajar, gajor) or Beet
  • Other vegetables as per availability/taste (matar – green peas, beans etc.)
  • Ginger and garlic (or ginger garlic paste)
  • Green chilies
  • Hing (asafoetida), Jeera (Cumin)
  • Garam Masala Powder
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Maida or Besan

Preparing Dimer Devil (Deviled Eggs recipe)

  • Boil the Eggs and potato for 15 min [in Bangalore, the potatoes don’t soften easily. In such a case, its best to cut the potato into several small pieces and then boil]. Cover the eggs with at least an inch of water.

Now is the time to prepare the filling. I used a vegetarian filling. You pick whatever suits you.

vegetable cut

vegetable cut

Potato and egg boiled

Potato and egg boiled

Mashed up

Mashed up

Fried mashed up mixture

Fried mashed up mixture

  • Meanwhile, cut onion, chilies, beans and grate the carrot/beet
  • Drain hot water, pour cold water (makes peeling off easier) and crack the egg shells
  • Cut the boiled eggs length wise and pop out the egg yolk in a separate container.
  • Add peeled off potato and the vegetable mixture to the container. Add salt, pepper to taste. Mash them well.
  • Heat a frying pan, put some cooking oil (mustard oil for the quintessential jhanjh, or sunflower oil for the calorie savvy) and then the onion pieces. Heat till the color changes to brown. Add the mashed potato-yolk-vegetable mixture.
Stuffed Eggs

Stuffed Eggs

Preparing for the fry

Preparing for the fry

Next, need to stuff egg white with the filling and fry

  • Fill the egg halves with the mixture. Make it tightly fit since we need to fry this later. Let us call this stuffed egg half
  • In a separate bowl, break an egg carefully and add a spoon of Besan. Add salt, pepper to taste and blend it well. Let us call this egg besan
  • On a pan (I used a newspaper J), pour some bread crumbs.
  • Heat a frying pan and add oil.
  • Now do this in sequence – roll the stuffed egg half in egg besan, then in bread crumbs and then lower carefully on the heated oil. Fry well. Do this for each stuffed egg half.
Dimer Devil or Deviled Eggs

Dimer Devil or Deviled Eggs

Tada. Your Dimer Devil (Deviled Eggs recipe) is complete. Serve with ketchup.

If some egg besan is left, fry it on the pan to make Egg Bhurji. It tastes good.

Dimer Devil with Rice and Dal

Dimer Devil with Rice and Dal

Further Reading

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Think Spice: Think Turmeric Event Round-Up

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About Think Spice:

Sunita of Sunita’s world started Think Spice in April 2008. She has even allowed several bloggers host this event (here’s the list from Sunita’s site) and I’m lucky to be host this popular event. Many thanks to Sunita.

Why this theme – Turmeric?

While searching for the right theme for the event, I found that turmeric (Holud, Haldi) was not covered by any one till date. Turmeric is one of the most used spices in any kind of cuisine, and when talking about Indian culinary arts, turmeric is just indispensible.

Event Metrics:

There were 56 entries in all, and I divided the entries into five broadly defined categories – vegetarian dishes, non-vegetarian entrée, whole meals, rice preparations and miscellaneous. Muskan of A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine was kind enough to search for some of the wonderful health benefits of turmeric in her post, and here’s the list:

  1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
  2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
  3. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
  4. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
  5. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
  6. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

For an elaborate list of beneficial effects of turmeric click here.

And here’s the round-up:

Vegetarian dishes:

Non-vegetarian entrée:

Rice preparations:

Non-vegetarian whole meals:

Apart from these four categories there were 14 other entries which included rasam, sambhars, spicy powders, pickles, etc.

Please let me know in case I’ve left out any entry or gave an incorrect URL/blog name. You can email me or post a comment for this, and I’ll correct it.

The Think Spice event for January 2010 hosted by Nandini of Food Food Food. Here’s the complete list of round ups.

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Patla Ilisher Jhol (Hilsa with Nigella)

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“Aum Mahalakshmi Vidmahe

Vishnu PriyaYe Dhi Mahi

Tanno Lakshmi Prachodayat”

-Lakshmi Slokam

Lakshmi salelakshmi sale

I had prepared this patka Ilish (hilsa) jhol (curry) quite sometime back, and the images had been in my folder since then. I was searching for the right time to publish this recipe, and nothing can be better than today. According, to Bengali customs it is said that no one should have hilsa between Lakshmi Puja and Saraswati Puja. Ilish is one of my most favorite fishes and I never liked this customJ. Sometime back, while searching for hilsa recipes on the web I came across an article named “The Last Hilsa Curry” in the Outlook India. Along with a dinner menu for the Chief Minister of West Bengal at the Prime Minister’s home there was the answer to my long lost question. Why we should not have hilsa between Lakshmi and Sarawati Puja? The scientific reason behind this custom is very simple. The little hilsa fishes swam back from river to the sea and then again came back in the next monsoon to lay eggs. With globalization everywhere, we are almost forgetting our own cultures, as a result of not following this simple custom the world renowned Padmar Ilish is on the verge of extinction. These days you can find hilsa all throughout the year and some weighing even less than 500gms.

Lakshmir potLakshmir nauka

Coming to a lighter note, today is Lakshmi Puja eve and the markets are flooded with people doing their last minute marketing for welcoming the goddess of wealth. Lakshmi Puja is carried out in almost all families, mainly the Bangals (families who came as refugees from East Pakistan). Ghotis households (the actual inhabitants of Bengal) worship the goddess on Kali Puja (Diwali) and they call it as Mahalakshmi Puja. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and the daughter of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Lakshmi is also depicted as the mother goddess, sitting or sanding on a lotus, holding a lotus on one hand and a vessel filled with grains on the other. The lotus in her hand symbolizes beauty and purity of woman. Her four hands depicts the four ends of human life – dharma (righteousness), kama (desires), artha (wealth) and mokhsha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death).

chand mala

Tomorrow is Kojagori Purnima and all households are getting ready for the day. Some families worship the goddess not as an idol but as a painting on terracotta discs (Paut in Bengali). The banana stem is modified to a small boat and filled with paddy and lentils signifying gold and silver. A pair of hilsa is offered to the goddess in some households.

Here is a quick and easy recipe with hilsa. I have used raw banana for the preparation, you can also use thin and long egg plants in place of it. Potato doesn’t go along with hilsa, so its better to leave potato out of this curry.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10min

Cooking time: 15min

Patla Ilish Jhol


Hilsa (Ilish): 4 pieces

Raw Banana (Kancha Kala): 1

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 4 tablespoons

Nigella (Kalo jeera): ½ teaspoon

Green chili (Kancha lanka): 2

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1½ teaspoon

Salt to taste


  • Wash the fishes well, put in a bowl and mix well with 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and salt
  • Cut the raw banana longitudinally into half and then into 2 inch long pieces
  • Heat the oil in a wok and half fry the fishes, take out and keep aside
  • Throw in the bananas and toss for a minute, add the nigella seeds
  • Mix turmeric powder in 2 tablespoons of water and keep ready
  • As the nigella seeds start popping pour in the turmeric paste
  • Add the chilies (slit them if you like the curry to be hot), and pour in 1 ½ cup of water
  • Let the water boil and reduce to half
  • Gently add the fried hilsa pieces and cook for 2 minutes
  • Take out of flame and serve with warm rice

Patla Ilish Jhol

Further Reading – Bong Mom’s Hilsa Curry, Hilsa story

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Kasha Mangsho – Bengali Mutton Curry

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|| ya devi sarvabhutesu buddhirupena samsthita
namas-tasyai namas-tasyai namas-tasyai namo namah ||

|| ya devi sarvabhutesu sakti rupena samsthita
namas-tasyai namas-tasyai namas-tasyai namo namah ||

With less than a week to go for Saptami, its time for a brief on the relevant pujas and a savouring dish. Two events passed by – Vishwakarma Puja and Mahalaya. If you came here just for the recipe, you can skip the next 3 paras.

Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma is the god of architecture (in Hinduism) and thus, the presiding deity of all artisans and craftsmen. He architected of the Golden city of Lanka, Indraprastha (abode of Indra), Hastinapur (the capital of the Pandavas and Kauravas of Mahabharata) and the mythical town of Dwarka, where Lord Krishna lived during the Mahabharata period. Any parallel you can draw from modern times? J

The architect is worshipped usually in mid September each year in several parts of the country. In Bengal, the puja is marked by flying kites. And being the Lord of architecture, heavy machinery factories, construction sites and even engineering colleges celebrate Vishwakarma puja.

God on sale


The enchanting voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra at 4am announces the arrival of Devi. Its Mahalaya and 7 days to Saptami. More about Mahalaya here. And here’s how Delhi is taking up Durga puja this year. Hundreds of men offer water to their deceased ancestors on this day, what Bengalis call as “Tarpan”.

puja shoppingpuja sale

Pujor Ranna – Kasha Mangsho

I had prepared a Bengali style mutton curry for lunch today. Though I am not much of a mutton loving person, just thought of preparing it. With a little help from mom, the preparation turned out well. Here’s how to cook Bengali mutton curry.

Preparation time: 1hr
Cooking time: 30min
Serves 2



Mutton (Khashir mangsho): 400gms

Potato (Aalu): 2 large sizes cut into quarters

Papaya grated (Jhiri kore kata Pepe): 3 tablespoon

Sour curd (Tauk doi): 2 tablespoons

Onion (Peyaj): 2 large sizes

Garlic (Rasun): 8-10 cloves

Ginger-garlic paste (Aada-rasun bata): 1 ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Chili powder (Sukhno lanka guro): 1/2 teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 8 tablespoon

Salt to taste


  • Chop one onion and make a paste of the other
  • Make a
  • Wash the mutton pieces well, and drain out the excess water
  • Take the mutton in a large bowl, put in the sour curd, onion and ginger-garlic paste; mix well, pour in 2 tablespoon of mustard oil and a pinch of salt, marinate for 50mins in refrigerator
  • Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a wok and half fry the potatoes, keep aside
  • Pour in the rest of the oil in the same wok, and sauté the chopped onions and garlic cloves
  • Put in the marinated mutton, turmeric, chili, salt and grated papaya, stir in low flame till the mutton becomes absolutely dry and the oil separates (kashano in Bengali), it will also change color to a darker shade of brown
  • Add the dried up mutton in a pressure cooker and pour in 3 cups of water, close the lid and wait for 3 whistle
  • Open the lid and put in the potatoes and again allow 2 more whistles
  • Take out and serve with warm white rice

Kasha Mangsho

Hot Tips – The grated papaya helps in softening the mutton pieces, so its an optional ingredient in this preparation, if you want you can also add large papaya pieces in place of the grated papaya. The number of whistles depends on the quality of mutton, so check after the 5 whistles whether the mutton has become tender, else allow some more time.

Further Readings – Kasha Mangsho, Mutton Chaap (Bengali style)

Don’t forget to send in your entries to the blog Durga Puja Food Festival ending 22nd September.

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Macher Dimer Vada

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In most species of fish, when the fish bears eggs the taste of its flesh reduces, excepting for hilsa. Hilsa’s taste gets enhanced when it bears egg. There is a reason behind this. Hilsa comes to the sweet water, that is, it comes up to the river during monsoon, the egg laying season. The sweet water happens to have an effect on the taste and so the catch from the river is world renowned. Now, coming back to the other fishes; rohu looses its taste during the laying season. Anyways the preparations made out of the eggs are ecstatic.

Fish egg, what we generally call is not only the eggs themselves but it also contains parts of the matured ovaries of the fish, and is called roe. Roe is prepared in different ways in different parts of the world. It is widely used in Asia and Europe. While we Indians mainly fry the roe, people from Japan, Korea and parts of Asia like to have it raw as a side dish with rice. Roe is widely used as a topping over sushi. Roe is also seasoned with salt, lemon, onions, olive oils and pepper powder. In Greece it’s used as a dip. While roe from shrimp, cod, salmon, sea urchin, and many other kinds of fishes are used in preparation, I have used roe from rohu for this preparation.


Rohu roe (Rui macher dim): 100gms, properly cleaned

Wheat Flour (Maida): 1 tablespoon

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size

Green chilies (Kancha lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

Rice (Chal): 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): for deep frying


  • Chop the onions finely and mix with the mustard oil, keep for 5 minutes for the onions to soften
  • Add all the ingredients excepting the sunflower oil to the softened onions and mix well. If required add little more flour to make the mixture firm
  • Make small flattened balls of the mixture
  • Heat oil in a wok or frying pan and deep fry the balls till cooked properly. Try putting a fork through the balls; if it comes out clean, the vada is fried.
  • Take out of flame and place on a kitchen paper to soak out the excess oil
  • Serve with tomato sauce and onions or also use it as an accompaniment with rice and dal.

Macher Dimer Vada

My note: Macher dimer  vada tastes best when consumed hot, so prepare it just before eating.

Sending this recipe to Indrani of Appyayan for hosting the first event on her blog, Spotlight: Fish.

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Fried Rice in Microwave Oven

Today I thought of helping some people. The first thing that came to mind is those of my friends who are away from home in a completely different country and continent. Many of my friends are away for an onsite job to USA, UK and Australia. Many of them never ever have entered the kitchen, and then are in an absolute soup staying away from home and cooking their daily dinner. The fried rice I prepared is a very simple one. To make the task simpler I prepared it in the microwave oven.


Rice (Chal): 1 bowl, 100gm

French Beans: 3 – 4

Carrots (Gajor): 2 small sizes

Cauliflower (Ful kopi): 2 -3 florets

Peas (Mator shuti): 1 tablespoon

Sugar (Chini): ½ teaspoon

Cashew nuts (Kaju badam): 5 – 6

Raisins (Kismis): 10 -12

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 1 tablespoon

Cinnamon (Dar chini): 1 one inch size

Cardamon (Choto elaichi): 2

Salt to taste


  • Wash the rice well keep aside for the water to drain out
  • Cut all the vegetables into one centimeter sizes
  • Break the cashew nuts longitudinally into halves
  • Soak the raisins for 10 mins
  • In a microwave safe deep vessel pour the oil, the cut vegetables and salt. Put it in the microwave oven and cook on microwave high (800 watts) for 6 to 7 mins
  • Take the fried vegetables out and keep aside
  • In another microwave safe bowl pour the rice and add 2 bowls of water, the rice to water ratio should be 1:2. Cook the rice uncovered for 10-12 mins on microwave high (800 watts)
  • Add the vegetables to the cooked rice along with the sugar and mix well
  • Cook on microwave high for 2 mins. Fried rice is ready to serve

Microwave Fried Rice

Cooking fried rice in the microwave is a very simple task, so cook it and enjoy your dinner. Check out for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Sending the recipe to Single Serving Recipe hosted by Spicy Rasam.

Harvest: The festival of Rice: Round up Part I

I am so sorry that I was not able to post the round up for the event. Thanks to all for sending me those wonderful recipes and also for being patient. Everyday of the last month I got so many mails for the event. All the mails had so many different kinds of recipe. To tell you the truth the first time when the idea of this event struck I was not at all aware that I’ll get so many different types of recipes with rice or rice flour as the main ingredient. This is really unbelievable.

Here goes the first part of the round up for Harvest:  The Festival of Rice


  1. Ambur Mutton biriyani from Ashwini of Ashwini’s spicy cuisine
  2. Bengal Royal Rice from Anushriram of Chandrabhaga
  3. Brown Basmati Egg Biriyani with Chickpeas from Anuvidya of And a little bit more
  4. Cheppi Surnalli from Namrata Kini of Welcome to Namu’s Kitchen
  5. Chicken Dum Biriyani from Dershana of The Footloose Chef
  6. Chicken Rice from Priya Sriram of Priya’s Sourashtrian Kitchen
  7. Chilli-Tangerine rice from Anushriram of Chandrabhaga
  8. Chinese fried rice from Dhanya of My Home Cooking
  9. Coriander Rice from Ashwini of Ashwini’s spicy cuisine
  10. Curd rice from Deepa Hari of Simple Home Cooking – from Deepa’s Kitchen
  11. Kadambam Rice from DK of Culinary Bazaar
  12. Lemon Rice from Ramya of Mane Adige
  13. Minced Chicken Pulao from Poornima Nair of Tasty Treats
  14. Mixed Vegetable Khichdi from Usha of Veg Inspirations
  15. Paal Pongal from Rajee of Simply Innocence
  16. Pakistani Chicken Biriyani from swapna Pravin of  Cooking with Swapna
  17. Pongal from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  18. Pongal, vadai and a tooth from Sunshinemom of Tongue Ticklers
  19. Puli Sundal from Chitra of Ratatouille – Any one can cook
  20. Recipe for Stuffed Baked Acorn Squash from Vnv of Veggie Monologues
  21. Rice Dosa and  Koozh of Chitra from Ratatouille – any one can cook
  22. Sakkarai Pongal from Priya Suresh of Priya’s Easy N Tasty Recipes
  23. Schezeun Fried Rice from Poonam of Poonam’s Kitchen
  24. Tacos with Kidney beans, salsa and rice from Arch of The Yum Factor
  25. Tehari from Notyet100 of Asankhana
  26. Tondli Bhat from Usha of Enjoy Indian Food
  27. Undi (Steamed Rice Balls) from Namrata Kini of Welcome to Namu’s Kitchen
  28. Veg Dhum Biriyani from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  29. Venn Pongal and Chakkarai Pongal from Smita Kulkarni of Dabbu’s Recipes
  30. Zucchini rice from Anushriram of Chandrabhaga

Go ahead and comment on your most loved recipes. I would love to know about your comments.

Check out the other parts of the round up, till then Happy Cooking and happy Eating .


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