Balti Chicken

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The word “balti” always remind me of the Bengali word for bucket, why a chicken recipe will be associated with such a word was quite appealing to me. My first guess was that the dish was served in little copper coated buckets in the restaurant, but that reasoning seemed a little too far fetched. So, I did a little search and of course Wikipedia came in handy.

Apparently, the phrase “Balti Chicken” came from the origin of this recipe. Here again there is much argument about where the origin of this recipe was. Some say that this recipe originated from Baltistan, Northern region of Pakistan  and hence the name. The other theory says that the chicken dish was first prepared by the Balti restaurants in Birmingham in UK.

Anyways as Shakespeare had said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”, there is no point in fighting over a name of a chicken recipe. But, it’s definitely worth trying. The recipe calls for a lot of tomatoes, and the chicken is cooked in the tomato juice making this chicken dish a sweet and sour preparation. This chicken side dish is the new item for the rakhi series. 

Balti Chicken with naan

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb chicken, skinned and cut into medium size pieces

1 onion, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

3 cups chopped tomato

4-6 garlic cloves, sliced

2 green chilies, chopped

6 tablespoon canola oil

3-4 sprigs of cilatro, chopped

Salt to taste

 

Directions:

In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil, add the onion and cook until translucent. In the meantime in a small bowl add all the ground spices and make a paste with about 2 tablespoons of water. Stir in the spice mix with the fried onions, and cook until oil starts separating, about 3 to 4 minutes

Add the chicken pieces and mix with the fried spices and onions. Put in the tomatoes and season with salt. Cook covered for about 15 minutes. Give it a stir once or twice in between so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan

Add the garlic and green chili and cook covered till the chicken is fully cooked. Pour little water if it gets too dry.

Garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve hot with naan or rice

Balti chicken

 

Chef’s Tips: I used about two cornish hen in this recipe. If you want to make it a boneless preparation, you can use chicken thigh; breast pieces tend to get very chewy.

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Doi Begun – Eggplants in Spiced Yogurt

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Almost every state in India has their own style of making doi begun or dahi baingan. So, this is one recipe where you can do loads and loads of combination, and I assure use you’ll not get wrong.

Eggplants

I like to use the baby eggplants, as the whole eggplants or brinjal, as I used to call while growing up (read before entering USA) gives a good texture to the curry. You can also use the larger eggplants, and cut them into two to three inch size pieces. Using asafoetida is an optional step in this recipe, I like the flavor of it and it goes with the whole yogurt and eggplant mix, so I use it. Also, if you want to enhance the flavor of this dish you can temper with curry leaves and sprinkle dry roasted and then powdered fennel seeds. So the possibilities are unending. But, one thing’s for sure, this recipe is a must have for a hot and dry summer lunch. You can also serve this as a side dish with biryani.

Doi begun

 

Doi Begun - Eggplants in Spiced Yogurt
Serves 4
A must have for summer lunch
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb baby eggplants
  2. 2 cup Greek yogurt
  3. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  4. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  5. 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  6. ½ teaspoon sugar
  7. ¼ teaspoon asafoetida (optional)
  8. 2 teaspoons mustard oil (optional)
  9. 3-4 green chili
  10. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut the baby eggplants into fours, keeping the stalk intact. Take a pan which has a lid, pour the canola oil and place the eggplants, so that all of them touch the base of the pan, cover with the lid and fry on low heat for about 5 minutes, turning the eggplants once or twice in between
  2. While the eggplants are getting fried, in a mixing bowl beat the yogurt with 2 tablespoon of water. Add the chili powder, dry ginger powder and sugar. And beat again.
  3. Once the eggplants are fried, the skin will turn a darker shade of purple; don’t wait till they turn black; take the eggplants out and place on a kitchen towel to absorb the extra oil.
  4. In the same oil add the asafoetida if using, if not then go straight to the next step. As the asafoetida starts to splatter, about 10 seconds, transfer the eggplants back to the pan.
  5. Pour the spiced yogurt, and add in the green chilies. Stir and cook covered for about 2 to 3 minutes, or till the eggplants are cooked. You can add a little water if the gravy starts sticking to the pan.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and pour the mustard oil, if using. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with rice or chapati
Notes
  1. If you add the eggplants while the oil is still not hot, the eggplants will absorb less oil.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

Dahi Baingan nnn

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Chicken Korma

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Korma or Qorma is a very old method of cooking meat. It was first used by the Turkish and was brought in to India by the Mughals. The Turkish word kuvurma means braising, the meat is at first cooked in high heat and then simmered in tight pot for a long time to get cooked in its own juices and marinade.

 

Chicken Korma spices

The chicken korma was cooked by Kalyan the other day, and it turned out superbly awesome, and so I had to put it up on the blog. After his stint on mastering the art of making rajbhog, Kalyan has become keen on entering the kitchen more often, much to my relief :). This recipe was inspired by a book “Complete Indian”, which we bought from Salvation Army though he made some changes while he was cooking.
Though the recipe is straight forward, korma takes a long time to cook, and so you have to have that patience to cook. But, trust me the end result is definitely worth all the time you spend in the kitchen. As Rakhi is just a few weeks away, here’s the first dish of many more dishes to celebrate this special with your sibling. Stay tuned to learn many more awesome recipes to make for Rakhi.
Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma
Serves 4
Print
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
9 hr
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
9 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3lb chicken
  2. 1 large onion, sliced
  3. 4-5 tablespoon of ghee or canola oil
  4. 3 cloves of garlic
  5. ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  6. 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  7. 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
  10. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  11. 5 cloves
  12. 5 black cardamom pods
  13. 1 2” cinnamon stick
  14. 1 ½ tablespoon desiccated fresh coconut
  15. 10-12 almonds
  16. 2-3 twigs of cilantro
  17. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken into 3-4” size pieces. Crush one clove of garlic, beat the yogurt and turmeric together with the garlic. Mix the yogurt with the chicken and put it in a ziploc bag. Marinade for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, better overnight
  2. Before you are ready to cook, take out the chicken from the fridge and bring it down to normal temperature.
  3. Toast the almonds in a cast iron pan and then chop the nuts. Keep aside
  4. In a heavy bottom pan heat the ghee, add in the onion and fry till they are translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add all the whole and ground spices, and salt and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly
  5. Add in the marinated chicken to the pan, put in the desiccated coconut and mix well with the fried spices. Cover the pan with a tight lid and simmer for about 45 minutes or till the chicken is soft and cooked. Keep watch, if the chicken gets too dry or starts sticking to the pan, then add a little water
  6. Transfer the chicken to a serving bowl and garnish with the toasted nuts and cilantro. Serve immediately with naan or rice.
Notes
  1. If you are using oil to cook, then before taking out of the pan, you can pour a teaspoon of ghee to the chicken to give it the additional flavor and smell.
  2. Kalyan used 3 1lb cornish hen to make this dish. The hens were skinned and cut into 3 to 4 inch size pieces. You can also use chicken thighs to make it boneless recipe or use a whole chicken.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

Murgh Korma

 

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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

 

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Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp Scampi

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When there is a baby at home, it’s really hard to cook. You chop the onions, and there he is under the table, you heat the oil and about to add the onions in the skillet and there he is eating a magazine page. The last 6 months have taught me a lot of things, but above all it has taught me to multitask.

These days I try searching for food, which is wholesome and is easy to cook. When it comes to cooking time, nothing can beat shrimps. You can cook shrimps in less than 5 minutes, you don’t believe it, try it. Whether its the Bengali favorite chingrir malaikari or Italian style shrimp scampi, shrimp is the easiest and quickest meal you can prepare. You can prepare scampi and serve it as an appetizer, or you can also serve it with rice or pasta.

I am not a big fan of pasta, but I love angel’s hair pasta, the thin and smooth texture of the cooked pasta steals my heart every time.

Angel Hair Pasta

 

 

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp Scampi
Serves 2
A quick and easy lunch
Print
Ingredients
  1. For the scampi-
  2. 1lb fresh shrimps
  3. 1 tablespoon butter
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  7. A few sprigs of parsley
  8. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  9. ½ cup dry white wine
  10. Salt to taste
  11. For the pasta-
  12. 1 lb angel’s hair pasta
  13. 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the pasta, boil a large pot of water, when the water starts boiling add a tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cover and let the water come to a boil. Once it starts boiling keep it on high heat for 6-8 minutes or till the pasta is soft to touch. Drain in a colander and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil so that the pasta doesn’t stick to each other
  2. In a skillet add the olive oil and butter and wait till the butter is melted. Saute the chopped garlic and let it start to sizzle.
  3. Add the chili flakes and shrimp. Season with salt.
  4. Chop the parsley leaves and add it to the shrimp, give it a good toss and then pour the wine.
  5. Let the shrimps simmer in a the wine sauce for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Divide the pasta in 4 equal parts, and top with equal portions of the scampi. Garnish with parmesan cheese
Notes
  1. You can use cilantro leaves instead of the parsley and if you don't like to add the wine then substitute it with chicken or vegetable stock/broth.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

 

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp Scampi

 

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Kachumber – Spicy Indian Salad

 

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I grew up eating salad as a side with spicy Indian food. Be that dum alu or Chittagong chicken, salads were always on the side line. But coming here, and living in the US for almost 4 years now, the take on salad has almost changed, from being a side dish salad has now turned into a meal. Over the years I have started liking the abundance of greens in my salad (read loads of spinach, arugula and how can I forget iceberg lettuce), but when it comes to touching your roots a medley of cucumber, tomatoes and onion always seals the deal.

Mexican pico de gallo comes very close to this garden fresh North Indian green salad, but the vegetables are cut in a little larger size and when its Indian it has to spicier. Generally, cucumber, onions and tomatoes are the main ingredients in this salad, but tamarind is also mixed sometimes to give it a more tangy taste. And, if you want, you can also add a portion of yogurt to make dahi raita.

 

Kachumber

 

 

Kachumber
Yields 1
Print
Prep Time
7 min
Prep Time
7 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium cucumbers
  2. 2 tomatoes
  3. 1 medium onion
  4. 2 Thai green chili
  5. 2-3 sprigs of cilantro
  6. 1 teaspoon lime juice
  7. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop the cucumber, tomatoes and onion to bite size pieces. While doing so, scoop out the seeds from the cucumber and tomatoes with a spoon
  2. Slice the green chili and coarsely chop the cilantro leaves, leave the stalks behind
  3. Mix everything together in a glass bowl, sprinkle with salt and lime juice. Mix and serve with your choice of spicy curry
Notes
  1. The quantity of ingredients depends entirely on you, it doesn't matter if you use 3 cucumbers instead of 4, if it tastes good to you, that's what counts.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

Kachumber

 

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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

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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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Manhattan Cart Style Chicken Over Rice

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Though I have been calling Texas my home for the last 3 years, I got the chance to live in Big Apple for sometime. I may sound cliche, but living 2 blocks away from Times Square was like a dream come true. Raised in Kolkata, I’m used to the noise, dirt and crowd of cities. Probably, thats one of the reasons why NYC became so close to my heart.

Just as you step into the streets of Manhattan, there is so much to see and do – that you feel like getting lost in those streets. NYC has its own charm. The city has a lot to offer, and talking about food, no city in US and probably in the world has so much variety than Manhattan. From $500 pre fixe menus to $5 meals – Manhattan has it all.

If you are in New York city and want to grab a quick bite without burning a hole in your pocket, the carts on the streets of Manhattan is your answer. There are hundreds of carts selling tens of different type of food – from gyros to pretzels. One such cart, one of my most favorite cart food is on the intersection of Broadway and 39th street. This Bangladeshi guys offers the best chicken over rice in all of Manhattan.

As the name suggests, the menu is simple – bite size pieces of chicken cooked in mild spices served over a bed of flavored Basmati rice with a side of salads and your choice of sauce poured to make this meal a class apart.

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Quick And Easy Khichdi

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Being lazy and hungry is a tough call. You want to eat something wholesome, yet you are too lazy to cook a full course meal. Khichudi is the answer to such situations. A full bowl of khichudi is a life saver during such times.

This quick and easy khichudi recipe is kid friendly and you can adjust the spices according to your whim. Pour extra water if you want the khichdi to be runny.

Winter Khichudi

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Panch Phoron – A Tale of Five Spices and a City

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I cant believe its already five weeks into 2014. I had been away from the blogging world for quite sometime now, and even though I wanted to write a post, I was too busy even to think about what to post. So anyways I’m back now, and have loads to share. In between my break I went to Kolkata after a long long time. As expected there are new constructions everywhere and the traffic, I just don’t want to talk about it – it seems people have gone crazier on the roads. Though I missed out on Book Fair 2014, but got to visit a lot many other fairs. And, believe it or not there was this fair, Baro bhuter mela (you can loosely transalte it to the Fair of 12 ghosts), okay actually they are not ghosts, but a group of sadhus who come to this place and stay their for a week after Sankranti. So, the crazy part of this fair was not the thousands of people in it but the free eggs. Yes, you heard it right, these sadhus worship a goddess whose the offering is duck egg. After the puja, the eggs are distributed among the locals and there are like hundreds of eggs, and thousands of people in line to get those eggs. It was crazy, but it was really fun to watch such a chaos.

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MagicKart Review

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While picking up your item of choice from a store is a fun experience, waiting in the check out line just to buy one small item take the fun out of it. I prefer to shop online. Also, now that I’m living outside the country, shopping online is my only option for sending gifts to family. Online shopping has opened a new door to customers like us.

MagicKart

Even in India there are now quite a handful of websites offering online shopping options. Most of them are offering various types of items from home goods to electronics. When I came across MagicKart.in I felt like a kid in a candy shop, especially because of the fact that this website is dedicated to kitchen items and table ware. I love shopping kitchen items, and serve wares. MagicKart.in has a wide range of kitchen items and the prices are pretty competitive.

The homepage is plain and simple, and browsing through the website is very easy, you’ll find just the right item for you. And, the best part is they have an online chatting service with the support team. I tried it out, and they are very prompt.

Magickart was started by a team of three enthusiastic people, and their work shows up on the site. Such a big collection of kitchen appliances and cookware is really hard to find online in India and even in stores. So if you are searching for something to gift your loved one this festive season, MagicKart is the right option.

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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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Kadhi – Spicy Indian Yogurt Soup

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Stop me if I’m wrong, but in Indian cuisines, and by Indian cuisine I mean cuisines from all parts of the country, there are very few recipes which can be considered as soup. Kadhi, is one of those few dishes that can be considered as soup. You can have it warm and serve it with khichdi or cold as a soup.

Kadhi is a true Indian dish, I say this because, almost the same recipe is followed throughout India. The wiki page on kadhi says that its a Gujrati dish and is popular among people in the Northern states and also among Sindhis. But, while living in the Southern states of India I have had kadhi with the South Indian touch of tempered curry leaves.

Gujrati Kadhi

Gujratis, as I have learnt over the years love their sweets, so even in kadhis they like to add some sugar or jaggery to give it a hint of sweetness. Sindhis like some vegetables in the kadhi, the most popular being okra. Another very common kadhi preparation is kadhi with pakora. The pakoras are made by frying a batter of chickpea and onions, and are dropped in the kadhi.

Growing up in a Bengali family, I had my share of having kadhi for lunch in the summer. My mom used to, actually she still makes sour yogurt at home, everyday all through the year. And, when there is some extra yogurt left she makes the kadhi, but with a touch of Bengali spices in it.

Kadhi

Appetizer, Indian, Yogurt soup, Gujrati kadhi, Kadhi, Indian recipe, Indian spicy yogurt soup, Summer recipe
Cooks in    Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sour yogurt
  • 3 tablespoon chickpea flour
  • ½ teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • For tempering:
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2-3 whole dry red chilies
Directions
  • Take the yogurt is a large bowl and gradually add the chickpea flour to it, mix well so that there are no lumps. Pour the water a cup or less at a time and continue stirring. You can also add everything together and put it in a juicer for 10 seconds to get a good mix
  • Add all the ground spices and season with salt. Give it a good stir
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the mustard seeds, as they start sputtering add the curry leaves and whole red chilies. Pour the yogurt mixture and cook till it just starts to boil. Lower the flame and cook for a minute more. Serve hot or cold.

Kadhi

Hot Tips – Be patient while mixing the ingredients together, mix well so that there are no lumps. It depends on how thick you want your kadhi you can add or reduce the amount of water, also note that that the kadhi thickens after cooling.

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Kashmiri Dum Aloo

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Even though diabetes is spreading like a plague in India and especially in the Eastern part, we Bengalis are yet to leave the habit of using potatoes. Be that macher jhol-e aloo (potatoes in fish curry) or a simple aloo chokha (mashed potatoes with onion and pepper) potatoes are everywhere. Even though half my family have to take either insulin shots or pills, I couldn’t leave out potatoes from my diet. Potatoes are an integral part of Bengali cuisine.

A Sunday breakfast is never complete without a dose of luchi (fried Indian bread) and aloor dum. And, when it comes to talking about potatoes in Bengali recipes leaving out the oh-so-soft potatoes in mangsher jhol (goat curry) will be like blasphemy. Potatoes are everywhere in Bangali ranna, we like them in almost all our dishes and the aloo posto is a signature dish of Bengal.

Kashmiri Aloo Dum

While other Indian communities do not use potatoes so much, I came across this recipe in a very old cooking magazine long time back. I have searched for Kashmiri recipes for alu dum, but they were all very different. I main reason why I chose to use this old recipe was because they used poppy paste – one of my favorite spices in the kitchen. People from Kashmir are voracious meat eaters and owe them for inventing the famous rogan josh. There are also vegetarian recipes available in Kashmiri cuisine and this aloo dum is one of my favorites.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Indian, Side, Potato, Kashmiri cuisine, Kashmiri alu dum, Aloo dum, Kashmir recipe
Cooks in    Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb baby potatoes
  • 1 medium onion made to paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup poppy seed paste
  • 3 tablespoon cashew paste
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Handful of soaked raisins (optional)
Directions
  • Wash the potatoes and boil with peeling the skin for 7 to 10 minutes or till they are almost cooked.
  • Drain the water and let them come to a temperature where you can touch. Peel the potatoes. Sprinle a pinch of turmeric and salt
  • Heat half the oil in a thick bottom vessel and lightly fry the potatoes till there are a few blisters on them.
  • Take out, and keep over a kitchen towel to drain the excess oil
  • Pour in the extra oil and heat. Add the onion paste and fry till the onion is fragrant and oil starts separating. Add all the powdered spices, ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add the potatoes and toss well to coat the spices. Season with salt.
  • Cook while stirring in between till the spices change to a darker color. Pour water and cook till the potatoes are almost done.
  • Add the poppy and cashew paste and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more. Sprinkle the ground garam masala and the raisins if using. Serve hot with chapati or white rice.

Aloo dum

Hot Tips – You can also use large potatoes instead of the baby ones. Cut them in quarters and follow the same instructions. I have used ordinary chili powder to have a more spicier taste, but you can also use Kashmiri red chili powder. The Kashmiri chili powder gives an extra color to the recipe and unlike other peppers it is less hot.

  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

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