Aamer Dal – Bengali Mango Dal Recipe

 

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ও শিব কবে হবে কাল, নিম দিয়ে ছেচকি আম দিয়ে ডাল

Kolkata has started observing the heat waves for this year. The temperature is going way above the 30°C. To beat the heat and keep the body cool having something bitter or sour is best. By definition though summer is a little away but the markets are flooded with raw mangoes. These sour tasting mangoes are a wonderful ingredient for varieties of Bengali recipes. Starting from the simple dal to chatni and even achar green mangoes are a favorite.

Enlightment

Enlightenment

The green mango dal is a must have in most Bengali families during the summer time. Green mango has some very good health benefits too. The raw mango contains more Vitamin C than the half-ripe or ripe mangoes. It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 and B2. To know more about the health benefits of raw mangoes have a look at this article “Eating Mango is Really Beneficial for Health”.

So, Beat the Heat with Raw Mango Daal (Bengali Mango Daal, aamer dal, mango dhal):

Preparation time: 10min

Cooking time: 15min
Serves 4

Aamer Dal - Bengali Mango Daal

Aamer Dal - Bengali Mango Daal

Ingredients:

  • Red Lentil (Masur dal): ½ cup
  • Split Husked Mung Bean (Mung/Moog dal): ½ cup
  • Raw Mango (Kancha aam): 1
  • Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds (Sarse dana): 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 2 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Mix the two lentils together and boil with 2 cups of water and salt
  • As the lentils get half cooked add the mango pieces and cook till the lentils are fully cooked
  • Add the turmeric powder and with a wired balloon whisk stir the cooked lentils once or twice
  • Heat the oil in a wok, throw in the mustard seeds and dried chilies
  • As the mustard seeds starts popping pour in the lentils and cook for a minute or two
  • Serve hot with rice for lunch

Further Reading: Chholar Daal, Dal Shukno, Masur Dal – Musurir Daal, Roadside Tadka

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Gajar Halwa

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“There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime.  Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them.”
– P.J. O’Rourke

There were a lot many troubles going on for the last couple of weeks. My internet connection broke, and then the computer got virus infected and crashed. Above all my Masters first semester exams was going on. The net result, I was not able to write a post for almost a month now. At last hopefully everything is fine now, and back to form.
When it comes to a big get together, or a year end weekend party there has to be a mouthwatering and tempting dessert at the end of the dinner menu. It was my mom and sister’s birthday on 24th, and so the house was packed with guests and relatives. Searching through Sanjeev Kapoor’s book on microwave cooking got hold of an easy way of cooking carrot pudding, the better way to call it – Gajar ka Halwa. The preparation turned out to be a very tasty one. I used the sugar free, as most of the family members are diabetic.

There is something very peculiar about this winter season. The weather is so dull and dry, but the veggies and fruits you get at this time of the year are so colorful. These days I just love going to the farmer’s market, shopping for vegetables – all of them looking so colorful and vibrant. The carrots in there bright reddish orange tinge are a must buy this season. Gajar halwa is best prepared with Delhi carrots, the ones that are long and reddish in color. Carrots are very good for the eyes due to the high amount of Vitamin A present.

Serving: 6
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 20min

Ingredients:

Carrots (Gajar): 1kg

Milk (Dudh): 1 ½ litre

Sugar (Chini): ½ cup

Khoya: 200gms

Clarified Butter (Ghee): 2 tablespoons

Cardamom (Elaichi): 3-4 powdered

Almonds (Kaath Badam): 12-14

Raisins (Kismis): 2 tablespoons, soaked

Preparation:

  • Put the almonds in a microwave safe bowl and pour in water till they are covered fully. Microwave high uncovered for 3-4min. Take them out and cool those down till you can hold the nuts, peel off and chop into thin slices, keep aside.
  • Take the grated carrots in a microwave safe deep bowl and mix well with 1 ½ tablespoon of ghee. Microwave high covered for 10min, or till they become soft. Stir once or twice in between
  • Pour in the milk and again microwave high covered for 8-10mins, stirring once or twice in between.
  • Add the sugar and khoya and cook in microwave high uncovered for 5-6min
  • Take out and garnish with almonds, and raisins

Hot tips – While grating the carrots, it’s better to leave out the hard middle part of the carrot. You can put in a little coloring agent, to have the bright color of the halwa.

Further readingsGajar Halwa by Bon Vivant

1 Serving of raw grated carrot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 45.1
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 75.9 mg
Potassium 352.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Sugars 5.0 g
Protein 1.0 g
Vitamin A 264.8 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 7.6 %
Vitamin C 10.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.5 %
Calcium 3.6 %
Copper 2.5 %
Folate 5.2 %
Iron 1.8 %
Magnesium 3.3 %
Manganese 7.9 %
Niacin 5.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.0 %
Phosphorus 3.9 %
Riboflavin 3.8 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 4.8 %
Zinc 1.8 %

Sending this recipe to my dear friend Radhika’s event for this month – Delectable Desserts, Pastries & Ice Creams, another friend Arundhuti has recently announced her first blog event, this carrot pudding is on her way to to her Served with Love event and also to MEC: Festive Food hosted by Cham, this event is the brain child of Srivalli

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Jeera Rice/ Cumin flavored Rice

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I hope you all have had a very nice weekend with Diwali and Kali Puja to mark the end of Hindu festivities for this year. I am very sorry for my unannounced break from the blog. I just came down to Bangalore for a couple of days and had been busy since, working and partying.

Diwali pradipDiwali diyaPancha Pradip

The festival season has gone past but still the feel has not passed away. There are still sounds of crackers coming from here and there, and even at odd hours, 6 in the morning or 12 midnight. When it’s the time of festivities, eating out almost all nights, attending parties, visiting friends and relatives, having the oily and spicy food are all synonymous. So the last week ended with spice intake that should have lasted a month. I was almost craving for some non-spicy, less oily food for lunch. Yesterday I was all alone at home in the afternoon, and was very lazy to cook. There was left over rice from the other night and so thought of adding little cumin to it. The jeera rice (my version) was just the thing that I was looking for after a whole week of spices and oils. I had it with a hard-boiled egg.

Tubri

A little search on the web showed that zeera or cumin flavored rice is originally from North India, I am not sure though about the exact period from when it became popular. Any suggestions or information as comments regarding its history is highly welcome. Though I had prepared the jeera rice with left over rice, you can make it with freshly cooked rice also.

Preparation time; 3min
Cooking time: 20 + 5min
Serves: 1

Ingredients:

Cooked rice (Bhaat): 1 cup
Cumin (Jeera/ Zeera): 1 tablespoon
Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size, diced into small pieces
Sugar (Chini): ½ teaspoon
Curry leaves (Kari pata): 4/5
Green chilies (Kancha Lanka): 2, cut into small rings
Clarified butter (ghee): 1 tablespoon
The ingredients

Preparation:

  • Heat the ghee in a wok, throw in the curry leaves, cumin seeds
  • As the cumin start popping add the diced onions and sauté
  • Let the onions turn soft before adding the rice
  • Add the chilies and sugar
  • Toss for sometime till the ghee is well mixed with the rice
  • Serve hot any side dish of choice or even some raita and green salad.

Jeera Rice

Hot Tips – If you are using fresh rice to prepare this, then you can also do it this way. Do same till the sautéing the onions, put in the soaked rice (uncooked) and add just the double amount of water and let the rice get cooked.

Further Reading – Jeera Rice from Arundhati, Cumin Pilaf

Sending this recipe to a dear friend’s (Radhika) first blog anniversary celebration with the Cook For Yourself event.

cookforyourself

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Chal Diye Alu Dum

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

DiyaDiya

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

Diya

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

Diya

Diya

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

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

Alu Dum

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

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

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

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Banana Pancake

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“In a big family the first child is kind of like the first pancake. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, there are a lot more coming along. ” – Antonin Scalia

Continuing the series on Breakfast with Egg Recipes, we’ll talk about Pancake today, Banana Pancake to be precise. [Part 1 was Mughlai Paratha, Part 2 was French Toast and Part 3 was Scrambled Eggs].

What we call pancakes today might have originated more than two millennia ago. It wasn’t like the ones served at our dining table, but was a concoction (mixture) of milk, flour, eggs, and spices, and was called “Alita Dolcia” (Latin for “another sweet”) by the ancient Romans. They were probably prepared on flat rocks smeared with grease. The modern day pancakes were invented in Medieval Europe.

Banana Pancake

Banana Pancake

Pancake is also called: hotcakes, griddlecakes, or flapjacks in US and Canada; pannekoek in Afrikaans community; Apom Balik in Malay; Ban Chian Kuih in Chinese; chatamaari in Nepal; Blini in Russia.

There are numerous variations of Pancake prepared in different cuisines, based on changes in ingredients (flour, eggs and milk remain constant, rest vary) the cooking implements (flat rocks, hearths, griddles, microwave oven), the look and taste of the final product (thick or thin, spicy or sweet).

In India too, there are several variations of pancake – pitha (or pithy) in Bengal and Assam, Dosa in South, Meetha Pooda in Punjab.  We’ll prepare yet another variation, Banana Pancake, today. Get ready for a sweet sensation to the taste buds.

Preparation time:  5 mins

Cooking time: 8 mins

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • Flour (Maida): ½ cup
  • Banana (Kala): 1, mashed properly
  • Egg (Dim): 1
  • Milk (Dudh): ½ cup
  • Baking powder: ½ teaspoon
  • Sugar (Chini): 1 tablespoon
  • Butter/ Clarified butter (Makhan/ Ghee): 1 teaspoon
  • Cherry: 6 /7, chopped coarsely
  • Cinnamon powder (Dar chini guro): ¼ teaspoon (optional)
  • Vegetable oil (Sada tel): 6 teaspoon
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon

Preparation:

  • Take a large bowl, sift the flour in it, put in the other dry ingredients and mix
  • Add the mashed banana , milk, butter and chopped cherries, and whisk to make a smooth batter
  • Heat one and half teaspoon on oil on a pan and pour in one-fourth of the batter
  • Fry one side of the pan cake till it becomes golden brown, turn the other side and fry similarly
  • Fry three more pan cakes with the batter
Banana Pancake with toppings

Banana Pancake with toppings

Hot Tips: Banana pan cakes taste great with freshly sliced banana and honey or maple syrup. Along with mashed bananas, other soft fruits like mango, strawberries, blue berries can also be added to the batter. Fruitless pan cakes can also be made; it depends on what you want to put in.

Further Reading – Mango Nutella Pancake, Easy Pancake, Besan ka puda, Banana Pancake Trail

Nutrtion Count – 2 Banana Pancakes

Calories 240
Total fat 7 gms
Total Carbohydarte 41gms
Cholesterol 20mg
Dietary fibre 2gms
Sugar 9gms
Protein 5gm
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 8%
Iron 15%
Sending this to NTTC#5 event hosted by Sneh of Gel’s Kitchen and also to the event Heart of the Matter hosted by Michelle, this month’s theme being “Budget-Friendly Foods.” .

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Malabar Chicken

From my childhood I always wished where ever I am I should be at my home in Kolkata for the Durga Puja. We have a century old tradition of worshiping the deity. But, this time it’s a little different. I am away from home for the first time in my life during the Durga Pujas. I am missing every bit of this gorgeous festival.

If you are in Kolkata we’ll never be able to ignore the arrival of this festive season. With the start of September you can feel the Puja is nearing. All the markets and for now the shopping malls are flooded with people to buy new clothes, shoes, and house hold articles. As the big day nears, the foot paths are barricaded with bamboo pillars to control the heavy crowd. There are big hoardings of advertisements on every nook and corner of the city. With all these grandeur and pomp comes our idol. I miss those lazy afternoons sitting at my neighborhood Puja pandal chit chatting with my friends. All my relatives come to my place to worship the deity. O, I miss everything about Kolkata.

There is nothing more I can do but to think about the by gone days of living in Kolkata during the Durga Pujas. So, just to make myself a little happier than I am right now, I thought of adding some special recipes for this occassion.

Living in the Southern part of India, these days I come across a lot many South Indian cuisine. Every region in South India has got its own style of cooking. Malabar region is in the South-western part of India, facing the Arabian Sea. Lots of spices like cloves, coriander, cardamom, black pepper grow in the hilly terrain of the Malabar Coast. All their cuisine is done with these spices. The Malabar Chicken is just one such example of the rich cuisine of this coastal region.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Chicken (Murgi): 500gms

Onion paste (Peyaj bata): 2 tablespoons

Desiccated coconut (Narkel korano): ½ cup

Coriander leaves (Dhane pata): 1 tablespoon

Green chili paste (Kacha Lanka bata): 1 ½ tablespoon

Garlic-ginger paste (Ada-rasun bata): 1 tablespoon

Red chili powder (Sukhno Lanka guro): 1 teaspoon

Tamarind paste (Tetul bata): 1 tablespoon

Coriander powder (Dhane guro): 1 teaspoon

Clove (Labango): 5 to 6

Black pepper (Gol morich): 10 -12

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

Preparation:

For preparing the tamarind paste:

  • Take out the pulp of 5 or 6 tamarind pods and dip in water for ½ an hour.
  • With a sieve separate the pulp from the tamarind water, and keep the tamarind water for later use.

For the curry:

  • Heat oil in a wok. Throw in the ginger-garlic paste, onion paste, black pepper, green chili paste and tamarind water, sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add red chili, coriander and turmeric powder along with the desiccated coconut. Fry till the coconut turns brownish.
  • Add water and cook for 5 -7 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and add water till necessary.
  • Cook till the chicken becomes tender, adding water if required.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
Malabar Chicken Curry

Malabar Chicken Curry

Serve with just cooked rice and enjoy the taste of the Malabar chicken.

Sending this sensational side dish to Ruth’s Sensational Sides Event.

Also sending over to Aartee’s Sapadu Ready Event

Sending this recipe to Pallavi’s Yummy Festival Feast- Diwali.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

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