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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Preparation:

  • 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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Guest Post: Strawberry Chutney

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

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

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

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seed

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

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

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

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Ful Kopir Achar – Cauliflower Pickle

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Grandma’s Secret

Winter has left Kolkata, fans are on all day long. But, there are some left out winter vegetables in the market, being sold at quite a low price. My Didu (maternal grandmother) used to buy a good number of cauliflowers from the market during this time of the year, cut those into small florets, treated with salt and some other spices (which I can’t remember now) and dry them up in the sun.

These cauliflowers remained intact for more than 3-4months, retaining the same color and texture. Those days have gone passed a long time back; you can get any kind of vegetable at any time of the year. Though my mom insists that seasonal vegetables should be had at that particular season, leaving out the good exception of potato, though harvested in winter its eaten all year round. [Potatoes and Bengali cuisine are closely related; there are so many authentic bengali recipes that feature potato that it seems there had been a marriage between these two].

Steal the Pickle (Achar churi)

Remember the jars of pickles lined up on the roof, a little hands approaching to steal a handful? And there came the bigger hand in between the little hand and the jar of tangy pickle. The fear coated adventure of stealing pickle in the summer afternoon is one of the best memories I have of my childhood. Mom never allowed to have pickles and so stealing and having pickles had an extra feeling of happiness, if not I got caught.

Love thy Neighbor

Coming back to cauliflowers, my neighbor knocked the door this morning with a plate full of lovely looking cauliflowers. When asked she said that it’s the cauliflower pickle she made. It looked so lovely and I just couldn’t resist but pick up a small floret and put it straight into my mouth. I have never tasted such an awesome pickle.

I asked for the recipe and she was kind enough to share the recipe of Cauliflower Pickle (Gobi Achar, in Hindi). And, I thought of sharing this bengali pickle recipe with you. Prepare it and let me know how you fared.

Ingredients of Cauliflower Pickle:

  • Cauliflower (Ful kopi): 1 big size, cut into small florets
  • Potato (Alu); 2 medium size, cut into small pieces to complement the cauliflower florets
  • Green peas (Mator shuti): ½ cup
  • Green chili (Kancha lanka): 8-10
  • Raw tamarind pulp (Kancha tetul bata): 2 tablespoon
  • Mustard paste (Sarse bata): ½ cup
  • Mustard oil (Sarser tel): ½ cup
  • Asafoetida (Hing): ½ teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

How to prepare Cauliflower Pickle:

  • Steam the cauliflower florets, potatoes and green peas together, and drain out any excess water
  • Bring the steamed vegetables to normal temperature
  • Mix all the ingredients to the vegetables and pour in the oil
  • Store in glass container and keep under sun for 2-3 days before the first use

The cauliflower pickle tastes good with warm rice.

Hot Tips – Always use a dry spoon to take out pickle from the jar. The cauliflower pickle can be stored for more than a month.

Further Reading – Andhra Style Cauliflower Pickle, Cauliflower Pickle with onion

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