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.

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Alu posto/ Potato in poppy seed paste

Poppy seed is an integral part of the platter in all Bengali households. Preparations with poppy seeds mainly include vegan dishes, but there are also some dishes where poppy seeds are used with fish or meat. The love for poppy seeds among Bengalis started hundreds of years ago. Alu posto is the most common form of poppy seeds use in Bengali cuisine, at times the potatoes are also replaced with ridge gourds, onions, aubergine, or even chicken.

The herbal concoction of the seeds is also beneficial in treating all kinds of nervous disorders. Apart from consuming poppy seeds in its raw form or toasted on bagels and sweet breads, a paste made from the seeds can be used as a poultice in obtaining relief from swellings and joint pains.  Finely ground powder made from poppy seeds can also be consumed to treat insomnia and diarrhea. Apart from adding flavor to food, poppy fields also present an added advantage of providing health benefits to the human body. It also supplies essential enzymes and fatty acids as a form of nutrition. In ancient days, athletes would consume or blend of poppy seeds with honey entwined to ensure strength and good health. The oil derived from poppy seeds is used in various cosmetic preparations for the head and skin as balms and conditioners.

Ingredients:

Potato (Alu): 4 medium sizes

Poppy seeds (Posto): 3 tablespoons

Nigella seeds (Kalo jeera): 1 teaspoon

Green chili (kancha lanka): 3

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Make a soft fine paste of the poppy seeds and keep aside
  • Cut the potatoes into small square pieces
  • Heat oil in a wok over low flame, add the nigella seeds
  • Throw in the potatoes along with the turmeric powder, green chilies and salt
  • Pour in about a cup of water and let the potatoes get half cooked
  • Add the poppy seed paste and cook till the potatoes are well cooked
  • Pour in water if necessary

alu-posto

Take out of flame and serve with rice or chapattis.

Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

Egg Fried Rice

No much of a prelude, all I want to put up is my version of the Chinese egg fried. Yesterday, when I came back home from office all tired and repulsive to get inside the kitchen I cooked this up. I used these vegetables because I only had those at home, if you like you can also add small florets of cauliflowers, beans and even some cashew nuts and raisins.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Long grain rice (Basmati chal): 1 cup

Carrot (Gajor): 2 medium sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size

Capsicum: ½

Potato (Alu): 1 medium size

Egg (Dim): 2

Cinnamon (Dal chini): 1” size

Green cardamon(Choto elaichi): 2 -3

Cloves (Labongo): 2 -3

Bay leaves (Tej pata): 1

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 3 tablespoons

Sugar (Chini): 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Wash the rice properly, take it in a boiling pan; cover with water. See to it that the water level is at least one inch above the raw rice. Boil covered for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Pour in extra water if necessary. Once the rice is done, drain out excess water.

fried-rice31

  • Spread the cooked rice over a plate or baking tray and let it cool
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of  oil in a frying pan, beat the eggs with salt. When the oil is heat, pour in the egg and scramble it while frying. Keep aside
  • Chop all the vegetables into very fine half inch size pieces
  • Heat rest of the  oil in a wok, add the cinnamon, cloves and green cardamom. Add the vegetables when the spices start popping. Fry over low flame till the vegetables are well cooked
  • Add the rice and sprinkle salt and sugar
  • Toss everything so that the rice gets mixed well with the vegetables
  • Take out of flame when the rice becomes piping hot, and garnish with the scrambled egg

fried-rice2

Fried rice tastes well with non-vegetarian dishes like egg curry, chicken-do-peyaja, or any kind of meat dishes. Those of you who like the vegan part of the platter can try it out with cauliflower curry, dum alu, or anything of your choice. I had it with cauliflower manchurian that my neighbor gave me. I didn’t use clarified butter (ghee) for the frying part, but you can use it, it enhances the taste.

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Alu Kabli

When I was young and still a school going child, my mom was very particular about my hygiene. She never used to let me have anything prepared on the streets, but that led me to break the rule and indulge having roadside food. Everyday when I used to comeback from school I used stop at the nearest chaat stall and had my share of alu kabli. Alu Kabli or alu chaat as they call it in most parts of India is very popular among all students, but to disclose the secret it tempts all. My mom used to scold me for having street junks, but I could never kill my temptation to have the small bowl full of alu chaat. School days have passed years ago, but I still can’t resist the smell and taste of alu chaat.

The tamarind paste and the green chilies mix to create an ecstatic smell of freshness, which I have never got from any dish I had. The spices make a brilliant hot and sour combination, and of course the potatoes and chickpeas add to the joy of having it. This evening when I was preparing the alu chaat, I am flown back to the stall just outside my school, and how I craved for the last bell to ring. I have had alu chaats in many different places, but still when I pass by that chaatwala I stop to commit the sin of having the same old alu chaat. Today my post is a tribute to the good times I spent with my friends in front of the chaat stall and the fear of getting caught by mom.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Potato (Alu): 2 large sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size

Roasted cumin powder (Jeera guro): 1 teaspoon

Red Chili Powder (Sukhno Lankar guro): 1 teaspoon

Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 2-3

Chickpea (Chana Dal): 1 tablespoon

Coriander leaves (Dhane pata) for garnishing

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight, or for more than 6 to 7 hours.
  • Boil the potatoes without taking out the peel. Alternately you can also bake it in a microwave oven for 12 minutes.
  • After the potatoes are boiled properly, see to it that they are not over boiled, take out the peels and chop them into 1” length pieces
  • Chop the onions very finely, the chilies in small rings
  • Add all spices along with the onions, green chili and salt; mix well
  • Throw in the chickpeas and tamarind paste, toss it so that it gets evenly mixed
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve
Alu Kabli

Alu Kabli

Alu chaat is a favorite among all age groups. Serve it over an evening chit chatting. Look for more updates here, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Sending this to Original Recipes – Monthly Round-Up Event.

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String beans with Potato Curry

I have just joined Glaxo SmithKline Ltd for my Post Graduate internship. I have become so busy with the work that I couldn’t even think about writing a post for my blog. Yesterday I got a scrap from a school friend. She is presently staying in Bangladesh and as she says there are very few options for any vegan dishes. She requested me to write about some vegetarian dishes for her.

I just could not leave out her request and so thought of posting this dish for her.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

String beans (Barboti): 100gms

Potato (Aalu): 4 medium sizes

Nigella seeds(Kalo jeera): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 teaspoon

Turmeric Powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon

Green Chili (Kancha Lanka): 2

Preparation:

  • Slice the strings beans into one inch sizes and the potato into small square pieces
  • Take oil in a wok and let it heat
  • Throw in the nigella seeds as the oil gets heated
  • Add the potatoes and strings beans along with the turmeric powder and salt
  • Toss the vegetables for a minute so that the oil and spices get mixed
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour in 1 cup of water and let it cook with stirring twice or thrice
  • As the vegetables get cooked take out of flame

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Serve with roti, paratha or with steamed rice. It tastes good with anything. Check for more updates here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking, Happy Eating.

Dhokar Dalna

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I hope you all had loved the round up for The Non-Veggie Event. As for me, hosting an event for the first time was of great great pleasure. The recipes I received were so good and I felt pleasure in going through all the recipes. Each was better than the other. Chicken, mutton, eggs- everything was on the menu. I even tried out some of them and they were so yummy.

So after all these meat and flesh and spices all over I thought of choosing something light and vegetarian for my next post.

Dhokar dalna is one of the oldest recipes, which is of absolute Bengali origin. You will never find anything equivalent to this recipe. If any of you have anything which you feel is similar to Dhokar Dalna, then please do write a comment on that. Even better of you please post it on your blog and leave a comment along with the URL of the post.
I found my mother cooking many items and calling them with the same prefix “Dalna”. I took this opportunity to search about what Dalna actually means. My source was noone but my inspiration of cooking , my MOM. After partition many people came from East Bengal, now better known as Bangadesh. In present Bengal (West Bengal, India) they are popularly known as Bangal(as in Bangladesh) and those who were actually from present West Bengal are called Ghoti. As the language changes with every mile, so here also there is no exception. What the Bangal call tarkari (curry) the Ghotis call it Dalna. So, this Dhokar Dalna most probably originated from the people who were the oldest inhabitants of present West Bengal. There are many more stories of this differetiation in every part of Bengal. If I start writing I’ll never ed, so better keep it for future.

Dhoka is a mixture of two types of pulses, and the curry with very little spice is called Dhokar Dalna.

Ingredients:

Yellow split pea (Matar dal): 40gms

Bengal gram (Chana Dal): 160gms

Refined wheat flour (Maida): 1 tablespoon

Potatoes (Aalu): 2 medium sized

Sugar (Chini): 1 teaspoon

Black pepper (Gol morich guro): 1 teaspoon

Asfoetida (Hing): 1 pinch

Fennel seed (Mouri):  ½ teaspoons

Cinnamon powder (Dar chini guro): 1 pinchr

Cardamom powder (Elaichi): 1pinch

Nigella (Kalo jeera): 1 teaspoon full

Cumin Seeds (Jeera): ½ teaspoons

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 ½ teaspoons

Red Chili powder (Sukhno Lankar Guro): 1½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel) for frying

Salt to taste

Preparation:

For the Dhoka:

  • Grind both the pulses together in a powder. Grind it well so that it becomes absolutely powdery.
  • Alternately you can also soak the pulses for about 2 to 3 hours and then make a paste of the soaked pulses.
  • Add salt, ½ teaspoons each of turmeric powder, ½ teaspoons of red chili powder, turmeric powder, black pepper, cumin seeds;  refinedwheat flour, sugar, asafoetida, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and 1 teaspoon of nigella to the dough.
  • If you have dry grinded the pulses then add water and make thick dough. Keep it for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Heat ½ teaspoons of oil in an wok. Add the dough and toss for 2 to 3 minutes or till the dough become quite dry.
  • Spread the tossed dough over a plate with almost an inch depth. Cut it into small diamond shapes. The dhoka is now ready to fry.
Dhoka

Dhoka

  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the dhokas till they get hard and the inside also gets cooked. You can prick them with a knife. If the knife comes out with sticking, then the inside is also cooked.
Deep Fried Dhoka

Deep Fried Dhoka

For the Dalna:

  • Cut thepotatoes in medium size square pieces.
  • Heat oil in a wok. Fry the potatoes till they are golden brown.
  • Add the cumin seeds to it along with turmeric and chili powder.
  • Pour in water and salt.
  • Now cook till the gravy thickens and the potatoes are cooked well.
  • Carefully drop the dhokas and just boil for 2 minutes in low flame. Do not toss else the dhokas will break.

Take it out of flame and Dhokar Dalna is ready to serve. Dhokar Dalna serves as a wonderful side dish for vegetarian meals. Try it out and send me your comments. Keep in touch and till then HAPPY COOKING AND HAPPY EATING.

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Sending this recipe for Home Grown Gourmet event hosted by Erika

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Egg Sandwich

Nothing much to say. This a nice and wholesome breakfast. You call can try it out. The recipe here’s for all of you.

Ingredients:

Bread (Pau ruti): ½ lb

Butter (Makhon): 2 tablespoons

Potato (Aalu): 4 medium sizes

Eggs (Dim): 4

Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 3 or 4

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Boil the potatoes and eggs.
  • Peel out the potatoes and mash in a big bowl.
  • Mash the eggs along with the potatoes too.
  • Cut the chili into small rings and add in.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Take two bread slices, apply butter on one side.
  • Add one tablespoon of stuffing already made to the buttered side of one of the bread slices.
  • Cover it with the other slice.
  • Cut the bread slices diagonally to make two triangular sandwiches.
Sandwich Stuffing

Sandwich Stuffing

Egg and Potato stuffed Sandwich

Egg and Potato stuffed Sandwich

Serve with fruit juice to have a nice wholesome breakfast. You can spice up the sandwiches with some spicy tomato or chili sauce. Catch you soon, until then happy eating and happy cooking.

Sending it to WBB Combi Breakfast hosted by Latha .

Sending it to Lunch Box Special Event hosted by Vandana.

And here sending the egg sandwich to The Bread Mania hosted by Sindhura of Bayleaf.

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Sandwich on way to Divya’s yummy event on “Show me your sandwich“.

show me your sandwich

Potato Tibetan Style

Hi, had been writing about Bengali cuisine all these time, so just thought of changing your taste a bit. There was a Nepali cook at my place a long time ago; he used to cook the potato in Tibetan style.

Well I was in school then and this had been my lunch during the break for many a days. It tasted so good with roti or paratha. All my class mates used to run behind me to have a spoonful of the curry.

So here it goes for you all.

Ingredients:

Potato (aalu): 5 large ones, peeled and cut into dices of 1 inches size

Onion (peyaj): 1 finely chopped

Fenugreek powder (methi guro): ½ tea-spoons

Garlic (rasun): 2 cloves finely chopped

Ginger paste (aada bata): 1 tea-spoon

Turmeric powder (halud guro): ¼ tea-spoons

Tomato: 2 medium sized

Olive oil: 2 table-spoons

Green chilli (kacha lanka): 3

Preparation:

  • Sauté the fenugreek seeds in a pan until they become golden brown.
  • To it add the chilli, garlic, ginger paste, and onions. Fry till the onion wilts.
  • Cut the tomato in quarters and add along with the turmeric powder. Fry for 1 or 2 minutes more.
  • Add the whole sautéed masala in a blender and puree until it becomes smooth.
  • Boil the potatoes and fry little.
  • Add the puree and gently cook for a minute.
  • Serve with roti or paratha or just have it over an evening chat.

Potato Tibetan Style
If you don’t want to add olive oil , then cook it with sunflower or mustard oil also. You can also add some coriander over it as a garnishing just before serving.

Happy cooking.

Aalur Malaikari

Serves 6

Thanks all for making my post in the 100 hits list of blogs. So lets have something special one this occasion. It goes to those potato lovers, who still don’t give a damn to the extra weight. For those who really do, you can sacrifice that for a day and try this out.

Ingredients:

Potato (aalu): 8 big ones

Onions (peyaj): 4 medium sized

Ginger paste (aada bata): 2 table-spoons

Garlic (rasun): 6 cloves

Curd (doi): 200ml

Coconut milk (narkeler dudh): 1 ½ cup

Garam masala (only Elaichi and cardamon)

Green chilli (kachaa lanka): 4

Turmeric powder (halud guro): 1 tea-spoon

Coriander leaves (dhone pata): for garnishing

Sunflower oil: 3 table-spoons

Preparation:

  • Cut the potatoes in halves and boil them without peeling. Ones they soften take them out and peel them off. Keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in kadai. Add the elaichi and cardamom, sauté for a minute.
  • Add the onions, garlic, and ginger paste. Fry till the onions become golden brown.
  • Add the boiled potatoes and fry. Add salt and turmeric powder. You can avoid turmeric if you don’t want to make the curry colored.
  • When the potatoes become half fried add the whipped curd and cook for 2/3 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and leave it for the gravy to become bit dry.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with roti, luchi, parota, or the all time Bengal favorite rice.

If you don’t want to make it vegetarian , i.e, without onions, then just avoid oinions and garlic.

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