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

 

Bengali Style Matar Paneer

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Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

A woman proposes a man. The man rejects. And then the man is punished for the refusal. Ever heard of such a thing?

Custom dictated if a man is proposed on 8th February, he can deny it only at the risk of punishment, which varied from a kiss to buying a gown or a pair of gloves.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

Well, you know that already. So, Ladies lets get started. In case you are a man, there’s nothing better for a lady to see a nice dinner table decked with her favorite food. You bet.

I love cooking, but there can’t be anything better if I see my man cooking dinner for me. Even if that’s not so good to taste, I would just devour that.

We at Cook Like a Bong are celebrating this week of love. Valentine’s Day is just round the corner. I am sure you all are busy thinking of what best to present to your loved one:). To make that special person feel how much you care, I am sure, you all are ready to do a lot (but not like the Hindi movies “Main tumhare liye jaan bhi de sakta/sakti hoon!” [– “I can sacrifice my life for you!”] – that’s too much:) ).

StepMom Proposal Scene, my favorite

Propose Day

Today is Propose  Day and I thought of preparing something simple yet special. K is not here, but I’m sure he would have loved it. The Matar Paneer is Bong-ofied by yours truly. Bon Apetite!

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 15min
 

 

 

Ingredients of Matar Paneer

Farmer cheese (Paneer ): 200gm
Potato (Aalu): 2 medium sized
Peas (Matar, ): ½ cup
Tomato: 1 medium sized
Cumin (Jeera): 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder (Jeera guro): 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1teaspoon
Chili Powder (Lanka guro): 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder: ½ teaspoon
Clarified butter (Ghee): 1 teaspoon [optional]
Sunflower Oil  (Sada tel): 1 ½ tablespoon, + extra for frying

Fresh Paneer

Fresh Paneer

Preparation for Matar Paneer

  • Cut the paneer and potatoes into small 1 inch size cubes, chop the tomato
  • Simmer about 2 cups of water with little salt
  • Heat oil in a wok and gently fry the paneer cubes till golden brown, drop the fried paneer in the salted water
  • Fry the potatoes till half cooked in the same oil, keep aside
Half Fried Paneer

Half Fried Paneer

  • Drain excess oil keeping just about one-and-half tablespoon of oil for the cooking
  • Add the cumin seeds and wait till they start popping, reduce the flame
  • Add the tomatoes, cook till they soften and the oil starts coming out
  • In the mean time, add all spices in a small bowl and pour in just about half cup of water to make a smooth paste
  • Pour the spice paste in the wok and cook, if it starts getting too dry then pour in some more water
  • Throw in the half cooked potatoes, salt and just as much water to cover the potatoes
  • Cook till the potatoes are almost done
  • Slowly drop the soaked paneer and cook till the gravy thicken
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and pour in the ghee
  • Take out of flame and serve with roti, paratha or vegetable pulao
More Matar Paneer

More Matar Paneer

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Monthly Mingle RoundUp Part #2

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Thank you all for your great response at the first part of Monthly Mingle RoundUp and as promised here comes the second part of roundup. Of the five different categories – soups, bakes, fruits, sides and others, I have posted the former two yesterday and here’s the last three. Which one did you like most?

Fruits

Oz of Kitchen Butterfly is crazy about poached pears, and so is her husband. So no points for guessing this one, she sent a wonderful Simply delicious pear recipes served with creamy rice pudding

When most of us are braving the winter chill (and some even hails), Quinn of Quinn’s Baking Diary is having a hard time in Australia coping with the mercury rising as high as 41̊C. That didn’t turn her down and here she is with a Roasted Corella Pears with Vanilla Bean & Lemon for the event.

Soma of e-Curry has brought the colors of her recent Disney world in her kitchen, if you don’t agree check out Moroccan Carrot & Orange Salad which says it all with those vibrant shades.

My Experiments & Food has a healthy Grape Raita to serve.

Sides

Spinach and Popeye are inseparable indeed. That’s what Shankari of Sacrameto Spice has to share with us – Sauteed Spinach with Raisins & Pine Nuts

Indrani of Appayan has a list of all the veggies that supply you with the nutrients just right for this dry and chilling winter. She puts in all to make this wholesome Bengali Winter Vegetable Medley

Another vegetable medley – Bandhakopi Palang Kablir ghonto from another Bong cook, Jayashree of Spice and Curry

Santhy Sankar of Appetite Treats enjoys the US winter with a Cauliflower Stir Fry

Coaxing her children to eat greens Deeba of Passionate About Baking has some colorful recipe to share with us, it’s a Chargrilled Broccoli with Chilli & Garlic

Herbs are an integral part of the winter market. Nandini of Usha Nandini’s Recipes had this spicy Masala Beans with Fenugreek leaves and Vegetables with Almonds to share

Shama of Easy to Cook Recipes had three recipes in mind – Green Pigeon Peas, Butter beans curry and Mochhai curry/ Field beans curry

Koki of Cooking With Koki has sent a lovely dish for the event – Pachai Mochai kootu as a part of her four day celebration of Pongal.

Kalva of Curry In Kadai started her new year with a lovely Moms Spicy Vegetable Kurma.

Enough of vegan. Lets take a short break and enjoy Chicken Saag, a chicken preparation with seasonal herbs, by Arundhuti of Gourmet Affair.

Others

Solange of Pebble soup had sent a lovely Risotto al Cavolfiori for the event.

Noodles can only mean Chinese. But ask Sudha of Malaysian Delicacies, she has something else in mind, a Noodles in Gravy (Mee Rebus Johor)

Well, you can’t talk about winter in North India without referring to Winter special-makke di roti and sarson da saag. Pari of Foodelicious has rightly contributed this all in one healthy delicacy.

Faiza of Faiza Ali’s Kitchen has prepared a Mexican dip, Guacamole for this occasion. Try it this winter along with chips or quesadillas.

Want to have a real treat? Try this Cauliflower Patties with Coriander from Graziana of Erbe in cucina (Cooking with herbs)

Well, enough heavy recipes here, lets have a cold drink. A Grape juice from the Kanchan of Kitchen Gossip

Which one did you like?

Here’s the photos of all the entries for this event:

Monthly Mingle – Winter Fruits and Vegetables

Ongoing Events

Don’t forget to take part in

Do send in your lovely entries for the events

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

Harvest: The Festival of Rice: Roundup Part II

With many types of rice, it really took me long to come up with the round-up. I would like to thank Hema and Easy to Cook for sending so many recipes for the event. Please let me know if I have missed out any of your recipes. You can see the first part of roundup for this event here.  SGD of  Whims and Wishes also wrote some words about this Harvest festival, and she was very kind to share her thoughts with us.

harvest-the-festival-of-rice

  1. Bajji’s Platter from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  2. Bisi Bela Bhaat from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  3. Bisibelabath from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  4. Black-eyed peas pulao from Asha of Aroma Hope
  5. Brinjal Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  6. Capsicum Rice from Shama  of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  7. Carrot Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  8. Cauliflower Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  9. Chenna Pulao from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  10. Chicken biriyani from Shama of Easy to Cook Recipes
  11. Chilli-Tangerine rice from Anushreeram of Chandrabhaga
  12. Cilantro Rice from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  13. Cocnut Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  14. Coconut Milk Vegetable Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  15. Dil se pulao from Sindhura of Bay Leaf
  16. Doodh Puli Peethe from Sunanda of Sunanda’s Kitchen
  17. Garlic Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  18. Healthy Geen Rice/ Pudina Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  19. Iyengar’s Poliodharai from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  20. Keshari Bhaat (Sweet Saffron Rice) from Sanika of  Sanika’s Spicy&Tangy….Sweet&Yummy!!!!
  21. Khasta Kachori from Naveeta of Zaayeka
  22. Kondakadalai Sadam/ Red Chana Dal Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  23. Lemon Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook  Recipes
  24. Lemony Lemon – A Tangy Tasty Masala Bath from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  25. Medhu Pakora from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  26. Mint Magic (Pudina pulao) from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  27. Mishti Pulao from Aundhuti of Gourmet Affair
  28. Mor Koozh from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  29. Multiprotein Rice from Shama of Easy to Cook  Recipes
  30. Mushroom Pulao from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  31. Paruppu Keerai Dosai from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  32. Pasta Pulao from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  33. Patishapta from SGD of  Whims and Wishes
  34. Peanut Cup Rice from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  35. Poha from EC of  Easy Crafts
  36. Prawn/Shrimp Pulao of Homecooked
  37. Puliyothaai/ Tamarind Rice from Shama of  Easy to Cook Recipes
  38. Puttu~Steamed Rice Cakes from Poornima of Tasty Treats
  39. Rice Ball Kheer from Sanika of Sanika’s Spicy&Tangy….Sweet&Yummy!!!!
  40. Rice Uppma from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  41. Sharkara Payasam from Poornima of Tasty Treats
  42. Shazani biryani from Sindhura of Bay Leaf
  43. Spongy Dosa with yum yum coconut from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  44. Tomato rice from Sindhura of Bay Leaf
  45. Vegetable Bonda from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  46. Vegetable Pulao from Poornima of  Tasty Treats
  47. Vegetable Rice from Hema of Adlak’s Kitchen
  48. Venpongal from Shama of Easy to Cook Recipes
  49. Wholesome Moong kichadi from EC of Easy Crafts

With so many recipes, it’s really hard to choose which one is the best. But still, it’s on you to select the best. So go ahead and choose your best recipe and write it down as a comment for this post.

Will be back with some new recipes soon, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

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Masur Dal and Alu Posto: A whole lunch

Posto or poppy seeds is always a delicacy in all Bengali household. It is extensively used as a spice in various dishes, be that in potato or chicken curry.It is said that poppy makes you feel cool, I am not sure of this saying though. I mom believes in it and so come summer there has to be some kind of a curry consisting of poppy seeds. The range varies from simple poppy seed paste sauted to poppy seed grind with cashew to make chicken curry.

As with poppy seeds, masur dal also takes up a very important place in Bengali kitchens. whenever I taste masur dal, I go down memory lane. every day when I came back from school for lunch, mom always prepared masur dal, my all time favorite among all lentils.  Even till now, when I go home in my vacations mom always cook masur dal for me.

All this I was telling because I had the best combination of veggie delight last night. It was steamed rice with masur dal and alu posto. If you are a Bengali or if you are not, then ask any Bengali , you’ll come to know that anyone would kill for this platter.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For Alu Posto:-

Potato (Alu): 3 large size

Nigella seeds (Kalonji): 1 teaspoon

Poppy seeds (Posto): 2 tablespoons

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

For Masur dal:-

Masur dal: 50 gms

Onions (Peyaj): 2 small sizes

Green chili (Kacha lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

Cilantro leaves (Dhaniya pata): 2 tablespoon of chopped leaves (optional)

chopped-coriander

Preparation:

Alu Posto:-

  • Grind the poppy seeds and green chili in a grinder to make a paste
  • Cut the potatoes into small one inch squares
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the nigella seeds as the oil gets heated.
  • Immediately add the potatoes and toss for a while so that the oil gets mixed with the potatoes.
  • Now add turmeric and salt along with a cup of water and let the potatoes get half cooked.
  • Put in the poppy seed paste and stir so that the paste gets mixed with the half cooked potatoes. You can add more water if the curry gets dried up.
  • Cook till the potatoes get cooked properly and the water disappears.
Potato in poppy seed paste

Potato in poppy seed paste

Here is a slide show to show the stages of the cooking:

Masur Dal:-

  • Thoroughly wash the dal and put in a deep pan with salt and water so that the dal remain almost 3 inches under water. Let it boil till the water and dal becomes inseparable.
  • In a separate heat the oil and throw in the onions and green chili. Saute till the onions turn golden brown
  • Add the sauted onions to the boiled dal along with the turmeric powder and cook for two to three minutes more.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Masur Dal

Masur Dal

Masur dal and poppy-potato curry tastes best with steamed rice, but you can also try it with chapatis and rotis. The curry also looks good without turmeric, so you can try out that too. About masur dal, it depends what concentration you want for it, depending on that you can keep the water or make it dry.

the-platter

Sending this to Challenge Event hosted by Veda of Iyengar’s kitchen

presentation11

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

Potato-Okra Fry

When I was a child my hobby was to paint and dance. As I grew up and stepped into my adolescence dance turned from a hobby to a passion. I had performed in various festivals, stage shows, TV shows, school and college fests. Painting was no more a hobby, but I still draw at times, just to feel happy. I left Kolkata almost a year and a half back. Leaving Kolkata had a great toll on me, I had to leave out my dance session, which I had been attending for the last 20 years. The last time I danced on stage was back in winter 2006.

But there was another hobby which was in its nascent stage some two years back and for which I spend a good percentage of my monthly money these days. This hobby started even before I became a full time cook in my kitchen (here to note, I still don’t have what I can call my own kitchen, but still need to be satisfied with the small kitchen in my rented apartment) and a food blogger. Coming back to my new but not so new hobby, collecting cook books.

I have a plethora of these cook books now. From Sanjeev Kapoor to Tarla Dalal and Roz Denny to old worn out books of multiple authors; books written in English and also in Bengali, my mother tongue. Every year I used to visit Kolkata Book Fair and my task was to search for the most recent and the oldest cook books being sold. I have bought books of well known publishers like Duncan Baird Publishers (London), Popular Prakashan (Mumbai) and also from the not so known publishers.

Now that I am away from Kolkata, the annual book fair is almost out of question to visit, so I visit all the book stalls here in Bangalore and peek into the culinary sections of these stores. I have got books starting from INR 10 to few that were quite a burden to my wallet. Of all these books that I bought, the one that I felt very happy in buying was “The Big Book of Great British Recipes“. This book has got 365 delicious and treasured recipes, as the book cover says. But the reason of my being happy in buying this book was something different. The book is sold at 625 INR in India, but the copy I have had cost me only 50 INR because of a little tear on its cover. It was like getting a treasure for almost nothing. The book is really great.

Another book in line is written in Bengali, which my mom gifted. It has a whopping collection of 1001 recipes from East Bengal (presently Bangladesh) and West Bengal (eastern state in India, where I hail from). I treasure my books above everything, and whenever I am alone and have got nothing to do I just go through them. It brings me immense pleasure to see the colorful photographs and the passion the cook has put in to prepare those dishes. Though I have not tried much of the recipes from these books, but they have made me realize the basic difference in the different styles of cooking.

Books from professional cooks have the exact amount of the ingredients and the time of cooking mentioned in every recipe and also a note from the cook as a recommendation from him or her to make the dish taste better. Another very important aspect of all cook books is the photograph they feature. Though the cheap books have very few or no photos of the cooked food, the not so cheap books have a whacking number of food photographs in them. It is a general tendency I have noticed in me, to read those recipes having photographs, I think you will also agree to that.

cook-books

That was a lot of writing from my side today. I hope you loved the discussion. I would appreciate if you pen down some lines on the type of books you have at home and how they have helped to bring out the cook in you.

To come to recipe for the day, it is a very simple one; my mom cooks it as a side dish along with rice and dal.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Okra (Bhindi): 100 gms

Potato (Alu): 100 gms or 2 medium sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 2 medium sizes

Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 2

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Saada tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

alu-bhendi-fry-ingredients

Preparation:

  • Cut the potatoes in thin long pieces of length 2 inches each
  • Similarly cut the ladies finger into halves with 2 inches length
  • Julienne the onions
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the potatoes along with the onions as the oil gets heated.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the ladies finger to it.
  • Toss the whole for a minute or two and then add half cup of water for the vegetables to get cooked properly.
  • Leave for 8 minutes more for everything to get cooked, stir for a few times and add water if required.

We used to have potato-ladies finger fry as an accompaniment with rice and dal, you can also have it with chapattis or paratha.

alu-bhendi-fry

This should be the ideal one to send for the Challenge event hosted by Veda of Iyengar’s kitchen

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


Egg Tomato

Egg is always that easy to make and ready to serve recipe in all households I presume. The advertisement that used to be telecasted in DD National when I was young “SUNDAY HO YAA MONDAY ROJ KHAIYE AANDE” that was lovely. I loved that one very much. From school tiffin, to a side dish for the dinner table egg is always in the menu. So this time thought of tasting the egg in a different way. Here’s the recipe for you all.

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Eggs (Dim): 4

Potato (Aalu): 2 medium sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 1 large

Garlic (Rasun):  5 to 6 cloves

Ginger garlic paste (Aada rasun bata): ½ tablespoons

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoons

Chilli powder (Sukhno lankar guro): 1 teaspoon

Tomato sauce: 1 tablespoon

Garam Masala: ½ teaspoon

 

Preparation:

  • Cut the potato in large square pieces and the onions also.
  • Boil the egg and potato together.
  • De-shell the eggs and cut into halves
  • Heat oil in a wok and fry the potatoes and eggs separately. While frying the eggs do not toss them hard else the yolk will come out.
Fried eggs

Fried eggs

  • Heat oil in the wok, sauté the onions.
  • Throw in the garlic and again sauté for a minute or two.
  • As the onions turn golden brown add the ginger garlic paste, tomato sauce, turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, water and cook till the gravy thickens.
  • Add the potatoes and put in some more water if required.
  • Add the eggs and toss lightly.
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and cook for a minute with a lid to retain the smell of it.

 

Ready to serve Egg Tomato

Ready to serve Egg Tomato

Rice and egg tomato

Rice and egg tomato

Serve with rice, roti, or paratha. Catch you soon, till then happy eating and happy cooking.

As a large egg contains alomost 43 miligrams of Calcium, I can’t stop but to send this post to Sangeeth

Eat Healthy – CALCIUM Rich Contest .

A little update, I received another award from Priti, so thank you Priti and have passed on to my blogging friends , congrats to all of you. Check my awards page for more details.

Two joys and a Recipe

Today is a great day for me. Thanks to Ganesh Chaturthi I got a break from my daily routine of waking up, getting ready and taking a bus to work. This morning I woke up and the first thing that I did was visit my blog. Oh, and there was a great news for me. Priti had sent me an award. Thank you Priti. See my Awards page to check out the awards. This was not all, visiting the Great Cooks Community site I found another great surprise. My name was there as the Featured Blogger of the month. It’s really a great way to start a day with two great surprises.

Back home I was always a junk food lover. Coming to Bangalore I really miss those roadside food junctions. At times I get so much desperate to have those that I prepare those at home. Though can’t find that dust mixed taste in the home cooked junkies, but still it’s something closer. The other night I thought of cooking Tarka. Tarka with roti was a delicacy in those roadside food shops. For those who are thinking what this Tarka is, I tell you it’s a special way of preparing the green Mugh dal. Here’s the recipe for you all.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Green Mugh dal: 150gms

Tomato: 2 medium sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 2 large ones

Garlic (Rasun): 7 or 8 cloves

Kasturi Methi (Fenugreek leaves): 1 tablespoon

Green chili (Sukhno Lanka): 3

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower Oil (Saada tel): 2 tablespoons

Salt to taste

The Ingredients

The Ingredients

Preparation:

  • Soak the mugh dal for about an hour.
  • Pressure cook for at 2 to 3 whistles.
  • Drain the excess water out of the dal and keep aside.
  • Cut the onions in square pieces, and the chilies into small ringlets.
  • Heat the oil in a shallow wok.
  • As the oil gets heated throw in the onions to sauté along with the garlic.
  • As the onions become tender, add tomatoes and chili, sauté for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the mugh dal, turmeric powder, salt and toss well.
  • Add little water if necessary and in between mash the dal properly.
  • Now add the Kasturi Methi to the preparation and mix well.
  • Scramble to eggs in a separate frying pan with little salt and throw in to the Tarka preparation.
  • Take it out of flame as it gets dried up.
Tarka with roti, curd and onion

Tarka with roti, curd and onion

It tastes best with roti or paratha and a little bit of curd and onions. You can add chicken or mutton keema, or anything of your choice. Tarka also tastes good without adding any other non-vegetarian items to it. So, you can have it without any other supplementary to it. Catch you soon, till then happy cooking and happy eating.

Sending my recipe to Srivalli’s Announcing My Legume Love Affair, Seventh Helping! , the event brain child of Well-Seasoned Cook Susan .

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