Poila Baisakh Special – Kumro Fuler Vada

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Kolkata Knight Riders vs Deccan Chargers – it’s the IPL match today at Eden gardens, Kolkata, and am on way to watch it. After a long gap of 15 years, I am going to watch a match at Eden. The mishap in ‘96 World Cup semi finals compelled me to stop going to cricket grounds. But, a box ticket and the idea of sitting close to King Khan (read Shah Rukh Khan) compelled me to give it a shot.

Its Monday and probably most house holds stick to the no non-veg on Monda regimes, so thought of picking up a vegetarian recipe for today, an authentic Bengali recipe for Paila Baisakh series (check out the Tel Koi in this series) – fritters of pumpkin flower (kumro ful) is one of the most special vadas in Bengali cuisine. The flower dipped in a batter of gram flour with its crunchy yet smooth taste appeals to everyone.

Ingredients:

  • · A dozen pumpkin flowers
  • · ¼ cup tablespoon rice flour
  • · ½ cup gram flour
  • · 1 teaspoon nigella
  • · 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • · Sunflower oil for deep frying

Preparation:

  • · Take out the anther from the flowers and wash well
  • · Mix all the ingredients except the oil for frying with 2 cups of water. The batter should be runny
  • · Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok
  • · Dip each flower in the batter and deep fry separately
  • · Once done, wrap the flowers with a kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil
  • · Serve hot with rice and dal

Check for more Bengali style bara (vada) – Bombay Duck fritter, Macher Dimer Vada

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Guest Post – Beguni

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Ask any Bengali what adda means, the answer will be unanimously a lazy evening, a large bowl of puffed rice and plate full of beguni. If you have never tested or tasted this pleasure, then you should do this evening. I am sure that the begunis bring out loads of more lost stories from your heart than you really intend to spill :).

When I had posted a little note on the Cook Like a Bong Facebook fanpage requesting for entries as guest posts in our blog, Arundhuti from My Saffron Kitchen was the first to reply. I was more than happy to accept this offer from such a dear friend. Arundhuti is an excellent person and you can dig into her blog to have great ideas for your next meal.

A darling ally and a plate full of begunis, what more can I wish. Here’s the quick and easy recipe of beguni straight from Arundhuti’s kitchen.

Deep fried aubergine fritters

Ingredients:

  • Eggplants (baingan) – 1 large, cut into thin slices
  • Gram flour – 1 cup
  • Refined flour – 1/4 cup
  • Onion seeds – 1 tsp.
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp.
  • Baking soda – 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt as per taste
  • Enough water to make a thick batter
  • Oil for frying

Preparation:

  • Mix together the gramflour, refined flour, onions seeds, red chilli powder, baking soda, salt and water.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Lower the heat.
  • Dip the eggplant pieces in the batter and then fry in hot oil till they are cooked and golden brown in colour.
  • Drian excess oil and serve hot.

Read more at Arundhuti’s blog.

Further readings – Lotiya Vada, Macher dimer Vada (Roe fritters)

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Macher Dimer Vada

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In most species of fish, when the fish bears eggs the taste of its flesh reduces, excepting for hilsa. Hilsa’s taste gets enhanced when it bears egg. There is a reason behind this. Hilsa comes to the sweet water, that is, it comes up to the river during monsoon, the egg laying season. The sweet water happens to have an effect on the taste and so the catch from the river is world renowned. Now, coming back to the other fishes; rohu looses its taste during the laying season. Anyways the preparations made out of the eggs are ecstatic.

Fish egg, what we generally call is not only the eggs themselves but it also contains parts of the matured ovaries of the fish, and is called roe. Roe is prepared in different ways in different parts of the world. It is widely used in Asia and Europe. While we Indians mainly fry the roe, people from Japan, Korea and parts of Asia like to have it raw as a side dish with rice. Roe is widely used as a topping over sushi. Roe is also seasoned with salt, lemon, onions, olive oils and pepper powder. In Greece it’s used as a dip. While roe from shrimp, cod, salmon, sea urchin, and many other kinds of fishes are used in preparation, I have used roe from rohu for this preparation.

Ingredients:

Rohu roe (Rui macher dim): 100gms, properly cleaned

Wheat Flour (Maida): 1 tablespoon

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size

Green chilies (Kancha lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

Rice (Chal): 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): for deep frying

Preparation:

  • Chop the onions finely and mix with the mustard oil, keep for 5 minutes for the onions to soften
  • Add all the ingredients excepting the sunflower oil to the softened onions and mix well. If required add little more flour to make the mixture firm
  • Make small flattened balls of the mixture
  • Heat oil in a wok or frying pan and deep fry the balls till cooked properly. Try putting a fork through the balls; if it comes out clean, the vada is fried.
  • Take out of flame and place on a kitchen paper to soak out the excess oil
  • Serve with tomato sauce and onions or also use it as an accompaniment with rice and dal.

Macher Dimer Vada

My note: Macher dimer  vada tastes best when consumed hot, so prepare it just before eating.

Sending this recipe to Indrani of Appyayan for hosting the first event on her blog, Spotlight: Fish.

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Diwali-Diya-Daler Vada

Autumn in India is all about festivals. Every day brings in the smell of the coming festivities, the joys and the of course the food. Shopping, visting places, meeting relatives and friends,travelling, pandal hopping, worshipping the goddesses, painting the house, coloring rangolis, eating, cooking –  all comes as if in a package in this festival season.

Diyas for sale at a street side stall in Gariahat market, Kolkata

Diyas for sale at a street side stall in Gariahat market, Kolkata

Getting the diyas ready- part I

Getting the diyas ready- part I

Getting the diyas ready- part II

Getting the diyas ready- part II

For the last couple of days I had been doing all these. Visiting my native was one of the main dos in the list. I visited Kolkata, my hometown. As you all feel when you go back home after a long long time I felt the same. My mom, my aunts and everybody in there was ready to welcome me with my favorite platters. For one whole week I had been eating and eating with of course learning these dishes.

Diyas ready to light

Diyas ready to light

Rangoli with pista shell lamps at my Bangalore flat

Rangoli with pista shell lamps at my Bangalore flat

As I was not able to celebrate Diwali with my family, I managed to have the taste of the celebration a few days before the day. Me and my sister went out shopping for the terracotta diyas and painted them with acrylic paints, it was so much fun.

Talking about food I had a pretty good share of the typical home-made dishes and I’ll be putting up one in each of my following posts starting from today with Daler Vada. Daler vada is a typical Bengali starter and also a side dish with rice and dal.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Motor Dal powder: 100 gms

Onions (Peyaj): 3 medium sizes, juliened

Green chilli (Kacha Lanka): 4, cut into small ringlets

Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): 1 teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 tablespoon and extra for deep frying

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Take the onions in a bowl and pour in one tablespoon of oil and soak in the onions.
  • Add the other ingredients to the onions.
  • Pour in enough matter to make a soft dough and keep for half an hour.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the dough in small balls.
  • Serve with sauce as starter or with rice and dal as a great side dish.
Daler Vada with tomato sauce

Daler Vada with tomato sauce

Hope you had a great Diwali. Stay in touch for more updates on my Kolkata trip.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

This recipe goes to my dear friend Priti’s blog event Festive Food: Diwali Celebration

Also sending the recipe to JFI – Nov’08 – Festival Diwali hosted by Srivalli.

What better than some pakoras with a little chit chatting in parties, and this is a great easy to make snack for any party, so sending my recipe to WYF: Party Food event announcement hosted by Simple Indian Food- An Easy Cooking Blog.

Priya has also got a little present for me this Diwali, check my awards page for more details.

Dimer Vada

This morning went to the nearby super market to get the vegetables and some other household articles. There in one corner was a huge stack of these double-yolk eggs. I couldn’t control myself and bought a whole dozen of them. While returning all through the street I was thinking of what to do with those eggs. For the special eggs there should be something very special.

Whenever my mom gets tired of living in the kitchen, she tries out all possible shortcuts for dinner. “Dimer vada” is also one of her shortcuts too. It’s so easy to cook, yet it’s the so tasty. I just love the smell of it from the kitchen. So today I thought of making that myself with the special eggs from the market.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Potato (Aalu): 4 or 5 medium size

Egg (Dim): 3

Onion (Peyaj): 1 small

Green chilli (Kacha Lanka): 2

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Sunflower Oil:  1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

 

Preparation:

  • Boil the potatoes.
  • Slice the onion in very small square pieces
  • Mash the potatoes and add the beaten eggs to it.
  • Throw in the onions, chilli, turmeric pwder and salt.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan.
  • As the oil gets heated, make small discs out of your batter and fry.
  • Serve as a wonderful starter with tomato sauce or just have it as a side dish with dal on your dinner table.

 

Enjoy the great egg pakora. Catch you soon, till then happy cooking and happy eating.

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