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Monday, December 31, 2007



May God bless everyone,lets hope for peace and prosperity for each one of us.
Have Fun , and be passionate about life.


Happy New Year to you all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007




Carrot Cheddar Cheese Cookies







Carrot Cheddar Cheese Cookies
¾ cup of Flour and 2+2 tbs of flour
1 egg
1/3 cup of butter +1tsp of butter
½ cup ,2 tsp of white sugar
¾ tsp of baking powder
Pinch of salt
2-3 drops of vanilla essence
½ cup of grated carrots +1/2 cup of shredded mild cheddar cheese –mix in with some sugar and butter .






First cream together butter and sugar, beat in egg then add vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine the flour and salt, baking powder .Add the carrot+cheddar Cheese mixture.
Mix in both the mixture gently , don’t beat in .Now refrigerate the dough covered for 1-2 hrs ,its very wisely to do so as it becomes pretty manageable while putting them on baking tray .
Preheat oven 350 deg F, now roll into small balls , place them in the baking sheets at least 2-3 inch apart (as theCookies will increase in diameter while being baked) , gently press in with fork .
Bake for 15 mints or till barely golden, take out and cool .Decorate with Jams/Marmalades/Syrups of your choice.









Wishing everybody
Merry Christmas.


Recently came to know about monthly mingle "Drop in and decorate from wonderful Asha .
for more details visit
Monthly Mingle . and Meeta/. These cookies are going to a nearby children's home .thanks Meeeta for coming up with such a noble theme.
Happy cooking to you all.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bata macher (small fish) jhaal




Bata/small macher Jhaal
Bata mach 4-5
Turmeric powder -2-3 tsp
Red pepper powder 1-2 tsp
Coriander powder ½ tbs
1 tomato pureed in mixer
2-3 green chillies slit in middle
Salt as per taste
Water 1 -1/2 cup of water
Mustard oil 2tbs
½ cup chopped coriander .


Method
Clean the fish,Marinate the bata (fish) with holod (turmeric powder),noon(salt) for 1 hrs.
Heat a Kadai ,Add sarsher tel (Mustard oil),now fry the whole fish for 3 mints at med,flip the side ,fry it another 3-4 mints .Fish should look deep brown and crisp.


Take out and drain .Add little more oil ,water ,Holod,red pepper powder,noon,dhone gorun(Coriander powder),tomato puree,green chillies ,just make sure the flame is low .Add in fried fish to it.


Cook the above at low ,covered for 7-10 mints till all the water is soaked or if desired leave some gravy.I prefer some gravy to eat with rice.
Sprinkle fresh coriander and serve with rice.


You can make pabda macher jhaal,parshe macher jhaal ,Morula macher jhaal in the same way .One can find all types of fish in winter in local markets ,probably it’s the safest season to indulge in good food.Enjoy.



Here is pabda macher jhaal made similar way .

Happy Cooking Everybody

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Know your cooking oilOils are complex compounds and they are purified fat obtained from animal and plant. How these fat is absorbed into our body is a complex process, Anyays what we must consider that which oil is better to cook into and heart healthy.


Two types of fatty acids-


(a)SFA –saturated fatty acid,it increases bad cholesterol.

(b) UnSaturated fatty acids.

1-polyunsaturated fatty acids(PUFA)- examples are -
Linoleic acid(n6,it is more common ,it reduces our friendly HDL (that is good cholesterol )
Alpha-linolenic acid (n3,reduces LDL and triglycerdides increases HDL)

2 -Monounsaturated Fatty acids(MUFA)-it reduces LDL.

3 -Transfats-it reduces HDL,produced when oil turns into solid fat by repeated frying .

Lets us find out what goes with common cooking oil.

1-Canola Oil –MUFA and omega 3 fatty acids ,good for health .
2-Olive oil-1:1 ratio between MUFA and PUFA.
3-Soybean oil –ideal n6:n3 rich in MUFA.
4-Safflower ,sunflower ,corn rich in n6 ,mix in 1:1 with mustard oil which is n3 can be an alternate option.
5-Lard /palm/coconut/butterfat – avoid it totally as they are high in SFA.
6-Vanaspati/Margarine –avoid it as they are high in transfats.

Best Oil for cooking purpose is Corn Oil /Sunflower oil or canola oil ...

For More details Go to wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooking_oil


Our Food Habit – is window to our health and body.


When we think of our modern food habit ,eating out has increased with liberalization a lot , and often it is 2-3 times a week.Remember in our childhood days ,eating out were only meant for picnics or marriage parties .
Now with work pressure, cooking is the last thing that comes to our mind .Add to that odd working hours which is a perfect formula for obesity.And also ready to use processed food ,makes our life easy but think how much it is damaging our body ,now this type of food that is put on the table is high in fat and low on nutrients.Eating out means burgers ,pizza,burfi,all sorts of rolls and sweetened aerated beverages.


Eating for hunger – eat to live not live to eat only.


We should check the social,emotional or habitual eating .These habits must be identified and curbed.
When moving with group of friends eat what you feel is good and healthy for your body and have the courage to tell that you would prefer eating a green salad /vege pasta over a spicy golgappa,chaat or burger.
Don’t indulge in eating high calorie deserts to pacify your emotions because your day did not went the way you wanted or planned about ,or your boyfriend/husband made you cry.


When eating try to switch off your TV,phone and eat with attention on food only.


Better make it a practice of having the dinner with all the family members ,this way you can catch up the things your loved ones have to tell you about their office and school.


Eat healthy and right.Some of us become obsessive about eating certain type of food ,people starts taking boiled vegetables or boiled /steamed food thinking it is healthy and will help to retain good figure but on the contrast it deprives of the fats which are very essential .Always remember body thrives best on a balanced food ,treat it with all types of food but in moderation.


What are the essential things that comprises a good food habit


Body needs constant detoxification , include all sorts of vegetable juices in the diet ,these act as antioxidants, these absorbs free radicals in our body that helps to detoxify. Like a carrot/palaak juice or a tomato juice .Fruits are better detoxifiers, like apples ,mangoes ,oranges .Prefer fresh fruits over processed drinking juices.Even a cup of tea can help but not empty stomach ,drink with some biscuits ,tea also act as antioxidant.


A balanced food comprises of vitamins and minerals ,include lots of vegetables/fruits in day to day basis.


Go for farm fresh vegetables instead of frozen one .Consume vegetables that are currently in season ,like cabbage,cauliflower ,capsicum in winter and lauki, Parwal ,Okhra in summer .Seasonal fruits and vegetables are high in nutrientsin their peek season.


Decide a menu for a week ,winters are round the corners ,this is the perfect time to eat green leafy vegetables ,methi,bathua,palaak and some of our better Bengali saag like kolmi,noote etc.Include fishes specially salmon, hilsa,rohu, small fishes like magur,pabda,batta etc in diets.These are high in omega -3 fatty acids ,good for our heart .


Go nutty –its pretty interesting to note that these provide fats and minerals .Its always better to eat them rather eating red meats.Start with breakfast having 3-4 kajus(cashews)/badaam(almonds) / kejur (dates) alternating each day depending upon your choices.


Go whole –always look for whole wheat grains when picking breads from your grocery store.Avoid refined flour/maida as such ,remember whole wheat provide much fibre than refined flour.Include rotis in your diet but please don’t purchase ready to use rotis /tortillas from the grocery store .Its always good to make fresh rotis in home than buying those packets add to that your satisfaction that you cook for your loved ones.


Sweet-What are the sources of sugar other than those high calorie desert in our diet ,our daily rotis/atta/rice also add up to sugars.We should not stop eating them as they give us the vital energy to sustain the hardship of the day ,but diet alteration can help us.
Go slow on root vegetables like potatoes/yams ,again eat fleshy veggies like lauki/tinda/zucchini/squash.Sweets like cookies and low fat ice-cream after dinner makes us feel satisfied as it signals the brain that meal is over ,eat sweets but in moderation .


Water –an essential part .Inadequacy leads to poor metabolism and disturbed digestion .Drink atleast 8 glasses of water and more in summer because body losses essential nutrients while perspiring .Drink 2 glasses of water before meals,this keeps you hydrated and eat a little less .Include narial paani(coconut water)/sugarcane juice to counter hot humid weather rather drinking sweetened aerated drink.


Its very interesting to note that your body needs about 20 mints to send the signal that the tummy is full .When you eat ,eat slowly and stop when you feel half full .Give your system time to process and digest.
Have an afternoon snacks between lunch and dinner ,this checks fatigue and over indulgence later during dinner.


Always leave the skin of fruits intact/on , do not peel it  like in apples or pears but obviously this does not implies for bananas or oranges , as it helps to get those extra fiber and essential nutrients .

Cook as much as is required ,reheating the food /meals result in loss of nutrients.Prefer cooking on low flame or slow cooking.
Use minimum oil for tempering and just cover the veggies while cooking.Grilling the vegetables is also good but with less oil.


Salts-use less salts.How to check the intake of salt
Take the salt shaker out of the dining table, avoid pickles and papads,potato chips,olives,cheese,namkeen and canned food, these are high in sodium content.Even if you have to use canned food, discard the brine or water .wash the content in water and then use.This way the those extra salts gets washed away and salt intake is checked.

Cook with fresh herb/spices more.Always check labels for sodium content.
Make dry masala powders/spice powders yourself in home that way you will know what goes inside and also it will be devoid of any artificial preservatives or coloring's.
Try to avoid using food colours but even if you have to check if it's written "without artificial colour "...


I hope eating right makes oneself aware that this body needs a lot of good things in life, treat it as your daily temple ,worship it and nurture it .

Happy Cooking

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chingri Macher Jhaal

Chingri Macher jhaal(Spicy Shrimp)




Spicy Shrimp (chingrir jaal)
Recipe requirements
Jumbo shrimp -5-6
Turmeric powder -2-3 tsp
Red pepper powder 1-2 tsp
Coriander powder ½ tbs
Salt as per taste
Water 1 -1/2 cup of water
Mustard oil 2tbs

Clean the fish ,with the tail intact and head removed ,Marinate the shrimp with holod (turmeric powder),noon(salt) for 1 hrs.
Heat a Kadai ,Add sarsher tel (Mustard oil),now fry Chingri (shrimp)for 3 mints at med –low,flip the side ,fry it another 3-4 mints ,chingri mach(Shrimp/Prawn) would turn pink in colour .
Take out and drain .In that oil itself add water ,Holod,red pepper powder,noon,dhone gorun(Coriander powder) and shrimp ,just make sure the flame is low .
Cook the above at low covered for 5-7 mints till all the water is soaked .

Well this is simple and easy to make , nothing so delicate or complicated but taste like royal , sometimes less is more or delicious.
Serve with groom bhaat.
Happy Cooking

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Baked Puff Pastry
Baked Puff Pastry

Sometimes when you are in hurry and need to fix some meals for those lovely friends who suddenly drop by at your home , Greet them with baked pastries or include it as a starters in parties .. quick and easy , its sure a great way to steal hearts ...just play in with the ingredients and you will get more variations , I have given just an idea of it . Bring out your thinking cap and you can be a queen or king of innovations.
People will love them with those fizzy drinks …warm up to a fine rendezvous ..enjoy.
Puff Pastry
Recipe Requirements
Frozen Puff Pastry 1 packet
Some of your favourite pasta sauce
For Filling
Mix all in equal proportions
Peas,Corn, Mushroom (chopped finely)
1 tbs of sour cream
Garlic pepper for seasoning
Bake the puff pastry according to package direction or at 375 deg for 15 mints
Take out and cool .Then scoop in the filling , gently add some pasta sauce over the pastries
Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 5 mints or till the cheese is melted .
Serve and enjoy .
Happy cooking , bon appetite .

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Molor Chechki

Molor chechki (Radish dry fry curry)



Vegetables play an important role in organising a wholesome meal , molor chechki is one such interesting way to prepare Radish in a genuine Bengali way , its finely grated or in Hindi using Kaddokas , Grate them .We like eating this dish with warm cooked rice , although it is better with the white long radish found in India ,not the small reddish Radish of US which I must admit looks so cute .Grated radish is tempered with mustard seeds,turmeric powder, and cooked at low to perfection ..

here is the radish from kitchen Garden

Molor Chechki(Radish dry curry)
4-5 radish
1tsp of mustard seeds
3-4 green chillies
½ tsp of turmeric powder
Salt as per taste
Sugar pinch of
Cooking oil 2-4 tbs
Fresh chopped coriander leaves
Method
Wash Radish in water , grate them or Kaddokas ker lein..
Heat a kadai, add oil ,add mustard seeds and let it pop up.
Then add grated radish ,turmeric powder ,salt ,slit green chillies in between and add them too , cover and cook at low for 7-8 mints.
Add sugar now and if there is still some juice left cook at high till the juice evaporates stiring continuously.
Add fresh chopped corrinader…
Serve with Rice.
this one goes to Mandira for her Green Blog Project go here for more details GBP .
happy cooking and Bon Appetite.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tayparir Chutney or Gooseberry Chutney



I love this fruit since my childhood , my Father will come home from markets with whole bunch of these fruits and in few seconds it used to be all gone .Me ,my brother and my sister would finish it off ASAP...this recipe however I tried making it first time is very much similar with the way we prepare Tomato chutney except I have given Taypaari in this .In addition ,I have also included khejurer Gur /Jaggery and Aamsotto to be little experimental.My father loved it a lot and I do hope you will also.
I got inspiration from Sandeepa'sBlog about this lovely fruit , and since then something I wanted to create out of it ..and here it is ..
these are the raw ingredients for chutney
Taparir Chutney.
Recipe requirements
3-4 cup taypari/Gooseberry chopped in between
Khejurer gur 1 small bowl crushed
Kish-Mish/raisins optional.
Sugar 3-4 tbs
Aamsatoo/Mango Candies some chunks
Method
Clean berries , and cut in between.
Now heat a kadai/saucepan and add oil, add the tayparis fry for 1-2 mints,give salt as per taste ,when the berries start to pop up ,add the sugar , cook for some more 5mints.
Add raisins and cook another 10 mints, until the desired consistency is reached ..
Add Khejurer Gur/Jaggery and stir in between. Breaking the lumps , all to be done at low .
Add aamshoto/mango chunks later in the chutney, take out in a bowl and serve.

This is it friends , do try making it and enjoy .
Happy Cooking ,Bon Apetite.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Palak Paneer For GBP


Palak Paneer For GBP


Spinach or as we know it as palak is high in mineral content , we should eat lots of green leafy vegetables .When I came to know about GBPbeing hosted by Mandira, I thought its really a nice and neat idea. let me also try making something straight from my garden , and I thought since Spinach is in the season , should try making palak paneer .This is a simple recipe for palak paneer ,It took me approx 30 to 45 mints to cook as I had to chop,peel and cut onions,garlic and ginger ..if you wish you can try it with the ready-made garlic /ginger paste .But as it says mehnat ka phal meetha, my phal was that my family liked it a lot ..

Fresh spinach straight from kitchen garden

Recipe requirements
1 bunch fresh spinach/Palak
Paneer 300 gms
2 medium size onions
5-7 cloves of garlic
1inch fresh ginger
1tsp of cumin seeds
½ tsp of turmeric powder
½ tbs coriander powder
½ tbs red pepper powder
2 tbs of butter
1 tbs of fresh malai /cream
2-3 tbs of oil preferably mustard
2 tbs of sugar
Salt as per taste

Method
Wash and clean spinach leaves in water, separate leaves only and discard the twig.
Puree the spinach in blender, make apaste of onion, ginger and garlic.
Heat a kadai add oil, add cumin seeds,let it pop up,add the paste and fry at low,
Add all the dry ingredients ,with some water and stir-fry at low for 5 mints.
Add the spinach puree and ½ cup of water and cook at low for 8-10 mints,add cubed Paneer also ,stiring in between..
At the end ,add butter and malai ,take out in a bowl and serve …I served it with Roti.
This one goes to a wonderful event Green Blog Project being hosted this time by Mandira.
Do contribute and let us all know whats growing in your garden..
Happy cooking and Bon Appetite.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Aloo Begun Bodi Diye Macher Jhaal

Bengali Fish curry (Aloo Begun Bodi Diye Macher Jhaal )

A very Bengali way of making mach'er jhaal with potatoes, eggplant and spicy urid wadis.This mach'er jhaal is one of our fav way of making fish curry specially with pona mach or rui fish.



Now to the recipe for Fish Curry
Fish curry

Recipe Requirements




Potatoes1-2 cut into long pieces
Brinjal/eggplant 1 cut into pieces
Badi/Bodi 7-8
Nigella seeds (Kalo jeera, kalaunji) 1tsp
Green chillies 4-5 (add less for spice)
Fish 5-8 pieces approx half Kg
Corrinader powder 1tsp
Water 1-2 cups (depends how much thick gravy you want , add less for thick gravy)
Oil for frying fish pieces
Turmeric powder 1tsp and some more for marinating
Salt as per taste in Gravy and for marinating the fish.

Method


Wash fish pieces thoroughly in water , marinate in turmeric powder and salt, keep aside for atleast half an hour.Discard the water that comes out marinating the fish after few times.
Heat a kadai/Saucepan better a Wok , add oil , fry fish pieces at med low , till brown on both side it will take approx 4 mints on each side .Fry all the pieces.Take out and keep aside ..











Fry the Badi (It requires a bit more oil , add more oil approx 2-3 tbs for better results)slowly at low till golden brown , take out and keep aside on another Bowl.
Now add nigella /Kalaunji/Kalo jeera seeds to the above oil for the Phoron/Tadka sauté them , add potatoes , Brinjal/eggplant pieces and add salt fry at low for atleast 5-7 mints stiring in between for even frying.
Add turmeric powder , corrinader powder to the above , add Fish ,water slowly , slit Green chillies in between , Add badi/bodi and chillies to the above gravy
Cover and cook for atleast 10- 15 mints at med-low or till the potatoes are soft.The brinjals will cook before potatoes , If you feel , you can add them at the time of mixing in water .
Add finely chopped fresh cilantro/Corriander leaves.
This is a wonderful recipe to cook Rui Maach or Pona mach.
We served it with warm cooked rice .







I have always ignored Pooja's event , but not this time ,She has come up with the wonderful theme for V-Day , more info here Theme of the week V-day This one goes straight to you dear Pooja.
some more recipes next time , Happy cooking and Bon Appetite.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Meet Our Kitchen Garden friends

Meet Our Kitchen Garden Friends

This is for the first time sharing you with lovely vegetables my mom has grown in her kitchen garden over the past few years ...


Pappaya well doctors say is a wonder fruit .


Banana Plant , regarded as auspicious in Hindu religion , And Mochaar Ghonto is one such relishing dish made from fresh Flowers of Banana.




a luxarious Cabbage grown in the Garden.



leafy vegetable Beet root.



Green vegetable Spinach


We Bengali's know it as Sojne Datta , or Drumsticks and is a very staple food during this period of year ..and the white flowers is also edible part . My Mil makes Delicious Sojne Phool/aloo torkari.





This is a healthy Brinjal plant or better we know as here in US as Eggplant.





This is a lovely Kitchen Garden, My mom is so passionate about .And watching this beautiful garden is always a pleasure for everyone.Plucking fresh vegetables is fun also ..

Happy Cooking and Bon Appetite.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Lao Ghonto

Lao/Macher Matha Diye Torkari (Bottle gourd Fish Curry)




Life is a journey, one moment here and some times later somewhere else ..
We enjoyed our short stay in US and now living here in my motherland India is always a pleasure..Its something in the air , the warmth of people and love and care , what more you want in life .





I have taken a good short break from blogging , and I must tell that I have enjoyed this break a lot , spend a lot of time with my family , visiting friends and relatives , reliving my wonderful growing years .. now I am here in my birth place Allahabad visiting my parents home..My mom is an excellent cook(every mother is and always will be) and needless to say , she started making some of the relishing and delicious foods since I came here ..she has an avid interest in Kitchen gardening also ..with some good space to cultivate vegetables , her kitchen garden is a pleasure to watch and pluck some good fresh vegetables and make it as is …
So friends , from my mom’s kitchen to you ..serving you some of the authentic Bengali food …

Lauki /Lao belongs to family cucurbitacea and is also known as Bottle Gourd, contains Vit C and Vit B complex,Lauki is considered to be extremly Pitta pacifying, the skin is generally pale in green colour and the inner flesh is white in colour.Pick the young gourd for better result,discard the hard parts, while cutting the vegetable.Lauki is used in making Raita ( a yogurt based tangy Gravy) and many Subzi also.

Lao macher modo diye ghonto (Lao fish curry)



Lao Ghonto
Recipe requirements
1 Lao/Lauki
2 fish head , throughly washed
5-6 green chilly peppers(add less for less spice)
¼ tsp of turmeric powder (just go easy on this , to add colour only)
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying fish head

Method
1~ Heat a kadai/saucepan, add oil for frying fish head , release the fish head slowly in the oil and fry at low on each side for 5 mints or till the fish is fried brown .

2 ~While frying fish, head will swell slightly , at this time flip the side and fry again for 5 mints at low .the better fish head is fried , the better the Ghonto/curry will be .But be very careful while frying it , because its often splutter a lot ..
3 ~Now add finely chopped lauki/lao to the above , add turmeric powder , green chillies split in between and salt as per taste , stir it slightly , cover and cook for 10 mints at low .
4 ~After some 10-12 mints , check for the softness of lauki/lao and now with the help of spatula/Khunti/Palta , break the fish head into bite size pieces and again cover, cook for 5-7 mints at med –low .
5 ~For our vegetarian friends , you can add Badi/Boda in place of fish head .


Some of the good friends from blogging world visited here , thanks for coming by and stoping here .
Thank you Sia, Trupti, Sandeepa, Mandira, Sailaja, Soumya,Krithika,Asha,Lera,Sumitha,RP and every body ,pls forgive me if I have forgotten to write about you …but I have loved your encouraging words and remarks .
Thanks once again to everybody reading this and spending your precious time here ..
Some more recipes next time , Happy cooking ,Bon Appetite.