-->

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bye-Bye 2009 -Welcome 2010

It has been a whirlwind ride for us this year.We relocated to a new city in a new continent .And relocations,are always a major issue with me as settling down in a new place gives me chill.So far it seems Ok for us, my daughter has settled well in her new school . As far as I am concerned ,initial few months was difficult ,now I have slowly started liking the place, It is not something wow! for me but not bad as compared to initial months when I was feeling terribly homesick.
Hubby seems to be little satisfied now ,as he can see a better me and our daughter compared to initial few months where he can easily sense a discomfort.
When I was in my growing years OK teen years , if I can remember perfectly every year end on 31 dec or may be 30 dec,there used to be a special telecast of news capsule based on the events that happened throughout the year. That was something I never missed and I just loved my old DD days. and then sometimes in middle of “Chitrahaar” on Wednesday or Friday , all of a sudden a placard would come on the screen reading “Rokavat ke Liye Khed hai” or Sorry For the Interuption.
Indian televisioin industry was just coming into life then and it was pure and novice entertainment .Now we see many hybirids of “Hum Log “, “Buniyaad” “Mahabharat” and “Ramayan”,but the warmth of that good old DD days is missing!!

Keeping in mind that news event in 30 minute capsule ,here is the list of recipes I made during this year.This is my last post of this year and my 1 post news er .. recipes capsule.If you have missed anything then just go ahead and enjoy.
Korai dal'er bora -dal fritters this was my first post of year 2009.
Noton Gurer payesh
Gota Sheddo traditional Gota sheddu prepared during Saraswati Puja.
Methi Matar Malai , this is one of most viewed recipe of spice and curry.
Prawn Fritters
Shoro Chakli- another dosa variation
Fish fritters
Home made Jam
Cauliflower dal and Ol bhate
Liver spicy fry
Shrimp rice pulao and Chicken curry
Corn mango salsa
Omellete curry
Niramish Jhol
bhetki Mach'er chop and lao Shake'er chorchori
Beet shake'er Chorchori
Mughlai Murg Mussallam
Pomfret Fish Curry
Honey Cake
Whole wheat Burger
Mishti Doi- Sweetened Curd
laziz Lauki Kofta Curry
baked Spicy Mustard haddock
Pistachio Lemon Biscotti
apple buns
Mangetout Spicy fry
Black Forest cake
Beet Rice Pulao -this recipe got mentioned in NYTimes foodblog by Mark Bittaman.
and the lunch Box Recipes which was truly satisfying journey ,a great satisfaction on my part that at least I tried to made all of it by myself and I am glad many of you liked it.
Lunch box recipes 1
(beet jhal,Phulkopi diye bhetki jhaal ,dal )
lunch box recipes 2
(neem begun,seem bandhakopi chorchori, parshe macher jhaal and dal )
lunch box recipe 3
(Arhar Ki dal, Koraishuti tomato diye rui macher jhaal ,bodi diye phulkopir jhaal )
Lunch box recipe 4
(dal, aloor dom, rui macher jhaal and pepein bhate)
Lunch Box recipes 5
(Notey posto ,panch mishori dal and ,begun phulkopir jhaal)
Lunch Box recipes 6
(Potol Diye Pona macher Jhaal,dal and notey chorchori )
Lunch box recipes 7
(Sheem posto,begun beans bodi diye jhaal and dal)

This post is going to Srivalli at Cooking For All Season , visit here for more details -Best of 2009

So this it friends, lets hope new year will be peaceful ,happy and prosperous for us.
Bye Bye 2009 ,Welcome 2010
Happy New Year to all of YOU

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mangetout Diye Shokno Torkari(Snow Peas Spicy fry)


There are many vegetables which I want to cook but don’t get fresh supply here like potol/parwal and jhinge/ridge gourd.If I have a choice of using fresh vegetables or frozen, I would certainly pick fresh and that would include any new vegetables or vegetables grown locally.When I went for grocery shopping came across this vegetables, it’s striking green and smooth texture made me all curious.Later I realized that this is green pea pod or in common snow pea or Mangetout known locally .This vegetable is great in any Chinese stir/fry and can be eaten boiled (bhate-bhat)also.So thought of including this in my simple dinner ,Torkari(subzi).I added some beans and potatoes to make a shokno torkari(dry stir/fry).This was a delicious discovery for me.Another way which we like eating this vegetable ,is with mustard+poppy seed paste.This always remind me of Shorshe Sheem.If you want the recipe then go here and in place of Sheem(Hyacinth) add snow peas… Recipe for Sheem Shorshe


Another way we like this vegetables is having with our Chinese noodles stir/fry.Snow peas/Mangetrout(Pisum sativum) belongs to fabaceae family.This is a usual vegetarian recipe , a kind of dry fry with beans/potato/mangetrout .Mangetout is available in packets here.



Mangetout diye Shokno Torkari
Serves 2-3
Mangetout- 15-16 whole
1 potato –cut into long pieces
Beans half packet or 200 gms
Seasoning
1 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of cumin seeds
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying the vegetables-2 tbs
1 tsp of cumin seeds for tempering
Method
Cut and prepare the vegetables .Clean them in water.
Heat up a saucepan, add oil .
Add in cumin seeds, let it splutter
Add the vegetables , stir/fry them well
Add all the seasoning, sprinkle some water, lower the flame and cook approx 7-8 mints or vegetables are cooked.Serve with warm cooked rice or roti which ever way you like.
and please vote for me , more details here below



Happy Cooking Friends

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Black Forest Cake and Merry Christmas



Black Forest Cake is traditionally a German desert .Now in around 16 th centuary probably the cake or pudding was served with kirschwasser liquer( an alcohol based liquer or a double distilled cherry brandy made from the sour Morello cherry).
This cake was first believed to be made around 16 the of century in a German black forest region ( Der Schawrzwald in Germany) located in the state of Baden –Wurttemberg.Americans tried , making this cake without the liquer later and named this "black forest cake" .

I always feel that we cannot bind recipes in few lines.As the recipe travels, so is the culture with it ,from one home to another or for that matter from one continent to another.It evolves with due course of time and that is the beauty of any cuisine that it absorbs/adapt everything that comes it’s way.

Yesterday, I baked this cake and used cherry nector in place of kirschwasser liquer.The recipe is adapted from Here





I almost halved the buttercream frosting as we are not too fond of that much of cream in our cakes , however I do feel cream enhances the overall flavour of the cake if you wish to go along with the original recipe.

I used fresh cherries and in fact was planning to soak them overnight in cherry nector (for that soft touch) somehow forget to do it the other night.So,while I was preparing our morning breakfast yesterday ,  pitted and cleaned the cherries and then soaked them in cherry nector.

Made the cake in afternoon.If you are planning to make the cake with fresh cherries,I would recommend ,soaking them overnight .However the other way its’ best to use canned ,pitted cherries or even better to use any cherry pie filling available in jars.

I frosted the left-over cake in refrigerator also , just wrapped the plastic cling over it and freezed it.This way it will stay fresh upto a week.And did I mentioned ,that the cake tasted even better today as the flavours were well incorporated.
This turn out a nice Christmas Cake ,Or a delicious cake for “Boro Din”in Bengali.

Now to the recipe
Black Forest Cake
Ingredients

  • 1 and 2/3 cup of flour
  • 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and ½ tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ cup of butter/Shortening
  • 1 and ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 and ½ cup of plain yogurt
  • For the dressing/frosting/filling
  • ½ cup of kirsch or cherry nector and some more to soak them.
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp of strong brewed coffee(optional)
  • 2 cans pitted cherries or fresh cherries
  • ¾ cup of heavy whipped cream
  • 1 square milk chocolate
Method

  • Preheat oven to 175 deg celcius deg C.
  • Meanwhile sift the flour and add baking soda,cocoa powder,salt.
  • Cream together butter and sugar.
  • Now add eggs one by one and then yogurt mixing  in gently all.
  • Then add the flour mixture, fold in gently.
  • Prepare two round 9 inch cake tins , divide the cake batter equally and bake them for 30-35 mints depending on the oven.If a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in cake, the cake has been baked well, other wise transfer it again into machine and bake till the cake is done.
  • Take out and cool.
  • Cut the cakes in half horizontally.
  • Make the filling
  • Cream butter and then add confectioner’s sugar/icing sugar to it and then add whipped cream and 1tsp brewed coffee (optional)
  • Now sprinkle the kirsch or cherry nector evenly over each layer.Let it rest for about half an hour.
  • Spread the filling evenly and then top it with chopped cherries.
  • Layer rest of half cake rounds like this way and top it with rest of the buttercream frosting
  • Sprinkle and decorate with the chocolate shavings.


One more Close look


Note-

  • I used cherry nector in place of kirsch
  • I Reduced the icing sugar and whipped cream to make the buttercream frosting,if you want thick layers of cream ,then go ahead and increase it upto 2-2 ½ cups of cream and 3 cups of icing sugar and upto half3/4 cup of butter.
  • Used fresh cherries in place of canned ones, just soaked them in kirch or cherry nector overnight for the real soft texture.Although I have little time so soaked them for 3 hrs prior of making the cake.
  • With a potato peeler , take out chocolate shavings and spread evenly over the cake.
  • Use the pointed tip of potato peeler for pitting the fresh cherries.



updated
6/01/10
Made today again but made some changes.This is the measurements for one cake


  • 2/3 cup + 1tbs+1 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • ½ + ¼ tsp of baking soda
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup of yogurt
  • ½ tsp of vanilla essence
  • For frosting I reduced the above frosting recipe which I made earlier.
  • Cut the cake into half,sprinkle cherry nector evenly, spread chopped cherries and buttercream frosting evenly also , decorate with chocolate shavings+some cherries,enjoy!!


and please vote for me , for more info visit here



Happy Cooking and Happy Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Apple Buns and it snowed finally


It snowed here on thursday night and I couldn’t stop myself from taking this picture .Well we are hoping to see white Christmas, lets see how things turn out.Its always a pleasure to see snowflakes coming down from sky as if God is sprinkling white cotton on earth.

I asked my daughter while we were watching snowflakes coming down, thro our window “What do you think we get snow from”, before she could say ,I started explaining that God has decided to bring snow to earth as Santa is coming.
She stopped me abruptly and said promptly," no mamma , we get it from clouds !!"
She further added," when its not raining , it is going to snow as its very cold."
That left me with no choice of telling her all sweet stories related to snow.So I decided to do things ,I am little better at i.e. cooking .




Apples are in season these days, I mean good ,juicy apples .I came across this recipe Here ,of apple muffins from the Smitten Kitchen.It was just what I was looking for.
The main difference or rather was a mistake on my part that I baked them in bun tray and not the usual muffin tins so the result shape is little distorted , but the taste and flavour remians just perfect.They turn out very moist and soft with a hint of sourness due to the yogurt .It felt exactly muffin should taste.
Now the original recipe states to add butermilk,I didn’t had at the time for making them , so as suggested By Deb I added plain yogurt instead of buttermilk.
We had it as part of weekend brunch , and this was just too good, warm straight from the oven.



Apple Buns
Ingredients
1 cup of wheat flour /I used atta
1 cup of plain flour
1tsp of baking powder
1tsp of baking soda
Pinch of salt
½ cup of unsalted butter
¼ cup of sugar
½ cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup of plain yogurt
2 large apples , peeled and coarsely chopped
Method
Preheat oven to 220 deg ,
Meanwhile add in the flour baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder.
Cream together butter and sugar and separate ¼ cup of brown sugar.
Now add egg and yogurt , mix in gently all.
Then add the flour mixture and apples and fold in gently.
Now scope out equal proportions of these into the muffins cups,sprinkle remaining brown sugar over these evenly , and bake for 10 mints .
Lower the oven temperature to 200 deg celcius and bake some more 5-7 mints till a toothpick when inserted into middle comes out clean.
Transfer to cool and enjoy.

One more close look


Note-
I added way too much of the mixture and so the result was oversized buns, many of them droping out of the muffin cups .Add upto ¾ to the muffin cups and leave the ¼ cup of space to let them rise up properly.This much of mixture yields 18-19 but I came out with 12 muffins.
Used salted butter so avoided adding anymore salt to it.
Used garam masala powder in place of cinnamon powder.
Happy Cooking

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pistachio Lemon Biscotti

Copenhegan is in news these days, lot of talks and discussion going on for climate change.While we were out in Central London for our usual weekend small tours, we landed up in Traflagar Square on Saturday.To our amusement ,ok also to my daughter’s amusement there was a sea of Santa there.Wondering about this and all curious , we went near to it , took some snaps,later we realized that they were protesting against global warming and climate change .They all shouted some slogans , don’t know what that was though .But some of them were in party mood with beer cans(Is beer cans bio-degradable?)We also happened to see a nice ice-sculpture of giant Polar Bear.Visit here for more details-- Ice Polar Bear
The ice sculpture was made on 11 th of December ,it will continue to be there upto 20 th of December to see and touch till it gradually melts away.This is all to depict the impact of global warming on earth.This is something incredible , while me and daughter were admiring ,touching the giant ice sculpture , one of the representative got in touch with my husband.They talked and my husband agreed to help out in small way giving little monetary benefits or donations to their funds. IF you also want to donate or know more then visit -- Here
That made me think, other than monetary benefits what are the other way we can help out to control global warming. I had started an event ,which got very few response, I am not surprised as these things always take back seat.If you feel , you may read it here --Save The Earth
Before I jump to the recipe, I must give you a rough idea that India is also on the radar of global warming( it is one of the few tipping points for global warming),recent drought affecting several states is just the tip of beginning. Think and act or it may be too late.
Since this is Christmas time ,I will be posting a simple biscotti recipe today, then in next post apple buns.
I don’t know exactly the difference between a cookie and a biscotti , but to me a biscotti is near to a cookie except the shape and the way it is baked or should I say twice baked.Butter and sugar is creamed together first and then the flour mixture is added gradually.baked to golden as long log/slab shape , then carefully it is cut into stripes of half to 1 inch of thickness.These slices are again baked till they are well toasted.



Pistachio Lemon Biscotti
Ingredients

1and 1 tbs cup –all purpose flour
¾ tsp of baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 egg
¼ cup of sugar(granulated cane sugar)
¼ cup of butter
½ tsp of fresh lemon zest
1 tbs of fresh lemon juice
¼ cup of shelled,chopped pistachio


Method
In a bowl,mix in flour,baking powder and salt
In a separate bowl, mix in sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Now beat in egg,lemon zest and juice thoroughly.Mix in chopped pistachios.
Now slowly add the flour mixture and keep mixing till all the flour mixture is used.
Divide the dough into two parts.On a prepared sheet,shape each portion to a somewhat rectangular log of about 1 ½ inch wide by ½ inch thick by 12-14 inch long .
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 deg C or 325 deg F for 25-30 mints.(mine took exactly 25 mints) or until light golden and firm.
Take out and let it cool for 5 mints on a rack.
Now transfer it to cutting board .Using serrated knife, cut each baked log into slices.
Pace the knife at 45 deg angle and then cut each slices into ½ -1 inch thick slices.
Again arrange the cut slices on a baking sheet and bake another 6 mints .Take out and turn the slices, bake the other ends some more 6 mints or till dry and toasted.
Take out and let them cool.
Store them in an air tight container; at room temperature they remain fresh up to 1 week.
If you want, you may refrigerate and it remains fresh till 1 month.
One more close look,

Note-
You may double the recipe for more biscotti.
And you may add walnuts/hazelnuts/almonds in place of pistachio.
Or you may use dried fruits such as apricots, cranberries. Just soften it before mixing in the dough by submerging in hot water for few mints.Otherwise it may turn too hard.
Happy Cooking Friends

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Baked Spicy Mustard Haddock

I have been trying out fish which are locally found here , like Cod, Salmon,Trout and last but not the least Haddock.Haddock is a marine fish and is available in frozen section of supermarkets.They usually come in two forms one is a normal boneless/skinless ones and the other is smoked haddock fillets.We like the smoked haddock fillets more than the normal ones.
Now according to the nutritional value chart on every packet, this is a great source of protein and healthy omega fatty acid.Twice a week fish is always good.They can be well paired with some fried rice or a green salad as accompaniment.I have made this smoked variety fish with some vegetables ,trying to give a nice curry texture .
This recipe is very low on oil and yes it has cheese( just for the sake of taste buds of my lil kid), but if you do not want it, you can take out the cheese and it tastes even better.There is no need to add cheese if you do not feel so.The crunchiness of vegetables is well accompanied by the smooth texture of baked spicy mustard fish.
Smoked haddock fish is traditionally from Aberdeen ,a fishing village of Findon( known locally as Finnan) a place in Scotland I guess.People started making lightly cold smoked and delicately flavoured haddock there ,way back in late 19 th century . They were making a lightly milk based stew known as Finnan Haddie from these smoked haddock( which is somewhat pretty unusual for us as milk and fish never match according to Bengali way of cooking).
If you want to dig in more then go below for the detailed lightly stew version of smoked haddock.Cold smoking is just giving some nice and quik flavour to the fresh caught fish.This makes a fish ,generally off-white or dyed(To me it looked like it has been marinated in some turmeric powder and some salt)
Finnan Haddie.
Now smoked haddock is a staple fish in Kedgeree also, an Anglo-Indian way of preparing Khichri with fish.To the recipe now


Baked Spicy Mustard Haddock


Serves 2-4
Ingredients
Smoked Haddock fish fillet-2-4
Turmeric powder -2 tsp
Mustard powder-3-4 tsp
Red pepper powder-2 -3 tsp salt-1 tsp or as per taste
Baby Corn 4-5
Beans -7-8 whole
1-2 tbs of pasta sauce
1 tomato
Half onion chopped finely
2 garlic chopped finely
Few tsp of ginger grated or chopped finely
Oil for frying/sauteing the vegetables -1 tbs

Method
Make a mixture of mustard powder,red pepper powder,turmeric and salt.
Coat this mixture evenly over the fish fillets and wrap them in foil making a kind of packets.
Bake at 200 deg C for 20-25 mints.
Meanwhile the fish is being baked
Make the vegetables with the sauce
Take a saucepan, add in oil , saute some chopped ginger,garlic and onions.
Add in beans and baby corn and tomatoes.
Fry them well, season them with salt and red pepper powder.
Keep stirring and cooking keeping in mind that vegetables need to remain crunchy.
Arrange the above cooked vegetables and pasta sauce over baked fish in those packets.Sprinkle some cheese( I added some Kraft cheese slices ,tearing and spreading evenly over it)
Put the entire thing to bake for more at least 5-7 mints.
Serve when it’s still pipping hot with a side of beet rice pulao.
It tastes absolutely delicious as it looks , want a bite !!
Note-
This recipe is very flexible , you may use Ilish steaks/Pomfret/Tilapia fish fillet in place of smoked haddock fillets also.
You may choose your vegetables to accompany this recipe.Mushrooms and Bell peppers to name a few are excellent with this spicy dish.

Happy Cooking

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Laziz Lauki Kofta Curry


I do think I haven’t posted any vegetarian recipe for a while now.Although I have been making many of them daily,but my attention was kind of diverted towards Baking and sweets.So ,thought too much of sweet is not always good as our emphasis is having things in a balanced proportions .This recipe turn out slighlty different as it has some good memories, memories woven around my grandmother.
I had lauki/bottle gourd in my fridge over a couple of days now.Usually I like to make Lao Diye Moonge’er dal or dal with Bottle gourd chunks .But this time I thought why not try making lauki ke kofta curry.Here comes the memory part that I was talking about.
I was visiting my grandparents home ,cant recall which year it was to be precise,I guess I was in college then .Grandfather( I used to call him “Dadna” fondly) had passed away,although his presence was very eminent in every day –to –day dealings .My grandmother , was a very simple and homely cook , but she usually had the nack of picking good things or should I say good recipes from where ever it was possible.She had made some north Indian friends with whom she would converse in broken Hindi.She would often convert her drinking tea to eating tea while trying to convert her Bengali to Hindi ..or sometimes even weird gramatical mistakes(that includes gender confusions).But the most important part was that her friends never bothered to correct or complained her.She had become a non-separable part of their lives as well.Anyways , she perhaps got this one from one of them , but twisted it to make it more suitable according to a Bengali homly cooking.
Her kofta’s would turn out very soft , but it would not get deshaped while cooking or serving , all intact and the flavours were sealed inside every koftas .Gravy would turn out very thick and creamy also.I wished, I would have asked her recipe in detail or rather helped her making up this lip-smacking recipe ,but back then I was not too much into cooking.
While eating the kofta curry with roti,she gave me a rough idea of making the lao ‘er kofta and also the gravy at the dinning table that day.Keeping in mind that rough idea,here I tried to improvise the recipe as the koftas are usually made with besan/chick pea flour , but I was running short of it at the time of making.







Laziz lauki Kofta Curry-
For the Kofta
Lauki -2 medium size, skin removed and grated
5-7 tbs of self rising flour/gram flour(besan)
½ tsp of salt
1-2 tsp of red pepper powder
½ tsp of turmeric powder
1-2 tsp of cumin powder
1-2 tsp of coriander powder
4-5 tbs of oil for frying the kofta's
Grate the Bottle gourd, and squeese out the water.You may like to use this water while making the gravy for Kofta’s.Mix all and make a smooth dough.

TIP--These are delicious and makes a lovely accompaniment with Pita Bread or rotis.Just fry them and stuff them in Pita pockets or roll in rotis or parathas.





For the Gravy
3-4 tbs of cooking oil
2 tbs of cashews/peanuts
3/4 cup of milk
2 medium size onions
1-2 inch ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1-3 tsp of red pepper powder(depends on how much you can handle hotness)
1 tsp of garam masala
2 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
Grind all the above in a food processor to a smooth paste except the milk which you will be adding later.
Method
Take the skin out with Potato Peeler and grate the bottle gourd, sqeeze the excess water with the help of your palms.Keep aside this water for the gravy you will prepare later.Mix in flour( you may use besan/gram flour in place of self rising flour), cumin,coriander,turmeric,red pepper powder and salt.Knead to a semi soft dough.Roll out small rounds from it.This above mixture made approx 12 Koftas.
Now heat up a kadai, add oil and fry these koftas well.If you feel roll each kofta over some flour before frying.This makes the koftas fry well in oil.
Now heat up another saucepan, add oil .Add the masala paste you prepared for the gravy.
Keep on stir/fry the paste for 5-7 mints at med-low.
Now add in the water which you have kept for gravy that you collected while sqeezing the grated bottle gourd.This way the nutrients are not lost.
Add in half cup to ¾ cup of milk + 1/4 cup of water, lower the flame and cook/simmer at low , uncovered.(If you want the gravy to be little thin , add some more water) .One thing should be kept in mind , Koftas absorbs the gravy like anything , so its better to add enough water in the gravy initially.
TIP--What I have done , I have kept half of the gravy separate and submerged the koftas in half of the gravy in serving bowl.This way when we were ready to eat , I reheated the separate gravy and added this hot gravy to the serving bowl with koftas +half of the gravy.We had lauki kofta curry for our dinner.This was a nice change to a usual moong dal with bottle gourd.

Link of the week-

Her recipes always make me drool, Shn at Mishmash(http://kitchenmishmash.blogspot.com/) is a great place to know more about Kerela Cuisine and peek into a daily life of a typical Keralite home.I have tried her (http://kitchenmishmash.blogspot.com/2008/08/malabar-style-chemmeenprawn-biryani.html) recipe and there are plenty of them on my list now.Visit her lovely place full of memories and cultural amalgamation.
Happy Cooking

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mishti Doi-Sweetened Curd

People in Bengal relish Mishti doi a lot.Now here in a foreign land ,I don’t have the luxary to go to a sweet shop near by and get mishti doi sold in small earthen vessels .For that matter,I have to re-create every possible thing that I miss eating here from scratch sometimes.
Mishti doi was something on my mind for past few months now.I know there are possibly 100 of recipes out in net.But when I peeked into my pantry, I was running short of condensed milk, had only evaporated milk.All the recipes which I came across used heavily condensed milk.I decided to take on with whatever I had in my pantry.I had plain yogurt and whole milk and also evaporated milk.So these three formed the base ingredients for mishti doi for me.While making ,I realized that here you need quite a big amount of plain yogurt to set sweetened yogurt.Although they say It’s live culture but still at least 1 cup of yogurt is required , now why I am saying this because I am habitual of using very few tsp , to be precise 2-3 tsp of live culture/yogurt to set my home-made curd back home.I think it may be due to the climate here or the cold weather.Whatever…
Anyways , I was determined to re-create the taste of mishti doi in home , so started with the ingredients that I had in my pantry.So, here how I tried to made it , and did I say it was the most pleasurable thing that I have eaten so far coming to here.One mouthful of it and you will go mmm……utterly delicious , a splendid discovery for me.It has become a keeper recipe for me now.


Mishti Doi
2 and half or 3 cups of whole milk
1 cup of evaporated milk(carnation)
1 cup of plain yogurt(onken)
7-8 tbs of water
8-9 tbs of sugar ( or as per taste)




Method

1. Reduce the milk to half over a low flame.It will take approx 45 -50 mints to reduce it to half.You can speed up the process at med-low flame ,but you will have to stir it continously then.
2. Meanwhile in a separate pan , make a sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar in water .The syrup should be thick in constitency (adjust the sweetness according to taste ).Back home ,I know some even use batasha( a sugary or jaggery preparation for a part of prasad that is being offered to God) for it also.They simply make the syrup with Batasha.
(Usually sugar is melted at low flame till it dissolves completely, this carmelization of sugar ,gives the distinct colour to the curd, and also since the milk is bit thickened).However I made a thick sugar syrup and added as per taste.
Next time I am going to make the syrup with Maple syrup and see if the colour of milk changes or not.
3. Now add the evaporated milk(carnation ) to the reduced milk( sometimes when you add evaporated milk to hot milk, it may spill out ,watch out while adding evaporated milk to hot milk)Switch off the flame, take out in a separate vessel.

4. Add the sugar syrup slowly , add half the content ,taste it and then add the later portions if you feel there is need to add more sweet.The syrup will be quite thick, reheat it if there is need.
5. Mix in 1 small cup or 5-6 tbs of plain yogurt(onken) to the above.Make sure the milk is not very hot ,otherwise the bacteria/live culture may get destroyed and it will not help .Gently mix with a spoon.Now the fun part ,take the other pan and drop the entire mixture to it and again shift the mixture content to previous pan .This helps in blending the mixture well.When you see a nice froth/bubbles has formed , stop mixing it.
6. Now set the curd in an oven.Place a baking tray with water .Now set the oven temp at 170 deg celcius. Transfer the entire content to the a baking dish , I used my loaf pan for this purpose.
Bake for 20 mints.Switch off the oven.
7. Let the baking dish sit there for 10-15 mints more.TIP-If you tap the pan gently ,you will see the yogurt has set , if not ,then again transfer it in hot oven and wait for another 10 mints .I could not resist the temptation, so I tasted it with a spoon.See at the corner, the water has come out showing the curd is all set.

8. Now take out , cool and then refridgerate it.Chill it for 2-4 hrs.Serve and enjoy.
There is a traditional way of making sweetened curd that is by reducing the milk and then adding the sugar syrup and yogurt , but the setting is in earthen vessels.
one more close look and trust me it is not easy to control the temptation .



Note- If you are in India, add only 1-2 tsp of Doi/Yogurt and let it set there.Adding 1 cup of doi will spoil the mishti doi and the milk may curdle.
Few good recipes about Mishti Doi
---- Bongmom's Bhapa Doi
--- Pressure cooker method at Enjoy Indian Food
---- Traditional method at Sutapa's Webpage By Gupta Brothers

Enjoy Good Food

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Whole Wheat Burger


I have talked about a burger recipe on my last post about Bread making.So ,here is the most simple recipe to prepare a Veggie Burger.If you are keen on putting variations to the filling of burger, then you may consider these for a wonderful patties/cutlet recipes.

-- Keema Kabab
-- Vegetable Cutlet
-- Fish Chops
-- Fish Fritters
Now to the most simple recipe

Whole Wheat Burger
Whole wheat burger- for recipe visit here--- Bread Recipe
Some shredded cheddar cheese or any other cheese.
Thinly sliced vegetables of your choice
I used yellow bell peper and tomatoes
Coriander chutney for the dressing
How to assemble
Just spread coriander chutney over the burgers.
Sprinkle some cheddar cheese and lay some vegetables of choice and enjoy the burger.

serve and enjoy.

Link of the week ---

An Indian Summer (http://anindiansummer-design.blogspot.com/ )by Bhavna Bhatnagar, is a great place to know more about interior designing.The blog features pictures of stunning and gorgeous interiors and is all about home decor that covers everything from furnitures to designs and lots more.Do visit to know more about it.

Happy Cooking Friends

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Some Bread Please


I have been thinking of making some bread for a while now.This is my first attempt at making bread at home.I read a lot of things regarding bread making in the net , but at the end it all said to make it in bread machine.I felt so dissappointed as I don’t have a bread machine.
However ,the cook rather the baker in me was calling out loud , go for it and bake it in oven .So I went to check the manufracturer’s manual for oven setting etc, and tried to figure out the exact temperature for bread baking.It had all the information about cake, veg,meat baking temperatures, but not bread.
So, I followed my instinct and baked the bread for the first time.I am not a daring baker or an expert in baking.A kind of novice who is trying out her luck in baking breads.It came out well to my surprise and now this recipe is a keeper recipe. Whenever I do not want the store-brought bread , I know how to do it in home with my simple hands and a trust-worthy oven.Now to the Recipe-






















Now to the Recipe


Basic Bread recipe
1 1/8 cups warm water/milk
3-4 tbs of honey
¼ tsp of salt
1 1/2 cups of bread flour+1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour(we call atta that )
2-3 tbs of butter
1 ½ tsp of active dry yeast
Warm about ½ cup of water …do not make it hot ..dissolve about 1 and ½ tsp of dry active yeast and about pinch of sugar.Let it sit there for 10-15 mints .By this time a foam is formed say about 1-2 cm .

Meanwhile yeast is preparing itself , mix in 1 1/2 cups of bread flour and 1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.
Mix in ¼ tsp of salt to it and also ¼ tsp of gram masala for a nice flavour.
Mix in well and now scoop out the flour approx 1 cup to be used later while kneading.
Now mix in yeast solution, warm milk, melted butter and honey very well.Now while working with the dough add in left over flour mixture and warm milk gently.Knead the dough for 5-7 mints.
Now place the dough in a warm environment. Start the oven at 70 Deg C and heat it just 1 mints.Turn off the oven.Now place the dough in this oven in a bowl , covered with damp cloth for 1 hr.
If you donot want to keep it in preheated oven ..then increase the time for rising the flour, roughly double the time.
Take out the dough and start kneading it again.Grease your hands with some oil and start kneading the dough , sprinkling some more flour while working on the flour.
Prepare the loaf pan/bread pan with some oil and then transfer the dough to it. It just turn out that the dough was more and my loaf pan small , so I took some of the dough from it baked some wheat Buns later,will be sharing with you my Burger recipe later.
TIP- you may use this left over dough to make hot naans.
Now again cover it with damp cloth and let it sit there for 1hr.
Bake the dough at 180 deg C /350 deg F for 25-27 mints.Take out and let it cool.Cut into slices or eat as you please…..
~~How to refridgerate the bread and reuse it later~~
Just wrap them in plastic bags and refridgerate.When you are ready to eat , take out and reheat it in a moderate 350 Deg F/175 Deg C OR toast them in toaster.Serve with honey and butter.

Just to add a Note ---It may help you while choosing the yeast.
Fresh yeast-compressed/cake yeast is active yeast.It has a nice quality of rising the flour and hence gives excellent result for baked goodies.It remains fresh for only 1-2 weeks.Fresh yeast is available in the frozen section of supermarkets also.Proofing is needed but with out salt or sugar.
Instant/Rapid rise yeast –this is now very commonly used.It doesn’t need water to rehydrate it.Just add in according to the recipe/package direction to the dough .The rising time is saved also.This may include ascorbic acid , a dough conditioner of sort.Can be stored well, once open , refridgerate the left-over yeast.
Active dry yeast-This is the most common form that is available .This generally needs proofing and rehydrating.The yeast remains dormant here.Usually the packets/tsp from the jar ,need to get dissolved in some warm water(110deg F)and ½ tsp of sugar, before being used up.This can be stored for many months and in cold area.Do not use after expiration date and rather check it before you purchase it.
Usually a packet of active dry yeast has 2 ½ tsp of yeast or .25 ounce.
Proofing-the time for rehydrating the yeast .Dissolve required quantity of yeast specified in a recipe in some warm water ,add sugar also to feed the yeast.We call this in Hindi “Khamira”. In making Naan, Bhature ,khamira is needed to rise the dough, I remember my ma used to add some yogurt or buttermilk to rise the naan dough.She used to knead maida/all purpose flour in the morning with some yogurt(doi), ghee and salt.She then let it sit that dough for 4-6 hrs covered with a damp cloth.And in the evening we used to have fresh chole with some oil fried bature.Yum…
Rising- the time needed for proper rising /doubling of bread dough.Usually it takes 2-3 hrs for proper rise if you are using active dry yeast.If you using instant/rapid rise yeast or fresh yeast ,then the rising time may vary or may take less.I am not sure about the exact time though.
Now to the link of the week---


Shobha Dey (http://shobhaade.blogspot.com/)


Happy Cooking Friends

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Macher Matha Diye Moong Dal

Fish is like a true gift God has given To any Bengali.
No marriage ceremony is complete with out a big Rui fish(read this in bold).There is a particular custom of sending gifts to a Bengali Bride and her near ones,as part of “Gaye Holod Er Totto”.This gift/gifts she takes on wedding day ,usually to mark the Vermillon ceremony ,in Hindi “Haldi rasam”,is improper if the correct size of Rui fish is not sent decorated along with the gifts.This custom is said to be very auspicious .Bridegroom’s family often take it as prestige issue also and sometimes even send fish weighing to 5-7 kgs.So fish is even part of every Bengali ceremony.
While we were grocery shopping , came across this huge 4 kgs of frozen Rui fish here, now back in home I have always asked my "machwala" (fisherman) to cut a portion of it and make edilble 4-5 pieces , quite a good composition for a family of 3.He would usuallay take out fish scales also , making my life easy.
I was little hesistant to buy such a big fish(storage and then again it’s frozen) and more the fish head as I know father-daughter duo wont touch the fish head.Anyways, this is what becomes tricky sometimes, what to cook something specially if you donot want to waste.
So decided to make moong dal with half of the fish head, while I ended up eating most of the fish head , father-daughter duo were happy to eat moong dal minus fish head.The other half portion got it’s way in Bandhakopi ‘r Torkari/Subzi.However taste wise frozen fish turn out to be winner and while I deep fried each fish pieces and fish head ,and then made shorshe rui also.If you want the recipe ,do let me know.
I was just so filled up after this heavy meal, and felt sleepy , took a long nap while father-daughter duo spent time playing Scrabble.

Now to the recipe
Moro diye Moonger dal( yellow lentils with fish head)
Fish head rui(Labeo rohita) preferably
1 cup moong dal
1 -2 tsp of turmeric powder+ some to marinate fish head
Salt as per taste
Little bit of sugar
2 -3 cloves(lobongo)
1 big cardamom(gota boro elaich)
1 inch cinnamon stick(dalchini)
1 tsp of powdered garam masala
2-3 tbs of oil/or 1-2 tbs of ghee
And now to the method












and Now To The Method

Marinate the fish head with turmeric powder and salt.Set aside in a separate dish.
Meanwhile roast the moong dal/yellow lentils over very low flame in a saucepan/kadahi.
Now wash throughly in water.Place a saucepan half filled with water over gas/stovetop.Add in roasted moong dal.
Clear the white froth that has started to form now.
Add in turmeric powder,salt ,sugarand the garam masala powder.Let it simmer at med-low.Usually it needs 10-15 mints to cook the dal.
It would be better if you can fry the fish head beforehand.Fry them in hot oil,be careful while frying the fish head.Better ,cover it properly with lid and do the process at med-low.Take out and break into edible pieces.Add this to simmering dal.
Tempering the dal
Heat up a saucepan,add oil and cumin seeds,bay leaf,cloves,cinnamon stick and cardamom.Fry for 1 mints.add this to the cooked moong dal.Cover the saucepan and turn off the stove-top.
Serve it with garam bhat ,shorshe Rui and Phulkopir Torakari.

Now to the Links of the week-Two very promising blogs from India.

A) This blog comes on my do visit list for the last two months now,wonder why I have missed it beforehand.This blog captures different aspects of Life and Travel.A Mumbaikar captures candid pics thro his camera, Go and see the world through his eyes.-----My Experiments with The Lens(http://shutterbugged.blogspot.com/) ....

B)If you think ,you can handle some witty and wise talks ,then go visit here---- Random Thoughts of a Frustrated Mind(http://unbound-forever.blogspot.com/). Am I seeing or rather reading in this case another Erratica er Bachi Karkaria in making, perhaps yes and I wish to see many good witty ,hilarious post minus some ** these words :)..All The Best Girlie..

There are many good blogs out there, which blog/blogs you like to read other than food blog, do let me know.Happy cooking Friends

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Turning 3 with Granola Ladoo,Dodh Peda and Chanar Pantua

Last time I had mentioned about the Diwali goodies, so when Spice and Curry turn 3 this october, I thought this is perhaps the right time to post all the sweet dishes .Yeah, I know time flies and it was a wonderful journey so far.I would like to take this oppurtunity to thank everybody who have stopped here inspite of their busy schedule,subscribed to feeds and tried recipes from here.A big “Thank You” to all.

Now to the recipes.
I was thinking to add some variation to a mundane breakfast , and started mixing oat based granola, corn flakes ,then in zap of a second ,thought of making laddos instead of breakfast cereal.How ever this mixture can very well be stored in air tight container and can be made to a perfect breakfast cereal with milk.





A) Granola Laddo /Granola Diye Narkol’er Laddo
Measurements are approx
What you need
Granola preferably oat based -1 cup or you may use Clusters By Kellogg's.
Corn flakes- ½ cup
Chopped walnuts and cashews- ½ cup
Dessicated coconut-3/4 cup
Sugar- ½ cup or as per taste


Method
Mix all the ingredients corn flakes,granola,dessicated coconut, cahsews and walnuts with hands well.If possible, slightly break the corn flakes and granola with little hand pressure to form a uniform mixture.Add in sugar also and gently mix in with the above mixture.
Now heat up a saucepan, transfer the entire mixture to it, stir it well at low for 5 mints
At this time you will see,sugar starts to dissolve and the mixture turning into a nice brown colour.
Sprinkle some water while stirring ,keep sprinkling some more water and stirring.Usually this takes very few mints when stirred at med-high , the main thing to keep in mind ,is not to burn the mixture.However if you have time and you don’t want to take much risk, do this at low flame and slowly.
When you see the mixture starts to gather together, immediately stop the flame and transfer the entire mixture content to a plate.
Heat up some 3-5 tbs of butter or ghee, add to the above mixture.
After the mixture is cooled a little bit, grease your palm with little oil and start making some small round shaped laddos.
Make all the laddos with the mixture.
Refrigerate the laddos,it stays fresh for 3-4 days.You may have it as Breakfast laddos also.

B) Microwable Dodh Peda


What you will need
1 cup of milk powder
¾ can of condensed milk
2 tbs of butter

Method
In a microwave safe bowl,melt butter in microwave.Microwave for 1 mint at high.
Now mix in the milk powder and condensed milk very well with the melted butter.
Microwave the content at high for 1 mint
Take out and stir it well.
Repeat the step for 5 -6 times keeping an eye on the content(sometimes it may spill out,just keep looking)
You will see the mixture starts to dry up , and when the mixture starts to collect, stop microwaving.
My microwave took exactly 6 mints for it.It may be 1 mint less or more depending on the make of microwave you have.
Now let the content cool , and now the fun part ,grease your palms with oil and roll the mixture to peda shape.

I think this is the most easy-peezy method of preparing peda, and I have made the longer process of it also.Taste wise the longer method of drying up milk and then adding sugar gives excellent result,but this one is sure a good way to make the peda’s quickly, specially if you don’t want to sweat it out in kitchen.

For Sandesh recipe , you may want look in -------Here

For Mishti Nimki, go ------Here ,the only difference this time I made is , I coated the Fried diamonds/nimki with sugar well and stirred them at low in a saucepan.This added a nice touch of brown colour to the otherwise white form of sweet diamonds and also they turned out much more crunchy.

C) Chanar Pantua
Measurements are Approx
What You will need
Home –made paneer/cottage cheese 1 cup
Little bit of arrowroot/plain flour -2-3 tsp
Little bit of kheer/khoya(Khoya in Bengali is known as Kheer) -1/4 cup
Pinch of baking soda
1 big cardamom (Boro elaich)
1 cup of sugar
½ cup of water
Oil for deep frying
Method
Make the sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar and water in a suacepan and cooking at low till a nice syrup is formed.
Sqeeze in well the paneer, make sure to take out the water.You may refer to this post to make home-made paneer---- Cottage Cheese Pudding
Use your kitchen towel to wrap the cheese and use your hands to squeeze them well.Take out in a plate.
Now add in little bit of flour(that I had,however you may use arrowroot),khoya/kheer, and now roll into small rounds, slipping one big cardamom seed into each rounds working with your fingers.TIP-You may also add in slight sugar crystals also,this way the juice is trapped inside well while the pantuas turn soft.
I have always felt that if rounds are made to sit up for sometime ,before frying they turn out nice brown in colour and absorbs the sugar syrup well.
Now,Heat up a saucepan , add oil .let the oil heat up well
Now fry all the small rounds well till they turn a nice brown in colour.
Drop them into the sugar syrup.Let them sit there for 1-2 hrs.Before serving slightly reheat them and serve.

Usually we don’t go out in parks much, but this time my daughter insisted on going to a park nearby.She is having her week long autumn break here.
This time round London parks are a great way to see autumn beauty.I am leaving with you some of the pics I tried to capture, and it just gets so tempting to catch one and all.
However the real depth of beauty needs to be experienced by visiting one of these parks.













Hope you enjoyed seeing these picture as much as I enjoyed capturing them in my camera.
Happy Cooking Friends.