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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sweet Corn Khasta Kachori and Black and White Wednesday


It’s generally simple roti/chappati for us on most of the nights as part of our dinner menu.And occasionally some parathas especially aloo, or gobhi or methi or gajar etc as winter has started in our neck of woods. And even once in a while keema paratha.I have seen my ma and ma-in-law making enormous efforts during winter to make koraishutir kachori/green peas kachoris.So, every winter when we do get fresh green peas pods, we have seen many afternoons being spent shelling peas together amidst some gossip and tea.



But with fast paced life, everything has become so instant. Instant mashed potato, dissolve warm water and it’s ready. Instant coffee, dissolve warm water and a cup of cappuccino is ready. Put frozen potato bites in oven and it’s ready in minutes. Green vegetables all neatly chopped and cut and sealed in a bag, ready to be eaten or stir/fried.
You need mango in winter, no problem, get back home canned and sliced mango or use a can of pureed mango, all available entire year. And if I have to list frozen food, my lists will never going to end. You need green peas, and then go to a supermarket and come back home with packaged frozen green peas or for that matter sweet corn.


.
Well, it does save time and our efforts in kitchen so that we can juggle our professional life and family time and do things which almost a decade ago was never heard off. Read here blogging and social networking. But with every milestone there comes some prices to pay.
When I try to recall some memories from past, I do miss those healthy interactions with family members, a little chit-chat, some neighborhood gossip while shelling peas, you know when all the kakimas, jethimas or mashimaas, cousins, nieces etc would gather around a table and start shelling peas amidst all the talking.
Then somebody would come up with hot fried onion fritters and tea. Or even sometimes would be healthy sibling rivalry where one would compete with brothers and sisters about piling up heaps of shelled peas at a stretch.


Small Pleasures, but it did give us great happiness; and I am sure which a frozen packet of green peas or sweet corn can’t bring along with it.
This time, I didn’t have options, so end up using frozen sweet corn for these Khasta Kachoris.

( "Kachoris" are kind of a pastry stuffed with any dry filling mainly vegetables and then deep fried in oil.Although the shape is different but it's quite similar like a Mexican Empanadas is or perhaps a Italian Calzone is  , but it's then deep fried and not baked.)


You can make it and pack it when you are traveling in trains or by car.And even give them in your kid’s lunch-box as once -in –a- while- savoury treat.

Sweet corn khasta kachuri/kachori 
Recipe requirements
For The stuffing of kachuri




Roughly 3-4 cups of frozen sweet corn
1 inch ginger
1 tsp of cumin powder
2-3 green chilies
1 large onion (optional)
1 tsp of red pepper powder
¼ tsp of grounded turmeric
2 tsp of dried oregano or carom seeds powder (Ajvain in Hindi, Jowan in Bengali)
½ tsp of salt
Pinch of hing/asafetida


For the dough
3-4 cups of whole wheat flour/atta
1/2 tsp of baking soda
salt
1-2 tsp of cooking oil (moyen )

Method

  • Take sweet corn in M/W safe dish and Microwave at high for 1-2 mints till they turn soft.
  • Let it cool a little bit, transfer sweet corn in the mixer jar, and add in ginger, green chillies, onion, red pepper powder, grounded turmeric, cumin powder.TIP- you can add in freshly toasted cumin seeds if you wish to get a nice aroma of cumin. Many a times I do like to add whole black pepper when I am not using green chilies. That addition of black pepper gives a different flavor. Pulse through till they turn out little coarse. I do generally like to make a coarse paste rather than smooth paste as it leaves some crunchy bites after the kachori is fried. If you do wish to make niramish (vegetarian kachuri during one of the festive season, then skip adding onions)
  • Now add 2-3 tbs of cooking oil, add the above made coarse paste. Add hing as well.
  • Now fry the paste for 8-10 mints till it becomes dry and leaves oil by the side. If you need to add more oil then do so.
  • Take out when it’s almost dry and have become quite dark. It will take 10-15 mints at med-high flame. Check in between if they do not get stuck.
  • Now knead the dough for the kachori.Take about 4-5 cups of whole wheat flour or atta. Generally a Bengali kachori is made with refined flour, but I have always seen in my Upean friend’s home, they do like to use atta/whole wheat flour for making kachori. I end up using atta in this case.
  • Add in about ½ tsp of baking soda and salt to make the kachoris all crunchy and kasta.If you think you want a soft kachori then do not use baking soda but knead the dough very well up to a palpileable consistency.
  • Add 1-2 tbs of oil (moyen ) and knead well with splashing little bit of water in between. Set aside and cover it. Let it sit for 2-4 hrs before you start making kachori.
  • Divide the kneaded dough into small balls, size of a golf ball. Roll one small ball with rolling pin, place the stuffing in middle and seal the sides working with your palms. Again roll while dusting with some flour, into small disc.
  • Ok, now after that, heat up a saucepan, add oil up to half. I do not have any kadai or wok, so end up using flat saucepan. However, I would strongly suggest using kadai/deep bottom pan or wok for frying kachoris, as this gives ample space to kachoris and they do fry well.
  • Now take out when both the sides have become golden to light brown. Place them over tissue paper so that it soaks up extra oil. Keep on frying rest of the kachoris.Serve warm with some chutney or aloo ki sabzi.

Sweet Corn Khasta Kachuri and hot tea, heaven !!







"Kachoris" are kind of a pastry stuffed with any dry filling mainly vegetables and then deep fried in oil.Although the shape is different but it's quite similar like a Mexican Empanadas is or perhaps a Italian Calzone is  , but it's then deep fried and not baked.)

and kachoris in B/W mode.Today is wednesday so sending this to Susan's Black and White Wednesday.....








Happy Cooking Friends

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sweet Corn Stuffed Paratha


Whenever we go for grocery shopping I end up purchasing huge bags of frozen sweet corns. We like them steamed, with dash of red pepper powder, lemon juice and butter .These cold wintery days, this has been a frequent side-dish as part of our dinner menu. If you wish to get into the details of steamed sweet corn, then there is particularly no recipe for a very manageable easy steamed sweet corn. I am sure all you need is just have a look into your pantry and some imagination to churn out various versions of steamed sweet corn.


When it’s cold wintery days, what I like most when we are strolling around in some corners of big shopping malls whether in Delhi or may be in Kolkata, is that one can taste so many variations of steamed sweet corn. I happened to taste my first cup of hot steamed sweet corn in Ansal Plaza a big shopping area in Delhi which was almost a decade ago. From then and now this has been our favourite street food. We have gorged on steamed sweet corn in Noida Sec-18 markets and last I remember was when we were perhaps in City centre -1, Kolkata. Well City Centre-2 in Kolkata is even ready and is an upcoming big area with lots of good shops and eating joints as well.



Never imagined a simple recipe of steamed sweet corn can be so appetizing and soul warming. These days there are many places even in London (South hall high street and Hounslow high street) where you can easily get steamed sweet corn selling food corners just like a hamburger food cart in NY or any other place.



If I have to make a list of my favorite street food I would definitely pick steamed sweet corn as my top 5 street foods. But then if you don’t like street food version then hop onto your nearest supermarket and get back home with huge economic bags of frozen sweet corn and then some imagination and yeah you are ready with the steamed sweet corn in jiffy.

But this post is not about steamed sweet corn only. This is a little more evolved form of utilizing the spiced sweet corn, they end up being used as stuffing for our breakfast parathas or dinner kulcha parathas.Since winter has started in our neck of the woods, I would be making more sweet corn parathas and steamed sweet corn that’s for sure.

Now to the recipe of sweet corn paratha




Sweet Corn Stuffed Paratha
Recipe requirements
  • 3 cups of whole wheat flour or atta
  • 1 cup of frozen sweet corn
  • 2 tsp of red pepper powder
  • 2 tsp of coriander powder
  • 2 green chilies chopped very finely (optional)
  • ¼ tsp of grounded turmeric
  • salt as per taste
  • Oil to make paratha+some more to fry the stuffing

Method

  • Knead the atta/whole wheat flour as semi soft dough with little bit of water. Keep it covered and proceed to prepare the corn stuffing.Let the atta dough sit for at least 1 hr.And before making the paratha just add few drops of cooking oil and knead well again.
  • M/W at high frozen corn for 1 mint.
  • Heat up a pan, add oil and sauté gently sweet corn. Add all the seasoning- grounded turmeric, red pepper powder, coriander powder and salt.
  • Add green chilly now. Fry till sweet corn becomes soft. This stuffing is spicy as loads of red pepper powder and green chilies is added, however if you are not too keen on handling such heat in your paratha then half the quantity of red pepper powder and green chilies, to be honest ,I prefer heat from the green chilies in parathas as they turn out very flavourful that way.
  • Now divide the atta dough in equal proportions. I end up making 5 parathas out of the dough.
  • Roll out small disc, place the sweet corn stuffing in middle and then seal the disc from all side working with your palms.
  • Dust some more flour over the rolling board. Now with the help of rolling pin, gently start making rounds.
  • Place it over hot tava/iron skillet, and then cook evenly from both sides. Add oil with a spoon from the sides and fry well. If you are generous in accepting fats in your diets, then fry it with desi ghee. Or place a teaspoon of butter at the time of serving.
  • Note-One thing which is necessary is that the Tava/iron skillet should be properly heated before hand; otherwise parathas don’t turn out crisp and cooked evenly. I have found cooking with electric hob is quite tricky as compared to gas cooking; it takes much time to cook on electric hob.
  • For variation I do like to add some grated carrots as stuffing also.
  • You can easily make them beforehand and pack them as picnic lunch or as a lunch while you eat and go or are traveling or may include them in your children's lunch box menus.Many ideas to explore for you.

Happy Cooking Friends

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dim'er Jhal/Dalna- Egg Curry Made Easy


The time and moment seems to freeze for a moment there. As I sat on a wooden bench near the River Thames, something inside me started to correlate the similarities of Outram Ghat and Millenium Park along the banks of river Ganga/Hooghly and river Thames flowing out there .It was high tide time and waves were dancing, bouncing more as if it were trying to convey some sorts of a message. The sun was shining but it was still very cold. I was trying to spot perhaps a bhuttawalah, but no bhutta walah was there, but yes there was a lady selling pink cotton candy. And yeah people preoccupied with lots of other activities to keep oneself busy. My mind again started to wander past the by lanes of Kolkata

A sudden gush of chilly wind breezed past and it woke me up from my day dream. Yes, I was there physically but my mind was lost somewhere else. I was there sitting on this bench soaking up fresh sunshine, enough to warm me up physically and emotionally.
I looked up in the sky, and this is what I spotted, London Eye, the giant wheel with these small passenger capsules.



 Each capsule can accommodate at least 25 people and there are 32 such capsules representing 32 boroughs of London.




And then my vision got stuck on this river cruise ship.



A small hand mischievously closed my spectacled eyes, I smiled .Those small hands were familiar and I knew who it was.My eagerness was to get hold of those little hands ,but this bundle of joy, was in a different mood that day, more interested in playing some silly games.”Freeze” she said and then she ran away hurriedly. I turned back and two pairs of eyes were looking at me so fondly.
I thought may be this is what simple joys of life means, sometimes let yourself freeze for a moment, soak up the moment and then walk ahead, move ahead in life.



Oh! and this egg curry is what my folks like to eat after coming back from a river Thames trip usually.Dime’er dalna as it is called in every Bengali home, has been a frequent star of our dinner menus. But I do think I haven’t mentioned dimer dalna here. This dime’er dalna is little bit different. As I generally don’t stir/fry the masala paste which is a must for every dalna, jhaal or jhol etc...

I would say if you are in good mood after your days out like me, then why not unwind the evening with your folks instead of sweating it out in kitchen. You can probably prepare this masala paste in the morning and keep it refrigerated till you are ready for making dim’er dalna or egg curry...



All you need is to hard boil eggs and de shell it. Meanwhile put the masala with about 1 cup of water, 2-3 tbs of oil and whatever seasonings you like. Cover it and then put the flame on low and then do spend time with your family. Half way through come back in the kitchen and check the gravy. If required add some warm water, again cover it to cook. About 35-40 mints, add hard-boiled eggs. And you are ready with your easy breezy dim’er dalna.And if you fancy something alluring, then why not fry the eggs a little bit to give the authentic dim’er dalna touch. There is no hard and fast rule about this recipe. This is very flexible; add tomatoes if you wish or loads of fresh coriander leaves .Sometimes I do add chopped mushrooms and green peas as well.



Dim’er Dalna – Bengali Egg Curry made easy
Recipe Requirements- (Serves -4 )
2 large onions
4-5 fat cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
2-3 green chilies
1 tomato
2 medium size potatoes cut into cubes (optional)
3-4 tbs of cooking oil
Seasonings
1 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of hot red pepper powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
Salt as per taste
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp of ghee
1 tsp of garam masala
Method

  • Put a pot with enough water+4 eggs on a high flame .Add pinch of salt. Let it come to a full boil and then let it boil for 7-8 mints at lower middle flame/gas mark 3 or gas mark 4.After 8-9 mints , take it off and run through some cold tap water.
  • Now let it sit for 1-2 mints, till you feel you can easily de shell the hard boiled egg. Make soft knife marks with a cutting knife all over the egg that way eggs will soak up the flavor of gravy. Some people are very particular about the marks/cuts –some say 3 marks are good, some prefer 4. I mean does it really matter how many incision you make over the egg? Readers any clue about it?
  • Meanwhile the eggs are boiling, prepare the masala paste-
  • Pulse through- in a heavy duty mixer/grinder onion, garlic, ginger and tomato and green chilies.
  • Add oil to a saucepan.
  • Now add the masala paste with the dry ingredient like- turmeric, red pepper and cumin+coriander powder. Adjust salt and add pinch of sugar (a must for every dim’er jhaal/dalna)
  • Add about 1-2 cups of water depending on the consistency gravy.
  • You may like to add potatoes cubes or some chopped mushrooms or green peas, then add it at this time. No need to fry the vegetables. Remember this is classic no stir/fry recipe.
  • Now cover the gravy and lower the flame/gas mark 2.And let it cook through till the oil starts separating and floating. Add in hard boiled eggs and cook again another 4-5 mints.
  • When the gravy has turned out like a mush or I Bengali “makho-makho”, remove the pot over the flame.
  • Add in loads of coriander leaves for garnishing. Add in 1tsp of ghee and 1 tsp of garam masala.
  • You are ready to eat.



Note-
This recipe is easy version of dim’er dalna or egg curry. No need to fry the gravy. However, if you feel, you may go ahead and fry the masala paste and then add water for the gravy texture accordingly.

Other recipes to refer-

  1. Dim'er Dalna at Preoccupied
  2. Dimer Dalna at Cosmopolitancurrymania
  3. Egg Curry with veggies -at Bongmom


Happy Cooking Friends

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dal Chicken Rice Pulao/Pilaf - A Recipe With Left-Over Food


I am sure just like me; you all have different means of using the left-over food. If not, then perhaps there are times you wish you had clues how to use the left-over dal, left-over sabzis or anything related to our daily Indian cooking.
I have inherited this trait of never wasting food in any possible way or form. Have seen my Ma and my MIL putting the left-over food as some sort of a treasure in refrigerator so that they can consume it next day without wasting the food or "Anna" in Bengali. May be in the due process I tried to imbibe this trait from them. Well, these are sort of trade secrets passed from one generation to other may be. And I am still trying to build up the other possible ways to use up our left-over food.



What do you think a trifle can possibly be? If you have any portion of chocolate cake left and nobody in your home is in great mood to have that final portion of cake anymore. How would you like to use it, if not thinking of eating it all by yourself? Make Chocolate trifles, layer of a cake slice, then a berry fruit filling (which is nothing special- chop up some seasonal berries and make it sweetened with dash of packed brown sugar) then a layer of whipping cream or home-made thick custard and then top it up with chocolate shavings and viola, you are ready with a home-made instant chocolate trifle in just 10 mints to please your family and your guest sweet taste bud.

But this was very western way of utilizing left-over food, when I do talk about left-over food; I mean to say our everyday recipes like a dal, rice, sabzi or chicken pieces, kababs and paneer pieces etc.



From this post onwards, I will try to include more these types of recipes where one can use the left-over food with new innovative ways. I would say this practice of saving starts from the very basic level, you save a penny and that makes a pound one day. So, don’t take things lightly when you can really whip up some great food with whatever you have in your pantry for that particular day. In these days of recession, uncertainties and slow economy anything which you are saving will definitely going to reap benefits someday in future.

There are many occasions when we have left-over rice and is still not used as part of our dinner menu – you can check a recipe utilizing left-over rice Here) I would then meticulously pack it and refrigerate it in the night, so that next day when I make rice again, I can add that portion when the rice is bubbling or ready to be sieved. And I still do cook the rice by sieve the starch/water method, this way more flavor and rice feels very light, except when we crave for pulaos which is a different game here-then the slow/simmer method of cooking.





But I find that there are some times where I don’t know how to use the left-over food in any possible way. I had some left over chicken kababs and a large bowl of cooked masoor dal.This recipe is the outcome of that serious urge never to waste food .This is an amalgamation of some left-over food from our weekend cooking. So, I end up making this dal chicken pulao, a one pot meal for our Monday lunch. I would say this pulao has its very unique flavor due to masoor dal and chicken kababs.

Dal Chicken Rice Pulao/ Pilaf with left -over food
Serves-2-3 people
Recipe requirements
About 1 cup of Tandoori Chicken Kabab or 1 breast fillet or left over portions from this Roasted Baby Chicken
about 1 cup or 1 and a half cup of rice
1 and half cup of cooked masoor dal
Vegetables of your choice- I used green capsicum
1 medium onion
2 large pods of garlic
½ inch of ginger chopped
1 small tomato
2-3 tbs of yogurt
Seasonings
½ tsp of turmeric powder
½ tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of sugar
2-3 tbs of cooking oil


Method

  • (Marinate the chicken pieces with little bit of turmeric, red pepper powder and salt. Leave aside for 10-15 mints.) or you can refer this Roasted Baby Chicken  recipe.Well I had made chicken pieces just like this the other day, so used the left-over portions.
  • Meanwhile chop all the necessary vegetable for the dal chicken pulao.Clean the rice three-four times in clear water. Soak it up in water not more than 10 mints. Too much soaking in water can break the rice at frying time. Generally I like to soak up the rice at the initial most stage, meanwhile I prepare other things for pulao.It simply makes sufficient time for absorbing the water and then a last wash with water before adding rice for frying up.
  • Chop onion, garlic and little bit of ginger.
  • Add cooking oil, add in onions, garlic and ginger .Fry well for another 5-6 mints at high.
  • Then add the vegetables you wish to add. I had green peas and green capsicum/bell pepper for a nice flavour.Then add in chopped tomato.
  • Now add in soaked rice, fry well till the moisture dries up and rice turns out shining. Make sure you don’t break the rice grains while frying.Add in yogurt and all the seasonings.
  • Add salt and sugar to adjust the taste.
  • Now add 1 and half cup of cooked masoor dal.Here I have used the left-over masoor dal, left from yesterday night meal.
  • Add the fried chicken pieces or use the left over kababs or portions left from roasted chicken pieces.You can use grilled portions of chicken breast pieces or paneer/tofu as well.
  • Cover and cook at low till all the dal water is absorbed and rice is cooked well. Take off the pot over the flame.
  • Let it sit for about 10-12 mints before you start serving. Serve along side some Raita and Salad. A perfect Monday lunch made in easy breezy way.
  • Vegetarians can use Paneer/Tofu/ or other vegetables.


Happy Cooking Friends


Friday, November 4, 2011

Sea Bream Mach'er Kalia - Spicy Tomato Sea Bream Curry


My Blog- “Hello! Don’t you think you are forgetting something to write here?”

Me-“No, I don’t think so. Let me check  The Recipe Index  oh! Yes I forgot to update the recipe index list for this year I guess. I promise I will do it in next few days.”

My Blog-“No, no something different here that I am talking about.”

Me trying to figure out -“Different, what different, oh  I am  just another food blogger in this vast world of talented food bloggers. Just like a drop in this big ocean.”

My blog-“I agree, but this is something about the years I am talking about.”

Me-“Years, oh! No Noo...I can’t disclose my years just like that...I mean how can I?”

My blog- “ But I am not talking about your age here, well everybody and my readers specially think or know you to be middle aged, spectacled .And my readers know well that sometimes you like giving lectures on Dharma, Karma and Kriya.And to correct you, I am referring my age here.”

Me-“Oh! That way. But hey come-on I am not middle aged yet to correct you.” Checking myself in mirror.

My Blog finally gleaming with happiness to see me in an understanding mode-“Yes, yes, finally you are picking up the right track.”

Me-“Ok, Let me check when you were born – Introductory page
       
My blog-‘See this is the problem with you, you never tend to take things (pointing towards itself) seriously in life.”

Me, almost trying to figure out the source here, glancing someone sitting across the corner of the room, quite puzzled –“Now who told you that?

My Blog, shrugging its shoulder -‘Nobody! As I know it all by myself.”  I knew it, this wouldn’t me my better half but sometimes you tend to overwork your brains or perhaps wives are like that.

I, trying to reason out what my blog just told me -“But why do you think, I don’t take you seriously.”

My Blog- “You never share my highs with my readers.”

Me- “And I thought highs and lows are only something you come across while you are discussing weather and watching too much of weather channel. Overdose of anything is not healthy.And pardon me, your readers?

My Blog- “Yeah! My readers, the people who visit here are my readers...they read me not you.”

Me- “Ahem! Ok so what I have to do to rectify that.”

My Blog- “Give them details of people who read me, with that I mean number of page views and hits.”

Me-“And how will that prove that I am taking you seriously.”

My Blog- “Statistics Silly.”

Me-“Dear, my Math has always let me down, was never good with numbers.”

My Blog-“Ok Ok, I understand, but how can you forget my birthday.” Now almost giving up with this guessing game and seemed so disappointed.
Me- “Your birthday, when it was? I mean seriously, I know, now I have hurt your feelings, perhaps”. I realized what I missed this time and may be last time as well.

My Blog- “See that is why I told you beforehand, you don’t take me seriously.”

Me- “My apologies to you if I have hurt your feelings and to your readers if they expected something grand on this space on your birthday my dear blog.”

My Blog packing its bag – “I know I don’t belong here anymore.” Sad Violin tunes playing in the background from where that I don't know.Or May be my blog paid for this who knows.

Me- “Hey! Don’t go, this time in night , and it's raining you see.What you want me to do now? Realizing things are turning sour this time.

My blog- “Make a good blog post and write about all the details of my birth and my achievements.”

Me- “ But I do think your readers are your achievement.Their warm wishes are your achievements.When they respond personally thro e-mails and include you and in return me into their life for trying your recipes. When some of them leave messages that it’s a "touchy blog" or when someone sent "blessings" by e-mails far from here...dont you think those are the moments perhaps bigger than any trophies or award for that matter.”

My Blog stopped and pondered- “Yeah I know, what you want to say. But if I were you I would have made a long splashing post about my birthdays and page views etc. Did you ever bothered to tell my readers that so far my page views have crossed 5 lakh plus within a span of last three years. As you never updated for the first two years regularly, if you had probably I would have crossed 10 lakh mark as well.”

Me- “I told you I was never good with numbers.And yeah we were traveling a lot for the past five years now. I mean what you would expect when we have travelled three countries, three continents and that too in five years. But I tried to update whenever I had time for you. Didn’t I?

My blog- “Excuses and more excuses. Why haven’t you switched me to a custom domain, I could have flourished there more, generating you more earnings through advertisements and search engine optimization. You don’t seem to act properly like an entrepreneur.”

At this point of time, my head started spinning...almost murmuring to myself - “ An enterpenaur !! ,am I ? but I think , no I am a simple homemaker and I don’t run a bussiness here.I could have earned more money in real life doing things I am better doing at perhaps then.

My blog ( sensing I am going weak here) - “I told you, there is a problem with you, you lack total professionalism. You don’t update me 3-4 times a week. You don’t host any more good food events and you do not send my entries to other really worthy and great  food events. And oh! Yeah you do not even bother to blog hop much for the past two years or so.And you don't seem to be active on Facebook and Orkut.Do you have a twitter account ? The answer is a big "No" .Everything that I wanted to see you doing , you are not doing it correctly. And if you could have done all these or perhaps more and regularly then I would have gained more page views till date .And I wish if I had controls over here on my own ,I would have taken full charge from here onwards.. …”

Me- “Eh! You have so much going against me for the past years or so now, my blog! , my dear blog are you and your readers are really so much angry with me? I do think I have been fair enough in updating you more often with recipes worthy of trying for the last three years or so. Remember I celebrated your second blog birthday you can visit Here...and then your Third blog birthday  .” I do tend to  become sometimes defensive specially if someone going senti here.

My Blog- “Yeah I know, but you forgot last year and  this year too.” Point blank.

Me- “I apologize if that make you and your readers happy. But I adore you like anything. My blog, my dear blog, you and your readers are special to me. No words can perhaps express what you and your readers mean to me. And I must take this opportunity to thank you and your readers for being such nice people. Believe me it still gives me immense happiness whenever your readers drop by to say even a simple “Hi”. And Bonus when they leave positive feedbacks for a particular recipe. Some even say they almost feel like a second home, I would say that’s the very essence of you my dear blog Spice and Curry. A homely feeling where one can come, and discuss a particular recipe, see it, read it and then hit straight to the kitchen to try their hands in making it. As simple as that. Now don’t you think you have been so important to me? I am here known as Jaya because of you and I am incomplete without you.

Now, let me tell a real story then, I met a lady in a supermarket here in abroad almost a year ago. She obviously is a Bengali otherwise she wouldn’t have noticed my language while conversing with my dear daughter and dear husband. And we exchanged some smiles and then the ice broke some initial intro and then we went our ways. We kept bumping into each other quite often from thereafter. She started telling me about many ingredients and then the recipes she had tried up from internet particularly from a site. She herself is a great cook and writes fabulous children stories. I was curious but couldn’t disclose hello I too had a food website if you care to visit. Now, I really don’t know what stopped me from inside. One fine day we bumped into each other and that day you know what my dear blog, she mentioned you...imagine “YOU”...she was telling all the recipes you have.That day I realized you had something which meant a second home to many.With a shaky voice , I told that lady I am the person who is writing you ,,my dear blog.For a zap of second she freezed, and when she realized, she burst into laughter.She told me I don’t look like a person who is writing this blog.She found me quite different from what she conceptualised reading you.But this is truth and so , what matters at the end is you and your redears.If I ever had a image it’s just because of you, you are my own extended part.And you and your redears are very special."

Somehow my blog seemed happy, contented and convinced for the time being and unpacked its tiny bag thankfully. I really do not know if it will remain that much happy in coming years also or not .But just wanted to live the moment where I tried my best to convince my blog that my world is incomplete without it and its readers.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers, friends, well wishers who have stopped by here to leave responses or just dropped in to say a simple “Hi”.

When I look back, I do think my initial purpose was to maintain or to write a simple recipe diary which by luck or chance happened to be online.

Now you would say then why write a blog with recipes that is public and read by many or probably thousands every month?

I really don’t know why, but everybody likes being appreciated once in a while and I am not an exception. This blog also satisfies my creative outlets, as I would have liked to do it otherwise.

I never intended to give a professional look or touch. Being a HTML challenged person that I am, I was never a technical girl so writing a blog, and then linking, and posting etc was really very puzzling for me initially. Somehow, I managed and everything I tried was from scratch just like my most of the recipes here. These days Blogger publishing tool is much easy to understand as everything is just a click or drag or drop. I slowly started gaining confidence and posting recipes with pictures. As my initial post didn't have pictures. I have been cooking now for almost 15 years in real life, almost thrice daily. And this blog my virtual life has been here for 5 years now.

Most of the recipes that are listed here are part of my everyday cooking which is more or less is part of my daily routine even if I don’t blog about it regularly.So, there are times when I do cook but forget to take pictures, and then there are times when there is no left-overs to take pictures with.
Some days my folks are so hungry they just cant wait for the picture business.
I mean why should they wait when I cooked the dish for them.Right?

I was doing my part, updating this online recipe diary just like I would write everyday a page in my diary or as per indexing my recipes in recipe diary regularly. But when readers like you started trying out recipes and leaved some very positive response, I thought perhaps there is something strong which appealed all of you. Spice and Curry was and is incomplete without your acknowledgement and encouragement friends. Can’t believe it’s almost five years, and can’t believe this blog has also travelled with us across three countries and three continents with us. It feels just like a blink of an eye, or a moment passed in jiffy.

Many of the readers who have e-mailed me told me that they almost feel like a second home the moment they come to Spice and Curry or “this blog is very touchy”. Some impressed their girlfriends and boy friends and some their family members with the recipes listed from here. I have tried to update the blog with their recipe request but I have never mentioned their names.
Two of the requests which I was unable to do is “JoyNagarer Moa” which I do really regret as this moa is made with special kind of rice and murki which I was unable to create in my kitchen. The other recipe is perhaps Gustaba.Kashmiri Gustaba has been on my mind for a while, I do think something similar on that part is Keema Kofta Curry  but not authentic Gustaba.

Some do really care to drop in and add their valuable feedbacks adding upto the contents of recipes like the ingredients substitute, duration of the preparation etc...I would say friends that are the very essence of Spice and Curry for you. This is a place where you can come, ask freely any question regarding a recipe, discuss it and then leave to try out in your kitchen and then come back and leave your response how you made it etc….

I really don’t know if this sound anything surprising but yes many of them do come regularly and almost spends 2-3 hrs browsing recipes here. I am sure many a times cooking in kitchen while peeping into their laptops/computers checking the steps/ingredients in a recipe here etc...

I would say if you are one of them, then I would request you to drop in few lines here on this post. Come on don’t you think I deserve a little attention on your part on completing five years in blogging?

Here is a recipe with Black Sea Bream fish. A firm fish that is Bream for you and which is available here in a very affordable price. Also known as Dorade.There are many recipes out in internet where it is baked, broiled with olives, lemon, parsley,garlic or Thyme  or other dry herbs.But being a typical Bengali something inside me was not convinced, so made Sea Bream Mach'er Kalia just like a rui mach’er kalia would do .The texture of this fish quite resembles our very own Bhekti fish.




Sea Bream Mach’er Kalia- Spicy Tomato Sea Bream Curry


Recipe requirements

  • 2 Black sea bream fish, cleaned and cut into three steak pieces of about 2 inch long in length.
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 fat cloves of garlic
  • ½ inch of ginger
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 medium size potatoes cut into cubes
  • 3-4 tbs of cooking oil+ some more to fry fish pieces
  • Seasonings
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp of hot red pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 2 tsp of coriander powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • Pinch of sugar



Method

  • Marinate fish in turmeric powder and salt for about 1hr.The fins are sharp especially on the dorsal side. I would say no need to cut this out. After frying the fish this portion comes out easily.
  • Fry them in hot oil on both sides. Keep them on a separate plate.
  • Prepare the masala paste-
  • Pulse through- in a heavy duty mixer/grinder onion, garlic, ginger and tomato and green chilies.
  • In that oil left after frying fish, add more cooking oil.
  • Now add the masala paste with the dry ingredients- turmeric, red pepper and cumin+coriander powder.Adjust salt and add pinch of sugar.
  • If you don’t want to make the masala paste, add in chopped onions, ginger and garlic and tomatoes .Slit green chilies and add to the above frying ingredients.
  • Slowly stir/fry it splashing water in between. Add in potatoes, mix well and fry it well to coat the masala well about4-5 mints at med-high.
  • Now add in about 1/ cp of water and let it cook at high flame. The gravy will tend to become dry. The gravy will tend to release oil by sides. Mix well all.
  • Now add in 1 cup of water or depend on the kind of gravy you want.
  • Cover and let it cook for about 7-8 mints.
  • Half way through, add fried pieces and little bit more water.
  • Cover the entire gravy and cook at low for 10-14 mints or till potatoes and fish becomes juicy and tender.
  • Serve with warm cooked rice, a must to enjoy the flavor of this fish with the spicy gravy.

Happy Cooking Friends and thanks once again for visiting Spice and Curry and liking this small  space of mine for almost five years or so now.