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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Aamshotto(mango leather)-Chocolate Oreo No bake Cheesecake -Kid Friendly recipe

We are having half-term holidays now, and mothers like me probably are finding it hard to keep their kids engaged with productive activities. Right, well in that case, cooking can be fun as it gives kids options to be creative, imaginative and having ample scope of fun-filled time.




Last Sunday, while I was fixing individual dessert bowls for us – no-bake blueberry cheesecake, my dear daughter liked the thought of having individual bowl of dessert, so each one of us can have our personal choices. And she told me, she will prepare her dessert bowl the way she likes to eat. Well, I don’t see any reasons to stop her, so I gave her full freedom to fix up her own dessert bowl.
And I never realized that, this can be such a scrumptious combination- aam-shoto (mango leather), mascarpone,Oreo and chocolate. I had some of the left-over stock of aam-shoto, which I got it while coming back here from Kolkata, and not to mention we all are having aam-shoto in every possible way and sometimes even as it is. She dry-grinded some Oreo biscuits in a mixer-grinder,as those are her favorite and I just happen to add some oats granola so that it becomes even more filling. Then again with mascarpone cheese, she blended her favorite Oval tine powder which made the cheese+chocolate combination in a more healthy way. Then she began layering all those and ending up with aam-shoto (mango leather).She even clicked both the pictures and here I am doing the last part of writing up the recipe and uploading it to the blog.

Try it in Diwali this year as sweets, and I am sure it’s definitely going to be a crowd pleaser especially with kids; after all it’s a kid –friendly recipe prepared by a kid only.




Aam-shotto (Mango leather) and Chocolate Oreo no-bake Cheesecake
Recipe requirements(measurements approx and serves 1-2)
Ror the toppings
Aamshoto- mango leather pieces cut into any shapes triangles or squares
2 tsp of oval tine or any other hot chocolate drink powder
2-3 tbs of mascarpone cheese
1 tbs of thick yogurt
2 tsp of icing sugar
For the base
3-4 tbs of oats granola
4-5 Oreo biscuits
2 tsp of butter spread
Method
First, dry grind the oats granola and Oreo in mixer to make even crumbs. Rub in butter spread to the oats Oreo crumble. Keep aside.
Now mix in mascarpone cheese and yogurt with icing sugar and oval tine powder. You may use bourn vita or any other hot chocolate drink powder as well.
Now take a clean dessert bowl, spread the oats+oreo crumble evenly and press it firmly with a spoon.
Scoop out the mascarpone cheese+yogurt+Ovaltine+icing sugar mixture and spread it evenly over the cheesecake base.
Now layers aam-shoto or mango leather and chocolate pieces. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Enjoy the dessert now or if you wish to chill, refrigerate in for 3-4 hrs.

An eazy-peezy no-bake cheesecake is ready.

Happy Cooking Friends

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Raspberry Jam

It has been raining here most of the time, making it grey for the time being. But, actually autumn season has turned up showing in with its sure signs of yellowing and falling leaves, and even if it’s raining it still displays out splendid views. Every year this is just like a natural rhythm and cycle, what comes in, must go out as well. And when you walk past the public pathways, it looks absolutely beautiful with falling leaves everywhere, so colorful and vibrant, but here comes rain and it lashes out everything. I would really like to see sun-rays streaming through those beautiful autumn trees, but for that I have to wait some more time I guess. I have also planted some window sill plants – it looks like mint leaves are ready to be used up in cooking, and two garlic pods have also been planted, however I am not sure how they will end up though.



These days mornings are too early for us, as it is completely dark outside, and when I put the kitchen light on, it feels like lighting up a “diya” in complete darkness, first thing that I search out the dip-dip tea –bags in kitchen cupboards to make ginger tea for us. Morning rush-hour becomes hectic there after. But still it has a rhythm of it’s own, cooking and packing lunch-boxes, getting ready to drop dear daughter off to school and we do walk to school everyday, while we get to see many beautiful autumn trees these days and what marvellous views they have.

While we are struggling with patches of rain here, I thought let me add little bit of color to our mundane cooking, so made these raspberry jam- red , vibrant and of course very sweet. And this has been finished up already with in 3-4 days. Actually this is a wish on my daughter’s part to make raspberry jam after I made Red Currant jam last time. And we have been putting up this home-made jam over rotis, paratha and as toppings over biscuits as well, and then of course there is way to use them up over our morning breakfast toast as well.
Sometimes, there is such simplicity of a recipe that there is no need to write instructions for that, but for those who are starting to make home-made jams, this is for you.
Raspberry Jam
Recipe requirements
250 Gms of fresh raspberry
7-10 blackberry
250 Gms of sugar
¼ tsp of lemon juice


Method
Wash and clean raspberry. Pluck out the sad ones.I have used black-berry as well but in very few quantity.
Now put those in saucepan put the heat to medium flame. Sprinkle about a pinch of salt and let it cook well. After about 7-10 mints they will tend to release lots of water.Press them with the help of cooking spatula so that they gets mushy or crushed well.
Now collect them and sieve through well to discard the seeds( since I was working with less quantity , I relied on the tea-strainer, but if you are working with huge quantities, I would suggest to use a good quality strainer ) and collecting all the pulp that is formed. However, if seeds don’t bother you much then proceed to adding sugar now.
Now add in sugar and let it to cook at med-low flame about 15-20 mints. Meanwhile discard any white froth forming from time to time on the top. (Ok, sometimes I tend to make sugar syrup before hand and then add the pureed raspberries, then wait till they gets thickened and mixed up.)
Once it starts to become thick, stop the flame, and then add lemon juice to it, do not cook any further now as lemon juice have been added.Take the saucepan off from the stove-top.Put a thoroughly clean glass jar in pre-heated oven; keep it for 1-2 mints so that the water in that glass jar gets dried up well. This is our quick way of doing sterilization process.
Now pour in the cooked raspberry puree in to the sterilized glass jar. Once it gets cooled,keep in fridge and it stays fresh for 8-10 days if it lasts till then.
Note-
I haven't used pectin as gelling agent for this recipe.

Similarly strawberry jam, apple jam can also be made.

Happy Cooking Friends

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fig and Chocolate Malpoa- Anjeer/Dumur- Chocolate Malpoa and Shubho Bijoya

And then the eternal ‘Anandomoyi” and ‘Karonamoyi” bid adieu to us and left us with more memories to cherish. But then every year it will be same, isn’t it and we all know good things are always momentary but even that, it doesn’t hamper our anticipations about Durga Puja each and every year.”Ashche bochor abaar hobe.”
Here wishing everyone Shubho Bijoyadashmi and happy Dassehra.



Anyhow pandal hopping was out of question here this year, as the distance to travel from one part to other is quite long, so we went to see two Puja Pandals.Here is one from Ealing Durga Puja.And I don’t know what glows more, the radiant face of ma Durga or that age old chandelier, but amidst that back-drop the beauty of eternal diva mesmerized us. We sat there in presence of her and her children’s charming persona which defies every other aspects of life for the time being, and felt blessed, blessed to see her and seek her blessings in real.
And let me convey to you all once again Shubho Bijoyadashmi.May this phase brings peace, good health and prosperity to you all.


Meanwhile I did make some fresh home-made rashogoallas yesterday and darbesh for bijoyadashmi, but then I think there are many types of sweet  recipes out here in internet and more –or less sweet-making is an art and comes with little patience and many practices.However, if you like to experiment with some foods, then here is fig and chocolate malopoas for you. We all have sweet tooth, and with malpoa it’s even better.
We are getting lots of Turkey figs here in UK, so thought of using it more and accustomed to our Indian meals. Figs as we know them by the name of “dumur” in Bengali and “anjeer” in Hindi are healthy fruits. One can even eat figs whole, once they are ripened or make a fig curry with the green ones.
Since figs are in this season, I tried to include this fruit as much as I can; I also made a fig, apple and pineapple chutney - Dumur/appel and anarosh'er chutney with it.



There is no rocket science to that recipe, it’s simple with tempering of shorshe/mustard seeds +1 whole dry red chilly in mustard oil. Add all the cut fruit pieces of figs+apple+pineapple+purple onion+raisins+cashews. Stir/fry them for about a minute and then add in a tsp of vinegar with sugar to taste and let it simmer for sometimes till all the fruits are cooked well and becomes mushy. Store in refrigerator once it gets cooled and it stays fresh for 7-10 days or may be even more.
Here is fig malpoa or Dumur diye Malpoa for you all from our kitchen. And then dear daughter asked can we have chocolate malpoas, and when kids make wishes can we say no that. I don’t know what goes in the mind of kids; they want everything made of chocolate. God knows someday they will ask chocolate korola-bitter gourd coated with chocolate, and I may surrender to that even.



But for the time-being, dear daughter is satisfied with her share of chocolate glazed + aamsotto malpoas, as she suggested this reminds her of Krispy –cream chocolate doughnuts, to that I don’t know what should I interpret – it being as compliment or need to improve a bit so that it ends up being replica of doughnuts, as in doughnuts fennel seeds are not added which is somewhat, is the key of making malpoas. And these home-made doughnuts are fresh that we know for sure and also what goes into making it.
To the recipe now
Fig and Chocolate Malpoa 
(Dumur diye Malpoa)
Makes 10-12 approx
Recipe requirements
  • 4-5 figs-poached
  • ½  cup very fine semolina/sooji
  • ¾ cup of self raising flour
  • 5-6 tbs of whole milk powder
  • 120 gms of evaporated milk ( ¾ portion of small evaporated milk can)
  • 1 tsp of fennel seeds
  • 2 small and green cardamom crushed
  • Raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup of cooking oil for frying purpose
  • For chocolate glaze/icing
  • 2-3 tbs of chocolate powder
  • 5-6 tbs of icing sugar
  • 1 tbs of butter
  • ¼ tsp of lemon juice
  • For sugar syrup
  •       1 and ½ cup of sugar
  •       ½ cup of water
  •     1 green cardamom crushed



Method

  1. Wash and clean figs well and then poach them in ample water. Take them out after 7-10 mints and pass the pulp from sieve to collect the fig puree/anjeer/Dumur puree. Figs have small seeds, and it’s quite difficult to get rid of them, unless they don’t bother you much, you can use whole of the poached figs in making malpoas.
  2. Now take a big mixing bowl.Since we are using self raising flour there is no need to add baking soda or any kind of raising agent. Mix very fine semolina well. It would be nice if you can soak up semolina in lukewarm water fro about 10-15 mints so that they become soft.
  3. In a separate bowl mix in whole milk powder and evaporated milk.Mix them well until they become sticky. This forms our “instant khoya”- however if you have fresh khoya then replace instant khoya with this.
  4. Mix in all and add in fennel seeds and raisins if you are keen to use them. Just crush fennel seeds over cooking board with rolling pins, this way they impart lovely flavor.Do same with green cardamoms and add them to the flour mixture.Mix khoya with the flour mixture and then add in rest of the evaporated milk, just enough to make a smooth batter.
  5. Keep this mixture aside for half an hour to develop lovely texture and flavor.
  6. Meanwhile the batter of malpoas are resting we will prepare the sugar syrup and chocolate glaze.
  7. Dissolve about 1 -1 ½  cups of sugar in ½ cup of water, add in one crushed cardamom. And make the sugar syrup.
  8. Now make chocolate glaze- for this mix in 2-3 tbs of chocolate powder with 5-6 tbs of icing sugar+1 tbs of butter.Mix in well and then put this mixture to microwave cooking for just to melt the sugar>take out and then mix in well.Add in ¼ tsp of lemon juice.After adding lemon juice don’t cook it.Tis chocolate glaze gets solidify easily , so make the glaze ,when all the malopoas are ready after they have dunked in sugar suyrup and are cooled off ,not before that.
  9. Now heat up a deep bottom fry pan, add in cooking oil. Let it heat up properly, check the hotness of oil , drop some fennel seeds, if it sizzles then the oil is heated enough to make the malpoa.
  10. We will deep fry them, slowly at low flame so that they evenly get cooked. Please do not hurry this process as the middle of the malpoa won’t cook well.
  11. Gently drop in the mixture with the help of a large spoon. Turn the sides after 3 -4 mints and keep on frying them. When they turn deep brown in color, remove them and drain over kitchen towels, this way they absorb all the excess oil.
  12. Now drop them in sugar surup, while the syrup should be left on cooking at very low flame. After 2-3 mints remove them, place them over a serving plate to cool off. Once all the malpoas are done like this way, let them cool off.
  13. Now put the chocolate glaze over them, I have done the glaze with half of them and left other batch plain. Both the way it tasted wonderful.

And with this here is Bijoya platter for you all ....



Happy Cooking and Shubho Bijoyadashmi  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tilapia Fish Curry with coconut milk and Sharodiya Shubecha

Today is Shashti, the eternal  and mighty “Karonamoyi” and Anandamoyi” has arrived in her paternal home with all her children- Shri Ganesh, Shri Kartik, ma Lokhi and ma Saraswati .And with this every Bengali is busy with Durga Puja celebrations. Here wishing everyone a very Happy Durga Puja and Nabaratri.Sharodiya Shubecha O preeti sobaike, boro der pranam and Choto der sneho.



Well let’s hope you all enjoy and celebrate with your near and dear ones and may this phase bring you all, peace, love, prosperity and good health.
Since today is Shashti , “bodhon “ day, usually niramish preparations is done in our home, which I did exactly..

                   ( Aloo-green beans chorchori , Chick -pea Sundal, Luchi and Malpoa- a niramish platter ) 

But then this recipe of Tilapia fish curry, was saved in draft since eternal, and fish is considered "shubho" for any good occasion as well, so thought of writing it here before it goes away from my to-do-list. While grocery shopping in super-market here, I happen to get these Tilapia fish whole, as at that time fish-mongers were running some offers on fish , and I whole-heartedly grabbed them. And it was looking so fresh and red, which gave me even more temptations. Don’t get me wrong, that how could I always write about my grocery shopping extravaganza  , but trust me we do run our home on budget where quality matters rather than quantity.Anyhow, these fishes were fresh and looking great that I decided will do a quick “garama-garam” fish fry with them. And I did that exactly, after that just thought of making a fish jhol, which should be more of “jhaal” rather than a “patla jhol”.So thought of using left-over half can of thick coconut milk which was resting in fridge,something on the genre of Goan fish curry. And here is a very Goan-Bengali cuisine influenced Tilapia fish curry ready to be served.
Actually back home in India, Tilapia may not sound very intriguing to many, as when Rui/Katla/bhetki as paka mach is easily available, who is going to lay their hands on down-market Tilapia. But honestly if you ask me it's all about developing taste for any kind of food. And then there are people like us who do get fresh , red Tilapia here in abroad , so they generally do grab them when ever that’s available to them and we do not ever regret on that as well. I would say something is better than nothing.

Now to the recipe for Tilapia mache’r Narkol Dudh diye Jhaal
Red Tilapia Mach’er jhaal with coconut milk
Recipe requirements

  • 2 Red Tilapia fishes each cut into three pieces
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ inch ginger root
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp of red pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tej patta/bay leaf
  • ¼ can of coconut milk
  • 2 tbs of desiccated coconut or fresh scraped cooconut
  • ½ tsp of garam masala freshly grounded
  • ½ cup of mustard oil
  • 2-3 green chilies (optional)
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing



Method

  1. Wash and clean tilapia fish.Remove all scales with the help of potato peeler or with a serrated knife. Now cut into three portions, of course in India, fish mongers generally do that already.
  2. Dry roast some cloves, cardamom and cinnamon over low flame and then dry grind them to make freshly home-made garam masala.Use half a tsp in this fish gravy.
  3. Now smear turmeric powder and salt over each portion. Keep it aside for half an hour.
  4. Now heat up a saucepan/kadai.Add about 3-4 tbs mustard oil, then add in fish portions. Fry each side for 3-4 mints or till they turn crisp and brown.
  5. Now make the gravy for this fish curry.
  6. Chop finely onion, ginger and garlic.
  7. In that oil itself, add more oil, now add tej patta/bay leaves,ginger and garlic. Fry them till the rawness is gone and garlic, ginger turns slightly towards brown in color.
  8. Now add in finely chopped onions. Add in desiccated coconut or freshly scarped coconut whatever is available to you readily. Keep on stir/fry for 6-7 mints or until onions starts to shrink and go slightly brown along with desiccated coconut. Both of them will provide the sweetness that is required in this gravy so no need to add extra sugar in this.
  9. Now add in finely chopped tomatoes. Add in salt, turmeric powder, red pepper powder, garam masala and splash some water so that the dry masala ingredients don’t burn out, or better make a smooth paste in a cup with some water with all the ingredients, and then add in this paste to the properly stir/fried onion+ginger+garlic.
  10. Keep on stir/fry till tomatoes shrink in size and release water and the oil separates out about 10-12 mints at med-high flame, splashing some water in between.
  11. Now add in coconut milk, with 1 or 1 and half cups of water. Slowly release the fried fish portions. Cover the pan and let it cook at med-low flame for about 10-15 mints. Once the gravy starts to become thick, stop the flame and then take it off. Sometimes I do add slit green chilies to make them even more hot and spicy. Even I have tried adding yogurt at the end to make it more savory and balance of the hotness.But if you don’t feel like adding then no need to add both.
  12. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves. It goes very well with warm cooked rice.

Note-

This fish curry recipe goes well with Salmon and Haddock as well.

         ( This was clicked way back in 2008, picture from archive, Chalta-Bagan Durga Puja in Kolkata) 

Sharodiya Shubecha O Preeti Sobaike.........

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Niramish Mangsho- Lamb curry without Onion and Garlic

The story of lamb mutton that was cooked without onion and garlic.
It has never occurred to me that mutton I mean “mangsho” can also be cooked like a “niramish” preparation until few of my fellow food bloggers mentioned in their food blogs. There was even a time while living in Kolkata, I happen to hear an interesting mention on one of those radio FM channels, where you get to hear new filmy songs. The Radio jockey, as usual was so enthusiastic that every word seemed to be more than epitome of perfection. It was like ringing a bell in my ear, he said loud and clear – a famous cine artist makes “manghsor chorchori”, and I don’t know on which I should smile first – that artist cooking or mangsho being made into a mushy chorchori.No, don’t take me wrong I really admire his acting skills, very few are gifted persons like Charlie Chaplin, who can make us laugh even when they feel miserable and that is not every one’s cup of tea. How I wish my daughter can also see those old Bengali movies in which he was a major part. Although I must confess, deep down I am even inclined to try “mangshor chorchori” as well, such is the effect of this recipe for "niramish mangsho".



 I was also having a conversation with a Bengali friend over here, she also referred to some of her family sources, that there is definitely a recipe for “proshadi mangsho” which is made in many Bengali homes. This whole conversation was very intriguing, and it started a sudden urge or more profoundly a “craving” to have “proshadi mangsho” or “Niramish mangsho “in comfort of my home. A recipe which is up till now, was totally elusive to me.
 It was on my mind, how can one, makes red –meat in a “niramish” way and also sometimes may call it “prashadi mangsho” .Two things that never went well with me either. But then I do have heard about “boli protha” animal sacrifices on Kali Puja or Durga Puja,an age –old traditions, and a tradition which something personally don’t give me much happiness. Anyhow, I think it has stopped for good and may be the origin of this recipe, is somewhere related to this practice.
After having many judgmental thoughts and having sleepless nights...Err last one is exaggeration, here is a mutton recipe where for the very first time I have not used onion or garlic, and which makes it a “niramish” way of making food. When I started cooking this recipe, I was not sure where it will end up,as I have never tasted “niramish mangsho” myself. So, I told my husband and daughter that don’t expect this time it’s going to be a restaurant quality meat preparation, to which they gave me astonishing glances. But then thankfully this turned out nice and even got a mention over here. The recipe I referred to can be found here.

The basic thing as I have always seen my mother and my ma-in-law doing for “niramish” preparation of vegetables is using ada-dhone-bata or ada-jeerey bata- translation- ginger-coriander wet paste or cumin-ginger wet paste or most of the times using both coriander+cumin powder.
.



Since the gravy turns out very spicy so the usual “jhal” , but then it still has ample gravy making it more like “jhol”.I don’t know if there is a term in between – a kind of hybrid of “jhal” and “jhol” .But if it do really exists, I want to use that term which makes it -Niramish mangshor jhaal-jhol.

My thakuma/grandmother used to tell me that Tulsi leaves are very sacred. If you add tulsi leaves to any preparation, the sacred quotient automatically gets adhered to it; makes it ‘shud-dho”. Since this is a niramish way of making mangsho, I wished to use Tulsi leaves, but then we don’t get Tulsi leaves over here, as an alternative I used dried basil leaves, not up to the mark but still it was worth it. And I am really intrigued about the use of Tulsi leaves in ‘niramish mangsho”..
Almonds, cardamom and hing lift up the simplicity of ‘proshadi mangsho” or “niramish mangsho” up to the next level………read on for the recipe now

Niramish Mangshor Jhal-Jhol- Lamb mutton cooked without onion and garlic
Recipe requirements (Recipe adapted from Cooking and Recipes-Ushnish Da)

  • 500-600 gm of lamb meat or mutton
  • 2 inch fresh ginger root
  • 3-5 hot green chilies
  • 18-20 blanched almonds
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1 tsp of crushed chilly flakes
  • 2-3 tbs of desiccated coconut or fresh scraped coconut
  • 3-4 big Tulsi leaves or 1 tsp of dried basil leaves (as an alternative)
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 6-7 heaped tbs of whole coriander seeds
  • 15 green cardamoms
  • Two generous pinch of hing/asafetida
  •  1-2 potatoes cut into half
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 4-5 bay leaves or tej patta
  • 4-5 whole black peppers
  • 3-4 cloves- lobongo
  • 1 small strand of mace- javitri
  • 1 black cardamom –boro elaich
  •  5-6 tbs of mustard oil or any other cooking oil
  • 1 tsp of desi ghee 




Method

  1. Dry roast coriander seeds over low flame. Then dry grind roasted coriander seeds and green cardamoms together to make fresh coriander+cardamom powder.
  2. Soak almond in warm water for 10-15 mints. Many times we keep the skin of almonds, however if you don’t like then peel off the skin.
  3. Now wet grind fresh ginger roots, green chilies (resrve one green chilly to be used later on),  coconut, tulsi leaves and almond with 2 tbs of yogurt and 1 tsp of mustard oil. I used dried basil leaves as a substitute of Tulsi leaves.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add in curd/yogurt, crushed red chilly flakes, salt, lemon juice. Coat this paste well over lamb pieces.
  5. Use half of the wet masala paste to coat the marinated pieces of lamb well. Add in about 2 tsp of coriander+cardamom powder now mixing it well. I have used lamb cutlets for this recipe which were roughly 300-400 gms leaving behind lots of gravy. Alternately use more mutton to get a semi dry gravy kind of “makha-makha “in Bengali. Please reserve left-over cardamom and coriander powder in an air tight container to be used later on in other preparations.
  6. Keep lamb pieces marinating for about 1-2 hrs.
  7. Now heat up pressure cooker as that is what I have used to make this jhal-jhol. Alternately you may make it over stove-top for about 45-50 mints depending on the kind and the cut of mutton. Lamb takes less time to cook as compared to mutton pieces. Similarly goat mutton takes more time especially if this is “khasir mangsho”.
  8. After the pressure cooker has heated up well, add in mustard oil and let it come to smoking point.Add in big chunks of potatoes and fry well.take them out.You can even make niramish jhol with ghee or other cooking oil, what ever suits; you can go ahead with it.
  9. Now add in bay leaf, whole black pepper, crushed mace, cloves,cardamom, let it crackle a bit.Add one green chilly slit in between. Add in sugar and asfoetida.Stir/fry for 1 mint.
  10. Now add in the left-over wet paste of fresh ginger roots, almonds, coconut and Tulsi leaves.Add in 1 tsp of coriander+cardamom powder and turmeric powder.
  11. Keep on frying the wet paste till oil separates out about 7-10 mints at med-high flame.
  12. Now add marinated lamb pieces and keep on stir/fry for about 10-15 mints. Adjust salt and sugar to this if required.
  13. Now add in about 3-4 large cups of water to it. Let it come to one rapid boil at high flame.
  14. Cover with lid and put to pressure cook it. One whistle at high flame and then lower the flame let it cook further 10-15 mints.
  15. Take the pressure cooker off, and let the pressure subside. Lastly add in about half a tsp of coriander+cardamom powder and 1 tsp of ghee to it. You may add finely chopped Tulsi leaves to it as garnishing.
  16. Cover the lid again and let it rest for 3-4 hrs before you serve it. Mishti Pulao or plain ghee-bhaat goes very well with this mutton curry.



Note-
Please use freshly churned spices for best result. There are other ways of making niramish mangsho- .You may refer here- and here.
Please adjust spice levels according to personal levels and use this above recipe as mere guidelines. I don’t claim this recipe to be traditional either.The gravy is very spicy and rich in texture, unlike a 'patla jhol" .....
If you want to make vegetables or meat niramish way and like "patla jhol" then this is archived post for that-
Niramish Jhol with Vegetables

Happy Cooking Friends 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Red Currant Jam

As usual I was doing my weekly grocery shopping in a supermarket here, came across a packet of red currants- red delicious edible small rubies. Now, I don’t know what drew my attention towards them- the colour with which it was glowing or the fact it was way cheaper than most of the other berries displayed out there. I picked it up, and then the first thing that came to my mind was making red currant jelly or jam out of it. I came back home then I put the music on at youtube and then started slowly taking out other things from my "haat-bazaar" bag.



After I had put all the vegetables in refrigerator making and creating spaces in between, I put red currants over my window sill( if you have been with me over these couple of years, you do realize that’s the most active part of this blog, I happen to take almost all the pictures for this blog over there).

And I thought they indeed look very pretty, like scattered priceless red rubies. These red rubies were looking so delicious that I couldn’t resist the temptation and popped couple of them in my mouth, but wait, it turns out they are sour, I mean very sour. So, I was right, there is no other way I can imagine eating them, so it is red currant jam for sure. I was skeptical; really don’t know how this will be received by my folks. But it seems so far they have tried to include in every possible way, over breads, with biscuits, over Oreo or with mascarpone cheese, with ice-cream topping and with yogurt shake, milk shake and well I don’t need to tell now that it’s well almost finished.


Then suddenly I realized ok I have to write the recipe here, in case somebody else is having a tempting time in super-markets to try them, to all those don’t fret or shy away, red-currant jelly or jam can really do wonder to your mundane breakfast table, trust me on that or there is always a better way of using it up with masala lamb steaks the more traditional way.

Red Currant Jam
Recipe requirements
250 Gms of red currant
250 Gms of granulated sugar
1 tsp of lemon juice


Method

  1. Wash well red currants in running water. With red currants no need to pluck the stalks, just put all in the simmering pot and soon it will be all mushy and watery.
  2. Now put them in a large pot and let it simmer. Just press gently with spatula so that red currant turns into mushy texture. Leave it for cooking.
  3. After about 10-15 mints when they release water add in sugar and mix well. Let it come to one rolling boil and then put it to simmer. Discard the white froth which will be formed from time to time.
  4. After about 10-15 mints when the red currants have all mixed well with sugar. Turn off the flame. Add in lemon juice and stir. Remove it from the flame.
  5. Sieve through a soft muslin cloth or a cotton towel. This way seeds can be discarded. Collect the juice. You can do this step overnight if you are using more quantities. I generally don’t wait and like to strain out the entire pulp using a tea strainer in several small batches.
  6. Now put small quantities in a strainer and press it forcefully so that you can collect maximum pulp out of it. Discard the residue that is left after wards.
  7. In a large bowl after collecting all the red currant pulp, mix it all well. It still will be warm.
  8. Meanwhile you are collecting the red currant pulp, sterilize a glass jar or wash them very well with soap water and then pop it in oven for 3-4 mints till it gets dry. And don’ forget to take it out.
  9. Now fill in the red currant jam in to the sterilized jar.
  10. Once it gets cooled refrigerate it for best results. Consume within 6-7 days for good results.





Note- Many jam recipes use pectin as a setting agent, I have never used that so can’t tell about it. But when ever I have used lemon juice, it has quite worked for me so far. This is one of those jam recipes one wants to make again, and again and it’s scrumptiously delicious.

Happy Cooking Friends