Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Phirni - a sweet recipe

We were craving for some sweets for a long while. Phirni is rice pudding with a difference, the difference lies that the rice is grounded and then made into a paste unlike normal kheer where rice grains are used. To me taste wise phirni is a smooth and evenly flavoured pudding with kesar and rose essence water.

I was running short of time, so thought of using rice flour, instead of the whole process of soaking rice grains and then grounding it. This saved me some time as well. Rice flour is easily available these days in many supermarkets and every city has their own chain of supermarkets. You can easily spot them in Indian supermarkets here in abroad.

To the recipe now

Phirni- Sweet Recipe

Recipe requirements

4 and half teacups of whole milk

½ cup of rice flour

½ cup of sugar

2-3 pinches of saffron strands

3-4 tbs of rose essence water
2-3 green cardamoms


In a cup of whole milk, dissolve rice flour slowly and if needed add more whole milk to form a lump free smooth mixture. Keep aside.

In a heavy bottom pan, add in rest of the whole milk. Crush some green cardamoms and add in to the simmering milk. Let it come to one boil. Lower the flame and add in sugar. Keep on stirring.

Now add in rice and milk mixture slowly, stirring and mixing well to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Phirni requires constant mixing otherwise the pudding will have lumps.

After about 10-15 mints when the sugar has dissolved properly and the milk mixture will start thickening. Take it off from the flame.

Add in rose essence water and stir once again. Garnish with saffron strands.

Set in individual moulds and chill in fridge for 3-4 hrs. Phirni is best enjoyed when it’s chilled.

Garnishing can be any types of nuts as well.

Wishing a very Happy Eid who are celebrating. Enjoy and have fun. Eid Mubarak!!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Of This and That - London Calling

We have been out and about in London, as it was Easter break couple of weeks ago. The city always gives you loads of moments, where you can weave memories out of it.

Spring season looks astonishingly gorgeous over here.The red cherry or Magnolia blossom and white Spirea blossoms looks ethereal. 

Almost all of the trees were laden with beautiful and colourful blossoms in Public Park. 

The arrival of some warm sunshine has slowly turned the events in favour of British summer. The trees now have put a lush green canopy, green grasses in parks are mowed neatly and are getting ready for summer time family picnics and leisure outings.

All public parks are again filled with crowd, them enjoying some sunshine. 
Some even played with volleyballs, footballs and some ate food, had a lovely picnic and some even read books.

Thames river bank is filled with loads of people on weekends. Anyone who doesn’t have fish and chips is missing something in UK. 

This is like if you are in Mumbai and you would never have tasted Paav-Bhaji.What pav-bhaji is to Mumbai, what Chole-Bhature is to Delhi, Madras filter coffee to Chennai and Rashogolla to Kolkata, Fish and Chips is to London. Hope I make some sense here.And those long queues, lets you know this also. I have a fascination with merry-go-rounds or carousels.

The ponies and the chairs circling in a very fine rhythm with a music playing in background, is such a visual delight. 

London eye with its 32 capsules (32 Boroughs in London) forms a lovely back drop of this peek- a- Boo- light and shadow picture.

London tubes are one of the best ways to travel in the city. If you happen to get bit of early on weekends, you can still find empty tubes trains, but not after that. 

This actually is a very rare sight over here.I also spotted a placard, as climate change is a global issues, I have always felt that one should initiate with baby steps. 

And one way is using public transport for your commute to office or school. This way we save some non-renewable energies as well. Sometimes, when traffic is bad you can end up spending a bit of time on roads as well. 

This sunset was breath-taking and beautiful from our front window of a double Decker bus.
As the day slowly slipped in to the dark abyss, we had absorbed this city’s vibrancy, somewhere deep inside our heart.Perhaps some years down the line, I may come back to refresh my memories of this post.
You all have a relaxing weekend.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary

Usually on Sundays, we sometimes do chicken roast. This recipe is very simple to assemble. I have personally liked rosemary herb for its unique smell and its addition, brings a nice twist to our mundane Sunday roast. I have also roasted some asparagus, potatoes, an onion and garlic as sides with it.

Now to the recipe
Roasted Chicken with Rosemary
Recipe requirements
1 medium size whole chicken
For the marination
2 tsp of red pepper powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of garam masala powder
3-4 stems rosemary
2 tbs of cooking oil
Salt as per taste

  • Wash the chicken well in lukewarm water.
  • Now make the marinating powder
  • Mix in coriander+red pepper +garam masala powder +salt as per taste.
  • Now generously rub it all over the chicken and also to inside of chicken.
  • Keep refrigerated for about 1-2 hrs for marination. This way chicken absorbs the flavour most and turns out tenderer.
  • Preheat oven at 180 deg Celsius.
  • Line a roasting tray with foil (if available) and then place the chicken over it.Arrange rosemary herb twigs nicely over it and also inside the chicken.
  • Place in the second shelf of the oven.
  • Bake it for 1 hr without skin and if the chicken has skin, then add in 4-5 mints more.
  • Check for your make of oven and check about proper temperature for roasting. Half way through, take out chicken and bast/brush it with some oil.
  • Roast chicken for about 1hr or till chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Happy Cooking Friends

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Easy Vegetarian Fusilli Pasta with Spinach

Spring season brings new and fresh green leaves on trees and with that a new phase of life starts on mother earth. This also marks our Bengali new year in April. Although, bit late but anyways, it’s good to be late than never. Let me wish everyone a ‘Shobho Naba Borsho’. May you all have a great year ahead filled with delicious food, good health and happiness.
We are having school holidays over here with Good Friday and Easter approaching soon. Let me also wish everyone have a ‘Good Friday’ and a very ‘Happy Easter’ in advance also.

This fusilli pasta recipe with baby spinach is a quick way of fixing dinner, in case you are running out of time. I have liked fusilli pasta because of its shape, bit of twist to a normal pasta and the flavours are bursting and more prominent.
Now to the recipe

Easy Vegetarian Fusilli pasta with spinach 
Recipe requirements
  • 400 Gms of fusilli pasta
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Tomato
  •  2-3 tbs of pasta sauce
  • ¼ cup of mascarpone cheese
  • Salt as per taste
  • Black pepper as per taste
  • 3-4 tbs of cooking oil
  • some paneer cubes

  • Take a large pot with ample water. Add in salt and 1tbs of cooking oil to it. Let it come to one boil. Add in dried fusilli and cook al dente (cooked but still firm).This may take about 7-10 mints of time depending on the cooking flame.
  • In a separate fry pan, big enough to hold all the pasta and with vegetables. Add in rest of cooking oil and then add baby spinach, chopped onions and tomato. Add in pasta sauce.
  • Stir/fry all for about 4-5 mints. Add in cooked fusilli with the cooking water. Add in mascarpone cheese .Mix all the ingredients very well and coat well with sauce. Adjust salt and seasonings- black pepper etc.
  • Sprinkle some chilli flakes and enjoy. I have added some paneer cubes as well.

Happy Cooking Friends

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Kiwi Salsa Recipe

I had a batch of kiwis lying in my fruit basket and I wanted to utilize in a different way. Some would suggest a kiwi smoothie, which I find somewhat mundane. I needed to pair things up with kiwi as their tangy and juicy taste goes well in an appetizer like a salsa. This Kiwi salsa is the outcome of that quest. I would say it is a keeper recipe. You can have it with loads of tortilla chips  if you are a fan of having less cheesy version of Mexican food or as side with main course meal. 

I had served it with grilled salmon and asparagus. The recipe was well received by my folks.

I have stopped using my DSLR camera and now rely only on mobile camera for blog pictures. The pictures I believe has come out nice as well, at least it serves the purpose.

Now to the tangy recipe of Kiwi salsa
Kiwi Salsa Recipe
Recipe requirements
  • 4 kiwis
  • 1 medium size white onion
  • Half cucumber approx 1 cup 
  • Half large red bell pepper approx 1/2 cup 
  •  ½ cup of chopped coriander leaves

  • Salt as per taste
  • ½ tsp of red chilli pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  •  ½ tsp of freshly grounded black pepper powder
  •  2-3 tsp of olive oil

  • Cut and chop all – Kiwi, onions, cucumber, coriander leaves and red bell pepper into small pieces.
  • In a big salad bowl mix in all the chopped kiwi, onion, cucumber and red bell pepper with seasonings – cumin powder, red chilli powder and freshly grounded black pepper powder.
  • Refrigerate for about 2-3 hrs before serving.
  • Just when you are about to serve, add in salt as per taste and olive oil , toss well.. Enjoy tangy Kiwi salsa.
Happy Cooking Friends

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A simple Prawn Stir-fry recipe

We have been witnessing spring blossoms in every corner of our neighbourhood. The trees are now laden with new green leaves and colourful blossoms. Spring is a very jovial season where everything gets a new d├ęcor and a new life. We have been blessed with sunshine past couple of days as well and that makes outdoor activities even more interesting, unlike today which is very British weather, rainy and grey. I am now confined to home and thought let me utilize my time making a quick recipe post.
I have been wanting to make prawn for a long time and this simple yet such a flavourful recipe comes in handy. You have to be little patient with cleaning and de-vein prawns, but once you are done with it, you can make flavourful stir/fry recipe in jiffy.

Any way if you like bit of planning your meals for a week or are running out of time, you can pre clean and marinate the prawns and keep it in freezer in batches and use them as you have need for that.
Now to the recipe
Prawn stir/fry recipe
Recipe requirements
  • 8-10 prawns
  • 1 and ½ tsp of red pepper powder
  • ½ tsp of turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  •  1-2  dry red pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt or as per taste
  • 3-4 tbs of mustard oil/cooking oil
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

  • Clean, devein and deshell prawns.
  • Marinate them in turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt and red pepper powder. Leave it aside for half an hour.
  • Heat up a fry pan, add in mustard oil. Add in mustard seeds and dry red pepper. Let it splutter a bit.
  • Add in marinated prawns and stir/fry them for about 7-8 mints at medium high flame.
  • Take them out and serve with warm cooked rice. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Happy Cooking Friends

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sheermal Bread Recipe

I have made these sheermal bread long time back. I almost forgot that I also had taken pictures for blogging as well, until I started clearing my laptop clutter and discarding some old pictures, specifically food related pictures. These popped up in my gallery like hidden gems. I tried to recall when did I make them, but couldn’t recall much except it was on a cold afternoon day. I happened to check the dates and it was almost 2-3 years ago, when we were still in UK. That old, Duh!! I know.

I didn’t post the recipe at that time either. I had roughly written recipe notes somewhere in my word doc as well. Now after all these time, finally sheermal recipe is now being talked about here. I always liked the sweet version of naan more, I mean sheermal more, as being a Bengali, we like everything which is sweet.
This recipe is apt balanced, not way too much sweet and not bland as well for us. This satisfied our cravings for sheermal bread at that time. Although I made it for lunch, actually now I recall it was late breakfast for us, more of a brunch time when we had devoured these beauties. We had it with chicken keema. That was a really very satisfying meal on a cold afternoon day. When eating sheermal, please don’t count your calories, just enjoy the flavours.
Now to the recipe

Sheermal Bread Recipe
 For the Bread
  • 3 heaped cups of flour/maida
  • 2 tsp of active dry yeast
  •  2-3 tbs of oil/desi ghee
  • 3 tbs of caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  •  ½ cup of Milk to knead the dough

Saffron infused sugar syrup
  •  2-3 generous pinch of Saffron strands
  • 2-3 tbs of sugar
  • ¼ cup of milk
  •  3-4 tbs of desi ghee/butter for garnishing the bread

  • Heat up ½ cup of milk for kneading purpose into a lukewarm strength.
  • Dissolve saffron in ¼ cup of lukewarm milk and add in caster sugar to the saffron milk. Let it dissolve properly.
  • In a big mixing bowl, add in flour, active dry yeast, oil, caster sugar, egg and lukewarm milk. Knead well all till they start to collect well. The dough should be soft and can collect well.
  • Leave it to rest for 3-4 hrs or the flour has risen well.
  • Knead the dough again for about 5-8 mints and divide the dough into 8-10 small balls.
  • Cover the divided dough and let it sit for about half an hour.
  • Roll each small balls into rounds with a roller but with gentle hands. The edges ideally should be little thick.
  • Brush some melted butter over it and make marks with a fork.
  • Set the oven at 175 deg C.
  • Line a baking tray with foil. Place 2-3 rounds neatly and bake it for about 8-10 mints each side or they turn out nice fluffy and brown. Half way through take out baking tray, flip the sides of the sheermal bread and again brush with melted butter and put it back into the oven.
  • Take out after 8-10 mints and sprinkle saffron infused sugar syrup generously and serve with butter on top.
  • You may add toasted sesame seeds and chopped pistachios and almonds as well. I have used some orange colour with saffron syrup to make it look more dramatic, but it’s not that much required, you can skip it altogether.

Delicious sheermal is ready.Happy Cooking Friends.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tava/Pan Fried Mutton Shami Kebab

I have been away for a while from active food blogging, as I had to tender and look into many personal matters and one of them being a relocation again. Now, I have lost the counts how many times I have relocated. But it feels like home coming to UK once again as per written analogy. Malaysia was a fabulous experience. Someday I want to go back again there, to relive our wonderful memories.

When we landed in UK, that same whiff of air hit me again, a sense of familiarity among unfamiliar faces engrossed into their smartphones. It took us for a while to get settled over here.
Let’s hope, I will try to update this space more often. With spring blossoms on full vigour and Holi festival coming up near, thought this will be a nice beginning for this space.
I had lamb mince and wanted to make some kebabs. This recipe was an impromptu attempt on my part and glad it turned out nice. I have used store bought spice mix just to enhance the flavour more. But if you genuinely want to make it from scratch, then I would suggest to grind all the spices in home. Otherwise in this busy world, I guess the store bought spice packets are very handy.These were like melt in mouths kebabs and also I have tried to use less oil to pan fry them.
Now to the recipe

Pan/Tava fried Mutton Shami Kebab
Recipe requirements
  • Lamb/Mutton mince/ keema- 400gms
  • Chana dal – 1 and ½ cup
  • 1 big purple onion
  • 3-4 big garlic cloves
  • 1 medium size tomato
  • 5-6 green chillies
  • Spices and seasoning
  • 3 tsp of coriander powder
  • 2 tsp of cumin powder
  •  2 tsp of garam masala
  • 3 tsp of tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
  •  2-3 tsp of red pepper powder
  • 2-3 tsp of freshly grounded black pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt or as per taste
  •  2-3 tbs of cooking oil for pan frying

  • Wash the lentils and put it in pressure cooker. Add about 1 cup of water. Let it simmer on high flame, skim out the froth form the lentils.
  • Now add in 400 Gms of lamb mince or mutton keema.Add in 1 cup of water.
  • Chop onion, garlic and tomatoes and add them with the dal and mince.
  • Add salt, red pepper powder, coriander powder, tandoori powder, and cumin powder. Check the water content, it should come up to the level of the mixture properly but shouldn’t be more than the content, otherwise the lentils will be soggy and that is what we don’t want.
  • Let it cook for 2 whistles. Lower the flame and let it simmer for 7-10 mints. Put off the flame and let the pressure subside. Open the lid and let it cool.
  • Take out the mince+ lentil mixture in a big mixing bowl. Squeeze out excess liquid with your hands.
  • Now add rest of the spices- cinnamon powder, garam masala and freshly grounded black pepper powder. Adjust salt and hotness if required with red pepper powder. Add in finely chopped green chillies. Knead and mix the mixture very well.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for about an hour so that the mixture gets firmer and it will be easy to shape up patties.
  • Put a non-stick tava/skillet on flame at medium flame.
  • Drop about a tsp of oil .Take out the lamb mince mixture and shape them into patties. This much mixture, I end up making about 17-18 shami kababs.
  • Tava fry them for about 3-4 mints at medium flame or they turn and have a nice dark brown crust.
  • Take out and serve.

Wish you all a very Happy Holi.