Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fresh Corn Mango Salsa or Fruit Chaat

Eating fresh is what we need today, so thought of making this simple salsa.
Salsa as everybody know, is a Mexican way of preparing fruits/veggies.
Below is a simple salsa I always prepare whenever fresh corn and mango is in season.
You can also call it desi fruit chaat if you wish to,I guess fruit chaat and salsa is more or less same ,it's just that one is from Mexico and other is from India.At least I dont see any difference ,do let me know if there is any.
I like to add few pomegranate seeds to this salsa, as it gives a nice tangy flavour.

here is delicious mango (Magnifera indica belonging to family Anacardiaceae),do you know in Costa Rica,people call fully riped mango as Manga.
and then of course there are so many varieties of mango that is available here, hapoos/alphonso,langa,dussehri,Himsagari ,Chaunsa and so on ...my personal fav is dussehri which is quite native to north-India (specially the UP,Bihar belt),it has a perfect blend of taste and smell.

I dont need to tell you the health benefits it has ,you all know it well right.With loads of essential components and sweet taste ,mango is of course "King Of Fruits".

and then of course there is corn ,another nature's gift to us. Corn or maize (Zea mays belonging to poaceae family) .We all know about the use of corn so and who could resist fresh hot corn on the cob.
Corn tortillas,corn flakes ,pop corn , corn meal and so on…so many use and in various form.It has great significance in native American Culture also.Here is sweet corn

Corn Mango Salsa

1 cup of sweet yellow corn, taken out fresh from 1 ear of corn
1cup of chopped mango pieces
½ cup of pomegranate seeds
1 tsp of black salt/sendha namak in Hindi /beet noon in Bengali
½ tsp of honey
½ tsp of lemon (optional)

Take out corn kernel from the cob.
Boil the corn for 5-6 mints or pressure cook them for 1-2 mints at high.
Alternately you may roast it over stovetop on gas or may even grill it.
Personally I prefer to take out the fresh corns and boil it for few mintues ,the colour changes to bright golden yellow.

Chop mango into bite pieces and mix it with corn, pomegranate, black salt, honey and lemon.
Enjoy the freshness of these natures’s gift.

If we won’t save our trees, nature and environment, probably we won’t be able to relish these small pleasures of life.So think and act before it is too late.

You may add in any cooking oil also,just ½ tsp and toss it well.
If you don’t get black salt/rock salt, you may add in normal salt and chat masala,But then it will be more of a fruit chaat.
Avocado is another good fruit that goes into this salsa, it adds to the flavour.
And also you may add in red pepper powder for a spicy blend.
Onions are too strong for this salsa, so I have avoided it and also it would be doing little injustice to the sweetness of mango and corn if we add onions to it.right

Mango Smoothie
A quick mango smoothie from fresh mango.
Mango Smoothie
1 mango, peeled, chopped
2 glass of chilled whole milk
4-5 tbs of sugar or as per taste
1-2 scoop of mango ice-cream for garnishing
Blend well in mixer mango,sugar and milk.
Serve with ice-cream on top.Enjoy

This is my own contribution to the event of Save the Earth” . More detail is here
Save The Earth .
Happy Cooking Friends

Aila Strikes Kolkata

Yesterday was horrible for us.Horible in the sense that we were hit by cyclone Aila(it happened after 28 years in kolkata)
The wind speed was heading at 90 to 120 kmper hrs.We couldn’t even open our windowpane due this tremendous speed.But all said and done, there are many cases of tragic death and loss of property due this cyclone.We were confided in our homes, offices, schools were shut down.
On a lighter note, it is probably the monsoon this time that has pre arrived relieveing all of us of this extreme heat here.
Below are some of the pictures I tried to capture, wind was very fast and furious so, it was even difficult for us to go out and see the situation in real.

This tree came crushing down over children’s swing in our complex, luckily there was nobody present there at that time, otherwise God knows what would have happened.

Its sunny and clear today and everything is calmed down ,but Aila has leaved it’s presence felt for many hours yesterday.

Life has slowly started to move again here..........

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shrimp Rice Pulao and Chicken Curry

Usually I dont go out of the way to prepare some signature dishes.I try to cook what ever I have in pantry and in stock, so it's kind of making the best what you have in hand.
So,usually I dont like to add saffron/Kewda essence or even rose water to enhance the flavour of a Biryani or a Pulao or even in chicken curry. Another thing which comes to my mind is ,can someone throw some light on the difference between a Pulao and a Biryani.I have been trying to figure out but I have no clue regarding this.
Anyways Garam masala is what I prefer ,and that I always stock up in pantry and like to add in non-veg curries whenever I am making it.
But again I am not entirely against using them.I also cant even name a simple chicken curry as something "Rose-water infused garlic based chicken gravy",quite a long name ,to me chicken curry is yeah a Chicken Curry what else.
I will start writing the recipes now without much now..

Chicken curry
1 kg chicken
5-7 medium size onions
6-8 garlic pods
1 and ½ inch ginger
2-3 tsp of coriander powder
2 tsp of cumin powder
4 tsp of red pepper powder
2 green chilly slit in between
Salt as per taste
1 tsp of sugar
½ cup of yogurt
2 tsp of garam masala
For tempering
4-5 black pepper
Half inch cinnamon stick
2-3 cardamom pods
Few strand of mace
2-3 bay leaf or tej patta
½ cup of mustard oil

Wash the chicken pieces in little warm water ,if you wish trim the excess fat from chicken pieces.
Now wash your hands thoroughly with soap+ water.
Now marinate the entire chicken pieces with yogurt,little turmeric powder,2 tsp of red pepper powder.Let it sit there for few hours if possible.
Heat up a saucepan/kadhai, add mustard oil, temper it with tej patta, black pepper, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, mace and add in sugar also.
Now add in garlic/ginger paste first let it brown evenly
Now add in the onion paste ,fry it for 5-6 mints till the rawness of onion is gone.
Now add in all the dry ingredients turmeric ,red ,cumin, coriander powder and little bit of water ,stir it well .
Now add in salt.Fry the ingredients till the spices are evenly cooked and the colour of gravy changes to somewhat little bit dark.
Add the marinated chicken pieces ..fry some more time till the oil separates out from sides.
Transfer the entire content to pressure cooker and add in 2 tsp of garam masala powder and 1 tomato chopped.
Cover the pressure cooker, one whistle at high flame and then quickly lower flame ,cook it for 10-12 mints at low,now let the pressure subside and then you open the lid( the chicken without bones usually don’t required to cook in pressure cooker , stir/fry well and coat with spices, cover by adding suffiecient water and lower the flame ,let it cook for half an hour )


1.Alternately you can cook the chicken in kadhai or dekchi ,add in 2cups of water,tomato garam masala powder ,cover it and cook at low for 1hr,stirring in between.

2.You may add in some fried Potato pieces , amust in bengali way of preparing mangsho(meat/chicken).

3.The chicken curry taste much more better the other day , just store in refrigerator and reheat at low the other day ,whenever you want to eat it.This brings out the flavour most.
4.You may add in 3-4 green chillies/serrano peppers to give in a distinct flavour but it's absolutely optional and more it depends on how much you can handle the hotness ,right.

Chingri pulao (shrimp pulao)

serves 5
3 cups of basmati rice
2-3 tbs of ghee
Some cinnamon stick
Few cloves
Few cardamoms
Few cashews
Few raisins
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of sugar
For making spicy shrimp
2 tbs of mustard oil for frying + 1tbs for preparing the spicy fry
Turmeric powder
Red pepper powder as per taste
Clean the shrimp devein it from back (remove the purple thread like thing from back)
Tear n open the head and remove the upper portions that would look somewhat pale-yellowishto bright yellowish. wash it thoroughly in water.Often the Frozen Packets are cleaned and deveined so there is no need then.Fresh Chingri(Shrimp) has much more flavour and is soft also.

Marinate them in 2 tsp of turmeric powder and salt.
Heat up the saucepan, add oil, add in marinated shrimp, and don’t overcrowd them while frying, TIP-it’s better to fry them in batches if you have plenty of them.Fry them till they change the color only ,over frying will make them hard which I am sure you don’t want.
Now when all the shrimp is fried, add in little approx 1/4 cup of water to the saucepan,add in red pepper powder and some more mustard oil say about 2-3 tsp/1 tbs to it and cover the saucepan, cook them for few mints.
Take out in a separate bowl.
Now to the making of Pulao
Simple and short-cut method
Clean the rice and cook them, drain the water after cooking, keep it uncovered in a vessel. You may cook it in rice cooker also .
Add in the cooked shrimp to it, mix it gently.
Now in a saucepan, add in ghee, temper it with cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom, cashews, raisins and sugar very little salt if required, but taste the pulao before you add it.
Temper the rice with the above ingredients and mix well.Keep it in a hot pot.
And of course there is this another way round for making this pulao , a little lengthy I guess but that also taste good.
Temper the rice with all the ingredients and then add in water TIP-to every cup of rice ,add equal amount of water .Cover it and then cook it.when half done add in spicy fried shrimp to it, cover it again and cook at low for half an hour or till rice is evenly coated with spice and cooked to tenedreness.
TIP- if required to add water,always add little warm water . All the measurements are approx ,please follow your instinct while preparing the dishes from here.

The chicken curry goes to The Potluck -Chicken at Viki's Kitchen , visit there to know more about the event details.

Below is the wonderful and deep thoughts on "Save The Earth" By Talented Joyeeta please visit Let The Light Shine... ,her wonderful site for full detailed post.
" The trees, the leaves, the flowers
talk to me…
they say please leave us alone
under the care of the Almighty we were born,
we smile through the sun’s glistening ray,
and play with the naughty wind all day,
We dance in the rain and shiver in the snow
but not for once we let our happiness go…
Please leave us alone and leave us bare
all we need is a little love, a little care,
we blossom and we bloom
with colors so splendid, we wash away all gloom
we make the air fragrant and fresh
and brighten your day with liveliness!
We grow tall and stand proud
with branches laden with fruit and flowers spread out!
We never complain of the mighty sun
or the stormy winds
what we fear are the thoughts so mean
that go behind ideas so scary
they rob our mother,
and make her oh! so weary…
One day not too far from now
when oceans take over land
and we all are gone,
shall you repent and pine
your own inventions then will be called crime!
Being thoughtless and careless doesnt pay in the long run
but there is still time to learn, a new world has just begun
Let us live in joy, harmony and peace
for it is wise to know, love is all there will be, love is all there IS…!”

and also dont forget to send in your contributions to Save The Earth ,event ends on 31st May.

Happy Cooking Friends

Monday, May 18, 2009

This is a repost for Mithai Mela

This is going to Srivalli 's Mithai-Mela ,who is celebrating her two years in blogging world.Congratulations Valli .

and for the recipe visit this link Here .

happy Cooking Friends

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Duporer Tiffin Khabar-Lunch -Box recipes 5

Here is the link to my last post about lunch-box recipes
Lunch-box recipes 4
and now to the recipes for this post .These are all vegetarian recipes ,a kind of a meal which we eat once a week.

Lunch Combo 5-Notey Posto, Begun Phulkopi Jhaal,Panch Mishori dal

Notey posto (Amaranth Leaves stir/fry with poppy seed paste)
Posto diye Notey shaaker Labra
1 bunch Amaranth leaves/Notey in Bengali
1 medium size potato
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1tsp of red pepper powder (add more for more hotness)
1 -2 tsp of panch phoron(or can add kalounji/nigella seeds for tempering)
1 tsp of sugar
2-3 tbs of mustard oil or any other oil which is available to you.

Prepare the Poppy seed Paste
In a grinder add the Poppy seeds, little bit of water and little bit of butter, to make a smooth paste. TIP-You may add liitle bit of roasted Peanuts with it also to make it even creamier. And who are allergic to peanuts ,they can even use cashews.
Clean the green leaves of Amaranth, discard torn or wilted leaves. Clean the chopped leaves thoroughly in water 2-3 times to get rid of mud /sand if any.
Heat up kadhai or any heavy bottom Pan/Wok ,add mustard oil , add the panch phoron mix , let it splutter.
Now add diced potatoes .Fry it for 1-2 mints at high.
Add turmeric powder, red pepper powder, salt, sugar and little bit of water.
Add the cleaned leaves of green Amaranth.
Cook at high for 2-3 mints, lower the flames and cover the kadhai/Pan.
Cook the leaves till soft and deep-green in color. Now add the pre –prepared poppy seed paste and little bit of water, stir/fry and cover, cook another 4-5 mints. If the potatoes are soft and cooked ,stop the flame.

TIP- always cook covered ,it saves the precious gas.
Take out and serve with warm cooked rice.
Note- you may also like to see these recipes
Note Shaaker Chorchori
Note Posto Labra

Panch mishori dal (Five lentil dal)
Panch Mishori Dal/Panch Mel dal /Panch Ratan Dal
¼ cup arhar dal /pigeon peas
¼ cup moong Dal/split greem moong
¼ cup chana dal/split Bengal dal
¼ cup Urad dal
¼ cup masoor dal

1tsp of cumin seeds
2 bay leaf
1tsp of turmeric powder
1 ½ tsp of red pepper powder
2-3 green chilly slit in between
2 tsp of ginger paste
1 tomato chopped
Clean the lentils and then wash thoroughly in water 2-3 times .
Transfer the entire lentil mixture in Pressure cooker and add 2 -3 cup of water let it cook for 2 mints at high , discard the white froth that gets formed .
Now add little bit of more water , enough to submerge the lentils .
Add turmeric powder and salt, cover the pressure cooker, one whistle at high and lower the flame, let the lentils cook for 7-10 mints at low.
Let the pressure subside and then open the cover, check if water is required, if so add a little warm water . TIP- If you think the dal is overcooked ,you may add little cold water and 1 tomato chopped ,this prevents the dal to be mushy,and if you are in favour of eating mushy dal then there is no need to add the above.

Meanwhile heat up a kadai , add ghee( for healthy cautious ,avoid it instead add in canola /refined oil/corn oil) , add cumin seeds , bay leaf , fry for some time .
Add ginger paste, chopped tomato and green chilies, fry them for 2-3 mints.
Transfer the masala /tadka to the cooked gravy and cook at low for 2 mints or till the spices mixes well with the dal.

Begun phulkopi diye jhol ( Brinjal Cauliflower curry)

This jhol/curry is good for the summer season ,it's easy to digest and simple.

Half cauliflower ,remove the florets into small pieces.
2 medium size poatao cut into 1 inch long pieces
Brinjal 1 cut into 1 inch long pieces
3-4 tbs of mustard oil
1 tsp of panch phoron
1-2 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
2 cups of water
1 tsp of salt
In a deep bottom pan or any other saucepan, add in 3-4 tbs of mustard oil
Add cauliflower pieces, fry them to golden –brown, and take them out( make sure the cauliflower pieces are dry and there is no trace of water ,pat them dry with a cotton kitchen towel)
Now temper the oil with with 1tsp of panch phoron and 1 bay leaf.
Add in chopped potatoes and fry them well for 4 mints at high.
Add in turmeric cpowder,red pepper powder ,coriander powder and salt and little bit of water to prevent it from burning the spices.
Now add in 2 cups of water and brinjal pieces.
Cover and cook till potatoes are soft.
Note-you may add in yellow squash /zucchini/eggplant in place of brinjals if you are living in US.
take out and have it with warm cooked rice,even it taste good with roti also.

Happy Cooking Friends

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Maet'er jhal (Mutton Liver/kaleji Spicy Fry)

This is a very flavourful dish which we often make and my little one is so fond of eating it .Mutton Liver is fried with spices and cooked to tenderness.It is a pure delight for many non-vegetarians.
In Hindi Mutton liver is called Kaleji and in Bengali Maete.Here is the recipe now

Mutton Liver Spicy Fry

Mutton Liver 300-400 gms
2 -3 medium size onions
4-5 garlic pods
½ inch ginger
2 tsp of coriander powder
2-3 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
2 green chilly slit in between (adjust according to your preference for spicy food)
Salt as per taste
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of garam masala or you may add in few dalchinci,cloves and loung etc...
½ cup of chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
oil for making the spicy fry approx 3-4 tbs
some potato cubes (optional)

Wash the mutton liver pieces in a little lukewarm water.
Chop all onion,ginger and garlic and coriander leaves. Do not make paste.
liver pieces with 1 tsp of turmeric powder and salt.Set aside for ½ hour.
Now heat oil in a kadai/saucepan
Add chopped ginger and garlic first, stir/fry for 1-2 mints.wait till it turns nice brown.
Then add chopped onions (you may use shallots also if purple onion is not available)
Fry at high for 3-4 mints, till onions turn a nice reddish-brown (in Bengali it will sound like-besh laal kore bhaja),at this time add cubed potatoes,fry them well to perfect brown.

Now add in all the dry spices, cumin, coriander, red pepper powder,garam masala ,salt and sugar and little bit of water. If you think you may mix in a bowl all the dry spices with little bit of water to form a uniform paste ,add this paste to the fried onions/ginger/garlic.
Stir/fry well and then add the marinated mutton liver pieces. Add in green chilly.
Cook covered for 10-15 mints at low,do not over cook otherwise it will turn out rubber like…
Now add in chopped coriander leaves and take out in serving bowl/plate.
Have it with roti/rice whichever you prefer.

One More close look

Happy Cooking Friends

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Duporer Tiffin Khabar -Lunch-Box Recipes 4

Friends you all know about the lunch-box recipes that I am trying to post here ...
here are links to previous posts..
Lunch-box recipes 1
Lunch box recipes 2
Lunch box recipes 3

Now to the recipes for this posts...

Lunch Combo 4 -Dal,Aloor Dom,Pepein Bhate and Koraishuti diye macher Jhal and few dates(serves 4)

Dal fry
1 cup of lentil/toor dal/arhar dal
Wash the dal thoroughly in water
Now pressure cook the dal/lentil and if required add 1 cup of water (otherwise you will get a thick and mushy dal)
Chop 1 onion, 1 inch ginger and half tomato
Now in a separate saucepan, add 1 tbs of oil, add in 1 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 dry red pepper split in between.
Slightly stir it and add to the cooked dal, add in chopped tomato pieces.
Cook covered for few mints and at the end adjust the seasoning with salt, sugar and little bit of ghee.

Aloor Dom
~3-4 gold Potatoes , cut into big cubes ~large onions peeled and chopped ~4-5 cloves of garlic chopped ~1 inch of ginger chopped ~ 1tomato~½ tsp of turmeric powder ~1 -2 tsp of red pepper powder ~2 tsp of cumin powder ~1-2 tsp of corriander powder ~1 tsp of garam masala ~1 tsp of cumin seeds ~1-2 bay leaf ~2-3 tbs of canola oil ~salt as per taste


Heat oil in a large pan , fry the potatoes at med –low ,take out

Now add the cumin seeds , let it pop up , add bay leaf , chopped onions,garlic, ginger fry for 5-8 mints at med –low . Add all the dry masalas , turmeric, red pepper,cumin,corriander and salt ,add bit of sugar also .

Fry all for 5 mints ,add fried potatoes , stir fry whole mixture untill potatoes retain a nice yellow colour and gets coated evenly with spices.add in chopped tomato pieces.

Add warm water ½ cup and cover , cook for 15-20 mints or so till potatoes are done at low. Add garam masala( or you may add gota garam masala like few dalchini,long and elaichi) and chopped corriander leaves . Can add 1 tbs of ghee to enhance the flavour.

You may like to see this old post Spicy Aloor Dom .

Pepein bhaate (Steamed green papaya)
Peel the green skin of green papaya, cut them into quarter halves, and TIP-take out the seeds and the white thin layer from inside, if left this may turn the papaya bitter.
Now when you are preparing rice, just drop it in, TIP-the rice cooks easily and takes little less time than normal it would do.Green Papaya can also be steamed or can be pressure cooked,When serving have it with little mustard oil and salt.

Koriashuti diye macher jhaal
1 cup of shelled peas
Katla mach/paka macher pieces –marinated with turmeric powder and salt
1 tomato chopped
3-4 tbs of mustard oil/canola oil/corn oil
1 tsp of turmeric powder
2-3 tsp of red pepper powder
2-3 green chilly slit in between
Salt as per taste
1-2 cups of water
Fry the fish pieces to a perfect brown and crisp in hot oil.
Now add in all, water, mustard oil, turmeric powder, red pepper powder, tomato, and peas, salt
Cook covered for 7-8 mints.take out,garnish with coriander leaves or cilantro leaves and serve with warm cooked rice.

Happy Cooking Friends