Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sharodiya Shubecha and Dupor'er Tiffin Khabaar/Lunch Box Recipe Series -8

I am missing the hustle-bustle of Kolkata during this time.If you are in Kolkata ,probably you would be enjoying shopping new clothes, shoes and accessories.Ladies busy shopping , their new tangai/jamdani/Dhakai or simple but elegant tant ‘er saree from Boro bazaar or near their locality.
Last minute phone calls to the tailoring master if they can hurry up stitching the clothes on time and even asking “eyita ki amra nabami din e porte parbo, dada ekto taratari shesh kore dile eyi ta amra at least nabami te porte parbo” meaning , can we wear this at least on nabami or the ninth day.
And pat will be coming up the answer a big “NO”…Disappointed ,they will have to look into their old attire if they can find some good matches for their new clothes or even a nice replacement for that matter.
Some adventurous souls will be even trying out new hairstyles to give them that extra edge over their peers.
I mean lot of spending and purchasing on the eve of this great festival and who could even say it is the recession period going on….But good for those poor little souls like tailoring master,Local shoe shop Owner and the local saree/merchandise shop owner,for they have been waiting for this bright period for a long time now.More you spend ,more the money runs in the market and recession will take back seat soon.Good for economy and even good for you.
I mean from young ones to old ones , all are busy planning their schedules about Pujo Panadal hopping ,keeping in mind the mad rush out to see some of the top Pujo pandals in and around Kolkata. Some even will be planning what they will be eating on ashtami or on nabami.Plenty of options if you have company and dont feel like cooking,just go out ,pandal hop and gorge on street food or even fancy a good restaurant and you will ,I bet throughly enjoy.
Some even going out of station to probably to Goa or any other place, for them this is the best time to go out of Kolkata and avoid this mad rush which they have become quite habitual of seeing this since their childhood.
That made me think about Probashi Bengali , how they will be thinking and spending their time away from such hustle-bustle.If they are lucky , they will gather and start/form a new community ,kind of a panel of eminent and enthusiastic Bengali's and even take on celebrating or rather organising Durga Puja in a short period of time.Some may even promise to organise Kali Pujo after it also.
Being away from home, I will be missing offering my ashatami Pushpanjali and the Bhog'er Khichuri , two most important thing for me during this day and the mystic of sandhi Pujo and the lovely drum beats by Dhakis.Makes me feel home-sick now.

Tommorow ,24 th is shashti (day for bodhon I guess) or sixth day , so we all will be wearing our new clothes ,Mothers like me will be observing shashti ,a fasting ritual for the well being of their children.The menu will be niramish meaning Vegetarian.
You may like to catch up with the details, how we spend out Pujo last year ,then visit here
happy Durga Puja
Puja On Ashtami and Nabami
Puja on shashti and saptami

I have tried to include a vegetarian menu this time for Duporer Khabaar, I must remind that this was saved as draft .Usually Rice is not eaten on Shashti fast. Torkari can be eaten with Porotha but not with Rice.Dont ask me big Y for this , this is what I have seen doing both ,ma and ma-in-law.They even don’t eat with these torkari/curry , a simple aloo(potato) bhaja with Porotha and a bowl of doi/yogurt works fine also.

Keeping in mind the niramish khabaar, The recipe menu , is Sheem Shorshe and Bean Borir Jhaal and a simple dal.
Lunch-Box Recipes
Sheem Shorshe(Hyacinth in mustard paste)
Sheem/Hyacinth 8-10
2tsp of turmeric powder
3-4 tsp of mustard powder
Salt as per taste
Cooking oil 4-5 tbs

Clean cut the sheem from the tip on both sides
Now heat up a kadhai and add cooking oil(it would be great if you use mustard oil)
Now add in the cut sheem and fry it well.
Add in turmeric powder ,red pepper powder and salt ,sprinkle little bit of waterand cover
Let it cook for 5-7 mints till it turn out little soft
Meanwhile make a paste of mustard powder,little water,1 tbs of oil,little bit of salt,red pepper powder and very little turmeric powder just to give the colour.
Add this paste to the cooked sheem , take out in a serving bowl.
Making a paste out of fresh mustard seed
Please use coffee grinder for that ,add in 3-4 tsp of mustard seeds,1 garlic ,few cashews and dry grind it without addinng water,if you feel you may add in water slowly to the grinding mustard paste.
You may use little bit of yoghurt at the end also when you are ready to add the paste to the cooked sheem.This way the mustard paste wont turn bitter.
And of course there is the tradiional way of grinding in sheel/nora, which is absolutey has no comparison in terms of taste and authenticity.
Note – I have tried the recipe with Long Runner Beans also ,which is generally available here.

A simple mong dal and

Bean Begun diye Borir Jhaal(Bean/Potato/Brinjal Borir Jhal)
2 potatoes
About 200 gms of beans
Half a long brinjal/eggplant
1 cup of bori/badi/vadi
Tempering and flavouring
Mustard oil 3-4 tsp and some more to fry the bori (lentil dumpling)
1 tsp of panch phoron
2 bay leaf
1-2 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of red pepper powder
Salt as per taste and lil bit of sugar
Cut and chop all the veggies in equal size
Add oil in a kadhai, fry the bori to a nice brown colour at low stirring them well.Take out an d keep them to add in the gravy later.
Heat up a kadhai/saucepan and ,add oil ,temper it with panch phoron and 2 bay leaf.
Add potatoes,beans and fry them well.
Add in salt,turmeric powder,red pepper powder and lil bit of sugar
Coat the veggies well with them
Now add in 1 cup of warm water to it
Add in chopped brinjal pieces and fried bori to it.
Keep the flame at low, cover and cook till the potatoes are evenly cooked.

Happy Cooking Friends

Sharodiya Shubecha O Priti
Happy Durga Puja

You may like to catch up with Last year post then visit here
happy Durga Puja
Puja On Ashtami and Nabami
Puja on shashti and saptami

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mughalai Murg Mussallam

Autumn brings good weather with itself, the breeze is not that much cold compared to stubborn winter and not much warm and humid like in summer.Sun is gracious enough ,kind and usually shines more or less daily.There is this kind of a sweet smell in the air, a whiff of Shiuli phool (Harsingaar in Hindi/Nyctanthes in English to be precise) , and many other exotic flowers which onset the arrival of Festivals.But with it comes a sudden increase in pollen count also, and all of a sudden,occasional sneezing here and there.
Autumn is a season ,to simply forget about the harsh realities of life, earning bread-butter,maddening cat-race for a career or even a minor illness for that sake.

when I talk about Autumn , how could I forget Durga Puja, I mean , a typical Bengali would simply say anything and everything about it and go ga ga about it , isn’t?

So away from home (I try to carry a small portion of my homeplace in my heart wherever I am), I am planning to wake up early on Friday ,yeah “Mahalaya” is on Friday.This is a Amavasya day falling in the month of Ashwin , a very auspicious day ,Tarpan will be offered to ancestors.More you can read it Here

Let’s see if I can stick to the plan I have made.

Anyways, now we all know Mughlai Cuisine is very exotic and rich in all the way, use of lots of ghee, cream,saffron and spices forms the base of this cuisine.Infact the cuisine is greatly influenced by the Turkish cuisine and the great western frontier Countries , if I am not worng for that matter.There are many recipes out there in net , and most of them ,it’s all about cooking the chicken as whole with spices.Since ,we are a small family , I made four pieces out of a baby chicken and prepared according to the old Bengali book that I have.If you can remember about it I have mentioed it Here….

So everything remains the same but for a little bit changes here and there , as I was just short of some ingredients.Now To the recipe.

Mughlai Murg Mussallam


Baby Chicken whole cut into four pieces

2-3 large onions,4-6 garlic pods,1-2 inch ginger

2 -3 tsp of cumin powder or fresh roasted cumin seeds to be made into fine powder

1 tsp of turmeric powder

4 dry red pepper,2-3 green chilly slit in between,2 tsp of black pepper

3/4 cup of yogurt,Salt as per taste

Mustard oil/vegetable oil ½ cup.


Preparing the paste num-1

Chop half of the onions(peyanj),garlic(loshon),ginger(adaa) very finely and then make a smooth paste with dry red pepper(shokno lanka) green chilly(kancha lonka) ,black pepper(gol morich) also.This paste will be stir/fried with the cleaned chicken pieces later on.

Preparing the paste num-2

Now chop in rest of the onions very finely.Fry them very well in mustard oil,however this book says to cook it with pure ghee ,if you feel you may do so .

Make a smooth paste out of these deep fried onions.Mix in well with yogurt,turmeric,and if required red pepper powder.

Now to cooking Murg Mussallam

Heat up a kadhai/deep bottomed pan ,add oil, temper it with 2 bay leaf, few cloves, cardamom,few strands of mace(jwatri) and few pieces of nutmeg(jaiful) ,these are fresh garam masala.

Add in 1tsp of sugar also.Add in the paste number 1 and fry it well.and then add in cleaned chicken pieces and salt as per taste.

Fry them at med flame till the chicken pieces change colour.Add in 2 cups of warm water and let it simmer at med-low for 10-15 mints .

At this point add in the paste num 2 which is a paste of deep fried onions/yogurt/turmeric/red peper powder.Cover the vessel and let it simmer .

Take out when you feel the chicken is cooked and the gravy is dried up little, in Bengali it will sound like”mansho ta ekto makha-makha hoye jaba”.

I have tried to write the entire process in Bengali also,please bear with me if I may sound weird sometimes.

Aadekta peyanj,loshon,adaa, kancha lonka,shokno lanka r golmorich , eksathe mihi kore mixie te kimba sheel e te paste kore nin.”

“eyibaar baki ta peyanjke mihi kore kete nin, ekta alada patro/kimba kadhai te ,jeta gorom hoye jabe ekto garam anche rekhe, seyitate Sarser er Tel deben, mihi kore kata baki peyanj golo chere din, ekto laal kore besh bhaja-bhaja koron.”

“Eyibaar eyi peyanj ta thanda hole, mihi kore paste turi kore nin, eyitate doi, ekto holod,ekto laal goron lanka diye ,bhalo kore mix koron.”

“ekta boro kara te , sarser tel din baki ta , 2 tej pata, ekto lobongo,ekto elach r , ekto jwaitri, jaiful ,diye phoron din.Parle eyi samay te ekto Chini nischoyi deben.”

“eyi baar paste num1 din r , bhalo bhabhe bhajun,murgir tokro golo ashte kore chede din , abaar narte thakon, murgi rang darle , ota te 2 cup garam kora jol diye din, anch aste kore din r murgir tokro ke sedho hote din”

"ekhon paste num 2 debaar samay hoye esheche, paste ta diye , bhalo bhabhe ekto nara/chara koron.anch komiye din, murgi bhalo kore sedo hoye gele, gravy ta ekto makh-makha hoye othbe.Anch thekhe nabiye garam Bhate'er sathe serve koron”

Note-For better taste and flavour prepare the chicken a day before .Above recipe calls for the use of ghee ,but for healthy reasons ,I have used plain oil. This recipe is adapted from an old Bengali recipe book"Ranna Samagro" written by Vincent Gomez and Bela Dey .It may sound to be a variation from the original/conventional way of preparing Murg Musalam(which is cooking the whole spices stuffed chicken in a gravy of spices and at very low flame)

Happy Cooking Friends, enjoy and have fun.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beet Shaker Chorchori

Memories of wonderful growing up days ,keep coming back to me.One thing which I can recall is , How I would occasionally peek into my Ma’s Kicthen to see her all charged up and cooking …..what she would be cooking for lunch/dinner ,her menu planing ,and all the green vegetables that she had so passionatley grown in her small kitchen garden.
Her kitchen would smell of fresh vegetables,herbs and tempering with panch phoron and sometimes a sound like’Chank-Chonk”,Although I was never a fussy eater but somehow I always skipped eating ,when it comes to any chorchori Recipes.

One thing which I can perfectly recall is that ,her carefully picking up tender leaves of beet, cauliflower,radish and many more such high fibre vegetables.
I would enthusiastically ask her what she would do with it , she would say “eyita Chorchori Te debo”( will going to add up in chorchori)

That conversation would end up there,as I didn’t have that much of patience to ask her , how to when to or why to?..there were many more other things to do then for me except for cooking or taking interest in it (read watching TV , or gossipying over the phone etc which I find so weird sometimes now).
Anyways That was yesterday , today I crave for her flavourful and delectable chorchori recipes which she used to cook with almost any vegetables or with their tender twigs.
These tender leaves can very well be incorporated in any Labra,Chorchori or Chenchra recipes..Please don’t ask me the difference as I am also trying to figure it out myself..

Now to the recipe for beet shaker Chorchori

Beet Shaker Chorchori
Serves for 4 people
Beet with tender twigs/stalks and leaves -2
Potato- 1
Kanch kola/green banana-1
Half of begun/brinjal
Jhinge/Ridge gourd -2
Seasoning and flavouring
2 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of red pepper powder/or 3-4 green chillies
2 tsp of coriander powder
2 tsp of cumin powder
2-3 tbs of mustard oil
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of sugar
1-2 tsp of panch phoron(fennel,cumin,mustard,fenugreek,onion seeds(kalo jeere)

Cut and chop all the vegetables and beet leaves n tender twigs/stalks,in equal size preferably in long pieces.
Clean them in water .
Heat up a kadhai/saucepan,add mustard oil, temper it with panch phoron.
Now add in all the chopped vegetables except brinjal,fry at med-high for few mints.
Add salt, and all the dry masala powder-red pepper,turmeric,coriander,cumin powder,add in sugar also.
Sprinkle little bit of water and stir/fry the vegetables well till the masala powder is evenly coated over the vegetables.At this time add in brinjal pieces ,stir them well with the rest of vegetables.
Cover and cook at low for 7-8 mints or till the vegetables are evenly cooked.

Happy Cooking Friends

Friday, September 4, 2009

Duporer Tiffin Khabar-Lunch Box Recipes-7

For the past few days ,I was thinking to post these as they remained dormant in my drafts for about two months now.There are couple of more ,will post them also soon.

So far Jhinge posto (ridge gourd cooked in poppy seed paste) and korai'er dal /biurir Dal/Urad dal ,remained my fav food for a vegetarian meal and I would never feel bored eating it anytime.Anyways,I guess sometimes a simple meal satisfy you more than any rich and masaledar food,isn't?

Lunch Box recipes
Jhinge Posto/Ridge gourd in poppy paste
Recipe Requirements

Ridge gourd 4-5
Poppy seed paste 4-5 tbs
1 tsp of panch phoron
Turmeric powder1 tsp
Red pepper powder 2-3 tsp+ 2 green chillies(you can avoid adding green chillies if you want a less spicy version)
3-4 tbs of cooking oil
Heat up a saucepan ,add oil, add in panch phoron
Add in cut ridge gourd/jhinge pieces , fry them well at med flame.
Add in salt,turmeric/holod,red pepper powder.
Again go on frying
Add in poppy seed paste(grind 3-4 tbs of poppy seeds with few peanuts in coffee grinder,adding little bit of water whenever necessary)
Cover and cook at low for 5-7 mints.
Note –
Usually it’s not necessary to add water while making jhinge posto ,as ridge gourd is high in water content so the juices come out nicely when it’s simmered slowly .But if it becomes necessary like if you feel the gravy is drying up after you added poppy seed paste ,just sprinkle little warm water over it.You may cook at the end at high flame to dry the extra juices if you feel so , but don’t forget to stir it continously.This will turn out like a mushy –mashy jhinge posto.
You may add in potato pieces also.

Korola Kumro
Recipe link Here
And a simple Korai'er dal to accompany the lunch box

Korai’er dal(Urad dal)Wash in ½ cup of urad dal very well.
Transfer it in pressure cooker ,add 1-1/2 cup of water .
Discard the white froth foam that is formed
Now add in turmeric powder and salt.
Cover the lid and one whistle at high, then quickly lower the flame.
Cook at low for 7-8 mints.
Open when the pressure subside.
Now heat up a kadhai,add oil,temper it with fennel seeds,2-3 bay leaf and 2-3 tsp of ginger paste or you may use fresh chopped ginger pieces also (a must for urad dal making)
Now grind in 3-4 tsp of fennel seeds in coffee grinder ,add it in the above cooked dal.Top it with 1-2 tsp of home-made ghee.

Happy Cooking Friends