Monday, January 31, 2011

Chirey'r Ladoo or Poha Ladoo - Rice Flakes ladoos

I had some Chirey I mean poha or rice flakes in my pantry. So, thought of making these again and then it reminded that I haven’t yet posted this recipe so far. Now if I say this recipe was saved in my draft from last year Durga Puja, then would you believe that? Isn’t such a shame. But then that’s me for you.
While writing this I know I have to make another batch for munching.
I don’t know how your weekend was. Hopefully you have some “me and my time” to catch up with the things you love to do. No, I am not talking about logging into net and browse. I am talking about spending time with your loved ones and doing things together as a family. And if you have some spare time in coming weeks, then listen to some good old Hindi songs, while you munch these ladoos with a good book in hand. Now, that’s what I would call my “me and my time” for a change.

Now to the recipe
Chirer ladoo/Rice flake ladoos
(Measurements are approx)
2 cups of poha/rice flakes/chirey
½ cup of sugar
½ cup of condensed milk
2-3 tbs of butter
1-2 tsp of cardamom powder

In a saucepan, roast the chirey/poha/rice flakes with very little butter for 5-7 mints at low flame, string continuously.
Now let it cool. Melt in butter either in M/W or over stove –top.
Transfer the cooled rice flakes/poha/chirey to a mixer. Add in sugar and then make a smooth powder.
Now transfer this smooth powder to a saucepan or kadai or a wok.
Over a medium flame, start mixing it well. Sugar will start to melt and then the chirey/rice flake/poha powder will start to collect.
Add in the condensed milk and butter. Add in cardamom powder.
Keep stirring the mixture. When it starts to collect well, take out in a plate.Entire procedure will take 10-15 mints.
Let it cool it a bit. Roll into small rounds or ladoo shapes.
When the ladoos are cooled, they tend to harden a bit.
You can have it as snacks or pack in your lunch-box.
Store in air-tight container, stays fresh for 4-5 days. Enjoy your crunchy-munchy rice flakes ladoos.
For extra goodness, you may add in some cashew powder as well.

A similar recipe I found in Chandrika’s “Akshaypatra”..Here...

Happy Cokking Friends

Friday, January 28, 2011

Eggless Banana Chocolate Muffin

What could be more delicious than chocolate muffins?
And believe me I was overwhelmed when I made them long time back. I never expected them to be so soft and moist. I had my initial if's and but's with eggless baking, but since the first time I tried these Eggless walnut and dates bread,  I do think eggless baking is great and gives some excellent keeper recipes. And I do think if you use cooking oil in place of butter they turn out even more soft.

Eggless Banana Chocolate muffin
1 ½ cup of all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp of baking soda
½ cup of unsweetened chocolate powder
¼ cup of melted butter
½ cup of sugar
1 cup of low fat yogurt
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1 cup of mashed banana preferably from ripened ones

In a big mixing bowl- mix in dry ingredients like-flour, baking soda, and chocolate powder.
Now mix in butter and sugar in a separate mixing bowl. Add in vanilla essence.
Add in yogurt. (Take out yogurt at least ½ hour before you make muffins)
Add in mashed banana.Prepare a pulp from ripened bananas with the help of fork or spoon.
Now prepare the muffin tray.Line up with the paper muffin cups.
Fill them with the batter upto 3/4 of the paper cups.
Bake muffins at 175 deg C for 20-25 mints or till a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in muffins.
These are very soft, in fact much softer than the usual preparation of muffins with egg.

Enjoy the weekend folks, see you next week.

Happy Cooking Friends

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vegetarian Oats Aloo Ki Tikki

I have some rolled oats in my pantry. And I always try to include oats in our meals. I have made cereals with rolled oats. You can Click here to go to the recipe for home made oats cereal.
And also Granola oats laddoos -Click here for the recipe.

This is my way of making aloo ki tikkis with oats. They are absolutely a delight with a cup of tea. And it’s a lovely afternoon snack. Add some spiced yogurt over it for the chaat effect.
You can even pack it in your little ones Tiffin box. Don’t forget to give some tomato ketchup also. You can prepare the patties in night and keep it refrigerated and in the morning fry them over a non-stick pan or tava, and it’s ready to be packed in your little one and your lunch-box as well.

Vegetarian oats aloo ki tikki
4-5 boiled and mashed potato
3-4 –whole meal bread slices
About ¾ cup of rolled oats
2-4 tbs of besan
5-6 tsp of coriander powder
3-4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
2-3 garlic chopped
3-4 green chilly chopped finely
Pinch of baking soda
¼ cup of toasted walnuts crushed
¼ cup of sultanas
Salt as per taste
Cooking oil for frying tikkis

Boil and mash potatoes.
Now in a big mixing bowl, mix rolled oats, bread slices, besan and all the seasonings-coriander powder, red pepper flakes, garlic, green chilly, baking soda and salt. Add in boiled and mashed potato.

Divide the dough to small rounds -makes about 12-14 rounds.

Shape them into small discs and then stuff in between some walnuts and sultanas. Close the discs working with your fingers towards the inside of the disc.Now press to shape up like round patties. Make other patties as well. This much of the mixture will make approx-12-14 medium size patties.
Now heat up a tava/heavy iron skillet, and add in about 1-2 tbs of cooking oil. Fry the patties each side for about 4-5 mints at medium –low flame. Fry the patties in batches of four.
They turn out very crisp if you fry them slowly and at med-low flame. Transfer over tissue paper to soak uo extra oil.

Enjoy with tomato ketchup and a cup of tea. Splendid evening snacks.
You can even pack it in your little ones and your Tiffin box as well.

Happy Cooking Friends

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aloo Marrow'r Ghaint - Marrow Potato vegetable medley

While grocery shopping in supermarkets, people at the check –in –counter, or while traveling in bus or in tube, sometimes they ask me where are you from. You know, a sense of familiarity always puts you on ease in a rather unknown place. You feel overwhelmed interacting with good-natured people as well.
I always reply I am Indian, so they ask me again which part of the country. Well to that I would say I am from eastern part of India, upbringing in northern part of India, now living in UK. But they keep on asking me, yeah but which state, language etc. I always think how does it matter if I am a Tamilian or a Keralite or for that matter a Bengali. Does it matter to you? Do you make friends only if they belong to your region and speak your language?

Is it not sufficient I introduce myself as an Indian, and not a Bengali, Punjabi or Tamilian or Rajasthani or a Keralite? Well we are Indians first and this is our identity, isn’t?
Isn’t in an irony that after so many years passed after independence we are still holding on to region, caste and language barriers. Hope we the people can think beyond regions or territories and languages and should feel privileged to be part of this vast and ancient culture.
With this hope that one day we all will be introducing ourselves as Indians. Let me wish my fellow countrymen a very Happy Republic Day.

Aloo and Marrow' r ghiant

Marrow is a member of summer squash family. The outer skin is edible also. You can add this in any stews or soups or even make fritters with besan. Just cut them in rounds dip in besan batter and fry in oil.
This recipe is a very healthy preparation of this rather unknown vegetable for me. Have you prepared anything with this vegetable? Do let me know.
I guess this is high in water content and reminds me of lao/bottle gourd or courgettes.So, I tried to make a ghaint with it –Ghaint is- a very mushy textured vegetable medley in a traditional Bengali cuisine.If you wish you may see another Ghaint recipe with Potol/Parwal/Pointed gourd I guess.Click Here.

Now to the recipe

Marrow aloo’r ghaint
Recipe requirements
1 marrow chopped into small cubes
2 medium size potatoes
1 onion
1 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
½ tsp of aamchur powder
1 tsp of panch phoron
1 tej patta

Chop the marrow and potatoes in cubes.
Now heat up a saucepan. Add in the tempering of panch phoron, tej patta.Add in onions.
Now add in cut potatoes.
Now add the seasonings- turmeric powder, red pepper powder and salt. Mix and fry well with little bit of water. Add very little water just to coat the dry spices over vegetables as marrow tend to loose a lot of water in the gravy and cooks very fast.
Add in aamchur powder. If you wish you may like to spice it even more then add in some chopped green chilies.
Now add in the marrow. Mix well all and cover it and cook for 7-10 mints at med-low or till potatoes turn out soft and mushy. Enjoy with puris or rotis.Goes well with parathas as well.

And let me wish my fellow countrymen and friends a very Happy Republic day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shorshe diye Runner Beans/Runner Beans cooked in mustard sauce

I have been making these runner beans and sometimes stringless beans with shorshe bata here.And they do make a great side-dish.They do remind me of Sheem Begon shorshe that we used to prepare back home.
Recipe remains same for both the versions with the vegetables.

 I have used mustard powder in place of fresh mustard seed paste that I have made in bulk earlier. Click Here for the recipe.
You may add in some fried rui fish pieces for mach’er jhaal as well or some sliced brinjal with some boris/wadis for niramish version.

Shorshe Diye Aloo Runner Beans er Torkari
Recipe requirements

1 packet of runner beans/stringless beans or 250 gms
1 -2 medium size potatoes cut into long pieces
For the tempering
Pinch of panch phoron
1 tej patta
1 dry red pepper
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1-2 tsp of red pepper powder
2 tsp of mustard powder
2tbs of cooking oil
Salt as per taste
Chop and cut the runner beans and potatoes.
Heat up a saucepan, add cooking oil (mustard oil is best), and add the panch phoron, dry red pepper, tej patta.
Now add potatoes, runner beans and fry for 2-3 mints at med-high.
Now add red pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt. Sprinkle little bit of water.
Fry all well for 5-7 mints. Add in aprox 2-3 tbs of water.
Add in mustard powder. Cover it and cook till the vegetables are evenly cooked. Serve with rotis or warm cooked rice.

You can similarly prepare shorshe sheem begun.
You can use stringless beans also this way.
You may add some spicy urad wadis/boris for a niramish torkari and fried fish pieces for amish variations.

Happy Cooking Friends

Monday, January 24, 2011

Badam Chakti/Mungfali ki Chikki/Peanut Brittle

I am being lazy for a while, there is so many posts saved in my draft, need to publish all the drafts and create space for fresh ideas. So, in this post and also coming few posts, I won’t rant much and will get into the basic business of writing the recipe and wrap it up fast.

As Pati-shapta to every Bengali in poush paban, so is gajak , moongfali ki chikki for every Punjabi, Upean in north-India in lohri I guess.

Badam chakti is another very quick snack you can prepare in home. A very quick treat for you and yours as well.You can make it with gur/jaggery as well.But I have prepared this with sugar.

Badam chakti/mungfali ki chikki/peanut brittle

Recipe requirements
(Measurements are approx)
About 2 cup of shelled peanuts
¾ cup of sugar
¼ cup of water
2-3 tabs of butter
Few fennel seeds/saunf

Shell the peanuts and remove the peanut skin if you are store bought packet of monkey peanuts like my case.
Now slightly toast them over very low flame for 5-6 mints in a saucepan.
Now chop them coarsely. I did it with crushing on cutting board with rolling pin.
Prepare the thick sugar syrup
Melt sugar in water and prepare thick sugar syrup. Add in butter and crushed fennel seeds/saunf.

Prepare the plate. Grease it with remaining butter. Or you may line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then slightly grease it with butter.
Now mix the thick sugar syrup with the peanuts. As the sugar syrup tends to get solidify quickly. You need to work it out quickly to spread the brittle and let it cool.
Spread the peanut-sugar mixture over a prepared sheet lined with aluminium. Cut into squares.
Let it cool for 1 hr and then break the peanut brittle and store them in air tight containers. Stays fresh for 1 week. And even more if you keep them refrigerated.

You can pack some of it in your next travel adventures or give into your little ones lunch-box as sweet treats.
You can replace peanuts with cashews and almonds for other types of chikki as well.

Happy Cooking Friends

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Quest of a Traditional Pati Shapta recipe

I know I am late in wishing my readers happy Sankranti..Wish everybody a very happy Sankranti and poush paban.

Sankranti and poush paban means puli, pithe and payesh and that too with notun gur/nolen gur.
Here in a foreign land I don’t have that liberty of going to a nearby modi khana (grocery store) or vegetable market and ask for nolen gur in earthen pots something like this in my previous post for Payesh.So, I have to satisfy myself with the Sri Lankan Date palm jaggery which I got it few months back from an Asian grocery store here.
I have never ever being confused while cooking as such. But the crepe recipe for patisapta made me really confused.So, I will give you three recipes which I tried for the better during these three-four days of poush paban.

Recipe one for patisapta
I made my first (first was way back in Kolkata, cooking with my ma-in-law)  second attempt of patisapta with the store bought rice flour and Maida or all purpose flour. I have used desiccated coconut with the Sri Lankan gur for the filling. I end up using my M/W. In an M/W safe bowl take few gur pieces or patali gur pieces with some water. And microwave it for 1-2 mints till the gur is completely dissolved. Now add in 1 tbs of butter and desiccated coconut, 1 tej pata and 1 elaich into it. Let it become even more dry and M/W it again for 2 mints at high. Now add in some 5-6 tbs of condensed milk. M/W it for 2 mints at high checking to prevent the spilling in. You will see the mixture can easily be collected and little bit dry and crumbly.
This is our make-shift Pur/filling for the first recipe.
For the crepes
I end up using store bought rice flour and all purpose flour. The ratio was about 1 cup of rice flour  to ½ cup of all purpose flour. Made some 7-8 crepes from it. And stuffed the filling inside it.

Day two and then Recipe number two
This time I thought let me try adding some suji /semolina to the crepes as many recipes out in internet says so.

For the filling/Pur

I used whole milk powder approx 1 cup. And about half a cup of cold milk and 2-3 tbs of condensed milk for sweetness. I added approx 2-3 tbs of desiccated coconut and 1 tbs of butter to the mixture and gave a good stir to the mixture. Then in an M/W safe bowl, microwave it for 5 mints at high, but breaking the cycles into 1 mint to avoid spilling and also to stirring in between. After another 3-4 mints the mixture resembled quite like a kheer .And when I tasted it I couldn’t stop myself for a second-third helping.
For the crepes/patisapta
I end up using 1 cup of Maida, about ½ cup of sooji and ½ cup of rice flour. Made a runny batter with approx 1 cup of cold milk. Made the crepes with the filling/pur above that I made with  whole milk powder.

I called back home and asked my mother for some more tips as I was not that satisfied by the end result. She asked me are you alright, its being ages that you are ringing me just to ask for a particular recipe…so the conversation goes like this...

Me- “Ma, patisapta r ki proportion hoye?
My mother –“ keno tui baniyechilish, bhalo hoye ni ki”
Me- “Seyi ta tumi ki korey bojhle”
My mother-“ Eto dore phone kore, tui koto din por eyi ranna R bishoyi jigesh korchis tai bole”
And then she asked me the proportions which I made it
I said  maida+ sooji+  rice flour…
My mother almost screaming from there-“Tui ki gola roti bana chilish na patisapta !!”

And with a voice of a puritan she said soak atop chaal or gobindo bhog for at least 5-6 hrs...I interrupted but Ma Gobindo bhog we don’t get here.Ok, then use basmati rice or long grain rice.And then add Maida and sugar to the crepe batter but not sooji…so sooji/semolina was almost out.Rice flour should be almost double the amount of maida or all purpose flour and sugar is must.”
And she said since you are adding sugar to the crepe batter, it may stuck up while you will be making the crepes. And please prepare kheer over a low flame with whole milk….And it was sounding yeah very well now I have to go the entire long process.

So, here the final recipe for patisapta as told to me by my mother. I really don’t know if she would like this patisapta that I made probably with all my heart and the traditional way as told by her.
But hope someday I will be making soft patisaptas like her, till then the quest for perfect patisapta continues.

Patisapta/Patishapta with kheer er pur.

For the crepes/patisapta

1 cup of basmati rice/atop chaal/gobindo bhog rice
Soak it for at least 4-5 hrs.I happen to soak them overnight. The next day in a mixer make a smooth paste with enough water.
Now add in about ½ cup of Maida to it. Add in about 2-3 tbs of sugar preferably powdered.
Add in slowly about quarter cup of cold milk to the batter. Mix well with a spoon and make sure no lumps is formed.
Add slowly more milk to get a uniform batter. Check for the constitency as you have added sugar to the batter it will tend to become thin even more.
The batter will be little runny like dosa batter but tends to be on a thinner side.

Prepare the iron skillet/tava –a must for making crepes.
Heat up the tava/iron skillet well.Now spread evenly about 1tsp of cooking oil. With the help of a cotton cloth or kitchen towel, rub off the surface to even out the tava/iron skillet. Sprinkle some water, if the droplets sizzles, you are ready for making patisaptas.The trick is to never over-use the cooking oil or for that matter no oil at all.

With the help of a medium size ladle, spread the batter over the tava like dosa.( My mother does make these in kadai/wok .She does it by rotating the batter in a kadai  with out putting the kadai  over flame and when  she gets a desired round shape, she puts the kadai on a very low flame.And trust me they always turn out round and perfect).No, I am yet to try  making patisapta in kadai.

Cook it at low flame for 2-3 mints, when it can easily come out from the sides , flip it and cook for ½ mint more.Turn the side. And then add about a spoon full of filling/pur on one side and then roll into just like a crepe.
For every crepes/patisapta – you will have to add 3-4 drops of cooking oil and then rub off the extra oil from the tava by rubbing with the cotton towel.This way the patisaptas would cook evenly and quickly.
If you can make these patisapta thin, they will always turn out soft even after two days.

For the patisapta pur/filling
On a very low flame make kheer from 4-5 large cups of whole milk. This is a long process so I would suggest you should cook your dinner or lunch over other hobs/burners, so that you can check the kheer in between.Make sure it doesn’t stick to the base otherwise it will have a bad burnt smell.

In a separate saucepan, make the coconut-gur paak.You may use fresh scraped coconut. I end up using desiccated coconut. About 1 cup of desiccated coconut and ¼ cup of sugar and two cloves and 1 tej patta.Slowly cook at low flame to get coconut and sugar paak.I used the Sri Lankan Jaggery in place of sugar. Now mix this coconut –gur paak to the kheer slowly.The filling for patisapta is ready.
This much of the batter will make approx 10 medium size patisaptas.

If you don’t have time for the traditional way of making kheer , then I would suggest you can use the whole milk powder recipe which is little less time consuming but the texture is very much like the Kheer.Or you can use store brought Khoya.

Other variations for patisaptas that we have liked
Ras shapta
Make sugary syrup with approx 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water and soak the patisaptas in the ras/sugar syrup to get the ras sapta.
Kheer Patisapta
Make a thick pudding with custard powder and soak the patisaptas in thick pudding. Serve garnished with some pistachios.
Chocolate patishapta
This patisapta is my daughter's  favorite way of having patishapta.She gave the idea to have it like chocolate crepes.Make chocolate pudding just like a normal pudding, but add little bit of Bourn vita or chocolate flavored oval tine with the custard powder to the thickened milk and viola you have thick chocolate pudding. Soak the prepared patisaptas in chocolate pudding and serve chilled.

I am not saying this is the most accurate and traditional way of making Pati Shapta, but these are just basic guidelines shared by me and my mother here.So, practice and practice till you get the right proportion and accuracy for making perfect Pati-shapta.

Updated on 19/08/2012 

Few weeks ago while I called my Ma to rescue the brown rice lying in my pantry, with some recipe suggestion. She asked me make “patisapta” with it. Now she told me as its “Khud chaal” probably meaning unpolished rice, it will be a good alternative to sedo chaal or the basmati rice that i am currently using,  for making patishapta. So, what she told me, I implemented and found out that the ‘patishapta made with brown rice were more traditional, you know kind of retaining that rustic flavor of a village home kitchen.

Here is how we made Patishapta with Brown rice.

Soak about 2-3 cups of brown rice overnight in ample water.
The next day make a smooth paste with it blender, It will take time but do so with adding water in between whenever you feel the blades are sticking and not rotating properly.
Now add in about 2 cups of water, then 2-3 tbs of self raising flour.
Then add in 1 cup of desiccated coconut. If required add water to make a smooth batter just like dose batter.
Made these crepes as mentioned above.

Happy Cooking Friends

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Creamed Spinach Tomato and Chestnut Soup with some Bhartiya Touch

With the kind of fluctuating weather we have these days, everybody around us is falling sick here. I am also down with cough and cold. So, it’s just some warm hearty bowl of soups these days for us.
Last time we had this Spiced Lentil Soup. This time it’s creamy spinach and tomato soup. I have used more of spinach than tomatoes. And we all know spinach is very healthy.

I have added some cashews also. The other day when I made it again, I added some roasted chestnuts also. Roasted chestnuts have similar taste of a sweet potato and it enhances the creamy texture of the soup also.Chestnuts are rich in carbohydrates and low in fat.

We went for some outings way back in Autumn last year and we collected some conkers from our long walk near the Windsor castle.

But these are Horse Chestnut and are not edible chestnuts unless you want to copy squirrels. And if you wish to follow some old British tradition then end up using these in your games also. Just tie them with thread and hit on your opponent’s conkers.

Anyways now back to the recipe-If you wish you may add some sautéed paneer cubes in this thick soup to have more or less easy breezy palak paneer.

Creamy Spinach tomato and Chestnut Soup

Recipe requirements
About 400 Gms of baby spinach leaves or 1 bunch of spinach leaves
2 medium size potatoes
2-3 medium size tomatoes
5-6 cashews/ 4-5 roasted chestnuts
½ inch ginger
2 garlic pods
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1-2 tsp of black pepper powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of sugar
1-2 tbs of butter (optional)
¼ cup of cream

Wash and clean spinach leaves in water to get rid of dirt or sand.
Chop potatoes into cubes and chop tomato also. It’s not necessary to cut them finely and accurately and anyways it’s going to be pressure cooked so you will end up with a mush whatever way you cut the vegetables.
In a pressure cooker, add all the things-spinach, potato, tomato, ginger, garlic.
Add the seasonings-black pepper powder, red pepper flakes, coriander powder, sugar and salt.

How will you toast the chestnuts

Mark an “X” mark on every chestnut with a sharp knife. And on a foiled baking tray roast the chestnuts at 180 deg C for 15-20 mints. Take out in between and stir it. This will become dry and roasted. Keep it in an air tight container and use accordingly. Peel the whole outer hard shell with the brown outer lining to get the white portion of chestnuts which will be used in this soup.
If you wish you may dry grind these roasted chestnuts and keep it in air tight containers to be used accordingly in your recipes. Well Supermarkets do keep ready-made chestnut puree as well if I am not wrong. If you want to avoid all this hassle you can use ready-made puree also.

Add chestnuts or cashews what ever you prefer.
This soup is very flexible and spinach, tomato and chestnut ratio can be altered according to individual or family preferences.Make it 1:2:1 or 2:1:1 or 1:1:2 Ok, I should stop now ..and let you decide for a change.

Now add about 2 cups of water. And lock the pressure cooker lid.
After two whistles, take it off from the flame. Let the pressure subside and then open the lid.
Pulse thro in a food processor to get a smooth puree.
Add in cream and make a good stir. Reserve some cream for decorations. Add butter if you feel like otherwise it’s not necessary.
Enjoy this heart vegetarian creamy soup.


In India you may wish to substitute toasted chestnuts with almonds or cashews which are readily available there unless you come from Kashmir or northern UP where I guess chestnut is available during the onset of winters if I am not wrong.
This is probably another no oil, no onion, less spiced version of palak paneer if you put some paneer pieces into it. So go for it that way also.See I am telling you many variations of this recipe.
If you wish you may add 1 tsp of garam masala for some more flavor.

Happy Cooking Friends

Friday, January 7, 2011

Spiced Lentil Soup with Bengali Touch

Its being seven days that the New Year ushered in, and I am still in my holiday mood. I couldn’t bring me to write a simple post here. Add to that the winter holidays here in school which means some very relaxed mornings and afternoons for the past two weeks which we the mother and daughter duo seems to enjoy to the fullest. And with that idyllic approach I find it extremely uncanny for me to write here. In case you were waiting for a little update on this blog, you must not disappoint now. Well schools have opened yesterday here so now it’s back to normal routine as of now.

Yesterday was a rainy and cold day. And when it rains we really like to feed our Yin and Yang  both with hearty and warm bowl of soup so that both remains happy and contented.

We are very fond of having biulir dal or korai’er dal or urid dal with warm cooked rice.And we all know aloo posto, korai'er dal (urid dal ) and garam bhat is a classic Bengali Niramish meal combination.
But this time I just made the dal in bulk pureed the entire thing in a food processor and viola we were ready with a hearty and warm soup to accompany our dinner.

Fennel ( mouri) and ginger ( ada bata ) are the two key ingredients in this soup as these are the base ingredients which adds flavour to a typical Bengali Korai dal or Biulir dal . This lentil soup is very healthy and filling by itself. Potato has been added to give a thick consistency.

Creamy Lentil Soup
Recipe requirements
About ½ cup of urid dal/korai’er dal/biulir dal
2-3 tbs of masoor dal or any other dal like moong dal etc
2 medium potatoes
1 tomato or 8-10 cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
4 -5 tsp of fennel seeds lightly toasted/roasted over tava or skillet
2-3 tsp of dried oregano
2-3 tsp of whole black pepper freshly grounded
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1-2 tbs  of butter
About ½ cup of double cream/heavy cream

Wash and rinse urid dal and masoor dal 2-3 times very well but not that vigouresly otherwise whatever minerals left after polishing it will be all gone by the time it’s ready to cook.

Now add about 3-4 cups of water in a pressure cooker.
Add in the washed dales.

Add in chopped tomatoes, potatoes, ginger and garlic.

Potato has been added to give a thick consistency. If you wish you may use corn flour or any other normal flour for thickening the soup. When to add the flour , well that depend, personally I prefer to add at the end and give a quick boil to the soup , stirring it continuously to prevent any lumps in the soup. However since we are using potatoes this will provide that thick and smooth texture we want in our soup.

Add in seasonings-fennel; roast it slightly over tava/skillet

And some freshly crushed or grounded whole black pepper and salt. If you have mortar-pestle then uses it and in case you don’t have like me-crush it with the help of rolling pin over cutting board.
If you wish you may add dried herbs like dried oregano or parsley, whatever suits you. But make sure it doesn’t overpower the flavour of fennel.

Lock the pressure cooker lid.
Pressures cook the entire thing for two whistles and then lower the flame. Cook it for 4-5 mints.Add in crushed red pepper flakes and butter.
Open the lid when the pressure subsides.Now process the entire thing in a food processor and get a puree for the soup.It saves a lot of energy and can be made quickly.And dont forget to clean the weight/whistle and the rubber string of the lid on a regular basis.

Add in cream to the soup reserving little bit for decorations at the time of serving. Give a good stir to the entire soup and let it simmer slowly for 3-4 mints at med-low. When you are ready to serve just warm it a little bit more. Since I have been using cream that is being taken out directly from fridge and being added here so the requirement to simmer for 4-5 mints. But otherwise if you are using cream kept at room temperature then there is no need to again heat it. I often prepare it in bulk and keep it fridge. It stays fresh for 2 -3 days. At the time of serving just reheat it with little bit more of water and fennel powder as it tends to thicken if kept for longer time in fridge.

Serve hot with any bread or even rotis.Enjoy the warm hearty soup to keep you warm and cozy.

Happy Cooking Friends