Thursday, March 31, 2011

Homecoming and some ramblings

I know I have been quite inactive as far as updating my blog, but we are slowly settling down here.No, we are familiar with the surroundings and people here but when you loose the habit of living in one place, it takes times to adjust.Well I guess that’s nature’s rule give some time to adjust before it starts reaping benefit for you.
In this post little bit of my ramblings as so many things are happening right now.Hope you people don’t mind.World cup fever and then the nerve-wrecking matches makes Kolkata cricket frenzy.But then we Bengalis are like that always charged up with dollop of emotions and all sorts of sweet madness.
Meanwhile I find it extremely overwhelming when we can indulge ourself again with the food we have been missing in London.

When we landed here, we were greeted by home-made notun gurer roshugullar payesh by my ma-in-law and we immediately knew what we were missing there.And no I am not buttering my ma-in-law in appreciating the effort she took in the kitchen in this hot weather here,it was just spontaneous!!
We do get fresh fish here, which is a bonus when you want to add the perks of living in your homeland.Few days ago we had Hilsa fish, oh! Dear ,I should sound out Ilish not Hilsa as a puritan and I must tell you at this point of time the quality is not what we used to get in London.May be all the good quality fish gets exported to abroad.That left me little amused.

Prices are soaring high here,Inflation is soon going to hit our rooftops and our pockets are burning due to overly priced grocery here.A common man cannot afford Hilsa or arhar dal anymore here.May be we should invest in purchasing Arhar ki dal in place of purchasing golds or diamonds or investing in equity market.Better stock it up or put in lockers , at least this way we can show our future generations what a common man in early 21st century used to eat.
Well I will try to be more frequent here provided my broadband providers speed co-operates with me.
And on a touching note, I once again felt the hussle-bustle and warmth of Kolkata city.There is something in the air of Kolkata, a little whiff of it makes you high.

We went to City Centre-2. And that’s another up-coming hub here.A huge wide screen TV with whole lot of a crowd gathered to watch India –Australia cricket match.And in Kolkata football and cricket is second to religion.Every ball was discussed and every run was cheered up.Wish I had my camera to capture some moments. I have lost the habit of taking my camera with every outings here but will try to take pictures whenever possible in near future.
Last night was another big day here.India claiming a thundering win against arch-rivals Pakistan was another big day here.I mean after 4 o clock in the evening streets were deserted.Hubby dear went to office with very few people turning up there and came back home very early.And with every wickets falling, loud fire-crackers were burnt.People celebrated the win with fireworks late till midnight.Hope cricket evens out the differences between two nations.We share same culture but why we keep fighting is something beyond my imagination.
And in these two years things have changed a lot here, when I say a lot I mean it.High rise buildings and blackberry is common now.From our maid to our neighbourhood vegetable vendor , to our fish supplier everybody has a sleek mobile and may be soon a FB account in coming years to promote their bussiness or webpages.So, watch out if you receive friend’s request from your neighbourhood fish supplier or Mishtir Dukaan wala or may be your dhobi.

This recipe was saved in my draft, well we didn’t have idli stand in London but we were in a habit of making idlis with possibly anything which should shape them up nicely . So , made these huge idli in M/W safe bowl steamed in pressure cooker.They had turn out very soft.This was big enough for a single person to eat so we just cut the huge idli cake into portions.Now no excuses if you don’t have idli stand to make idlis.
Generally I prefer to use up the left-over dosa batter to make idlis.For the constitency of the batter Click here.

Fill up the pressure coker with some water.
Now fill up a M/W safe bowl with the batter and transfer this to the pressure cooker.
Cover the pressure cooker without weight or whistle.
Cook at low for 20-25 mints.Switch off the flame and let it cool.
Take out the idli cake and enjoy with some chutney and sambhar.

Are you set to watch the world cup finals ?
What are the things you like to make for the D-day?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Giant Cookies

My heart was crying seeing the live footage of Japanese tsunami and its havoc on innocent people. This almost reminds me of the first tsunami that hit in 2005.May god give the people of Japan strength and courage to stand up against nature’s adversity and cruelness. This shows, us humans are mere puppets in strong hands of nature. Hope this gives us some time to think again not to abuse the natural resources and respect Mother Nature.

We often used to have these giant cookies at our favorite eating joint while living in London, where we would occasionally indulge ourselves in eating some good sandwiches. My Hubby dear liked these cookies. And well he was amazed when he found out that it’s home-made by me, only complain was that these cookies do not remain fresh after 2-3 days.Any reasons?

Giant Chewy Cookies

(Adapted from Here )

Recipe Requirements

  1. 2 cups of all purpose flour/maida
  2. ½ tsp of baking soda
  3. ¾ cup of melted butter
  4. ¾ cup of white sugar
  5. 1 tbs of vanilla essence
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 egg yolk
  8. 1 cup of white semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Sift together flour, baking soda.
  1. Cream together melted butter and sugar.
  2. Now add egg and the egg yolk.
  3. Add in vanilla essence
  4. Gently blend the dry flour mixture with the wet ingredients-butter, sugar, egg and vanilla essence.
  5. Preheat oven at 165 deg C or 325 deg F.
  6. Mix in semi sweet chocolate chips. I had white semi sweet chocolate chips, but dark chocolate chips can be used as well.
  7. Now refrigerate the dough for 2-3 hrs prior of making cookies.
  8. Now take out the dough and scoop large spoons of the dough and place them over the baking sheet.
  9. A gap of 3-4 inches should be left as these cookies tend to increase while at baking.
  10. Bake the cookies at 165 deg C for 15-18 mints or till the edges are slightly toasted.
  11. Take them out and let it cool over the baking sheet, transfer to the wire rack finally and let it cool.
  12. Enjoy with a cup of warm milk.
  13. These cookies have short shelf life so eat them within 2-3 days of making.
  14. These are absolutely delicious and big fat chewy cookies and remind us of cookies available at our favorite eating joint.

Wishing everybody a very happy Holi.

May Colours bring joy and happiness to you and your loved ones life .

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spicy Sea Bass and Lentil Fritters Fish Curry- Mushoor Dal'er Bora diye Sea Bass mach'er tel jhaal

I have always dreaded relocations in my life. But things which you fear the most will surely happen no matter how hard you may try to avoid it. Yes, we have relocated to India again. And with that another beautiful chapter is closed in our life. Memories will stay with us always, and the journey of life will take new turns with each passing seasons. But we won’t stop walking on the road, the road which we call life.

This fritters and fish curry was supposed to be published long back but due to reshuffling etc, it wasn’t possible. We have developed a liking for sea bass fish there as it reminds us of Bhetki fish. And masoor dal ‘er boda or fritters are great when accompanied with tea. I just thought of making a gravy with dal ‘er boda/lentil fritters but soon the recipe started to evolve.
I had some fried sea bass fish fillets in refrigerator and then thought of using them in the gravy. What was supposed to be a vegetarian affair ended up being a non vegetarian recipe with some tangy and spicy touch. I really don’t know the substitute for sea bass fish or for that matter any fish, as fish curry without fish is something unimaginable for me.

Mushoor dal’er bora diye sea bass mach’er tel jhaal-Lentil Fritters and Spicy Sea Bass Fish Curry
For mushoor dal ‘er bora/ masoor dal fritters
  • 1 cup of mushoor dal /masoor dal
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chilly chopped
For the fish curry
  • Sea bass fish fillet-4-5
  • 1 tomato
  • Seasonings
  • 1 tsp of grounded turmeric and some more for marinating the fish fillets
  • 2 tsp of grounded red pepper powder
  • Salt as per taste and to marinate the fish fillets
  • 2-3 tbs of cooking oil
  • Some more oil for frying the fritters

  • Soak masoor dal for 3 hrs. Generally if I am going to prepare fritters fish curry for lunch then I soak them early in the morning.
  • Wash the soaked masoor dal very well.
  • Now grind the masoor dal in food processor. You don’t need to prepare a smooth paste but coarsely grounded masoor dal will work fine too. In fact all the fritters turn out crisper with coarsely grounded dal.
  • Add in chopped onions (add onions and green chilly when you are about to prepare the fritters) Add in chopped green chilly. And mix it very well. 
  • Heat up a saucepan; add cooking oil enough to fry up fritters. Drop some cumin seeds to check if the oil is heated enough to fry the fritters. Cumin seeds will sizzle and that means the oil is ready for deep frying.
  • Now fry up masoor dal fritters slowly.
  • Drain on tissue paper.
  • Marinate the sea bass fillets with some turmeric powder and salt.
  • Heat up a saucepan, add cooking oil.
  • Fry the fish pieces /fillets at medium flame for 5 mints each side in a wok or saucepan or kadhai.
  • In that oil which is left after frying the fish pieces( if you think , the oil is less then add oil a little bit more)Add in 1 and half cup of water, chopped tomato and all the seasonings-turmeric powder, red pepper powder and salt.
  • Now add in fish fillets. Cook at low flame for 5-6 mints. Add in masoor dal fritters at the end and cover it.
  • Fritters will tend to soak up the gravy. If you don’t want soggy fritters then add them at the time of serving but reheat the gravy first. I generally prefer soft fritters soaked up with the flavors of gravy, so I generally like to add the fritters while the gravy is still simmering in the pan and ready to be taken out.
  • You may use urad dal bora/wadis in place of mushoor dal fritters also.

Happy Cooking friends