Friday, February 14, 2014

Salmon Fish Biryani and about million hits

Now that cupid is working hard, aiming precise with his invisible arrows today, God knows (but then he is already a God, I guess) How much he had to sweat it out hard, past one year in making those artistic and beautiful arrows in solitude, decorating it with flowers, scents and what not, not to forget, to keep track of the log –book where names of those fragile earthy targets are written.And when it hits, those fragile earthy targets- that is us the mortal beings, most of us living their life very peacefully up until now and in routine, all hell I mean heaven broke upon us.A sudden weird feeling, butterfly in stomach and fish in sky..Ok that was gross…poor souls never will come to know how, what, when and from where it happened , a vicious I mean pleasant  cycle once you are in, it’s difficult to get out…..

 And then after a tiring, action-packed day, once he is done with his share of aiming and targeting, lets do hope he gets to eat some chocolates and drink wine for himself as well, relaxing and quitting the day as sun sets in, realizing he is responsible for the increasing demands of commercialized items viz- cards, chocolates, wine and roses and many more just like these. I guess he is similar to “Arjuna” from “Mahabharat”, being excellent in an art form known as archery –‘dhanur Vidya” seriously…..Arjuna with his killer bows killed evil and saved mankind while Cupid strikes his arrows when he thinks he should without any logic.Yes, I guess that’s why love is beyond logic and always will …..the moment you to try put logic, love is lost…..

Ok I know people will moan about me for not feeling mushy-cushy about it.So, let me tell you I do like, in fact I adore YRF movies, as when they are in season like mangoes...they sell promptly…Wish Cupid takes notice of those movies and watch some Hindi films aka DDLJ, DTPH, KHNH, KKKG, SOTY (oh these are all short forms of YRF films) …..And realize even we are not that different …..so observing for not being different and in sync with the entire world, ok at least half of the world today  …

Here is salmon fish biryani for you and your family and that is what I think perhaps is appropriate as of now.Cakes, chocolates and all that jazz can wait and if not then perhaps it’s time to have a visit to the local bakery promptly.
Just to add I did make a blueberry cake minus all that cream or layering up, don’t ask me what is the significance and co-relation between blueberries with V- day, I just happened to pick those extra lot and I had to use it up before it goes kaput, so saving them, was indeed on my mind..Hope the family and especially dear husband likes it..In short and in simple.

Now to the recipe for fish biryani
Salmon Fish Biryani
Recipe requirements
4-5 salmon fillets or 600 Gms of salmon
1 medium size purple onion
4 fat clove garlic
Quarter inch fresh ginger root
 1 tomato
1 tsp of coriander powder
½ tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of any biryani masala powder
 2 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of salt or as per taste
¼ cup of cooking oil
½ cup of yogurt
For rice
2 cups of basmati rice
½ tsp of oil
½ tsp of salt
3 cloves
Half inch cinnamon stick broken into small pieces
4-5 green cardamoms
½ tsp of biryani masala
 Marinate salmon fillet with salt and half the quantity of red pepper powder in a shallow bowl.Keep aside for half an hour.
 Put a large deep bottom pan, handi or what ever you will use with 5-6 cups of water over stove-top/gas.Add in 3 C’s;cloves, cardamom , cinnamon.Add in salt and oil.Let the water come to a boil, and then add in soaked up rice.Sprinkle some biryani powder over it but then this is not necessary.Cook it up ¾ or better half way through.Drain off the starch,put the rice in a flat plate and spread it out to cool off.
Now preparae the masala for biryani
Heat up cooking oil in a deep bottom pan or handi /dekchi if you are using it.
Add up onion, ginger and garlic.Fry them for about 3-4 mints.Add in finely chopped tomato.
Now add in dry powders- red pepper powder, biryani powder, coriander and cumin powders( I use Shan brand, but it depends on personal favorites) .Now add in salt, splash some water so that the masala don’t stick to the base of the pan.
Keep on stir/fry at med-high flame.After about 6-7 mints it will turn into dark in colour.Now add in marinated salmon pieces.Coat the fish very well with the masala.Lower the flame and let it cook for about 5-7 mints.
Meanwhile whisk in yogurt with half cup of water well.Take the pan off the heat, add in yogurt, mixing it as you keep on adding, carefully not to tear off the fillets.Once the entire thing is mixed up, put the pan again on flame.Let the fish cook through well in this masala gravy say about 7-10 mints at medium flame.Taste and adjust spice and salt.
Now time to layer up fish biryani
In an oven proof dish, layer the half -cooked rice first, then salmon fillets with the masala, and again some more rice over it and then lastly cooked fish.Add in deep fried onion in between and also finely chopped coriander.If you like the flavor of kewra essence/pandanus extracts  then sprinkle some drops over the final layer.And I do sometimes add in cashews +raisins as well.It’s all personal choice to dress it up even further.
Cover the oven proof dish with aluminum foil, put the dish in the oven and then bake further 10-15 mints at 175 deg C.Turn off the oven and let it sit in there.Personally I have always tried to put it to rest for at least 2-3 hrs before we eat it as this way the flavours gel much better.You can have it with mint raita or any other raita.

Recently the blog got it’s million hits..Yes blowing my own trumpet here – last week as I happened to check the counter – it read something like this 1,000,341 hits…now I don’t know what this implies, but then again , page hits and reading blogs, is totally a different thing.It took me more than 7 years to reach this phase, please understand that I don’t blog-hop much nor the blog has it’s own domain, nor I am that active in other social/virtual networking, and rarely host blog-events, and top it all, I do go hibernating many times unannounced- right, sometimes even a year long. 
So, what ever little this blog is noticed or being read, is just because of the lovely people like you, who read this blog again and again.Remember blogging these days is in a dying form, all thanks to other virtual networking alternatives and if you don’t communicate, it will not be easy to write again and again here….

Anyhow lets hope we continue doing things we have done it in past …that is, sharing our family recipes with you all so that you try them out in your kitchen as well.Learning is a life-long process and sharing the knowledge is always satisfying.Well thanks for coming here and making the blog as part of your life even it meant just for glancing it through or spending merely half a minute here.

It’s  raining outside and wind blowing fiercely, making horrific sounds here as I am typing this post.God knows when it’s going to stop as we are now mostly confined to home.Lets hope we do have a relaxing weekend,a midst all these chaotic weather here...

Anyhow thanks to all of you for coming here and reading this blog.Enjoy rest of the day folks, have a lovely weekend everybody.
Happy Cooking Friends 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Till'er Naru/White Sesame and Linseed ladoo /Till and Alsi ke Ladoo

Sometimes it’s good to watch the world go by through a window.I mean take a mini-break  from life’s very own nitty-gritty and in my case from food blogging.Now it’s just that when you decide to open up the main door,then walk along with the crowd outside , you realize that you have been out of the form , out, from the habit of walking,running - juggling or flying or what ever way you want to put it.But then it’s the feeling of joining and continuing which should be pushing you hard to have that courage of opening the front door and then start walking again with the world outside.So, here I am after a short hiatus , trying to take some baby steps with this initial post of Till and Alsi ke ladoo aka sesame and linseed ladoo.Don’t ask me what I did during this period.Really you sure, you don’t going to ask me that , nevertheless even if you don’t, I will still bore you with all those stories, may be in coming weeks or so…

I can’t recall when was the last time we had this severity of rain during winter season, so far it looks as if we are in Indian monsoon,yup, the only difrence is, it’s soggy and sheepishly cold and damp.When we started to go huff and puff with continous rain , here comes last two days with bright sun shining and comforting us,and we thought oh! yes finally- that real winter has arrived,the kind of winter which is so synonyms  in our neck of the woods,  where we would again relish oranges, wearing monkey caps or sitting leisurely cozying up or lighting up the “angithi” / which function like fireplaces to warm up, and trying to enjoy the “Delhi- ki -Sardi –type” winter.Well winter comes with fair share of festivals also - "Makar Sankranti" which is way passed now.As these ladoos were made back then along with Shoro Chakli etc .But then today being Saraswati Puja, so thought of writing it here….
I know you all will be making khichuri, chatni and payesh and chorchori etc.But then if you are into making gota sheddo as that is what I was making before I started typing this post, here is the archived post from here.....
So without adding much, here is till and alsi ke ladoo..I have used sunflower seeds as well.But if you don’t like  linseed/flax seed/Alsi/Tishi  or sunflower seeds , you may make it purely with white sesame or black sesame seeds as well.Gur/jaggery is used in place of sugar.But then  if you wish you can even use half sugar and half jaggery in combination as well and that is what I really prefer.

Sesame and linseed ladoo/ Till aur Alsi ke ladoo/Till'er Naru
Recipe requirements( approx measurements)- makes roughly 14-15 ladoo 
About  one cup of white sesame seeds
Quarter cup of linseed seeds
Quarter cup of sunflower seeds
About two small block of gur that should yield approx half cup of thick melted jaggery
Half a cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp of crushed fennel seeds/saunf/mouri
1 tsp of freshly grated ginger
3-4 tsp of ghee

Take a pan and add in sesame seeds, linseed and sunflower seeds.Start dry roasting them for about 7-9 mints at low flame, make sure not to burn them.I have slightly toasted them until a nice whiff of sesame seeds hits you senses.
Once it’s cooled,then pulse it coarsely in a grinder just once, many times I don’t do that even.Do not make it like a powder unless you wish to make Pinni types.Although if you do make then then you will need more sugar to sweeten them up.
Now in a pan, add in coarse sesame seeds+linseed +sunflower seeds.Add in sugar and ghee to it and start mixing it well.You may well actually skip linseed and sunflower seeds but these two seeds are healthy and packed with nutrients, especially linseed or Alsi in Hindi  /Tishi in Bengali ?? as we know it.
Now add in crushed fennel or you may use fennel powder as well.Add in a tsp of fresh grated ginger.You may actually use “Sonth” /dry ginger as well in place of fresh ginger.
Now add in melted jaggery to it and keep on mixing, stop when it starts to collect well.
Take out the mixture in a large bowl and after 5-7 mints, when you can handle the mixture stuff, start making small rounds.These laddos are soft, and they de-shape quickly.Although if you do make seed powder and make ladoos, they retain shape just like pinni.

Whatever way you prefer, try making them, they are absolutely delicious and healthy.And it says- these till ke laddo or till’er naru as we call in Bengali gives the heat to the body required for this type of cold wintery days.

And Saraswati Puja r Onek shubecha ….