Puti maacher chorchori – Swamp barb and vegetable stir-fry

Puti maach or Swamp Barb, a tiny- sized variety of fish, was never welcomed at our home. Reason, my father never liked it. Infact only a selected variety of fish were cooked at our home. Except a few new additions, the same practice is still being carried on. 

Though mom had rarely cooked Puti maach, yet she provided me a lip- smacking recipe. ❀

The only bit of a hassle with tiny variety of fish, is the cleaning. It is time consuming ! 

‘Chorchori’, to us, Bengalis is a melange of vegetables, commonly cooked and relished with steamed rice. Can be vegetarian or non -vegetarian. 

Here’s what I did………….

INGREDIENTS

250 gms – maach/ fish

2 pods – garlic, finely chopped

1 nos – small sized onion. Chopped

1 nos – small sized potato, cut into thin wedges

1 nos – small sized brinjal, cubed

6-7nos – cauliflower florets

1/4 cup – freshly shelled peas

1 nos – medium sized tomato. Chopped

1 tsp + 1 tsp – tumeric powder

2-3 nos – green chillies, halved

2 -3 tbsp – mustard oil (preferably)

1/4 tsp – nigella seeds /kalonji

Salt to taste

METHOD

Clean and wash the fish thoroughly. Apply 1 tsp tumeric and some salt and keep aside for 10 mins. 

Heat oil in a wok and shallow fry the cauliflower florets and brinjal. Keep aside. Saute the potato wedges for a couple of mins. Keep aside.

In the remaining oil ( add more oil if needed) shallow fry the fish to golden brown. Drain on a kitchen paper. 

Leaving around 1/2 tbsp of the oil in the wok, drainout the rest of the oil. 

Season the oil in the wok with nigella seeds/ kalonji. Tip in the chopped garlic. Once it stats browning, add the chopped onion. Fry till translucent. 

Add the fried vegetables, peas and green chillies. 

Add the tumeric powder and salt. Lower the heat. Cover and cook for 4-5 mins. 

Add the chopped tomato and 1/2 cup water. Adjust salt. 

Add the fried fish/ maach to the vegetables. Cover and cook on low heat till vegetables are done. 

Increase the flame and dry out any remaining moisture. 

Garnish with freshly chopped coriander ( optional). 

Serve with steamed rice with a wedge of lime to add a little extra zing ! 

Happy cooking ! πŸ™‚

Cheers !! πŸ˜„

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Shukto

A meal, for the Bengali, is a ritual in itself.

We, Bengalis spend not only spend great deal of time thinking about food, but also in it’s preparation and eating. ❀


Ask a Bengali about Shukto, and one might be surprised by seeing one going into a trance- like state πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ Not only Shukto is considered as an ultimate lunch appetizer, cooking a perfect Shukto is considered to be one of the greatest culinary skill a Bengali can acquire !!

Shukto is not only a special dish in traditional Bengali cuisine, it is also a tedious one.


When Bengal was partitioned into West Bengal (a state in the east of India) and Bangladesh (country), Bengalis on either side mastered their own way of making Shukto, keeping the basic ingredients the same.

Shukto is a mixed vegetarian dish comprising of bitter gourd, raw banana, white radish, drumsticks, egg plant, potato, hyacinth beans and sundried lentil dumplings, what we call ‘Bori’.

No Shukto is complete without ‘Radhuni’. A spice, exclusively found in stores in West Bengal, has now gradually started travelling to other parts of country. Still the availability is very limited outside Bengal.

Traditionally, all the vegetables are deep fried separately with bitter gourd at the last.

Soaking the mustard in water for an hour or so, helps it to grind better. And, the mustard paste that is used is usually strained out by adding a little water. This cuts down on it’s bitterness.


Here’s what I did……………..

INGREDIENTS

1 nos – medium to large sized bitter gourd/ karela, cubed

1 nos – medium sized white radish/ mooli, peeled and cubed

1 nos – small sized brinjal/ egg plant/ baingan, cubed

3-4 nos – hyacinth beans/ sem ki phalli, string the beans and halved

1 nos – drumstick, string the drumstick and cut into length of 1 1/2″

1 nos – medium sized potato, peeled and cubed

1 nos – raw banana/ kaccha kela, peeled and cubed

8-9 nos – sundried lentil dumplings/ bori/ vadi

1/2 tsp – ginger paste

2 tsp – mustard, soaked in water

1/4 tsp – radhuni

1 cup – toned milk + 1 cup water

1 tsp – sugar

1 tsp – ghee/ clarified butter

4 tbsp – oil

salt to taste

METHOD

Grind the mustard to a fine paste and strain it out with water. 

Heat oil in a wok/ kadhai or a pan. Fry the ‘bori’/ sundried lentil dumplings till they turn brown. Drain them on an absorbent paper. 

Fry all the vegetables one by one. Bitter gourd should be fried last. Keep aside. 

Temper the remaining oil with ‘radhuni’. 

Add the ginger paste and the fried vegetables. Season with salt. 

Add the sugar and the strained mustard paste. Cover and cook for 3-4 mins on medium flame. 

Pour in the milk and water. (Add enough water to make gravy) Adjust salt. Cover and cook on medium flame till vegetables are done. 

Half crush (optional) the fried bori/ sundried lentil dumplings and add it to the shukto. 

Garnish with 1 tsp ghee and take it off fire. 


Serve hot with rice. 

Happy cooking ! πŸ™‚

Cheers !! πŸ˜€
 

 

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Kadhai Paneer

Kadhai Paneer is one of the most popular vegetarian dish. Paneer or Cottage cheese is an important source of milk protein in a vegetarian diet. North of India is well known for several finger-licking good cottage cheese preparation, from dry to semi-dry to rich gravies.

Punjabis are known for their food. The capsicum or bell peppers, adds the right amount of crunch to this gorgeous recipe.


No restaurant menu is complete without this dish being served under it’s vegetarian section. It is a favorite at almost every party gatherings or family functions.

The gravy is simple to cook and one can be innovative with the ingredients.

Now, Kadhai is a technically a wok with steeper sides. It is one of the most commonly used utensil in Indian kitchens. As this dish is cooked in a Kadhai, hence it took it’s name from there.


Here’s what I did……………………..

INGREDIENTS

250 gms – cottage cheese

2 nos – medium sized onion, pureed

3 nos – large sized tomatoes, pureed

1 cup – capsicum/ bell pepper, cut lengthwise

1 tsp – ginger paste

1 tsp – garlic paste

1/2 tsp – tumeric powder

1 tsp – red chilli powder

1 tsp – coriander powder

1/2 tsp – garam masala

1 tsp – juliennes of ginger (for garnish)

1 tsp – chopped green chilli (for garnish)

1/2 tsp – sugar (optional)

1 nos – bay leaf

2 nos – 1 inch sticks of cinnamon

3-4 nos – cloves

2 tbsp – oil

salt to taste

METHOD

Cut the paneer in cubes or triangles, as per choice.

Heat oil in a wok/ kadhai and saute the cottage cheese/ paneer.

Soak the cottage cheese/ paneer in warm water till further use.

Season the remaining oil with bay leaf, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Tip in the pureed onion and fry till translucent.

Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook till it is fragrant.

Add the tomato puree, tumeric, red chilli and coriander powder. Cook till the oil starts floating on top.

Add the chopped capsicum and give it a good stir.

Add 1/2 cup water, salt and sugar and bring it boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 3-4 mins.

Drain out the water and add the sauteed cottage cheese/paneer.

Sprinkle the garam masala and cook the gravy to semi-dry consistency.

Take it off fire and garnish with juliennes of ginger and chopped green chillies.


Serve with chapatis, naan or paranthas.

Happy cooking !! πŸ™‚

Cheers !! πŸ˜€

 

 

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Kadhi

‘Kadhi -chawal’ for a large chunk of Indians, translates into ‘comfort food’. ❀



Every region of the country has a version of Kadhi, where the basic ingredients used are the same.

Kadhi is a yogurt and gram flour (besan) based gravy with vegetable fritters. It goes perfectly with steamed rice or khichdi (kedgeree).

Kadhi is made from buttermilk or yogurt. This recipe used buttermilk. Buttermilk gives the kadhi a smooth texture compared to yogurt. Punjabi kadhi is made out of full fat buttermilk or yogurt. Whereas, Sindhi kadhi is made out of tamarind pulp.


Kadhi is considered a light food and popular in all ages.

And in all my experiments of cooking, I have found Kadhi to be instrumental in feeding my teenager some vegetables. Go innovative with the fritters !! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

I have used a mix of grated raw papaya and potatoes with chopped onion, green chillies and seasonings.

Here’s what I did………………

INGREDIENTS

For the fritters/pakoras :

1 cup – grated raw papaya

1/2 cup – grated semi-boiled potatoes

1 tsp – grated ginger

1 nos – onion, finely chopped

2 nos – green chilli, finely chopped

gram flour, as per need

pinch of baking soda (optional)

pinch of ajwain/carom seeds

pinch of salt

oil for deep frying

For the gravy :

500 ml – buttermilk

3 tbsp – gram flour /besan

1 tsp – tumeric powder

1/2 tsp – red chilli powder (optional)

Salt to taste

For tempering/ tadka :

pinch of fenugreek seeds/ methi dana

pinch of asafoetida

a sprig of curry leaves/ kadhi patta

2 nos – dried whole chilli

1/4 tsp mustard seeds

METHOD

Fritters :

Mix together all ingredients listed under Fritters, except gram  flour.

Add gram flour (approx. 3 tbsp initially) and mix it all together. Add water to make a thick batter. Remember, the raw papaya has it’s own moisture too.

Heat oil in a wok/ kadhai.

Drop a dollop of the batter at a time of the gram flour mix and deep fry on medium heat. Drain on a kitchen paper.

Gravy :

Blend the buttermilk and gram flour together.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a deep pan.

Add all the ingredients mentioned under ‘tempering’.

As the mustard splutters, pour the buttermilk and gram flour mix.

Add 1 1/2  cup water.

Add tumeric and red chilli powder. Season with salt.

As it comes to boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 mins. Stir occasionally.

Add the fritters and increase the heat. Cook for another 1 min and take it off fire.

To add that extra zing –

In a small pan, heat 2 tsp ghee/ clarified butter. Once it starts smoking, taking it off fire and add a pinch of cumin seeds, few curry leaves and 1/4 tsp red chilli powder. Pour the tempering over the Kadhi before serving.


Serve hot with steamed rice.

Happy cooking !! πŸ™‚

Cheers !! πŸ˜€

 

 

 

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Egg Stumbler

Eggs and we are in love forever ❀

A spicy version of scrambled eggs with bite-sized bread pieces or bread crumbs. A popular street food from Mangalore and just another way of making bread and eggs.

This recipe is inspired by a friend and it is easy-to-make dish. Can be served for breakfast or brunch with cup of tea, coffee or fresh fruit juice.

img_2102-4

The inviting aroma of sizzling eggs with spices ❀

img_2100-1

Here’s what I did………………..

INGREDIENTS

3-4 nos – eggs

7-8 nos – bread slices

1 nos – medium sized onion, finely chopped

1 nos – medium sized tomato, finely chopped

1-2 nos – green chillies, finely chopped

1/2 tsp – sambhar powder (optional)

1/2 tsp – tumeric powder

2 tbsp – oil

1 tbsp – chopped coriander/ cilantro

1 tbsp – lemon juice

salt to taste

METHOD

Crumb the bread. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan anf fry the chopped onion till translucent. Add chopped green chilli and fry.

Add the chopped tomato and tumeric powder. Season with salt.

Beat the eggs and add it to the frying tomatoes. Scramble the eggs.

Add the bread crumbs and cook for 4-5 mins till the crumbs get roasted well.

Mix in the lemon juice and chopped coriander.
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Serve hot.

Happy cooking ! πŸ™‚

Cheers !! πŸ˜€

 

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Rui maacher korma – Fish Korma with Indian carp

One of the most commonly cooked fish in Bengali kitchens -Rui or Rohu, is a species of fish from the Carp family and are plenty in our rivers and lakes.


Recipes to cook this fish are innumerable. Since the family was celebrating a small occasion, I decided to give the fish curry a Nawabi touch πŸ˜‰

And there it is, Rui maacher korma or Fish korma with Indian carp – thick and rich gravy of yogurt and cashew nut paste.


Here’s what I did …………

INGREDIENTS

To marinate the fish steaks :

6-7 pieces- fish steaks

1/2 tsp – tumeric powder

1 tsp – salt

For the gravy :

1 nos – medium sized onion

1 tsp – ginger paste

1/2 tsp – garlic paste

1 cup – yogurt

7-8 nos – cashew nut, soaked in water

1 tsp – red chilli powder

1 tsp – tumeric powder

1 tsp – cumin powder

1/2 tsp – coriander powder

1/4 tsp – garam masala (optional)

2 nos – bay leaf

1″ stick – cinnamon

2 cups – water

pinch of cumin seeds

Oil – to fry the fish steaks + 1 tbsp for gravy

Salt to taste

METHOD

Wash the fish steaks thoroughly. Place them on a plate and rub the salt and tumeric powder, as mentioned under marinate. Keep aside for 15 mins.

Meanwhile, chop and grind the onion to paste.

Beat the yogurt and mix in all the dry spice powder.

Separately, grind the soaked cashew nut to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok or a deep pan and fry the fish steaks to golden. Drain on an absorbent paper.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a separate pan and temper with bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds.

Tip in the onion paste and fry till translucent. ( do not brown)

Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry till fragrant.

Add the yogurt mixture. Cook till oil leaves the side of the pan.

Add the cashew nut paste and cook for a couple of mins.
Add the water. Season with salt.

As the gravy/ sauce comes to boil, gradually slide in the fish steaks.

Cook the gravy till it reaches a thick consistency.

Take it off fire.

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Serve with hot steamed rice.
Happy cooking !! 😊

Cheers !! πŸ˜„

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Narkel shorshe diye Sojne phool – Drumstick blossom with coconut and mustard

Winters in India, heralds a wide range of vegetables, fruits and flowers.

Sojne phool or Drumstick blossoms are a delicacy cooked in various regions of the country. Each region has their list of traditional recipes.

img_2234
Like many edible flowers Β from around the world, India has it’s fair share of such flowers. There is long list of atleast 42 edible flowers in India – Roses, Hibiscus, Spiny Sesbina, Lemon blossom, Nasturtiums, Drumstick blossom (Moringa Oleifera) etc


This is a dry dish and goes well with steamed rice.


Drumstick blossoms or Sojne phool are a bit bitter to taste. There is a much tested age old trick to lessen that bitterness by steaming the flowers and draining out the water.

The flowers post steaming, are ready to be used for numerous preparations. Though this is an optional trick, but i found it to be extremely useful.

This is what I did……

INGREDIENTS

2 cups – sojne phool/ drumstick blossoms

2-3 nos – green chillies

1 1/2 tbsp – fresh coconut paste

2 tsp – mustard paste

1 tsp – sugar

5-6 nos – bori/ sundried lentil dumplings

1 tsp – tumeric powder

1/2 tsp – mustard seeds

Salt to taste

Oil- as per need

METHOD

Rinse the flowers well. Drain.

Steam the flowers for 10- 12 mins. Drain the water.

Heat sufficient oil in a pan and fry the bori/ sundried lentil dumplings. Drain them on an absorbent paper.

Heat 3 tsp oil separately and season with mustard seeds. Add the coconut paste and fry till it starts turning golden.

Add the mustard paste and tumeric powder.

Add the steamed blossoms.

Cut the green chillies halfway through the centre and add it to the pan.

Season with salt and sugar. Stir. Lower the heat and cover.

Cook the blossoms till all moisture dries up.

Gently break up the fried dumplings and mix it to the cooked blossoms.

You may add a tsp of ghee at this point (optional).

Take it off fire.
Serve with hot steamed rice.

Happy cooking !! 😊

Cheers !! πŸ˜„

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