Methi malai Fried Rice – Fenugreek and Cream fried rice

Methi or Fenugreek are abundant during winters. It has versatile uses. It can be used in making paranthas , pooris, (both are types of Indian bread), pakoras (fritters), simple stir-fry etc etc.

My taste buds for methi/ fenugreek developed over the years. It is a healthy leafy vegetable and good for diabetics, skin and hair treatment, among many.

Methi malai fried rice is a quick and easy recipe for leftover rice. A good recipe for a lazy afternoon πŸ˜›

Here’s what I did…..

INGREDIENTS

2 cups – leftover rice

1 cup – chopped fresh fenugreek

1 1/2 tbsp – fresh cream

1 no – green chilli, finely chopped

1 no – small sized onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp – grated ginger (optional)

1/2 tsp – cumin seeds

1 no – bay leaf

1/4 tsp – sugar

1 tbsp – cooking oil

salt to taste

METHOD

Heat oil in a wok and season with cumin seeds and bay leaf.

Add the chopped onion and chilli. Fry till onion is translucent. Add the ginger and chopped fenugreek leaves and toss. Fry till fragrant.

Add the rice, sugar and salt to taste. Toss the rice well with all the ingredients.

Cook for 4-5 mins. keep stirring or tossing.

Add the cream and mix it all together. Take it off the fire.

Serve hot with a wedge of lime.

Happy cooking !!! πŸ™‚

Cheers.

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Koraishutir Kochuri – Deep fried Green peas stuffed Indian bread

My earliest memory of Koraishutir Kochuri was when mom made me and my brother sit under the winter sun with a huge bowl of peas to be shelled. It used to be fun. We competed on who will shell the maximum, without spilling. Those were the days !!

Mom used to then process the peas and roll out perfect kachoris. It was always served with Dum Aloo. Mildly spicy, aromatic, and full of flavors ! What gluttony πŸ˜€

Now I live 1500 kilometers away from mom. I try to practice what she has taught. I do not know whether my efforts at cooking are as exemplary as my mom’s, but since my family is hale and hearty I guess, I am passable.

Here’s what I did…………

INGREDIENTS

for the pea stuffing :

250 gms – shelled fresh green peas

1 tsp – ginger paste

1/2 tsp – green chilli paste

1/2 tsp – asafoetida

2 tsp – roasted cumin powder

1/4 tsp – black pepper powder

1 tsp – garam masala powder

1 tsp – sugar

2 tbsp – cooking oil

salt to taste

for the dough :

500 gms – refined flour/ maida

3 tbsp – ghee/ oil

1/2 tsp – salt

water as needed

for frying :

2-3 cups – cooking oil

METHOD

Stuffing :

Grind the peas coarsely in a food processor. Do not make it a paste.

In a pan or wok, heat the oil and temper it with the asafoetida.

Add the coarsely ground green peas. Keep stirring an lower the flame to medium.

Add the ginger and green chilli paste, roasted cumin powder, black pepper powder, sugar and salt to taste. Lower the flame and cook for 25-30 mins till all moisture has dried up and peas is cooked through.

Add the garam masala and cook for few more mins. Take it off fire and keep aside for it to cool down completely before it can be used further.

Dough :

Take the refined flour, salt and ghee in a large mixing bowl. Rub the ghee well into the flour. Gradually add water and knead the dough. The final dough should be moist and stretchy buy not soft.

Cover it with a moist cloth and keep aside for an hour.

Frying :

Heat oil in a deep pan or wok. (kadhai)

Make golf-sized balls of the dough. Give it a bowl shape and put 1 -2 tbsp stuffing inside. Close the bowl gently and flatten it with your hand.

Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and roll out the stuffed dough into small discs.

Do not overstuff, else the kachoris will break open into the hot oil.

Roll out all dough in similar manner.

Slide in one kachori at a time into the hot oil and fry till golden brown.

Serve hot with Dum Aloo or any other curry of your choice.

 

Happy cooking !!! πŸ™‚

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

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Dimer dalna – Bengali style Egg Curry

Egg is called ‘Dim’ in bangla and and all time favorite of most Bengalis ❀

Dimer dalna is usually the answer to an almost empty pantry. Not only it is one of the easiest non- vegetarian dish to cook, it also does not need much time in preparation and cooking.

We never get tired of enjoying this Egg curry with steamed rice and a generous squeeze of lime ❀


Dimer dalna, is one of the easiest curry to make with limited ingredients usually available in any Bengali kitchen. Infact, the gravy is usually on the thinner side and is cooked along with potatoes.

Mom used to add some fresh peas and coriander to the gravy.

Here’s what I did………………….

INGREDIENTS

Makes for 2-3 persons

3-4 nos – hard boiled eggs

2 nos – potatoes, cubed

1 nos – large onion, grated or ground to paste

1 1/4 tsp – ginger paste

1 tsp – garlic paste

1 cup – pureed tomato

2-3 nos – green chilies

2 nos – bay leaf

1/2 tsp – cumin seeds

1/2 tsp – garam masala

1/2 tsp – turmeric powder

1 tsp – red chili powder

1 tsp – cumin powder

2 tsp – coriander powder

1/2 tsp – sugar

2-3 tbsp – oil

2 cups – water

salt to taste

METHOD

Peel the hard boiled eggs.

Marinate the eggs and cubed potatoes with some salt and turmeric powder.

Heat oil in wok or pan and fry the eggs and potatoes, separately to golden brown color. Keep aside.

Temper the remaining oil with bay leaf and cumin seeds.

As the cumin splutters, add the grated or ground onion paste. Saute till translucent.

Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute till fragrant.

Add the tomato puree and all the dry spices, except garam masala. Cook the spices till oil starts floating on the sides of the wok.

Slit the green chilies from the centre and add it to the spices.

Add the sauteed potatoes and give it a good stir.

Add 2 cups of water, sugar and salt to taste. Cover and cook on medium flame till potatoes are cooked.

Gently slide in the eggs one- by – one and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add the garam masala and take it off fire.

Serve with steamed rice or paranthas.

 

Happy cooking !! πŸ˜€

Cheers !! πŸ™‚

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Rui maacher jhal – Rohu fish in mustard gravy

Fish will always be our first and last love πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

Yes, we are fishetarians !!

Jhol, Jhal, Kalia and Korma are the four major types of gravy cooked in Bengali kitchen depending on the kind of fish, type of meal and also at times, age groups.


Each of these gravy types can be sub- categorized. Such as, ‘jhal’ can be made of tomato puree or mustard paste or poppy seeds paste.

Fish is usually cooked in mustard oil. It not only adds aroma, but also texture and taste. Rui/Rohu is a freshwater fish, commonly found in Indian markets.

In this recipe, fish is cooked in a mildly spicy mustard sauce, with some green peppers and garnished with freshly chopped coriander/ cilantro.

INGREDIENTS

4-5 pieces – fish fillet

3-4 nos – green chillies, slit lengthwise

3 tbsp – mustard seeds

1 tbsp – poppy seeds

1 tsp – nigella seeds

2 tsp – tumeric powder

3- 4 tbsp – mustard oil

1 tsp – chopped coriander/ cilantro

salt to taste

METHOD

Soak the mustard and poppy seeds in 1/4 cup of water.

Marinate the fish steaks with 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp salt for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain the water from soaked mustard and poppy seeds and grind them together to a fine paste with minimal water alongwith some salt and 2 green chilies.

Add a cup of water to the paste and pass it through a strainer. Keep aside.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok and fry the fish steaks to golden brown and drain on a kitchen paper.

Heat 1 tbsp oil and temper with nigella seeds and the green chilies. Add the strained mustard and poppy seed paste.

Add turmeric and salt and bring to boil.

Add the fried fish steaks, one-by-one, to this gravy and boil till the gravy thickens.

Garnish with chopped coriander/ cilantro and take it off the fire.


Serve hot with steamed rice.

 

Happy cooking !! πŸ˜€

Cheers !! πŸ™‚

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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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