I love doing ‘platters’ ❀ .Not just because i love the variety but also i love to mix -n -match with traditional and non -traditional food from other regions of the country. πŸ™‚

This is start of the platter series…….

Kicking off the festive season with something from my archive, ‘the festive platter’ πŸ™‚

This is a platter of traditional Bengali and Madhya Pradesh food. πŸ™‚

I am born and brought up in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, hence have a touch of the food from there in my cooking.

Rakshabandhan is around the corner, so thought of some festive platter.

So thought of joining http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/fiesta-friday-28/ and party with all my blogger friends.
Thank you to our lovely host Angie @ http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com Β and our co -hosts Β Margot @
http://gatherandgraze.com/ and Saucy @ http://saucygander.wordpress.com

Come join me in our beginning of the festive season with Rakshabandhan. The festival is for brothers and sisters , where the sister ties a Rakhi on the brother’s wrist and thanking him for loving and protecting her all through her life πŸ™‚


festive platter

On the plate : hara pyaz-chana dal sabzi (spring onion- split bengal gram stir fry), tomato- cucumber salad, piece of lime and green chili ( integral part of Bengali food).

In the bowls (anti-clockwise) : Dhokar dalna (lentil cakes in spicy gravy), Arhar dal with kasoori methi (pigeon pea cooked with dried fenugreek leaves), Muri ghonto (head of freshwater carp cooked in rice), Potoler dolma (fished stuffed pointed gourd in rich spicy gravy), Matka mutton curry ( cooked without adding water in a handi) and for dessert is Apple malpua with rabdi.

Spring onions- split bengal gram stir fry is a much cooked vegetable from Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. By adding fresh coconut to this it becomes ‘thoran’ .

Here’s what i did………

For 2 person


2-3 cups – chopped spring onions
1 Β½ tbsp -chana dal ( soak overnight)
Β½ tsp -garlic paste
ΒΌ tsp -ginger paste
Pinch of asafetida
Β½ tsp -chilli powder
ΒΌ tsp -tumeric
Salt to taste

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok, temper with asafetida. Add the chana dal and sautΓ© for 2 mins. Add the ginger and garlic paste, turmeric and chili powder.
Fry for a minute. Add the onions and salt. Fry for another 2 mins, add a cup of water. Lower the flame and cover. Give it a stir after 4-5 mins and check if the dal is cooked. Usually it takes to about 9-10 mins.
Once the dal is cooked through, higher the flame and dry up any remaining moisture. Serve.

spring onion- split bengal gram stir fry, tomato- cucumber salad, green chili, piece of lime served with flaky rice

spring onion- split bengal gram stir fry, tomato- cucumber salad, green chili, piece of lime served with flaky rice

P.S : one can take a short cut if you have the dal pressure cooked beforehand. In such a case do not add water because onions will release its own moisture.


Dhokar dalna (lentil cakes in spicy gravy),Β Β which does not give ‘dhoka’ has a long drawn out process of cooking …….end result ? πŸ™‚ Fantastic !!!! ❀

Dalna, in Bengali means gravy, the medium thick variety. πŸ™‚

Here’s what i did…..

For 3-4 person


For the lentil cakes:

1 cup – split bengal gram

1/2 tsp- ginger paste

1/2 tsp – green chilli paste

1 tsp – sugar

salt to taste

1 tsp – roasted cumin seed powder

For the gravy:

1 cup – tomato (blanched and pureed)

1/2 tsp – ginger paste

2 nos – green chili (split from the centre)

1 tsp – cumin seed powder

1/2 tsp – red chili powder

1/4 tsp – tumeric powder

1/2 tsp – coriander seed powder

1/4 tsp – garam masala (Indian all spice mix)

1 no – bay leaf

2 nos – cardamom pods

1 stick – cinnamon

pinch of cumin seeds

1 tsp – ghee (clarified butter)

dhokar dalna


For making the lentil cakes, soak the split bengal gram overnight. Drain the water. Grind the soaked gram to a smooth paste. Add the ginger and chili paste to this.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan and pour this mixture into it. Lower the heat and stir constantly. Add the salt, sugar and roasted cumin powder and keep stirring till all moisture dries up. Remember not to make the mixture too dry. Take it off the fire and pour it out in a platter and flatten it like a cheese cake. Allow to cool slightly and then cut into diamond or square shape.

Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the cakes. Keep aside.

For the gravy, heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and temper it with bay leaf, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds.

Add the ginger paste and tomato puree. Fry for 2 mins and add all the dry spices. Add some salt and the split green chili. Fry for another 2 -3 mins till the spices release their aroma. Add 2 1/4 cup of water. Season with salt ans allow it come to boil. Lower the flame and cook for another 3 -4 mins and then add the lentil cakes slowly. Do not stir and allow it to cook for another 3 mins on high flame. The cakes will soak up some of the gravy. Take it off fire and season with 1 tsp of clarified butter.


Pulses are the integral part of Indian diet, both vegetarians and non – vegetarians. Arhar( split red gram) or Tuvar is one of the common dal cooked in a variety of ways in Indian households. Here Arhar is cooked with a flavoring of kasoori methi ( dried fenugreek leaves).

arhar dal with kasoori methi

here’s what i did……….


For 2 person

1/4 cup – arhar dal(split red gram)

1 nos – small sized tomato (finely chopped)

1 nos – green chili (finely chopped)

1 tsp – dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)

1/4 tsp – tumeric powder

pinch of cumin seeds

Pinch of asafetida

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp – jaggery


Boil the dal with some salt. In a wok heat 1 tsp oil and temper with asafetida and cumin seeds. Add the kasoori methi and green chili. Fry and add the chopped tomato and the jaggery. Once tomato is cooked add the tumeric powder and pour in the boiled dal. Chec for salt and let to come to boil. Cook for another 4 mins and take it off fire.

Serve with a dollop of ghee over it.

Muri ghonto is a traditional Bengali recipe cooked with head of a Catla,Indian river carp or any other riverine fish along with some rice and potato. It is a delicacy from the Bengali cuisine. Every part of a fish is cooked in several ways in our cuisine.

muri ghonto


here’s what i did………


1 nos – medium sized head of a Indian carp (Catla)

1/4 cup – rice (soaked in water for 30 mins)

1 nos- potato (peeled and diced)

2 nos- green chili (split from the centre)

1 tsp – ginger paste

1 nos – small tomato, finely chopped (optional)

1/4 tsp – tumeric powder

1/4 tsp – cumin seed powder

2 pods – garlic (roughly crushed)

1/4 tsp – garam masala

1 stick – cinnamon

1 pod – cardamom

1 nos – bay leaf

salt to taste

1/4 tsp – sugar

1 tsp – clarified butter (ghee)


Clean and wash the fish head and rub some salt and tumeric powder. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the fish ahead. Keep aside. In the same oil, deep fry the diced potato and keep aside. Season the remaining oil with bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamom. Add the crushed garlic and ginger paste. Add the chopped tomato, green chili, tumeric and cumin powder. Fry for 2 mins and add the rice. After frying for another 2 mins add the fried potatoes and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and sugar. Cover and cook on a low flame till rice and potatoes are done. Break the fried fish head in manageble size and add to the rice. Add the garam masala and cook for another 1 -2 mins. Pour the clarified butter and take it off fire.

The matka mutton is a long used recipe from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, traditionally its cooked in a terracotta or clay pot, since i don’t own such a vessel , so cooked in aluminium alloy handi (pot) commonly found in Indian households. πŸ™‚

matka mutton

Here’s what i did……….

For 2 person

500 gms – mutton (goat meat)

For the marinade :

2 tbsp – onion paste

1 tsp – ginger paste

1 tsp – garlic paste

1/4 tsp – cinnamon powder

1 tsp – finely chopped green chili

1/2 tsp – black pepper powder

1/2 tsp – salt

2-3 nos- cloves

1 tsp – kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

1 cup – curd

For the gravy :

1 tbsp – finely chopped onion

1 1/2 tbsp – onion paste

1 tsp -ginger paste

1 tsp – garlic paste

1 tsp – tumeric powder

1 1/2 tsp- cumin seed powder

1 tsp – red chili powder

1 tsp – garam masala ( Indian all spice )

1/2 tsp – coriander powder

1 nos – bay leaf

2 nos- star anise

1 nos -black cardamom pod

1/4 tsp – peppercorns

pinch of shah jeera (black cumin seeds)

salt to taste


Marinate the mutton with the ingredients under marinade for 2 hours.

Heat 1/2 cup of mustard oil in the pot and temper with bay leaf, peppercorns, cardamom and black cumin seeds. Add the chopped onion and fry till translucent. Add the onion paste and fry again till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and the dry spices and add a tbsp of water. Fry till the spices release their aroma. Add the mutton and fold into the spices. Cover and cook on low flame. It will take approximately an hour and a half for the mutton to cook through as it will be cooking in it’s own juice and curd.


Potoler dolma (fish stuffed pointed gourd) is traditionally cooked with fillets/steaks of freshwater carp, here i used tinned tuna for the stuffing. A little twist to the tradition (my mom will faint when she hears this ) πŸ˜›

Here’s what i did……….

For 3- 4 person

600 gms – pointed gourd

For the stuffing:

1 tin – tuna

2 tbsp – finely chopped onion

1 /4 tsp – ginger paste

1/4 tsp – garlic paste

1/2 tsp – finely chopped green chili

1/4 tsp – tumeric powder

1/4 tsp – cumin seed powder

pinch of garam masala (Indian all spice)

salt and sugar to taste

For the gravy:

1/2 cup – onion paste

1/2 cup- tomato puree

1 1/2 tsp – ginger- garlic paste

1/2 tsp – tumeric powder

1/2 tsp – red chili powder

1/2 tsp – coriander seed powder

1/2 tsp – cumin seed powder

1/4 tsp – garam masala

1 nos – bay leaf

1 nos- cardamom pod

potoler dolma


Scrape and core the pointed gourds from one end, gently. Apply salt to the insides of the gourds. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions. Add the chopped green chilies, ginger and garlic paste. Fry for 2 mins and add the dry spices, salt and 2 tsp water. Cook till the water dries up. Drain and add the tuna. Check for salt. Stir constantly on high flame till it is cooked through. Take it of fire and cool.

Once cooled, stuff the gourds with this mixture. Heat some oil in a non -stick pan and gently saute the gourds. Keep aside.

Prepare the gravy by heating oil in a wok and temper with bay leaf and cardamom. Add the onion paste and fry till translucent. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a min. Now add the tomato puree and the dry spices. Fry till oil is released. Add a cup of water, season with salt and bring to boil. Gently add the gourds. Do not stir. Cover and cook for 8 -10 mins on low flame.


The platter will be incomplete without a traditional dessert πŸ˜‰ This is my take on the traditional ‘Malpua’ πŸ˜€ , Apple- cinnamon flavored malpua with rabdi πŸ™‚

Malpua was born in West Bengal and Bangladesh. It is pancake served with reduced sweetened and flavored milk(rabdi). Malpua has several versions since it’s birth, so here i present a little ‘twist -in -the -tale’ malpua πŸ˜€

apple- cinnamon malpua


Here’s what i did……..


For the malpua :

1/2 cup – refined flour

1/4 cup – khoya ( non sweetened condensed milk)

1 cup – grated apple

1/2 tbsp – sugar

pinch of cardamom powder

pinch of salt

1 cup – milk

1/2 cup – clarified butter (ghee) for frying

For the rabdi :

500 ml – milk

1/2 cup – sugar

pinch of cardamom powder

1 tsp – pistachios ( roughly crushed or slivered )

1 1/2 tsp – almonds ( blanched and slivered)

few rose petals (fresh or dried)

For the sugar syrup :

1/4 cup – water

3/4 cup – sugar

pinch of cardamom powder

few strands of saffron (optional)


Prepare the malpua batter by mixing together all the ingredients given for malpua. Mix it well so that no lumps are formed. Add more milk if required. The batter is for the pancake. Keep aside

Meanwhile put the milk to boil and keep boiling till it reduces to half. Add the sugar and cardamom powder.

Take it off fire and allow to cool. Sprinkle some pistachios and almonds and rose petals. Once it reaches room temperature, refrigerate.

Make the sugar syrup by boiling the sugar and water on low flame for about 10 mins. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and set aside.

Heat the clarified butter in a pan and gradually pour 1 deep spoon of batter and fry them one at a time 2 -3 mins on each side or till golden brown. Soak them into the syrup for 15 mins each.

Serve the malpua as the base with a spoonful of chilled rabdi over it. Sprinkle the remaining pistachios, almonds and rose petals.


Time to take a well deserved rest πŸ˜‰

Happy cooking !! πŸ™‚

Happy partying my friends πŸ™‚

Cheers!!!! πŸ˜€









About andy

hi there.....friends call me Andy :) I am a school teacher by profession. Passionate about reading, some random experimental cooking, some hit 'n' miss photography......and i am a dreamer ;) Thank you for popping by :)
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20 Responses to Festive Platter

  1. Ama-zing festive treat Andy. …

  2. Malar says:

    Full platter and festive!! you have got lots of patience to write up everything Andy πŸ™‚

  3. nimmiafzal says:

    wooooowwwwwwwww….loved it Andy…

  4. Kaila511 says:

    Oh my goodness! Your platter looks amazing. I love the variety of recipes, bright colors, and flavors. Thanks for sharing all the recipes too! Have a wonderful weekend, and happy FF. πŸ™‚

  5. Hilda says:

    All beautiful dishes in themselves and a great ensemble.

  6. I love serving platters too! They are beautiful and have something for everyone! Your presentation is beautiful!

  7. What a festive treat:-) draftinn one post is big deal for me you did amazing job with so many yummy recipes:-) having a sweet tooth for me malpua steal the show

  8. saucygander says:

    Oh my, what a platter! The malpua sounds delightful too. The Fiesta Friday crowd are all lining up to have a taste, thank you for sharing! I hope you are enjoying the party this week!!

  9. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #28 | The Novice Gardener

  10. milkandbun says:

    That’s really festival! So many nice dishes! πŸ™‚

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