Heeng-wale aloo

20Jan12

A quick stir-fried potato dish for dinner. Especially when you are running short of time.

Heeng-wale aloo

Serves:

2-3 persons

You Will Need:

  • Boiled and cubed – 3-4
  • Oil – 2-3 teaspoons
  • Heeng/Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Bengali Panchphoron – 1/2 teaspoon (Instead of 5, I use a 4 spice mix – fennel, cumin, fenugreek and onion seeds)
  • Green chilli – 1 or 2 as per taste, finely chopped
  • Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup
  • Salt – As per taste

Procedure:

  • Heat the oil in a wok
  • Add in the heeng and the panchphoron
  • When a mild aroma spreads out, add in the potatoes, turmeric and coriander powder
  • Toss around the potatoes until the spices are well mixed
  • Add in the chopped green chillies and the coriander leaves.
  • When the outside of the potatoes have turned slightly brown and firm, add the salt and quickly take it off the fire.
  • Sprinkle the black pepper before serving

Note:

  • Add some lemon juice or dry mango powder for a tangy taste.

Writing down yet another dalia (broken wheat) recipe that I need to make sure that I don’t forget

Paneer, peas and basil dalia pulao

Serves:

2-3 persons

You Will Need:

  • Dalia/Broken-Wheat – 2 cups
  • Oil – 2-3 teaspoons
  • Small sized paneer cubes – 1 cup
  • Peas – 1/2 cup
  • Basil leaves – 2-3
  • Bengali Panchphoron – 1/2 teaspoon (Instead of 5, I use a 4 spice mix – fennel, cumin, fenugreek and onion seeds)
  • Ginger – 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped
  • Green chilli – 1 or 2 as per taste
  • Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Ghee – 1/2 teaspoon (only for the nice smell)
  • Salt – As per taste
  • Water – As per requirement (would vary depending upon pan and pressure cooker. For pressure cooker, make sure you have about 3/4 inch of water standing over the dalia)

Procedure:

  • Wash and soak the dalia in water for about 10 mins.
  • In a hot pressure cooker (or similar utensil) add the oil. Next, add in the ginger and panchphoron.
  • Add in the paneer and let them brown around the edges.  The turmeric and peas go in next.
  • Add the dalia and toss it along with the rest of the things already frying in there.
  • Pour in appropriate amount of water, basil leaves, salt, green chilli(es) and let it cook till done.
  • Top with some ghee before serving.

 


My lunch dilemma has now been amicably resolved. ;) In the process I have also discovered this wonder food called broken wheat/dalia, which besides being full of healthy things is a wonderful substitute for rice. I try making variations of the popular dalia khichri mixing in different vegetables. Today however, I had a packet of shrimps that needed finishing off and I ended up making this pulao with shrimps.

 

Shrimp and broken wheat (dalia) pulao

Serves:

2-3 persons

You Will Need:

  • Dalia/Broken-Wheat – 2 cups
  • Oil – 2-3 teaspoons
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Shrimps – 1 cup
  • Cumin/Jeera – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fennel/Saunf/মৌরী – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Green Cardamom/Elaichi – 2-3
  • Coconut slices, finely chopped – 1 teaspoon
  • Onion – 1, thinly sliced
  • Ginger – 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped
  • Green chilli – 1 or 2 as per taste
  • Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Red Chilli powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Ghee – 1/2 teaspoon (only for the nice smell)
  • Salt – As per taste
  • Water – As per requirement (would vary depending upon pan and pressure cooker. For pressure cooker, make sure you have about 3/4 inch of water standing over the dalia)

Procedure:

  • Wash and soak the dalia in water for about 10 mins.
  • In a hot pressure cooker (or similar utensil) add the oil and the sugar. Next, add in the cumin, fennel, ginger, coconut and onion slices.
  • Allow the onion to turn slightly brown. Add in the shrimps, along with the turmeric and red chilli powder. Toss around until any water from the prawns has dried out and the prawns are nicely sauteed.
  • Add the dalia and toss it along with the rest of the things already frying in there.
  • Pour in appropriate amount of water, cardamoms, salt, green chilli(es) and let it cook till done.
  • Top with some ghee before serving.

Note:

  • If you would like to indulge, add in about 1 tablespoon of cream or coconut milk along with the water.

Yesterday, after another round of feeling yucky after the cafetaria lunch I had put out a request on Facebook to collect some lunch ideas. Generally, I used to pack roti+sabzi in two boxes for me and Sankarshan. Sankarshan has never preferred the idea of having rice for lunch on a working day (and I agree too), so that was not a welcome option. Doing too many gymnastics with roti/parantha was again a problem, since being from a very sparsely roti-eating household kneading  dough and rolling out rotis was an extremely time consuming activity for me. So I used cheats like oats-upma, idli, dosa, pasta, etc. Sandwiches are something we get tired of easily, because often we have bread in the morning. Also, I lunch with friends who are all vegetarians and since those 40 minutes of socialising are a high point of my workday, I prefer not to put any of them at unease. So well… my lunch food ideally ought to meet the following conditions:

vegetarian,
spare use of rice,
preferably one pot item,
avoid flour-kneading,
no maida,
somewhat nutrient+fibre balanced,
should not give a stomach ache, and most importantly
completed in 30 minutes

After a half-day long thread, the following are the ideas that I have gathered. The list includes non-vegetarian items which I am going to use for roadtrips.. and use vegetarian alternatives for my lunch. Here goes:

  • Upma (Susan)
  • Kathi rolls (Susan)
  • Sandwich – Boiled vegetable stuffing (Kajori)
  • Omlette – with vegetables (Zainab)
  • Maggi made noodle style – with vegetables (Zainab)
  • Egg + Potato + Vegetable Curry – (Zainab, perhaps this can also be used as a stuffing for sandwiches or kathi rolls)
  • Sandwich – Boiled chicken+ mayo + salt + pepper (Anumita)
  • Pasta – stir fry onions + crushed garlic+bell peppers+broccoli+mushrooms+boiled chicken+whatever works  (Anumita)
  • Pasta – chopped boiled eggs+chopped boiled potatoes+salt+pepper+ mayo  (Anumita)
  • Pasta – stirfry onions+ crushed garlic+pureed spinach. (Anumita)  Additional Tip: Boil whole wheat pasta in large quantity and refrigerate (Anumita)
  • Dalia Upma – with veggies (Anumita) and <a href=”http://in.answers.yahoo.co​m/question/index?qid=20091​008042251AALlN4I”&gt;Rajeshwar</a>
  • Pasta – with seafood (Sprabhu) < a href=”http://www.jamieoliver.com​/recipes/pasta-recipes/spa​ghetti-vongole-1″>Link</a&gt;
  • Biryani – (Sprabhu) < a href=”http://sprabhu.blogspot.co​m/2010_09_01_archive.html#​2455925402285955116″>Link</a&gt; Additional Tip: A rice cooker makes fluffy rice quickly.
  • Poha – with onions, tomato, peas (Mamatha)
  • Rotti (Karnataka speciality) -  Rice powder+cumin+onions+salt+ green chillies + water to be made into a fist sized spreadable dough. Spead and toast this on a tawa for 10 mins with oil. (Mamatha)
  • Curd Rice  – with grated vegetables (Zainab)
  • Sandwich – Assorted meats and egg filling (Saltwater Blues)
  • Macaroni Salad – with boiled egg, nuts, fruits, vegetables (Paawun)
  • Parantha – Assorted stuffings (Paawun)
  • Pasta Salad with veggies and iceberg – light mayo+mustard dressing
  • Pasta Salad with veggies and iceberg – olive oil+tabasco+lemon juice
  • Pasta Salad with veggies and iceberg – basil + tomato + peanuts

Thank you very much everyone. This is going to be my lunch menu card and I hope I won’t get bored with this soon. Also I’ll keep adding more to the list.


Carrot Cake

13May11

Zainab had told me once that she uses Raagi as an alternative to all purpose flour for her cake recipes. Considering the fact that she is a marathon runner, one can safely assume that it is a healthier choice. This was my first experiment with this pinkish coloured flour and surprisingly it turned out quite tasty. Bye bye maida.

Carrot Cake

The recipe follows:

Serves:

2-3 persons

You Will Need:

  • Eggs – 2
  • Refined oil – 1/4 cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup (I had used soft brown sugar, which is needed a bit more ~2/3cup)
  • Vegetable Oil – 4-5 tablespoonsVanilla essence – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon powder – A spoonfull
  • Coursely Grated Carrots – 1/2 cup
  • Raisins – 20-25
  • Raagi flour – 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon

Procedure:

  • Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree C
  • In a bowl, mix the oil and sugar well until the sugar has nearly dissolved. Add the eggs -1 at a time – to this mix and keep stirring until it starts frothing
  • Add in the vanilla essence and cinnamon powder
  • Add the grated carrots and raisins to the liquid mix
  • Add the baking powder to the flour. Use a fork to mix them up if you are in a rush and can’t sieve them. Slowly start adding the flour and keep stirring
  • Pour in the mixture into a well greased cake tin
  • Bake it for 25 minutes at 190-200C
  • Pierce with a toothpick and if it comes out clean the cake should be done
  • You can bake it for another 10 minutes to get a nice brown crust

Note:

  • Most other recipes mention about grated pineapple as an integral part of this recipe.

Ever since I discovered how the Convection mode works on my Microwave oven, every sunday evening I try to experiment with some kind of baking. The pictures from these experiments are generally posted on Facebook for general admiration and shameless plugs. :D So after some insistence, it seems fair enough to post the recipes and also revive this food blog in the process. Enjoy people and do please leave comments about your variations.

Orange-Choco Cake

The recipe follows:

Serves:

2-3 persons

You Will Need:

  • Eggs – 3
  • Full fat cream – a cup (I used one small packet of amul cream)
  • Sugar – a cup (powdered preferable)
  • Vegetable Oil – 4-5 tablespoons
  • Concentrated Orange juice/syrup – 1/4th cup. (I used about 2 tea spoonfulls of tang in 1/4 cup water)
  • Flour – 3/4th cup
  • Baking Powder – 1-2 teaspoons
  • Chocolate – 3-4 regular sized cubes or about 1/4th cup chocolate chips (melted and enough to smear evenly on the cake)
  • Orange Marmalade – enough to smear evenly

Procedure:

  • Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree C
  • In a bowl, start whisking together the eggs and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, whisk for 2-3 mins and then add the next.
  • In this mixture keep adding the powdered sugar while whisking
  • Add the cream and mix some more
  • Next up add the concentrated orange syrup
  • Add the baking powder to the flour. Use a fork to mix them up if you are in a rush and can’t sieve them
  • Mix the flour to the creamy mix, slowly and continue stirring
  • If it thickens up too much, add a little milk to loosen things up a bit. However, whisk it well to ensure there is enough air in the mixture.
  • Grease a cake tin with some oil. Pour in the cake mixture.
  • Place the tin in the pre-heated oven at 190-200 C for about 25 minutes.
  • Pierce the cake with a toothpick or knife to check if it comes out clean. If it does, then put it back again for another 10 mins to ensure that its really done. :D
  • Cool the cake and take it out of the tin.
  • Cut it horizontally into two halves of equal thickness.
  • On one half smear marmalade and on the other half spread the melted chocolate. Place the two halves (with the marmalade and choco spread sides in the insides) on top of each other.
  • Let it cool for another 10-15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set firmly.

Note:

  • I can’t say this enough, but make sure to pre-heat the oven well. Thats what makes or wrecks a cake.

Kosha Mangsho

19Sep10

I have had many variations of the kosha mangsho since childhood. It is a dry, spicy (not so spicy at my home) meat dish where the meat is cooked mostly in its own juices. There was no favourite version until I chanced upon the very famous ‘Golbarir Kosha Mangsho‘ at Oh!Calcutta.  Golbari at Shyambazar, Kolkata is famous for the very dark coloured, spicy-sweet kosha mangsho that is served at the New Punjabi Hotel. With a hush-hush secret cooking process, it is what legends are made of and is considered an essential stop if one is on a food-tour of Kolkata. Unfortunately, being a South Calcutta I have not had the opportunity to taste the real thing. However, ever since our first encounter at Oh!Calcutta, a visit to this restaurant is never complete without an order for kosha mangsho. This time while planning the sunday lunch, I decided to try out what I imagined to be a probable procedure. Thankfully, it turned out with a satisfactory taste.

Kosha Mangsho

Serves:

  • 2-3 persons

You Will Need:

  • Mutton – 500gms
  • Dried Red Chilli – 1
  • Onion – 3 medium to big sized, finely sliced
  • Green Chilli – 1 or 2 as per taste
  • Black Pepper Corn – A spoonfull
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ginger Garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon – 2 sticks, 3/4 inched size
  • Sugar – 4-5 teapoons
  • Cloves – 5-6
  • Cardamom (Green) – About 3
  • Tomato Ketchup – 1-2 teaspoons
  • Salt – As required
  • Mustard oil – 3-4 tablespoons

Procedure:

Marination

  • Pour some oil in a pan and fry two finely sliced onions until they are brown.
  • Blend the fried onions, 1 stick of cinnamon, 3 teaspoons of sugar, 3 cloves, one green chilli, the dried red chilli and all of the black pepper corn into a smooth paste.
  • Mix the blended paste, salt, tomato ketchup, turmeric and ginger-garlic paste along with the mutton and leave it overnight in the refridgerator.

Cooking

  • Pour the remaining portion of oil in a cooking pan.
  • When the oil heats up add a cinnamon stick, cardamom, 3 cloves and the remaining sugar in.
  • Add in the remaining onion slices and fry until medium brown. The sugar ought to be caramalized too.
  • Now mix in the marinated mutton and keep stirring it on a high flame for about 8-10 mins.
  • The marination ought to turn a deeper shade of brown. Keep stirring more on medium to high flame until the oil separates from the spice mixture
  • At this point cover the pan and reduce the flame a notch. Keep checking in every minute or so to ensure that the meat and spices are not burning. Stir it as well.
  • After about 5 mins add in about 2 cups of water, add in a sliced green chilli and cover the pan. Turn up the flame and leave it for about 15 minutes.
  • Check if the meat has softened. If not, add in some more water.
  • When the water reduces completely, remove the lid and keep frying for some more time, until its a greasy mix of spice and meat.
  • Serve hot with rice, light pulao or roti.

Note

  • The signature feature of this dish is a very dark brown to nearly black colour. So try to get that colour. Caramelizing the sugar is very essential and go low on the turmeric.
  • Mutton has an inherent smell which one needs to get rid off. Hence, it is important to keep frying it along with the marination until this smell goes off.
  • Do not even attempt this in the pressure cooker. This needs to be slow cooked and would require full attention at regular intervals



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