Sunday, 28 August 2016

Chingrir Chop / Prawn Chops....


These Prawn chops are one of the delicious snacks from the streets of Kolkatta. The Prawn chops are made with medium or small size prawns and  potatoes cooked with spices and then it is given an oval shape. It is then coated with egg and bread crumbs and deep fried. It is served hot with mustard sauce / kasundi and onions... But due to the cost of the prawns, the street vendors add less of prawns and more of potatoes in the chop. So if you really want to enjoy the prawns, make it for yourself.... 

For the Prawn Chops... 
Ingredients
500 grams Medium sized Prawns
 (Cleaned, sautéed with 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder and salt for 3 minutes and roughly mashed)
2 Potatoes boiled and mashed 
1 Onion chopped 
1 tbsp Ginger - Garlic - Green Chilli paste 
Few Coriander leaves chopped 
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala powder 
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds 
Salt to taste 
1/4 tsp Sugar 
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Bay Leaves 
2 tbsp Oil 

Method
Take a wok, heat oil. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaves. Let the cumin crackle. Add the garlic-  ginger - green chilli paste. Sauté it for a minute. Add the chopped onion. Sauté it for 2 minutes. Add the mashed potatoes and prawns. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the salt, sugar, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and coriander leaves. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes till all the ingredients combines well. Keep it aside to cool. Divide the mixture into equal lemon size portions. Give it an oval shape. 

For the Coating and Frying 
Ingredients 
2 Eggs beaten
4 tbsp Water 
Pinch of Salt 
2 cups or more Bread crumbs 
Oil for Frying 

Method 
Spread the bread crumbs on a plate. Add water and salt into the egg, mix it. Take a portion. Coat it with the bread crumbs. Dip it into the egg, coat it again with the bread crumbs. (If you want you can dip it into the egg again and coat it with bread crumbs - optional). Repeat the process with the other portions too. Keep it in the fridge for an hour - that will help to bind well. Take a wok, heat the oil on a medium low heat. Fry till golden brown in colour. Serve it hot with mustard sauce.

Chitrakoot


This is a very famous sweet from Bengal. Chitrakoot is made from cottage cheese,  flour, semolina, khoya, sugar and baking powder. It is first deep fried in ghee or oil and then submerged in the sugar syrup and after that rolled with milk powder and caster sugar. 

Ingredients
For Chitrakoot.....
100 grams Home made Cottage cheese (water completely squeezed out )
25 grams Khoya 
10 grams All Purpose Flour 
OR
5 grams of each All Purpose Flour and Semolina 
5 grams Sugar 
2 Pinches of Baking powder 
Ghee or Oil for frying 
For the Sugar Syrup....
100 grams Sugar 
100 ml Water 
1/4 tsp Milk Powder to sprinkle
Little Caster Sugar  to sprinkle 

Method 
Take the cottage cheese, khoya, 5 grams sugar, all purpose flour and baking powder in a plate. Knead all the ingredients together until a soft dough is form. Divide the dough into 6 lemon size equal balls. Flatten the balls and shape it into square or diamond shape. Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the chitrakoots until brown in colour. Mean while take a pot and add sugar and water to make a one string sugar syrup. After the chitrakoots are fried dip it into the sugar syrup for an hour. Remove it from the syrup, arrange the Chitrakoots in a plate. Sprinkle milk powder and caster sugar on top. 



Thursday, 25 August 2016

Rosogollar Payesh


Today I have prepared Rosogollar Payesh, which is a sweet delicacy from Bengal. The Rosogollas are boiled in the flavoured milk. 
The syrup is squeezed out from the rosogolla and it is re boiled  in water again so that it swells up and when the water is squeezed out again and then added to the milk, it will soak the milk well in the rosogollas. 

Ingredients 
12 Mini Rosogollas 
750 Ml full fat Milk 
3 to 4 tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Cardomom powder
2 tbsp Almond Flakes 
2 tbsp Pistachio Coarsley ground 
Some Almond flakes and ground Pistachios for garnishing 

Method 
Take a deep bottom pot. Add the milk. On a low flame let the milk simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, cardamom powder, almond flakes and ground pistachio. Stir and let it simmer till the milk has reduced 1/2 it's quantity.  Meanwhile take the Rosogollas, squeeze out the syrup, take a small pan and add 1 cup of water. Boil the water and add the squeezed Rosogullars in the water. Boil it for a minute. Squeeze the excess water out from the Rosogollas. Add the Rosogollas into the milk, continue to cook the milk till the milk has thickened up. Remove it from the flame, garnish it with remaining almond and pistacho. Serve it chilled.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Green Herbs and Chia Seed Bread Roll...

Green Herbs and Chia Seed Bread Roll...
  I love the nutty flavor and the crunchiness of the Chia. I have made these bread rolls with mint, coriander and green chillies chopped with a tbsp of Chia in it. You can add any fresh herbs of your choice. 
Ingredients
300 grams Whole Wheat Flour
200 grams All Purpose Flour
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Chia seeds
11 grams Dry Yeast
150 ml Lukewarm Water
250 ml Water
2 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped
1 tbsp Mint leaves chopped
2 Green Chillies finely chopped


Method
Take lukewarm water, sugar and yeast in a  cup. Whisk is well till the sugar dissolves. Keep it aside for it to rise. Take both the flour in a mixing bowl. Mix it together. Add coriander leaves, mint leaves, salt and chia seeds. Mix it once more. Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in 1 tbsp oil, yeast water and 250 ml of water. With  a wooden spoon combine the flour together. Remove the wooden spoon and start kneading the dough. Knead for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 tbsp oil. Knead for 5 minutes. Keep the dough on a flat surface. Stretch the dough and knead it. If the dough is sticking to your skin, just spray oil on your palms. Knead for 5 minutes more. Apply oil on the dough, cover the dough and let it rise. 
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead it for a minute. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions (approximately 152 grams). Grease a baking tray. Take a portion.  You can either sprinkle little dough or apply little oil on your palms so that the dough does not stick. Flatten the dough on a flat surface, fold in 1/2 inch of the dough vertically from each sides. Press the folded edge properly. Now roll in the dough from the top till the centre and similarly roll in the rest of the dough from the bottom to the centre. The 2 edges of the dough will come together. Press and seal the edges. Give a light roll to the dough to get the shape of the bread roll bun. Gently pick the roll up and place it on a greased baking tray. Place the seal edges downwards. Repeat the process with other remaining dough. Cover and let it rise. Once risen, spray water on the bread rolls. Sprinkle chia seeds on top. Bake it for 25 minutes at 190 degrees celcius in a preheated oven. To get uniform colour, after 15 minutes, rotate the tray). Once baked, remove the tray and cool the bread roll down before using it. Best is to bake it in the night for the morning breakfast.    

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Chia Besan aur Sattu Ki Barfi...

Chia Besan aur Sattu Ki Barfi....

When festivals are around and sweets are in demand let's make some home made sweets with Lyva Organic Chia seeds..
Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, which is grown in Mexico. "Chia" means strength, and it used used as energy boosters. It contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds. About 2 tablespoons of Chia contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel.
I have roasted the chia seeds.. hence it gives crunchiness to the barfi along with almond flakes.
This is a recipe and review for Plattershare and Go Organic India for Belly Nirvana Program....

Ingredients
1/3 cup Sattu
1/3 cup Besan/Gram flour
1/2 cup Organic Coconut Sugar or Organic Jaggary powder
Pinch of Salt
1/4 tsp Cardomom powder
2 tbsp Almond flakes
1 tbsp Pistachio coarsely ground
2 tbsp Organic Chia Seeds roasted
3/4 cup Milk 
1/4 cup Ghee

Method
Grease a square tray and keep it aside.
Take a wok and add ghee. Let it melt. Add the besan and sattu. Stir it continuously and saute it on low heat till light golden brown in colour. Add the coconut sugar or jaggary, stirring it continuously, cook it for a minute. Gradually pour the milk and keep stirring till continuously till all the ingredients combines together. Add the chia seeds, salt and cardomom powder. Stir and cook till it starts to leave the sides of the wok. Spread the mixture on the square tray. Sprinkle with pistachios and almond on top and gently press the mixture. Let it cool completely before cutting and serving.   

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins With Organic Coconut Sugar

Whole Wheat - Banana Muffins With Organic Coconut Sugar...

Coconut sugar (also known as coco sugar, coconut palm sugar or coco sap sugar) is a sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. It is very popular in the south and south east Asian Countries. Coconut sugar is different both in taste, texture and manufacture methods from palm sugar. Coconut sugar comes in crystal or granule form, block or liquid. Coconut sugar is subtly sweet almost like brown sugar but with a slight hint of caramel. Since coconut sugar is not highly processed, the color, sweetness and flavor can vary depending on the coconut species used, season when it was harvested, where it was harvested and/or the way the "sap" or "toddy" was reduced.
Coconut sugar provides 16 calories per teaspoon and contains relatively low content of essential nutrients, with the exception of potassium at about 25% of the Daily Value per serving of 100 grams.

I have used Lyva Organic Coconut Sugar for the muffins... It taste less sweeter than the normal sugar and is more healthier than the sugar. The product is good for people suffering with diabetes. It taste good too.
 Here is my review and recipe for Plattershare and Go India Organic Belly Nirvana Program

Ingredients
1 cup Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Semolina
3/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Soda bicarbonate
3/4 cup Organic Coconut sugar
2 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
2 Pinch of Nutmeg powder
1 tbsp Walnut chopped
1 Banana chopped
200 ml Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Water
2 tbsp Curd
1/4 cup Oil

Method
In a blender, add sugar, oil and coconut milk. Blend it well. Add the desiccated coconut, nutmeg and semolina. Blend it once more. Add the flour, baking powder and soda bicarbonate little at a time and blend it. Add water and curd. Blend it. Remove the batter from the blender into a bowl. Add the chopped banana and walnuts. Mix it. Take a muffin tray. Place the muffin liners. Fill in 3/4 of the liners with the batter. Bake it at 180 degrees celcius for 25 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Cool it before eating...

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Chicken Bharata...

Chicken Bharata

This is a Punjabi dish. This recipe is prepared in Kolkatta Punjabi dhaba style. It is served with Roti or Naan or Paratha. This recipe is from Honey da Dhaba. 
I almost followed the same process, except I did not add Kasuri methi and add cream for garnishing too. It almost tasted like Butter Chicken... 

Ingredients
250 grams boneless Chicken breast piece cut into thin strips.
1 Onion chopped 
1 Tomato chopped 
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste 
Salt to taste 
1/2 tsp Chilli powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder 
Whole Garam Masala crushed ( 2 Cloves, 2 Cardomom, 1 stick Cinnamon, 4 to 6 Pepper Corn) 
1/4 cup Curd beaten 
1/4 cup Amul Cream 
2 tbsp Cashew nut paste 
2 tbsp Oil
1/2 tbsp Butter 
Few Coriander leaves chopped 

Method 
Take a wok, add oil. Let it heat. Add the whole garam masala and onions. Stir fry it till light brown in colour. Add ginger garlic paste. Stir and sauté it for a minute. Add the tomato, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and salt. Sauté it for 2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and stir, cover the wok and cook it for 5 minutes on low flame. Add cashew paste and curd. Stir it. Add 1/4 cup water, cover the wok and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add the garam masala powder, cream and butter. Stir it for a minute. Garnish it with coriander leaves and cream.

Fresh Cream Pineapple Birthday Cake (Eggless ).....


Ordered by a wife for her beloved husband on his birthday... 
This is a fresh cream cake with pineapple compote in the centre and pineapple juice infused in the cake. The roses and other decorations are made with fresh cream...(Eggless)....

Pineapple Sponge Cake...
Ingredients 
100 grams All Purpose Flour 
50 grams Milk Powder 
1/2 tsp Soda bicarbonate 
1 tsp Baking powder 
75 grams Caster Sugar 
1/2 tbsp Pineapple essence 
150 grams Butter Milk  (Milk and 3 tbsp Curd mix )
50 grams Butter 

Method 
Take a mixing bowl , add sugar and butter. Beat it till fluffy. Add 4 tbsp butter milk. Beat it. Add the pineapple essence. Beat it. Add milk powder. Beat it. Add the half the butter milk and flour. Beat it. Add the remaining butter milk, soda bicarbonate and baking powder. Beat it well. Take a baking pan. Grease it. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan. Tap the baking pan. Bake it at 180 degrees celcius for 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Cool it completely before frosting. 

Pineapple Compote...
Ingredients 
1 small size or 2 cups  Pineapple chopped 
1 cup Sugar 
1/2 cup Water
2 Pinch of Salt 

Method 
Take a pan, add sugar, water and salt. Boil it and then let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pineapple pieces and let it simmer for 5 minutes or till the pineapple are tender. Remove the pineapple pieces from the juice and keep it aside. Let the juice simmer on low flame till it recuces to 1/4 it's quantity. Pour the juice on the pineapple. Cool it down before using.


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Aloo Morich ar Cherebhaja....

Aloo Morich ar Cherebhaja....
It is a Bengali popular breakfast.... it is a very old recipe.
 
For Aloo Morich
Ingredients
1 big potatoes boiled and chopped
1 green chilli slit
1 tbsp ghee
Salt to test
1/2 tsp pepper pd.
Method
Take a wok, add ghee and heat it up. Add green chilli. Stir it for few seconds. Add the potato, salt and pepper. Stir fry it for 2 minutes.

For Cherebhaja
Ingredients
1 bowl Thin Flatten Rice
3 tbsp Peanuts
2 Green chillies slit
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
2 tbsp Mustard oil

Method
Take a wok. Add oil, let it heat. Add the peanuts. Fry it till brown. Add green chillies. Fry for for few seconds. Add the thin flatten rice. Add salt and pepper. Stir fry till crispy.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Burger Pizzas and Handmade Flat Bread Pizza....

Burger Pizzas and Handmade Flat Bread Pizza... 

I call it "Quick Fix Pizza"... 
When my friend called me, it was 7:30 pm in the evening. Uncle (her father) wanted to visit us. I had already planned to invite him over dinner, so then I decided why not today itself... My initial though was to order food from out, but my friend said that since children wanted to have Pizza Burger, we would order the burger pizzas from out, but from the time I have started baking, I hate to order pizzas from out... But to make the Burger Pizzas, first I have to bake the burger buns and then make the pizza.. It was already 8:30 pm.
 So tried some tricks to save some time on baking the burger bread and then to make the pizza burgers on time for the children to enjoy. I did save some time, but for the children to enjoy was bit delayed... 
    Let's see how to proof the bread dough in a warm oven to save the time for baking, especially when the kneading time is also reduced. 
You need a warm place for the yeast to rise quickly when you are lacking time... This method some what solves the problem.
Let's see the recipe......
Since I made Vegetarian Pizza burger and Pizza, I used lots of vegetables cut into small cubes..... 
Onion, Green - Yellow - Red Capsicums, Mushrooms, Baby Corns, Green - Black Olives, Pickled Red Chilli sliced, Pickled Gherkins and Tomatoes too. (Which I missed)
1 block of Pizza Cheese or 50:50 Cheddar Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese 
Pizza sauce 
Sprinkle of Dry Oregano and Chilli flakes.. 
2 tbsp Milk, 1 tbsp Oil and 1/2 tsp Honey for the wash
(Keep all the above ingredients ready while proofing the bread.)

For a Quick Pizza Sauce.....
Ingredients
6 Ripe Tomatoes cut into cubes 
6 big size Garlic pod chopped
1 big size Onion chopped 
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Dry Mix Herbs or Fresh Basil Leaves chopped 
1 tsp Pepper powder 
1 cup Tomato purée
2 tbsp Olive oil
Method
In a wok, add olive oil. Add garlic and sauté for a minute, add the onions. Sauté till translucent. Add the tomatoes, stir and cook it for 5 minutes. Add the tomato purée, salt, pepper powder, sugar and mix herbs, stir and let it simmer for 5 minutes more. Keep it aside.
For the Burger Buns.....

Ingredients 
500 grams Flour ( Whole Wheat + All Purpose Flour ) 
                                      60          :           40 
2  and 1/4 tsp Dry Yeast or 1 Dry Yeast Sachet  
1/2 cup + 1 1/4 cups Luke Warm water 
2 tbsp Sugar 
Salt to taste
3 tbsp Olive oil 
Sprinkle of Dry Oregano (optional) 
Method 
Take a mixing bowl. Add the flour and salt and mix it. Take 1/2 cup lukewarm water, add sugar and mix it. Add the yeast, stir and dissolve the yeast in the water and let it stand for 10 minutes to rise. 
( This is the first step... Very very important... The yeast has to rise. )
Make a well in between the centre of the flour. Add the yeast water, 1 1/4 cup water and 1tbsp of oil in the centre of the flour. Mix it with a wooden spoon. Lightly knead it for 2 minutes. The dough is bit sticky at this stage.. ( if you feel the dough is very sticky, then sprinkle some flour and knead it. ) Add 1/2 tbsp oil and continue kneading for minute. Add 1/2 tbsp oil again and continue kneading for another minute. 
( Instead of 10 minutes, I kneaded it for just 4 minutes. Saved 6 minutes.) 
Now apply the remaining oil on the dough, cover the bowl, wrap the bowl with a napkin and keep it in the oven at 60 to 70 degrees Celsius.. (The oven has to be warm and not hot.) keep an eye on the bowl. After 3 to 4 minutes please feel the bowl.. If it has become hot.. Remove it from the oven and keep it out till it cools down. Keep it back in the oven. In 30 to 40 minutes the dough will rise. 
 ( Saves almost 30 minutes of stage 1 proofing time ) 
Remove the bowl from the oven. Punch the dough and knead it for a minute. Make 9 equal portions of the dough ( 100 grams of each portion ) the remaining dough would be made into hand made flat bread Pizza.. Grease a baking tray. Take a portion, to make the burger bun, push the dough from in between the thumb and index finger. It will form a ball. Now gently roll the ball with the help of the palms. Place the rolled dough on the baking tray. With the help of the fingers, lightly flatten the ball. Repeat the process. Keep the dough balls at a distance from one another. Cover it with a napkin and keep it in the oven for 20 minutes for rising at 60 to 70 degrees celcius. Now take the tray out of the oven, remove the napkin. Increase the oven temperature to 190 degrees celcius. Keep the oven for preheating. Meanwhile apply the milk wash on the buns. Sprinkle dry oregano on the buns (optional). Bake the buns for 10 minutes. Remove and apply another milk wash. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove again and apply the last milk wash. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes more until brown in colour. Remove it out from the oven. Brush in oil on the buns. Remove the buns from the tray and cool it.
To make the Hand made Flat Bread Pizza........
In between baking the buns.. Grease another baking tray. Take the remain dough, stretch it with your palms and spread the dough uniformly on the tray and cover up the tray completely. Grate the cheese over the dough. Apply the pizza sauce. Arrange all the cubed vegetables, olives and pickled vegetables. Put some more grated cheese on top. As the buns are ready, increase the oven temperature to 200 degrees celcius and bake the pizza for 25 minutes until the cheese has melted and the edges of the bread has become brown. Take it out from the oven and keep it for 10 minutes before cutting the pizza.
To make the Burger Pizza......
Take the burger buns and cut the buns horizontally. Take a baking tray. Place the lower portion of the buns on the tray. Put the grated cheese, then put a tbsp of the pizza sauce, put the all the vegetables one after the other. Finally put some more grated cheese. Bake the buns at 190 degrees celcius for 10 minutes or  till the cheese has melted. Take the. Tray out from the oven, place the top portion of the buns on the cheese. Put the tray back into the oven and back it for 10 minutes more. Remove the tray and serve it hot..... 




Thursday, 11 August 2016

Dimer Tadka / Anda Tadka / Egg Tadka .......

Dimer Tadka / Anda Tadka / Egg Tadka .......

In and around Kolkatta there are many Punjabi roadside dhabas. Tadka dal is one of the very famous dish found in those dhabas. As a child every time, I visited Kolkatta, I would make it a point to eat this dal made by my Masi ( Aunty ) at her house.  Dal Tadka made with yellow lentils is otherwise available everywhere in India, but Tadka dal made with whole green gram / moong dal and the way it is prepared is only available in Kolkatta and it's surroundings. Egg or Chicken or Mutton is added to it. It can be vegetarian too. It is eaten with hot phulkas / Roti. There are many ways of making it. The eggs can be scrambled and added later or the egg can be dropped on the tadka at the end and simmered till the eggs are cooked. 
This is one of the way of making it. 

Ingredients 
1/2 cup Moong Dal washed soaked and boiled 
2 Eggs 
1 medium Onion chopped 
1 medium Tomato chopped 
6 Garlic cloves minced 
1 small piece Ginger minced 
3 Green Chilli minced 
1/2 tsp Turmeric 
1/2 tsp Coriander 
1/2 tsp Cumin 
1/2 tsp Chilli powder 
1/2 tsp Garam Masala powder 
Salt to taste 
1/4 tsp Kasuri Methi 
1/2 tbsp Butter 
2 tbsp Oil 

For Garnishing 
Few Ginger juliennes 
1 Green Chilli slit 
Few Coriander leaves

 Method 
Take a deep bottom pot or lagan. Add oil and heat it. Add the garlic minced, sauté it for a minute. Add ginger minced and  chopped onion. Fry it till light golden brown in colour. Add the green chilli minced, stir it. Add the tomato, turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Sauté it for 2 minutes. Add salt and 4 tbsp water, stir and cook till the tomatoes have become mushy. Now break the eggs into the pot and stir it for 2 minutes till the eggs have cooked. Add the boiled dal. Stir fry it well for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and stir it.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the garam masala powder, Kasuri methi and butter. Stir it. Garnish it with coriander leaves, ginger juliennes and green chilli. Serve it hot with hot rotis... 
P. S. You can have a dry version or add more water as per you requirement.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Macher Roast / Fish Roast

Marcher Roast / Fish Roast 
This recipe is adapted from the book "Thakur Barir Ranna". I have recreated this recipe by adding whole garam masala and green chillies and made it as per my convenience... It is a semi dry dish. This is a very simple and easy to make dish. Even though there are no spice powder added in the recipe , yet it is so tasty.  It can be eaten with hot steamed rice.

 Ingredients 
3 Whole Tilapia Fish cleaned 
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Chilli paste 
1 Onion made into paste 
4 Green Chillies slited 
Salt to taste 
1/2 tbsp Sugar
1 Bay Leaf
Whole Garam Masala crushed  (2 Cloves, 5 Pepper Corn, 2 Cardamom and 1 small stick Cinnamon)
2 to 3 tbsp White Vinegar or Curd 
3 to 4 tbsp Ghee 

Method
Marinate the fish with onion paste, ginger - garlic - chilli paste, salt and vinegar for about an hour. Take a flat bottom pan, add the ghee. Let it melt, add the whole garam masala and the bay leaf. Sauté it for few seconds till the garam masala crackles. Add the fish pieces into the pan, fry it till light brown in colour on both the sides. Remove it from the pan and keep it aside. Add the remaining marination into the pan, sauté it till light brown in colour. Add the green chillies and sugar, sauté it for a minute more. Add 3/4 cup of water and let it simmer till the gravy reduces a bit. Adjust the salt, stir it and add the fish. Cover and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Open the cover and turn the fish gently. Cook for a minute more. Serve it with hot steaming rice. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Pholkopir Barfi / Kabishambardhana Barfi / Cauliflower Barfi

Pholkopir Barfi / Kabishambardhana Barfi  / Cauliflower Barfi

This sweet dish is one of the favourite sweet cooked in Jorasanko, where the great poet Rabindranath Thakur resided. This dish was invented by his neice on his 50th birthdayThis sweet dish is not found any where in the shops. You have to make it to enjoy it. Cauliflower is ground and made in to a barfi. In eairler days it was ground on shilbatta.. but now a days grinders have taken over the kitchen.

Ingredients
250 grams or a small Cauliflower remove the stem and cut into medium size florets around 6 to 7 florets
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Khoya crumbs
5 to 6 tbsp Sugar or more as per the sweetness required
Pinch of Salt
1/4 tsp Cardomom powder
1 tbsp Almonds chopped
1 tbsp Raisins
Few Saffron Strands
2 tbsp hot Milk
2 tbsp Ghee

Method
Soak the saffron in hot milk and keep it aside. Take a pot and boil the cauliflower florets in water till It is cooked. Remove and drain the water out completely. Let it cool. Make a coarse paste of it in a grinder without adding any water to it. The paste should be around a cup. In a wok, heat the  ghee. Add the cauliflower paste. Stir it on low heat and stirring it continuously cook it for 5 minutes. Add sugar and 1/2 cup khoya. Keep stirring it till the sugar has dissolve and the khoya has melted. Add the saffron milk, cardomom powder, salt, half of almond chopped and raisins. Stir and cook till the mixture has incorporated well and semi dried up. To check, take a pinch of the mixture and roll it with your fingers, it should form a ball. Grease a plate. Pour the mixture into the plate. Spread it out. It should be 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Garnish it with remaining almonds, raisins and a tbsp of khoya. Let it set till it cools completely. Cut it into square pieces and enjoy it. 

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Challah Bread

Challah Bread

The name challah may originally have indicated roundness ("circle") and then also came to denote hollowness ("space") or vice versa. The bread was originally called Yachov in Hebrew, since it was baked in the form of a round loaf. It is also now known as cholla bread. Yiddish communities in different regions of Europe called the bread khale, berkhes or barches, bukhte, dacher, kitke, koylatch or koilitsh, or shtritsl. Some of these names are still in use today, such as kitke in South Africa. Most traditional Ashkenazi challah recipes use numerous eggs, fine white flour, water, sugar, yeast, and salt, but "water challah" made without eggs also exists. Modern recipes may replace white flour with whole wheat and oat or sugar with honey or molasses. Among Sephardic Jews, water challah is preferred for ritual purposes because Sephardic minhag does not require the Mitzvah of Challah if the dough contains eggs or sugar. While breads very similar to Ashkenazi egg challah are found in Sephardic cuisine, they are typically not referred to as challah but considered variants of regional breads like çörek, that are eaten by Jews and non-Jews alike.
Egg challot sometimes also contain raisins and/or saffron. After the first rising, the dough is rolled into rope-shaped pieces which are braided, though local (hands in Lithuania, fish or hands in Tunisia) and seasonal (round, sometimes with a bird's head in the center) varieties also exist. Poppy or sesame (Ashkenazi) and anise or sesame (Sephardic) seeds may be added to the dough or sprinkled on top. Both egg and water challah are usually brushed with an egg wash before baking to add a golden sheen. According to Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals (Friday night, Saturday lunch, and Saturday late afternoon) and two holiday meals (one at night and lunch the following day) each begin with two complete loaves of bread. This "double loaf" commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt according to Jewish religious belief. The manna did not fall on Sabbath or holidays; instead, a double portion would fall the day before the holiday or sabbath. Each single loaf is sometimes woven with six strands. Together, both loaves have twelve which is associated with the 12 Loaves of the Showbread offering which was displayed in the Holy Temple (in Jerusalem)- on the "Table", each loaf represent a tribe of Israel. Other numbers of strands commonly used are three, five and seven. Occasionally twelve are used, referred to as a "Twelve Tribes" challah.
(Net Source )

Here I have replaced water with milk. 
Ingredients
3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Sugar
3/4 cup Lukewarm Milk 
1 tsp Dry Yeast
Salt to taste 
2 Eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Oil
Egg wash (1 Egg + 1 tbsp Water)
1 tbsp Sesame seeds

Method
Mix the yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar in the lukewarm water. Keep it aside until it rises. Add the eggs in the yeast water and mix it thoroughly. In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and salt. Mix it with a wooden spoon and pour in the yeast mixture and oil. Stir until the dough starts to come together, then knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is soft and stretchable. Sprinkle some flour and apply some oil on the palm as the dough may be little sticky while kneading. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Grease a baking sheet. Take the dough, punch it. Knead it for 2 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 portions. Weight each portion, so it is divided equally approximately 125 grams. Take a portion and roll it into a long rope.  Repeat it with the other portions. Arrange the dough ropes in a line. Pinch the top of the ropes together and start braiding the ropes together. As the braiding is done, pinch the end so that it does not open up. Place it on the baking sheet, cover, and let it rise. As the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle sesame seeds and bake for 30- 35 minutes, or until the challah is golden brown.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Lapis Sarawa Coloured Layered Kek

Lapis Sarawa Coloured Layered Kek...

The Sarawak layer cake is traditionally served in Sarawak, Malaysia on special occasions. In the Malay language, the cakes are known as kek lapis Sarawak, Kek lapis moden Sarawak, 'or simply Kek lapis. They are often baked for religious or cultural celebrations such as Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, Deepavali, birthdays and weddings. 
According to the history, layer cakes have been made in Jakarta, Indonesia since the 1970s and 1980s. During that time, Betawi people came to Sarawak and taught the people, how to make the spiced Betawi cake. The Sarawak people then added new ingredients, flavour and colour that resulted in a new version of the layer cake been introduced and named as Sarawak layer cake. In addition, modern Sarawak layered cakes were inspired by Western cake-making in the early 1980s. In 2011, cake maker Kek lapis Qalas Qalas introduced modern design to the traditional layer cake, along with new flavours. Sarawakian modern layered cakes can be divided into two categories, cakes with ordinary layers and cakes with patterns, motifs, or shapes. All must have at least two colours. The cake can be baked in an oven or microwave. The batter is made from butter or vegetable oil, milk and eggs, it requires a strong arm or electric mixer to beat the ingredients together. The baked cake has a high, firm texture and the layers are fastened together with jam or a similarly sticky sweet substance. More detailed cakes often require special moulds to maintain the perfect layer thickness.
(Net Source )

Here is my version of this recipe with the ingredients available in my kitchen.
Ingredients
160 grams All Purpose Flour 
80 grams Malt / Horlicks or Malt based drinking powder like Bournvita 
1tbsp Coco powder 
1 tsp Baking powder 
200 grams Butter
80 grams Caster Sugar
5 Eggs
200 grams Condensed Milk
1 tsp Vanilla essence 
3 Ameri Colour of your choice

Method 
Grease a rectangular 7" × 5 " × 2 " baking tin and keep it aside. Take a mixing bowl. Add butter and sugar. Beat it well till fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat it well. Add the vanilla essence and condensed milk. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and malt powder together. Add the flour mix little at a time and beat it well. Divide the batter into 5 parts. Add cocoa powder into 1 part of the batter and mix it well. Let one part remain as it is. Add different colours in each of the 3 remaining batter. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celcius. Pour 2 tbsps of cocoa batter into baking tin and spread mixture evenly. Bake for about 6 -7 minutes or until cooked. Once cooked, remove the pan from the oven & press top of the cake gently using a fondant smoother or bottom flat surface of bowl.Then adjust the oven setting to top heat only and increase the temperature to190 degrees celcius.  Pour 2 tbsp of any colour batter into baking tin and spread evenly. Bake untill cook. Continue baking the same way, by pressing the baked layer and adding another colour batter on top of the baked layer. Repeat till all the batter is over. Take it out from the oven and cool it completely. Cut it into square pieces and enjoy it...

P. S. 2 tbsp batter will remain which can be baked in a small bowl.