Sunday, 24 December 2017

Bolo Rei - King’s Cake

Merry Christmas to all...

Bolo Rei (King’s Cake) is a traditional Portuguese cake that is eaten around Christmas, that’s 25th December to 6th January. There won’t be any Christmas without Bolo Rei on the table. Each family in Portugal either buys or makes it at home during the season. 
This recipe made it’s way to Portugal from France during the 19th century when Confeitaria Nacional opened it’s official bakery in 1829. The Confeitaria was the first to introduce this recipe. 
Although it is called a cake,  Bolo Rei is more like a sweet bread.  Traditionally there is a large fava bean and a coin placed inside the Bolo Rei. And the one who gets the bean has to make the cake  for the following year and the one who gets the coin, is the lucky one. 
Normally you can add 50 ml of Port wine into the dry fruits and keep it for overnight but I haven’t add the port wine into my recipe. The dough is kept overnight for rising, but I kept it for 2 hours. 
Here is my version of the recipe - 

500 grams All Purpose Flour 
125 ml Lukewarm Milk
65 grams Caster Sugar 
1 sachet / 11 grams Dry Yeast 
2 Eggs
1 Egg white
100 grams Butter
2 tbsp Candied Apricot chopped 
2 tbsp Candied Cherry chopped 
2 tbsp Raisins chopped 
2 tbsp Black Raisins chopped
1/2 cup Dried Fruits chopped
2 tbsp Walnuts chopped 
2 tbsp Almond chopped 
2 tbsp Cashews chopped 
1 Egg yolk to brush 
2 tbsp Powder Sugar for sprinkle 

For Garnishing 
1 tbsp Almond chopped 
1 tbsp Walnut chopped 
1 tbsp Dried Fruits
1 tbsp Candied Apricot sliced 
1 tbsp Candied Cherries whole 
Some Lemon Candied peels sliced 

Take 1/2 the quantity of the lukewarm milk, add 1 tbsp of caster sugar, stir the milk, then add the yeast.  Stir it once again and let it rise. Meanwhile mix all the dried fruits, candied fruits and nuts together and keep it aside. 
Take flour, sugar, butter, eggs, remaining milk and yeast in a mixing bowl and knead it into a dough for 5 to 7 minutes. I have used a kneading machine, but you can also knead it by hand. Cover and keep it aside to rise. Now add the dried fruits and nuts. Knead the dough again. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Take a portion of the dough, roll it into a thick rope and round it into a wreath on a baking sheet.  Cover and keep it for 30 minutes. Then brush the dough with the egg.
Garnish the cake with candied peels, nuts and dried fruits. Bake it in an pre heated oven for 25 minutes at 180 degree celsius. Remove it from the oven and let it cool a bit. Sprinkle with some powdered Sugar.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Ram Rochak Tarkari

It’s a delicious Oriya vegetarian dish popular in the Baripada region of Odisha. This dish is made during Ratha Yatra. This a very simple dish. Mung dal dumplings are cooked with vegetables like brinjal and potatoes.  This dish can be served with rice.
This recipe is adapted from Sweta Biswal's blog Oriya Rasoi....

For the Dal Dumplings / Bara
1/2 cup Yellow Split Lentils(Mung Dal) soaked for 1 to 2 hours
1/4 cup Whole Green Gram (Whole Green Mung Dal) soaked for 4 to 5 hours
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Red Dry Chillies
A pinch of Asafetida
Salt to taste
Oil for fry the dumplings

Add the cumin seeds, dry red chillies, asafetida, salt, yellow mung dal and green whole mung dal in a grinder. Add very little water as the batter should be thick. Grind the dal into a batter. Take oil in a wok and let it heat up. Add a tsp of the batter in the oil. Repeat the process for 3 to 4 times. Fry it till golden brown in colour. Remove it from the oil and keep it aside.

For the Masala Paste
2 to 3 small pieces of Ginger
2 Dry Red Chillies
1 small Green Chilli
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
3/4 tsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Add the ginger, red chillies, green chilli, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and turmeric powder in the grinder and grind the ingredients. Add 2 to 3 tbsp water and grind it again into a paste.

For the Curry
Mung Dal Dumplings
1 cup Brinjal cut into medium cubes
2 medium size Potatoes cut into medium size cubes
1 Green Chilli slit
1 Green Cardamom
1 small piece Cinnamon
2 Cloves
Salt to taste
Masala paste
2 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Ghee

Reduce the oil in which the dumplings had been fried to 2 tbsp. Add the cumin seeds, clove, cardamom, cinnamon and green chilli. Let it crackle. Add the masala paste. Sauté it till the oil leaves the masala. Add the potatoes. Stir and cook for a minute. Add the brinjal. Stir and cook for another minute. Add 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Open the lid, add salt to taste. Stir, cover and continue to cook until the potatoes are 80 percent done. Open the lid, check if the potatoes are almost done. Add the dumplings and continue to cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Drizzle ghee and switch of the flame. Serve it with hot steaming rice. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Dumur er Dalna

Dumur means ‘Fig’ in English. It is commonly found all over the world. Ripe and dried fig (Anjeer)is eaten and known to all of us, but the raw / tender fig which is cooked into delicious curry or sabji is not known to many. 

This is not only delicious but is healthy too.
As kid when ever I travelled to Kolkata, I have eaten this many a times in my Aunty’s house, but staying in Mumbai, though there are many fig trees, the raw tender fig or kochi Dumur is not available at all. Since I have not been to Kolkata for many years, I couldn’t source it out. A big thanks to my neighbor who got this for me from Kolkata. I was craving for it.
These ones are very small in size so, I had to cut into 2 halves and scoop the seeds out. The little bigger ones can be cut from the sides and the center seeds can be directly discarded. As the cutting and cleaning process is a bit tedious, this recipe is now not made very often in the urban kitchen. 
There are many recipes made with dumur. I still remember as a kid Dumurer Jhol was given when I was sick. This is an vegetarian recipe without onion and garlic. You can serve this dish with roti or rice. 

250 grams Dumur or Fig
2 medium size Potato cut into small cubes
1 Tomato puréed
1 tbsp Ginger and Cumin paste ( 1 small Ginger piece and 1 tsp Cumin seeds)
2 Green Chillies slit
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Bay Leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala powder
2 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Ghee

Cut the fig into 2 halves and with the edge of the knife scoop out the seeds. Put the cut pieces into the water. Now take some water in the vessel. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt. Add the fig pieces into the water and boil it till tender. Don’t over cook. Drain the water and keep it aside.

Heat up the oil in the same vessel. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaves. Let it crackle. Add the ginger and cumin paste. Sauté it on low flame for a minute. Add the tomato purée. Stir and cook for a minute. Add the sugar, turmeric powder and salt. Stir and let it simmer for a minute till the oil separates from the paste. Add the potatoes, stir and cook for a minute. Now cover and cook for another 2 minutes on low flame. Open the lid and stir, add the green chillies and stir again. Now add the boiled dumur. Stir and cook for a minute. Now cover and cook for another 2 minutes on low flame. Opened the lid, stir and add a cup of water and stir again. Cover and let it simmer on medium low flame till the the water has reduced and the potatoes are cooked. Open the lid and check if the potatoes are cooked. Sprinkle garam masala powder and drizzle some ghee on top. Switch off the flame. Serve Dumur er Dalna with roti or rice.