Saturday 22 December 2018

Shitkalin Niramish Tarkari

I absolutely love winters. The variety of fresh vegetables that you get to eat during winter is fabulous. I always love simple home cooked vegetables. One of the winter vegetable dish is  Niramish Tarkari - Vegetarian Sabji. The ground roasted masala that is added in this recipe is different. It enhances the flavour of of this dish. The vegetables cook in its own water. My Ma use to make this dish, this can be eaten with roti, chapatis or parathas. 

For the Roasted Powder 
6 to 8 Black Pepper Corn
2 Green Cardamom 
2 Cloves 
1 small piece of Cinnamon 
2 Dried Red Chillies 
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds 
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

Take a pan, add the pepper corn, cardomom, cloves, cinnamon, red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds. Roast all the ingredients until you get some good aroma. Switch off the flame, let it cool. Add the ingredients in the grinder and grind the ingredients into a powder. Keep it aside. 

For the Vegetable
1 big bowl of mix vegetables cut into cubes. 
1 Capsicum 
1 Carrot 
1 Sweet Potato
3 Cauliflower florets 
5 tbsp Green Peas
8 to 10 French Beans cut into medium size pieces 
1 Tomato chopped and keep it separate 
1 small piece of Ginger chopped 
2 Green Chillies cut into pieces 
2 Bay leaves 
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
Roasted Masala Powder 
Salt to taste 
1 tsp Sugar 
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 
2 tbsp Ghee

Take a wok, add ghee, let the ghee melt. Add the ginger, green chillies and bay leaves. Let it sauté for few seconds. Add the cumin seeds, let the seeds crackle. Add the mix vegetables. stir, cover and let it cook on low flame for 2 minutes. Open the lid, add the tomato and stir for a minute. Add the sugar, salt, turmeric powder and the roasted powder. Stir and cover the wok and continue to cook on a low flame until the vegetables are done. Serve the vegetables with hot rotis, chapatis or parthas. 

Thursday 13 December 2018

Murgir Jhol / Bengali Chicken Gravy

This dish is very commonly made in any Bengali home. The method may differ as per the house. This is how I make a quick chicken gravy at my place.  It can be enjoyed with hot steamed rice. 
750 grams Chicken cut into pieces 
Ground paste made with 2 Onions, 6 Garlic Cloves, 1 small piece of Ginger and 2 Green Chillies 
1 medium Tomatoe chopped 
2 Big size Potatoes peeled and cut into big chunks 
2 Bay leaves 
2 Cloves 
2 Green Cardomom 
6 Pepper Corns
1 small piece of Cinnamon 
1 tsp Sugar 
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 
1 tsp Cumin powder 
1/2 tsp Coriander powder 
1/4 tsp Bengali Garam masala - 1 Cloves, 1small piece of Cinnamon and 1 Green Cardomom ground 
4 tbsp Mustard Oil
1/2 tsp Ghee

Take a pressure pan. Add mustard oil, let it heat up. Reduce the flame. Add potatoes and fry them. Remove the potatoes and keep it aside. In the same oil add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper corns and green chillies. Let it crackle. Add the ground paste, sauté it for a minute. Add the sugar, salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Continue to sauté for another minute. Add the chicken and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato and stir. Add 2 cups of water and cover the pan with the lid, let the gravy simmer for 5 minutes. Open the lid, add the potatoes. Now close the pressure pan lid and allow 3 to 4 whistles. Switch off the flame. Let pressure release. Open the lid. Drizzle the ghee and sprinkle the garam masala powder. Serve it hot with steamed rice. 

Thursday 6 December 2018

Bhetki Maacher Pulao / Bhetki Fish Pulao

Made this home style Bhetki Pulao which is very quick and easy to cook. This can be made with any boneless fish left in your freezer. 
500 grams of Bhetki fish boneless cut into small chunks 
1 1/2 cup Basmati Rice washed and  soaked 
1 Big size Onion sliced 
1 tbsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
2 Green Chillies cut lengthwise 
Few Coriander leaves chopped 
2 Bay leaves 
2 Cloves 
2 Green Cardamoms 
1 small stick Cinnamon 
5 to 6 Pepper Corns
1/2 cup Whisked Curd 
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp Chilli powder 
1/2 tsp Garam Masala powder
1 tsp Cumin powder 
1 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
3 tbsp Ghee 

Take a pot. Add ghee, let it heat up. Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper corns and bay leaves. Let it crackle. Add the sliced onion and sauté till the onions are translucent. Add the ginger - garlic paste. Continue to sauté for a minute more. Add the curd, salt, sugar, turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin power and garam masala powder. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, add the fish pieces and the green chillies, continue to cook for 2 minutes more. Remove the fish pieces from the masala and keep it aside. Add 4 cups of water. Let it simmer. Add the rice. Let it continue to cook until the rice is almost done. Place the fish on the rice, gently stir the rice, cover and cook for another 2 minutes. Switch off the flame. Open the lid and gently stir it again. Garnish with coriander leaves.  Let the pulao stand for 15 minutes before serving, so that the excess vapour will evaporate. It goes well with salad and  curd.

Saturday 1 December 2018

Bhapa Dimmer Malai Curry (Steamed Egg Curry with Coconut Milk)

Malai Curry is an authentic Bengali delicacy and is made on occasions. It's a gravy dish. It’s made with big size prawns. Here I have twisted the recipe with steamed eggs. You can enjoy this dish with hot steaming rice. 

For Steamed Egg
8 Eggs 
1 Onion chopped 
1 Green chilli or as per your requirement chopped
1/2 tsp Ginger paste
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Milk
2 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped 

Break the eggs in a bowl. Add the salt, onions, green chilli, ginger, coriander and milk. Beat the eggs. Grease a plate or idli moulds. Pour the beaten egg on the plate or in idli moulds. Steam the beaten egg. Once done cool it down and cut the steamed egg into cubes, if you have steamed it in a plate or remove the dim bhapa from the idli moulds. Keep it aside while making the gravy. 

For the Gravy
Dim Bhapa
1 big size Onion paste
1 big size Tomato paste
1 tbsp Garlic - Ginger paste 
2 Green Chillies slit
1/4 tsp Garam Masala powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp Chilli powder 
3/4 tsp Cumin powder 
1 tsp Sugar 
Salt to taste
2 Cloves 
2 Green Cardamom 
1 small piece of Cinnamon 
2 Bay leaves
1 Dabur Coconut Milk pack
1/4 cup Mustard Oil 
1 tsp Ghee

Take oil in a wok, heat it up to a smoking point. Reduce the flame. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom. Let it crackle. Add the ginger - garlic paste, stir for a minute. Add the onion paste, continue to stir, add the green chillies, continue to sauté, add the sugar and salt. Sauté the onion till it changes it's colour. Add the tomato paste, stir and add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and cumin powder.  Continue to sauté till the oil releases from the paste. Adjust and add water as per your requirement for the gravy, as I wanted thin gravy, I added 2 cups of water and stirred it. Let the gravy simmer for 2 minutes. Add the dim bhapa and cover the wok. Cook it for 2 minute. Remove the lid. Add the coconut milk, stir and cover the wok and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid. Add the  ghee and sprinkle the garam masala powder. Switch of the flame. Serve the Bhapa Dimmer Malai Curry with hot steaming rice.

Saturday 17 November 2018

Badam Milk Mix Cupcake

Bangalore has many shops that serves delicious hot Badam Milk... you also get Badam milk powder that you can purchase and mix a spoon of the powder with hot milk. I got a packet of the Badam milk powder this time while I was in Bangalore. Preferably it’s better to make the powder at home. Since no one in my house wanted to drink Badam milk, I used the powder to make these cupcakes. 

2 cups All Purpose Flour 
1/2 cup Badam Milk Mix Powder
1/3 cup Powder Sugar 
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder 
1 tsp Soda Bicarbonate 
3 tbsp melted Ghee 
1/2 cup Curd beaten 
1 1/2 cup Warm Milk 
2 tbsp chopped Almonds 
Few Saffron strands

Add all purpose flour, Badam Mix powder, Baking powder, Soda bicarbonate and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients together. Take another bowl, add 1 cup milk, curd,  ghee and sugar. Stir and whisk well until the sugar dissolves well with the milk.  Now gradually add the flour and whisk. Add the remaining milk and continue to whisk until the batter forms a thick dropping consistency. Pre heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Take cupcake liners and arrange it into the cup cake cavity mould or use aluminium cups. Fill up the liners with the batter. Fill upto 3/4 of the quantity of the liner. Sprinkle the chopped almonds and few saffron strands on the top. Bake the cupcakes for 20 - 25 minutes at 180 degree celsius. Insert a tooth pick and check if the cupcakes are done after 20 minutes. Once done then remove the cupcakes and place them on a cooling rack and cool it. Enjoy the cupcakes for breakfast or tea.

Sunday 4 November 2018

Bhut Jholakia ar Losuner Acchar

When you get back home to see the Bhut jolokia plant laden with chillies..... it’s sheer happiness... 
There were about 22 chillies on the plant that looked like red pataka crackers for Diwali. 
The Bhut jolokia also known as ghost pepper, ghost chili, U-morok, red naga, naga jolokia, and ghost jolokia is cultivated in the Northeast Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. It is a hybrid of Capsicum chinense and Capsicum frutescens and is closely related to the Naga Morich of Bangladesh. 
In 2007, Guinness World Records certified that the ghost pepper was the world's hottest chili pepper, 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. The ghost chili is rated at more than 1 million Scoville heat units (SHUs). However, the ghost chilli was taken up by the Infinity chili in 2011, followed by the Naga Viper, the Trinidad moruga scorpion in 2012 and the Carolina Reaper on August 7, 2013.
- Net Source Wikipedia
You can make pickle or hot sauce. Here I made pickle with crushed garlic. Remove the extra seeds and dry it. You can save it to grow more plants. This will also reduce the spiciness from the pickle. 

Ground Masala 
2 1/2 tsp Yellow Mustard seeds
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds

Grind all the above ingredients into a fine powder. 

For the pickle 
22 pieces of Bhut Jholakia cut into small pieces 
20 pieces of Garlic Cloves crushed
Masala powder 
Salt to taste 
1/2 Turmeric powder 
1/2 cup Vinegar 
1/2 cup Mustard Oil

Take oil in a pan / wok, let it heat till the smoking point. Switch of the flame and let the heat reduce a bit. Add the crushed garlic, chillies, masala powder, turmeric and salt, stir it well for a minute. Add the vinegar. Switch on the flame and let it cook until the oil separates from the vinegar. Switch off the flame. Let it cool down completely. Store it in a bottle and keep it in the sun for 2 days. The pickle is ready. 
P.S. Cut the Bhut Jholakia carefully, don’t touch the chilli while cutting it.. cut it with the scissor.

Friday 5 October 2018

Bele Maacher Jhal

"Mache Bhate Bangali", which means - fish and rice is what makes a Bengali, so true as the staple diet of a Bengali is fish and rice. Many varieties of fishes are found in Bengal. One such fish is Bele Fish or Sand Goby, it is one of the popular & extremely tasty freshwater fish. It is native to freshwater streams and rivers. This fish is rarely sold in Mumbai. I had heard the name of this fish, but never tasted it, I got this fish from Chembur Market. It’s indeed a very tasty fish.

6 pieces of Bele Maach / Sand Goby
1 big size Onion sliced
1 big size Tomato sliced
4 Green Chilli cut into half lengthwise
Few Coriander leaves chopped for garnishing
1 tbsp Ginger - Garlic coarsely ground
4 tbsp Mustard and Poppy seed paste
1/2 tsp Panch Phoran
Salt to taste
1 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Chilli powder
1/2 cup Mustard Oil

Marinate the fish with salt and 1/2 tsp Turmeric for 10 minutes. Pour oil into a wok. Let it heat. Fry the fish until light brown in colour. Remove the fish from the oil, keep it aside. Remove the extra oil from the wok, leave only 3 tbsp of oil in the wok. Add the panch phoran. Let it crackle. Add the onions and sauté it for a minute. Add the ginger - garlic. Continue to sauté for a minute. Add the tomato. Stir and continue to cook for a minute. Add the mustard - poppy seeds paste. Stir and cook for another minute. Add the salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Stir for few seconds. Add 1 cup of water. Stir and cover. Let it simmer for 2 minutes. Open the lid, add the fried fish and green chillies. Cover and cook for another minute. Switch off the flame. Open the lid and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve it hot with hot steaming rice.

Friday 28 September 2018

Squid and Vegetables Sautéed in Butter - Red Chilli Flakes - Garlic

When you grow your own vegetables, its sheer happiness. My husband grew some spinach at home. I have used some of the baby spinach in this dish. This is a healthy sautéed non vegetarian dish with the flavour of butter and seasoned with red chilli flakes and garlic. The dish looks colourful, it’s simple and delicious too.
8 medium size Squids cut into strips
1 medium size Sweet Potatoe cut into stripes
1 packet of Baby Corn cut into half lengthwise
1 packet of Mushrooms cut into 4 halves
6 Cherry Tomatoes whole
12 Garlic Cloves whole
10 to 12 Whole Baby Spinach
1/2 Lime
Himalayan Rock Salt or Normal Salt to taste
1 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Juice of the marinated Squid
2 1/2 tsp Butter

Take the squids in a bowl, drizzle lime juice, rock salt, garlic powder and 1/2 tsp chilli flakes. Mix it well. Keep it aside. Take a saucepan or a pot. Add 2 cups of water. Add the sweet potatoe strips and let it boil. Meanwhile take a pan, add a tsp of butter, let it melt. Add the squids and sauté it until it’s cooked. Meanwhile when the sweet potato strips are tender then strain the water out from the sweet potato. Once the squids are cooked remove the squids out from the pan. In the same pan, add 1 tsp butter. Let it melt, add the sweet potato strips and continue to sauté for a minute. Add the baby corns and sauté for another minute. Add the whole garlic and continue to sauté. Add the mushrooms. Stir and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the marinated juice, rock salt, remaining chilli flakes and 1/2 tsp butter, let it sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and stir. Add the baby spinach and sauté for another minute. Switch off the flame. Now add the sautéed squids and serve it hot. 

Sunday 23 September 2018


When Suprio invited me for the food tasting at River2Ocean. I was in two minds... later I decided to go. It was a wise decision. I am so thankful to Suprio (Admin of Mumbai Food Freak and The Nomad Foodie) for inviting me to Zorawar Karla’s restaurant Rivers2Oceans at Palladium Mall - Parle Mumbai. I must say it’s the place for all sea food lovers. They have variety of sea food dishes from across the globe. Most of the ingredients for the dishes are also procured from around the globe. You can actually feel the freshness of the ingredients. Not only sea food, but they have some of the amazing vegetarian and meat dishes too. The place also talks about unique varieties of Champagne and Wine. They have a lovely huge open bar and a kitchen.

 We could choose either Sea food or Vegetarian from the Chefs Tasting menu, it goes without saying that I chose Sea food. Peter and Mayur were our buddies from R2O helping us to identify the dishes and the ingredients used in the dishes. They both did a fabulous job. Chef Varun Kinger is the man behind the scene to create these unique gastronomical dishes. It was mind boggling.

We ate an elaborate 15 course meal which was categories into Cold tastings, Soups, Hawker’s Street, Small Plates, Sorbet, Mains and Dessert. Four types of champagne or wine was paired with the menu. Although I don’t drink, I enjoyed the visuals. Each champagne were served in different types of champagne flute glasses. It almost took us 4 hours to end this scrumptious meal.

Almost all the dishes were brilliant and delectable. Even though it was a sea food restaurant, as I said earlier the vegetarian and the meat preparation was equally good. It was a treat for the eyes and palate.
My drink for the evening -

Passion Fruit and Citrus... it was very refreshing.
The Amuse Bouche - It started with a palate cleanser -

* Yuzu Espuma with Caviar topping. This was totally vegetarian as the Caviar were created by molecular gastronomy from tomatoes, orange and cranberries, which had a citrusy flavour from Yuzu.
The Cold Tastings began with -

* Rock Oysters was served with Apple Mignonette and Asian Soy Sauce Dressing. The Rock Oysters rocks. It paired up well with the dressings. Yeh dil mange more.

* Scampi Tartare with Puffed Amaranth and Mandarin dressing. I enjoyed the visual as well as the taste.

* Tuna Nicoise Salad. This was a modernist take with tuna bits, with edamame and sous vide eggs. The Tuna salad preparation and the presentation was truly a treat to your eye and palate. It was a moleculer gastronomy dish.
This was followed by -

* Leek and Crab Soup with Butter Carb stick. The butter carb sticks were crunchy and went well with the soup. The soup was very flavourful. The presentation and taste was equally good.
The next in line was a dish from Hawker’s Street -

* Sea Bass Otak Otak, with Citrus Pandana dressing which was a Malay dish. It was delicious and I loved the distinctive flavour of the sambal paste and kafir lime. I am in love with the serving bowl.
The Small Plates dishes were -

* Textures of Mushrooms season with Taco dust.  The taco dust seasoned on the textured mushrooms was quite flavourful. There were many varieties of mushrooms added to the dish which indeed added texture to the dish.

* Chardonnay poached Mussels with parsley - paprika butter was served with Focaccia. It was delicious. The parsley - paprika butter at the end went well with the focaccia.

* Sushi taco with Avocado and Cream cheese. The covering of the taco was made with sea weed. This gave a crunchy texture and the sauce was creamy and delicious.

* Truffles fresh Lobster with Black Caviar and Dill Oil. Black Caviar are my favourite. I loved the preparation.

* Pulled Lamb Ragout with Parmesan. It was delicious.

* Charred Belgian Pork rubs with Maple and Balsamic Glazed. The fennel went blended well with the pork. It was one of my favourite. I didn’t mind if there was a repeat of the dish.
The next in line was basically a palate cleanser. It was -

* Orange and mint sorbet. The flavour of the orange and mint was distinct.
This was followed by another small plate dish

* Field mushrooms stuffed with Morels Home made Corzetti. I loved the woody flavour of the mushroom powder.
The Mains were

* Malabar Crab Curry served with Asian Rice and Parotta.  I like the crispy Parotta, but the Malabar curry was not to my taste. The sweetness of the curry at the beginning and the spiciness of the curry at the end didn’t agree to my palate. The dish could have been more balanced.
Finally it was followed by the dessert -

* Black Truffle with Gold leaf and Eton Mess which was an amazing English dessert. It was superlative. There was crunchiness from the meringue, sourness of the berries and the sweetness of the chocolate. It was delicious.
The presentation was good and I loved the crockery in which the food was served. This place is a treat for your palate and eyes too. I had a fabulous time at the restaurant with other foodie friends from Mumbai Food Freak and The Nomad Foodie. It’s an evening to cherish! It’s a must visit place for all food lovers who likes to explore and experience delicious food.