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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Nolen Gurer Chaaler Payesh .... Rice Pudding


A Bengali and Chaaler Payesh have an eternal connection....The first morsel of solid eaten by a Baby during Annoprashon (Rice Eating Ceremony), the first spoon eaten by the mother-to-be during Baby Shower or Shaadh, the Payesh on every birthday or Jonmodin are memories every true blue Bengali holds precious. 

And the Paayesh is made even more precious and tasty if its made of Nolen Gur (or the solidified version known as Patali Gur for the off season payesh)

Ingredients :
* Full Cream Milk - 2 litres 
* Gobindobhog rice / jeera rice / Basmati rice - 2 fistfuls (1 fistful or 'mutho' per litre i,e approx 100gm per litre)
* 2 tbsp of sugar
* Nolen Gur/Patali Gur (date palm jaggery) - approx 200-250gm

Procedure :
1. Boil milk and reduce it to 3/4 of its original volume. 
2. In the meanwhile, wash rice, drain the water and dry it while the milk is being boiled
3. While stirring the milk, add the washed and dried rice and keep stirring gently till the rice cooks and the milk thickens. The milk should have reduced to 1/2 (i.e 1 litre) by now.
4. Add 2-3 tbsp of sugar after the rice has softened. An early addition of sugar will stop the rice from softening further.
5. Take the milk-rice mix off the flame. Soften the jaggery by microwaving/heating and add the softened jaggery into the rice-milk mix and . Mix well 
6. Cool it down ....delicious Gur flavoured Payesh is ready for the auspicious occasion.



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chocolate Lava Cake


2 birthdays in the family a span of 4 days!! So this time thought of giving the usual sponge cake a miss..and made Lava Cake Muffins and one small cake in an aluminium foil rectangular container.

Ingredients :
*100g dark chocolate, chopped- I used Bournville Rich Chocolate 
*100g butter
*150g light soft brown sugar-I used 100gm normal white sugar
*3 large eggs
*1/2 tsp vanilla essence
*50g plain flour
*coffee powder / cocoa powder (optional)

Method
11. Preheat the oven to 230C. 
22. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of hot water (or alternatively put  in the microwave) and stir until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly for 15 minutes.
33. Beat the eggs and Mix in the sugar, and keeping mixing with the eggs, and add  into the chocolate-butter mix followed by the vanilla extract and finally the flour. 
  4. Spray/Smear oil in the muffin tray and the aluminium container. Sprinkle cocoa powder/coffee powder to line the moulds (optional) 
  5. Divide the mixture among the muffin moulds and aluminium container.
46. Bake the muffins for 7-8 minutes at 230 deg C and the aluminium container (slightly bigger) for 12-13 minutes or until the tops are firm to touch but the middles still feel slightly squidgy. Carefully run a knife around the edge of each pudding, then turn out onto serving plates and serve with single cream/vanilla icecream or have it just like that.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Kasundi / Kashundi Maachh

Fish cooked in Kashundi (A Mustard based sauce unique to Bengal)

Quick, Easy & Delicious. Thats what Kashundi/Kasundi Maachh (Bhetki/Basa or for that matter any soft fish) is.

Ingredients 
Bhetki / Basa fillets - 500-750gm
Ginger-Garlic paste (I use homemade) - 1.5 tbspn
Chili flakes / chili powder - depends on heat tolerance
Salt
Crushed Black pepper

Procedure :
1. Bhetki/Basa fillets marinated in ginger, garlic paste, salt, pepper, chilli flakes/chilli powder and generous helping of Kashundi/Kasundi for 1/2 - 1 hr.

2. Drizzle 2-3 tbsp of Mustard Oil to the marinated fish. (This may be eliminated or just a minimum quantity of oil may be used). Mix well and place them evenly in a flat bottomed microwaveable glass container

Slit some green chilies and place them on the 'bed' of fish. 

Microwave on Power 80 for 8-10minutes.

Keep it within the oven for 2-3 minutes. 
Garnish with freshly chopped Coriander leaves.  

Tastes delicious with steamed rice.

Cooking couldnt be faster or easier!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

CUPCAKES ....

...To satiate sugar craving of two little girls....

To put an end to constant whining of two little girls on a weekday evening, when, with Maths exam looming large the following morning, made the option of going to a cake shop/bakery non-feasible, a quick fix solution was to bake these cup cakes.....

Ingredients
All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 3/4 mug (black & white)
Sugar - 3/4 mug (same mug as above)
Eggs -3
White Oil - 3/4 cup of same mug
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Coffee powder - 1.5 tbsp (may be more/less as per preference)
milk - 1/4 cup
vanilla essence - a few drops
dry fruits - anything ...cashew/raisin/walnut/almonds....I didnt use any due to non-availability
Chocolate sauce for topping

Procedure :

1. Beat the eggs along with the sugar.
2. Mix Maida and baking powder and if using cocoa powder, mix it along.
3. Mix the Whipped egg+sugar and oil in a mixing bowl.
4. Add the maida-baking powder mix to the wet mixture and fold it in.
5. Mix well to get rid of any lumps, if formed.
6. Add vanilla essence, coffee powder and mix.
7. Preheat a greased cup cake / muffin tray at approx 170 deg C
8. Pour the batter in the moulds upto 3/4 level.
9. Decorate the top of each mould (filled with batter) with chocolate sauce/dry fruits/any other sauce as per taste
10. Bake at 170 deg C for 15 minutes.

Delicious cupcakes / muffins are ready!!!

The girls gobbled down the hot cupcakes fresh off the oven...their giggles and joyous look of almost divine pleasure were enough to erase any memory of the nagging and whining of the previous hour.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Grilled masala coated Whole Bhetki with Mashed Potato and Vegetables


A recipe I'd used a number of times and it was super simple and the end result was super delicious. The Source : Preeoccupied's Masala Salmon.

However instead of Salmon, I had used Bhetki / Basa in the past. This time I had a whole Bhetki fish, deboned, sans the head and tail. Used it as a whole instead of making small sized fillets from it. 

Ingredients:
For the Fish:
Deboned Bhetki - approx 1 kg
onion - 1
plain curd - 3/4 cup 
fresh coriander - 3/4 cup 
lemon juice -2 tablespoon 
green chilies-3-4 
ginger - 2 teaspoon (grated)
garlic - 5-6 cloves (minced)
vegetable oil
Salt-to taste

For the mashed potatoes
Potatoes - 4 medium 
Butter
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Chili flakes
Garlic cloves

For the sauted vegetables:
I used mushrooms, babycorn, peas
Butter
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Procedure :
Fish :
1. Finely chop the onion and deep fry them till they turn red and crispy. Remove the onions from the oil and let it cool. Keep the oil aside.
2. In a blender, add the ginger, garlic, curd, green chilies, coriander, lemon juice, the fried onions, very little of the oil (from the onions) and salt. This blend is the marinade for your fish.
3. Apply a thick layer of this marinade on both sides of the fish. For basting, drizzle the remaining oil you used to fry the onions. 
4. Keep the fish marinated for about 1/2 hour.
5. Place the whole marinated fish on the baking tray and Grill it at around 170-180 deg C about 7-8 minutes on each side. 


Mashed Potatoes :
Boil, mash potatoes.
Fry the mashed potatoes in butter and add salt, freshly ground black pepper and chili flakes, till golden brown in colour
Remove from flame
In 2-3 tbsp of butter , fry garlic cloves till golden brown.
While serving using this butter+fried garlic as the dressing for the mashed potato

Vegetables :
Saute the vegetables in butter with a sprinkling of salt & freshly ground black pepper

Serve the grilled fish with the mashed potato drizzled with butter-fried garlic and sauted vegetables

Friday, September 18, 2015

Ilish Machh Begun Diye ....Patla Shorsher Jhol

A light mustard gravy of Hilsa Fish with Brinjal


A trip to Kolkata during Ilish season always and always culminates with a Big Box of raw Ilish smeared with Oil, Salt and Turmeric, wrapped to Perfection in foil and again re-wrapped in cloth napkin, plastic to prevent the leakages. A hundred NOs and objection will fall on deaf ears of the FATHER who despite being all of eighty is determined to make a trip to the fish market to buy this delicacy for his fish loving daughter. The daughter, despite the vehement NOs and the sulk expressing her displeasure in having to carry this 'additional burden', will beam with joy as well as an exasperated smile directed at the stubborn FATHER, once she reaches her destination and opens the layered packing (perfected by who else but the MOTHER). 

Seeing the freshness of the fish, the utmost desire would be to replicate her MOTHER's perfect 'patla shorsher jhol begun diye' (a light, low on spice gravy of fish with brinjal pieces).... 

Ingredients :
Ilish - 1kg + is the ideal size (a smaller sized Ilish would be more suitable for Ilish Machh Bhaja)
One medium sized brinjal cut into semi-circular slices 
Mustard Oil
Kalo jeera
Turmeric
Red chili powder -depend on the heat tolerance
Kashmiri Mirch for the colour - 1/2 tsp
Mustard paste (made with a mix of yellow & black mustard seeds, green chili and salt) passed through the sieve to retain only the smooth paste.
Green chilies

Procedure :
1. The Ilish pieces and the brinjal pieces need to be smeared with turmeric and salt
2. Pan fry the fish v.v lightly
3. Lightly fry the brinjal pieces
4. In a kadhai, take a tbsp of mustard oil and heat till smoking hot.
5. Throw in kalo jeera (kalonji) and some green chilies
6. Add a paste of turmeric-red chili-kashmiri mirch into the oil and fry for a minute
7. If a thick strong mustard gravy is desired, use the mustard paste without passing through a sieve. I wanted a light gravy. So I passed the paste through a sieve (chhankni) and added water. Now pour either the thick mustard paste or the watery mustard paste into the kadhai. 
8. Cook on medium flame. Once it comes to a boil, slide in the brinjal pieces. 
After the brinjal is almost done, add the fish pieces into the kadhai and cover for a minute or till it comes to a boil. Add water as per the desired gravy consistency. Let the gravy come to a boil. Throw in a few slit green chilies. Take the kadhai off the gas.
9. Serve with steamed rice

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Simplest of Cake Recipes


The simplest of Sponge cake recipes learnt during my school days.....which so resonates the tagline of my blog..."nothing fancy or out of the way...."

Have made it countless number of times and it has never failed to bring a smile on the faces of my loved ones....

Ingredients :
eggs : 3
Maida : 2 tea cups
Oil/Butter : 1 cup
Sugar (white/castor sugar) : 1 cup
Vanilla essence : a tsp
Baking powder : 1 tbsp
Cashews/Almonds/Raisin : as per choice
Coffee powder / Chocolate powder/Cocoa : optional
Chocolate sauce for decoration : optional

Procedure :
Preheat oven to 200 deg C
Whip the eggs
Mix Maida and Baking powder and Chocolate powder/cocoa
For ease of mixing powder the sugar (optional)
Mix oil/butter, sugar and add the whipped egg
Add the maida/flour-baking powder-cocoa mix into the wet mix of butter/oil-sugar-egg.
Mix well with ladle or electric mix.
Add the vanilla essence
If adding coffee powder, add now
Also, add the dry fruits now into the cake mix

Also preheat the oil/butter smeared container in which the cake is to be baked
Pour in the batter
Bake at 180-190 deg C for 20 minutes

Cool.
Unleash your creativity to decorate as you wish...my decorations are quite minimalistic ..
Sometimes I use milk powder with drops of milk to make a moist paste to "write" on the cake