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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mishti Doi...Sweet Curd

MISHTI DOI....the term conjures up an image of an earthen pot (Maatir Bhaar) containing a pink coloured sweetened curd. A must in any traditional Bengali feast. In most households, though the plain white and healthier curd is always homemade and available, Mishti Doi is rarely made at home. There have been occasions, though rare, when I have seen Ma prepare home made Mishti Doi.

So when my neighbour, while we were having our stair-side chatting sessions, asked me the recipe of Mishti Doi, stating casually that her young daughters loved it, I enquired the recipe from Ma and found it surprisingly simple.....

So just to share this simple recipe to dish up a rarely homemade dessert, here I am...

Ingredients : (What I used)

*Full cream milk - 1.5 litres.
*Sugar - 2.5 cups (I meaured the 2.5 cups and it was around 360gm)
*Plain curd - 2 -3 tbsp

Procedure :
1. Boil the 1.5 litre milk and bring it to half the volume.

2. Caramelise the sugar by heating it in a wok. Keep stirring while heating to ensure the caramelised sugar does not stick to the bottom of the wok and burn.

3. Pour the liquid caramelised sugar into the milk. Stir well to mix the milk and sugar. The milk mixed with caramelised sugar will be pinkish brown in colour. If needed you can bring the mix to a boil once again to ensure uniform mixing.

4.Cool milk-sugar mix to lukewarm temperature.
5. Smear the container/s in which you wish to set the curd with the plain white curd.

6. Pour the milk slowly into the curd smeared containers.

7. Cover and keep aside for 8-10 hours to set. (I had to keep for almost 11 hours)

8.Refrigerate to chill the curd

The yummilicious Mishti Doi is all yours to savour!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tiffin Time - Chicken Roll

As I mentioned, this is a simple, fast and easy to make Chicken Roll made for my daughter's School Tiffin.

The Chicken in this recipe can be replaced by mutton, fish, paneer, veggies...for that matter ANYTHING!

I used the chicken pieces from last night's chicken curry.

* 2-3 pieces of chicken taken out from chicken curry
* Onion chopped - 1/2
* Tomato chopped - 1/2 (I didnt use tomatoes)
* Green Chillies - chopped (I didnt use chillies)
* Lemon - 1 wedge
* Rock Salt - a pinch
* Aamchur powder/Chaat masala - a pinch (optional)
* Wheat flour to make rotis/chapatis

1. Make two (or as many as you require) rotis and keep aside
2. Take two pieces of chicken, shred them
3. In a wok, take 1/2 tsp of oil and just saute the shredded chicken to remove excess moisture
4. Take the roti, spread the shredded & sauted chicken in a straight line along the centre of the roti
5. Throw in some chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, green chillies etc etc.
6. Squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle the rock salt, Chaat masala/Aamchur powder
7. Roll it as you would a wrap and cover half the roll with a foil/butter paper.

The Chicken Roll is ready !!

Tiffin Trouble!!

For the past two years, when my daughter AD went to a playschool-cum-daycare, tiffins were not such a break-my-head issue....for the simple reason, mid morning and evening snacks were provided by the school. For lunch, I used to pack a normal lunch like - rice (or its variations)/roti, dal, side dish and curd. The school-cum-daycare heated the food in their kitchen microwave and the kids enjoyed a hot lunch. And since the ayahs and teachers supervised and fed the kids, I knew her lunch was well taken care of.

Now what with her having started proper school, everything has been complicated manifold. She comes home instead of staying at the daycare. The fact pricks me as I was never comfortable keeping her alone with the maid. But then again I dont want to make her travel from school to daycare in the afternoons and again in the evening travel back's too much of travel for a three and a half in a day's time. And since it's a normal school, there arent multiple ayahs taking care of the kids' needs. So tiffin time means she has to eat herself. The teachers on the very first day have given guidelines regarding the tiffins and tiffin boxes :

-This being a 'No-Plastic' year in their school, ONLY steel tiffin boxes to be given
-No Bread & Jam
-Bread Sandwiches are OK, but with healthy fillings
-No chips and chocolate
-No rice or noodles to ensure the classroom floor isnt messed up
-Pooris, Rotis, Idlis, if sent, have to be cut into pieces.

So all in all, quite a few dos and donts. On top of all this, I have to ensure that AD eats what I give her ...hence the tiffin has to be to her liking. And worst of all, my daugher being MY genetically designed NOT to like the same food everyday. love and respect for my Ma's ability, patience and creativity has increased several times over in the recent did she manage to pack tasty and healthy tiffins everyday .... for 14 long year...yet I remember clearly that I used to crib and complain!! Motherhood is indeed a learning experience on how it feels to be on the other side of the fence!!!!! ;)

So lately I have been racking my brains to formulate a variety of tiffins for AD which comply with all the above DOs & DONTs, be healthy & nutritious, and yet manage to win her heart and make her eat!

So I sat down and made a table of the various options available :
1. Chicken Roll
2. Fish Roll
3. Paneer Roll
4. Vegetable Roll
5. Alu Paratha
6. Gobi Paratha
7. Palak Paratha
8. Paneer Paratha
9. Chutney Sandwich
10.Chicken Sandwich
11. Fish Sandwich
12. Egg sanwich
13. Cucumber-Tomato Sandwich
14. Cheese-Chicken Sandwich
15. Small cubes of potato+Paneer+sweetcorn, stir fried in butter sprinkled with salt pepper and a little lemon juice squeezed to make it salty, tangy!
16. French Fries
17. Idli
18. Sponge cakes

Fruits & Salads(which dont get messy)
1. Cucumber
2. Tomato
3. Pineapple
5.Pears (she's sporadically fond of them....hence have to check and see)
6. Papaya

So I guess in the posts to come (click HERE)....I'll be posting quite a few of the above or variations of these.
Well only problem is clicking pics at the God forsaken early hours!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

CLICK! JUNE 2009 Entry for 'STACKS' - Luchi-Mangsho

(Fried Indian Flat Bread with Chicken Curry)

Sunday Dinner....what better way to end the lazy weekend and gear up for a Manic Monday, other than, a dinner of Luchi-Maangsho! Sinfully loaded with calories....but once in a while it does good to throw caution to the winds!! So Luchi Mangsho followed by Mishti Doi, it was, for our Sunday dinner....

No recipes for this simple dish....the pic is off to Jugalbandi's CLICK! June 2009 - STACK.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Potoler Daalna ...with a difference!

I am not fond of Potol or Parwal or Pointed Gourd...but during the scorching summer months, vegetable markets are not at their best. The dull, dried, limp vegetables dont look enticing enough to win one's heart! But well, veggies have to be had and when Potol was the freshest of the lot, had no choice but to buy them.

While peeling the skin of the Potol, the bored me (always the case whenever I have to cook something I'm not fond of) was suddenly reminded of a delicious Potol preparation. I'd had it eons ago, cooked by my grandaunt who was not only a good cook but could make the tedious Potol taste WOW! Unfortunately I didnt know the recipe ...the only memory of the preparation was that it was semi dry with Gobindo Bhog Rice a predominant ingredient (as in Muri Ghonto).

Hence proceeded on similar lines and let me throw humility to the winds and proclaim that the Potol er dalna turned out to be delicious much so that I gave myself an imaginary pat on my back!!

I had no plans of blogposting the boring Potoler Dalna and hence hadnt clicked any in-process photographs. But, because it turned out so well, quite like a pleasant surpirse, decided to just click a pic or two without much fanfare and detailed pics....

So here goes the recipe:

Ingredients :
*Potol/Parwal- 1/2 kg - Peeled and halved
* Potato - 2 medium sized - cubed
*Gobindo Bhog / Basmati Rice - 1/2 cup : soaked in water for 15-20 minutes
*Onions - finely chopped - 1
*Tomato - chopped -1
*Whole garam masala- 2-3 cardamoms, 1 piece of 1" cinnamon stick, 3-4 cloves
*Bay Leaf - 2 small
*Masala paste - [1 tsp of Turmeric powder + 1 tsp cumin powder + 1/2 tsp of coriander powder + 1 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp of kashmiri mirch powder (for colour) + 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder (optional) mixed with a little water]
*Ginger paste - 1-2 tsp
*Ghee - 1 tbsp
*Roasted & ground garam masala - 1 tsp
*Sugar - a pinch
*Slit Green chilli - 2-3
*Mustard Oil - 3 tbsp

Procedure :- (In the sequence I do)
1. Soak washed Gobindo Bhog/Basmati rice in water.

2. Rub salt and turmeric on the Potol and Potato pieces and keep for 5-10 minutes

2. Lightly fry the Potol and Potato pieces in oil and keep aside.

3.Take fresh oil in a wok. When hot, add the Bay leaf, whole garam masala

4.Add the finely chopped onions and a pinch of sugar for colour. Add the ginger paste

5. Fry till the onion turns light brown but take care not to burn them.

6. Add the masala paste. Stir and let the masala cook till you see the oil & masala separate.

7. Add the chopped tomatoes

8. Keep stirring and cook on low to medium heat for about 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle water if required.

9. Add the uncooked Gobindo Bhog/Basmati rice. Stir well and let the masala seep into the rice.

10. Add the pre-fried potato cubes. Add some water (about 1/2 glass)

12. Keep cooking and when the rice is semi cooked in the masala and the potato is partly cooked, add the fried Potol pieces.

13. Stir well and add some more water if it has become too dry.

14. Cook on low heat for another 3-5 minutes till the rice is just right and not overcooked and mushy.

15. Add the slit green chillies

16. Before switching off the flame, heat the ghee in a skillet and add a tsp of roasted & ground garam masala and add this to the almost done 'Potoler Daalna'.

Enjoy with hot steamed rice!

Note : I think in the preparation I'd had eons ago, Ghee had been used instead of oil. This had added much much more to the taste. While I, belonging to the relatively more health conscious generation (rather forced-to-be health conscious thanks to the cholestrols & triglycerides), had to be content with just a dash of ghee at the very end.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Paneer Tandoori

( Cottage Cheese marinated in curd and grilled )

I had this paneer preparation at a friend's place. And upon asking her the recipe, she said, just marinate the paneer cubes in curd, mixed with ginger-garlic & all masalas...grill it for 5 minutes and the Paneer is ready! It sounded simply simple....

So when I bought Paneer this week, thought of making this preparation. The Paneer cubes were diced and I was about to mix the 'masalas' into the curd, when something just didnt feel right! It was quite late (as I had presumed it'll be a fast to cook recipe, I had started just about 1/2 hr prior to dinner time...), so couldnt really call her up to enquire about the detailed recipe....

Well, kept the paneer back into the fridge, placed the curd in a cheese cloth (I use a big, clean piece of Dhoti as a Cheese Cloth ;) ) and hung it overnight.

[As you realise, the paneer had to be postponed to the next day and for that night's dinner had to fry some sausages !]

Next evening resumed the process and thereafter it was quite simple indeed!

Ingredients :
A. Basic
* Paneer - 300 gm
* Hung Curd - around 500 gm (made from Curd made out of 1.5 litres milk approx)
* Capsicum diced - 1 big or 1 & 1/2 small
* Tomatoes diced - 1 big
* Onions - Diced - 2
* Green Chilli - 3-4 slit longitudinally

B. Spices
* Ginger - 1 tbsp
* Garlic - 1 tbsp
* Haldi/Turmeric - 1 tsp
* Dhania / Coriander powder - 1 tsp
* Jeera / Cumin powder - 1 tsp
* Red Chilli pwder- 1 tsp
* Kashmiri Chilli pwder - 1 tsp
* Black pepper pwder - 1/2 tsp
* Kasuri Methi - 1 tsp (soaked in warm water)
* Sugar - to taste
* Salt - to taste


1. Prepare the hung curd by folding curd in a cheese cloth or thin muslin cloth and hanging it for 4-5 hrs for the water / whey to drip out. I placed the cheese cloth with curd folded in it on my bigh plastic strainer and placed the strainer on a tall steel container.

2. Mix all ingredients at 'B' with the hung curd and beat the curd-masala mix well with a spoon.

3. Marinate the paneer cubes in the above prepared Curd-masala mix for 2 hrs minimum (I kept for exactly 2 hrs for lack of time)

4. If you have a Tandoor Oven or an OTG, use either of these, for best results. I used my Microwave Oven with Grilling mode, as my OTG is out of order and I dont have the other one. (I'm seriously planning to buy the Tandoor Oven)

5. Spray some oil in an ovenproof container. Place half the quantity of diced capsicum, onion and tomatoes and sprinkle some salt and chilli powder. With a spoon turn them around in the container to coat them with the oil. I microwaved these using the Microwave + Grill mode, for 3-4 minutes.

6. Pour the marinated Paneer into the container. Garnish with the remaining capsicum, onion and tomatoes. Spray some oil on top. Again microwave using the Microwave + Grill mode, for 7-8 minutes. Then, again on ONLY Grill mode, let it cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Serve HOT with Parathas or Naan. We had them with Phulkas.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Iced Tea

Come hot-summer Sunday afternoon and the heart cries out for something dizzyingly chilled!
And so this Sunday, it was the turn of my favourite ICED TEA!!!

Lazing around, swinging on my backyard swing and sipping the Iced Tea, I let the tangy, chilled taste take over and soothe my senses ....

Ingredients : what I used to make 5 tall glasses of Iced Tea
*Water - 5 1/2 glasses of water
*Darjeeling Tea - 5 tsp
*Sugar - 5 tsp
*Black salt - 1 tsp
*Lemon - 4 for juices and 2 sliced for dunking into the tea and for garnishing at the glass rim
*Mint Leaves - 10-12
*Ice Cubes - as many as you want

Procedure :
Normal Black Tea is to be made as follows :
1. Boil the water.
2. In a teapot or vessel(if you dont have such a large teapot), take 5 tsp of tealeaves and pour the boiling water on the leaves. Cover and let it brew for 2-3 minutes or till the leaves sink to the bottom. Do not brew for too long, as the tea will become bitter.
3.Use a strainer to pour the brewed tea into a jug or another container. The tea should be golden brown in colour.
4. Now add sugar, rocksalt(optional), lemon juice.
5.Refrigerate (in the freezer) for 1/2 hour. Add the mint leaves, lemon slices and keep in the freezer for another 10-15 minutes.
6.Take tall glasses to which drop some ice cubes and pour the chilled tea.

Aaahhh Bliss!!!