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Monday, June 27, 2011

Soupy Affair - Mixed Veg Soup

A bowl full of bright red on a dull grey rainy evening....Tomato-Beet-Carrot Soup

A depressingly wet grey weekday evening. When the whole week stretches and weekend is still a distant dream.....well to brighten up such an evening, go for this steaming bowl of bright red soup! And the best part love it!! 

Ingredients :
1. 4-5 big juicy ripe tomatoes
2. 1 beet root
3. 3-4 carrots
4. Butter - 1 tsp
5. Onions - finely chopped - 1 medium
6. Freshly ground black pepper
7. Bay leaf - 1
8. Salt & sugar
9. Grated cheese
10. Dalia - 1 cup (optional)

Procedure :
1. Pressure cook all the vegetables together.
2. With a hand blender puree the tomato, beetroot and carrots and strain them through a metal sieve to filter only the tomato seeds and the larger fragments of tomato skin. I like more fibre in my soup.
3. In a wok, heat the butter. Add a bay leaf and a pinch of sugar and chopped onions
4. Add the pureed vegetables and salt - sugar to taste**
5. Let it come to a boil. Check to adjust the salt & sugar.
6. Garnish with crushed peppercorns and grated cheese.

**To make it a complete meal (especially for kids), add a cup of pressure cooked and pureed dalia (broken wheat) after step 4. Switch off the gas, partly cover the wok with a lid and blend with a had blender. Continue with step 5 & 6.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Reposting Summer Thirst Quenchers

Chilled thirst quenchers and soups to beat the summer heat!!! Click on the drink names for detailed recipes


 These Summer delights are off to SERVE IT - CHILLED

Whole Chicken Roast...

My first try at making whole roast chicken and it was a super success! But the credit goes completely to the awesome Barbecue sauce used to marinate the chicken and of course to me for following the recipe to the 'T', which is so very uncharacteristic of me....The few variations are due to non-availability of the ingredients and not an intentional attempt at deviation! ;)

The recipe and procedure which I followed so sincerely, are here. However noting the variations/improvisations in the ingredients as follows:

Dry Bay Leaf instead of fresh bay leaf
Regular Vinegar instead of Balsamic Vinegar
Sunflower Oil instead of Canola Oil
Kashmiri Chili powder instead of Smoked Paprika

Some personal notings for future reference :
  • I used an OTG at a temperature of 200 deg C.
  • The Chicken was approx 1.3 kg. 
  • Time of roasting was aroung 1 hr 20 min. But could be around 10 minutes less as the top of the chicken was slightly charred, but that definitely added to the taste.
  • I marinated the chicken overnight instead of the suggested 5-6 hours.
I served the roast chicken with a side dish of mashed potatoes (with dill-garlic-cheese) and some steamed and (butter) sauted vegetables.

The mashed potato: (Boiled 1 potato per head)

1. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a wok and season with crushed pepper corns, chopped garlic.
2. Add chopped dill and the smoothly mashed potato.
3. Add a large cup of milk and stir it well to mix with the mashed potato.
4. Add grated cheese, salt to taste, chilli flakes and pepper and mix well.


This recipe is off to Sobha Shyam's Event COOK IT HEALTHY PROTEINicious @ Good Food

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bhaape Chingri ....Steamed Prawns

in a grated coconut-mustard gravy

'Bhaape' means steamed in Bengali. And Chingri is of course Prawns
A recipe so simple to assemble and cook and also fast if instead of the traditional steaming, microwave is used...which I do. But my Ma insists, that the taste of the authentic 'Bhaapaano' or steaming is far far more superior to our short-cut microwaving. Coming from her, and that too about culinary methods and expertise, I cant even dream of arguing...but time being a major constraint, I have to make do with the second best....

Ingredients :
Medium sized prawns - 1 kg
Mustard paste - 1 small bowl
Tomato - 1, chopped
Potato - 1 medium sized, diced into small cubes and sauted after being smeared with a pinch of salt & turmeric
Grated coconut - 1
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1 tsp or more
Kashmiri Chili - 1 - 1.5 tsp
Salt to taste
Green chillies - 2-3 chopped 
Coriander Leaves for garnishing
Mustard oil (a must to give the zing) - 3 tbsphe aut

Procedure :
If following the authentic steaming method....carry out the following steps in a steel container with a tight lid. If following the microwave menthod, use a microwaveable glass/ceramic container with a lid.
1. In the container mix all the ingredients listed above except the coriander leaves and pour the (only) mustard oil liberally.
2. Cover the container.
3a) Steaming - place the closed container in a bigger wok/saucepan. The bigger container should be filled with water upto 1/2 the level of the closed container.If a pressure cooker is being used, 2-3 whistles should be fine for the cooking to be completed..And in a regular steamer/wok, steam it for around 35-40 minutes

3b) Microwave the mix prepared in (1) for 7-8 minutes
4. Garnish with chopped coriander (dhonepaata) and serve with steamed rice.

Note :For added pungency / flavour of mustard (which we Bongs LOVE), drizzle about 2 tsp of mustard oil (kaancha tel) after completion of cooking and before garnishing.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mixed Fried Rice

A simple, easy to make, yet versatile fried rice...ideal for fussy kids on a weeknight or for their lunch box.
And yes, we adults also wouldnt mind having this 'fast to cook; great to eat' main course!!

Any vegetable, meat, sausages, eggs, prawns may be's just a simple stir fry followed by mixing with rice. Here's what I used....

1. Onion -1 finely chopped
2. 2-3 garlic pods sliced/chopped
3. Capsicum - 1
4. Button Mushrooms- 1 pkt containg 10-12, sliced
5. sweet corn kernels - a handful
6. peas - a handful
7. brocolli - small
8. I had some left over roast chicken - roughly sliced/shredded. Any kind of meat/sausage would be great.
9. Rice - 2 cups
10. Butter/Oil
12. Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom & Bayleaf
13. Salt & Sugar to taste
14. Pepper  corns & ground  pepper

1. Make steamed rice and spread it under the fan to dry. A better option would be to use rice cooked the previous night. (The latter is ideal for me when I make the fr. rice to pack for lunch)
2. Dry roast the sliced mushrooms in a wok to dry up the water.
3. In a wok, heat 2 tbsp butter.
4. Add bay leaf, crushed peppercorns, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom & Bayleaf and a pinch of sugar.
5. Add the chopped garlic & onions. Fry till golden  brown
6. Add the broccoli, followed by capsicum, dry roasted mushroom, boiled/thawed corn kernels & peas. Stir fry on high heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
7. Add the shredded chicken followed by cooked rice. Sprinkle black pepper powder. Mix well.

The mixed fried rice is ready to eat......

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mango Kulfi

Summer ….the season of Mangoes, vacations, sorbets, ice-creams, kulfis and more….
This summer has been a summer of Mango kulfis for us ….making kulfis almost every 3 days and relishing this awesome summer treat almost daily.
The recipe is a slight modification of Tarla Dalal’s mango kulfi recipe found here

Ingredients : yields 11-12 medium sized kulfis
Full Cream  Milk – ½ litre (the full cream part is optional)
Condensed milk  – ¾ cup of a 180ml cup (I used sweetened condensed milk)
Milk powder – ¾ cup of a 180 ml cup
Sugar (may be skipped if condensed milk is sweetened OR the mango is v.sweet) – 2 tbsp
Mango pulp of 3 -4 medium sized mangoes.
6 aluminium moulds
1.    Mix together the milk, condensed milk and milk powder  and bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes
2.    Cool down the mixture completely. I put it in the refrigerator to fasten the cooling process
3.     In the meantime, keep the mango pulp of 3-4 mangoes ready
4.     After the milk mix cools, add the pulp and give the mango-milk mix with a hand whipper.
5.     Pour into moulds and freeze.
     Take them out of the mould, or as Tarla Dalal says "demould" them.
          Serve, relish and attain mango nirvana!! ;))

This post is off to SERVE IT CHILLED
and also to 'SIMPLE AND IN SEASON'

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fried Jumbo Prawns in roasted tomato-cheese-garlic sauce, with Cinnamon Rice

My 'fishwallah' got me Jumbo Prawns (around 11 prawns weighing 2 kgs) one weekday morning. I was ecstatic but the joy and anticipation had to be shelved till weekend arrived.
Bored of the usual 'Malaikaris' (Prawns in Coconut milk) and 'Bhaape chingris' (Prawns steamed in mustard sauce), wanted to try out something new. And hence this experimentation.....

But a was a high on calories dish. Used Oodles of butter and also cream and cheese.

Ingredients : what I used ...
A.For the fried Prawns                                         1. Jumbo Prawns - 2 kgs (11-12 prawns)
2. Lemon juice of 2 small lemons
3. Salt
4. Pepper
5. Chilli flakes
6. Butter for frying

B. For the sauce
1. Tomatoes - 3 large sized
2. Onion -1 large
3. Grated Cheese - I used 2 cubes of processed cheddar
4.Garlic cloves - 5-6
5. Cream or full cream milk - 1 cup
6. Salt
7. Pepper
8. Basil leaves
9. Chilli flakes
10. Butter

C. For the cinnamon rice
1. Normal Sonamasuri rice we eat....basmati will add to the taste - 2 cups
2. Butter - 50 gms
3. Bay Leaf - 1 or 2
4. Cinnamon sticks - 5-6 long ones broken into smaller pieces
5. Nutmeg powder - a pinch
6. Sugar - a pinch
7. Salt to taste

Procedure : in the sequence i made.
Prawn Marination
1. The prawns were washed, cleaned and deveined the previous night
2. Marinate the prawns in lemon juice, salt, pepper and chilli flakes for 1/2 hour.

Making the Sauce :

3. I roasted the tomatoes over gas flame after slitting them at the top . Roasting/Grilling over charcoal will obviously add to the flavours.

4. In a wok, took a teaspoonful of butter, added chopped onions and the roasted tomatoes chopped and a pinch of sugar for caramelising. When the onion & tomatoes were nicely browned, took them off the wok, cooled and made a paste.
5. Then in a wok, again took a teaspoon of butter, added the onion-tomato paste, chopped garlic and mixed well

6. On low flame, added milk while stirring, followed by chopped basil leaves, followed by grated cheese.

7. To increase the tartness of the sauce, the lemon juice the prawns were marinated in , may also be added at this point

8. Finish off by adjusted the salt and sugar and a generous sprinkling of freshly crushed black pepper and chili flakes.
The sauce is ready.

Cinnamon Rice (I made it in Rice Cooker but can be made in the microwave too)
9. In a wok, take 2 tbsp of butter and when hot, add the bay leaf, broken cinnamon stick and a pinch of sugar

10. Add the previously washed and drained rice. Fry on high heat.

11. Add a pinch of nutmeg powder, followed by salt

12. Transfer to rice cooker. Add 4 cups of water (for 2 cups of rice). Add a tsp of lemon juice and set in on for cooking. For microwave, the ratio of rice:water should be slightly less than 1:2 i.e for 2 cups of water 3 1/2 cups of water.

The Star of the show : PRAWNS
13. Fry the lemon-salt-pepper-chilli flakes marinated prawns in butter.

Sit down for a divinely tasting, immensely high calories lunch!!