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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cream of Broccoli Almond Soup

Some left over broccoli which had turned yellowish and hence didnt want to use it for normal stir fry or in mix veggie dish preparation. So soup it was to cater to the kiddo tummies in the evening..

Ingredients :
Broccoli - I used 3/4 of a medium sized broccoli cut into medium sized florets
6-10 Garlic cloves chopped roughly
1 tej pata
Almonds - a handful...about 10-15..blanched, to ease the removal of skin
Pepper corns ...freshly crushed
black Pepper powder
Chili flakes (optional)
grated Cheddar cheese
Milk - 3 cups

Procedure :
1. Pressure cook the broccoli, chopped garlic with tej pata and a pinch of salt.
2. After blanching the almond in hot water, peel off the skin and saute the almonds in butter till golden brown
3. Now in a blender, make a paste of the pressure cooked broccoli-garlic and sauted almonds.
4. Heat butter and add crushed peppercorns to the heated butter. Fry for a few seconds and add the blended broccoli-garlic-almond. Cook on high heat till the raw flavour is eliminated.
5. Add milk and milk cream (malai/দুধের সব্র ). till it is of creamy & soupy consistency. Mix on high heat and lower the heat, cover and bring to a boil.
6. Adjust the salt by adding rock salt.
7. Sprinkle pepper powder, chili flakes (optional). Take it off the flame.
8. After pouring into soup bowls, garnish with grated cheddar cheese.

Serve this bowful of healthy goodness ....steaming's a meal by itself!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mouri Murgh with Peas Pulao

Chicken with Fennel ...served with Peas Pulao

A friend had pointed out that my blog hardly has any typically "Bangali Murgi'r Jhol"!! And upon going  through my posts, I realised how right she was!!

So today I was all set to make the typical "Bangali Murgi'r Jhol"...but the "Murgi" had other plans! 

And while making the chicken curry, my whims predominated and what resulted was a mild fennel flavoured chicken impromptu experiment with a happy ending!

And realising that there is barely any rice based item in this blog, I thought of jotting down the recipe of Peas Pulao...the lightest, easiest and quickest of all Pulaos.

Mouri Murgh

Ingredients :
Chicken - 1 kg
Finely chopped medium sized onions - 2
Finely chopped tomatoes - 2
Potatoes cubed - 4
Garlic paste - 2 tbsp 
Ginger paste - 2 tbsp
Tej Pata - 1
Whole garam masala - 2-3 nos. of 1"sticks of Cinnamon, 2-3 green elaichi, 2-3 black elaichi, 4-6 cloves
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric / Haldi / Holud - 1 & 1/2 tsp
Dry roasted (on hot tawa) & ground Mouri / fennel seeds - 3-4 tbsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri Mirch - 1/2 - 1 tsp
Green chili - as many as you want 
Chopped Coriander leaves/Dhonepaata
Salt to taste

Procedure :
1. Marinate (at least for a few hours) the washed & cut chicken with 1 tbsp each of Ginger & Garlic paste, salt and 1/2 tsp of Turmeric/Haldi/Holud powder.
2. In a kadai, heat oil and saute the cubed, washed and Haldi-Salt smeared potatoes till they turn golden. Keep aside.
3. In the same kadai, add another tablespoon of oil (I used mustard oil). Drop in the Tej Pata, whole garam masalas, fennel seeds 
4. Stirring the above for a few seconds, add garlic paste, chopped onions followed by a pinch of sugar for caramelising and adding colour. Fry on medium - high heat till the onions get a brownish colour.
5. Add the ginger paste followed by chopped tomatoes. Turn up the heat and fry till the colour turns brown and the tomato-onion turns into a well fried mush.
6. Mix  Turmeric-jeera powder-kashmiri mirch powder-2 tsp of roasted-ground mouri/fennel seeds-salt with a few drops of water...make a paste and add to the kadai. Cook the masala well.
7. Add the marinated chicken and stir around till all the pieces are well coated in masala. Do this on high heat. Once the chicken is well coated with the masala, keep turning around...koshano / bhunoing (frying on high heat). While at it, add the rest of the roasted-ground mouri/fennel seeds and continue frying (koshano / bhunoing).  Add the cubed and sauted potatoes
8. If time permits, continue cooking in the kadai till the chicken is tender. And you may need to sprinkle water now and then to prevent burning. But like me, if you are running short of time, transfer to a pressure cooker. Add a mug of water. 2 whistles are adequate. Once cooled, and the lid comes off, transfer to the serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves / dhonepata.

Serve with roti / rice / Pulao. 

Peas Pulao

Ingredients :
Basmati - 3 cups
Peas (preferably fresh ones) - 4-5 cups
Cashew / kaju - a handful, slit lengthwise 
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Tej Pata - 1
Whole Jeera - 1 tsp
Whole garam masala - 2-3 nos. of 1"sticks of Cinnamon, 2-3 green elaichi, 2-3 black elaichi, 4-6 cloves
Jaiphal / Javitri powdered - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 1 - 2 tbsp
1/2 slice lemon

Procedure :
1.Wash the rice, dry it if possible, on a newspaper in the sun.

2. Heat Ghee in a kadai. Add whole garam masala, tej pata, whole jeera, ginger paste. Fry for a few seconds.
3. Add the washed and (preferably dried) basmati rice followed by the sugar, salt, Jaiphal or Javitri powder. Mix well on medium flame.
4. Add the peas. Again give everything in the kadai a stir to mix. 
5. Transfer to a rice cooker. Add 5.5 cups (same cup as used to measure the rice) of water. Squeeze half a piece of lemon (learnt from some blog on the net sometime back and follow it religiously for all pulaos and as promised the result is amazing...the cooked rice DO NOT stick)

 The Peas Pulao is ready!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cooking Her Own Harvest...

Alu Chaat (Spicy Potato Salad)

 My 7 year old was back from an outing to a vegetable farm! She was super excited and her most prized possession for the day was her precious bag full of fresh potatoes, other vegetables & cotton which she'd picked up / harvested herself! And she proclaimed that SHE & ONLY SHE would cook the potatoes and serve us!

And what would that be? Super confident after her debut as a masterchef just the week before with nothing less than SCRAMBLED EGGS, she proclaimed ALU CHAAT!!! I did a mental somersault in joy, thanking my lucky stars that she hadnt been too ambitious and opted for other lofty dishes!!!

So the potato harvester's recipe of Alu Chaat...

Ingredients for :

A) Potato Mash
8 medium-large sized potatoes
A bowl of Chhole - luckily it was readily available at home as when she announced her culinary plans for the day, the overnight soaked Kabuli Chana had been pressure cooked for our breakfast of Chana Masala!
very finely chopped onions - 1-2
rock salt
roasted jeera powder
chili flakes
Chaat masala
chopped green chilies (was not added today...for obvious reasons ;))
Chopped coriander

B) Tamarind chutney/water
2 tbsp of readymade tamarind paste or a 2" dia ball of tamarind soaked in water and made into a pulp
rock salt

roasted jeera powder
chili flakes
chaat masala
sugar - a little
a mug of water

Procedure :
1. Wash and pressure cook the potatoes after halving/quartering them. 2 whistles are enough. 
2. While the potatoes are being boiled, prepare the tamaring water (tetul jol/imli paani) by mixing all the ingredients under "B" with water.
3.Now coming back to the potatoes....Cool, dunk in cold water and peel the skin. Mash with hand or masher.
4. Mix the mashed potatoes with all ingredients (except chopped coriander) under "A".
5. Add the tamarind water / tetul jol to make a moist  spicy potato mash. Taste and adjust the other spices if required. 
6. Garnish with sev bhujia / crushed phuchka/paani puri's puri / cornflakes and then finally with chopped coriander leaves

The yummilicious ALU CHAAT was ready!! And what made it yummier was the fact that it was harvested and prepared (fully) by my little lady!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Saucy Fish?!

No....there's nothing 'Saucy' or cheeky about this fish preparation....the name suggests Sauces as the main ingredients....that's all! A super quick 15 minutes (if you dont consider the marination time) recipe from start to finish....

Ingredients :
Bhetki Fish fillets : about 8-10 leftover irregular pieces after preparing the fillets for making fish fries...

Chopped Onions
Finely chopped capsicum - 1/2
Finely chopped coriander leaves/Dhonepaata - for garnishing
Sugar - 1 tsp

For marination :

Worcestershire sauce - drizzle to coat all the pieces
Soya Sauce - about 1.5 tbsp
Chili Vinegar - 2 tbsp
Chili flakes - 1 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Garlic paste - 1tsp

Olive Oil - 1 tsp

Procedure :
1.Add all ingredients under 'Marination' and coat all the fish pieces well and marinate, preferably, for an hour..

2. Transfer the marinated fish along along any juice into a microwaveable container, preferably with a cover/lid. Microwave in Low power (whatever is the minimum power) for 8-10 minutes. Check the "done-ness" after 5-7 minutes and decide. Keep it covered after switching off the power. Make sure it's not becomes fibrous....
3. In the meantime dry roast the chopped capsicum on a hot tawa on high for a minute or so give a smoky taste
4. Caramelise finely chopped onions by adding a little bit of sugar while frying the onions in a little oil.
5. Garnish the microwaved fish with caramelised onions, dry roasted capsicum & finely chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with steamed rice, butter rice, bread or just some potato wedges and salad.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A bowl of Soup to calm a cold-cough-fever ridden cranky toddler

Chicken with Veggies & Egg Soup

A cranky toddler down with cold-cough-fever, holed up indoors for 4 long days....just needed to be perked up with something she loved....SOUP! So a bowlful of hearty wholesome soup it was.....

I did not have chicken stock...I more often than not, dont. But that hardly matters.....There's always an alternative and a pressure cooker....

So here it is...any vegetable can be used. I used the ones I had....

2 boneless chicken leg pieces or 1 large chicken breast - chopped into small pieces
1 Carrot cut into tiny cubes
3-4 french beans chopped into tiny pieces
A handful of corn kernels (I used frozen)
A handful of fresh peas 
1/2 Capiscum chopped 
Chopped onions - 1
5-6 cloves of garlic-sliced
fresh ginger - 1/2 inch - cut into thin strips
pepper corns-freshly crushed : 4-5
Black Pepper powder
Tej Pata - 1 or 2
Salt to taste
Butter - 1 tbsp
Sesame Oil - 1 tbsp
Eggs - 2

Got the idea to add the beaten eggs to the soup and to use sesame Oil , from Soma's Egg Drop Soup. 

Procedure :
1. In a large pressure cooker, heat butter. Add the Tej Pata, sliced ginger & garlic, crushed pepper corns and finally the chopped onions. Stir till the onions turns translucent.
2. Add the bit sized chicken pieces. Stir around on high heat till slightly browned. Add the fresh peas
3. Add 2 mugs full of water. And pressure cook till 2 whistles go off. If you have chicken stock, add only 1/2 mug of water and pressure cook the chicken and them add the chicken stock and again bring to a boil.
4. While the pressure cooking is on, heat a tawa without oil and dry roast the chopped capsicum. Dont overcook..just to remove the moistness/rawness of capsicum and to give it a smoky flavour.
5.After release of the pressure, take off the lid of the cooker, raise the heat and again bring to boil. When boiling, add all vegetables except capsicum/bell pepper and boil for a minute or less. The vegetables should retain their crunch and not turn soggy. Add the dry roasted capsicum.
6.Adjust the salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of sesame oil into the boiling soup.
7. Beat 2 eggs. Lower the heat and add the beaten eggs slowly in a thin stream while stirring (with a fork) the simmering soup in one direction as described in Soma's Egg Drop Soup. My egg ribbons/strands were not as fine and delicate as hers ..but tasted smooth and silky!

Serve Hot!!!
To see the kiddo's eyes light up with joy as she slurped the steaming bowl of soup was an immense relief after a long day of seeing her being ill and moody!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dalia & Green Moong Daal Mixed Paratha

Parathas made of Broken wheat & Green Gram 

A simple, hassle free, super nutritious I'd downloaded from the net and make very often...but never blogge about. To ensure the recipe is safe and sound in my e-recipe book, in case my memory fails me or my laptop crashes, thought of noting it down....

The ratio of ingredients in the original recipe was Dalia : Sabut moong :Ata = 3/4:1/4:1 cups. And there was no onion in the recipe. 
The following are my measurements. 

Ingredients :
Broken wheat (dalia/lapsi) 1 cup
Green gram (sabut moong) 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour (atta) 1 & 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Ginger 2 inch piece
Finely chopped onion - 1
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely chopped - 1/2 cup
Green chilli, chopped finely chopped- depending on the heat tolerance
Oil 2-3 teaspoon

Procedure :
1. Clean dalia well.
2. Soak sabut moong for about an hour. Drain and set aside.
3. Pressure-cookd dalia and whole moong in 2 -2.5 cups of water until soft. I require 5-6 whistles if the moong is not soaked for long.  Cool and mash the mixture.

4. Combine wheat flour, salt and oil.
5. Mix wheat flour with cooked and mashed whole dalia and moong.
6. Add grated ginger, chopped onions, chopped coriander leaves and green chillies.

7. Add water, if required, a little at a time and knead into a soft and pliable dough.
8. Keep the dough covered with a moist cloth for 15 minutes.

9. Divide the dough into 12-13 equal portions. Form them into balls. Roll out each portion into thin five to six inch sized discs.
10. Brush a little oil on a hot non-stick griddle (tawa) and place the parantha on it and cook on medium heat for half a minute on each side. Reduce heat and cook further till both the sides are slightly browned.

Serve hot with dahi (or raita) and / chutney Achaar.

This recipe is off to 'My Legume Love Affair # 56' being hosted by Lisa. The event was started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kataa Chochchori (Begun diye)

Fish Head with Brinjal

This dish personifies everything rustic and unsophisticated. Some pieces of Rohu Fish head. Some small to medium brinjals. Some potatoes. And some very basic Indian spices. Nothing exotic. Nothing which even the most basic of kitchen does not have.

But the result was mindblowing...and coming from me ...who is neither too fond of Maachher Kaata nor of brinjals, it's a big compliment (to my ownself!!)

Ingredients :
250-300 gms of Rohu / Katla Fish head pieces 
8-10 medium size brinjals
2-3 medium size potatoes
1 finely chopped Onions 
Garlic paste : 1 tsp 
Holud/Haldi/Turmeric - 1tsp
Kashmiri Chili - 1/2 - 1 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1tsp
Dry Roasted whole garam masala (elaichi+cardamon+cloves) and ground - 1/2 tsp
Green Chilies - 2-3 
Coriander leaves / Dhonepaata - choppe
Mustard Oil / Groundnut oil

Please note : I had  only addition, Kumro (pumpkin), Potol (Pointed gourd), Jhinge (Ridge gourd) can all be added. These need not be separately sauted in oil, but can be added after the potato. They will cook in their own juices.

Procedure :
1. Smear the Fish head pieces (which I get quartered by the fishmonger / supermarket) with salt and turmeric powder and fry them crisp and keep aside.
2. Smear the potatoes (cut lengthwise) and brinjal (cut in a shape similar to the potatoes) with salt &  turmeric powder and sauté them separately in oil.
3. In a kadai / wok, heat 3-4 tbsp of mustard oil (preferably) and season with Kalojeera followed by garlic paste.
4. Add the chopped onions and a pinch of sugar (for imparting the colour to the onions) and fry on medium heat
5. Now add a paste comprising of Turmeric powder, the chili powders and salt, to the oil. And keep frying till the oil separates out.
6. Add the sauted (‘shaantlano’) potatoes followed by the brinjals. Cook them while stirring. When the veggies are almost cooked, add the crispily fried Fish head pieces. Mix well. Sprinkle some water if too try. And cover an let it cook for 3-5minutes.
7. Remove the cover, sprinkle 1/2 tsp of roasted and ground garam masala powder. Break some green chilies and add to the cooked 'Chochchori' / ‘Chorchori’ ...give it a final stir and after garnishing with chopped coriander / Dhonepaata, take it off the flame.

Serve with steamed white rice….aaah bliss!