Monday, 14 April 2014

Sabudana Pulao



Sabudana Pulao

This is what my mother in law prepared yesterday evening for Neel Shosti. The north Indian preparation is a bit different from the south Indian one.

What we prepare is what my in laws always prepared and my family loves.  I serve it not at breakfast but on festivals , at dinner time and the whole family has it ,even those not fasting.


Sabudana Khichuri

Ingredients :


Sago (Sabudana).......................2 cups
Peas.........................................1/2 cup
Potato......................................2,medium,chopped small
Chilly.......................................3-4,chopped
Ginger......................................2-2 1/2 tbsp,chopped
Bay Leaf..................................2
Lemon Juice............................1 tbsp
Whole Cumin. Seeds................1/2 tsp
Fresh Coconut.........................1 tbsp, chopped
Salt...........................................as per
Sugar........................................1 tsp
Pure Ghee.................................2 tbsp


Garnish :

Finely Chopped Fresh Coriander.............................2 tbsp
Coarsely Crushed roasted peanuts......................  ...1 tbsp

Preparation :

Soak the sago (Sabudana) pearls whole 5-6 hrs before preparation time. Drain the water but don't dry it too much.


Method :

Heat the Ghee in a pan

Add the Bay Leaves, Cumin Seeds and let them crackle.

When they crackle add the  chopped Green Chillies and chopped  Ginger. Stir a bit and add the Potatoes. Stir fry the potatoes a bit and then cover and cook till the pieces are soft.

Add the Sago, Salt, Sugar, Chopped Coconut and Peas mix.


Cook covered til the sago is soft and transparent. Keep stirring to avoid the sago from sticking.


Sprinkle the lemon juice, crushed peanuts and chopped coriander and serve hot.


I serve coconut chutney with this snack.

(The Chillies I used were red.Used it to add a little colour)



Bhetki macher Jhol



Bhetki Maacher Jhol

Bhetki Maacher Jhol



Ingredients:

Small Size Bhetki Fish...........................................................1, cut into two pieces
Potato.(Aloo)........................................................................1,cut lengthwise into 6 pieces
Ginger Paste (Ada Bata)........................................................1 tsp
Green Chilly(Kancha Lanka Chera).......................................4-6,slit
Bay Leaf(.Tej Pata)...............................................................2
Cumin Seeds(Jeere gota).......................................................1 pinch
Green Chilly Paste.(Kancha Lanka Bata)................................1 tsp
Turmeric Powder(Holud Guro)...............................................1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder(Jeere Guro)....................................................1 tsp
Coriander Powder (Dhone Guro)............................................2 tsp
Salt (Noon )............................................................................as per taste
Mustard Oil(Sorsher Tel)............................................................6 tbsp


You can add vegetables like wax gourd (Potol) pieces and also lentil dumplings (Bori) to the dish. Fry them in oil and add.

Heat the mustard oil in a wok.
If using lentil dumplings (Bori/Vari) fry and remove to a dish. Add more oil if required.

When the oil is hot, add the fish pieces one by one and fry both sides lightly in medium flame and remove.

In the same oil, add bay leaves and cumin seeds. Stir a bit and then  fry the potatoes. If you are adding wax gourd, fry along with the potato.

In a bowl , mix turmeric powder, salt, chilly paste and coriander powder with a little water .
Now, mix this to the potatoes in the wok. Give all a mix.When the mix starts to boil put a lid, reduce the flame and let cook till soft.
 After about 5-7 minutes remove lid and add slit green chilly's .

Add the fish pieces.Also add 1 tsp ginger paste.

Adjust the gravy, by adding more water. When the water comes to a boil , remove the  wok and dish out.

Serve hot with plain rice. Enjoy.



Sunday, 13 April 2014

Echorer Chop (Jack fruit Cutlets)



My Ma-in-law's stories often arise from topics that are discussed by the ladies (ma-in -Laws right hand and left hand ) working in the kitchen. As Anjali and Rina chatt merrily, Ma tells them about her good 
old days at Rongpur, Utterbangla (now Bangaladesh). Dadu had lots of land being the jamindar, says Ma and we visited Kurigram, a big village right next to Dorola Nodi (Dhorola ) during our summer vacations .
We lived in Bihar back then, said Ma . We had the pleasure of having fruits off the trees, like Mango, Lichu , Batabi Lebu, Nona, Kamranga, Lotkan , Kathal and many others. Dadu had planted orange trees as well but they were too sour ........never sweet, so only chaatni was made of those oranges. 

We kids slept with Boro Mashima (Eldest aunt) who was a widow. Mesho mashai  had gone to Vienna by ship for a conferrence and never returned. He died  of heart attack on the return journey. Boro Mashima had taken up all household responsibilities. As the room in the huge house was almost next to the orchard we could see some of the fruit trees from the bedroom windows. One night we saw a very strange thing, said ma.....and Anjali-Rina both were all ears....what ?? Foxes !!! said Ma. We saw some 4-5 of them climbing one on top of the other to get to ripe jackfruits. The fox on top scratched the ripe fruits down and all of them devoured the fruits and left....... Foxes too eat fruits ? exclaimed Anjali & Rina .


Mashima made jackfruit chop, said Ma . Ma makes them now. Here's how...

Chop the jackfruit into really small pieces and steam them in a pressure cooker to soften them. Remove and drain off all water . Chop 1 large onion, ginger 1 inch piece and 2-3 green chilly's really fine. Boil 2 medium size potatoes and mash well with salt to make it smooth.

Now heat 2 tbsp refined oil and fry the onions till it starts to colour ,then add the chopped ginger and green chilly and saute well. Add 1/2 tsp Turmeric, 1/4 tsp Garam Masala Powder, 1/2 tsp Red chilly Powder, 1/2 tsp Coriander Powder, Salt as per taste and 1/2 tsp sugar. Now saute well, sprinkle a dash of water if the spices are burning. Then add the jackfruit and stir fry well with the spices to mix all well. When a nice smell begins to come and the mix browns and starts to leave the sides of the pan, remove and cool the mix.

Now take the whole mashed potato mix and divide it into equal size portions. Also divide the jackfruit mix into equal size portions. Take one portion of the potato mash in your hand and make a well in the middle and fill a portion of the jackfruit mix in the well.Close to seal , so that the jackfruit filling can not come out. Now shape like a chop.Give shape with hand.To help you do use refined flour to dust your hands.
Now make chop of all the other portions. Remove to a dish.

In a bowl, Beat two Eggs. In a dish spread Breadcrumbs. Now dip the chops first in egg and then coat all over with bread crumbs. Dust off the excess bread crumbs.

Keep in the fridge for half an hour at least to set before frying.




Heat Refined Oil 1 cup in a wok and when its really hot, reduce the flame and slowly add the chops to fry them golden. Do not add too many at the same time . It will immedetely reduce the temperature of the oil and 
not fry well. Add in small batches and fry till golden and remove. 

Serve hot with Sauce or Chaatni. Sprinkle a pinch of Chaat Masala .


Monday, 31 March 2014

Chitol Fish Balls in a rich gravy (Chitol Maacher Muitha)





Chitol Maacher Muitha



Chital or Chitol Maacher Muitha is a traditional Bengali Fish Recipe, that is made at special occasions. Muitha is actually dumplings made from the Chitol fish meat grated from a large piece.
The fish has millions of bones but this preparation is made for those who love the fish but hate the bones. It is a Bangal delicacy though now both sides of Bengal , east (Now Bangladesh) and west love it equally.




Ingredients :


For the Muithya :
Chitol Maach........................600 grams (Gada piece , Pith side )
Potato.....................................2 ,large,Boiled &Mashed
Onion/Ginger/Garlic/Green Chilly Paste.............2-3 Tbsp
Roasted Cumin Powder.................................2 tsp
Salt..................................................as per taste
Water............................................a large pan full of water


 Put a large and deep pan full of water to boil on high flame. When the water boils..... Mash the fish and potato together very well . Mix all the other ingredients as well. Make tight balls of the fish meat with all the ingredients mashed well together and then drop the balls in hot boiling water.  Now, i have always given either ball or elongated shape to the muithas but some ladies do make square shaped or diamond shaped muithas.

At first when dropped in boiling water, the muithas will sink but after a few seconds they will rise to the top. Carefully remove with a slotted laddle  and keep aside.
Now, heat 1/2 cup - 1 1/2 cup  (200-250 grams) of Mustard Oil Or Refined Oil,which ever you prefer and fry the fish balls in low heat till golden in colour slowly. When done remove .

Ingredients For Gravy :


Mustard Oil (Or any Oil)..................2 Tbsp

Potato.................................................2,medium,Cubed
Ginger-Garlic Paste.............................2 tsp
Onion Paste...........................................2 Tbsp
Tomato Puree.......................................2 Tbsp
Red Chilly Powder...............................1/2 tsp
Kashmiri Chilly Powder........................1/2 Tsp
Turmeric Powder...................................1/2 tsp
Salt...........................................................1/2 Tsp (Or as per taste)
Sugar..........................................................1/2 Tsp(Optional)
Clarified Butter (Deshi Ghee)......................1 Tbsp
For the Tempering :
Bay Leaf (Tej Patta )...........................2
Green Cardamom.................................2,slit
Cinnamon............................................1 piece
Clove...................................................4


Heat some water in a kettle and keep ready.


Mix 1 Tsp (Heaped) Cornflour in 4 Tbsp water and keep aside.

Method  Of Preparing the Gravy :


First of all heat 2 Tbsp oil in a pan and fry the potato cubes. Remove.
Add the Clarified Butter in the same oil and also add the  Bay Leaves, Cardamoms, Cinnamon and Cloves . Stir a bit before adding the Onion paste, Ginger-Garlic paste and stir fry. Add the Tomato next. Also add the dry spices.......Turmeric, Red Chilly Powder, Kashmiri Chilly Powder, Salt and Sugar. Fry till oil separates and rises to the top .Then add 1-1/2 cup warm water.This will make the gravy. When it boils add the potato cubes. When it boils , add the Fish balls.
When these come to a boil , turn off the heat and leave covered, Giving a standing time of 10 minutes.
The Fish balls(Muitha) will soak up some of the gravy and soften .
Carefully remove the Chitol Muithas to a flat serving dish  and top with the Gravy.
Garnish





Srape the Fish Meat with a spoon


Chitol Maacher Pieces


Chitol Maacher Muitha
P.S : The use of

Bengali Fish Curry : Gurjali MaacherJhol


Gurjali Maacher Jhol



This is a simple fish curry and easy to make dish.
Ingredients are few and the taste supreme.Would like you all to give it a try.

What you need .......

Gurjali Fish (Gurjali Maach).............................3
Ginger..............................................................1/2 inch piece
Cumin Seeds....................................................1 tsp.
Green Chilly...................................................2-3
Tomato,small....................................................1 grated or pureed
Turmeric powder...............................................1/4 tsp
Salt................................................................according to taste
Mustard Oil....................................................2 tbsp

For the Tempering :

Nigella Seeds ( Kalo Jeere )..............................1 pinch

For Garnishing :

Fresh Coriander..............................................1 tbsp,finely chopped
Green Chillies,slit............................................2-3


Gurjali Maach




Preparation :

Grind the Cumin Seeds, Ginger and Green Chillies to a fine paste using some water.
Make a puree of the tomato or you can grate it .
Sprinkle  some Turmeric and salt on the fish pieces and keep aside.

How to Prepare the curry :

  Heat the Mustard oil and fry the fish pieces lightly and remove. Too much frying will harden the fish pieces and we do not want that.

Reduce the heat to sim and add the kalo jaere to the oil.

   Stir a bit and then add the paste prepared earlier. Stir fry a bit and then add the tomato and continue frying till a nice aroma fills your kitchen.Then you will know its done .

     Add the turmeric (1/4 Tsp  )and salt  as per taste . Stir these in and then add 1 small cup of water .
Let the water come to a boil and then add the fish pieces. Once the fish pieces are added it will lower the temperature a bit , so wait for it to boil again turn off the heat.

     Sprinkle the finely chopped Coriander and slit Green Chillies and cover with a lid.
Give a standing time of 5 minutes and  after that serve.

This is served with plain  Boiled Rice .






Thursday, 27 March 2014

Chirer Ros Puli Pithe






Our neighbors the Saha's used to have Pithe Parbon at their place. Ladies got together to celebrate the festival. A huge coal and wood fire was set up. A big "Handi"of water was put to steam.On the "Handi" was placed a basket "Jhuri"
In it "Bhapa Pithe " was put to steam.

Rice powder was used. Rice powder was knead into a dough with warm water.The soft dough was made into a large chapati (Indian Bread) / Roti and cut into small rounds.Using the Gujia moulds   (see picture) small Gujia's were made .The filling was made with Grated Coconut, Nolen Gur ( Jaggery), and  Koya Kheer (Home style condensed Milk).These Gujia's were then steamed .When ready it was served with very thin Nolen Gur (Jaggery in a liquid form).
Now, when cool the left overs were boiled in thick sweetened milk popularly called Kheer in Bengali and served as "Doodh Puli" another form of Pithe.
Pati Shapta was made with soaked Gobindobhog Rice. Rice that had a mild scent.The soaked rice was grinded to a thin paste. On a hot greased griddle a spoon full of the batter was spread, a filling spread in the center and then rolled like an omlette.
Gokul Pithe was made too. A thick batter with Refined Flour and baking soda  was made.Then a coconut and jaggery filling was  prepared. It was divided up equally into equal size balls. These were then dipped into the flour batter and deep fried to golden colour. A thick syrup was prepared, boiling  water and sugar together and the golden fried crisp balls were soaked in it.
Now, this Chirer Ros Pithe is one that I have learnt from my dear friend Sharmistha Dey. She is a writer and a television personality. She teaches too.


Gujia Moulds

Ingredients:

Flaked Rice (Chire ).......................200 grams,thin variety Coconut..........................................1 medium size,grated Sugar.............................................500 grams
Jaggery (Gur).................................200 grams 
Cows Milk......................................1/2 litre
Refined Flour ( Maida)...................as required 
Clarified Butter (Desi Ghee)............1 Tbsp
Refined Oil.....................................as required for Deep frying

 Method :


Soak the thin Chire in water . Keep aside to soak for five minutes.
Heat 500 grams of Sugar with 200 ml water to make a thick syrup. Cool . The prepared Pithe's have to be added into cool syrup.

Drain off the excess water and squeeze the flaked rice .Then make a smooth dough. Add  Desi Ghee and enough Refined Flour to make a dough (Four or five Tbsp should do). Mash well.
Make a coconut filling. Grate half a coconut. Heat a pan and heat  1/2 litre milk in it till it boils .Then add the coconut and keep ,stirring  often with a spoon.When the mix reduces and the coconut is cooked add the Jaggery. Keep stirring till the mix drys up completely and a nice aroma starts coming. Cool.
Now divide the dough and the coconut  filling into  equal number of portions. Take a  ball of the dough and make a bowl shape with it.  Right in the centre of  it put a  ball of the filling and cover up.Close all sides carefully and smoothen.  Now give an Puli shape to the Pithe. Prepare all and keep ready to fry. Heat oil for deep frying . Reduce the flame and on low heat deep fry slowly till light golden.Do not increase the heat while cooking or else the centre will remain uncooked while the top will become crispy at once. Fry in small batches and drop in the bowl of syrup. The pithe has to be hot while the syrup cool. Serve with the syrup. Keep soaked in syrup all the time



Coconut Filling




Prepared Puli Pithe Ready for Deep Frying