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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Pan Fried Veggie Kebabs

       
           This is a healthy and a colourful snack which can be relished on its own with some sauce / chutney or as an evening tea-time snack. For a healthier option it can be grilled, basting it with butter from time to time. You can also go ahead and add courgette, mushrooms and baby corns too for a more vibrant colour. This is a best way to get children eat veggies and this also serves as a perfect lunch box meal.





  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded & cubed
  • 2 tomato, deseeded & cubed
  • 1 big onion, cubed
  • few skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 tbsp. green chutney (coriander-mint chutney)
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 2-3 tbsp. to shallow fry
  • pinch of chat masala 





          In a bowl, combine together all the ingredients from green chutney to yoghurt. Marinate all the chopped veggies in it for 30 minutes.

          Thread the veggies onto the skewers. Heat oil in a tawa / griddle and fry turning them from time to time till almost roasted.

          They should be tender but al dente. Sprinkle some red chili powder and chat masala over it and serve with some ketchup or chutney as an evening tea-time snack.




















Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Beetroot Dhokla (Steamed Lentil Snacks - Gujarati Cuisine)

       

           This is a dhokla made out of left-over idli batter. I added boiled and mashed beetroot to it, but to get an intense colour you can increase the quantity of beetroot. Very healthy and nutritious, this snack can be had by itself or as a tea-time snack. They are also a very good option for a lunch box meal.





  • 1 cup Idli batter
  • 2 tbsp. beetroot, grated & boiled
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. white sesame seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh coconut, grated



          Mix the idli batter with the beetroot paste and keep aside. Grease a steel plate and pour the idli batter into it. Pour some water in the base of a pressure cooker. Place the cooker on the flame and bring the water to a boil.

          Now place the container with the batter in the cooker and steam on high flame for 10 minutes, then on low flame for 5 minutes. When cool, flip it over on a plate. Cut into squares and keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering , add the sesame seeds and the curry leaves. Saute till the sesame seeds turns light brown. Pour this over the dhoklas. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and coconut.










Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Chana & Moong Dal - (Bengal Gram & Green Gram Lentil Fry - Bengali Style)

       
           The combination of Chana & Moong dal is very common in Punjabi cuisine. But here I tried to prepare it in a traditional Bengali style with a tempering of panch phoron, bay leaves and whole garam masala. Asafoetida too can be added as a tempering for a good aroma. I finished it off with the addition of ghee for a good flavour. This dal can be served either with rice, poori or chapatti.





  • 1/2 cup chana dal (Bengal gram)
  • 1/2 cup moong dal (split green gram)
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantity of fennel, cumin, mustard, fenugreek & onion (kalonji) seeds)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1" cinnamon
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • coriander leaves to garnish


          Boil the dals in 2 cups water for 4-5 whistles. Blend and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and temper with bay leaves, panch phoron, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves.

          After it stops spluttering, add the onion and ginger and saute till light brown. Then add the boiled dal, salt, turmeric powder and the green chilies.

          Simmer on a low flame for 2-3 minutes. Before taking off the fire,add the ghee and mix well. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.













Bhapa Shondesh (Bengali Steamed Sandesh)

       
          Sandesh or Shondesh in Bengali lingo, is a very popular Bengali sweet, which is now widely available all over the country and outside too. It is prepared from paneer or chena, which is made out of fresh full cream milk. This delicious and yummy sweet can very easily be prepared at home. No Bengali festival is complete without sandesh and rasgulla.

          There are many versions of this delicious sweet. This is the steamed version which is very easy and simple to make. It can easily be steamed in a pressure cooker, steamer or even in a deep pan. So check for a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.





  • 1 litre full cream milk
  • 3 tbsp. vinegar
  • 5-6 tbsp. sugar
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 1 tbsp. chopped pistachios
  • 1 tbsp. rose water



          Grind the sugar and the cardamoms to a fine powder and keep aside. To make the paneer, boil milk. After it comes to a boil, take off the fire. 

          Mix the vinegar with 3 tbsp. water and slowly add to the milk and give a stir. After a few seconds you will notice the milk curdling.

          Drain in a muslin cloth and keep under a running tap so that the smell of the vinegar is washed away. Now mash the paneer with the back of your palm for 2-3 minutes.

          Then mix the sugar and the rose water and continue to mash for another 2 minutes till it is very smooth and there are no lumps.

          Put this mix in a greased steel tiffin box with a lid (in the absence of a lid, use aluminium foil to close the container in which it is steamed). Sprinkle some chopped pistachios over it.

          Place the tiffin box in the pressure cooker containing some water in the bottom. Steam without the vent for 5 minutes on high flame and then 10 minutes on low flame. When it cools down a little, refrigerate it. Cut into desired shape and serve.




























Monday, 27 October 2014

Lemony Masoor & Moong Dal (Red Lentil & Green Gram Lentil Fry - Bengali Style)

       
           This is a traditional Bengali Dal recipe with a twist. Usually it is prepared only with masoor dal, but I combined moong dal too and made it thicker so that it goes well as a side dish with chapattis or naan. The tempering of panch phoron and the addition of kafir lime leaves gives a very good aroma and flavour to the dal.





  • 1/2 cup masoor dal (red lentil)
  • 1/2 cup  moong dal (split green gram)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantities of fennel, cumin, fenugreek, mustard & kalonji (onion seeds)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 2 green / red chilies, slit
  • 5-6 kafir lime leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder


          Pressure cook the masoor dal,  moong dal and the kafir lime leaves in 2 cups water for 3-4 whistles. Discard the lime leaves and blend well. Keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with the panch phoron. After it stops spluttering, add the onions and saute till light brown.

          Then add the ginger and fry for a few seconds. Add the boiled dal, salt, turmeric powder and green chilies. Simmer on low flame for 2-3 minutes.  Serve either with rice or as a side dish with any Indian bread.









Chickpeas & Couscous Salad

       
           Couscous, as a salad is very popular in Middle Eastern Cuisine. Here I combined it with kabuli chana (white chickpeas) to make a healthy and a delicious salad. It is very nutritious and wholesome and can be had as a light meal.





  • 1/2 cup kabuli chana (white chickpeas), soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1 fresh red / green chilly, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • pepper powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice

          Add 1/2 cup hot water to the couscous and keep aside, covered for 10 minutes. Then fluff it up with a fork and keep aside.

          Pressure cook the soaked kabuli chana for 5-6 whistles. Drain and keep aside. In a bowl, combine together the chana and the couscous.

          Just before serving, add the salt, pepper, olive oil and the lime juice. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and green chilies. Fresh red chilies can be substituted for a colour contrast.










Mathri Chaat (Savoury Snack)

       
            Chaats are a favourite snack in the Northern regions of India. But it has become very popular all over now. So here is a chatpata, spicy and a tangy chaat for you made of mathri. It is a healthy, delicious and an yummy evening tea-time snack, that is served, garnished with coriander and bhujia / sev. 

          I also added some steamed sprouts to give a crunchy texture to the chaat. You may add few roasted groundnuts too, if preferred. Please check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.





  • 7-8  mathris
  • 1 potato, boiled & mashed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup moong sprouts, steamed
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. jaljeera powder / chaat msala
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbsp. green chutney
  • 2-3 tbsp. tamarind chutney
  • 2 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp. bhujia / sev





          Place the mathris on a serving dish. Arrange the mashed potatoes, onion, tomato and sprouts over it. Sprinkle the cumin powder, red chili powder and jaljeera powder.

          Then add the yoghurt, green chutney and tamarind chutney. Garnish with the coriander leaves and bhujia. Serve as an evening snack.




                               Place the mathris on a serving dish. 



                            Arrange the mashed potatoes, onion, tomato and sprouts over it. 



                          Sprinkle the cumin powder, red chili powder and jaljeera powder.



                               Then add the yoghurt, green chutney and tamarind chutney. 



                     Garnish with the coriander leaves and bhujia. Serve as an evening snack.










Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Kofta

          
           This is a very delicious and an easy snack of Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Kofta. It is basically a combination of mashed paneer, boiled potatoes and other spices, formed into oblong shapes and deep fried. 

I also added some boiled sweet potatoes for a healthier version and some crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves). It is best relished as an evening tea-time snack. They can also be served as appetizers along with some green chutney or sauce. 





  • 125 gms. Paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1 potato, boiled and mashed
  • 1/2 sweet potato, boiled and mashed
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, grated
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), crushed
  • salt to taste
  • pepper powder to taste (opt)
  • 2 tbsp. maida / cornflour
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • oil to deep fry






          In a bowl combine together all the ingredients from paneer to pepper powder into a dough. Make equal sized portions of it and form each into an oblong shape. Refrigerate for an hour.

          Make a batter with the maida and 1/2 cup water. Keep aside. Heat oil in a pan. Dip each paneer ball in the maida batter and then in the bread crumbs.

          Deep fry them few at a time till light golden brown in colour. Drain in a kitchen towel and serve along with green chutney or sauce.
























Couscous Soup

       
          Couscous is a very common ingredient found in Mediterranean salads. I decided to try out a soup out of it. So here is a healthy one-pot meal of couscous soup which is full of flavour and is a wholesome treat. I prepared it in a curried form along with some coriander and mint leaves. The addition of stock gives a very unique taste. You can also use some maggi soup cubes. This nutritious soup when had with a dash of lime gives an extra zing to it.





  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper power to taste
  • 4 cups stock / water
  • lime juice to taste

          Add 1/2 cup hot water to the couscous and let it stand covered for 15 minutes. Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and saute the onion, garlic and ginger till light brown in colour.

          Add the couscous, 4 cups stock, salt, pepper powder, coriander leaves and mint leaves. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.

          When cool, blend it to a puree. Just before serving, heat through and serve with a dash of lime.









Sunday, 26 October 2014

Cucumber Salad with Chickpeas & Parsely

       
          This is a very simple and an easy salad which is light on the stomach. It can easily be dished out in a jiffy as all the ingredients are easily available in the kitchen. The addition of cucumber gives a very crunchy effect to the salad and is a provider of vitamin, iron and calcium. 

          On the other hand, black chana (chickpeas) provides dietary fibre, thus is less in cholesterol. Parsley, too is a rich source of vitamins and is an antioxidant. Hence, to sum up this is a very healthy and a nutritious salad. You can play around with the dressing by giving it a twist each time you serve this salad.





  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup black chana (chickpeas), boiled
  • handful of parsely, chopped
  • salt taste
  • pinch of red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice

          Take a bowl and combine together the cucumber, chana and parsely. Just before serving, garnish with salt, red chili powder and lime juice and serve as a light dinner.










Raddish Soup

       
          A soup made out of radish is rather unusual and not much heard of. It is a taboo veggie to many due to its strong pungent smell, but radish soup cooked in this style simply tastes yummy and delicious. To remove the smell, I have used coriander leaves. But you can also add few kafir lime leaves or mint leaves for an interesting aroma. As radish is low in calories, it is an healthy option and perfect for any weight watchers.





  • 1 medium radish, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. lime juice

          Heat oil in a pan and saute onion, ginger and garlic till light brown. Add the chopped radish and saute for 2-3 minutes.

          Add 3 cups water, salt to taste, pepper to taste and coriander leaves and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.

          When cool, blend into a puree. Just before serving heat through and add lime juice. Serve with croutons or bread sticks.










Saturday, 25 October 2014

Ilish Maach Bhaja (Hilsa Fish Fry - Bengali Style)

       
             Hilsa fish, the most favourite delicacy of all Bengalis, is relished in many ways. Some like it in a steamed form and some with gravy. But this is the fried version where the fish is only marinated with salt and turmeric powder and shallow fried in mustard oil. 

          2-3 dry red chilies too are fried in the same oil. It is then mixed with plain steamed rice along with the oil in which it was fried, a pinch of salt and the fried chilies crushed into it. Fresh green / red chilies can also be substituted. It simply tastes awesome. Any Bengali will vouch for it.








  • 3-4 Hilsa fish pieces
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil






          Marinate the fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish till golden brown in colour.

           Serve with hot steamed rice along with the oil in which it was fried. Accompany it with 1-2 fried dry red chilies or fresh green / red chilies.




                        Marinate the fish pieces with turmeric powder and salt for 10 minutes.



                           Heat oil and fry the fish on both sides till light golden colour.






                         Relish with plain steamed rice, oil in which it was fried and fresh or 
                         fried chilies.









Palong Shaag-Begun Torkari (Spinach-Eggplant Stir Fry - Bengali Style)

       
           Palong shaag-Begun Torkari is a very simple and a healthy homemade Bengali dish. This is generally had with steamed rice at the beginning of a meal. It is very nutritious as spinach is a store house of iron, proteins and calcium. 

          As any greens are generally good for our health, this recipe which has a minimum of spices is ideal for a daily dosage of nutrients in our diet. The addition of bodi (mangodi / vadials) gives a good crunchy effect to this dish.






  • 8-10 long eggplants, cubed
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 8-10 bodi (mangodi / vadials), fried and crushed
  • 1 tsp. kalonji (onion seeds)
  • 1 dry red chilly
  • 1" ginger, grated
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit



          Heat oil in a pan and temper with kalonji and red chilly. After it stops sizzling, add the ginger and saute for a few seconds. Then add the eggplants and saute till half done and till they turn slightly brown.

          Add the spinach, salt, green chilies and turmeric powder. Fry till dry and till all the moisture dries up. Add the crushed bodi and serve hot with plain steamed rice.











Yummy Chicken-Egg Roll - Kolkata Street Food

       
         
          Chicken-Egg Roll is a very popular street snack of Kolkata and is equally enjoyed by young and old alike. It is a very common sight on every street corner to see people relishing it with much enthusiasm. Just one is enough to satiate your appetite. Mutton Roll and Fish Roll are equally popular with the masses. This is a perfect lunch box meal. Here I tried to recreate this delicacy in my kitchen for breakfast with my own twist.





Filling - 
  • 250-300 gms. chicken fillet
  • 1-2 onion, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies (opt)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder

Roll - 

  • 1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tbsp. oil to knead
  • salt to taste
  • 3 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • oil to shallow fry
  • 2 onion, sliced
  • 2 green chilies, finely sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • tomato sauce
  • mustard sauce
  • pepper powder to taste




          Cut the chicken into thin slices. Wash and keep aside. For the filling - Heat oil in a pan and saute the onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies till light brown. Add the chicken and all the powdered spices and continue to fry till cooked. Keep aside to cool.

          Knead a dough with atta, salt, 2 tbsp. oil and required quantity of water. Keep aside for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into equal portions.

          Roll out each portion into a circle just like chapattis. Heat a tawa / griddle and shallow fry them one at a time with a tsp. of oil on both sides till slightly cooked.

          Add a ladle of the beaten egg mix on one side of the chapatti and swirl it around so that it spreads evenly on the chapatti. Fry for a few seconds and flip it over when set. Fry till both the sides are done.

          Fry all the parathas in the same way. Now to assemble, take a paratha and place 2 tbsp. of the chicken filling on the egg side of it.

           Layer a little of the sliced onion, chilies, tomato sauce, mustard sauce, pepper powder and coriander leaves. Roll over and secure with a piece of foil. Serve as a tea-time snack.




















Potol Bhaja (Parwal / Pointed Gourd Fry - Bengali Style)

       
          Potol (Parwal / Pointed Gourd) Bhaja is a very common shallow fried veggie. It is a favourite side dish relished with rice and dal in most of the Bengali house hold. It requires just a marination of salt and turmeric powder. For a more spicy version, a little bit of chili powder is always welcome.





  • 7-8 Potol (Parwal / Pointed gourd), cut into half
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili powder (opt)
  • 4-5 tbsp. mustard oil
         

           Marinate the potols with salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder (opt)  for 5-10 minutes. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry them till light golden brown in colour.

          Drain on a kitchen towel and serve hot as a side dish along with rice and dal (lentil).











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