Thursday, 29 September 2016

MACARONI CUTLET





Looking at the photograph, I am wondering how can one be such a horrible photographer even after two years of blogging.... I am a lazy blogger, but however insincere I am with every details, I am a sincere cook as they say may be... that makes me happy... So long we respect boundaries, as long as we accept our limitations and appreciate the good in others whole heartedly... we should be a happy lot. In between, all the cat fights are meaningless, waste of time.... We should always mind our own business.... the lack of which in all of us is the cause of all irritation and unrest among us.... Coming to photography.... it also seems I am getting colour blind... That red mat is such a mismatch... Things would not have been such worse hadn't we had to go for a movie last night. Yesterday morning I discovered half packet of macaroni, thought of some cutlets... google searched some sites for the recipe and went ahead with mine. I will definitely mention them later in the post so that you too may find a lot of quick and yummy recipe ideas from there. The photograph may be horrible, but the cutlets were really crisp and tasty.

Later we may change this picture, but today I really wished to share this recipe of Macaroni Cutlet, which was quick, easy and surely to be loved by your family, specially the kids. I used very few ingredients to prepare these vegetarian cutlets like some boiled macaroni, boiled potato, onion, corn and cheese. I am not so much of a cheese person, however yesterday wished to use some, in different food forums I see corn and cheese go very well. We got some smoked Gouda cheese from Amsterdam, I used that. As I have said earlier, I am never particular about the ingredients of a recipe, unless it is an authentic regional dish. My version of Macaroni Cutlet requires very less spices, let us do it.

Recipe Courtesy :
Nalini's Kitchen
Easy Kid's Evening Snacks[you tube]
www.foodfood.com

INGREDIENTS :
Macaroni : 250gm [boiled]
Potato : 2big [boiled n mashed]
Sweet Corn : 1small cup
Cheese : 100 gm [ cut into small cubes, I used smoked Gouda]
Onion : 2big [sliced]
Green Chilli : 2-3 chopped
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Bread Crumb : 100 gm
Oil : 100-150ml [to fry]

METHOD : 
Boil macaroni and potato separately. Mash the potato using little salt. Peel, wash and slice the onions.

Heat oil in a wok. Add the sliced onions and saute till translucent. Add the chopped green chillies and stir.

Add the sweet corns and fry for a minute. Add the boiled macaroni and fold in well.

Add the mashed potatoes, fold in well and cook for 2 more minutes.

Transfer to a plate and add the cheese cubes. Mix well.

Shape into cutlets. Take the bread crumbs onto a plate.

Coat the cutlets well with bread crumbs.



Heat oil in a wok. Fry the macaroni cutlets in batches at low heat, until they are crisp and light brown.

Transfer onto a tissue paper before serving.



Serve hot with your favourite sauce or chutney.





Monday, 26 September 2016

MIXED VEGETABLE MEDLEY / NIRAMISH CHOCCHORI



A fever, sore throat, junior's semester, attending certain other responsibilities, my own engagements, I am caught up with so many things. Yet I thought I should write up a recipe today, its been a week I have not. This Niramish Chocchori or Mixed Vegetable Medley is a regular dish in any Bengali household. Each family has its own way of doing it.... with any combination of vegetables and their choice of tempering. At my home I try to keep the vegetable dishes less spicy because I tend to prepare my curries a bit spicy and hot.

To be very frank, in my side of the family, we usually use this combination of vegetables to cook shutki maach [sundried fish, specifically with dried Bombay Duck]. If you are still reading it and have not left me, let me tell you I still could not gather the courage to blog on my much loved dried fish dishes. Before I stop blogging, I hope I can, I should. We belong to the eastern part of undivided Bengal, now Bangladesh. Hence dried fish preparations are a delicacy for us. My burger, sushi, pizza loving men too becomes a typical Bangal when it comes to dried fish bharta or chocchori. When I can blog on it I will, as of now I wish to share this simple mixed vegetable dish with you all.

Let us prepare this Niramish Chocchori / Mixed Vegetable Medley together before my swollen eyes starts giving more trouble.

INGREDIENTS :
PUMPKIN : 1/2 of a medium sized one
BROAD BEAN : 250gm
POTATO : 2 medium
RADISH : 4 [if using the small sized Indian ones, otherwise a big one]
EGGPLANT : 1big
ONION 1 [sliced, authentically not used]
GREEN CHILLI : 4[slitted]
CUMIN POWDER : 1tsp
TURMERIC POWDER : 2tsp
SALT : As Required
NIGELLA SEED [KALONJI] : 1/4tsp [for tempering]
DRY RED CHILLI : 2 [slitted]
OIL : 2tbsp[authentically Mustard Oil]

METHOD :
Remove the skin of pumpkin, potato and radish. Wash and cut into cubes. Wash and cut the eggplants into cubes. Cut each broad bean into three pieces.

Keep each in separate bowls and rub with turmeric powder and salt.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with nigella seeds and slitted dry red chillies. Add the onion slices and fry till golden brown.

Add the potato and radish pieces, stir and cover cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the broad beans and pumpkin. Fold in well.

Add the slitted green chillies, cumin powder and stir well. Cover cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the egg plant pieces, fold in well and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add sugar and fold in well. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy with rice or chapati.


Monday, 19 September 2016

VEGETARIAN KHEEMA ROLL




This was our last night's dinner. My kitchen is not in a condition to cook. We just had a gruesome shifting session last friday and everything is messed up. Since friday we are getting food from outside, or going out in between to have food. This does not work for long for a person like me. Besides, I am too unwilling and lethargic to go out even for a minute when the house is in total mess. I do enjoy weekend dining ventures with family and friends though. Yesterday afternoon, while watching an Indian television channel, I just came across an advertisement on Vegetable Kathi Roll of a famous food brand of India. I was literally drooling and slurping and instantly decided I have to prepare this. In turn there was a revolution kind of at home saying I always fail to set my priorities in life and there is no wrong keeping off kitchen for few days. I accept but what about the foodie in me who dream of food all the time, though publicly showing off as if I am too health conscious.

Now the food advertisements do not come with the recipe. There must be a number of similar recipes but I went ahead with my own because I had to do it with whatever was available at home. We are even unable to keep proper stock of vegetables, meat and fish at this moment. So let us do the Vegetarian Kheema Roll together. They turned out crispy and yum which I served on paratha topped with tomato chilli sauce and mayonnaise.

INGREDIENTS :
Potato : 2big
Minced Soya : 1medium cup
Sweet Corn : 1/2 small cup
Green Pea : 1/2small cup
Onion : 2medium 
Green Chilli : 2-3
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Cinnamon Powder : 1/4tsp
Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Cloves Powder : 3-5pinches
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Cumin Seed : 1/4cup
Salt : As required
Refined Flour : 2tbsp
Corn Flour : 1tbsp
Bread Crumb : A cup full of
Oil : 100-150ml for frying

METHOD :
Wash, cut half and pressure cook the potatoes in enough water up to two whistles. Once cold, peel the skin and mash.

Soak the minced soya in hot water for 1/2 an hour and drain the water.

Peel, wash and slice the onions. Wash the sweet corns and green peas. Chop the green chillies.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with cumin seeds. Add the sliced onions and chopped green chillies. After 2-3 minutes add the minced soya, all the powdered spices and salt. Stir very well for 3-4 minutes.

Add the mashed potatoes and fold in well. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add the refined flour and cornflour. Fold in well.

Transfer to a plate and let cool.



Now shape into rolls as is seen below.



Take the bread crumbs in a plate. Coat the Vegetable Kheema Roll with it.



Heat oil in a wok. Fry the rolls carefully in batches.



Once done transfer onto tissue paper first.



I served them as dinner, hence atop paratha topped with tomato chilli sauce and mayonnaise. If you are having as snacks, do enjoy with chutney and salad.



Tuesday, 13 September 2016

PAN FRIED SPICY PANEER



I had few visiting friends last week whom I invited over lunch. Whenever there are guests at home, my concentration is more on the starters / appetisers rather / other than mains. It is with appetisers / starters that we get cosy with guests / friends whom we are meeting after quite sometime. Meeting people is a breakthrough from an everyday routined life, hence it has to be a relaxed one with an equally convenient ambience and good food. As a host, I / we always try to make our guests feel comfortable and happy.

In any get togethers at home, I prefer to keep both non vegetarian and vegetarian appetisers for my guests. On that particular day, it was an all ladies treat over lunch. So appetisers were less in number.... a fruit chat, a non vegetarian starter and this vegetarian starter of Pan Fried Spicy Paneer. I served it on a bed of sautéed onion and chillies. Let us prepare this quick and easy dish of Pan Fried Spicy Paneer together.

INGREDIENTS :[for the pan fried paneer]
Paneer : 300gm
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Aamchur Powder : 1/2tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Mustard Oil : 2+3 tbsp [for colour, other oils can be used]

INGREDIENTS : [ for the sautéed onion and chillies]
Onion : 2 medium to big
Red Chilli : 2 those big, fat variety
Green Chilli : 2 those big, fat variety
Black Pepper Powder : 1/2tsp
Chat Masala : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2tsp

METHOD :

Cut the paneer block into smaller cubes. Marinate the paneer cubes with all the spice powders, salt and 2tbsp mustard oil. Keep aside for half an hour.


Peel, wash and slice the onions. Wash and chop the chillies.



Heat 2tsp oil in a wok. Add the sliced onions, saute till soft and pink. Add the chopped chillies. Once they are a bit soft, add salt, black pepper and chat masala. Stir well for a minute.



Transfer to a serving plate.

Heat 3tbsp oil in a pan, Gently place the marinated paneer cubes on the pan discarding the marinade. We will cook all sides for 1-2 minutes each at low heat.



Transfer to a tissue paper and then on to the sautéed onion slices and chillies.

Serve hot with your choice of chutney.




Friday, 9 September 2016

EGG BAHAR


I was literally struggling to give a name to this egg curry..... it is not authentic of any place. After my marriage, I saw my mother-in-law preparing an egg curry using lots of plain yogurt. The mother-son duo had been / are ardent egg lovers. There are some hilarious stories regarding my senior's love for egg. In tune with his love for egg, I do prepare egg curry on a regular basis. What we miss here is duck egg, it is banned in the country we stay. I think for most of the Bengalis, egg curry essentially means duck egg curry. Some say duck eggs have health issues associated with it. These days I console myself believing in it.... grapes are always sour under certain circumstances.... hahaha....

Though not so much of an egg lover then, I liked the tangy n little sweet egg curry that mom-in-law cooked with homemade yogurt. It definitely was not an authentic Bengali egg curry. I made some add ons on the curry this time, made it spicier, not so hot though.... and named it Egg Bahar. Let us prepare the easy, quick and yummy egg curry together.

INGREDIENTS :
EGG : 4
PLAIN YOGURT : 2-3tbsp [beaten]
TOMATO  : 1medium [made to paste]
CHILLI POWDER : 1/2tsp
CUMIN POWDER : 1tsp
CORIANDER POWDER : 1/2tsp
FENNEL POWDER : 1/4tsp
CINNAMON POWDER : 2pinch
CARDAMOM POWDER : A pinch
TURMERIC POWDER : 1tsp
CASHEWNUT : 3-4
GINGER PASTE : 1tsp
GARLIC PASTE : 1/2tsp
ONION PASTE : 11/2tsp
CUMIN SEEDS : A pinch
BAYLEAF : 1
SALT : As Required
SUGAR : 1/2tsp
GHEE [CLARIFIED BUTTER] : 1/2tsp [optional]
CORIANDER LEAVES : 1tbsp [for garnish, optional]
OIL : 2-3 tbsp

METHOD : 
Wash the eggs and boil. Take off shell and make small slits on both sides and apply little salt and turmeric. Prepare a paste with the yogurt and cashew in a blender.

Heat oil in a wok and fry the eggs lightly, keep aside. Temper oil with cumin seeds and bay leaf.

Add the onion paste and fry for a minute. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and saute till the raw smell goes away.

Add the cashew nut n yogurt paste and saute till the oil separates from the mix. Add all the powdered spices and salt except the cinnamon and cardamom powder, sugar, ghee and coriander leaves. Saute for a minute.

Add a cup of water. Let boil for 2 minutes. Add the fried eggs and boil for 2-3 minutes.

Add cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, ghee, sugar. Stir and let boil for 1/2 a minute.

Transfer to a bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or Indian breads.






Tuesday, 6 September 2016

ASSORTED VEGETABLE PAKORA / FRITTER



Weekends are for indulgence. We do not bind ourselves to a rulebook and just let it be. For me it is a weeklong wait for lazy wake ups, chit chats, happy cooking, an elaborate lunch together, a cosy evening tea with snacks with the television on almost 24/7. If we are not going anywhere or do not have any guests coming over, we love to relax over food, adda [chitchat] and movies. I feel if other family members live far off, we get more close knit with the ones we live with. After a beautiful weekend, again it is a routined week. Though I am occupied with a couple of activities, I eagerly wait for the evening for their homecoming. The more I am aging, the more mentally dependant I am getting. I cannot believe at times, in the prime years of my life I lived months after months without my senior, which is quite normal of the mariners' wives. My little boy missed his daddy so much so that he landed with a shore job. For the sake of that happiness, should not we be little indulgent on weekends and be happy with some sinful eating ?.... we should.

We Indians / South Asians perhaps prepare fritter or pakoras with almost all vegetables. My men are not vegetable lovers, hence I need to play certain tricks with veggies to feed them the same, at times in the form of a kofta curry and at times preparing pakoras with them. The other day I had some veggies in the pantry like carrots, a bowl of shredded cabbage, few french beans... not enough to prepare a veggie dish... which my men will not love also. Since I cannot comply with the idea of throwing away food, I thought of preparing some Assorted Vegetable Pakora / fritter with them. Let us prepare the Assorted Vegetable Pakora / Fritter together and enjoy with our evening tea or coffee.

INGREDIENTS :
Carrot [shredded] : 2
Long / French Beans : 5-6 [finely chopped]
Cabbage : 1big cup [shredded]
Onion : 2 [thinly sliced]
Green Chilli : 3-4 [finely chopped]
Parsley / Coriander Leaves : 2 sprig [roughly chopped]
Refined Flour : 1medium cup
Cornflour : 1/2 medium cup
Baking Soda : A pinch
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1tsp [optional]
Oil : 100-150ml [to fry]

METHOD :
Peel and wash the carrots, beans, onions. Shred and chop them as required. Wash 1/4 of a small to medium cabbage and shred. Wash and chop the green chillies and parsley / coriander leaves.

In a bowl, take the refined flour, cornflour and baking soda. Mix well. Add turmeric, salt, sugar to it. Add water little by little to prepare a paste like batter.

Add all the vegetables to it. Mix well. Shape as you wish. Heat oil in a wok up to smoking point, lower heat to least. Fry the pakoras in batches till brown on both sides. Place them onto tissue papers.

After sometime, transfer them into  serving bowls and serve with chutney or sauce of your choice.




Friday, 2 September 2016

DALIA N DRY FRUIT LADOO




These Dalia n Dry fruit Ladoos were made a few days back as a part of a celebration at home. This is definitely not a family recipe, I hardly remember dalia [cracked wheat] been ever featuring on my mom's monthly ration list.... saying so I travel many a years back... visualising the lady carrying two heavy bags with groceries, carrying us to school and back, going to the wet market, cooking, cleaning, doing everything with only one help. Daddy being in nationalised banking services was most of the time posted elsewhere. This was perhaps the picture of every middle class homes back then. Though in decent jobs, their concept of living was different. They strongly believed in simple living and infused in us the valuable lessons of been down to the earth.We might have come a long way which is hard earned, yet we strongly embrace our middle class values. We should not stagnate at one place neither should we forget our roots. Yet when people too close to heart misjudge you as a snob, you feel extremely hurt and broken. You suddenly feel choked and speechless in the harshness of the situation. What if you do not wish or unable to share the pain with anyone? What if you firmly believe modesty is the finest jewellery one can adorn? One cannot or should not be disrespectful unless there is a serious attack on their self respect. In such situations, go for a movie, or relax yourself with some cooking. With a realisation that talking and expressing less earns you peace, I will do considerable amount of cooking this evening after I finish sharing my philosophical notes with the world with sweet something.

Yes, many of you must have known by now that my blog is less about food and more about life and philosophy. There is perhaps hardly any food blogger with so less knowledge of food as me, the ethics and protocol the food world works on. I feel suffocated at times. As some friends fondly say Soma, stop writing recipes and try at least some short stories. Knowing myself the best that I lack vocabulary, in-depth knowledge, deep insights perhaps, I reject their love filled suggestions. I believe writing skills are God gifted, one can sharpen it with time and experience but no way can we develop it. But given a choice, I would love to be in that bracket any day.

Just back from a lot of work, I got some 'me' time to share a recipe of a simply made sweet ladoo with you all. As said earlier, it is not a family recipe. Everyday, I go through a couple of such recipes of so many variety of amazing combinations. I do keep dalia at my pantry for myself as a substitute of rice. My men will definitely not have dalia khichdi or upma but trust me, they loved this little crunchy, ghee smeared sweet made of roasted dalia and dry fruit powder. Please do not go by their shapes, they tasted really well and were quick and simple to do. This time, I did remember to click some stepwise photos capturing the process. Lets do the yummy DALIA N DRY FRUIT LADOO together.

INGREDIENTS :
Dalia : 1big cup
Almond : 10
Pistachio : 8
Cashew nut : 12
Raisin :1for each to garnish
Sugar : 1/2 medium cup
Green Cardamom : 3-4
Milk : 1/2medium cup
Condensed Milk : 1/2small cup
Ghee [clarified butter] : 2-3 tbsp
Raisin :1for each to garnish


METHOD :
Wash and pat dry the dry fruits. Heat a wok and dry roast them for two minutes.




Transfer them to a grinder and let stand for a while. Once cool, coarsely grind the dry fruits and keep aside.




Pour ghee to the hot wok and temper with slightly torn green cardamoms.





As you get a nice aroma, add the dalia and roast till light brown.



Add the coarsely ground dry fruit to the roasted dalia and fold in well. Keep stirring for 2 minutes.



Add the milk and condensed milk together and fold in well.



Stir for a couple of minutes until the mixture becomes little sticky. Transfer to a plate. Let cool a bit. We need to shape the ladoo while it is still warm.


 Once cool store in an airtight jar. It can be refrigerated upto a week.