Tuesday, 17 October 2017

PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAI



Tomorrow is Diwali.... we get to see an illuminated India and also at Indian homes worldwide.... My heart whispers.... "Let there be light"in your lives.... let it remain kindled all 365 days of the year. Each year during this time .... I can see a picture been circulated in social media on how India looks from space during Diwali / Deepavali. I do not know about its authenticity but I love watching it and never do get bored. Its been eight years now we miss this nationwide celebration but we live in a country which not only allots national holiday for Diwali but a month long Diwali Bazaar is held at two to three venues.... In specific Indian localities .... streets are decorated with lights..... earlier I have shared such pictures in different forums. In most of the condominiums with considerable amount of Indian population..... there is celebration and people are allowed to burn crackers in specific areas been allotted for the purpose. So we do not feel detached as such. I have preferred to stay away from the "cracker ban" issue that has caused a stir recently..... the three of us in the family are too very scared of crackers .... specially of the ones that make noise. My earliest memory of burning crackers during this period was at the maternal grandparents' place wearing jazzy, silk clothes and burning "tarabati, rongmashal, chorki"..... the sparkling, no noise ones. Does that sound very dangerous to you .... wearing silk / zaridar suits and playing with fire? Well .... this controversy's own child decided not to take sides on this matter ..... storing two to three gas cylinders in your balcony is equally dangerous .... my family does, friends too, even my empty home back in Kolkata has one spare in the balcony..... even after repeated warnings from my senior who handles the safety control issue of a couple of ships. I remember when I went on board ship, I used to cook for the 30-35 crew members on board as I wished so.... I was not supposed to by the rule book of this industry.... the master of the ship who happened to be my husband told both the chief and second cooks if this lady creates any mess I will throw her out of the ship and send report to the higher authorities against you. So you know what we wish is at most times backed by emotions..... which may not tally with what is right in all cases ..... let wiser people decide what is wrong and right if we are unable to. When my little brother spent hundreds to thousand rupees on "kalipotka, dodoma, rocket bomb".... the fiercest of the crackers .... I used to be too worried.

If it is Diwali for majority of the Indians, it is also Kali Pujo for the Bengalis.... we worship the Goddess of Power? with some "Shyama Sangeet" and "Pathar Mangsho"..... a special music genre as a tribute to the mother and rice, mutton, khichdi. How are we celebrating Diwali? Well tomorrow is Diwali, family is in holiday mood and I prefer home cooked food.... preparation is on for some mutton biryani and hilsa curry..... but when it comes to what I share on blog..... I have to think of what majority of my readers want or how they will be celebrating! Thursday is Kalipujo for us..... there will be a "chotto kore bhog".... I will cook and offer to my Gods and Goddesses..... evening is booked for the temple visit..... "doob de re mon kali boley"..... Each year the friends visit the nearest venue for Kali pujo .... done the Bengali way ..... its around midnight and I skip. This year we may go, the husband wishes to be with his friends......... Moreover, the person who sponsors this pooja hailing from "opar Bangla".... is an overly rich businessman yet outwardly down to earth human being who personally attends all the guests during both durga pooja and kali pooja .... I simply adore that humble tone in people though I was married to a "pot full of arrogance".... haha... I was hooked towards a genuinely honest person actually. What is a celebration without sweets? This time I felt this PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAI is just perfect for the occasion..... all three of them should be happy .... Maa Lakshmi .... Ganesh .... Maha Kali... Rasmalai is a very much loved sweet among the Indians. I do try them at home though not on a regular basis. I happened to taste this particular PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAI at a friend's place last month, instantly loved ..... yes this is the same shameless diabetic speaking whose sugar level goes beyond limit even after a test on fasting. What else? the son is not giving me any reason to smile and live .... two weeks of term break... he is either watching television or playing car games on his laptop..... repeating history? haha... better I do what I love.... cook and eat. My friend got frozen packets of these PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAI from the Indian super market here. One bite into it and I instantly decided I have to prepare this Indian dessert of super white rasgullas / roshogolla dunked in a very light milk syrup which has been flavoured with freshly made pan / betel leaf juice. Betel Leaves have a deep connection .... the grandmother's "pan er dabor" was like "podi pishir barmi baksho"..... the later is a classic by Leela Majumder for the young.... as a child we all were curious to know what was there in Podi Aunt's intricately designed Burmese box... I had similar curiosity for my grandma's betel leaf box.... that generation had to have a "pan" post lunch and the kids were barred from it. I craved for one whenever I was there with them. Her "paner dabor" had fresh betel leaves, betel nuts [shupuri], khoyer [catechu?], chun [lime powder?] roasted fennel seeds[bhaja mouri] and few other spices. I love my teeth, else I would have own that treasure box by now. So, no wonder I will love to do the PAN FLAVOURED RASMALAI and wish to share the recipe with you all on the occasion of Diwali. However, I do not know whether this dessert is done  this way or not. I have done it my way and did not follow any other recipe.



INGREDIENTS :
Milk : 1lt + 400ml
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Ice Cube : 1small cup
Sugar : 11/2 medium cup 
Semolina : 1tsp
Baking Powder : 2-3pinches [optional]
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Betel Leaf : 7-8
Water : As Required
Rose Water : 2-4drops
Garnish as you wish
The amount yields about 10-12 rasgullas / roshogolla
METHOD :

Let us prepare the Paneer / Chena / Indian Cottage Cheese first. Take 1lt. of milk in a deep bottomed vessel. Put for boil. As it comes to boil, add the lemon juice, stir. The milk will curdle, switch off gas and add the ice cubes.


Once cool, pass the entire mixture through a fine, white cloth and squeeze out as much water as you can.


Tie the cloth on your kitchen tap and leave like that for 45 minutes-1hour.



Take down, untie and place the paneer / chena / Indian cottage cheese on to a plate.



We will knead it now for about 15 minutes. We will add the semolina and baking powder now and knead further for 10 minutes.



We will prepare small balls from the dough. I do not have much expertise in rasgulla / roshogolla making, so they do not double in size while cooking but they taste like rasgulla ... hehe...


Simultaneously, we were preparing the sugar syrup with 11/2 medium cups of sugar and 2-3 big cups of water. Rasgulla syrup should never be allowed to be sticky. We will tear the green cardamoms a bit and add to the boiling syrup. Once it has boiled for about 7-8 minutes, we will gently add the cottage cheese balls.



We will cover cook it for about 15-18 minutes at medium heat and switch off gas. Meanwhile, wash the betel leaf, one by one thoroughly.



Tear from middle, discarding the stem. Prepare a juice in the blender adding little water. Strain and take in a bowl.



In a clean vessel, boil 400ml milk for 5 minutes. Add 1small cup of the sugar syrup from the vessel where the rasgullas are still swimming. You know I hate wastage.



After boiling it for another 7-8 minutes, we will gently add the rasgullas / roshogolla. Rasmalai's milk syrup is always light in texture and I like it that way. Let the rasgullas boil for 3-4 minutes before we switch off gas.



Let the entire thing cool down, add the betel leaf juice gently, rose water drops too. Gently stir. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving. Do not forget to garnish as you wish either. Your dessert for any season is ready.


Sunday, 15 October 2017

COCONUT ALOO



These are Friday night scenarios at my home .... cooking fresh with left over raw ingredients in the pantry. I prefer cooking vegetarian meals on Friday, as the next two days will be too much of non-vegetarian fair...... and if it is vegetarian, I need to be extra cautious while cooking and pairing the mains with sides...... What goes inside my mind is that ..... there has to be smiling faces around when I serve the platter. I do get to see that when I prepare this kind of vegetarian food and not that kind that we grew up eating. I meant if there is a platter of "shaak, panchtorkari, daaler bora / beguni and dal".... that is a vegetarian platter of greens, mixed vegetables, lentil or eggplant fritters and lentil curry ....... the men at this home will eat the rice with lentil curry with a good number of fritters and totally skip the vegetables.... So, on days we are not eating out, I try to create that restaurant like ambience right at home whether I am cooking exotics or a platter as simple as this.... COCONUT ALOO which I served with herbed butter baby naan and dry fruit pulao. Just a little trick and it clicks.  Breads are so much loved at this home that they can have it just like that with dollops of butter or ghee. The lady of the house will not serve it that way but prepare a delicious sides with shredded coconut, potato and spices and name it COCONUT ALOO. I could have named it narkol aloo.... however I will put it this way.... I try to use Bengali name for authentic Bengali dishes.... I have some in line.....  will do as and when I feel like.

At the moment, I do not know what I am writing .... it is a Sunday and the man of this house has to play all variety of songs and movies on screen... he is a fan of Kapoor junior as much as I am.... finding it difficult to concentrate .... I can never multi task.... well he is just a little boy compared to the count of my grey strands..... the eye lashes and brows are also turning grey... I have stopped bothering ever since the "chote nawab" had chosen Kareena Kapoor over me... yes.... post Dil Chahta Hai I became an ardent fan of Saif Ali Khan ... the way he transformed and improved his acting skills is good enough reason to be so.... but he disowned me.... so I will not watch his latest.... CHEF.... where he plays the role of a chef.... I do not wish to see him love what I love .... on screen... in public .... neither should I show any interest in his personal likes and dislikes.... he is not mine .... Kareena must be taking care of that.... Come let us give a big shout out for Vidya's Tumhari Sulu, Irfan's Doob and Amir's Secret Superstar .... Well you are not an idiot like me and know it well if there is a Kareena and me to choose from ... the 'chote nawab' will always choose a Kareena .... You should watch them all .... do not worry lah... I still remain his fan because I do not allow negativity to breed within .... We should not harbour offence against people unless they make a serious attempt to insult  your 'self'...... Swelling of heart is an 'inside' thing and only we have to take care of our own... no one will really care. Come.... let us prepare this no onion, no garlic vegetarian delight called COCONUT ALOO instead..... "Saifina"... the glamorous Bollywood couple may not like it but my man smiled when I served it .... one who through all thick and thin is always beside me.... If I am getting filmy today, let me mention another film ... a Bengali box office success "Projapoti Biskut"...directed by an once upon a time friend from college, the very talented Anindya Chatterjee .... All this while I was watching how sincerely he was doing all the publicity for his baby .... the music of which is directed together by him and equally talented Anupam Roy ... Santanu Moitro and Prasen who I do not know... May be someday we get to see it... yet to be lucky enough to watch Aparna Sen's Sonata ... starring Shabana, Aparna and Lillete Dubey.... When actors of their calibre come together ... we have to watch it..... till date we have not missed a single movie directed by Aparna Sen .... too much of a favourite.... If you still have the energy to read my trash, thank you for tolerating this senile ... I get more so after a Saturday night fever.... I was unable to find the way to my home even through the basement yesterday midnight.... hahaha.... It feels good to be bad at times .... Coming to COCONUT ALOO...... it was Friday night... with hungry stomach growling... I could not manage stepwise pictures really ... the three dishes took me nearly three hours .... but it is worth it.... The stuffed red chilli pickle recipe needs to be shared soon ...



INGREDIENTS :
Potato : 4big
Shredded Coconut : 1medium cup
Ginger Paste : 2tsp
Asafoetida : 2pinches
Cumin Seeds : 1tsp
Coriander Seeds : 1tsp + 2pinches
Fennel Seeds : 1/2tsp
Urad Dal : 2tsp [split black lentil]
Black Pepper Corn : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 4
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp
Bay Leaf : 1
Oil : 4tsp

METHOD :

Wash the potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Take them all in a plate, microwave at high for 2 minutes. Let cool, peel.

Cut each potato into 4 pieces. Rub with salt and half of the turmeric powder. Keep aside for 5-7 minutes.

Dry roast the cumin.... coriander..... fennel seeds, urad dal, black pepper corns, dry red chillies together and dry grind to a powder.

Heat oil in a pan.... fry the potatoes in batches till golden brown. Take out.

Temper oil with asafoetida, bay leaf and cumin seeds. Add the shredded coconut and fry till they are toasted well. Take out.

Add the ginger paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the dry roasted spice powder and the toasted coconut together and fold in well. Stir for 1-2 minutes and add the fried potato pieces.

Fold in the entire mixture well and add 1 medium cup water. Cover cook for 7-8 minutes. Check in between.... if we require water we will sprinkle little. I wished for a dry potato dish.

Once done, add the lemon juice and fold in gently.

Transfer to a serving bowl. I served them with herbed baby butter naan and dry fruit pulao.




Thursday, 12 October 2017

MANGO HALWA


Isn't that the king of all fruits for many of my tribe?.... and what I see around is the versatile use of this magical fruit .... sweet... juicy... yellowish red in the kitchen of so many.... of certified chefs to self taught, homely cooks. I simply loved the idea of not having mango only as a fruit but using it to prepare a number of desserts... from cheese cakes to various desi sweets. Since, you already know that my fingers are not so friendly with bakes.... my kitchen is at most times filled with sweet aroma of desi desserts.... this time with a MANGO HALWA. There will be at least one dessert stored in the refrigerator for the day... I do so for the teen at home, my nocturnal senior and for any sudden guest given that there is no "doi mishtir dokan".... every 200 mts. here..... though there are malls every 1-3 km perhaps.... which has more food stores than clothing shops these days I see. It is so difficult for a foodie diabetic like me to practice self control. So we can always get something or the other for sudden guests within 15 minutes..... but  I have grown up in an environment / family where guests were always welcomed with food made with lots of love and care at home... from the drinks to mains to chutney to sweet. It was not the number of items that mattered but the warmth expressed doing so. In the grandmother's kitchen, there were two big clay ovens .... 'matir unan'.... I have never seen her frowning in irritation with arrival of guests at anytime.... there was always something or the other in her kitchen cabinet to treat people, no beggar went off from her gate without a coin or some food during her reign. The lady is nearing 90... cannot hear properly... still can look after herself without any help..... I love her.... I grew up in her lap.... I have very sweet memories with her to cherish.... and more so because she loved my father too much. When I see my friends doing everything in the kitchen from scratch ..... my hope gets alive that our lives indeed has not become 'bottled.'.... and the efforts of these yester year wonders will not be done away with entirely.

My brother has just called and conveyed me a very good news..... the elder sister who has always guarded him like a tigress is too very happy and wishes to treat her readers with some sweets ..... no there is no cliched statement like... oh you know our daddy is coming back in the family.... that way they are not giving any hope as of now, neither did he say didibhai... ok I will now match my political ideology with yours.... yet some 'mishti mukh' folks because some relations are perhaps not related to any calculation. Fresh Fruits are very much used in my kitchen both for desserts or in curries other than Bengali. We indeed treat Mango as the 'king' given we are still having it which ever variety we are getting coming from the neighbouring countries or elsewhere. This was the first time I have used freshly pureed mango to prepare a scrumptous dessert as this. The ingredients I have used for this MANGO HALWA are ripe mango pulp, semolina, pistachio, cashew nut, raisin, sugar, full cream milk, condensed milk, ghee. There might be similar recipes of MANGO HALWA already, I have not followed any. This dessert with mango, semolina and mixed dry fruits was part of an offering to God, hence I could not click pictures of the steps... we are not supposed to. Yet it will not stop us from doing together this yum laden MANGO HALWA which can very much be a part of your festive dessert menu.





INGREDIENTS :
Ripe Mango : 2-3big
Semolina : 11/2medium cup
Sugar : 1/4small cup
Condensed Milk : 2 -4 tbsp
Full Cream Milk : 1big cup
Cashew nut : 6-8halved
Pistachio : 4-5chopped
Raisin : 7-8
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Ghee : 4-5 tbsp

METHOD :

Wash the mangoes, peel and cut into small cubes. Add to a blender, blend for 2 minutes to get a paste / puree. Pour in a bowl.

Heat ghee in a pan / wok. Tear the green cardamoms lightly and add to the ghee. Your kitchen is filled with a magnetic aroma... haha...

Add the chopped pistachio and halved cashew nuts , stir. Add the semolina, fold in well and keep stirring till it is roasted well and turns little brown.

Add the mango puree and sugar. Mix well the entire thing. Add the condensed milk and again fold in well.

Let it cook while we constantly stir the mixture. Add the milk little by little and stir. Pour the entire content and let boil for sometime. Add the raisins too.

After 3-5 minutes it should be done.  Add more milk if required. Drizzle a tbsp ghee atop. Garnish as you wish.






Tuesday, 10 October 2017

SEMOLINA & SPICE STUFFED KACHORI WITH SWEET TAMARIND CHUTNEY




This recipe demands a pretty long description  yet I decided to go ahead with it. I am really not in a mental state to even concentrate on anything at a stretch at the moment. Why so? The son's board examination starts today with his nightmare Hindi.... there will be another paper on Thursday.... then the rest will happen after a gap of five months. You can well understand I am having a nervous breakdown every half an hour with no one paying any such attention to it.... why? because the clever people around know it aggravates the condition. Obviously both of us went to the school to drop him off, the madam in charge understood my condition looking at my face, she even allowed me to go with the son up to his classroom, but he is not my mother's kids.... he blatantly said either you go off else I do not sit for the examination. I cannot make phone calls to the old people back there either.... they get on my nerves more..... " boro scale.. diyechish to? addh dozen pen dibi.... formalities gulo thik moto likhtey bolish barbar.... school canteen e boshey thakbi sharadin.... cheleter porikkhar shomoy phone ta to bondho rakhtey parish...." I am too tired to even spend a single word to convince them that I can spend the entire day at the school or keep blogging at bay for few days if only anyone listens to me at home. I get angry with the old people in the family in such situations.... their fingers are always targetted towards me knowing I deal with the most difficult duo of the world.... they are the master of their own will... well, to a certain extent me too...... However they are, they are mine .... End of the day they come home to me and we sit for dinner together. To top up all the tensions and worries within me.... there is another lady with similar anxiety disorder as mine ... she is not my family or may be yes.... is that important? what you may find hilarious is both of us think our kids are too vulnerable and the entire world is conspiring against them.... hahaha.... That is where the two ladies.... with a 25 years of age gap bonds..... wish I could ever tell you the story of her sacrifice for her kids.... if only I had been given the liberty to. Every mother or parent do sacrifice some thing or the other for their kids.... she did a bit more.... If you have seen that.... can feel that... you will definitely respect that ..... therein lies the reason for some of my life time connections inspite of having good amount of differences / distance .... in between.

If I have decided not to talk to the old people for any mental support... or if the son has decided not to allow mumma to sit at the school for the day..... what will mumma do except for something she loves doing ..... share her recipes with the world.... festivity continues for us.... To boost our festive spirit, we need a variety of sweets and snacks... For me whether it is a festival or a family get together or otherwise... food should be the ultimate... rest seems lifeless without it ... haha... I proudly admit I live to eat ..... Kachori  is stuffed poori or puffed bread and very much loved among us. The island I live in may not eat Kachori in particular.... but I strongly feel if a fair number of them can eat murtabak... a kind of stuffed paratha or even something similar to our samosa... a thin skinned variety of it.... my kachori stall can earn me a fair amount.... Oh God! my dear readers do not follow ever a person like me who sits and plan but never get out of the couch and try something fruitful. Kachori can be done with a variety of fillings... You just need to mix and match the ingredients from time to time... This time I tried kachori with a filling made with roasted semolina and freshly ground spices. I served it with an instantly made sweet tamarind chutney. Come let us do the SEMOLINA & SPICE STUFFED KACHORI together and serve them with a SWEET TAMARIND CHUTNEY. The platter definitely remain incomplete without hot chai / coffee.. masala or otherwise.



INGREDIENTS : [for the Sweet Tamarind Chutney]
Tamarind : 1/2small cup
Sugar : 1/22tbsp
Black Salt : 2-3pinches
Green Chilli : 1
Ginger Extract : 1/4tsp
Water : 1/2small cup

INGREDIENTS : [for the Semolina & Spice Stuffed Kachori]
Refined Flour : 2big cup
Baking Soda : 1/4tsp
Salt : 1/4tsp
Sugar : 11/2tsp
Semolina : 1medium cup
Cumin Seeds : 1tsp
Coriander Seeds : 11/2tsp
Fennel Seeds : 1/2tsp
Carrom Seeds : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3
Green Cardamom : 2
Cinnamon Stick : 2 one inch stick
Ghee : 3-4tbsp
Oil : 100-200ml [to deep fry]

METHOD :
Let us prepare the filling first. Heat oil in a wok / pan and dry roast the cumin... coriander... fennel.... carom seeds and the dry red chilli for a minute or two.



In the same wok, add 1tbsp ghee. Once hot, add the semolina and roast till it turns golden brown.



Once it is golden brown, add the dry roasted spice mixture and fold in well.



Add sugar and salt to it and stir for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let cool.



For the dough, take the maida, baking soda, salt in a wide mouthed big bowl. Mix well. Add 3-4tbsp ghee.



Rub the entire thing well for 2-3 minutes.



Add water little by little, and keep kneading.



Once done, transfer the mixture to a plate and cover with cling wrap.



After 20 minutes to half an hour, remove cling wrap.... and knead again for another 5-6 minute. You will not get a better chance to practice your punching skills... trust me.



Tear out small portions from the dough and make pockets as below.



Add a good amount of filling right in the middle.



Close from all sides and flatten a bit to form kachori.



Heat oil in a wok and add the green cardamom & cinnamon.... this adds to the flavour of the kachoris.



Fry the kachoris in batches at medium to low heat.



Transfer them on to tissue papers.




For the Sweet Tamarind Chutney, take the  tamarind in a grinder discarding the seeds. Add sugar, black salt and the green chilli.... add water.



Grind to a paste. It looks as below.



Pass the entire mixture through a strainer.



The Sweet Tamarind Chutney looks as this.



We will have the fresh and hot SEMOLINA & SPICE STUFFED KACHORI with SWEET TAMARIND CHUTNEY. There have to have hot cups of tea or coffee to complete the platter.


Saturday, 7 October 2017

DESI STYLE EGGPLANT DIP



Finally the busy early autumn schedule this year seems to have come to a pause.... I will not use the word 'end'.... festivity is a part of our lives.... it is all about the magnitude of it. Before Diwali... there is a breather period of fifteen days.... How will I spend it? relaxing with the usual routine and preparing some sweet and salted snacks for the occasion. In our childhood, Bijoya Dashami lasted till Kali Pooja / Diwali.... people visited each other, exchanged pleasantries .... had that ritual of "kolakuli"..... that my son kind of kids may call silly hugging. It was after Diwali, we geared up for our examinations.... though for me that "gearing up" never happened.... the reason why my mark sheets are hidden in the dark, secret chamber of the wardrobe. Five days of doing what I am not has come to an end, the last two days I was supposed to wear fair amount of jewelry as part of our ritual while busy preparing goodies for our goddess of wealth but I kept it minimal.... so tired and unwilling I had been but there was no dearth in my effort to worship her with what she loves...... if my mother-in-law has stopped doing it.... I must carry forward the tradition as long as I can.

What am I having right now? two stale pooris / luchis with a cup of tea.... that too after a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar which claims to have some slimming effect.... off course not after having two pooris.... that too stale. I am that way... you should not try to find reason in me.... I do what I wish to .... emotionally drained for a long time now, poor observant, with questionable amount of grey matter..... you can call me "ghaar tyara".... that is the Bengali term for an untamed horse. Even, I do not know my next move, I always wish to be left at myself, thats how the wise man at home handles me. Last two days had been very busy..... yet the men at home will revolt if I serve leftover vegetarian meal to them today too.... tomorrow is a Sunday.... Cristine is on leave.... that nightmarish thought of cleaning the kitchen after cooking makes me cook 7-10 dishes on Saturdays. I am too tired to share an elaborate recipe today, let us share this quick and easy recipe of a DESI STYLE EGGPLANT DIP.... done with eggplants, tomatoes, sesame seed, peanuts, olive oil, green chillies, onion and coriander leaves. We only need to roast the tomato and eggplant and the rest is assortment and blending. The onion slices are crispy fried and they add to the taste of the dish. There was off course a meat curry to accompany. We usually have it with poori / luchi / paratha.... I am yet to try making pita at home..... soon will. You can try and test with your choice of mains. Come let us do it together.



INGREDIENTS :
Eggplant : 1big [the fleshy variety]
Tomato : 1medium
Onion : 1medium 
Green Chilli : 3-5 [choose yours]
Sesame Seed : 1tbsp
Peanut : 11/2tbsp
Coriander Leaves : 2-3tbsp [roughly chopped]
Salt : As Required
Oil : 2tbsp
Olive Oil : 1tbsp [to drizzle atop]

METHOD :
Wash the eggplant and tomato thoroughly. Pat dry and grease with few drops of oil. We will roast the vegetables one after another atop the gas oven. Once done, place them on a plate and let cool. Once cool.... take off the skin from both the eggplant and tomato.



Chop the coriander leaves roughly discarding the roots, wash. Peel, wash, slice the onion. Heat 2-3tbsp oil in a pan and fry the onion slices till they are crisp and brown. Take out and keep on to a tissue paper.




In the remaining oil, fry the sesame seeds and peanuts lightly till they turn golden brown. Take out. Let cool.



Squeeze the water from the eggplant and place in a blender. Chop the tomato and add it too to it. I usually discard the seeds. Add the salt, washed green chillies, chopped coriander, lightly fried sesame seeds and peanuts.



Blend for 3-4 minutes pausing every 1 minute. We are done. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle some olive oil and garnish with crispy fried sliced onion and some chopped green chillies. Enjoy with your choice of mains.



Wednesday, 4 October 2017

CRISP POTATO-PEANUT COINS WITH DATES-YOGURT DIP





Anytime is a good time for fries & fritters at our home.... the reason why my sweat out sessions at the  gym are not that fruitful as they should have been. Who knows what is waiting there for me when I go to live beyond the clouds. I am not bothered who I am going to live with there, I am humble enough to think there is no better moron than me in this world. What bothers me is that will I be served Hilsa, Mutton, Prawns and Pakoras there? Perhaps not ..... else the human race would not have longed for "life" so much.... I presume 80% of my race is a foodie like me... haha. How was Durga Puja spent this year.... it came and went without leaving any remarkable memory to remember. People have really become crazy.... I saw very few people are actually interested in how the mother is  worshipped.... what the rituals are. They are more interested in showing off who belongs to which lobby..... how powerful one is in the social forums. Even I love getting clicked, to be seen in media but there has to have a limit.... people crossed that limit. To me my family comes first in any given situation...... off course followed by friends unless anyone is trying to control / conquer me. In the virtual world I wish to remain loyal to people for whom I own a blog. In real life, I do not believe in any lobby or group... if anyone is trying to drag me in to it.... you are just causing breathlessness to to this poor soul ..... I am that disloyal person who you will find beside your hospital bed among very few.... but not in your present ma'am.... present sir group. A very decent and sincere note to few people.... if you cannot show your love to my family when I am seeking so.... I do not need your personal care either .... do not expect me to show any special care or attention towards you. I say all these on behalf of those soft yet firm, compassionate, overly emotional Scorpions who believes the world is  his / her home.... my Scorpion "couch partner" made me think that way.... thats a mariner speaking after all. I could have proved it well if only I knew that baking thingi..... woh! I can prepare one dal, one curry, one mixed-veg, rice, chapati by the time I look at the screen and add a little flour here.... take a little a sugar from there..... and then scream..... Cristine..... I forgot to add baking powder.... its all your fault.... she could leave us any day for me... she has not in the last three years .... people can feel vive..... I never hesitate sitting with her in a food joint....... on a day of high pitched shrill notes from me gets her a t-shirt. She knows she never has to stand outside a restaurant with a stroller when we eat at a restaurant. No, I am not trying to get rid of the moron tag.... just a question why do you have to wait for death to see hell.... just look around.... get the feel..... Life... yet is beautiful if we can avoid unnecessary complications.... thats makes me a happy, merry loner.

Trust me, in real life I do not speak 1/4 of what I do here. This space still remains when I am not there... this very thought gives me pleasure. As I say we are world citizens as a family though my blog does not reflect that. Baking classes here are too expensive .... given we live in an exclusively expensive island. When I look at the superbly done row houses .... the husband says wife do not even look. The wife is adamant.... husband.... they can invite us over tea.... 'bahar itna sundar... na janey andar kaisa hoga'..... ahah.... and we are unable or unwilling even to pay the 35% extra stamp duty we as foreigners are supposed to buy a decent flat in a condominium. It is better to visit the Asian store and buy a 1-1/2 kg weight 'Padmar Ilish' for 35-40 dollars and please your tummy. If you still want to kiss me..... here I am.... spare my lips but... haha.... I am in a happy mood.... you see my curry leaves and mint leaves plants are growing together giving space to each other.... wish we could be that way....



Here are some fries with a chilled dip for all our friends and their kids spread worldwide.... for the angels I have used less chillies, you can skip it entirely as we are using black pepper powder. It is the season for 'kumropotash'.... I wonder how people curve so beautifully on it.... even more wonder thinking do they waste the flesh? Did Sukumar Ray know about Halloween when he wrote "Kumropotash?" If you are not using the flesh.... send it to me.... I will prepare some "kumro chechki" with pumpkin and coconut.... or "batichochhori" with pumpkin, potato and prawns.... resend. Meanwhile, let me prepare this easy, irresistibly tempting vegetarian appetiser with shredded potato, chopped peanut, onion, little of chopped green chilli, chopped coriander leaves, refined flour, corn flour, bread crumbs. I named this superbly crisp fritters CRISP POTATO-PEANUT COINS and served it with DATES-YOGURT DIP. We also had a beetroot-onion salad and a soya sauce-green chilli dip with it. Both recipes for CRISP POTATO-PEANUT COINS WITH DATES-YOGURT DIP is below with few stepwise pictures.... Shall we do them together and continue with the festive mood?




INGREDIENTS : [for the Dates-Yogurt Dip]

Plain Yogurt : 150-200gm
Dates : 1/2small cup [chopped]
Onion : 1tbsp [chopped]
Green Chilli : 1/4tsp [chopped]
Coriander Leaves : 1tbsp [chopped]
Black Salt : 2-3pinches


INGREDIENTS : 
Potato : 2big [peeled and shredded]
Green Chilli : 2 [chopped, optional]
Peanut : 1/2medium cup [chopped]
Onion : 1medium [chopped]
Coriander : 2-3tbsp [chopped]
Corn Flour : 1tbsp
Flour : 2tbsp
Bread Crumb : 1big cup + 1tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1/4tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 150-200ml [left over can be used later]

We will do first all the chopping that is required. Let us prepare the dates-yogurt dip first and set it for chill.



Take the plain yogurt and and black salt in a bowl and whisk well. Add the chopped dates, onion, coriander and little of the chopped green chillies if the kids are not having it. Transfer to a serving bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill.



For the superbly crisp potato-peanut coins we will peel and shred the potatoes, soak them in salted water for 1/2 an hour.



Then we will pour them in a strainer, squeeze any excess water from them and keep in a plate.



Get your chopped peanuts ready too.



Take all the ingredients for the coin fritters in a big bowl.... shredded potato, chopped onion, coriander, little of chopped green chilli, chopped peanuts, corn flour, refined flour, 1tbsp of bread crumb, turmeric powder, salt.



Mix the entire mixture very well without adding any water.


We will take 1 cup of bread flour in a plate. We will take small portions of the mixture and shape as coins. Coat them well with the bread crumb.



Once done we will refrigerate them for an hour or so. Take out and coat them again with bread flour.



Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the fritters in batches.



Once done, place them on to tissue papers for the excess oil to soak.



Arrange them in a serving plate and enjoy fresh and hot with the dates-yogurt dip. We also had some soya sauce-chilli dip and a beetroot-onion salad alongside. I do not know if it was world in a platter or not.... but it was something to be thoroughly enjoyed.