Bread Paratha etc

Rajma Paratha

2:08 AM



The Diwali celebration always holds a special place in my life, as this is the only festival that all Inidans celebrate together. But this Diwali was very special in itself. This is Baby Hrishan’s first Diwali. Though he is too small to understand and enjoy the celebration but he still liked the fire works. No, not those noisy crackers but the beautiful sparkles, flowerpots and parachutes. In bangalore people start the celebration a week before. As soon as dark approaches you get to see the sky alight with lights and colours. It’s a nice site only if the noise was missing.

This diwali I dint prepare any sweet dish. My family and friends will never believe this satement. But that’s true. Actually I was so busy in cleaning all the dirts that accumulated in my absense I forgot to plan anything. (Well that’s not the reason of not making sweets. better nobody asks me why I munch on a handful of grapes when I crave sweets), It only hit my mind when Maa called up in the morning. Thought of making something quick yet tasty.

I soaked some Kidney benas or rajma the night before to make Rajma masala, the only recipe I know with Rajma. so planned to make Rajma Paratha. Both hubby and me like stuffed paratha. It’s easy and does not require much accompaniment. Mostly a bowl of raita makes it complete. But cooking the Filling, kneading the dough, stuffing, rolling frying is quite some tiring work. One of my North Indina friend has introduced me to this type of stuffed paratha where you cook the stuffing and knead everything together. I find it very easy and these parathas make theor way to our dinner table quite often.

This Rajma paratha came out looking and tasting really nice. Hubby liked it very much and asked when am I going to make it next. As it was the Diwali eve so I made some Shahi Dum Alu and salad.
Here is the recipe.



Rajma Paratha (Kidney Beans stuffed Indian Flat Bread)


JFI: Rajma hosted by Divya. Indira of Mahanandi started this.



Ingredients:
Kidney beans: 2/3 cup
Whole-wheat flour or atta: 2 and 1/2 cups
Onion: 1 medium
Ginger garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
Tomato: 1 small
Ajwain (aniseed): ½ teaspoon
Green chillies: 2
Curd: 2/3 cup
Oil: 3 teaspoon and extra for frying
Coriander leaves
Salt: to taste

Method: first you need to prepare the kidney beans. If you are using canned ones then just wash them and you are ready to go. Otherwise wash and soak the beans at least for 8 hrs. Then pressure-cook it with salt for 7-8 whistles. Drain and keep aside.
Chop the onion and chillies and keep aside.
Whisk the curd with 1-cup water and keep covered.

Heat the oil and add the green chillies and onion. Once lightly browned add the ginger garlic paste, salt. After 2-3 minutes add the chopped tomatoes. Once the tomatoes get cooked and the whole masala becomes like paste add the rajma. Give it a good mix so the rajmas are coated with the spices.

With the back of your spatula mash the whole thing. Cook for 5-7 minutes till its dry. Let it cool.

Take the flour, ajwain, coriander leaves and the cooked rajma in a big bowl. Mix it and then according to need keep on adding the ghol or the curd mixture. Knead and make soft dough.

Divide it in 9-10 equal portions and dust with flour.

Roll the portions into discs. It would be thicker than normal roti.

Heat a pan and place one paratha on it. Cook till brown spots appear on each side.

Add little oil and cook till light brown in colour. Make the rest of the parathas and keep them covered or wrap in foil.

Serve hot with any side dish of your choice or simple curd raita or pickle.


Am sending this stack of parathas to

Bengali

Jhinge Begun die Ilish Macher Jhal (Hilsa with Veggies in a Light Mustard Gravy)

6:55 AM

I always make it a point to bring some fish whenever am flying from Kolkata. Hubby says that mostly the fish we get here are also flown from Kolkata and are stored in ice. These obviously are not fresh and lack the taste that tickles the Bengali taste bud. This time Baba bought some Ganga’r Ilish (Hilsa caught from the Ganges) and Galda Chingri (Prawns). Maa had cleaned and cut them in small pieces and lightly fried them with a pinch of turmeric and salt and put them in the freezer. By the time we started for the airport the fish was frozen and remained that way till we reached our place in Bangalore.

Now the fish loving Bengalis undoubtedly believe that the Hilsa from the Rivers Ganges and Padma tastes best in the lot. Now Padma falls in Bangladesh and the imported price of these fish sometimes make news. so the easily available ones come from Ganges. The fish I brought this time were caught near Raichak (a place near kolkata).

Now like all Bengali curries fish curries also come in a variety of gravies like jhol (onion, ginger, cumin paste), jhal (mustard paste), Kalia (Red gravy with garam masala), Tak (tamarind or dried mango gravy), malaikari (coconut, mustard) etc etc. all these have an unique flavor and taste of its own depending on the fish. Last weekend I made patla jhol (Light gravy) with begun (Brinjal) and Jhinge (Ridgegourd). This is how my family loves their Ilish on normal days. On special days Ilish is cooked in more elaborated ways like Ilisher jhal (in thick gravy), Ilish Paturi (Hilsa cooked with spices in bayleaves), Doi Ilish (with curd and spices) etc. Hubby loves this dish and while eating he didn’t touch other side curries. Guess that only means good.


One thing about Hilsa is that it should be cleaned before cutting otherwise the very smell of it gets lost.
This Dish is light and could be cooked in a jiffy. Compared to the other Hilsa recipes this is quite healthy.

Now the recipe-


Jhinge Begun die Ilish Macher Jhal


Ingredients:
Hilsa: 4 pieces

Potato: 1 small
Ridge gourd: ½ or 5-6 medium sized chunks
Begun (Brinjal): ½ of a medium sized
Mustard paste: 3 teaspoon
Mustrad oil: 6 teaspoon
Kalojeere (Kalounji or nigella seeds): a pinch
Green chilies: 4-5 or as per taste
Salt
Turmeric

Method:
One request: It is told that hilsa shouid always be cooked in mustard oil. That brings out the best flavor. So please for all Hilsa recipes don’t substitute the oil.

Peel the potato and cut in medium sized chunks.
Peel potato and slice them as shown in picture.
Cut the brinjal in the same manner.

Lightly fry the hilsa pieces with a pinch of salt and turmeric. Keep them aside.

Mix the mustard paste with ½ cup water and keep aside.

Veggies here don’t get cooked easily so I lightly sautéed them again with a little salt and turmeric. My Maa never does that. She fries the vegetables while cooking the gravy.

Reserve a spoonful of mustard oil and heat the rest. Once it reaches the smoking point lower the heat and add the nigella seeds and slitted green chilies. Once the aroma rises add the mustard paste. Give it a boil and add the veggies, salt and turmeric. Cover and let it cook on medium heat.

After 7-8 minutes check if the vegetables are cooked add the Hilsa. Mix with a light hand not to break the fish pieces.

Check the seasoning and put the reserved mustard oil.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

Events Awards Interview

Light Veg n Lentil Soup

10:08 AM


Ever since we came back from Santiniketan, due to the weather difference Baby H is not keeping well. So this Saturday we thought of visiting his doctor. The doctor leaves quite far away from our place and was late on that very day. We had to wait for almost 2 hours. By the time we were done it was already dark outside. Our stomachs were growling and we thought of stopping somewhere to get some quick bites but with the Diwali shopping rush it was impossible to do so. When we reached home it was Son’s bedtime. We put him to sleep and quickly decided to make something warm and filling.


Both of us love soup especially in this weather when the days are warm but evening air has a slight nip in it. My front yard green patch has already got some baby spinach so thought of making a light soup. The whole wheat Dinner rolls are store bought but were a great accompaniment to it. his dish is quite versatile, in itself you can have it for evening snack and with bread you have a satisfying meal.

One Request: Please don’t go by the look and give it a try. Its light, quick yet flavorful and is completely guilt free.
In a pan put beans,tomato, capsicum, carrot, coriander roots, veg stock cube, and lentil. Reserve 2-3 mushrooms and add the rest. I like to add them at a later stage to keep their crunch and get extra flavor. Add the water, salt and half of the crushed peppercorn. Cover and let it cook on a low flame for 10 minutes.


Light Veg n Lentil Soup


Ingredients:
Mushrooms: 7-8 no.s cut in chunks
I have button and wood mushrooms. I used both.
French beans: chopped ¼ cup
Tomato: one small cut in chunks
Capsicum: ½ cut in small pieces
Carrot: 1 small, chopped
Coriander roots: one handful
Onion: half chopped
Spinach: ½ cup cut in big pieces
Vegetable stock cube: ½ pack. I used Maggi veg cube.
Masoor dal (Red lentil): boiled 1/3 cup
Pepper corns: 1 tablespoon
Water: 1 liter
Salt to taste

Method:
Open the lid and add the spinach leaves. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes uncovered. This way the green colour of the spinach remains intact.

Mash the tomatoes with the back of your spatula. Check the seasoning and put off the Gas.


Now in another pan heat 2 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Fry the chopped onions and reserved mushrooms for a couple of minute. add rest of the peppercorns and mix everything together.

Transfer the soup in it and give it a boil.

Serve hot with toasted breads or rolls.

This bowl of healthy and flavorful soup goes to grow your own, this time hosted by the inventor herself, the wonderful Andrea Meyers.

It also goes to WYF: A light meal at Simple Indian Food:an easy cooking blog.

Bengali

Mulo’r Ghanto (Dry Raddish Curry)

11:22 AM


The soil here in Bangalore is not very fertile so despite of having medium sized front yard I dint try to grow anything. My garden consisted some 35 pieces flowerpots. Last year I decided to try my green fingers and after painstakingly preparing the soil sowed some vegetables like Spinach, Methi (Fenugreek), French beans, Pumpkins, ladies fingers and reddish. And beyond my imagination I had a bounty of harvest except ladies fingers, which refused to grow after reaching a dwarf size of 6”. But the methi and raddish have made up for everything.

I love raddish green. Just boiled raddish greens with some chopped onion, green chillies, few drops of mustard oil and salt…I can have a plateful of rice with this. But how much??? Even after generously giving all my friends I had quite some amount of raddish in the garden. I was literally
brainstorming as what to make when life gives you plenty of raddish??? Ok you put it in salad, make chachchari, ok you can also put them in macher tak and then??? I asked Maa over phone and she readily answered make mulo’r ghanto, don’t you remember I used to make this during winter. But that was Bandhakopi (cabbage) I tried to argue. No that’s what we told otherwise you kids were not ready to eat mulo (raddish) she chuckled in the phone. Ahha so here another story of being fooled is coming up…but never mind am happy enough to discover this as I got another way to have my share of raddish.

Here is the recipe, which is a must try. I made a niramish (veg) ghanto with chola (Soaked Bengal gram) but following true Bengali tradition one can have amish (non-veg) ghanto by putting shrimp or fish head. It’s easy and calls for very less ingredients. Tastes a lot like bandhakopi’r chachari (cabbage curry) good for kids who don’t want to eat Raddish.

Mulo’r Ghanto

Ingredients:
Raddish: medium sized 4-5 pieces
Potato: 1 small
Chola (Bengal gram): 2 tablespoon, soaked
Ginger paste: 11/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder: 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon


Oil: 2 tablespoon
Ghee: 2 teaspoon
Turmeric: ½ teaspoon
Garam masala powder: little bit
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
For tempering:
Cumin seeds: ½ teaspoon
Dried red chillies: 2 pieces
Tejpatta (bay leaf): 1 piece

Method:
Cut the raddish really fine or you can also grate the same. Wash and boil with salt and turmeric for 7 minutes. Make sure raddish is cooked with a slight crunch. Drain the water and Again wash thoroughly to avoid the unpleasant smell and mild bitterness.


Peel and cut the potato in small cubes.

Mix the ginger paste, coriander and cumin paste or powder with 2-spoon water and keep aside.

Heat the oil and one spoonful of ghee in a pan. Put the tempering ingredients. When aroma rises add the potatoes and salt. Fry till golden in colour, they should be ¾ cooked at this point.
Add the masala paste and give it a good stir. Cook till oil separates at the side.
Now put the soaked Bengal gram and stir well.

Now add the cooked raddish, salt and turmeric. On a low flame mix well and cook covered. At this stage a little juice will come out. Mix everything together and keep stirring.

Once the juice dries up and the raddish soaks the masala flavour add the sugar, garam masala powder and the rest of the ghee.

Mix well and serve hot with boiled rice.


This recipe goes to Think Spice hosted by Priya of Priya’s easy n tasty recipes for the month of October . This beautiful event was started by wonderful Sunita Bhuyan of Sunita’s world.















Bengali

9:29 AM

Narkel Naru, Bijoya Dashomi’r Mishtimukh
(Bijoya greetings and Coconut Laddu)











Wish all of you a very happy Bijoya Dashami.







Bijoya Dashami is the last day of Durga Puja. We Bengalis believe Maa comes to her Baaper Bari (Parents house) with her four children and on Dashami she leaves for Sosur bari (In Law's) in Kailasha Mountain. So in Bengali tradition the elder women in the family say goodbye by giving her Kanakanjoli where Neivedya (Puja offerings) is offered to her and other married women offer her sweets, Pan (betel leaf), Sindur and Alta. They smear Sindur on Maa Durga and on each other; this tradition is called Sindur khela. On this eve the idol is immersed and after that we touch elders feet and seek their blessings. And in true Bengali Tradition in return they give us Mishti (sweets) and other snacks like Nimki (namakpare), Elojhelo etc. Bijoya is observed till Kalipuja or Diwali. Which gives us ample time to have our dose of sweets everyday by visiting neighbors and relatives

The above picture is the Protima (idol) of our ancestral house in Sagar Island where the Puja turned 102 this year. The puja here is done in Sodosh Upachar where everything has to be kept ready according to the puja nirghanta (Time table). And in our puja Maa Durga Comes with Maa Bishalakkhi and Maa Shitola. This is the time when all of us gather from all over the world and in true sense it’s a get together we look for the whole year. This is the first time Hubby A visited the island and he nearly fell in love with the place and the puja. Even my 6 months old Son enjoyed in his own way.

With the completion of Puja my long vacation at me parents have also come to an end. Am back to Bangalore and most importantly am on my own with the kid. Hope to be back and regular on the blog scene from now on.


Narkel Naru


Frankly I dint make it this year, this is from my draft. Maa has made me some naru and Narkel sandesh to feed my friends. In normal Bengali household naru is made only with coconut and sugar but I love mine extra rich so I add some khoya and condensed milk.

Ingredients:
Scraped Coconut: 2 cups
Khoya: ½ cup
Condensed milk: ½ cup
Sugar: ¾ cup
Green cardamom pods: 5
Kismis: for decoration

Method: mix the coconut and sugar together in a heavy bottom pan and put on the gas. On low flame stir it till sugar melts and all the juice dries out.
Now add the khoya and condensed milk and give it a good stir.
Cook till the mixture leaves the side.
Take off from flame and make small balls when the mixture is still warm.
Decorate with a flattened kismis.Store in airtight container or in the refrigerators.

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