Shahi Patol (Pointed gourd in a spicy gravy)

5:25 AM

Here is one more recipe that is very very summery and am trying to post it before the season and the availability of this vegetable is over. Am back from Kolkata. With all your good wishes those pending, niggling works are finally done. Which obviously made us happy but the unbearable heat and humidity in Bengal dint let us enjoy this trip. The baby suffered due to the change in climate and the first week was over wiping his nose. The Hubby decided to stay in the air-conditioned room as mush as possible with his Laptop. As a result of all these I was not even able to do a little Puja shopping that I planned. I thought of at least go to the shop where Kamini bought those awesome Gicha silk sarees but could not make any time for that even. Came back on Sunday to a dusty smelly house and that night itself suffered severe stomachache due to indigestion. Right now am very weak and trying to recover with medicines and very light diet. But that doesn’t mean that I cannot share something rich and spicy dish with you. This Parwal dish is something that will resurrect your taste buds in no time. Whole juicy fried parwals in a very aromatic and spicy gravy, when eaten with Bengali yellow pulao will surely make you crave more.

This recipe calls for good quality Parwal and by good quality I mean long, thin and firm variety. I believe people who detest this vegetable will love to eat this dish as it is full with flavours and spices…tastes amazingly good with long grain steamed Basmati rice or plain Bengali sweet pulao. Though I never had tasted this recipe outside our home but am not sure about its origin. Its pretty rich compared to the other recipes that I share. It’s a staple in our house whenever guests come over during summer and am yet to meet anyone who didn’t like it.

Here is the recipe

Shahi Patol
(Serves 4)

Pointed gourd: 8 pieces (don’t use the ripe ones. Take good care in selecting the vegetable. Look for the bright fresh colour and Press to check the firmness.)
Onion paste: 3 tbsp
Ginger paste: ½ tbsp
Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Tomato: 1 medium
Tomato puree: 1 tbsp
Whole cardamom: 2 pieces
Cloves: 5-6
Cinnamon: 1/2 “ stick
Black pepper: 7-8
Bay leaf: 1
Oil: ¼ cup
Red chili powder: ½ tsp
Garam masala: 1/3 tsp

First prepare the pointed gourds. Lightly peel the green skin lengthwise at 4 places. Trim the edges. Now cut the gourds widthwise at two places in such a way that the edges are joined (i.e. Poke the knife between the gourds cut lengthwise but not through the edges). Wash and drain excess water. Smear with salt and turmeric.

Heat the oil and fry the pointed gourds till light brown on all sides. Drain the excess oil on an absorbing paper. Set side.

Now add the whole cardamom, clove, cinnamon, pepper and bay leaf in the same oil. Once they splutter add the onion paste. Fry on low till the raw smell is gone. Mix in the ginger-garlic paste and again fry on low till oil separates at the sides.

Tip in the chopped tomato; add salt, turmeric and chili powder. Mix and cover. Once the tomato is soft and mushy add the tomato puree. Cook on medium till you see oil coming out at the sides.

Carefully transfer the fried pointed gourds and mix to coat everything together. Check seasoning(add sugar and salt as per taste)  and add ½ cup warm water.

Cover and let it simmer on low heat.

Once you see the gravy coats the veggies. Sprinkle the garam masala powder and serve hot with any rice dish of your choice.

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On a Small Break

11:01 PM

Sorry for not being around for some days now. I had to come to Kolkata and Santiniketan for an urgent work and will be back by next week. I know I am missing a lot of posts from all your beautiful blogs which I will catch up once am back to Bangalore. The net connection is pathetic out here and this post only took me almost half an hour. See you soon.

Have a great week friends!


Chingri Macher Aam Kasundi (Prawns in a Mustard and Raw Mango Based Gravy)

11:21 PM

Tender Prawns coated with creamy gravy of mustard, raw mangoes and coconut will surely stimulate your taste buds. The pungent aroma of the Mustard paste and the little sour taste of raw mangoes beautifully balance the heat from the green chilies and the sweetness of the coconut. A dish, that will warm you up in chilli winter days and will leave you crave some more. If you love prawns then give it a try. Follow this recipe and have the dish with hot steamed white rice. I know you will thank me for sharing this. 
I know am late in posting this as the prime ingredient to this, the raw mangoes have almost disappeared from the market. I prepared and wanted to post this long ago but something or the other came by and today here I am, late in posting this. But if you have a bottle of Kasundi (Bengali raw mangoes and mustard sauce) you can make it anytime of the year. I dint have any so I prepared them with fresh raw mangoes from my backyard. My Dida often made this with homemade kasundi. After serving the rice with charchari, bhaja (fry), lentil, vegetables and fish curries she would serve this tongue tickling sweet-sour-hot prawn dish to make everyone lick their plate and crave for more. This tastes even better if you eat it on a winter day…the heat from the mustard and green chilies and the light sour taste of the marinated mangoes in it will surely warm you up. Now making Kasundi is an art and I have yet to master the courage to try my hands in it. That’s a really lengthy, time consuming and difficult thing to make. These days hardly there is anybody who makes Kasundi at home as they are readily available in market. All you have to do is go to the market and buy your favourite brand, Which am also planning to do this winter…and for me the best brand of any condiment comes from my favourite shop…The one and only Jaina shilpa Madir.
Jain shilpa Mandir is a very famous condiment making company in Bengal. Their spread of sweet and sour pickles, spreads, preserves and churans (digestives) is huge. Starting from Tibetan bamboo shoot pickle to the ubiquitous anardana golis, you name it and they have it in their product line. and the taste is simply out of the world. Be it the pickles or the murabba or the churans…the taste is just perfect. I am yet to meet any person who have crossed their shop without standing their and sniffing the air, hung heavy with the balanced sweet sour and pungent  aroma of the condiments they produce. As students that used to be the first shop that we wanted to visit once we entered Poush Mela. Till date the huge shop with the long row of ‘boyam’ (glass pickle jars) filled with the most amazing pickles and preserves attracts the most crowd. They have small stripes of cardboard pieces, which the attendant will dip in the desired jars and will handover to you to taste. Many an afternoons we have spent in the shop trying out as many pickles as we wanted and then buying a very small amount from our meager pocket money and am planning to do the same with friends this winter. But before I get to relive those long lost moments here is the recipe for you.
On another note I prefer not to comment anything on the last post but frankly that recipe tastes delicious especially if you need a boost up for your taste buds. Thanks a ton friends for your lovely comments and your  concerns. I am better now but the medicines have made me loose my appetite. All these talks of hot and tangy prawn curry and pickles is now making my mouth water. Let me leave now to cook something for my sore tongue and you enjoy the recipe. 
Chingri Macher Aam Kasundi
(serves 4)
Prawns: 250 gms (washed and devained)
Grated coconut: 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 11/2 tbsp
(if you are using Kasundi use 3 tsp)
Grated raw mango: 1 medium (chose the hard green mango, it should be tart)
Green chilies: 4/5
Mustard oil: 3 tbsp
Chili powder: ½ tsp (here I hardly get green chilies that are hot so I have to use a little bit of chili powder. If you get good quality green chilies please use only that)

Grind the mustard seeds with 1-2 green chilies, coconut and little water. Keep aside.
Smear the prawns with little salt and turmeric and keep covered.
Heat the oil and add 1-2 green chili (slited), when splutter add the prawns. Sauté on low for a couple of minutes or till the prawns turn a little coral in colour.
Add the grated raw mango and a pinch of salt. Keep mixing with a very light hand till the raw smell of the mangoes are gone (approx 2 minutes).
Add the mustard paste and turmeric. Give it a good mix and cook on low till it coats the prawns.
Add 1 cup water. Mix, add sugar and salt and if required chili powder. Cover and let it simmer on low till all the water evaporates and the gravy coats the prawns.

Serve hot or at room temperature with hot steamed white rice.
Enjoy a sensational hot-sweet-spicy taste with every morsel.  

A Homemaker's Note:
When Dida used to cook this I was a vegetarian so she always made this with paneer for me. it tastes equally good. so if you are a vegetarian try it with paneer and adjust the spices as per your preference.

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Meat n Poultry

Quick n Tangy Egg Curry

9:13 AM

Hi I am ‘A’, Sayantani’s husband. She is down with fever today and I thought of grabbing this opportunity to post something that I enjoy preparing for her.  And these days even our little bundle of joy also has started enjoying this. Though I hardly get any chance to cook in our beautiful home managed by my home minister. She is a passionate homemaker and an extraordinary cook. No wonder that I consider myself as one of the lucky husbands in this universe.If you think that I am praising my wife too much then believe me this is not enough to appreciate her passion and skills. I bet that she will feel very awkward when she reads my post because she hates public display of appreciation or affection. However, I presume that my post will remain as it is because she has promised not to alter any part of it.

By now you must have known her quite well, including her culinary skills but not only she cooks well but also presents it in such a way that would tempt anyone. If I have not appreciated any of her recipes then either my stomach is upset or my stomach is already full.

we are different in many ways. She likes gardening and doing interiors of our house and I like to sit back and appreciate it. I like driving and she enjoys the ride. She hates managing anything at banks and hospitals and I do it with ease. Colors and fashion designing are Greek and Latin to me so are algorithms and Java to her. That makes our life very interesting. We have lot of things to talk about and explore. It’s a pleasure to live with her which  is becoming more and more evident as our marriage grows old.

Now let me talk about this recipe. This is a quick, easy, healthy and tasty recipe that you can cook in few minutes.

Quick n Tangy Egg Curry
(For 2 persons)
Ingredients :
Sunflower Oil: 2 tsp
Curry Leaves: 2/3 sprigs
Mustard seeds: ¼  tsp
Onion: 1 Big one.
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Tomato: 3 Mediums.
Boiled eggs: 4

Peel and smear the boiled eggs with salt and turmeric.
Chop the onion and keep aside.
Heat the oil and fry the boiled eggs for a minute. Take out, cut in four and set aside.
In the same pan add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once they splutter add the chopped onions. Fry till they are soft.
Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric and chili powder. Fry on low and make the spice mix soft and mushy.
Add a little bit of water and check the salt.
Add the egg pieces. Cook for couple of more minutes.
Serve with rice or roti.

Desserts and Sweets

Mango Ice Cream

2:13 AM

Ripe sweet luscious mango pulp mixed with creamy rich full cream hung curd and cream. Frozen and beaten to get the right consistency, and when done results in the most amazingly naturally flavored Ice Cream you have ever tasted.
This year am going totally crazy over mangoes. This is more astonishing as I have never been known as a mango loving person. Come summer I drool and drool at those prickly skinned luscious litchis and would eat bowlfuls of them in the late afternoon. I liked mangoes only when cubed and chilled and served to me in plates with a fork. Peeling the skin and sucking the juicy yellow mush is never my type. My Maa loves mangoes or should I say she is a crazy mango lover. Come summer our house would be filled with as much mangoes as she could get her hands on. She would skip her meals to have 3-4 of them. And when the fruits of her Mallika Mago tree would start to ripen she would pick and wrap each of the precious fruit with bits of newspaper and place them in a dark cold corner of the house to ripen. My elder brother and my husband both share the same love with her for which these days she lovingly sends a carton or two to Bangalore as well. Here we don’t get much variety that we do in Bengal. This year hubby almost bought all the varieties at whatever exorbitant price they asked for to lay his hand on some good quality but in vain. Finally a friend suggested the Begumpally variety, which we also found truly delicious. After dear hubby was content with the fruit in its original form I was allowed to experiment with some. And what a great mango season it has been for me. I made Amchurs, raw mango chutney, Mango Kulfi, Mango Sandesh, Raw mangoes cooked with prawns (recipe coming next) and now this Mango Ice Cream.
Before entering this blogosphere I never knew Ice cream could be made at home and that too this easily. First time I saw homemade ice cream at Deeba’s Blog I was taken aback…ice cream with hung yogurt. That was like a revelation for me and I promised to myself to make some this summer. And finally the procrastinating me has made the mango ice cream twice this summer. Both the times I made a huge batch (1 liter full cream curd) and they were gone in no time. Our friends who visited us on a stopover could not stop praising this creamy taste of the mango flavoured frozen yogurt. And we only shared it with them as the rest was devoured, not shared and licked to the last drop by my darling hubby. The person who never wanted me to experiment with his beloved mangoes now wants me to make more and more of this. This is why I love cooking…if you get it right it gives you immense joy and when you share it brings happiness and contentment to see the same joy and pleasure in the person you love. A very enriching experience indeed!

Mango Ice Cream

Full cream milk: 1 liter
Curd: 1 tbsp
Single cream: 200 ml (I used Amul’s)
Powdered sugar: ¾ cup (or as per taste)
Mangoes: 2 big any sweet mango (try to use some variety that has that quintessential sweet smell of this fruit)
Candied Mangoes: 2 tbsp (optional)
First we need to set the curd. For this boil the milk and place it in a glass or ceramic bowl. Let it cool. Once the milk is lukewarm add the curd and whisk to mix properly. Cover and leave in a dry place for 8-9 hours or over night. As it’s been pouring and the weather is cool here, I left the bowl in the oven overnight.
Once the curd is set pour the whole quantity in a muslin cloth and hang it for 2 hours or till almost all water drains out. Then put the curd wrapped in the cloth on a colander and place the colander on another bowl or plate (to catch all the whey dripping in the process). Put it in the fridge for 24 hours. The reason for this step is to drain all the whey and make it as thick as possible and at the same time to avoid the tartness or the sour smell. You can also hang it in the fridge if you can manage.
Once the curd is thick and creamy start the next step.
Peel and deseed the mangoes and put the flesh in a blender. Blend till you get a creamy pulp. Add the sugar and curd in 3-4 batches. Every time whisk to mix it properly. Finally add the cream and give it a good stir.
Pour the mixture in a flat metal or plastic airtight container and place in the freezer.
After 2 hours take it out and with a spatula, fork or hand blender give it a good mix. Try to break all the water crystals. Repeat the process every two hours for 6-7 times. (please see my note below). Before the final blending add the candies mango pieces and mix in. Finally let it set overnight. 
Serve with some cherries on top.
A Homemaker’s Note:
Once I put the ice cream in the freezer the power went whoosh and I thought that’s the end of my ice cream. If you are aware of the status of load shedding in Bangalore you would know what I am talking about. It took me three days to get the right consistency. But the end result was very very rewarding.
For some reason mine didn’t set (not even at the side) in 2 hours. so I went ahead and give it 4 hours time and then blitz the thing.
I have come to know that adding vodka and limejuice help in reducing the water crystals. Have asked hubby to bring a bottle for using next time ;-)

Akheela's cold Dessert at Torview.

Ayeesha's Iftar moments; Hizri 1431 at Taste of pearl city. 

and also to Sara's Monthly Mingle: Party Treats. a monthly theme based food event started by Meeta.

also to Only Kid's Delight. held at Foodelicious. 

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Cakes cookies n savory goodies

Baked Soy n Vegetable chop from Leftover

10:28 AM

As promised here is the low fat monsoon goodies that I prepared from the boiled vegetables after the preparation of the stock. I actually incorporated the almost soggy veggies to my normal soy nuggets cutlet recipe, with some hot n spicy homemade pickle pieces to give it more tang. Instead of frying the prepared chops I also baked them to make it healthy and guilt free. And just look at the picture you will know what I mean by they come out absolutely delicious. I guess we all cant stop munching on deep fried goodies when it starts to pour. They make the monsoon magical with that hot and spicy deep-fries with tongue tickling chutneys. For some people monsoon is synonymous to pakoras and unfortunately my hubby falls in that group. And now that he comes home early (he leaves early to avoid the never ending jams in the roads) he always expects me to make something hot to boost up the somehow glum weather. And these baked roundels are my answers to such cravings. the addition of pickle makes it difficult to stop munching on them…the aroma of the piquant pickle spices will make you crave more…and that’s a promise. But before I get into the recipe here is some awards that some of my blogger friends remembered to share with me.
First is the Loving blogger award from the very talented Aipi of Us masala. she is a new blogger but an well seasoned cook. Whatever Indian or Western dishes she whip up in her kitchen comes looking absolutely delectable. And once you visit her site you would only drool and drool and drool at her food photography. Thanks a ton Aipi for your generousness and sweet comments.

Next is the versatile blogger award from Sayali, chetana and Suman. All three of them are amazing in their trades and dish out so many delicious recipes that I feel like never leaving their sites. Their energies are seen in the way they experiment with new ideas, new ingredients and absolutely startling clicks. Love you guys for remembering me in sharing this.

Now the guideline says that I now have to spill 7 of my secrets, which I have already done HERE.

And also I have to pass it on to other bloggers, which I cannot choose. Because blogging has not only given me recognition but I also has given me some great friends. Friends who cheer me up when am down and shares my happiness when I want to blabber. I am very proud to be a part of such a community that stand by each other in need and welcome us with open hands. It’s a pleasure for me to extend the awards to all of you. Please accept and support me the way you always do.

Love and warm hugs!

Baked Veg n Soy Chops from Leftovers

Boiled leftover veggies from HERE: 1 cup
Boiled mashed poatato: ¾ cup
Soaked soy nuggets: 12-15 pieces
Onion: 1 big
Ginger-garlic paste: 11/2 tsp
Hot lime pickle: 1 tsp (you can substitute it with any pickle of your choice or with 1 tsp lemon juice)
Coriander leaves: handful
Green chilies: 2-3
Bhaja masala: 1 tsp
Chickpea flour(besan): 2 tbsp
Stale bread: 2 pieces
Oil: 1 tbsp

For baking the chops:

First soak the soy nuggets for 10 minutes for making them soft. After that squeeze and drain the excess water and roughly chop them in small pieces. Keep aside.

Mix together the leftover boiled veggies and the lime pickle. (I used the blender).

Now heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped green chilies. Add the chopped onion-ginger-garlic paste and fry on low heat till oil starts oozing out at the sides.

Then add the soy pieces and salt. Fry till all the mixture looks dry and cooked.

Add the mashed potatoes and give a good stir to mix everything together. Cook on low till the mixture becomes dry. Take off and let it cool.

Preheat the oven at 175C. Line one baking tray with silver foil.

Dip the bread pieces in water and by pressing in your palms squeeze all the excess water. Mash it with the potato mixture along with the chickpea flour, chopped coriander and bhaja masala. These will help in binding the mixture. Check and adjust the seasoning as per your taste.

Now take some mixture in your hand and prepare them in the shapes of round patties. Roll in breadcrumb to get a good coat. Place them carefully on the tray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or till golden. Check in between.

Serve with tomato and chili sauce or any chutney of your choice.
Your light, guilt free and pocket friendly Monsoon snacks are ready. enjoy with your favourite magazine and hot masala tea.

A Homemaker’s note:
These make excellent filling for burgers with some cheese and salad.

You can also fry them if you like, but the baked ones are as good as fried staffs.

Sharmi's Lets Munch.

Scrumptious Delights from Leftovers at Seduce your taste buds.

and also to Sara's Monthly Mingle: Party Treats. a monthly theme based food event started by Meeta.
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