Saturday, February 23, 2013

Foil Baked Pomfret ( Meen Pollichathu)

I was looking for a pomfret preparation which would  involve less frying but at the same time would taste lovely. Came across this recipe  in blog
In Bengal we have something called maacher paaturi where in the fish is stuffed in a parcel made of banana leaf before being cooked. Thai pandan chicken has chicken stuffed in a parcel made from pandan leaves before being cooked further. This recipe looked like the Kerala version of cooking fish in banana leaves. I love the smell of kadi patta / curry leaves. The use of tamarind gave a different flavour to the tanginess .  All in all turned out to be a winner recipe.

A link to the original recipe and  a step by step description of the recipe is as below :

Dorie Greenspan's French Yogurt Cake ( with wheat flour)

My friend Swati Palekar introduced me to this lovely but very simple to make cake.  I used the zest of green lemons and was delighted when the entire sugar turned green with the aroma of lemon filling the kitchen...This is a lovely cake to ave for tea time. I again baked this with wheat flour and so substituted the 2 tspns of baking powder with 1 tspn of baking powder and baking soda each. I also doubled the vanilla essence to mask the smell of wheat flour. If one uses wheat flour one needs to beat a little more than what one would while using all purpose flour.

The link to the original recipe. Do read carefully all the recommendations given by the author. 

Eggless Tea Cake ( with wheat flour)

This recipe has been shared by my friend Swati Palekar. Is a yummy accompaniment to the evening tea. I substituted the all purpose flour with wheat flour ( atta) . So the changes I made were I divided the quantity of baking powder equally between baking powder and baking soda. I also added freshly grounded cinnamon ( to mask the smell of wheat flour) and skipped the dessicated coconut. Since I used wheat flour , the cake looks dense. Swati's cake looks very fluffy and so that's what you will get if you stick to the original recipe.

Swati tweaks the same recipe by adding a variety of  fruits or flavours like blue berry and lemon zest ;  banana, cranberry and cinnamon to come out with  different but awesome tasting muffins .

The link to the original recipe

Friday, February 22, 2013

Chilli Gobhi / Chilli Cauliflower ( Indian Chinese)

Was looking for a vegetarian dish to go along with fried rice and chilli chicken. Since  I had a large cauliflower in the refrigerator and I did not fancy chopping too many vegetables -- I decided to prepare Chilli Gobhi. I found the recipe in a blog with a cute name 'yummytummyaarthi' !!! :) :)...  She has given a step by step photograph and description of preparing the dish. I skipped adding the red colour and I guess I over did the dark soya part cos my gobhis turned out pretty dark but very yummy all the same. Do not go by the look of my dish, have a peek at yummytummyaarthi's blog and am sure you will be sold....

The link to the original recipe 

Shammi Kabab

We love eating kababs and so prepared shammi kababs recently for the first time.  I cooked the keema mutton with different spices in a pressure cooker and then ground it coarsely in a grinder. We shallow fried them as one would fry aloo tikkis  rather than deep fried them.The next time I will increase the amount of chana dal as I had boiled only 2 table spoon chana dal with 500 gms keema.

Since the quantities of the spices and ingredients was more by guess/ andaaz, I have attached herewith a link to a blog which has the recipe with detailed quantities and steps. And her kababs look good! :) :) 

Bengali Fish Fry

Whenever we visited Kolkata for a function, I would eagerly look forward to the meal which would invariably include a triangular shaped fish fry. I loved it!!

After moving to Singapore, I found fish fillet aplenty but with fish nuggets and fish burgers equally aplenty in the frozen section --  it made sense bringing them over and frying them. But they quite did not gel with traditional Bengali  khichuri or pulao ; they seemed more like short cuts. Another mental barrier was I do not cook too many fried items  and so had never dipped anything in beaten egg  and thereafter in bread crumbs before frying. The thought of it was just too messy. 

A light khichuri was on the menu for one of the CNY holidays and finally was adventurous enough to try out the fish fry for myself. Turned out to be very successful and was I happy with myself! 

I post these recipes more as a cook book for myself so that I may come back any year any day I feel like to try out the recipe I may have checked out years back...:) :) without having to jog my brains for that perfect recipe or the blog from where I had taken the recipe. As I post the recipes, I realise, my major cny dishes have come from the Bongcookbook blog this year. :) :) 

I skipped the onion from the marinated items, and marinated the fish in a zip lock bag over night. I was delighted to find the aroma of garlic and ginger in the fish with each bite of the fish fry. If may have even added a little garlic to the bread crumbs. I am not very sure now. I used Sutchi fillet.

Here is the link to the recipe from which I adapted the Bengali Fish Fry.

Red Goan Chicken

Variety being the spice of life, I was in search of chicken recipes with different tastes so that our palates were not bored over the four day Chinese New Year Weekend. After finding a sure winner in Poshto Murgi, Bong Mom's blog brought forth another gem in the form of  Red Goan Chicken... certainly turned out different in a very yummy way.... What I liked about both the recipes was one may cook it ( as I did ) in less oil.


I took two dry red chillies which I soaked in white vinegar before grinding it with the other masalas. I did not skip the tamarind ( this is wrt the blog where the blogger said she skipped the tamarind and used two dry red chillies in place of fresh red chillies) .  Instead of using one cup water, I pulverized the tomatoes in the mixie and let the chicken cook in it till specks of oil floated on the sides. 

Here is the link to the post where I found the recipe... 

Poshto Murgi / Poshto chicken

We had a four day weekend for Chinese New Year this month. I have found that I experiment the most prior to the CNY holidays so that each lunch and dinner is special and different enhancing   the holiday mood...

We love eating poshto / poppy seeds too and so when I came across this recipe in Bong mom's web site, I knew this was to be a sure winner ... The only difference being , I was left exclaiming " mera poshto murgi uske poshto murgi se zyaadaa peela kaise".. I guess I need to go slow on the turmeric powder the next time...And a confession, I cooked 1 kilo chicken only but left the quantities of other masalas unchanged,  hence the  thick gravy... The other changes I did were I skipped the fennel seeds and also skipped adding garlic to poshto while grinding the poshto...

Here is the link to the blog from which I adapted this recipe... happy cooking and slurping....

Dhokaar Dalna

Dhokaar dalna is a very popular Bengali dish. Dalna means curry. Chana dal/ Cholar dal , as we call it in Bengali, is ground and  then fried in the form of square or diamond shaped cakes and added to the curry. A time consuming dish, I often make the dhokas in one go, freezing a part of the fried dhokas in zip lock bags for later use.

For the dhoka I grind ginger, jeera/ cumin seeds, onions and garlic along with the soaked chana dal.  They also taste very delicious by themselves and so I make it a point to generally fry the dhokas in the evening so that we may have it with tea.  I prepare the dalna without onion garlic, in just a paste of ginger and jeera.  Have enclosed the links for dhokaar dalna from the bongcookbook and bongcook as they have provided in detail the quantities and method.  These are two lovely blogs I often visit for a read and also before preparing a Bengali dish.

Kala Chana / Black chana

I learnt to make rosogollas from Manjula's kitchen. There is something very comforting in listening to her voice as she guides you through the steps of cooking. These days, I often go to her site when I want to cook a dish without onion and garlic.

I  am not a fan of Kala Chana. I find it very dry . At a loss to prepare the dish, I went to Manjula's kitchen and found a recipe which sounded good. Prepared it, the only difference being I added a good dollop of green chutney ( coriander leaves + jeera + garlic+ lemon+ salt)  at the end .. The dish turned out so good, fell in love with kala chana and reinstated my strong belief in Manjula aunty's recipes... :) :)

Bhapaa Ilish ( Steamed Hilsa Fish)

We get lovely Hilsa fish / Ilish ( from Burma) in Singapore.... This is Bhapa Ilish which I prepared based on the attached link. Bhapa Ilish is steamed Ilish  - not only delicious, very simple to make .. I generally add a spoonful of fresh coconut if I have some while steaming.... I refer to this lovely blog  and another equally lovely blog  before I prepare Bengali dishes... The blogs also make great reading.... :) :)