Friday, 28 September 2018

Bengali Sorse Ilish (Hilsha with mustard seed)

           Are you Bengali? Do you eat fish? Definitely your answer will be ‘yes’. Bengali can’t live without fish. There is infinite number Fish dish Bengalis used to cook using infinite number of fishesJ.
         Today I am going to share Hilsa Fish Curry  or Sorshe Ilish. It is said that Hilsa is the king of fish due to it unique taste itself. Rainy season is the perfect for getting this fish as it is actually a sea fish. To cook this fish, traditionally we don’t need onion, garlic or even ginger. But if you wish, can add to make it different. The main ingredient for this is mustard seed paste, green chili, salt and turmeric powder. These are the only ingredients to make famous dish of this fish is called ‘Sorse ilish’(thin curry with mustard seed).There is another known traditional dish of Hilsa fish is ‘lonka ilish’(thin curry with green chili) and it needs fresh green chili, turmeric powder and salt to taste. We all know Mustard oil is the must to cook fish dishes so you need that. Here I used mustard seed paste, green chili and little bit of mill to make its curry.
         So calling all non-Bengalis to try it once and you will fall in love with the unique taste…

·         Hilsa fish - 800 grams
·         Mustard seed paste - 3-4 tbsp.
·         Green chili slices 2-3nos
·         Dry red chili – 2 no
·         Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp.
·         Black cumin seed -1 tsp.
·         Milk - ¼ cup
·         Yogurt - 1/2 cup
·         Water- as much as you want to make gravy (I used 1/8 cup)
·         Salt to taste
·         Mustard oil -1/2 cup
·         Lemon juice of one lemon

·         Wash and clean fish pieces. Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice over it. Keep aside this marinated fish pieces for 10- 15 minutes.
·         Now grind mustard seeds and one green chili together. Adding water make a smooth paste.

·         Heat a big mouthed Kadai. Add mustard oil. When oil is hot fry the fish pieces and removes from heat.
·         Add black cumin seed and red dry chills in it .When starts to crackle add mustard seed paste, turmeric powder and yogurt in it. Mix very well and cook for 10-15 seconds.
·         Then add salt, green chili slices and water in it .Mix it well. When starts to boil add milk, if required add more salt to adjust to taste.
·         Finally add fry fish pieces and milk when it is boiling
·         After adding fish pieces cover with a lid and cook at very low flame for 15 minutes.
·         Feel a nice aroma opening the lid; you would notice oil is floating on top. It is ready to serve. Hot white rice is the best with it.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Mewa Modak with Dry Coconut Stuffing

Modak is a traditional sweet. It is very popular in many parts of India. Traditionally it is made of rice flour or wheat flour or plain flour for outer shell and for filling inside, freshly grated coconut and Jaggery is used. Then the Modak can be steamed or fried.
      But variety is always welcome. Modak can be made with fresh Mewa too and it is also a must sweet for Ganesha Chaturthi festival. It can be made without any inside filling too and for stuffing you can use any dry fruits, dry coconut .Here I used dry coconut with dry fruits which enhanced its taste more....


For Mewa dough:
·         Mewa from 1 ltr of full cream milk (It yields 230 grams of Mewa)
·         Sugar - 2 tsp. Of measurement spoon
·         Sugar Powder or Bora (see at the bottom)- heaped 4 tbsp. of regular using spoon
·         Cardamom powder of 2 green cardamoms
·         Rose water - 2 drops
·         Kesar stands- 2

For stuffing:
·         Dry Coconut-2tbsp of measurement cup
·         Chopped dry almond- 1 tbsp.
·         Chopped pistachio-1 tbsp.
·         Ghee -1 tsp.

For making Modak:
·         Modak mould and little bit ghee for greasing hand

·         For making Mewa, heat the milk first. Boil it at very low flame with constant stirring till it reduced half amount.
·         Add sugar Powder, kesar stands, rose water, cardamom powder, mix and stir constantly at low flame.
·         When it almost became thick like Kheer, add 2 tsp of caramelized sugar and at this time do not stop stirring. Mix it well and stir constantly. It will be thicker and will stick to edge of the iron Kadai.
·         When it will be like a paste, switch off the flame and leave it as it is for 10 minutes.
·         After cool down coming to room temperature kneed it with your palm for smooth more.
·         To make stuffing, heat ghee in a Kadai, add all mentioned stuffing ingredients in it, mix it well for 1-2 minutes at low flame. Remove from heat and cool it.
·         To make the shape, open the Modak mould, stuff Mewa into it and close the mould, press it taking in between your 2 palms to release extra Mewa.
·         Now from that side, which is wider, insert back of spoon and try to push the Mewa to inside wall of the mould. Then there will be little space at the middle, fill that with little bit of coconut stuffing. Taking little more Mewa press to close the mouth so that coconut stuffing not comes out.
·         Now finally open the mould and Modak is ready.
·         Sprinkle some crashed pistachio over it and enjoy the homemade taste of Authentic Modak .....


            If using Store Mewa then heat it in a Kadai first, it will be soften and hot. Then mix sugar Powder.
After mixing the sugar Powder if you feel it is to soggy, then cook for 5 -10 minutes more for right consistency.

Bora:   If you boil sugar and water together stirring constantly, first sugar will be melt, then the syrup will be thick, then it will be thicker and water will be vaporized .That sugar Powder is called bora. Here I used dry coconut stuffing into Mewa, It can be made without coconut stuffing.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Bengali Pantua

              Bengalis has a long list of festivals and we celebrate them by heart and soul on full blast. Among them "durga puja" is the main festival of Bengali.  .In West Bengal this festival is celebrated very gorgeously. But throughout the world this festival is very famous. As a Bengali I very much love my festival,Durga puja.
               In my childhood I was too attached to this puja .My Grandma’s brother first started a puja in a small place besides our house. He was the main organizer of that puja and the responsibility of all preparation of God’s puja was on women of our house. In that case my Grandma’s maa leaded all things. I was the little helper of them at that time. I loved to do this work and gained the great reputation of mine about this. Grandma’s maa, Bhaloma(we called her as Bhaloma means good maa) taught me steps to do puja’s work, like how to clean Durba grass, Bel pata(which need  for puja and traditional occasions),how to arrange the naibedda, paner khili  etc. Those all sweet memories related to puja still alive in my mind.

  Bhogh(foods for GOD) were used to made in the balcony attached to the mandir. We (all kids) used to play on the rooftop and my maa, grandma,khuchi didi together used to make luchi in pure ghee ,round shaped potato fry and coconut ladoo and pantua, which is always my favorite but I never tried to make this before. Always wait for a grab J .

                  Time flies. Now I am a passionate cook and a loving mother .Experimenting with cooking and successfully doing different recipes and dishes release my stress and make me happy. This time going to share my experiment about making Traditional Bengali sweet called Pantua with you all.

   For making dough:
·        Homemade mawa from 1ltr. Of milk
·        Homemade chana of 1 ltr. Of milk
·        Sugar powder -2 tsp.
·        Nutmeg powder -1/8th tsp.
·        Black cardamom – 1/4th tsp.
·        Baking soda – 2 pinch
   For sugar syrup:
·        Sugar- 1 ½ cup
·        Water -3 cup
·        Green cardamom -2
·        Kesar stands-3-4 no
·        White oil or ghee for dip frying Pantuas

·        In a Kadai first put all ingredients of sugar syrup and mix. Now switch on the gas flame. Stir constantly till the sugar is melting.
·        Boil this syrup for 10 -15 minutes. The syrup will not be too thin or too thick. If it is too thick, can’t go inside the fried Pantua .Syrup will be perfect when it can make one string. You can check it in taking inbetween your thumb and pointer finger.
·        Remove from heat and keep aside to bring its temperature like a room temperature.
·        Now for making dough in a flatten plate first take Chana and with your end of plum kneed it well. It will take 8-10 minutes to be smooth and fine texture.

·        Now mix all others ingredients mentioned for making dough. Kneed it well for more 7-8 minutes. It will be too smooth. Then make balls in equal size.

·        Fry the balls in low heat, when it will be brown in colour, remove from heat 

·        Soak in prepared sugar syrup at least 5-6 hours by which the syrup can go inside the balls and make the Pantua perfect, otherwise it will be hard.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Bengali Fish Curry(Rohu Fish Curry)

      The proverb "Mache Vate Bangali" i.e. Bengali is fond of fish with steam rice. Yesterday when I went to the market to bring some vegetables, I suddenly saw some fresh, alive “Rohu fishes” there. Being a Bengali, I can't resist myself to buy the fish. Getting a fresh fish is always tough to have in Noida, though it is quite normal in Kolkata.

     Whatever Bengalis always manage to get fish anywhere and always love to cook variety of fishes. Even if we talk about healthy food, fresh fish would come on almost top of the list. Fish is good for skin too and of course very good for growing children.

    Here is the recipe of a simple fish in tomato gravy.... Try and you will get a tasty and healthy fish dish....


·         Rohu fish (washed and clean) -4 Chopped tomatoes - 2 nos.
·         Potato vertically cut into 4 pieces)- 2 no
·         Chopped onion- 1 big size
·         Ginger- garlic paste - 2 tbsp.
·         Whole cumin seeds-1 tsp.
·         Whole coriander seeds- 1/2 tsp.
·         Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
·         Kashmiri red chili powder- 1/2 tsp.
·         Green chilies Slice- 2 no
·         Chopped mint leaves- 2 tsp.
·         Garam masala powder(used clove, cinnamon and green cardamom)- 1/4 
·         tsp.
·         Oil- for fry the fish +2 tbsp.
·         Hot water -1 cup

·         Heat oil in a big mouthed Kadai. Sprinkle little bit of salt and turmeric powder over the fish pieces
and fry both side of fish .Keep it aside
·         Fry potatoes in the same oil and keep aside.
·         In the remaining oil add 2 tbsp. of oil further, and then add cumin seeds and coriander seed.
·         When a nice aroma starts to come add chopped onion and fry till it become golden brown.
·         Add ginger- garlic paste and sauté for5-6 minutes.
·         Next add chopped tomato, turmeric powder, Kashmiri chili powder, salt and mix well. Cover the lid.
·         Cook for 5 minutes at low flame. Tomatoes will be softened and oil will float on top.
·         Now add all remaining ingredients except fish and hot water. Mix well and stir for 30 seconds.
·         Add hot water, when starts to boil add fried fish pieces and cover the lid, cook for 10 minutes further
 at low flame.
·         After 10 minutes switch off the flame, give a standing time and serve hot with hot steam rice.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Suzi ka sein (Suzi ka halwa)

           A place of peace where you can realise your love for nature, snow white peaks of the grand Himalayas, can feel a comfort breath with full of fresh air ,where at every moment you can feel GOD’s presence and can explore an incredible Kumaoni culture with a unique gastronomy, is the only UTTRAKHAND.
              Suzi ka sein (Suzi ka halwa) is one form of Halwa and one of the most traditional sweet dishes from Kumaon. Halwa is one of our quick daily sweet dishes which we prepare differently in almost every region of India. We also use Halwa as GOD’S PRASAD or at any traditional occasion but In Kumauni cuisine this sweet dish used to make differently, I can’t resist to share this special recipe with you. The credit goes to one of my close friends ‘Aparna’ who belongs to Kumaon region with her in depth knowledge of traditional Kumaoni  dishes.

·         Semolina – 2 cups
·         Clarified butter (ghee) – ½ cup
·         Curd – ½ cup
·         Milk – ½ cup
·         Sugar – 1 ½ cup
·         Cardamom powder of 3-4 green cardamoms
·         Oil- 4-5 tbsp.
·         Ghee -2 tbsp.
·         Chasewnuts - 1/4 th cup 
·         Almond  - 1/4 th cup 
·         Raisins  - 1 handful.

·         Take a bowl and pour semolina. Mix ghee in it.
·         Add curd, milk and sugar altogether in it and add cardamom powder too.
·         Mix it well, the batter will be neither too thin or nor too thick.
·         The batter should be smooth and soak it for maximum 1 hour. It is the sufficient time to melt the sugar in it and to puff the semolina enough. If the sugar granules are small then soak the batter for only half an hour, otherwise the batter will be soggier.
·         Heat oil and ghee together in a iron Kadai. When it is hot, pour the prepared batter in Kadai and reduce the flame at medium. Don’t stir this time.
·         After 3-4 minutes it’s colour (the portion which is touched with Kadai)will be changed brown in colour and it took its own shape ,then turn over the another side.
·        When both sides have been brown in colour then you have to mash but not too much.
·        Now you need to add dry fruits like Cashewnuts ,Almond and raisins too or of your choice and as much as you prefer. 
·        Mix little bit and the amazing sweet dish is ready.