Thursday, December 7, 2017

Peyajkoli diye tyngra mach er jhal..

Exploring the affair of fish and Bengali would be nothing less than an epic. The varieties of fishes we eat is almost endless. And the way they are prepared also varies from one household to the other.  If you don't eat fish and rice everyday then there is a big question about your true 'Bong' blood. Fortunately or unfortunately I do fall in that category, and my other family members curiously ask me if I don't eat fish and rice for lunch and dinner then what other alternatives do I have? No it's not that I hate fish or don't like them, it's just I like to consume all other kind of proteins to keep a balance. And who wants to eat the same fish curry and rice everyday, at least not me. The commonest of common fish one cook in a Bengali kitchen is either Rohu or Katla, typically made into a simple jhol (curry) or sorse bata jhal (semi gravy with mustard paste). It surprises me how one can eat the same curry everyday without complaining. I try to eat fish at least thrice a week and that too of different varieties. As winter is offering us its bounty of vegetables, I love to combine the fishes with the goodness of the veggies too.

Today I made tyngra mach, a native fish of Bengal. A type of cat fish these tyngra are very tasty. I cooked the fish with onion stalk or peyajkoli. The spicy, dry curry was a delicious mid-week lunch and I enjoyed it steamed rice without caring about the calorie count.

Among many other vegetables of winter I ardently wait for peyajkoli or onion stalks, these are green hollow stem of the onion that grow upward to bear the flowers. There are different ways to cook onion stalks, it can be simply stir fried to go with rice and dal or else combined with other vegetables or fishes.

If you are new at cooking fishes you may find the tyngra mach quite slippery and a layer of slime on it. The easiest trick to get rid of the slime from the fish is to rub the fishes with lots of salt and wash under cold water.

Like any other fish preparation, the cleaned and washed fishes are marinated with salt and turmeric powder and fried in mustard oil. If you can't find mustard oil use any other vegetable oil.

Things needed to make peyajkoli diye tyngra mach er jhal:

(serves: 4)

  • Tyngra mach: 20
  • Peyajkoli or onion stalk : a bunch
  • Potato: 1
  • Nigella seed (kalo jire): 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp
  • Green chilies: 4-5
  • Salt
  • Mustard oil to cook

Steps of making peyajkoli diye tyngra mach er jhal:

1. Sprinkle the fish with salt and turmeric powder and let it marinate for 12-15 min.

2. Discard the white flowers of the onion and cut the green stalk into two inch length pieces, wash well, drain the water and keep aside.

3. Peel a large potato and cut into thick frech-fry like long stripes. Wash and drain water.

4. In a kadhai or deep pan heat mustard oil. When the oil is hot fry the fishes for 3-4 mins on each side. Take out the fishes, keep aside.

5. In the same pan, add stilted green chilies and nigella seeds, as the seeds splatter add the potato and onion stalk, sprinkle salt, turmeric powder, cover and cook till vegetables are soft.

6. Add the fried fish, red chili powder, green chilies. Sprinkle little water, cover and cook for 5-6 min. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Whole mung bean curry..

whole mung bean curry, dal tarka

Dal or lentil along with rice and roti is an usual affair in every Indian kitchen. A wide variety of lentils are consumed and preparations vary from region to region. My family is no exception, almost everyday or the other I prepare dal. To make sure it doesn't get boring I use all the different varieties of lentils I know and also try to prepare them in different ways to bring variations in the menu. I already have different recipes involving lentils on my blog, here is another one to add to the list. This time, I have made a whole mung bean curry.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pineapple chutney...

A Bengali meal is incomplete without a chutney. A formal Bengali meal starts with a bitter preparation and ends with a sweet and sour chutney, with different dishes like dal, sukto, vegetable curries, fish or meat preparations, served in between. Serving chutney along with papor (a deep fried wafer made from either lentil or sago) signals the final part of the meal, where different sweets are served, ending the meal with a sweet note. One can enjoy this kind of grand meal during the ceremonial occasions. We do not follow this elaborate meal structure for our daily routine, but it's a common practice to have little chutney even after a simple meal of rice and fish curry.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Kankrol er pur..

teasel gourd

Kankrol or kantola is a common summer vegetable in India. This spiny green vegetable is aptly translates to teasel gourd for their spiny appearance. Though not as widely used as other vegetables, teasel gourd is full of health benefit and tastes good too. The egg shaped vegetable is mildly bitter in taste and prepared in different ways, from crispy fried to stir fried dry curries. As a kid we used to call it the sweeter version of bitter gourd, as the spiny outer part resembles bitter gourd but tastes much less bitter. Ma makes a simple kankrol bhaja (fried teasel gourd) with it. She cuts the teasel gourd into thin roundels and fries them till crispy, I still love to have my Kankrol bhaja that way along with steamed rice and dal.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bhuni Khichuri...

bhuni khichuri

The overcast sky with monsoon cloud pouring at times are most awaited relief after the blazing summer heat. Nonetheless we start to complain, the gloomy sky, the non-stop rain, water logged roads and many other reasons that make our daily life challenging. But food makes everything cheerful. It's an usual affair in a Bengali household to have Khichuri when it rains heavily. Khichuri is an one pot meal where rice and lentil are cooked together. cooking this particular dish has become a common practice during a rainy monsoon day simply becuase when the roads are waterlogged and it's difficult to go to the market to buy fresh veggies or fish or meat, it's convenient to conjure up a dish with basic ingredients in hand. Moreover, the steaming hot Khichuri warms up the chilly rainy days.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mango ice cream...

What do you do when you have bagful of homegrown mangoes? I know choices are endless. Other than enjoying the mangoes as fruits I have also prepared different kinds of desserts using them. Here is the easiest one I'm going to share. An ice cream recipe that doesn't involve any cooking, neither an ice cream maker nor any kind of fancy gadgets. I prepared this creamy perfect ice cream with only three ingredients, and a wire whisk.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Meatballs with mango glaze...

Chicken meatballs

When I was asked to submit a recipe using summer fruits for an blog event, surprisingly the first thing came to my mind was not a dessert, but a savory dish. May be because I personally inclined to spicy savory stuffs than sugar loaded dishes. It's common to incorporate juicy pulpy summer fruits to a dessert or some frozen good. Specially when we are talking about mangoes. But I used it to glaze the chicken meatballs. The natural sweetness of mango, heat of dried red chilies and tartness of lime juice created a magic. Try it before the mangoes vanish from the market.