Saturday, January 23, 2016


Now a days avocado is very popular among health conscious people. I was first introduced to this nutritious fruit during my stay in Texas. I still remember how unimpressive the green mash looked, when the restaurant guy placed a bowl of guacamole, but the taste was exactly the opposite. After coming back home I read a lot about avocado and came to know how good it is for our health.

Avocado can be consumed in many different ways, the easiest one is to make a bowl of guacamole. Those who are frequent to Mexican restaurants must be familiar with guacamole. It is nothing but mashed ripe avocado with seasonings. The best part of guacamole is one does not need to cook anything. This no cook super food can be ready in a jiffy. I use tabasco sauce to bring the heat to the guacamole, but green chilies or jalapenos can be also added instead. Guacamole can be served with tortilla chips as dip, or as sandwich spread. It is advisable to make guacamole fresh, as avocado when comes in contact to air turns dull brown in color. If you need to store excess guacamole, cover the surface with a cling film and store in the refrigerator.

The most difficult thing about avocado is to buy a good one.  I guess you know what I'm saying, standing in front of the avocado filled basket in a market and judging which one is perfectly ripe is not easy. The other problem one may face is during cutting this fruit, but that will be only for the first time. And in this age of google and youtube you can search and do almost anything by yourself without asking for help. After all cooking is not rocket science, all you need is a little love.

Unfortunately I do not get good quality avocado in Kolkata. Even if they are available,  the price is exorbitantly high. I really miss avocados. The images here are from a long pending draft that I prepared years back. 

Things needed to make guacamole:

  • Avocado (preferably hass avocado): 2
  • Onion (finely chopped): 2 tbsp
  • Garlic powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Honey: 1-2 tbsp
  • Tabasco: 1-2 tsp
  • Lime juice: 1 tsp
  • Fresh coriander: 2-3 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper powder: a pinch

Steps of making guacamole:

1. Cut the avocado lengthwise, twist to open the fruit. Discard the brown seed. With the help of a spoon take out the flesh. Mash the green flesh with a forck.

2. Add all the other ingredients, mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, sweetness accordingly. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

If you like to get regular updates from me go to my Facebook page and click on the Like button. You can also follow my blog on NetworkBlogs. Thank you..!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

No recipe chicken curry...

Chicken curry is the most frequently cooked dish in my kitchen. Mostly I follow the recipe I have learnt from my mom. Sometimes I try my hand on restaurant style dishes. But last Sunday I was not in a mood to follow any recipes, that's the reason I call it a 'no recipe' chicken curry. I just kept on cooking from my mind. I slow cooked the chicken and did not add any extra water. I let the chicken cook in it's own water and at the end added a handful of fresh coriander to give the dish a special touch. The end result was a scrumptious bowl of chicken curry, loved by all in my family. So before I forget what I put in that curry let me share it with you all.

Things needed to make the chicken curry:

  • Chicken on bones ( a whole chicken cut into 12-14 pieces)
  • Onion (very thinly sliced): 2 cups
  • Garlic: 7-8 cloves
  • Tomato: 1 (large)
  • Ginger (grated): 2 tbsp
  • Green chili: 2-3
  • Green cardamom: 2-3
  • Cinnamon: 1 stick
  • Cloves: 4-5
  • Shah jeera or Black Cumin: 1 tsp
  • Black peppercorns: 10-12
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder: 1tsp
  • Cumin powder: 2tsp
  • Garam masala powder: 1tsp
  • Coriander leaves: 1/2 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Potato: cubed and fried (optional)
  • Mustard oil or olive oil to cook

Steps of making the chicken curry:

1. Clean and wash the chicken pieces.

2. Make a paste of garlic, ginger, tomato and green chili, keep aside.

3. In a large heavy bottom pan or kadhai heat 3 table spoons of oil. I used mustard oil, that gives a different taste to the dish. Olive oil can also be used. When the oil is hot add the sugar and let it caramelize. This will give the curry a nice color.

4. Add the whole spices, as the cloves splutter add thinly sliced onion. Fry the onion till brown.

5. Add the chicken pieces, cook the chicken with the onion over high heat for 7-8 min. Keep turning the chicken pieces.

6. Reduce heat add the ginger-garlic-tomato paste. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 min.

7. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, kashmiri red chili powder, salt, mix well. Cover and cook over low medium heat for 40-45 min. Keep stirring in between. The chicken will cook in it's own water. I did not add any extra water. Check the salt, adjust accordingly. If you like your curry to be spicy add stilted green chilies. Add garam masala powder and chopped fresh coriander. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Note: If you want to add potato to this curry, peel and cube the potato and fry them. Add the fried potato pieces 10 min before the curry is done.

If you like to get regular updates from me go to my Facebook page and click on the Like button. You can also follow my blog on NetworkBlogs. Thank you..!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Gajar halwa...

Hope you all have started the new year with a bang. Though I know its  a week late, but it's never late to wish you all a very happy new year.

It's the first post of this year and I think it's apt to begin with a sweet note. Hope this year I will be more regular on  putting up blog updates and sharing delicious recipes with you all.

Today I'm sharing a very popular dessert recipe, gajar halwa or carrot halwa, a famous sweet dish from North India. I make this very often at home, specially during winter when juicy red carrots are in season. The recipe is simple and requires only few ingredients. I use milk powder or grated mawa (unsweetened solidified milk) whichever available with me at the end to give the halwa a rich texture, this step though is optional.

Things needed to make Gajar Halwa:

(serves 2-3)
  • Carrots (grated): 2 cups
  • Whole milk: 1 and 1/2 cup
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Green cardamom: 2-3
  • Sugar: 6-8 tbsp
  • Milk powder: 3 tbsp
  • Raisins: 15-20 (soaked in water)
  • Almonds blanched and thinly sliced: 2 tbsp
  • Pistachio blanched and thinly sliced: 1 tbsp

Steps of making Gajar Halwa:

1. Clean and wash the carrots. Peel the carrots and grate.

2. In a heavy bottom pan heat ghee, when hot add crushed green cardamoms. Cook for 1 min. Add the grated carrot. Mix well, cook over medium heat for 3-4 min, keep stirring.

3. Add warm milk and cook till the milk is almost dry. Keep stirring in between. Add sugar, start with 6 tablespoons of sugar, add more depending on your taste.

4. Add the milk powder. You can add unsweetened mawa (solidified milk) instead of milk powder. Mix well. Cook till the mixture dries, keep stirring. Add the sliced nuts and raisins.

5. Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with almonds and pistachio. This can be serve either hot or cold. I prefer mine hot.

If you like to get regular updates from me go to my Facebook page and click on the Like button. You can also follow my blog on NetworkBlogs. Thank you..!!!