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.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Black forest cake...

black forest cake

I have crossed the milestone of 200 posts on my blog. It turns out that the last post was the 200th post. Today as I'm writing the 201st post I would like to thank everyone who visit my blog, read and try my recipes and shower me with their kind words through messages and comments. Thanks to all my Facebook and Instagram followers, and all the co-bloggers for inspiring and encouraging me.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mach er matha diye dal...


Every Bengali can relate to the image above, a typical Bengali lunch, steamed rice, fried potato roundels and yellow lentils with fish head. Bengalis' are known for their fondness of fish. No meal is complete without fish in it. Fish itself is considered auspicious, and is cooked and served during every festivity and special occasions.  It may seem surprising to some when they see how a giant Rohu/Katla head specially bought and cooked with utmost care to celebrate someone's birthday or to welcome the newly wed groom, but in our part of the country, fish head has always been considered a symbol of affection and respect depending on whom it is served to. In early times it was mandatory to serve the fish head to the the head of the family or the earning member of the family, a gesture of the gender-biased patriarchal society Times may have changed but I know there are families who still believe in this hierarchical legacy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Noodles with shrimps...

noodles with shrimp

I always complain about summer, the heat, the humidity. But there are few things that are undeniably good about summer, the seasonal fruits like mangoes, litchi, black plums. And the best part is the summer break. The school is closed, the kid is at home, alarms are not buzzing at the wee hour of the morning, altogether a relaxed and happy me.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lentil with raw mango...

lentil with raw mango

Living in a tropical country we dread the season of summer. The unbearable heat with uncomfortable humidity makes it pretty difficult to carry on everyday work, specially cooking. Standing in the kitchen preparing elaborate recipes, cooking for long stretch of time is not only challenging but can make one feel sick. Moreover we all prefer to eat simple, easy to digest, comfort food during summer. Regional cuisines of India are full of such wonderful recipes that help to cool down the body as well as help to beat the heat. The recipes mostly recommend the use of seasonal fruits and vegetables that provide year long supply of minerals and nutrition and good to fight the negative effects of heat.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Chingri macher bora...

chingrir bora, shrimp balls

Who doesn't like fresh juicy sweet shrimps? So when I found some in the market few days back, didn't take long to buy a bagful. I wanted to keep it simple to enjoy the flavorful shrimps to the fullest. I was juggling with different recipes, finally an easy shrimp balls recipe came to my mind. It is a tweaked version of a traditional Bengali style shrimp ball recipe.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Macher dimer bora...

Macher dimer bora (fish roe fritters)

Bengalis are known for their inclination towards fish. A Bengali meal is incomplete without fish in it. No part of the fish is thrown out, be it the head or the gut or the bones. Different dishes are prepared using different parts of the fish. Mach er dim or fish roe is no exception and considered a delicacy in Bengali cuisine.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Saak bhaja...

note saak bhaja

Saak or leafy greens are integral part of Bengali cuisine. From simple saute, stir fry to complex chochori (mish-mash with various vegetables) are part of everyday food. The leafy greens are not only delight for the tastebuds, these are rich in nutrients.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Baby potatoes with coriander pesto...

With the heat index increasing everyday it's exhausting to be in the kitchen for longer duration to prepare elaborate dishes. Simple rice, lentils, thin fish curries are what I'm making mostly these days. Other than lunch and dinner, the lunch boxes for school and office require a good planning. With the kid enrolled in a morning school I hardly have 30-40 mins to prepare for the boxes. So I plan accordingly and make myself ready with half the work done before hand. Today I'm going to share one of such recipes, that I prepare for my kid's lunch box. A very easy and quick recipe, which not only great for lunch boxes but also as a starter for your next party.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Plantain Kofta Curry..

Kanchkolar kofta, no onion no garlic, vegan recipe


As summer steps in to our life with all the heat, humidity and all my favorite vegetables vanish from the market, the biggest concern becomes what to cook. I think that's an eternal question for all who are in charge of the kitchen. Though summer has its own bounty of offering in terms of seasonal vegetables, the long stretch of summer we experience in this part of the world makes you run out of choice to cook something new. Add to this in a sub-tropical country like ours everyday household work turns tiresome and difficult, specially working in front of the oven in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sojne phool (Moringa flowers)...

posto diye sojne phool

Moringa is a seasonal flower with many health benefits and immunity boosting components. Moringa trees are very common in India and all the parts of the tree from leaf, pods, flowers are used as food. In a Bengali household the pods (drumsticks) are eaten throughout the year and it is more like a ritual to eat moringa flowers or Sojne phool (as we call it in Bengali) during the on set of Spring. As a kid when I used to question about eating those flowers, my parents have always answered that eating moringa flowers prevent chicken pox. I don't know whether it is scientifically proven or not but as I grow up I also follow the same routine of having moringa flowers during this time of the year. And I'm quite fond of this seasonal flower and wait for this bounty of nature which is only available for a very limited time period.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Rangalur bhaja puli..

rangalur puli pithe, poush parbon

Today I wish you all a happy Makar Sankranti. A harvesting festival, Makar Sankranti is also the oldest solstice festival, when Sun enters the zodiac sign Capricorn or Makar. So the name of this festival actually means the movement of Sun to Capricorn. During this time sun starts to move towards Northern hemisphere, making the days longer and warmer, marking end of winter and beginning of spring. From mid-December all the holy or auspicious activities are  prohibited among Hindus. Makar Sankranti also marks the beginning of auspicious activities. This particular festival is celebrated on a fixed date, 14th of January, and celebrated all around India majorly as a harvesting festival. Different parts of India celebrate this auspicious day under different names, Uttarayan, Lohri, Pongal, Poush Parbon etc.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Chicken kofta curry...

Chicken kofta curry

I prefer a spicy and hearty curry for winter dinners. A curry to wipe off with a piece of roti or naan. Last night I was indecisive about what to make for dinner. Jr. S was asking for a chicken curry, where as Sr. S made a face and sighed 'why that same chicken curry?' So keeping balance between both I opted for a chicken kofta curry with a special twist to the gravy. And to my joy both of them loved it and gave a big thumbs up to curry.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Kumro phool bhaja..


It's great to receive a bunch of bright yellow flowers as a surprise, but being a foodie it's feels equally good when you see your favorite edible bunch of flower as a surprise gift. Last weekend when S, smilingly handed me these vibrant yellow bunch I was overjoyed. I couldn't resist myself and took pictures of them. They made my winter Sunday morning extra special.