Sunday, February 10, 2008

1 -2 -3 Chikki [Peanut Candies]

I have sweet tooth and often get the urge to eat something sweet. Whenever, I do not have anything available, I resort to my culinary skills. This chikki recepie is an example.

1. Peanuts [coarsely crushed] 2 cups
2. Jaggery [crushed] - 3/4 cup
3. Ghee [clarified butter] - 4 tsp

1. Dry roast the peanuts
2. Melt jaggery in a thick bottomed pan, till just about brittle. To test, pour a drop of jaggery on a bowl - it should be brittle when cold within few seconds.
3. When melted, turn off the heat and mix the peanuts
4. Immediately transfer the mix on a greased tray and make a 1/2 inch flat layer
5. While still hot, mark square shapes with a sharp knife
6. After about 5 minutes, break into square pieces.
7. Store in closed jar.
Enjoy :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mustard Fish

This is one of the easiest and very refreshing recipe of Fish. This is also a typical Bengali way of making the fish.

1. Fish [Carp] - 4/5 cleaned and cut pieces
2. Mustard Seeds - 1 tbs
3. Green Chillies - 7/8
4. Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
5. Red Chilly Powder [optional] - 1/2 tsp
6. Salt to taste
7. Oil to cook

1. Rub the fish pieces with some turmeric and salt
2. Shallow fry the fish in oil and keep aside
3. Meanwhile, in a grinder make a paste of mustard seed, 5 green chillies and salt
[I keep off the counter mustard powder / paste as well]
4. In a wok, heat some more oil
5. Mix the turmeric and red chilly powder with few drops of water. Add this to hot oil and stir vigorously
6. Add the Mustard paste diluted with 1 cup of water
7. When the gravy starts to boil, add the fish fishes and split green chillies
8. Let it simmer on low heat and under cover for 3-4 minutes
And the Mustard Fish is ready! Eat hot with steamed rice... The taste lingers in your mind for long after you are done eating :)

Aaloo Tamaatar - the all time favorite!

One of my all time favorite vegetables is the "Aaloo tamatar ki rase waali sabzee" i.e. Potato and Tomato curry. I remember, as a child, I used to go to my neighbor's house just to have puri and this sabzee. I have not had the aloo-tamatar as tasteful ever!

I relentlessly keep trying and I have come pretty close. May be, one day my "Aloo tamatar will be as good as how "Amma Ji" used to make :)

1. Boiled and hand mashed Potatoes - 3/4 Medium Size
2. Chopped Tomatoes - 2
3. Chopped Onions - 1
4. Green Chillies - 2
5. Red Chillies - 2
6. Garlic and Ginger mince - 1 tsp
7. Red Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
8. Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
9. Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
10. Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
11. Cumin - 1/2 tsp
12. Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
13. Salt to taste

1. In a wok, heat some oil
2. Add the cumin, mustard seeds and red chillies
3. As mustard starts to splutter, add the garlic and ginger and saute some more
4. Add onions and fry till golden yellow
5. Add the spices from 7 to 10 and salt. Mix well
6. Next add in the chopped tomatoes and let the mixture simmer in low heat, under cover for 2-3 minutes
7. Add the Potatoes and mix well. Cook on low heat for another 2 minute, before adding 1 cup of water
8. Let the vegetable simmer for 4-5 minutes and cook on low heat, until desired consistency is reached.
Garnish with Coriander and Green Chillies. Heat hot with Chapatis... I will!

Karela Bharta [Experiment with Bitter Gourd]

Another experimental recipe from me. Like, Baigan Bharta, this recipe is made with Karela (Bitter Gourd)

1. Bitter Gourds [Karela] - 2 or 3
2. Green Chillies - 10/12
3. Tamarind Pulp - 1 tbs
4. Salt to taste

5. Oil - 1 tbs
6. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
7. Red Cilly - 2/3

1. In a food processor, grind gourd pieces, tamarind, green chillies, and salt into a fine paste
2. In a wok, put some oil and add Red Chillies and Mustard seeds
3. When mustard seeds start to splutter, add the ground paste
4. Simmer the mixture, until it become of thick consistency and starts leaving the surface of the wok.

1. You can char the gourds on oven before grinding
2. You may want to leave the gourd in salt water for a day before preparing
Eat with chapati, by itself or as a chutney. This is also good for Diabetic patients who have bitter gourd regularly in their diet. Like my Dad ...

Cheese and Chilly Spread

Food industry lost one great player when Shekhar decided to become a techie!

Having said that, let me share an interesting spread that Shekhar made in 5 minutes...

You will need
1. Grated Mozzarella / Monteray / Mixed cheese - 1 small bowl
2. Green Chillies - 10/12 [depending on your taste]
3. Garlic - 5-6 cloves
4. Crackers
5. Bread

How to Make
1. Coarsely ground the chillies and the garlic
2. Mix nicely the grated cheese, ground chillies and garlic and salt
3. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, right before serving

You are done!
To eat, you can spread the mix on a cracker and cover it with another. Microwave the cracker pairs for 30 second. The cheese will stick the crackers together! Enjoy your snack :)

You can also spread the mix on toasted bread and top with onions / tomatoes for a hot and spicy breakfast / brunch that melts in your mouth!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No food?

Whatever is the matter with me... am I not cooking much lately? hmmm may be not :)

I better turn to my kitchen ... if not for anything else, but for the sake of this blog :)))