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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Two bhery Bengali dishes

Pui Ilish
Pui was a rare find at the Indian grocery store.(Discovered later that it is sold as Vietnamese Spinach at the Asian stores) I decided to make it for a guest who was invited for dinner consisting of  traditional Bengali fare. It goes well with shrimp or Ilish head.

Ilish head

Stalks and potatoes go first in the oil you used to fry the Ilish head. Lots of flavor there.

Final product: my first Pui Ilish

  1. Wash and clean the Ilish head. Rub turmeric and salt, set aside for a few minutes while you prepare the pui (Vietnamese/Climbing/Malabar spinach)
  2. Wash and break the leaves off the stem. Cut the stalk into bit-sized halves. Dice potatoes (and other vegetables like kumro (butternut squash), jhinge (ridged gourd) and begun (eggplant) to it. ).
  3. In a wok, heat mustard oil, light fry the fish head, then keep aside. In the same oil add kalonji, potatoes (and the vegetables ), stalk first and then the leaves. (To reduce cooking time, you can microwave the spinach for 3 mins, drain the excess water released and then add to the wok) 
  4. When the leaves are about done add the fried fish head and slit green chilies. Cover and cook in very low flame without adding any water.
A variation with chingri (shrimp) can also be made. Just replace the fish head with shrimp.

Pui Chingri

You might al so like Cabbage with fish head (Macher matha diye Badhakopir Ghonto)

Jhinge aloo kaju posto
Jhinge or ridged gourd is a good source of fiber. With poppy seeds (posto), cashew and potatoes - it becomes an extremely easy-to-make tasty vegetable dish.

  1. Using a peeler, peel the tough edges of a ridged gourd. Cut them into inch long sticks, then lightly fry in hot mustard oil. Keep aside.  Cut potatoes about the same size. 
  2. Add kalonji, minced onions. Add the potatoes (microwave them for 2-3 mins for faster cooking time), then add back  the ridged gourd , salt, and turmeric.
  3. Dry grind poppy seeds with a few cashews- add to the gourd. Add a little water if needed.  Cover and cook on low flame.

    I also made aloo-bean posto (potato-beans-poppy seeds) similarly .

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wine punch

It was his birthday and I had a cooking marathon; among other things I also made:

I like rosé for its sweet, fruity taste. You may use your favorite red or white wine. I added freshly sliced lime, orange, peaches and strawberries. Mix in a pitcher or punch bowl, chill overnight. Can add sugar, Grand Marnier or Agave nectar/honey.

Mini mushroom sandwich: For the sandwich filling, I minced white button mushroom and sauteed in olive oil, finely diced celery, ground pepper and mayo. Best served with your favorite ketchup.
Baked Roma tomatoes stuffed with minced chicken , eggs, herbs and spices (mint, cilantro, green chilies, onions, garlic, ginger, pepper, coriander, cumin). You need to lightly saute the filling first, stuff the tomatoes and bake till done. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil. You can add grated cheese before serving and use mint leaves for garnish.

Bengali ghugni (using yellow vatana)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The best Chinese dinner I had

Fried rice with Chinese sausage, Chinese broccoli sauteed in minced onions and red chilies, and whole fish baked with chili-bean sauce.The original recipes are by our friends- Gong and Deng.