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Monday, April 15, 2013

Oven roasted beets with thyme

This is an easy way to eat vegetable. And I enjoy them a lot.



  1. Wash, peel, cut beets into bite-sized pieces. Thinner slices mean less cooking time. But be careful to make them evenly thick or else you will burn some and undercook the others.
  2. Add olive oil, salt, sugar and sprigs of thyme.
  3. Bake in conventional oven at 350 F for 35-40 mins or until done, tossing them every 10-15 mins.
You can make sweet potatoes too.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mocha aloo tarkari (banana flower with potatoes)

It's actually banana inflorescence, but who cares, right? That which we call a rose etc.This is one of my favorite Bengali dishes. The preparation takes a while, and can be done before to reduce cooking time- except that it may turn dark. Soaking them in a bowl of lemon juice might help to prevent that.

  1. Discard the outer purple layers and work with the stalk-like flowers. You have to discard the anthers or else your dish will turn bitter. Two generations ago, when you had ample help around kitchen in big families, women used to pluck them one by one. now you just need to hold the knife at an angle and behead them all at once,and the anthers will come out with the heads. Chop.
  2. Microwave in a bowl with water. Drain out the water, and any extra bitterness.
  3. Dice potatoes into small pieces, fry with cumin seeds in oil. Add the steamed flowers. Add turmeric and salt to taste. Cook covered.
  4. You can add garam masala and ghee for the traditional taste. Some prefer a sprinkle of sugar.
You can make a variation by adding shallow-fried shrimps. You can also make mochar chop (croquettes) using the mix.

Version 2:
Add shallow-fried shrimps

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Steamed halibut with ginger, soy sauce and scallions

This is a recipe I got from a guy we met while shopping for fish at Ranch 99. He even took us to the aisle where the right soy sauce was. I already had regular Kikkoman, but he insisted we should try the one specially meant for steamed fish.

 I added jalapenos to his recipe . You can bake or steam it.. I like it both ways.


  1. Take steaks of white fish (I used halibut for this one), clean and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Add soy sauce, ginger, diced jalapeno to the fish and wrap it in aluminium foil . Bake at 350 F for 40 mins or steam, until the fish turns flaky. (You can add wine too)
  3. Add scallions and/or cilantro generously. 
You might also like this Malaysian recipe of Red Snapper grilled in Banana Leaf

I tried this recipe with whole carp. I shallow fried the fish and sauteed the onions first.

Pasta with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes

  1. Boil pasta according to instructions. I like them al dente. Pour in a colander and through cold running water, so that they don't stick later.
  2. In a wok, add bite-sized chicken pieces, garlic, rosemary (I had marinated them earlier), sun-dried tomatoes and diced celery. Add chicken stock, chili flakes, serrano/green chilis(if u like it really hot)
  3. Pour pasta and cheese(I used Kraft Italian 5 cheese blend in this one) of your choice till it melts. Check for salt. Serve warm.
You can use fresh parsley too.
For more pasta ideas click on the label 'pasta'