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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Doi fulkopi posto diye (Cauliflower in poppy seed- yogurt sauce)

  1. Cut cauliflower into bite sized florets. Microwave them for 4 mins in water with diced potatoes . Drain the water in a colander.
  2. In a frying pan (with cover), add 2 tsp mustard oil, 1/2 tsp ghee, 1-2 bay leaves, 1/4 tsp nigella seeds (kalo jeere or kalonji), 4-5 slit green chilies. Add the vegetables. Cover and cook.
  3. In a coffee grinder, add 3 tsps cashews, 8 peppercorns, 3 tsp poppy seeds, 3 green cardamom, 1/2 cinnamon stick- ground to a fine powder. Add it to the vegetables, evenly.
  4. Stir and cook till the poppy is well roasted. Beat 3 tbsp yogurt with water, add evenly.
  5. Cover and cook until the oil separates and the vegetables are well done. You may slip in a few golden raisins and a spoonful of sugar.
For other recipes with posto (poppy seeds), see:

Chana dal with zucchini

  1. Wash well and then soak chana dal in clear water over night.
  2. Add black pepper corn, red round Chile pepper, 1-2 star anise, green cardamom,  salt, turmeric and aamchur (dry mango powder) in a pressure cooker, cook till the steam appears.
  3. In a frying pan, add diced (half-moon) zucchini (green or yellow), panch phoran, and halved heirloom tomatoes. Add salt, kashmiri mirch and bhaja masala (dry roasted- cumin-coriander-red chilies). Cook till oil separates.
  4. Add the zucchini mix, a pinch of hing (asafoetida)  and ghee (for smell). Simmer till done.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kanch kolar kofta kadhi (plantain/green banana balls in gram flour-yogurt gravy)

This recipe is like a Punjabi munda marrying a Bangali meye. I wanted to make kancha kolar kofta but I didn't want to use the traditional Bengali gravy and thought of making it in kadhi gravy that uses besan (gram flour) and yogurt.

  1. Boil 4 potatoes and  3 medium-sized plantains in a microwave safe bowl for 10-15 minutes with water. (makes about 10- 15 balls)
  2. Peel and mash the vegetables. Add salt, turmeric, dry roasted cumin-coriander-red chili powder, minced cilantro, green chilis and ginger. Roll into balls. 
  3. Deep fry in batches. Turn frequently.
  4. For the gravy, beat yogurt with salt, turmeric, kashmiri mirch powder,  bhaja masala, and besan.
  5. In a wok, fry minced onions, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, 2 red chilies broken, and 1 bay leaf broken in half.  Add the gravy and cook in low heat till it boils, adjust water, salt and spices for taste.
  6. Finally, add the kofta balls, simmer for a while. Serve with rice or roti. 
(You may add curry leaves in the gravy)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Salmon with leeks (pan fried)

  1. Saute 1 large diced leek in olive oil in a non-stick. Stir occasionally.
  2. Cut salmon into bite sized size , rub salt, cumin-coriander powder  and low sodium soy sauce (or any other spices you prefer). Add to pan.
  3. You may add julienne ginger and minced green chili here. Drizzle some more soy sauce. Some herbs like dill and tarragon also go well with this recipe.
This is a pan fried recipe, you may also bake the fish and add sauteed leeks to it.

Made a side of Romano beans with poppy seeds.

Also making Peach Sangria for some guests on Sunday.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Beresta Chicken

For Joyita di

'Beresta' means fried onions, and you can use it in fish  and dal recipes too. You may add some store brought fried onions along with the onions you fried at home to get extra flavor.

Since this recipe uses a lot of onions, you risk making the gravy too sweet. Use freshly crushed peppercorn to adjust heat. Also, it is essentially a Bengali roast, so ensure that the heat is spread evenly while cooking and slow fry the onions to get the best flavor.

  1. Cut leg quarters into serving sizes- the thigh portion cut into two, the leg portion slashed to let spices in. ( I prefer chicken with bones for this recipe.) Marinate in ground korma spices and salt overnight.
  2. In a frying pan big enough to place the chicken pieces in one layer, heat mustard oil to smoking point, lower the heat, spread thinly sliced onions, stir and fry until soft. Add some store bought crunchy fried onions, stir.
  3. You may  add some whole spices (like bay leaf, cloves, cardamom) to complement your ground Korma masala.
  4. Add minced garlic, ginger and green chilies and some whole green chilies. Fry till the raw smell is gone.
  5. Layer the chicken pieces in the pan, fry both sides. Mix well with the masala. Cover and cook.
  6. Add beaten (essential) yogurt evenly over the chicken. Cover and simmer on low heat.
  7. Sprinkle a little water if you think the spices will dry up. Best if you let the chicken cook in its own juices. 
  8. Add some crushed pepper for extra flavor. 
  9. You may also add a tad of cumin coriander powder. (Optional)
I made beresta salmon with tomatoes last night. It was delicious. Skip the korma masala and use bhaja masala instead when you make fish with beresta. Unless, you want to -who am I to curb your creativity? Happy cooking.