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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fish ball curry

For gravy
  1. Fry the fish balls and keep aside.
  2. In a wok, heat mustard oil and whole cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Add 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp ginger paste. Saute a little.
  3. Then add 1 large tomato puree, cumin powder, turmeric and red chili powder. Add green chilis cut in halves and a pinch of cinnamon powder.
  4. Cook well till oil separates.  Add 1/2 cup warm water for gravy if you need to cook it more thoroughly. Serve with steamed rice.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bengali cholar dal

As a kid, I used to call it Jonmodiner dal (birthday lentil) because Luchi cholar dal was served in one of my birthdays. You can also add kosha mangsho to the team.

  1. Soak chola overnight. Rinse well. Pressure cook to soften the lentils.
  2. In a wok/kadai add 1 tbsp ghee, add cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, clove , bay leaves and 2 dry red chilies (broken in halves) for tempering. Add coconut flakes. Stir a little.
  3. Add the boiled dal, turmeric, salt to taste. Add 1 tsp ginger paste or grated, asafetida, raisins (and dry roasted cashews). Add sugar to taste.
  4. Serve warm with luchi or rice and beguni.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Basic Vanilla Cake with lemon glaze


For cake:

  1. Beat unsalted butter (4 oz) at room temperature, sugar (2/3 cups or to taste), vanilla essence (1 tsp), preferably in a dough mixer.
  2. Sift 1 cup flour with a pinch of salt and 1 tsp baking powder. Add in batches. Continue beating. 
  3. When the dough is sticky and smooth, use a spatula to spread it evenly on a cake pan that has been buttered and dusted with flour.
  4. Bake for 30 mins at 350 F. Insert a skewer/toothpick/knife and when it comes out clean, the cake it done.

For glaze:
Beat 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 4 tsp butter. Spread it on the cake.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Vanilla cheesecake topped with strawberries


For Crust
  1. Crumble graham crackers and add 4 tsp melted unsalted butter with 2 tsp sugar. Taste to check the sweetness.
  2. Place crust in a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven for 5 mins.

For Filling
  1. Blend 1 packet cream cheese, 2 large eggs,  and 1/3 can of condensed milk. Taste for sweetness
  2. Bake for 20 mins or until done.
  3. Cool at room temperature. Chill for 2 hrs in the fridge.
  4. Garnish with sliced strawberries

Monday, September 5, 2016

Breakfast in a ramekin

#1 Parmesan cheese, bell pepper, Thai chilis, eggs, pepper, and pink salt.
     Baked for 10-15 mins at 350 F

You may make sandwiches with tomatoes, baked eggs, and sriracha mayo.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Key lime mini pies


For Crust

  1. Crumble graham crackers and add 4 tsp melted unsalted butter with 2 tsp sugar. Taste to check the sweetness.
  2. Place parchments in a muffin pan and place equal portions of crust mix. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 5 mins.

For Filling

  1. Blend 1 packet cream cheese. Add 3 beaten egg yolks,  and 1/3 can of condensed milk.
  2. Add freshly squeezed key lime juice, about 1/4 cup or to taste.
  3. Spoon equal portions of the filling into the parchments cups over crust. Bake for 15-20 mins until pie is jiggly.
  4. Cool at room temperature. Chill for 2 hrs in the fridge.
  5. Garnish with sliced key limes.
Another link to this recipe can be found here

Monday, August 29, 2016

What to do with extra apples?

Creole inspired boiled shrimp with Andouille sausage and corn

This recipe tastes best with fresh shrimps with shells on. You may use deveined, shelled variety if you like.

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Add bay leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, salt to taste, cajun seasoning, and extra cayenne if you want it hot.
  2. Add halved corn on the cob, andouille sausages, bell peppers, diced onions. (You may choose to saute these ingredients first, except the corn)
  3. Cook to a boil. Add the shrimp. Taste the broth for seasoning.
  4. Add Zatarains Gumbo File or Shrimp boil seasoning. Old Bay seasoning works well too. 
Serve with lemon wedges, pepper, and salt.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Basic Vanilla cookies

Hat tip to my friend Sonia Dey. I changed the measurements a bit.

Unsalted butter (I used Strauss European style organic unsalted butter) 4 oz (113 g) or one cube
Good quality vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Sugar to taste (I used 1/3 cup)

Plain flour or maida 1 and 1/3 cups
Baking powder 1 tsp

  1. Whisk the butter (at room temperature) with vanilla essence and sugar.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder together. Pour to the butter mix. Mix well. Use a spatula or a dough mixer.
  3. Roll the dough into a log. Refrigerate for 2 hrs.
  4. Cut the dough into pieces. Place on parchment paper on a cookie tray. Bake for 15-20 mins in preheated oven at  350 F or until the edges are brown. Let them cool at room temperature.

    I also tried a second batch with chocolate chips. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kora, bata, and the likes

A long time ago, we had a cook named Hari Kaku. He was scandalized to know that we throw away vegetable peels. When he asked Ma to let him cook opo peels (লাউয়ের খোসা), I was amused. She took me to another room and said- Don't laugh at him. He has many mouths to feed. He has to be resourceful. And vegetable peels are nutrient rich. Let's give him a chance. He made it for us, and it was a hit. We never threw away opo peels again. Today, I made pointed gourd peels (পটোলের খোসা বাটা) with garlic and nigella seeds and it reminded me of Hari Kaku. RIP.

Here are some the baata/paste recipes that I have been trying:

Potoler khosha baata /pointed gourd peels paste with garlic
Process pointed gourd peel and garlic into a thick paste Stir fry in heated mustard oil and nigella seeds with turmeric and salt to taste.

Cabbage paste/ badhakopir baata
Parboil cabbage leaves in salt water. Add garlic cloves, green chilies and process to a paste. Heated mustard oil in a non-stick frying pan, add nigella seeds. Stir fry with a pinch of cumin powder, chili powder, turmeric, salt to taste. Add asafetida/hing and narkel kora/coconut flakes for a very special dish.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dates and mixed nuts laddoo

No sugar added. Home-made energy balls.

  1. Dry roast nuts of your choice till crunchy and slightly browned. (I used unsalted raw nuts from Archer Farms which has almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, and pistachios). 
  2. Keep aside to cool.  Pulverize in a processor. Leave a few broken pieces for crunch.
  3. Heat pitted dates in pan until soft. Process those into a paste. You might have to work in batches.
  4. Mix the nuts and dates as thoroughly as you can.
  5. Take a dab of good quality desi ghee (I used Anil Ghosh er  Baghabari ghee) and rub your palms with it. Roll the mixture into round balls.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Vietnamese Pho-inspired broth

In a stock pot or pressure cooker, add minced scallions, cilantro, ginger, Green/thai chilis thinly sliced beef/chicken,  2 star anise, 2 tsp fish sauce, cracked pepper. Bring to boil in orgnaic beef/chicken broth. Serve with fresh bean sprouts, basil, and a wedge of lime.

Another recipe link

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beef and mushroom sandwich

Beef and mushroom sandwich with onions, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and provolone cheese.


  1. Cook sliced mushrooms in olive oil with pink salt and pepper. Add pre-cooked beef (for 12-14 ins in Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt, garlic powder, chili flakes, cumin powder, and red onions, I used leftover beef medallions from dinner)
  2. Toast bread on a pan or in oven until crunchy, but not browned.
  3. Add a slice of provolone or your prefered cheese. Top with pickled jalapeño for some extra crunch.

Monday, May 2, 2016

South Indian inspired mutton stew with coconut milk and curry leaves

  1. Marinate leg of a goat(cut into curry pieces) with salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, and lemon juice overnight.
  2. Slice 1 large red onion, fry with mustard oil in a frying pan with curry leaves, 1 bay leaf, an inch of cinnamon stick broken into smaller pieces. 
  3. Grind coriander seed, peppercorn, fennel. Use 1 tsp each. Adjust according to taste. 
  4. Add ginger paste and slit green chilies. Quarter potatoes, sprinkle salt and saute until the oil separates.
  5. Transfer the meat to a pressure cooker. Cook till done. Add a dollop of desi ghee if you want.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday brunch: Poached egg on Portobello

Poached egg on Portobello (with grated parmesan, parsley, and chili flakes)

I pan-fried it though you can also bake.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil on a non-stick. Place the portobello. Sprinkle Himalayan pink salt and chili flakes. Break the egg on top of the mushroom. Cover and cook until the egg and mushrooms are cooked through. For bigger/deeper mushrooms, you may choose to saute the mushroom first and then poach the egg. Add grated parmesan, parsley, and chili flakes on top and serve hot.

I added raspberries to the plate for some color and Vitamin-C.

Tip: Make sure the portobello is not broken on the sides or the egg might flow down to the pan and overcook

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pan-fried broccoli and sharp cheddar

  1. Cut broccoli crown into florets, Wash well and drain.
  2. In a non-stick, heat extra virgin olive oil and saute crushed garlic cloves.
  3. Add the broccoli, saute them a while and cook covered in medium-low heat covered. add salt to taste and freshly ground black pepper. I like them slightly crunchy so I toast them till I like them.
  4. Add sharp cheddar when almost done. Serve warm.
You may also use it as a filling for sandwich. Great for soups.

You may also use button mushrooms. Another variation is when you add bacon to the mix. Recipe link here.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Lambs chops in oven

  1. Marinate chops with lemon juice/vinegar, salt, pepper, red chili powder, spice mix of your choice (I used ground coriander seeds, cumin, green cardamom and cinnamon). Marinate from 30 mins to overnight. (You may use 1/2 tbsp yogurt and olive oil in the marinade)
  2. In a pan, sear on both sides for 3 mins each. Take care not to burn the spice. 
  3. Then transfer the chops on a baking tray, seal with aluminium foil to keep the meat soft.  Bake at 350 F for 20 mins first, and broil for 5 minutes. Switch  off the oven and the remnant heat should be enough to cook the lamb through.
  4. Add fire-roasted jalapenos (alternately, you can broil them with the chops). Serve with pilaf.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Chingri Baata

Inspired by Tanuka's chingri baata (minced prawns, I decided to make my own version

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

Muri ghonto (Fish head cooked with rice)

  1. Wash and soak gobindo bhog rice in water for an hour.
  2. Make half onion paste, 1-inch ginger paste (I prefer more ginger in this recipe). Mince the remaining onion.
  3. Wash the fish head and rub salt and turmeric. Let is rest for 15 mins. Fry in hot mustard oil. Set aside.
  4. In the wok where you fried the fish head, fry some diced potatoes with salt, add the minced onion and then the onions paste.
  5. Add the pre-soaked rice, cook for a while, and add the fish head. Add salt, turmeric, broken green chilies, ginger paste, and bhaja masala (dry roasted and ground cumin-coriander-red chili).
  6. Keep adding warm water in batches so that the rice is fully cooked but not mushy. Taste for salt. Add ghee, and garam masala powder. Serve warm.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Meatballs and broccoli in Asian sauces

Meatballs simmering with broccoli in organic chicken broth and Asian sauces

  1. Cut broccoli crown into florets. immerse in salt water.
  2. In a pan, add cooking oil and saute thinly sliced garlic till fragnant. Add the meatballs, cook on both sides. Now add the broccoli, pepper, sliced ginger. Saute further.
  3. Add organic chicken broth, 1 tsp hoisin sauce, and low-sodium soy sauce to taste. Bring to boil then lower to simmer.
  4. You may add shaved carrots, snap peas, Thai chilies to the broth. Serve with warm rice.

    Alternately, you may add lemongrass for a different flavor. Or use coconut milk to thicken the broth along with some fish sauce for stronger flavor. You may also use boneless chicken instead of meatballs.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Beet greens and Kashmiri Dum Aloo

I used to throw away beet greens until now.They are quite delicious when sauted with minced garlic and nigella seeds.

I also made Kashmiri Dum aloo à la Sanjeev Kapoor Except that I parboiled the potatoes instead of deep frying them.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Salmon with tomatillos

  1. Cut the salmon fillet into bite sized cubes, rub salt, turmeric,  dry-roasted and ground cumin-coriander-red chili (bhaja masala) and juice of a lime. Set aside
  2. In a wok, fry sliced onions, chopped ginger, green chilies, and 2-3 tomatillos.
  3. Add the salmon cubes, stir well. Cook covered on medium heat and then on low heat. Stir occasionally.
Add freshly chopped cilantro. Serve with white rice.

Three little tomatillos went for a walk. They met a salmon on their way and had some table talk  

Strawberry and cream

Don't they look like tulips?