Friday, December 14, 2012

Phulkopir Chire Ghonto - Cauliflower cooked with rice flakes

Little S hates cauliflower. As a result it is rarely cooked in my kitchen. After a long day at work,  I cannot usually think of cooking multiple courses, so it is usually my favourites which are sacrificed. But not today. S has gone for a Birthday party, and I am assured by the host who is a very dear friend that he will not come back by dinner time. So today I have the liberty of cooking and eating cauliflower to my heart’s content. There is one problem, though. There is no cauliflower in the refrigerator. :( But when there is opportunity, can the mere absence of the wonder flower deter me ? Of course no! What can stop me from going down and getting the coveted vegetable from the sweet Bangladeshi girl sitting with her vegetable-ware spread across the pavement  -  all in just two minutes? When will I take advantage of Mumbai being one big market place?
So today I cooked this wonderful flower. The original recipe is from a cookery book in Bengali written by Shatarupa, but over the years, I have modified it to suit my convenience...and D’s taste.

Cauliflower: 1 medium
Potato: 1(optional)
Whole cumin seeds: a pinch
Flattened rice flakes(chire/poha) : a handful fried/roasted. You can also use 1 tbsp soaked rice if you donot have chire.

Whole garam masala: 1 tsp
Bay leaves: 2
Green chillies: 2
Ginger : 1 inch, grated
Jeera powder: ½ tsp
Salt: to taste
Sugar: ½ tsp
Turmeric pdr: ½ tsp
Raisins: 1 tsp(optional)
Peanuts: 1 tbsp(optional)
Green peas: a handful
Tomato: 1, chopped
Ghee: optional

How to:
1.       Heat 1 tsp mustard oil.  Saute the cauliflower florets and potatoes lightly, with a little salt and turmeric. Remove. You can also boil the potato like I did instead of sauté-ing.
2.       Add a little more oil, and throw in the bay leaves, whole cumin seeds, and whole garam masala and the peanuts. If you are using soaked rice, add it too along. Mix and cover for apprx. 5 mins.
3.       Now, add the green peas , tomatoes, ginger, green chillies, Jeera powder, mix well. If you are adding flattened rice, add it now. Sprinkle a little water if it sticks to the wok. Cover for some more time.
4.       When the tomatoes are nicely cooked, Add sugar, the cauliflowers potatoes and raisins. Mix well and cover. Cook till the cauliflowers and potatoes are completely cooked and mushy.
5.       If you are adding ghee, add it just before turning off the flame.

Enjoy with hot rotis or dal-rice !

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chaat from Mumbai Streets – Dahi Puri

Another chaat  item I make regularly at home is Dahi Puri. When S comes back home from school, its almost 7 in the evening, and he is famished. But not enough so that he will eat anything that I give him. Atleast not if it is bland. So I need to cook up something that needs little preparation ( since I too return the same time), is healthy and TASTY.  This Dahi puri is an item which S loves, and is not bland, and you can almost call it home-made.  

Panipuri puris: readymade or homemade.
Potatoes : 1 large, boiled and chopped/ mashed
Moong sprouts:  as it is or steamed for 5 mins with salt
Chutney: tomato/imli/you can also use tomato sauce
Onion: 1 chopped
Coriander leaves
Green chillies: finely chopped
Chaat masala/ roasted and ground cumin seeds
Bareek sev: optional
Rock salt
How to :
1.       Fill in the boiled potatoes and sprouts.
2.       Pour dahi generously
3.       Add the chutney
4.       Sprinkle the chopped onions, coriander, rock salt and barik sev.
Serve with a smile J and be ready for a big hug from the kid!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fish Fry

Good friend Z has been asking me the recipe for this typically  Bengali fish fry for a long time now. This s for you Z!

Fish fry


Fish fillets: bhetki, salmon, rawas
Ginger : ½ inch
Garlic: 5 pods
Onion: 1 small
Green chillies: 2
Lemon: 1
Bread crumbs: 1 cup
Egg: 1
Oil for frying

How to:

  1. Grind the ginger, garlic, onion, green chillies, into a paste.
  2. Marinade the fillets with the paste, juice of a lemon, and salt. Keep for atleast 20 mins. If you are keeping it for longer, keep in the refrigerator.
  3. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt in a bowl large enough to fit the fish fillets.
  4. Spread the bread crumbs in a plate.
  5. Now coat  the marinated fish fillets with the bread crumbs, dip it in the beaten egg and then again in the bread crumbs
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan or wok.
  7. Deep fry.

Serve with salad on the side.

Stuffed Capsicum with left over pulao

What do you do when you have had a party at home the previous night, you have little bit of every thing left, but your family will not have the same food again today ? Simple, you cook up some new dishes with the leftovers.

Stuffed Capsicum with left over rice dish

Fried rice/  any vegetable :  any quantity
Capsicum: any number enough for the left over

How to:
1.       Remove the top of the capsicum, clean the inside of the capsicum of seeds
2.       Fill with the leftover rice.
3.       Top with dry fruits
4.       Grill at 200 degrees for 7-10 mins.

Tip1: If you are cooking in a microwave oven, cook it in a micro+ convection for about 5 mins.

Tip2: If you are cooking in a pan, fry the capsicums, till they are semi-cooked. Remove from heat, cool and now fill the stuffings. Put it back on the pan, cover and cook till the capsicums are fully done.

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