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Monday, November 23, 2009

Dosa's cousin & a Dakshini Alu Dum

(Goala/Gola Ruti....Dokkhini Alur Dum Diye)

Goala/Gola (pronounced as in 'Goal' -'a') Ruti is a kind of instant Dosa or a Pancake sans the egg & the sweet taste.

In our home Goala ruti is a much made and much loved weekend breakfast / brunch. It's quick, can be had with a side dish, sauce or as it is. Any vegetable chopped fine (like carrot, cabbage, capsisum, etc etc) can add to its nutritive value.

Today to enhace it's south indian-ness, I paired it with an alu dum which had a Duxini touch to it!

So here goes the recipe :


For the Goala Ruti :

* Maida or All purpose Flour : Suji or Semolina in 1:1 ratio. I used 80gm each of Maida and suji which yielded around 9 Goala Rutis/Pancakes

* Milk - 2 - 3 cups

* Salt to taste

* Onions - finely chopped 1/2

* Carrot - Finely chopped 1.

* Coriander leaves - finely chopped

* Green chilies - chopped fine

* You can add ginger / garlic paste & sliced if you like....I DID NOT

* Water to add to the batter to make the consistency more liquid

For the Duxini Alu Dum:
* Potatoes - 8-10 or as many as you require

* Onions - 1 large size, quartered

* Tomatoes - 1 medium, diced

* Curry Patta - a bunch

* Urad Dal/Kolai Dal (White lentils) - 2 tsp

* Whole dry red chili - 1

* Mustard seeds/Shorshe - 1 tsp

* Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp

* Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp

* Sambhar Masala - 1/2 tsp

* Salt to taste

* Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp (+/- depending on heat tolerance)


I first make the Alu Dum followed by the Goala Rutis

Duxini Alu Dum:
1. Boil the potatoes with their skin on. Afterward peel the skin off and cut each into 4 quarters.
2. In a wok, take oil and when hot, temper with whole dry red chili, mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves
3. Throw in the quartered onion and add a pinch of sugar. Fry till it turns pink and translucent.
4. Add the ginger paste followed by diced tomatoes.
5. Add the boiled and quartered potatoes.
6.Add the coriander powder, chili powder and salt
7. Toss them around to mix the masalas well.
8. Once the raw smell/taste of boiled potato is gone, sprinkle the sambhar masala
9. Mix around one more time...check for salt. Take the wok off the flame.
The Duxini Alu Dum is ready!

Goala Ruti :
1. Mix together the maida and suji in 1:1 ratio and pour milk to make a batter of dosa like
consistency. You can make the batter with ONLY milk or milk & water.
2. Add the chopped onions, grated carrot, finely chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves etc etc..
3. Add salt to taste.
4. Mix well.

5. Smear the non-stick tawa with 1/2 tsp of oil
6. With a hemispherical serving ladle, pour a glob of batter and spread it in a circle.

7. Fry one side on low flame. Flip it over and fry the other side.

8. Your Goala Ruti is ready to be savoured with the Alu Dum.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A fresh harvest of Red Radish ...

A fresh bounty of red radishes landed straight from the fields to my kitchen...Thanks to a friend who gave me a bunch of the fresh roots from her farm. The veggie loving SD being away, I wasnt too keen on cooking up anything elaborate.....

And hence this simplest of simple salads....

Ingredients :
Small Red Radish - 5-6
Cucumber - 1 medium sized
Olive Oil - 1 -1.5 tsp
Lemon Juice - 1 lemon
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Chili flakes - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Procedure :
1. Wash the radishes and scrub them. Trim the top and tip of the radish. You may peel the skin...I did not.

2. Wash and peel the cucumber

3. Slice the cucumber and radishes very thin.

5. Add the olive oil, sugar, salt, chili flakes and squeeze the juice of lemon into the sliced radish-cucumber. Toss them well.

6.Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Enjoy the freshness!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gurjali Maachh er Jhol

(Indian Salmon...Bengali Style)
Gurjali, or as we Bangaals say, Gurjauli, is not available very often in this Teleguland which has been my home for the past 30 months or so.

So when SD got it as part of his Sunday fish basket, my call to Ma was the usual "Gurjauli maachh ki diye ranna korbo?" (With what should I cook Gurjauli Fish?)

Why this query is of significance is, because we Bongs, have this unwritten do s and dont's when it comes to our traditional cooking. No garlic in this, no onion in that, paanch phoron here and kaalo jeera there....oh well....the list is never ending.

So when Ma said - kalo jeera phoron, shorshe bata, I heaved a sigh of relief! The simplest of fish curries....easy to make and good to eat on a lovely Sunday afternoon!!!

So here goes the recipe....

Ingredients :
1. Gurjali/Gurjauli Fish - 750gm
2. Kalo jeera/Nigella seeds/Kalonji - 1/2 tsp
3. Green Chilies - 3-4 or more
4. Haldi/turmeric - 1/2 tsp
5. Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp (or more)
6. Kashmiri Chili powder - 1/2 tsp (for colour)
7. Mustard powder/paste - 1-1.5 tsp
8. Tomatoes - 1 small or 1/2 medium - diced
9. Coriander leaves - a small bunch, chopped finely
10. Salt to taste
11. Mustard Oil for cooking & sauteing the fish

Procedure :

* Toss the fish pieces in salt, turmeric powder and keep them marinated for 5-10 minutes.

* Fry the fish lightly and keep aside

* In a wok take mustard oil and when smoking hot, temper with Kalo Jeera/Kalonji and slit green chilies

* Add to the tempering the diced tomatoes and stir.

* Mix the Haldi, Chili powder, Kashmiri Chili powder, 1/2 tsp of mustard powder, salt with water into a thick paste. Add to the wok. and stir briskly on medium flame.

* Take care not to burn the masala. Sprinkle water from time to time. Once the oil separates from the masalas, check to see if the raw smell of turmeric is still there. If the masalas still retain the raw smell, sprinkle some more water and stir again for a minute or two.

* Add the lightly fried fish pieces. Stir slowly to mix the masalas. Pour 4-5 cups of water. The gravy will be light and watery. Cover and cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes or till it starts boiling.

* Add 1/2 cup water to the mustard powder/paste. Now mix well and pass the mustard water through a sieve into the wok. This makes the gravy mustard flavoured and yet does not impart the rich, spiciness of mustard.

*Let it boil for another few seconds...garnish with slit green chilies and chopped coriander leaves.

* Switch off the flame and serve with steamed rice.
This light watery gravy tastes good ONLY if the fish is very fresh.

This is my 3rd entry to the Blog event ''THINK SPICE:THINK TURMERIC", hosted for Nov '09 by Sudeshna of COOK LIKE A BONG and the Think Spice event is the brainchild of Sunita of Sunita's World .
The logo for the event is...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Off to a bitter start with SHUKTO

To a Bengali, Shukto needs no introduction!

And for others, who probably find a Bong's love affair with the bitter, a trifle eccentric or incomprehensible, Shukto is a mixed vegetable stew with a predominantly bitter - sweet flavour. A traditional Bengali lunch meal begins with Shukto. Why? Frankly, I'm not too sure of why only at lunch, but regarding the bitter beginning....but maybe it has something to do with the Ayurvedic Six tastes or rasas which need to be incorporated into our daily diet... The six rasas being (source - here)
  • madhura--sweet
  • amla-- sour
  • lavana--salty
  • katu--hot
  • tikta--bitter
  • kashai--astringent
Well, coming back to the Tikta rasa or bitter taste.....the bitter beginning may be anything from boiled and mashed potatoes & bitter gourd, or a mix of tender neem leaves and cubed brinjals fried in ghee (neem-begun) or the Crème de la Crème of the tikta Rasa... SHUKTO!

In the days of yore, a woman's culinary expertise was measured by how well she could cookishukto!! And every family, has over the years, added their own little personal touch to the shukto!!

Well, as is true for most traditional dishes I cook, I learnt how to cook Shukto from Ma. She cooks a variety of shuktos....Lau shukto, Lal Shukto, Maachher Shukto to name a few. I cannot muster the courage to learn so many and have restricted myself to two similar ones whose final touch at the end lend to their slightly different tastes. In one, I finish off the dish with a mix of milk-maida before adding a dash of ghee and the other is the one which I'll be posting here goes the recipe...

Ingredients :
*Bitter gourd - 1 sliced in circles (I also added some grated bitter gourd which I soak in warm water overnight to prepare SD's morning drink!!)
*All other vegetable need to be cut lengthwise-
Potato, Brinjal, carrots, ridge gourd, pumpkin, bottle gourd, carrots, Potol or pointed gourd, raw banana, raw papaya, pumpkin, drumsticks....any of these vegetables in combination may be used.
* Badi (small lentil dumplings) - My badis had been exhausted ...hence didnt use any.
* Rice (Gobindobhog chaal) - about 30 gm soaked in water and made into a smooth paste.
* Mustard paste - about 2 tbsp. (the rice paste & mustard paste should be in equal measure)
* Bay leaf - 1
* Seasoning (phoron)-1 tsp of a mix of whole fenugreek(methi) + radhuni(Wiki says it's wild celery in English) + mustard
* Ginger paste - 1 tsp
* Coriander powder/Dhone/dhaniya-1 tsp
* Sugar to taste
* Salt to taste
* Ghee - 1 tbsp
* Ghee/White Oil for cooking

Procedure :
1. Take oil in a wok and heat it and fry the sliced bitter gourd and keep aside

2. Take some more oil. Add the bay leaf/ves and the temper with what I call the Shukto phoron (methi+mustard+radhuni).

3. Add the fried vegetables ....though, what I did was - after frying the bitter gourd, I poured oil, added the bay leaf and tempering and added all the vegetables and fried together all at once to save time. Then added the bitter gourd too.

4. Toss them around. Add sugar, salt, Dhone/Dhaniya powder and ginger paste. Stir lightly to mix well.

5. Add 2-3 cups of water, lower the flame, cover with a lid and let the veggies cook.

6. Once the veggies are almost done, mix the rice paste+mustard paste with some more water and add to the simmering almost done vegetable. Mix well.

7. Check the taste. It should be bitter with a sweetish touch. Add sugar accordingly.

8. Crumble the boris and add them now. I didnt have any!

9.The gravy should not be runny. Should be thick and we say in Bangla, maakha maakha.

10. Finish off with a dash of ghee.

11. Serve with plain white rice.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hunger pangs and Frittata

Lunch skipped. No time to satiate my mid afternoon hunger pangs. Hallucinations of sinfully delicious cheese omelettes. Can you imagine my plight in office???? Even while driving back home, I was dreaming of the smell of eggs being fried, with my eyes wide open!!

The ravenous me attacked the fridge with full vigour and in a jiffy I had all I needed for a sinfully delicious stuffed omelette. The sausages sliced, onions & tomatoes ready (I always have some chopped onions & tomatoes in air tight containers for such emergencies!), cheese grated, eggs beaten and just as I was about to go ahead with the dish of my afternoon cravings, I changed my mind and what followed, culminated in a frittata !!

Ingredients :
Eggs - 2
Sausages - 3-4 (sliced)
Milk - 3-4 tbsp
Onions - 1 small - sliced
Tomatoes - diced - 1 small
Processed Cheese - 1 cube
crushed pepper - to taste
chopped green chilies - to taste / optional
chili flakes - to taste
Capsicum - 1 diced
Sweet corn kernels - a handful
Peas- a handful
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup chopped
butter/oil (I used butter!!!)
salt to taste

Procedure :
1. Beat two eggs. Add 3-4 tbsp of milk/milk cream and keep beating till fluffy. Add salt and pepper...beat some more. And keep aside

2. Switch on the oven at around 200 deg. F for 10-15 minutes, to preheat

3.In a frying pan, add some oil. Throw in the onions. Fry till light brown.

4. Fry the sausages with tomatoes and capsicum

5. Add the sweet corn kernels, peas and add the salt pepper, chili flakes & green chillies. Toss around once again in the pan.
6. With the spatula, spread the fried stuff evenly on the pan and pour the beaten egg+milk/cream mix. Tilt the pan to spread the egg evenly to cover all the veggies and sausages. Keep on low flame for the egg to set.

7. When the top is almost set (but not fully), sprinkle the grated cheese and continue to cook on stove top on low flame till the cheese starts to melt.

8. Transfer the pan (after removing the handle) to your preheated oven and cook on grill mode for 5 minutes. I like my cheesy fritatta tops soft, with the cheese melting in my mouth. If you like the top crispier and browned, keep it in the grill for some more time while monitoring it.

9. Garnish with chopped coriander.

I ate like a glutton....had almost 3/4th and suddenly remembered my little baby who loves eggs!
Dinner was a cakewalk with the fritatta and was over even before I could spell it out!!!

This can make a wonderful breakfast or brunch and can be packed in kids' tiffin. It can be eaten as it is (as I did) or with bread roll/slices or mashed potatoes!

Note : I used all the sinfully high calorie cheese, butter, milk cream etc was an indulgence I should not practise often!!! Using olive oil, low fat milk, crumbled ricotta cheese/paneer will definitely be a healthier and low calorie option!! But........

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A simple stir fry

This, I guess, is too simple a dish, to be posted.
But it tasted just great and my 4 yr old couldnt stop having it(which to me or for that matter, to any Mom, is the greatest compliment as a cook!) I thought...why not post it!!

Just a slight problem....there had been no photography session of ingredients, in-process activities and end product! I had to make do with clicking the leftovers!!

Here goes the recipe..

Ingredients : **
Button mushrooms - around 10-12, sliced
Cauliflower - 1 medium size cut into small florets
Sweet corn kernel - a handful
Peas - again a handful
Onions - finely sliced
Pepper corns - crushed
Garlic - 3 to 4 pods sliced
Cheese - 2 small cubes of processed cheese - grated
Oregano-chilli mix - a dash
Chili flakes - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil/ Butter

**-any vegetables like carrots, beans, brocolli, spring onions, capsicum etc etc & chicken pieces/sausages may be added to make it taste even better!

Procedure :
1. Slice the mushrooms after rinsing them well & patting them dry
2.Cut the cauliflower into medium/small florets and blanch them in salt water
3. Also blanch the sweet corn kernel & peas (I had used frozen ones)
4. In a wok pour 1 tbsp oil/butter. When hot, add the crushed pepper corns and sliced garlic.
5.When the garlic slices are golden in colour, add the mushrooms and sprinkle some salt. Fry in high heat till the water generated dries off and the mushroom is beginning to turn crisp. Keep it aside.
6.In the wok, heat 2 tbsp of oil/butter. Add the sliced onions and fry till they are translucent. Add the blanched cauliflowers and fry in medium to high heat. Add salt.
7. Throw the sweet cornkernels and peas into the wok and continue stirring. Add a dash of chili flakes
8.Add the fried mushrooms and stir it around a couple of times.
9.Now transfer the contents into an oven proof dish. garnish with the grated cheese and sprinkle a dash of the oregano-chili mix.
10. Put it in the Oven in grill mode for 7-10 minutes.(maybe less depending on the oven)

Enjoy !!!!

This recipe is off to 'Fast & Quick Healthy Dishes - Guest hosted by Kalpana Sareesh of Life with Spices, on behalf of Priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mouri Parshey

(Parshey Fish in a Fennel based gravy)

Parshey is SD’s favourite and everytime the fish is available in the Sunday Fish Market, it would be bought and brought home!
And on most occasions, I make it in the simplest method using kalojeera, shorshe bata etc et…
Today after having marinated (in salt & turmeric paste) for 5-10 minutes and lightly frying the fish, just as I was about to pour oil for proceeding with the gravy, I wondered why not try something different! I dug into my bookshelf and pulled out an almost unused book I’d bought years ago….. ‘Moner Moto Ranna-Sananda Sankalan(A compilation of recipes by Sananda…a Bengali women’s Magazine)
Searching for Parshey, I found an uncommon yet easy recipe where I had at home ALL the ingredients!
So here goes the recipe which was for 4 Parshey (I presume they were BIG sized ones). Since I had 500gm of small sized Parshey, I modified the quantities accordingly…..
Ingredients :
1. Small Parshey Fish – 500gm
2. Fennel paste – 2 tbsp ( I used 2 tbsp fennel seeds)
3. Green Chili paste – 1 tbsp (I used 2 long green chillies)
4. Ginger Paste – 1 tbsp
5. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
6. Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
7. Kashmiri chili powder – ½ tsp
8. Plain curd – 1 cup (160ml)
9. Salt – to taste
10. Sugar – ½ tsp
11. Tej Patta -2
12. Fenugreek (Methi) – ½ tsp
13. Dry red chili (whole) – 2
14. Mustard Oil – 4-5 tbsp
Procedure :
1.Tossed the cleaned fish in a tsp of Turmeric & pinch of salt and lightly fried them and kept aside
2. I used my small chutney jar to make a moist paste with the fennel seed & green chilli
3. I took the plain curd and added the fennel (mouri) + green chilli paste and other ingredients given at Sl.Nos 4-10 (of ingredients). Mixed the curd and masala to a smooth paste.
4. In a wok poured the oil and once hot, seasoned with Tej pata, Whole Dry red chilies and methi.
5. I added the curd & masala mix and fried it well till the oil had separated from the masala.
6. Added the fried Fish and sprinkled about ½ bowl of water. Covered it and cooked for abt 5 minutes (or till it comes to a boil) on medium flame. The gravy should be thick. Garnish with a few slit green chilies.
Serve it witn hot steamed rice!!!

This is my 2nd entry to the Blog event ''THINK SPICE:THINK TURMERIC", hosted for Nov '09 by Sudeshna of COOK LIKE A BONG and the Think Spice event is the brainchild of Sunita of Sunita's World .
The logo for the event is...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Reposting Old recipes for 'WYF:Speciality Food' Event

Being from Bengal, and having been brought up in a home where mother, grandmothers and aunts dished out gastronomical delights, especially traditional Bengali fares, all through our growing up years and till today, Bengali cuisine is the closest to my heart!

My blog too has a predominance of Bengali recipes. So when I chanced to come across this event announcement - WYF:Speciality Food hosted by EASY CRAFTS of Simple Indian Food- An Easy Cooking Blog, I was at a loss of which to post and which to leave out....

Here I am reposting three traditional recipes from my archives :

* A sweetdish which is almost synonymous to Bengal ....ROSHOGOLLA / RASGULLA

* A cool summer drink and an antidote to heat... AAM PORA SHERBET (A drink made of Roasted Mango Pulp)

* A dry vegetable dish made of Banana Stem or Pith...THOR CHHENCHKI

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shaboor Bada

(Saboodana Vada or Fried Dumplings of Saboo)

I love Saturday evenings...just the thought of a holiday the next day, makes my heart soar with joy! And hence, Saturday evening teatime demands a little more than the usual biscuits or muri-makhaa!
As I was sifting through the stuff that would add an extra zing to my leisurely evening tea, I found a packet of saboo dana, bought quite sometime back and forgotten!
Retrieving the poor little forgotten packet, I set out to make the simple yet tasty Shaboor Bada (Deep fried Dumplings/Vada made of Saboodana)
Ingredients :
Saboo dana - 250gms
Potatoes - 3 medium sized
Onions - 1 chopped
Tomato - 1 chopped (Optional..I didnt use)
Jeera/Whole Cumin seeds - 1 - 1.5 tsp
Green chillies-4-5 (or more) chopped
Ginger-freshly grated (I used ginger paste)
Salt/Rock salt - as per taste
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup -chopped fine
Oil for deep frying

Procedure :
1. Soak the saboodana in water for about 15-20 minutes. I dont like them too soggy/mushy hence depending on the quality, the soaking time may be less. Keep checking while you arrange the other ingredients.

2. Boil 3 medium sized potatoes in a pressure cooker.

3.Mash the boiled potatoes. Add all ingredients in the 'Ingredients' list except saboodana.

4.By now the soaked saboo is ready. Drain off the water and mix thoroughly with the mashed potatoes.

5. Divide into around 20-24 balls and flatten between palms of your hands.
6.In a wok, heat oil for deep frying. Deep fry the Bodas/Vadas/Dumplings in batches till golden brown.

7. Serve hot with any chutney or Sauce. I served with Kashundi (A traditional Bengali mustard sauce) and munch along with a steaming hot cup of tea!
The above post, is my entry for "Sunday Snack: Festive Snack of Navratri and Diwali" hosted by Indrani of APPYAYAN.

This recipe is also being sent to 'Fast & Quick Healthy Dishes - Guest hosted by Kalpana Sareesh of Life with Spices, on behalf of Priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes