Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chicken Do Pyaza

   Murgh Do Pyaza/Dopiaza is an unique kind of chicken dish which has its origin from Afghanistan and now a part of Mughlai cuisine and very popular not only in India but also in abroad due to its unique taste. It is one such vibrant and spicy dish one can not get tired of eating and it gets along so well with roti, naan or Parathas. According to the legend the dish was created, when a courtier of Mughal emperor Akbar who was from Afghanistan, Mullah Do Pyaza accidentally added a large quantity of onions to a dish. The dish evolved further in Hyderabad, India, and became a staple of Mughlai cuisine.
Here is my Paneer Dopyaza recipe from my blog.


   DoPyaza is a style of preperation where double the amount of onions are used and also onions are used in two ways in the curry, that's why this preparation is named Do (two) Pyaza(onion).This dish is brilliant blend of sweet, sour and chilli where double the amount of sweetness of onions are balanced out using the tangy element - tomato and yogurt. You do not much spice to spike the taste, onions, tomato, green/red chilli and yogurt do all the magic in here. Though there are many versions available in the web, but this is the most basic and popular recipe of all, which need very few ingredients and taste so well. In restaurants, chefs usually add fresh cream at the end, but I prefer it without it.
I have posted Paneer Do Pyaza recipe, try that too. 


You Need :
Chicken : 750 gms. [whole chicken/drumsticks]
Onions : 4, medium[ cut 2 in slice and 2 in big cube like chunks]
Ginger-garlic paste : 2 tblsp.
Tomato : 2, medium, pureed
Green chilli : 2-3, sliced lengthwise
Cumin seed : 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2-3 tsp.[ to taste]
Cumin Powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander powder : 2 tsp.
Yogurt/curd : 2 tblsp.
Garam masala Powder : 1 tsp.
Oil : 2-3 tblsp.
Fresh mint and coriander leaves for garnishing : a handful

How To :
  • Puree the tomatoes and cut the onions as mentioned above. Beat the yogurt and keep aside. Cut the chicken in bite size pieces if using a whole chicken, marinate them with 1 tblsp. ginger-garlic paste, salt, 1 tsp. oil and little turmeric and red chilli powder. Keep aside for at least an hour.
  • Heat oil in a pan, temper with cumin seed, add sliced onions in there and adding 1 tsp. of salt, saute the onions till they turn light golden in color. In there, add rest of the ginger-garlic paste and sliced green chillies. saute for another2 minutes, then add pureed tomatoes and saute till teh oil seperates.
  • Mix all the powdered spices except garam masala in the yogurt and mix in the onion-tomato gravy in the pan. Cook till spices cook well and separates. Add marinated chicken and cook with the spices for 3-4 minutes. Lastly add garam masala and 1 cup of warm water into the pan. Check the seasoning, if needed add some salt.
  • Cover with lid and let it cook till chicken is done. In between, add the onions we cut in chunks, in the gravy and half of the fresh mint and coriander leaves. Let it cook till chicken are cooked well. Gravy can be adjusted according to your liking, thick to semi-thick.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with rest of the mint and coriander leaves.

 This recipe is so perfect for winter chill nights, make it little spicier and enjoy !!!!






Saturday, November 4, 2017

Aloo Paratha (Indian fried flatbread stuffed with spiced potato)

     Aloo Paratha, The most popular and beloved Punjabi paratha recipe which has won millions of hearts of Indians and also foreigners just simply by its taste. It is a staple breakfast dish not only in North India but also among other parts of Indian people.What makes these parathas so appealing is the tasty filling of potatoes flavoured with onions, ginger, green chilli, tomato and some tangy spice powder like amchur or dried mango powder or just with simple lemon juice.

   The stuffing is very easy-to-make but rolling of the parathas is little tricky. This dish is so complete by itself that you don't need anything with it or just with pickle or curd or ketchup is enough to fell in love with it. My kids love them with ketchup. I think there is nothing much to say about it, so let's move on to the recipe ...


You Need :

For the Dough :
Whole-wheat flour : 2 cups
Salt : a pinch
Oil (any white oil) : 1 tblsp.

For the stuffing :
Potato : 2, big
Onion : 1, small, sliced/chopped
Tomato : 1, small, chopped
Ginger paste : 1 tsp.
Green chilli : 1-2, finely chopped
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Red Chilli powder : 1-2 tsp.(as per taste)
Cumin Powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander Powder : 1 tsp.

Amchur/dry mango powder : 1-2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 1-2 tsp.
Cumin/ajwain seed : 1 tsp. [for tempering(optional)]
Chopped fresh coriander leaves

Ghee/oil for frying the parathas


How To ::
  • Making Dough :: At first, mix the flour with salt and oil for couple of minutes. Then add enough water(lukewarm) to bind the flour and make a soft dough. Cover and rest the dough for 15-20 minutes.
  • Making the stuffing :: First, boil the potatoes till just done, do not overboil the potatoes. Cool and mash it well. Now heat 1-2 tsp. oil in a pan, temper it with cumin or ajwain seed(you can also omit the tempering), when seeds turn brown, add sliced or finely chopped onions. Let it change its colour, then add chopped green chillies and tomatoes.
  • When tomatoes softens, add all the spice powders and ginger paste, mix well and add mashed potatoes in there. In medium heat, saute the potato mixture till there is no moisture left and everything mix up well. Season with salt. Lastly you can add some chopped coriander leaves if you want. Stuffing is ready, keep aside.
  • Rolling Parathas :: Now knead the dough once again and make equal sized balls from the dough. Take one ball at a time and on a dusted flour, roll it out into a small circle. Place 1 big tblsp. of stuffing, sprinkle little flour over the stuffing(this helps in rolling the parathas and prevents it from breaking while you roll further) and then gather all the sides and make a ball again. Tips :: the quantity of stuffing depends on the size of the dough ball you make. Do not put much stuffing.
  • Now again dust the floor well, carefully spread the parathas little at a time. Tips :: Do not press too hard while rolling, then stuffing will come out from inside. Make other parathas similarly.
  • Frying the Parathas :: Heat a tawa, place a rolled out paratha on the tawa, let it cook a little from both sides without adding oil/ghee, then brush oil/ghee on both sides and fry till they are golden brown. Tips :: Fry the parathas in medium heat, otherwise parathas will turn hard.


Enjoy and fall in love with it !!!!!!! Bon Apetit !!






Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mutton Rogan Josh ~ A Kashmiri Delight

Rogan Josh is an aromatic lamb dish of Persian origin, which is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine and is one of the main dishes of the Kashmiri multi-course meal (the "Wazwan"). The dish was originally brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, whose cuisine was in turn influenced by Persian cuisine. The unrelenting summer heat of the Indian plains took the Mughals frequently to Kashmir, which has a cooler climate because of its elevation and latitude. [Info : Wikipedia]


Roughan or Rogan means Clarified butter/ghee or oil in Persian, while Josh means to stew or braise. Rogan Josh, by its definition means stewed or braised in ghee or oil. Rogan josh thereby basically is braised lamb chunks cooked with a gravy based on browned onions or shallots, yogurt, garlic, ginger and aromatic spices (cloves, bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon, jawitri etc.). Its characteristic brilliant red color traditionally comes from liberal amounts of dried Kashmiri chilies that have been de-seeded to reduce their heat, these chilies are considerably milder than the typical dried red chillies of Indian cuisine. While the traditional preparation uses whole dried chilies that are de-seeded, soaked in water, and ground to a paste, non-traditional short cuts use either Kashmiri chili powder (available in Indian stores) or a mixture of paprika (predominantly) and cayenne pepper, adjusted to taste. In India, rogan josh is often made with goat meat instead of lamb, since genuine lamb is less available than goat meat. There is a variety with beef as well. 

Traditionally, Rogan josh is slow-cooked over a longer period of time on low heat, but this slow-cooking is not always a great option when you have less time in hand. I tried another adaptaion of recipe which came out really well and I enjoyed it and guarantee you all will like it too. You do not need much ingredients for this dish and it gives an aromatic meat dish which goes very well with roti, paratha or rice. 


You Need :
Mutton : 750 gms.
Onions : 3 large, thinly sliced
Tomatoes : 3 medium, blanched, skin removed and pureed 
Ginger-garlic paste : 3 tbsp
Yoghurt/dahi :  1 medium cup 
Fried Cashew nuts : 100 gms(made into a paste with a little water)
Coriander powder : 1 tbsp.
Kashmiri Red Chilli powder : 1 tbsp.
Cumin powder : 1 tbsp.
Shahi Garam Masala powder : 1 tbsp.
Ghee : 2 tblsp. 
Oil :2 tblsp.  
Salt to taste

Whole Garam Masalas to temper :
Black peppercorns : 7-8
Black Cardamoms : 3
Green Cardamoms : 4-5
Cinnamon sticks : 3-4 (1" piece)
Cloves : 4-5
Bay Leaves : 3-4
Mace/Jawitri(whole, not powder) : few strands



How To :
  • Prep 1 : Wash, drain and marinate the mutton pieces with salt, 1 tbsp. of ginger-garlic paste and 1 tblsp. of yogurt. Keep aside for an hour. Prep 2 : Roast cashew nuts on a heated tawa till they are lightly brown, cool and make a paste using little water. Prep 3 : Blanch tomatoes till they are soft, remove the skin and make a puree. 
  • Heat oil and ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan, lower the flame and temper with whole garam masalas (do not let them burn) one by one, when they start to splutter, add sliced onions. Saute till they start to change color. 
  • Add marinated mutton pieces in there and saute on high heat for 5 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste, reduce heat and add the coriander, chilli, cumin powder and 1/2 of garam masala powder. Saute for 2 more minutes, then add cashewnut paste, tomato puree and saute till oil separates.
  • Add 3 cups of water and let it cook till mutton is done. You can cook mutton on the same pan, it will take time, or you can pressure cook the meat also, which I have done to save my time. What I do, I pressure cook the mutton till they are just done, then pour the meat with gravy to the previous pan again and cook for another 20-25 minutes or till they are nicely cooked. This way, meat gets cooked quickly and flavours also goes inside the meat and it also saves a lot of time. 
  • Whisk the yogurt, add to the mutton. Add rest of the garam masala into the gravy. As soon as it starts boiling, remove from heat.  
  • Serve garnished with chopped coriander.
Serve with anything of your choice - Veg Pulao, Reera Rice, Roti/Chapati, Paratha or Naan. You'll love this royal dish anyway.................Bon Apetit!!!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Two Bengali Shapla(Water Lily stem) Delicacy : Shapla'r Ghonto & Shapla'r Bhyala(a fritter)

 

  Water lily or Shapla is an aquatic plant which has round disc-like leaves and it floats on water. It is native to southern and eastern parts of Asia and they are national flower of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Its flowers have long tuberous stalks and stand high above the water level. The flowers come in violet-blue, purple, mauve or fuchsia coloured but white colored water Lily is mainly available in Bangladesh and India. It grows abundantly in water bodies like pond, small lakes but because of its beautiful flowers it is considered as an ornamental flower too. 


    In Bengal, eastern part of India and in Bangladesh, the water lily or shapla flower stalks are used as a vegetable and are made varieties of delicacies with it. Even flowers are eaten as a fritter. It is very healthy just like taro roots or kachur loti. It is full of iron and other healthy minerals. You can find this all year round but during monsoons they are found in abundant.
    I'll share two recipes using shapla or water lily stalks today, one of them I found in my blogger friend Sayantani's blog, "A Homemaker's Diary". 1) Shaplar Bhyala, a raft shaped fritter with water lily stalks and 2) Shapla Ghonto, which I cook very often, where stalks are blached, mashed and cooked with mustard paste which has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian version. 

Imp. : The water lily stems/stalks are very long and tender and cooks very fast. How to Cut the stalk/stems: you have to take out the fibrous skin from the stalks. For that, Just slit a small part from the thick end of the stalks and pull it down to remove the fibrous skin all along the stalks. Then cut into desired sizes.


Shapla'r Bhyala(Water Lily Fritter)
A raft(bhyala) shaped fritter with water lily stalks, dipped in mustard seed paste and then in a rice flour batter, fried till they are soft but crisp.

You need :
Water lily stalks/stems : 4-5 nos.
Mustard paste : 1 tsp.
All Purpose flour : 2-3 tblsp.
Rice Flour : 4 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Green chilli paste : 1/2 tsp.
Nigella/black cumin seeds : 1 tsp.
Baking soda : 1/4 tsp.
Oil for deep frying or semi-deep frying

How To :
  • Take out the fibrous skin of the flower stems or stalks as mentioned before. Then cut in 2-21/2 " long pieces. Try to cut all in same sizes.
  • Arrange the cut pieces side by side and insert a toothpick through the center and give it a shape of raft[refer the pic]. Prepare the others same way and keep aside.
  • Now make the batter for frying. Mix flour, rice flour, nigella seeds, a pinch of turmeric powder and salt to taste, add enough water to make a thick consistency of batter. Just before frying, add baking soda. 
  • Prepare another mix, by mixing mustard paste, green chilli paste, a pinch of  turmeric powder and a little water. We will dip the raft first in this mix and then in flour batter.
  • Heat a frying pan, add enough oil for semi-deep frying, dip one raft in the mustard paste and then in flour batter, coat well and drop it in the oil. Do it 2-3 at a time. Fry till they are nicely fried from both sides. Rest fry in similar manner. 
  • Enjoy as a side with rice and dal.


Shapla'r Niramish Ghonto
A mashed up shapla stems are tempered and spiced up with mustard paste.



You Need :
Shapla stems : 3-4 nos.
Black Chickpea/kala chana/chola : a handful
Black Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp.
Mustard ssed : 1 tblsp.
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Green chilli : 1-2
Salt to taste
Mustard oil : 1 tblsp.
Sugar : 1 tsp.

How To :
  • Prep1 : Soak the black chickpeas in water overnight or in boiling water for 4-5 hours till they are soft. 
  • Prep2 : Take out the fibrous skin of the flower stems or stalks as mentioned before and cut the stems as mentioned in other recipe. Wash and in a bowl of hot water, blanch them for 10 minutes or until cooked. When done, drain and let them cool. When stems are cool, mash them well and discard all the moisture.
  • Prep3 : Make a paste of mustard seed, 1 green chilli and a pinch of salt. Add 1 tblsp. water to it and keep aside.
  • Cooking : Heat oil in a pan, temper with black cumin seed and 1 slitted green chilli. Now add soaked black chicken peas and saute for a minute in the oil, now add mashed shapla stems into the oil. It will leave more moisture. 
  • When moisture evaporates, add turmeric powder and salt and saute some more. Then add mustard paste and sugar into it. Keep stirring. Season with salt if needed and mix everything well. You can add a little water if you think it needs to cook a little more otherwise no need to add water.
  • Remove form heat. Enjoy with hot rice.
  • For a non-veg version, you can add fried small prawns or fried and crushed fish head into it. It tastes divine with shrimps. Just add after all the moisture from shapla is evaporated in the pan. Check this link for non-veg version.





Sunday, September 24, 2017

Narkel Diye Cholar dal ( Bengali Style Chana Dal with Coconut)


     

     This dish needs no introduction. It is yet another famous Bengali lentil dish which is known to all. It is yet another famous Bengali lentil dish which is known to all. Chana dal which is also known as Bengal Gram or Yellow Split lentil cooked and tempered with selective spices which makes it irresistible to ignore. 
     This dish holds a very soft corner for all Bengalis and therefore it is cooked during any special occasions and off course during festive days. Durga Puja or Navratri is here and I'm cooking all the traditional dishes these days and that reminded me that I havn't posted this dish yet on my blog and here comes the post. Don't know why I havn't posted this here. But this dal is cooked very often in my house as it is my hubby's favorite dal. The most favorite and to-die-for combo with this dal is Luchi but sometimes I love with paratha, too.
    This dal is cooked without any onion and garlic and thereby it's perfect during festive days. You can cook this without coconut too but you know, coconut never fails to upgrade any dish. This dal is no exception and Bengalis can't think of chana dal without coconut. 



You Need : 


Chana dal(Yellow Split dal/Bengal gram) : 200 gm.
Bay leaf : 1
Cinnamon stick : 1 (1 inch)
cardamom : 2-3
Cloves : 3
Dry red chilli : 1
Fresh Coconut : 1/4 cup, chopped
Green chilli : 2 (Slitted)
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp.
Ginger, grated : 1 tbsp.
Turmeric powder : 1
Ghee : 1-2 tsp.
Oil : 1 tbsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp.



How To :
  • Soak chana dal in hot water for 2-3 hours. In hot water it gets soft faster than normal water.
  • Cut coconut in small pieces, then chop them in small tiny pieces.
  • Pressure cook the dal adding little salt and a tsp. of turmeric powder for about 5-7 minutes. Chana dal tends to cook very fast. Mash the dal with a spatula, but partially.
  • When oil is enough hot, add the coconut pieces in oil, fry for 2-3 minutes but do not let them change the color. Remove and keep aside. In the same oil, add ghee. When hot, add dry red chilli, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and lastly cumin seeds and green chillies. When all these get brown and cumin seed crackles, add 1/2 of the finely grated ginger. Stir for a minute and then pour the mashed dal.
  • Wash the pressure cooker with 1/2 a cup of water and pour the water in the pan. Add fried coconut pieces. Season with salt and add the sugar.  Mix it well and let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
     
     You can serve it with luchi or with paratha. It tastes equally good but with luchi/puri it tastes a wee bit better, I confess. Try for yourself and conclude. 


 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Ilish Macher Aloo-Begun-Kumro Jhol(Hilsa fish Curry with potato, brinjal N pumpkin)

 

   It's monsoon and there won't be one Hilsa recipe on the blog of a Bong girl..is not fair, right? Yes, I thought so and I am going to share a very simple and lovable Hilsa recipe today. Even I have done an extra special photo-shoot with the hilsa fish this year.
   If you know any Bengali, you must have heard about Ilish(Hilsa), sometime from their mouth. Bengalis love fish, but their love for Hilsa/Ilish is in some another level. Wondering why, because of the very distinctive taste this fish has. It's said that no part of this fish is wasted, as all its part, i.e., fish oil, fish row, fish head, everything is so tasty. Hilsa fish is also very nutritional in respect to other fish. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and contains lots of health-beneficial minerals like calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

   Today I am sharing a simple but very popular recipe of Aloo-Begun Diye Ilish macher Jhol i.e., a thin curry of Hilsa fish with brinjal and potato but I add few pumpkin pieces too in the curry and my family love it very much.


   So here is my version of Aloo-Begun-Kumro diye Ilish Macher Jhol

You Need :
Hilsa Fish : 3-4 pieces
Potato : 1, medium, cut lengthwise
Brinjal : 1, medium, cut lengthwise
Pumpkin : 7-8 pieces, cut in medium sized chunks
Green Chilli : 2-3, slitted
Black cumin or nigella seed : 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 1-2 tsp.
Cumin powder : 1 tsp.
Red Chilli powder : 1 tsp. or to taste
Tomato : 1, small, finely chopped
Oil, preferably mustard oil : 1 tblsp. + oil for frying the fish



How To ::
  •  Apply some salt and turmeric powder allover the fish pieces and keep aside for at least 30 minutes. Heat 1 tblsp. oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces. While frying, fish will leave lots of oil as hilsa fish contains a lot of fat. After frying, do not throw the oil. Cool and enjoy the fish oil with hot rice. Usually, we do not intake the oil in which we fry fish but this fried hilsa fish oil is very tasty and very nutritional.  NOTE :: do not fry hilsa fish for long time, the taste will detoriate, fry till they are light brown in color.
  • For making fish curry or jhol : Heat 1 tsp. oil in a  pan, add the potato, brinjal and pumpkin pieces and saute for couple of minutes and remove from heat. Now add another 1 tsp. oil in the same pan, temper with black cumin and slitted green chillies. When they start to sizzle, add tomato pieces. 
  • In a bowl, take all the powdered spices and 2 tsp. of water, mix and add this spice mixture to the pan. Saute for couple of minutes and then add sauteed potato, pumpkin and brinjal slices. Mix with the spices and saute for another 1-2  minutes.
  • Now add 1-11/2 cup of water into the pan. Season with salt and cover the pan with a lid. Let it cook in medium heat. When vegetables are half-cooked, add the fried hilsa pieces into the curry. This is a curry based dish that means there must be enough fish curry or macher jhol left when you remove the dish from heat. But its upto you how you like your fish curry, thick or thin. But for this dish to enjoy fully, I can vouch that a medium consistency curry is best. 
  • ENJOY WITH FRESHLY COOKED HOT WHITE RICE. THAT'S ALL YOU NEED FOR A MEAL WITH THIS CURRY.







Friday, August 25, 2017

Cheesy Basil Pesto Pasta


 In the last post, I shared the recipe of Basil Pesto with Almonds(with no added cheese). And I promised to share the pasta recipe I made using the basil pesto. Though at first I thought to prepare some pesto pasta without any cheese, but I had to give in as my daughter was really keen to have something cheesy that day and I thought to prepare some cheesy Pesto pasta. And the outcome was so delicious, I was patting my own back for my decision to make a cheesy pesto pasta.
Here you can find the recipe of Basil Pesto (below is the pic of pesto) and here goes the recipe of cheesy pasta.........


You Need ::
Pasta of your choice 
Basil Pesto : 1/2 cup
Garlic : 3-4 big cloves(finely chopped)
Milk : 1/2-1 cup
All-purpose flour : 1 tblsp.
Cheese(mozarella) : 2/3 cup(grated)
Salt and Black pepper to taste
Oil (Olive/white oil)/butter : 2 tsp.


How To ::
  • Cook the pasta in a pot full of boiling water with little salt and oil added till al dante. Drain and keep aside.   
  • Heat oil or butter in a pan, add chopped garlic. Stir for a minute, then add flour and stir continuously  for a minute and don't let the flour burn. Now add milk in there and with a wire whisk stir continuously to avoid lumps to form.
  • Add grated cheese in there and continue stirring in medium heat till cheese melts completely. Add basil pesto in there. Now add cooked pasta and mix well in the cheesy sauce.
  • Add salt and black pepper to taste. Remove from heat when you have desired consistency of sauce.
  • Your cheesy pesto pasta is ready to serve.

Enjoy !!!!! Bon Apetit !!!!!





Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cheese Free Basil Pesto



    Basil leaf is a wonderful herb, also known as Great basil or King of the herbs or Royal Herbs, because it has many uses not only in cooking, but also in natural medicine and many more. Basil is native to India and many South Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Malayasia, Vietnam, Taiwan, etc. Depending on the species, the leaves may vary in taste from strong, pungent till sweet. Basil is also prominently used in Italian cuisine which is more sweet in taste than pungent. 

    In my locality, it is very unlikely to get Sweet Basil but I was so lucky to have few packs of fresh basil few days back in a newly opened supermarket. My blogger buddy Chandrima of Not out of the Box has posted a Basil Pesto recipe at the same time, too. So, I was sure that I am going to try her recipe as it was quite tempting and super healthy too of addition of nut in there and without any cheese. Usually, most recipes available for basil pesto is with cheese, I loved her cheese free version and followed the recipe as it is. But I couldn't control my temptation over cheese and made a cheesy basil pesto pasta with my cheese-free pesto. I'm going to post the pasta recipe soon just after this. Head over to her page for many wonderful recipes and tempting food photos. 


Now to the recipe................

You Need ::    [ Yields 1 cup of pesto ]

Basil leaves : 2 cups
Almond : 1/4 cup
Garlic cloves : 2-3 (big)
Extra virgin Olive Oil : 2-3 tblsp.
Salt to taste

How To :
  • Tear out the leaves from the stalks. Wash in cold water first and then dip the leaves in a pot full of boiling water for 5 minutes. This way you can disinfect the leaves. 
  • Now, take a food processor or blender. Add almonds first and pulse until a coarse powder forms. Now, add basil leaves and garlic pods and pulse till they are blended well. Add oil and salt and blend till a smooth paste forms. 
  • Basil pesto is ready to savour.
You can have this with crackers, on toasts or make pasta with it. Choice is yours. 



Caution ::
1. You can refrigerate the fresh basil leaves but it doesn't stay fresh not more than a day or max. two.
2. Do not use the wilted leaves in pesto. It may alter the taste of pesto.



I'll post the pasta recipe soon...so visit this page again soon for a yummy cheesy pasta recipe.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Kashmiri Wazwan Festival in Hyatt Regency Kolkata

One of the finest 5-star business hotels in Salt Lake, Kolkata, Hyatt Regency has organised a Kashmiri Food Festival or Specifically saying a Wazwan Food festival from 2nd of this month till 15th of this month. The beforesaid festival is happening at their Indian restaurant, Guchhi, under the supervision of Executive Chef of Guchhi, Uttam Dey and his team.


      Kashmiri Cuisine is very unique and very different from rest of the North Indian Cuisine. Kashmiri cuisine which uses mostly exotic spices like, Nutmeg, Jaitri, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves, Ratan jot, Saffron and many more, distinguishes itself from rest of the Indian Cuisine. These spices makes the Kashmiri food very mild but tremendously fragnant. The chefs of Hyatt follows the authentic way of making the dishes and brings exotic spices from Kashmir itself to bring out the authenticity of those dishes.

 
        Chef Uttam Dey
    My group, Kolkata Food Bloggers got invitation to preview some of the Dishes they are going to serve for the festival and I was there to represent my group. I am very much satisfied after tasting these delicacies. All of them were equally good. Chef and his team need a big round of applause for such an elaborate and varied menu and serving such an unique Cuisine of India to the people of Kolkata.
     They have designed the menu for both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian eaters. All the dishes will be from a-la-carte(from the menu, not any buffet), but they have set a Veg and Non-veg. thali menu too for the festival.

 A Non-veg. Thali consists of seekh kabab, Gustaba, Rogan josh and many more with a naan and Kashmiri Pulao/rice.


Now, at first in the appetizers, they served us a Non-veg and a veg Seekh Kabab. Both were good but as a non-vegetarian, I liked the Non-veg seekh Kabab or Waza Seekh Kabab more. It was juicy and crunchy and just as spicy it should be.

 Non-veg Seekh Kabab

Veg. Seekh Kabab

     In the side dishes we're served, Kashmiri Dum Aloo and Rajma Masala, both were extremely well-prepared. Dum Aloo is a must-try for both veg and non-veg eaters. Tomato Paneer was a bit spicier side for me but tasted really good, a must try for vegetarians. All the vegetarian side dishes tasted really good with both Naan and Kashmiri Pulao they served.



      In Non-veg., Kashmiri cuisine's famous Gushtaba is there. Gushtaba is a dish of minced mutton balls cooked in curd and spices. This traditional Kashmiri dish is prepared in important ceremonies and functions. Minced mutton balls were soft, juicy and velvety and tasted quite good. Tabaak Maaz or the fried mutton ribs which needs a special mention as a non-veg. side dish. It was really nice and I'm totally recommending this to all. Not to forget Kashmiri speciality, Mutton Ragan Josh which is a must if you're trying Kashmiri Cuisine and they have a delicious Rogan Josh in the menu.




     All the dishes were accompanied by a very simple tomato-onion salad in Kashmiri style.


     After veg and non-veg side dishes, the jewel of Kashmiri Cuisine, Kashmiri Mutton Biriyani came to the stage. The biriyani was mild but pretty fragnant and mutton pieces were succulent, allover a great dish and recommendable. They also served a Gucchi Biriyani, cooked with a mushroom named Guchhi, it was quite tasty and it is one of the signature dishes of the restaurant(even restaurant named after this biriyni). Both the biriyanis were good.


        In dessert, they have served us a very famous dry fruits Dessert of Kashmir - Shufta. Though quite heavy as it is loaded with dry fruits but quite tasty and finally loved the peach flavoured frozen dessert which has ice-cream like texture. Totally in love with the dessert, served on a bed of sweet vermicelli.


Who doesn't know about the famous Kashmiri Kahwa tea and Hyatt is serving that too in this festival. Kahwa tea, is nothing but green tea infused with a range of spices including cinnamon and cardamom, and served with a touch of saffron. After a heart-warming meal like this, you need a sip of this soul-soothing drink for sure, which will make your meal a memorable one, I guarantee.


Verdict :: Overall a very good experience and totally recommending everyone who love to try authentic cuisines. It is an event which should not be missed. This Wazwan Food festival is only for dinner and prices of each dish ranges from 250-900 rs.