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 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. 

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 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.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Grilled Veg Masala Sandwich

  Posting a breakfast recipe after long time here. Grilled Veg Masala Sandwich it is.......................

Sandwich has become staple in every Indian households long ago because they take relatively less time to prepare and also very filling and could be very healthy if you can use whole-wheat bread. But it sometimes get boring, eating everyday the same type of sandwich. The key is to make it versatile by using different ingredients everyday to make it interesting for each day. Kids get bored quite easily but the Masala Sandwich I'm going to share today, it's never get boring. You need boiled potato, few cucumber and tomato slices and off course few slices of bread.
You can use any type of bread for this sandwich, but healthier option always will be whole-wheat breads.You can grill them on an electric sandwich maker or you can toast it on a flat tawa.

You Need :
Breads : 4 slices
Tomato : 1, medium, cut into round slices
Cucumber : few round slices

For Aloo/potato masala or filling :
Potato : 2, medium, boiled
Onion : 1, small, thinly sliced
Tomato : 1, small
Green chilli : 1, chopped
Ginger : 1/2", grated
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 1/2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves : a little, chopped

How To :
  • Cut cucumber and tomatoes in thin rounds. Keep aside. Now let's make the potato masala. For that, take oil in a pan, add sliced onions and saute them. When they change color, add chopped tomatoes, green chillies and ginger. Saute again till everything mashed up well. Now add turmeric and chilli powder, mix. Now add boiled and mashed potato in the pan. Mix with the masala well. Season with salt. Add some chopped fresh coriander leaves, mix well and saute for a minute further. Remove from pan and let the potato masala cool a bit before we put inside the sandwich.
  • Take 2 bread slices, add butter/margarine on one side of each bread. If you are making the sandwich on electric sandwich maker, first put one slice of bread with butter side down. Spread 2 big spoonful of potato masala evenly on that bread. Arrange cucumber and tomato slices on top of potato masala. Now cover it with another slice of bread with the butter side facing up. Grill for 1-2 minutes till bread turns slightly brown. Cut diagonally from the center and serve.
  • If you are making the sandwich on tawa, them put one slice of bread butter side down, spread 2 big spoonful of potato masala evenly on that bread. Arrange cucumber and tomato slices on top of potato masala. Now cover it with another slice of bread with the butter side facing up. Toast the lower side first, then flip to the other side and toast till bread turn golden brown. 
  • Your sandwich is ready....have it with tea or coffee or serve it with some tomato Ketchup.

 So, try it you friends and let me know how it is.............................

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Potato-Brinjal Sabji with Capsicum (Aloo-baingan Sabji with capsicum)

Eggplant/Brinjal and Capsicum goes hand in hand....I love both veggies and try to combine these two in many ways and it goes very well as a side dish with rice or roti for dinner. I tried adding some potato in this eggplant-capsicum curry. Without potato also, it tastes well. Everybody at home liked it, too. Even I make Baigan Bharta with bell pepper some time.


Ingredients :
Eggplant/Baingan/Brinjal : 2 (medium)
Capsicum/simla mirch/bell pepper : 1 (chopped)
Potato : 1 or 2, (medium-cubed)
Onion : 1 (medium-chopped)
Ginger : 1 piece (1"), minced
Tomato : 1 (medium-chopped)
Green chilli : 1 or 2 chopped)
Cumin seeds(jeera) : 1/2 tsp.
Mustard seed : 1/2 tsp. 
Curry leaves : 5-6 nos.
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander powder : 2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 2 tblsp.
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :
  • Cut eggplant and bell peppers in medium size pieces. Fry eggplant in little oil until brown. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, temper with cumin and mustard seeds, when the seeds begin to crackle, add curry leaves and green chillies, stir few times. Then add onions and saute until it is transparent. Add turmeric, chilli and coriander powder and add little water into the spices. Stir for few seconds.
  • Then add chopped tomatoes, stir and allow to cook until tomatoes get soft and mushy. Add bell pepper, fried eggplant and potato. Add salt to taste and mix well. Add very little water(about 1/3 cup). Put a lid on the pan and allow the veggies to cook on a medium low heat.
  • When veggies are cooked and water evaporates, mix well and remove from heat. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with roti/rice, anything of your choice.............

Try this sometime and let me know if you have liked it !!!!!!!!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Kurkure Kakrol Bhaja (Crispy Teasel Gourd Fry) ~ A Monsoon Delicacy

Teasle gourd or Kantola or spiny Gourd is available across most parts of India during monsoons. It has tiny spines all over its body and that is why it has got its name as “Spiny Gourd”. Some may know it as kekrol, kakrol, bhat korola, kartoli or some other names, but one cannot deny the health benefits of this vegetable. It belongs to the bitter gourd family but is not as bitter in taste even with the skin on. It keeps your stomach in good shape during the monsoons.

Kantola is a great health food as it is rich in proteins and iron and is low on calorie. It contains only 17cal/100g. It’s high in fiber and anti-oxidants and thus very useful for easy digestion. It keeps your stomach in good shape during the monsoons by reducing the infections caused and controlling constipation. The phytochemicals present in Kantola or teasle gourd help in promoting the health. The high phenolic content of Kantola makes it a very good antioxidant and promotes cleansing of the body. Carotenoids like Lutein present in this vegetable helps in prevention of various eye diseases, cardiovascular diseases and even cancers.

All plants of the Momordica or bitter gourd family are very effective in controlling diabetes. Hence, this vegetable helps in lowering blood sugar and controlling diabetes.  Since Kantola is mostly available during monsoons, it must be used regularly to keep seasonal cough, cold and other allergies away. It exhibits anti-allergen and analgesic properties that provide relief from cough and cold and also prevent it.   [Info. source :]

In Bengal, Kakrol as we call it, is a beloved vegetable by all because it is very delicious in taste. There are many delicacies which are prepared with this vegetable. Today I'm sharing the simplest one. I'll share more in future. Today's recipe is called, " Kurkure Kalrol Bhaja" where kurkure means crispy and Bhaja means fried, so it is crispy fried teasel gourd with a tempering of poppy seed and dry red chilli, which gives it the awesome taste. Let's move on to the recipe....

You Need :
Kakrol/Kantola : 6-7 pcs.
Poppy seeds : 1 heaped tblsp.
Dry red Chilli(whole) : 1
Green Chilli : 2, slitted from middle
Besan/chickpea flour : 1 tblsp.
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.Oil : 1-2 tblsp. (depends on the quantity of the vegetable)
Salt to taste

How To ::
  • Wash the gourds, well. Do not scrape out the skin. First cut into thin slices in circular shape and then cut from the middle. Try to cut as thin as possible to make it crispy. 
  • Heat 1 tblsp. oil in a pan, temper with dry red chilli. When red chilli turns dark, add the poppy seeds, wait for a few seconds. When they start to crackle and turns a shade darker, add the sliced teasel gourd slices. 
  • Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder. Lower the flame to medium and saute the vegetable. Cover with lid and let it cook, stir time to time. It doesn't take much time.
  • When vegetables are cooked, take the lid off, add 1/2 tblsp. more oil and increase the flame. Keep stirring. The veges will start to turn brown and crunchy. Add chickpea flour, all your excess oil will be absorbed and veges will also turn crispy and crunchy. 
  • Keep stirring them till you feel it is done. 
  • It tastes yummy with rice and dal(lentil) combo. 

Try it !!! Let me know !!! 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

My 500 th post :: Plum Tart with Ricotta Cheese Filling and Topped with fresh Plum and almonds

This is the 500th post on my blog and it has to be special something. wow, what a milestone., I am feeling really happy that I could share 500 recipes on this blog. And wish to continue and reach to another milestone sometime soon. Thanks for all the support and love from all of my visitors, readers and blogger friends who were always by my side showing their support someway or other.

       So, today's recipe is a baking recipe as I love to bake. I love tarts and I make quite often at home but this time I have baked with Plums, a not so common fruit in India but nowadays readily available in all the supermarkets.

Plums, also known as Stone fruits, are juicy and delicious fruits that belong to the genus Prunus of the Rosaceae family which also includes peaches, apricots, and nectarines. They exist in diverse colors and shapes with over 2000 different varieties. Plums contain an assortment of healthy components, vitamins and minerals. They have no saturated fats and an excellent source of vitamins such as vitamin A, C, folate and vitamin K.  They are also a good source of vitamin B1(thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B-6 and vitamin E. The minerals present in them include potassium, fluoride, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. They also supply dietary fiber and offer very low calories without any harmful fats. In Short, Plums are beneficial for
  • Maintaining healthy skin
  • Beneficial during pregnancy 
  • Effective in treating digestive disorders
  • Boosts immunity, heart health and bone health
  • Improves sleeps, concentration and appetite
  • Helps treat obesity and diabetes
  • Prevents Cancer
This tart recipe I found in a baking book and was really easy-to-make and taste delicious with a up of coffee or tea.

You Need : {Makes 12-15 servings}
For Pastry :
All-purpose Flour(APF) : 1 and 1/4 cup
Sugar : 1/3 cup(powdered)
Baking Powder : 11/4 tsp.
Butter : 75 gms./1/2 cup
Egg : 1, slightly beaten

For Filling :
Butter/margarine : 3 tblsp.
Sugar :1/2 cup, powdered
Ricotta Cheese/Paneer : 1 cup
Cornstarch : 1 tblsp.
Egg : 1
Milk : 2 tblsp.
Lemon extract : 1 tsp.
Plum : halved and pitted(deseeded)
Almonds(whole) : 12-15

For Topping :
Butter : 2 tblsp.(melted)
Sugar(powdered) : 2 tblsp.
Cinnamon(ground) : 1/4 tsp.
Blanched almonds : 1/3 cup

How To :
  • Preperation :: 1) Soak Almonds in hot water for about 1/2 an hour. Then you can easily peel out the skin of it. 2) Cut Plums into halves, take out the seeds and keep aside.
  • To make pastry :: In a medium bowl, blend flour, baking powder and sugar. Add butter in it and mix with flour mixture till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat the egg slightly and add in the flour crumbs and toss until mixture binds together and form a dough. Pat or press dough into an ungreased tart pan(dough is enough for a 7" tart pan). Prick pastry with tines of a fork. Preheat your oven to 180 degree C and bake for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. 
  • To make filling :: In a medium bowl, beat butter or margarine and sugar until creamy. Beat in cornstarch and milk. add ricotta cheese/paneer, egg and lemon extract. Here I have used Paneer instead of ricotta cheese. Just crumble the paneer and add in the bowl. Beat until blended. When baked pastry is cool, Spread filling over it. Arrange plums, skin-side down, in a floral pattern over the filling. You can arrange any way you want. Then place a whole almond over each plums. Slice rest of the almonds in thin slices. in preheated oven (in 180 degree C, bake the tart for 30 minutes or till browned. 
  • To make topping ::  Remove the tart from oven, drizzle butter over plums. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and sliced almonds. Sprinkle over the plums.

  Serve with a cup of Coffee or tea and enjoy the deliciousness 

Sending this Plum tart  to Kolkata Food Bloggers' ongoing event, "Summer Fruit"