Meat in Rich Onion Sauce Here is another Indian dish that seems pretty easy. It's called Shidumpukth Gosht or Do Piaza if you speak colloquial Bengali. It all boils down to meat in tons o' onions. Serves 4 and takes two hours to cook (you can do your laundry while the meat cooks). Ingredients: 2 1/2 lb onions 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 lb tender boneless meat 2 bay leaves 4 tbs oil salt to taste salt to taste 2 tbs lemon juice 2 tbs ground coriander 2 tbs chopped coriander leaves 1 tbs chili powder Directions: Finely chop 2 lb of the onions. Cut the meat into 1 1/2" cubes and rinse it, then drain and dry it on absorbent kitchen paper. Grease a heavy based saucepan with a little of the oil. Layer the onions and meat alternately in the saucepan, reserving enough onion for the top layer. Sprinkle the salt, ground coriander and chili powder on top of the final layer of meat before topping with the reserved onions. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook over very gentle heat for 1 1/2 to two hours until the onions are reduced to a pulp and the meat is tender. There is no need to add any water to this dish as the onions produce enough moisture. Remove the meat from the sauce and reserve both. Finely chop the remaining onions. Heat the remaining oil, add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and salt. Stir fry until the onions turn a rich golden brown in color, then add the cooked meat and cook and stir until the meat browns. Pour in the reserved sauce and lemon juice, and stir fry for a further two minutes. Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander leaves before serving. Give it a whirl and see what happens. It's MUCH easier than it looks. Trust me!
Maachher Jhal (Bengali Fish Recipe) From: email@example.com (amber) This is one of many fish recipes prepared in Bengal (India) where fish is a staple. This is a simple one which I tried out of memory after coming to the US and it came out pretty close to the original. Ingredients : 1 lb fish (preferably freshwater like carp or catfish with skin and bones cut into steaks 3/4'' thick) 1 cup mustard oil (this can be purchased at any Indian store) 1-1.5 tbsp mustard paste 2 tbsps turmeric 5-6 hot peppers Juice of 1 lemon Salt to taste Method: Smear fish pieces with 1 tbsp turmeric and salt and set aside for a few minutes. Heat mustard oil in a deep pan and fry fish lightly until golden yellow on both sides. Dissolve mustard paste , remaining turmeric and salt in 1.5 cups hot water. Slice hot peppers lengthwise and add to the mustard sauce. Add a few drops of mustard oil to the sauce. Bring sauce to boil in a saucepan and add fish to it. Simmer until fish is tender and sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat, allow to cool , sprinkle lemon juice and serve with white rice. Note 1: The mustard oil is quite essential as this is what gives the dish the tang. Also , it should be of good quality . Note 2: The mustard paste is best prepared fresh by crushing 4-5 tbsps mustard seed with water but prepared mustard can be substituted.
OH, CALCUTTA: COCONUT SHRIMP by Lon Hall This dish is adapted from "The Varied Kitchens of India" by Copeland Marks. Although it is a Bengali dish, from Calcutta, its complex mixture of hot and sweet flavors gives it a flavor much like the dishes of Indonesia. It is best made with very fresh shrimp, and it cooks astonishingly quickly. SHRIMP WITH COCONUT MILK AND CASHEW RICE 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon minced ginger root 1/2 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp 1 tablespoon oil 1 cup coconut milk 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red, pepper Salt Freshly ground white pepper 1 heaping tablespoon minced cilantro Cashew Rice (recipe follows) Saute garlic, ginger root and shrimp in oil in large skillet until shrimp turns pink, about 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, turmeric and crushed red pepper. Cook over medium-low heat 2 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked and liquid is hot. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over Cashew Rice. Makes 2 servings. Note: Do not use sweetened coconut milk designed for cocktails. Regular coconut milk is available canned in Asian and Hispanic food stores. Cashew Rice 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1/2 cup converted rice 1 cup chicken broth 1/4 cup sliced green onions 2 tablespoons chopped cashews Salt Freshly ground white pepper Melt butter in medium pan. Add rice and saute 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat until grains are glossy. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir in green onions and cashews. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Makes 2 servings.
SHRIMPS WITH MUSTARD From: Dave [firstname.lastname@example.org] Here is a Bengali speciality that features the taste of turmeric, without the other curry powder spices. 2 tablespoons ground mustard seed, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/4 cup mustard oil or any cooking oil 1 large onion, ground 1 1/2 pounds shrimps,. peeled and cleaned 1 tablespoon minced hot green chili peppers 1 teaspoon salt Make a paste of the mustard seed and turmeric with a little water. Add all other ingredients, cover and cook at the gentlest simmer until shrimps are full pink, 5-10 minutes, depending on size of shrimps. Makes 4 servings.
Bengali Bhat Payasa (Rich Rice Pudding) From The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi. Serves 4 to 6 2 Tbs. ghee or unsalted butter 1/4 cup basmati or other long-grain white rice, washed, drained, and air-dried 1/2 of a cassia or bay leaf (optional) 8 cups whole milk, or a mixture of 6 cups milk and 2 cups half-and-half 1/2 cup sugar or rock candy, pulverized 1/4 cup currants 1/2 tsp ground cardamom Enough pure camphor powder to cover the head of a straight pin (optional)* 1 Tbs. toasted charoli or pine nuts for garnishing** Heat the ghee or butter in a heavy-bottomed nonstick 5 quart/liter pan over moderate heat. Add the rice and stir-fry until it darkens one or two shades, then add the cassia or bay leaf and milk or milk-half-and-half mixture. Raise the heat to high and, stirring constantly, bring it to a frothing boil. (This will take about 15 minutes). Reduce the heat slightly and let the milk boil, stirring slightly, until it is reduced to about half of its original volume. Add the sweetener, currants, and cardamom, and reduce the heat to moderately low. Simmer, stirring attentively to avoid scorching, until the liquid is reduced to a fourth of its original volume. It will become thick and creamy. Stir in the optional camphor and cool to room temperature. The pudding will continue to thicken as it cools. If you prefer it chilled, refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve garnished with toasted charoli or pine nuts. *Camphor: pure edible camphor (kacha karpoor) is a crystalline compound that looks like coarse salt. It is from steam distillation of the aromatic leaves and wood of the evergreen tree _Cinnamomum camphora_ that grows in India and China. Extremely difficult to obtain in the U.S. It is *not* inedible synthetic camphor. **Charoli seed: nut-like seeds from the tree _Buchanania lazan_ . Available at Indian or Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Potatoes With Black Pepper (Bengali aloo) We take black pepper so much for granted, sprinkling tiny amounts on most foods without much thought. Apart from its taste, black pepper has a very enticing perfume and a delicate tartness as well. These properties are drawn out when the spice is used in generous amounts-as in the French steak au poivre or in these very Bengali potatoes. The dish is simplicity itself to make and may be eaten with European foods as well as Indian. You could also stick toothpicks into the potato pieces and serve them with drinks. Serves 4 5 medium potatoes 4 tbls veg. oil 3/4 tsp salt 1-1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (a slightly coarse grind is best) 2 tbls very finely chopped fresh coriander or parsley, optional Boil unpeeled potatoes and allow to cool completely. (Refrigerated day old boiled potatoes work very well for this dish.) Peel potatoes and cut into 3/4 inch dice. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium flame. When hot put in potatoes and stir around for a minute. Sprinkle in salt and mix gently. Cover and cook over medium-low flame for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add black pepper and mix gently. Cook, uncovered, for another few minutes over a medium flame, stirring now and then and allowing them to brown slightly. Sprinkle in fresh coriander. Mix and serve hot. (from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking)
Pumpkin blossoms: dipped in batter and deep fried Author: Shankar Bhattacharyya
Grind some purple mustard in a coffee grinder. Make a thick slurry with water. Add some fresh, finely minced hot pepper, preferably cayenne or Thai. Perhaps a pinch or two of salt. Use this slurry as a stuffing for the pumpkin flowers, spreading it on as you might use jam or jelly on bread. More than a shmear, perhaps a serious shmear. Fold the end over so as to keep the stuffing intact. Then dip the flowers in batter, and fry. You can deep fry this, or you can pan fry it in a more modest amount of oil. Eat. Be prepared to have the back of your head fly off. If you like, serve as a semi-major side dish, with rice and a simple dal. The pepper is for flavour, not for heat. Properly done, this is plenty hot on its own.
Bengali mango lassi Author: Ted Groszkiewicz [email@example.com] How about the classic Indian beverage called Lassi? I believe this is the original from which all smoothies spring. Lassi comes in two distinct varieties...sweet and salty. The salty version is really a foreign taste for the western palate!!! The basic recipe for a sweet lassi includes drops of rose essence instead of fruit, but our favorite is a classic Bengali mango lassi. I've never been to Bengal, but my friends from there say that literally hundreds of mango varieties are available there at this time of year. Here's how we make mango lassi..... You can use a blender for this though we use an appliance called the Asia Kitchen Machine. Take a ripe mango (i mean really ripe and a bit soft - fruity in aroma) and gently roll it on the countertop to pulverize the flesh inside. Carefully open the skin of the mango over a bowl and remove the flesh by hand - gooey!! The inside of the skin can be scraped with a spoon to remove strings of flesh, but do not scrape the pit or you'll get really tough fibers in the drink. Squeeze the pit in your fist and let the juice and pulp ooze into the bowl (did I say, "Wash your hands first?"); and repeat several times trying hard not to launch the pit across the room, but rather to get as much of the fruit into the bowl as possible. Next add 2 cups of yogurt, 1/2 cup good water and 3TBS of sugar to the bowl. Crush or shave a cup of ice in the appliance of your choice and add to the bowl. Pour the whole thing into the blender and whip, or use an electric mixer on the highest speed. The trick here is to incorporate as much air as possible to make a frothy drink. Vary the relative amounts of yogurt and water to vary the thickness of the final product
COUNTRY CAPTAIN From Madhur Jaffrey's Flavours of India - West Bengal West Bengal in eastern India is rich in fish from the rivers and an abundance of vegetables and fruit. Benglais tend to eat five meals a day - hardly surprising if they are all as tasty as this recipe. I have yet to find two explanations for the name of this that agree! But there it is, an Anglo- Indian name, however obscure, for an Anglo-Indian dish that may well have originated in Calcutta. It is delicious and easy to prepare, tending to disappear as soon as it is made. Serve with plain rice. COUNTRY CAPTAIN 3 in pice of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 5 garlic cloves peeled and coarsely chopped 1 small red onion roughly chopped 3 tbsp vegetable oil 1 medium-large red onion finely sliced One chicken skinned and cut into 2 in pieces 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 1/2 tsps salt 1/4 tsp sugar 1-2 tbsps white whine 2 large ripe tomatoes 5-6 fresh green chillies 2 green peppers cored, seede and finely sliced Put the ginger, garlic and onion for the paste into an electric blender. Add 3 1/2 fl oz water and blend to a fine paste. You may need to push the mixture down with a spatula from time to time to achieve this. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large wide preferably non stick pan or wok over a high heat. When hot, add half the sliced onion. Stir and fry for 2-3 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the chicken. Stir and fry for 8-10 minutes until browned. Reduce the heat to medium and add the paste from the blender, together with the cayenne pepper, salt, sugar and vinegar to taste. Stir and fry for a further 10-15 minutes until the chicken is tender. The spicy sauce should be thick enouth to coat the chicken pieces. Add the tomatoes, remaining onions, chillies and the peppers. Stir and fry for 3-4 minutes so that the flavours blend, but the peppers remain green and crisp. TIPS Cayenne pepper is often called chilli powder. Don't confuse it with the Mexican-style chilli powder that also contains cumin, garlic and oregano. The hot seeds of fresh chillies are never removed in India, but you may do so if you don't want their fiery addition to your dish. Always wash your hands well after handling chillies.
Bengal Curry of Lamb from: Joel.Ehrlich@salata.com (Joel Ehrlich) Yields 4 Servings 2 1/2 Lb Lean Lamb Shoulder 1/4 tsp Dried Mint, Crushed 1/4 Cup Butter 2 Cups Milk 2/3 Cup Onion, Chopped Fine 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (See Instructions) 3 Tbls Crystallized Ginger, Chopped 1/2 Cup Coconut, Grated 1/2 tsp Granulated Sugar 1/2 Cup Lime Juice 1/8 tsp Black Pepper, Ground 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream 2 tsp Salt 3 Tbls Curry Powder TO PREPARE COCONUT MILK: Remove the shell and the brown inner skin from the meat of a fully ripe coconut. Chop the meat (NOTE: you may substitute 1 cup of packaged shredded coconut for the chopped coconut meat). Combine the chopped coconut meat with one cup of scalded whole milk. Let stand for 20 minutes. Remove bones and fat from the lamb. Cut the meat into 1" cubes. Melt half the butter in a large, heavy pan. Add the onion. Cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to remove the onion. Set aside. Add the remaining butter to the pan. Brown the lamb cubes on all sides. Return the onion to the pan. Add the ginger, sugar, pepper, salt, curry powder, mint and milk. Mix well. Cover. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Add the coconut milk and grated coconut. Cover. Cook for 5 minutes. Gradually stir in the lime juice. Slowly blend in the cream. Cook over low heat (DON'T LET IT BOIL !) until the lamb is tender (10-15 minutes). Serve over hot, fluffy rice.
Alur Khosha Bhaja (Potato Skin Fry) From The Healthy Cuisine of India by Bharti Kirchner The potato skin is not only nutritious but tasty. Since many recipes require that potatoes be peeled, you often end up with a pile of potato skins. Rather than waste this nutritious food, try this delicious and unusual recipe. The aroma of chickpea flour and the crunch of poppyseeds make the fried peels a sensory delight. 1 tbl besan (chickpea flour) 1 cup firmly packed potato peels, cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths 1 tbl veg. oil (mustard oil preferred) 1 tbl white poppyseeds 1/8 tsp salt Dash ground red chili or cayenne pepper (or to taste) 1. Put besan in a paper bag and add the potato peels. Close the bag tightly and shake 8 or 10 times until peels ar evenly coated. 2. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium low flame. Add poppyseeds and saute until lightly browned, a few seconds. Add salt and red pepper. Add the peels and fry until medium brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly. (The peels will absorb the oil quickly, but continue to fry them.) Remove from heat. Serve hot or at room temperture. 2 servings
Shingara (Bengali Samosa) stuffing recipe Author: Shankar Bhattacharyya [firstname.lastname@example.org] Here is a regional implementation, from Bengal. We call it a shingara. It is, of course, the one true samosa. It will not taste like the samosas most people are accustomed to, but I cheerfully assert that this is no loss. Traditionally, one serves shingaras by themselves, without a chutney, which is regarded as gilding the lily. If you are accustomed to a chutney, you will probably want one. I don't have a useful recipe. I would suggest a tamarind based chutney, but retain the right to grimace at the very idea. I'll just provide a recipe for the stuffing: cooking oil 8 fl oz (to fry in; you don't consume all of it, but you do consume a lot of it) potato 1 large cauliflower 1 medium ghee 2 fl oz coconut 3-5 tbsp, fresh, peeled, chopped. This is optional, but if you use it, it must be fresh. Dried coconut is an outrage in this context, and the sugared stuff in supermarkets is a crime. cumin seeds pinch ginger 1-1.5 tsp, finely minced, fresh hot green peppers 2, seeded and chopped (or to taste); Thai, preferably green peas 3-4 oz by weight cayenne pepper 0.25 tsp, powder turmeric 0.25 tsp powder salt 0.5 tsp raisins 2-3 tbsp, preferably golden ground roasted cumin 1.25 tsp ground roasted coriander 1.25 tsp peanuts 1-2 oz, well blanched and chopped (optional, but nice) coriander leaves 1 tbsp, chopped (optional) Peel the potato, cut into small cubes, say 1/4 to 3/8" on the side. Chop the cauliflower so as to get pieces of the same approximate size as the potatoes. Heat the oil, and fry the potatoes till golden brown. Remove from oil, and set aside on paper towels to drain. Add the cauliflower pieces to the oil, and fry till almost cooked. Remove and set aside to drain, as for the potatoes. Heat the ghee. Add coconut, cumin seeds, ginger, green peppers, peas. Fry for about a minute. Add the fried potato, cauliflower, cayenne pepper, salt. Fry for a few minutes over medium heat. Add the raisins, heat covered till vegetables are done. If any excess liquid remains, uncover and heat till excess moisture is absorbed/driven off. If things get too dry along the way, sprinkle a touch of water. Add the ground roasted cumin and coriander, chopped coriander, and peanuts, mix well, and cool. Stay aware that the mixture is moderately fragile, and beating the hell out of it is not a good mixing technique. The potato and the cauliflower are supposed to be cooked through but still in distinct pieces. They will be a bit sticky but definitely not mashed. Also, go easy on the chopped coriander leaves. They are rather strongly flavoured, and are intended to accent the dish, not to dominate it. I usually skip the coriander leaves altogether. I'm not fond of them. A few comments: If ghee is a concern, use vegetable oil with a touch of ghee for flavour instead. The flavour will not be quite so without ghee but for many of us there are realities. The green peppers should be of the type one gets in the Indian stores. the flavour is important. Serranos are adequate. Thai peppers are a better idea. Go easy on the coriander leaves. I usually skip them altogether. Go easy on the peanuts and raisins. They should provide an occasional encounter, no more. Do not make this incendiary. It should be spicy, but should not pack a wallop, if I may get technical about this. A shingara is a dish with a complex and full-bodied, yet subtle flavour. It is not a chemical weapon. Incidentally, the finishing of the stuffing with the roasted cumin and coriander is a bit unusual, in that that mixture of spices is more common as a finishing step for chutneys and raitas. It is, however, substantially responsible for the very characteristic taste of a shingara.
Laoo Dhal Author: Paul Kent Oakley [email@example.com] Here's a zucchini recipe that takes a little more time than simple skillet-braised zucchini, though not much, and that makes a full meal if accompanied with brown rice: *Laoo Dhal*, a West Bengali dish, made there with white pumpkin rather than zucchini Heat in saucepan: 2T ghee (a fine vegetable oil if you are vegan) Add: 1 large onion, chopped 1/2t ground turmeric 1/2t cumin seed 1 hot red pepper 1 bay leaf Fry 1-2 minutes. Add: 1C red lentils (split lentils work wonderfully well for a dhal) 3/4t salt 1t sugar (jaggery is better) 2C water Bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add: 2C zucchini, cubed Stir to mix. Return to boil. Reduce heat again and cook covered. Stir occasionally. Cook until zucchini is tender and split lentils are cooked to almost puree consistency. (If using lentils which are whole, wait 5 minutes longer before adding the zucchini.) It doesn't take very long very long. Serve as a thick soup accompanied by flatbread. Or serve with (or over) brown rice. Delicious! And easy!
ALU PIAJER CHORCHORI ( dry curried potato and onion ) Author: Shyamala Parameswaran [U15297@uicvm.uic.edu] Ingredients ( to serve 4-6 ) 5 medium sized potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and the sliced into 1/8" pcs. crosswise. 4 onions cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thicker than normal. 2 tsp. turmeric paste. 1/2 tsp. chili paste. 4-6 green chilies washed and slit. Salt to taste. 2 tbsp. oil. 1/2 cup water or as required. Heat oil. When a blue haze appears, add potatoes and fry for several minutes until potatoes turn opaque. Reduce heat, add onions and continue to fry, stirring now and then for a couple of minutes more. Add the turmeric, chili paste and salt to taste, mixing thoroughly and keep frying. Add green chilies. The potatoes and onions should cook as much as possible in their own juices, but if the curry gets too dry, test to see how much cooking the potatoes need and accordingly add water a little at a time. The cooked dish is dry and therefore adding of water should be judicious. The curry is done when the potatoes are cooked and there is practically no gravy. This curry can be reheated before serving, and is a good accompaniment with rice, luchis, or porota.
BATI CHORCHORI ( dry mixed vegetables ) Author: Shyamala Parameswaran [U15297@uicvm.uic.edu] Ingredients ( serves 4-6 ) 200gms cauliflower florets. 100gms shelled green peas. 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed. 1 medium eggplant, cubed. 1 horseradish, peeled and cubed. 1/4 onion, minced. 1 tsp. turmeric paste. 1/2 tsp. chili paste. 2 tsp. mustard paste. 3-4 green chilies, slit. 4-6 tbsp. mustard oil. Salt to taste. This curry gets its name from the brass vessel ( bati ) in which it is cooked, so that the ingredients fit snugly in the bowl leaving just a one inch gap at the top. As a substitute, an aluminum or brass bowl with a tight fitting lid may be used. After cutting up all the veggies, wash them well and place them in the bowl. Add the mined onion, the masala pastes, and the green chillies. Add the oil and mix well after adding salt. Cover the bowl with its lid. Stir the vegetables occasionally over a medium-low heat, so they cook in their own juices withot any addition of water. remove from heat when the veggies are quite cooked and blended flavourfully with the spices. Any combination of vegetables may be used in preparing Bati Chorchori. This chorchori is a good accompaniment with rice.
SAJNEY DANTAR CHORCHORI ( drumsticks with vegetables ) Author: Shyamala Parameswaran [U15297@uicvm.uic.edu] Ingredients ( serves 4-6 ) 4-6 drumsticks, strung and cut in 3" lengths (these are a vegetable known as "phalli", canned ones may be used) 2 potatoes, scrubbed, halved, and sliced 1/4" thick, unpeeled. 12 1" pcs. red pumpkin with the skin on. 2 med. eggplants, halved and cut in 1" pcs., with the skin on. 1 horseradish, peeled and cut in 1" lengths ( optional ). 4 parwals scraped, split lenghtwise, and halved again (optional ). 1 onion, halved, sliced fine. 1/2 tbsp. turmeric paste. 1/2 tsp. coriander ( cilantro, chinese parsley ) paste ( optional ). 1 tsp. chili paste. 1 tsp. cumin paste ( optional ). 1 tsp. mustard paste. A pinch of panch phoran. 2 tbsp. mustard oil. Heat the oil in a heavy, deep vessel. Add the panch phoran. When the spice stops spluttering in the oil, add potatoes, horseradish, and the parwal. Stir- fry for about 5 minutes. Add the drumsticks and the salt, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add all the masala pastes, stir in. Add all the remaining veggies, stir and cover, cook another 5-7 minutes. Add half a cup of water, and simmer till all th veggies are cooked and well blended with the spices. there should be practically no gravy in the pan when this chorchori is done. This chorchori is best with rice.
BHUTTA (CORN ON THE COB) From: Tina Chaudhuri Ingredients: 1 corn cob 1/2 tsp. salt 1 lemon slice Method: Slice a lemon. Take a small bowl and pour salt into it. Rub salt over the lemon slice. Turn on the heat to high. Take a corn cob and hold it an inch above the burner. In two or three minutes you'll hear a popping sound. Keep turning the corn cob over and over till the kernels acquire a brownish black color. Rub the salt flavored lemon slice all over the corn cob and serve hot. Hint: If you can't stand cooking on high heat, use medium heat but note that the process will take longer.
Bengali Chickpea Curry From: Tina Chaudhuri (This dish is slightly different from the Punjabi "chole masale". It is closer to the Bengali "ghoogni") Ingredients: 1 15 oz. can chickpeas (approx. 400g) 1 15oz. can whole potatoes (approx. 400g), halved 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoonfuls oil 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (Jeera) 1 teaspoon ginger powder/ minced ginger/ ginger paste 1 teaspoon garlic powder/ minced garlic/ garlic paste 1 teaspoons chili powder (optional) 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 tablespoon tomato paste/ 2 tablespoonfuls salsa 2 green chillies/Jalapenos slit lengthwise (optional) Method: Heat oil in a frying pan or saucepan and fry cumin seeds and chillies/jalapenos(optinal) for half a minute, followed by ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add chickpeas, potatoes, tomato/slasa, salt, along with onion powder and chilli powder if required. Stir thoroughly to mix, and add a cup of water. Cover with a lid until done, about fifteen minutes on medium low heat. NOTE. This dish is very versatile and works as a snack, soup, appetizer or main course.
FRIED FISH From: Tina Chaudhuri Ingredients: 1 lb. fish fillets (catfish is best) 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder 1/2 tsp. ground mustard powder 1/2 tsp. chilli powder (optional) 1 tsp. salt in a salt shaker 1 tbsp. oil Method: Using a salt shaker sprinkle salt evenly on both sides of the fillet. Mix the turmeric, ground mustard and chilli powders and smear the mixture evenly on both sides of the fillet. Cut fillet into 2" pieces. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fish pieces on medium low heat, ten minutes on either side.
EGG CHOPS From: Tina Chaudhuri Ingredients: 2 eggs, boiled, shelled and halved 1 small onion, chopped 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 1/2 tsp. chilli powder (optional) Tomato sauce 8 oz. potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed 2 green chillies, sliced lengthwise (optional) 1 dozen sprigs cilantro chopped 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup bread crumbs 1 cup vegetable or corn oil Method: Place two eggs in a saucepan, pour enough water to cover the eggs and boil them on high heat for ten minutes. In the meantime, wash the potatoes, prick them with a fork and cook them in the microwave, two minutes on either side. If you don't have a microwave, quarter the potatoes and boil in water on high heat for ten minutes, like the eggs. While the potatoes are cooking, chop the onions, green chillies and cilantro, and beat one egg. By this time, the eggs and potatoes will be done. Immerse them in cold waterto make handling easier. Next, peel and mash the potatoes, and mix with salt, pepper, chilli powder, onions, green chillies and cilantro. Finally, shell the eggs and halve them. Turn on the heat to medium high and heat the oil in a frying pan. Coat each egg half with a half-an-inch layer of seasoned potatoes, dip the chop into the beaten egg, coat with bread crumbs and fry on medium high heat until the covering turns a light golden brown in color. Serve hot with tomato sauce. Note: The recipe requires a fair amount of time management, so follow the steps in the order outlined above. You can use instant mashed potatoes to speed up the process.
Bengali Moong Dhal Title: Bengali Moong Dhall Categories: Side dish, Indian, Vegetables Yield: 4 Servings 6 oz Split washed moong dhall 2 Bayleaves 1 tb Ghee 2 1/2 tb Dessicated coconut 1 ts Ground turmeric 3 Whole chillies (green) 1 ts Salt 3 tb Chopped fresh coriander 1 ts Ground cummin 1 1/2 tb Ghee or oil 2 ts Whole cummin Method Pick over the dhall removing the odd stone etc. Put into solid saucepan and heat dry over moderate heat, stirring ALL THE TIME with largeish metal spoon. After about 5 mins or so, the dhall will be smelling cooked and become well speckled with brown. Immediately, take pan to the sink, and pour in cold water to cover (kerboom!). Swirl around vigorously and tip out washing water. Add more water and repeat the washing process till the water runs away clear. Now add enough water to cover by 1 to 1 1/2in. (2.5 to 4 cms). Bring to boil, add 1 Tbs ghee, turmeric, cummin and bay. Turn down to low, cover and boil slowly. After about 10 to 15 mins the dhall should be parcooked - the grains are beginning to break up at the edges. Add the coconut, the chillies (just as they are) and the chopped fresh coriander. Continue to boil slowly, adding a little more water if needed. MAKE SURE that the dhall doesn't stick at the bottom. When cooked, add salt. Now heat ghee/oil in small pan. When very hot, add whole cummin. As soon as it begins to pop, pour into the dhall, stir and simmer a couple of minutes.
Rassogolla (Cheese Balls in Syrup) From: I. Chaudhary Queensland AUSTRALIA imranc@OntheNet.com.au Categories: Desserts, Indian Yield: 4 servings 300 g Paneer 175 g Ricotta cheese 350 g Sugar 1 1/4 l Water Rub the paneer and ricotta cheese with palm of your hand until smooth and creamy. Divide into 16 balls. Boil the sugar and water for 5 minutes over medium heat. Put the balls into the syrup and boil for 40 minutes. Cover and continue to boil for another 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold. Paneer (Home-made cottage cheese) 3.5 litres milk about 250 ml warm water about 5 Tbsp white vinegar 1.Bring the milk to the boil, stirring constantly, over a high heat. Remove from heat. 2.Combine the water and vinegar. 3.Slowly add the vinegar solution to the boiled milk, stirring with a wooden spoon. As soon as the milk curdles, do not add any more. (The curd and whey will separate.) 4.Place three or four layers of cheesecloth in a sieve and strain the curdled milk through them. Ties up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. Hang it up to drain thoroughly. Note: When adding the water and vinegar mixture to the milk, do not add more than necessary as this tends to harden the paneer.
Narkeler Payesh (Coconut Scented Rice Pudding) Rice pudding prepared with milk is more common in Bengal, but this coconut milk version, which is quicker to make, has a fragrant, sweet aroma. Since coconut has an affinity with fish, I often serve this dish after a seafood meal. Try as is, or arrange slices of fresh ripe papayas, bananas, or mangoes around the pudding. This dessert is best enjoyed soon after it is made. If allowed to sit for several hours, it will become dry. If that happens, add a little milk (or coconut milk), reheat, and serve. 3/4 cup Basmati or other fine long grain rice 1 1/2 cup water 2 Tbs. raisins (preferably golden) 2 Tbs. toasted cashews or slivered almonds 1 tsp. ground cardamom 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar 1 1/4 cups fresh or unsweetened canned coconut milk, stirred until evenly mixed Note: You can substitute a mixture of 1/2 cup coconut milk and 3/4 cup whole or 2% low fat milk Garnish: chopped raw pistachios 1.Bring rice and water to boil in a pan. Simmer, covered, until all water is absorbed and rice is tender, 20 or so minutes. 2.Add raisins, cashews, and cardamom. Dissolve sugar in the coconut milk and stir into the rice mixture gently, so as not to break the rice kernels. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered until the mixture thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly. Garnish with pistachios and serve. 6 servings (from The Healthy Cuisine of India by Bharti Kirchner)
Cham-Cham (Pleasure Boats) These milky-white ovals, floating in a clear sweet sauce, are irresistible. For the dumplings: Fresh cheese 1 tsp. regular Cream of Wheat 10 to 12 unsalted raw pistachios, chopped For the syrup: 1 cup sugar 4 cups water Flavoring: dash of rosewater (optional) 1.Make sure that the fresh cheese is well drained; too much moisture may cause the dumplings to crack as they cook. Place the well drained and well kneaded cheese on a board. Sprinkle Cream of Wheat evenly over the cheese and knead again to uniformly incorporate it. Let rest a few minutes. 2.Prepare the dumplings: Pinch off portions of the dough and roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Gently insert your little finger halfway into each ball, place 1 or 2 pistachio bits in the indentation, and reshape into a smooth ball that doesn`t show any cracks on the outside. Flatten into an oval about 2 inches long and 3/4 inches thick. ( Use any remaining pistachios for garnish.) 3.Make the syrup: Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a deep pan about 10 inches in diameter .. Boil for 10 minutes, then lower the heat. Place each ball on a spoon and gently lower into the syrup. Simmer, covered, 1 hour. 4.Transfer cham-chams and any remaining syrup to a large bowl. Let cool, then refrigerate for several hours or, for best results, up to 2 days. Sprinkle with rosewater and decorate with any remaining pistachios. Makes about 20 cham-chams. (from The Healthy Cuisine of India by Bharti Kirchner)
Rasmalai 2 quarts milk 1/4 cup lemon juice 3 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar 5 whole cardamom pods 1 teaspoon fine grained semolina 3 to 4 drops rose essence 1 quart half and half 1/8 teaspoon cardamom seeds 1 tablespoon shelled, unsalted pistachios Make the chena with the milk and lemon juice according to the directions in the preceding recipe with this difference. Hang up the milk curds for 2 hours instead of 1/2 hour. Knead thoroughly. Make a ball and set it aside. Put the 3 cups of sugar, 6 cups of water, and the cardamom pods in a deep 9 1/2 to 10 inch skillet or saute pan. Bring to a fast simmer over a medium flame. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, turn the heat to low and let the syrup simmer gently for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Flatten the ball of chhena and add the semolina as well as the rose essence to it. Knead for 5 minutes, making sure the semolina and rose essence are well mixed in. Now make 20 crack-free balls, rolling each with just a little pressure between the palms of your two hands. Bring the syrup to a simmer over a medium flame. Drop the balls into the syrup. Bring to a simmer again. Adjust the heat so the syrup simmers gently for 5 minutes. During this period, move the balls around and turn them over occasionally, using a very gentle touch. Make sure you do not damage the balls. Turn the heat up and bring the syrup to what might be described as a furious simmer. The syrup should look like a mass of tiny moving bubbles, but it should never boil over. Sprinkle the balls with 2 tablespoons of water, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. During this period, the balls should swell up. Uncover, sprinkle the balls with another 2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook, simmering furiously for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the balls to an empty bowl. (the syrup can now be discarded. ) Pour the half and half over the balls and let them soak in it for 3 hours. Take the balls gently out of the half and half with a slotted spoon and put them in another bowl. Pour the half and half into a skillet or saucepan and boil it down until you have about 2 cups left. Turn off the heat. Crush the cardamom seeds finely in a mortar and mince the pistachios. Add the crushed cardamom, the minced pistachios, and the one tablespoon of sugar to the reduced half and half. Pour this half and half over the chhena balls. Allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and serve cold, as a dessert along with the creamy sauce. (from Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking)
Jelebi (Deep Fried Batter Sweets) Categories: Desserts, Indian Yield: 4 servings Batter 2 c Plain flour 1/2 c Rice flour 7 g Fresh compressed yeast or 1/2 t Dried yeast 1/2 c Lukewarm water 1/4 t Saffron strands 2 T Boiling water 1 T Yoghurt Vegetable oil for frying Syrup 3 c Sugar 3 c Water 1 T Light corn syrup Rose essence to flavour 1 1/2 t Liquid orange food colouring Sift the flour and rice flour into a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast on the warm water in a small bowl, leave to soften for 5 minutes and stir to dissolve. Put saffron strands in a cup and pour the boiling water over. Leave to soak for 10 minutes. Pour dissolved yeast and saffron with its soaking water into a measuring jug. Add tepid water to make up 2 1/4 cups. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add the measured liquid to the flour and beat well until batter is very smooth. Add yoghurt and beat again. Leave to rest for 1 hour. Batter will start to become frothy. Beat vigorously again before starting to fry jelebis. (While batter stands make syrup and leave it to become just warm). Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan and when hot use a funnel to pour in the batter, making circles or figures of eight. Frying, turning once, until crisp and golden on both sides. Lift out on a slotted spoon, let the oil drain for a fews seconds, then drop the hot jelebi into the syrup and soak it for a minute or two. Lift out of the syrup (using another slotted spoon) and put on a plate to drain. Syrup: Heat sugar and water over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Raise heat and boil hard for 8 minutes; syrup should be just thick enough to spin a thread. Remove from heat, allow to cool until lukewarm, flavour with rose essence (about 1.2 tsp of good quality essence is sufficient) and colour a bright orange with food colouring. *Jelebis are coils of crisply fried batter with a rose-scented syrup inside the coils. How the syrup gets into the coils is a mystery unless you do some research on the subject. This is a traditionally festive sweet. (Moghul custom)
|Sutapa Ray Last modified: Fri Mar 17 16:31:44 MST 2000||Back to the Recipe Index|