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Doi Begun


3-4 Japanese eggplants
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 onions, sliced finely
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
8 oz plain yogurt
a little water
1.5 teaspoons salt
pinch of chilli powder
pinch of garam mashla
pinch of ground corriander
Oil for frying


  1. Cut the eggplants into 1/2 inch thick slicesRub the turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of salt on the slices of eggplant, allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Heat oil in a skillet of frypan and fry the egplant slices until brown on both sides and cooked (just as you would for begun bhaja). Set aside. Now fry the sliced onion on medium-low heat until golden brown (8-10 mins). Set these aside too.

  2. Roast the cumin seeds, allow them to cool and them crush them or grind them into a powder. Add the rest of the salt and the cumin to the yogurt and beat it, adding a little water (about 4 Tablespoons) to it to make it considerably thinner. When it is uniformly mixed set aside.

  3. Now take a serving dish and arrange the fried eggplant and onions in alternating layer (it is nice if you start with a layer of eggplants and finish with a layer of onions on top). Pour the diluted yogurt mix on top of the dish evenly. Garnish with chilli powder, corriander powder and garam mashla. Serve chilled.
Serves: 4 people
Serving ideas: This dish goes exceptionally well with any Biriyani.




10-12 kochus, peeled and diced
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bunch fresh asparagus, also diced
2 whole dry red chilies
1 tablespoon panch phoran
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon corriander powder
salt and sugar to taste
5 tablespoons of cooking oil hot water


  1. In a large pan or wok heat the oil. Break and add the chilli peppers to the hot oil followed by the panch phoran.

  2. When the panch phoran beging to sputter, add the vegetables. Stir-fry the veggies for a couple of minutes and the rest of the spices except the salt and sugar.

  3. Stir-fry for 5-6 mins until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and then add the salt and sugar, stir some more.

  4. Add 2 cups of hot water and bring to boil on high heat, keep boiling uncovered until all veggies are slightly overcooked and of a thick, slimey consistency. Add more water during cooking if necessary but the final dish should be dry.
Serves: 6 people
Serving ideas: Plain boiled rice and dal.


Papar-er Tarkari


2-3 jhaal papars (papadoms)
2 medium sized potatoes
1 teaspoon kala jeera
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon corriander powder
salt to taste
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1 to 1.5 cups hot water


  1. Peel the potatoes and dice them into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the kala jeera.
  3. When the kala jeera sputters add the potatoes, stir.
  4. Add all the ground spices and stir fry for 5 mins on medium heat.
  5. Stir in the salt and add the water, bring to boil.
  6. Now fold and break each papar into 6-8 pieces.
  7. Add these papar pieces to the boiling curry.
  8. Cook until potatoes are done.
Serves: 3-4 people
Serving ideas: Serve as a side dish with plain rice and omlette.


Doodh Lau


1 medium sized lau (white/bottle gourd)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 whole dried red chilli, crushed
4 tablespoons milk
a pinch of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
4 tablespoons oil


  1. Peel the lau, throw away the seeded part in the center and finely chop up whats left.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and crushed chilli.
  3. When the cumin begins to sputter add the lau, stir-fry for several minutes.
  4. Stir in the flour, then the salt and sugar.
  5. Add the milk, bring to boil and cook on low heat, covered, until done.
Serves: 3-4 people
Serving ideas: With plain rice and dry chicken curry.


Murgir Dom


2 cornish hens
1/2 a lemon
10 small new potatoes
1 large red onion
2 inches of ginger, peeled
6-4 cloves of garlic
2-3 green chillies
6-8 tablespoons of mustard oil
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Bengali garam mashla
3/4 teaspoon chilli powder
3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon corriander powder
Salt to taste
hot water
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Skin the cornish hens once they have thawed completely. Cut each hen into about 10 pieces. You may also add the neck, liver and heart. Wash the meat thoroughly and drain, add the juice of half a lemon and let sit for at least 1 hour.

  2. Peel the potatoes but keep them whole, they shouldn't be more that 1.5 inches in diameter. Slice one third of the onion, dice the rest and put it in the blender along with the ginger, garlic and green chillies to make a smooth paste.

  3. Heat the oil in a large based pan and fry the bay leaves and garam mashla. Add the sugar and the sliced onion and fry until onion softens. Now add the potatoes and fry them in the oil for 5-6 mins. Take the potatoes out and set aside.

  4. Now add the onion-ginger-garlic-chilli paste and stir fry til all the water has evaporated from it. Add all the spices except the salt and stir for a couple of minutes.

  5. Add the chicken and fry in the spices until evenly coated and then fry some more (5 mins). Now cover the pan, turn down heat and allow to cook for 20 minutes, stiring occasionally.

  6. Next add the potatoes and the salt, stir and then cook the same way until the potatoes are done. You can add upto a cup of hot water when adding the potatoes. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro.
Serves: 6-8 people
Serving ideas: Serve with fried rice and raita or with roti.

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