Monday, July 9, 2018

Birthday of a foodie and Broccoli recipes

Happy birthday to you.....Happy birthday to you...Happy birthday happy birthday... Happy birthday to you...birthday song for the birthday week; me , mother-in-law and brother-in-law Banjit, cut our birthday cakes, had tasty foods and enjoyed the gifts.

Our birthdays are always special for us, but how much are we crazy for the day? Just answer this simple questions: Do you start counting days one month prior to your day? Do you wish yourself at midnight by making birthday card? Does all your close people get annoyed with your birthday countdown? If your answer is YES, give me a high five. I am crazy for my birthday and credit goes to my Dhaligaon mama (Dhaligaon is the place where he used to work).

My birthday is in july, which used to be summer vacation (it used to be heavy rainy season) time during student life, which means I used to celebrate at home without worrying about classes and homeworks. But there was never a fancy cake on my birthday because: 1st- during my childhood, there was no cake shop in my hometown; 2nd- my Dhaligaon mami used to bake for me. Their house was 1.5hr journey from our place. Mama and mami used to bring cake for me till my high school, every year. Once, it was raining very badly; my ma told, I would bake a cake for you, your mama wouldn't be able to come in this weather. I was waiting near the window, I told, mama would come with my cake. Within 10 mins, I saw, mama and mami coming, in his scooter, wearing raincoats. When they entered our house, they were fully drenched. But I was jumping because my birthday cake arrived on time. That was the love from my mama and mami. Every birthday, while cutting cake, I will fondly remember mama. He kept promise to a small kid in that harsh weather and the kid learned the value of trust. He made me realize, how special my birthday was. And I fell in love with my birthday celebrations. Love you mama.

This year also I made a big deal about my birthday. I am glad that my hubby darling and my friends (Juhi, Utham and Henu) made the day special. Surprise gifts started coming from the (birthday-annoyed) hubby, one week before my birthday.

Birthday card from my 3months old baby 

Gifts from hubby

Whereas my friends came on the day, with baloons and homemade cake and dinner. Utham made a lovely yummi choco cake and some mouth-watering foods. Juhi brought the Kheer (which my ma prepares on every birthday, like a tradition) and dum-aloo.

The cake by Utham
Friends and foods

Gift
More gifts



My baby also behaved those two days: 2nd July (mother-in-law birthday) and 3rd July (mine), so I was able to cook. Foods of 2nd July were simple, as my mom-in-law liked.

Foods
    
Cake & gift







We had in lunch: bhaat, potol bhaja, paneer broccoli, broccoli bhaji, mishti kumror chhakka, daal (plain rice, fried pointed gourd, paneer with broccoli, broccoli stir fry, pumpkin stur fry, daal).

3rd july was my day and I don't know to have a simple birthday food(guilty!).

Cake and lunch
Dinner and baloons

As you can see, there was plenty of food. Lunch was: bhaat, potol posto, palak pata bhaja, pasta chingri mach diye, chaal kumro aar mishti kumro bhaja, macher dim bhaja, daal (plain rice, pointed gourd with poppy seeds, spinach fry, prawn fettuccine, fried ash gourd and pumpkin, fish egg fry, daal).
We had pancakes in the evening.
Dinner: Veg fried rice, chhole, paratha, fish, rasmalai.
Also there was foods from friends.

So the my birthday was spent well, with two cakes, loads of gifts and lots of food. That's the birthday of a foodie.



Here is today's recipe for two of the birthday foods, fried ash gourd, spinach and pumpkin, veg fried rice and broccoli stir fry. For the recipes of rest of the foods, I will update soon. OK, not soon, because I am struggling with my baby daily, to make habit of sleeping at night; so during day tome, I need to play, dance and talk with him, so that he doesn't fall asleep.

FRIED ASH GOURD, SPINACH & PUMPKIN:

Ash gourd and Pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cleaned, cut in long and thin strips ( you can cut in shape as per image).

Spinach leaves, whole, washed and soaked in water.

For the batter:
Rice flour
Turmeric powder
Kashmiri Chilli powder
Salt
Water as per thickness requirements
Oil

Mix all the ingredients for the batter. If you don't have rice flour, you can uae gram flour or all purpose flour. But rice flour add the crunchiness in the fries, also it is healthier than other two types of flour.

Kashmiri chilli adds a vibrant red color in the yellow batter ( which we get after adding turmeric powder). It is very mild spicy.

The batter should not be too much thick; you should be able to coat the pieces of the vegetables, but there should not be thick layer on it.

Once batter is ready, heat oil in a heavy and deep bottomed kadai. Once it is completely heated, dip the pieces of vegetables inbthe batter and deep fry in oil. Keep the flame medium. Once the color of the fries become light red in both sides, take it out and enjoy eating crunchy fries.

Ash gourd & Pumpkin fry
Spinach fry




BROCCOLI STIR FRY

Broccoli 200gm, cut the broccoli florets in 2 pieces, dont make it much small; soak in boiled water for a few minutes.

Potato 1big or 2medium, cut in strips of size as per broccoli; 

Onion 1medium, thin sliced
Chilly 2 or more as per your taste
Salt, oil, onion seeds and turmeric powder.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Keep flame low. Add onion and chilly. Once onion turns light red, add broccoli and potato. Saute. Add salt and turmeric powder. Saute properly. Cover the pan. Keep on checking and keep stirring after 3/4 min. Once broccoli and potato becomes tender, you can increase the heat once vegetables turn brownish, you can transfer the content into a bowl. Enjoy with roti or rice.



VEGETABLE FRIED RICE

Biriyani Rice 2 cups (washed and soaked in water for 15mins, mixed with 2teaspoon refined oil and salt). This will help to make the rice non-sticky.

Broccoli 200gm, cut the broccoli florets in 2 pieces, dont make it much small;
2 Carrots, thin sliced
15/16 French beans, cut the beans into 1inch pieces.
Peas 1 cup
Green chilly 2
Coriander leaves, chopped, handful for garnishing.
Ghee 2 tbspoon
Onion 1 big, peeled, chopped in small square shapes.
3 tbspoon barbecue seasoning
Ghee 2 tbspoon


Cook the soaked rice in a pressure cooker. You will need 3 cups of water to cook rice. Put the flame in high, one whistle and immediately turn off the heat. Let the gas pass and open the lid. Sread the rice in plate. You need to make it completely cool, otherwise while making the layers for biriyani, rice will become soggy.

Soak the vegetables in hot water for 5minutes. Now in a thick bottomed kadai, heat oil. Add chopped onions chilly. Saute. Once onion turns brown, add the vegetables and salt. Cover and Stir fry in between until the vegetables become soft. Add cooked rice, seasoning and salt if required. Increase heat and saute a few sec. Add ghee. Mix rice and vegetables carefully and slowly, without breaking the rice. Have the fried rice with veg curry or chicken curry.



That's all for today. Typing this post from last 3days. Finally finished in a hurry, otherwise it might not get posted tonight. See ya all. Good night. Hope you like the recipes and the post as well.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

3-in-1 Fruity Punch and memory lane

Mamma mamma; I heard my baby's 1st words and I saw his white tooth. I was surprised to see such cute, white and small tooth of my 1.5 month old baby. Mammaaaaaaaa......

I need to feed him, 1:25AM. I checked his mouth and nope nothing, that was a dream. Yeah, my husband was smirking like you, when he heard me. It was third time I had this same dream. So, I had to know what was the dream telling me. So Googled it (many of you may have this same habit) and there were many interpretations for this dream. Many new-moms had this similar kind of dream. There, that time, one similarity I found. All of them (who had this dream), were having baby of 2weeks to 2months and all were 1st time mother; which means we all were sleep deprived, not sure whether taking care of baby correctly and anxious. So lack of sleep and anxiety were the demons ( or I should say, two lovely things) which caused the dream.

With all your blessings, my baby has completed 3 months, without any teeth, till now.

I am sharing this old dream with you all, because, again my nights are sleepless (not able to lie down) till 2AM. It seems baby is going through his sleep regression period, the period when his sleeping habit is going to change. But, how much painful itbis, these are the days we will remember in future, our memories. By the way, lack of sleep has delayed my post this time.

As I was saying about making memories, today's recipe, which is a dessert, each ingredient brings me childhood memories. I have used three ingredients for this tasty, fruity dessert: mango, watermelon and mishti doi/sweet curd (a bengali special).

Mangoes are the summer friends. After our half-yearly exam, we used to get summer vacation, 1month and 15days. My baba used to buy mangoes not by weight but in crate. He used to bring a full crate. My mamabari (maternal uncle's house) is next to our house and during summer my chhoto mashi (youngest sister of my mother) used to come to mamabari with my cousin bro Rotu. We used to play, scream, break things and create havoc in our houses. Rotu was my partner in crime, now a total grown up and a father of a lovely-naughty boy Tojo. So mangoes = summer vacation + Rotu time.

Rotu and me;

The next thing to add in the dessert glass was Mishti Doi or sweet curd. Any bengali menu is incomplete without Rosogolla and Mishti Doi. During wedding seasons, I miss the food, or more precisely the style of food. The food which used to be served in weddings, during my childhood, were of similar pattern; rice, brinjal-dipped-in-besan fry, mug daal, one sabji, one fish curry, chicken/mutton curry, chutney, rosogolla and Mishti Doi. So Mishti doi always brings me the memory of weddings.

The third and the last one is watermelon. This fruit we used have a lot during summer. But with the name of this fruit, one image comes in front of my eyes: watermelon plants near the river of my Didivaai's (elder sister, my cousin) in-law's house. Her in-law's house is in Mathabhanga, a place in West Bengal, Cochbihar. The house is near a big river. Whenever we used to visit her, generally summer vacation time, I will check these plants. I was so surprised to see, for the 1st time, growing so many watermelons  in such weak plants; I used to think those big fruits grew in big trees; Poor and Stupid me!

So, the journey to memory lane, explained the ingredients for today's recipe, which I say, 3-in-1 fruit punch.


Things to make this punch:

For 4 people

1 big ripe mango, peeled and cut and made smooth thick paste

200ml sweet curd, thick

Half watermelon, cut, deseeded, made juice.

Mint leaves for garnishing, optional.

You can see there is no added sweetener. So the calorie conscious people, if you are, can enjoy this dessert.


Make the fruit juices one day before. Keep it in freezer overnight in separate closed containers. 2 hours before serving, take out the baxes. The juices will become hard like ice. Using a spoon, stir it properly. Keep again in freezer.
After 2hours, take out theboxes. Open and mix the pastes, again. Now assemble in a tall glass.
Pour 2 spoons of mango paste. Then add 3 spoons of sweet curd. Now fill the glass with watermelon juice. You can top it with 1spoon of curd and mint leaf, if you like. You may add dry fruits also.  Enjoy!
You can adjust the amount of the fruit paste and curd depending on the size of layer and size of glass.



Being a new mom, I shouldn't take cold foods. So I take the dessert after 3hours, once it is not too cold to have. Mixing all the layers, gives an awesome taste. Try it!

Next time will come with a new story and some recipe. Till then, take care and bye!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Paneer biriyani and a mother's love

Hello there!
Here I am, as promised to myself, of being regular in my blog. Your good words, have encouraged me a lot, in writing more; more than just a recipe.

It is a story about the journey of a girl to become Mother. She loved to dance untill the music stoped, loved to eat untill heart was full, loved to travel  untill her mind was satisfied. Then she became pregnant.  She stopped dancing, stopped eating her favorite foods and traveling was out of syllabus. These all changes were worthy, when she saw the baby moving in her sonography. She started to love the kicks. But she was worried thinking her life would be no more same; and that made her to think, whether she would be a good mother.

On the D-day, when she was lying on the operation table, her legs were shaking; all the scary thoughts going through her little head; after a few minutes (which seemed like hours), she heard a cry- cry of her baby. The first thing she asked, in that half sleep-half awake state (thanks to the anaesthesia!), how is my baby? When they returned home from hospital, she was scared thinking how would she take care of het baby, all by herself. After a few sleepless nights, the paediatric told that her baby's growth was normal. Her husband told her that she was doing fine. But she thought whether she would be a good mother. After a few more sleepless nights, one day she was telling her husband " baby has started to say cute things when he is hungry, he will show something with his hands; he does not like hot weather; he has started to smile at me a lot; he is cooing when I speak to her; he even likes a lot when I sing". Her husband was listening very attentively and she was done, he asked, "Are you still worried what kind of mother you would be?" And there, at that moment, she found her answers. Finally the girl realized she had become a Mother, without knowing.

On 26th March @11.40AM, my son HITANSHU was born. He has taught me that, I am neither a good nor a bad, but a perfect Mother for my baby.



Cheers to all the mothers out there; you are doing a perfect job for your baby, whatever whoever says. The recipe I wanted to share today, was made for a mother only, my mother-in-law. Our relation is the normal  saas-bahu relation. But one thing about het, she would never say anything if the food was tasty; things are not same if food is not tasty. Being a lover of cooking, complements always made me feel satisfied. So this time, I put my efforts to make a tasty food for her.



It was Paneer Biriyani, my first attempt.

Things you will need:

Basmati rice 2 cups ( washed and soaked in water for 15mins, mixed with 2teaspoon refined oil and salt). This will help to make the rice non-sticky.

Paneer (200 gm paneer made 12 cubes, frozen paneer kept in boiled salt water until they were soft; take out paneer cubes and keep the water)

Marinated this  paneer for 15mins, in a paste of 1 big onions,8 cloves garlic, 1inch ginger, 3 green chillies, 5 cardamom,2 1inch cinnamon, 1 tablespoon cumin powder, turmeric, 15-18 pudina leaves, 2-3 strands of coriander leaves.

Onion 2 big for frying, make big slices
10/15 cardamom
1 cinnamon of 10cm
Cloves 5/6
Star anise 1
Nutmeg 1small piece
2 bay leaves
Saffron few strands soaked in milk
Curd 2 cups

Cook the soaked rice with all the whole masalas, in a pressure cooker. You will need 3 cups of water to cook rice. Put the flame in high, one whistle and immediately turn off the heat. Let the gas pass and open the lid. Take out the whole masalas and spread tge rice in plate. You need to make it completely cool, otherwise while making the layers for biriyani, rice will become soggy.

In the mean time, heat sufficient amount of oil in a wok. Put the marinated paneer cubes and cook in medium heat. Turn the pieces once it becomes red in one side. Dip them in curd and light fry once again. Now fry the marinated masalas and keep aside for later use.

Fry the onions in that oil with medium heat. Once onions are red and fried (not burnt), take it out, keep the oil for later use.

Now the final part of cooking biriyani in pressure cooker. Put a tawa on stove. Place the pressure cooker on it. Use the oil now. Add the marinated masala and curd and cook a little. Spread half portion of rice on this. Place the paneer cubes. Add the rest of the rice. Spread the fried onions. Pour the saffron milk. Close the cooker lid, without whistle. Put the heat on high for 3mins. Now make the heat low and very slowly and carefully shake the cooker. Again after 5min shake the cooker very slowly. And the biriyani is ready.

Please note, shaking should be done very carefully. This will mix the lower level of marinated masalas and other ingredients with rice properly; but if shaken fast or hard, it will make the rice sticky and you will lose the proper taste of biriyani.


Yes that is all about Paneer biriyani. And you know what my mother-in-law said? She said "eneke bonale dekhun khabo bhal, khabo pari maje maje" (in assamese, if cooked in this way then it's tasty, we can have this often). Haa haa haa, what a lovely mother-in-law ;)

That was the biriyani cooked on Father's day, which went well with the fruity punch. Recipe for which coming soon with another story.


See you all soon. Bye.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Back with some Biriyani

After a long time, i am typing something for the blog. I love to write, at least I used to love. But typing (not writing) is not my happy-mood thing. This blog also started out of boredom. It was during 2012, I left my 1st job because it was monotonous; I was waiting for the second job confirmation (that was monotonous too, but at that time I thought of getting enough time for my hobbies along with good payment, what a wrong view I had!!!). Anyway, so during that waiting period, I was busy in cooking and making my friends eat those experimented foods; and I started sharing those experiences through this blog. It was kind of lovely experimental time. Once I got the job (the same job I am in now, completed 5 years, yeaaah,!!!), the cooking continued, but typing and posting was never the same. As I told, the job did not give me time for my hobbies during the 1st two years.

After the last post in 2014, so many things happened in life:: Induction training,few more trainings in different places, after a long discussion between the families finally married to 'college-friend cum long time love of my life" Mr Sarmah, experienced working with a Bad boss and fighting in workplace, late honeymoon to Rajasthan, a few more trips during last two years, lost my Father-in-law- a very kind person who used to prefer chicken biriyani cooked by me (just like my husband), became mother of a healthy baby and just like that my 35th birthday is around the corner.

Now I am on maternity leave till August and this writing flu is again showing it's symptoms. Symptom like sharing stories of all those special events which happened during  last few years. But before all that, I need to push myself to write ( type, precisely) and complete the first post of this year. So here is a old recipe presenting in new way with new pics.

17th June was Father's day. It was the first Father's day for my husband Mr Sarmah, as Deuta (in Assamese, father).


Also my parents are here, because of the baby. So I was able to celebrate the day with my Baba (in Bengali, Father).


First I planned to cook different tasty foods, searching for Father's Day special menu ideas. But then I did something else. I asked my hubby and my Baba about their favorite foods and guess what? Both replied same things. Luchi and Chholar daal (Poori and bengal gram lentil) in Breakfast; Chicken biriyani and some sweet thing in Lunch. It made work less for me. I am always lucky with the men in my life; they are not fussy and always helpful. 

So this was the lunch.


Paneer biriyani was there for Mother-in-law, a first time attempt and what I can say, it was so tasty, that we all had it. But since this post is about my old love of biriyani, so I will stick to less spicey but full of flavour Chicken biriyani.

Chicken biriyani for 4:




Biriyani Rice 3 cups (washed and soaked in water for 15mins, mixed with 2teaspoon refined oil and salt). This will help to make the rice non-sticky.

Chicken 500gm, you can use less or more as per your requirements.

Marinated this chicken overnight in paste of 2 big onions, 10/12 cloves garlic, 1inch ginger, 4 green chillies, 5 cardamom,2 1inch cinnamon, 1 tablespoon cumin powder, half cup liquid garlic butter, salt.

Onion 2 big for frying, make big slices
10/15 cardamom
1 cinnamon of 10cm
Cloves 5/6
Star anise 1
Nutmeg 1small piece
2 bay leaves
Saffron few strands soaked in milk

That's it. See no chilly powder, no curd. You can add cashew if you want. 

Generally the biriyani is full of spices and after eating this we are going to need a walk to digest all these spices and oil. The mailn masala is garam masala, which has beautiful fragrance but it is very rich in taste. But a few years back, I and Mr Sarmah (before becoming Mr and Mrs ), tasted biriyani in a restaurant, which was very mild in spices but made our heart (yes tummy too) full. I loved the smell of garam masala but the food was not at all spicey. We loved that biriyani and I started to recreate that biriyani. The first trial was a hit and I was finally able to cook biriyani which has the rich aroma of GARAM MASALA but does not have lots of spices. The procedure is a simple one and I shared the same recipe with one of my cousine and they loved it. According to her, the best thing about this biriyani was they did not have any medicine to digest the food. Hmmm that's another good reason for you to try this.

Now, i will type the procedure of cooking and finally post it. This is the most tiresome part for me. I will finish typing it soon.

Cook the soaked rice with all the whole masalas, in a pressure cooker. You will need 4 cups and little less than half cup of water to cook rice. Put the flame in high, one whistle and immediately turn off the heat. Let the gas pass and open the lid. Take out the whole masalas and spread tge rice in plate. You need to make it completely cool, otherwise while making the layers for biriyani, rice will become soggy.

In the mean time, heat sufficient amount of oil in a wok. Put the chicken pieces and cook in very low flame. Keep the marinated masalas for later use. Turn the pieces once it becomes red in one side. In this way chicken will become tender.

Take out the chickens. Fry the onuons in that oil with medium heat. Once onions are red and fried (not burnt), take it out, keep the oil for later use.

Now the final part. Put a tawa on stove. Place the pressure cooker on it. Use the oil now. Add the marinated masala. Spread half portion of rice on this. Place the chicken pieces. Add the rest of the rice. Spread the fried onions. Pour the saffron milk. Close the cooker lid, without whistle. Put the heat on high for 3mins. Now make the heat low and very slowly and carefully shake the cooker. Again after 5min shake tge cooker very slowly. And the biriyani is ready. Shaking should be done very carefully. This will mix the lower level of marinated masalas and other ingredients with rice properly; but if shaken fast or hard, it will make the rice sticky and you will lose the proper taste of biriyani.



Yes, finally done typing my post, the first post in a long time. Hope you enjoy the recipe and give it a try. Anyone who is afraid of indigestion (which is common in Bengalis), can give this a try, you will not have acidity or any unwanted burp! 

We all had this fruity punch after the biriyani. My father liked it so much that today, on Jamai soshthi, he wants this again. Just enjoy the view, I will tell the recipe in my future posts.



In a few days will come with another biriyani and some other story.
 Till then Bye.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Eggless Spinach Cake

A post after a loooooooooooong time. Here is my new THING, which I sold in a BAKE SALE. My first sale!! So here is the story.

I am in love with colors. When it comes to food, I like to use natural colors. So I made my green cake with a very popular veggie-leaf. This is the energy for Popey.

Hmmm, yess it is spinach. You must be thinking to skip this post. If still reading this post, then just be sure that you will get to know about a funky tasty & healthy cake.



Here goes the recipe:

Ingredients:

Vegetable Oil: 1 & 1/4 cup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh spinach puree
juice and zest from 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup lemon juice)
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 tbsp aniseed powder

Directions

Preheat the cooker for around 5mins on high flame. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar until light and creamy. Add vanilla, oil, lemon juice and rind, and pureed spinach until well blended.

In a different bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. When everything is properly blended, ad the aniseed powder & blend it.

Pour the mixture into prepared pan.

First put one empty pot in a pressure cooker and on the to of empty pot put cake tin. Make sure that cake tin doesn't touch the bottom of the cooker.Cover with the lid without putting whistle on. Bake for about 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Remove from cooker and let cool on wire rack. Allow the cake to cool down for 10 mins. After 10mins run the knife around the edges of cake tin. Place one dish on the top of cake tin and flip this over. The cake should come out without sticking to the bottom of cake tin. Allow it to cool down on cooling rack before putting icing on cake.

I have served the cake with powdered sugar. You can use cream frosting.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Roti Vegetable Noodle


I knew that surfing Internet is going to help me learn a lot & the first time I heard about this recipe, I was so happy about my "cooking-blogging-netSurfing" habit. While going through different blogs, I found the name of this recipe & I found it interesting as I found a perfect solution for my leftover Rotis. Yesterday I tried this new thing with some modifications & addition of new ingredients & the result was - love in first bite. I am sure you will love it too. So here is the recipe.




Ingredients: 

6 no's chapatti / roti (Cut in to thin finger size strips)
1/ 2 Cup onion (Thin Slices)
2 Cups carrots, capsicum, cabbage (cut in to thin strips) or you can take vegetables of your choice
2 Tbsp chopped ginger
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 no's green chilies(Finely Chopped)
1 tbsp chilly powder
2 tbsp tomato sauce
2 tbsp chili sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp olive oil / cooking oil 
Fry Moog Dal to garnish

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add sliced onions and green chilies, saute with a pinch of salt for a minute add chopped ginger & garlic, and saute till the raw smell leaves.
  2. Then add carrots, capsicum, cabbage, required salt to it and mix well, and saute until vegetables are half cooked.
  3. Now add chilly powder, tomato sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, little salt and stir well, then add the chapati strips to it and toss well ( Keep the flame in high ) add lemon juice and spring onions to it, give a quick stir, and serve hot with the garnishing.
  4. Tasty, healthy roti noodles is ready to eat.