Friday, August 3, 2018

My mother and Jackfruit fish with potol bata

Last few days, I was too busy to write anything. Last Tuesday, when my Brother-in-law left for their home in Assam the house became very quiet for a few hours (till the baby did not start screaming). Oh yeah, my boy has completed 4months and communication skill has reached a level where I get fade up with his continuous screaming and cooing. He will scream when he is happy or hungry or sleepy or irritated. 

See, all my topics, now a days, ends in my baby's story. May be all sleep-deprived nuclear-family new mothers are like that.

Last week we went to Pondicherry, with our 4month baby. The experience of this journey, I shall write in my next post. The interesting thing is, when everyone was worried about the baby, my mother was worried not only for my baby, but also for her one and only baby- ME!!! I scolded her for worrying so much, but I was happy to see there is always someone, for whom my health is no less important than my baby; otherwise, now a days, no-one thinks about me (yeah I am jealous- are you kidding!!!).

Me and my mother, we are not like other lovey-dovey daughter-mother. Most of the time, our discussion ends in "me getting irritated and Ma getting annoyed". She will say most of the time, my daughter is not a girl like. I will keep on thinking, my ma is too much dominating. But the fact is we both are like tom-jerry (can't decide who is Tom & who is Jerry). We cannot live a day without talking to each other. There was time, when I used to call my Baba and say, aajke jhogra hoi ni Ma-er sathe, bhalo lagche na, ache kothay heroine ( today didn't fight with mom, so not feeling good, where is the heroine). Yeah I call her other than MA, when I am in too good mood to argue with her.

Ma


My mother was a Primary school teacher. She was very good in teaching small kids, I had my personal experience also. She used to do all household works, cooking different food items for me and baba for breakfast and lunch, then within 10AM she used to reach school after a walk of 30mins. After the school time, she used to come home, taking care of my studies and our dinner. Her cooking is very good. No, it's not a daughter's words, these are the words of my cousins and my husband as well. She never taught me cooking, but a few things, I remember, she used to ask me to do, which I used to hate. One of them was, grinding spices in Shil-pata.

Pointed gourd grinding going on

She used to say, grinding spices using this stone, adds better taste and texture to any recipe. I realized recently, how true her words were. Day before yesterday i prepared Paka potol bata, using this recipe. This time I used the shil-pata, the taste as well as texture of the food was much better than last time. You can have, Paka potol bata or ripe pointed gourd coarsely grind, as a side dish. Recipe you can find here.


But in main course we had fish gravy. It was rohu fish, cooked in the gravy of jackfruit seed paste. You read it right. My husband was surprised whe he heard the ingredients of the gravy. It was unique and tasty. Back in our home, dried jackfruit seeds are available during summer. After eating the ripe jackfruit, we will clean the seeds with water and then seeds will be sun-dried. These seeds are used in many foods. Seeds are rich in iron, which is really good for health.

So here are the Ingredients required for the fish gravy.



INGREDIENTS:

  1. Rohu fish - 4 pieces, big
  2. Onion - 1 medium, peeled and chopped
  3. Green chilly - 1 chopped
  4. Jackfruit seeds - take out the dry outer layer, cut in 4pieces, 1cup full
  5. Dry Coconut flakes - 2 tbsp
  6. Poppy seeds - made paste using the shil-pata, 2tbsp
  7. Mustard oil
  8. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  9. Turmeric powder
  10. Salt
  11. Water

Now the process of cooking.

  • Wash the fish pieces. Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric powder. Shallow fry in hot mustard oil, in a kadai. Some people like, deep fry fishes even in curry or gravy. Keep aside the fried fish. Always fry fish in smoking hot oil. Using mustard oil, enhances the taste of fried fish.

  • In the oil, if quantity of oil is more after frying fish then keep only 4tbsp oil in kadai and rest you can use later. Add chopped onions. Fry in medium heat, when onion becomes brown, add the chopped jackfruit seeds and chilly. Cover and keep frying in low heat. Stir occasionally. After 5mins, add the dry coconut flakes. Stir fry for another 3mins. Switch of the flame and make the mixture cool. Take this fried mixture and poppy seed paste in a small grinding container and make smooth paste. Add a little water if required.



  • In the kadai, add 1tbsp oil, you can use the oil which was kept aside after frying fish. Add cumin seeds. When it starts to crackle, add the jackfruit seed paste. Keep frying in low heat. Once oil starts coming out, add turmeric powder and salt. After mixing everything, add water as per your gravy requirements. Add 2cups more water, than you require for gravy. Keep boiling the gravy, till it reaches the desired consistency.

  • Add fried fish pieces. Stir once carefully. Keep the heat medium. After 2-3mins, switch off the flame. Gravy is ready.

  • Serve with hot steamed rice.



So here is today's recipe with love of a mother. Keep loving your mother and enjoy your motherhood too. Bye.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Change of life and a new herby recipe

The aloo paratha crossed halfway to my mouth, when he screamed.... Aaaaangeeeeeeeeee..... 1year ago, in this situation, nothing could have distracted me from that aloo paratha; but now (sigh!), paratha went back to the plate and I started running towards the car holding him in one hand and umbrella in another (forgot to mention it started raining at the time he started crying). Finally he was calm after an ample time of feeding.

Yeah that was my son, who was screaming as soon as I started eating paratha. He will say ( or make a clear sound similar to) Aange which means I am hungry; we, the new parents understood this word once he was 3weeks old.

After having a baby, life has become upside down, in a good way.  We have put a PAUSE in so many things, a few things specially for the new mother. Weekends movie-marathon, planning sudden trips, eating anything, wearing any dress, sleeping whenever I want and there are many more. See, there is a big PAUSE now for all these, pause for a few months only. This "a few months" may be 6 months, 12months or 36months, completely depends on individual parents. There was a time, I used to require 8hours of sound sleep in a dark room. But now my body has evolved to cope up with 4hours of sleep (that too not continuous!) with light on.  If I get 2hours of continuous sleep within 4AM to 7AM, I am fully fresh and capable of doing all the household works. Parks of being a Mother! Even I am writing this post, during that good-night-sleep-break.

The thing is life changes and in the beginning of any new journey we will struggle to adjust with the change. But the struggle is worth it! The smile of that small face and the touch of those little fingers make all my efforts priceless.

Today's recipe is also something I tried for the first time.



It is a herb which is good for lactating mothers (Fathers, please don't complain, you know how your better-half is struggling, so don't be upset if they get more attention). These are Dill leaves. It is widely available in Bangalore but has a pungent smell. One of my neighbor, in our apartment, Priyanka, a very jolly and caring person, told my mother about this. Her mother-in-law is also very sweet and caring. She not only prepared the shaak for me but also sent me a bunch of those leafy vegetables. I liked the dish. So thought to prepare it in our bengali way. I have used a mixture of whole spices which are good for a lactating mother and helps to make the smell of the vegetable less.



What you will need:

  • Dill leaves : a bunch
  • Tilauri 1 small cup; tilauris are sun-dried lentil dumplings, which are available in bihar and Jharkhand. My friend Juhi, whenever she goes home, brings for me. I am in love of these tiny dumplings. You can fry and have with rice.
  • Potato 1 big
  • Onion 1 big
  • Chilly 1 or as per your taste
  • Garlic 4/5 cloves, chopped.
  • Salt
  • Turmeric powder
  • Mixture of spices, 1 teaspoon each: Cumin seeds, Fenugreek seeds, Mustard seeds

Before I explain the recipe, one fun fact about these herb: One tablespoon of dill seed contains more calcium than a cup of milk. So, you see, if you don't like to drink or can't drink Milk, there is a herby substitute.

The recipe goes like:

  1. Chop the leaves along with the tender stems, discard the matured ones. 
  2. Peel and cut the onion and potato in small cubes. 
  3. Heat oil in a non-sticky pan. Fry the tilauris.  Keep these aside.
  4. Now add a little oil in the pan again, if required and heat it in medium flame. Add the mix whole spices. Once the seeds starts to crackle, turn the flame low, add the chopped garlic, once it starts to become brown, add chopped onions. Stir fry till it changes color.
  5. Add the potatoes. Fry it for 3-4 min.
  6. Add the chopped herb. Add tilauri. Sprinkle salt followed by turmeric powder. Mix everything carefully. Cover.
  7. Keep stirring. The leaves will leave water, which will make the potatoes soft. Another 5mins and you can see the green color will become darker. Once the water is dried, potatoes are soft, check the taste of the leaves. If the raw taste is gone and it is a little sticky, your shaak is ready. 
  8. Enjoy with rice and daal.




For all the lactating mothers, enjoy this period and do a favor to yourself, don't compare your health and lifestyle with others. Enjoy each moment and don't regret for the things you are unable to do now. Within blink of eyes, babies will be grown ups and will be in high schools. Then college and then job, finally they will get out of your house and will get settled somewhere else, with their other half. That's life, keeps on changing.



Hope you enjoyed the recipe as well as the post. See ya!

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.