Sunday, 15 January 2017

Orange Cherry Cake

This orange cherry cake is delicious to the core, with its super citrus-y flavor. I love to bake with fruits ( and nuts !!) and you may get a complete list from here. During winter whenever I see juicy oranges in my fruit bucket, I start imagining all sorts of cakes that is possible with this. One of my popular cake is this 'Orange Apricot Cake' , which my family always relish. I am sure, this cherry version will also be liked by all. We really enjoy a slice with our morning cuppa.




Ingredients


  • Eggs - 4
  • Flour - 2.5 Cups
  • sugar - 2 Cups
  • Butter - 200 gms
  • Orange - 3, zest and juice
  • Vanilla Essence - 3 tsp
  • Baking Powder - 3 tsp
  • Milk - 3-4 tbsp
  • Dry cherry - 100 gms

One of the important aspect of baking is everything should be at room temperature. I keep all my ingredients specially the eggs and butter out of fridge atleast 4 hours before I start the preparation.
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree C. 
Cream the butter and sugar ( I grind the sugar after measuring) using a hand mixer till fluffy. Then start adding the eggs one after another and beat well.



Add the orange juice and vanilla essence and mix well.



Sieve the flour and baking powder together, then start mixing them to the egg butter mixture gradually. Ensure that there is no lump. You may need to add some milk to get the right consistency.
Soak the cherry in water for 30 minutes, strain the water and sprinkle some flour onto it.



Mix the cherry and orange zest into the cake batter and fold it lightly.



Butter two cake loaf pan and line it with parchment paper if necessary. Pour the batter in both the pans till half filled. Put the pans in the pre-heated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or till a fork comes out clean.



Enjoy the treat !!!






Sunday, 8 January 2017

Fresh Bombay Duck Fry

Quite out of the blogging world for some time now, though getting the urge every now and then to open the laptop, browse through the endless number of folders containing endless number of photos captured during many of my cooking spree but somehow not able to manage the expectations in other areas of my life effectively to get some me-time for myself to indulge into blogging.Today morning when I was working on my laptop, suddenly felt the same urge again, and this time decided to write something, post something new, how trivial it may seem, but, yes, I am having my blog mostly for myself, so why not post a simple Bombay Duck fry !
We cook Bombay duck, known as Loitya machh in this part of India, in typical bengali style too, I already have posted some here.
The recipe for this fry is taken from a Parsi cookbook. You may check my other parsi delicacies here.




Ingredients

  • Bombay Duck - 8-10 pieces
  • Ginger Paste - 1 tsp
  • Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
  • Gren chilli paste - as per taste
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • Rice flour - as required
  • Oil for Frying

Marinate the fish pieces with ginger garlic paste and green chilli paste and put some heavy weights onto the fish pieces. 



Make a thick paste of rice flour, salt, turmeric, chilli powder and juice of ginger.



Heat oil in a frying pan. Dip the marinated fish pieces into the batter and fry well.



Fry carefully in batches till the outer layer is crisp. Make sure not to break the fish, since bombay duck is a very tender fish.



Serve immediately with a dash of lemon.




Sunday, 17 April 2016

Mutton Dakbanglow

It was the Bengali new year or 'Poila Baishakh' and for bengalis, it is the beginning of new business activities, to start new account known as 'Haalkhata' and so and so. However, for modern bengalis, it is to wear new cloths and of course enjoying good food is a vital part followed by a long afternoon siesta. 
This 'Poila Baishakh', I have tried the famous Mutton Dakbanglow, a near forgotten culinary treasure served by the khanshamas of the dakbanglows or guesthouses spread across bengal dating back to British times in India.   


Ingredients


  • Mutton - 1 kg, I prefer the baby mutton, not the fatty or rewazi pieces
  • Curd - 100 gm
  • Ginger paste - 2 tbsp
  • Garlic paste - 2 tbsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Mustard oil - 4 tbsp
  • Eggs - 4, hard boiled
  • Baby potatoes - 8-10, peeled
  • Ghee / clarified butter - 1 tbsp
  • Methi / Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Bayleaf - 3-4
  • Onion - 4, sliced
  • Tomato - 2, sliced
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon, green cardamom, Cloves, Nutmeg powder
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
  • Green chillis - as per taste
  • Whole red chilli - 2

Marinate the mutton with curd, 1 tbsp each of ginger garlic paste, salt, mustard oil,  kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric. Keep aside for 2 hours.


In a karai, add mustard oil and fry the potatoes and boiled eggs with a pinch of salt and turmeric. Remove and keep aside.


In the same pan, add some more oil and ghee, then add the bayleaf, whole red chilli and methi. Be careful not to burn the mathi. I usually discard the methi once it turns color to prevent further burning. Next add sliced onion with a pinch of salt and sugar and fry well.


Brown them thoroughly then add ginger garlic paste and sliced green chilli.


When the raw smell is gone, add the tomatoes and fry till it is mashed.


Next goes the marinated meat along with ground Cinnamon, green cardamom, Cloves, Nutmeg powder, Cumin powder and Coriander powder. Mix thoroughly. Continue cooking till the water released by the meat is absorbed completely and oil is coming out of it. Then put it in a pressure cooker and cook for 4-5 whistles. Check for doneness, since I have used tender mutton, I didnot go overboard. Add the potatoes and wait for one more whistle. Release the pressure completely, then add the fried eggs and cook for 5 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning.


Serve with plain rice.






Saturday, 9 April 2016

Make Your New Year a Sure ’HIT’



One thing that qualifies as a bengali’s true love is ‘celebrations’. We love to celebrate whether it’s our son’s good result, our husband’s promotion or simply a get-together. And when it comes to the bengali new year, bengalis leave not one stone unturned. Essentially, our minds are still tuned to our past, to our ancestors and to our tradition. So here are a few points which will help you discover the grandeur of a bengali new year-
THE COSTUME PARTY!
Dressing the ‘bengali way’ is a must for poila boisakh. So throw all your designer wear in the wardrobe and take on an elegant, white ‘lal par(red bordered)’ saree or pajama panjabi to melt into the essence of the newness all around and at the same time recover the look of a true bong.
This time is also especially good for the ‘shoppers’ because poila boishak gives them adequate reason to fill their wardrobe with clothes. Moreover it is a time when gifts are exchanged with merriment. And you would see the words 'SALE' strewn over all garment shops.
FAIRS OF HAPPINESS
Yaaay! Who doesnt like fairs? Hindus throughout Bengal celebrate the year-end or 'Chaitra Sankranti' with some exciting fairs and festivals like Gajan and Charak. Traditional Charak Mela is held across small and big towns in West Bengal, culminating in Latu Babu-Chhatu Babur Bazar in North Kolkata on the last day of the year, and the day after at Konnagar, venue of Bengal's only 'Basi Charaker Mela'. These unique fairs are the best place to soak in the past and every hardcore bong should taste the ‘telebhajas’ made there. I still remember those days when my uncle used to take me there with a surge of excitement.
NEW YEAR, NEW LEDGER
Don't forget to witness the Halkhata, a age old trader custom. Halkhata is based on the believe the new year provides the most auspicious moment to ‘open’ the ledger. Almost every bengali shop has a puja and the best part? Everyone's invited to the party that takes place in the evening!
TASTE THE TUNES OF TAGORE
Rabindranath Tagore is a personality who is close to all bengali hearts and his compositions, specially his songs, are embedded deep into our principles. The legend’s Esho Hey Baisakh Esho Esho (Come Baisakh, Come O Come!) is the song that every bengali has to sing on poila boisakh. So rehearse a bit before you ‘perform’ to save unwanted embarrassment. My mom was always very eager to make me sing in front of all her friends and so we would sit for a rehearsal session before the new year.
REDISCOVER, RECONNECT, REVIVE

Poila boisakh is the time of the year when every bong-at-heart person comes home to their own Bengal. So it is a time marked with the respawn of old ties that were loosened by the forces of time and isolation. Feel free to discover your friendship again and reconnect with your best-buddy over ‘adda’ with tea and ‘beguni’ or ‘piyaaji’. This is the thing you must do.
AND OF COURSE THE FOOD
Food has always been the locus of any bengali festival and the new year is no exception! A lip-smacking array of dishes and even more delicious sweets are the main highlights of poila boishak. Every bengali household busies itself to come up with a pompous menu. They start with 'Teto Dal' , 'Aloo Posto' , followed by 'Mochar Ghonto'. Then they dig into some aromatic 'Gandharaj Rui', next opt for either 'Bhetki Machh er Paturi' or 'Chingri Machh er Malaicurry' or even for some 'Chital Petir Rasha'. Once you r are through with your fishy fair, go for a typical 'Bengali Misti Pulao or Akhni Pulao' and 'Kasha Mangsho'. Cool down with 'Kancha Aam er Chutney' and end your meal with 'Baked Aam Doi' followed by 'Gokul Pithe'. Ahhhhh, what a treat. What a true Bengali can do after having such an elaborate meal? A long afternoon siesta with a pashbalish, what else?
But these occasions have dangers of their own. When food is made in kitchens that are littered with pests, like cockroaches, diseases would soon take over the family and all the frolic would be over in a moment. Cockroaches and other pests often creep up dirty drains and leave their filthy footprints all over your utensils. To ensure that every is safe from these pesky creatures use Godrej HIT. this would surely emerge victorious and keep you and your family safe.
To get more details on Godrej HIT do visit:

A Very Prosperous New Year To All Of You!


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Puti Machh er Jhal

Puti Machh is a very tasty fish in the small fish category, nowadays available sparingly, specially the fresh ones. This recipe is a very traditional recipe, which can be made with any kind of small fish. Mustard oil is a very important ingredient for this kind of 'jhal' recipe, without it, you will never get the actual taste of Bengal. I have used a spoonful of 'Rasun Bata' or garlic paste to give it an extra zing, if you don't like garlic, please omit this. Another very important aspect is, you must have this 'jhal' with plain rice, preferably on a lazy weekend, and must have afternoon siesta afterwards. 


Ingredients


  • Puti Machh - cleaned, 300 gms
  • Onion , chopped - half cup
  • Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Green chilli, chopped - as per taste
  • Tomato - 2, chopped
  • Coriander leaves - chopped, as much as you link
  • Salt, Turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder
  • A pinch of sugar, optional
  • Mustard oil - 3 tbsp


Marinate the cleaned fish with salt and turmeric, then fry them lightly in mustard oil and keep aside.


In the same oil, add the chopped onion with a pinch of salt. Once they turn soft, add the garlic paste and chopped green chilli. Fry till the raw smell is gone.


Add chopped tomato and fry till the tomatoes are mashed.


Next goes the turmeric, salt and kashmiri chilli powder with a sprinkle of water, Let the masala paste be fried and water is completely evaporated. Then add a cup of water. Once the water starts bubbling, add the fried fishes carefully.


Mix well and cook over low heat. 


When the fishes are cooked and gravy thickens, adjust the salt. Add a pinch of sugar, if you wish. Remove from heat and add chopped coriander leaves.


Savor with plain rice.



Saturday, 20 February 2016

Chilli Pork






This is the easiest recipe that I have tried with the maximum taste. It needs minimum ingredients and quite quick to make. But the result is a juicy succulent pork pieces nicely coated with just the right amount of sauce. You may adjust the amount of green chilli as per your tastebud. 






Ingredients

  • Pork chops, cubed - 500gms
  • Capsicum - 1, cubed
  • Light soya sauce - 1 cup
  • Green chillies - chopped,  as per taste
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Garlic chopped - 2 tbsp
  • Corn flour - 3-4 tbsp
  • Oil - 2-3 tbsp



Marinate the pork chops with 2 tbsp soya sauce and 1 tbsp oil for an hour.



After an hour, coat them well with the corn flour. The pieces will turn pale brown in color.



Heat oil in a frying pan, then add oil. When it is hot, fry the pork chops in batches till golden brown.



In the same pan, first add the sugar, let it caramelize. Then add chopped garlic and fry.



In the mean time, in a bowl, add 1 tbsp corn flour and mix it with remaining soya sauce. 



Add this mixture to the pan, and mix well with garlic. Add cubed capsicum too. 



Next add the fried pork chops and stir quickly to coat the chops nicely with the sauce. 

Add the chopped green chilli , stir and remove from heat.



Serve with some Chinese fried rice.









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