Jan 15, 2015

Rosbora ~ Makar Sankranti Special

Poush sankranti or Poush parbon is observed on the auspicious day of Makara sankranti or the last day of Bengali month Poush. Not only in Bengal but in all over India this day is regarded as a very special day and various traditions are followed, like in south India they celebrate Pongal, in Punjab it is celebrated as Lohri, in Bengal people gather at the holy place of Gangasagar where the river Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal to take dip in the morning.

 In almost every Bengali kitchen will be full with aroma of Date Palm Jaggery Or "Nolen Gur". This festival is known as "Poush Sankranti" in West Bengal. Varieties of sweets are made with Ground rice, date palm jaggery , milk and many other ingredients. 'Rosbora' is one of the special sweet made during Poush Parbon. This sweet is very easy to make and tasty too. Perfect Rosbora will be very soft, melts in your mouth. The name tells it, 'Ros' means syrup and 'Bora' means dumplings. These are urad dal dumplings soaked in sugar or date palm jaggery syrup.

Ingredients ~ 

For the Bora :

Urad Dal - 1 cup
Pinch of salt 
Fennel Or Mouri - 1 tablespoon
Soda-bi-carb - 1 pinch
Vegetable oil - for deep frying

For Sugar Syrup :
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Green Cardamom pods - 3/4
Saffron - 1 pinch

Method ~

Soak urad dal for 8 hrs or overnight. Wash well, till water runs clear. Make a paste of the urad dal. While making the paste, use water as little as possible.

Take the paste in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and fennel seeds. Now beat the dal very well. If you do not beat it well the dumplings will be hard from inside and the Rosbora will not soak syrup and will not taste good. After beaten the dal paste, take a bowl of cold water and drop a very small amount of the beaten paste into the water. If the drop of the paste will floats immediately on the water surface, then your dal paste is ready to fry. If the drop sinks into the water, then you have to beat again your Dal paste.

Take a deep pan or kadai, heat enough oil to deep fry. When the oil is hot reduce the heat to low. Add a spoonful of dal paste and add to the oil. Fry 5-6 dumplings at a time, depending on the size of the pan or kadai. Fry over a low-medium flame for 4-5 min. You do not need to fry it till light brown like pakoras. Strain them and place onto paper towel. 

Now take 1 cup of sugar and 2 1/2 cups of water in a pan, mix them together till the sugar dissolves and place the pan on high heat to make syrup. When the syrup starts boiling, turn off the heat and add the fried Bora into syrup (increase the amount of sugar, as per your taste).

Serve them warm.

Oct 23, 2014

Cabbage Poori For Diwali

Diwali or deepavali is one of the most significant festival of india. Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and truth over falsities. I hope this festival of lights brings wisdom, truth, prosperity and peace in your life.

I made Cabbage Poori for Diwali and with this I want to wish to all my readers, friends a very Happy & Prosperous Diwali!!!!

Ingredients : 

For the dough ~

Maida - 2 cups
Ghee - 2 tsp
Sugar - a pinch
Salt to taste

For the stuffing~ 

Cabbage - 2 cups (boiled & mashed)
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Refine Oil for frying

Method :

For the dough ~ Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and knead into a soft dough using enough warm water. Cover and keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

For the Stuffing ~ Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, when the seeds are crackle the add boiled and mashed cabbage, cook for few seconds. Then add all the ingredients except garam masala powder, mix well. Cook the medium flame for 5 minutes, while stirring continuously. Switch off the flame then add garam masala powder and mix well. Cool down.

How to proceed ~ Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll it in small circle using a little flour or refine oil. Place 1 tbsp of stuffing in the centre of each circle and bring together all the sides and seal tightly. Roll out again circle using a little flour or oil for rolling. Heat the oil in a kadai and deep-fry the pooris, a few at a time, till they turn golden brown in colour from all the sides. 
Serve hot with Paneer Chana Dal.

Oct 14, 2014

Chana Bhapa (Spicy Steamed Crumble Paneer)

 Chana bhapa or bhapa crumble paneer is a very delicious and flavorful full of protein dish. Very easy and simple to make, need only necessary ingredients to make this mouthwatering dish. You can have it with rotis or paratha. 

Ingredients : 
  • Milk(Full Cream) - 1 litre
  • Lemon juice/Vinegar - 2 tsp
  • Muslin cloth - 1
  • Chopped onion - 4 tbsp
  • Chopped green chilli - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard-poppy seeds - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil - 1 tbsp

Method : 

Bring milk to boil, add the lemon juice, and stir slowly.The milk gets curdling, switch off the stove. In a strainer, cover with muslin cloth and pour the curdled milk. Immediately pour water and wash the curdled milk. This is to remove the sourness of the lemon juice, just pour the water for 3 to 4 min and wash nicely. Now drain the water by squeezing the cloth and then place any heavy weight (I used big pressure cooker filled with water) on the cloth and keep it for 30 to 45 mins, or still the water drains off completely. Remove the weight and cloth and the paneer is ready. For crumbled paneer, just keep the weight for 30 min and remove and then start crumbling it with fork or spoon or even with hand.

Now in a mixing bowl, mix paneer together with the mustard-poppy seeds paste, chopped onion, chopped green chilli. Add turmeric powder, salt, sugar and generous amount of mustard oil, mix well. 
Put the paneer mixture in a tiffin box with the lid in place tightly.

Put the tiffin box inside a pressure cooker and add 1 glass of water. The water around the tiffin box would help build steam. Close the pressure cooker tightly with the lid and cook until 1 whistle on medium heat.

Serve hot with Rotis or paratha.

Oct 5, 2014

Rose Sandesh for Bijoya Dashami

Durga Puja is over now and we have to wait for another year for this glorious year. On this day, Mother starts her journey back to her Husband's place from her mother's place. Everybody bid Farewell to Mother with tearful eyes and heavy heart and eagerly wait for her to come again next year. In a grand procession with lots of dhaks, drums and trumpets, the idols of Durga and her children are brought to a riverside to immerse it in the water. This immersion ceremony is known as Visanjan. Before Ma leaves, every married woman of all age group go to nearby pandal and apply sindoor to the goddess and each other. This ritual is known as "Sindoor Khela". Men follow the customary 'Kolakuli' (embrace each other). The younger members do pranam (touching the feet) to the elders.  Bijoya is not restricted to one day alone. You get time till Kali Puja to wish your fellow bongs "Shubho Bijoya". Bijaya dashami is incomplete without mentioning the delicacies like various sweets and crispy treats.

Shubho Bijoya'r Priti o Shubhechcha to all my readers

 Thought to make some bengali sweet at home. So, I made Rose Sandesh for Bijoya Dashami for my family and friends and with this I want to wish everyone a Very Happy Bijaya Dashami..

Ingredients :

Chhana - 500gms
Sugar - 250 gms
Cashew powder - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp (for fry)
Elaichi powder - 2 tbsp
Rose water - 5 tbsp 
Raisin & Rose petal for garnishing

Method : 

Heat the milk in a vessel. When it starts boiling add citric acid. Stir continuously using a wooden spoon till it curdles completely. Remove from flame. Drain the curdled milk through a fine muslin cloth and wring it to squeeze out excess water from the resultant paneer. Open the cloth and mash the paneer with your palm on the cloth itself. If the paneer is hot use the edge of the cloth to rub it.

Knead or grind the chhana or paneer into a fine paste. Heat ghee in a pan, fry together the chhana, sugar, cashew powder and elaichi powder, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and add rose water and  mix well. Grease a plate with ghee and pour the cooked paneer mixture on the plate and spread evenly. Decorate with raisins and rose petals. 

Sep 23, 2014

Potoler Dorma / Dolma (Prawn Stuffed Pointed Gourd Curry)

The biggest and longest festival of hindus are around the corner. While rest of the India is fevering for Navaratri, the city of Bengalis are fevering with Durga PujaBeing a Bengali, I am also suffering from the above fever I mentioned and totally excited for upcoming festive days. Delicious delicacies are always the part of this festive occasion.

        Today I am going to share a best vegetable preparation with a non-veg twist which is considered as one of the most conventional and humble Bengali delicacies, Potoler Dolma / Dorma. There are two variation of this dish. One is the complete vegeterian version where fried pointed gourds are stuffed with smashed potato or paneer and the other variety fried pointed gourds are stuffed with any fish or even chicken. The procedure of this recipe is little time taking. Perfectly goes well with rice or pulao

Ingredients :

Pointed Gourd - 10
Prawn (small sized) - 200 gms
Onion - 4 (make a paste)
Ginger - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 2 tbsp
Tomato paste - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
White oil - 2 tbsp for fring
Mustard oil - 2 tbsp for cooking
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves with garnishing 

Method :

For the filling ~ Wash and pat dry the prawn, make a paste. Make a paste of pointed gourd seeds. Now fry them with little salt and turmeric powder. Let it cool for sometime.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, add 2tsp onion paste until pinkish in color. Then add half of  ginger and garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli, roasted cumin powder, saute till the raw smell goes off. Now add fried prawn and pointed gourd seeds paste, stir well and cook until oil starts releasing from sides of the pan. Sprinkle a very little water at this time and give a nice stir. Prawn stuffing is ready now. Take them out of the pan and keep separately until it becomes cool. 

Wash and clean the pointed gourds at first. Then scrape the whole skin of each of them with a knife. then cut one end little, near the edge and the other end little big. the big cut helps to enter a spoon inside to scope out the seeds.

 Now stuff the fish filling in the pointed gourd. Make a thick batter of besan or maida and water. Use this batter to seal the end of the pointed gourds.

Heat white oil in a pan, add stuffed pointed gourds at a time two or three, fry in lower flame with lid. Stirring it vigorously fry them very carefully.

Take a separate pan, heat the mustard oil add rest of onion paste and sugar, saute until brown. Now add rest of ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree, turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and salt, mix thoroughly. Cook on medium flame till the oil starts to release from the sides and add pour the water and cover. Let it boil for sometime.

Now uncovered and add the garam masala powder and cover again for a while so that the aroma of it could be absorbed the curry. Then add the stuffed pointed gourd, cook on low flame. Once one side the pointed gourds is covered by the gravy turn them and cook the another side for few more times. Turn off the flame and add chopped coriander leaves. Potoler dorma / dolma is ready to serve. 

Enjoy this heavenly delicious dish...