Thursday, May 24, 2012

Broccoli bake

Broccoli bake
After I came to know the benefits of broccoli I desperately tried to add this very vegetable in our meals. However, I never succeeded to do the same, because nobody liked it.  One of my friends suggested frying broccoli. I cooked that, but I never succeeded to make that delicious. That problem was that, due to the lack of taste, I had to finish the rest of the dish every time. There were very rare occasion, when my hubby dear finished. So, one day I searched on the Internet to find a suitable and easy recipe, yet delicious to cook broccoli. I found one recipe, but at that time I didn’t have all the ingredients to cook. So, I altered the recipe, and I baked with whatever was available at home. Surprisingly, that was an instant hit.
After that I have baked broccoli many times in the same way, and whoever has eaten that, said only one word, “delicious”.
10-12 florets of broccoli
2 tbsp. Heaped all-purpose flour
1 egg
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp of sugar
1 ½ tbsp oil (I used olive oil. Any kind of oil or butter can be used.)
1 tbsp grated mozzarella cheese (you can cheddar cheese also)
Boil the broccoli florets with pinch salt until the florets become just tender. Do not over-boil. Discard the water as much as possible, because the water content in the florets can be a problem in baking. In a bowl add all the ingredients except the florets and cheese. Make the fine batter. If you need, add little milk. Grease a baking tray, and pour the batter into it. Arrange the florets on the batter. Sprinkle cheese from the top. Bake of 20 minutes or a fork comes out clean when you prick in the middle. The broccoli bake is ready. Serve hot with tea or coffee.
The table cloth in the picture also made by me, and I used all old dresses and T-shirt. How is the concept of up-cycle?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Yellow pompano bake

After coming back from India I’m not getting enough time to peruse my hobbies.  My son is not going to school now. His school will start from 11th of June. Till that date I have to give 24 hours to him. It is rally a very difficult job. With his ever-increasing flow of questions I’m overwhelmed to find  suitable answers. On the top of that, he does not sleep in the afternoon. Since morning I wait for the afternoon only. However, today after much effort I can put him sleep at last. So, I have thought to put the yellow-pompano recipe.  

Yellow pompano is a lesser species of pomphret. Apart from pomphret my husband was not ready to taste any other kind. Long ago, once I cooked black pompano, but he didn’t like that at all. So, after I never dare to buy. This time he only, showed interest to buy yellow pompano. He suggested me baking that fish. So, after few days, one Sunday I thought to bake the fish. However, when I went to marinate it, I didn’t find any suitable spices in my kitchen. I thought of putting some chicken tanduri mashala in that. I marinated the fish with ginger-garlic paste and chicken tanduri mashala. The taste was delicious.

One whole pompano, cleaned and with long slits
1 tbsp. chicken tanduri mashala
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. garlic paste
1 tbsp. oil (I used olive oil)
Broccoli florets
½ Capsicum
1 onion
1 tomato
1 avocado
Few cilantro leaves
Little lemon juice
Salt to taste
For marinating:
In an oven-proof tray put the clean fish. Mix all the spices and covered it with a piece of aluminum foil. Put it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. You’ll get the best result if you marinate for 24 hours. Pre-heat the oven at 350 degree F. Bake for 20 minutes. The flip the fish and bake for 10-15 minutes, as required. Mix little salt with broccoli florets, capsicum slices, and onion slices. After flipping the fish, in one side of the tray put all the vegetable and bake again. After 15 minutes, remove the cover and put the oven into broil for maximum 2-3 minutes, to dry it.
The salad:
Chop avocado, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix with salt. Sprinkle lemon juice from the top. If you like, you can put a little bit of salsa and pinch of red chili powder.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Enchorer kofta curry(Raw jack fruit dumpling curry)

Past few months while I had been staying in India, I used to watch a Bengali culinary show on TV. I can’t tell that each and every episode I watched. I usually watched whenever the people at home let me do that. According to the other, especially my hubby, the show was “boring”. He used to say that it was far, far better to watch a movie, and the best to watch a football game. I’m not all a football fan, although, I used to watch occasionally before. Anyway, one day I was surfing the channels, and at that time raw jackfruit dumpling curry recipe was showing there. I found that very interesting. I kept the remote with me carefully, as I knew anytime my dear hubby could change the channel. I decided to cook that some day. I told me hubby that. After that I became silent. Few days later, my hubby asked me when I’m planning to cook the dish. Anyway, after few days I prepare the curry. It was really delicious. As a very health concerned person I used very little oil. To make the curry tastier one needs to use more oil than me. After coming back to the USA, I want to cook the dish. However, due to dearth of fresh raw jackfruit, I feel lack of interest to do the same.
Raw jackfruit peeled and cubed (250 gm)
Chhana (cottage cheese) 100 gm
One medium sized potato (cubed) (optional)
Yogurt (100 gm)
Heavy whipped crème (100 gm) (optional)
Flour (1-2 tbsp.)
Cumin powder (2 tsp.)
Coriander powder (2tsp.)
Garam mashala powder ( 2tsp.)
One medium sized onion
One medium sized tomato
Ginger paste (2tbsp.)
Sugar (2-3 tbsp.)
Chili powder (1/2 tsp.)
2 cloves
2 green cardamoms
1 inch cinnamon stick

Salt to taste
Pressure-cook the raw jackfruit up to three whistles. Set aside to cool down. Then smash jackfruit with cottage cheese. Add one tablespoon cumin powder, coriander powder, and garam mashala powder each into it. Add one table spoon sugar, and a pinch of chili powder. If needed add 1-2 tbsp. flour. Knead thoroughly and make small dumpling.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom wok and deep fry the dumpling and set them aside. If you use potato, deep fry the potato cubes. Cut onion and tomato into thin slices. Heat 2 table spoon of oil in a pan add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, dry red chili, and bay leave. When the spices start crackle then add onion and tomato. Fry for few minutes, then add ginger paste. Fry until onion and tomato become soft. Add rest of the spices and fry until fine aroma starts coming. Whip the yogurt in a bowl and add into it. Fry for another few minutes. Add sufficient water and bring it to boil. Add one tablespoon sugar. When the gravy starts thickening, add the dumplings. Slit one green chili and add into it. Put it out of flame. Serve with hot rice or roti.

Hawaii Scrapbook

Friday, May 11, 2012

another cross stitch

IMG_1212 by always_smile..

I don't know why I love this tedious and time consuming job very much? After finishing one I feel like starting another.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dhokar Dalna

Dhokar Dalna is a very popular Bengali delicacy. Though this dish is delicious, but it is difficult to cook, and very time consuming. Actually the preparation starts from night before the cooking in the next morning. Sometimes in the morning I feel like cooking Dhokar Dalna, and then to my disappointment I realize that I forget to soak chana daal (Bengal gram lentil) the night before. I never remember to soak chana daal the night before, which is the prime ingredient of the food. I want a short-cut method to prepare the dish, but, how? I don’t know.
One day I was in the mood to experiment with Besan( Bengal gram flower). I made a medium thick batter of besan and baked it in microwave oven. That looked like a cake.  Then an idea clicked in my mind. I cut that “cake” into blocks like dhoka and prepare dhokar dalna. You can’t believe that really almost tasted like the dhokar dalna. From that day I cook dhokar dalna in that short method instead of the elaborate one.
Here is the recipe:
3 tbsp. heaped besan
One medium sized onion, chopped
One medium sized tomato, chopped
One medium large potato, diced
1 tsp. corriendar powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
½ tsp. garam mashala powder
1 tbsp. ginger paste
Salt to taste
Pinch of turmeric
½ tsp. cumin seed
1 dry red chili
1 bay leave
Oil for fry

Make medium thick batter of besan, salt, pinch of turmeric powder, pinch of cumin and garam mashala powder.  Grease a microwave oven proof bowl and put the batter into it. Bake for 2 minutes. After it cools down cover it with a plate and turn the bowl on the plate. The ‘cake’ will come out on the plate. Cut the cake in to cubes.  Fry the cubes for 1-2 minutes in 2 tsp. of oil. Do not deep fry them. Set them aside. Dhokas are ready. Lightly fry the potato cubes and set them aside. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil and put cumin seeds, red chili and bay leave and fry. Put ginger paste and fry. Put onion and tomato and fry in low heat till they become tender. Add potato cubes and fry for few minutes. Add all the spices and fry till a fine aroma starts to come. Add sufficient water and boil till the potato-cubes become tender. Make   Put it out of flame. The curry should be watery when you pa curry with plenty of juice, because the dhokas will make the curry dry. put it out of flame, and pour it over the dhokas. Serve with hot rice.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Potoler dorma (Stuffed pointed gourd)

My foodie hubby wanted to have potoler dorma (stuffed pointed gourd) since we reached Kolkata. Before leaving Kolkata I decided to cook the same, because big pointed gourds were not available in the USA. Next problem was I didn’t know how to cook. So, I took the help of the Internet. However, the recipe which I found was a total veggie. My strictly non-vegetarian hubby wouldn’t like that. So, I decide to use fish for stuffing. My mother-in-law told me that aarh maach (river catfish) was good for stuffing. I sent my hubby to the market to buy the same. He happily went to market.  I only knew that for fish stuffing I had to boil then fish. My mother-in-law helped me a lot. She told me to boil the fish with turmeric powder and salt to ward off the smell. My hubby and I had a tough time to peel and grate the inside of the gourds.  It was really time consuming and cumbrous job. Anyway, at the end the curry was delicious. So, my toil didn’t go waste.
The recipe:
Serving size 4
 Potol (Pointed gourd) 7-8
I medium sized potato (optional)
Fish 2 big piece
2 tsp of ginger paste
1 tsp of garlic paste
1 medium sized tomato
1 medium sized onion
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 cardamoms
2 cloves
1 inch cinnamon

For stuffing:
Boil the fish with little turmeric and salt and put it to cool down. Then smash the fish with 1 tsp of garam  masala, 1 tsp ginger paste,1 tsp garlic paste,1 tsp ginger paste. Set it aside.

Then peel the gourds, and cut the pointed portion from the both sides. With a sharp and thin instrument grate the seeds, and some portion of the mass from inside. I used one thin knife. Put the stuffing in each gourd as much as possible.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom wok and deep fry the gourds. If you are using potato, cut the potato into cube and deep fry the pieces also. Chop onion and tomato. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a wok.  Put cardamoms, cloves, and cinnamon. When they start splutter put onion and tomato until onion changes the color. Put ginger and garlic paste and fry until onion and tomato become tender. Put the rest of spices and fry for few minutes. Put the gourds and sauté for 2-3 minutes and put one cup of water. Add pinch of turmeric powder and salt to taste. Bring it into boil. Boil in medium until the water content becomes half.  Dorma is ready. Serve with steamed rice.