Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mourola macher korai chochori

Nothing much to write about this recipe.

Mourola mach or anchovies are my husband's favorite. I usually make churchura or mourola mach with alu, peyaj and begun. Obviously these recipes have been repeated so many times that we were bored of them.
I was searching frantically for something new yet easy. Something spicy.
Then I came across this recipe in the Bengali food magazine Hangla Hneshel.

Some little tweaks here and there...and there it was. Spicy dry stir fry. Hope  hubby likes it!!

Servings: 4


About 300gm mourola cleaned and gutted.
half tsp. haldi
5 green chilies chopped
1 medium and 1 small onion chopped finely
1 tsp. finely chopped ginger
1.5 tsp. garlic paste
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. mustard paste
1 tsp. poppy seed paste
2 tbsps. oil


Take a big plate (Thala). Mix everything together evenly.

Let it rest for some time.

Take a wok, grease it with oil and heat up.

Spread the mixture evenly in the wok and lower heat. Do not cover.

After few minutes, turn the mixture and let the other side cook. Continue this till the fish is cooked and oil comes up on the surface.

This should not go totally dry. The mixture should have some moisture. Serve with a sprinkle of coriander leaves.

Tia's Paneer ala Anushka Sharma

Tia, my kid sister has a knack to cook all not so Bengali recipes...Bangali khabar is for the house wives she says. I am sure she will understand the lack of logic behind her thought some day...but as of now she refuses to cook Bengali food.

Anything which can be made in a jiffy is her forte... Pastas, aromatic rice dishes,Prawns and chicken dishes which do not take ages to cook....nothing that should take more than half hour to finish off.

I, on the other hand, like creating all the elegant recipes. I love all my mochar ghonto, borar dalna, dhoka and muri ghontos....and also the biriyanis and pulaos...even if they take ages to make.

So we get into these fights....where she champions her 5 minute recipes and I keep on bragging about traditional recipes and tell her off for taking the easy way out.

Tia found out about this Paneer recipe in a cookery show featuring Anushka Sharma. The actress said her mom cooks this for her all the time. I refuse to believe her although....Paneer with cream and cashew does not gel well with a tending towards size zero woman I say. Otherwise she would need a BMR touching the sky.

Anyways, this recipe my sister liked instantly....If Anushka can cook it in 20 minutes straight, then definitely she can cook it in lesser time...absolutely her kind of recipe.

I sniggered when I heard about this...which good paneer dish other than a stir fry could be cooked in 15mins? Paneer recipes had to be creamy and had to be simmered on low flame to bring out the creaminess right? Even paneer bhurji takes more than 15mins to prep and cook.

Then she insisted to cook it for us that night. Ohh! I was bowled over by this one...creamy it was...not overly spicy neither too mild...just right in was an epiphany I guess...I would have never believed otherwise that creamy goodness of slowly cooked paneer could be recreated in 15mins following a recipe which had just 10 ingredients.

Tia had a smug look on her face which was screaming "I told you so" on my face.

Since then this has been my savior. Whenever I am in dearth of time, someone comes down for dinner suddenly this is my go-to dish. And it never fails to impress.

Servings: 4


About 300gm paneer chopped into 1.5 cm cubes.
1 tsp. cardamom powder
1.5 tsp. ginger paste
half tsp. haldi
half tsp. Kashmiri mirch powder
1/3 cup. tomato puree
2/3 tsp. garam masala powder
5 green chilies chopped
1 tbsp. cashew paste
2 tbsps. cream and a tsp. to garnish
1.5 tbsps. oil


Heat oil. Add the cardamom powder followed by ginger paste. Once the rawness of the ginger disappears, add the haldi and Kashmiri mirch powder. Sprinkle some water.

After few stirs add the tomato puree and cashew paste. Follow that with the garam masala powder. Once all masalas are cooked properly add the paneer, chilis and salt. I add a pinch of sugar also.

Add the cream, give it a quick stir and let it bubble for a min.

Garnish with cream and some coriander maybe. And voila!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Borboti Bhaji....Gujrati style

Its been ages now I guess. As I mentioned, being mother to a hyper-active 9 month old is a full time job....add an IT job to it and you have hell broken loose. Exactly what had happened to me. With audits going on at work, daughter down with cold, I felt I needed 48 hours days. I wouldn't even speak about nights...I am dreaming about sleeping like a child for 8 hours some day. That's a luxury currently :(

Lets come back to the recipe now.

I have a friend at work....Sudipta...a total foodie....a pork and beef addict like I am....only difference being that she could survive happily on Maggi for days.. not that I couldn't, but she just refuses to cook properly. She would do a daal and dheros bhaji with a sad face if she had to. But I feel bad for her poor hubby and for her as well. I still coax her to learn cooking...she actually tried cooking banana flower and even Paneer tikka one day. She is improving I guess.

This recipe, being so simple and yet so tasty, is to inspire her. Go on Sudipta, cook some more!!

For me, inspirations come in all shapes and sizes and from all directions as well. My mom, grand-moms, mother-in-law obviously top the list. Then there are others....friends, friends' moms, neighbors, aunts, restaurants, magazines, cookery shows, even the chowmeinwala near my office or Bapi Da's momo shop at Karunamoyee. All of them count.

I am not so much fan of how my mom cooks borboti or long beans, with potato in a tomato gravy. So I always avoided it.

This I learnt from my Gujrati neighbors. Now the Parekhs happen to be more than family. They virtually feed me and my sister when ma is not at home. Which is why I am so fond of whatever they cook I guess. A hungry stomach is fond of any food they can get hold of. Well jokes apart, the eldest Parekh wife, whom we call Boro Aunty cooks like a goddess and unfortunately likes to hold to her secrets. This is the only recipe I could get hold of and even after cooking this one at least hundred times, I fail to get the same taste. Seems she has cheated on me this time as well.

However mine comes out a close second to I could do with sharing mine with all of you. I am sure even those who hate string beans will fall in love with this recipe. I can have this every day and in every meal of my life and still not get bored with it.

Servings: 4


About 500gm String beans or borboti.
1 tsp. asafetida/hing
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 tsp. ajwain
1.5 tsp. chilli powder
1.5 tsp. dhania powder
2/3 tsp. garam masala dowder
1.5-2 tbsp. oil


Chop the beans into 1/2cm or even smaller pieces.

Heat oil in the wok. Add ajwain, followed by hing and baking soda. Follow this with the beans and salt. Give a stir and cover. Put on low heat.

The string beans will release loads of water. Once it begins to dry up, add the rest of the masalas and just a sprinkle of water. Cover again and put on low heat.

Once the beans start looking like a mash and dries up, take it off heat.

I like this with rice and rice only...but I guess the health freaks could try with roti. I warn you it wouldn't taste the same though.

And there you have it. Enjoy with your rice.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lau er khosa bataa

Now this one is pure Bangal!! The first on my blog from the other side of the Ganges.

We Ghotis have had the luxury of staying on our own lands, our own villages or towns, in our own houses. We have had the good fortune of never having to let go of our roots or our near ones.

My in-laws on the other hand, like several other Bangladeshis, were forced to travel to Kolkata in the 70's and 80's, leaving behind ancestral home in Chittagong along with all what was dear to them. From being one of the richest in the village to becoming immigrants must not have been a happy journey.

As my mom-in-law says, they had to be immensely innovative in their cooking, having to do with whatever they had at home and making sure they wasted nothing. So nothing went into the garbage...vegetable peels, seeds, fruit peels and fish bones...everything were used up. The surprise laid in how they actually came up with delicious dishes with all kind of  trash and leftovers.

This one is one of that kind. I fell in love with all kind of Bataas (Pastes) when I came to this house ... bottle Gourd peels, Green Banana peels, Parwal peels, Kochu Saak Bataa, Chingri Bataa...and the list is unending. Bottle Gourd Peel is my current Favorite. Previously I used to finely chop it up and fry it with kalo jeera and onions. That remains a favorite too, this is just a rendition.

Servings: 4


Peel from a small Bottle Gourd.
8-10 cloves of Garlic (I love my Garlic...decrease amount if you want to)
5-6  Green Chili (Ditto on this one)
1/4 tsp Kalo Jeera (Black Cumin)
1 tbsp. oil


Put the peel into the pressure cooker with little water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook through 2 whistles.

Once this cools down, make a paste of the peels along with black cumin, garlic and chili. I would prefer Sil Nora (Grindstone), but when time does not permit I depend on my loyal Mixer Grinder. Somehow although I never get the same taste...might be a psychological issue :D

Heat the oil in the wok. Add the paste and keep stirring at medium to low heat. This will take some time and finally your paste will dry up into a ball and the color with change from green to Brownish.

And there you have it. Enjoy with your rice.

Murgir Bhorta....Thanks to PriyaDarshini

I was on to my usual blog hopping when this blog came up on my list... Let's Talk food has been a constant inspiration since then. I refuse to believe that this lady would or could ever stop cooking good food. She has a knack for coming up with the unusual and more so with Bengali recipes. Her Murgir Bhorta , Aam Kasundi Diye Dimer Jhal seem to have come out of the blue just to make me salivate.
I kept on telling my Hubby and whoever else would listen in the household about how I had come hold of an ingenious recipe and how the picture was beautiful on that blog and how talented this blogger was. Well the idea was to pester them to the limit that they would ask me to make it.
It happened. Hubby, a health freak turned foodie thanks to me (Not that I am very proud of it...I am to be blamed for all his Cholesterol and Indigestion), eventually asked me not to delay this further and what had to be done had to be done.
So, with a breast of chicken (minced chicken was not at hand), I did start off. I am sure from the look of it that it was not half as tasty as Priyadarshini's. But what do I do... as long as I do not get hold of this lady and get her to cook this for me I will have to do with this one. It wasn't that bad after all.
I substituted the chicken mince with a whole breast and just to be a bit original (well I did not have Coriander leaves anyway), I used a leaf which is called Jahaji Bor Pataa by my mom-in law. Not sure what it is called by us Ghotis, but it adds some great flavor to any dish and we add it to our Shutkis and our Loitta mach er jhuri and where ever else it fits.

I also left out the Garam masala...Hubby or mom-in-law isn't that fond of it.
Thanks Priyadarshini!! This was a total hit with Hubby. I am taking along some for Sis and Mom tomorrow. Sure they would like this as well.

Servings: 4 or if it were me and Hubby then possibly 2
1 medium chicken breast
1 onion paste
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1.5 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp besan
Around 6 to 7 green chilis (what I sacrificed on chili powder, I made up with the fresh ones)
About 5 to 6 Jahaji Bor leaves
3 tbsp. Mustard oil
Grind the chicken in a blender into a fine paste along with everything else the Besan, oil and Jahaji Bor. Keep aside for half an hour. 
Now heat a Wok. Once the pan is hot, pour in the spiced chicken mixture. Stir well, bring to a boil, cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Remove cover and continue cooking on low heat, until the juices dry up. Add chopped leaves and keep frying on low heat. Continue frying on low heat for another 10mins
As Priyadarshini mentioned, "If the chicken dries up a little to much, sprinkle some warm water and continue. You can do it a few times, as required. "

Add in the besan and mix well. Priyadarshini had suggested some more Mustard oil, but I had to sacrifice since Hubby isn't keeping well.  Nevertheless it was yummy.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sada Lau my mom calls it

Sada Lau or Dudh sorshe die lau is a staple in West Bengal during the summer. Its called Sada lau only because we do not add turmeric to it. It is supposed to act as a coolant during the heat.
Mom, being a pure Ghoti makes it on a bit sweeter note. She often adds maida or wheat flour to it to give it a creamy look. She obviously makes it pretty well. Proof being the fact that Baba, who is a self proclaimed veggie hater, eats this without uttering a word.
Now at in-law's, sweet is almost barred in all recipes. Firstly mom-in-law is highly diabetic and next obviously because they are Bangals and which sane Bangal adds sugar in their food!!?? I, however sometimes get tired of all this saltiness and crave for some sweet Lau or Mocha or Thor.

Then suddenly one day Hubby gets bored of the usual Lau Bori and Lau Chingri. I make him Lau Peyaj Posto (That I will post another day). Now he is even bored of that.

So today I eventually take a risk, and a big one that too. I try out mom's Sada Lau. Hubby should have had it at my house by this time, but mom tries to avoid all sweet stuffs when he is around.

Anyways now I am sure this is a fool proof recipe. Hubby and even mom-in-law got bowled out. Hubby had actually had it packed in his lunch box today. He called up just to say that he loved it. Now that's called success!! Yippee for I can have some sweet stuffs occasionally.

Servings: 4 to 5

1 small Bottle gourd
2 tsp. green chilli paste
1 tsp. whole black mustard
2/3 whole dry red chilli
4 tbsp. milk 
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. mustard paste (I mix both white and black mustard for this ...2:1 ratio)
1 tbsp. sugar (add this according to your taste but I suggest try the sweeter version once)
Salt to taste
2 tsps. oil


Shred the bottle gourd (keep the peel for other recipes). Heat oil in a pan. Add the red chilli. Once it  darkens, add the mustard seeds and wait them to splutter. Now add the shredded bottle gourd and salt and cover the pan.

The bottle gourd will release loads of moisture which in turn will also cook it. Once all the water dries out, add the green chilli paste and sugar (I added 2 Sugarfree pellets). Cook it for some more time.

Now mix the mustard paste with milk and add this to the dish. Cook it for another minute maybe or till the milk dries off partially.

This is ready now. However, try to have it once it comes to room temperature.


1. You can add the mustard paste separately and then mix some maida with the milk and add it.
2. Add grated coconut to the dish if you want it a bit more yummy.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Some peas and some inspirations

"My mom is a great cook"...that's how all human being starts off I think...moms can never go wrong with cooking I guess. I think my Ma is a good one...not that she likes cooking a lot. I think she is bored of it since my Dad loves eating and she has been cooking for him for so many years now that she would definitely want some break.
But what makes her a good cook is her intuition...I have never seen her make a bad dish...Its always above average. I think that's what makes her my role model in some ways. Ma makes some mean parathas and kachoris...however, this is one place where she has failed to teach me much. My rotis were always like maps and parathas always got torn and tasted like papad...and I never as much as tried to knead the dough. And then I came to my Hubby's home where I think everybody loved parathas and luchi and kachoris. My mom-in-law always had them on fasts and then the cook being so very insensitive would run off on one such day and I had to start off an adventure in the kitchen making parathas. Thus began a rather not so good not so bad journey.
Now I can make good simple parathas and even rotis at times... :)
Winter is just setting off in Kolkata...and every corner Kachori shop is making great smelling Koraishutir Kochuri..that started making me think (and salivate also)...why not try a stuffed paratha this time. My mom, although she could not make me learn make rotis, taught me some great stuffings...and Peas Kachori happened to be the best of them least my Dad's and my favorite. But Hubby being on the edge of getting cholesterol and me getting chubbier day by day...I got inspired to make a least some oil got saved. And it turned out great actually...some of the stuffing came out of the dough...but never mind that...tasty it was!!!
So here's to all my my mom...for her intuition which she taught my dad...for being the greatest encouragement when it came to food...and to my mom-in-law.. for helping me to learn to manage these doughy mess...and most of all to my hubby...for being the patient victim...thanks to all of them

Koraishutir Paratha

Serving: 8 parathas


Maida:                      3cups (Coffee Mug Size)
Oil:                        3 tbsp + 1tbsp+to fry
Peas:                       2cups
Green Chilly:               6
Ginger Paste:               1 tbsp
Bhaja Masla (recipe below): 2 tbsp
Salt:                       As per taste
Water:                      As required

Bhaja Masla:

Whole Garam Masala: 2 tbsp
Dried red chilly:   10
Whole jeera:        2 tbsp

Dry roast all the ingredients together and dry grind them to a fine powder.


Knead the maida with 3 tbsp oil and some salt and enough water to make some tight dough. Apply some more oil on the dough and keep it aside.

Wet grind the peas, chillys, ginger paste and bhaja Masla to a not so fine paste

Heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok and fry this paste until it gets a greenish brownish colour. Cool the stuffing

Make 8 balls from the dough. Make 8 balls out of the stuffing

Flatten each of the balls to make a paratha. Put a ball of stuffing in the middle and make the dough ball once again. Flatten it again carefully into a thick paratha. Repeat the same steps for the rest of the balls.

Heat a tawa and fry these parathas with little oil.

Serve with pickle or alur dom.