Monday, 31 August 2015

Chicken Dak Bunglow


     The famous recipe named Chicken Dak banglow has evolved by a historical story of British raj. Actually Dak banglows were a  type of well-equipped and well-furnished guest houses or Circuit houses which were made for the British people .They used to rest or stayed at night when they were in the middle of the long journey or in the midway of collecting Taxes etc. The Khansamas are the people who had the full responsibility to take care of them .They cooked mouth-watering dishes/meals by their very own style to make them happy and satisfy. They sometimes used to cook meat of their own pet to give extra relief to the officials of British Raj.
    Chicken Dak banglow is one of such dishes still remain among popular Bengali dishes and is still happily consumed years after British Raj. I first fell in love with it after tasted it at the Restaurant “Bhajahari Manna” with their great combo meal with “Basanti Polao”.
     There is as such no strict version of the same and the ingredients are very easily available and known. The ingredients are as simple as to cook “Murgir Jhol ” in day to day cooking. Chicken Dak banglow mainly a one pot recipe cooked with potatoes and eggs. The original taste only comes with the use of Mustard oil and ghee, but for the sake of the health you can also use any white oil. You can use tomatoes to thicken the gravy further but it is totally optional, in this particular recipe I used vinegar and unsweetened yogurt instead of tomatoes. So presenting a lovely dish with lots of historical evidence and stories --the Chicken Dak banglow.


Ingredients:

·        Chicken with bone (medium pieces) -750 grams.

Marinating Ingredients:

·        Turmeric powder -1 tsp.
·        Kashmiri red chilli powder -1 tsp.
·        Unsweetened yogurt -3 tbsp.( beaten with 2 tsp. of water)
·        Salt -1 tsp.
·        Mustered oil-1 tsp.
·        Homemade Garam masala powder -1/2 tsp.
(first dry roast  one bay leaf, 3-4 green cardamoms, One black cardamoms ,3-4 cloves ,a small piece of cinnamon stick, then make powder in blender)

Others ingredients:
·        Potato (cut into halves) -3 nos.
·        Boiled eggs -4 nos.
·        A smooth paste of 3 onions, 1’’ ginger piece and one large garlic
·        Fried onion slices -1 no.
·        Green chilli slices-2 no.
·        Cumin powder-1/2 tsp.
·        Coriander powder -1/2 tsp.
(In a small container using 1 tsp. of water make a thin paste of cumin and coriander powder. To do this I used that container in which I marinated chicken pieces.)
·        Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp.
·        Kashmiri red chilli powder -1/4 tsp.
·        Garam masala powder -1/2 tsp.
·        Whole spices: 2 cardamoms ,1 cinnamon stick and 2-3 cloves
·        Salt to taste
·        Sugar -1 tsp. or as per taste
·        Vinegar-1 tsp.
·        Mustered oil-4 tbsp.(in absence you can use white oil)
·        Ghee-1/2 tsp.



Method:
·        Wash and clean chicken pieces and marinate with mentioned ingredients. Keep it in refrigerator for at least an hour.

·        Heat big mouthed kadai and take oil.
·        Lightly fry potatoes and eggs into hot oil. Meanwhile Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder. Remove from heat and keep aside.
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·        Use the same oil to fry onion slices till it becomes golden brown. Remove from heat and keep separately.

·        Now into the remaining oil add whole spices and little bit of turmeric and red chilli powder.
·        Then immediately add onion ginger –garlic paste, otherwise turmeric and red chilli powder will gets burned.

·        Mix well and cook for 5-6 minutes. Oil will be floated over on top.
·        Next add marinated chicken pieces, green chilli, salt, Potatoes and sugar. Mix well and cook for 5-6 minutes in medium hot oil.
·        Add cumin-coriander powder mixture and vinegar. Mix well.
·        Add a cup of hot water, when water starts boiling add eggs.
·        Mix well gently and cover with lid and let it boil for another 20 minutes at low flame.
·        When chicken cooked well, open the lid and off the gas.
·        Finally spread ghee and Garam masala and give a standing time of 5 minutes covering lid.
·        It’s ready to serve with hot steamed rice or any Indian bread you like.


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Chingri Malaikari (Prawn with coconut curry)



                    Chingri Malaikari (Prawn with coconut curry) is among popular dishes in Bengali cuisine; it is truly un-necessary to say that we Bengalis madly fish lovers and happily enjoys this dish without any occasion, rather they need any excuse to eat this regal dish.
        This is a kind of weekend dish also prepared in any good occasion like “Bengali Nababarsha” , “Durga puja festival” or on Birthdays  and Marriage parties.
 “Chingri mach” is the Bengali term used for lobsters, prawns or shrimps. This dish specially cooked with coconut milk and obviously prawns, irrespective of the size of prawns like jumbo, medium or small.
        There is not any particular version of Chingri Malaikari. Someone can prepare using cumin powder or coriander powder with the onion ginger garlic paste also. But the ingredient without which this dish is incomplete is the coconut milk or grated coconut. Grated coconut makes the curry more thick, though here I liked to use coconut milk.
         If we find out the history of this authentic dish, we find it came from Malaysia and that’s why it is incomplete without coconut as coconut is main ingredients in that cuisine. And the spelling “Malay” gradually evolved in to “malai” which is used as “prawn malai curry”. So have a try this fabulous Bengali recipe.


Ingredients:

·        Prawn(Moderate to Big sized)-  12 pieces
·        Onion-ginger-garlic paste -1/2 cup or heaped 2 ½ tbsp.
(Make a fine paste in blender taking one medium sized onion, 1’’ piece ginger, 8-10 pods garlic and 2 green chilies)
·        Chopped onion -1 small size.
·        Coconut milk of half coconut (I used homemade) -1 small glass.
·        Yogurt-1/2 cup.
·        Whole garam masala – cardamom (2 no), Cinnamon (1’’ stick), Clove(2-3 no)
·        Garam masala powder-1/4 tsp. (using only cardamom, cinnamon and clove)
·        Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp.
·        Kashmiri red chili powder-1 tsp.
·        Salt to taste
·        Sugar-1 tsp.
·        White oil- 3 tbsp.
·        Ghee- 1 tsp.
·        Bay leaves-2 no
·        Green chili slices-2 no.

Method:

·        For making coconut milk take grated coconut in blender. Add ½ a cup of hot water in it. Blend well. Put this coconut paste in a muslin cloth .strain it .Put a container just below the cloth. Get white fresh coconut milk.
·        In a small container add turmeric and red chili powder. Pour 2 tsp. of water and mix well. Keep aside.
·        Wash and clean Prawns (chingri). Then insert tooth pick into it .It helps to keep its size intact.
·        Take oil and ½ tsp. of ghee in a kadai.
·        Sauté Prawns in medium hot oil. When you put prawns in oil, within 3-4 sec it will change its colour into red .Then remove from heat and keep aside.
·        Into the remaining oil add whole garam masala and bay leaves. When it starts to spluttering add chopped onion.
·        Cook for 2 minutes till the colour become pink colour. Then add onion-ginger- garlic paste. Cook for 3-4 minutes until it became light brown.
·        Now add turmeric-red chili paste in to it .Mix well. Cook till the oil is floating on top.
·        Next add beaten yogurt, salt to taste and sugar into it. Mix and cook for another 30 seconds.
·        Pour coconut milk and green chili slices.

·        When it starts to boil add prawns in it. You can use   ¼ cup of hot water according to required gravy.

·        Let it boil for 10-12 minutes in low flame covering lid.
(note: Over boiling will hard the prawns)
·        After that time getting off the gas flame adds garam masala powder and rest ½ tsp. of ghee.
·        Finally with lid give a standing time for 5 minutes.
·        Serve hot with steamed rice or any fried rice as you wish.



Thursday, 6 August 2015

Kumro Ilish (Hilsa with Pumpkin)

    Hilsa (Ilis in Bengali) is one of the most famous and bit costly fish. But Bengalis never mind to purchase and always ready to make extra hole in the pocket only because of the taste of the fish. You can’t find a single Bengali who at least one time not purchases this fish in this season (monsoon).
    Bengalis make lots of recipes, lots of experiments with it for years. Now a days all recipes are gladly accepted by all people in from different states and districts. In Eastern part of India each district has some special version of Hilsa.
   In modern days food lovers always try to make a new version and always want to make something new out of this only because of its unique taste. One can experience its softness and can see how much oil it releases at the time of frying (macher tele mach bhaja J).
  Here I made a simple lite curry of Hilsa with umpkin.




Ingredients:
·        Hilsa fish-8 no
·        Pumpkin cut into cube- small one cup
·        Green chili slices-3-4 no
·        Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp.
·        Salt to taste
·        Mustard oil- 3-4 tbsp.
·        Punch photon (The whole mixed spice of fenugreek seed, black cumin, mustard seed, fennel seed and cumin seed)

Method:
·        Take a kadai with mustard oil.
·        Clean fish pieces, spread turmeric powder and salt over it and mix it.

·         When oil is hot, fry in hot oil.
 (To fry the specially hilsa fish I don’t use any lid. Because it is a very soft fish and it takes very less time to fry)
·        Remove fried fishes from heat and put punch photon into the remaining oil. Stir for 3 seconds.
·        Lightly fry pumpkin pieces in this same oil and remove from heat.
(If you fry pumpkin with the punch photon, it may burn .Because when you are frying pumpkin; punch photon will be over fried and will lose its nice aroma.)

·        When aroma starts to come add fried pumpkin pieces and two green chili slices. Mix nicely.
·        Next add turmeric powder and salt, mix it and at that time add water as you require amount of jhol or around one cup.
·        When water is boiling add fried fish pieces, rest of green chilies and reduce flame in low. Cover with a lid.
·        Let it cook for 15 minutes.
·        It is ready to serve. Serve hot with steam rice..



Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Mutton Cheesy Khichuri / Khichdi



     In Bengali , Khichuri ( Khichdi) is a rich gourmet delicacy often takes with Begun bhaja(Fried Brinjal), Aloo bhaja(Fried Potato) and Papad. A little bit sprinkling of ghee (butter) makes the taste out of the world .The aroma comes out of this combination can’t be described in words. This popular recipe commonly cooked in the rainy season and  must mention the unique combination with bhaja Ilish(fried Hilsa Fish) makes Bengali just mad. The vegetarian version of Khichuri also considered as a Prasad in any holy ceremony across India. Bengalis never forgot to prepare the recipe in the occasion of Saraswati Puja and Durga Puja(Saptami Special , the seventh day of Navaratri).
         There is a plenty of different versions of the recipe and people continuously explore new things. This time I made a Khichui with the combination of Mutton Keema and Cheese. The addition of Cheese, I found makes it bit International and it becomes pure fusion food.



              I am also very happy this time to share the fact that this unique Khichuri recipe got a place in the Bengali Food magazine “Hangla Hesel” in their 34th edition along with infinite no. of mind blowing other recipes.   
              



Ingredients:

·        Mutton keema / Qeema /Minced-150 grams.
·        Mung/Moong dal-1/2 cup
·        Rice(I used Govindo bhog rice)-1/2 cup
·        Fried onions (cut onion in slices and fry)-1 big sized
        (Fried onion in ghee brings a nice aroma)
·        Grated garlic and ginger-1 tbsp.
·        Chopped beans-1/4 cup
·        Pumpkin (cut into small cubes)-1/2 cup
·        Small pieces cauliflower florets-1/2 cup
          (Lightly fry in white oil)
·        Chopped tomato-1 medium
·        Green chili slices-2 no
·        Whole spices required:
·        Whole cardamom (2-3 nos.),
·        Cinnamon stick(1 inch),
·        Clove (2-3 nos.),
·        Bay leaves-2 nos.,
·        Whole red dry chili-2 nos.
·        Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp.
·        Red chili powder- ¼ tsp.
·        Salt –To taste
·        Sugar-1 tsp.
·        Lemon juice-1 no
·        Grated cheese(can be used any type of cheese)-1 handful or less if you want
·        White oil-3 tsp.

Method:

·        Wash and clean mutton keema .Then boil it with 2-3 clove crush garlic,1 small onion and         2-3 cups of water.
·        When done separate boiled keema and mutton stock.
·        Save the mutton stock. It will be required in making khichdi.
·        Mix rice and lengthy in a mixing bowl. Wash it and sock in water for ½ an hour. It helps        to cook it quickly.
·        Take a kadai. Heat oil in it. When oil is hot, add whole spices.

·        When a nice smell is coming, add ginger and garlic. Mix for 2 minutes. Fry lightly.
·        Now add all vegetables (beans, pumpkin, tomatoes) , turmeric powder, red chili powder          salt and cook until it become soft and mixed well.

·        Next add boiled keema and cook until the oil comes on top.


·        Add soaked rice and lentil in it and mix well.


·        Pour mutton stock in it. If require can add water also. Add sugar and green chilies in it. If      you realize more salt is needed add now also.

·        When water is boiling simmering gas and covering with lid let it boil for 20 minutes.

·        When done mix add fried cauliflower and sprinkle fried onion over it.Cheese has to be      added finally over that. 


·         Give the standing time. Finally your Mutton Cheesy Khichuri is ready to serve.