Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Chili Paneer



Ingredients:
·        Paneer/cottage cheese (cut into cubes) -250 grams
for Paneer mixing masala and frying:
·        Corn flour - 2 tsp.
·        Salt - 1/4 tsp.
·        Black pepper (crashed) -1/2 tsp.
·        Red chili powder- 1/4 tsp.
·        White oil/olive oil (for frying) -3 tbsp.
for gravy:
·        Onion (cut into squares) -1 no.
·        Capsicum (cut into squares) -1 no.
·        Green chili chopped -2 nos.
·        Garlic chopped -1 tsp.
·        Tomato ketchup -2 tbsp.
·        Vinegar -1 tbsp.
·        Light soya sauce -1 ½ tsp.
·        Water - 4 tbsp.
·        Corn starch – 1 tsp.
·        Black pepper powder -1/4 tsp.

Method:
·        Put paneer pieces in a mixing bowl .Sprinkle above mixing masala ingredients over paneer pieces mix it gently and fry into medium hot oil till became light golden colour.
·        Remove from heat and put it into tissue paper for soaking extra oil.
·        Using the remaining oil add chopped onion, capsicum, garlic and chili. Sauté lightly for less than one minute.

·        In small container mix vinegar, tomato ketchup and soya sauce and add it into the kadai.
·        Mix the sauce with onion-capsicum and then add paneer. Mix it also.
·        In a small container make thin paste with water and cornstarch.
·        Finally pour it over paneer mixture gravy, mix gently and boil for a minute.
·        Remove from heat and sprinkle black pepper over it.

·        It is ready to serve with any fried rice or noodles of your choice.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Lebanese Legend Food Festival with Master-chef Jameela Zakey,Afraa restaurant & lounge,Kolkata

             Afraa Restaurant and Lounge hosting a special gastronomical indulgence and I was fortunate enough to have been invited as part of KFB (Kolkata Food Bloggers) to attend the ongoing event “Lebanese Legend”. It was a very special afternoon at Afraa Restaurant and Lounge to experience different dishes form Lebanese, Syrian and Middle Eastern cuisines guided by Master-chef Jameela Zakey from Damascus.
        The Restaurant is situated at the top(7th Floor) of City Centre 1,Saltlake,Kolkata.Entering through the glass door one can find a spacious and  glass decorated walls ,soothing ambiance with fine lighting, seating arrangements . Looking outside one can find the view is nothing less than enchanting for the city of joy Kolkata. This very special place is something which inspires you to come again and again to celebrate your special day in a very special manner.

       We must thank Afraa for giving a chance to explore more and more about different cuisines. After a small introduction with other bloggers we are served with mocktail and juice along with Paneer Tikka with green sauce and crunchy tender fried fish with tartar sauce.

       Then introduced with the wonder woman Chef Jameela Zakey, born to a Syrian father and Lebanese mother.She has flown down to Kolkata to tickle the palettes with an interesting mix of Lebanese, Syrian and other West Asian cuisines. Her story of success was very inspirational and we got to know how she achieved so many things with all odds. She thoroughly explained about Lebanese, Syrian and meditation foods. Also cleared the misconception of people’s about it has mostly non-veg dishes. 

She told about all the dishes and how these cuisines do use spices, olives, olive oil and lots of herbs and veggies. The cuisine has lots of salads, dips and grilled food too, which are more on the healthier side. So these cuisines are perfect combination of veg, non-veg and wonderful desert too.
     As chef’s version if we talk about “Mezze” - is a veg appetizer which is a beautiful mix dish from different Middle Eastern cuisines named “Hummus”,” Labneh” and “Baba Ghanoush” and generally served before any heavy meal. It was served in a very fashioned manner with olive topping in white square dish with a special Middle Eastern chilli.


Mezze

Shorba Bil Adas” is finely selected lentils cooked with celery, cumin and olive oil and also served with Pita Bread.
Shorba Bil Adas


Felafel”- is a deep-fried ball made from chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, commonly served in a Pita, which acts as a pocket.It's taste was wonderful.
Felafel

Felafel Bread

Among Main course the taste of “Batinjan Bil Bechamel” was unforgettable which was made up with marinated eggplant with spices and herbs, baked in white sauce .It was just melting in mouth and a unique taste.
Batinjan Bil Bechamel

Riz ma Zafaran” is saffron rice served along with a chicken preparation in rich gravy.This combination was very nice and chicken was tender and juicy.
Riz ma Zafaran with Chicken

Musakal” is a dish like light Biryani which is assorted grills of tomato, prawn, fish, chicken and mutton with rice. This is served in a very special manner where rice placed at the centre is surrounded by all grilled items.  

Musakal

Three deserts are served and believe me the tastes are just out of the world.
Kanefeh” is a Cheese pastry with toppings of thin vermicelli with pista and syrup. It was too soft to hold and the taste was just awesome.
Kanefeh
The famous Lebanese “Baqlawa” are Pastries filled with pistachio-honey fillings and dipped in thick sugar syrup.It's one bite was just piece of heaven.We each were not stopped till it became finished.
Baqlawa
Last “Om Ali” was served and it was more or less like our Bengali Payesh .This is kind of hot bread pudding prepared along with phyllo, pistachios, pine nuts, raisins and honey.    

Om Ali
      So what are you waiting for…? The “Lebanese Legend” is on till 20th Sept. Just grab this unique opportunity to taste authentic dishes from Lebanese, Syrian and Middle Eastern cuisines…

Me with the Chef

Mama's Healthy Chicken Soup

                A Mama (Maa) always tries to choose healthy and easy digestive foods for their kids. She always fond of the foods that loved by her beloved. I am not the exception and always try to feed her healthy stuffs .Choosing among so vast variety of available food types, which are healthy and at the same time easily acceptable by their kids. I always try veggies to fruits (which are full of minerals and vitamins) and from Milk product to Non vegs(which are full of proteins).That’s why I often try to mix many veggies together for a single Veg dish. Soup is a thing where you can balance the portion of veggies and Non Veg. We all know Chicken and Mutton are very important and are a must for growing baby but too much consumption of these create Constipation even in child. With the mix of Carrot and Corn (and other green vegetables) the problem of constipation overcomes. I find myself the Chicken soup with Vegetables acceptable by my kid and also fits with her age group(4-5-6 yrs.). For Age groups (2-3-4 yrs.) you can do the same procedure and extend the by blending all together for easy feeding.
      So presenting “Mama’s Healthy Chicken Soup” for your kids…and all busy moms..please do let me know.


Ingredients:
·        Chicken (medium size with bone) – 8 – 10 pcs.
·        Chopped Onion – 1no.
·        Fine chopped garlic – 1 tbsp.
·        Finely chopped ginger – ½ tsp.
·        Be seeded  green chili (may use with seeds)– 2 pcs
·        Spring onion (Green and white portion chopped separately) – 2-3 pcs.
·        Fresh Lettuce leave – little portion.
·        Carrot (cut into small cubes) – 1 pcs.
·        Sweet Corn – ¼ cup.
·        Onion Powder – 1tsp,
·        Black peeper – 1 -2 tsp.
·        Salt – to taste
·        Olive Oil – 2 tsp.
·        Butter – little bit

Method:
·        Take a big mouth kadai and take olive oil.
·        At medium head add chopped white portion of spring onion, onion, ginger , garlic all chopped.
·        Saute until it becomes translucent.

·        Now add sweet corn and chopped carrot. Cook until it becomes soft with cover lid for 3- 4 mints.

·        Next add chicken pieces, black pepper and salt and stir well.

·        When the colour of chicken pieces change to white add all rest ingredients one by one except lettuce and mix well.

·        Cook for another 2- 3 mints and add one cup of water .Boil until the chicken become tender.

(If you want to use pressure cooker  then put all together along with water and wait for the first stream coming out of the nozzle valve or first jingle come out of the nozzle)
·        Finally it is ready to serve hot with sprinkling butter and black pepper over , Garnish with a small portion of lettuce (if your kid permits it).The “Healthy Mama’s Chicken Soup” is ready to serve .


Friday, 4 September 2015

Bengali Taler Fuluri /Bora ( Sugar Palm Fried Fritters)

      Again the festival season is on its way to begin and Janmastami is first in the list. Janmashtami, the birthday celebration festival of Lord Krishna. Janmashtami is celebrated in almost every Hindu family in India with great passion and honour. One can find ISCON temple of Krishna in each and every part of the world celebrates the festival with full devotion. Home devotees observes the birth day of Lord Krishna in its own way by worshiping Lord Gopal and prepare different sweet dishes for Gopal. Bengali celebrates the day by preparing different sweet dishes like 'Malpua', 'Tal er Bora', 'Tal er Kheer' etc.

            If we talk about preparation made out of Tal(Palm) ,Taler Bora is comes first in the list which is one of the famous Bengali homemade sweet dishes. The 'Tal or Asian Palm' fruit is available in the monsoon seasons only;so in Bengali homes Taler Bora  is prepared on Janmashtami day and offered to Lord Krishna as bhog (offering made to the God), Once you make it successfully you can't stop, you will get addicted to this fritters. So what are you all waiting for give it a try...relish and enjoy the happiness of our beloved Lord Krishna’s Birthday


Ingredients:
·                    Palm -1 medium sized
·                    Grated coconut – I small sized
·                    Rice powder-2 tbsp.
·                    Semolina -2 tbsp.
·                    Flour – 1 tbsp.
·                    Sugar -4 tbsp/ as sweetness you like
·                    Cashew nuts (chopped)-1 handful
·                    Raisins (chopped) - 1 ½ tbsp.
·                    White oil-for deep frying


Method:
·        Take a medium size Palm /(Tal in Bengali) .Generally there are three kernels in a medium size palm/Tal. But sometimes there may be four kennels/seed inside it.
·        First remove the top portion of the palm fruit. Then tear out the black skin of it. After that the three seeds or kernels will be visible.
·        Now first take one of those seeds, sprinkle water in it and squeeze puree from it.
(Generally a special type of tool is used to do it, but if you don’t have use big hole grater or upside down wooden basket. Follow the same way for rest another two seeds)
·        With a muslin cloth strain the puree again, because it helps to remove the bitterness from the puree.(Actually after squeezing there exits small natural threads of Palm, which is the main cause of bitterness)

·        Now heat a kadai. Pour palm puree into it. Let it boil for 15 minutes with frequently stirring.
·        It will be thicken (the thicken consistency will be just like condense milk), remove from heat and cool it completely at room temperature.
·        Now in a mixing bowl take 1 and ½ cup of puree and add all other mentioned ingredients one by one and mix it.
 (If you add all ingredients at a same time, it may not be mixed well and after adding sugar if you keep the batter for long time, the batter will be then too soft and you may have to mix more binding ingredients. To get more crunchiness just before frying you can sprinkle sugar in it and fry. As a result sugar will not be melt totally and serve a unique taste and crunchiness.)
·        Now dip your Palm(hand) into water and take small amount of batter in your Palm(hand), drop it into hot oil. Then do the flame low and fry it in medium hot oil.
   
·        Finally it is ready for a bite.

·        You can also use the same batter and use extra Maida to make a Dough and you can fry out Palm Puri or even can make simple Palm Chapati out of this….