Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bengali Style Masala Khichdi / Bhoger Khichuri

Popular for its distinct flavor, Bhoger Khichuri or Masala Khichi is an essential part of Durga Pooja. I remember, back in my hometown during Durga Pooja, how I used to wait temptingly for this Khichdi.  The filling and satisfying Masala Khichdi is laden with veggies and daal. The tempering of whole spices make this dish so aromatic that you won't be able to stop yourself by licking your fingers. Here is a delectable KHICHURI recipe that Bengalis offer to Ma Durga as a "Bhog". So let's start making this pure and divine Masala Khichdi with "Flavors of Sneha's Kitchen".



Ingredients:

1/2 cup split moong daal (Dry roast the moong daal on slow flame for 5-6 mints, until its nutty brown. Wash and strain the excess water)
1/2 cup Govind Bhog rice or any short grain rice (Rinse with water and strain)
3/4 cup cauliflower florets
2 medium sized potatoes cut in big chunks
1/3 cup of frozen or blanched green peas
1 medium sized tomatoes roughly chopped
2 pods green cardamom
Masala Khichdi
4 cloves
2 inch pieces cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 whole red chillies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/3 grated fresh coconut
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder or as per taste
1/4 tsp of garam masala powder
4 tbsp of mustard oil/vegetable oil
1 tsp of granulated sugar
2-3 green chillies
Salt as per taste
1 big tbsp of desi ghee
4-5 cups of water or as needed


Method:

  • In a big pan heat oil until smoke starts emanating. Shallow fry the cauliflower and potatoes until they turn brown. Take them out and keep it aside.
  •  In the remaining oil, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and whole red chillies. Saute for 30 seconds. Now add the cumin seeds and let it splutter. 
  • Add the coconut and cook till it turns golden brown. Now add the grated ginger, turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder. Mix well and saute for 30 seconds. 
  • Add the roughly chopped tomatoes and cook for 2 mins or until they get soft.
  • Now add the rice and saute on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the moong daal and mix well. Add 3-4 cups of water and let it come to a boil.
  • Once water is boiling, add fried cauliflower and potatoes. 
  • Add salt as per your taste. Mix well, cover and cook for 15 minutes on low flame.
  • After 15 minutes, add sugar and mix well.
  • Add green chillies, green peas and 1-2 cups of water and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes on low flame.
  • Now add garam masala powder and ghee in the khichdi and give a final mix. Cover and let it simmer for a minute or so.
  • The sumptuous Khichdi is ready to be served.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Murgir/Mangsho Jhol

Murgir/Mangsho Jhol is one of the most traditional food in Bengali cuisine. It's a very common and comfort food in Bengali households that features often in Sunday's lunch menu and one of the oldest weekend favorites of Bongs. Basically, it is a kind of Chicken Curry, in which, chicken and potatoes are immersed. Using big pieces of potatoes in meat curries is a signature of Bengalis, which is not seen elsewhere. This is a spicy preparation and generally served with steamed rice. The most substantial ingredient of making this chicken curry/jhol is mustard oil. It gives pungent and an earthy flavor to this curry. The same recipe can be used for mutton as well. So, let's try making this aromatic and delicious Murgir Jhol with "Flavors of Sneha's Kitchen".   



Murgir Jhol


Ingredients
500 gms of Chicken cut into small pieces (washed & pat dried)
2 big potatoes cut into quarter sizes
1 big onion thinly sliced
Puree of 1 big onion
2 medium sized tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup of yogurt
2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
3 green chilies slitted
4 cloves
4 peppercorn
4 cardamom
1" cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
1 tsp of red chilli powder
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1/4 tsp of garam masala powder
1/4 cup of mustard oil
1 tsp of sugar
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves



Method:

In a large bowl, mix yogurt, 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder and salt. Now, add the chicken and mix with the marination and let it rest for 15-20 mints.

Heat little bit of mustard oil in a pan and shallow fry the potatoes. Put some salt and turmeric powder for seasoning and fry on high heat until you see some golden spots on potatoes.

Now, heat rest of the mustard oil in the same pan and crackle the whole garam masala (Bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn & cinnamon). Add sliced onion and green chillies. Also, add sugar and little bit of salt. Saute until it turns golden brown.

Now, add ginger-garlic paste and fry until the raw flavor of garlic is gone.

Next, add onion puree and cook for a while. The onion should cook completely.

Next, add chopped tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes gets soft.

Once, tomatoes are nice and soft, add red chilli powder, cumin powder & coriander powder. Mix well and fry until oil starts appearing from the corners.

Next, add the marinated chicken and fried potatoes. Allow it to cook on high flame for 10-15 minutes without covering the pan. Don't forget to stir occasionally, because we don't the chicken to be burnt from the bottom.

Once, the moisture is evaporated completely, put the lid on and cook this on medium flame until chicken is soft and start falling off the bones. In the meantime, check for seasoning and add some sugar and salt, if required.

Now pour about 1 and half cup of hot water. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Next, add garam masala powder and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well, cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

The delicious Murgir Jhol is ready to be served. Serve hot with steamed rice and enjoy.




Note: When shallow frying the potatoes, make sure it doesn't get very soft because its gonna cook again with chicken and we don't want to end up with mushy potatoes. Cooking the chicken on high flame, helps to seal the moisture and also, it gives a nice golden color to the curry. Murgir Jhol is usually a thin curry preparation, but since I like semi gravy consistency, so I have added less water. If you want thin curry, you may add some more water.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kalakand

"Kalakand" is a very famous Indian sweet and a lip-smacking dessert in true sense. To be very honest, I never thought of making this sweet at home, as I always thought, it can only be made at those local sweet shops back in India. However, the end result really stunned me, when my husband and I ate this. Ammmm..ya exactly, we were left out of words and I was proud of myself. Kalakand is a variation of Burfi and is soft and grainy in texture. The best part is, it needs very few ingredients. So let's go straight to the recipe and let the magic happen with "Flavors of Sneha's Kitchen." 


KALAKAND


Ingredients
4 cups of Milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 bowl of paneer (recipe of paneer will be in note section)
1 tbsp of sliced pistachio for garnishing


Method:
  • Boil the milk in a heavy bottom pan on medium high heat, until the milk reduces to about 2 cups. Make sure to frequently stir the milk, as the milk burns easily at the bottom of the pan.
  • Now add the paneer in the milk and keep stirring till the mixture thickens and form a soft dough consistency.
  • Add the sugar and continue to cook and stirring, until the mixture becomes soft lump and start leaving the pan from sides.
  •  Pour it over on the greased plate, keeping about half inch thick. Garnish with sliced pistachio and let it cool for about 1 hour. Cut in square shapes.
  • Let it rest in the refrigerator for couple of hours and the yummiest Kalakand is ready to be eaten.


Note: To make the paneer, boil 4 cups of milk in a heavy bottom pan. Mix 2 to 3 tbsp of lemon juice in 2 tbsp of lukewarm water and keep it aside. Once, the milk comes to a boil, add the lemon juice gradually and stir the milk gently. Once the milk fat has separated from the whey, drain the whey using a strainer, line with cheesecloth or muslin cloth. Rinse under the cold water and wrap the cheesecloth. This process will take out the sourness of the lemon. Squeeze well to take out the excess water, but do not knead the paneer.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Egg Roast

Egg Roast is a dish Native to Kerala. There, they call it Nadan Mutta Roast. Keralite loves to consume this mainly with appam but this recipe goes well with steamed rice as well. I love to make egg roast as a side dish, when I'm short of good options. In the authentic recipe, eggs are hard boiled and roasted in masala gravy. However in my version of egg roast, I love to pan roast the hard boiled eggs before adding into the masala gravy. And honestly, this twist made my dish more tasty and appetizing. So, if you want some authentic taste, with little twist, then try this aromatic dish with "Flavors of Sneha's Kitchen".



Egg Roast

Ingredients

5 Hard boiled egg (Cut in half and sprinkle little bit of turmeric, coriander & red chilli powder)
2 medium size onions thinly sliced
1 big tomato sliced
10-12 curry leaves
2 green chillies chopped
1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of red chilli powder
1/2 tsp of garam masala powder
3 tbsp of oil
Salt to taste



Method:

In a flat pan heat 1 tbsp of oil and slightly roast both sides of the eggs and keep it aside.

In another pan heat rest of the oil and add the sliced onions. Saute until it gets light golden color.

Now add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the raw flavor of garlic is gone.

Now add the curry leaves and green chilli. Mix well and saute for another 1 minute.

Now add salt. turmeric, coriander and red chilli powder. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Once the dry powder are slightly roasted, add tomato. Mix well and cook until tomatoes are soft.

Now add the garam masala powder and saute for 1 more minute.

Now add just half cup of water. Mix well and let it come to a boil.

At last, add the roasted eggs and mix gently. Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve with appam or your choice of accompaniments.




Note: If you want, you can skip roasting the eggs. Just make some vertical slits on hard boiled eggs and throw in the roasted gravy masala.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kadai Paneer

Kadai Paneer is a perfect combination of paneer, bell peppers, onion, tomato and traditional Indian spices. This recipe is packed with flavor and has the wonderful fresh ground spice aroma and flavor that compares to nothing else. Its spicy, delicious and a main course curry, generally served with Indian breads like roti, parantha or naan. A kadai is a thick, circular, cooking pot used in Indian cuisine. Not to worry, if you don't have one in hand, this paneer dish can be cooked in any type of pot. So let's get started, to make this sumptuous dish with "Flavors of Sneha's Kitchen".






Ingredients

250 gms of paneer/cottage cheese
1 big onion sliced
1 small onion cubed
1 big tomato cubed
Half green bell pepper cubed
Half red bell pepper cubed
2 green chillies slit
3-4 cloves
2-3 cardamom
3-4 peppercorns
1 bay leave
1 tbsp of coriander seeds
1 tbsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of fennel seeds/saunf
1 tsp of red chilli powder
1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of oil
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish



Method:

Dry roast the spices (coriander, cumin, cloves, peppercorn, fennel, cardamom) in a pan for a minute or until the aroma starts coming out. Don't roast it to too long, otherwise it may become bitter in taste.

Keep it aside and let it cool down. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and add sliced onion. Cook until onion gets dark golden color.

Now add  tomato and sprinkle some salt. Cook until tomatoes gets soft. Adding salt at this point of time will help tomatoes to cook faster.

Now let this mixture cool down. First, ground the dry roast spices until coarsed. Make sure to remove the skin of cardamom before grinding. Now, in the same jar blend the cooked onion and tomatoes until you get a smooth paste.

In a pan, heat butter. Throw in the bay leaves and ginger-garlic paste. Saute until the raw flavor of garlic is gone.

Now add the red chilli powder and slit green chilli. Mix well and saute for a minute.

Now add the cubed bell peppers and onions. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes or until pepper and onion get soft.

Add the ground paste and mix well. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

Now add little water and mix well. Adjust salt to taste and let it come to boil.

Now add in the paneer cubes and mix well. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

At the end, add chopped cilantro leaves. Mix well and serve.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Chicken Pulao

Chicken Pulao is a delicious and easy to make recipe. Yogurt marinated chicken is cooked with spices, blended well with rice and simmered to perfection. The end result is sumptuous Chicken Pulao. After all the try outs, I finally came with the right fusion of this recipe. In my version of Chicken Pulao, I made this as simple as possible but there is no compromise in taste. When you are tempting for Chicken Biryani and don't have time and all the fancy ingredients to make, try this instead. And you will be surprised with the amazing flavor, which does not taste less than a chicken Biryani, So enough talking and let's start cooking with "Flavors of Sneha's Kitchen".



Chciken Pulao

Ingredients

500 gms chicken pieces (Washed and pat dried)
1 1/2 cup of basmati rice (Soaked in water for 30 mnts and then strained)
1/2 cup of yogurt
2 onions thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
3-4 green chilli
2 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of garam masala
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of red chilli powder
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1" of cinnamon stick
3-4 cardamom
3-4 peppercorns
3-4 cloves
1 bay leave
7-8 mint leaves
1 tbsp of coriander leaves
1 tbsp of clarified butter/desi ghee
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
Salt to taste
3 cups of water



Method:

Marinate chicken in yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Mix well, cover and keep it in refrigerator for 30 mnts.

Heat oil in a pan. Add in the cumin seeds, bay leaves, whole spices and let it crackle.

Add the sliced onion and salt. Saute until onion get golden brown color.

Now add the marinated chicken and broken green chilli. Mix well and cook. Since the chicken has been marinated in yogurt, it will loose out some water. Keep it in high flame and let the water gets evaporated. Keep stirring in between to avoid sticking this into the pan.

Once all the excess water gets evaporated, add the coriander powder. Mix well and cook.

Saute the chicken on medium flame until all the spices and chicken are cooked perfectly.

In another pan, heat the clarified butter. Add soaked rice and saute on medium flame for 1-2 minutes.

Now add the cooked chicken and combine well with rice.

Now add water and mix well. Throw in the mint leaves and coriander leaves. Adjust the amount of salt and mix well.

Once water comes to a boil, cover and cook it on low flame until rice is done. This process should take approx 15-18 mnts. Turn off heat and do not remove the lid for 10 mnts. Make sure rice does not get burn at the bottom.

And Voila! your sumptuous Chicken Pulao is all ready. Serve with sliced onion and raita or your choice of curry.
Chicken Pulao ready to be served




Tips: To get a perfect texture, make sure you add just the double amount of water than rice. Soaking the rice before cooking is also very important. To make your chicken pulao more aromatic, you may also use some saffron. Just mix the saffron strands in 1 tsp of cold milk and mix this in pulao while cooking. You may also sprinkle some deep fried onions at the end. Choice is all yours :)

Recipe Courtesy: My super awesome Bhabhs "Anusha Jaiswal"