Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Ghoogni (White peas in gravy,the Bengali way)

  You will find this sold everywhere in West Bengal.You can find them by the road side,,you can find them sold in trains,or you can even find them where we had the  tastiest fare in our lives,I am sure you will all agree,that is in front of school gates.
But I have a different memory attached with ghoogni,This is actually the preparation I would wait for when I went to visit all my neighborhood aunts for the customary visit after Dussehra.This would be the only saving grace after we as children were forced to eat all the plateful of sweets served after Dussehra in Bengali households.

 Related posts-Dum Aloo
                      -Potatoes cooked in curd

Serves -8 people

White peas-250 grams(soaked overnight )
onion-2 large(ground to paste)
garlic-one whole (ground to paste)
ginger-one inch piece(ground to paste)
cumin powder-2 teaspoon
coriander powder-4 teaspoon
chili powder-2 teaspoon
oil(preferably mustard)
salt -as per taste
turmeric powder-1 teaspoon
Bengali garam masala-1 teaspoon Click here for recipe
 Cumin seeds -1 teaspoon
bay leaves-2

Ingredients for garnish
1-Finely chopped onions
2-Green chutney  Click for recipe here
3-Tamarind chutney Click for recipe here
4-Chopped coriander
6-Lemon juice 

1- Cook the peas in pressure cooker till two whistles (reserve the water after straining it).
2- Add the cumin seeds and the bay leaves to the heated oil in a pan.
3-Add in the onion paste 
4-Add the ginger and garlic paste 
5-Add the salt and turmeric powder.
6-Saute for some time till oil oozes out
7- Add the cumin ,coriander and chili powder mixed in a little water
8- Wait till the oil oozes out 
9-Add the boiled peas 
10 -Mix well and fry for 2 minutes in high heat  
11-Add the water reserved after boiling the peas
12-Simmer in low heat for about 5 minutes.
13-Add in the garam masala powder
14-Switch off the flame 
15-Garnish well and serve hot

Important note-
One has to be very careful in cooking the peas.They should not be completely mushy neither too hard.Though I have mentioned two whistles,the number of whistles and the quantity of water for cooking can vary as the hardness of water varies from place to place.

When switching off the flame one should take care that the water in the gravy is on the higher side as it tends to soak up the gravy after cooking.

Ideally it should be served as an evening snacks ,but also goes very well with bread ,paratha or chapati

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Rava idli ,Semolina Idli or Sooji Idli----KId's Lunch Box

I feel there is nothing more versatile in the kitchen than sooji or rava as it is called in South India.This ingredient can be made into many delicious preparations with just a few ingredients.Be it rava dosa,sooji dhokla ,cutlets with sooji or sooji laddu ,each one is as appealing than the other .The rava idli or idli made out of sooji is one breakfast which is loved and relished in my house.
 this is made using the thicker variety of sooji ,not the finer one which is used for halwa.The curd used here is thick ,it is okay if it is little on the sour side.I often make this preparation using curd which is leftover in the fridge and has gone little sour.
 This idli is an ideal lunch box menu because it is very filling ,unlike the regular idli and tastes equally good when not warm. Any accompaniment goes well with it,be it sambar ,any south Indian chutney or the modest pickle. It just tastes as superb as it looks.

Related posts- Lemon sewai
                     Panipuri masala(the spicy potato filling)
                      Sattu ka paratha


1 cup curd
2 cups rava(do not roast the rava)
1 and half cup water
1 sachet of Eno(fruit salt)
 salt as per taste

For tempering
Curry leaves torn into pieces
2 dry red chillies torn into pieces
 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
2 teaspoons of urad dal
2 tablespoon of oil

For garnish 
Fried cashew nuts and dry red chili pieces (you can fry them beforehand and keep them ready)

So let us get started

1-Heat the oil in a pan and add the dry red chillies ,urad dal ,curry leaves and mustard seeds in this sequence
2-Take the rava in a fairly big vessel.
3-add the hot oil with the four tempering ingredients into the rava.
4-Mix well with a spoon ,as it will be very hot to work with hand.
5-The rava should now look like breadcrumbs ,each grain separated from the other
6-Now add the curd and the water and mix well .
7-Add the salt at this point 
8-Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes
9-.-Get the steamer or the idli stand ready ,with the greased moulds.
10-Place the kaju and the dry red chilli fried pieces at the bottom of each mould
11- -After 15 minutes check if it has absorbed the water.
12-The rava should be thick and not watery,if the mixture is too thick add little more water,till it comes to a dropping consistency
13-Add the Eno to the mixture.and mix it well.You will see it froth
14-Pour the mix with a ladle in the moulds and steam for 10 to 15 minutes in high heat
15 -Cool and then demould
16-Serve with your favorite accompaniment

Cold Coffee

Cold Coffee

Cold coffee serves as an excellent welcome drink in the summer.This refreshing drink is very filling and is relished by kids and adults alike.
There can be many variations of this drink depending on the preferred taste.The quantity of sugar depends on  how sweet you want it to be and also on the bitterness of the coffee powder.So before you start making it I would suggest you to taste the coffee powder.I have used regular cream here ,but it tastes better if you use ice cream (vanilla flavor).If you wish to get more froth to give it a better look, go for the regular cream.The quantity of water can be increased if you wish to make it lighter drink.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Aam ki Launji (Raw Mango Chutney-sweet)

 I guess all of us wait for the arrival of mangoes.Be it the raw or the ripe ones,we relish both.  Aam ki launji or raw aam ki chutney is an all time favourite with one and all.Different states has different names for this .Some serve it as an accompaniment while West Bengal serves it at the end of the meal as a dessert.

This preparation can be easily stored in the refrigerator for more than a week.This can be prepared with jaggery or sugar.I have shared the sugar version of it today but the sugar can easily replaced by the jaggery.It depends on which flavour you prefer.the only variation of the Bengali style I have shared today is the generous sprinkling of a combination of powdered spices( dry roasted) at the end of the preparation for some added flavour.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Pineapple Chutney(sweet)

            I think there is no fruit more juicy and more flavorful than the pineapple.Owing to its fibrous texture it is a very versatile fruit.It can be made into jellies ,cakes cooked with many other things and even added to pulao.

Homemade Aam Panna ( Am pora shorbot)

  Summers are here already,so time for something cooling.Today's recipe is the very refreshing and healthy aam panna.With the delicious flavors of raw mango,this summer drink is an absolute treat to the taste buds.So lets get started.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Instant Raw Mango Chutney(The Bengali way)

This is a recipe that brings back many nostalgic memories.Many of us will be able to connect this recipe to memories of enjoying this instant pickle with lazy summer afternoons.This is a quick recipe which involves no cooking ,and can  be stored in the refrigerator for more than a week.