Saturday, November 22, 2014

An Assamese Delicacy: Masor Tenga from Jayati's Food Journey

(Adapted from Masor Tenga - An Assamese Delicacy - Jayati's Food Journey)

This week on the "Know Your Blogger" event on the Kolkata Food Bloggers, the star of the week is Jayati. I have been following Jayati's blog for quite some time now. Her recipes are delicious and flavorful. While browsing through the recipes, I hit upon this fish dish that was the one for me!

The recipe is called Masor Tenga. This delicacy from Assam uses a minimum of spices and has a mild, subtle flavour that is really endearing.

Just look at the glorious dish!


You can have a look at Jayati's original recipe here.

Here is how I made it:

Ingredients:

Rui maach/ Rohu fish: 4 pieces
Tomatoes (big in size): 1 and a half (chopped)
Fenugreek seeds/ Methi seeds: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Green chilli: 1 (slit)
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
Mustard oil
Chopped coriander/ Cilantro leaves: a handful
Salt to taste

Process:

1. Gather the ingredients together. Dust the fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder and fry them in hot mustard oil. Do not over-fry the fish.


2. Heat a tablespoon of mustard oil in a wok and add the methi seeds. Once the methi emits an aroma and turns brown remove the methi seeds. Add the green chilli and the chopped tomatoes. Fry the tomatoes till they turn mushy.


3. Add salt and turmeric and stir fry some more. Now add water. I also added a teaspoon of sugar at this time to suit my taste. 

4. Now gently add the fish pieces. Lower the gas and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice. You can add more lemon juice if you want the gravy more sour and tangy in taste.
5. Take off the gas and add the chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with hot steamed rice!

I am sending this recipe to the ongoing event "Know Your Blogger" at KFB.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Oven Baked "Guilt-Free" French Fries

(Adapted from the Oven Baked French Fries: Cocoawind)


This is week I am back on track. The past two weeks have been terrible with my little one down with a nasty viral fever. She took a full week to get better. At almost the same time, my mom met with a minor accident, sustained a knee injury and was laid up for two weeks.

I was feeling so low that could not get myself to blog anything. Both the girls in my life are getting better...so I am back with a BANG!

This time the Kolkata Food Bloggers are conducting an ongoing event called "Know Your Blogger". The blogger who is in focus this week, is the beautiful, super-talented, Sarani. Her blog is known as Cocoawind. Do check it out for a wide variety of lovely recipes.

While browsing through all the recipes I found the exact one for me. The recipe in question is Oven Baked French Fries. You can check the original recipe here.

This recipe is a sure-shot winner. It is a guilt-free recipe where you can make french fries with just two teaspoons of oil.



Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Big-sized potatoes: 2
Oil: 2 teaspoon (I actually used 3 tsp)
Freshly-ground black pepper: 1/4th tsp
Salt to taste


Process:

1. Wash the potatoes and cut them in the shape of French fries.


2. Now pre-heat the oven at 425 F/ 220 C for 10 minutes.
3. Toss the potatoes in a mixture of oil, pepper, and salt. Make sure each potato piece is well coated with this mixture and spread with on a greased baking tray.

4. Place the tray in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the French fries were done but I kept them in the oven for for 10 more minutes to make them crispy and brown.
5. Remove from the oven and serve hot with tomato ketchup.

I am sending this recipe to the ongoing event on KFB.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Besan ke Ladoo: Diwali ki Mithai

(Adapted from Besan Ladoo Recipe: Veg Recipes of India)


This weekend it was Diwali. My little S, who is all of 7+ was mighty excited about the whole thing. When she was younger, little S was not too fond of Diwali. But now she is at a stage where she loves lighting up phooljhari and rangmashal. She laughs delightedly when her father lights up chakris.

In my in-laws place, the Kali Pujo/Diwali night is celebrated as the Lokkhi/Olokkhi Pujo.

So in the evening, we decorated the house with diyas and my shashuri (ma-in-law) performed the pooja. After which we all went to the terrace to burst the Diwali sparklers. We generally avoid bursting crackers because we dont like all the noise.

This Diwali, I made besan ladoos from the super-talented Dassana's blog. You can find the recipe here.

The recipe is very simple. And you can store the ladoos for long in an air-tight container.


Here is the recipe:


Ingredients:

Besan: 2 cups
Ghee: 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
Powdered sugar: 3/4 the cup
3-4 green cardamoms
Raisins: 1 tablespoon
Chopped cashews: 1 tablespoon (optional)

Process:

1. Powder the green cardamom seeds to a fine powder.
2. Now take the besan in a kadhai/wok and dry roast on a medium flame. Keep stirring contstantly, so that the besan does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
3. After stirring this way for about 10-12 minutes you will get a nutty smell of the roasted besan. Now add the ghee to besan amd mix well. Make sure you have roasted the besan well or else you will get a raw smell of besan in your ladoos.
4. Keep stirring the besan with the ghee till you get a lovely nutty aroma. The besan will leave ghee from the sides. Now switch off the gas and add the powdered sugar. Also add the powdered green cardamom powder and chopped raisins.
 
5. Mix all of this well. Let this mixture cool. 
6. Roll into small or medium sized ladoos.

Serve immediately or store in airtight container.

Note: If you find it difficult to mould into ladoos keep the mixture in the fridge overnight. If you still find it difficult to roll the ladoos, add 1-2 tablespoons of melted warm ghee.

I am sending this recipe to the ongoing event on the Kolkata Food Bloggers called "Deepavali - Festival of Lights".


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tutti Fruti Cake - A Melt in the Mouth Wonder!

The Durga Puja is over. The days are hot and humid but at night there is a nip in the air. The festive air is still very much on with the countdown for Diwali and Bhai Phonta/ Bhai Dooj. In Kolkata, and for all Bengalis everywhere, Diwali is synonymous with Kali Puja. On this auspicious day, we worship Goddess Kali and festivities abound.

I am already excited about the onset of winter and winter of course means lots of baked goodies. This weekend, I baked a tutti fruiti vanilla cake. I had some tutti fruiti in the fridge that was begging to be used. So...voila!




This is a super simple recipe. Here it is:

Ingredients:

APF/ Maida: 1 and a half cups
Sugar: 1 cup
Eggs: 2
Milk/water: 1 cup
Oil/butter: 1/4th cup
Baking powder: 1 and a half teaspoon (level)
Salt: a pinch
Vanilla essence: 1 teaspoon
Tutti fruiti: a handful (for decoration)

Process:

1. This is a basic cake so all you need to do is to mix all the ingredients together. However, keep in mind the measures of all the ingredients are same as given. If you alter the measures, the cake may not turn out as expected.

2. First separate the egg yolks from the whites. Beat the whites till foamy and then add sugar. Gently mix the sugar in the egg whites. Now add the egg yolks and milk and beat well.


3. Sift the maida with baking powder and salt. Add this dry mixture gradually to the wet mixture and mix gently.

4. Do not mix vigorously or over-beat if using a hand/stand mixer. I prefer to mix lightly by hand till the mixture is lump free. Add vanilla essence. The cake batter will be thick but flowy. You should be able to say "1-2-3" before the batter drops completely from the spoon. If the batter appears too thick and not flowy add 2 tablespoons of milk or water to get the consistency right.

5. You can add the tutti fruiti in the cake batter. However, I do not add in the batter because the tutti fruit tends to sediment at the bottom of the cake.

If baking in the oven (OTG);

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C for 10 minutes. Place a steel bowl of water in the oven while pre-heating.

2. Pour the cake batter in a greased cake pan. I used a square brownie pan that is 8 inches in diameter.

3. Wrap a piece of wet towel strip around the cake pan and secure with a safety pin or Velcro fastener. This step is optional and I use this technique to prevent crack formation on the surface of the cake.

4. Bake at 180 degrees C for 40-45 minutes. After the cake is baked use a toothpick to prick the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is baked well. If not, bake for ten more minutes.

5. I generally do not grill the top surface of this cake because I want a soft crust.

If baking in the microwave:

1. Pour the batter in a microwave-safe mould or pan.

2. Place inside the microwave and bake for 5-6 minutes on 100% (HIGH) power.

3. Allow 5 minutes standing time before removing the cake from the oven.


Now your cake is ready. Let it cool down till it warm to touch. De-mold the cake. Decorate the surface with tutti-fruiti or with chopped nuts and raisins.



Enjoy the warm cake with your family and friends. I am sending this cake for the ongoing event on Kolkata Food Bloggers, "Deepavali, Festival of Lights with Sweets and Savouries".



Have a beautiful, shining Diwali everyone!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bhapa (Steam-Baked) Katla Maach (in the Oven and Pressure Cooker)

Just finished a real "rock-and-roll" dinner this Friday night. Reason? The star attraction of the menu was Bhapa Maach (Steam Baked Fish).

I learned this recipe a long time ago from a lady who was a fabulous cook herself. She taught me this recipe in her characteristic motherly way. I don't know where she is now because I lost touch, but I hope she knows how grateful I am for this! I have made this simple dish numerous times for family get-together and its an evergreen hit, every time.


Originally, this steamed fish recipe is used for making the delicate Hilsa fish (Bhapa Ilish) or the flavorful prawn (Bhapa Chingri). If you are using fresh water fishes such as Rui (Rohu/ Labeo rohita) or Katla , you need to saute the fish lightly in oil before steaming it.

I am sending this recipe for the upcoming event on Kolkata Food Bloggers, called "Durga Puja Bhuri Bhoj".




Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Katla maach: 5-6 big pieces
Thick curd: 1 cup
Mustard paste (2 tsp black mustard seeds + 2 green chillies + 1 pinch salt, mixed and ground into a wet paste): 1/2 tablespoon
Poppy seed (posto) paste: 1 heaped teaspoon
Mustard oil: 3 teaspoons
Salt: to taste
Sugar: 1 and a half teaspoon
Chili powder: 1/4th teaspoon
Green chillies: 6-7
Mustard oil for frying the fish

Process:

1. Dust the fish pieces with turmeric powder and salt. Fry the fish in hot mustard oil. Make sure you do not deep fry the fish. The fish should just be fried lightly to get rid of the rawness.
2. Gather all the ingredients as shown in the picture. This includes, fried fish, thick curd (you can use curd made from toned milk if you prefer that), green chillies, mustard paste, poppy seed paste, sugar and salt.

3. Mix all the ingredients (except fried fish). You will get a thick batter. Add a teaspoon of mustard oil to this batter.

4. Now place the fish pieces in a dish and pour the batter over it. Add some slit green chillies.

For steaming the fish, you can use the pressure cooker or the oven. Both the methods are given below:

Using pressure cooker:

1.  First take a steel tiffin box or any steel vessel with tight-fitting lid. Place the fish pieces as well as the gravy in this vessel and close the lid tightly.
2. Add water in the pressure cooker and place the vessel or box inside the pressure cooker. The water should reach about half the sides of the box. Make sure that the water inside the pressure cooker is not too much.

3. Close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook for two whistles.
4. Take off the gas but do not open the pressure cooker. 
5. Let the steam get released on its own. Open the pressure cooker and take out the box.

Using oven (OTG):

1. Take a heatproof dish that is flat in shape.
2. Place the fish pieces in the dish and pour the batter over it.
3. Before baking do not forget to add a teaspoon of mustard oil and a few slit green chillies.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F/176 degrees C for ten minutes.
5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Place the dish on a tray containing boiling hot water. This is essential for building steam inside the oven. Make sure that the water does not spill over inside the dish.

6. Bake the fish for about 30 minutes at the same temperature. Keep the fish in the oven for five more minutes.
7. Remove the foil.

Finally drizzle a few drops of oil on the dish. Add 1-2 slit green chillies and garnish with coriander leaves.

Enjoy with hot steamed rice. Lots of good wishes for this festive season!







Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Eggless Chocolate Cake

(Adapted from Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe (No Butter): Edible Garden )    

Chocolate cake is the ultimate comfort for all of us. I have made it loads of times but this recipe has become my "go-to" savior in times of crisis.
Not only is this recipe eggless but it yields a plump cake that is moist, yummy, and "melt-in-the-mouth" chocolaty!
On principle, I avoid eggless baking because I love the light and airy texture that eggs provide. However, when I tried this one, I loved it! The texture was exactly like a chocolate brownie! And the best part is that you don't need to add curd or yoghurt to the batter. Instead we need to add vinegar...yes you heard me right! Vinegar. Any kind of vinegar that you use at home.
The lovely slices
I am forever indebted to Edible Garden for this yummy and easy recipe. You can find the original recipe here.
Here is the recipe:

Ingredients: 

APF/Maida: 1 and a half cup
Sugar: 1 cup
Vinegar (Apple cider vinegar/ any type of vinegar you use/ lemon juice): 1 tablespoon
Cold milk/ water: 1 cup
Oil: 1/4th cup
Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
Baking soda: 1 tsp
Cocoa powder: 3 tablespoons
A pinch of salt

Procedure:

1. Add cold milk, vanilla extract, vinegar, sugar and oil. Remember to use cold milk. If you use warm milk, the milk will curdle. Cold water works fine for this recipe. 
2. Next add all the dry ingredients.
3. Now start adding the dry mixture to the wet one gradually. Mix using the "cut-and-fold" method. Do not overbeat.
4. Mix till there are no lumps  in the batter.
5. Grease a cake tin and pour the batter into it. I added some chopped nuts and raisins as well.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C for ten minutes. (My cake surface tends to crack at this temp so I pre-heat at 176 degrees C.) Also place a small steel bowl of water in the oven. This will ensure that your cake remains moist.
7. Place the cake tin in the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes at the same temperature.
8. Insert a toothpick or skewer in the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.
9. Now take the cake out of the oven and let it cool down for some time,



10. De-mold the cake and have it with chocolate sauce or vanilla ice-cream. I don't like any kind of toppings on this cake. Yummy....ummmmm!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Jam Roll Loaf: A Sweet Bread

(Adapted from Veg Recipes of India: Jam Roll Bread)


This week I am posting a hot favourite at my home. The first time I made this bread, everyone loved it. The whole loaf was over in no time.

The jam roll loaf is basically a loaf of bread with a swirl of jam in the center. Unlike the Swiss roll, where you bake the cake and then roll it up, the jam roll loaf is baked with jam inside it.

I got the original recipe from here.

This is a complete eggless recipe and very easy to make.


Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

All purpose flour: 2 cups
Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
Instant yeast: 1 and a half teaspoon
Sugar: 1 and a half tablespoons
Butter: 1 and a half tablespoon
Salt: 1 teaspoon
Milk: 3/4th cup
Water: 1/2 cup
 

Process:

1. Mix milk, water, and sugar. Warm this mixture till lukewarm. Add the yeast and keep undisturbed for 10 minutes.
2. Now add salt to the APF and whole wheat flour. Add the liquid mixture to this and mix well with hands.
3. Knead the dough till it is smooth and pliable and springs back on pressing down,
4. Now grease a deep-bottom vessel and dunk the dough in that. Let rise till double in size.
5. Once the dough has risen to double its size, press the dough to release all the trapped air.
6. Dust the working surface with some dry flour. Roll the dough to form a rectangular shape.
 
7. Smear jam on top on the dough.
8. Roll up the dough to form a log shape. Pinch the seams to form a loaf.


 
 
 

9. Now grease a loaf tin and dunk the log in that. Allow it to rise for 45 minutes. The dough will rise above the rim of the tin.
 
10. Pre-heat the oven to 240 degrees C for minutes. Cover the bread tin with tin foil and place in pre-heated oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
 
11. Now lower the temperature to 210 degrees C. Bake for 25 minutes.
 
12. Now remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes more at the same temperature in the Grill mode.
 
13. Take out of the oven. Brush with butter/oil/milk.
 
14. Let the loaf come down to room temperature. Slice and enjoy