Chicken Biryani

This is my easy biryani recipe and has always been a favourite with my guests. I marinate the chicken with all the required ingredients and leave it overnight in the fridge but it works well even if it is marinated for an hour. The more the merrier though.If I have too many items to cook, then I make the rice beforehand and keep. But, freshly cooked one is always the best. I use either chicken thighs or chicken legs to ensure uniformity in cooking time.

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My Macher Jhol (Bengali Fish Curry)

The word curry or jhol implies slow cooking with spices wherein each spice has a role to play. Few of them impart their flavour, some render their sweetness and some give the required consistency to the curries. For bengalis, macher jhol and rice combo is comfort food. In earlier times, fish was deep fried before putting into jhol which made it tastier. Nowadays keeping health factor in mind, we shallow fry or at times even grill before putting into the already simmering curry. We add vegetables as per season and availability but believe me there nothing can stop us from cooking macher jhol. If our pantry runs barren we cook it with only potatoes and dal kisses(bori). Today I have shared the recipe of aloo(potatoes), phoolkopi(cauliflower) and bori(dal kisses) jhol cooked the traditional way. Each and every household have their own recipe.

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Carrot and Cashew Pulao

This recipe is very easy  and goes really well with all types of Indian spicy to very spicy curries because of its subtle yet sweet after taste. At times, I use pistachios instead of cashews and there is not too much change of taste but, the green of pistachios makes the dish look prettier. The balance  of sweet from onions, carrots and sugar, sour from lemon juice and mild heat from black  pepper is what I like the most. 

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Chick Peas Curry (No Onion No Garlic) 

This is among my all time favourites, especially on the days I want to have vegetarian food. I wonder how  this dish goes so well with rice, puri (deep  fried Indian flatbread), roti, bhatura (leavened deep fried Indian flatbread) and pulao as well. I always make it a point to have at least 50gms of soaked and boiled chick peas in my fridge. I can quickly assemble a salad or a dip or a main course dish with this. I usually make this with onion and garlic, but to keep it light and not very spicy I tried  making this without these two aromatics. The result was good and I’m sharing it with you. 

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 Cabbage and potato Cooked in Bengali Style

This recipe is typical of bengali households barring the fact that some love to have it little sweet. My version is not sweet though. I strongly believe that the cutting of this vegetable plays a very important role in enhancing the taste. I have shown in the pics below as to how I exactly cut it. I tried  using the food processor,  but that didn’t work very well as it affects the look of the ready dish. And as I always believe that, its your eyes that eat first. 

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Quinoa Pulao

Pronounced “keen-wah,” this protein-packed grain contains every amino acid, and is particularly rich in lysine, which promotes healthy tissue growth throughout the body. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber. It looks a bit like couscous and is as versatile as rice, but quinoa has a richer, nuttier flavor than either of them.Quinoa is closely related to the edible plants beetroot, spinach, and amaranth(Amaranthus spp.), another pseudocereal which it closely resembles. Amaranth or Rajgira as it is locally known is a cheaper alternative to quinoa. We can use rajgira instead of quinoa. 

Both are pseudo-grains — foods that are prepared like grains (for making flours, and cereals), but are actually seeds and are gluten free. Rajgira, also called amaranth, is comparable to quinoa in terms of calories (370 cal per 100gm), fibre (7gm), fat (6-7gm) and protein (6-7gm), and has similar calcium, potassium and iron content too, plus higher vitamin E and magnesium as compared to quinoa.Both can be eaten on its own as a side dish, with a bit of butter or oil, salt and pepper, or other seasonings. It also makes a great breakfast dish mixed with dried fruit, cinnamon, milk, and maple syrup or honey. Paired with chili, stir-fries, beans or curries, quinoa is a healthy substitute for rice, and it also makes a tasty pilaf. In fact, I made one in a rice – cooker and everyone loved it. 

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Orzo and Chicken

This pasta gets its name from the Italian word ORZO which means barley. This barley shaped pasta is a very quick to cook and  it gives an illusion to rice eaters like us. To cook any pasta, it is always advisable to go by the packet instructions. In this recipe, I cooked the pasta in boiling water which when simmered took 7 minutes to cook. 

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