Sauteed Vegetables with Garlic and Sesame Seeds

This colourful vegetarian dish is my personal favourite. It is simple, yummy, healthy and filling and also can be a complete meal if fish, chicken or any protein is included in the platter.

You can take any vegetables of your choice. I took french beans, carrots and baby corn and cut them into small pieces. Chop garlic very fine and once your oil gets hot, add garlic and the add all the veggies. Stir well and cover and cook on medium heat for three minutes. Remove the lid, stir and now add salt, pepper powder and sesame seeds. Stir fry and serve hot. I do not want to lose the crunch of the vegetables. Hence the hurry!

Schezwan Okra

This is a damn good, spicy and easy vegetarian recipe with our very own okra. Usually children, adults and old everyone love okra in some form or the other. It is said that the stickiness of the okra helps us get rid of the mucous in our system. This recipe happened to me when I really got bored of the usual method of cooking okra.

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Easy Fish Curry

This tasty recipe is fuss free and fast and goes very well with plain rice. It is a delight for everyone begining from kids to old and is a very good quality protein. It cooks in a jiffy and can be cooked in large batches and stored in the freezer. If cooked for kids, chillies can be omitted altogether.

Serves 2

Ingredients

300 gms boneless basa fish (any boneless fish can be used)

1 medium onion sliced finely

1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste

1/2 a lemon

4 lime leaves

2 fat sticks of lemon grass (bruised)

1 cinnamon stick

2 Bay leaves

1 dried red chilli (cut into thin roundels)

1 tbsp of coriander powder

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of red chilli powder

1/2 tsp of garam masala powder

100 ml of thick coconut milk

2 green chillies cut into thin long strips

2 tbsps oil

Salt to taste.

Procedure

Cut the fish into bite sized pieces. Marinate with ginger, garlic paste. Squeeze in juice of 1/4 lemon and keep it aside for ten minutes.

Cut onions into thin long slices. Cut 1/2 lemon into a wedge.

Take 1 tbsp oil in a wok. When hot, add 2 lime leaves and 1 stick of bruised lemon grass. Add the marinated fish and fry on high heat for a minute or so.

Take it out and keep aside. Add the remaining oil to the wok and add all the whole spices. Then add onions and fry till translucent.

Now add the powdered spices and stir fry. Then lower the heat and add coconut milk, salt, lime leaves , cut wedge, lemon grass, green chilli and cover and cook for two to three mins. It is ready to serve.

Egg Fried Rice

This recipe is my way of having a very tasty, hassle-free and filling meal without much preparation. In fact it is an excellent recipe for beginners in cookery world. I wouldn’t claim that this is a very healthy recipe because I have used soup cubes and some people do not like to use soup cubes but, once in a while it is okay to cheat. Moreover seeing the youngsters relying so much on outside food, I believe this is a healthier option. This recipe doesn’t require any accompaniments if you are in a hurry. But I add a few things like soy sauce, rice vinegar with fresh green chillies or schezwan sauce as accompaniments. To give it a healthy angle, at times I serve this with fresh green salad or thick creamy yogurt.

Serves 2

  • 125 gms or 1 cup of basmati rice or Chinese rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 to 5 stalks of spring onions (green and bulbs included)
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 crushed maggi soup cubes either vegetarian or chicken
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsps of oil
  • Salt to taste.

Procedure

  1. Cook rice with a tsp of salt in an open vessel.
  2. Once cooked, drain and keep aside. Make sure it is neither undercooked nor overcooked.
  3. Seperate the green part and white part of the spring onions. Chop them fine. Finely chop the garlic cloves.
  4. Take 1/2 tbsp oil in an omlette pan.
  5. Beat the eggs and make a large omlette and take it out on a kitchen board.
  6. Once it is easy to handle, cut it into tiny squares. Do not add salt to the beaten eggs.
  7. Take a wok and add the remaining oil. Heat it and now add chopped white part of the onions and the garlic.
  8. Saute till transparent and now add the green part.
  9. Immediately add the drained rice, crushed maggi soup cubes and fry the rice till all the grains become oil slicked.
  10. Now add the chopped omlette pieces and mix.
  11. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes.
  12. Serve hot. If you want to pack it for your lunch box, let it cool and pack. Make it piping hot before having. It tastes good even when it is cold.

Healthy Wholewheat multiseed and multi millet Roti

This recipe is a result of many experiments over months. I needed a nutritious roti to manage my hunger pangs and this recipe helped me quite a lot.

I happened to find a packet of multi – millet aata and picked it up. The recipe started taking shape and I gradually incorporated new ingredients . It worked and I found this to be a feelgood recipe. The crunch comes ftom the seeds and softness from curd.

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Wellness Potion (Durga Puja and Navratri Special)

It has been long since I posted my last recipe. This one is very close to my heart and has had enough trials and tribulations in the past.

The name has been coined by me and this has been my tried and tested friend for over 30 years. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I mention that I never use any synthetic cleansers on my face. The much needed glow before any occasion comes from this wellness potion.

This is vegetarian and can be had steaming hot if you really want to shed the extra kilos along with the glow on your skin or chilled if you are just looking for the glow.

I make it in batches which serves a family of four for two days. The number of glasses of water added depends on how many people needs to served and over how many days. Though it is always advisable to cook and have it fresh every day but because of some constraints if it is not possible, it can be frozen in separate containers and can be had everyday. To get maximum results start having fifteen days before the occasion.

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Mochar Ghonto(Banana flower cooked with aromatic spices)

This dish is very dear to Bengalis and though it takes long to remove the stamens and stigma and chop them fine,we still manage to go through all hurdles to endure the end result which is worth the wait. Thanks to the home delivery of vegetables, we now get it peeled and just ready to be chopped. This is eaten with plain rice and is little sweet which is not exactly new to Bengali cuisine. The sweetness balances the tartness of the banana flower.

Ingredients

  1. 1 banana flower (peeled, stamens removed and chopped)
  2. 4 tbsps of freshly grated coconut
  3. 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 2 bay leaves, 1 dried red chilli
  4. A pinch of turmeric powder
  5. 2 tbsps of ghee or clarified butter
  6. 1 small tablet sized tamarind ball (seedless)
  7. 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed ginger juice
  8. 2 tbsps of fresh cream
  9. Garam masala powder
  10. Slit green chillies
  11. Salt and sugar to taste.

Procedure

  1. Wash and drain the chopped banana flowers and transfer it to a pressure cooker with tamarind , salt and turmeric powder and half a cup of water.
  2. After one whistle, let it cool down and drain the water and slightly mash the flowers with a fork.
  3. Add ghee to a wok and put all the whole spices and once they start to crackle, add the flowers.
  4. Saute and keep adding all the ingredients except grated coconut.
  5. Stir fry on medium flame until the aroma of ghee, fresh cream and spices fill your kitchen.
  6. Once it is dry, transfer it to a plate and garnish it with grated coconut.
  7. It is ready to serve.
  8. Cooking of this recipe varies from kitchen to kitchen. Many add potatoes but I personally do not like potatoes in this dish.

French Beans with Grated Coconut

This recipe is one of the most satisfying and good looking vegetable dish.Cooking this recipe is very easy but cutting it takes time. When your table has all the colours and you need to add a green beauty then this comes to your rescue. To me it is very satisfying when combined with roti or rice.

Ingredients

  1. French beans (tender) – 250 gms
  2. Freshly grated coconut – 2 tbsps
  3. Black mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  4. Hing or asafoetida – a pinch
  5. Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
  6. Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1 tbsp oil.

Procedure

  • Wash the beans and remove the side strings from beans if they are a bit mature and then cut.
  • If they are very tender they don’t have strings. Just cut them into half an inch pieces.
  • Add oil to the pan and add mustard seeds and hing. Let them crackle and then add the beans. Lower the flame.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and cover and cook on low heat for ten minutes. Do not add water.
  • Remove the lid and stir. At this stage, add grated coconut and stir fry.
  • Your dish is ready to serve.

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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Potato and Cauliflower fry

This is a versatile recipe because I can combine this with rice and dal, make nice sandwiches, use this as a samosa filling (more of a bengali winter samosa with potato, cauliflower and green peas), have with parathas and of course with kurmura or puffed rice as well. This comes to my rescue even when I come back from weekend getaways and after having heavy meals for two days I look forward to this light and aromatic vegetable dish. Aroma comes in the form of roasted cumin powder, slit green chillies, red chilli flakes and coriander leaves – all of which is added right at the end.

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