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.

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.

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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Sprouted Green Chana(Bengal Gram) Omlette

This recipe is for busy people, can make this in minutes, and have it either for breakfast or for lunch. This can also be packed for lunch boxes for kids and adults alike. We have the goodness of eggs, Chana and other aromatics cooked in a single frying pan. It is filling and takes care of your hunger pangs for almost 3 to 4 hours. I,

ideally make this for lunch, whenever I am on a cleaning spree or repotting my plants or I am busy making my usual pastes to store in the fridge and freezer.

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TomaCoco Chicken

This chicken recipe is a marriage of homemade tangy tomato paste and naturally sweet coconut milk. Today I have two recipes to share, namely a very essential paste made with tomatoes and garlic which sits in my fridge and freezer yearlong and a chicken recipe made by using the paste. It is my request to people who do not like coconut, to try this recipe at least once, to believe it.

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Ginger, Turmeric and Lemon Tea

Today’s recipe is about the power of a water based drink. I have noticed the difference it makes, after including it as a part of my daily routine. I am not a nutritional expert but when it is the question of my family’s well-being, I like to incorporate natural things to keep them healthy. Here’s the recipe of a water based drink that can be made and stored for two days in individual bottles or a large jug in the fridge. I have used three natural ingredients namely ginger, turmeric and lemon.

Ginger is known to boost bone health and relieve joint pain. It has a number of unique organic compounds, which have actually been named gingerols, and these are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. These gingerols have been directly associated with improvements in knee inflammation and associated pain, as well as suppressing the inflammatory compounds at the source before they can begin to affect the body. Ginger represents both a preventative measure and a treatment for inflammation and its associated pain.

The amazing health benefits of turmeric include its ability to reduce inflammation,heal wounds, improve skin health, protect cognitive abilities, and ease menstrual difficulties. Turmeric also helps eliminate depression, alleviate pain, slow the aging process, protect the digestive tract, and prevent cancer.

Lemon enjoys a global eminence, thanks to its incredible health benefits. This inexpensive and easily available sweet-tart fruit has high amount of Vitamin C that helps in boosting the immune system. Thus, we can keep several illnesses at a bay by drinking one glass of lemon water each day.

Servings are subject to your requirements.

Procedure

1. Wash two inch size of fresh ginger, two inch size of fresh raw turmeric. Wash and take half a lemon. Sometimes I use half of a sweet orange to impart its natural sweetness to the otherwise pungent water. Cut each into thin roundels.

2. Boil a litre of water and when it comes to a boil, simmer and then add all of the above ingredients. Let it boil for a minute and then put off the flame. Cover and let it rest for half an hour.

3. Drain and store it in bottles. Your drink is ready but add honey when you give it to your children or old people. The pungency of ginger and turmeric can irritate their throats.

4. If you are allergic to citrus fruits, you can omit lemon or orange and just make it with ginger and turmeric.

5. This can be had either warm or cold. But in case of a bad cold, have it piping hot.

6. To store fresh ginger and turmeric, wash them thoroughly, cut them into very thin roundels and keep it out in the sun to dry.

7. On a bright sunny day, it dries up very fast. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge and make the drink whenever you want to.

8. To replace fresh turmeric, half a teaspoon of turmeric powder for a litre of water can be used.

9. For a clearer complexion and glowing skin, have this drink for a week and watch the difference.

10. Keeps bad body odour and bad breath at bay and keeps you smelling fresh and vibrant.

Note: Turmeric stains can be avoided by wearing gloves while cutting them. The bottles and jug can also acquire a yellowish tinge if used regularly to store this drink.

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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