Mum's end to tiffin box tantrums......

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Rohu fish with Veggies[ Rui Maach er patla jhol]- the tasty way to beat the heat!

Rohu fish- identity of a typical Bengali cuisine

Rohu is a favorite fish and quite popular amongst the Kolkattans. No Kolkattan ever leaves his house without relishing Rohu fish n rice. The summer season is quite scorching and I thought of preparing something that suits the taste buds as well as soothes the tummy. Veggies like beans, bottle guard, parwal (pointed gourd) are always a good match to beat the heat. This episode is dedicated to all my Bengali friends and their mommies as a tribute. Hope fully all my NRI Bengali friends will truly feel nostalgic after observing this article and the photographs.’ Rui maach er patla jhol’ [Rohu in veggies] is what the Bengalis call this dish popularly. Let’s share the recipe with my global readers, eager to experience varieties of culinary updates.

Ingredients: (for 4-6 people)

Rohu fish (a medium sized sweet water carp fish cut into equal pieces after being scaled and cleaned),

Mustard oil for frying,

Turmeric powder (1 teaspoon),

Kalo jeera [black cumin, Nigella Sativa sp.] (a pinch),

Coriander powder (½ teaspoon),

Tomatoes (1 medium sized chopped into smaller pieces),

Green chilies (slit from between)

Parwal [Tricosanthes dioica sp., or green potato/pointed gourd called popularly] (deseeded and cut into quarter pieces),

Onion (1 medium sized, chopped into smaller pieces),

Salt according to taste.

Procedure: Take a little mustard oil in a container and heat it. Marinate the pieces of Rohu fish with turmeric powder and salt. When the mustard oil starts boiling, release the fish into the hot mustard oil with extreme caution. Fry one side of the fish for about 3-4 minutes and then turn the pieces. Fry the other side also for the same time till the fish becomes golden brownish in color. When the pieces of fish attain a firm contour you may remove from the frying pan and keep them aside. Dash some kalojeera in the container and vegetables (tomatoes, onions, parwal) to it. Cook till the vegetables become soft. Add spices (turmeric powder and coriander powder) to it. You will get a typical essence (mustard oil n vegetables) which will make you spellbound. You will feel the ambience of a typical Bengali cuisine. Add the pieces of fish into the vegetables and cook well till the fish mixes with the vegetables. Add about 1 cup of water so that the fish boils well along with the vegetables and get the perfect contour of a typical Bengali fish soup. You may add slit green chilies to it.

Enjoy the Rohu fish soup along with steaming rice. I bet vegetables like parwal, tomatoes, onions will help to beat the heat and fresh Rohu will be an unforgettable experience. Enjoy sweet water fishes and discover the typical taste from the land of Bengal.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Cauliflower stuffed Indian bread[ Gobi ka parantha]- simply can't resist!

The Northern side of India is especially famous for all sorts of mouth watering parantha (stuffed Indian bread) recipes. Indian bread has a unique recipe and taste that is quite easy to prepare and nutritious as well. I remember the famous ‘Paranatha wali gali’ in Delhi where you can have tongue licking exceptional recipes and a range of mind blowing paranthas. Combining vegetarian as well as non vegetarian delicacies as stuffing, Indian breads are simply awesome. Indian recipes are truly mind-blowing. Let’s see the recipe of cauliflower stuffed parantha popularly called ‘Gobi ka parantha’ in the entire Northern region of India.

Ingredients: (for preparation of 10-12 paranthas)

White flour (250 gms.),

Cauliflower (1 medium sized chopped and boiled),

Turmeric powder (1 teaspoon),

Coriander powder (1 teaspoon),

Cumin powder (1 teaspoon),

Ginger paste (1 teaspoon),

Red chili powder (1 teaspoon),

Tomatoes (2 medium sized).

Procedure: The process is demonstrated in a step wide manner schematically with the help of pictures.

Step1: Mash the already boiled cauliflower. Heat oil in a container. Dash tomatoes, cumin powder, coriander powder, ginger paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder into it. Stir well with the help of a spatula till it takes an even contour. This will be used as a stuffing inside parantha. Allow the mixture to be cool.

Step 2: Prepare dough out of the white flour adding little salt, oil and water. Press the dough evenly with the help of your hands and make equally shaped rounded balls.

Step 3: Scoop a little of the cauliflower stuffing with the help of a spoon and put it inside the dough, then close the two extreme sides.

Step 4: Roll the dough with the help of a rolling pin till it becomes a flat rounded structure.

Step 5: Put the rounded structure in a tawa (flat container) and heat evenly from all sides. Apply oil till it becomes golden- brownish in color. The parantha takes a crispy appearance.

Remove to a plate. Serve it to your guests with chutney, pickles or curry of your choice. Simply love the delicious, crispy delight with cauliflower stuffing inside. Wow, its taste and nutrition at the same time.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Grilled Salmon in unauthentic sauce- tangy, tasty n exciting

Salmon in a sauce; never before experience

Salmon as a fish is truly exciting in terms of taste and food value. This fish with pink flesh, found abundantly in the Atlantic Ocean is a rich source of phosphorus. Salmon is quite popular in the Western countries. Influenced by one of my friend staying in the US who is a culinary expert, I dared to experiment with salmon and a quite ’out of the box’ sort of sauce which came out amazing and I was truly extraordinary. Let me share my recipe with all my fish lover friends.

Ingredients: (for preparation of 4 persons)

Salmon fillets (350 gms.),

Coconut milk (1 can),

Peanut sauce (3 tablespoons),

Tamarind paste (2 ½ teaspoons),

Onions (2 medium sized crushed in the form of a paste),

Garlic paste (1 teaspoon),

Ginger paste (1 teaspoon),

Galangal (1 tablespoon),

Tamarind paste (1 ½ teaspoon)

Salt as per taste,

Olive oil (1 tablespoon),

Peanuts roasted to enhance the taste.


Preparing the salmon fillets:

Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and salt and roast in oven for 5-7 minutes till it get completely soft. Remove from the oven and keep aside.

Preparing the sauce:

Take 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and heat it. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, peanut sauce, onion paste, tamarind paste, galangal in it. Simmer one can of coconut milk into it. Use a spatula to mix all the ingredients till it forms an even blend. Roast a small amount of peanuts (25 gms. ,de -skinned) and keep aside. Toss the grilled salmon fillets with the sauce prepared and garnish with chopped parsley, coriander leaves and roasted peanuts.

You will really enjoy this unauthentic taste of the sauce which is a blend of sweet, sour and salty flavors. Discover a new way of enjoying fish.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Carrot cake wid chocolate icing- the melt in mouth treat

When you are a human being, you can’t forego the goodness of carrot. It occurs often that children are fussy about eating vegetables. Combining the goodness of vegetables with baking? How does it sound? Yes, I was following a very popular TV channel when I had this thought in mind, how to make baking a little different and induce the goodness of vegetables in it. What I discovered was the exceptionally good Carrot cake – a yummy deal. Not only the taste and the flavor, but the color and the texture just made me spellbound and a feeling of ‘innovative achievement’ and satisfaction ruled in my mind. Let me share the recipe with all my friends.

Ingredients: (for a cake of 1.5 kg. weight)

White flour (2 cups),
Sugar (1 cup) ,
Egg beaten (1 pc.)[The white part and the yellow part beaten separately] ,
Unsalted butter/Margarine (200gms/approx 1 cup, measured by putting it in a cup),
1 teaspoon baking soda,
1 teaspoon baking powder,
Cardamom powder (½ teaspoon),
Cinnamon powder (½ teaspoon),
1 medium sized carrot (de skinned and then grated properly),
Unsalted butter (50grams for preparing the icing layer),
Icing sugar (100gms.),
Drinking chocolate powder (5 tablespoons) ,

Equipments used:
Baking tray,
Brush for putting oil,
Butter-paper to avoid sticking of the cake to the walls of the tray.


For the cake:

Measure the sugar and the unsalted butter in a container. Beat it well with the help of a spatula/electric mixer till the sugar melts well and forms an even mixture. After breaking an egg separate the white part from the yellow one. Beat the white part separately and then mix with the mixture. Add the cinnamon and cardamom powder. Mix it well and then add the yellow part of the egg. Add the white flour and mix the entire mixture again till it becomes smooth in texture. Add the grated carrot to the mixture. Beat it properly. Pre-heat the oven at 220 degree Celsius. Cut butter paper according to the size of the baking tray and place it with the help of a brush and oil so that it fits properly. Now you may pour the entire batter slowly. See that it is leveled properly. Bake it for 30 minutes at 200 degree Celsius. Remove the cake after the baking is complete. Allow it to cool down.

For the chocolate icing:

Take the butter, icing sugar, drinking chocolate in a container. Beat well with the help of a spatula/electric mixer till it takes an even texture. With the help of a spatula/ knife spread the chocolate icing evenly over the surface of the cake. Allow it to stand for 20 minutes till the icing layer solidifies.

You may surprise your children , your guest or give a surprise to your friends on special occassion. It's fun to be a magic baker.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Paneer Samosa? It's different yaar!

When festival is knocking at the doorsteps, you feel like trying something different. Indian festivals have always been the icon of happiness, brotherhood and unity in diversity. This Holi (a festival of colors), I felt of trying something different with a very popular snack item ‘samosa’. Paneer is a very favorite magic item and healthy too. So, I thought to my mind ‘why not combine these two ingredients and make something truly memorable in terms of taste and innovation?’ The answer to my question was the very tasty, ‘out of the box’ concept called ‘Paneer samosa’. Let’s see the procedure of preparing this recipe.

Ingredient: (For preparation of 30 samosas)

White flour (350 gms.),
Mashed cottage cheese /paneer chunks mashed (with the help of spatula under slight hot water) [200 gms.],
Ginger paste (1/2 teaspoon),
Cumin powder (¾ th teaspoons), 
Coriander powder (½ teaspoon),
Turmeric powder (½ teaspoon),
Tomatoes chopped into smaller pieces (1 medium sized),
Onions chopped into smaller pieces (1 medium sized),
Green peas (100 gms, parboiled condition),
Red chili powder /grated green chilies,
Salt according to taste, 
Oil for frying.

Procedure: The procedure is represented in a step wise manner.

Preparing the paneer filling:

Take Paneer chunks into a bowl with hot water. Mash it with the help of a spatula. When it becomes an even mixture keep it separate. Heat about 4 teaspoon of oil in a container. Dash the chopped vegetables (onions, tomatoes, green peas) into the container and fry well. Add the ginger paste to it. Shift the mashed Paneer chunks into it. Add the spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt) to it. You may add chili powder /grated green chilies which is optional and depends on how hot you would like to enjoy your food. Keep the mixture separate. This is to be used as the stuffing.

Preparing the cover:

Step 1: Make dough with white flour, salt, oil and little water. Make very smooth dough. Prepare rounded structures with it and roll with the help of a rolling pin.

Step 2: Put the stuffing with the help of a spoon at the centre.

Step3: Fold the rolled dough half way; again fold it half as shown in the figure. It will appear like the shape of a pyramid. Press the sides evenly so that the stuffing should not come out. You may leave this structure for some time in the open air to be hardened and firm.

Frying the samosa dough:

Pour good volume of oil in a container .Deep fry the folded samosa dough in oil for about 2 minutes till they change the color to a golden- brownish one. Remove it from oil and put it in a platter to serve.your

I am sure that whenever you will serve it to your guests they will be spellbound. Make this festive season more colorful with your excellent cooking techniques.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Salmon in coconut creme- tasty and different experience.

Salmon in creamy coconut sauce
Sometimes the taste bud desires a slightly different taste but with the same ingredients. I went to the supermarket and bought some fillets of salmon fish. I am very much influenced by my friend who lives in the US and she has influenced me to prepare this finger licking dish ‘Baked salmon n coconut crème sauté. It is not necessary that great recipes require great chefs; Even a simpleton like me can prepare great recipes but with a little bit of conception. Let me share with my readers how I had prepared this excellent finger licking dish.

Ingredients: (for preparation of 4 persons)

Salmon fish fillets (300 gms. sliced into equal rectangular pieces of 3-4 nos.)

Olive oil (7- 8 teaspoon)),

Mustard seed paste (about 25 gms.),

Rock salt (about a pinch)

Garlic paste (1 teaspoon),

Ground pepper (½ teaspoon),

Clove powder (1 teaspoon),

1 can of coconut milk,

Chopped coriander leaves/parsley for garnishing.

Procedure: Marinate the fish fillets with olive oil, garlic paste, mustard seeds’ paste, rock salt, clove powder and pepper for one hour. Take a frying pan and pour about 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil in it. Pour the contents of coconut milk directly from the can into the pan. Coconut milk may be obtained naturally by scraping the soft white portion of a coconut and filtering the white liquid from it. Release the already marinated salmon fillets into the cooked coconut mixture. Transfer the entire mixture into a microwave proof bowl and cook at 375 degree Celsius for 20 minutes. Remove the content into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped parsley leaves.

You may serve this with bread, rice. Enjoy food with your family members. Salmon is a tasty fish indeed.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Orange Cake- the spongy soft delicious wonder!

Delicious spongy , soft orange cake.

Baking can be very exciting. When you are confident of the process, you simply do not hesitate to try some permutation combinations. I was influenced by one of my close friends staying in US as she shared with me the procedure of making spongy soft Orange Cake. When I ended up with my experiment, simply couldn’t believe my eyes how awesome it can be and the taste was simply wow. Let me share my experience and the process of making this truly exciting yet simple recipe.

Ingredients: (for a medium sized cake)

1 ¼ cup of white flour,
1 ½ tsp. baking powder,
1/8 tsp. salt, 
1 cup unsalted butter, 
Grated rind of a medium sized orange,
2 eggs at room temperature, 
2 teaspoons of milk.

For the syrup:

½ cup sugar,
1 cup of freshly strained orange juice,
4 slices of orange for decoration.

Procedure: Mix the flour, salt and baking powder well. Whip the butter until soft. You can use an electric mixer if you have else may use a spatula even. Add the sugar, orange rind and continue beating until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold the entire mixture in 3 batches and the add milk to it. Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius. Shift the mixture to a baking tray and bake at 140 degree Celsius for 30 minutes. You will observe that the cake pulls in from both sides. Then remove the baking tray from the oven and allow it to cool down. Meanwhile add 1 cup of strained orange juice with sugar syrup and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Let the syrup cool down. Prick the hot cake all over and pour the syrup over it. The cake will absorb the whole of the syrup. Allow it to cool down and unmold it when the entire cake is settled. You may decorate the same with orange slices as shown in the picture above.

When you serve it in front of your family I am sure that your children will love it to the last extent and will demand this as his Tiffin box item for the entire week.