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Showing posts from June, 2016

Apricot Chicken Curry Indian Style!

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Summer is finally here and with that came farm fresh fruits and vegetables. Apricots have began to flood the market. After chomping down on some fresh apricots. I have been torn between deciding to make a sweet or savory preparation with it. Finally the curiosity of a fruity chicken overcame me and that became our dinner last night.

Apricot Chicken is a mild Moroccan tagine which I have adapted to an Indian Curry style. The tagine recipe has ingredients like onions, garlic, cumin and coriander which are common elements in an Indian curry too. I also happened to read that Kashmiris, who inhabit the north of India, have also been cooking apricots in a curry style. I didn't have access to their authentic recipes so just worked around my usual chicken curry recipe.

Apricot Chicken Curry turned out fruity, creamy and delicious. It even tasted much better after a few hours of resting time. This is an easy recipe which incorporates apricots in your usual chicken curry. You can also try i…

Tomato Dried Cranberry Chutney!

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Bengali Chaatni or Chutney is a sweet and tangy condiment/side with a mild kick of spice. Traditionally it is served towards the end of the meal and eaten by itself. But I prefer to eat it as a side with my main course-usually rice, dal and some vegetable curry. This lip smacking chutney can oomph up even the most boring or bland foods.

Bengali food culture is the only one of its kind in India which has multi course dining cuisine. The first course usually served is rice with a vegetable curry with predominant bitter flavors- recipes like shukto or saag. The second course is rice with dal and a vegetable curry like cauliflower, paneer, cabbage etc. Most vegetablecurries/stir fries in Bengali cuisine are made without any onion and garlic. The third course is rice with any non vegetarian preparation like fish curry, mutton or chicken curry. Then its time for the sweet and tangy Chaatni. Followed by dahi/yogurt and lastly a dessert/sweets/mishti. After which you will likely go into a food…

Beet Greens Stir Fry!

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I have always loved Beets more of their deep reddish magenta hue than for its taste. But that's because I have had it only raw in salads. Recently I learned how to roast them and a whole new world of beet recipes emerged. I have made them into beet dips, beet hummus, beet chaats (Indian tangy snacks), beet dalna (stir fry). I even roasted some neat beet chips.

This time around I pushed my curiosity further and bought some beets with their greens too. I am working on adding more greens to my diet and kind of tired of spinach, methi(fenugreek) and kale. These turned out to be a breeze to cook and tasted awesome.

Serves: 2-3 as a side

Ingredients:
1 bunch of beet greens1/4 cup chopped red onion1 clove of garlic, minced1 tablespoon butter1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds salt and pepper

Directions:
Wash the beet greens well. Pull out the leaves from the stalks.Chop the stalks into one inch pieces. Roll up the leaves into a log and chop into ribbons.Heat a saucepan to medium and melt butter in it.Tem…

Bottle gourd with Shrimps/ Lau Chingri

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Bottle gourd/ Dudhi/Lauki/Lau is one of those mild tasting vegetables which doesn't feature in our favorite vegetables list. But we love it as a dessert, Dudhi ka halwa which is a thick fudge made by simmering grated bottle gourd in milk and sweetening it with sugar and dry fruits. I have been consciously working towards introducing it as a savory vegetable to my family. The other day I made Lauki dal wherein I boiled bottle gourd with yellow moong dal and tempered it with an onions tomato and spices. This was devoured with white rice.

Bottle gourd is made up of 96% water content making it a preferred choice during summer. It is considered to be beneficial for health especially for diabetic patients. Its a low calorie, high fiber vegetable rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. 

Bottle gourd has a mild flavor of its own but has a tendency to absorb whatever flavors you add into it. Bengali cuisine has many unusual recipes created with this beautiful vegetable. Lau Ghonto is one such re…

Plantain Kofta Curry Bengali Style

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Koftas are usually spiced meatballs but the vegetarian versions taste great too. In fact its my preferred method to feed my daughter vegetables that she's not very fond of. I just slightly boil or steam veggies, mash it well, add spices, roll into balls and deep or pan fry them. These kid friendly finger foods are a delight.She gobbles many down dunking them in her favorite ketchup. Today we tried the same trick with plantains. She hungrily ate them as an after school snack.

Koftas by themselves can be had as snack or appertizer. A curry/sauce base is added when you need to make it into a main meal.

This recipe is in Bengali Niramish Style. Niramish means without any onions and garlic. Bengali vegetarian recipes are usually made this way. They only use onions, garlic and tomatoes for seafood or meat preparations. Their curries are very light with spice powders mixed in water and cooked till their flavors develop. Bengali preparations also use a lot of potatoes. Its like a must in ev…

Tilapia in Mustard Sauce/ Sorshe Tilapia

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My in-laws are visiting us this summer which means we get to enjoy authentic Bengali food. Mother-in law is a good cook and am trying to pick up as many tips as possible.

Yesterday we made Tilapia in Mustard Sauce or Sorshe Tilapia. Sorshe is a Bengali recipe which uses ground mustard seeds as the main flavor and forms the sauce of the fish curry. It is traditionally made with Hilsa/ Ilish fish. Hilsa fish is abundantly found in the Bay of Bengal and is a prized catch. Eating Hilsa has become an integral part of Bengali Culture.Here we had to settle for Tilapia as Hilsa is not easily available.

In Bengali recipes you are always required to deep fry fish/eggs/vegetables before adding them to any curry. They tend to use a lot of oil in their cooking with Mustard oil being the preferred choice. You can always pan fry for a healthier version.


Here in Canada, I tend to use mustard oil only for flavoring. Our stomachs now adapted to eating milder foods cannot bear the pungency of mustard seed…