February 13, 2016

#EasyRecipe : Strawberry Yogurt

                                                                                       -Thomas Merton

Didn't I say that I would not be blogging for 2 months? Yes, I of course did. My daughter is having her Annual Examination. The lil one is getting day by day a fully hyper-active kid who needs continuous attention and more over organising the upcoming Bakers Showcase 2016 with team KFB is really an arduous task to concentrate and blog. 
Then why am I here today with you all?
 Hello !! Hello!!
Today is Valentine's Day. 
And it gives a good reason to celebrate here. And I have a story behind it too.
I bought few packets of strawberries. Washed, patted dry and reserved few of the fresh ones in the freezer to use them in future. Now I kept one packet of strawberries in the Fridge and decided to experiment on something new soon. I started looking for recipes on  the internet. I searched, saved, pinned endless recipes. Then totally got confused to start with which one. I didn't have too much time to spend for one. So the recipe should be easy and takes very little time (read labour) to make. Suddenly the other day One of my blogger friends, Chandrima who blogs at Not Out Of the Box, posted a picture on Instagram of Strawberry Yoghurt. (Read her recipe HERE.)
Bingo !!
I love baked yogurt (mishti doi) mainly with fruits. I made Mango Yogurt, Apple Yogurt and Chocolate YogurtI thought this will be the easiest recipe to do the justice with the strawberries. So I didn't waste much time made the dish. Once you make some dish you can't sit relaxed unless and until you will be clicking some pictures of the dish - Story of a Food Blogger's life. I poured my heart out and enjoyed the photo shoot of Strawberry Yogurt after a long time. I kept on tapping my feet with the click, click shutter sound. My heart melted down when I downloaded the picture, looked at them like a mother keeps on gazing at her kids. Then put them in drafts and thought of blogging on them once I will be active again. But when I saw everybody is celebrating Valentines Day, I couldn't resist myself. I thought it will not be justified if I don't celebrate it with my blog and my readers. So here I am wishing you all a very Happy Valentines day with a simple but healthy and exotic recipe to celebrate this special day where everywhere love is in the air, love is everywhere... 
Ingredients:
Strawberry - 1 cup (chopped)
Yogurt- 1 cup
Condensed Milk - 1/2 cup
Method:
1. Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend.
2. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree C for 5 minutes.
3. Pour the mixer in a baking dish / ramekins or cupcake moulds and bake at 140 degree C for 40 to 50 minutes.
4. Keep in the oven till it gets completely cool.
5. Chill for 6 to 7 hours. Then serve and enjoy.

Note:
1. Those who are on a diet, please don't add the condensed milk but plain sugar. Or you can absolutely omit the sugar.
2. You can store this flavoured yogurt in the fridge for 4-5 days. Just put it in an airtight container.
3. One can prepare it in single cupcake cups/ ramekins and wrap it with cling fling and store.

Please do visit-
Date: 13th March'16
Time: 12 - 8 pm 
Venue: Uday Sadan
Golf Green
(Near Doordarshan Kendra Kolkata)

February 3, 2016

Will be on Two months Leave

I am taking an off from blogging for 2 months. In between please keep on following my FB page Here. Will try to keep on updating if something special food related things happen in my life. Hope you all are also following me on Instagram.

And most important don't miss us on 13th of March,2016 at our (KFB) Annual Bakesale: Bakers Showcase 2016 & lots of Fun with Food You will get to know almost 20 Home Bakers from all over Kolkata and get flooded with the sweet and savoury baked goodies - cakes, cookies, breads, pies , tarts and chocolates and many more.

Address:
Uday Sadan
Golf Green
Kolkata-95

Time:
 12 noon to 8.00pm

Date: 
13th March'16

Stay well and keep following.
Happy Blogging.

January 17, 2016

Baked Gondhoraj Chicken

Recently I am digging up all the recipes from my draft folder and blogging on them - the dishes which I have cooked almost 2 years back. Now a day the cooking part is though going on in full swing but clicking is like a nightmare for me. Preparing a whole set up for the photo shoot, then download them, if required going for editing- ah it’s better I should get some sleep saving that time. All new moms couldn't agree more that few extra hours sleep is like a cherry on the top of a cake. It's like cooking a dish is therapeutic, but wrapping up the meals, cleaning the kitchen and retiring to the bed as soon as possible to get some good hours long sleep is nothing but a boon. My elder one has become suddenly a grown up girl and quite matured who always stays with me like a shadow to help me out whenever I need. My little one is proving to be a good girl till date as she doesn't bug me much, loves to stay by her own. So I get a call only when she is hungry, sleepy or needs to change her diaper. Slowly I am stepping back in my old shoes, by starting up what I used to love most. I am cooking, baking and actively started to move around. But when it comes to clicking pictures I feel like I am having a split with my camera. There was a time I couldn't think my life without my camera and now I try to run away from it. May be everyone faces some phase like this when you need a break from which you covet most. The ardent photographer in me is still sleeping and I don't have the urge to wake her up too. So I am enjoying my camera less phase pretty well. But yes I miss that uplifting attitude of a photographer me and often feel that I am drowning away from the engrossing and enthralling food blogging world. I want to be active again but I am enjoying this phase too... So I guess I need to give myself more time to wait for the right time --Should I or not??..- I am confused...
Now coming to the dish I was pretty inspired by two recipe posts on Gondhoraaj chicken by my fellow Kolkata Food Bloggers Anwesha and Pritha{Click on their names to visit their recipes}. So I decided to try it out. Both the recipes ask for frying but I preferred to give it a baked version. So here is my version of Baked Gondhoraj Chicken. Try it out and I am sure it will be a winner.
Ingredients:
Chicken Thighs - 6 pcs
To Marinate:
 Onion - 1 medium
Garlic - 5-6 cloves 
Ginger - 1 inch long
Green Chili - 1 -2 (As per taste)
Juice of Gondhoraaj Lebu - 1 big (3/4 of the juice will be required for marination and 1/4 of the juice for basting)
Zest of Gondhoraj Lebu - 1/2 tspn
Black pepper powder - 1/4 tspn
Salt and Sugar as per taste

Ghee - 1 tbspn (optional, one can use olive oil or white oil)
Method:
1. Wash the chicken thighs and then pat it dry with a kitchen towel. With a sharp knife slit both sides of the flesh of the chicken thigh so that the marinades incorporate well.
2. Now prepare the marinade - Paste the onion, garlic and ginger together and strain out the juice as much as you can. Add the juice to the chicken and all the other ingredients that comes under the marinade section. Mix well and keep for and hour or two to rest.
3. Pre - heat the oven at 200c for 5 minutes. Take an oven proof tray and place the Chicken Thigh pieces on it. Bake it for 20 minutes.
4. In the meanwhile take the Ghee/ Oil and add the remaining 1/4 of the juice of Gondhoraaj Lebu.  
5. After 20 minutes turn the thigh pieces, brush the juice mixture on each and bake for another 20 minutes.  
6. Turn them over again apply the remaining juice mixture and bake for another 10 minutes. If you feel you need to bake more then turn over and bake for few minutes more.
7. Take them out from the oven and serve them hot with some boiled vegetables, bread and some dip. If someone needs more of the flavour of the Gondhoraj Lebu, then one can squeeze some juice on the top of the baked chicken thighs.

January 11, 2016

#BengaliRecipe - Cholar Dal


"It's Cholar Dal today."
"Are we having any party or some occasion to celebrate?"
Yes you got it right. There are some dishes that are meant for celebration. And if there is nothing, it will light up your mood only hearing that particular dish is on the menu. Cholar Dal is one such dish. We Bengalis love to devour cholar dal at any time of the four meals. Say it for breakfast or evening snacks with Luchi or Kachuris or in our lunch and dinner with rice or pulao. Among all the dals my favourite one is the Cholar dal. So to feed me Dal my mother used to the make the meals gleesome for me by making cholar dal often. She is a wonderful cook and has magic in her hands. But the way my Mamani (my elder Mashi/ Maternal aunty) used to cook, nobody can beat the taste. And the recipe has gone with her, along with many more old traditional recipes. Now I regret for not noting down them. I have seen her often using hing/Asafoetida in most of her dishes, eve in cholar dal too. That used to give an extra hint in the taste to ask for several servings. She died at 86 but till her death she tried to cook by herself and all with home-grinding masalas. She would religiously sit for hours every morning with Mortar and Pestle to grind her dry masalas. She was a cancer survivor, but she never let us know that she was once ill. We have seen her maintaining a strict healthy regime and diet and devoting much of her time in cooking delicious dishes. All her dishes were all most without any spices but that taste and aroma still I can feel on the tip of my tongue. She had a magic too in her hands. And we used to wait when she would be sending some dishes for us. I tried to replicate her recipe. It is almost near, but not like her.
Cholar Dal
Ingredients:
Cholar Dal or Chana Dal or Bengali Gram Dal - 1 cup
Hing/ Asafoetida - a pinch (Optional)
Tomato - 1 medium Chopped
Ginger Paste - 1 tspn
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tspn
Red Chili Powder - As per taste
Whole Dry Red Chili - 1 -2
Bay Leave- 1 -2
Whole Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Soaked Raisins - 1 tblspn (Optional)
Fresh Chopped Coconut - 1 tblspn
Grated Coconut - For Garnishing
Salt and Sugar as per taste
Ghee - 2-3 drops
White Oil - 2 tspn
Method:
1. Wash the Dal and soak for few hours. 
2. Boil it in a pressure cooker (4 to 5 whistles) with water, a pinch of turmeric powder and salt.
3. Take a Kadai. Heat the oil. Add hing/ Asafoetida. Soon after temper with whole dry red chili, cumin seeds and bay leaves.
4. Add tomato. Saute till it is soft and mashed. Add ginger paste and Saute till the paste starts to leave oil.
5. Add all the powdered Masalas and saute nicely. If it needs a bit water add the juice of the boiled dal. 
6. Add the chopped coconut pieces and stir saute for a minute. Now add the boiled dal. Add salt and sugar. Add the raisins.
7. Cook for a while (See Notes), add the ghee and then take it off the stove and garnish with grated coconut. Serve hot with rice, luchi/puri or roti.
Note:
i] The consistency of the dal should be not runny or too thick. 
ii] Taste wise it is slightly on the sweeter note. Therefore don't forget to add the exact amount of sugar that the taste asks for. 

January 3, 2016

#Easyrecipe - Baked Chicken Petit Cups

The holiday season was gone in a wink. Back to the routine life again. The season of the jingle bells, fancying around with the festive mood, the illuminated road sides all joined together to celebrate the end of a year and to welcome another new year. The last year went away to me in a fraction of moment. I have seen lots of ups and down this year and never wish to have this kind of year in my life again. But on the sweet note, last year blessed me my second princess who came to our life like a ray of hope. I must mention that I was able to overcome my pregnancy period fighting with all the odd situations because of the constant support and care of the elder princess and the man. I wish this year should bring us and everybody all the happiness and joy and prove a memorable one with all positive notes. 
                 As promised, I am here again with another #easyrecipe that can be done in all most no time. Very healthy and it is a kid's delight. Me and my daughter often enjoy it mostly when the man is on his office tours and we have to snuggle in a one pot meal.
Ingredients:
{Yields to 6 to 8 cups}
Minced Chicken 200grm
Grated carrot: 1 big
Blanched chopped Spinach - 1 cup (Water thoroughly squeezed)
Grated Cheese- 1 cup (more or less) {I used Amul}
Tomato - 1 small, sliced
Sweet Chili Sauce - 1 tspn
Italian seasoning - 1/2 tspn
Salt and pepper as per taste
Cornflour: 1 - 2 tspn (optional)
Method:
1. Take a muffin pan. Grease it oil.
2. Mix all the ingredients except the Cheese, Carrot and tomato.
3. If you feel the mixer is too soft then add cornflour (As per requirement).
4. Take a small portion of the mixture and put in the muffin cups. Press the mixture and give the impression of a cup.
5. Fill the other cavitities in the same way.
6. Now fille the cups with carrot and cheese and top it with a slice of tomato.
7. Bake at 200 degree C for 20 to 30 minutes.
8. Serve hot with some desired dip.
Note:
One can use other vegetables too for the mixture and for the filling.  


Wish you all a happy and Prosperous new year.



December 22, 2015

#BookReview : Kanhu & Other Stories

Title: Kanhu & Other stories
Translated by Saroj Mishra
Published by: Platinum Press 2015
Price: Rs. 149
Pages: 109
Rate: 4.5/5

Kanhu & Other stories is a compilation of ten short stories written by well-known Odiya writers which are translated by Saroj Mishra.  Many of those writers are the winners of Kendrya Sahitya Akademi awards and different types of renowned literary awards. The main focus of the stories is on the contemporary Odiya culture and society. Each story has a strong plot that will pull the reader to move on the next and each character of the story are skillfully crafted. The stories are actually the irony of the bureaucratic society which are sarcastically portraying the present scenario. Most of the negative aspects of a politically dominated society have been depicted through the stories. Whether it is bribery to dowry, conspiracy to jealousy, or self-respect to honesty, the authors folded it well in the attire of strong plots. 

I really enjoyed the irony of the political world in the story – “Inauguration of the Electric Crematorium.” At one read it will look like a story full of comedy, how a dead body has been arranged for a minister for the inauguration of the Electric Crematorium. Very interestingly the author has portrayed the futility of human lives with full of satire. The battle between truth and lie that is actually the subjective clause of the political world has been sketched comically but the irony is totally visible. Or take the stories like Mystery of the closed iron chest, Kanhu, or Mission Heart, where the human relationships and the thought provoking feelings were sketched well. Loneliness, unemployment, hunger, trust, loyalty, dream, love, negligence, fragility of relationships all are the key tools of the stories. The stories are nothing but ironically replicating the true face of the present society. The the stories are the picture of the present Odiya culture where trust diminishes, truth gets eschewed, love turns in to negligence, and loyalty takes for granted. Each story depicts the survival strategy that the human folks are fighting against the odds, sacrificing the positive attitude to surrender to the autocratic world. Life is a blessing but life is cruel too when it gets dominated by the human made destiny – that is the inner meaning of each story. Overall I literally enjoyed reading each and every story of the book.

December 16, 2015

#EasyRecpe : Baked Chicken Caprese Salad

During the day time I am almost excluded from my kitchen by the cook. She loves to reign over the kitchen and gets disappointed even I peep in. She breezes around the kitechen with a constant jingle sound of her bangles and the utensils. I always try to avoid the musical concord and retreat to not interfere. The only interaction regarding food we have once in a day - my instruction what to cook and if something special then how to cook that. So I can own my kitchen only in the next half of the day when I prefer to cook the dinner. I always try to avoid an elaborate dinner. I prefer to keep it simple and healthy. Even the man after a tiring day loves to have something delicious, tasty but overall healthy and light. He wants to avoid rice so as my daughter. So most of the time it is something baked or grilled. /the other day I made Baked Chicken Caprese Salad and served with some boiled vegetables and baked cheese spinach.  It came out tasty, light and got cooked in few minutes. 
                                                               Once a visit to The Corner Courtyard during a review program Chef Chanchal offers a special dish Grilled Italian Chicken Patties with salad caprese and parsley garlic aioli to us. And I was so impressed and inspired by the dish that I decided to try it at home. Now Caprese Salad is one of the most simple salads in the Italian cuisine. It calls for sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, some seasoning with salt, and olive oil. During the time of the creation of this salad, it was kept in mind to made a resemblance to the colors of the Italian flag: red, white, and green. (Info from Wiki) Baked or Grilled chicken/ meat can be used to give it an extra volume to the taste.When I made the dish I baked the chicken. If you want you can grill it too. Just keep in mind while grilling, don't forget to braise it with some oil, preferably olive oil.
Ingredients:
(Yields 6 to 8 patties depending on the size)
Minced Chicken -200grm
Blanched chopped spinach - 2 tbspn (All the water must be completely squeezed out)
Chopped parsley: 1 tbspn
Chilli Flakes: 1 tspn (more or less)
Italian seasoning - 1/2 tspn
Lemon juice - 1 tbspn
Salt and Balck pepper as per taste


Mozzarella Cheese - Cut in thin slice in a shape of square (Depends on how many patties are there)
Tomato slices (Depends on how many patties are there)
Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients nicely.
2. Grease your hand with oil and take a small portion and give the portion a shape of a patty.
3. Take an ovenproof tray. Cover it with aluminum foil (See note #1) and grease the surface.
4. Place the patties on the tray and bake for 15 + 10 minutes turning each side at 200 degree Centigrade.
5. Take a serving plate. Place a slice of tomato, top it with mozzarella cheese and then on the top place the Chicken Patty. Relish it with boiled or stir fried vegetables and bread. I had with some baked spinach topped with cheese, boiled vegetables, salads and Bread. (See note how to eat it #3)

Note:
1. Whenever I bake some savoury dishes on a tray I always cover it with an aluminium foil. It helps to save a lot of time in behind of cleaning the burning stains.
2. If you want to avoid the cheese then simply have it with boiled vegetables and bread. 
3. To enjoy the taste, you must have a bite of  the Tomato, the cheese and the chicken patty altogether. That will give you the exact taste of the dish and to enjoy the every bit of it.

December 12, 2015

#EasyRecipe - Healthy Hassle- Free Chicken Curry

I get many requests from my readers to provide them some easy and healthy recipes which will be hassle free and don't require to spend hour after hour in the kitchen. Even my sister always asks for easy and tasty recipes who resides in abroad and can't get much time to spend in the kitchen as her overactive son keeps her dancing around him all the time. So I decided to start a series of  #EasyRecipes that will be healthy, tasty and will be hassle-free. Now this chicken curry is my all-time favourite. It goes perfectly as an accompaniment of a light meal or as a party dish. Only it depends on the cooking timing and a bit changes in the Ingredients. Like if you are making it for a party the recipe will ask for some extra oil to make it a bit rich. The portion of the powdered Masalas can be increased too. The cooking time will be a bit longer until the juice gets reduced and turns the dish to a thick gravy when the chicken gets completely cooked. The preparation time is very less. I cooked mutton in the same manner. Will post the recipe soon. So let us move to the recipe and enjoy it:
#EasyRecipe - Healthy Hassle- Free Chicken Curry
Ingredients:
Chicken cut into pieces -  700 - 800grm
Potato - (Optional - as much you want)
Chopped Onion - 2 big
Whole Garlic  cloves - 4 -5 + handful
Ginger paste: 1 & 1/2 tspn
Tomato - 1 small
Yogurt - 2 tbspn
Turmeric Powder - 1 tspn
Cumin Powder - 1 tspn
Coriander Powder - 1spn
Red chili Powder - 1 tsn (more or less as per your taste)
Whole Garam Masala - 2 each
Oil - 1 tspn (See note #1)
Ghee - 1/2 tspn (optional)
Salt as per taste
Method:
1. Wash the chicken thoroughly. Drain out all the excess water and keep aside.
2. In a grinder paste all the ingredients except the handful of garlic cloves, whole garam masala, and oil.
3. Marinade the chicken with the mixture for half an hour or so.
4. Heat oil and ghee in a deep dense pan or a Kodai. Add the whole Garam Masala and a handful of whole garlic gloves. Stir it till the garlic cloves are semi brown.
5.  Add the chicken and Saute on high flame for 5 mnts.
6. Then Cover a lid and let it be cooked in a low flame unless it is done. If you want to add potato (See note #2) then add it. Don't forget to give a stir in between. 
7. It will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes (more or less) to cook depending on which type of chicken (Boiler or frozen ) 
8. You can have it as a light chicken curry that goes perfectly with rice or with a thick gravy that perfectly accompanies with roti. Whatever consistency you like to have, cook the chicken in that way.  For thick gravy when the chicken is almost done please cook on high flame until the juice evaporates. 
9. There is no need to add water. The enough juice gets released from the chicken that helps to cook the chicken completely. But if you feel water is needed then please add warm water not cold water directly.
Note:
1. Any oil (Mustard, Sunflower or Olive oil) can be used. Now if you want to make this dish for a party then I would suggest you, to add a little oil extra (1 or 2 tbspn). You can increase the portions of the Powdered masalas too..
2. If you are adding potato then please keep on an eye that the potato should not be over cooked. If the potatoes are done but the chicken needs to cook for few more minutes then please take out the potatoes and add it again when the chicken is completely done.