February 28, 2010

Beans Sprouts Curry (Indian Style)



 Before posting the recipe I would like to share a funny story behind it. I just got married and relocated to USA. New place, new friends, new kind of foods, everything was then new for me. I got introduced with few more Indian Bengali friends of my husband and with their wives. All kind of information sharing started in a full swing as I got little bit close to them and gradually we all became very good friends. One of those friends, one day invited my husband and me for dinner. Dinner was served. With lots of other delicious dishes she served this beans sprouts dish. It tasted so nice I was not able to resist myself asking what it was cooked of. She said very confidently that this was banana bud curry (Mocha r tarkary in Bengali). Banana bud recipes are very famous in Bengal. So being a Bengali, I know well what a banana bud was. Usually after cooking a banana bud dish the colour of the dish turned dark. But here the colour didn’t look similar to that from any perspective. I asked her to clarify my doubt. She told that she also knew the same, but she was sure that this was the banana bud, might be some of different genre. She supplied me more information that this banana bud could be found in the Chinese market and they sold it cleaned and peeled. I was newly married and new to the world of culinary. Feeding my husband with different kind of tasty food was the only passion of mine at that time. I got very excited with the information and learned from her how to cook the dish. On the very next day we rushed to the Chinese market. We searched the nook and corner of the market, we got the whole banana bud (the actual mocha), but didn’t get the cleaned and peeled one. I didn’t dare to buy the whole one because at that time I didn’t have the guts to clean, then peel and cook the Banana bud. I called her and she told me the exact aisle from where she found it. We went there and found nothing else but the packets of beans sprouts. She told that those were the banana bud which she always bought. She was also got newly married a few months back and new to the world of kitchen. The sprouts seemed her peeled banana bud. And she was not so wrong, because both the vegetables look very close. To verify, even we asked the attendant of the shop whether they sold cleaned and peeled banana bud or not. They answered in negative. Then I clarified her that those were nothing but beans sprouts. We laughed a lot and still now that is one of the funny memories of us which we loved to share and giggle. But the good part of it was that we got a new delicious recipe.

 



Ingredients-

Beans Sprout – 2 cups
Potato – 1 medium size
Bay leave – 1 or 2
Cardamom – 1 or 2
Clove – 2 or 3
Cinnamon – 1 or 2 small size
Cumin Seeds – ¼ tea spoon
Ginger paste – 1 tea spoon
Turmeric Powder– ½ tea spoon
Cumin Powder – ¼ tea spoon
Coriander Powder- ¼ tea spoon
Green Chilly – According to taste
Salt and Sugar- According to taste
Oil—2 table spoons (can be used less or more)
Ghee – ¼ tea spoon



Method-

1. Wash the sprouts and then roughly chop them into small pieces. Boil the sprouts with a pinch of turmeric and salt for 10- 15 mnts. Drain the extra water and keep the boiled sprouts aside.
2. Cut the potato into small cubes and keep aside.
3. Heat the oil and temper the bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and the cumin seeds till it starts to splutter. Add the potato cubes.
4. Fry the potato till it starts to change colour, then add the ginger paste and sauté for a couple of minutes more.
5. Add the sprouts, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder and mix all ingredients nicely. Add salt and sugar sauté for a minute then cover it up and cook in low flame till the potatoes get cooked. If water is needed just keep on sprinkling to avoid the dryness and the burning.

6. The water should be fully dried up and the dish should look not juicy. Add green chilli and ghee and serve hot with rice.

February 26, 2010

Pumpkin Prawn

Checking my veggies a few days back, I found that the leftover piece of Pumpkin had to be cooked today. The other day I cooked pumpkin with potato. That day I wanted to cook something different. I checked my veggie department and found a few florets of cauliflower were left behind. There were lots more vegetables storing around but nothing else helped me look happy except the cauliflower. Suddenly it just struck my mind about the event going on cooking dishes with the Fenugreek seeds. In every Bengali kitchen storing Fenugreek or Methi Seeds are a must. Whether in cooking or in beauty care or healing an illness, these seeds are  well known and helpful source of all. So I took the pumpkin, the cauliflower and grab few frozen ready to cook Prawns, and took an attempt to prepare this different kind of dish from my own. I no need to say that the dish was a great success as my two dearest one finished it in no time. Here is the recipe as follows:-

Ingredients:-

Pumpkin (cut in to medium sized cubes) - 3 cups
Cauliflower (cut in to medium sized florets) – 2 cups
Potato (cut in to medium sized cubes) - 1 medium size
Prawn (medium size) - As per your wish
Fenugreek Seeds- ½ tea spoon
Ginger paste- 1 tea spoon
Turmeric Powder- ¼ tea spoon
Cumin Powder- ¼ tea spoon
Coriander Powder- ¼ tea spoon
Green Chilly- As per your taste
Coriander Leaves-  ½ cup chopped
Salt and Sugar - As per your taste
Oil- 3 table spoon (you can make it less or more)
Water- ½ cup (approx)

Note:-

• Raw pumpkin takes much time than the ripe one. So before cooking pls took a look which pumpkin you have bought.
• If you are using the raw Prawns then add little bit turmeric and salt. Then fry it first and keep aside. Add them when the water starts to boil along with the veggies. (See the Method)

Method:-


  • Heat the oil till it gets fully hot. Temper with the Fenugreek seeds and add the potato. (Don’t let the seeds burn or turn black, otherwise it will leave a bitter taste that bitterness will also be added to the other ingredients. So just after adding the seeds to the pan add the potato).

  • Fry the Potato for 2/3mnts then add the Cauliflower and the Pumpkin (if the pumpkin is raw. If you have the ripe one then put when the other veggies are fully fried). Let them fry till they turn light brown.

  • Then add the ginger paste. Cook for a minute then add the other spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander powder). Add one or two table spoon water. Sauté until the spices and the veggies mixes up well. Add salt and sugar, mix all well then add the remaining water. Cover with a lid and simmer it low flame till the water get dry and the veggies get soft and tender. Keep on checking whether more water is needed or not. (If you are using raw Prawns add it here when the water starts to boil).

  • Add the ready to cook Prawns and the Green chilly. Sauté for a couple of minutes more so that prawns start to leave its own taste. Add the coriender leaves and serve hot with rice or roti.
Variations:-

• Curry leaves can be added while tempering, then the aromatic smell of leaves will add more taste to the dish. I was running off at that time of cooking, otherwise I will surely use it.

Tips:-

• Apart from other benefits (you can get the information from the Denufood blog), Fenugreek seeds are very good for Hair Care. Grind the seeds and put in the Coconut oil. Let them soak overnight and then it can be used as long as one wishes. It supplies nutrition to the hair, which helps the hair to grow fast and fall less.

I was not able to resist myself without thanking the Food Event Hosts. Participating in the events are really enjoyable and interesting. It helps to get in touch with so many talented cooks and to be introduced with the world of delectable recipes. But apart from all these it is actually helping and inspiring us to cook different kind of dishes very creatively. It is bringing out the potentiality of a cook and also of a creative personality which are sometimes buried under so many worldly works that we forget about our hidden talents. Thank You all Event Hosts and let the spirit of cooking touch the summit.


I am sending this recipe to the event Cooking With Seeds - Fenugreek Seeds ,hosted by DenuFood and announced by Priya



February 24, 2010

Stuffed Mini Boule


Stuffed Mini Boule or in simple terms Stuffed Bread is one of the hot pot items in my Food Menu. Just a couple of days back I prepared the dish after a long gap. My husband relishes and enjoys the dish to its full pit always. This is the first time, I served it to my daughter and to my wonder she finishes her plate just in no time. Now a day I mainly cook the dishes placing myself to my daughter’s place, what she will like and what will be healthy for her and of course it should take the shortest time to prepare.This dish takes very little time to prepare. The time what it takes is the baking time. It is a very full meal which can be served as a breakfast, a lunch or as a dinner too. The crispy and crunchy taste of the bread blend marvellously with the soft and spongy bite of the stuffing. I usually prepare the dish with French bread. But this time I got the Mini Boule instead. The French word boule means ball or round, so “boule” may be used to describe a variety of breads that all have the boule shape in common. A typical French boule is a hearty, country bread with a chewy crust, an open crumb, and a moderately soft interior and is baked in many different sizes. It is most often prepared with white bread flour made into a similar type of dough used for a French Baguette (narrow French stick loaf); however a variety of flours and other ingredients can be used.


Ingredients:

Pls note: All ingredients used are according to my own taste change the measure as per your taste.

• Whole Bread- 1 (not the slice one. Pls get the bread which looks dense in width.)
• Egg- 2
• Boiled potato- 1 medium size
• Boiled carrot- 1 small or ½ of the medium size
• Chopped colour bell pepper- ½ Cup
• Chopped tomato- ½ cup
• Grated Ginger- 1 tea spoon
• Grated cheese- ½ cup
• Melted butter- ¼ cup
• Italian seasoning- according to taste (Tip: I usually store the seasoning mixes delivered from the Pizza hubs. In need they help to season my preparation perfectly)
• Salt, Sugar, Black pepper- As per taste

Method:-

• First slice the head of the bread in round shape. Scoop out the bread from inside, so that should look like a bowl. Keep the extra bread in a separate container.
• Preheat your oven to 375 F.
• Now take the extra scooped bread. Crumble the bread with your hand. The feel of the texture will be like bread crumbs. Mix all the other ingredients gently except the cheese and eggs.
• Beat the eggs and fold it to the mixture. Pour the whole ingredient into the Bread bowl and cover the lid with the head of the bread slice.
• Grease the whole bread with butter.
• Grease a baking tray, place the bread and set it for baking for 40-45mnts.
• After 10mnts open the oven, remove the top of the bread and bake both separately just placing the bread slice side of the bread bowl. After 15mnts turn the bread slice to the other side.
• When the time is up check the bread stuff with a toothpick or a knife pricked in the centre comes out clean. If it’s done switch off the oven, bring out the tray and sprinkle the cheese on the top of the bread bowl and close the top once again with the bread lid. Put again to the oven and keep inside till the cheese melts down.
• Bring it out of the oven. Cut into thick chunks and serve with salad, boiled vegetables.

Note:

• The baking time I have given is as per my estimate. Your time may take more or less. Just keep on checking the colour of the bread and the Stuffing. If you see that the bread is getting over toasted then just decrease the temperature of the oven and bake it till the stuffing is done.
• The stuffing will flap up a little. Therefore don’t worry.


Variations:-

• You can add boiled chicken in the stuffing.
• Other breads are always welcome. Only they should be not sliced and thin.
• If you want to make it a vegetarian dish. Use corn flour instead of Egg. But be careful about the amount of the corn flour. Use only as much needed for a binding.


Culinary is just an Art of creation. Many a time, we just get a hunch of a recipe and make it in our own kitchen in our own way and as per our taste. But most of the time we create rather than recreate something.

I am sending this recipe to the Events -Sunday Snacks:Healthy Snacks .




 


February 22, 2010

The New Leaf

It is not dripping, that means it has become frozen. The tree is standing with its arms widely open towards the sky, without a single leaf. Right now the treasure it has, except the dried bushes, is the frozen rain drops, which are hanging from its hands like glass marbles.

Launched the website of Déjà Vu

20th Feb'10 is one of the most remarkable days of my life. I got a domain site for our Magazine Déjà Vu. Since a long time I was just planning to create a website for the Magazine. But plans were not materialising somehow. Previously we used to create our magazine in Google Page creator. And therefore every time we used to have a separate URL for each publication. Now we have got and one and only URL for Déjà Vu– http://www.magazinedejavu.com/ . Now wish me luck to resume the next publication asap.

February 20, 2010

Love Delight-1

This sweet dish is nothing but the famous bengali sweet Bhapa Sandesh. I just gave a shape and new name to celebrate the dish especially in the Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients:-

Ricotta Cheese - 1 & ¼ cup.
Condense Milk – 1 cup.

For decoration you can use anything like, cashew, almonds, raisins, Chocó chips etc.




Method:-
1. Pre - heat the oven to 350F.
2. Mix the Ricotta Cheese and condense milk in a bowl to a smooth consistency.
3. Pour the mixer in a baking tray and bake it till 40-45 mnts till a toothpick or a knife pricked in the centre comes out clean. If not just switch of the oven and keep it inside for another 10-15 mnts.
4. Bring out the tray, cool it and give it the shapes after your mind. (I used a Heart shaped cookie cutter to give this shape.)


Another part of it, is worth mentioning. My daughter is learning the shapes right now. So the Valentine Day’s festive dishes helped me a lot to teach her what is a Heart Shape and how it looks. And now she can easily recognise and distinguish what is a Heart shape among others.

I am sending this recipe to Priya's Heart for Valentine's Day Event.

February 17, 2010

Stuffed Pasta Shell Salad


Ingredients:-

Jumbo Pasta Shells- 12 shells
Chicken Breast-3 chunks
Boiled egg- 2
Salad Leaves- 2 cups
Baby Carrots- 1cup
Green Beans- 8-9 sticks
Grape Tomatoes- for decoration (4-5)
Tomato – 1 medium size
Cucumber- 1 medium size
Broccoli—4-5 medium sized florets
Shredded cabbage- for decoration
Italian Salad Dressing- 2 tea spoons
Mayonnaise- 1 table spoon
Italian seasonings- according to taste
Salt- according to taste
Black pepper- according to taste

Method-

Step I: - Boiling-
1. Boil the pasta shells till they get tender and soft. Keep on checking not to overcook.
2. Boil the chicken breasts, till they become fully soft, adding salt to taste.
3. Take the chicken out of the stock and keep aside. Boil the baby carrots, green beans and broccoli in the leftover chicken stock.
4. Cut the boiled egg in to two halves and scoop out the yolk.

Step II: - Mixing-

A. The stuff for the Pasta-
1. Take a mixing bowl and add the chicken breast and the egg yolk and mash and mix nicely.
2. Cut the skinned cucumber and the tomato in to small cubes and pour in to the mixing bowl.
3. Add Mayonnaise, Black pepper and the Italian seasoning to the mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients very nicely.
B. Salad Bed-
1. Cut the salad leaves in to cubes. Toss into the Italian dressing and keep aside.


Step III- Presenting and Garnishing:-
1. Stuff each jumbo pasta shell with the chicken mixer very carefully.

2. Take a serving dish. (I prepared this dish to honour Valentine’s Day. I wanted to present the dish in a heart shaped serving plate. But a matter of regret I didn’t have any. So I used the silver foil. Made a heart shape out of that and placed it in a serving tray.) Make a bed, spreading the salad leaves on the foil.

3. Now it is up to you how creatively you can decorate the salad. I lined up the heart shape with the stuffed pasta shell and tried to fill up the empty space with the concept of bird’s nest, using the grape tomatoes, halves of the egg whites and the boiled vegetables.

Thus your salad is ready. You can also have it with the coleslow salad. It’s very filling and healthy. Nowadays whenever I cook anything, I always keep in mind, whether my 2 and 9mnths old daughter will have it or not. And this time she didn’t dishearten me. Along with my hubby she liked it too. It’s very easy and takes very little time to prepare. It is also a good choice for the Lunch boxes.

Note: If you don’t get the jumbo pasta shell, you can use the normal easily available pasta shells. Only try to buy the shells to the bigger size.

I am sending this Salad recipe to Show me your Salad at Divya's Dilse
and

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February 16, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Dear all, hope you enjoyed the Valentine’s Day to its full pit solely in your way. When I was surfing through the nice and talented blogs, I found so many posts on Valentine’s Day, how marvellously they celebrated. Even after reading them I too celebrated the day a thousand times better with them. Now I was not able to control myself to share with you all, my Valentine’s Day Celebration.

My marriage was an arranged marriage. And I was not lucky to taste love before that. So love came to me like a shower of blooms just after I got married. Though Valentine’s Day is mainly celebrated between the couples, love birds, I used to celebrate it with my near dear ones. My mom, dad, sister, my dear friends all were the part of this celebration before my marriage. At that time I used to make some kind of crafts by my own hand and gift it to them. I always believe that a best gift is a gift which comes direct from the heart and is made by the own hands of the presenter. Whether it is a single line written in a piece of paper or a simple thing presented in a simple way. The gift should speak the language of celebrations itself and also the love and care for the person you are bestowing.
After marriage my celebration world has become narrowed down to my husband and then to my daughter. The gift exchange world has become walled in between three of us. This Year my husband has gifted a special Valentine’s Day to spend a whole day in the San Diego Zoo. My daughter gave us a tight hug with a bright kiss and wished us Happy Valentine’s Day in her sweet melodious tune. And I gave them few special dishes blended with the aroma of love.

I will be posting soon how we spend our day in San Diego Zoo and the recipes I specially made in honour of the Valentine’s Day. What I cooked for the very day, are listed below-


3. Love Delight-2(Sweet Dish)

Hope you will enjoy what we enjoyed on the Valentine's Day.

February 10, 2010

It has become a long gap to blog, more than a year. I have few lame excuses of not blogging. But let them keep aside and let me share with you only the main excuse of my detachment from the blogger.com. In between the gap I have given birth to an E-Magazine, named Déjà Vu, with the help of some of my good friends.

By nature, I am a dreamer, a bit lazy and always need an inspiration to boost me up. The publication of the 4 Editions of Déjà Vu put an indescribable success in my life, in my innersole. Though not in the professional world so much, in my own life progress book the birth of the Magazine inscribed a new meaning and a new way to live life. During that time I was kind of running through a frustrating stage. A busy motherhood, not a single second to spend for myself, all the time busy in the household chores, all these made me mad to do something or anything only to enlighten my inner being. And one morning suddenly the journey of Déjà Vu started.

After the 4th publication of Déjà Vu, we have to stop the continuation of our magazine due to the lack of integration of our community members and my bohemian shifts from this place to that place. So again am back to blog, and once again trying to resume the continuation of the Magazine.

February 1, 2010

Egg Delight


If anybody asks me what the recent nightmare you are suffering from?? I think I would definitely answer- What and how to feed my child.
When a baby starts eating the solid foods, it becomes a real pleasure and the introduction of variety of foods becomes a real challenge and excitement for the mom. But the preparation of a baby is though easy, and difficult at a time, as the mom always has to keep few important things mind, like-



1. The food should be healthy,
2. Your baby should not be allergic with the food.
3. The food should fulfil the calorie requirement of your child.
4. Your child should enjoy the food while having it.


But this excitement changes to a nightmare soon when your child becomes choosy in selection her/his own food and rejects them randomly.


It is same for my 2 and 9months old too. I studied her a lot and then came to this conclusion-
when I serve a food for her, she first sees the colour, then how it is presented and then whether we are also having it or not. The next step is whether it is tasty in her mouth or not. One funny part is here- a dish may be not so tasty to her, but if we eat that in front of her and cheers like- “oh, what a food...it’s really very good.” She uses to have it.


Egg is very nutritious for a child. Mainly the boiled egg. But my daughter always refuses egg. So few days ago after waking up from her noon time siesta, my daughter felt very hungry. That day is my monthly food shopping day and my pantry is just running out of groceries. I planned that in the evening she woul have milk and cornflakes. But suddenly my eyes stuck upon a single remaining egg and a cheese cube. I crossed my fingers and tried this recipe as her evening dish. And to my wonder she loved and enjoyed it very much. The recipe as follows:-


Ingredients:-

Egg- 1
Shredded cheese- 1 table spoon.
Slat- A pinch
Black pepper- A pinch
You can also add some boiled veggies with it. (Optional).
You can add butter too to add few more calories.


Method:-

Whisk the egg adding all the ingredients with it. Pour th mix in to a microwave proof bowl. Microwave it in normal temperature for 3 to 4 minutes. Then serve hot in a serving plate , peeling out the baked egg carefully with a knife, decorating it after your mind.


Few Ideas:-
1. You can microwave the dish in to some designer container. So that after peeling, it will look more attractive.
2. You can use cookie cutters too to give the dish new shapes and design. And don’t forget to tell your child to help it. S/He will love to help you and the interest of having food will also definitely increase at a time.

The best parts of this recipe are-
1. It takes the shortest time and energy.
2. The dish is very healthy and full of Calories.
3. And if your child loves it then it becomes the hot pot recipe in your cook book.

This recipe is off to the event  KID'S DELIGHT at Spice your Life.