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.
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)
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
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
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.
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.
{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)
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.
One can use other vegetables too for the mixture and for the filling.  

Wish you all a happy and Prosperous new year.