February 23, 2016

#Lightmealchallenge - Pan Grilled Chicken Salad in Peanut Butter Sauce

 “You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.” 


Almost every day I retire to my bed - tired, suffocated with a replete stomach - with the promise that tomorrow would be the new start for me. It is the high time to watch my diet now. And that day never arrives. Sadly this is the #Storyofmylife - Don't tell me it's yours too!!! I know many of us are walking on the same lane. So let us do one thing - let us join hands together to give a quick start to the #lightmealchallenge. (How? focus on the foot Note of the blog post).

Continuing to the  #Storyofmylife - Every day I wake up considering the day to give a quick start to my "lose weight" regime.  But every time I end up in a plateful of rice enjoying a typical Bengali full meal thali. I have a good reason for gaining weight (that is how I console myself) because of my post-partum starving twinges. Being a feeding mom, I am always alarmed by my hunger pangs and that leads me to gain some extra pounds almost every day. I was so proud after delivering my second baby that I came back to shape within a month and fitting into my old slim fit clothes perfectly. But then gradually I started to gain weight, as a feeding mom, my intake of plenty of healthy nutritious food to supply the baby proper diet started to increase day by day. In the last 9 months, I have gained almost 6 kilos extra because apart from living on healthy and nutritious food I am eating too much. And it is such a letdown for me. I was never a diet prone person or rather I can say dieting is not my cup of tea. Once I had visited a dietician 4 years back. Obediently I strictly followed the diet regime for 7 days after the dieticians food chart. On the 8th day, my desperate soul forced me to rush to a food court and gobbled up a bowl full of oily Chicken Haka Noodles (the portion was for two persons) all alone as if I was deprived of food for a long time. My husband and my daughter were totally surprised at my action. They kept on staring at me and to each other. When I was done, they burst into laughter. But I felt like I got all the happiness of life in that bowl of noodles. I felt nothing could be more blessed than that moment. And that was the end of my dieting session. I realised then that the greedy foodie with a big fat belly inside me would never allow me to win over a diet session. So I decided to have light meals mostly that should be tasty, healthy and less in calorie.

So the conclusion is losing weight is not a matter of joke. One has to dedicatedly and religiously follow his/her daily meal for months after months. There is a wrong conception I have seen mainly in the teenagers that dieting means to survive on one or two meals a day or hardly eat anything. But they remain totally ignorant about the fact that how much damages this is making inside their body. If one really wants to lose his/her weight one should visit a good dietician who will give a proper guidance to lose weight. If you don't want to visit a dietician then you can always watch your diet by creating your own healthy light meals avoiding all the junk, greasy calorie intake foods. This will help you not to gain the extra pounds rather if you maintain it on a regular basis with some 30 to 60 minutes work - outs - you are definitely going to shred some weight. It will also help you to stay healthy. Before my pregnancy, I love to wrap up my meals in a one pot healthy dish. And that not only kept me feeling light, healthy but energetic too. 

Few things I have learnt from my past experiences are:
i. Never skip the breakfast and have a heavy breakfast. Skipping breakfast leads one to gain weight remember that.
ii. Four meals a day is a must. Stay on light  meals but never skip.
iii. If you feel hungry often have some fruits or a cracker. Or make some healthy fat-free small bite-size snacks made at home.
iv. Work out for at least 15 minutes is a must. Just walk in the room for 15 minutes in that will be a big help for one.

So I decided to go back to my light meal habit again. Here I am sharing one such recipe that you can give a kick start with the #lightmealchallange regime as I did. Enjoy the recipe and know how you can also be a part of this #lightmealchallenge at the end of the post.
Ingredients:
Boneless Chicken Breast - 4
Olive oil - 2 tbspn  

For Marination:
Peanut Butter - 2 tblspn
Dark Soy Sauce - 1 tspn
Sweet Chili Sauce - 3 tspn
Rice vinegar - 1 tspn
Fish Sauce - 1 tspn (optional)
Honey - 2 tblspn
Brown Sugar - 1 tspn (optional - See Notes)

For salad dressing -
Peanut Butter - 1 tblspn
Vinegar/ lemon juice - 1 tspn
Soy Sauce - 1 tblspn
Warm water -  2 tspn

Olive oil - 1 tspn
Chopped garlic - 2 tblspn full (more or less)
For the salad -
Any vegetables after one's choice - Assorted that fill 4 bowls.
(I used Boiled carrots, boiled Broccoli, Cucumber  and Letus leaves)
Salt and pepper as per taste.

Method:

1. Mix all the sauce under marination nicely in a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper as per taste.

2. Prick the Chicken breasts with a fork and then add them to the sauce. Mix nicely so that the chicken breasts get evenly coated with the sauce.

3. Marinate the chicken overnight if possible. Otherwise for 2 to 3 hours.

4. Take a grill pan. Heat oil. Add the chicken breasts and fry both sides in medium flame till they are done. Don't over cook. Otherwise, they will become hard. It will take approximately  8-10 minutes for each side. Take them off on a plate.

5. Now strain the burnt residue of the sauce from the pan and discard. Add the remaining oil. Heat it.

6. Add the chopped garlic and saute till they start to change colour.

7. In a small bowl,  add all the other ingredients under salad dressing make a smooth paste.

8. Add in the pan and just cook for a minute in high flame and take it off.

9. Take a big mixing bowl and add the vegetables for the salad after your choice. Add the dressing and mix well. Add salt and pepper after your choice. Mix well. 

10. Serve the vegetables in four serving bowls.

11. Slice the pan grilled chicken breasts and top them on the vegetables and enjoy. You can mix it with the vegetable and then serve. 

Notes:
1. Brown sugar is totally optional. It will give the dish a colour and an extra tinge of sweetness which can be avoided always.
2. The chicken breast can be added with some sauteed vegetables too.
Now join me to this Stay Healthy, Stay Fit & Stay Lite - #LightMealChallenge:
Rules:
  • Both bloggers and non - bloggers can participate.
  • Please post recipes that help you to stay light, fit and healthy.
  • Share your experiences on serving light meals.
  • Bloggers please add the above logo and link your post to my #LightmealChallenge Post at silencesing.in.
  • Both Non- bloggers and Bloggers, If you are sharing your post on social networks like FB, Twitter, Instagram then please add these hashtags #LightmealChallenge & #Silencesings and tag my FB page link along with your recipes so that I can keep on sharing your recipes on my page too..
  • Please note my Facebook page is Here.
  • My Instagram Id is - silencesings.
  • My Twitter Id is - silence_sings
  • Last date of posting all links is 24th March'16.
And also don't forget to visit our 2nd Annual Bake Sale by KFB.



February 19, 2016

Sajne Phuler Bora (Drumstick Flowers Fritters)

“Each day has a color, a smell.” 
                                                                           ― Chitra Banerjee DivakaruniThe Mistress of Spices
It was around 7.30 am in the morning. I dropped my daughter in her school and headed straight to Lake Market. It's always a sheer joy for me when I visit the local markets. I feel nostalgic and miss my home. I visualise my garden and all the home-grown vegetables, fruits and flowers. I see my father or my mother busy in the garden, plucking up the vegetables and the joy of contentment in their faces. I smell back my home again. This time, in the morning, is kind of a blissful moment for me. It's like revealing a mystery box every time at my each visit. Say it like getting introduced to a new kind of vegetable/ fruit or flower or learning a new recipe from your daily vegetable or fish vendors. I love the mayhem of the market and exploring the nook and corner of this place. The fresh and colourful fruits and veggies will be seen inviting and seductively shining on the big bamboo baskets. People with their sneakers on will be seen busy with their daily marketing. The fish market will look totally chaotic. All set to fetch for the fresh fish at a bargain price. The flower sellers will be seen exhibiting their collection of vibrant flowers and bouquets. Every time I wander by the array of flower stalls on the pavement, I get a weird feeling. I feel happy to see the emblazoned pavements and the freshness that infusing a kind of purity in the heart. On the other hand, I feel hollowed from the bottom of my heart as again I miss my home, my blooming flower garden. I pass by the chaiwalahs and see them busy in crouching over their stove, hurrying to satisfy the impatient customers. I love to pass by the dust, dirt, flies and diesel fumes swarming in from the main road. And again every morning I fall in love with the city ignoring all the negative sides that convince my mind every night to leave the city forever. I fall in love with Kolkata again and again.

 So the other day I found my daily vegetable seller was selling a bag full of Sajne phul or Drumstick Flowers. He might be selling quite often but I never paid that much attention to it or it always skipped by eyes. Now a day, I am introducing different kinds of vegetables to my daughter which have more food values. And at the same time, I have restricted our lunch meal to typical Bengali meal that should start  with Something bitter and ends with something sweet. You all must be knowing that a Bengali platter would not be completed if there is no Bhaja (some deep fried items) to accompany with the Dal. Therefore to go with the Bhaja (some deep fried items), we have always some vegetables to fry or edible leaves or some edible flowers. Recently I have started collecting the edible flowers and introducing them to my daughter. So when my eyes got fixed on the Sajne phul or Drumstick Flowers, I didn't hesitate for a single second but bought some. I started to recollect the memory of the big Drumstick or Moringa tree at my home, which every time gets bloomed with the profusion of white flowers and then with the drumstick pods. The long pods hanging down from the tree were always a cause for celebration time for my parents. But for me, it was like a nightmare as I never liked Drumsticks and moreover what used to annoy me more were the hairy stinging caterpillars what we call in Bengali - ShuoNpoka. Once the tree is all bloomed with flowers the caterpillars will nestle up clinging to the tree bark and then it will swarm around/ inside our house. It used to get found in our clothes or on our books and almost everywhere. One single contact with the singing caterpillars means to end up itching and scratching yourself for hours. But my parents would never cut the Drumstick/ Moringa tree. What the gardener used to do, he used to set fire on a stick to burn the caterpillars. And I used to dislike so much that site. Anyways, the flower and the pods from the drumstick tree were religiously and ceremoniously used to get cooked in my mom's kitchen,  but I never allowed them to reach my plate. Even I had never paid any kind of interest to know how those used to get cooked. Cooking is my passion since childhood but that is only restricted in making some jazzy party dishes or the dishes after my taste. Now when I became a mother, I stepped in my mother's shoe and trying each day to replicate my mother's kitchen in my kitchen. Moreover, the food blogger inside me is always tending to try out new things every time and to learn more of the food culture. So when I cooked the Sajne Phuler Bora (Drumstick Flowers Fritters) {which is one of the common items in a Bengali kitchen}, to my surprise I loved it and my daughter enjoyed it. I was thrilled with the fact that I had introduced Sajne Phul (Drumstick Flowers) in my kitchen. But my parents had a shock to believe that their daughter had changed so much. To talk about the nutritional value of  Sajne Phul (Drumstick Flowers), it is high with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. (Source -Here).  
 
 Sajne Phuler Bora (Drumstick Flowers Fritters)
{Yeilds 14- 15 Fritters}
Ingredients:
Sajne Phul / Drumstick Flowers - 100gm
Rice Flour - 2 tbspn heaped
Besan / Bengal Gram Flour - 2 tbspn heaped
Turmeric Powder - A pinch
Baking Soda - a pinch (Optional)
Salt as per taste
Kalo Jeera/ Nigella seeds - 1/4 tspn (See notes #2)
Mustard Oil - enough for deep frying
Water as per requirement
Method:
1. Wash the Sajne Phul / Drumstick Flowers thoroughly.
2. Take a bowl add all the dry ingredients. Mix well. Then add water slowly to make a semi thick batter mix well. Make sure that there is no lump remaining.
3. Now add the Sajne Phul / Drumstick Flowers mix well. The mixture should not be very dry or thick. If required then add some more water. 
4. Heat enough oil in a Kadai so that you can deep fry the fritters. Make sure the oil is piped hot before you start frying. Take a small ping-pong ball size portion of the batter and gently put in the oil. Keep on adding more portions to feel up the remaining space full of oil in Kadai.
5. Fry in medium flame until those turn brown. Take them out and put them a kitchen Towel to absorb the excess oil. Serve hot with the lunch meal or as a tea time snack.
Notes:
1. Sajne Phul / Drumstick Flowers can be cooked in many ways. One can make curry out of it by adding mustard paste and cubed potatoes. It goes well with the prawns. And one famous dish out of it is Bati Chachari (cooked with seasonal vegetables.)
2. I have used here Nigella Seeds. But I prefer Ajwain or Caraway seeds in the fritters.

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

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.