Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dark Rich Chocolate Cake

It's December again! The cake-season! And I am back! :D
Starting the season with simple yet yummilicious Dark rich Chocolate cake! 
There are hardly anyone in the world who doesn't love chocolate...and obviously I am no exception! 
The darker is it's better for me ;) 
As they say..."there are some things, better rich! 
                             Coffee, chocolate, men!"  ;)
And this dark, moist double chocolate cake is definitely super-rich! :D 
You will have to try to believe! Here is the recipe.

Ingredients for "Dark Rich Chocolate Cake":
  1. All purpose flour 1 and 1/3 cup
  2. Unsweetened cocoa powder 1/3 cup 
  3. Dark chocolate 80 gm (any good quality dark chocolate ...I used Hershey's)
  4. Sugar 1 cup & 1/4 cup 
  5. Baking powder 1 tea spoon
  6. Baking soda 1/2 tea spoon an 2 pinches
  7. Instant coffee 1 tablespoon
  8. Butter 1/2 cup (room temperature)
  9. Egg 2 large (room temperature)
  10. Buttermilk 3/4 cup
  11. Vanilla extract 1 table spoon
  12. Hot water 1/4 cup

How to prepare "Dark Rich Chocolate Cake":
  • Line a baking tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven at 180'C.
  • Now make the coffee using 1 tablespoon coffee powder and 1/4 cup hot water. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Sieve and sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda in a bowl.
  • Take another large microwave safe bowl and add dark chocolate (break into pieces) to it. Micro it for 8 to 10 seconds.
  • Mix butter with chocolate. Now add sugar to it and whisk until light and flufy using an electric beater.
  • Then goes egg. One at a time. Mix very well. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Now add coffee, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix again.
  • Finally add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold and whisk to a smooth batter.
  • Now pour the batter to baking tin. 
  • Bake it  on middle rack for about 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. (It might take little more or less time depending on oven).
  • Let it cool down before you cut it into pieces.
  • And the Dark Rich Chocolate Cake is ready! Happy baking!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Chal-kumror Shukto

Hi friends! It feels so good to be back after a long time!
Before I come to the recipe and other things...let me wish you all "Shubho Bijoya"! Hope you all are doing fine and enjoyed Durga Puja and Navratri!
Today I am sharing a "Shukto" recipe. Shukto is an authentic Bengali dish which is an inseparable part of a complete Bengali set-meal. It must have a dash of bitterness (I mean bitter tasted vegetables like bitter gourd or any other). This dish has many variations, and I have already shared two of them in my blog earlier. Here is another version. This is "Chal-kumror Shukto". I got the recipe from my MIL just few days ago. She got it from a tv show..and then modified it.It's a great recipe and simple one. 

Recipe source: My mother-in-law
Yield: 5-6 servings 
Ingredients for "Chal-kumror Shukto":

  1. Ash gourd/ Chal kumro  1 cup ( 1 very small and tender ash gourd..peeled and cut into little thick 2 inch pieces)
  2. Bitter gourd/ karola 1 large (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  3. Drumsticks 2 (peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces)
  4. Eggplant 1 medium (cut into thick 2 inch pieces )
  5. Radish /mulo 1 (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  6. Potato 1 medium (cut into thick wedges)
  7. Bori /lentil nuggets 8-10
  8. Turmeric powder few pinches (optional)
  9. Ginger-chili paste 1 tea spoon (heaped)
  10. Mustard paste 1 and half table spoon
  11. Fennel seed paste 1 tea spoon 
  12. Panchforon 2 pinches 
  13. Bay leaf 2
  14. Dry red chili 1
  15. Milk 1/2 cup
  16. Mustard oil as required 
  17. Ghee 1 tea spoon 
  18. Salt and sugar according to your taste
  19. Dry roasted Panchforon powder 1 teaspoon 
How to prepare "Chal-kumror Shukto":

  • Fry bori, eggplant and bitter gourd separately with little salt. Keep aside.
  • Pressure cook drumsticks, potato, ash gourd and radish with little salt till 1 whistle. Make the steam out. As we don't want over boiled vegetables.
  • Heat up a wok with 2 tablespoons mustard oil. Add panchforon, bay leaves and dry red chili. Give it quick stirs. Add in ginger-chili paste and give few more stirs...keep the flame high.
  • Stir in boiled vegetables ( don't add the water). Mix well. Keep the heat low.
  • Mix mustard paste, fennel paste with the water from boiled vegetables (about 1 cup). Strain it using a strainer. Add this to the vegetables. Bring it to boil and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add turmeric powder at this point (if using).
  • Now bring the heat to low and add milk. Mix it. 
  • Add fried vegetables and cook over medium heat for another 3-4 minutes. Add required salt and sugar and check seasoning in between. Turn off the heat and mix with ghee.
  • Lastly sprinkle panchforon powder and it's ready to serve.
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ka(n)chalonka Murgi

Well...this is not for faint-hearted people ;)
Why? Oh, the main ingredient of this dish is green chilli! This is "Ka(n)chalonka Murgi" aka Bengali style green chilli chicken curry. This is one of my family-favourite and a very easy to cook item without too many spices. If you like spicy food then you are just gonna love it, I bet! But don't worry if you like mild dishes also. Because you can adjust it's spice-level without destroying it's actual flavor.
Green chilli has a beautiful strong aroma that adds extra zing to this item. I am using at least 20 medium-spicy green chillies to my dish. But if you like a mild dish, you can reduce it to 10-12 chillies and de-seed them. Or you can use not so spicy green chillies for the flavor. Coming to recipe now.
Yield 4 servings
Ingredients for "Ka(n)chalonka Murgi":

  1. Chicken 600 gm (medium pieces with bone)
  2. Green chilli 20+4 pieces (I used medium hot chillies)
  3. Coriander leaves 1 bunch 
  4. Onion 2 medium (sliced)
  5. Garlic 8-10 fat cloves
  6. Ginger 1 inch piece
  7. Lime juice 1 table spoon
  8. Sour curd 1/2 cup (beaten with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of sugar)
  9. Whole garam masala (1 piece cinnamon stick, 3 cardamom pods and 3 cloves)
  10. Salt according to taste
  11. Sugar 1/2 tea spoon 
  12. Turmeric powder 2-3 pinches (optional..I used)
  13. Cooking oil 4-5 table spoon (I used mustard oil)
How to prepare "Ka(n)chalonka Murgi":
  • Wash and pat dry chicken pieces with a kitchen towel.
  • Make a paste with 20 green chillies, coriander leaf, ginger and garlic.
  • Marinate chicken with beaten sour curd, spice paste and turmeric powder (if using). Leave it covered for 30 minutes.
  • Now heat oil in a pan. Add crushed whole garam masala. Let them crack and get fragrant.
  • Add onion slices and pinch of salt. Fry until soft, translucent and lightly pink. Now add marinated chicken. Reduce the heat and cook for 4-5 minutes uncovered. 
  • Cover the pan let it release water and cook. Stir occasionally to avoid burning at the bottom of the pan. Now take out  the lid cook over medium flame until oil separates completely from spices. Now add required salt. Mix well. 
  • Add 1/2 cup hot water and cook covered over medium flame for 4-5 minutes. Add 4 chillies (cut into quarter lengthwise) and sugar . Mix well. Check seasoning. Turn off the heat and add lime juice.
  • "Ka(n)chalonka Murgi" is ready to serve. It pairs well both with roti or rice :)
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lauki Chane ki Daal

I was thinking of making something different and easy with "Lauki" (bottle gourd) that pairs well with roti and ended up making "Lauki Chane ki Daal". This is absolutely a healthy yet tasty side dish that you can serve with roti or rice. And not to miss..this is of course a curry in hurry! The only simple twist I have added, is an unusual spice, fennel seed. And it made a very pleasant and aromatic difference in my curry. Honestly, this is something I will recommend highly! 
Yield 4-5 servings
Ingredients for "Lauki Chane ki Daal":
  1. Split Bengal gram/Chana daal 1 cup (soaked in water for 2 hours,washed and drained)
  2. Bottle gourd 1 medium (washed , peeled and chopped in medium cubes or sticks)
  3. Tomato 1 large (chopped)
  4. Ginger paste 1 table spoon
  5. Green chilli 2 (make a can add or reduce according to your spice tolerance)
  6. Fennel seed 1 heaped table spoon (soak for couple of hours and make a paste)
  7. Chilli powder 1/2 tea spoon
  8. Turmeric powder as needed
  9. Garam masala powder 1/2 tea spoon
  10. Salt according to taste
  11. Sugar 1 table spoon 
  12. Asafoetida/hing 1/4 tea spoon
  13. Cumin seed 1 tea spoon
  14. Bay leaf 2
  15. Dry red chilli 1
  16. Oil 2 table spoon
How to prepare "Lauki Chane ki Daal":
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Sprinkle hing and cumin seed, bay leaf, dry red chilli. Give it few quick stirs until aroma comes out.
  • Add in chopped tomato followed by ginger paste, chilli paste and fennel seed paste and salt. Cook over medium to high flame until oil separates from spices and spices are nicely aromatic. Keep stirring and scraping the bottom of cooker as required. Mix with chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder. Few nice stirs.
  • Add chana daal to the spice. Mix and cook over high for 3-4 minutes. Then goes chopped bottle gourd. Mix and stir over high for 2-3 minutes. Add half cup to 3/4 cup water (bottle gourd will release some water, so don't add too much water). Bring it to shimmer and add sugar. Cheek seasoning.
  • Cook on medium until 3 whistles. 
  • Let it cool down and open the cooker once the steam comes out completely. "Lauki Chane ki Daal" is now ready to serve.
  • You can add chopped coriander leaves while serving...I did not add though.
  • I served "Lauki chane ki Daal" with roti and salad. This can be served with rice as well.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chirer Pulao

"Chire" means flattened rice in Bengali. "Chirer Pulao or Polao" is a very common Bengali snack. Mostly eaten as breakfast or a very common lunch-box item. At least, it was almost a regular tiffin during my school days! However, this is a really easy and nutritious dish. Also you won't have to think about the "calorie"-thing! I follow the same way, my Ma used to do.
Yield 2 servings
Ingredients for "Chirer Pulao" :
  1. Chire / flattened rice/ Poha 1 cup (washed well and drained)
  2. Potato 1 small (finely chopped and washed)
  3. Carrot 1 small (washed and finely chopped)
  4. Beans 3-4 (washed and finely chopped)
  5. Green peas 1/2 cup (I did not have at that time)
  6. Onion 1 medium (finely chopped)
  7. Green chilli 1 chopped
  8. Cashew nuts few 
  9. Bay leaf 1 (crushed)
  10. Salt according to taste
  11. Turmeric powder few pinch
  12. Sugar 1 tea spoon
  13. Oil or ghee 1 table spoon (I use oil)
How to prepare "Chirer Pulao" :
  • Heat ghee/oil in a pan. Add bay leaf. Stir for a moment. Add cashew nuts and fry until lightly golden.
  •  Add chopped onion. Fry until soft and lightly pinkish in color. 
  • Add potato, carrot, beans and peas. Mix with salt and turmeric powder. Fry over high for a minute and then reduce the heat to lowest. Cover and cook until vegetables are cooked.
  • Add green chilli and sugar. Mix very well. And finally add washed "chire" to it. Stir to mix .Cook for a minute and turn off the heat.
  • "Chirer Pulao" is ready to serve.
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Rava Idli

Since I am maintaining a low-calorie diet for last few months (yes, this time with success!), cooking has become a real task! Always I need to search for something nutritious, low -calorie yet tasty and off course it has to be filling. Idli is one of the most healthy Indian breakfast dishes. If it is Rava Idli (semolina idli), then the whole thing becomes much lighter and easier. Easier, because you don't need to soak rice and lentil and then grind or ferment. This is instant version of idli. Lighter and lower in calorie, as we are not using rice or lentil in's only semolina. But most of the times I add some vegetables to it.
Sharing the way I make it.

Yield 8-10 Idlis
Ingredients for Rava Idli :

  1. Rava /semolina /suji 1 cup
  2. Thick sour curd 3/4 cup 
  3. Water 1/4 cup 
  4. Beans 2 (finely chopped)
  5. Carrot 1/4 of a medium carrot (finely chopped)
  6. Red onion 1/4 of a medium onion (finely chopped)
  7. Ginger 1/2 tea spoon (finely chopped)
  8. Chilli 1 (finely chopped)
  9. Curry leaves few 
  10. Cashew nuts 6-7 (broken in pieces)
  11. Black mustard seeds 1 tea spoon
  12. Bengal gram 2 table spoon (soaked)
  13. Asafoetida 1 fat pinch
  14. Oil 1 table spoon + little more to grease idli stand
  15. Salt to taste 
  16. Eno fruit salt 1 tea spoon (flat/leveled) not use any flavor, use original one.
How to prepare Rava Idli :
  • Heat up a pan with oil and temper with hing, bengal gram, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Stir continuously until it's fragrant. Now add broken cashew nuts and fry till they are light golden.
  • Reduce the flame and add semolina at this point. Stir continuously and cook over low flame until rava changes it's colour to very lighter shade of golden (do not fry too much). Shift this mixture to a mixing bowl.
  • Now add all vegetables to rava mixture. Add salt. Mix very well.
  • Beat curd and water to smooth in a separate bowl. Add half of this curd to rava and vegetable mixture. Mix well. Now add rest of the curd to it. Mix again.
  • Heat 1 glass water in a deep pan (which should have a tight fitting lid which can accommodate the idli stand) and bring it to boil. Cover it with a lid and keep the flame low. Use a proper idli cooker if you have one.
  • Now grease the the idli moulds with little oil.
  • Back to the batter. Check the batter..use a splash of water if it seems too thick (do not add water if not necessary). Mix with a spoon. Now add Eno. Mix with light hands. Do not mix too much after adding Eno. Put 2 tea spoon batter to each idli mould.
  • Now steam on medium heat for 10 minutes. Take the stand out from steamer. Rest it for 2-3 minutes and then unmould idlis with a knife or end of a spoon..
  • Serve hot with Sambar and chutney .
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bata Macher Jeerer Jhol

Yes, I am a typical fish-eater Bengali! I love fish more than chicken or any other meat. Unlike most Bengalis Hilsa is NOT my most favourite one. I would rather go for small fishes like "puNti", "Mourola", "Bata" ! Bata is little bigger than puNti or mourola
  I had a real feast during my last visit to home! Here I am sharing a very light yet tasty recipe with "Bata" fish. This dish is perfect for hot summer days or anytime! This is kind of runny fish curry (patla macher jhol) with summer vegetable and minimum spices.
Yield 4 serving
Ingredients for "Bata Macher Jeerer Jhol" :
  1. Bata mach 4 pieces (mine was about 6 inches each)
  2. Ridge gourd 3 medium (cut into large pieces)
  3. Potato 3 medium (cut into wedges)
  4. Tomato 1 large (sliced)
  5. Bori /lentil nuggets 10-12 pieces
  6. Green chili 3-4 (or according to your taste)
  7. Nigella seed 1/4 tea spoon
  8. Cumin powder 3 tea spoon
  9. Red chili powder 1 tea spoon
  10. Turmeric powder as needed
  11. Salt to taste 
  12. Sugar 1/2 tea spoon 
  13. Oil 2 table spoon for cooking + more for frying fish (preferably mustard oil)
How to prepare "Bata Macher Jeerer Jhol":
  • Cut, scale and clean fishes. Wash very well and dry them with kitchen towel. Rub fishes with salt and turmeric powder. Marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  • Boil potato wedges with water till they are cooked but not mushy.
  • Heat mustard oil in a pan fry fishes carefully till they are nicely golden. Don't need to deep fry. Shallow fry the fishes. Take fishes out from oil.
  • Fry boris and take them out from oil.
  • Reduce the oil leaving 2 table spoon in the pan. 
  • Now take cumin powder, chili powder and turmeric powder in a small bowl. Mix with half cup water.
  • Back to the pan now. Temper oil with nigella seed and a green chili. Give it few stir.
  • Add spices mix to oil now. Cook over high for couple of minutes. Add tomato slices. Add salt. Cook for another minute and add ridge gourd pieces. Give it few nice stirs. Cover and cook for couple of minutes.
  • Add boiled potato pieces. Mix well and add 1 and 1/2 cup to 2 cups water (or as much gravy you want. It is supposed to be watery though). Bring it to boil. Add fried boris. Shimmer for a minute before you add fried fishes to gravy. Add green chilies. Check seasoning and add sugar. Shimmer covered for 3-4 minutes and turn off the heat. 
  • "Bata Macher Jeerer Jhol" is ready to serve now. Served best with steaming hot rice and a piece of "Gondhoraj Lebu"!

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