Friday, January 16, 2009

Homeward bound .....ghugni and a little magic!!!

I am ecstatic these days..... going home after a loooooong time....... its not about going back to my parents or in-laws so much as it is going back to Calcutta ......our parents visit us on and off..... but it is me visiting Calcutta that is so important this time!!!!
In winter its all about that morning fog that hangs around in the air ,the warmth of the blanket, the smell of 'patali gur' er payesh ,the frying of 'koraishuti r kochuri',the steaming cup of hot milk tea, the hot 'jilipi' s dripping with syrup and so many fond memories.....
Calcutta also brings back memories of ghugni that is cooked at home. It took me 1 and 1/2 years to figure out the exact recipe but now I can proudly say I have mastered the art of a perfect vegetarian dish.


Ghugnir matar or garbanjo beans- 1 cup
potatoes-2 medium diced
tomato-1 large sliced fine
ginger-1 tbsp paste
green cardamom-1
whole jeera-1 tbsp
turmeric-1/2 tsp
kasuri methi-1/2 tsp
green chillies-2-3 slit
asafoetida-a pinch(optional)
coriander leaves-a sprig
cooking oil-3 tbsp

Pressure cook the garbanjo beans until they are soft but not mushy.
Boil the potatoes and keep aside.
In the cooking vessel heat oil and sizzle the whole jeera and the whole garam masala.
If you are using asafoetida add it now and let the smell come out.
Next add the ginger and the tomatoes and turmeric.
Put the flame on low medium and let the mix cook.
Now add the matar and the potatoes and coat properly with the masala.
Add salt and 1/2 cup water and let it cook.Add the slit green chillies.
When you have the correct consistency of the gravy add the kasuri methi and mix.
Garnish with sprigs of coriander and serve with hot rice.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fun times....Desserts and all that!!

I love desserts... what is a meal without one? Be it ice creams or cakes or sweets or the typically bengali amshottwer chutney or doi or ... oh god... I could go on and on and on.....So for New Year I baked a simple chocolate cake and it was heavenly.....
Here's how I did it...

Baking tray
Milk Chocolate chunk-150 gm
Cocoa powder-4-5 tbsp
All purpose flour-1cup
Baking powder-2-3tsp
Eggs-2 large
Sugar-1 and 1/2 cup
Margarine or low fat butter-5 tbsp

In a shallow pan heat the butter/margarine and just as it melts away add the chocolate chunk. All this while keep the flame on low. Be careful not to burn the mix.As the chocolate melts and the syrup thickens slowly add the sugar and the cocoa powder and let it melt away .
Grease the baking pan and preheat the oven to 180C.
In a separate bowl sift the flour and baking powder.
Beat the eggs and slowly fold the flour mix in it. Mix thoroughly.
Meanwhile take the chocolate syrup off the flame and let it cool.
Then mix the syrup in the flour-egg mix and beat for 2-3 minutes.
Pour the mix in the baking tray and set it into the oven for 40 -45 minutes.
Bake until the cake is set and test with a knife or tooth pick.
Cut and serve with a hot cup of coffee or just like that!!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mug Chingri....A perfect start to New Year!!!

Hey!!!! Happy New Year to all and sundry!!!!!
We had a quiet New year.... we had had a long day on New Year's eve
and so we stayed at home and cooked and ate and made merry.... and caught up on all those movies...
I had bought a bag of shrimps(kucho chingri) which were too small to be put in a gravy.... so I decided to cook 'Mug Chingri 'or prawns in Mung Dal..... its a yummy simple dish which i had in Belgium last year at a friend's place.
It was absolutely delicious and so I decided to give US a special treat this New Year!!! So here it is:


Shrimps-1 small cup
Mung Dal-1cup
cauliflower florets-half of a medium cauliflower cut into small florets
frozen peas-a handful
Onion-1 medium made into a paste
tomato-1 large diced
ginger garlic paste-1 tbsp
whole cumin-1 tbsp
green cardamom-1-2
garam masala powder-1/2tsp
lime juice-3-4tbsp
oil- 6 tbsp

Marinate the shrimps in lime juice for 20-30 minutes.
Boil the lentils with a pinch of turmeric and set it aside. Do not overboil the lentils and do not put excess water.
Boil the cauliflower florets(in boiling water for 4-5 minutes) but do not let them soften. Drain the water and set them aside.
Heat oil and fry the shrimps till they are golden on all sides. Set them aside and soak the excess oil in kitchen towel.
In the remaining oil sizzle the cumin seeds , cloves and green cardamom.
Next add the onion and the ginger garlic paste.Put the flame on medium low and cook until the raw smell goes.Next add the tomatoes and turmericand cook until oil starts separating.
Add the boiled caulilflower florets and the peas.
Cook until the florets and peas are coated with the spices and let the mix cook in medium low flame.
Next add the shrimps and the lentils. Mix properly.
Add water according to the consistency you want.
Add salt and sugar according to taste.
Let the lentils come to rolling boil .
Sprinkle garam masala powder.
Serve with hot rice and have a great lunch!!