Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mushroom and Bell Pepper Roast

 Mushrooms are edible fungi. Mushrooms are a good source of lean protein with no cholesterol and no fat content. They are full of B Vitamins (like Niacin, riboflavin), minerals (like Selenium, Copper, potassium etc.), amino acids, antibiotics and antioxidants. Most importantly, it's a natural source of Vitamin D for your body.
Some heath benefits Mushroom provides to us :
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves bone health
  • Stimulates absorption of Iron
  • Helps loose weight
  • Prevents breast and prostate cancer
  • Protects diabetics from infections
I try to add mushrooms in every way possible. Mushrooms are one such vegetable, that don't need too much of preperation or spices to add in. I am going to share one such recipe, which I prepare frequently as a side dish which needs not more than 15 minutes to prepare and it tastes heavenly. Here are some more recipes I cook with mushrooms like Mushroom-capsicum Masala, Dhingri Dolma(dry mushroom-paneer masala), Shiitake Mushroom Fried Rice, etc.


Mushroom-Bell Pepper Roast : 
A spicy side dish with just a few indian spices added to make it a delightful dish which can be accompanied with any combination of Indian side dishes. It tastes great with rice, pulao or paratha.
You can also omit the bell pepper and can alone cook with mushrooms. White button mushrooms are the best for this recipe but any kind of edible mushrooms will taste great.

You need :
Button Mushroom : 250 gms.
Green bell pepper/capsicum : 1, big
Ginger paste : 1tsp.
Garlic paste : 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 1-2 tsp.
Garam masala Powder : 1 tsp. + a pinch
Tomato ketchup/puree : 1 tblsp.
Besan/gram flour : 1 tblsp. 
Yoghurt/dahi/beaten curd : 1 tblps.
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Oil : 1 tblsp.
Fresh Coriander leaves for garnishing


How To :
  • Clean the white button mushrooms very well under running water. Drain and pat dry. Then cut them into halves. Cut bell pepper into long and thin slices. 
  • Heat oil in a pan, when hot add bell pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes, then add mushrooms, immediately mushrooms will release some water, keep sauteing and let the water dry up by its own. Lower the flame to low, then season with a pinch of salt, turmeric, red chilli and 1 tsp. garam masala powder.
  • Mix all the spices well with vegetables, the add tomato ketchup or tomato puree in it and saute it for 2 minutes. Then sprinkle besan/gram flour and mix well.
  • While keeping the flame on low, add beaten curd into the pan and mix well. Add sugar and season with salt to taste. Saute for 4-5 minutes or till mixture becomes dry and spices coat mushrooms and bell peppers well. 
  • Remove from heat, sprinkle a pinch of garam masala on top and serve garnishing the dish with some chopped fresh coriander leaves.







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Friday, September 5, 2014

Lemon-Buttermilk Pound Cake

  It is believed that the pound cake is a Northern European dish, that dates back to the early 1700s. Over time the ingredients for pound cake changed and everyone started adding different ingredients. There are numerous variations on the traditional pound cake, with certain countries and regions having distinctive styles.
Pound cake refers to a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. However, any cake made with a 1:1:1:1 ratio of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar may also be called a pound cake, as it yields the same results. Pound cakes are generally baked in either a loaf pan or a Bundt mold, and served either dusted with powdered sugar, lightly glazed, or sometimes with a coat of icing. There are thousands of varieties available and combination of flavors are also numerous.


I am making Pound cake for the first time, and decided to try a lemon flavoured Pound cake with this recipe. I made this cake on a bundt pan and followed all the measurements as mentioned and the result was totally awesome, a soft like a butter textured, lemon flavoured Pound cake. I made this cake for my sis-in-laws birthday and got lot of appreciation.

You need : [All measurements should be from the same cup]
APF(all-purpose flour) : 3 and 1/2 cups
Butter : 1 and 1/2 cups (softened, in room temperature)
White sugar : 2 and 1/2 cups(powdered)
Eggs : 4
Salt : 1/2 tsp.
Baking Soda : 1/2 tsp.
Buttermilk : 1 cup
Lemon Juice : 1 tblsp.
Lemon zest : 1 tblsp.

How To :
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degreeC or 375 degreeF. Grease your baking pan with little butter or oil. Keep aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. then add eggs one at a time and mix well with butter-sugar mixture.
  • In another bowl, mix all dry ingredients, i.e., flour, salt and baking soda. Now in wet bowl(butter-sugar mixture), add 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix well.Then pour 1/2 of the buttermilk, again beat well to mix. Repeat adding 1/2 of remaining flour mixture, beat and add rest of the buttermilk, beating well in between, end with remaining flour mixture. Beat well to incorporate well after each addition.
  • Lastly add lemon extract and lemon zest into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan. Now reduce the oven temperature to 165 degree C or 325 degree F. Place the baking pan in the middle rack of the oven.
  • Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake, comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it to a plate. Let it rest for another 30-45 minutes before you cut.
  • Enjoy with a cup of evening tea or Coffee.






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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Punjabi kala chana masala or Black chickpeas gravy

What is Kala chana or black chickpeas ?
      Black chickpeas or kala chana is a small dark brown coloured chana 
with a rough coat,
cultivated mostly in India, Ethiopia, Mexico and Iran.
      It is a smaller version of the regular pale yellow chickpea. Although it has a brown skin, it remains yellow underneath, and has a nutty flavour and starchy texture when cooked. It’s a very versatile legume, with an important role in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes.
Nutrition facts of Kala Chana/black chickpeas :
      Kala chana includes quite a few minerals and nutrients. The fat content of this legume is very low. It is an excellent source of protein, carbohydrate, and essential minerals like Potassium. The food is an excellent part of a diet designed to lower blood pressure. This legume is also a great source of phosphorous, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

So include this legume in your diet as much as possible....I have posted a snack using this chickpeas, Fried black chickpeas/kala chana~a guilt-free snack to munch with tea/Coffee
 
You Need :
Kala chana/ black chickpeas/Chola : 1 cup
Boiled Potatoes : 2 (medium) 
Onion : 2 (medium-chopped)
Ginger-garlic paste : 2 tblsp.
Tomato : 2 (big-pureed)
Green Chilli : 1 or 2(chopped)
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2-3 tsp.
Coriander powder : 2 tsp.
Garam masasla powder : 1 tsp.
Chat masala/dry mango(amchur) powder : 1 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 2-3 tblsp.
Whole garam masala  : 2-3 of each(cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

How To :
  • Soak black chick peas over night if possible or for 3-4 hours in hot water. Black chick peas soaks faster than white chick peas/ kabuli chana. Then pressure cook the dal until done for about 4-5 whistles. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Boil potatoes until tender and cut into small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add whole garam masala, wait for a minute , then add finely chopped onions and green chillies. Fry for a while, when onions turn slightly brown, add ginger-garlic paste. Stir to mix together. Add finely chopped tomatoes in it. Stir until tomatoes get soft ad pulpy.
  • When tomatoes are soft, add all powdered spices with 1/4 cup water to cook the spices well. Stir fry the masalas until oil seperates. Now add boiled chickpeas and potatoes.
  • Stir for a while, then add reserved water from boiled chickpeas and if needed add little more water, total about 1 and 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt. In medium heat, let it cook for about 10-12 minutes or until you get desired consistency of gravy, not too thin, not too thick kind. I like some gravy to enjoy with roti, paratha.This tastes great with a bowl of hot rice, too.
  • When the gravy is right, remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves. Sprinkle some chat masala or dry mango powder/amchur powder over it and enjoy...................

 Goes well with puri, roti/chapati or paratha, naan, any kind of Indian bread and also with rice, light veg pulao etc. ..............this is one of my comfort food, enjoy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!













 



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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hilsa Feast : Hilsa fish fry, fish oil fry, Pui saag matha diye(malabar spinach with hilsa fish head) and Sorshe Ilish(Hilsa fish in mustard gravy)

            Posting a fish recipe after a long time here. Hilsa fish has a special place in every Bengali's life. That is not just special, I would say, we are very much emotionally attached to this fish. To get hold of this fish, they can go to every extent, can give any price. Monsoon season is equivalent to Hilsa season in Bengal. We get the best quality Hilsa only in Monsoon. The price of this fish, ranges from 700-2000 per Kg., the most expensive fish of all. It gets cheaper by the end of the season, it will go down to 400-500 rs. for small ones and 700-800 rs, for medium ones and 1000 rs. for a big 1 kg. fish. Every year, the price is getting higher and higher and nowadays buying this fish has become a status symbol for bengalis. People will stare at you if you're taking an one Kg Hilsa fish from market. Truly speaking, I've bought only 2-3 times this monsoon season. Last weekend, when it was down pouring very heavily, I could not resist my craving for this fish and bought a medium one and used all the parts of that fish and satisfied my Hilsa-craved soul :)). Definitely, it's all worth the price, the taste of this fish is priceless, you have to taste it to believe me.
            So, I prepared Hilsa fish fry, Fish oil fry, Malabar Spinach with Hilsa fish head(Pui saager charchari macher matha diye-truly delicious) and Hilsa fish in mustard gravy(Sorshe Ilish). I'll give you all the recipes in this post.

Hilsa Feast : (Clockwise from right) Malabar Spinach with Hilsa fish head, Hilsa Fish fry, Fish oil, Hilsa fish in mustard gravy(in white plate)

Preperation :
Clean all hilsa fish pieces properly. Seperate the fish oil and keep aside. Marinate fish pieces and fish oil both seperately with few pinches of turmeric powder and few pinches of salt. Rub on all the fish pieces and set aside for at least 1/2 an hour.

Hilsa fish Fry(Ilish mach bhaja) :
Heat a big vessel with mustard oil to deep fry the fish pieces. Heat the oil till it smokes, then lower the flame and fry the fish pieces till light brown from both sides. Hilsa fish should not be fried for long, it'll loose its original taste. Fry very lightly in medium flame.

Fish oil Fry(Ilish amcher tel) :
After you fried all the fish pieces, fry the fish oil in very low flame till its rawness disappears.

Malabar Spinach with Hilsa fish head(Pui Saager Charchari macher matha diye)
A vegetable mishmash with malabar spinach or Pui saag, fried Hilsa fish head is added in there and mixed. A truly bengali delicacy, loved by all

You Need :
Pui Saag(Malabar Spinach) : 2 sticks
Potato : 1, cubed
Pumpkin : cut into cubes
Green chillies ; 1, chopped
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder : 1-2 tsp.
Dry Red Chilli : 1, broken into 2
Panch phoron: 1 tsp. (mixture of fennel seed, fenugreek seed, cumin seed, balck cumin seed and     mustard seed in equal quantity)
Fried Hilsa Fish head
Oil : 1 tblsp.
Salt to taste

How To :
  • Fry the fish head till brown like you fry the fish pieces. Keep aside. When cool, break it into medium size pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan, temper with broken dry red chilli and panch phoron. Wait till panch phoron turns dark brown, you get the aroma of seeds, immediately add vegetables and saag. Add some salt and stir till water evaporates from saag. Then add turmeric and red chilli powder. Add chopped green chillies now. 
  • Mix and stir for 2 minutes. Then add 1 cup of water to cook the vegetables. Cover and let them cook in medium heat. When vegetables are half done, add broken fish head pieces in the curry. Cover again and cook till all water evaporates. Check the seasoning. Add if needed. 
  • It's a dry dish, so all water should evaporate and vegetables should be fully cooked. When done, remove from heat. Enjoy with hot white rice.

Sorshe Ilish( Hilsa in Mustard gravy) 
You need :
Hilsa fish : few pieces
Black Mustard seed(for paste) : 3/4 heaped tblsp.
Yellow Mustard seed(for paste)
Poppy seed (for paste) : 1 tsp.
Green chilli : 2(one for paste and one for temper)
Black cumin seed(to temper) : 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp.
Mustard oil : 1 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Fresh Coriander leaves for garnishing

 
How To :
  • Fry the fish pieces in oil till light brown from both sides.As I told before, do not fry for long, it'll loose its original taste.
  • Make a paste of both mustard seeds, poppy seeds, 1 green chilli with a little water. Make a very fine paste, set aside.
  • Now heat 1 tblsp. oil in a pan, temper with black cumin seeds and 1 green chilli. When seeds start to crackle, add the paste and turmeric powder. Saute in medium heat till oil seperates. Add about 1 cup of water, add the fish pieces and season with salt. Cover and allow to thicken the gravy. 
  • Remove from heat when you have your desired amount of gravy. Add some fresh coriander leaves in the gravy and cover. Open before serving. I like this with a thin consistency of gravy to enjoy with hot rice. 
  • Enjoy...the taste is pure divine.

So, here ends today's post...hope you've enjoed this fest virtually as much as I loved them real :))
Get hold of a Hilsa fish and enjoy these delicacies.................................................









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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Baked Chicken Kabab

  I bought some chicken keema(minced chicken) from market, but this time I didn't want to make the usual keema curry with this. Then I remembered, I wanted to make this Shammi kababs at home for long time, after I tasted this kababs in a restaurant, I just loved this. So decided to give it a try.
  Shami Kebabs are a delicious combination of mince meat, gram lentil and spices. It is very popular in India and Pakistan. Shammi kababs are traditionally made with minced lamb meat, but one can substitute it with chicken. It is perfect to serve as side dish, appetizer or evening snack or you can also use these kebabs to make burger. Usually, shammi kababs are shallow fried on pan but I decided to make it more healthy, so baked them with almost no-oil. I skipped the lentil, as I decided at the very last minute, but without the lentil also I tasted totally yummy, So i can't name it as Shammi kabab. For this kabab, you need no preperation but within very less time you can serve some mouth-watering and very addictive appetizer or side dish.


You Need :
Minced Chicken(keema) : 300 gm.
Onion : 1, finely chopped
Ginger paste : 1 tblsp.
Garlic paste : 1 tblsp.
Green chillies : 2, finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves : 1/2 cup
Cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander powder : 2 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2 tsp.
Garam masala Powder : 2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 1 tblsp.
Breadcrumbs : 1/4 cup(as much needed to bind)


How To :
  • Ina bowl, take the minced meat first, in there add all the other ingredients one by one except breadcrumbs. then give a good mix with your hand. After mixing, if the mix feels and looks little watery, add little breadcrumbs to the mix and mix again till all the water are absorbed and you can make a round ball out of the mixture. Then flatten the round ball into round shaped patty/disc.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degreeC or 375 degreeF. Line your baking tray with some parchment paper or aluminium foil. Brush a little oil on the foil and place the kababs on the foil leaving little space in between kababs. When one side turns brown, revert to teh other side, brush little oil on top. Bake them for 20-25 minutes on each side.

 Enjoy hot as a side dish with your main menu or as an appetizer with green chutney or ketchup





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