Friday, October 17, 2014

Besan Mawa Dry Fruits Burfi for Diwali and my 350th post

         This is my 350th post in this blog. It's a long but very fruitful journey. I have learned so many things during this journey and I shared all my learning with you all thru this blog. This asks for a celebration, so I made a sweet dish to celebrate this occasion, also Diwali is coming within a week. So, I prepared this sweet which is quite new to me and the recipe is from my fellow blogger, Priti of Indian Khana. She  has a treasure trove of all kinds of Festive sweet recipes from allover India.

  Diwali is festival of Lights and sweets. In every family, people make sweets and savouries by themselves and share these homemade goodies with family and friends. This Besan Mawa Burfi is one such sweet, which fits not only Diwali or any festival, but it fits any celebration, like birthdays and anniversaries. This takes quite a little time but the procedure is very simple, anyone can do it. I made this for first time but now I'll make these for every celebration in my family. Mawa make these burfis extra soft and extra delicious.


   I had to make few changes due to unavailability of ingredients, like original recipe asks for condensed milk, I skipped and added regular milk into it and added raisins and almonds for some extra crunches. everyone, even kids liked it very much. I'll recommend everyone to try this sweet for special occasion at your home. As I didn't add condensed milk, I had to increase the amount of sugar. the sweetness was just perfect for my taste, not much or not very less. You add sugar according to our taste. Here is the original Recipe

Here goes the recipe:

You Need :
Besan/Chickpea Flour : 1 1/2 cup
Mawa/Khoya : 2/3 cup(e approx. 200 gm.)
Sugar : 1 cup, powdered
Cardamom Powder : 1 tblsp.
Raisin : few, chopped
Almonds/cashews : few, chopped
Ghee/clarified butter : 2 tblsp.
Milk :2-3 tblsp.
Pistachios : few, chopped (for garnishing)
Saffron : a pinch (for garnishing)

How To :
  • In a wok/pan, heat 2 tblsp. ghee, add chopped raisins and almonds or cashews, fry till they are golden brown, add besan or chickpea flour in the pan. Roast with continuous stirring in medium flame, till chickpea flour changes its color to light brown and roasted aroma of flour fills your kitchen. It takes about 7-10 minutes.
  • Remove roasted besan to a bowl and let it cool. In the same pan, take mawa/khoya and in low flame, stir till it loosen up a bit, do not let the khoya to change its color. Add powdered sugar and 2-3 tblsp. milk and mix well. Add cardamom powder into the bowl of roasted besan/chickpea flour and  mix well together and then add the mixture into the khoya. 
  • In medium flame, keep stirring this mixture till mixture becomes dry and leaves sides of the pan and feels not so sticky.
  • Grease a plate with little ghee or oil, spread the mixture immediately and flatten it with teh back of a spatula. Decorate with pistachios and saffron stands. You can also use silver warq or  anything of your choice. Let it cool completely before you cut it in squares or diamond shapes. 
 
Notes : 
  • As I noticed, this sweet dish taste better the next day, as with time besan dries up more and gives this sweet a better texture and taste.
  • Do not put it in the refrigerator. Store it in air tight container and keep it for 3-4 days.
  • Roasting besan is a very important step, so do it carefully, do not burn or keep it uncooked. Roast till you get an aroma of roasted besan and it changes to a light brown color.
  • If you are using condensed milk, then lower the amount of sugar mentioned here and adjust according to your taste. 

Here are some more Indian sweet recipes put together from my blog, which you can make during this festive season. Click this link.







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Friday, October 10, 2014

Masala Puri & Runny Potato curry-Kolkata street food joint style

   We bengalis are in love with not only fish, we are also in love with our "Alu" aka potatoes too. Without potatoes our one single meal is not complete. In my family, except my daughter, we are all potato lover. But nowadays, because of some health issues, I rarely cook potatoes alone in a curry. But now and then we love to devour potato curries or the famous bengali Alu'r Dum. I specially love the runny potato curry made in roadside joints in Kolkata which is served with kochuri. If you roam around Kolkata, you can see so many people are enjoying this Kochuri-aloor tarkari(potato curry) from morning till late evening from this roadside small food joints. No one can replicate the taste of that potato curry at home. I made friends with our local food joint cook after many visits and after lots of tries and words of appreciation, he finally disclosed the potato curry recipe to me.

    I made this potato curry with some masala puris during this year Durga Puja celebration. This combo is specially taken during breakfast time in Bengal. After trying I'm sharing the recipe, so try without hesitation, this recipe won't disappoint you. So let's move on to the recipe, first I'll give you the potato curry recipe....

Aloor Tarkari or Runny Potato curry...........
This is very easy to make with very few ingredients, but some selective spices play a key role here.


You Need :
Potato : 2-3, medium, diced
Cholar dal/Bengal gram dal : 1/3 cup, soaked in water
Dry red chillies : 2, whole
Panch phoron : 1 tblsp.(mustard seed, black cumin seed, cumin seed, fennel seed & fenugreek seed-mix in equal quantity)
Asofoetida/Hing : 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2 tsp. or as per taste
Cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Mustard oil : 1 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp.

How To :
  • Soak the chana dal overnight in plain water or in hot water for 4 hours. Dice the potatoes in medium size pieces. 
  • Heat oil in a pan/kadhai, in full flame, temper with dry red chilli and panch phoron, seeds will crackle and darken a bit and you'll get the aroma of fried spices, then lower the flame to medium and add hing/asofoetida, then add the potatoes, mix well with spices. Now add the soaked chana dal.
  • Then add the powdered spices, salt and mix well. Add sugar and salt. Mix and when spices are coated well with potatoes, add 1 cup lukewarm water. At this moment, you can pressure cook this for 2-3 whistles or you can cook in the same pan till potatoes and dal is cooked. keep desired quantity of liquid in the curry, check the seasoning and remove from heat. 
  • Serve hot with Kochuris , puris or paratahs. 

Masala Puri ...........................
You need :
Whole wheat flour(atta) : 1 cup
White flour(maida) : 1 cup
Ajwain seed : 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 1 tsp.(optional)
Salt : 1 tsp.
Ghee/oil : 1 tblsp.
Enough hot water to knead the dough
Vegetable oil/soyabean oil to deep fry the puris

How To :
  • In a big bowl, take both the flours, add salt, ajwain seed, red chilli powder and ghee. Combine well this mixture. 
  • Then slowly add enough water to knead a soft dough. Divide in equal lemon sized balls from the dough.
  • Flatten this balls into 2-3 inch round shaped puris and keep aside.
  • Heat enough oil in a wide pan and fry these puris from both sides.
  • Enjoy with the fresh prepared hot and runny potato curry.

Enjoy the simplicity of this combo..it is one of my comfort food, try it, It'll be yours too!!!!!!!!!!





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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Durga Puja Feast 2014 from Recipe Junction

  As you all know Durga puja is just 3 days away and this is the time we plan our menu for those festive days. I love cooking traditional Bengali dishes for my family, relatives and friends during these festive days. Here in this post I've compiled my earlier posted festive delicacies in one post, to give you some ideas what you can serve to your family and friends on festive days, as pre planning saves a lot of time. So I start with,

Appetizer/Snack :

1. Ghugni (dry yellow/white peas curry)
2. Beguni(Brinjal Fritters/pakora)
3. Baked Samosa ~ A famous street food of bengal
4.  Baked Nimki/namakpara/diamond cuts
5.  Stuffed Bread Pakora 



If you didn't find what you wanted, visit my Recipe Index Page and Bengali Recipes page for more such recipes



Vegetarian Recipes : (includes rice, luchi and veg dishes)

1. Kumror Choka/chakka - A Pumpkin delight
2. Mochar Ghanto ~ A bengali delicacy of Banana Blossom
3. Doi Sorshe Phulkopi
4. Patoler Narkel Charchari(Stir fried parwal/pointed gourd with mustard & coconut paste)
5. Luchi r Phulkopi-Aloo Charchari
6. Bengali Khichuri aar Labra (a mix vegetable mishmash
7.  Bengali sweet pulao
8.  Karaishutir Kachori
9.  Luchi 
10. Dhokar Dalna (Lentil cakes in a light spicy gravy)



If you didn't find what you wanted, visit my Recipe Index Page and Bengali Recipes page for more vegetarian recipe ideas



Non-Vegetarian (includes fish, Chicken and Mutton dishes)

1.  Doi Maach (Rohu fish cooked with yogurt)
2. Chingri Macher Malaikari  (prawn cooked in coconut milk) 
3. Phulkopi-Chingrir Dalna (Shrimp and cauliflower in gravy)
5.  Sorshe Ilish(Hilsa fish in mustard paste gravy)
6.  Potoler Dorma(Stuffed parwal/pointed gourd in thick onion-tomato gravy)
6.  Chicken Chaap (A chicken speciality of Bengal)
7.  Chicken Rezala ~ Bengal's Favorite
8.  Dak Bunglow Chicken Curry and Dak Bunglow Chicken fry  
9.  Kasha Mangsho(slow-cooked mutton bengali way) 
10. Chicken Jal Fraizy (A beloved Chicken dish of Kolkata - Originates in Bengal)
11. Restaurant Style Chicken Biriyani 
12. Mouri Mangsho(Fennel seed flavoured chicken curry)

 

If you didn't find what you wanted, visit my Recipe Index Page and Bengali Recipes page for more Non-veg. recipe ideas



Dessert 

1. Patishapta Pitha(pancake stuffed with coconut filling)
2. Gurer Payesh (Rice kheer with palm jaggery)
3. Rasmalai (Rasgulla in thick milk sauce)
4. Narkel Naru/soft coconut Laddoo (coconut laddoo)
5. Aam Kheer (Mango in thickened milk)
6. Narkel Totki/Coconut Sandesh/Chandrapuli
9. Phirni (Thickened rice-nut pudding)
10. Kalakand (sweet made with Indian cottage cheese)
11. Dudh Puli Pithe(A speciality made during Makar Sankranti) 
12. Semiya Kheer Khejur er gur diye(vermicelli kheer with palm jaggery) 
13. Aam Doi(baked Mango Yoghurt) 

14. Carrot Burfi (Gajorer Burfi)
15. Gajar ka halwa(Carrot Pudding) in microwave

  
If you didn't find what you wanted, visit my Recipe Index Page and Bengali Recipes page for more dessert recipe ideas


Chutneys : 

1. Tomato O kacha aamer chutney(tomato & green mango chutney)
2. Anarasher Chutney (Sweet & Sour Pineapple chutney)
3. Tomato-Apple Chutney
4. Green Mango Chutney (kacha aamer chutney)
5. Chaltar Ambol (Sweet & Sour elephant apple chutney)





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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rituals of Durga Puja and A Traditional Bengali Sweet ~ Narkel Totki or Coconut Sandesh

        Hurray!!!! It's finally the time of the year, all bengalis(the natives of eastern part of Indian state, West Bengal) can't wait for. It's Durga Puja, the most important festival of bengalis, the worship of Maa Durga, the divine power. It is worshiped in the Autumn(in bengali "sharat") season. When you see the golden sunshine, fluffy white clouds allover the blue sky and the mild fragrance of 'Shiuli phool' , then you know that autumn has arrived. Every bengali, no matter which part of the world a bengali might be in, awaits for this time of the year, to be with their families and can't wait for long 'adda'(chat) sessions with families and friends.

 
The rituals of Durga Puja
         Once a year, in the autumnal month of ASHWIN(English month Sep-Oct), She, Goddess Durga comes on earth, together with her four children, Ganesh, Laxmi, Kartik and Saraswati, and enjoys all the love and attention lavished on her. Seven days before Her arrival starts the Devipaksha. The day is known as ‘Mahalaya’. On the dawn of ‘Mahalaya’, every homes in Bengal listen to the enchanting voice of Late Birendra Krishna Bhadra, who recite hymns from the scriptures of Devi Chandi(Chandipath). Thousands offer prayers to their ancestors at the city's river (Ganga) banks, a ritual called 'Tarpan'. The inauguration of the Goddess idol('Devi Bodhon) starts on MahaShasthi, on the 6th day from Mahalaya. Unveiling the face of the idol is the main ritual on this day.            MahaSaptami is the first day of Durga puja. The second and most important day is MahaAstami. Kumari puja, the worship of a little girl as the mother goddess is a special part of mahaastami puja. Another important ritual is Sandhi Puja, that means the end of Mahaastami and the beginning of Maha Navami. The main MahaNavami puja begins after the end of Sandhi Puja. All three days, devotees come to the puja pandals (the place where goddess is worshipped, a special kind of tent with lots of decorations and lightings) to offer Anjali to the goddess and take her blessings. Dashami, the last day of the puja, when she starts on her journey back to her husband's place in the mountain of Kailash. With a heavy heart bengalis immerse the clay idol of goddess in the sacred Ganges saying her goodbye and start counting days for the next year when 'Maa' will come again to us.
"Sindur Khela" is a major part of Dashami puja. Married women first apply vermillion to goddess before she is immersed and take her blessings and then they apply to each other.

                                                    [Pic Source : Google image]
After the immersion, bengalis greet each other with sweets and men follow the customary 'Kolakuli'(embracing each other).


                                                 [Pic Source : Google Image]

     Unfortunately, this festival lasts for only four days but in these four days, bengalis enjoy and live fully. Afterall, it's a celebration of family reunion, celebration of good food and celebration of lots of happiness...... HAPPY PUJA GREETINGS to all the bangalis allover the world...I wish Maa bless you all and answer all your prayers.........

Today as I write this post, I am very happy as today is Mahalaya, today starts our most favorite festival, Durga Puja. To celebrate this special day, I prepared some sweet for my family.

  Narkel Totki or Coconut Sandesh is my most favorite sweet of all. This sweet is my weakness, anyone can blackmail me for this sweet and I'll surrender, I'm admitting. If you want to serve something different and impress your guests, try this, they'll become your fan. The most fantastic fact about this sweet is it's very easy to make. Grinded Coconut cooked with sweet condensed milk in very low flame to get a very smooth texture and then moulded into a shape. I have used a traditional Sweet or sandesh mould to make this, which we call "chachh/mould". But one can make this sweet without these moulds and can give any shape or sizes. This sweet is often called by the name of "Chandrapuli", when it is shaped like a half moon.
         
Now let's move on to the recipe ........................
You Need :(makes about 15 sandesh)
Fresh Coconut : 1, big
Sugar : 1/3 cup
Condensed milk : 1/3 cup
Green cardamoms : 3-4 pcs, take out seeds and crush them fine
Pistachios : few, finely chopped
Saffron strands : few(optional)
Ghee : a little, to grease the moulds if using


How To :
  • Grate the coconut, then make a smooth paste of coconut and sugar in a blender.
  • Heat a non-stick pan, pour the coconut-sugar paste and start stirring the paste in a very low flame, do not let the coconut change its colour. 
  • After 7-8 minutes of cooking, add the condensed milk into it and in low flame, mix it well with coconut paste. Cook for another 5 minutes. When you see the whole thing is coming together and the texture is dry yet little sticky, it's done. Take a little portion of coconut paste in your hand and check if you can form a ball, if you can, then it's ready to remove from flame.
  • Add crushed cardamom powder in the mix and give it a good stir to mix well. Remove on a greased plate and let it cool a little. After some time, when it has cooled down a little, it's time to give it a shape, otherwise the coconut paste will become dry.
  • If you are not using a mould, then give it a round or square shape or any shape you want to. If you are using a mould, grease the mould first with a drop of ghee, then sprinkle little chopped pistachios and saffron strands and a little portion from coconut paste to cover fully the moulds surface. Then press with your hand to give it a shape of the mould. Wait a minute, then with a pointy knife, pull a corner of the sandesh and then carefully take out the whole sandesh. Place it over a greased plate and let it cool.
  • Make other sandesh same way with rest of the coconut paste. It will harden more when ti cools. 
  • Serve or store them in an air-tight container and keep in the refrigerator. It'll fine for few weeks in the refrigerator.

Here is another way, My blogger friend, Sayantani of A Homemaker's Diary has made Narkel Totki, check out her recipe here.




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Monday, September 22, 2014

Mango & Banana Pancake ~ Kid's favorite breakfast dish

    Who doesn't love pancakes? Specially, Kids' love those soft and fluffy pancakes. My kids are also no exception. I usually make Vanilla flavoured pancakes, sometimes I add those fruits in pureed form which they don't like to eat. Mine two boys, one don't like banana and another one don't like mangoes. So one day, I added these two fruits in the pancake mix. I know, Mango season is over, but canned mango pulp can be used. You can also add any other pureed fruit pulp in this recipe. Here is a quick breakfast favorite of kids ..try it for your kids and see them smile and enjoy their breakfast.



You Need : (makes 4 pancakes)
All purpose flour : 1 cup
Egg : 1
Sugar : 3 tblsp.
Banana : 2, pureed
Mango : 1, Pureed
Baking Powder : a pinch
Milk : 1/2 cup
Oil : 2 tblsp.
Water as needed

How To :
  • Puree banana and mango in a blender. Keep aside. 
  • Beat one egg in a wide bowl, add milk and sugar in it and beat well. In another bowl, mix baking powder and flour together. Then add this flour mixture into the egg-milk mixture.
  • Again beat with a hand beater/whisker to mix well. Finally add the pureed fruit mixture in the flour mixture. Add enough water as needed to make a semi-thick consistency batter.
  • Now add 1/2 tsp. oil on a griddle or tawa, then pour about 1/4 cup of batter, lower the flame to medium and wait until bubble forms on top of the pancakes, check if the lower side has turned light brown, then flip to the other side, drizzle little oil from the corner of the pancake.
  • When the other side also turns brown, remove from heat. Make other pancakes like this way.
 

 Serve drizzling some chocolate syrup on top or as it is. Kids will love them any way.





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