Aloo Ka Achaar – Nepali Style Potato Salad

The thing with having foodie friends is that you are constantly learning new things from them too. My one such very dear friend A is my partner in crime when it comes to food. We do lunches and dinners to satiate our souls every now and then! She is from Nepal and she treats us to these Nepali delights often. I wouldn’t be exaggerating, if I say that she make the best momos I’ve ever had, so much so that now I never want to eat momos outside! Nepali cuisine is extremely under rated I would say and there is definitely more to momos. One such delightful dish is this Aloo ko Achaar – Nepali Style Potato Salad that A makes and we all love . She was very kind to part with the recipe and I did not lose much time preparing it in my kitchen. It is a delightful salad made with potatoes, red onions, garlic and sesame seeds. And what makes it so different is the tempering with mustard oil . Serve it as a starter with your drinks or as a side dish to your meal – you are going to love it anyway!

 

aloo achaar1

 

aloo achaar

This is best served at room temperature. A tells me that another variation would be to add dried fish or shrimps to enhance the taste. Sometimes even diced cucumber is also added to it. The options are many and in any which way this is one yummy dish that can be prerpared in a jiffy.

Aloo Ka Achaar - Nepali Style Potato Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Nepali
 
Potalo salad - nepali style
Ingredients
  • Potato - 2 large sized - par boiled - thinly sliced
  • Onion - 1 large - thinly sliced
  • Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp - dry roasted and grounded into a powder
  • Green chillies - 2 - finely chopped - use more or less as per taste
  • Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric powder - a pinch
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek/methi seeds - a few
  • Spring onion - finely chopped- for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix together the thinly sliced potatoes, onions, green chillies, turmeric powder, chilli powder , salt, sesame seed powder and the lime juice. Give it a good gentle mix.
  2. Check if its well seasoned. Feel free to add more lime juice as per your taste.
  3. In a small pan heat the mustard oil and splutter the fenugreek/methi seeds. Temper the salad with this. Give it a mix. Garnish with chopped spring onion and some toasted sesame seeds.
 

Grilled Fish with Spinach – Weeknight meal ideas

Easy weeknight meal ideas is what I am forever scouting for. It saves my time and makes the man happy. Except for Tuesdays, for every single meal the man needs to eat non veg.There are times when I am totally out of ideas or the patience to produce something new. But thanks to the neighbourhood supermarkets , you are spoilt for choice. While I would mostly stick to buying fresh fish from my regular fish monger, once in a while something frozen comes in handy too. A pack of frozen Basa fillet is what caught my fancy on my last trip to the supermarket and scores of recipes started flodding my head!So I promptly grabbed the pack with the intention of cooking it up with some jazz. With winter just about to say goodbye, I wanted to use up the last batch of spinach from my kitchen garden. Teaming it up with the fish seemed like a fabulous option. So here’s my recipe of Grilled Fish with Spinach.

Grilled basa main

grilled basa 3

 

Notes:

  • I used Basa but any white fish fillet like bhetki would do just fine. Just keep an eye while cooking the fish so that u don’t overcook. It takes very little time.

  • I kept the sauce chunky in texture but you can puree it into a smooth sauce as per your taste. Just grind the sauce in a handblender and strain

Grilled Fish with Spinach - Weeknight meal ideas
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Continental
 
Easy weeknight meal
Ingredients
  • Basa Fish fillets - 4-6 pieces - You can use any other white fish fillet like bhetki
  • Olive oil - few tsps.
  • Fresh Parsely - a handful finely chopped
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper - to taste
  • For the Spinach sauce -
  • Spinach leaves - 1 cup - finely chopped
  • Onion - 1 medium - finely chopped
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves - minced
  • Cottage cheese /Paneer - 2 tbsp. - grated
  • cheddar cheese - 1 tbsp. - grated
  • Fresh cream - 1 tbsp.
  • salt - to taste
  • Pepper - to taste
  • Sugar - a pinch
  • Cherry tomatoes for garnish
Instructions
  1. Marinate the fish fillets with olive oil, salt ,pepper and chopped parsley. Keep aside while the sauce is being made.
  2. For the sauce:
  3. Heat a tsp of olive oil in a pan. Add the minced garlic and chopped onion and sweat it till transluscent. Don't brown it.
  4. Next add the chopped spinach and cook covered till the water released from spinach dries up.
  5. Add grated cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and sugar and give it a good mix.
  6. Add fresh cream, remove from heat and keep aside.
  7. Preparing the fish:
  8. In a thick bottomed pan, brush a little olive oil. Place the fish fillets and cook for 2-3 mins on each side. Don't overcook the fish or it gets a rubbery texture.
  9. Remove from pan and serve along with the spinach sauce. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and freshly chopped parsley.
 

Masterclass with Chef Kunal Kapur at the Magnum launch

Known worldwide as the icecream synonymous with indulgence and royal for over two decades, Magum icecreams will finally be available in Kolkata. As usual Kolkata is delayed by almost an year as it launched in most other metros long ago. Nevertheless, better late than never. I was invited through KFB to be a part of the Masterclass being hosted by celebrity Chef Kunal Kapur and the pretty brand ambassador Soha Ali Khan. The event held at the Taj Bengal hotel had a very high glitz and glamour quotient.

DSC_0470

Magnum icecreams are iconic, being made with pure Belgian Chocolate, the key point being the distinctive cracking sound on your first bite. We all got a taste of the icecream, while the not- so-much- a -chocolate-lover.ie. ‘Me’ chose the Almond flavour made of milk chocolate, there was also Classic and Chocolate truffle to pick from. Chef Kunal Kapur and Soha were both eager to keep the session as interactive as possible sprucing up with anecdotes and tales of their love for Magnum.

DSC_0479

 

Chef Kunal rustled up a Magnum patishapta – his take on our quintessential pithe – crepes filled with a concoction of coconut, jaggery and milk solids. He stuffed his version of the patishapta with chunks of magnum icecream, nuts and berries.

DSC_0487

The floor was open for the audience to ask questions if they had any and also to come up with their version of a Magnum Sundae. With limited options of just sprinkles and chocolate bites, everyone did manage to come up with something. Like we made this Magnum Excess Sundae! Pounded magnum icecream topped with chocolate bites! Overall it was a pleasant evening learning a little more about chocolates and icecreams and ofcourse meeting few fellow bloggers.

DSC_0495

 

Starting March 1, 2015, Magnum Icecreams will be available in three delicious flavours – Classic, Almond and Chocolate Truffle in Kolkata. Wrapped in the brands signature brown and golden packaging each bar is priced at INR 90.

While I am not going gaga over its launch  as I am not at all into chocolate, its actually my  husband who is so looking forward to getting a taste soon. That said I am very happy that Kolkatans will finally get to taste the icrecream brand ,afterall we are a city who truly loves anything ‘mishti’!

I also thank Edelman, Kolkata on behalf of KFB for making us a part of this glitzy event and for the mementoes!

Banana Oats Mini Bundt Cakes – with a chocolate drizzle

When life gives you over ripe bananas, bake a cake! No, seriously, In today’s age when each and everything costs a bomb you don’t want your hard earned money go down the drain. So  nothing should go waste. And when you see so much poverty around you when even a square meal a day seem a distant dream for so many people, prudence is necessary. I don’t  know any other way of using up these odd smelling over ripe bananas, than to turn them into some cakes or muffins. Only the taste of bananas can be over whelming so I like it best to mix it with some chocolate. So here try my recipe of Banana Oats Mini Bundt Cakes – or you can simply make some muffins.

mini bundt 3

mini bundt 1

Notes:

  • Baking time might vary from oven to oven, so please keep a check.
  • A dollop of vanilla ice cream would go very well with warm cake.
Banana Oats Mini Bundt Cakes - with a chocolate drizzle
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Continental
 
Putting ripe bananas to good use
Ingredients
  • Wheat flour - ½ cup
  • Oats - ¼th cup - any rolled oats - dry grind into a fine powder
  • Cocoa powder - ½ cup
  • Eggs - 2 nos
  • Olive oil - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Mashed bananas - 2 nos - the over ripe ones
  • Vanilla powder/ vanilla essence- 1 tsp
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Chocolate sauce - for drizzling on the cake - optional
  • Sprinkles - for decoration - optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg. centigrade.
  2. Prepare bundt tins or muffin tins.
  3. Sift together wheat flour, oats, cocoa powder and baking powder. Keep aside
  4. Cream the olive oil and sugar together. Beat well till light and fluffy . Add the vanilla powder/essence and beat further.
  5. Add the eggs , one at a time , beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the mashed bananas and give it a good mix.
  7. Now gently fold in the wheat flour mixture. Add in two batches, mix well after each addition.
  8. Pour mixture into the prepared tins , bake for 25 - 30 mins or till done.

Keema Aloo – Minced mutton with potatoes in a rich gravy

All the meat lovers are going to gorge on this recipe. The versatility of this recipe is that it pairs up beautifully with rice as well as breads. Again the use of everyday spices and a winner of a dish.Growing up in a Bengali household it is natural to add some potatoes to our meat dishes. The Sunday Mutton curry is incomplete with the soft potatoes to be mashed along with the rice and balanced with a squirt of lime. But when I posted this dish on a popular foodie group  I found a lot of people were not used to the idea of potatoes in a meat dish. I am glad to be sharing this recipe with my readers.

keema aloo

 aloo keema 1

Keema Aloo - Minced mutton with potatoes in a rich gravy
Author: 
Recipe type: Maincourse
Cuisine: Indian
 
Indian minced mutton dish
Ingredients
  • Mutton mince/keema - 500 gms
  • Potatoes - 2 medium - cut into small cubes
  • Onion paste - 5 tbsp.
  • Garlic- ginger paste - 2 tbsp.
  • Tomato puree - 3 tbsp.
  • Kashmiri red chilii powder - 2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • sugar - a pinch
  • Mustard oil - 2 tbsp.
  • Garam masala - 1 tbsp.
  • To be dry roasted and grounded to a coarse powder :
  • Coriander seeds/dhania - 1 tbsp.
  • Cumin/jeera seeds - 1 tbsp.
  • Dried red chillies - 2-3
Instructions
  1. In a pressure cooker, add the mustard oil. Once it reaches smoking point reduce the flame and add the onion , ginger garlic paste. Fry on low flame till browned. This will take a while but make sure this paste is very well cooked and there is no pungent smell.
  2. Tip in the mutton mince. Increase the heat and cook the mince till it turns lightly brown in color. Now add the tomato puree, red chilli powder, the coriander-cumin dry roasted powder, salt and sugar. Mix everything well.Add a little warm water and let it cook.
  3. Roast the masala well along with the mince. Add some more warm water and let the masalas cook well. At this point add the cubed potatoes.
  4. Add a cup of warm water, put in the garam masala powder and pressure cook for 1 whistle.
  5. Remove from heat and serve hot topped with some onion rings and a squirt of lime.

Tandoori Chicken – The super easy version

There will be days inyour life when no matter how much you enjoy cooking and say its a therapy for you..the very thought of cooking will give you the jitters. Happens to me many times too often. Nevertheless you still want something yummy, something comforting and take aways are not an option either. What does one do?! Make this super easy version of Oven Grilled Tandoori Chicken. Ever since I have been on the  healthy eating path, tandoori chicken has been my faithful companion. Everytime in doubt, a piece of well grilled succulent juicy chicken makes me happy. And the bong in me just needs a bit of rice and daal along and I am good to go. The only effort in this dish is the marination that can be done even a day ahead. The marinated chicken can be frozen too for upto a week.

tandoori chicken 1

tandoori chicken

Tandoori Chicken - The super easy version
Author: 
Recipe type: Starters
Cuisine: Indian
 
Easy Tandoori chicken
Ingredients
  • Chicken drumsticks - 8-10 pieces
  • Hung curd - 2 tbsp.
  • Lime juice - 1 tbsp.
  • Salt - to taste
  • Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder - 1 tbsp.
  • Garam masala powder - 1 tbsp.
  • Gram flour/Besan - 1 tsp
  • Mustard oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Butter/oil - for basting
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry the chicken drumsticks. Make small gashes all over. Marinate with salt and lime juice and keep aside for 15 mins.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the curd, ginger-garlic paste,kashmiri red chili powder,garam masala powder, gram flour and mustard oil.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and coat each of the piece well with the marinade. Cover the bowl with a cling film and keep in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hours or more.
  4. Line a baking tray with foil paper. Place the chicken pieces and grill in a preheated oven at 250 degree centigrade.
  5. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce and a side of mint chutney and onion rings

Sausage Rolls – Perfect for winter evenings

I love winter afternoons. They are perfect to do some baking..perfect to dole out some goodies from my kitchen…perfect to show my loved ones that I love them! The aroma of baking fresh bread at home just adds to the pleasure. So today I made this very easy Sausage Rolls just perfect to go with your evening cuppa.

sausage

sausagerolls

 

I had made a few dozens of these sausage rolls for KFB’s maiden Bake sale and they were my bestsellers! Extremely easy to make and lovely to eat..what more does one want from life.

Sausage Rolls - Perfect for winter evenings
Author: 
Recipe type: Baked Goodies
Cuisine: Continental
 
Baked sausage rolls
Ingredients
  • Flour / Maida - 1½ cup + a little more to adjust the dough
  • Instant yeast - 1 pack - approx. 7 gms
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Milk - half cup
  • Olive oil - 2 tsp
  • For the filling:
  • Chicken sausages - 12 nos
  • Readymade pasta sauce - few tbsps.
  • Grated parmesan cheese - approx. 2 tbsp.
Instructions
  1. Making the dough.
  2. In a bowl add the flour ,instant yeast , salt and sugar. Add the milk gently and bind into a dough. Add the olive oil and knead the dough on a floured surface for atleast 10-12 mins till its soft, smooth and springy.
  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and keep in a warm place. I usually place it inside the microwave.
  4. Let the dough rise for an hour. It will become double the size. take it out on a floured surface and knock down the dough gently.
  5. Now make 12 small sized balls from the dough. Roll out each into small rounds - like puris but not very thin.
  6. Apply some pasta sauce, place a cocktail sausage and sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese. Fold the two sides into the centre in the shape of a roll.
  7. Follow the same process to make all the rolls.
  8. Place each of the rolls in an oiled baking tray. You could also line the tray with some foil paper. Cover with a cling and let them rise again for 20 mins. Brush the rolls with some lightly beaten eggs.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 mins at 180 degree centigrade.
  10. Serve hot staright out of the oven . It even stores well for upto 2 days.
 

Mushroom Tomato Quiche – Rustic and Hearty

Having lived in Delhi for many years I miss a proper winter in Kolkata. The cold mornings making it impossible to get out of bed..still dragging oneself out to attend a class while in college or reporting at work later..those are my fondest memories of Delhi winters. Ofcourse there was the food…tucking into creamy sarson saag with crispy makki roti at a neighbourhood dhaba, those were the days. Endless cups of coffee and a hot water bag to keep me warm was what winter was all about.

Here in Kolkata I miss all that. The weather has just got a bit nippy here and everyday I pray that let it get a little more colder here. Winter also means whipping up hearty rustic dishes in my kitchen using freshest of winter produce. Been wanting to make a quiche for sometime and today seemed the perfect opportunity. Kept it simple and baked a delicious Mushroom Tomato Quiche and indulgently topped it up with some grated parmesan.

 

quiche 2

 

quiche 1

 

 

Mushroom Tomato Quiche - Rustic and Hearty
Author: 
Recipe type: Baked goodies
Cuisine: Continental
 
Hearty Quiche
Ingredients
  • For the pastry dough:
  • Flour - 1 cup
  • Butter - 50 gms - chilled
  • Egg - 1 lightly beaten
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • For the filling:
  • Mushroom - 1 cup - thinly sliced
  • Onion - 1 medium - finely chopped
  • Garlic - 2-3 pods - crushed
  • Cherry tomatoes - a few - halved
  • Egg - 2 -lightly beaten
  • Cream - 1 cup - I used Amul
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper - to taste
  • Olive oil - 1 tsp
  • Oregano - 1 tbsp.
  • Chilli flakes - half a tsp
  • Grated Parmesan cheese - a handful
Instructions
  1. The pastry dough:
  2. Mix the flour, salt and the chilled cubes of butter with a fork or using your fingers until mixed well and resembles breadcrumbs. Now put in the beaten egg and make into a soft dough.
  3. Wrap the dough with a cling wrap and refrigerate for 20 mins.
  4. Making the pie crust:
  5. Roll the dough on a well floured board into a circle,rolling from the centre to the edge,turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half,place in a pie pan and unfold to fit the pan.
  6. Pierce the covered pie pan with a fork to avoid the pie crust from flaking up while blind baking.
  7. Bake the crust in a preheated oven at 180 degree centigrade for 10 to 15 mins till lightly golden in colour.
  8. Making the filling:
  9. In a pan heat the olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and sautee till light brown. Add the onion and let it sweat for 5 mins. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook till done. It will realease a lot of water...cook till that evaporates. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and chilli flakes.
  10. Remove from heat and let this mixture cool down.
  11. In a bowl add together the eggs and the cream. Season with salt and pepper and mix together with the mushroom mixture.
  12. Pour this mixture into the half- baked pie crust. Top with cherry tomatoes and a generous sprinkling of grated parmesan.
  13. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree centigrade for 20- 25 mins.
  14. Serve hot.
 

Oats and Sunflower Seeds Cookies

I am not much of a baker as I lack patience. But once in a while I do like to whip up some goodies for my little boy. This easy oats cookies recipe caught my fancy and I perked up the health quotient by adding some sunflower seeds to it. The original recipe also called for dried cranberries but I substituted that with some raisins. It can be a good option for kiddie tiffin box too. Trust me your kid will not be able to resist the aroma of this freshly baked cookies!

 

cookies 2

 

cookies

 

Oats and Sunflower Seeds Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Baked goodies
 
Crispy crunchy cookies
Ingredients
  • Sunflower seeds - 4 tbsp.
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp.
  • Butter - 50 gms - I used Amul butter
  • Castor sugar - 1 cup
  • Egg - 1
  • Wholewheat flour - half a cup
  • Oats - 1 cup - I used the regular rolled oats that we use for breakfast
  • Raisins - a handful
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease and line a baking tray.
  2. Dry roast the sunflower seeds and grind into a fine paste adding 2 tbsp olive oil.
  3. Mix together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the egg, the mix in the wheat flour and the oats. Mix in the sunflower seeds paste, then stir in the vanilla essence and the raisins.
  4. Place heaped tbsp full of the mixture on the baking tray, spacing them well apart.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 mins until golden. Leave on baking tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Serve warm or store for later use.
 

Pineapple Relish

Call it a relish or a simple chutney..this one will surely make you happy. It is a very good way to use up a ripe pineapple that you wouldn’t really enjoy otherwise. Even if the pineapple isn’t that ripe this recipe will work just fine. Make it and keep it bottled in the fridge for a week…it will stay just fine. Eat it with simple dal-chawal or serve it as a side with parathas, kababs or just about anything. And its so simple to make that you are going to love me for this. Here’s a quick recipe of Pineapple Relish

relish 1

 

Pineapple Relish
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiments
Cuisine: Indian
 
A sweet and tangy pineapple relish
Ingredients
  • Pineapple - 1 large - grated
  • Turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Sugar - 7-8 tbsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Dry red chillies - 3-4 nos
  • Black Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Refined oil - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. In a bowl take the grated pineapple along with all its juices.Add the turmeric powder , salt and sugar and mix well till the sugar dissolves.Keep it aside.
  2. In a pan add the oil .Once it heats up add the black mustard seeds and the dry red chillies.Once the splutter add the pineapple mixture.
  3. Cover the pan and let it cook for approx half hour or till the the mixture becomes thick in consistency. At this stage check for the seasoning .. add a little more sugar or salt if required.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
  5. Serve as a condiment.Bottle it up and stock it in the fridge.Stays well for almost a week.