A conversation with a dear friend made me realise that this blog is something that means a lot, a lot of hard work and sweat and passion has gone into making it, so no matter how many “sabbaticals” I take, I have to get back to it. So on that very positive note, I present a new recipe to you all! I made Dimer Korma few days ago after I saw a video on FB by Banglar Rannaghar, a very popular website of great recipes. I made some minor changes and the result was a great dish.
Eggs are a constant favourite in my household and is well accepted by both my boys, whichever way it is served. This Korma went particularly well with tawa rotis and made for a lovely treat. It is a great party dish and requires very little ingredients.
While you wouldn’t really pick up raw bananas as a part of your regular vegetable shopping, but once a while you can , to make this raw banana Kofta Curry, that’s very high on nutrients as well as taste. This recipe here is onion and garlic free too. The Bengali in me, loves her Kaanch Kola (raw banana) as we call it . I could even relish boiled raw banana mash with green chilies and mustard oil, our most trusted dish whenever tummy issues crop up. My boys however would squirm at the very idea. So I have to get as innovative as I can be and camouflage such vegetables in more appealing looking dishes.
This recipe here is onion and garlic free. To make it a bit fancy , I have used cashew and sunflower seeds paste to give the gravy a lovely texture and taste. You can easily make the koftas a day in advance,store it in the fridge, fry and add it to the gravy later.
Festivals to many people entail many things, but for a true blue Bengali girl like me, festivals are synonymous with family, traditions and food. Growing up, my family ensured that each festival or parbon as we call them is celebrated with dedicated fervour. Noboborsho, or the Bengali New year, holds a special place in every Bengalis heart, it is yet another opportunity to enjoy, usher in the good times with family and friends over new clothes, elaborate meals and lots of adda. Bengalis and their bhuri bhoj is world famous and we don’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to merrymaking.
Just like every year, our plans for Poila Boisakh revolve around food and festivities. As a mother to a 8 year old, I have to ensure that these occasions are celebrated with much fanfare so it creates lifelong memories, which he can carry along in his heart forvever. A typical Poila Boisakh morning, would entail a visit to the temple, donned in new traditional attires, cooking up delicacies in my kitchen, gorging on mishtis and being with family and friends.
Now, coming to food. While quintessentially, dishes like Chingri Malaikari, Kosha Mangsho, Pulao would be a part of the Poila Boisakh menu, one cannot ignore the the perennial love we Bengalis have for Biryanis! Give us a plate of Biryani along with the meat and the potato, we are set and elated. There is this particular Kacchi Biryani – the Dhakai version that Maa makes and I can never get enough of it. With time , I have also struggled to kind of master the art of making this dish and is very happy to share it with my readers here.
A Dhakai Kacchi Biryani is different from the rest of the lot as the here the raw marinated meat is cooked along with the rice in a concoction of flavours. The key is to get the right balance of spices, not too spicy, not to bland, just right with succulent pieces of meat and potatoes. A perfect recipe to bond over with friends and family.
However, no celebration is perfect without a clean home and kitchen. Since the kitchen is the humdrum of activities during Poila Boisakh, hygiene is of utmost importance. With a young kid at home, I cant help but being hyper when it comes to cleanliness. The advent of summers mean pests and cockroaches and the only sure shot way to get rid of it is to use Godrej Lal Hit. A premium product from Godrej to keep cockroaches at bay. Its long nozzle ensures that it reaches every nook and corner of your kitchen. Personally, I have been using this product for a while now and I seriously cant complain.
So there! Have the happiest Poila Boisakh, cook up a storm, enjoy the mishtis and have a great time with friends and family without compromising on cleanliness and hygiene. Cherish old memories, call up your loved ones and make some new traditions.
Dry red chillies - 5-6 nos ( adjust according to taste)
Nutmeg ( Jaiphal) - half a piece
Mace (Javitri) - 2 pieces
Green Cardamom - 3-4 nos
Cinnamon - 2 small sticks
Cloves - 5-6 nos
Other ingredients required:
Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Mutton - half kg ( good quality and fresh. Can use boneless cubes too )
Brown onion slices - 4 tbsp + 1 tbsp ( for this just slice up two big onions and fry till golden brown in refined oil or ghee) Also ensure that you keep the leftover oil or ghee.
Yogurt - 1 cup
Garlic paste - 1tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Potatoes - 2 medium sized ( parboiled and fried till light brown in colour)
Kewra essence (screwpine) - 1 tsp
Salt - for marinating the mutton and while boiling the rice.
Atta dough - a small ball of dough made of wheat required for sealing the handi/pan in which the biryani will be cooked.
Dry roast all the ingredients listed under 'Biryani Masala' and grind into a fine powder.
Please be careful not to burn the spices. This 'is 'the most important ingredients of the biryani.
Wash and clean the mutton. Marinate with 2 tbsp salt and keep aside for half an hour.
After half and hour wash the mutton once more and keep.
Now add the yogurt , ginger paste, garlic paste , 4 tbsp brown onion slices and the biryani masala. Mix it very well and gently too.
Cover this mixture with a cling film and let it marinate overnight.
Take 2 cups of good quality basmati rice. Wash it under running water , drain and keep aside.
In a big saucepan add water. Once the water starts to boil add 2 tbsp salt and few whole cardamom , cloves and cinnamon.
Next add the rice and let it boil till the rice is almost half done.
Strain the rice and spread it out on a flat surface.
Now is probably the easiest part and the last step' assembling' before you can devour this sinful biryani.
Take a handi or a saucepan (make sure it has a proper lid) and brush it with a little ghee.
We will make the first layer with rice and then the mutton.
First rice,then the marinated mutton and fried potatoes , then rice and then mutton again. Finally top it up with the remaining rice. Sprinkle the remaining brown onion slices and the kewra essence on top. Close the lid tightly of the handi and seal it with the dough
Now the final task is to put this on dum or slow cooking as we say. For the mutton to be fully cooked this has to be put on heat for at least an hour. So to prevent it from burning I always put the handi on a tawa/skillet and not directly.
Now forget about it for an hour and then when you break open that seal - simply divine!!
This Diwali add a Bengali touch to your dessert menu. Make the quintessential Payesh – a rice pudding considered to be so auspicious that no celebration in a Bengali household is complete without it. The ever so popular sweet dish, there has not been a single birthday when Maa had not made Payesh with loads of raisins for me. Now I do it for my little boy ( also for my husband ! ) A bowl of payesh makes them super happy.
Every Bengali family has their own recipe for making this dish. The one I am sharing today is by far the easiest and is made with condensed milk. And I believe any that has Milkmaid in it is super delicious. No seriously! Have u ever tried licking the sides of a milkmaid tin – its heaven and I do it even now!
Muri Ghonto – Fish head curry is a traditional, typical Bengali delicacy. Many would squirm with the idea of eating fish head but we Bengalis take no offence to that and continue to prepare and relish this dish with much gusto. The choice of fish here would primarily be Rohu or Katla fish head, preferably of a good size, that adds to the taste. Now every household would have their own recipe for this, what I am sharing here is what my grandmother and mother made for me and the family. To be honest I am not so much a fish person but Muri Ghonto is something I always enjoy. The addition of raw rice to the dish which cooks in the gravy is pretty unique too. Some even add Chira/chiwda/poha instead of rice but I usually stick to rice.
It is a semi dry,spicy gravy dish that pairs up beautifully with some hot rice. For people who love fish and have no inhibitions, I would suggest you definitely make this once. You will love it, I can guarantee.