When I moved to the City Of Joy 12 yrs ago ( unbeliveable) the one thing I craved the most was a plate of decent Butter Chicken – quite a staple after having spent almost 7 yrs in saadi dilli! Unfortunately, Kolkata, back then did not have too many , rather hardly had any place that made proper butter chicken ( the one that gives you the feel kinds!). Hence started my quest to try various versions of the Buttter Chicken recipes at home. Over the years many trials happened in my kitchen but none could make the cut honestly. Lot of trials and errors later, I am somewhat satisfied with this precious recipe that I am going to share with you today. My 9 yr old has also turned into a BC (Butter Chicken) fan so this is one dish I make often. It is also my party staple simply coz its too easy to make with ingredients just thrown in. A few of my readers have also requested me for my version of the dish, so here goes.
This Noodle bowl with Chicken Broth is just perfect for a quick meal. The heat is already killing us , so we all need easy recipes that can be tossed with very little preps. Once in a while when we need a break from our usual dishes, this is good to go.I used whatever veggies along with chicken were available at home but you could add anything that you wish to. The vegetarians can replace chicken with tofu, turns out extremely well. The noodles i used is the thick – egg noodle variety that I picked from my last trip to new market. Maybe i should write a post on my absolute love for New Market. Have been going there ever since I was a kid and still find is as charming! Unfortunately its the other end of town for me, but then thats no detterent.
Summer calls for easy clean meals that can be prepared without slogging it out in the kitchen. This Tomato Mint Pulao is a one pot meal to be rustled up in a jiffy, served with a side of raita and salad is perfect for a weekday meal.Easy clean flavours is sure to please your tastebuds!I like making pulaos in handis or a pan as i am more confident that way but you could easily use a pressure cooker or even a rice cooker. Just the amount of water need to adjusted accordingly. Also i have used chopped tomatoes for texture but even puree would work well. Feel free to use your own discretions as that what makes it even better!
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.
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!!
There are a few kitchen staples that always come handy while you are at it! In my last post I mentioned how I ensure to have a few sauces and ingredients available in my kitchen always, some I use store bought and some I make at home from scratch. If you have kids at home then this particular recipe of a very versatile and tasty pizza/ pasta sauce will be super useful. Their hunger pangs /demand for fancy stuffs can be fulfilled easily. I have an 8 year old in the house and his sudden cravings for a cheesy pasta or a gooey pizza is met with in a jiffy. As a mother we worry about too many preservatives in readymade sauces, so it is just perfect that we make a fresh batch of this sauce and store it.
This recipe is by far the easiest version you can find. It has some vegetables to go with the tomato and is oven roasted, so double easy!. I added yellow and red bell pepper as it adds to the taste and texture of the sauce by adding a fresh sweetness in contrast to the acidity of the tomatoes. Season it with herbs of your choice, no hard and fast rule on that and use this sauce as and when you need it.