Thought I could add some spice to your life...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

News for those who thought only women were writing here. There are men other than me who are enthusiastic enough about food to write on this blog. And this one is a real man too (real as against virtual - he is a good "offline" friend of mine), although he has a very "interesting" virtual alter ego.

(Aniruddha Gupta)

For many non-Maharshtrians, the only experience with Shrikhand is courtesy Aarey, the Haringhata of Maharashtra govt. Not a pleasing one. So many of us have the misconception that Shrikhand is a very heavy, greasy and cloyingly sweet milk product. Couldn't be further from the truth. The proof of Shrikhand is in eating, and I have had some Shrikhand made by Ani - it was fabulous. Everything in the right proportions. And here's his recipe:

1 lb Farmer's cheese
2/3 lb Mango Pulp
1 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
sugar to taste

If you can't get farmer's cheese, use cottage cheese and drain out all the liquid. Blend the cheese, mango pulp, cardamom and sugar until the consostency is smooth. If you find it too thick, you can add a small amount of milk and blend again. Chill for 15-20 mins. Pour a few teaspoons of melted ghee and serve.

Quite easy, and very delicious. I can vouchsafe for that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The internet is a strange place - ask anyone here to name a four letter word starting with f, and the answer is food. Honestly, I am amazed at the number of foodies I have met on the net. And here's another one in that great line. She promises to be pretty prolific, and starts with a double whammy.

Working Mom's Pulao:
(Sucharita Mukherjee)

The real Pulao (or Pilaf, as the uninitiated call it), can be a lot of hassle. Here is a recipe that takes out the hassle without taking out the taste. (Maybe I am overselling a bit here, but you can use this recipe to get a very quick approximation of the pulao - great for dummies).

Basmati Rice (500gms), Star Anis (joitri), Whole Cumin seeds, Onion (one big), Ghee for cooking.

Wash the rice and dry completely. Fry sliced onions pieces till golden brown. Add star anis(2) and cumin and fry. When fried add the rice and fry somemore. Add salt to taste. Add water and cook.

IMP Tip: Be careful about the quantity of water. So add less first and then when needed. Rice should not be over cooked. Try not to leave the kitchen when the rice is being cooked.

Dahi chicken:
(Sucharita Mukherjee, again)

This one is the perfect complement with the Pulao.

Curd if you are in India or Yoghurt elsewhere (200 gms), whole garam masala (this is kinda important, gets you the flavour), one big onion (or two small ones) chopped, one big tomato chopped, grated ginger (1 inch piece) and chopped garlic (three cloves) (using ginger garlic paste might give you an inferior outcome), Korma Powder (Shaan is pretty good), and of course, 700-800 gms of chicken (thats a normal sized chicken, dressed).

Add three-fourths of the curd to chicken and refrigerate for two hours. Fry the onions in oil. Add whole garam masala and fry some more. Add ginger garlic (chopped garlic and grated ginger). Add achopped tomato and cook some more. Add the marinated chicken and cook. Add Korma Powder and keep cooking. When the oil separates, add the remaining curd to this and cook somemore. DO NOT ADD WATER.

NOTE: The Korma powder is optional, but it tastes damn good. You can use ghee as well and also a bit of turmeric.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Suhridi vehemently claims that she exists. Going a step further, she claims that she exists even outside the virtual world. Well, she cooks. And eats. Therefore she exists in the real world. Admitted.

And the sweet lady has sent a new sweet recipe. This is "Mishti Doi". I dont know how it translates into English. It is surely not sweet curd or sweet yogurt. The closest translation is "Abracadabra", for it indeed does magical things to your taste buds.

Bhapa Doi / Mishti Doi

(Suhridi Basu)

'Gati' has pestered me so much for another recipe on Kolkata sweets, that I am starting to get the feeling that probably he thinks that i am a sweetmaker like nabin moyra or ganguram.... just kidding :-) So here is another recipe on his request.


Yogurt or home made curd, Condensed milk, Evaporated milk

Mix yogurt, condensed milk and evaporated milk in ratio of 2:1:1. Mix very well, so that a fine mixture is made. Pour the mixture in a baking tray and put in oven at around 170-200F for 1 Hr approx. Check from time to time to see if the mixture has turned more like the curd we know, by cutting through with a knife. Garnish with pista pieces and refrigerate. Serve chilled.

And chill out.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Just found another Indian cookery blog. Although the fist two on the list and cucumber sandwich and ice cream cake with strawberries, which, by no stretch of imagination can claim to be Indian, as you scroll down, you will find things like Bhel Puri, Samosa, Kulfi, Rasam, and some delicious chicken stuff including butter chicken, Chicken Tandoori and Chicken Tikka. Worth checking out.

And yeah, there are some non-Indians who have quite an impressive collection of Indian recipes. One of them is this. Worth a look.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I just came across a pretty nice cookery blog with a very quirky name - cooking for engineers. Whatever the name suggests, it is a nice site and a must-read for those of you (non-engineers too) who are interested in serious cooking.

Today I thought I would chip in with yet another chicken recipe. Statutory warning - spicy stuff, not for the weak at heart.

Chicken Rezala

Ingredients : Boneless chicken cut into small pieces - 2 lbs, 2 large onions, five-six fresh cloves of garlic, a half-inch piece of ginger, plain yogurt (200 gm), black pepper (both crushed and whole), Bay leaves (two or three), ghee and salt to taste. And yes, you need a pressure cooker and a blender for this.

The method is rather simple. Blend the onions, garlic and ginger into a paste, and marinate the chicken with the yogurt and the paste. Keep the marinade for two hours. Then in the pressure cooker, heat some ghee (be generous here), throw in the bay leaves and about 10 whole black peppers. Add the marinated chicken. Fry it. Add salt, and crushed pepper to taste. No chillies here, but this tastes good only with a lot of crushed pepper. Keep stirring. I have talked about this earlier too, the importance of stirring cannot be overstressed. Do not add water. Cover the pressure cooker and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Four whistles should be enough. Thats it. Done! Shorter than most of my other recipes, I suppose.

Before serving, you can garnish it using chopped green chillies and lemon juice. This goes extremely well with roti or paratha.

By the way, be forewarned. The Rezala is not a standard Bengali dish. It is different. Very macho. Once you eat it, you will realise why.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Well, suddenly we move from the realm of the mundane to that of the sublime. I guess there has been a selection bias - the people who I have been able to dupe into writing here are those that were top-of-my-mind as famous foodies. So, here goes another Bengali delicacy. From a friend of mine who is a permanent fixture in the chatroom I frequent. Given the amount of time she spends in the chatroom I doubt whether she has a real life - I have a sneaky feeling that her entire existence is virtual. The Bhapa Sandesh is very, very real though.

Bhapa Sandesh
(Suhridi Basu )

Bengalis never get tired of sweets, neither do I. Being far away from bengal I try to experiment with cheese ( chhana ), milk and sugar - who knows one day I can come up with a brand new sweet recipe!

Try this out:

Ricotta Cheese
Condensed milk
Dry milk powder
(Thats all!)

Mix ricotta cheese, condensed milk and dry milk powder in 4:1:1 ratio. Add sugar according to taste. Mix thoroghly. Put the mix in a baking pan and put it to bake in an oven at 150-200F for 30 to 40 minutes approx. The time may differ depending on the temperature. Check from time to time to see if the mix has dried up enough to look like sandesh. If you pierce through the mix using a spoon it should cut through.

Cut into small pieces. garnish with pista and cardamom grind and serve.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Apologies for this long hiatus. I am actually thankful that did not cancel my account. Such things surely happen on Yahoo and MSN. I have been busy with countless other meaningless pursuits, one of them being this rant. This gap has also taught me another thing, that my enthusiasm runs in a sine curve (as if I already did not know it). So I am opening up this space for guest writeups. The only restriction is that they have to be fully explained recipes for stuff that is edible. You can send the recipes to me at As long as you dont send me abuses, you will be published. Even if you send me abuses, don't forget to include some recipe, and I will separate the abuse and recipe - and publish the recipe here. However, you might get only the abuse back in return mail.

The first guest writer has is Susmita Sengupta from Ann Arbor, Michigan. We met over a chatroom, and since then she has supplied me quite a few recipes over the instant messenger. There are all...Yummmmy to say the least.

Yummy Chicken
(Susmita Sengupta)

I am no great cook, but I am recognized for carrying out my cuisine trial. At times it becomes quite a bit of persecute for the taste-bud. Nevertheless, sometimes it really comes out to be a successful venture. Following recipe is just one of them.
Chicken (cut into small pieces)
Tomato Puree
Sour Cream
Ginger Paste
Garlic Paste
Coriander Leaves
Red Chilly Powder
Bar-B-Q Tandoor Masala

Marinate the chicken with sour cream and Chicken Tandoor Masala. Best is, to keep the marinate over night. Bake the chicken pieces at 400 degree till it’s done. Make a paste of 1 table spoon cashew nut and keep it aside. Cut the Onion and keep it aside.On a frying pan put little bit of oil. Stir the garlic paste. Fry the Onion till its golden brown. Put Ginger paste, and fry it together until the oil and spices are separated. Put 2 Table Spoon of Tomato pure and give it a quick stir. Put the cashew nut paste and stir it for 2-3 seconds. Put 1 TS of Chicken Tandoori Masala and red chilly powder and stir. Put all the baked chicken pieces in the gravy and give it a quick stir. Put little bit of milk, for more gravy. Once everything is done, put 1 or 2 table spoon of sour cream, and yes, put salt according to your taste (Make sure, you taste the gravy before you put the salt, since tandoori masala has salt in it). Garnish it with coriander leaves.

I am not sure of naming this recipe. But one of my friends, very enthusiastically once said “wow…yummy!!!!”…So, why not call it yummy chicken.