Onion and White Poppy Seeds curry ( Peyaj Posto )

I’m a great fan of white poppy seeds. When used with the right ingredients it can deliver wonderful dishes. Previously I posted about “Chicken with white poppy seeds” . In my next series of posts I will write about dishes with white poppy seeds. To start with let’s cook onion with white poppy seeds. Please don’t try these with black poppy seeds because black poppy seeds are bitter in taste and so the dishes will be ruined.

Step 1 - Fry onions

Step 1 – Fry onions

Onion with white poppy seeds

Onion with white poppy seeds

  • Ingredients :
  1. Onion – 6 ( medium ) : chopped into thin and small pieces
  2. Green chilies – 5
  3. White poppy seeds – 5 tbsp
  4. Turmeric Paste – 1 tsp. If using turmeric powder use 1/2 tsp. I love to make my own turmeric paste with raw turmeric which gives it a very original flavour. You can always use turmeric powder though if you don’t want to go through all the grinding manoeuvre , which will yellow-up your hands ( which is very hygienic though! ) and grinding pot
  5. Salt – as needed
  6. Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
  • Method :
  1. Heat oil in a pan. Throw in the chopped onions. Fry till they become somewhat golden brown or golden. This may take 7-8 minutes, but always be careful not to burn or overcook the onions
  2. In the meantime, grind white poppy seeds with two green chilies and 4-5 tbsp of water. Do not add extra water if you feel that the paste will become very runny. Don’t make a fine paste, let it be bit coarse ( this is important! The coarse paste will add texture and enhanced taste to the food )
  3. Chop the remaining 3 green chilies into ringlets and add with the onions
  4. Add the paste to the pan with onions and mix well. Add salt and cook for 7-8 minute
  5. Stir occasionaly to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn the whole thing
  6. Remove from heat and serve with hot boiled rice

Happy Cooking! 🙂

Egg and Potato Chop ( Dim ar Aloor Chop )

These are wonderful Indian snacks. There are many variations of these, both veg and non-veg. In West Bengal you can always find a “hole in the wall” or a mobile stall cooking and selling different versions of “Chop”, yes..we call these “Chop”. I’m not sure what you’ll call these, but you can always try one and you will not regret, I am sure. Of course in these “chop shops” the hygiene and ingredients used  are questionable, though I never got sick even after consuming many of them!

I am so fond of these, that in order to prevent me from eating those unhygienic ones, my mother used to cook chops at home, and to me they are even tastier!

These chops are generally deep-fried, so when I am cooking I thought of making them healthier too. So instead of deep frying, I baked them, and trust me – they were really delicious!

I will be including both potato chop and egg chop in the same post.

Here goes the recipe:

Mashed potato

Picture 1: Mashed potato

Egg chop : 1 half egg, 1 half mashed potato

Picture 2: Egg chop shapes, before coating : 1 half egg, 1 half mashed potato

Potato chop shapes, before coating

Picture 3: Potato chop shapes, before coating

Cornflour mixture

Picture 4: Cornflour mixture

Egg chop shapes, after coating

Picture 5: Egg chop shapes, after coating

Potato chop shapes, after coating

Picture 6: Potato chop shapes, after coating

Egg Chop

Picture 7: Egg Chop

Potato Chop

Picture 8: Potato Chop

  • Ingredients :
  1. Potato – 3 ( large )
  2. Eggs –  3 ( hard boiled, peeled and cut lengthwise into halves )
  3. Onion – 1 ( large ) : chopped thinly
  4. Green chilli – 6-7 : chopped into ringlets
  5. Coriander leaves – a small bunch : chopped roughly
  6. Red chilli powder/flakes – 2 tsp
  7. Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
  8. Salt – as needed
  9. Breadcrumb – 6-7  tbsp ( more may be needed )
  10. Cooking oil – 2 tsp
  11. Cornflour – 3 tbsp ( more may be needed )
  • How to cook :
  1. First boil the whole potatoes so that they can be mashed easily. After draining the hot water keep the whole boiled potatoes for cooling and drying. After they are dry, peel them and take in a big bowl
  2. In that bowl add chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves, salt, red chilli powder/flakes, cumin powder, chopped onion and mash them very well. Please make sure that they make a good tight shape if you try to make one with your palm, this is the main part of cooking chop, if the shape break or is unstable then it will not make a good chop. You can leave the mash in refrigerator for a while to get the perfect tightness.  Take a look at the picture provided (ref Picture 1)
  3. Now to make egg chop, you need to take one half of one egg in one of your palm and take a handful of the mash in another hand and give it a half-egg shape to fit in the half egg that you holding in one of your palm. Please take a look at the picture for a clear understanding (ref Picture 2)
  4. To make simple potato chop, you just need to take a handful mash and shape it like given in the picture (Picture 3)
  5. In a small bowl take 3 tbsp of cornflour, 1 egg and 2 tsp cooking oil and beat them very well to make a runny paste like shown in the picture (ref Picture 4). It should not be too tight or too runny
  6. Spread the breadcrumb in a tray
  7. Take one chop in your hand and dip it into the cornflour mixture to cover it’s all sides. Then roll it over the breadcrumb very well so that they cover all the sides of the chop. Then again you dip it into cornflour mixture and again roll over the breadcrumb to get a solid cover for the chop. You can do this “dip-and-roll-over” thing once, if you think the coating is enough. Repeat this process for the rest of the chops
  8. Now pre-heat oven to 180 °C/350 °F/Gas 4. In a baking tray put the chops in rows and bake for 40 minutes or until they become golden brown. Turn them over from time to time in order to bake all the sides very well

You can always experiment with chops using your creative mind, adding this or that and such things!

Enjoy with raw onion, green chilli and tea!

Spaghetti in Prawn gravy

This one I experimented with one day and it came out a beauty. I wanted to make pasta in a different way, so one fine day I did it and believe me it was good. Let’s have a look at the recipe :

Spaghetti in prawn gravy

Spaghetti in prawn gravy

  • Things you need :
  1. Spaghetti – 200 g
  2. Prawn ( peeled and deveined ) – 100 g. For this dish I used small prawns
  3. Onion ( large ) – 1 ( chopped )
  4. Capsicum ( medium ) – 1 ( chopped ) . I used one yellow capsicum for this dish. You can use red, green, yellow or orange anything you like
  5. Green Chili – 4 ( cut lengthwise )
  6. Garlic – 4 pods ( thinly sliced )
  7. Cream – 4 tbsp
  8. Olive oil ( or the cooking oil you use ) – 2 tbsp
  9. Butter – 1 tbsp
  10. Black pepper powder – 1 tbsp
  11. Salt – as needed
  • How to cook :
  1. In a frying pan heat olive oil ( or the oil you use ) and throw in the sliced garlic pods. Saute for 2 minutes
  2. Add onion and capsicum and fry for another 5 minutes
  3. Now add prawn in it and cook in a low heat for 7-8 minutes or till the prawns change their colour slightly
  4. Add cream, salt and 2 tsp of black pepper powder and mix well. Cook for 10 minutes or till the prawns are cooked. Add little water or more cream if the gravy dries. Add the green chilis
  5. Remove from heat and ensure that gravy is there
  6. In the mean time in another pan boil sufficient water and put the spaghetti in there. Add salt in the water and keep on boiling and stir the strings to avoid sticking to each other or to the bottom of the pan. It may take 10-12 minutes for the strings to get the perfect al dente texture, i.e, perfectly cooked so as to be perfect firm but not hard. Please don’t over-boil or you’ll get the soft and sticky strings and it will ruin the whole dish, but don’t under-boil either. So to ensure the perfect texture of the pasta taste a string every minute and when you get that texture remove from heat and immediately drain the water
  7. Now in the spaghetti add butter and remaining 1 tsp black pepper powder and mix very well
  8. Serve the spaghetti in plate and pour the hot prawn gravy you cooked earlier over it. Add some Italian seasoning over it if you want

Happy Cooking and Enjoy!!

Chicken Curry : my Mom’s style

I inherited this recipe from my mother, she cooks it so very well. The delicious smell of this curry drives me crazy and when I cooked this my husband also was happy like crazy. It tastes this well but very easy to prepare. The main secret lies in it’s marination. You must marinate it for at least 8-10 hours. I keep it overnight for marination. So let’s cook it..

Ingredients for marinade

Ingredients for marinade

Marinade

Marinade

Marinating chicken

Marinating chicken

20130728-IMG_0064

Cooked chicken curry

Cooked chicken curry

  • Things needed :
  1. Chicken – 500 g
  2. Garlic – 8-10 pods ( peeled )
  3. Ginger – 2 inch piece ( peeled )
  4. Cumin seeds – 2 tsp ( Though store-brought cumin powder can be used but I like to grind whole cumin seeds as it tastes better I feel )
  5. Red chili ( whole and large ) – 5
  6. Turmeric powder – 2 tsp. I love to use turmeric paste. I generally buy raw turmeric and make paste from it, because to me it feels tastier
  7. Salt – as needed
  8. Cooking oil – 3-4 tbsp
  9. Onion – 1 large ( cut into thin slice )
  • How to cook :
  1. Take garlic, ginger, whole cumin seeds, whole red chilies and water ( as needed ) to make a fine paste. Add salt and turmeric powder to it and mix well
  2. Now in a big bowl take the chicken pieces and add the paste and rub the chicken pieces really well. Since marinade won’t penetrate very far into the chicken, it is recommended to make small cuts and cracks into the chicken pieces with a knife for the marinade to enter
  3. Now cover it and keep in your refrigerator for at least 8-10 hours
  4. Cut onion into thin slices
  5. Heat oil in a pan and fry the sliced onion until it becomes transparent. In the meantime don’t forget to take out the chicken from refrigerator at least 15-20 minutes before cooking
  6. Now add the chicken pieces along with the marinade into the pan and fry for 5-7 minutes
  7. Add 2 cups of water ( or more ) and cook in a low flame covering the pan for at least 1 hour.
  8. Stir now and then and after 1 hour or so you’ll see thin oil floating on the top. Add salt if needed and remove from heat

Serve with hot rice and you’ll never forget the taste!!

Happy cooking 🙂

Lite Fish Curry – Bengali style ( Machher Jhol )

This is one wonderful and yet simple fish curry which I learned from my mother. The recipe goes here..

Patla Machher Jhol

  • Ingredients :
  1. Fish – I used 4 pieces from one whole rohu fish of 1.5 kg.  It tastes best if carp type fish is used. I stick to rohu or katla only when I’m preparing this particular dish
  2. Potato ( washed and peeled ) – 1 large, cut into long slices as shown in the picture
  3. Panch Phoron ( Whole spice blend consisting of Black cumin [ kalojire ], fenugreek seed, cumin seed, fennel seed, radhuni [ if unavailable radhuni can be replaced with celery seed ] in equal parts – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  4. Ginger paste – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  5. Cumin powder – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  6. Green chili – 4-5 ( slit lengthwise )
  7. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  8. Salt – as needed
  9. Mustard oil – 4-5 tbsp
  • Method :
  1. Rub the fish pieces well with salt and turmeric powder. Keep aside for 30 minutes
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces until they become golden to golden brown. This may take 4-5 minutes. Remove the pieces from the pan and keep aside. After frying the fish pieces if oil in the pan seems too much, you can remove 1 tbsp of oil from the pan
  3. In the same pan throw in the Panch Phoron and fry. Be careful not to burn them, you’ll get to know when they are done by the smell. This may take 3-4 minutes
  4. Now add the potato and fry until the potato pieces become golden to golden brown
  5. Add ginger paste, cumin powder, turmeric powder and fry until the raw smell goes away. It may take 7-8 minutes. Stir continuously to avoid sticking to the pan. If it sticks to much add 1-2 tsp water
  6. When done, add 4-5 cups of water and salt accordingly and put the fish pieces in there
  7. Cook covered in a medium heat for 20 – 30 minutes or when you think that both the fish and the potato are done
  8. Remove from heat add coriander leaves

Have it with hot rice. It tastes superb if the juice of a slice of lemon is added in the rice. Enjoy!!

Spicy Cauliflower ( Kosha Phulkopi/Spicy Gobi )

I saw one cauliflower sitting in my fridge and thought of cooking something spicy with it. So I made as we Bengalis call it “Kosha Phulkopi” or Spicy Cauliflower or Spicy Gobi. It was very tasty..you can have it with boiled rice or roti. Here is the process :

Kosha Phulkopi

  • Things needed :
  1. Cauliflower – 1 (medium)
  2. Onion – 1 large (chopped in small pieces)
  3. Tomato – 2 medium (chopped)
  4. Potato – 1 large ( peeled and chopped in medium sized cubes )
  5. Ginger paste – 2 tsp
  6. Garlic paste – 2 tsp
  7. Cinnamon stick – 1 1/2 inch
  8. Green Cardamom – 2
  9. Clove – 2
  10. Cumin powder – 2 tsp
  11. Red Chili powder – 2 1/2 tsp
  12. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp. If using turmeric paste then you can use 2 tsp of it. I personally prefer to use raw turmeric and make a paste from it. It really tastes better from the powdered one
  13. Unsweetened curd/yogurt – 2 1/2 tbsp
  14. Salt – as needed
  15. Cooking oil – 3 tbsp
  16. Garam Masala (Alternatively use 2 inch cinnamon+2 green cardamom+2 clove powder ) – 1 tsp
  • Cooking method :
  1. Take the cauliflower florets and wash them well and keep aside
  2. Heat oil in a wok and throw in the cinnamon stick, green cardamoms and cloves and fry them for few minutes until you get the spicy smell, but be careful not to burn them
  3. Add the potatoes and fry until they become golden
  4. Add the chopped onion pieces and saute until they become transparent
  5. Now add ginger paste, garlic paste, turmeric powder (or paste), cumin powder, red chili powder, salt and mix well. Cook on low flame and stir occasionally until the raw smell is no more. It can take 8-10 minutes. If it sticks to much to the bottom add 2-3 tsp of water and stir continuously
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and smash them in the wok with your ladle. Add the curd/yogurt and blend very well
  7. Add the cauliflower florets and mix well with everything in the wok. By this also add the garam masala
  8. Cook under cover for around 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if needed
  9. When done you will see oil separating

Remove from heat and serve hot with hot boiled rice or roti. Enjoy!! 🙂

Spicy Egg Curry ( Kosha Dim )

I inherited this recipe from my mother. This spicy egg curry is bound to satisfy your taste buds. The recipe goes here :

Kosha Dim

  • Things needed :
  1. Egg ( hard boiled ) – As many as you need. I took 8 eggs, so other ingredients are according to this
  2. Onion – 4 large ( chopped roughly )
  3. Tomato – 2 large ( chopped roughly )
  4. Ginger paste – 2 tsp
  5. Garlic paste – 2 tsp
  6. Cumin powder ( or paste ) – 2 1/2 tsp
  7. Turmeric paste ( or powder ) – 2 tsp
  8. Red chili powder – 2 1/2 tbsp
  9. Salt – as needed
  10. Cinnamon stick ( 1 1/2 inch )
  11. Green cardamom – 3
  12. Whole black peppercorn – 8-10
  13. Ghee ( Clarified butter ) – 2 tsp
  14. Garam Masala ( cinnamon powder+cardamom powder+clove powder in equal parts ) – 1 tsp
  15. Cooking oil – 4 tbsp
  • How to cook :
  1. Heat oil in a pan. Make a single small cut in each egg but don’t divide them entirely. This is to avoid possibility of  sputtering when added to hot oil. Fry the eggs lightly till they turn golden, remove from oil and keep aside
  2. Now throw in the cinnamon stick, peppercorns and the cardamoms in the oil, fry for 1-2 minutes, be careful not to burn them
  3. Add onion and fry until they become somewhat pink. It may take 4-5 minutes on high flame
  4. Add ginger paste, garlic paste, turmeric paste ( or powder ), cumin powder, red chili powder, salt and mix well and saute for 6-7 minutes or until the raw smell goes away. In this process if it sticks too much in the pan add very little water, be careful not to add too much water or else the spice mixture will not give the desired taste
  5. Now add tomato and crush them with your spatula, saute for 2-3 minutes
  6. Add the eggs and move them carefully to mix well with the whole mixture. Add ghee, garam masala and 1-2 cups of water. Cook covered in medium flame until you get a thick gravy. It may take 8-10 minutes

Remove from heat and enjoy with hot rice, roti , paratha or luchi or whatever suites you. Happy cooking 🙂