Pyaaz ke pakode(Onion fritters)

Good day to you all!

Kolkata is experiencing frequent rains and we Bengalis love to have these pakodas with cha(tea). Make it on those rainy evenings or any time of the day and team it with some cardamom tea and you got yourself a winner.

Ingredients:

  • Onion- 2 large
  • Green chili- 2 nos. (as preferred)
  • Besan(gram flour)- 5 tbsp
  • Kala jeera( nigella seeds)- 1 tsp
  • Baking powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Salt- as required
  • Poppy seeds- 1 tsp
  • Water- 1 to 2 tbsp
  • Refined oil- for deep frying
  • Black salt- to sprinkle

Procedure:

  • Slice up the onions and fine chop the chilies.
  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well.
  • Heat up some refined oil in a kadhai and using your fingers, scoop up some mix and drop in the hot oil.
  • The shape and size can be altered. I prefer smaller pakodas as they turn out crispier. Fry till golden brown, remove and place on tissue to soak up excess oil.
  • Sprinkle black salt or chat masala and you are done! Have it with some puffed rice/ muri and tea.

IMG_20200504_114250

Bonus tips:

  • Add a tbsp of rice flour if you want it to be crispier.

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Vegan egg-less chocolate lava cake

Good day to you all!

Unavailability of snacks and sweets has led me to some serious chocolate cravings. Are you also craving for some warm molten chocolate oozing out of a cake? I have got you covered. Just make sure you have some chocolate and rest consists of basic staples. Happy baking!

Ingredients:

  • Flour- 60 gm
  • Icing sugar(powdered sugar)- 90 gm
  • Cocoa powder- 30 gm
  • Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- 1/4 tsp
  • Water- 120 ml
  • Refined oil/ melted butter: 30 ml
  • Chocolate chunks

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees Centigrade or 356 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your tin molds and keep them ready. I used silicon molds so I didn’t grease it. You can use ramekins, cupcake molds, tiny oven safe bowls.
  • Keep your chocolate chunk or block ready.
  • In a bowl, sift all the dry ingredients and mix them.
  • Add the water and mix using a whisk or a fork. Add the oil or butter and mix well.
  • Fill up half of your mold with the batter, then place a chunk of chocolate. Pour the batter on top of it but make sure you cover only 2/3 of the mold so that it leaves room for the cake to rise.
  • Bake at 180 degrees Centigrade or 356 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-7 minutes. Alternatively you can skip the preheating and bake it in microwave setting instead of convection for 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove the lava cake from the mold and serve it hot. You can also serve it in the mold itself. You can dust some icing sugar, add a scoop of ice- cream or even drizzle some syrup over it. I prefer having it as it is.


Bonus Tips:

  • If you do not have dark chocolate, place a chunk of any chocolate, it would taste a little different but no one can go wrong with some chocolate.
  • While taking out of the oven the top should be firm and cooked but should feel soft.
  • If the cake doesn’t come out of the mold, serve it in the mold.
  • Do not put any metal mold in microwave option. Silicon molds go well with both types of baking.
  • In case you are making smaller portion just convert it to tablespoons. A tablespoon is equivalent to 15 grams.

Do let me know if you bake it in the comments below. Like and share if you liked it:)

Tomato Shorba

Good day to you all!

Here is a dish perfect for a chilly evening with your family or friends. Due to lock-down, we do not have access to a variety of ingredients. This beautiful and fragrant soup can be made with the most basic ingredients and is easy too.

Ingredients:

  • Tomato: 2 large
  • Garlic: 1 tbsp
  • Ginger: 1 tbsp
  • Green chili: 2 nos.
  • Onion: 1 no
  • Coriander stalks: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander: 1 tbsp
  • Vegetable stock/water/ stock cube: 2 cup
  • Kasuri methi powder: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Mustard oil/Refined oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: as required
  • Pepper: 1 tsp
  • Sugar(optional): 1 tsp

Procedure:

  • For vegetable stock, keep saving peels and ends of vegetables for one or two days. Wash and boil them in water for 15- 20 minutes, strain and store in refrigerator or freeze them up in ice cube tray. You will have the most simple vegetable stock and it reuses your vegetable waste which one would normally throw away.
  • Roughly chop all the vegetables.
  • In a tawa or a pan, stir the kasuri methi and then crush it to make a powder.
  • In a kadhai,heat up oil, and add the cumin seeds.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, chilies and onion. Stir till the onions turn to golden brown in color. Add the tomatoes, coriander stalks and coriander.
  • Add the vegetable stock or water in case you don’t have stock. Add the seasonings and let it simmer till the tomatoes are cooked.
  • Check the seasonings and strain it.
  • Heat up some oil and add mustard seed and kasuri methi powder as tadka. Once the mustard starts popping(be careful), pour the tadka over the strained mix.
  • Your tomato shorba is ready. Serve hot garnished with coriander. I like having croutons with it, but instead of frying, I use a tawa or a pan for a healthier version. To make the croutons, remove the sides of the bread and cut the bread into small cubes. Place on a hot tawa and let it toast on both sides.
  • Enjoy!

Bonus tips:

  • Shorba or Chorba is a kind of a hot soup or stew relished across Middle-East Asia, South and Central Asia, and North Africa.
  • Shorba is derived from an Arabic term, ‘Shurbah’, meaning soup. The flavored broth is served after separating it from the meat and vegetables, as a starter or as part of the main course.
  • You can fry the croutons if you want and maybe add a knob of butter when serving the shorba.

If you try this out, do let me know how it turned out. Like and share if you liked my content:)

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Good day to you all!

Hope everyone is safe and is blessed to be with their loved ones in this crisis. I am extremely grateful for being able to bake and feed my loved ones during lock down and being lucky enough to utilize this time doing what I love. Here’s a recipe of these drool-worthy brownies which was shared by one of my best friend. Honestly, do not waste a moment and just bake these treats for yourself.

Ingredients:

  • Egg- 2 nos
  • Castor sugar- 200 gm
  • Butter- 110 gm
  • Dark chocolate- 75 gm
  • Coffee liquid- 1 sachet or 5 gm(optional)
  • Flour- 95 gm
  • Cocoa powder- 30 gm
  • Baking powder- 1 tsp
  • Chocolate chunks- as required
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  • Walnut- 50 gm(optional)

Procedure:

  • In a bowl whisk egg and sugar together till the sugar dissolves and the mixture looks frothy.
  • In a separate bowl, melt the dark chocolate. Melt the chocolate in either a double boiler( bowl on top of a bowl filled with water) or in a microwave by stirring it well every 10 seconds. Now add melted butter to the chocolate. Add the coffee powder to a little bit of warm water and make a thick liquid. Add it to the bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  • Add the chocolate butter mixture to the egg mixture and whisk till combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients.
  • Add chopped walnut or any other nuts. Add the salt and chopped chocolate chunks. I added about 50 gm of chocolate chunks, you can alter the amount.
  • Grease your mold with oil or butter and place a butter paper or parchment paper in the bottom. I don’t line the sides because I don’t appreciate the creases left by the paper, so I simply use a knife to release it from the sides while de-molding.
  • Pour the batter and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius or 356 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Poke using a skewer in the center to check if its done. If not done, increase temperature to 200 degrees Celsius or 392 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Let the brownie cool down, demould and cut it into 9 squares or 16 squares as per your portion size preference. Warm it up in microwave for 30 seconds and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce to yourself or your loved ones.

Bonus tips:

  • Checking the doneness of the brownie is done by checking the moistness in the crumb. Your skewer or knife won’t come out clean, juts check if the batter has cooked or not.
  • The brownie should be cooled down at room temperature before cutting.
  • The bowl used for melting chocolate should be free of water as water results in seizing of chocolate.
  • I was not able to buy castor sugar due to lock down so I placed the sugar in a zip-lock bag and crushed it using a rolling pin.

Thanks for checking out my blog. Like, comment and share if you like it and do let me know your feedback.

Basic pound cake

Good day to you all!

One of the first cake recipes that I have learnt was a pound cake recipe. If you are an amateur this is the perfect cake recipe for you. Go ahead and give it a try today.

Ingredients:

  • Flour- 100 gm
  • Egg- 100 gm or 2 nos
  • Icing sugar or powdered sugar- 100 gm
  • Butter- 100 gm
  • Baking powder- 1 tsp
  • Milk- 3 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence- 2 tsp

Procedure:

  • Sieve the flour and baking powder and keep aside.
  • Preheat the oven at 180 degree centigrade or 356 fahrenheit.
  • Grease a cake mould and sprinkle some flour to coat/ use a cooking spray to grease it/ simply grease using oil or fat and line with butter paper.
  • In a bowl take butter at room temperature and beat it using a hand beater with the sugar till creamy and a little fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and keep beating till it is incorporated.
  • Add the flour and baking powder to it. Beat for some time. Add the milk and vanilla essence. Beat to mix it in.
  • Pour the batter into the cake mould and bake for 40 minutes at 180 degree centigrade or 356 fahrenheit.
  • Check after 30 minutes if the cake is done or not. If you want a browned top, set the oven at 200 degree centigrade or 392 degree fahrenheit for 7 minutes in the end.
  • Temperature and time may vary slightly from oven to oven.
  • Serve plain/ dust with icing sugar/ with frosting on top.

Bonus tips:

  • Place cake mold on a rack while baking.
  • To check for doneness, poke using a skewer or a knife at the center of the cake.
  • It is called a pound cake as all the ingredients weigh a pound. I kept the concept same and reduced the portion.
  • You can choose to add nuts.
  • You can replace vanilla essence with any other essence for other flavor.
  • Use a hand whisk if you do not have a hand beater.

Gajar ka Halwa

Good day to you all!

I hope you are making the best use of your time in quarantine. I was craving for something sweet but since I am not able to go out, I decided to make some gajar ka halwa at home. It is an Indian sweet dish made of carrots and I am sharing with you a very easy version of this classic.

Ingredients:

  • Carrots- 170 gm
  • Condensed milk- 75gm
  • Khoya- 25gm
  • Cardamom(elaichi)- 5 nos
  • Cashew- 10gm
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  • Sugar- 20gm

Procedure:

  • Wash, peel and grate the carrots. Soak the cashew in water. Crush the cardamom seeds and keep aside. Roughly chop the cashew and keep aside. Grate the khoya and keep aside.
  • Heat the ghee in a pan. Add the cardamom and cashew to it. Stir till the cashews are golden in colour.
  • Add the grated carrots and sugar. Stir for some time, cover and let it cook for 6-7 minutes.
  • Check if the carrots are cooked. Add the khoya and condensed milk to it. Mix them well.
  • Serve with some grated khoya or some chopped cashews on top.

Bonus Tips:

  • Khoya is made of either dried whole milk or milk thickened by heating in an open iron pan.
  • I replaced the khoya in the recipe this time with condensed milk as I ran out of it and you can do the same if you don’t have khoya.
  • Best served cold but you can serve it as per your preference.
  • Buy red carrots as they impart a vibrant color to the dish.
  • You can add almonds, pistachios and other nuts if you want.

Cottage cheese and mayo sandwich

I went grocery shopping and I noticed a pouch of tandoori mayonnaise at a shop. Not only did I buy it but I also made this nutritious and filling sandwich. You can easily replace the tandoori mayo with plain mayonnaise. You can unleash your creativity and add whichever flavor you want to incorporate to your mayo. I would suggest adding capsico red pepper sauce/ tomato ketchup/ sriracha/ red chilli sauce. I prefer buying a bottle of eggless mayonnaise, but if you are keen on making some yourself, comment below and let me know. I used store bought paneer or cottage cheese, you can also make some at home by adding juice of one lemon to a litre of boiling milk. Let’s dive into the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Paneer/ cottage cheese: 80 gm
  • Capsicum: 20 gm
  • Onion: 10 gm
  • Cheese: 60gm
  • Tandoori mayonnaise
  • Pepper
  • Cumin powder
  • Salt
  • Refined oil- 1 tbsp
  • Bread

Procedure:

  • Grate the paneer and keep aside. Grate the cheese and keep aside.
  • Finely chop the onion and capsicum.
  • In a pan, heat oil, add the onion and saute till golden in color.
  • Add the capsicum and saute for a minute.
  • Add the grated cottage cheese, cumin powder, pepper and salt.
  • Remove from flame and add the tandoori mayonnaise and cheese. Mix well.
  • Spread some tandoori mayonnaise on one bread slice. Place the filling on top of it. Cover with another bread slice.
  • Now spread some oil evenly on a sandwich griller using a brush. Place the sandwich and grill till done. Serve hot or cold with some green chutney or ketchup.

Bonus tips:

  • Simply mix in small amounts of desired sauce to the plain mayonnaise to make a spiced mayonnaise.
  • If you love cheese, add a cheese slice on top of the filling and grill it.
  • In case you do not have a sandwich griller, shallow fry using butter or oil on a pan.
  • I used plain bread, you can make it using wholewheat or multigrain bread which are definitely healthier.

Sada Aloo Torkari (Simple potato curry)

Good day to you all!

Being a Bengali, sada aloo’r torkari (potato curry) always takes me back to Sunday mornings at home where we had it with luchi with our family. It is insanely simple and yet so delicious. My mom taught me to cook this dish and I hope you love it. Leave a like and comment if you do like it or make it. Share it with your friends and family.

Ingredients:

  • Refined oil: 1 tbsp
  • Dry red chilli (whole): 1 no.
  • Nigella seeds (kalonji or kalo jeere): 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Potato: 2 large
  • Water: 1.5 cup
  • Salt: as req.

Procedure:

  • Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut the potato into dices.
  • In a kadhai or a pan, heat the oil.
  • Rip the stem off and cit the chilli into two and add it.
  • Add the nigella seeds. Let it fry for a minute.
  • Add the potatoes to the kadhai and fry it till light golden in color. Add the red chilli powder and salt.
  • Now add water and cover the pan or kadhai. Let the potatoes cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Check if the potatoes are cooked through and adjust the seasoning.
  • Serve it with luchi. Comment and let me know if you want a recipe for the luchi as well.

Bonus tips:

  • You can also enjoy it with roti or bread.
  • Lower or increase the spice level by adjusting the red chilli powder.
  • Similarly adjust water levels to suit your preference of curry.

Sweet Potato French fries

Good day to you all!

Praying for all those affected with corona virus and here’s hoping that the number of cases decreases gradually in the next few days. While we are all practicing social distancing at home, let’s not take this time for granted and use it productively. I am a big believer of the concept of “creating more than we consume”. I would highly recommend giving this recipe a try because not only is it fun to make but also because it is delicious. If you do not have sweet potato, go ahead and replace it with the humble potato.

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potato: 3 large
  • Salt
  • Red chilli powder- 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 2 tbsp
  • Italian seasoning – 2 tbsp
  • Refined oil – 3 tbsp

Procedure:

  • Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into long strips like french fries.
  • Let the sweet potatoes soak in cold water for about ten minutes.
  • Drain the water out and dry it using a clean cloth.
  • Add all the ingredients and mix it really well.
  • I used an air fryer and fried it at 180 degrees centigrade (356 fahrenheit) for 15 minutes and at 200 degrees centigrade (392 fahrenheit) for 10 minutes, tossing and turning it in between.
  • If you do not have an air- fryer, bake the sweet potatoes at 200 degrees centigrade (392 fahrenheit) for 40 minutes, turning it in between to get it baked evenly.
  • You can also go ahead and deep fry them if that is what your mind is craving for.
  • Serve it hot with dips and happy munching.

Bonus Tips:

  • Soaking the potatoes makes the fries crunchy.
  • You may choose to keep the peel on but I prefer peeling the potatoes.
  • Both sweet potato and potato are nutritious in different ways. It is wrong to assume that sweet potatoes are healthier. Look it up online and get all these myths busted or checkout this link: https://www.precisionnutrition.com/sweet-potatoes-vs-potatoes-infographic

Mushroom aglio olio with handmade pasta

Good day to you all!

We are fighting against the corona outbreak and let’s not forget we are all in this together. The spread of the corona virus is the most serious global health security threat in decades. My heart goes out to all who have been affected by the outbreak. Kudos to the thousands of healthcare workers who are risking themselves for our safety. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently. Avoid going outside. So while we are all spending our time in self-quarantine, why not learn how to make pasta and that too without a pasta machine. How cool is this? Let’s dive into the recipe then:

Ingredients:

  • Flour – 100 gm
  • Egg – 1 nos
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Olive oil – 3 tbsp
  • Garlic – 15 gm
  • Mushroom – 250 gm
  • Parsley fresh or dried
  • Crushed peppercorns

Procedure:

  • On a clean surface, tip the flour like a small hill. Make a hole in the center to add the egg. This is known as making a bay. Now add the egg and the salt to it.
  • Start mixing using a fork taking flour from the inner sides. Slowly start kneading the dough. Knead till you get a soft dough. Place in a bowl, cover and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Knead again and keep aside. Divide the dough into two portions. Cover one and start working with the other one.
  • Flour the surface and roll the dough out into a thin rectangular sheet. Roll it as thin as possible, occasionally sprinkling flour in between.
  • Now fold the dough sheet one above the other and then cut out long strips using a knife or scraper.
  • Sprinkle flour in the pasta to prevent it from sticking.
  • Chop the garlic and wash and slice the mushrooms.
  • Meanwhile, heat water in a heavy bottomed pan and add some salt and oil to it. Add in the pasta once the water starts to simmer and let it cook till al dente (to bite) or your preferred texture.
  • Strain and keep aside.
  • Heat some olive oil on a saucepan, add the chopped garlic to it. Once the garlic becomes golden in color, add in the mushrooms.
  • Once the moisture released by the mushrooms dries up, add the pasta.
  • Add salt and crushed peppercorns. Add the parsley to the pasta. Toss well or just mix well and your pasta is done.

Bonus tips:

  • The aglio refers to garlic and olio refers to olive oil.
  • However you can replace the olive oil with butter for aroma and some change.
  • You can choose to add any other herbs or omit it altogether.
  • If you have a pasta machine, use it to roll the pasta sheet.
  • Often I have heard people adding some oil to the pasta after straining to prevent it from sticking or dunking it in water. I do not practice this method, I keep my other ingredients and sauce ready which ensures that I am not coating my pasta with excess oil.
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