All posts by svkgsh

Rosogolla, the traditional Bengali recipe

Rosogolla, the sweet that defines bengali desserts, is considered a delicacy in Kolkata with numerous sweet shops adding their own version. Sweet shops sell thousands of rosogollas a day which end up in a plate of bengalis. But, even though its not accessible to you, this recipe below will help you make rosogollas yourself and show off to your friends and family. So let get to it then.

Rosogolla

  • Time: 80 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  1. Milk [1 litre]
  2. Sugar [2 cups]
  3. Lemon Juice [1 Piece]
  4. Water [3 cups]

Directions

Step 1: Curdling the milk

The secret to a good Rosogolla lies in the curd cheese or Chhena (Bengali: ছানা), as we like to call it in Bengali, it is made up of. Its a basic process of coagulation adding some acidic agent to milk. I prefer to use whole milk, because of the high percentage to fat content, and heat it in medium flame until it comes to boil. An occasional stir helps the milk not to burn below. As soon as it comes to a boil keep adding lemon juice and stirring until the water completely separates from the curd cheese. Turn down the heat and strain everything on a piece of cloth.

Step 2: Strain the Curd Cheese

The piece of cloth needs to be washed with cold water so that the curd cheese cools down and the sourness of the lemon juice goes away. Then its the important part of squeezing the cloth with the curd cheese inside and hanging the cloth to dry out the chhena for at least 30 mins. While you wait, you can start of on the sugar syrup by bringing to a boil 2 cups of sugar with 3 cups of water.

Step 3: Knead and Roll Cheese-balls ready to cook

Once the straining is complete, its important to knead the cheese to a nice consistency, which might take 10-15 mins of time. Make sure not to dry it out much as it makes the end product a bit on the tougher side. Once you reach a smooth consistency, roll into little balls of cheese ready to cook.

Step 4: Cook the the Cheese-balls in sugar syrup

Add the cheese-balls into the sugar syrup and cook in medium low heat until the balls become twice the size, which implies the rosogollas are cooked through. And that is it, you can now have some delicious, spongy juicy home-made rosogolla.

And that is all it takes to make delicious rosogolla. You can add saffron to garnish and add additional flavor. I hope you enjoy this recipe and try it out for yourself.

Steaks, the staple of the United States

I had been away from blogging for some time now, as my work has taken me to the other side of the world in the United States and quite naturally getting used to a new culture takes time. But, one thing I have been dying to try here is steak. This is perhaps the best American food can get, but coming from India, I have had my share of steaks but what you get here is a totally different ball game.

It all starts from breeding the cattle and feeding, rearing it and in the end getting a good marbling on the meat; which in layman’s terms means the distribution of fat in the meat. Also, coming here you get familiarized with different cuts of meat from cheap cuts like brisket to moderate ones like Sir Loin and Tender Loin going up to the prime cuts of the Rib Eye and Fillet Mignon. Also, there is a concept of dry ageing the meat which means the meat is left to age as bacteria slowly breaks down the muscle fibres which in turn results in a more funkier flavor. The prices of meat also vary based on the cuts and the tags given by USDA with the highest being the USDA prime. Even though the Fillet is considered to be the most expensive cut of meat, the Prime Rib is perhaps the most flavorful one that is out there.

The varieties are endless and a visit to a steakhouse really enhances the experience. Never have I ever tasted red meat so juicy and tender that they simply melt in the mouth. And I myself gave it a shot using the pan searing approach and was really pleased with the results.

Not bad for my first attempt! I hope to master the art soon and then will definitely share the way I make steaks. But until then I will savor these memories of perhaps the best meats out there and whatever else life has to offer.

Fish Fingers made easy

Fish Fingers, the perfect snack for the evening in the City of Joy; be it just normal cravings, if you are having tea and looking for munchies alongside or if you are drinking with your buddies and need a side dish, Fish fingers are always the first thing on the mind. More commonly known as fish sticks in the US and Canada,  these are crispy on the out side and soft and tender on the inside. Here is my take on making Kolkata style fish fingers.

Kolkata Style Fish Fingers

  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  1. Fish Fillet (Sea-Bass/Basa/Cod) [400 gm]
  2. Lemon Juice
  3. Flour
  4. Breadcrumbs
  5. Eggs
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper
  8. Ginger Garlic Paste

Directions

The key for preparing good fish fingers is to have really good fish. Make sure you are using organic fresh fillet and not frozen ones.

Step 1: Chop and marinate

Cut your fillet into long strips using a knife. Add salt. pepper lemon juice and ginger garlic paste to your fish and massage it well. After that let it rest in the fridge for 15-20 mins. You can also add as much spices as you want depending on your taste buds at this stage.

Step 2: Coat the fish in batter

Once your fish is marinated, you have to coat it. For this step, whisk 2 eggs first and put it on a plate. Ideally you should have 3 plates in sequence. First one with flour, next the eggs and last the breadcrumbs. Take the fillet fingers one at a time, first roll on the flour, then the eggs and finally the bread crumbs. For extra crust, you can again dip it in the eggs followed by the breadcrumbs. Make sure you season the breadcrumbs with salt as that’s the top layer of the dish. Do this for all the fingers and get it ready to fry.

Step 3: Fry and serve

Heat a wok with 300 ml of oil and heat it until it comes to a boil. Then reduce the gas to a medium low and add your battered fish fingers. Fry them until they are golden brown. These fish cook very fast so it hardly takes a minute or so to fry. Once golden brown, take them out on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. And that’s it. You fish fingers are ready.

This is so easy to do and tastes amazing every time. So next time you are having a party, make this and be amazed on the great response you get. You can serve this with kechup, mayo and fries. This is a party recipe for success.

Hyderabadi Haleem, a stew to die for …

As the whole Islam world celebrate the holy month of Ramadan (Ramzan) by observing month-long daylight fasting and breaking it with the evening prayers and Iftar, the Hyderabadis go one step further with consuming Haleem which is quintessential to the city.

Haleem is basically a stew made up of crushed wheat, barley, lentils (or daal) with meat and spices slow cooked for over 8 hours so that is all melts into a thick paste. It is usually served with ghee and fried onions. This stew easy easily digested and has high calories which provides instant energy, which is required after daylong fasting.

What was introduced into the region by the Nizams, slowly it has evolved into a delicacy which is enjoyed by people of all faiths during the month of Ramadan. Pista House are even known for exporting to USA and UAE.

Though primarily meant for Iftar, with the growing popularity all the big restaurants of Hyderabad make it a competition where they have countless volunteers to sell Haleem. There are awards given out and business booms like anything. Though usually served are chicken and mutton variants in most spaces.

Among the other variants I tried, Beef and Mashad Haleems are my most favorite ones. Though you have to go around the city to find them.

A value for money tasty stew that is slowly making a name for itself worldwide. This should be in one person’s bucket list if he or she visits the City of Nizams during the tie of Ramadan.

Sausage Mushroom Marinade Recipe

I honestly feel at times sausages and mushrooms are a match made in heaven. They compliment each so well and go in so many dishes. I have my own personal recipe for this combo which I often love to use it in salads, sandwiches or even instant noodles. Sometimes, I have it just like that to be honest. It is delicious and you can make a batch and refrigerate to build more flavor.

So lets get right to it.

Sausage Mushroom Marinade

  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  1. Sausages [4 pieces]
  2. Chestnut or Button Mushrooms [6 pieces]
  3. Onion [1 Piece]
  4. Garlic [2 cloves]
  5. Salt [to taste]
  6. Olive Oil [1 tbsp]
  7. Sugar [1 tspn]
  8. Dark Soya Sauce [1 tspn]
  9. Vinegar [1 tspn]

Directions

Step 1: Roughly chop the ingredients

Start off by roughly chopping you onions, garlic, mushrooms  and sausages. This is a very quick recipe and make sure you are ready with all the chopped ingredients.

Step 2: Stir fry the vegetables

Heat your pan to high and add olive oil and garlic to it. As soon as the garlic has colour add the onions and fry them on a medium high heat. Season it with salt and wait for onions to caramelize to release the extra sweetness. If you want you can add a pinch of sugar at this stage for extra sweetness. Add your mushrooms and increase the heat. There should be sizzling as water comes out of the mushrooms. Stir for about a couple of minutes until they are reduced to a moderate size.

Step 3: Add Sausages and finish

Once the water is almost dried up, add the sausages. sprinkle some salt and pepper and start to toss. After a minute add dark soya sauce and vinegar from the side of the pan. Keep tossing for about a minute and then your dish is ready.

This dish is super delicious and if can be had while its hot but it tastes amazing when its cold. Its something like an anti-paste that you can have or add it to a salad or sandwich. Do give it a try and I am sure you will love this.

#Recipe #sausage #mushroom #antipaste #hungermanagement

Mandi Blues

One of the best things I like about India is the diversity of the food that is served on your plate with the change in geography. Nowadays though, no matter where you are in the country you do have the option to have any type of cuisine available with the tag of “Indian Food”, no matter in which city you are in. But, during my tenure in Hyderabad, I came across something beautiful, delicious and unique which I had never come across which made this feel even more special. It is called Mandi, an Arabic word derived from the word nada meaning dew, reflecting upon the moist dew like texture of the meat.

Mandi is a type of biriyani served in a big plate of rice, topped with big chunks of perfectly cooked meats that are juicy and tender at the same time. The rice itself is very much flavorful with the garnishing of fried onions and dry fruits only adding to the taste. Usually it is served with three different salans (or curries) to enhance the dish and it does not disappoint. One plate is enough to fill three hungry souls, and the custom is to eat of the same plate. It is an amazing experience and something which I feel increases the bond between the individuals.

I did a little research and found that that it is quite common in the Malabar region of Kerala and of course, the Barkas region of Hyderabad. Though Mandi outlets have slowly started popping up in the newer part of Hyderabad. Yum Yum Tree  and Al Zaara Matbaq al Mandi  are couple of my favorite places in Greater Hyderabad when it comes to having Mandi. Ofcourse, there is Barkas in the old city where you will get countless places to have this beautiful dish.

I am sure with its gaining popularity in Hyderabad, soon new Mandi joints will start opening up in the rest of the country. So until that happens, next time you decide to visit the City of the Nizams and you have never had a Mandi, I suggest you gather all your friends and head out to a Mandi joint and left satisfied with a delicious dinner.

 

 

Fish Head Lentils Recipe (Maacher Matha diye Dal Recipe)

We Bengalis are known for our inherent talent for devouring fish. While like the rest of the world, not only do we enjoy the fish by only its flesh, but we dont throw away the head, rather we make a delicious dal out of it. Well to be frank, the head of the fish is full of nutrients mainly proteins, vitamin D and its very good for your eyesight. Enough of the science talk, lets get right to it to make this delicious recipe.

To make this dish, you will need the following.

Ingredients:

  1. Large head of fish (Preferably Katla cut into 4 pieces)
  2. Yellow gram lentils (Moong dal) [150 gm]
  3. Ginger Garlic Paste [1 tspn]
  4. Cumin seeds (Jeera) [1 tspn]
  5. Bayleaf (Tejpatta) [2 pieces]
  6. Dried Red Peppers(Lal Mirch) [2 pieces]
  7. Garam Masala [1 tspn]
  8. Mustard Oil [3 tbsp]
  9. Turmeric Powder [1 tspn]
  10. Salt [1-2 tspn]
  11. Sugar [1 tspn]
  12. Water [300 ml]
  13. Coriander Leaves
  14. Green Chillies [2 pieces]

Hope you have noted it down, not lets get started. Follow these steps below
Step 1: Season the fish head

Add 1 tspn salt and 1 tspn turmeric powder on the fish head and apply all over the fish head and let it rest for 10 mins. The salt will take the water out and the turmeric will add colour to the fish.

Step 2: Fry the fish head

Heat your wok and add the mustard oil to it and wait till the oil starts smoking. This is very important to get it super hot, or else the fish will stick to the base and break. Once smoking, reduce the heat to medium and add your seasoned fish head. There will be a sizzling sound and might be some mini explosions as the fish is being fried, Do not be scared, as this is supposed to happen. Fry each side for 5 mins until it starts getting golden. Once golden, remove your fish head into paper towels which will absorb the excess oil.

Step 3: Prepare the Lentils

Use the leftover oil in the wok and add cumin seeds, red peppers and bayleaves to it and let them fry for 1 minute. Then add your ginger garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the moong dal into this and stir for another minute until the dal gets fried. While, doing this add some salt, some sugar and turmeric to taste and colour. After the dals are fried, add your water and bring it to a boil.

Step 4: Add the fried fish head

As soon as the water starts to boil, add the fried fish head, and cover your wok with a lid. Reduce the flame to medium and let it cook for 10-15 mins until your lentils are perfectly cooked. Once complete, the dal will be soft and you can easily press it with your fingers.
Sprinkle some garam masala powder on top and turn off the heat.

Step 5 : Garnish and serve

The dal is ready already, but to add to the taste I always garnish it. Roughly chop some coriander and green chillies. Take the daal on a serving bowl and spread the chillies and coriander on top over your daal.


And there you have it! Easy,Tasty and delicious your Fish Head Lentils or Maacher MAtha diye dal is ready to eat. Serve hot with rice and enjoy. A healthy and tasty recipe for you to try.