Steamed Hilsa Fish In Mustard Paste (Bhapa Ilish)

This is the favourite preparation of Hilsa fish, the most sought after fish in Bengal and Assam. It truly makes for a soul satisfying lunch. It has a lot of bones but it is not a deterrent for Hilsa lovers

Ingredients –

350 gm thickly cut Hilsa fish (3 pieces)

50 gm mustard seeds (mix of brown and yellow seeds, soaked in water for 2 hrs)

6 pieces green chillies

50 gm grated fresh coconut

2 tbsp whisked yogurt

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp mustard oil

Marinated fish ready for steaming

Directions –

Drain the soaked mustard seeds and add them to a grinder jar.

Add 2 green chillies roughly chopped with salt and 100 ml water

Grind these to a fine paste.

Add the coconut and grind again. Ensure that the paste is smooth as it gives better flavour

Add beaten yogurt, sugar, turmeric powder and mustard oil to the paste

Mix well

Take a steel container with a lid and put the paste in it

Now add the fish one at a time and coat it with the spice paste. Coat the fish thoroughly.

Place 4 more chillies on the fish

Secure the container with a lid and set the it aside for 15 mins

Heat up a pan large enough to hold the steel container and place a stand in it

Pour water taking care that it doesn’t reach more than half the height of the container.

Let the water come to a boil

Now place the container on the stand, set the flame to medium heat and cover the pan with a lid

Steam for 15 mins

Remove the container and let it rest for 5 mins before serving

The cooked fish ready for serving

Ground Rice Pudding (Phirni)

Ingredients –

  • 3 tablespoons Basmati rice
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 5 Almonds cut into fine slivers
  • 1 litre milk
  • ⅓ cup Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 3-4 strands of saffron

Directions –

Wash the rice and soak for 20 minutes.

Discard the soaking water and grind into coarse paste using fresh 1/8 cup of water.

Take milk into heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil on medium heat.

Once milk starts boiling, add coarsely ground rice and cook for 20-30 minutes or till the rice is cooked and milk is thickened. Do stir in between and scrape the pan, so milk does not stick and burn.

Then add sugar, cardamom powder and saffron. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.

Switch off the flame

Pour into individual serving bowls, garnish with sliced almonds and crushed saffron strands

Cover it and chill in refrigerator for few hours and then serve.

Eggless Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients –

1 cup flour

2 tbsp corn flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter (I used salted butter)

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 tsp salt (I skipped as I used salted butter)

1/4 cup jam (I used strawberry jam)

Directions –

Line a baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper

Sift flour, corn flour and salt in a mixing bowl

In another mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar till light and creamy

Add vanilla essence

Now add the dough in two batches and bring it all together. If the dough is dry, add a few teaspoons of milk

Make small balls of the dough

Flatten it a bit and make indentations with the thumb

Add 1/4 tsp of jam in the indentations

Now place the baking sheet with the cookies in the refrigerator for 15-20 mins

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180° C

Bake the cookies for 15 mins

Chicken With Fresh Coriander Leaves

Ingredients –

Chicken – 500 gm medium sized pieces
Fresh coriander – 3 bunches
Onion – 2 chopped finely
Ginger – 1” piece
Garlic – 10 pods
Green chilli – 3
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Mustard oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Directions –

Make a paste with ginger , garlic , coriander leaves and chillies
Heat oil and fry the onion till translucent
Add cumin and coriander powder and fry till oil comes out
Sprinkle water if necessary
Add chicken and fry for about 5 mins stirring continuously
Add green paste and fry for 2 mins
Add 2 cups water and salt
Cover and cook on moderate flame till chicken is done
Remove the lid and dry up if there is too much gravy
Chicken pieces should be coated with the green gravy

Garnish with a little bit of cream before serving

Roasted Aubergine Mash (Baingan Bharta)

Ingredients-

6 large aubergines
2 tbsp vegetable oil + extra for brushing
3/4 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp chopped green chilli
6 tbsp onion and tomato masala
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
3/4 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Salt

Directions-

Roast the aubergines till skin is charred and tender
Peel off the skin and chop the flesh finely to form a paste
Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds
As they begin to crackle, add the ginger, garlic and chilli
Cook till the garlic turns golden, add the tomato onion masala, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, chilli powder and ground cumin and coriander
Stir the spices together and saute over medium heat for 4 mins till the raw smell goes
Add the aubergines , stir to combine and add salt
Cook for 7-8 mins till the excess moisture evaporates
Add the chopped coriander before serving.

Goes well with chapati, paratha

Chilli Pork

Ingredients –

500gms Pork (sliced, I used Belly Portion)
1 large Onion (flaked)
1 large Capsicum (de-seeded and cut into Diamonds)
5-6 Green Chillies (cut into big pieces)
2 Cloves of Garlic (crushed)
1tsp Garlic Minced
2 Star Anise
1tsp White Pepper Powder
2²½ tbsp Light Soy Sauce
Salt to taste
1½tsp Dissolved Cornstarch
1½tbsp Sesame Oil/Refined Oil

Directions –

Marinate Sliced Pork with 1½tbsp of Soy Sauce and keep aside for 2 hours to marinate.
Boil 2cups of Water, add in the marinated Pork along with the marinade, simmer and cook till ¾th done. Strain the Pork and reserve the stock.
In a Wok add the Oil, heat and add the crushed Garlic, once the Garlic turns brown remove.
Add the Pork sliced and stir fry till it starts to change colour.
Now add the Minced Garlic, Star Anise, White Pepper Powder, Light Soy Sauce and Salt. Stir-fry on high flame for a minute.
Add a cup of reserved stock and simmer till Pork is done.
Now tip in the Capsicum, Green Chillies, Onion. Give it a vigorous boil for a minute.
Check seasoning.
Add the dissolved Cornstarch and stir.
Once the gravy thickens to your desired consistency, serve hot.

Pork Momo

Ingredients-

The filling –

Pork mince – 500 gm
Onions – 135 gm
Green onions – 135 gm
Coriander leaves – 30 gm
Green chilli – 25 gm
Ginger – 25 gm
Lard/butter – 30 gm
Salt – 10 gm
Pepper – 1 tsp
Soy sauce – 40 gm
Ajinomoto – 1/2 tsp

The wrapper –

Maida – 400 gm
Salt – 8 gm
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
Warm water – 200 ml

The chutney –


Dry red chillies – 20 gm
Vinegar – 120 ml
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 tsp salt

Directions –

Filling –

Chop all vegetables very fine
Mix all the ingredients together
Cover and refrigerate for 4 hrs

Wrapper –

Make a stiff dough
Resist adding more water
Knead continuously for 10 mins
Place the dough in a plastic bag
Rest for 1 hr
Since the dough is dry, keep covered at all times
When rolling, make the edges thin
Dust with flour to prevent sticking

Chutney-

Discard the seeds of the chillies
Allow chillies to soak in vinegar
Transfer to a grinder, reserve some liquid
Grind all ingredients till smooth
Add more liquid if required to adjust consistency

Now make about 35 balls from the dough.

Flatten the balls and roll them thin about 4” diameter. The edges should be very thin.

Place about 1-2 tbsp of filling in the centre.

Rub a little water on the edges of the wrapper so that it sticks.

Now make pleats with thumb and index finger. I used a momo mould which makes the work very easy and fast.

Now place the momos on greased plates of the steamer and steam for 10-12 mins

Serve with the spicy chutney

Garlic Chicken Cheese Rolls

Ingredients –

2 cups flour
1.5 tsp yeast
2 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
1+1 egg
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp + 1 tbsp softened butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheese
1/4 – 1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup warm water

For stuffing –

300 gm boiled and shredded boneless chicken
2 medium sliced onions
6 thinly sliced button mushrooms
10 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 finely chopped green chillies
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp freshly grounded black pepper
1 tbsp mustard paste
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
Salt as per taste
2 tbsp butter

Directions –

For stuffing –

Heat butter in a pan add onion, mushrooms, garlic and green chilies and sauté till onion turns translucent.
Add chicken black pepper powder, mixed herbs, chili flakes, salt and mustard paste, mix with light hands and sauté on high heat for two minutes.
Sprinkle flour, mix well and sauté on high heat for three minutes.
Reduce heat to minimum and add milk, mix well sauté on simmer till milk dries up, should take about 4-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.

For rolls –

In a bowl add water, 1 tsp sugar and yeast, mix lightly leave to rise for 5-10 minutes.
Take milk in a large bowl and add the fermented yeast , mix well.
Add sugar mix lightly.
Add egg again mix lightly.
Add 1 cup flour and salt, mix well, add remaining flour one cup at a time and mix it all, by this time it will be a very sticky dough. Set aside covered with a wet cloth for 15 minutes.
Transfer this to a lightly floured work table, add butter, fold the dough to trap butter inside and knead gently till butter is absorbed in the dough. Now knead for 8 minutes (stretch and pull), adding little flour at a time (if required only), till you get smooth and elastic dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Grease the dough also.
Cover it, with a wet cloth and let it rise at room temperature (preferably warm place) until its doubled in size, about 1 hour.
On a lightly floored surface keep the dough and gently deflate it.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
Knead down each portion for a few seconds make smooth balls and rest them covered for 15 minutes.
Lightly flour a surface and roll a ball in long chapatti shape.
Place 2 tbsp of chicken stuffing top with one tbsp of cheese then fold the sides and roll from the top to the bottom.
Place them sealed bottom side down on the parchment lined baking tray and cover with a cling film and rest for thirty minutes in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 220 C about 15 minutes prior to baking.
Prepare a egg wash by whisking one egg yolk with one tbsp of milk add one tbsp of butter and the garlic powder/grated mix well.
Brush the buns with the thesis egg wash sprinkle sesame seeds and bake in the preheated oven for around 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, brush with melted butter and let them cool down a little on a wire rack.

Pabda Fish With Lentil Dumplings and Brinjal (Pabda Maach Bori Begun Diye)

This is a light fish curry from Bengal. It is good for hot summer afternoons and is always paired with rice

Ingredients –

Brinjal – 1 small
Tomato – 1 small
Coriander leaves chopped – 2 tbsp
Bori – 10
Mustard oil – 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Atta – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 3
Nigella Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Pabda fish – 450 gm

Directions –

Marinate the fish with 3/4 tsp turmeric powder , 3/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp mustard oil
Cut the brinjal in big pieces
Chop the tomato
Slit the chillies
Put 30 ml of mustard oil
Fry the bori, brinjal and fish 1 min on each side
Set aside
Make a paste of turmeric powder, salt and 50 ml water
Heat mustard oil
Add nigella seeds
Add tomato and 2 chillies
Fry on medium heat for 1 min
Add turmeric and salt mixture
Cook till water dries off
Add 400 ml water
When it starts to simmer, add bori
Add the fish
Bubble on medium heat for 5 mins
Add 1 more green chilli and fried brinjal
Mix 1/2 tsp atta and 1 tbsp water
Pour it into the curry
Drizzle 1 tsp mustard oil and coriander leaves
Simmer for 2 mins

Cabbage With Spices and Tomato

An easy side dish….it is a kind of everyday Indian stir fried dish

Ingredients –

450 gm cabbage
2 medium onions
1/2” ginger
1 green chilli
2 medium tomatoes
3 tbsp oil
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt

Directions –

Shred the cabbage
Chop the onions, ginger, chilli very finely
Chop the tomatoes
Heat the oil
Add the onion, ginger, chilli and saute till the onion is lightly browned
Add the cabbage
Sprinkle in the turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder
Mix well
Cover and cook for 10 mins
Add tomatoes and salt to taste and cook till done