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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shubho Nababarsho 1421

Shubho Nababarsho 1421. This is one such day, almost all Bangalees around the globe remember the date from Bangla calendar. Though Poila Boishakh is not observed as a holiday anywhere outside Bengal, we , in our own small ways try to make the day stand out from the rest of the ones we live otherwise.

This year on April 15, while we welcomed year 1421, tried to make the family dinner a little special. Made Dahiwalla meat. There are plenty of recipes on the net, finally drew inspiration from the one credited to Atul Sikand and adapted it to suit taste buds of my family.

This dish scores very well on taste , colour and flavour but is very easy to cook.


Mutton: 600 gms, preferably from leg, and with some bones

Dahi : 250 gms; hung; beaten to smooth consistency

Onion: 1 large, finely sliced

Ginger paste: 1 and ½ tablespoon

Garlic paste: 1 and ½ tablespoon

Red chilli powder: 1 tablespoon(optional/ to taste)

Garam masala powder: Used Anisa Arif’s Zaiqa Garam Masala powder

Whole masalas: Bayleaf, Black cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise, Green cardamoms

Dhania powder: 1 and ½ tablespoon

Jeera powder: 1 tablespoon

Javitri powder: ½ tsp

Keora water: 4 to 5 drops


1.       Mix ginger paste, garlic paste, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, salt(to taste) into the beaten curd. Add mutton pieces, after drying up the moisture in kitchen towel. Marinate for 2-3 hrs at least in refrigerator

2.       In a pressure cooker, add 1 tsp ghee to 2 tbsp of white oil till almost smoking. Add finely sliced onions and fry till crispy brown. Strain, drain on paper towel, and blend it to a smooth paste.

3.       Heat the oil in wok. Add whole masalas. Add brown onion paste and sauté. Add the marinated mutton pieces with minimum marinade, and seal them till they start browning.

4.       Add the remaining marinade, stir and sauté till oil starts separating. Add dhania powder, jeera powder and keep stirring to blend well with the rest of the masala.

5.       Once masala is done, add ½ cup of boiling water and stir well.  Close the cooker and bring it to boil, till 3-4 whistles(or as is reqd) till soft.

6.       Open lid, simmer to reduce gravy to desired consistency.

7.       Add keora water and javitri powder. Mix well. Cover and open only when serving

8.       Dahiwalla meat is ready to serve with plain rice, or naan or roti as per choice.



Friday, May 18, 2012

Bhetkir Paturi(Baked Beckti in Mustard sauce in Banana leaf packet)

When I grew up in Kolkata in early '70s, whenever there was an invitation for community meal, some wedding, or some other occasion to celebrate, meals were served on Banana leaves, washed, cleaned and wiped dry(desirably) by the most unskilled member in the cooking team. There were no buffet arrangements per se, and mostly meals were served to hungry invitees, sitting in rows on row tables and folding wooden chairs. Believe you me, it was usually messy, with your dal flowing into your next sabji and sometimes even jumping out of the leaf onto the precious dress used only for big occasions. Never ever did we realise Banana leaves were eco friendly as well as the most hygenic option, if cleaned well. And generations of people migrated to organised catering services, serving food in variety of dinnerware. The waterglasses made of terracotta gave way to re-usable glasses, and as independent citizens, Bengalees slowly started prefering to exercise their choice and therefore enjoying buffets. But who knew, one day I will have to run from pillar to post, from someone;s garden to an orphan patch of land to get 2 leaves to cook Paturi, a Bengali delicacy. Gurgaon lies at the foot of Aravallis, bordering Rajasthan and Haryana. Given the reddish sandy soil finding a green pasture itself is a challenge. But, weather God these days is a little compassionate to rugged and barren Rajasthan and it rained well last year. Today, Gurgaon is lot more green, populated and growingly becoming a concrete jungle. Amidst everything, inspired by some friends in a similar interest group blog, I planned paturi for dinner on one of last weeknights. There is only one shopowner in a residential block sometimes sells banana leaf, that too for Rs 75 a piece. I stumbled big time, and finally decided to attack the orphaned patch of land somewhere in a distant block. Armed with a pen knife, I ventured and took away, two lush green fresh leaves .....believe me I apologised to God, justifying this sacrifice for a brilliant dish my family would relish.
This photograph is from internet as I dared not click before doing the needful. Victorious I returned with two leaves.....washed, cleaned, wiped dry and then cut them into 6" X 6" squares, before heating them on open fire for 20 seconds on each sides to make it easy to fold. Bhetki paturi as it is called in Bengal, is a delicacy, usually reserved for very very special occasions. Bhetki Paturi ( Beckti in mustard sauce baked in Banana leaf packets)
Ingredients 1. Bhetki fillet.....8 to 10 pieces 2. Mustard paste( Mix of Black and yellow mustard in 1:1 ratio)....2 tablespoon each of the two types, ground to a smooth paste with 4 to 6 green chillies 3. Salt 4. Mustard oil 5. Banana leaves cut into squares for wrapping 6. Green Chillies: 10-12 7. Turmeric Powder- 1/2 teaspoon Procedure: 1. Mix salt and Mustard oil to the Mustard paste 2. Rub salt and turmeric on the fish pieces 3. Coat the fish pieces well with the mustard paste and keep aside. 4. Slit green chillies and add to the paste 5. Rub a little mustard oil on the polished surface of banana leaf. 6. Put a little of the mustard paste mix, a coated piece of fish, followed by another teaspoon of the mix and 1 slit green chilli 7. Fold, wrap and fix a toothpick and make fish packets as in photo 8. Grease a baking tray, place the fish packets in banana leaf on it 9. Put the tray in an oven preheated oven(175 degrees), in convection mode, 5 mins on 1 side, 3 mins on the other 10. Ready to serve with rice...and.......enjoy
We ate in silence, enjoying the steaming soft fish melting in mouth, and the sauce did wonders when mixed with rice...Yummy...Hope you would enjoy it as well.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Durga Puja...time to celebrate

Last October, it was fun being back home in Kolkata after eleven long years during Durga Puja. Kolkata during Puja time is real fun. Family, food and was fun and enjoyment unlimited.

Wish you all a very happy Durga Puja this time. May all your dreams come true.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back to basics

It takes a lot of effort to start something.... but a lot lot more to restart afresh.

But,a deep desire to write something, anything and may be someday everything has brought me back to basics.

I am not a professional content writer, neither am I a budding writer by occupation but it is my own independent point of view that is pushing me back to the basics.

My promise to myself therefore is to keep writing, as often as I can and see my blogspace prosper

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Apologies, apologies.... & apologies

Irregularity has been my middle name in blogging world. I hate it. Yet, was never motivated to finally write and put up another post. This Jan I promised to myself that I should put up a post everyweek at the least, to share moments in work life or as a Mom to a 13 yrs old boy.

Another problem I was unable to crack is comments in Japanese I guess. Neither do I know the language nor the sender. This has been causing enough heartburn for me. Hope the current settings will save me of these problem.

Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous new year

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Independence Day celebrations have come of age I think. Today's kids are not psyched up to get up early and rush to school on this day to queue up in files and do the march past for the school Principal and some esteemed guests for the occasion. They are pretty cooool about these days and do not feel 'pride' in being the chosen one for the independence day.

In such an age of indifference, and lack of sensitivity, my teenage boy R is still sensitive to a large extent and is sensitised about all these issues(What else can he do since Mom is always working on too many projects that require to sensitise masses etc etc...)

Since we are stuck at home today by choice, and have loads of home work, assignments, unit tests to take care of, unanimously decided to celebrate by staying @ home only.

But, in all Bong homes, holidays and celebrations always culminate into good food. We could not be any different. As always my chef guru Sanjeev Kapoor's E newsletter gave the final idea to differentiate.

Why not try and find menu options with tricolor touch to brighten up the damp day.

Its breakfast time...

The Teenage Prince found the attempt interesting. So how can Mama be far behind.... Utthapams with tomato, onion, capsicum and green chillis.... made yummy breakfast for a not so conventional holiday.

While the day grew, I am well inspired by Sanjeev Kapoor's latest newsletter. Search is on to serve a tricolor meal for lunch.

A simple Panchratan pulao, Fish Kaalia and a tricolor fresh salad.... the outcome was pretty appetizing.

The afternoon was different... it was turn of Mother Nature to celebrate. A huge spell of shower and lightning, made my day. The view from my balcony was awsome and so, out came my camera once again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Washing one's dirty linen in Public ad space

Ask Lalita ji..... or, say my Mom, Grand Mom or any one from your family. Th quest for the detergent that washes the best and costs the least is never-ending. In my childhood, many housewives( no one thought of calling them Home-makers, then)like my Mom used to feel proud of their choice. The battle therefore very much there... Surf vs Det vs Rin and so on

The pride in making the right and of course the wisest choice in detergent came with iconised with Lalitaji. Armed with expansion of the TV footprint in Indian homes, Lalita ji's charisma was unmatched for years.

Years passed by, with globalisation, Indian households started using and patronising the global giant brands, Ariel, Henko, Tide, Surf and their endless variants.

Today's home-maker is no longer proud of her choice. In fact she no longer cares. She is insensitive,of course not loyal to any manufacturer, marketer, brand, or variant. Today's wise home-maker is a deal-seeker.What is coming @ what deal? Who is offering what as FREE?

Lost as a bull in china shop, the lady is switching happily between Ariel, Surf, Tide or Henko without feeling guilty of betraying the favourite brand.

The condition of Marketers is no better, millions are being spent in search of the clutter breaking differential to get the special edge over competition.

Unilever's recent Rin ad giving a hoot to Tide is just an expression of that desperation. No matter what is legally, ethically right, the Indian homes are basking in the warmth of brand war in advertisement arena.