Kasundi / Guest Post By Rita Ghosh

Kasundi
One more recipe from Bengal.
You can call it mustard sauce. I love it’s tangy zingy taste and lovely aroma of mustard.
You can serve it with any Bengali snack, cutlets, chop, fritters, croquettes or anything as a dip or sauce.

You can make fish or any vegetables with it. I often make eggs, ladyfingers, eggplant etc with kasundi. You have to add kasundi with salt, turmeric powder and chilli only. You don’t need much spices with it.

Kasundi is the Asian or Indian variety of mustard sauce. It is a pungent paste of fermented mustard seeds, spices and sometimes dried mangoes, dried Indian plum and olives, popular as a dipping sauce in Bengali cuisine.
Kasundi has always been a revered fixture of Bengali households, its making used to be almost a religious rite, with many restriction and rituals. With modern household appliances becoming commonplace, its making no more remains a complex ritual.
Wikipedia

Some of my readers requested for kasundi recipe. I never tried it. Always bought readymade bottles from Kolkata. So I have requested my friend Rita Ghosh for a guest post. Rita Ghosh is an avid cook and a very humble person. We never met physically but she is really a good friend. We met in a food group. Our interests are same. We chat every day and our topic is food. So when I requested her for kasundi post she gave me the recipe immediately. Thanks a lot dear for this awesome recipe.
Sharing her authentic method to make kasundi. Try it and please give your feedback 😊

Recipe

Black mustard seeds – 3 & 1/2 cup

Ginger paste – 2 tablespoon

Red chilli powder – 1 & 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Turmeric powder – 2 teaspoon

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Black pepper – 8 – 10

Green cardamom – 2

Cinnamon – 2 sticks

Raw mango – 2 medium, chopped

Hot water – 1 litre

Method

1. Wash black mustard seeds and ginger and let them dry under sunlight.

2. When dried completely blend them well.

3. Dry roast black pepper, green cardamom and cinnamon. Grind them altogether. Make fine powder.

4. Take a deep bottom pan. Mix blended mustard seeds, turmeric powder, salt and water in it.

5. Add mango pieces and mix well.
Cover the pan and keep it overnight.

6. Next day, take out the mango pieces and blend. Now add blended mango pieces and all the spices in this fermented mixture.
Add more cold ( room temperature) water as require.

7. Keep under sunlight for 7 – 8 days.
Your kasundi is ready.
Relish throughout the year.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment.

Please visit my facebook page and hit the like button to get the latest update.

Facebook page

Stay connected at

Twitter

Instagram

Google plus

Sukto / Bengali Mixed Vegetables

Sukto
Sukto or shuktoni is a Bengali traditional dish.
Mixed vegetables with less spices. Its taste mildly bitter and lightly sweet. In Bengali platter traditionally people start eating with a bitter dish, then main course in lunch. And the last course is sweet. Elderly people say that if you start your meal with a bitter dish then you feel other dishes more tasty 😀

 

Usually bitter gourd is used in sukto. But I heard from my mom that if it is preparing for marriage or any such auspicious occasion bitter gourd shouldn’t be used in it. That called misti sukto or sweet sukto. All the ingredients are same but it will be without bitter gourd.

Generally sukto is served with steamed rice.
Never thought of sharing sukto recipe on my blog. Because I thought its a very common recipe in Bengali household. But recently I was browsing through some Bengali traditional recipes. And noticed that every sukto recipe is different. So decided to share my both mother’s recipe. Yes my mother and mother in law both used to follow same recipe.

In Bengal radhuni is must in sukto. According to Wikipedia radhuni is known as wild celery in English. And known as ajmod in Hindi.

 

DSC_1537.jpg

 

In Bengal radhuni in used in panch phoran or five spices mix. Panch phoran consists of fenugreek seeds or methi, Nigella seed or kalaunji, cumin seed or jeera, mustard seed or sarso and fennel seed or sounf.
But outside Bengal its not available so we (প্রবাসী বাঙালি) don’t use it.
But this time I have a packet of radhuni which I have bought from Kolkata. So I have used it. If you don’t have radhuni you can omit it. I have used whatever vegetables I have. You can use any vegetables of your choice like drumstick, raw papaya, sweet potato etc.
I like very mild bitter taste in sukto so used only 1/4 of bitter gourd but if you like you can use 1 small bitter gourd.

Recipe

Potato – 2

Raw banana – 2

Flat beans – 4 – 5

Radish or muli – 1 small

Eggplant or aubergine – 1 small

Bitter gourd or karela – 1/4

Mustard oil – 3 – 4 tablespoon

Panch phoran ( mixture of fenugreek, nigella, mustard, cumin and fennel seeds) – 2 teaspoon

Salt and sugar to taste

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Aniseed or sounf – 1 tablespoon

Poppy seeds – 2 tablespoon

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Mustard powder – 2 teaspoon

Bari or dried lentil dumplings – 1/4 cup

Radhuni – 1/4 teaspoon

Flour or atta – 1 tablespoon

Milk – 1/2 cup

Ghee or clarified butter – 1 teaspoon

Method

1. Soak mustard powder in 2 tablespoon water, mix and keep aside.

2. Soak aniseed or sounf in water.

3. Soak poppy seeds in hot water for 15 – 20 minutes.

4. Peel and chop the potatoes and raw banana lengthwise.

5. Chop the radish, flat beans and eggplant or aubergine lengthwise.

6. Cut the bitter gourd in thin round pieces.

 

DSC_1492.JPG

 

7. Wash and drain all the vegetables.
Keep the bitter gourd aside.

8. Grind the poppy seeds, aniseed and ginger with the help of little water. Make a smooth paste.

9. Dry roast 1 teaspoon panch phoran and grind. I have used my mortal pestle to make powder of these roasted spices.

9. Heat oil in a pan. Fry all the vegetables separately.

10. Fry the bari or dried lentil dumplings.

11. At last fry the bitter gourd pieces and keep aside.

12. Add 1 teaspoon Pancho phoran,1/4 teaspoon radhuni and bay leaf in hot oil. Let the panch phoran splutter.

13. Add all the fried vegetables except bitter gourd.
Add poppy seeds, aniseed and ginger paste. Saute till it dried up.

14. Add salt, sugar, turmeric powder and soaked mustard powder.
Mix well.

15. Saute for 1 – 2 minutes. Add water and cover. Cook till the vegetables become tender.

16. Mix flour in milk. Mix well to make it lump free.

17. Add dried lentil dumplings and flour milk mixture. Mix well and cook till you get your desired consistency.

18. At last add fried bitter gourd pieces and 1 teaspoon ghee or clarified butter.

19. Taste and adjust the salt if require.
Remove from heat. Add roasted and powdered panch phoran and mix.

20. Your sukto is ready to serve.
Serve with hot steamed rice.

Notes

1. You can use any vegetables of your choice like drumstick, raw papaya, sweet potato etc.

2. If you don’t have radhuni you can omit it.

3. If you want to make it in less oil fry the bitter gourd pieces first. And then saute all the vegetables altogether. But traditionally vegetables should be fried separately.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment.

Please visit my facebook page and hit the like button to get the latest update.

Facebook page

Stay connected at

Twitter

Instagram

Google plus

Bombay Duck Fry Or Loita Machher Jhuri ( Guest Post By Mahesh Khole )

 

Bombay duck fry or loita machher jhuri. Shallow fried boneless fish.

A guest post by Mahesh Khole.
I have requested him to give some non veg dishes for my readers. Thanks Mahesh for this easy to make yet delicious recipe.

I have met Mahesh in a food group  ‘Chef at large’.  He is not only a foodie but a passionate cook.
Mahesh’s love for Bengali food is unbeatable. And he surprised us by making the different kinds of non veg dishes from Bengal.
Now have a look what Mahesh said about this recipe.

“Loita maachher jhuri.
Loita is popularly known as Bombay Duck or Bombil.
This is found in abundance in coastal areas .
This is not only one of the most popular fish that is dried and stored but also one of the cheapest sea fish. Delicately flavoured with soft bones that will never get stuck. In spite of being a very fleshy fish, frying it whole is an art.
For people like me who don’t have the patience to fry them whole and nor do I want any bones to interfere, this is a boneless and flavourful preparation. Which can be made and stored in the fridge like a chutney or pickle.”

 

 

Recipe

Bombay duck – 500 gram

Onion – 2 medium

Tomato – 1 large

Garlic – 10 cloves

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Salt to taste

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon or to taste

Oil – 2-3 tablespoon

Method

Clean the Bombay ducks well.
Preferably buy the big ones as they are meatier.

Add salt and boil the fish with sufficient water till they become soft.
It take around 15 minutes to perfectly boil.

Grind onions, garlic, ginger and tomato. Make a smooth paste.

Now take out the fish from water.
Separate and discard the bones and remaining water.

Heat oil in a pan. Add onion, garlic, ginger and tomato paste.
Saute till oil leaves the sides.

Now add the fish and saute till the mixture dried up completely and the mixture starts shining. And its ready to serve.

Serve with steamed rice, roti or Indian flat bread, paratha, naan or any bread.

You can store this in refrigerator and serve as a chutney or pickle with rice, roti or bread.

Note

You can use any oil but mustard oil is best for the perfect flavour.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment.

Please visit my facebook page and hit the like button to get the latest update.

Facebook page

Stay connected at
Twitter

Instagram

Chocolate Sandesh 

Happy bhai duj to every brother and sister. May success and joy be yours every day.

Bhai Dooj / Bhau-Beej / Bhai Tika / Bhai Phonta is a festival celebrated by Hindus of India and Nepal on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar month of Kartika.

On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes/sweets. The procedure may be different in bihar and central india. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister’s blessings for her brother.
Carrying forward the ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform aarti for their brother and apply a tika on the brother’s forehead. This tika ceremony on the occasion of Bhai duj signifies the sister’s sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother and treat them with gifts. In return brothers bless their sisters and may treat them also with gifts.

Source – Wikipedia

Presenting a yummy sweet recipe for this auspicious occasion.

Sandesh is a Bengali dessert made of paneer/chhena or cottage cheese. You can make it in home by curdling the milk and separating the whey from it. You can make it with different flavours.

Get some more sandesh recipes here.

You don’t need much ingredients to make this sandesh. A very simple recipe yet delicious. You will love the chocolaty taste. I have used choco chips over it, if you don’t have choco chips you can use pistachio to make your sandesh beautiful.

Picture credit my daughter Suchismita Roy

 

 

Recipe


Paneer or cottage cheese – 1 & 1/2 cup

Milk powder – 1/2 cup

Grated dark chocolate – 3 tablespoon

Sugar – 6 tablespoon

Cocoa powder – 3 teaspoon

Vanilla essence – 1/2 teaspoon

White choco chips or pistachio to garnish

Method


Mix paneer, milk powder, grated dark chocolate, sugar and cocoa powder on a plate.

Get the method of making paneer or cottage cheese here.

Knead with your palm until smooth.

Heat a heavy bottom pan or nonstick pan. Add the paneer mixture. Cook on low flame. Stir continuously.

Cook till the mixture leaves the sides and becomes like a dough. Remove from heat.

Don’t overcook. It shouldn’t be too dry or crumbled.

Add vanilla essence and mix well.

Again knead it till smooth. I have used mixer grinder to make it smooth. Blend or knead with your palm again.

Make small balls.

Shape them with a mould and place choco chips or pistachio in the middle.

Or press the balls gently. Place choco chips or pistachio in the middle.

Serve soft delicious chocolate sandesh immediately or keep in refrigerator for later and serve chilled.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment.

Stay connected at

Facebook
Twitter 
Instagram

Mocha Ghonto Or Banana Flower Dry Curry 


Mocha ghonto or banana flower dry curry.

A very delicious and healthy dish. Banana flower called mocha in Bengali. This mocha ghonto is a traditional dish of Bengal. Generally served with hot steamed rice. This dry curry or ghonto made of banana flower, coconut, potatoes and some aromatic spices. 

Its very common dish in Bengal. But we get good quality banana flowers rarely in our city. Thanks to my neighbour Nidhi for this delicious banana flower or mocha.


Traditional recipe is bit lengthy. I remember my mother and mother in law used to add cardamom, cinnamon and cloves paste at the end. And ground these with the help of grindstone or sil batta. Mother never used powder spices. All the spices ground separately with the help of grindstone. But these days we don’t have those grindstones. And no helping hands to grind all the spices separately. So here is a easy recipe to make this delicious mocha ghonto. But no cheating with aroma or taste. Taste is equally delicious. 

Almost every part of the banana tree can be used in some way or the other. The flowers, fruit and stems can be eaten, the leaves can be used as plates and the bark can be used to make paper. 

Known as banana hearts, banana flowers are loaded with fibre, protein, potassium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and Vitamin E. These pretty flowers can be eaten raw or cooked and added to salads, soups, stir-fries and herbal teas. 

Source 

Here is my cheat or easy recipe of mocha ghonto or banana flower dry curry. 



Recipe 


Banana flower – 1 small 

Potato – 1 large

Grated coconut – 1/2 cup + to garnish

Oil – 2-3 tablespoon

Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Green chilli – 1 – 2 slit

Dry red chilli – 1

Bay leaf – 1

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Green cardamom – 3

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Cloves – 3

Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon or to taste

Ghee or clarified butter – 1 tablespoon



Method 


First we have to prepare the banana flower. Its little time consuming.

Remove outer leaves of the banana blossom or flower.

Take out the florets from inside.

Open each floret and remove the long string with small head and a plastic like part from it. Both are not edible.

Clean all the florets like this. At the end when all the florets are removed, chop finely all the florets and remaining small inside part of the flower. Discard the stem of the inside part first then chop finely. 

Soak the chopped florets in the water with salt and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder overnight. 

Next day boil the chopped florets in pressure cooker. Cook on high flame for 1 whistle then cook on simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

Let it cool down. Drain the water and wash again in running tap water.

Squeeze all the water and keep aside.

Peel the potato and cut into small cube. Wash and drain the water.

Grind coconut, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Make a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped potato. Fry till the potato becomes light brown.

Remove from oil.

In the same oil add bay leaf and cumin seeds and let the cumin seeds splutter.

Add dry red chilli and slit green chilli.

Add the chopped and boiled banana florets. Fry for 1 – 2 minutes.

Add fried potato and salt. Mix well. Add ground coconut, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.

Add cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and sugar.

Saute till dried up completely.

Add water as require. It will be a dry curry.

When it starts to rolling boil cover and cook on simmer for 10 minutes. Check and stir in between.

Cook till the potato becomes tender and curry dried up.

Add ghee or clarified butter and remove from heat.

Garnish with grated coconut and green chilli.

Serve with hot steamed rice.


Note 

Add chilli according to your taste. If you don’t like hot omit or decrease the amount of chilli. 

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment. 

Stay connected at 

Facebook 

Twitter

Instagram

Pantua 

Image from internet

May Maa Durga empower you and your family with her nine swaroopa of Name, Fame, Health, Wealth, Happiness, Humanity, Education, Bhakti & Shakti. Happy Navratras. And have a blessed Durga Puja.

Durga Puja is starting from tomorrow. A auspicious occasion of Bengal.

Sharadotsav or Durga puja is an annual Hindu festival in Bengal that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Vijayadashami.

We prepare different types of sweets for this occasion. 

Sharing one more sweet for this festive season.

Pantua.  A delicious melt in mouth dessert. In North India gulab jamun is very famous and its looks like gulab jamun right?  But its not gulab jamun. Gulab jamun is made of khoya or milk solid and pantua is made of paneer or cottage cheese.

You can find this sweet in different names and shapes in Bengal.

Pantua can be made round or oval shaped both. There are two more varieties of this dessert. You can call them close cousins of pantua. They are ledikeni and langcha.

Langcha is cylindrical shaped sugar syrup dipped sweet made of the same ingredients of pantua. But darker in colour. In West Bengal Shaktigarh is famous for its langcha. Whenever we travel from Kolkata to Patna by road my brother always stop at Shaktigarh to enjoy this yummy sweet. And we also pack some of these delicious stuff. Here is a picture I have taken in a sweet shop at Shaktigarh.

Ledikeni is also made with same ingredients. Here is an old story about this sweet.

Bhim Chandra Nag a confectioner of Kolkata renamed his pantua ‘ledikeni’. At that time he prepared this specially on the occasion of the birthday of Lady Canning, wife of Governor-General Charles Canning. And she loved these sweets and asked for more. Thus pantua is also called ledikeni 😀

Sending this post to 110th #Foodiemondaybloghop Durga Puja theme. 

Pantua is easily available in Bengal and Odisha but not in North India. This melt in mouth delicious dessert is very easy to make. Make it at home and make your festival special.

 Recipe 


Paneer or cottage cheese – 1 cup

Khoya or dried milk – 1/2 cup

Refined flour or maida – 3 tablespoon

Suji or semolina – 1 tablespoon

Soda – a pinch

Ghee or clarified butter – 1 tablespoon

Sugar – 1 cup + 1 tablespoon

Water – 2 cup

Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon

Saffron – a pinch

Raisins – as require 

Oil for frying 

Method 


Knead paneer or cottage cheese, khoya/mawa or dried milk, refined flour or maida, soda, sugar and ghee for 10 – 15 minutes.

You have to knead it well to get a smooth and soft dough.

I have blend the cottage cheese and dried milk in mixer grinder to make it smooth.

Then kneaded with sugar, ghee, soda and refined flour for 7 – 8 minutes.

Make small equal size balls out of the dough. I have made 16 balls. Flatten the ball with your palm. Place a raisin in the middle and close the edges. Make a smooth ball again. Make the balls carefully ensuring no cracks on the balls. 

Mix sugar and water in a large pan. Let it boil.

Add cardamom powder and saffron.

When sugar dissolved simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside. 

Heat sufficient oil in a pan. Simmer the heat.

Fry the balls on low heat. Be patience. Don’t increase the flame.

Fry all the balls evenly. Place on a paper towel.

Soak the fried balls in sugar syrup for 1 hour.

Or heat over high flame just to one boil. Remove from heat.

Serve immediately. Or let it cool down at room temperature and keep in refrigerator for later use.

You can serve it chilled but I like it hot. Just heat or microwave for few seconds before serving.

Enjoy the soft delicious melt in mouth pantua.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment. 

Stay connected at 

Facebook

Twitter 
Instagram

Cauliflower With Coconut And Poppy Seeds 


Cauliflower with coconut and poppy seeds. 

Sharing an easy to make but delicious cauliflower recipe today. You don’t need much spices to make this no onion garlic cauliflower. You can serve it as a side dish with any bread of your choice or steamed rice. 

You can get one more cauliflower recipe here

Because of its beneficial effects on numerous aspects of health, cauliflower can easily be described as a superfood. 

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, often overshadowed by its green cousin broccoli. This is one vegetable that deserves a regular rotation in your diet, however, as it contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals.

Cauliflower is a member of the cancer-fighting cruciferous family of vegetables

Cauliflower is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich, and may boost both your heart and brain health

Eating cauliflower will provide your body with impressive amounts of vitamin C, vitamin k, beta-carotene, and much more while supporting healthy digestion and detoxification

Source

Coming to the recipe. We generally use this coconut and poppy seeds paste to make fish or pointed gourd or parwal etc. Click the name for Pointed gourd with coconut and poppy seeds recipe. 

And Pointed gourd with poppy seeds recipe. 

Poppy seeds and coconut makes the dish superbly delicious. 

Recipe 



Cauliflower – 1 medium 

Green chilli – 3-4 or to taste 

Poppy seeds or khaskhas – 2 tablespoon 

Ginger – 1/2 inch piece 

Tomato – 1 chopped 

Coconut – 1/4 cup finely chopped or grated 

Mustard oil – 3 tablespoon

Salt to taste 

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon 

Coconut milk – 1/4 cup 

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tablespoon 

Slit green chilli and coriander leaves to garnish 

Method 


Soak the poppy seeds in hot water. 

Cut the cauliflower in small florets. Wash well, drain and keep aside. 

Grind green chilli, poppy seeds, ginger, tomato and coconut altogether. Make a smooth paste. 

Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped cauliflower. Fry until the cauliflower changes it’s colour. 

Add salt, ground spices, chopped coriander leaves and turmeric powder. You can also add little sugar if you like. 

Saute till it dried up completely. Stir continuously. 

Now add coconut milk. Cover and cook on low heat till the cauliflower becomes tender and dried up. 

You can add more coconut milk if require. 

Now remove from heat and add lemon juice. Mix well.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. 

Garnish with slit green chilli and coriander leaves. 

Serve with hot steamed rice or any bread. 

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment. 

Stay connected at 

Facebook

Twitter
Instagram