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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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Rasgulla Kheer/Pudding Or Rosogolla paesh 


Nobility in heart and character in deed

Righteous homes alone make a beautiful State.

Sisters will tie the thread on the brothers

Abiding them to do only what is right and clean.

Put the Kumkum and blessed rice on the head

Where will dwell right thoughts and noble action.

A.P.J.Abdul Kalam

Happy Raksha bandhan to all the brothers and sisters. May the Bond of love between bro and  sis be more strong day by day year by year. May God bless long happy prosperous peaceful life to all brother and sisters.

Raksha bandhan or Rakhi is a festival that is celebrates the love and duty between sisters and brothers.

The world Raksha bandhan means the bond of protection. On this day sisters tie rakhi or sacred thread on brother’s wrist and pray for his happiness and prosperity.

Raksha Bandhan is an ancient festival of the Indian subcontinent, and its history dates back thousands of years.

According to one legendary narrative, when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BCE, Roxana (or Roshanak, his wife) sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with tradition, Porus, the king of Kaikeya kingdom, gave full respect to the rakhi. In the Battle of the Hydaspes, when Porus saw the rakhi on his own wrist and restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally.

Wekipedia

Our this week’s 104th #Foodiemonday bloghop theme is #Festiverecipes.

And today is Raksha bandhan. This rasgulla kheer is perfect for this occasion.

I have used homemade rasgulla in this kheer or pudding.

You can use store bought small sized rasgulla or anguri rasgulla to make this kheer or pudding. Just thickened the milk with cardamom powder and a pinch of saffron and add rasgulla in it. Add sugar as require. Rasgulla is already sweet so be careful when adding sugar.

Recipe 


Paneer or cottage cheese – 1 cup

Sugar 1 cup + 4 tablespoon

Milk – 1 litre

Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon

Saffron – a pinch

Shredded almond and pistachio to garnish

Method 


Mash the cottage cheese with your palm. Use the heel of your palm to make the paneer smooth. Knead till it becomes lightly greasy. Make small balls.

In a large saucepan mix 1 cup sugar with 3 cup water. Rasgulla become double when cooked. Add 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder.

Boil it until the sugar dissolve completely. When it starts to rolling boil slid the paneer balls in it.

Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. You can check after every 5 minutes shake the saucepan gently.

After 20-25 minutes when the rasgullas becomes double in size remove from heat.

Let it cool down.

Now heat 1 litre milk in a heavy bottom pan. When it starts to boil lower the heat. Cook on simmer. Stir occasionally.

When the milk becomes half add a pinch of saffron, 4 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder.

Let it cook on low flame till its become 1/4. It will be thickened when cooled.

Squeeze out the syrup from all the rasgullas. Press gently to squeeze, rasgulla may break if press hard.

And drop in the thickened milk. Taste and check the sugar. Add little more if require.

If you don’t want to make rasgulla at home you can use store bought small sized rasgulla or anguri rasgulla to make this kheer.

Let the milk boil again cook on low flame for 5-8 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

Cover and keep aside 15-20 minutes. Rasgulla will soak the milk.

Serve in individual bowl. Garnish with chopped pistachio, almond and saffron thread.

Or keep in refrigerator and serve chilled.

Enjoy the heavenly taste.

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Mango Steamed Sandesh Or Aam Bhapa Sondesh 

Mango steamed sandesh or aam bhapa sondesh.

A delicious and easy to make sweet of Bengal.  Perfect dessert for this festive season.

Tomorrow is Raksha bandhan. Make it for your brother or brothers you can make it for your sisters too. Give her a treat and see her happy face 😊
You can get two more steamed sandesh recipes here.

Date palm jaggery steamed sandesh and
Orange steamed sandesh
Click on the name for recipe.

I have steamed it in my rice cooker.

You can make in pressure cooker in a covered stainless steel container. I have used fresh homemade cottage cheese or paneer. You can use store bought but knead and make it smooth first. Better use homemade.

Only four ingredients and you will get a yummy dessert. No more words. Coming to the recipe 😀


Recipe 


Cottage cheese or paneer – 1 cup

Mango – 1 cup, finely chopped or pureed

Sugar – 4 tablespoon

Cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon



Method 


Heat a pan. Cook the mango on low flame till water evaporate completely. Stir continuously. Let it cool down.

Mix paneer, sugar and mash with your palm. Use the heel of your palm to make it smooth and soft.

Now add cooked mango and cardamom powder. Taste and add little more sugar if require. It depends on the sweetness of mangoes. Mash it again. Knead well.

You can use your mixer grinder to make it smooth quickly.

Grease a bowl or any stainless steel container.

Fill it with cottage cheese mixture. Level the top with a spoon. Cover the container. If you don’t have cover use aluminium foil to cover it tightly.

Steam for 20-25 minutes. If you are using pressure cooker remove the weight. Steam on medium to low heat.

You can also make it in microwave. Pour the mixture in a greased microwave proof bowl. Cover and microwave on high power for 6-7 minutes.

Let it cool down. When it comes to room temperature keep it in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Demould and garnish with shredded almond, pistachios, mango slices and saffron threads.

Cut into desired shape. Keep the sandesh in refrigerator. Serve chilled.

Happy cooking and happy Raksha bandhan in advance.

Enjoy….

Mango Raisin Chutney 

Mango raisin chutney.

Mango season is about to over. But still raw mangoes are easily available in the market.

Sweet and tangy mango chutney is a very common dish in summer. There are many variations in mango chutney recipes. I am sharing an easy and very common recipe today.

In Bengali households aamer chutney or mango chutney or aamer ombol is a must dish in Bengali meals.

Mango chutney is thick and the taste is tongue tickling. And ombol is very light in consistency and runny,  similar to soup. With this same recipe you can make both, just adjust the sugar and salt. And add more water to make a thin soup like consistency for aamer ombol.

Normally we make it without raisins. But I love raisins in chutney. Whether it is mango or tomatoes. But you can omit raisins if you like.

Recipe 


Raw mango – 250 gram

Sugar – 1/2 cup

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste

Raisins – 2 tablespoon

Oil – 1 teaspoon

Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Dry red chilli – 1

Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Water – 1 cup

Method 


Peel and chop the raw mangoes. Wash, drain and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When the seeds starts to crackle add the dry red chilli. Stir and add the chopped mangoes.

Add salt and turmeric. Saute for 1- 2 minutes. Add raisins and water.

Cover and cook until the mangoes becomes soft.

Now add the sugar. Cook until the sugar dissolved and chutney becomes thick. You can add little red chilli powder too. I didn’t.

Taste and adjust the sugar and salt if require.

Remove from heat. Add roasted cumin powder. Mix well. I have used 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder but if you like you can add 1 teaspoon.
Keep in refrigerator and serve in meal times.
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