Zafrani Chicken 

Zafrani chicken or Saffron chicken.

A very delicious and aromatic dish from Awadhi cuisine.
Awadhi cuisine is a cuisine native to the city of Lucknow, which is the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. It is very closely related to Bhojpuri cuisine of it neighboring region, Bhojpur. The cooking patterns of Lucknow are similar to those of Central Asia, the Middle East, and Northern India with the cuisine comprising both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The Awadh region has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, and the cuisine of Lucknow bears similarities to those of Central Asia, Kashmir, Punjab and Hyderabad. The city is also known for its Nawabi foods.

Source – Wikipedia
I have already shared two more chicken recipes here.

Chicken dak bungalow

Chicken chaap

Our this week’s 115th #Foodiemonday bloghop theme is Awadhi cuisine.

A dish of Lucknow, my in law’s city. Love every aromatic dish of this city.

Lucknow, known as the City of Nawabs or the City of Tehzeeb or etiquette. A city filled with varied cultures.

I am sharing an easy way to make this Awadhi dish. You don’t need to grind the spices separately. A quick yet rich, aromatic and delicious chicken curry. If you are a vegetarian make this curry with paneer or any vegetables.


Recipe


Chicken – 500 gram

Onion – 3 large, sliced

Garlic – 14 – 15 cloves, peeled and chopped

Ginger – 1 inch piece, chopped

Tomato – 2 medium, chopped

Green chilli – 1-2 chopped

Cashew nuts – 8-9, soaked in water

Almond – 8-9 + 5

Green cardamom – 3

Cloves – 3

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Salt to taste

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Garam masala powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon

Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon

Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1 tablespoon

Saffron – 8-9 strands

Milk – 1/4 cup

Water as require
For marination


Curd – 4 tablespoon

Salt 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Ghee/clarified butter or oil – 5-6 tablespoon

 

Method


Marinate the chicken pieces with salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and beaten curd for 30 minutes.

Soak saffron in 1/4 cup warm milk and keep aside.

Soak the almonds in hot water. Peel and slice 5 almonds for garnishing.

Heat 2 teaspoon ghee or oil in a pan. Add sliced onion and little salt.

When the onion becomes translucent add chopped green chilli, garlic, ginger, green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Fry till the onions become brown.

Add chopped tomatoes. Saute till the tomatoes becomes mushy.

Remove from heat. Add peeled almonds and cashew nuts. Let it cool down.

Grind the fried onion tomato mixture into smooth paste.

Heat remaining ghee or oil in a pan. Add the ground paste.

Add salt, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder and kashmiri red chilli powder. Add salt carefully. We have added little salt in the marination and onion.  Saute till oil leaves the sides.

Add marinated chicken pieces.

Fry till the chicken pieces coated well with spices.

Add water as require to make thick gravy. Add saffron soaked milk.

Mix well and cover.

Cook until the chicken pieces becomes tender.

Check in between.

Add more water if require.

You can make it in pressure cooker if you want to make it quick.

Check the chicken pieces with a spoon. If it becomes tender, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Switch off the flame.

Garnish with chopped almond and cilantro.

Serve with any Indian bread or rice.

Enjoy the rich aromatic zafrani chicken or Saffron chicken.

Note –

If you don’t want to make it with ghee, you can use oil but add at least 1 tablespoon ghee. I have used half oil half ghee.

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

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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.

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Spinach Raita Or Palak Raita 


Spinach raita or palak raita.

A very easy yet delicious side dish. Goes well with stuffed paratha, biryani or pulao.
This raita is made of curd, spinach and some spices. 

You can get one more raita recipe here

Curd is an excellent source of protein and has very high levels of calcium so it prevent osteoporosis and also helps to strengthen the bones and teeth.

Curd is very good for digestive system too. 

I remember that I encouraged my son to eat spinach by giving the example of Popeye 😂

No mere vegetable ever gained the fame that spinach did in the 1960s through the cartoon character Popeye. Often in vain, parents encouraged their children to eat their spinach so they would grow up to be big and strong.

There’s actually some truth to that…

Health Benefits of Spinach

Low in fat and even lower in cholesterol, spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. In other word, it’s loaded with good things for every part of your body!
Abundant flavonoids in spinach act as antioxidants to keep cholesterol from oxidizing and protect your body from free radicals, particularly in the colon. The folate in spinach is good for your healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity.

Source 

Got the recipe idea from my daughter Suchismita who blog at https://theretrospectiveprocrastinator.wordpress.com.

Its her favourite raita.

Our this week’s #Foodiemondaybloghop theme is #leafygreen.

My contribution is this easy yet delicious spinach raita.

Yes no fuss simple and super easy but yummy dish. 


Recipe 


Spinach or palak – 1&1/2 cup, roughly chopped

Curd – 1 cup

Rock salt to taste

Black pepper powder – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste

Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Sugar to taste

Oil – 1 teaspoon

Rai or mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Dry red chilli – 1


Method 


Wash the spinach well. Chop roughly. Boil or microwave on high power for 4 minutes with 2 tablespoon water.
Immediately rinse the spinach with cold water to retain the colour.

Crush the spinach with your hand or a spoon.
Whisk the curd with rock salt, black pepper powder, sugar and roasted cumin powder. If you don’t have rock salt you can use any salt. 

Add boiled and crushed spinach in it. Mix well.
Heat oil in a pan. Add rai or mustard seeds. When it splutter add cumin seeds and dry red chilli. Let the cumin seeds splutter. Remove from heat.

Pour it over the raita.
Garnish with cilantro.

Serve immediately or keep it in refrigerator and serve chilled. 

Serve with stuffed paratha, puri, biryani or pulao.

Enjoy chilled, delicious and healthy spinach raita.
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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. 

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

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Sprouts Sundal 

Sprouts sundal.

Very easy to make yet delicious dish made with mung sprouts.

You can serve this side dish as breakfast or evening snack too. A very nutritious filling and yummy dish.

Sundal is a traditional south Indian dish from Tamil Nadu. A very delicious and nutritious dish.  It can be prepared using different legumes.

 Sweetness of pomegranate seeds and the flavour of lemon makes this sandal super yummy. 

I have shared two more sprouts recipes.

Sprouts and oats cutlets

Sprouts appe 

Sprouts are wonder food due to its high nutritional value. Natural sprouts are good for a healthy body and mind development. It ensures blood purification and strengthens the immune system. In Naturopathy, sprouts are termed as medicine because of its preserving and promoting health aspects. Sprouts are associated with amazing health benefits of sprouting.

Sprouts are known as health Rejuvenator and mood fresher. Sprouts are rich in fibre, protein, minerals, vitamins and enzymes, that’s why, they are known as miracle food.

Source

I have made it without onion garlic but you can add onion garlic if you like. Read notes for onion garlic method. 

Recipe 


Mung sprouts – 1 heaped cup 

Curry leaves – 10 – 12

Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Mustard seeds or rai – 1/4 teaspoon

Dry red chilli – 1

Asafoetida or hing – a small pinch 

Green chilli – 1 chopped

Ginger – 1/2 inch piece, grated

Salt to taste

Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Red chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon, optional 

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Fresh coconut – 1/3 cup, grated 

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

Pomegranate seeds and grated coconut to garnish 

Method 


Wash and soak the green mung beans overnight.

Next day drain the water completely. Beans should be moist.

Cover the bowl and keep aside for one day. Next day you will get sprouted beans. If you want longer sprouts keep it for one more day.

Wash the sprouts well. You can boil or steam the sprouts. I like the crunch so I didn’t.

Heat oil in a nonstick pan. Add mustard seeds or rai. Then add cumin seeds. Let them splutter.

Add grated ginger and green chilli. Saute for one minute.

Add curry leaves, dry red chilli and asafoetida or hing. And then add the sprouts.

Add salt, cumin powder, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Mix well.

Saute for 5 – 6 minutes on low medium heat.

Remove from heat. Add grated coconut and lemon juice. Mix well.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve hot as a side dish or enjoy bowlful as a snack. I like it bowlful with little more lemon juice.

Notes –

1. If you want to use onion add sliced one onion with curry leaves.

2. You can also add minced or grated garlic with onion. Fry till onion becomes translucent and then add the sprouts.

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

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Coconut Pomegranate Sandesh Or Narkol Bedana Sondesh 


सर्वमंगलमांगल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके।

शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥

Meaning – 

Oh Goddess, who is the giver of all good things, who is peaceful, who is the giver of all wealth, who is the giver of refuge, who has three eyes and who is the Shining One. Salutations to You, Narayani!

Source

Wishing you all happy Durga Puja. May Goddess Durga bless you with happiness all the year through.

Today is Maha Ashtami.

Maha Ashtami or Durga Ashtami is one of the most auspicious days of Durga Puja. Ashtami is known as Durgotsava marks the victory of good over evil. According to Hindu mythology Goddess Durga defeated evil demon Mahishasura and since then this festival is celebrated. And this day is also known for Astra Puja or worshiping weapons. In Bengal Durga Puja is celebrated from sixth day to tenth day of Navratri.

I have promised to share some sweets for this festive season. Today sharing coconut pomegranate sandesh. A delicious and soft dessert to celebrate this festival. I am sure even you don’t get this sandesh flavour in Kolkata sweet shops. If you find this flavour please let me know the name of the shop, I would love to try in my next Kolkata visit. 

You can get some more sandesh recipes here

Recipe 

Paneer or cottage cheese – 1 cup

Pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup

Coconut – 1/4 cup, grated or finely chopped

Sugar – 3 tablespoon

Milk powder – 1/4 cup 

Cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Rose water – 1/4 teaspoon 

Red food colour – little, optional

Method 



Clean and wash the mould, pat dry and grease with little ghee or butter. 

Blend or grind the pomegranate for two pulse and strain the juice. You can use your juicer but its the easiest way. 

Blend the pomegranate juice and coconut till smooth.

Now add crumbled paneer or cottage cheese, sugar, milk powder, cardamom powder and rose water or essence. Blend till smooth. 

Take out the mixture in a nonstick pan and cook on low heat. Stir continuously. Cook until the mixture becomes a dough like consistency. Remove from heat.

Let it cool down.

Add colour. 

Knead the dough to make it smooth. I have blend it again to make it quickly. Blend or grind it again till smooth.

Make small balls and shape them with a mould. Or if you don’t have moulds make small round balls. If you feel it sticky grease your palm with little ghee or clarified butter. 

Serve or keep in refrigerator for later.

You can store these sandesh in refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Enjoy chilled delicious coconut pomegranate sandesh 😊

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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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