Friday, April 3, 2015

Aloo Paratha

I consider Aloo Paratha as the King of Parathas. I just love it and I can eat it anytime of the day. During my childhood days my Mom would prepare these every Sunday for breakfast and I would relish those Parathas while watching Chandrakanta TV soap. Aloo Parathas go well with curd or pickle. The stuffing of the Paratha can be changed depending on your taste. This is my take on Aloo Parathas and I hope you all will like it.

Aloo Paratha with curd

1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
2 green chilies, chopped
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
3 large potatoes,boiled and peeled
1/4 tsp carom seeds
1-2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Ghee for shallow frying
Soft Dough made from wheat flour


  1. Dry roast cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Use mortar and pestle to ground the seeds.
  2. In a bowl mash the boiled potatoes using your fingers. Do not grate just mash. It is not necessary to have a smooth mixture. Add chilies, freshly grounded cumin and coriander powder, onion, ginger, carom seeds,coriander leaves, and salt. Mix all these together to prepare the stuffing for the Paratha.
  3. Heat the tawa or griddle to make the parathas.
  4. Take a small ping pong ball sized dough. Dust it with flour and roll it to form a small circle of around 4 inches diameter.
  5. Take a ping pong ball sized stuffing and place it in the center of the rolled dough.
  6. Bring together all the sides in the center and seal the stuffing.
  7.  Dust this with flour and roll it to form a thin  circle. While rolling keep the sealed side down and then roll.
  8. Cook the aloo paratha with ghee until golden brown on both sides.
  9. Repeat the same process for the remaining dough.

Serve Hot Aloo Parathas with curd or pickle.

Aloo paratha

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Fruit Cake

Last Christmas I had baked a non alcoholic cake but this year I wanted to try the alcohol fruit cake. I started the preparation in the month of October. Soaked all the dried fruits,cherries and candied mixed peel in dark rum for a month and then baked the cake. Now I am just feeding the cake with rum twice every week. I must admit that making this cake takes hell lot of patience as you have to wait for weeks before you can cut it. I am just counting days, 6 more days to go  
Christmas Fruit Cake
Christmas Fruit Cake
680 gms assorted dry fruits (I have used glazed cherries, dried apricot, dried cranberries, dried strawberries, dried pineapple, and candied mixed peel)
200 gms of raisins, chopped into bite size pieces (I have used golden and black raisins)
80 gms (hazelnuts + almonds)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (220gms) dark brown sugar,tightly packed
1 cup unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup dark rum plus more for brushing the cake
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
Juice and zest of 1 orange 
Zest of 1 lemon
Soak the dry fruits in 1 1/2 cup dark rum for a month in an air tight container. Stir the soaked dry fruits every alternate day.

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C or 325 degrees F. Place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter or grease a 8 inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. 
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition.
Add orange juice, zest of lemon and orange. Add the soaked dried and candied fruits along with the rum. Mix well.
Add the raisins and mix again.
In a separate bowl whisk together ground almond,flour,baking powder,salt,nutmeg powder,ginger powder,and cinnamon powder.
Now fold the dry ingredients in the cake batter. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Transfer the cake batter to the springform pan and spread evenly. 
Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a long skewer inserted at the center of the cake comes out with few moist crumbs. It took 1 hr 45 mins in my oven and the time can vary from oven to oven so keep a close watch on the cake.
Remove the cake and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. Poke holes on the top surface of the cake with a skewer and brush rum on it. 
Wrap the cake in a plastic wrap and aluminium foil and place it in an air tight container or cake tin.
Brush the cake with rum, twice a week, until Christmas. 
This cake weighed around 1.5 kgs.
  • You can choose assorted dried fruits of your choice. Add more dried fruits if you want to.
  • Stir the soaked dry fruits every alternate day.
  • You can change the quantity of spices (ginger powder,cinnamon powder,nutmeg powder) as per your taste.
  • You can use brandy instead of dark rum.
  • Chop the dried fruits and cherries into bite sized pieces before soaking in rum.
  • To cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper take a large sheet and then clamp the side ring around the base. Fold the paper towards the top of the pan. This way you have the extended parchment when you remove the clamp. It is easier to handle the cake with this extended parchment. 

Adapted from Stephanie Jaworski's recipe.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kaddu (Pumpkin) Ki Sabji

Kaddu ki Sabji
 I remember my mother cooking this sabji for us and I would love to eat it with plain paratha. I like the sweet and savoury flavour of this dish. The bengali spice paanch phoran gives it an amazing flavour. When I moved to Dubai after my wedding I made sure to carry paanch phoran in my luggage  Let me go ahead with the recipe now.
550 gms kaddu/pumpkin- seeds removed, skin peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup  parboiled black channa (black chickpea), soak the channa overnight and then parboil it
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder (I have made this powder at home by grinding equal quantity of coriander seeds and cumin seeds)
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
1-2 tsp white granulated sugar, adjust to taste (I have added 2 tsp sugar)
2 red dry chillies
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paanch phoran ( a type of bengali spice)
Chopped coriander leaves 2 tbsp
1 tbsp oil
Heat oil in a pan. Add bay leaf, red dry chillies and paanch phoran. When the cumin in paanch phoran starts crackling add the pumpkin, channa and turmeric. Give it a stir to mix the pumpkin with other spices.
Cover and cook on low heat until the pumpkin is soft and mushy.
Now add salt, sugar, coriander-cumin powder and stir. Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes on medium heat or until all the water has evaporated. I like to mash the pumpkin in this sabji as you can see in the picture.
Switch off the flame and add coriander leaves. Mix again. 
Serve it hot with chapati or paratha.
If you like sour and sweet flavour then add 1/4 tsp of mango powder/amchoor to the sabji.
Kaddu ki sabji

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gajar Halwa Barfi

This Diwali I decided to make Gajar Halwa Barfi. Gajar Halwa is one of my favourites so I thought of giving it a barfi form this time.
Gajar Halwa Barfi
Ingredients for Khoya:
3 cups full cream milk
In a heavy bottom pan, bring the milk to a boil.
On medium to low heat cook the milk until it is reduced to a thick consistency. All the water in the milk will evaporate and you will get granulated khoya. You have to keep stirring occasionally in the beginning and towards the end stir continuously so that it doesn't burn.
Ingredients for Barfi:
500 gms carrot
1 litre full cream milk
6 tbsp white granulated sugar, adjust as per taste
1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
1/4 tsp freshly grounded cardamom powder
Almonds/pistachios for garnishing
Wash and peel the carrots. Grate the carrots using the fine side of the grater.
Take a baking tray and place parchment paper in it.
Melt ghee in a heavy bottom pan.
Add the grated carrots to the ghee and saute for 5 mins on medium heat. Do not let it brown.
Now pour the milk and stir. Simmer and cook until most of the liquid has dried out. Keep stirring occasionally.
Add sugar and cardamom powder,mix well. Add the khoya and cook until all the liquid has dried completely. Now the halwa will start leaving the sides of the pan.
Transfer the halwa to the baking tray. With the back of a spoon spread the halwa. Keep the thickness as per the thickness of the barfi. Smooth the top using a piece of parchment paper.
Garnish the top with almonds or pistachios (I have used almonds) and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for sometime and then cut into desired shapes and sizes.
Gajar Halwa Barfi

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mango Chutney

I have always loved the Mango Chutney prepared by Bengalis. It is so simple and quick to cook recipe. If you want you can make it sweet or sweet and savoury. It all depends on what suits your taste buds. I like my Mango Chutney a little sweet and savoury. You can use a mixture of sugar and jaggery or only sugar or only jaggery. My suggestion is to add little seasoning at a time, check the flavour and add more if required. If you are someone who prefers a "Khatta Meetha" flavour then this is just for you.
Mango Chutney
1 big sized raw mango
1 tsp panch phoran (panch phoran is a bengali spice which consists of fenugreek seednigella seedcumin seedblack mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts)
1 tbsp oil
2 dry red chilies
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-2 tbsp crushed jaggery, adjust to taste
1 cup water
3-4 tbsp sugar, adjust to taste
Salt taste
Peel the raw mango and cut it into small cubes, discard the seed.
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Add the panch phoran and chilies.
Once the cumin and mustard seeds start to crackle, add the raw mangoes and give it a stir to mix well.
Add salt, turmeric sugar and jaggery along with water. Stir. Do not put all the sugar and jaggery at once. Taste and add more if required.
Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 mins or until the mango cubes are soft. You should be able to mash the mango with a back of a spoon.
Mash few mango cubes to give the chutney a nice thick texture. Check for sweetness. Adjust sugar and jaggery as per your taste. 
Remove from heat and let it cool. This chutney will thicken further after cooling.
Refrigerate in an air tight container.