Tag: spices

Pathar Mangshor Jhol / Kochi Pathar Jhol (Bengali Style Mutton Curry)

Pathar Mangshor Jhol / Kochi Pathar Jhol (Bengali Style Mutton Curry)

“Bajare kochi patha pawai jay na ajkal” (it’s hard to get tender mutton in the market now-a-days) says Baba. Instantly Maa replies “eto deri kore bajare gele ki kochi patha boshe thakbe tomar jonne” (you will not get tender mutton if you go so late […]

 
Macher Matha diye Chanar Dal (Fish Head Cooked in Bengali Split Chickpeas)

Macher Matha diye Chanar Dal (Fish Head Cooked in Bengali Split Chickpeas)

As I always say, I love fish, just like many other Bengalis. We utilize actually the whole of it – from head to tail and even the eggs and other edible parts. Coming to me, more than fish, I love the fish head. But, it […]

 
Begun diye Telapia Jhal (Spicy Tilapia Curry with Eggplant)

Begun diye Telapia Jhal (Spicy Tilapia Curry with Eggplant)

My family, like many other Bengali families, has a real deal with fish – we eat fish almost everyday. And when we eat, we have it for lunch as well as for dinner. When there is an occasion, we eat fish. When we have nothing else to eat, we eat fish. When there is plenty of other things to eat, we still eat fish. My Jethu (dad’s elder brother) used to say “paate mach e jodi na porlo to khawa hoy ki kore” (apparently it means “the meal is not complete without fish”) and believe me, my Jethimoni (Jethu’s wife) used to cook not less than 2-3 varieties of fish each day – that was a custom at their house. I can recollect so many dishes of different fishes cooked by my Jethimoni, but I can hardly recollect any dish of Telapia. This fish was not a good choice for my Jethu’s family.

Coming to my home, Telapia has never been a hit either. Talk to Baba about Telapia and he will say “telapia baje mach, ekdom shaad na” (tilapia has no taste, it’s not a good fish). Back home, my Maa used to cook this fish on rare of the rarest occasion. Maa loves Telapia, and so do I. But, Maa usually cooks the dishes that Baba loves – it’s not forced to her, I guess it’s love 🙂 So, since Baba doesn’t prefer this fish, it has never managed to get a good place at Maa’s kitchen.

But, my kitchen is totally under my control and I cook Telapia with all my love and passion. Last night I ordered Telapia online and today morning when it got delivered, I called Maa and she suggested “begun diye jhal bana” (cook a spicy curry with eggplant) and here I am ready with this utterly delicious dish. Baba, in his usual manner said, “telapia na kine ilish kinle parte” (you could have bought Hilsa instead of Tilapia) 😀

All said all done, the end story is, I bought Telapia and cooked a spicy curry with eggplant and it tasted delicious. So, here’s the step-by-step recipe for you all.

Ingredients:

  • 6 pieces of Tilapia
  • 4-5 filipino eggplant, cut into long pieces (approx 1 inch)
  • 1 big sized onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 big sized tomato, chopped
  • 5 green chillies, (3 roughly cut and 2 slitted from middle)
  • 1 tea-spoon ginger paste
  • 1 tea-spoon garlic paste
  • 1/2 tea-spoon cumin seeds (gota jeera/sabut jeera)
  • 1 & 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (haldi) (1+1/2)
  • 1 tea-spoon cumin powder (jeera)
  • 1 tea-spoon coriander powder (dhaniya)
  • 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tea-spoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tea-spoon garam masala powder
  • 4-5 table-spoon mustard oil (2+2)
  • a handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tea-spoon sugar
  • salt (according to taste)
  • 1 & 1/2 cup warm water

Method:

  • Make a fine paste of chopped onion and 3 green chilles together and keep aside.
  • Rub the fish pieces with salt and 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder.
  • Heat 2 table-spoon oil in a pan and shallow fry the pieces until they turn light golden in colour. Remove and keep aside.

  • Heat oil again and shallow fry the eggplant pieces add little salt and turmeric powder. Remove and keep aside.

  • Heat the remaining oil and add cumin seeds. Allow them to splutter.

  • Now, add onion paste, ginger paste and garlic paste. Sautè until the oil leaves the mixture.

  • Add the slitted green chillies, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and red chilli powder. Sprinkle a little water and stir for 1-2 minutes on low flame.

  • Add chopped tomato and stir until it turns mushy.

  • Now, add salt and warm water and cover the lid. Bring it to a boil.

  • Open the lid and carefully add fish and eggplant pieces. Give a quick mix and cover the lid. Cook on medium to low flame for 10 minutes or until the fish is properly cooked and the gravy is thick.

  • Once you get the desired consistency, turn off the flame and add sugar and chopped coriander leaves. Cover the lid again.
  • Let it set for 10 minutes. Your Begun diye Telapia Jhal is ready to be served now.

Please note, Tilapia is a delicate fish and need to be fried and cooked carefully else the pieces can break.

Serve this dish with hot steamed rice and enjoy a delicious Bengali meal with your love ones. Happy eating!

 
Peyajkoli Dim (Egg cooked with Spring Onion)

Peyajkoli Dim (Egg cooked with Spring Onion)

Winter is the time when you can see real beauties in the market – fresh green and colourful veggies makes the sight real beautiful. Winter veggies have their own charm and taste. As a kid, I used to accompany Baba to the market every Sunday […]

 
Muri Ghonto (Bengali Fish Head Curry with Rice)

Muri Ghonto (Bengali Fish Head Curry with Rice)

Back from a long vacation and my mach pagla Bangali mon (fish loving Bengali mind) started craving for some fish, some rice and some spices. As I can’t think of staying away from my kitchen and from fish for so long, a 10 days long […]

 
Murgir Jhol (Bengali Chicken Curry with Potato)

Murgir Jhol (Bengali Chicken Curry with Potato)

Back home, Mom used to cook Murgir Jhol every Sunday. This was kind of customary to mark the weekend. I remember, we used to keep waiting for Sundays only to have Murgir Jhol. Sunday mornings used to start with watching Rangoli. Back then, Doordarshan really took care of our weekends 🙂 My Mom used to scream saying “Sokal bela onno barir baccha ra porashuno kore ar amar ghore ekta Cinemar gaan dekhe” (in other families, kids study in the morning but mine one is watching film songs) 😛 All these screaming could never actually restrict me from enjoying my Sundays. Rangoli followed by Chandrakanta, Shaktimaan, Potli Baba Ki, Jungle Book, Duck Tales and what not… By the time I complete my quota of television programmes, my Dad used to go to the local market and come back home with deshi murgir mangsho (country chicken) and Mom, continuing here screaming, used to start cooking her Sunday special dish. In the afternoon, we all used to sit together for this special weekend feast – Murgir Jhol and Gorom Bhat (hot steamed rice). I miss those Sundays so badly 🙁

Far away from home I always try to relive the memories. I can’t bring back my childhood or Rangoli or Jungle Book, but what I definitely can is to try to recreate my Mom’s kitchen magic. As I cook this magical dish, a part of me always wanders down the memory lane.

With that said, here’s my recipe of Murgir Jhol (with step-by-step pictorial representation) inspired by my Mom’s recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms curry cut chicken
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 green chillies, slitted
  • 1 handful of garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 5 green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 5 cloves (laung)
  • 2 star anise (chakra phool)
  • 2 bay leaves (tej patta)
  • 1 tea-spoon cumin powder (jeera)
  • 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder
  • 3-4 table-spoon mustard oil
  • salt (according to taste)

Method:

  • Wash the chicken pieces properly and rub some turmeric powder and salt. Shallow fry the pieces and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the potato pieces with little turmeric powder and salt. Once they are golden yellow, remove from the pan and keep aside.

  • Heat some more oil and add bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, star anise, chopped onion and crushed garlic. Sautè until the onion turns translucent and the mixture starts spreading aroma.

  • Now, add grated ginger, green chillies and tomato. Stir till the tomato becomes soft and mushy.

  • Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and required salt and stir for 2 minute on medium flame.

  • Now, add the fried potato and mix well.

  • Add 3 cups of warm water and bring it to boil.

  • Now, add the chicken pieces and cover the lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes on low flame.

  • Open the lid and check if the chicken is well cooked and the consistency of the gravy. There should be enough gravy in the curry.
  • Once the chicken is well cooked, turn off the flame and remove it in a serving vessel.
  • The Murgir Jhol is ready to be served now.

Serve this hot with hot steamed rice and make your Sundays delightful. Have it with your loved ones and build memories. Do drop me a comment telling how you like this recipe. Happy eating!

 
Parshe Macher Tel Jhaal (Mullet Fish Spicy Curry)

Parshe Macher Tel Jhaal (Mullet Fish Spicy Curry)

Parshe Mach or Mullet Fish is a soft and flavourful freshwater fish. The very recipe, Parshe Macher Tel Jhaal, is a Bengali delight. Parshe mach can be cooked in various ways and this tel jhaal (spicy) curry is among the most famous dishes. This is […]

 
Mutton Korma

Mutton Korma

The scope of cooking any korma curry is wide as there are a lot of variations of cooking korma. Kormas are basically vegetable or meat cooked in creamy, spicy and rich gravy. The gravy bases are usually created by adding yogurt, cream, pasted dry fruits […]

 
Katla Macher Kalia (Catla Spicy Curry)

Katla Macher Kalia (Catla Spicy Curry)

Katla is quite an economical freshwater fish and is easily available in Eastern and Northeastern part of India. It’s a kind of everyday fish in any Bengali household, along with Rohu, Baush, Tengra, just to name a few. Though it’s a regular fish, it has a number of recipes and Kalia is the most famous one. This dish is quite biye bari style (the type that is usually served in Bengali wedding receptions) – it’s spicy and rich in taste.

Being a spicy food lover, I love Katla when it’s cooked spicy – so mostly I prepare Katla Macher Kalia or Katlar Jhaal (this recipe I will share shortly). Bengalis across the world will swear by the name of this dish, I bet. As this dish travels from kitchen to kitchen, people add their touch and I am no exception. So, here I present my recipe of Katla Macher Kalia with my little touch and with all my love 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 4 large pieces of Katla (Bengali cut)
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 1/2 tea-spoon garlic paste
  • 1 tea-spoon ginger paste
  • 1 tea-spoon cumin powder (jeera)
  • 1 tea-spoon coriander powder (dhaniya)
  • 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tea-spoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tea-spoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tea-spoon whole cumin (gota jeera / sabut jeera)
  • 2 bay leaves (tej patta)
  • 3-4 table-spoon mustard oil
  • salt (according to taste)

Method:

  • Rub the fish with little turmeric powder and salt and shallow fry until it turns light golden brown in colour. Remove from the oil and keep aside.
  • Cut the onion and green chillies roughly and make a fine paste of them together.
  • Heat oil and add bay leaves with whole cumin and stir.
  • Now, add minced garlic and sautè until fragrance starts coming out of it.
  • Add onion-chilli paste and ginger garlic paste and sautè until it turns translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, green chilli powder, Kashmiri chilli powder and salt and mix properly. Sprinkle a little water and stir for 1 minute.
  • Now add the tomato puree and mix well with rest of the spices.
  • Add 1 and 1/2 cup of warm water, cover the lid and bring it to boil.
  • Slowly pour the Katla fish pieces into the mixture and check the salt. You can add more salt if you find it less.
  • Cover the lid of the pan, lower the flame and let the fish get cooked for atleast 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, open the lid and check if the fish is properly cooked. Also, check the consistency of the gravy. If you find it too thick, you can add some more warm water and bring to boil.
  • Please remember that this recipe demands thick gravy and thus it’s not advisable to add too much water.
  • Your Katla Macher Kalia is ready to be served now.

Make your festive season more delightful including this traditional Bengali dish in your lunch/dinner platter. This dish is best served with hot steamed rice (gorom bhat). Do let me know how you like it by dropping me a comment below.

Wish you have a dazzling festive season! Happy eating!

 
Mutton Dakbunglow

Mutton Dakbunglow

This is an almost lost recipe believed to have it’s origin in British Colonial kitchens. Dakbunglows are rest houses in British India built for travellers to take rest during their long journey. It is said that the care takers of those houses used to cook […]