Sunday, December 8, 2013

Motorshutir Kochuri & Aloo Dum - A Quintessential Winter Breakfast Dish

Come winter and there is an array of green vegetables around you. Of all the winter veggies green peas are my favourite. So much so that a bowlful of boiled peas with a dash of butter,salt and pepper would make my day. Sadly the boys in my house especially the husband is totally averse to it. But us women always find a way to camouflage things in food. If I could have my way I would add a handful of peas in everything - even the everyday dal. Well since I don't have my way I try and make this particular dish - Motorshutir Kochuri very regularly every winter and I don't know how or why the husband eats it too. This dish is very popular in most bengali households during winters and even if not making at home can be easily procured from the neighbourhood sweet shops. It is traditionally served with aloo dum - a spicy potato curry.

Today I was very pleasantly surprised when my 6 year old brat wanted to taste some and ended up eating two kochuris which is a big thing for me. So here's my recipe of Motorshutir Kochuri - Deep fried flatbread with a peas filling served with some Aloo Dum - spicy potato dry curry

Ingredients for the Kochuri /Flatbread

For the filling:

Green peas/Motor shuti or Korai shuti - 1 cup 

Green chilli - 1 nos - adjust acc to taste

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp

Asafoetida /Hing - 1 tsp

Fennel powder /Saunf powder - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - a pinch

Refined oil - 1 tsp + enough to fry the kochuris/pooris

For the kochuri /flat bread: Note - Traditionally kochuri is made only with flour/maida but I use half wheat flour for health reasons.

Wheat flour /Atta - 1 cup

Flour - 1 cup

Salt - 1 tsp

Ghee - 1 tbsp

Mix everything together and make into a dough - like one makes for rotis /parathas - cover with a damp cloth and keep aside.

Ingredients for Aloo dum/spicy potato curry:

Potatoes - 2 medium - boiled and cut into cubes

Onion paste - 2 tbsp

Ginger paste - 1 tsp

Tomato puree - 1 tbsp

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

Kashmiri red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 tsp

Mustard oil - 1 tbsp

Garam masala powder - 1 tbsp - Just dry grind together some green cardamom ,cloves and cinnamon for this.

Fresh coriander - a handful chopped

Method to make kochuris:

Put all the ingredients listed under filling except the oil and asafoetida in a grinder and grind to a smooth paste.

In a pan heat the oil , once hot add the asafoetida/hing. Next tip in the grounded pea mixture and fry well till the mix becomes dry and has no moisture in it.

Take it off heat and keep aside to cool down.
Now to make the kochuris. Take the dough and make little balls out of it. Roll it out a little bit on a flat surface and add a tsp if the peas filling that we made.

Very gently gather the sides and make into a ball. Flatten it out and roll into a puri /flatbread. It will be a little thick and not as thin as a poori or paratha.
In another kadhai , heat enough oil to fry the kochuris. Once hot , add the kochuris to the hot oil and fry till nice golden brown on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a tissue paper.

Method to make Aloo dum:

In a pan heat 1 tbsp mustard oil. Once the oil has reached its smoking point ,turn down the heat and add the garam masala powder. Next add the onion and ginger paste and fry till nice golden brown in colour.
Once that is done , add the boiled and cubed potatoes, dry spices and the tomato puree and mix it well. Fry for 2 mins and then add half a cup of warm water. Cover and let it cook till the water has dried up. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve the kochuris and aloo dum and enjoy a lovely breakfast.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Malai Kofta - Truly Lipsmacking!

People who follow my blog know how much I dread Tuesdays( the only day we eat vegetarian at home) and I am always in a fix what to cook. The boys are not fond of veggies and they want something new with paneer week after week. So there now I start with my banter again. Today however was easy as I had decided to make some home made paneer and then make some koftas in a rich gravy.The recipe I am sharing here is very easy and yields amazing result.Why I say this is because my little boy who is a very fussy eater loved it so much. So here's my recipe of Malai Kofta - Cottage Cheese Dumplings in a delicious gravy.

Ingredients :

For the Kofta/Dumplings:

Paneer /Cottage Cheese - 200 gms ( I made paneer/chenna at home by boiling a litre of milk , adding 1 tsp white vinegar when it comes to a boil.Once the paneer separates from the whey , drain and keep aside)

Flour /Maida - 1 tbsp

Salt - to taste

Raisins - 1 tbsp

Ginger - 1 tbsp - chopped

Green chillies - 1 tbsp- chopped

For the gravy:

Onion - 1 small - finely chopped

Tomato puree - 2 tbsp

Cashew paste - 3 tbsp

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Coriander powder - 1 tsp 

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 tsp

Garam masala powder - 2 tsp

Fresh cream - 2 tbsp 

Refined oil - 1 tbsp for the gravy and enough to fry the koftas.


First lets make the koftas. Take the paneer , add the flour  and salt and knead it very well till smooth in texture. Take a little paneer in your palm , flatten it out and fill with some raisins, chopped ginger and green chillies. Make it into little round balls / koftas.

Add enough oil in a pan to fry the koftas. Fry the koftas on low heat till golden brown in colour. Keep aside to be used in the gravy later.

Now for the gravy. Heat 1 tbsp refined oil in a pan. Once the oil heats up add the garam masala powder.Next tip in the finely chopped onions. Fry till the onions get a light brown colour. Add the dry spices - red chilli powder ,coriander powder, salt,sugar and the cashew paste. Fry the mix well till oil starts separating from the mix. Add half cup warm water and bring the gravy to a boil.

Lastly  add the cream and the koftas and remove from heat. Serve with your choice of rice/naan/roti.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Recipe recreation for NUTRIFEST - Chingri Mochar Ghonto (Banana Blossom with Prawns)

This year Kolkata Food Bloggers has been invited by the KPC School of Nutrition to be the  co-organisers for their annual festival Nutrifest. The first thing that really caught our attention is their theme this year - "The Raj Remnant -Laat Shahaber Bangali Khansama" - simply put the influence of British culture on Bengali food. While doing the research for this we have been so surprised and amazed at the same time - it has an incredible history.
Sharing below an interesting excerpt of the research that the Nutrifest team has done.

"Kolkata, or Calcutta if you will, was slowly evolved from a milieu of settlers among which are, apart from the British and native Bengali, a host of races and nationalities like the Chinese, Armenians, Bagdadee Jews, Portugese, Marwari, Sindhi, Punjabi, Gujrati, Bihari, Nepali and every Indian and neighbouring national that you could imagine. All these settlers earnestly tried to preserve / follow their cuisines although over a period of time, there came about irreversible changes of local influence to account for palate change and ingredient availibility, economics, etc. Locally cuisines varied from religious influences like Hindu and Muslim cuisine types and yet some entirely new cuisines were born, married subaltern from the Anglo and Indian races who came together over time in the form of Anglo Indian Food.

Those were heady days for the well heeled and any food from the world was available. Shining restaurants in Firpo's and Great Eastern Hotel could give a run for their money to many English and French Restaurants in the "Continent". The newly recruited Rajahs had expensive taste and imported the very best Brandy and wine from Europe. So much so that Nobel Laureate Rabindranath had to write " deshe onno joler holo ghor onoton...khao whiskey soda aar murgi moton". Incidentally, I am told that drinking Soda with one's tipple was a completely Indian custom by the Europeans as they were not sure of the quality of water to be had here". Courtesy Kolkata Story Trail

Well now coming to the recipe that I was assigned to recreate - a Bengali staple - Chingri diye Mochar Ghonto (Banana Blossom cooked with prawns). Now the thing is that I have grown up eating this dish all the time but what I was unaware of is that this dish originated during the British regime in Bengal. The story goes that 'the cartridge smeared with the fat of pig & cow was the cause of the mutiny. The Kanshamas faced wrath upon serving meat as well. Mangal Pandey and his sepoy friends questioned the Kosherness of the meat. During that period Barrackpore were surrounded by banana groves. A wise Khansama served ‘Mochar Ghanto’ instead'. Now isn't that super interesting!!!!


Mocha / Banana Blossom - 2 cups - chopped

Kala chana/ Horse gram - half cup - soaked overnight and then boiled.

Prawns - 10-12 nos - medium sized - washed and deveined

Bay leaves - 2 nos

Ginger paste - 2 tsp

Cumin paste - 2 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp+ 1 tsp

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 tsp

Ghee - 1 tbsp

Mustard oil - 2 tbsp + 1tbsp

Garam masala - 2 tsp( i use a homemade mix of green cardamom,cloves and cinnamon)


In a pan boil some water with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder. Put the chopped mocha/banana blossom and blanch it for 5 mins. Drain and keep aside.

 In a pan add 1 tbsp mustard oil , marinate the cleaned prawns with a little salt and turmeric and saute till they change colour. Drain and keep aside.

In another pan/kadhai , heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the bay leaves and let it splutter.Add the ginger - cumin paste , turmeric powder, chili powder, salt and sugar. Fry this mix on low heat. Add a little water if reqd to prevent the spices from burning. Next tip in the boiled kala chana/horse gram.

Once the spices start releasing their aromas , add the blanched mocha/banana blossom and the sauteed prawns. Fry will till everything gets incorporated well. Cover and let it cook for 5-7 mins on low heat. Lastly add the garam masala powder and a dollop of ghee and serve hot.

To know more about Nutrifest do visit their Fb page here

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Know your Kolkata Food Blogger - Indrani and one of her recipes

This is the last post for the ongoing event Know your Blogger event of KFB . I know i am again terribly late to post this but last few weeks have been so frenzied. First the Diwali mayhem and then a bad viral struck. First me and then my little boy were so badly under the weather that I completely lost the motivation to try out new recipes and blog about it. But I am thankful to be surrounded by amazing family and friends who never fail to inspire and push me a little so that I get back to doing what I love doing.
Here I am presenting to you Indrani who owns the very popular blog Recipe Junction . I am sure many of you already know about her and her blog as she is a veteran in this field. She has more that 200 recipes in her website and blogs with a lot of passion. She is a homemaker and mother to three lovely u can imagine that she has her hands full. But she manages everything with a lot of ease. Recently I had met her while she was doing a video shoot and I was so impressed to see how meticulously she had packed and got all the ingredients and stuffs required for the recipe. She had taken care of every little detail and I was so amazed.
Now coming to her recipes..I was spoilt for choice when I had to choose one. I was a difficult task. I however decided to try one of her everyday recipes and give it a little of my personal touch. Dal'er Bora'r Jhol ( Lentil dumplings in a gravy) is an often tried dish in many Bengali households. I have had it on many occasions and loved it. Indrani's blog has a very easy recipe of this dish here , the one I made is very similar with just a addition of few ingredients. This is totally a vegetarian dish and is perfect for days when you are not in a mood to make the usual onion - tomato gravy.


Masoor dal/Red lentil - 1 cup (soaked in warm water for half an hour and then grinded into a smooth paste)

Chopped onion - 1 tbsp

Paanchphoron - half tsp

Cumin paste - 2 tsp

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Tomato - 1 medium - chopped

Salt - to taste

Sugar - a pinch

Oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp

Ghee - 1 dollop for garnish

Green chillies - 2-3 nos - slit 


Take the dal paste , add salt to taste , a pinch of turmeric , the finely chopped onion and  coriander. Mix well and keep aside.

In a non stick pan  add 2 tbsp oil. Once the oil heats up drop a tbsp of the dal batter into the pan and fry the dumplings. Just like we make pakodas / fritters.

Once they turn a nice golden brown in colour , remove from oil and keep them on a tissue paper so that excess oil is drained out. You could enjoy a couple of these fritters as it is with a cup of tea , they taste awesome.

In another pan heat 1 tbsp oil and splutter tha paanchphoron. Next add the chopped tomatoes , cumin paste, ginger paste, turmeric ,red chilli powder, salt and sugar and mix well.

Fry this masala mix well adding a little water from time to time so that it doesn't burn. Once the mix starts leaving oil on the sides , add a cup of warm water and let the gravy simmer.Once the gravy comes to a boil , add the lentil fritters and let them simmer in the gravy for 2 mins. Garnish with slit green chillies and a dollop of ghee. Serve hot with plain rice.

I hope all of you will try this dish and let me know your feedback. For some great recipes,don't forget to check out Recipe Junction


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bohemian - A Delightful Dining Experience

Bohemian actually needs no review.It is by far one of the best fine dining restaurants in the city.For the longest time now I had been wanting to eat there but somehow always missed the chance. This time when we were deciding on a place to have our monthly KFB Table Meet we promptly decided upon Bohemian. It is Chef Joy Banerjee's baby and he takes great pride in it. While browsing through the menu I read his foreword where he mentions that this is a dream that he is pursuing and rightly so.The amazing spread will only leave you wanting for more. Chef Joy surely knows his forte and how amazingly rustles up fusion Bengali cuisine with elan.
Now moving on to the meet and the food. Four of us food loving bloggers reached Bohemian around lunchtime and found ourselves comfortably seated. Prior reservation definitely helped. The decor and interiors is very warm and fuzzy with a water cascade on one wall which adds to the charm of the atmosphere. 

We started with ordering the drinks and starters. There were many interesting options and I decided to order a Gondhoraj Julep(Rs.149) for myself. K and A ordered Magic Potion(Rs. 139) and Bloody January (Rs.149) respectively.The Gondhoraj Julep was a very refreshing take on our regular fresh lime soda. The subtle flavour of gondhoraj lime and zing from the coriander adds to the taste.

Next came in the starters. We decided on Paanchphoron Flavoured Chicken Escallops(Rs.299) and Vodka Soaked Prawns with Grilled Garlic Aioli(Rs. 399).Thin strips of chicken batter coated and the flavour of paanchphoron shines through.The chicken was juicy and succulent. The dish was a winner for sure. The prawns were also crumb coated , soft and juicy inside served with a garlic aioli dip. We enjoyed the starters thoroughly.

Chicken Escallops

Vodka Soaked Prawns
 Next we were to order Main course.While browsing the menu to order for starters I had already decided on the Mains. I ordered for a portion of Royal Bengal Roast Mutton with Bhuna Sauce (Rs.469) and I was simply bowled over with that dish. Succulent and soft pieces of boneless mutton assembled on top of some creamy mashed potatoes and covered with a generous portion of the bhuna sauce that was bursting with flavours.Alongside came a bowl of tossed veggies and dinner rolls. I simply fell in love with the dish so much so that I promptly decided to get a portion packed to take home for the husband.

Royal Bengal Roast Mutton with Bhuna Sauce
My fellow bloggers ordered for Bacon Wrapped Chicken Supreme bundles with Aam kashundi reduction ( Rs.399) ,Bacon Baked Tilapia with ginger and fennel (Rs.399) and Spicy Pork Curry (Rs.429). Now since I am a non pork eater I sadly couldn't taste any of those dishes but my friends were equally happy with their orders and you can read their reviews on the links mentioned below.

Bacon wrapped chicken supreme bundles

Bacon Baked Tilapia with coriander buttered rice.
I was totally full by the time I finished my dish but I insisted on sharing a portion of dessert because it would be utter injustice if we didn't taste the desserts .Each item on the menu sounded delicious but we zeroed in on a Gondhoraj Souffle (Rs.219). Like each of the dishes this one was a winner too. The subtle flavours of the lime imbibed into the creamy souffle was a delight to the taste buds.

Gondhoraj Souffle
Overall it was a great experience for all of us and we got back home with the promise to go back real soon for another round of delightful dining experience.

Read what my fellow bloggers had to say about their experience
Kamalika @ Silence Sings

Antara @ Antypasti

Manjari @ For the Love of Food  

So next time you are in and around Ballygunje DO NOT miss the chance to dine at 

32/4, Old Ballygunje 1st Lane,

Meal for two without alchohol - Rs. 2000 approx

Disclaimer - I have reviwed this place absolutely independently and was not compensated for the review monetarily or otherwise

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chatpata Chicken - Quick and spicy

This recipe would be perfect for days when you have just returned from a long vacation and have limited ingredients in the pantry and have to make do with some frozen boneless chicken. In a way the supermarkets have been a boon in our lives --don't u think so too? At least now before going away on a holiday you can stock up on some stuffs so to avoid the frenzy on what to cook once you get back.I like to plan all this up before I go away to the point of being obsessive or so my husband feels! Never mind. Lets get on with the recipe. Chatpata Chicken ( I made up the name) is spicy, rich and peps up your Mondays for sure.


Boneless chicken - 250 gms - cut into strips

Onion paste - 4 tbsp

Tomato paste - 2 tbsp

Ginger/garlic paste - 1 tsp

Bay leaves - 2 nos

Cardamom - 2 nos

Cinnamon - 1 small piece

Cloves - 3-4 nos

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

Red chilli powder - 2 tsp

Mace ( javitri ) powder - 1 tsp

White pepper powder - 1 tsp

Refined oil - 1 tbsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 tsp 


In a non stick pan add the refined oil . Once it heats up add the bay leaves and the whole cardamom,cinnamon and the cloves. Once they splutter add the onion paste and saute for 2 mins.

Next add in the ginger and garlic paste and fry the mix well till it turns a golden brown colour. Pls do this on low heat. Then add the chicken pieces and fry till they turn white in colour.
At this stage add the turmeric powder , red chilli powder , white pepper powder, sugar and the mace powder.

Roast the masala well along with the chicken . Add salt and a cup of warm water. Cover and let it simmer for another 5-7 mins or till the water dries up.Serve hot with rice/rotis.


PS - The mace powder makes all the difference in this dish. Make sure you use that.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Know your Kolkata Food Blogger - Pineapple Upside Down Cake - The best I have ever made!

I am late for the event this time around and HOW. To be very honest I do not even have a good excuse for being so lazy..yes that's what I have been ever since I got back from the puja holidays. Coming back from Maa's house always does that to me. The home sickness ( even though I have been out of the house for almost 17 years now) just kills my enthusiasm to anything. So I would like to start this post by apologising for this delay.

Now coming to this week's featured blogger - it's Sarani Tarafdar of Cocoawind . She's a beautiful woman - both inside and out. She wears many hats - of a mother, a professor and a great photographer. I met her through the Kolkata Food Bloggers and we became great friends.She is a very responsible and sensible human being. She started her blog while living in the US and it has a treasure of some great pictures. She has currently shot a documentary professionally. Cocoawind has some super easy recipes that can be tried by everyone. Sarani has recently moved back to America and is being missed a lot here.

For today's post I chose her Pineapple Upside Down Cake that I have been wanting to bake for a while and was hunting for an easy recipe. I followed her recipe to the T and it turned out perfect.


Flour - 2/3 Cups plus some for flouring the pan

Butter - unsalted - 100gms plus some for greasin (at room temperature) 

Sugar - 1/2 Cup Castor Sugar 

Baking Powder - 1 tsp

Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp

6 rings of pineapple (reserve the liquid)

3 tbs of the reserved liquid

Eggs - 2 at room temperature

Karamcha/ cherries - 9-10 


Preheat convection oven to 200C. Grease a baking pan (I used a square one) with butter. 

Dust the pan with about a teaspoon of flour - shake off the excess. Sprinkle one and a half tablespoon of sugar on bottom of the pan. Line the pineapple rings - I made 2 rows with 3 rings each and adorned the rings with cherries/karamcha.

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs and the butte together in a separate bowl. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together and using an electric mixer or a fork till the batter turns smooth. Add 3 tbs of the reserved syrup.

Pour the batter over the pineapple rings - it will just cover the rings - and bake for 20-25 minutes till the crust turns nice golden brown.

Do visit her blog for some cool recipe. This one that I tried came out too good and has to be one of the best cakes I have managed to bake .

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Home style Chinese - Five Spice Chicken

We all love Chinese. It is one of that versatile cuisine that can lift up your mood anytime. These days with easy availability of ingredients its so easy to cook up some great Chinese food at home. I personally like experimenting when cooking Chinese at home and sometimes just throwing things in together impromptu can deliver yummy results. Like the other day I made this unbelievably easy Five Spice Chicken and served it with some home style egg fried rice. The result was a very happy husband and me!


Boneless Chicken - 300 gms - cut into small pieces

Baby corn - 7-8 small sizes

Mushroom - 1 cup - diced

Onion - 1 large - diced

Yellow bell pepper - half cup - diced - optional

Green chillies - 5-6 - chopped 

Garlic - 4-5 pods - crushed

Light Soy sauce - 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp

Five spice mix - 1 tbsp

Cornflour - 1 tbsp

Black pepper - 1 tsp crushed

Rice wine vinegar - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp - you can use normal white vinegar too.

Refined oil - 1 tbsp

Salt - to taste


Wash and clean the chicken , cut into small pieces and marinate with 2 tbsp light soy sauce,1 tbsp white wine vinegar, cornflour , Chinese five spice mix and crushed black pepper. Mix well and keep aside for half an hour.

In a non stick pan add the oil. Once it heats up add the diced onions ,crushed garlic and the green chillies.

Once they turn lightly brown , tip in the marinated chicken , baby corn,yellow bell pepper and the mushrooms. Fry for 2-3 mins and then add the remaining soy sauce , rice wine vinegar and give it a good mix.

Once the chicken is cooked through remove from heat and serve hot. I served it with some egg fried rice and it tasted superb.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happiness on a plate - Grilled Aubergine on Garlic Toast with a Tomato Salsa

Brinjal/Aubergine is a very versatile vegetable..well I could be biased when I say that because I simply love it. Begun Bhaja and Baingan Bharta are my absolute favourite.But sadly the boys in my house are not fond of the vegetable at all.I am however always on the lookout for new and innovative way to try out the brinjal.On my last trip to Delhi , one of my fave aunts took me to a quaint little cafe somewhere in GK( sorry I don't remember the name ) for some coffee but the hungry (or greedy maybe) wanted to eat something. A dish on the menu appealed to me instantly - an open sub sandwich with grilled aubergines.The dish was innovative but it lacked flavour and was not seasoned right. I had thought of recreating the dish but forgot about it for a long time and remembered it again now.So today I made it at home my way - Grilled Aubergine on Garlic Toast with a Tomato Salsa. If brinjal appeals to you , you are surely gonna love this dish.


Brinjal/ Aubergine - 1 medium round - cut into thin round slices

Tomato - 1 large - finely chopped

Yellow/red bell pepper - 1 small - finely chopped

Garlic - 3-4 pods- crushed

Onion - 1 medium - finely chopped

Tomato puree - 2 tbsp - I used Dabur Homemade

Basil leaves - 4-5 - finely chopped + few for garnish

Olive oil - 1 tsp

Feta cheese - 2 tbsp - crumbled

Oregano - 1 tsp

Chilli flakes - 1 tsp or more if you like it that way

Black pepper - 1 tsp  - crushed

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 pinch

Garlic bread - few slices


For the salsa:

In a pan heat the olive oil , add the crushed garlic and the chopped onions. Saute till translucent.Tip in the chopped tomatoes and the bell pepper. Add the tomato puree , oregano and the red chilli flakes. Cook till the mix gets mushy , remove from heat and keep aside. Let there be a crunch in the salsa.

  Now getting on with grilling the  aubergines and the toast. Just season the sliced aubergines with salt and pepper and grill them on a very hot pan. Also slightly toast the garlic bread slices along with it. This takes about 2 mins on each side.

 Take the grilled aubergines off the pan and assemble on top of the garlic toast. Put a spoonful of salsa on the top and garnish with a generous crumble of the feta cheese.

Serve hot with a side of some extra salsa.