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