Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Birthday to KFB - Lemon Cuppies

Kolkata Food Bloggers is celebrating its very first birthday and we members are so excited! Cannot belive that it has already been a year and we have come a long way. Most of you know the story how I became a part of this group - through an informal chat with a co - blogger and now it has become an integral part of my life. Apart from all the fun and learning that happens through the group its the friendships that I truly cherish! In a very short span I have made some dear friends and cant imagine my life without them. 
It was Sarani's brainchild that we celebrate KFB's first birthday by bringing in finger food and dessert recipes and have a virtual party ( we had a real one too) But this was an initiative to get many of the bloggers together under one platform. So keeping in tune with the theme I made some Lemon Cuppies - these are the eggless version and requires very minimum effort. I dressed up few of them with butter cream and sprinkles to keep up the party spirit.

Recipe adapted from:


Flour - 1 cup

Baking powder - 1/4 th tsp

Baking soda - 1/4th tsp

Salt - a pinch

Brown sugar - 1 cup

Milk - 1 cup

Olive oil - 1/2 cup

Lemon juice - 1/4th cup

Lemon zest - zest of one lemon - i used the zest of a gondhoraj lime


Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Line and prepare your cupcake tins.

Sieve together the flour , baking powder, baking soda and salt and keep aside.

In a bowl mix together sugar , olive oil, milk ,lime juice and the lemon zest. 

Then gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixing until just combined.

Fill each cupcake mould 3/4th full and bake for 20 mins.

I dressed up a few cuppies with butter cream and sprinkles for my little one to enjoy!

Wishing KFB all the very best for future endeavours. Keep rocking!

Tomato Chili Jelly - Totally yummy!

Every year very diligently I grow tomatoes in my little garden patch and that is a thing of pride for me. This year too I've had a nice crop of tomatoes and been enjoying them. Btw tomato happens to be my favourite veggies. Even as a kid I would love to nibble on tomatoes with a bit of salt and pepper on the side.Its no different now! My mom too apparently spent her afternoons in my Dida's (grandma) kitchen garden relishing juicy tomatoes when she was a little girl!! That was way many many memories.

Well so coming back to my love my tomatoes I made this wonderful jelly at home the other day. The recipe has roughly been adapted from a recipe book that I have with a bit of my twists of course. So all you tomato lovers this recipe is surely for keeps. It is so easy and the jelly turns out awesome. You could pair it up with anything that you fancy. I made a cheese and jelly sandwich which tasted heavenly. Presenting my Tomato Chili Jelly recipe..


Tomatoes - 6 medium size diced evenly

Bell pepper - 1 large - diced

Chili flakes - 1 tbsp - can adjust acc to taste

Onion - 1 medium diced

Olive oil - 1 tsp

Apple cider vinegar - 1 cup

Brown sugar - 1/2 cup 

Salt - a pinch


In a pan heat the olive oil , saute the diced onion until translucent. Add the diced tomatoes , bell pepper and the red chili flakes. Next tip in the apple cider vinegar , brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix well and let the mixture cook till it becomes thick and gooey.

 Remove from heat and let the jelly cool. Store in an airtight container. This can be stored for upto 3 months in the refrigerator.

 Well I couldn't wait to taste the jelly so I made myself this super delicious sandwich with some cheese slices. The saltiness from the cheese along with the sweet tangy jelly was a great combination I must say.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chingri Narkel Shorshe - Prawns in a coconut mustard gravy

Sunday lunches are special. Its that one day of the week when we do nothing, watch mindless television, don't get out of our pajamas and are generally very lazy! But that doesn't mean we like to compromise on our Sunday lunch ritual. It can be a one dish meal but it better be good. And for such days I am always on the lookout for easy tasty recipes that doesn't require me to slog in the kitchen - its my Sunday too u see! With some prawns lying in my freezer I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Nopes not the usual Chingri Malai kari but something new this time - Chingri Narkel Shorshe - Prawns in a coconut mustard gravy. The recipe again uses just a few ingredients and goes very well with some hot steamed rice. Its light and fragrant gravy is a sure shot winner and making this hardly took anytime. I could simply breeze in and out of the kitchen - la,la,la


Prawns - 500 gms - medium sized - deveined and cleaned

Mustard paste - 2 tbsp

Coconut milk - 1 cup

Grated coconut - 2 tbsp

Kashmiri red chili powder - 1 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp + 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 tsp

Mustard oil - 2 tbsp for frying the prawns + 1 tbsp for the curry

Nigella seeds / Kalojeera / Kalonji seeds - a pinch

Green chillies - 4-5 slit


Wash and clean the prawns. Mix well with 1 tsp turmeric and salt. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and saute the prawns till they turn opaque. Remove from heat and keep aside.

In another pan , heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the kalojeera/nigella seeds. Once they splutter add the mustard paste and the grated coconut. Once the coconut starts to brown add red chili powder , turmeric powder , salt and sugar. Mix well and add a little warm water to prevent the masala from burning. 

Next add the coconut milk , stirring continuously . Add the sauteed prawns and the green chillies and let the gravy simmer for 2-3 mins.

Remove from heat and serve hot with plain rice.

This I think is one of the easiest way to cook prawns. Traditionally this dish is steamed , ideally wrapped in a banana leaf. My original plan was to do it the real way and i had even arranged a banana leaf but then I got lazy and tried it out this way and it came out yumm!

You all try it out and tell me about it , till then have a great week!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Restaurant Review - Chawlas 2

When we had moved to Kolkata 6 years back what I terribly missed was good north Indian food. I would desperately want to eat some daal makhni or butter chicken like they would make in Delhi but there wouldn't be a single place barring the 5 stars fine dining restaurants where I could gorge on such yummies. Over the years however things have changed and many watering holes have cropped up around the city that serve good north Indian food.The other day we at KFB got an invite from Chawlas 2 - the famous Ludhiana based restaurant to review their menu.So on a cloudy winter Sunday afternoon a few of us bloggers landed up to savour some rich north Indian spread.

It was pretty easy to locate Chawlas 2 , nestled in one of the by lanes of south kolkata close to Gariahat.A flight of stairs, walls adorned with antique pictures took me to the restaurant.On arrival we were greeted by one of the partners Sutapa and made comfortable in one of the tables with a view of the lane below.

What followed was a steady flow of food - drinks, starters, main course and dessert- all meticulously pre ordered by Sutapa and her team.
We started off with a Soda Shikanji ( Rs.40) - very refreshing and perfectly balanced.We found out that the masala mix was indigeniously prepared and sent from Ludhaina!

This we had along with the Masala Papad(Rs.25) - a melange of onion,cucumber,tomato, carrot and paneer on roasted papads made a good accompaniment to the Shikanji.It was a bit on the spicier side but good nevertheless.

 For starters there were quite a variety - Bharwaan Tandoori Aloo ,Chicken Malai Tikka ,Tandoori Chicken and Mutton Adrakhi Panje.

The Bharwaan Tandoori Aloo (Rs.165) came along with some grilled onions, tomatoes and capsicum as well. The potato was well cooked with a mild stuffing of paneer and was good on the palate.The veggies provided the required crunch to the dish.

The Tandoori Chicken (Rs.320- full plate)is a Chawlas speciality and rightly so as it did not have the quintessential red colour that one would associate with Tandoori chicken.The chicken was juicy and moist and had subtle flavours. All the kebabs were served with a side of cream salad - juliennes of cabbage and carrots dressed with sweet cream. Must say it went very well with the grilled goodies.

The Mutton Adrakhi Panje (Rs.255)was surely my pick of the day.Succulent mutton chops , char grilled to perfection. The meat was totally melt-in-your mouth kind with just the right hint of gunnery flavours - not too spicy - not too bland!

By this time to be honest I was full - so much so that I thought of giving the main course a miss..but food kept flowing in and it was too hard to resist the heady aromas.For the main course we were served the quintessential Butter Chicken (Rs.450 - full plate)and Daal Makhni (Rs.135)- without which any punjabi meal would be incomplete along with Chawlas in house speciality dish Cream Chicken (Rs.450- full plate)and Mutton Rogan Josh(Rs.250). All of this served with an array of breads - Garlic Naan, Butter Naan, Laccha Paratha and Tandoori Roti.

The Dal Makhni was more of a dal tadka.It lacked the creaminess of a good dal makhni but tasted good nevertheless with the roti. The butter chicken was the boneless version and tasted very good - it had the perfect balance of tangy creaminess. Personally I like butter chicken with bone but I enjoyed this one too.

The Cream Chicken is a Chawlas speciality with Sutapa telling us that the spices are brought from Ludhiana where they have the original restaurant. This again had boneless chicken in a white peppery gravy - not spicy at all but left behind a trail of spices after you tasted it. I can't quite put my finger into what exact spice it was.

The Mutton Rogan Josh was again a winner dish for me.Good quality mutton cooked to perfection and dunked in a rich brown gravy with perfect spicing. I usually don't find great lamb dishes when I dine out but here they truly make it very well. Will surely be going back for this one.

The breads served along with the dishes made for a good accompaniment but I would have liked a fluffier butter naan! Howver keeping with the tradition of finishing a meal with dessert we decided to share a plate of Gajar ka Halwa - my absolute all time favourite.

The Gajar ka Halwa didnt disappoint us I must say.  Well made with little chunks of khoya and lots of nuts and raisins it was the perfect way to end a rich punjabi meal.The halwa is not listed in the menu - i guess its a seasonal speciality so please check with the staff when you go.

Me along with my fellow bloggers had a great afternoon savouring the good food. There were definitely more hits than misses and I would strongly recommend that one checks out Chawlas 2 if you live in the vicinity and want to eat some authentic Punjabi food! The kebabs are surely to be tried.Its a nice, clean , cozy joint where one could enjoy a peaceful meal with the family.The staff too are very attentive and meticulous and made sure that we are served well.Btw they also have home delivery!!

Chawlas 2
43, Ballygunje Gardens,
Near Golpark

Meal for two would cost approx 700-800 without alchohol.

Disclaimer - This was an invited review and no compensation monetary or otherwise was involved.

Read what my fellow bloggers for the afternoon say about their experience

Kamalika @ Silence Sings 

Amrita & Vishal @ Sweet n Savoury

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Poush Parbon - Chira'r Puli - Traditional Bengali Sweets

This time of the year brings back a lot of fond food memories. Makar Sankranti is always celebrated with a lot of fanfare and loads of traditional sweets - pithas in my family. Pithas are not made on a regular basis and is mostly made during makar sankranti and it is prepared by the ladies of the house using seasonal ingredients like 'notun chaal'(new rice),  gur(jaggery), milk and cream. In Assam, it is celebrated at Maagh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu and there is food all around! So I have kind of grown up amidst both the cultures and have adapted to both with all my heart and soul.
The recipe that I am sharing belongs to my paternal side of the family and I have loved this particular pitha as a kid and even now and I make it every year.It looks a bit complicated to make but once you have tried making will make them every year. And with the easy availability of ingredients these days its all the more required that we make pithas at home to keep up with the tradition.So here's presenting Chira'r Puli - Flattened Rice dumplings filled with coconut and soaked in jaggery syrup.


Chira/Chiwda/Flattened Rice - 2 cups

Grated coconut - 1 cup

Gur /Gud/ Jaggery - 2 cups + 1 cup - grated

Flour/Maida - 1 tbsp

Refined oil - for frying

Water - 1 cup


The very first step is to prepare the coconut filling. Take a pan and put the grated coconut and 1 cup jaggery in it. Keep the flame low and mix well till the jaggery melts and gets incorporated into the coconut well. Keep stirring continuously so that it doesn't burn or stick to the pan. In a while you would see coconut leaving oil on the side ,take the mixture off the heat and let it cool.

Next we make the jaggery syrup. In a pan add the 2 cups jaggery and 1 cup water and put it to a boil. Once the mixture boil , take it off the heat and strain it through a sieve. Put the syrup back on low heat. Remove from heat after 1 boil.

Now we move on to the real thing - making the pithas! Take 2 cups of chira/chiwda/flattened rice , wash it well and soak in warm water for 5 mins. Strain the water and mash the chira well, add 1 tbsp flour and make into a dough.

Make small balls of the dough and flatten it out in your palms. You could grease your palm with a little oil to make it easier. Fill in a little of the coconut mixture,fold it over and give it a shape. I have given a gujiya shape.You could make it into round balls as well.

In a pan heat some oil and fry the pithas till light brown in colour. Remove from oil and dunk it into the jaggery syrup.

Let it soak in the syrup for few hours before you serve it out.

It gives me immense joy when i recreate recipes that are a part of family traditions.These are the little things that make us who we are and keep us rooted -atleast that's how it is for me. Wishing all my readers a very happy makar sankranti /Lohri /Pongal - after all its all about good food!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stuffed Chicken French Toast - New twist to an old staple

Let me start by wishing everyone a very happy new year! Here's hoping that we move on with a lot of hope and love in our life. I just got back from a long winter holiday.Meeting family over loads of adda and laughter and now I am suffering from withdrawal syndrome! Getting into the kitchen has been the last thing on my mind but then the urge to try something new also pokes me. Calcutta in winters in not crippling cold and this is actually the best time to experiment. The husband has been wanting to eat something nice so I made something very staple ( his fav ) and gave it a cool twist. Stuffed Chicken French Toast - I made it using chicken from leftover curry!


Chicken pieces- 3-4 medium - boiled and shredded. I used the chicken from leftover curry.

Onion - 1 medium - finely chopped

Green chili - 1-2 nos - finely chopped

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

Red chilli powder - half tsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - a pinch

Bread slices - 6 pieces

Eggs - 3 nos - lightly beaten - seasoned with salt and pepper
Refined oil - for frying


In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil. Once the oil heats up add the finely chopped onion and green chilli and saute till translucent. Add the boiled and shredded chicken. Add the turmeric,red chilli powder, salt and sugar and fry well till light brown in colour. Remove from heat and keep aside to be used as filling. 

Take the bread slices , fill in the chicken mixture in between two slices , dip in the beaten egg mixture.

Heat oil in a pan , fry the stuffed bread slices till golden brown on both sides.

Serve with a portion of green salad ( this will reduce the guilt feeling!)