Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roasted Cashews

Ours being a Bengali home, so like a typical Bengali home it’s usually egg omelette or papads with warm cups of tea for our friends who like to visit us all of a sudden, you know the kind of Bengali madness I am talking about which includes afternoon 3’0 clock friend or a distant relative who is visiting north of Kolkata just for couple of works he has to attend and then he realizes he has to revive the lost connection.

But sometimes when our Veggie friends drop in, that leaves me little puzzled about snacks or accompaniments. No, I do think if you have time then you can always hit straight to the kitchen and make something fresh and from scratch but when the guest is only going to spend couple of hours, generally they would love to have long chit-chats with you rather than see you sweating in kitchen.
Also many a times my daughter comes back home with her bunch of friends after a nice playtime at park. One of who is little allergic to egg, well she also finds it difficult to have anything made with egg which even includes cakes or muffins.

For this reason now I have started to keep a jar of home-toasted/roasted cashews always. These roasted cashews accompanies well with our evening teas as well. Kids like them munching with a chilled glass of orange squash or simple nimbo pani.
Also keeping in mind that these roasted cashews are excellent source of minerals and vitamins. These are delicious munching snacks for growing up kids and senior citizens as well. Sometimes when you are fasting, you can also include these roasted cashews in your fasting menu or Vrat Ka Khana.

Usually you can have these when you are on a fast or doing a navaratri fast (which is the longest 9-10 days of severe fasting in the month of April) and these are also offered to goddess Durga.This topic of fasting will be dealt with in length in coming post.

Now to the Recipe

Roasted cashews
 Recipe Requirements
About 2 cups of cashews
1 tbs of ghee or butter
1 tsp of black pepper
½ tsp of freshly prepared grounded cumin
1 tsp of salt
Heat up a kadhai/saucepan , on a medium flame toast the cashews for 5-8 mints.
Now lower the flame and keep toasting cashews for another 3-4 mints, stirring in frequent gaps.
When they turn brownish or deep colour, stop the flame.
Now add in 1 tbs of ghee or butter.
Alternately you can toast them in Oven as well.
Add the seasonings black pepper powder, freshly prepared grounded cumin and salt.
Keep it sometimes for cooling.When cooled , store them in air tight containers.
This stays fresh for 7-10 days.
And if you refridgerate them stays fresh for 4-5 months.

Sending this post to Kalyani who is hosting Food For Fasting- Vrat Ka Khana  a food event.

Happy cooking Friends.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quick and Easy Carrot Soup

As promised in  last post , here is simple, quick and easy  carrot soup recipe for you. About a fortnight ago when it was raining and temperatures were not much high, we used to have this carrot soup often. As we were all down with seasonal cough and cold. This steaming hot bowl of soup was so refreshing and soothing for our sore throat infections as well. Ginger and black peppers as you all know are considered good remedy for sore throat infections and cough and cold as well.

Carrot Soup
Recipe requirements
1 large carrot
2 medium size tomatos
1 medium size potato
1 onion
2 garlic pods
½ inch ginger root
1 tsp of black pepper powder
½ tsp of cumin powder
1 tsp of salt

  • Wash carrot, tomato well in water.
  • Then with the help of potato peeler, shave the outer rough parts of carrot.
  • Now in a pressure cook, fill in about 3-4 cups of water.
  • Add in chopped tomato, potato, carrot, onion, ginger and garlic.
  • Adjust the seasoning with black pepper powder, cumin powder and salt.
  • Lock the pressure cooker, one whistle at high flame, lower the flame and cook further for 5-7 mints.
  • Let the pressure subside, and then open the pressure cooker lid.
  • Let it cool a little bit. About half an hour later, pulse this entire gravy with vegetables in any food processor.
  • Adjust the seasonings. Add butter, ginger juliennes and finely chopped green chilies.

Serve steaming hot.

Happy Cooking Friends

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Black and White Wednesday - Carrot Soup

I have tried to capture black and white photos rarely but whenever I did I was amazed how it changes the basic mood of the picture.
Below photo was taken in colored mode but changed into black and white thro Windows picture editing software.And I never knew carrot soup can look so elegant in black and white mode.

I do not own a professional camera or DSLR, so hopefully I have tried my best to do full justice in capturing this picture.
Sending this photo to Susan’s lovely food event details Here , which is a very popular food event  in food blogging world.

Recipe Coming Soon ....

Happy Cooking Friends

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Curried Mushroom Tortilla Wraps

Hope you all had a fabulous Independence Day celebrations. Well, we also had a small ceremony in our housing complex with flag hosting, sweet distributing etc.Kids had a great day out in our communal garden with colorful dresses and waving India’s flag.

Coming to the recipe of the day

I have made these wraps whenever I have run out of ideas for quick fixing the dinner. And they have always being appreciated by my folks. These tortilla wraps are wickedly delicious.
A dash of Mexican cuisine and some dose of Indian spices, what you get are these delicious filling curried mushroom tortilla wraps.
This can go well in your kiddo’s lunch-box and elder’s lunch box as well. Or you can quick fix a meal if you are planning to go out for a picnic.

Kashundi as many Bengalis know is a more or less a preparation of mustard seeds to get a consistency of mustard sauce.Kashundi as a dressing to these tortilla wraps add a nice punch or a kick to the overall taste and flavor. If you don’t like the pungency of kashundi then you may add mayonnaise or Herbed Tartar sauce..

Curried Mushroom Tortilla Wraps
(Makes-4-5 Tortilla wraps)

Recipe requirements
About 250 gms of mushroom
1 medium size onions
2 garlic pods
1 tsp of ginger chopped finely

For the Seasonings
¼ tsp of Grounded turmeric
1 tsp of grounded red pepper
1 tsp of coriander powder
About 2tbs of oil to fry the mushrooms with seasonings
4 tortilla wraps
  some lettuce leaves
some chopped tomato rings/onion rings/shredded carrots etc
For the dressing
2 tbs of mayonnaise
2 tbs of tomato ketchup
1 tsp of kashundi or mustard sauce/ or you may use Tartar sauce

  • Chop mushroom into four pieces if the mushrooms are big in size otherwise if you are using small mushrooms then no need to cut them.
  • Now heat up a saucepan, and add cooking oil.
  • Add in onions, ginger, garlic and sauté them for 4-7 mints at med-high flame.
  • Now add in chopped mushrooms. Fry well at med-high flame till they release water.
  • Add all the seasonings-turmeric, red pepper, coriander and salt.
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes. Cover the pan and cook till you get semi dry gravy.
  • Stop and then let it cool a little bit.
  • Generally I like to warm tortilla wraps before stuffing, but then if you feel you can warm a little bit in M/W after filling with stuffing.
  • Generously coat the tortillas with mayonnaise, and then add the stuffing of curried mushroom.
  • Place some lettuce leaves, chopped onion rings, sliced cucumber or shredded carrots.
  • Add in tomato ketchup or mustard sauce/ kashundi in Bengali as final dressing.
  • And you are ready with an easy curried tortilla wraps with kasundi dressings.
  1. Check for salt, most of the dressings-tomato ketchup or kashundi/mustard sauce comes with salt added to it.
  2. This gravy can be made with tofu/paneer/chicken cubes as well.
Happy Cooking Friends

Tartar Sauce-spruced with Indian spices

Tartar sauce is a great way to spruce up your tortilla wraps or sandwiches. They are great as dips also.
I have made this sauce with garam masala and red chilly flakes and they do give additional flavor as well.

Tartar sauce- Indanised version my way
Recipe Requirements
1 cup of mayonnaise
¼ cup of olive oil
2 -3 tbs of water
2-3 tsp of dried thyme or parsley or mixed herb
½ cup of finely chopped onions
1 tsp of red chilly flakes
1 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of lemon juice
Mix all well and refridgerate. Take out after 2-3 hrs and serve with these delicious fish cakes or may use them as dressings for tortilla wraps.

Recipe here for -Fish Shami Kabab

Sending this to Condiment Mela  hosted at Srivall's Cooking for all season.

Happy Cooking Friends

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fish Roe/Eggs Spicy Curry- Mach’er Dim’er Jhal

We Bengalis have this immense capability of eating each part of fish, head, tail and the bone even. Then how can we forget fish eggs/roe.
Fish roe/egg - mach'er dim is a delicacy in Bengali cuisine and the desire to eat them is profound in Bengalis as well. So, come every monsoon, as these are available in plenty we like to make them with spicy gravy- mach’er dimer jhaal, as fritters or cutlets -mach’er dimer bora and as sweet/sour chutney or mach’er dimer tok or ambol.
I have blogged already about Hilsa fish roe/ilish mach’er dim bhaja few years back- Here.