Homemade Ghee

Ghees also known as clarified butter has been my favourite ever since childhood. My favourite food was and has been ghee bhaat (clarified butter and rice)

I would ride my tobo cycle in our house verandah and Ma would feed me small bites of ghee bhaat along with Mach bhaja (Fish fry). So that’s my fondest memory of relishing this delicacy.

Ghee bhaat served with Mach bhaja

In today’s blog will share my mothers ghee making recipe and the only ingredient required is Malai (cream)

Carefully remove the cream from milk

Everyday after boiling the milk I collect the malai (cream) which forms on top of the milk and store it in a container which is then further kept in the freezer.

Malai (cream)

Before making ghee remove the container out of the freezer and let the cream soften. Take a heavy bottom pan or kadai and add the entire cream in it.

Add malai in kadai

At low flame let the cream melt. Keep stirring it to avoid sticking on the bottom.

The process of making ghee is extremely simple all you need is time and patience. The below mentioned images show how the cream changes into ghee.

Cream turning into ghee
Homemade Ghee

Let the ghee cool down and then transfer it in a jar. Do not discard the brown part khameer, cool it, grind it and store it in air tight container and keep it in the fridge. I use it in gravy dishes for thickening.

So there it is, homemade ghee is ready. I enjoy it with hot rice and fish fry. But that’s not all, ghee is used in many Indian dishes as well as desserts. Hope you enjoyed reading my blog post.

Lau’er khosha Bhaja : Bengali Bottle Gourd Peel Stir-Fry

Lau’er khosha Bhaja

A bengali side dish made with peels of bottle gourd/gourd/Lauki. It may not sound delightful, but its truely worth trying.

These dishes are closer to my heart as they take me down the memory lane of my childhood. And nothing is better than relishing such memories.

So let’s take a ride back to the old days of Ma and Grandma cooking in the kitchen. Clanking sound of khunti (Spatula), splattering sound of panchphoran, grinding of masala and the fragrance of the mouthwatering delicacies.

Ingredients Required

Ingredients
  • Lau’er khosha (Bottle gourd peel) cut in thin matchstick size.
  • Green chilly: 1nos
  • Dal-er bori : 6nos
  • Bay leaf : 1 nos
  • Dry Red chilly whole : 1 nos
  • Fresh grated coconut: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
  • Kalo Jeera (Nigella seeds) : 1/4 tsp
  • Sugar : 1/2 tsp
  • Salt : as per taste
  • Mustard oil : 2 tbsp

Procedure

Take a kadai, add Mustard oil and heat it.

Mustard oil in kadai

Once the oil is heated add Dal-er bori into the hot oil. Keep the flame low while frying the boris otherwise it will burn.

Frying bori

Once the bori turns golden brown remove it and keep it a separate plate. Use the same oil and add bay leaf and dry red chilly.

Fry these for 2 seconds and add kalojeere kalaunji (Nigella seeds) and let it crackle.

Add the par boiled drained bottle gourd peels and mix everything well.

Cover and cook for 3 minutes but do stir it after every one minute. Cover, cook, stir and repeat.

Add freshly grated coconut, you can also add desiccated coconut incase you do not have the fresh ones or can skip it but would highly recommend to add this as it adds a very nice and nutty flavour.

Now add a slit open green chilly.

Mix everything together. Now add salt, sugar and turmeric and give it a good mix to incorporate the spices well.

After mixing everything well repeat the cover cook and stir process for 5 minutes.

After its completely cooked remove it in a serving dish, break the dal bori into small pieces and spread it on the fried peels as garnish.

Serve it with white rice along with some daal and enjoy this recipe.

Lau’er khosha and bhaat
Lau’er khosha bhaja, white rice, bhaajamoong dal & lau’er ghonto

Wheat noodles with only two ingredients

Noodles is something everybody loves, whenever we decide to order food from outside I always vote for noodles.

But due to lockdown it is impossible to go out, so decided to make noodles at home. Noodles with wheat flour. Only two ingredients noodle without any fancy machine.

Ingredients Required

  • Wheat flour : 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp
  • Egg : 1 nos
Ingredients

Procedure

Take a mixing bowl and add wheat flour in it. Make a small well in the flour and break the egg.

Now first mix the yellow with fork and then mix all together using hands and form a dough.

Dough

Once the dough is ready, take a rolling pin and a board or you can also use the kitchen slab (clean it before using it) to flatten the dough.

Dust some wheat flour on it and also keep some wheat flour handy to keep dusting the sheet while flattening it.

Thickness of the sheet

Now fold the sheet as shown in the image. One fold inside and other fold outside. Make sure you dust the sheet enough.

Now cut them as shown in the Image. Use a sharp knife.

Now boil some water with a 1 tsp of salt in it.

Heat it till the water starts boiling. Meanwhile in other flame put an oak/kadai and fry the vegetables for the noodles. ( I have mentioned the quantity of the vegetables in the image below which I had used to cook the noodle) You can add more veggies like carrot and beans. Due to lockdown I had only these vegetables left.

1/2 of cabbage , 1/2 green capsicum, 1/2 onion all sliced and 1 tbsp of ginger, garlic and some chopped green chillies.
Soya sauce 1tbsp, Tomato hot and sweet sauce 1 tbsp, salt and pepper for taste and oil for frying the vegetables.

Now this process has to be done side by side. Once the water has boiled, lower the gas flame and add the noodles. Boil the noodles only for 4 – 5 minutes. Then strain them and add it to the fried vegetables.

In oak/kadai add some oil fry the chopped ginger and garlic and sliced onion after a minute of frying add the vegetables and mix all together by adding salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low flame.Remove the lid and add the sauces. Now add the boiled noodles and fry them together.

Check the seasoning before serving. Now remove it in a serving bowl and enjoy the homemade noodles. I also made some fried rice and chilly potatoes.

Vegan brownie : Healthy and tasty

Vegan Brownie

How would you react when I say that I have made a brownie without flour, egg, sugar, milk and butter. And to top that all I say that this brownie is not baked. Sounds strange right, but it is true.

For the first time I tried a vegan healthy no bake brownie and honestly the guilt of eating brownie is vanished.

This recipe is very simple and very healthy. It also requires very less ingredients and is so quick to make.

Ingredients Required

  • Almond : 1/2cup
  • Walnut : 1/2 cup
  • Cocoa powder : 5- tbsp
  • Dates (seedless) : 1 cup
  • Pinch of salt
Ingredients

Procedure

Take blender jar and add 1/2cup of Almond and 1/2cup of walnut.

Almonds and walnut

To this add cocoa powder and a pinch of salt.

Blend all this together and make a fine powder.

To this add dates(seedless) and blend again.

Once all this is blended well it will form a sticky dough kind of consistency.

Flatten this mixture by using your hands and form a square shape.

Now melt some dark chocolate and apply on top of this brownie. You can add 1tbsp of coconut oil (non fragrant).

Sprinkle some chopped almonds on top and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour.

After an hour cut square shaped pieces and enjoy this guilt free healthy brownie.

Eggless Raagi Chocolate Cake With Jaggery, No Oven, No Maida, No Sugar and No Egg

Raagi chocolate cake slices

Healthy eating is very important and we always land up junking ourselves, inorder to satisfy our cravings.

I love eating and baking cakes. Home baked cakes are so special and my favourite. I have made a blog previously on homemade cakes without oven here

Thus I decided to bake this very healthy Raagi chocolate cake and was really amazed to see that healthy cakes can be tasty as well.

Eggless Raagi Chocolate cake

Raagi is gluten free, it is rich in fibre which helps in weight loss and diabetes. This is also known as finger millet and is a complete package of calcium, Vitamins and good carbs.

Raagi Chocolate Cake

Ingredients required

Ingredients to make the cake

Raagi – 1/2 cup, Wheat flour – 1/2cup, Oil – 1/2 cup, Jaggery – 1/2 cup, Curd – 1/4th cup, Milk – 1/2 cup, Cocoa powder – 1and 1/2 tbsp, Baking powder – 1 tsp, Baking soda – 1/2 tsp, Vanilla essence – 1tbsp and a pinch of salt.

Procedure : The first thing I do before preparing the cake batter is greasing the cake mould.

Apply some butter on the cake tin and sprinkle some cocoa powder or may be some flour. Dust the powder/flour and spread it evenly.

This step is important and must be done well as this will help in demoulding the cake easily.

Greased cake mould

The second step will be by putting our cooker oven on the gas in low flame for 10 mins or while we prepare the batter to preheat.

Cooker oven

The third step is to prepare the batter. Take a mixing bowl and add oil, jaggery, curd and milk. Mix all the ingredients well and form a smooth mixture. Add vanilla essence and mix again.

Liquid Ingredients
Adding Vanilla Essence

Now sift all the dry ingredients into the liquid mix, (Raagi, Wheat flour, Cocoa powder, Baking powder, Baking soda and a pinch of salt).

Dry ingredients

Sift all the ingredients and mix them gently and form a thick batter.

Mixing of all the ingredients

Once the batter is ready transfer it quickly to the cake mould and tap the tin to remove air bubbles.

Cake batter ready to bake

Open the cooker lid and transfer the tin to the cooker (be careful as the cooker will be hot) place the cake tin and let it cook on low flame for 35 – 40 minutes.

After 35 – 40 minutes check the cake by inserting a tooth pick inside if it comes out clean it means the cake is cooked properly.

Clean toothpick

Now switch off the flame and remove the cake from the oven and put a dry kitchen towl on it (this will stop from making the top partof the cake hard) from and let it cool for sometime.

After the cake has cooled down, run a knife on all the sides of the cake and turn the tin into a plate, tap it few time and demould the cake. Cut the cake into desired shape and serve.

Eggless Raagi Chocolate cake

How to make Healthy Peanut Butter at home

I really enjoy peanut butter. Its the most quickest solution for mignight hunger pangs. Peanut butter turns a boring bread into a lovely sandwich.

Peanut butter was found in Cannada. It also has a good source of magnesium. There are many different varieties of peanut butter available in the market. Salted, sweet and chunky.

I like the sweet and chunky version of it but had always been worried about the additives. So I decided to make a healthy version by adding Jaggery.

Peanut butter

Ingredients Required

Raw peanut : 1 cup

Refined oil : 1 tsp

Jaggery powder : 3-4 tsp

Salt : a pinch

Procedure

First take a pan and dry roast the peanut in medium to low flame. Roasting will give a nutty flavour. Do not turn them black.

Roasting Raw peanut

Once the peanut was I transferred the peanut into a clean kitchen cloth and placed the cloth on top a colander.

Roasted peanut

Make a small bundle like this

Peanut bundle

Now slowly rub the outside part of the cloth as this will help in removing the peanut skin and be careful as the peanut will be hot. This is the only time taking process of this recipe.

Removing peanut skin

After the skin is removed transfer the peanut into a clean bowl or cup.

Clean peanuts

Now transfer them into a grinding Jar and make a fine powder. Add Jaggery, oil and pinch of salt(optional). I have used powdered jaggery you can use the regular jaggery but would advice to grate it before adding.

Mix everything and grind till it becomes a paste

Peanut butter paste

I like the crunchy version so I kept some roasted peanuts aside and added them later for that extra crunch. Take the remaining peanuts in a cloth and run a rolling pin to break it in small pieces. Now add them to the peanut butter.

Transfer it to a jar and enjoy as sandwich or you can make cookies, fudge or a healthy oats/granola bar.

Healthy Homemade Peanut Butter Jar

Winter Special Koraishutir Kachori (Mutter/Green Peas kachori) Gajar ka Halwa(without khoa)

Winter season holds definitely a special place in my heart as this season brings back the memories of some exquisite dishes like my favourite “gajar ka halwa” specially made by my mother.

So now its time to recreate some of the most loved dishes of the season starting with offcourse “Gajar Ka Halwa” and “Koraishutir kachori” (Mutter kachori)

First Recipe is Gajar ka Halwa

For Gajar Ka Halwa one of the key ingredient is khoa and for this recipe I will share a very easy recipe of instant khoa which you can make any time .

Ingredients required for Khoa

Ghee : 1 tbsp

Milk : 1/2 cup (room temperature)

Milk powder : 1 cup

Procedure : Take nonstick pan and put it on flame in low temperature add ghee and milk now mix it for a minute. Now add the milk powder and mix everything nicely and keep stirring this on a low to medium flame.

Once the mixture becomes like a dough and starts leaving the pan that means the khoa is rwady now switch off the flame and keep the khoa aside.

Ingredients required for Gajarka Halwa

Gajar : 500gms

Sugar : 3/4 cup

Cardomon powder: 1/2 tsp

Milk: 1/2 cup

Khoa: 1/2 cup

Ghee: 1 tbsp

Chopped cashews, almons and pista : for garnish

Procedure

First wash, peel and grate the carrots

After gratting , put a Kadai or any deep dish on the flame and add the grated carrots.

Cook the carrots on low flame for about 7-8 minutes, after that add sugar and cook till the entire moisture is dried from the carrots, after its nice and dry add 1 tbsp of ghee and mix.

Add cardomom powder and mix well, now add milk and cook, adding milk will make the halwa look rich and creamy in taste where as it will also enhance the color.

Once the milk is nicely mixed in halwa, turnoff the heat and add the chopped dryfruits and add khoa. Give the halwa a good mix.

Gajar ka halwa is ready you can sprinkle some more dryfuits on top and serve it hot.

Koraishuttir kachori (Mutter kachori)

Ingredients required

To prepare the dough

Maida or refined flour : 1 cup

Refined oil : 8 tbsp

Salt : as per taste

Sugar : 1/2tsp

Warm Water : to nead the dough

Procedure: Mix all the above dry ingredients and add oil and mix so that the oil spreads evenly in the flour( this will add the flaky and crunch to the kachori’s)

Add warm water in small batches and make a nice semi soft dough. Spread some oil on the dough and spread it. Cover the dough with damn cloth or plate and rest it for 30minutes.

For filling

Fresh green Peas : 200 gms

Green chilly : 2nos

Asofoetida/Hing :1/4tsp

Nigella seeds / kalo jeera : 1/4 tsp

Ginger paste : 2 tbsp

Coriander powder : 1 tbsp

Cumin powder : 1 tbsp

Oil : 2 tbsp

Salt : as per taste

Sugar : 1tsp

Procedure

Make a paste of ginger, cumin coriander and water. Keep it aside.

Boil the peas, cool it. Take a mixie jar add the boiled peas, green chilly, salt, sugar and dash of water and make a smooth paste.

Heat pan, add oil once the oil is heated add hing and kalo jeera mix it together now add the paste made of ginger cumin coriander and water, stir it for a minute.

Now add the peas mixture and cook this until the entire moisture goes and the mixture should form a shape of dough but make sure it shouldn’t get too hard.

Make small rounds of the flour dough as well as the filling dough. Flatten the dough by hand a little and now add the filling and seal the dough. Press it gently between the palm.

Grease your rolling pin and gently role it over the roundle and make round shape of puri.

Heat some oil in kadai for deep frying, once the oil is heated add the kachori in it and fry it golden brown.

Enjoy this crispy flaky hot kochoris with aloo dum or imli ki chutney.

So here was my take on this winter’s mandatory dishes. Will come up with some more dishes in my next blog.

Fish Cutlet (Macher Chop)

Fish is the most common and most loved food in a Bengali house. This one ingredient can be cooked in so many forms but as it was the festival time so I decided to cook the ultimate street food style Fish Cutlet which is also known as “Macher chop” in Bengal.

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I have used Rohu fish pieces to make this cutlet, you can use any fish with less bones. First marinate the washed fish pieces with little bit of salt and turmeric, leave them for 10-15 mins and then deep fry in mustard oil. While frying the fish do not make the pieces crispy.

Once all the pieces are fried I separated the fish meat from the bones. To the fish meat add boiled potatoes (2 large or 4 medium size), Onion finely chopped (1 nos), ginger garlic paste ( 2 tsp), finely chopped green chilly (2nos), egg (1 nos), refined flour (2 tbsp), I had some bread sides with me which I decided to crush and add, if you want even you can add that (2-3 tbsp), powdered spices like red chilly, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala (1 tsp each), finely chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste.

Mix all the above ingredients together and form round shapes for cutlet, take some refined flour and dust it in all the cutlets, leave them in fridge for 10-15 minutes.

For coating: Take some corn flakes and crush them into fine powder by using grinder, remove it in a plate, break an egg and add salt, whisk it nicely and keep it aside. Now remove the cutlets from fridge and dip in egg and then coat with corn flakes crumb (you can also use bread crumbs) I did double coating as it gives firm shape and very crunchy texture, so if you want you can repeat the coating procedure.

raw

Keep it in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Heat some oil in kadai for deep frying the cutlets, heat the oil and then leave the cutlets in oil for frying, make sure you reduce the flame while frying as the cutlets may break in a very high temperature.

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Serve them with some ketchup and onion slices, In Bengal it is also served with kasundi (mustard sauce). Make this recipe in your home and enjoy with your loved ones.

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Jack Fruit / Katahal (कटहल) Biryani

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Jack fruit, or as called in Hindi Katahal (कटहल), is an exotic fruit. Tastes amazing as a vegetable as well as fruit, sounds quite weird right! So back in my childhood we had this jack fruit plant in our garden which would give us 2-3 fruits every year, my grandmother and mother both loved the ripe form of it and me and sisters loved the curry which my ma would prepare.

My love for cooking made me explore this interesting recipe of Katahal Biryani by celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, which I followed step by step with my mothers help and honestly it turned out impressive. My dad was so happy and couldn’t stop appreciating. After many years I decided to prepare it but this time it is my style of Katahal Biryani.

Cutting and peeling of katahal when raw is the most tedious job and must be done by applying mustard oil on the knife as well as on your hands. The glue form of liquid which comes out of it while cutting the katahal is resisted only with oil.

How to prepare “Katahal biryani” in Nupur’s style!

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Cut small dices of Katahal and do no throw the seeds, they are the yummiest. Marinate the katahal same as we marinate meat for non veg biryani.

Marination of katahal

Take a big bowl and add 2 tbsp of curd, 1 tbsp of Ginger Garlic paste, 1tbsp of powdered masala’s (red chilly, turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala) salt as per taste, add kathal cubes mix well cover the bowl and keep it in fridge for 30 minutes.

Barista (For Garnish): Slice one big onion and fry it golden brown and keep it aside for garnish.

Now let’s cook!

After 30 minutes remove the marinated katahal, heat some oil in Kadai and fry two  onions which has been sliced, fry them till it turns golden brown, now add the marinated katahal and mix it well. Cover and cook for 15 mins on low flame, please keep a check to avoid burning of masalas, this process in bangla is called “koshano” means cooking in low flame. Will have to make sure that the katahal is cooked completely and we should get a semi gravy preparation.

Note: Add small amount of water in case the masala starts sticking to the pan

Put another pot for rice. Add some water to boil. Add whole spices (cardamon 2, cumin 1/2 tsp, pepper corn5-6, star anise 2, bay leaf 2, clove 3-4 and cinnamon stick 1/2 inch) and salt.

Wash and rinse the rice to remove starch, once the water in pot starts boiling, add the washed rice. Turn off the flame once 80% of the rice is cooked. Drain the rice, transfer this rice over the kathal mixture (before transferring the rice make sure that the kathal is cooked properly). Cover it with rice, now drizzle some ghee, fried onions (barista) mentioned above. Add some saffron strands (kesar) to milk and pour it as garnish. Add chopped coriander leaves. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for five more minutes. Turn off the flame and serve hot with your choice of raita.

I made this biryani for my very dear friend who is Jain. She loved it and hence mission accomplished!

No Bake, Eggless: Swiss rolls, Pudding, Caramel Custard …

I always try to explore and experiment cost effective and effortless recipes. Sweet being my biggest weakness, my experiments revolve around that. This time I wanted to create this very common English desserts: Swiss rolls, Pudding and Caramel custard.

I have tried chocolate Swiss roll with vanilla cream but honestly with this recipe you can make any kind of Swiss roll, for e.g.: Vanilla roll with nutella, or ganache frosting, or jam in it. The variations can be made or done as per you choice of filling or flavor.

Chocolate Swiss roll

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Ingredients required: Portion 2 rolls

  • Milk : 1/2 cup
  • Sugar(Powdered) : 1/4 cup
  • Refined oil : 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla essence : 1/2 tsp
  • Refined flour : 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda : 1/2tsp
  • Curd : 3 tbsp
  • Cocoa powder : 2 tbsp

Procedure

Take bowl and add milk, sugar, oil, and vanilla essence and mix them well. In another large bowl, add flour and baking soda. Now add the liquid mixture gradually and mix them together. Now add curd and mix well. Add cocoa powder and mix again.

Divide the mixture in two bowls so that you get the same thickness as of the other. You can divide the batter prior to adding the cocoa powder, as in this case you will get two varieties of roll base, i.e vanilla, and then add cocoa powder in the other one and get chocolate roll base.

Take a nonstick pan and brush some oil or butter to grease the pan. Once the pan is hot enough, add the mixture, spread it evenly, keep the flame low and cover the flame. Cook for 5-6 mins. Remove the lid, insert a toothpick to check the cake is cooked well, turn the flame off. Spread a tissue paper and place the cake roll in the paper. Roll it in the tissue as it is warm, keep it aside and let it cool down.

Whisk some whipping cream by adding sugar and vanilla essence. Once the roll has cooled down, open the tissue covered roll and apply the whipped cream in the center and spread it evenly. Again roll the cake, cover it with tissue as before and keep it in the fridge to set for an hour.

Remove the rolled cake from tissue, dust some cocoa powder and cut the roll in slices and serve.

Marie Biscuit Pudding

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“Meri pyaari marrie” this biscuit has so many memories from childhood and I still love dipping it in my hot cup of tea. Let me tell you my new experience and recipe of Marie Biscuit Pudding.

Ingredients Required

  • Warm Milk : 2.5 cups
  • Whipped cream : 1 cup
  • Sugar : 1 cup
  • Marie Biscuit : 16 pieces
  • custard Powder 1 tbsp
  • Corn flour :1 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence : 1 tbsp
  • Jelly powder/ Gelatin : 2 tbsp

Procedure

In a saucepan add milk, add whipped cream, give it a mix. Add Marie biscuits and whisk it further till the biscuits dissolves. After that add sugar, vanilla custard powder, cornflour vanilla essence and jelly powder. Shift this saucepan into a flame and keep the flame low, cook this mixture until it thickens. Transfer the mixture in a mould (I have taken a glass mould). Keep it in fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight. Once the pudding is set, demould it and garnish with chocolate sauce and almond flakes.

Eggless Caramel Custard

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Ingredients Required

For Caramel: 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tspn of water

For Custard

  • Curd : 1/2 cup
  • Condensed Milk : 1/2 cup
  • Sugar : 2 tsp
  • Vanilla Custard Powder : 2 tsp
  • Milk : 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla Essence : 1 tsp

Procedure

Will start by making caramel, but keep a mould handy were you want to transfer the caramel. Take a pan add sugar and water and let it caramelize, once the color turns brown transfer this immediately to the mould and spread it evenly.

Take mixing bowl and add all the above mentioned ingredients for custard one by one, mix it well. Now pour the mixture on top of the caramel. Take deep bowl or pressure cooker (remove the tube and whistle). Pour some water, place a stand on top of it. Keep the mould. Let it steam for 20-25 minutes. Prick by toothpick as it comes out clean, let the mould cool down and demould it and serve by cutting slices.

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