Friday, December 25, 2015

Masoor Dal Makhani

Whole Masoor is one of the small and good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber from list of Indian Dals. Masoor dal or Red Lentil is very important part of vegetarian diet in Indian cuisine. Masoor is sold in all forms like with or without skin, whole or split. It is very soft and cooks quickly. This dal makhani recipe is easy to cook and the aroma is awsome.

Preparation Time: - 15 min

Cooking Time: - 30 min

Servings: - 4 persons


    1. Whole Masoor dal / red Lentils 1.5 cup
    2. Ginger finely chopped 1.5  inch piece
    3. 1 Medium size onion
    4. 4~5 cloves of garlic
    5.  Salt to taste
    6. Vegetable oil 2  tbsp
    7. Ghee 1 tbsp
    8. Tomato 1 large finely chopped
    9. Cumin seeds 1 tsp
    10. Bay leaves 2
    11. Green chillies slit 2-3
    12. Asfotida (hing) 0.5 tsp
    13. Turmeric powder 1 tsp
    14. Coriander leaves 0.25 cup
    15. Red chili powder 1 tsp (optional)
    16. Garam Masala powder 0.5 tsp


  1. Wash masoor dal/ lentil thoroughly. Take a 1.5L size pressure cooker and cook lentils with four and half cups of water, salt, ginger and tomato. I cooked for 3 whistles in my pressure cooker but you may have different timings. Idea is to cook till the lentil is properly boiled.
  1. Heat oil in a kadai in medium flame, add cumin seeds and bay leaves.The photo does not have bay leaves as on the day I did take the photos I  was short of bay leaves.
  1. When the cumin seeds crackle add garlic. After about one minute add chopped onion.
  1. When they turn golden yellow add garam masala, green chili, asfotida, turmeric powder and salt.Saute` for a minute.
  1. Pour the lentil and cook in low flame for about 10 min.
  1. Add ghee and cook for a minute.
  1. Put the coriander leaves and turn off the gas.
Now your dish is ready and I can smell the excellent aroma of the same. Serve with Roti,Naan, Parota or rice. This goes well with Jeera rice also.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Scrambled Egg with Herbs


My readers may be surprised reading the title – hey isn’t it the same blog with Bengali recipes, they might wonder. How come I am cooking scrambled egg? Let me explain. My husband always likes continental stuff – recently he has stayed in Marriott Santa Clara for some days. There he liked the scrambled egg so much that he asked the chef how to make it and supplied me this recipe. I thought what the heck! I can deviate from the traditional recipes once at least, and then I made this one.

Scrambled egg is one of the most popular breakfast options in western countries and it can be made in so many different ways. The basic stuff remains the same i.e. eggs with milk and butter but there can be so many things that can be mixed with. Without wasting much time let me give you the recipe I followed

Preparation Time: - 5 min

Cooking Time: - 15 min

Servings: - 2 persons


  1. 3 large eggs. In west, you can have different type of eggs but in India it can be of two type either it is from Broiler or from Country Chicken. I used Broiler eggs as they are bigger. You can use eggs from Country chicken but then you may need 4 eggs. The yokes of country chicken are more yellow – so the dish might be more yellowish than the photos here.
  2. 9 tbsp Full Cream Milk and a little about 1 tsp more
  3. ¼ cup butter
  4. 1 sliced cheese – the original recipe as suggested by the chef of Marriott mentioned 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Now I did not get the hard cubed Italian cheese – so I used the normal sliced one. You may use the Parmesan cheese if you get it.
  5. Salt to taste. Rock salt is better for this one
  6. Freshly ground black pepper
  7. Herbs – If you get the fresh herbs you should use ¼ tbsp of minced Marjoram or Oregano, Thyme and Basil. Since it is not readily available in my area, I used a mixture of dry herbs which I bought from Nilgiri Supermarket. I used ¼ tbsp of the mixture which contains each of the above mentioned herbs.


  1. Boil the milk and keep aside 9 tbsp of upper creamy portion
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs for about a minute.
  3. Mix the milk and whisk more so that the mixture becomes smooth.
  4. Take a nonstick pan and in medium heat, melt the butter so that it goes to the edges.
  5. Turn the heat to low flame and pour the eggs into the middle of the pan and using a wooden spatula, gently stir the eggs
  6. The eggs turn creamy like a curd
  7. Stir continuously and after about 5 minutes toss the sliced cheese and herbs.
  8. After about a minute, pour salt and pepper. Distribute thoroughly.
  9. When the eggs are not runny but still soft and moist pour a little splash of milk. Turn off the heat.
  10. Wait for a minute and immediately serve

That’s all folks. You can have toast and this dish in a healthy and tasty breakfast.

Please note that this is a western dish and may taste blunt to our Indian tongue. To overcome that you can add the following as toppings:-

  1. Spinach
  2. Fried onions
  3. Spring Onion (Sanjeev Kapoor used this)
  4. Even a pinch of red chilli powder
  5. Jalepino chopped

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chanar Dalna - Bengali cottage cheese curry


In one of my earlier recipes I have described how you can prepare Paneer curry. But, even a decade back paneer was not that readily available in market. So Bengalis used to make paneer at home.  The one that is made at home is softer and doesn’t have flour like the commercially available one. This is called chana. In this recipe I showed how you can make chana from milk and fry them to use with my earlier preparation. So you can have more authentic Chanar Dalna.

Preparation Time for chana from milk: - 15 min

Cooking Time for frying: - 15 min

Servings: - 2 persons


  1. 500 ml of full cream Cow’s Milk
  2. 2~3 tbsp of lime juice or 5~6 ml White Vinegar.
  3. Vegetable oil 3 tbsp for frying
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Chickpea powder / Beson – 1 tbsp. You can use same amount all-purpose flour / Maida for binding
You need to add more ingredients (minus the paneer of course) from my earlier recipe to complete the chanar dalna.


  1. Boil the milk to boiling point and then lower flame to simmer for some time.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of the lime juice or White Vinegar and stir gently.
  3. You will find that the cheese starts separating from the whey. The whey needs to turn a clear, faint green. If it still seems milky, add some more lime juice or Vinegar.
  4. When the cheese has completely separated (should take about 5 mins on very low flame), turn off heat and pour into a strainer.
  5. The loose water goes away thus. Now put the strainer under cold water and wash. This will remove the flavour of lime juice or vinegar.
  6. Press with a big spoon or something heavy so that remaining whey gets squeezed out.
  7. Knead well with your fingertips.
  8. Soon it will be smooth and consistent. The chenna shouldn’t be sticky at any point.
At this point your chana / chenna are prepared. You can use it for any purpose. But my goal is to use it for my chanar dalna. So I go on to fry the chana.

  1. Mix with Beson / Flour and make 6 flat pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick kadai/wok in high flame, shallow fry the chana  pieces with little salt and keep aside.

Now you can follow my earlier recipe from point 2 and make Bengali Chanar Dalna. Enjoy…..

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Macher matha diye lau tarkari - Bottle gourd curry with fish head


Bottle gourd or lauki specifically has many health benefits. It is mentioned in ayurveda it is very good for diabetes, constipation and urinary disorders. Bottle gourd juice is very effective in the treatment of stomach acidity, ulcers, and indigestion. It is also great in summer for quenching your thirst, preventing fatigue, and keeping you refreshed throughout the day.

Few head of the fish gets gathered every week as we, Bengalis eat a lot of fish and now-a-days nobody likes to eat the fish head. To use them I cook this dish sometimes. I like the fishy smell of this and my family likes it too. Without wasting much words or time here it is:-

Preparation Time: - 20 min

Cooking Time: - 40 min

Servings: - 4~5 persons


  1. Bottle gourd: 1 ½ medium
  2. Fish head: 1 big (I used the head of a 1 ½ kg Katla fish.)
  3. Onion : 1 large chopped fine
  4. Ginger paste: 1 tbsp
  5. Cumin powder: 1 tsp
  6. Coriander leaves: ¼ cup chopped for cooking and garnishing
  7. Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
  8. Cumin seeds: 1 ½ tsp
  9. Bay leaves: 2
  10. Dry red chili: 1 optional
  11. Green chili: 1 silted  (I did not use red chili as in my family nobody likes it)
  12. Mustard Oil: 5~6 tbsp (I used fully mustard oil as it is fish based dish but you can use any vegetable oil or 1:1  proportion of vegetable and mustard oil)
  13. Salt to taste
  14. Sugar: ½ tsp


  1. Peel and chop the bottle gourd in small cubes. (If the bottle gourd is old then throw the seeds away.)
  2. Wash, drain and keep aside. If the bottle gourd is not fresh then place the cubes in a cup of water for 4-5 minutes. It will soak water and freshen up.
  3. Smear the fish head with salt and turmeric powder. Keep aside for minimum 20 minutes.
  4. Take a non-stick Kadai/wok and heat the oil in high flame. Then turn the heat to medium flame and fry the fish head till golden brown on all sides This should take approx 8~10 minutes. Drain the oil and keep aside.
  5. Use the same kadai and heat oil again.
  6. Now put cumin seeds, bay leaf, green and red chilies.
  7. Once they start to splutter put the finely chopped onion. Once they turn golden brown put ginger paste.
  8. Wait for 30 seconds and put cumin powder in the mix.
  9. Cook on low flame till oil starts to separate at the sides. Then pour in the gourd cubes.
  10. Add turmeric powder and little salt.
  11. Add coriander leaves
  12. Break the fried fish head in 8~9 pieces and put in the mix. Saute` the vegetables and cover. It will release lot of juice.
  13. Cook covered on medium flame till the juice dries up and the vegetables are soft.
  14. You may need to add some warm water if the gourd is overripe.
  15. Add the sugar. Cook for 1 min more and add some chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
  16. Now the dish is ready. Optionally if you ware not calorie conscious you can sprinkle a little bit ghee and mix it well. This will enhance the aroma of the preparation

The final dish should look moist but with no extra juice.

That’s all folks. Serve hot with white rice and enjoy your meal.

As a note always add less salt while cooking bottlegourd because the finally this vegetable reduces a lot when cooked. 

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Chanar Dalna - Paneer curry


Paneer is a household name in almost every Indian family now. Paneer was there as a vegetarian option always whether it is simple dinner or a special occasion. Though traditionally chanar dalna is prepared by cottage cheese made from milk in home I did not do that in this recipe. I used the easily available Paneer from the shop. I plan to provide the preparation of chana /chena from milk later.

Preparation Time: - 10~15 min

Cooking Time: - 30~35 min

Servings: - 3~4 persons


  1. 200 gm paneer cut into small cubes
  2. 4~5 medium sized potatoes – cubed
  3. 1 chopped tomatoes
  4. 1 tbsp ghee - optional
  5. 3 green chilies – finely chopped
  6. 2 bay leaves
  7. ¼ tsp garam Masala powder (clove, cinnamon and cardamom)
  8. 1 stick of cinnamon
  9. 2 cloves
  10. 1 tbsp ginger paste
  11. 1 ½ tbsp cumin seeds(jeera) powder
  12. 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  13. ½ tsp red chilly powder - optional
  14. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  15. Salt to taste
  16. 1~2 tsp sugar
  17. 4 tbsp vegetable oil – I used sunflower oil


  1. Heat oil in a non-stick kadai/wok in high flame, shallow fry the paneer pieces with little salt and keep aside.
  2. Add little more oil in the same kadai and fry the potatoes with turmeric powder and salt till they turn golden. Again keep them aside.
  3. Again add 1 tbsp oil, heat it with high flame and put the cumin seeds, bay leaves, and cinnamon. Let it crackle.
  4. When they crackle add tomato, cumin powder, red chili powder (if you want it spicy) and ginger paste. Turn the heat to medium flame.
  5. Stir and add ½ tsp turmeric powder, sugar and salt. Cook till tomato melts and smell of spices disappear. Also oil starts separating at this point.
  6. Put the fried potatoes and stir thoroughly.
  7. Add 1 ½ cup of water. The cup used is medium sized – not too small.
  8. Let it shimmer for few minutes.
  9. Add fried paneer. Cook for another 4~5 minutes in low flame
  10. Pour ghee and garam Masala before you turn off the heat

Now the dish is ready. This goes well with either Rice or any bread like Roti, Luchi, Poori, Kachori or Radhaballabhi. Even fried rice is ok with it.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.