Sausage Jambalaya

 

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Jambalaya !! Does that name ring a bell? If it does not ,then do not worry .Just note it down as an incredibly easy to make  one pot  recipe ,that will save  your  precious energy on a weekday and rather  impress  your guests if cooked as part of a dinner party menu.Jambalaya is a French word that literally means ‘jumbled’. This is a rice dish with a great mix of strong flavor and textures.I got to taste this wonderful rice dish at a friend’s place.I was so impressed ,that soon I had to try out my own take on the recipe.Jambalaya  is a Creole dish of Spanish and French influence and is very similar to the Spanish paella.Meat  in the form of chicken or pork sausage are the common ingredients for

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the traditional  non vegetarian take on the dish,but I believe dodging out on the meaty ingredients won’t do this incredibly spicy and flavorsome dish much harm. Nutrella or tofu can be wonderful vegetarian  substitutes for this dish . The ‘holy trinity’ of this dish are bell peppers,onion and celery.Red,yellow,green and pink! I am a sucker for natural color in food.I believe if the food looks naturally beautiful,half the battle is over.I cooked and created a stock

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of the vegetables and sausage,added the raw rice and then let it cook in those flavors till done.I added the seasonings and the tomato puree towards the end ,to give it a nice sour-spicy effect,but you are free to add it while cooking the vegetables and the meat.The best part of the dish is that it’s extremely versatile,so you are free to choose and  swap your protein,chicken, prawns,sausage,tofu and so on or even customize the heat in the dish according to your taste buds.Feel free to put your own stamp!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 1 onion,diced
  • 3 ribs celery,chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper,cored and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper,cored and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper,cored and diced
  • 1-2 green chili or jalapeno peppers,seeded and finely chopped (depending on taste)
  • 5 cloves garlic,mined
  • 2 lb pork sausage ,sliced in rounds
  • 80 gm pureed tomato
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4th teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt,to taste
  • 1 and 1/2 cup rice of your choice
  • 3 cups stock or warm water
  • 2 table spoon of spice mix of a teaspoon each of ground black pepper,red pepper flakes,dried oregano,cumin powder powder,coriander,dried thyme,paprika powder- all crushed and mixed together
  • a handful of parsley,finely chopped (optional)

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Method:

  • Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a large deep vessel at medium heat.
  • Add bay leaf and  minced garlic,saute for a while.
  • Add onion, bell pepper and celery.Cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add the sausage slices,combine with the vegetables by stirring .
  • When the sausage changes color to,add the rice.
  • Add the spice mix and the pureed tomato.Give it a good stirring to mix and combine all the ingredients well.
  • Add the stock or water,reduce heat to medium.Cover it , let it simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is well cooked,stirring  in between to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Check and adjust the seasonings
  • When the extra moisture has evaporated  you can add your choice of a hot sauce if you prefer to have really spicy and hot Jambalaya.
  • Remove from heat and garnish it with chopped parsley.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!
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Murgh Reshmi Kebab / Chicken Reshmi Kebab

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Summer is here and so is the barbecue season in my part of the world.While it may be  scorching and sweltering in summer heat in some parts of the world,the British Summer is rather pleasant with average temperature of 15 degree Celsius ,with occasional bouts of rain to cool down.

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The roads are lined with summer flowers, swaying to gentle summer breeze.We are making most of the season as long as it lasts,travelling to the countryside ,the lake lands and  having barbecues at our place. Grilled meat in different form in accompaniment with salads is our absolute favorite.

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Last weekend while the weather was at it’s best,I decided to make some Chicken Reshmi Kebabs.As the name suggests,literal translation of it means silken chicken kebabs.The indirect heat from the tandoor or oven cooks the meat very slowly retaining all the moisture.

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Children can also enjoy this kebab as it is really mild in taste and very  low on spice content . The perfect balance of the marination make the tender meat even more juicy,succulent ,moist and as smooth as silk. Whoever,came up with the name ,gave it the name that it truly deserves. They are delicate morsels of yum!Indeed!Serve the kebabs with Mint -Coriander Chutney,salad  and hot naan breads for a complete meal or serve them on their own as starter to the main course.

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Ingredients 

Boneless chicken cubes  500 gm,cut into small cubes

Salt to taste

White pepper,to taste (optional)

Unsalted butter for brushing on top

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For marination..

2 tablespoon Ginger -Garlic paste

1 table spoon Lime juice

4 Green chili , finely chopped

A handful of coriander leaves and mint leaves

2 tablespoon Greek yogurt or hung curd

2 tablespoon Fresh Cream

3 tablespoon cashew nut- almond paste(10 of each approximately)

4 tablespoon Cornflour/Cornstarch

Salt to taste

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Method

  • Pat the chicken with paper towels to remove extra moisture.
  • In a bowl mix together chicken with salt and white pepper and set aside.
  • Then prepare the first marination taking together ginger garlic paste,finally chopped green chilies ,chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves,as well as lemon juice.
  • Rub the chicken thoroughly with the mixture,and let it marinate in the fridge,well covered for 2-3 hours or preferably overnight .
  • Remove the chicken from refrigerator an hour before cooking to bring it to the room temperature.
  • Soak the almonds in hot water for 10 minutes so that the skin loosen.Thereafter press each one between your thumb and index finger so that the skin splits and can be removed easily.
  • Marinate the chicken with rest of the ingredients.
  • Thread  the chicken pieces into the skewers,if using bamboo sticks as skewers make sure to immerse the sticks in water for half an hour to avoid burning.
  • Place the skewered chicken in a foil lined baking tray.
  • Brush the chicken  generously with melted unsalted  butter.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius in grill mode.
  • Grill  the chicken for 7-8 minutes,remove the chicken and flip over.
  • Keep checking in between, and brush with melted butter whenever necessary.
  • Grill for about 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is done.
  • Once done remove from the chicken cubes from the skewers.
  • Serve hot with Mint chutney

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Recipe for Mint Yogurt Chutney..

1/3 cup  yogurt

A handful of mint leaves and coriander leaves

A green chili,finely chopped

1 tablespoon roasted cumin powder

1 tablespoon chaat masala

1 teaspoon black salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon dry mango powder

 

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Method :

  • Take the yogurt in a bowl,beat it with a whisk or spoon till smooth.
  • Mix the spice powders and salt with the yogurt.
  • Grind the coriander leaves,mint leaves and green chili with little water.
  • Mix the freshly  ground green chutney with the yogurt.
  • Blend the ingredients  till they are well combined.
  • Serve the mint chutney with Chicken Reshmi Kebab or any other tandoori snack .

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Related posts :

Kaju Murgi /Cashew Chicken

One-pot Skillet Sausage Pasta

”One-pot” meals  are probably the best ever discoveries in the history of weeknight  dinners.Fast,filling with minimum washing up to do.Just a few handy ingredients,a chopping board ,a knife, a skillet and a spatula is all that you require.And  if you are just like me , and prefer minimum effort for maximum result,quick dinners on weeknights with just a skillet for washing in the sink  then this is the perfect recipe for you.

There’s something so satisfying about chucking all the ingredients into one-pot and leaving them to meld into something uber-delicious,full of flavor and yet within 400 calories!!

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We love sausages,be it chicken ,pork or a humble vegetarian version.So  sometime I put them in pasta,sometime in rice or simply fried to the accompaniment  of our favorite salad, or some rustic garlic bread. In short they are my key to quick fancy mid-week meals.In this recipe I have used the spicy smoked variety,which perfectly paired with other flavors and textures in the recipe.

The procedure of this recipe is fairly easy.Saute your favorite sausage with some garlic and onion .Then add your choice of vegetables,pasta,chicken broth(or water) and seasons.Add some cheese from the top and you are good to go!! Cooking time is less than 15 minutes!!

 

Ingredients :

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb smoked spicy pork sausage,sliced (or any other non vegetarian or vegetarian sausage of your choice)

1 cup diced onion

3-4 cloves of garlic,finely chopped

2 cup chicken broth( or warm water)

1  tablespoon red chili flakes

8 oz any dry pasta(  any small variety of your choice)

Salt and pepper,to taste

1/2 cup  shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 cup green peas

1 cup ,green beans

Basil leaves,a few  for garnish

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 Instructions :

  • Add olive oil to the skillet ,over medium high heat.
  • Add onion,saute a bit and add the sliced sausages,cook until light brown.Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the vegetables(peas and beans), pasta,chicken broth or warm water,seasonings,chili flakes.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil,reduce heat to low and simmer till the pasta is tender and cooked.
  • Turn off the heat and transfer to the serving dish.
  • Sprinkle cheese from the top ,put basil leaves from the top  and serve.
  • Makes about 4 servings.

 

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How To Roast Whole Chicken

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If you are part of the Bong Appetite family you know it by now, I am on an undeclared hibernation mode. Life in general keeping me little busy and bit pre occupied  with few other things which require immediate attention. But that does not mean that Bong Appetite is completely out of my mind. The Facebook page , gets it’s share of my inputs now and then. But yes, I take the blame of not being regular anymore. Hopefully this ”break term” will not be an everlasting one and I will be  back soon  with a bang and a bag full of recipes.

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Winter is here, so my kitchen is buzzing with the oven alarm  quite frequently, with roasts and casserole pots retaining the heat and warmth of the kitchen. It was just another weekend in December.  With temperature going as low as zero degree ,I decided to make our selves a whole chicken roast, that would suit the  cold weather and our palate equally well. The roast dinner, required little bit of preplanning and ground work like bringing the chicken to room temperature, cleaning and preparing it for roasting. Once done I served the chicken with roasted vegetables and a gravy sauce. The outcome was  extremely mouth watering  and aromatic with smells of fresh herbs. The result was definitely worth all the effort put together.

 

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Ingredients for the stuffing

1 onion,peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh sage (or any other herb of your choice),finely chopped

White bread crumbs : 80gm

Sunflower oil: 1tbsp

1 egg,beaten

Salt and pepper ,to taste

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Instructions

  • Heat the wok,put the oil,sweat the onions till transluscent  but soft.
  • Add bread crumbs  to the onions,mix it and season it well.
  • Take off the flame, add the egg and combine it well.
  • Roll the mixture into stuffing balls
  • Put the balls in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree Celcius for about 30 minutes,till they change colour to golden brown.
  • Take the balls out of the oven ,let them cool down little bit before stuffing.

 

Tips and tricks for making the perfect crispy roast  chicken

  • Take the chicken out the fridge and keep it outside ,to allow it to come down to the room temperature from chilled  temperature.This will allow the chicken to be evenly cooked and roasted.
  • Remove  the giblets, clean the chicken, rinse thoroughly and pat it dry to remove all the extra moisture.
  • This chicken roast when done in micro oven convection grill mode or  OTG or  conventional oven  will give more or less the same result. However, in each case, the oven needs to be preheated  to the required temperature.
  • However, it is important to note that the cooking time in each oven varies,hence the temperature can be well adjusted  and bit altered according to the oven you are using.
  • Do not drain the juice of the chicken left in the pan, as that is rich in flavour and can be used in  making the gravy sauce.
  • One of the main secret to have a brown  top crispy skin grilled chicken is to start cooking with a dry skin chicken and end up with a dry skin chicken as well.  For this it is important to bring the chicken to room temperature from a chilled state and pat it dry completely with paper towels. This will ensure uniform cooking. It is also necessary to allow sufficient air circulation. Thus using a shallow roasting pan and rack that hold the chicken well above the edge of the pan is important.
  • I started roasting at a bit higher temperature of 220 degrees for the first 45 minutes and then went  down to 180 degrees to   allow  slow cooking. Towards the end I increased the temperature again to allow the top skin to become crispy . I also gave additional 20 minutes for the chicken to seat in the warm enclosed oven after I turned off the oven. This allowed the chicken to retain it’s crackling top by not getting suddenly enclosed to a much cooler temperature outside.
  • The cooking time will also largely depend on the size of the chicken. Larger bird will take more time to cook. It’s  important to keep a constant eye on the chicken when its nearing doneness and not leave it completely unattended.

 

 

Ingredients for the Chicken Roast

10-12 cloves of garlic

3 table spoon olive oil

1 lemon, halved

50 gm. butter

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme

2-3 shallots

salt and pepper,to taste

1 whole chicken of 1.5oo kg ,preferably organic   (rinsed  and patted dry with giblets  removed)

 

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Method

  • Preheat  the oven to 220C.
  • In a food processor ,pulse 6 garlic,1 tbsp. olive oil, salt ,pepper,lemon juice of half a lemon, until they form a coarse paste.
  • Smother  this mixture over chicken and under the  skin, covering the breast and thighs of the chicken.Place half of the paste under the skin,directly on meat of breast and thighs.
  • Spread the entire exterior  surface of the chicken with the remaining paste
  • Season the  chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Add one lemon half and rosemary or thyme sprigs to inside of chicken.
  • Stuff the chicken with the stuffing balls, shallots,remaining garlics and a small butter cube.
  • Rub the chicken well with the remaining butter  and olive oil.
  • Put the chicken in the oven in a roasting pan ,with the chicken loosely covered by a foil. This will allow the chicken to cook in its own moisture.
  • Roast with the foil cover for  about 45 minutes at 220 degree Celsius.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the foil cover and let the chicken roast thoroughly.
  • Occasionally take out the chicken and   brush the chicken  with its own juice with a silicon cooking brush .
  • Let it roast, by reducing the temperature  for another 45 minutes at 180C/320-350F/Gas 3-4 or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked  and piping hot ,with  no pink colour remaining.
  • When almost done, towards the end increase the temperature to 220 degrees .As that will   ensure a crispy brown top. However, keep an   eye on the chicken to avoid it burning.
  • The juices should run clear when the deepest part of the flesh, specially around the  thighs is pierced with a thin skewer.
  • When done, turn off the oven and let the chicken seat in the enclosed warm oven for another 20 minutes.
  • Check for doneness, remove the chicken  from the oven and then carve.
  • Serve the carved chicken with gravy sauce and  roasted vegetables of your choice.

 

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Sauce/Gravy:

2 tbsp. of chicken  juices from the roasting pan

2 shallots

2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup chicken stock

2tbsp butter

 

Method

  •  Sauté shallots in olive oil till translucent.
  • Add the chicken juice from the roasting pan.
  • Add 2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary,juice of lemon.
  • Add chicken stock cubes or reserved  chicken stock.
  • Let the sauce reduce for about 5 minutes,then  stir in the butter.
  • Combine and  mix well.
  • When well incorporated, take it off the stove and serve.
  • Enjoy!!

 

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Pujo and paturi

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While the world is busy debating about the ice bucket challenge,whether to pour a bucket of ice cold water on head or to donate money towards the worthy cause,we Bengalis have some more debates to indulge in at the moment-which Durga Pujo will get the first prize for it’s protima or which one will lead the race for it’s pandal(marquee).Yes we are back to that time of the year,when if you are a Bengali , the smell of pujo will feel your mind and  soul  even if you are residing as far  as Brisbane or Bristol.

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Once one of my collegue here in UK asked me about the scale and importance of Durga Puja in my home city Kolkata.The spirit of Christmas in UK,the madness of Tomatina of Spain,the vibrancy of Rio Carnival of Brazil,the joyfulness and urge of sharing and giving on Thanksgiving of USA and Canada could possibly sum up to mean what Durga Puja is to a Bengali.For most of us  our year starts and ends with the count of Durga Puja.

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As I write this post the artisans and workers are busy constructing pandals in every nook and corner of my city,while the artisans in Kumortuli are busy putting finishing touches to the almost done clay figurines.I can well imagine the mad rush of pujo buyers in the streets of Gariahat , Newmarket , and Hatibagan while the small  retail shop owners  are trying to make brisk business by cutting down the bargaining spree of the pujo

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shoppers.A quick break from shopping means indulging in some roadside eggrolls or quenching thirst with the fizzy Thumbsup or sipping in the masala tea from the road side tea stall,before quickly going back to shopping again.After all  waiting for  pujo means preparations for festive days, countdown to festivities,churning out childhood pujo nostalgia and letting happiness come through the windows.

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 For a Bengali out of Bengal,Durga Puja is perhaps the most loved and most missed  of all the festivities.UK is interspersed with Bengali communities and Durga pujas in almost every county, but the crazy fervour of five day long festivity of my homeland is perhaps nowhere to be found.The essence of waiting for the arrival of Durga pujo is hugely missed now a days. As a child my  pujo countdown  would ideally begin, as soon as I would see the Ekdalia Pujo Pandal,nearer to my school being constructed.With each passing day of the pandal nearing it’s completion,my joy  and

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happiness would increase manifold at the thought of  start of the  month long pujo vacation.The pujo special editions of  children’s magazines would start to inundate the market by that time.  As kids we had our share of worries too-which pandals to visit,what dress to wear on each day of  pujo,and offcourse drawing up a list of food we would like to eat on pujo days.Luchi and chhola’r dal was ear marked for Shaptami, while Bhog -er Khichuri and labra for Ashtami ,Nabami was special with menus like pulao, mangsho and maach er paturi and off course shondesh and other sweets on Bijoya Doshomi-the last day of pujo.

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Paturi is the name given to a dish and cooking method very typical and traditional of Bengal. The word paturi comes from the Bengali word ”Pata” meaning leaf.In  this particular form of cooking the ingredients are wrapped in  leaves and cooked in steam or by roasting the parcel on the griddle. The leaves used in paturi plays an important role in the cooking ,as the leaves when steamed enhances the flavour of the dish. Paturi can be both vegetarian and non-vegetarian depending on the choice of key ingredients. The popular paturi dishes are Prawn paturi, Bhetki-maach er paturi among the non vegetarian dishes and chhana ‘r paturi,mocha’r paturi  among the vegetarian options. The leaves used in this preparation can range from banana leaf to ash gourd leaf .

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Use of leaf for wrapping cooking ingredients while cooking is also common among other cultures ,other than Bengali traditional style of cooking. Thai, Parsi and Caribbean style of cooking are abound with recipes using banana leaf to wrap key ingredients being marinated in various spices. Paturi ,very simple yet versatile and rich in flavour  is said to have originated in Dhaka,but now it is considered to be one of the signature Bengali dishes,being cooked on special occasions and during festivities.

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Ingredients

Bhetki or any other white fish(Cod/Haddock /Pollock etc) fillets : 6

Mustard Oil : 3 tablespoon

Turmeric powder: 1teaspoon

Coconut, grated : 4 tablespoon

Salt, to taste

Green Chilli paste : 1 tablespoon

Green Chilli: 6 (split length-wise)

Mustard paste(yellow) : 3-4 tablespoon

Banana leaves ,a few

Gondhoraj lebu zest : 1 teaspoon(optional)

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Method

  • Combine the mustard oil,mustard paste,green chilli paste, grated coconut, turmeric powder,salt.Blend it well and generously coat each fish fillet.
  • Sprinkle some zest of Gondhoraj lebu on top of the fish.This is an additional and optional step, a deviation from the original recipe. It enhances the flavour of mustard just the way chocolate does to coffee.
  • Keep the fish fillets marinated for half an hour.
  • Cut the banana leaves in a 8/8” square shape. Rub mustard oil gently on it’s glossy side. Lightly roast the banana leaf on the heat to make it soft and foldable. Roasting will slightly change the colour of the leaves.
  • Now place one of the marinated fish fillets in a prepared banana leaf,top the fish fillet with a slit green chilli and wrap neatly to form a parcel or envelope.
  • Tie the leaf envelope with a thread or seal them with wooden toothpicks.
  • In the same way make 6 envelopes.
  • Take a large frying pan and grease it with oil.
  • Place  banana leaf parcels in it and cover with an airtight lead so that steam cannot escape.
  • Cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  • After that turn each packet upside down, to allow the other side of the fish to be cooked.
  • Cook the other side of the fish for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and transfer the paturi to a serving dish
  • Serve the closed parcels with steamed rice .
  • Unwrap and let the subtle smell of paturi fill your senses with joy.

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Stars are born not made and Kaju Murgi/Cashew Chicken

chicken cashew

Quite a few summers  back when life was still carefree and all dreamy with Feminist thoughts in my head  I was working on my Masters of Sociology thesis, the topic  being  an in-depth study on women’s empowerment ,the focus being  Kolkata based women performing artists  -their personal and professional life.Let’s admit we all have immense curiosity about the life of celebrities particularly actresses,to know what lies behind the aura of -camera ,light and action!I got to interview a number of actresses of by gone days and current times as well,but  a few interview touched my heart,specially the ones by noted Bengali actresses Gita Dey and Supriya Chowdhury(popularly known as Benu di ).

Gita Dey and Supriya Chowdhury from a scene in Ritwik Ghatak's Meghe Dhaka Tara

Gita Dey and Supriya Chowdhury from a scene in Ritwik Ghatak’s Meghe Dhaka Tara

We have all been mesmerized by the power packed performances of Gita Dey in films like Meghe Dhaka Tara,Komol Gandhar,Teen Kanya,but really what I saw of her when I met her was bit saddening and unexpected.While I walked through the  dingy alleys of North Calcutta to reach her Manicktala house,disappointment set in.The glamorous and powerful character artist’s (as she addressed herself)  cinematic existence was rather sidelined,and roles reduced to mere guest appearances,but the aura was yet to fade.I greeted her with a pranam and a box of sweets,when I saw her.She talked for hours about

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 how she entered the film world and how she struggled through initially,baring it all,almost.Nothing perturbed her unputdownable spirit then and now,when she was struggling to make both ends meet with a schizophrenic son to look after.The interview lasted for a couple of hours.I was about to get up,rolling my interview notes carefully,when she suddenly stopped me from getting up saying

Gita Dey  from a scene in Ritwik Ghatak's Meghe Dhaka Tara

Gita Dey from another scene in Ritwik Ghatak’s Meghe Dhaka Tara

”bosho,mishti anacchee”(seat,I am getting sweets for you).Been there with her for two hours,and a look at the dilapidated state of the house I fathomed her financial condition quite well.”Dida,I will come some other day for the sweets”,I quipped.Probably she read my mind,”Sohini,I am still  not that much poor that I can’t  treat you with few sweets,specially,when you have brought me a box of  sweet”.I felt a lump in my throat,so just nodded in agreement.True ,as they said stars are born ,not made.She was one of them.

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Another actress,who impressed me was Supriya Chowdhury,also known as Supriya Debi.Supriya charmed many,and earned a huge fan following since the 1950s along with the contemporary  actress Suchitra Sen as the Bengali film leading ladies.Supriya Debi

Source: blog.buzzintown.com

Supriya Debi in Lux Soap Advertisement. Photo Source: blog.buzzintown.com

unlike Gita Dey lived a life in the fast lane,she enjoyed the status of being the real life love interest of the legendary Bengali star-actor Uttam Kumar.She was born on the Chinese border of Burma in  a place called Mytchina.She reminisced  her  childhood days-how she along with her family

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walked for a month and 23 days   to Calcutta,during the World War II .She stated  her modest life experiences made her more grounded. In-spite of her star status she enjoyed doing many of her own day to day activities ,including cooking and she enjoyed every bit of it.Much later,I came across this book written by her-”Benu di’r Rannabanna”(Benudi’s Cooking) where she shared

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anecdotes of her experiences in the film world along with  some of her much loved recipes.In her book  she tells how Bollywood actor Sanjeev Kumar revisited her all the way from Bombay(now Mumbai) just to enjoy delicacies cooked by her.One of the recipes,which she made to treat Sanjeev Kumar  was ”Kaju Chicken

Of the  recipes I tried from her book,this one is my  personal favorite.This rich and creamy Indian chicken dish  goes  well with rice or naan,and bears the potential to be a  showstopper recipe in a dinner party.

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Ingredients

  • Chicken drumsticks : 8 pieces
  • Whole black cardamom powder: 1 tablespoon
  • 3 Onions(large -medium sized), finely sliced
  • Greek Yogurt/ thick hung yogurt: 1/2 cup
  • Red chili powder: 1 tablespoon( adjust  according to taste)
  • Ginger paste : 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic paste : 1 tablespoon
  • Cashew nut ,dry roasted : 50 gm
  • Cream: 50 ml
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Kewra essence, a drop(optional)
  • Oil,to cook

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  • Wash,clean,pat dry the chicken drumsticks.Rub them with salt and keep aside.Fry the chicken drumsticks  till golden brown.
  • Fry the onion slices ,till  golden brown,keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix yogurt with red chili powder,ginger-garlic paste,sugar and salt to taste.Whisk and mix properly,keep aside.
  • In the remaining oil in the wok,put 1 tablespoon of big whole cardamom powder.Put the yogurt -spice mix in the oil and stir continuously at low flame.
  • Cook till the oil separates.
  • Put the fried  chicken drumsticks and the fried onions ,ones the oil separates from the yogurt-spice mix.Cover and cook at low sim.
  • Add the roasted cashew nut paste ,once the chicken is well cooked.
  • Add cream and kewra essence(if using),and give it a good stir.
  • Put off the flame ,cover the chicken and give it a standing time of 5 minutes on the hob.
  • Serve hot with rice/naan/rumali roti.

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Goan Prawn Pulao / Arroz Com Camarao de Goa

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There are very few dishes which work out equally good on super hectic work nights as well as during the special supper on a more relaxed weekend.This Goan prawn pulao is one such star dish.The amazing aroma of fresh prawns and Indian whole spices will never fail you.It is one such easy to make one pot meal,that  is favorite of all prawn lovers.This dish is  versatile in the sense,you can incorporate your choice of vegetables along with the prawns to make it a perfect no fuss balanced diet.Light,nutritious and filling .What else do you want for a perfect meal ?If that’s  not enough,then let me tell you,it is time saving too.

Goa is known to be one of  the main hub of sea food in India.Situated in the western coast of India,along the shore of Arabian Sea,Goan cuisine includes,coconut milk,spices and rice apart from sea food as it’s main cooking ingredients.

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Apart from it’s original Hindu -traditional cooking form, the cuisine of Goa is largely influenced by Portuguese Colonization  of 400 years. Coming to Portuguese influence on  Goan style of cooking,it is  said that the Portuguese exhibited to the Indians the use of herbs,spices,tomatoes and chili in cooking.Prawn Balchao and Pork Vindaloo  are two famous examples,of such influence which has taken over Goan cuisine since the inception of the Portuguese colonization till the modern time.Thus Goan cuisine is a wonderful blend of east and west.

Coming to Goan Prawn Pulao or Arroz  Com Camarao de Goa,this dish like many other Goan recipe,bear resemblance to Portuguese style of cooking.Scented with the aroma of cinnamon,small  cardamom,clove, and marked by the meaty taste of the succulent prawns this  recipe is a welcome alternative to the regular pulao.

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Ingredients :

  • 200 gm prawn,whole,un-shelled,washed
  • 1 cup long grained rice
  •  white oil/ghee to cook
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • 2-3 small green cardamom
  • 3 teaspoon garlic,finely chopped
  • 1 medium  sized onion,finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric(1/2 teaspoon for marinating prawns and 1/2 teaspoon  for the pulao)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala powder
  • 2-3 green chili,finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes,halved
  • 1/4th cup  green peas
  • cilantro or parsley leaves ,a handful,finely chopped
  • 1 cup  coconut milk,thinned with 1 cup water
  • salt  to taste
  • sugar to taste

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Method:

  • Remove the heads and shells of the prawns,de-vein,wash,pat dry and keep aside.
  • Marinate the prawns with turmeric and salt.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry the prawns till  golden pink.Take out prawns of  the frying pan and keep aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil/ghee to the oil   in which prawns have been fried.
  • Heat the oil,and temper it with bay leaf,cinnamon,green cardamom(slightly crushed),cloves,peppercorn
  • Let the whole spices splutter and cook at low to medium flame.
  • After 1 minute,add the finely chopped garlic,saute till golden brown.
  • Add the chopped onions.
  • Sprinkle 1/4th teaspoon sugar,fry the onions till soft and golden for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add turmeric, red chili powder,cumin powder,coriander powder,garam masala powder .Saute for a minute or two.
  • Add  1 cup coconut milk thinned with 1 cup water.Stir well.Let the gravy come to a boil.At this stage add the fried prawns and salt to  taste and let the gravy thicken and come to a boil.
  • Once the gravy thickens,remove the prawns and keep aside.Prawns tends to get chewy and rubbery ,when overcooked,so it should be added to the pulao preferably in the last stage.
  • Add the green peas and  rice to the gravy,cover and cook(the ratio of rice to the coconut gravy  should be 1:2)
  • Add salt and sugar as per taste
  • Once the rice is almost done,add the prawns,chopped green chili and  1/2 tablespoon ghee
  • Adjust the salt and sugar content if required.Turn off the flame.Give it a standing time of  2-3 minute.
  • Transfer it to the serving bowl.
  • In a wok take 1/2 teaspoon oil.Heat it.Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves ,put them in the oil along with a handful  finely chopped parsley or cilantro leaves .Saute them slightly in  the oil for 1-2 minutes,at medium flame.
  • Garnish the pulao with the glazed cherry tomatoes.They will  add the perfect sweet-tangy taste to the spicy pulao rice.
  • Serve the pulao with raita or yogurt dip of your choice or savor it on it’s own.

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