Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fried Rice (Plain And Simple!)

I've always been a fan of plain, simple, no-fuss cooking. And why not? There's much to be said for dishes that you can rustle up at ten minutes' notice, dishes that don't require much chopping of ingredients and stirring of gravy. So when I found myself home-alone the other day, wondering what to cook for lunch, I decided on Fried Rice - no frills, no fuss, easy as 1-2-3!

What You Need:
Good long-grained rice (preferably Dehradun variety) - 1 measure (for 1 person)
Chopped red and yellow bell peppers - according to rice measure
Sliced button mushrooms - 4
Sweet corn - 1/2 cup
Chopped onion - 1
Garlic paste or garlic flakes - 1 teaspoon
Thai Sweet Sauce - or just about any kind of sauce will do!
Butter - 3 tablespoons

Here's How You Make It!:
Make the rice the normal way, be careful not to overcook it. Drain it of water and set aside.
Add some butter in a saucepan, when it melts and starts sizzling, add the onions, and fry.
Add chopped peppers and mushrooms, as well as the sweet corn.
Let the vegetables cook on their own, then add the rice, the sauce, some salt and pepper, and stir continuously, till it's all mixed up.
You'll know the Fried Rice is done when the rice and the vegetables have come together well, make sure it doesn't become sticky.
Serve with salad and a little bit of fresh coriander. Yum!

Special thanks to Shreya Sarkar for photo-editing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Coastal Pomfret Curry.

It's so much fun being a Bengali. Apart from the brilliant Rabindra Sangeet that we listen to and the amazing five days of Durga Puja that we enjoy, we can boast of possibly one of the most diverse cuisines in India. Right from bhaja moonger dal to murighonto, from ilish maacher paturi to potol posto, we have it all - sweet, sour, spicy - all cooked different ways to suit a variety of palates. 
Today I made pomfret maach, but not with the usual tomato-based gravy that we are used to. I cooked it with a slight coastal flavour. Here's how.

Pomfret fish - 2 whole medium pieces
Coconut milk - 5 tablespoons
Red chilli - 2 pieces
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - shredded 
Onion and garlic paste
Salt, turmeric, maida, red chilli powder - to taste

And here's how you make it!
Lightly coat the pomfret with maida, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder, then fry slightly so that the fish is crisp but not overcooked. Set aside.
Heat oil, fry onion and garlic paste. Throw in just a few mustard seeds, add some salt and the red chillis - keep cooking. Next, add the coconut milk, and add a little water, along with the curry leaves. Add the pomfret to this. Let it cook till the gravy thickens.
Serve hot.

The coconut milk and the curry leaves add a wonderful coastal flavour, while the mustard seeds and the red chilli leave a delightfully spicy feeling in your mouth. A must-try, and so ridiculously easy to make.

Photo editing courtesy: Shreya Sarkar.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chicken Pulao.

Chicken Pulao. Steaming hot.
A treat for the senses on nights that surround you with a vague sense of something's-not-quite-right. Chicken Pulao, with its smell of ghee, flavouring of cinnamon and clove, its chunky bits of chicken, potato and tender rice... Chicken Pulao makes it all better.
I cooked this with chicken that had been marinated in tok doi and dhonepata chutney. Add a bit of gondholebu to the Pulao when it's done, and it's simply delicious. Team it with raita or even salad, for a meal that stays with you.
Aah, heavenly.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chowmein - The Healthy Way!

Most of the time, the Chowmein you eat outside is oily, perhaps even a little smelly, and especially if it's Gravy Chowmein - the gravy tends to leave a rather sour after-taste. (Of course, this depends on the restaurant and the situation.)
Home-made Chowmein, in my opinion, is the nicest. I like it the way Ma makes it, because there's practically no oil, the vegetables are just the ones I like (mushrooms and baby corn, yes please!) and well, it's basically this healthy, wholesome meal that has none of the greasiness of oil, yet much of the tinge of Ma'r haater ranna which works magic on any dish!
Here, the chowmein has been boiled separately, the vegetables tossed and sauteed, then added to a stock-based gravy, which was poured over the dish. Simply delectable!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Sausage.

Sausages. Spicy or bland. Sliced or whole. With accompaniment or without. They're almost like a warm hug on cold winter nights.
I whipped up this snack, partly because I was hungry and partly because one can always be in the mood for sausages.
Flavoured with salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, chilli flakes, fried garlic, and oregano.
A sublime delight.
Because sausages, someday, will rule the world.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cheese Mushroom-Tomato Toast, Flavoured With Crushed Fried Garlic

I think the title pretty much says it all, but if you want details - spread a slice of bread with Cheese Spread, cut lightly boiled mushrooms length-wise (thinly), ditto for tomatoes - add on top of the bread. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Spencers' crushed fried garlic. Repeat for however many slices you'd like. Grill till goldenish-brown and crisp.
Perfect snack for a chilly autumn evening. Goes down rather well with hot and sweet lemon tea.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Fabulous Cheese Omelette.

Sohini says she likes her cheese omelettes with big chunks of melted cheese oozing out of it, not the wimpy omelettes with a little grated cheese that smell of the flavour but don't taste of it. So this post is for her- the Fabulous Cheese Omelette, unashamedly revelling in its quantity of the filling!
The perfect breakfast for those who like it slightly rich and heavy. Though you could have it at any time of day. That's the wonder of an omelette.
*photo courtesy: Sohini*
P.S. - I didn't make this omelette. I'm guessing Sohini did. But woohoo for cheese - it can always save the day.