Category Archives: Food

Fried Pork Belly

Tahira was inspired by her friend, Nilakshi Barooah, for this delicacy

pork

One of the oldest forms of livestock, pigs have been domesticated since 5000 BC. The culinary name of the meat obtained from domesticated pig is termed as pork. Pork is one of the most commonly consumed meat worldwide.

I love pork. It is one of the red meats that I can savour with taste buds. Though I started consuming pork at a much later age, but I simply fell in love with it. The appreciation for pork reach its height when my one-time boyfriend (who hailed for the north-east) took me to some exotic food joints in Delhi to have pork delicacies.

But, this recipe is inspired by one of my friends Nilakshi, who also hails from Guwahati (Assam), now residing in Singapore. Her recent status claimed that she has finally mastered Fried Pork. So, a gourmet like me could not possibly have been left far behind to concoct up the dish. I must say it turned out to be yummy. Since Nilakshi was the inspiration, I dedicate this post to her.

PS: N, I have added two seasonal vegetables to the dish. Hope you don’t mind!

Ingredients

  1. Pork Belly Pieces with Fat
  2. Finely chopped garlic (about 10 cloves)
  3. 50 grams ginger finely chopped
  4. 1 large onion coarsely chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  7. Half a teaspoon turmeric
  8. Fresh black pepper ground
  9. Half a teaspoon brown sugar (white sugar will also do)
  10. Red Chilli Powder (according to taste)
  11. Chopped Green Chillies ( depends how hot you want it to be)
  12. 1 large capsicum, diced (optional)
  13. 1 broccoli cut into pieces (optional)
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Cooking Oil

Method

Pressure cook the pork pieces with a pinch of salt and keep aside. Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a pan and sauté the capsicum and broccoli for 5 minutes and keep aside. Now in the same oil,  sauté garlic and onions. In a separate pan, mix all the remaining ingredients together with the pre-cooked pork and stir into the pan containing the sautéed vegetable and garlic and onion. Put on high flame and cook for around 7 minutes and keep stirring. Bring down to simmer. Keep tossing and turning the mixture until the pork turns tender. The pork will start releasing its fat and in the process get cooked in it and it will release a nice aroma! Cover lid and keep for a minute. Remove from gas a serve on a bed of lettuce (optional).

pig

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Home-made Pancake on a Sunday Afternoon

pan 3

Pancakes are types of flat breads, generally round in shape enjoyed by millions across cultures. Though not much popular in India, but pancakes can make for an excellent snack in the evening or sometimes even breakfast – on days you want to try something different.

Back home for my summer breaks (spanning nearly three months) I would trying making some or the other snack almost every evening. So, it was just one of those days that I thought of concocting up a continental delicacy in the kitchen. Though the first attempt turned out to be good enough, but consequent attempts turned me into a good pancake-maker. I still make pancakes and sometimes make my friends savour their taste buds over this home-made delicacy. Here’s the recipe of simple home-made pancake for a Sunday afternoon snack.

pancake 1Ingredients

  • pan 22 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of milk (250 ml)
  • All-purpose flour (maida for Indian Kitchens)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Pinch of baking powder (optional)
  • Cooking Oil

Method

pancake 2Take a deep pan and mix all ingredients except oil together. You can either use a spatula or a hand blender. Stir well to form a thick consistency of the batter. Keep it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

In a flat bottomed frying pan pour 3 tablespoons of cooking oil. Once heated, spread the batter evenly. Keep for a minute or two; then turn it over and cook for another two minutes. Reduce flame and wait for a minute or so. Transfer it on a plate. You can enjoy the pancake with a sauce of your choice.

Beer-Battered Prawns

clean prawns

Since I am a foodie, I am always in search of satiating my culinary delights. Though a Bong by birth, I relish almost all delicacies from across the world. From the Italian Rissotto to Nigerian Jollof Rice – from traditional Bengali Mangsher Jhol (Mutton Curry) to Rajma Chawal – I concoct up a galore of dishes in my kitchen. From starters to main course till desserts – you can find almost anything.

Last Saturday it started raining heavily. I woke up In the morning with a gloomy mood. Saturdays are off days from work. So, after breakfast all I did was lazying around. But, by afternoon when I started feeling more dull, suddenly, the idea of concocting up a spicy non-veg snack came to my mind. It struck me a pack of prawns are lying in the fridge and its been already three days. Lo and behold! Minutes later I was in the kitchen making Beer Battered Prawns.

Here’s the Recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour/ Maida 250 grams
  • Beer 150 ml
  • Prawns 250 grams (clean and de-veined)
  • Cooking oil 4 to 5 table spoons
  • Pinch of Turmeric
  • Pinch of Red Chili Powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Method:

Clean and pat dry prawns; marinate them with salt, pinch of turmeric and red chili powder;In a bowl mix take some flour and add beer and salt according to taste. Mix well to make a batter;In a frying pan add oil and wait till it is heated up. Dip the prawns in the batter, coat them evenly and deep fry them. Serve with Tartar Sauce.

Simple Kadhai Chicken Without Capsicums

kadhai chicken 1

This weekend I had a gala time. My ex-flatmate had been inviting me over to her place in Gurgaon for a long time now. Finally we met after almost a lapse of one year. Now, when two Bengalis meet, food has to make its way into the conversations. So it did. We were so overwhelmed by the fact that, we both ended up deciding that lets cook chicken for dinner. Within an hour the raw chicken arrived and we both arranged all other ingredients in a hurry. I being the gourmet, again dawned the chef’s hat to toss up Kadhai Chicken.

The Kadhai is a not-so-deep or not-so-shallow frying that is idiosyncratic to every Indian kitchen. To know more about Kadhai, you can click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karahi.

Capsicum is usually used to make this delicacy, but since we were short of time and of course ingredients, I opted for the simplest way to make this delectable delicacy. Here’s how:

onions and tomatoesIngredients

  • Chicken 500 grams cut and cleaned
  • 1 big onion finely sliced
  • 1 big tomato finely chopped
  • 2  table spoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 3 whole dried red chillis
  • 2 table spoons of coriander seeds (dhania)
  • 2 bay leaves (tej patta)
  • Coriander leaves (dhania patta)
  • 3 table spoons of oil
  • Salt according to taste

Method:

Begin by grinding the red chillies and the coriander seeds into a coarse powder and keep aside. Heat the required quantity of oil in a kadhai and add the bay leaves. After a few seconds add the sliced onions and sauté till it turns brownish. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute; add the above-mentioned coarse powder. Add the chopped tomatoes and pinch of salt. Stir for sometime until the tomatoes blend well with the masala. Now add the chicken pieces and stir vigorously until it mixes well with the masala. Pour a little water and  a pinch of salt and cover with a lid. Cook till chicken becomes tender. Sprinkle some garam masala and turn off gas. Serve with rice or roti.

red-chillies-whole-dried--1848-p

The Yakhni Pulao

yakhni pulao

Just as the biryani, the Pilaf or Pulao, as it is commonly known as, a rice dish where the rice is slowly cooked in a broth. Depending upon the region, the colour of the dish varies —sometimes with hues of yellow or sometimes brownish. Just as the biryani, the pulao’s orgin can be traced largely to the Middle East, Balkans and the Indian subcontinent.

The earliest reerences of the pulao can be traced in the historical chronicles of Alexander the Great where he describes the Bactrian way of hospitality. Bactria is a region in present day Iran. It is believed that the Pulao was popularized in Greece by Alexnder and his men.

Even the pulao has its variations. It can be cooked without meat, making it a complete vegan delicacy or pieces of meat can add to its aroma.

cinnamon_bayleaf

Being a gourmet, I have tried my hands at concocting up this delicacy more often in my kitchen. So, this time I tought of sharing the receipe of Yakhni Pulao with my readers.

Ingredients

Shoulder mutton or chicken 200 gms

  • 1\2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste.
  • Salt to taste
  • 21\2 cup basmati rice (soaked and drained)
  • 1 tbsp oil\ghee
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 2 bay leaves & 2 dalchini sticks
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1\2 cup coriander leaves (optional)
  • 4 – 5 green chilies slit lengthwise

Method

Raw chickCook mutton or chicken in 5-6 cups of water in a pressure cooker with turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and salt for 20 minutes till tender. Strain stock and keep aside for cooking rice. Cut meat into pieces or shred them. Heat oil or ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and fry whole spices till aroma is released. Add onion and sauté till its translucent. Add rice and fry for a minute. Add the stock, meat pieces and other remaining ingredients. Bring to boil, lower heat and cook till stock is absorbed. Pulao is made.

Goan Fish Curry

pomfret in cocnot gravy10

Goa, the land of sun-kissed beaches and pristine blue waters, is India’s tourist haven. It is also a haven for seafood lovers. Those who love seafood, Goa will never let you down. From salmon to bombil, from squids to crabs- the quintessential Goan delicacies will always delight a gourmet. Since, Goa offers a galore of delicacies. Rice and fish curry is one of the most popular dishes of Goa. Here’s the quick and simple recipe.

pomfretIngredients

  • Bhetki or Pomfret. One can also use bombil/ Bombay Duck
  • Cooking Oil 3 table spoons
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • Coconut Milk around 75 ml
  • Red Chilli Paste
  • Garam Masala
  • Salt to Taste

Method

Fry some bhetki fillet or pomfret and keep aside. In a wok add oil, coconut milk, ginger, garlic and red chilli paste and stir for at least five to seven minutes. When broth is thick add the fried fish, salt and a pinch of garam masala. It will be ready in minutes. Enjoy the cooked fish with steamed rice.

The Kaju Chingri – Quick Prawn Curry With Cashew Paste

paro's prawn malaicurry

Though prawns or the Chingri is often considered and always addressed as maachh (fish), but actually prawns are crustaceans found largely in Britain and Commonwealth Nations. The Bengalis of the subcontinent, (both West Bengal and Bangladesh) relish the prawn to great extent. From Chingri Maachher Malaikari to Chingri Maachher Bora or simply fried prawns – Bengalis love chingri maachh.

Being a true blue bong, it is quite difficult for me to go without fish for days. Unfortunately, I have to manage as I do not have access to it and visiting Chitto Park so often does not live up to my itinerary. But nonetheless, since I love fish, just thought of sharing this delicacy.

tiger prawnsINGREDIENTS: –

  • Bagda chingri around 500 grams
  • Ginger-garlic paste 2 table spoons
  • Red chilli powder  few pinches or as hot as you like
  • Lime juice 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder   few pinches
  • White oil – 3 table spoons
  • Salt to taste

For gravy onion paste around 50 grams cashew paste – 75 to 100 grams curd 3 tbsp salt and sugar to taste, garam masala – according to taste red chilli powder.

METHOD:-

Clean and wash prawns. Retain heads and tails. Marinate with the specified ingredients for half an hour. Heat required quantity of oil in a pan. Sauté the fish lightly, drain and keep aside. Heat tbsp of oil in a pan and fry onion paste till golden brown. Add cashew paste and fry till oil separates from cashew. Now add curd, red chilli powder, salt and sugar. Sauté till it looks oily. Add some water, prawns and garam masala powder. Simmer till gravy thickens.  Garnish with finely slit tomatoes, green chillies and coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.

Enjoy Kaju Chingri!