Welcome to our website !

on food, people and places

Rava Upma/Rawa Upma / Suji Upma/ Semolina Upma-Quick and healthy Breakfast Recipes/Healthy Breakfast recipe for children



According to Wiki “ Upma or Uppuma or Uppittu is a common South Indian, Maharashtrian and Sri Lankan Tamils breakfast dish, cooked as a thick porridge from dry roasted semolina or coarse rice flour. Various seasonings and/or vegetables are often added during the cooking, depending on individual preferences. These days, it is popular in most parts of India and is prepared in various ways”

However I must add that it is also cooked in Bengali household with a little variation in the cooking method. It also brings back memories of Delhi University PGW hostel days when we used to eagerly wait for weekend for some good food and Upma was one of them in the breakfast.

I usually cook this almost every second weekend for my daughter as she can easily self-feed this breakfast. It is healthy, easy to make without much fuss, adults can eat it too.  I don’t know why I didn’t think about sharing the recipe before till someone requested the recipe.

Without much ado, the recipe.



Rava Upma/ Suji Upma/ Semolina Upma-Quick and healthy Breakfast Recipes/Healthy Breakfast recipe for children

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serve: 4

Level Of Cooking: Moderate


Ingredients for Vegetable Upma Recipe

1 1/2 cups Semolina (rava/suji)
1 medium Carrot cut into ¼ inch cubes
6-8 French beans, cut into ¼ inch cubes
1/2 cup Green peas
1 medium Green capsicum
1 medium Onion (optional)
2 Green chillies (optional)
1 inch piece Ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil (or less if you do not fry the veggies or the cashew nut)
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
10 Curry leaves
1 teaspoons Split black gram skinless (dhuli urad dal)
1 tea spoon split Bengal gram
1 tablespoon coconut
10 cashew nut (optional)
2 cup water
Salt to taste

Method:
1.     Dry roast the Suji/rava in a fry pan till they are slightly goldish (not too much not too much)   and there is a nutty flavour. Then keep them aside
2.     Wash and cut all the vegetables. You can actually use as many and as much veggie as you want
3.     Give oil in the fry pan and warm
4.     Add mustard seed
5.     When it starts popping add the Urad dal and Bengal gram, fry till they are lightly golden (1mins maybe or less!!)
6.     Add curry leave, onion and the cashew nut and fry till onions are translucent, by this time nuts should be fried too.
7.     Add veggies and sauté a little
8.     Add warm water
9.     Add the rava or suji.
10.  Add salt as per taste and add green chili ( if using)
11.   Cook till water is reduced and the upma is thick in consistency

12.  Garnish with coconut and serve with coconut chutney or coconut tomato chutney




Bengali Macher Chop/Maacher Chop or Fish Croquette and a week with my daughter



I made this chops two weeks back and have been meaning to upload them. Well I was on holiday this whole week and I had made this huge to do list. Uploading this one on the blog was one of them. I didn’t achieve much from the lists. No regrets as I got to spend a lot of time with my daughter whom I don’t get to see much during the weeks. She has a very busy life.
Being two and half is not easy. It is a hard life.

Her usual day start with getting up 6 am in the morning, getting dressed and then going to her child minders. It doesn’t stop at that. They she goes for school drops, then to children centre, have lunch, go to sleep and then school pick up. In between lots of running around after a cat named chocolate and dinner. From five her wait starts; waiting for mumma to pick her up at 6.30ish.  Then she comes back home, take a bath, play with mumma, and maybe eat something. Then its bed time with some story.

That’s a lot of work for a day. That is also lots of time without mumma!!!!!!!!!!

This week was about being with my favourite person in the world. My heart outside by body. Neelormi Bhuiyan Chatterjee. We call her Neemi apart from many other names.
Our day started with some ‘gyada gyadi’ (a Bengali term with no English translation) in bed. I have taught her butterfly kiss (a kiss where you flutter your eye lids on the cheek). We keep kissing each other and my dotty breaks into such giggle that it melts my heart (by the way a mother’s heart’s melting point is very low). This is the time I cherish the most as she voluntarily spends so much time so close to me. Rest of the time she is like a fish, constantly moving around.
We make my tea together. She is an expert in making tea. She knows when to give water, tea and milk. ‘ no more water bas bas’ ‘get milk now’ ‘I do it’  and ‘here you go’ ‘tea’ and my tea is ready. I am set for the day. She makes her tea too but it’s from the blue bottle. ‘waterrrrrr please’ no more bas bas. Mumma I told you bas bas!

We sit in our balcony with our tea. Now it’s time to play with some bubbles. We make bubbles and look at them flying to the sky together. ‘Mummy look’ and I look at her proudly for making the biggest bubble in the wholestttt world! I can see the rainbow on my daughter’s face. As I keep looking for the ninth wonder my daughter is making with simple soapy water, my face lights up with pride. And my daughter seems brighter then the sun. We exchange our secret look and break into giggle.
Ahhh life is bliss!


Without much ado, the recipe for the Bengali Macher Chop/Maacher Chop or   Fish Chop Croquette. There are several variety for the process. Most of the chop available in market have very thick coat of breadcrumb and very little fish. I will give that recipe for that some other day. This one taste little different as it has light coat of bread crumb and more of fish and needs less oil to fry. I personally like this one more as it’s fishier in taste, healthier without compromise on the taste. But of course it is not up to the mark to meet nostalgia for many who grew up in Kolkata.
Give it a try and I am sure you will not be disappointed.





Cooking time: 30mins
Preparation time: 30 mins (including boiling potatoes)
Difficulty level: Easy
Category: Snacks, first course of main meal

Ingredients:
 4 fillet of bone less Tilapia/Basa/ any white fish like Rohu etc
2 big potatoes
1 big onion
2 table spoon of lime juice
1 table spoon ginger paste
1 table spoon garlic paste (optional)
1 green chilli cut into small pieces (optional)
1 teaspoon chili powder (as per taste)
1/2 tablespoon garam masala (I used sunrise Shahi garam masala from Kolkata)
Bunch of fresh coriander (as per taste)
Salt as per taste
1 cup bread crumb
1 egg for egg wash
Oil for deep frying



Method:
1.      Take the skin off the potatoes, wash and boil them. Keep aside to cool
2.      Meanwhile slice onion into thin slices
3.      Heat oil on a frying pan and fry the onions till little brownish
4.      Add ginger and garlic ( if using) and fry till oil separates
5.      Add fish fillets ( pre washed) and fry  for 2/3mins
6.      Add salt, chilli powder and half the garam masala
7.      Fry the fish thoroughly and then keep aside
8.      Meanwhile mash the potatoes
9.      Add lemon juice , rest of the garam masala, fried fish, coriander, green chili ( if using) and mash properly
10.   Meanwhile spread the bread crumb on a plate
11.   Break the egg and beat in
12.   Divide the mixture into small or medium shaped round patties.
13.   Heat oil in a shallow frying pan.
14.   Coat each patty with breadcrumb and then soak into egg
15.   Immediate place them on hot oil and fry till brown
16.   Serve hot along  with Kasundi and onion or ketchup   




Mogo Tikki (Cassava Tikki) by Leena: An unsung Superstar Tikki




 Leena is a friend and life saver. I have known her for over six years now. From my days of being a student at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), paper submissions, endless night readings to the birth of my child, she has been with us thick and thin. Our weekends are better because of her Aloo paratha, her animated conversation, and endless suggestion of how to keep the home clean and tidy. Her knowledge of which product is sale in Wilkinson to where is the best place to shop cloths are as wide as her culinary skill.  Her recipes are also very different from a Bengali kitchen which attracts me a lot as I get to eat very unusual, unsung Gujrati home cuisine.  

Here is one of Leena’s best dishes that I have had: Mogo Tikki (Cassava Tikki)

What is Mogo or Cassava: From Wiki “The cassava root is long and tapered, with a firm, homogeneous flesh encased in a detachable rind, about 1 mm thick, rough and brown on the outside. Commercial varieties can be 5 to 10 cm (2.0 to 3.9 in) in diameter at the top, and around 15 to 30 cm (5.9 to 11.8 in) long. A woody vascular bundle runs along the root's axis. The flesh can be chalk-white or yellowish. Cassava roots are very rich in starch and contain significant amounts of calcium (50 mg/100g), phosphorus (40 mg/100g) and vitamin C (25 mg/100g). However, they are poor in protein and other nutrients.”

The Mogo picture attached is not my photo. I have taken it from Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava


Makes: 10 depending on size of the tikka number can vary
Time: 1 hours including preparation
Level: very easy  

Ingredients
500gm cassava or Mogo
500gm yoghurt
2/3table spoon lime/lemon juice
1 bunch fresh coriander
3 Green chill (or more if you like it hot)  
1inch ginger’s paste
1 onion diced into small pieces
Salt and paper as per taste
2 teaspoon chat masala
Sev for garnishing
Tomato garnishing
Oil for frying the tikka
4/5 tablespoon Corn flower

Ingredients for coriander Chutney
1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 green chili
1 or 2 tsp lemon juice
½ sugar (optional)
Black salt or rock salt or sea salt as required

Ingredients for Dates and Tamarind Chutney
½ cup Tamarind
½ cup seedless dates
½ jaggary
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ cumin powder
½ red chilli powder (optional)
Black salt or rock salt or sea salt as required



Method :
1  1  Cut and clean  the Mogo in to small pieces and boil
2.      Meanwhile take all the ingredient for coriander chutney in a blender and mix it well. Keep aside. The consistency will be thick liquid
3.       Take all the ingredient for Date and tamarind chutney in blender and mix well. It will be liquid  in consistency
4.      Now the Mogo should be boiled. Mash them like potato
5.      Add salt, paper, ginger paste, green chilli, lime/lemon  juice, chat masala and mix well with the mashed Mogo
6.      Divide the mixture into small or medium shaped patties. Rub corn flower on both the sides of the tikki
7.      Heat oil in a tava or a shallow frying pan. Gently place the Mogo tikki and pan fry them. You can also deep fry them
8.      When one side of tikki becomes golden and crisp, turn over and fry the other side of tikki.
9.      Gently flip for a couple of times till the mogo tikki are golden and crisp evenly.
10.   Once done, then drain the Mogo  tikki on paper towels to remove excess oil.
11.    Arrange the tikka in a shallow deep plate
12.   Mix the yogurt with little water/milk  and pour over the arranged tikkis and let it soak for 5 mins
13.   Pour the coriander chutney and date tamarind chutney over the youghurt soaked tikkis
14.   Garnish with tomato, diced onion, fresh chopped coriander, sev and chat masala
15.   What are you waiting for? Dive in 





Chettinad Chicken Roast


Chettinad Chicken Roast






I was looking for a recipe that is easy to make. Now what is an easy recipe? Easy to make or takes less time or hassle free ingredients? What? What actually is easy for me!!!! What is it I am looking for? Hmmm! Good question! 


I am a mother of a toddler, I have an office that is madness, and I have a home that is a battle ground with small shoes, lego, blogs, pencils papers, baby cornflakes and bla bla da da things all over floor. Among all these madness of this thing called life…. I have an urge to cook. Cooking is my stress buster. But I need sometime easy. Something which can be whisked up just like that.  Something that I can make in between attending to my ever to active toddler and baking two, double barrel cake.

Hence is this recipe. Connotation of various recipes from the internet.  I made a so called Chettinad spice that can be stored and used at a later time making the cooking very easy, less time taking and can be made with very few ingredients that might already be in your pantry.



Ingredients for the Chettinad Spice/Masala  

5 dried Kashmiri Chili (go on use red chili if you like your dish hot!!!!)
2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 cm cinnamon stick
2 cardamom
2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon urad dal

Ingredient for the cooking the chicken


1 kg chicken (I used legs and breast mixed. You can use whatever you like)
2 tablespoon oil (any oil, I used Olivio )
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon urad dal
Some curry leaves
2 onions, sliced
2 green chillies (optional I didn’t use as my toddler eats the same food as us)  
2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
3 tablespoon shredded coconut (fresh or frozen)
Salt as per taste

Method:
·       
Dry roast all the dry ingredient for Chettinad masala till there is a sharp aroma and grind to a fine powder in a blender. You can now store this masala in an air tight bottle to be used at a later time as well.
Wash the chicken
Marinate for 10 mins with salt, ginger and garlic paste
Heat oil in a pan and add in the mustard seeds and let the mustard seeds splutter. Add the urad dal and curry leaves  
Add the onions and fry till golden brown.
Add the marinated chicken. Add green chili if using
Pan roast the chicken till they are lightly cooked and burned on sides




  • Add shredded coconut and fry for another 5/10 mins




    Add in the ground masala  with chicken and fry 




  • Add a cup of hot water and cover the chicken till tender and water have reduced. 

    Now I made it little gravy kind to eat with rice. You can also dry is totally to eat with roti


    Remove from heat and serve hot with rice or roti or as starter
    ( if making as starter then I suggest dry the chicken) 

    ·       

    • ( if making as starter then I suggest dry the chicken) 

    Three years, Motherhood & a Comeback: My ma's Chicken Paturi


    I am looking at my laptop screen thinking what is it that I really want to write? All that comes out of me is a long breath. Where do I start?

    It’s been three long years since I looked at my blog. And what an amazing three year it has been for me. My daughter was born in November 2013. My life, our life changed forever; she brought the joy that nothing can match. She filled every moment of my life. She makes me a better person. Motherhood changed everything - one has less time than usual, you become responsible for another little person who is totally dependent on you. Motherhood means dirty nappy, breastfeeding room lock, sleepless night, messy house, toddler tantrum, potty training, lack of adult company and the list can go on. Very common isn’t it? But trust me for all mothers, motherhood is above all, purest joy, is about that cuddle and mushy hug that only a child can give, about that gooey kiss on your cheek, those small fingers that holds you while she sleeps, that peaceful sleep on your chest while wearing the child, those morning teas that your toddler insists on making every single day and those kisses on your hand when you are hurt and those running towards you calling ‘mummyyyyyyyyyyy’ when you go to pick her up every single evening. Motherhood is magical and all child has a magic wand for their parents.

    Yes, that is what I was and am busy with: enjoying being N’s mumma. Nothing else mattered then and nothing matters more now.

    In the meantime, my blog grew. Like an organic being it grew on its own. With about 3500 Facebook likes and some thousands and thousanda of page visit it just grew on its own. My first child grew without me.

    My partner R has been insisting me to restart writing in the blog again.  I was not really sure. I am still not sure if I am ready. It takes a lot of time and dedication. But here I am giving it a second go.  

    I didn’t know what to start with. Most of the recipes that came into my mind was the food that I cook for my daughter. But I decided against it. I want to do a dedicated section on child friendly healthy food that everyone in the family can eat. For now I am sharing a recipe that is my favourite and my daughter loves it too.
    Hope you enjoy it

    And, hey welcome back to me and to you too. 

    Chicken Paturi


    Genre: Main course / Starter
    Category: Non-vegetarian (Chicken)
    Recipe Source:  Family
    Serves: 4 good portion 
    Time needed:  1 and half hour
    Level: Easy  

    Ma comes from an aristocracy. She never cooked, never had to. Then she married my father: a teacher and obviously poor, and they moved to North Africa.
    Everything changed after that. Ma had to unlearn almost everything that was her life. One of the most important change was the taste of food. My mother’s family hails from Noakhali. Hence coconut, fish/meat and banana leaf were the focal point of her palate. Paturi (food wrapped in banana parcel and grilled on skillet) was an integral part of their regular meal. She missed eating food that she grew up with. Missed fish, coconut, chili, oil and the spices. It is not like now, it was thirty years back - she could not call her mother to ask for recipe. Those days we had to go to the post office to make international calls once in a month. 
    For a long time she ate what was available and hated everything. Especially she hated the sea fish. Then she met a couple of Bangladeshi workers from Dauwee Company and got to know that there were some 300 Bangladeshi in the city. Bangladeshi’s take their food even more seriously than us, I feel (I am a bangal you see). Hence they had all the spices that my mother needed and more. Ma got her stock of spices from them and started experimenting with local produce - the so called fusion food. Chicken paturi is the result of such fusion between spices from Bangladesh and local produce of North Africa. She used to make them with cabbage leaf or silic leaf (don’t know the English name), as banana leaf was not available and would use chicken, eggs, in place of fish.

    I make paturi with cabbage and any green leaf that can be folded, like leaf of pumpkin. This one I made with banana as it is available in London, but you can try with almost all edible leaf and actually can eat the leaf. You can also use fish, prawn, eggs, fish row, paneer, potatoes to make paturi. Hope you enjoy the recipe and the experience of making it.


    Ingredients:

    1kg Chicken (mine was mixed of leg and breast. You can use anything it won’t make any difference)
    1 teaspoon garlic paste
    1 teaspoon ginger paste
    1 onion (large not very big)
    4 Kashmiri chili (for colour and aroma)
    1 teacup grated fresh coconut
    1 table spoon poppy seed (posto)
    2 table spoon mustard oil
    Green chili as per taste (for hotness I didn’t use any as my daughter will eat it too)
    Salt as per taste
    Two banana leaves
    Aluminium foil (in case you are as bad as me in wrapping the banana leaves)



    Method

    1. Wash chicken and marinate with ginger and garlic paste
    2.     In a mixer make a paste of Kashmiri chili, coconut, poppy seed, green chili, onion
    3.     Mix the paste with marinated chicken
    4.     Now add salt and oil
    5.     Keep aside for 30mins


























    6.    
    Take the banana leaf and wash it thoroughly
    7.     Now put the washed banana leaf over fire for few seconds at a time. You need to do this process to the full leaf on each side. This is to make the leaf soft and easily foldable.
    8.     Once the banana leaf is soft, arrange the marinated chicken on it and fold to cover the full chicken (you should be able to close both sides)
    9.     Now my mother can fold in a way and then tie using thread made with banana leaf that not a single drop comes out of the packet. But I am not good with folding. I fold the chicken in the banana leaf tightly and then fold it in an aluminium foil. This way I still get that burned banana leaf smell from my paturi.



    10. Smear a tawa with oil and place the banana leaf parcel on it and place on heat
    11. Let it cook in low heat for 30mins, by then some water will come out. Let it dry and then turn to other side
    12. Continue to keep on low fire for another 30mins and then turn off the fire
    13. Serve the paturi with oiled white rice or eat it on its own as starter.



    Badam Kala Kand (Cashew Nut Kala Kand)- Bengali Version


    Kala Kand is a pan Indian sweet with various versions depending on the state you are eating it. Largely, it is made with milk, cottage cheese, sugar and is usually decorated with Pistachio nuts. Many also make the sweet using milk solid instead of milk. Some use coconut, carrots etc with the milk to give a different flavor to the taste.

    I made the Badam Kala Kand on 17th Feb 2013 for Saraswati Puja celebrated by ‘Adda’ of Slough. The version I am making came about due to shortage of milk while making the sweet for 20 of our friends. So what did I do? I decided to add some broken cashew nuts to increase the quantity with the original recipe. And that how the birth of ‘my’ Badam Kala Kand

    Ingredients:

    2-Litre full fat milk for chana/paneer/cottage cheese

    ½ -cups sugar (or even less)

    2-litre Milk (or a can of evaporated milk. If using evaporated milk, then do not or use very less sugar)

    2-Lemon (juice taken)

    1-cup cashew nut broken using a blender

    Sliced Pistachio to decorate (use, as much or little you want)

     Method:

    1.     Boil 2 litre the milk in a pan and heat well until boiling point

    2.     Slowly add lemon juice  to make the chana/paneer/cottage cheese

    3.     Drain the chana using a strainer/ Muslin cloth. Wash the chana so that it does not smell of lemon.

    4.     Hang the cloth for at least 1hour  so that water drain properly from the chana

    5.     Meanwhile in a heavy bottom pan heat the other 2 little milk stirring constantly until it has reduced to half. If using canned evaporated milk, then heat until boiling

    6.     Add the broken cashew with the boiled and halved milk or the boiled  evaporated milk (which ever using)

    7.     Stir for 5/7 mins

    8.     Then add the chana/paneer with the milk and cashew mix and cook until it is almost dry. You will need to stir constantly. it takes time as the flame needs to be on very low heat.

    9.     Add sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved

    10. Take off the heat

    11. Line a tray with parchment paper or rub oil all over the tray and spread the milk and cashew nut mix

    12. Sprinkle the Pistachio all over the tray and let it cool

    13. Refrigerate  overnight so that kala kand can dry well ( but remain moist )

    14. Then cut squares and serve cold or at room temperature

    Popular Posts