Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brownie Ice Cream Cake

My east coast friends might find it strange that I’m posting a frozen treats in the month of October. Here in San Diego, summer is still there in its peak form and sometimes very close to scoring a century. So it’s great time for ice cream lovers to try out different experiments. But I see no reason for my other friends not to like this recipe because true ice cream lovers enjoy it round the year.

Today I am sharing a delicious cake recipe that I recently made for my son and his friends. It  is a decadent dessert, truly a chocolate-lover's dream . It’s pretty simple to assemble and surely will satisfy of anyone's chocolate and ice-cream craving both at the same time.

The cake has three layers. At the bottom it has a layer of brownie, topped with ice cream. Then it has some chocolate ganache over the ice-cream layer and finally decorated with some oreo cookies. You need to first bake the brownie. Once it is done, let it cool down and pour the soft ice-cream over it. Then freeze it and finally pour the chocolate ganache over it. You are all set to indulge yourself. 

Recipe of Brownie Ice Cream Cake : 9 inch round Cake : Serves : 15 to 20 people. 

Ingredients :

Fudge Brownie mix : 1 box
Water :1/3 cup 
Vegetable Oil : 3 tablespoons 
Plain Yogurt : 1/4 cup ( to substitute for egg )
Vanilla Extract : 1 teaspoon
Ice Cream ( any flavor as per your choice , here I used Chocolate Chip Cookie dough Ice Cream ) : 1/2 gallon 

For Chocolate Ganache :

Semi sweet chocolate chips : 2 cups 
Heavy Whipping Cream : 1 cup

For Decoration : 

Oreo Cookies 

Method :

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (170 C ) Grease a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the water, vegetable oil, Plain yogurt, vanilla extract. Mix the wet ingredients with a fork.

3. Add the mixture to brownie mix. Mix it well. 

4. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until it is set or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

5. Once brownie is cool, remove the ice cream from freezer and allow it to soften for about 8 to 10 minutes. 

6.  Now evenly spread the ice cream in a layer over the brownie layer. Wrap the cake pan tightly in plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours or until ice cream is firm.  

7.  Take a heatproof bowl, put the chocolate chips and keep it aside. Take a saucepan, place cream in it and heat it over medium heat, bring it to a boil. 

8. When it just starts to a boil, immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate chips. Let it rest for couple of minutes, then stir until the mixture gets smooth, beat it with a wire whisk till it becomes soft and fluffy.

9. Remove the cake from freezer, remove the wrap. Drizzle it with chocolate ganache, decorate with oreo cookies and serve immediately. 

Note: If you eat eggs,  you can bake the brownie as per package direction.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lebu Pata Diye Dal r KurKure Alu Bhaja ( Lentils with Lime leaves and Crispy Fried Potatoes ) - Bengali Comfort food for a Hot summer Day

Today I am going to present some Bengali comfort foods. Sorry for my non-bengali followers that I have to use some pure Bengali terms today. The list of traditional Bengali food that often makes you nostalgic is really long. But these two recipes are perfect for San Diego’s current scorching hot weather.

Today’s recipe is  Lebu pata diye Daall and Kurkure Alu bhaja When we visit our parents after a long gap, we love to have only traditional Bengali meals, the food we grew up on A traditional Bengali meal starts with Rice, Daal, fries and then filled up with a veg or non-veg dish, which could be fish, meat or egg. It will be complete only with Chutney and some sweets at the end 

So let me start with Kurkure Aloo bhaja whose English translation is crispy deep-fried potatoes.  It’s usually made by deep-fried julienne potatoes. Kur kur e Aloo bhaja bears similarity to the “French Fries” of the western world. Only difference is the sizes. Our Aloo bhaja is thin and small whereas french fries are thick and big. Kur kure aloo bhaja / Jhuri Aloo bhaja is served with a bowl of hot steamed rice and a bowl of lentils. 

The second recipe is Lebu pata diye Daal, soupy red lentils tempered with lemon leaves. Last month when I shared the recipe of Lebu Lanka Murgi, I had some fresh lemon leaves in my refrigerator from that time. So thought let it try with some lentils and so from then onwards we got hooked on it. The taste is so refreshing that I am sure you would love it. You can try this recipe with various types of daal but I preferred to use musur (red lentil). Let me share the recipe now.

Recipe of Kur Kur e Aloo Bhaja / Jhuri Jhuri Aloo Bhaja : Serves - 4 

Ingredients : 

Potatoes : 2 large potatoes ( preferably russet potatoes ) 
Oil : for deep-frying 
Salt : 

Method : 

1. Peel the potatoes and cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch-thick julienne in food processor or with a sharp knife. 

2. Wash thoroughly and transfer the potatoes into a bowl of ice and cold water. Let it chill into the refrigerator at least for 30 minutes. 

3. Heat Oil in a heavy pot over moderately high heat. Once oil heats up, drain potatoes and pat completely dry using paper towels. 

4. Fry them in batches. Stir gently with a slotted spoon until golden and crisp. Transfer potatoes to paper towels and season with salt. Serve hot with steamed rice. 

Note : Use a big pot for frying the potatoes and fry them in two or three batches otherwise the oil could bubble up and overflow. 

Recipe of Lebu Pata diye Dal ( Lentils Tempered with Lime Leaves ) serves : 4 

Ingredients :

Masur Daal ( Red Lentils ) : 1 cup 
Lemon leaves : 4-5 ( kaffir lime / Gandhoraj Lime leaves )
Nigella seeds : 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric : 1/4 teaspoon 
Green chili pepper or Dry red chili : 1 or 2 
Oil : 2 tablespoons 
Salt : to taste 

Method :

1. Wash the lentils and boil it with 2 cups of  water, turmeric, salt and two lime leaves.  To boil lentils you can use microwave or do it using stove. Generally to boil red lentils I do not use pressure cooker, as it do not take much time to cook. If you want you can use pressure-cooker too. Once done, mix thoroughly and set it aside. 

2. Take a pan, add oil and heat it up. Add the chilies and nigella seeds and wait until it starts splattering. Add the other lime leaves and wait for couple of minutes. Now pour in the boiled lentil and simmer for another 5 minutes. Check the seasoning. If you like add one teaspoon of lemon juice too. Switch off the gas and serve hot with steamed rice. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Keema Curry

My follower friends must have been wondering where did I disappear again for last few weeks. This has become a regular trend :-) .  Sep 1st is the birthday of my first love and was busy with preparing for his 8th birthday. This time we didn’t celebrate in large scale but had a small fun party at home on the same night. New school session has also started and so trying to cope with new routine. 

Today I will share the recipe of a traditional but simple meat dish called Mutton Keema curry. The name keema means finely chopped or minced meat. The dish is typically a spicy minced mutton curry with potatoes and flavored with Indian spices. It can be served either with Indian Flat bread or any kind of rice dishes. In our family, we don't eat mutton frequently because neither my son nor my husband is big meat lover. Once in three months, when we like to have goat meat, we stick to our few old favorite dishes rather than experimenting with new dishes

This Keema curry is one of those favorite dishes in my family. Also I prepared this dish for several of the parties at my home and my friends loved it every time. I would prefer to use regular goal meat for this recipe. You can use other meat too like chicken, turkey or lamb. Though the dish is very common, but every household uses different recipes for the same. Come and let's see how I cook Keema Curry.

Recipe of Keema Curry : Serves 5 

Ingredients : 

Goat meat : 500 g (with bone)
Potatoes : 2 , medium size, cut into cubes 
Oil : 2 tablespoons + 3 tablespoons
Green cardamoms : 3 
Cinnamon stick : 1 inch 
Cloves : 3 
Dry Red chili : 1 
Onion : a big one, finely chopped
Ginger paste : 1 tablespoon
Garlic paste : 1 and half tablespoons 
Turmeric powder : half teaspoon 
Coriander powder : 1 tablespoon 
Red chili powder : 1/2 teaspoon 
Kashmiri Red Chili powder : 1 teaspoon 
Sugar : 1/2 teaspoon
Tomato : 1, medium size, chopped 
Salt : 

Garam Masala ( Take 3 Green cardamoms, 1 inch Cinnamon stick, 3 Cloves and grind it to a powder) : 1/2 teaspoon 

Green Chili peppers : 1 or 2, chopped 

Method :

1. First boil the the goat meat, I use pressure cooker to cook the meat. Take a pressure cooker, add meat and one or one and half cup water and let it boil over medium flame. Wait until 3 whistles come. Switch off the gas, and let the steam release automatically on its own. Open the lid, take the meat pieces out of the cooker and preserve the stock. 

2. Now discard the bone part from the meat pieces and cut or tear the meat pieces into smaller pieces. Set it aside. 

3. Take a big pan, add two tablespoons oil. Once oil is hot, add the potatoes. Fry it until they are golden brown in color. Once done, take it off from the pan and keep it aside. 

 4. In the same pan, add the remaining oil and heat it up. Add dry red chili, green cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves. Wait until nice aroma comes up.

5. Add chopped onion, fry it until it is light pink. Add garlic and ginger paste. Cook for couple of minutes. Once raw smell goes off, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and kashmiri red chili powder. Add half teaspoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir and cook it for couple of minutes until oil starts to release from the sides of the pan. Add chopped tomatoes and keep stirring. Add salt and let it cook until tomato has become soft. 

6. Add meat pieces, stir and mix it well. Let it cook for couple of minutes until the masala starts releasing oil. Add fried potatoes and stir it again for 5-6 minutes. Add salt. 

7. Add the stock and cover it. Once it starts boiling lower the flame and cook it until the meat and potatoes fully cooked. Check the seasoning. Add salt if needed. Add chopped green chilies ( optional ), add garam masala and switch off the gas. Keema Curry is ready, serve hot with rice or bread. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Kolkata r Lal Mishti Doi / Calcutta style Sweet Yogurt

The sweet dish that I am going to share today is the signature Bengali Yogurt called “misti doi”. Probably it’s the second well-known and popular in rest of the India, next to Rasogolla.  The word “misti doi” immediately reminds all of a clay pot filled with brownish sweet yogurt. Bengali wedding lunch is not complete without serving misti doi at the end. There are several sweet shops in Calcutta like Ganguram, where the quality of misti doi is simply awesome and you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to visit these shops, if you are travelling to the city of joy.

Since it is readily available in almost every local sweet shops, it’s rarely made at any Bengali’s kitchen. But the cravings for Misti Doi haunts me so much that I started searching recipes from net and tried making Misti Doi at home. The result was so good that I won’t miss Kolkata’s Misti Doi again. The process was not complex either, even a beginner should give a try. Though only 2 or 3 staple ingredients are required, you really need patience to make this scrumptious sweet because it’s a long process.

The process of preparing Mishti Doi starts with heating milk on the stove. As the milk gets thickened, sugar is added to give the dish its characteristic sweetness. Next, yogurt or curds must be added to the sweetened milk and mixed thoroughly. This mixture is placed in a traditional clay or earthen pot. The clay pot absorbs excess moisture, giving the mishti doi its dense texture.

Recipe of Authentic Kolkata style Mishti Doi : Serves : 6 

Ingredients :
Whole Milk : 1 and half liters 
Sugar : 250 g ( one and half cups ) or as per taste 
Plain Yogurt : half of a cup 
Sugar : 4 tablespoons ( for caramelizing ) 

Method :
1. Take a heavy bottomed big pan, add the milk and heat it up. Stir and simmer the milk until it gets thickened and it becomes less than half of its original volume. Add sugar and stir it. The texture of the milk will be kind of malai - rabri. Once it is done set it aside. 

2. In a separate pan add sugar. Caramelize the sugar by heating it up. Keep stirring and make sure it does not stick at the bottom or burn. 

3. Add the caramelized sugar to the reduced milk. 

4. Once the milk is not too hot, it is just warm, add the whisked yogurt to the milk. Mix it well.

5. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F or 100 degrees C. 

6. Pour the mixture into a oven proof dish or earthen pots, cover it with aluminium foil and bake it until the top of the yogurt is set. It takes one and half hours to two hours to set. 

7. Switch off the oven and let the yogurt rest in the oven for couple of hours. 

8. Once it is cool down completely, put it into the refrigerate for another 4 to 5 hours or overnight. Serve cold. 

In Calcutta, they don't use oven to set the Mishti Doi. The thickened milk is let to ferment overnight in a warm place, once it has set put it into refrigerator to chill. 

" The recipe is adopted from Pinkii Sarkar' s Kolkata style Mishti Doi "

Monday, August 17, 2015

Chocolate Soufflé

Today's recipe may sound bit unknown and complex that can be found only in high end restaurants. But actually it's not too difficult to prepare at home. A Soufflé is a lightly baked cake. As the French name means, when a Soufflé comes out of the oven, it would look puffed up. It's basically made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites. A Souffle would have two parts, the base and egg whites beaten to soft peak. The base adds the flavor while the whites give the lift.

Last week I was doing kind of trial and error with several recipes to get the flawless result and finally I am happy with the result. With the first two recipes that I have tried, it tasted good but after rising up they got crack on the top. The third one was adapted from Martha Stewart and it came out as really a foolproof recipe.  

Traditionally Soufflés are made in ramekins, though you can use small cups too. They can be made with different flavors. I have chosen Chocolate and so the recipe that would share today is of classic Chocolate Soufflé. You should serve the Soufflé individually, means one at a time. Note that once they are puffed, remove from the oven and dust with confectioners sugar and serve immediately. It would be nice if you can serve them as soon as possible.

Recipe of Classic Chocolate Soufflé : serves 4  

Ingredients :

Unsalted butter : 2 tablespoon ( at room temperature ) 
Granulated white sugar : 1/2 cup plus more for ramekins 
Egg whites : 3 (at room temperature)
Egg yolks : 3 (at room temperature)
Cream of tartar : 1/8 teaspoon ( as a substitute, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar ) 
Bittersweet chocolate : 5 and 1/2 Oz 
Vanilla extract : 1/2 teaspoon
Whole milk : 2/3 cup
Cornstarch : 1 tablespoon and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons 
Salt : 1/8 teaspoon 
Sour cream : 3 tablespoons
Confectioner's sugar : for garnishing 

Method :

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C. Brush four small ramekins with the melted butter and coat each ramekins with white sugar.

2. Whisk egg whites with a hand mixer until it is foamy, about 2 minutes. Add cream of tartar. Whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and whisk until medium peaks form, it will take about 5 minutes. 

3. Melt the chocolate and set it aside. Take milk in a sauce pan, add corn starch and salt, whisk it nicely. Bring to simmer. Stir it until it is thick, it will take about 2 minutes. Now add the chocolate to milk mixture and whisk it. Add egg yolks and sour cream and mix it. Gently fold in egg whites. 

4. Fill the ramekins evenly with batter. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake. Rotate it halfway and bake until souffles puffs but centers should be still semi-liquid. It takes 14 to 15 minutes. Once they are done, dust with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately.

 ( the recipe is adopted from Martha Stewart )

Tips :

When you separate the eggs or whisk the egg whites, these tips will help you to get perfect meringue :

Cold eggs separate more easily.

Tiniest bit of fat or egg yolk will wreck a meringue.

After separating , bring egg whites to room temperature, it will take about 30 minutes. 

Stainless steel bowl or glass bowls work best, make sure the bowls and whisks are spotlessly clean, grease free and dry.

Don't over beat. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lebu Lonka Murgi ( Bhojohori Manna Style Lemon Chilly Chicken )

Today I am going to share a chicken recipe with a special type of lemon called “Gondhoraj Lebu”. It’s almost juice-less lemon, wrapped in a green rind. It’s mainly grown in West Bengal and its aroma and flavor send most Bengalis into world of joy. Today’s generation of chefs are featuring it widely in their new dishes. Whether it’s simple fish, chicken or vegetable dishes, few drops of juice and aromatic pulp of this lime is sufficient enough to juice up your lunch or dinner on a hot summer day. 

The name of today's recipe is “Lebu Lonka Murgi”. The origin of this dish may be from the chefs of a popular Bengali Restaurant called Bhajohori Manna and later it made entry to modern day Bengali's kitchen. Last week I tried this new chicken recipe at our home and everyone loved the taste. First let me admit that this may not be a good looking dish with its thin and white-brownish curry, but most fresh and flavorful Chicken Curry I have ever made. When you don't feel hungry after having rich curry and lose your appetite, can try this tangy chicken curry to get your appetite back.

You need to follow only few simple steps to make this summer dish. First  marinate the chicken pieces with lime juice, chili paste, yogurt and other ingredients. Then cook the marinated chicken until it is done. The marination process is the main part of the recipe and here are the steps:

Recipe Of Lebu Lonka Murgi ( Chicken Curry with Lime and Green Chilies )

Ingredients :

Chicken : 500 g, with bone cut into medium sized pieces 
Onion juice : 5 tablespoons, make a paste and squeeze out the juice or can use a small onion paste 
Ginger paste : 1 tbsp
Garlic paste : 1 and half tbsp 
Green chili paste : 2 tsp 
Yogurt / Curd : 1/2 cup 
Lemon Juice ( preferably Gondhoraj Lebu ) : 1 and half tbsp
Lime juice : 1tbsp
Green Chilies : 2-3 (slit lengthwise) 
Lime leaves ( a handful, about 4 to 5 )
Green Cardamoms : 4 
Coriander powder : 1 tbsp 
Oil : 3 to 4 tbsp 
salt :
Sugar : if needed 

Method :

1. Take a nonreactive bowl, add chicken pieces to it. Now add half of the yogurt, onion juice, ginger and garlic paste, chili paste, lime juices, coriander powder, half of the oil and salt to the chicken. 

2. Mix it well and let it rest for about an hour. 

3. Take a big pan, add the remaining oil and heat it up. Add cardamoms and wait until nice smell comes up. 

4. Take the chicken pieces from the marinade and add to the pan. Fry them on medium high heat till the chicken pieces start to get light brown. 

5. Now add the marinade along with the remaining yogurt to the pan. Stir to mix it well. Add the lime leaves. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium high heat until chicken is cooked. 

6. Check the seasoning, add more salt or sugar if needed. Add the green chilies, give some stirs and turn off the gas. Serve hot with plain rice or Indian flat bread.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hing Diye Niramish Aloo-r Dom ( Dum Aloo without onion and garlic )

I am re-posting a different version of Aloo’r dom that I posted sometimes back together with “Koraishutir Kochuri”. This one is called “Hing diye Niramish Aloo'r Dom”. This Dum Aloo recipe is perfect for any day, whether you have it with daily meal or served in party menu. Hing Diye Aloo-r Dom is a much simpler version of the classic Dum Aloo, perfectly goes with any kind of poori, parathas, luchi or Pulao. 

Since no onion or garlic is used in this preparation, it is called “Niramish”. There are many recipes in Bengali Cuisine that starts with the phrase 'Niramish' and it means onion and garlic can’t be used in those recipes. There are many ways to cook Dum Aloo, but each recipe is different from the other one, in terms of ingredients, spice and way of cooking. Unlike north Indian Dum Aloo, this version is not rich, but comforting, light and simple.  

Tiny little potatoes are coated with asafoetida (hing) and cooked slowly with other spices and tomato sauce.  Hing / asafoetida is the key ingredients that makes this dish super yummy! Though I have tried and posted other Dum Aloo recipes on my blog, for particular this one, I'm very much thankful to my one of friends .

Recipe of Hing Diye Alur Dom : (serves - 2 )


Baby potato – 6
peas(frozen) - 1/2 cup
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf – 1
asafoetida (hing) - a pinch
Ginger - 1/2 inch( grated or paste)
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri red chili powder- 1 tsp
Red chili powder ( optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp ( optional )
Tomato - a medium one (grated)
Salt :
Sugar :
Oil - 3 tbsp

Method :

1. Wash the potatoes and boil or microwave them with skin on and with salt for 10 mins or so. Once it is done, let them cool down and peel off the cover.

2. In a small bowl, add grated ginger paste, cumin powder, kasmiri red chili powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, half tsp sugar. Mix with 2 tbsp water and make a paste.

3. Take a pan, add the oil and heat it up. Once oil is read, add the bay leave and cumin seeds. When it begins to splatter, add asafoetida, after few seconds and the peeled potatoes.

4. Smear them till they become brown colored. Add the masala paste with the potato, stir for 3-4 minutes until the raw smell goes off. Mix the grated tomato and stir continuously till oil separates.

5. Add salt, sugar, half cup to a cup of water and cover it. Let it cook at medium flame until potatoes are soft and the gravy coats them nicely.

6. Check the consistency and seasoning. Sprinkle the garam masala powder.

7. Turn off the gas. Yeah it's ready!! Serve hot with Kochuri / Puris / Paratha.

Related Recipe : Kashmiri Dum - Aloo