Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stuffed Buns

Bun is a type of small bread, mostly they are hand-sized or smaller, dome in shape with a flat bottom. Different types are available but it is usually made of flour, sugar, milk, oil / butter yeast. Sometimes topped with an icing and sometimes stuffed with some fillings. Stuffed Buns are perfect home-made snacks which have a light and airy texture. The fillings are absolutely versatile, so you can make it for vegetarian by using paneer/potato/mixed-vegetables or non-vegetarian way that I will share here. I used a chicken-potato filling.

I had a plan to make the buns quite some time ego but finally last week I got some times for baking. I followed couple of recipes for the same from Internet, I gave it a try and result was pretty good. I started my bread making journey last year through making a Pizza crust. I got some ideas  at that time for bread making from Devalina di. When you will bake a bread, there are some steps.  First, proof the yeast which is very important, second, make the dough, third, rest the dough for rising and last one is give a shape and bake it and voila! 

Recipe of Stuffed Buns  : Serves - 12


For Stuffing / Filling

Chicken - 1 and 1/2 cup, boiled and shredded ( breast or thigh part )  or you can use any leftover cooked chicken or you can use minced turkey or chicken
Any vegetable or potato - 1/2 cup cooked
Onion - 1 finely chopped
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Ginger- 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Red chili powder or Black pepper powder - as per taste
Salt -
Oil - 2 tablespoons 

For Buns

Active Dry yeast - 1-2 tbsp
Warm water - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste -
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Bread Flour - 2 + 1/4 cups
Egg - 1 beaten
Egg White - of 1 egg for egg wash
White Sesame seeds - 2-3 tbsp

Method :

1. Make the filling : In a big pan add 2-3 tbsp oil, heat it up. Once oil is ready, add the chopped onion, saute it till the color changes to light brown.
Add ginger and garlic paste, stir it until the raw smell goes off, add the coriander powder, and red chili powder or black pepper powder.
Keep stirring, till oil separates out. Add the shredded chicken and 1/2 cup boiled potato or  vegetable, mix it well and add salt. Give some stirs until everything is well cooked. Turn off the gas, filling / stuffing is ready, set it aside.

2. Proof the yeast : Add the yeast to the warm water (115 F or about 45 C, use a food thermometer, but if you don't have one just feel it, quite warm to touch, more than body heat, that is 98- 99 F) in a deep mug and stir well. Cover and keep it aside, do not shake or stir the yeast for at least 5-7 minutes. It will become very foamy and double in size. If you don't use a deep mug- it will rise and fall over the side! Some recipes ask you to do this step in a large bowl but I find that does not work well, because the water does not maintain the warm temperature and cools off too quickly in a large bowl, not letting the yeast proof properly.

3. Boil the milk in deep-bottomed pan and let it cool till it is warm on touch, add sugar, oil and salt into it . Mix well with a wooden spoon, till the sugar melts. Add flour 1/2 - 1 cup and mix it well to a smooth paste.

4. Add the beaten egg, yeast - water mixture, and the remaining flour, mix them nicely until it makes a soft and smooth dough.

5. Knead it well with your palm for 8 to 10 minutes, and let it rest for 1-1/2 to 2 hrs in a warm place till it doubles in volume.

6. Once the dough rises up in double, punch down it lightly and divide it  into equal sized 12 portions.

7. First Make the each portion into a round ball , then flatten each ball and fill with 1 tbsp of chicken-mushroom filling. Re-shape it again into a smooth ball. Repeat the process for the remaining portion.

8. Let it rest again for about 10 to 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C or approximately 400 degrees F.

9. Take a big, flat baking sheet, line with a parchment paper and put the buns on it. Brush the tops of the Bun with egg-wash ( egg white beaten with 2 tbsp of water) and sprinkle the white sesame seeds on the top and Bake it for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the top gets a nice golden brown in color. 

10. Once it is done, take them out of the oven and give them a brush of butter, it will give a glossy look, and buttery smell. Stuffed Bun is ready, serve hot.

Note :  When you will let the dough rest to double in volume, You could turn your oven on at a low setting, and turn it off, the warmth in the oven may be enough to allow the dough to rise. Sometimes what I do, keep it in my car which is parked on the Sun. Make sure the temperature is nearly 90 to 100 degrees F, this would be a great help of rising the dough.

Chicken Paturi / Chicken wrapped in Banana leaves

This was an experimental dish for me. I am thankful to one of my Facebook friends Satyaki da for the idea of this dish, who is a great chef at the same time. 'Pata' means leaves, the marinated minced chicken breast wrapped in banana leaves is cooked in steam. Macher Paturi or Fish wrapped in leaves is very popular and delicious dish in Bengali Cuisine.  Similar dish is  Patrani Machchi in Persian Cuisine. So I gave a try to make Chicken Paturi following those recipes. It was a good try, I must say. This is a kid friendly recipe and healthy too.

You can replace chicken with turkey. It tastes very close to Meat loaf or Meat ball, but mustard oil, mustard paste and green chilies will give a 'deshi' flavor and a nice kick. It can be served either as a snacks with mustard sauce or as a appetizer or starter with lunch and dinner menu. It can be made in any variation depending upon your taste buds. You can use aluminum foil instead of banana leaves, but you wouldn't get nice flavor of leaves in foil. Last week I could get a bunch of Banana leaves, but didn't have any fish in my freezer so felt like giving a try with chicken. The recipe is very easy and simple to make. Let’s come to that.

Recipe of Chicken Paturi: Serve  5-6 


1.     Minced Chicken Breast - 1 lb approximately 500 gm 
2.     Onion - 1 big finely chopped
3.     Garlic - 1 tbsp minced
4.     Ginger - 1 tbsp (paste)
5.     Egg - 1
6.     Cilantro - a handful (finely chopped)
7.     Green chilies - fine chopped ( as per taste)
8.     Coriander powder- 1 tsp
9.     Mustard paste - 2 tbsp
10.  Salt to taste
11.  Mustard oil - 2-3 tbsp
12.  Banana leaves


1.     Marinate the minced chicken breast with all the above ingredients (onion, ginger, garlic, egg, cilantro, green chilies, coriander powder, mustard oil, mustard paste, salt), except the banana leaves.

2.     Let it rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Cut the banana leaves into square sizes, wash and pat dry. In a deep-bottomed pan take water. When it starts to boil, turn off the gas.

3.     Take the banana leaves and dip into the hot water for 3-4 minutes, this would help to ovoid getting crack in leaves when you will tie them.

4.     Take out the leaves from water and brush them with oil. Put 1-2 tbsp marinated chicken in the center of leave, wrap it gently with kitchen strings or with tooth-pick.

5.     Repeat the process for the remaining chicken. Take a non-stick pan, grease with some oil and heat it up.

6.     Put the wrapped chicken on it and cover with lid. Cook on medium flame until the leaves get brown in color on both sides. Chicken Paturi is done, open it from the wrap and serve hot with sauce.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Methi Machi ( Fish Curry flavored with Dry Fenugreek seeds )

Methi Machchi is special type of fish curry, It is a light gravy dish cooked with dry fenugreek seeds. And this dry Fenegreek seeds distinguish the taste of this dish from the normal fish curry. Methi / Fanugreek seeds is  quite well known as a spice in Indian and Persian cuisine. The taste of fanugreek seeds is slight bitter, powerful and aromatic. It adds a nice flavor to the dish which makes people love the smell. Some recent researches discovered that ancient civilization used fenugreek seeds for its health benefits, for example, very helpful for lactating women, who are diabetic and it reduces cholesterol level. 

Most probably, it's a Rajastani/Sindhi dish and I was introduced to this dish by one of my family friends Nupur di. First time I had this dish at her place couple of years ego. It was so tasty and so unique in taste, I didn't forget to ask the recipe and from then onwards it's a popular and regular dish in my family. 

Recipe Of Methi Machchi ( Fish curry flavored with fenugreek seeds) serves -4 


1. Fish - 1 lb or around 500 gm - boneless - skinless fresh Tilapia fillet or any white fish 
2. Onion -  small one ( ground or paste)
3. Ginger paste - 1 tsp
4. Garlic paste - 1 tsp
5. Tomato - 1 small ( grated )
6. Turmeric Powder - 1/2 - 1 tsp
7. Coriander Powder - 1tsp
8. Kashmiri Red chili powder - 1 tsp
9. Red Chili powder - ( optional - I generally skip it )
10. Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
11. Dry red chili - 1 
12. Salt
13. Oil - 5-6 tbsp

Method :

1. Cut the fish fillets into square sizes, wash and pat dry with paper towel. Sprinkle salt and turmeric on the fish pieces and mix it well. Let it rest for 10 -15 minutes.

2. In a big pan, preferably nonstick pan, put oil. Heat it up till smoke comes up and now slightly fry the marinated fish fillet on the both sides. Do not fry it for long time, just 1- 2 minutes for each side. 

3. Take off the fried fish from oil and keep it aside. Add oil in the same pan, let it heat up and then add the fenugreek seeds. Once it is aromatic, add the dry red chili. You can remove the fenugreek seeds from the oil and discard it, but I skip this stage, as we liked the fish curry along with the seeds.

5. Add the onion paste, fry it nicely till the color changes to light brown. Add the garlic and ginger paste, saute till the raw smell goes off.

6. Add tomato and stir it well, sprinkle some salt. Once tomato gets soft, add the turmeric, coriander and chili powder. Keep stirring till the oil separates out.

7. Add one cup of warm water and salt and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add the fish fillets. Cover it and let it cook for 5-7 minutes.

8. Check the consistency and seasoning and accordingly adjust it. Turn off the gas and serve hot with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Note : Tilapia fish fillet are very soft and so do not over cook. When you will fry the fish, make sure oil is very much ready for frying, otherwise it may stick to the bottom of the pan. You can add the fish directly into the gravy without frying them. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Goalondo Steamer Curry

It is a special chicken curry, a gravy dish which is made of fresh chicken and some basic spices. Goalundo Ghat  which is also called Goalundo or Goalando, is a town in central Bangladesh. It is situated near the confluence of the Padma and Jamuna rivers. The Muslim boatmen of the Padma and Jamuna rivers used to make this dish. The boatmen would take time off to cook a meal for themselves in the middle of the their river journey and gradually it became very popular with the passengers too. The steamer curry reflects the simplicity of life which was sailing down in river with a plate of rice and steaming Goalando curry. The boatmen didn't have much time or all the ingredients to make signature dishes. So the dish is very simple and easy to make, but taste is very unique. This dish is not so unfamiliar in Kolkata and you would get the same name on the menu card in some of the authentic Bengali restaurants. But I got the idea of this dish from a Cooking Group in Facebook. The Goalando Steamer Curry is a fiery red in color but I didn't use much red chilies in this dish as my hubby and my son don't like very spicy food.

The recipe doesn't need any souring agent or water. Still it is not too dry dish as mustard oil and juices from onion and chicken would make the gravy. The recipe is perfect for any busy days but must say that you would get wonderful result.

The Recipe of Goalando Steamer Curry : Serves 4 

Ingredients :

1.     Chicken: 500 gm.
2.     Onions: 2 big (coarsely chopped)
3.     Garlic: 2 tbsp (coarsely chopped) 
4.     Ginger: 1 tbsp (coarsely chopped)
5.     Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
6.     Dry Red chilies : roughly chopped (as per the taste)
7.     Salt to taste
8.     Mustard oil: 3 tbs

Method :

1. Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Put it in a big pan, saute the whole thing for 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Cover it and let it cook on low heat till the chicken becomes soft and tender. Serve hot with steamed rice.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mangsher Ghugni ( Dried yellow Peas cooked with small pieces of mutton

Though I love to experiment different dishes, being a bong cook makes me biased towards the Bengali flavor. Mangsher ghugni / panthar mangsher ghugni is one of the authentic dishes in Bengali cuisine which is made of dried yellow peas cooked with mutton. Too good of a combination and definitely a delicacy.

Ghugni is very popular among Bengalis and available in several types. But particularly this one is favorite at my home. From my grandmother's time, I used to see that this is being cooked in special occasions, generally served with some luchi / poori / Indian  puffed bread. It can be cooked with the minced mutton instead of small boneless pieces of mutton. Dried green peas may be used in the place of dried yellow peas, which I used to follow.

 It can be served as snacks. We usually have this after a light breakfast over the weekend. Generally we don’t cook mutton too often due to health concerns. But whenever I bring mutton, always keep one portion for this dish.

Recipe Of Mangsher Ghugni  : serves 6 to 7 people

Ingredients :

1.     Dried yellow peas- 2 cups
2.     Potato - 2 medium sized cut into small cubes
3.     Mutton - 1-1/2 cup
4.     Onion - 1 big (finely chopped)
5.     Ginger Paste- 1  tbsp
6.     Garlic Paste - 1-1/2 tbsp
7.     Tomato - 1 chopped
8.     Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
9.     Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp or as per the taste
10.  Kashmiri Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
11.  Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
12.  Garam-masala powder - 1/2 tsp
13.  Cardamom- 3 pods
14.  Cinnamon - 1 inch
15.  Cloves - 3
16.  Dry Red chili - 1
17.  Oil - 4-5 tbsp
18.  Sugar- 1/2 tsp
19.  Salt-
20.  Chopped Onion- chopped green chilies- chopped cilantro, wedges of lemon and bhaja masla ( optional ) for garnishing

Method :

To make Bhaja Masla (roasted spice powder) : Take a pan, heat it up, add 1 tbsp of whole cumin seeds and a whole dry red chili and dry roast them until they are fragrant. Let it cool down at room-temperature, then grind them to a powder. 

1.     Wash the yellow peas and soak it for at least 3 to 4 hours, preferably overnight. Then pressure cook the peas with salt and turmeric powder on medium flame, wait for 2 whistles, turn off the gas and let the steam release automatically on its own, then Open the lid. The peas should be well cooked but not mushy.

2.      Wash the mutton and cook in a pressure cooker on medium flame, until 3 whistles come.

3.     Turn off the gas, let the steam goes by its own then open the lid. Preserve the mutton stock, take the mutton pieces and cut them into smaller (1/2 inch)  pieces. Discard the bone part.

4.     Peel the potatoes and cut them into small (1/2 inch) cubes and wash them.

5.      In a big pan put 2 tbsp oil, once oil is ready add the potato pieces. When the color of potato starts to change into golden yellow add the cooked peas. Stir it and fry it again for few minutes and keep them aside.

6.     In the same pan, add oil. When oil is ready, put whole dry garam masala (cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves) and add the whole dry red chili.

7.     Once they are aromatic and start to spatter, add the chopped onions. Stir it and add little salt. In few minutes, onion changes its color to golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger paste.

8.     Mix it and stir it nicely, until the raw smell goes off. In a small bowl, take turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder, 1/2 tsp sugar add 2 -3 tbsp water into it and make a paste.

9.     Add the mixture into the pan. Keep stirring until the oil starts to come out from the side of the pan. Add the tomato pieces and little salt. Stir it till the tomato gets soft.

10.  Add the cooked mutton pieces and mix it nicely with whole masala. Stir it every few minutes and let it cook for sometimes.

11.  When the mutton piece get a coat of masala and oil starts to release from the side of the pan. Add the potato and peas, again give some stirs and mix it well.

12.  Add salt and the mutton stock. Let it come to a boil, cover it with lid. Once everything is well cooked adjust the seasoning, check consistency, add the garam masla powder and mix it well.

13.  The consistency should not be too dry or too runny. Turn off the gas, pour it on a serving bowl, sprinkle some chopped onions, chopped green chilies, chopped cilantro and few drops of lemon juice and bhajamasla.

14.  Serve it with Luchi ( deep fried Indian puffed bread) or any kind of bread.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chow Mein ( Chinese Stir-fried Mixed Noodles )

It is a popular Chinese Noodle meal. Chinese Noodles are versatile, available in so many different forms - Stir-fry, pan-fry, boil, soup, gravy, or dry. Chow Mein is one of them which is fried noodles. My version of Chow Mein or  Mixed Noodles, is always cooked with choice of  shredded vegetables, egg and shredded chicken. It is quick and really super easy to make and end results is always pleasing. One dish is itself a complete meal. Most of the time I miss to add the shrimps / prawns, but if you wish, may add it. It would give some extra flavor.

When I was in School, my mom used to make Chow Mein for me in a pure Bengali way where you will find some pieces of potato too, but no soy-sauce and still it was real yummy. I will share that recipe too sometimes later. But When I came to Bangalore, our cook introduced to me some of the Chinese dishes and this is one of them. I must admit that he used to cook Chinese very well, though he was pretty bad in Bengali dishes. I used to get the same taste as it is from the well known Chinese restaurant of Calcutta. So I am following the same recipe from that time. You can serve it with any other Chines side dish. Sometimes on a busy day, we have it without any side dish. Sometimes I give it in my kid's lunch box. Most of the Kids would love this dish.

Recipe of  Chow Mein or Chinese Mixed Noodles :  Serves 2 to 3 people


1.     Noodles : around 200 gm 
2.     Mixed vegetables  : as per your choice ( 1 cup ) I used carrot, green pepper and cabbage. 
3.     Egg : 2 nos
4.     Chicken : 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup (preferably boneless breast pieces, cooked and shredded)
5.     Shrimp / Prawns : cooked (small sized) ( optional )  
6.     Spring onion : 1/4 cup (chopped) for garnishing
7.     Onion : a small one (finely chopped)
8.     Ginger : 1 tsp (crushed or minced) 
9.     Garlic : 3-4 cloves (minced)
10.  Pepper powder (as per your taste) 
11.  Soy sauce : 2 tbsp or more if you like (add 1/2 tbsp at a time and check seasoning) 
12.  Oil - 3-4 tbsp
13.  Sesame oil - few drops
14. Salt - little  (as Soy sauce contains sodium)

Method : 

1.     Cook the noodle as per the instruction. When you will cook it just add few drops of oil with the boiling water. This helps to prevent sticky noodles, stir it in every few minutes.

2.     Do not over-cook it. When it is done, put it in a strainer, drain the extra water, and hold it under some running cold water for few minutes and keep it aside.

3.     Cut the vegetables into long thin stripes. Put oil in a wok, once oil is ready, make the omelet and once it is ready cut into long stripes and keep it aside.

4.     In the same wok add some more oil, heat it up, add the chopped onion, saute it till it gets soft, add the garlic and ginger.

5.     Keep stirring still they are aromatic. Add the vegetables, fry it for 5 to 7 minutes, add the boiled and shredded chicken.

6.     If you want to add shrimp at this point. Give some good stirs and add salt and pepper.

7.      Add the noodles, add the eggs. Stir it and mix it nicely, add the soy sauce. Mix it well. Check the seasoning, and adjust it accordingly.

8.     Yes It is almost done. Just before turning off the gas add some few drops of sesame oil. Garnish with some chopped spring onion and serve hot.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Mushroom - Chicken, the name itself says all about itself. It is a Chinese preparation and one of our favorite dishes from well-known chain Panda-Express. My little one is a big fan of Chinese cuisine like his parents. When he finds his favorite food, he doesn't need any help in eating. He loves to enjoy different type of food instead of day to day food like 'rice- daal - sabjji'. These days it's not too hard to get recipes of any dish but I always follow any tried and tasted recipes. Rasamalasia is one of my favorite sites for any Chinese recipe.

Mushroom-Chicken is very simple and easy to make dish. Most of the ingredients are very common except that Shaoxing wine, which is basically a rice wine. It is generally used in Chinese cooking, which has a very unique, distinct taste. If you love Chinese food, I will suggest you to keep it in your kitchen, otherwise white vinegar or grape juice can be its substitute. 

Recipe of Mushroom-Chicken : Serves - 4 to 5 

Ingredients :

Boneless and skinless chicken breast or thigh - 1 lb or 450 gm ( approx)  cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
Mushroom - 1/2 lb or 250 gm (approx) cut into halves
Zucchini - 1 lb  or 450 gm cut into pieces
Corn starch - 2 tsp
Shaoxing wine - 2 tsp
Oil - 4 tbsp
Grated Ginger - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 1 tbsp

Sauces :

Soy Sauce - 2  tbsp
Oyster Sauce - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 2 tsp
White Pepper powder - 6 dashes or as per the taste
Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as per the taste
Water - 4 tbsp
Corn starch - 2 tsp to thicken the sauce.

Method :

1. Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towel. Marinade them with wine and corn starch. Keep it  aside for 15 minutes.

2. Mix  the ingredients for sauce and set aside.

3. Cut and wash the mushrooms and zucchini.

4. Heat up a wok or a big pan, add oil. Once the oil is ready add ginger and garlic. Saute until they get aromatic.

5. Add the chicken into pan and stir it till the chicken is half-cooked.

6. Add mushrooms and zucchini into the wok / pan and stir it until they have become soft.

7. Add the sauce, and give a few stirs till the sauce nicely coat the chicken, mushrooms and zucchini. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the whole things are well-cooked. 

8. Serve hot with steamed rice or fried rice or noodles ( click here for recipe ).