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 Chilli 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 the world of joy. Today’s generation of chefs is 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.