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.