Monday, October 31, 2016

Phulkopi r Singara ( Samosa filled with Cauliflower Mixture )

Probably you have already guessed from my video (posted in my FB account) what next I am going to share in my blog. Yes, I will tell you today about how we can make India’s most favorite snacks called Samosa. What is known as Samosa in rest of the India, called Singara in Bengal. Singara, chai and Muri are still the menu in many houses in the evenings, especially during rainy days. Even in abroad, Samosa is very well-known Indian dish among non-Indians. While I was searching about the origin of Samosa in India, got surprised to know that it came from middle east through the traders from this region. That’s why similar dish with different stuffing is available in middle eastern countries.  

Bengali Singara is little different from samosa. It uses potatoes, peas and cauliflower, sometimes peanuts for a little crunch. I think Singaras are easy to make, but some of my friends may not agree. To them the most difficult part is the folding of singara. That’s why I wanted to help you by posting the video online. What differentiates Singara from its siblings is flaky textures of the outer cover. It takes long hours of practice to get the perfect texture of Singara. After repeated attempts I have now started getting the texture as flaky as Kolkata's Singara.

Though there are different kinds of Singaras, the most common one is Fulkopir (cauliflower) Singara. Since Bengalis can never keep anything vegetarian, they made Singara also non-veg by putting chicken as stuffing. Surprisingly there is no fish Singara. In Kolkata's sweetshops, you also find a sweeter version, filled with khoya and dipped in sugar syrup.

I will share today the recipe of Fulkopir singara.  So friends, please try my version and let me know if you like it. 

Recipe of Aloo Phulkopi r Singara ( Samosa filled with Potato and Cauliflower Mixture ), makes around 10 Samosas

Ingredients :

For the filling :

Cauliflower florets : 3 cups 
Potatoes : 1 and 1 /2 cups, peeled and cubed 
Green peas : 1/2 cup
Roasted peanuts : 1/4 cup 
Vegetable oil : 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds : 1/2 teaspoon 
Red whole chili : 1 
Grated ginger : 1 tablespoon 
Turmeric powder : 1/2 teaspoon 
Cumin powder : 1 teaspoon 
Salt : to taste 
Bhaja Masala : 2 teaspoon ( dry roast one whole red chili, 1 tablespoon of  the whole cumin seeds and 1/2 tablespoon of coriander seeds and grind them into a powder ) 

for the Samosa Shells 
Maida ( all purpose flour ) : 3 cups 
Ghee : 6 tablespoons 
Salt : 1 teaspoon 
Sugar : 1 teaspoon 
Cold water : 

Vegetable oil : for deep frying 

Method :

1. To make the filling, first , boil some water in a saucepan. Add the cauliflower florets and potatoes and peas to it. Cook them for 3 to 4 minutes. 

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan, once oil is hot add cumin seeds and the whole red chili. When it starts to splutter, add the cauliflower florets , potato cubes, and peas. Add the roasted peanuts and stir it well. Add grated ginger, turmeric powder, cumin powder . Keep Stirring. Add salt. Once vegetables are well cooked, add the bhaja masla. Mix it well. Turn off the heat. 

3. Take a big mixing bowl, add the flour to it. Add ghee to flour and mix it nicely with your hand. Add salt and sugar and mix it again. Add cold water to the flour mixture, add little at a time and knead it into a stiff dough. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and keep it in the refrigerator for an hour. 

4. Take the dough and knead it again for 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 to 15 big lemon sized balls. Apply oil on your clean kitchen counter top and start rolling it into an oblong shape.  

5. Cut each oval into two halves. 

6. ( the 6th step and the 7th step are how to fold the samosa , I have made a video of it , you can follow it)  Take half part of the oval and make it a cone. Seal the edges with water. 

7. Take a tablespoon stuffing and fill the cone. Seal all the edges by pressing it gently with your fingertips. The shape will look like a triangle. Repeat the process with the rest. 

this is the video link 

8. Heat oil in a deep-frying pan, once oil is hot, turn off the heat and let it cool down. When oil is not too hot. Carefully add 3 to 4 samosas and fry it on low temperature until they become golden brown on both sides. ( Don't fry them on high heat, the crust will not be crispy ) 
Make sure the temperature of the oil is low enough when you add the next batches of samosas. 

9. Drain Samosas on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil. Serve hot with a cup of tea. 

( If you want, you can make it ahead of time. Keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight box. Bake it in the oven at 425 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes when you want to serve it.)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

kheer Kadam

Even though we can’t see pandals in every one mile and big banners with advertisements of saree shops, can’t hear the sound of drums from the morning, we can still feel the smell that Durga Puja is around the corner. It may not be as grand as Kolkata, but we are also preparing to celebrate Durga puja. We started chatting with our friends about which saree we would wear. Kids have started practicing their roles in the drama. Some have started making narus as per the order from the main priest. Looking forward to two days of fun with lots of photos and good food. Hope you also have a wonderful festive time with your loved ones and post lots of beautiful selfies with your new attire.

Last week I asked my Facebook followers that as Durga puja is approaching, which traditional sweet recipe they would like to see on my blog. The majority voted for Kheer Kadom. So today I will share the recipe of kheer kadom with you. it’s a very popular dessert in West Bengal as well as in other parts of India. Making Kheer kadam is not a big deal, if you know how to make rasgullas. Because rasgullas are used as the inner layer in this dessert.  But the texture of rasgulla used in Kheer Kadom is different. It won’t be spongy, rather little bit hard compared to the normal Rasgullas. First chenna balls are cooked in thicker sugar syrup to make rasgullas. Once rasgullas are made, then they will get a coating of mawa and sugar mixture. When one layer of Bengali sweet itself can make mouth water, imagine how this two-layered dessert will make your family delighted.

So friends, the recipe of Kheer Kadam is here and if you really love this sweet, try it out in this Durga puja for your friends and family. Will come back soon with another puja-special recipe, till then enjoy the festival.

Recipe of Kheer Kadam, makes 15 pieces 

Ingredients :

To make Chhenna :

Whole milk / full-fat milk : 2 liters 
Lime juice : 3 tablespoons or as needed

To make the dough for Rasgullas :

Sugar : 1 teaspoon 
All purpose flour : 1 tablespoon
Semolina : 1 teaspoon 
Saffron or yellow food color : 

For Sugar Syrup :

Sugar : 2 cups 
Water : 3 cups
Crushed cardamoms : half tablespoons 

For the cover :

Mawa / milk solid : grated 3 cups 
Powdered sugar : 3 tablespoons 
Milk : 2 to 3 tablespoons 

Milk powder or grated Mawa mixed with powdered sugar 

Method :

1. Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, stir occasionally. Once the milk starts boiling, lower the flame. Pour the lemon juice and stir in. Milk will start cuddling and change into chenna ( cottage cheese ) and greenish water. Remove the pan from heat and leave the chenna in this condition for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the chenna and water mixture over a cheese cloth or a soft cotton cloth and let the water drain away. 

2. Put this cloth with the chenna under cold running water for 2 to 3 minutes to remove the lemony smell. Then hang the chenna along with cloth on the kitchen faucet for around 30 to 35 minutes. 

3. Now once again squeeze the cloth, if there is any extra water. But note that the chenna should not get too dry. Put the lump of chenna over a flat surface and knead it. Start kneading with the heel of your palm for about 4 to 5 minutes, until you get a smooth dough. 

4. Add sooji, flour, sugar and saffron or 3 to 4 drops of yellow food color to it and knead it. Press the dough with your palm continuously for about 3 to 4 minutes until you feel your palm is oily. 

7. Divide the dough into 15  to 16 equal portions and make some smooth surfaced round balls. 

8. Take a big deep- bottomed pan with the lid.  Add water and sugar, once it starts to boil add the crushed green cardamom. After 5 minutes, gently add the chhena balls into the syrup. Cover the pan with the lid and turn down the heat to medium high.  Let it cook. 

9. After 25 minutes, open the lid to check. Turn off the gas. Leave the pan as it is for 10 to 15 minutes. 

10. Drain the rasgullas in the strainer and keep it aside for 20 to 25 minutes. 

11. Now take a bowl, add grated mawa, powdered sugar and milk and make a smooth dough.

12. Now make some balls out of the mawa dough. Flatten one ball using your palms and place the rasgulla at the center of it. Seal the edges with help of your fingertips. Roll into a smooth surfaced ball. Repeat the process until all are done. 

13. Take a plate, add half cup of milk powder or 1/2 cup of grated mawa mixed with 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Carefully roll the Kheer Kadam in the milk powder or mawa mixture. Kheer Kadam is ready to serve.