Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Skillet Brownie

Earlier I stopped using my cast iron skillet because of rusty smell but recently I learned from a post on Facebook about how to clean and take care of iron skillet. Two main things you have to remember when you are using cast iron skillet that you have to avoid soaking the pan and don’t leave the pan in the sink. Then just after cleaning make it dry, take a teaspoon of cooking oil and rub it well. It worked like magic, after very minimal effort there is no rust on my pan !! I love making brownies in skillets for another reason too. You don’t need to wait for the brownie to cool down before cutting.  A skillet brownie is made for digging in right away. Please serve warm brownies with a thin stream of hot fudge sauce and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's delicious! If you don't have cast iron pan, the same recipe will work with your baking pan too. 

Recipe of Fudgy Chocolaty Brownie:

  • Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter: 1/2 cup (1 stick) 
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips: 4 ounces plus 1/2 cup  divided 
  • Unsweetened chocolate: 1 and 1/2 ounces, chopped
  • Eggs: 2 large
  • Pure vanilla extract: 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
  • Granulated sugar: 1/2 cup
  • All-purpose flour: 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon, divided 
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon 
  • Salt: a pinch 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the skillet or a square baking pan. 

2. Take a large bowl add water to it. Simmer the water. Now take a medium bowl add butter, 4-ounce chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate to it. Place the bowl in the hot water bowl until smooth. Set it aside and let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes. 

3. Take a large bowl, add the eggs, vanilla extract and sugar to it. Stir it well. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture until it is well combined. 

4. In another bowl, add flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix it well. Add flour mixture to the egg-chocolate mixture. Stir it until combined. 

5. Now take the half cup of chocolate chips and one tablespoon of flour to a bowl. Toss it together. Add the chocolate chips to the brownie batter. Fold them in. 

6. Pour the mixture into a prepared skillet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until it done. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of hot fudge sauce. 

( The recipe is adapted from )

Macher Muro Die Bhaja Muger Daal ( Dry Roasted Yellow Lentil With Fish Head )

  • There are some dishes that are so popular that their recipes can be posted without any good presentation. Even if the picture is not so great, assuming it won’t matter to the followers. Today's dish belongs to this category. Sometimes back I planned to post this recipe but that day I didn't get enough time to take pictures as I had to serve this before it lost its warmness. After a few months today again, I cooked the same dish and luckily able to get some decent photos of that. In our overseas life it’s not a regular kind of dish, rather once in a year, we become fortunate to prepare it and taste this delicious dish.

  • Bengalis are well known for eating fish in all its forms and not leaving any of the parts, including the coveted head. Fish heads (Bengalis call them “macher muro/matha” with love) are very auspicious for us. We are introduced to this fish head at our very tender age during “rice ceremony” occasion when a baby is introduced to real food. The baby is not allowed to eat the fish-head,  but it is considered auspicious and supposed to bring good luck to his/her life. The same is followed when we welcome a new groom or bride to our family. In day-to-day life, the fish head is served to the head of the family or to the kid who is most loved by everybody. In my childhood, me and my dad used to enjoy this privilege.

    Probably you already could guess that my today’s recipe is something to do with the fish head. Yes, I am going to share today the recipe of “Mugger daal with Maacher Muro ”.  It’s a special kind of lentil preparation where a big fish head (usually Rohu or Katla) is cooked with yellow mung dal. Though Daal is a regular kind of dish to any Bengali household but this dish is for a special occasion. When there is a grand event, a large sized fish will come from the market. The fish pieces would be used in some type of fish curry but the head would go to the Mug Dal. You just need a long leisurely afternoon to eat and relish “Macher Matha diye Muger Daal” with a bowl of steamed rice and crispy fried potatoes and off course a short nap after the lunch.

Recipe of Macher Muro Die Bhaja Muger Daal ( Dry Roasted Yellow Lentil With Fish Head):


Mung Daal or yellow lentil: 1 cup 
Fish Head: 1 of a medium sized fish
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon 
Oil: 4 tablespoons 
Whole Red Chili: 1 
Bay leaf: 1
Whole Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon 
Onion: a small, finely chopped 
Ginger paste: 1 teaspoon
Garlic paste: 1 tablespoon
Tomato: a small, chopped  
Cumin powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Chili powder: 1/2 teaspoon 
Gram masala: 1/2 teaspoon 


1. Smear salt and turmeric to the cleaned and halved fish heads. Set it aside. 

2. Dry roast the mung dal on low flame. Don't make it brown. Once the dal starts to change the color and aroma comes up turn off the gas and wash the dal thoroughly. Now take a pan or a pressure cooker, add the washed dal and 3 cups of water. Add salt and turmeric to it. Cover the lid. Let it cook until Dal is cooked. Make sure the Dal is not over cooked. It should be soft but not mushy. What I do, cover the pressure cooker and cook it on high flame for one whistle. Immediately remove it from the heat and let the steam release on its own. It comes out perfect. 

3. Heat oil in a big pan. Fry the fish head till it is golden brown. Take it out from the pan and set it aside.

4. Add bay leaf, whole red chili, cumin seeds to the remaining oil. Once cumin starts to splutter add the chopped onions. Fry it until it is soft and golden brown. Add ginger and garlic paste. Stir it and let it cook until raw smell goes off. Add tomato and salt. Stir it well. 

5. Once tomato becomes soft and mushy add cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Cook it until oil comes out from the sides of the pan. 

6. Add the fried fish head cook it with the masala for a couple of minutes. Break the fish head into big chunks. Now add the cooked dal. Mix it well. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Check the seasoning. Adjust the consistency. It should not be too thick or too runny. 

7. Add garam masala and turn off the gas. Serve hot with steamed rice. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

As soon as the new year’s celebration gets over, the blogger’s world starts sharing the recipes for Valentine’s day. Facebook and Instagram feeds are flooded with chocolate desserts or heart-shaped cookies and cake. This year I had no plan but after seeing these nice posts, I too started thinking about what I can make for Valentine’s day. My goal was not to give much effort but still, my family can enjoy it. None of the boys in the family is a big fan of desserts. The little one eats dessert only if it is made of chocolate or got the same flavor. So thought it would be nice if I can make some chocolate-Dipped Strawberries for them.

Though this delicious dessert is very popular as valentine’s day treat, you can make it for your anniversary or any other candle-night romantic celebrations. Not only it’s wonderful to eat, it looks very beautiful too.

If you want to serve this awesome dessert for your next party, get ready with big juicy strawberries and chocolate of good quality. Then melt the chocolate and dip your strawberries in melted chocolate. If you want to add some variety there are so many delicious possibilities. For example, you can dip them in candy sprinkles, chocolate chips or chocolate cookie crumbles. Be creative as you can, serve them with champagne or your favorite red wine.

Recipe of Chocolate Dipped Strawberries:


Semi-sweet or dark Chocolate or chocolate chips: one 12 oz packet
Strawberries: 1 and 1/2 lbs, big sized, washed and dried completely 
Canola Oil: 3 tablespoons 

For Decoration:

White chocolate: 4oz
1 cup chopped nuts ( pecans or almonds ) 


1. Pat dry the berries with a paper towel. Lina a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

2. Melt the chocolate. Take a saucepan, add 1 inch of water and simmer it. Then take a heatproof bowl add chocolate to it. Place the bowl in the water. Chocolate will start melting in a couple of minutes. You can use the microwave to melt it. Once Chocolate is soft add the oil and stir well to mix.

3. Hold the stem and dip the strawberries one by one into the chocolate until 1/2 or 3/4 of the strawberry is coated with chocolate. 

4. Gently drop off the excess. Place the dipped strawberries on the parchment paper and immediately roll in toppings or sprinkle them on if you want to decorate it. 

5. Refrigerate the strawberries for about 30 minutes till the chocolate sets. Serve the chocolate Strawberries chilled or at room temperature. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Luchi - Sada Alur Tarkari ( Aloo Charchari )

After eating milk with cereals, Granola or Yogurt from Monday to Friday, when the weekend comes, Bengali hearts yearn for some Luchi with plain Aaloo Tarkari aka alu charchari. Without any doubt, this is an ideal breakfast for all Bengali on any weekend. Though it’s mainly popular as breakfast, you can serve this combo during any time of the day. This delicious duo never fails to win any Bengali's heart. 

Luchi which is commonly known as Poori in other parts of India than Bengal, is a deep-fried and flat bread, made of refined wheat flour, also known as Maida flour. To make Luchis, at first a dough is prepared by using all-purpose flour, ghee or oil and water. Then it’s divided into some small balls. The balls are flattened using a rolling-pin and then deep-fried in oil or ghee. There is a slight difference between Luchi and Poori. Atta or wheat flour is used in Poori instead of all-purpose flour.

Luchis are always served with curries. Most of the time it’s enjoyed with Alu-r Dom, Chola-r Daal, Begun Bhaja or plain Alu-r Tarkari. Most people will agree that Luchi goes best with Alu-r Tarkari or Aalu Charchari. Sada Alur Tarkari is simple Potato Curry flavored with Nigella seeds and green chilies. Today I am here to share with you how to make Luchi and Alu charchari. 

Recipe of Luchi, serves 2 to 3 people

Ingredients :

All-purpose flour ( Maida ): 2 cups 
Cooking Oil / White Oil: 2 tablespoons 
Salt: a pinch 
Water: as needed 
White Oil / Cooking Oil: for deep frying 


1. Mix maida and salt together. Add oil to the maida. Mix it well with your fingertips. Add water to make the dough. Add water little at a time and knead it. The dough should be soft and smooth. Once it is done cover it with a damped kitchen towel and let it rest for half an hour. 

2. Make small balls out of the dough. Roll it between your palms and make it smooth balls. 
Grease your cleaned kitchen counter top with a little bit of oil. Now flatten the balls with a rolling pin to make even circles. 

3. Take a deep-frying pan, add oil and heat it up. The heating of the oil plays a very important role in frying luchi. Oil should not be very hot or cold. If it is cold luchi will not puff up. If it is too hot the color of Luchi will be brown. Most of the people love to eat whitish Luchi. So keep the flame on medium-high. When you will see the little smoke coming out of the oil that means oil is hot. Fry luchis one by one. Gently press the edges of luchi down in the oil. It will help to puff up. Once one side is puffed up turn it. Using a slotted spoon drain it out from the oil. Repeat the process until all are done. 

Recipe of Sada Alur Tarkari ( Simple Potato Curry flavored with Nigella seeds ) 


Potato: 3 big, peel, washed and cut into small cubes 
Oil: 2 -3 tablespoons 
Nigella Seeds: 1/2 teaspoon 
Green chilies: 2-3 ( slitted ) or as needed  
Tomato: One, chopped 
Salt: as needed 
Cilantro / Coriander: chopped, a handful ( optional ) 


1. Take a pan, add oil and heat it up. Add green chilies and nigella seeds. Once aroma comes out and it will start spluttering add the potatoes. Fry it on medium heat. Add salt and cover it. 

2. Stir it again, once the potatoes are half- cooked add the tomato. Stir and let it cook until tomato is soft and mushy. 

3. Now add water as per your desired consistency, if you want it runny curry add little more water. And potato will absorb water after cooking also. Cover it and let it cook until potato is well cooked and mushy. Check seasoning and add chopped cilantro ( if you are using ). Serve hot with puffed luchis. 😊😊