Friday, September 25, 2015

Fried Modak.......Ganesh Puja Special

The festive season has started in India and there's celebration in the air. It started with Raksha Bandhan and now it's time for Ganeshutsav. According to mythological stories Lord Ganesha is worshiped before everyone and it was on this day that Lord Shiva had pronounced his son superior to all the gods and godesses except Lord Shiva himself, Goddess Parvati, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.  
India is celebrating Ganesh Puja this week in full swing and only few days left for the festivities to culminate. But if you want to get the best feeling of this festival you must visit state of Maharashtra as it is celebrated in most of the households and every nooks and corners of the state.

For my Non-Indian readers I would like to throw some light on this festival. Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated in the honour of Lord Ganesha. The festivities last for 10 days. The idol is worshiped for 10 days and then immersed in water with a hope that Lord Ganesha will shower his blessings on them and their families for all year long.
Keeping all the traditions and cultures apart there's one more thing associated with Lord Ganesha and i.e. he is considered to be a great foodie. During this festival various offerings are made to Lord Ganesha as Prasadam (Holy food) but amongst all Modak is his favorite. He is also known as "Modakapriya".

Modak is a sweet dumpling and very popular in Western and Southern India. As India is a very diversified country, here every region and religion has its own recipe. The one I'm sharing today is from Maharashtra. As I had spent most of my childhood in Maharashtra so this festival and festivities is very close to my heart.

With no further delay, let me share the recipe of Modak with you:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Steamed Shrimp Curry/ Bhapa Chingri

Shrimp/Prawns/Chingri whatever you call it, they are our (Bengali's) all time favorites. We can use it in each and every vegetable, you just name it and with the blink of eye we are ready with the dish. Moreover there are number of recipes that can be made out of it. Such is the love of Bengali's for "Chingri".

One of the most popular recipe cooked with Shrimp is Chingri Malaikari (recipe here) which is a signature bong delicacy. 

The recipe which I'm sharing today is a quintessential recipe of Bengali Cuisine i.e Bhapa Chingri or Steamed Shrimp in Mustard and Coconut Gravy. I still remembered my Mom cooking this delectable recipe in a pressure cooker and as soon as it's done I use to run to the kitchen and open the cooker to get the whiff of this flavorful dish.

Bhapa Chingri is cooked in mustard paste with coconut milk and a generous amount of mustard oil and slit chillies. Some recipe calls for poppy seed paste but I like it this way. This recipe is very similar to another very popular recipe i.e Ilish Bhapa (recipe here). Just replace the Ilish/Hilsa fish with Chingri/Shrimp.

Traditionally this recipe is prepared using a pressure cooker. All the ingredients are mixed together and placed in a steel container with airtight lid. This container is then placed in the pressure cooker and steamed for 8-10 mins. But, I have used microwave method for preparing this recipe. 

So, without any further ado let's start with the recipe:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Goan Fish Curry

We both love Pomfret just like anything. Whether it's a Pomfret Fry, Tandoori Pomfret or Pomfret Curry they all are finger licking good. 

The recipe which I'm going to share today is a very popular dish called as "Goan Fish Curry". In Goa Pomfrets are commonly known as Pamplet. There are several curries which can be made by this delectable fish but this recipe is very common in Northern parts of Goa.

This fish curry is bit spicy so it's commonly served with steaming hot rice. So, let's start with the recipe:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chilli Fritters/ Rajasthani Mirchi Vada

Last Sunday when I went for my weekly grocery shopping I stumbled upon a basket full of Peppers. These were the big chillies which are usually used to make chilli pickles here in India. I couldn't resist myself buying those beauties.

When I bought those I made up my mind that I'll make chilli pickle out of those peppers, as a result I bought all the ingredients required to make the pickle but all of a sudden my husband requested me to make Fritters with them. So, with all the confusion and my mind dwelling between Fritters and Pickle those peppers were lying in my vegetable basket for a week.

Finally the confusion ended and the battle has been won by Fritters. Finally yesterday I decided to make these fritters in our Tea Time Snacks with a tangy tomato and cilantro chutney.

These fritters are very common in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The chillies are stuffed with spicy potato filling which is seasoned with few spices. Usually these chillies are less hotter than the usual ones which are used for cooking but if you want then you can remove the seeds from them and then fill the stuffing inside.

So, without wasting any time let's check out the recipe and serve it to your family at the tea table. Here's the recipe:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Parsley Chicken

Last Sunday when I went for my weekly grocery shopping at our local market I was quite surprised to see one vendor was selling fresh PARSLEY. Before that I used to buy dried parsley leaves from a super market. 

In India it's very hard to find fresh herbs like Basil, Parsley, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Dill etc; we get the dried version though. So, the recipes which call for fresh herbs have to be replaced by the dried herbs. When I glanced over the fresh Parsley the first thing which came to my mind was I need to buy them today. Buying these fresh herbs here in India is pretty expensive :(

The recipe which I'm sharing today is PARSLEY CHICKEN. This recipe was one of my favorites when I was in the USA. The mild flavors of freshly chopped Parsley takes the recipe to the next level. So, without any further ado let's jump straight into the recipe: