Monday, February 20, 2017

Cabbage with Shrimp stir/fry - Chingri diye Bandhakopi - চিংড়ি দিয়ে বাঁধাকপি

I don’t need to write about the benefits of green leafy-vegetables. So I will skip that part and also I don’t want to sound boring and rhetoric to you all. Cabbage with shrimps, now who doesn’t like shrimps except few of us, who have allergies. This is a very homely Bengali way of making cabbage with shrimps. People may have little variations to it, like some may use cumin seeds for tempering, some may not, and many will go on to add grounded ginger+ cumin as the base of the masala. Please use ingredients, whatever way you want to make.

This is how this recipe is made in our kitchen.

Chingri diye Bandhakopi – Cabbage with shrimp stir/fry recipe

Recipe requirements
  • 1 whole cabbage – approx. 400gm
  •  De-veined shrimps- 300- 400 Gms
  • 2-3 fat cloves of garlic
  •  1 medium size onion
  • 2 medium size tomato

For tempering and seasonings
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder (½ tsp of stir/fry and ½ tsp for rubbing on shrimps)
  •  2 tsp of red pepper powder
  •  1 tsp of coriander powder
  •  1 tsp of salt or as per taste
  • ¼ tsp of sugar
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp of panch phoron
  • 5-6 tbs of mustard oil
  • 2 tsp of ghee
  • 1 tsp of garam masala

  • Chop green cabbage finely.
  • Clean, de-shell and devein Shrimps. Rub in shrimps with turmeric powder and salt.Keep aside.
  • Heat up a fry pan, add 2 tbs of mustard oil, add in shrimps and stir/fry them for about 2-3 mints and take out in bowl.
  • In that fry pan itself, add more mustard oil, temper it with panch phoron, dry red chillies.
  • Now add in tomato and chopped garlic into it. Add in chopped onions.
  • Keep on stir/fry for about 5-6 mints at medium high flame.
  • Now add in turmeric powder, red pepper powder, coriander powder and salt.Add in sugar as well. Sprinkle little bit of water and keep on stir/fry.
  • Add in chopped cabbage now. Mix cabbage very well with spices.
  • Add in quarter cup of water.Cover and cook for 7-8 mints or till cabbage leaves are cooked through well.Add in fried shrimps now, stir/fry and mix with a spatula for another 3-4 mints.
  • Add in ghee and garam masala at the end. Give a final mix.
  • Take out and serve in a bowl.


You can add chopped potatoes and green peas as well.

Happy Cooking Friends

Monday, February 13, 2017

Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe

Now that Chinese New year celebrations have ended in our neck of the woods, shops and shopping malls are now decorated with V-day themes. Well, nothing wrong in decorations and shopping for V-day. But to each, for having their personal views, and I am like we don’t need a particular day to fall in love and express love. It can be any day or probably every day. So, V-day or not, love every day, time is running out, if you love/like anyone say it, and don’t hold back. Love almighty god, your parents, your siblings and your family first and last but not the least love yourself for what and who you are. Unless you love yourself or be happy, you cannot love others and make others happy. Ok, dearies no more ranting for today. So, enjoy and have great V-day celebrations, whatever way you all prefer.

We have been craving for some chocolate dessert for a while and what better way in indulging than having chocolate panna cotta.
Now to the recipe

Chocolate Panna Cotta ( Suitable for Vegetarian) 
Recipe requirements
  •  1 cup of whole milk
  • 400 ml cream
  • 6-7 heaped tbs of caster sugar
  • 5-6 heaped tbs of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of instant coffee
  • 3-4 tsp of agar –agar powder

  • Put a large pot with milk, cream and sugar on cooking. Let it come to one boil.
  • In a separate cup take 2-3 tbs of warm milk and dissolve agar-agar powder.
  • Mix in cocoa powder and instant coffee powder. Add in agar –agar with milk and keep on stirring till all mix well.
  • Now add the above cocoa powder mixture to the boiling milk and cream mixture. Keep on stirring for another 8-10 mints at medium flame. Now switch off the flame. Let it cool a bit.
  • Pour in bowls /cups and cool. Refrigerate them in  panna cotta moulds or what ever you would be using to set.
  • Set in fridge for 5-6 hrs.  Take out and serve.

  •  You can use gelatin instead of agar-agar if it’s not available.
  • This recipe is suitable for vegetarian as agar –agar is a great substitute for gelatin which is derived from animal products.

Wish you all a very happy V-day.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Dal-Saag (Lentils cooked with Amaranth leaves)

There are days when, I can only think of comfort foods and dal –roti is one such recipe which never gets ruled out and we never get bored out of it either. Dal- saag is adding up more greens to those ‘’everyday dal recipes’’. I have used up green amaranth leaves with chana dal+ masoor dal. Many use spinach , some even use beetroot greens. Choose whatever you wish to, bottom line is, this is a great way of incorporating greens in one’s diet-plan.
This is how we make Dal-saag – our comfort food.

Dal-Saag (Lentils cooked with Amaranth leaves)
Recipe requirements
  •  2 cups of chana dal ( Yellow split pea lentil)
  • ¼ cup of masoor dal ( orange lentil ) 
  • 1 bunch of amaranth leaves or 800 gm of amaranth leaves -stems discarded

For tempering and seasonings

  • ½ tsp. of turmeric powder
  •  1 tsp of red pepper powder
  •  1 tsp of coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp of cumin powder
  •  1 tsp of salt or as per taste
  • 1/2  tsp of sugar
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 2-3 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium size tomato
  • Pinch of hing
  • 4-5 tbs of mustard oil
  • 2 tsp of ghee

  • Soak chana and masoor dal for about 2-3 hrs in a vessel with water.
  • Put cleaned dals in pressure cooker.Add in 2-3 cups of water.Let it come to one boil, Remove /skim off the white foam that is forming now. Close the pressure cooker, by securing the lid with whistle.
  • Now pressure cook both dals together for 2 whistles with ample water. Let the pressure subside and then open the lid. Add more water if it turns out semi- dry. Add in turmeric powder, red pepper powder, salt and sugar. Mix well and keep aside.
  • Now heat up a fry pan, add in mustard oil. Let it come to smoking point.Now do the Tarka/tempering.
  • Add in cumin seeds, dry red chillies and hing. Add in chopped garlic and tomato. Add dry spices- coriander+cumin powder.
  • Stir/fry all for about 3-4 mints at med-high flame or till oil separates out.
  • Clean Amaranth leaves in water.Take out tender shoots and healthy looking leaves from the bunch, discard stems..
  • Blanch amaranth leaves separately. Add the leaves to the cooked dals ( Lentils). Let it simmer for about 8-10 mints.
  • Add the tempering/tarka to the above cooked dals with greens.
  • Let it slowly simmer for about 4-5 mints. Add ghee at the end. Serve and enjoy with roti or rice whatever way you prefer.
Tip- You can add in some toasted cashews to the above dal or Paneer cubes as well.

Happy Cooking and have a great week ahead.....

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Chingri Mach'er Malaikari ( Our Version ) -Prawns with coconut milk- চিংড়ি মাছের মালাইকারি

First month of a new year 2017, and even before I can realize, it’s about to wrap up fast. I haven’t briefed you all with New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur.So, will write it all today. We went to central Kuala Lumpur and captured some of the beautiful moments through our smartphones. So below you will see couple of pics taken on 31st Dec 2016 capturing New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur.

Welcoming 2017 

It was all crowded, decked up and people were enjoying rest of the hours that were left of 2016.

We also stopped by to the countdown to the New Year and watched fireworks lit up Kuala Lumpur skyline and Petronas towers.

Petronas Towers

Glowing and scattering its sheen in the dark, catching up moon’s natural light, Petronas tower looks magnificent in night light , shinning like a beautiful silver ornament.

There were other parts of street also decorated with glittering lighting.
And on 28th Jan, we observed here Chinese New Year-  this year  is ‘Rooster’ year.

Decorations in shopping malls during Chinese New Year

This also marks spring festival celebrations in Chinese communities. Irrespective of sects – Taoists, Confucians, Buddhist, Chinese people celebrate New Year where ever they are scattered in the world at this time. People flock back towards their home and re-unite with their families to observe Chinese New Year. Everyone celebrates by decorations with ‘duilian’ (a pair of scroll on which poetry is written) and giving red packets or ‘ang paow’ with money. 

Bright giant  Lanterns in shopping malls- mid-valley mall

Homes are decked up with bright lights and red lanterns. The whole atmosphere is all lit up with glorious red colour. The traditional dinner lines up on New Year’s Eve, and it’s very similar to ‘Thanks-giving’ celebrations in US.
All shopping malls are decorated. China town in Kuala Lumpur is a special buzzing place where one can see celebrations and also the Lion dance. Schools and offices, as usual are closed during these days in Malaysia.

A typical Cantonese Home on display- notice cycle at  corners

Now after all those introductions to Chinese New Year celebrations, it’s time to write about the recipe for today- Chingri Malaikari -Or prawns cooked with spices and coconut milk. There is a version of making it with ginger only and below is the version we make with onion+garlic+ginger+tomato paste.
Puritans would abstain from using tomato, as tomato in Bengali cuisine is a recent addition in making meat preparations. I don’t know much about ‘Ghoti’ version or ‘Bangal’ version, but this seems more to me a ‘Ghoti’ recipe. So, being a ‘Ghoti’ myself, I generally end up using sugar in the gravy. Now each variation, has its own charm and one should always follow what one likes to eat.

Here is how we make Chingri Malaikari with freshly grated coconut.

Chingri Malaikari (Prawns cooked with coconut milk) - Our way 

 চিংড়ি মাছের  মালাইকারি 

Recipe requirements

  •  600 Gms of XL shrimps or 10-12 prawns

  • ½ tsp of turmeric powder
  • Salt as per taste for marinating prawns
  •  1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp of red pepper powder
  •  1 ½ tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • ½ tsp of cardamom powder
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp of nutmeg powder
  •  1 tsp of sugar
  • 4-5 green chillies or 2-3 Thai red bird chillies
  • 2 and half cups of freshly grated coconut
  •  2-3 medium size onions
  • 4-5 fat cloves of garlic
  • Half inch ginger root
  • 1 medium size tomato
  • 3-4 cloves
  •  2-3 green cardamoms
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 6-7  heaped tbs of mustard oil

Salt as per taste
 1 tsp of ghee

  • Cleaning shrimp/prawn is a tedious process.
  • Deshell all prawns or shrimp whatever you are using.
  • Keep the tail intact. Now if you want to keep the head, then do so, just take out the portions with eyes and tentacles. I am not that expert in cleaning head of big prawns (So, I ask fish-mongers in India to clean the head for me, and they are expert in cleaning the head. However here in KL, I do clean shrimp heads often and that is what generally I use for any chingri preparations)
  • There is a thread (actually it’s the vein of prawns which we need to discard) – darkish colour sometimes mud colour, which you have to take out. From the dorsal side make a cut in the one end near tail region– and take that thread out gently. After de-shelling and de-veining, clean prawns well in water.
  • Rub turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside in a bowl for 5-6 mints. Heat up a fry pan and shallow fry shrimps for about 2-3 mints at med-high or till they barely change colour. Take out and keep aside.
  • Now take 1 cup of freshly grated coconut and run through in mixer/grinder with 2 cups of water. Once all gets thoroughly grinded, add more water to it and filter out the coconut milk from its solids, squeeze the remaining coconut residues well to collect rest of the coconut milk. This will make our fresh coconut milk which we will be using in for the gravy.
  • Now chop onions, tomato, ginger and garlic finely.
  • Heat up a fry pan/kadai.Add in mustard oil.
  • Add in cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick.
  • Then add in finely chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Add in tomato pieces also.
  • Take all the spices (leaving behind cardamom+cinnamon+nutmeg powder) in a big bowl and mix in well with half a cup of water.
  • Add this spice mixture to the above and keep going stir/fry the whole things.
  • Add in tomato and sugar. Add in red Thai chillies slit in between. Add salt. Add in rest of the freshly grated coconut.
  • Now after 10-12 mints when all the spices, onions, ginger and garlic is properly fried. Take out and run through in mixer/grinder to make smooth spice paste.
  • Now add in bit of more mustard oil in the same pan and add in the above prepared paste, and fry through well. Adjust salt, sugar and hotness if required.
  • Now add in fried shrimp to the above and put the flame to low. Cover and let it cook for 7-8 mints.
  • Add in coconut milk and sprinkle cinnamon+cardamom+nutmeg powder or ‘garam masala’. Add in ghee at the end and cook further for 4-5 mints and take out chingri malaikari in a serving bowl. Enjoy with warm cooked rice.

Note- You can use a can of thick coconut milk. And also sometimes only ginger is added to make malaikari leaving onions+garlic+tomato.Please follow what ever you prefer in this recipe.

So tomorrow is Saraswati Puja.May Goddess Ma Saraswati bless us all with knowledge and wisdom. 

Shubho Basanta Panchami  - ''শুভ  বসন্ত  পঞ্চমী''  everyone.

Happy Cooking