Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mishti Doi-Sweetened Curd

People in Bengal relish Mishti doi a lot.Now here in a foreign land ,I don’t have the luxary to go to a sweet shop near by and get mishti doi sold in small earthen vessels .For that matter,I have to re-create every possible thing that I miss eating here from scratch sometimes.
Mishti doi was something on my mind for past few months now.I know there are possibly 100 of recipes out in net.But when I peeked into my pantry, I was running short of condensed milk, had only evaporated milk.All the recipes which I came across used heavily condensed milk.I decided to take on with whatever I had in my pantry.I had plain yogurt and whole milk and also evaporated milk.So these three formed the base ingredients for mishti doi for me.While making ,I realized that here you need quite a big amount of plain yogurt to set sweetened yogurt.Although they say It’s live culture but still at least 1 cup of yogurt is required , now why I am saying this because I am habitual of using very few tsp , to be precise 2-3 tsp of live culture/yogurt to set my home-made curd back home.I think it may be due to the climate here or the cold weather.Whatever…
Anyways , I was determined to re-create the taste of mishti doi in home , so started with the ingredients that I had in my pantry.So, here how I tried to made it , and did I say it was the most pleasurable thing that I have eaten so far coming to here.One mouthful of it and you will go mmm……utterly delicious , a splendid discovery for me.It has become a keeper recipe for me now.

Mishti Doi
2 and half or 3 cups of whole milk
1 cup of evaporated milk(carnation)
1 cup of plain yogurt(onken)
7-8 tbs of water
8-9 tbs of sugar ( or as per taste)


1. Reduce the milk to half over a low flame.It will take approx 45 -50 mints to reduce it to half.You can speed up the process at med-low flame ,but you will have to stir it continously then.
2. Meanwhile in a separate pan , make a sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar in water .The syrup should be thick in constitency (adjust the sweetness according to taste ).Back home ,I know some even use batasha( a sugary or jaggery preparation for a part of prasad that is being offered to God) for it also.They simply make the syrup with Batasha.
(Usually sugar is melted at low flame till it dissolves completely, this carmelization of sugar ,gives the distinct colour to the curd, and also since the milk is bit thickened).However I made a thick sugar syrup and added as per taste.
Next time I am going to make the syrup with Maple syrup and see if the colour of milk changes or not.
3. Now add the evaporated milk(carnation ) to the reduced milk( sometimes when you add evaporated milk to hot milk, it may spill out ,watch out while adding evaporated milk to hot milk)Switch off the flame, take out in a separate vessel.

4. Add the sugar syrup slowly , add half the content ,taste it and then add the later portions if you feel there is need to add more sweet.The syrup will be quite thick, reheat it if there is need.
5. Mix in 1 small cup or 5-6 tbs of plain yogurt(onken) to the above.Make sure the milk is not very hot ,otherwise the bacteria/live culture may get destroyed and it will not help .Gently mix with a spoon.Now the fun part ,take the other pan and drop the entire mixture to it and again shift the mixture content to previous pan .This helps in blending the mixture well.When you see a nice froth/bubbles has formed , stop mixing it.
6. Now set the curd in an oven.Place a baking tray with water .Now set the oven temp at 170 deg celcius. Transfer the entire content to the a baking dish , I used my loaf pan for this purpose.
Bake for 20 mints.Switch off the oven.
7. Let the baking dish sit there for 10-15 mints more.TIP-If you tap the pan gently ,you will see the yogurt has set , if not ,then again transfer it in hot oven and wait for another 10 mints .I could not resist the temptation, so I tasted it with a spoon.See at the corner, the water has come out showing the curd is all set.

8. Now take out , cool and then refridgerate it.Chill it for 2-4 hrs.Serve and enjoy.
There is a traditional way of making sweetened curd that is by reducing the milk and then adding the sugar syrup and yogurt , but the setting is in earthen vessels.
one more close look and trust me it is not easy to control the temptation .

Note- If you are in India, add only 1-2 tsp of Doi/Yogurt and let it set there.Adding 1 cup of doi will spoil the mishti doi and the milk may curdle.
Few good recipes about Mishti Doi
---- Bongmom's Bhapa Doi
--- Pressure cooker method at Enjoy Indian Food
---- Traditional method at Sutapa's Webpage By Gupta Brothers

Enjoy Good Food

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Whole Wheat Burger

I have talked about a burger recipe on my last post about Bread making.So ,here is the most simple recipe to prepare a Veggie Burger.If you are keen on putting variations to the filling of burger, then you may consider these for a wonderful patties/cutlet recipes.

-- Keema Kabab
-- Vegetable Cutlet
-- Fish Chops
-- Fish Fritters
Now to the most simple recipe

Whole Wheat Burger
Whole wheat burger- for recipe visit here--- Bread Recipe
Some shredded cheddar cheese or any other cheese.
Thinly sliced vegetables of your choice
I used yellow bell peper and tomatoes
Coriander chutney for the dressing
How to assemble
Just spread coriander chutney over the burgers.
Sprinkle some cheddar cheese and lay some vegetables of choice and enjoy the burger.

serve and enjoy.

Link of the week ---

An Indian Summer (http://anindiansummer-design.blogspot.com/ )by Bhavna Bhatnagar, is a great place to know more about interior designing.The blog features pictures of stunning and gorgeous interiors and is all about home decor that covers everything from furnitures to designs and lots more.Do visit to know more about it.

Happy Cooking Friends

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Some Bread Please

I have been thinking of making some bread for a while now.This is my first attempt at making bread at home.I read a lot of things regarding bread making in the net , but at the end it all said to make it in bread machine.I felt so dissappointed as I don’t have a bread machine.
However ,the cook rather the baker in me was calling out loud , go for it and bake it in oven .So I went to check the manufracturer’s manual for oven setting etc, and tried to figure out the exact temperature for bread baking.It had all the information about cake, veg,meat baking temperatures, but not bread.
So, I followed my instinct and baked the bread for the first time.I am not a daring baker or an expert in baking.A kind of novice who is trying out her luck in baking breads.It came out well to my surprise and now this recipe is a keeper recipe. Whenever I do not want the store-brought bread , I know how to do it in home with my simple hands and a trust-worthy oven.Now to the Recipe-

Now to the Recipe

Basic Bread recipe
1 1/8 cups warm water/milk
3-4 tbs of honey
¼ tsp of salt
1 1/2 cups of bread flour+1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour(we call atta that )
2-3 tbs of butter
1 ½ tsp of active dry yeast
Warm about ½ cup of water …do not make it hot ..dissolve about 1 and ½ tsp of dry active yeast and about pinch of sugar.Let it sit there for 10-15 mints .By this time a foam is formed say about 1-2 cm .

Meanwhile yeast is preparing itself , mix in 1 1/2 cups of bread flour and 1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.
Mix in ¼ tsp of salt to it and also ¼ tsp of gram masala for a nice flavour.
Mix in well and now scoop out the flour approx 1 cup to be used later while kneading.
Now mix in yeast solution, warm milk, melted butter and honey very well.Now while working with the dough add in left over flour mixture and warm milk gently.Knead the dough for 5-7 mints.
Now place the dough in a warm environment. Start the oven at 70 Deg C and heat it just 1 mints.Turn off the oven.Now place the dough in this oven in a bowl , covered with damp cloth for 1 hr.
If you donot want to keep it in preheated oven ..then increase the time for rising the flour, roughly double the time.
Take out the dough and start kneading it again.Grease your hands with some oil and start kneading the dough , sprinkling some more flour while working on the flour.
Prepare the loaf pan/bread pan with some oil and then transfer the dough to it. It just turn out that the dough was more and my loaf pan small , so I took some of the dough from it baked some wheat Buns later,will be sharing with you my Burger recipe later.
TIP- you may use this left over dough to make hot naans.
Now again cover it with damp cloth and let it sit there for 1hr.
Bake the dough at 180 deg C /350 deg F for 25-27 mints.Take out and let it cool.Cut into slices or eat as you please…..
~~How to refridgerate the bread and reuse it later~~
Just wrap them in plastic bags and refridgerate.When you are ready to eat , take out and reheat it in a moderate 350 Deg F/175 Deg C OR toast them in toaster.Serve with honey and butter.

Just to add a Note ---It may help you while choosing the yeast.
Fresh yeast-compressed/cake yeast is active yeast.It has a nice quality of rising the flour and hence gives excellent result for baked goodies.It remains fresh for only 1-2 weeks.Fresh yeast is available in the frozen section of supermarkets also.Proofing is needed but with out salt or sugar.
Instant/Rapid rise yeast –this is now very commonly used.It doesn’t need water to rehydrate it.Just add in according to the recipe/package direction to the dough .The rising time is saved also.This may include ascorbic acid , a dough conditioner of sort.Can be stored well, once open , refridgerate the left-over yeast.
Active dry yeast-This is the most common form that is available .This generally needs proofing and rehydrating.The yeast remains dormant here.Usually the packets/tsp from the jar ,need to get dissolved in some warm water(110deg F)and ½ tsp of sugar, before being used up.This can be stored for many months and in cold area.Do not use after expiration date and rather check it before you purchase it.
Usually a packet of active dry yeast has 2 ½ tsp of yeast or .25 ounce.
Proofing-the time for rehydrating the yeast .Dissolve required quantity of yeast specified in a recipe in some warm water ,add sugar also to feed the yeast.We call this in Hindi “Khamira”. In making Naan, Bhature ,khamira is needed to rise the dough, I remember my ma used to add some yogurt or buttermilk to rise the naan dough.She used to knead maida/all purpose flour in the morning with some yogurt(doi), ghee and salt.She then let it sit that dough for 4-6 hrs covered with a damp cloth.And in the evening we used to have fresh chole with some oil fried bature.Yum…
Rising- the time needed for proper rising /doubling of bread dough.Usually it takes 2-3 hrs for proper rise if you are using active dry yeast.If you using instant/rapid rise yeast or fresh yeast ,then the rising time may vary or may take less.I am not sure about the exact time though.
Now to the link of the week---

Shobha Dey (http://shobhaade.blogspot.com/)

Happy Cooking Friends

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Macher Matha Diye Moong Dal

Fish is like a true gift God has given To any Bengali.
No marriage ceremony is complete with out a big Rui fish(read this in bold).There is a particular custom of sending gifts to a Bengali Bride and her near ones,as part of “Gaye Holod Er Totto”.This gift/gifts she takes on wedding day ,usually to mark the Vermillon ceremony ,in Hindi “Haldi rasam”,is improper if the correct size of Rui fish is not sent decorated along with the gifts.This custom is said to be very auspicious .Bridegroom’s family often take it as prestige issue also and sometimes even send fish weighing to 5-7 kgs.So fish is even part of every Bengali ceremony.
While we were grocery shopping , came across this huge 4 kgs of frozen Rui fish here, now back in home I have always asked my "machwala" (fisherman) to cut a portion of it and make edilble 4-5 pieces , quite a good composition for a family of 3.He would usuallay take out fish scales also , making my life easy.
I was little hesistant to buy such a big fish(storage and then again it’s frozen) and more the fish head as I know father-daughter duo wont touch the fish head.Anyways, this is what becomes tricky sometimes, what to cook something specially if you donot want to waste.
So decided to make moong dal with half of the fish head, while I ended up eating most of the fish head , father-daughter duo were happy to eat moong dal minus fish head.The other half portion got it’s way in Bandhakopi ‘r Torkari/Subzi.However taste wise frozen fish turn out to be winner and while I deep fried each fish pieces and fish head ,and then made shorshe rui also.If you want the recipe ,do let me know.
I was just so filled up after this heavy meal, and felt sleepy , took a long nap while father-daughter duo spent time playing Scrabble.

Now to the recipe
Moro diye Moonger dal( yellow lentils with fish head)
Fish head rui(Labeo rohita) preferably
1 cup moong dal
1 -2 tsp of turmeric powder+ some to marinate fish head
Salt as per taste
Little bit of sugar
2 -3 cloves(lobongo)
1 big cardamom(gota boro elaich)
1 inch cinnamon stick(dalchini)
1 tsp of powdered garam masala
2-3 tbs of oil/or 1-2 tbs of ghee
And now to the method

and Now To The Method

Marinate the fish head with turmeric powder and salt.Set aside in a separate dish.
Meanwhile roast the moong dal/yellow lentils over very low flame in a saucepan/kadahi.
Now wash throughly in water.Place a saucepan half filled with water over gas/stovetop.Add in roasted moong dal.
Clear the white froth that has started to form now.
Add in turmeric powder,salt ,sugarand the garam masala powder.Let it simmer at med-low.Usually it needs 10-15 mints to cook the dal.
It would be better if you can fry the fish head beforehand.Fry them in hot oil,be careful while frying the fish head.Better ,cover it properly with lid and do the process at med-low.Take out and break into edible pieces.Add this to simmering dal.
Tempering the dal
Heat up a saucepan,add oil and cumin seeds,bay leaf,cloves,cinnamon stick and cardamom.Fry for 1 mints.add this to the cooked moong dal.Cover the saucepan and turn off the stove-top.
Serve it with garam bhat ,shorshe Rui and Phulkopir Torakari.

Now to the Links of the week-Two very promising blogs from India.

A) This blog comes on my do visit list for the last two months now,wonder why I have missed it beforehand.This blog captures different aspects of Life and Travel.A Mumbaikar captures candid pics thro his camera, Go and see the world through his eyes.-----My Experiments with The Lens(http://shutterbugged.blogspot.com/) ....

B)If you think ,you can handle some witty and wise talks ,then go visit here---- Random Thoughts of a Frustrated Mind(http://unbound-forever.blogspot.com/). Am I seeing or rather reading in this case another Erratica er Bachi Karkaria in making, perhaps yes and I wish to see many good witty ,hilarious post minus some ** these words :)..All The Best Girlie..

There are many good blogs out there, which blog/blogs you like to read other than food blog, do let me know.Happy cooking Friends