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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Parna's Special Egg Curry

Egg is a favourite of many folks. Some like it poached, with or without the sunny side up, scrambled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled.....The list is endless. Besides being high on protein, it is cheap and easy to cook, for non-vegetarians.

Egg curry with toast used to be a staple back home, especially during winters. It brings back many fond memories of childhood. Mom used to make one with loads of peas and onions. Till date i have not been able to make one tasting as wholesome as hers. Over time, having tried many combinations, i finally have one which can remotely taste like that. My husband being an ardent egg-lover made it quite necessary for me to have a handy egg-curry recipe. Here goes then.....


Eggs - 4
Onions - 2 medium sized, chopped
Potatoes - 4 medium sized (peeled and halved)
Green peas - 1 cup
Tomatoe puree - 3 tblsp
Ginger paste - 2 tsp
Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cloves - 2
Green chilliles - slit lengthwise
Salt to taste
Turmeric - 1tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Fresh coriander - 1/4 cup, chopped
Water - 1 cup
Oil - 2 tblsp

Pressure cook the eggs and potatoes together through one whistle. Cool and shell the eggs. Sprinkle them with salt and turmeric powder, heat oil and shallow fry them for a minute This helps to seal the the salt and the turmeric, as well as adds a very rich colour. Keep aside.

Now in the same oil add the bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon stick. Fry for a minute. Add cumin seeds and when it starts to change colour add chillies. Fry for a minute. Add the onions and fry till they become translucent.

Add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry till the oil starts to leave. Add the tomatoe puree and cook for half a minute. Now add the coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala and stir fry for about a minute. Add 1 cup of water, mix well and then add the potatoes. Moderate the water as per your gravy needs.

Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Prick the potatoes with a fork to check if they are cooked. Make sure the extra water evaporates. Add the coriander leaves and cook for a minute. Add the peas and eggs. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes.

Your egg curry is ready to be devoured. You can have it with steaming rice or roti.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A New Year

Its been a long while, indeed. Moving back to india, house-hunting, setting up a home again, job-hunting, realigning myself...well the list is endless. Even then, laziness is partly to be blamed, coupled with a very tight-schedule that left me with little or no time to indulge myself in writing on this blog.

However, a new year is a good place to start things long lost or forgotten. Or take up something close to your heart or for which one is passionate about. Cooking happens to be one such.

Those of you who still visit this place - thank you for dropping by. Especially a big thank you to those bloggers who have still kept me on their blogroll inspite of this place being dormant for more than 8 months now.

But now that i am back and hope to write more often, lets kickstart with some nice spicy indian grub.

Paneer Jhalfraizee

Paneer or cottage cheese is a one stop item on the menu of many vegetarians. It can also be made at home. Homemade paneer is soft and fragile and many prefer it to the ones sold in grocery stores. But homemade cottage cheese being more fragile, it becomes necessary to mix it with flour, else it has a tendency to granulate.


Paneer - 400 gms
Onions - 2 medium sized
Ginger - 2 inch knob
Bell pepper - 2 medium sized
Tomato puree -3 tblsp (or 3 medium sized tomatoes)
Coriander - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 2, chopped
Red chillies - 2
Oil - 3 tblsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Vinegar - 1 1/4 tblsp

Cut the onions into thick slices and separate the layers. Wash, deseed and cut the bell peppers into long strips. Cut the paneer into finger size pieces. In case you are using tomatoes instead of the puree, cut them into thick slices too, lenghtwise.

Chop the ginger into fine juliennes. I prefer julienned ginger to paste. It is your take.

Heat oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds. When they start to change colour, break and add the red chillies. Now add the ginger juliennes and the chopped onions. Fry till the ginger is done. Or if you are using ginger paste, the oil starts to leave and there is a fried aroma of ginger.

Add chilli powder and turmeric powder and mix well. Now add the bell peppers. Cook for two to three minutes. I like my pepper to retain the bright green colour which it starts to lose if over-cooked.

Now add the paneer pieces and toss. Add salt and vinegar and cook for another two to three minutes. Add the tomato puree or the chopped tomatoes in case you are using the latter, and the garam masala. Cook till the excess water evaporates.

Garnish with coriander.

Serve hot either with nan, roomali roti or fried rice.

This recipe has been tried a couple of times and each time it has turned out well. Do give it a shot.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rotini With Chicken In Red Wine Sauce

was the valentine's day special. I know it is long past and moreover it does sound a little corny to celebrate it. But hey! Its just another day to be made special and enjoyed with your loved one :) and reason enough for cooking up something a little off the cuff.

Now, i had a bottle of red wine sitting for sometime, having planned to make a pasta with it. But i could not find, for the life of me, a pasta-recipe which had chicken and red wine in it. Most of them had white. So this is nearly out of my imagination. But it turned out fairly well going by the look on hubby's face.


Chicken Breasts - 4 pieces, cut into bite size (2 pieces for each person)
Onion - 1 large, chopped
Garlic Cloves - 5-6, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Pepper - 2 tsp
Red Wine - 1&1/2 cup (be generous)
Rotini - 3 cups (1.5 cups for each)
White Butter - 1 tbsp (i know its sinful. but it does add to the taste)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tsp
Grated Parmesan - 1 cupful
Flour - 2 tbsp

Heat the butter and the olive oil in a wide bottomed skillet. Add garlic and fry for a minute. Add the chopped onions and fry till translucent. Add flour and the red wine. Cook for about two minutes. Now chicken pieces and mix. Add salt and pepper. Cook uncovered on medium-high for about ten minutes or till the sauce becomes a little thick and the chicken pieces are cooked.

Simultaneously, in a separate pot heat water, cover and boil the rotini. Add a pinch of salt to it. When it is 3/4 cooked, drain and keep aside.

Now when the chicken pieces are almost cooked and the sauce is thick, add the boiled rotini. Mix well. Serve hot with grated parmesan generously sprinkled over it.

Note: Personally i prefer chicken thighs to breasts, since i find the latter a little chewy. But it is your preference.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Simple Veg Fried Rice

Well, everyone has their own version of a vegetable fried rice. Some like it with mint some with coconut and some with peas. So this version of the fried rice is really just another brick in the wall, except for the fact, it is very nutritious and hence, healthy, being low on oil and high on veggies.


Carrots - 2 washed, scraped and diced
Green Bell Pepper - 1 big, chopped
Spring Onions - 8-10 stems, chopped
Button Mushrooms - 12-16, chopped
Basmati rice - 1 cup, washed
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp


Red Bell Pepper - for more colour and vitamins A, C & K :)
Chives - a handful
Onion - 1 medium sized, if you do not use spring onions
Black Pepper instead of the chilli powder for the health freaks


Cook the rice separately in the rice cooker or the ordinary way you cook it usually.

Cut the mushrooms into nice chunky sizes. Remember it is better to not wash them in water as it leads to oxidisation. Instead wipe them with a moist kitchen towel.

Heat oil in a wide bottomed skillet and add the mushrooms. They are added first since they release a lot of water which needs to be absorbed. Stir fry for about 2 minutes. Now add the rest of the veggies one after the other. Stir fry for 8-10 minutes. If you want your vegetables to be crunchy reduce the time. Add salt to taste and chilli powder. Now mix the cooked rice and mix well.

This version of the fried rice has a nice chinese flavour to it without the vinegar and the soya. This is a complete meal in itself. But in case you cannot do without a side dish, try this with a simple chicken curry or a saag paneer.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cheese And Crab Meat Puffs

This, i must confess, is inspired by Paula's Home Cooking of Food Network fame. She is a sweet lady in her mid-fifties who struggled through life, initially catering from home, then working in a restaurant and finally writing cookbooks of her own and owning a restaurant, along with her two sons. She is an inspiration indeed. But what draws me most to her recipes is, ease in making them in a very short period of time.


Crab Meat - 400 gms
Phyllo Dough - 8 sheets (you can get it in your grocery store)
Butter for basting
Salt to taste
Pepper - 1 tsp
Nutmeg Powder - 1 tsp
Poultry Seasoning - 1tsp
Cream Cheese - 2 tblsp, heaped

Mix the crab meat, cheese (since i had some leftover ricoto, i used that instead), salt, pepper, nutmeg and the poultry seasoning together in a bowl. In case you do not have any poultry seasoning, you can add cumin powder instead. It adds a smokey flavour to the filling.

Now take a phyllo dough sheet and bast it with a layer of butter. Then place another sheet right on top of the first one and bast it with butter too. Now cut the sheet into four equal parts. Place a lumpfull of the crab-mix in each square and pull the sides together into a bunch. Now repeat the process with the rest of the other six sheets.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray some non-stick cooking oil either on the tray or on the aluminium foil. Bake the puffs for 25 minutes approximately. The crab meat is soft and the cheese just melts in the mouth. Serve this hot.

Note: Phyllo dough is fragile. It must be kept refrigerated and while using it for the puff, make sure that it is of room temperature, else there is a chance that the sheets might crumble up.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Lemon Chicken In Mustard Sauce

Those of you who watch Food Network may know Rachael Ray. She has shows like '$40 A Day' and '30 Minute Meals' to her credit. I am quite hooked to her. Firstly, since she makes the most difficult of recipes seem like a piece of cake, literally and secondly cause her recipes are meant to be super-quick meals meant to be on the table under 30 minutes from start to finish. So on my recent trip to the bookstore i got myself one of her books. I inaugurated it today by cooking this up. It turned out fairly well :)


Boneless Chicken Breasts - 4
Dijon Mustard - 2 tblsp - heaped
Chicken Stock - 3/4 cup
Sour Cream / Yoghurt - 2 tblsp
Thyme - chopped from 4 stems
Lemon Juice - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper - 2 tsp

Marinate the chicken breasts with lemon juice, chopped thyme leaves, salt and pepper and set aside for 30 minutes. Now heat oil in a wide skillet and fry the chicken pieces 5-6 minutes on each side. Keep aside and cover with an alumunium foil. This will help keep the heat.

In the same skillet pour the chicken stock and add the dijon mustard. Mix well, bring it to a boil and then simmer for 2-3 miuntes. Now add the sour cream / yoghurt (since i did not have the former, i made do with the latter). Bring the heat to high and keep stirring till you have a thick sauce. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken pieces before serving.

Serve this with couscous , bread or something which will sop the sauce. I had it with crunchy, day old farmstyle bread.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A New Year And A Meme

Greeting of the New Year and my sincere apologies to all those who happened to pass by this place. The holiday spirit and then the post-holiday-hangover. I know it sounds mighty lame.

Without further ado, let me go ahead with the You Are What You Eat meme which Sury of (Lima) Beans and Delhi Cha(a)t has me tagged with.

1. Shukto-Bhaat: This is truly a bengali dish which consists of bitter gourd, raw banana and other veggies which one might like to add. This is bitter and usually had as the first course, and specifically during the hot summer afternoons :) It has sauf (aniseed) in it as an ingredient which adds a very nice light flavour. Mom's shukto is the best as per me.

2. Biryani: Well nothing beats the biryani which was dished out near my old office. Chicken rezala and mutton biryani. Absolutely SINful.

3. Chicken Sandwich
: With lots and lots and lots of mayonnaise. This is on-the-run comfort food for me. A day out over the weekend, while browsing a bookstore, a stop for a quick grap, usually ends with a nice creamy chicken sandwich. With coffee. But naturally!

4. Mishti Doi: Or sweet curd / yoghurt. Every street corner in Calcutta has at least one sweet-shop called either Poresh Sweets or Annapurna Mishtanna Bhandar or Satyanarayan Mishtanna Bhandar. Believe me, it can be funny to see one lane after other have almost the same name. The other thing common to most of them is their smooth curd and since i do have a very well defined sweet tooth :) at least once a week would be marked by a visit there.

5. Baked Fish: It could be Pomfret or Bhetki or Tuna or Salmon. Anything goes as long its a seafish. A friend of mine used to make the to-die-for baked pomfret over charcoal fire. Those were some of the best fish i have tasted.

6. Onion Cheese Dosa: There was a shop at a place called rashbehari avenue in Calcutta which used to make these super yummy onion cheese dosas. They were light and filling, both at the same time. But alas! My last visit showed that they had closed shop and started chinese instead. I am also pretty partial to plain idlis. I think they are wholesome and mouthwatering. During my stay in Bangalore, i also happened to taste masala idlis being sold at a roadside kiosk. They were piping hot, super delicious and to be had sitting on the sidewalk. Idlis with chutney never had tasted so divine.

7. Neem Begun: Or Neem and Eggplant / Brinjal. Like shukto this is also to be had at the beginning of all the other courses. Most people i know cannot simply palate the bitter taste of neem. But i really love it and can have loads of it with plain rice. This is another one to be had during the hot summer days.

8. Steamed Pork Momos: A small shop at the end of a dingy lane going through houses which badly needed a coat of paint, not to mention some cementing, used to sell some of the best momos i have tasted. This was also the hangout of some pseudo intellectual type kids who would sit there for hours, burning cigarette in hand. The steamed momos are best had with a sauce served along with it. It is HOT and makes one sweat. But trust me, you shall go back begging for more.

9. Chicken Quesadilla: I have tried this in many places, but one of the best to be had is at this small joint at Powell station. It was cheesy and melted in the mouth as soon as one popped it inside the mouth.

10.Walnut Brownie: This is one dessert which always reminds me of home, New Market and Nahoums. The hard crusty brownies which this shop (which is more than 30 years old) sold somehow in some remote way, reminds me of the winter days long ago, christmas and a sense of anticipation. And maybe of a time which no longer is.

Well there goes. Sury my apologies once again for the delay. And as for the rest of you folks, i hope to be more regular from now on.


PS: I started working on the above post sometime last year. But now is 17th January, 2006, 12.50 am. So, if anyone knows how to change the date-time stamp in blogdrive, please do let me know.