Category Archives: Food

A taste of Rezala – Sabir’s

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For those truly adventurous foodies who don’t mind going that extra mile for the sake of authenticity and taste, Sabir’s Mutton Rezala is not far away. An institution for decades, Sabir’s attracts hungry customers in spite of its location. Other delights are Mutton Chap and Mutton Biryani. The corner shop on this narrow and dingy lane, Sabir’s has a secret recipe that keeps the Mutton Rezala and laccha paratha still the best meal any time of the day.
I was not so sure of hat to expect taking into account the dingy location but when I stepped into the A/C upper floor of this legendary restaurant , I was quite taken a back by the cleanliness and the courteous behaviour of the waiters. The waiters did all they could make to feel comfortable and suggesting you their best know dishes. Its really hard of believe that after visiting various restaurants all over the world, if I were to rank restaurants for their service then , Sabir would be on the top lists. For all those who would like to taste the truly heavenly rezalla, I would like to request them not to judge this place by the location. Step in, take a bite and I could guarantee you, its not a taste that you would easily forget.
The ingredients of the oh so famous Mutton Rezalla, are simple. made out of mutton breast, the spices include dahi, ghee, poppy seeds (posto), zafran, and jaitri. The proportionate mixing of the spices gives it the right taste. “This is where most people go wrong,” said the waiter. even if you are closely correct in the proportion you will never get the right taste at home. The trick, he said, is in the fuel. “you can never get the taste unless you cook it in charcoal fire,”
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Sabir

Location :Biplabi Anukul Chandra St, Kolkata, West Bengal. just behind the Chadni chawk Metro station.
Phone:033 2861 1356

Dahi Vada – Tangy & Spicy Yogurt Dumpling

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Dahi Vada a quintessential street food in most parts of India, is a favourite among all generation of people. Easy to make, this dish makes its way to most household’s festival menu.

These are great as a side dish for a formal dinner, appetizer or served as a chaat.

 

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Ingredient:

For Vada:
1/2 Cup Urad daal
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
Oil to fry

For Dahi :

  • 2 cups Dahi (yogurt)
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1-2 green chilies chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp Roasted cumin(jeera)powder
  • Red chili powder to taste
  • A pinch of black salt

Procedure:

 

For Vada :

  • Clean, wash and soak the daal overnight or 7 – 8 hrs.
  • Separate the water and grind them together into smooth paste without water or if necessary then very little water. The paste should be coarse and not fine.
  • Take out the paste in a bowl and then beat the mixture for 10 – 15 minutes till the mixture becomes fluffy. This will make the vadas soft.
  • Add salt, cumin seeds, hing and baking powder.
  • Heat oil in a pan for frying and drop small balls of batter in the oil with the help of a spoon. The flame should be medium. Do not put more than 8 – 9 balls.
  • Fry till golden brown.
  • In a bowl fill 2 cups of warm water with 1 tsp salt and put the vadas in it. Let them soak for 1/2 hr.
  • Meanwhile prepare the dahi.

 

For Dahi :

  •  Beat the curd smooth and put in a bowl.
  • Keep in refrigerator for an hour to get chilled.
  • Before serving add salt, red chili powder, sugar and roasted cumin powder to the dahi .
  • Serving – Squeeze out the vadas from the water and in a deep dish arrange the vadas and pour dahi over them.
  • Pour sweet  imli (tamarind) chutney and green chutney.
  • Garnish with coriander and slit green chillies.
  • Serve the dahi vadas chilled.
Sweet tamarind chutney:
  1. soak tamarind in water overnight or for 4-5 hours in a small bowl or pan.
  2. with your hands, squeeze the pulp from the tamarind in the same bowl or pan.
  3. strain the pulp and keep aside.
  4. heat oil in a small pan.
  5. lower the flame & add dry red chillies and let them crackle.
  6. stir and add the strained tamarind pulp
  7. cook for 2-3 mins.
  8. add the jaggery and salt and cook for 4-5 mins more.
  9. the mixture would thicken.
  10. let the saunth chutney mixture cool.
  11. when cooled, store the saunth chutney in an air-tight dry jar or container.

 

Malpua- The Bengali Pancake

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Malpua is one of the easy to make Bengali sweet dish.All you need is maida(flour),sooji(semolina),sugar, milk and cardamom powder, funnel seeds for flavor.It is almost like making pan cakes only deep fried. Cook and store them in a jar and you can enjoy them as dessert or snack.

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Ingredients

For Malpoa:

  •  Maida – 1 cup
  •  Sooji / Semolina – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Mouri / Fennel Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Milk (according to thickness)
  • Chopped coconut
  • Khoya Kheer Or Mawa grated 1/2 cup
  • Baking Powder 1/4 teaspoon
  • White oil to fry

For Sugar Syrup:

  • Sugar 1 cup
  •  Water 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom pods 2-3
  • Saffron Strands 5-6

Steps to Prepare

For Syrup:

  •  Take a saucepan and add all the ingredients under the heading of syrup and bring mixture to a boil. After boiling 5 minutes off the oven and let the syrup cool to the room temperature

For Malpoa:

  •  First mix all the dry ingredients(maida, sooji, khoya kheere, sugar, salt, mouri, baking powder & coconut) together in a bowl.Now add milk to make a batter not so thik not so thin like pancake batter .
  • Keep the mixture in room temperature for about 15 minutes. Then take a flat non stick pan and heat oil and pour one big spoon at a time and fry the both side till golden brown.

Now soak each “Malpoa” into the sugar syrup at a time for 1-2 minutes and take it out from the syrup and place on a plate.

Serving Tips

Serve “Malpoa” hot or chilled.

Loita Maacher Jhuri Bhaaja

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I came across this recipe when  I was in Malaysia. A true at heart Bengali deprived of all the spices for more than a month, I could hardly wait to get home and try my hands on this so very famous food. Typically belonging to the Bangal (people originating from east Bengal) style of cooking, this food has made its way to most of the Bengali kitchen. Being a Ghoti, married to a Bangal, this dish has often intrigued me. The amalgam of spices liberally used , is a treat to any spice deprived taste bud such as mine. Loita Maacher Jhuri Bhaaja or Bombay Duck fry.

I prefer the fresh Bombay duck as its dried version has a very pungent odour to it, which I can hardly claim to appreciate.

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INGREDIENTS
Loita, ( Bombay duck) 500 gms dressed and cut into 2-3 inch pieces.
Onion 300 gms, chopped fine
Garlic 1 whole pod, chopped fine ( 3-4 mm)
Green chili 6 , chopped.
Tomato 1 medium
Red chili powder 3-5 tsp , extra hot
Turmeric 1 tsp.
Coriander 1 tsp.
Cumin 1 tsp.
Mustard Oil 100 ml. preferred ( any other smell less oil).
1 tsp of sugar(this the secret ingredient to most of my dishes )
PROCESS
* Heat oil and add chopped garlic , stir to very light brown and add all the chopped onion.
* fry to very light brown and add tomato and green chili.
* reduce heat and keep frying till the tomato is soft and melting.
* add red chili powder ,turmeric,coriander, cumin, sugar and stir well for 1 minute.
* add the fish, salt and mix thoroughly till the fish gets mashed.
Don’t get scared by the amount of oil and spice that goes into the dish. It all adds to to the speciality of this dish.

Bengal’s take on Bengan ka Bharta …..

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And now Bengal’s humble take on the ooh so famous Bengan ka bharta, Begun pora. The dish that all true at heart Bengali loved since childhood but somehow shy away recently and prefer to call it Bengan ka bharta instead. But even though both might sound similar, they still are poles apart in preparation. While the one that I grew up eating was roasted egg plant, garnished with onion, chillies, coriander with a dash of mustard oil to add the special taste to it, its famous counterpart gets cooked further after roasting with onion, tomatoes and other masalas. I still prefer the old familiar taste of begun pora to my recently acquired taste for Bengan ka bharta.

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Ingredients

  • 1 big brinjal (eggplant)
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 teaspoon mustard oil
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • few coriander leaves

Directions

Take the brinjal and cut slits into it. Roast the eggplant. Hold the eggplant over a low open gas flame. Rotate the eggplant every few minutes or so. The skin will gradually darken, the eggplant will start to sag, and you will notice a pleasant smoky smell. After about 20 minutes or half an hour, when the skin is completely charred, remove the eggplant from the flame.

Knead it to make it into a smooth paste. Add cut onions, green chilies, and coriander leaves, salt and  mustard oil. Mix well.

 

Healthy Yet delicious, this food sure does score high on my list of favorite food.

 

A little bit of Punjab in my life !!

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A bit of Punjab stepped  into my kitchen as I cooked the renowned Sarso Ka Saag… Cooked from the Mustard leaves and spices, this dish does score high on the taste buds of most Indians. I cannot refuse that it failed to impress me too. The simple yet spicy fish is quite a delight to have with its equally renowned counterpart, Makke di Roti. Makke di roti made out of corn flour, adds a dash to the simple dish. But health concious people be aware. This dish could best be relished wit loads of ghee and butter. So a helping of this food would actually add to days of workout on the treadmill.  But for foodies like me it would just add a lasting taste to the taste buds.

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Ingredients:

 For sarson ka saag:
 2 bunches of mustard leaves (sarson leaves)

1 bunch of spinach (palak)
1 inch of ginger grated
4-5 cloves of garlic crushed
2 medium sized onion finely chopped
4-5 green chilies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
3-5 tsp red chili powder
2 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste

For makki ki roti:

 2 cups of maize flour (makki ki atta)
1 tsp of ajwain (optional)
Hot water as required
Salt to taste

Method:

 For sarson ka saag:
 1. Wash mustard & spinach leaves, remove leaves from stems.
2. Pressure cook mustard & spincah leaves up to 5-6 whistle with a little salt.
3. Grind it in  a grinder but make sure not to puree the mixture.
    The roughness of leaves & stalks should be there.
4. Heat ghee in a pan
 5. Thereafter add ginger, garlic, stir for few seconds.
 6. Add chopped onions & cook till they become a little translucent, add green chilis & stir for
some time.
 7. Now add red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala & stir.
 8. Mix mustard & spinach mixture to this, salt & cook for 8-10 mins on low flame. You can add
water if required.
 9. Garnish with a dollop of butter, sarson ka saag is ready to serve.

For makki ki roti:

 1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
 2. Make a soft dough with hot water, knead for a few minutes.
 3. Divide dough into equal-sized balls. Lightly flour a rolling surface & roll each ball into a
circle approx 5″ in diameter (1/4″ thick)
 4. Now heat tava/griddle & place roti very carefully on it.
 5. Flip & cook from other side till you see red-brown marks & get that distinct aroma.
 6. Serve hot makki ki roti glazed with butter on top & piping hot sarson ka saag.