Monday, May 28, 2012

Raisin and Cilantro Chutney

A sweet and tangy chutney that can be eaten with rice or bread. 
1 to 1.5 cups raisins
A bunch of cilantro
1 Lime
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs Oil
1 green chili (optional)
1/4 tsp cayenne powder (add more or less to your liking)

Soak raisins for about an hour or over night if possible
Add to blender and blend
After they are roughly "chopped" add cilantro and juice of one lime, salt, oil, chili, and cayenne powder
If there is too much lime, add more cilantro
If it's too dry add more lime juice
Taste and adjust flavor to your liking

Post, Recipe, and Photographs by Nazia

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Creamy Kulfi

 Kulfi is definitely a different experience.It is a richer and creamier  version of ice cream and what my parents grew up with. They would tell me every time I had a cone of my favorite chocolate ice cream cone " You have your ice cream, but we had our kulfi. You have no idea what you're missing." During the hot Bengali summers, my parents would wait on their verandas waiting for the kulfi man. Once they heard the faint sound of old film tunes approaching, they would bolt out to kulfi man who carried in his carton what their sweet tooths' craved. 

 It's become an occasional treat for us now when we make occasional trips to South Asian grocery stores. So I had a thought after having pistachio kulfi running down my wrist. Why not try making it at home? If kulfi could be made in a hot climate country where I doubt an ice cream maker would be readily available, then perhaps I could make it as well. I looked at the ingredients of the package of the almond kulfi my mother was wholeheartedly licking, and saw that there was two types of milk used, condensed and heavy cream along with sugar, almonds, and guar gum. My first attempt did not quite meet upto my expectations (I didn't have condensed milk so I used A LOT of sugar and added a cube of butter thinking it would make it creamier. Instead all of the butter fat rose to the top when the kulfi froze. It tasted more like a hunk of icy buttery milk. Not tantalizing!) The second time around though I used condensed milk. I also decided to add rose water because I really like the flavor of rose in sweet treats. I was very happy with the results. Definitely worth trying!!

1 tin sweetened condensed milk- 14oz
3.5 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
3 heaping teaspoons ground almond or 1 tbs almond extract
4-5 cardamom pods
1.5 tbs rose water

Combine milk, condensed milk, cardamom, and sugar in heavy saucepan on medium high heat
Let it come to a boil, but make sure it does not boil over
Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low
Add ground almond or extract and rose water
Let it slowly boil until about half reduced and becomes a light butterscotch color
Turn off heat and let cool
It should become thick in consistency
Pour into molds
If you do not have molds pour into paper cups (note: if using paper cups you have to tear it off the Kulfi after it's frozen)
Add Popsicle sticks or plastic spoon or fork
Cover with aluminum foil
Freeze overnight or until firm

Posted by Nazia
Recipe and Photographs by Nazia

Friday, May 25, 2012

How to

Mustard Paste

Mustard paste  is an important component in Bengali cooking especially for cooking seafood. It helps rid fish of its smell and adds a marvelous zest to bland tasting vegetables. Mustard paste uses in cooking will be posted in the future to demonstrate its versatility.

A package of dark mustard seeds (can be purchased at most South Asian grocery stores)

Dispense a package of mustard seed in a deep bowl
Add regular tap water
All the seeds should be submerged in the water
Let soak overnight
(Letting them soak two nights will give better results) 
After soaking the seeds prepare blender
Pour the seeds including the water they were soaking in into the blender
Turn the blender on
If the consistency is too thick add a little more water
It it's too thin, it's not a problem
But the ideal consistency should be be like  loose cake batter

-Photographs by Nazia
-Posted by Nazia

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Maacher Shaate Tomato

Fish with Tomato
Fish is, no doubt, in the spotlight of Bengali cuisine. It is caught and cooked all over bengal. This recipe hails from western Bangladesh where my parents grew up. In their local area, fish would always be fried first then placed into the curry, and never put straight in raw. They say that if you really want a taste of Bengal this fish recipe is it!


serves 6-8

7-8 pieces of fish (We used Mrigal fish, a fresh water fish native of Thailand. You can substitute with fish of your choice cut into chunks, round steaks, or fillet)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp whole cumin
1 tsp salt
2 large tomatoes
1 Habenero or A few chili peppers ( both optional)
1 medium- large onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup Veg. oil
Reserve a drizzle of oil for the second stage of the recipe.

Stage one
Put fish in a bowl.
Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, paprika, and turmeric on fish.
Mix and marinade for 30 minutes to one hour
Heat skillet on medium high heat.
Add 1/2 cup oil
When oil is heated, add fish piece by piece (caution it will splatter; lower heat if splatter is violent)
Fry for 5-7 minutes on each side.
Make sure they are thoroughly cooked.
Take fish off oil and set on a platter.

Stage Two
Keep the stove on medium heat.
Add a drizzle of oil to the same skillet.
Add onions, peppers, and whole cumin.
Saute until golden brown.
Add tomatoes and continue to saute
until tomatoes are roughly cooked, soft, but still intact.
Pour or spoon the tomato mixture over the fish.
Garnish and Enjoy!

Recipe By Sabrina
Photographs by Naz
Posted by Naz

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mango Salad

Here is a recipe for mango salad. Normally we eat mangoes in simple long slices. Sleek, sweet, golden, and juicy. Those are the ideal characteristics of a mango( to most people. Personally, I love them sour and with a bit of a bite). This is something that my mother threw together to mix things up a bit.This is certainly not traditional. Most of the time we consume mangoes alone, but my mom spotted a lone cucumber in the refrigerator, decided to give it some company, added some conversation pieces, and lo! The salad was conceived.

serves 2-4

1 large ripe mango
1 fresh (seedless if you prefer) cucumber
Juice of 1/2- 1 lime
1/2 a small red onion (optional)
salt (optional)
Mint (optional for garnish purposes)

Cut mango into cubes or square chunks
Cut cucumbers into cubes
Place into serving bowl
Cut a lime in half and squeeze juice over mango and cucumber
Dice half an onion (it should be red even though it is not pictured. We didn't have any available that day)
sprinkle salt (optional)
Mix and garnish

Recipe by Sabrina
Posted by Naz
Photographs by Naz