Black pepper is a spice that I like very much. I see anything with black pepper, I get tempted to taste the dish immediately. This one recipe with paneer, Dum Paneer Kalimirch(cottage cheese cooked with black pepper) I found on my friend's blog, from the moment I saw this recipe, I got tempted and made it next day, collecting after all the ingredients. Black pepper is used here for the heat instead of red chilli or green chilli. This one is very flavourful dish which goes well with any kind of Indian flatbread like roti, naan or paratha etc.
    A big thanks to Jayati for this nice recipe..loved it a lot, I had to omit mint leaves as I don't like the flavour of mint leaves in a curry but the gravy tasted awesome without it. My paneer loving daughter licked the whole plate and gave a thumbs up.

Recipe link from Jayati's blog : Dum Paneer Kalimirch

You Need :
Paneer : 250 gms., cut into cubes
Onion : 2, large, finely chopped  
Ginger-Garlic Paste : 1 tbsp

Green chilli : 1, chopped (optional)
Thick yoghurt/curd : 2 tbsp, nicely beaten
Coriander powder : 2 tsp
Cumin powder : 1 tsp
Black pepper powder : 1 tsp

Garam masala powder : 1/2 tsp
Cream : 1 tbsp

Sugar : 1 tsp.
Salt to taste

Oil : 2 tblsp.
For Tempering :
Cardamom - 3, Clove -3, Cinnamon - 1(1" stick)
Bay leaf :1
Dry red chilli :1

How To :
  • Heat 1 tblsp. oil in a pan, add the paneer cubes, sprinkling a pinch of salt over them. Fry them till golden brown from both sides, around 2 minutes from both sides. Remove and throw them in lukewarm water for softer paneer.
  • Heat little more oil in the pan, when hot, temper the oil with dry red chilli first, then bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper kernels. When they start to sizzle, add chopped onions. Saute till onions turn light brown from edges. Next, add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies. Saute for 2 more minutes. 
  • Now lower the heat to low, add the nicely beaten curd to the pan, then add coriander, cumin and black pepper powder one by one and mix well with the curd/yoghurt. Saute for 2-3 minutes till oil separates. Add fried paneer pieces and mix in the masala paste. Then add 2/3 cup hot water, season with salt and cover the lid and let it cook on medium heat.
  • When done, add fresh cream and sugar, mix in the gravy. Let it cook for 1 minute on low heat. Remove from heat and serve.   
Enjoy with any Indian flatbread like roti, paratha or naan.

Well, this is a special post, as after 2 days on April 15th, it is Bengali New Year, the first day of Bengali calendar year 1422. It falls either on 14th or 15th of English month of April. This Bengali calender is maintained in Indian state of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam & our neighbouring country Bangladesh. Naba Barsha or Poila Boisakh is a very important occassion for Bengalis. First day of the first month of the year, Baisakh(name of the month), which is popularly known as "POILA BAISAKH", where 'poila' means the very first. It is very important yet another eventful day of the year, which Bengal celebrates with lots of excitement and zest and welcomes the new year with lots of enthusiasm. To know more about this day, click this post link where I mentioned how we, Bengalis celebrate this special day.
    As you all know, Bengalis are famous for their love of food and just need an excuse to feast. So, what better excuse can it be to indulge in their favorite recipes other than this day. "Kasha Mangsho" is one such dish for that Bengalis can go to any extent. I mean to taste this lavish dish they can go to any part of the city at any time. The famous food joint who makes the bestest "Kasha Mangsho" in the city is "Gol bari" in North Kolkata. People come from neighbourhood cities to taste their famous kasha mangsho. Luckily, I live very close by to this place and went there many times. But, as a health freak person, I don't give my family permission to eat all those oily and spicy food frequently, rather I enjoy creating those dishes in my kitchen for my family. 

 Traditionally, this dish is quite rich in calories, as the whole dish is cooked using a lot of oil/fat and the meat is fully cooked in oil in slow heat without using any water. But I'm not ready to compromise on health even I need to compromise little on taste. So I prefer to make it at home using lot less fat still it tastes awesome. Now let's move on to the recipe..................

You Need :
Mutton : 500 gm.
Potato : 3-4, cut in halves

To make into a paste :
Garlic : 5-6 fat cloves
Ginger : 2 inch piece(1)
Dry red chilli : 2, seedless

For Garam masala :
Green cardamom : 3
Cloves : 4
Cinnamon stick : 1(1")
Mace/javetri : 2(1/2") pieces

Spices for marinade :
1/2 of above ginger-garlic-red chilli paste
Yoghurt/dahi : 2 tblsp.
Mustard oil : 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder :1 tsp.
Salt : 2 tsp.

Whole spices for tempering :
Green Cardamom : 3-4
Cloves : 3-4
Cinnamon Stick : 2(1")
Bay leaves : 2

For gravy :
Onions : 3, medium, grated
Tomato : 2, medium
Cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander Powder : 2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 2 tblsp.
Ghee/clarified butter : 1 tblsp.

How To :
  • Preperation : 1)Marinade mutton with ingredients listed under "spices for marinade". Mix all the spices very well in a bowl, add the cleaned mutton pieces in there. Mix carefully, making sure that all the spices are nicely coated all the mutton pieces. Keep aside for at least 4-5 hours, for best results marinate it overnight or as long as possible. 2) Smear little turmeric powder and salt on potatoes and keep aside for about an hour. 3) Dry roast the spices listed under "For Garam masala" till they are lightly browned, then grind them to fine powder. Store for later use. 4) Make a fine paste of dry red chilli, ginger and garlic, adding very little water possible.
  • Cooking : Heat the oil in a deep bottomed vessel, add potato pieces and fry them in hot oil till they are golden brown. Keep them aside. Now add the ghee in the pan. Temper the oil with the spices listed under "For tempering". As soon as you get the aroma of the spices, add the sliced/grated onions. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, when the onions have just started changing the color, add the sugar. Continue stirring the onions till they are nicely browned. Sugar will caramelize and will give the gravy a nice brown color.
  • Next, add rest of the red chilli-ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes and fry till oil separates. Add cumin, coriander and turmeric powder one by one and stir fry for 2-3 minutes till oil separates from spices. Add the marinated mutton and mix it nicely with the spice blend. At medium flame stir fry all mutton pieces mixing well with the spices, stirring continuously. Add grounded garam masala powder in it and continue stirring.
  • This time, mutton may loose some water. Continue stirring for at least 15-20 minutes without adding any water. This process of cooking the meat in its own juice is called in bengali cuisine "kashano". How long you'll do this process, the flavour will go more inside the mutton pieces. In between, if you need can sprinkle little water. When you see the mutton pieces are half cooked and its color has darkened, add 1 cup of hot water into the pan. Add fried potato pieces into the pan. Check the seasoning, if needed add salt. 
  • Close the lid and in medium-low flame, let it cook. Check and remember to stir time to time. You can use a pressure cooker to cook the mutton pieces, but this dish gets its distinctive rich flavour and taste by this slow cooking without adding much water in it. So try to make it this way. The mutton will take almost 45 minutes to 1 hr. to cook and the water will also evaporate by the time and the oil will surface over the mutton pieces. Don't worry, this is because of the slow cooking. Remove from heat and serve hot.
  • Enjoy this nicely cooked soft mutton curry with some simple Pulao or roti with some red onion rings and cucumber and few lemons by the side.

Sending this traditional Bengali dish to Kolkata Food Blogger's "Poila Boisakh Special" event

Wishing all my Bengali readers, fellow bloggers and friends a very happy & prosperous Bengali New Year( Shubho Nababarsha)

Today I'll post a quick recipe of a beverage I make quite often. I make at least 3-4 time a week. Its very necessary to keep your body hydrated throughout the Summer and around this time when we all kind of loose our appetite, this drinks keep us healthy. You need very few ingredients for this - few watermelon pieces, few cucumber pieces, lemon, Black salt and honey.

You Need : [Makes 3 tall glasses of drink]
Watermelon(1/2 of a watermelon), seedless : chopped
Cucumber : 2, chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
Black Salt to taste
Honey : 2 tblsp.

How To :
  • Take chopped watermelon and cucumber slices in a tall mixer, add 2 cups of water and blend well. 
  • Strain the liquid with a strainer and collect in a jar.
  • Mix lemon juice, honey and black salt to taste.

 Enjoy with this superb drink and keep your body cool during hot Summer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today's post is quick in every post will be short :) and the recipe is for a quick stir-fry salad made in less than 10 minutes. You can say it a salad or chat or a stir-fry side dish. Any way, it's finger-licking delicious with just two main ingredients, paneer and corn. This tangy salad is very easy to put together and packed with flavour and fun.

  Corn is one of the most beloved vegetable in allover the world. I just love it and always add in my daily salad or in curries every way possible. Here are some of the health benefits of corn you should know ::::::::::::
  • Corn is one of the healthiest vegetable available, its health benefits includes controlling diabetes, prevention of heart ailments, lowering hypertension and prevention of neural-tube defects at birth. 
  • Corn is a rich source of vitamins A, B, E and many minerals. Its high fiber content ensures that it plays a significant role in the prevention of digestive ailments like constipation and hemorrhoids as well as colorectal cancer. 
  • The antioxidants present in corn also act as anti-carcinogenic agents and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Corn contains abundant minerals which positively benefit the bodies in a number of ways. Phosphorous, along with magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and copper are found in all varieties of corn. 
  • It also contains trace minerals like selenium, which are difficult to find in most normal diets.
  • Corn also has a significant level of iron, which is one of the essential minerals needed to form new red blood cells; a deficiency in iron is one of the main cause of anemia as well.
Here is a pictorial guide of health benefits for you.................
Pic. Source :

 So, if you didn't include corn in your diet yet, go ahead, there are enough benefits we get from corn to include it in our daily diet. so let's move on to the recipe........

You Need :
Paneer(Indian cottage cheese) : 1/2 cup, cubed
Fresh corn kernels : 2/3 cup
Green capsicum : 1/2, finely chopped
Cumin seeds : a pinch
Onion(small) : 1, sliced
Tomato(small) : 1, diced
Green chilli : 1, finely chopped
Red chilli powder : 1/2 tsp.
Chat masala or use dry mango powder(amchur) : 1 tsp. [can substitute with fresh lemon juice - 1 tsp.]

Oil : 1 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves : a little, chopped

How To :
  • prepare vegetables as mentioned in the ingredients list. heat oil in a pan, temper with cumin seeds, then add sliced onions. Stir fry a little till they change color. Now add chopped capsicum, green chillies and tomato. Stir fry for another 2 minutes, then add cubed paneer pieces and stir fry in medium heat for 2 more minutes. 
  • lastly add corn kernels along with all the spices, chat masala and red chilli powder. Season with salt and stir fry for another 1 minute. Remove from heat and add fresh coriander leaves and mix thoroughly, cover and set aside.
  • Enjoy this simple salad with dal or any Indian sabji as a side dish.

I'm sure you'll be hooked to this dish once tried like me.......Bon Apetit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     Kadai mushroom is an easy and quick dish and very delicious. Button mushrooms seasoned with an assortment of spices in a semi dry gravy of tangy onion-tomato sauce along with bell peppers. Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and bell peppers - this combination never go wrong, brings out a flavorful dish always. The Indian Kadai is a deep bottomed pan, almost like Chinese Wok but deeper than wok. The dish is fully cooked in the kadai, hence got the name "Kadai" Mushroom. Also This Kadai Mushroom recipe hails from the Punjabi Cuisine where some specific spices go and make it do delectable. I usually use the store-bought spice powders but this time I thought to make it from scratch making my very own "Kadai" masala and needless to say, the taste was incredible, lot better than the other time I cooked the very same dish. And I promised myself to make any Kadai dish in future like Kadai Paneer with this freshly made masala.

     And believe me, it's not a huge task but makes a huge difference. I just followed my regular recipe for making Kadai recipes like Kadai Paneer which I posted earlier in the blog, only I used this freshly made Kadai masala. so, let's proceed tot he recipe......

You Need :::
Button Mushroom : 250 gms.
Capsicum/bell pepper : 1-2, sliced/cubed
Onions : 2, medium, chopped
Tomatoes : 2 , big, pureed
Ginger-garlic paste : 1 heaped tblsp.[1 inch ginger+3 big cloves of garlic]
Green chilli : 1, finely chopped
Kasuri Methi/dried fenugreek leaves : 1 big pinch or 1 tsp., crushed between palms
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.
Oil : 2 tblsp. oil
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

For Kadai masala :
Coriander seeds : 1 tblsp.
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp.
Dry red chilli : 1-2, depending on how much spicy you want
Green cardamom : 1
Cloves : 2
Black Pepper : 4-5
Mace/Javitri : 1 small strand(optional but recommended)

How To ::::
  • To make the Kadai Masala : Heat a griddle on high heat, add the spices one by one starting with red chilli first. Lower the heat to medium and stir continuously till a nice aroma of roasted spices comes out and spices turn a shade darker. Remove from heat, cool a little just enough to go inside a dry drinder/coffee grinder, grind when the spices are still warm to get the best aroma for the spices. You can store this grounded spice ina n air-tight container. 
  • Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions, when they turn little brown, add sliced mushrooms. Mushrooms can loosed some water, stir fry till it evaporate. When all moisture has evaporated and mushrooms turn little brown, add green chilli and ginger-garlic paste. Mix well and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add tomato puree and sliced/cubed capsicums. Mix well and then add the grounded kadai masala we prepared. Mix very well and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt this time and add about 3/4 cup water. Cover the lid and let it cook in medium heat. Tip : Mushroom and capsicum both don't take much time to cook and as it's a semi-dry gravy dish, so don't add too much water.
  • When gravy has nicely coated the mushrooms, add crushed kasuri methi from top and mix well with the gravy. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. 
  • And your are done to relish an awesomely flavourful side dish with rotis, naans or parathas.

    After long time I'm posting a Bengali Fish recipe in this blog. This was a long pending post. This recipe is with tiger prawns, which is quite expensive than any other fish in Bengal, so it is cooked on special occasions or rarely at home. Few months back on hubby's birthday, I made this dish which is a finger-licking delicious and his favorite, where big tiger prawns are cooked on low heat along with some assorted spices. The method of this slow cooking is called "dum". This slow cooking makes this dish so rich and flavorful. I've adapted this recipe from a cookbook, "Bong Mom's Cookbook by Sandeepa Mukherjee Dutta" who is a fellow blogger, a good friend and my inspiration for blogging. I have used medium sized tiger prawns or "Golda Chingri" for this recipe, but you can use any size of prawn you have and go ahead with the recipe.

So let's proceed to the recipe.....................

You Need :
Prawn : 7-8, shelled and deveined
Potato : 2, medium, cut into chunks
Onion : 1, medium, grated
Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste : 1 tblsp. [you can omit green chilli from the paste if you want]

Yoghurt/dahi : 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 1 tsp.
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2 tsp. [A grounded powder of 2 cardamoms, 2-3 cloves & 1 cinnamon stick of 1"]
Sugar : 1/2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 2 tblsp.

For Tempering :
Bay leaves : 2
Cinnamon : 2 sticks(1")
Cardamoms : 3-4

How To :
  • Wash the deveined prawns in water very well, smear a little of turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp. of ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and salt, keep aside for 10 minutes. 
  • Heat 1 tblsp. oil in a pan, add potato chunks and fry for few minutes from all sides. Keep aside. In the same oil, add prawns and fry till both sides are just lightly brown, do not keep them in oil for long. Keep aside.
  • In a big bowl, put the fried prawns and potato pieces, add rest of the onion-ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, yoghurt, turmeric and red chilli powder and sugar, toss well so that everything is well coated with this marinade. Keep aside for at least for 30 minutes or more. 
  • Heat rest of the oil in the same pan, temper it with bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamoms, when they start to splutter, add the sugar and let it brown a little, then add the marinated prawns and potatoes along with rest of the marinade. Lower the heat and simmer, toss everything together and cover with a lid for "dum" cooking. Once the masala is cooked (you can see the oil is surfacing to the top), add about 1/2 cup warm water. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt.
  • Cover and keep cooking until potatoes are done and the gravy is thick and nicely coated the prawns. Prawns get cooked fast and it takes hardly 12-15 minutes even at low heat. Lastly, add garam masala powder and switch off the heat. 
  • Serve with warm rice or pulao. It is extremely delicious. 
Try this Bengali delicacy at your home and let me know how much you have liked it....................


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