This is the 401 st post on this blog and it has to be a special dish. This fish recipe I'm sharing today, I  tried it for the first time. This recipe doesn't belong to my native Bengali Cuisine, but it belongs to Oriya Cuisine which is quite similar to Bengali Cuisine. So, one day while I was searching for some different fish recipe on the web, found this recipe, which I was aware of but never tried. After reading that recipe, I found that it's quite similar the way we, bengalis cook our fish, only differs by one ingredient, garlic. We never use garlic while cooking fish in a mustard paste gravy. While I had a little dilemma if I should try out that recipe, I found the same fish recipe in a cookbook by my dear blogger friend Sandeepa's cookbook, Bong Mom's Cookbook and I always trust her recipe without thinking twice. Then I went ahead with her recipe which was little different from what I found earlier. I have no idea about the authenticity of this recipe, but the result was so amazing, that I promised myself to cook my fish this way whenever I'm cooking with mustard paste from now on. I was amazed how garlic got blended with mustard paste. If you find "Bong Mom's Cookbook" in your nearby bookstore, don't miss it, you'll find amazing recipes and will get her humorous anecdotes as a bonus with it. I strongly recommend this book all Bengali food lover to try.  

Here goes the recipe

You Need :
Fish ( Rohu or any freshwater fish) : 4 pieces
Potato : 1, sliced lengthwise
Yoghurt/Curd : 1/4 cup
Green chillies : 3, slitted
Garlic : 3-4 regular cloves
Black Mustard Seed : 2 tblsp.
Poppy seed : 1/2 tblsp.
Panch Phoron : 1 tsp. [ a mixture of five spices, mix mustard seed, cumin seed, fenugreek seed, black cumin(nigella) seed and fennel seed in equal quantity and use as panch phoron]
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.

Salt to taste
Mustard oil : 2 tblsp.(for cooking) + enough oil for frying the fish pieces
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

How To :
  • Wash the fish well, drain excess water and smear the fish pieces with little salt and a pinch of turmeric powder. Keep aside for 20-30 minutes.
  • Soak the mustard and poppy seeds in water for 1/2 an hour, then grind to a smooth paste with a pinch of salt, adding very less water.[You can avoid adding poppy seeds if not available, I added as it helps to balance the somewhat bitter taste of mustard seed] 
  • Make a thick paste of 2 green chillies and all garlic cloves. Add yoghurt and turmeric powder in the paste and mix well to make a smooth paste. Keep aside.
  • Heat enough oil in a heavy bottomed pan/kadai to fry the fish pieces in it. Fry the fish pieces to golden brown from both sides, remove from oil and keep aside. Fry the potato slices in the same oil to golden brown and keep aside.
  • In another pan, heat 1-2 tblsp. oil, add panch phoron, wait they have changed the color to a golden brown shade and aroma comes out, then add one slitted green chill in there. Lower the heat at this point, add yoghurt-green chilli-garlic paste(while adding yoghurt in a curry, remember to lower the heat or remove the pan from heat totally to avoid yoghurt curdling) and mustard paste. In medium heat let this cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add about 1 cup of warm water, add the fried potato slices and fried fish pieces in the curry. Cover with a lid and let it cook. Add little salt in the curry. When gravy thickens and potato slices are cooked through, check the seasoning and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.   

         I'm posting a quick beverage/drink recipe which I make quite often in this summer season and when mangoes are around. It's called Mango Lemonade, it's an awesome thirst quencher in summer and a fruity alternative to the traditional lemonade or mango drink. 

You Need :
Mango Pulp of 1 big mango
Sugar : 3-4 tblsp or as needed
Lemon juice : 2 tblsp., use as per your liking
Crushed ice

How To:
  • In a blender, take mango pulp, lemon juice, sugar and 1 cup of water/cold water. Blend until everything blends well. 
  • Pour into serving glasses, adjust the taste according to your liking. 
  • Finally serve each glass with some ice in it.

So, try this out before the mangoes are out of market. Hurry up ..................

     Breakfast is an integral part of our daily routine and it helps us start our day with full energy and enthusiasm. And for the energy to keep us going, wholegrain is the best option, it provides energy and are a good source of dietary fiber. Compared to other whole grains, oats are higher in protein and healthy fats and contains both insoluble and soluble dietary fiber. So, I have included oats in my diet.  I take it with fruits and yoghurt or sometimes I make this savory version, which just tastes awesome.
     Have you included oats in your diet? If not, start from tomorrow and see how health changes for better. This is the same way we make South Indian breakfast "upma", just I added oats instead of rawa/suji and I bet oats upma can give a tough competition to Rawa Upma anytime. Try this to believe me.....................................

You need :
 Powdered Oats : 1 cup
Vegetables of your choice : chopped/sliced[ I added finely sliced carrots, capsicum and frozen corn]
Raw Peanuts : 2 tblsp.
Onion : 2, chopped/sliced
Tomato : 1, chopped
Green chilli : 2, finely hopped
Ginger : 1/2 ", finely chopped
Water : 2 cups
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Red chilli powder : 1-2 tsp. 
 For tempering :
Mustard seed : 1/2 tsp.
Dry red chilli : 1
bengal gram(chana dal) : 1 tsp.
Split black beans(urad dal) : 1 tsp.
Curry leaves : 10-12
Oil : 1 tblsp.
Juice of 1 lemon

How To :
  • Heat oil in a pan, add raw peanuts and fry till they bright brown in color. Remove and keep aside. In the same pan, add dry red chilli, urad and chana dal, mustard seed and curry leaves, when aroma arises, add onions, green chillies and ginger, then add carrots and stir fry them for some time, then add chopped capsicum, corn and tomatoes.
  • When tomatoes soften, add oats and mix well with the vegetables, add turmeric and red chilli powder and mix well with the oats. Now add the water and season with salt. In medium flame, let it cook uncovered till all water evaporates , stir occasionally. When all water evaporates and oats are cooked, check the seasoning and remove from heat. Add lemon juice, mix well and serve. 
  • You can garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.

                       Afraa Deli from Outside

        Last weekend I attended a workshop organised by Kolkata Food Bloggers(KFB) and Afraa Deli, a cafe at Salt Lake City Center mall. Guess what, the workshop was to celebrate the king of fruit, Mango. Afraa Deli, is a Cafe by Ambuja Neotia group at G block of City Center1. Even though inside space is quite limited, they have outdoor arrangements, which is quite big and the ambiance and inside decor is quite impressive. If you are up for some continental dishes to try, then this place is just ideal. They serve from breakfast till dinner. You will find some continental sandwiches, soups, salads, Italian Pizza and Pasta, Continental desserts, tea, coffee and also cold refreshments in their menu card. The price is quite affordable too. They are quite famous for their breakfast menus I have heard, but I am yet to taste their food. They have another outlet in Salt Lake area, one in City center 2(Rajarhat-New Town) and One in Park Circus area.

                             Indoor Decor of Afraa Deli

      As a member of KFB team and a food blogger, I couldn't pass the opportunity to learn some continental Mango delights from Afraa Deli's pastry chef Debopom Sinha. It was a great experience. The chef was a good demonstrator and explained every step with quite elaboration. The participants got the opportunity to try their hands on making the desserts under the guidance of chefs.

                        Pastry Chef Debopom Sinha is giving demonstration       
       He answered all our small queries with great excitement and enthusiasm. The chef taught us three desserts - Mango Pannacota with coconut jelly(an Italian chilled dessert), Chocolate Mango Lava Cake and Red Velvety Mango Mousse cake(a no-bake dessert).

                          Participants are having hands-on-experience

   They made the cook-off arrangements outside on their wooden porch. At first, they served us some cold beverages which has also mango, from their menu. The recipes of all 3 desserts were distributed to all the participants to understand the recipes easily. Ingredients were neatly arranged and the chef with an assistant on his side started showing the steps one by one and he was also showing the results to all of us time to time. He answered all our queries with detailed explanation and cleared our doubts even after the demonstration was ended. After they finished making all 3 desserts, we were served two of the desserts to try and both of them were absolutely delicious in taste and gorgeous by looks.

                  These Goodies were taught @ the workshop, aren't they look super delicious

So hop over to Afraa Deli if you live in Kolkata and a Mango lover for some sinful mango delights they are serving  throughout this month as a part of this Mango Marvel festival. I'll definitely going to go there soon.

Here is their facebook page link :  Afraa Deli

                                    All 5 Food Bloggers(me in Saree) from our group KFB with the chefs

     Don't we all wait for Summer just for one reason? Mangoes, mangoes and more mangoes. At least I always wait for Summer to devour many yummy fruits available during Summer like Watermelon, Litchi and especially Mangoes. Actually I live on fruits and chilled desserts on most of the Summer as I totally loose appetite for any non-veg. items like fish, egg or Chicken.

    So, whole summer season, I prepare something with juicy, ripe mangoes and I have also posted many recipes on the blog. You can check all the mango recipes I have posted so far compiled in one page. This mango pudding is one of those which I prepare frequently in Summer season but have not posted yet on the blog. So, I got a fair chance to post this recipe, when Kolkata Food Bloggers have announced their Mango Festival this week. This recipe is very simple and no gelatin is added, usually I avoid to use gelatin in my dessert. I always make my Mango Pudding this way. It may take little longer time to prepare but taste really yummy. My kids who don't love to eat mangoes raw, love this dessert to the core.

Here goes the recipe ......................................

You Need :
Fresh mangoes : 3, medium or 2, big
Milk : 750 ml. [Use full-cream milk for better result]
Condensed milk : ~ 300 ml., optional, if not using substitute with more sugar
Sugar : as needed or just omit
Eggs : 2
Cornstarch : 2 tblsp.
Vanilla essence
Mango, Pomegranate or other fruits for garnishing

Method :
  • Chop mangoes, keep few mango slices for garnishing, take rest in a blender, add milk, condensed milk and eggs in the blender and make a smooth, lump-free mixture. 
  •  Now pour the mixture into a heavy bottomed pan and in medium flame, let it boil and reduce to a thicker consistency with continuous stirring. Do not forget to stir for a single moment. If you are not using condensed milk, then substitute with sugar. Do not add all at once, add little by time checking the sweetness of mangoes first.
  • You can use little cornstarch mixing with a little warm milk to fasten the speed of reducing the milk. Add vanilla essence lastly and stir to mix well. 
  • When the mixture has thickened and reduced to almost half, remove the pan from heat and let it cool. Then pour the mixture into serving bowls or glasses and chill in refrigerator until set. For best results, chill them overnight.
  • Before serving, add freshly cut fruit pieces on top and serve.
Note :: To be honest, It won't set as firm as a pudding made with gelatin, but overnight chilling gives an excellent result.

This chilled mango delight is going to take part in Kolkata Food Bloggers' Mango Festival 

      After long time I'm posting a fish recipe which is obviously belongs to my native cuisine, Bengali Cuisine. Bengalis love fish, yes, we can't live without fish. We get so many varieties(in varied sizes) of fresh fish here in Kolkata, that it's challenging task for anyone to remember the names of all fish. 

     This Tangra fish is available in small and big sizes. I have used here the medium size. This fish is very sweet and tasty and off course they are full of Vitamins, calcium and Iron. There are quite a few delicacies in Bengali Cuisine to cook this fish, this is the spicy version to cook this fish. I don't know if vegetables are cooked along with fish in other states of India, but in Bengal we certainly love using vegetables specially potato is used extensively. Mu husband doesn't like any fish curry without potato.
      Tel Jhal is a method of cooking fish where fish is cooked with certain spices and on a bed of oil, using no or very less water, has very little gravy in the dish. That's why this curry has a distinctive taste and and called "Tel Jhal", where tel means oil. Fish is also fried very lightly, so that fish takes less time to cook. If you are calorie conscious/health freak like me, then this dish is not recommended for you. But I tried to minimalise the oil in this dish and experimented using less oil. Still it tasted awesome, you have to try it to believe me.

You Need :
Tangra fish : 4-6
Potato : 2, medium, cut lengthwise
Tomato : 1, medium
Onion : 1, large, chopped finely
Green Chillies : 2, slitted
Ginger paste : 1 tblsp.
Garlic paste : 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.(for cooking) + 2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Mustard Oil : 2 tblsp.(for cooking) + 2 tblsp.(for frying fish)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
For spice paste :
Dry Red Chilli : 1-2, as per your tolerance level
Cumin Seeds : 2 tsp.

For Tempering :
Bay leaves : 2
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp.

How To :
  • Clean the fish. Sprinkle a pinch of turmeric powder and salt on the fish and rub them well with the spices. Keep aside for 1/2 an hour. Slice the potatoes lengthwise and sprinkle some salt and turmeric powder on them too. Prepare the spice paste by dry roasting dry red chilli and cumin seeds slightly on a hot griddle (the spices should not change their color) and then make a paste with little water in a blender.
  • Heat oil in a pan, fry the fish pieces until they are light brown on both sides. Remove the fried fish pieces with slotted spoon and keep aside. Fry the potato pieces in the same oil lightly and remove when they are golden brown in color. [Do not cook fish in the same pan where it is fried, the gravy will turn dark after cooking]
  • Take another pan and heat 2 tblsp. oil, temper with bay leaves and cumin seeds, when cumin seeds change their color and aroma comes out, add slitted green chillies along with chopped onions. Saute till onions turn brown, add ginger-garlic paste, saute for couple of minutes, then add the prepared spiced paste, turmeric powder and chopped tomatoes. 
  • Lower the flame and adding little water cook the spice blend really well until oil separates. Add fried potato and fish pieces and mix well with the spices. Add sugar and season with salt. Mix well. Add 1/2 cup of warm water and in low flame let it cook, covered with a lid. 
  • When potatoes are done and the oil in the dish floats on top of the dish, remove from heat. You can garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Serve with a owl of hot steamed rice and enjoy !!!!!!!!!!!!!
DO not forget to let me know if you have tried it...................................................


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