Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Recipe 112: Oat Bread

My love for baking is not limited to cakes. I also do bread making from time to time. In these quarantine months when I have so much leisure time, I wanted to bake something that does not involve too much fat and sugar, and utilizes the available ingredients at home.

I do not have yeast and yet was able to bake bread, which I think is really commendable. After my second attempt, this recipe is now perfect for sharing.

When I say no yeast, it does make one wonder that how will the bread rise and develop the chewiness that is no quintessential to a bread. And while I do not promise the same degree of bread-feel to this Oat Bread recipe, it is amazingly delicious and goes perfectly with butter, jam, as a toast with fried egg ... basically anything!
So, how will the bread rise?

Well, the answer is that Oat Bread uses the same technique in which a cake is baked. The same raising agents (baking powder & baking soda) are used. You can even refer to this recipe as a savory cake.

What also sets apart this recipe from other yeast bread recipes, is the usage of oats.

Up until now I have come across oat bread recipes that never really uses oats. The amount of oats used is reduced to minimum and the major ingredient is wheat flour.

But I was intent on using oats if not majorly, atleast in 50-50 ratio.

So, anytime you are bored of eating oats with milk, just put the same ingredients with some other ones and give yourself a gourmet bread experience.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup plain oats (any variety will do) (click to buy oats)
  2. 1 cup wholewheat flour (can use all-purpose flour/maida)
  3. 1/2 cup sour yogurt
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 1 egg
  6. 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  7. 2 tbsp. sugar
  8. 1 tbsp. honey (click to buy Honey)
  9. 2 tsp. baking powder
  10. 1 tsp. salt
  11. 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Method:

In a bowl, add oats, milk, yogurt, egg, oil, honey and sugar.
Mix well and keep aside for 45 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
Grease and flour a baking loaf pan. (click to buy loaf pan)
Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
To the softened oats, add the flour mixture.
Stir gently with a spoon till all the ingredients mix.
Do not over whisk.
The batter will be sticky and soft, so do not use hands for kneading.
Pour the sticky bread dough into the prepared loaf pan.
Flatten the edges.
Sprinkle some dry oats on top for decoration.
Bake for 30 minutes on 180 degree celcius heat or till the bread rises and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Do not overbake as it will dry out the bread and make its exterior hard to chew.
Cool and cut into slices.




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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Recipe 111: Coconut Chutney


Coconut chutney is one of my favorite dishes. I can take this even without Dosa or Idli. As this is my favorite and I am also staying in Bangalore, so for this reason I learnt how to prepare it from one of my South Indian friends.

Ingredients for 8 servings:

  1. 1 cup grated coconut
  2. 1 cup roasted bengal gram or chana dal
  3. 1/4 cup chopped onions
  4. 8-10 garlic cloves
  5. 3 green chillies
  6. 2 dry red chillies
  7. 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  8. 1+1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
  9. 1 tbsp. chopped curry leaves
  10. 1/2 tbsp. sugar 
  11. 1+1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds
  12. 1 tsp. zeera whole
  13. 1 tsp. urad dal
  14. 1 tsp. ginger paste
  15. 1/2 tsp. kashmiri chilly powder
  16. 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  17. 1/2 tsp. haldi
  18. 1 pinch hing
  19. salt to taste

Method:

In a bowl, mix coconut, bengal gram, ginger paste, garlic, onion, green chillies, kashmiri chilly powder, red chilly powder, haldi, curry leaves, lemon juice, hing, sugar and salt.
Now in a mixer-grinder, add the mixture with some water.
Grind the mixture into a smooth paste.
In a non-stick pan, heat some oil and temper dry red chillies, mustard seeds, zeera and urad dal.
Roast them in low flame.
Turn off the heat.
Pour the tarka on the prepared paste.
Store in air-tight container in fridge.
Serve chilled with idli, dosa, uttapam or paddu.

Debottoma Chatterjee Debnath

Hi! Myself Debottoma. Little bit introvert but I love to cook or you can say cooking is my passion. Whatever is my mood be it happy, be is sad or angry - I love to do cooking as it helps me to relax. Previously, I was working with IT sector as Admin & HR executive and now I am working with child care sector as Centre Head.

Short Story - Woh Kagaz Ki Kashti Woh Barish Ka Pani

Relive the golden days by reading about an ordinary life in India, wherein hopes are simpler, demands are less and moments are cherished.


Soumen Saha
Cooking is not only one of my hobbies but is my passion. I love to eat very much. According to me cooking is an art. If you have patience and you love cooking then there is no doubt that dishes made by you will be liked and appreciated. And I think this is the most important payback and reward for each and every cook. 
You will be surprised to know that basically I am a Civil Engineer and always dealing with bricks and stones but my love for eating has always helped and inspired me to cook different dishes, to experiment, to improve and give my touch to it. Other than this I love listening to music and singing, playing badminton, writing short stories, songs and poems.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Short Story - Gold Chain


       

     Shishir’s father was a head master of a school in a small village of West Bengal and his mother was a house wife. With lots of efforts and sacrifices they sent Shishir to Kolkata for his higher studies so that he can do something in his life.

     After his higher education Shishir got a job in Kolkata then he married a girl working in his office, then they had a son and a daughter. Few years later his father died due to some illness, his mother was also suffering from high blood pressure and few other diseases but still she decided to stay at the village with the memories of Shishir’s father and she didn’t want to become a liability for Shishir. With the help of the pension of Shishir’s father any how she was able to manage her day to day expenses and the expenses for her medicines.

     In Diwali festival Shishir’s mother went to Kolkata for a week to meet her grandchildren. On weekend they all went to a mall, Shishir’s mother entered a jewellery shop and selected a gold chain which was worth Rs. 2000, when she went to the counter to pay the money she realized that she has left her purse at Shishir’s house. She told Shishir to lend her Rs. 2000 which she will return at his home. Shishir saw towards his wife and they went to a corner, his wife told him that you can’t ask this money back from your mother and what she will do with this gold chain at this age. Then Shishir came to his mother and told her that he didn’t have Rs. 2000 now, but tomorrow he will come to that shop and take that chain. Shishir’s mother told the shopkeeper to keep that chain separately and write the cost and the model of that chain at the back of their visiting card and give it to her and she also told the shopkeeper that they will collect it very soon.

     After few days Shishir’s mother returned back to her village, Shishir didn’t get that chain for her. While going back Shishir’s mother gave Rs. 1000 each to both the kids.

     Few months later Shishir got a call from the village that his mother is no more, he went to the village and did all the formalities. Next day one of his childhood friend Samir who was neighbour of his parents and was taking care of his mother after his father’s death came to him and handed over all the legal documents of Shishir’s parental house. His mother has transferred that house in Shishir’s name and Samir also handed over a small box and a letter. Shishir opened that letter and started reading.

 My dear Son,

 When you were small, you demanded a gold chain in your 10th birthday but due to our financial condition we couldn’t get it for you, hence I am giving it to you now, by the time you will get this chain I may leave this world. I couldn’t see you wearing this chain, but please do wear it in your next birthday, this is my last gift to you.

Your Mother.

Shishir opened the small box and was surprised to see the same chain which his mother had selected in the mall, he asked Samir that how she got this chain. Samir told that she gave him Rs. 2000 and the fare for Kolkata. She also gave him a visiting card of the shop to get that chain, then Samir told Shishir that yesterday he came to know from the medical shopkeeper that after she came back home from Shishir’s place she stopped purchasing her medicines to save money for  that gold chain.

Moral of the story : It’s true that our parents do not expect anything from us but it’s our duty to take care of them when they need us, should not hurt them and do something for them, though if we want then also we can’t do even 1% of what they have done for us.

By Soumen Saha (Ekantapriya)

Cooking is not only one of my hobbies but is my passion. I love to eat very much. According to me cooking is an art. If you have patience and you love cooking then there is no doubt that dishes made by you will be liked and appreciated. And I think this is the most important payback and reward for each and every cook. 
You will be surprised to know that basically I am a Civil Engineer and always dealing with bricks and stones but my love for eating has always helped and inspired me to cook different dishes, to experiment, to improve and give my touch to it. Other than this I love listening to music and singing, playing badminton, writing short stories, songs and poems.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Recipe 110: Aloo Paneer Masala (without onion + garlic)

There are many people who are strictly vegetarian, means for them onion and garlic are non-vegetarian vegetables. So, I thought of making this recipe only for those people who love to eat but due to this restriction they are ignoring this preparation.

Ingredients:

  1. 200gms paneer/cottage cheese
  2. 2 medium size potatoes cut into small pieces
  3. 1 tomato cut into halves
  4. 2 green chillies slit
  5. 1-2 bay leaves
  6. 4 tbsp. refined oil
  7. 4 tbsp. mustard oil
  8. 3 tbsp. sour yogurt/curd
  9. 2 tbsp. fresh cream/milk cream/malai
  10. 2 tbsp. milk
  11. 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  12. 1 tbsp. fresh dhania patta chopped
  13. 1/2 tbsp. dhania
  14. 1/2 tbsp. haldi
  15. 1/2 tbsp. kashmiri mirch powder
  16. 1/2 tbsp. zeera powder
  17. 1 tsp. sugar
  18. 1/2 tsp. zeera seeds
  19. 1/2 tsp. amchur
  20. 1/2 tsp. teekha red chilly powder
  21. 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  22. salt to taste

Method:

Make a slurry of the dry powder spices, milk, cream, salt and ginger paste.
Keep aside for later usage.
Heat a kadhai and add both types of oil for cooking.
Add a pinch of salt.
Fry the potatoes till golden brown.
Take it out in a bowl.
In the same oil, fry the paneer pieces.
Keep it in the bowl with fried potatoes.
Now in the remaining oil, temper zeera, bay leaves and green chillies.
Stir on low heat for 10-20 seconds.
Add tomatoes and cook till the tomato softens.
Now pour the milk-spice solution.
Stir for 5 minutes or till the oil begins to separate.
Add the fried potatoes to the masala.
On medium heat, saute for 15 minutes.
Add water as per required for preparing a thick gravy.
Add little sugar and fried paneer.
Stir gently.
Sprinkle garam masala and dhania patta.
Switch off the heat.
Serve hot with rice, roti, puri or paratha.


Debottoma Chatterjee Debnath

Hi! Myself Debottoma. Little bit introvert but I love to cook or you can say cooking is my passion. Whatever is my mood be it happy, be is sad or angry - I love to do cooking as it helps me to relax. Previously, I was working with IT sector as Admin & HR executive and now I am working with child care sector as Centre Head.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Recipe 109: Sping Onion & Besan Stir Fry

I like this recipe simply because it is very easy to cook, very tasty and can be enjoyed with chapati, rice or just as a snack.

I first ate this dish few years back when one of my Maharashtrian college friend brought it in his tiffin. I insisted him to get the recipe from his mother and since then I am making it at home for my family.

This dish happens to be one of the most popular and favorite dishes in Maharashtra.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup gram flour/besan (click to buy Besan)
  2. 150 gms finely chopped green onion leaves
  3.  3-4 green chillies (adjust according to taste)
  4. 2 tbsp. refined oil 
  5. 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  6. 1 tbsp. coriander leaves/dhania
  7. 1 tbsp. cumin seeds/jeera
  8. 1 tbsp. coriander powder/ dhaniya
  9. 1/2 tbsp. turmeric power/haldi
  10. 1/2 tbsp. kashmiri red chilly powder/degi mirch
  11. 1/2 tbsp. cumin powder
  12. 1 tsp. ginger
  13. 1/4 tsp. asafoetida /hing
  14. salt to taste 

Method:

Prepare a smooth paste of ginger and green chillies.
Heat some oil in a deep non-stick pan and temper the cumin seeds.
As soon as the seeds develop light brown color add asafoetida and the ginger-chilly paste.
Saute for no more than 30 seconds.
Add the green onion leaves and salt.
Saute for 2 minutes on medium heat.
Now add the spices - coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric and red chilly powder.
(optional step - Add 1/4 tbsp. sugar to balance the taste)
Cook till the vegetable softens and the spices emit a nice aroma.
Add besan and lemon juice.
Gently stir.
If needed, sprinkle 2-3 tbsp. water.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low heat.
Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Serve warm.

Soumen Saha
Cooking is not only one of my hobbies but is my passion. I love to eat very much. According to me cooking is an art. If you have patience and you love cooking then there is no doubt that dishes made by you will be liked and appreciated. And I think this is the most important payback and reward for each and every cook. 
You will be surprised to know that basically I am a Civil Engineer and always dealing with bricks and stones but my love for eating has always helped and inspired me to cook different dishes, to experiment, to improve and give my touch to it. Other than this I love listening to music and singing, playing badminton, writing short stories, songs and poems.







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Recipe 108: Channar Sandesh

As I am staying outside Kolkata for almost 7 years, I am not getting any Bengali sweets here at Bangalore. I love Bengali sweets, so I thought of making this Channar Sandesh, to make my joy city Kolkata alive again in my heart and mind.

Ingredients for 10 Servings:

  1. 1.5 litres full cream milk
  2. 1/2 cup castor sugar (adjust as per preference)
  3. 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  4. 4 green cardamom pods made into fine powder
  5. 6 cashews broken into pieces
  6. 8-10 raisins

Method:

Boil milk on high heat under constant supervision.
Reduce the heat and add lemon juice in order to curdle the milk.
Stir continuously.
Strain to separate the milk solids/channa from the water.
Collect all channa in a clean cloth and squeeze out the excess water.
In a mixing bowl, put channa and add to it the castor sugar and cardamon powder.
Knead the mixture well till smooth.
Heat a kadhai.
And put the channa-sugar mixture into it.
On low flame stir for 5 minutes or till the mixture begins to emit a nice aroma.
Take the mixture out in a plate and let it cool.
Now form little roundels of your desired shape.
Garnish with cashews and raisins.
Refrigerate for atleast 6 hours in a covered container.
Serve chilled.



Debottoma Chatterjee Debnath

Hi! Myself Debottoma. Little bit introvert but I love to cook or you can say cooking is my passion. Whatever is my mood be it happy, be is sad or angry - I love to do cooking as it helps me to relax. Previously, I was working with IT sector as Admin & HR executive and now I am working with child care sector as Centre Head.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Recipe 107: Dhokla


Dhokla is a very easy and appetizing dish. It is sweet, savoury and tangy in taste.

Ingredients:

For Dhokla
  1. 2 cups besan aka chickpea flour
  2. 1.5 cups water
  3. 2-3 finely chopped green chillies
  4. 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 2 tbsp. sugar
  6. 1 tbsp. baking powder
  7. 1 tsp. grated ginger
  8. 1/4 tsp. hing aka asofoetida
  9. salt to taste
For Syrup
  1. 3.5 cups of water
  2. 5 tbsp. sugar
  3. 3-4 tbsp. lemon juice
  4. 2 tsp. rai aka mustard seeds
  5. 10-15 curry leaves
  6. 3-4 green chilles slit
  7. salt to taste

Method:

In a large bowl mix water, ginger, salt, sugar, lemon juice, green chillies and hing.
To it add the besan and whisk well till frothy.
Cover the bowl and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the steamer.
After 15 minutes, again begin whisking the besan solution.
 Now add the baking powder and whisk well.
Immediately, pour the solution into a mould.
Do not grease the mould else besan-cake will not be able to rise.
Place the mould into a steamer.
 In 10-15 minutes, the besan-cake will get cooked.
 After 10 minutes take the mould outside and let it cool down.
Now prepare the syrup.
In a saucepan, add little oil and temper mustard seeds.
After the crackling sound stops, add the curry leaves.
Now add water, sugar, salt and lemon juice.
Switch off the heat and allow the liquid to cool down.
Ensure both the besan-cake and syrup are of the same temperature, that is, slightly warmer than room temperature.
Cut pieces out of the besan-cake.
No need to unmould the pieces.
Now gently pour the syrup.

Allow the syrup to soak and then pour some more.
Place the dhokla in fridge for atleast 1 hour before serving.
Gently take out the pieces and serve.
Serve chilled.