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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coffee Martini

Mixology is such an exciting art. I have always wanted to take courses on mixology, but am yet to realize this dream. I started reading about it from different websites and often experiment at home. So far I have made various types of cocktails and most of the time they tasted good. The best thing about mixology is that there are no bounds on the "ingredients" per-se; you can tweak with your choice of spirit, liquor, mixers (or even their portions) and the taste differs so much.
Today I was in mood to try a new cocktail and my husband wanted it to be a bit strong. So I decided on Kalhua and Amaretto, which I recently bought, and used Baileys which was sitting in my fridge from a long time. The surprise item of this cocktail was milk. I never made a cocktail using milk earlier, so I was excited. Believe me it tasted AWESOME! Give it a try.



Ingredients:
(To make 1 drink)
Amaretto (Almond flavored liqueur) - 1 and 1/2 Oz
Kahlua (Coffee flavored rum) - 1/2 Oz
Baileys Irish Cream - 1/2 Oz
Heavy Cream - 1 and 1/2 Oz
Ice cubes

Preparation:
Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
Add ice in it.
Shake well and strain into a martini glass. You can serve it on the rocks as well.
I sprinkled a pinch of coffee granules on top.



Type: Martinis
Glass: Martini
Strength: Strong

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chicken with dried chilies (শুকনো লঙ্কা মুরগি)

I had few chicken drumsticks left in the freezer. Today was a lazy day and I wanted to cook something easy but different. I remembered this recipe which I had read in an old magazine. This recipe is not the same as "kancha lonka murgi" (কাঁচালঙ্কা মুরগি)/green chili chicken. In this flavorful recipe I have used dried red chili (শুকনো লঙ্কা).



Ingredients:
Chicken (6 drumsticks) - cleaned/washed
Onion - 1
Ginger - 2" piece
Garlic - 1 tbsp (crushed)
Whole garam masala (cardamom - 2, cinnamon - 1" piece, clove - 4)
Dried red chili - 10 (deseeded)
Salt
Turmeric powder
Sugar
Oil
Ghee

Preparation:
Grind onion and ginger together. Next sieve it to collect the onion-ginger juice.
Smear chicken drumsticks with salt and turmeric and keep it aside for a while.
Heat oil and ghee together in a wok.
Add whole garam masala in it and fry for few seconds.
Next add the chicken and fry until color changes to light brown; it is important not to overcook the chicken.
Now add the onion-ginger juice and crushed garlic into it. Fry it for a while, then keep the flame low and cook until the raw smell of onion goes away.
Add salt, sugar and dry red chili to it.
Cover it and cook it in low flame until chicken is well cooked.
I kept the gravy of thick consistency (মাখা মাখা).



Tip:
I have used a muslin cloth to collect the juice out from onion-ginger paste.
I have used 3-4 round dried red chilies (these are not that hot, but add flavor) and 5-6 dried red chilies (with seed) in this preparation to keep a balance of flavor and taste.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bhoger Khichuri ( ভোগের খিচুড়ি )



This past week was the last major festival of the year for us Bengalees, it was time of Kali puja (কালিপূজা / দীপাবলী ). Others are more aware of it as Diwali, the festival of lights. This year I prepped my home with lots of candles, diyas, lights, flowers. The aura it creates is very refreshing and brings calmness and happiness in life.




We recently discovered a Durga temple very near our home and absolutely loved the atmosphere there. The temple is in a small shopping mall. The priest here is an interesting person. He is from southern part of India, but can fluently speak in Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, English. He has a unique style of puja; you won’t believe, he actually talks with the deity, goes into a trance at the same time. This temple is one of those rare ones, which encourages people to actively participate and allows home cooked food for puja.

We (me and my husband) kept fast for the day until late in the evening. We decided to bring homemade khichuri (খিচুড়ি) at the temple.

I kept it very simple and used basic minimum spices. I don't know how but anytime you cook  ভোগের খিচুড়ি, it has this special aroma. You try it any other normal day, it never turns out the same.





Ingredients:

Rice (gobindobhog/sonamasoori/atop chal) - 2 cups
Moong/moog dal - 1&1/2 cup
Potato - 2 (halved/quartered)
Cauliflower - 1 cup (cut into big florets)
Carrots - 1/2 cup (cut into 1" pieces) (ডুমো করে কাটা )
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Bayleaf - 2
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chili - 2
Green chili - 2 (slit)
Ginger - 1 tbsp (paste/grated)
Turmeric powder
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt
Sugar
Oil - 1 tbsp
Ghee
Water (lukewarm/hot)





Preparation:

Wash and soak rice in water for 30 minutes.
Dry roast moog dal in a wok until it turns golden brown in color (it will have a nice aroma too). Let it cool and then wash with water.
Fry potatoes, cauliflowers and carrots. Add little salt and turmeric powder while frying. Keep it aside.
Next heat oil.
Add the bayleaf, dry red chili, green chili, cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds.




Add ginger, cumin powder and fry it.




Now add moog dal, salt, turmeric powder and fry for some more time.




Next add water; cover the wok and let the mixture cook until the dal is half done.
Then add the soaked rice, green peas, fried potatoes, cauliflowers and carrots into it. Add salt, turmeric powder and water; mix, cover the wok again and let it cook well.




Keep checking it from time to time and add more water if needed.
When rice and dal are well cooked, turn off the heat, add ghee, sugar and garam masala in it; mix well and keep it covered for a while.





Tip:

Generally I like to keep the proportion of rice more than dal rather than having them same.
While frying ginger add a little salt to it; this will prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
I always keep khichuri a little watery by the time it is done, since it always absorbs water while cooling down.