Friday, January 30, 2009


Bengali cooking is famous for sweets made from cottage cheese or homemade cheese also known as paneer. Every district in Bengal is famous for a special sweet recipe of its own. Sandesh, Rosogolla, Rasmalai, chanar payesh, chum-chum, mishti doi (sweetened curd) are few of the very popular recipes.
K C Das – well known sweetmeat shop famous for its Bengali sweets. As a child I loved eating those mouthwatering rosogollas and mishti doi in the mud pot (that’s how the K C Das packs). I used to collect those empty pots, clean and dry them up for some of my creative works :)!

Here I am going to give the recipe for Rasmalai which I served as a surprise dish during one of the parties and believe me it came out really well for the 1st try.

Rasmalai also pronounced, as Roshomalay in Bengali is a Bengali dish consisting of sugary, cream to yellow colored flattened balls of paneer soaked in creamy saffron flavored milk.

Ingredients for Rasmalai Patties
4 cups milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 1/2 cups water
Pressure cooker

Ingredients for Milk mixture
3 cups of milk
2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar (adjust to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom
Few strands of saffron
1 tablespoon sliced almonds and pistachios for garnishing

To make Paneer
1. Mix lemon juice in half a cup of hot water and keep aside.
2. Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently making sure milk do not burn on the bottom of the pan.
3. As the milk comes to a boil, add the lemon juice slowly and stir the milk gently. The curd will start separating from the whey, turn off the heat.
4. Once the milk fat has separated from the whey, drain the whey using a strainer line with cheesecloth or muslin cloth.
5. Wrap the curd in a muslin cloth, rinse under cold water, and squeeze well. This process takes out the sourness from the lemon.
6. To take out the excess water squeeze the cloth. Taking the right amount of water out of the paneer is the most important part of this recipe.
7. To check if enough water is out of the paneer, take a little piece of paneer on your palm and rub with your fingers. After rubbing the paneer for about 15-20 seconds, you should be able to make a firm but smooth ball.
8. If the paneer is too dry, add a few drops of water, using the water squeezed from the paneer.
9. Once the paneer is drained, place on a clean, dry surface and knead the paneer for 3-4 minutes until it almost rolls into smooth soft dough.
Soak few strands of saffron in 1/2cup of milk before starting the making of rasmalai so that it gives out good color.

Making the Rasmalai

  • Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll them into smooth balls.

  • Mix the sugar and water in a pressure cooker on medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

  • Add the paneer balls and close the pressure cooker. After the pressure cooker starts steaming, turn the heat to medium and cook for about seven minutes. Make sure the cooker is large enough to accommodate the finished rasgullas, as they will expand to about double the volume while cooking in the syrup!

  • Turn off the heat and wait for few minutes before opening the pressure cooker (wait until all the pressure is released). Take out the patties from the syrup and squeeze them lightly, and keep aside.

  • Boil the milk in a frying pan on medium heat until the milk reduces to about 2 cups. Make sure to frequently stir the milk as it may burn easily at the bottom of the pan.

  • Add the sugar and the Rasmalai patties in milk. Let it cook for few minutes.

  • Add the cardamom and the saffron milk that was soaked before and mix in. Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios.

Serve the Rasmalai chilled. Yes it’s a bit weighty-dessert but once in a while treats are good ;)!!

This recipe has been submitted in Durga Puja Food festival which you can reach by clicking here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Open Sandwich

The vacation is over and we are back to work, school again, with a demanding routine in place. But still I don’t stop myself from trying the varieties. What’s life without potpourri :)!

Suddenly it was decided to have a potluck at our place and didn’t have much stuff to prepare something interesting. As am quite particular when it comes to cooking and serving didn’t want to just getaway here. Now I wanted an easy-quick-tasty recipe to be the output with the bare minimum inputs :d. So I grabbed my apron & got cooking….tried a dish with some peppers, onions and tomatoes and named it as Open Sandwich :). It became a hit – kids just luv them as they called it Bread Pizza ;) and now it’s one of our accepted Dinner item.
Here goes the recipe for Open Sandwich.


Chopped Bell Peppers (Green, Red, Yellow, Orange) – ½ of each
Chopped Tomatoes – 1
Chopped Onions – 1
Oregano – 1TbSpoon
Frozen sweet corn kernels– ½ to 1cup
Crustless White Bread – 8 Slices
Tomato Sauce with herbs OR any other tomato ketchup
Discovery mozzarella Cheese slices OR mozzarella grated cheese


  • Preheat oven at the highest and then reduce it to 180deg FAN BAKE
  • Mix peppers, tomatoes, onions and oregano in a bowl
  • Place 6 slices of bread on a baking sheet
  • Apply 1-2 tbspn of tomato sauce on the bread slices with a butter knife
  • Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the sauce. Add some sweet corn kernels over the veggie mixture to make it more colourful

  • Place a cheese slice over this and its ready to go into the oven.
    Remember the Oven is Hot Hot Hot.....
    Let it cook till the cheese melts or golden brown

Note: You could also add finely chopped green chilies/jalapenos into the Veg mixture provided you are not giving the slices to kids, as it will become spicy for some of the kids to handle.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Our Paris trip was finalized within a week’s time. I had to prepare some snacks for our trip what we call kurkul tindi. But with shortage of time had to make something easy, fast, non perishable, easily packable and of course the most important it had to be pleasing to the sense of taste.

Kurkul tindi reminds me of ‘Srinivasa condiments’ well known as ‘Subbammana angadi’ in Gandhi Bazaar (people who have lived in south of bangalore wud definitely be aware of this place). As our family is major fan of kurkul tindi so we are of Subbamana angadi :d. Chakkali, kodbale, avarekalu, and congress kadalekayi wowww and many more mouthwatering snacks are specialities of this angadi. My dad used to always get varieties of fried items and stock them in a box over the fridge. Anybody who comes home was so damn sure that the box would have some kurkul for everybody :).

We were not experts to tryout the varieties of Subbamma’s but were quite capable of trying the easiest amongst the lot. We decided to make Nippattu for our trip.

Nippattu is one of the widely known snacks of Karnataka. It’s a disc shaped crunchy deep fried item. Actually Nippattu is made in different varieties depending on ones taste. I picked on the 1 my mom used to make regularly and found it quite easy and yummy. The main ingredient i.e. the rice flour is mixed with varieties of items like peanuts, hurgadle (roasted Bengal gram dal) etc. They can also be stored for few days in an airtight container.


Rice flour- 1 Cup
All purpose flour or maida – 2 tablespoons
Fine semolina or Chiroti Rave – ½ Cup
Red Chilly Powder – 3 Spoons
Turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
Asafetida – ¼ teaspoon
Sesame seeds or Ellu – 1 teaspoon
Groundnuts + Roasted Bengal gram dal also called putani or hurgadle = 3/4 Cup
Dry coconut grated – 3/4 Cup
Coriander leaves finely chopped – ¼ Cup
Curry Leaves finely chopped – ¼ Cup
Hot oil – 2 Spoons
Ghee – 2 Spoons
Salt as needed
Water as needed
Oil for frying


Dry roast the groundnuts, spread them on a flat plate and rub it with your palms to take their skin off. Coarsely grind this along with roasted Bengal gram dal(hurgadle) in a mixie.
Mix all the ingredients except frying oil. Add the grinded mixture also to this. Hot oil and ghee helps us make the nippattu crispy and crunchy :)!
Add water as needed to make firm dough.
Knead the dough for another minute and divide into equal parts.
Apply some oil to a plastic sheet, place a small ball of the dough and flatten them with your fingers into small discs on plastic sheet.
Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
Fry the discs till they are crispy and both sides are lightly brown. If the Nippattus are fried on high heat, they will be soft.
Nippattu is ready to be served with tea.

What can be better for a freezing weather other than few of these spicy nippattus along with a cup of tea – Just love them! And thus we enjoyed snacking on our nippattu on the top of the Eiffel Tower :)!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Drop Shortbread

Xmas vacation was interesting with sampling new recipes. With the weather supporting us not to get out of the house made us still fond of trying out new dishes :). We being not so movie freaky guys decided to watch ‘Ghajini’ which had many recommendations.

After Amir Khan’s taare zameen par, everyone had great expectation from Ghajini and I bet Aamir Khan did justice to it. It’s a good actionmovie with hardcore filmi romance with a bunch of songs. Aamir, with his anterograde condition has truly done wonderful when his character is bewildered.
But truly we lost interest in the movie soon as it was too much to digest the overdose of physical violence. And also with Khan pouring out the schoolboy charm at 43, the entire romantic part of the film was so depressingly obvious that it doesn’t work at all, and only served in slowing down the momentum of an action film. Overall we felt the film is impressive in bits, with some terrific sequences, but the romance takes away its thunder. I think both audiences and Aamir seem a little less used to such movies.

Well…its just what we felt about the movie….but people who liked it its your opinion….

Soon we concluded that it’s a film that is not to be enjoyed with mouthful of cola and fistful of popcorns and so moved on to bake the melting cookies. We multi- tasked movie watching and baking and thankfully didn’t mess up things ;)

This recipe I got it from my husband’s friend’s wife :) (long 1 ah…). My husband had all praises for these cookies which once he had tasted when his friend had got them to office and described to me that it was just like our ‘Benne biscuit’. So from then on I was after him to get the recipe for me :). Finally tried it on the Ghajini day but believe me the biscuit was opposite to the violence we saw in the movie. Yes it was tooooooooo soft just dissolved in our mouth.

Now our little taster, yes u guessed it right that was my 15months old toddler, up from his afternoon nap to taste the flowers and butterfly designs I made for him on those lovely cookies. He gulps 3 cookies screaming bikki bikki amma fowo (flowers in his dictionary :)), what more do I need :)?

Here goes the recipe for Drop Shortbread


Cornflour – ½ Cup
Icing Sugar (sift) – ½ Cup
All purpose flour or maida – 1 Cup
Butter at room temperature – 1 Cup
Sliced almonds


Beat butter with an electric blender.
To this add icing sugar, cornflour and flour. Beat for about a min.
Place or drop on a cookie sheet. To get a smooth finish make a small ball and throw it on the cookie sheet. Remember to give spacing between the cookies as it expands while baking.
With a sharp knife make a tic-tac-toe design on the top and place some sliced almonds on each cookie.
Bake it at 170degree centigrade at 10-20min or till slightly brown. (Depends on individual oven so just keep in oven till slightly brown).
And then cool it on a cake cooling rack. The quantity of the cookies depends on the size.

Drop shortbread or as we call benne biscuit is ready to melt in your mouth !!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Masala Puri

The most awaited summer holidays have arrived at last :). Free from all the exams, projects, home-works, no more calls from my mom ‘late aayithu YeLe horduu’ - the toughest getting up early in the morning, didn’t even bother to think about the school even once during holidays. I enjoyed the summer holidays the most as the duration would be long and the weather also was gr8 for outings. All our cousins used to meet up at 1 of our uncle’s place where we used to sit and play antakshari, dumb charads, hide&seek, card games etc and of course the post dinner chit chat in the courtyard on the musical swing (there was only 1swing and all of us wanted to sit on that so turn wise we got a chance something similar to a musical chair so the name goes) was the best. Super!! It used to be so funtastic pulling each other legs and proving our smartness by shooting some latest movie dialogues or some advertisement lines :).

Invariably we used to have a feast during our stay at their place. Our all time favorite adda was bandi masala puri. Ofcourse there were many more joints that we liked for their mouthwatering masala dose, akki rotti, bajjis, Gobi manchurian etc, but nothing could beat our old and famous bandi masala puri.

As a youngster with hardly any cooking experience didn’t know much about the ratio and proportion the bandiwala uses for his yummy masala puri but I was very much interested in trying out new dishes at home anything other than what mom makes regularly at home i.e. anna-saaru-palya (though it used to be of the export quality ;). I used to gauge it by just tasting the wonderful puris layered with his spicy peas masala and garnishing (observe him pour the peas masala onto the puris, the style he layers it) that O he must have used this ingredient to get this taste let me also try preparing it at home was my attitude :). The enthu that I used to have before starting the dish wouldn’t last for long as most of the time the dish would turn out to be something else or didn’t taste the same or somewhere something went wrong….
After many tryouts with additions and deletions of the recipe-data I achieved the desired result :).

I would like to post one such recipe today that I tried last weekend which i got from one of my friends and turned out to be a success. Yes it is Masala puri. The quantity I am giving below serves 6-8people. Its very easy-tasty recipe provided you use the below mentioned ingredients with some good planning.

Dry peas (Batani) - 1/2 kg
Small crispy puris or gol guppa (these are available in the market)
Grated carrot - 2
Boiled and mashed potatoes - 1
Chopped Tomatoes – 2
Onions - 2 finely chopped and 1for grinding
Garam Masala – 5 teaspoons
Green chillies - 3or4
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
Coriander chopped -½ cup
Amchur powder – 2teaspoons
Peppercorns - 4or5
Oil - 1 tbsp
Tamarind Chutney
Green Chutney
Thin sev or any other mixture
Chat Masala
Lemon juice
Salt to taste

Soak the dry peas over night. Cook them with some salt and turmeric in a pressure cooker.

Peas masala paste
Grind onion, Ginger garlic paste, one spoon of garam masala, green chillies, peppercorns, coriander, and one cup of the boiled peas to a fine paste.
In a big pan heat some oil. Sauté the above paste for a few minutes till it gives out a nice aroma. Then add the rest of the boiled peas with some salt, amchur powder and 3 spoons of garam masala. Let it boil on a low-medium flame till the paste gets to a thick gravy consistency.
One key tip is the constant boiling of this masala (u must have noticed it on the bandi as well).... If required add little water and start boiling the peas masala at least 15 to 20min before serving the dish.

Now comes the serving part. Actually here the measurement can differ according to your taste.

  • Crush 5-6 puris in a plate and add some boiled potatoes as shown.
  • Pour the boiling peas masala liberally covering the puris.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and onions (quantity as desired)

  • Put a few spoons of tamarind and green chutney.
    Add grated carrot, sprinkle fine sev and dash of lemon if required.
    Garnish with coriander leaves and chaat masala.

Serve immediately and enjoyyyyyyyyy.......

This recipe has been submitted in the Event 'Sunday Snacks - Chaats/Indian Street Foods'

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