Chingdi Malai Curry or Prawn Malai Curry- A Speciality from Bengal

We all know Bengalis and their love for fish and prawns and of course Sweets.

Well, Bengal and Orissa/Odisha is blessed with many varieties of river fish and prawns and crabs and scampis becauseof the flow of Rivers like Ganga from Himalayas, Mahanadi in Orissa and of Course Bay of Bengal on the East.
The river fishes available are lighter in texture as compared to the fishes available in the West. The fish / prawns here have a sweeter taste as compare dto the Western Cousins.

There are many fish dishes which are extremely popular throughout the world. Chingdi Malai Curry, Daab Chingdi, Macher Jhol, Bhapa Maach, Fish Paturi are to name few. 
We shall make Chingdi Malai Curry today. Its usually made of Tiger Prawns. They are bigger in size and have a considerable amount of flesh which make is best for the recipe.

What You Need to make a curry for 2-3 people:

Prawns 500 to 600 grams

Wash and clean ths properly. You can even try removing the hard shell if you do not like them.
In the pictures below, you can see I have divided it into two portion, one with head and shell intact. 
Thats for me as I am an ardent seafood eater and prawns have its real taste in the head. The head is not supposed to be eaten, its there just to chew and enjoy the taste.
The other one is for my hubby whom I am slowly and steadily converting to one since a decade.

Marinate the prawns with salt and turmeric powder.

2 onions + 2 tamatoes + 1/2 inch ginger + 5 to 6 cloves of garlic + 2 green chili - Grind to a smooth paste
few curry leaves - This is again for aroma and curb the fish /sea food smell
2 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp turmeric  
1 tsp red chili powder
2 whole green chili slit in the centre 
salt to taste
sugar 1 tsp
1 tsp cumin seeds
dry roast the following and grind to fine powder : 1 Cinnamon stick + 3 cloves + 3 cardamom + 3 whole black pepper
Think Coconut milk - about 1 cup. I generally use Nestle Coconut Milk Powder - 1 tbsp of powder mixed with 1 cup of water. That makes my life easy.
Chopped coriander leaves

Steps To Make:
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flat non stick pan. Once it reaches smoking point, lower the flame and fry the prawns till it just looses its water and turns orange.
Take them out immediately. Our purpose is not to cook prawns but to remove its smell and mustard oil does a perfect job in doing so.

If oil in left in pan, we shall remove it and use in cooking as it has lot of flavours in it.
Take the remaining oil in a kadai. Again we need to heat till the smoking point. 
Reduce flame, add cumin seeds followed  by green curry leaves and green chilies.
Just before it starts spluttering all around, add the tomato paste and cover the lid. This will save your hands from burning.
Cook tomatoes for 10 to 12 minutes on low flame. 
Now is the time to add all dry powder spices.Add and mix well.
Add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil for the powdered spices to cook in boiling temperature.
At this point, we shall add the semi cooked prawns, salt and sugar. Cook on low temperature for 3 to 4 minutes.
Finally add the coconut milk . Cook for 4 minutes more. Garnish with  chopped malai curry and enjoy with hot steamed rice.

Zero Oil Guguni Chaat

In India, people who like to eat a lot of Chaat Pakodi Items are often known as Chatori(for girls) and Chatora(for boys). Usually, only Indians can have the Chaat items. Its sweet, salty, sour, spicy, sometimes hot and sometimes cold, in short, it's a volcanic eruption inside your mouth.

I am myself a chatori who likes to eat golgappas or puchka or pani puri or Gupchup. The only problem with the chaats is that they are not healthy at all. Also, addition of tamarind makes it highly risky for people who are prone to soar throat. Chaat items are mostly fried and is not recommended at all for people with oily skin because it creates problems like pimples, low haemoglobin etc. I don' t want to talk about hygiene here because it depends where you are eating them.

I usually prefer to make it at home as I know the source of water and ingredients and I can control the amount of items going in. I decided to make a zero oil chat item inspired from Guguni Chat we get in our home town. I had some baked soya chips with me. Hence, I safely used it a substitute for fried papad.

Its extremely simple to make. Arrange all items and mix together. So lets see what all goes in it.

1 cup Yellow Dried peas soaked for 5 hours and pressure cooked with 1 glass of water, salt to taste and pinch of turmeric powder. Pressure cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
finely chopped onions
finely chopped tomatoes
some green chili chopped
bakes soya chips , use any other baked chips of your choice
some coriander leaves chopped
some potatoes boiled, peeled and cubed to small pieces
dry mango powder
red chili powder
roasted peanuts
finely chopped raw mangoes
lemon juice few drops

Take a flat plate and arrange cooked yellow peas on the bottom.
Next spread some cubed and cooked potatoes
Sprinkle generous amount of finely chopped onion and tomatoes
Sprinkle coriander leaves and green chilies
Sprinkle some roasted peanuts , pinch of red chili and dry mango powder
Squeeze lemon juice on top.
Add raw mangoes if easily availanle.
Finally sprinkle baked chips on top and serve.
Consume immediately. they taste best when cooked peas on the bottom layer is hot.

Mixed Dal Vada

Try these yummy mixed dal vada recipe next time for your evening snack. They are simple to make, have a different taste from your regular vadas. The addition of hing and dry red chili  gives a unique and  complex taste to the vadas.

What You Need:

1/2 cup Urad Dal soaked for 4 hours
3/4th cup Chana Dal soaked for 4 hours
coriander leaves chopped
1/2 inch ginger chopped finely chopped
2 green chili chopped finely
1 dry red chili
1/2 tsp hing
few curry leaves finely chopped
1/4th cup grates coconut
salt to taste

Steps To Make:

Keep 2 tsp soaked chana dal aside.
Grind ginger, chana dal,  urad dal , dry red chili and grates coconut to a coarse paste.
Do not add water while grinding.
Let it ferment for 3 to 4 hours more.
Add rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Heat oil in a kadai.
Take small lemon size balls and gently slide into hot oil.
Fry them till golden brown. Try to fry in medium flame. Too high flame will burn the Vadas from outside and keep it raw inside.
Serve them hot.

Nutritious Egg Dosa / Muttai Dosai

Do I need to give to you all a boring lecture on how important breakfast is ? Or give you the importance of eating eggs. Naahh !!! Everybody who is health conscious and loves to eat good food definitely appreciates the benefits of eating eggs during breakfast. And now for all those people who are bored of having normal egg recipes like omelette or poached eggs or scrambled eggs, here is another interesting recipe for all. Egg Dosa. Yes, its yummy and nutritious and extremely filling. Generally people break one egg on each dosa. However, I usually prefer to beat one egg and divide among 3 dosas. Thats how I like my egg dosas to be.

What You Need:

Normal Dosa batter : Use any Dosa batter of your choice.
Eggs - crack and whisk them
salt to taste
pepper to taste
chopped onions
chopped capsicum
chopped tomatoes
some idli chutney powder
oil for cooking.

Steps To Make:

Take a serving spoon full of batter and spread evenly on a greased and hot tawa.
Gently spread some whisked egg batter
Sprinkle salt and pepper
Next spring chopped vegetables.
Finally sprinkle chutney powder
Gently pour few drops of oil
Cover and cook on high till the dosa is cooked and it leaves the pan.
Serve with a nice coconut chutney.

Raw Mango/ Kairi and Coconut Chutney

Kairi or Raw Mangoes offer a lot of cooling to human body. Hence, consuming raw mangoes are highly recommended. However many cannot adjust to the tangy-ness which Indian raw mangoes offer. Adding coconut cuts out some of its sourness and makes it edible specially if you have sensitive tooth. I was quiet surprised how nicely it goes with some Rava Masala Dosa and makes a filling breakfast.

So what will you need to make this awesome chutney or dip:

1/2 cup raw mangoes chopped. Use totapuri variety if possible
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup curd
1 green chili
salt to taste
1/4th tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves

Make a tempering of the following:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
1 bedki or red chili
1 tsp coriander seeds

Grind everything to a smooth paste. Add some water if needed.
Serve and Enjoy

Salmon Fish Wraps

Food or Good food is my religion .Well food is food. Is there a bad food. Not really, but I don't consider fried food as good food. When I was a kid, my evening snack invariably would be some fried samosa or medu wada or alu bonda. Not anymore. That's the reason most food don't find a place in my blog. I try to find the baked or steamed or pan fry version . If not possible, I simply avoid or keep them out of  my kitchen and blog.

At least I am finally sitting down to pen a new recipe. Office and home keeps me too much preoccupied these days. The moment I try to take a break, more work keeps piling on. I just completed a big project successfully and some more projects are in pipeline. But there is more to life than just work , work and work. and Blogging is my passion.

Hence, here is another nice and healthy recipe for all Fish lovers.

What You Need:

Atlantic Salmon Fish 300 grams cut into small pieces
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 green chili chopped
3 tbsp grated coconut
pinch of turmeric and red chili powder
Some shredded cabbage and capsicum
Lemon juice
Some Wraps/ tortillas or Simple Roti
coriander leaves for garnish
1 tbsp oil for cooking
salt for taste

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and fry till it turns brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and cook till you dont smell anything raw.
Now slide the chopped tomatoes, turmeric and chili powder and cook for a minute.
As tomatoes turn soft, add the chopped fish, slat to taste and cook for 7 to 8 minutes.
Salmon dont take much time cook. Add grated coconut and cook for a minute more.
When Salmon is nicely cooked, switch off the flame and add garnish with coriander leaves.
Take a wrap or tori, spread some cabbage and capsicum shredded earlier.
Arrange the cooked slamon right in the center.
Squeeze some lemon juice and devour.