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Macher Tak Sour Fish


1/2 kg small fish (sardines, mandila)
11/2 tsp mustard paste
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
100 gms tamarind
Whole mustard seeds for seasoning and salt and sugar or jaggery to taste.


Deep fry the fish and keep aside.
Add the whole mustard in the hot oil.
Soak tamarind in water and squeeze out the pulp.
Moisten turmeric and chiili powder and put it in the hot oil.
Put the fried fish once the water dries, pour the tamarind juice. Add water.
Then add salt and sugar/jaggery and boil for 5 mins.
Add the mustard paste and again boil for 5 mins.

Serve cold with rice.

Cabbage Milagootal Cabbage and Pulses in Coconut Gravy


1/2 kg cabbage
100 gms shelled peas
1 cup tur dal
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
2 tbsp black gram dal
2 tsp oil
4 red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 grated coconut


Cut cabbage into small pieces and pressure cook along with the shelled peas and tur dal, turmeric powder and curry leaves till done.
Add black gram dal and red chillies in hot oil.
Fry till it turns pink in colour and grind to a paste along with grated coconut, cumin seeds and little water.
Add this to the cooked vegetables.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, black gram dal and red chillies.
When brown pour the vegetables.
Add salt and water and bring it to boil.

Serve hot.

Coconut Rice


1 Grated Coconut
3-4 teaspoon of coconut oil (If not there vegetable oil can be used)
2-3 Green Chillies cut into small bits
1/2 inch cut into small bits
1 teaspoon urad dhal
1 teaspoon channa dhal
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Ghee
Curry leaves
Salt to taste
Basmati Rice/ Ordinary Rice.


Cook the Rice separately and keep aside.
Put 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in the sauce pan and add grated coconut. Fry it for 3-4 minutes till coconut becomes little dry. Take it out and keep aside.
Add remaining coconut oil, add mustard seeds.
Once the mustard seeds splutter add urad dhal, channa dhal, small pieces of green chillies, small pieces of ginger and curry leaves.
Fry the above till the dhal becomes brown. Remove it and keep aside.
Add some ghee in the pan and fry the cashewnuts till golden brown.
Take a bowl put the cooked rice, salt to taste, coconut, fried ingredients of step 4 and mix them well. Top it with cashewnuts and some cilantro.
You can serve hot or cool. Serve with some chutney or pappad.

Note: Once you have the grated coconut it hardly takes 10 minutes to make it.

Prawn Malai Curry


Large Prawns 10 nos.
Sliced onion 2 nos.
Cream of coconut 1 cup
Green cardamom 2 nos.
Cinnamon 1" length
Cloves 2 nos.
Paprika 1/2 teaspoon
Salt 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Clarified butter/oil 2 tablespoon


Rub prawns with half the salt and set aside.
In a wok/deep pan, heat clarified butter.
Add sliced onions, fry till translucent.
Make a paste out of green cardamom, clove, cinnamon and water and add to the wok.
Cook for couple of minutes over medium heat.
Add the coconut cream, remaining salt, sugar, paprika and bring to boil.
Add the prawns, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice.

This in spite of being a very Calcutta dish has its roots in Malayasia, hence the name. It is considered to be a delicacy in India, especially the state of West Bengal. A symbol of good food, it has been eulogised in literature and films of this part of the world.

Hope this will tickle the taste palates.

Potato Stew


2 large potatoes.
Curry leaves.
a big piece of ginger.
5-6 hot green chillies.
1-2 cups of grated coconut.
mustard seeds.
salt to taste.

Punch line:

Coconut and ginger are the main ingredients.
Feel free to be generous on that front.


Boil the potatoes, remove the skin and mash them into relatively big pieces.
Grind grated coconut, green chillies and ginger to a paste.
Heat oil in a pan, toss in the mustard seeds and after seasoning add in the paste, pour a cup of water and boil the mixture for about 5 minutes.
Now add the mashed potatoes into the mixture and allow it to boil for another 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Feel free to add little water to meet your required consistency.
Finally add curry leaves to the stew.
Serve with tomato rice, sambar rice, dosai, chapati and what not.



One 8oz coolwhip
One 8oz half and half ( whipping cream)
One 8oz Evaporated milk
One 8oz sweetened condensed milk
One teaspoonful cardomon powder (elaichi powder)
Four spoons of pista pieces


Mix coolwhip, evaporated milk, condensed milk, whipping cream together for 5-10 minutes or grind them for few seconds.
Add elaichi powder, and pista pieces to it and keep it in freezer for 8-10 hours and serve it for the dessert .

Paneer Cake


1/2 gallon milk
vinegar to split milk
pinch of cooking soda
1/4 tsp. rava(sooji)
1/4 tsp. maida
1 cup sugar
cardamom powder


First split the milk to make Paneer. Allow all the water to drain, till it becomes stiff.
Then to this paneer, add sooji. maida, soda, 1/2 cup sugar. Mix all very well.
In a non-stick pan, lightly grease with butter and put on low heat. Add the paneer mixture. Cover and let cook. When one side is light brown, remove the cake on a plate and slide it back to the same pan to cook the other side to brown.
Towards the other side, make chashni(sugar syrup). To the rest 1/2 cup sugar, add 1 cup water. Add cardamom powder. When the paneer cake is done, pour hot chashni(sugar syrup) on the top, while it still is in the heat. Cover and let cook in slow heat for a minute. Then off the heat and let the paneer cake cool in the room temperature. Cut into slices and serve.

Samosas Calcutta Style


For cover:

2 cups plain flour
3 tbsp. melted ghee
salt to taste

For filling:

1 cup cauliflower
2 cups potatoes boiled
6-7 green chillies
1 tsp. ginger grated
1 tsp. panchphoran
1/2 tbsp. coriander finely chopped
1/2 tsp. amchoor (dried mango) powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. turmeric
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp. raisins
1 tbsp. cashew pieces
3-4 pinches asafoetida
1 tbsp. oil
Oil for deep frying


Sift flour and salt together.
Add ghee and mix well.
Add water to knead a soft dough.
Cover with moist cloth and keep aside for 30 minutes.
Brush liberally with ghee, knead, cover again and keep aside.

For filling:

Grate cauliflower, mash potatoes and finely chop green chillies.
Heat oil, add cashews and fry till light golden.
Add panchphoran and allow to splutter, add cauliflower.
Add all other ingredients and mix well.
Take off fire. Keep aside.

To proceed:

Make small balls, the size of small lemons, from dough.
Knead one into thin chappati about 5" diameter.
Cut into half, take one, fold into cone, seal edge with some water.
Fill with one tbsp. filling, seal open edges to form triangular pyramid.
Seal edges and corners well with moist fingers.
Make four or five, deepfry in hot oil till golden and crisp.
Repeat for all filling and dough.
Serve hot with green and tamarind chutneys.

Making time: 1 hour
Makes: 20 approx.
Shelflife: 2 days(refrigerate preparations, fry when required)

Subz Bhaja Vegetable Fritters


2 med. potatoes
2 med. brinjals
1 raw banana thinly peeled
1 zucchini
1 slice pumpkin, skinned and deseeded
1 cup gramflour
1 cup rice flour
1/2 tbsp. hot oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
salt to taste
3-4 pinches soda bicarb
oil to deep fry


Wash, wipe and slice vegetables (including skins) into thick diagonal slices.
Make a batter of all the other ingredients, using water as required.
The batter should be able to coat the back of a spoon smooth and thick.
Heat oil for frying. Dip some veggies in batter at a time.
Coat with batter and let them in hot oil one by one.
Fry fritters (veggies) till light golden and crisp.
Drain and serve hot with chutney and sauce.
Repeat for remaining vegetables.
Serve an assortment each time.

Note: Any one or one or more vegetables in combination can also be used. Choice is left to you.

Making time: 30 minutes
Makes: 7-8 servings
Shelflife: Prepare ahead but fry as required.

Sondesh Sweets


1 litre milk preboiled and top cream removed
1/2 tsp. citric acid or
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. cornflour
1/2 cup sugar ground fine
1/4 tsp. essence of choice
few drops colour to match essence flavour
(eg. green with pista essence)

For topping:

1 tsp. slivered pistas and almonds
1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
Small moulds of choice


Dissolve acid or lemon juice in 1/2 cup warm water
Put milk to boil. When it rises, pour acidic water all over it.
Reduce heat and stir till fully curdled.
When whey and water separate completely, remove from heat.
Strain in clean muslin cloth.
Hold under running water for a minute.
Press out excess water and hang for 15 minutes (paneer is made).
Empty the paneer in a large plate.
Take 2 tbsp. of paneer in a heavy pan and add cornflour.
Heat on med. flame stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes.
Cool, add to paneer in plate, add sugar, essence and colour.
Mix till very smooth.
Lightly grease and dust moulds with ghee and cornflour.
Mix topping ingredients.
Sprinkle little topping in each mould.
Press paneer mixture into it and level top.
Chill for 3-4 hours. Unmould carefully.
Serve chilled in individual paper cups (optional).

Note: If paneer is quite firm then cornflour can be omitted. Continue without the relative step. No cooking is then required.

Making time: 20 minutes (excluding chilling and hanging time.)
Makes: 7-8 pieces (depending on size of mould)
Shelflife: 3 days refrigerated

Palak in Muger Dal Spinach in Moong Dal


1 cup yellow moong dal
1 bunch spinach, finely chopped
3 tbsp. ghee
2 tsp. panchphoran
3 whole red chillies
1 bayleaf
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. red chilli powder
1/2 tsp. amchoor powder
salt to taste


Take wiped dal in a large heavy skillet.
Roast dry dal stirring continuously, till golden.
Add 3 cups water, bayleaf, and turmeric powder.
Bring to a boil and simmer semicovered till dal is soft.
Add more water if required.
Add chilli powder, salt and spinach and cook further 10 minutes.
Heat ghee in a small frying pan, add panchphoran and allow to splutter.
Add whole chillies and pour over dal.
Add 1/2 tsp. amchoor (dried mango) powder.
Stir gently. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Note: To speed cooking one may use pressure cookers to cook dal much faster, but add turmeric and bayleaf in that too.

Making time: 2 hours traditionally 30 minutes in pressure cooker
Makes: 5 servings
Shelflife: Refrigerate till required after cooking. Add panchphoran just be serving.

Bengali Khichidi KhiChuri


1 cup rice (washed and soaked 30 minutes)
1 cup masoor dal (washed and soaked 30 minutes)
1 tbsp. channa dal (washed and soaked 30 minutes)
1 bay leaf
3 green cardamoms
1" stick cinnamon
3 cloves
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
10-12 tiny onions peeled or
1/2 cup sliced onions
10-12 baby potatoes washed clean
1/2 cup peas shelled
1 carrot diced
1 tsp. ginger grated
1 tsp. garlic grated
3-4 green chillies finely chopped
1 tbsp. coriander finely chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
salt to taste
5 cups water
4 tbsp. ghee


Drain dals, rice in a colander and keep aside.
Save this water for adding later.
Semicrush spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves)
Heat 3 tbsp. ghee in a large heavy skillet.
Add cumin seeds, bayleaf, crushed spices, splutter.
Add ginger, garlic, chillies, stirfry for a moment.
Add onion, potato (with skin), sitrfry for 2 minutes.
Add carrots, peas, turmeric, garam masala, salt.
Add dals, rice and gently stirfry for 1 minute.
Add water to make drained water 5 cups.
Heat well and add to skillet.
Stir, bring to a boil, cover and simmer till done.
Rice and dals should be done but not overdone.
Veggies will get soft and water should be absorbed.
Add more water if required in between.
When done, pour remaining ghee and sprinkle coriander.
Serve piping hot with gravied veggies or kadhi (refer 'khichidis').

Making time: 45 minutes
Makes: 7 servings
Shelflife: Best fresh