Machher Paturi (Bengali style Mustard fish in Banana leaf)

This is a part of the series ……. For the Chef in u

Contributed by YUMMRAJ’s favourite Chef ANONYMOUS
Super easy to make & Super good to eat……………

Machher paturi (fish in banana leaf)

U can try this with boneless fillets of fishes like betki or even with pieces of Hilsa (ilish) that have bones. U can try this recipe with prawns as well.

For all of u who stay in Coastal states of India, procuring banana leaf is easy. For the rest, there are markets in all cities that sell regional food – check those places out. In case u do not get it, use aluminum foil instead. The taste will almost be the same. The flavor of banana leaf will be missing.

banana leaves cut into square pieces for paturi

Take 1 inch size cubes of 300 grams boneless betki / standard sized pieces of other fish like hilsa.

Grind 3 tablespoons of mustard with 4 green chillies to a smooth paste. Grate ¼ coconut & keep aside.

The ingredients of machher paturi

Mix together the mustard paste, grated coconut, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon mustard oil & salt to taste. Apply this paste to the fish pieces evenly & leave it to marinate for 1 hour.

marinated fish chunks

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Chhanar Dalna (Bengali style ‘homemade paneer / cottage cheese’)

This is a part of the series ……. For the Chef in u

Contributed by YUMMRAJ’s favourite Chef ANONYMOUS
Super easy to make & Super good to eat……………

Chhanar Dalna – Bengali style home made paneer / cottage cheese

Historically curdling of milk was not considered to be good generally in India & particularly in Bengal. With the advent of the Portuguese in mid 1600s, came the cottage cheese & it is from there that the Bengali cooks learnt the use of chhana (paneer) for cooking as well as for making sweets.

Chhanar dalna is a homemade cottage cheese & potato curry.

For making the chhana, boil 2 liters of full cream milk. When it comes to a boil, add juice of 3 whole lemon. The milk curdles. Take a muslin cloth, place it over a large vessel. Pour the curdled milk over the muslin to separate the chhana (cottage cheese) from whey.

Discard the whey & tie the muslin cloth to a potli (see picture). Hang it for 2-3 hours from a height so that the excess whey drains out.

From here , there are two methods –

Method 1: What I have inherited from my family.

Method 2: Experimented as advised by Paromita Dey

Draining the whey by hanging it from a muslin cloth

Method1:

Place the potli on a flat surface & put something heavy on the top for 30 minutes to flatten the Chhana.

Flattening the chhana

Take out the chhana from the cloth carefully & place on a cutting board.

The lump of chhana on a cutting board

Use a sharp knife to cut the chhana chunk into pieces. If u use a blunt knife, the chhana might break / become uneven.

the chhana cut into pieces

Fry the chhana pieces in 1 tablespoon oil on slow fire till they start getting golden brown.

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Aam Pora Shorbot (Bengali style Aam Panna – refreshing summer drink made from raw mango)

This is a part of the series ……. For the Chef in u

Contributed by YUMMRAJ’s favourite Chef ANONYMOUS

Super easy to make & Super good to drink……………

the thanda thanda cool cool lip licking refreshing good aam porar shorbot – bengali vesrion of aam panna

Summers are in & so r those times when just glass of water is not good enough to quench ur thirst. A tangy refreshing soft drink can often make a difference.

Aam pora shorbot is a Bengali classic drink made from the pulp of raw mango. Here is my take on the Classic recipe.

Take 4 raw mangoes. Ensure that the ones u choose are neither soft nor yellowing.

raw mango / kaccha aam

Wash them & roast them on slow fire direct flames – similar to what u do for baingan bharta (‘begun pora’ in bengali).

Aam pora – Roasting the raw mangoes on stove

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Mochar Paturi (Bengali Classic vegetarian food cooked in Banana leaf)

This is a part of the series ……. For the Chef in u

Contributed by YUMMRAJ’s favourite Chef ANONYMOUS
Takes a bit of patience to make but Super good to eat……………

Mochar Paturi

For all of u who stay in Coastal states of India, procuring banana leaf is easy. For the rest, there are markets in all cities that sell regional food – check those places out. In case u do not get it, use aluminum foil instead. The taste will almost be the same. The flavor of banana leaf will be missing.

Take one mocha (banana flower). Remove the red flap layers at every stage. What u r left with is tiny 1 inch sized sticks that look like mini bananas. Take each stick in hand & remove the central piths (the style of the flower / central stock). Mince the sticks into small pieces. This whole process might take a ton of ur patience – Ur problem gets solved in case u have domestic help.

Mocha - Banana flower

Soak overnight in water after adding ½ teaspoon each salt & turmeric.

Boil the mocha with plain water. Discard the water once the mocha softens.

Grind 3 tablespoons of mustard with 4 green chillies to a smooth paste. Grate ¼ coconut & keep aside.

Mix together the mustard paste, grated coconut, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon mustard oil, 1 teaspoon sugar & salt to taste. Apply this paste to the mocha evenly & leave it to marinate for 1 hour.

Marination of mocha

Cut the banana leaves into approx. 15cm X 15 cm squares.

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Luchi & Chholar daal (Bengali style Chana Daal with Maida Poori)

This is a part of the series ……. For the Chef in u

Contributed by YUMMRAJ’s favourite Chef ANONYMOUS

Super easy to make & Super good to eat……………

Luchi & Chholar Daal is a typical Bengali traditional breakfast.

Luchi & Chholar Daal

Soak a cup of Chana daal (Chholar daal) for one hour. Add salt & turmeric & boil it in an open vessel till just done. Do not overcook it / do not pressure cook.

Boiled Chholar (Chana) Daal

Heat 2 tablespoon of Cow milk Ghee (clarified butter made from cow milk) & lightly fry  chopped coconuts, cashewnuts & raisins as shown in the picture.

sliced coconuts, cashew & raisins fried in ghee

Drain & keep aside.

Mix together ginger paste (1 teaspoon), Haldi / Turmeric powder (1/2 teaspoon), Jeera / Cumin powder (1 teaspoon) & Red chilli powder to taste (I use 1/2 tea spoon). Add 2 teaspoon water to dilute the paste a bit & mix well.

the fried spices post addition of water

In the remaining Ghee (after frying the coconut, cashew etc), add ½ teaspoon whole jeera (cumin seed). Add the above-mentioned paste once the cumin seeds start crackling. Fry the mixture continuously till the ghee separates.

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Bijoli Grill (Dilli Haat, opposite INA Market & Banga Bhawan, Delhi)

In a nutshell: A pretty good option for those missing good Bengali food in Delhi / those who want to try out Bengali food without spending much. Good but not the best for connoisseurs. Meal for 2: Rs. 250 onwards Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian Description: Fish fry was excellent – Flaky & juicy fish within, flavors of Dhania & very crisp crumb outer layer. … Continue reading Bijoli Grill (Dilli Haat, opposite INA Market & Banga Bhawan, Delhi)

Love & Mustard (1st floor, Galleria Market, above Le Marche, Gurgaon)

In a nutshell:

A good start but a bad downslide in just one year of opening the restaurant (unless the chef was on holiday the last time I went there & his trainees had cooked the food)

Address & other Details: Love & Mustard

The entrance

Meal for two – Rs.200 onwards

Cuisine type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

A Billboard in Galleria Market - Love & Mustard

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

When we started going to this tiny Bengali (including jewish, persian, anglo Indian, mughal food popular in Kolkata) joint in Galleria market, the food was good – It was always suboptimal as compared to the best food in that category in Kolkata but was quite good as compared to similar other options in Gurgaon. This time we went there, we found that the menu card had changed & a lot of good stuff had been removed. When we started eating, it became a real challenge to control the frustration of paying & eating sub ordinary food ….. U get much better than this at people’s home in Kolkata…………… leave apart restaurants……… For Bongs, this can still b a bearable eatery to have dinner on those ‘no cooking today’ days…………… but surely not a good place to have a great ‘eat out dinner’ ………….. maybe just OK OK dinner.

interesting table top menu card

Nowadays in Bengali marriages Dinners r quite cosmopotlitan & they r usually served by caterering companies. However, the lunch that u get in a typical biyebari (marriage) is usually a multi course bengali lunch – for the close relatives & family members – it is usually cooked not by hi end caterers but groups of cooks referred to as ‘thakurs’ – I can vouch that all such lunches that I have had in the last ten years were better than the thali at Love & Mustard. So, the owner of the restaurant might as well get a good Thakur to get the food right.

Love is lost (love & passion for making good food) & the mustard is not fresh & tangy any more!!!!

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

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Bhojohori Manna (Hindustan Road, Kolkata)

Post written by Guest Blogger Neha Manchanda.

This restaurant has not yet been visited by YUMMRAJ. Updates post visit by YUMMRAJ wiil b published later.

Meal for 2: INR 200 onwards

Restaurant details: Bhojohori Manna

With a chain of restaurants serving traditional Bengali cuisine, the place offers traditional recipes prepared with patience and passion. The menu is handwritten every day on a blackboard with coloured chalk distinguishing between vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

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