Friday, June 29, 2018

Doi Begun - Eggplants in Yogurt Sauce

Doi Begun
Our nephew's wife first introduced us to this delectable dish and generously shared her recipe with me. It's the perfect semi-dry curry that goes well either with rice or chapatis/tortillas. Bengalis are natural-born lovers of begun and would gladly have this vegetable with every meal, if possible, which explains the myriad ways we have found for cooking with begun.

When cooked, eggplants soften turning creamy in the center. Greek yogurt combined with coconut milk makes a smooth and creamy sauce made even more delicious with a pungent touch of mustard paste and tang that is provided by the tomatoes. Green chilies serve to spice up this dish so use as much as you can handle.

If eggplants are not your thing, substitute them for thick slices of tofu or fish (for non-vegetarians), and use this same sauce to mound over a hot and steamy bed of rice. It makes for a delicious and satisfying meal that is hard to forget!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Murgh Makhani - Butter Chicken

Use bone-in chicken pieces or boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. The packaged butter chicken masala worked so well that it's now a staple in my pantry. If it's not available in an Indian market or the international aisle of your supermarket, try the recipe below.

Butter chicken goes well with hot rice or chapatis. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Green Beans Shorshe Bata - Green Beans in Mustard Sauce

Green Beans Shorshe Bata

A super speedy alternative to making mustard paste at home is to use hot mustard powder dissolved in water that is served in Chinese restaurants. The traditional method is to soak black mustard seeds in water overnight and grind it to a smooth paste the next day. 

These green beans were blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes, then stir-fried with diced potatoes and mustard sauce. Mustard powder needs to dissolve in water and set aside for at least 15 minutes to achieve maximum pungency. It's an easy side dish to serve with steamed rice or chapatis/tortillas.

2018 Father's Day Dinner

2018 Father's Day Dinner

Clockwise from top left:
Steamed Rice
Easy Tilapia & Cauliflower in Coconut Gravy
Masur Dal with Pickled Radish
Ghoogni - Chickpeas in Cream Sauce

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Pumpkin Amish Friendship Bread

Pumpkin Friendship Bread
A Mother's Day gift of Amish Friendship Bread starter batter began my fascination with a century-old tradition. I was given a 1 gallon Ziploc bag containing a cup of the batter along with written instructions for multiplying it four fold so it could be shared among friends. Using that bag of batter and nursing it over 10 days produced four 1 gallon bags of starter batter. 

The first 3 or 4 times of making this yeasty batter, I was able to find enough friends and neighbours willing to try it, but later I just froze the bags and used them up one at a time to make different flavours of friendship bread. The starter batter freezes indefinitely, so it's easy to make these sweet breads at a moment's notice.

There's always a can of pumpkin puree in the pantry after Thanksgiving. Following the recipe for Banana Walnut Friendship Bread and using a can of pumpkin puree in place of mashed bananas, produces a lovely bread without using a store-bought pumpkin bread mix.

Enjoy this bread for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving.