27 July, 2009



Mushroom, 500 gms
Onion, 1 whole, chopped finely
Capsicum/bell-pepper, 1 whole, cut into thin strips
Spring onion/green onion/scallion (pneyajkoli), a big fat bunch, finely diced
Ginger-garlic paste, 1 tbsp,
Chili sauce, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Soya sauce, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Tomato ketchup, 3 tbsp,
Cornflour/flour, 2 tbsp
Salt/pepper (adjust to taste)
Oil-4 tbsp
Water, 1 cup


Heat oil.

Add onions and sauté till glassy.

Add capsicum/bell peppers and sauté till tender.

Add ginger-garlic paste and mix-well.

Add mushrooms. Cover at low heat for 2-3 mins. Remove cover and stir.

Add spring onions (pneyajkoli)/green onions/scallions and fry.

Add 2 tbsp of chili sauce and sauté well.

Add a cup of water and bring to a boil.

Add soya sauce and tomato ketchup.

Stir continuously till the mixture is even in consistency.

Thicken with 1 tbsp of cornflour/flour dissolved in milk.

Add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with chowmin or fried rice.

24 July, 2009



Jhinge/zucchini, peeled and finely diced
Onion, 1 whole, finely sliced
Dried red chili, 2 whole
Green chilli, 2, slit lengthwise
Cumin powder, 1 tsp
Turmeric powder, 1 tsp
Mustard seeds, 1 tsp
Grated coconut, a fistful
Salt, adjust to taste
Sugar, adjust to taste


Heat oil.
Add whole red chilli and mustard seeds. Allow to splutter.
Add onions. Saute for a few mins till soft and glassy.
Add turmeric and cumin. Stir well and sauté for 2 mins.
Add jhinge/zucchini. Mix well with other ingredients.
Simmer, covering pan.
Cook till tender, adding salt when the vegetable looks dry and water if the need arises.
Sprinkle the coconut powder when the vegetable is cooked through.
Stir for 5 mins.
Remove from heat.

10 July, 2009



Serves 3


Chickpeas (kabuli chhola/chana), 500 gm
2 onions,finely chopped
3 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped / pureed
Ginger paste, 1 tbsp
Garlic, 1 tbsp
2 green chilies, sliced lengthwise
Ground coriander, 1 tsp
Ground cumin , 1 tsp
Turmeric powder, a pinch
Red chili powder, 1 tsp
Salt, adjust to taste
Garam masala, a pinch
Coriander leaves, finely chopped
Oil, 3 tbsp


Soak chickpeas/chhola/chana in water overnight or for about 6 hrs.

Cook the chickpeas with salt and enough water in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes or till fully done (6 whistles).

Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

Heat oil.
Sauté onions till golden.
Add garlic, ginger and green chilli.
Sauté for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili powder.
Sauté over low heat until the oil begins to separate out.
Add cooked chickpeas, the reserved cooking liquid, salt and half of the coriander leaves.
Simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed.
Add a pinch of garam masala.
Remove from heat.
Garnish with remaining coriander leaves, shredded ginger and lemon quarters.

Serve with hot chappatis/rotis.
Chete pute kheye phyalo !

02 July, 2009


This happens to be one of my favourite paneer recipes. I first tasted it at my mejo-mashi's residence and fell in love with its awesome subtle flavour. After marriage, I called her up on the eve of my in-laws' anniversary to request her to provide me with the recipe. This will also remain close to my heart for the following reason. My sister-in-law, Titai, and her husband Abir, had been asked to join in a family dinner that night and I considered that it being Mamoni's anniversary, she should have others celebrating it by helping her out that day with the planned dinner. So she cooked an amazing ghee-bhaat (a sweet polao) and chicken curry while I prepared this dish. I was awfully nervous that it would go wrong (especially since I had never cooked anything before or after my marriage except microwaved tomato rice and dhania chicken, which K helped me out with anyway) and everyone would secretly add me to their list of bad cooks. However, it turned out scrumptious and everyone was impressed for good (especially our family Gurudev, who was the one to give me the idea of doing my share in the cooking that day in the first place) !


Paneer, 500gm

Onion, 1 large (cut into thick square/broad strips)

Capsicum/Bell-pepper, 1 whole (thinly sliced into strips)

Tomato, 1 large (finely diced)

Ginger, 1 tbsp (paste)

Green chillies , slit lengthwise (adjust to taste)

Salt (adjust to taste)

Sugar (adjust to taste)

Soya sauce, 1 and 1/2 tbsp

Chili sauce, 1 and 1/2 tbsp

Tomato ketchup, 3 tbsp

Arrowroot/Cornflour, 1 tbsp (dissolved in a few tbsp of milk)



Fry the paneer cubes till golden brown. Retain the oil.

Keep the paneer cubes immersed in mildly hot, salted water for about 20 mins.

Mix the 3 sauces well and keep aside.

Re-heat the residual oil.

Add onions, stir fry till golden-brown.

Add capsicum/bell-pepper. Stir-fry till soft and glassy.

Add tomato, followed by ginger paste. Mix well.

Season with salt and sugar.

Add half a cup of water to the mixture. Bring to a boil. Allow the water to reduce till gravy is according to desired texture.

Introduce the fried paneer (after draining the salted water).

Mix well to coat paneer with the gravy.

Add green chillies.

Allow the entire mixture to cook till paneer is tender and cooked through.

Pour in the sauce mixture. Stir thoroughly.

Add the arrowroot/cornflour 2 mins before removal from heat.


You may substitute the arrowroot or cornflour with flour.

23 June, 2009



Serves 4


Brinjals, large, 2 whole (cubed)

Mustard seeds, 1 ½ tbsp

Onions, 1 large (chopped)

Ginger ½ inch (chopped)

Tomatoes , 1 medium (chopped)

Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp

Coriander Powder, ½ tsp

Red chilli powder, ½ tsp

Salt ( adjust to taste)

Oil - 3 tbsp


Soak mustard seeds in ½ cup water for 1 hour. Discard the water and make a paste of mustard seeds, ginger and 2 tbsp water.

Heat oil, add chopped onions and sauté well.

Next add the mustard-ginger paste and fry well.

Add tomatoes and sauté well till tender.

Add brinjal/eggplant to it and mix well. Reduce heat.

Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric and coriander powder to it and sauté well.

Cover and cook, stirring frequently, till the brinjal becomes tender.

Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Serve hot with rice or chappatis/rotis.


This is usually considered a very healthy dish in summer in West Bengal because of the few spices it involves, the high water content of squash and the fact that the medium of cooking is less of oil and more of milk, which as you know, always provides a sense of satisfaction to health freaks like me. The best part is that you don't have to compromise on taste !


Serves 4


Squash/lau/lauki, 3 medium-sized (cubed)

Paanch phoron (5 spices), 1 tbsp

Whole dried red chili, 1

Milk, 1/2 cup

Flour, 3 tbsp

Salt, adjust to taste

Sugar, adjust to taste

Oil, 2 tbsp


Heat oil, add paanch phoron (5 spices) and red chili. Allow to splutter.

Add squash in instalments, stir-frying all the while.

Mixing well with spices, fry for several minutes till tender and watery.

Introduce the flour, mix briskly to prevent the formation of lumps.

Season with salt and sugar.

Add milk, bring to boil, stir frequently.

Once the water reduces slightly, reduce the heat and cover.

Cook on low heat, stirring often, till the desired consistency of gravy is attained.

Serve hot with rice or chappatis.

20 June, 2009


Serves 4


Bread, 10 slices (crumbled with fingers)
Onion, 1 medium (finely chopped)
Tomato, i medium (finely chopped)
Peas, 1/4 cup (fresh)
Yogurt/curd, 1/4 cup (beaten)
Mustard seeds, 1 tsp
Curry leaves, a handful
Salt, adjust to taste
Sugar, adjust to taste
Black pepper powder, adjust to taste
Turmeric powder, 1/3 tsp
Oil, 4-5 tsp


Heat oil.
Add mustard seeds and curry leaves, allow to splutter.
Add onion, stir till golden brown.
When onion is almost done (looks glassy and soft), add tomatoes.
Next, adding peas and sprinkling a little sugar, cover for 2-3 mins so that peas are cooked.
Add crumbled bread to fried vegetables.
Add turmeric and stir well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Turn over poha lightly and cover on low gas for 5 mins.
Add curd and mix poha well so that all bread slices are covered with curd.
Lightly saute for 1-2 mins.
Remove from gas and keep covered for a few mins.
Serve hot for breakfast or as an evening snack.


You can leave out the yogurt altogether, substituting with a few drops of lemon juice.