First time I heard about this dessert from one of my Facebook friend and then got inspired. I was hesitant to prepare this sweet as I never tasted before. But then on a special day I tried with left-over paneer or cottage cheese when I was preparing rosogolla. It is simply delicious dessert exclusively from Bengal with little patience and lots of love.
for 10 nos...
one cup home-made paneer,
1/2 cup khowa / mawa (dry-milk powder),
1/2 tsp suji / rava,
3/4 cup moida / all purpose flour,
1 tsp ghee or clarified butter,
a pinch of baking powder,
1/4 tsp cardamon powder.
for sugar syrup...
2 cup sugar,
2 cup water,
1/4 tsp of kewra essence, optional.
1. Mix moida / all purpose flour with melted ghee / clarified butter unless you can give a shape when you hold in your fist. Add little more ghee if needed.
2. Crush paneer adding cardamon powder, suji and khowa / dry milk powder and baking powder. Now moida to the paneer mixture. Mix thoroughly rubbing with your palm until it becomes a nice soft dough. You don't need anything to make it soft dough but still if you feel dry and cracked then add few drops of ghee or milk to make it soft. Cover it for 10 minutes with a dampen cloth or paper napkin.
3. In a flat vessel , add water with sugar and let it boil up to two-thread consistency. Once it is done, add rose or kewra essence and keep it warm on low flame.
4. Now make 10 balls out of the dough and give an oval or triangle shape. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai or pan. When oil comes too hot then bring it to very low flame and then fry it two or three in a batch on low flame.
5. Fry until both the sides become light golden in color and then take out from the kadai.
6. Now put into sugar-syrup and let it soak into syrup for 5-10 minutes. Once it is soft and spongy , your chitrakut is ready and serve it garnishing with pistachios or any finely chopped dry fruits and sprinkle khowa or dry milk powder on the top of it.
For two-thread consistency, you take a two drops of sugar syrup in between forefinger tip and thumb and let it cool little and pull apart gently. If two threads are formed and don't break then it is called two-thread consistency.
You can prepare mawa or kheer boiling half n half milk or whole milk with dry milk powder too at home. You must use home made paneer.
Make small shape with dough as after frying and then soaking in sugar syrup it will become double the original size.
For more Bengali sweets click here.
Chamagadda / Arbi pulusu :::
This chicken fry is very simple yet delicious and a great treat for spice lovers. I found the recipe while searching for Telugu chicken recipes a year ago but didn't get chance to prepare. With very less time and effort you can serve a delicious appetizers or a side dish for daal and rasam.
1 whole chicken , cut into medium pieces,
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tbsp turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder,
10 no. fresh curry leaves,
one bunch of fresh coriander leaves,
half cup lemon juice,
salt to taste.
Oil to fry.
3-4 nos. cardamon, broken
2-3 nos. cinnamon small sticks, broken
1/4 tsp cumin seeds,
5-6 nos. green chillies, slitted.
1. Marinate chicken pieces with all the ingredients mentioned for marination with 1 tbsp of oil. Keep aside for minimum two hours.
2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a kadai or wok, add all the ingredients mentioned for seasoning. When it splutters, add marinated chicken pieces and saute a little and then let it cook covered for 15 minutes or until well-cooked.
3. Now fry nicely until oil oozes out on the top and chicken pieces are well-fried. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves and serve hot.
For more chicken recipes, click here.
Andhra Chicken / Kodi Pulao ::::
Andhra cuisine has many best preparations but I love this one the most. For so many months I wanted to try this recipe from vah re vah but dint have quiet time for this as this needs lots of patience and time for preparation but when you serve this dish, it takes all attention and you are satisfied with your effort. This chicken pulao is one exquisite pot-meal and basically needs nothing as side dishes.
2.5 lbs / 1.2 kg medium size chicken pieces,
4 small cups rice, washed
1/3 tsp shahi jeera,
5 nos. slitted green chillies,
2 nos. cloves,
2 nos. cardamon,
7-8 nos. curry leaves,
one big onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tbsp coriander powder,
3-4 tbsp oil, preferably ghee or clarified butter,
salt to taste.
1 tbsp turmeric powder,
1 tbsp red chilli powder,
salt to taste,
5-10 nos. curry leaves,
handful of chopped coriander and mint leaves,
5-8 tbsp yogurt / curd.
for ground masala...
4 tbsp poppy seeds / khaskhas,
5-7 nos. cloves,
7-8 nos. cardamons,
3-5 nos. small cinnamon,
1/2 cup fresh or frozen coconut pieces.
1/2 cup fried cashew nuts,
1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves.
1. Soak rice in a large bowl for 30 minutes.
2. Marinate chicken pieces with all the ingredients mentioned for marination
3. Dry roast all the ingredients for ground masala on low-medium flame until raw smell of poppy seeds goes off. Once done, let it cool completely and then make a smooth paste adding 1/2 cup water. Keep aside.
3. Now heat oil in a deep-bottomed pan, add shah jeera, cloves, cardamon, cinnamon and curry leaves. Saute a little and then add sliced onions adding salt. Fry for one or two minutes or when onions starts changing colors add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies. Fry for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. Cover the pan and let it cook for 4-5 minutes.
4. Once done, add coriander powder and then ground masala and saute a little.
5. Add marinated chicken pieces and fry for 5 minutes on medium flame. Then cover the pan again and let it cook for 10-12 minutes unless chicken pieces are half-done.
6. Now , add soaked rice to the pan and press lightly and then add 1 1/2 cups of water and let it cook covered for 10 minutes.
7. Now, open the lid and lightly mix rice and chicken and then add half cup of water and sprinkle fried cashew nuts and chopped coriander leaves on the top and cover the pan for another 15 minutes on very low flame. Once done, serve hot with any raita and salad.
As your taste bud permits , you can add or remove green chillies. You can remove mint leaves too.
for more rice recipes , click here.
Navratan korma :::
Navratan korma or nine-jewels curry is very popular Moghlai dish where it gets the name because of using nine different types of vegetables,fruits and nuts. You can choose your own favorite vegetables, fried nuts and add paneer too. I tried to use the true Moghlai fashion preparing cashew nut paste and cream for gravy. But you can always use healthier version too but once in a year for a special occasion we can have little more calories.
for 10 people..
12 pieces medium size paneer / cottage cheese,
one big of mixed cubed vegetables ,
one small pineapple pieces,
1 tbsp raisins,
one cup cashew nuts,
one big cup onion slices,
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tsp turmeric powder, white pepper powder, coriander powder each,
a pinch of garam masala,
half cup heavy cream,
4-5 tbsp whole milk,
1/4 tsp sugar,
3 tbsp oil.
4-5 nos. broken green cardamons,
3-4 nos. cloves,
2 inch cinnamon,
one bay leaf.
fried cashew nuts,
fresh or whipped cream.
1. Heat oil in a pan, add turmeric powder and salt and fry all the paneer pieces in small batch until all the sides become light brownish. Keep aside.
2. Boil onion slices and cashew nuts in two cups of water with little salt till onion becomes very soft. Once done, strain onions and cashew nuts and keep the water aside. When it gets cold, make a smooth paste out it adding the same water.
3. In another saucepan, boil all the vegetables with little salt till all the vegetables become soft.
4. Heat oil in a wok or deep-bottomed pan. Add cardamons,cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf and add saute a little and then add cashew nut-onion paste adding little boiled water what you used for boiling onions and cashew nuts or little warm water. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium flame for 5 mins.
5. When oil starts oozing out , add ginger-garlic paste and fry for half a minute. Then add all the dry spices and if needed add some more boiled water from step 2. Let it cook 5 minutes.
6. Add the boiled vegetables and stir carefully to coat the vegetables. Add salt and sugar and let it cook until oil oozes out or 5-6 minutes. Now add fried paneer pieces, pineapple chunks and raisins. Let it simmer while stirring occasionally.
7. Now add garam masala , cream and milk to the curry and stir carefully and let it simmer for some more time. Once done, garnish with fried cashews and little cream. Serve hot with paratha or naans.
I use beans, carrots , peas, potatoes and different bell peppers / capsicum. These vegetables and nuts are all optional and you can omit pineapples too. If you don't want to use cream then use milk little more. I wanted little spicy so added green chilies too.
For more paneer recipes , click here.
For more fish recipes, click here.