Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Diwali Mini Vegetarian Thali ~ Wish You All A Dazzling And Prosperous Diwali


Dear Readers How are you all celebrating Diwali this year? For me Diwali starts and ends with food. I will be preparing a vegetarian Lunch Thali. Also there will be sweets galore and a very special sweet called Zauq E Shahi which means Royal taste and is mini Gulab Jamuns served in Rabri. In the evening when a thousand Diyas (Earthen lamp with a wick dipped in oil) will illuminate my home I will join my hands in prayer and just like every Diwali, this Diwali too, I will pray for Light over Darkness, Hope over Despair, Good over Evil and Love over Hatred. Along with all this I shall repeat something in my mind which I had promised myself to do many years ago. I will once again uphold my promise of embracing every aspect of the Globe while being rooted to my Rich Indian Culture and tradition. That's what my food too shall always reflect. Global with an Indian Soul.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Zauq E Shahi Recipe / Mini Gulab Jamun In Rabri / Fried Khoya ( Milk Solid ) Balls In Very Thick Milk


Zauk E Shahi translates to Royal Taste. This dessert from the Awadhi Cuisine treasure trove combines the very popular Gulab Jamun with the quintessential Rabri. While trying to trace the history of the Gulab Jamun, I came across this very interesting story of it's nemesis. I am not sure whether this is a folklore or there is some truth in it. Nonetheless since I was fascinated with the story, I had to share it with you my wonderful readers. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka Recipe / Spicy Dry Cauliflower Curry From Chettinad


I am an ardent lover of Chettinad Cuisine. For those of you who are not familiar, Chettinad Cuisine is the food that the Nattukotai Chettiar community from the Chettinad Region in the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu, cook in their home. This beautiful hamlet is not only known for its rich cultural heritage, ornate magnificent homes with large kitchens, but most importantly the Spice trade which thrived between the Chettiar community with countries like Burma, Java, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Mauritius in ancient times. No wonder their food is resplendent with taste and aroma infused by the use of these perfumed spices. 


For my family it is inevitable to gorge on either Chicken Chettinad (get the recipe by clicking on Chicken Chettinad. It is the most viewed post on my Blog) or Chettinad Chicken Chukka when we eat at a restaurant serving Chettinad Cuisine. After I had managed to get hold of the Recipe of Chettinad Chicken Chukka, I started cooking the dish at home. When at lunch or dinner get togethers, the fragrant Chettinad Chicken Chukka, would get my vegetarian friends intrigued, I decided to try out with vegetables, soya chunks, cottage cheese etc., so that even they would not be left out from experiencing this moreish Culinary creation of the Chettiers  The ingredient which was unanimously loved by one and all in the famous Chettinad Chukka Masala, was Cauliflower. Now Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka is always on the menu whenever it's non vegetarian counterpart is there. Not only that Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka has won the heart of many of my fierce meat loving friends and family.

The Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka retains each and every ingredient that is used in the non vegetarian version. Only Cauliflower replaces the meat here. The result is a pure gastronomic delight. I can guarantee that this recipe results in a dish which many find it hard to believe that it is homemade as the taste is absolutely similar to that of a restaurant. So while planning for the Diwali Lunch Menu, which is a pure vegetarian menu, Chettinad Chicken Chukka had to be there. A very simple dish to cook, the melange of spices used are responsible for making this iconic curry what it is. Like I always emphasize that the best curries are a result of freshly ground spices, this one is no different. So let us take a look at the ingredients.

Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka Recipe / Spicy Dry Cauliflower Curry From Chettinad ~

AUTHOR ~ PIYALI S. MUTHA
SERVES ~ 4
CUISINE ~ CHETTINAD, SOUTH INDIAN
TYPE ~ CURRY
TIME ~ 10 MINUTES PREPARATION + 20 MINUTES COOKING

INGREDIENTS ~

500 Gms. Cauliflower Florets, cut into large pieces
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 Large Tomato, chopped
4 Dry Red Chillies, torn into pieces
1 Tsp Husked Split Black Gram / Urad Dal
1/2 Tsp Fennel Seeds / Saunf
1/2 Inch Cinnamon, piece
2 Cloves
2 Green Cardamom Pods
5~6 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1/2 Tsp Ginger Paste
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/2 Tsp Black Peppercorn, crushed
6~7 Cashew Nuts
1 Sprig Curry Leaves
2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, fresh, chopped
2 Tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

Let's Cook Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka in easy steps ~

1) Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. When hot, add Split Husked Black Gram, Dry Red Chillies, Fennel Seeds, Cinnamon, Cloves, Green Cardamom, Cashew Nuts and fry them. 

** When the spices become aromatic and the Cashew nuts and black gram turn golden, add curry leaves. Fry. 

** Add the onions. Fry them.

** When the onions turn transparent, add the crushed garlic. Continue frying till the garlic looses its raw smell.

** Next add Ginger paste and keep frying the Masala.

** Next add turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Keep frying.

** Now add tomato and keep frying.

** Once the tomato softens, add 1/2 Cup Water and let the Masala cook completely.

2) Once the water dries up add the cauliflower florets. Move your spatula to and fro, so as to coat the cauliflower florets with the Masala. 

** Season with salt.

** Simmer Cover and cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes.

** Now add the Crushed Pepper Corn. Mix well.

** Depending on how much more your cauliflower needs to cook, you may once again cover and cook. We want the cauliflower florets to be slightly firm and not too soft.

** Once the cauliflower florets are cooked, fry them along with the Masala till oil oozes out from the sides of the wok or frying pan.

** Garnish with coriander leaves. 

Transfer to a serving bowl. Your Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka is ready to serve.






Reference ~

Chef Tamilarason from Anjappar Chettinad Restaurant 







Would Love To Hear From You. Do Leave Your Valuable Feedback In The Comments Below. If You Have Tried This Recipe Please Let Me Know How It Turned Out. If You Have Any Queries Regarding This Or Any Other Recipe In My Blog, Please Feel Free To Leave A Comment Here Or Email Me At piyalimutha@gmail.com . For The Latest Updates Of My Blog And Loads Of Food Stories Stay Tuned To My Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flipboard Accounts. Let The Food Adventure Continue In Your Kitchen...

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Beetroot Paneer Curry Recipe / Lightly Grilled Cottage Cheese In Creamy Beetroot Curry


Whenever I am working with Beetroot I keep staring at that gorgeous colour that splashes out and kisses my fingers with love. Indeed as Red symbolizes the colour of love, I feel that there is a heart connection we have with the beetroot. For me it is the vegetable of love. Speaking about the heart connection, Beetroot loves your heart and your heart , the most important organ in your body remains healthy if you allow the love of Beetroot to spread over it. How? Without going into the technicalities, I would like to put down here, that Beetroot has high concentration of dietary Nitrate which our body processes into Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide in turn is known to help our blood vessels relax. As our blood vessels relax, there is a reduction in our blood pressure. Reduced Blood Pressure means Reduced Chances of Heart Diseases and Stroke. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Khirer Chapa Mishti / Traditional Bengali Style Milk Fudge


I am a huge fan of tradition, rituals which define our festivals, celebrations and food which has been passed down from one generation to another. Although I am at the same time big into neo cuisine, fusion dishes, global cuisine, molecular gastronomy etc. a part of me is always on the lookout for recipes which have been lost in the tides of time, recipes which are slowly disappearing from our kitchen because of our busy lifestyle. This is solely my opinion, that, as we embrace the neo we should not let go of our years and years of culture and tradition. They are what defines us. As we cannot imagine a tree without roots, I feel we too would be rootless without our cultural heritage, which for me is unthinkable.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Dhaka Style Kacchi Chicken Biryani Recipe / A Distinct Type Of Chicken Biryani From Dhaka, Bangladesh


Life those days was overflowing with selfless, unadulterated, Shat pratishat shudh desi ghee (100% pure Desi Clarified Butter) type of Love. Two sets of grandparents, two dozen uncles and aunts from both sides and off course the most wonderful parents were showering their love on me and my sister and cousins my age or couple of years elder or younger. Life was all about going to school, studying, playing outdoors and on holidays reading my story books, reciting poems from my favourite Bengali and English poets, going for a ride on Baba's Lambretta Scooter. These Italian scooters were in Vogue those days. Scooters in general was romanticized and made a dream ride when the debonair Hollywood Legend Gregory Peck rode one in the movie "Roman Holiday". Baba being an ardent Gregory Peck fan, having watched all his movies would ditch his Ambassador car for his Lambretta scooter many a times. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Sweet Pineapple Chutney Recipe


For Bengalis Chutney is always emotionally yours. Chutney not served or missed during the course of a grand meal, can result in a small heartbreak of the diner. Chutney is an integral part of a Bengali meal and without Chutney being served a Bengali feast remains incomplete. Whenever a meal for guests in a Bengali house is being planned Chutney, Papad, Mishti and Doi(Sweet Yogurt) are a must. Initially it was the tomato chutney which was omnipresent in all the platters and then came Mango, Dates, Mango Leather (Aam Shotto), Kamranga ( Star fruit), Chalta ( Elephant Apple), Pineapple etc. etc. until a brigade of Chutneys was formed and this kept on growing with each passing year. Ah!!! the taste of each of these relishes are still fresh on my taste buds even to this day.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Chironji Ki Dal Recipe / Gluten Free Curry Made With Chironji ~ Navratri Vrat Recipes


Rituals, age old traditions which we bring out from our rich cultural heritage treasure chest, are responsible for all the smiles, happiness and warmth around, when the festivities are in full swing. I have been a keen and inquisitive observer of these ceremonial practices from the time I was a little girl. Some of these customs fascinated me, some of them intrigued me and most of them made me ask the family elders innumerable questions. Yesterday was celebrated as Shashti, the day which heralds the beginning of Durga Puja and Bengalis follow some rituals on that day. These rituals are outlined in our scriptures and are abided accordingly. Kalp~Arambha is the ritual performed before the beginning of Durga Puja. Kalp~Arambha is the ritual of taking a pledge (sankalp) to follow each and very custom and ritual as is mentioned in the books without any deviation whatsoever. 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Baked Malai Sandesh Recipe / Baked Sweet Cottage Cheese In Thickened Milk ~ Shubho Mahalaya


I wake up with a jolt and a pounding heart and strain my eyes to look through the dark room. Collecting my self and my thoughts I wonder what woke me up so early. I pick up my mobile and see the time. It's 3 a.m. in Dubai. My eyes fall on the missed call and I scroll down to see that Ma had called. In a flash everything comes back and my eyes light up with a broad smile. I take a deep breath and try to imagine the intoxicating aroma of the pristine white Shiuli Phool (Night Flowering Jasmine). Then I tip toe out of the room, walk downstairs and open the door. As I step out neither can I feel the nip in the air, nor can I see the dancing kash phool (Kans grass native to India) in the far horizon. It's still far from being cold and in the light of my house I can see only Palm trees. Sigh!! I am in Dubai and not in Kolkata, where my heart is. Today is Mahalaya, a very special day for Bengalis. I sit in my garden and call Ma. All she says is "Shon" (listen) and then the most familiar voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra buzzes into my ears, as my eyes swell up with tears.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Murgh Methi Malai Recipe / Chicken Cooked In Fenugreek Leaves And Fresh Cream


I look at the cardboard boxes sprawled across my once spic and span home, some half full, some taped and closed with marker scribbled words of what it contains inside written on top. The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus's doctrine says "Change is the only constant" and so true it is. Change has remained the only constant factor in my life so far. It all started from the first change of sharing my parents room, to my own room, then sharing my room with my sister, changing out into my Engineering college hostel room, to my first salary rented flat, then to my in-laws home after marriage, many other cities and homes later to this one in Dubai and again I am changing to a new abode which I will turn into a home in time.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Raspberry Bhapa Doi Recipe / Raspberry Flavoured Steamed Yogurt ( Bengali Style )


Stories are a powerful tool to weave dreams, reality, imagination, sometimes unreal, fictitious things through a web of beautiful words and then enclose them inside illustrated pages of intrigue with the potentially of picking you up gently and placing you down on those wings which then fly you into a world created by the storyteller. I may have been a year and a half old, barely capable of lifting my little self and perching myself up on the bed surrounded by fluffy pillows on all sides to break my fall in case I happened to get a wee bit adventurous. Baba would place in front of me colorful story books whose three dimensional pages would stand up before my twinkling eyes, wide with anticipation. I am told that I would sit for hours looking at them, amidst adorable sounds of cooing, gurgling, babbling, just too happy to be amongst those imaginary characters popping out of my story books.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Pista Gulkand Laddu Recipe / Dairy Free, No Cook, Pistachio & Rose Petals Sweet Preserve Bites / Vegan Pistachio & Rose Petals Preserve Sweets Recipe


I have been in a race with the Sun for many years now. That I rarely win the race is another thing. The Sun manages to beat me on most days, cause by the time I am waking up and stretching my lazy bones, he is outside my window winking at me and teasing me that while he has been up and shining, I am still struggling to wiggle myself out of those feather soft sheets. That feeling of just a few minutes more and then I will be "as fresh as a daisy", has neither ceased nor diminished from my school going days till now. Back then I used to think that feeling like this was exclusively for children, as I would always find an ear to ear smiling Mother with no traces of any "I want to sleep a little more" on her face, nudging me up awake every morning. I would think then that in mothers maybe that state of mind is non-existent, but nothing like that happened with me after I donned the role of a mother. I still struggle, every single day to tear my head away from those clouds of softness, waiting keenly for the weekends, when I thankfully don't have to race with the Sun.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Pesarapappu Timmanam Recipe / Andhra Style Moong Dal Phirni Recipe / Husked Split Mung Beans And Coconut Pudding Recipe


Eons ago when a lady looking like an Indian Goddess from my childhood mythological books, resplendent in a fuchsia coloured Kanjeevaram saree, with her tresses adorning jasmine flowers stringed together, had taken my hand and welcomed me into an abode which she had for years nurtured with love, care, discipline, traditions and deep rooted values, little did I realise that one day she would become my biggest strength and I would emulate her in all aspects of my life. As a coy demure bride, seeped in apprehensions, with a fluttering heart, I had held her hand as she led me one step at a time into her world, a world which she had created brick by brick through rain and sunshine, filled it with smiles, a world where love was genuine, selfless, a world which would become my refuge of comfort and solace for my entire life.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bengali Style Beetroot Chutney Recipe / Beetroot Relish In Bengali Style Recipe


Whenever my eyes gaze through the bountiful colours around, which the Creator keeps filling in, on this huge canvas called nature, I wonder what magic and love the Creator combines to be able to paint each and every bit of this vast landscape with exotic colours. I remember watching this Disney movie called Tinker-bell where fluorescent pattern winged fairies are responsible for all the enchantment we see around. Whatever be the reason of their nemesis the hues of nature cannot be matched ever with the manmade artificial colours. The colours of the pink dragonfruit or the minty green from the spear mint leaves, the tangerine hued Oranges, the Gold dusted turmeric, the amber kissed saffron or the ruby red painted beetroot, nothing oh nothing can bring the smile upto my eyes than a hand with tinted fingers, splashed with gorgeousness from these brilliant shades.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Potato Ghee Roast Recipe / Mangalorean Potato Ghee Roast Recipe


Most of us have at some point or the other heard or seen in a restaurant menu the Bunt Tuluva Mangalorean delicacy Chicken Ghee Roast. I wanted to replicate this speciality dish by substituting the chicken with a vegetable. I however wanted to retain the fiery colour, the spicy aromas and the stellar taste of the original dish. So here I am with a vegetarian version Potato Ghee Roast. I have tried my best to retain the originality both visually and in terms of flavour. My friends and family were delighted after tasting my Potato Ghee Roast and I received a positive feedback from them. Now, I sincerely hope that my readers, too will give a thumbs up both after they have seen the pictures of my Potato Ghee Roast and tried out the recipe.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Kundapur Masala Powder Recipe / Mangalorean Spice Mix Powder Recipe / Taal Masala Recipe / Bunt Style Masala Powder Recipe


Kundapur Masala Powder is an indigenous, versatile spice mix which is used to flavour and give a distinct charater to the universally popular Mangalorean Bunt Community specialty dish known as "Chicken Ghee Roast". This spice mix powder is said to have originated in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka from a coastal town called Kundapur. The Kundapur Masala Powder is believed to have had its genesis in the kitchens of the very popular Shetty Lunch Homes. So if you happen to visit Kundapur do surely take time out to sample the Chicken Ghee Roast at Shetty Lunch Home. Till then, you can refer to the ingredients given below and get the spice mix ready to be able to prepare Chicken Ghee Roast or Potato Ghee Roast (for my vegetarian friends) in your kitchen easily no matter whether you are located in Boston, Brussels or Borneo.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Padampuri Murg Recipe / Khoya Chicken Recipe


Padampuri Murg is a Chicken delicacy from Padampur located in the princely state of Rajasthan in India. This is probably one of the creamiest chicken dishes that you might have ever tasted. The Khoya/Khoa or milk solids used to cook this dish is primarily responsible for the rich silky texture of it's gravy. Along with yogurt and pure desi Ghee (clarified butter) added generously, this dish is not at all for the faint hearted . The indigenous spice mix which is added to the curry is resplendent with fiery red chilies, black cumin (kalonji) and other spices that gives the dish a perfect balance of flavours, a unique taste and a light lingering aroma. One spoonful in your mouth and your taste buds will dance to the power house of flavours which makes this dish truly befitting to be served at any Royal fare.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Jaozi Halwa Recipe / Nutmeg Halva Recipe / Jaiphal Halwa Recipe


I am heralding the third anniversary celebrations of my Blog with a very Royal, laced in history and immensely loved sweet Jaozi Halwa. Preparing this sweet confection to mark the celebrations was a befitting ode to my labour of love, my reservoir of food passion and my journal of culinary stories. My Blog holds an extra special place in my life and I have nurtured it with fervour and fueled it with the love and encouragement from my dearest readers, my co food enthusiasts and zealous gastronomic friends.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani Recipe / Calcutta Chicken Biryani Recipe


Kolkata ~ the city of Joy, for me, apart from being the city where my family and extended family have lived for decades, is the city where food and sports are woven into the very fabric of the life of the people. A city which breathes football and cricket, a city where food is a passion and a way to express the rich cultural heritage of this vibrant city. Today let's take a virtual tour through the essence of the most famous and popular dish from here, Calcutta Biryani or Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Kolkata Biryani Masala Recipe / Calcutta Style Biryani Spice Powder Recipe



KOLKATA BIRYANI MASALA holds the complete essence of the much loved Kolkata or Calcutta Style of Biryani. Without this indigenous spice mix you will not be able to achieve that flavour or aroma which is quintessential of Kolkata Biryani. By using the Kolkata Biryani Spice Powder you will get similar results with your Kolkata Biryani in terms of taste and fragrance as that of Kolkata residents, no matter in which country of the world you live. All you have to do is diligently note down the ingredients, which luckily, nowadays are available in an Indian store near you or online, dry roast, hand pound and voila have your own bottle of Kolkata Biryani Masala Powder.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Hyderabadi Dum Ka Murgh Recipe / Hyderabad Style Slow Steam Cooked Chicken Curry Recipe


Dear Culinary Enthusiasts and Food Adventurers here I am again, though after a long interval, sharing with you a very dear recipe from my mum-in-law's repertoire, HYDERABADI DUM KA MURGH. As the name suggests this dish originates from the Indian city, known worldwide for its royal past, the magnificent monument Charminar and lipsmacking cuisne, HYDERABAD. This is a chicken dish where the chicken is marinated in distinct but simple spices and aromatics, then cooked on Dum, meaning its own steam, very slowly, resulting in a ridiculously delicious Chicken Curry, which I can bet will have you cooking this dish again and again, on demand, in your kitchen till you loose count of it.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Churmur Recipe / Kolkata Street Food Churmur Chaat Recipe / Indian Street Food


Churmur or Churmur Chaat is a tasty street side snack from Kolkata, India. It has boiled potato as its base and the tongue tapping build up of this snack is done by adding veggies, condiments, fritters, flavoured liquids etc. resulting in a flavour bomb which is sure to delight your senses. There are different ways of making this and every street food vendor selling Churmur has his own touches added to this. What's wonderful about this snack is that you do not have to visit Kolkata to experience that immense flavour burst. You can make it in your home by following my easy step-wise pictorial recipe, given right below. But one thing I must tell you, whenever you visit the City Of Joy, Kolkata do surely stop by at a roadside Phuchka Cart and try Churmur from there.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Cauliflower Burfi Recipe / Kabishambardhana Barfi Recipe / Cauliflower Fudge Recipe


Hello Beautiful People. A sizeable portion of my lovely readers worldwide must be immersed in the preparations of celebrating Diwali ~ The Festival Of Lights. The number of sweets that has swept over Social Media has already kick-started the festivities a week back. Going through the numerous sweet and savoury recipes I was thinking to myself, thanks to Social Media we get to see Recipes from every nook and corner of India and try them in our home kitchen without having to travel to that part right away. Wonderful isn't it? 

Monday, 17 October 2016

Nolen Gurer Payesh Recipe / Patali Gurer Payesh / Rice Pudding Made With Date Palm Jaggery Recipe ~ Rejoicing My Culturally Rich Roots


I have always loved rituals, customs, traditions that we follow as a part of celebrating our festivals in India. It's these little little things that make the whole event so exciting and enjoyable. I have inevitably looked forward to festivals so that I could be a part of these wonderful customs that they observe. I am sure many of you, beautiful people, will echo my thoughts. No matter which part of the globe you belong to, you must also be having  your own sets of rituals and age old traditions. In my numerous travels I have repeatedly found that people all over the world, while celebrating festivals follow each and every ceremony religiously, which has been passed on through generations, till date, with equal fervour and joy.