|Clockwise from top left|
Ohno Khauk Swe in the Bowl
Saturday, May 12, 2018
|Dimer Dhokar Dalna|
Dhoka, which means fake or deceptive in Bengali, refers to the vegetarian substitute for meat served on auspicious occasions. Dhokar Dalna is generally made with lentil cakes in gravy. The lentil cake method is tedious and time-consuming requiring soaking the lentils overnight, blending them the next day and cooking the paste until all liquid evaporates, then cutting the cake in cubes and frying the cubes until browned. In the process, a lot of oil is used and a lot of effort expended.
Dimer Dhoka is much simpler to make, although it would not be considered a vegetarian dish. It doesn't require as much preparation and uses a lot less oil.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
This meatball stroganoff was popular when our own boys were growing up and it was delegated to hubby to make the meatballs from scratch. The aroma of garlicky mushrooms and browning meatballs simmering in mushroom soup and sour cream would cause neighbours to drop by for a taste test. But that was many moons ago and became a distant memory until today.
I hope Grand-Boy #2 likes it as much as I do.
Wednesday, May 09, 2018
|Panch Mishali Tarkari|
Coconut milk makes it extra special by imparting a creamy quality to the vegetables.
Friday, May 04, 2018
I have blogged about a few of these ways - Fish Head Pilaf, Squash with Fish Head and Bottle Gourd with Fish Heads. Toasted mung bean lentils serves as a creamy base for fish heads. The whole head is pan-fried to a golden brown crisp before immersing in the lentils to finish cooking.
Served with a steaming bowl of Basmati rice, I need nothing more than some peace and quiet so I can focus on removing the bones which is a huge part of enjoying this dish.
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
The videos make it look pretty simple - all that's required is a pressure cooker and the ingredients for Doi Maach or fish cooked in yogurt gravy. The store owner was a friendly soul from Chittagong who was happy to clean and cut the ilish I picked out.
Ilish (the closest to an American fish is Shad) is a fatty fish that's rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. It's taste and aroma when cooked is quite spectacular. I decided to follow the instructions in the video so what we had was Doi Ilish or ilish in yogurt gravy.
Cooking the fish for 1.5 hours under pressure was pretty daunting, but there was no reason to worry because there was plenty of gravy left and it didn't stick to the bottom of the pressure cooker. The secret? To use lots of sliced onions as the first layer and to bring it up to pressure and reduce the heat to its lowest setting then forgetting about it for 1.5 hours.
The videos recommended simmering off the excess gravy for another half an hour after removing the cooker cover, but there was no need to do that because the amount of gravy was perfect! The dish tasted awesome and the best part of this experiment was to watch the hubster/DH eat a whole piece of fish. The bones really did soften, reminiscent of sardines or salmon in the can.
Friday, April 20, 2018
|Toasted Mung Beans with Cauliflower|
This lentil dish is a great side dish to add to any festive meal. Split mung beans are toasted to a golden brown, washed and cooked until soft then combined with stir-fried cauli-florets, ginger paste and garam masala powder. A pinch of sugar and salt to taste season the lentils. It's finally garnished with cilantro, green chilies and of course, ghee.
The sauce is easy to prepare too, because all it requires is for the onions and garlic to be blanched in boiling water and blended with tomatoes, a green chili and ginger, then stir-fried with spices and the potatoes and combined with the eggs.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
|Begun Alu Posto|
White poppy seeds, soaked in boiling water and ground with salt until thick and creamy is best served for lunch because it induces a restful afternoon nap. I love posto stir-fried with any vegetable. Add shrimp to it for boosted flavour and call it a main dish.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
|Surimi in Black Bean Sauce|
|Louis Kemp Crab Delights|
|Lee Kum Kee Chili Black Bean Sauce|
Sunday, April 15, 2018
|Reshmi Chicken Wings|
These melt-in-the-mouth, fall-off-the-bone chicken wings were marinated overnight in salt & pepper, oil, and Greek yogurt whipped with ginger and garlic pastes. It's a quick and easy dish to serve at lunch or as a starter to a more elaborate Indian meal.
|Meijer's Fresh Chicken Wings|
They started with a 2 lb. package of chicken wings which were segmented into drummettes and wings. I saved the wing tips for noodle soup later in the week. The wings came out meaty and juicy and were ready to serve in 30 minutes, after being marinated overnight.
Wednesday, April 04, 2018
|Murgi'r Malai Curry|
Malai Curry refers to anything that is simmered in spices and coconut milk. For those who are allergic or don't like coconut, evaporated milk can be used in its stead. Even when coconut milk is used, a few teaspoons of evaporated milk added towards the end makes the gravy smooth and extra creamy.
My niece introduced me to the ease with which chicken tenderloin pieces cook, especially in gravy dishes. Simmering them for just 20 minutes is enough to tenderise the chicken so dinner is ready in 30 minutes.
Chicken curry tastes best served with long-grain rice, but any variety of Indian bread goes just as well.
Sunday, April 01, 2018
|Tilapia in Mustard Sauce|
While I was cruising around an Asian supermarket, I came across a bottle of "hot dressing oil". Turns out, it's a concentrated combination of mustard oil and wasabi oil. It has a fantastic aroma and made me tear up because it's so pungent. Just 10-12 drops of this oil applied to the fish while it was left to marinate gave it the perfect touch of mustard oil flavour.
Here's one of the easiest ways to prepare fish curry.
Friday, March 23, 2018
|Nga Hsi Pyan|
|Fried Okra Smothered in |
Toasted Chickpea Flour
Keep the okra dry at all times, so wash the pods and dry overnight before cutting or wipe each pod dry before cutting. Toss the cut okra in sufficient amchur (dried mango powder) before cooking. Fry the okra in oil until de-alkalized before seasoning or adding chopped onions and tomatoes. Toss the cooked okra with toasted chickpea flour and toast some more until it turns golden brown.
To add a Burmese flavour to this dish, I seasoned the chickpea flour with dried shrimp powder and seasoned the okra with fish sauce instead of salt, before frying with onions, garlic and tomatoes.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
|Burmese Spinach & Eggplants|
I fry the eggplant first then add the spinach, cooking it just until wilted.The leaves have to be moved from the bottom of the pan to the top several times because the pan is usually too small to accommodate the entire contents of the bag or tub.
To emulate the tangy flavour of sorrel and roselle leaves (chin baung ywet in Burmese), I add the juice of a lime just before removing this dish from the stove.
Monday, March 12, 2018
|Hsi Hta Min|
Saturday, February 17, 2018
|Shan Tofu Kyet|
This tofu dish is usually served as a side dish with steamed long-grain rice accompanied by meat or fish and some vegetable soup (hin cho).
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
It's obvious I need to visit the Indian market because there's not a drop of mustard oil at home. Fortunately, there's a bottle of kasundi (mustard sauce) in the fridge which worked well to give this mash the hint of mustard it needs.
|Basmati Rice & Russet Potato|
Cooked in Microwave Oven
It takes 18 minutes for basmati rice to cook to perfection in the microwave which was perfect for the russet potato as well. The potato can also be cooked in rice in a rice cooker. Just to be on the safe side, I cut the potato in half to make sure it cooked all the way through.
Monday, February 12, 2018
|Chicken & Spinach Fit for a King!|
Saturday, February 10, 2018
|Whole Roasted Eggplant|
Begun (eggplant) Pora (burnt) gets its name from the way in which this dish is prepared. Using the big globe eggplant, slits are made on the bottom opposite the stalk end, rubbed with oil and baked in a 400*F oven for 30 minutes or so. Turning the eggplant occasionally, it is baked until the skin appears singed and wrinkled and the center is soft when tested for doneness. Alternatively, it can be charred over an open gas flame or placed on an iron skillet on the stovetop and grilled. After it comes to room temperature, the skin is removed and the pulp is hand-mixed with salt and mustard oil along with diced onions, green chilies and cilantro. It is served as a salad or first course in a meal, and is eaten with steamed rice.
|Boy or Girl?|
Look for a firm, glossy skin and pick the lightest eggplant in the pile. The heavier ones have more seeds and could be bitter to the taste. A good clue to picking a practically seedless eggplant is to check the bellybutton at the bottom. Pick the one with the roundest navel (boy eggplant) as opposed to an elongated navel (girl eggplant). Believe it or not, eggplant(s?) are not gender-neutral and the boy eggplant is better for eating because it has less seeds.
Friday, February 09, 2018
Sambar is a South-Indian dish of lentils & vegetables that is usually fiery & spicy and I love it. Hubby, however, can't tolerate spicy food so when I cook this at home it is much milder with the spices toned down several notches, which is why I refer to it as Bengali or simple sambar. This dish is generally made with toor dal or yellow split pigeon peas, and any vegetables you have on hand.
Any variety of fish can be prepared in this way. I've used red snapper here and in the past have made this with filleted and bone-in tilapia, catfish and shrimp. The shrimp tasted delicious!
Best served with basmati rice, this serves as a main course, accompanied by a vegetable and dal.
Thursday, February 01, 2018
Years ago, while I was still a working woman, a co-worker brought in this snack for a potluck. It's so crunchy, delicious, and easy to assemble that I wonder why I don't make it more often.
It needs just 5 ingredients and 20 minutes to bake.