Friday, February 17, 2012

Musuri'r Daal Chocchori and Alu'r Chokha

Yesterday I woke up with a firm determination, that I will publish my first recipe. And then somebody else woke up too….

My nearly three kid, woke with high fever and diarrhea and threw up everything that I tried to feed him and as cranky as he can be. He refused to budge from my lap, Caillou and Barney couldn’t help either. A trip to the clinic confirmed a viral infection and the doc put him only on Gatorade (flavored electrolyte drink) till the diarrhea stopped or he “begged for food”.

8:30 PM – Little Sid tucked away in his bed, I crashed on the sofa hungry and exhausted. I had a Glucerna shake for lunch and have no idea what hubby had for his lunch or whether he had lunch at all.  Sam sheepishly asked if I was in a mood to cook or should he order Burrito bowl from Chipotle.

On other days I would have gone for the second option, but remember, I am in the blogging mode now. So like a perfect domestic goddess, I donned my apron and picked up the pressure cooker. Out went the one-pot Chaal (rice), Daal (dal) and Alu Sheddo (mashed potato – Bengali style), in came Musuri’r Daal er Chocchori and Alu’r Chokha – Comfort food in style!

Musuri’r Daal er Chocchori(Spicy Red Lentil Curry)
Served: 2

What I used:
Masoor Dal (split Red Lentils) – ½ Cup
Water – 1 Cup
Turmeric – a pinch
Paach Phoron (Paach Puran- Bengali Five Spice) – ½ tsp
Onion – 1 Small sliced or chopped
Ginger – 1’’ piece chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves chopped
Green clilies – 2 silted
Oil – 1 tbs
Salt – to taste
Sugar – a pinch
Corriander Leaves/ Cilantro - 3-4 sprigs

How I did it:
Pressure cook the dal with water and a pinch of turmeric for 1 whistle. Remove from flame immediately. For this chocchori (thick gravy), we don’t want a runny dal. The dal should have absorbed all the water and the grains have just cracked open. Hence the dal:water ration of 1:2 is so important here.

Heat oil in Kadai/ Frying Pan – I used a non-stick frying pan.

Once the oil is hot, temper with Paach Phoron.

When the spices starts spluttering, add the chopped garlic and ginger.

As the garlic and ginger release their aroma and get a hint of color, add the sliced onion.

Add a pinch of sugar, to help caramelize it. (tip: keep the flame low if you are leaving it unattended. I have had charred onions on a number of occasions!)

Once the onion is pinkish brown, add the dal, chilies and salt and increase the heat to bring it to a boil.

Lower the heat and let it simmer for a minute or two, so that all the flavors penetrate the dal.

Dish out and garnish with coriander leaves.

Alu’r Chokha (Stir Fried Mashed Potatoes)

Served: 2

What I used:
Potatoes – 2 nos  
Onion – 1 small finely chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves minced
Dry Red Chilies – 1 to 2 nos
Green Chilies – 3 chopped
Oil – 1½  tbs
Salt – to taste

How I did it:
Pressure cook the potatoes or boil on stovetop for 20 mins or till tender.

Mash the potatoes and keep aside.

Heat oil in Kadai/ Frying Pan – I used a non-stick frying pan.

Once the oil is hot, add the dry red chilies.

When the red chilies turn dark brown add the garlic and stir till it becomes fragrant and light brown. (be careful not to char them)

Add the chopped onions and the green chilies and fry till golden.

Add salt and the mashed potatoes and incorporate it well with the garlic-onion-chili masala.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Whiff of Spice

Born a Bangalee in a household that epitomizes "Live to Eat" philosophy, obsession about food was in my genes. Survival in new city, away from the cushioned life of home prompted me to venture in the uncharted territory called kitchen and learn the nuances quickly. And in no time my necessary chore become a hobby and now my only passion.

It's been nearly six years, since I first stumbled on a food blog, courtesy Google Search. A lot has changed ever since. Now I have a husband, a kid and diabetes to keep my hands full. Yup!! The inevitable tragedy struck pretty young!  Along with passion for food, diabetes was also in my genes from both paternal and maternal sides. I was more or less prepared for it, but I least expected it to happen when I was about to experience the most wonderful phase of my life: Motherhood! It was initially ‘Gestational Diabetes’, which refused to leave me even after my precious little bundle was out for everyone to cuddle and fondle.

When I realized that diabetes will be my companion “till death do us part”, my initial reaction was “Oh no! No more Roshogollas (cottage cheese balls in sugar syrup)”!!! And my joys knew no bound when heard that I can have them, even if it meant only once a month.

This blog is not to lecture on “Diabetic Awareness” or “Diabetic Care” or “Dos and Don’ts of Diabetes”. It’s simply a collection of recipes that I cook for myself and my family that’s tasty, healthy and also at times pure indulgence. And it also keeps my A1C down! (Not always though!)

So welcome to my blog and celebrate Food - the most delicious aspect of life; with or without diabetes!