Monday, September 30, 2013

Bread Pudding

As you probably all know by now, I am always in lookout of easy, simple and delicious recipes. Lil A comes home from her daycare being ravenously hungry. If I do not have any healthy treats handy, she will straight dive into the junk stuffs. She loves fruits but she wants something special along with the fruits. This bread pudding cannot get any more simpler and tastes very good. She was happy eating it, and kept saying, "bhalo" means good. And I was happy to put something good on her plate. 


Breads - 5-6 pieces
Raisins - 12-15 pieces
Whole milk - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 2 medium
Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Vanilla essence - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1 pinch
Cinnamon powder (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon

Cut each bread into small pieces. Or if you are impatient like me, tear the bread into random pieces and spread it on a glass baking tray. Add the raisins on top of it.

Warm the milk in a microwave for a minute. Add sugar to it and stir. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and slowly pour it to the milk with stirring. Add vanilla and cinnamon powder to it, mix well. Add the liquid on top of the breads.

Put it in the oven at 180C/300F for 50 minutes. I used the convection mode of my microwave and baked it for 50 minutes at 180C. It turned out a lovely shade of brown.

You can serve it warm or cold, and even with a scoop of ice cream. We however love to have it warm.

I converted the last image to sepia for Black and White Wednesday # 99, a culinary photography event started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and hosted this week by Priya of The Humpty Dumpty Kitchen. For participation rules, visit Cindystars blog.

Happy October, friends!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vocabulary Explosion

So that I remember.
Now and then I will post whatever Lil A is doing new, saying, watching, reading etc. These are my attempts to freeze these wonderful moments, so that I remember.

Since last ten days Lil A has an explosion of her vocabulary. I am amazed at how suddenly she went from saying very few words to framing 3 word sentences!

What is this? What are you doing? I am constantly bombarded with these two questions. But I love how she appropriately frame and asks these questions. I know, I am biased.

She points to whatever I am cooking, she is eating, any thing on her dress, any character of books and asks, "What is this?"

We went to shop the other day, and while I was eying a dress on me in the mirror, she for the first time asked me, What are you doing? I just cannot help but laugh and gave her a hug.

She carried on her conversations with these two guys at the store.

Again, the other day, suddenly she said to me, Give me back, give m-e b-a-c-k. 

She learnt this from her pre-school, when I say Goodmorning to her every morning, she says "Goodmorning Mam, Goodmorning children". LOL

While her six-month younger cousin was already talking much more than her, I thought she might follow her dad's footsteps and talk less! 

But I am happy, she is becoming a chatter box like her mamma.

Fish Plate - Black and White Wednesday # 98

I bought this fish plate from a street shop and love to serve fries in it.

I converted this photo to gray mode for Black and White Wednesday # 98, hosted this week by Lynne of Cafe Lynnylu. For participation details, please visit Cindystar blog.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ginger - Colour Me Brown Event

That I love my ginger won't be an overstatement. I add ginger paste to almost everything I cook.

 I love to add ginger to my cup of evening tea, it helps me to refresh. I always keep pieces of ginger with me to chew when I fly, it helps me with my airsickness.

Ginger is considered as a delicacy, spice end medicine. It is often called a medicinal chest and known to have many medicinal properties and is used all over the world both in sweet dishes as well as in curries. It is popular for its pickeled form too.

All these ramblings is because I am sending this photo for "The Colour Me Photography Challenge Series, Colour me Brown" for September, a photography event hosted by Priya of The Humpty Dumpty Kitchen.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mint aka Pudina Rice

Growing up I did not have any of the fancy rice except the occasional misti pulao or the common fried rice that my Maa used to cook. Never did she cook biriyani or any thing like it at home. I remember, much later she learned about jeera rice from our neighbor. But that again was a very rare event. We were always fed with plain white rice (with side dishes, of course).

After I moved to Hyderabad few months back, I had this pudina rice twice, first time at a friend's house. I really liked the minty flavour of the rice. Next time when I had it, I was hooked to it.

But I was little skeptical at first to make it because I was not sure if my very bengali husband will like it or not. I am glad that I gave it a try and it was so good in taste. Lil A also loved it. We had this rice only with plain raita and it made for a simple yet delicious dinner. Lil A kept asking for more and more raita on her rice.

Trust me, this is a very simple recipe yet the food is packed with nutrition and flavour. (And your house smells good too).


Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Onion - 1 large, chopped
Peanuts - 1 fistful
Green peas - 1 fistful
Mint Leaves - 1/2 cup (You can use 1 cup if you want more strong mint flavour)
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cardamom - 3-4
Cloves - 3-4
Ghee - 1 teaspoon
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Salt - to taste

Wash the rice and keep aside.

Chop the onions and mint leaves separately in fine pieces.

Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds, then add cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. Saute for a minute to let the nice flavour come out.

Add the onions to the pan, saute for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the peas to it, mix well. Then add the peanuts and mix for 2-3 minutes.

Add the chopped mint leaves, mix well for another 3 minutes. 

Add the washed rice to it and give it a good mix. Add salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

Transfer it into a pot, add water to it. Make sure the water level is about one inch higher than the rice.

Cook for 10-12 minutes or until cooked. Be careful not to overcook the rice. You can always drain the small amount of excess water.

This is a super easy recipe and can be made even for a weekday dinner. I actually made it on a weekday to perk me up after a bad work day.

We had this rice with raita. You can serve it with any dal, paneer curry or vegetable dish.

You can puree the onions and mint leaves together in a mixture and add it to the oil and saute it (my friend does it this way).
Also, you can add 1 tablespoon of urad or chhana dal to it along with the peas and peanuts if you like.
Also, after you mix everything in pan, you can transfer it to a microwave safe bowl and microwave it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

First Corn on Cob - Black and White Wednesday # 97

Little hands holding her first corn on the cob. She was very excited and at first thought it was an ice cream stick. Within minutes she became a pro.

 I converted this photo to sepia for Black and White Wednesday # 97, hosted this week by Simone of Briciole. For participation details, please visit Cindystar blog.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Shrimp Balls - Easiest and Yummiest Snack

Here is a very quick post, without much introduction. This is a easiest version of a yummy snack.

This was done one evening in a hurry when two of my friends suddenly said one hour ahead that they are visiting. I know, we all have certain friends who do not bother letting you know before that they are showing up because they know for sure that you will have a gala time with them (and they really do not care for the mess all around the house).

Priya of The Humpty Dumpty Kitchen (check out her awesome blog) wanted the recipe, so here you go.

(Makes around 14 balls)

Shrimp (medium size) - 10-12
Gram flour - 1&1/2 tabespoon
Onions - 1 medium, chopped fine
Chillies - 2, chopped (or as many as you like)
Gren Pepper - 1 medium, finely chopped
Ginger - 1 teaspoon, grated
Black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Cut the shrimps into small pieces. If you want you can pulse it in mixer. I did not do that though.

Except oil, add all the ingredients together. You do not have to add water, shrimps usually will release enough water. Mix them all well.

Make medium size balls. Round it even in between the palms.

Shallow fry the shrimp balls in low to medium flame, turning often, so that the shrimps get well cooked.

Your shrimp balls are ready. Yes, seriously! It is that easy.

Have it with or without tea or coffee.


You can add cilantro finely chopped to it. It makes it even tastier,

You can substitute shrimp with crumbled paneer also, for a veg snack.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ilish Mathar Chochhori

 Curry made with Hilsa head

It would not be an overstatement if I say that fish head is a culinary delicacy among the Bengalis. Fish is an integral part of our food, even a simple watery fish curry do wonders. Newly wed bengali bride are welcomed in their in-laws house with sumptuous meal that includes fried whole fish head. The jamais, son-in-laws, of the house must have a fish head on the special occasions of jamai sashti (though not a must these days). Anyway, the point is, we love our fish head curries.We even add fish head to our dal. And it makes us drool more if it is head of a Hilsa fish, my all time favorite ilish machher matha. By the way for records, I was always praised as a kid (around 8-12 years of age) for being able to eat my fish head very neatly and without any fuss. I, however, stopped liking it in my teens and did not care about those praises.

Now the curry or chochhori as we say made with head of Hilsa.


Hilsa head- 1
Eggplant: 4-5 medium, cut in cubes
Potato- 2 medium sized, cut in cubes
Onion - 1 large, chopped
Ginger - paste, 1 teaspoon
Garlic - paste, 1 teaspoon
Red chilli- 2 whole
Green chillies - 2 ( you can add more to spice it up)
Turmeric - 1+1teaspoon
Salt - To taste
Mustard Oil - 4+1 tablespoon

Rub the hilsa head well with salt and turmeric. Heat  4 tablespoon of mustard oil in the pan and fry the hilsa head very well on both the sides. Keep aside.

Crack the red chillies and add the sliced onions to it. Cook for 3-4 minutes, till the onions are pinkish and soft.

 Add the eggplant and potato pieces and saute them well, say for 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic paste, salt, turmeric and green chillies. Mix well.

Add the fried fish head and break it in the pan with spatula. Mix it well. Add 1/2 cup of warm water, cover the pan and let it simmer for next 5 minutes or till the eggplant, potatoes become soft. 

The curry will be moist in nature without excess water.

Add the remaining one teaspoon of  raw mustard oil over the curry, mix well simmer for 1 more minute, cover the pan and turn off the heat.

Your Ilish Mathar Chochhori is ready to be served with steaming white rice.

Bon appetit

P.S. I am  am sending this to Cooking 4 all seasons for the event of Side Dish Mela.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Snack Time - Black & White Wednesday # 96

Snack Time with delicious Shrimp Balls. Even more yummy with friends.

I love black and white galleries. BWW is back after summer break. Yayyy.

I modified this photo and this is my contribution for this week's Black and White Wednesday, a weekly event hosted this week by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything. For participation details, please visit Cindystar blog.