Sunday, 18 January 2015

A quickie which will comfort your belly !

Do you have guests coming over and no time to cook? Are you famishing but want to have something nice to eat? Stressed and looking for some comfort food? The answer to all of this is a simple yet delicious chicken and mushroom recipe.

Nicely wash medium sized chicken (with or without bones), pat them dry and arrange them in a roasting tray. Add some diced potatoes in the tray. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a bit of oil. Roast in oven for 20-30 mins or until the chicken is done nicely. Meanwhile slice onions and finely chop garlic. In a pan add some oil and chopped onion n garlic. Do not fry them too much. Once onions are a bit translucent add mushrooms and fry them nicely. Once mushrooms look done add fresh cream to it and mix well, bring to boil. Now, take out the roasting tray from oven with roasted chicken and potatoes, add the cream and mushroom mix over it and mix well. Put back the tray in over for like 5 to 10 mins and serve hot with bread or rice.

If you are feeling too lazy, along with chicken and potatoes, also add onions, garlic and mushroom and let it roast until chicken is done nicely. After 25-30 mins, add fresh cream mix weel, put the tray in oven for another 5-10 mins and serve hot.

This recipe is from my girlfriend and it never fails! Let me know if you try this recipe and also if you have a slightly different version of this. Unfortunately I couldn't get a picture of this dish but most probably I will make it soon and update this post with a picture. Meanwhile, happy cooking!!

PS: I stumbled upon the following article and thought might be helpful for others as well, 'This Infographic Shows the Phytonutrients You Need to Stay Healthy'.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Eggetarian's paradise: Yolkshire

I have recently been in Pune to visit my younger brother and get some official work done. My brother wanted to treat me for my birthday and gave a couple of restaurant options. Of the restaurants, this name caught my attention: 'Yolk-shire'. And I will never regret this choice. I love eggs, I can have it all through the day. And this place serves egg based dishes. The menu, or as they call it 'Hatching Now', includes from a simple omelette and scrambled eggs to eggs in burgers and sandwiches and the more fancy omelette florentine. And the price rather wont burn any holes in your pocket.

This restaurant is styled like a cafe with outside sitting arrangements. Situated near Karishma Society in Pune and surrounded by other nice eating joints. But once you try food at Yolkshire you won't regret. We ordered a Mexican Salsa Verde and Omelette Reve and we got served not only the main dish but accompaniments like baked beans in tomato sauce, a green leafy salad, some sauteed potatoes and buttered toast. Mexican Salsa Verde was an omelette wrap filled with shredded chicken and green salsa (as the name suggests). The filling was a bit tangy and that definitely added an extra edge to this whole dish. While, the Omelette Reve was again an omelette wrap filled with chunks of chicken in a tomato and red pepper sauce. This was yummy as well!

This place also offers eggs cooked in Lebanese, Thai and Indian style to name a few, a lot of options indeed. They also serve Irish Breakfast, always brings a smile to my face. So many options that I have a strong urge to go back again and try some new dishes. I would definitely recommend all egg lovers to this place. A very unique place and definitely worth the price. To top it all up there is a shop selling 'Cad B', a super thick cadbury chocolate milk shake. Definitely try this Cad B once.

So, Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao ande; and what better than at Yolkshire :-)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The all time favourite Posto

If you want to identify a Bengali in a group, apart from being loud, just call out 'Posto' and they will turn around with hungry eyes. Posto basically is poppy seeds (yes, readily available all over India). A brilliant constituent of Bengali cuisine. Use the seeds in a batter for fried potatoes, make a paste of the seeds and use it as a base to many of the Mughlai sauces and vegetable curries or just mix the paste with mustard oil, green chillies, onion slices and salt .... Yummm! Although some might say that this love of bongs for posto is a myth and to be honest I know a couple of people who are not-so-fan of it. However, I guess once you leave home, you miss it.

So, today my mom made Alu-Posto (Potato curry with poppy seed paste) and immediately I knew what is going to be my first recipe. After all this in-depth information, you must be sure I belong to the "I can Kill for Posto" category. And trust me, as much as you think you can never recreate your mother-grandmother's magic in kitchen, this recipe is not that difficult. Also, poppy seed paste has such a versatile character that this recipe can have several variations, whichever way you like it. I will first write the simple recipe for Alu-posto and at the end of the post will give you the variations possible according to me, at least the ones I know.

Also, I don't believe in the conventional ways of giving recipes; 2 tablespoon of oil, 1/2 tablespoon of salt etc. Since when I started cooking I had no clue about volumes and I still trust my touch and smell and taste rather than those tablespoon values, I would be giving rough volumes. Don't feel shy to try out and fail. I have done million times and I am proud of them. Anyways those stories will come eventually...

So, for 2 people, get 2 big sized potatoes. Wash them properly. You can peel off the skin or if you are in India and you get new season potatoes, just leave the skin on. Cut them into small pieces and soak them in water. Now for poppy seeds, easily available in India all around however, was a bit difficult and expensive to find in Europe. But Asian shops are life savers and you can get them. For this recipe you need a paste of poppy seeds. When I went back to Europe after my vacations for the first time I had carried dry-grounded poppy seeds sealed it an air-tight pack. I used it for almost a year. If you are doing fresh, grind with a bit of salt and a green chilli. If using from powdered, mix the powder with warm water and a bit of salt.

In a pan heat some oil, does not need to be a lot, preferably mustard. Add potatoes and a slit green chilli and salt (remember you have salt in poppy paste as well). Fry the potatoes till they are almost done. If you think, add a bit of water and cover the pan for the potatoes to boil n become soft. Once done add the poppy seed paste and mix well. Well, that's it. We have Alu-Posto ready!

So now the variants of this dish. You can add onions along with potatoes and/or tomatoes. You can also replace potatoes with just onions and tomatoes, one of my favorites. You can also add other green veggies (potol, okra, zucchini, aubergines, boiled eggs!) with or without potatoes. You may have to just change the recipe a bit according to the ingredients used. So, as you can understand why I said, 'posto has a versatile character'!

Hope this recipe helps as well as the tips and tricks I have jotted down here. Here is a picture of Alu-Posto my mom cooked today with new season potatoes.
Happy experimenting! (-:

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Welcome myself !!

Happy 2015 all!

Hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season. Family, food and laziness; that’s all we want  for holidays. So, I have been thinking about blogging for quite some time, but never got into it, although I have made my girlfriend write a blog on books. Since these days I am looking for something new to do in life, why not start blogging. And why not on food and cooking, my favorite hobbies. Most of the foodies claim that they live to eat, I basically ‘live to eat a variety of food and love to recreate them’.

And since by profession I am a scientist, experimenting is what I do in and out of my laboratory. Here I would like to confess, laboratory for me does not only mean the workspace in my research institute but also my kitchen (I still don’t own one though). Therefore, watch out for this space to know my kitchen experiments. I will share recipes collected from around the world, tested and tried and maybe tweaked a bit. Changes in recipes will be done keeping in mind a ‘bachelor’s kitchen’.
Well so lets see how all of this goes. Good luck to me for not burning down kitchens and good luck to all who would like to try them out. And definitely let me know your opinions.

Later :)