Monday, April 21, 2014

Posto Bhape or Bhapa Posto in Microwave

This post is about Posto Bhape but first we will not talk about Posto Bhape. Instead we will talk about Little Sis. If you can think of nothing but Posto then scroll down the page.

This is something way back from February and I have been meaning to write it down here but I always forget

Little Sis telling me about her Valentine's day project in school, " Mommy in our art class today, we made love."

Since a lot of this conversation happens in the car, my hands on the wheel wavered.

Big Sis gave her a look and said "LS, how can you make love in art class?"

My hands wavered again.

LS with an air of non-nonchalance " Oh very easy. You cut out L, O, V and E from pink neon paper and then spread glitter over it. Done"


Little Sis's class was learning about deserts in school.

The Big Sis, trying to act smart because she is ten after all asked "Which Dessert ? The one you eat?"

LS went into deep thought and then said, " Yes, you can eat there if you want. Deserts have some kind of cactus which we can eat"

I choked on my laughter as LS has a temper and gets very angry if I laugh at anything she says. She is very confused with "laughing at someone" and "laughing with someone". So if any natural action on her part ellicits laughter on our part, she doesn't like it. However when she makes goofy faces or a joke which I do not understand, I am supposed to break into peals of laughter or she gets mad again.


LS has a friend in class called S. I have met her only briefly but from what I gather S is a spunky little girl. So LS comes home from school and calls me at work, to talk about S.

"Mommy, S is K and R's boss", she said with an air of finality, K and R being two spunky boys in her class.

"Okay, but why ?", I asked

"Because they are in the same bus and also in the same class, she is their boss. And they have to do anything that she asks them to. HAVE TO."

I was very impressed by this logic and also by the said S who has concocted this rule.

So this little girl S apparently being the boss of K and R, did something which irked K and R and they wanted to complain to the teacher. S however forbade them to do so and this is what Little Sis explained to me, "If K and R complain to the teacher, then the teacher might tell her parents and S's Mommy and Daddy will think S is not a good girl. But S wants them and everyone else to think that she is a good girl so K and R should not complain about her."

I was as amused by LS's logic as by S's antics.Go Bossy.


LS knows the right moments to call me and get her things done. Every day around 2:30 in the afternoon, she calls and asks if she can have a cookie or a pack of fruit snacks. Now usually these are not part of her everyday snacks and so I ask her to have yogurt or some fruits instead. But she knows that I don't haggle much over the phone and she tries her best with pathetic calls every few minutes.

Now to explain "Persuasive Writing" to BigSis, I was giving her LS's example and how she uses "pathos" to persuade me. BS thought for a minute and then said, "Not only "pathos" she also uses "threatos" a lot. She always threatens to cry if things are not her way."


Now to this Bhapa posto which is my friend J's recipe. Among all the different dishes made with Posto, the very basic is Kaancha Posto bata or raw poppy seed paste where the wet poppy seed paste is mixed with raw onion, green chilli, salt and mustard oil and then had cold with rice. It is a solution to many of our Friday night dinners. When J, who is an amazingly good cook suggested this one more step which would take all of 3-4 minutes beyond the raw and whip up posto in a new avtaar, we had to try it. And of course we have been hooked since and also buying a packet of posto every other week.

This Bhapa Posto (Steamed or baked Posto) was traditionally steamed in a small steam bowl along with the rice or later in a steel tiffin box placed inside the pressure cooker. Cooking it in the microwave is the most modern you can get. And yet the taste is the same. Clean, fresh, pure and of course delicious.

More Posto Fun
Postor Bora -- Poppy seed fritters
Jhinge Chingri Posto
Aloo Posto

Soak about 1/2 cup of posto/poppy seeds in 1/4th cup of water for 15-20 minutes

Then make a smooth wet paste of the seeds -- posto bata-- in your wet grinder. I use my magic bullet for this purpose. While making the paste add splashes of water, only as little as necessary to aid in grinding.

Alternately, you can also dry grind the posto in a dry spice grinder or coffee grinder. Mix the dry ground posto with water to make a thick wet paste.

Take the wet poppy seed paste in a bowl.

To it add
finely chopped onion(half of a medium)
finely chopped tomatoes(a smal one or half of medium)
4 green chillies finely chopped
1 tbsp mustard oil
salt to taste

Mix and then put in the microwave. Cook in MW for 2 minutes. Mix and then cook for 2-3 more minutes until the posto turns a little brown in color. If your MW is a lower power than mine you might have have to cook for few more minutes

Add more Mustard Oil. VERY VERRY IMPORTANT.

Eat it with hot steaming rice

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Baked Omelette er Jhol -- Baked eggs in a curry

Baked Omlette is an oxymoron. Or so I thought. But apparently not so. Google has solved my problem.

Still "Baked Omelette er jhol" is like "shonar pathorbati" or a "gold stone bowl" and our little Miss Perfect aka BigSis noticed that out and out.

"This", she said, pointing at the all-clad stainless steel saucier plonked at the middle of the little round table in the kitchen. He fingers pointed at the gravy -- thin and runny, with half-moon slices of potatoes floating around lazily and strange UFO shaped structures nestled in between.

"This is not Omelette er Jhol", she said, her eyes squinted, her face honest.

I snapped at her. "Decide the name of the dish when you cook your own," I said.

She kept quiet and ate her lunch. "But it is good," she said.

"Not as good as the fried omlette er jhol," I sighed.

Omelette er jhol or Indian style Omlettes in a gravy, is one of my favorite egg dishes. There is something about an omelette basking in a thin curry and growing fat and pillowy, all so that you can bite into its softness and let the curry juice trickle down your throat. It makes an omlette far more sensuous than an omlette.

But then of course I cannot let sleeping dogs lie or fried omelettes fry.

So this time around, I baked them. And I did it in cup cake molds. Just like I make these egg muffins. You can of course bake them in a baking dish or even steam them in a cooker like I do for this Dim er Dhoka.

Or you can simply fry an omelette.

At the end all of them gets dunked into the jhol. Kind of like us. No matter what and how we are born, at the end we are all dunked in the jhol of life.

Thanks for all your suggestions in the last post, it helped a lot. I will be back soon, with some vacation pics and announce the winners. Until then enjoy your own Omelette er Jhol.

Omelette er Jhol -- omelettes in a curry

First take 3-4  large eggs. Or more eggs if you so wish. Let us not even go into the conundrum of which comes first "Chicken or the Egg"

Now comes the difficult part. Break the eggs in a bowl.

To it add
half an onion finely chopped
3-4 green chillies finely chopped
salt to taste
2 tbsp of milk
2 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves(optional)
Beat them to a smooth mix

Now with this egg you can do any ONE of the following three. A flowchart would have helped but what the heck.

1. Make an Omelette. Heat oil in a frying pan. Pour out the egg batter on the pan and swirl till the batter is evenly distributed and let it cook. Cut the thick omlette in cubes to be dunked into the jhol

2. Pre-heat Oven to 350F. Pour this egg mix in a greased oven safe bowl because it needs to be baked. The size of the baking dish is important and make sure that the batter does not form too thin a layer. I think a 8" x 8" baking dish would be good for this many eggs. Bake for 30-35 mins until the crust starts turning golden. Take out of the oven and carefully cut in large cubes.

3. Pour out the batter in greased cup cake holders. I had six silicone cup cake liners and I used them. Bake for 30-35 mins until the crust starts turning golden.

Making the thin gravy for Omlette er Jhol. You can make a richer and thicker gravy if you so wish.

Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a Kadhai/Saucier

Temper the Oil with
2 TejPata
1 tsp of whole cumin seeds

When the seeds pop add half of a medium onion chopped fine + 2 green chillies slit along the length. Saute till onion softens

Toss in 1 potato cut in thin half moon shapes. With a sprinkle of turmeric powder, saute the potatoes until they turn golden.

Next add a chopped tomato. But since I did not have any tomatoes at hand, I added 2 tbsp of tomato ketchup.

Now add about 1/2 tsp of ginger paste. Saute for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile in a bowl add
1 tbsp yogurt
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp Kashmiri Mirch/Red Chilli powder
pinch of turmeric powder
and mix well so that you have a smooth paste

Add this masala paste to the potatoes in the kadhai and cook at low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add about 2 cups of warm water, salt to taste and mix well. Let the gravy come to a simmer.

Cover and let the potatoes cook.

Once the potatoes are done, taste the curry and adjust for spices. You might like to add a little sugar to the jhol at this point.

Once the jhol/gravy is ready add the baked pieces of egg or the omelette  into the gravy and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. 

Serve hot with rice. If you let the egg soak in the gravy for a longer time, it will soak up all the liquid like a sponge so be careful.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Gift for Shubho Naboborsho -- welcoming the Bengali New Year

The Bengali New Year, Poila Boishakh--the first day of the month of Boishakh is around the corner. Thankfully signs of spring have started showing up in my corner of the world too. Looks like Winter has finally taken a break and gone to vacation land.

To celebrate the New Year and to thank all readers of Bong Mom's Cookbook I am sharing with you my love for tea and tea/coffee mugs. My talented blog friend "Rhea Mitra-Dalal" who blogs at euphoRHEA makes these amazing hand painted mugs and plates and all kinds of hand painted crockeries.  She made these lovely tea cups for me and then I asked her if she could please make a few more for you guys too.

Browse the euphoRHEA album.


Aren't they really pretty ? See, why I wanted to share them with you ?

To win a cup  all you have to do is tell me "What would you like to see in my blog in the future?". Leave your comment with your contact e-mail and the country where you are from. Readers from India have a special advantage this time as the winner gets this cup and one other item of their choice from euphoRHEA.

 I will see you all next week.

Note: Due to shipping restrictions etc. this giveaway is restricted to India and US only. 

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