Sunday, January 21, 2018

Nolen Gur Shooters -- for Ma Saraswati

So all this shooter-wooter was initiated by a single text. A text from a friend's little sister living in London.

Last month she sent me a message "BMdi, do you have a Nolen Gur er souffle recipe?"

Until that very moment I had no idea of any existence of "Nolen Gur er Souffle". A souffle as I know it is this --"A soufflé is a baked egg-based dish which originated in early eighteenth century France. It is made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert."

So would a Nolen Gur er souffle be an egg based dessert sweetened by Nolen gur or would it be a faux eggless version? I didn't know!

"How do they make it I asked?".
This particular young lady had earlier shared her secret malai kabab recipe with me and they were the very best, and so I hoped she would know this one too. (Will post that kabab recipe sometime).

"I don't know. Balaram Maullick has it," she replied back.

Since that day, I kept on thinking of Nolen gur er souffle. After a bit of research and since I wasn't sure if I should or should not add eggs, I finally decided on a mousse kind of recipe. After all a mousse -- a mousse is a soft prepared food that incorporates air bubbles to give it a light and airy texture-- is a close cousin of a souffle. The bonus point was mousse can get its foaminess from whipping cream and not always eggs. Perfect!

Now since I am a very lazy-bone, I found the simplest of all mousse recipes that needs only two ingredients. And then decided to jazz it up and serve them as shooters.

Now, Nolen gur or Khejur Gur is a very precious commodity for me. I don't get good ones here. My Ma buys them in winter and then saves some for me. She usually tries to send it through anyone who is flying to USA from DumDum Airport. Actually she did that more frequently earlier until folks stopped telling her that they are flying to USA. "Nope,  I am not flying to US. Jhumritalaiya has a new airport called JFK."

I use my limited stash very very judiciously. Birthday paayesh and such only gets to see my Khejur Gur. So I wasn't just going to make Nolen Gur shooters for my own pleasure. Nope. So I waited and waited for the right moment... and here its.

These Nolen Gur Shooters are Ma Saraswati's proshad tomorrow. I bet she will be very happy.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Poush Sankranti r Pithe

Pithe,is reminiscent of the times when paddy was harvested in the months of December-January and the new crop was celebrated by making dishes that used rice, date palm jaggery(khejur gur also collected in the winter months) and coconutPoush Parbon or Nabanno was a celebration of the new crop of rice, which was the mainstay for the then agrarian society. We have moved many years forward from those times where rice is now GMO and harvested multiple times and grated coconut can be found in the frozen aisles of grocery stores. Yet, we still take the effort to celebrate poush-parbon, in our home to honor those simpler times when we revered soil and its bounty, instead of taking it for granted like we do now.

Here is a collection of few sweets, desserts made around Poush Sankranti that I have blogged about in the past years. I have tweaked the recipes and modernized them for my own good. Ideally, the sweet stuffing for the pithes and patishaptas around this time makes use of coconut, khejur gur and milk. The crepes and outer coating of puli and pithe is usually made with rice flour.

Gokul Pithe -- My all time favorite among pithes!!!Small discs of kheer-narkol (kheer and coconut cooked together) are dipped in a batter and then deep fried. These fried discs are then dunked in sugar syrup. Mmmmm!!!

Pyarakia or Gujiya -- Not necessarily in the pithe category but when filled with a coconut and kheer stuffing these empanada style pyarakias do make the Makar Sankranti cut!

Nonta Pithe --  Dumplings made with rice flour and stuffed with sweet and savory stuffing of coconut or potato-peas for savory.

Rosh Bora -- small fritters made with Urad Dal and then soaked in a thin sugar syrup

Pati Shapta -- Crepes made of all purpose flour + rice flour filled with a kheer stuffing

If you like what you are reading, get Bong Mom's Cookbook in your mailbox
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Khichuri -- on a Snow Day

I would have never, ever thought that my first post on this New year would be a Khichuri.

Bengali Khichuri, Masoor Dal Khichdi

Bengali Khichuri | Khichri

There are many variations of Khichuri in Bengal, from the revered Bhog er Khichuri made with roasted moong dal and pure satwik ingredients to the Musur Dale er Khichuri which is made with red lentils and is flavored with onion and garlic to the Bhuni Khichuri which is a richer and drier version of Khichri

Yes, the Bong's rainy day picker-upper, their precious offering to Goddesses, their solution to all word problems, the heady mix of rice and lentils with spices and veggies -- the Khichuri.

The thing is I never got the whole brouhaha over this dish.
I mean, "Dude, it is just Dal and rice, why are you going so crazy 'bout it?"

It appears, not the Bongs alone, all of India is kind of crazy about Khichdi. In fact they are so crazy that they wanted to declare Khichdi as India's National food. Seriously? National Food? When you have so many better things like Ilish er Jhaal, Dim Kosha, Biriyani, Galouti Kababs, Aloo Paratha, Mysore Dosa to choose from, you choose Khichuri. Major eye roll!

But what can I say. My Baba is major Khichuri bhokto. He loves his Khichuri with dollops and dollops of Ghee and relishes it like no other. The husband-man is another big time Khichuri fan. Although unlike my Dad, who love his khichuris whether bland or rich, this guy loves a good khichuri.

Today we have been bombarded with what the meteorologists are calling the "bomb cyclone". It has been snowing since midnight, along with a lot of wind and it looks like we are in the middle of a snow desert. Schools have been closed and there is no way any one is venturing outside. So today I decided to make Khichuri for lunch. The only silver lining in that whole cloud of Khichuri was the omelette, yes the only thing that can redeem a Khichuri for me. I don't care for fries or labra. A nice Indian omelette with onion and green chilies is my only knight in shining armor when Khichuri is for lunch.

Unlike the Bhog er Khichuri which is made without onion and garlic and with roasted moong dal, this every day Khichuri is made with Musur aka Red Lentils and has its fair share of onion and garlic.

You can serve it with an omeltte, papad, some pickle like I did or with Beguni or Begun Bhaja

So, the thing is for a long time my Khichuri would never turn out right. You would think it is an easy-peasy thing to do but somehow mine always went wrong. Either the lentils were under-cooked or the veggies were over done or something. I eventually got it right but I figured there would be hapless souls out there who like me fail at making a Khichuri. For them, I even made a shaky video of this whole Khichuri making, holding my phone in one hand!