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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bengali Lunch for My Friend from Maharashtra


---- alu-bean bhaja, dimer jhol ar bhat
This year on the occasion of Diwali (the festival of lights), I was invited to have some special homemade Maharstrian delecacies at a friend's house. Her mother vited her from India and was actually staying with her when we met on Diwali. There after a really long time I had karaunji, chakli, chiwda, everything homemade! I never expected before that I would have a so Indian Diwali this year.
I also felt like cooking something authentic Bengali for them.
Unfortunastely Auntie left before we could manage some time to cook together.
So, I cooked for her daughter!
We had alu-bean bhaja (potato and green beans friend)and dimer jhol (egg curry).
Basically the same recipe I sent to BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/specials/2009/11/091126_recipes_nov2.shtml where it looked different because there it was "kasha" (very thick gravy)here it is jhol ("=gravy/sausse"), more liquid.

Avocado: Influenced by Mexico


This preparation is inspired by Guacamole, the famous avocado dip the world has learnt to prepare from Mexico. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guacamole
I added all the ingredients except tomato to the avocado, mashed and mixed everything well and later mixed the mixture with boiled potatoes to make it my dinner.

Prawn in Onion and Tomato: My Success with Microwave!

WE learn only when we are forced to learn; when the situation we are in demands that we must learn. I did not touch the microwave oven in my flat for the last one year. But in the recent past, as my oven broke down twice in three weeks, I realized that I must have a parallel system to avoid unintended fasting in a Sunday late evening. (On Sundays everything is closed in Germany.)
So, I tried utilising the presence of the “Mikrowelle” in my kitchen. It actually went so well that I bought some ceramic pots, made in France, specially made for cooking in microwave oven. They are orange and white in colour. They are beautiful!
So, nowadays I am cooking even typical Bangali dishes, too, in microwave oven.
Here is prawn with tomato and onion, the way my mom used to cook it quite often. Only, I did not add thinly sliced potatoes to it since I feel that I eat too much carbohydrate. Sorry, I was too hungry to present it more neatly in a better container this time. I apologise for this not-so-good photo.

The Honeywine!

A lot can happen in the Christmas market!
Quite a lot happened to me this year at the Christmas market.
I met a number of nice people there this year, unlike last year when I just landed in Germany and, naturally, did not know anybody.
And….. I met MET there for the first time last Saturday, thanks to my new friend from Ulm.
She explained to me how “met” is made from honey.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Met

Just like Gluehwein, met was also served hot. That was really nice for the cold late evening of mid-december in Stuttgart. I liked it very much. And I brought the cup home as a souvenir.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Year Completed in Germany

Yesterday was the day. Last year on Nov. 6 I reached Germany.
And this is how I am celebrating: I have prepared sweets for those who made my life enjoyable and successful in Germany.

Here is halwa (of semolina, almond and a lot of butter since I did not have ghee here!)

And the one below is made of fresh cottage cheese and carrot.


It took me eight hours from starting from scratch till packing the end-products in the fridge. Even the cheese I made myself. I am tired but very happy. Now I will try to sleep for a few hours before I set off for work taking these late night creations with me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mangold: German Influence in My Kitchen!

Nowadays I am trying things I never tried in India. Not only I am trying my hand on German recipes but also I am picking up new vegetables at the supermarket and trying to cook them independently without looking into a cookbook.
This week I cooked brussel sprouts and swiss chard. I did not even know about these vegetables as I was in India. Another new entry to my kichen is the button mushroom. Yes, of course I tasted them before, many times actually, but I never cooked them at home. I enjoyed my learning experiences, especially the one with Mangold.

Peas and Sausage Fried Rice

Nowadays I go to gym because I eat like this:


This is my sausage fried-rice!
The meat in the sausage was from poultry.
I used butter instead of oil to make it tastier because butter makes everything yummy! This was a very successful experiment.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gerlingen Street Festival

Gerlingen is a beautiful village about 15 kilometers away from Stuttgart. This weekend Gerlingen celebrated its 32nd street festival. One of my seniors grew up there. They were to sell mainly east Asian food that they made at home (spring roll, for example)in this fest. The fest took place from Saturday 15:00 till midnight and again the next Sunday till 18:00. (I do not know when exactly it started on Sunday but I am sure much before my day began. I woke up at 11:30.)The spring rolls I had for my brunch. On Saturday I took the U-Bahn from Stuttgart after our hat party and reached Gerlingen at about 22:30 because I wanted to see the fest at night too. I had chicken nuggest as dinner. This was more like a family fest. Local people participated through sports clubs or similar local organisations. Most of the things were home made. People knew each other and said hallo to each other. I was probably the only person who looked like a real tourist. Spring roll and chicken nuggets were not new for me since those are quite popular in Kolkata, too. So, I did not take photos of them even though I enjoyed them. They were sold at a real low price.

But these turkish sweets were new for me. I tasted only a few of them.








There wete sausages, beer, potato salad, pommes frittes, as usual. There were different types of wines, old and new, from Baden-Wuerttemberg. There were Hungarian delicacies. I had my first gulash here.

Beet-er Tarkari (Beetroot curry)


Beetroot curry and laal shaak (tiny red leafy plant)were my favourites when I was young and lived in Doors region with my family. It was fun for me to have them with rice because they turned the rice red. I cook beet root here in Germany in the typical Bengali way with bay leaves, green chillies and of course potato. But I use olive oil instead of mustard oil. Ya, that makes the flavour a little different but still, I can't say that I really miss the flavour of mustard oil because I have the same fun as it turns my rice red. I remember of those good old days of winter in Doors!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunday Dinner with Friends: a Wonderful Evening

Food is an important part of culture of a country. It is not just eating but it reflects a lot of things about the social culture of the socity it belongs to. After coming to Germany I am discovering a very different food culture. This discovery is one of the most pleasurable experiences I am having here, more so, because I am not just a taker enjoying passively whatever coming on my plate but also participating in a food tandem partnership with Germany.
Last Sunday I invited some of my friends for dinner to experience some typical Indian home-cooked food. So, I cooked for my friends:
Alu Paalak --- Spinach and potato (North India)
Dimer jhol --- typical eggcurry we cook at home (Bengali food)
Kashaa Mangsho --- spicy chicken curry (Bengali food)
Aluseddho --- mashed potato, our kind
sada bhat --- steamed rice
Narkol naru (see below!)
Sujir Payesh (see below!)

My friends brought differnt types of chocolates for me, and wine of Wuerttemberg. Yes, I am, at the moment, in the heaven for chocolates and bread and bier! I must learn how to make these chocolates, some of them at least, before I leave this country!
But, icing on the cake was this:


I am really food-happy here because I am open to taste everything. Maultaschen is one of my favourites and so is Gaisburger Marsch, too. They made me fall in love with Swabia during my first few days here at the hotel.
As I browsed through the book, I came across this piece of wisdom I must share with you:
" Bei den Reichen lernt man das Sparen, bei den Armen das Kochen!"
So true!`

I am so glad that I will be able to cook some of the dishes I have enjoyed and appreciated only in restaurants so far.
Thank you so much, people, I love you! You gave me such a wonderful evening as a gift. And you are the motivation for my most serious hobby i.e.cooking!

Sujir Payesh


Friends for Dinner and My First Narkol Naru

Instructions via a few international phone calls to Mom in India and ingredients of wonderful quality from German supermarket made it possible.The result was a super hit. I prepared my first in life narkol naru --tiny coconnut balls, Kokonussbaellchen!
I am so happy that my friends enjoyed it. It was for them.




Ingredients:
Grated coconut
Sugar
Cinnamon (powdered)
Water(very little, not needed if you can grate the coconut at home)

How to make it:
Mix the ingredients very well.
On a low flame cook it by continuously stirring it until it gets a little sticky.
Let it cool down a little.
Make small balls.

Important:
1) Do not overcook. If it becomes totally dry, it will not be possible to make balls.
2) Make the balls before it becomes cold. When it is cold, it is too tight to give it a shape.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nippon on My Plate: My First Sushi

Nuernberg, Germany! A gloomy (read: pleasant because not warm)summer evening. Three young people aged a little more or a little less than thirty from Indian, Russia and America are sharing a table in a restaurant that specialises in Sushi.
It was an adventure since Russia forgot even the name of the restaurant even though it was her idea to have Sushhi. LoL! America searched for it in the internet and, so his mobile played the role of a Navi. India happily followed them.

Reward was here:




I learnt how to eat with chop-sticks! That was my take-away!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Foodpuzzle: Tell Me, Dear, What You Ate Just Now!

I was thrilled to find soya nuggets here! OK, in Indian stores you can get everything but still, I was happy, thinking that now I would able to serve my friends soya in a form that is eaten only in India, as much as I have experinced.
So, this was my soya-preparation, "Soya Nuggets in Onion and Tomato Sauce", for our party yesterday!

Unlike in India, I cooked this without adding potao or any other vegetables since it was supposed to be a finger food, and not to accompany steamed rice or roti.
"What are those small balls?" --- my frineds asked me.
"Taste and tell me!" --- was my reply!
And...... nobody passed the test of taste!!! Ha Ha Haahh!

Vietnam on My Plate: the Very First Experience

Since one of our friends is leaving Stuttgart, we had a get-together to say "Goodbye" to her.
The venue for the party was the garden in another friend,s house in Ehningen.
There I had my first Vietnam-food-experience.
The dish is called "tikaa": pork ribs with caramelised garlic.

A friend from Vietnma cooked it for us.
IT WAS REALLY VERY GOOD!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kanchkolar Kofta Curry

Kanchkolar Kofta Curry --- Green Bannana Balls Curry / Gruenbannanebaellchen in bengallischer Sausse (pfewwwh --- translation, esskulturell unmoeglich!!)


Ingredients:
(For two servings)

Green banana – one
Potato – One medium
Cumin seeds – half a teaspoon
Coriander seeds (optional) – a pinch
Bay leaf – one big
Green chilly – one medium
Turmeric powder – half a teaspoon
Cumin powder – half a teaspoon
Red chilly powder (optional, if you want to make it really spicy)
Tomato – one small
Flour / besan (chickpea flour).
Sunflower oil (or mustard oil)
Ghee (optional)

Cook the green banana and potato until they are soft (completely cooked.)
Sauté finely chopped onion and shredded green chilly.

To make koftas:

Mash the banana and add salt, the sautéed onion and chilly, and a pinch of cumin powder to it.
Mix everything very well.
Make small balls of it.

Make the batter of flour/ besan.
Dip the balls into it and dip fry.
Now the koftas are ready. Keep them to one side.

To make the curry:
Peel and cut the potato into small cubes.
Add oil into the pan.
Add half a teaspoon cumin seeds, the bay leaf, torn into two pieces, into it.
Add potato. Sauté. As soon as the potatoes start becoming golden, add turmeric, a little cumin powder, cook for some time. Add tomato puree. Stir. Add salt. Stir. Add water and bring it to boil.
Add koftas. Simmer for a minute. Turn off the oven.
You can sprinkle a little ghee on top. But, this is optional.
You may not serve immediately. Let it stand for a few minutes. Let the koftas soak in the gravy.

Serve with hot steamed rice.

Shrimp and Potato in Mild Mustard Gravy

Bon Apettit to myself! This was my dinner tonight.


First I added shredded onion and half a green chilly to heated oil. As the onion turned golded I added the shrimps and potato and sauteed for some time. I added salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder a little and stirred from time to time, and then water to bring it to boil.
After the potatoes became softer I added mustard and a pinch of sugar and boiled untill the potato was completely cooked.

The word "mild" is important. All the spices, and especially mustard, if added more than required, will destroy the taste. On the other hand, when added only a little, will bring in the out-of-this-world flavour to the food.
Instead of mustard I can cook it with tomato, also. In that case, too, mild is the key-word. The quantity of tomato should not be so much that makes it taste sour.
I used olive oi, but traditionally it is cooked in cold-pressed virgin mustard oil.

I had it with steamed basmati rice.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Aubergine mit Hackfleisch und Kaese

Germany is world famous for its automobile industry. We associate tennis, music, many inventions and even Indology with Germany. Germany means Steffi Graf, Albert Einstein, Max Mueller, Grimm Brothers! But not many of us know that Germany has a very diverse and delightful food culture. Just like us, Germany not only has innummerable tasty recipes of her own but also open to taste and assimmilate food from any other region of the world. In the small local foodstand that is open only in the morning as a part of the local meatshop in my tiny village, I have tasted my tastiest Lasagna, freshly prepared in their kitchen early in the morning, like all their other dishes.
Today I picked minced meat Lasagne for breakfast and something new for lunch: Aubergine mit Hackfleisch und Kaese.

The half of a big aubergine with mixed minced meat and cheese melted in mouth. With leftover of last night's spinach, steak and cheese salad, it was a grand lunch in the late afternoon today. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Drinks and Some Tiny Bites on Saturday!

My friends decided to have a party on last Saturday! Everyone was supposed to bring drinks. But I do not have a taste for drinks, since I am very loyal to pure German Leitungswasser (tap water), other than which I very rarely drink milk or black tea, or sweet wine and nothing else. So, I cannot pick up drinks ruling out the possibility of a disastrous choice. I decided to make something that could accompany the drinks.
I made two types of pakoras: 1) Crispy with rice powder, and 2) soft and delicate with potato, carrot and green peas (which could be called vegetable-chop in my hometown.)

For a change, I cooked something completely vegetarian for a party!!!
And I have never seen a better utilisation of a bath-tub before. (LoL!)

Steak, Spinach and Cheese Salad


Even though the original ingredients for this dish includes raw baby spinach leaves and boiled beet root, I boiled spinach leaves thoroughly, since EHEC has proved itself fatal in this region and I did not add beet root since I do not like it booiled at all.I added a little black pepper while boiling the spinach. For the meat I have used mini steaks of turkey. For oil I used olive oil, as usual.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Looks like Schaschlik! :)


It was my pleasure that this was recieved well.
I made this for our barbecue evening!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This weekend we ate a lot! We ate out, I tried new things at home, I cooked typical bangali dishes, too.

This was our Sunday morning dessert.
I made it with creme, mango, honey, and chocolates!

Russian Salad: My Version


This is my very own rice and schrimp russian salad.
I owe the idea to my Russian weekend, no doubt. But I have used grated carrot and mayonese instead of smetena

Monday, April 25, 2011

Potato Pan-Cake with Schmand: My Russian Weekend 2


This was my favourite of all! This was our Friday dinner that gave us enough calories to burn for the whole next day! On Saturday we walked for eight long hours!
I can cook this for my friends!Recipe will follow.

My Russian Weekend!

From India, sitting in a garden house in Bamberg, Germany, having an authentic home-cooked Russian lunch in an unusually warm Spring afternoon!! Doesn't it sound interesting?
This was my first Russian food exprience:

1) Fish


2)The plate contains salad, beans (pickled), carrot (pickled)and yes, Kartoffelbrei (mashed potato), we are in Germany after all.



The ingredients of the salad are crab, hard-boiled egg, sweet corn, rice and Schmand(creme)/mayonese. Now I can make this salad, too, thanks to my host, a beautiful young lady working for an MNC on deputation in Bamberg!
This was just the small beginning of the weekend-long feast.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Eating White Sausage Like a Bavarian!


White sausage with sweet mustard! Out of this world!
I can suck the meat out from inside the skin. And why just before noon, I can eat them round the clock. In fact they made my dinner today!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My First Authentic Italian Food Experience

Nothing like Pizza Hut or Dominos but altogether different was my first Italian food experience in Germany. Here Italian food is very popular. It is my friend's favourite, too.
I chose pizza with Schinkem, Salami amd mushrooms:


And then the one with olive, garlic, salami and the very typical artischocken:


And a bowl of pasta which had a very soothing subtle taste:


And a huge bowl of mixed sald with shredded meat, sliced egg, olives, lettuce, cucumber and tomato. It was a real fest for my tastebuds!

Today's Dessert

A beatiful sunny evening!
I felt like doing something different for my tastebuds! Why not offering something sweet to them, for a change! So, here is my sweet innovation: today's dessert!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beef with Pepper


Today I tried my hand for the first time on beef as I cooked my lunchinner (= lunch + dinner, since it was too late for lunch but quite early for dinner).
I mixed pepper, salt, and a little turmeric with the beef, cut in tiny peices and let it stand for about fifteen minutes. I sauteed the beef on olive oil with shredded green chillies and shredded white onion.
After that I added water into it and cooked for some time.
I had it with steamed Basmati rice.
It was tasty but at the same time easy to cook.
I am very satisfied with my f-i-r-s-t beef curry!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Turning Point

I have four monkeys! Was should that mean?
I have four moneys who are not my pet but rather very independent individuals.
I feel I am very lucky that they have become my friends. Because not everybody can have the rare chance of having monkeys as friends! And these monkeys have understood my interest so well that they have picked up this for me:

, as they wished me 'Guten Appetit!' on my birthday. Hillarious!
Love you, monkeys! Mmmuuuaaahhh!!
This book has a rich collection of recipes from all over Germany! But it is not just a long list of recipes like a coomon conventional cook book but gives me a good introduction to German food culture and food tradition!
And a new phase of learning begins for me!

Putenfleisch-Bällchen mit Tomaten- und Jogurt-Sauce

The name should be kofta curry of turkey (minced meat)for my English-speaking friends.

I cooked this for the first time.
And it was quite loved by the tastebuds of my friends. Very satisfied experience that way.
It is a spicy dish.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Schrimps with Shredded Bell-peppers

When you are busy, schrimp can be a good option to cook if you dont have to clean iy on your own. I get already cleaned and 'beheaded' ones from the supermarket, and think of the huge prawns, cleaned by mom and fried in mustard oil, with their heads of course, back home, with nostalgia.


I sauteed the schrimps, chopped onion, gree chilly in butter a little and then added chopped red, yellow, and green bell-peppers into it and cooked for a while.
It is a very quick recipe, ideal when your day is really long and you return home late.

Chicken Wings in Onion Sauce

I cook chicken wings quite often. Chicken cooks fast and quite easy to prepare. So, at the of a tiring day, if I must cook, it is one of my favourite choices.


To prepare this, first I marinated the wings with salt, curry powder (typically, turmeric powder, when in India, a little red chilly powder, in onion paste for about 15 minutes. After that I sauteed the wings, with shredded onion, garlic, green chilly, in sunflower oil. Then I added the onion paste and cooked till the meat softened.

Stuffed Bell-Pepper


I cooked this for myself last Friday and had it over the weekend! It was really good! It was the first time I cooked stuffed bell-pepper. Now I am confident to cook this for my friends!
I am not going to write the recipe in detail now, guys! Because you will soon have it at my place.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Putenfinger



I would like to name it Putenfinger!
You can call it turkeyfngers.

I had it with black tea in the evening. You can have some other drinks with it.
Tell me your recommendations.

Main ingredients:

Minced meat of turkey

Onion – shredded and sautéed
Green chilly

Sunflower oil

Can you guess how I prepared it? I guess, you can.
Write to me. ;)

Shrimp with Peas


Ingredients:

Shrimp -- 100 gm
Peas -- 25 gm
Coconut -- half of one small
Red onion – one large
Garlic -- a big clove
Salt
Sugar – a pinch
Ginger powder – a pinch
Turmeric powder -- half a teaspoon
Cumin powder -- half a teaspoon
(Use curry-powder if these typical Indian spices are not available.)

Olive oil (or sunflower oil)
Green chilly – one medium
Red chilly powder (optional)
Tomato – one small (optional)

How to Prepare:

Chop 1/3 of the onion into thin slices. Grate the rest.
Shred the chilly and also the garlic.

Grate coconut. Keep it to one side.
Grate tomato. Keep it to one side.

Heat the oil a little and add chopped onion, garlic and green chilly to it.
Sauté till the onion start turning golden.
Add schrimps. (You can add them later also. I prefer frying them a little.)
Now add the spices, grated onion and stir and mix very well.
Now add grated coconut, stir and sauté.

Add salt.
Add grated tomato. Stir and mix well.

Stir and cook for some time.
Add water and the peas. (You can add the shrimps at this stage also.)
Boil till the peas are cooked.

Serve hot with rice.