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Irish Cream Bundt Cake with Whole Wheat

While I love cooking and find it extremely therapeutic after a busy work week or day, the last 6 months (after our relocation to another city) has almost been a dry season for cooking anything exotic. It has also involved getting re-acquainted with the life in the big city, cramped spaces, pollution, bad roads and being constantly on the run. We also had to settle into using a smaller kitchen without the access to our huge sunny terrace adjoining the kitchen. It coincidentally prompted a question by a senior colleague as to how am I now going to make my usual winter pickles since we do not have the luxury of a open terrace.

An impending visit by a very close friend egged me to start thinking to make something special in celebration of our close friendship. And I wanted to use the Bailey's Irish Cream lying unused for sometime. In search of an inspiration, I chanced upon a recipe of a bundt cake using whole wheat. To continue the feel of healthier eating and feeling less guilt, I …

Banana-Walnut-Almond-Coffee-Cocoa Cake

In our kitchen, the role of the baker is generally handled by my better half, D. On some rare occasions, I do sometime try out my hand on the bakery stuff. And when a cake lover comes for dinner, its worth the effort. The recipe was inspired by another formidable creative genius who had posted a thought and had enough people oodling over it. So I ended up making an impromptu 'banana walnut almond coffee and cocoa' cake. The cake lover certified that it has indeed turned out nice and I had to put aside my low carb diet for a day.
Ingredients (to be at room temperature):

3 very ripe bananas½ cup toasted walnut½ cup almonds2 teaspoons of Coffee2 tbsp of Cocoa powder1 ¼ cup unbleached flour (Wheat flour ~ aata)1 tsp baking soda½ teaspoon fine salt2 large eggs1 teaspoon vanilla essence / ½ tsp vanilla extract½ cup unsalted butter + bit for pan1 cup sugar

Recipe: Soak the almonds in boiling water for about 5-10 mins. Once cooled, peel the almonds and chop them into small chunks. Chop …

Bhetki Paturi

Ingredients: 1. Bhetki rectangular cubes. In case you dont get Bhetki, you can use Basa or Salmon also. The typical size of the cubes should be 3"x1.5"x0.5" (LBH). You can alter based on what you get.
2. Banana Leaf
3. The marinade:
a. Coconut
b. Poppy Seeds
c. Mustard Seeds
d. Green Chillies
e. Curd (preferably hung)
f. Turmeric
g. Mustard Oil
h. Salt to taste

Process: 1. Soak the mustard & poppy seeds in a bowl along with 1 or 2 green chillies broken into half. After soaking for about 40 mins, blend it along with the chilly, into a coarse paste. Add the coconut pieces midway into the blender. Add a bit of water to facilitate the blending.
2. Meanwhile, clean the fish. Smear the fishes with the juice of a lemon and salt. Keep it for about 20-25 mins.
3. In a bowl, take the mustard-Poppy-Coconut paste, add salt, a pinch of turmeric, a tbsp of mustard oil, and 2 tbsp hung curd. Whisk it with a spoon into a nice thick mix.
4. Take the banana leaf piece. Place a piece…

Food Stories from Burma

During my childhood, I was often told anecdotes about how some of our relatives had migrated from Burma (Rangoon in particular), to Calcutta under difficult circumstances. Closest in that circle was one of my maternal Aunts' husband (mesho) who had migrated with his entire family to Calcutta and started afresh in a small apartment near Calcutta's Gariahat. An excellent gourmet and extremely knowledgeable about food pairing, he was also an extremely interesting story teller. He was the first person who made me aware of Burma. During my school days, came across stories (from teachers) based on characters shuttling between between Rangoon and Calcutta. One of the most significant was that of "Pather Daabi" by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. And while learning, I came to learn the word "ambidextrous" which was an unique ability of the protagonist, Sabyasachi. 
Few months back when an opportunity came up to visit this wonderful country, Burma, (now Myanmar), it was …

Stir Fried Fish in Oyster Sauce

During our monthly grocery stock replenishment, we generally pick up a pack of the frozen Basa fish pieces. This generally comes in handy to make a nice oriental sauce based dish with noodles / fried rice during the weekends or when someone is home for dinner.

One of my culinary guides had once advised that in a chinese / oriental restaurant, always preferably pick up a dish in a dark / black sauce and avoid the red sauce dishes since it is mainly based on red chilly paste. Also I have found dark / black sauce based dishes to be more tasty and tastier. This preference made me pick up a bottle of nice oyster sauce during my last trip to a SE Asian country and I had been wanting to make something out of it. And hence the dinner menu during the last weekend was fish stir fried in oyster sauce.

The Ingredients:
Basa Fish piecesOnions - I prefer cut into squaresGreen Pepper (to make it colourful you can also add red & yellow bell pepper)Red Chilly - Dried, bout 2-3, broken into 2Ginger - …

Sattu Parathas


Filling:Sattu (roasted chickpea flour)Chopped Onions & gingerGreen ChilliesChopped corriander leavesMustard Oil (try using a little oil from any spicy pickle, preferably chilli / mango)ParathaWhole wheat flour2 tbsp oilSaltWarm waterProcess: 1. Using the ingredients listed under "Paratha", make the dough. Add salt and the oil to the flour and mix it nicely to get a fine crumble texture. Add luke warm water and knead the dough to make it into a medium soft consistency. Divide the dough into equal portions for making the parathas
2. Filling: Mix all the ingredients under "Filling" and make a nice mix. Add a little warm water and mix to make a soft dough. Taste the mix for adjusting.
3. Take each roundel of the flour dough, make a cavity for the paratha filling. Stuff the filling and roll out into circular parathas.

4. Make the parathas on a non-stick flat pan (tawa) and serve hot with a dollop of ghee and pickle on the side. I prefer a mango or a chilli p…

Pizza: Whole Wheat Thin Crust

D (my better half) is a person who has always been avidly fond of anything in the genre of  bread. Our daughter has followed her mother partially, with her fondness for pizzas 😋. And under the "loving influence" of the leading ladies of the household, I have not been far away. And over the years of our experimenting and exploring food, I have come to having a weakness for the fresh, thin crust, wood fired pizzas and I seldom can stay away from trying out one if I come across a joint. During our last trip to Goa (Palolem), a journalist friend of mine, who also happens to be a specialist on the things gastronomic, suggested that I look out for a joint run by an old Italian gentleman and his family, and the pizzas are a must try. And all my friend could tell me was that there are two outlets, one at Majorda and the other at Palolem. After a good search and talking to a few locals, we discovered it on the penultimate day of the trip and we decided that the last dinner has to be…