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Monday, 15 December 2008

Fish in barbeque and Mushroom sauce

DSC02280 Cooking was never easier. Ever since we’ve moved to Sydney, I have been spending an insane number of hours in the kitchen. Not that I have a choice. So thought, I might as well enjoy what I have to do. I have never really enjoyed fish all that much. But the fish fillets you get here are oh so convenient to make and really tasty. At least they appeal to my palate as the river fish varieties we get here are not smelly and great tasting.

Here is something I tried recently-

You need:

1. 1 full Fish Fillet (I used Bahsa)

2. 1/2 cup Barbeque Sauce

3. 4-5 Button/medium sized Mushrooms diced

4. Steamed Vegetables of your choice- I used broccoli, beans, carrots, corn, capsicum, Asparagus

5. Salt to taste, lime juice 1 spoon

6. 1 spoon Garlic- crushed

7. 2-4 teaspoons Olive oil


Rub salt and lime juice to the fillet. Leave aside for 15 minutes. In a pan take some olive oil, add the whole fish fillet to it. Pan fry it until golden brown. keep aside.

Pour the remaining oil in the pan, add the crushed garlic to it, add the diced mushrooms and sauté it for about 2 minutes. Pour the barbeque sauce and add some salt to it. If the sauce is very thick, add a little water, depending on the consistency you like.

You have two options: either you add the fish to the pan and roll it in the sauce or, place the fish on a plate and pour sauce over it.

Stir fry the steamed veggies in a little butter (optional), or just have it steamed.

Tastes totally out of this world!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

My dinner these days

I got to lose weight. That's the only mantra, the only aim, the only thing on my mind. And its surprisingly working. Thought i should share part of my secret diet. The dinner. I am the hungriest at dinner time. I used to gorge and that is the worst time of the day to eat anything. It just sits in your tummy, and the metabolic rate is the slowest at that hour. So i totally avoid any form of carb.

Here's what i eat:

1. Carrot, Bean and peas soup.

2. Mixed herby sauted cruncy veggies - with chicken sausages


And trust me, this tastes as good as it sounds. :)

Here's how you make it.


Carrot, bean and peas soup:



2 carrots

150 gms french beans

fist full of peas

1/4 cup slim milk

1/4 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 chopped onion

Fresh Basil (optional)

salt and a pinch of sugar


Method: Pressure cook the veggies. Cool it. In a pan add some olive oil and add the chopped garlic cloves. Add chopped onions and saute for half a minute. Add this to the boiled veggies. Put this mixture in a blender and puree it.

Take the pan, add a little olive oil/butter (v v v v little, mind it!), add 2-3 spoons of puree to it. Add milk, salt and sugar and some water as per your desired consistency. Bring it to a boil. Add basil leaves and sprinkle pepper and turn of fire.


Pour it in a pretty looking soup bowl. Sit in front of the TV, switch on a Shahrukh movie, enjaaaaaaaaay the soup!

U can store the rest of the puree in an air tight container in the fridge and use the paste as and when u want to.


2. Mixed herby sauted crunchy veggies - with chicken sausages



Veggies of your choice

I use:

Red, yellow, green bell peppers, mushrooms, baby corns, sprouts, carrots, beans, broccoli

1 chicken sausage or 4-5 peices of boiled boneless chicken (don't add more than this- u are on a diet remember?)


Fresh basil

Thai chilli stir fry sauce (u get this sauce EVERYWHERE)

salt n pepper

Chopped garlic

1 tsp Olive oil


Heat olive oil in pan, and add the garlic and boiled chicken pieces/sausages. let it brown a little, add the rest of the veggies. On medium flame saute it for a while, add 2 teaspoons of the stir fry sauce, herbs and salt. Keep stirring for about 3 minutes. Let them remain crunchy - don't over kills the flavour and semi cooked stuff is good for u :).

Transfer this to a pretty white square porcelain plate.  Place a basil on top for the added effect. Attack!

Alternate this with any sauce u like- mustard is good too...but a wee bit fattening :). try the kickass organic varieties u get in Fab India.

If you are very very very very hungry, add a slice of brown bread/multi grain bread. But i think a big cuppa soup and veggies, should fill u up!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Chingri Macher Malai Curry (Shrimps/Prawns in Creamy Coconut Milk)

This one's an absolute favourite when people come over. I dont eat prawns, but love cooking this dish because it ALWAYS fetches me a ton of compliments. Try it!



  1. 250 gms of medium sized prawns- shelled and de-veined (actually, the bigger, the better :))
  2. 1 Onion, diced
  3. 1 spoon ginger and garlic paste
  4. 1 cup of thick coconut milk
  5. 1/2 spoon chilli powder
  6. 3 slit green chillies
  7. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  8. salt to taste
  9. 1 spoon of lime juice
  10. 1/4 tsp sugar
  11. 1 tsp tomato ketchup
  12. 4 tbsp Ghee (please do not compromise on this one!)
  13. Garam Masala Powder - (coarsely pounded cinnamon, clove and cardamom ( dalchini, labongo, elaichi)



  • Clean the prawns, add the turmeric and lime juice to it, toss it, keep aside for 10 minutes (be sure to drain out all the excess water before adding the juice and turmeric)
  • In a pan, pour 2 tbsps ghee, once its heated, add the prawns to it.
  • Stir fry the prawns for exactly half a  minute. Be careful not to over do/fry it, else it gets rubbery. Just wait till the prawns turn a beautiful pink, and u are on the rt path!
  • keep the prawns aside.
  • Add the remaining two tbsp of ghee and add the diced onions to it.
  • Add the green chillies
  • Saute till it turns translucent. Add ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric, salt and saute till the ghee separates
  • Add the prawns to the masala in the pan and saute a little bit
  • Now add the coconut milk and see the beautiful- orangish pick colour unfold.
  • Add sugar and tomato ketchup.
  • On medium flame bring it to a boil. Add the garam masala powder.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.


This one's a fav of my mil and mum, both. Actually everyone who loves prawns and has dined at my place! Try it and lemme know, ok?

(Made this on Sunday, but forgot to click a picture :(. Will put up one soon.)

Monday, 24 March 2008

Tina's kick-ass Dum Biryani

DSC00741 I have been over the moon since last night. I never embark upon this biryani recipe ever, simply coz its painfully lengthy. But the longweekend, and Raj's puppy like- feed -me- with- tumhare- haat- ka- khana- and not -the- maid's  look, prompted me to try it out. And the end result was totally rewarding. here's what you need:

1 kg Chicken (try and get a chunk of leg piece) and use some boneless too

500 gms dahi

1 bunch of coriander and mint leaves each (ground to a paste)

1 1/2 kgs onions (yea, u need it baby) (5 onions cut, deep fired to brown, and ground to a paste). The rest of the onions, deep fried and keep aside.

3 1/2 cups of basmati rice

500 gms ghee

1/2 teaspoon of saffron (i know its as expensive as gold)

1/2 cup milk

garam Masala (cinnamon, cloves shajeera, pinch of nutmeg, ground to a powder)

few whole garam masala kept aside too.

4 -5 juicy lemons

3 1/2 to 4 table spoons of ginger garlic paste

Salt to taste


Utensils required: a heavy bottom wide mouth degchi and a tawa 


The preparation starts a day early. The more u marinate, the better the result. No short cuts to this.

For the marinade on day 1:

Take the chicken , clean and cut to the size u want. A few chunky pieces are good. To that, add the dahi, ground deep friend onion paste, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, garam masala powder, 3 table spoons of ghee. Mix well and refrigerate it. This needs to be marinated for at least 24 hours.

Day 2:

Take the marinate off the fridge an hour before u being the cooking.

Place the tawa on the slow burner at minimum flame. Above that the degchi, add two tablespoons of ghee, to that add the whole garam masala, let it crackle. Place the marinated chicken. Cover the degchi. forget about it for 2.5 hours :). Actually in between, u could open the lid and stir it a wee bit.

Note: no salt to be added now. This is the secret to succulent chicken.

Half an hour before the 2.5 hours, soak the basmati rice.

The cooking has to be done on extremely show flame. after about 2.5 hours you will see the oil separated from the chicken and even the gravy reduced to half.

In a vessel take 8 cups of water and add a teaspoon of shahjeera to it. Once it starts boiling add the soaked basmati rice to it and cook it for about 5-6 minutes/parboil it. Please note that the rice must be only cooked 3/4th its normal softness. The rest will be cooked on DUM.


DSC00739 Drain the water and keep the rice aside.

The saffron must be soaked in hot milk for about 5-6 minutes.

Now start the layering. For each layer- first add the chicken gravy, then a bed of rice, a teaspoon of ghee , saffron with milk, and deep fried onion. The last layer should be of rice, topped with the  saffron, onions and ghee.

Now, take a damp cloth and tie cover it round the degchi. Add some kneaded ata to seal the lid.

Cook on dum for about one hour.

They say when the 'aroma' of the biryani goes into all the rooms, the biryani is ready :)

Mix before serving, with raita of your choice.

Lengthy but, very very satisfying.

The pics u see are of the biryani i made last evening .

Monday, 28 January 2008

Hilsa Fish in mustard sauce / Shorshe bata maach

This one is for all the bongs and their humongous appetite for fish and mustard. Shorshe bata maach is also my husband's favourite. Since I am not a fish eater (I know, what a pseudo east Indian), I enjoy only the Mustard sauce with rice.

So lets get set to make this super simple and ready-in-minutes Bengali dish.


1. 1/2 kg Hilsa fish cut to medium peices (u can make it with your favourite rohu or katla fish. Please don't as me the English equivalent of those bong names)

2. 1 heaped table spoon of mustard soaked in a bowl of water for 10 minutes

3. 3-4 green chillies

4. 1/4 teaspoon kala jeera /Black Cumin seeds

5. Tomatoes - 1-2 - chopped

5. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

6. Salt to taste

7. Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method: Smear a little bit of salt and turmeric to the cut fish and set aside for five minutes. Shallow fry for just about 2 minutes. Please note not to over fry it. It destroys the taste and softness of the fish. Set aside.

Add two green chillies to the soaked mustard and make a paste out of it in the grinder. Once done, strain it with a little bit of extra water.

IN a heated pan pour 2 teaspoons of oil, add the black cumin seeds, slit green chillies and let it crackle. Add the chopped tomatoes and wait till it softens and gets mashed completely. Add the fried fish to this and stir for a few seconds. To this, add the strained mustard paste. Add a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes. Add the coriander leaves and serve it hot with steamed rice.

Tip: just before taking the pan off the fire add half a teaspoon of mustard oil to the curry. Yummmm.