Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 65, Tuesday October 4, 2005



Cookbook clips

Delicacies for puja

By Sherifa Ahmed

DOI Mach
½ kg fish (preferably river fish)
1 cup yogurt
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp cumin
1? piece ginger
2 onions
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
3 bay leaves
¼ cup mustard oil
Salt to taste
Grind together:
Garam Masala
10 cardamoms
½ tsp cumin
6 cloves
1 tbsp coriander

Clean and cut fish into medium size pieces. In the yogurt add 1 cup of water, salt to taste and stir. Put fish in the yogurt mixture and leave to marinate for half an hour. Make paste of ginger, garlic, onion, cumin, coriander seeds and chilli powder. Heat mustard oil in a frying pan and put few cumin seeds and bay leaves. When cumin changes colour add 'masala' paste and turmeric. Fry till it gets light brown in colour. Now put the fish and yogurt in the pan and cook on medium of flame until fish is cooked. When gravy thickens, add the 'garam masala' paste.

½ kg medium sized prawns
½ cup yogurt well beaten
¾ cup thick coconut milk
1 tsp cumin seeds paste
1? piece ginger paste
2 medium sized onions and
2 seeded red chillis paste
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
¾ table spoons oil
Garam Masala
1 stick cinnamon, 3 green cardamoms and 2 cloves, ground well.

Carefully shell prawns with a sharp knife, de-vein by making a shallow cut down the back and remove the vein. Wash well. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of lime juice and drain before cooking.
Heat oil, fry prawns lightly and lift out. In the same oil add masala paste and turmeric. Cook for few minutes. Put 'garam masala' powder, bay leaves, sugar, salt and yogurt. Simmer covered for 5 to 8 minutes. Add prawns and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Now add thick coconut milk. Cook on low heat until tender. Gravy should be thick.

½ kg mutton
½ cup cholar dal (chana dal) washed and soaked for 15 minutes
2 onions (sliced)
4 green chilli (slit)
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp tamarind extract
1 tsp ground garlic
4 tbsp oil
2 tsp chilli powder
3 tsp coriander powder
¼ cup chopped fresh
Coriander and mint
1/ 3 cinnamon sticks, 4 cardamoms, 3 bay leaves, 5 cloves.
Salt to taste

Mix mutton with chilli, turmeric, coriander powders and salt and keep aside. heat oil in a pan, add whole 'garam masala', slit green chillies and bay leaves till it changes colour. Add onions and fry to brown. Add ginger, garlic paste fry till dry. Add meat and stir fry till dry. Add 2 cups of water and cook till half done. Add soaked 'dal' and cook covered till tender. Add tamarind extract and simmer for further 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with coriander and mint leaves and serve hot.

4 large potatoes with skin
5 tbsp fenugreek
Salt to taste
5 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
24 curry leaves
1 tbsp ginger paste
½ tbsp garlic paste
1 large cauliflower, cut in to medium sized
1 tsp chilli powder
1tsp amchur powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ black pepper powder
A generous pinch of methi
For granishing 1 ½ tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds

Quarter the potatoes and then halve each quarter lengthwise. Blanch in salted boiling water until dente (almost cooked, but not soft and squishy). Drain and keep aside. Sprinkle salt over the fenugreek and rub between the palms to reduce some betterness. Wash in running water, drain and keep aside. Heat oil in a kadai or wok and season with mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves. Stir for some time. Add the ginger, and garlic paste. Stir-fry until the moisture evaporate. Then add fenugreek and stir for a few seconds. Add cauliflower, chilli powder and salt. Stir well. Lower the heat. Cover and cook (for about 6 minutes) until al dente.
Uncover and increase to medium heat. Add potatoes and stir-fry for five minutes. Sprinkle amchur powder, cumin powder, pepper powder and methi. Stir well. Check the seasoning and remove from heat. Remove to a serving dish, garnish with pomegranate.

4 cup flour
1 tsp oil (for the dough)
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Sift the flour with salt into a plate. Make a bay in the sifted flour, pour 1tsp oil and 1 cup water, and start mixing gradually. When fully mixed, knead to make a stiff dough, cover with a moist cloth and keep aside for 30 minutes. Divide into 20 equal portions, make small balls. Apply a little oil on both sides and roll each with a rolling pin into round dishes (about 3? diameter). Heat oil and deep fry "luchi' until light brown, turning once to ensure it puffs up.

For the covering:
150g flour; a pinch of baking powder;
12 cloves, 1 tbsp oil
For frying
100g ghee
For the filling
½ coconut grated; ¼ cup milk
50g sugar; ¼ cup water; 1tbsp rawa
¼ tsp cardamon powder; a pinch of nutmeg
powder; 1tsp oil

Bring the sugar and water to a boil simmer to obtain sugar syrup of two thread consistency and keep aside. Heat one tsp oil in a kadai and fry the rawa till light brown. Add milk, sugar, and coconut and keep stirring on a low heat till the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Cool and divide into 12 portions. Sieve flour and baking powder together. Add oil and enough water to knead to a stiff dough. Divide into 12 portions. Roll out one portion into a small puri. Place a little filling in the centre and fold the puri like an envelope. Stick a clove in the centre to keep it in place. Heat the ghee and fry the latika on medium heat till golden brown. Put the "latika' immediately in the hot sugar syrum. Drain and serve after a couple of hours.

1 litre whole milk
½ coconut grated
7 to 8 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tbsp butter
3 edible silver-leaves
4cardamoms (crushed)
1 litre of milk thickened to khoya consistency

Boil milk in a heavy karai, add sugar and cook, stirring. When reduce to half it original volume add grated coconut to the milk. Simmer, stirring, and cook to just beyond the soft ball stage. Add khoya and butter and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes until the mixture does not stick to the sides and bottom of the karai. It should be one lump, like a ball. Remove from heat. Spread on a greased plate. Decorate with silver-leaves and cool.
Sprinkle with cardamons. When partly set, cut into squares.


A few pointers for Ramadan
The holy month is knocking at your door. It's time you prepare yourself and your family for a month long of abstinence. A lot of tasks must be taken care of before the beginning of Ramadan. The grocery list comes first and foremost, instead of running to your nearest superstore every 3 days; buy your ingredients for iftaar and other meals before the beginning of Ramadan.

Go to your doctor for a check-up and ask them about the precautions that you might have to take during this month. Take elderly members of your family too for a thorough check.

If you have maids at home then be considerate towards them and their regular work load. Make sure that they too have sometime off during the day. It's particularly difficult to carry out heavy duties while fasting, therefore be done with washing of the heavy textile items like curtains and bed sheets, scrubbing of your floor etc before the Ramadan starts.

According to Islam, pregnant women are exempt from fasting but you can always fast if it's not problematic. But before that, do seek the advice of your doctor.

If your child is reaching puberty then it's your responsibility to accustom him to the fasting rules. But don't make him fast every day, fasting two or three days a week would be enough for a beginner. Try to treat your child with his favourite foodstuff during the iftaar as this would encourage him to fast in the future. Make your child drink a lot of water during the sehri to prevent dehydration during the day. If your child is fasting do let his school teachers know about it so that they can take necessary actions if something goes wrong.

If you have a private tutor coming to your house to teach your child then it might be necessary to set up a new coaching schedule for this month.

Wash your Jainamaz or prayer rug before the Ramadan because even those of us who don't pray regularly do pray during this holy month.

Our diet shouldn't be very much different from our regular diet during this month, make your diet as simple as possible. Include items like Haleem in your iftaar as it's an excellent source of protein. Fruits like banana will also keep you healthy during this month; banana is a good source of carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium. Drink a lot of water and fruit juice between the time of breaking fast (iftaar) and bedtime so that your body adjusts to fluid levels in time.

Avoid fried and fatty foods and food containing too much sugar. Don't tend to over eat during the sehri as it would make your feel lousys throughout the day.

Ramadan is the perfect time to normalize your weight. Through checking your daily food intake you can achieve your desired body weight during this holy month.

By Penelope


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2003 The Daily Star