The famous Durga Pujas of India started since the beginning or the middle of the 20th century and have since been applauded for their creative themes and exquisite skill. Every puja bhog or offerings to the goddess prepared in the traditional houses of Bengal are mouth watering. Here are some selected recipes from the traditional houses of Kolkata. Tips4me decided to feature them keeping in mind the festive season as well as the popular demand of our subscribers.
-Freshly made 250 gms paneer from 2 liters milk - 2 liters of boiling sugar syrup - 2 liters of made sugar syrup (For making 22 Rassogollas)
- Paneer when warm, mash it fine and make small balls. - Dip them immediately in boiling syrup. - From time to time you have to check the density of the boiling syrup with a spoon. - When the boiling syrup thickens, add little water. The density of the syrup should be same through out. - You will find the Paneer balls in the boiling syrup getting larger in size. - You have to boil the syrup and the balls for some more time until you find the balls getting smaller in size. - Now take out the balls and dip them in the made syrup. - Your Rassogolla is made, serve them hot.
-In 2 liters of water add 1.5 kg of sugar and boil. -When the syrup boils remove a layer of white froth which surfaces on the top of the boiling syrup. -If you can, strain the liquid to remove impurities. -This syrup has to be kept boiling in which the Paneer balls are dropped.
-In 2 liters of water, 1.1 kg of Sugar should be added, boiled and cooled and kept aside to add the Rassogollas in it.
-500 gms. of Channa. -375 gms. of Sugar. (For making 25 pieces of Sandesh)
-Knead 500 gms of channa into a smooth paste. -In a karai/pan fry the kneaded Channa and Sugar over mild heat stirring all the time. -Remove from the heat when the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and when the sugar has melted. -Then you can add essence or grinded Cinnamon for a finer taste. -Form into balls or press into moulds to shape.
Mishti Doi - The Traditional sweet dish of Bengal
Quantity: 1.5 kgs Ingredients: Milk 2.250 ltrs (Buffalo milk with full fat is required) Sugar 500 gms Yogurt (Dahi) 25 gms Earthen pot (handi) Small container of 1.5 kg. capacity Or Deep bowl
Method: Add 300 gms of sugar to the milk and boil it on medium heat for at least 45 minutes and beat the milk constantly while boiling. See that the milk is reduced to almost 40 % and becomes thick and light brown in color. Place the remaining 200 gms of sugar in heavy bottom vessel with 50 ml of water and melt it on low heat. Allow the sugar mixture to turn dark brown in colour. Gradually add this sugar mixture to the boiled milk and boil again for 15 minutes. Take it off the flame and beat constantly with a jar till the mixture becomes luke warm. Transfer the mixture into the earthen pot. Mix the yogurt into the mixture after 5 minutes. Cover and allow the setting for 8 to 12 hours at a warm place, do not open or move the pot during this period. Uncover and store in a refrigerator, serve chilled.
150 gm poppy seed 2 medium sized potatoes 4-5 whole green chilies 1-2 dry red chillies, split into halves 2 tbsp. mustard oil (optional)
½ tsp. turmeric powder ½ tsp. red chili powder Ό tsp. onion seed (kalonji) 3-4 tbsp. white oil Salt and sugar to taste
Method Soak the poppy seeds in water for at least one hour before grinding into a fine paste. Add 2 green chillies while grinding. Peel the potatoes and cut them into ½" cubes or wedges. Keep them immersed in a bowl of water adding a pinch of salt to it (to avoid them from turning black, due to oxidation), till the other ingredients are ready. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan along with the mustard oil, if desired (mustard oil imparts a special flavour), on a medium flame and add the potatoes, after draining the water well, fry till he potatoes are soft but firm. Remove and keep them aside. In the same oil, add the onion seeds and red chillies. Pour the poppy seed paste. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder salt and sugar to taste. Pour enough water, cover the pan and cook well over medium flame. Keep stirring from time to time. Add more water if necessary. Cook till the paste leaves the sides of the pan. Now add the fried potatoes and mix them loosely with the paste, sprinkle little water, cover the pan and cook over low flame for 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan and garnish the dish with green chillies.
Variation Here potatoes may be replaced by jingo (striped gourd Turiya in hindi), potol (parwar in hindi), fried lentil dumplings (sun dried) popularly known in Bengali as `dal bori' etc. Serve with chapattis or dal and plain rice.
2 cups Bengal gram dal (chana dal) 2 medium sized potatoes ½ tbsp. Cumin seed powder 4 tbsp. ginger paste ½ tbsp. coriander powder 1 medium sized tomato, diced ½ tsp. turmeric powder ½ tsp. cumin seed ½ tsp. red chili powder 1-2 whole green chillies 5-6 whole cloves
1-2 dry red chillies, split into two 2" stick of Cinnamon, broken into pieces 1-2 bay leaves, broken into pieces 2 whole black cardamom 1 cup white oil for frying 5-6 whole black pepper 5-6 tbsp. white oil for seasoning salt and sugar to taste 1 tbsp. mustard oil (optional) 2-3 tsp. ghee 2 tbsp. maida (wheat flour) asafoetida to taste
Method Clean, wash and soak the gram dal for 2 hours. Soak the whole garam masala - cinnamon, cloves and cardamom for ½ hour and grind to a fine paste. Grind the dal coarsely with a pinch of salt to a loose paste. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1" cubes or wedges. Keep them immersed in a bowl of water adding a pinch of salt to it (to avoid them from turning black, due to oxidation), till the other ingredients are ready. In a heavy bottomed pan heat 3-4 tbsp. white oil and pop in Ό tsp. cumin seed. When the seeds crackle add a good pinch of asafoetida and 2 tbsp. ginger paste, sautι for a while and pour in the ground dal. Keep stirring the paste on medium flame till it leaves the sides of the pan or till you get the consistency of Halwa. Pour this on a high edged greased thali to get a thickness of about ½" to Ύ". Allow the paste to set. When well set cut into 1" square (dumplings- popularly known as `dhoka' in Bengali). Heat oil for frying in a heavy bottomed deep fry pan over high flame. Lower the flame when the oil starts smoking. Deep-fry the dumplings very carefully till golden brown, in batches of 10-12. Keep them aside. In the same oil deep fry the potatoes till golden brown and keep them aside, separately. Heat 2 tbsp. white oil (you may also use from the oil left over after frying the dumplings) in a fairly large, heavy bottomed pan along with the mustard oil, if desired (mustard oil imparts a unique flavour), on a medium flame and pop in the rest of the cumin seed. When the seeds crackle add bay leaves, red chillies, asafoetida and whole black pepper. Add the diced tomatoes and sautι for a while. In a small bowl mix the remaining ginger paste, turmeric, cumin, coriander and red chilli powder to a smooth paste adding little water. Add salt and sugar to taste. Now pour this paste into the pan and sautι well till the oil rises on the top of the spices. Add the fried potatoes and mix well with the spices. Lower the flame, cover the pan, sprinkle little water and cook for a while. Add the dumplings and mix well Boil 3-4 cups of water and pour over the dish. Let it boil for 5 minutes. Make a smooth paste of the wheat flour and pour over the dish. Pour the garam masala paste and boil for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the dish into serving bowl.