Chicken Dum Biryani

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This post is specially for my brother who is trying his hand in cooking for the last couple of months. And every time I call up I find him cooking chicken. Earlier I would have been impressed but as they say “I ain’t dumb no longer”. (Sorry Bro, its my blog and I get to say whatever I feel like.) Basically the point I am trying to make is that chicken is probably one of the easiest and a no-fail thing to cook. All the basic ingredients with some twist here and there and it always comes out good. So I was thinking maybe he was taking the easy way out. And then he surprises me by making some authentic Bengali fish preparations that even I have never tried. And that knocked me down… well at least the pics did! So I told him to try something from my blog … what kind of a food blogger would I be if my own brother does not refer to it once in a while. On his request of Chicken Dum Biryani recipe here comes today’s post.

I already have a post on chicken biryani (Pakki) (see here), but that was a long time back when I had first started cooking, clicking and blogging. Since then I feel I have come a long way and hence the need for a newer version of the recipe was in my mind for a long time. More so because now I know that there is no one right method of making biryani. Wikipedia shows an impressive list of the types biryani (see here), but that is a little too overwhelming for me. For now I will stick to the types I have tried.

Kachchi Biryani – Here the raw chicken, marinated with spices is cooked with parboiled rice on Dum (sealed air tight condition) over low heat. You could either do this on stove top or in the oven.

Pakki Biryani – Here the chicken and rice both are cooked to 90% and then layered and cooked on Dum (sealed air tight condition) over low heat. You could either do this on stove top or in the oven.

Irrespective of which method you decide to cook the ingredients remain the same. This recipe is the kachchi biryani style.

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Ingredients: Chicken to rice ratio is usually 2:1. Whole /freshly ground spices are preferrable, but most of the times I end up using the store bought Shan’s Biryani Masala and whole cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.

For Chicken:

  • Chicken 1 kg
  • Yogurt – 3/4 cup
  • Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Green chillies, chopped – 7-8 or to taste
  • Onions, thinly sliced – 2 large onions
  • Whole peppercorns – 4-6
  • Shah Jeera/Caraway seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or to taste (adjust with the proportion of green chillies added)
  • Whole garam masala / spices
    • Green cardamom – 3-4
    • Black cardamom – 1
    • Cinnamon sticks – 2 one inch sticks
    • Cloves – 6
    • Nutmeg (Jayfal) – 1
    • Mace (Javitri) – 2-3 (depending on the size)
  • Lemon juice – 1 lemon
  • Oil / Ghee / Clarified Butter – 3-4 tbsp + as required for frying onions
  • Coriander leaves, chopped (Save some for assembling) – 1/2 cup (I usually skip this)
  • Mint / Pudina leaves, chopped (Save some for assembling) – 1/2 cup (I usually skip this)
  • Salt – to taste

For Rice:

  • Long grain Basmati Rice – 500 gms
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Whole Garam Masala:
    • Green cardamom – 2
    • Cinnamon sticks – 1 inch stick
    • Cloves – 2
  • Whole peppercorns – 2-3
  • Shah Jeera/Caraway seeds – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil / Ghee / Clarified Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Water – as required

You can also use Mace and Nutmeg along with the whole spices, but I usually skip that.

For assembling the Biryani:

  • Onions, thinly sliced – 2 large
  • Potatoes – 3 medium sized
  • Oil / Ghee / Clarified Butter – as required for frying onions and for assembly.
  • Food color (optional) – I always skip this.
  • Saffron soaked milk (optional) – 1 tsp saffron added to 1/2 cup. I usually skip this.

For Dum: Chapati dough or foil paper

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Method:

Stove-top method:

  • Heat a pan with sufficient oil and fry the thinly sliced onions till they are nice brown in color. Take care not to burn them. You can fry all the onions (mentioned for chicken and assembling) together and then divide them into equal halves, one for marinating chicken and one for the assembly.
  • Cut the peeled potatoes in halves and sprinkle some salt and garam masala. Lightly fry them till it gets a light golden color. Drain and keep it aside. These will be cooked completely along with the biryani.
  • Grind the spices mentioned for chicken – Green & Black Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg, Shah Jeera, Peppercorns.
  • Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients mentioned for chicken and keep it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or more.
  • Wash and soak the rice in sufficient water for atleast 30 minutes before cooking.
  • In a big pan add sufficient water (for cooking rice) and put on boil.
  • Take a clean cotton cloth and a put the spices mentioned for rice (Whole Garam Masala, pepper corns, Mace & Nutmeg,  if using ) and tie it to make a small bundle. I usually add the whole spices directly to water. However if done this way you will get the flavor of the spices and can remove it if you don’t like to bite into the whole spices.
  • Add the bay leaf and the spice bundle along with salt and oil into the boiling water.
  • Next add the drained rice to the water and give it a light mix. Let it come to a boil. Once the rice has come to one full boil it will be 50% cooked. Turn off the stove and drain the parboiled rice. At this stage you can remove the bundle of spices. Do not throw away the drained water from the cooked rice as we will be using a portion of it later.
  • Take a heavy bottom pan for assembling the biryani, put it on high heat and add 1-2 tbsp of oil or ghee to it.
  • Add the chicken with its marination to the pan, spread evenly and let it fry on high for a couple of minutes, then lower the flame to medium.
  • Add the fried potatoes.
  • Layer half of the parboiled rice on top of the chicken layer and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle some of the fried onions saved for assembly (from step 1) and a few drops of ghee.
  • Add little (maybe 1/8th cup) of the drained water (from cooking rice) to it. If using saffron milk add it in place of the water.
  • Add the remaining rice and spread evenly.
  • Top it with the remaining fried onions, a couple of drops of ghee, chopped coriander and mint  leaves saved for garnishing.
  • Again add little (approx. 1/8th cup) of the drained water (from cooking rice) to it. If using saffron milk add it in place of the water.
  • Place the lid of the pan and seal it with the chapati dough. Alternatively. Seal the pan with a foil paper and then place the lid over it. The chapati dough works better.
  • Lower the flame to low and let it cook for 45 minutes approx. Then turn off the flame and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the hardened dough with a knife and carefully open the lid.
  • Check if the rice is tender. Gently insert a spatula or a wooden flat ladle at the edge of the vessel and lift up the chicken from the bottom of the pan. Do it along the edges of the pan to lightly mix the biryani. Do not over mix the whole thing.
  • One way of checking the doneness of the biryani is by checking the potatoes. Usually everything will be well cooked by now. If for some reasons it is still not done, place a flat heavy bottomed non-stick pan on heat, once hot, lower the flame and place the biryani pan on top of it, cover it with the lid and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Serve it with raita and salad.

Oven method:

To cook the biryani in oven, assemble the whole thing as described above in an oven proof pan. Cover it tightly with a foil. Cook it for 45 – 50 minutes in a preheated oven at 350F. Once done, mix gently.

Note: The process may appear to be a little overwhelming but as with all kinds of cooking, repeated practicing is the only way to go. The process was a little lengthy to write down and I was getting lost in between, so dear readers, I apologise for any vagueness or confusion. Do get back to me if you think I need to explain it better.

The pics were taken a while back and am using it for this post.

Breakfast Egg Muffins

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Till recently breakfast has always been a ‘no-sweat’ effort for me. Even as a child going to a morning school that started from 7:45 and lasted till 1:45, almost all days me and my brother would either have a glass of milk and biscuits or cornflakes in the morning. And our ‘tiffin’ (lunch packs were then and even now called tiffin) would inevitably contain bread butter and sugar or bread butter with salt and pepper or bread and jam. We hardly ever complained; we were good kids to a working mom. There were some days when we would take Maggi, and later in high school my mom would also make some parathas with achar but those were rare. Of course weekends were special days when we would have puri sabji or noodles or idli etc but Bread was the most preferred snack. My friends would often bring different lunches and I would happily share my slices for some bites from someone else’s box. Now looking back I wonder how we never ever got bored of it.

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Breakfast was always the same all through my college and after that when I started working – Bread butter, milk and banana or any other fruit. It was always easy to prepare and quick to consume. When I got married and took over the kitchen duties I would cook a lot of variations for lunch and dinner but breakfast was something that I tried to keep simple. Work, here in US, starts pretty early (as compared to India) so I never really ventured into an elaborate morning meal. I would always tell myself that there was no point in elevating the expectation of my newly wedded husband. I replicated my earlier days and gave either bread butter with tea or cornflakes. Recently (since the last one and half years) I have tried to change the custom of “easy breakfast”. These days I consciously try to eat healthy food and adopt a healthy food habit. And I have realized that the first meal of the day needs to be the most significant one. So most of the days I try waking 15  minutes early to prepare both of us a filling breakfast and its one meal of the day that we religiously take on the dining table together. (Dinner is mostly on the couch in-front of the Television).

Usually I have a list of options that I choose from, depending on how much time I have in the morning. It could be either upma, poha, pancakes, stuffed omlettes  with butter toast or toast with scrambled eggs, all served with a warm cup of tea – and all prepared within the 15-20 mins timeframe. When I have even less time I go for toast and poached eggs or the age old option of butter toasts/cornflakes. Weekends will find me baking even for breakfasts or trying something new. Today’s post is on breakfast egg muffins that I made one Saturday morning just because I wanted to try something different. I had found this recipe and the pics looked so tempting that I had to try it out. The pictures sure did come out very nice.

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My honest feedback – Taste wise they were not as great as they looked. It was okay for something new or different but nothing that excited me. However I think its a great breakfast option for working people since you can prepare and freeze them. You can also use this as a ‘to-go’ snack and am sure the kids would love these variations.

I will really appreciate if anyone of you let me know your feedback if and when you prepare this.

There are a couple of ways to prepare this, and you can choose to add or reduce any no. of ingredients to this. I am providing a rough guideline – this is the way I made it, however feel free to be creative. Also I wanted to keep it healthy so avoided cheese but these will definitely taste much better if you can add some.

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Ingredients: (for 4 egg muffins) –

  • Bread slices – 4
  • Eggs – 4
  • Personalised toppings, cut into small pieces – Add any ingredient of your choice like onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, bacon, broccoli, cheese etc. I used only small pieces of onions, bell pepper and mushrooms.
  • Seasoning – Salt, Pepper powder, any other of your choice. I added some Cajun spice.
  • Butter or Oil – as required

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the muffin pan / ramekins with some oil/butter; Alternatively use muffin liners or line it with a parchment paper (cut a circle slightly bigger than the diameter of the muffin cups and place it).
  • With a rolling pin flatten the bread slices slightly and with a cookie cutter (or use the rim of a glass) roughly cut the slices in rounds, almost 4-5 inches in diameter.
  • Cut each round in half, then press 2 halves into each muffin cup, overlapping slightly and making sure bread comes up to edge of cup. Use extra bread to patch any gaps. If you prefer brush the bread with some butter.
  • In a pan, add some oil or butter and lightly fry the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms (or any other topping of your choice) with salt, pepper and any other seasoning that you prefer. Once cooked distribute it equally onto the muffin cups lined with the bread slices.
  • Sprinkle some grated cheese of your choice. I skipped this step.
  • Next step is to add the eggs. You can do this in 3 different ways:

1. Crack the eggs into the muffin cups and sprinkle some salt,pepper, or any other seasoning of your choice. This is how it will look when done:

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2. Crack the eggs into the muffin cups, using a fork lightly break the yolk (inside the muffin cup) and let it spread.

3. Beat the egg with a tablespoon of milk in a separate bowl, sprinkle some seasoning and pour it into the muffin cups. This is how it will look when done:

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I made 4 muffins – 2 of option 1 and 2 of option 3.

  • Bake the muffins at 350 F for 7-10 mins or until the egg whites are set. Temperature and baking time may vary from oven to oven. Do not over cook the eggs or they will become rubbery. The muffins will continue to cook for sometime even when out of oven so keep that in mind. Mine took 7 mins to bake and then 5 more minutes to cool down. I prefer the yolk on the soft side than over cooked.
  • Once the muffins have cooled down, gently take them out by running a small knife around the cups. Serve immediately with tea/coffee/juice.

Storage:

You can make these muffins in batches and freeze them for later use. Let the muffins cool down completely and then wrap them and freeze in a zip-lock bag or a freezer bag. For reheating wrap in a paper towel and reheat in microwave.

Chicken Slice Sandwich

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I am out  of town accompanying my husband on his office trip. We will be returning home today so we decided to check out and I am waiting for him to pick me up at the Destiny USA / Carousel Mall in Syracuse, NY. Already done with the window shopping and now lunching at the Panera Bread with a Napa Almond Chicken Sandwich and plenty of time to kill. No I am not shopping anything for myself, however hard that might be to believe, I am not. We both had been buying stuff a little extravagantly last couple of days telling each other its our Puja shopping but seriously who are we kidding!!!

Anyways my Panera Sandwich reminds me of  the post that has been lying in my drafts waiting to be edited and submitted, so I decide to do this right away. No stories today.. no pouring out emotions. Just a quick post on an equally quick recipe. Actually no recipe at all its mainly assembling that needs to  be done. On those days when you wanna grab something for a light lunch or dinner without any elaborate preparations/cooking/cleaning – a sandwich can always come to your rescue.

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I made this last week and used whatever was available in my fridge. There can be number of alterations / additions to this, so do it your way and make it your signature dish.

The first picture has been edited by my loving husband… he wanted to give it a feel of a restaurant style menu. I loved it and decided to use it as my landing pic for this post.

Ingredients: As required for one sandwich

  • Bread – 2 slices; I used white bread, but you can use any variety of your preference.
  • Tomato slices – 2 small slices or one big slice
  • Lettuce – 1 leaf, washed, dried and folded.
  • Onions – 2 rounds or slices
  • Chicken Slice – 3-4. I used the this variety from Target – Hormel Natural Choice Sliced Rotisserie Style Deli Chicken Breast. It is cooked and needs minimum preparation. Use any type of chicken / meat you want.
  • Any sauce/dressing of your choice – as required. I use either a dash of hot sauce, honey mustard or lemon dill
  • Butter or spread for the toast – I like using the Irish butter that is available in BJs.
  • Oil / butter.
  • Any seasoning of your choice – Salt and Pepper (for sure), sometimes I also add a little of the Cajun spice.

Method:

  • Heat a pan on high heat with very little oil/butter. I use the spray oil can for this purpose.
  • Add the onion rings/slices and the chicken slices.
  • Sprinkle some seasoning and saute on both the sides for a minute or two. This adds flavor to the chicken.
  • Meanwhile toast the bread and coat it lightly on one side with butter / spread.
  • Assembly: Place the tomato slices on the butter side of one of the bread slice. Top it with the lettuce leaf. Then add the sauteed chicken slices along with the sauteed onions. Add sauce of your choice. Top it with the remaining slice of bread, buttered side down.
  • Press the sandwich a bit and slice it in halves. Secure it with a toothpick (optional).

Serve it as a lunch, brunch or even dinner. This time I added some grapes and a mango smoothie to make it a complete lunch meal.

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Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes

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I woke up last Saturday morning dreaming of food. A rare dream I must say since I do not – NEVER – dream of food. My dreams are usually adventurous ones.. or maybe romantic ones. But never food. So I am not sure whether it was a dream at all or not. It was 8:00 in the morning and that was pretty early for me considering our weekend standards. So I just grabbed my iPAD under the blanket trying not to wake up the sleepy-head next to me. I did not need to search long for the recipe. I knew what I wanted for breakfast, an elaborate one it would be.

The other day I had been checking the BBCGoodFood app on Google chrome and there it was on the featured recipe of the day – baked eggs with spinach and tomato. A quick glance ensured all the usual ingredients and nothing fancy about the process. So I decided to go for it and surprise Mr. B with an early breakfast.

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All ingredients were pretty handy and in no time I was put the pan in the oven. It felt so good to bake that early. Usually weekends are very relaxed with late breakfast and an even later lunch. It felt good to break the norm once in a while. Mr. B being a foodie that he is – and a person who can guess all ingredients of a dish just by the smell of it – could no longer remain in bed without knowing what was cooking in the kitchen. Needless to say we had a nice start to the day with toast, baked eggs with spinach and tomatoes, fruits and a cup of tea. Thanks to BBCGoodFood for the wonderful recipe. I just added a couple more things to it to give it my touch.

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Ingredients:

  • Spinach – 100 gms
  • Tomatoes – 2-3 medium sized, roughly chopped
  • Oil / Olive oil / Butter – to grease the pan
  • Garlic cloves – 2, finely chopped or crushed
  • Salt – to taste
  • Black pepper powder – to taste
  • Red Chilli Flakes – to taste
  • Eggs – 4 (I used only 3)
  • Shredded or grated Cheese (optional) – I used Shredded Mozzarella – Adjust amount to your preference
  • Milk / Cream (optional) – 1/2 cup approx (reduce the amount if you want to)
  • Any other seasoning (optional) – could be oregano or basil. I used a store-bought Italian seasoning

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Method:

You can either use one oven proof baking pan or container, or you can use two medium containers or four small containers or ramekins for this. Divide the ingredients and the eggs accordingly. I used the only available 9×9 baking dish (you can use a smaller size too) so I put all the ingredients in the same pan.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Blanch the spinach first. This is how you do it – Boil water in a saucepan, add spinach to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain out the spinach in a colander and wash it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and keep aside. Alternatively you can also put the spinach in a colander and pour hot boiling water on the leaves. Squeeze out the excess water and keep aside.
  3. Grease the baking dish with butter or olive oil or cooking oil.
  4. Place the blanched spinach as a first layer.
  5. Throw in chopped tomatoes to form the second layer.
  6. Sprinkle salt, pepper, chopped garlic and some cheese.
  7. Break the eggs (see the note below) on top of the spinach tomato layer. I used all four in one pan placing each egg on each corner of the dish. If using two containers, put two eggs in each of them; if using 4 break 1 egg in each.
  8. Add cream or milk (optional), top it off with some chilli flakes, some more cheese and any other seasoning of your choice.
  9. Bake it for about 15 – 20 minutes (mine took 18 minutes) till the eggs are cooked. Note: The baking time varies from oven to oven and how well cooked you prefer your eggs to be.
  10. Serve it immediately with some bread toast.

Note:

  • Do not beat the eggs.  Break them directly on to the baking dish.
  • Except adding the eggs you can prepare everything before hand and keep it sealed in the fridge the night before. Next day just add the eggs, top it with some cheese and  bake it. This works great if you are in a hurry.

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I am sending this recipe for the Bake Fest Event #21 hosted by AmritaVishal of Sweet ‘n’ Savory.

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Dim Posto – Eggs in Poppy paste

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A little about my Bong connection:

Probashi Bangali is what I like to call myself. Born and brought up in a small town of UP, I had never really understood the connection that all Bengalis feel with the city of joy. To me Kolkata, then called Calcutta, was my hometown-on-papers while in reality it was just the place where I spent the summer vacations and where all my relatives stayed. It was a place that always used to scare me in my childhood – the traffic… the pollution and the people…. everything. That used to be my connection with Kolkata. On being asked my preferred place for pursuing higher education (which was not to happen in the small town that I was living) Calcutta would figure at the bottom of my list.

I never had the understanding of the culture that we Bengalis are always so proudly boasting of. My parents tried to give me and my brother the most that they could. The bong traits in me resulted in me being a part of the school choir and other cultural groups, wearing glasses as early as in Class 4th (a permanent ornament for the Bongs – sorry for the typecast), developing a sweet-tooth and being what you may call a ‘good student’ (it was a commonly accepted notion amongst us that Bengali kids are the studious kinds). But that was where it ended. I hated Bengali food, could not bear the thought of having plain rice or fish or patla musur dal (lentil soup) or any curry which had sugar in it…. so while my brother was the mach-bhaat (fish and rice) types I was the roti-sabji one. I liked the thick dal with my rotis, loved any cuisine other than bengali and my meals were always accompanied with a fight with my mom for not having fish. I would wait long for everyone to leave the lunch table and then would quietly throw away the fish into the garbage when no one looked (something that I still feel guilty about). I remember me and my brother skipping the Bengali movies on Sunday afternoons on DD2 Bangla channel which my family loved to watch, except obviosuly the Gupi Baga series that even I loved. And though I danced to many a Rabindrasangeet I never really bonded with any of them. Infact I spoke Bengali so poorly that my relatives would make fun of my hindi mixed bengali language.

So somehow when I ended up being in Kolkata after high school (life has its own ways of surprising us!) my family was very – very – skeptical of how I might cope with the city life. And to be honest the first year I hated it terribly.

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Kolkata – the city of Joy
Image Courtesy : Bedabrata Chatterjee

Life changed for me. The first year when I was staying with my dida.. she made me eat all kinds of Bengali food… from Uchchey shedhdho (Boiled bittergourd) to Loitta mach (Bombay duck fish) to lau er payesh (a dessert made of bottle gourd) – names that I had never heard of. Since I was preparing for my entrance exams that year my only recreation used to be the evening bengali movies that I would watch with my dida… mostly the Uttam-Suchitra or Soumitro-Aparna Sen ones. I learned to travel in the crowded buses and packed local trains, and in that one year stint at Kalyani University a friend of mine taught me how to read and write the numbers in bengali so that I could read the bus numbers. At night when I would sleep next to my dida, she would recite poems to me – what we call ‘abritti’ in Bengali. That’s when I got introduced to ‘Korno Kunti Sombaad’ – one of my favorites – in my Dida’s emotion packed voice. My friends and other family members introduced me to other bengali movies and songs. Hostel life, when I finally joined LBC, was a different chapter altogether. The celebrated menu of any bengali meal – the fish – for which I would have so many fights with my mom – became the only edible food in the lunch menu. The crowded street with all kinds of queer people became my co-passengers. I learned to protect myself and even vocally fight back in many cases in the crowded buses and trains – something that the daily passengers of Kolkata will surely understand. The constant hustle-bustle of the big city became my companion whenever I would feel lonely. Eventually the town girl who was once not sure if she would survive in this city started thriving.

After years of alienating myself from Kolkata – gradually, unknowingly, unwillingly, I started falling in love with it. The city gave me love and joy and a few heartbreaks and tears too… but more importantly made me what I am today. I rose above my biases and opened my heart to the city with all its givings and misgivings and the city, as it does with everyone, embraced me and added a distinct imprint on my life.

Victoria Memorial
Image Courtesy : Bedabrata Chatterjee

I still love to call myself a probashi bangali instead of a true Bangali. My tastes have matured from Bollywood movies to foreign movies and yet I love to watch the mature Bengali movies of the recent years… While I listen to A.R. Rehman and Adele I also have a playlist of songs ranging from Anjan Dutta, Chandrabindoo to Lopamudra and the modern versions of Rabindra Sangeet…Old Uttam Suchitra movies hold more passion and romance than the current Ranbeer-Deepika movies… Though I am perfectly fine with the quiet and peaceful life of the US, there are times when I long for the traffic filled Bypass rides and the liveliness of the city life… While there is no place like New York city or Las Vegas, Victoria Memorial of Kolkata will always hold the memory of the most precious moment of my life… Comfort food ranges from dal bhaat aloo posto, rajma chawal to roti and mixed dal… While I still follow and prefer the North Indian style of cooking Indian meals, I have also come to love kosha pathar mangsho (Mutton curry) with mishti pulao (Rice), the slightly sweetend chanar dalna and I never forget to add a little sugar in my egg curries… While we both are still not crazy about fish, I have found  that cooking it little differently suits our palate better. I have tried to imbibe in me best of both the worlds and keep myself open and receptive to the wide world where there is so much more to experience and learn.

Coming to today’s recipe – it is an attempt to accolade my bengali roots that I have come to understand lately. And the one thing that I have realized about bengali cuisine is that given a chance Bongs would put every edible thing in a poppy seed paste with lots of green chillies, maybe add some mustard or coconut and come up with a heavenly dish…! For the countless egg lovers here is a simple Bengali preparation – Eggs in poppy seed paste – Dim Posto

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Ingredients:

  • Eggs – 4 hard boiled, shelled and halved
  • Potatoes – 2 small, cut lengthwise into quarters (optional)
  • Onions – 1 medium, thinly sliced
  • Green chillies – slit lengthwise,  5-6 or to taste. I usually dont use red chillies but you can.
  • Poppy seeds – 4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 2 tbsp for paste (optional, can skip it)
  • Kalonji/Kalo Jeere/Nigella seeds – for tempering (optional).
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp and a little more for sprinkling on the eggs and potatoes.
  • Red chilli powder – to taste, if not using green chillies
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – as required. Preferrably mustard oil but I use white oil.
  • Water – as required
  • Chopped coriander leaves – for garnishing

Method:

  • Hard boil the eggs, once done keep aside and let them cool. De-shell and cut them into halves length wise. Sprinkle salt and turmeric and keep aside.
  • Boil the potatoes half done and keep aside.
  • Make a paste of poppy seeds, mustard seeds with salt and some water. I generally use the Sunrise mustard powder which I soak in 1-2 tbsp of water and salt for 15 mins. I grind the dry poppy seeds in a grinder and then soak it in water for 15 mins along with the mustard powder or sometimes separately.
  • Heat oil in a pan, fry the thinly sliced onions till browned, drain and keep aside.
  • Fry the eggs in the oil with the yellow side facing the pan and the white side up. That way the boiled yolk will not separate from the whites. Once done flip the eggs carefully and fry the white sides. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add some more oil if required, heat it and temper with the kalonji / nigella seeds.
  • Add the half boiled potatoes with some salt and turmeric. Add green chillies and fry a while.
  • Next add the green poppy paste / poppy mustard seeds paste, salt to taste, red chilli powder (if using) and mix well.
  • Add some water – quantity according to the desired gravy – and let it come to a boil. This will not have too  much gravy so adjust the quantity accordingly.
  • Once the potatoes are completely cooked, check for salt and spice. Add salt / chillies accordingly.
  • Now you can add the eggs to the gravy and mix it carefully so that the yolk does not come out. Alternatively you can arrange the eggs on a serving dish with the yolk side up, and pour the gravy along with the potatoes on top of it.
  • Garnish with the fried onions and chopped coriander leaves.

Serve it immediately. This dish tastes best with plain rice when served immediately after cooking as on reheating the poppy paste gravy tends to dry up.

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