Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Long long back (and still a practice) wood fired chulahs (ovens) were used for cooking. They
provided excellent flame and temperature control which can’t be achieved with gas burner or electrical hot plates. But operating a wood fired chulah efficiently needed long experience and skill.

After the main cooking is over, the dying chulahs with hot ash and some burning coal remaining was used for cooking many dishes. Like putting  potatoes, sweet potatoes , brinjals, drum sticks and name any thing . Or even fish mixed with spices, wrapped in layers of Sal leaves were shoved in to produce awesome dishes . The famous Chhena Poro ( cottage cheese ) of Odisha was also made like this .
Here I am trying to recreate a childhood recipe of Odisha.


Drumsticks 10 Nos , fat ones and not the ruptured old haggard
Bori/ bari ( sun dried udad dal dumplings ) 10 nos
Green chili 5 , chopped  ( more the merrier )
Red chilis dry -2
Mustard oil 2 tsp (extra virgin) OR EVOO 2 tsp extra virgin
Lemon juice 3 tsp or more , just add slowly to adjust sourness and you can completely do away with it. Traditionally it is not added .

OPTIONAL  for temple or non-veg options ( onion and garlic)
Small onion chopped fine
3 cloves garlic smashed and chopped fine .

Heat the drum sticks in open flame slowly, so that the outer skin becomes charred or black after 3 minutes. You can burn 2 to 5 at a time depending upon your skill. Hold from one end to the middle and move up and down  Keep rotating till they are black . Take another bunch and repeat,  When one side roasting is over , roast the other end so that finally the outer skin is dark and burnt.

Burnt drumsticks 

CAUTION : If the outer skin breaks  steam may come out with a hiss , so be careful, it will burn your hand instantaneously but very rare.

Once the drum sticks are cool  slit from middle and scrape out the flesh and seeds, keep separately the seeds.
Seeds and flesh separated 

Eat one seed , it should be soft like a boiled corn seed, not too hard.  If you find the seeds bit stiff , never mind, just put 4 tbsp water and micro at 900 watt  for 3 min.

In a skillet roast the Bori to brown… you can fry too in oil. crush the bori to 1/4th inch approx.
Hold   red chili, one by one,  with a tong and burn in open flame to black with one sneeze and then burn the other end .

Burnt drumstick flesh, fried Bori , burnt red chili and green chili lined up 

Now mix the burnt drum stick, green chili, burnt red chili mustard oil or EVOO, salt and lemon juice and eat .

The final product

If you want a non-temple dish, add the chopped onion and garlic

Eat with rice 

Monday, September 15, 2014

SEI ILISH MACHHER JHAL WITH GINGER (That lish fish jhal with ginger )

SEI ILISH MACHHER JHAL WITH GINGER (That lish fish jhal with ginger )

As a marketing man one must know the expressed need of customers. But a successful marketing man must understand the implied need of a customer. And if you can understand the implied need of wife, sky is the limit for your success as a    marketing guy.
So when my wife said “Can you cook Sei ( that)  ilish jhal , you used to cook in Motijhil days in Calcutta and also cooked few times in 90s before you set sail to Korea ?”
“Yes of course “ (without knowing what is yes of course)
So to understand the implied need , I had to cross examine like a lawyer and could understand what she meant .
So here it is

Ilish fish (4 to 6 pieces) ( the quantity of other things will remain same irrespective of the fish pieces). You can use any oily fish like Aarh Boal  pabda salmon  herring,  cord etc etc ) . Smear fish with turmeric and salt. (this turmeric is extra)
Extra virgin mustard oil 3 tbs + 1 tbsp (EVOO most welcome too) ( oil is same for cooking up to 10 pieces)
Sunrise mustard powder or Korean Mustard powder 2 heap tsp.  Or grind and filter yellow or black or combo 4 tsp heaped).
Full fat (6 % ) curd 2 heap tbsp.  ( u can use non fat curd also)
Ginger paste 1 level tsp
Red chili powder 1 level  tsp
Turmeric powder 11/2 level tsp
Green chili hot 4
Dry red chili 2
Kala jeera (nigella) 3/4th level tsp

Soak mustard, red chili and turmeric powder in water for 30 minutes
Whip in the curd and required salt into the mixture and make it very smooth.
In a Kadhai add 3 tbsp. oil and start warming (don’t take to smoking), add kala jeera and red dry chili . Continue heating till foaming starts and take to full heat.
Add the fish, gently sauté for 2-3  minutes
Add ½ cup water bring to boil.
Add the spice curd mix green chilis,  ginger paste and mix well bring to full boil while continuously stirring. (This is important to get that creamy consistency). Cover and reduce heat.
  After 3-4 minutes turn the fish, cover and continue heat for 2-3 minutes .
Add 1 tbsp mustard oil / EVOO and heat for 1-2 minutes .

Dish is ready for rice 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014



Please ignore the word PING, it is related to some computer jargon. I liked it so used it.

Here no preamble, I am trying to put a very traditional Bong recipe with a variation. Here I will use fried fish, normally raw fish is used. You can use raw ones also). You can use any fish of your choice. I will be using weak spices and no medium spice like cumin, strong spice like methi seeds  , fennel or garam masalas. Will keep the flavour of fried red chili paste as dominant smell (don’t get confused between smell ,taste and flavour , they have different meaning all together  )  and supplemented with  very weak spice of coriander powder.  The tempering will be also with a weak spice, the kala jeera, (Nigela) .


*Fish : Tengra/Tyangra/ kantia (in Odiya) and of Batasio family, like BATASIO BATASIO  , 9 pieces , 500 grams ( in rainy season chose the pregnant fish in full term)

* Potato 2 medium cut to half-moon 12 mm thick
* Tomato, 2 inch long, cut to 4 or 6 pieces
* Red chili powder 1 heap tbsp. (hottest or mildest , your choice)
* Coriander powder 2 heap tsp
* Mustard powder  2 level  tsp, ( Korean make or Bong make ,)  Or if not available, grind 3      level  tsp mustard , soak in water and filter .
* Chopped onion 1 cup (US cup of 8 oz or 240 ml approx.)
* 4 cloves garlic smashed and chopped
* Nigela ( kala jeera ) 1 level tsp
* Dry red chili 2
* Turmeric – 1 tsp level
* Green chili, broken, 4
* !/3 tsp sugar
* Oil Mustard 3 tbsp + 2 tsp (olive pomace will do or any white oil) (over and above required for sallow frying)
* Oil for frying the fish

Soak coriander powder, mustard powder, chili and turmeric powder in water and leave aside for 30 minute
Clean fish, marinade in salt and turmeric. (This turmeric is extra over what is mentioned above)
Sallow fry the fish to light brown on both sides ( CAUTION : The cat fish skin may explode violently  so as soon as you add fish cover it and when you turn over , cover immediately )
In the same oil add potato and fry , till brown spots develop. Keep aside
Make up the oil to 3 tbsp , heat and give nigella and red chili tempering , add smashed garlic. After 30 seconds add the finely chopped onion.
Sauté the mix to make it slightly translucent, it should not be fried and more towards raw. If you are tempted to make it light brown to brown, don’t do it. I will give you same fish recipe with fried onion and strong spicing system
Add the soaked spice, stir fry till a little oil appears. Add the potatoes, salt and fry for 1 min
Add I cup ( 180 ml ) water and the tomato .
Add 1/3rd tsp sugar (this is to taste not to sweeten)
Bring to full boil, cover and reduce heat .
When Potatoes are almost done add the fish and boil for 5 min, add raw mustard oil .

Done . 

Sunday, August 31, 2014



This is a pure vege dish, devoid of onion and garlic 
Well was trying to reproduce a childhood memory of this down market poor man’s. Don’t remember what my mother used to do , but whatever I could recollect, putting it here . It is awesome.
This dish can be cooked in many different ways  , with riot of spices like garam masala etc .
But try this

Chal Kumro , skinned and chopped fine random ( 1/4th inch by 3/4th inch etc )  2 cups ( American 8 oz)
Grated coconut ½ to 3/4th cup (more the merrier)
Bori ( Udad dal dumplings 1 inch size ) 8
Green chili silted 4
Turmeric ½ tsp
Ginger  paste 1 heap tsp
Roasted and ground “cumin and red chili “1 tsp ‘
Oil for frying Bori 1 tbsp ( Boris are renowned   oil drinkers, so starve them with less oil and brisk fry )
Ghee 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Sugar to taste or sweeten, 1 tsp to taste and 2 tsp to sweeten ( Bongs please adjust sugar to your sweet tooth) .

Ghee 1 tbsp
Tej pata 1
Cumin 1 tsp level.
Dry red chili  -1

Heat oil and fry the Bori to brown , break into large pieces ,  keep aside
In the same Kadhai, Heat ghee 1 tbsp,  and temper with tej pata, cumin and red chili . Add the Chal-kumro, and stir fry under high heat  for 2-3 minutes , add turmeric and salt . Add water just to submerge the vegetables. Reduce heat and cover.
BREAK ‘’ Smokers take 6 minutes break in the balcony or courtyard, drinkers, gulp few drinks and relax..TV addicts … Baby sitters… you know what to do)

After 7-10 minutes, check if the veges is tender. (If it is burnt because of you, discard everything and start all over again).
Add grated coconut, the sugar, green chili, ginger paste and the roasted cumin powder and Bori,  and mix. If needed add few tbsp. water to keep it from drying out. Cover and cook for 5 minutes with stirring in between.
Add 1 tbsp ghee mix and done.
Eat with rice or paratha, Luchi or puri..( you can eat with roti, which I don’t like ) 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


It has been ages , I posted any thing ..I have been cooking though and taking snaps too .
here is a fast but tricky recipe learnt from my son in law and i love it .Of course no need to tenderize the meat , if the bought out spice already has Papaya tenderizer.
The meat is tenderized here to give a burah kebab finish in texture of the meat 


Lamb or mutton chops 8 pieces ( 600 to 700 grams dressed), flattened .
Raw papaya with skin , 2 inch chopped coarse or give one pulse in a grinder
Oil for marinade 1 tbsp ( mustard or EVOO or any oil of your choice )
Ginger garlic paste 2 tsp, 
Vinegar or lemon juice 11/2 tbsp
Curd 200 gms
Sugar 1/2 tsp 


Use any market bought out tanduri masala , or meat masala . Here I have used Anisa Arif's awesome tandoori masala.

CAUTION  If the spice mix has papaya or any tenderizer, do not use papaya mentioned above.


Acidify the meat with vinegar or lemon juice , mix the papaya and keep aside for 2-3 hrs.
Shake off or jet wash the papaya under water tap, and pat dry .(not necessary if you are making a curry ) 
Mix in 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste , 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp of Anisa’s Tanduri masla, leave aside.
In 200 gms curd whip in , salt and ½ tsp sugar, and mix with the meat.
Keep in fridge for 1-2 hrs
In a pan heat 2 tbsp oil ,   lay the chops along with the marinade,  pressing the chops, fry it on high heat for 2 min, reduce flame and continue frying. After 5 min. reverse the chops and continue as above.. The curd should dry out and burnt here and there,
Eat as it is … The meat will melt in your mouth 

Sorry no finished product photo, all finished