Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Shorshe Ilish or Hilsa Fish with Mustard

Today I prepared this popular bengali dish 'shorshe ilish'... with Saba (mackeral) as hilsa is not available in hawaii!!

It is very simple and fast. Just take ~1 pound/ 500 grams of mackeral or hilsa fish and cut into medium size pieces (1 inch wide)... rub a bit of salt and turmeric on them after washing and set aside... now take 2 tsp of light brown (off white) mustard seeds and a little bit of salt and 1-2 green chillies and grind them to a fine paste, adding water during the process... Chop a large white onion and saute lightly in 1 tbs olive oil.. now place the fish pieces on onions (no need to stir).... Mix the mustard paste with 1/2 cup of water and drizzle on top of the fish... Sprinkle chopped green onions (at least 2-3).. Now cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, covered.... Turn over the fish pieces, so that both sides get cooked.. Cook on medium/slow heat (make sure that it does not stick to the bottom)... There will be a faint aroma or mustard and the fish will look cooked, the onions slightly turned yellow because of the turmeric in the fish!! Check for salt, and if needed add more!! If you like 'hot' food you can add red chilli powder as well, or increase the number of chillies in the mustard paste.

Remove from heat and garnish with lots of chopped coriendar, lemon wedeges etc. Serve with basmati rice or thai red rice... goes very well with Daal (lentil soup)!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Japanese Green Tea Icecream

Before coming to Hawaii I had never imagined that I would love the taste of tea leaves in something. Even though I am an avid tea drinker I make sure to strain the tea well to remove all traces of leaves, regardless of the type of tea. But, it seems it is a delicacy in Hawaii, borrowed from Japan to put powdered green tea in cream to make ice cream. It seems to be the most favourite flovor here in this island state of america, at least among the hale maonan residents. But, to tell you the truth when I had this for the first time in my life, in Bubbies, the famous ice cream parlour of our city, I just could not enjoy it.... But, then one day, many days later I had it again, with strawberries and thoroughly enjoyed it.. i thought it is perhaps the berries that has changed my taste buds.. Then i found this recipe in an asian cook book.. Looked simple enough and my friend got excited about it.. So, we bought the ingredients and made it in a rush just before the kitchen powers went out at 11 pm.... Next morning, something more happend to my taste.. I found this extremely delicious and it was superb with hot azuki bean paste....

This is really easy and i urge even novices to try this....

you just need heavy 2.5 cups whipping cream, 3 egg yolks, 1 to 2 tsp powdered sincha green tea (it gives the signature green color)!!, 2 tbs mirin, 2-3 tbs (or to taste) suger/brown sugar. Separate the eggs and keep the yolks is a small bowl. Put green tea powder in a medium size mixing bowl and mix with a table spoon of the heavy whipping cream. Heat the rest of the cream till it starts boiling.. slowly add that boiling cream to the tea mix. Whip the yolks with sugar and mirin and gradually add to the cream mix. Put this back to the pan and on medium heat cook this mixture, without allowing it to boil, to thicken slightly, enough to coat the back of a spoon.

cool this for a while and freeze. Serve with Azuki bean paste and fruits like strawberries, raspberries etc. I like it just with home made Azuki bean paste.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

pita disaster

made pita bread after consultation with wife of an Egyptian resident of our dorm. In fact, most of the cooks from 12th floor diamond head kitchen had asked for her pita bread recipe as it looks yummy whenever she takes out trays of hot pieces from the oven. Others followed and were equally successful. Somehow it did not work for me.. Don't know why, perhaps the yeast was not enough..

The recipe is to take 1 cup of flour, add 2 tsp of yeast, a bit salt and sugar and 2 tst of oil. Add water and make a dough. knead and set aside covered for 1 hour. It should rise!!! then make small pita breads using a rolling pin. Arrange them on a tray. Pre-heat oven on 400 (?) farenheit and bake the breads for 7 minutes on the bottom tray. Then place them on the top rack and change the heat to 450 (?) farenheit and turn the grill/broil on. Cook for 4 minutes. The pita bread will rise and slighly turn brown on the top. Stop the oven and take the tray(s) out. Your pita bread is ready. You can serve now. Or keep it in the fridge for later use.. it is versetile, do whatever you want to do with it.. Eat with curry, or cheese or falafel.. It works as long as it looks like a pita bread..

Monday, January 22, 2007

Aztec Elixir

i downloaded this recipe from somewhere from the net!! Have always been fascinated with Mexican recipes.. haven't tried this yet, but seems good!


Cocoa Powder Blend:

2 cups chocolate shavings, Scharffen Berger or Callebaut

1 cup cocoa powder, Scharffen Berger or Cacao Barry

2/3 cup sugar with 1 vanilla bean chopped and mixed into the sugar

1 tablespoon ancho chile pepper powder

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1 cup 2 percent or whole milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 cinnamon sticks

Whipped cream, as an accompaniment

Corn husks and ancho chile powder, as a garnish

In a medium bowl, combine the Cocoa Powder Blend ingredients well. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

In a saucepan, combine the milk and cream and heat until warm over medium high heat.

Once warm, turn heat down to low and add 3/4 cup cocoa powder blend. Blend with a whisk and steep with the cinnamon for 10 minutes.

After steeping, bring the mixture to a boil, and strain, to remove cinnamon stick and vanilla bean chunks. Pour into a blender and pulse, to add air and create a foamy head. Serve immediately in a bowl with whipped cream. Sprinkle with ancho chile powder and garnish corn husks.

Dahi Murgee by Feriyal

Feriyal submitted this recipe for the EWCPA cookbook.... have made this award winning recipe several times...


One chicken (with bones cut up into pieces) or pieces of boneless chicken-wash the chicken and drain- you can wipe it dry with a paper towel—

Half a box of plain yoghurt About 250 ml

Salt & pepper to taste (half a teaspoon each) (Pepper can be both black and red or either)

One teaspoon garlic powder/paste

One teaspoon ginger powder/paste

Two tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

Cooking directions:

  1. Put the yoghurt, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, and vinegar in a bowl and mix well together.
  2. Put the chicken into the mixture and mix well so that all the pieces are well covered with the paste.
  3. Leave for an hour or so—you can even cover the chicken mixture and leave it in the fridge overnight and then cook it the next day—in that case take it out of the fridge a couple of hours earlier so that it comes to room temperature.
  4. Heat the oven to 250 degrees centigrades—put the chicken mixture in a baking dish—or use aluminum disposal dishes or corning ware dish—cover with aluminum foil and cook for an hour and then remove the foil and let it cook till all the water has dried—check after 15 mins—if there is still some water let it cook longer—

Note: this can also be cooked in a pan on the stove—you can out the chicken mixture in a pan and cover it and cook on a low heat for 20 mins—remove the lid and check if there is a lot of water (from the yoghurt) then raise the heat and cook for a few minutes till the mixture is dry.

Dal Makhani prepared by Cedar for a fundraiser

Dal Makhani


Black Urad dal whole 100 gms.

Rajmah 25 gms.

Cumin seeds 1 tsp.

Chopped garlic 1 tbsp.

Chopped ginger 1 tbsp.

Garam masala powder 1 tsp.

Fresh cream ½ cup

Red chili powder 1 tbsp.

Butter 50 gms.

Chopped tomato ½ cup

Chopped onion 1 cup

Oil 1 tbsp.

Salt As per taste


1. Pick, wash and soak black urad whole and rajmah overnight in 5 cups of water.

2. Cook the soaked dal and rajmah in 5 cups of water with salt, red chili powder and chopped ginger till dal and rajmah are cooked/soft.

3. Heat oil and butter in a thick bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, let it crackle. Add chopped onions and cook till golden brown in color.

4. Add chopped ginger, garlic and chopped tomatoes. Sauté till tomatoes are well mashed and fat starts to leave the masala. Add boiled dal and rajma to this. Correct seasoning.

5. Add Garam Masala Powder and simmer at very slow flame for 15 minutes

6. Add fresh cream and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Serve hot with Naan or Paratha.

Tip: This recipe also tastes very good the following day after reheating properly. Chef Kapoor likes it cold too! With hot parathas.