18.11.14

Koncha Kodoli Boda (Plantain Cakes Odiya style)


In Odiya, plantains are called Koncha Kodoli, which literally means raw banana. Probably they are so called because of the semblance in their shape and color. Whatever it be, this vegetable is widely grown in Odisha and plantain cakes or Koncha Kodoli Bodas are quite popular with the people here.


While rice-daal and kodoli boda is a standard combination at my in-laws, at home, I sometimes stray from convention and serve them with tea. They are incredibly easy to prepare and more importantly cupboard friendly.... that is, if you have a couple of plantains in hand, you can actually prepare these out of items in your pantry. Also the toddler approves of them. So these days when I am busy, I cook these, make a pot of rice, a pot of lentils with lots of vegetables and call it a meal.


The recipe is my mother-in-laws and I usually stick to it. However from time to time I substitute the potato with sweet potato and throw in a teaspoon of chives into the dough. My husband finds such healthy variations sacrilegious, but I quite enjoy the slightly sweetish plantain cakes, specially with a dab of mango pickle on top....


13.11.14

Kheer Komla (Milk Pudding with Orange)

Happy Friday and a very happy Children's day !!


After procrastinating for days I am finally here....

A lot has happened in the last few months... the toddler has started school, I joined work and...... aah.. yup. and thats about it. Actually, though a lot hasn't really happened, life suddenly seems to have picked up pace and toddler and I are gradually settling down to our new routine. Naturally the time spent on doing things that are not of mutual interest has minimized... but I guess that is alright. after all they stay little for only so long and I should know better than to spend this time doing things that can wait.....  

...thus dinner these days is usually quick and simple.. wrapped up almost always with a helping of yogurt for dessert. Weekends are however different. We are all relaxed and while the boys hang out doing boy-stuff... I take my time and prepare something special for them. 


Last weekend I cooked Kheer Komla, one of my favorite desserts from childhood...

Literally, Kheer Komla means milk pudding with orange. In winter when the local markets flood with oranges almost every Bengali I know picks up a bunch and prepares bowls of Kheer Komla. Of course those who have the luxury of time, patiently watch over a kadai of whole milk while it simmers and reduces to kheer, then sweeten the reduced milk, flavor it with elaichi(green cardamom) and sometimes saffron, chill the kheer, then dot it with segments of oranges... While others like me take the short route and prepare the kheer with a mix of whole milk and condensed milk and then flavor it and adorn it the usual way. 


However if you are like me and find condensed milk a little too sweet for your taste, you might want to consider the way I prepare kheer these days. The recipe is a medley of  Cajeta and traditional Kheer. It is relatively quick, gives you a handle on how sweet you want your dessert to be and works like a charm every time....  


Kheer Komla (Milk Pudding with Orange)
Oranges in milk pudding flavored with green cardamom and saffron

Recipe by Tanusree
Cook time: 45 minutes                                                               Total time: 45 minutes + chilling time
Yield: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 + ½ cup milk
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • ¼tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 5-6 strands of saffron
  • 1 orange
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large saucepan or kadai, combine 2 cups of milk with the sugar and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in 2 tablespoons of the milk mixture and stirring vigorously pour it into the saucepan of milk mixture. (The milk swells at this point so keep a close watch and stir continuously. )
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low,split open the green cardamom, add it to the milk and stirring occasionally simmer the milk for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile stir the saffron into the remaining milk and keep it aside.
  5. Once the milk in the saucepan thickens and becomes a light shade of orange , add the remaining milk to it and stir occasionally simmer over medium-low heat for another 15-20 minutes until the flavored milk  thickens enough to coat the back of your spoon.
  6. Now switching off the heat, pour the flavored milk into 2 or 3 serving bowls and chill for 1 hour.
  7. Add the orange segments to the bowl and chill the dessert for another hour or until you are ready to serve.
Serve and enjoy !!

Until next time,
Tanusree

I shall be sharing this dessert at the following parties..



21.8.14

Tomatoes Provençal # French Fridays with Dorie (Catch-up)


Its been almost two weeks since we moved to India.  My toddler hasn't yet come to terms with the move. He constantly insists that we get back "home." I guess it takes time to get used to the heat and dampness .... the very things that breathe home to us....

My toddler celebrating my grandma's birthday in Kolkata
After living with my parents in Kolkata for a week, toddler and I finally moved to Bhubaneshwar over the weekend. The city of Bhubaneshwar, experienced a IT boom a couple of years back. As a result apartments with basic facilities are mushrooming everywhere, but so far, we have not been able to find a place that is close enough to the institute where my husband works. So we are living out of our suitcases in a guest house and looking for a place we can call home.   

Under the present circumstances, cooking is not an option. We've been eating in the student's canteen. The food in the canteen is tasty but spicy. Way too spicy if you ask me... The toddler wisely has turned towards healthier options. He has been surviving on plain white rice, oats, boiled eggs, milk and bananas. The combination has been keeping him happy and energetic, so we are not overly worried about the lack of greens and colors in his diet. Afterall this arrangement is temporary and hopefully things will start falling in place soon....



In an effort to keep pace with the Doristas, I prepared a few dishes from AMFT, before we left US. This baked tomato dish was a particular favorite. Because tomatoes were cheap, and preparing the dish is easy, I kept including Tomatoes Provençal (sometimes an "almost-Indianized" variant of it), as a side for every other meal. In all its avatars this dish was well received... So, in case you are running out of ideas or enthusiasm for an  elaborate side for dinner tonight,  consider this simple baked tomato dish..

To prepare it, preheat your oven to 375°F,  cut few tomatoes in halves, mix crushed garlic, basil plus few other herbs of your choice, salt and pepper and olive oil in a bowl, rub the mixture over the open halves of the tomatoes, place them in a greased baking tray and bake for 50 minutes, basting the tomatoes once in between with the juice released from them... and viola ! Tomatoes Provençal is ready to enjoy. I think, baked with a sprinkle of pesto and mozzarella on top, these baked tomatoes will also make excellent starters at any girly party ....

You can find Dorie's recipe for Tomatoes Provençal in her book Around My French Table . Also it has been published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

15.7.14

Kiwi Pear Basil Smoothie


Hi ! Hope you all are keeping well and enjoying summer to the fullest. We've been busy packing our way off USA. With only three weeks left to go to India, the move is finally feeling more real every day. Piece by piece our furnitures are selling off, cardboard boxes are getting filled and stacked around the corners. Our car is sold and right now, we are pretty much dependent on friends and rentals to move around. The move is a little confusing for our toddler. He was born here and to him, India has always meant holiday. He cannot yet understand the need to give away everything before leaving for India... Guess it'll take sometime before the idea of moving countries sink into him..

2.7.14

Toddler friendly Salmon Cakes


I had read about the health benefits of salmon and had ever since been looking for ways to introduce it to my son's diet. While I enjoyed most of the salmon dishes that I tried, my son wasn't very keen on them until I made these salmon cakes the other day.

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