Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Phulko Luchi ar Aloor Dom & Misti dohi ~ Bengali Cuisine!

Ok, I have been scouring web sites like mad to get the perfect bangali recipes that I will be able to make and at the same time, my folks will eat. Athamma is game for anything, but hubby dear on the other hand, will not touch anything that's sweet. So having all these in mind, I asked the google God, show me bengali recipes!. Well google being google, brought me many sites, of course, most of the top listed ones, I already have bookmarked because of RCI. But still it was interested to check them out again. After going through few, I decided I will opt for the common vegetable, as it might be easy to get family eat them.

I squared on Alur Dom, this sounded very much like my own Dum Aloo, but with certain variations. Clicking few random links, I found myself, where you know? At our host's place, my what a wonderful place she has. I got hooked reading through her posts. Finally out of sheer necessity logged out myself. Thus end the day one of my search. Day two, saw me pretty much the same and I finally had about 5 Bengali recipes on hand that I wanted to try. You know they say that Fried bajjis is very famous as part of their feast, sadly couldn't find one recipe that has details about it. After much search, I was able to land myself with something.

Made a declaration that its going to be Bengali feast for dinner, not exactly in terms of number dishes, but in terms of satisfaction we had it was a feast. I had earlier thought of asking Amma to ask her neighbor for authentic bengali dishes. But I knew trying to understand a new cuisine over a long distance call will be very tedious. Amma was invited many times for a bengali fare at her neighbor's place. And Amma was saying, Mrs. M, was telling me some pesto besto, I didn't understand and I didn't want to sound impolite, so didn't ask her. With my new whatever little learnt knowledge of Bengali cuisine, I possess, I explained to her what it meant.

So here I am with my first set of dishes that I tried and I must say we just loved it. Though I have previously prepared dough with only All purpose flour, this was the first time I am making it as a poori or deep fried. We make maida dough for Poli. The white poori tasted divine, I read somewhere that they offer luchi as neivethyam for Durga mata. No wonder, I thought. Throughout my cooking session, I had each member dropping in asking me how its coming up. It was very interesting on the whole. In all my previous RCI cooking, none of them really understood it. Now I guess they have an idea of what events are and how wonderfully they get treated with delicious goodies.

I also wanted to make some sweet, but since I couldn't decide on one, I thought I will just go ahead with Misti Dohi. I guess setting the curds along with the sugar makes the difference. Because it was different. Though we are used to eating curds with sugar, it always has that tartness in the curds, whereas Misti Dohi was just sweet. Overall experience was yummy, one satisfied and great dinner it was. Best compliment was, hubby asking me to jot down these dishes in our frequent to do dishes.


Luchi

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Setting Time : 30 mins
Cuisine : Bengali

Ingredients needed

All Purpose Flour / Maida - 3 cups
Salt to taste
Oil - 3 tsp
Warm Water - to make the dough. I used about 1 & 1/2 cup
Oil for rolling out
Oil for frying

Method to prepare:

In a bowl, take the flour and salt. Mix well and add the oil. You can rub the flour with the oil for some 3 - 4 times, you will the oil well mixed with the flour. Gradually add the water and gather the flour together. Once you get the consistency where it doesn't stick to your hands, you are done. Now if you want to work out your palm, you can do that right now.

This process is something that I like a lot, its very interesting to see the soft dough coming so well after you knead it well. The more you knead, the softer it comes out. Take a wet muslin cloth and cover it and keep it aside for sometime. I kept it for 30 mins.

Once you are ready to roll out, divide the dough into equal round balls. Luchi calls for rolling out with oil and not flour. If you are used to rolling out atta dough with oil, this should not be a problem.

Roll out the balls to make flat circles 4-5 inches in diameter. You can even use a lid to cut out perfect circles. But you got to ensure, its not thin and thick at places. I guess perfection in this area comes with experience.

Heat a kadai with Oil and simmer it. By the time you want to deep fry, the oil has to be hot. So you can simmer it too. Roll out as many as you want and then proceed to fry each one. As with pooris, this is also best done with company. I normally roll out and Athamma fries. But this time, she was with the kids. So I rolled out a batch and fried each one after the other.

Once the oil is hot, gently slide the luchi into the oil, make sure you don't just drop it, as oil might splash out. With the back of the slotted spatula, press on the luchi. This way it will puff up. once it puffs up, flip to the other side. Once its cooked on both sides, remove to a kitchen towel.

Alur Dom ~ Potatoes in an exciting gravy!

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Cuisine : Bengali

I followed Sandeepa's recipe, though made some changes to suit our taste. She mentioned curds and ghee as optional, I used both. And she didn't say what to do with the ginger paste!!!...of course I added it with onion. But still...:D..Since I had to make a paste of onions, I ground the ginger along with onions. And I prepared the dish in Ghee. After all this is RCI right,

Ingredients Needed

Potatoes/Aloo - 4 medium (I didn't have enough baby aloos, so I cubed the big ones)

For Tempering

Bay leaves/ Tej Pata - 1
Asafetida/Hing a pinch

For the Masala

Onion - 1 medium
Ginger - 2"
Tomatoes - 1 small
Jeera Powder/Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - ½ tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Curds/ Yogurt - 2 tsp
Ghee ~ 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - I added about 1/4 tsp.

She had said all non-bongs can go less on the sugar and increase the Red Chilli powder, that's exactly what I did!

For garnishing
Coriander leaves ~ fresh and chopped


Method to prepare:

Pressure cook potatoes to 1-2 whistles, once done, let it cool and peel the outer skin. If you are using the baby ones, boil and then remove the outer skin.

Heat ghee in a pan, Add Bay Leaves and Asafetida

Then add the Onion and Ginger paste and fry with a tsp of sugar till the onion turns a pinkish brown. Everything will stick as a solid mass.

Add the finely chopped tomato and sauté till its well cooked. I normally add salt at this stage to get the tomatoes to cook well.

Simmer and add the Cumin Powder, Garam masala Powder, Red Chilli Powder with 2 tsp of yogurt. Since you are adding the curds, it might curdle, so simmer and cook on low flame.

Sauté the masala till you see the oil separate from the masala. Then add the cubed potatoes

I added about 1/2 cup water as my folks won't eat dry gravy with poori. But this will be medium sautéed thick gravy as per the recipe.

Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves. I saved some for the plate decoration too!

Misti Dohi.

I remember Misti Dohi from my trips to Calcutta. Oh how I loved hearing them say the word. It has a rhythm to it. Since I knew I may not have time for any Bengali sweet, I thought Misti Dohi was the best option. Of course, I ended up eating all myself. Athamma won't eat sweets and hubby dear refused to touch anything sweet after that fabulous Luchi with Alur dom.

You need just lukewarm milk and sugar to set the Misti dohi

Milk - 50 ml
Sugar - 1 tsp

Heat milk and mix with sugar. Let it come to lukewarm temperature, add the curds for it to set. It will be done in 6 hrs time. In our climate, we need the milk to be just warm and I add about a quarter of curds for it to set.

Misti dohi tasted great. Though I have eaten this in Calcutta, I don't remember the taste and it was such a pleasant taste after the wonderful loch and aloof dump.

Now I can't wait to prepare the other interesting recipes I have bookmarked.

Sending my plate to our dear friend Sandeepa for her RCI Bengali. I hope she rises out of her hibernation to come and check this out. Thank you Sandeepa for your lovely recipes and for hosting this beautiful cuisine. We loved every bite of it!

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31 comments :

Nags said...

i am practically astounded by your energy. now go away from my reader! shoo!!

:D :D

indosungod said...

I am inviting myself over. I am sure you need help to finish it off :) Looks great Sri.

kamala said...

great spread of Bengali Thali.I love your dedication srivalli

sra said...

Pesto, besto - LOL! I've made my Bengali stuff, now need a story to tell it!

bee said...

can i come and stay with you? i'll roll out the pooris.

bhags said...

this looks like an awesome treat, agree with nags about the high amount of energy you have got there
.............have sent u a mail

Laavanya said...

What a totally tempting thaali that is Srivalli.. I am a big fan of maida puris.. if only there was some way they could turn healthy :) so i could eat them more often.

Uma said...

Looks simply delicious. what a feast!

Kalai said...

Awesome post and great entries for RCI! :)

Suganya said...

Potatoes in exciting gravy :D. I would love to try that.

Jayashree said...

That really is a feast that you've cooked up, Sri.....

TheCooker said...

I'll fry the pooris that Bee rolls.

Divya Vikram said...

I have tasted Misti Dohi during my trip to calcutta..Tasted wonderful..Glad that u made it at home..The luchi and aloo looks a good combo

Dhivya said...

great entries and looks so yumm

ranji said...

oh i love poori's....urs is do tempting!!

Namratha said...

Yummylicious Valli, all the dishes look gr8...esp the Aloor Dom....mmmm!

Linda said...

Wonderful, Sri! Looks so good I could reach out and have a taste right from my monitor --especially those crispy light luchi! :)

Ashu said...

Wow! The plate looks so yummy! Can you parcel me one ? ;-)

Swati Raman Garg said...

what a zest you have sri... love the way you explain them... i have got so much to learn ... :)
am becoming a fan of yours...

Homecooked said...

The plate looks absolutely delicious!!! Wish I could sample it :)

Mallika said...

That looks absolutely delicious and just it did back home in Kolkata! I love Sandeepa's recipes too.

sowmya said...

lovely dishes..great entry...

Srivalli said...

Nags, thank you so much!...hahah..you are too sweet with your words..hope you wont shoo me away for long!

indosungod, don't worry I have completed all of it myself!..but then if you want to come, we can make it together ..:)

kamala, thanks...glad you liked the thali!

sra, hahha..she said it exactly..hope my bengali friends dont get offended..well well, I am all eager to read the story!...rather if you want to invite me over ...will create one together..what say??

bee, I have 3 kids..won't mind another!..but you want to roll??..are you sure..my konda always ends up playing with the dough...come along anyways..you will make a good companion to her!..:)...

bhags, thanks...glad you dropped in after so long..

Laavanya, thanks...as I said even though we make half half of atta n maida, this was the first time and we all loved it..those bongs eat so rich man...hahha..I guess you only have to eat and then excerise the fat out..:D

Uma, thanks..it was really delicious..you got to try these

Kalai, I was glad I did this...and RCI is great!

Suganya, yeah it was very exciting really...

Jayashree, thanks...glad you like them

TheCooker, you want to fry and that too what bee rolled out, then its never gonna happen..it might end up churis!..:)..but do come along, we might end up having a creche at home!..:)

Divya, then I am sure you know how tasty that is..thanks

Dhivya, thank you..glad you liked them

ranji, me too me too love them...

Namratha, thank you thank you...it was really delish!

Linda, so glad to see you after a long time. hope things are fine your end...wish I could parcel some to your end!

Ashu, give me your address!...

Swati, ohh...you are very nice to say that...

Homecooked, thank you...

Mallika, another fan...that lady is hiding....thanks .I am sure you must've enjoyed those stuffs so often!

sowmya, thank you.

Sandeepa said...

Yes, yes, yes...coming...here I am :) Those perfect luchis have me drooling. And you made a whole thali out of it, after making luchi and alur dom I am just done. You are great.


Thanks for this lovely entry, but considering its lunch time and I have only these pics for company I am not happy :(

Sig said...

WOW, look at that puffed up luchi, what a platter, you are amazing Srivalli!

Srivalli said...

Sandeepa, Ah..finally..good to have you back..Nice to know you like my plate..thanks for hosting such a wonderful cuisine!

Sig, thanks..glad you liked it!

Lee Ping (Mrs.HBT) said...

I love Poori. Our local Indian Restaurant serves that for breakfast. It was interesting how one eats Poori. I saw a family tapping the sides of the Poori with their fingers, allowing hot steam to be released. We just picked up our Poori and bite into it. :) I am not sure when I will try making Poori myself but when I do, I know where I can get my recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Srivalli said...

Lee, hope you will make this one day...thats really nice to know that you have this available at your place. Yeah thats a nice way to eat it too...putting down the hot air and then eating!

Sudeshna said...

Its so nice to hear about Luchi and Aloor Dum, tell me how do to write for RCI , even am interested in it.
Catch me at my blog
http://bengalicuisine.wordpress.com

Kalsi said...

We r actually lookeg 4 traditional way of making misti dohi. It is not just milk n sugar, it is always pink in colour which according 2 me is reduced after boiling d milk 2 almost 1/2 d quantity

Anonymous said...

awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. lina holzbauer

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