Black-Tea Smoked Salmon in a pot (without a smoker)

Smoking food is an ancient technique. It is said that smoking dates back to the time of primitive cavemen. Seems caves or chimney-less huts had smoke trapped inside. When hunters would hangs meat in such dwellings, it would dry out with a distinct flavour and would remain preserved for long. That is how smoking began. Later the curing techniques were added where food was first put in salt or salty liquid (brine) and the smoked. As cooking processes evolved along with human beings, different varieties of smoking began to happen and special gadgets were also invented. But in my humble kitchen neither do I hav such gadgets nor the inclination to buy one. So I googled for techniques to smoke fish on stove-top. Here is the recipe based on my research about this amazing smoked fish which sure will tantalize you with it’s subtle flavours of tea and lemon.

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Crème brûlée – its actually not that complicated!

Found this post in my drafts!! Wonder why I didn’t post it!!

So somewhere last year I tired making the Crème Brûlée…for a person who doesn’t speak French like me, this name sends shivers down the spine. But the process wasn’t that bad actually. This is one of the French desserts which is actually not that complicated as people make it seem!! It has various names like Creme Catalana, Cambridge Burnt Cream and so on…essentially it is a creamy custard made of yolks which is finished off by burning/carmelising a layer of sugar on top. It is said that François Massialot, the esteemed French chef who cooked for illustrious hot shots during 1690s invented this dessert. He was famous for his banquets at places like  Château de Meudon, and Versailles. Interestingly, the English translation of the dish and similarity to another dish called the English Cream caused some confusion and made Crème Brûlée vanish from cookbooks till 1980s. During this time it reappeared as a symbol of self-indulgence and a restaurant popular!

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Snap goes the crust🙂

Without further ado, here is the recipe. I have adapted the recipe from my ‘Good Housekeeping Step-by-step Cookbook’ that was incidentally published in 1980!!

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Some new posts and a big hello!!

Hi Didi and Daibi,

This last one year we haven’t posted anything on our Blog. But obviously that doesn’t mean we haven’t cooked or enjoyed experimenting new foods or recipes! We all have just been a bit lazy…ok very lazy and have been posting things directly on Facebook instead of writing here. As we are getting busier by the day in our lives, none of us had the time to cook or do elaborate things. So many of our recent recipes are simple to cook dishes with hacks to simplify complicated processes.

I am consolidating all those posts from Facebook, here to continue the tryst we made with this blog.

  1. Chicken and Cheese Quiche – click here 
  2. Burgundy Lamb Cutlets with a Wine Reduction Sauce, Creamy Pea Mash and Grilled Sweet Potatoes – click here 
  3. Raw Mango, Peanut and Mint Chutney; Quick Raw Mango Pickle; Sweet and Tangy Pickle with Raw Mango & Raisins – click here 
  4. 5 Spice Poached Chicken and Rice Noodles in a Spicy Broth garnished with a Tangy Wombok Salad – click here 
  5. Beetroot and Vodka cured Salmon with Avocado and Spring Onion Salad – click here 
  6. Dates, Figs and Nuts Log – click here 
  7. Mirin and Sake Chicken Balls in a Red Miso broth made with Shitake mushrooms and Kombu, served with Pickled Carrots and Nori Strips – click here 
  8. Blue Cheese and Mushroom Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower – click here 
  9. Bangladeshi Dum Illish (Slow-cooked Hilsa Fish) – click here 

Now that’s called a recap of the lovely dishes we made in the last months🙂

Enjoy and let’s start again!!

Lots of love to you two,

Dakhina

 

Kitchen Faux Pas and the case of Spinach and Cauliflower Uttapam

Dear Didi and Daibi,

So it has been a year or more that we have touched this blog. Niloy says, google must have archived it because we have not updated it for a while…but I still found it on the first page of google which is not bad, right?!

So to start things again on this blog I thought I will share a simple recipe, which is a healthy take on a traditional recipe. Although I must say in my relentless efforts to cook healthy stuff I have ended up in quiet a few Faux Pas moments!  For instance, once I made apple muffins with super tiny amount of sugar. Once they were done and we tasted them, Niloy and I thought it needed more sweetness. So I decided to sprinkle them with some sugar granules. In Australia, the sugar and salt look very similar as they have almost the same size of granules. And at that time I had both sugar and salt in identical jars. So instead of sugar, I sprinkled the muffins with salt!! Niloy was to take them to office and I, with all my pride told him, “here are my lovely sugar kissed apple muffins for your colleagues!!” Later he called and told me that although everyone loved the muffins, some people commented, did your wife use salted butter?😛 And I realised my mistake!!! hahhahahahha…super funny!!

Then there was another time when I added parsnips and carrot in a sabudana khichdi. Some friends said that was sacrilege! Niloy has still not forgiven me for that!! Be it poha or maggi, I keep adding peas, corn, beans and carrots to everything possible and get kolkata style ‘cholbe na’ type protests from Niloy too! But I continue my journey of healthy cooking.

So this morning I made Spinach and Cauliflower uttapam from an Adai batter. 2015-09-03 14.53.01

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Plump Yellow Peppers stuffed with Ricotta & Potato

Plumpy peppers…a really old but all time favourite with all categories of people…I, for instance love to cut it into half and see all the juices and stuffing ooze out..it is a big favourite among Europeans and Latin Americans who use a variety of ingredients to make the stuffing. Different countries have different names for it…like Bharva Mirch (India), Pimiento Rellenos (Spain), Dolmah (Balkan Countries), Punjena (Croatia), Yemista (Greek), and so on and so forth…The common fillings used are ground meat, fish, cheese, potatoes, corn, rice and herbs. At times I stuff them with boiled eggs too.
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Oh and don’t you just love the colors??!!
Today am not posting a recipe…but just the pics of a very simple yet amazingly delicious dish..its my kinda comfort food🙂

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Shikampuri Kebab (stuffed meat tikki/patties)

As usual…..I did the vanishing act, again🙂 but have a good reason for that this time…Ma and Baba were here to stay with us in Melbourne…Oh! What a wonderful time we had together…visiting Tasmania where we went to Hobart, the 2nd oldest settlement of Australia and New Norfolk (a rusty old town rich in Antique shops dating back to World War II). We traveled a lot in the last few months, but in between I did cook..Baba and Ma, as you guys know, love variety and I wanted them to taste everything that isn’t easily available in India…from quails to new fish varieties like salmon, snapper, etc.., from veggies and fruits like fennel, butternut pumpkin, celery, persimmon,   to ‘strange’ foods like raw oysters and mussels. In the next few posts I will share some of the recipes I that I made for them.

To start with lemme write about Shikampuri Kebab. Now the Mughals are praised for bringing in the concept of kebab to India.  But it seems making kebab in different forms was a well-established tradition in India. The Rajputs made ‘Suley’ or smoked kebabs with the game meat they brought in from their hunting expeditions. To preserve the meat they would spice & pickle it and then cook it the next day over an open fire in the forest.  When the Mughals came, they brought in their version of the kebabs and introduced the use of dried fruit, fragrances such as rose and kewda and nuts with the meat.

Interesting eh?! Anyways, going back to the post, here is the recipe.

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No-Bake Sinful Dark Chocolate and Brandy Butter Pecan Tart

Didi, Daibi, where have you guys vanished??? Our dear blog and I are really sad and missing you two..your comments, your posts and your photographs!!😦😦 Please take out some time from your busy schedules and write to me…please…

Last week my in-laws left for Kolkata…they stayed with us for 2.5 months and we really had a ball with them!! Did you guys know, that my Mother-in-law is also an awesome cook?!? Kya mast mast things she made!! Gobhi samosa (that we baked), Shakkar Paarey or as the Bongs say, Goja; Tamatar ka Achar (Tomato Pickle); Bengali Style Mutton er Chop (Cutlets) and Fish Fry; Chocolate Pudding;  and numerous Bengali style veggies and curries!! For these last 2.5 months, really loads of cooking happened in my kitchen…I seldom do the Bengali regular meal of rice, daal (lentils), 1-2 veggies and a fish or chicken curry with some chutney or papod/bhaja/fritters. This is because, I think (and have successfully convinced Niloy too) that we have eaten this food all our lives and we will continue eating it once we are back in India. So it is better to try the veggies, fish, fruits and meats that are available here….cook world recipes from ingredients available here and try making Indian stuff from them too! What say?🙂

Anyways, today am putting up a recipe of a biscuit tart. Its really easy and it is fabulous in every way..I made it for my in-laws and they loved it! I have tried out many variations of this, so feel free to tweak the recipe as per your likes…

Sinful Dark Chocolate and Brandy Butter Pecan Tart

Sinful Dark Chocolate and Brandy Butter Pecan Tart

Strawberry Custard Tart

Strawberry Custard Tart

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