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Sour Curd in Rice

Basmati Rice, 2 Cups
Peas, 3/4 Cup
Black Pepper, coarse ground, 2 Teaspoons
Saffron, Pinch
Chenna, 1-1/2 Pound
Milk for Chenna, 1 Gallon
Lemon Juice for Chenna, 1/2 Cup
Tamarind paste, 2 Tablespoons
Ginger, fresh, 2 Inches
Turmeric, 3/4 Teaspoon
Ajwain Seeds, 1-1/2 Teaspoon
Cumin, 2 Teaspoons
Ghee, for frying

Make the chenna in the usual way, pressing for 10 minutes at medium weight. Make a chaunce with the minced ginger and ajwain seeds, then the turmeric and cumin. Add the tamarind paste for the last two minutes. Mix the chaunce very gently into the curd, keeping the consistency of the curd as loose and fluffy as possible. Make the rice in the usual way, adding black pepper and saffron to the water and cooking. 10 minutes before done, add the peas. Put a liberal scoop of chenna on top of the rice, and offer.

Bengali Dal with Sak

Channa Dal (yellow split peas), 2 Cups
Turmeric, 1 Teaspoon
Ginger, ground, 1/2 Teaspoon
Cayenne, 1/4 Teaspoon
Ghee, 2 Tablespoons
Mustard seeds, black, 1/2 Tablespoon
Cumin seeds, 1 Teaspoon
Asofoetida, 1/2 Teaspoon
Sugar, 4 Tablespoons
Coconut, grated, 3 Tablespoons
Lemons, juice and zest, 2
Salt, To taste
Spinach, 2 Bunches
Butter, 2 Tablespoons

Add the dal to the water along with the turmeric, ginger, cayenne and ghee (or olive oil). Cook the dal on medium heat for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to be sure it's not sticking. Add extra water as needed. When ready to offer, make a chaunce with the mustard and cumin seeds, then the asofoetida and sugar. Add chaunce to the dal, along with the coconut, lemon juice and zest, and salt. Steam the spinach. Offer the dal with a dollop of buttered spinach on top.

Haritasraj Naan

Pistachios, ground, 1/2 Cup
Jalapenos, minced, 2 Tablespoons
Ginger, minced, 2 Tablespoons
Sugar, 1 Teaspoon
Baking Powder, 3 Teaspoons
Salt, 1 Teaspoon
Yoghurt, 5 Tablespoons
Ghee, 1-1/2 Tablespoons
Saffron, Large Pinch
Pandan extract, 1/8 Teaspoon

Finely crush the saffron and put into a scant teaspoon of milk. Mix all the ingredients together except the saffron and pandan, and knead into a pliant, soft dough. Divide the dough in half. Mix the saffron into one half of the dough and knead thoroughly. Mix the pandan into the other half of the dough and knead thoroughly. Put the dough balls into separate plastic bags and set into a pot of warm water. Let stand for about 3 hours. Periodically re-warm the water as needed. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Divide each round of dough into 15 lemon-sized balls (total of 30 balls). Roll each ball out into a 7 long snake. Take one golden snake and one green snake, and braid the two together. Use a rolling pin to flatten each braid into a 7 or 8 inch long piece, 3 to 4 inches wide. You should get a nicely variegated green and gold dough. Bake until slightly brown, then hold over a hot grill to make a soft crust. Butter them and wrap them in foil until ready to offer.

Kittrie and Cuddy

Basmati Rice, 1 Cup
Yellow Mung Dal, split, 1 Cup
Ghee , 4 Tablespoons and for frying
Potatoes, 2 Medium
Cauliflower, 1 Large
Turmeric, 2 Teaspoons
Salt, To taste
Black Pepper, 1-1/2 Teaspoon
Thyme, 1 Teaspoon
Rosemary, 1 Teaspoon
Cinnamon, 1/4 Teaspoon
Nutmeg, 1/4 Teaspoon
Chickpea Flour (Besan), 1 Cup
Yoghurt, 5 Cups
Cumin seeds, 2 Teaspoons
Red chilis, flaked, 1/2 Teaspoon
Asofoetida, 1/2 Teaspoon

In a heavy bottom pan, add the rice, dal, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon turmeric. Add 4 Tablespoons of ghee and cook over medium heat. Fry to darken the rice and dal a few shades, then add potato and cauliflower, cooking until the mixture is well fried. When the dal appears a bit glassy add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil, cover and steam on low like rice. Give it one stir to mix ingredients when the water has gone down to top of rice, otherwise disturb as little as possible. When water is gone check to see that rice and dal are soft to touch, if not, add a bit more water.

While this is cooking, put one cup sifted gram flour in the bottom of a deep saucepan, add 1 teaspoon turmeric and salt, and add a little water while beating into a pasty batter. Make sure all the lumps are stirred out. Add yoghurt and beat into the batter. When all lumps are gone, add water slowly, stirring constantly until the batter has become nearly like water. If turmeric has been right this liquid should be white with a light yellowish caste, not bold yellow. Bring this mixture up to a boil, stirring constantly to avoid any burning. As it gets near boiling it should turn yellow and almost simultaneously thicken into a thick gravy. When finished, chaunce with cumin seeds, red chilis and asofoetida. Pour the cuddy sauce on top of the kittrie and offer.

Chenna Hari Matar Sabji

Peas, fresh or frozen, 3 Cups
Chenna, 1 Pound
Milk for Chenna, 3 Quarts
Lemon Juice for Chenna, 1/3 Cup
Ghee, For frying
Ginger, fresh, 1 Inch
Cumin seeds, 1-1/2 Teaspoons
Curry Leaves, 8
Turmeric, 1/2 Teaspoon
Cayenne, 1/4 Teaspoon
Parsley, 2 Tablespoons
Sour Cream, 1/3 Cup

Make the chenna in the usual way, pressing for 30 minutes at medium heat. Save a little of the whey. Cut into cubes and fry to golden brown in ghee. Make a chaunce and add the minced ginger and cumin seeds, then the curry leaves, turmeric and cayenne. Fry until spices are brown, then add the peas for fry for 3 to 4 minutes (if thawed, or longer if fresh). Add the chenna and fry for 4 more minutes until cheese absorbed spices. Turn heat down to low, fold in the sour cream. Pour in a few tablespoons of whey, cover and simmer until all the liquids are absorbed. Offer hot.

Green Pea Katchori

Flour, white, 2 Cups
Sugar, 1-1/2 Teaspoon
Salt, To taste
Ghee, 4 Tablespoons and for Frying
Peas, fresh or frozen, 1-3/4 Cups
Red chilis, flaked, 1 Teaspoon
Jalapenos, 2
Ginger, fresh, 2 Inches
Garam Masala, 2 Teaspoons
Lemon Juice, 1 Tablespoon
Baking Soda, 1/4 Teaspoon

Make dough by mixing together flour, teaspoon sugar, salt and 4 tablespoons ghee, rubbing with fingers into a coarse crumb. Mix in a scant 8 tablespoons of ice water, kneading into a soft, pliant dough that's not sticky. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes then cover and let rest.

Make the mixture by chauncing the minced jalapenos and ginger, red chilis and garam masala. Fry until brown, then add lemon juice and baking soda.

Divide the dough into 20 balls. Flatten a ball between your palms, then roll out to a thin round. Make the dough as thin as possible, but not so thin that you can't stuff with adequate filling without having the dough tear. Put a pinch of stuffing in the center of each round and seal up into a little bundle. Gently shape the bundle in your hands until it is patty shaped, with a uniform depth all around. Heat the ghee to a medium hot and slip the katchori into the ghee, frying until a golden brown. Remove, drain and offer.

Sijha Mande

Basmati Rice, 1 Cup
Sugar, 1 Teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 Teaspoon
Chenna, 3/4 Cup
Milk for Chenna, 1 Quart
Lemon Juice for chenna, 1/8 Cup
Coconut, grated, 3/4 Cup
Sugar, 1/2 Cup
Cardamom seeds, black, crushed, 2 Teaspoons
Ghee, 1 Tablespoon

Soak the rice overnight in 3 cups water. Make the chenna in the usual way, pressing for 10 minutes at medium weight. Heat the ghee in a frying pan, add the chenna, coconut, sugar and cardamom, and fry for 5 minutes. Set aside. Put rice and water in blender and pulverize to a smooth paste. Put the paste in a heavy bottom non-stick pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it pulls into a dry, soft dough. Remove and cool. Make 15 balls out of the dough. Flatten a ball between your palms and put a dollop of the chenna stuffing inside. Close and shape into a smooth, round Manda.

To steam the Manda, tie a piece of cheesecloth over the top of a deep steam pot. Lay the Manda on top of the cloth. Put the lid on the pot and steam for 20 to 25 minutes, until the Manda are fully steamed. Consistency should be spongy and firm, but not rubbery. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Chenna Nut Balls

Walnuts, toasted, 1/3 Cup
Sunflower seeds, 1/3 Cup
Breadcrumbs, 1/3 Cup
Celery, 2 stalks
Tofu, 1/2 Cup
Ghee, 2 Tablespoons
Asofoetida, 1/2 Teaspoon
Thyme, 1 Teaspoon
Black Pepper, 1 Teaspoon
Buttermilk, 2 Teaspoons
Lemon juice, 1 Teaspoon
Wheat Germ, 1/3 Cup
Chenna, 1-1/2 Pounds
Milk for Chenna, 1 Gallon
Lemon Juice for Chenna, 1/2 Cup
Sour Cream, 1/8 Cup
Saffron, Large Pinch
Chickpea Flour (Besan), 1 Cup
Cumin, roasted and ground, 4 Tablespoons
Salt, To taste
Ghee, For frying

Make the chenna in the usual way, pressing for 20 minutes at medium weight. Roll out chenna with a rolling pin to break down all the threads, scoop into a ball, cover and set aside. Make the nut stuffing by putting the following ingredients in a blender: nuts, breadcrumbs, celery, tofu, 2 tablespoons ghee, asofoetida, thyme, black pepper, buttermilk, lemon juice and wheat germ. Pulse to a rough paste (not liquefied). Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes, until crusty brown on top. Remove and cool.

Pulverize the saffron and put into sour cream, mixing thoroughly. Set aside. Make a batter with the besan, cumin and salt, adding enough water so the batter is medium thick (about like pakora batter).

When the nut loaf is cool enough to handle, make the chenna into balls, and make the nut loaf into the same number of smaller balls. Take a nut ball, flatten between your palms. Put a dollop of sour cream mixture in the middle, and close the nut mix around it to seal, but don't smash together. Take a chenna ball and flatten, roll out with a rolling pin until it's big enough so you can completely encase the nut ball within the chenna ball. Prepare all the balls in this way. As you work, keep the chenna covered to it stays moist. When ready to fry, heat the ghee to medium high in a wok or deep pan. Dip the 3-layer balls in the batter until completely coated. Drop into the hot ghee and fry until dark golden brown. Remove, drain and offer warm or at room temperature.

Bittersweet Baigan

Eggplant, 8 Small
Tofu, 1/2 Cup
Coconut Powder, 1/4 Cup
Salt, To taste
Cayenne, 1 Teaspoon
Cashews, 2 Teaspoons
Raisins, 2 Teaspoons
Turmeric, 1/2 Teaspoon
Tomato, 1 Large
Jalapenos, 3
Ginger, fresh, 2 Inches
Red Chilis, flaked, 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt, 2 Teaspoons
Coriander powder, 3 Teaspoons
Ghee, For frying
Cardamom powder, 1 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves, 8
Asofoetida, 1 Teaspoon
Mustard seeds, 1 Teaspoon
Cumin seeds, 1/2 Teaspoon

Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoop out the inside pulp and set aside to use in another preparation. Make the filling by mixing together the tofu, coconut powder, salt, cayenne, broken cashew pieces, raisins and turmeric. Set aside. Make a paste by mashing together the tomato (skinned), minced jalapenos and ginger, red chilis, salt and coriander. Set aside. Make a chaunce with the remaining ingredients. When the spices are browned, mix in the paste and simmer on low heat for another 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup of water, stir thoroughly. Stuff the eggplants with the filling. Set eggplants down in the sauce, cover and simmer on medium heat for 30-40 minutes, or until the eggplant is fully cooked and buttery soft. Sprinkle with any leftover filling near the end of cooking. Offer hot.

Makhana ka Raita

Makhana (puffed lotus seeds), 1 Cup
Yoghurt, 2 Cups
Black Salt , 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 Teaspoon
Cumin, roasted and ground, 2 Teaspoons
Ghee, For frying
Mustard seeds, 1/2 Teaspoon
Red Chilis, flaked, 1/4 Teaspoon
Cilantro leaves, fresh, Handful

Roast the makhana in the oven or in a frying pan until a few shades darker. When cooled, crush coarsely into about 1/4 inch chunks. Gently fold into the yoghurt, along with salt, black salt and cumin. Make a chaunce with the mustard seeds, then chili. Fry until seeds have spluttered and chilis are brown, then add to Raita. Garnish with chopped cilantro and offer.

Calcutta Tamatar Chatni

Cumin, ground, 2 Teaspoons
Anise, ground, 1/8 Teaspoon
Red Chilis, flaked, 1 Teaspoon
Rosemary, 1 Teaspoon
Thyme, 1 Teaspoon
Sugar, 2 Tablespoons
Butter, 1/4 Cup
Raisins, 1/8 Cup
Tomatoes, ripe, 6 Medium
Ghee, 2 Tablespoons

Dip the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute or two, then remove the skins and discard. Break the tomatoes down into a chunky mash. Add all ingredients except sugar, and gently boil over medium heat, stirring often, for 40 minutes. When the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked down, add the sugar and return to a boil for another 15 minutes, or until the chutney gets a nice glaze. Remove from heat and offer at room temperature or chilled.

Bitter Melon in Cashew Cream

Bitter Melons (Karela), 4 Large
Salt, 1/8 Cup
Ghee, For frying
Cashews, Unsalted, 3 Cups
Milk, 1 Gallon
Sugar, 2 Cups
Butter, 2 Tablespoons

Cut the bitter melons in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and inner membranes and set aside for later use in a sabji or fry. Slice the bitter melon into inch thick chips. Put in a large bowl and coat liberally with salt. Press down with a weight and let sit for 2 hours. Completely rinse salt off the melons and drain, then pat gently with paper towel to remove any excess moisture.

Make a thick kheer by putting the milk in a heavy bottom pot and slow boiling until the milk is reduced to of its volume. While milk is cooking, soak the cashews in a little of the milk, just covered, for 2 hours. Add cashews and liquid to a blender and pulverize to as fine a consistency as possible. When the kheer is nearly ready, mix in the sugar and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Add the cashew slurry. Cook for another 20 minutes at low boil. Add the butter until melted, then remove from heat and cool. (If the cashew mixture has too much particulate, strain it through a sieve before adding to milk.)

Orange Halvah

Milk, 1-1/4 Gallons
Butter, 3-1/4 Pound
Farina, 7-1/2 Cups
Sugar, 7-1/2 Cups
Pecans, 2-1/2 Cups
Raisins, 2-1/2 Cups
Orange peel, 3 Oranges

In a heavy bottom pot, boil the milk at high heat, stirring often to prevent burning. Melt 2 pounds of butter in a large wok. When melted, add the farina and mix well. Cook at high heat until browned, turning often to keep from burning. Reduce heat if necessary. When milk comes to a boil, let it cook at rolling boil for 10 minutes, then add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring back to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, toast the pecans to darken a few shades. When farina is golden brown, add the raising to the boiling milk, and add the toasted pecans to the farina. Just five minutes later, add the remaining butter to the grains. When the butter is melted, add the orange peel to the milk, stir for 10 seconds and then start adding the grains to the milk. Bring to boil, stirring thoroughly. then turn off heat and stir till thick. Offer hot or warm.

Warm Saffron Sweet Milk

Milk, 2 Quarts
Saffron, 3 Large Pinches
Honey, 1/2 Cup
Nutmeg, 1/4 Teaspoon

Heat the milk, but not to a boil. Roast the saffron in a pan until several shades darker, then crush to a fine powder with the back of a spoon. Add the saffron, fresh ground nutmeg and honey to the milk, and stir until the honey is completely dissolved. Offer warm.