Broccoli Stalks Pesto Dip

Broccoli Stalks Pesto Dip

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I have always confessed the satisfaction of preparing ketchups, dips, pickles etc. since they make flavors last beyond their seasons and last several treats as well. . This one is slightly different from the Basil Pesto I shared earlier by way of the green dominance of broccoli stems/stalks. This is a uniqueness that I am proud to preserve (i.e. the broccoli stems). Recall the recipe of Cream of Celery Broccoli Stalks . Here, I just use the same power packed, nutritious stems of broccoli to prepare this fritter (pakora) accompaniment common at our place, just like the ajwain chutney recipe. Read on and enjoy the treat !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : dip along and dip a long !!
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Basil, sweet or Thai, 3 cupfuls : In this I used sweet or Genovese basil leaves which I pluck-wash at my garden. Basil is the “King of Herbs” for many reasons. It is a strong anti oxidant. It fights virus, bacteria and other microbes in the body. I grow 4 to 5 types of basil in my garden and am always looking for new things to do with it.
  • Olive Oil, 1/3rd cup : Keep the oil light so as not to interfere with the flavor of your dish either in odor or in taste. Besides, olive oil is a great antioxidant, anti inflammatory, is good for heart and weight management.
  • Garlic, minced, 1 teaspoon : You will hardly find any of my recipes missing garlic. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Pink Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : I prefer coarse Himalayan pink salt here since it is extremely healthy.
  • Cheese cube, 100 grams : With all the calcium and protein benefits, cheese here is added for it’s creamy texture and nutty essence.
  • Walnuts, 1/2 cup : Walnuts have a good amount of good fats called polyunsaturated fats or PUFA. They have Omega 3 and decent amount of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and Vitamins like E & B loaded in them. In taste they add a distinct earthiness and nutty essence.
  • Broccoli stems, shaved, 250 grams : Broccoli’s health benefits and earthy flavors are amazing, esp. for kids. I use a rather peculier portion of the plant. The stems. I use the insides of the soft broccoli stems by peeling off the hard outer skin. It tastes like cucumber. you may also use it in salads and many other preparations.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash well and break the basil. Breaking works better than chopping the basil. Chopping is said to be detrimental to the flavor.
  • Wash and dry the walnuts since they are quite dusty when fresh.
  • Grate the cheese and mix with olive oil loosely.
  • Shave off the broccoli stems using only the inner less fibrous meaty part. It would seem quite like a cucumber.
  • Now add all ingredients in a kitchen grinder and make a paste of it. I would prefer not to add water to loosen it to your requirement, instead ad 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  •  There you are !!

Storage : Good for storage for upto 3 months at optimum temperature .

Missing Something ? : You can replace the walnuts for groundnuts and even better with pine nuts for max authenticity.

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Pabda Macher Jhol

PABDA MACHER JHOL

Thanx a lot for the amazing response we have to this wonderful new initiative from my loved one. Do check this out too and follow, there will surely be great posts rolling here ..  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmtCkBgnsCo 

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Any fresh water fish eater would know that India is abundant in carp and catfish of various types. The Ganga river and especially it’s delta  region in West Bengal is abundant in both (i.e. carps and the catfish).

Pabda is a small catfish of about 8 to 10 inches long but with an excellent taste and makes great curries. Such curries are the catch and eat versions in bengali villages. Catfish like pabda, aar, singhara etc. are very popular traditionally. With basic spices as in a common man’s kitchen, pabda makes for a wonderful delicacy besides being high in nutritional value. Remember how I shared the recipe of another small catfish delicacy called the Tangra JholTangra Jhol sometime back. Read on and then enjoy the feast !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 fish 1 treat.
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • Serving size : I didn’t leave one morcel for anyone.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Pabda fish, cleaned, 2 medium 250 grams approx. : Small sized catfish delicacy which is rich in both fried and curried forms. It is rich in nutrients and makes for a yummy delicacy.
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use the sea salt for authenticity and it’s minerals.
  • Nigela seeds (kalonji), 1/3rd teaspoon : It’s called kalonji in Indian kitchens and is packed with antibacterials, antioxidants, anti inflammatory. It has a slight bitter, onion like flavor.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon : Cumin has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Ginger, 1 inch : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Coriander, 5 to 6 twigs : Again, this comes straight from my garden. Gives an orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.
  • Sugar, 1 teaspoon : Sugar seems an odd combination to this curry, but believe me this just takes the fishes essence to a whole new level.
  • Green Chilies, 2, slit : Fresh green chilies from my garden add to the fresh heat and mild bitter component while adding benefits of eyes and skin.
  • Red Chili powder, 1 teaspoon : Dried red chilies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Oil, light vegetable or coconut oil would be good.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash the fish and pat dry. Now season it with salt (1/3rd teaspoon), turmeric (1/3rd teaspoon) and chili powder (1/2 teaspoon) and set aside. Salt and turmeric takes away the foul smell of the fish if any. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, grind cumin seeds, 1 green chili and the ginger to a coarse paste.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and fry the fish for two minutes gently turning twice for even texture. During this add 1 teaspoon salt to it. This will make the salt stick to the fish well.
  • Take off the fish from the pan and keep them aside.
  • Heat the pan with some more oil for greasing.  As the oil fumes, add the nigela seeds and fry till they crackle, which would be ideally around 30 seconds.
  • To this now add ginger and the other green chili and move around the pan till they mildly cook in around 3 minutes.
  • Add all other spices and fry them well in the pan for 2 minutes more. Do not leave them raw else you will miss the true essence.
  • Now is the time to prepare the gravy, so add 250 ml water and cook well for around 4 minutes.
  • Add the fried fish to it and cook on high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Now switch the gas off and keep the pan covered for 2 minutes further, then take off
  • Garnish with parsley chopped and serve steaming hot.

Storage : 2 small fishes can not outlast 1 sitting for sure 🙂 .

Missing Something ? : You can add daal vadi in the curry and enjoy with a homemade pesto dip  or a nice sweet homemade cherry tomato ketchup !!

Rui Macher Kalia / Rohu Fish Curry

Rui Macher Kalia / Rohu Fish Curry

Thanx a lot for the amazing response we have to this wonderful new initiative by my loved one. Do check this out too and follow, there will surely be great posts rolling here .. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmtCkBgnsCo 

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I have often written as to how being in North isn’t the best place to lay hands on the best seafood, however considering the modern logistical wonders and also appreciating the fact that India has one of the largest coastlines of the world with the caches of Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal we can hardly complain about the seafood shortage, in any weather condition i.e. India also has one of the largest coverage of rivers in its plains, so freshwater fish is also never elusive.

The winters however brings a flood of carps, catfish etc. in the river plains which sometimes become hard to distinguish if you are not a subject matter expert 🙂 !

Rohu fish or Rui maach is a very popular fish in Bengal state. I mention it’s bengali name since the dish I offer here is bengali too. It is a common carp that prepares many a sprawling spreads on tables. Rui Macher Kalia is one such dish that I first remember having over a lunch in a delhi restaurant and feeling it’s taste lingering throughout that day thereon. It uses your simple kitchen spices and leaves a bowlful of absolute pleasure. So, read on ! 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 fish to delight 3.
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes + 15 minutes to prepare
  • Serving size : Half platefuls would be a great treat, serve it with steamed rice and some Kimchi Salad as I did.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Rohu fish, cleaned, 250 grams approx. : Rohu has better quality meat and higher in Vitamin C than other carps. This is one of the most commonly eaten fish in our country.
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use coarse salt for authentic essence .
  • Potatoes, 2 round cut : With virtually no sodium, no fats and no cholesterols and packed with potassium and Vitamin C  this fibre rich tuber veggie is undoubtedly one of the most famous ones across the globe.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1 and 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/3 teaspoon : Cumin has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Garlic, 4 cloves : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Green Chilies, 2 slit : Fresh green chilies from my garden add to the fresh heat and mild bitter component while adding benefits of eyes and skin..
  • Ginger, 1 inch : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Onion, chopped, 1/2 cup :  As in Red Onions for us Indians, strong, acidic and bitter. That’s what a good red onion is supposed to be. They are also good sources of Vitamin C and Iron and are good for hair, skin and help in weight-loss.
  • Parsley, 5 to 6 twigs : I grow moss green, long leafed, Italian varieties of parsley till late April. It is mildly bitter but an amazing garnish. It cures bad breath, diabetes and boosts our immunity. One can much the sweeter varieties fresh & raw from a harvest.
  • Bay Leaf, 1 : Also from my garden’s bay leaf plant. Bay leaf is great for joints and skin and are packed with Vitamin A & C and many other minerals like iron, potassium and manganese. They are pungent and bitter in taste. I grow bay leaves in my garden so I can tell you that the fresh ones and dried ones are quite different. Use the dried ones only please. Bay leaves can grow into small trees giving lifetime supply 🙂
  • Sugar, 1/2 teaspoon : Light coarse jaggery can also work.
  • Mustard Oil.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash the fish and pat dry. Now season it with salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and keep aside for 15 minutes at least.
  • Use this time to get your potatoes etc. ready and laid for later use.
  • Grind the onion and ginger garlic paste.
  • Now heat the mustard oil in a non stick pan and allow vapors to come out. The moment it steams, put the gas on medium heat and place the fish pieces in the pan to stir fry mildly without breaking or sticking. Do so for 5 minutes and then take off heat and keep aside.
  • Now heat cumin over a separate pan. Heat till it crackles.
  • Add ginger to it and saute’ for 30 seconds.
  • To this add garlic and onions and saute’ further for 2-3 minutes till they turn golden brown.
  • To this, add tomatoes and stir cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add remaining turmeric, salt, sugar, red chili, green chilies and saute’ further for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 glass water (about 200 ml.) and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes to it and cook further for 10 minutes or till your fish is well done.
  • Garnish with parsley chopped and serve steaming hot.

Storage : This one can be stored for a couple of days easily, but then you are making just 250 grams ??

Missing Something ? : You can use some cinnamon and black cardamom to enhance the flavors !!