Quick Moti Pulao (Pearl Pilaf)-Restaurant Secret Recipe for Durga Puja/Navratri

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“Aaj dhaner Khete roudro chhaya-e lukochuri khela re bhai – lukochuri khela”  – (The fun game of hide-n-seek in the sun & shade of the paddy field…)

These beautiful lines(part of a song) by Tagore reminds me of my childhood. We were three sisters – me & two of maternal cousins who I spent the initial 10 years of my life with. It was enriching & full of activity. Now that I see my little niece who can barely hold her herself together demanding an ipad, I can’t help but wonder if how the days have changed. For us luxury was either a trip to the zoo or a Bengali spread at lunch with Pulao, beguni (Eggplant fritters), pathar mansho (Mutton gravy), something sweet my mami’s tomato chutney. I know that makes me sound like hundred and two years old but how simple & charming were those days! Gone!

Before I fly off to my memories, let’s get on with the recipe of the day, Pulao. I am sorry if I come out as an Indian Classic dish maniac to you but I can’t just help but try these evergreen recipes. But this time I took a step ahead & whipped up something my family hardly makes – Moti pulao (Pearl pulao).

Weird name?? Well, the word moti which means pearl in hindi comes from the pearl-like cottage cheese/paneer balls. They are either stuffed or plain flavoured. They look good, yes. But they also taste delicious with the saffron sweet-ish rice!

Quick Moti Pulao (Pearl Pilaf) - Restaurant Secret Recipe #Indianfood #maindish #Quickmeals #under30recipe #easyrecipe #Restaurantrecipe #Rice #Pilaf #Motipulao #Indianfoodblogger

What irked me the most for years is how the pulao made at home in the comfort of my kitchen never seemed to be the same as those we are served in fancy restaurants. I have tried endless versions of similar kind of pulaos & 70% of the websites online  are all good but alas not the restaurant-like. Note that by no means do I want to say the homemade ones are any bad but….well! you know what I mean, don’t ya?

So after a good number of try & massive help from my maa, here’s a restaurant trade secret just for you. It certainly was an ‘eureka’ moment for us in the kitchen!!

Quick Moti Pulao (Pearl Pilaf) - Restaurant Secret Recipe #Indianfood #maindish #Quickmeals #under30recipe #easyrecipe #Restaurantrecipe #Rice #Pilaf #Motipulao #Indianfoodblogger

Here’s the recipe of the day for you. Go crazy!

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Toddy palm/Tadgola/Taal Payesh – Raksha Bandhan/Janmasthami Special

Growing up in a Bengali household, summer months meant a lot of quintessential things – be it mangoes or certain vegetables that became part of our staple diet; but what has always been a conspicuous part of the festivals of summer is the Toddy palm which we bengalis dearly call Taal. My family adores sweet dishes & so I keep making one or the other time to time.For those who doesn’t know about it, I will quote the Wikipedia here on Toddy palm.

  Borassus flabellife commonly known as doub palmpalmyra palmtala palmtoddy palm or wine palm, is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, including NepalIndiaBangladeshSri LankaThailandVietnamMalaysia,Indonesia and the Philippines. It is reportedly naturalized in PakistanSocotra, and parts of China.”

There are so many recipes on this – be it kheer or payesh (aka payesham) or bora (fritters). Considering there are so many festivals on our way – Rakhi Purnima/Raksha bandhan , Independence day or Krishna Janmasthami..I though why not show you a recipe that I have borrowed from Baby aunty through my beloved Sky & Gulu. Cheers!

Toddy palm/Tadgola/Taal payesh

Toddy palm/Tadgola/Taal payesh

  • Difficulty: “easy”
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Ingredients:

  • Toddy palm/Tadgola/Taal – 2 cups
  • Nestle Milkmade – 1 cup or to taste + 2 tablespoon (to drizzle on top)
  • Khoya/Mawa/milk solid – 75 grams (Keep aside a little for garnish)
  • Elaichi/ Green Cardamom powder, ¼ teaspoon
  • Fresh coconut, grated, 2 tablespoon

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Virgin Watermelon Mojito – summer special!

Today I bring one of my favourite summer recipe. It’s the popular Cuban watermelon mojito without any white rum. It’s very simple and easy to make with just a few ingredients. The best part being, it can be stored for almost a week in the freezer.

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“Mo-ji-to” is actually pronounced “Mo-hi-to” ! Nice twang, isn’t it?

So, let’s get started.

watermelon mojito 5Things you will need :

  • Watermelon juice, 4 cups

(I recommend making it at home rather than buying packed ones.

To make watermelon juice, blend chunks of watermelon and strain it to remove all the fibers and seeds.) Continue reading

Peanut butter double chocolate bites –Fast, Easy, No bake dessert (Summer Special)

Hello again! It’s so nice to be back with another kid friendly recipe for all you dear readers. I have been away from all the yumminess & blogging for a while now but now that I have got a slight chance at it..here I am with a super summer dessert recipe.

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Why is this recipe something you & your kid will love in the season of sun?

Well, good news for you. This is a no-bake recipe which is so apt for the coming summers when gas-top & oven kills. Kills hard!

Secondly, this is a fun do for your kids. This has steps in which you can involve your little ones. No fire, no super hot stuff, minimalistic ingredients list – you can barely find an excuse to keep them away from your kitchen.

The list of ingredients is not very big on the pocket & mostly includes items you already have in your kitchen cupboard.

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Ingredients : to make 20-25 small pieces

  • Butter (preferably white unsalted cooking butter, but you may use regular ones too) – 4+half dollops/tablespoon
  • Digestive biscuits (preferably thick ones) –200g
  • Peanut butter (crunchy or creamy) –4 big tablespoon
  • Brown sugar /castor sugar – 3-4 big tablespoon (or to taste)
  • Dark or milk chocolate – I used about 4 34gms dairy milk for the first coat & some drinking chocolate/chocolate sprinkles as topping. Feel free to either skip or adjust the topping.
  • Milk – 3 tablespoon
  • Tray/baking tin (preferable square) – to make 20-25 bite size pieces.
  • vanilla extract – 1.5 teaspoon
  • Aluminum foil of any quality/baking sheet – a little bigger than the tray

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You will also need the following –

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Vegetable Stir-fry with a twist~Leftover mashed potato crispy balls

I am quite excited about this post. The sole reason being, this is my first ever stir fry post + a twist to go with it.
I dedicate this to all those passionate wok(kadai) lovers and lovely cooks. This new group I am member of on facebook is super cool.
There’s so much I learn everyday, so much inspiration,the passion & practice is unbelievably great!
I would take this chance to thank them all – Audrey, Bob, Grace, David, kevin and everyone else there! A big big thank you guys!!

Now to food, the main love. Stir fry is much loved in my family, especially my parents. They enjoy a good seasoned stir fry with almost every dish.
But that’s not it.

What do you do when you have leftover mashed potatoes?
Do you have them bland just like that??

I make a family favourite stir fry! With crispy balls of mashed potato. Its simple, quick, fresh, healthier (especially if you own an air-frier or oven), tasty & flavourful! What more do you need, eh?

Please note, Mashed potato in my world is not the one with butter, milk/milk solids or extra starch.
We call it aloo bhaaté and is boiled potatoes,peeled and mashed with little oil,salt & green chillies to taste.
Both kinds of mashed potato work fine for my recipe.

Here,take a look at what you are in for ~

Vegetable stir fry with a twist - Leftover mashed potato crispy balls

The colourful riot of flavours awaits you..let’s get started !

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Homemade Motichur ke laddoo ~ delicious Indian sweet recipe

I am from Bengal, in case you din’t know already. And we are known to be “sweet” people ~ Mishti (sweet in Bengali)!
Apart from the fact that our language is considered mishti, we have our weakness for anything thats sweet..especially from old west part of Bengal (before partition). My mother being one of them – we have had our share of sweetish curry, sweetish meat gravy, sweetish bread, sweet Cake or sweet snacks, sweet sweet & sweet drink..that includes tea or coffee with the amount of sugar worth a fortune!
Over the time, our tastes and kitchen rules have changed, flavours evolved and dessert choices altered. From the quintessential Bengali Rosogolla to payesh we have moved to variants of laddoo or even kheer stuffed puff pastry.
But who can beat an Indian classic?
None!
[Check out a range of desserts & sweets here]

Today my post is on one of the most love, eaten and sold sweet in any part of India. You are in India or ever have been here, I bet you have had a laddoo of some sort. If you haven’t, consolations to you!

This one is motichur/motichoor ke laddoo which is a popular variant among besan laddoo, bundi laddoo, khoya laddoo etc. These are had in almost any occasion, be it a festival, wedding, party, religious puja as shagun (token of good wish) or just like that!

I am taking a homely way out & not using any food colouring (which I highly discourage. Some studies on them are crazy!) Or readymade thickening agent like many sweet shops do. No no no!
That by no mean means mine are tempting addictive in any way 🙂

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The ingredients I have used are so simple and made from scratch.
The colour is NOT the vibrant orange that you see in the sweet stalls or by caterers but they taste just as delicious!
To give it some thick moist texture I will use some khowa/khoya (concentrated milk solid), which can be readymade but I made it from scratch.
Lets get started with his Puja / party special dessert 😀

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Shahi Soya Chunks(My family’s gravy based meal maker recipe)

In a comtemplating mood, I was going through the older posts I have done so far and I realised that I mostly have non-vegetarian protein meals. I was surprised how I dint include my family’s loved gravy based nutrella soya chunks recipe!
So the first thing I did was ask my mother if we have the needed ingredients handy & got started..sounds quick right?

Soya nuggets or chunks also known as meal maker or nutrella noodles to many are great source of protein for vegetarians..its very versatile too. I do a lot of dishes with it.. be it cutlets, side dishes, curries or even marinated fried ones tastes great! 🙂

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I made my family’s Shahi soya chunks as a side dish with shahi pulao ( a rice dish that is very versatile).
Isnt the flavourful gravy based soya chunks tempting??
Its soft and the gravy is thick & delicious..
The best part is the flavours are so balanced..not once does any ingredient overpower other..its perfectly synchronised!

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