Lapchi Kai Chicken

Lapchi Kai Chicken

Being a foodie in Kolkata, you are bound to know and enjoy the small unpopular eateries in the city. Once you get hold of these hidden gems, there’s no coming back. A few years back, I got to know of a certain eatery in Chandni Chowk through one of my friends. Right opposite E-Mall, “Crystal Chimney” is the name of this tiny place with only 12 seats available at a time I guess. Now right from the first day, we only had Chicken Thai Rice and Lapchi Kai. We never had to order anything else, such is the love for this particular dish. I would really recommend this place and the Lapchi Kai. Here I tried to recreate the dish, and came as close as possible. So do give this “flavor bomb” a try.

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast

3 cloves of garlic

1 red chili

5 green chilies chopped

1 medium size onion diced

1 lemongrass chopped

6 lime leaves torn

2 tsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp of dark soy sauce

1 tsp cooking wine

Half a beaten egg

2 tbsps of corn flour

4 tbsps of flour

2 tsp black pepper powder

2 tsp of sugar

Salt

Method:

Butterfly the chicken wings and cut into 3 inch long pieces.

Marinade the chicken with the egg, rice wine, black pepper powder and 2 tsp salt.

Cover the chicken and marinade for 2 hours in the fridge. (At least for an hour)

In a bowl mix the corn flour and flour, season with salt and pepper and pour the marinated chicken.

Rub each chicken in the flour so that each piece has a good coating.

Deep fry the chicken in vegetable oil.

In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and red chili with a pinch of salt into a coarse paste.

Heat oil in a wok, add the onion and sauté.

Add the paste and lemongrass and stir thoroughly.

Add the chicken, green chilies and torn lime leaves.

Add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vinegar and sugar and mix well.

When everything in the wok is mixed completely, check seasonings and serve hot.

This chicken is full of flavors, it is crispy af, has the heat from the chilies and the fragrance from the lemongrass and lime leaves.

GONDHORAJ HORNY BULL

Gondhoraj Horny Bull

“Gondhoraj Lebu”, the name itself has its charm. The lovely aroma that spreads throughout the kitchen whenever you cut a slice of this wonderful lime is mesmerizing. It can take a boring Dal Bhat to a whole new level, such is the magical power of this little thing. I being a cocktail lover couldn’t stop myself from making a cocktail out of it! It is damn simple and takes only a few minutes.

Ingredients:

2 ounces of Tequila

5 ounces of Orange Juice

Half a Gondhoraj Lebu (aromatic lime found mostly in Eastern India)

Ice

Method:

In a shaker, add ice, tequila and orange juice and shake the mixture.

In a serving glass, drop some ice and squeeze the gondhoraj lebu.

Strain the mixture into the glass and stir lightly.

Rub the squeezed lime wedge around the rim of the glass.

Garnish with a gondhoraj lebu slice and serve chilled.

Now you’re making this at home, not in a bar, so I would suggest to go light on the ice, the drink is already being shaken with ice.

Sit on the couch and enjoy this with your buddies or alone, whatever suits you. Although its raining every other evening, the summer heat is already excruciating. This drink might give you the ultimate relaxation you are searching for.

Crepes with apples tossed in gur (jaggery)

What a morning it has been man! Like I was up early today, which I’ve been doing for the last month, and seeing the wet streets, slow rain and that cool breeze was so refreshing. Rainfall is really a mood enhancer for me. So I kind of went a little extra with my breakfast today. I love crepes, they are really soft and light and you can really be creative with your fillings. I mostly use Nutella and bananas for the filling but the gur (jaggery) in the fridge was really tempting. So if you like going fancy with your breakfast occasionally then do give this a try.DSC_0041-02

Ingredients:-

Crepe

3 cups of milk

2 cups of flour

3 eggs

4 tbsps. of butter

1 tsp salt

4 tbsps. of powdered sugar

Filling

2 apples (skinned and sliced thinly)

1 tbsp of butter

2 tbsps. of gur (jaggery)

A pinch of salt

1 tsp of cinnamon powder

Method:-

In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs sugar and butter.

Add the milk and mix well.

Add the flour half a cup at a time and whisk thoroughly. Add the salt.

Strain the mix through a fine strainer to get a smooth batter. This is not your regular pancake, so lumps are a big no!

Some people keep the batter in the fridge overnight but I don’t find that really necessary.

Heat a nonstick frying pan to medium heat. Pour a cup of the batter and spread a thin layer all over the pan. Flip the crepe once you see the edges changing color and getting cooked. As the other side gets cooked, take it off the pan.

For the filling, heat butter in a pan, as it melts add the apples and sauté for a minute. Add the gur (jaggery) and a pinch of salt and let it melt and completely coat all the apple slices. Add the cinnamon powder and take off from hat.

Spread the filling on half of each crepe and fold it in quarters. Dust some powdered sugar on top and serve.

 

Sikkim 2018 Part 2

Hey guys I’m back with the second and final part of my Sikkim trip. Let’s start it right where I left. Day 3 in Sikkim started very early for us. It was almost a 9 hour journey from Gangtok to Lachen. The roads are great, so it was a smooth ride to Lachen.dsc_0134-01 We reached Lachen in the evening, clicked some photos, fooled around a little, had drinks with our driver and slept early. We had to leave for Gurudongbar Lake at 5 in the morning. There are a hell lot of army check posts in the way so photography is pretty much restricted until you reach Gurudongbar, where you’re free to click. Seeing so many army people, tanks and training made me feel really proud of the Indian Army, it’s like at least -10 degrees there most of the time and they work their ass off in those tough conditions away from their friends and families, I mean hats off to them man! Alright now coming back to the trip, Gurudongbar Lake is at 17000 ft. above sea level, so people suffering from diseases such as diabetes and pressure problems should consult their doctor before-hand cause I saw people getting sick there due to low oxygen. It is considered a very holy place by the Hindus, Buddhists as well as the Sikh.img_20181108_093228003-01 Its amazing man, I can’t even describe it in words how beautiful it was. We stayed there for half an hour and then came back to Lachen. On the way back to Lachen, we visited Kala Patthar which is like a really cool place with lots of snow.img_20181108_124143567-01 We headed for Lachung which is like a 3 hour ride from Lachen. Next morning we went to Yumthang Valley. A scenic beauty with a river flowing alongside. The valley is full of Rhododendron flowers during March and April. We came back to Lachung, and started our journey back to Gangtok where we stayed the night. Next morning we started our journey for Rolep. We went through Changu Lake again, The New Baba Mandir, The Old Baba Mandir, Kupup Lake, Silk Route and Zuluk on our way and reached Rolep in the evening where we stayed in a home stay.

The next day we just relaxed with no journey at all. So much of time in the car at such an altitude really takes toll on your body so a day of rest is really needed. In spite of this, we really did some fun activities like visiting secret waterfalls, bathing in the refreshing mountain water (which is really rejuvenating after such hectic days), and having Tongba all evening with a bonfire specially arranged for us. Tongba is a local drink which is basically made from fermented millets.img_20181111_172156-01 It’s really tasty, not that strong and is served in a bamboo container with a bamboo straw which I found really cool. Also I made a new friend there, our driver’s little kid. Next day we head towards NJP Station in the morning, and get on our train for Kolkata ending our trip. This trip will always be really special for me. Although it was physically very draining, the amazing places and the great company of my friends made everything worth the effort.dsc_0184-01 I got to learn a lot about the local people and their cultures, met a ton of really cool people and ate some really lip smacking food. Memories made in Sikkim will always be cherished. I would seriously recommend Sikkim for all the mountain lovers out there, believe me, you’ll be mesmerized by how beautiful this place is and how awesome are the people. And also, HAPPY NEW YEAR guys. Let 2019 be full of joy and happiness. And also good food, like seriously how can I forget that!

Sikkim 2018 Part-1

So like every year, I went for my annual trip with my friends in November, this time to Sikkim. But unlike other years, this time instead of four, there were seven of us. Me, my friends Debrup, Procheto, Rahul, Snehasish, his brother Shubhasish and my hi junior Sourav. It was one hell of an experience. And believe me when I say it, Sikkim is a very underrated travel destination. Every breath of fresh air you take there is the best alternative to the polluted city air, the cold af breeze that just makes you forget all your problems that you left behind. This trip will always be remembered as one of the best trips of my life. Let me give you some details of everything.Station

So I started my trip on 4th November. Caught a train from Kolkata Station (train- Garibh Rath) at 9pm. Reached New Jalpaiguri station the next morning at 8 am. We had some light breakfast, and then left for Gangktok. We had booked a Bolero for the entire trip. It took us around 6 hours to reach Gangtok including the cigarette breaks and the tea breaks. We had booked a house from Airbnb. It was an amazing place. A very spacious and clean house, with two bathrooms, two bunkbeds, three single beds, a living room, a dining cum kitchen with all the necessary utensils and cutlery, an induction , an electric kettle and a refrigerator. It cost us 3270 per night which is a pretty good deal for seven people. We went to MG Marg afterwards and had a great meal at Dragon Wok. We had Beef Momo, Pork Fried Rice, Stir Fried Beef and Beef Thukpa. Also, lots of Hit Beer. We came back and slept early as we had to wake up early the next dayIMG_20181105_181715-01IMG_20181105_181542-01IMG_20181105_181538-01IMG_20181105_183140-01IMG_20181105_175716-01-01

We left for Changu Lake the next morning at 7:30am. It is very necessary to leave within 8 am as the traffic in Gangtok is disgusting. On our way to Changu we stopped for breakfast at a place which had the best Veg Momos I have ever tasted, with a fresh made roasted tomato chilli chutney. Every car stops at this village. I would recommend you to go to the first shop for these amazing momos.IMG_20181106_093537-01 Also they make great coffee. Then we went to The New Baba Mandir. Stopped there for a while, had some more momos at the army canteen, and while coming back, stopped at Changu Lake. We stayed there for around an hour and then left for Gangtok. On our way back, we had lunch at the same place where we had our breakfast. Some of us had Maggi, while I and the rest had egg curry and rice. Since everything is organic in Sikkim, everything tastes so fresh and so good here. Even the simple green leaves coked with just some garlic and chilli tasted amazing. We stopped by MG Marg on our way back to pick some bottles of that amazing Hit Beer. The dinner that day was a disaster, we had pork rice where there was only pork fat and no meat. We made the mistake of not eating from MG Marg, so I would suggest you guys to please eat your dinner from MG Marg. We packed our luggage and slept early as we had lots of travelling to do the next day.

The Sikkim Trip will be a two part series. Follow my blog for more such posts.

Grilled Chicken Xacuti

I know, I know, it has been quite a while since I last posted, my bad. The Durga Pujo hangover lasted quite long, but I won’t use that as an excuse, my lazy ass is to be blamed for this. I promise to keep posting on regular intervals from now on. Now coming to the post, like every other Indian boy in his 20s, my plan for “The Goa Trip” is still a plan, made every year and postponed every year. But if you can’t go to Goa, Goa can come to you right? No, it can’t, that’s a false hope, but Goa’s food can, if you’re ready to make it. So here is the recipe of my Grilled Chicken Xacuti.Grilled Chicken Xacuti

Ingredients:

2 Chicken Breasts

1 large onion cubed

1 tbsp. of chopped onion

5 cloves of garlic chopped

1 inch of ginger chopped

A handful of coriander leaves with stems intact

2 green chillies

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup of grated coconut

2 tbsps. of poppy seeds

2 tsps. of cloves

1 tbsp of black peppercorns

2 tbsps. of coriander seeds

2 dry red chillies

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

1 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste.

Method:

In a frying pan, dry roast the grated coconut, poppy seeds, cloves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, red chillies, cinnamon stick and star anise.

In a blender, add the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, green chillies, the dry roasted masala and lime juice and blend into a fine paste. Add a little water to make it really smooth.

Add 1/3rd of the paste to the chicken and some salt and marinade the chicken for at 4 hours.

Grill the marinated chicken in the oven or grill.

In a wok/ kadai, heat 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil.

Add the chopped onions and fry till translucent.

Add the rest of the masala and sauté.

Add turmeric and salt.

Add two cups of warm water and put the heat on medium low.

Add the chicken, and simmer till the gravy is of the desired consistency.

Check seasonings, slice the chicken and serve with some hot rice.

 

Like I said earlier, my Goa plans keep getting postponed, but the hills keep calling, and like last year’s Shillong trip, I’m back to the hills, this time to Sikkim with my buddies. I’ll post about the trip, almost every detail, and of course the food. If not during the trip, then definitely after I return. My journey starts today, so until next time, happy eating guys!

Butter Chicken Roulade Masala

Butter Chicken Roulade Masala

I love fusion food, like two good things combined can only make a great thing right? When I have a lot of time in my hand while cooking, I try some fusions like why the hell not! Two cuisines in one? Who even says no to that? But sometimes it gets a little tricky, cause you just can’t make two separate dishes and mix it together, never! Fusion food requires tweaking a few ingredients here and there and making a few changes in the original recipe in order to balance the flavours. Alright, now let’s just get started with the recipe. It’s a little lengthy, but trust me, you’re not gonna regret making my Butter Chicken Roulade Masala when you taste it!

Ingredients:

2 boneless chicken breasts

1 tbsps. of ginger and garlic paste

2 tsps. of lime juice

2 tsps. of black pepper powder

3 tbsps. of hung youghurt

1 tbsp. of mustard oil

2 tbsps. of Kashmiri red chilli powder

2 tsps. of garam masala powder

1 tsp of turmeric powder

1 tbsps. of chopped garlic

1 tbsps. of chopped cashew nut

1 tbsps. of peeled and chopped almonds

2 tbsps. of cream cheese

1 tsp. of honey

4 large tomatoes

1 medium sized onion

4 cloves of garlic

2 inch cube of ginger

1 bay leaf

2 green chillies

3 tsps. of kasuri methi powder (dried fenugreek leaf powder)

3 tbsps. of fresh cream

3 tbsps. of butter

Salt to taste

Method:

Butterfly the chicken breasts. Cover with plastic wrap and pound it with the kitchen rolling pin or the blunt side of your knife, whichever is easier to flatten it. Discard the wrap.

Marinade the chicken in the ginger garlic paste, lime juice, black pepper powder and a tsp of salt overnight. If that’s not possible, then at least for four hours before the second marinade.

For the filling of the roulade, in a bowl mix together the chopped garlic, cashew, almonds, cream cheese, garam masala powder, honey and a pinch of salt.

Take the chicken, and carefully put some of the filling on one side and roll the chicken, just like a Swiss roll. Tie the chicken with cotton strings.

In a bowl, pour the mustard oil and 1 tbsp. of red chilli powder and mix. Add the youghurt, some salt and mix. Marinade the chicken in this second marinade for 2-4 hours.

Bake the chicken in an oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins. Cool it down for a few minutes, cut off and discard the strings. Now slice the chicken in 2 inch discs.

In a saucepan, put roughly chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, green chillies, 1 tbsp. of butter and a cup of water. Cover and let it simmer on medium high heat for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Let it cool for some time and then grind it into a smooth paste and strain it.

Heat the rest of the butter in a kadai/wok and add the mixture and stir.

Add the kasuri methi powder and mix. Check seasonings and add the cream.

Now add the chicken pieces and gently toss so as to not break them, and make sure the filling remains intact. Turn off the heat.

Pour in a serving bowl, add some fresh cream on top for garnish and serve with some hot rumali rotis or naan or whatever you’ll like to eat it with.

If you loved this, do like, comment and follow.

Doi Ilish Paturi

Monsoon in Kolkata means you get to smell the heavenly aroma of ilish (hilsha) in almost every house as you pass by them. It’s probably the favourite fish of every bong. A bangal swears by it, and if a ghoti denies the fact that ilish is his favourite fish, I’ll bet you he’s lying. For me, monsoon means less meat and more ilish for me. There are days when I have ilish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Such is my love for this fish. A few days back I really wanted some paturi (fish cooked in banana leaf), but my mom told me to make something new. She really loves doi ilish (hilsha cooked in yoghurt), so I thought why not try something new, and it turned out to be pretty amazing. So here is the recipe of my Doi Ilish Paturi.

Ingredients:

  • Ilish (Hilsha) – 4 pieces
  • 6 tbsps. of plain yoghurt
  • 1 and half tbsps. of ground mustard seeds
  • 1 and half tbsps. of ground poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 4 green chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 banana leaves cut into eight inch squares
  • Cotton string
  • 3 tbsps. mustard oil

Method:

In a mixing bowl, beat the yoghurt nicely.

Add the mustard paste, poppy seed paste, turmeric powder, salt and 2 tbsps. of mustard oil and mix.

Add the fish and coat them gently with the mixture. Ilish is very delicate so it needs to be handled gently.

Marinade the fish for 15 mins in room temperature.

In the meantime, heat a pan to medium low and gently heat the banana leaves on both sides for a few seconds. This’ll help in folding and tying it up.

Now take a leaf, put a spoonful of the marinade in the middle, and place the fish over it. Add some more of the marinade on top and a green chilli.

Fold the leaf, tie with string and seal it to make a parcel. Repeat the steps for the rest of the fishes.

Heat 1 tbsp. of mustard oil in a frying pan and add the parcels when the oil smokes. Turn the heat to medium high and flip the parcels once after frying each side for 20 secs.

Now turn the heat to medium low and cover for 7-8 minutes.

Uncover and turn the heat off.

Cut the strings, open the parcels and serve with hot rice, preferably on a banana leaf with some more green chillies.

Hope you guys will try the recipe soon. Don’t forget to like, follow and comment.

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Asian Style Mango Salad

This year’s summer was really excruciating, the blazing sun made it almost unbearable at times. I would sound crazy if I tell you that I miss summer, but now that we are into monsoon, the only thing I miss about summer is the heavenly mango. Well, I had my last share of the delicious fruit a few weeks back when a family friend dropped in and gifted us about 2 kilos from his backyard tree. In Kolkata, almost everyone has a relative or friend who has a mango tree, ‘barir gach er aam’ as they say here. So I was really thankful to this person after receiving so many of those at the end of the season. A mango is tasty enough to be eaten as it is, but I thought of making a delicious salad with very few ingredients. I really love Asian salads as they require so little ingredients and yet are so yum. So here is the delicious yet very simple recipe of my Asian Style Mango Salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 1 and half tbsps. of white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. of fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsps. of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tsps. Of finely chopped green chillies
  • Juice of one lime

Method:

Heat a frying pan and heat the sesame seeds in the dry pan until lightly toasted. Make sure not to burn the sesame seeds.

Peel and chop the mangoes into 1 inch cubes and put them in a large bowl.

Now in a small bowl, add the fish sauce, sesame oil, mint leaves, chillies and the lime juice and mix well.

Add the dressing to the mangoes and mix gently until everything is well combined. The shape of the mangoes should be intact, so mixing gently is important. Add the toasted sesame seeds and mix again.

Pour in a serving bowl, garnish with a mint twig and serve.

The best thing about this salad is that it’s super light. It’s a bit sweet, tangy and the green chillies give it a nice touch of heat. Also the sesame seeds add in a crunch with every bite. Hope you like it, and don’t forget to leave a comment.

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It all starts.

Hey everyone! I’m Akash, I’m 22 and live in Calcutta. For me, food has been my greatest love ever since I had my first spoonful. I’ve been cooking for the last 10 years, and have always been passionate about it. After a lot of thoughts and researches, I’m finally here with my first blog post. I’ll be posting almost twice every week.Feedback is appreciated and very much encouraged. All the readers can expect recipes, my food experiences, everything related to food and not just any one particular cuisine. but food from around the world. So welcome guys,26910798_917879991706550_4162426736259313762_o to a blissful gastronomic journey. Let’s have a blast! Continue reading “It all starts.”